saturday, 14 January, 2017 I 15 rabi-ul-sani, 1438 I rs 19.00 I vol vII no 196 I 16 Pages I Islamabad edition
Un chief to contact nawaz, Modi over kashmir issue: spokesman STORY ON PAGE 03
extensIon to MIlItArY coUrts
PPP says no g
PAkIstAn reJects AllegAtIons
No safe haveNs iN faTa
JUI-F, JI, PkMAP All sUPPort PPP’s stAnce; PtI stIll UndecIded
STORY ON PAGE 03
PM nawaz restores fertiliser subsidy on Punjab cM’s request
Fo sAYs coUntrY’s contrIbUtIon to wAr on terror, sAcrIFIces Acknowledged bY world
sUccesses oF ZArb-eAZb Are MAnIFested In the IMProved secUrItY And econoMIc sItUAtIon In PAkIstAn
STORY ON PAGE 04
Ex-army chief wants foolproof security STORY ON PAGE 04
bill on ‘unattended orphans’ perishes in nA STORY ON PAGE 04
PAkIstAn In AUstrAlIA
Hosts take 1-0 lead in ODIs STORY ON BACK PAGE
n response to media queries regarding allegations of safe havens in FATA, the spokesperson of the Foreign Office Friday outrightly rejected the claims and reiterated that Pakistan does not allow its territory to be used for attacks against any other country. Pakistan’s contribution to the
PAnAMA PAPers cAse
‘You cannot dismiss PM’ g
international community’s fight against terrorism and the sacrifices that ‘we rendered have been acknowledged by the world, including the US at various levels of their leadership, EU and others’, he stated in a press statement. Pakistan’s strong rebuttal comes after a report by US State Department acknowledged the difficulties Pakistan faces in combating terrorists in FATA, saying that the remoteness of the
area and the military’s tactical limitations prevent Islamabad from eliminating all terrorist safe havens. But at an afternoon news briefing a few days ago, a department spokesman Mark Toner also endorsed Kabul’s claim that the existence of safe havens in FATA allowed terrorists to carry out attacks inside Afghanistan whenever they want.
CONTINUED ON PAGE 03
shArIF FAMIlY hAs owned london FlAts sInce ’90s: bbc rePort
sUbstAntIAl evIdence necessArY to dIsqUAlIFY An MnA
NEED TO CHANGE PM, NOT NAB ORDINANCE: IMRAN g
PM’s coUnsel sAYs ArtIcle 62 AlreAdY declAred ‘AMbIgUoUs’ And A ‘nIghtMAre’ STORY ON PAGE 02
CASES CAN’T BE WON ON BASIS OF ALLEGATIONS, AGITATION: MARRIYUM STORIES ON PAGES 02 & 03
Saturday, 14 January, 2017
PANAMA PAPERS CASE
‘YOu cANNOt dIsMIss PM’ PM’S COUNSEL SAYS SUBSTANTIAL EVIDENCE NECESSARY FOR DISQUALIFICATION OF MNA ISLAMABAD SHAH NAWAZ MOHAL
AKHDOOM Ali Khan, counsel for Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, Friday resumed his arguments over Panama Papers case and maintained that substantial evidence was required for the disqualification of a member of the National Assembly. He said that a declaration from a court of law is required in order to proceed further with Article 62 of the Constitution. ‘Within the purview of article 62 an elected member can be disqualified if alleged of possessing fake educational degrees or concealment of assets,’ he argued. He maintained that the evidence presented by petitioners so far did not
Need to change PM Nawaz, not NAB Ordinance: Imran ISLAMABAD ONLINE
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan in a statement has said that those involved in theft of a thousand rupees are in jails while those who have stolen billions are free. “NAB should be handed over to me for three months. I will hang all looters upside down. There is a need to change the Prime Minister (PM) rather than NAB Ordinance,” he said while talking to journalists outside Supreme Court (SC) here Friday. He underlined that ‘it is difficult to find out a Sadiq and Amin in the country. I have heard a new Qatari letter is coming. Rulers stand mired in Panama case’. He held, “PM himself said that he has all the evidence, but he hasn’t submitted any. He is trying to escape from court, from justice. But he is answerable to the people. His replying to allegations is not an act of kindness on his part, it is his duty to make his position clear.” “Sharif family has not admitted that they own London flats. ICIJ has already said Maryam Nawaz is beneficiary owner of those flats. It is hard to believe that while his children became billionaires, the PM didn’t know about it,” he underlined. He went on to say that that the PM has indulged in money laundering. He held that a ‘corrupt’ prime minister will never let National Accountability Bureau (NAB) do accountability. He said the entire Western world holds their leaders up to these standards of morality and leaders are not expected to lie. He questioned as to why no one is talking about the fact that Maryam is a beneficiary owner and that when the flats were purchased, she did not have the financial capability to buy them. “They repeatedly said that they have documentation and money trails,” he added. He said we brought up the FIA report, we brought up the BBC documentary with the same money trail and then there is the Al Toufeek judgment which had the four flats attached. “And then there was the Ishaq Dar affidavit which matched the FIA findings about the Kazi family,” Imran said. He further added that this is a defining moment for Pakistan. Imran Khan said that this is the time that will decide if the law is same for everyone. “His lawyer is trying to prove that special circumstances apply to the prime minister and that to prove him guilty people need to witness him actually stealing money,” he said. He further added that Panama Papers proved to be sheer bad luck for the Sharifs though their corruption has been suspected for decades. “Laws against corruption have failed.
PM’S COUNSEL CITES SC JUDGMENTS TO THE BENCH
fulfil the requirements for the disqualification. A five-member larger bench of apex court headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa is conducting the hearing of the case. The bench compromises comprising Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, Justice Gulzar Ahmad, Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed and Justice Ijaz Ul Ahsan, and is hearing a case filed by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and others seeking investigation into Panama Papers. During the course of arguments, Makhdoom Khan referred to a judgment on a petition by a PTI leader in 2014 against the PM that termed Article 62 as both ‘ambiguous’ and a ‘nightmare’. In the petition Mr Khakwani of PTI took the PM to task for lying on the floor of the National Assembly about not seeking help from former army chief Raheel Sharif to pacify things with Imran Khan
and Tahirul Qadri during heydays of 2014 sit-in. Interestingly, the decision was written by Justice Khosa. PM’s counsel further argued that in order to gauge the veracity of any statement that can disqualify a person, it has to take into account its context and background. ‘Justice Khosa wrote in his judgment that the requirements of the present standards laid down in articles 62 and 63 can only be fulfilled by prophets,’ he told the bench. He also cited the Sadiq Baloch vs Jehangir Khan Tarin case and said that the verdict of disqualification of Sadiq Baloch was made at tribunal level but the apex court had declared the verdict null and void. “Solid evidence is required for the disqualification of parliamentarians while judicial declaration is vital for the disqualification of PM under Article 62 of
the Constitution. A conviction is necessary for disqualification with any regard under articles 62 and 63,” he added. Makhdoom Ali Khan further said that one can be disqualified under article 62 on the basis of fake educational degrees and concealment of assets. The issue of fake degrees was resolved at tribunal level, he added. The issue of ineligibility could be raised at the time of the filing of nomination papers and after election the criteria of ineligibility could not be lowered. However, application of quo warranto could be filed, he argued. At this juncture, Justice Khosa told Makhdoom Ali Khan that the cases he was referring to were against the Election Commission and not the tribunal. Citing the disqualification case of former President General (retd) Pervez Musharraf, Makhdoom Ali Khan said that his case was decided in the light of judicial verdicts. Justice Ejaz Afzal observed that the apex court had indeed issued a declaration of a violation of oath in the Musharraf case.
On this, Makhdoom Ali Khan said that a declaration is necessary for the disqualification as both disqualification and declaration cannot be united. The address of the PM in the National Assembly was also challenged before. “An allegation was also levelled on PM for not speaking the truth and the Speaker National Assembly had rejected the reference without declaration. The Lahore High Court upheld the verdict of the Speaker and later on the Supreme Court also upheld the same,” he explained. After missing the hearing on Thursday, due to pain in his back, a fresh and invigorating Naeem Bukhari was back in the court on Friday, laying to rest rumours that made rounds that PTI is not content with his performance and is considering to replace him. Earlier, PTI counsel Naeem Bukhari and Jamat e Islami counsel Taufeeq Asif had concluded their arguments in the Panama Papers case before the court on Wednesday last. The Supreme Court later adjourned the hearing till January 16.
BBC URDU REPORT
Sharif family has owned London flats since ’90s NO CHANGE IN OWNERSHIP SINCE THEN ISLAMABAD HAMID KHAN WAZIR
The news report by BBC Urdu regarding Sharif family’s London flats has helped the claims of Pakistan Tehreeke-Insaf (PTI) who now say that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has been left with no option but to surrender before the law of the land. PTI Central Secretary Information Naeemul Haq, in reaction over the BBC Urdu report, has stated that the report has completely exposed the lies of the premier before the nation. He said that the PM could have avoided this humiliation had he not lied
PM WILL HAVE TO SURRENDER BEFORE THE LAW OF THE LAND: NAEEMUL HAQ before the nation. The BBC Urdu report says that the properties owned by the Sharif family in London’s upscale Park Lane neighbourhood were purchased in the 1990s and there has been no change of ownership since then. According to official documents available with BBC Urdu, the four flats were purchased in the name of the Nielsen and Nescoll companies. Naeemul Haq said that Nawaz Sharif has wasted nine months to provide cover to his lies. “The PM lied on the floor of the Parliament and before the nation; he changed his lawyers time and again to conceal his lies in the apex court,” he added.
Naeem said that despite efforts by the ruling party, they have failed to hide the truth from the public. He said that Nawaz Sharif has no way to escape accountability, adding that the premier and his family did not take those who published Panama Leaks to the court. He said that PTI will see whether the family will sue BBC Urdu for its report. According to the documents, an official record of companies doing business in the United Kingdom reveals that when Hassan Nawaz established Flagship Investment Ltd in 2001, the address he provided at the time of registration of the company was that of
his Park Lane apartment. According to the report, Neilson and Nescoll purchased the following flats: Flat 17 on June 1, 1993; Flat 16 on July 31, 1995; Flat 16A on July 31, 1995; and Flat 17A on July 30, 1996. There has been no change in ownership since then. After the Panama Papers were published, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s son, Hussain Nawaz, had accepted the family’s ownership of Nielsen and Nescoll. Hussain had said: “The Park Lane apartments in London are ours, two offshore companies, Nielsen and Nescoll, own these flats and I am the beneficial owner of these companies, working under a trust held by my sister Maryam Nawaz Sharif.” Flat 12A is owned by Flagship Investment Company since 2004. Hassan Nawaz is the dfirector of Flagship which was created in 2001, the report added.
Analysts foresee bigger majority for PML-N in 2018 polls ISLAMABAD APP
In high recognition of the efforts by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s government to deliver on governance, economic reforms and particularly the security, the analysts foresee even a bigger majority for the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz in 2018 elections. According to a report published in Nikkei Asian Review, an English-language business journal, Pakistan had recently witnessed significant improvements in its infrastructure and energy sectors, helped by the downward trend in oil prices. Macroeconomic indexes were up across the board, and relations with the US and the wider international community had improved. It said the public order, which had long plagued the entire country, was normalising thanks to the military’s anti-terrorism campaign.
Although it could only be described as reaching the halfway point in its efforts to promote exports and manufacturing, reform the tax code and privatize state-run companies, Pakistan’s recovery was undoubtedly gathering pace. Under Sharif, the Asian Review said the ruling PML-N had focused on building infrastructure and public transportation systems. It had also made certain progress, mainly in its stronghold of Punjab, developing agricultural areas and addressing unemployment. The centerpiece of its political campaign was the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project, a comprehensive infrastructure program relying on financial help from China. Investment in CPEC projects totals $51 billion, mainly for the building of power plants, but also encompassing roads, ports, railroads and airports, and offers hope of spurring industry nationwide. “There’s a significant improvement both on the economic and security
sides. Democracy is also taking roots,” said Arif Habib, CEO of leading conglomerate Arif Habib group, when asked about the performance of the Sharif administration. “The media is free, and the judiciary system is also improving,” he added. Abdul Aleem, secretary-general of the Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry, comprising 195 foreign companies and other organizations, said, “The government is very strong,” although “commodity prices, especially oil, are the biggest risk.” “The current government is spending a lot of money on infrastructure and energy, which is deeply requisite for business growth and development,” commented Shahrukh Hasan, group managing director of Jang Group. The PTI made major strides in the last general election, but public opinion was turning. As one Pakistani businessman put it, “They lost people’s support due to agitation politics, including
months long sit-in at the parliament.” Recently, the Panama scandal involving Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s son and daughter was widely talked about, but had not developed to the point of threatening the administration. The Jang group’s Hasan was already predicting a ruling party victory in 2018. “Unless something major happens, [Sharif will get a] bigger majority in next election.” In the second half of 2017, as Pakistan moves into the election campaign season, it will be difficult to cut spending, not only on infrastructure but on development in rural areas, health care and education. One senior foreign diplomat in Pakistan said, “It can only keep on running on this force until the 2018 general election.” For Sharif and the ruling PML-N, 2017 will be a crucial year. Following through on economic reform and delivering tangible results for business and people in general will be essential.
Saturday, 14 January, 2017
NEWS ‘cAsEs cAN’t BE WON ON BAsIs OF AllEgAtIONs, AgItAtION’ ISLAMABAD APP
Minister of State for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage Marriyum Aurangzeb Friday said that PTI Chairman Imran Khan cannot win cases in the courts by levelling fake allegations and politics of agitation. Talking to media persons after Panama Paper case hearing, she said that the important thing of the case was that mere levelling of allegations, telling lies and with politics of agitation no one could win cases in the court. The minister said that during the hearing, the PTI changed its lawyers many times but could not present even a single piece of paper which could be regarded as evidence against the three-time prime minister. She said PTI legal counsels had contested the case only on the basis of documents presented by the PML-N. Marriyum said that Imran had been raising the slogan of accountability but he should tell what happened to KPK accountability bureau. She said that so far only one counsel of the PML-N has been giving his arguments, while other counsels will also give their arguments later. She said that elected prime minister aside, not even an MNA could be de-seated on the basis of baseless allegations of PTI and contradictory political statements. She advised Imran to avoid talking to media outside the court as his statements regarding daughters and mothers of other people would affect the lives of the common man. “Imran Khan should understand that one should not blame anyone’s daughters,” she said. The minister congratulated Imran Khan by saying that “yesterday (Thursday) Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif cut another ribbon of PM’s Healthcare programme in Narowal which was a gift for those who could not afford their medical treatment”. The launch of this programme was part of the fulfillment of PM’s promises with the masses, she went on to say. Replying to a question, the minister said “the PML-N’s counsel did not mention the name of Panama Papers today as the prime minister had no link with it”. Marriyum said Imran had the habit of contesting case outside the court as in the courts cases were contested on the basis of legal grounds and he would have to get used to it, adding Imran should avoid levelling baseless allegations.
EXTENSION TO MILITARY COURTS
PPP sAYs NO JUI-F, JI, PKMAP SUPPORT PPP’S STANCE; PTI STILL UNDECIDED ISLAMABAD MIAN ABRAR
ITH the federal government contemplating to extend the scope of the military courts for another two years to help curb the menace of terrorism, the political parties have commenced internal discussions over the subject matter to come up with a clear stance in the upcoming meeting of the heads of the parliamentary committee scheduled to be held on January 17. The federal government plans to present a detailed performance report of the military courts at the January 17 meeting. However, the PPP, with the support from some minor religiopolitical outfits, is all set to give a tough time to the federal government. Moreover, Jamiat Ulema-eIslam Fazl (JUI-F), Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) and Pukhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) are likely to oppose the move too. While Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) is still undecided whether or not to support the federal government’s plan to legislate for an extension to the military courts, Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) has decided to oppose the reconstitution of military courts “tooth and nail”. President of PPP-Parliamentarians, Asif Zardari, has publicly directed the party leadership to fully
oppose the military courts. A PPP leader told Pakistan Today that that the party had already decided to oppose the government bill to reconstitute the military courts. The source added that party chief Asif Ali Zardari has directed PPP leaders to oppose the reconstitution of military courts and take a hard stance. The source said that the party was in touch with other likeminded political outfits and there was a likelihood that JUI-F, JI, PkMAP and some other parties would also oppose the military courts. “We have also contacted Mutahidda Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) and they have also summoned their parliamentary party meeting to discuss the matter. We hope they will also support our view to oppose the military courts,” the PPP leader added. The PPP has also decided to hold a session of the opposition parties prior to the January 17 meeting to convince all the opposition parties to take a joint stance on the issue, the source added. At the previous meeting of all parliamentary leaders chaired by Speaker National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, PPP had opposed the idea while the PTI had sought explanation from the government for reconstitution of the military courts. Soon after the meeting held on Tuesday, PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi had said the gov-
ernment was using the military as “crutches”. Qureshi had further divulged that the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government also does not support the reinstatement of military courts. Pakistan had legalised military court trials of terror suspects for a period of two years in January 2015 — soon after the terror attack on Peshawar’s Army Public School in Dec 2014, in which 144 people, most of them children, were killed by Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan militants. Military courts’ performance “During the previous two years of their validity, 274 cases were referred to military courts. Their disposal has yielded positive effects towards reduction in terrorist activities,” said the ISPR in a statement issued recently. It said the military courts were established through a constitutional amendment ‘in an environment of heightened terrorism’. The military’s media wing added that out of the 274 cases referred to military courts, “161 (convicts) were awarded the death penalty, 12 were executed and 113 were awarded imprisonment of varying duration.” “The routine judicial system was under stress wherein judicial setups/judges were also subjected to act of terrorism. Therefore special constitutional arrangements were made to effectively check the terrorists’ activities,” the statement said. “The cases were dealt through due process of law in the military courts. The military courts have ceased to function on expiry of their mandated period,” the ISPR pointed out.
Governer Saeed-uz-Zaman buried with full honours KARACHI APP
The 31st Governor of Sindh, Justice (r) Saeed uz Zaman Siddiqui, who passed away on Wednesday, was laid to rest, with full honours at Gizri graveyard on Friday afternoon. Federal Minister for State and Frontier Regions, Lt. Gen (r) Abdul Qadir Baloch, Senator Nehal Hashmi and other senior leaders of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N)
and representatives of military services were also present on the occasion. Mufti Taqi Usmani led the funeral prayers at Governor House premises on Friday. The coffin, wrapped in the national flag, was carried by a contingent of Pakistan Naval Guards, from governor house to the graveyard, where gun salute was presented to the late governor after the burial. The funeral prayers were attended by Federal Minister, Abdul
Qadir Baloch, acting Governor of Sindh, Agha Siraj Durrani, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, Corps Commander Lt. General Shahid Baig Mirza, DG Rangers Major General Mohammad Saeed, and leaders representing almost every national level political party of the country. Floral wreaths on behalf of President Mamnoon Hussain, Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and military services were laid on the grave.
uN chief to contact Nawaz, Modi over Kashmir issue: spokesman UNITED NATIONS APP
New UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has not had an opportunity so far to speak to prime ministers of India and Pakistan about the Kashmir dispute between the two South Asian neighbours, but that does not mean any lack of interest on his part to help resolve it, his spokesman said Thursday. Responding to a question at the regular noon briefing, Spokesman Stephanes Dujarric said that since Guterres assumed on January 1, he had spoken to a number of government leaders around the around the world, but he has not been able to talk to the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Muhammad Nawaz Sharif on the “issues around Kashmir.” “The secretary-general has been in office for 12 days. He has had a number of contacts with government leaders around the world. He has not been able yet to speak to every leader he would like to and the fact that he has not had a full conversation with the prime minister of India nor the prime minister of Pakistan, to my knowledge, in no way signifies lack of interest in solving the issues around Kashmir or any of the issues that we see around the world,” Dujarric added. “So I would ask you give a bit of time,” he told a Pakistani journalist who referred to the effort the secretary-general has begun to resolve the Cyprus question, but has not yet done so on Kashmir.
Raheel sharif to speak at World Economic Forum MONITORING DESK Former army chief General (r) Raheel Sharif will speak at the four-day annual meeting of World Economic Forum in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, a local media outlet reported on Friday. The former army staff will discuss security issues reshaping global agenda and highlight developing opportunities in South Asia under the $55 billion China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project. Gen Raheel, who retired in November last year, would also highlight Pakistan Army’s counter insurgency operations and improved security environment in the country as well as in the region. The annual WEF meetings will start from November 17 and continue for four days. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is also expected to attend the event.
No SAfe hAveNS iN fATA, PAK ReJeCTS ALLeGATioNS CONTINUED fROM pAGE 01 He urged the Pakistani government to realise that “Afghanistan’s security, Pakistan’s security, indeed India’s security, they’re all interconnected”. The three countries, he said, needed to work together to defeat terrorism. Pakistan has lost thousands of its citizens and economic losses of over US$100 billion due to the menace of terrorism. The successes of Zarb-e-Azb are manifested in the improved security and economic situation in Pakistan, particularly near Pakistan-Afghanistan border, he maintained. He stated that the results of our military action were there for everyone to see through peace and stability at our borders with Afghanistan. The US Parliamentarians and US Commanders have visited FATA and publicly acknowledged the successes of Pakistan’s counter terrorism drive, he added. Afghanistan is infested with many terrorist organisations due to the instability there, which has created space for terrorist elements such as Haqqani Network’s leadership, TTA, TTP, Daesh, Al-Qaeda, Jamaat-ul-Ahraar, etc. It is, therefore, not appropriate to blame others for the adversities due to the deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan, he stated and added that the often repeated claims regarding safe havens are, there-
Afghans protest outside Pakistan embassy NEwS DESK Scores of protesters gathered outside the Pakistan Embassy in Kabul on Friday to demonstrate against Pakistan’s alleged support for insurgents. The demonstrators also raised slogans against Pakistan Army’s intelligence arm, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), reported. A number of Afghanistan Green Trend (AGT) members held a demonstration outside the Pakistani Embassy in Kabul
fore, more of a rhetoric than anything else. “We wish to reemphasise that some foreign elements are exploiting the situation and using Afghan soil against Pakistan, in particular, and the region, at large. The activities of Indian RAW and NDS nexus remains a matter of deep concern to Pakistan,” he underlined. He said Pakistan remains committed to peace efforts in Afghanistan as it is not only in the interest of the region but more importantly, Pakistan.
in protest over Islamabad’s perceived role in terrorism, according to . The protesters accused the Pakistan Embassy of being a “nest of spies in Afghanistan” and said the “ISI supports insurgents and had a hand in recent terrorist attacks in the country”. “ISI is responsible for the attacks. We know it and we have witnessed it,” Fahim Kohdamani, a member of AGT was quoted as saying. AGT calls itself a social, prodemocracy, anti-corruption,
“It is unfortunate that our sincere efforts towards stability in Afghanistan are being maligned,” he deplored. Pakistan wants peace and stability in Afghanistan. We are engaged in border management which is imperative for effective counter terrorism. Pakistan will continue its policy of cooperation with international community to defeat the menace of terrorism. We will not indulge in blame game and expect others to do the same, he concluded.
anti-radicalism, youth empowerment organisation. It is led by Amrullah Saleh, a former Afghan intelligence chief. A video uploaded by the organisation on Twitter shows a mob burning an effigy during the protest. The protest came three days after three Afghan cities, including the capital, were targeted by major attacks that left dozens dead and scores more were injured. Five officials of the United Arab Emirates also died in the attacks.
The US State Department spokesman’s comments followed twin suicide blasts near the Afghan parliament on Tuesday that killed scores. Another blast in Kandahar wounded the UAE Ambassador Juma Mohammed Abdullah Al Kaabi and some other diplomats. Soon after the blasts, a government spokesman in Kabul said that the terrorists were able to strike targets inside Afghanistan whenever they wanted because Pakistan had allowed them to main-
tain safe havens in FATA, a charge Islamabad rejects as baseless. “The short answer to your … question is yes,” said Toner when a journalist asked if Washington endorsed Kabul’s allegation. “We’ve been very frank and very open about publicly saying to Pakistan that it needs to not provide any safe haven to groups that will or are intent on carrying out attacks on Afghanistan.” Toner, however, said that Pakistan had made “some progress” and had taken “some steps to address these safe havens, but clearly the problem persists”. That’s why the United States continues to urge Pakistan to act against all terrorist groups without any discrimination and was “willing to help them” do so, he said. “But given Pakistan’s reluctance to act against these safe havens, do you think there’s need to review the US policy towards Pakistan because it’s not working?” asked a journalist. “I don’t have anything in that regard to speak to except to say that it is an ongoing issue of concern. It’s something we raise regularly with Pakistan’s leadership,” the spokesman said. “Part of it is, one could argue, the difficulty of going after some of these safe havens given the remote areas that they’re in and providing — or ensuring that the Pakistan military has the capabilities to do so.”
Saturday, 14 January, 2017
Bill oN ‘uNatteNded orPhaNS’ PeriSheS iN Na ISLAMAbAd
HE National Assembly is all set to legislate laws, rules, and acts to protect the illegal torture, harassment being faced by the unattended orphans, and abandoned children under 15 years of age. However, a similar legislation was proposed by the House of Business Advisory Committee “The Unattended Orphans (Rehabilitation and Welfare) Bill, 2013” and was proposed and approved by the Senate (Upper house). Post-approval from the upper house, the bill was referred to the National Assembly to legislate the bill, accordingly.
Subsequently, the matter didn’t get the attention of parliamentarians and was lapsed after the span of 90 days. In the proposed bill, presented by Senator Mian Raza Rabbani, it was mentioned that all the un-attended orphans, abandoned children under 15 years shall be the responsibility of orphanage houses to register them with the NADRA, also get the Child Registration Certificate (CRC). As a matter of fact, minor maid Tayyaba who was tortured at the residence of the additional sessions judge has appeared in front of five-member medical board of Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) Islamabad, headed by Doctor Javed Akram. Tayyaba underwent
Kolhi woman to contest by-polls against Bilawal HydErAbAd PPI
A Kolhi woman of Sindh, labour rights activist and social and political worker, presidential award winner, Veero Kolhi, has said that she would fight against Bilawal Zardari for the National Assembly seat from Larkana in bye-election and for this purpose the Pasban-e-Pakistan political party has given her ticket. Addressing a press conference at the Hyderabad Press Club, she said the so-called political princes and princess of Sindh did not know about the problems of the poor women of Sindh. She said, ‘If such people work for two days at some brick kiln they would know what the problems of poor people of Sindh are’? She said now the Sindhi nation has to differentiate between its real friends and foes. She said she was a living example of the courage of Sindhi women as she has broken the shackles of slavery and now living a free life. She said the Sindhi nation should support her and she would help it saving from the slavery of feudals. She said I have been raising voice against bonded labour for last 20 years. She said Bilawal should also tell the nation what service he has rendered for Sindh. She said these bye-polls would be between the exploited daughter of Sindh Vero Kolhi and a son of a feudal-politician. She said the proud nation of Sindh would support me.
medical checkup and the wounds on her back were examined particularly. Her blood sample was taken as well for DNA test along with claiming parents and brother. As torture was confirmed by the PIMS medical board, the accused may face the imprisonment and fine. In the bill, offences like, forces any unattended orphan to beg, commit petty crimes, rag picking or any act which is injurious to health and dignity of such orphan shall be punishable with imprisonment which shall not be less than four years but may extent to seven years and also with fine which may extend to two hundred thousand rupees. It is pertinent to mention here that on Thursday, Additional Sessions Judge Raja
Khurram has been made an officer on special duty (OSD) and barred from performing duties as a judge. According to the notification issued by Islamabad High Court (IHC), Raja Khurram cannot perform judicial duties as well till the matter is subjudice. The committee recommended that the “The un-attended orphans (rehabilitation and welfare) bill, 2013”, as reported by the house business advisory committee passed by the senate. The matter was also highlighted in the standing committee on law and justice by Javed Abbasi. It is pertinent to mention here that there are dozens of cases that languish in National Assembly after being passed from Senate.
ATC summons Musharraf on February 9 ISLAMAbAd INP
Former president and army chief General (retd) Pervez Musharraf has said that he wants to come back home provided he gets fool proof security. However, the Anti-terrorism court (ATC) on Friday accepted his request for foolproof security. An application filed by the retired general's counsel Akhtar Shah asked the court to direct authorities to provide extraordinary security to the ex-president in view of "serious security threats". Until such security measures have been taken, the application said,
Musharraf should be exempted from appearing in the court. The application said it is "neither safe nor advisable" for Musharraf to appear in person in the court due to security and medical reasons. "Security conditions in the courts and otherwise have not yet improved," the application read, and sought direction for authorities to provide security to Musharraf. ATC Judge Sohail Ikram accepted the application and issued notices to Inspector General of police Islamabad and the home secretary. The hearing was adjourned till February 9. At the last hearing of the judges’ detention case in December, the ATC gave a one-month deadline to Mushar-
raf to surrender. The court had warned at the time that the former military ruler would be declared a proclaimed offender if he failed to comply with the deadline. The judges’ detention case was registered by the Secretariat police on Aug 11, 2009, on the complaint of Advocate Chaudhry Mohammad Aslam against the former military ruler for confining 60 judges of the superior courts for over five months and restraining them from administering justice. The judges, including former chief justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, were detained after the proclamation of an emergency in the country.
PM Nawaz restores fertiliser subsidy on CM Shehbaz's request LAHOrE STAFF REPORT
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on the request of Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif has restored subsidy on fertilisers. Shehbaz Sharif had entreated PM Sharif to reinstate Fertilizer Subsidy Scheme. Restoration of subsidy on fertilisers will benefit 22million farmers of the province with 77 billion rupees and their production cost will be cut down to eight percent. Meanwhile, in a statement, Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif has said that PML-N government has taken unprecedented steps in the history of the country for economic uplift of the cultivators and for the development of agriculture. He said that those indulging in negative politics of allegations and lies proved their enmity with farmers by creating hindrances in farmer’s welfare program. He said that it does not behove those to sympathise with farmers who closed their tube-wells through criminal negligence in electricity production. Shehbaz Sharif directed agriculture department to provide existing fertiliser in hoards at subsidised rates and keep an eye on hoarders and profiteers so that subsidy on fertilisers should be in reach of the cultivators. He warned that strict action will be taken against those trying to increase the price of fertilisers in the province.
Shahi Syed suggests death penalty for politicians consuming alcohol ISLAMAbAd STAFF REPORT
Journalist killed in Balochistan QUETTA AGENCIES
Unidentified attackers shot dead a journalist in Balochistan’s Qalat district, close to Afghan and Iranian border, police said Friday. Muhammad Jan, 37, who worked for Urdu language daily newspaper Qudrat, was shot late Thursday while on his way home on a motorcycle in Qalat district, some 160 kilometres south of Quetta, the provincial capital. “Two attackers
on motorcycle opened fire on him, using a pistol and killing him on the spot,” senior police officer Muhammad Ali told AFP. The attackers fled the scene, he said. Pakistan is ranked among the world’s most dangerous countries for journalists. The restive province has been wracked for more than a decade by religious, sectarian and separatist insurgencies. However the motive for Jan’s killing is not yet clear, Ali said. He had not complained of any threats from militant groups or mentioned any family or tribal dispute.
Gunvor set to beat rivals in Pakistan LNG tender AGENCIES Commodity trader Gunvor is tipped to win Pakistan's bumper liquefied natural gas (LNG) tender, traders participating in the process said, beating a host of rivals, including Trafigura, Malaysia's Petronas and Spain's Gas Natural Fenosa. Pakistan LNG launched a five-year supply tender and a 15-year tender last year to buy a combined 240 shipments of LNG, drawing a lot of interest from suppliers eager to sell gas in an oversupplied market. The five-year tender for approximately 60 shipments is the most attractive for trading houses which will struggle to commit to longer periods without direct access to supply. Gunvor's existing presence as an LNG supplier to Pakistan, among other factors, may give it an edge over rivals, the traders said. The list of bidders is a who's who of top commodity traders and oil firms, with Engie, Trafigura, Gunvor,
Glencore, SK, Oman Trading International, Noble , Eni, Petronas, Shell, Gas Natural Fenosa and CNOOC in the mix, according to trade sources. Participating traders say potential profit margins in the tender are under pressure from aggressive bidding. Multi-year LNG tender deals tend to be linked to Brent crude oil prices, expressed as a percentage and recent extreme price volatility has made some players wary of bidding too low for fear of winning an unprofitable deal, they said. Brent-linked values have fallen below 11 percent in some cases, though more are held to be above 12 percent, the traders said. Pakistan LNG Ltd has delayed reviewing the bids by a few days to Jan. 19, raising the prospect of delays to the award. But trade sources said this was a formality linked to the buyer's decision to hire consultants to appraise the technical aspects of the bids. They said the tender bids were straightforward and expected awards to be made on time, though bids are
valid until the end of March, giving the buyer leeway to delay if needed. Supplies under the tender are to start from July. Unlike recent Egyptian LNG tenders, where trade houses picked up the bulk of volumes, major producer Qatar is not offering to back traders this time around to avoid undercutting its own long-term gas supply deals into Pakistan, according to one senior trader. For this reason, some traders believe Gunvor's nearest rival for the Pakistan deal is not necessarily Trafigura, which is being backed by U.S. producer Cheniere and Shell, but other LNG producers participating in the tender, such as Gas Natural Fenosa and Petronas. Gunvor is sourcing part of its supply for the fiveyear Pakistan tender from Mitsui, a Japanese trading house, traders said. Gunvor was expected to get direct access to LNG supply sometime after the Novatek-led Yamal LNG plant in the Arctic Peninsula gets underway in late 2017.
Awami National Party (ANP) Senator Shahi Syed on Friday suggested death penalty for politicians who consume alcohol, while Rehman Malik demanded a mandatory DNA test for them. During a meeting of Senate’s Standing Committee on Interior with Senator Rehman Malik in the chair, Shahi Syed questioned, "Parliamentarians represent the people and if they are not punished for doing a wrong thing then why should poor people be." “Politicians should be hanged to death for consuming liquor, while a lay man should face six months in prison,” he added. Asked about marijuana, Shahi Syed said, "People call it darwesh's intoxicant, but that too is wrong and should also be prohibited".On the occasion, Rehman Malik said that all politicians should undergo a DNA test, adding, "It should be declared whether someone ever consumed alcohol, marijuana or opium, prior to contesting an election". He was complimented by Syed that if this happened then majority of politicians would be disqualified. The ANP senator regretted that a Hindu is named for selling and consuming liquor, but it is actually done by a Muslim. Javed Abbasi said whoever produces and sells moonshine it is illegal. Consuming and selling liquor is prohibited in Pakistan; it's sale, however, is permitted to people of other religions through licensed liquor stores. There have also been numerous casualties in the wake of locally-prepared toxic moonshine on a number of occasions.
FOREIGN NEWS 05
Saturday, 14 January, 2017
US needS to ‘wage war’ to block off SoUth china Sea iSlandS: chineSe tabloid BEIJING
LOCKING Chinese access to islands in the South China Sea would require the US to “wage war”, an influential Chinese state-run tabloid said on Friday, after US Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson suggested the strategy on Wednesday. Tillerson told his confirmation hearing before the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee that he wanted to send a signal to China that their access to islands in the disputed South China Sea “is not going to be allowed”. He did not elaborate. The United States would have to “wage a large-scale war” in the South China sea to prevent Chinese access to the islands, the Global Times said in an English-language editorial. The paper, which is known for writing strongly-worded, hawkish and nationalist editorials, is published by the ruling Communist Party’s flagship paper. It does not reflect Chinese policy. “Tillerson had better bone up on nu-
clear power strategies if he wants to force a big nuclear power to withdraw from its own territories,” the paper added. The editorial also said that Tillerson, an Exxon Mobil Corp chairman and former chief executive, was the most likely of US President-elect Donald Trump’s
russia, turkey agree to ‘coordinate’ strikes in Syria MOSCOW: Russia and Turkey have signed an agreement spelling out mechanisms to “coordinate” their air forces in Syria when conducting strikes “on terrorist targets”, the Russian defence ministry said on Thursday. Delegations from the two countries, which last month brokered a ceasefire in war-torn Syria, met in Moscow for consultations on cooperating while fighting Daesh, signing a memorandum, the ministry said. “The document defines the mechanisms to coordinate and cooperate by the Russian air force and the Turkish air force while carrying out strikes on terrorist targets as well as the actions by the sides to prevent incidents while planes and unmanned aerial vehicles are in Syrian airspace,” it said. Moscow and Ankara agreed to back a ceasefire last month between the Syrian government and rebel groups which went into effect on December 30 and has been observed in vast parts of the country, though clashes have continued to rock areas near Damascus. The fighting has notably damaged water infrastructure risking further military escalation, United Nation’s Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura said earlier on Thursday, adding that meetings in Moscow and Ankara would be addressing the issue. AGENCIES
cabinet picks to be vetoed by congress. “It is suspected that he merely wanted to curry favour from senators and increase his chances of being confirmed by intentionally showing a tough stance toward China,” it said. The paper did not elaborate on either point.
A similar article was also carried by the paper’s Chinese-language website that receives thousands of hits every day. There are also legal questions of any US attempt to block China’s access, the editorial said, asking if this might mean that Vietnam and Philippines also should be denied entry. China claims most of the energy-rich South China Sea through which about $5 trillion in ship-borne trade passes every year. Neighbours Brunei, Malaysia, Taiwan and Vietnam also have claimed. The United States has previously called on China to respect the findings of the arbitration court in The Hague earlier this year which ruled in favour of the Philippines, rejecting China’s territorial claims in the strategic waterway. Democratic President Barack Obama’s administration conducted periodic air and naval patrols to assert the right of free navigation in the South China Sea. These have angered Beijing, but seeking to blockade China’s manmade islands would be a major step further and a step that Washington has never raised as an option.
Assange agrees to extradition if US releases whistleblower LONDON AGENCIES
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange will agree to be extradited to the United States if President Barack Obama grants clemency to the former US soldier Chelsea Manning, jailed for leaking documents, the company said on Thursday. “If Obama grants Manning clemency Assange will agree to US extradition despite clear unconstitutionality of DoJ (US Department of Justice) case,” WikiLeaks wrote on Twitter. Assange has been living in the Ecuadoran embassy in London since June 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden to face sexual assault allegations. The Australian former computer hacker said he fears Stockholm will in turn extradite him to the US, where he angered Washington over WikiLeaks’ publication of thousands of US military and diplomatic documents leaked by former US soldier Manning. Manning is currently serving a 35-year sentence in solitary confinement for handing over the 700,000 sensitive documents from the US State Department. Supporters of the transgender soldier are putting their hopes in a pardon by Obama before he leaves office later this month, although the White House has said the president will not be granting clemency.
Manning has already made two suicide attempts and currently has an appeal pending before a military court. Washington has maintained the threat of prosecuting Assange over the 2010 leak, though no charges have been filed. WikiLeaks’ post on Twitter was accompanied by a letter addressed to US Attorney General Loretta Lynch, in which Assange’s lawyer Barry Pollack argues there is no legitimate basis for continuing the investigation into the WikiLeaks founder.
trump blames both democrats, republicans for allegations WASHINGTON AGENCIES
US President-elect Donald Trump on Friday accused his political opponents, “both Democrats and Republicans,” for putting together a dossier of unverified claims linking him to Russia and said the document was probably released by intelligence agencies. “Totally made up facts by sleazebag political operatives, both Democrats and Republicans – FAKE NEWS! Russia says nothing exists,” Trump said in a series of posts on Twitter. “Probably released by ‘Intelligence’ even knowing there is no proof, and never will be,” he said. On Wednesday, US spy chief James Clapper said that media leaks of the material had not come from US intelligence agencies and that the agencies had not judged whether the information was reliable.
obama surprises biden with top civilian honour WASHINGTON AGENCIES
Barack Obama awarded Vice President Joe Biden America’s highest civilian honour on Thursday, in an emotional surprise ceremony at the White House. Biden was reduced to tears as the president in his last days in office surprised him by announcing he would be awarding the 74-year-old the Presidential Medal of Freedom. In remarks billed as a joint farewell to family, friends and staff before they leave the White House next week, Obama described Biden as “the finest vice-president we have ever seen” and a “lion of American history.” “So, Joe, for your faith in your fellow Americans, for your love of country, and for your lifetime of service that will endure through the generations, I’d like to ask the military aid to join us on stage. For the final time as president, I am pleased to award our nation’s highest civilian honour, the presidential Medal of Freedom.” Biden’s jaw dropped, he rolled his head back and turned his face away from the audience to wipe away the tears. After composing himself and receiving the medal, Biden stepped up to the dais and looked around the room in search of his chief of staff — and fired him, in jest, for not giving him an early warning. “I had no inkling,” Biden said. “Mr President, I’m indebted to you. I’m indebted to your friendship. I’m indebted to your family,” he said.
PENTAGON CHIEF PICK SAYS PUTIN ‘TRYING TO BREAK’ NATO WASHINGTON AGENCIES
deal with with Mr Putin, and we recognise that he is trying to break the North Atlantic alliance,” Mattis said.
His stance on Russia stands in contrast to that of Trump, who has repeatedly praised Putin’s leadership qualities and
James Mattis, president-elect Donald Trump’s pick for US defence secretary, accused on Thursday Russia of trying to break up NATO and said China was destroying trust with its neighbours. Asked during a confirmation hearing how he viewed the strains facing the postwar world order, Mattis replied: “I think it’s under the biggest attack since World War II sir, and that’s from Russia, from terrorist groups and with what China is doing in the South China Sea.” “Russia is raising grave concerns on several fronts and China is shredding trust along its periphery,” Mattis told the Senate Armed Services Committee. China’s military build-up in the South China Sea has raised tensions with regional neighbours and with the United States, and US lawmakers are alarmed by Putin’s military actions in Syria, Crimea and elsewhere. “Right now, the most important thing is that we recognise the reality of what we
advocated closer ties with Moscow. “History is not a straightjacket... but we have a long list of times that we have tried to engage positively with Russia; we have a relatively short list of successes in that regard,” Mattis said. With regard to China, Mattis elaborated in written testimony that the United States must try to engage and collaborate with China where possible, “but also be prepared to confront inappropriate behaviour if China chooses to act contrary to our interests.” A colourful commander famed for his pugnacious aphorisms, Mattis earned the nickname “Mad Dog” with his battle-hardened swagger and the sort of blunt language Marines are famous for. He has been quoted as saying, “Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everyone you meet.” The tough-talking warfighter is popular among politicians and troops alike, but his nomination raised some eyebrows because he only hung up his uniform in 2013. Senators were expected to probe Mattis, a retired Marine Corps general on the importance of civilian control
of the military. A cornerstone of US democracy is that civilians, not troops, must have control of the military, and the commanderin-chief is the president. US law prohibits officers from serving as defence secretary for seven years after leaving active duty. The 66-year-old Washington state native is expected to receive a special congressional waiver to serve in the post — only granted once before, for the famous World War II General George Marshall who served under President Harry Truman from 1950-1951. “Civilian control of the military is a fundamental tenet of the American military tradition,” Mattis said. “It is a hallmark of America’s military that service members take pride in our country’s adherence to that principle.” US politicians have lauded Mattis, and the granting of his waiver appears to be a formality. Senior Republican lawmaker Senator John McCain, who heads the Senate Armed Services Committee, said he “could not be happier” about Mattis’s nomination.
Saturday, 14 January, 2017
PRAyER TIMINgS FAJR SUNRISE
ASR MAGHRIB ISHA
Minister denies reports of infants dying after taking anti-polio vaccine in FATA ISLAMABAD APP
Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Sheikh Aftab Ahmad Friday informed the Senate that no infant died due to administration of polio drops in Khyber Agency. Responding to a Calling Attention Notice moved by Mir Kabeer Ahmed Muhammad Shahi regarding the death of five infants in Khyber Agency after having polio drops, a medical board was constituted and proper inquiry was held into the incident to ascertain facts. He said the heir of infants refused to carry out postmortem. However, the minister said further inquiry was also being held and further tests were under process to check polio vaccine. Aftab said all precautionary measures were taken and these drops were also administrated to the children across the world. He said ratio of polio cases has been decreased considerably due to efforts of the government.
Teacher tortures student in Charsadda ISLAMABAD APP
A school-teacher in Tangi area of Charsadda on Friday tortured a student causing injuries on his face. According to a private news channel, a teacher named Inayatullah beat up student Bilal in an inhumane way over a trivial mischief. The student’s family members urged the authorities to take action against the teacher and provide them justice.
Girl allegedly abducted ISLAMABAD ONLINE
A girl has allegedly been abducted within the Margalla police jurisdiction. Hameed Akhtar, a resident of Margalla, lodged a complaint with the local police that some people have abducted his 18 years old daughter from the local market, while she was out for shopping. He named three men including Khurram and Sohail as suspects behind the kidnapping. The police have registered a case and started investigation.
ISLAMABAD: A knife sharper sits on the pavement by the side of a road as he waits for customers on Friday. ONLINE
making both ends meet
STreeT CHilDren in Twin CiTieS ForCeD To worK AS lAbourerS, beGGArS ISLAMABAD
RESSED up in shabby clothes and broken dirty slippers, many children can be seen roaming the streets of Rawalpindi and Islamabad to eke out a living. Between the ages of seven and thirteen years, poor children can be seen in the streets of Margalla Town, Rawal and Shahzad Town, collecting the waste bins door to door. They knock the doors and ask “do you have garbage?”, and they demand just Rs10 for their services. 8-year-old boy Izzat Khan who had a dirty waste collecting bag in his hand, said his family migrated from Afghanistan to Pakistan and are living adjacent to Korang area in Islamabad. “We don’t have any property or house to live. My daily earning is Rs 80-100 and some houses give us their left-over food to eat,” he added. Some of them say they don’t know where their parents came from. “We only
know we live somewhere around Shahzad Town and Margalla Town, many of us have no parents, we were brought up by uncles and aunts, but we have to earn bread for ourselves and them.” Qadeer, owner of a milk shop told that these children come here and run small errands for him. Nine year old Juma Khan comes regularly, wash the dishes, clean the shop and deliver milk to my customers and in return takes Rs 20 or 30 along with some milk. Their grandparents migrated to Pakistan from Afghanistan and settled in Rawalpindi, Islamabad and Peshawar, and elsewhere in the country. The majority of them earned their living as labourers and vendors. Most of their children were born in an environment of poverty. There are some young wandering children who look for some job as domestic servant, but they’re not regarded as honest and hard-working and are considered as ‘thieves’. They’ve therefore only one choice to live with ‘honour’ and ‘dignity’ - and that is garbage collection. Soon after the
morning prayers at the points where local residents throw all their kitchen waste, including fruits and vegetables, they are found sorting out orange peels, pieces of bread, empty plastic bottles of beverages and carton etc. Fruit skins are sold as food for domestic animals. According to a report of the Society for the Protection of the Rights of the Child, an estimated 1.2 million children are on the streets of Pakistan’s major cities and urban centres constituting the country’s largest and one of the most ostracised and vulnerable social groups. These include ‘runaway’ children who live or work on the streets as well as the minority that return to their families at the end of the day. According to a survey conducted by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, 72 per cent of the working children do not have contact with their families and 10 per cent have no knowledge of their families. To put this in perspective, the successive governments have not been able to effectively respond to the issue of children in street situations even in the
Sartaj, Fatemi condole killing of UAE diplomats in Afghanistan ISLAMABAD APP
Adviser to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, and Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Syed Tariq Fatemi on Friday visited Embassy of United Arab Emirates (UAE) to express condolences on martyrdom of five Emirati diplomats in Wednesday’s bomb attack in Kandahar. The UAE ambassador in Afghanistan was also injured in the attack. According to a foreign office statement, the adviser and the SAPM signed condolence book placed in the embassy. While strongly condemning the terrorist attack, they noted that the government and people of Pakistan have been deeply saddened over the tragic incident. Sadly, diplomats of a friendly country have been targeted while they were on a humanitarian mission for the benefit of common people, they said. While offering their condolences and prayers for the departed souls, they also prayed for the early recovery of Ambassador Juma Mohammad Abdullah Al Kaabi.
Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT). Above all there is no law in ICT for the protection of children including children in street situations and resultantly neither do the National Child Protection Centre (NCPC) have any legal status nor sufficient budgetary allocation. NCPC Director Muhammad Yousaf Shah told Pakistan Today that we are working and facilitating the street children more than our capacity, adding that their capacity is handling only 50 to 100 children at a time. They said that they don’t have teachers, class rooms and play grounds and the department’s seven seats including the medical posts are vacant. Shah further told that the children were now being facilitated with the help of some NGOs, and demanded the government and concerned ministry to build a three to four acre children complex and allocate a special budget for the NCPC. He said that this was the only way we could protect the rights of street children and give them a better environment to step forward in the society.
SC adjourns Hamid Saeed Kazmi’s petition against his sentence ISLAMABAD ONLINE
Aziz and Tariq Fatemi said Pakistan stands shoulder to shoulder with the leadership and people of the UAE in this hour of grief, adding that UAE has remained at the forefront of humanitarian assistance in the world. Pakistan considers an attack on those seeking to alleviate human suffering as an attack on humanity itself, they said.
Supreme Court (SC) has adjourned the hearing of the petition filed by former minister for religious affairs Hamid Saeed Kazmi against his sentence in Hajj corruption case . A two-member bench of the SC comprising Justice Mashir Alam and Justice Dost Muhammad Khan took up the petition for hearing on Friday. Sardar Latif Khan Khosa appeared on behalf of Hamid Saeed Kazmi. However, FIA prosecutor Azhar Chaudhry could not appear in the court as he was unwell. The court adjourned the hearing of the case till next week.
Saturday, 14 January, 2017
oman’s Council of State president visits Pakistan Monument ISLAMABAD STAFF REPORT
Council of State (Upper House) Sultanate of Oman President Dr Yahya Bin Mahfoodh Bin Salim Al-Munthir visited Pakistan Monument on Friday. Islamabad Mayor and Capital Development Authority (CDA) Chairman Sheikh Anser Aziz received the dignitary on this occasion. Senator Taj Haider also accompanied the visiting dignitary. Sheikh Anser Aziz briefed the distinguished guest and told that monument was constructed in the memory of those who sacrificed their present for the future of the nation during the independence movement. He informed the visiting dignitary that Pakistan monument was constructed to highlight the struggle of the people for independence and creation of Pakistan and its design depicts the culture and traditions of all the four provinces and Kashmir, Gilgit Baltistan and Federal Administrated Tribal Area (FATA). Aziz said that Islamabad is the first city of Pakistan which was developed in accordance with master plan, and is unique among the cities due to which people from all over the country prefer to live in Islamabad. He informed that population of Islamabad has been exceeded. He said that first time in the history, Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif has given the responsibility of planning and development of the city to the elected representatives. The elected representatives are applying their maximum energies to make the city more beautiful and modern metropolis according to the vision of the prime minister, he said. Dr Yahya Bin Mahfoodh Bin Salim Al-Munthir took keen interest in the briefing and appreciated the natural beauty of the city while lauding the efforts of city managers for its upkeep and development.
Girl raped in rawalpindi RAWALPINDI ONLINE
A girl has allegedly been raped by a man who promised to marry her within the Waris Khan police jurisdiction. The victim lodged a complaint with the local police stating that she was living in Lahore when a man named Zulfiqar called her to Rawalpindi and promised that he would marry her. When she came to Rawalpindi , he took her to a hotel and raped her The police have registered a case and started investigation.
CorruPTion ‘SHrinKinG ‘in PAKiSTAn, ClAiMS nAb CHAirMAn ISLAMABAD
ATIONAL Accountability Bureau (NAB) Chairman Qamar Zaman Chaudhry said Pakistan was a role model for SAARC countries in eradication of corruption as Pakistan is the only country whose Corruption Perception Index (CPI) has been decreased from 126 to 117, according to Transparency International Report. He expressed these views while chairing a meeting to review performance of the NAB in eradication of corruption at NAB Headquarters. Pakistan has become first chairman of SAARC Anti Corruption Forum which is great achievement for the country, he said, adding that NAB during the last 16 years has received about 3, 26,694 complaints from individuals and private / public organisations. During this period, the NAB authorised 10992 complaint verification, 7303 inquiries, 3648 investigations, filed 2667 corruption references in respective accountability courts and overall conviction ratio is about 76 per cent. Since NAB’s inception, one of NAB’s major achievements has been the recovery of around Rs. 285/- billion of ill-gotten money which was deposited in the national exchequer which is a remarkable achievement of the bureau, he added. The figures of complaints, inquiries and investigations are almost double as compared to the same period of 2015 to 2016. The comparative figures for the latest two years are indicative of the hard work being put in by all ranks of
NAB staff in an atmosphere of renewed energy and dynamism, where fight against corruption is being taken as a national duty. Increase in the number of complaints also reflects enhanced public trusted in the bureau, he said. He said that a comprehensive Partly Quantified Grading System has
been introduced in order to review and further improve the performance of the NAB officials. Under this grading system, NAB’s regional bureaus are being evaluated for the last two years at a given criteria which has proved very successful and the performance of NAB’s Regional Bureaus
is increasing day by day due to regular check and balance. He said the NAB has initiated disciplinary proceedings against 84 officials during the last two and half years, out of which 60 cases have been finalised with 23 major penalties, 34 minor penalties and 4 exonerated.
Families of iok firing victims refuse compensation money ISLAMABAD APP
The brothers of martyred college lecturer Shabbir Ahmad Mangoo and ATM guard Riyaz Ahmad Shah, have refused to accept the compensation of Rs 500,000 announced by Indian Occupied Kashmir’s Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti. According to Kashmir Media Service, Mehbooba Mufti had said that the families of victims would be given Rs 500,000 compensation and Special Investigation Teams (SITs)
would probe their killings. Aijaz Ahmad, the brother of 30-year-old college lecturer, Shabbir Ahmad who was killed by Indian Army in Khrew, told media that the money offered by the authorities was like ‘rubbing salts on our wounds’. “The money or job won’t bring back my brother but the government whose armed forces killed him has not done us any sort of favour by offering money”, he said, and added that Shabbir would have secured a well-placed job because he was pursuing a PhD. The larger question is about the deliv-
ery of justice. Not even a single official visited our house to condole his killing. A probe has been ordered, but four months have passed and the person who killed my brother is still on duty, Aijaz Ahmad said. Shakeel Ahmad, brother of the slain ATM guard who was killed by Indian police who fired pellets at him while he was returning home in Srinagar’s Chattabal area late at night, said that the authorities had done nothing to punish his killers. “We don’t need money or job; we want the killers to be punished”, he said.
87 units oF potable water sealed so Far, senate told ISLAMABAD APP
Minister for Science and Technology Rana Tanveer Hussain on Friday informed the Senate that the government has sealed 87 units of potable water so far, that have been found involved in manufacturing contaminated and unsafe water across the country. During the question hour in the House, the minister said there was mafia in potable which involved in manufacturing unsafe water and they always change their name and again started business with other name. He said the government was taking several steps to control manufacturing of contaminated and unsafe water and also enhance punishments including fine and other penalties. Earlier, the amount of fine was Rs 50,000 which was increased to Rs 600,000 and the sentence was increased from 3 to 5 years only 3-6 months ago, he said. The minister said the government
has also launched an awareness campaign asking people not to purchase potable water without trade mark. He said that to ensure the quality of potable water was not the job of the Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR) or Pakistan Standards and Quality Control Authority (PSQCA), but Capital Development Authority (CDA) was responsible for supplying of safe and clean water to the residents. The minister said the CDA has installed various tube wells and water filtration plants in Islamabad which regularly monitor the water quality of filtration plants for which the PCRWR provides sampling and testing facilities. On request of the CDA, the minister said that PCRWR provides training (joint water sampling, chlorination etc.) to the CDA staff for the maintenance of water supply system to ensure the quality of potable water from time to time. Rana Tanveer said that the PCRWR has been tasked to carry out quarterly monitoring of bottled / mineral water
brands and publicise the results. He said that during the quarter, July to September 2016, the PCRWR collected 109 bottled water brands to analyse the quality. Out of 109 brands, 11 brands were found unsafe due to chemical contaminations. The minister said that PCRWR does not have any statutory authority to take action against those selling contaminated bottled water. However, results of the quarterly monitoring report of mineral water are regularly disseminated through print/electronic media, PCRWR website and sent to the CDA, Commissioner Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT), provincial chief secretaries and PSQCA for taking appropriate legal action against the sub-standard brands. He said that the PSQCA has a complete mechanism to monitor the quality of bottled drinking water and mineral water through quarterly inspections of the manufacturing units and market surveillance from time to time wherein the samples are also taken from open market and sent for
testing to labs analysis in accordance with the Pakistani standard. To control the production of sub-standard bottled drinking water in the country, he said that PSQCA has closed 87 water plants from August, 2015 to November, 2016 and also filed court cases against different manufacturers. Rana Tanveer said that to increase the income of the departments, the research and development organisations have extended the scope of various services being offered, such as analytical, pilot plant studies, consultancy etc. He said that there was a need to upgrade lab facilities of various organisations to enhance their capacity to carry out need-based research and development assignments and offer solutions to various industrial problems. The minister said that rates for various tests at laboratories of different organisations have been rationalised to enhance their revenue generation. Rana Tanveer said the BoD of PSQCA is presently considering the proposal to re-
vise the fee structure being charged by the authority which will be presented in the next BoD meeting. The PSQCA as per its mandate has so far included 108 items in the compulsory certification marks scheme, to check and monitor the quality of the products, the minister added. He said that PSQCA also generates its revenue by testing of above said products, issuing licenses/quality assurance certificates and marking fees. Rana Tanveer said that currently, manufacturers of some of the mandatory products are not getting licenses nor paying any marking fees since last few years, which mainly included cement, sugar, fertilizer, continental biscuits and black tea etc. He said the federal government and PSQCA have made efforts to resolve the issue on table however the manufactures in their individual capacity or as an association are not paying the outstanding amount. The minister said the cases are currently under litigation with different courts of law, which are being followed regularly.
Saturday, 14 January, 2017
Iranians are dissatisfied
Unnecessary apprehensions Opposing the military courts
And with good reason
He government failed to undertake the reforms needed to ensure a speedy trial of the terrorists for which it had been given two years. The constitutional amendment to introduce military courts was initially opposed by most political parties and prominent jurists in the country. The Supreme Court suspended death sentences awarded by military courts on a number of occasions. On Friday, PPP-P President Zaradri vowed to oppose ‘tooth and nail’ any move to bring in the military courts. And he is not alone. Some of the PML-n’s allies too are against the revival of these courts. Few would differ that the judicial system needs far reaching improvements to ensure that terrorists do not use the legal lacunae to go scot-free. Those who accuse the judiciary of releasing the criminals often tend to forget that most cases are lost at the investigation and prosecution stages. There is a need to reduce the current dependence on human evidence and to enhance forensic expertise. For this, the police needs to be trained in modern techniques of evidence collection and crime scene examination. A sufficient number of forensic laboratories have to be set up in various provinces. Reforms are also needed to protect the witnesses, the prosecutors and the judges. For this, necessary changes are needed in the prevailing laws. Had there been a will all this could have been done in two years time. Opposition to military courts is no affront to the army. One would readily agree with COAS Bajwa that the there is a need to ensure the dignity and credibility of the army and that this can be done through selfless performance of its role and duties. The army defends Pakistan’s borders. The country’s defenders keep awake so that the citizens can sleep with a sense of security. It is on account of its professionalism and discipline, and strict adherence to the constitution and the laws of the land that the army can build its image as a dignified and credible force. This ensured, the army will not have to demand respect; it will automatically get it.
Treading a fine line All views deserve reverence on the procedural aspects of the Blasphemy Law
He Senate’s Human Rights Committee will hold discussions on the procedural and technical aspects of the Blasphemy Law to ensure it is not abused for settling personal scores or for other ulterior motives as alleged and found affirmative in the past in some cases. The debate should proceed in a restrained manner, with parameters wisely set out, to avoid a self-defeating controversy. But the decision to move forward after a lapse of two decades is a welcome step. The Senate Committee will not need to start from scratch on this issue. Its bedrock and starting point will be an earlier Senate Report of 1992, containing recommendations which were recently found in the archives. Two aspects of the existing law are being focused on to make it fair and error-free for the benefit and safety of all concerned. First, the essential need to properly and objectively investigate a complaint and be absolutely convinced of its authenticity, before registering a police case. Often, rumours or hearsay are enough to trigger fatal violence by a charged mob, and before the police can respond, innocent lives may already be lost. Cases of the type need to be stopped with an iron hand as was done when a mob burnt a Christian couple alive in Raiwind. Reportedly, 65 people, including Judges, lawyers and defendants have been killed since 1990. The second, replacing the death penalty with life imprisonment, is more controversial as the Federal Shariat Court in a ruling in October 1990 had called this a violation of Islamic injunctions. The minorities feel uncomfortable with the form of the law as it presently stands. At times even devout Muslims have been accused of committing blasphemy. It is also true that vigilante actions caused horrible deaths, such as burning the alleged accused alive, which sent shock waves among the minorities and damaged the country’s image abroad. The Committee needs to formulate its suggestions after consulting all stakeholders particularly the minorities and the ulema and prepare a draft that can be passed by Parliament.
Dedicated to the legacy of the late Hameed Nizami
Arif Nizami Editor
Aziz-ud-Din Ahmad Joint Editor Lahore – Ph: 042-36300938, 042-36375965
Washington Watch Dr James J Zogby
n the lead-up to Iran’s presidential elections, a new Zogby Research Services’ (ZRS) poll shows that the Iranian people are not happy with either their economic situation or their government’s priorities and performance. The ZRS poll was conducted in the last quarter of 2016 for the Sir Bani Yas Forum (SBY) and involved face-to-face interviews with over 1,000 Iranians, nationwide. The results of this year’s survey established growing dissatisfaction among Iranians and stood in marked contrast to the findings of our 2014 and 2015 SBY surveys of public opinion in Iran. In the wake of the signing the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with the P5+1 powers in April of 2015, Iranians had high expectations their lives would improve. When ZRS polled Iranians in September of that year, we found that they wanted a shift in their government’s priorities with more attention paid to improving their economic and political situation and their country’s relationships with the West and with their Arab neighbors. At least three-quarters
said that investing in improving the economy and creating employment (81%) and advancing democracy and protecting personal and civil rights (75%) were the most important priorities. Iranians also told us that they wanted their government to focus on improving relations with Arab governments (60%) and with the US and the West (59%). Way down on their list of priorities was support for their government’s continuing involvement in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Yemen. When we asked Iranians in the 2016 survey to rate their satisfaction with the government’s performance in each of these areas, their displeasure comes through quite clearly. Fifty-one percent of Iranians gave their government a passing grade for investing in improving the economy and creating employment—the only policy area to receive a passing grade. Over 70% were dissatisfied with efforts to advance democracy and protect personal and civil rights. Hope for improvement in relations with the West and Arab neighbors also fared poorly—with 65% of Iranians saying they were dissatisfied with the progress their government has made in improving relations with Arab governments and 85% displeased with the efforts to improve ties with the US and the West. This year’s SBY poll also establishes that more than one half (53%) of Iranians are dissatisfied that their government is still providing support for allies in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Yemen. Because we have been polling since 2014 on the importance Iranians attach to each of these foreign involvements, comparing responses over that time period reveals a sharp decline in support for all of them. In 2015, 90% of Iranians saw it important for their government to be involved in Syria. That dropped to 73% in 2015, and only 24% this year! In other words, over three-quarters of Iranians do not believe that it is important for their government to continue to be involved in Syria. The same disenchantment with foreign engagement can be seen with declining support for involve-
ment in Iraq (87% in 2014, 64% in 2015, and 47% this year. Support for involvement in Lebanon went from 88% in 2014 to 43% this year; and from 62% for Yemen in 2014 to 29% in this year’s survey.) It appears that while Iranians once took pride in the government’s aggressive foreign policy, they have grown war-weary and want new priorities. Last month, the problems facing the Rouhani government became even clearer as Iran’s Central Bank released the 2016 government revenue and expense data. It was not a pretty picture. Despite the lifting of some the economic sanctions that followed the JCPOA, the government’s projected rise in revenues did not materialise—owing in part to declining oil prices and a sluggish economy. At the same time, expenditures increased making this year’s deficit larger than the past two years. Debt grew for both the government and the private sector making it more difficult for either to make needed increased investments in development and infrastructure. All of this polling and economic data makes clear that Iran and President Rouhani have a problem. The policy priorities of the government are not in sync with those of the Iranian people. The polls show that the public wants a better economy and more jobs, more political freedom, and peaceful ties with their neighbors. What they’re getting instead is deeper engagement, more money spent, and lives lost in foreign wars they want to end. And as the economic data demonstrates, the Rouhani government is facing the classic choice of “guns or butter”—and with finite resources, more guns simply mean less butter. That is why the electorate that put him in office is now showing signs of deep discontent. All of this should make the May 2017 election a referendum on Rouhani job performance and on his government’s policy priorities. Dr James J Zogby is President, Arab American Institute.
Why do we hate festivity? It’s a Pakistani past-time
Hen it comes to celebrations and festivities in Pakistan, section 144 rules the land with police and rangers’ deployment to bar the hooligans, one-wheelers and rash drivers precisely youth. Police is after young people to capture or baton charge them while they are wandering on roads for fun sake. The only new Year’s celebration put forward this year was organized by Bahria Town’s administration - a welcome sign. Why are we reluctant to arrange festivity opportunities and platforms for our young people and why we do not understand the importance of entertainment as essential for the youth? We discourage Valentine’s Day equally so and so we have banned Basant. either we call them Western, Hindu, Christian rituals or we attach some kind of derogatory element to them. Why do we hate to toast the moments which are globally recognised as celebrations? And what have we offered as an alternative to bar the hooligans and one-wheelers if what they do is fatal or wrong? Let’s look at these festivities one by one. Basant has been a cultural norm for decades in this region. Historically, it is enshrined as a seasonal greeting (welcome to the spring) sans religious manifestation. each one of us has a childhood memory where colorful kites were always swirling in the air as a symbol of joy for so many. Without a huge economic investment, one could bring a kite and string to enjoy the kite flying while standing on a roof top, positively competing with the neighborhood. eventually, it evolved repercussions in the form of accidents
Karachi – Ph: 021-35381208-9 Fax: 021-35381208
due to use of chemicals and attempts to sharpen the strings and this changed the entire scenario. eliminating use of chemicals may require a regulation for those of the business community involved in it. The string dealers are countable in number and can be accessed easily through regulation. A code of conduct could be developed instead of banning it for millions of youth and society by killing the culture. Basant was a part of Lahore’s identity. People were used to planning events and get-togethers with friends and families joining in from around the world. It promoted tourism, and hotels would be packed up around this time of the year. Roof tops of the walled city, open ground fields, the grounds of the Minar-e-Pakistan, and parks were filled with food and kite flying festivity, featuring a healthy activity which was a peaceful social narrative of the country. On the other hand if we compare the number of killings with and without Basant; one youth being led astray and being preyed on at the hands of extremist element due to lack of youthful entertaining opportunities is far more malignant and deadly than kite flying. Another important day for the youth is Valentine’s Day. every year young people are look forward to express themselves through flowers, stuffed hearts, balloons and chocolates. none of these are lethal or harmful. Rather, they express love, joy and pleasure. We try to snub it with administrative hindrances, section 144 and deploying the police force rather than subsidising flowers, chocolates, restaurants, arranging musical concerts, allocating spaces such as decorated
Islamabad – Ph: 051-2204545
parks, arena for one wheeling, diving, rides etc. I surveyed a group of fifty youths in november 2016, asking what their most favorite celebrations around the year would be if given chance; they replied Basant, Valentine’s Day, new Year’s eve, eid and fun-fairs. These are the events they identify themselves with. We on the other hand identify most of these rituals with Hindus, Christians, the West or dangerous chemicals. everything cannot be segregated as “eastern” or “western” in this globalised world, for example; technology, arts and science have become a global competition for youth, similarly entertainment is a basic human phenomenon. If we want to be listed among peacefully co-existing countries, then we have to recognise such rituals in their entirety. new Year’s is the time to put up next year’s resolution in a happy manner with a wishful thinking of success and achievement. Valentine’s Day is a moment to rejuvenate with your loved ones. Basant is a seasonal greeting. These days are full of enthusiasm and energy for all those who believe in the celebration of life. There is no need of making things complicated and attaching alienated taboos to them. By reviving these festivals we can engage our youth into healthy activities to express youthfulness. These opportunities will help us in bringing back our lost peace narrative, which we are trying to achieve mainly through verbosity and physical counter terrorism. Salma Butt is a youth development expert and can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Saturday, 14 January, 2017
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South Punjab’s representation
The path to peace in Kashmir Will Trump be pivotal?
Dr ghulam Nabi Fai
n behalf of ‘World Kashmir Awareness’ and its members, we present our sincere congratulations, Mr. President-elect, on your election as the 45th President of the United States of America. As you settled down to your new responsibilities, I would like you to know that the best wishes of Americans of Kashmiri origin are with you. We are a small community, but it is almost entirely made up of professional people. In their struggle against the tyranny of foreign occupation and to regain their rights, the people of Kashmir look for support from world leaders of conscience and concern who stand for freedom, democratic rights and human dignity. They realise that the natural sympathy for their cause and their suffering has been inhibited by the perception of the Kashmir problem as either a separatist issue or a territorial problem between India and Pakistan. The truth is that it is neither. The issue involved is first and foremost the issue of the self-determination of a people with a defined history and national character of their own, inhibiting a territory which belongs to neither India nor Pakistan. Their right to determine their future has been explicitly recognised by the United nations as early as 1948. Secretary of State John Foster Dulles (Republican) stated on February 5, 1957 that: “We continue to believe that unless the parties are able to agree upon some other solution, the solution which was recommended by the Security Council should prevail, which is that there should be a plebiscite (in Kashmir).” Two characteristics that distinguishes Kashmir dispute from all other international disputes are that: One, here two main parties – India and Pakistan - agreed what should be the solution of the dis-
pute and that would be a plebiscite under international auspices. Both parties came to the United nations, both parties accepted the resolutions of the Security Council and then, when the United nations sent its representatives to discuss the modalities of the plebiscite, India refused to cooperate. Second, it is the only region in the world which shares its border not only with two nuclear-armed rivals – India & Pakistan - but also with a third nuclear-armed nation, China. Currently US policy has led the Indian Government to believe that all it needs is some political maneuvering to dissipate foreign concern over the appalling situation in Kashmir. The Obama Administration at first showed some concern at least over the savagery of the Indian occupation in Kashmir. However, after the visit of Prime Minister narendra Modi, there seems to have been a tilt towards India. It is plausible that the tilt has been caused by the prospect of profitable American investments in that large country. As Americans, we appreciate the importance of expanding economic relations between the US and India. But who knows it better than you as a global business leader that American investments in India will remain exposed to grave danger as long as the South Asian Subcontinent remains a scene of continuing strife, with the specter of war always in the horizon and a nuclear exchange not an impossibility. even from a purely economic perspective, if not from concern over peace, genuine democracy and observance of human rights, the restoration of normalcy in South Asia deserves to be a policy goal for the world’s only superpower. The Kashmir dispute being the key cause of conflict, its marginalisation can hardly serve long-term American interests. The Kashmiri American community is conscience of the strength and extent of the Indian commercial market. We are also aware of the superstitious belief among some American liberal circles that India can do no wrong. We believe, however, that your unequivocal statement on October 15, 2016 that, “If we could get India and Pakistan getting along, I would be honoured to do that. That would be a tremendous achievement ... I think if they wanted me to, I would love to be the mediator or arbitrator” was both humane and pragmatic, and which responds to long-term interests of the U.S. and India alike. Such an initiative should gather bipartisan support that it so eminently deserves. We do not visualise a settlement that would be unrealistic and resuscitate the State of Jammu & Kashmir as it existed in October 1947. But we do ask for a settlement that would be in accordance with the wishes of the 20 million people of the State, impartially ascertained. The modalities for putting such a settlement in place can be worked out through negotiations between the parties concerned – the Governments of India & Pakistan and the legitimate leadership of the people of Jammu & Kashmir. Denying Kashmir that
It’s very clear that Kashmir needs a strong and determined will and the genius of an imagination that has the negotiating skills and knows how to bring people together.
In their struggle against the tyranny of foreign occupation and to regain their rights, the people of Kashmir look for support from world leaders of conscience and concern who stand for freedom, democratic rights and human dignity.
right is a very dangerous game - particularly when the will for self determination has only grown stronger with the passage of time. So we believe that your desire to mediate and bring the parties together is extremely valuable right now. Our 44th President, President Obama while a candidate in 2008, also promised to help resolve this issue, but did nothing substantial or noteworthy to follow through after he became President. He went for the “deal” - the trade opportunities - but didn’t leverage it. Rather than setting aside your commitments in favor of making important trade deals, it is clear that “linkage” in helping resolve conflicts is something you are quite familiar with which can be established and used to your advantage. It is not just the peace and security of South Asia that is at stake but the peace, security and stability of the region of South Asia, including Afghanistan. This is a vital commitment. Peace and security are clearly dependent upon resolving this issue in a region where the nuclear option is always on the table. President Ronald Reagan once said, “We do not deny any nation’s legitimate interest in security. But protecting the security of one nation by robbing another of its national independence and national traditions is not legitimate. In the long run, it is not even secure.” It’s very clear that Kashmir needs a strong and determined will and the genius of an imagination that has the negotiating skills and knows how to bring people together. Without reservation, it can be said that the person who becomes instrumental in resolving the issue of Kashmir – the bone of contention between the two very potentially dangerous countries - deserves not only the nobel Peace Prize but also a special place in history. The resolution of the dispute will bring unparalleled honor to the one who help to achieve it. That honor could be yours, Mr. President-elect. Your leadership in helping to settle the Kashmir dispute should not be seen to favor India or Pakistan but to advance the cause of freedom, democracy and human rights. Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai is the Secretary General of World Kashmir Awareness and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
THe next general elections are due to be held around mid-2018 as per constitutional requirements. A number of political parties, particularly those who have been contesting general elections over the years quite regularly, have started pulling up their socks and are bracing themselves for approaching the electorate once again on the basis of their election manifestoes and constitutions. Keeping in view the upcoming general elections, political parties are also re-organising themselves from top to the grass-root level in an effort to plug the loopholes on the basis of past experiences. PML-QA is also engaged in the process of reorganisation the party in all the provinces from top down o union council level on the nation-wide basis. PM-QA’s leadership alongside re-organisation has also initiated the process of bringing in new-office-bearers at the national level gradually and a beginning has been made by appointment of a well-known and experienced political figure from Bahawalnagar, Tariq Bashir Cheema, as the new Central Secretary General thus giving appreciable representation to the South Punjab region. In all fairness, PML-QA is perhaps the first political party to have a political figure from South Punjab on the key post of the Secretary General. According to the reports in the media, Tariq Bashir Cheema has replaced Mushahid Hussain Sayed who has been relieved of party responsibility to fully concentrate on and attend to the massive developmental activities across Pakistan under China-Pakistan economic Corridor (CPeC) comprehensive project. This augurs well for the PML-QA and also for the people of South Punjab who will be in a better position now to voice their concerns, problems and demands from the platform of PML-QA through party’s new Secretary General who hopefully will be easily accessible to them than many others. Veteran politician and PML-QA, President Ch Shujat Hussain, has done well by picking a popular political figure from South Punjab - Tariq Bashir Cheema - as new Secretary General with him. SAJJAD AHMAD Multan
Anti-garbage drive in Larkana A new anti-garbage drive is being launched in Larkana which consists of forty days dedicated to the cleanliness of the city. It was launched by the Larkana Municipal Corporation on Tuesday. For developing this drive a meeting has been held by nSUSC in which it was conformed that every committee would have various duties to clean the streets, markets and the responsibility of well-management of trashes. Starting from June 2012, more than 227 employees have been recruited by the LMC, surplus to requirement, with 231 different union councils and 56 in district councils. But, sadly, most of them are not paying attention to their duties. This is the only reason because of which Larkana is still covered with garbage. MEHRAJ ALTAF Turbat
Awards for paramedics and drivers AMBULAnCeS play an important role in society but a primary role is played by the paramedics and drivers that actually handle emergency situations. Unfortunately, they are often ignored whereas they are the ones who keep their composure and ensure that the patient is handled appropriately. I have always felt bad for these drivers and the paramedical staff, as their effort is often ignored. Recently, the Aman Foundation launched the edhi Awards which was a tribute to edhi Sahab, in which drivers and paramedics were awarded to recognise their invaluable contribution to society. Such encouragement is essential for individuals who are serving the country in such an honourable way as it motivates them to continue serving the nation. They also inspire others to serve society as they set an example for others to follow. It is nice to know that Aman Foundation and edhi Foundation realise their contribution and have stepped forward to reward these people. SYED OVAIS AKHTER Karachi
Appeal to the Balochistan Textbooks Board KeCH is a major city of Balochistan where thousands of students are gaining their education. However, it is deeply saddening to know that Kechi students are deprived of the most crucial part of their studies. They face several problems owing to the late distribution of course books during the academic year, which can only increase the misery of the students. Balochistan’s textbooks board needs to take serious action in order to provide the textbooks on the time. MANNAN SAMAD Turbat
Saturday, 14 January, 2017
FInAncE mInIstEr DIrEcts FBr to mEEt FY16-17 tArgEt ISLAMABAD stAFF rePort
INANCE Minister Ishaq Dar on Friday directed the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to undertake all necessary efforts to make up the revenue shortfall compared to the target set at the beginning of the current fiscal year. He issued these directions while chairing a meeting to review the sixmonth performance of the FBR for the period July-December of the Financial Year 2016-17. It is important to mention that the FBR is faced with a revenue shortfall of Rs 120 billion during the first six months of the current fiscal year. An official source said the FBR authorities told the meeting that the major revenue loss was due to tax exemption to agriculture sector and decrease in tax
ratio on petroleum products. The tax authorities estimated Rs80 billion loss due to maintaining POL prices and Rs 40 billion due to agriculture sector. They warned that revenue collection would further decline due to ex-
emptions given to textile sector, which they assessed was close to Rs 60 billion within next six months. Briefing the finance minister, FBR chairman said that they collected more than Rs 1,467 billion in the first half
of the financial year 2016-17 as compared to Rs 1,370 billion during the corresponding period of the last fiscal year, reflecting 7 percent growth in tax revenues, compared to target revenue growth of 16 percent for the current fiscal year. He said that revenue collection during December 2016 has been the highest amongst all the six months of the current fiscal year so far. The finance minister while taking a notice of the fact that only 7 percent revenue growth had been achieved in the first half of the current fiscal year directed the FBR team to undertake all necessary efforts to make up the revenue shortfall to meet the target. The meeting was also attended by Haroon Akhtar Khan, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Revenue, and senior officials of the FBR and the Ministry of Finance.
ECB to hold steady, Trump takes office European Central Bank (ECB) officials are unlikely to make any change in policy on Thursday, while data from the United States will help the Federal Reserve decide whether to immediately follow December’s rate increase with another. Recent data from the euro zone suggests the bloc’s economy ended 2016 on a solid footing, and last month the ECB surprised markets by saying it would trim its monthly bond purchases to 60 billion euros ($63.86 billion) starting in April. So none of the economists polled by Reuters this week expect any change at Thursday’s meeting. They were unanimous in saying the ECB’s next move,
after April’s planned cut, will be to taper quantitative easing further [ECILT/EU]. “Next week’s ECB meeting should be a non-event. After the December decision to extend QE at a slower pace, the ECB is almost on an autopilot for the rest of 2017,” said James Knightley at ING. However, a rebound in prices in December is reviving calls for the ECB to taper its bond purchases, particularly in Germany. Many Germans feel low rates are eating into their savings and fuelling a property bubble while inflation is already close to the ECB’s target of almost 2 percent. But protectionist sentiment is growing after Britain voted to leave the
European Union and Donald Trump won the U.S. presidential election. Several elections in EU countries this year could have far-reaching political ramifications and even threaten the euro zone itself. That is likely to stay the ECB’s hand for now. In the press conference after the policy announcement, ECB President Mario Draghi will probably also face questions over the hacking of his email account during his tenure as governor of the Bank of Italy. It is not yet clear what the hackers got their hands on. But the idea of a leak of sensitive information ranging from monetary policy to emergency measures for Greece will be of concern. TRUMP STUMP: ECB officials are growing increasingly worried Trump’s victory in the U.S. presidential race may harm the euro zone by hurting trade with the U.S and fuelling populism. Speaking publicly and behind the scenes, officials emphasize any U.S. shift toward protectionism could hurt the already fragile euro zone economy and pave the way for an even stronger backlash against globalization and the euro project. Trump gave little new policy information at a press conference on Wednesday, but his protectionist statements have kept many investors from adding to risky positions. The president-elect has threatened to impose retaliatory tariffs on China, build a wall along the Mexican border and tear up the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Before Trump’s inauguration on
Friday, and their next policy announcement on Feb. 1, several Fed policymakers are due to speak, and they are likely to send an upbeat message. Inflation, industrial production and housing-start numbers are all expected to signal a strengthening economy, giving the Fed scope to follow up December’s rate increase with more tightening this year. Its Federal Open Market Committee is expected to hike twice more in 2017 and recent comments from policymakers suggest there could be a third move too. [FED/R] “The FOMC continues to predict only gradual increases in the federal funds rate, especially given the uncertainty surrounding the economic agenda of Trump’s administration,” Credit Suisse economists told clients. “We continue to see two additional hikes in 2017, but acknowledge that the outlook is subject to change in months ahead.” BEGINNING OF BREXIT: Prime Minister Theresa May has said she will trigger Article 50, starting the formal withdrawal from the EU, by the end of March. Many think she will take a hard line on immigration at the cost of Britain’s access to the single market, hindering trade. “The government has sent clear signals that the UK will leave the Single Market, a so-called ‘hard Brexit’,” said Sarah Hewin at Standard Chartered. May is due to speak on Tuesday, setting out the approach her administration will take to Brexit. If she does indicate away from a soft Brexit, sterling will probably fall further. Courtesy: reuters
Economy to get major boost with export package, says Dar ISLAMABAD AGeNCIes
Federal Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said the government has strong commitment to achieve higher, sustainable and inclusive export led growth. Talking to President Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industries Zubair Tufail in Islamabad, he urged the business community to take steps to improve exports of the country. Ishaq Dar expressed confidence that export package would provide a major boost to economic growth. Speaking on the occasion, FPCCI President appreciated the pro-business policies of the PML- N government.
PIA launches new in-flight entertainment system KARACHI stAFF rePort
Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has started providing intranet facility on few of its prime domestic flights from Friday. The system will allow passengers to access this entertainment content using their own cell phones, tablets and laptops. Initially, the facility will be available on selected flights on Karachi-Islamabad and Karachi-Lahore routes. The flight numbers that will have this service are PK-300, PK-301, PK-302, PK-303, PK-304, 305, PK-308 and PK-309. In the first phase, a total of 30 hours of content would be available including dramas, comedy, movies, documentaries, safety videos, Urdu feature films and music. For the second phase, the work is underway on an app that will have 50 hours of content including western movies, interactive games for kids and moving maps. The system is being launched on trial basis, and to be extended to other flights in the next few weeks after obtaining feedback from the public. PIA passengers are encouraged to provide their feedback on the new system.
CRUDE OIL HALTS FOUR-WEEK GAIN AS OPEC CUTS YET TO BE VERIFIED UaE tO stiCk with Original Plan On CUts, says ministEr Oil is poised for its first weekly decline in more than a month as traders waited for proof that OPEC and other producers are following through on promises to cut production. Futures slipped 0.7 percent in New York and were headed for a weekly decline of about 2.4 percent. Saudi Arabia reduced output to less than 10 million barrels a day and will consider renewing its pledge to trim supply in six months, according to Energy Minister Khalid alFalih. Still, until monthly production data is released, “these claims cannot be verified,” according to Commerzbank AG. The U.A.E. doesn’t intend to reduce output more than was agreed upon with OPEC in November and a tanker is said to sail to Libya’s Zawiya port to load Sharara crude.
OPEC’s BarkindO says COmPlianCE mEChanisms will BE adOPtEd Oil has advanced since the deal among members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and 11 other nations to temper global supply. It has been unable to sustain its rally above $55 amid concern that rising prices will spur more production. While Middle East producers including Saudi Arabia have signaled they’re sticking to the pledged reductions, the U.S. recently raised this year’s output forecast, explorers have added drilling rigs for 10 straight weeks and production rose to the highest level since April last week. “We’re seeing strong compliance from the usual suspects, the Saudis and their Gulf counterparts,” John Kilduff, a partner at Again Capital LLC, a New York-based hedge fund that focuses on energy, said by telephone. But U.S. output
rose by 176,000 barrels a day last week and “the exempted countries are going gangbusters in production and exports.” West Texas Intermediate for February delivery fell 35 cents to $52.66 a barrel at 9:39 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Total volume traded was about 10 percent below the 100-day average. Vienna Meeting Brent for March settlement slid 30 cents to $55.71 a barrel on the Londonbased ICE Futures Europe exchange. The global benchmark was at a premium of $2.21 to March WTI. See also: Oil market stars fade as tankers laden with crude idle off China The OPEC supply deal has only been in effect for two weeks and the group will adopt compliance mechanisms at a meeting in Vienna on Jan. 22, OPEC Secretary-General Mohammad Barkindo said in a Bloomberg Television interview in Abu Dhabi on Friday. The caps on supply, together with rising demand and natural decreases in output in some countries, will help balance the market and support prices, al-Falih
said at an energy conference in Abu Dhabi on Thursday. The last time Saudi production came in below 10 million barrels a day was in February 2015, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. OIl-MaRkET NEwS: • Kazakhstan may not be able to extend its commitment to helping OPEC curb global oil supply into the second half because its giant new
field will accelerate production. China’s oil imports last year expanded at the fastest pace in six years as the cheapest crude in more than a decade triggered stockpiling and independent refiners accelerated purchases. Royal Dutch Shell Plc oil workers began a strike in Gabon after talks failed. Courtesy: BloomBerG
Saturday, 14 January, 2017
PAk, IrAn, turkEY to Boost trAns-rEgIonAl trADE ISLAMABAD
held three meetings. Steps are being taken under joint efforts to boost the trans-regional trade for which the three countries have already signed Transit Transport Framework Agreement (TTFA),” the official said. The main objective of the TTFA is to provide access to land-locked countries in the ECO region. It has been ratified by eight member states of ECO. The official said that the TTFA would also complement the trade through China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and this would help connect China and Pakistan to other landlocked areas in the region. The official said that initially the corridor had been operationalised, but, however, it has been abandoned due to few
N a major plan to develop rail and road networks for boosting transregional trade, Pakistan-IranTurkey road and rail corridor is being operationalised in order to enhance the regional connectivity for boosting trans-regional trade. A senior official at the ministry of the communications informed Pakistan Today that Pakistan, Turkey and Iran are in the process to operationalise Islamabad-Tehran-Istanbul (ITI) Rail Corridor and Islamabad-Tehran-Istanbul (ITI) Road Corridor under the vision. “A working group is already functional in this regard and has previously
impediments which are being removed by the Railway Authorities. “Similarly, efforts are being made to operationalise the ITI Road Corridor. So far, four meetings of Pakistan, Iran and Turkey have been held to finalise the operational modalities. The 4th meeting of relevant authorities of Turkey, Iran and Pakistan has been hosted by Ministry of Communications at Islamabad on Aug 17-18, 2016,” the official said. The official said that in the past three meeting were held under the umbrella of Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO). The official said that TTFA has not yet been implemented and efforts are being made to operationalise the rail and road networks. “We believe that rail network would
start first which is viable one, but we also plan to work out to operationalise the road network too,” the official said. It is pertinent to mention here that the three countries had also operationlised road network back in 1960s for trade under the vision of Regional Cooperation for Development (RCD). The TTFA developed by the ECO with the assistance of the UNCTAD was signed by all ECO member countries ex-
cept Uzbekistan in May 1998. TTFA is a broad based agreement with eight protocols approved by the 3rd ECO ministerial meeting on Transport and Communications held in Islamabad in April 2000, dealing with the road, rail, inland water transportation, motor vehicles including 3rd party policy insurance, custom control and ToRs for Transit Transport Co-ordination Council (TTCC).
Khurram Dastagir visits Pakistani textile stalls at Heimtextil KARACHI stAFF rePort
KARACHI: Zameen.com CEO Zeeshan Ali Khan presenting a souvenir to AKD Chairman Aqeel Kareem Dheedi at Karachi Expo 2017. PR
Group photo of MD NTDC Dr Fiaz A Chaudhry, Syed Majeedullah Husaini President & CEO Askari Bank Ltd., Mr Nauman Ansari President & CEO Faysal Bank Ltd, Mr Zubair Haider Shaikh Group Head Dubai Islamic Bank Pakistan Ltd alongwith members of NTDC and respective banks on occasion of signing ceremony of Rs 18 billion for NTDC Engro Thar-Matiari Transmission Line Project. PR
Major Gainers COMPANY sanoﬁ-aventis Pak tobacco ghandhara ind. sapphire Fiber hinopak motor
OPEN 2800.00 1240.00 931.04 865.00 1850.00
HIGH 2868.53 1273.10 931.04 900.00 1862.52
LOW 2800.00 1212.51 931.04 865.00 1800.00
CLOSE CHANGE TURNOVER 2868.12 136.18 3,040 1262.80 50.29 440 931.04 44.33 21,850 900.00 35.00 5,240 1850.00 24.00 1,340
Major Losers Bata (Pak) Colgate Palmolive wyeth Pak ltd indus dyeing iCi Pakistan
4250.00 1710.00 4999.99 660.10 1085.00
4250.00 1710.00 4999.99 660.10 1090.00
4180.00 1710.00 4901.00 652.65 1064.00
4202.30 1710.00 4901.50 652.66 1067.00
-197.70 -89.99 -58.50 -34.34 -17.50
200 100 80 400 16,450
Volume Leaders ist.dawood Bank Pace (Pak) ltd. sui south gas dewan Cement invest Bank
8.63 11.95 36.54 39.00 3.55
8.63 12.18 38.20 40.47 3.78
7.30 11.17 36.31 38.95 3.11
7.85 11.30 37.74 39.50 3.15
0.22 -0.71 1.35 0.95 -0.06
Interbank Rates Usd gBP JPy EUrO
Pkr 104.8496 Pkr 128.6661 Pkr 0.9190 Pkr 111.5337
28,842,000 24,603,500 24,168,500 20,843,500 18,740,000
After announcing a package of Rs 180 billion and other rebates in the textile package, Minister of Commerce Khurram Dastagir, visited Heimtextil Fair, Frankfurt on Friday. The minister was on a twoday visit to the Heimtextil Fair and met Pakistani exhibitors. The companies had a detailed meeting with the minister. All the exhibitors praised the textile package announced by the Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif. Most of the exhibitors were of the opinion if certain hurdles can be removed, the textile sector can double their export. The minister was also shown the publicity done by other countries at the Heimtextil Fair. The minister agreed to increase the Pakistan publicity at Heimtextil.
Heimtextil in Frankfurt am Main, the leading international trade fair for home and contract textiles, was finished on Friday with a clear increase in the number of exhibitors and visitors. Detlef Braun, member of the Executive Board of Messe Frankfurt, was visibly satisfied
Govt collected Rs 28240m as Export Development Surcharge ISLAMABAD APP
The Senate was informed on Friday that the federal government had collected Rs 28240 million during last five financial years as Export Development Surcharge. Answering a question during the Question Hour, Minister for Law and Justice Zahid Hamid informed the house that out of the stated amount, Rs5291 million were collected in 2011-12, Rs 5599 million during 2012-13, Rs 6119.22 million during 2013-14, Rs 5865.88 million in 2014-15 and Rs 5365.62 million were collected during 2015-16 as Export Development Surcharge (EDS). Explaining to the house, the minister said that the surcharge was levied on exports at the rate of 0.25 percent of the exports according to the section 11 of Finance Act, 1991 and the same is collected at present.
Forex Uk Pound sterling Euro Us dollar Canadian dollar australian dollar Japanese yen saudi riyal U.a.E dirham China yuan
131.25 114.25 108.4 81.5 79.75 0.89 28.7 29.45 15.1
133 115.45 108.7 82.35 80.55 0.92 28.9 29.7 15.25
with the outcome of the exhibition and was highly appreciating the participation from Pakistan. Pakistan is the fourth largest exporter country in the Heimtextil, whose 221 textile companies exhibited their goods at the trade fair. Small and big manufacturers of home textile industry such
as Gul Ahmed, Al Karam, Gohar Textile Mills, Al Rahim, Kamal Ltd etc were there. Trade Development Authority of Pakistan gave a platform to 55 companies in the Asian Halls of the exhibition 10.0 and 10.3. Muhammad Naqi Bari of Bari textile Mills said, “We have been participating in Heimtextil Frankfurt for 29 years and meet buyers from across the world. It’s a meeting point for us with new and old buyers which increase our business every year.” This year I am overwhelmed by the response of the buyers who showed great interest in our products.” said by Asad Kamal of Kamal Limited “We have been participating in Heimtextil since long but this year our first meeting, but this time, we are highly satisfied with the response we got from the customers this year,” said Imran Ahmed of Niagara Mills.
He stated that collection of EDS was entrusted to the State Bank of Pakistan which authorised all scheduled banks to deduct the EDS upon realisation of export proceeds as per a directive of March 2003. The minister further explained that the rate of levy of Export Development Surcharge had remained unchanged during the last five years. Answering a supplementary question, the minister said, Rs 4638.431million were transferred to Export Development Fund by the government during last five financial years. Giving details, the minister said, Rs 1279.810 million were transferred to Export Development Fund during years 2011-12, Rs 752.614 million in year 201213, Rs 845.495 million during 2013-14, Rs 479.134 million during 2014-15 and Rs 1281.378 million were transferred to Export Development Fund by the federal government during year 2015-16.
Pak, romania for cooperation in halal meat, dairy production ISLAMABAD APP
Pakistan and Romania on Friday agreed to form joint working groups for enhancing cooperation in the fields of certified halat meat and dairy production. The Ambassador of Romania Nicolae Goia called on Minister for National Food Security and Research Sikandar Hayat Khan Bosan and discussed the issues of mutual interest and cooperation in agriculture sector development. The minister apprised the ambassador about the working and functioning of the ministry and its attached departments. He informed that the country was producing different surplus crops including wheat, rice and sugarcane for the domestic consumption besides exporting. About 1.7 million Pakistani were working in UAE alone, he added. The ambassador said total population of Romania was currently less than one million and it made Pakistan a great market for variety of agricultural as well as dairy products. It was mutually agreed that both the countries would sign a memorandum of understanding for forming joint working groups on different sectors of mutual interest to enhance bilateral cooperation.
12 WORLD VIEW
Saturday, 14 January, 2017
Moscow Moves into the AfghAnistAn vAcuuM
fter the Soviet Union was defeated by the Afghan mujahideen and its 10-year occupation ended in a humiliating retreat by the red Army in 1989, russia pulled back from the region.
Now it is rebuilding its position as a battle for influence heats up. With US policy in Afghanistan locked in a military and political stalemate, Moscow has made belligerent statements about the remaining 12,000 US and Nato forces there. russian diplomats are cultivating Afghan politicians and wooing neighbouring states such as China, Iran and Pakistan. Most significantly, Moscow is talking to the taliban. the aim seems to be to undermine US policy in Afghanistan, usurp its influence in the region and even possibly foster a peace process between the Kabul regime and the taliban — where attempts by the US have failed. In December, russia held a conference with Pakistan and China to discuss the terrorist threat to Central Asia coming from Afghanistan, how the taliban could be used to combat Islamic State and how to end the country’s long-running war. the Americans were marked by their absence — excluded, as they were at recent Moscow-backed meetings on Syria. the Afghan government erupted in fury that it had also not been invited.
Kabul feels vulnerable, fearing Donald trump will ignore Afghanistan — although one of the US president-elect’s key foreign policy advisers is ZalmayKhalilzad, the Afghan-born former US ambassador to Kabul. But while Afghanistan criticised the tripartite meeting it was welcomed by the taliban, who claimed they were now recognised as a military and political force. reported on tolo News in Kabul, the group’s statement clearly reflected cozying up between russia and the militants. American special forces continue to help the Afghan army fight the taliban and the US is still the main donor to the state and army. But, over the past year, President Barack Obama has shown little interest in the country nor has he thrown his weight behind attempts by his Department of State to foster peace talks. Afghanistan is in chaos, with the taliban making big military gains, paralysing political infighting gripping the capital and a worsening economic crisis. there is no guarantee that the government can survive for long even if Mr trump maintains US aid. Meanwhile,
Iran, Pakistan and Central Asian neighbours are stepping up their secret dialogues with the taliban as if the militants are about to win the war. And into the vacuum left by the US moves russia. Moscow already has many friends in the region: China, India and Iran are close allies and it is wooing Pakistan — once pro-US but now a sharp critic of Washington and anxious to strengthen ties with China and russia to resist pressure from India. the willingness to befriend the taliban while taking on Isis will be welcomed by Islamabad, which has long backed the militants, and Iran, which hosts some taliban factions. China would also like to see accommodation made with the taliban as it wants peace in the region to protect its huge investment in the New Silk road project. If anyone can stage a conference to foster peace talks, russia is now in the strongest position to do so. Moscow is also dabbling in Afghan politics. Central Asian diplomats say it has never been a fan of President Ashraf Ghani, whom it sees as too pro-American. It would prefer a return of the now
vehemently anti-US former president Hamid Karzai, who has said russia can play a positive role in Afghanistan. Most recently, russia this month blocked Afghanistan’s attempts to have the warlord GulbuddinHekmatyar removed from the UN terrorist black list, as part of a peace deal Kabul brokered with MrHekmatyar. ZamirKabulov, President Vladimir Putin’s envoy to Afghanistan, describes the taliban as “predominately a local force”, which contains radical and mainstream elements. Such a mild view has deeply upset Kabul. But Moscow today sees Isis as its main enemy — one that could penetrate into russian-influenced Central Asia. the chaos in Afghanistan and the moves by russia have the potential to shift the balance of power across Central and South Asia. for now, Moscow’s ambitions in the region appear unstoppable. Ahmed Rashid is author of several books about Afghanistan, Pakistan and Central Asia, including ‘Pakistan on the Brink.’
census on Why we need intelligence ‘Pakistan’s transgenders will go nowhere’ officers more than ever ozy John mcLAughLin
“As far as hacking, I think it was russia” (Donald J. trump, January 11). finally, the president-elect has acknowledged what U.S. intelligence agencies have long declared all but certain — that russia tried to manipulate the U.S. election. Perhaps not surprisingly, he also disparaged the agencies in nearly the same breath, accusing them of “leaking” a 35-page set of allegations about his alleged illicit relations with the russians. It was an apt capstone to a strange, weeks-long episode, during which the president-elect seemed to be at war with the very intelligence agencies on which he must rely in defending the country. Was the press conference a step toward repairing or worsening their frayed relationship? And how should U.S. intelligence respond to their soon-to-be commander in chief? TRUMP’S LEARNING CURVE It’s a bit soon to tell whether the breach between trump and the agencies has begun to close, but the presidentelect must surely have learned something from his engagement with them on this — particularly in the briefings he received last week. I have to assume he came away realizing that “high confidence” judgments by the intelligence community, as on russian culpability for the election hacking, are exceedingly rare. It’s a term the community hardly ever uses without being pretty close to certain. Indeed, one of the primary lessons intelligence officers took from studying their 2003 error on Iraq’s WMD program was to be very, very, very careful about statements of confidence. few outside the profession realize how agonizingly and thoroughly the community dissected that mistake. In this regard, the president-elect, who first cited the WMD miscall as the source of his skepticism about U.S. intelligence, took exactly the wrong lesson from that episode. the course corrections resulting from it are the main reason he can be sure intelligence officers are neither understating nor overstating what they tell him now. At the same time, no one should lead Mr. trump to expect perfection from intelligence. It is, after all, a profession doomed to work in the gray realm defined by the most contentious issues. the nations and people it targets work hard to deny information and to deceive; the data it gets is often incomplete and arrives only incrementally; and all the while, policymakers press for conclusions, usually about the hardest
thing: the future. What the president-elect can expect, though, is that intelligence officers will always be clear about what they don’t know — another hard lesson from the Iraq period and drilled in during training classes for newbies. former national security adviser Brent Scowcroft probably showed the most sophisticated and realistic understanding of intelligence in describing its role as “narrowing the range of uncertainty when difficult decisions have to be made.” INTELLIGENCE CAN TAKE A PUNCH … OR A TWEET Perhaps the president-elect also noticed that intelligence agencies, dedicated as they are to serving the president, are not cowed as easily as others by his trademark snarky tweets and verbal jabs. Prior to his briefing last friday, trump had cast doubt on the russian role, suggested agencies needed “more time to build a case,” termed the whole thing a “witch hunt” and gave more credence to WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange’s denial of a russian role. then came trump’s accusation that U.S. intelligence had leaked the allegations about him. Not true: the dossier didn’t come from intelligence agencies. Instead, it was prepared by a private contractor, reportedly first hired by trump’s republican rivals to do “opposition” research. the document had circulated quietly among reporters for weeks and was put out this week by a media outlet, even though none of it has been corroborated. Intelligence officers actually have big incentives not to leak. they sign a secrecy agreement forbidding unauthorized media contacts and are tested on this in periodic polygraph exams. few other arms of government are as tough about this. But here’s the thing: Intelligence agencies have thick skin. they know and accept that controversy and criticism just come with the territory. I once heard someone ask former CIA director and defense secretary Bob Gates whether the CIA would ever be abolished. His (humorous) response? “Of course not. there’d be no one left to blame!” SEEK YE THE TRUTH … these events also point up the key intelligence job — for the CIA in particular — as the “fact witness” in foreign policy debates. that role requires intelligence agencies to sift out grains of truth from all the spin and agenda-laden noise swirling about, and these days, it’s more important than ever. We live in an era of disputatious claims, “fake” news, allegations of fake news and covert in-
formation operations by foreign adversaries. We are also at the dawn of an administration with many supporters who’ve shown a loose regard for “facts,” to put it charitably. that is why I hope and believe that predictions of resignation at the CIA and elsewhere — some made by respected former colleagues — are wrong. What that workforce ought to be thinking is this: Now is not the time to leave; it is the time to man the barricades, the time to stay — proudly … even defiantly. WHERE TO ON RUSSIA? It’s probably also fair to say that these disputes have left trump’s russia policy up for grabs. At his press conference, trump argued that having Putin’s esteem would be an asset, and that during his administration, Putin would lay off the meddling during trump’s administration. there is absolutely nothing wrong with the president-elect’s desire for better U.S.–russian relations. But during my recent trip to Moscow, I was reminded in talks with Kremlin and foreign ministry officials of how hard that will be. russia’s starting position is to accept absolutely no responsibility for the deterioration. Putin calculates russia’s interests in a cold and hard-headed way. Some of what he wants, such as relief from economic sanctions, will require Mr. trump to calculate America’s interests just as coldly and clinically. He may decide there is some trade worth making, but no “deals” will be simple. THEY SERVE THE PRESIDENT Sooner or later, the president-elect may come to realize that his intelligence officers are not that much different than the military he clearly admires. In a sense, they will be his soldiers without uniforms. take the CIA as just one example. When a CIA officer is killed in the line of duty, the agency carves a star in the marble wall of its lobby. few people realize that of the 117 stars, more than one-third have been carved since 9/11. It’s been a dangerous time. So while the president-elect may continue to doubt many things about American intelligence, there’s no way to doubt dedication carved in marble. Let’s hope, for the sake of national security, that this relationship can soon heal and look to a productive future. The author was deputy director and acting director of the CIA from 2000– 2004 and now teaches at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).
Pakistan has announced that it will be counting transgender people for the first time in its next national census from March 2017, following a court ruling. Kami Sid, Pakistan’s first transgender model spoke on why this won’t be enough and on the larger struggle of minority groups in Pakistan to get their due Times oF india Rohit e dAvid
What do you have to say about the first census of transgenders in Pakistan? Being a transgender in Pakistan, I believe that this statistical exercise is very important for the country. Beyond this counting, people in the country have to accept us as normal human beings. In India and Pakistan, the estimation drive is not proper. We don’t need an identity card, our issues are different. Give us education and employment. In Pakistan our community has got no support from the government. I’m going to introduce myself in different wings of the government agency to urge them to do something for my community. the government does not take us seriously. there are many transgenders in the country who are not aware of their identity. there’s no doctor or psychologist for us. this census will go nowhere. there will be some places where the government agencies will count us and at some they won’t. If Pakistan wants to take a big step then we need to send transgenders to Pakistan’s parliament. Can you tell us about yourself? I’m the Muslim world’s first transgender model. After my modelling assignment, people have accepted me in a very big way. I’m glad that now people in Pakistan have started thinking about us in a positive manner. I simply love myself, this is the reason I came out of my closet when I was 22. What is the state of minorities in Pakistan? In Pakistan the condition of religious minorities is not good. It is similar to the condition of Muslims in the western countries. the way activism is growing in the country, religious minorities are also getting a place to voice their opinion. recently, a Pakistan senate committee
passed a bill which recognises Hindu marriages. Is it becoming better or worse for minorities in Pakistan? I feel the condition for minorities is the same, there’s nothing worse. We have politicians from the minority community. Pakistan People’s Party has very liberal people and they are thinking about minorities in a very good way. Are social fears around the community going down? After my modelling shoot, a lot of people have come to me and spoken about the transgender community. We really want to do something big for the community. I won’t say that there’s acceptance in families right now. We are more marginalised when it comes to jobs. People speak to us in a good manner but when it comes to giving us jobs, they don’t reply to us. We need to tell everyone that we are part of this world. I come from a conservative Muslim family where my brothers are very religious. I have also faced many issues from family. I didn’t get the support I needed for my modelling shoots from my relatives. However, my mother has supported me openly and she has told me to do whatever I want. We need to break the stereotypes in people’s minds. When it comes to transgenders, people have this opinion that they are only doing sex work, which is absolutely wrong. We can do anything. We only need a platform and opportunity. Do you see a greater awareness of identity within the transgender community and is feminism growing in Pakistan? there is a liking. When it comes to UN agencies they come to do their project and go back. As far as the government of Pakistan is concerned, they think that transgender mean people who are eunuchs, which is not right. We are a different spectrum altogether. We have seen enough of round-table talks, now the time has come to work for us.
Saturday, 14 January, 2017
Shiza haSSan iS now Under the radar F
ROM a home grown business to the runway; fashion debutant Shiza Hassan turned heads at the just concluded PFDC L`Oreal Paris Bridal fashion Week, in Lahore. While expectations of the bridal fashion week, may have been dampened due to the notable absence of top designers, there is nothing like a new designer adding her own spin on the runway. Shiza Hassan is a prêt-a porter and haute couture label born out of Lahore in 2014. She studied at LUMS, graduated with a diploma in interior design from the National College of Arts. Shiza has always had a way of confounding expectations by being willing to explore new ideas. She is renowned for her signature prints and her love for the contemporary and the opulent as her signature strength. With a love for fashion; Shiza Hassan’s work is driven by intensive detailing, a penchant for perfection in workmanship. She believes in spreading her wings and shares a robust vision in enhancing the label’s reputation and recognition. "I have always embraced a love for the craft, I feel one needs to experiment and think out of the box and then focus
on that," Shiza Hassan said. "I have always wanted to stay connected to the roots and I feel that everything has a deep connection with ancestry. I want to stay close to it no matter how much we want to add up or become contemporary but the craft angle, depth and history has to be taken into account. My personal vision has always been to revive and reinterpret and this showcase serves as the perfect stage to celebrate this given opportunity," said a very soft-spoken, thoughtful, one who attribute to design aesthetics and influence of heritage as a style mantra. But here, dressed in black overalls, she's anything but pretentious. Shiza Hassan trumps in the ‘design aesthetics, craftsmanship and focuses on using traditional arts and crafts worked into contemporary fashion forms such as 'zardozi,' 'kaamdani,' 'dabka,' 'nakshi' and visible embellishments like dangling chains, uncut stones, metallic leaves, pearls detailing, tassels, crystal braids and fringes for an added drama. Her latest collection features minimalist elegance without being too blingy with each design combines a signature love for understated glam, the interplay of colour and embellishment.
About the collection: Her collection of craft led pieces about the influence and spirit of Persian ‘shikargah’, each of which is manifested in a tribute to this woven wonderment of over two thousand year old craft when Carpet making reached its epitome as an artform in Iran during the 'Safavid' era; 'Aroos-e- Abrashami' in Persian or ‘The Silken bride’ is a reinterpretation of the focus on the revival of the traditional craft elements. The collection was concise and looked luxurious on the runway barring few pieces each one had the element of practicality with a definite oomph. There’s an abundant use of motifs with hunting scenes, the tree of life with vine interlacement, vases, arches, medallions and architectural motifs all having the context to the present and past of different tribes and craft centres alike from that time. "This collection represents my desire to evolve and step out from the comfort zone. My collection is as much contemporary as it is on the historical perspective. I have experimented with the placement of prints and patterns and worked with clean cuts and fused traditional oriental details to create pieces that are ageless," said Hassan about her collection.
The silhouettes follow contemporary structure with a variety of cuts from jackets, flap shirts, bustiers, flowy drapes, 'shararas' and, 'lehngas' channelling eastern vibes yet retaining modern elegance. One of our favourites was the designs that had a gold thread snake whizzing past the shirt. The designer made a clever use of traditional arts and crafts worked into contemporary fashion forms with bold and visible embellishments. The 'angrakha' cut full dress with bejewelled waist had a contemporary appeal. We see this one's becoming the top pick of the modern bride. Fluid cuts with rich fabrics, offset by finishes and a vibrant colour palette mark the arrival of the brand. Perhaps the most striking creative piece was the long jacket worn by Cybil Choudry at the start of the show. As a fashion concept, it was a stunning teaser that set the mood for the rest of the collection. It allows the wearer to freely strut on the runway and can be worn on its own or teamed with wide legged ajars fully applicable for festive settings. Most of her 16 pieces were based on diversity in fabrics from pure raw silks to tissue, Chantilly, organza’s and nets added with 3d embellishments-a dash of hot pink, charcoal grey, ferozi and pop of
red coral. We found the designer posing after the show with her brother; ace tennis star Aisam-ul Haq Qureishi who was the showstopper along with the very gorgeous, Anoosha. This year, the PFDC introduced an entire day dedicated to fashion designers to make their solo show bridal debuts on Day-2. Generally, one witnesses a hefty line up of reputed designers at the fashion week but a stronger debut showcase of Mahgul followed by Shiza Hassan, Farah & Fatima, Saira Rizwan and Shamsha Hashwani got everyone in a mood to check out what the rising stars have in store for us. So much so, that PFDC Chairperson Sehyr Saigol is seriously contemplating making this as a permanent feature. "This year is aimed to promote aspiring designers and give them the platform from where they can take their brand forward. This also makes them step out of their comfort zones and explore much greater opportunities," she said while talking to Pakistan Today. Since, her collection came in focus, at PFDC L’Oreal Bridal Fashion Week; Shiza Hassan has found a niche following inundated with orders on her latest creations. She has definitely courted a wider audience by showing her collection in Lahore and is ready to receive criticism as well. "I want to produce new ideas and create my identity in the sphere," she added. Shiza explains that her pieces are meant for multipurpose usage and can be worn as separates. “I believe fashion must tell a tale. I want my signature brand to be treasured by all and worn with pride," the designer added.
Woody Harrelson joins Deepika is a queen, an angel 'Stars Wars' galaxy and a blessing: Vin Diesel AGENCIES
Actor Woody Harrelson will be heading to a galaxy far, far away for his next movie, playing a role in the second anthology "Star Wars" film focused on a young Han Solo. Lucasfilm said Wednesday in a statement that the 55-year-old Oscar-nominated actor will join Alden Ehrenreich, who will play the younger version of the smuggler and space pirate Han Solo. The cast will also include Donald Glover, as a young Lando Calrissian, and Emilia Clarke, of "Game of Thrones," in an undisclosed role. "We couldn’t be more excited to work with an artist with as much depth and range as Woody," said Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, directors of the film due out for release next year. "His ability to find both humour and pathos, often in the same role, is truly unique. He is also very good at ping pong." The "Hunger Games" actor told Mashable in a Facebook Live that he would be playing a "mentor to
Han, but I'm also a bit of a criminal." "I don’t think I should say much more than that because the Force is not allowing me," he added. The as yet untitled film is the second in a series of standalone films -- after "Rogue One" -- that take place before the events of the first "Star Wars" movie.
Competing with myself, not SRK, Salman, Akshay: Aamir Khan AGENCIES Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan runs his own race. He says he doesn’t compete with anyone in the film industry, however, he feels motivated by his colleagues’ work. “I’m only competing with myself. I don’t compete with Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan, Akshay Kumar or anyone. However, when my colleagues do great work, it always inspires me,” said Aamir. The PK star spoke to the media on Thursday via video conference to discuss the success of his latest releaseDangal, which has emerged as the highest-grossing Hindi film. As he was asked about his favourite films of other actors, he cited some of Shah Rukh’s films. “I really liked many of Shah Rukh’s
films, especially Chak De! India, Swades, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai and DDLJ (Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge) Aamir added. Overwhelmed by the success of Dangal, which has crossed the Rs3,500 million mark at the Indian box office, Aamir said, “I am amazed by the reaction that Dangal has received. People have loved the film so much. It is very rare to get such kind of a reaction.” Dangal tells the story of real-life wrestler Mahavir Singh Phogat, who trains his daughters to become champions in the sport. About his favourite scenes in the film, he said: “The father-daughter wrestling challenge”. He also praised the work of actresses Sanya Malhotra and Fatima Sana Shaikh, who play his onscreen daughters in the movie.
Hollywood action star Vin Diesel, who will be sharing the screen space with Deepika Padukone in xXx: Return of Xander Cage, on Thursday praised his actress and called her “an angel with a beautiful soul”. “I was waiting for the opportunity to come here. And she is the queen and angel who is such a blessing in my life. She has a such a beautiful soul. To be a part of the magic that is made on-screen is a blessing of my life,” Vin said about Deepika, who is making her Hollywood debut with this film. Vin and Deepika earlier arrived in Mumbai to extensively promote the film. Both the actors along with the director DJ Caruso, hosted a press conference here to promote the upcoming action adventure, which releases in India prior to the US. “There is no one like Deepika. Though her origin is Indian, she is the queen of the whole world. I saw her in Bajirao Mastani and she was mindblowing,” said Vin, heaping praise on his co-star. “Being in Mumbai is like a dream come
true. I wanted to work with Deepika from a long time. I met her years ago. She said she wanted to do the premiere in her country. So the fact is that we are here to keep her promise,” he added.
The movie is the third instalment of the xXx series after the 2002 filmxXx and the 2005 entertainer xXx: State of the Union. It also stars Ruby Rose, Samuel L Jackson, Donnie Yen and Tony Jaa.
Another feather in cap: Katrina Kaif to be speaker at Oxford University ENTERTAINMENT DESK Katrina Kaif, the sizzling bollywood actress who will next be seen in upcoming ‘Jagga Jasoos’ opposite Ranbir Kapoor, is to be a speaker at talks hosted by Oxford University's debating society The Oxford Union. Katrina's name has been announced as part of invited luminaries from the world of sport, media and culture. She will be among the distinguished company, as luminaries like Jeremy Irons, Robin Wright,etc., will also be speaking on the occasion. An introduction of Katrina reads like this: "Katrina Kaif is one of the highestpaid actresses and models in Bollywood, best known for *Ek Tha Tiger and Dhoom 3, two of the most successful Bollywood films of all time. Her model-
ling career has included work for CocaCola, LG and Blackberry. Kaif is also highly involved with her mother’s charitable trust, Relief Projects India, which strives to improve the rights of women and children in India.*" Some other notable personalities who Katrina will be sharing the stage with include: Golden Globe winner Robin Wright, who stars in famous American TV series House Of Cards; Naomi Wolf, an author and ex-political advisor to Bill Clinton and Al Gore; Jay Carney, Senior Vice President (Worldwide Corporate Affairs) at Amazon.com; Italian fashion designer and inventor Roberto Cavalli; Italian fashion designer and entrepreneur Anna Fendi; Grammywinning musician Kid Cudi; four-time supermiddleweight World Champion, Carl Froch, among others.
Saturday, 14 January, 2017
Slow down -- though it's likely that life is slowing you down regardless of your speed. Just let things happen at their own pace until you figure out what it is that's holding you back.
Your passions are fully engaged today -- even if you're single. It doesn't have to focus on romance, as your political or spiritual sides could be more active. Whatever it is, go for it with abandon!
Something small is holding you back today -- an emotional issue or problem that started out pretty minor but is now taking over your mind. You may need to duck out of responsibilities for a bit.
Something crosses your desk or pops up in your inbox that deserves extra scrutiny. Your emotional energy is great, but you need to make sure that you're skeptical even of your intuition.
Someone is not telling you everything -- and while you may not be able to get to the truth, you can at least tell that you're missing out on something. Try to keep an open mind.
Your skeptical side is dominant today -- which could be a problem, since you've got at least one team project to deal with. Swallow disbelief as much as you can, at least until things start to unravel.
A change is coming early today -- so brace yourself! The good news is that you're likely to enjoy the new life you're leading once you've gotten past the adjustment phase. It won't take long!
You're the target of attention today -- which may sometimes make you uncomfortable. There's definitely a bright side, though! You should find at least one big offer comes your way before night falls.
Your mind is perfectly suited to introspection and meditation today -- it's a good time to ask big questions of yourself. You should have a better idea of where you want to go next by nightfall.
Your point of view is in demand today -- you may be called upon to pronounce judgment or mediate between two or more feuding parties. You have the chance to make a name for yourself.
Slow down and let things happen today -- you don't want to push anyone to move faster than they're comfortable with. The consequences would just be too dire, and you don't need that kind of stress.
You're deep amidst the opposition -- whatever that means to you. The good news is that you've got some seriously positive energy to work with, and they will never know what hit them.
ACROSS 1 Old time swinger? (8) 5 Impressively great (4) 9 Photographer's model (3-2) 10 Crown executive officer in a county (England and wales) — judge (Scotland) — lawman (US) (7) 11 humorous play with naughty goings-on (7,5) 13 Island regarded as the Japanese mainland (6) 14 Shrewdness (6) 17 Small horse, native to the west Country (8,4) 23 All the characters together (8)
DOWN 1 It is smoked (4) 2 durable yellow cotton fabric, originally from China (7) 3 house of Lords, for example (5,7) 8 Ability to recognise musical notes by ear — ideal batting surface? (7,5) 12 former British colonial territory in Africa, now Zambia and Zimbabwe (8) 16 The "desert fox", commander of the Afrika korps in wwII (6) 19 Closed sac in the body, containing fluid (4)
HaGaR tHE HoRRIblE
cHEss APRON ATONE AUGUR BLURB ChANGE CLIENT COVERT CRAMP dRIVEN ESSAy fIRS fUTURE GLORy hARBOR INTERdICT MATRON
OPPORTUNITy OTTER PACT PROPRIETOR QUOTE RATION REPENT RIVALRy ROMANCE ShAPE SPINET SQUAwk SUPINE TRASh VARNISh VISTA
white tO PLAY AND MAte iN twO MOVes 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
bRIdGE placInG tHE blamE
sUdokU crossword solution sudoku solution
1.d6 Qxd6 2.Bxf5 * 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.
Saturday, 14 January, 2017
Murray, Serena handed tough routeS to auStralian open final MELBOURNE
ORLD number one Andy Murray could face challenges from Kei Nishikori and Stan Wawrinka if he is to reach a sixth Australian Open final following Friday’s draw. The Scot, coming off a magnificent 2016 with a second Wimbledon crown, a successful Olympic title defence and the year-end top ranking, has lost five Melbourne finals, four of those to defending champion Novak Djokovic. Murray, who was knighted in Britain’s New Year Honours list, faces Ukraine’s Illya Marchenko first up and could meet Japanese fifth seed Nishikori or Swiss legend Roger Federer in the quarters and 2014 winner Wawrinka in the semis. Federer, seeded 17, faces a qualifier first up and could play 10th seed
Tomas Berdych in the third round as he bids to add to his record 17 Grand Slam titles. Djokovic, in the bottom half of the men’s draw as the second seed, has a tough first-round against experienced Spaniard Fernando Verdasco. Verdasco, ranked 40, has beaten Djokovic four times in their 13 encounters and the Serb had to save five match points in prevailing over him earlier this month in the semi-finals in Doha. Last year Verdasco knocked out compatriot Rafael Nadal in a five-setter first round thriller in Melbourne. Serbia’s Djokovic, bidding for a record seventh Australian Open title, is seeded to face Brisbane International winner Grigor Dimitrov in the fourth round and powerful Austrian eighth seed Dominic Thiem in the quarters. He could then meet Canada’s bigserving third seed Milos Raonic in the semi-finals. Raonic opens against flashy Ger-
man Dustin Brown while 13th seed and recent Chennai champion Roberto Bautista Agut is a likely fourth-round matchup. Nadal, who won the 2009 Australian Open and has been in two other Melbourne finals, is seeded nine and is in Raonic’s third quarter of the draw and in the bottom half with Djokovic. The Spanish left-hander could have a third-round clash in store against rising German star Alexander Zverev. Serena’s tough draw in quest for Aussie Open number seven Six-time champion Serena Williams was handed a tough draw, while defending champion Angelique Kerber has a slightly easier route towards another final. The American powerhouse, bidding for a 23rd Grand Slam crown at the tournament starting in Melbourne on Monday, faces dangerous former world number seven Belinda Bencic of Switzerland in the opening round.
Second seed Williams, who lost the top ranking to Kerber last year, could then encounter in-form Briton Johanna Konta in the fourth round and Slovak sixth seed Dominika Cibulkova in the quarters. She could potentially then meet her US Open conqueror Karolina Pliskova in the semi-final of the bottom half of the draw. Williams’ drop to world number two was triggered by her shock defeat to Pliskova at Flushing Meadows last year, which also denied her the chance to better Steffi Graf’s 22 Grand Slam victories. Pliskova is seeded to meet twotime Melbourne Park semi-finalist Agnieszka Radwanska in the quarter-finals. World number one Kerber is seeded for a last-eight clash with Spanish seventh seed and French Open champion Garbine Muguruza in the top half of the draw.
Batting with Maxwell makes it a lot easier, says Wade COURTESY ESPN Australia's wicketkeeper-batsman Matthew Wade had been going through a lean patch across formats in the last three months. Since his last international halfcentury, a 52 against South Africa in October, he played all but one of his nine innings at home against different oppositions but could not get a big score. On Friday, with his team struggling at 5 for 78 on a tricky Gabba surface, he scored a match-saving and maiden ODI hundred, off the last ball of the innings, to set up a 92-run win in the first ODI of the fivematch series. "I feel I've been hitting the ball really well for a period of time now," Wade said after the match. "I certainly haven't been going out there and just nicking off, I've been getting myself out more times than not. There's been plenty of work and [I've been] working on a few things and it's [about giving yourself] time in the mid-
dle, giving yourself a chance and I did that today which was nice. "Happy to contribute with some runs and more importantly to get a win to go 1-0 up. It's very important in a five-match series so nice to be able to contribute. It's funny how cricket works, [the century] coming off the last ball, I don't know how that all winds up but it was good fun." Australia had faced only 16.3 overs when Wade joined No. 6 Glenn Maxwell and the duo turned the tide of the innings with a partnership of 82 runs from 14.4 overs. Maxwell did most of the scoring in the stand, scoring 51 runs before falling for a 56-ball 60 that featured seven fours. While Maxwell had scored some runs in domestic cricket recently across formats, he was playing an international match after over four months, since last playing a T20I in Sri Lanka. "Batting with Maxi is always great, you don't have to do too much," Wade said. "You can just try to keep it in the gap
and get down the other end and watch the show go. That was the plan when I was there with him, we were trying to build a partnership and take it as deep as we could. Whenever you bat with Max, the scoreboard is always ticking so it makes
it a lot easier on me, I can just get down the other end. He batted really well tonight." Both Wade and Maxwell will be in line for selection for the four-match Test series in India after Australia finish the ongoing series, three ODIs in New Zealand and three home T20Is against Sri Lanka. The last match against Sri Lanka, on February 22, will force Australian selectors to pick vastly different squads since the first Test against India starts only a day later. Irrespective, Wade was not worried about his selection for the Test squad that will be picked on Sunday. "I'm not nervous about selection, I'd be nervous if we lost four Test matches in a row but we're winning games," he said. "The team's going really well, the younger guys are playing well and I feel like we're in a really good spot. So nah, the team will get picked and hopefully I'm in it but I don't feel nervous when the team's winning the way it is.
Bouchard taking advice from Kyrgios SYDNEY AGENCIES
Canadian starlet Eugenie Bouchard says she has learnt to take no notice of the “haters”, revealing she has spoken with fellow young gun Nick Kyrgios on how to handle the intense scrutiny. Despite a slump in form, she and the Australian are two of the sport’s hottest drawcards, with both having to deal with a spotlight on their professional and private lives. Bouchard, on the comeback trail after her high-flying career plunged into a tailspin, said being seen as one of the most marketable players on tour could be a hard ask. She has discussed the burden of expectations with the brash Kyrgios, tipped as a future Grand Slam champion but who has polarised opinion with his on-court antics. “Yeah, we have spoken about it a little bit. We just came to the conclusion that haters are going to hate and we weren’t going to listen to them,” she said in the Sydney Morning Herald Friday. “Why would you not do something because of somebody else’s opinion of you? Why should I allow somebody else to dictate my life? That’s Nick’s attitude as well and I think that’s really cool. I respect that.” Bouchard became one of the most bankable assets in women’s tennis in 2014 when she stormed to the Wimbledon final as well as the semi-finals of the Australian and French Opens. But the confident, charismatic 22-yearold then saw her career nosedive in 2015 and her ranking slump. Now 49 in the world, she reached her first semi-final for 10 months at the Sydney International this week, before losing to Britain’s Johanna Konta. She said it was “a good step in the right direction” ahead of the Australian Open Grand Slam next week, where all eyes will again be on the Quebec native.
Sri Lanka hold firm in testing Pakistan, Kyrgyzstan to exchange coaches in field of sports spell but not for long SPORTS DESK
PORT ELIZABETH AGENCIES
Dimuth Karunaratne was the only wicket to fall as the diminutive batsmen finally showed some of the fight they displayed in the first test of the series in Port Elizabeth. They will have to bat through large parts of the evening session at the Wanderers even though bad light may be a factor. Should they see out the day unbeaten‚ it'll represent an excellent day for the visitors after their sterling effort with the ball. South Africa were bowled out for 426 in 124.1 overs after Quinton de Kock's (34) lofted offside drive picked out Dhananjaya da Silva at third man. The 47-run ninth wicket stand he shared with Wayne Parnell (23) helped arrested the collapse instigated by Nuwan Pradeep (4/78) and finished by Lahiru Kumara (4/107). It was unfortunate that Suranga Lakmal finished
wicket less (0/81 in 30 overs) because he was easily Sri Lanka's best bowler with his pressure creating spells. Then again‚ he had the indignity of having two relatively simple catches offered by Hashim Amla and Faf du Plessis shelled by Kusal Mendis and Da Silva. The devilry paraded by the pitch disappeared somewhat even though Karunaratne was all at sea against Vernon Philander in the first over. He was fortunate to survive a caught-behind appeal off the third ball of their innings where Du Plessis's review was turned down despite evidence of Karunaratne nicking the ball. Justice was served the very next ball when Philander snared the southpaw with the very same ball‚ this time the nick being audible. Mendis (33) and Silva (12) finally looked like they were comfortable‚ especially former who
flattered to deceive in the first two tests after an excellent tour of England in the middle of last year and a profitable three test series against Australia at home. There have been Asian batsmen who have prospered at the Wanderers and they have been of the highest class. That includes Sachin Tendulkar‚ VVS Laxman‚ Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid. While the dead rubber is nothing more than what it is‚ the midinnings collapse which saw five wickets fall for 40 runs at the hands of Pradeep's swing and Angelo Mathews's accuracy again provided a glimpse of batting inconsistencies South Africa need to take care of ahead of next month's tour to New Zealand. With Temba Bavuma again failing while JP Duminy made hay with his 221-ball 155‚ the one batting spot will again be a point of contention when AB de Villiers makes his way back into the side.
Pakistan and Kyrgyzstan will exchange coaches in the field of sports for the training of sportsmen of both the countries to benefit from each other expertise. This was stated by Federal Minister for IPC after a meeting with Kojoshev Arzybek Orozbekovich, Minister for Economy from Kyrgyzstan at Pakistan Sports Complex, said a spokesman of PSB on Thursday. Both sides agreed to exchange coaches for the training of the players of the two countries especially in view of the World Nomad Games, he added. Matters of mutual interests were discussed during the meeting. The honourable guest said that we are brother countries and Kyrgyzstan wants to enhance relations
with Pakistan, in different fields especially Sports, Culture and economy. The federal minister warmly welcomed the visiting minister and said that Pakistan highly valued its relations with brother Islamic country which are moving from strength to strength and the visit of minister for Economy would enhance bilateral cooperation and lead to greater the partnership between the two countries. Raja Nadir Ali, Secretary for IPC, and Dr. M. Akhtar Nawaz Ganjera, Director General, Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) were also present in the meeting. At the end, souvenirs were exchanged.
SPORTS Saturday, 14 January, 2017
1ST ODI: AuSTrAlIA beAT PAkISTAn by 92 runS A
USTrALIA beat Pakistan by 92 runs in the first One Day International (ODI) at Brisbane’s Gabba Stadium on Friday. Australia set up a meaty total for Pakistan as former adversaries Matthew Wade and Glenn Maxwell combined for a vital sixth-wicket partnership of 82 runs to help Australia post 268/9. After captain Steve Smith won the toss and decided to bat, Australia was 78-5 before being rescued by the pair. Wade was unbeaten on 100, bringing up his maiden century with a single on the final ball, while allrounder Maxwell scored 60. Maxwell was making his return to the Australian side after he was dropped and fined last month for saying it was “painful” having to bat below Wade in Victoria state’s Sheffield Shield first-class side. There didn’t appear to be any residual problems or animosity be-
tween the pair on Friday, although Maxwell came in ahead of Wade. A strong opening spell from Mohammad Amir (2-54) left Australia in trouble. Amir clean-bowled David Warner and then handed Smith his first ODI golden duck in successive deliveries, meaning Chris Lynn would face a hat-trick ball on debut. He survived, but not for much longer; two overs after sending a Hasan Ali delivery into the grandstand,
he misread a slow ball and skied one behind to Mohammad rizwan. Lynn, making his 50-overs debut for Australia, has smashed 309 runs in five games for the Brisbane Heat in the Twenty20 Big Bash League. Ali finished with figures of 3-58. The teams will play five ODIs. Australia won the three-test series 3-0. Pakistan is without two players who have had to return home for family reasons.
Vice-captain and wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmed returned Thursday to be with his ill mother, and Mohammad rizwan will be the wicketkeeper Friday. Sarfraz’s departure came just days after fast bowler Mohammad Irfan left the team following the death of his mother. Lineups: Australia: Steve Smith (captain), David Warner, Travis Head, Chris Lynn, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Matthew Wade, James Faulkner, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Billy Stanlake. Pakistan: Azhar Ali (captain), Sharjeel Khan, Mohammad Hafeez, Babar Azam, Umar Akmal, Mohammad rizwan, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Amir, Wahab riaz, Hasan Ali. Umpires: Mick Martell, Australia, and Chettithody Shamsuddin, India. TV Umpires: Chris Gaffaney, New Zealand. Match referee: Jeff Crowe, New Zealand.
Dhoni backs India to be ‘most West Indies refuse successful’ side under Kohli to tour Pakistan SPORTS DESK
Former India captain MS Dhoni has backed newly-instated limited-overs skipper Virat Kohli to do justice to the role, claiming that the young superstar is ready to lead India in ODIs and T20Is. In his first press conference since stepping down as India’s limited-overs captain, Dhoni said that he was always against the idea of split captaincy and that having a single captain for all three formats is the best way forward for Indian cricket. “Split captaincy does not work in our scenario and my views did not change after I quit from Test cricket. Limited-overs captaincy is not a big challenge and Virat is ready for it now. I think this team will be the most successful Indian team under Virat,” said Dhoni ahead of the first ODI against England in Pune before adding that he will always be there to assist Kohli. “The keeper is always the vice-captain whether announced or not and my role will be to assist Virat. Different people like different fields so that depends on Virat, and I will adapt accordingly. I will be there to
give as many suggestions as possible. Virat will keep getting better with more responsibility; the 50-over game is a slightly easier format to captain and my job will be to assist him whenever I can,” he added. Dhoni also revealed that he enjoyed a really comfortable relationship with Kohli. “The kind of relationship we have is just amazing. If I go up to him with 100 ideas, he can so no to all of them because we are at that comfort level.” Talking about why he did not wait till the 2017 Champions Trophy to step down as skipper, Dhoni said that there was no point continuing something if it does not have any purpose. “It made no sense for me to continue. People even questioned me when I quit midway through the Test series in Australia. Sometimes you need to look at the bigger picture; I knew Saha was ready and he deserved a chance. Similarly, Virat is well-placed to take over the limited-overs captaincy. So there was no point for me to continue,” he said. “I have had a great run as captain. I have no regrets; it’s been a great journey.”
SPORTS DESK West Indies Cricket Board have turned down Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) proposal to play two T20Is in Lahore in March. The decision came after a report issued by Federation of International Cricket Association (FICA), which stated that Pakistan, where no major Test playing nation has travelled after the Sri Lankan team attack in 2009, is still not safe for international cricket. It is also understood that FICA earlier this week presented a report to West Indies Players Association, where they gave the latest security advisory from its security consultants, Eastern Star International, who provide security for various international boards including the England Cricket Board, Cricket Australia, New Zealand Cricket and International Cricket Council. The news comes as a major blow to PCB’s efforts of hosting a major team at home, whereas the news has also cast doubts over participation of the foreign players in the final of the second edition of the Pakistan Super League, which is set to take place in Lahore on March 5.
Arthur says Pakistan playing old-style cricket that ‘doesn’t really have future’ BRISBANE AGENCIES
Pakistan cricket team coach Mickey Arthur has described his side's sluggish run chase against Australia in Brisbane as "old-style cricket" that "doesn't really have a future" in the one-day game. Arthur conceded he's unsure who will captain the side in Melbourne on Sunday if regular skipper Azhar Ali is ruled out with a hamstring injury. Pakistan lost the toss at the Gabba in the opening match of the five-match series and did well to restrict the home side to a total of 9-268, but their batsmen laboured in the chase and were eventually bowled out for 176 in the 43rd over, an economy rate of just 4.12 runs an over. Number four Babar Azam top scored with just 33 and not one Pakistan batsman finished their innings with a strike rate of 85 or higher. In contrast, five Australian batsmen finished with a strike rate of 100 or higher, including top-scorers Matthew Wade (100no from 100 balls), Glenn Maxwell (60 from 56 balls) and Travis Head (39 from 39 balls). The tourists had exceeded 300 in three of their past four matches in one-day cricket, a format they've struggled to master in recent years. 'One-day cricket has moved on' But Arthur said his side would continue to fall behind the rest of the world if they batted as slowly as they did tonight. "I thought from the fifth ODI in England (in September) we had devised a brand that worked for us and a brand that would be sustainable for us at international level," Arthur said. "But we went back to the old-style cricket tonight, which doesn't really have a future and it means that we don't get the scores of 300 that we need. "One-day cricket has moved on. We saw Chris Lynn tonight come in and it looked like he was playing Twenty20 cricket again. That's where the game's going. "Scores of 300 are the norm. Three-hundred used to be incredibly good and teams used to win more times than not, but on wickets like this teams aren't going to win. Three-hundred is a 50-50 score. "Our strike rates aren't where they need to be to get 300. "The players have got the ability, there's no doubt. This is an unbelievable group of players and they work so hard. "It's just about backing themselves. It's all about getting confidence in those situations to play the cut or hit one over extra cover and try and put some pressure back on the bowler. That's a confidence thing." While Pakistan's batsmen were the main target of Arthur's critique, he also lamented their missed opportunity with the ball. The visitors had the world No.1 ODI team in all sorts of trouble when they were reduced to 5-78 in the 17th over, with star batsmen David Warner (5) and Steve Smith (0) dismissed in consecutive deliveries. But a breakthrough century from Wade helped lift Australia to a competitive total, which proved to be well beyond the tourists in the chase. Arthur unsure about captaincy in next match "We're not going to get Warner and Smith out for five runs again," Arthur said. "We're not going to have that opportunity again. Wadey played exceptionally well, but I still felt like we could have got them about for 220 or 230. We let that slip just a little bit."
MISBAH HITS BACK AT CHAPPELL’S ‘HARSH COMMENTS’ SPORTS DESK Test captain Misbah-ul-Haq defended Pakistan against remarks made by former Australian captain Ian Chappell, saying they were “uncalled for and unbecoming” of someone as reputable as Chappell, a cricket website reported. When Pakistan lost the third and final Test of the series in Sydney on Jan 7, Chappell in an interview to said that Australia’s cricket board should reconsider inviting Pakistan for Test series in the future unless the team improves its performance and provides some sort of challenge to the home side. “Pakistan have now lost 12
Test matches on the trot in Australia, and somebody’s got to give them a kick up the bum,” Chappell had said. “Cricket Australia have got to start saying ‘listen if things don’t improve we will stop with the invites’. “You can’t continue to [play poor] cricket. You can’t bowl poorly, have conservative field placings and field sloppily and expect to play decent cricket in Australia.” In a rebuttal published as a column for cricket.com.au, Misbah said, “Australia themselves have been on the losing side in the recent away tours. They were clean swept by a Sri Lanka side that did not have Mahela Jayawardena or Kumar Sangakkara and
Published by Arif Nizami at Plot # 7, Al-Baber Centre, F/8 Markaz, Islamabad.
some of their players didn’t even have 10 Tests to their names. “In the recent past they have been whitewashed by us in the UAE and in India,” the captain added. “If we apply Chappell’s comments to Australia, does that mean if they continue to get whitewashed on the subcontinent on a regular basis then they should also not travel there?” Misbah asked. “The comments do not make any sense or suit a cricketer of his stature,” he further said in the column. The 73-year-old had also slammed Misbah’s defensive captaincy, saying that a lot of Pakistan’s struggles were because of no inspiration from the leader. “A
lot of their struggles were because they had no leadership. There was no inspiration from Misbah, so things have got to change in Pakistan,” he added. Chappell also expressed his views on Misbah’s future as a captain. He insisted that if he would have been in the selection committee then it would be an end of Misbah’s era. “If I had anything to do with the selection then that will be it for Misbah as the captain, but in Pakistan they do some very strange things, so I wouldn’t bet on it,” he stated. The Misbah-ul-Haq-led side were whitewashed in the recent three-Test series against Australia, thus disappointing those who had hoped to see a closely-contested series in the light of Pakistan’s impressive form in the UAE.