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thursday, 16 February, 2017 i 18 Jamadi-ul-awwal, 1438 i rs 20.00 i vol vii no 229 i 20 pages i Lahore edition

terrorists on a rampage

Judge survives again in suicide attack g

PESHAWAR

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OUR CORRESPONDENT

t seems that terrorists are on a rampage with their heinous activities as they have attacked not only restive areas of FAtA, but also capitals in three provinces in

the past few days. lahore, Peshawar and Quetta have been attacked separately, leading to scores of casualties and injuries. yesterday’s bomb blast in hayatabad area of Peshawar has claimed the lives of two people and wounded 18 others, including a civil judge.

Levies headquarters attacked in mohmand g

5 kIlled In suIcIde AttAck

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5 MIlItAnts kIlled In A cOunter OPerAtIOn STORY ON PAGE 02

JuD requests govt to remove Hafiz saeed, others from eCL STORY ON PAGE 04

panamagate

court not satisfied with either party g

‘ PrOductIOn OF All dOcuMents

PertAInIng tO MOney trAIl nOt POssIble’ STORY ON PAGE 04

Marriyum says Imran using Panama case for survival STORY ON PAGE 02

petrol, diesel prices go up by rs1 per litre STORY ON PAGE 03

aizaz ahmad appointed ambassador to us

FO lodges protest with Afghan diplomat on fresh terrorist attacks STORIES ON PAGE 04

drIver kIlled, FOur judges AMOng sIx Injured In PeshAwAr According to former khyber Pakhtunkhwa minister shaukat yousafzai, it was a suicide bombing in which the bomber, who was riding a motorbike, targeted a government vehicle which was not being escorted by any security detail.

CONTINUED ON PAGE 02

CiviL, miLitary LeaDersHip DisCusses strategy STORY ON PAGE 03


02 NEWS PTI CHAIRMAN POINTS OUT NEW WAVE OF TERRORISM PESHAWAR

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AGENCIES

AKISTAN Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan has said that nation is unanimous on the merger of the Federally-Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. “FATA naturally seems part of the province and there is no other option but merger,” he said this while talking to the participants of a presentation at the CM House and talking to journalists during his visit to the HMC to enquire after the health of blast injured. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Pervez Khattak, Speaker Asad Qiaser, PTI General Secretary Jehangir Tareen and provincial ministers also accompanied him. Imran said that the war on terror has destroyed the whole structure of tribal system that enhanced their problems. He said that the previous system was rendered unworkable as it was to run the governance through political administration and Maliks and that was not even workable, given the ground realities. The entire nation was unanimous for the merger of FATA into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, he said, adding that FATA had challenges but after the merger these challenges could be overcome. He said that FATA needed an overall recovery plan for the rehabilitation, reconstruction and re-installing the governance structure and bringing back the internal displaced tribesmen to their homeland. “We have to be prepared for the new wave of terrorism,”

Thursday, 16 February, 2017

IMran for early Merger of faTa wITh PakhTunkhwa ‘STATE INSTITUTIONS PRODUCING ‘FAKE’ PAPERS’ PTI CHAIRMAN SAYS ECP HAS GIVEN NO JUDGMENT SO FAR ON DISQUALIFICATION REFERENCE CASE ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-eInsaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan has said that there are contradictions in the statements of Sharif family and they have no money trail of their properties in foreign country, as Senator Ishaq Dar affidavit is the real money trail of their properties. “The statement of Ishaq Dar is the actual money trail of Sharif’s as national institutions are busy in producing fake documents to rescue ruling family,” he said this while talking to journalists outside the Supreme Court after Panama case hearing on Wednesday. He said that prime minister’s daughter Maryam Nawaz in her TV interview claimed that they have no foreign property while on the other hand PM’s son Hussain Nawaz and Federal Minister Khawaja Asif confessed that properties including

he said, adding that the governments, the masses, the agencies and all should be prepared for the future challenges in wake of fresh waves of terrorism. Chief Minister Pervez Khattak said that FATA was getting Rs 50 billion annually and after the merger, its

Mayfair flats were purchased in foreign country in 90s. He said that after emergence of Panama revelations, the properties of Sharif family have come into light and then foreign investigative journalist organisation and later British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has confirmed that Maryam Nawaz was the beneficiary owner of London flats while the prime minister on National Assembly floor admitted that he have all evidences and money trail regarding his foreign properties. But not yet a single evidence could be produced in the Supreme Court for the last nine months which proved that their foreign properties are legal, he said. “Sharif family is trying to contest their case on fake documents,” he said. Talking about Qataris, he said a story regarding

share would increase upto Rs. 80 to 100 billion. The federal government would continue providing Rs100 billion annually for the infrastructure development and efficient services etc. This would continue for coming 10 years till the completion of infrastruc-

Marriyum says Imran using Panama case for survival

settlement of Mian Sharif and Qatari has been started in the court and tactics were being applied to transfer responsibility on one another shoulders but today Hussain Nawaz’s counsel Salman Akram Raja said that he has no money trail. The letters of Qataris and fake documents by FBR showed their real face that they can cross any limit to save themselves from accountability. He said that whenever Nawaz Sharif was in power no national institution can hold unbiased investigation against him because he appointed the officials of these institutions with his own consent. How it’s possible for an appointed leader to hold impartial and honest investigation against him and caught his robbery, he questioned. Replying to a question, he said that the Election Commission has all record of his property purchasing and selling for the last 20 years and it has all relevant documents but no judgment was given so far on disqualification reference case. ONLINE

STATE MINISTER ASKS PTI CHAIRMAN TO CHANGE HIS NEGATIVE MINDSET

ture, services and installing the governance structure in FATA. The resources would not be a problem but the challenges would be, adding that the sooner we go for the merger the better it will be for the entire region.

Levies headquarters attacked in Mohmand THREE SOLDIERS AMONG FIVE KILLED IN SUICIDE ATTACK PESHAWAR SHAMIM SHAHID

At least five persons, including three personnel of Levies, were killed and several others injured in a suicide attack on the main gate of the Levies Forces Headquarters in Ghalanai area in Mohmand Agency on Wednesday morning. Following the terrorist attack in Mohmand Agency, the Frontier Corps (FC) launched a search operation in Ghalanai area and killed five militants. A spokesperson for the FC said the search operation was carried out in Sheikh Banda, a suburban area of Ghalanai town in Mohmand Agency. An encounter took place between terrorists and FC personnel during the raid, the spokesman said, in which five terrorists were killed. Those killed in the attack on Levies headquarters included a school teacher whereas four amongst the injured are personnel of Levies Force.

FIVE MILITANTS KILLED IN COUNTER OPERATION Officials told media that early morning when officials and personnel of Levies Force were coming on to their duty, two terrorists riding on a bike made an attempt to enter the HQs. However, they were stopped by security personnel guarding the main gate. One suicide bomber exploded his vest at the main gate whereas his accomplice was shot dead by security forces. According to officials both the terrorists were suicide bombers and the explosions were too severe. As a result, at least four persons including two personnel of Levies were killed and several others injured. Later on, a jawan of Levies Force also succumbed to injuries in the hospital. A number of persons, including four personnel of security forces, sustained injuries. Almost all the injured were admitted in the agency headquarter hospital at Ghalanai while two were referred to Lady Reading Hospital, Peshawar, due to critical nature of injuries.

Soon after the suicide attack, a curfew like situation was imposed all over Ghalanai Town and main road linking Charsada with Bajaur Agency was closed for traffic. Later, personnel of security forces embarked on a search operation. ISPR said that with timely action, personnel of security forces foiled the attempt aimed at killing a large number of people inside the Levies Force’s headquarters. The headquarters are surrounded by offices of the political administration, Mohmand Press Club, a government school and others. Officials are claiming that terrorists entered Mohmand Agency from Afghanistan side. So far no group or individual has claimed the responsibility for this latest act of violence in Mohmand Agency which has remained a stronghold of militants in the recent past. A number of hardcore militants sheltering in Afghanistan also belong to Mohmand Agency who from time to time carrying out such heinous and inhuman terror acts. Besides Mohmand Agency, KP police also embarked on a search operation in several villages of Charsada district, bordering with Mohmand Agency. During the search operation, security forces arrested around 20 suspects.

ISLAMABAD: State Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb on Wednesday urged Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan to stop using Panama case as crutches for political survival. Talking to media outside the Supreme Court, she said that Imran Khan still had time to change his negative mindset and start doing constructive politics. She advised the PTI chairman to utilise the remaining 19 months to the next general election for playing the role of a real and vigilant opposition in the parliament and contribute to the success of CPEC, energy and other development projects through positive criticism. The state minister strongly refuted the claims by Imran Khan about non-submission of documents in the court in regards to the purchase of London flats, saying that all relevant documents had been submitted in the court. She reminded that Imran used to show the papers in front of the media, claiming that the PTI had all the proofs, but none of those papers had been presented in the court. She said that Imran’s story revolved around his claims of money laundering, tax evasion, plunder of national wealth, Mariam Nawaz being dependent on the prime minister and that the flats were purchased in the 1990s. She also said that contrary to Imran’s stance in the Supreme Court, he has sought immunity in the Election Commission taking the position that giving details of unnamed accounts of off shore company and exchange of gifts between him and his wife was not necessary. Dilating on the issue of terrorism, she said that the incidents of terrorism had registered a tremendous nose-dive due to efforts of Interior Minister Nisar Ali Khan, positive anti-terrorism strategies adopted by the provinces during the last three years, under the stewardship of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, as well as Zarb-e-Azb operation. The terrorist attacks’ graph that touched the figure of around 2200 in the year 2013, fell to 160 during 2017, she added. She said that the operation against the terrorists under the leadership of the prime minister would continue unabated till the elimination of the last terrorist. She said that the terrorists could not dent the resolve of the government as well as the people by such cowardly and detestable acts, and their unholy designs to harm and destabilize the country would never succeed. The people of Pakistan, its valiant armed force and law enforcing agencies had rendered unparalleled sacrifices in the war on terror, she said. The prevailing situation in the country demanded impregnable national unity and refraining from doing politics on the issue, she added. STAFF REPORT

Judge survives again in suicide bomb attack Continued from page 01 SSP Operations Sajjad Khan said the bomber targeted the vehicle carrying civil judge Asif Jadoon and three female magistrates – Rabia, Amina, Tehrima – in Hayatabad’s Phase-V near the Peshawar Development Authority (PDA) office, where Shaukat Khanum hospital, educational institutions and several private and government offices are located. The police official said the driver of the vehicle, identified as Khursheed Khan, died on the spot while Asif Jadoon and the three females were badly wounded. The injured have been moved to the Hayatabad Medical Complex, where an emergency has been declared. The SSP further said that the remains of the suicide bomber have been collected from the blast site. Citing personnel of the

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Bomb Disposal Squad, CCPO Peshawar Tahir Khan said 15 kilogrammes of explosive material was used in the bomb. He said it was too early to say who was the target of the bomber, adding that investigation is in progress. Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has claimed responsibility for the attack. A heavy contingent of police has arrived at the site, and the area is being cordoned off. Rescuers say the explosion was so powerful

that it completely wrecked the van, besides shattering windowpanes of nearby buildings. More casualties are feared as many injured are stated to be in critical condition. Law enforcers have initiated a manhunt for the anti-state elements. Later, Pakistan Tehreeke-Insaf (PTI) Chief Imran Khan addressing media along with KP Chief Minister Pervez Khattak condemned the attack and said that terrorists wanted to target the civil judge and judicial magistrates. He added that any further delay in FATA’s merger with KP would strengthen terrorists and anti-state elements. Imran said that it would be improper to give FATA a complete provincial status. Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Saqib Nisar also condemned the attack and expressed sorrow over the loss of precious lives.


Thursday, 16 February, 2017

NEWS TO COUNTER NEW TERRORISM OFFENSIVE

CIvIl, MIlITary leadershIP dIsCusses joInT sTraTegy ISLAMABAD

a

MIAN ABRAR

MID successive terrorist attacks in FATA and capitals of three provinces - Punjab, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) — in the past few days, the civil and military leadership sat together here in the federal capital to discuss a joint strategy to deal with the new surge in incidents of terrorism aimed at destabilising the development process emanating in the wake of the ChinaPakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif chaired the meeting which reviewed the security situation. The meeting was also attended by Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Minister for Finance Ishaq Dar, Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Chief of General Staff Lt General Bilal Akbar, National Security Adviser Nasser Khan Janjua, directors general of Counter Terrorism and Intelligence Bureau and other senior government officials. The meeting condemned the recent terror attacks in Lahore, Mohmand Agency, Peshawar, and Quetta, and paid tributes to the great

ACTING VCs CASE

lhC reserves judgment on intra court appeal LAHORE: A Lahore High Court division bench on Wednesday reserved judgement on the IntraCourt Appeal (ICA) challenging the single bench orders of striking down appointments of acting vice-chancellors at four public sector universities and the process initiated by the Higher Education Department for selecting new incumbents. The bench headed by LHC Chief Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah heard the ICA filed by the Punjab government. During the hearing, Punjab Advocate General Shakeel ur Rehman submitted that after the 18th amendment, higher education had been devolved to the provinces. He said that the appointment of vice chancellors in public sector universities fall within provincial domain and amendments had been brought in laws relating to public sector universities through "The Public Sector Universities (Amendment) Act, 2012", wherein an elaborate process of appointment of vice chancellor had been provided. He contended that appointment of VCs did not fall within the domain of the Higher Education Commission and was also not covered under Item 12 of Part-II of the Federal Legislative List of the constitution. He pleaded the court to set aside the orders of the single bench for being illegal. However, respondents' counsel Saad Rasool opposed the request and submitted that higher education subject still fall under federation and it was necessary to follow criteria set by the HEC Pakistan for appointment of the vice chancellors. He also contended that the process adopted for the appointment of vice chancellors were also not transparent. He pleaded the court to dismiss the government's appeal. The bench after hearing arguments reserved the verdict. It is pertinent to mention here that LHC single bench had ordered removal of acting vice chancellors of Punjab University, Lahore College for Women University, University of Sargodha and Nawaz Sharif University of Engineering & Technology Multan and appointment of senior most professors as acting vice chancellors of these varsities within seven days. The court had also declared that the selection process initiated by Punjab Higher Education Department for the appointment of the vice chancellors as unconstitutional and ordered Higher Education Commission (HEC) to appoint the vice chancellors in four universities after framing rules and committee for the purpose. STAFF REPORT

national heroes who laid down their lives to secure a peaceful future for Pakistan. This was the first barrage of attacks following the successful military operation, Zarb-e-Azb, against hardcore terrorists in North Waziristan and other tribal areas called. “The meeting reiterated the national resolve of complete physical and ideological annihilation of terrorism and extremism. It was agreed that the gains of operations executed by military, civil armed forces and police will not be lost and the state would ensure that terrorists do not resurge, at any cost,” says an official handout is-

sued by Prime Minister’s House. The meeting noted that the armed forces, police, civilian law enforcement agencies and people at large have rendered unrivalled sacrifices in this war against terrorism. The participants vowed to defeat the new narrative of terrorists which they said had also been failed to prevail whereas the narrative of peace, stability and prosperity has taken over. “The meeting reinforced that the overall situation in the country has improved, including in FATA (Federally Administered Tribal Areas), Balochistan and Karachi as a result of the state’s offensive against terrorists and miscreants,” the statement said. The meeting made a resolve that terrorism emanating within the country or executed and harboured from outside the country will be eliminated and those posing threat to peace and security of the country will be liquidated by the might of the state.

‘ANTI-STATE’ ELEMENTS, THREATS TO CPEC

LEAs go after nationalists, ‘separatists’ in Gilgit-Baltistan POLICE CLAIM THE ARRESTED LEADERS OF BALAWARISTAN NATIONAL FRONT HAVE LINKS WITH RAW ISLAMABAD GHULAM ABBAS

Though the situation is different in Gilgit-Baltistan as compared to Balochistan, the law enforcement agencies have started a massive crackdown against activists of nationalist parties and suspected separatists, as the security agencies smell India’s ‘involvement’ to foil China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). The Gilgit Baltistan police, with the help of other agencies, have arrested over a dozen leaders and activists of the Balawaristan National Front (BNF) and recovered weapons and literature from their possession during the crackdown in district Ghizar and others parts of the region. Last week, the police had arrested at least 12 members of the BNF on charges of anti-state activities. The nationalist party, according to police, was formed in 1995 by a nationalist Abdul Hamid, who is presently in Belgium from where he is allegedly running the network in Pakistan and other parts of the world. According to Inspector General Police of GB, Zafar Iqbal Awan, the arrested activists of the nationalist party were trying to promote an anti-national ideology and had played into the hands of foreign agencies. Police claim that the said nationalist party, being operated from outside the country, was getting funds from RAW to sabotage the multibillion dollar project of CPEC, and creating unrest in the area. The IGP during a recent press briefing in Gilgit has also claimed that the law enforcers have uncovered Rs300 million money trails of the party and their usage for purchase of weapons and properties. Some party leaders, who wanted to address a press conference against the arrest of their fellows in Gilgit on Sunday, were also arrested by the police before the media talks. Talking to Pakistan Today, official sources at Home Department GB said that the crackdown against the anti-state element was initiated purely on intelligence basis and after credible information. They said apart from the action against BNF activists, government in GB is also taking necessary steps to bring back

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Petrol, diesel prices go up by rs1 per litre The government has announced to increase prices of petrol and high speed diesel (HSD) by Rs1 from Thursday. However, the prices of kerosene oil and light diesel oil (LDO) will remain unchanged. “The government has decided to increase the price of MS-92 RON petrol and the HSD by Rs1 per litre. This is almost half of the increase recommended by Ogra [Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority],” said Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Wednesday while talking to reporters. After the increase, the price of diesel is now pegged at Rs80.48 per litre while the price of petrol is now Rs71.29 per litre. The prices of kerosene oil and the LDO will remain Rs43.25 and Rs43.34 per litre, respectively. According to a statement, the Ministry of Petroleum and Ogra had recommended an increase of Rs1.91 per litre in the price of MS 92 RON petrol, Rs2.03 per litre in the price of HSD, Rs16.71 per litre in the price of kerosene oil and Rs12.53 per litre in the price of the LDO. “[However,] in line with the PM’s instructions to provide maximum relief to the common man, and keeping in view that kerosene oil and LDO are used by the low-income segments…, it has been decided to maintain their prices …at the current level till end of February,” the finance ministry said. “This decision has been taken in view of the fact that kerosene oil caters to the energy needs of the poor, especially in the winter season,” the statement added. The government claims that in order to maintain stability, prices have been maintained since April 2016 despite an increase of around 43% in international oil prices during 2016. “The govt has been absorbing the negative financial impact due to its decision to not pass on price hike to the end consumers. The government will bear a burden of Rs3b due to partial increase in prices of the HSD and keeping prices of LDO and kerosene oil unchanged,” the statement said. NEWS DESK

Cleric, wife shot by unknown assailants in Muzaffarabad

Abdul Hamid through Interpol. They said a red warrant will be issued for his arrest through Interpol. The crackdown against the nationalist party is largely being carried out in Ghizar district from where a nationalist party leader Nazeer Naji had won election of Gilgit-Baltistan Legislative Assembly (GBLA) in 2015. The preemptive action against the anti-state elements was taken in Ghizar area following the security alerts issued by Ministry of Interior in Islamabad. Talking to the Pakistan Today, senior journalist in Gilgit, Manzar Shigri, said that though the activists of BNF and other nationalist organisations have been active for years promoting their political and national agenda which attracted some segment of the society especially the youth, their activities were being monitored by law enforcement agencies soon after there was visible progress on CPEC projects. “Anti-China sentiments, found among some leaders of the nationalist party, have apparently alarmed the law enforces to check and monitor activities of the party and their leaders,” he said, adding the party has not been involved in any armed struggle or violence in the region. “It could be a preemptive step taken by the government to ensure undisrupted progress on the mega project, for which the area is gateway,” he added. “Their objective and struggle were to make GB a separate state,” Manzar said.

MUZAFFARABAD: A local cleric and his wife were shot and injured on Wednesday by unidentified attackers in Muzaffarabad, the capital city of Azad Jammu Kashmir. It remains unclear whether the shooting was a sectarian attack or motivated by personal enmity. Majlis Wehdatul Muslimeen (MWM) secretary general Allama Tasawwar Al Jawadi, 38, was on his way to visit his in-laws in the town of Garhi Dupatta along with his wife when their motorcycle was intercepted by a black car. The rescue team reached the scene immediately and transferred the injured to the Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed al Nahayan Hospital in Muzaffarabad. DIG Sardar Gulfraz Khan told reporters that Jawadi received a bullet in his neck and was in critical condition. His wife had also received bullet injuries but she is out of danger. Jawadi’s brother-in-law Tasawwur Moosvai claimed that the black car had been chasing him from Manik Piyan area and had finally intercepted him near Rabbani Bridge. Demonstrations were held in different parts of Muzaffarabad and roads were blocked following the incident. Jamiat Ahle-Hadith condemned the attack on the religious cleric and called upon the government to take action against those creating unrest in the peaceful state. “Our region has been enjoying exemplary religious harmony, and it is the national obligation of all segments of the society to maintain this atmosphere at all costs,” said Daniyal Shahab, the secretary general of the Jamiat Ahle-Hadith. AGENCIES

‘Women, gender equality among government’s priorities’ MALEEHA SAYS PAKISTAN FULLY RECOGNISES WOMEN’S ROLE IN PEACE, SECURITY NEW YORK AGENCIES

Pakistan’s UN representative Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi said that ensuring gender equality and women empowerment are among the top priorities of the government in Pakistan. Addressing a UN-Women meeting, the international body's entity working for empowerment of women, she said that women have

made significant progress over the years. “Our adherence to the ideals of empowering women and protecting their rights stems from our faith, our constitution and the vision of our founding father,” she said. As a leading troop contributing country, she said that Pakistan fully recognises the critical role of women in international peace and security. "Our women peacekeepers have served as police officers, doctors and nurses in missions in

Asia, Africa and the Balkans." The envoy further said that Pakistan had also earned the distinction of electing the first female prime minister in the Muslim world – not once but twice, and that its outstanding women professionals have served as speaker of the National Assembly, as foreign minister and as governor of the central bank. "Only yesterday, my government appointed the country’s first-ever female foreign affairs secretary,” she said. In her remarks, Ambassador Maleeha also spoke about the progress made by women around the world, and said that they have

a pivotal role to play in achieving sustainable development. Achieving gender equality and empowerment of women and girls was at the heart of the new development agenda, she said. UN-Women has the potential to catalyse change by utilising its composite nature and mandates in a fully integrated fashion, she said. She called for unwavering political support and ownership in order to accomplish the new development paradigm that poses many implementation and leadership challenges. "Women across the world, from Columbia to Uganda to Burundi to Tunisia,

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have emerged as leaders and consensus builders, inspiring hopes of peace and prosperity amidst conflict and violence," the envoy said. Over the years, she said, women had demonstrated the requisite skills and capacities for mediation and peace building and displayed a remarkable ability to lead various international initiatives. Maleeha said that such skills and abilities make them particularly suited as special envoys, special representatives and resident coordinators, adding that the current share of women in leadership roles at the UN remained abysmally low.


04 NEWS

Thursday, 16 February, 2017

Aizaz Ahmad appointed ambassador to US

PANAMAGATE

COUrt nOt SAtiSFied with either pArty ProDuCtion of aLL DoCumEntS PErtaining to monEy traiL ‘not PoSSibLE’: aDvoCatE SaLman raJa ISLAMABAD

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SHAH NAWAZ MOHAL

USTICE Asif Saeed Khosa-led five-member Supreme Court bench that is hearing multiple petitions against Sharif family in the wake of Panama leaks has observed the lack of documents presented by Hassan Nawaz and Hussain Nawaz’s counsel, Advocate Salman Akram Raja, pertaining to ownership of London flats. The hearing resumed after a gap of two weeks due to illness and non availability of Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed who had a heart attack earlier this month. Raja, from the very outset, argued that since the majority of record was lost during the ’99 coup, the complete history of Sharif family’s business span-

Medical store owners call off strike

ning over 45 years can’t be reproduced. Salman Akram Raja also argued that since the Supreme Court had taken up the case in its extraordinary jurisdiction and can’t hold an inquiry into the matter, the case may be sent to relevant authorities for investigation. The counsel further said that even if his clients are to be tried under NAB laws, the burden of proof does not lie on them. When Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan asked how the flats were bought and came in the possession of PM’s children, Mr Raja said they were bought from proceeds of Mian Sharif’s business. ‘The flats were bought by Al-Thani family between ’93 and ’96. Later on, in January 2006, the Al-Thani family gave the bearer certificates to Hussain Nawaz and in July 2006 these bearer certificates were transferred to Minerva,’ he said, adding that these bearer certificates have standing of currency. Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed asked about the agreement between Hussain Nawaz and Minerva. ‘When will you present it?’ he asked. Justice Khosa also remarked that the record of transfer of certificates in 2006 should be presented as it is only a

decade old. Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan said that no party is bringing forward the whole truth. An interesting situation arose in the court when Justice Khosa asked whether back in 1999 only one child of Sharif family was living in England and why four flats were bought for his residence. Mr Raja replied that there is a possibility that another child was living as well. However, he said, he will apprise the court after seeking details from his client. Once again, the practice of reading excerpts from the speeches given by Sharif family returned to the case when Justice Asif Saeed Khosa read an excerpt from Hussain Nawaz’s speech in which he said that London flats were bought after selling Jeddah Steel Mills. Salman Akram Raja also presented before the court questions pertaining to Article 184 (3) that empowers Supreme Court with extraordinary jurisdiction commonly referred to as suo motu. It is expected Salman Akram Raja will conclude his arguments today (Thursday) and the case will go for rebuttal to the petitioner’s counsel Advocate Naeem Bukhari. The hearing has been adjourned till today (Thursday).

JuD requests govt to remove Hafiz Saeed from ECL

LAHORE: The owners of medical stores and pharmaceutical companies in Punjab agreed to end their strike after they reached an agreement with the provincial government on Wednesday evening. Law Minister Rana Sanaullah, speaking at a press conference together with representatives from pharmaceutical companies here, said that a committee had been formed to oversee amendments in the Drug Act 1976. He announced that a consensus on various issues had been reached with representatives of the pharmaceutical companies. “The pharmaceutical companies have agreed to support the campaign against counterfeit drugs,” he added. “We want to eliminate fake drugs from Punjab. It is our responsibility to ensure the provision of quality medicines to people,” said Health Minister Khawaja Salman Rafique, who was also present alongside Sanaullah. “The government held talks with the pharmaceutical companies earlier as well,” the law minister said, adding that negotiations with stakeholders over billing matters were held often. AGENCIES

ISLAMABAD AGENCIES

The Jamaatud Dawa (JuD) on Wednesday requested the Interior Ministry for the removal of its head Hafiz Saeed, currently under house arrest, and 37 other party activists' names from the Exit Control List (ECL), as the party and its members were not involved in any terrorist activities in the country. The application moved by party counsel AK Dogar alludes to the Interior Ministry notification issued on January 30, consequently, the JuD chief and four of his aides were placed under one month house arrest. In his letter, the Dogar said that on instructions from his client (JuD), he is pleading that the ministry withdraws its decision regarding the ECL. Dogar claims that JuD had never been a part of terrorist ac-

tivities in Pakistan, and no terrorrelated incident was ever linked to the organisation. The JuD is dedicated to the welfare of citizens as it has set up 142 schools and four universities in the country and Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation (FIF) is sufficient proof to this effect,” it said. It claimed that the government was failed to produce any kind of evidence against his client and to prove his [counsel] point he will submit documents in the count which will prove Saeed's and his aides' innocence. The January 30 notification placed the JuD and the FIF on the watch list and put on the second schedule under Section 11-EEE (1) of the Anti-Terrorism Act 1997. A subsequent handout issued by the Punjab government said, “In the light of Section 11EEE(1) of the Anti Terrorism Act,

the Punjab government has taken organisational office-bearers of the aforementioned organisations playing an active role including Hafiz Muhammad Saeed (Lahore), Abdullah Ubaid (Faisalabad), Zafar Iqbal (Markaz Tayyaba Muridke), Abdul Rehman Abid (Markaz Tayyaba Muridke) and Kashif Niazi of Multan into protective custody.” The FIF and JuD have been taking steps which could harm the peace and security of the country and are involved in activities that violate United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 1267, the Interior Ministry stated in its order. Saeed’s detention came following Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan’s remarks that the government was taking steps to fulfil its international obligations regarding JuD.

ISLAMABAD: The government has decided to appoint Foreign Affairs Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry as ambassador of Pakistan to the United States, Foreign Office announced here Wednesday. He will join his new assignment in Washington DC next month. Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry is a career Foreign Service Officer with over 36 years of bilateral and multilateral experience in the field of diplomacy. Presently, he is serving as foreign secretary since December 2013. Earlier, he has served as the spokesperson of the Foreign Affairs Ministry. In the ministry, he has served as additional foreign secretary for the UN and Disarmament Affairs, and director general for relations with South Asian countries, in which capacity he has remained closely associated with the peace process with India. Overseas, he has served as ambassador of Pakistan to The Netherlands, where he engaged in active public diplomacy in cooperation with Pakistani community to win friends for Pakistan. He also authored a book 'Pakistan Mirrored to Dutch Eyes.' In his other overseas assignments, Aizaz Ahmad has served as the deputy permanent representative of Pakistan to the United Nations in New York, Chef de Cabinet to the Secretary General of ECO in Tehran, and Pakistan embassies in Washington, Doha and Cairo. He was born on February 27, 1958, holds Masters degree in International Relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Medford, Massachusetts, and a first class Bachelor of Science degree from the Punjab University, Lahore. He is married and has three children. STAFF REPORT

FO lodges protest with Afghan diplomat on fresh terrorist attacks ISLAMABAD: Afghan Deputy Head of Mission (DHM) Syed Abdul Nasir Yousafi on Wednesday was called-in to the Foreign Office by Additional Secretary (UN&EC) for registering concern over the terrorist attacks on Pakistan by the Jumaat-ulAhrar from Afghanistan, Foreign Office said in a statement. The Afghan diplomat was conveyed the grave concern of Pakistan about the continuing terrorist attacks on its soil by the Jumaat-ulAhrar's (JuA) sanctuaries inside Afghanistan. Attention of the diplomat was also drawn to the earlier actionable intelligence shared by Pakistan's authorities with the Afghan side. Afghanistan was urged to take urgent measures to eliminate the terrorists and their sanctuaries, financiers and handlers operating from its territory. An AideMemoire containing details of the terrorist attacks and supporting information was also shared with the Afghan official. STAFF REPORT

PSX, SECP ignore violations in 2015 audit of MR Securities KARACHI ARSHAD HUSSAIN

Despite certain regulation violations that occurred during the audit of MR Securities conducted in 2015, the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) and the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) have ignored them, a report of the PSX received by Pakistan Today said. “Two audits of MR Securities were conducted in 2015, one by PSX through a system audit and another by the SECP. The report of the system audit was without any adverse findings. However, the Regulatory Affairs Committee (RAC) was informed that the SECP audit revealed certain issues and violations with respect to segregation of assets and maintaining of two types of books by the broker,” the report claimed. One of the brokers who disclosed this report said, “This means that an SECP official is involved in a scam with MR Securities.” The SECP had previously issued

show cause notices to more than 30 brokers throughout the country but no fine has been imposed on them till now. “One or two other brokers from Lahore who are involved in scams may also be investigated and could default,” another broker said. However, in the report it is mentioned that despite a red alarm being raised, the matter was not forwarded to the right forum for timely action or any action at all. The judgment and working style of the PSX chief returning officer (CRO) seemed questionable. Being a part of the oversight committee and privy to the relevant vulnerable situation of the brokerage house well in advance, the CRO did not share the information with the SECP despite their query. Being a member of the oversight committee and the joint inspection, there was no bar on the CRO to perform his role as the CRO of PSX and he was obliged to bring into the loop the RAC chairman to whom he functionally reports. Instead, the CRO never apprised the chairman either

in person or otherwise. The report further said that the CRO, having become aware of the situation on January 16, did not raise the issue in the RAC meeting held on January 27 and only moved sent an email to the RAC on night on February 3. Furthermore, after the closure of the office by the broker on February 01 and the panic created by investors, the CRO deputed the CCO to visit Lahore instead of going himself to handle the situation despite knowing the gravity of the situation. In a visit of the sub-committee of the RAC to the PSX for hearing appeals on February 07, the CRO was to brief the sub-committee about cases of vulnerable brokers but did not avail the opportunity. The CRO remained constantly in contact with the CEO of MR Securities on Whatsapp, but did not bother disclosing this information during the interview held by the head of internal audit and the RAC only came to learn of the fact after seeing the CRO's cellphone. The report further said that a design

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lapse was found in the structure and governance of the oversight committee and the mechanism under which it carries out a joint inspection of brokerage houses of the PSX. There is an urgent need to revisit the governance of the said committee and its reporting requirements. “There is a dearth of market intelligence in the exchange unless an alarm is raised by another broker or complaints are filed by the investors,” the report said. “Surveillance function at the PSX was found wanting and there is a systemic gap,” it added. Questions regarding the system audit were also raised also, but without any specifics, in a total failure to identify the relevant issues. Although TREC holders are represented on the PSX board, all of them are based in Karachi and there is no representation from the north to highlight issues related to brokers from the former Lahore and Islamabad stock exchanges (LSE and ISE). Other recent problems are due to the brokers of the former LSE and ISE. Ac-

cording to the CRO, prior to the integration of the stock exchanges, he had raised the concern whether the brokerage houses of the LSE and ISE were in order, but the SECP took the stance that there were time constraints and that the issue would be addressed later. “As the actual status of the finding of the inspection of the former LSE & ISE's brokers is unknown, they could be potentially be very high risk. Joint inspection of all these brokers needs to be carried out on a priority basis to assess the real situation and to take remedial action. It is feared that some of them may still be suffering from the 2008 crises and hiding their real position. Going forward, the CRO should brief the key findings of III in each meeting of the RAC,” the report says. Allowing the custody of investor cash and securities by the brokerage houses in their sub-accounts, should be eliminated as soon as possible with the alternate mechanism of settlement of trades directly through client investor accounts, the report added.


Thursday, 16 February, 2017

iSSUe OF pOSt-retireMent beneFitS rAiSed in SenAte SEnatE CHairman SayS HE wouLD ConSiDEr How bESt to ProCEED witH PoSt-rEtirEmEnt bEnEfitS to PubLiC offiCiaLS in a HoLiStiC mannEr ISLAMABAD

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STAFF REPORT

PEAKING on a point of public importance in the Senate today, Senator Farhatullah Babar raised the issue of allotment of lands to public functionaries on their retirement as a reward for the services rendered. The issue involved a number of questions, including whether such allotments were governed by legislation or rules and regulations, who framed those rules and when, the application of the rules in the past and whether the application of such rules in the future need to be streamlined, he said. There was also the question of who among the retired senior officials

were entitled to this extraordinary privilege, he added. The issue is both sensitive and important, he said, calling for its examination in a relevant committee of the senate, which may discuss it on camera if it so deemed, he said. As these allotments are claimed to be made under the laws and regulations, it is important that these are also examined in a holistic manner in the legislature, he said. It would be in the interest of everyone if there is transparency and the procedure was reviewed by the Parliament. Senate Chairman Raza Rabbani reserved his ruling saying that he would consider how best to proceed with postretirement benefits to public officials in a holistic manner. On another issue of public importance, Senator Farhatullah

Babar drew attention towards what he called kidnapping and unlawful confinement of two teenagers by Islamabad police last Sunday, who were later recovered from a local police station. The police at first denied any knowledge, but when the relatives of one of the teenagers using high-tech technology traced his location from the mobile telephone, they were found in a police station. Terming it a serious incident involving human rights and liberties, chairman Rabbani referred it to the human rights committee of the senate with direction to investigate and report on it during the next session of the senate. SEnAtE BODy tO COnSIDER PPP AutHORIty BILL 2016 On FEB 16: The Standing Committee on Finance, Revenue, Economic Affairs, Statistics and Privatisation is scheduled to have further considerations on the Public Private Partnership Authority Bill 2016 during its meeting scheduled in Islamabad on Thursday. According to the notification of

Donegan meets Zakaullah, lauds navy’s active role

ISLAMABAD STAFF REPORT

US Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) Commander Vice Admiral Kevin M Donegan visited the Naval Headquarters in Islamabad on Wednesday and met Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Zakaullah. During the meeting, matters of mutual interest including bilateral naval collaboration and security environment in Indian Ocean Region (IOR) came under discussion. Zakaullah thanked the visiting dignitary for the participation of the US Navy in exercise AMAN-17. The American com-

mander highly appreciated the conduct of multinational naval exercise AMAN-17 in Karachi which was attended by 37 nations along with ships, aircraft, helicopters, special operations forces, explosive ordnance teams, marine teams and observers. He also lauded the professionalism of the Pakistan Navy personnel and active role being played by the Pakistan Navy for maritime security and stability in the region. He said that the near permanent presence of the Pakistan Navy units in the Area of Responsibility (AOR) has helped shape a secure environment for freedom of navigation in the region.

Zubair meets rajwana

LAHORE: Temhina Durrani with Bilqis Edhi at Lahore Airport. staff photo

LAHORE: Sindh Governor Muhammad Zubair on Wednesday met Punjab Governor Malik Muhammad Rafique Rajwana and discussed overall political situation in the country and other matters during a meeting at the Governor's House here. Both the dignitaries expressed deep sorrow and grief over the tragic Mall Road blast incident. Punjab Governor Malik Muhammad Rafique Rajwana said operation Zarb-e-Azb was successfully continued, adding that all political parties should set aside their vested interests and play their role to root out the menace of terrorism form the country. Rajwana felicitated Muhammad Zubair on assuming the charge of the Governor Sindh, and expressed the hope that the latter would use his good offices to strengthening the cooperation between the two provinces. APP

Senate Secretariat, the bill to provide a regulatory and enabling environment for private participation in providing public infrastructure, and related services through fair and transparent procurement was passed by the National Assembly. The bill was referred to the committee for consideration and report. According to the notification, the committee would also consider the bill to provide for rehabilitation and reorganisation of distressed corporate entities—the Corporate Rehabilitation Bill 2017—which was introduced in the house on January 19, 2017, and referred to the committee for consideration and report. This bill is required to be presented to the house on or before March 20, 2017, according to the senate notification. Furthermore, the committee would also consider the private members’ bill titled the Partnership (Amendment) Bill 2016, introduced on September 26, 2016, by Senator Muhammad Azam Khan Swati and referred to the committee.

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Sindh govt to introduce Anti-Corruption Agency Act KARACHI: In order to expand the scope of the Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE), the Sindh government has decided to introduce the Sindh Anti-Corruption Agency Act and Rules. This was decided in a meeting held here under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah at the CM House, said a statement on Wednesday. The meeting was attended by the ACE Chairman Ghulam Qadir Thebo and other concerned officers. Salient features of the proposed act include recovery of illegal gains through court and the imposition of fines not less than the illegal gain derived. On conviction, the accused shall stand disqualified from being elected as a member of the national/ provincial assembly and shall not be eligible to hold any public office for a period of 10 years. Features of the proposed rules include the constitution of an executive board of the agency headed by the chairman, appointment of public prosecutors, and powers of the anti-corruption court to attach property. The chief minister directed the chairman to send the proposed act and rules to the law department for vetting, adding that the NAB was encroaching powers of provincial anticorruption agency. Under the 18th amendment, only the provincial government is competent enough to exercise anti-corruption powers. “Its scope will be enhanced further so that corruption can be eliminated from the provincial government,” the chief minister added. STAFF REPORT


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Thursday, 16 February, 2017

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TOUGH CONTEST EXPECTED

pU’s academic staff association condUcts elections FAIR POLLING LIKELY AFTER CHANGE OF VICE CHANCELLOR LAHORE

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LECTIONS of Punjab University’s Academic Staff Association (ASA) will be held on Thursday (today), with three different groups of teachers taking part. The ASA is one of the oldest teacher’s bodies of Punjab University and is entitled with protecting the rights of its faculty members. These will be the first elections of the ASA since Dr Zafar Mueen Nasar took the charge of the vice chancellor’s office in December last year. The Teachers’ Alliance, the Teachers’ Front, and the Academic Alliance

are the three groups contesting the elections, and a tough contest is expected between the Teachers’ Alliance and the Teachers’ Front. The Teacher’s Front won the last two elections amid poll rigging accusations by the Teacher’s Alliance against the university’s administration at the time. Talking to Pakistan Today, the Teachers’ Alliance candidate for general secretary Iftikhar Ahmad Tarar said that former vice chancellor Dr Mujahid Kamran had influenced the results of the last two elections towards his favourites. “The incumbent VC seems to be unbiased so far and we are hopeful that the elections will be fair this time,” he said. “After winning the elections, we will expedite the process of promoting our colleagues, something which hasn’t happened for some years now,” he added. The rival group’s candidate for general secretary, Dr Mahboob Hussain, told this scribe that the group would

strive hard to obtain free healthcare facilities for faculty members after if they win again. “The university’s town-3 project will also thrive under our leadership,” he added. Teachers alliance: Javed Sami from the Department of Space Science is the presidential candidate of the Teachers’ Alliance while Iftikhar Ahmad Tarar of the university’s law college is contesting for the post of general secretary. Other Alliance candidates for the ASA panel are Prof Shahid Ghazi (Vice President Science), Dr Asghar Iqbal (VP Arts), Tariq Mahmood Butt (Treasurer) and Dr Muhammad Islam (Joint Secretary). The candidates from the Alliance group for executive member posts are Dr Amjad Abbas Khan, Dr Majid Majeed Akbar, Dr Imran Din, Hamid Ch, Nisar Ahmad, Malik Fiaz Hussain Ferdosi, Dr Saiqa Ishtiaq, and Murtaza Yousaf. Teachers FronT: Prof Sajid

Rashid Ahmad from the College of Earth and Environmental Sciences is the presidential candidate of the Teachers’ Front while the post of general secretary is being vied for by Dr Mahboob Hussain of the History Department. Other candidates of the panel are Prof Rizwan Akram Rana (Vice President Arts), Dr Nadeem Sheikh (VP Science), Dr Sayyid Salman Rizvi (Joint Secretary), and Dr Azhar Naeem (Treasurer). Prof Ahmed Ali Shahid, Dr Irfan Ahmed Sheikh, Khalid Mahmood, Dr Ayub Faridi, Ch Naeem Ullah Khan, Shabbir Sarwar, Dr Ahmed Bilal, and Dr Misbah Sultana will be contesting to become executive members from the Teachers’ Front. A 6-member election commission under the chairmanship of Prof Javed Iqbal Qazi (Department of Zoology Chairman) will conduct the polling in which around 700 permanent faculty members of the university are expected to cast their votes.

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over 44 million social media accounts in pakistan LAHORE app

Social media has played a strong role in shaping modern day communication and Pakistani users seem to be catching up. The total number of Pakistani social media accounts crossed the 44 million mark, according to the statistics released by social media companies, a private news channel reported. Facebook surpassed all others social media forums at 30 million users across Pakistan, according to statisticss provided by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) on November 15, 2016. LiINE stood at 7.1 million users as of October 15, 2016, followed by Instagram with 3.9 million active users. Twitter and Snapchat trailed behind others at 3.1 million users as of July 2016 and 0.4 million users as of January 2017, respectively. Social media is frequently used for diverse purposes that include e-commerce, socio-political discussions, social vigilantism, and political activism. One of the reasons behind increasing social media users in the country is the successful penetration of 3G/4G technology in Pakistan. Pakistan has around 37 million mobile broadband (MBB) subscribers.

43 detained in search for charing cross bomb blast perpetrators NEWS DESK At least 43 suspects including 40 Afghan nationals were apprehended in a search operation in Lahore on Tuesday night. Security personnel conducted raids in various areas in a search operation for accomplices of the suicide bomber responsible for the Lahore blast. Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) officials have also shifted the affected van of a private news channel and a Mazda to the police station for further investigation. A forensic official said that various parts of the human body were recovered from the blast spot, but it was difficult to identify the terrorist from them. More forensic tests in this regard are expected to be conducted.

LAHORE: A craftsman prepares tops in Chungi Amarsadhu. staff photo

ENVIRONMENTAL REPORTING AWARDS

ACCA, WWF to reward sustainability reporting LAHORE staff REpoRt

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allama iqbal medical college & jinnah hospital, lahore

Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) Pakistan has partnered with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Pakistan to reward and recognise good sustainability reporting via the ACCA-WWF Pakistan Environmental Reporting Awards. At the heart of the judging criteria is GRI, the “go to” standard for enterprises to start reporting and drive good business behaviour. Ever since 2000, ACCA Pakistan has been actively encouraging businesses large and small, quoted and unquoted, to adopt GRI sustainability reporting standards and start reporting on their economic, environmental, and social performance. Speaking at the launch of the report “Sustainability Reporting: the Evolving Landscape in Pakistan” Regional Head of Policy Arif Masud Mirza said, “Pakistani businesses are faced with classic headwinds like climate change, political turmoil, law and order, and security issues. Business leaders and policy makers must ensure

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that they counter with tailwinds such as adopting modern corporate reporting, integrated thinking across the management levels, having a regulatory framework that communicates the physical risks to business from not understanding environment, social and governance (ESG) forces.” Also speaking about the report was the author Malik Mirza who said the report attempts to document where we are with non-financial reporting. The report comments on the reputational benefits of sustainability reporting and the adoption of such reporting in Pakistan. The report also mentions that the PSX is set to join the MSCI emerging markets index this year and that the large body of research done by the MSCI on the coming of age of ESG performance indicators for investors is becoming increasingly compelling.” The timing of this report coincides with the launch of the new GRI G4 standards. “The GRI standards make it much easier for companies to report non-financial information, using a well-understood shared language,” said GRI South Asia Regional Hub Di-

rector Dr Aditi Haldar. “The standards are more straightforward, making them accessible to potentially millions of businesses worldwide. Sustainability reporting, using the GRI Standards, is the best way for a company to disclose its economic, environmental and social impacts, thus providing insights into its contributions – positive or negative – toward sustainable development. The GRI South Asia Hub is looking forward to collaborating with businesses and capital markets across South Asia and we welcome the ACCA’s advocacy work in this area.” ACCA Pakistan Head Sajjeed Aslam added “Pakistan’s stock exchange continues to be on a long bullish run. However, the steadiness of such capital markets is also driven by how corporate leaders manage the non-financial part of their business. This is vital in countries with large youth populations where we need business to grow and survive to provide jobs and the growing demands for honest goods and services. There is also a need to ensure that business processes do not damage the ecosystem, but rather add value to add to it. Stakeholder education is vital in this consumer and business relationship. ACCA Pakistan encourages stakeholder engagement as part of its judging criteria used in the ACCA-WWF awards as well as simple and clear communication underpinned by credible audited reporting.”


pRayER tiMiNgs FAJR SUNRISE

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Thursday, 16 February, 2017

ASR MAGHRIB ISHA

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PPSC TO HELP FILL POSTS

provincial higher edUcation dept faces shortage of 12,000 teachers 5 FACULTY DEVELOPMENT INSTITUTIONS TO BE SET UP IN PUNJAB LAHORE

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UNJAB Minister for Higher Education Syed Raza Ali Gillani has said that the higher education department is facing a shortage of 7,000 lecturers and 5,000 PhDs across the province. “In order to fill these seats without

further wastage of time, the chief minister would be requested to make separate arrangements in the Punjab Public Service Commission (PPSC). In order to fill the backlog, work on the Lahore Knowledge Park project is being done speedily so that Pakistani students could access high-quality research and educational facilities at subsidised rates,” Gillani said. “International universities will also extend their cooperation for providing world-class education in this innovative park, which is the first of its kind. Meanwhile, it has also been decided to keep teacher-students ratios at 1:30 in higher education institutions so that teachers can adequately attend to the

educational needs of every student,” the minister added. The minister was addressing the oath taking ceremony of newly elected office bearers of the Lahore Education Reporters Association at the Arfa Karim Software Technology Park on Wednesday. The function was organised in collaboration with Punjab Higher Education Commission (PHEC), whose chairman Dr M Nizamuddin attended the ceremony as the guest of honour. The students of the mass communication department of a local degree college also attended the ceremony and put up different questions to the minister.

Governor pays homage to late Jahangir Bader LAHORE app

Punjab Governor Rafique Rajwana on Wednesday lauded the services of late PPP leader Jehangir Bader and said that he would be remembered forever. Addressing a gathering at the Lahore High Court Bar in the honour of Jehangir Bader, he said that Bader was a true and committed supporter of democracy and that he had always struggled against martial law. “He showed exemplary courage during periods of martial law and was not afraid of conviction. He was committed to his views and causes as a political worker", the governor added. Remembering his visits with Bader to foreign countries as senators, he said

that Bader was not happy with the current politics and was of the view that common man should be given relief. He said that only committed workers survive in the political arena and Jehangir Bader had succeeded by remaining committed to his ideology. Addressing the gathering, PPP leader Qamar Zaman Kaira said that Bader had a multifaceted personality and was an exemplary father, friend, student, and political worker. “Bader worked with three generations of the PPP and there was no other person who had similar honour in the party. Bader earned that honour with his commitment and dedication,” Kaira said. He said that the party had survived all attempts at breaking it due to sincere workers like Jehangir Bader.

“Party leaderships cannot do anything without workers like Bader,” he added. He said that though it was the prerogative of the Punjab government to use police or rangers and army to fight terrorism, the National Action Plan must be implemented in letter and spirit. Zulifqar Ali Bader, son of Jehangir Bader, also addressed the gathering and said that his father had earned his name through dedication and struggle. Lahore High Court Bar Association (LHCBA) President Rana Zia Abdur Rehman, Awami National Party (ANP) Secretary General Ahsan Wayne, Advocate Ilyas Khan and other speakers also addressed the gathering. A large number of lawyers were also present on the occasion.

Chaudhry, former chief justice Iftikhar Chaudhry, former Punjab governor Muhammad Sarwar, SPs, DSPs of all divisions, family members and a large number of people from different walks of life attended the Qul. On the occasion, police

officers paid glowing tribute to DIG Traffic Syed Ahmad Mobin and SSP Operations Zahid Mehmood Gondal and said that they were honest, hardworking, and committed police officers and that their services would be remembered.

Raza Gillani said that a holistic approach had been adopted to enhance the quality of higher education in the province and added that several projects were underway to improve the capacity building of teachers. “The PHEC wants our universities to act as engines of innovation and research in the ever-changing era of knowledge economy,” he added. “Faculty development institutions will be set up in five major cities of the province, including Lahore. Setting up similar training institutions at the district level would ensure that a continued process of development is initiated for improving the intellectual ken of the faculty,” Gillani said.

In reply to a question, he said that the PHEC had started inspection of private institutions that were failing to fulfil their charter requirements. “It has been decided to introduce a check and balance system so that no institution can defraud students,” he said. PHEC Chairman Dr Nizamuddin told the audience that besides the establishment of the Rasool University of Technology and the University of Home Economics, a plan for providing systematic training to twenty thousand teachers had been chalked out. Similarly, 500 faculty members will be provided doctoral scholarships. Out of these, 100 scholarships will be given this year. He said that 72 community colleges have also been planned to be set up in various districts of the province starting from next year. Four community colleges have already been set up to provide quality education. He further said that besides providing assistance for holding of 1,100 educational conferences and public seminars, the PHEC will also award 35 post-doctoral scholarships this year. It is hoped that the PHEC will help to maintain international standards in the higher educational sector.

tender notice

Qul of martyred policemen held LAHORE staff REpoRt

DIRECTORATE OF HORTICULTURE Ayub Agricultural Research Institute, Faisalabad. Ph. No. 041-9201690 Fax No. 041-9201817

tender notice Sealed quotations are invited for the provision of imported acclimatized Date palm nursery plants of specific varieties from eligible firms operating in Punjab on active taxpayer list registered with FBR, sales and income tax department. Name of Tender Item

QTY

Purchase of imported acclimatized Date Palm nursery plants (90cm height) Purchase of imported Date Palm nursery plants (more than 20cm height with 3 juvenile leaves)

5000 1000

Tender Bid Security Fee (Rs.) (Rs.)

2000

2046000

Terms and Conditions:

3. 4. 5.

Purchase would be carried out as per PPRA rules. Tender documents having detailed terms and conditions along with detailed specifications of the items to be procured can be obtained from the office of the undersigned during the office hours (8:00 AM to 4:00 PM) from Monday to Friday. The bid security will be in form of CDR in favour of Director Horticulture, AARI, Faisalabad must be attached. Tender documents can be acquired after the payment of tender fee in cash only, which is non-refundable. The mode of tender should be single stage two envelop complete in all respects should reach the office of the undersigned on or before 07-03-2017 by 10:00 AM. The tenders will be opened by Purchase Committee on the same day at 11:00 AM in the presence of representatives of the firms.

(MUHAMMAD ISHFAQ) DIRECTOR HORTICULTURE

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Us consul general calls on punjab’s minister for women development lahore: US Consul General Yuiry Fedkiw called on Punjab Minister for Women Development Hameeda Waheed-ud-din here on Wednesday to discuss matters of mutual interest. The minister apprised the US consul general about the steps taken for the betterment and empowerment of women in detail. She said that the more the women will be empowered, the more the country will progress. “The government has taken a number of revolutionary measures to bring women into the mainstream,” Hameeda Waheed-ud-din said. She said that the Punjab government had enabled the women to play an active role in every field of life. “A programme of skill development has been implemented to provide occupational skills to women in the province,” she said. Waheed-ud-din hoped that the development and welfare projects of the government would bring significant change in the country. Consul General Fedkiw lauded the measures taken by the Punjab government for the empowerment of women and development of other sectors. He appreciated the legislation passed in the Punjab Assembly for the protection of women. He also briefed the minister about the USAID programme in detail. He said that under the programme, scholarships are being provided to academically talented but economically disadvantaged women. He informed the minister about the USAID support programme for women in the field of energy, engineering, and gender equality.staff REpoRt

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(MUHAMMAD TAHIR AKRAM RAO) EXECUTIVE ENGINEER, BUILDINGS DIVISION, OKARA

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Qul of DIG Traffic Lahore Syed Ahmad Mobin, SSP Operations Zahid Mehmood Gondal and other policemen martyred in the Charing Cross blast was held here at R A Bazar, Cantonment, on Wednesday. Additional IG Operations Arif Nawaz, Additional IG Training Usman Khattak, CCPO Lahore Capt (r) Amin Vains, Punjab DIG Investigation Ch Shafiq Ahmad, DIG Investigation Sultan

(SAJID RASHID BUTT) SUPERINTENDING ENGINEER, BUILDINGS CIRCLE, SAHIWAL


08 FOREIGN NEWS sweden backs officials’ decision of wearing headscarves SWEDEN: The Swedish government has stood by the decision of its officials of wearing headscarves during their trip to Iran, saying they would have broken the law had they not done so. According to BBC News, Sweden Minister for Trade Ann Linde led a business team in Iran last week where she and officials with her wore headscarves, an act that they faced criticism for. The country’s liberal party chief Jan Bjorklund said the decision was ruinous to the feminist foreign policy of Sweden. He added that the Swedish government should have requested that the women of the delegation should not have been required to wear a headscarf, he said. However, Linde told Aftonbladet, a Swedish newspaper, she did not want to break Iranian laws and the only other option she had was to send an all-men delegation. AGENCIES

kremlin denies russia-trump contacts

MOSCOW: The Kremlin on Wednesday denied as “falsehoods and fabrications” a New York Times report that there were repeated contacts between Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign team and senior Russian officials. “Don’t believe newspaper reports, it’s very difficult at the moment to differentiate them from falsehoods and fabrications,” Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told a press conference. Stressing that the sources quoted by the Times were anonymous, Peskov said “the time has perhaps come for someone to speak out openly about all of this.” “If you don’t mind let’s wait and let’s not believe anonymous information, which is information based on no fact.” AGENCIES

Uae envoy to kabul dies of wounds from January bombing ABU DHABI: The United Arab Emirates´ ambassador to Afghanistan has died of wounds sustained in a January 10 bombing in Kandahar that also killed five other UAE officials, state media said Thursday. Ambassador Juma Mohammed Abdullah Al Kaabi had been leading a UAE delegation to the provincial governor´s office in Kandahar when the bomber struck, killing 12 people instantly. Both he and governor Humayun Azizi suffered serious burns. The UAE´s official WAM news agency described the ambassador as a “martyr”. The attack was one of a spate of bombings that hit three Afghan cities on January 10, killing 57 people. The Taliban claimed responsibility for twin bombs that hit a parliamentary annexe in Kabul and a suicide bombing in Lashkar Gah, capital of restive Helmand province. AGENCIES

saudi royals host tayyip erdogan RIYADH: Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan met Saudi Arabia’s top leadership during a visit to further strengthen ties as part of a Gulf tour ahead of Syria peace talks. King Salman hosted a luncheon banquet for Erdogan, who arrived in Riyadh late on Monday, the official Saudi Press Agency said. It gave no details of their discussions, but said Erdogan also met Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, the interior minister, and Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is defence minister. As Erdogan held talks in Riyadh, his Prime Minister Binali Yildirim told his ruling Justice and Development Party lawmakers in Ankara that Al-Bab in northern Syria was “largely” under the control of Turkish-backed Syrian rebels after months of clashes with jihadists. AGENCIES

Thursday, 16 January, 2017

Lockheed says Us may take ‘fresh Look’ at its india f-16 pLan NEW DELHI/WASHINGTON

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S defence firm Lockheed Martin wants to push ahead with plans to move production of its F-16 combat jets to India, but understands President Donald Trump’s administration may want to take a “fresh look” at the proposal. With no more orders for the F-16 from the Pentagon, Lockheed plans to use its Fort Worth, Texas plant instead to produce the fifth generation F-35 Joint Strike Fighter that the United States Air Force is transitioning to. Lockheed would switch F-16 production to India, as long as the Indian government agrees to order hundreds of the planes that its air force desperately needs. Trump has criticised U.S. companies that have moved manufacturing overseas and which then sell their products back to the U.S. In his first few weeks in office, he has pushed companies, from automakers to pharmaceutical firms, to produce more in the United States. In Lockheed’s case, however, the plan is to build the F-16 to equip the Indian Air Force, and not sell them back into the United States. Lockheed said it has been talking to Trump’s transition and governance teams as well as the U.S. Congress for several months on its plans, including the proposed sale of F-16 planes to India, a spokesman told Reuters in Washington. “We’ve briefed the Administration on the current proposal, which was supported by the Obama Administration as part of a broader cooperative dialogue with the Government of India,” the spokesman said. “We understand that the Trump

Administration will want to take a fresh look at some of these programs, and we stand prepared to support that effort to ensure that any deal of this importance is properly aligned with U.S. policy priorities.” India is expected to spend $250 billion on defence modernisation over the next decade, analysts say, and there is concern that a veto on making the F-16 in India would not only hit Lockheed, but also threaten other military contracts to come up in India for Boeing, Northrop and Raytheon. The White House did not respond to requests for comment on the plan to build the plane in India. A person close to Lockheed said company officials did not know what the Trump administration planned to do about the proposal to shift F-16 production to India. “They’re following it closely and talking with the White House. But if they don’t move production to India, there’s no way they’ll get the India con-

tract,” the person said. One argument to be made was that moving to India would preserve some component production in the United States. “Twenty-five percent of something is better than zero percent of nothing,” the person said. NO THREAT TO US JOBS: Lockheed has said that moving F-16 assembly to India would create 200 engineering jobs in the United States to help support the production line in India. It has also said that about 800 workers in the United States making the non-Lockheed parts for the F-16 would keep their jobs if construction shifts to India. “We are offering to make the F-16 Block-70 aircraft with a local partner in India. This is an offer exclusive to India,” Randall L. Howard, head of F16 business development, told Reuters ahead of India’s biggest air show beginning in Bengaluru next week. In India, the F-16 is up against SAAB’s Gripen combat aircraft, which the Swedish firm has also offered to

make locally, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi drives a Make-in-India campaign to build a domestic aerospace industry and reduce costly imports. The Indian government is expected to decide this year on which company will build a single-engine fighter plane, in collaboration with a local partner. A defence official said the process was at a very early stage. The Indian air force alone needs 200-250 fighters over the next 10 years, its former chief Arup Raha said before he left office in December. Negotiating arms contracts with India can take years, and industry officials said there was no guarantee Lockheed would win the contract even if it moves production to India. Defence ties between India and the United States have grown rapidly, with U.S. arms sales of more than $4 billion in 2012-15, mostly under governmentto-government foreign military sales, upstaging long-term supplier Russia and even Israel. Lockheed’s executive director for international business development, Abhay Paranjape, said his team has met with representatives from 40 defence and aviation firms in India to help build the ancillary network for the aircraft assembly programme. “We want to be prepared, that’s why we started the ground work,” he said, adding Lockheed has also scouted possible factory sites in India. Lockheed has a joint venture with India’s Tata Advanced Systems Ltd to make airframe components for the C130J Super Hercules transport plane and the S-92 helicopter. “The capability for building components exists here, it’s been proven with the C-130s. The challenge now is to pick the right partners,” Paranjape said.

Austria arrests Hitler’s lookalike for ‘glorifying’ Nazi leader

MELBOURNE AGENCIES

A Hitler lookalike has been arrested in Austria for glorifying the Nazi era, according to BBC News. The 25-year-old, who calls himself Harald Hitler,

was caught after photos of him emerged on social media, reported AFP. The photos showed him posing outside Adolf Hitler’s birth house in Braunau am Inn in Austria, sporting a side parting and Hitler’s trademark moustache. The Austrian police spokesperson, David Furtner, told the media the man was arrested under a 1947 Austrian law that makes it illegal to promote the Nazi ideology. The official added it was obvious Harald was “glorifying Hitler”. The lookalike had recently moved to the town on the German border, added Furtner. He added this was not a joke or a piece of performance art. “The young man knows exactly what he is doing,” the police spokesman said. He said the man had also been spotted in Vienna and Graz. Pictures of the man were published by Austria’s news website, Heute.at, on Monday. Glorifying the Nazi era is a crime in Austria. According to BBC News, last October, the Austrian authorities decided to demolish Hitler’s birth house to stop it from becoming a focal point for neo-Nazis. Hitler was born in a rented room on the top floor of the building on April 20, 1889.

Dominican journalists shot dead mid-broadcast SANTO DOMINGO AGENCIES

Two journalists were shot dead during a live radio broadcast in the Dominican Republic, police and media said. Unidentified attackers burst into the 103.5 FM studio as presenter Luis Manuel Medina was reading the news on air on Tuesday and shot him dead, station employees were quoted as saying by local media. Moments before that the station’s director Leonidas Martinez was killed in his office, they said. In a video of the broadcast that was streamed on Facebook, gunfire is heard as Medina reads the news and a woman’s voice is heard calling “Shots, shots!”

“Two people have died and one has been injured,” national police spokesman William Alcantara told reporters. He identified the injured person as the station’s secretary. The attack occurred at the radio station’s headquarters in San Pedro de Macoris, east of the capital Santo Domingo. The Caribbean nation, which shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti, is a popular beach destination for foreign tourists.

Bahrain blast wounds two civilians on uprising anniversary DUBAI: An explosion wounded two civilian passers-by in Bahrain, the interior ministry said on Wednesday, as demonstrators were marking the sixth anniversary of an anti-government uprising that was bloodily suppressed. The ministry did not say what caused Tuesday evening’s blast in a village outside the capital Manama but demonstrators sometimes throw petrol bombs during the sporadic protests that still grip the Sunni-ruled but Shia-majority kingdom. The blast came as demonstrators clashed with police in Manama and several nearby villages. The demonstration in the capital ended when police fired tear gas and stun grenades, witnesses said. Activists posted pictures of injured protesters online, but the interior ministry has not published any official statements about the reported demonstrations. The Shia-led protests of February 2011 sought a constitutional monarchy and an elected prime minister to replace the current government dominated by the ruling Al-Khalifa family. Authorities crushed them the following month with the support of Saudi-led forces who secured key installations. Since then, the authorities have banned the Shia opposition and handed long jail terms to many of its leaders. Some have been stripped of their citizenship. Tiny but strategic Bahrain lies just across the Gulf from Iran and is home to the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet. AGENCIES


FOREIGN NEWS 09

Thursday, 16 January, 2017

israeL-paLestinian confLict

two-state soLUtion not onLy option: Us WASHINGTON

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AGENCIES

White House official says a two-state solution may not be the only option to solve the Israel-Palestinian conflict, signalling a major policy shift. The comment came as the US and Israeli leaders prepared to meet for the first time since Donald Trump’s election. Trump says he believes achieving a long-elusive peace is possible, calling it “the ultimate deal”. He has stated his strong support for Israel after its relations with the US deteriorated under Barack Obama. The former US president was a staunch critic of Jewish settlement activity - strongly advocated by Mr Netanyahu - in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, land claimed by the Palestinians for a future state. For decades successive US governments have backed a two-state solution - the idea of establishing an independent Palestinian state that lives side-by-side with Israel. But, an unnamed senior White House official suggested the US would support any form of final peace deal reached between Israel and the Palestinians, retreating from its long-term insistence of a two-state formula. “A two-state solution that doesn’t bring peace is not a goal that anybody wants to achieve,” the official said, speaking anonymously. “Peace is the goal, whether that comes in the form of a two-state solution if that’s what the parties want, or something else if that’s what the parties want.” What is the two-state solution? A “two-state solution” to the decadesold conflict between Israelis and Palestinians is the declared goal of their leaders and the international community.

It is the shorthand for a final settlement that would see the creation of an independent state of Palestine within pre-1967 ceasefire lines in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem, living peacefully alongside Israel. The UN, the Arab League, the European Union, Russia and, until now, the US routinely restate their commitment to the concept. State department officials were unaware of any policy shift and

Won’t return Crimea to Ukraine: Russia MOSCOW: Russia said on Wednesday it would not hand back Crimea to Ukraine or discuss the matter with foreign partners after the White House said U.S. President Donald Trump expected the annexed Black Sea peninsula to be returned. Moscow says an overwhelming majority of Crimeans voted to become part of Russia in a 2014 referendum wanting protection from what the Kremlin cast as an illegal coup in Kiev. Ukraine says the referendum was a sham held at gunpoint after Russian troops illegally annexed the peninsula, that Russia-friendly president Viktor Yanukovych was ousted by people power, and that Moscow should return Crimea. “We don’t give back our own territory. Crimea is territory belonging to the Russian Federation,” Maria Zakharova, spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, told a news briefing on Wednesday. The 2014 annexation prompted the United States and the European Union to impose sanctions on Russia, plunging Western relations with the Kremlin to their worst level since the Cold War. AGENCIES

Court urged to report Turkey to UN for jailing judge NEW YORK: A defence lawyer on Wednesday urged a UN war crimes court to report Turkey to the UN Security Council for failing to free a judge jailed in Ankara´s post-coup crackdown. Judge Aydin Sefa Akay was one of 41,000 people arrested in the aftermath of the failed July putsch against Turkish President Recep Tayipp Erdogan. The UN court ordered late last month that he should be released by Wednesday so he can return to his work in The Hague. Akay´s incarceration has paralysed an appeals court, in which a former Rwandan minister is calling for a 30-year jail term imposed for his role in his country´s 1994 genocide to be overturned. Turkey has also snubbed repeated requests by the UN´s Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (MICT), which is hearing the case, to explain its actions. AGENCIES

have been seeking clarification from the White House, the Associated Press news agency reported. Palestinian officials have denounced the comments, with Palestine Liberation Organisation executive committee member Hanan Ashrawi telling AFP: “This is not a responsible policy and it does not serve the cause of peace.” Husam Zomlot, an adviser to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, said

the “two-state solution is not something we just came up with”. Meanwhile UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres warned that there was no alternative plan for resolving the conflict, urging the international community to do everything it could to bring about a two-state solution. BBC Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen says hardliners in Israel want President Trump to drop the idea of

two states, as they believe the land needed for a Palestinian state should be part of Israel. ‘DANgERS AND OppORTUNITIES’: President Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu have previously met and both have spoken of having a good relationship. As he departed for the US, Mr Netanyahu said he and President Trump “see eye-to-eye on the dangers emanating from the region but also the opportunities”. Iran is also expected to be high on the agenda, with both leaders previously denouncing the nuclear deal reached under the Obama administration. Netanyahu sees Iran as the number one threat to Israel and has urged “responsible nations” to follow Trump’s lead after the president imposed fresh sanctions on Tehran in response to a ballistic missile test. TRUMp’S pOSITION ON SETTlEMENTS: Israel regards the election of Donald Trump as an opportunity to improve relations with the US. After Trump indicated he would take a much more tolerant approach to Jewish settlement activity, Israel advanced plans for thousands of new homes in settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Soon after, however, the US president expressed some concern saying he did not see “going forward” with settlements as conducive to peace. But, at the same time, the White House said it does not regard the existence of settlements as an impediment - a reversal of the long-term position of the US. More than 600,000 Jews live in about 140 settlements built since Israel’s 1967 occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The settlements are considered illegal under international law, though Israel disputes this.

EU Parliament approves contested Canada trade deal STRASBOURG AGENCIES

The European Parliament backed a contested EU-Canada free trade deal on Wednesday, facing down protests by activists and Donald Trump-inspired calls for protectionism. MEPs meeting in Strasbourg, France, approved the pact with 408 votes in favour, 254 against and 33 abstentions. Approval by the parliament allows the provisional implementation of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement as early as next month. EU states and Canada formally signed the deal in October after seven years of tough talks, overcoming lastminute resistance from a small Belgian region that blocked its national government from approving the accord. Protests marked the vote, with about 700 people marching outside parliament to voice their opposition to the deal. Anti-globalisation activists dressed in surgical masks dramatically blocked entrance to the parliament building, before being dragged off by riot police. “Saying yes to CETA is a trampling of the people,” said a banner.

Following the approval by parliament, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will address MEPs in person on Thursday. EU leaders see the deal as a victory for an imperilled global trade system that is under threat from US President Donald Trump who opposes international trade deals. Opponents to the accord, which is known as CETA, slam the

deal as a danger to health, democracy and the rule of law. “CETA is the best trade agreement the EU has ever concluded. It will bring Canada and Europe even closer together,” said German MEP Manfred Weber, the head of the conservative EPP group, the parliament’s biggest bloc. DEAl ‘ATTACkS gOvERNMENTS’: Some of the more controversial as-

pects, including a much-derided investor court system, still require ratification by EU member states, which could take years. The EU is very ambitious about the deal, calling it Europe’s most modern ever, and saying it will become a template for later deals, including with post-Brexit Britain. CETA will remove 99 percent of non-farm customs duties between the two sides, a big win for exporters on both sides of the Atlantic. And unlike classic trade deals, CETA harmonises regulations on matters such as health and the environment, a major concern for activists. A major flashpoint for opponents is the proposal to set up special courts to settle disputes between investors and national authorities that is central to the deal. Opponents believe this provision hands too much power to multinationals that will use powerful lawyers to undermine national regulation. “Multinationals will be able to attack governments in a privatised court system,” said France’s farright presidential candidate and MEP Marine Le Pen, who voted against CETA.

Rouhani begins Gulf tour to soothe relations MUSCAT AGENCIES

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani visited Oman as part of a regional tour to improve relations with Gulf neighbours that have been strained by the conflicts in Syria and Yemen. Before leaving Tehran, Rouhani expressed support for Kuwait-led efforts to “resolve misunderstandings and boost relations” with Gulf

countries, Iran’s official news agency IRNA reported. “In this trip, there will be discussions about the region, the situation in Iraq, Syria and in particular in Yemen,” he said before flying to Muscat where he met Sultan Qaboos. Kuwait was the next scheduled stop on Rouhani’s short tour, which does not include regional kingpin Saudi Arabia. Kuwaiti Foreign

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Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled AlSabah visited Tehran last month, calling for a “normalisation of ties and opening dialogue”. Iran has had no diplomatic relations with Saudi Arabia since January 2016, when demonstrators stormed the kingdom’s missions in Tehran and Mashhad in protest at the execution of a Saudi Shia Muslim cleric. Ties were already strained between the region’s leading Shia

and Sunni powers, which have taken opposing sides in the conflicts in Syria and Yemen. Oman, which has a significant Shia minority, has historically had good ties with Iran, with which it shares control of the Strait of Hormuz. Oman is the only one of the six Gulf Arab states not taking part in the Saudi-led military intervention against Shia rebels in Yemen.


10 COMMENT

Thursday, 16 February, 2017

Idealism and ground realities Much more is needed than making brave proposals

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e have already the Freedom of Information Ordinance 2002 and Article 19A, inserted during the passage of the 18th amendment of 2010. That the need for a new law is being felt indicates dissatisfaction with the earlier legislation. The presumption is that the earlier law was not transparent, encouraged unnecessary delays in providing information or lacked an efficient implementation mechanism. Instead of waiting for information for three weeks, the proposed law provides three days deadline. A three member Commission appointed by the Prime Minister would now hear the RTI request besides being empowered to order public bodies to disclose information and provide records. There are new ideas in the proposed law, which have already been implemented by a number of countries. Records older than 20 years will automatically pass into the public domain. In case a person is abducted and killed by the security agencies, the agencies will no longer be able to use ‘national security’ as an excuse not to provide information on the matter. Information regarding corruption in public institutions will now be more readily available. If there is corruption in a security organisation, that information will have to be made public on request. The 2002 Ordinance and the insertion of Article 19A could prove unsatisfactory because of three big impediments, the political governments, civil bureaucracy and military bureaucracy. The ruling parties desperately want to keep under lock and key the skeletons rattling in their cupboards. The bureaucracy believes its power springs from its monopoly over information and is unwilling to share it. The military bureaucracy is averse to own that it has done anything wrong. It is easy to pass the bill unanimously in the Senate. The pressure from the trio would become nerve racking when bill reaches the much larger National Assembly where different lobbies having stakes become highly active. All will depend on whether the Prime Minister has the will and the intrepidity to put his weight behind the proposed RTI law.

Counting the pennies Lack of austerity and fiscal discipline threaten greater future financial woes

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INANCe Ministry figures for the first half of fiscal year 2016-17 represent a weary continuation of the familiar, dismal government performance on the economic front. The negative statistics somehow keep on multiplying and piling up, despite the denial efforts of the official spin doctors. In the latest data, the sign of alarm lies in the budgetary deficit, which has reached a reported 4 year high of 2.4 per cent of the GDP or Rs799 billion during July-December 2016. The target approved by Parliament was 1.8 per cent or Rs600 billion. The danger with this figure is that it tends to have a ‘force multiplier’ effect on the whole economy, apart from reflecting a failure on many fronts. First, despite oft- repeated assurances to broaden the tax base, there has been no much needed quantum leap in the number of tax payers, which reportedly shrank in the last fiscal year. The true genius of the economic planners seemingly lies only in wealth-whitening amnesty schemes which actually defeat the purpose, or in extending the last date of income tax returns, year after year, as to make a joke of the serious business of revenue collection. FBR’s revenues increased by only Rs79 billion to about Rs1.6 trillion, whereas the total expenditure during this halfyearly period jumped by Rs270 billion to Rs2.8 trillion. Missing the approved annual deficit target of 3.8 per cent or Rs1.276 billion is not without consequences. It would mean more frenzied government borrowing, both domestic and foreign, of short term loans at a relatively high rate of interest, further raising the mountain of national debt. essential development spending will also take a hit. It appears that with the ending the watchdog IMF programme in December 2016, the government has swept all financial caution down the drain. The IMF insistence on continuing with its economic reforms has also been completely ignored, especially in the energy sector, as the circular debt now stands at Rs330 billion, with total receivables of Rs725 billion. Who will foot the bill?

Dedicated to the legacy of the late Hameed Nizami

Arif Nizami Editor

Aziz-ud-Din Ahmad Joint Editor Lahore – Ph: 042-36300938, 042-36375965

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The myth of women’s empowerment in Pakistan In order to understand the current state of women in Pakistan, we need to first take into account the history of women’s struggles internationally. At this point in time, the USA is the biggest and strongest democracy in the world. Women had to launch suffrage campaigns to attain voting rights even in the West. The campaign started from Berlin in 1904. UK gave its women voting rights in 1917, the USA in 1920, Pakistan in 1947 and Saudi Arabia in 2015. Dating back to the beginning of human existence, women have always been subservient to men because they are considered physically weaker than men. With the advancements in science and technology, physical power has been replaced by mental faculty as a requisite for superiority. Resultantly, women are now Syed ZeeShaN haider working side by side with men. Nevertheless, despite all the progress, there are still some few days back, Provincial Minister for countries that are experiencing cultural lag; and Works and Services, Imdad Pitafi, ad- refuse to let go of the old, obsolete ideas redressed a Functional League’s mem- garding stereotypes attached with women. Unber rather inappropriately, during a fortunately, Pakistan is one of them. The silver lining is that women now seem Sindh Assembly’s session. Needless to say, the usage of such inapt language by a to have moved ahead of men in a number of professions. Men who are selected representative for still clinging on to the old, a woman is a reprehensible conventional mindset tend act. however, this valiant not to acknowledge the woman, Nusrat Sahar, new reality and let their protested vehemently On the other hand, the so frustration out by beating against it - threatening to the women up. Most of the commit suicide. Upon called protectors of underdeveloped countries PPP’s higher authorities’ that harboured repressive insistence, Imdad Pitafi women rights in Pakistan women rights in the past apologised and the entire issue was brushed under have opened up their own, are now on their way to giving them their due part. the carpet. Pakistan witnesses processions and brand new women centres however, the progress has been a little slow in counprotests everyday regarding women’s rights. It is al- and institutions instead of tries like ours but this progress is inevitable, ways disseminated through improving the already nonetheless. these protests that women If we look objectively and men do not have equal rights in this country. They present. This is an epitome at what is currently happenare harassed, abused do- of redundancy. These new ing in Pakistan, we’ll realise that even though a mestically and nationally. number of institutions have In order to counter this, institutions eat up been set up to reaffirm Punjab Government passed country’s resources that women rights, they are on a a women protection act in tangent to their intended February 2016 according Moreover, to which anybody accused Pakistan is not capable of objectives. “quota” for women only of abusing (physically enduring, at present. adds insult to the injury. In emotionally, sexually, and my opinion, quota systems financially) or harassing a equate to women’s represwoman would be sent to sion. When a certain govJail.

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ernment puts quota system in place for a certain group, it clearly implies that, that certain group is downtrodden, women in this case. hence, women tend to give up and not put in the required amount of effort to come at par with the men because they know that they will eventually end up getting the seat on account of the quota system. That makes them complacent. What needs to be changed is the mindset of the society so that women get to progress ahead in their respective fields without having to rely on quota systems. This calls for social change that can only be brought by educational reforms. These reforms need to be complimented with legal changes and media campaigns. Some people argue that women are oppressed even in the west. They are, indeed but not as much as our women are and that is exactly what we need to focus on, at the moment. On the other hand, the so called protectors of women rights in Pakistan have opened up their own, brand new women centres and institutions instead of improving the already present. This is an epitome of redundancy. These new institutions eat up country’s resources that Pakistan is not capable of enduring, at present. Whereas, the aim should be to efficiently utilise the limited national resources. For example, we ought to encourage co-education. Punjab’s first Violence against Women Centre is being built in Multan. Doesn’t establishment of such a facility is an acknowledgment of the fact that the existing government organisations lack gender equality? What is next? Separate police centres, hospitals, universities, public transport or perhaps a separate country for each sex altogether? The mindset of creating new departments without rectifying problems within the existing ones is one of the biggest and chronic problems of governance in Pakistan. The ruling junta needs to realise that there is a difference between improving the infra-structure and social engineering. The problem does not lie within lack of manpower or departments but with the attitude and mindset of the personnel within the existing ones. Again, instead of establishing new organisations, it is the need of the hour that we divert our resources to improving; bringing in house changes in the institutions of education, Media, Police, Justice system and the Parliament. Syed Zeeshan Haider is CEO and Chairman of Haider Group of Companies and hosts a current affairs talk show on PTV News. Follow him on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/syedzishanhyder/

Regarding the Dubai enigma A message to the PM pit falls of holding of such an event in the UAe, took full credit for arranging PSL matches out of Pakistan. In this connection, some of the damaging effects of holding PSL matches in the UAe, are explained below, for your information and knowledge please. 1). Now foreign players, their associations, cricket boards and governments are even more adamant in their stance of not visiting Pakistan, on the clear evidence that if Pakistan is not safe for the full PSL tournament, how can it be safe for the players of foreign teams. 2). The self damaging decision of not holding PSL tournament in Pakistan, just to earn money for everyone else except the PCB (PCB got nearly Rs3 crore after tax and franchises got way with over Rs1 billion from pool money and guaranteed minimum payments, that too without Audit) has neither helped the revival of foreign teams visit to Pakistan, nor contributed positively for the domestic cricket, which badly needs revamping and big investments. 3). Wise Pakistani cricketers and administrators knew very

Syed Nayyar UddiN ahmad

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he national disgrace caused to the image of Pakistan, when two of our cricketers were caught in violation of Anti-Corruption Code, during the ongoing PSL-2 tournament being played in Dubai, is something unpardonable and all those responsible for ruining the grace, image and reputation of the sacred motherland, must not be allowed to go unpunished. In this regard, the PCB must not be allowed to brush under the carpet, this serious offence against Pakistan; by the tactics of media management, just to save its own skin and making the two young and budding players of Pakistan, as its scapegoat. Already, there are signs that the PCB is taking a lenient view towards the whole matter by just provisionally suspending the two players, without taking any action against the concerned team’s management personnel; and also not taking any action against the PSL chairman (where the buck stops), who knowingly very well, all the

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Islamabad – Ph: 051-2204545

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well that since, the UAe was infamous for easy access of all types of unscrupulous people, if we staged our cricket league matches there, our enemies will leave no stone unturned, to entice our players, towards the violation of Anti-Corruption Codes, defaming Pakistan throughout the world. In fact, many patriotic Pakistanis openly opposed the idea of playing our league matches in the UAe, precisely for the aforementioned reasons. Sir, the situation is more serious and the matter is much graver than it has been reported till now. There are serious chances that more players and administrators names may now be cropping up with the passage of time and after the forensic analysis of materials like cell phones etc., which are available with the investigators. In view of the foregoing; and to save the prestige, reputation and name of Pakistan in the international circles; and in the name of transparency and accountability, it is high time that with immediate effect, the entire board of governors of the PCB may be replaced with a new interim set up; with the mandate to rebuild the whole

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cricketing structure in Pakistan, on modern and progressive lines. Sir, the above proposal for the operation clean up in the PCB will greatly enhance your own image in the eyes of the general public and also no heavens will fall, as in the recent past in South Africa, when they found that the chairman and board members of their football board were all complicit in match fixings, entire set up was replaced immediately. After the surface of the latest scandal of PSL, involving our two young cricketers, now it has also been proved beyond shadow of any doubt that the current management of the PCB has completely failed in absolute terms in handling both cricketing, as well as, the management affairs of the board. Sir, last but not the least, as they say a stitch in time saves nine, if your revamping orders of PCB are further delayed, there is every possibility that a bigger international humiliation, more serious than the one which led to the arrest of our three cricketers in the UK may have to be faced by us. Syed Nayyar Uddin Ahmad is a freelance writer.

Email: editorial@pakistantoday.com.pk


COMMENT 11

Thursday, 16 February, 2017

Editor’s mail

Send your letters to: Letters to Editor, Pakistan Today, 4-Shaarey Fatima Jinnah, Lahore, Pakistan. Fax: +92-42-32535230 E-mail: letters@pakistantoday.com.pk Letters should be addressed to Pakistan Today exclusively

Ruthless operation against terrorists

There will be no Palestinian State under Netanyahu’s watch Where’s the two-state solution now?

dr aloN BeN-meir

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ReSIDeNT Trump should not be swayed by Netanyahu’s duplicitous argument, however convincing it might sound, that he is committed to a two-state solution when in fact he has opposed and will continue to reject in principle the creation of an independent Palestinian state under any circumstances. Netanyahu’s repeated assertions that he is ready to negotiate with the Palestinians unconditionally is hollow because he knows that President Abbas will not enter into negotiations unless Israel suspends the continuing expansion of settlements and the creeping annexation of Palestinian land, which prevents the Palestinians from establishing their own viable state. To establish Netanyahu’s lack of commitment, one has to simply observe his actions in the occupied territories and listen to his public narrative, which squarely contradicts his presumed willingness to negotiate an end to the conflict. Netanyahu’s objections in words and deeds to the creation of a Palestinian state are undisputedly manifested in the following: First, Netanyahu’s insistence that he is ready to negotiate unconditionally is in and of itself a precondition. Suppose President Abbas agrees to negotiate on that basis—there is simply no avoiding the requirement to first agree on rules of engagement, including the venue, makeup of the negotiating teams, their mandate, etc. Most importantly, they must agree on which of the main conflicting issues to tackle first that could facilitate negotiations on other critical issues. Netanyahu has all along refused to commence negotiations by first meeting the Palestinians’ demand to establish the contours of their future state. Instead, he kept insisting that Israel must first negotiate the mechanism that would ensure its national security. The fact, however, that he always sought “secure borders” would have made it reasonable and practical to negotiate borders first. This would not only establish what constitutes (from his perspective) secure borders, but it would have also met the Palestinians’ demands and given them the confidence that a future state will eventually be created. In

conjunction with that, the future of many of the settlements could have also been settled. Netanyahu’s insistence, however, on negotiating national security first was nothing but a ploy designed to play for time as previous negotiations have clearly shown. Second, Netanyahu presides over a coalition government that includes, other than his own right-of-centre Likud party, two other extremely right-wing parties—Yisrael Beiteinu and Jewish home, led by Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman and education Minister Naftali Bennett, respectively, who are both committed and subservient to the settlement movement. Bennett in particular openly calls for the annexation of much of the West Bank, especially Area C, which constitutes 61 per cent of the Palestinian territory. If Netanyahu were to embark in earnest on negotiating a two-state solution, this would immediately unravel his government, as these two parties (along with many members of his own Likud party) have threatened to leave the government if he were to take such a step. Thus, as long as he maintains the present make-up of the current government, there is absolutely no prospect of reaching a peace agreement that would grant the Palestinians a state of their own. Following his 2015 campaign for re-election, Netanyahu clearly stated “I think that anyone who moves to establish a Palestinian state today, and evacuate areas, is giving radical Islam an area from which to attack the State of Israel. The left has buried its head in the sand time and after time and ignores this…” When asked whether a Palestinian state would not be created under his leadership, the prime minister said “Indeed.” What he said then he still means today; anything he says to the contrary is for show. Third, the unabated expansion of existing settlements and the passage of the recent law that authorises the government to retroactively legalise scores of illegal settlements unambiguously suggests that he has no intention whatsoever of allowing the Palestinians to establish a state of their own. This systematic annexation of Palestinian land makes it impossible for them to maintain land contiguity. To suggest, as he claims, that the settlements are not an obstacle to peace is disingenuous at best and he knows it. Under Netanyahu’s watch, the government has built a major network of roads crisscrossing the West Bank exclusively designated for the settlers, while confining the Palestinians to cantons with the intention of making the current status quo permanent. Fourth, his objective is to settle at least one million Israelis throughout the West Bank and create irreversible facts on the ground. Currently, there are nearly 650,000 settlers in the West Bank, including east Jerusalem, making the removal of any significant number of settlers simply impossible. The lesson that Netanyahu’s father, Benzion Netanyahu, who was a staunch revisionist Zionist, ingrained in his son was the belief that all of the biblical

“land of Israel” belongs to the Jews in perpetuity. In a 2009 interview, Benzion stated “The two-state solution doesn’t exist. …There is no Palestinian people, so you don’t create a state for an imaginary nation.” That lesson was not lost on Netanyahu. Not surprisingly, whenever Israel’s Supreme Court orders the removal of a certain illegal settlement built on private Palestinian land, such as the recent dismantling of Amona with roughly 250 settlers, Netanyahu immediately announces plans to build new units. he is determined that the number of settlers continues to grow to reach the milestone of one million, regardless of what the Israeli courts decide or the international community demands—including the US, Israel’s closest ally. Fifth, if Netanyahu were to truly opt to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on the basis of a two-state solution, he could disband his current and establish a new coalition government composed of several centrist and left-of-centre parties, including the Zionist Union, Yesh Atid, Kulanu, Meretz, and Netanyahu’s own Likud party, which would provide him a decisive majority of 80 out of 120 seats in the parliament, versus the current government of Likud, Kulanu, Shas, Jewish home, Yisrael Beiteinu, and UTJ, a very slim majority of 67 out of 120 seats. Although some members of his own party will defect, he will still have a significant majority that reflects the aspiration of the Israelis who want to end the conflict. It should be noted that with a new government, the 13 members of the Arab List would support any initiative towards a two-state solution. Such a coalition can certainly agree on an equitable peace with the Palestinians that would entail some land swaps if only Netanyahu wills it. Sadly, however, Netanyahu simply will not entertain such a peace agreement because he is ideologically committed to control in perpetuity all of what he terms the ‘Land of Israel’, while accusing the Palestinians of wanting to destroy rather than make peace with Israel. To be sure, Netanyahu is not and has never been a proponent of creating a Palestinian state. hence, President Trump will be wise not to engage him during his visit to the White house in a futile discussion searching for an agreement based on a two-state solution. This outcome cannot and will not happen as long as Netanyahu is in power. If Trump is serious about his desire to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for Israel’s own sake, he must demand that Netanyahu commit himself to create a Palestinian state not by simply stating so, but by taking concrete steps to form a new government composed of the left, centre, and his own party, hold a new election, or resign. dr Alon Ben-meir is a professor of international relations at the Centre for Global Affairs at NYU. He teaches courses on international negotiation and middle Eastern studies. alon@alonben-meir.com

The Prime Minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif has called for ruthless operation against terrorists. he was chairing a high powered meeting at Raiwind today. earlier he went to martyred DIG Ahmad Mobeen to offer his condolences to his family. he also visited the hospitals in Lahore to express his sympathies with the victims of Charring Cross blast. he added that the facilitators and supporters of the terrorists should also be severely dealt with force. he expressed his anger over the lapse of security despite the advance warning and security alert. Zero tolerance for any negligence must be observed. No compromise will be made to protect the lives of the citizens. I hope he follows his rhetoric and authorise the Punjab Rangers to initiate grand scale operation against the terrorists without any reservations and favours. The Punjab government has shown absolute arrogance to allow any kind of military or rangers operation in the province. The Law Minister Rana Sanaullah has repeatedly denied the existence of any enclaves of terrorists and presence of sleeper cells in Punjab. I think this man is not a fit person to watch the Public’s interest. he should be arrested and interrogated for his links with the notorious terrorist outfits - as long as he remains in office, no meaningful action against defunct terrorist organisations possible. Prime Minister lauded and appreciated the efforts of the law enforcing & security agencies in combating the terrorism. Our army &law enforcing officials have laid down their lives in the services of the country. Their sacrifices should not go waste. It is no doubt the duty of the governments to provide security &protection to the citizens. This new wave of terrorism has been ushered in by the enemies of the State due to the criminal negligence of the responsible persons in power. At present the people of Pakistan are at the mercy of Invisible power. We must put all our resources to combat and eliminate terrorists.

Urdu or English? The CSS conflict A petition filed by Advocate Saif Ur Rehman, the court ruled that the CSS examinations should be conducted in Urdu language as the decision given by the Supreme Court of Pakistan. The court remarked that due to the shortage of time, it was not able to implement the order for CSS exams in 2017 which are due by the end of the current month, the examination should be conducted in Urdu from next year. So in a country where, from primary to secondary till higher education, every educational data is in english and that country is trying to convert CSS examination into Urdu is bit of an irony and complete conflict. All the reading lists recommended by Universities for their degree courses and by FPSC for CSS are comprised of books written in english by foreign writers. Are the candidates supposed to get education in english, prepare for CSS through books written in english and then translate all that in Urdu by themselves? In order to carry out this reconstruction, first of all, the whole educational system should be revamped by converting every existing living data from english into Urdu. Afterwards, you have to start doing research work in Urdu. It is a waste of time of our judiciary to listen to these futile petitions. The country wants to produce individuals who can compete across the world. Knowing and speaking english is a need of the hour. We should make our preliminary school teaching better rather than turning a relatively better standard exam’s medium into Urdu. FPCS have positions including the foreign services, how is Urdu ever going to be beneficial for those who are allocated this category? how can someone appear in Urdu examination if he hasn’t written Urdu for 8-10 years as the education system from kindergarten to graduate level uses english as a medium of instruction to teach subjects ranging from Physics, Mathematics, and Political Science to Philosophy? It is beyond logical comprehension to conduct exams in Urdu while all of the recommended books are written by foreign authors in english. Terminology used in respective books is unknown in Urdu. Being our national language and our medium of communication, Urdu is respected from the heart but one must consider the needs of the students and candidates appearing in such examinations, their call should be heard. Time should be given to CSS aspirants to make decisions as one year is not enough and it should be optional as per as candidate’s wish to appear in exams with his/her own choice of language. SANA ALi BHUTTO Karachi

Female education in Balochistan ALMOST 80 per cent of the population of Balochistan is scattered in rural areas. These areas are badly suffering despite the advancement of the modern age and ignored by the authorities. The educational institutions are under-funded and women and girls are deprived from the basic education. It is shocking to mention that the literacy rate of female in the rural areas of Balochistan is less than 2 per cent. The women are locked inside the four walls and have been given the responsibility of cooking food, cleaning the house, child bearing and rearing and all other domestic support required by the husband and other family members. everyone knows female education plays a vital role for the development of any nation. Today we are moving toward backwardness because we are not giving any value to the female education, and this is also the main reason of the backwardness of Balochistan as compare to other countries. I request to the health concern authorities to provide funds to rural areas of Balochistan. SANA SAmAd Turbat


12 WORLD VIEW

Thursday, 16 February, 2017

The poliTical assassinaTion of Michael flynn BlooMBerg

i

eLi Lake

F we are to believe the Trump White House, National Security Adviser Michael Flynn just resigned because he lied about his conversations with Russia’s ambassador to the vice president. As White House senior counsellor Kellyanne Conway told NBC’s “Today Show” on Tuesday: “Misleading the vice president really was the key here.” That sounds about as credible as when the president told CIA employees that the media had invented the story about his enmity toward the spy agency, not even two weeks after he had taken to Twitter to compare the CIA to Nazis. It’s about as credible as President Donald Trump’s insistence that it didn’t rain during his inauguration. Or that millions of people had voted illegally in the election he just won. The point here is that for a White House that has such a casual and opportunistic relationship with the truth, it’s strange that Flynn’s “lie” to Pence would get him fired. It doesn’t add up. It’s not even clear that Flynn lied. He says in his resignation letter that he did not deliberately leave out elements of his conversations with Ambassador Sergey Kislyak when he recounted them to Vice President Mike Pence. The New York Times and Washington Post reported that the transcript of the phone call reviewed over the weekend by the

White House could be read different ways. One White House official with knowledge of the conversations told me that the Russian ambassador raised the sanctions to Flynn and that Flynn responded that the Trump team would be taking office in a few weeks and would review Russia policy and sanctions. That’s neither illegal nor improper. What’s more, the Washington Post reported Monday night that last month Sally Yates, then the acting attorney general, had informed the White House that Flynn discussed sanctions with Kislyak and that he could be susceptible to blackmail because he misled Pence about it. If it was the lie to Pence that sunk Flynn, why was he not fired at the end of January? A better explanation here is that Flynn was just thrown under the bus. His tenure as national security adviser, the briefest in US history, was rocky from the start. When Flynn was attacked in the media for his ties to Russia, he was not allowed by the White House to defend himself. Over the weekend, he was instructed not to speak to the press when he was in the fight for his political life. His staff was not even allowed to review the transcripts of his call to the Russian ambassador. There is another component to this story as well — as Trump himself just tweeted. It’s very rare that reporters are ever told about government-monitored communications of US citizens, let alone senior US officials. The last story like this to hit Washington was in 2009 when Jeff Stein, then of CQ, reported on intercepted

The conviction and after

phone calls between a senior Aipac lobbyist and Jane Harman, who at the time was a Democratic member of Congress. Normally intercepts of US officials and citizens are some of the most tightly held government secrets. This is for good reason. Selectively disclosing details of private conversations monitored by the FBI or NSA gives the permanent state the power to destroy reputations from the cloak of anonymity. This is what police states do. In the past it was considered scandalous for senior US officials to even request the identities of US officials incidentally monitored by the government (normally they are redacted from intelligence reports). John Bolton’s nomination to be US ambassador to the United Nations was derailed in 2006 after the NSA confirmed he had made 10 such requests when he was Undersecretary of State for Arms Control in George W Bush’s first term. The fact that the intercepts of Flynn’s conversations with Kislyak appear to have been widely distributed inside the government is a red flag. Representative Devin Nunes, the Republican chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, told me Monday that he saw the leaks about Flynn’s conversations with Kislyak as part of a pattern. “There does appear to be a well orchestrated effort to attack Flynn and others in the administration,” he said. “From the leaking of phone calls between the president and foreign leaders to what appears to be high-level FISA

Court information, to the leaking of American citizens being denied security clearances, it looks like a pattern.” Nunes said he was going to bring this up with the FBI, and ask the agency to investigate the leak and find out whether Flynn himself is a target of a law enforcement investigation. The Washington Post reported last month that Flynn was not the target of an FBI probe. The background here is important. Three people once affiliated with Trump’s presidential campaign — Carter Page, Paul Manafort and Roger Stone — are being investigated by the FBI and the intelligence community for their contacts with the Russian government. This is part of a wider inquiry into Russia’s role in hacking and distributing emails of leading Democrats before the election. Flynn himself travelled in 2015 to Russia to attend a conference put on by the country’s propaganda network, RT. He has acknowledged he was paid through his speaker’s bureau for his appearance. That doesn’t look good, but it’s also not illegal in and of itself. All of this is to say there are many unanswered questions about Trump’s and his administration’s ties to Russia. But that’s all these allegations are at this point: unanswered questions. It’s possible that Flynn has more ties to Russia that he had kept from the public and his colleagues. It’s also possible that a group of national security bureaucrats and former Obama officials are selectively leaking highly sensitive law en-

forcement information to undermine the elected government. Flynn was a fat target for the national security state. He has cultivated a reputation as a reformer and a fierce critic of the intelligence community leaders he once served with when he was the director the Defence Intelligence Agency under President Barack Obama. Flynn was working to reform the intelligence-industrial complex, something that threatened the bureaucratic prerogatives of his rivals. He was also a fat target for Democrats. Remember Flynn’s breakout national moment last summer was when he joined the crowd at the Republican National Convention from the dais calling for Hillary Clinton to be jailed. In normal times, the idea that US officials entrusted with our most sensitive secrets would selectively disclose them to undermine the White House would alarm those worried about creeping authoritarianism. Imagine if intercepts of a call between Obama’s incoming national security adviser and Iran’s foreign minister leaked to the press before the nuclear negotiations began? The howls of indignation would be deafening. In the end, it was Trump’s decision to cut Flynn loose. In doing this he caved in to his political and bureaucratic opposition. Nunes told me Monday night that this will not end well. “First it’s Flynn, next it will be Kellyanne Conway, then it will be Steve Bannon, then it will be Reince Priebus,” he said. Put another way, Flynn is only the appetiser. Trump is the entree.

Netanyahu arrives to Trump White House in turmoil Al-Monitor

Hindu

Laura rozen

Corruption in high places is a malaise that is easy to diagnose but difficult to cure. Even in the rare cases they are arraigned before a court, top politicians often pay their way through legal battles, and spend little or no time in incarceration. The conviction of AIADMK general secretary VK Sasikala in the disproportionate assets case involving her close friend, former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, as the prime accused, is a significant marker in India’s legal and political history. The charges against Jayalalithaa abated following her death last December, but Ms Sasikala had to face the full wrath of the Supreme Court, which has upheld the trial court order in toto, leaving her to spend four years in prison. As Justice Amitava Roy wrote in his concurring order, “corruption is a vice of insatiable avarice for self-aggrandisement by the unscrupulous, taking unfair advantage of their power and authority.” While there is no denying that the judgment has strengthened confidence in the justice delivery system, it is mystifying that the ruling has come more than eight months after the two-member Bench concluded hearing arguments in the case. All the more so, since the basic thrust of the judgment only endorsed the position taken by the trial court in Bengaluru, which held all the accused in the case guilty. Given that the Supreme Court had pressed the Karnataka High Court to hear the appeal expeditiously, there was no justification in such an inordinate delay. Politically, this could not have come at a worse time for Ms Sasikala, who was making a determined bid for power, staking claim to form the government after displacing onetime loyalist O Panneerselvam. Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao had held off inviting Ms Sasikala to form the government despite her demonstrating the support of a majority of the members of the legislature precisely because he anticipated such a situation. Now, however, the options before him are a lot clearer. If the newly elected leader of the AIADMK Legislature Party, Edappadi Palaniswami, is able to show the support of at least 117 MLAs, he will have to be sworn in as Chief Minister. Though there are allegations that the MLAs were kept forcibly at a resort by the Sasikala camp, Mr Panneerselvam is nowhere close to splitting the AIADMK legislature party despite the support of the rank and file. Notwithstanding the legal setback, Ms Sasikala may be able to trump Mr Panneerselvam politically. But her success in keeping the MLAs together may depend on the Governor’s next move; whatever that is, Tamil Nadu is destined for more political churn.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has long hoped to work with a Republican US president, finds himself arriving to a Trump White House in open crisis, with the resignation of Trump’s national security adviser, Michael Flynn, the night of Feb 13. Netanyahu’s acting national security adviser, Yaakov Nagel, had met with Flynn earlier that day to prepare the agenda for the Feb 15 meeting between Trump and Netanyahu, Israeli Channel 2’s Udi Segal told Al-Monitor. After they wrapped up their talks, they hugged and said they would see each other the next day. Two hours later, Flynn was out, Segal said. The Israeli delegation was stunned. The White House, for its part, said Iran would be a key part of the conversation on Feb 15, and reiterated that Trump wanted to advance Middle East peace, but would not seek to dictate the terms. “We’re looking at the two sides to come together to make peace together and we’ll be there to help them,” a senior administration official, speaking not for attribution, told the White House press pool Feb 13. “A two-state solution that doesn’t bring peace is not a goal that anybody wants to achieve,” the official said. “Peace is the goal, whether it comes in the form of a two-state solution if that’s what the parties want or something else, if that’s what the parties want, we’re going to help them.” “We’re not going to dictate what the terms of peace will be,” the official continued, “President Trump has very much indicated that he wants to achieve peace.” Netanyahu is arriving at a White House “in utter turmoil,” former US Ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro wrote in a series of tweets Feb 14. “Flynn gone. Vicious staff infighting. More heads likely to roll.” “Precious planning hours spent with Flynn [are] now out the window,” Shapiro wrote. There are “major unanswered questions on Russia … and still important business to be done on Iran, [the] Palestinians, Syria and security coop[eration]. But who in the [White House] can focus on it with the fires burning?” Despite the turmoil in the West Wing, Netanyahu sees clear advantages in getting to influence the Trump administration early and before it has formulated several of its policies, said David Makovsky, a former State Department Middle East peace adviser now with the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. “For Netanyahu it is important that he is coming early, before policies are kind of set in concrete,” Makovsky said on a call with journalists organised by the Washington Institute on Feb 14. “Things are very much in flux here in Washington.” For Netanyahu, “This will be a chance to influence thinking here before there are policy reviews, so it’s the best time for him,” Makovsky said. “It’s also a time when media expectations are bound to be low, because no one is expecting them to come out with any announcement at this early phase of this administration. So you have the advantages from Ne-

tanyahu’s perspective on trying to influence thinking in Washington, and no pressure on the Washington side for any deliverables. So it’s kind of a sweet spot.” In terms of what thinking Netanyahu will try to influence, at the top of the list will be Iran, said Makovsky. But rather than urging that the Iran nuclear deal be scrapped outright, “It’s clear the US is in the enforcement school,” Makovsky said. “Israeli national security officials … are also much more focused on enforcement.” “For Netanyahu … 80 to 90% of their concerns about the nuclear deal are more about what comes after the sunset provisions fade out” after 10 to 15 years, Makovsky said. Netanyahu is likely to press Trump on how the United States and Israel can prepare to work together on these things. The second cluster of issues Netanyahu will want to discuss with Trump concerns Russia “and how do you drive a wedge between Russia and Iran in Syria,” Makovsky said. “Israel has internalised this idea that Trump is a dealmaker and wants to do a deal with Russia … to fight [the Islamic State]. … Israel wants to know what that deal is and how it affects them.” “Clearly, from [the Israeli] point of view, what they want out of a [US-Russian] deal is to drive a wedge between Moscow and Te h r a n , ” Makovsky said. “Is there a way to keep Iran and Hezbollah away” from Syria’s border

with Israel, he added. “So this is something [where] Israel is trying to put its points across early. … They want to know what the deal is and how it affects Israel.” Netanyahu may also raise the “strategic convergence” between Israel and the more pragmatic Sunni states, driven by a shared sense of threats such as IS and Iran, Makovsky said. “How do you somehow use this under-the-table convergence to have some more overt, over-the-table cooperation. I think that is going to be a key question,” he said. “And Netanyahu will try to link this very much to the Palestinian issue … and say, well, maybe if we do what he calls the outside-in, versus the inside-out approach, of getting regional players to be supportive, this would give Palestinians political cover to make concessions that they could not make in a bilateral context.” Egyptian President Abdel Fattah alSisi, at a meeting with an American Middle East Institute delegation this month, had very warm words for Israel, said Gerald Feierstein, the former principal deputy assistant secretary of state for Near East Affairs. “One of the things that was very much present in the meeting with Sisi — he had very warm words about Israel and about the Israeli policy and [said] the Israelis are the only ones that understood us,” Feierstein told Al-Monitor.


LEISURE 13

Thursday, 16 February, 2017

ARIES

TAURUS

GEMINI

Your connection with others is especially strong today, Aries. You will enjoy an important nurturing role. Reconnect with your mother and let her know how you're feeling. Curl up with loved ones tonight and surprise someone with a romantic gesture.

You might feel especially playful today, Taurus. You can expect to feel a great deal of love and affection from others. Be aware that you will have a strong tendency to indulge in food and drink, so try to keep things in moderation.

The bizarre nature of the day may leave you feeling a bit bewildered, Gemini. Don't sweat it. Focus on your romantic nature and incredibly nurturing heart. Use your instinctive healing abilities to care for a close friend in need. Consider calling your mom.

CANCER

LEO

VIRGO

You will be in an especially affectionate and loving mood today, Cancer. Your romantic nature is heightened and your nurturing qualities are strong. Connect with those you feel especially close to, and enjoy an intimate evening.

Annoyances of daily life may rub you the wrong way today, Leo. Other people's strong opinions and odd quirks may be difficult to swallow and your fuse may be a bit shorter than usual. Emotions could also run high, and you may do battle with the feelings in your own heart.

Be open and honest about your feelings toward others today, Virgo. Your receptive nature should be ready. Take a break and let others come to you. Unexpected events may pop out of nowhere. Don't try to force the issue if the time and place aren't right.

HaGaR tHE HoRRIblE

dIlbERt

GaRFIEld

LIBRA

SCORPIO

SAGITTARIUS

Your heart beats extra strong today, Libra, but it may not seem like anyone knows it but you. You may feel like you aren't really fitting in with the energy of the day. Don't get down on yourself for it. Realize that not everything is going to go according to your plans.

This is a fantastic day for you, Scorpio. Join close friends and share a night on the town and fine meal. This is a chance to begin a new cycle of romance. Start a new relationship or strengthen the one you're in.

Your warm, sensitive nature is perfectly suited to today's aspects, Sagittarius. Your emotional energy is strongly tied to your heart, and you will find that there's a longing to be close to others. Indulge in conversation with close friends and let your imagination run wild.

baldo

CAPRICORN

AQUARIUS

PISCES

You will enjoy a great deal of affection from others today, Capricorn. You radiate an air of love and beauty. Love will come in strong, erratic bursts and you should be on the alert to expect the unexpected. New people will pop out of the woodwork to share their feelings.

Your heart may be especially sensitive today, Aquarius. You may feel a bit vulnerable. Your romantic nature is particularly strong, so treat yourself to a pampered evening, including a good meal with someone you love. All relationships with women will go smoothly now.

All aspects of love and romance will go especially well today, Pisces. You might take this opportunity to make a bold move toward the object of your affection. Go with an unconventional approach and move fearlessly. Your relationships will go well.

cRosswoRd

ACROSS 1 Companion of Robin Hood (6,4) 7 Epicure (7) 8 __ da Gama, Portuguese explorer, d. 1524 (5) 10 Take it easy (4) 11 Sell up and move to a smaller property (8) 13 Capable of life and growth (6) 15 Able to express oneself easily (6) 17 End of a line (8) 18 Fly high into the air (4) 21 Open disrespect (5) 22 Equilibrium (7) 23 Senior officer’s assistant (4-2-4)

woRd sEaRcH

DOWN 1 yobs (5) 2 Great healer, so they say (4) 3 Liquid applied to the skin (6) 4 young person (8) 5 Antagonistic (7) 6 Makes worse (10) 9 Capsized (10) 12 Coalition (8) 14 derived by logic, without observed facts (Latin) (1,6) 16 Unpretentious (6) 19 Confess (3,2) 20 Plant such as seaweed (4)

cHEss ACTION AddITIONAL ASCOT BEACH BRIGHT CLASS CLOUdy CLUTCH COVER dEATH dEFEAT dEMANd dINNER dRAT ENTAIL FIGHT FOCUS GRANT GRASP LAUGH MAMMOTH MONTH

NERVE ONLINE ORGAN PATIENT SAME SARI SCENE SCRAG SERF SHAwL SHORT SMOkE SNOUT SUET TOOL TROT VAGUE VENT VITAL wORLd wORSE

white tO PLAY AND MAte iN six MOVes 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

A

B

C

D

E

F

G

H

Today’s soluTions

bRIdGE GRowING oN tREEs

sUdoKU crossword solution sudoku solution chess solution 1.Ne4 Qe6 2.Rxc8 Rxc8 3.Nf6+ Kf8 [3...kh8 4.Ng6+!] 4.Nxh7+ Kg8 [4...ke7 5.Qxg7] 5.Nf6+ Kf8 6.Ng6+! *

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.


14

Thursday, 16 February, 2017

ARTS

India, China account for more than half of world’s pollution deaths in 2015: study SHANGHAI Agencies

China and India accounted for more than half of the total number of global deaths attributable to air pollution in 2015, researchers said in a study published on Tuesday. The U.S.-based Health Effects Institute (HEI) found that air pollution caused more than 4.2 million early deaths worldwide in 2015, making it the fifth highest cause of death, with about 2.2 million deaths in China and India. The institute’s study, the first of its kind, was based on the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) project, a database backed by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation that tracks the role that behavioural, dietary and environmental factors play in deaths across 195 countries. New evidence and methodologies mean that the estimate is significantly higher than the figure published by the World Health Organization last year, which put the number of global air pollutionrelated deaths in 2012 at 3 million, HEI said. The institute, which has also launched an online database showing the global impact of pollution on health (www.stateofglobalair.org), said 92 percent of the world’s population lives in areas with unhealthy air. Air pollution has been linked to higher rates of cancer, stroke and heart disease, as well as chronic respiratory conditions such as asthma. China and India, the world’s two most populous countries, each accounted for 1.1 million deaths, the findings showed, but China is pushing ahead when it comes to taking action, said HEI president Dan Greenbaum. “(India) has got a longer way to go, and they still appear to have some ministers who say there is not a strong connection between air pollution and mortality in spite of quite a lot of evidence,” he said. A spokesman for India’s environment ministry could not be reached for comment, but minister Anil Madhav Dave said last week that “there is no conclusive data available” on the link between pollution and mortality, media reported.

Facebook launches app for watching its videos on TV

DubaI To buIlD worlD’s FIrsT roTaTIng skysCraper D NewS DeSk

YNAMIC Tower, an 80floor rotating skyscraper will be a new addition to Dubai’s skyline in 2020. This one-of-a-kind tower was proposed in 2008 by architect

David Fisher. The design will be carried forward by the Dynamic Group. Aiming to be 420-metre tall, the tower will be Dubai’s second tallest building and second tallest residential tower in the world, with each floor designed to rotate independently – at a maximum of six metres per minute or

a full-rotation in 90 minutes, the Deccan Herald reported. About 90% of the construction of the building has been outsourced to a factory, while the remaining will be done on site. According to Mashable, each apartment costs a whopping US$30

million, the building is designed to generate its own energy through wind turbines placed between each floor. The surplus energy from the turbines and solar panels is planned to produce enough electricity to power five other similarly sized buildings, Deccan Herald said.

Saudi’s first Comic-Con fest set to wow RIYADH Agencies

Superheroes from Hollywood’s Marvel studios are among the characters set to wow thousands of curious Saudis at the Islamic kingdom’s first Comic-Con event from Thursday. The three-day festival of anime, pop art, video gaming and film-related events is part of a government initiative to bring more entertainment to Saudi Arabia which bans alcohol, public cinemas and theatre. Comic-Con began in 1970 as a convention of a few dozen geeks who swapped superhero magazines in the United States. Tens of thousands of people now descend on San Diego every July for Comic-Con International where they don costumes and get previews of films by Marvel and Warner Brothers. Other Comic-Con events occur around the world. “We see from the high number of Saudi-based attendees at Comic-Cons abroad in recent years that there is a strong demand to host these events in our own country,” Amr AlMadani, chief executive of the government’s General Entertainment Authority, said in a statement on Tuesday. The authority said it is sup-

uae plans to build first human city on Mars porting the event organised in the Red Sea city of Jeddah by Saudi firm Time Entertainment. “Comic-Con events have a strong family appeal”, AlMadani said, as authorities move cautiously in a country where conservatives are wary of entertainment. Last month the kingdom’s highest-ranking cleric, Grand Mufti Abdulaziz al-Sheikh, warned of the “depravity” of cinemas and music concerts. Unrelated men and women are normally separated in Saudi Arabia, where restaurants have sections for “single” men and families. In December a Saudi performance by US stand-up comedian and actor Mike Epps was

cancelled, its organisers said, after complaints from Islamic hardliners. Entertainment programmes began in October when New York theatrical group iLuminate performed at the Princess Noura University in Riyadh. Hundreds of men and women, side-by-side, hooted their appreciation and clapped to the hip hop beat. Providing more entertainment is one of the goals of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 economic diversification plan being pushed by the kingdom’s Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, 31. He is keen to harness the energy of a young population, more than half of which is under 25.

news Desk: Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum on Tuesday announced the Mars 2117 project which aims to build a miniature city on the Red Planet within 100 years. “The landing of people on other planets has been a longtime dream for humans. Our aim is that UAE will spearhead international efforts to make this dream a reality,” said Sheikh Mohammad at the 5th World Government Summit. He tweeted about the initiative, saying they were “led by a passion for science and advancing human technology”. The vision is to “create a mini-city and community on Mars”, he added. A statement by the Dubai government said, “The first phase of the project will focus on preparing the human cadres able to achieve scientific breakthrough to facilitate the arrival of human to the Red Planet in the next decades. The ‘Mars 2117 Project’ also aims to prepare a team of Emirati scientists and to develop an international scientific consortium to speed up the research project.” In July 2014, UAE announced its Mars Probe mission which will send the Arab world’s first spacecraft to the Red Planet in a scientific exploration mission that will land on the planet in 2021.

Athens set for first mosque since Ottoman times ATHeNS Agencies

Facebook Inc is launching an app for smart TVs that will help the social network’s users enjoy its videos on a bigger screen. The app will roll out soon from app stores for Apple TV, Samsung Smart TV and Amazon Fire TV, the company said in a blogpost on Tuesday. The blogpost also said users can scroll through their news feed and simultaneously watch videos on their timeline. Sound also fades in and out as one scrolls through videos in news feed now. Videos in news feed have previously played silently — one needed to tap on a video to hear its sound. The Wall Street Journal reported last month that Facebook was creating an app for TV set-top boxes that would bring the company closer to live video and video advertisements. Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg during a postearnings call said this month that the company expected a major ramp-up in hiring and other spending during 2017 as it invests in video and other priorities. The company last year expanded its live video product, Facebook Live – a potential threat to broadcast television. Agencies

Athens’s half a million Muslims are set to get their first official mosque in more than a century. The city has not had a formal mosque since it drove out occupying Ottomans in 1833, and Deputy Foreign Minister Ioannis Amanantidis told parliament last year that it was the only European capital “to be deprived of such a religious space”. For years Muslims have resorted to praying in hundreds of makeshift sites, in crowded basements or dark warehouses targeted by racist attackers. In May, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras declared building a mosque long overdue. The government, he said, would push ahead “out of respect for the Muslim residents in our capital, but also because we are obliged to actively defend our values.” The new mosque - a 1,000 square meter building without a minaret, split over two levels - is expected to be ready in April in an old naval base in an industrial, rundown part of Athens. “We need the mosque for our new generation, for our youth ... to feel

equal in law, equal in society,” said Greece’s Muslim Association spokeswoman Anna Stamou, a Greek who converted to Islam. Friday prayers in the underground garage where she and her family went were recited in Arabic and Greek. Men knelt down to pray on its humid crimson carpet, ventilation pipes barely above their heads. Plans to build a mosque began in 1890 with an act of parliament, but all

fell through, including one timed for the 2004 Olympics. The latest effort split the ruling coalition and Tsipras’s right-wing partners voted against a bill to speed up construction. Critics say Athens, kept afloat by international funds since 2010, cannot spare the 800,000 euros to build it. Golden Dawn, the ultranationalist party third in popularity in polls, says migrants are burdening state resources at a time of crisis. Others still associate

mosques with Turkey, its Muslim neighbor and longstanding rival. For months last year a dozen Greek nationalists occupied the mosque site and set up a homeless center, calling it “a hot spot for Greeks” drawing a contrast with centres on Greek islands for mainly Muslim refugees and migrants arriving from Turkey. Messages still on the compound’s boarded up gate are stark: “No mosque,” graffiti reads. “Muslims out.” A poster plastered on a wall depicts a minaret in a circle with a line through it. Muslims “are enemies of Christ, Orthodoxy and our country,” it says. “They should go back from where they came.” Golden Dawn says it will step up its protests. “We have done many protests and of course we will do much more,” lawmaker Ilias Panagiotaros said at a rally in January. Around him, a few hundred supporters raised flaming torches and waved the Greek flag alongside the party’s red-and-black flag featuring its swastika-like emblem. “With the help of God - I repeat that - this mosque will not have a good end,” he said.


Thursday, 16 February, 2017

ARTS

15

All my exes wAnt to get bAck witH me: kAngAnA ENTERTAINMENT DESK

MANSOOR ALI KHAN Talal Chaudhry just accused IK of winning matches with ‘Ball tampering’. Can someone please tell him it was Pakistan that won matches not IK

RANTING PAKISTANI Love is not something which can be banned. Just like stupidity.

BINA SHAH What if Pakistani married couples wanted to celebrate Valentines Day together? That’s also wrong?

VERYBRITISHPROBLEMS “Doing anything tonight for Valentine’s?” “Yes, watching telly until I fall asleep”

Q

UEEN star, Kangana Ranaut has recently claimed that all her exes want to get back with her. Speaking with the Hindustan Times, the Tanu Weds Manu actor opened up about relationships, claiming she would never go back to her former lovers. “When I am in a relationship, I am really into it, but when it’s over, I never look back. I have a record of never going back to my exes, never meeting them again. All my exes want to get back with me, that’s also a record I hold.” said Kangana.

When asked if the actor had to keep any of her relationships under

Taher Shah’s ‘Angel’ wins an international award ENTERTAINMENT DESK

TAHA SIDDIQUI As footage of bomber+handlers walking towards target in LHR plays out on TV, def min says attackers comin frm Afghanistan #ParachutingInLHR?

Harrison Ford flew over passenger plane while accidentally landing on taxi-way ENTERTAINMENT DESK Star Wars actor Harrison Ford had a potentially serious run-in with an airliner at a Southern California airport this week, landing his private plane on a taxiway after a dangerous error, flying directly above a passenger airliner in the process. The actor narrowly escaped a crash, as he flew his private plane, near Southern California Airport and landed it on the taxiway after a dangerous mishap, reported The Telegraph. The Indiana Jones actor was heard saying, “Was that airliner meant to be underneath me?” Ford was then informed that he had not come down on the runway he had been instructed to land on, but on a taxiway, according to NBC News. According to NBC, the incident has prompted an investigation by the Federal Aviation Authority which could result in penalties ranging from a warning to the suspension of his pilot’s license. Landing on a taxiway is a violation of FAA rules. The plane Ford flew over was an American Airlines flight bound for Dallas with 110 passengers and six crew on board. Ford is a flying enthusiast and a very experienced pilot but has survived more than one close call over the past two decades. He crash-landed a helicopter in Ventura County, California in 1999 during a training flight with an instructor. A year later Ford made an emergency landing in Nebraska in which a plane wing struck the runway and was damaged. He and his passenger were not hurt.

Eye To Eye sensation Taher Shah has been dropping hints regarding some “phenomenal” news for quite some time now. In fact, his management team recently took to Twitter to tease followers about an honour of some sort that Taher has received in the US. About a month ago, they posted the following Tweet and we could barely believe it, “Dear All, The Phenomenal Honour News *ANGEL* Song Video Wins The Award In USA..Details Will Publish Soon. Stay tuned Managements Team.” But now, the details of this honour are here. Apparently, Taher’s song Angel has won an APEX Award 2017, which is a short film and music video festival held in the States. Taher has released an entire video of himself receiving the award in the Iconic from the East category at the APEX Awards ceremony. The entertainer also talked about his upcoming project, a Hollywood movie titled Eye to Eye in the same video.

wraps from the media, Kangana added, “I am in a relationship like

that. It has already happened to me.” Previously, Kangana professed she cried for nights over the infamous scandal with Hrithik Roshan. Speaking with The Indian Express, the Gangster star revealed, “I felt extremely naked in front of the world. I cried for nights in my room. People make fun of me.” The feud between the actors started when Kangana allegedly called Hrithik “a silly ex”. The spat has not ended till this day, and the two steer clear of each other at all opportunities. On the work front, Kangana is currently busy shooting for Vishal Bharadwaj’s Rangoon. The movie also stars Shahid Kapoor and Saif Ali Khan.

Big B to appear in Ranbir, Alia next movie ENTERTAINMENT DESK Ranbir Kapoor and Alia Bhatt starrer, Dragon, directed by Ayan Mukherjee, allegedly also has Amitabh Bachchan on board. According to a report by Times Now, the Bhootnath star has given a nod for the project and will start shooting this year. “He has said yes to the film. It’s a full-fledged role and not a guest appearance. It’s an important role. He will begin shoots for it this year,” a source confirmed. This will be the third time Ayan will be working alongside Ranbir, as the two have worked together in Wake Up Sid and Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani. Alia and Ranbir will be sharing screen space for the first time, though. If reports are to be believed, Amitabh and Ranbir will be seen together for the first time too in pivotal

roles – as Ranbir did do a cameo for Boothnath Returns. In an earlier interview, Ayan opened up about his upcoming movie, “I have not locked the title yet. Dragon is just the tentative title. It was called Dragon because, in the film, the guy has a mystical connection with the fire. So, I called it Dragon. There’s something I like about the word,” Ayan said. “Ranbir will have to put in a lot of extra effort for his role in the movie. There’s so much stuff in the film like action, dance, movements… we hope he is going to excel in the movie.” the director shared.

Recovering from memory loss, Kanye West focuses on fashion comeback Two months after being hospitalised for exhaustion and still recovering from memory loss, Kanye West is expected to make his first major public appearance at New York Fashion Week, his producer revealed. West, who was hospitalised after abruptly cancelling the remainder of his Pablo tour following a week of curtailed concerts and rants about politics, is expected to be at Wednesday’s New York presentation of his latest Yeezy collection of high-end athleisure wear for an international sports brand. Music producer Malik Yusef said he has visited with the rapper recently and that West was focused on his recovery and spending time with his two young children with wife, reality star Kim Kardashian. “His memory’s coming back,” said Yusef, who worked with West on The Life of Pablo album that was nominated for eight Grammy awards. Yusef’s remarks to celebrity news outlet PopSugar at Sunday’s Grammy awards were the first details of West’s recovery after his sudden hospitalisation in November for what was first said to be exhaustion. Representatives for the 39-year-old rapper did not offer any explanation for West’s 10-day hospitalisation last year and did not return requests for comment on Tuesday on the remarks about memory loss. The fashion event is likely to be a family affair for West. Kim Kardashian posted on social media on Tuesday that she was on her way to New York. Both Kim and Kanye were a no-show at the Grammy Awards. Kardashian’s mother, Kris Jenner, told celebrity outlet E! that West did not attend the Grammys because he was working on his fashion presentation. “He’s got a lot of work to do,” Jenner said. AGENCIES

At New York Fashion Week, hijabs top looks fit for royalty In just two seasons, Indonesian Muslim designer Anniesa Hasibuan has made the hijab her trademark and dazzled New York Fashion Week’s catwalk this time around by styling it with flowing, iridescent gowns fit for a princess. Like in her New York show last fall – which cemented her status as a rising star – all of the models who showcased Hasibuan’s Autumn/Winter 2017 collection sported lustrous grey hijabs that sculpted the facial features while carefully covering the hair. Other than the hijab, the traditional head and neck covering many Muslim women wear, the 30-year-old designer’s clothes evoked nothing of the “modest Muslim” style that sometimes stirs controversy and exacerbates antiMuslim sentiment in western countries. On the contrary, Hasibuan’s collection features shimmering, on-trend pleats, silver and golden ruffles, and long trains

CMYK

adorned with pearls, glitter or embroidery that recalled royalty of the Middle Ages. The models were not chosen at random. The young designer held casting calls specifically seeking first and second-generation immigrants to show that “fashion is for everybody.” “There is beauty in diversity and differences – something we should not be afraid of,traveling” she said, speaking through an interpreter. “I believe being a fashion designer can bring a lot of changes – and beautiful changes, of course.” Hasibuan unveiled her second New York collection amid controversy over US President Donald Trump’s recent executive order on immigration, currently blocked by a US court, that bars refugees and migrants from seven Muslim-majority nations. The decree ignited mass protests and global condemnation. Hasibuan, however, aims to keep her

work, which is primarily geared toward Muslim women, “separate” from politics. “I’m here bringing the beautiful voice of the Muslim women, the peace and the universal values that fashion can offer,” she said. Her dream, she said, would be to dress Kate Middleton, whom the designer said is “like a queen,” adding that she admires the Duchess of Cambridge for “her elegance.” Hasibuan won worldwide praise for her fall collection in New York last September, the first to feature a hijab in every look. Since then, she has opened new stores in her home country Indonesia as well as in Malaysia, Turkey and Abu Dhabi, proffering modern Islamic clothing dripping in glamour. Chiara Sari, Indonesia’s vice consul in New York, donned a white hijab atop a black, velvet top and black pants to attend the show, pulling her contemporary look together with a statement necklace. AGENCIES


16 BUSINESS

Thursday, 16 February, 2017

ChIneSe InveStORS keen tO Set uP InduStRIal PaRk, JvS In PakIStan ISLAMABAD

SPFC, GCCI join hands to promote sustainable forestry GUJRANWALA: South Punjab Forest Company (SPFC) in collaboration with Gujranwala Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) organised an inception seminar at the GCCI, to sensitise the business community and members of the GCCI, regarding the opportunities in the forestry sector. The seminar began with a welcome address by, GCCI President Saeed Ahmed Taj, who chaired the event. He appreciated the role of the SPFC in promoting sustainable forestry investments in Pakistan and added, ‘SPFC undoubtedly offers a unique opportunity to investors to invest in the forestry sector, which will contribute to the economy and promote green investments in Pakistan.’ SPFC CEO Tahir Rasheed delivered a presentation on investment opportunities in the forestry sector in South Punjab. He explained that investing in forestry will yield high returns and also contribute to reducing deforestation in Pakistan, as the wood-based industry will finally be able to rely on sustainably farmed wood. Rasheed further said, ‘Through SPFC’s initiative, we also plan to engage the multi-national corporations (MNCs) through corporate social responsibility (CSR) campaigns, aimed to increase the forest cover of Pakistan and contribute to ecology.’ STAFF REPORT

Over 100 Russian companies keen to invest in Pakistan: SBI KARACHI: Over 100 Russian companies are interested to invest in pharmaceutical, machines manufacturing, construction and other sectors in Pakistan, and the Sindh Board of Investment (SBI) should guide and cooperate in this regard. This was stated by a delegation comprising officials of the Trade Commission of Russian Consulate in Karachi led by Alexy Kudrayavtsey while talking to SBI Chairperson Naheed Memon at her office here on Wednesday, stated a statement issued on Wednesday. They discussed matters related to mutual interests and promotion of trade and business activities between Pakistan and Russia. Talking to the delegation, the chairperson said the promotion of business and trade between Pakistan and Russia will create more opportunities for prosperity and development. She also stressed the need to utilise the potential investment opportunities on both sides. The Russian delegation briefed the SBI chairperson regarding the history and background of trade relations between Pakistan and Russia and how Russian helped the then government of Pakistan to establish the steel mill of Pakistan, the delegation added. The SBI chairperson assured her full cooperation with the Russian companies and agreed to continue coordination and holding meeting to serve the purpose. STAFF REPORT

C

APP

HINESE investors are keen to set up industrial park, power generation plants and joint ventures (JV) in many sectors of Pakistan as they considered it a potential market for business and investment. This was observed by International Green Economy Association of China’s Chairman Deng Jihai while addressing business community at the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI), a statement issued here stated on Wednesday. Deng Jihai visited the ICCI at the head of a 20-member Chinese delegation and held B2B meetings with local counterparts. The delegation is representing various sectors including power generation, biomass energy, industrial park development, agriculture, food processing, logistics, consultation services, textiles and garments, ship building, real estate, biotechnology, medical science and others. Deng Jihai said that his association has already brought 3 delegations to Pak-

istan and purpose of such visits was to study Pakistan’s market and explore opportunities for investment and joint ventures in CPEC projects. He said the CPEC summit would be held in May this year and they would present report of their visits to Pakistan to the said summit. He said Chinese delegation members were interested in putting up industrial units of their relevant sectors in Pakistan like small and big power plants, ships construction and food processing units. He said the ICCI should also send its delegation to China as China offered good investment opportunities to Pakistani investors. In his welcome address, ICCI President Khalid Iqbal Malik said that the CPEC project had put both countries on a long-term partnership and added that private sector of Pakistan was keen to enter into joint ventures with Chinese counterparts in this historic project. He said bilateral trade between Pakistan and China was growing steadily, but balance of trade was heavily in favour of China. He said China was making imports of billions of dollars every year to meet the needs of its domestic industry and empha-

sised that it should focus on enhancing imports from Pakistan to reduce the current bilateral trade imbalance. He informed the Chinese delegation about investment opportunities in various sectors of Pakistan’s economy including power generation, agriculture, infrastructure development, real estate, biotechnology, medical science and many other areas.

K-E seeks govt help for settlement of dues with official entities ISLAMABAD STAFF REPORT

The government has asked the outgoing K-Electric (K-E) management to reconcile their payables and receivables with the respective government entities in a fair manner as it wants to resolve the pending issues in a fair and equitable manner. With respect to pending settlement issues, a delegation of the KElectric (K-E) called on Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Wednesday. Head of K-Electric delegation, Umar Lodhi informed the finance minister regarding the electricity situation in Karachi and the steps taken by the company to improve the supply of electricity to various areas in the metropolis. They briefed the ministers on the status of payables and receivables of the K-E with regard to various government entities and suggested ways to resolve the pending issues.

The finance minister assured the delegation of full cooperation and support of the Ministry of Finance for a settlement of the outstanding issues between the K-E and various federal government entities. He said that the government wants to resolve the pending issues in a fair and equitable manner and the company should reconcile their payables and receivables with the respective entities in a similar spirit.

The delegation informed that negotiations for investment of Shanghai Power in the K-E were progressing and the matters were likely to be finalised soon. The Chinese side has carried out its due diligence and is satisfied with the financial position of the company, Lodhi informed. The meeting was also informed that the Abraaj Group is planning to invest around $ 150 million in the banking and health sectors in the country. Abraaj group is also the major shareholder of the K-E. Dar appreciated the planned investment venture of the Abraaj Group and added that liberal investment regimes and incentives offered by the government encouraged investments in different sectors of the economy. Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Muhammad Asif, senior officials of the ministries of finance, petroleum, and water and power participated in the meeting.

PBC wants responsible business growth in Pakistan KARACHI STAFF REPORT

The Pakistan Business Council (PBC) has engaged A. F Ferguson & Co as Knowledge Partner for its Centre of Excellence in Responsible Business (CERB) for responsible business growth in Pakistan. An announcement here on Wednesday said that in this regard the PBC has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) through its Pakistan member firm- A. F Ferguson & Co Chartered Accountants, engaging the firm as a knowledge partner for its CERB. The objective of this MoU is to ex-

press the willingness of both the parties to engage in an effort to promote responsible business growth in Pakistan. In this respect, the mentioned company will provide technical assistance to ensure a fair and competitive environment which is central to sustainable business, economic growth and national development of Pakistan. It was pointed out that the CERB’s vision is to be a multi-sector business coalition assisting Pakistan enterprises to pursue sustainable value creation in the short, medium and long term, and to engage with businesses and industry leaders and enable the transformation towards the conduct of responsible business in Pakistan, and also to leverage private sector growth for inclusive development.

PaCRa grants aa long-term entity Ratings to PnSC KARACHI: The Pakistan Credit Rating Agency (PACRA) has granted an Entity Ratings of Long Term ‘AA’ to Pakistan National Shipping Corporation (PNSC) in February, 2017. This rating has been raised from PNSC’s previous Entity Ratings of Long Term ‘AA-’in 2016. The Short Term Ratings given to PNSC this year was ‘A1+’, while the 2016 short-term ratings was also A1+. PNSC’s outlook has remained constant at ‘Stable’. The action advised for PNSC in 2017 is ‘upgrade’, while last year the advised action was to ‘maintain’. As per PACRA’s report, the ratings reflect PNSC’s strong ownership, majority of which is owned by the Government of Pakistan and has a strategic significance as the country’s flag carrier. On a stand-alone basis, PNSC’s business profile has gained significant strength in recent years, exhibited by continuous improvement in business margins on account of efficient fleet utilization, better pricing strategy and cost management measures taken by the management. “It is noteworthy that the PNSC is cruising ahead with distinction, having achieved the ‘AA’ ratings at the start of 2017”, Minister for Ports & Shipping, Mir Hazil Khan Bizenjo, was quoted as saying. “PNSC being a Public Sector company has displayed resilience by adopting robust measures and stringent controls; consequently PNSC’s business profile has gained significant strength in recent years.” “The PACRA’s Entity Ratings of Long-Term ‘AA’ upgrading of PNSC to have a stable outlook is a significant milestone in the history of the national carrier. I am delighted to report that a concerted team effort, effective management practices and decisions based on best global practices in the most challenging environment has enabled us to achieve this result. Congratulations to the entire staff of PNSC.” Chairman PNSC, Arif Elahi said. STAFF REPORT

ZONG 4G connects female doctors at home to patients afar ISLAMABAD STAFF REPORT

In the remote town of Mansehra, a clinic powered by Zong 4G and operated by the doctHERs, serves the urban slum areas of Shahnawaz Chowk. 14-year-old Rehmat from the area is brought to the clinic by his father, who works as a mechanic. Dr Mariya, connected via video link from Lahore, 400 miles away, examines Rehmat with the help of Raheel, a qualified nurse. Rehmat has night blindness and this

is the first time he has been diagnosed with the disease. Rehmat’s father, Zahoor says, “This health care platform is a blessing for people like us who cannot afford high consultant fee of private hospitals.” In Pakistan, 60 per cent of medical students are females but the majority drop out after graduation is due to social and cultural pressures, Dr Rabya being one of them. Zong, under its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programme is powering doctHERs to employ female out of work doctors, connecting them from the comfort and security of their

homes to thousands of people in marginalised communities. From the urban slums of Sindh to the hilly mountains of KPK, Zong has leveraged its widest and fastest 4G footprint across Pakistan to provide connectivity in 9 telemedicine centres across Pakistan. The initiative links the urban and rural patients with the help of paramedics equipped with Zong’s 4G internet and HD video-conferencing. Trained and trusted community-based nurses, health workers (CHWs) and midwives (CMWs) assist remotely located female doctHERs

He urged that more Chinese investors should come to Pakistan with technology transfers to invest and set up joint ventures in Pakistan in areas of interest. He assured that the ICCI would provide all possible cooperation to Chinese investors in such efforts. Khalid Malik, ICCI senior vice president and others also spoke on the occasion.

in physically evaluating the patients at the ‘point-of-care’, using diagnostic tools. In addition to providing connectivity, Zong’s ‘New Hope’ volunteers, conducted community mobilization and awareness sessions across these towns to stimulate participation in the healthcare venture. “This is a wonderful initiative to bring quality health care to people from humble backgrounds who do not have access to health facilities and Zong feels proud to have partnered with them. We hope that this innovative and high impact partnership helps the under-privileged

segments of our society through affordable healthcare services in addition to empowering the qualified female doctors to work from home,” explained Zong’s Corporate Affairs Director Maham Dard. “As Pakistan’s leading 4G Telecom provider, we believe in empowering people and societies to create an exponential, social, environmental and business impact,” he added. “It is a miracle to finally claim that there is no known viable way of connecting the marginalised with a doctor. Connectivity by Zong has now helped doctHERs reach out to far flung areas. Together, we aim to bring about an unbeatable impact.” said the co-founder of DoctHERs Dr Sara Khurram.


BUSINESS 17

Thursday, 16 February, 2017

CORPORATE CORNER

leading shoe retailer kicks off new summer range LAHORE: Pakistan’s leading shoe retailer SSC kicked off stock shows of their new summer collection 2017 for their esteemed wholesalers across Pakistan. The objective is to invite SSC’s prestigious business partners for a review of the new season’s range with clear visibility of products. The event aimed for the attendees to talk to SSC representatives, satisfy their queries, general demands and plan their range for the upcoming season accordingly. The event showcased several brands that are housed under their banner of SERVIS, such as NDURE, LIZA, CALZA, Skooz and T.Z. SSC is renowned for conducting such activities to understand the needs and ease of their clients. PRESS RELEASE

dawlance goes digital; launches two android apps KARACHI: Dawlance has announced two Android based applications meant to make consumers’ life easier. ‘Dawlance Care’ is an application which acts as a bridge for the consumers and local home appliances’ giant, whereas it also benefits the dealers by helping them develop a better understanding. ‘Dawlance Kitchen’ is a step by step voice navigated microwave cooking guide. "We have found that one common misconception around home cooking is that it takes a lot of time; and as a result many households are consuming frozen food or opting for takeouts," said Hasan Jamil, GM Marketing Dawlance. "To educate our consumers about the collection of meaningful, innovative kitchen appliances from Dawlance, we came up with the Dawlance Care application. And with the introduction of our Dawlance Kitchen application, we are looking to help families maintain a healthy diet, while spending quality time together at home." PRESS RELEASE

k-electric, Faysal Bank partner to facilitate customers KARACHI: K-Electric has collaborated with Faysal Bank to facilitate customers seeking new electricity connection. The collaboration will now enable customers to deposit funds against new electricity connection. In addition to paying their regular monthly bills, customers can now also deposit funds against new KE connection at all Faysal Bank branches across Karachi and Hub. According to KE spokesperson, “In line with the utility’s mission statement to put consumers at the heart of everything it does, K-Electric is continuously enhancing the process of acquiring new power connections. Our collaboration with Faysal Bank is yet another testament of KE’s customer centric approach and reflects our focus on continuous process improvement.” Commenting on the initiative, Transaction Banking and IT Head Khurram Gul Agha, said, “We are delighted to offer this convenience to all new consumers of KElectric. It is coherent with Faysal Bank’s business strategy to improvise and enhance customer experience through our cuttingedge banking solutions to valued customers.” PRESS RELEASE

eFu life announces 150 per cent cash dividend for 2016 KARACHI:EFU Life Assurance Ltd, the leading private sector life insurance company in Pakistan announced its financial results for the year ended 31 December 2016as approved in the meeting of the Board of Directors held on 14February 2017. The Company posted a profit after tax of Rs1.873 billion for the year 2016 with earnings per share of Rs18.73. The company declared a final cash dividend of 120%, i.e. Rs.12 per share, taking the total cash dividend payout to 150%, i.e. Rs.15 per share for the year. EFU Life is the highest capitalized private sector life insurance company in Pakistan with a paid-up capital of Rs. 1 Billion and the largest asset base of Rs. 106 Billion. PRESS RELEASE

PvGF, Snk arrange video game tournament in karachi

KARACHI: PVGF is proud to announce a first time ever collaboration with SNK Japan and has conducted a video game tournament on Feb 12, 2017 in Karachi. The game in question is King of Fighters 14 and the tournament was a success. Wellknown players gathered from all over Karachi participated in the event as we advanced via double elimination rounds. Matches were fast and aggressive and combined years of expertise and skill level of some amazing talent in Karachi. The future of electronic gaming seems to be getting better and PVGF exists to make this magic happen. PVGF owner Tariq Rathore who is an avid gamer along with his team Paul Hendrick, Javed Hassan and Khalid Malik had put everything in place for the tournament, refreshment was served to the players with fully air conditioner environment and solid cash prize for the winners along with merchandise directly received from SNK Japan. PRESS RELEASE

dIReCt InveStment SuRGeS By 9.9PC tO $1.161 BIllIOn TOTAL FOREIGN INVESTMENT UP BY 52.7PC TO $1.830 BILLION KARACHI

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ARSHAD HUSSAIN

AKISTAN’S foreign investment in July-Jan 2016-17 swelled up by 52.7 per cent to $1.830 billion, mainly supported by China that invested an amount of $245.3 million in the power sector. During the period, the central bank received an amount of $1.024 billion in Foreign Public Portfolio Investment (Debt securities), which increased by 124.7 per cent during July-Jan 2016-17, the data released by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) said here on Wednesday. The Direct Investment (DI) has been improving for the last two months and it increased by 9.9 per cent to $1.161 billion in July-Jan 2016-17. Out of this investment, the Dutch company FrieslandCampina invested an amount of $459.5 million in Engro Foods in December 2016, while the Chinese companies invested $245.3 million in power sector of the country in the last seven months. In the month of January 2017, the country has received $80.8 million through direct investment. The country recorded inflows of $138.8 million, while outflows of $58 million in January 2017 were recorded. In January, the Chinese companies poured in an amount of $34.3 million in the power sector.

Major investments were received from China, France, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, UAE, USA and Turkey in different sectors. Meanwhile; Saudi Arabia, Norway, Bahrain, and Egypt pulled back their investment from Pakistan during the last seven months. In January 2017, the country received its biggest investment of $50.5 million from France and China made an investment of $33.6 million in development projects of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the SBP’s document said. An analyst of a brokerage house said, “Outflows of $354.7 million were recorded in the portfolio investment in equity securities, despite touching the highest level of 50,200 point level.” In Jul-Jan 2016-17, the foreign private investment of the country stood at $806.8 million, compared to $742.9 million received in the same period last year. “The country’s total foreign direct investment increased by 52.7 per cent to $1.830 billion in the last seven months, only because of Netherland’s company’s investment in Engro Foods.” the analyst claimed. The country has received another big investment of $50 million from France. The data did not show where such investments are

being made in Pakistan. The country has recorded inflows of direct investment amounting $1.458 billion in Jul-Jan 2016-17, but the outflows were recorded at $297 million in the same period, the SBP data said. The analyst believed that a Chinese-led consortium will pay approximately $85 million against a 40 per cent stake of the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) in a couple of weeks. He further said that the overall situation of FDI will improve in the coming months. After touching the highest level of $24.6 billion, Forex reserves declined to $22.013 billion last week. The market had touched 50.200 points level at the PSX. There is a positive trend in the portfolio’s inflows due to the MSCI up-gradation of Pakistan’s stocks in emerging markets, another analyst claimed. During the last seven months, remittances of the country have also declined to $10.947 billion down by $208 million or 1.8 per cent, as compared to $11.155 billion received during the same period in the preceding year. During January 2017, the inflow of worker’s remittances amounted to $1.488 billion, which is 6 per cent lower than that of December 2016 and 1.45 per cent higher than that of January 2016.

alpha Supermarkets launches tesco KARACHI: Tesco PLC – United Kingdom’s (UK) largest and the world’st third largest retailer has allianced with Alpha Supermarkets in Pakistan to introduce its food and non-food products in the country. Alpha Supermarkets plan to open 50 Express Stores in the country in the next three years, including three flagship stores in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad. The company has already invested $2 million, mainly in its Karachi’s store and it believes the investments will double in the next coming months. Chairman Limestone Pvt Ltd Nadeem Hussain, while talking to media at the British Deputy High Commission on Tuesday said that Tesco products will be placed only at Alpha Supermarkets - its exclusive nationwide partner. He further added, “Tesco has not invested anything yet in this partnership, it may invest in the future but any future investment decision is up to its management.” Hussain further added that Tesco’s partnership with Alpha Supermarkets is the reflection of its views about Pakistan, a country with over 30 million people, with considerable disposable income. “Pakistan’s retail market is all set to grow faster in coming years. The country’s role in the global retail market will also be growing due to its widening middle class and large population,” said Director and CEO of Alpha Supermarkets Adnan Hamid. Hamid also revealed company’s plans of opening its second flagship store in Lahore at an investment of over $1 million. British High Commissioner to Pakistan Thomas Drew CMG said that this partnership between a Pakistani company and Tesco shows the confidence of British investors in Pakistan’s economy. He further added that the alliance will further improve the economic relations between the two countries. Head of New Market Tesco Stores Limited Jared Lebel commented that Pakistan and the UK have strong economic links already and he envisions them improving in the coming years. PRESS RELEASE

Soneri Bank announces 2016 results

ICFlIX strengthens partnership with PtCl

LAHORE: The Board of Directors of Soneri Bank Limited met in Lahore under the Chairmanship of Alauddin Feerasta, on February 15, 2017 to review the performance of the bank and approved the financial statements for the year ended 31 December 2016. The chairman, while addressing the meeting highlighted that 2016 was the year where bank completed its 25 years of operation and is standing tall and on course to meet its strategic objectives. For 2016, the bank has posted profit before tax of Rs 3,077.34 million and profit after tax of Rs 1,878.84 million for the year ended on 31 December 2016. This translates into earnings per share of Rs 1.7042 (31 December 2015: Rs.2.0071).The reduction in earnings is mainly a factor of industry predicament due to lower interest rates versus 2015. This pressure was offset by lower provision due to higher recovery of non-performing loans. The board of directors has also announced cash dividend for the year ended 31 December2016 at 12.5pc i.e. Rs 1.25 per share. PRESS RELEASE

ISLAMABAD: The ICFLIX, Middle East and North Africa’s (MENA) leading internet streaming service is reinforcing its position in Pakistan and further strengthening its partnership with PTCL, the largest information telecommunication technology and entertainment service provider. PTCL customers will be able to enjoy high-quality entertainment of ICFLIX content on PTCL Smart TV. The complete ICFLIX content library will be available as video on demand on PTCL Smart TV and the Smart TV App for an economical price of Rs 149 per month. “We are excited at strengthening our partnership further with PTCL and look forward to providing high-quality movies and TV shows to Pakistan’s consumers,” said Amine Lalami, chief commercial officer of ICFLIX. “We are excited with our ICFLIX partnership. Digital entertainment is PTCL’s key priority and our partnership with ICFLIX is another step in this direction. We look forward to working with ICFLIX to offer world class content to our customers in Pakistan” said Adnan Shahid, chief commercial officer of PTCL. PRESS RELEASE

40th FPCCI export trophy awarded to Pakistan Cables ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Cables Limited marks a new beginning in 2017, by reaching new heights yet again, and winning the 40th FPCCI Export Trophy, awarded by the Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce & Industries (FPCCI) for the year 2015–2016. The award ceremony was held at Pak-China Friendship Centre, Islamabad, on 15th December 2016. The trophy was presented to Chief Executive of Pakistan Cables, Kamal A Chinoy by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Pakistan Cables, a premier and renowned cable manufacturer that stands by its promise of being no compromise on quality. PRESS RELEASE


18 SPORTS

uefa to donate 100,000 euros to disabled afghans Real Madrid’s captain, Sergio Ramos, will hand over the check ahead of Wednesday’s night Champions League match against Napoli in Spain. Sergio Ramos, Real Madrid’s captain, will hand over a UEFA donation of €100,000 ($106,000 USD) to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) ahead of Real’s Champions League match against Napoli on Wednesday night. The money will go towards helping disabled Afghans. Having received the most votes in 2016’s UEFA Team of the Year, the captain of Real is to take on the responsibility. This year’s donation marks a decade of UEFA’s support of the charity, with the money earmarked for the provision of artificial limbs, physiotherapy and vocational training for landmine victims and people with disabilities in Afghanistan. “It’s a true privilege for us and it takes advantage of the global reach that football has to help them in every aspect of their daily lives,” Ramos told UEFA. Agencies

asamoah gyan found guilty of ‘unethical hair’

Dubai: Former Sunderland striker Asamoah Gyan is among more than 40 players to have been found guilty of having “unethical hair” under United Arab Emirates Football (UAEFA) Association guidelines. The 31-year-old Ghanaian from Shanghai SIPG. In 2012, Saudi Arabia goalkeeper Waleed Abdullah was told to cut his “un-Islamic” hair by the referee before playing for his club side Al Shabab. The Saudi rule bans mohawk-style cuts. It is unclear what criteria the UAEFA are basing their own guidelines on. According to a Middle Eastern football website, Al Wahda’s Suhail Al-Mansoori (pictured below) was told to cut his hair. Agencies

pakistan beaten by sri lanka in Women’s WCQ super six COLOMbO: Pakistan lost their first match in the Super Six stage of the Women’s World Cup Qualifier when Sri Lanka defeated them by five wickets here on Wednesday. Chasing 213, Eshani Lokusuriyage’s 65 and contributions from the top order ensured Sri Lanka cruised past the target with five wickets in hand and 14 balls to spare. Nipuni Hansika (37) and Chamari Atapattu (35) set the tone with a 75-run opening stand, before Pakistan hit back with three wickets in the space of eight overs. Prasadani Weerakkody struck 45 off 71 balls and shared an 88-run partnership with Lokusuriyage. Pakistan were helped along to 212 with fifties from Nahida Khan (64) and Javeria Khan (63). The pair shared a 119-run stand off 171 balls. Pakistan, too, lost a cluster of wickets in the end overs, stalling the momentum from the innings. Inoka Ranaweera and Chamari Polgampola added two wickets apiece. Agencies

Thursday, 16 February, 2017

Brain damage in former players fuels footBall ‘heading’ fears

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CIENTISTS have found signs of brain damage that could cause dementia in a handful of former football players, fuelling worries about the danger of frequent knocks from heading the ball or colliding with others on the field. The small study was the first of its kind, involving post mortems on six men who died with dementia after long careers playing football. All were skilled headers of the ball. It suggests that some professional football players might risk the same long-term cognitive problems suffered by boxers and some American football players. But experts said more research was needed to prove any definitive link between heading a football and developing dementia, and they added that the risk was likely to be minimal for occasional players. “We’ve demonstrated that the same type of pathology that occurs in ex-boxers can also occur in some ex-footballers who have dementia, but I’d emphasize this is a very small number of players,” said co-lead researcher Huw Morris of London’s UCL Institute of Neurology. “The average playing career of these players was 26 years, which is thousands of hours of game playing, thousands of hours of practice and thousands of headers … I think the risk is extremely low from playing recreational football.” Football is the most popular sport in the world and scientists said the danger of head injuries had to be weighed against the game’s known

benefits in improving cardiovascular health, which actually reduces the likelihood of developing dementia. The study, published in the journal Acta Neuropathologica on Wednesday, followed 14 retired football players with dementia and secured next-of-kin permission for post mortem examinations for six of them. The scientists found evidence of

chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a potential cause of dementia, in four of the six brains. All six also had signs of Alzheimer’s disease. CTE is common in ex-boxers and has been linked to progressive memory, behavioral and motor impairment. Unlike boxing or American football, blows to the head in football are generally lower impact and players are

less likely to experience concussion. But there may still be cumulative damage from sub-concussive impacts, experts believe. Britain’s Football Association said more work was needed into whether degenerative brain disease was more common in ex-footballers, adding it planned to jointly fund research with the Professional Footballers’ Association. Agencies

Five Afghan cricketers named on IPL auction list Officials from the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) said on Tuesday that five members of the national cricket team have been selected for the auction list of the Indian Premier League (IPL). Mohammad Shahzad, Mohammad Nabi Isakhail, Rashid Khan Arman, Asghar Stanikzai and Dawlat Zadran are the cricketers whose names have been listed, ACB spokesman Mohammad Farid Hotak said. According to the list, the IPL will pay five million Indian rupees for each Shahzad and Rashid Arman to play in the IPL. However, the amount being considered for the other three national players has not been mentioned. Indian media reported that Mumbai India, one of the IPL teams, is thinking about bidding for Mohammad Shahzad as wicket keeper. “The participation of Afghan players in the IPL is a huge achievement for Afghanistan’s cricket. This will give an extra motivation and energy to young players who are interested to be part of the National Cricket Team,” Hotak said. “The Afghanistan Cricket Board continues its efforts to provide the facilities for further participation of national players in international leagues,” he added. “It will be a moment of pride for us if two or three of our players are bought

for the Indian (Premier) League. It sends a message to young players that they can reach their goals if they continue their hard work,” said Azizullah Fazli, an ACB advisor. Ambassador of Afghanistan to India tweeted: “Two Afghan players for

the top reserve price in IPL 2017 is by itself a major achievement!” In a reply to his tweet, Indian Ministry of External Affairs’ Secretary (economic relations) Amar Sinha said, “In total five. Bravo. Best of luck to all of them.”

The IPL’s auction is expected to take place on Monday. uaE’s suri figurEs in iPL auCtiOn List: UAE’s promising young batsman Chirag Suri has made headlines by making it into the list of Indian Premier League (IPL) players who will be up for grabs for the 2017 edition of the IPL to be held on February 20. The IPL governing body has pruned a list of 799 players, who registered for the upcoming edition of the IPL, to 351 players. Suri will go under the hammer when the franchises sit down to pick fresh players and is listed among the 122 international players. Suri is the only player from UAE in the list. Speaking to a Gulf media outlet, 21year-old Suri said: “It’s a great honour to be in the list of players who will be auctioned for one of the finest tournaments in the world. I got picked as I fall in the under-23 category. I am hoping that I get selected and be part of such a tournament.” An opening batsman, Suri has been scoring consistently in domestic tournaments and winning best batsman awards in inter-collegiate tournaments in UAE. He has played many match-wining knocks for Heriot Watt University. Agencies

BCCI withdraws Yusuf Pathan’s NOC for Hong Kong T20 Blitz The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has reversed its stand as it has withdrawn Yusuf Pathan’s NOC, which would’ve allowed the Indian all-rounder to play in the Hong Kong T20 Blitz. Pathan was signed by Kowloon Cantons for the five-day tournament to be played from March 8. He had earlier thanked the BCCI and Baroda Cricket Association for allowing him to play the league but now he’ll have to pull out of the tournament. “Indian players have a brand name. Indian players playing in the league will attract Indian viewers. It would also mean

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that our sponsors too want to invest in other leagues. That is why we will be not allowing any Indian players to be part of any leagues,” an unnamed BCCI official said. The BCCI fears that allowing Pathan might leave an impression on other players to play in other foreign leagues as well. It came to notice that Tamil Nadu batsman Dinesh Karthik showed interest to play the Carribean Premier League (CPL) last year but the BCCI denied his request. Hong Kong T20 Blitz has seen some big signings in past few days with the likes of Darren Sammy, Kumar Sangakkara and Tymal Mills signing for the tournament. Agencies


SPORTS 19

Thursday, 16 February, 2017

psl resumes after lahore Blast LAhore

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UsmAn A KhAn TAhir

FTER a tragic blast in front of the Punjab Assembly that left 15 dead and over 100 injured, PSL resumed on Wednesday. Defending champions Islamabad United were up against Quetta Gladiators at the iconic Sharjah stadium. United won against Gladiators by five wickets thanks to Sam Billings’hard hitting 78*. Cricket fans all over Pakistan had only one question on their minds after the Lahore blast, and that was regarding the PSL final. An outpouring of support came from many individuals, but one of the most heart-warming messages came from Lahore Qalandars’ medium-pace bowler from New Zealand Grant Elliot. The same Elliot who smashed the penultimate ball of the World Cup semi-final over wide long-on and into the heaving stands to send 41,279 people going haywire. The bowler at the receiving end was none other than the finest fast bowler on the planet Dale Steyn, who sank to his haunches in utter despair. What Elliot did next really sets him apart: he bent down extending a hand and consoled Steyn. The Getty Images photographer Hannah Peters, who captured the touching moment between Steyn and Elliott, said it showed the respect between the two sides. The moment between Elliot and Steyn embodied the ‘spirit of cricket’ and immense respect between rivals familiar with the pain of losing closely contested finals. When Elliot was asked about the gesture, he said he knew he could have easily found himself in Steyn’s shoes. “You have to feel compassion. Humble in victory, humble in defeat. I felt quite sorry

for him. I felt quite sorry for a lot of the South African guys for losing the game,” he said. “It could have been us. It could have been me sitting there having missed the last two balls and I would have been pretty gutted as well, along with 40,000 people in the stadium.” ‘insha aLLah EVErything wiLL bE aLright’ It is not surprising, then, that it had to be Elliot again; this time sympathising with Pakistanis, especially the fans of his team. In the video message shared on social media Tuesday, he said his thoughts are with everyone who lost their loved ones in the attack; he hoped everything will get better soon. “Just wanted to send out a message to

everyone in Lahore... following the blast that happened. Thinking of all those people, of loved ones and the people of Lahore, hoping that everyone is safe and Insha Allah everything will be alright,” Elliot said in the video. Last season, Peshawar Zalmi’s Darren Sammy endeared himself to Zalmi fans by saying thank you in Pushto language as well as tweeting in Pushto. In the opening ceremony of PSL, Islamabad United players dressed in green shalwar kameez. United’s Sam Billings was seen dancing in the dressing room wearing traditional Pakistani clothes. On Tuesday, the United’s official Facebook page released a video in which Billings is dancing and singing Dil Dil

Pakistan. Lahore Qalandars’ player Chris Green recorded a message for fans in flawless Punjabi. “Those who haven’t seen Lahore, haven’t really lived,” he said in Punjabi, a famous Punjabi saying associated with Lahore. It is gestures like these which show there’s more to these players than just being T20 specialists. On Sunday, New Zealand’s premier newspaper The New Zealand Herald ran a headline entitled ‘’Former Black Caps set to end Pakistan’s cricket isolation’’ suggesting four ex-New Zealand players— Brendon McCullum, James Franklin, Grant Elliott and Nathan McCullum— were in contention to be the first New Zealanders in more than 13 years to play a

top-level cricket match in Pakistan. However, the status of PSL final to be held in Lahore is in serious jeopardy now. Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa Tuesday said that Pakistan Army will extend full support to all concerned for holding PSL final in Lahore. The status of foreign players’ participation became quite apparent on Tuesday when they refused to play in the final. “The foreign players have refused to play the final in Lahore after Monday’s blast but if the citizens of Pakistan want the final of the PSL to be held in Lahore, despite foreign players not participating in the final, then the final will be held in Lahore,” PSL Chairman Najam Sethi said in his statement. He said that a new draft will be presented to respective franchises and their players on Feb 22 to make a decision on whether the final will be held in Lahore or not, adding that decision of holding the final of the PSL in Lahore would be taken after asking the players. It is pertinent to mention here that Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah said Monday that Punjab is ready to host the final of PSL with full security, adding that Lahore is safe for the players even after Monday’s bombing. PCb CanCELs rOunD tabLE COnfErEnCE: The PCB had earlier announced to hold a round table conference in Lahore in March and had aimed to invite test cricketers like Imran Khan, Wasim Akram, Javed Miandad and others to discuss five-point agenda for improvement of cricket in Pakistan. However, PCB said in a statement Wednesday, “Owing to the recent development in Pakistan cricket, it has been decided to cancel the round table conference of cricketers planned by PCB in Lahore in March 2017 aimed at improvement of cricket in the country.”

Smith eyes golden future if Australia win in India MUMBAI Agencies

Islamabad chase 149 against Quetta with Billings epic 78* SportS DeSk England opener Sam Billings played a stunning innings as Misbahul Haq-led Islamabad United beat in-form Quetta Gladiators by five wickets in Sharjah on Wednesday. Chasing a tricky target of 149 to win the match, the defending champions were in spot of bother after losing three wickets. However, Billings kept his cool and played a breathtaking innings of 78 not out off just 50 balls with the help of eight fours and three sixes. Watson assisted him with a cameo of 36 off 27 balls. It has been a difficult week for Islamabad United; this victory comes as a significant boost. Billings, the man of the match, said at the end: “It helps when guys like Watson come in and smack it like he did. The guys in subcontinent are good with variations, but I felt as if I was there till the end we will win. Smithy has got a fifty, Hads has done well in one game, everyone has chipped in. Year on year playing in different leagues around the world is as much a life experience as cricketing experience.” taMiM iqbaL jOins PEshawar ZaLMi: Bangladesh opener Tamim Iqbal joined the Peshawar Zalmi camp on Wednesday after getting freed up from national duty. Tamim, who also represented Zalmi in last year’s PSL, said he is pleased with the team’s performance so far and aiming to do his best. “It’s nice to be back in Dubai and representing the Zalmi. The team has been doing exceptionally well and I hope I contribute to my team’s performance,” Tamim said in a video message to fans.

Australia skipper Steve Smith believes a Test series victory over an all-conquering India side on their home soil could provide the kind of memories that would inspire the country’s cricketers for generations to come. Top-ranked India are on a brilliant run, unbeaten in 19 Tests over a 16-month period with South Africa, New Zealand, England and Bangladesh all vanquished at home, while trips to Sri Lanka and West Indies also culminated in victories. By contrast, Smith’s side were thrashed 3-0 in Sri Lanka and lost the first two Tests of a three-match home series against South Africa before wholesale changes led to a consolation win in Adelaide and the new charges went on to sweep aside Pakistan. Smith believes Australia have learned from those defeats and are now a much improved side. “You probably learn more from losing games than you do from winning, so I guess the last year has been a bit of a rollercoaster ride in regards to results,” Smith told reporters in Mumbai on Tuesday, a week ahead of the first Test. “I think this team has come a long way,” he added as he looked forward to the four-match series. Obviously, this is going to be a very difficult tour and I am excited by that challenge. All of the guys are really excited about what’s to come in the next six weeks. It’s a great challenge to play here in India. “We know that if we can pull something off and win a series here, we will look back in 10-20 years and it will be some of the best times of our lives. It’s a great occasion to play here in India.” aussiEs aiM tO CraCk thE Virat kOhLi CODE: Australia are desperate to create doubt in Virat Kohli’s masterful mind during the four-Test series that starts in India next Thursday, but wickets will be far more effective than words. Steve Smith’s side have no shortage of plans to ponder as they seek to snap a nineTest losing streak in Asia.

CMYK

Coach Darren Lehmann recently admitted if they’re going to improve Australia’s terrible record in India, which stands at one Test series win in the past 47 years, then everything is going to have to go right. Topping the list is curbing Kohli’s immense influence. It proved impossible during the most recent Test series between the two sides, when Kohli tallied a recordbreaking 692 runs in Australia. One school of thought is the fiery 28-year-old, who has a history of on-field spats with Australians, is prone to losing his cool. Smith suggested earlier this summer he’d be keen to make his counterpart “a little bit angry and ruffle his feathers”. He was a touch more diplomatic in this week’s arrival press conference, noting if some teammates “want to get into a battle verbally, and that gets the best out of them then go for it”. Glenn Maxwell, who boasts Kohli as one of his seven Test wickets, will be giving the superstar the silent treatment if called upon to play his first Test since

2014. “I’m probably not going to say a thing to him,” Maxwell said in Mumbai. The Australia captain was confident he had the attack to trouble an Indian batting line-up. “I am confident, I think we have got a good mix of bowlers,” Smith said. “It’s important here to make sure you are bowling consistent areas and letting the wicket do the work, and getting the natural variation out of the wickets. “I think reverse-swing is going to be incredibly important in this series as well. Our two big quicks — Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc — are very good reverse-swing bowlers. “They relish the challenge of playing against the best players in the world, and India have some incredibly good batters. So they are excited by the challenges of playing here as well.” The world’s second-ranked team have had a training camp in Dubai to prepare for the tour and Australia will also play a three-day practice match against an India A side from Thursday, before they head to Pune for the opening Test from Feb 23.


SPORTS Thursday, 16 February, 2017

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE SHOCKER

PSG run rIot, mAul BArcelonA 4-0 pariS

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Agencies

NGeL di Maria scored twice as Paris St-Germain stunned Barcelona to leave the Spanish side in danger of failing to reach the Champions League quarter-finals for the first time in a decade. PSG dominated this last-16 firstleg tie throughout and took the lead through Di Maria’s curled free-kick. Julian Draxler added a second with an angled drive before Di Maria curled an effort into the top corner. edinson Cavani then sealed a famous win with a powerful fourth. A lacklustre Barcelona - with Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar largely anonymous - did not produce an effort of note until seven minutes before the end when Samuel Umtiti headed onto the post. The defeat leaves Luis enrique’s side with an almighty task to stay in the competition when they host PSG in the return leg on 8 March. No side has managed to overturn a four-goal first-leg deficit in the history of the Champions League. Barcelona breezed into the knockout stage by topping Group C, winning five of the six games they played.

Their one defeat was also the only time they conceded three goals in a group-stage game, when they lost 3-1 at Manchester City. At least in that match they managed to score—Messi putting them ahead at etihad Stadium—but at the Parc des Princes on Tuesday they barely troubled Kevin Trapp in the PSG goal. The visitors regularly squandered possession and looked lethargic throughout. When they have not been at their best in the past, their star players have stepped up. But on this occasion they offered nothing. Messi, so often capable of creat-

ing something from nothing, made uncharacteristic mistakes and was at fault for PSG’s second when he lost the ball to Draxler, who then played a one-two with Marco Verratti to slice through a static defence and put the French side in control. It was one of the worst Barcelona performances in recent memory but PSG were also at their absolute best and, in truth, could have won by an even bigger margin. They finished the game with 16 shots on goal, 10 of those on target. They have never progressed beyond the quarter-finals but dominant wins home and away against Chelsea

at this stage of the competition last year suggested they had finally joined the continent’s elite, only for them to then lose against Manchester City. Unai emery, PSG’s Spanish manager, had faced Barcelona 23 times before in his coaching career and won just once. Barcelona were one of the favourites to win the Champions League at the start of the season but will now need to produce one of the greatest comebacks in football to stay in the competition. They are more than capable of scoring goals for fun at the Nou Camp, having hit three or more in six of their previous seven games. Borussia Monchengladbach were the last side to visit Barcelona in the Champions League and they lost 4-0 in December. But PSG possess much more quality, with Di Maria and Cavani more than capable of scoring an away goal that would surely put the tie beyond Barcelona. It is sure to be one of the toughest tests of enrique’s Barcelona career to date. Barcelona boss Luis enrique accepted the blame for the heavy defeat. “It was a disastrous night for us; we were clearly inferior,” enrique said. “I’m responsible for this.”

‘Sharjeel, Latif will be made example of if found guilty’ SportS DeSk Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Shaharyar Khan on Wednesday said that suspended cricketers Sharjeel Khan and Khalid Latif will be subjected to the harshest of punishments if their alleged involvement in fixing during the Pakistan Super League is proven. The chairman, while talking to the media outside the PCB headquarters in Lahore, said that the PCB’s Anti-Corruption Unit will listen to the banned duo’s side of the story because it is im-

portant to hear their perspectives after which the punishment will be announced. “We are listening to Sharjeel and Latif’s perspectives as well. It is necessary to listen to their side of the story. After that we will decide what action to take against them, but I can assure you that they will be subjected to the harshest of punishments [if found guilty],” said Shaharyar. Meanwhile, responding to a question over the staging of the PSL final in Lahore, the PCB chair-

man thanked Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Bajwa for offering his support to host the mega event in the country. He said the board is confident of holding the PSL final at the Gaddafi Stadium in March. “We have told the government we are organising the final in Lahore,” he said while speaking to media earlier today. Shahryar also said that a monitoring team comprising foreigners will visit Lahore in the next few days to review the security situation.

Afghanistan to play series against Ireland in India

MuMbai Agencies

Afghanistan’s Indian coach Lalchand Rajput has revealed that India will host matches between Afghanistan and Ireland next month. Speaking to media, Rajput said, “We are playing three T-20 matches, 5 ODIs, and a 4-day match against Ireland at the Greater Noida Stadium next month.” The ICC has recently cleared Greater Noida as a venue for the international matches. West Indies and Ireland’s former coach Phil Simmons will be Afghanistan’s bowling consultant. Published by Arif Nizami at Qandeel Printing Press, 4 Queens Road, Lahore.

CMYK

Bolt delighted to be alongside ‘great’ Federer

Monaco Agencies

Sprint superstar Usain Bolt is thrilled to be in the company of tennis great Roger Federer as a four-time Laureus Sportsman of the Year. The Jamaican enjoyed a stellar Rio Olympics, winning another three gold medals as he lit up the track last year. He was honoured with a record-equalling fourth Sportsman of the Year award, joining 18-time grand-slam champion Federer. Novak Djokovic (three), Tiger Woods (two) and Michael Schumacher (two) are the only others to win the award multiple times. “The Laureus is always one of the biggest awards for me because they really go all out for us sports stars,” Bolt said. “For me it’s one of the biggest things. This is my fourth one and I’m in the company of the great Roger Federer which is brilliant. “I have my trophy room, I have a special spot that I’ve already wiped off and I have a nice little light to shine on it. So a nice spot for it.” Jamaican sprint great Usain Bolt says he has no regrets about his decision to retire from athletics in 2017 as he has accomplished everything he wants to in the sport. Bolt will hang up his spikes following the world championships in London in August, bringing the curtain down on a career that has delivered eight Olympic gold medals. “I’ve just done everything I wanted to do in the sport,” Bolt told agencies on the red carpet at the awards ceremony in Monaco. “I asked (former U.S. sprinter) Michael Johnson the same question, ‘why did you retire when you were on top?’. He said the same—he had done everything he had wanted to do in athletics so there was no reason to stay in the sport. Now I understand what he means.”

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