Friday, 17 February, 2017 i 19 Jamadi-ul-awwal, 1438 i rs 19.00 i Vol Vii no 230 i 16 Pages i islamabad edition
the carnage continues
BloodBath at Qalandar’s shrine
over 70 dead as suIcIde bomber strIkes InsIde shrIne multIple attacks In the last few days, kIllIng over 100
gen bajwa vows revenge, says ‘no more restraInt’ IslamIc state group claIms responsIbIlIty In a call to cnn STORY ON PAGE 02
02 NEWS Pak-Afghan border sealed at Torkham ISLAMABAD: In the aftermath of recent blast at the shrine of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar in Sindh, the government has decided to seal Torkham border crossing with Afghanistan for an indefinite period, DawnNews reported. According to the officials of political administration, the PakAfghan border crossing at Torkham has been sealed for all kinds of communication due to security concerns. “The border crossing will stay closed till further notice and all kinds of trade and commercial activities will remain suspended,” the officials said. Meanwhile, the military’s spokesperson also confirmed the development through a tweet. The newly built Pakistan Gate on the Torkham border was opened in August last year, to both traffic and pedestrians, albeit without a formal ceremony. Clashes between Pakistani and Afghan security forces over the construction of the border gate last year left four soldiers dead on both sides, including Frontier Corp’s Major Ali Jawad Changezi. The clashes had kept Torkham, one of the busiest crossing points between the two countries and used by 15,000 to 20,000 people and hundreds of vehicles daily, closed for six days. AGeNCIeS
Pakistan vows to root out terrorism: Nisar ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Chaudhary Nisar Ali Khan has said that Pakistan is determined to root out menace of terrorism from its soil. He was talking to British High Commissioner Thomas Drew who called on him here on Thursday. During the meeting, they discussed bilateral relations and regional issues. Interior Minister said terrorism is not only affecting a single country but also a danger to peace of the whole world. He urged the international community to play its role in war against terrorism. Thomas Drew condemned the recent terrorism wave in the country and expressed deep sorrow and grief over the loss of precious lives. PPI
3 Pak Army soldiers perish in IED attack AWARAN: Three soldiers of the Pakistan Army were killed in Balochistan’s Awaran district when an improvised explosive device (IED) targeting a military convoy exploded, the ISPR reported in a press release. The ISPR identified the deceased as Captain Taha, as well as two Sepoys by the name of Kamran Satti and Mehtar Jan respectively. Two other soldiers were also reported to have been injured in the explosion. Balochistan has been the victim of growing sectarian violence as well as attacks against military installments in the province and security officials. Militants from both Baloch nationalist and religious extremist groups have made the armed forces operating in Balochistan a constant target. The area in question is one of the most sensitive in the entire Balochistan province and has been a major focal point for coordinated attacks on the armed forces, witnessing numerous such attacks in the past. AGeNCIeS
Friday, 17 February, 2017
SEHWAN BECOMES RED
BlOODBATh AT QAlANDAr’s shrINE OVER 70 DEAD AS SUICIDE BOMBER STRIKES INSIDE SHRINE GEN BAJWA VOWS REVENGE, SAYS NO MORE RESTRAINT ISLAMIC STATE CLAIMS RESPONSIBILITY KARACHI/ISLAMABAD
T least 70 people were killed and more than 200 injured in a suicide attack on the shrine of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar in Sehwan on Thursday evening. “So far 70 people have been killed and more than 150 wounded,” Inspector General of Sindh Police AD Khawaja said. “Many of the wounded are in critical condition and they will be shifted to Karachi as soon as navy helicopters and C-130 plane reach the nearest airport,” he said soon after the attack. The figures later increased. Deputy Commissioner Munawar Maheesar confirmed the dead included at least four children and 12 women. In Sehwan, a senior police official said that a suicide bomber entered the shrine through its golden gate. The attacker blew himself up after throwing a grenade, which failed to explode, he added. The explosion took place in the area where the dhamaal (a Sufi dance ritual) was being performed after evening prayers. A large number of devotees, from different faiths and from across Pakistan, frequent the shrine on Thursdays — a day of spiritual significance in shrine culture. Following the attack, Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa directed that immediate assistance be provided to the civil author-
13/02/17: 1. Charing Cross blast in Lahore (13 causalities) 2. Blast in Quetta via IED killing bomb disposal officer. 14/02/17: 1. Threat alert against terrorist activities issued in Punjab. “Terrorists may target hospitals, schools and projects affiliated with China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)”. 15/02/17: 1. Mohmand agency blast and Peshawar blast targeting judge take place, at least 8 people die. 5 terrorists killed by Frontier corps in retaliation to Mohmand agency attack. 2. JIT formed to investigate Lahore blast. 3. Facilitator of Lahore blast arrested. 16/02/17: 1. Three Pakistani soldiers killed in IED attack in Awaran, Balochistan. 2. More than 70 killed in Sehwan at shrine of Laal Shehbaz Qalandar.
ities. Army contingents were dispatched along with medical personnel. In Hyderabad, the Combined Military Hospital was also alerted to receive casualties. Air evacuation of the injured was started from Nawabshah airport, the armed forces had tasked a C-130 aircraft and helicopters to aid in the effort. The injured were taken to Karachi and Hyderabad, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said. The armed
forces had placed all required resources to facilitate the rescue effort. The Pakistan Army and the Rangers assisted with rescue efforts at the site. Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah placed all navy hospitals in Karachi on high alert. Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah had directed all rescue teams to reach the spot of the attack. He also said that doctors from Jamshoro, Nawabshah and Hyderabad were sent
Pakistan has a history of attacks on shrines LAHORE SAMIULLAH RANDHAWA
Thursday’s terrorist attack at Sehwan Sharif, that killed over 72 people and injured more than 200, was not the first in the history of Pakistan as it has witnessed so many terrorist attacks on shrines. Since the Pakistan has joined the United States and its allies in war against terrorism, it became a prime target of terrorists who also targeted shrines and killed hundreds of innocent people. On March 19, 2005, Pakistan observed its first attack on shrine in which terrorists targeted Pir Rakhel Shah Shrine in a remote village of Fatehpur in Jhal Magsi. At least 35 people were killed and dozens of others were injured when a suicide bomber blew himself up. Just after the two months of Fatehpur tragedy, on May
27, 2005, the shrine of Bari Imam was rocked with a suicide blast in which 18 people killed and more than 80 were injured. On July 1, 2010, two suicide bombers blew themselves up at the Data Ganj Bakhsh shrine. The incident happened when a large of devotees were gathered on a Thursday night, killing at least 40 people and injuring 170 others. The first explosion took place in the basement reserved for ablution and the second in front of the shrine’s main gate. October 2010 was the month when two sufi shrines were attacked by terrorists. Two suicide bombers attacked at Abdullah Shah Ghazi’s Shrine in Karachi on October 7, which killed eight people and injured more than 60. On October 25, a bomb exploded at Baba Farid Ganjshakar’s Shrine in Pakpattan in which six people lost their lives while as many as 100 people were injured. On April 3, 2011, at least 50 people were killed and 70 others were injured when two suicide bombers struck outside the shrine of the sufi Ahmed Sultan, popularly known as Sakhi Sarwar, in Dera Ghazi Khan.
Govt to table military courts extension bill ISLAMABAD: The government plans to table a bill in the National Assembly about extension of military courts. A draft bill in this connection was discussed in the meeting of parliamentary parties here on Thursday. Talking to newsmen after the meeting, National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Sadiq said the government and the opposition have constituted a sub-committee to further discuss the bill. He said the opposition parties will share the bill with their leadership before the next meeting, which will be held on 27th of this month. PPI
to Sehwan. He said that the security has been tightened at all shrines across the province. The military issued a strongly worded statement to hostile powers, saying it will respond to such attacks. In a short message posted to Twitter, InterServices Public Relations Director General Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor said that recent terrorist acts were being executed on directions from hostile powers and from sanctuaries in Afghanistan. “We shall defend and respond,” he said. “Each drop of the nation's blood shall be revenged, and revenged immediately. No more restraint for anyone," the army chief was quoted as saying. He said that Gen Qamar Bajwa has appealed for calm. "Your security forces shall not allow hostile powers to succeed. We stand for our nation,” ISPR quoted Bajwa as saying. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said that an attack on the shrine of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar was an attack on the progressive and inclusive future of Pakistan. “The Sufi people predate Pakistan's history, and played an important part in the struggle for its formation,” he said. “An attack on them is a direct threat to Jinnah's Pakistan and will be dealt as such,” he said. Sindh Governor Mohammad Zubair, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Information Minister Maryum Aurangzaib, Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif and other political leaders strongly condemned the blast at Sehwan and expressed deep sorrow over the loss of precious lives and sympathised with the bereaved families. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan also condemned the suicide blast and said that he was shocked and saddened on the terrorist attack which targeted innocent people, including women and children. The Islamic State’s affiliate in Afghanistan claimed responsibility for the attack in a phone call to American CNN news channel. The Amaq news agency, which is affiliated with the militant group, reported the attack was carried out by a suicide bomber in an explosives vest.
FO condoles death of UAE‘s ambassador to Afghanistan ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has condoled the demise of JumaAl-Kaabi, Ambassador of UAE to Afghanistan, who had sustained serious injuries in the brutal terrorist attack in Kandahar in January 2017. “We are deeply saddened to learn about the passing away of UAE’s ambassador to Afghanistan .The government and people of Pakistan convey their heartfelt condolences to the leadership, the people of the UAE and the family of the martyred ambassador”, the Foreign Office spokesman said in his statement issued on Thursday. He said that Pakistan once again reiterates its strong condemnation of terrorism, in all its forms and manifestations, and stands with the government and people of the UAE in this hour of immense grief. ONLINe
Two died in attack on police mobile PESHAWAR: At least two persons, including a policeman, were killed and four others were injured when unknown militants attacked an official van in Dera Ismael Khan on Thursday night. According to a police official, the police mobile was on routine patrolling in Sabzi Mandi when some unknown persons started firing at personnel on board. As a result, two persons, a policeman and security guard of a private firm, were killed and four other policemen were injured. The injured were admitted to the divisional headquarter hospital. Police officials said that unknown militants were on a motorbike, and after firing they had managed to escape. So far, no one has claimed the responsibility of the terror attack. One day ago, a policeman in Nowshehra was also shot dead by some unknown militants. SHAMIM SHAHID
Friday, 17 February, 2017
Mastermind of lahore suicide bombing traced LAHORE RANA HAIDeR
Intelligence agencies have tracked down the commander of the banned outfit responsible for Monday’s Lahore suicide bombing. Intelligence operatives, privy to investigations into the suicide bombing, told Pakistan Today on Thursday that Jamaat-ul-Ahrar commanders Akhter Khaleel alias Hassan and Amin were the masterminds behind the attack. The two commanders had dispatched six militants to carry out the attack, said the intelligence operatives, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “Four were sent to Lahore and two to Sialkot. Amin provided the men with accommodations in Lahore,” they added. Although the intelligence agencies have identified the Jamaat-ul-Ahrar commanders, they are yet to be captured.
‘Imran’s evidence has no value’ ISLAMABAD APP
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader Danyal Aziz on Thursday said that counsels of the Sharif family were responding to questions of the court in the Panama leaks case. Talking to media persons outside the Supreme Court, Aziz said any person who lived abroad was not bound to pay tax in Pakistan under the law, adding that both Hassan Nawaz and Hussain Nawaz were doing business abroad for many years. He also said that the documents submitted to the court by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf were of “no value”. He said the PTI was apparently making efforts to adjourn the case in the election commission. A case against Imran Khan and Jahangur Tareen was also before the Supreme Court, he added He said Imran Khan gave mis-declarations in parliament regarding the Bani Gala and foreign funds. He also alleged that Khan had presented documents with fake signatures of Maryam Nawaz in the court. “The masses will decide about Imran Khan and his misdeeds in the next general elections,” he added. Khan, he said, was master of U-turn since he contradicted his own statements. Danyal said Imran tarnished the image of the country through politics of sit-ins, and he had no moral courage to apologise to the masses. He asked the PTI chief that there were no back-doors for coming to power. “It seems Imran Khan has been making efforts for a media trial of Sharif family,” he added. Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD) Parliamentary Secretary Maiza Hameed, also present on the occasion, said that the court had repeatedly directed the PTI for producing evidences but it has failed to present a single proof so far. She said that due to prudent policies of the government, the foreign investors were showing interest in Pakistan. Imran Khan will have to show performance in KPK to win next elections, Hameed concluded.
stolen bike used in Peshawar blast PESHAWAR StAff RePORt
The motorbike that was used in Wednesday’s Peshawar blast that killed one and left 15 injured has turned out to be a stolen one, according to an initial report. A motorcyclist, wearing a suicide vest, rammed into a civil judge’s vehicle, said the senior superintendent of police. Civil judge Asif Jadoon and three women judicial magistrates Rabia Abbas, Tehreema and Amina were among the injured. According to personnel of the Bomb Disposal Squad, the bomb weighing 15 kilogrammes contained explosive material, ball bearings and pellets. The vehicle carrying judicial officers was targeted in Hayatabad’s Phase-V, wounding 15 persons besides killing the driver of the vehicle.
Ex-NEPAl PM sAys INDIA TryING TO COrNEr PAKIsTAN OLI ASKS NEPAL GOVT NOT TO SUPPORT A PAPER SAYS SUB-REGIONAL PLATFORMS INDIA’S ANTI-PAKISTAN MOVE FULFILLING INDIA’S INTEREST KATHMANDU
EPAL'S former prime minister KP Sharma Oli has said that India is trying to corner Pakistan from the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) and the Nepal government should not support the move. Oli, who is chairman of CPNUML party, clearly opposed India's strategy to corner Pakistan in the eight-member South Asian grouping, and said that some sub-regional forums were working to ensure fruition of India's anti-Pakistan scheme. “India's strategy is clear – corner Pakistan,” he said while presenting a political document at the party's politburo meeting here. “In the backdrop of the postponement of the SAARC Summit in Islamabad and India's entry to other regional and sub-regional forums like BIMSTEC
and BBIN, it is clear that India wants to corner Pakistan. The sub-regional platforms like the BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) and the BBIN (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal Initiative) were going to be the tools for fulfilling India’s interest, he said in his 10-page political document. Oli, who became prime minister in October 2015 following promulgation of the new constitution and faced economic blockade along the NepalIndia border by Madhes-based political forces in Nepal, shared very acrimonious relations with New Delhi. He resigned from the post in August last year blaming India for his fall and has been propagating a nationalist and rightist agenda in Nepal. During his premiership, Oli had inked the landmark Nepal-China Transit and Transportation Agreement after Nepal-India border remained blocked for almost six
months. “Some sections have been trying to overplay pacts reached with China, claiming that China’s clout has increased in Nepal following the pacts related to trade, transit and connectivity, which is not true,” he said. Nepal should opt for an independent foreign policy and not be part or wheel of any power and should promote mutual cooperation and partnership with all friendly nations and neighbours, the former prime minister said. “Regional avenues like SAARC and BIMSTEC may be the tools of powerful nations to fulfil their interests, so we should make all possible efforts to stop them,” he said. Efforts are underway to keep Nepal within the clutches of India and make it fully dependent on its southern neighbour, he said, adding that at this juncture, “our party UML wants relations with India based on mutual benefit, non-alignment and respect for our sovereignty.”
LoC violations may undermine regional peace: think tank ISLAMABAD StAff RePORteR
Strategic Vision Institute (SVI) has warned that dangerous escalation in LoC violations by India amidst an uprising in Occupied Kashmir could enhance the chances of full scale military confrontation and undermine regional peace, security and strategic stability. India, alongside brutal repression in Occupied Jammu and Kashmir, has sharply intensified ceasefire violations along the Line of Control and Working Boundary in a bid to create an impression that the situation in Kashmir was Pakistan’s creation. Additionally, Pakistan is being threatened with punitive action. These views were expressed by speakers at the end of a round-table conference, organised by the SVI on ‘Kashmir Conflict and Regional Security in South Asia’ here on Thursday. The event was attended by retired senior Pakistani diplomats, military
officials, academicians, Kashmiri activists, and representatives of Islamabad-based think tank. According to the think tank, India committed 389 ceasefire violations since last summer, when the latest phase of uprising in the Valley started, in which over 60 people both civilian and military have been killed because of Indian shelling on the Pakistani side. Speaking on the occasion, SVI President Dr Zafar Iqbal Cheema said the situation becomes particularly worrisome when seen in the context of confirmation of existence of Cold Start Doctrine by Indian Army Chief Gen Bipin Rawat and Delhi’s massive conventional arms build-up, and rapidly growing nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles arsenal, backed by huge budgetary increase for military preparations. “The situation is too dangerous and risky, it carries dangerous portents for peace, regional security and strategic stability.” Islamabad Policy Research Institute President Amb Sohail Amin ob-
served that Pakistan had tried every track to find a solution to Kashmir problem, but only got belligerence in return from India. He regretted that world’s business interests in India prevented it from speaking up against the brutalities being committed by the Indian security forces in Occupied Kashmir. Former Foreign secretary Riaz Khokhar said India was extremely inflexible on Kashmir issue. “We are in a complex and difficult situation. Dealing with India has been a very frustrating experience for Pakistan,” he said. Khokhar further regretted that most of Pakistani political leaders either have not been sincere with Kashmir cause or lacked clarity on the way forward. Ashraf Jehangir Qazi recommended that Pakistan should improve its image for increasing its options and winning the respect of the world. Moreover, he stressed that Kashmiri freedom fighters and Pakistan needed to be on the same page.
6 TTP-Jamaatul Ahrar militants killed in CTD raid in Multan MULTAN StAff RePORt
The Punjab Police’s Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) raided a militant hideout and killed six suspected members of a Taliban faction that has launched a new campaign of violence in the country, a CTD spokesperson said Thursday. He said CTD officials surrounded a hideout of the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP)’s Jamaatul Ahrar faction in Multan late on Wednesday and ordered the suspects inside to surrender. “But the terrorists started firing at the raiding party,” added the spokesperson, who the unit did not identify for security reasons, said in a statement. Six militants were killed, while three or four escaped under the cover of darkness, the department added. Two hand grenades, two automatic rifles and two pistols were recovered from the hideout of the terrorists. The action was taken after getting information that militants were planning to launch attacks on “vital installations” in the area. The TTP faction had claimed responsibility for a suicide bomb attack near the Punjab Assembly in Lahore on Monday that killed 15 people and wounded more than 80. The Jamaat-ul-Ahrar said the attack was the beginning of a new campaign of violence against the government, security forces, judiciary and secular political parties. Since then, militants have killed two bomb disposal officers in Quetta and a suicide bomber blew himself up outside a government office near Peshawar on Wednesday, killing five people.
sharif family has no property proof: Imran Khan ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan said that there was no proof of his properties abroad as alleged by the Sharif family, adding that their statements regarding the matter were contradictory and false. Talking to media persons outside the Supreme Court after the hearing of Panama case, he said that public prosecutor said in the court that “if the prime minister tells a lie in the parliament house then there is no wrong” but a leader should be honest, he added. Khan said, “Truth is not being spoken here but the corruption worth billions of rupees is being committed. The leader should be honest because he is the custodian of the national wealth but here the custodians are betraying and making property abroad worth billions of rupees earned through corruption”. The PTI chairman alleged that the PM had established a factory through money laundering, and now the Sharif family was trying to hide that fact. ONLINe
INDIA SIDELINED IN AFGHAN PEACE MOOT
Six-party moot in Moscow decides to expand framework CENTRAL ASIAN STATES TO JOIN AFGHAN PEACE TALKS RUSSIA, CHINA ASSERT THEIR WAY INTO REGIONAL AFFAIRS, AFGHANISTAN ISLAMABAD MIAN ABRAR
The six-party moot held in Moscow for Afghan peace process has decided to expand the framework, allowing other regional players, namely the central Asian states, to join in the dialogue process and Pakistan welcomes the decision. These views were expressed by Foreign Office spokesperson Nafees Zakria during the weekly briefing here at the Ministry Of Foreign Affairs. “The six-party talks, which concluded yesterday, discussed regional approaches to the security situation in Afghanistan and agreed on expansion of this six-party format with the inclusion of Central Asian countries, at first,” the spokesman said. He said that the meeting also agreed to further increase efforts towards peace and stability in Afghanistan under an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process. “Pakistan welcomes all such
initiatives. We expect regional countries to play their constructive role in this regard,” the spokesman said and added that the discussions focused assessing the situation in Afghanistan and approaches towards attaining peace in Afghanistan, and taking affective steps to address those concerns. “In the Moscow meeting, the discussions were about the situation in Afghanistan and adopting regional approaches towards peace and stability in Afghanistan. The impact of the situation in Afghanistan on the regional countries was a matter of concern. Regional countries are getting together to cooperate and enhance efforts towards peace and stability in Afghanistan,” Zakria maintained. With the expansion of the six-party talks, the influence of regional powers like Russia, China and Pakistan would increase. Interestingly, it seems, however, that India has been sidelined in the process with the expansion of the format
while Russia and China would have a bigger role in the Afghan efforts. India stands isolated in the process as its influence has been curtailed with the expansion of the participants. Over the years, Russia and China have cultivated heavily in the central Asian states that came into being in 1990s but since then, their reliance has been left on Russian Federation in terms of finances and military equipment. In 2001, allied forces came and made some investments in the central Asia. However, the US influence remained limited to Ukraine and Georgia. Over the past decade, China’s influence has increased manifold due to the economic corridors constructed, linking China with the central Asian states. China has invested $30 billion in central Asian states which has increased its influence silently. Moreover, the Asian Development Bank (ADB), under the CAREC initiative, also invested
US$ 20 billion. The heavy investments in central Asian states helped them survive the initial economic dent. Moreover, the turmoil in those central Asian states where the US wielded its influence, like Ukraine and Georgia, distanced other central Asian states from the western bloc. ECO SuMMIt: Zakria said that the official theme of the upcoming ECO Summit is connectivity with prosperity. Therefore, he said all matters of enhancing connectivity and economic cooperation will be discussed during the summit. “The initial phase of CPEC will end when the early harvest projects come to completion. CPEC is a bilateral project of Pakistan and China. The two countries will discuss modalities on the nature of participation of other countries,” he said. “It is clear that CPEC is not just an economic project for Pakistan or China, but it will bring benefits for the entire region,” the spokesman said.
04 NEWS Panama CasE FIVE-MEMBER SC BENCH SUMMONS NAB, FBR CHAIRMEN IN PERSON ON NEXT HEARING ISLAMABAD
SHAH NAWAZ MOHAL
HE five-member larger bench of the Supreme Court – resuming hearing of the Panama case on Thursday - persisted in their efforts to ascertain whether or not Hussain Nawaz, prime minister’s eldest son, is the owner of four flats located in London's upscale Park Lane neighbourhood. The court reminded Hussain Nawaz’s counsel Advocate Salman Akram Raja of playing a gamble that could go both way as the latter refused to present all the relevant documents and argued on the limitations and scope of Article 184 (3) under which the court has taken up the multiple petitions against Sharif family. During the hearing, Justice Asif Saeed Khosa also remarked that the court can give a declaration on matters of honesty under Article 184(3). Advocate Raja has submitted the details pertaining to Minerva Financial services before the court that says that Hussain Nawaz nominated Faisal Twana as his representative to sign agreement with the Arinna Limited. He
Friday, 17 February, 2017
HUSSAIN NAwAz’S CoUNSEl SUbMITS NEw doCUMENTS also apprised the court that the documents arrived from London yesterday and also contains the details of payments made to Minerva Financial Ltd. Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed remarked that the documents show the directors of offshore companies. “Question is who was the director of Nielson and Nascol back then,” he asked. Raja continued his arguments and told the court that from February 2006 till July 2006, Maryam Nawaz was the trustee shareholder and in July 2006, shares registered with Minerva Company were issued. “In 2014, the shares were transferred from Minerva to trustee services. Thus from February to July, Maryam Nawaz kept bearers certificate but since the bearer certificates were revoked thus her status as shareholders also ended,” he said. The counsel argued that the documents showing Maryam Nawaz as beneficial owner of any of the companies were fake. “Maryam Nawaz has said that signs on the document are not hers. Who brought the documents, we don’t know. The fake documents were submitted to the court pertaining to Maryam’s
beneficial ownership,” he argued. Justice Khosa asked Raja that through the documents he submitted whether he wants to say that the chain of purchase of London flats has completed. Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan remarked that Hussain Nawaz didn't have sources to buy such expensive property. Raja replied that the property was given to him in return of Qatari investment. Raja while arguing on scope of Article 184(3) said that the court can’t investigate the matter on its own, however, it can form a commission. Justice Ejaz Afzal remarked that they can either form a commission or send the matter to relevant authority. “But it is said that institutions are not working, then what should we do,” he said. Justice Sheikh also said that the time of the court was being wasted. Justice Khosa asked Raja that whether not producing documents before the court was his strategy, to which he replied that he has no such strategy. “If it's not a strategy than it’s a gamble,” Justice Ejaz Afzal remarked. Justice Khosa added that a gamble can go either way. The bench and Advocate Salman
Raja had a heated exchange related to formation and powers of the commission. The bench was of the view that it can form a commission to inquire into the matter while Raja argued that the commission can only give an opinion based on its inquiry. “Criminal matters cannot be tried through a trial commission,” he argued. Justice Khosa wondered why no record was maintained for the huge business and financial transactions. Raja argued that the court has to see whether an illegal act accrues from nonkeeping of record. “Do you have only this stance and no documents,” Justice Khosa asked. “I’ve presented all the documents I had,” Raja replied. Justice Sheikh remarked that though the judges would come and go but the principles they make would stay for times to come. After Salman Raja concluded his arguments on Thursday, the bench summoned NAB chairman and FBR chairman in person on the next hearing and adjourned the hearing till Tuesday (February 21) keeping in view Justice Sheikh’s health who is advised by the doctors to preside not more than three days a week.
NACTA issues threat alert for Islamabad ISLAMABAD FARID SABRI
The National Counter Terrorism Authority on Thursday evening issued a notification about a possible threat alert in Islamabad and Rawaplindi. According to the document available with Pakistan Today, it is mentioned that unknown terrorists have prepared a suicide bomber named Osama, son of Ali Muhammad, for a possible suicide bombing in Islamabad and Rawaplindi. "An individual named Ghazali in Quetta is one of the planners of the suicide attack," reads the letter. It is further directed to Islamabad and Rawaplindi police to ensure strict vigilance in and around schools, colleges, hospitals, universities and shrines. Islamabad police has been directed to deploy more security officials in red-zone. Security sources confided Pakistan Today that the shrine of Bari Imam has been closed for public in order to prevent any untoward bloody incident and security at shrine of Goldra Sharif has also been increased. Security sources briefed this correspondent that there is a possible threat in Islamabad. "After Lahore, Quetta and Karachi, terrorists are now all set to attack soft targets in the capital. They may attack Faisal Mosque on Friday."
Musharraf admits Saudi funds for his UK, UAE apartments NEWS DESK
PAF inducts 70 JF-17 Thunder jets ISLAMABAD STAFF REPORT
It was a historic day for Pakistan Air Force indeed, as the prestigious No 14 Air Superiority Squadron was re-equipped with the indigenously manufactured JF-17 Thunder aircraft in an impressive induction ceremony held at PAF Base, Minhas, today. Mr. Khawaja Muhammad Asif, Federal Minister for Defence was the Chief Guest at the occasion. Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman, Chief of the Air Staff, Pakistan Air Force Ex Air Chiefs and high ranking civil and military officials were also present at the occasion. The Chief Guest reviewed the parade and awarded Squadron Colour to the No 14 Air Superiority Squadron. JF-17 Thunders also presented fly past on the occasion. A documentary on the history of No 14 Air Superiority Squadron was also shown during the ceremony. It was a cherished moment for Pakistan Aeronautical Complex, Kamra as well as it achieved a remarkable milestone of producing sixteen JF-17 Thunder Block-II aircraft in the year – 2016.
Pakistan aware of Indian designs to sabotage CPEC: Foreign Office ISLAMABAD STAFF REPORT
The Foreign Office said Thursday India has been involved in terrorist activities in Pakistan and is now openly opposing the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. Answering a question at the weekly news briefing in Islamabad about Pakistan-China cooperation in the context of CPEC and threats emanating from India side, FO spokesperson Nafees Zakaria said, “We are aware of Indian [government’s] plans to sabotage CPEC,” he said. “India’s interference in Pakistan is not concealed.” He said India’s nuclear weapons are a threat to peace in South Asia. Moreover, he maintained, massive purchase of weapons by India could lead to instability in the region.” Zakaria, to another query, said
Indian defence build up was not in the interest of the region and added that it was a matter of grave concern and endangering the peace in the region and disturbing the strategic balance. He said the continuing instability in Afghanistan had created space for the non-state actors and terrorist organisations to find their foothold in that country. The FO spokesperson said Jamatul Ahrar which was based in Afghanistan claimed to carry out terrorist attacks in Pakistan. He said we have raised the issue of terrorist activities on Pakistan soil from across the border. “We have also urged the Afghan leadership to take necessary steps to address our concern,” he added. To another question, Zakaria said Indian atrocities against Kashmiris were continuing unabated. He said
India army issues warning for waving Pakistani ﬂags NEW DELHI AGENCIES
Unable to deal with uprising in Srinagar and other parts of Indian-held Kashmir, India’s Chief of Army Staff General Bipin Rawat on Wednesday said that those waving Pakistani flags in the disputed state will be dealt with harsher measures, The Indian Express newspaper reported. “If they want to continue with the acts of ‘terrorism,’ displaying flags of Pakistan or the Islamic State, then we will treat them as ‘anti-national’ elements and go helter-skelter for them,” he said. “They may survive today but we will get them tomorrow. Our relentless operations
will continue,” he said. On the other hand, Kashmiri politicians have criticised General Rawat’s statement warning local youth against creating ‘hurdles’ during security operations even as the government came to his defence. Both the camps said that such a statement would fuel a spurt in militancy in the disputed state. The opposition National Conference expressed disappointment and dismay over the belligerent remarks of the army chief and said such posturing would compound the situation and increase the hostility in the state. “Youth rushing towards encounter sites and incidents of stonepelting on the forces during encounters
are worrying and alarming signs of the sense of alienation and disenchantment in Kashmir,” NC spokesperson Junaid Azim Mattu said in a statement. “The need of the hour is to understand and acknowledge the deep sense of isolation in Kashmir and deal with it with statesmanship and magnanimity. Threatening and warning youth who are already anguished and irrational to the sense of caring little for their lives will be of little consequence but would only push them farther from reconciliation,” the statement said. People’s Democratic Party’s general secretary Nizamuddin Bhat said that the army must exercise restraint. “This has
Pakistan had taken the issue to the UN secretary general about the involvement of India in terrorist activities in Pakistan. He said Pakistan was the biggest victim of terrorism. He said India was also violating ceasefire on the Line of Control and Working Boundary resulting into loss of precious civilian lives. He said Pakistan had repeatedly lodged protests with Indian in this regard. He said India desperately wanted to divert the attention of the world community from atrocities being committed in held Kashmir by Indian troops. He also urged the international community to play the role to permanently resolve the dispute of Kashmir in accordance with the UNSC resolutions. To a question, the spokesman said an investigation was underway into the Lahore bombing and some arrests had been made.
Former military ruler Pervez Musharraf has disclosed that he received financial assistance from Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz al Saud of Saudi Arabia in 2009 to purchase apartments in Dubai and London. The former president said he was given the financial assistance because “King Abdullah was like a brother” to him. The claim came during an interview with a private news channel. However, Musharraf did not delve into further details saying it was a “private affair”. Explaining his relations with the late King of the Kingdom, Musharraf said, they had good family relations and King Abdullah considered him “one of his own”. “I was the only one who he used to smoke in front of,” he added. “Whenever there were banquets, I used to go to his swimming pool area and his inner quarters,” he added. Musharraf also recalled that once when an OIC meeting was held in Makkah, King Abdullah, himself, took him inside the Holy Kaaba to offer prayers. “He [King Abdullah] respected me and he loved me,” the former president added. The former military ruler further said he didn’t purchase properties while being in power in Pakistan. “I would be held accountable if I made any property during my tenure as president. But when I went abroad in 2009, I established all the property I own in my individual capacity,” he said.
not happened today, there have been occasions in the past also. That is why we say in any circumstances, a disciplined force observes restraint. This is a welfare state and we are committed to certain principles,” he said. Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Geelani said that India’s arrogance and stale thinking was the basic reason for continuous bloodshed and political uncertainty in state. “People of the state and particularly the youth are up against this hegemony and suppression,” he said. Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chairman Yasin Malik termed the statement of the army chief as a case of political immaturity. He said that Indian army chief’s statement amounts to direct threat to the whole Kashmiri nation. “Indian army chief must realise that he cannot scare a nation that has sacrificed more than a hundred thou-
sand of its men, women, youth and children during ongoing resistance movement. This statement may add to the miseries of Kashmiris but it will also push many youth to the wall and, drive them towards arms struggle and hence promote violence in this region,” he said. Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq said that instead of issuing threats, it would be prudent for the Indian army chief to accept the ground realities in Kashmir. “Indian military and political leadership had no other option but to come to the grips of the reality that Kashmir issue cannot be dealt with military might or with threats of war but by involving all parties to Kashmir dispute in a meaningful and result-oriented dialogue process, which could also help end political uncertainty in entire South Asia,” he said.
FOREIGN NEWS 05
Friday, 17 February, 2017
US defence chief SeeS no military collaboration with rUSSia BRUSSELS
‘nato provoking us, trying to push us into conflicts’ MOSCOW AGENCIES
russian President Vladimir Putin has said that North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) is constantly trying to draw his country into a confrontation, as members of the alliance continue to interfere in russia’s domestic affairs. Addressing senior members of the russia’s FSB intelligence agency on Thursday, he said that NATO "is constantly provoking us and trying to draw us into confrontation." Over the past years, the global security situation has not improved, but on the contrary, many existing threats have only become more serious, he said. “NATO with its newly-declared official mission to deter russia is one such threat,” Putin said. “This is the goal behind the expansion of this military bloc. It happened before, but now they have found a new justification which they believe to be serious,” he said. “In fact, they are constantly provoking us, trying to drag us into a confrontation,” he said. He said that NATO members were continuing their efforts to interfere in “our domestic affairs” with the goal of destabilising social and political order in russia. He said that the foreign intelligence agencies continue intensive operations in russia. “In the past year, 53 foreign intelligence operatives and 386 agents of foreign intelligence services have been busted,” he said. He also said that he wants to work towards restoring dialogue between russian and US intelligence agencies. “It’s absolutely clear that in the area of counterterrorism all relevant governments and international groups should work together,” he said. “It's in everyone's interest to resume dialogue between the intelligence agencies of the US and other members of NATO.” On the other hand, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has told a parliamentary committee examining alleged US surveillance in Germany that spying among friends was unacceptable.
court acquits two accused in delhi serial blasts case NEW DELHI AGENCIES
A Delhi court on Thursday acquitted two persons, accused in 2005 Diwali-eve serial blasts case here which had claimed 67 lives, saying the prosecution has failed to prove their guilt. Additional Sessions Judge reetesh Singh acquitted Muhammad rafiq Shah and Muhammad Hussain Fazli of all the charges. However, the court held the third accused – Tariq Ahmed Dar – guilty of being a member of a ‘terror outfit’ and giving support to it, but let him off too, saying he has already undergone more than 10 years in jail – a maximum punishment for these offences. The serial blasts at three places – Sarojini Nagar, Paharganj and Kalkaji – on October 29, 2005 had taken a toll of 67 lives and injured over 225 persons. Dar was convicted for the offence punishable under Section 38 (being the member of a terror organisation) and Section 39 (giving support to such outfit) of Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA). Farooq Ahmed Batloo and Ghulam Ahmed Khan had earlier pleaded guilty and were let off by the court for the period already undergone by them. Terror funding was the allegation against both these accused. Three separate cases were registered by the Delhi Police’s special cell following the blasts. The court had clubbed all the three cases for the purpose of recording of evidence.
S Defence Secretary Jim Mattis on Thursday said that he did not see the conditions for military collaboration with russia, in a ‘blow’ to Moscow's hopes for repairing ties with the United States following President Donald Trump's election. “We are not in a position right now to collaborate on a military level. But our political leaders will engage and try to find common ground,” Mattis told reporters after talks at the NATO headquarters in Brussels. “right now, I would just say there's very little doubt that they have either interfered or they have attempted to interfere in a number of elections in the democracies,” he said when asked whether he believed that russia interfered in US presidential elections. Mattis' remarks came shortly after his russian counterpart Sergei Shoigu expressed readiness to resume cooperation with the Pentagon and the same day russ-
ian President Vladimir Putin said it was in the interests of both the nations to restore communications between their intelligence agencies. “It’s in everyone’s interest to resume dialogue between the intelligence agencies of the US and other members of NATO,” Putin said, addressing russia's Federal Security Service (FSB). “It’s absolutely clear that in the area of counter-terrorism all relevant governments and international groups should work together.” Mattis told a closed-door session of NATO on Wednesday that the alliance needed to be realistic about the chances of restoring a cooperative relationship with Moscow and ensure its diplomats could "negotiate from a position of strength." That prompted a terse reply from russia's Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu. "Attempts to build a dialogue with russia from a position of strength would be futile," Shoigu was quoted as saying by news agency TASS. Mattis shot back: "I have no need to respond to the russian statement at all. NATO has always stood for military strength and protection of the
democracies and the freedoms we intend to pass on to our children." The back-and-forth was the latest indication from the Trump administration that rebuilding U.S. ties with Moscow could be more difficult than Trump might have thought before his election. US intelligence agencies concluded that russia hacked and leaked Democratic emails during the presidential campaign as part of efforts to tilt the vote in the Nov. 8 election in Trump's favour. Concerns over the extent of russian interference have been magnified since Trump forced out national security adviser Michael Flynn on Monday. Flynn resigned after disclosures he had discussed US sanctions on russia with the russian ambassador to the United States before Trump took office, and that he later misled Vice President Mike Pence about the conversations. Congressional inquiries into alleged russian interference in the US elections are gaining momentum as Capitol Hill investigators press intelligence and law enforcement agencies for access to classified documents.
TO PROTECT ENDANGERED GRASSLANDS, WILDLIFE
Australia to kill more than a million kangaroos in a year WILDLIFE GROUPS CRITICISE PLAN, SAY ILLEGAL KILLING MAY BRING NUMBER DOWN
OrE than a million kangaroos are expected to be killed in Australia this year as the country launches a mass cull of the creatures in an effort to protect endangered grasslands and wildlife. Wildlife groups have criticised the plans and warned that the illegal killing of the creatures by farmers and hunters, combined with the government sanctioned cull could see their numbers rapidly deplete. An Office of Environment and Heritage spokesperson for the New South Wales government insisted the quotas were sustainable in the long term. But Brad Smith, secretary of the Upper Hunter Valley Wildlife Aid group, said that he feared kangaroos could soon become extinct if the level of culling continues. “If you take into account the numbers of kangaroos shot each year and the numbers hit and killed
by cars, it’s running into millions and millions per year,” he said. Australia's national parks allocate 'tags' to property owners who wish to cull kangaroos on their land, which they are then required to attach to any kangaroo they shoot as a way to mark that it was a legal kangaroo shooting. But this doesn't happen often enough, said Smith, who has been running the group from his home in southern Australia for 10 years. “A person who wants 'roos culled from their property has to contact the national parks, who will then give them a tag for every kangaroo they are allowed to shoot. But that very rarely happens, not nearly enough,” he added. Upper Hunter Valley Wildlife Aid works specifically to rescue
and rehabilitate injured or orphaned kangaroos and other animals, and Mr Smith and his wife are currently caring for 13 joeys in their home. The group rescues around 160 orphaned joeys each year and receives around 2,000 calls during that time from people who have found the young creatures in need of rescuing. Smith said he believed around 60 per cent of joeys born in Australia today do not reach adulthood, with most deaths caused by human actions. Official statistics show that more than 1.5 million kangaroos were killed in 2015, and while the figures for 2016 are not yet available, it is estimated to be in a similar region. But Mr Smith believes the true numbers are higher. AGENCIES
anti-muslim hate groups nearly triple in US NEW YORK AGENCIES
The number of organised anti-Muslim hate groups in America nearly tripled last year, from 34 to more than 100, according to a new report from the Southern Poverty Law Centre, a left-leaning non-profit that tracks extremist groups. The centre credited the incendiary rhetoric of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign with fuelling the rise in anti-Muslim hate, along with anger over terror attacks like the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando last June. Several senior White House officials, including Steve Bannon, Steven Miller, and Kellyanne Conway, are serious anti-Muslim ideologues, said Mark Potok, the lead author of the annual hate group report. “It’s hardly like the departure of Michael Flynn is going to mitigate the really serious onslaught directed at American Muslims,” Potok said. The former national security adviser, who resigned Monday, had made several anti-Muslim statements, including a Twitter post suggesting that “fear of Muslims is rational”. The new report found there are now more than 900 active hate groups across the US – from Ku Klux Klan chapters to neo-Nazi hubs to racist black separatist organisations – an uptick of less than 3% since 2015, according to the group’s annual count. This is slightly lower than the group’s all-time high count of 1,018 hate groups in 2011. Trump’s meteoric rise in the past year electrified many of these racists and far-right extremists, the report concluded. At the same time, Trump’s campaign may have also drained energy from independent extremist rallies and gatherings, as far-right supporters chose instead to attend mainstream Trump rallies. The number of “in-person” extremist events declined in 2016, according to the report. “They were so turned on by what was happening in the pro-Trump world that they entered that world, rather than holding their own rallies,” Potok said. “We think Trump has co-opted many of the issues of the radical right,” he said. “We think that has prevented or at least slowed the growth of these groups.” The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Trump has denounced some racist groups and said at at meeting with the New York Times in November: “If they are energized, I want to look into it and find out why.” Asked at a news conference Wednesday about a spike in antisemitic threats, Trump told reporters: “We are going to do everything within our power to stop longsimmering racism and every other thing that’s going on. “I think one of the reasons that I won the election is because we have a very, very divided nation,” the president added. “Very divided, and hopefully, I’ll be able to do something about that.” The modest increase in the number of organized hate groups across the US also comes along with rapid growth of largely anonymous, internet-based hate websites, the analysts found. The Daily Stormer, a neo-Nazi hate site whose founder organizes harassing “troll storms” of abuse towards political opponents, surpassed the traffic ratings of Stormfront, a more traditional racist site, last July, according to the center’s analysis, becoming the most popular English-language far-right site.
Washington, where leaks are common currency TRUMP ACCUSES INTELLIGENCE AGENCIES OF ILLEGALLY LEAKING INFORMATION WASHINGTON AGENCIES
As a candidate for president, Donald Trump embraced the hackers who had leaked Hillary Clinton’s emails to the press, declaring at a rally in Pennsylvania, “I love WikiLeaks!” To the cheering throngs that night, Trump marvelled that “nothing is secret today when you talk about the internet.” He said that the leakers had performed a public service by revealing what he called a scandal with no rival in US history. Now, after less than four weeks in the Oval Office, President Trump has changed his mind.
At a news conference on Wednesday and in a series of Twitter postings earlier in the day, Trump angrily accused intelligence agencies of illegally leaking information about Michael T Flynn, his former national security adviser, who resigned after reports that he had lied about conversations with the russian ambassador. “It’s a criminal action, criminal act,” Trump fumed at the White House. In a Twitter message, he asserted that the real scandal here is that classified information is illegally given out by ‘intelligence’ like candy. Very unAmerican!” But this is Washington, where leaks are common currency –
and, depending what side you’re on, either sinister or patriotic. Democrats these days see the proliferation of leaks about the Trump administration as the acts of public servants revealing the misdeeds of a presidency. republicans see them as the reckless actions of disgruntled bureaucrats eager to advance their own agendas and sabotage Mr. Trump. Either way, Trump’s presidential flip-flop follows a landmark month for Washington leaks. Drafts of his executive orders floated around the city for days before he signed them. Parts of the president’s conversations with foreign leaders have been published verbatim in news accounts. Agency memos and cables have been repeatedly cited by journalists to document anxiety among the city’s civil servants.
And an endless stream of articles about the connections between Trump advisers and russia have been generated by leaks from intelligence and law enforcement sources. There are so many, in fact, that in one article about Flynn, The Washington Post cited an unusually large number of sources, beyond the customary two: “Nine current and former officials, who were in senior positions at multiple agencies at the time of the calls.” Laura r Handman, a lawyer who represents news organisations on First Amendment issues, said of Trump, “He will not be the first president who has decried leaks once they become president.” She said that that does seem to be pretty much a constant in the Oval Office. “It’s definitely true that he embraced them when the shoe was on the other foot.”
06 ISLAMABAD pRayeR timingS FAJR SUNRISE
ASR MAGHRIB ISHA
OUT-OF-TURN PROMOTIONS, UP-GRADATIONS FIA completes inquiry against 32 CDA officers ISLAMABAD faRiD SaBRi
The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has completed its inquiry against 32 Capital Development Authority (CDA) officers for out-of-turn promotions and up-gradation of hundreds of CDA officials during the tenures of former CDA chairmen Farkhand Iqbal and Imtiaz Inayat Elahi and an FIR will be filed soon, Pakistan Today has reliably learnt. The sources confided that FIA after finalising its investigations has approached higher authorities to obtain consent for formal launching of FIR against the officers who were upgraded and were promoted out-of-turn promotions. From 2010 to 2013, more than 600 employees were upgraded and re-designated unlawfully after bypassing rules and regulations. The FIA has finalised the inquiry against 32 officers including two former CDA chairmen including Farkhand Iqbal and Imtiaz Inayat Elahi in addition of CDA Administration ex-member Shaukat Mehmand. The majority of the other officers including CDA Deputy Director General Law Najma Azhar then DDG HRD, CDA Director Administration Safdar Shah then Deputy Director HRD, besides Asad Abbas, Gulam Rasool, Ghulam Mohiuddin HRO-VI, and Hina Ibrar HRO-VI, Dil Faryad Khan, Admin Officer CDA Hospital, Muhammad Irfan Khan ADE&DM, Shams-ud-Din etc are still working in authority in different directorates and sections. A similar case regarding out-of-turn promotions and up-gradation of hundred of CDA officials during tenures of former CDA Chairmen Farkhand Iqbal and Imtiaz Inayat Elahi is pending in the Supreme Court. CDA former chairman Maroof Afazal had submitted a report in the court admitting that certain CDA staffers had been upgraded against various posts. The report stated that on the demand of CDA union, a large number of employees were promoted and their promotions were approved by the CDA Board of Directors on May 11, 2011. “There are two inquiries that are being conducted against out-of-turn promotions of employees, one was internal inquiry being carried out by CDA is still in process and other was being conducted by FIA, which might have finalised,” a CDA officials who is member of CDA’s internal inquiry committee told Pakistan Today on the condition of anonymity. He, however, expressed his lack of knowledge about inquiry report finalised by FIA. The sources said that from 2010 to 2016, more than 2,000 people were appointed in the CDA, and 90 per cent of the appointments violated various rules and regulations. “These people were appointed without cabinet approval or any advertisement in the newspapers. Most of them are bogus,” a CDA source told Pakistan Today on condition of anonymity.
Friday, 17 February, 2017
The government apathy and poor education funding were amongst the major factors that slowed down the growth of the oldest space agency of the subcontinent, Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO), says a report published in Indian newspaper Hindustan Times. The author of the report, Dhrubo Jyoti, who studied the space exploration history as part of a masters’ course in astrophysics and space science writes: The year is 1961. A charismatic new president John F Kennedy has just taken oath in the United States, the Soviet Union has put the first man in space and a little-known band called the Beatles is playing its first show in England. But something equally momentous is happening in Pakistan, where globally renowned physicist Abdus Salam is convincing president Ayub Khan to
PAkIstAn, srI LAnkA tIes FLourIshIng: tAnveer SRI LANKAN NAVY DELEGATION VISITS AIR HEADQUARTERS ISLAMABAD
AKISTAN attaches great importance to its relations with Sri Lanka, the ties have grown to the great extent over the last six decades”. This was stated by Defence Production Minister Rana Tanveer Hussain while talking to Sri Lankan Navy Commander Vice Admiral RC Wijegunaratne who called on him here on Thursday. The minister said that there was a considerable potential for cooperation between the two countries. Pakistan has always proposed futuristic cooperation to Sri Lanka. He said that two countries could also cooperate in counter terrorism in a comprehensive manner, including sharing of experience and working together to eliminate this menace. The minister expressed that it was Pakistan’s ardent desire to promote peace and cooperation in South Asia. ‘For that, Pakistan attaches great importance to SAARC and wishes to see SAARC as a vibrant regional organization. Pakistan desires Sri Lanka and other countries of the region to make it an effective organization in order to promote good relations between the countries of the region, so that our people could benefit from the fruits of the regional cooperation’, he added. Later, the delegation of Sri Lankan Navy, headed by Vice Admiral RC Wi-
jegunaratne, visited Air Headquarters, Islamabad on Thursday. The distinguished guests were received by Chief of the Air Staff Sohail Aman. On the arrival of Sri Lankan Navy delegation, a smartly turned out contingent
of Pakistan Air Force presented the guard of honour. The visiting dignitary paid homage to the martyrs of PAF by laying floral wreath on Martyrs’ Monument. Later, the honourable guest was introduced to principal staff officers of Pakistan
ICCI calls upon govt to address real estate sector issues ISLAMABAD Online
Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Khalid Iqbal Malik said that real estate sector was playing an important role in the economic development of the country, but was facing problems due to imposition of new taxes. He called upon the government to look into the issues of realtors to facilitate the growth of this important sector. He was addressing a del-
egation of Islamabad Estate Agents Association (IEAA) that visited ICCI led by its President Rana Muhammad Arshad. Group Chairman Abid Khan, Senior Vice President Fakhar-uz-Zaman, Vice President Uzair Baloch, General Secretary Zulqarnain Abbasi and executive committee members of IEAA were also in the delegation. Khalid Iqbal Malik said that business of thousands of people was associated with real estate sector but steps like imposition of new taxes
and new method of property valuation have put this sector into slump. He said due to this situation, many investors were leaving real estate sector and cautioned that if government did not address its issues on urgent basis, unemployment would further grow in the country. ICCI Senior Vice President Khalid Malik and Vice President Tahir Ayub assured the IEAA delegation that the chamber would raise their issues at all relevant forums and would play its role to redress their problems.
Govt apathy, poor funding slowed progress of SUPARCO: Indian newspaper ISLAMABAD
set up a national space agency, the first in the subcontinent. In September that year, Salam sets up the Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission headquarters in Karachi - a full eight years before neighbour India formalises its own space agency. The initial years of the agency are buoyed by hope. Four top scientists are sent to the NASA to study space technology and Salam’s growing stature in the scientific world - he would win the Physics Nobel Prize in 1979 - help attract talent to the nascent organisation. In 1962, SUPARCO launches its first rocket, Rehbar I, from a range off the Karachi coast with help from NASA, a year before India’s first rocket would blast off from the Thumba launching station. Pakistan becomes the third Asian country to launch rockets after Israel and Japan. But despite its head start, the SUPARCO today is decades behind the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in both mission success and technological prowess.
ISRO broke a world record by sending 104 satellites to space on Wednesday - in contrast, SUPARCO is not expected to have indigenous satellite launching and producing technology for at least two decades and the target it has set itself is 2040. India plans to reach Venus and revisit Mars by then, if not more. But what happened to the subcontinent’s oldest space agency? The answer lies in a concoction of government apathy, poor education funding and an overarching military leadership dictating scientific goals. In the 1970s, ISRO accelerates its technological and scientific intake in the run up to the first satellite launch Aryabhatta-I in 1975. But SUPARCO is already falling behind as the government shifts attention to the nuclear project, shifting key resources and scientists out of the space agency. The only high point of the decade is a visit by Apollo 17 astronauts. Pakistan would launch its first satellite, Badr I, only in 1990 with Chi-
nese assistance. But the real fall comes in the 1980s and 1990s, when president Zia-ul-Haq cut off funding to major projects, including the flagship satellite communication launch. The government also disowned Salam and shunned all assistance that one of 20th century’s most important theoretical physicists could have offered. This affected the production of indigenous technology that is the backbone of ISRO or any modern agency, and made SUPARCO dependent on foreign doles. In contrast, ISRO launches its first communications satellite, starts technology sharing programmes with several countries and unveils a remote sensing satellite system that is now the largest in the world. The agency is also successful in attracting talent, helped by its autonomy and scientists at the helm. Today, SUPARCO continues to hurt, mainly from crunched education funding that is the lowest in south Asia and continued military supervision.
Air Force. He also called on Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman in his office. Both the dignitaries remained together for some time and discussed matters of professional interest. Later, both the dignitaries exchanged the souvenirs with each other.
16 suspects held during search operation in capital ISLAMABAD: Islamabad Police along with Pakistan Rangers and other security agencies conducted search operation in various areas in the jurisdiction of Sihala Police Station and arrested 16 suspects besides recovery of weapons from them. According to details, officers/officials of Islamabad Police, Pak Rangers and other security agencies conducted search operation in various areas including Niazian, Humak, GT Road, Bharia Town and areas adjacent to Oil Depot, Sihala Police College. During this search operation, headed by SP Dr Syed Tanveer Mustafa and participated by DSP (Rural Circle) Ashraf Shah, SHO Sihala Abdul Ghafoor, 16 suspects were arrested and more than 300 houses were searched. The police recovered arms and ammunition including nine pistols, 44 bore rifle, seven 12 bore single barrels from the accused while all of suspects have been shifted to police station for further investigation. Islamabad SSP Sajid Kiani has said that the purpose of this search operation was to ensure high vigilance in the city and every effort would be made to ensure protection to the lives and property of citizens. He has also appealed to the citizens to remain vigilant and inform police in case of any suspicious activity around them. Staff RepORteR
Man killed in hit-and-run incident RAWALPINDI: A man was killed in a hitand-run incident within the Saddar Wah Police Station jurisdiction. Mohammad Rafeh, a resident of Saddar Wah, lodged a complaint with the police that his son Hamza and niece Kinza were going on motorcycle when they were hit by a speedy Toyota Hilux LES-6510 and his son died on the spot. The body and injured were rushed to the local hospital for medico-legal formalities and treatment. The police have registered a case and started investigation. Online
Friday, 17 February, 2017
BIsP Board approves rs 115 billion budget ISLAMABAD
kP CM orDers to ForM ForeIgn InvestMent Desk For CPeC ProjeCts PESHAWAR
Online The board meeting of Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) has approved Rs 115 billion budget for FY 20162017 as recommended by its Programme Design Committee and Finance Committee. The board meeting was held at BISP’s headquarters. BISP Chairperson Marvi Memon chaired the 28th board meeting, which was attended by Dr Ali Cheema, Yawar Irfan Khan, Prof Dr Abdul Bari Khan, representatives of Finance Division, Cabinet Division, Economic Affairs Division, Foreign Office and BISP Secretary Yasmeen Masood. The meeting approved that out of Rs 105 billion, Rs 97 billion have been allocated by GoP and donor funds amount to Rs 18 billion. Rs 110.592 billion which is 96.17pc of total budget have been allocated for Unconditional Cash Transfer (UCT) and Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) beneficiary initiatives, the cost of NSER amounts to Rs 1.423 billion which is 1.24pc of total budget, whereas 2.59pc of the budget will be used for administration purposes. The agenda items of the board meeting included de-credit & re-credit policy, BISP budget for financial year 2016-2017 and review of implementation status of decisions taken during 27th board meeting. After thorough deliberations, the board approved the proposals regarding de-credit and re-credit policy. It was approved to deposit decredited amount in government treasury as soon as possible and to continue recrediting through existing payment mechanism as per SOPs already prepared for the purpose.
HyBER Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Pervez Khattak on Thursday directed the constitution of Foreign Investment Desk (FID) for facilitation of foreign investors and ensuring fast foreign investment in the context of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project. Presiding over a meeting of provincial departments on CPEC, he also approved constitution of a committee for an elaborate foreign investment policy. The committee would comprise representatives of departments of Planning and Development, Industries, Board of Investment and Trade, Minerals, Agriculture, Energy, Tourism and Environment. The committee would draft the policy and submit its recommendations to the provincial cabinet for further approval. The chief minister also directed arrangements of revolving funds for proposed visit to China, geo mapping of mineral and mines, water sports, Kohat
Oil Refinery, small dams, corporate farming in DI Khan, Medical Industry Park and commercial complex in Hayatabad on priority basis. The CM also directed early completion of feasibility reports of different projects to be executed under CPEC project, adding that nations rarely got opportuni-
ties like CPEC and Pakistan should have to take full advantage of the project. He directed the working groups of different provincial departments to carefully and seriously achieve their targets in vital national interest. On the occasion, the working groups gave presentations in Industry, Technical Education, Science and Technology, Transport, Housing, Minerals, Energy, Agriculture, Tourism and Culture and Higher Education sectors. The meeting shortlisted various recommendations of the working groups for proposed road show in China next month. The CM directed the working groups to do follow-up of those projects where MoUs were signed besides making all the proposed projects practical by March this year. He said the provincial government has opened KP province for investment, adding that there was no space of wasting time or unnecessary delays. Pervez Khattak said that mass transit system was his ambition and he considers initiation of the project on priority basis. He advised timely marketing of the proj-
ects of economic prosperity. The meeting was informed that feasibility of seven out of ten proposed projects of hydel power generation under CPEC had already been done. The projects would add 1192 MW electricity to national grid on completion at a cost of $3869 million. The production of 1700 MW of electricity through hydel power generation has already become part of CPEC. It was informed that 100 MMFC gas quota has been allocated for power generation, while gas turbine combined cycle would be established for economic zones in Razmak, Hattar, Rashkai and DI Khan. The CM also directed feasibility study of small dams and said that the government believed in proper utilization of water. The meeting was informed that a recommendation has been floated for establishment of learning centres in different international languages including Chinese and regional centres of excellence research for strengthening of international contacts in the context of CPEC.
Two-day ‘Pakistan Mother Languages Literature Festival’ starts on Saturday AROUND 150 WRITERS, POETS, ARTISTS TO SHOWCASE LINGUISTIC AND CULTURAL DIVERSITY OF OVER 15 PAKISTANI LANGUAGES ISLAMABAD pReSS ReleaSe
The second edition of ‘Pakistan Mother Languages Literature Festival’ will be held on February 18 and 19 at Lok Virsa, Islamabad. The two-day festival will feature a number of attractions to celebrate Pakistan’s rich linguistic and cultural diversity that is essential to promote critical thinking among the young generation. Over 160 writers, intellectuals, critics, poets and artists from over 15 languages from all over the Pakistan will converge in the capital to discuss the diversity of Pakistani languages from historical perspective, the challenges they are facing in the wake of global media onslaught, technological development. The festival is being organised by Indus Cultural Forum, Lok Virsa and Strengthening Participatory Organisation with the support from Foundation Open Society Institute (FOSI), Sindh Government’s Department for Culture, Tourism and Heritage and Society for Alternate Media and Research
(SAMAR). Full programme of the event was announced by the heads of these organizations at a press briefing arranged on Thursday at Lok Virsa. Addressing the media, Indus Cultural Forum Chairperson Niaz Nadeem said, “We started this journey last year by arranging first ever festival and got huge appreciation from across the country”. He said this year’s festival contained even bigger promise and enhanced enthusiasm as the quality and content of sessions have been improved through learning from last year. He also briefed about the salient features and major attractions of the festival, including multilingual poetry recitation, music evening, simultaneous discussions and showing various literary genres, launching of books written in mother languages, screening of documentaries, films and book festival. An exhibition of books written in Sindhi, Balochi, Pashtu, Brahvi, Seraiki, Punjabi and other languages and their translations in Urdu and English have been arranged. Lok Virsa Executive Director Dr Fouzia Saeed said, “Lok Virsa is committed to the cause of promoting linguistic and cultural diversity of Pakistan and we are very happy to collaborate with organizations who are promoting similar causes”. She said the festival was one of our signature events where we join hands with organizations like ICF, SPO and
new salary package for teachers doing double duty
many others. She said languages and literature provided impressive medium of expression to common people of Pakistan and this festival would bring together real people’s writers. SPO Chief Executive Naseer Memon in his remarks said SPO believed that linguistic diversity was a great strength of Pakistan and promoting all languages and cultures would help forging stronger bond among various segments of the society. He said that Pakistani languages possessed treasure trove of literature and folklore and represents cultural plurality of the country. The ‘Mother Languages Festival’ would provide a platform to the people from every corner of the country to share valuable literary work being produced in their languages. The MLF was a great leap forward in the literary landscape of Pakistan, he added. Nargis Sultana of Foundation Open Society Institute (FOSI) said, “The respect for linguistic rights is critical for empowering communities and reducing discrimination”. She said the festival would help in establishing the connection between language policy and planning, and better learning outcomes through the use of mother tongue. Poetry recitation,
universities’ master trainers, faculty members visit AIou ISLAMABAD Online
A new Salary package was announced for the staff who would be deployed on double shift duty in the relevant schools of Punjab including Rawalpindi. A decision has been taken that relevant teachers of double shift schools would be teaching in the schools second time around also. The school heads would be paid normal salary along with Rs 20,000 extra, while senior teachers would be paid Rs 18000 extra salary for the double shift. The junior teachers would be paid Rs 15,000 extra, while other employees would get Rs 7,000 extra. The Teachers Union of Punjab has termed the double shift move in school a flop idea, while schools wherein double shift is operating have failed to show any fruitful results till now. They further said that several parents did not give permission to their daughters to stay in schools till Maghrib prayers.
Master trainers and faculty members of country’s major educational institutions on Thursday visited Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) to get themselves acquainted with the new initiatives, recently taken for provision of quality education through distance learning system. It was the part of 30th Master Trainers - Faculty Professional Development Programme, undertaken by the Learning Innovation Division of the Higher Education Commission (HEC). AIOU’s Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Shahid Siddiqui while giving them a comprehensive briefing on the university’s updated learning system and its recent achievements said the promotion of applied-research and professional development have been the prime area of their interest to serve the society.
launching of books written in these languages and musical concerts are also part of the event. The opening ceremony of the two-day event will be held at the Heritage Museum Hall on Saturday (Feb 18) at 10am. State Minister for Information and Broadcasting and National Heritage Maryam Aurangzeb who will be the chief guest will open the two-day event. Sindh Minister for Culture Syed Sardar Ali Shah will be the guest of honour. Noted writer Ahmed Saleem will speak on “What lesson have been learnt from history” in his keynote address. The festival is arranged to mark UNESCO’s International Mother Languages Day which falls on February 21 every year.
Friday, 17 February, 2017
Karachi for dummies
Ferocious attacks What to do when terrorist groups band together
A short intro
T was the fifth attack in less than a week; yesterday’s tragedy at Sehwan is part of the new wave of terror that started with Monday’s suicide attack in Lahore. The complacent interior Minister has kept mum as usual. Earlier he had downplayed claims made by Jamaat-ul-ahrar and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi al-alami about their dastardly attacks. Despite demands from Balochistan government, ch Nisar delayed putting the two groups on the terrorist networks’ list till November 2016, reminding many that not long ago he had shed tears on the death of the arch terrorist Baitullah Mehsud. Despite the continuing attacks on members of the Shia community, the latest on Wednesday, ch Nisar is unwilling to treat sectarian militants on par with the rest of the terrorists. a complacent Punjab government has continued to take pride in its performance despite several deadly attacks conducted including the ones at Wagah Border, Gulshan-e-iqbal and charing cross. it claims it does not need the Fc as it can itself root out the terrorist networks and their sleeping cells. Punjab government also flatly denies any of its ministers or ruling party lawmakers having ever shown as soft corner for the terrorists despite enough evidence to the contrary. The recent onslaught by terrorist networks indicates that they have forged new alliances, combined their resources and decided to target with ferocity the military, civilian law enforcement personnel, judges and media persons. The whole nation has to stand firm and resolutely to face the challenge. National action Plan half of which remains unimplemented needs to be executed apace in letter and spirit. it won’t do accusing afghanistan for failing to take action against Jamaat-ul-ahrar as the ineffectual afghan government and the hastily raised and demoralised afghan army lack the capacity to act firmly against terrorist groups. Even the much stronger Pakistan army finds it difficult to handle the tribal trouble spots where despite suffering several defeats the terrorists continue to bounce back. Both governments need to realise that instead of engaging in a blame game, they need to join hands and act in unison against the terrorist groups that want to destroy both countries.
Linguistic recommendations Misplaced priorities
hE notion that introduction of arabic as a language course in schools will help curb terrorism is ridiculous and that this view has been presented as a bill in the National assembly is worrying. a JUi-F MNa moved the bill and was not even present to debate on it. it nonetheless got support from mainstream parties including PML-N and PTi. Syria, iraq, Yemen and Libya - just to name a few - are all arabic speaking countries that have been torn apart by the menace of terrorism. Therefore the argument that knowing how to read, write and speak arabic will automatically result in a more liberal and peaceful interpretation of the Quran is an oversimplification and a disservice to the actual debate that should be taking place – what to do to effectively combat this latest wave of terrorism. in the same week the Lahore high court (Lhc), with reference to a 2015 Supreme court decision, has ordered that the cSS exam be taken in Urdu rather than in English. although this transfer will not be possible in 2017, a committee is hard at work to implement it by next exam season. For decades the syllabi from primary school all the way to higher education comprises of suggested course material that is in English. course books for the cSS exam are also in English. in case this backward thinking has to be implemented no matter what then firstly all course material from the beginning of a child’s education will have to be translated into Urdu except language subjects. Will the Urdu language be updated to incorporate words that don’t exist but are common in the English language? What about the complex terminology that makes up most of the literature in scientific subjects? it simply is neither realistic nor fair to abruptly demand students to conform to this lunacy. a plethora of undecided cases are present in the Lhc. Similarly plenty of issues that should be debated in the National assembly ranging from social to economic are ignored. instead both these branches of government repeatedly display how misplaced their priorities really are.
Dedicated to the legacy of the late Hameed Nizami
Arif Nizami Editor
Aziz-ud-Din Ahmad Joint Editor Lahore – Ph: 042-36300938, 042-36375965
areas of the city. Nothing could be farther from the truth, for the list of dangerous places not to be frequented alone and after dark, comprises the whole of Karachi – with the possible exception of the appropriately named Defence. Karachiites are easily among the bravest people of the country – their resilience in the face of target killing, bhatta and china cutting is simply mind-boggling. Karachi is a politically vibrant city. There are many political parties: the PSP, MQM haqiqi, MQM Ghair-haqiqi, MQM Karachi, MQM London, MQM rwanda, etc. Political administration of the city alternates between the commissioner system, the local bodies system, and Governor’s rule. curiously enough, in all three there is heavy presence of rangers and other paramilitary organisations. Karachi has a moderate climate. This is fortunate because the citizens deem temperatures below 20 degrees (celsius) to be freezing. as for the summers, notwithstanding the current lull in criminal activities, there has traditionally been so much holding up at gunpoint that were it not for the fortunate combination of a moderate clime and modest dressing habits of Karachiites, at least half the population would have severely suntanned armpits. Nobody does weddings quite like the Karachi-walas. a ceremony can easily go on till 4 am. Therefore arriving on time for a function scheduled for 7 pm (which is merely foolish in say, islamabad) is criminal in Karachi. Even at 10 pm nobody is likely to be there except a few waiters and a cat. also, the
Hasan aftab saeed
arachi (originally Kolachi, pronounced ‘Kirachi’ by many locals) is a former capital of Pakistan. Nobody knows the current population of Karachi, which could be anything from 15 to 25 million (according to the last census in 1998 it was 9.4 million). What’s undisputed is that it is by far the biggest metropolis of Pakistan. Once called the ‘Paris of the East’ and the ‘city of Lights’, it now leads the nation in mugging incidents and overall violence per capita. in fact it is the only city in Pakistan where conscientious university teachers make it a point in their introductory classes to teach students from out of town the etiquettes of getting robbed. Karachi is the financial hub of Pakistan – according to one estimate, more than 60% of the country’s revenue is generated on the i. i. chundrigar road alone, which houses head offices of all major commercial enterprises of the country. Karachi also boasts Pakistan’s only really functional port. This is something that the likes of Lahore - with all its resources and political clout - can do very little about. Some of the names of Karachi localities are misleading: Goli Maar, Bewah colony, Mukka chowk, Khamosh colony, and Pathar Town, for example, may give you an impression that they would be among the more violent
wedding typically lasts a week – an event that seems to be thoroughly enjoyed even by those on the periphery - “Begaani shaadi mein Abdullah diwana” was probably originally coined for Karachi. Some people believe that some Karachi-ites have a condescending attitude, though the same can be said of other cities of Pakistan. it is alleged that they think of Punjabis as generally uncivilised; while they think of themselves as an especially cultured lot. The first assessment is completely justified; perhaps not so much the second one. Karachi owes its hustle and bustle to a number of migrations from different parts of the subcontinent. in the context of Karachi however, one’s offspring qualifies as muhajir-for-life only if one migrated from Urdu speaking parts of india. Perhaps for this reason the ‘muhajirs’ are sometimes also called hindustani - although it all happened a long time ago. Karachi, to its infinite credit, has more Siddiquis, alvis, Mansooris, haqqanis, etc (all surnames ending with the “i” syllable) per square foot than any other part of the world. in Karachi, a bride remains a dulhan, and a groom a dulha, for an unusually long time. Many a veteran husband visiting Karachi has experienced the pleasant surprise of being referred to as dulha mian – something that hasn’t happened in years. Some, who are nostalgic for the exciting feeling but who lack the wherewithal to go for a whole new wedding, even visit Karachi in that hope. There’s a very strong bhai culture in Karachi, which includes but is definitely not confined to the
“don bhais”. Most everybody is a bhai, provided he is a male and is even a year senior. Thus you have altaf bhai (altaf hussain), Moin bhai (Moin Khan), and Maqsood bhai (the Pc trouble-shooter). So much so that in Punjab the Karachiwallas are sometimes called bhayyas. a university senior is a bhai; the neighbour’s son is a bhai; the cousin is definitely a bhai. Sometimes this causes problems for girls – if the hubby comes from any such demographic, it initially takes a special effort to hold back the suffix when calling his sweet name. The list of famous sons and daughters of Karachi is too long to include here. No little thanks to the efforts of the ladies, Karachi is the only place where the saari is still patronised, albeit on special occasions. Karachi girls are enlightened, confident, educated, capable, and well-aware of their rights. The result is that, while in other parts of Pakistan it may take a few days for the husband to know his place at home, Karachi’s men are perfect husbands from day one. Karachi is the home of the Karachi Kings who, though they have never exactly set the cricketing world on fire, are – as the name suggests – the undisputed kings of Karachi. although not usually heard, ‘Karachi Karachi hai’ is every bit as accurate as the famous tautology, ‘Lahore Lahore hai’. Barring one or two Gillani tribes in KPK, Karachi-ites are the only Pakistanis that can successfully execute the Urdu qaaf. Hasan Aftab Saeed is a connoisseur of music, literature, and food (but not drinks). He can be reached at www.facebook.com/hasanaftabsaeed
The US-Arab relationship in the “Age of Trump”
Washington Watch dr James J Zogby
S US President Donald Trump and iran’s ayatollah Khamenei trade barbs, a nervous arab World is caught in the middle. Earlier this week iran’s Supreme Leader made headlines thanking President Trump for “revealing the true face of america”. While much of ayatollah Khamenei’s criticism was directed at the administration’s hard-line policy and threat to “put iran on notice”, he zeroed in on the disastrous White house Executive Order and its impact on refugees and immigrants and visitors from seven majority Muslim countries. at one point, in his remarks Khamenei, speaking of Trump, said “Now with everything he is doing—handcuffing a child as young as five at an airport—he is showing the reality of american human rights” (correction: a child of five was detained in the wake of President Trump’s Executive Order, but he was not handcuffed). This news item and the nasty and childish Twitter exchange and war of words between iran’s religious leader and the President of the United States brought home the intimate connection between US domestic and foreign policies and encapsulated the dilemma that will be faced by america’s arab allies in the “age of Trump”. it reminded me of two stories from the first George W Bush administration—both involving Saudi arabia’s then crown Prince abdullah. Bush’s callous disregard for the rights of the
Karachi – Ph: 021-35381208-9 Fax: 021-35381208
Palestinians, his administration’s policies which trampled on the rights of arabs and Muslims in the US, and his disastrous invasion of iraq—all severely strained US-Saudi relations. The Kingdom, ever cognizant of the important role the US played in providing a security umbrella protecting the Gulf arab states from the threat of the revolutionary islamic republic of iran, was at its wit’s end. at one point abdullah told Bush that if the US persisted in ignoring arab concerns, Saudi arabia might feel compelled to go its own way. it was not a step he was eager to take, but it was one born of frustration with US policies and the increasingly high cost they incurred at home. To make his point, crown Prince abdullah liked to tell a story about a sheep herder who was losing a sheep a night to aggressive wolves. To protect his flock, the herder hired guards. They kept the wolves at bay, but the herder had to kill two sheep daily to feed his newly acquire protectors. The price he was forced to pay, he noted, was becoming greater than the benefit received. Then on election night 2004, i received a call from a friend of mine who served as an advisor to the crown Prince. he asked me excitedly whether the news stories he was hearing were correct—that Democratic challenger John Kerry was in a position to beat incumbent George Bush. i was surprised and asked why he would be supportive of Kerry. i said, “Kerry has been very critical of Saudi arabia, while Bush claims to be your friend”. he responded (and he made clear that he was speaking for himself, not his boss) “i think it is better for us to have a US President who hates us, than to have a US President hated by our people”. During the last 16 years, US-Gulf relations have been on a dizzying roller coaster ride. First there was the adventurism of the Bush administration—which went from neglect, to destabilising war, to misguided democracy promotion based more on ideology than reality. The Obama administration only compounded arab frustration. it began with great promise but the failure to deliver coupled with multiple miscues led to it being judged as an enormous disappointment. By 2016, the arab region was in disarray and the US-arab relationship was in tatters. Thanks to the foolish iraq war, and its seriously bungled aftermath: that country is in the midst of a long civil war; iran has been unleashed and
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emboldened as a threatening regional power; the US military and public are war weary and wary of new conflict; russia has extended itself into the Middle East; violent extremist movements have found safe-havens and metastasised spreading across the region; and because US allies have felt abandoned they have felt compelled to act on their own, sometimes rashly, to defend their interests vis-à-vis iran’s designs. To some extent, arabs felt like they were caught up in the tale of “Goldilocks and the Three Bears”. With Bush they had “too much”, with Obama “too little”. With the 2016 election, they were hoping for “just right”. They wanted a relationship with a partner that would work with them to insure regional security and stability. and a partner that was both respected by and respectful of their people. From its performance, to date, the Trump administration does not appear to be such a partner. Trump has spoken forcefully about wiping out extremism and reining in iran, but he and too many of his advisers have coupled this with ham-fisted anti-Muslim rhetoric and policies that have caused iSiS and al Qaeda, and now the iranian leader to thank him. it would be a grave error for this administration to fail to understand the connection between how they treat and are perceived to treat arab and Muslim peoples and their ability to achieve their broader policy objectives in the Middle East. The scenes at US airports and the heart-breaking stories that filled arab media in the wake of the Executive Order and the shocking anti-Muslim rhetoric associated with some White house officials has outraged arab and Muslim public opinion. it has also, as we now see, heartened our adversaries and put relations with our allies at risk. While a dramatic course correction is required, it remains to seen whether this administration is capable of that. if they don’t change or if they take more provocative measures against arabs and Muslims (or do something else to aggravate tensions like moving the US Embassy in israel to Jerusalem), the destabilising roller coaster ride will continue with severe consequences that will be felt for years to come. Dr James J Zogby is President, Arab American Institute. I
Friday, 17 February, 2017
Send your letters to: Letters to Editor, Pakistan Today, 4-Shaarey Fatima Jinnah, Lahore, Pakistan. Fax: +92-42-32535230 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Letters should be addressed to Pakistan Today exclusively
Those in power should not condemn but act to prevent terrorist attacks iT seems a fresh wave of terrorism has struck the country. after every attack there are stale statements of condemnation issued by politicians that are in power. instead of condemnation these politicians should issue statement of apology to the people who have lost loved one because they have failed to act after every terrorist attack. This inability to act is either because they are not capable or not interested in protecting lives of people. Law enforcement and intelligence agencies also carry an equal burden of failure but it is the politicians that are supposed to devise policies and provide resources in the budget to them. i condole with the families of those that lost loved ones and pray for the speedy recovery of the injured. i also promise to continue putting pressure on my party PTi to perform better in KP to deliver on its promise of a secure life and prosperity to the citizens. ABDUL QUAYYUM KHAN KUNDI Lahore
Role reversal in Indian and Pak Armies What would Steven I Wilkinson say today?
sultan m Hali
iviL-MiLiTarY relations in Pakistan have remained a prickly issue because for half of its existence, it was under military rule. Even when civilian rule has prevailed, the army has been accused of meddling in domains beyond its constitutional role. The fact is that subsequent civilian governments have been weak and the army, being a powerful institution, has tried to fill the vacuum. apparently this is about to change, because the current incumbent, General Qamar Javed Bajwa, who was handed the baton of command by predecessor General raheel Sharif in November 2016, has other ideas. reportedly, while addressing a gathering of senior army officers at the General headquarters in December 2016, General Bajwa passed on some pearls of wisdom, stating: “The army has no business trying to run the government. The army must remain within its constitutionally defined role.” he also asked his officers to read a book titled ‘army and Nation’ written by Steven i Wilkinson, a professor of Political Science and international relations at Yale University, about indian army’s relationship with the civilian government after independence. Wilkinson’s book provides details of changes made in the structure and recruitment pattern of india army to suit the fledgling democracy in the new country. The almost 300-page book makes for an interesting reading as it details why the democratic process in india has been a success. General Bajwa has had a fair amount of exposure to the indian army, having served under former indian army chief, General Bikram Singh, as a brigade commander in the UN peace-keeping operations in congo in 2007. after General Bajwa assumed the command of Pakistan army, General Bikram Singh, in an article published in “Times of india”, commented: “in the UN operations, General Bajwa’s performance was totally professional and outstanding.” While General Bajwa’s comments may be milk and honey for the current ruling dispensation at islamabad (because they had an uneasy relationship with General raheel Sharif) Bajwa’s counterpart in india appears to be acting contrary to Wilkinson’s observations regarding the indian army. about a month after General Bajwa’s appointment, General Bipin rawat was appointed as india’s 27th chief of army Staff after super-
seding two senior most Lieutenant Generals; Praveen Bakshi and P M hariz. in the traditionbound indian military, the side-stepping of two senior generals has been unthinkable but the decision was made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his National Security advisor, ajit Doval. according to Saikat Datta, in his December 19, 2016 Op-ed titled, ‘rawat’s appointment as army chief is in line with Modi’s aggressive foreign policy’ the criteria which swayed the decision in favour of rawat was that ajit Doval and rawat, who both hail from india’s province of Uttarakhand, district Garhwal, were hand in glove in planning and executing the so called “surgical strike” in June 2015 against Naga insurgents inside Myanmar. General rawat was commanding the Dimapurbased 3 corps, whose Special Forces from 21 (Para) Special Forces carried out the alleged attack. in the same article, the informed columnist divulges that in November 2016, at an official lunch held at the National Defence college in Delhi, Lieutenant General Bipin rawat, then vice chief of indian army staff, spoke informally to the course participants. Expressing his views on the so called “surgical strikes” conducted by indian Special Forces across the Line of control on September 29, 2016, following the Uri attack, he appreciated that the strikes had achieved their limited objectives, but he said that he was not happy with the limited range that the indian Special Forces had. in his view, he told the attending officers, indian Special Forces had a long way to go before they could achieve deep penetration surgical strikes, like the one carried out by US Special Forces when they took out al Qaeda’s Osama Bin Laden in abbottabad, Pakistan, in May 2011. apparently the conversation was leaked to the Prime Minister’s office and it was the deciding factor in the appointment of General rawat. Ever since his appointment, a marked change is visible in the conduct of the indian army chief. contrary to his predecessors’ practice - and what has been pointed out by Professor Steven i Wilkinson in his book - the indian cOaS is being regularly seen interacting with media. General rawat has been expressing his opinion on a regular basis on various indian Tv channels as well as sharing his thoughts with the print media. While in the past, indian Defence, External affairs and home Ministers would come out with threatening statements lashing out at Pakistan after every false flag operation, now General rawat has taken it upon himself to deliver fire and brimstone
speeches directly in line with the belligerent thought process of Modi and ajit Doval. Pretending that the September 29, 2016 “Surgical Strikes” actually took place, General rawat declares it to be a well thought out operation and that india has sent across a message with the strikes that attack won’t be tolerated. Playing to the gallery, he reiterates that indian army will not shy away from a second surgical strike if peace in the region is disrupted. he asserts that india is not a war mongering nation but there are certain thresholds that shouldn’t be crossed. he warns that the response will vary because his 1.3 million-strong force has the requisite will, intelligence and capability to destroy terror wherever it emanates. regarding terrorism, rawat insists that the dynamics of terrorism are constantly changing and the indian army must think ahead in that direction. claiming that terrorists infiltrating from Pakistan’s side, he urges his troops to think ahead, and ball has already started rolling in that direction. The aggressive general insists that apart from the different options available to take the battle to the terrorists and their handlers, indian army is prepared for two-front war involving Pakistan and china simultaneously but he emphasises on the need to look at cooperation and not confrontation with Beijing. Bipin could not resist commenting on the recent missile tests by india and stated that apart from the development of the agniiv nuclear-capable ballistic missiles, the forces have taken a series of steps to slowly but surely transform the “discussion” posture against china into “deterrence”, which in turn is now being upgraded to “credible deterrence”. responding to the media’s queries regarding the “cold Start Doctrine”, the General stated that cold Start Doctrine exists for conventional military operations. Whether india has to conduct conventional operations for such strikes is a decision well-thought through, involving the Government and the cabinet committee on Security. although these frequent media interaction of Gen rawat being aberrations are not being viewed favourably by the Naval and air chiefs, yet it is obvious that Modi and Doval have found a loud mouthed spokesperson in the new army chief whom they could manipulate to lead adventurism against Pakistan and china.
Although these frequent media interaction of Gen Rawat being aberrations are not being viewed favourably by the Naval and Air Chiefs, yet it is obvious that Modi and Doval have found a loud mouthed spokesperson in the new army chief whom they could manipulate to lead adventurism against Pakistan and China.
Sultan M Hali is a retired Group Captain and author of the book Defence & Diplomacy. Currently he is a columnist, analyst and TV talk show host.
a nation state cannot exist if it allows its judiciary, colleges and universities to be destroyed through manipulation and greed of corrupt bureaucracy and political elite. in the US an american national of Pakistani origin, who was an executive in aXacT, has been arrested and is facing a sentence of over 20 years imprisonment without parole for facilitating the award of fake degrees to citizens of that country, fraud and corrupt practices. Without investment in human resources through strict state regulatory controls on quality of education and authenticity of qualified professional specialists in science, technology, medicine, economics and liberal arts, a nation cannot attain either economic development, nor technological self reliance, so essential to survive. The manner in which medical, engineering, iT and business schools have been allowed to mushroom without thorough scrutiny of their capability in terms of infrastructure and expertise, amounts to conspiring against the state. in Sindh, a politically powerful medical doctor accused of facilitating establishment of numerous medical colleges involved in mass production of sub standard doctors, has managed to evade punishment for what amounts to intellectual terrorism. The corrupt political and bureaucratic elite of this country, who seek medical treatment abroad on state or ill-gotten black money, have no qualms, nor issues, with their conscience, when they are seen seeking reprieve for such intellectual terrorists. has anybody imagined how many innocent citizens being treated by doctors from substandard colleges have lost their lives or suffered permanent disabilities? Such criminals deserve prolonged punishments to serve as deterrence for others. My question to elected executive, law enforcement and judiciary of this unfortunate country is: could this doctor manage to evade prosecution in canada for this heinous crime that he is being accused of having committed? Such corrupt practices for monetary gains - which may lead to loss of human lives amount to culpable homicide and are not a petty matter. ANEELA CHANDIO Sukkur
Combating the curse of terrorism ThE acts of terrorism in Lahore, Peshawar, Quetta and Karachi reinforce brutal reality that we have may have injured this serpent and monster, but not killed it. as long as financial, logistical and medical facilitators motivated by their convoluted ideological brainwashing, or greed for financial benefits, along with corruption within law enforcement and border security are not eliminated, this serpent will continue to haunt this country, bleeding its economy and killing innocent citizens. The billions we invest in procuring our defence capability are meaningless unless we invest in education and health to improve our human resources, so that these breeding grounds for terrorists to groom are discouraged. When suicide bombers manage to come from across the border and reach our cities, it reflects on poor performance and loopholes within law enforcement, border security management and intelligence agencies. This is a collective failure of all institutions of state tasked to provide security to citizens of Pakistan and elected civilian leadership which has failed to nip the evil through effective implementation of laws and monitoring. Unfortunately corruption and unchecked greed within state institutions and their conflicts of interest in corporate commercial ventures have become a hurdle in the need for concerted focusing on main purpose for which they were created, namely security, law enforcement and 24/7 monitoring. The channels for foreign funding of terrorism are same that is used by corrupt elite for money laundering and we cannot eliminate the former unless all loopholes are plugged. if hospitals and clinics are providing medical services to terrorists in violation of existing laws mandating them to inform police, they should be given exemplary punishments irrespective of their political clout. When elected executive is hesitant to take action against terrorism, they lose their constitutional right to rule, because they stand accused of violating their oath. Similarly if state funded security apparatus are guilty of patronising private militias they exceed their constitutional mandate. Pakistan’s national security and sovereignty must precede any other delirious agenda motivated by our strategic location, because internal security threatens our economic viability. The ill-founded adventurism pursuits for short term myopic gains of individual juntas pursued by former regimes of Zia and Musharraf today haunt this country and pose biggest threat to our national security. Nobody holding public office should have conflicts of interest - period. MALIK TARIQ ALI Lahore
Friday, 17 February, 2017
Pakistan-HonG konG trade and investMent ForuM HeLd in HonG konG ISLAMABAD
AMBASSADOR KHALID SAYS CPEC HAS CREATED ABUNDANT TRADE, INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES
HE first Pakistan-Hong Kong Trade and Investment Forum (PHKTIF) was held in Hong Kong on Thursday with its major focus on promoting business prospects created by the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), under the Belt and Road Initiative. The participants of the forum showed a keen interest in joining the socio-economic benefits of the Belt and Road projects in Pakistan. Pakistan’s Ambassador to China Masood Khalid and Commissioner for Belt and Road, Government of Hong Kong SAR Yvonne Choi Ying-pik inaugurated the forum in Hong Kong. The forum was involved representatives of the leading companies of Hong Kong and Mainland China, having interest in Belt and Road projects in Pakistan.
In his welcoming remarks, Masood Khalid said that the CPEC has created abundant trade and investment opportunities. $52 billion investments are funneled into building infrastructure, energy projects, Gwadar port and developing special economic zones under the CPEC. He said that Pakistan was emerging as a great attraction for foreign investors owing to these developments and improved law and order situation in the country. Masood Khalid invited the Hong Kong business companies to join Belt and Road project as they are known for
Minister announces export package to uplift economy LAHORE APP
Federal Minister for Commerce Khurram Dastgir Khan said on Thursday that Rs 180 billion package of "Export-led growth" has been announced by the government to reduce the cost of business and to make the export-oriented sectors competitive with other countries. Presiding over the 5th meeting of Federal Textile Board here, he said that the package would strengthen country's economy by manifold. Commerce Secretary Azmat Ranjha, Textile Secretary Hassan Iqbal, All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) Chairman Amir Fayyaz, Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association Chairman Ejaz Khokhar, All Pakistan Textile Processing Mills Association Chairman Amjad Jalil, members and representatives of Pakistan Ginners Association, Pakistan Carpet Manufacturers and Exporters Association, Pakistan Bedwaer Exporter Association, Towel Manufacturers Association and others participated in the meeting. The meeting thoroughly discussed how exports could be enhanced and the representative of various associations also gave recommendations in this regard.
providing state-of-the-art financial and management services. He said that Pakistan offers great opportunities in insurance, port management, health management and real estate. The commissioner for Belt and Road, Yvonne Choi said that Hong Kong’s government is actively engaging itself with these projects and Pakistan’s prospects as emerging global economy are bright. She said that the PHKTIF would help local businessmen understand the business environment and working conditions in Pakistan, which would eventually promote trade
links between Pakistan and Hong Kong. Speaking to the forum, Consul General Abdul Qadir Memon said that first PHKTIF was held keeping in view the increased interest of the Hong Kong based companies in the Belt and Road projects. Such activities would continue in the coming days as well, he said. Commercial Counsellor Beijing Dr Erfa Iqbal and CEO ANZ Group Farhan Faruqui also spoke on the occasion to the participants of the forum about the CPEC and regulatory environment in Pakistan. The PHKTIF was jointly organised by Pakistan Consulate Hong Kong, Pakistan Chamber of Commerce Hong Kong (PCCHK) and the National Bank of Pakistan, Hong Kong, while the supporting organisations included the Belt and Road Office of the Government of Hong Kong SAR, Invest HK, and Hong Kong Trade and Development Council (HKTDC).
Fiscal deﬁcit at 2.4 per cent against last year’s 1.7 per cent ISLAMABAD stAff RePoRt
Pakistan’s fiscal deficit clocked in at 2.4 per cent in the first half of year 2017 as against 1.7pc in the same period of last year, as per the numbers released by the Ministry of Finance on Thursday. Analysts at Insight Securities attribute the increase in fiscal deficit to a stagnant tax base – 5.2pc of GDP vs 5.3pc in the last calendar year, declining profits of the State Bank of Pakistan on account of lower interest income and absence of Coalition Support Fund (CSF). Banks were expected to finance the deficit by contributing 50.9pc of the requirement as opposed to 35.6pc in the last calendar year. However, excessive borrowing from State Bank of Pakistan – Rs983 billion
as of February 2017 vs. retirement of Rs243 billion in the last fiscal year may create unwarranted inflationary pressure in the months to come. The tax revenue collection stood at Rs1.74 trillion, against the target of Rs1.97 trillion, with direct and sales tax contributing 33.6pc and 33.1pc, respectively. Sales tax declined by 2.3pc year on year on account of lower collection on petroleum oil lubricant products and fertilisers. A report by Insight Security said that they expect a fiscal deficit of 4.4pc for fiscal year 2017, higher than the government’s target of 3.8pc. Assistant Professor of Economics at Institute of Business Administration Karachi and Research Fellow at CBER, Dr Adil Nakhoda said that due to the increment in expenditure,
Millat Tractors exploring possibility of joining Hyundai - Nishat consortium The board of directors of Millat Tractors Ltd met in a meeting held today to jointly “explore the possibility of becoming a part of the joint venture consortium involved in the setting up of a green filed project for the assembly and sales of Hyundai Motor Company passenger and 1
the target seems to be tight. However, he said that if the 5.5pc target of economic growth is achieved, this can also be achieved. The recently announced Textile Package of Rs180 billion (spreading over 1.5 years) and continuation of subsidy on fertilisers (with an estimated impact: Rs4 billion) would further keep the fiscal deficit elevated, explained the report. “The target of 3.9 trillion in tax revenue is a more difficult figure to achieve,” said Nakhoda. “Sales tax going down (due to decrease in POL) and direct tax going up will affect the fiscal deficit negatively.” As the development spending goes up in the last year before elections and CSF does not come in, the fiscal deficit target is difficult to achieve.
tonne range light commercial vehicles in Pakistan.” The information was conveyed in a notice sent to the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) on Thursday. Mr Sohail Bashir Rana, director of the company and the CEO has been authorised to initiate a discussion with the consortium in this regard. Millat Tractors closed at a share price of Rs 1052.78 with a positive change of Rs 50.13 today. The total traded volume of shares was 156,500. Earlier this month, an announcement confirmed that Hyundai, the South Korean automobile manufacturer, will team up with Mian Mansha's Nishat Mills Limited to set up a vehicle assembly plant in Pakistan. News Desk
JPGL power plant all set to produce electricity LAHORE stAff RePoRt
A Japan Power Generation Limited (JPGL) power plant is all set to supply electricity to the system after settlements of disputes with the Ministry of Water and Power over tariff. A 135MW plant was established in 1994 as an Independent Power Producer (IPP) in Jia Baga near Lahore. The said plant halted production two years ago over a dispute on tariff with WAPDA and NEPRA. According to the management of the plant, the dispute over tariff has been resolved and the plant is ready to generate electricity. “WAPDA and NEPRA have sent a summary to the ministry for approval which will reward NOC in a couple of days,” said an official. CEO JPGL Amjad Awan confirmed this correspondent that the federal ministry will announce to reopen this power plant soon as all issues have been resolved.
Gas reserves discovered in Ghotki NEwS DESk Mari Petroleum Company Limited (MPCL) declared a new gas discovery in Ghotki, district of Sindh at the exploratory well Shaheen-I in the Mari lease area on Wednesday. The well was drilled down to a depth of 1,175 metres to explore and test the hydrocarbon potential of Sui Main Limestone (SML) and Sui Upper Limestone (SUL) on January 5, 2017. The drill stem tests carried out in SML and SUL formations, flowed gas at a combined rate of 12.334 million standard cubic feet per day (mmscfd) at wellhead with a flowing pressure of 1,045 per square inch (psi) at 48/64-inch choke size subsequent to acid job. Mari Petroleum was the sole owner and operator of the Mari gas field, the largest gas field in the country in terms of balance reserves. The company’s stock price rose 0.66 pc, or Rs8.69, and closed at Rs 1,305.54, with a volume of 33,720 shares at the stock exchange on Wednesday. The gain was in stark contrast to a significant drop in the broader market, which dived 553.76 points.
Psx standardises brokerage commission rates under the securities act 2015 NEwS DESk Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) has finalised the standardisation of its brokerage commission rates, (5 paisas or 0.25 pc: whichever is higher) on different types of transactions. The resolution was passed by the board at a meeting held on January 09, 2017. PSX claims to have been receiving verbal and written representations at various forums by securities brokers of PSX, for resorting to regulatory requirements by introducing standard range/scale of brokerage commission. This is believed to be a critical measure in attracting healthy competition in the market. Furthermore, the move will act as a catalyst for market development, curtailing exploitative practices, and supporting commercial viability of brokerage industry to help foster economic growth. “The board decided to recommend a formula based range/scale of brokerage commission from Rs 0.05 per share or 0.25 pc of the transaction value, whichever is higher to 2.5 pc of the transaction value by Brokers of the Exchange
for transactions in the Ready Market and day-trade transactions. However, in case of day trading, the commission may be charged on only one side of the round trip of buy or sell transactions on the same day in the same trip. The rate is applicable to: 1) Every ready market’s normal buy
and sell transaction not squared during the trading day. 2) Every ready market’s intra-day squared transaction either on the buy side or the sell side trade. 3) For the futures arbitrage, if bought in ready, sold in DFM by the same client, the same security on the same
trading day, otherwise the commission applies to both buy and sell sides. 4) Similarly, the rate is applicable on ready market MTS financed purchase and sale transactions only. There is no minimum commission on MTS market transactions. 5) If the transaction is squared-up in DFM either through an offsetting transaction or rollover. 6) There is to be no commission on proprietary trade. The introduction of standardised commission is in complete harmony with the specific powers provided to the Exchange through section 7(1) (w) of the Securities Act 2015 for framing regulations and has been so with the prior approval of SECP. The decision comes in the wake of the brokerage industry being unregulated in terms of the brokerage fees that have continued to be charged. The fees charged was dependent upon the type of clients, based on the quality of the service, thus the initiative is believed to expand the outreach of brokers and tap on unexplored geographical and demographic market segments.
Forex reserves HiT alMosT 8 MoNTHs low To $21.824b KARACHI: The Forex reserves of the country hit almost 8 months low to $21.824 billion on Thursday as the State Bank of Pakistan made payments of $224 million on the account of Government of Pakistan’s debt and other payments this week. According to the latest data released by the State Bank of Pakistan, foreign exchange reserves of the country dropped by $207 million to $21.824 billion compared to $22.031 billion last week. The reserves of the SBP stood at $16.9993 billion this week compared to $17.217 billion last week while the net foreign serves held by commercial banks stood at $4.831 billion on Feb 16, compared to $4.813 billion last Thursday. stAff RePoRt
Friday, 17 February, 2017
siemens, akuH sign agreement to install mammography system
Meezan Bank announCes rs 5.562Bn Pat in 2016 kARACHI
KARACHI: Siemens Healthineers and AKUH sign agreement to install latest mammography system and other equipment under a bucket arrangement. The project will bring latest equipment and technology to Pakistan. Siemens Healthineers and the Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH) have signed a landmark agreement at the Arab Health 2017 Exhibition under which Siemens Healthineers will, in a bucket arrangement, supply latest mammography system and other equipment to AKUH for its hospitals in Karachi. Siemens state of the art mammography machines will help AKUH in its fight against this disease and will allow it to use latest technology for quick diagnosis and treatment. When presenting the letter of intent to Siemens Healthineers, Hans Kedzierski, CEO, Aga Khan University Hospital, said, “AKUH wanted to focus more on its core business, and to reduce the complexity and cost of procurement. Hence a strategic approach was launched to find a partner.” On this occasion MD & CEO of Siemens Healthineers, Khurram Jameel, thanked Aga Khan University Hospital and Aga Khan Development Network for their long standing trust in Siemens, and said, “This agreement is a great example of strategic, one-vendor partnership in the healthcare field.” He added that Siemens Healthcare is honoured to be associated with an institution like Aga Khan University Hospital that not only maintains its clinical excellence but is also expanding its healthcare initiatives in the field of education. He said, “It is a great opportunity for both of us to grow this relationship further for the betterment of the people of Pakistan.” PRess ReLeAse
Silkbank Director Marketing Khurram Adil Khan and Sharjeel Rafiq – Group CEO (AGC&RP) at strategic business alliances signing agreement between Silkbank and Airemen Golf Club. pr
Govt takes striCt aCtion aGainst iLLeGaL CHaMBer oF CoMMerCe PoLiCies
EEZAN Bank on Thursday posted its increasing profit after tax (PAT) of Rs 5.562 billion up by 11 per cent in JanDec 2016, compared to Rs 5.023 billion in the same period 2014. The Board of Directors of Meezan Bank in its meeting held in Karachi approved the full year (2016) audited financial result of the bank. The bank recorded Earnings per Share (EPS) of Rs 5.55. The meeting was presided by Riyadh SAA Edrees, Chairman of the Board, Faisal AAA Al-Nassar, Vice Chairman of the Board, also attended the meeting. The Board recommended the final cash dividend of Rs 1.25 per share (12.5 per cent) for the year 2016. This declaration, together with the earlier interim cash dividend of 17.5 per cent paid in the third quarter of 2016 brings the total payout for the year to Rs 3.00 per share (30 per cent). The bank has maintained its unbroken payout record since the date of listing on the Stock Exchange. A significant achievement during the year was the impressive increase in the financial portfolio of the bank that increased by 50 per cent, from Rs 208 billion to Rs 312 billion. This growth in financing has outpaced the 17 per cent average financing growth of the banking industry during the same period. The Bank’s focus remained on successfully capturing credit opportunities in a relatively stagnant private sector market and actively pursued growth in financing all the segments, especially in SME/Commercial and Consumer Financing (primarily Car Ijarah and Easy Home) that grew by 62 per cent and 66 per cent respectively over the last year. Advance to Deposits Ratio (ADR) of the bank now stands at an impressive 55 per cent, as compared to 44 per cent in 2015. Another significant achievement is the reduction in the Bank’s ratio of non-performing financings to total financing (NPL ratio) that now stands at 2.14 per cent, down from 3.27 per cent in 2015 as a result of the major recoveries made by the bank during 2016, highlighting the quality of the Bank’s portfolio. Meezan Bank’s NPL ratio is one of the lowest in the banking industry and bears testimony to the Bank’s prudent financing strat-
egy, backed by a sound risk infrastructure and rigorous remedial and recovery efforts. The average NPL ratio for the banking industry is 11 per cent. The focus remains to build a high quality and well-diversified portfolio, targeting top tier corporate, commercial and retail clients. The Bank’s equity closed at Rs 28.15 billion and the Bank’s Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) stands at a comfortable level of 12.91 per cent, as compared to 10.98 per cent in 2015. The Bank’s CAR is well above the minimum mandatory level of 10.65 per cent. During the year, the bank successfully issued Sub-ordinate Sukuk (Tier II), amounting to Rs 7 billion that has further strengthened the CAR and will support the future growth strategy of the bank. The issue received an overwhelming response from investors as a result of which the bank exercised its Green shoe option and accepted offers amounting to Rs 3 billion, more than the initially issued amount of Rs 4 billion. The bank was able to issue the Sukuk at a very attractive price and this indicates the strong brand value and standing of Meezan Bank. The Sukuk has been rated AA- (Double A-), by JCR-VIS Credit Rating Company Limited, an affiliate of Japan Credit Rating Agency, Japan. Notwithstanding the overall decline in the country’s exports, the trade business (both import and export) handled by the bank, crossed the half trillion benchmark and grew by an impressive rate of 20 per cent to Rs 552 billion in 2016, as compared to Rs 461 billion in 2015. An extensive network of correspondent banks and significant foreign exchange lines with international banks has allowed the Bank to compete aggressively for trade business. On account of this increased trade business volume and enhanced service quality, the fee, commission and brokerage income grew by 38 per cent. There have been only two new issues of the Government of Pakistan’s Ijarah Sukuks
Cost of the census escalates to rs 30.24b
NEwS DESk Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) has appreciated the government’s step for taking action against illegal chambers of commerce practices, calling it a great initiative in the right direction. Some of the policies of the chamber of commerce were being ruled by families and groups where decisions were not taken on merit and it should have been discouraged, a statement said. President PEW Dr Murtaza Mughal said that in some instances the real representatives of the business community were being overshadowed, disheartening the genuine business community and spreading false information. As a result of this, the economic development of the country was being seriously affected. He also said that the director general trade organisations (DGTO) had taken a bold step by dissolving the body governing Mardan Womens’ Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MWCCI). A show-cause notice was served to the management of the chamber by the DGTO and due to the unsatisfactory response, the management was dissolved. The DGTO had appointed an administrator for MWCCI and directed her to scrutinise the details of around 250 members, tackle fake memberships, see other affairs of the trade body and hold fresh elections within six months.
The Finance Ministry is reported to have said that the cost of the census can escalate to as high as Rs 30.24 billion from an earlier estimate of Rs 14.5 billion, reported a national daily. Sources in the finance ministry have confirmed that a meeting has taken place between the representatives of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government and secretary finance earlier this week, regarding the issue of at source deduction by the Finance Division of its share in the cost of the census. It has been reported that the province is not happy with its proportion in cost-sharing of the consensus. The secretary finance is reported to have asked the province to divert the issue to the Council of Common Interests (CCI) since it was the CCI that drafted
the cost-sharing proportions. However, when contacted, Chief Statistician Asif Bajwa expressed his ignorance over the escalation of census expenditure to Rs 30.24 billion, but acknowledged the escalation of the census costs to an unanticipated degree. Bajwa said that the focus of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) is to ensure transparency in the population census and that it has decided to involve the armed forces to lend credibility to their actions. "We are also addressing the concerns expressed by some quarters," he added. As many as 120,000 people from the civilian side, other than the 200,000 army men, are likely to be involved in the census which will commence on March 15 and conclude on April 15. News Desk
Mol Group expands its global presence THE MOL HAS WON SIX NEW LICENCES IN THE FOURTH HUNGARIAN HYDROCARBON EXPLORATION TENDER PESHAwAR stAff RePoRt
One of Pakistan’s largest operators in the exploration and production sector, with sizeable discoveries in TAL Block, the MOL Group is expanding its global presence by acquiring new concessions in different parts of the world, a press release on stated on Thursday. The MOL Pakistan Oil and Gas Company, a subsidiary of the internationally known MOL Group has been operating in Pakistan since 1999. MOL Pakistan has a very successful track record of operations; it has operated as
well as non-operated joint ventures with the local companies. Globally, MOL Group is regarded as a market leader in the field of exploration. In what comes as a rapid expansion of its prolific portfolio, the MOL Group has acquired new licenses in Hungary and Norway. These successes of the group significantly contribute to the implementation of MOL 2030 Strategy. The MOL has won six new licences in the fourth Hungarian hydrocarbon exploration tender and the concession contracts have been signed by the representatives of the Ministry
of National Development and MOL. As a result, now the MOL can start hydrocarbon exploration on nearly 4,200 square kilometres in the area of Bázakerettye, Bucsa, Jászárokszállás, Mezőtúr, Okány-West and Zala-West, in addition to almost 4,200 square kilometres covered by the mining authority decisions, and concessions already acquired. MOL is targeting both proven exploration plays in Hungary as well as new plays which are the result of its ongoing new Trans-Pannonian Basin Study. The Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy granted four licences to the MOL Norge on the Norwegian Continental Shelf at the 2016 APA (Award in Pre-Defined Areas) licensing round, including one with operatorship. The MOL has been granted operator-
ship in an additional position in the Mandal High Area, one of MOL Norge’s core areas in Norway. The partners in the new operated licence include Statoil and Petoro AS, leading national oil and gas companies in Norway. MOL has also successfully joined three licenses operated by the AkerBP. Group Upstream Executive Vice President Dr Berislav Gašo commented, “We are very happy that we have successfully competed in the latest bid rounds in two of our core countries, doubling our exploration footprint in Hungary and adding exciting prospects in Norway with the world class partners. I am confident that the expansion of our Central Eastern European and Norwegian exploration portfolio will support the delivery of organic reserve replacement for the Group.”
during the year. Moreover, the issue size was so small as compared to the demand for such instruments that it led to a price war and the cut-off yield was lower than the equivalent instrument available for conventional banks. This has negatively impacted the Islamic Banking industry. The Bank reported 20 per cent growth in deposits which increased by Rs 92 billion, closing the year at Rs 564 billion from Rs 472 billion, in line with the average deposit growth rate in banking industry. More importantly, the Bank has successfully re-aligned its deposit mix and achieved a lower cost of funds through a strong relationship management and customer centric approach. The current account in the deposit mix improved to 35 per cent in 2016 from 32 per cent in 2015. Accordingly, the Bank’s CASA (Current and Saving Account) mix improved to 75 per cent as compared to 72 per cent in 2015. Administrative and other expenses increased to Rs 15.6 billion from Rs 13.8 billion, a rise of 13 per cent. The rise in expenses is primarily due to the increase in staff expenses, rent and associated costs as a result of the addition of 123 new branches during 2015, an investment which has reaped fruits for the Bank, as it is evident from the strong growth in deposits and profits over the years. The Bank remained focused on deepening the existing branch network and converting newly opened branches into profitable ventures as early as possible. The Bank maintained its position as the leading Islamic bank in Pakistan (amongst both Islamic as well as conventional banks) with a branch network of 571 branches in 146 cities. The JCR-VIS Credit Rating Company Limited, an affiliate of Japan Credit Rating Agency, Japan has reaffirmed the Bank’s long-term entity rating of AA (Double A) and short-term rating at A1+ (A One Plus) with a stable outlook. The short-term rating of A1+ is the highest standard in short-term rating. Meezan Bank is the only Islamic bank in Pakistan with AA and A1+ credit rating.
FPCCi asks for focus on fund enhancing schemes for sMe sector kARACHI stAff RePoRt
The Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) Senior Vice President Aamer Ata Bajwa presided over consultative workshop for federal budget 2017-18 by the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Authority (SMEDA) at the Federation House and emphasised that focus should be on fund enhancing schemes for the Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) sector in terms of expanding the economic activities from the grass root level in Pakistan. He further suggested that to encourage and support the SMEs, SMEDA Provincial chief should put emphasis on infrastructure services, expert advisory assistance, and access to short and long term funding at reasonable rates. The team headed by Director SMEDA MA Jabbar gave comprehensive presentation on their activities but also talked about difficulties on pending claims of sales tax, duty drawbacks, income tax and deferred sales tax with no specific incentive packages for the SMEs. Jabbar said that in the budget priority should be given to the SMEDA and create conducive business environment by cutting down the cost of doing business; reducing direct and indirect taxes, tariff customs and excise duty, subsidies for export promotion, industrial development incentives, market access and access to finance. Provincial Chief Mukesh Kumar said that the core objective of the SMEDA is to promote and facilitate the SME sector by creating a conducive and favorable environment to enhance its capacities and competitiveness.
12 WORLD VIEW
Friday, 17 February, 2017
New declassified cia memo preseNts bluepriNt for syriaN regime collapse Libertarian institute
newly declassified CIA document explored multiple scenarios of Syrian regime collapse at a time when Hafez alAssad’s government was embroiled in a covert “dirty war” with Israel and the West, and in the midst of a diplomatic crisis which marked an unprecedented level of isolation for Syria. The 24-page formerly classified memo entitled Syria: Scenarios of Dramatic Political Change was produced in July 1986, and had high level distribution within the Reagan administration and to agency directors, including presidential advisers, the National Security Council, and the US ambassador to Syria. The memo appears in the CIA’s latest CREST release (CIA Records Search Tool) of over 900,000 recently declassified documents. A “severely restricted” report: The memo’s cover letter, drafted by the CIA’s Director of Global Issues (the report itself was prepared by the division’s Foreign Subversion and Instability Center), introduces the purpose of presenting “a number of possible scenarios that could lead to the ouster of President Assad or other dramatic change in Syria.” It further curiously warns that, “Because the analysis out of context is susceptible to misunderstanding, external distribution has been severely restricted.” The report’s narrowed distribution list (sent to specific named national security heads, not entire agencies) indicates that it was considered at the highest levels of the Reagan administration. the coming sectAriAn wAr for syriA: The intelligence report’s contents contain some striking passages which seem remarkably consistent with events as they unfolded decades later at the start of the Syrian war in 2011:Although we judge that fear of reprisals and organizational problems make a second Sunni challenge unlikely, an excessive government reaction to minor outbreaks of Sunni dissidence might trigger large-scale unrest. In most instances the regime would have the resources to crush a Sunni opposition movement, but we believe widespread violence among the populace could stimulate large numbers of Sunni officers and conscripts to desert or munity, setting the stage for civil war. [pg.2] The “second Sunni challenge” is a reference to the Syrian government’s prior long running war against a Muslim Brotherhood insurgency which culminated in the 1982 Hama Massacre.
While downplaying the nationalist and pluralistic composition of the ruling Ba’ath party, the report envisions a renewal and exploitation of sectarian fault lines pitting Syria’s Sunni population against its Alawite leadership:Sunnis make up 60 percent of the Syrian officer corps but are concentrated in junior officer ranks; enlisted men are predominantly Sunni conscripts. We believe that a renewal of communal violence between Alawis and Sunnis could inspire Sunnis in the military to turn against the regime. [pg.12] regime chAnge And the muslim Brotherhood: The possibility of the Muslim Brotherhood spearheading another future armed insurgency leading to regime change is given extensive focus. While the document’s tone suggests this as a long term future scenario (especially considering the Brotherhood suffered overwhelming defeat and went completely underground in Syria by the mid-1980’s), it is considered one of the top three “most likely” drivers of regime change (the other scenarios include “Succession Power Struggle” and “Military Reverses Spark a Coup”). The potential for revival of the Muslim Brotherhood’s “militant faction” is introduced in the following:Although the Muslim Brotherhood’s suppression drastically reduced armed dissidence, we judge a significant potential still exists for another Sunni opposition movement. In part the Brotherhood’s role was to exploit and orchestrate opposition activity by other organized groups… These groups still exist, and under proper leadership they could coalesce into a large movement… …young professionals who formed the base of support for the militant faction of the Muslim Brotherhood; and remnants of the Brotherhood itself who could become leaders in a new Sunni opposition movement… [pp.13-14] The Brotherhood’s role is seen as escalating the potential for initially small Sunni protest movements to morph into violent sectarian civil war:Sunni dissidence has been minimal since Assad crushed the Muslim Brotherhood in the early 1980s, but deep-seated tensions remain–keeping alive the potential for minor incidents to grow into major flareups of communal violence… Excessive government force in quelling such disturbances might be seen by Sunnis as evidence of a government vendetta against all Sunnis, precipitating even larger protests by other Sunni groups… Mistaking the new protests as a resurgence of the Muslim Brotherhood, the government would step up its use of force and launch violent attacks on a broad spectrum of Sunni community
leaders as well as on those engaged in protests. Regime efforts to restore order would founder if government violence against protestors inspired broad-based communal violence between Alawis and Sunnis. [pp.19-20] The CIA report describes the final phase of an evolving sectarian war which witnesses the influx of fighters and weapons from neighboring countries. Consistent with a 1983 secret report that called for a US covert operation to utilize then US-allied Iraq as a base of attack on Syria, the 1986 analysis says, “Iraq might supply them with sufficient weapons to launch a civil war”:A general campaign of Alawi violence against Sunnis might push even moderate Sunnis to join the opposition. Remnants of the Muslim Brotherhood–some returning from exile in Iraq–could provide a core of leadership for the movement. Although the regime has the resources to crush such a venture, we believe brutal attacks on Sunni civilians might prompt large numbers of Sunni officers and conscripts to desert or stage mutinies in support of dissidents, and Iraq might supply them with sufficient weapons to launch a civil war. [pp.20-21] A sunni regime serving western economic interests: While the document is primarily a theoretical exploration projecting scenarios of Syrian regime weakening and collapse (its purpose is analysis and not necessarily policy), the authors admit of its “purposefully provocative” nature (see PREFACE) and closes with a list desired outcomes. One provocative outcome describes a pliant “Sunni regime” serving US economic interests:In our view, US interests would be best served by a Sunni regime controlled by business-oriented moderates. Business moderates would see a strong need for Western aid and investment to build Syria’s private economy, thus opening the way for stronger ties to Western governments. [pg. 24] Ironically, the Syrian government would accuse the United States and its allies of covert subversion within Syria after a string of domestic bombings created diplomatic tensions during the
mid-1980’s. dirty tricks And diplomAcy in the 1980’s: According to Patrick Seale’s landmark book, Asad of Syria: The Struggle for the Middle East, 1986 was a year that marked Syria’s greatest isolation among world powers as multiple diplomatic crises and terror events put Syria more and more out in the cold. The year included “the Hindawi affair”—a Syrian intelligence sponsored attempt to hijack and bomb an El Al flight to Tel Aviv—and may or may not have involved NezarHindawi working as a double agent on behalf of Israel. The foiled plot brought down international condemnation on Syria and lives on as one of the more famous and bizarre terror conspiracies in history. Not only were Syria and Israel once again generally on the brink of war in 1986, but a string of “dirty tricks” tactics were being utilized by Syria and its regional enemies to shape diplomatic outcomes primarily in Lebanon and Jordan. In March and April of 1986 (months prior to the distribution of the CIA memo), a string of still largely unexplained car bombs rocked Damascus and at least 5 towns throughout Syria, leaving over 200 civilians dead in the most significant wave of attacks since the earlier ’79-’82 war with the Muslim Brotherhood. Patrick Seale’s book speculates of the bombings that, “It may not have been unconnected that in late 1985 the NSC’s Colonel Oliver North and AmiramNir, Peres’s counter-terrorism expert, set up a dirty tricks outfit to strike back at the alleged sponsors of Middle East terrorism.” consistency with future wikileAks files: The casual reader of Syria: Scenarios of Dramatic Political Change will immediately recognize a strategic thinking on Syria that looks much the same as what is revealed in national security memos produced decades later in the run up to the current war in Syria. When US cables or intelligence papers talk regime change in Syria they usually strategize in terms of exploiting
sectarian fault lines. In a sense, this is the US national security bureaucracy’s fallback approach to Syria. One well-known example is contained in a December 2006 State Dept. cable sent from the US embassy in Syria (subsequently released by WikiLeaks). The cable’s stated purpose is to explore Syrian regime vulnerabilities and weaknesses to exploit (in similar fashion to the 1986 CIA memo):PLAY ON SUNNI FEARS OF IRANIAN INFLUENCE: There are fears in Syria that the Iranians are active in both Shia proselytizing and conversion of, mostly poor, Sunnis. Though often exaggerated, such fears reflect an element of the Sunni community in Syria that is increasingly upset by and focused on the spread of Iranian influence in their country through activities ranging from mosque construction to business. Another section of the 2006 cable explains precisely the same scenario laid out in the 1986 memo in describing the increased “possibility of a self-defeating over-reaction” on the part of the regime:ENCOURAGE RUMORS AND SIGNALS OF EXTERNAL PLOTTING: The regime is intensely sensitive to rumors about coup-plotting and restlessness in the security services and military. Regional allies like Egypt and Saudi Arabia should be encouraged to meet with figures like [former Vice President Abdul Halim] Khaddam and [younger brother of Hafez] Rif’atAsad as a way of sending such signals, with appropriate leaking of the meetings afterwards. This again touches on this insular regime’s paranoia and increases the possibility of a self-defeating over-reaction.And ironically, Rif’atAsad and Khaddam are both mentioned extensively in the 1986 memo as key players during a speculative future “Succession Power Struggle.” [p.15] An islAmic stAte in dAmAscus?: While the 1986 CIA report makes a case in its concluding paragraph for “a Sunni regime controlled by business-oriented moderates” in Syria, the authors acknowledge that the collapse of the Ba’ath state could actually usher in the worst of all possible outcomes for Washington and the region: “religious zealots” might seek to establish “an Islamic Republic”. The words take on a new and special importance now, after the rise of ISIS:Although Syria’s secular traditions would make it extremely difficult for religious zealots to establish an Islamic Republic, should they succeed they would likely deepen hostilities with Israel and provide support and sanctuary to terrorists groups. [pg.24] What continues to unfold in Syria has apparently surpassed even the worst case scenarios of intelligence planners in the 1980’s. Tinkering with regime change has proven itself to be the most dangerous of all games. Brad is a native Texan and US Marine veteran who after leaving the military began wandering around the Middle East, eventually making Syria his second home. He’s authored multiple stories for his blog Levant Report which gained international attention. Find his writing at Antiwar.com, SOFREP, Foreign Policy Journal, The Canary (UK).
Kim Jong-nam was assassinated. But was it on his brother’s orders? Guardian AidAn Foster-CArter
Another day, another lurid North Korean mystery. Kim Jong-nam – eldest son of Kim Jong-il and halfbrother of the current ruler, Kim Jong-un – died on Monday after being attacked at Kuala Lumpur airport as he was about to fly to Macau. One of two female assailants, wearing a LOL Tshirt and a denim miniskirt, fled by taxi; she was reportedly arrested back at the airport. First accounts said poison needles were used, but the dying Kim told medics a liquid-laced cloth was put over his face from behind. A postmortem is expected. So whodunnit? Maybe the assassin will be caught – if they haven’t already been– and tell all. That has happened before. In December 1987 Kim Hyonhui was one of two North Korean agents, passing for Japanese, who put a bomb on KAL flight 858; it exploded in mid-air off Myanmar, killing 115 people, mainly South Koreans.
Apprehended in Bahrain, both agents took cyanide pills; her male colleague died, but Kim survived. Flown to Seoul, she was turned and confessed, later writing a bestselling memoir. Then there is, or was, Jang Songthaek, Kim Jong-un’s uncle by marriage. South Korean claims of Northern purges are rarely confirmable, and sometimes embarrassingly disproved when the “dead” reappear. But Jang’s brutal, very public demise in 2013 shows Kim Jong-un has no scruples about liquidating his own family as “traitors” if he considers them a threat. Like uncle, like brother? On the cui bono (who gains) principle, Kim Jongun, or the North Korean regime, must be the prime suspects. Let us first eliminate other potential eliminators. Kim Jong-nam had murky business links, was a gambler, and – like his late father – led a complex love-life. Yet a jilted mistress or unpaid gangster would surely have just shot or stabbed him. The hi-tech James-Bondery of
poison cloths smacks of state power. Kim Jong-un had motives for fratricide. In monarchies or family autocracies, any high-profile relative is a potential threat. As the oldest son, which matters in Confucian cultures, Kim Jong-nam was widely seen as likely heir until the Japan debacle in 2001 when he was nabbed at Narita airport – taking his family to Tokyo Disneyland, he said – travelling on a fake Dominican Republic passport in the name of Pang Xiong (Fat Bear in Chinese). Constantly harassed in airports by South Korean and Japanese journalists, he unwisely unburdened himself to some: notably Yoji Gomi, who published a book based on extensive email exchanges. Though cautious overall, some of his remarks, notably a critique of hereditary succession, must have rankled in Pyongyang. Yet such outspokenness was brief, and not recent. Yoji’s book appeared in 2012. Since then Kim Jong-nam had gone to ground, with occasional
sightings but no more comments. South Korean intelligence – a well-informed but not always trustworthy source, with its own axes to grind – claims that in a letter in 2012 he begged his brother to spare him and his family. China may be the key. Long resident in Macau, Kim Jong-nam admitted to having some Chinese protection – though ultimately it failed him. Recurrent suggestions, however far-fetched, that Beijing might prefer this more reform-minded, if somewhat shambling, elder Kim to his hot-headed younger half-sibling bent on beefing up North Korea’s nuclear threat, must have unnerved Kim Jong-un – who after five years in power has yet to visit China, or indeed anywhere. It can hardly have increased Kim Jong-nam’s life expectancy. But why now? Maybe Kim Jongnam finally planned to defect, as he always insisted he never had. Otherwise the timing is puzzling – unless, perhaps, the killing was not ordered by Kim Jong-un, but rather
done to impress him. In personalised tyrannies, agencies vie to show their loyalty to the leader by going above and beyond. Jong-un’s latest purge, ironically, targeted his chief henchman. Kim Won-hong, who as minister of state security headed the feared political police, lost his job in January. What better way for the bowibu to prove their fealty and regain the young leader’s favour than the spectacular elimination of his disloyal sibling? Timed, moreover, as a gift for 16 February: the birthday of their father Kim Jong-il, a major holiday in North Korea. Pure speculation, so far. But Kim Jong-nam is dead, and can no longer be any kind of threat. A strange coda: suggestions of bad blood between the brothers ignore one extraordinary fact. According to Kim Jong-nam, he and Jong-un – whom he wished well even if the feeling wasn’t mutual – never actually met. In a regime famous for silos, that may be the weirdest one of all.
Friday, 17 February, 2017
‘Dushman’ is an attempt to improve inDia-pakistan bonD: mahesh bhatt F
ILMMAKeR Mahesh Bhatt, who unveiled the first look of his upcoming Punjabi film Dushman on Wednesday, said the movie, based on the relationship between neighbours India and Pakistan, is his way of working towards improved ties between the two countries. The film, written by Shagufta Rafique – who has also made her directorial debut with it – features actors Jashan Singh, Kartar Cheema and Sakshi Gulati, read a statement.
“Indo-Pak relationship is a topic which ignites pain in the hearts of people in both the countries. everyone wishes to see India, Pakistan as friendly neighbours but a deep wound is still fresh. It is bleeding till date and we haven’t been able to soothe it. This movie is our attempt to improve sentiments between the two countries,” Bhatt said. “The film will take the audience through a variety of emotions and a high voltage action,” added Bhatt, who often calls himself a facilitator of the cultural dialogue
between India and Pakistan. According to Rafique, who has worked for 11 years as a screenwriter with Bhatt’s home banner Vishesh Films, Dushman is about love, hate and brotherhood. “This subject was close to my heart and I have written it with all my heart to evoke a sense of belonging for both the countries which are divided by only a man-made border,” she said. The film is produced by Vinay Bhardwaj under the banner Yellowstone Production Pvt Ltd, in association with PVR Pictures.
“Dushman exemplifies the evolution of Punjabi cinema which is experimenting with different genres. This movie is very special as it is a sincere effort to bridge the gaps between India and Pakistan. It is the first time the audience will see a two-hero movie, each representing the two countries,” Bhardwaj said. The music of the film has been composed by Jaidev Kumar and the album is an assorted collection of four songs with music maestros of both India and Pakistan on T-Series. AGENCIES
Princess Diana’s latest documentary in works marking 20th death anniversary ENTERTAINMENT DESK
kanye West surprises all with hijab wearing model NEW YORK AGENCIES
Rap superstar turned designer Kanye West broke boundaries by putting a hijab-wearing Somali-American model on the New York catwalk, unveiling a new, more adult Yeezy Season 5 collection. Halima Aden, 19, made her runway debut on day seven of New York fashion week at one of the hottest and most exclusive tickets in town — West’s at times experimental collaboration with Adidas. Born in a Kenyan refugee camp and now a US citizen, her appearance in such a high-profile show will propel her into a much bigger league than did the headlines she first made last year — when she became the first woman to compete in a Miss Minnesota beauty pageant in a hijab. Halima walked in front of West’s reality star wife Kim Kardashian and Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour not long after West was slammed by fans for the meeting with then presidentelect Donald Trump in December. Style bible Vogue said her appearance made her the show’s “most talked-about new face” and credited her with starting a “meaningful conversation” by proudly representing Muslim women at fashion week. While finding looks that meet her required modesty can be challenging, Aden told Vogue that so far her experiences had been positive. “My goal is to send a message to Muslim women and young women everywhere that it’s okay to break stereotypes and be you. There’s no pressure to be anything other than myself and for that, I am so grateful” the magazine’s website quoted her as saying. The Season 5 show saw West apparently bounce back from a reported mental breakdown as his family was still recuperating after Kardashian was robbed at gunpoint in Paris in October. And after a fiasco last season, which saw one model collapse due to extreme heat, West bucked the trend and refused to broadcast it live. It was a radical departure for the 39-year-old whose shows have been over the top — presenting at locales from Madison Square Garden to New York’s Roosevelt Island — since he started his fashion line two years ago. But on Wednesday his latest collaboration with Adidas was shown in a more traditional, stripped-down industrial space in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighbourhood, in an area along the Hudson River used by other designers. Guests were warned not to use phones and not to post anything on social media — but of course; those warnings appeared on social media anyway, along with some photos. The clothes departed a bit from his usual sportswear, though that influence was still present. Denim hit the Yeezy catwalk for the first time, in the form of highwaisted jeans, shirts and jackets. Coats in leather or fur put the label into another sphere, as did an anthracite grey blouse with a decidedly feminine cut.
A new documentary on Princess Diana is in the works with ABC, and it will be aired in August, on the 20th death anniversary of the late princess. The documentary will have interviews from Diana’s closest friends, reported The Hollywood Reporter. “Princess Diana has appeared on the cover of People 57 times — more than anyone in the history of the People brand. Our audience has an insatiable appetite for news about the royal family; in fact, the huge fascination remains today as when Lady Diana was first introduced to the world back in 1981” said People’s editor-in-Chief Jess Cagle. “even 20 years after her untimely death, Princess Diana’s legacy continues to impact our world,” said ABC’s senior VP alternative series, specials and late
DonAlD J. TrumP FAKE NEWS media, which makes up stories and "sources," is far more effective than the discredited Democrats - but they are fading fast!
night, Robert Mills. “Our special will honour her memory and all the good that she did in her tragically brief life. Our partners at People are perfect to tell this story as they’ve extensively covered her life throughout the years.” Princess Diana of Whales died on August 31, 1997, after a fatal car accident.
Gigi Hadid reminds fans that she’s still ‘human’ ENTERTAINMENT DESK: Like every human being, Gigi Hadid is far from perfect. In fact, according to her, there is no such thing as being perfect at all. Hadid recently opened up about how she prepares for fashion week, reminding her fans that despite her looking fierce and fabulous on the ramps, she is still “human.” “Before I walk, I’m usually just trying to think of what the designer wants from me in the show, whether that’s an energy or getting into the music or calming myself down with breathing. Something like that… just focusing on what my job is for that day,” InStyle quoted the model as saying. “You have to be ready for work, blocking out everything else. So you can change a channel in your mind and be able to separate your thoughts and kind of just focus on what you’re doing at the moment,” Hadid added. “Because my job is focused on the way I look, people assume that that means that you don’t have human qualities to you.
imrAn KHAn Also condemn cowardly attack against our soldiers in Awaran, Balochistan. We must reassert the priority of implementing NAP in its entirety
mArvi SirmeD Right during the dhamaal, Sindhri da, Sehwan da, Sakhi Shahbaz Qalandar attacked. Dargah was showered with the blood of innocents. #Pakistan
BinA SHAH Take a shot every time they say "Radical Islamic Terrorism"
PAulo CoelHo One Day Or Day One You decide
At Berlin fest, Palestinian film tackles prison trauma Haunted by his own time behind bars, Palestinian director Raed Andoni recreates a notorious Israeli interrogation centre — and has ex-prisoners re-enact experiences in a bid to set their demons free. In the running for best documentary at the Berlin film festival, Andoni’s “Istiyad Ashbah” (Ghost Hunting) examines the rarely documented collective trauma suffered by former Palestinian prisoners. “In Palestinian society, to survive detention and interrogation is like a rite of passage, you either come out a hero or you come out totally broken,” the celebrated Ramallah-based filmmaker told foreign media this week after the film’s Berlinale premiere. “And then people compare notes: how many days without sleep? How long in solitary?” the 45-year-old said. Having been imprisoned himself in his youth, he said he remained “haunted by flashbacks”
such as the sound of doors slamming shut and the feeling of a fabric bag being pulled over his head. Shot over seven weeks in a hangar in the West Bank town of Ramallah, the film brings together around a dozen former detainees of all ages and backgrounds, who are asked to recreate the notorious Russian Compound jail in west Jerusalem from memory. RolE plAy: The participants rebuild the detention centre in painstaking detail, from the size of their cells to the colour of the tiles and even the pulley they say was used to lift inmates off the ground during what they described as torture sessions. Slowly they bring the place of their nightmares back to life — and as the walls go up, the memories come bubbling back to the surface, forcing the men to confront their memories and breaking taboos in the process. “I use everything I can in the film to help them dig into their sub
conscience,” Andoni said, explaining that he wanted to peel away layer after layer of repression to find “the ghost inside”. For some of the ex-detainees, it was too much and they walked away from the project. “I told everyone from the first day of shooting that you have the right to quit,” he said, adding that
there were psychologists on set to provide emotional support. His quest to push the men to their limits makes for uncomfortable viewing at times, particularly in the drawn-out torture scenes when the former inmates play the roles of Israeli interrogators or prison wardens. AGENCIES
Friday, 17 February, 2017
You currently like the idea of having a few days to chill out, but might be surprised at how quickly you get bored with nothing to do. Or, you may need to face the reality that rest and relaxation are.
An old familiar memory rushes back into your thoughts today. But rather than feeling nostalgic, you can see glaring similarities mirrored in your current life. It's comforting to know that you can recreate.
You might suddenly realize today that your life trajectory isn't going to change as fast as you had hoped. It might be rather jarring to have your expectations dashed, but it's crucial to understand that.
Everything boils down to adopting the proper perspective today, especially if you are feeling like you're not making enough progress in your career. Oddly enough, you're able to maintain your optimism,
The good news is that you are on the receiving end of more encouragement now than you dreamed possible. However, the bad news is everyone seems to have an agenda that's different from yours. You would.
You begin to see the possibilities ahead through a wide-angle lens today. Happily, this is not pie-in-the-sky dreaming, for your practical approach to planning keeps you on a straight and narrow path.
Although relationship dynamics might be more complicated than ever, you have a particular goal in mind and are confident you will reach it one way or another. If fact, you may be feeling more certain about.
You can rely on your closest friends to come through with flying colors on your behalf now. However, you may need to ask for what you want, even if you think that someone close to you should be able to.
Your work routine carries an uncharacteristic appeal these days. Perhaps the regularity with which you do your tasks is simply reassuring. Or maybe you're just thankful that you have something productive.
The innocent side of love is captivating to you these days. Although you are ready to reduce the complexity of your life, downsizing is more challenging than it sounds. Nevertheless, walking away from.
You may be more of a homebody these days -at least that's how it appears to everyone else. But even if you enjoy the idea of retreating into your private world, you probably won't be able to pull it.
You feel more emotionally secure now if you're living life to your fullest potential. Obviously, your sense of independence is not subservient to anyone else's, especially when the stakes are so high.
ACROSS 1 withhold information (5,2) 8 alfresco (4-3) 9 saved (7) 10 Japanese flower arranging (7) 11 lugged (5) 13 siren (9) 15 monkey puzzle tree â€” araucaria (5,4) 18 presents (5) 21 greek letter e (7) 22 medium (7) 23 unlawful (7) 24 came in (7)
DOWN 1 measure of fineness of gold (5) 2 go to see (5) 3 24/7 (5,3,5) 4 speaker's platform (6) 5 russian tsar, d. 1725 (5,3,5) 6 open-topped container for wine or water (6) 7 fractures (6) 12 that hurt! (4) 14 Quarter of a full deck (4) 15 tick (6) 16 affront (6) 17 inborn (6) 19 natural aptitude (5) 20 rapidity (5)
hagar the horriBle
chess aghast bailiwick balcony bonus cancel casual chill council cream depth dread essential flare gaunt gore leer liar limit mural
panic pearl phrase ratio realm region result ripple shalt soap social sphere state superb teal
black TO PlaY aND MaTE IN TwO MOVEs 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
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sUdoKU crossword solution sudoku solution
1...Qd1! 2.Nxb6 [2.Ne5 e2+ 3.Kh1 Qxe1+ 4.Qxe1 Bf2] 2...rc1 * chess solution
how to play fill in all the squares in the grid so that each row, column and each of the squares contains all the digits. the object is to insert the numbers in the boxes to satisfy only one condition: each row, column and 3x3 box must contain the digits 1 through 9 exactly once.
Friday, 17 February, 2017
REAL MADRID 3 NAPOLI 1
Goals from Benzema, Kroos, CasemIro saw real Come BaCK from BehInd SERIE A SIDE TOOK THE LEAD IN THE LAST 16 OF THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE AFTER LORENZO INSIGNE SCORED FROM 35 YARDS OUT MaDriD
EAL Madrid came from a goal down to beat Napoli in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie. The visitors took the lead after KeylorNavas was caught off guard by a superb Lorenzo Insigne strike inside eight minutes.
Karim Benzema headed the equaliser past Pepe Reina from DaniCarvajal's cross 11 minutes later. Toni Kroos put the hosts ahead early in the second half, before a stunning volley from Casemiro sealed the win. Napoli will host the second leg on 7
March, with a place in the quarter-finals at stake. Cristiano Ronaldo has now gone 523 minutes without a Champions League goal—his longest drought in the competition at Real Madrid. The 32-year-old missed a golden op-
portunity midway through the first half to give Real a 2-1 lead, but he blasted his shot over the bar from 12 yards out. Ronaldo's performance was far from selfish and he was lively from the off. He created a chance after just 23 seconds with his darting run finding Benzema, who forced a one-handed save from Reina. Although Ronaldo failed to hit the target during the game, his hard work paid off when he pulled the ball back to Kroos to give the hosts the lead early in the second half. That makes it five assists in seven Champions League appearances this season - his most in a season in the competition for Real Madrid. Insigne set the standard with his impressive early goal. MarekHamsik ripped apart the Real defence with the through ball and Insigne made no mistake in converting. He spotted Navas off his line and curled the opener into the bottom corner from 35 yards out with Napoli's only shot on target in the first half. But Casemiro stole his thunder with a world-class finish to wrap up the win
for Real, leaving Reina with no chance with a long-range volley. The Brazilian has had 16 attempts in the Champions League, scoring only twice with both goals coming from outside the box. Carvajal delivered a sumptuous cross with the outside of his boot to tee up Benzema for the equaliser and his 51st goal in Europe. His powerful header sees him move up to fifth in the competition's all-time leading scorers, overtaking Thierry Henry. Ronaldo tops the list with 95 goals, followed by Lionel Messi (93), Raul (71) and Ruud van Nistelrooy (56). Real Madrid boss ZinedineZidane: "We played a great game—it was a shame about the Napoli goal but we rectified things, scored ourselves and turned the game on its head and I think it was the right result. "We'll go there to a difficult ground where we'll suffer and it is still an open game. We need to go there and finish it off with our 3-1 advantage."
Really impressed by the way Sarfraz approaches cricket, says Pietersen Sharjah Agencies
marlon samuels cleared to bowl in int’l cricket
Former England star Kevin Pietersen believes Twenty20 has changed the scenario of the game worldwide. Top stars travel around the world to take part in different leagues and this has triggered the emergence of new players and growth of the game. While talking to a Gulf media outlet after a training session at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Wednesday, Pietersen said: "Twenty20 has been instrumental in the expansion of the game as we observe the new talent emerging all around the world. I am really surprised by the talent Pakistan has got. These youngsters are learning a lot in the company of Kumar Sangakkara, Chris Gayle, Kieron Pollard (Karachi Kings), Brendon McCullum, Jason Roy (Lahore Qalandars), Eoin Morgan and Darren Sammy (Peshawar Zalmi). "We have seen tournaments like the Indian Premier League and the Big Bash producing quality players and same is going to
happen with the Pakistan Super League." KP, a hot property in T20, added: "It is just the start of the tournament and we have shifted to Sharjah. It is known for cricket with wonderful facilities and we expect huge crowds during the week. The wicket looks beautiful and I am looking forward to some entertainment here. "T20 is all entertainment as I have projects all around the world and whenever I come across youngsters, first thing they want to learn is how to hit a six and how to play a switch-hit." Pietersen praised Sarfraz Ahmed's captaincy and believes the wicketkeeper-batsman can take Pakistan to new heights. "I am really impressed by the way Sarfraz approaches the game. I enjoyed playing under him last year. As a captain he treats everybody equally which earns him respect. "His commitment to the team is unbelievable and one-day captaincy could be a stepping a stone in his career. He has a bright future ahead because he always wants to get involved the game. He failed to score big in the first match but played a fine innings in the second tie against Karachi Kings and in the company of RileeRoussouw to take the team home."
Pakistan, India teams to face off in Bangladesh SportS DeSk Pakistan and India are all set to face each other in Cox’s Bazaar in Bangladesh ahead of the much-awaited clash in Champions Trophy in England. The two teams would feature in the Emerging Cup, which has an interesting format. It’s a tournament essentially for U-23 players but four teams—India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka—would be allowed to feature four national players and without any age limit. Four other teams—Afghanistan, UAE, Hong Kong, Nepal—would play their national sides. It would be an ODI tournament authorised by the Asian Cricket Committee and would be held between March 15 to 26.
West Indies allrounder Marlon Samuels has been cleared to resume bowling in international cricket by the ICC. Samuels was banned from bowling at the international level for 12 months in December 2015, after his action was found to be illegal for a second time in 24 months. The offspinner’s action could be reassessed by the ICC only after 12month period ended, and Samuels underwent tests on January 29 at the ICC-accredited testing centre in Loughborough. According to an ICC release, the tests revealed the elbow flex for his offspin deliveries was within the permitted 15-degree limit. If the umpires find issues with his action going forward, they can report him again, and then he will require further analysis of his action by the ICC. Umpires will be provided with images and video footage of his reworked bowling action, the ICC said, to help them judge his action in games.
Malinga set for return against new-look Australia Melbourne Agencies
On Friday, February 17, two different teams will represent Australia in two different matches on two different continents. The country’s best cricketers— Steven Smith, David Warner, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood et al—will begin a three-day tour game in Mumbai ahead of the first Test against India. But the match considered a full international is the one that will take place in Melbourne, where Aaron Finch will lead Australia’s Twenty20 outfit in the first of three games against Sri Lanka. It is a remarkable scenario, but one that will at least give a few new faces—Jhye Richardson, Ashton Turner and Michael Klinger, for example—an opportunity to represent their country. Still, the absence of such key players makes it hard not to view this as nearer to an Australia
A outfit than the true national side. Sri Lanka enter the series with closer to a full-strength squad, although like Australia they are without their regular T20 captain—Angelo Mathews is unavailable due to a hamstring injury, and UpulTharanga will stand in as skipper. But it is a squad with plenty of changes from their most recent T20 group, with allroundersDasunShanaka and MilindaSiriwardana, as well as batsmen DilshanMunaweera and ChamaraKapugedara included, having been left out of the touring party that won in South Africa last month. But the most notable inclusion is that of LasithMalinga, who has played virtually no cricket for nearly a year due to injuries. It didn’t take him long to have an impact on his return against the Prime Minister’s XI on Wednesday: he struck in the first over of the game. In the spotlIght: This interna-
tional call-up has been a long time coming for Michael Klinger. He made his first-class debut in 1999. He has piled up 22,163 runs across first-class, List A and T20 cricket. He has been around three
Australian states, two English counties, and gone grey in the process. At 36, he will be the fifth oldest T20 international debutant for any full member nation, behind RafatullahMohmand (Pakistan), Rahul Dravid (India), Floyd Reifer (West Indies) and SanathJayasuriya (Sri Lanka). Expect this to be an emotional evening for Klinger and his family.
SPORTS Friday, 17 February, 2017
BAYERN MUNICH 5 ARSENAL 1
ArSEnAL SInk To WEngEr'S LoWEST EBB
EJECTED Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger admitted his side were as good as eliminated from the Champions League after suffering an all too predictable battering at the hands of Bayern Munich. The Gunners’ European hopes were left dangling by the flimsiest of
threads following a second-half Bayern blitz which produced a double strike from ThiagoAlcantara and goals from Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Muller. Arsenal had earlier given themselves what proved false hope as Alexis Sanchez cancelled out ArjenRobben’s opener, although a familiar collapse against a heavyweight opponent meant a seventh successive exit at the competition’s last 16 stage is
now all but inevitable. Wenger’s post-match demeanour also suggested this was the lowest ebb of an increasingly stalled, perhaps unsustainable, tenure in north London. Asked whether a miracle was now needed, Wenger said: “Of course. “It is a shock to lose at that level and on top of that we made everything wrong. These kind of games you need to be focused for 90 min-
utes. I felt the third goal was a killer for our players because after that we had no real response. “We collapsed. After the third goal the players looked mentally jaded. The last 25 minutes were a nightmare for us. We lost control and didn’t have an answer.” Defeat intensified the pressure on Wenger and raised further questions over whether the Frenchman, whose contract expires at the end of the season, will sign a new deal or end his 20-year association with the club. With the Arsenal backline, and midfielder Francis Coquelin in particular, failing to press, Robben cut inside and curled a sumptuous effort into the top corner of Gunners stopper David Ospina’s net to give Bayern a 13th-minute lead. The visitors were awarded a penalty on the half-hour mark after Lewandowski, attempting to lash clear in his own penalty area, caught Laurent Koscielny with his follow through. Sanchez’s weary spot-kick was comfortably repelled by Manuel Neuer, although the Chilean regained sufficient composure to clinically level matters. Arsenal, however, were rocked by the loss of Koscielny to injury in the early stages of the second period and within minutes Bayern were back in front as a soaring Lewandowski planted a firm header beyond Ospina. Bayern, who enjoyed 75 per cent possession, were now rampant and established a three-goal cushion when a clever backheel from Lewandowski released Thiago and the Spaniard drilled low beyond Ospina. Lewandowski struck the crossbar before a deflected Thiago shot whistled past a helpless Ospina shortly after the hour mark. Substitute Muller, climbed off the bench to add further gloss to the scoreline by making space for a shot and duly dispatching past Ospina.
Trying to win Europa League could make it hard for Man Utd in other competitions: Mourinho Manchester Agencies
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho admits that he fears his side will have to negotiate major fixture congestion later in the season if they successfully pursue the Europa League. Mourinho has indicated he will resist the temptation to prioritise other competitions over the Europa League, which resumes on Thursday evening when United meet Saint-Etienne in the first leg of the last 32. But he conceded that doing so could hamper his team’s domestic ambitions, particularly if they also continue to progress in the FA Cup. “We know our situation is really complicated. With the accumulation of FA Cup, League Cup and matches postponed it is really hard for us,” he said. “If you progress in the competitions, we will be in trouble in April and May. But we cannot choose competitions so we play to win.” Reaching the later stages of the Europa League threatens to reduce United’s rest time before big Premier League fixtures.
IHC hears case against Sethi, Shahryar IsLaMaBaD sTAFF RePORT
PCB to indict cricketers after completing legal formalities SportS DeSk: Pakistan Cricket Board Chairman Shahryar Khan has said the suspended players—Sharjeel Khan and Khalid Latif—will be formally indicted once all legal formalities have been carried out. Speaking to media outside the PCB headquarters earlier today, the chairman said the two players had asked for time to speak to their families and now the time has lapsed. Sharjeel and Latif will now give their official statements, which will be recorded on video, the chairman said. “We have spoken to them informally and the formal talk will be held in 1-2 days. After this, we will give them a notice. We have to make sure that our legal process is complete because they can approach the court later,” he said. “Our stance needs to be water-tight legally which is why we are speaking to them informally and informing them of charges against them. They told us they wanted to speak to their families first and the time for that is over. Now they have to be formally indicted and their statement will be recorded,” the chairman added.
Root inspired by Smith, Kohli LeeDs Agencies
Joe Root hopes becoming a Test captain will take his batting to the “next level”, just as it’s done for India’s ViratKohli and Australia’s Steve Smith. Root was confirmed as England’s new Test skipper, following Alastair Cook’s resignation, despite the likes of former Test spinner Graeme Swann saying it could adversely affect his batting. The 26-year-old already boasts an impressive batting average of nearly 53 in his 53 Tests to date. Yet, Kohli averages over 67 as captain of the India side now top of the world Test rankings compared to a shade above 41 when a player in the ranks. The corresponding figures for Smith are equally stark, at 71 and 53 respectively. “That excites me,” said Root at his Headingley home ground on Wednesday. “It’s a great motivator to make sure I do everything I can to get my batting in the best place possible and set the exam-
ple for the rest of the guys in the team.” The Test captain added: “You look at other guys who’ve taken similar roles like Virat and Steve Smith and they’ve gone on to bigger and better things and taken their game to the next level. I don’t see why I can’t look at it in the same light. “It’s a great opportunity to take that added responsibility and really motivate me to get better. “Every kid dreams of being England captain one day… I’m
just really looking forward to getting my teeth into it and putting my mark on things.” Root insisted he had no hesitation in accepting the captaincy when it was offered to him by England and Wales Cricket Board director Andrew Strauss. “I think it’s the biggest honour in the game, simple as that,” he said. Meanwhile, Strauss, Cook’s predecessor as England captain, forecast an initial upsurge in the form of Root, a regular in all three international formats.
The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday conducted the hearing of a case filed against Pakistan Super League (PSL) Chief Najam Sethi and Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Shahryar Khan and sent notifications to the PCB seeking an explanation in ten days. The case was filed by former Test cricketer Sarfraz Nawaz. The applicant had submitted that Najam Sethi was defaming Pakistan. Nawaz said that Najam Sethi’s statements were damaging Pakistan’s credibility, adding that “if he was aware of match-fixing then he should not have let those players participate in PSL”. The former fast bowler demanded the PCB made public all the investigation details so that people remained aware of all facts. He further said the PCB was completely heedless of the ongoing match-fixing; it was International Cricket Council (ICC) that caught it. Nawaz also accused Sethi of gambling.
Wade confident back will withstand in series MuMBaI Agencies
Australia wicketkeeper Matthew Wade is confident his back problem will not flare up during the team’s four-test series in India, the 29-year-old said on Thursday. Wade abandoned the recent one-day tour of New Zealand to return home to manage a bulging disc before joining his team mates at a pre-series training camp in Dubai. “It’s just something that I’ll have to manage,” Wade told reporters at Mumbai’s Brabourne Stadium.
Hold PSL final in Karachi: City mayor sports Desk Karachi Mayor Waseem Akhtar on Thursday said he would like the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to hold the final match of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) in the metropolis. He said this while speaking to media in Karachi and also tweeted about it, promising support to organise the event in every way. The PCB had promised to provide top-level security to the
PSL finalists at Gaddafi Stadium. But a bomber targeting police negotiating with protesting pharmacists on Monday killed 13 people in Lahore, casting fresh doubt over whether foreign cricketers will risk a return to playing in Pakistan. Pakistanis were quick to voice fears that Monday's explosion in Lahore could derail plans to hold the highly anticipated final of the PSL there. On that note, Akhtar said that he would take full responsi-
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bility to make security arrangements as well as facilitate the management of the event at the National Stadium. PSL Chairman NajamSethi said in a talk show on TV following the Lahore blast that he had been in contact with several foreign players who indicated they would still be willing to play the final in Lahore. "We are in touch with other foreign players so that we could replace those (contracted international) players who are not
willing to play in Lahore." "Now I will have to start all over again," Sethi added. "I cannot say that we will be successful or not because [the players] have families, they will have their associations which will guide them." The PSL chairman also said that he wants to poll the Pakistan public and let them decide whether they want to see the final in Lahore most likely without foreign players or Dubai again probably with overseas players.