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NAB forms body to scrutinise pending cases against Sharifs
Govt borrowing binge crowding out private sector PROFIT PAGE 01
Corruption caused Railways’ downfall, says Justice Chaudhry PAGE 04
rs15.00 vol ii no 155 22 pages islamabad — peshawar edition
thursday, 1 december, 2011 muharram-ul-haram 5, 1433
dismisses appeals Pakistan stops Islamabad to attend Bonn moot sharing intel with US Gilani tells Merkel he will refer ambassador’s participation to parliamentary committee g appears to set conditions for pakistan to attend conference
tary Committee on National Security, which was meeting on Friday (tomorrow) to discuss and deliberate upon the NATO strike in Mohmand Agency that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers. The German leader had said there should be at least ambassador-level participation on the part of Pakistan, but the prime minister said after the parliamentary committee’s decision, he would contact her and respond to her proposal, said an official handout issued here by PM’s House. During the conversation, the German chancellor expressed her country’s solidarity and friendship with the people and government of Pakistan. She expressed her condolences to the families of those who had lost their lives during the NATO/ISAF strikes. The prime minister thanked Merkel for her gesture and said he was touched by her sentiments and Pakistan valued the love and friendship of Germany. Merkel said Pakistan’s attendance at the Bonn conference was of the utmost importance to Germany and said Pakistan’s representation was essential to making the conference meaningful. The prime minister said Pakistan held Germany in the highest esteem and attached the highest importance to the peace, stability and sovereignty of Afghanistan. However, in the current scenario in which Afghan soil had been used against Pakistan, both the cabinet and the government had decided that Pakistan attending the Bonn Conference was no longer possible, he added. Gilani also said public opinion in Pakistan was inflamed by the fact that Afghan soil had been used against Pakistan in the attack. Before Merkel, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had also urged Islamabad to attend the moot, reportedly saying in Korea that Pakistan’s decision not to attend was “regrettable” but stopped short of apologising for the deaths of 24 soldiers in the NATO strikes.
ISI DG turns down CIA chief’s request to restore intelligence cooperation until US takes ‘certain steps’ g
N the wake of Saturday’s NATO/ISAF air strikes on two Pakistani border posts that killed 24 troops and wounded another 15, the intelligencesharing, which is critical to counterterrorism and a communication channel to pass on information about the militants and terrorists’ movement on both sides of the Pak-Afghan border, has also suffered a blow following the blocking of supplies to Afghanistan, notice to the US to vacate Shamsi airbase and Islamabad’s refusal to participate in the Bonn Conference. As the Obama administration tries for the restoration of NATO supplies and withdrawal of Islamabad’s demand for the airbase to be vacated, through secret channels it is also urging Pakistan to raise the level of intelligence cooperation, which is the most vital component of counter-terrorism. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) chief General David Petraeus called his Pakistani counterpart Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief General Ahmad Shuja Pasha seeking restoration of intelligence cooperation two days ago, but Islamabad declined to cooperate until certain important steps were taken by the US with a formal apology at the top level. The other demands of Pakistan are stern punishment for NATO officials involved in the strike, compensation to the victims’ families and a firm assurance that such an act of aggression would not be repeated. Apart from intelligence cooperation, military-to-military ties between Pakistan and the US have also suffered to a great extent but channels are being kept open on the request of Washington to iron out dif-
ferences that erupted after the attack in Mohmand Agency. “Some important calls are being made at the level of the military leadership, with the US side expressing condolences over the killing of Pakistani soldiers and asking for reversal of anti-Washington decisions, but they are being told that the government would decide what should be the future nature of Pakistan-US ties,” said a Pakistani official, who asked not to be identified by name. ALTERNATIVE ROUTES: A diplomatic source meanwhile confirmed that the US and other NATO states were looking for alternative routes to ensure a smooth supply of goods to their troops stationed in Afghanistan. However, he hastened to add that Washington and its allies were exploring other routes even before the Mohmand Agency strike and one could say that the process had been accelerated. “NATO reduced 50 percent of its dependence on Pakistan when it comes to supplies for Afghanistan before the Mohmand Agency strike and if the situation doesn’t improve between the two sides, the level would be reduced further with shifting of the goods to other routes,” he said. At present, he said, the US authorities were more concerned about the loss of intelligence cooperation with Pakistan and equally important, the role of Pakistan in the Washington-backed Afghanistan reconciliation process with the Taliban, which they see as not paying any dividends without Islamabad’s support. “So it is exactly these two things that the US administration has been urging Pakistan to not walk away from, as that would be catastrophic for Washington’s exit strategy for Afghanistan,” he said.
LAHORE: Punjab University students shout slogans during a protest on Wednesday against the cross-border NATO air strike on Pakistani troops. afp
ISLAMABAD Staff RepoRt
As the Bonn conference scheduled for December 5 draws nearer, the United States and other allied nations are mounting pressure on Pakistan to participate, the latest bid in this regard coming on Wednesday from the leader of the host country, German
Chancellor Angela Merkel, who requested Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani to reconsider the decision to boycott the international moot on the future of Afghanistan. Gilani, however, turned down the request but said since Pakistan regarded Germany as a close friendly nation, he would refer the issue of participation at the ambassador level to the Parliamen-
continued on page 04
pakistan’s boycott has implications | page 04
Gaffe or honest admission? Shamsi disclosure blows cover ISLAMABAD
In an attempt to showcase the government’s stern reaction to the NATO airstrikes in Mohmand Agency, Federal Defence Minister Ahmed Mukhtar inadvertently confirmed age-old rumours of the US using Pakistani airbases for its clandestine drone operations, saying the government would take over Shamsi airbase at all cost and “no drone would be allowed to fly from Pakistan”. Mukhtar told reporters after attending a convocation in Islamabad that no compromise would be made on the country’s sovereignty and the Defence Committee of Cabinet’s (DDC) decision to get the Shamsi airbase vacated would be implemented in it true essence. “We will not tolerate any further violation of our border… if we feel necessary, all agreements and cooperation between Pakistan and the US would be reviewed in the coming days,” the defence minister said. He said after the expiry of the deadline on December 11, the government would take over the Shamsi Airbase, adding that “Pakistan will not back down from its eviction decision”. “We are also considering stopping NATO supplies from Shahbaz Airbase,” he added.
firdous says us will also have to vacate Jacobabad, pasni bases | page 09
off covert UaE-US deal ISLAMABAD IRfan BukhaRI
The members of the royal family of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), who used to regularly visit Pakistan during the hunting season in the winter, might be thinking otherwise this year because of security reasons after the disclosure of the fact that the NATO, ISAF forces were operating from Shamsi Airbase — currently under the control of the UAE government — to target Taliban militants in Afghanistan and the Tribal Areas. Diplomatic sources in Islamabad believe that the UAE government is ‘concerned’ over official disclosure of the fact that it had allowed the NATO-ISAF forces to use Shamsi Airbase to target terrorists. The officials of UAE Foreign Ministry too in the past had asked the US to keep UAE’s cooperation with NATO, ISAF secret due to the same reason.
On May 11, 2005, Ahmed Al Musally, director of the Asian and African Affairs Department at the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs told then US deputy chief of mission in the UAE to keep UAE’s cooperation with the US confidential. A diplomatic cable sent on May 14, 2005 by then ambassador to the UAE Michele J Sison, which was leaked by WikiLeaks says that Al Musally complained that retired Gen Tommy Franks, former commander of the United States Central Command (CENTCOM), in his memoir ‘American Soldier’ had mentioned that US forces had made use of Sheikh Zayed’s private airstrip in Balochistan. “Al Musally told the US envoy that the UAEG [UAE government] desires to keep details of the UAE cooperation with the US military in Afghanistan and Pakistan confidential, because the [UAE] government is concerned that public acknowledgement of
this assistance could pose risks to the security of UAE officials within the UAE or in Pakistan. Moreover, Al Musally noted that members of the UAE’s ruling families frequently visit Pakistan for hunting and the information may compromise their security. He noted that there are 500,000 to 600,000 Pakistanis residing in the UAE… Maybe they can’t do anything here [in the UAE], but they might try there (i.e. Pakistan), especially when our leaders travel there,” the diplomatic cable says. Commenting on the issue, a diplomat asking not to be named said, “This official disclosure, which was earlier being reported in the press but had not been confirmed by any government official of Pakistan, the UAE or the US, may pose security threats to UAE citizens in the country.”
uae seeks nato apology over attack | page 04
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human capital a must for economic development nato, ISaf must know limits: asfandyar
not a good life nazir naji says: Choosing our battles wisely: Diplomatic solution over a military one.
Imran husain says: The cookie crumbles: The Pak-US one that is.
kuldip nayar says: The dame of Dhaka: Her popularity is on the wan.
Story on Page 07
NAB forms body to scrutinise pending cases against Sharifs Other politicians’ cases to also come under review g Board meeting approves closure of a few cases against influential figures g
H E executive board meeting of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Wednesday formed a committee to scrutinise around 40 cases pending with the accountability watchdog against top politicians of the country, including cases against Pakistan Muslim LeagueNawaz (PML-N) leaders Nawaz Sharif and Shahbaz Sharif, that may have been initiated on political grounds during the previous regimes, so as to bring them to a “morally logical conclusion”. The meeting also took some other important decisions by approving closure of a few cases against influential persons on the pretext of “lack of evidence”, besides authorising enquiries and investigations into important cases headed by NAB Chairman Admiral (r) Fasih Bukhari. “Yes, the meeting was informed that about 40 cases are pending with NAB for years which were initiated either by the bureau or by the Qaumi Ehtasab Bureau, which also include cases against the Sharif brothers and family. It was decided that a committee be formed to scrutinise all such cases to bring them to a logical end,” said a source privy to the details of the meeting. The board meeting approved enquiries against various individuals involved in cor-
rupt practices for illegal allotments, misuse of authority and misappropriation of public funds. The board meeting also authorised enquires in eight cases of willful default by companies of some influential families of politicians and others pertaining to the Rs 1.8 billion Bank of Punjab scam. The meeting authorised investigations against Raja Muhammad Kamal and Mushtaq Ahmed of the Senate Secretariat Housing Society for misappropriation of public money, against the Veterans Cooperative Housing Society at Taxila for illegal transfer of plots and against the officials of Haripur Revenue Department for misappropriation of government funds in the purchase of land for Workers Welfare Board Complex at Haripur. The meeting approved the plea bargains of Juma Sher and Khatan Gul in the acquisition of land for Ring Road Peshawar as well as Khalid Aziz and Anwar Aziz of Malik Food Industries. The meeting decided that the cases relating to the National Insurance Company Limited (NICL) should be sent to NAB for processing and referred to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) for prosecution. The board also decided to send a final notice to Dr Abdul Basit to return the money from the Double Shah case deposited with him by one of the accused, to NAB for its disbursement to the victims of the scam.
NA body suggests 30-day deadline to recover dues from govt departments Defence services top the defaulters list g Electricity staff afraid to cut supply to military and police institutions g
ISLAMABAD aMeR SIaL
After being informed that even the federal government departments, including defence services were not clearing their outstanding electricity dues of Rs 6.4 billion, the National Assembly Standing Committee on Water and Power on Wednesday recommended giving a 30-day ultimatum to all departments to clear their outstanding dues or face disconnection. The Ministry of Water and Power (MOWP) had informed the committee that the receivables of various federal departments had increased to Rs 6.4 billion up to October 10, 2011 from a previous amount of Rs 6.1 billion on June 30, 2011. In a shocking revelation, MOWP said defence services were the top defaulters with dues of Rs 1.6 billion on October 10 even after reducing their dues of Rs 2.3 billion on June 30. The federal government ministries have arrears of Rs 1.6 billion on October 10 as against receivables of Rs 1.1 billion on June 30. The local government departments and autonomous bodies had arrears of Rs 1.9 billion and Rs 1.1 billion respectively on Octo-
a realistic appraisal We should pick fight with someone our own size. Pakistan’s dipping HDI.
ber 10 as compared to dues of Rs 1.6 billion and Rs 1.03 billion respectively on June 30. The meeting was chaired by Mustafa Shah. PML-N’s Abid Sher Ali expressed his shock over the amount owed by defence services. PPP parliamentarian’s Ijaz Virk said Faisalabad Police illegally detained FESCO employees for 18 hours. He asked how could the power employees dare to cut power supply to the ISI. However, a PEPCO official clarified that the payables against ISI were not “arrears”, but “receivables” as they were by and large regular in payment of their bills. PPP’s Nawab Abdul Ghani Talpur said the committee should help in the timely recovery of dues. He proposed that MOWP should give ultimatum for clearance of dues to all federal government departments. PML-N’s Bilal Yasin said the recently imposed monthly fuel adjustment charges were matching the electricity charges, and that the common man was hit hard. KESC Director Abdul Rauf said that their total receivables were Rs 24 billion out of which Rs 15.6 billion were against Karachi Water and Sewerage Board and Rs 5 billion against the City District Government, Karachi.
Story on Page 09
Articles on Page 12-13
Ministry’s opinion sought on defence treaties ISLAMABAD tahIR nIaz
The parliamentary body on law on Wednesday sought opinion of the ministries of Law and Foreign Affairs on a proposed piece of legislation suggesting all treaties and agreements relating to the country’s defence shall be presented before parliament and duly ratified by it. The committee, which met with Begum Nasim Chaudhry in the chair, asked the ministry of Law, Justice and Par-
liamentary Affairs to vet the draft bill proposed by Khurram Jehangir Wattoo and take into consideration all aspects and fallout of the proposed law. It also decided to take views of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the subject and summon the defence secretary in the next meeting of the committee so as to know the position of the ministry on the proposed bill. Majority of parliamentarians supported the bill. However, they were wary of the legal and constitutional complexities that might have been involved in it. Justice
(r) Fakhrun Nisa, Ghafoor Chaudhary, SA Iqbal Qadri, Syed Zafar Ali Shah, Riaz Fatiana and Anusha Rehman supported the bill, calling it the need of the hour in the context of what the country was facing due to unwritten and secret deals with other countries in the name of defence cooperation. Ghafoor Chaudhry said, “Definitely, there is a requirement to improve the system but it (proposed law) will change the shape of the constitution and the executive would face difficulty in exercising its authority vis-à-vis defence-related matters.”
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Asif Ali Zardari President, Islamic Republic of Pakistan
orld AIDS Day being observed today is a reminder to everyone to enhance awareness about AIDS and how to prevent it.
The theme this year “Getting to Zero” meaning no new HIV infections, no discrimination and no AIDS related deaths calls for renewed determination by governments, health practitioners, NGOs and the people to prevent HIV infections and ensure access to treatment for all without discrimination. Indeed it is a wake up call to act decisively and act now. Eﬀectively combating HIV & AIDS requires that every one should have equal access to information about preventive measures and the available treatment programs. It also requires that every one refuses to discriminate against the HIV infected patients. HIV treatment still eludes many people living in the world’s poorest communities living in developing countries. Unfortunately the health care systems in most of the developing countries falls short of providing even the most basic health services. As HIV is an issue of global concern it is important that the international community specially focuses on AIDS prevention and cure in these countries. As a result of the 18th Constitutional
Mir Hazar Khan Bijarani Federal Minister, Ministry of Inter-Provincial Coordination
IV and AIDS is spreading rapidly across the globe, claiming a large number of lives globally. Pakistan is also facing a threat from this disease due to a number of risk factors. We must understand what these factors
Mr. Amjad Ali Khan Secretary, Ministry of Inter-Provincial Coordination
he World AIDS Day is not only a reminder of the troubling situation of HIV and AIDS in the world, but it is also a day for applauding the progress that we have made so far. Recent statistics also show that finally there is good news as the epidemic is stabilizing in most countries, while in a few others it is declining. On the occasion of World AIDS day 2011
Dr. Sajid Ahmada National Programme Manager NACP
akistan is the second largest country in South Asia that stands only a few steps behind India
Amendment, health has been devolved to provinces. I am confident that the federal and all provincial governments are cognizant of their responsibilities to accord high priority to health and prevention and cure of the HIV. We need to train the health care providers to help in preventing spread of HIV and also to treat and counsel patients living with HIV or AIDS. One of the factors inhibiting the fight against AIDS is the stigma surrounding HIV resulting in discrimination against the patients. On this day therefore I wish to call upon every citizen, particularly the health practitioners, not to discriminate against people living with HIV. In accordance with the theme of World AIDS Day this year let us pledge to work towards zero discrimination against patients suﬀering from HIV. I also urge government institutions, civil society, philanthropists, and NGOs and every citizen to refuse to perpetuate the stigma surrounding HIV in workplaces and communities and thereby help make Pakistan and the whole world HIV & AIDS free.
are and work towards addressing these risks. We should all know that HIV/AIDS can only be avoided and controlled by prevention programs. These programs have an important responsibility to educate the masses about safe and responsible behaviors. On the occasion of World AIDS Day 2011, I am pleased to share that the Ministry of Inter Provincial Coordination has made concrete and concerted eﬀorts through its National AIDS Control Programme to address various risk factors. Under the “Enhanced HIV & AIDS Control Programme” a number of significant activities are being carried out for the prevention and control of HIV & AIDS. Many service delivery packages for diﬀerent vulnerable populations groups are also in progress. At the end of year 2011, the government has marked more intensified, coordinated and integrated approaches to address HIV & AIDS related issues. It is vital to mention that no effort in this regard will meet success unless there is a significant change in the behaviors of the populace. It is imperative for our citizens to understand that any person affected by HIV & AIDS has the right to live like any other citizen of the country. A change of mindset is required to bring about a shift from rejection of a patient to the rejection of the disease. and in my position of Secretary Inter provincial Coordination, I would like to appeal to all citizens of Pakistan to realize the importance of the HIV and AIDS epidemic. It is time now to address issues surrounding the HIV/AIDS epidemic. If a real effort is to be made in making AIDS a disease of the past, a strong, committed leadership is needed. It is essential to establish the association and influence social pathologies like conflict, poverty, bad cultural practices and gender inequalities have in contributing to new HIV infections. In addition, a concerted effort needs to be made to ensure that service delivery programs including prevention programs, counseling, support and testing facilities be made accessible in rural areas. It is in these areas that the lack of accessibility of services increases the risk of new HIV infections. Our government is committed to resolve any bottlenecks that stand in the way of achieving universal access to Antiretroviral Therapy (ARVs). I would like to call upon religious leaders to support comprehensive prevention programmes and encourage their congregations to get involved in every aspect of the HIV and AIDS response. I call upon families and parents to lead by example and guide children accordingly in their developing years. I call upon the youth to become involved in all aspects of the HIV response. I also pray that it does not take another generation of people to wait for leaders that can bring positive, lasting and sustainable change. and Nepal in terms of HIV epidemic. Until recently Pakistan was classified as a ‘low prevalence high risk’ country but now Pakistan is in a ‘concentrated phase’ of the epidemic with HIV prevalence of more than 5% among injecting drug users (IDUs) in at least eight major cities. However, the country still has a window of opportunity as the current estimates, using the various latest prevalence estimation models; indicate that the HIV prevalence among general adult population is still below (.1%) According to the latest national HIV estimates there are approximately 97,400 cases of HIV/AIDS in Pakistan. The Programme would like to appreciate the generous contributions both financial and technical, made by our bilateral funding agencies namely World Bank, CIDA, DFID, UNAIDS, UNFPA, UNESCO, UNICEF, UNODC, WHO, Plan –International, Pakistan, Pakistan Red Crescent Society and other donors/partners. This fruitful association would continue as amicably in the time to come especially towards successful implementation.
Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani Prime Minister, Islamic Republic of Pakistan
akistan joins the international community in observing the World AIDS
Day 2011, which is the 23rd such commemoration since its launch by the World Health Organization in 1988. The Day aims to raise awareness about the HIV & AIDS threat faced globally. It further highlights achievements and progress made over the past year and identifies the future course of action that can help eliminate this disease. The focus on prevention and treatment of HIV and AIDS related conditions is a key in decreasing the incidence of the deadly disease. World AIDS Day is an ideal occasion to raise general awareness about this important Health issue. We have to keep reminding people that HIV can be prevented and, if infected, Anti Retro Virals (ARVs) are provided by the Government of Pakistan free of charge at service delivery points.
Pakistan is also a signatory to Millennium Development Goals (MDG) whereby the government and its partners are committed “to halt and begin to reserve the spread of the disease by 2015”. The theme “Join me, because the fight against HIV & AIDS begins with you” needs to be emphasized aimed at sensitizing the individuals to the need of concerted efforts. The Government of Pakistan is committed to eradicating this disease. We thank all the donors, the UN System, International Non-Government Organizations, Global Fund for AIDS, TB and Malaria in fighting against this disease on professional as well as voluntary basis. As we observe World AIDS Day, I appeal all Pakistanis to play their role in preventing this disease from spreading.
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‘Pak boycott has implications for Bonn moot’
Experts say Pakistan losing opportunity to forcefully present its case on NAtO strike ISLAMABAD MIan aBRaR
AKISTAN’S decision of boycotting the Bonn Conference will have serious implications, as the moot is being held to push forward the ongoing reconciliation process between Kabul and the Taliban, which is bound to face serious hiccups without active participation by Islamabad. The US and its allies, including Germany, are making hectic efforts to persuade Pakistan to reverse its decision of boycotting the conference, but Islamabad is adamant on its stance following the NATO strike in Mohmand Agency. Some officials in the For-
eign Office, including Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar, reportedly favoured going to Bonn as it could provide Pakistan with an opportunity to highlight its case on NATO airstrike, not because they feared negative perception of Islamabad in case of non-participation. Some analysts also spoke in favour of attending the moot. “By boycotting the Bonn Conference, Islamabad is definitely denying an opportunity to itself to portray its views on the Afghan peace process. In my view, since Pakistan is a major player, it should have attended the moot and presented its views forcefully,” Lt General (r) Talat Masood said. He said boycott might be a message that Islamabad was
angry at NATO strike, but it could have been sent in a stronger way by participation. Some senior Foreign Ministry officials even suggested a lowlevel participation in the moot and said the ambassador in Berlin should attend, however, the proposal was rejected by top government authorities. Pakistan has already signed the declaration of Bonn Conference and not attending the moot does not mean withdrawing from the declaration. The Bonn Conference, which is being held to push forward the Afghanistan reconciliation process, is deemed to fail without the presence of Pakistan, NATO members feel. Some observers also believe that Pakistan’s absence in
Bonn would deal a serious blow to the conference. They feel that Pakistan has a critical role in the Afghan peace process and if it is not at any talks related to the process, there is no use of holding such negotiations. “The boycott of Bonn Conference by Pakistan would have negative implications on the overall Afghan peace process, as Islamabad is a major player vis-à-vis Afghan peace,” said noted analyst Hasan Askari Rizvi. “The absence of Pakistan would badly affect the Bonn moot. The conference would, however, be held even if Pakistan does not attend, as Islamabad could later be briefed on the decisions of the moot,” he said. The announcement about
SC summons VC Corruption, not faulty locomotives, over 4th extension ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court has summoned Khalid Mehmood, the controversially reappointed VC of University of Arid Agriculture, Rawalpindi, in the court on Thursday (today) to explain his position in a suo motu case on his reappointment. The VC is a cousin of former Petroleum minister Naurez Shakoor. Appearing on notice, Punjab Additional Advocate General Jawwad Hassan submitted that Mehmood’s reappointment was against the law, as he had already availed three extensions for the position since 2002. He said the Punjab government was not in favour of his fourth extension, adding that he could not be reappointed legally after his contract expires on February 2012. He said the VC was 70 years old. Staff RepoRt
caused Railways’ downfall: CJp ISLAMABAD MaSooD RehMan
Corruption has brought Pakistan Railways to the brink of collapse and its failure cannot be attributed to faulty locomotives alone, CJP Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry said on Wednesday. Heading a twomember Supreme Court bench hearing a suo motu case on the non-payment of salaries and pension to the employees and workers of Pakistan Railways, he said the officials responsible for corruption will be sent to jails. He said the appointments in railways through the practice of pick and choose destroyed the administrative mechanism of the railways department. He said forensic audit of the department was necessary to deter-
mine the responsible. “Why is Railways only interested in purchasing new locomotives?” he questioned. The court directed the National NAB to initiate inquiry against the officials nominated in the Railways audit report and all responsible should be prosecuted. The court ordered that a Railways board be formed without any further delay, adding that the notification of the board’s formation be issued at the earliest. The court asked the Railways chairman to prepare a detailed report containing information on how many engines Railways currently had, how many had completed their lives, how many engines had been repaired and how many engines could be repaired and at what cost.
The court directed that the report be submitted with the Supreme Court’s Registrar Office within 10 days. It also said that permission should be obtained from the authority concerned for conducting a forensic audit of the Railways and then the task of the audit be given to a private audit firm. The court asked the Railways chairman to submit a detailed report on Railways land illegally occupied within seven days, adding that the report should also contain information on how much land was occupied where and by whom. Standing Committee on Railways Chairman Ayaz Sadiq told the court that the government had given Rs 12 billion to the Railways, however it spent the money on other things instead of getting the locomotives repaired.
12 militants killed in Kurram clash PEShAwAR: Twelve suspected militants were killed during a clash with security forces in Masozai, Kurram on Wednesday, Dawn News quoted the security sources as saying. Seven security personnel were also wounded in the clash, sources said. The sources claimed that Kurram’s areas of Marghan and Matano had been cleared of militants. Moreover, an operation was carried out in Masozai due to the suspected presence of militants in that area, sources said. MonItoRIng DeSk
Army releases video of NATO strike aftermath ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Army released footage on Wednesday it said showed the remains of two bombed mountaintop outposts on the Afghan border that were hit in the deadly NATO raid that killed 24 soldiers. The footage showed aerial views of the two destroyed outposts, Boulder and Volcano, and close-ups of the site of an attack that the army described as a “deliberate act of aggression” by NATO helicopters and a war plane. White smoke could be seen spiralling from large swathes of blackened ground either side of the remote rocky mountaintop where both posts were situated. Army spokesman Brigadier Syed Azmat Ali said the smoke was a result of the nearly twohour incident in the early hours of Saturday. The footage was filmed on Sunday morning, he said. It was not clear why it had taken until Wednesday to release the video. Scattered sandbags, tarpaulin sheets and corrugated iron sheets can be seen lying around one of the abandoned posts, and Pakistani soldiers wander through the wreckage, one taking photographs. A single white flag flies from a branch stuck in the soil. In another shot a stone hut can be seen, metres from the remains of a rock wall, next to which magazines of ammunition have been abandoned. afp the absence of Pakistan at Bonn has also raised concerns in the western capitals about the active role of Islamabad for the success of Afghan reconciliation
process in the coming months. They feel that Islamabad is no more interested in playing the role of facilitator between Kabul and the Taliban after the NATO
airstrike and their plan was to allay Islamabad’s complaints in negotiations at the Bonn Conference and also on the sidelines of the moot.
Pakistan dismisses UaE seeks NaTO apology appeals to attend over Mohmand raid Bonn moot “The UAE did not talk ABU DHABI continued from page 1
Clinton pledged an investigation “as swiftly and thoroughly as possible” into the “tragic incident” and hoped Pakistan would find a “followup way” to take part in the talks. Gilani has said the US will vacate the strategically important Shamsi airbase on December 11. Italian Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi also called Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar and expressed condolences over the loss of life in the NATO/ISAF attack and termed the incident a matter of huge concern. Khar briefed the Italian foreign minister on the incident, its ramifications and said the attack reflected “callous” behavior. Although the government confirmed in a statement on Wednesday that Pakistan would not attend the conference, Gilani appeared to set a condition for Pakistan to attend. Briefing reporters on a call made by Afghan President Hamid Karzai asking him to reconsider, “I replied that the territory of Afghanistan was being used against Pakistan and he said it was done by NATO and I told him to talk to the US about it.” “I told him that we have to protect our country and work for its security and defence. If we go to Bonn for you then who will guarantee our security? We cannot just go like this if someone will not ensure our security,” he added.
The United Arab Emirates on Wednesday demanded NATO apologise to Pakistan for the deaths of its 24 soldiers in an airstrike in Mohmand Agency, but denied it had asked Pakistan to extend the deadline for the US to vacate Shamsi airbase. UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, who recently returned from an unscheduled visit to Pakistan, dispelled reports of any discussion regarding the vacation of the airbase near Quetta. The base is allegedly being used by the CIA for a clandestine drone programme inside Pakistan and there have been reports that the airbase was under the use of the government of UAE. The UAE government has neither confirmed nor denied the claims ever.
about the Shamsi airbase, nor did the Pakistani side talk about it,” the UAE foreign minister told reporters from 43 countries through an interpreter. He said if NATO was using any of the facilities in Pakistan, it was for both the sides to discuss. He added that his country was following up closely on the happenings in Pakistan as it had deep historic ties. Al-Nahyan described his meetings with President Asif Ali Zardari and General Ashfaq Kayani “very important” and regretted the loss of 24 lives and injuries to 14 soldiers in the attack. He said, “This is a mistake that we cannot accept. Anyone who loves Pakistan cannot justify it.” He also asked for an investigation into the incident and asked that assurances must be given that there was no such repetition.
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Capital police conduct flag march for Muharram security PAGE 08
PIMS unable to deal with HIV/AIDS patients world AIDS Day being observed across the globe today, however, things are getting worse in Pakistan g Initially, there were three doctors working in the related department of the hospital, but contract of one of them expired on wednesday while another is set to leave on December 30 g Number of registered patients currently stands at 1,160 g
LTHOUGH the world is all set to mark the ‘World AIDS Day 2011’ today (December 1), the HIV/AIDS Department at the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) faces the shortage of doctors to treat the 1,160 registered patients as there are only two doctors while the job contract of one of them is going to expire on 30th of this month. The devolution of Ministry of Health has affected the treatment facilities badly at the federal level as even the PIMS, a major government-run hospital, does not have sufficient number of doctors to treat the AIDS patient effectively. An official told Pakistan Today that initially, there were three doctors but one of them was sponsored by the UNICEF, but she left the job after her contract expired on Wednesday (November 30), while the term of another doctor, sponsored by the National HIV/AIDS Control Programme, would end on December 30; therefore, she was also getting prepared to leave as there were no chances of contract renewal, despite several attempts. When contacted, Dr Rizwan Qazi, the head of HIV/AIDS Department, said after the devolution process, the things were not clear yet and their department had also been affected badly. “Before the devolution of Health Ministry, we were working in a coordinated system, as the min-
istry was playing the role of a supervisory body and coordinating between all stakeholders like WHO, UNICEF and national programme but, unfortunately, the entire system is now shattered and the patients have to suffer ultimately.” He lamented that they were facing the shortage of working force and he was the only doctor working on regular basis, whereas his two colleagues were working on contracts. One had already left the hospital after her contract got expired and another would leave this month. “No one works with motivation when they do not have job security,” he added. Dr Rizwan said the quality of treatment was also affected after the devolution, adding that the strength of other staff like councillors, trained nurses and supporting staff was also unsatisfactory and they could see no future in the department. While talking about the AIDS patients he said it was difficult to treat the drug addicted patients as they did complete the process, adding that the irregular treatment resulted in manifold increase in drug resistance and they consulted again when their condition worsened. On the other hand, the World Health Organisation
CDa yet to recover Rs 3.6m from Saidpur defaulters three restaurateurs owe two year rent; one art gallery never paid dues since 2008 g
ISLAMABAD fazaL SheR
THE revenue directorate of the Capital Development Authority (CDA) has still to recover over Rs 3.6 million from three major defaulters, despite its worsening financial crisis and a reminder from federal audit authorities. This huge amount is owed by some restaurateurs and an art gallery’s administration that have failed to pay their two years’ rent to the authority. “The three license-holders for Taneez, Polo Lounge and Snake Shake, which are located in Saidpur Model Village have not been paying their rent to the CDA for the last two years. The CDA’s concerned directorate has issued them several notices but to no avail”, said a senior CDA official. Seeking anonymity, the official told this scribe that as per the conditions laid down in the licenses issued to them by the CDA, the managements of the restaurants were required to pay their rents after a six-month grace period, a time given to them to make their businesses functional. “At the end of the grace period, the CDA issued them rent notices and the relevant directorate of CDA also informed the high-ups about the delaying tactics being used by those license-holders. But no action has been taken so far”, the official added. He said the CDA had not only failed to
recover that huge amount from the defaulting restaurateurs but it also accepted another defaulter’s demand to divide their rent into certain “easy” instalments. “Nomad Centre and Art Gallery owes Rs 1,650,240 to the CDA as rent which is due since 2008. But the cash-strapped CDA approved the recovery of money in easy instalments despite a strong objection from the federal audit authorities,” he explained. He said that two shops (A and B) in the Market No. 1 of the Saidpur Model village were leased out to M/s Nomad to set up an art gallery in 2008. As per the clause number II, XVII, XIX and XX of the terms and conditions of the license, the licensee was liable to pay his rent Rs 68,760 per month after 6 months the grace period that expired on 2 February 2009, he explained. He said that since March 2009 the administration had failed to pay its monthly rent to the Directorate of Municipal Administration (DMA) of the CDA. The official said that the directorate concerned issued several notices to the licensee but they at first requested a waiver, then a reduction in the rent and finally sought easy instalments of the rent money. Their third request, he said, was faintly approved by CDA Chairman Imtiaz Inyat Elahi despite a strong objection from the federal audit authorities.
(WHO) issued a message on this special day to highlight the importance of healthcare providers in dealing with patients who have to face discrimination in accessing health services. The message said stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV and those at increased risk of HIV transmission still existed to varying degree across the region. “Of particular concern are stigma and discrimination in healthcare settings and by healthcare workers. These are major impediments when it comes to encouraging stigmatised population groups to seek and access health services and adhere to health interventions,” the message said.
WHO Regional Director Dr Hussein A Gezairy said that the men, women and children living with HIV in dire need of surgery had been denied this right. “Even with non-invasive procedures, some healthcare workers have refused to care for people living with HIV. Public and institutional measures have enacted mandatory HIV testing on individuals upon their admission to healthcare services, often resulting in denial of access to those who test positive, unnecessary isolation or, at the least, gossip,” he said. He said that was reason why the regional theme for the World AIDS Campaign 2011 was “Stigma and Discrimination in Health Care Settings”.
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Capital police conduct flag march for Muharram security ISLAMABAD
N a bid to ensure foolproof security and maintain law and order in the capital city during Muharram, the capital police conducted on Wednesday a flag march in which police personnel, antiterrorist squads, patrolling squads of Rescue 15 and contingents of police commandos, Rangers participated. Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Malik Muhammad Yousaf led the march, which was organised on the directives of Inspector General of Police (IGP) Bani Amin Khan. All the SPs including SP (Sadar Zone) Sajid Kyani, SP (City) Muhammad Ilyas, SP (Rural) Faisal Bashir Memon, SP (Industrial Area) Ishaq Warraich, SDPOs and SHOs were also present on the occasion. Others who participated in the march included personnel of Islamabad Traffic Police, patrolling officers, Eagle squads, Falcons of Rescue 15, Quick Response Force squads, lady commandoes and officers of District Management, said a press statement issued here. It said more than 110 vehicles of Islamabad police and other wings along with a large number of motorcycles were part of the march, which started from Pakistan Sports Complex and culminated at the starting point after passing through Aabpara Chowk, Melody Chowk, Imambargah Asna-e-Ashri G6/2, Bari Imam, Blue Area, Jinnah Avenue, Imambargah Al-Sadiq G-9/2, F-10 Markaz, F-11 Markaz, Bhekha Syedan, Golra Shareef, Shah Allah Ditta, Trnol, G-11 Markaz, G-10
Markaz, G-9 Markaz, (Karachi Company), Jamia Al Murtaza G-9/4, Khyber Chowk, Kashmir Highway. The SSP said the aim of the flag march was to ensure the security of Muharram processions. All the SDPOs and the SHOs have
been told to launch an effective search operation within their jurisdictions including slum areas where most of the inhabitants are Afghans Malik Yousaf said the law enforcers would maintain a close liaison with peace committees and organisers of
Muharram majalis and processions. He told the media that as many as 909 majalis and 177 processions would be held in the city. He said special arrangements would be made to check ‘burqa-clad’ women participants of the processions.
Campaign against gender abuse launched ISLAMABAD Staff RepoRt
Mere awareness campaigns about women’s rights are not enough to stop violence against women, rather it is necessary that men come forward and play their role to encourage norms of consent and gender equality. This was stated by the White Ribbon Campaign Pakistan Country Director Omar Aftab here at the launching ceremony of one million signatures campaign. The drive coincided with the International White Ribbon Day which was also marked on Wednesday. Omar also announced on the occasion the launch of a nationwide journalists’ engagement programme on gender sensitisation and violence against women and establishing the White Ribbon Media Alumni. The campaign is a project of Women’s Empowerment Group and Vision 2015 working with men and boys to eradicate women’s human rights violations. Omar said that for decades, women in Pakistan had been enduring mistreatment and injustice in the guise of inhumane customs and laws such as karo-kari, Hudood Ordinance, qasas, marriage to the Quran or through innumerable forms of violence like acidthrowing, cutting or burning. He observed those “many faces of injustice” were deeply rooted in the social system that catered to the needs of the man at the cost of ignoring the other half of the society. He added economic deprivations, lack of education, lack of awareness and misinterpretation of religion were among the “countless” reasons why women were subjected to such a treatment in the society. He said the campaign was an initiative to end all such violence against women.
‘NAtO attack necessitates change in Pakistan’s policy’ ISLAMABAD: The South Asian Strategic Stability Institute Islamabad Director General Dr Maria Sultan said on Wednesday that recent NATO attack on a Pakistani checkpost that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers entails that Pakistan should review its policy towards United States otherwise there would be chances of more attacks in all the provinces. While delivering a lecture in a seminar titled “Nuclear Non-proliferation: emerging trends and the implications for Pakistan” held here on Wednesday at National University of Modern Languages (NUML). Maria Sultan expressed the view that the NATO attack was deliberate and not unintended and that it was aimed at judging the response of Pakistan with a view to pursue its future plans. The attack continued despite the fact that proper identification of Pakistan security posts was made, she said. On nuclear nonproliferation, Maria Sultan said that the Obama administration had made nuclear disarmament the cornerstone of its non-proliferation policy which had resulted in a global zero campaign. She said the US administration had the ambition of a nuclear-free world which was facing a number of restraints. On Pakistan’s nuclear programme, she said that it had a strong safety and security system in place for its nuclear facilities. She also highlighted the concept of ‘haves and have-nots’, bilateral treaties and conventions, the US National Security Strategy for 2010 as well as the Kerry-Lugar Bill and its complications for Pakistan. Quoting figures, she said Pakistan had spent more on coalition support programmes than it had received from the United States. The seminar was largely attended by the students, faculty members, heads of departments deans and high officials of the university, including Rector Maj Gen (r) Masood Hasan, and NUML Director General Brigadier Azam Jamal. Staff RepoRt
ISLaMaBaD: transporters block the road during a protest against national highway and Motorway police near Sangjani toll plaza. STaff phOTO
PILDAT seeks thorough probe into NATO attack ISLAMABAD Staff RepoRt
Terming the NATO attack on Pakistani military a violation of international laws and Pakistan’s sovereignty, Civil-Military dialogue group of PILDAT Wednesday strongly condemned it and demanded a thorough probe into what appears to be an ‘unprovoked’ assault and aggression. While demanding the elected civilian leadership to provide guidelines for a befitting response to any
such future incident, the group said parliamentary oversight over security was a fundamental requirement of the constitution of Pakistan. Prominent among the group members were Lt-Gen (retd) Abdul Qadir Baloch MNA, Dr Hasan Askari Rizvi and Lt-Gen (retd) Moinuddin Haider. The group which met in the capital reaffirmed the need to address imbalances in civil-military relations and said the entire arrangement of cooperation agreed with the US and ISAF be placed before the
Parliament while the Parliamentary Committee on National Security and Defence committees of the National Assembly and the Senate should hold serious debate on it. The Parliament should also be informed of the circumstances under which and on which terms and conditions Shamsi Airbase was handed over to the US forces. The group members supported the decision of the Cabinet Committee on Defence to revisit and undertake a complete review of all pro-
grammes, activities and cooperative arrangements with US/NATO/ISAF, including diplomatic, political, military and intelligence. However, the group reiterated its earlier position that the Cabinet Committee on Defence should be staffed with a dedicated permanent secretariat and think-tank to institutionalise and professionalise the civilian capacity on national security issues, as per pledges of PPP and PML-N under the Charter of Democracy.
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Poet’s death anniversary today
Consultation on mega projects sought
The 19th death anniversary of a leading Urdu and Punjabi poet, writer, journalist, broadcaster and prominent worker of Pakistan movement, Altaf Parwaz, is being observed today (Thursday) at 11am. His friends, relatives and various literary organisations will place floral wreaths on the grave of the deceased at the central graveyard near Zero Point and offer fateha. Aiwan-eKarkunan-e-Tehrik-e-Pakistan awarded him gold medal for his selfless and meritorious services in the Pakistan movement in the field of journalism and literature. He is the author of more than 75 books in various disciplines of literature, including poetry and prose. He has also translated collections of Pashto sufi poet, Rehman Baba, Baloch poet Mast Toukali and Khalil Jibran’s poems into Punjabi. Altaf Parwaz’s Naat collection, ‘Noor-eHira’ has recently been published.
majority celebrates Eid by staying home ISLAMABAD app
The results of a Gilani Research Foundation Survey carried out by Gallup Pakistan have revealed that over 80% of Pakistani celebrate Eid holiday by staying at home, engaged in activities such as receiving guests (40%) and visiting (40%) friends and relatives. While 20% use the holidays for travel and outdoor entertainment and picnics. In a survey a nationally representative sample of men and women from across the four provinces the respondents were asked “Many people like to do different activities during the Eid holidays. What you like to do on Eid holidays?” Responding to this 20% said they go out for picnic, 40% said that they prefer to visit friends; another 40% said that they prefer to stay at home.
ISLaMaBaD: Men walk under a beautiful tree with red leaves. STaff phOTO
Visitors being fleeced at picnic spots ISLAMABAD
LARGE number of visitors have complained that shopkeepers at Lake View Park, Pir Sohawa Shakarparian, Daman-e-koh and Yasmin Gardens are not following the prescribed rate list and charging from customers on their own. They seemed perturbed over skyrocketing prices of edible items being sold at stalls of the picnic spots while authorities concerned looked least interested to address the problem. The rates of chips, biscuits, burgers,
soft drinks, mineral water and other items were almost double as compared to open markets. A visitor Zaheer Khan alleged that there was no check on the prices of food and other items available in the tourist resorts. While, families visiting the different locations complained that overcharging, sale of substandard food items and non-availability of quality items were main features of vendors as the concerned authorities failed to control the quality and rates of the commodities. People demanded of the authorities to take action against the violators. When contacted, an official told APP
that management regularly check the quality and prices of edible items being sold in vicinity of the facility. He said the administration would take stern action against those shopkeepers who were found involved in selling substandard items or overcharging. A vendor at Pir Sohawa admitting the overcharging said, “it is difficult for us to sale the items at the open market rate as we have to pay the rent of the stall which is high as compared to markets.” The visitors also complained of the high entry fee being charged at the parks varying between Rs. 20 to Rs. 40. People were seeing arguing with the manage-
ment at parking areas that why the rate is so high, while the staff deployed said they have nothing to do with fixation of entry fee, adding “it is the decision of high-ups.” They said after charging heavy entry fee, the security guards do not accept responsibility in case of vehicle thefts. They said, “The authority has written very clearly at the board displayed at the entry of the gate that the authority is only taking entry fee and is not responsible for the security of their vehicles.” The families visiting the lake view has to pay extra money from Rs. 20 to 50 if they visit different areas of the park.
Speakers at a conference stressed here on Wednesday the need to take on board local people before launching any mega projects in their areas. They were of the views that often projects initiated without socioeconomic studies, brought miseries to the people. They said that recent floods brought havoc in various districts of Sindh including Badin, Sanghar, Mirpur Khas, Umerkot and Nawabshah. Executive Director Pakistan Development Initiatives (PDI) Sikander Brohi said that recent floods swept around 120 people and over 386,000 houses in Sindh. He said that at least 1.3 million people of district Badin were displaced due to the floods. He said obstructing the natural flow of hill torrent from Suleman Range, Chasma Right Bank Canal (CRBC) has exposed the people of D I Khan and D G Khan districts to floods. Similarly Right Bank Outfall Drain (RBOD) caused massive flooding in Qambar Shahdadot and Dadu districts in 2010, he added. Sikander Brohi said that Left Bank Outfall Drain (LBOD) is also main reason for exacerbating floods in various districts of lower Sindh. Social Activist Amar Sindhu of the views that there is no proper forum where the affected people can raise their voice effectively. She said according to study conducted in 1954,the total fish production from Manchar Lake was 3000 tons per annum which now has reduced to only 100 tons per annum due to polluted water. Chairman Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum Muhammad Ali Shah said that million of people have migrated from delta due to construction of dams and diversion of rivers. He said that Arabian Sea eroded 2200 acres land in Badin and Thatta districts in last five years. He said that the people have encroached natural nullahs and streams resulting massive destruction during floods. The conference was organized by PDI with the collaboration of Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum and Action- Aid Pakistan.
human capital a must for economic development ISLAMABAD Staff RepoRt
As many as 350 graduates of the Preston University on Wednesday were awarded bachelors and masters degree. The brilliant students who grabbed top positions in their respective programmes were given gold medals and certificates in a convocation held at the varsity’s premises. Defence Minister Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar was chief guest on the occasion. Addressing to the graduating students, the minister said, “The success of a nation lies in its educated human capital which plays a key role in country’s economic, social and political development.” He said the incumbent government in spite of financial crunch had allocated sufficient funds in the 2011-12 budget, as it was committed to improve education system of the country.
“In an effort to promote quality higher education in the country, the government considers it imperative to involve the private sector in promoting and strengthening the area,” said Mukhtar. He appreciated the work of the Preston University for strengthening the efforts of government in promoting the cause of higher education and effectively meeting the need of domestic and international job market for qualified and professionally trained manpower. Vice-Chancellor Abdul Basit said the Preston University was offering high quality market-driven education in the fast-growing fields of Business Administration, Information Technology, Social Sciences, Natural and Applied Engineering. He said the varsity, since its inception 27 years ago, had produced 60,000 qualified and trained graduates and had a large network of campuses in the country with total enrolment of 12,000 students.
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hOSPItAlS ISLaMaBaD: pML-n workers stage a demo at karachi Company, g-9 Markaz, against the nato attack in Mohmand agency. STaff phOTO
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Residential property rents go through the roof As thousands of people from mountainous regions take refuge in the twin cities to escape harsh weather, landlords have resorted to unprecedented increase in charges ISLAMABAD
HE rent of residential properties in Rawalpindi and Islamabad has recorded a sharp jump as a large number of people from the upper parts of the country have started coming to the twin cities with the advent of winter. Every year, many people from the mountainous region of Kashmir, Murree, Swat, Kalam and Kohistan come in twin cities to avoid harsh weather in their respective areas. As a result of the increase in property rent, people are facing great difficulties in finding suitable accommodation. And the latest hike is beyond their expectation and means as the owners of houses are cashing the season by offering very high rents. Since, thousands of winterstricken people come in twin cities during the month of November and December, the owners have also started disturbing the already living
tenants by asking them for more rent or ordering them to vacate the houses. Earlier, the normal rent in Rawalpindi of a three-bed portion ranged around Rs 5,000 to Rs 7,000, depending on the condition of house, while it was around Rs 12,000 to Rs 18,000 in the not-so-posh localities of Islamabad; however, the rates are now skyrocketing with a multiplied demand. “I used to bring my family from Murree to Rawalpindi in the winter season, but we had to face great difficulties in selecting a house on normal rent this year,” said Hussain Sati, who is residing in Dhoke Kala Khan. Hussain said since there was no law to control house rent, the owners were charging the tenants at their own will and also demanding security money without any justification, making it difficult for people to find shelter in winter. Rashid Khan, a vendor at Aabpara Market, said, “Nowadays the rent of houses in the twin cities are beyond the range of poor people.” He demanded the government to establish residential colonies for low-income shelterless
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people. Another tenant Zia Bajwa said the problem was augmenting with each passing day, as no poor could not purchase house; therefore, the government should build colonies of one bedroom houses to settle the poor people on affordable rent. According to Zia, poor have only empty pockets after paying the rent and utility bills and they borrow kitchen items from grocery shops at higher rates. During a partial survey of the twin cities, it was noticed that many winter-stricken people had opted to live in suburb areas of Bharakahu, Alipur Farash, Golra, Dhamial, and Adiala. During the winter season, the property dealers - who play a role of bridge between the owners and the probable lodgers - earn handsome money in the name of commission. “In last winter, I earned around Rs 100,000 and my business is going well this season too,” said Karim Riaz, who runs his office at Shamsabad. Karim says he takes one-month rent from customers as commission.
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DAtE: NOV 24 - 30, 2011 VENUE: JhArOKA Art GAllEry ISlAmABAD
DAtE: NOV 29 - DEC 25, 2011 VENUE: ISlAmABAD
raja Najam ul hassan Solo exibition of recent work. mr. thomas Ditt, Cultural Attache, Embassy of Gemrmay, Islamabad will be the Chief Guest. Opening reception thursday, November 24, 2011 at 5:30 pm Preview November 24, 10am onwards. the exhibition will remain open till 30.11.
Do you have a passion for photography? Are you the one whose click could change how we see things? what about using your passion for a greater cause? If yES is the answer here’s your chance!
DAtE AND tImE: EVEry FrIDAy 6:30-7:30Pm VENUE: KhAAS Art GAllEry ISlAmABAD Capoeira is an Afro-Brazilian martial art that combines elements of dancing, ritual combat & music in a unique synthesis of self defense and rhythm.
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NATO, ISAF must know limits: Asfandyar g
ANP president says according to UN Charter, powers of NAtO, US only restricted within Afghan boundaries PESHAWAR Staff RepoRt
ONDEMNING the US aggression on Pakistani soil and killing of 24 soldiers in the border area of Mohmand agency, the reelected Central President of the Awami National Party, Asfandyar Wali Khan on Wednesday said NATO and ISAF must know their limits as according to the Charter of the United Nation their powers were only restricted within Afghan boundaries. He was addressing an ANP electoral meeting at the Chief Minister’s House. The electoral process of the party election started at 10:30pm under the supervision of Senator Haji Adil who was chairman of the Central Election Commission. During the electoral meeting some amendments were also made in the ANP constitution in which the number of woman office bearers was increased to 10. Asfandyar said the United States and NATO had made several attempts to violate Pakistan’s sovereignty but due to the government’s “cool response” they were emboldened to attack repeatedly.
“It was time we resisted such attacks instead of just condemning them,” he said. He said after achieving their political goals, the next priority of the party was restoration of peace. He said the solution to all problems lay in democracy. Most of the party office bearers were willing to re-elect Asfandyar as party’s cen-
tral president and Afrasiab Khattak as provincial president. This was the fourth consecutive term for Asfandyar central president as president of the party. The total strength of the central council was 540 which included 100 members from each province besides elected MPAs,
LAHORE The government will gradually send back the Americans from airbases in Jacobabad and Pasni after ordering the United States to vacate the Shamsi airbase in Balochistan, Information Minister Firdous Ashiq Awan said on Wednesday. Talking to reporters at the Press Information Department, she said the government would protect Pakistan’s interests at all costs and would not make a compromise on the country’s defence. Awan said the government considered Pakistan’s sovereignty of utmost importance. She said the United States was also investigating the NATO helicopter strikes on Pakistani border posts that killed 24 solders. She said Pakistan would finalise its strategy after the completion of US investigation. About the progress on investigations into US attack in Abbottabad, she said the com-
mission was still probing the incident and the government would act up its recommendations. Referring to former foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi who recently joined the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf, she said some “political dwarfs” were alleging that Pakistan’s nuclear assets were not safe under President Asif Ali Zardari. She said the accusation was an expression of distrust on the country’s security forces. She said the command and control authority of strategic assets had been shifted to the prime minister after the 18th amendment. She said the government had given an ultimatum to the United States to vacate the Shamsi airbase by December 11. She said the airbase was given on lease to the US in 1992, and the media should expose those who made the decision. She said the government’s decision to boycott the second Bonn conference was according to the public sentiment. She termed the decision a turning point in the country’s foreign policy.
hangu peace Committee head killed HANGU Inp
The Hangu Peace Committee head was killed and two others sustained injuries when an improvised explosive device (IED) planted in his car went off near the District Courts on Wednesday. Hangu Station House Officer (SHO) Islamdin said that
third term in 2007 while this is his fourth term after electing on 30 November 2011. Despite the loss of over 200 workers and two legislators of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly, Dr Shamsher Ali Khan and Alam Zeb, in terrorist attacks, there has been no change in the ANP and its government’s anti-terrorism policy.
peShawaR: Re-elected anp Central president asfandyar wali addresses the Central Council members of the party on wednesday. STaff phOTO
Jacobabad, pasni airbases also to be vacated: firdous Staff RepoRt
MNAs and senators of the party. The ANP leader, who has survived a life attempt, particularly after his party formed government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and became a part of the ruling coalition in the Centre, Sindh and Balochistan. He was first elected as central president in 1998, then in 2003 and for
Hangu Peace Committee head Muhammad Hashim Khan was killed in a remote control bomb blast, planted in his car and two others received injuries in the incident. The injured were shifted to a nearby hospital. The security forces cordoned off the area and started search to arrest the culprits. No militant group has claimed responsibility of the blast yet.
ISLaMaBaD: al-Shafie ahmed Mohammad, ambassador of Sudan, shaking hands with federal Interior Minister Rehman Malik prior to a meeting on wednesday. ONLINE
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Shortage of funding will affect 5m flood victims ISLAMABAD Staff RepoRt
HREE months after the widespread flooding that has affected over 5 million people in southern Pakistan, shortage of funding and broad international disinterest has left millions of people at risk of illness, malnutrition and cold as the winter closes in. The Pakistan Humanitarian Forum (PHF), a consortium of 41 international aid agencies based in Pakistan, on Wednesday appealed to western governments for urgent donations to tackle this grave yet largely forgotten humanitarian crisis, according to a press statement issued here. A UN appeal for $357 million in emergency funding made more than three months ago has been just 37 percent funded, according to the UN, with donors saying that difficult economic conditions in their own countries prevents them from giving more. But a crisis of this magnitude cannot be overlooked. The floods have largely affected Sindh and parts of Balochistan. Three million children there are at risk of severe malnutrition and disease, 160,000 women are pregnant and require immediate healthcare and 44 percent of the total affected households are in urgent need of shelter assistance. “After last year’s disastrous floods, which drew a generous outside response, this year’s crisis has been
largely ignored”, said Jack Byrne, PHF Chairman. “This is a major crisis by any standards. Local government agencies are overwhelmed by the scale of the disaster and require urgent international help to prevent death, disease and child malnutrition.” David Wright, Country Director of Save the Children said: “We are seeing incidences of malnutrition of children under five that in some cases surpass those seen in African famines such as the one in Niger last year. We are facing a situation where more children could die from the aftermath of the floods than the floods themselves.” According to the findings of the Multi-sector Needs Assessment, 4.3 million flood affected people are food insecure, with their plight exacerbated by massive loss of food stock and damage to standing crops. “Three months into the floods, people are still desperately struggling to meet their basic needs. The approaching winter will aggravate their suffering,” said Oxfam Country Director Neva Khan. “Hundreds of thousands of farmers will miss this winter cropping season because large swathes of land are still inundated. The sluggish response to the UN appeal has left millions of vulnerable people – women, children the elderly and those with disabilities – at great risk. Their immediate future is grim unless funding is not urgently stepped up.” The flood waters are slowly receding. But families returning home in many cases, are living in worse sanitation and hygiene conditions than they were in the camps.
peShawaR: Students walk to express solidarity with the families of Mohmand agency attack victims. STaff phOTO
pTI can launch civil disobedience to get rid of corrupt rulers: Imran LAHORE Inp
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan has said his party would not hesitate from launching a civil disobedience movement to eliminate corruption and save the country. Talking to a private TV channel on Wednesday, Imran said change would come to the country in 2012. Denying support of agencies to the PTI, he said the people were supporting his party for winning the general polls, therefore, his party did not need support of any institution. He said the time had come to get rid of corrupt rulers, adding that the government should give a befitting response to US-led NATO forces over the strike in Mohmand Agency. Imran said Nawaz and President Asif Ali Zardari were brothers when it came to holding power and they were trying to block
Nawaz approves ‘Perpetual Calendars’ for Punjab govt offices LAHORE GNI
Though former prime minister Nawaz Sharif is not holding any administrative role or enjoying executive authority in the Punjab government’s affairs, he and his younger brother Shahbaz Sharif have given approval to the particulars of “Perpetual Calendars” to be displayed at all offices of the Punjab government. Official documents say Nawaz had given the approval of the calendar which could be useful for several years and will cost Rs 450 per piece (excluding postal charges). Per rules of business, a person who is holding political office and is not part of the administrative tiers at any level is not authorised to give such administrative orders, as it has to be processed through various administrative tiers of the government and that too, through official machinery. The calendar has been designed and produced by senior artist Syed Ali Amjad. The size of the calendar is 23 inches (length), 15 inches (width) and one inch (thick).
his way for bringing change in the country, “but they will get nothing but disappointment”. The PTI chairman said the PPP government should quit power in the best interest of the country, because security and independence of the country had been put at stake. He said the completion of the incumbent government’s constitutional tenure was not needed. To a question, Imran said corruption in the country was a key issue and after coming to power, his party would bring a comprehensive system of accountability that would bring back all looted money from the corrupt people, including Nawaz Sharif and Asif Ali Zardari. He said the PTI was the only party that could bring Sindhis,Balochis, Pashtuns, Punjabis and Urdu-speaking people together. Imran said the PTI would convey a message of peace in Karachi on December 25.
Safeguard, DFC Pakistan announce 35 winning stories by children KARAchI: Safeguard and Design for Change (DFC) Pakistan on Tuesday announced 35 winning stories by Pakistani children who have demonstrated their commitment to be change-makers and future leaders of the country. The global DFC School Challenge 2011 is the world’s largest movement for change initiated by the children. In Pakistan, DFC and Safeguard joined hands to implement this programme throughout the nation with at least 35,000 children being reached in over 7000 schools. The DFC program encourages children to use a simple 4step process of ‘Feel, Imagine, Do, Share’, to design and implement solutions to the greatest challenges in the country. Initially, children shared their ideas for how they intended to bring about a change in their communities followed by their implementation of these ideas and reporting what impact they had on the lives of people around them. This year, 35 stories have been shortlisted by an independent panel based on their sensitivity to others’ needs, how well they connect needs to ideas and successfully implement vision while demonstrating personal and community wide change. These stories have been grouped in the following categories: Quickest Impact, Most People Impacted, Easiest to Replicate, Most Environmentally Friendly, Maximum Potential for Long Lasting Change, Boldest Idea and Jinnah Prize. pReSS ReLeaSe
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thursday, 1 December, 2011
Editor’s mail 11
Effects of internet usage on students Internet, the source pioneer of the computing world, starts with the development of computers. Earlier, it was used only to share information with inter-connected computers; later, it became a key source for worldwide sharing and research purposes only for supercomputers. It was accessible only to limited number of people. In the late 1980s and 1990s it was commercialised and everyone was able to access internet and benefited themselves through this new technology. By the mid-1990s internet has changed the life both as culturally as well as commercially in a drastic manner. The invention of internet however facilitates the students in many ways but it also brings many negative impacts among the academics life of students. Internet is like a knife. You can kill a man with a knife or use it for cutting fruits and eating them. It is only an instrument and can be used for good or bad purposes. But many students waste their time unintentionally using internet.
There are certain bad effects stemming from using the internet excessively. Having trouble establishing social ties, neglecting schoolwork, and facing some health problems are some of these bad effects. When it comes to neglecting schoolwork, it can easily be said that a student who can be regarded as an internet addict cannot find adequate time to study for his schoolwork. For example, it is an undeniable fact that the time when internet cafes are filled to capacity is the time when students begin to leave school. It must also be taken into consideration that students addicted to the internet cannot concentrate on their schoolwork even though they find the opportunity to study. Therefore, it can be observed that the more time a student squanders on the internet, the less grades he gets in school. Similarly, students who have become slaves of internet are no longer being able to think out of a box of their own. They usually try to get material for their work from the internet sources which are
Give ’em a befitting reply spoiling their lives brain. They do not listen to their lecture intensively- keeping in mind that they can get the required material from the internet which is dreadful for their studies. Furthermore, they start to learn the things which are prohibited for them too. Students become dizzy and no longer remain active and sharp in their field which has affected the academic life of students and with great extent. Excessive use of social networking is more like a time killer. Despite the fact that we can be benefited after being in contact with our dear ones; it can cause the adverse effect on the social and academic life of students and keeps them away from social norms and values. Moreover, meeting with heterogeneous people change their mind-sets, they try to persuade them by resisting their persuasive manner. One of the side effects of the internet is the too much use of fashion. Fashion represents the entire custom and tradition of one’s nation. One should be very
careful while adopting it as they are responsible to display their culture with its actual aspects. Trends and crazes which are very short term possessed thing are often harmful for the people who follow it. Mostly these trends are displayed on net like tattoos, lip and eye lashes piercing are very much common internationally. Students who are not mature enough usually adopt it without knowing its harmful effects, which also influence others to adopt it. Such crazes and illegal fashion which are prohibited in Islam mostly attract youngsters and force them to follow. Even though at first glance the effects of the internet addiction are generally ignored, they might contribute to some serious problems in the long run. In my opinion, people who have drifted into this addiction had better use the internet less, know that life is not impossible in the absence of the internet. AFIFA HASHMI Karachi
Deadliest NAtO attack The unprovoked and indiscriminate attack on Pakistan border patrol checkpost is an open attack on Pakistan’s sovereignty and is an act of terrorism by the prime mover of the war on terror and had encroached international law and violated Pakistan’s sovereignty. The brutal attack killed 24 troops and injured 13 others on the night of 25/26 November when two helicopters entered 2.5 kilometres inside Pakistan’s border region territory of Salala in the Baizai sub-division of Mohmand agency FATA, where they opened fire at a border checkpost. Prior to this Pakistan had seen 12 major violations by NATO and American forces including five major air space violations which had killed 45 soldiers and had injured 50 other impeccable people. These types of attacks are held because we do not have a clear and firm policy towards counterterrorism, drone attacks and border violations. These attacks have a close connection with Pakistan’s regional context, geography and nuclear weapons. Media, civil society, army, parliament and political parties have to play their role and should lodge a strong protest against NATO cross-border attacks. America looks after only its interests, now it is time that Pakistan looks after its interests and safeguards the liberty and security of its citizens and its armed forces. The citizens of Pakistan condemn this act of terror which has caused extensive unrest and rage among the population and want the government to pull out of the war on terror, expel American citizens in Pakistan, permanently break off all NATO supplies from Chaman and Torkham and cease Shamsi air base. We demand an end to the alliance with the US and the war on terror. KANWAL JAHAN Karachi (II) Our nation lives in a state of confusion due to various conflicting statements on national issues. One such latest example is the fact about the use of Shamsi air base by the US for their drones. The US and our government denied the fact earlier that it was under the US forces use, stating that the US did not occupy it. Now suddenly when they were told to vacate it in 15 days the people have realised that our government has been telling blatant lies. Normally, on such coordinated lies, both the US and Pakistani rulers are on the same page (forgive me for using this oft-repeated phrase by our ministers). On the contrary, the masses are intentionally kept away from the truth to avoid any backlash. The masses and the rulers appear to be poles apart in their thinking. It is a very sad state of affairs, particularly when we claim to have democratically elected these rulers. The affairs of the state must be run in a transparent manner. This will surely add to the credibility of the rulers not only here but also abroad. It is very painful to note that your own people have been hiding the factual position. But as they say: The truth shall always prevail. RASHID MAQSOOD Lahore
mFN and Asian union
Up, up and away dengue fever problem can do. This virus was not in Pakistan although its vector mosquito was here for centuries. We are also experiencing regular flooding in Sindh. If we take a trip to Pakistani cities we can see dumps of garbage everywhere. The most hazardous component of this garbage are chemical wastes and plastic materials. Everybody should by now be aware of the fact that plastic do not disintegrate even after a hundred years. We should know that these chemicals will be dissolved in soil and will pollute subsoil water. As rivers and canals are drying, the subsoil water has gained importance. There should be a media campaign about all these problems. As we just saw in the case of dengue virus, people have a little awareness about it. There was increased use of nets and sprays to kill
mosquito after the media highlighted the issue. Ours is a religious society, people lend a good ear to the religious leaders. So we should take them on board for this problem as well. We should also give importance to where we are and where our future generations will be. The earth is important for all of us and it is our duty to keep it safe as nature has given us. Second most important objective is to tell the people about the use of disposable objects. Such items are meant to be used only once, but we keep using them again and again. For example, certain plastic bags can only be used once. Their repeated use could cause serious issues of health. MADIHA FATIMA Karachi
According to an explanation MFN only means equal treatment to India in trade, as already given to other countries, possibly with adequate checks and balances for balance of payments, otherwise soon Pakistan will be stuck in another form of debts, already over $ 62 billion. If this is so simple, why can’t we straightaway go for the creation of the Asian Union, in which case we could freely settle all mutual problems like Kashmir? This will also permit drastic reduction in already very high defence expenses on all sides, transferring such savings for poverty alleviation, which is long overdue topmost priority consideration for the well-being of the entire region. We could benefit from the experiences of the European Union. It is hoped that all the governments included in the SAARC would consider such prospects with all the seriousness that it deserves, starting with Inter-Faith Dialogue, as most of the fundamentals of various faiths are by and large common, as proved through the excerpts of their sacred scriptures. S M H RIZVI Karachi
This year an unfortunate incident has happened on the very first day of Muharram in Karachi near Numaish Chowrangi. Apparently, this was due to the irresponsible conduct of the local government who allowed to hold meetings by two opposing sects in the same area and on the same day out of which one was a banned organisation. Some heads in the Sindh government should have rolled. But sacking for incompetence or resigning on failure of good governance is not in vogue in Pakistan; instead, the responsible person of such failure is given a better job. Appointment of Sardar Latif Khosa first as Attorney General and then as Governor of Punjab
is one such example. To ensure fool proof security, the government should set rules of the game in clear terms and ensure its implementation. The places to hold Majalis should be specified and at no other place such gatherings be allowed. These places should be well secured and each person attending should be frisked properly. Nobody should be allowed to bring his vehicle near that place. The debussing point should be well away from the Majalis building. The old, invalid and ladies may be brought to the building in the government transport. Similarly, on Ashura day the procession routes should not pass
through any congested areas. Only the specified route should be strictly followed and the procession route should be as properly protected as is being done for the VVIP movements. The bloodshed in one particular religious group leads to another bloodshed in the rival group and the chain continues thereby we becoming a laughing stock in the eyes of the non-Muslim world, ie Muslims killing Muslims in the same country. I hope the government would be serious for a change this year and ensures that there is no bloodshed during this Muharram. MUHAMMAD AZHARKHWAJA Lahore
Pakistan is a state that never fails to surprise its citizens. Even though millions of people are living well below the poverty line, no concrete step has been taken to control the unwieldy inflation that is touching the sky now. Instead of creating more employment opportunities by
Save Pakistan With the passage of time our world is experiencing a lot of disastrous changes but both the common person and the elite class are not responding to it. Our attitude is very passive; we think it as others’ problem and think that it is not of our concern. Some people think that is the talk of the educated people who waste time on these subjects; some think that it interests NGOs who collect funds on such issues. I do not find a lot of people who are serious about it. If somebody is convinced about these problems, then he takes it as a remote thing which is very far away from us. I think that time has come that we should think about it and take a serious note of it. We have just seen what the
This is with reference to the news item that appeared in your esteemed paper. Is it a coincidence that two NATO helicopters attacked our checkpost on Pak-Afghan border located 50 kilometres away from Mohmand Agency killing 26 soldiers including two army officers and injuring over 15 personnel, and Indian Foreign Minister Krishana making a statement that India was awaiting "decisive" action against the perpetrators of the 2008 Mumbai attack. It appears that it was a well-coordinated effort on the part of US and India to divert the attention of Pakistan from NATO helicopter attack. Basically, a pressure tactic to sideline the issue of the attack. Nato commanders have all the information about the deployment of our troops in the area. These were permanent checkposts known to them for years; therefore, it cannot be termed as an error of judgment. It is a deliberate attack against our sovereignty mainly to see our reaction and prepare for future operations within Pakistan for which they have been openly hinting at. It is time to give befitting answer to such violations. Issuing of statements, condemning the action, calling the US ambassador to foreign office is part of SOP, what we need is practical action. When the Taliban can fight the US for 10 years and can survive and force the Americans to leave Afghanistan, what is preventing us not to retaliate? We are better equipped to face the US action. Enough is enough. No more nonsense. Can apologies or protests bring back the lives of the dead soldiers? Can apologies give relief to the families? Can monetary compensation substitute human lives? The answer is no. Let us pick up courage and show to the world that Pakistan is capable of defending its frontiers. Courage is the most important of all virtues because without courage you cannot practise any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage. LT COL (retd) MUKHTAR AHMED BUTT Karachi
starting development projects, the government seems intent on relying borrowing from the central bank, which causes more inflation. It is high time the government revises its policies. KAINAT FATIMA Lahore
Security in muharram The holy month of Muharram comes every year and the interior ministry holds high level meetings before the commencement of this month at each tier of their command. The ministry and law enforcement agencies then assure the nation that fool proof security arrangements have been made to stall any untoward incident. But every year we find the bloodshed either on their Majalis or in the Ashura processions. This shows a clear security lapse on the part of law enforcement agencies. It happens either due to the incompetence of the security people deployed in those areas or the miscreants being smarter than our security/intelligence agencies.
Send your letters to: Letters to Editor, Pakistan Today, 4-Shaarey Fatima Jinnah, Lahore, Pakistan. Fax: +92-42-36298302. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Letters should be addressed to Pakistan Today exclusively.
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12 Comment A realistic appraisal No tit for this tat
hat the DGMO told senior journalists on Tuesday when quizzed about the absence of a military response to the Nato attack in Mohmand that killed 24 troops was a realistic answer. The general frankly conceded that a military response was not an option on account of the technological disparity between the two sides. Scrambling the air force would mean declaring war and the military simply can’t fight the NATO-ISAF with the handicap. What is required he said, was a political and diplomatic response. The remark is indicative of a somewhat belated awareness of the importance of political, rather than military, means in resolving international issues. This would discourage non-professional hawks itching to see tit-for-tat retaliation irrespective of its outcome. Wars, they tend to forget, are fought to win and not lose. The government has already taken a number of political and diplomatic measures. The Prime Minister has told the US that after the barbaric attack there is to be no more business as usual between the two countries. The federal cabinet has endorsed the DCC decisions, announced a boycott of the Bonn conference and resolved to take the matter to a joint session of parliament to decide the mode of tackling it. The CIA has already been given a notice to vacate the Shamsi air base. The frustrated hawks would do well to await the results of these measures instead of venting their frustration on the government. This brings us back to the much repeated truth about wars being too serious a matter to be left to the generals. There is a need on the part of the political leadership to redefine the country’s security paradigm because the issue of technological disparity is not confined to the western border but remains a disquieting reality on the eastern border also. To be able to exercise supremacy over the military as envisioned in the constitution, the political class needs to improve its abysmal performance, particularly in the spheres of governance and economy, which are crucial for national security. Only then will it be able to command a moral authority needed to stop all institutions from overstepping their defined spheres.
Not a good life Several notches down
ubjects like human development indices might not seem contentious, but lock up enough economists in a room to discuss them and you can be certain of mosh-pits and riots. Because there are a near inexhaustible number of alternatives to calculating a particular index. Pakistan’s slide from 129th last year on the HDI to 145th, or indeed, the absolute value of its index as well, cannot be looked at in absolute terms because it is not an apple-to-apple comparison. The methodology that went into calculating the indices that the HDR used has changed this year. Regardless of how one chooses to slice it, however, Pakistan’s position isn’t an enviable one. Consider the gender inequality index. The GII is measured terms of three dimensions: reproductive health, empowerment and economic activity. Pakistan ranks a bleak 114th out of 146 countries in this regard despite, it should be mentioned, tweaking artificially one of these – empowerment – by arbitrarily fixing a number of reserved women legislators, a step that hasn’t proven to be of any good when it comes to gender issues. Of course, Pakistan’s bleak circumstances can also be pinned on climate change. The devastating floods that have hit Pakistan two years in a row have upset the economic ecosystem of vast swathes of land in the country. This ranges from a destruction of crops (which leads to food insecurity) to the debilitation of infrastructure (which leads to, amongst other lifestyle downgrades, more food insecurity) to, as we are witnessing in Sindh at the stagnation of flood water (which leads to waterborne diseases and delayed infrastructure repairs.) The need to have a bare basic agenda between all political parties to maintain public spending at a prescribed level in certain long-term yield areas is the only way to improve our lot. Spending on population control, for instance, won’t get a government any votes in the next elections but it would be the responsible thing to do. An affective all parties’ conference on issues like these would be more than welcome. Contaminated air and water, after all, will kill more of us than an attack by a foreign nation will.
Dedicated to the legacy of the late Hameed Nizami
Arif Nizami Editor
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thursday, 1 December, 2011
Choosing our battles wisely Diplomacy is but continuation of war by other means
By Nazir Naji
here was a briefing by the Pakistan army about the possible repercussions of the current tension with the US. Defence experts clearly said that the Pakistan army is in no position to fight a war with the allied forces. The same was said by analyst Farrukh Saleem. He said that no force in the world can counter the might of the American military machine. He had numbers and we know they seldom lie: Their defence budget stands at seven and a half trillion dollar whereas 192 of the rest of the world’s countries spend a combined 15 trillion dollars on defence. Pakistan’s budget stands at 5 billion dollars, a miniscule 0.67 percent of the US’ budget. People who are clamouring for teaching the Yanks a lesson are maybe unaware of these harsh realities. The cancer that is thriving in us – what the world calls terrorism – is something both our foes and friends including China, are afraid of. A few days ago, I was reading an essay which analysed how to procure China’s help and get it on board for any action against Pakistan. It surmised that China could be persuaded if the US said that the target of its activities would only be the terrorists and the neutering of Pakistan’s nuclear programme. According to the analyst writing this, separatist in Xinjiang are getting support from Pakistan. Despite Pakistan’s friendship with China, there are elements in Pakistan who support these separatists and it is these very elements that carry out activities against Chinese working on development projects here. Xinjiang’s population is well above 100 million and China cannot afford to lose such a huge chunk of its country and encourage other such copycat rebellions. China’s biggest fear – much like the US’ – is that these Chinese terrorists could get their hands on Pakistani nukes. I don’t think the Mohmand attack was coincidental, accidental or a response to
some immediate development. It was the part of a well-laid plan. There are even reports that multiple scenarios were considered when planning this attack including what would be done if Pakistan retaliated in kind. The 300 targets that the US identified in case of open confrontation with Pakistan, 15 percent of those targets are in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa alone. It was planned that the US response would be restricted to this area in the first stages of its reprisal. The mention of this retaliatory activity in response to Pakistan’s possible retaliation was first seen in Spengler’s article Blazing Saddles in Pakistan published in Asia Times Online. The article even mentions that one of the American plans is ‘exporting instability into Pakistan.’ To this end, they purport supporting insurgents and separatist in different regions so that Pakistan’s army is spent fighting these elements and has little juice left for other things. The Iran-Iraq war was mentioned as an illustrative example saying that it was prolonged to the extent that it completely broke the backs of two countries involved. They think if Pakistan is entangled enough in internal wars, it won’t have the strength for external ones. I just want to remind here that the thought of a direct confrontation with the US is neither on the minds of our defence experts nor is it even a noteworthy option in the eyes of our analysts. The Americans themselves know we can’t fight them. But they want us to accept that the only acceptable solution to the Afghan situation is one that is acceptable to the US. The Americans say that it is their ‘right’ to implement the strategic aims that they have formulated for Western Asia. The aims of strategic depth that Pakistan has are irrelevant in the grand American scheme of things. They didn’t start the Afghan war so that Pakistan could get its way; they started it so they could get their way. They want Pakistan to be an ally that is helpful of US aims and situates its own Pakistani ends within those American ends. GOP presidential hopeful Rick Santorum said in a debate on security issues that “Pakistan must be our friend.” This clearly means that the US ‘needs’ our ‘friendship’ and will do what it seems right to get it. This is why I am in favour of using diplomatic and ethical means to counter American aggression rather than doing something reckless in our incensed state. I also gave the suggestion in an interview to a private TV channel that the matter of the Mohmand attack should be taken to the Security Council.
This was debated muchly on many talk shows. In this discussion, a former diplomat said that this plan of action could turn out against us as instead of helping us, it could lead to some resolution being passed against us. I don’t think there is any chance of that. Russia and China will both be present there. They could veto such a resolution. But if diplomatic mandarins think that such a resolution could be passed against terror centres in Pakistan, it is a misconception on their part. Don’t get me wrong here. It is true that international opinion is already shored up against terrorism and the Afghan invasion was taken after a UN resolution. It is not unthinkable that the US could get the ambit of such a resolution increased to include Pakistan by proffering the simple argument that the terrorist formerly in Afghanistan have also extended their ambit of influence. I don’t disagree with the diplomats saying that there could be a resolution against us. But I don’t also think that resolution will be passed. What will happen is that our stance against American aggression will have reached the Security Council’s platform. I would even say that we should go one step ahead and conduct a proper and widespread diplomatic campaign where our special envoys should go to influential countries and present our side of the story and the tale of our difficulties and compulsions. We should let the world know that we are trying to fight terror to the best of our (restricted) abilities. But the US is not helping because of such activities. It is strengthening the hands of the terrorists as it is giving them a treasure trove of anti-Americanism to capitalise on. It is also leading to undue public pressure on the government which is weakening its hand against the terrorists. Thus, the US itself is then helping promote terrorism. I stated at the start of this article that a military war with the US would be unwinnable. What we can’t do is fight America militarily. What we can do is seek recourse to diplomatic means and stand our ground there. What we can do is take our case to the international comity and ask it to tell the US not to stifle us so that we can devote ourselves to fighting terrorism. If all we keep doing is making lots of noise instead of formulating a cogent case, it will be much like wee little us throwing stones at the giant that is the US. The writer is one of Pakistan’s most widely read columnists.
Iraq War: No lessons learnt
washington watch By Dr James J Zogby
ith the date for US forces to be fully withdrawn from Iraq fast approaching, it is important to remind ourselves how we got into that long and deadly war in the first place, to recognise that this conflict is far from over, and to hold accountable those who are responsible for the horrors they created during the past eight years. In a word, the road to Baghdad was paved with "lies". I don't just mean the fictions of "WMDs" or of "Saddam's connection with AlQaeda" that were used by the Bush Administration to justify their case. In both instances, the White House and its minions throughout the government worked overtime, relying on embellishment, distortion, and outright fabrication to make their arguments for war. More insidious still, were the
subtle and seductive lies that were used along the way to war. These were the lies that led too many Americans, including much of the mainstream media, to conclude, in the words of one Bush apologist, that the war would be "a cakewalk". When pressed by Congress or the public for answers, administration officials and their supporters would argue that the war would last but a week; that it would require less than 100,000 US troops who would only need to stay in Iraq for six months; that the entire effort would only cost the US Treasury about two billion dollars; that Americans would be greeted in Baghdad as liberators with flowers in the street; and that with the dictator gone, Iraq would become a "beacon of democracy” lighting up the entire Middle East. Moved by the exaggerated ‘threat’, and lured by the supposed ‘relative ease’ of the war, America went marching off to Iraq. Those who attempted to remind then-Secretary of State, Colin Powell, of his "Powell Doctrine", or who questioned the wisdom of going to war in a country about whose history and culture and people little was known, were silenced. No one in government, back then, wanted to hear of "unintended consequences". Eight years later, we leave Iraq with: thousands of Americans
dead; hundreds of thousands of Iraqi lives lost; millions driven into exile; and a trillion dollars spent. The politics of Iraq can be described as fragile, at best, with the country remaining a sectarian/ethnic tinderbox that can explode in an instant, with the added danger of dragging the neighbourhood into a broader conflict. And to all of this must be added the damage done to America's standing in the region and the world resulting from the recklessness of the war, and its excesses and abuses. US troops will leave, but the scars of this conflict and its still open wounds will remain. Listening to the current overheated rhetoric in vogue today in US political discussions about what should be done to confront Iran and Syria, it appears that lessons have not been learned. Those who cavalierly argue for a US military response in either country all too often ignore the consequences of such actions. When they chide the President for not being more aggressive in taking the lead against the brutal regime in Syria, proposing military action, or when they flippantly suggest that the US should support an Israeli military strike against Iran (or that we should do it ourselves) it is as if nothing has been learned from the tragic disaster of the immediate past.
One main reason for this sorry state of affairs is our lack of accountability. Because we have not, and, it appears, will not, "call on the carpet" those who justified torture, fabricated the case for war in Iraq, and sent thousands of young men and women into a country we did not know in order to engage in a conflict with no good end in sight, this same cast of characters are still polluting the policy debate. From their lofty perches at universities, "think tanks" and as advisers to candidates for higher office, they are recognised as "experts" calling for more wars that will only make a bigger mess, while the mess they created has still not been cleaned up. It makes sense to us when we hear Arab Spring protesters in Tunisia and Egypt demanding that those who were complicit in the crimes of the past governments in which they served should be called to account for their misdeeds. It makes sense that we apply the same measure of accountability here at home. Those who abused the public's trust and who lied us into a war that took so many lives and cost us all so dearly should be called to account for what they have done. To let them "off the hook" is both wrong and dangerous. The writer is President of the Arab-American Institute.
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thursday, 1 December, 2011
On the dame of Dhaka Losing her touch?
Border Crossing By Kuldip Nayar
opularity is a rare quality which begins to elude the rulers when they need it the most. Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is in a similar situation. Her stock has shrunk at a time when she requires it badly. People had returned her with a sweeping majority. Yet they increasingly feel, three years after her being in power, that her non-governance, if not mis-governance, has only made their life miserable. After staying in Bangladesh for five days, I find that she has not only lost her sheen but also the trust she enjoyed once. People expected her to deliver but there is nothing they can label as her achievement. For example, she promised electricity and substantially supplied it at great cost by borrowing from overstretched banks. But people wanted to see large power stations to come up since their demand is ever rising. What India promised is yet nowhere in the horizon. Alleviating poverty with limited resources is always a challenge, but she does not appear to be even trying to meet it. She looks content with whatever she has done and runs down the critics. “Cut electricity of those who complain about its shortage sitting in their air-conditioned rooms,” she said when newspapers and television networks pointed out about the shortage. No doubt, Hasina has contained terrorism and there is a sense of relief that the nation is not at the mercy of fundamentalists like Bangla Bhai. Secularism is her commitment and she pursues it relentlessly. She has retrieved the ground her opponent, Khalida Zia, President of Bangladesh Nationalist Party
(BNP) had lost, knowingly and purposely. The credit also goes to Hasina that anti-India sentiment which the BNP fostered has more or less disappeared. And she has taken unilateral steps like transit which gives quick access to India to its north-eastern states. But has New Delhi reciprocated to the extent she has gone worries even the pro-India elements? The loan offered is all tied with Indian imports and technical know-how. The border between the countries has not been demarcated and there is no move to transfer the enclaves when PM Singh agreed to do during his visit to Dhaka a few weeks ago. The biggest disappointment against India is the denial of sharing of Teesta river water. They feel they lost it because of political wrangling between New Delhi and Kolkata. (West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, who was on board on the formula of sharing the water changed her mind at the eleventh hour and appointed a River Commission to look into the matter). The blow was somewhat losing its impact when the reported signing by India of a contract for building the Tipaimukh dam on the Barak river in Manipur, a north-eastern state, came to light. It was a BBC story which lacked confirmation first but was later supported by other sources. The contract was signed by Delhi and the Manipur government on October 23, one month after Manmohan Singh’s visit to Dhaka. What has hurt Bangladesh is the violation of understanding given by Delhi not to do anything that would affect Dhaka. The beleaguered Hasina has further lost in prestige. Her efforts to befriend India have been rebuffed. There is no doubt that the Teesta water and Tipaimukh will cut into her votes when Bangladesh goes to polls two years later. The fallout will benefit Khalida Zia who is sitting pretty and not issuing statement after statement as she did in the past. But are the Bangladesh a shuttlecock to be tossed from one side to another—from Hasina to Khalida?
This has happened to them more or less from the time when they freed themselves. They feel exasperated and helpless. They openly talk about the military takeover. It, too, is far from happy by the capricious postings and transfers by the Hasina government. But the chances of any coup are very few. The military support to the caretaker government more than three years ago was of no avail. The armed forces could neither clean up the administration nor build up an alternative to the two begums. Friendship with India was a straw to which the people in Bangladesh have clung. Today they wonder if they have any future with India. China which is trying its best to woo the country is not to their liking because Beijing is neither democratic nor pluralistic, the two principles to which they have stuck since the founding of Bangladesh by Banga Bandhu Sheikh Mujib-ur Rahman. They would want to build their country according to their own genius. Do they have time? And would they be allowed to do so? Bangladesh, like India, is also reeking with corruption. And there, too, the nation has been appalled to find the top, the creamy layer, hobnobbing with the rulers for more concessions and more concealment of their misdeeds. Even the World Bank has threatened to withdraw its assistance for constructing the Padma Bridge fearing corruption. Things may yet sort out now that the Prime Minister’s office has taken the matter in its own hand. But this only underlines the general impression that some ministers are more than equal. Hasina bothers little because the heady wine of popularity has not yet awakened her to the reality. She believes that a few newspapers are tarnishing her good name. She does not realise that the papers’ circulation is in proportion to their credibility. They could not be leading papers if they had reported or interpreted the situation wrongly. But then, like the communists, she forgives the renegades but not critics. The writer is a senior Indian journalist.
The cookie crumbles unprovoked, but not entirely unexpected
he million dollar question: was it just a matter of time or did we really believe that there was a deep and honest change of heart? Right now, we are seeing history repeat itself as the United States pulls the plug on its now decade old ‘new’ relationship with Pakistan. I guess the situation created will leave Pakistan in the driving seat with regard to bringing closure; there are very few alternatives given the circumstances. Since the successful ‘taking out’ of OBL on May 2, officialdom in DC has turned the barrels of its weaponry directly on the Pakistan administration, the military included. The rhetoric or ‘plain talking’ as it is termed has cemented the opinion that most held: Pakistan will be dumped unceremoniously yet again. For those who believed there may really be a long term relationship in the offing – I readily admit to being one of them – are shamefacedly looking at their feet, suffering the agony that goes with it. With not just a sense of déjà vu but one of deep anguish, we must recall the ‘friends not masters’ philosophy. It has been 5 decades of being ditched, repeatedly, at the altar. So who is it that hasn’t learnt the lesson? Is it Pakistan, because we readily accept the hand offered in a moment of great need to the US or is it the US that has not learned to trust and accept the Pakistani culture and way of doing things? Yes, they are two different cultures: a marriage of strange bedfellows. Therefore there must be greater give Random thoughts and take to sustain the connection. Unless sustaining it was never the By Imran Husain real intention. One was led to believe that Hillary Clinton, at the first strategic meeting held in DC last year, had responded to Pakistani delegates on the subject of improving the US image with the Pakistani nation in confirming that the US was viewing the current interaction with a long term aspect. The Pakistani side requested that the US take concrete steps in the form of nation building projects and serious investments. We are told that, at the time, she had assured at the highest level that this would happen. I see nothing finite on the ground. I’d like to be corrected. It would vindicate my position perhaps. It all started with “bombing us back into the stone age”. Not the best way to start a relationship. Then there was the “do more” mantra. That was repeated to the point of becoming utterly boring. Limited ISAF and NATO success in effectively combating the Taliban and Al-Qaeda led forces was not introspectively examined; instead ISI was targeted as the cause of most failures. Pakistan looked at this philo-
sophically until the OBL discovery blew up in our face. My view has been that OBL and his extended outfit outsmarted the combined intelligence resources of the two partners in the war on terror. The US forces were unable to find clues to his whereabouts at the height of the aggression and this continued for a decade after. Obviously, if OBL was able to elude discovery by the most modern technology of the US, to avoid Pakistan’s antiquated resources was no issue at all. There is no reason to ignore this fact and hold Pakistan entirely responsible. Anyway, they “got their man”. And, in doing so, audaciously violated international borders. The nation’s fury grew with the stepping up of US drone attacks on the borders, the lack of serious regret at the incidents with increasing collateral damage to civilian population and culminated with the recent attack on Pakistani forces, and finally exploded with the “unprovoked” attack four days ago. Government has, thus, withstood protests within and ignored the “stop the drones” calls and blockages of NATO supply chain allowing them to fade away. This time, however, with the political scene charged and the armed forces reacting under attack, it has reacted as effectively as it can. One can find no fault with this. This war may not have been ours it was brought to us. Not entirely by the war on terror but by the millions of foreigners who took refuge in the north and our misguided brethren. Bombs began to explode in our cities and thousands of innocent people were brutally killed. It destroyed security and badly hit our commerce. We had no option but to jointly defeat these destabilising forces at a huge cost. And right now we have been pushed to the point of having no option but to defend ourselves the best way we can. The DGMO acknowledged that a military response was not an option owing to the technological disparity. We are exercising the limited options available. There is no point in being at a conference to scale down the war when, in fact, Pakistan is looking down the barrel of the gun, being held entirely responsible for the failure of the ISAF/NATO combine in Afghanistan. To quote Robert Dreyfuss, “The closing may yet be reversed, but it’s a sign of Pakistan’s ability to undermine or even shut down the US war effort. (It’s not really possible to supply US forces by using the so-called northern route …) As always, Pakistan has the United States over a barrel.” Let us hope sanity prevails across the pond before the cookie crumbles. An unconditional apology would be a good start. The writer may be contacted via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
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14 Foreign News
thursday, 1 December, 2011
Britain shuts Iran embassy after evacuating staff
Clinton on historic myanmar visit
hague says ‘some degree of regime consent’ in attack on embassy g Says evacuation does not mean london is completely cutting off diplomatic ties with tehran g
RITAIN closed its Tehran embassy on Wednesday after evacuating all its diplomats from Iran as part of a “very tough” response to the storming of the mission the day before by Iranian protesters. Foreign Secretary William Hague said Britain had also ordered Iran to vacate its embassy in London by Friday, stressing it did not mean diplomatic ties between the two countries had been entirely cut off. The pull-out of all British embassy staff from Iran to Dubai in the neighbouring United Arab Emirates was completed by late Wednesday, Western diplomats told AFP. Britain’s moves followed violent scenes Tuesday, when protesters rampaged for hours through its two diplomatic compounds in Tehran.
They tore down the British flag, smashed windows, trashed embassy offices, set documents alight, and briefly blocked the movements of six British diplomats. No British personnel were hurt, having taken refuge in secure areas. Iranian police, initially inactive, ultimately forced the protesters to leave after firing tear gas and clashing with them. Speaking to parliament on Wednesday, Hague expressed scepticism at what he called the “belated” response by the Iranian authorities to stop the protesters attacking the compounds. “The idea that the Iranian authorities could not have protected our embassy or that this assault could have taken place without some degree of regime consent is fanciful.” He said diplomatic ties would continue with Iran, albeit at a much reduced level. “This does not amount to the severing of diplomatic relations in their en-
tirety. It is action that reduces our relations with Iran to the lowest level consistent with the maintenance of diplomatic relations,” Hague said. The incursions and Britain’s response dramatically heighten tensions between the West and Iran over the Islamic republic’s controversial nuclear programme. The protests in Tehran — which Hague said would not have occurred “without some degree of regime consent” — had been called to express anger over Britain’s announcement last week that it was halting all transactions with Iran’s financial system, including its central bank. Iranian officials this week retaliated by passing a law kicking out the British ambassador and downgrading diplomatic ties. The main anti-British demonstration was called at the same time. Other European missions were Wednesday evaluating the security situation in the Iranian capital. Norway announced
the temporary closure of its embassy, though its staff remained in Tehran. International condemnation of the violent incursions was fierce and broad. The UN Security Council, the United States, the European Union, France, Germany and even Iran’s ally Russia all slammed them as unacceptable. British Prime Minister David Cameron vowed that, following the diplomats’ evacuation, “very tough action” would be taken against Iran. Officials in Tehran were contrite or defiant over the protesters’ actions. Iran’s foreign ministry expressed “regret” over the incident, and deputy police chief Ahmad Reza Radan was quoted by IRNA state news agency as saying a number of protesters had been arrested and others were being sought. But parliamentary speaker Ali Larijani defended the protesters, saying they had been “angered by the British government’s behaviour” and “decades of domineering moves by the British in Iran.”
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived in Myanmar Wednesday on the first toplevel US visit for half a century, seeking to encourage a “movement for change” in the military-dominated nation. Clinton and her entourage flew into a little-used airport in Naypyidaw, the remote city where Myanmar’s generals abruptly moved their capital in 2005, in a stark test of US efforts to engage the strategic but long-isolated country. Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, has surprised observers with a series of reformist moves in the past year including releasing opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi from house arrest and nominally ending decades of military rule. President Barack Obama spoke of “flickers” of hope when he personally announced Clinton’s trip during a recent visit to Asia. But his administration has sought to keep expectations low, mindful of other false dawns in a country where the generals have ruled with an iron fist since 1962.
NAtO acknowledges Afghan civilian deaths, to retrain troops KABUL ReuteRS
NAhI ShAhI: Former taliban fighters are seen after joining Afghan government forces during a ceremony in Nahri Shahi district in Balkh province on wednesday. thirteen fighters left the taliban to join the government in north Afghanistan. afp
murdoch suffers BSkyB revolt, but hangs on LONDON: Investors holding nearly a quarter of BSkyB shares failed to back the re-election of chairman James Murdoch on Tuesday, in protest over the former chief executive’s handling of a phone hacking scandal that has damaged the family name. A BSkyB spokesman said that excluding the shares controlled by News Corp, investors owning 24 percent of the company voted against his reappointment. An initial estimate put the figure at 19 percent. That does not take into account those shareholders who withheld their vote, so the final figure could be higher when it is confirmed in a regulatory filing later in the day. “The vote is as expected but that doesn’t mean it will not have an impact. Murdoch will have to work hard to get his image back with the institutional investment community to where it was before the scandal broke,” said Sanford Bernstein analyst Claudio Aspesi. ReuteRS
The commander of NATO-led forces in Afghanistan has promised the Afghan president his entire force will be retrained immediately after recent civilian deaths during coalition operations, officials from both sides said on Tuesday. Civilian casualties are a major source of friction between Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s government and its Western backers. Rules governing air strikes and “night raids” have been tightened several times in recent years, but such operations can still go wrong. NATO forces angered Islamabad and tested an already uneasy alliance when an attack killed 24 Pakistani soldiers at the weekend. NATO described it as a “tragic, unintended incident”. The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Kabul confirmed ISAF commander U.S. General John Allen had written to Karzai in response to civilian deaths in volatile Kandahar province in Afghanistan’s south last week.
protests called in Egypt for friday CAIRO afp
Activists in Egypt have called two separate demonstrations for Friday, one against the interim military rulers in charge since the country’s February revolution and one to support them. The calls came after this week’s peaceful and mostly orderly election, the first phase of multi-stage polls designed to bring in civilian rule in the country ruled for 30 years by dictator Hosni Mubarak. “We call on all Egyptians to take part on December 2 at Tahrir Square,” the anti-regime Popular Committee for the Defence of the Egyptian Revolution said on its Facebook page, referring to the square in Cairo where the uprising
against Mubarak began. Forty-two people were killed and more than 3,000 injured in violent protests around Tahrir last week which were called to demand the resignation of the leader of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi. The pro-regime Union for the Silent Majority group also called for a protest on Friday in a square near Tahrir, stressing the anti-regime movement was “not the only source of legitimacy.” The two demonstrations reflect split opinions among Egyptians, some of whom are concerned the army leaders are determined to stay in power, while others are fed up with the instability caused by the recent unrest.
egypt army sees vote turnout exceeding 70 percent CAIRO ReuteRS
A member of Egypt’s ruling military council said on Tuesday that he expected turnout in the first stage of a parliamentary election to exceed 70 percent. Egypt’s first parliamentary vote since Hosni Mubarak was ousted began on Monday and the first round of voting is being held over two days. The staggered vote will be spread over six weeks. “There is no actual or definitive estimate, but I assure you that, until now, it will go above 70 percent. I hope it will reach more than 80 percent by the end of the day,” General Ismail Atman told Al Jazeera television. “What we saw yesterday and today was something that exceeds what could be imagined and exceeds the whole world’s expectations,” he said. Independent election monitors up until Tuesday afternoon said there had been a high turnout and one official, representing a number of monitoring groups, said that it could easily rise above 50 percent.
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thursday, 1 December, 2011
Foreign News 15 2 yemeni soldiers killed as thousands rally for secession ADEN afp
mANChEStEr: Demonstrators march with flags and placards as they protest during a public service strike over pensions on wednesday. two million public sector workers in Britain went on strike over changes to their pensions in the biggest walkout for decades, which is expected to cause widespread disruption. afp
Two million strike in Britain over pension changes LONDON
P to two million public sector workers in Britain went on strike Wednesday over changes to their pensions, after the government responded to slashed growth forecasts with fresh spending cuts. In what unions said was the biggest walkout in decades, only one school in 10 in England was fully open, hospitals were operating with skeleton staff and local authorities were paralysed. Striking workers picketed parliament and public sector buildings in central London and more than 1,000 demonstrations were planned across Britain during the 24-hour strike in
scenes reminiscent of the 1970s. However, fears of long delays at London’s Heathrow airport, one of the world’s busiest air hubs, failed to materialise as two-thirds of immigration officials turned up for work. Cross-channel rail services were also operating largely as normally, as were the Channel ports. The strike is the biggest test so far of Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservative-Liberal Democrat government, which sparked the unions’ fury by making public sector workers pay more into their pensions and work longer. Anger rose further on Tuesday when finance minister George Osborne targeted the pay of teachers, nurses and soldiers and revealed plans to cut an extra 300,000 public sector jobs as he
sharply reduced Britain’s growth forecasts. Osborne infuriated the unions by announcing a new two-year, one-percent cap on public sector pay rises. On Wednesday, Osborne he warned that the strike would only harm the economy, and called for unions to return to negotiations. “The strike is not going to achieve anything, it’s not going to change anything,” the Chancellor of the Exchequer told BBC TV. “It is only going to make our economy weaker and potentially cost jobs. “So let’s get back round the negotiating table, let’s get a pension deal that is fair to the public sector, that gives decent pensions for many, many decades to come but which this county can also afford and our taxpayers can afford.”
Cameron underlined the government’s message, telling parliament he was angry that the strike was called “at a time when negotiations are still under way” and downplayed the turnout, calling it a “damp squib”. The unions were unrepentant. Brendan Barber, general secretary of the Trades Union Congress (TUC), said the government has put the public sector “under attack” and the strike was fully justified. “There comes a time when people really have to stand up and make a stand,” he told ITV. “With the scale of change the government are trying to force through, making people work much, much longer and get much, much less, that’s the call people have made.”
Gunmen shot dead two Yemeni soldiers Wednesday in the main southern city of Aden, a police official said, as thousands rallied there to call for secession from the north. “The gunmen opened fire on two soldiers in plain clothes near the qat (mild narcotic) market in the neighbourhood of Khor Maksar, killing one and seriously wounding another,” who later died of his injuries, a police official told AFP. The attack took place as thousands of Yemenis rallied in Aden to call for secession from the north as they commemorated the day the formerly independent south won freedom from Britain. “The people want to liberate the south,” the protesters chanted in the city which served as the capital of the People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen during its 23 years of independence. Late on Tuesday, a similar crowd had gathered in the city brandishing PDRY flags, as well as portraits of Ali Salem al-Baid, who served as the last president of an independent south before union with the north in 1990 and who now lives in exile. “No union no federation, out out occupation,” they chanted as fireworks lit the sky, an AFP correspondent reported. Baid, who now heads the radical wing of the Southern Movement which calls for renewed secession, released a statement saying he remains determined to “continue the struggle until we achieve our national aspirations for independence.” He urged other states to “support the rights of southerners to determine their own fate.”
UAE gives women right to pass nationality to children ABU DHABI afp
The United Arab Emirates announced Wednesday that children of Emirati women married to foreigners could apply for citizenship once they turned 18, moving closer to giving women the same nationality rights as men. President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahayan decreed that the “children of women citizens married to foreigners should be treated as citizens,” WAM state news agency reported. In the move, the children are to get the “right to apply for citizenship when they reach 18,” it added. Most Arab countries link nationality to blood relation from the father’s side, disenfranchising women who face various forms of gender discrimination across the region.
police dismantle two anti-Wall Street protest camps LOS ANGELES afp
Police arrested more than 200 anti-Wall Street protesters in downtown Los Angeles in an early morning raid Wednesday that cleared out hundreds from the twomonth old encampment. “We have a little over 200” arrests, police spokesman Lorenzo Quezada told AFP. “All of the arrests were for misdemeanor failure to disperse an unlawful assembly,” he said. “A lot of people did voluntarily leave” when told to do so, Quezada said, adding that authorities cleared away “tents, debris, miscellaneous, and personal items.” A 9:00 am (1700 GMT) press conference was planned to discuss the eviction, said Lozada, adding that the eviction was still continuing as authorities tried to clear out a few, resolute stragglers from the green spaces just outside city hall. “There are a couple of guys left still in trees,” Lozada said. “There are police officers there trying to bring them down.” The settlement of tents and sleeping bags in Los Angeles was one of the biggest of scores of similar occupation protests that have sprung up across the
United States in recent weeks to protest corporate greed and financial inequity. The demonstrations have worn thin in many places however, including in the northeastern city of Philadelphia, where a similar police raid also cleared a downtown park of its protesters at around the same time as the Los Angeles operation. Philadelphia riot police converged on an Occupy Wall Street camp in the eastern part of the city, clearing a tent camp and setting off an hours-long march through downtown. The police, many mounted on bicycles, initially flanked the group of some 50 marchers, but as rush hour approached they cornered the protesters in a side street and arrested around half of them, an AFP reporter said. “I think our officers showed a lot of restraint. We’ve been very patient,” Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey told AFP. In Los Angeles, dozens of officers in helmets formed lines to seal off an area around the City Hall park camp, while others began arresting around a dozen protesters and leading them away in plastic handcuffs.
LoS angeLeS: Los angeles police officers move in to dismantle the occupy La encampment at city hall on wednesday. afp
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thursday, 1 December, 2011
Role of Silk in
my boldest act ever, says Vidya CHANDIGARH agenCIeS
Bollywood actress Vidya Balan has confessed that her character, Silk, in the upcoming film ‘The Dirty Picture’, was the boldest character she has ever played in her career. The actress said the part required a lot of mental preparation since she had to shed all her inhibitions to portray herself as the controversial south Indian actress Vijayalaxmi. After essaying graceful roles in her previous films like ‘Parineeta’ and ‘Paa’, Balan said it was not a cakewalk for her to portray the character of Silk. To ensure the success of the movie, Balan has adopted the strategy of promoting her film by adorning the retro look, which is also one of the biggest highlights of her movie. “You are right. It’s an extremely bold and brazen character. Silk is a girl who wants to make the most of every moment in her life and that was something I
had to imbibe in me. So, there was no other kind of preparation, it was more of mental preparation. Reading the script and then discussing it with the writer and director, they would discuss about the attitude of the character, her childlike behaviour and then she is considered a sex bomb, so mainly we discussed the part of how to maintain a balance,” said Balan. She added that she overcame her apprehensions and gained several pounds, just to look her part and do full justice to the character. “Yes, I gained 12 kilograms for this film because this girl belongs to the South film industry and the actresses were mostly wholesome out there, especially the dancing stars. So, I had to put on weight. Initially, I was a little apprehensive and I did not want to put on so many kilos, but then I realised that if I don’t do it, I wouldn’t be doing justice to the role,” added Balan. The film is slated to hit the screens on December 02, 2011, on the birth anniversary of Smitha.
new YoRk: actress wendie Malick attends the tV Land holiday premiere party for ‘hot in Cleveland’ & ‘the exes’.
LonDon: British actor Sir Ben kingsley (R) and his Brazilian wife Daniela Lavender pose as they arrive to attend a Royal film performance of ‘hugo’.
Daniel radcliffe is richest under-30 Brit LONDON agenCIeS
Daniel Radcliffe has been named the wealthiest British star under 30, after amassing almost £52 million. The ‘Harry Potter’ star retained the top spot in heat magazine’s 30 Under 30 Rich List with his fortune increasing by £6.1 million from last year’s figure. Daniels earnings were boosted by heat magazine’s 30 Under 30 rich list, top ten: the final two 1. Daniel radcliffe, 22, £51.7 million films in the boy 2. Keira Knightley, 26, £30.8 million wizard franchise, 3. robert Pattinson, 25, £24.9 million ‘Harry Potter 4. Emma watson, 21, £23.9 million and the Deathly 5. rupert Grint, 23, £21.7 million Hallows - Parts 1 6. leona lewis, 26, £13.2 million and 2’, for which 7. Cheryl Cole, 28, £11.4 million he is thought to 8. Katie melua, 27, £10.7 million have earned in 9. Craig David, 30, £9.6 million the region of 10. Charlotte Church, 25, £9.6 million £25 million.
SIngapoRe: korean pop group 2neI pose with their winning trophy at the Mnet asian Music awards ceremony, asia’s biggest music awards ceremony.
Karisma buries the hatchet with
‘I’m not insecure Eiﬀel about sharing
screen space with Katrina’
MuMBaI: At a recent function, former fiancé of Abhishek Bachchan, Karisma Kapoor met Jaya Bachchan rather warmly. Post Abhishek and Karisma’s break up, the two actors and their families have avoided each other. Even Karisma’s sister, Kareena has avoided signing any film with Abhishek after their engagement was called off. But eyewitnesses state that at the award function, Karisma went up to Jaya and greeted her warmly. “Everyone from Bollywood stars to industrialists and people from the fashion fraternity were present at the function. And people were quite surprised to see Karisma walking up to Jaya Bachchan and greet her. In fact they shared a warm hug, which made it clear that there is no bad blood between them anymore,” said the eyewitness. Post break up the two went their own way and are now settled in holy matrimony with different people. Added another source, “they seem to have let bygones be bygones. Karisma even congratulated Jaya on the baby girl in their family. Of course now since Karisma is all set to make a comeback, she may see no point in not letting go of the bitterness as there could be a time when she may have to work with members of the Bachchan family.” zeenewS
MuMBaI: Anushka speaks about her next big project with Shah rukh Khan and Katrina Kaif. Anushka Sharma is looking forward to her next big project. the actress is ecstatic for she will be directed by the legendary yash Chopra for the very first time. “I am thrilled by this opportunity. Being directed by yash Chopra is such an honour. I am also working with Shah rukh Khan once again after ‘rab Ne Bana Di Jodi’. Katrina Kaif is also a part of the project,” confirmed Anushka. most leading ladies don’t get along so is Anushka comfortable with sharing screen space with Katrina? “I am not insecure about sharing screen space with Katrina. Our roles are distinct, characters different so there isn’t slightest fear of being overshadowed,” said Anushka frankly. the film is slated to go on floors in Jan 2012. agenCIeS
Tower could become ‘world’s largest tree’
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17 Michael Jackson
london has its eye on Ali zafar LAHORE Staff RepoRt
While shooting in London for Fox Studios and Rose Movies’ coming-of-age romantic film ‘London Paris New York’, lead actor Ali Zafar was overwhelmed with the crowds that would gather to catch a glimpse of him giving a take. While the star assumed he wouldn’t be recognised in the city, much to his surprise, tons of fans would crowd up the streets they were shooting at, holding up posters and his albums. Confirms producer Shrishti Arya, “Ali’s fan following was very overwhelming. We were a small unit and thought maybe we’d go unrecognised. However given the large Asian community, wherever we went, we always had a sizable audience with us thanks to Ali’s ardent admirers.” Says a production source, “What took the team by surprise was how well locals in London recognised Ali...they knew his songs and would queue up to have their albums autographed...A couple of times the shoot had to be stalled since too many people would crowd up to see him.” ‘London Paris New York’ deals with the different emotions that people experience when they’re in love. Presented by Fox Studios and Rose Movies, the film marks the directorial debut of Anu Menon and stars Ali Zafar and Aditi Rao.
jailed for four years LOS ANGELES
I C H A E L Jackson’s doctor Conrad Murray was jailed for the maximum four years Tuesday over the star’s 2009 death, as a judge lashed the medic’s behaviour as “money-for-medicine madness”. While he is expected to actually serve less than half of that, Murray could also be forced to pay compensation to Jackson’s family, the judge ruled, after a prosecution call for the amount to be set at $100 million. Jackson’s 81-year-old mother Katherine hailed the sentencing, but added: “Four years won’t bring my son back, but that’s the law so... I thank the judge,” she said, adding: “At least he got the maximum. I thought the judge was very, very fair.” In reality the medic - convicted of involuntary manslaughter three weeks ago - will spend much less than the four years behind bars, notably due to California’s prison overcrowding. A spokesman for the LA County Sheriff’s Department, Steve Whitmore, said Murray is expected to be left
hoLLYwooD: actress pamela anderson unveils the Vegetarian Icons postage Sheet at hollywood post office.
with “a little less than two years” in county jail. Judge Pastor, giving a scathing summary of the case against the 58-year-old doctor, said: “It should be made very clear that experimental medicine is not going to be tolerated”. Murray was found guilty on November 7 after giving Jackson an overdose of the anesthetic propofol at the star’s plush Holmby Hills mansion on June 25, 2009. The judge said he agreed that Murray should have to pay restitution to Jackson’s estate and three children, and scheduled a new hearing for January 23 to decide the amount. The prosecution had asked for Murray to pay $100 million to compensate Jackson’s family for the lost earnings the singer would have made from the London comeback shows. The demand, while wildly unrealistic, is seen as a way of ensuring that Murray cannot profit from his story and rebuild his life by selling his story in book form or otherwise.
pole dancing: seedy show or Olympic sport? LAS VEGAS agenCIeS
Pole dancing may conjure up images of men in seedy clubs leering at seminaked women, but it has a growing following in the United States as a way to keep fit — and even aspires to be an Olympic sport. The sensual dance form began to appear as a variant of aerobics or “step”-type workouts about a decade ago, changing its name to “pole fitness” to distinguish it from the erotic nightclub version. Since then, some 500 pole dancing/fitness studios have sprung up across the country, and it is often difficult to determine which ones are purely fitness and
new YoRk: Musician kevin Jonas and Danielle Jonas attend 2011 unICef Snowflake Ball.
paRIS: the Eiffel tower could be transformed into the world’s largest tree if a project to cover the iconic structure’s 327-metre height with plants comes to fruition, le Figaro newspaper reported wednesday. Engineering group Ginger, specialised in “green” architecture, has spent two years working on the 72-million-euro (96-milliondollar) project that would see 600,000 plants attached to the tower, the French daily reported. Architects and engineers have already built a prototype several metres tall to assess the effect of the additional 378 tonnes weight on the structure. the results of the tests are expected to be known in December. Seedlings would then be cultivated until June next year, which would be placed on the structure until January 2013. the plants would then grow until January 2014 and be left there until their removal in July 2016. the plants would be placed in bags of soil hanging from hemp ropes attached to the tower’s steel structure. twelve tonnes of rubber piping would irrigate the vegetation. the project would produce 84.2 tonnes of carbon dioxide but the plants would absorb 87.8 tonnes, rendering the plan “carbon negative”. And the project will also not replace the electric lights that have adorned the Eiffel tower since 2002, which instead will simply shine through the leaves with a greener hue, the paper said. agenCIeS
which ones have elements of erotic dance. “They are almost always both in a studio and very few studios differentiate,” Claire Griffin Sterrett of Vertical Art & Fitness magazine said, adding she had seen women as young as 14 and as old as 72 on the pole. “Many fitness routines feel dull, repetitive and stale,” she told AFP in praising her sport’s “incredible fitness benefits”. “Pole dancing provides a physical challenge that keeps your mind and body engaged. I also think that women are finding great pleasure in the sensuality of the movement.” While Griffin embraces the sensual aspect of pole dancing, noting that women are attracted to the pole precisely for this reason, others prefer to distinguish it clearly from
Robert Pattinson is
marriage material, LonDon: After keeping their relationship under wraps, robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart have admitted they are indeed seeing each other. the two are even planning to move in together in their new london pad. we ask Kristen Stewart if she thinks robert can make for a great husband. “rob has many desirable qualities. he is very intelligent and capable for one thing, has strong will power, an excellent reasoning ability and common sense. One of his great qualities is that he has an ability to see his own faults and makes a determined effort to change. he is not stubborn and I guess these are the qualities that any girl would want to see in her partner,” said Kristen Stewart in an interview. agenCIeS
the sexually-charged version. Intent on improving the routine’s reputation, the Pole Fitness Association stresses that it’s also an activity for men and celebrates pole fitness as a “rigorous, tasteful and athletic art.” “Over 50 countries worldwide take part in lessons, workshops, conventions, expos, competitions and teacher training,” said an online PFA petition for pole dancing to be included at the Olympics, like parallel bars for gymnasts. “This is an international sport that both men, women and those that are on a low income can take part in, unlike sports such as horse riding, sailing and snow-based sports.” But the division between sexually provocative dance and acrobatic exercise routine is not clear cut. In Las Vegas, the number of pole dancing academies has grown in recent years, fuelled by the permissiveness for which the Nevada gambling mecca is known. For tourists visiting Sin City, pole dancing is a great attraction, be it sport or dance.
still coming to says Kristen terms with ‘no more Potter’ LonDon: Actor rupert Grint said that he is still coming to terms with his life after the end of ‘harry Potter’ movies. the first ‘harry Potter’ movie was released in 2001 when he was 11 and Grint practically grew up on the sets as he acted in all eight movies. “I can’t remember the time before the ‘harry Potter’ films and suddenly it was all over,” the mirror quoted him as saying. “It was such a long time, half my life, and suddenly it all came down to one scene - and we never came back,” he said. the cinema premiere of the final film, ‘harry Potter and the Deathly hallows Part 2’, was held in July 2011, and it was one of the biggest premieres Britain had seen. Grint said that to him, the premiere was like a closure and he woke up the next day thinking “there is no more Potter”. “It felt like the premiere was closure, I felt this is really it. It has taken me a while to come fully to terms with that,” he said. “I felt it a lot on the last day of filming when they said cut for the final time, it was a massive moment because it really has taken over my life,” he said. agenCIeS
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Argentina eye Davis Cup revenge against Spain Page 23
Pakistan look to keep the momentum going MIRPUR
FTER an excellent series victory over Sri Lanka, Pakistan will be looking to keep their momentum going when they start the ODI series against Bangladesh in Dhaka. Despite some politics and controversies still dogging Pakistan cricket off the field, they have been more than exemplary in the ODI arena in recent weeks. Meanwhile, Bangladesh will have their work cut out for them as they have not beaten their fellow Asian nation since the 1999 World Cup in England. A two-one home series defeat to the West Indies in October didn't make it any easier to instill some confidence in a young Bangladesh side, who will once again be captained by Mushfiqur Rahim. According to a website, there has also been some major personnel changes in the Bangladeshi side, with vice-captain Mohammad Mahmudullah back in the squad after recovering from illness, while Elias Sunny will also be keen to make his mark after being recalled. Despite being absent from the national side for over three years, all-rounder Farhad Reza has also forced his way back into the squad. There were some standout performances in that series against the West Indies, with former captain Shakib Al Hasan coming to the fore with both bat and ball on occasion, while current captain Rahim was the only player to reach three figures. Never short on bowlers, it will be the batsmen who need to step up for this series, especially in light of the way they failed to come to terms with Pakistan's bowling in the crushing Twenty20 defeat.
DhAKA: Bangladeshi cricket captain mushfiqur rahim (r) talks to Pakistan’s captain misbah-ul-haq (2l). afp Pakistan by contrast are a far more settled unit, with Misbah-ul-Haq continuing to lead the team after the four-one ODI series win over Sri Lanka in the United Arab Emirates. There is a recall to the squad for leftarm seamer Mohammad Khalil, who has been performing amicably on the domestic scene and, having not played for Pakistan since 2005, is delighted at the return - albeit at the expense of the injured Junaid Khan. The only other change is also in the bowling department as Mohammad Talha is given an opportunity in place of Wahab Riaz.
Umar Akmal has been scoring regular runs since his recall to the side and averaged over 50 against Sri Lanka, but the added pressure of possibly handling the wicketkeeping duties could be an extra burden too heavy for a young man still making his mark on international cricket, but there is plenty of batting support in the form of Imran Farhat, Younis Khan, Mohammad Hafeez and Misbah. The bowlers, meanwhile, have been brilliant for Pakistan, with Shahid Afridi and Saeed Ajmal well backed up by Hafeez, who is becoming a more permanent fixture in the bowling order. The trio
shared 29 wickets between them against Sri Lanka and will no doubt be threatening on the Bangladeshi wickets. KEy MEN Bangladesh: A danger with both bat and ball in hand makes Shakib Al Hasan a vital cog in the Bangladesh lineup, especially now that he no longer bears the burden of the captaincy. The left-armer was one of the few Bangladesh players able to hold his head up high after the two-one series defeat to the West Indies earlier this year as he picked up Man of the Match figures of four for 16 in the third ODI and scored 67 not out in the
Confident Kiwis eye rare win over aussies BRISBANE afp
Captain Ross Taylor said Wednesday that New Zealand were confident of winning their first Test in Australia for 26 years against a weakened bowling attack at the Gabba this week. The Black Caps, ranked a lowly eighth and winners of only three of their past 22 Tests, take on Michael Clarke’s Australians in the throes of an injury crisis that has hit their new-ball attack. The Australians have named three pace bowling newcomers with James Pattinson, Ben Cutting and Mitchell Starc in their most inexperienced Test squad since 1985, when the Kiwis last won a Test across the Tasman. Taylor senses that New Zealand, for so often secondbest in the Trans-Tasman Trophy, have their chance to win
only their eighth Test in 51 encounters going back to 1946. “Every time you play against Australia, you don’t need any more motivation with the trans-Tasman rivalry,” Taylor said before Thursday’s first of two Tests. “We want to win every game. I wouldn’t say we’ve got a better chance here. “We’re in a good space at the moment. We’re confident with the way we’ve been playing. We need to do the basics well.” Taylor said he still expected a tough examination from the Australia despite their inexperienced bowling line-up. The Black Caps plastered an Australia A attack featuring Pattinson, Cutting and Starc for 890 runs in two innings in a high-scoring draw, with Jesse Ryder, Brendon McCullum and Taylor hitting centuries. Black Caps coach John Wright believes Australia could finally be vulnerable in Brisbane this week. Australia have not lost at the Gabba since 1988 and the Kiwis have only
won a total of two Tests in Australia, both in 1985, on their way to a series win. “It’s impressive, no doubt about it but we have everything to play for,” said Wright, who played in the triumphant Kiwi team in 1985. “In our changeroom we have some young cricketers who are really looking forward to playing this match. “We are not daunted by that record, we see it as an opportunity. It will be up to us (to break it).” Taylor said he would reveal his starting eleven on match morning but predicted a huge future for young all-rounder Doug Bracewell, who took 487 and scored an unbeaten 73 against Australia A. Asked facetiously at his pre-match press conference if he would be playing a spinner on the Gabba pitch given the secrecy surrounding Australia’s attack, Taylor replied:”It’s pretty hard to drop a guy (Daniel Vettori) who has played 106 Test matches.
Pakistan firm favourites to win one-day series stats corner S. PERVEZ QAISER
AKISTAN led by Misbah-ul-Haq will be the overwhelming favourites to win the three-match one-day series against Bangladesh. The first match of the series will be played at Shere Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur today. This day/night match will start at 12.30 hours (PST). It will be the 27th international match between the two teams and ninth in Bangladesh. Pakistan have a good record against Bangladesh in one day internationals. They have won 25 and lost just one in 26 matches played against Bangladesh. They have perfect record against Bangladesh in Bangladesh. Pakistan have won the all eight matches played against Bangladesh in Bangladesh. Bangladesh’s only victory against Pakistan came in the 1999 World Cup when they beat Pakistan by 62 runs at County Ground, Northampton on May 31, 1999. Pakistan have also won all 16 day/night matches played against Bangladesh.
Pakistan recorded a 139-run win over Bangladesh when two teams met last time in a limited overs international at Dambulla on June 21,2010. Pakistan after winning the toss, made 385 for seven in 50 overs. Bangladesh scored 246 for five in 50 overs to loss the match. Highest innings totals: Pakistan made
385 for seven in 50 overs at Dambulla on June 21, 2010 which is their highest total against Bangladesh. Bangladesh made their highest total against Pakistan at Lahore on April 13, 2008 by scoring 285 for seven in 50 overs. Lowest innings totals: Bangladesh were bowled out for just 87 runs in 34.2
PAKISTAN-BANgLADESh IN ONE-DAyERS AT A gLANcE IN BANGLADESH IN PAKISTAN IN SRI LANKA IN SHARJAH IN ENGLAND TOTAL: DAY/NIGHT MATCHES
PLAyED 8 11 5 1 1 26 16
PAK wON 8 11 5 1 25 16
BANg wON 1 1 -
overs at Dhaka on June 2, 2000 which is their lowest total against Pakistan. Pakistan’s lowest against Bangladesh is 161 in 44.3 overs at Northampton on May 31, 1999. Highest individual scores: Salman Butt’s 136 at Karachi on April 19, 2008 is the highest individual score for Pakistan. Shakib Al Hasan’s 108 at Multan on April 16, 2008 is the highest individual score for Bangladesh. Best bowling performances: The record of best bowling performance on either side is held by Abdur Razzaq. Razzaq took six wickets for 35 runs at Dhaka on January 25, 2002. Tapash Baysia’s four for 56 at Lahore on September 15, 2003 is the best bowling performance for Bangladesh. Biggest margins of victory: Pakistan’s 233 run victory at Dhaka on June 2, 2000 and 10 wickets victory at Karachi on July 4, 2008 are their biggest victories against Bangladesh. Bangladesh’s only victory, 62 runs, against Pakistan came at Northampton on May 31, 1999. Narrowest margins of victory: Pakistan’s 23-run victory at Lahore on April 12, 2008 is their smallest against Bangladesh in instant cricket.
first ODI. Pakistan: Whenever Pakistan play these days, one can expect former captain Shahid Afridi to be at the centre of the action. While his batting has dropped a long way since the days when he first joined the international scene, he is now a threat with the ball on almost any wicket and is up to number seven in the ICC rankings for ODI bowlers. PREDIcTION One would have to go back to the 1999 World Cup to find the last - and only time Bangladesh defeated Pakistan in an ODI, when they won by 62 runs. Since then Pakistan have dominated their opponents by winning the next 19 clashes. With Pakistan coming into the series on the back of a victory over Sri Lanka coupled with the manner in which Bangladesh folded in the Twenty20 in Dhaka on Wednesday, it would be hard to see Pakistan losing this one espite their unpredictable nature. SqUADS Bangladesh: Mushfiqur Rahim (captain), Mohammad Mahmudullah, Abdur Razzak, Alok Kapali, Elias Sunny, Farhad Reza, Imrul Kayes, Naeem Islam, Nasir Hossain, Nazmul Hossain, Rubel Hossain, Shafiul Islam, Shahriar Nafees, Shakib Al Hasan, Tamim Iqbal. Pakistan: Misbah-ul-Haq (captain), Abdul Razzaq, Abdur Rehman, Aizaz Cheema, Asad Shafiq, Imran Farhat, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Khalil, Saeed Ajmal, Sarfraz Ahmed, Shahid Afridi, Shoaib Malik, Sohail Tanvir, Umar Akmal, Umar Gul, Younis Khan, Junaid Khan. FIxTURES December1: First ODI, Dhaka December3: Second ODI, Dhaka December6: Third ODI, Chittagong
Andy awarded coach of the year LONDON agenCIeS
England’s coach Andy Flower has been honoured with the UK Coach of the year award for his exceptional contribution to the national team over the past year. Flower was also named as the UK High Performance Coach of the year at an awards ceremony held in England on Wednesday. The Zimbabwean has been coach of the Poms since 2009 and has made a significant impact until now. Praising the role of England’s coach, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) chairman David Collier said, “Andy has been an outstanding coach to the England cricket team and I am delighted that his dedication, knowledge and all-round leadership skills have been recognised within the wider sporting world.” He further went onto say, “The last twelve months have been momentous ones for England and this is in no small part due to Andy’s personal drive and determination to bring the best out of his players and ensure that our preparation and performance are second to none.” The British team was not consistent in any format of the game before the appointment of Flower. He brought a lot of discipline in the side, which started performing consistently over the past couple of years. Flower’s first achievement as head coach of the Poms was winning the ICC Twenty20 World Cup in 2010. The Mega Event was held in West Indies and defending champions Pakistan were tipped as favourites alongside South Africa and India. However, the English team performed brilliantly throughout the tournament and went onto defeat Australia in the Final convincingly.
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Liverpool, City in League Cup semis LONDON
IVERPOOL piled more pressure on Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas with a 2-0 victory over the spluttering Blues in the League Cup quarter-finals at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday. Villas-Boas has found his position under increasing scrutiny in recent weeks following a poor run that included three defeats in four Premier League matches and Liverpool’s second win at Chelsea in the last nine days will inevitably bring renewed speculation about the young Portuguese coach’s future. “I thought Liverpool were superior all the way through. They had a strong desire to kill the game off and we couldn’t match it,” Villas-Boas said. “We have to be critical of ourselves and shouldn’t accept this result.” Elsewhere, Manchester City moved into the semi-finals with a 1-0 win over Arsenal as Sergio Aguero hit a late winner for the Premier League leaders. “It was a difficult win and Arsenal played very well,” said City manager Roberto Mancini. “It was a great goal and counter attack is the perfect goal. “It’s important we won and we want to try and go to the final.” Chelsea had an early penalty appeal turned down when Sebastian Coates appeared to foul David Luiz, but referee Phil Dowd did point to the spot in the 20th minute when Blues defender Alex handled a Jose Enrique cross. However Andy Carroll’s troubled spell with Liverpool took a turn for the
SSGC victorious, Pak Steel draw GPA LAHORE Staff RepoRt
Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) won their match in the eighth Pakistan Football Federation League (second Division League) while the other match of the day ended in a draw on Wednesday. Sui Southern Gas Company beat Ashraf Sugar Mill by 2-1 at the Korangi Baloch Football Stadium, Karachi. SSGC’s Muhammad Imran and Riaz Ahmed managed to score in the 15th and 45th minute of the game while Wasif Amin scored the goal for the losing team in the 65th minute. Pak Steal and Gowadar Port Authority (GPA) played a threeall draw at the same venue later in the day. Abdul Wahab, Akram and and Fazal scored the goals for Pak Steal. Abdul Wahid, Asif Sarwar and Muhammad Ali scored the goals for Gowadar Port Authority.
Adisseo, Guard rice ease ahead LAHORE Staff RepoRt
Adisseo, Guard Rice and Lahore Chatkhara were the winners of the Seasons Canola Polo Cup on the opening day on Wednesday. Adisseo edged ahead of Security 2000 8 ½-8 in a close encounter of the day. Bilal Haye and Usman Haye were the main figures for the winning team to get five and three goals respectively while the losing side had Bilal Hayat Noon and Shaukat Ali Malik record the similar scoreline. In the second match, Guard Rice defeated Magic River by 8-6 with Ahmed Ali Tiwana and Taimur Ali Malik being the stars of the match. Lahore Chatkhara thrashed Valvoline Engine Oil by 9-5 ½ and Shah Shamyl Alam showed his knick in the game.
lONDON: manchester City’s player Sergio Aguero (l) celebrates scoring his goal. afp worse as his penalty was saved by Ross Turnbull. Florent Malouda went close for Chelsea when his second half effort hit the bar, but Liverpool took the lead through Maxi Rodriguez in the 58th minute. Rodriguez also scored in Liverpool’s 2-1 win at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League nine days ago and the Argentina midfielder couldn’t miss this time after Craig Bellamy set him up for a simple tap-in. Chelsea striker Fernando Torres drew a blank against his old club and it was Liverpool who scored again through
Martin Kelly, the young defender heading in his first senior goal from Bellamy’s free-kick in the 63rd minute. At the Emirates Stadium, Mancini made 10 changes after bemoaning the fixture schedule but it was hardly an under-strength team since it included the likes of former Arsenal stars Samir Nasri and Kolo Toure, as well as Edin Dzeko and Owen Hargreaves. Inevitably Nasri was jeered on his first return to the Emirates since his acrimonious move to City in August, but he had the last laugh as City went through.
City’s understudies dominated possession and they looked even more formidable when Mancini sent on Argentina forward Aguero before half-time. And it was Aguero who got the decisive goal in the 83rd minute as his excellent strike completed a sweeping move involving Dzeko and Adam Johnson. Championship side Cardiff enjoyed a 2-0 win over struggling Blackburn that left under-fire Rovers boss Steve Kean facing a fight to avoid the sack. With Rovers sitting bottom of the Premier League with just one win this season and Blackburn fans calling for his dismissal, Kean could ill afford an embarrassing exit at the Cardiff City Stadium even though the club’s Indian owners have remained publicly supportive. So Kean must have been shifting uncomfortably in his seat when Scotland striker Kenny Miller put Cardiff ahead in the 19th minute with a cool finish after Morten Gamst Pedersen squandered possession in midfield. Kean sent his players out early before the start of the second half. But Anthony Gerrard piled on more misery for the Rovers boss in the 50th minute when he headed home to clinch Cardiff’s first win over a top-flight club in the League Cup since 1986. “We’re disappointed. We’ve got a big game in Wales at the weekend against Swansea so we made a few changes,” Kean said. “We thought that team would be enough but full credit to Cardiff. I felt the second goal was a handball and we were expecting a foul.” Manchester United host Championship club Crystal Palace in the last quarter-final tie on Wednesday.
Sanchez double as Barca beat Rayo BARCELONA afp
An Alexis Sanchez brace helped Barcelona to a 4-0 victory over Rayo Vallecano on Tuesday which reduced Real Madrid’s lead to three points and showed they will not give up their title without a fight. Barca were given a quick chance to respond to their 1-0 away defeat to Getafe at the weekend as this fixture was brought forward due to the Catalan side’s involvement in the Club World Cup next month in Japan, and they ran out resounding victors. While Real have been in ominous form and recorded their 13th consecutive victory by beating local rivals Atletico Madrid at the weekend, Barca have stuttered recently away. At home though they have been as impressive as ever and with their victory over Rayo they have now scored 34 goals without reply at the Camp Nou. Barca coach Pep Guardiola was keener to praise Sanchez’s impact on his return. “Alexis (Sanchez) isn’t a striker but he also can do this job which helps us a lot,” said Guardiola. “He was injured for a while but
BArCElONA: Barcelona’s lionel messi (r) vies with rayo Vallecano’s Alejandro Arribas (l). afp before that he was very useful for us and then coming back he needed a bit of time. I have to congratulate him for his performance here.” Rayo coach Jose Ramon Sandoval was satisfied that his team gave their best. “There was nothing for us to do but show our credentials by going out to win.
Mitchell Johnson faces five months out SYDNEY afp
Paceman Mitchell Johnson is expected to be out of cricket for up to five months if he has to have foot surgery later this week, Cricket Australia said on Wednesday. In a further blow to Australia’s injury-depleted fast bowling stocks, Johnson is being assessed as to whether he will require an operation on his big left toe, injured during this month’s tour to South Africa. If needed, the erratic leftarmer, 30, who has taken 190 wickets in 47 Tests, will undergo surgery within the next 24 hours, CA said. “The specialist advice is that he will require surgery to repair damaged soft tissue structures around his left big toe,” CA said in a statement. “He will travel to Melbourne today
to be further assessed by a surgical team and CA doctor Trefor James. “If they confirm that surgery is required he will be operated on in the next 24 hours.” Australian team physiotherapist Alex Kountouris said if Johnson has surgery it is expected to keep him out of cricket for up to five months. Australian captain Michael Clarke said while it would be disappointing to be without Johnson for the entire Australian summer against New Zealand and India, it offered him to chance to come back stronger. “I think it could have a good impact on him. It will give him more time away from the game to clear his head and get himself fit and strong,” Clarke said. “Injuries I’ve seen in the past with a few of our players with that amount of time off have helped them come back bigger and better.
We have given the Primera Division our style of football and I am more proud than ever of my players,” he said. Barcelona started nervously until Sanchez gave them the lead after 28 minutes and then before the break the Chilean again and David Villa gave them a commanding advantage. Lionel Messi made it 4-0 four minutes into the second half. Andres Iniesta returned to Barca’s starting line-up while Cesc Fabregas, also fit again, was on the bench along with the rested Sergio Busquets. Promoted Rayo lost at home to Valencia on Saturday but they have had a fairly good start to their first topflight campaign since 2002-03. The visitors from Madrid held their own in the opening stages and were unlucky not to take the lead with Lass Bangoura shooting wide from close range in only the third minute. Barcelona were tentative and struggling to find their rhythm, and while Dani Alves had a shot well saved by keeper David Cobeno, at the other end keeper Victor Valdes tipped a free-kick, which had been crossed in by Michel Sanchez, onto the crossbar.
Evans eyes two more tours
Australia’s Cadel Evans says he wants to ride in at least two more Tour de France races before he considers retiring from the event. Evans, 34, last July became Australia’s maiden winner of the world’s premier stage race and the oldest Tour de France winner for 88 years. He said he wanted to continue riding the Tour for as long as he remained competitive. “Two more tours, two more good tours at least,” Evans told reporters in Darwin late Tuesday.He said his team was looking closely at how his body was ageing. “I keep improving and I am not showing signs of ageing in a physical way,” he said. “As long I can be in the Tour to win it and go for the win, I want to keep going.” Evans has ruled out competing at Australia’s Tour Down Under in Adelaide in January as he aims for world and Olympic glory next year as well as defending his coveted yellow jersey. The Olympic men’s road race will be held early August in London while the world championships road race is in Limburg, the Netherlands, in late September.
Sports minister asks Sl to shape up COLOMBO afp
Sri Lanka’s sports minister has told the nation’s cricket team to start talking to each other to help end their losing streak, saying a lack of communication was the main problem in the squad. Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage met the players, selectors and administrators on Tuesday to find a solution ahead of next month’s Test and one-day tour of South Africa.
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Pakistan promise to excel in India LAHORE
HE Pakistan national football team has left for India with a hope of winning not only the match but the heart of the neighbors. Before leaving for India to take part in the SAFF Football Championship, to be held at New Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru Football Stadium from December 2 to 11, Pakistan captain Jaffer Khan pointed out that they are leaving for India to play positive football and win matches and the hearts of the people there. PFF President Makhdoom Syed Faisal Saleh Hayat wished National team the best. “They shall play in an outstanding manner as the peoples of Pakistan are looking for a victory by their young players”, he hoped. He expressed his satisfaction on their training and the ability to play well. “We are going to try to win the championship no matter how tough our matches are,” said Khan, whose side starts on December 2 against Bangladesh, followed by the Maldives on December 4 and Nepal December 6. Defending champions and hosts India are in Group A with Afghanistan, Sri Lanka and Bhutan. The top two teams from each group qualify for the semifinals. India froze all sporting relations with Pakistan
after the 2008 attacks on Mumbai, which New Delhi blamed on militants based across the border in Pakistan. But a recent thaw in the broader relationship has led to hopes of a resumption of full sporting ties between the neighbours and rivals, most notably in cricket. “We are the first team to visit India for a long time and I hope that with our good conduct and play we leave a good impression of Pakistan in India,” said goalkeeper and skipper Khan. Pakistan will play their
Acquittals over Kashmir 1983 cricket pitch sabotage SRINAGAR afp
A court has acquitted 12 men accused by Indian Kashmir authorities of damaging a cricket pitch during a one-day match between India and the West Indies 28 years ago, officials said Wednesday. Police arrested 12 men after part of the pitch was dug up during the lunch break by separatist protesters at the venue in the Indian Kashmir summer capital Srinagar on October 13, 1983. Despite the incident, the West Indies went on to win the game -- the first international cricket match played in Kashmir. The Indian “home side” were booed by local spectators and the West Indians were cheered for every run they scored and every Indian wicket they took. “All of us have been acquitted as the prosecution failed to produce any evidence against us,” said Showket Bakshi, one of the arrested men. All 12 were released on bail in 1984 and some of them, including Bakshi, later joined the armed insurgency against Indian rule that erupted in 1989. Kashmir is held in part by India and Pakistan, and the two nuclear-armed rivals claim the region in its entirety. The 1983 match had angered separatists who argued that holding international matches strengthened New Delhi’s hold over Kashmir, where anti-India sentiment runs deep.
DOHA: A general view of the renovated roof of Aspire Hall in Doha’s Sports City complex. The gulf emirate, future host of the 2022 FIFA World Cup and past playground of several Arab and Asian Games, is reaching for the moon as it eyes the 2020 Olympics despite seemingly insurmountable climate challenges. afp
first tournament under new Serbian coach Zavisa Milosavljevich, who was hired last month. The team: Jaffar Khan (GK, Captain), Adnan Farooq Ahmed (MW, Vice Captain), Samar Ishaq (DF, Vice Captain), Saquib Hanif (GK), Muzamil Hussain (GK), Kamran Khan (DF), Muhammad Rizwan Asif (DF), Muhammad Ahmed (DF), Naveed Ahmed (DF), Manzoor Ahmed (DF), Alamgir Khan (DF), Faisal Iqbal (MF), Ansar Abbas (MF), Saddam Hussain (MF), Kaleem Ullah (MF), Muhammad Adil (MF), Muhammad Ikram (MF), Atif Bashir Qureshi (MF), Jadeed Khan Pathan (FW) Shakir Lashari (FW) Husnain Abbas (FW) and Junaid Qadir (FW). The officials of the National team are Zavisha Milosavljevich (Coach/Manager), Syed Nasir Ismail (Assistant Coach), Gohar Zaman (Assistant Coach/Assistant Manager), Muhammad Aslam Khan (Goalkeeper Coach) and Dr Kamran Mehdi (Physio/Media Manager) Pakistan has been placed in Group B with the Bangladesh, Maldives and Nepal. All the matches of the group will be conducted at the Jawaharlal Nehru Football Stadium New Delhi. Pakistan will open their mission on December 2 with the match against Bangladesh, followed by their games against Maldives on November 4 and against Nepal on December 6.
Aqeel reaches hai tennis final KARACHI Staff RepoRt
Aqeel Khan has moved to the final while Yasir Khan will be playing M Abid Mushtaq in the semifinals of the SSB Saeed Hai National Tennis Championship being played at the Karachi Gymkhana. In the quarterfinals, Aqeel Khan bt Irfanullah 6-2, 6-1, Nomi Qamar bt Imran Shaukat 6-2, 6-2, M Abid Mushtaq bt Khalid Ali Nazar 6-7, 6-3, Yasir Khan bt Usman Rafiq 6-3, 6-4. Later in the first singles semifinals, Aqeel Khan beat Nomi Qamar 60, 6-4. In the Ladies single quarterfinals, Mehak Khokher bt Hajra Nadeem 6-1, 6-0, Hania Naveed bt Wania 6-1, 6-1, Maheen Dada bt Neha Khan 6-0, 6-0. In Juniors–18 semifinals, Talha Zubair bt M Mudassir 6-2, 7-5 and in the Under-14 semifinals, Mazhar bt Dawar Rehan 6-4, 6-4.
Bowlers rule QT ninth round opening day LAHORE Staff RepoRt
The ninth round of the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy resumed on Wednesday with ZTBL scoring 178 runs at the Gaddafi Stadium while Lahore Ravi managed 180 at the LCCA ground. In reply to ZTBL’s first innings total of 178, PIA managed 38 runs for one at the close of play. Similarly, Lahore Ravi wilted against KRL that scored 38 runs after they bowled out hosts in 64.2 overs. Meanwhile, Peshawar Region and SNGPL will play the division II final
on December 8-12 at Arbab Niaz Stadium Peshawar. Umpires for the match will be Zameer Haider and Ahsan Raza, Referee Ishtiaq Ahmed, Scorer Nadeem Akhtar. Both the finalists’ teams will be promoted to Quaid-e-Azam Trophy Division-I for the next season 201213. The prize distribution ceremony will be held after the conclusion of the final. The winners will be awarded Rs.500,000 with the runners-up getting Rs 250,000 while the man of the final match gets Rs 50,000. While the best batsman, bowler and best wicketkeeper will also be
given Rs 50,000 each.
At Gaddafi Stadium, lahore. ztBl 178 in 62 overs (Imran Nazir 36, zulqarnain haider 43, Junaid zia 65, Anwar Ali 3-35, zia-ul-haq 3-31, Akhtar waheed 2-69) v PIA 38-1 in 14 overs toss: PIA; Umpires: Saleem Badar and Ihtshamul-haq, referee: Azizur rehman, Scorer: Najamus Saeed At lCCA Ground, lahore. lahore ravi 180 in 64.2 overs (muhammad Irfan 41, Asif Ashfaq 41, mohammad zohaib 27, yasir Ali 4-40, Azhar Ali 231) v Krl 38-0 in 12.2 overs toss: Krl; Umpires: Akbar Khan & Kamal marchant; referee: Khalid Niazi; Scorer: Abdul hameed.
Skipper Misbah-ul-Haq: A blessing in disguise
KIPPER Misbah-ul-Haq is fast turning into one of the most successful captains in the history of the country’s cricket by not only leading his side victoriously, but also playing a pivotal role in assuring a consistent performance from his side. Haq, who faced grave criticism from all quarters when he was named as Shahid Afridi’s replacement in the month of May this year has proved his worth and has certainly been successful in silencing those who did not have faith in him and were of the view that the 37-year-old middle-order batsman was of no good to the team. However, with his current form and leadership, there is no reason why the PCB should look for a new skipper or think of reinstating former captain Shahid Afridi who has many supporters in the country. While Afridi is another vital member of the current Pakistan team, there is no reason to disturb
the balance of power in the national team at least not when it is on a winning track. A change in captaincy will most likely cause problems within the team and management and after suffering a horrible year, this is the last thing that should be on the mind of the people running Pakistan cricket. Misbah, according to a website, can no longer be labelled as a Test players because he has proved his leadership skills in all the three formats of the modern-day cricket
which has exhibited his class and composure. He may not be a hard-hitter like many other batsmen, he nonetheless, can hold his own when it comes to steering the team to win. While Afridi crafted a formidable Pakistan team from the Ashes of spot-fixing where they lost three main players, it is now Misbah who is fine tuning the raw side into a winning outfit. Misbah has certainly come a long way and while some may disapprove of his mild-mannered approach, he certainly is doing a great job for Pakistan cricket and is without a doubt a blessing in disguise of a team which was and probably still is in ruins. Pakistan have been marred by controversies because of the spot-fixing debacle, and with the current depleted law and order situation of the country, international teams are not willing to play Pakistan in their home series which has forced the Men in Green to play home tournament in a neutral country.
There is no telling when Pakistan will finally be able to play foreign teams on its own soil, which means the national team needs a steady head as the captain who can inject the passion of victory in the young blood. The youngsters seem to respond to Misbah well, and this is exactly what the PCB requires as they need someone to nurture the young guns and lead the pros in order to establish harmony in the national team, since Pakistan cricket has a history of infighting in the past which has proved fatal for their performance. Currently Pakistan team is a superb blend of youth and experience and this is actually helping the team secure wins. Nonetheless, Pakistan’s real test come against teams like England, SA and Australia and if Misbah manages to lead his side to win against these teams he will surely immortalize his name in Pakistan cricket for all times to come. Staff RepoRt
wAPDA to face NBP in Gold Cup hockey final LAHORE Staff RepoRt
WAPDA and NBP have moved to the final of the All Pakistan NBP Gold Cup after beating their rivals in the semifinals on Wednesday at the Faisalabad Hockey Stadium. The final of the event will be played today at 02:00pm and Commissioner Faisalabad Saeed Tahir Hussain will be the chief guest of the prize distribution ceremony. In the first semifinal, WAPDA beat PIA by 2-1 with all the action coming in the second half. The first half remained goalless and all the three goals came in the second session. WAPDA’s captain Rehan Butt converted both the goals while PIA brought the reducer through Mukhtar. In the second semifinal, NBP routed Army by 5-2. Both the teams remained locked one-all at the full time and even the extra time also did not yield any goal. That led them to penalty shoot out and NBP was successful in completing the win. Qaiser Iqbal International and Olympian Danish Kaleem were the chief guests on the occasion, Organising Secretary Olympian Rana Mujahid Ali, Tournament Director Olympian Khalid Bashir, DHA Faisalabad President Haji Rana Muhammad Mazhar Khan, Olympian Malik Shafqat, Olympian Anjum Saeed, International Shahid Hussain, International Shahzad Chishti, Mr Ghulam Muhammad Khan Advisor to Sports National Bank and officials of DHA were present.
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Olympics bid lOgO unveiled TOKYO afp
Tokyo on Wednesday became the first of the six cities bidding for the 2020 Olympics to unveil its campaign logo -- a garland of cherry blossoms, Japan’s most celebrated flower. The bidding team for Tokyo, which hosted Asia’s first Olympics in the summer of 1964 but lost out to Rio de Janeiro in the bid for the 2016 edition, said that the garland symbolises a move to “come full circle”. Tokyo governor Shintaro Ishihara has declared the bid would be a “big catalyst” for reconstruction and revival after a massive earthquake and tsunami in March left 20,000 people dead or missing and sparked a nuclear emergency. “A garland symbolises a move to ‘come back again,’” Ai Shimamine, a 22-year-old Tokyo art student who designed the logo, said at a ceremony unveiling the colourful artwork. “I want Japan to restore its vitality and I hope the Olympics and Paralympics would give a momentum to the effort,” she said. Apart from Tokyo, Baku, Doha, Istanbul, Madrid and Rome have formally applied to host the 2020 Summer Games. The International Olympic Committee will vote on the host city in Sept 2013.
Qatar eyes 2020 Olympics DOHA afp
Qatar, future host of the 2022 FIFA World Cup and past playground of several Arab and Asian games, is reaching for the moon as it eyes the 2020 Olympics despite seemingly insurmountable climate challenges. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has already sent a positive signal to Doha by extending the period during which the games traditionally take place. For super-rich Qatar, the Olympics would take place in September and October instead of in between July 15 and August 31, when temperatures in the Gulf nation reach more than 50 degrees Celsius (122 Fahrenheit). The decision is rich in political symbols. It shows the IOC is no longer giving preferential treatment to countries in the northern hemisphere that bask in temperate climates. Qatar has followed the flow and plans to stage the 2020 showpiece games between September 20 and October 20. The Gulf nation has already shown it is capable of hosting major games. In 2006 the Asian Games involving more than 8,600 athletes from 45 countries were staged in Qatar, where 30 international events are also held each year. In Qatar, potential Olympic venues can be easily identified. The capital, Doha, has the impressive Aspire Zone, a true hightech Olympic complex with several sporting areas modelled on the ones in Munich and Beijing, in addition to the World Cup stadiums that are being built. There is also an infinite number of desert locations, and many facilities can be built as long as the funds are made available -- in energy-rich Qatar, money is not an issue. Qatar has already said that the 2022 World Cup will be played in specially-created, air-conditioned stadiums. “Everything is possible here. We can
examine, rebuild or re-programme anything in a few months,” said an official. Following the success of the Asian Games, Doha kicked off an official bid to host the 2016 Summer Olympics in October 2007, but it was eliminated from consideration in June 2008. Doha learnt a lesson from its failure to clinch the 2016 summer Olympics that went to Brazil and Rio de Janeiro. It was a slap in the face because Qatar’s candidature was not even in the running. Although it is a very warm and small country -- a bit larger than Corsica, with 1.7 million inhabitants -- Qatar holds a key point in its favour. It is one of the rare countries in the world not to be facing any financial crisis -- a key element
for the IOC and FIFA, who must step in to fill the void should games organisers default. “Our goal is to have great games, to offer new opportunities to the Olumpics,” said Qatar Olympic Committee (QOC) president Prince Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani. Doha, too, wants “to leave behind a legacy, not just for Qatar but for the entire Middle East, a region which is home to 450 million people under the age of 30,” he added. Qatar, meanwhile, keeps its fingers crossed and officials say ‘Inshallah’ (God willing) their country will host the Olympics one day. An expert on IOC issues agrees. “Qatar will host the Olympics soon,” he said. “2020, 2024, 2028. It will happen for sure.”
sport in oil-rich Qatar – a ruling family affair DOhA: Qatar’s booming sports industry is run by a handful of men and women from the Gulf state’s ruling Al-Thani family, the success of which is fuelled by money and an eye for recruiting foreign talent. The crown prince and son of the current Emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, is the driving force behind the transformation of the sandy and barren country with a population of just over 1.7 million into a world-class hub for major sports events. Appointed in 2001 to head Qatar’s Olympic Committee (QOC), Al-Thani is also a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and holds the top position on several sports committees and federations in Qatar. The 31-year-old is chairman of the organising committee of the 2022 World Cup, the head of the 2020 Olympic Games bid committee, and founder and director of Qatar Sports Investment (QSI), a company created to finance investment in sports in Qatar and abroad, which last summer became majority shareholder in French club Paris Saint-Germain. AlThani’s older brother, Jassim, is one of his closest advisors. His mother, Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, heads the Qatar Foundation, which became the first ever kit sponsor of FC Barcelona and recently won a five-and-a-half year shirt sponsorship deal worth 171 million euros ($227m), touted as the largest in football history. Al-Thani is known for choosing western-educated and multilingual managers to lead the various sports entities he presides over, including Hassan Al-Thawadi, Secretary General of the Supreme Committee of Qatar 2022, businesswoman Noora Al Mannai, CEO of Qatar’s 2020 Olympic bid committee, and Sheikh Saoud Bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, QOC Secretary General. To head QSI, Al-Thani chose National Tennis Federation president and Al-Jazeera’s sport chief Nasser Al-Khelaifi, who has subsequently become president of PSG. afp
Argentina eye Davis Cup revenge against Spain MADRID agenCIeS
The last time Argentina met Spain in the Davis Cup, in the 2008 final in Mar del Plata, the South Americans were firm favourites to claim their first title but their challenge was wrecked by infighting within the team. The Spanish, without talisman Rafael Nadal, pulled off a dramatic victory on the indoor hard court for a third triumph in nine years, Fernando Verdasco battling from two sets to one down to beat Jose Acasuso and secure an unassailable 3-1 lead. With clay king Nadal leading the charge and the 2011 final to be played on the red dust indoors in Seville, the boot is very much on the other foot and anything other than a Spanish victory -- giving them a third title in four years and fifth overall -would be a major surprise. Argentina, who have Juan Monaco, Juan Ignacio Chela and Eduardo Schwank alongside Juan Martin Del Potro and David Nalbandian in the squad for the Dec. 2-4 tie, say the personality clashes that ruined their 2008 bid are firmly behind them. “That’s in the past, completely in the past,” Del Potro, the 2009 US Open champion, told a news conference on Tuesday. “After that (2008) final, we grew up, I’ve improved my game a lot and now we have another chance,” added the rangy 23-yearold, Argentina’s top-ranked player at world number 11.
“Here it’s different players, different surface, different stadium and this time Spain is the favourite. “It’s going to be different than Mar del Plata, if we are in good shape and remain focused.” Verdasco said he knew the Argentines were hurt by the defeat three years ago. “They were at home and favourites and it’s clear they want to pay us back,” he said. “But we are preparing as if we have never won it before.” Argentina’s players have been working hard on clay and are hoping the fact that neither Del Potro nor Nalbandian have played a competitive match since October will give them a freshness the Spanish may lack. Nadal and Ferrer competed on a hard court at last week’s World Tour Finals in London, with Ferrer reaching the last four, and have had less than a week to make the switch to their favoured clay. However, getting the better of either world number two Nadal or number five Ferrer will be a tall order for the visitors as neither player has lost a Davis Cup singles rubber on the surface. Nadal boasts a 14-0 clay record and 18-1 overall, while Ferrer is 11-0 on clay and 16-4 on all surfaces. Spain have won their last 20 home Davis Cup ties and their last 22 on clay. “I’m sure it’s an open match in some ways but I think Spain are really the overwhelming favourite,” world number three Roger Federer told the Davis Cup website this week.
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mohmand attack was unintentional, says Pentagon MONITORING DESK The Pentagon said on Wednesday that investigation of the NATO/ISAF attack in Mohmand Agency was underway and it would be too early to reach any conclusion at the moment, insisting that the “tragedy” on the Salala checkpost was not intentional and should not be construed as so. A statement issued by the Pentagon said the US military did not agree with Pakistan’s stance on the attack and said no one currently knew how or why the incident took place, Geo News reported. The statement said coming to a conclusion without due investigation would be wrong. The Pentagon said the US wanted a strong and strategic partnership with Pakistan and cooperating with Washington would benefit Islamabad. During a press briefing in Washington earlier, Pentagon Spokesman John Kirby and Press Secretary George Little said a thorough investigation of the Mohmand Agency attack was taking place and information and statements were being recorded. The spokesman said Pakistan and Afghanistan had been requested to take part in the investigation. The spokesman said further that Pakistan should attend the Bonn Conference and that the US understood Islamabad’s sensitivity about the incident. Replying to a question, the spokesman said the suspension of NATO supplies through Pakistan would not affect the ongoing operation in Afghanistan as a huge stock of required items was available.
Govt jacks up fuel prices ISLAMABAD Staff RepoRt
The government on Wednesday notified an increase in petroleum prices, raising petrol price by Rs 0.48 per litre to make it Rs 87.89 per litre, light diesel oil (LDO) by Rs 4.79 to Rs 86.78 per litre and high speed diesel by Rs 4.67 to Rs 98.82 per litre with effect from December 1 (today). The notified increase in the price of rich man’s vehicle fuel, High Octane Blending Component (HOBC), was only Rs 0.06 to make it Rs 106.78 per litre, while the price of kerosene oil has been increased by Rs 3.48 to Rs 89.24. The government is also likely to increase electricity prices by four percent in December. The increase will be made to reduce the power tariff differential subsidy to zero during the current fiscal year. Officials said the revision in prices had been made by the government due to the changes in international POL prices and exchange rate. It also helped the government to increase petroleum levy to mitigate its budgetary constraint. The levy in case of petrol has been increased from Rs 9.52 to Rs 9.94 per litre, HOBC from Rs 6.13 to Rs 7.62 per litre and HSD from Rs 4.44 per litre to Rs 5.09 per litre. The budgetary target for the levy on petrol was Rs 10 per litre, HOBC Rs 14 per litre and HSD Rs 8 per litre. Experts say the increase in diesel prices would have negative impact on the agriculture sector, as the fuel is mostly used in the agricultural machinery. The annual demand of petroleum products in the country is about 20 million tonnes, 400,000 barrels per day, of which only 15 percent is met through local resources.
Apologies won’t change Pakistan’s stance: Hina g
Foreign minister says ‘enough is enough… govt will get Shamsi airbase vacated, Pakistan won’t attend Bonn moot’ ISLAMABAD
ESOLVING that Pakistan would not bow before US pressure, Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar on Wednesday told the Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs that the government’s decision of getting the Shamsi Airbase vacated from the US and not attending the Bonn Conference was final. Briefing the committee on “memogate”, Hina said the Foreign Office had no record with reference to the alleged letter of Mansoor Ijaz. “The government wrote no letter to any US general… this memo was fabricated and such concocted stories have been published in past against Pakistan,” she observed. Commenting on NATO strikes, Hina said, “Enough is enough … the government will not tolerate any incident of spilling of even a single drop of blood of any civilian or soldier.” She said the motive behind the recent reaction of Pakistan on Mohmand incident was to ensure national security and sovereignty. Khar said a notice had been sent to the US in connection with vacation of the Shamsi Airbase. “Red lines were violated repeatedly,” she stated. “We will not stay silent over the situation anymore … if ISAF will not guarantee the sovereignty of Pakistan, Pakistan reserves the right to take any decision for national interests,” she remarked, adding that Pakistan would not bow before US pressure. Hina said Pakistan had been playing a responsible role for peace in the region.
MOHMAND: A photograph taken on November 26 shows smoke rising after a cross-border NATO air strike on Pakistani border posts on a mountain in the Mohmand tribal district. afp
“The sacrifices rendered by Pakistan in the war on terror were more than any other country’s … NATO supply line has been suspended in the light of parliament’s resolution,” she said. The minister said only extending an apology would not work, as not only soldiers were martyred in the incident, but Pakistan’s sovereignty was also attacked. The minister said the government was also reviewing its relations with the US and coalition forces. “We are a sovereign state and we will not allow our sovereignty to be tainted. Pakistan’s role in
‘No confrontation with SC’ g
Pm says govt will implement all decisions according to constitution and law ISLAMABAD agenCIeS
Rejecting the notion of any confrontation between the government and Supreme Court over the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) issue, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani categorically stated on Wednesday that all verdicts of the apex court would be implemented in letter and spirit in line with the constitution and law. “There is no confrontation with the Supreme Court. Was it not our right to go for a review in the NRO decision? The Supreme Court rejected the review petition, it was their right,” Gilani said in an interview with a private television channel aired on Wednesday. The prime minister said even before going for the review of NRO verdict, the government was implementing the court’s earlier decision under which a number of people and senior government officials, including the interior minister, faced court trials - a fact also appreciated by the chief justice. To a question about the case against the government’s policy of Rental Power Projects (RPPs) being
pursued by Federal Minister Faisal Saleh Hayat in the Supreme Court, the prime minister said Hayat had approached the court on this issue when he was in the opposition, but it was magnanimous of him to pursue it still while he was a federal minister. About economic challenges, the prime minister said the government had inherited a poor economy but had striven to steer it out of the woods de-
government take up the issue of NATO attack with the United Nations and parliament be taken into confidence over the matter. The committee also directed the Foreign Ministry to bring Pakistan’s term of engagement with the US in writing and must not strike deals with the US verbally ever again. Committee Chairman Senator Salim Saifullah Khan said Pakistan should not lose this opportunity to inform the world of its viewpoint. He said Pakistan had a bad track record regarding investigation commissions in the past.
the war on terror cannot be overlooked,” she added. Hina was of the view that Mansoor Ejaz had targeted the Pakistan Army and ISI and Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani had sanctioned an inquiry into the “memogate” issue by Parliamentary Committee for National Security. She said the prime minister had decided to remove Hussain Haqqani from his office, as several questions were raised in respect of him. She said the reports about the overthrowing of democratic government were baseless. The committee recommended the
spite the challenges of global recession, war or terror and floods. Later, chairing a meeting on the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP)’s 44th Foundation Day at Sindh Chief Minister’s House, Gilani said since he was the head of the Nuclear Command Authority, he was looking after the matter himself and as chief executive would ensure that the issue was properly dealt with. He said further that the government would wait for the investigation of the Parliamentary Committee on National Security into the memogate scandal to finish and expressed his commitment to the sovereignty of Pakistan. He congratulated the workers and well-wishers of the PPP on the party’s Foundation Day and praised their struggle. “We must all remain united and will not allow enemies of Pakistan to take advantage of our political differences. The people opposing the PPP must realise that the country comes first and not their opposition against the party or government,” said Gilani. The NATO attack was a tragedy and the government had strongly protested against it, he added. “We cannot allow our people to feel insecure and no one can take us for granted.”
NAtO says Pakistan has resumed some cooperation MONITORING DESK Amid reports that Pakistan and NATO forces had exchanged artillery fire across the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, the New York Times said on Wednesday that Pakistan had resumed some cooperation with US-led forces in Afghanistan following Saturday’s NATO attack by working with the coalition to prevent the cross-border artillery fire incident from escalating. NATO said Islamabad communicated with the alliance to prevent the exchange of artillery fire late on Tuesday from turning into another full-blown international incident. German Brigadier General Carsten Jacobson, a NATO spokesman in Kabul, expressed hope that Pakistan’s cooperation in resolving the incident in eastern Afghanistan’s Paktia province signalled the two sides could recover from the recent tragedy. “We are continuing operations and it is of great importance that the incidents of Saturday, as tragic as they were, do not disrupt our capability to operate in the border area and cooperate with the Pakistani side,” Jacobson was quoted as saying. However, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) denied the reports as “concocted”, stating that no such incident had taken place at the border.
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