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rs 22.00 Vol ii No 220 22 Pages islamabad — Peshawar edition
sunday, 5 February, 2012 rabi-ul-awal 12, 1433
Assad ‘massacres’ over 200 as FC personnel gun Russia, China veto his ouster down two, injure
four in Sibi protest Domki tribesmen were protesting against the murder of Bugti’s kin when they were shot at
QUETTA ShAhzAdA zULFiqAR
NEW YORK: Portugal’s Ambassador to the UN, Jose Filipe Moraes Cabral (L), Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin (C) and South Africa’s Ambassador Baso Sangqu vote on a resolution on Syria in the United Nations Security Council on Saturday. afp g
Russia, China refuse to allow passage of arab, Western-backed UNSC resolution calling for Syrian president Bashar al-assad to step down UNITED NATIONS
USSIA and China on Saturday vetoed an Arab-and Westernbacked resolution, also supported by Pakistan, at the UN Security Council calling for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down over his bloody crackdown on a popular uprising, as Syrian forces bombarded the protest city of Homs, killing more than 200 civilians in a “horrific massacre”. The Syrian government denied involvement in the early morning assault, blaming groups trying to incite unrest ahead of Saturday’s UNSC vote, as television images showed bodies and buildings destroyed in a city turned into a war zone. Opposition groups put the death toll at between 217 and at least 260; if confirmed, the violence would be the deadliest in the 10-month uprising against the regime of Assad.
“Assad’s forces randomly bombed residential areas in Homs, including Khaldiyeh and Qusur, which resulted in at least 260 civilians killed and hundreds of wounded, including men, women, and children,” said the Syrian National Council. Al-Jazeera said witnesses spoke of nail bombs raining down and incessant shelling, while one resident reported “non-stop bombardment... by tank shells and mortar bombs.” Shortly before the Security Council voted, US President Barack Obama denounced the “unspeakable assault” on Homs, demanding Assad leave power immediately and called for UN action against Assad’s “relentless brutality”. Obama said in a statement that “any government that brutalises and massacres its people does not deserve to govern”. He and other Western and Arab leaders put unprecedented pressure on Assad’s veto-wielding ally Russia to allow the Security Council to pass a resolution backing an
Arab League call for Assad to transfer powers to a deputy. Apart from Russia and China, the other 13 Security Council members voted in favor of the resolution, which would have said that the council “fully supports” the Arab League plan. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Saturday it had not been possible to work constructively with Russia ahead of the vote, even though military intervention in Syria - fiercely opposed by Moscow - had been absolutely ruled out. After what US officials called “vigorous” talks between Clinton and Lavrov, Moscow announced that its foreign minister would fly to Syria in three days to meet Assad. Mohammed Loulichki, the UN ambassador of Morocco, the sole Arab member of the 15-nation council, voiced his “great regret and disappointment” that Moscow and Beijing joined forces to strike down the resolution. coNtiNued oN Page 04
Two people were killed and four others, including a TV channel cameraman, received bullet injuries when security forces opened fire on locals protesting the killing of Baloch women in Karachi in the Bakhtiarabad area of Sibi district on Saturday. The Balochistan chief minister ordered a judicial inquiry into the killing of two civilians and four others at the hand of Frontier Corps Balochistan personnel. Per reports, around 300 locals, mostly from the Domki tribe, blocked the National Highway near Bakhtiarabad in Sibi in response to a wheel jam strike called by the Baloch Republican Party (BRP). Meanwhile, a Sibi-bound convoy of Frontier Corps Balochistan coming from Dera Murad Jamali was stopped by the demonstrators. The FC personnel asked the protesters to let them pass but the demonstrators started chanting slogans instead, condemning the killing of the granddaughter of the late Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti. After an exchange of harsh words between FC personnel and the protesters, the security personnel opened fire on the people, killing two people instantly while four others were injured. A report said that the Frontier Corps personnel were insisting for opening the road for vehicular traffic, but when the protesters refused, they resorted to firing. The protesters claimed that it was direct firing that caused the death of two civilians and injuries, however, a Frontier Corps official in Quetta said the personnel opened fire in the air to disperse the crowd, which was getting violent.
The deceased were identified as Bando Khan Domki and Miandad Khan Domki, while two of the injured were identified as Ahmad Khan Domki and Afzal Ahmad, a cameraman of a private TV channel. Meanwhile, Balochistan Chief Minister Nawab Mohammad Aslam Raisani took a serious notice of the killing and ordered a judicial commission for probing into the incident. A late-night government handout said the chief minister ordered the constitution of a judicial commission under the chairmanship of a high court judge with a district and sessions judge as a member for ascertaining the facts. BLA reLeAses photogrAphs of 3 fC personneL in their Custody: Meanwhile, the banned Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) has released the photographs of three personnel of Frontier Corps Balochistan and weapons and ammunition along with communication equipments, claiming that the personnel were captured by the BLA after killing 35 FC men and injuring scores of others in the February 1 gun battle in Margut area. However, FC officials confirmed the report, saying these three personnel were abducted by terrorists after the Margut attack. Meerak Baloch, the spokesman for the BLA on Saturday sent to the newspapers offices three photographs showing three handcuffed FC personnel along with weapons, ammunition and communication gadgets. A spokesman for the FC confirmed the report, saying during the clashes between the FC and the terrorists in Margut on February 1, three of their soldiers went missing who were later known to have been kidnapped by the terrorists of the banned organisation.
ppp’s allies looking to gain more than due share ISLAMABAD MiAN ABRAR
With the Senate elections approaching, allied parties of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) are putting pressure on their major coalition partner by making unrealistic demands for seats beyond their original power in provincial assemblies, as the ruling party scrambles to ensure a seat adjustment formula to avoid the formal procedure of Senate polls. A source in the PPP told Pakistan Today that the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) was demanding 10 seats in the Senate, which was an extremely optimistic claim. “The PML-Q has sought five seats from Balochistan, two from Punjab, and one each from the federal capital, Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP). This is something unrealistic, although talks are underway and Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani would secure a deal with PML-Q chief Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain soon,” the source said.
He said demanding two seats from Punjab was an unrealistic demand, as the PPP was already in the tight spot to accommodate its own party workers from Punjab, which was a very important province for the party. The PPP-PMLQ coalition is likely to win four Senate seats, while the PML-N, the majority party in the province, would bag seven. In Balochistan Assembly, the PML-Q is the major party with around 17 members and is likely to win five seats, while the PPP might win four. In Balochistan, any candidate would need support of nine votes to get elected as a senator in the upcoming polls. In the House of 65, the PML-Q is the majority party with 18 members, but the party has been in tatters and Shujaat has no control over his party MPAs. The PPP is the second largest party with 13 MPAs. However, a PML-Q source said that Shujaat may sacrifice his party’s share in favour of the PPP if his party is given two seats in Punjab and one in the federal capital.
“If given a green signal for a federal capital seat by the ruling coalition, the party’s Secretary General Mushahid Hussain Sayed would be fielded there. But if not, he would be adjusted in Punjab while the party’s Secretary Information Kamil Ali Agha would also be fielded from Punjab,” the source said. When contacted, Senator Kamil Ali Agha said his party wanted a major share in the Senate polls as it was the only major political outfit other than the PPP that had presence in all four provincial assemblies as well as in Gilgit-Baltistan. The Awami National Party (ANP), another key ally, is seeking at least eight seats, including seven seats from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and one from Balochistan, where it has no member in the provincial assembly. “We are sure of winning six seats from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and can even win another one on technocrat or woman seat, while we are claiming one seat from Balochistan,” said senior ANP leader Haji Mohammed Adeel. In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa As-
sembly, any candidate would at least need 18 votes to get elected on a general seat. Since the Awami National Party (ANP) is the largest political force with 49 members, the ruling party would most likely win three seats with the support from the PPP, while the latter, who has strength of 30 MPAs, may win one or two seats if the PML-Q’s six MPAs support the coalition partner. However, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) is perhaps the only ally for the PPP who has demanded three seats in the Upper House of parliament purely based on its strength. “We have demanded only three seats which we perceive is our right. We would contest for two general seats and one member on the technocrat or woman seat,” said a main MQM leader requesting anonymity. He said MQM’s talks with the PPP in this regard were almost at the final stage. coNtiNued oN Page 04
PML-N keePiNg cards cLose to chest | Page 02
The offices of Pakistan Today will remain closed on Sunday (today) on account of Eid-e-Milad-un-Nabi, therefore there will be no publication tomorrow (Monday). Eid-e-Milad-un-Nabi special edition on Pages 14 & 15
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02 News Today’s
Sunday, 5 February 2012
hospitals’ staff ends month-long strike
taliban deny Mullah Omer wrote to White house
third day of Egypt clashes as death toll mounts
Story on Page 09
Story on Page 06
Story on Page 17
‘Remove Kashmiri reservations before granting MFN status to India’ isLAMABAd: Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl chief and chairman of the special parliamentary committee on Kashmir, Maulana Fazlur Rehman, on Saturday said the government should remove the reservations of Kashmiri leaders before granting the MFN status to India. Talking to reporters after chairing Kashmir committee meeting, Fazl said the Kashmiri leadership had serious reservation over Pakistan’s plans of granting MFN status to India for trade. He said the committee had recommended convening a joint sitting of the ministries of foreign affairs, commerce and Kashmiri leadership on the pending MFN issue. AJK leadership and Hurriyat Conference leaders also should also attended the meeting, he said. The JUI-F chief called the government’s decision of granting MFN status to India and Afghan Transit Trade Agreement as its failure. Fazl said Pakistan’s support for the right to self-determination of Kashmiris would be continued. He said he would ask the foreign and commerce ministries to hold meetings with Kashmiri leaders on granting the MFN status to India. Fazl said Pakistan condemned the arrest of Kashmiri activist Ghulam Nabi Fai who was kept in prison due to his support for Kashmir. StAFF REPORt
Saudi government sued over female driving ban riyAdh: Two Saudi female activists have filed law suits against the government for refusing to issue them driver’s licences and banning them from driving a car, they said on Saturday. Manal al-Sherif, the icon of an Internet campaign launched last year urging Saudi women to defy a ban on driving, and human rights activist Samar Badawi filed their suits against the interior ministry. Sherif, who was arrested in May 2011 and detained for 10 days after posting on YouTube a video of herself driving, said she decided to file the lawsuit after having been denied a driver’s licence. “There is no actual law that states woman can’t drive” in Saudi Arabia and therefore “no justification for preventing them from issuing a licence,” said Sherif, one of the activists behind a “My Right, My Dignity” campaign aimed at ending discrimination against women in Saudi Arabia. Badawi said the grievance board at the interior ministry had informed her to “follow-up in a week” to confirm a court appointment for her lawsuit. Ultra-conservative Saudi Arabia is the only country where women are not allowed to drive. However, they sit behind the wheel in desert regions away from the capital. Women in the kingdom who have the financial means hire drivers while others must depend on the goodwill of male relatives. They also have to be veiled in public and cannot travel unless accompanied by their husbands or a close male relative. AFP
2 police constables killed in Naseerabad landmine explosion QuettA: Two police constables were killed and a passerby was injured in a landmine explosion in Naseerabad district on Saturday while three rockets were fired in Quetta The banned Baloch Republican Army claimed the responsibility. Naseerabad District Police Officer Abdul Hayee Baloch said two policemen identified as Hamid and Gulsher were on patrol duty on a motorcycle in Manjoti area, around 20 kilometres from Dera Murad Jamali when their bike hit a landmine, causing a huge blast. As a result, both policemen were killed and their motorcycle was blown into pieces. A passerby identified as Muhammad Ali received injuries. The injured and dead were moved to a nearby hospital. Police rushed to the site after the blast and cordoned off the area. Meanwhile, unidentified men fired three rockets on the night between Friday and Saturday on the direction of cantonment in Quetta. However, all projectiles landed in the open and exploded without causing any damage. Police said the rockets were fired from undisclosed locations which were landed in Killi Nichari, Spinny Road and Kill Arbab with explosions one after the other. ShAhzAdA zULFiqAR
QUETTA: Youngsters busy training for boating at Hanna Jheel. ONLINE
pML-N keeping Senate cards close to chest g g
PML-N showing no haste after SC moved to stall Senate elections Party decides it will announce candidates at eleventh hour LAHORE YASiR hABiB
As the Supreme Court was moved to stall the upcoming Senate elections on March 2, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has planned to keep its cards close to the chest regarding alliances with the PML-Quaid dissidents, including the likeminded, to reap maximum benefits. Owing to such ruse to deal with the Senate polls, the PML-N has started playing cool showing no haste, contrary to the PPP that has even completed the short-listing of 30 aspirants after receiving applications from party leaders. As it was decided that party candidates for Senate polls would be announced at the eleventh hour, another round of negotiation with PML-N President Nawaz Sharif and top leaders of the PML-Q likeminded, including Humayun Akhtar and Haroon Akhtar, was held at Raiwind on Saturday. Sources said that negotiations between the PML-N and the Likeminded group were almost confirmed as documents for the agreement had been given a final shape during the last meeting. But the alliance would be formally forged near the Senate polls, the sources added. They said the PML-N had slowed down the application receiving process for Senate polls. It had set January 24 as the deadline, but extended it to January 31. Later, it unofficially conveyed to party leaders to continue sending their appli-
cation until further directions, the sources said. A senior PML-N leader told Pakistan Today that around 200 applications had been submitted with the party’s central secretariat, including that of Sardar Zulfiqar Khosa. Even Nawaz Sharif’s personal photographer has submitted an application. However, party leaders apprehended that those who stood by the party in hard times would not be awarded Senate tickets as a deal had already been struck and the fortunate candidates would be announced by Nawaz some days before the Senate polls. PML-N Secretary Information Mushahid Ullah Khan said the party intended to forge an alliance with the likeminded group and it would even take on board the Unification Bloc for Senate polls to reward its leaders for what they did for the party in Punjab. He showed reservations on the petition filed for stopping Senate polls, saying the PML-N would not be part of any undemocratic move. Meanwhile, the PML-Q forward bloc decided to field their own candidates for a Senate seat from Punjab and would oppose any move, even by the PML-N, to have an understanding with the ruling PPP for getting senators elected unopposed. Dr Tahir Ali Javed, head of the 47-member group known as the Unification Bloc, complained that the PML-N leadership had not taken the unification bloc into confidence over the Senate elections as yet.
Grant Dr Afridi US citizenship, Congressmen demand WASHINGTON ONLiNE
A group of Congressmen here has sought US citizenship for jailed Pakistani doctor Shakeel Afridi, who helped CIA track down killed al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden last year. A Congressional legislation has been introduced in the US House of Representatives seeking the citizenship for the doctor, who is currently in a Pakistani jail for “treason”. “Today I have introduced legislation to grant American citizenship to Dr Shakeel Afridi, the Pakistani medical doctor who risked his life to identify Osama Bin Laden and help US military forces bring him to justice,” Congressman Dana Rohrabacher said yesterday. “If convicted, he could be executed,” the lawmaker from California pointed out. ‘The bill would grant him US citizenship and send a direct and powerful message to those in the Pakistani government and military who protected the mastermind of 9/11 and are now seeking retribution on those who helped execute Bin Laden,” Rohrabacher said in the House of Representatives. The Afridi citizenship bill has been endorsed by more than a dozen top Congressmen including Bill Posey, Ted Poe and Roscoe Bartlett.
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Sunday, 5 February 2012
eID MILAD-UN-NAbI SPeCIAL
Eid Milad-un-Nabi: a time for Muslims to reflect on obligations Younus brings Pakistan closer to whitewash
horns of dilemma: Not upsetting the delicate balance.
Lame excuse: The law and the minister.
humayun gauhar says: All’s well that ends well: Or, at least, that’s what appears to be.
Kuldip Nayar says: Freedom of press: It has worsened over the years.
Arif Ansar says: The Afghan reconciliation: Who is leading the talks.
Story on Page 14
Story on Page 18
S the Pakistani nation and people of Azad Jammu and Kashmir observe Kashmir Solidarity Day today (Sunday), the divided families on both side of the Line of Control seek the world’s attention to help them reunite. More than 5,000 families, who migrated from different areas of Indianheld Kashmir in 1989 due to insurgency there, were anxiously waiting for the settlement of the issue to return to their homes. Manzoor Shaikh, a resident of Mahajer Colony No 2 in Muzaffarabad migrated from Karna area of Kapwara district in 1993. He said he was alone here and missing his loved ones a lot. The 45-year-old said he was a school teacher there and living happily with his family when he was terrified by the consecutive Indian army raids on his house and was forced to leave to save his life as was advised by his elders. He said he had migrated to AJK alone leaving behind his family as he was quite young at that time and his family wanted to save him from the cruel army that might have taken his life if he had stayed there. He said there had
been more than 500 raids in his village during which the army picked up dozens of youth including some of his best friends and none of them came back alive after which his family suggested him to save his life. Shaikh said he and his friends fled from their homes with the hope that they would return soon after the settlement of the Kashmir issue and withdrawal of the Indian army, as they were confident that international community would intervene but were disappointed and were now only praying to meet their loved ones. Another immigrant from the same district living in Rara Mahajer camp in the outskirts of Muzaffarabad, Hadayatullah Shaikh said he fled with his wife and five children in 1993 but had left the rest of his relatives behind. “I am a labourer here and hardly manage food for my children while my land is going uncultivated,” he said in a painful manner, adding that he had never lost hope of returning during his lifetime. Shaikh said however, it was painful for him that he could not even attend the funerals of many of his friends and relatives. He said people in IHK never accepted Indian rule nor would they do so in the future and one day they would surely get freedom as their fourth generation was struggling for freedom.
He said there had been a search operation every night in his village near LoC, which forced him to escape to save the honor of his daughters and wife. However, they were unhappy with the recent measures of travel and trade on the LoC, as they said India had complicated the process of clearance for traveling across the LoC, and did not allow those who crossed in 1989 and onwards to travel through this bus services. “This facility is useless for people like us to travel and meet our relatives there as Indian authorities considered militant those who migrated during this recent movement of 1989 to get rid of Indian atrocities,” they said. They said there should be free movement on the LoC by producing state subject certificate of either side so that families divided since decades could reunite. A member of the All Parties Hurriat Conference (APHC), Syed Yousaf Naseem said the international community should at least focus the human tragedy of this issue. He said the Kashmiri leadership had accepted the so-called confidence building measures (CBMs) of General Mashraf only for addressing this aspect of the issue but went in vain, as India created hurdles by imposing unnecessary conditions on travel.
Pakistan serves up first-class rail luxury g
Crippling railways hopes newly-launched business express will lure back customers, investers ABOARD THE BUSINESS EXPRESS AFP
A security guard pointing a gun at your chest may not be a perk of first-class travel in the West, but it’s all part of the service on Pakistan’s gleaming Business Express. Thirteen carriages have been lovingly restored into a sleek sleeper to ply the 1,200 kilometres (800 miles) between Pakistan’s two biggest cities, Lahore and Karachi, on an 18-hour journey that once used to take upwards of 30 hours. Presided over on Friday by Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, perhaps keen to front a good-news story as he faces contempt charges, and waved off by excited crowds it is Pakistan’s most luxurious and expensive train. For Rs 5,000 one way ($55), or Rs 9,000 return, passengers are waited on by a bevy of attentive stewards, as they settle down to watch films on flat-screen TVs or power up laptops. Afternoon tea and piping hot dinner – courtesy of chefs at five-star hotels are borne into cabins as uniformed guards carrying rifles in the corridors are a reminder of a country troubled by kidnappings, Taliban and al Qaeda violence. Then as night falls, stewards come round with crisp bed linen to turn slightly hard green bunks into inviting beds. It’s all part of a first private investment of millions of rupees in the ailing state railways, billed as the last hope of preventing a much-loved relic of British rule from falling into ruin. Corruption, mismanagement and neglect have driven Pakistan Railways to
the brink. Since Gilani’s government took power in 2008, the group has retired 104 of 204 trains in a country larger than Britain and Germany combined. It relies on handouts of $2.8 million a month just to pay salaries and pensions, and faces expected losses of $390 million in the current fiscal year. But the new train pulled away five minutes early and customers boarded from a brand-new business lounge at Lahore station. Decorated in tinsel, the engine then ground to a halt 10 minutes later to pick up more passengers. Mariyam Imran, a strikingly beautiful young adviser for cosmetics firm L’Oreal, is delighted. A frequent traveller and terrified by a recent emergency landing on increasingly precarious state airline PIA, she is an avid convert. “It’s beautiful. It’s relaxing, compared to the trains before. I’m so happy and very comfortable. The staff are good. It’s a marvellous train,” the 22-year-old young mother told AFP. Travelling with her businessman husband, three-year-old daughter and sisterin-law they are heading to Karachi for a short break before returning to host a Valentine’s Day party at home in Lahore on February 14. “I hate PIA. Oh my God, that emergency landing. Compared to the plane, this train is best. The service is very good.” Gilani congratulated staff on what he called a “deluxe” and “state of the art” service that would serve as a trail blazer for future private-public partnerships capable of turning around Pakistan’s depressed economy. “It’s a big, big initiative from the private sector, which we have
Articles on Page 12-13
Divided Kashmiri families seek world attention
Al Qaeda militant killed in Kurram was Azerbaijani
MONITORING DESk An al-Qaeda-linked militant killed in Kurram Agency earlier this week has been identified as an Azerbaijani national, according to a Dawn News report on Saturday. The militant, identified as Aslanov Zaur, was among the six foreign militants who were killed during clashes with security forces in the Jogi area of Central Kurram Agency on February 1. A passport, documents and photographs recovered by security forces revealed that Zaur was a key commander and played an instrumental role in attacks on Pakistani security forces in the tribal areas. The passport (passport number 3503893), issued from the Azerbaijani capital Bakku in February 2009, shows Zaur belonged to the city of Sumaqyit, located at a distance of 31 kilometers from the capital and was born on September 25, 1981. According to the document, he was issued an Iranian visa by the Iranian embassy in Bakku for three months from March 2, 2009 to May 31, 2009. The travel documents also reveal that he had entered the city of Astar, the capital of Gilan province of Iran on March 26, 2009 (evident from the entry stamp), and since then had gone underground. He is suspected to have entered Afghanistan and then Pakistan through unfrequented routes. Security forces also recovered USBs, card readers and other devices from the pockets of the militant, besides Sudanese currency, American dollars and Pakistani currency notes.
India claims killing 2 LeT members in IHK First business train reaches Karachi 15 minutes late KArAChi: Pakistan’s first Business Express train reached Karachi 15 minutes later than scheduled time on Saturday. As part of the first private investment of millions of rupees in the ailing Railways, the Business Express reached Karachi Cantt Station at 9:45am, 15 minutes later than the scheduled time. The train left Lahore at 3:30pm on Friday for its first journey. Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani inaugurated the train. Thirteen carriages have been restored into a sleek sleeper to ply the 1,200 kilometres between Lahore and Karachi, on an 18-hour journey that once used to take over 30 hours. For Rs 5,000 one way, or Rs 9,000 return, passengers would be waited upon by a bevy of attentive stewards, as they settle down to watch films on flat-screen TVs or powered up laptops. Breakfast, lunch and tea would also be served to the passengers. Medical facilities are also available in the business express. Over Rs 200 million were spent on the maintenance of the business train. The Pakistan Railways General Manager said they had proved that they could do anything if resources were available. Authorities said if the Business Express, and a similar service to be rolled out on February 20 between Lahore, Faisalabad and Karachi, was a success, the investors will sink millions more into saving the Railways. NNi
NEW DELHI ONLiNE
Two Lashkar-e-Tayyaba (LeT) militants were on Saturday killed in an encounter with security forces in Pulwama district of Indian-held Kashmir (IHK), PTI reported. An encounter broke out between a police team assisted by Indian army personnel and militants at Adoora village in Pulwama late last night, officials said. The night-long gunfight ended with the killing of two militants, who have been identified as Muzaffar Ahmad Shiekh, alias Chotu, and Aashiq Hussain Shah, they said. Both the militants were affiliated with LeT. Two AK 47 rifles, two grenades, two mobile phones and 120 AK rounds have been recovered from their possession, the officials said.
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Sunday, 5 February, 2012
Malik suspends SHO for letting banned group rally at G/9
Says bank accounts of banned outfits to be investigated ISLAMABAD
NTERIOR Minister Rehman Malik on Saturday sought reply from the superintendent of police and suspended a station house officer for allowing a banned outfit to hold a public procession in Islamabad. Talking to reporters, Interior Minister Rehman Malik said under the law, no defunct organisation could hold any rally or procession anywhere in the country. On Friday, banned Sipah-e-Sahaba held a procession in G/9 sector, which was addressed by Maulana Muhammad Ahmed Ludhianvi. Earlier, State Minister for Human Resource Development (HRD) Shaikh Waqas Akram pointed out the proposed procession of banned outfit in Islamabad and criticised Interior Minister Rehman Malik on the
floor of the House for allowing a banned outfit to hold procession in the federal capital. However, Malik had told the House that he had no knowledge of the pubic meeting. The minister had said that he would get a report from the Islamabad police and would share it with parliamentarians. On Saturday, the interior minister took notice of the issue and suspended Margalla Police SHO Irshad Ali Abro and sought a reply form the SP city. “I have suspended the SHO concerned and sought a reply from a senior officer. An inquiry has also been ordered to investigate into the matter,” Malik said. He said the police and administration had been directed to ensure security on the eve of Eid Milad-unNabi (PBUH). Malik said no defunct organisation would be allowed to take out proces-
sion on this occasion, adding that a case had been registered against two clerics who had made provocative speeches at the G/9 rally. He said that no banned outfit would be allowed to collect funds under a new name. “The bank accounts of banned outfits would be investigated.” Meanwhile, police sources said the SHO concerned was made a scapegoat as he had nothing to do with the public procession held by the banned outfit and he just provided security to participants of processions to avoid any untoward incident. They said that organizers of said procession conducted the rally after getting permission from the Islamabad district administration. The said outfit has been holding an annual procession at G/9 for the last 17 years.
it SNOWEd dOWN: Men try to push a vehicle stuck in snow during heavy snowfall in the hill-resort town of Murree. REUTERS
president, pM vow all-out support to Kashmiris Zardari says Pakistan will continue to extend political, moral and diplomatic support to Kashmiris g Gilani says peaceful Kashmir settlement necessary for prosperity in region
ppp’s allies looking to gain more than due share coNtiNued FroM Page 1 “These are fixed seats and the MQM would get its due share,” he added. In Sindh Assembly, elections would be held for seven general seats, two women and two technocrat seats. Since the Sindh Assembly has strength of 168 seats, 24 members would have to vote to elect a member. Since the PPP has the strength of 93 members, the ruling party may win four general seats out of a total seven. The MQM would regain their two seats while one seat may be dished out to either the PML-Q or the PML-F, if they join hands to win a seat. The PML-F is also seeking a seat from Sindh and so is the BNP-Awami, whose President Mir Israrullah Zehri wants reelection to the Senate from
Balochistan. “The parliamentary group of FATA is also pressurising the PPP government to seek two Senate seats, however, Prime Minister Gilani has assured Munir Khan Orakzai of giving at least one seat to the group,” the PPP source added. PPP Secretary Information Qamar Zaman Kaira said the talks for seat adjustment with all coalition partners were being held at the leadership level. He said even if some parties were putting unrealistic demands, all the matters would be settled by the party leadership. “I don’t think that the coalition partners would put unrealistic demands to the PPP. However, even if they do so, they would get chunk on the basis of their strength in the assemblies,” he concluded.
Assad ‘massacres’ coNtiNued FroM Page 1 Diplomats said China had been expected to follow Russia’s lead. Russia’s decision to vote against the resolution came after US and European officials rejected a series of Russian amendments to the draft resolution. Moscow said before the vote that the resolution was not “hopeless”, but its wording needed to be altered to avoid “taking sides in a civil war”, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said it was still possible to reach consensus. But US Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice said amendments that Russia had proposed were “unacceptable”. Residents said Syrian forces began shelling the Khalidiya neighborhood at around 8pm on Friday using artillery and mortars. They said at least 36 houses were completely destroyed with families inside.
Seeking a peaceful settlement of the Kashmir dispute, President Asif Ali Zardari on Saturday said Pakistan would continue to extend complete political, moral and diplomatic support to Kashmiris. “The government and the people of Pakistan observe the Kashmir Solidarity Day by renewing their unswerving support for the just struggle of the Kashmiri people for the realisation of their fundamental and inalienable rights,” the president said in his message on Kashmir Solidarity Day. He said for over six decades the Kashmiri people
had rendered countless sacrifices for upholding their dignity and freedom, pleading for equity and justice and the fulfillment of the promise for the effective exercise of their right to self-determination, as envisaged in the relevant UN resolutions. “It is indeed imperative that the noble principles and values, that underpin the just Kashmiri cause, are upheld and supported by all justice and freedom-loving peoples across the world. It is also important that the fundamental human rights of the people of Jammu and Kashmir are respected and promoted,” he said. The president said in recent years the peaceful struggle of the people of Jammu and Kash-
3-inch nail removed from Illinois man’s brain Dante Autullo was sure he’d merely cut himself with a nail gun while building a shed, and thought doctors were joking when they told him what an X-ray revealed: A 3 1/4-inch nail was lodged in the middle of his brain, Time reported. Autullo was recovering Friday after undergoing surgery at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, where doctors removed the nail that came within millimeters of the part of the brain controlling motor function. MONitORiNg dESK
Sattar’s policy on overseas pakistanis coNtiNued FroM Page 22 2010. The MQM has been focusing on the affairs of the very ministry as it feels that a huge chunk of overseas Pakistanis belong to it. The OPF last year also circulated the draft of the National Policy for Overseas Pakistanis to all stakeholders concerned to get their input and comments. It had also been decided by the OPF board of governors that after getting input from overseas Pakistanis, the draft of the policy
would be widely publicised through various means, including the Pakistani missions abroad, community welfare attaches and associations of overseas Pakistanis, as well as by placing it on the OPF website. The objective of the policy was to serve the overseas Pakistani better and to streamline various incentives and services provided to them by the government. The draft policy had recommended that the govern-
ment launch a pension scheme for Pakistani expatriates through an Overseas Pakistani Pension Trust (OPPT). According to the draft policy, pride of performance awards had also been proposed for distinguished overseas Pakistanis. But in November last year, Dr Farooq Sattar told the National Assembly in a written reply that the policy was still under preparation. The draft policy had promised to prepare a data-
base of overseas Pakistanis for providing them various facilities, including ones related to health and education. The database, as per the proposed policy, had to be linked with the head offices of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and NADRA through international networking. According to the draft policy, status of the Overseas Girls College, Islamabad had to be raised to a university level, while the OPF was supposed to establish centres of excellence in
Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Under the proposed policy, scholarships had to be awarded to children of overseas Pakistanis if they opted to study in Pakistan. The policy had also asked the government to legislate to protect properties at home of overseas Pakistanis. The draft policy had also stated that immigrant workers and their families would be informed about foreign currency investments facilities and bond investments.
mir had gained in strength and intensity. “A new generation of the Kashmiris, including men, women and children, continue to wage a heroic struggle for the realization of their fundamental rights,” he said. peACefuL settLeMent: Meanwhile, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani said a peaceful settlement of the Kashmir dispute in accordance with the aspirations of the Kashmiri people was a must to ensure peace and prosperity in the region. He said Pakistan believed that the United Nations promise to the Kashmiris as contained in the relevant resolutions must be fulfilled. Gilani said the govern-
ment and the people of Pakistan would continue to extend their full moral, political and diplomatic support to the Kashmiris for the realisation of their fundamental rights and legitimate aspirations. The prime minister said the government and the people of Pakistan joined their Kashmiri brothers and sisters in solemnly observing the Kashmir Solidarity Day. “On this occasion, we reaffirm our complete support to the just Kashmir cause and renew our pledge of steadfast support for the heroic struggle of the Kashmiri people for the effective realization of their fundamental and inalienable rights,” he said.
2011 was deadliest year for civilians in afghan war NEWS DESk Last year was the deadliest on record for civilians in the Afghan war, with 3,021 killed as insurgents ratcheted up violence with suicide attacks and roadside bombs, the United Nations said on Saturday. Taliban-affiliated militants were responsible for more than three-quarters of the civilian deaths in 2011, the fifth
year in a row in which the death toll went up, the UN said. The figures were a grim testament to the violence the Taliban and allied Islamist militants can still unleash in Afghanistan, even as NATO begins to map out plans for international troops to draw down and give Afghan security forces the main responsibility for fighting insurgents by the end of 2014.
Imran should withdraw SC petition: Babar LAHORE StAFF REPORt
Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) central leader Babar Awan said on Sunday that PTI chief Imran Khan should withdraw the petition filed in the Supreme Court (SC) against Senate elections since it was ill-advised and had no legal grounds. Speaking to
media at PPP leader Mushtaq Awan’s daughter’s wedding ceremony on Saturday. Awan said Imran’s petition contradicted the Constitution and Khan should withdraw it to save himself from embarrassment. He said the current assemblies, which were established after 2008 elections were protected through 18th amendment.
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Air travellers fly in ignorance of their rights kARACHI
A hASSAN ABdAL: People carry their belongings after railway authorities demolished encroachments at Railway Colony on Saturday. ONLINE
Gilani contempt case Pakistan’s internal issue: US WAshington: The US on Saturday said the contempt case against Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani was Pakistan’s internal matter and hoped that all issues would be resolved under the law and constitution. “This contempt of court case against Gilani is nothing new… also this is an internal matter of Pakistan,” US State Department spokesman Mark Toner told reporters during a media briefing. Reacting to a query regarding Pak-US relations, he said his country was in persistent contact with Pakistani rulers and in wait for the recommendations by the Parliamentary Committee on National Security (PCNS). Toner said despite the circumstances besetting Pakistan and stagnancy in the bilateral relations, the two countries have continued to cooperate, adding that US Ambassador to Pakistan Cameron Munter was in consistent contact with the Pakistani leadership. NNi
Taliban deny Mullah Omer wrote to White House ISLAMABAD ONLiNE
The Taliban on Saturday strongly denied that their chief Mullah Omer had written any letter to the White House demanding immediate shifting of five former Taliban officials out of Guantanamo Bay military prison. In a message, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said linking the letter to Mullah Omer was a rumor spread by US officials and “we strongly reject it”. “The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan is not begging from someone, rather we believe that with the help of Allah we would prevail against the enemy,” he added, saying that such rumors were continuation of the enemy’s attempt to create confusion and concerns. “It is useless to expect that Afghans would bow before any force of the enemy. All know that Mullah Omer would never bow and such rumors can only cause the US to rejoice, nothing else,” he said. Mujahid said such tactics had never worked
in the last 10 years. Foreign media had reported that amid the peace bid, the White House received purported letter from the Taliban chief. “As we have engaged various interlocutors as part of the reconciliation process, we have received a variety of messages that were represented as being from senior members of the Taliban, however, we haven’t received a letter that we are certain is from Mulah Omer ” an administration official was quoted as saying by the media reports. The message reportedly expressed the impatience over the White House delay in shifting the prisoners from the Guantanamo Bay prison. The Taliban kicked-off talks with the US in Qatar just a week before the Bonn Conference on Afghanistan was held in Germany last year. Taliban were initially avoiding comments on the talks but later on they accepted that they were holding talks for opening their political office in Qatar and their demand for releasing certain prisoners. As part of confidence building measures, the US was considering to shift the prisoners to Qatar.
S the train transportation system is nearing a complete collapse, the ratio of passengers opting for travelling through the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has witnessed a plausible increase, with an average of 500,000 passengers a month. This can be gauged by the number of passengers that travelled through PIA – 4.51 million in the first nine months of year 2011 – an increase of 3.4% according to the latest data made available by Pakistan International Airlines (PIA). But this does not mean that the air travellers were lucky, because air passengers were badly haunted by the spectre of travelling chaos on flights of domestic airlines, with hundreds of passengers being left stranded everyday across the country’s airports due to denial of boarding, flight cancellations and tarmac delays. Though the airline industry is highly regulated around the world, air passengers face violations of their legal rights on a daily basis in Pakistan. Besides, failure of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) in regulating the airline industry, ignorance of air passengers in understanding their basic legal rights are other reasons that pave the way for airlines to get away without making financial compensation. Clause D9 of ANO-001-ATCP-1.0 (Air Passenger Rights) says that passengers shall be fully informed by the air carriers of their rights in the event of denied boarding, and of cancellations or long delays of flight so that they can effectively exercise their rights. This information is mandatory to be included in ticketing documents and on the airline website. However, except the Shaheen Air International, none of the domestic airlines have provided information on their websites. In case of denied boarding, clause D12.3 stipulates that when too many pas-
sengers show up for a flight, an airline must first ask for volunteers to give up their seats in return for agreed benefits. These must include the choice of either refund of the ticket (with a free flight back to the passenger’s initial point of departure, when relevant), or alternative transport to the passenger’s final destination. If the passenger is not a volunteer, the airline must pay a compensation equivalent to 50 percent of the face value of the ticket, excluding government and airport taxes. Compensations may be halved if the passenger is delayed not more than four hours. But here, passengers are bumped involuntarily and the airline even does not explain the reasons. Regarding flight cancellations, clause D13 requires that whenever a passenger’s flight is cancelled, the operating airline must give him a choice of either a refund of his ticket (with a free flight back to his initial point of departure, when relevant) or alternative transport to his final destination, and meals and refreshments, hotel accommodation when necessary (including transfers) and communication facilities. The airline may also have to compensate the passenger at the same level as for denied boarding, unless it gives him sufficient advance notice. For long delays, clause D14 requires that the airlines shall provide immediate assistance if the passenger has checked in on time from a Pakistani airport for any flight including non-scheduled/ charter flight, or for any flight to a Pakistani airport when operated by an Pakistani operator from outside Pakistan, and if the airline expects a delay of two hours or more for flights of 1,500kms or less; of three hours or more for longer flights within Pakistan, and for other flights between 1,500kms and 3,500 km, of four hours or more for flights over 3,500 kms outside Pakistan, the airline must serve meals and refreshments, hotel accommodation when necessary (including transfers) and communication facilities.
pakistan people’s party and Kashmir DR FIRDOUS ASHIQ AWAN The valley of Kashmir is the most beautiful geographical entity on earth and its ravishing landscape has impressed the visitors for centuries. When the Mughal Emperor Jehangir came to Kashmir he was so spell-bound by its calmness that he exclaimed” If there is a paradise on earth, it is here, it is here, it is here”. But it is so tragic to note that the people of this unrivaled paradise are shackled in chains of slavery for over a century. The yearning and movement for independence of the Kashmiri people continued unabated all along this period. When the movement for Pakistan was launched, the people of Kashmir actively participated in it. Their eyes glistened with the hope for a new and bright morning, because a son of Kashmir from Sialkot, Allama Muhammad Iqbal, first of all dreamed about a separate homeland for the Muslims of the subcontinent. His dream and contemplation about Pakistan, which he revealed in his address at Allahabad caught the fancy of every Muslim throughout the breadth and length of the sub-continent and shone like a bright morning star for them. The movement for independence spread exponentially and the dream became a reality under the in-
domitable leadership of QuaidiAzam Muhammad Ali Jinnah. But unfortunately the fate of Kashmir became a casualty of the dishonest machinations of the British. Independence of Kashmir was held in abeyance and India usurped the territory by force. At the time of independence it was decided that the fate of Kashmir will be decided through a plebiscite but even after the lapse of 65 years that promise remains elusive. Only an year after independence of Pakistan, the youth of Kashmir liberated a part of it known as Azad Kashmir through their valiant struggle. Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto in his address to the UN Security Council vehemently espoused the cause of Kashmiris and made the world believe that Kashmir and Pakistan were inseparable. Translating the sentiments of the Kashmiris he said, “Jammu and Kashmir is not and has never been part of India. It is a disputed issue between Pakistan and India waiting to be resolved. As compared to India, Pakistan has much stronger ties with Kashmir. The people of Kashmir and Pakistan are strongly linked to each other through blood relations, history, culture and civilization and geographical proximity. Their relationship is like a connection between soul and body”. In the same address he had
uttered this famous and historic sentence “We will fight the war for our defense for thousand years”. This stance was widely acclaimed and appreciated in Kashmir, Pakistan and by the Muslims living around the globe. This unequivocal expression of solidarity further cemented the bonds between the two people. When as a consequence of differences with Ayub Khan, over the Tashkent Declaration, Bhutto spurned the foreign ministry and formed PPP, the people of Pakistan and Kashmir welcomed it jubilantly. PPP Azad Kashmir was also formed at that time. The Kashmir dispute has always been a top priority of PPP and its foreign policy. Shaheed Quad-i-Awam convened Islamic Summit in Lahore in February 1974 and highlighted the issues of Kashmir and Palestine. The PPP has always strived for and emphasized the need for resolving Kashmir dispute through parleys because wars only spell death and destruction and do not present solutions to the problems. Only a democratic thinking and creed can resolve the issues, no matter how intricate they are. A strong democracy is a guarantee against usurpation of the rights of others. The writer is the Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting
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Shifa hospital organises seminar on World Cancer day PAGe 08
Eid Milad-un-nabi today Police secures city ahead of Eid Milad-un-Nabi ISLAMABAD StAFF REPORt
mid the rainy day, people of the twin cities will celebrate Eid Milad-un-Nabi with religious reverence and fervour today (Sunday), renewing the pledge to follow the teachings of Holy Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH). The day will begin with special prayers for peace, solidarity, unity and brotherhood by the followers of Holy Prophet (PBUH). It will be a public holiday and special security arrangements will be made to maintain law and order across the country on the occasion of 12th Rabi-ul-Awwal. Newspapers and magazines will publish special supplements, while television channels and radio stations will arrange ‘Naatia Mushairas’. Educational institutions will also hold Na’at competitions and mehafil-e-Milad-e-Mustufa (PBUH). All major government and private buildings, residential plazas, markets, mosques, roundabouts and even houses have been tastefully decorated at Constitution Avenue and Jinaah Avenue. Mehafil-e-Milad and public meetings will be held in different parts of the twin cities of Islamabad/Rawalpindi, while the faithful will actively participate in the programmes organised by local, religious and social organisations. Na’at and Qiraat competitions will be held in almost every nook and corner of the country to revive the real spirit of Islam. There will be special security arrangements in the federal capital and Rawalpindi to avoid any untoward incident. Participants of mahafil will be properly checked by security personnel at every entry and exit point. Milad processions will be taken out from different areas of the two cities. Major event of the day will be the annual National Seerat Conference to be held in Islamabad wherein prominent ulema and scholars from across the country will participate. Such conferences will also be held at provincial headquarters, divisional and district levels to pay respect and homage to the Allah Almighty’s Last Messenger. For the faithful, Eid Milad-un-Nabi is a sacred religious festival when they express gratitude and thanks to Allah Almighty for blessing the universe with His Last Messenger, Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH). In federal capital, several organisations have chalked out special programmes to pay tribute and highlight different aspects of the life of Holy Prophet (PBUH). The decoration of
roads, bazaars, and commercial and shopping centres has also started in the city. The business of banners and posters inscribed with religious slogans is also at its climax. A police official told Pakistan Today that security had been put on high alert in sensitive areas of the capital to avert any potential terror activity. He said around 3,200 security personnel including officials from the Special Branch and commandoes have been tasked with the security of Islamabad. There are more than 600 mosques in the capital where security arrangements will be supervised by five SPs, he added. The official said a high-level meeting of officials belonging to various law enforcement agencies was also held to review the security plan for Eid Milad-un-Nabi. “Officials and experts from intelligence and investigation agencies attended the meeting”, he said, adding that better intelligence-sharing among police and other security agencies was high on the agenda of the meeting. “Plainclothes policemen will be deployed around all processions. All SPs, SDPOs and SHOs have been directed to ensure thorough checking of all vehicles moving along the routes of these processions to avoid any mishap,” the official said. Major processions will pass through Jamia Masjid Road, City Saddar Road, Mall Road, Peshawar Road, Jhelum Road, Airport Road, Highway Road and Fawara Chowk in Raja Bazaar. The Punjab Emergency Service (Rescue 1122) will also remain alert to provide an emergency cover to participants of these processions. More than 500 rescuers will perform special duties in the district control room and emergency rescue stations. “A special strategy has also been chalked out to further tighten the security of the metropolitan and police commandoes have been given assignments to perform security and patrolling duties too,” the official said. “Vehicles have been provided to police commandos for the patrolling in sensitive areas during Rabi-ul-Awwal festivities. The main focus of the law enforcement agencies is on sensitive places including sectors G-6, G-9, I-9, and I-10, Tarlai, Shah Allah Dita and Bari Imam (Nurpur Shahan).” In order to beef up security, the official added, measures such as banning pillion-riding along the routs of processions are also under consideration. “The Islamabad Traffic Police (ITP) has also chalked out a traffic plan. It has decided to deploy additional officials along the routes of processions and rallies,” he said. Residents of Sector G-7 will use Faisal Avenue and Soherwardi Road on Sunday, while those coming from Sec-
tor G-6 will use Embassy Road and Jinnah Avenue as an alternative route. The Kashmir Highway from Chand Tarra Chowk to Dhok Kurry Chowk and Soherwardi Road from Seventh Avenue to Garden Road would be closed to traffic on Sunday. Similarly, no vehicle will be allowed to move on the stretch from GPO Chowk to Municipal Road on 12th of Rabi-ul-Awwal. In Rawalpindi, 1,267 big and small processions of Eid Milad-un-Nabi will be arranged. More than 350 Rescue officials will be on duty on the day. As many as 14 ambulances and 12 fire-fighting vehicles have also been spared for special duty. SSP Traffic Dr Muhammad Azam said that in order to ensure security of participants of Milad rallies, entry of trucks and flatbeds has been banned in the city. He said he had also directed traffic wardens to keep an eye on suspicious elements and vehicles. All the three teaching hospitals of the town would be on red alert and the personnel of Tehsil Municipal Authority (TMA), WASA, WAPDA and other departments concerned would move with the processions. This was decided in a meeting held here under the chair of DCO Saqib Zafar. It was attended among others by City Police Officer (CPO) Azhar Hameed Khokhar, ADC (Revenue) Talat Mahmood Gondal, ASO, Aqeel Ahmed Khan, ACs Rawalpindi, Gujar Khan, Taxila, Murree and Kahota, EDO Health, Dr Zafar Iqbal Gondal, SP Rawal Town, Malik Matloob Ahmed Awan, Medical Superintendents of DHQ, Holy Family and Benazir Bhutto Hospital, and TMOs of all towns. It was decided that all the routes of the processions will be cleaned properly while no person will be allowed to stand on roof tops of the buildings along the routes. DCO Saqib Zafar said all departments concerned should make coordinated efforts and all arrangements should be completed in time. He also directed to set up control rooms at tehsil headquarters level to monitor day long activities on the occasion of Eid Milad-un-Nabi. The drum beating and music playing will also be banned and all the instructions would be implemented so that all processions could reach their destinations in a peaceful manner. He said close circuit television cameras will also be installed on all routes of central processions.
The law enforcers of the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad chalked out elaborate security plans on Saturday for the main processions of Eid Milad-ul-Nabi. According to the plan, the Islamabad police, including Rangers and the personnel of other law enforcement agencies will perform patrollingand security duties on the occasion. The city’s main procession will start from sector G-7 (Sitara Market) and will culminate near the shrine of Hazrat Sakhi Mahmud at Aabpara market after passing through various routes. The procession routes will be completely cordoned off. Large numbers of police personnel will be deployed and strict patrolling ensured during the processions and other religious gatherings in the city. Islamabad Inspector General of Police (IGP) Bani Amin Khan and Senior Superintendent of Islamabad Police (SSP) Muhammad Yousuf Malik directed the SPs, SDPOs, SHOs and other police officials to visit the procession routes and ensure effective coordination among the security personnel. 1000 police personnel will perform security duties on the occasion, while special Rangers, CID and Special Branch police teams will assist the police officials. Police officers, including SPs will pay surprise visits to various police posts along the procession route to check and brief the officials on duty. According to Islamabad police, the procession route has been divided into four sectors and an SP level official will be in-charge of the security duties for each. The SP (Saddar) Sajid Kiani, SP (City) Muhammad Ilyas, SP (Investigation) Chaudhry Liaqat Ali will monitor the security arrangements in various sectors. Meanwhile, the Islamabad Traffic Po-
Heavy police deployment and patrolling to avert terror threats
lice (ITP) also devised a traffic plan to ensure uninterrupted traffic flow. SSP (Traffic) Dr Moeen Masood will lead the ITP’s personnel on this occasion to control traffic and to divert it on alternate routes. Close liaison will be maintained with the organisers of processions and other gatherings in the city. The Bomb Disposal Squad will sweep the procession routes and other venues and plain clothed police officials will be on the look out for suspicious people. Walk through gates will be installed at all the entry points for the procession and metal detectors will be used for checking participants. IGP Amin Khan said the Islamabad police was a committed force and will fulfill people’s expectations regarding the security provided for the occasion. The Rawalpindi police also beefed up security on the eve of Eid Milad-un-Nabi by deploying extra police officials along with the procession routes and erecting more police pickets for frisking vehicles. City Police Officer Azhar Hameed Khokher said the Rawalpindi police was fully prepared to tackle any possible threat on the occasion of Eid Milad un Nabi. He said the police will patrol along the procession routes and no heavy traffic will be allowed to enter the routes. The City Traffic Police (CTP) Rawalpindi also worked out a comprehensive traffic plan. In Rawalpindi the processions will be taken out from Raja Bazaar, Saddar, Adyala Road, Dhamial Road, Morgah, Tench Bhatta, Misrial among other places.
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13High°C 07°C Low
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10°C I 02°C
PRAyeR TIMINGS Fajr Sunrise 06:00 07:02
Maghrib Isha on sunset 19:00
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2222920 9261170 9218300 9221334 4603666 4444435 5556311-14 2824862 9290319
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iSLAMABAd: the smoke rising from France Colony causes environmental pollution in the capital. INp
Shifa Hospital organises seminar on World Cancer Day g
More than 90 percent cancer is curable if timely diagnosed ISLAMABAD
ENOWNED scientist, Science and Technology, Planning Commission member and former National Engineering and Scientific Commission (NESCOM) chairman Dr Sammar Mubarakmand said on Saturday that smoking was the leading cause of cancer in countries like Pakistan. Addressing the cancer awareness seminar organised by Shifa International Hospital (SIH) to mark the World Cancer Day, he urged upon the masses to quit smoking and use of tobacco in all forms to prevent the spread of cancer. Dr Mubarakmand said Shifa was not only a private healthcare institution but it was also helping poor patients through providing medical care on nominal prices at the Shifa Foundation clinics. He suggested Shifa and public sector hospitals to establish blood testing centres in rural areas to diagnose cancer at early stages. Dr. Mubarakmand also said that coal, smoke and pollution were also adding to the number of cancer patients in Pakistan. Eminent oncologists at the Shifa International Hospital said that cancer more than 90 percent of cancer could be cured if it was diagnosed in time. They said that cancer was a dreaded disease but it has emerged more like a chronic disease than a fatal disorder. SIH Consultant Medical Oncologist Dr Kamran Rasheed, SIH Consultant Radiation Oncolo-
gist Dr Muhammad Ali Afridi, Consultant Surgeon Dr Badar-us-Salam and Consultant Medical Specialist Dr Mati-ur-Rehman gave their presentations on cancer, its causes, treatment, symptoms and prevalence. The experts informed that cancer was rapidly spreading in developing countries. They said that cancer would become the commonest cause of death by 2020. “41.21 percent of men and women born today will be diagnosed with cancer of all sites at some time during their lifetime,” Dr Kamran Rasheed said. Dr Rasheed said that the median age at diagnosis for cancer of all sites was 66 years. He said cancer is any cell in the body that has become immortal and whose growth has become unchecked. He said cancer could be treated through various methods, including surgery, radiation treatment, chemotherapy, targeted therapies and bone marrow transplant. However, prevention was better than cure, he emphasized. Dr Afridi said that over 10 million people in the world become victim of this disease every year, adding that people over 30 years of age were more vulnerable to this disease. It is estimated that around 0.2 million people become cancer patients in Pakistan every year. Thickening or lump in the body particularly in breast among women, an injury that is not healing, unusual bleeding or discharge, indigestion or trouble swallowing, irritating cough and hoarseness, weight loss, hunger loss and fever were some of the symptoms of cancer and one must visit an oncologist and have cancer tests and biopsy if
such symptoms are observed, he said. Dr Mati-ur-Rehman observed smoking and use of tobacco in other forms, including pan, gutka and chaliya were the main causes of many types of cancer. Smoking causes an estimated 90 percent of all lung cancer deaths in men and 80 percent of all lung cancer deaths in women. Dr Badar-us-Salam stressed on the need of diagnosing cancer at early stages, particularly at stage 1, saying, “Early detection means less invasive treatment, less trauma, less pain, less cost, early stage - curable disease. So it pays to be vigilant.” He informed that a new study has found that many malignancies could be prevented by exercising, eating right, maintaining a healthy weight and not smoking. Dr Badar suggested getting an annual cancer screening and living an active and simple life to prevent cancer. Later, a prize distribution ceremony was held in the seminar to distribute prizes among winners and participants of Best Story Award and Work of Art Competition. Dr Sammar Mubarakmand gave prizes to the participants, while SIH President and CEO Dr Manzoor H Qazi gave vote of thanks. Shifa Hospital had launched a campaign for cancer awareness on January 22. A number of activities, including hiking, torch-bearing walk, cancer awareness walk, soccer matches, best story award competition among print media journalists for cancer awareness and art completion among students of various schools, were organised to create cancer awareness among the people.
CoLLeGeS / UNIVeRSITIeS INTeRNATIoNAL ISLAMIC UNIVeRSITy 9260765 bAHRIA UNIVeRSITy 9260002 NUML 9257677 QUAID-e-AZAM UNIVeRSITy 90642098 ARID AGRICULTURe UNIVeRSITy 9290151 FJwU 9273235 RIPHA INTeRNATIoNAL UNIVeRSITy 111510510 NCA RAwALPINDI 5770423 PUNJAb LAw CoLLeGe 4421347
DATe: FebRUARy 03 — 05, 2012 VeNUe: THe 3RD bASe, ISLAMAbAD
DATe: JANUARy 25 — FebRUARy 11, 2012 VeNUe: NoMAD GALLeRy, ISLAMAbAD
est ever Musical Comedy!!!!!
Silent whispers is about the ability to hear the voice of agony and pain that is around us. The artist within me is sensitive enough not only to listen to these whispers but also to empathize with the ...
“Sorry Juliet! Romeo Loves Paaro” is about the Montagues and Capulets are two rivalry families. They are involved in a family feud that goes back years before an ...
DATe AND TIMe: 05:00 PM, weeKLy eVeNT VeNUe: THe CeNTRe FoR ARTS AND CULTURe our drumming circle is a (free!) ongoing event and is held every Friday from 5 to 6 p.m. we are having a great time, and want to share the good time with you! our drumming circle has children ...
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Islamabad 09 Riphah International University organises Naat competition RAWALPINDI StAFF REPORt
RAWALPiNdi: Contract employees of Public health Engraining division protest in favour of their demands outside the Press Club. INp
Mehfil-e-Milad, Turkish photography exhibition ISLAMABAD StAFF REPORt
Mehfil-e-Milad and a Turkish photo exhibition titled “The Sacred Trusts” were held at the Roots School System (RSS) on Saturday. The event was organised by the Children Community Initiative (CCI), a social sector initiative of the RSS, founded by educationist Chaudhry Walid Mushtaq, in collaboration with the Rumi Forum, a Turkish intercultural dialogue platform. Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan graced the occasion as the chief guest. The Turkish photo exhibition, “The Sacred Trusts”, gave a pictorial glimpse of the relics and revered belongings of several prophets and companions of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), all of which are kept and exhibited at the Topkapi Palace Museum, Istanbul, Turkey. RSS Executive Director Chaudhry Walid Mushtaq thanked Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan for gracing the occasion and for her efforts to empower the women and initiatives for social uplift, including mass marriages and community education. At the end, Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan appreciated the efforts of RSS ED Walid Mushtaq for his commitment towards eradicating gender inequality and creating a technology-rich environment for students and teachers across the board.
Hospitals’ staff ends month-long strike PM raises pay of paramedical staff of PIMS, Poly Clinic and NIRM g Announces one-month additional salary g
month-long protest and sit-in on the roads of the capital, the paramedical staffers of Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS), Federal Government Poly Clinic Hospital (FGPC) and National Institute of Rehabilitative Medicine (NIRM) will be back to work from Monday (February 6) after the announcement of one additional basic pay to doctors and paramedics. Consequently, the outpatient departments (OPD) at the three major public hospitals in Islamabad will reopen from Monday. The protesters had rejected the new Health Personnel Scale (HPS) and preferred to opt to the old service structure of the basic pay scale (BPS). Patients from far-flung areas of the federal capital remained in agony because of this month-long strike. The demands also included increase in salaries, time-scale promo-
tion, health-risk allowance, non-practising allowance, one-step upgradation, hostel facility for nurses, pick-and-drop service and civil servant status for the health employees. However, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on Friday (February 3) enhanced the pay of the paramedical staff of the federal government hospitals to end the strike. The prime minister, giving a policy statement in the National Assembly (NA), said the government would grant them one basic pay in addition to their existing salary with effect from January 1, which proved to be a great victory for the workers of PIMS, Polyclinic, and NIRM under the banner of Joint Action Committee (JAC) which termed it a victory. The announcement made by the prime minister applies to all health professionals and non-medical staff who opted to remain under the basic pay scale structure. While talking to Pakistan Today, JAC spokesperson Syed Manzar Abbas Naqvi said the committee wholeheart-
edly welcomed the PM’s initiative, even though it was not what they had actually demanded. “We had demanded one running salary, but the PM has given us one additional basic pay. In addition, we had demanded time-frame promotion among others and this is also not included in what the PM has announced,” he said. Naqvi, however, hailed the PM’s decision and said the incentive would inspire the paramedics and other nonmedical staff to work with more dedication. According to PIMS, Polyclinic and NIRM hospitals’ officials, the prime minister’s announcement in the National Assembly will benefit paramedics, nurses, doctors, including house officers and postgraduate trainees, consultants, senior faculty and administration staff of the federal hospitals. “But the continuation of postgraduate trainees’ stipend will be managed through an office memorandum of the competent authority in the days to come, the officials concluded.
Murree Road to remain closed for vehicular traffic today RAWALPINDI APP
City Traffic Officer (CTO) Senior Superintendent Police (SSP) Ghulam Abbas Tarar on Saturday urged the citizens to use alternative routes instead of Murree Road on Sunday as it will remain closed from Rialto Chowk to Benazir Bhutto Hospital for all vehicular traffic. The CPO in a statement said that the motorists can use the route of Rialto Chowk, Tippu Road, Rawal Road and Murree Road ahead of Benazir Bhutto Hospital to reach their destinations in the city or Islamabad.
He said though a comprehensive traffic plan has been formulated for 12th Rabi-ul-Awwal, but cooperation of the citizens, is necessary to avoid traffic mess mainly on Benazir Bhutto Road (Murree road). Ghulam Abbas Tarar informed under the traffic plan, enhanced number of traffic wardens would be deployed to regulate traffic on all city roads on Eid Milad-un-Nabi (SAWW). In order to mitigate the sufferings of general public and to avoid traffic mess on Benazir Bhutto Road (Murree Road) alternative routes would be provided to the traffic to control the load of the
busiest road of the city. The citizens should use the route of Rehmanabad, Sadiqabad, Ali Nawaz Chowk, Rawal Road, Tippu Road via Railto Chowk to Murree road or Airport road to travel between Rawalpindi and Islamabad. Ghulam Abbas Tarar said special arrangements have also been made to control the traffic jams in the town on the day. He urged the citizens to cooperate with traffic police. He said traffic wardens have been directed to work with dedication and commitment and ensure the traffic flow so that traffic mess particularly on congested roads could be
averted. No vehicular traffic would be allowed on 12 Rabi-ul-Awwal on Murree Road, Iqbal Road, Raja Bazaar, Jamia Masjid Road, Bunni Chowk and Khoti Bazaar Road. iesCo poWer outAges: An IESCO spokesman said power would remain shut due to electricity maintenance and development work on Monday 6th February from 9am to 2pm. The ATM, Gul Afshan, Garmala, Machine Mohallah, Zubair Shaheed and Civil Lines feeders will not have power. On Tuesday February 7 the Koral and NPF-1 feeders will not have electricity from 8am to 4pm.
The Riphah International University on Saturday organised Naat Competitions separately for male and female students at its Al-Mizan campus, Rawalpindi. The competitions were part of Milad-unNabi (PBUH) celebrations. More than 200 students from over 60 educational institutions took part in the competitions. 70 students were short listed for final competitions after extensive auditions of the students who took part in the finals of the Naat competitions. Among the male contestants, Zeeshan Akhtar of Government College Satellite Town, Rawalpindi achieved the first position, Anza Khalid of Government College Abbotabad obtained second and Zaryab Haider of Punjab College of Information Technology secured the third position. Ilyas Chisti, Tayyab Siddiqui, Aqeel Shahzad and Azhar Niaz were the judges of the competition of male candidates. Among the female contestants, Sumaiya Zeb of Jinnah Education System, Taxila secured first position. Mehwish Ishtiaq of Government College, Abid Majeed Road, Rawalpindi obtained second position, while Sanam Mumtaz of Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi got third position International Islamic University, Islamabad (IIUI) Faculty of Arabic Dean Dr Zaitoon, Fouzia Saeed and IIUI Director Zubaida were the judges for female candidates. Riphah Centre of Islamic Business Director Khurram Khan and other senior officials of the Riphah International University distributed prizes and shields among the winners of the competitions. All the participants were awarded certificates for taking part in the Naat competitions. Speaking at the occasion, Khurram Khan lauded the management of the Islamic International Medical College Trust and Riphah International University, particularly Riphah Art and Literary Society, Students Affairs Department and Admissions Department officials, for holding the Naat competition during the holy month of Rabi-ulAwwal. The proceedings of the Naat competitions were broadcasted live by Riphah International University FM 102.2 and FM 98 radio stations.
CPo awards punishments to 18 policemen RAWALPINDI APP
18 cops have been awarded punishments, including dismissal from service on various charges by the City Police Officer (CPO) Azhar Hameed Khokhar. According to details, the CPO took action against the cops during a meeting held at the Police Line No-1. Sub-Inspector (SI) Muhammad Zarat, Head Constable Muslim Khan, Constables Zeeshan, Atif, Azmat Hussain, Rafaqat Hussain and Sujahat Hussain were among those dismissed. Assistant Sub-Inspector (ASI), Ghulam Rasool, SI Manzoor Hussain, SI Riaz, SI Muhammad Khan, SI Muhammad Mansha, SI Manzoor Ahmed, SI Zafar Ali, SI Abdul Hameed, SI Ayub, SI Ghulam Mustafa and SI Fatah Khan were awarded other punishments including ‘Sansoor’, which is the termination of annual increments and forfeiture of service. A spokesman for the CPO said the police officials, who were punished, were found guilty of various charges, including irresponsible attitude, negligence and absence from duty.
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Sunday, 5 February, 2012
AIoU admissions announced ISLAMABAD StAFF REPORt
All admission forms with required fees can be submitted at the nationwide branches of First Women Bank, Bank Alfalah, Allied Bank and the designated branches of National Bank of Pakistan and Habib Bank but the fees in shape of bank draft/pay order will not be accepted. Aallama Iqbal Open University Director Admissions Syed Zia-ulHasnain announced this on Saturday. He said the university had started admissions for Semester Spring 2012 from Matric to MA/MSc level programmes and the admission forms and prospectuses for all programmes offered in Spring 2012 semester can be obtained from the sale points at main campus, regional campuses and coordinating offices all over the country. Naqvi further said that computerised admission forms had also been sent to all the continuing students across the country. If any student did not receive the admission form so far, he/she should download the same from the AIOU website www.aiou.edu.pk or obtain from the nearest regional/co-ordination office of the university and deposit in any designated bank branch by putting roll/registration numbers and mobile number with fees till due date to avoid late fees charges, he further said.
Kashmir Solidarity Day at PNCA ISLAMABAAD StAFF REPORt
Folk and regional singers across the country on Saturday showed solidarity with innocent people of Kashmir by presenting songs in the backdrop of spreading peace and ending violation of human rights by the Indian army in occupied Kashmir. This colourful cultural programme was a part of 5 days long celebrations to mark ‘Kashmir Day’ organised by Pakistan National Council of the Arts (PNCA) in association with ministry of Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir Council. Rukhsana Murtaza, Bano Rehmat, Sher Ali, Sehar, Basit Iftikhar and others attired in Kashmiri clothes and jewelry sung Kashmiri patriotic songs and paid tributes to the martyrs and expressed solidarity with the Kashmir people. On the occasion, a painting exhibition by 25 leading artists of the country was also put on display to pay tribute to the freedom fighters while a stage play “Thehray Huay Lamhay” was presented in the auditorium of PNCA.
iSLAMABAd: donkeys, walking on Constitution Avenue, pass through the building of Prime Minister’s Secretariat. these donkeys’ owners found a way to enter the Red zone despite a ban owing to presence of high-profile buildings like PM’s house, Parliament house, President’s house, Supreme Court and PM’s Secretariat. ONLINE
CDA ignores action against encroachers ISLAMABAD SALMAN ABBAS
ESPITE being acquainted with the situation, the Capital Development Authority (CDA) enforcement directorate has not taken any action against illegal construction by some lawyers on the green belt situated in sector F/8, Islamabad, leaving a big question mark on the performance of authority’s head. CDA Director Enforcement Muhammad Ramzan Joya told Pakistan Today that the matter of chambers construction on green belts was discussed in a meeting with Chairman CDA and they would manage to resolve the issue with mutual consultation. He acknowledged that construction on green belts was illegal and they would not allow anyone to do the same. A couple of days ago, Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) Assistant Com-
missioner Imran Sultan took action against the construction of chambers by some six lawyers on the green belt near lower courts, but the AC had to face strong resentment by a group of lawyers. The lawyers said they had started the construction after getting permission from the CDA. After the incident, they also held a meeting with the ICT Deputy Commissioner wherein the latter assured them of not creating any hurdle in construction of their chambers. Islamabad High Court Bar Association (IHCBA) President Chaudhry Ashraf Gujjar told that a meeting was held between the DC and the lawyers and the former had assured them of transferring AC Imran Sultan and not hindering the construction of chambers. Deputy Commissioner Amer Ali Ahmad told Pakistan Today the matter had been resolved amicably. “The lawyers are our brothers and I have taken all the decisions after due consultation with all the concerned,” he
said, adding they would not demolish any construction on green belts. He made it clear that there was no issue of AC Imran Sultan’s transfer. But the only question which appears in everyone’s mind is that why the CDA enforcement directorate, which is responsible to take action against illegal construction, has been turning a blind eye to the issue. Sources in the CDA said the authority was reluctant to take action against the lawyers, thinking they would leave the place voluntarily after the shifting of district courts to its new building in sector G/10. A CDA official seeking anonymity said that lack of security cover to the staffers of enforcement directorate is one of the reason due to which they refrained from taking action against the lawyers. “It is obvious that if the CDA tries to demolish the lawyers chambers, they will react and the CDA staffers may have to face dire consequences,” he asserted.
CDA makes special arrangements for eid Milad-un-Nabi isLAMABAd: The CDA has made comprehensive arrangements for celebrating Eid Milad-un-Nabi on the direction of CDA Chairman Engineer Farkhand Iqbal. According to a press statement issued here on Saturday, the CDA Chairman directed the engineering wing of the authority to illuminate the landmark buildings in the administrative control of CDA to celebrate the sacred festival religious fervour and enthusiasm. The CDA has made arrangements for illuminating the parliament house, cabinet block, secretariat buildings, foreign office, Jinnah Convention Centre, CDA chairman office, fire headquarters and old navel headquarters on the eve of 11th and 12 Rabi-ul-Awal. The CDA chairman presided over a meeting to review the arrangements for celebrating Eid Milad-un-Nabi. Member Engineering CDA, Sanaullah Aman, Director General Electrical & Mechanical, Shahid Sohail and other senior officers attended the meeting. The member engineering apprised the meeting of special arrangements for illuminating the government buildings in connection with celebrations of Eid Miladun-Nabi. StAFF REPORt
5 of a family injured in cylinder blast RAWALPINDI KAShiF ABBASi
iSLAMABAd: Benazir income Support Programme (BiSP) Chairperson Farzana Raja and Chinese Ambassador Liu Jian award ‘China-Oak Friendship Scholarship’ certificate to a graduate. MNA Raja Pervez Ashraf, Punjab PPP President imriaz Safdar Waraich, qamar zaman Kaira MNA, Nadeem Azfal Chan and BiSP Secretary Sher Khan are also present on the occasion. ONLINE
At least five people, including two children, sustained burnt injuries when a gas cylinder exploded at a house located at Girja Road within the limits of Saddar Berooni police station here on Saturday. Police and Rescue 1122 informed the cylinder blast occurred due of gas leakage which injured five members of a family - Farah Naz, Zahora, Hijrat Bibi and two children - Asim and Musadiq. All the injured people were shifted to district headquarters hospital. However, they were brought to PIMS afterwards as the condition of one lady Hijrat Bibi was very serious. According to rescue sources, the incident occurred at 7:00 am in a house located at New Ababi, Girja Road, when a lady Hijrat Bibi entered her kitchen to prepare the breakfast. “It is believed the family had forgot-
ten to switch off the gas stove properly which caused gas leakage the whole night”, said one rescuer. When Hijrat Bibi lit the safety match, a massive explosion occurred which left five members of the family injured, he said. The kitchen wall and roof of the house was also damaged partially, he further added. The blast created severe panic among the residents in the locality. Thick smoke also started billowing out of the building after the blast. Meanwhile, heavy contingent of police also rushed to the scene and started investigation. While talking to media men, Lal Shah, Sub Inspector of Police Check Post Girja, said the blast occurred due to gas leakage. He said the injured people were shifted to PIMS where condition of Hijrat Bibi was stated to be critical. He said a case had been registered and further investigations were underway.
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Sunday, 5 February, 2012
Editor’s mail 11
on presidential immunity Yet, another summon to PM has been issued to the PM the by SC on 13 February, to explain his position for not writing letter to Swiss courts to re-open graft cases against President of Pakistan. Earlier, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani appeared in the court on 19th January 2012, to explain why he should not be charged with contempt for failing to reopen old corruption cases against President Asif Ali Zardari. He categorically stated that “We respect the courts…my intention is to respect the constitution and my associates also respect the constitution.” and he emphasised that “I decided to appear before the court
The problem of poverty immediately after getting the notice”. The constitution assigns the Supreme Court the responsibility of maintaining harmony and balance between the three pillars of the state, namely the legislature, executive and the judiciary. The idea is to ensure that the state organs perform their respective functions within the stipulated limits and constraints. As a guardian of the constitution, the court is required to “preserve, protect and defend” this document. But it is very sad that the current judiciary under the lordship of Iftikhtar Chaudhry has failed to do so. The number of NRO beneficiaries is 8041. So far, only one person, the president of
Pakistan, has been targeted and the remaining 8040 people seem to be exempted from accountability. Is this not against national interests? As far as the president is concerned, Swiss cases are no more an issue as former Swiss Attorney General Daniel Zappeli clarified that the “Swiss courts cannot reopen the cases against President Zardari due to the immunity he enjoys as president.” The furore must die down as the international law also provides immunity to President Zardari. We have practical examples of France and Sudan regarding this. The French courts do not take action against Sarkozy for his alleged involvement in the submarine scandal,
allegedly done while he was not the president and the Sudanese president is not being arrested due to his sovereign immunity anywhere in the world despite an International Criminal Court warrant against him. President Zardari is the lawfully elected president and is as such immune from any legal action under Article 248 of the constitution. The judiciary is bound to follow the constitution of Pakistan because clashes between institutions cannot be digested by our country, against the backdrop of a faltering economy, widespread poverty and the bloody war with Islamist militant groups. DR SAIF UR REHMAN Islamabad
whither good governance? Analysing the performance of both governments federal and provincial, we find that they have failed in delivering to the masses during their four year tenure. There is no consistency in the policies of the governments. The federal government has failed in making a concrete policy to cope with the energy crisis. Inflation is rising and it has made the life of the common man miserable as well as that of the business community. On the other hand, provincial governments have also failed in performing their duties, particularly with regards to law and order. The provincial governments have failed in curbing corruption in institutions as well. For instance, lawlessness in Sindh is on the rise. LEAs are doing nothing except drawing salaries. Punjab’s CM is doing a better job in relative terms but he has also had many a debacle on his watch. It is the constitutional duty of the federal government to mete out equal treatment to the provinces irrespective of who is ruling the province. I think that a performance review board should be set up at the federal as well as the provincial level. The board should convene a meeting of institutions’ heads every month. This board could analyse the performance of all departments. Through this process, malpractices will be reduced in governmental departments. This will also help to improve the performance of all government’s departments. TARIQ HUSAIN KHAN Karachi
Traffic signals In Karachi, the functioning of traffic signals is very irregular. Even during the rush hours of the day, the traffic lights of many of the city’s major roads are often not working, either due to power failure or because they are out of order. At night too, traffic signals discontinue to operate after 11PM. Moreover, on many occasions, there is no traffic police or city traffic wardens who can take charge of the situation and control the traffic. This leads to some unpleasant scenarios, traffic jams and accidents. Naturally, when there would be no red lights to stop the coming traffic, then no one would be bound to halt and wait for their turn and everyone would want to cross the road first. When this happens, motorists from all sides of an intersection move simultaneously in order to cross the road, but ultimately get stuck up. In a hasty attempt to be the first ones to pass through the junction, they become the cause of disturbance and inconvenience for others as well as for themselves. Accidents are also mostly caused in the absence of a proper traffic regulatory system. When signals are not working, motorists from all sides of a road come at the same time towards the crossing, and there is a big chance of them to collide with one another and cause a crash. And these accidents caused by violating traffic rules or due to out of order traffic lights can even be fatal. Traffic signals are installed on every road and intersection to facilitate the smooth flow of vehicles and prevent traffic jams; but to accomplish this purpose they must also work properly throughout day and night. And especially in a metropolis like Karachi, where there are vehicles on the road twenty four hours a day, discontinuing the function of traffic signals can just not be afforded. MADIHA VIQUAR Karachi
Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was indeed an inspirational figure. It was he who helped the poor people of Pakistan and Pakistan itself in tough moments of history. He was a leader with a vision and conviction. He pioneered institutions such as Pakistan Steel Mills and others in different socioeconomic sectors across the country. As a result, the job market expanded, the economy boomed, the widening gulf of inequality between the haves and the have-nots was reduced and poverty was alleviated remarkably. Had the incumbent elected rulers also pioneered such institutions, following in the footsteps of Shaheed ZAB, with the money being properly distributed among the destitute through the Benazir Income Support Program (BSIP) and other such programmes, in the agro-industry, the prevalent abject poverty would have been alleviated to a great extent, especially in Sindh where more and more people are falling into the abyss of poverty and committing suicides. In order to alleviate poverty, it is proposed that the BISP may develop a mechanism so that the youth beneficiaries who will be given Rs. 300,000 should demonstrate how judiciously they will use the money. One such example could be that they either buy buffaloes individually or use that money collectively as group to launch a dairy farm at a place of their own choice. HASHIM ABRO Islamabad
CSS age limit
team Blues With a massive defeat of 298 runs in the fourth test against Australia, the Indian cricket team has proved that they have no spine. The hopes of the “Little Master” to score a hundred hundreds have gone with the wind till September this year when India will have its next test series. The onus of failure in this series remained on batsmen with a lineup filled with so many big names collapsing repeatedly. It is high time that they
Media ethics In the words of Marshall McLuhan, “All media exist to invest our lives with artificial perceptions and arbitrary values.” Today, this quotation holds true because increasing freedom of expression through free electronic media has not only changed the thinking of the Pakistani population by taking them further away from their roots. While electronic media is an important force in mobilising the masses and exposing the wrongdoings of the democratically elected leaders, people often forget the fact that private entertainment channels are slowly killing off Pakistani culture. There was a time when the whole family could sit together and watch television programmes but today, not only are the movies and soap operas vulgar, but the commercials are also not worthy of being seen by a family. Soap operas revolve around love stories which only encourage the younger generations to indulge in futile activities. The use of foul language has become common and
overhaul their batting battery as it must explode and perform on foreign soils and should not be labelled as only performers at home. Congratulations to Australia for showing extremely good performance with many novices in the team and Good Luck to India for the one day series. IFTIKHARMIRZA Islamabad
this not only corrupts the minds of impressionable children but also leads to increasingly violent behaviour. SARAH MOIN Lahore
why this apathy?
This is response to a letter by Mr Shahbaz published on this very space the other day. Mr Shahbaz, your story has not impressed me. In the first place, if he was that bad in drill that an NCO outsmarted him why was he promoted to a JCO rank in your Paltan. Secondly, if he was an outstanding JCO, he must have had other good leadership qualities. So doing an outstanding drill might not be his specialised field. He could have continued as an excellent leader in your Paltan. Thirdly, your unit officers failed to convince him that it was not an incident to resign. Fourthly, that JCO had no sense of proportion when to resign and when not to resign. I am disappointed to know about JCOs and officers of your Paltan. AZHAR KHWAJA Lahore
When floods engulfed Sindh and hundreds of thousands were rendered homeless and more than a thousand died, there was assistance not only offered by people and the provincial governments, but also by the federal government. No such gestures are visible when a number of heart patients in Punjab are suffering from contaminated killer drugs supplied by a pharmaceutical company. What can one expect from a government whose party chairman and elected PM considered it appropriate to go on foreign tours while their constituents were lying homeless in Sindh following floods, or the latest incident when citizens of Pakistan located in Punjab were dying from the deadly poison of contaminated and spurious drugs, a direct consequence of poor regulatory controls and bad governance. The senior doctors of PIC need to explain what took them so long to counter the contraindications and side effects on patients under their treatment. NASIR K KHAKAKHEL Peshawar
Lahore and Karachi for the last couple of years. And most people have admired its efficacy because it is less hectic and economises on resources. Moreover, a lot of pomp and show is now associated with weddings and more money is spent on every aspect of the wedding than is needed (from invites to décor to locales etc). One such example is the bridal dress. Any amount from Rs 25,000/- to Rs. 800,000/- is spent on a dress that the bride will never use again. Whereas the option of inexpensive dresses (even rental dresses) is available, many people still opt for spending an
exorbitant amount. Moreover, a lot is spent on gold jewellery even though the prices are sky high. Why not opt for silver or platinum jewellery or goldplated jewellery? Because of the pressure of social customs, of course. Due to the regalia that have now become the norm in weddings, even people who can’t afford it feel compelled to spend an inordinate amount of money to keep up with the Joneses and to save face. It is time that we must change our attitude and adopt a more practical approach. To promote new trends, everyone
Not a credible story
In our democratic setup, the rulers have long been ignoring the voice of its youth demanding an end to the discriminatory age rule which prevents the higher degree holders from joining the civil services through the CSS examination. That is ironic keeping in view the fact that fake degree holders are occupying the seats respectably in the national assembly while highly educated students are restricted from becoming a part of the country’s bureaucratic apparatus. While the age limitfor joining other governmental services like IB, FIA and ISI was extended up to 35 years last year, the upper age limit for the CSS exam has been stubbornly maintained at 28 years and any proposal from the FPSC or the Establishment Division to quell this blatant age discrimination is dismissed in cold blood in the power corridors. One wonders what have our policy makers been up to? Enhancing the upper age limit to 35 years in the country’s leading competitive exam will only enhance competition. I request the honourable PM Mr Yousaf Raza Gilani to raise the age limit in the CSS exam up to 35 years for the betterment of the civil service, many potential candidates and Pakistan. ALI ABBAS Islamabad
best wishes for the team Team Green has already smashed Test series in first two games of the three-game series. After getting all out on 99, in its first innings of the third Test in Dubai, could Pakistan become the first team in over 100 years to win a Test after scoring less than 100 in their first innings? Team Green is heading towards a most probably unbreakable record of Test cricket history. Best wishes for the Greenshirts! IMTIAZ ALAM Lahore
expenses on weddings Weddings in Pakistan have a host of unnecessary and wasteful traditions attached to them. Mostly, middle class families of Pakistan can’t imagine abandoning these traditions. If someone opts to do this, they have to face the resentment of their family and ridicule from a section of society. Lavish functions of “Barat” and “Valima” are celebrated. It is a tradition that these two functions have been celebrated separately. But if both functions are merged into a single one, then it would help in saving time and resources for all participants. This trend is being followed by some in Islamabad,
has to play the role. The media in particular can play a vital role regarding educating people to switch to these economical traditions. But as of now, the media is doing the exact opposite. It is recommended that media should adopt some code of ethics rather than promoting a materialistic approach. It is also the responsibility of government agencies to encourage people to adopt a realistic approach towards these functions. Austerity laws might be able to curb the amount of spending that takes place on weddings. SADAF SOHAIL Lahore
Send your letters to: Letters to Editor, Pakistan Today, 4-Shaarey Fatima Jinnah, Lahore, Pakistan. Fax: +92-42-36298302. E-mail: email@example.com. Letters should be addressed to Pakistan Today exclusively.
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12 Comment Horns of dilemma Not upsetting the delicate balance
M Gilani has reiterated that he would carry out any decision of the SC taken about his political future even if it involves his being handcuffed and sent to jail. The issue of writing a letter to the Swiss authorities, however, continues to hang fire. The confrontation between the SC and the executive comes at a crucial juncture for the system and amid forebodings that the third force could use it to upset the system. Attempts to kickstart talks between the US and Taliban, which are vital for the security of both Afghanistan and Pakistan, have entered a crucial phase. Gilani is proceeding to Qatar next week to hold important parleys related to the issue. The international community which is keen to see the continuation of democracy in Pakistan is viewing the situation with baited breath. Meanwhile, crucial talks have started between the government and the opposition on the mechanism to hold free and fair elections due within months. The apex court has shown enough judicial restraint on the issue of the implementation of the NRO verdict over the last two years, though the question regarding the basis for its selection of the cases would remain an issue of debate in days to come. While the government has taken the stand that the PM was advised by highly qualified legal experts not to write the letter to the Swiss authorities, it is difficult to ignore the point that the injunction by 17 judges of the apex court should carry greater weight. The government maintains that it hesitates to write to a foreign government to initiate the legal proceedings against the President of the country and the Supreme Commander of the armed forces with the implication that the next prime minister elected by the present NA is also likely to follow Gilani. This would prolong the crisis. At stake, on the one hand, is the majesty of the SC, while on the other, the life of the elected government which claims that conspiracies to wrap up the system have gone on for the last six months. The majesty of the SC has to be maintained while care has to be taken that the baby is not thrown out with the bath water. There is a need under the circumstances for both the executive and judiciary to find a way out of the dilemma.
Lame excuse The law and the minister
fter being put on the mat by a fellow cabinet member for giving liberty to the banned outfits for holding rallies across the country, the interior minister cleverly shifted the blame to the Senate Standing Committee on Law and Justice for not having furnished its recommendations on the proposed legislation aimed at taking action against such elements. The National Assembly sitting on Friday saw Minister of State Sh Waqqas Akram scathingly criticise Rehman Malik for lying before the cabinet that provincial governments were violating the law by letting “Pakistan Defence Council”, a conglomerate of banned outfits, hold public meetings. He was right to make a point that it could not have organised its show in Islamabad on Friday without the interior ministry’s permission. The state minister, who’s reportedly on the hit-list of the defunct Sipah-i-Sahaba Pakistan, took a strong exception to frequent public appearances of the leaders of the banned outfits. After Akram PML(N)’s Sahibzada Fazl Karim also referred to the Fourth Schedule and other relevant clauses of the Constitution under which the people belonging to such organisations could not go to public places, let alone lead rallies and hold meetings. But the fact that it is happening on government’s watch should be a cause of concern. The Defence Council of Pakistan is hardly doing any service to the nation except providing a toehold to Sh Rashid Ahmad, Hamid Gul, Ijazul Haq and others of their ilk for their political survival. A section of media also cannot escape the blame for promoting these so-called leaders by letting them propound extremist views in talk shows. Both Ahmad and Haq need to do much explaining for their roles in the Lal Masjid incident. That having been said, the interior minister should stop making lame excuses and get the senate standing committee to refer the bill to the house sooner rather than later. Further delay in carrying out legislation on the issue will cause problems for the country when its efforts to combat the growing scourge of extremism are viewed with suspicion by the world at large.
Dedicated to the legacy of the late Hameed Nizami
Arif Nizami Editor
Lahore – Ph: 042-36298305-10 Fax: 042-36298302 Karachi – Ph: 021-34330811-3 Fax: 021-34330900 Islamabad – Ph: 051-2287414-6 Fax: 051-2287417 Web: www.pakistantoday.com.pk Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunday, 5 February, 2012
all’s well that ends well Or, at least, that’s what appears to be
By Humayun Gauhar
heard giggling and knew that my friend Maverick the monkey was back. He looked healthier and smarter than ever. Now I would get another much-needed dose of wisdom and some insider information too. I think Maverick flits between being an ISI and CIA agent, though he wouldn’t be averse to RAW and MOSSAD either. Certainly sounds like one from the amount he knows and from his know-all smile and cockiness. “What’s so funny?” I asked. “Funny? Funny? It’s positively hysterical. I didn’t know your prime minister is a man in onagain, off-again purdah.” “Are you a nut, or what? Men don’t wear veils. How can our prime minister be in purdah?” “Well,” said Maverick, his momentum unbroken. “Atiqa Odho didn’t get exemption from court appearances despite the fact that she has to come all the way from Karachi to Islamabad every time because, argued the learned magistrate, she doesn’t observe purdah! Many of her appearances come to naught anyway because the lawyers are either on strike or voting in some bar election or some such. Moreover, observed the learned magistrate, she is not ill and the only accused in the case. Yet the Supreme Court exempted your prime minister from further court appearances, unless it especially summons him, like on the February 13, even though he lives down the road. Nor is he ill or has any co-accused. Shouldn’t it logically follow then that Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani is in occasional purdah? While they’re at it, they should also exempt Mullah Aziz of Lal Masjid – he actually wore aburqa once, remember? Where’s balance and equity? You have often spoken about the three branches of government and said many times, har shaakh peh ullu baitha hai, anjaam-e-gulistan kya ho ga?” Shaakh is branch, isn’t it? “Watch it,” I said sternly, “you could be charged with contempt for mocking the great and the good.” “What better?” said Maverick. “I’ll become famous. What does the verse mean, anyway?” asked Maverick. “It means: With an owl perched on every
branch, what will the fate of our garden be?” “A bit flowery, what? If you had monkeys instead of owls sitting on your branches you would have done very well.” His tone was arrogant. He probably thought he was superior since his icon Darwin said that monkeys came before Man. Quite a cult following he has amongst monkeys, does old Darwin. I decided to throw rank at him. “Look, he’s the prime minister. You cannot drag him to court all the time. He’s running the country, for God’s sake.” “What do you mean, ‘running the country’? Is this running the country? Do you mean running backward? Or do you mean ruining the country? Perhaps you mean running it to the ground? Do you know that the hijab was first enjoined upon men? Real hijab is the hijab of the mind, the eyes. The real intent of hijab is privacy – give people space. The veil covering the face was enjoined only on ladies of the Prophet’s (pbuh) household so that people don’t taunt them when they go outdoors. But since they were ladies of the highest status, the veil became a status symbol and other women started wearing it too. Then some clerics made it mandatory. But it isn’t.” “I know what you’re thinking,” continued Maverick. “You’re thinking that this monkey knows more than I do. Am I giving you an inferiority complex?” I wanted to wring his neck, but I was afraid he would wring mine. In any case, he was right. Many of my co-religionists mistakenly think that many customs and rituals, many pre-Islamic, are part of their religion, while actually they have been superimposed on it by clerics, but people unversed in the Quran think that they are part of the faith. “What’s worse,” continued Maverick rubbing it in, “you have double standards. The other day a brigadier was arrested in a drunken state for teasing an airhostess. Do you know what? He was let off. Where’s your suo motu now? A girl can attract a suo motu for allegedly carrying two bottles of the elixir, while a brigadier is let off after consuming booze and harassing a working girl? Is the lion’s skin he wears more attractive than the girl, or more frightening? Where’s balance and equity? Where is egalitarianism – the law shall apply equally to all regardless of station in life or gender? But all’s well that ends well – for the ruling class, that is. “Do you know that you are strongly advised by God not to consume alcohol because its harm outweighs its good? But it is not haram, forbidden, like pork. Your Federal Shariat Court said so. Why do you people give so much importance to alcohol anyway while ignoring heinous crimes against humanity? You think it is that easy to be a Muslim – rail against alcohol and grow a beard. You become a true Muslim by the intentions behind your actions. That is what you will be judged on.” “I don’t want lectures from a monkey about being a good Muslim,” I said in self-righteous indignation. “I’m more concerned about the memo. I
can’t understand why they couldn’t give Mansoor Ijaz ironclad guarantees for his security so that he could come here and testify. No Mansoor Ijaz, no case. Is there a coincidence between Husain Haqqani going and Ijaz’s ‘secret’ letter to the chief justice? Or is it that America gets what it wants?” “They’re running your country anyway,” said Maverick. “It’s time you grew up and realised this reality. Your ruling class was created by the Brits to act as intermediaries between them and the natives – help them suppress the people in return for knighthoods and fiefs. It has continued in this role with the Americans. Some independence!” “But you’re right. No Mansoor Ijaz, no case. That’s why he’s not coming. No Haqqani, no case. That’s why he’s gone. The memo will be a film without actors. America must have assured Haqqani that they would get him out. He’s out. What I don’t understand is why your Memo Commission couldn’t go to Ijaz and get his testimony, or get it by satellite link? I must say: your president is something. He has given haircuts to everyone, even to those with transplants, wigs and hair dye.” “Sometimes my head spins,” I said. “Sometimes I feel I don’t know what’s going on.” “Don’t you see: there could well have been a deal to let the memo issue die. Everyone got what they wanted: the army got Haqqani; the US taught your government another lesson; Zardari is off the hook and needn’t fall ill anymore. Only Nawaz Sharif has been left sporting another haircut and the Supreme Court isn’t looking so supreme after all, is it? How will you go before God, O’ Ghalib? Don’t you even feel embarrassed? The Americans don’t want more instability. Granted the plans of mice are no better than their earlier failed plans, but there is nothing you can do about it with your sovereignty lost to them. But no matter: all’s well that ends well for the ruling class and the iniquitous status quo remains.” “And what could their plans be?” “Can’t you see? You’ve written about it in ‘Green Flag, Islamic Crescent’. America’s doctrine now is: if you can’t beat them, co-opt them – ‘I know he’s a mullah, but he’s our mullah’. If there must be religious governments in the Muslim world, they must be America’s religious governments. If we can’t beat religious forces, help install religious governments that America could work with. Didn’t you see the huge rallies of your mullahs? Can’t you see which way you are going?” Maverick had a point. It’s happening elsewhere in the Muslim world. Why not in Pakistan? “Where have you been all this time?” I asked, hoping to change the subject. “Davos,” said Maverick plaintively and scampered off, leaving me open mouthed. No wonder he looked stronger and healthier. The writer is a political analyst. He can be contacted at email@example.com
The Janus face of justice
third Eye By M J Akbar
principal challenge before our judiciary has not changed in six decades: the problem of one statute and two laws, one for the powerful and the other for the weak. Kautilya, author of Arthashastra, was perfectly happy to sacrifice the ideal for the good of the state, so there was neither conflict nor confusion in the golden age of Mauryas. The Mughals, during their jewelled period, were not perturbed by concepts like equality, although, like the Mauryas, they understood that a state could not sustain itself without some sense of equity. Big fish cannot quite swallow minnows with the impunity to which they got accustomed in the imperial age of history, at least in the theory that guides a democratic constitution. But only the delusional believe that double standards have disappeared in the application of law in democratic India. The private sector has wealth, a
useful yardstick of power. But even those few ministers without wealth have the police. No prizes for guessing which of the two is more advantageous. And so justice, which wears a blindfold in statues, turns out to have not only two eyes but more than one face. In the first week of last December, an appalling fire broke out in a private hospital in Calcutta, killing patients. The guilt was obvious: greed and indifference had bred a culture of mismanagement in which the legitimate need for profit had long succumbed to the lure of profiteering. There is always good money to be made out of misery. Public anger, predictably, was intense. Eleven members of the board of directors have been arrested, including two reputed doctors held in great esteem in the city, one of them old and infirm. The law should be, and was, indifferent to esteem; even if those directors who were not directly involved with the management share some responsibility. But they have no immediate hope of getting bail, not because of the law, but because politicians deflect public anger at the first opportunity. These are fundamentals of democratic behaviour. But why are there two laws, one for the private sector and one for the public? Why do members of the Railway Board never get arrested when a railway accident kills scores or even hundreds of passengers? The Chief Minister of West Bengal, Ms Mamata Banerjee, has been Union minister for
railways. She never jailed members of her Railway Board, which is the direct equivalent of the board of directors, after an accident. Her party still controls the railway ministry, and accidents have not stopped. We should not however blame her for not offering her resignation, since no Union minister has resigned after a railway accident since Lal Bahadur Shastri in 1956. The board of directors of Air India has never gone to prison for an accident; indeed, no one has even tried to prosecute an Air India or Railways manager, let alone incarcerate him. Why? Is death in a hospital, or building collapse, somehow more heinous than death from a mismanaged government utility? Why is the private sector punished for negligence of public welfare, but never the public sector, when in fact it should probably be the other way around? Those who run public sector institutions have, without any fuss, simply placed themselves above the law. If there was any justice, dozens of nationalised bank directors would have been behind bars for the manner in which they handed out the people’s money to fly-by-night operators in the full knowledge that most of the loan would be stolen before being written off as a “Non Performing Asset”. My particular compliments to whoever coined that phrase. Never has a sweet deal been veiled by such a clever euphemism. Every Non Performing Asset should be rewritten in the account books as a
Very Active Liability. Many balance sheets would suddenly look very imbalanced indeed. I happened to be among the subclass called journalists at the White House during the visit by Atal Bihari Vajpayee after America had destroyed the Taliban government in Kabul in its search for justice after 9/11. George Bush was President, and through some mysterious process I am still unable to comprehend I was given the opportunity of asking president Bush a question. My query was not very complicated. When terrorists attacked America, the Pentagon travelled 10,000 miles to exact revenge. When terrorists attacked India, Washington urged patience, calm and various other measures designed to make you a competitor for the Nobel Prize for Peace. Why? Was an American life more valuable than an Indian life? Were there two laws in the world, one for America, and another for India? There are. This would not have bothered Kautilya; and he would not have asked for the resignation of the Mauryan empire’s Oxcart Board either. But I hope there is some reason for thought and reflection over double and triple judicial standards in 2012. The columnist is editor of The Sunday Guardian, published from Delhi, India on Sunday, published from London and Editorial Director, India Today and Headlines Today.
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Sunday, 5 February, 2012
freedom of press
The afghan reconciliation
it has worsened over the years
Who is leading the talks
Border Crossings By kuldip Nayar
ow free is the media or, for that matter, how free is the right to express one-self? This is the question which has arisen in India after the three speeches, one by Vice-President Hamid Ansari, another by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and yet another by Justice Markandey Katju, Chief of Press Council. The right to say has assumed all the more importance after Salman Rushdie’s nonparticipation at the Jaipur Literary Festival because of threats. In Pune, screening of a documentary on Kashmir was stopped following protests by the students’ wing of the BJP. Talking of the first two speeches, both Vice-President and the Prime Minister have asked the media to introspect their role because of sensationalism that has crept into their dissemination. There was not even a hint of direct or indirect control of the media in their speeches. However, Justice Katju has warned the media that some regulation may have to be imposed as self-regulation is no regulation. Since independence, New Delhi’s record has been clean except when censorship was imposed during the emergency (1975-77). Governments have followed Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru who assured the All India Newspaper Editors’ Conference as back as on December 3, 1950: “I would have a completely free press with all the dangers involved in the wrong use of that freedom than a suppressed or regulated press.” Justice Katju appears to be on a different pitch. He should know that the Press Council was constituted to safeguard the press freedom. Unfortunately, his speeches reflect little understanding of the media’s nitty-gritty or its culture. To dub journalists illiterate within a day of becoming the Press Council chief has only alienated him from them. Journalists do not qualify for the job with all the degrees if they do not write well, have no nose
for news or lack analytical ability. S Mulgaonkar, one of the leading editors that India has produced, was not even a graduate. My worry is that the media is becoming a part of the establishment. Ina free society, the press has a duty to inform the public without fear or favour. At times it is an unpleasant job, but it has to be performed because a free society is founded on free information. If the press were to publish only government handouts or official statements, there would be nothing to pinpoint lapses, deficiencies or mistakes. In fact, the truth is that the press is already too niminypiminy, too nice, altogether too refined and too ready to leave out. Still the greater danger is that the profession is becoming an industry and tending to project views of the corporate sector. Somehow, those who occupy high positions labour under the belief that they – and they alone – know what the nation should be told and when. And they get annoyed if any news which they do not like appears in print. Their first attempt is to contradict it and dub it mischievous. Later, when it is realised that a mere denial will not convince even the most gullible, a lame explanation is offered that things have not been put “in proper perspective.” I served the first Press Council. Every member felt that the Press Council should be without teeth. It was founded as a body of peers who should judge peers. Justice Katju’s argument that it should have powers to penalise defeats the very purpose of the Council. It is not a court. There are already enough of them and one can be created for the media alone. But the purpose of constituting the Council is to leave it to the Council members – editors, journalists and proprietors – to decide how to improve the erring publication. I think it should be made obligatory for the papers to print the Council’s decision, however unfavourable. Justice Katju should see the record of the Council which has been invariably an extension of the Information and Broadcasting Ministry. The Council was at its worst during the emergency when the chairman was at the end of a telephone call by Information Minister V C Shukla who played havoc with the press. George Verghese was wrongly dismissed by The Hindustan Times but before the Council could give its verdict in his favour, it was abolished. Even lately, the Council did not live up to its independent status.
There were many complaints against the press on what came to be recognised as “paid news.” News columns, considered sacrosanct, were used to campaign for a candidate who paid money. The Council’s original report had to be watered down because of the pressure exerted by proprietors of newspapers and television channels. Justice Katju’s warning against paid news is all right but he may find the Council itself divided on the subject. As regards Salman Rushdie, he had to cancel his visit because of threat to his life. Probably, the government was equivocal in providing him security. But this is not the point. The democratic polity that India is guarantees the freedom of speech. Some fundamentalists, who had taken umbrage against his book, The Satanic Verses, made the entire Muslim community a hostage. Liberal Muslims never speak out although they are vociferous in condemning Hindus on any act of omission or commission. The Supreme Court has said: “The personal liberty of an individual is the most precious and prized right guaranteed under the constitution.” The Deoband seminary should realise this, if it has not so far, that in a secular society the constitution is above fatwa. M F Husain met more or less the same fate at the hands of Hindu fanatics. All such voices are marginal and do not represent the majority. Free expression was violated at the Symbiosis College of Arts and Commerce which cancelled the screening of a documentary on Kashmir. The institute had received a notice from the Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) which objected to the screening of the documentary, calling it “separatist”. The documentary – Jashn-e-Azadi by Sanjay Kak – spoke against the Army and in a way justified terrorists’ functioning in the Valley. (In protest, I am resigning from the position of Professor Emeritus in Journalism at Symbiosis). No doubt, the space for free expression is shrinking all over the world. Yet I always thought that India would be an oasis in the desert of suppression and restriction on free expression. The fanatics and a weak government have proved me wrong. In Rushdie’s case, the UP election aggravated the problem because the state has nearly 15 percent of Muslim electorate while the screening of Kashmir documentary had to be cancelled to placate the Hindutva crowd. The writer is a senior Indian journalist.
Politact By Arif Ansar
onflicting reports have emerged on where the Afghan reconciliation process currently stands. The situation is murky and it is hard to decipher the positions of the parties involved. Not only that, but to ascertain who is negotiating, and with whom, has also been puzzling. The stakeholders may have deliberately deployed these tactics to create confusion. So far, the Taliban have proven to be equally adept at playing this game and to conceal its intent. Understanding the aims of various players is the most critical component of the negotiation process. It is important to know why various parties have agreed to enter a dialogue at this juncture. Equally essential is to understand the bargaining positions of various players, as the compromises are likely to emerge around these. The American narrative explains it’s the military pressure on the Taliban that has convinced them to talk. Taliban claim that years of fighting has proven that they cannot be military defeated, and this has caused the coalition forces to negotiate. Consider the following conflicting commentary on the ground reality: US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta recently commented that Al-Qaeda still poses a threat despite extermination of its major leaders like Osama bin Laden and US-Yemeni cleric Anwar al-Awlaki. Panetta’s statement came after President Obama’s State of the Union speech, in which he said AlQaeda’s back had been broken and the remaining few members were scrambling to escape US’s reach. Meanwhile, a recently leaked NATO report, that has used interrogations of thousands of captured Taliban insurgents to build its argument, presents a different picture. It states that Tal-
iban leaders consider victory inevitable as western troops withdraw in 2014 and it has little faith in the peace talks being held under the auspices of the international community. These arguments make it difficult to determine who is negotiating from a position of strength. Contradictory reports also emerged soon after Doha talks held last week. British media indicated that the initial US-Taliban talks, on the release of five prisoners from Guantanamo Bay detention centre, had failed. Moreover, reports blamed the Taliban for the breakdown by not agreeing to the US demand for ceasefire before the release of prisoners. On the other hand, Taliban sources have stated that ceasefire will be announced when the foreign forces start withdrawing from Afghanistan. Leon Panetta’s statement this week that US will end its combat role in Afghanistan by 2013 may be related with this Taliban demand. Meanwhile, former minister of vice and virtue for the Taliban, Maulawi Qalamuddin, denied any peace talks were being held and that negotiations were only related to the release of prisoners. However, he expressed his willingness to strengthen the talks by creating an environment of trust. Furthermore, Taliban have indicated that holding of talks does not mean they accept the Afghan constitution, which is a key US-Afghan condition. Now let’s examine if Afghanistan or Pakistan are on board with the present peace process. Both have claimed, at one point or the other, that the US has sidelined them in talks with the Taliban. The US ambassador in Afghanistan, Ryan C Crocker, stated last month that the US supported Afghan-led peace process and had no secret plan for dividing the country or replacing the current government. As Hina Rabbani Khar visited Kabul this week, she stressed that Pakistan is ready to do whatever the Afghans want to end the decade-long war with Taliban. Khar also indicated that an effective peace process is still far-fetched; but it should be “Afghan-led, Afghan-owned, Afghan-driven”. She added that once the way forward is decided, Pakistan will assist in all possible ways. Meanwhile, Afghan Foreign
Minister Zalmai Rasoul emphasised the key role of Pakistan in the peace process and hoped for the strengthening of relationship between the two countries. Just before the Doha talks, media reports appearing in Pakistan pointed out that Taliban have shared with Pakistani officials the ‘functional blueprint’ for talks with the US. The purpose of informing the country was said to make it comfortable on the agenda for talks. Meanwhile, former Taliban envoy to Pakistan, Mullah Zaeef, showed his disapproval of Pakistan’s engagement in the peace talks. He said this would encourage Iran, India and other neighbours to also get involved in rivalry, which Afghanistan cannot afford. While Taliban are talking to the Americans and Pakistan, they have refused to parley with the Afghan government. Meanwhile, the Hezb-i-Islami (HIA) Afghanistan, led by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, claimed last month that it has held meetings with the government recently. The HIA has proposed the withdrawal of foreign troops, ceasefire, transfer of the security responsibility to Afghan forces, and holding presidential, parliamentary, and provincial polls. The reports further indicated that President Karzai expressed willingness to continue talks with the party’s representatives from Pakistan, with whom he had conversed earlier. From the above discussion, it’s clear that there is a perception the peace talks are being spearheaded by the US, and that it wants to avoid giving any opportunity to Afghanistan and Pakistan to exploit. Pakistan and Afghanistan are, in turn, feeling the pressure of being sidelined and this may result in more cooperation between the two. It is also obvious that various Taliban factions are not unanimous in their views and these groups are talking to different countries. This division is probably being used to keep the dominant Taliban group in line during the talks. The ambiguity also helps the stakeholders to manoeuver around their publicly stated positions. Meanwhile, negotiations with the Pakistani Taliban (TTP) seemed to have failed for the time being, as represented by increasing attacks on Pakistani security forces in FATA.
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Sunday, 5 February, 2012
LAHORE: An eye catching view of the Badshahi Masjid.
Celebrations around the world
Eid Milad-un-Nabi is celebrated in most Muslim countries, and in other countries where Muslims have a presence, such as India, Britain, Russia and Canada. Saudi Arabia is the only Muslim country where Eid Milad-un-Nabi is not an official public holiday. Participation in the ritual celebration of popular Islamic holidays is seen as an expression of the Islamic revival. Where Milad is celebrated in a carnival manner, large street processions are held and homes or mosques are decorated. Charity and food is distributed. During Pakistan’s Eid Milad-un-Nabi celebration, the national flag is hoisted on all public buildings, and a 31-gun salute in Islamabad and a 21-gun salute at the provincial headquarters are fired at dawn. The cinemas show religious rather than secular films on 11th and 12th Rabi-ul-Awwal. Hundreds of thousands of people gather at Minar-e-Pakistan Lahore between the intervening night of 11th and 12th Rabi’ al-awwal for Milad celebrations, this is the worlds biggest gathering for Milad celebrations. Among non-Muslim countries, India is noted for its Eid Milad-un-Nabi festivities. Islamic relics are displayed after the morning prayers in the Indian states of Jammu and Kashmir at the Hazratbal Shrine, on the outskirts of Srinagar. Shabkhawani night-long prayers held at the Hazratbal Shrine are attended by thousands. Other non-Muslim countries noted for its Milad festivities are Kenya and Tanzania where it is known as ‘Maulidi’. In Kenya, the most famous place is the coastal island of Lamu and Malindi. In Tanzania the largest celebrations are on the island of Zanzibar. In many parts of Indonesia, the celebration of the Eid Milad-un-Nabi “seems to surpass in importance, liveliness, and splendour” the two official Islamic holidays of Eid ul-Fitr and Eid al-Azha.
Eid Milad-un-Nabi: a time for Muslims to reflect on obligations AMIR GULAM HUSSEIN HE anniversary of the birth of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is a timely reminder to a Muslim of his obligation (to himself and the society around him) to continue to fulfill the requirements of the Faith and its practice in the prevailing situation and condition. The birthday of the Prophet (PBUH) is called Maulid which denotes the festivities organised on this auspicious day. The alternative term Milad, which means ‘birthday anniversary’ is also commonly used. Thus in this case, the day is referred to as Milad-un-Nabi, the birthday anniversary of the Prophet (PBUH). Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was born on the night of 12 Rabi’ al-Awwal, the third lunar month. This date is also remembered with sadness, as it is also the day of his demise. In the late eighth century, the house in Mecca in which he was born was transformed into a place of private worship by the mother of the Caliph Harun ar-Rashid and the pilgrims, who came to Mecca to perform Hajj (pilgrimage), visited it to offer special
prayers. This practice has a parallel to day in that, after the completion of the various rites associated with the performance of the Hajj, many pilgrims visit the Prophet’s (PBUH) Mosque in Medina to offer prayers. The practice of making a visit (ziyirah) to the Holy Shrines e.g. those of the Prophet (PBUH) and in the case of the Shi’a, also the shrines of the Holy Imams (A.S.), is looked upon as acts to derive spiritual benefits by supplicating and seeking forgiveness from Allah. It appears that the tendency to commemorate Milad-un-Nabi on a grand and festive scale emerged first in Egypt during the Fatimid Era (969 - 1171 A.C) This is quite logical, for the Fatimid Caliphs were descendants of the Prophet (PBUH) through his daughter Hazrat Bibi Fatima (A.S.) married to the Prophet’s (PBUH) cousin, Hazrat Murtaza Ali (A.S.). The Egyptian historian Maqrizi (d. 1442 AC) describes one such celebration held in 1122 AC basing his account on Fatimid sources. It is interesting to note that at that celebration, the gathering included prominent scholars and officials of the religious hierarchy. They listened to sermons (khutba) and were given sweets, particularly honey, a favourite of the Prophet (PBUH). On
that occasion, the poor received alms. The tradition of Milad-un-Nabi in Egypt was continued from the Fatimid days by all subsequent dynasties. The way in which the birthday anniversary was celebrated varied in different countries. In Turkey, the mosques were decorated with lights, whereas in other Islamic lands, the occasion was marked by recitations of Na’ats and other devotional songs in praise of the Prophet (PBUH). In some countries like Morocco, the celebration, after its inception, became an important part of the religious life to such an extent that, for example, in Iraq, the birthday came to be considered in the hierarchy of festive days second only to Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Azha. Throughout the Middle Ages, the Prophet’s (PBUH) birthday was lavishly celebrated in Mecca, the city of his birth. In India, celebrations included large exhibitions of paintings, lectures and a funfair of activities ending with lavish feasts in which everybody participated. More recently, in this century 12 Rabi’ al-Awwal was declared a public holiday in the Ottoman Empire, as it is in Pakistan today. In Pakistan the whole month is devoted to the remembrance of the Prophet (PBUH) and his ethical, political and social role.
KARACHI: bukhari Shah baba (RA) shrine is decorated with colorful lights on the eve of the Jashan-e-eid Milad-un-Nabi (PbUH) at Kharadar area. ONLINE
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Eid Milad-un-Nabi Special 15 MUHaMMaD (pBUH): Most Influential Person in History MICHAEL H. HART Y choice of Muhammad (PBUH) to lead the list of the world’s most influential persons may surprise some readers and may be questioned by others, but he was the only man in history who was supremely successful on both the religious and secular levels. Of humble origins, the Holy Prophet (PBUH) founded and promulgated one of the world’s great religions, and became an immensely effective political leader. Today, thirteen centuries after his death, his influence is still powerful and pervasive. Muhammad (PBUH) was born in the year 570, in the city of Mecca, in southern Arabia, at that time a backward area
of the world, far from the centers of trade, art, and learning. Orphaned at age six, he was reared in modest surroundings. Islamic tradition tells us that he was illiterate. His economic position improved when, at age twenty-five, he married a wealthy widow. Nevertheless, as he approached forty, there was little outward indication that he was a remarkable person. Most Arabs at that time were pagans, who believed in many gods. There were, however, in Mecca, a small number of Jews and Christians; it was from them no doubt that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) first learned of a single, omnipotent God who ruled the entire universe. When he was forty years old, Muhammad (PBUH) became convinced that this one true God (Allah) was speaking to him, and had chosen
him to spread the true faith. For three years, Muhammad (PBUH) preached only to close friends and associates. Then, about 613, he began preaching in public. As he slowly gained converts, the Meccan authorities came to consider him a dangerous nuisance. In 622, fearing for his safety, the Prophet (PBUH) fled to Medina (a city some 200 miles north of Mecca), where he had been offered a position of considerable political power. This flight, called the Hegira, was the turning point of the Prophet’s (PBUH) life. In Mecca, he had had few followers. In Medina, he had many more, and he soon acquired an influence that made him a virtual dictator. During the next few years, while the Prophet’s (PBUH) following grew rapidly, a series of battles were fought between Medina
and Mecca. This was ended in 630 with the Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) triumphant return to Mecca as conqueror. The remaining two and one-half years of his life witnessed the rapid conversion of the Arab tribes to the new religion. When the Prophet (PBUH) died, in 632, he was the effective ruler of all of southern Arabia. The Bedouin tribesmen of Arabia had a reputation as fierce warriors. But their number was small; and plagued by disunity and internecine warfare, they had been no match for the larger armies of the kingdoms in the settled agricultural areas to the north. However, unified by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) for the first time in history, and inspired by their fervent belief in the one true God, these small Arab armies now embarked upon one of the
most astonishing series of conquests in human history. Numerically, the Arabs were no match for their opponents. On the field of battle, though, the inspired Arabs rapidly conquered all of Mesopotamia, Syria, and Palestine. By 642, Egypt had been wrested from the Byzantine Empire, while the Persian armies had been crushed at the key battles of Qadisiya in 637, and Nehavend in 642. But even these enormous conquests, which were made under the leadership of the Prophet’s close friends and immediate successors, did not mark the end of the Arab advance. By 711, the Arab armies had swept completely across North Africa to the Atlantic Ocean There they turned north and, crossing the Strait of Gibraltar, overwhelmed the Visigothic kingdom in Spain.
liever in his quest to achieve this lofty status. The Muslims must now awake, taking their example from the glorious life and the marvelous teachings of the Holy Prophet (PBUH), build their spiri-
tual and religious faith in Muhammad (PBUH) and work for the development of science, knowledge and political and social advance along the line of the most progressive races of mankind.
KARACHI: The Faizan-e-Madina Mosque decorated with lights on the eve of Eid-Milad-un Nabi (PBUH). online
Milad in modern times
N recent times, there is an increasing tendency to use the occasion of Milad-un-Nabi to reflect upon the life of the Prophet (PBUH) and seek from it answers to fundamental questions of how a Muslim should live his life for it to be truly Islamic. The Prophet’s (PBUH) life and his conduct has become a model on which every Muslim aspires to build his life according to the situation in which he finds himself. In spite of his appointment as the Prophet (Nabi) of Allah, Muhammad (PBUH) never claimed to possess any superhuman qualities. He maintained that he was a mortal and a servant (‘abd) of Allah to whom revelation (wahi) came, as it is indicated in the Holy Our’an. He knew that his role was to be the messenger (Rasul) and mediator of Allah
in guiding mankind. It is important to note that even in this function of acting as a guide, he reminded the people that only Allah was able to guide. “Verily, thou cannot guide aright everyone whom thou lovest: but it is Allah who guides him that wills (to be guided); and He is fuIly aware of all who would let themselves be guided.” (Sura AlQasas 28: Verse 56). The Prophet (PBUH) never claimed vanity in spite of his exalted position as indicated in the Holy Our’an. He saw his role amongst his people as their guide and teacher and by his example was to steer them to salvation. Whosoever followed him, and his way of life, understood their purpose and meaning of their existence in the world. In this context, the chosen (alMustafa) the Prophet (PBUH) became the prototype, (Uswa Husana) a ‘Beau-
tiful Model’. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) made time to detach himself from the hustle bustle of daily life and indulged in contemplation and meditation. By this practice, he integrated his physical aspect of his life with spiritual activities. In his daily life, he exercised utmost kindness and showed concern for the weak. His loving kindness extended over all beings. He was noted for his love of children and used to greet them and play with them. He was also known for his love of animals. He lived simply and his saying “Faqri Fakhri (‘My poverty is my pride’)” became a motto for the many who followed him. Every phase of his work and action became an ideal model of moral perfection. Whatever he did was exemplary for his followers and thus his actions and sayings were recorded and preserved in the famous Hadith literature. His was a noble and serene cause in the Way of Allah and all those who came into contact with it, were to know that what he preached and the Message of Allah that he conveyed was to show the nobility and generosity of the humankind in fulfilling the purpose of creation. His concern for peace and tranquility in all spheres of human activity was paramount. The Prophet’s (PBUH) lifestyle highlights the fact that in order to achieve the harmony, peace and tranquility within the society at large and within the self, man has to live in this world and not reject it. It is through constant struggle in this world that man will be in a position to transcend it and achieve the realisation of the Absolute which is the true destiny of man. The life of the Prophet (PBUH) is looked upon as a prototype by the be-
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16 Foreign News
Sunday, 5 February, 2012
US vows commitment to europe despite Asia focus MUNICH AFP
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Saturday that Europe remains Washington's "partner of first resort" despite US budget cuts, troop withdrawals and a strategic pivot to Asia. In a twin US effort to reassure Europe about the historical US commitment to the continent, Clinton was joined by US Secretary of Defence Leon Panetta, who nonetheless urged the Europeans to invest more in their defences. Hot foreign policy issues such as Iran, Afghanistan and Syria also loomed large over the 48th annual Munich Security Conference, a gathering of world leaders, ministers and top brass. In a speech at a roundtable talk with Panetta, Clinton pledged cooperative efforts for a united and secure Europe, mutual economic recovery, an "agile" security alliance, and a democratic Middle East along the Mediterranean. The chief US diplomat also urged her European partners in the southern German city of Munich to work together in meeting "the opportunities that lie ahead" in the AsiaPacific region. "I've heard all the talk about where Europe fits into America's global outlook. I've heard some of the doubts expressed. But the reality couldn't be clearer: Europe is America's partner of first resort," she stressed. Forced to make tough choices in tight budgetary times, the United States is shifting its military priorities to Asia and the Middle East -even if it has pulled its troops out of Iraq and begins a drawdown in Afghanistan. Reducing its military presence in Europe while tailoring it to future threats, Washington sees the looming strategic challenge in the Asia-Pacific as a newly powerful and assertive China rattles US allies in the region. In opening the conference Friday, German Defence Minister Thomas de Maiziere said Europe should not fear a renewed US focus on Asia and must increasingly look after its own backyard militarily without its historic ally. In his speech on Saturday, Panetta said: "Europe remains our security partner of choice for military operations and diplomacy around the world -- as we saw in Libya last year, and as we see in Afghanistan every day. "We are therefore deeply committed to strengthening transatlantic security partnerships and institutions, including NATO," he said. While the US military plans to withdraw two of its four army brigades stationed in Europe in 2014, Panetta announced that a US-based brigade will contribute to the NATO Response Force, a 13,000-strong unit created in 2002.
Indonesia detains 96 Australiabound migrants JAkARTA AFP
Indonesia detained Saturday 96 asylum seekers who had attempted to reach Australia, half of whom were rounded up after their boat capsized in western Java waters, police said. Police chief Irman Sugema said a wooden boat with 47 Afghans and Iranians leaked and capsized in the rough seas of Tasikmalaya in West Java province. "All of them, 47 migrants and two boat crew, have been rescued alive in the afternoon and they are now being held at Tasikmalaya police office," Sugema told AFP. Earlier on Saturday at 02:00 am (1900 GMT) he said police also arrested 49 Afghans and Iranians who were traveling by bus to the port in Tasikmalaya. He said police would work with the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and the immigration office to settle the problem. In December an overloaded vessel carrying about 250 mostly Iranian and Afghan asylum seekers sank off Indonesia's eastern Java, killing all but 47 people on board. Indonesia is a key staging post for people-smugglers taking Afghans, Iranians and other nationals on the sometimes deadly sea voyage to Australia.
ROME: A woman stands in a street covered with snow on Saturday. heavy snowfall in Rome caused the normally mild-weather italian capital to grind to a halt. afp
Europe cold snap claims 250 lives, sends ferry aground ROME
UNDREDS of people were plucked to safety Saturday after a ferry caught in a snow storm ran aground off Italy, as a vicious cold snap that has claimed over 250 lives across Europe refused to ease its clench. Ukraine has suffered the heaviest toll of 122 deaths, including many people who froze to death in the streets, as temperatures plunged to as low as minus 38.1 degrees Celsius (minus 36.5 Fahrenheit) in parts of the continent. Some airports were shut, flights and trains were delayed, and highways gridlocked as emergency services raced to clear the falling snow. But as Europe huddled indoors for warmth, Russian gas giant Gazprom said it could not satisfy western Eu-
rope's demand for more energy. In Italy, the Shardon ferry ran aground shortly after setting off from Civitavecchia port near Rome, causing panic among the 262 passengers who feared a repeat of a cruise ship tragedy in the area last month which killed 32 people. Coastguard spokesman Carnine Albano said the accident, which tore a 25-metre (80-foot) hole in the ship's side above the waterline, was caused after the vessel was buffeted by a violent snow storm from the north-east. All passengers were evacuated to safety and no injuries were reported. Heavy snowfalls in Rome caused the capital better known for its warm sunshine to grind to a halt. Parts of the Venice lagoon also froze over. In Poland, the death toll rose to 45 as temperatures reached minus 27 Celsius in the north-east. Snow fell in Bosnia for the second straight day, paralysing traffic, with
one patient dying as the ambulance was unable to reach his village in the south of the country. Public transport was disrupted in Sarajevo, with several tramlines blocked by snow since Friday evening. Even Croatian and Serbian Presidents Ivo Josipovic and Boris Tadic were forced to postpone their departure from Friday's regional meeting, as they were blocked in the ski centre Jahorina, near Sarajevo. "I can only leave the house if I dig a tunnel with a showel, my car has become a mountain of snow," IT worker Eldar Hajdarevic told AFP by phone. The Netherlands' AmsterdamSchiphol airport meanwhile reported "dozens of delays and cancellations." The cold snap has also killed people in the Baltic countries of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia, Czech Republic, Italy, Slovakia, France as well as Austria and Greece.
british scholarship launched for murdered Indian student LONDON AFP
A British university said it would set up a scholarship in memory of an Indian student shot dead while studying in England. Lancaster University on Friday announced the Anuj Bidve Memorial Scholarship in honour of 23-year-old Bidve, who was gunned down in Manchester, northwest England on December 26 while walking with a group of friends. The student, who was from Pune in western India, had been reading postgraduate micro-electronics at Lancaster, 77 kilometres (48 miles) north of the Salford area of Manchester where he was killed. The scholarship will fund a student graduating from the University of Pune to take a postgraduate engineering degree at Lancaster. "The scholarship is a fitting and lasting way of remembering Anuj, who was an outstanding student," said Lancaster University's vice-chancellor Professor Mark E Smith.
Competing mass Putin rallies face off in Moscow MOSCOW AFP
Tens of thousands took to the streets of Moscow Saturday for rival rallies arguing over the future of Russian leader Vladimir Putin, in a trial of political strength one month ahead of presidential polls. While protesters from the anti-Putin movement massed for their third rally in less than two months urging the Russian strongman to quit, his supporters also filled a square in western Moscow to bursting point. Police said 138,000 turned up for the pro-Putin rally in the west of the capital and put the number of pro-
testers at the anti-Putin event at around 36,000. However opposition rally organisers insisted they mobilised over 120,000. Bundled up in down jackets, fur coats and felt boots, the protesters defied freezing weather of around minus 17 degrees Celsius (1.5 Fahrenheit) as Russia's political temperature heated up ahead of the March 4 elections. The rally by the anti-Putin movement -- its third since disputed December 4 parliamentary polls -- was seen as a crucial test of whether activists can keep their momentum to pose a real challenge to the Russian strongman. "We are not afraid of the frost. We are afraid of lies," said Mikhail Ma-
trosov, a 51-year-old businessman who came to the rally with his friends. "We are for fair elections," he said. The protesters marched onto Bolotnaya Square just on the other side of the Moscow river from the Kremlin and massed to hear speeches from activists and politicians calling on Putin to quit for the sake of the country. "Putin wants to rule forever! One, two, three Putin leave!" cried opposition activist Ilya Yashin as the crowd roared back its approval. The leader of the opposition Yabloko party, Grigory Yavlinsky, said: "We are different but we are all of the same colour, the colours of the Russian flag!"
Yavlinsky was controversially disqualified from the presidential elections on procedural grounds, ridding Putin of his sole liberal challenger in the race. Implying he expected Putin to win the polls but that he would then have to endure a hard time, Yavlinsky said: "Life does not end on March 4 or even 5. Everything is just beginning. We together are defending the country's future. We will never retreat." Putin is standing for a third term as Kremlin chief in the elections after hisfour year stint as prime minister and his main opposition will come from the Communists who have shown little passion for the protest movement.
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Iran mass producing anti-ship cruise missile: TV TEHRAN AFP
Iran has begun mass production of an anti-ship cruise missile, state television's website said on Saturday. The Zafar missile, as it is dubbed in the report, "is a short-range, anti-ship cruise missile capable of destroying small- and medium-sized targets with high precision." It can be mounted on speed boats and other light vessels, can withstand electronic warfare, and is able to fly in low altitudes to avoid detection, the report said. Iran has a fleet of speed boats that often challenge US and allied warships in the Gulf. The vessels are usually controlled by the elite Revolutionary Guards and can be equipped with missiles. The Islamic republic says it has a wide range of missiles. It says some are capable of striking targets inside Israel as well as Middle Eastern military bases of its other main archfoe, the United States. Tehran regularly boasts about developing missiles having substantial range and capabilities, but Western military experts cast doubt on its claims. Iran's military said in January that it could close the strategic Strait of Hormuz in the Gulf, through which a third of global marine oil traffic passes, if it is attacked.
Foreign News 17
Activists storm Syria embassy in Kuwait kUWAIT CITY
OLICE arrested around 40 people when hundreds of angry Syrians and local activists stormed the Syrian embassy in Kuwait on Saturday, the interior ministry and a security official said. "A group of Syrian expats stormed the Syrian embassy in Kuwait, removed the flag and destroyed utilities," the ministry said in a statement. Security personnel assigned to guard the embassy "fired warning gunshots" but protesters still stormed the embassy
which eventually left a number of Kuwaiti security men injured, the ministry said. Earlier, the independent Kuwait Association for Human Rights said on its Twitter page that at least two protesters were injured in the scramble to flee after embassy guards fired gunshots into the air. In its statement, the interior ministry said that the Syrian ambassador and other embassy staff escaped unhurt. Police arrested a number of those who stormed the mission, including several Kuwaitis and authorities were still looking for others, the interior ministry said without saying how many were detained. A security official, who spoke on con-
dition of anonymity, told AFP that around 40 people were arrested, including at least two Kuwaitis. Kuwaiti activist Abdulaziz al-Mutairi was among those arrested, his friends said in messages posted on Twitter. The foreign ministry strongly condemned the incident, saying it "breaches the country's laws and international charters." Kuwaiti MP and head of the Arab parliament, Ali al-Deqbasi, said in a statement Saturday that he will demand the expulsion of Syrian envoys from Arab countries. He said the crackdown on anti-government protesters in Syria is proof of the "inability of the Arab League to protect
Arab people." Deqbasi also criticised Moscow saying it "let down the Arab people by attempting to block international efforts to rescue the Syrian people," and called on Arab countries to be "cautious in their relations with Russia." Newly elected Islamist MP Osama Munawer called in a statement for the "immediate release of those arrested." Kuwaiti activists meanwhile called for another protest at the Syrian embassy later in the day. The demonstration took place after Syrians and activists used Twitter to appeal for the gathering to be held after dawn Muslim prayers, following news about a massacre in Homs.
Crisis could push europe to â€˜early graveâ€™: Australia MUNICH AFP
Australia's foreign minister launched a fierce broadside at Europe Saturday, saying the financial crisis has caused it to turn in on itself and warning it risked an "early grave" amid Asia's rise. Speaking at the Munich Security Conference, Kevin Rudd warned that Europe had become sidelined from the debate over the growing economic and political influence of China and Asia and urged Europeans to re-engage. "Here in Europe, this continent has largely been missing in this debate, this should no longer be the case," Rudd said, adding that the region still had "a great deal to offer" in terms of diplomacy. "The danger that I see is Europe progressively becoming so introspective and so preoccupied with its internal problems on the economy and on the eurozone in particular that Europe runs the risk of talking itself into an early economic and therefore globally political grave," he said. "We don't want that. We actually think Europe has fundamental strengths to deliver to the rest of the world but we are not seeing a whole lot of that right now," added the minister. The European Union's internal market commissioner, Michel Barnier, hit back, saying that Europe would "emerge stronger and better organised from this crisis." Rudd was speaking on a panel on "America, Europe and the rise of Asia" at the annual gathering of leaders, ministers and top brass that wraps up on Sunday.
CAiRO: An Egyptian man waves a national flag as a protester grabs a teargas canister fired by riot policemen near the interior ministry on Saturday. afp
Riot police surround Occupy DC camp WASHINGTON AFP
Police in riot gear surrounded an anti-Wall Street protesters' camp in downtown Washington early Saturday in apparent preparation for a crackdown against the Occupy DC encampment. About 50 riot police officers -- some of them on horseback -- surrounded McPherson Square in the pre-dawn hours, but refrained from immediate action. Most nearby streets were cordoned off by police vehicles.
However, the so-called "Tent of Dreams" that draped the statue at the center of the square was peacefully taken down and carefully folded by protesters. Also removed was a mask the occupiers had put on the statue. According to media reports, police planned to search tents in the encampment later this morning to remove all sleeping gear inside them, but not the protesters themselves. A police official told the group, "We are not here to evict," but to check to see if protesters are complying with no-camp rules.
Under National Park Service regulations, demonstrations are allowed on the service's property, but people are barred from sleeping there. Last month, the service, which controls the square, said it would start enforcing a ban on camping in the park, after tolerating the open-ended encampment from the outset. But no specific date was given. Occupy DC is the most visible of the few remaining camps that sprouted in US cities in September and October in protest against economic inequality and bigbusiness influence on politics.
Third day of Egypt clashes as death toll mounts CAIRO AFP
Police fired tear gas and birdshot at protesters on Saturday in a third day of deadly clashes in Cairo, as anger at Egypt's ruling military boiled over after 74 people died in football-related violence. The police responded after dozens of protesters threw stones at officers guarding the interior ministry hundreds of metres (yards) from the capital's iconic Tahrir Square. Some protesters later intervened and stood between their comrades and police, ending the violence. In the canal city of Suez, two people died from birdshot
wounds sustained in clashes overnight, medics said. Hospital officials said nine people have been killed in Cairo and Suez since the violence erupted. Five people were also wounded in overnight clashes outside police headquarters in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria, state media reported. Marchers had taken to the streets nationwide on Friday to demand that Egypt's ruling generals cede power immediately after a night of violence in several cities. The official MENA news agency on Saturday cited the health ministry as saying 2,532 people have been injured. A reporter for the state-owned Nile News television station was wounded in the eye by birdshot, the channel reported.
The interior ministry said 211 policemen were wounded, including a general who lost an eye, and said 16 conscripts were wounded by birdshot. Protesters, many of them organised supporters of Cairo's main football clubs known as the Ultras, held up a huge banner to the police that read: "Those who didn't deserve to die have died at the hands of those who don't deserve to live." Many of the dead in Wednesday's football riot in the northern city of Port Said were thought to have been Al-Ahly supporters, set upon by partisans of the local Al-Masry side after the Cairo team lost 31. The Ultras played a prominent role among anti-regime elements in the upris-
ing that overthrew president Hosni Mubarak a year ago, and commentators and citizens have suggested pro-Mubarak forces were behind the massacre, or at least complicit. In the ongoing aftermath, rocks and stones flew in all directions on Friday as police vans in Cairo repeatedly charged demonstrators. At one point, police clubbed protesters just metres away from the interior ministry. Across the street, a building housing the Tax Authority burned, state television reported. A soldier injured outside the interior ministry on Thursday died in hospital on Friday, MENA said. In a sign of increased insecurity, gunmen carrying automatic weapons stormed
a police station in east Cairo, freeing detainees before torching it. And in the Dokki neighbourhood, a group of men attacked a police station, taking weapons from the building. The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) blamed the unrest on "foreign and domestic hands targeting the country." In a statement on Facebook, it urged "all political and national forces of this great nation to take a national and historic role and intervene... to return stability." Wednesday's clashes between AlMasry and Al-Ahly fans marked one of the deadliest incidents in football history, and came amid claims by witnesses the security forces did little to prevent the it.
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Sunday, 5 February, 2012
Sharapova puts Russia ahead in Fed Cup Page 21
Younus brings Pakistan closer to whitewash
DUbAI: younus Khan (L) plays a shot as england's wicketkeeper Matt Prior (R) looks on. afp DUBAI
AKISTAN clawed back to a position of authority against England after Younus Khan smashed a stylish century on day two of the third and final Test here at the Dubai International Stadium on Saturday. Younus’ return to form earned Pakistan 180 runs lead and with support from Azhar Ali at the other end. They overcame the early loss of their opening batsmen to reach 222 for two wickets and also kept Pakistan afloat. Pakistan's third wicket pair of Younus and Azhar played skillfully through the second and third sessions to put the conditions into full use making 194 runs. They were in control of the proceeding with 115
and 75 runs respectively. As the wicket got flat, the frustration started to grow in the England camp and hopes revived for Pakistan of getting their first ever whitewash in a Test series against England. Even 79th over review off Swann and the new ball after 80 overs did not yield any results for England. Younus, who is the first Pakistani to have scored a century in the series, became the fourth Pakistani player to have reached 20 Test hundreds. He steered the ball to short midwicket to get to his century that came off 166 balls, timed with 11 fours and a six. At that point, Pakistan were placed with 152 runs lead. For his great innings, not only the fans but also the cricket greats like Sunil Gavaskar and Kapil Dev, who were there to watch the match, gave him a standing
DUbAI: Azhar Ali (R) plays a shot as wicketkeeper Matt Prior (L) looks on. afp ovation. Pakistan, who lead 2-0 in the threetest series, are hoping for a clean sweep by putting up a formidable total in their second innings to punish the tourists. Earlier, as the day resumed at 104 for six, England wickets kept tumbling in the morning session. But Younus and Azhar kept on playing the entire day. Pakistan bowlers were remarkable in the first hour of the day and allowed England just 50 minutes at the crease and the visitors could swell the lead only from five runs to 42 with a total of 141 runs. Strauss, however, completed his 26th Test half century and as he reached 56 he was stumped by Adnan Akmal off Abdur Rehman, his fifth of the innings. But before that he trapped Anderson LBW in a review after umpire declared him not out.
SCOREBOARd PAKiStAN, 1st innings: 99 (Asad Shafiq 45; S. Broad 4-36, J. Anderson 3-35) ENgLANd, 1st innings: (overnight 104-6) 56 A. Strauss st Adnan b Strauss A. Cook c Adnan b gul 1 J. trott lbw b gul 2 K. Pietersen lbw b Rehman 32 5 i. Bell st Adnan b Ajmal 10 E. Morgan lbw b Rehman M. Prior b Rehman 6 4 J. Anderson b Rehman S. Broad lbw b Ajmal 4 16 g. Swann c Rehman b Ajmal M. Panesar not out 0 EXtRAS: (b1, lb4) 5 141 tOtAL: Fall of wickets: 1-5 (Cook), 2-7 (trott), 3-64 (Pietersen), 4-75
England hoped to had a healthy lead when Strauss' side resumed from an overnight score but they lost Anderson in
(Bell), 5-88 (Morgan), 6-98 (Prior), 7-106 (Anderson), 8-121 (Broad), 9-133 (Strauss) BOWLiNg: gul 7-1-28-2, Cheema 4-0-9-0, Ajmal 23-6-59-3, Rehman 21-4-40-5 Overs: 55 PAKiStAN, 2nd innings: Mohammad hafeez lbw b Panesar 21 taufiq Umar c Strauss b Anderson 6 75 Azhar Ali not out Younus Khan not out 115 5 EXtRAS: (lb4, nb1) tOtAL: (for two wickets) 222 Fall of wickets: 1-16 (Umar), 2-28 (hafeez). BOWLiNg: Anderson 16-5-24-1 (nb1), Broad 12-3-38-0, Panesar 33-7-84-1, Swann 19-2-58-0, trott 2-0-14-0 Overs: 82 toss: Pakistan Umpires: Simon taufel (AUS) and Steve davis (AUS) tV umpire: Shavir tarapore (iNd) Match referee: Jeff Crowe (iNd)
the first over of the day and afterwards Ajmal trapped Stuart Broad lbw and later Strauss departed after a half-century.
Released Amir faces uncertain future I had a point to prove: younus kARACHI AFP
Teenage Pakistan paceman Mohammad Amir faces an uncertain future following his release from jail this week after serving half of a sixmonth-sentence for his role in a spot-fixing scandal. The 19-yearold's burgeoning career was cut short when he pleaded guilty to charges of corruption in a scandal that surfaced in August 2010 and rocked the sporting world. Amir, once considered the hottest property in international cricket after a rapid rise from village boy to famed bowler, now knows nothing about what life has in store for him. He emerged on the scene in 2009, regarded as a better left-arm paceman than the legendary Wasim Akram at the same age. With 51 wickets in just 14 Tests, Amir was on the verge of getting the ICC emerging player award in 2010 -- but his career and life then derailed. The charges were related to bowling deliberate no-balls by Amir and pace partner Mohammad Asif in a Lord's Test against England, contrived with then captain Salman Butt and trio's agent Mazhar Majeed in return for big money. The International Cricket Council (ICC) banned the trio for a minimum of five years while a UK court last year sent Amir to jail for six months, Asif for 12, Butt for 30 and Majeed for 32.
That scandal not only destroyed three top class careers but also shook the cricket world which demanded stricter penalties and measures to curb corruption, with many people feeling sympathy for the young Amir. As soon as Amir was released from prison on Wednesday, speculation started about whether his career can be reignited. Amir's former lawyer, Shahid Karim, believes the paceman can appeal against the ICC ban in the Switzerland based Court of
Arbitration for Sports, however some experts believe his pleading guilty means he cannot. Former paceman Waqar Younis backed a reduction in the ban but there is no such provision in the ICC code in which the minimum penalty is a five-year-ban. Former England captain Mike Brearley, also part of ICC's Task Team on Pakistan, showed sympathy for Amir. "We also need to recognise that the pressure put on the young player by criminal bookies or their agents, or by their corrupt team-mates, can be appalling...some of those involved might need to be treated with compassion, especially if they admit their guilt," Brearley said last year. Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) legal adviser Taffazul Rizvi said Amir will have to undergo a rehabilitation programme under ICC's Anti-Corruption and Safety Unit (ACSU). AMir’s BAn CAn Be reduCed: The International Cricket Council Executive Board is the only authority which could revoke the five-year ban on Mohammad Amir. An ICC official revealed that it can only be done under exceptional circumstances. “I believe he has to undergo rigorous rehabilitation before he is considered for such a concession at the executive board.” The ICC sources said that someone have to form a programme for the rehabilitation. “It maybe the ICC or the nearest possible board of that player that is the PCB or the ICC prepares and is assisted by the PCB
or the PCB prepares and the ICC makes some additions to that programme. But in all these circumstances Aamir has to take the rehab programe. In fact it’s the domain of the anti-corruption unit to look into the issue. They maybe formulating a formula for such players rehabilitation,” he added. The ICC official said that it’s all parties who have to decide the proper course and most importantly its Amir who has to agree upon taking the rehabilitation programme like taking course, getting into involved in lectures on the platform of the PCB anticorruption unit. “He has been involved in the crime and he has admitted that so I don’t see him going to the court of arbitration for appeal. “As of review or reconsidering the five-year ban, the ICC commission imposed on him, it is already the minimum of the punishment and that cannot be reduced further and there is no provision to change that decision. The ICC has to work on that provided Amir take proper rehabilitation and comes out such a reformed person that everyone say that he is a changed person and only then the Executive board would be able to take a decision but only in exceptional circumstances,” the official added. There maybe soft corner for him but its due to his tender age and not for the crime he has committed and he has to follow the process to return to serious cricket, the official maintained.
Pakistan's former captain Younus Khan has said that he played keeping in mind the requirement of the team and reached his century. He said that he first kept playing the ball and when it started to come onto the bat he developed his innings. "I played session by session and ball by ball to get back to form and it was the requirement of the team," he added. "Azhar did a great job at the other end and when we began to see the ball properly, we started taking singles and doubles," he maintained. The pair also added 194 runs unbeaten stand for the third wicket which was also the second highest against England. Younus and Mohammad Yousuf scored 363 runs at Leeds in a losing cause against England. It was frustrating but bad patch is gone and now I am happy to score a century, he added. It was Younus' second century against England and he was the 12th Pakistan batsman to have scored two centuries against the visitors. "I was not aware of the fact. I just came in with one thing in mind that I need to score runs. There was pressure for not scoring. But I had one thing in mind: stay at the wicket and play positive. The wicket is batting friendly and the fourth innings wicket would be difficult to play on. We would try to get 350 plus runs. "We would try to post maximum possible score on the board and then press for a clean sweep," he maintained. Meanwhile Alister Cook said that the pitch has eased up. "The match is still on and we would try to get wickets in the early session to stay in the match. It’s not easy to score in Asian conditions and we need to concentrate on our batting because we would be playing most of our cricket in Asia this year," he added.
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Pakistan finish eighth in Fed Cup Tennis
Arif retains POA presidency
LAHORE SPECiAL CORRESPONdENt
LAHORE StAFF REPORt
Pakistan team secured eighth position amongst 10 nations in the FED Cup Women’s Tennis International Asia Oceana Group II event in Shenzen, China. Pakistan played against Oman for the seventh to eighth play-off on Saturday and lost against Oman 2-1. The first match was played between Ushna Suhail and Sarah Al Balushi which Ushna easily won 6-0, 6-0. She played superb tennis and won the match without conceding a single game to her opponent. The second match was played by Saba Aziz against Fatma Al Nabhani, Oman’s woman circuit player. Saba lost the match by 6-0, 6-2. The final deciding match was doubles played by Ushna Suhail and Sara Mansoor against Fatma Al Nabahani and Sarah Al Balushi. Oman won the doubles by 6-2 and 7(7)-6 and also won the play off fishing at number seven.
younus makes second century against england StatS Corner S. PERvEZ QAISER Younus Khan became the 12th Pakistani batsman to score two or more centuries against England in Test cricket. The batsman achieved this feat by making an unbeaten 115 off 195 balls with 11 fours and one six on the second day of the third and final Test at Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Saturday (February 4). Younus scored 173 off 285 balls with 22 fours at Leeds in 2006 which was his first century against England in Tests. The other Pakistani batsmen to score two or more hundreds against England before Younus were Inzamam-ul-Haq (five hundreds in 32 innings of 19 Tests), Salim Malik (four hundreds in 28 innings of 19 Tests), Asif Iqbal (three hundreds in 22 innings of 15 Tests), Hanif Mohammed (three hundreds in 33 innings of 18 Tests), Javed Burki (three hundreds in 22 innings of 11 Tests), Mudassar Nazar (three hundreds in 26 innings of 18 Tests), Mushtaq Mohammed (three hundreds in 41 innings of 23 Tests), Haroon Rashid (two hundreds in 11 innings of seven Tests), Javed Miandad (two hundreds in 32 innings of 22 Tests), Mohsin Khan (two hundreds in 18 innings of 10 Tests) and Zaheer Abbas (two hundreds in 24 innings of 14 Tests). Younus Khan also became the 13th Pakistan batsman to score 750 or more runs against England in Tests. He batted 18 innings of 10 Test matches to reach this milestone. ** Taufeeq Umar's wicket was James Anderson's 249 in 66 Test matches. This wicket took him clear of Matthew Hoggard and into sixth place in England’s all-time list of Test wicket-takers. ** Abdur Rehman recorded his second best bowling performance in Test by taking five for 40. His best bowling in an innings is six for 25 in the second innings of the second Test match at Abu Dhabi. ** Azhar Ali and Younus Khan added 194 runs for the unbroken third wicket stand. It was Pakistan's second best stand for this wicket position against England. Mohammed Yousuf and Younis Khan who put on 363 runs at Leeds in 2006, holds the record of best third wicket stand for Pakistan against England. Best third wicket stand for Pakistan against England RUNS BAtSMEN VENUE SEASON RESULt 363 yousuf/younus Leeds 2006 Pakistan lost 194 Azhar /younus Dubai 2011-12 Awaited 180 Haroon Rasheed/ Lahore 1977-78 Draw Mudassar Nazar 177 M Hafeez/M yousuf The oval 2006 england won 172 Mushtaq M/ The oval 1974 Draw Zaheer Abbas
Aisam’s book gets stunning response
LAHoRe: PoA President Lt Gen (retd) Arif Hassan (F, 3rd L) and Federal Minister FATA engr Shaukatullah (3rd R) with other panel members at the general council meeting of the PoA. STaff pHOTO LAHORE
T Gen (r) Arif Hassan retained the Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) president slot after defeating Maj Gen (r) Akram Sahi and Qasim Zia in the elections here at a local hotel on Saturday. From a total votes of 102, Lt Gen (r) Arif Hassan bagged 48. Gen (r) Akram Sahi got 32 votes. The third
contestant Qasim Zia, who is also PHF president, succeeded in getting 21 votes. After the elections, the General Council meeting was held in which the winning candidate Lt Gen (r) Arif Hassan announced his panel. Khalid Mehmood of WAPDA was nominated as POA secretary while 10 vice presidents were also announced including Syed Aqil Shah, Ch M Yaqoob, Shaukat Javed, Doda Khan Bhutto, Kamran Lashari, Saeed Iqbal Khan, Iftikhar
Ahmad Tabassum, M Afzal Awan, Abdul Khaliq Khan and Fatima Lashari. Haji M Shafiq was nominated as treasurer while M Jahangir, Zulfiqar Ali Butt, Hafiz Imran Butt, Hafeez Ullah Khan and Haider Lehri are nominated as associate secretaries. Khawar Pervaiz Shah, M Rashid Malik, Ahmad Yahya Khan, Wajid Ali Ch, Sumera Sattar, Saba Shamim Akhtar and Nargis Rahimtoola are nominated as member of executive committee.
India lose chief sponsor NEW DELHI AFP
Indian cricket was hit by a major crisis on Saturday when the long-time sponsor of the national team pulled out over its differences with the Board of Control for Cricket in India. The Sahara group of companies, which has been a BCCI sponsor since 2000, said in a statement that it was ending what it perceived was a "one-sided emotional relationship" with the BCCI. "We really feel such one-sided emotional relationship cannot be dragged any further," the company statement said. "We are withdrawing from all cricket under the BCCI." Sahara also withdrew its ownership of the Pune Warriors team in the Indian Premier League, causing a turmoil in the glitzy Twenty20 league
MUMbAI: Subrato Roy, chairman of the Sahara Group, gestures as he speaks during a news conference. afp
ahead of the players' auction in Bangalore later on Saturday. The group cited several reasons for the sudden pull-out, but insisted it had nothing to do with the national team's recent performances where they lost eight consecutive Tests abroad against England and Australia. Sahara said it was unhappy with the BCCI's dealings with it over the Pune Warriors franchise which was bought from the 2011 edition of the IPL for $370 million. "Our first entry into IPL was thwarted in 2008 when we were disqualified, owing to a small technicality on the whims and fancies of the BCCI," the company statement said. "Last year, Sahara entered the IPL on the basis of information in the media and everywhere else that 94 matches will be played among 10 teams. The bid price was accordingly calculated, but only 74 matches were played. "We are still pursuing continuously with the BCCI to refund the extra bid money proportionately. It has been denied on the basis of strict rules." Sahara was also unhappy that the BCCI had not allowed it to use the $180,000 it paid for India star Yuvraj Singh on another player, even though the left-hander is indisposed and ruled out of the competition. Yuvraj is being treated for a non-malignant lung tumour which was diagnosed after the World Cup last year in which he was the man of the series following India's victorious campaign. "We requested the BCCI on the basis of the fact that we have only one Indian marquee player, we should be allowed to add price of Yuvraj in our auction purse," the statement said.
Pakistan’s tennis ace Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi’s book ‘Lessons learnt from the tennis tour’ has drawn immense response from the general public as the book was placed at the 26th International Book Fair that commenced on Friday at the Expo Centre. Aisam’s book, which documents experiences of the star player in the Davis Cup, will be officially launched later this month. But it was on display in the exhibition that will run till February 7. The book, written with his coach Robert Davis, shares the experiences Aisam learnt from a successful career. The book is beautifully designed and is printed in coffee table format. Regarded as one of Pakistan’s best-known international sportsmen, Aisam has been a superb ambassador of the sport and country, presenting a clean-cut image of Pakistan through his persona. This is a must-read for aspiring and even established sporting personalities who would care to know why learning from your defeats and triumphs, and keeping it in perspective and all the while staying fiercely mindful of one’s image is so hugely important.
National women Netball tomorrow LAHORE StAFF REPORt
The 10th National Netball Women Championship will roll into action from tomorrow (Monday) here at the Lahore University of Management and Sconces (LUMS). Syed Babar Ali will be chief guest at the inauguration ceremony. As many as 11 teams are participating in the national event including Army, WAPDA, HEC, Sindh, Punjab, Khyber PK, Balochistan, Islamabad, FATA, LUMS and LGS. Sindh team will be defending champion. Pakistan Netball Federation (PNA) secretary Gen Muddassar Arain on Saturday reached the city and met with Punjab Netball Association (PNA) secretary Chaudhry Rizwan. He also examined the arrangements of the championship and appreciated the efforts of PNA president Syed Shaharyar Ali who is boosting netball across the Punjab. IOC Olympic Committee member in Pakistan Syed Shahid Ali will be chief guest at the concluding ceremony.
India’s Jadeja lands $2m IPL jackpot NEW DELHI AFP
Young India all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja was sold for $2 million at the Indian Premier League auction in Bangalore on Saturday, but a host of big-name stars missed out. Reigning IPL champions Chennai Super Kings, owned by Indian cricket chief Narayanaswamy Srinivasan, bagged the 23-year-old Jadeja after an intense bidding war with Deccan Chargers. Jadeja joins Indian colleagues Gautam Gambhir, Yusuf Pathan, Robin Uthappa and Rohit Sharma in the $2-million-a-year bracket in the money-spinning Twenty20 league. Just 25 of the 144 foreign and Indian players who had thrown their hat in the ring found favour with the franchises in the auction, which was restricted to players not already aligned to any team. Among the chief gainers were Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardene, bought by Delhi Daredevils for $1.4 million, and Indian seamer Vinay Kumar, who fetched $1.0 million from Royal Challengers Bangalore. New Zealand wicketkeeper Brendon McCullum went to Kolkata Knight Riders for $900,000, while 41-year-old Australian spinner Brad Hogg was picked up by Rajasthan Royals for $180,000. Former Pakistan international Azhar Mahmood, who now holds a British passport, will play for Kings XI Punjab for $200,000. A bigger surprise, however, was the list of players who missed out. There were no takers for England's James Anderson, Graeme Swann, Ian Bell, Matt Prior and Ravi Bopara, despite their team being the number one Test side and also the reigning world Twenty20 champi-
ons. Veteran Indian batsman Venkatsai Laxman, struggling to retain his place in the Indian Test team, was also unsold. Even in-form Australian fast bowler Peter Siddle was ignored. Jadeja, Jayawardene, Kumar and McCullum belonged to the now-defunct Kochi Tuskers franchise, which played in last year's tournament before it was thrown out of the IPL in September for non-payment of dues. The franchises used the auction to fill their quota of 11 foreign stars in the 33man squads allowed for each club ahead of the fifth edition of the IPL which will be played between April 4 and May 27. Much depended on the availability of the players for the seven-week 76-match tournament. England's international players will not be available for more than a month, since their tour of Sri Lanka ends on April 7 and is followed by a home series against the West Indies starting in mid-May. The leading Australians can join the IPL only after their tour of the West Indies finishes on April 27. The auction was held in the shadow of the withdrawal of the Sahara group, sponsors of Team India and owners of the Pune Warriors franchise, from their association with Indian cricket earlier on Saturday. Sahara, which cited a "one-sided emotional relationship" with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for their decision, did not take part in the auction. It remained to be seen if Pune's withdrawal will leave eight teams in the fray for this year's tournament. "It's unfortunate," said IPL chairman Rajiv Shukla of Sahara's decision, but insisted the tournament will go ahead as scheduled. "They haven't sent us anything in writing. So I can't comment right
now. But the IPL will continue. The show always goes on." MAiN FEAtURES OF iPL AUCtiON: List of top gainers and losers at the Indian Premier League auction in bangalore on Saturday: tOP gAiNERS: Ravindra Jadeja (IND) - $2.0 million to Chennai Super Kings Mahela Jayawardene (SRI) - $1.4 million to Delhi Daredevils Vinay Kumar (IND) - $1.0 million to Royal Challengers bangalore brendon McCullum (NZL) - $900,000 to Kolkata Knight Riders Sunil Narine (wIS) - $700,000 to Kolkata Knight Riders Parthiv Patel (IND) - $650,000 to Deccan Chargers Thisara Perera (SRI) - $650,000 to Mumbai Indians brad Hodge (AUS) - $475,000 to Rajasthan Royals Andre Russell (wIS) - $450,000 to Delhi Daredevils Mitchell Johnson (AUS) - $300,000 to Mumbai Indians Muttiah Muralitharan (SRI) - $220,000 to RC bangalore
Azhar Mahmood (eNG) - $200,000 to Kings XI Punjab brad Hogg (AUS) - $180,000 to Rajasthan Royals tOP PLAYERS UNSOLd: James Anderson (eNG) Graeme Swann (eNG) Tamim Iqbal (bAN) Ian bell (eNG) owais Shah (eNG) Venkatsai Laxman (IND) Matt Prior (eNG) Mark boucher (RSA) Steven Smith (AUS) Ravi bopara (eNG) Peter Siddle (AUS) Kevin o'brien (IRL) Jacob oram (NZL)
bANGALoRe: owner of Mumbai Indians Neeta Ambani (C), bollywood actor and owner of Kolkata Knight Riders Shah Rukh Khan (L), and IPL Chairman Rajiv Shukla (R) arrive for a post-players' auction press conference. afp
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Sunday, 5 February, 2012
Levin leads frost-bitten phoenix Open SCOTTSDALE AFP
Spencer Levin fired an eight-under 63 for the clubhouse lead as the $6.1 million PGA Tour's Phoenix Open was suspended because of darkness for the second consecutive day on Friday. Levin reached 14-under 128 through two rounds. His closest pursuer was fellow American Harrison Frazer, who was six-under for the day and 11-under for the tournament with three holes reamining in his second round when play was halted. "Everything was pretty good today," Levin said. "My putting and chipping feels real solid. "I felt pretty good going into my second round and it didn’t feel like a second round." The beginning of the round was delayed an hour because of frost, and play was suspended because of darkness with 34 players still on the course. Last year, chilly temperatures and frosty greens delayed play a total of nine hours during the week, forcing a Monday finish which went to a playoff. The second round was to continue at 7:30 am on Saturday which means that for the sixth consecutive year the cut will be decided on Saturday. Levin, who had an early tee off time, finished his round with a seven-shot lead. But an afternoon wave of contenders closed the gap, including Frazar and Webb Simpson. Simpson (69) and John Huh (66) were in the clubhouse six strokes back of Levin on 134 while Kyle Stanley, who lost a heartbreaker to Brandt Snedeker in a playoff last week, is alone on 135 after shooting a 66 Friday. Levin, who has gone from 131st to 31st on the money list in the last three years, hit 15 greens in regulation and needed just 25 putts in the second round. Levin completed his first round early Friday, starting with three straight birdies to post a 65. He carried that good feeling over with birdies on his first two holes of his second round. Levin's best shot of the day came in the second round when he holed out from a greenside bunker for eagle on the parfour 17th. "I felt good today off the tee and with my irons. It is just amazing how quick your mind can change in this game," Levin said.
Cometh the hour, cometh the man Pakistan look to mop up England, Roma take on Inter, the Six Nations is underway and there’s Super Bowl XLVI aLL BaSeS CoVereD kUNWAR kHULDUNE SHAHID As the saying goes, “Cometh the hour, cometh the man”, Pakistan cricket team has found Younus Khan as they look to leave an exclamation mark on a full throttle battering of England. Meanwhile there are the likes of Wesley Sneijder, Dimitri Yachvili and Tom Brady who would be vying to be the man of the hour, as humongous games are on the horizon in Serie A, Rugby and NFL.
PAKiStAN EYE WhitEWASh Having a 2-0 decisive lead in the series, and being bundled out for 99 in the second session of day one, Pakistan could have been forgiven for taking things lightly and letting England have a share of the pie. After all they had just completed trouncing of the world’s best, and a series win – whatever the scoreline might have been – would have been a staggering triumph. However, it seems as if this current Pakistan lineup has embraced the “winning is a habit” cliché, and seems to be imbued with that warrior like spirit, who never knows when he’s lost. Pakistan have fought back resiliently and after an awe inspiring batting show from Azhar Ali and Younis Khan, the game effectively stands at Pakistan being 180 for 2 at the end of day two, with the solitary English innings to follow. It was about time one of the batting lineups solved the million dollar puzzle that the pitch and the conditions aren’t in fact as impossible as they were making them seem. And while, the pace of the wicket has eased out, Pakistan’s staunch position on the second day of the match owes a lot to the meticulously apposite approach towards batting that was flaunted by Pakistan’s number three and four batsmen. Now team Pakistan has the ideal opportunity to take the game by the scruff of its neck and post a towering total to eliminate any inkling of hope that England might have had of
breaking their duck in the series. Considering England’s batting exploits throughout the series, Pakistan might as well declare their innings the first thing in the morning and still be confident of bowling out England within the target. In any case, the situation is tailor made for the two batsmen at the crease and those that are to follow, to leave a strong mark on the series that has been won owing to our bowlers’ world beating dexterity. There are still potentially three more days to go, and Pakistan should bat for as long as they can. Without even an iota of pressure on their shoulders, and with conditions becoming even more batsmen friendly than they already were, Pakistan can run the English bowlers absolutely ragged and deliver the decisive punch with the ball, with a mountain of a total posted in front of the world’s best side. ICC’s top ranked side is on the verge of being whitewashed for the second time in a year, putting the credibility of the ranking system very much in doubt – if it wasn’t already.
ROMA hOSt iNtER
and drawing three. Roma have conceded 11 goals at home in the aforementioned 10 games, and as far Italian defences go, that’s a rather generous return, they would like to ameliorate that stat from now on till the end of the season. The Nerazzuri have won 5 of their ten away matches – a mirror image of Roma’s home form – and have lost four and drawn one of them. Cludio Ranieri should be up for this game and would look to give his previous employers the proverbial hand gesture tonight. With Pablo Osvaldo and Daniele De Rossi returning to training, there is good news on the injury front. However, the word is that De Rossi might be the only one returning to action, with Osvaldo still a week away. Inter Milan are hoping that Wesley Sneijder will be ready for today’s game, after picking up a knock in the midweek match, and the Dutchman has also been making positive noise about his chances of playing against Roma. This one promises to be a humdinger! Watch out for Miralem Pjanic to leave an imprint on the game with Diego Milito doing the same for Inter; especially if Sneijder is passed fit. This column fancies an away win in this one.
FRANCE FAVOURitES FOR 6 NAtiONS
Sixth hosts fifth as two of the biggest names in Italian football go head to head tonight. Both AS Roma and Inter Milan have had a mixed bag in their last couple of games with a draw and a defeat each. Roma haven’t exactly made Stadio Olympico a fortress this season, with only five wins out of 10 at home; losing two
Les bleus are undoubtedly the favourites for this year’s Six Nation, with the World Cup runners up having their complete squad for New Zealand at their disposal and new coach Philippe SaintAndre vowing to purge out their streak of unpredictability. Even so, the fact that France have lost out to the likes of Italy and Tonga over the past 12 months is enough to nourish the scepticism of the doubting Thomas. France’s recent Six Nations record is daunting with five championships – including three Grand Slams. With Morgan Parra, Dimitri Yachvilli, Francois TrinhDuc et al, France have one of the most intimidating backline in the tournament. After France, the team to watch out for would be Ireland, who were the talk of the
town when they toppled Australia at the World Cup last year, and were edged out by the flimsiest of margins by an impressive Wales outfit. Ireland would be without their talismanic No.13 Brian O’Driscoll, who is out with nerve damage. With Jamie Heaslip, Sean O’Brien and Stephen Ferris at the back and Paul O’Connel leading the line, Ireland too have a very strong looking side. Wales must be riding a confidence tide after their exploits at the World Cup, but they were easily undone against the big guns in the World Cup as well. Also, without the services of their inspirational winger Shane Williams Wales might not live up to their pre-tournament expectations. With almost half of the English squad named for the tournament constituted by uncapped players, England’s bid to defend their title this year looks feeble at best. And with new captain Chris Robshaw’s first challenge coming against Scotland at Murrayfield – where England haven’t won since 2004 – we could have a clear idea where England’s tournament is headed after the very first game. Scotland have won three and lost 11 of their 15 matches in Six Nations under Andy Robinson, and again their performance against England would divulge their credentials for the remainder of the tournament. Italy are going to be the veritable outsiders; however, ambitions have gone up a notch or two after Jacques Brunel replaced Nick Mallet as the Italian coach. All the same, this column’s pick to win the tournament is France, who should continue their resurgence towards the zenith of Rugby if they instill stability
and curtail their eccentricity.
SUPER BOWL XLVi New England Patriots take on New York Giants in the biggest game of the American football calendar and a rematch of Super Bowl 2008; however, a lot has changed since that historic encounter four years ago – except perhaps New York’s defensive lineup. Hence, as was the case back then, Tom Brady and the Patriots offence have their work cut out. On New York’s part, they would be mulling over the prospect of exposing Patriots rather maladroit secondary. Tom Brady would again be the center of attention; three time Super Bowl champion, two time Super Bowl MVP, seven time pro bowler, two time NFL MVP and three time AFC offensive player of the year. Nonetheless, Giants defensive line could cause problems for Brady, but there is no question that he should be up for the game. It’s funny how a late season surge can land you in the lap of glory in American sports; Giants were utterly lethargic and all over the place before Christmas, but have been on a roll ever since and are now one step away from glory. Promises to be a mouthwatering matchup!
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Sunday, 5 February, 2012
SCOTTSDALE: Trevor Immelman of South Africa putts on the seventh hole during the second round of the Waste Management Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale. aFp
DRS, the bowlers’ saviour Just as international cricket was increasingly becoming batsmen’s playground, the DRS has given the bowlers a lifeline
Sharapova puts Russia ahead in Fed Cup
Comment J.k WALI
S bowlers continue to dominate matters in the Middle East, the batsmen are making some extremely placid pitches look like cricketing prisms. A lot of this pandemonium is due to the DRS, which has resulted in a record number of LBWs for a three match test series. Not so long ago, batsmen had the luxury of kicking away bowlers – especially the spinners – and prolonging their picnic period on flat wickets – a long stride is all it took to convince the umpires that LBW decision could not go in the bowler’s favour, even if the ball was en route to crashing half way up the middle stump. Just like the DRS – or the halk-eye – was the best thing to happen to tennis for ages, the same can be said for cricket. In fact it is all the more important in cricket, with so much more resting on a dismissal. Now with the DRS, with all its facets and technologies, at the back of the batmen’s minds, indecisiveness has crept inside the batting lineups of both England and Pakistan – hence, the domination of bowlers and the low-scoring matches. After bringing about a plethora of changes to aid the batsmen ever since limited overs cricket came into being; from the 30 yard circle, to the power plays and the free hits and what not; to ensuring that cricketing conditions are almost always batsmen friendly, cricket seemed to be metamorphosing into baseball in that batting was going to be the attack and the bowling would have been the defence. However, with the advent of the DRS the bowlers finally have a lifeline. The DRS is not only ensuring that umpiring howlers are purged out from the game – well almost – what it has also ensured is that batsman don’t have
everything their own way anymore. It has also ensured that umpires also have to be on their A game, and don’t have the luxury of simply overlooking decisions because they have been customarily dumped in the, “well that can’t be given out” bin. The equation is simple now; if the ball is going on to hit the stumps – with all other relevant boxes ticked – the batsman has to go, even if he has a mile long stride outside the batting crease! Yes there is the three metre rule, but as far as batting strides go, it would take someone of Kevin Pieterson’s size dancing down the wicket to top that. And of course this bodes well for the prospect of a fair, evenly contested and exciting game of cricket. Another thing the DRS has done is that it has added to the menace of the spin bowlers. Historically, only the most obvious LBWs went in the favour of the spinners, and trapping batsmen in front of the stumps was never the ‘go to’ play for the
spinners. With the DRS, the spinners have flattened out their trajectory and are more often than not targeting the stumps to try and get the LBW into play. This has also resulted in the rise of spinners to being the main weapons of their respective bowling lineups – and not only for Pakistan. The fact that there are four spinners in the top five ODI bowlers, vindicates the claim. Let’s hope cricket continues to enhance itself with the proper utilisation of technology, and we continue to see some pulsating and evenly contested matchups. Considering the BCCI’s undue influence, and their whines apropos DRS, you never know when a bizarre decision is around the corner.
Russia grabbed a commanding 2-0 lead in their Fed Cup World Group first round match with Spain here on Saturday as both Svetlana Kuznetsova and Maria Sharapova chalked up straight set wins. Two-time Grand Slam winner Kuznetsova beat Carla Suarez Navarro 6-3, 6-1 to take full points for the hosts after Maria Sharapova had trounced Silvia Soler-Espinosa 6-2, 6-1."It was much tougher to win than it may have appeared looking at the scoreline," Kuznetsova said. "I struggled to acclimatize after coming to snow-covered Moscow from Australia." "But anyway I managed to play well enough today and I'm pleased both with my performance and with winning an important point for our team." Kuznetsova, who has won three Fed Cups as well as the US Open and French Open titles and is currently ranked 19th in the world, looked in complete command from the start breaking her opponent's serve twice for a comfortable 4-0 lead.
The tennis triangle, Pakistan’s rise & India’s fall the World this Week ALI AkBAR The Australian Open is considered by many of the participants as the friendliest of the four Grand Slam events that punctuate the tennis year. Although Wimbledon rightfully stakes its claim to being the most prestigious of the four, the Australian event is equally well organized, with the easy going, “no worries”, Aussie way of doing things, making it a relaxed, sunbathed fortnight. Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic might take issue with the relaxed bit, having fought out the longest Grand Slam final in history, lasting almost six hours. Such was the intensity of the encounter that it left both players unable to stand during the prize distribution ceremony. The women’s final was an anticlimax with Maria Sharapova taking the first two games before Victoria Azarenka rolled over her for an easy victory in very little time at all. Both Azarenka and Djokovic received the same amount of prize money, about two million dollars. Questions were inevitably asked as to the fairness of giving equal prize money to both sexes whereas the effort and energy exerted is not comparable. This is probably a moot point now because a change now would probably have legal repercussions. But the fact is that men’s tennis is in the midst of an absolute golden age while the top players in the women’s game play a tiresomely similar brand of baseline slugfests. Among Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray and the evergreen Roger Federer, tennis has three of the greatest players ever to play the game and the fourth,Murray, pushing hard to get amongst them. That he almost knocked out the Djoker in the semis should give him confidence for the rest of the year. Federer cruised through the draw, taking out the dangerous Del Potro and starting off well in the semis against Nadal before the ghost of past torments raised its head and Federer’s backhand started shanking balls all over the place. It is now
clear that Federer has lost the belief that he can beat Nadal and even Djokovic on the big occasion. Oddly, while Djokovic handles Nadal pretty easily (this final an exception), he finds Federer tough to handle, so it is a triangle, with the fourth, Murray fancying his chances against all three. Murray has shown a better attitude and body language on court, since taking on Ivan Lendl as his coach. This should be a positive omen for him in his quest to win his first major title.
CONtRAStiNg FORtUNES Two sub-continental teams are playing some significant Test series, with Pakistan taking on England and India facing Australia. The results have been contrasting to say the least. A resurgent Australia made short work of an aging Indian batting line up, winning all four Tests convincingly, while Pakistan’s spinners routed England in the first two Tests to take the series. India were also handicapped by a toothless attack which was badly mauled by the Australian batsmen. But it was the
lack of form of their frontline batsmen that let India down. Many batsmen will tell you that it is the eyes that go first when they reach the wrong side of 35 and when they are facing top class attacks on bowler friendly wickets that can make all the difference. Tendulkar, Dravid and Laxman could probably make a lot of runs on Indian wickets, but overseas, their age has begun to tell. As the eyes and the reflexes have deteriorated, the confidence has eroded. Dravid has been bowled more in this series than ever before, a testimony to the ever increasing gap between bat and pad of the “Wall”. Laxman, a splendid performer against Australia in the past, has developed a bad back and is expected to announce his retirement. Virendar Sehwag has also been found wanting. Tendulkar still looks good and may have a few more series left in him. But India must now start blooding some younger players. Kohli has looked very solid, but there is very little matured talent apart from him. The bowling looks really weak, with the fragile Zaheer Khan the
only match winning bowler. Even Zaheer struggled in conditions that should have favoured him. It was expected that with the loss of Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir, Pakistan would struggle in the fast bowling department for some time to come. But the breach has been admirably filled by Cheema and the ever reliable Umar Gul. Then they have two outstanding spinners in Ajmal and Rehman. Ajmal’s bewildering variety often makes it that much easier for Rehman at the other end. In the battle for the spinner’s top spot, Ajmal is winning the contest against Swann by some margin. Pakistan’s batting is increasing in reliability, with Azhar Ali and Shafiq showing good Test match technique and temperament. Misbah has been the backbone of the batting while Younus has had a run of bad form. It remains to be seen whether Younus can rediscover his touch, he is not getting any younger. Probably the most optimistic aspect of Pakistan’s performance has been the commitment and attitude displayed by the players. The days of the con-
trived no balls are over, hopefully forever and the players should now be aware that there are no indispensable players, good as Asif and Amir were. Things have been quite at the PCB front, with the new Chairman slipping quietly into his seat. It seems that he is aware that his strength is in management and has left cricket affairs to the experts. Certainly he is not making as many waves as his predecessor. As a good manager, he undoubtedly realizes that he has to make the right decisions, the biggest currently being the appointment of the coach. Mohsin Khan has been on a roll as coach and it would be a difficult option to replace him with Dave Whatmor. If Whatmore is indeed given charge of the team then the PCB should not interfere when he forms his team of specialist coaches. To impose assistant coaches on him would be counterproductive. But like the Chairman stated when he took on the job, he does not believe in change for the sake of change. This decision should put him on the spot.
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Sunday, 5 February, 2012
US won’t stop fighting in Afghanistan in 2013, says Panetta
S Defence Secretary Leon Panetta on Saturday clarified that NATO forces will not stop fighting in Afghanistan in 2013, but he confirmed that the US hoped to hand over the combat lead to Afghan forces that year. According to a report in the Foreign Policy magazine, many European and NATO officials at the 2012 Munich Security Conference were still a little miffed they had to learn about the strategy shift in the newspapers two days ago. On the way to Brussels to attend the NATO defence ministers meeting on February 2, Panetta made news by saying that US forces will transition out of a lead combat role next year. “Our goal is to complete all of that transition in 2013,” Panetta said. “Hopefully by mid- to the latter part of 2013 we’ll be able to
make a transition from a combat role.” According to the report, on Saturday morning in Munich, sitting beside Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Panetta made the same announcement again, but this time with a bit more nuance. “Our bottom line [in Afghanistan] is ‘in together, out together’. As an alliance, we are fully committed to the Lisbon framework and transitioning to Afghan control by 2014. Our discussions included considerations about how ISAF will move from the lead combat role to a support, advise, and assist role as Afghan security forces move into the lead,” he said. “We hope Afghan forces will be ready to take the combat lead in all of Afghanistan sometime in 2013. But of course ISAF will continue to be fully combat capable and we will engage in combat as necessary thereafter.” European officials in Munich said they understood the reason for the new milestone, which was to give the Afghans some time to adjust to having the combat lead while NATO forces are still present in large enough numbers to help them out, especially if there are bumps along the road. But several NATO and European officials were shocked and some were even a little miffed that Panetta had made a major change in the messaging over the Afghanistan war without giving them a heads up.
tEhRAN: iranian air force soldiers carry a cardboard cutout of late founder of islamic Republic Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, from a passenger plane at Merhrabad airport on Saturday during a ceremony to re-enact his arrival to tehran in 1979. afp
Sattar’s policy on overseas Pakistanis long overdue ISLAMABAD iRFAN BUKhARi
Although the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) has been very active in political point-scoring, yet its main leader and Minister for Overseas Pakistanis Dr Farooq Sattar has failed in getting his ministry’s National Policy for Overseas Pakistanis passed by the federal cabinet despite a lapse of around two long years. The policy had been drafted by Overseas Pakistanis Foundation (OPF), a subsidiary of the Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis, in coNtiNued oN Page 04
gilani to discuss afghan peace in Qatar ISLAMABAD AgENCiES/StAFF REPORt
Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani will discuss peace efforts for Afghanistan with Qatar’s leadership during an official visit next week, an official said on Saturday. “Yes the reconciliation process in Afghanistan would come under discussion during the talks with Qatar’s leadership,” a senior government official told AFP. The Foreign Office was not immediately available for comment. Gilani will leave for Qatar on Monday for a three-day official visit from February 6-8 aimed at strengthening ties with the Gulf state in multiple areas. The prime minister will hold talks with Qatar’s emir and prime minister to promote trade and investment ties to add substance to bilateral relations. Gilani will discuss with the Qatari leadership the issue of import of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and also finalisation of transnational formalities to import LNG at the earliest. During Gilani’s visit, the two governments are likely to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) and Qatar’s Ministry of Energy. He would take up the matter of absorbing Pakistani skilled labour in Qatar. giLAni CALLs on ZArdAri: Mean-
iSLAMABAd: Prime Minister Yousaf Raza gilani called on President Asif zardari at the Presidency on Saturday. while, Gilani called on President Asif Ali Zardari at the Presidency on Saturday and discussed a host of issues, including his forthcoming visit to Qatar. The two also discussed facilitation in the Afghan peace process, Gilani’s appearance in the Supreme Court in the contempt case, the forthcoming Senate elections and seat adjustment with allied parties and important legislation in parliament. A source told Pakistan Today that the two leaders also discussed in detail Islam-
abad’s facilitating role in Afghan peace process. “Both leaders also agreed that parliament’s joint session would also be called in mid-February to debate the recommendations of the Parliamentary Committee on National Security following the National Assembly session,” the source said. He said the PPP leadership also weighed legal and political options regarding the hearing of the contempt case against the prime minister.
Published by Arif Nizami for Nawa Media Corporation (Pvt) Ltd at Plot # 7, Al-Baber Centre, F/8 Markaz, Islamabad.
Imran hints at talks with MQM PTI chairman says negotiations possible with MQM if it gives up ‘politics of guns’
LAHORE MONitORiNg dESK/StAFF REPORt
Talks with the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) are only possible if the party avoids politics of guns, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan said on Saturday. Talking to reporters about a possible alliance with the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Khan said the party would have to declare their assets for an alliance with the PTI. He blamed the Punjab government for the deaths of patients at the Punjab Institute of Cardiology in Lahore caused by spurious drugs. “The Punjab government alone is responsible… be it crime, law and order or corruption, which area have they showed improvement in?” Khan said PML-N President Nawaz Sharif and President Asif Ali Zardari shared similar interests. Calling them “the two brothers”, he said Zardari and Nawaz had always been together. “They are together because their interests are the same. Their money is lying in foreign banks,” the PTI chief said. Khan said they would not do anything to remove each other from power. “They have been together for four years, how can they blame each other of conspiracy now?” he asked. Expressing fear that transparent elections might not be possible under Zardari’s leadership, he said his party would still participate in the next general elections. Khan said Zardari and Nawaz would not be able to stop his “political tsunami” and his party would challenge all other political parties in the elections. Calling the Balochistan issue an issue
of “grave concern”, Khan confirmed that he planned to talk to Baloch leaders – even those in exile. He said keeping in view the seriousness of the law and order in the province, his party was preparing a comprehensive package that could be acceptable to all Baloch parties. He said his recent meeting with Baloch leader and former Balochistan chief minister Akhtar Mengal had remained fruitful. Later, addressing the students of LUMS, Khan said no one could stop the tsunami of the people. He said the youth of the country were disappointed due to unemployment and other such issues and wanted a change in the country. The students raised slogans in favour of Khan while he stressed that they should develop leadership qualities as only the youth could steer the country to prosperity.
Editor: Arif Nizami, Executive Editor: Sarmad Bashir, Resident Editor: Rana Qaisar