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‘ Rehman Malik does not encourage registration of Bengalis’

Massive Indonesian Problems to increase quakes trigger as long as PPP tsunami alert govt stays: Nawaz

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Rs 15.00 Vol ii no 285 22 pages islamabad-peshawar edition

thursday, 12 april, 2012 Jamadi-ul-awal 19, 1433

Us facilitated Zardari’s visit to india

Rs 7 billion drug scam

ISLAMABAD SHAiQ HUSSAin

pM tells cabinet none of the enquiries conducted into the matter have pointed out ali Musa’s involvement in scam Cabinet ministers vow to defend pM and his family against ‘malicious campaign’ ISLAMABAD

I

StAFF RePORt

N a fool-proof “democratic” manner, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani turned to his cabinet on Wednesday to get his son exonerated of charges of exercising influence for granting illegal quotas to pharmaceutical companies, just as the Supreme Court is warming up to delve into yet another scandal surfacing under the incumbent regime, ordering both the PM’s son and his principal secretary to become part of the probe into the allegations. Gilani took the federal cabinet into “confidence” about the ongoing “malicious” campaign against his son, MNA Syed Ali Musa Gilani, saying his son was being falsely accused of influencing the allocation of drug quota issued by the DG of the Ministry of Health. The prime minister said various enquiries conducted by departments, including one by the Senate Standing Committee on Interior, made no mention of influence exercised by Ali in their findings. An enquiry committee was set up under the directions of the Senate Standing Committee on Interior, which included the federal inspector drug, deputy director of FIA and the chairman of Quality Control Islamabad. The findings of the committee did not find a clue of Ali’s involvement in the scam. The chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Interior also constituted another committee consisting of joint team of experts, FIA, chairman of Quality Control and federal inspector drugs to ascertain the substance used by pharmaceutical companies in the country. The report of this committee also reached the same conclusions, with no mention of Ali. A Joint Investigation Committee constituted by then minister of health consisting of joint secretary Planning & Development, Ministry of Health, deputy secretary of Narcotics Control Division and director (Enforcement) Anti-Narcotics Force with terms of reference to establish the violation of the procedure in granting quota to the recipients. The findings of the Joint Investigation team found no evidence of Ali’s involvement in the case. The prime minister said earlier his elder son Syed Abdul Qadir Gilani was implicated in the Haj scam. “In that case, the chief justice of Pakistan directed the authorities to register a case against the MNA who leveled allegations merely on the basis of hearsay,” Gilani said. Briefing reporters later, Information Minister Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan said the cabinet expressed its grave concern over the charac-

ter assassination of the family members of the prime minister and resolved to defend the case of such victimization by presenting correct facts and figures at all forums. The minister said the cabinet expressed solidarity with the prime minister over the media trial of his family. Responding to the PML-N chief’s demand for early polls, the minister said the entire nation knew of the charge sheet presented by General Musharraf after toppling the PML-N government in 1999. “If corruption charges against Nawaz were wrong, he should have faced them in the courts and got his name cleared the way PPP leadership faced corruption cases for 11 years,” she viewed. To a question on President Asif Ali Zardari’s Indian visit, the minister said the PPP government had always strived for improving its relations with the regional countries including China, India, Russia, Iran and Afghanistan. She said the trip was private but all issues related to national interests, including Kashmir, were discussed. She said improvement of relations with India were in national interest. To a question, the minister said parliament was formulating the foreign policy for the first time and it was the responsibility of all political parties to give their opinion in parliament, not on television. Responding to a question about Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, she said if a person did not have regard for a constitutional head of the state, then he had no regard for the constitution. About the energy conference, she said the conference brought forward real facts about load shedding and claims of targeting one province proved wrong. The minister said the prime minister had directed the ministries of finance, water and power and petroleum to submit a joint strategy to end load shedding. Firdous said the cabinet prayed for an early recovery of army officers, jawans and civilians trapped in an avalanche in Siachen. She said the cabinet also discussed at length the budget strategy paper for the period 2012-13 and projections up to 2014-15. “The strategy paper aims at accelerating growth while ensuring macro-economic stability and articulates guiding principles for annual budget in order to achieve targets over the medium term,” she said. “The cabinet reviewed the implementation status of cabinet decisions pertaining to religious affairs, revenue and science & technology research divisions. The cabinet was informed that 87%, 79% and 78% decisions pertaining to religious affairs, revenue and science and technology research divisions, respectively, have been implemented. The remaining cabinet decisions pertaining to these divisions are in the process of implementation,” she said. Continued on page 04

The recent visit to India by President Asif Ali Zardari was not a “private” one as declared by the Pakistani government, but it was by all means an important official trip aimed at giving thrust from the top-level to the ‘sluggish’ pace of Indo-Pak peace process, and was made possible with the US’ role as ‘facilitator’, which believes that normal ties between the archrival nuclear neighbours are vital for the success of Afghan endgame. Apart from the US’ desire and its active role that it played for Zardari’s visit to New Delhi in the face of India’s reluctance, which does not see the environment conducive for the Pakistani leader’s visit, the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP)-led coalition government had also made hectic diplomatic efforts for this trip. The task of arranging the president’s visit was assigned to the Foreign Office back in September 2010, but its efforts could not succeed due to India’s position that the environment in India in the wake of 2008 Mumbai attacks was not free of hostility towards Islamabad. Diplomatic sources privy to ‘behind the scene’ efforts by Islamabad and Washington for Zardari’s visit revealed that Interior Minister Rehman Malik also used his friendly ties with some key Indian ministers for persuading the Congress-led government

in New Delhi to host President Zardari, but that too proved to be a futile attempt. “It was American intervention that proved successful and the Indian authorities finally expressed their willingness to receive the Pakistani president in New Delhi and also arrange a meeting between the visiting leader and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh,” said a diplomatic source requesting anonymity on Wednesday. The Obama administration is eager for successful peace talks with the Taliban started recently in Qatar, but it also believes that without Pakistan’s support the success of Doha talks is not possible. The US policy makers know that Pakistan has strong concerns about the India’s role in Afghanistan and

unless there are normal ties between Islamabad and New Delhi, or any movement towards that, they feel that the Pakistani leadership will not be of any great help for the US in peace talks with the Taliban. “Hence, the Obama administration decided to play its role for top-level talks between Pakistan and India and facilitate a meaningful dialogue between the South Asian neighbours, but in order to have fruitful talks and start a movement towards settlement of different bilateral issues, it was decided by all key players involved that President Zardari’s visit would be dubbed as a ‘private trip’ aimed at paying homage at Ajmer Sharif,” the source said. Another source, who also sought anonymity, said the talks between President Zardari and Prime Minister Singh were satisfactory and both sides decided to speed up the dialogue process and especially go for more Confidence Building Measures (CBMs). “One reflection of that understanding is the visit of an Indian media delegation to Islamabad, which arrived Wednesday evening and in a rare development will be taken to Chakoti (Azad Kashmir) and also to Swat for a visit. This trip is part of CBMs to bring closer the media representatives from the two countries,” he said. Continued on page 04

KARACHi: Fishermen navigate through rough waters following an 8.7 magnitude earthquake that struck off the coast of indonesia on Wednesday, triggering a tsunami alert in several countries including Pakistan. online | story on page 04

Several vehicles torched as Sindhi nationalists mourn ‘murdered leader’ HYDERABAD Online

A complete shutter-down and wheeljam strike was observed across Sindh on Wednesday, officials said. However, life in a few areas of Karachi remained per routine. The strike call was given by the Jiye Sindh Qaumi Mahaz (JSQM) against the alleged “killing” of its chief Bashir Khan Qureshi. A protest demonstration was held in Hyderabad while roads were also blocked at various places. All business activities came to a

grinding halt in big and small cities of the province, including Sukkur, Nawabshah, Larkana, Khairpur, Tando Muhammad Khan, Mirpurkhas, Mithi, Islam Kot and Sakrand. The strike was also observed in various localities of Karachi, including Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Gulistan-e-Jauhar and Gulshan-e-Hadeed. Some gunmen opened fire early morning in Hyderabad and other parts of the province and forced traders to shut their shops, while miscreants gutted two rail wagons in Kotri and torched a truck and bus in Karachi. Few cracker blasts and firing

incidents were also reported when the police arrested JSQM activists from various parts of the province. Meanwhile, police claimed to have taken into custody several arsonists on charges of sparking panic among citizens. JSQM Secretary Genereal Asif Baladi claimed that Qureshi didn’t die of heart attack instead he was killed by state elements. Party leaders had demanded the government that the autopsy be conducted by a private hospital in order to determine the actual cause of the death, but officials have failed to meet the demand as yet.


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02 News today’s

thursday, 12 april, 2012

ISlamaBaD

newS

CdA attempts to remove encroachments

Pm gives status of minister to Sherry Rehman

Story on Page 07

Story on Page 05

cartoon

Quick look

Zardari orders release of Indian fisherman from jail

Page 13

iSlAmAbAd: Citizens pray for the avalanche victims at a candlelight vigil on Wednesday. aFp

Just hours after Pakistani scientist Dr Khalil Chishty walked out of the Ajmer Jail after being granted bail by the Supreme Court, Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari has ordered the immediate release of an Indian fisherman, NDTV reported. Samat Lakshman Bambhaniya has been lodged at a jail in Karachi for over a year now and is suffering from cancer. His release seems to be a goodwill gesture after an ailing Dr Chishty, 80, got a major reprieve from the Supreme Court on Monday after fighting a protracted legal battle. (Read) The doctor entered Ajmer Jail last January after being sentenced to life imprisonment. The sentencing came after an 18-year-long trial, during which he remained mostly under house arrest. Sources had said that Dr Chishty’s case had been discussed at Sunday’s lunch meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Zardari during the latter’s one-day visit to India. Pakistani officials had urged India to set Dr Chishty free, the sources had added. neWS deSK

Haqqani writes to Blackberry company for record ISLAMABAD : Former ambassador to the US Hussain Haqqani has written a letter to the Blackberry company ‘Research in Motion’ in which he has asked it to provide him a record of his conversations to the judicial commission. Haqqani’s lawyer, Zahid Bukhari also confirmed during hearing that his client had emailed to the company telling them that he had no objection in providing the record of his Blackberry to the commission probing the memo case. Bukhari also told the commission that Haqqani had life threats in Pakistan so he could not get his statement recorded in front of commission, so his statement might be taken through a video link like Mansoor Ijaz did. He said Asma Jahangir would submit his written reply on 16 May. StAFF RePORt/AgenCieS

7 killed in Haripur accident ABBOTTABAD: At least seven passengers lost their lives and ten received serious injuries in a fatal road accident near the Shah Maqsood area in Haripur early on Wednesday, officials said. Police said a passenger bus and a wagon had a head-on collision because of slippery road after heavy rainfall. Two women were also among the dead, rescuers said. Police, rescuers and medics reached the accident site, and shifted the victims to hospital. Doctors said some of the injured were in critical condition, and needed intensive care. Online

4 killed in Dera Bugti clash QUETTA: At least four militants were killed and six others were arrested in a clash with security forces in Dera Bugti, officials said on Wednesday. According to Balochistan Frontier Corps (FC) spokesman, gunmen ambushed a convoy of security forces in the Sangsila area of Dera Bugti. He said four attackers had been killed and six others were arrested after an hour of firefight. He said the security forces recovered a large number of weapons from the militants, adding that a large number of FC had been deployed in the area. Online

With no hope, Siachen rescue operation enters fifth day RAWALPINDI

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Online

FTER the deadliest avalanche incident in Siachen, rescuers continued operation on the fifth day to pull 138 soldiers and civilians buried under 80 feet of snow, military said on Wednesday. However, experts said there was very little hope for survivors. Despite weather hazards, rescue operation at Gayari Sector continued at five priority points identified with the help of SPD team employed along with plant equipment, Army Search and Rescue Teams, said Inter-Services Public Relations. According to a statement issued by the ISPR, a 450-meter-long access track has been developed on the avalanche to access the priority points, adding that work on another access track has also been started to widen the search perimeter. “Mainly plant equipment is employed at two points. The work is in progress at rapid speed on both points,” statement said. The statement

noted that at the work on other three points mainly being done with the help of infantry troops who resort to manual digging with some assistance from plant equipment where required. “A Dozer has restored the water channel,

which had been blocked due to avalanche,” the ISPR said, adding that “so far two exists are available with 20 and 15 cusecs discharge. Efforts are in hand to enhance same with the help of plant equipment”.


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thursday, 12 april, 2012

ForeIgn newS

artS & entertaInment

SPortS

Putin calls for unity but Russian mPs walk out

Wedding date still not ‘finalised’ for Kareena, Saif

mushtaq ponders return to Pakistan

News 03 comment And now, another scam Let’s keep it in the family

Work in progress

Committee undecided

nazir naji: Let there not be light: The solution is simple. But…

dr James J Zogby: The politics of Palestine: Looking for a just solution

by taimoor Ashraf: A state vs its own people: In Syria, it’s not the West vs Islam

Story on Page 15

Story on Page 17

Story on Page 18

articles on Page 12-13

Problems to increase as long as PPP govt stays, says Nawaz

Zardari manages to woo Fazl on ending PcnS boycott

ISLAMABAD

P

Dr chishti walks free from Indian jail NEW DELHI Online

Pakistani scientist Dr Khalil Chishti, who spent last 18 years in an Indian prison on murder allegations, finally walked out of jail on Wednesday, Indian media reported. The Ajmer Sessions Court asked Dr Chishti to furnish two bail bonds of Rs 50,000 each and a personal surety of Rs 100,000 which his lawyer earlier paid. The decision comes as a big relief to the 80year-old doctor, as the court has put forth no other condition for him to travel to his home country, Pakistan. When granting him bail, Indian Supreme Court had also agreed to hear his plea to return to Karachi but had asked his lawyers to file a separate petition for this, now seen as a mere formality. Dr Chishti is unable to walk unaided. He has to be carried to and from jail by two people. Human rights activists have been pleading for assistance for him for years. After his release, Dr Chishti said he could not express his happiness in words. In a brief interaction with Indian media, Chishti said that he wanted to see his family without any delay, and wished to go Pakistan as soon as possible. Dr Chishti was accused of killing a man during a brawl in Ajmer in April 1992. He was visiting the Rajasthan city then to pay obeisance at the shrine of Sufi saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti. Since then, he has been held in India. In January last year, the Karachi virologist was awarded life imprisonment after an 18year-long trial. Until then, he had remained largely under house arrest in Rajasthan, his lawyers say. After he was given the life sentence, he was placed in the Ajmer Jail. Some others convicted in the same case had been granted bail. Dr Chishti’s Pakistani citizenship meant he was not allowed to leave prison.

Online

AKISTAN Muslim League-Nawaz (PMLN) President Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday reiterated his demand for early elections, saying “as long as the incumbent government rules, problems will increase day by day in the country”. Speaking to media on the occasion of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Senator Anwar Baig’s inclusion in the PML-N, Nawaz said the nation was not ready to tolerate the government anymore. “The government should better announce the elections,” he said. “Scandals of corruption have been emerging on daily basis,” he said, adding that a record increase in corruption was being witnessed. Answering a question on memogate, he said that he had not backed off from the case, as he was the one who had moved the Supreme Court. On Mehran Bank scandal, Sharif said that he had sent a legal notice to Younis Habib for accusing him. The PML-N chief said that he had apprised US Ambassador Cameron Munter of his reserva-

ISLAMABAD StAFF RePORt

tions regarding US drone attacks on Pakistani soil. “We standby our view point on NATO supplies,” Nawaz added. To another question, he said that imposition of curfews in Gilgit was not a lasting solution to the law and order situation in the area. Nawaz said that the recent statements of President Asif Ali Zardari had proved that the PML-

N was not a friendly opposition. Earlier, PPP leader Anwar Baig announced to join the PMLN. Speaking to the media along with Nawaz, Baig said the county was passing through a crucial time and the PML-N was the only party that could steer Pakistan out of all the crises. Nawaz appointed Baig to the Central Executive Council (CEC) of the PML-N.

Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Fazlur Rehman on Wednesday finally agreed to end his boycott of the Parliamentary Committee on National Security (PCNS) after repeated efforts, particularly by President Asif Ali Zardari. Earlier in the day, the JUI-F chief had called on the president but the meeting remained inconclusive. Later, PCNS Chairman Senator Raza Rabbani and Pakistani Ambassador to US Sherry Rehman held a detailed meeting with the JUI-F chief on the instructions of the president. “The JUI-F chief agreed to attend the PCNS meeting today with a condition that his party would submit its recommendation regarding the reopening of NATO supplies,” a source told Pakistan Today. However, Fazl appeared reluctant to support and advocate the restoration of NATO supplies to Afghanistan through Pakistan, the source added.

Awan’s rise and fall unique by all means ISLAMABAD StAFF RePORt

Politicians normally take decades to become famous and if they succeed, they never look back. However, the rapid rise and fall of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader Babar Awan in the recent weeks is unique in the country’s political history. Soon after coming into power in year 2008, the PPP top brass turned a blind eye at Awan who was aspiring to become the governor of Punjab, as the then president General Pervez Musharraf appointed Salmaan Taseer to the coveted post with the consent of PPP Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari. However, Taseer’s sudden assassination rekindled hopes for Awan who, by the time, had become a close confidant of President Zardari. But to Awan’s utter disappointment, it was his archrival Latif Khosa who was named the successor to Taseer. The next blow that Awan suffered was the appointment of Farooq H Naek as Senate chairman – a post Awan was eyeing for years. But it was the apex court’s decision on National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) which proved to be a catalyst in bridging the gap between Awan and Zardari who were on the same page throughout the discussions taking place on the proceedings of the case as Zardari himself was involved in the case. Afterwards, Awan was appointed as Law Minister to tackle a hostile judiciary about which Awan used to claim to Zardari

that he knew how to deal with. The first test case for the new law minister was to take the judiciary head-on. He floated the idea to divide the lawyers’ community to weaken the judiciary, and billions were literally thrown just to win the elections of various bar associations. The idea clicked and almost all elections were swept. After that, Awan never looked back and soon became a permanent visitor of the presidency. As law minister, he engineered a confrontation between the presidency and the Supreme Court and used the media to ridicule the judiciary for “selective justice”.Besides, Awan also hatched a conspiracy in connivance with Taseer, Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) leadership, and others to topple the PMLN-led Punjab government. He was almost successful in imposing Governor’s Rule in the Punjab, but could not muster enough strength to form a PPP-led government in the province – an achievement Zardari has been dreaming of since 1988. Later, Awan was instrumental in convincing Zardari to offer PML-Q leaders to join the PPP-led coalition government, despite the fact that both the parties had

been at loggerheads against each other. Awan did not end here and floated the idea to reopen the ZA Bhutto case. This proposal was welcomed by the president, whose party’s government was fast becoming unpopular. Awan also offered to resign as law minister and plead the case, winning hefty monetary and political benefits for himself. The president allowed Awan to act as de facto law minister and all file work was done by Awan himself, as Law Secretary Masood Chishti, a close corny of Awan, used to sit at Awan’s home late at night and sought his directions, while Farooq Awan - his younger brother who is a failed lawyer - was made Advisor to the PM on Law. In order to keep media at bay, the entry of journalists was strictly banned in the Law Ministry and nobody knew who was calling the shots. But it was Aitzaz Ahsen, a veteran jiyala, who turned the tables on Awan within weeks. Agreeing to represent Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani in the contempt of court case, Aitzaz torpedoed Awan’s every move to take up any legal or political assignment for the party and made sure that Awan was kept

at bay from the presidency. Under a well thought-out plan, Aitzaz took the position in the court that Gilani only acted on the advice of law minister, asking Awan and his crony Masood Chishti to appear as defence witnesses. Already frustrated by the ongoing contempt of court proceedings against him, Awan thought it wise not to stand as witness for Gilani, who had opposed his oathtaking as law minister recently. This “no” proved to be the freefall for Awan as it caught Zardari’s ire who thought Gilani was defending him. The president sent his secretary Rukhsana Bangish to convince Awan to change his mind, but the latter refused to even meet the president’s emissary. The furious president decided to close doors on Awan. First his brother was shifted from law ministry and later the secretary was also removed. Few days later, Awan was removed from the Parliamentary Committee on National Security (PCNS) and Qamar Zaman Kaira was named as his replacement. Awan is no more invited to the core committee meetings in the presidency, while the premier is already angry with him. After having been deprived of the status of practicing lawyer with the suspension of his license, Babar Awan has taken a U-turn and filed an unconditional apology before the apex court. After the suspension of his licence, Awan became irrelevant for the president as lawyer because he was unable to appear in courts, defending Zardari or his government.


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04 News

thursday, 12 april, 2012

Massive Indonesian quakes trigger tsunami alert BANDA ACEH

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AFP

huge earthquake and strong aftershocks struck off Indonesia’s Sumatra island on Wednesday, triggering an Indian Ocean-wide tsunami alert that sent terrified people fleeing from the coast. The 8.6-magnitude quake hit 431 kilometres (268 miles) off the city of Banda Aceh at 0838 GMT, and was followed by another undersea quake measured at 8.2, the US Geological Survey said. Panicky residents poured into the streets of Banda Aceh, which was near the epicentre of a 9.1-magnitude quake in 2004 that unleashed an Indian Ocean tsunami which killed 220,000 people including 170,000 in Aceh province. Wednesday’s quake was felt as far as as Thailand, where skyscrapers in the capital Bangkok swayed. India, Indonesia, Kenya, Malaysia, Reunion Island, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Myanmar all issued alerts or evacuation orders. Small tsunamis hit Indonesia and Thailand, with waves of up to 80 centimetres (31 inches) in Aceh, but there were no reports of damage or casualties. US seismologists then cancelled the tsunami warn-

ing, saying the quakes had generated only small waves and were nowhere near the scale of the disasters that struck Asia in 2004 and Japan last year. But in Banda Aceh, there were chaotic scenes as people grabbed their families and raced through crowded streets, with motorbikes and cars jostling for space. “There are people trying to evacuate, some are praying and children at a school were panicking as teachers tried to get them out,” an AFP correspondent in Banda Aceh said. “There are traffic jams everywhere as people are trying to get away from the coast — many are on motorcycles,” he said, adding that telephone connections and electricity were patchy. Television images showed hundreds gathering at a large mosque in Banda Aceh, many weeping and searching for family members. Women and girls draped head-to-toe in white were praying on mats laid out on the ground. Sri Lanka issued a tsunami warning across the island and the disaster management centre asked residents on the coast to move inland to avoid being hit by any large waves. In the capital Colombo, nervous crowds gathered on the streets after the strong quake. Thailand issued an evacuation order for its Andaman

coast, a popular tourist destination, and flights to the tourist island of Phuket were diverted to other airports as passengers and staff were evacuated to higher ground. A small tsunami measuring just 10 centimetres (four inches) reached the coast but authorities remained on alert.

India issued a red highlevel tsunami warning for the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, located in the Indian Ocean, and lower alerts for several other eastern coastal states, but later downgraded the warning. The catastrophic tsunami of December 26, 2004, was

putin signals support for nato afghan supply hub MOSCOW ReUteRS

Russian president-elect Vladimir Putin on Wednesday called NATO a relic of the Cold War but said he supported letting the alliance use a Russian airport as a supply hub in support of its mission in Afghanistan. Moscow is studying a request from NATO for use of facilities at an airport in the Volga River city of Ulyanovsk as a transit point for shipments of non-lethal supplies to and from

Afghanistan by air, rail and road. Russia has allowed Afghan-bound NATO transport through its territory since 2009 as an alternative to convoys through Pakistan, which have been subject to militant attacks, but no permanent facility was involved. “I consider NATO... a throwback to the Cold War era. It was created at a time when there was a bipolar system of international relations,” said Putin, who has frequently criticized the alliance and its eastward expansion. But, in his last

address to parliament as prime minister before his return to the Kremlin next month, Putin dismissed fears that NATO’s use of the Ulyanovsk facility could represent a threat in Russia’s heartland. “There will be no NATO base there,” he said, but only “a hop over pad” for military cargo transit. “Therefore I assure you that nothing unusual, not corresponding to our national interests, is happening there. On the contrary, everything that is being done in this sphere fully

corresponds to the national interests of our people,” he told parliament’s lower house. In remarks that suggested Russia does not intend to decrease cooperation in Afghanistan, Putin said “in some cases NATO is playing the role of a stabiliser in global affairs” and included the Afghan mission among such cases. Moscow’s support is crucial to the United States and NATO ahead of the pullout of most combat troops by the end of 2014.

Pakistan rapidly developing its nuclear arsenal: report WASHINGTON Online

Estimated to have more nuclear weapons than India, Pakistan is rapidly developing and expanding its atomic arsenal, spending about $2.5 billion a year to develop such weapons, a report said on Wednesday. “Pakistan has been rapidly developing and expanding its nuclear arsenal, increasing its capacity to produce plutonium, and testing and deploying a diverse array of nuclear-capable ballistic and cruise missiles,” said the report titled “Assuring Destruction Forever: Nuclear Modernisation Around the World”. “Pakistan is moving from an arsenal based wholly on HEU to greater reliance on lighter and more compact plutonium-based weapons, which

is made possible by a rapid expansion in plutonium production capacity,” said the 150-page report by Reaching Critical Will of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. “Pakistan is also moving from aircraft-delivered nuclear bombs to nuclear-armed ballistic and cruise missiles and from liquid-fuelled to solid-fuelled medium-range missile. Pakistan also has a growing nuclear weapons research, development, and production infrastructure,” it said. According to the report Pakistan is estimated to have 90-110 nuclear weapons. “A long-term concern now driving Pakistan’s nuclear programme is the US policy of countering the rise of China by cultivating a stronger strategic relationship with India. This may tie the future of Pakistan

and India’s nuclear weapons to the emerging contest between the United States and China,” said the report. Pakistan has a number of short-range, medium, and longer-range road-mobile ballistic surface-to-surface missiles in various stages of development. “It has developed a second generation of ballistic missile systems over the past five years. It is estimated that Pakistan could have a stockpile of 2,750 kg of weapon-grade HEU and may be producing about 150 kg of HEU per year,” it said. Estimates suggest Pakistan has produced a total of about 140 kg of plutonium, the report said. While not much information is available on the funding of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons project, the report’s estimates indicate that Pak-

istan spends about $2.5 billion a year on nuclear weapons. Despite extensive foreign military assistance, Pakistan’s effort to sustain its conventional and nuclear military programmes has come at increasingly great cost to the effort to meet basic human needs and improve living standards, the report said. India, the report said, is estimated to have 80-100 nuclear warheads. “It is also developing a range of delivery vehicles, including land- and sea-based missiles, bombers, and submarines,” it said. “While nuclear weapons used to be seen as a ‘necessary evil’, there is no more enthusiasm for India to become a bonafide nuclear weapon power that can exercise its military might in the region,” it said.

generated by a 9.2-magnitude earthquake that struck in the ocean about 200 kilometres away from Wednesday’s initial quake. An expert with the British Geological Survey said the tsunamis were small because the quakes’ movement was horizontal, not vertical, and

caused no drop in the sea floor, which is what triggers tsunamis. “Although an earthquake of this magnitude has the potential to cause a large tsunami, ... we haven’t seen any drop of the sea floor, which is what generates the wave,” seismologist Susanne Sargeant told AFP.

Denmark to try four for plotting to attack blasphemous paper COPENHAGEN ReUteRS

Four men charged with plotting to storm the offices of Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten go on trial on Friday, in a reminder to Denmark it remains a prime target of militants seeking to avenge the paper’s publication of cartoons of holy Prophet Mohammad (PBUH). Police said the men planned to “kill as many as possible” at the central Copenhagen building that houses the newspaper in an attack they likened to the assault on Mumbai by 10 gunmen in 2008 that killed 166 people. The men, three Swedish citizens and one Tunisian national, were arrested in December 2010, just three days before police said they planned to launch the attack on the newspaper and possibly another unspecified location. The chief prosecutor said in the indictment the men were charged with terrorism

and illegal possession of weapons. The indictment also said they had planned purposely to frighten the population and carry out acts that could have damaged Denmark seriously. The defendants have pleaded not guilty. Denmark’s Security and Intelligence Service (PET) said in January Demark is still considered a high-priority target by militants, with a specific threat against anyone associated with the cartoons, first published in 2005. “…there is focus on Denmark as a potential terrorist target, we cannot deny that,” said Hans Jorgen Christian Bonnichsen, a security consultant who used to work for the PET. David Headley, a Pakistani-American who said he scouted targets in Mumbai for the Pakistan-based Lashkar-eTayyaba, also told investigators he had helped al Qaeda plan an attack in Copenhagen.

Last year, a 9.0-magnitude earthquake caused a tsunami and nuclear disaster in Japan, killing some 19,000 people. The latest Indonesian quakes occurred in a notoriously seismic area, where the Indian tectonic plate descends into the Earth beneath the Eurasian plate.

Zardari’s visit to India Continued fRom page 1 It was soon after Zardari’s visit to India that media reports surfaced about the removal of Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar, reportedly due to her opposition to the president’s trip to India. According to sources, some PPP leaders advised the president not to replace the current foreign minister as it could have political repercussions, as the general elections are only few months away. Hence it was decided that Khar would continue in her office. However, in a significant development, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani on Wednesday gave the status of Federal Minister to Sherry Rehman, the current Pakistani ambassador in US.

trust me Continued fRom page 1 “The cabinet considered and gave its approval for confirmation of the decisions taken by the Cabinet Committee on Privatization (CCOP) in its meeting held on March 2, 2012. The cabinet secretary briefed the cabinet about the Citizens Damage Compensation Programme (CDCP) going on in the flood (2010) affected areas. The secretary informed that, so far, 1,700,000 families have already been paid through Watan Cards,” the minister said.

“The prime minister directed NADRA and all concerned departments to expedite the process of distributing Watan Cards to the flood affected people of Balochistan and Sindh. In this regard, he directed all the stakeholders and provincial authorities to sort out the matter at the earliest”. The cabinet considered and accorded its ex-post facto approval for the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) regarding Offer of Credit Line of $200 million to Sri Lanka.

The cabinet considered and gave its approval for permission, in principle, to start negotiations with the government of South Africa to have an agreement with a view to match the demands and offers of jobs in various economic sectors of South Africa. The cabinet also considered and gave its approval for initiating negotiations on the draft agreement between China and Pakistan on cooperation in combating illicit Traffic of Narcotics Drugs, Psychotropic Substances and their precursors.


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British Pakistani parliamentarians vital in promoting bilateral ties: Zardari ISLAMABAD

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RESIDENT Asif Ali Zardari on Wednesday said British parliamentarians of Pakistani origin could play a very important role in further cementing the bilateral relations between Pakistan and Britain. He said bilateral relationship between Pakistan and Britain was rooted in history and could help enormously in dispelling misperceptions arising out of some unfortunate incidents. The president said this during his meeting with the member of British Parliament Barrister Rehman Chishti at the Aiwan-e-Sadr.

Barrister Chishti, British Conservative politician elected MP for Gillingham and Rainham in the 2010 general election, was born in Muzaffarabad. He has also served as Special Adviser to Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto. Matters relating to Pak-UK bilateral relations and Enhanced Strategic Dialogue (ESD), role of Pakistani immigrants in UK, war against militants and the current regional situation and Pakistan’s efforts for greater trade access in the EU were discussed during the meeting. President Zardari said one million strong Pakistani community in the United Kingdom with seven in the House of Common and four in the House of Lords served

as a strong bridge between the two countries and could play an invaluable role in not only promoting and further strengthening the existing equation but also help removing misperceptions between the communities that arise due to some unfortunate incidents. He said with strong relations that were rooted in the history, it was important to work closely for taking advantage of each other’s resources and to deal with the issues of mutual concern. He said Pakistan considered UK as a close friend and partner and it was important that the momentum generated as a result of Enhanced Strategic Dialogue was sustained. Zardari said economic stability was crucial for Pakistan, as “we were passing

SWAt: Students of the government Primary School study under the open sky as their washed out school building awaits reconstruction. online

Bringing voters to election camps violation of law: sC ISLAMABAD mASOOd ReHmAn

The Supreme Court on Wednesday observed that political parties continue their election campaign even on the polling day, which was a sheer violation of law, as under the law such practice should be abandoned before 48 hours of the start of the polling time. A three-member bench comprising Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Khilji Arif Hussain and Justice Tariq Parvez observed this while hearing a petition filed by Workers Party through noted lawyer Abid Hasan Manto seeking reduction and regulation of election expenses incurred by political parties during electioneering. During the hearing, the chief justice remarked that election campaign must be abandoned before 48 hours of the start of polling as required by the law, adding that even bringing voters to the polling camps was also a violation of the law. Continuing his arguments Manto

submitted that the trend of lavish expenditures by the political parties during the election campaigns must be discouraged and leaders of the political parties should be asked to abide by laws. He contended that Pakistani politics was being influenced by the people against which the petitioner had moved the SC. He further contended that even candidates were being selected during the elections on the basis of wealth, while millions of rupees were being lavishly spent on public meetings and election rallies. The chief justice observed that it was the right of a candidate to covey his message to the public during the public meetings, adding that in the US and Europe, the candidates contesting elections address public meetings wherein the public put tough questions before the aspiring candidates that provides an opportunity to judge the eligibility and illegibility of a candidate. Manto pleaded that every candidate must be restrained from spending money once the election scheduled

was announced. The chief justice said even after four years, the Election Commission claiming to be an independent institution, had not prepared voter lists. Justice Hussain remarked that it was the responsibility of the Election Commission to hold fair and transparent elections in the country. Manto stated that the state-run television and radio as well as private electronic channels could play pivotal role during the election process. The chief justice however observed that private TV channels were playing significant role in highlighting national issues. In compliance with the court’s earlier order, Attorney General Maulvi Anwarul Haq submitted before the court the government’s reply over the plea for limited expenditures during the elections. Meanwhile, the court adjourned further hearing until today (Thursday), asking Manto to conclude his arguments so that the counsels for the various other political parties could also be heard.

through difficult times”. “We need greater market access and investment especially from our partners as our economy has received major jolts from the conflict in Afghanistan, scourge of terrorism and unprecedented natural calamities,” he said. He called upon Barrister Chishti to urge British investors and businessmen to take advantage of the investment-friendly policies of Pakistan. Barrister Chishti thanked the president for meeting and assured the British government’s continued support for the government and people of Pakistan. He also condoled with the president over the martyrdom of Benazir Bhutto, expressing his profound grief over the tragedy.

Pm gives status of minister to Sherry rehman ISLAMABAD APP

Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani on Wednesday conferred the status of federal minister on Sherry Rehman, ambassador of Pakistan to the US. The Cabinet Division has issued the notification in this regard. Sherry Rehman, the former information minister, was appointed Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States of America on November 23 last year. She was a member of the National Assembly before being appointed the ambassador to the US and was also serving as chairperson of the Pakistan Red Crescent Society.


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ephedrine a useful drug: PPma ISLAMABAD APP

The Pakistan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association (PPMA) on Wednesday said ephedrine was very useful drug and contradicted a news item published in a section of press pertaining to it. In a statement, the PPMA termed the news items baseless and without facts that the drug was a poor man’s cocaine. It said ephedrine, which is derived from the plant of the Ephedra Genus, including E Sinica and others, have traditionally been used by indigenous people for a variety of medicinal purposes, including treatment of asthma, fever, and the common cold. It said ephedrine was a decongestant and bronchodilator. It worked by reducing swelling and constricting blood vessels in the nasal passages and widening the lung airways, allowing to breathe more easily. Practically every cough and cold preparations have ephedrine as one of the ingredients which is useful during the outbreak of cough and cold season, especially during winter. The PPMA said it was commonly used for temporary relief of shortness of breath, chest tightness, and wheezing due to bronchial asthma. Ephedrine is a central nervous system stimulant used to treat breathing problems (as a bronchodilator), nasal congestion (as a decongestant), low blood pressure problems (orthostatic hypotension), or myasthenia gravis. This drug has also been used to treat certain sleep disorders (narcolepsy), menstrual problems (dysmenorrheal), and urine-control problems (incontinence or enuresis). “Imagine plight of the patients if ephedrine based preparations disappear from the market, as for some conditions, there is no alternative,” it added.

Blast due to gas leakage kills two children in Peshawar PESHAWAR Online

An explosion due to leakage of gas in a house killed two children in Peshawar, officials said on Wednesday. Police sources said the blast occurred in a house in early Wednesday morning in Pashakhara area near the provincial capital. They added that two children were killed while their woman and another child were injured in the incident. “Injured have been shifted to nearby hospital where they are stated to be out of danger,” the sources said.

mUZAFFARAbAd: A man drives his car in an inundated street as heavy showers hit the city on Wednesday. inp

‘Malik does not encourage registration of Bengalis’ ISLAMABAD

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N official of the Interior Ministry astounded the members of the National Assembly Standing Committee on Interior on Wednesday when he told them that Interior Minister Rehman Malik did not want to encourage the registration and subsequent grant of citizenship to “post-71-War Bengalis”, as the committee discussed problems being faced by the community in getting citizenship of Pakistan. Committee members Wasim Akhtar and Bushra Gohar took exception to the statement of the official and said that on one hand the government and the constitution wanted the issue of registration

of Bengalis who came to Pakistan before the 1971 War resolved, but on the other, the minister did not want the process encouraged. The additional secretary of the ministry, however, clarified that there were around five million illegal immigrants residing in the country and the minister did not want them to be registered and be granted citizenship. The committee directed the Interior Ministry and NADRA to establish facilitation centres at Karachi so that the applicants could visit and take guideline and assistance in getting them registered before seeking citizenship. NADRA Deputy Chairman Tariq Malik told the committee that National Alien Registration Authority had so far registered 5,950 Bengalis and added

they had to undergo the “nationalization” process at the Ministry of Interior before applying for citizenship. He said 39,000 cases of Bengalis were pending with NADRA for registration, upon which committee chairman Abdul Qadir Patel expressed dismay by saying that the registration authority was doing nothing for resolving the decades-old problem of Bengalis. He also asked the ministry to present the SoPs for registering and granting citizenship to the aliens at the next meeting. Taking notice of the “unknown number” facility being provided by some cellular service providers, the committee decided to summon the PTA high ups at the next meeting as it observed the facility as a “threatening tool” at the hands of callers.

Baby girl’s death shows preference for sons in india NEW DELHI AFP

A three-month-old baby girl who police say was battered by her father who wanted a son died on Wednesday, highlighting the plight of millions of India’s “unwanted girls”. Neha Afreen died from cardiac arrest at a state-run hospital in India’s tech hub of Bangalore after battling for life for three days. “We tried our best to revive Afreen but could not succeed and she succumbed to her injuries,” hospital executive Gangadhar Belawadi told AFP. Afreen was brought to the hospital with head injuries, abrasions and bite marks all over her body, causing national outrage that led

to the arrest of her father on Monday. “My husband was enraged with me for delivering a girl,” Afreen’s mother Reshma Banu told reporters. “He hated her. He wanted me to get rid of the child or abandon her as he wanted a son.” Afreen’s case is the latest in a string of incidents across India where baby girls have been abandoned, tortured or even killed because they were unwanted. “The cruelty against girls is crossing all limits,” Ranjana Kumari, director of the non-profit Centre for Social Research, told AFP. “We need to do a lot more to sensitise the society towards the worth of girls and severely punish people guilty of such crimes.”

In March, an abandoned twoyear-old girl died at a New Delhi hospital after suffering horrific injuries, including broken arms and a smashed skull. The girl, named baby Falak or “Sky” by the media, was hailed as a miracle child after showing signs of improvement following five gruelling operations but she then died of a massive heart attack. Last week, a newborn baby girl in the western city of Jodhpur was abandoned as her parents fought for the custody of a baby boy handed to them by mistake. The parents insisted the baby was not their child and only accepted her after 11 days when the results of a DNA test were shown to them. On Wednesday, micro-blog-

ging website Twitter exploded with hundreds of messages of anger and dismay over Afreen’s death. “Baby Afreen. Baby Falak. And God knows how many more that didn’t make the headlines. Or through life. Sad and shameful,” tweeted Bollywood director Meghna Gulzar. Successive governments have launched an array of schemes to change the social bias against girls. But they have had little impact with the practice of aborting female foetuses rampant. The preference for male children has led to a huge and alarming gender imbalance, with 2011 census data showing just 914 girls per 1,000 boys across India – much behind the global benchmark of 952.

three-day International Judicial conference to begin on Friday ISLAMABAD APP

The three-day International Judicial Conference 2012 will begin at the Supreme Court on Friday. Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry who is also the chairman of the Law and Justice Commission of Pakistan/National Judicial (Policy Making) Committee will inaugurate the conference. The conference will be attended by foreign dignitaries, chief justices of the Federal Shariat Court, high courts, judges of the superior courts, district judiciary, attorney general for Pakistan, Advocates General, members of the Supreme Court high court bar associations, eminent lawyers/scholars, members of the Law and Justice Commission of Pakistan. chief justice of Maldives, senior puisne judge, supreme court of India, vice president and judge rapporteur of Turkish Constitutional Court and other prominent luminaries, researchers and jurists from around the world ie Australia, UK, England, USA etc are expected to participate in the conference. According to the office of the Law and Justice Commission of Pakistan, the conference will continue till April 15 and the inaugural ceremony will be held on Friday in the Supreme Court.


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Vendors protest, fear loss of livelihood ISLAMABAD

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N an effort to rid the capital city of encroachments, the Capital Development Authority (CDA) on Wednesday issued a sevenday notice to traders and market associations to remove encroachments from their business hubs and warned of strict action against encroachers. The decision has been taken in view of the increasing encroachments in the city. However, the CDA sources said the negligent attitude of the officials concerned in stopping the encroachments at time of their establishing has put the traders and CDA in a dilemma as most of the markets in the city are now full of encroachments. Hundreds of people were now earning their livelihoods through these illegally set up stalls. “I came from Gilgit Baltistan and set up a stall to sell bags. I put up the stall with the permission of the market office bearers who had gotten approval from the CDA to use the government land,” said Akram Khan, a vendor in G/9 Markaz, adding that the shifting of the stall would mean the closure of his business. He added that the civic body has given huge pieces of land in several areas

of the city to hotel owners on nominal rents but was reluctant to give help vendors in running their businesses. On the other hand, Prime Minister’s Task Force Chairman Faisal Sakhi Butt, who has directed the CDA’s enforcement wing to remove the encroachments, claimed that the mushrooming encroach-

Seminar on capitalism and Islamic economic system held ISLAMABAD: A seminar titled ‘Capitalism and Islamic Economic System in the Modern Era’ was held at the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) which was jointly organised by the ICCI and the SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Speaking on the occasion, ICCI President Yassar Sakhi Butt said the success or failure of an economic system could be measured by its direct impact on the lives of people who live under that economic system. He stated that after the recent recession in USA and Europe, the future of capitalism has come under critical review and many economists and experts are exploring alternatives to provide with a seamless economic system. The president highlighted various flaws in capitalism, which promotes materialism, concentration of wealth in few hands and unfair distribution of resources. He was of the view that the Islamic Economic System provides comprehensive solutions to such problems. The, govt should, therefore seriously examine the Islamic Economic System as the only viable alternative to bringing welfare, prosperity and stability in society. StAFF RePORt

ments were making the city look ugly, which does not correspond to the standards of a modern capital like Islamabad. Faisal Butt asked the CDA to seek a permanent solution to the menace of encroachments in consultation with traders and other stakeholders. He said the cooperation of the Islam-

abad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) and other relevant organisations should be sought to reinforce the efforts of the authority in this regard. He added that cleanliness in the markets was not up to the mark and that a lot of improvement was required. He directed the formations concerned of the

‘TerminaTion of CrafTS Village ConTraCT’

iHC dismisses plea against CDa

ISLAMABAD Iranian Ambassador Alireza Hagghighian said on Wednesday, the efforts of the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) in curbing poverty and serving the poor of the country are highly commendable. He was speaking during a meeting with BISP Chairwoman Farzana Raja at the BISP Secretariat. He said the programme has not only ensured transparency in its affairs but also introduced higher standards of service delivery. The visiting ambassador congratulated Farzana Raja on receiving the Hilal-e-Imtiaz and said the award acknowledged her unprecedented service for the nation and humanity. Hagghigh-

Fiza Batool gilani visits lok mela ISLAMABAD StAFF RePORt

ISLAMABAD StAFF RePORt

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday dismissed the petition filed by Indus Heritage Trust (IHT) against the CDA for terminating the agreement of Arts and Craft Village with it. Earlier, during the hearing of a petition filed by the sacked operation manager of arts and craft village, Shariq H Khan wherein he sought reinstatement on the post of manager operations with the project, the CDA informed the court that it had cancelled the agreement made with the IHT to operate the project. The IHT had moved to the IHC against the cancellation of the project. Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddique resumed hearing of a case filed by IHT in which Anees Jillani, the vice-chairman and counsel for the IHT, contended that a formal agreement had been signed between the trust and the CDA for 10

years on January 1, 2005, and later a management committee was formed to govern the arts and craft village. According to the application, under the agreement the CDA had agreed to hand over the village to IHT and to pay salaries of the village’s employees. He said Shariq H Khan was also among the employees who were hired for a specific task for an initial period of one year. But Khan tried to create confusion between the CDA and IHT, he alleged. The application said Khan started sending anonymous complaints to different agencies of the government including the president of Pakistan, cabinet division, parliamentary committees and finally to the FIA and to the media. It claimed that FIA never contacted anybody in the IHT but repeatedly summoned CDA officials in order to pressurise them and subsequently, on March 22, 2012, the village’s contractor reinstated Khan. The application pointed out that a

group of CDA officials always opposed the grant of the craft village project to IHT and Khan awarded the contracts of around 12 restaurant sites to their favourite people without even consulting the IHT. He also tried to lease the shops against the spirit of the project as IHT had planned to change the tenancies after every 15 days, and use the premises of the craft village for functions. The application claimed that there was no termination clause in the agreement with CDA; therefore, it was legally and constitutionally not possible. Additionally, the agreement has an arbitration clause 18 but the chairman CDA instead of resorting to arbitration terminated the agreement illegally. The IHT requested the court to suspend the termination order till disposal of its application and cancel the reinstatement order for Khan. However, the court observed that the CDA has the authority to decide whether the agreement should be made or cancelled.

Iranian ambassador lauds BISP’s efforts for curbing poverty, maintaining transparency StAFF RePORt

authority to remove the encroachments and enhance cleanliness standards. The Task Force chairman said the government would make all possible efforts to keep the city tidy, but the cooperation of all the segments of the society was vital to make these initiatives successful.

ian also invited Raja to visit Iran. Earlier, Raja briefed the ambassador about various components of the BISP. She said the endeavours of the BISP are aimed at sustainable poverty reduction from the country and improving the living standards of millions of its beneficiaries. The chairwoman stated that the transparency and effectiveness of the BISP has been acknowledged at a global level and has set new precedents of service for the poor segments of the society for any country. Raja also accepted the invitation to visit Iran. During the meeting, future prospects as well as existing cooperation between both the countries, especially in the social sector also came under detailed discussion.

Lok Virsa is doing a great service to the nation by safeguarding Pakistan’s indigenous folk culture and supporting traditional practitioners associated with different art and craft fields, including master artisans, folk artists, rural musicians and folk dancers who are the real bearers of our magnificent heritage. Goodwill Ambassador for Women Empowerment, Fiza Batool Gilani, expressed these views while visiting Lok Mela here on Wednesday. She visited various stalls of the folk festival, organized by Lok Virsa, showcasing rich culture, arts, crafts, music and traditions from each and every region of the country. She also announced six awards of Rs 10,000 each for female master artisans participating in the festival from Punjab, Sindh, Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkwa, Gilgit Baltistan and Azad Jammu Kashmir. Fiza said that all cultural institutions in Pakistan, including Lok Virsa, were founded by Quaid-i-Awam Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto when Pakistan Peoples Party first came into power in the 1970s. His talented daughter, Shaheed Benazir Bhutto, also strengthened them, taking forward the vision of her father. She assured that the present democratic government of Pakistan People’s Party is determined to take every possible measure to promote and protect the culture of the country not only at home but also abroad because culture is the tool which can be brought into utilization for creating a soft image for the country. She also expressed her hope that philanthropists and multinationals would also come forward and join hands with Lok Virsa and the Government of Pakistan for creating more avenues for the craftspeople and effectively protecting the cultural venues of the country. On arrival, she was given a warm welcome by a group of folk dancers attired in traditional costumes. She was escorted by the folk dancers and drummers with their thrilling performances from Lok Virsa’s main gate to the festival grounds where she visited provincial pavilions depicting rich culture and traditional architecture of Punjab, Sindh, Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkwa, Gilgit Baltisan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir, witnessed exotic performances and met participants who had come from all over the country.


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iSlAmAbAd: girls belonging to tribal Areas hold placards during a protest in favor of education system outside the national Press Club. staFF pHoto

Pal chairman holds meeting with writers ISLAMABAD StAFF RePORt

In order to promote national literature, Pakistan Academy of Letters (PAL) will hold regular meetings with writers and intellectuals. PAL Chairman Abdul Hameed said this during his two-day special meetings with writers belonging to Rawalpindi and Islamabad. He said writers have the power to change line of thinking of readers. He heard suggestions and recommendations of writers and promised the PAL would try its best to materialise these suggestions. He shared with the gathering of writers that he will focus on making the regular publications of PAL in time and will also try to enhance their marketing. The chairman appreciated the suggestions regarding writers’ cards for concession in traveling and establishment of literary TV channel. He said he would try his best to persuade authorities concerned to make the issuance of writers’ cards. The writers stressed on the need to renew PAL’s policies to buy books for their annual awards. Asghar Abid focused on the suggestion on the special publications on children literature. Yusuf Hassan said that TV channel should be contacted to urge them to give more time in their broadcast to literary programs. Nisar Natik presented the suggestion of a book club for writers. Whereas, the other writers stressed the need for a committee to make the conferring awards more partial. Iqbal Hussain Ifkar, Wafa Chishti and Wahid Buzdar drew the attention of the chairman to writers living in under-developed and small towns. Dr Salahuddin Darwaish suggested that literary magazine Adbiyat should publish its regular issue along with special one. He also urged that PAL should initiate new projects to promote young writers. Dr Alamgir Hashmi stressed that importance of strong editorial board in PAL. Fareeda Hafeez said PAL should continue such positive and productive meetings with the writers. Dr Ahsan Akbar and Ahmed Javed stressed that PAL should plan to publish books at cheap rates. Dr Rashid Hameed recommended that PAL should again start the publications of its monthly newsletter. Renowned writers Shoib Jazab, Ghazanfar Hashmi, Noreen Talhat, Manzar Naqvi, Fareen Chaudhry, Tabasum Ikhlaq, Saeed Ahmed Hamza Sheikh and other appreciated PAL’s efforts to have a dialogue with writers for getting their recommendations.

3-day int’l judicial conference to begin from Friday ISLAMABAD

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three-day international judicial conference 2012 will begin from Friday here at the Supreme Court Building. Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry who is also chairman Law and Justice Commission of Pakistan/National Judicial (Policy Making) Committee will inaugurate the conference. The conference will be attended by the Foreign Dignitaries, Chief Justices of the Federal Shariat Court, High Courts, Judges of the Superior Courts, District Judiciary, Attorney General for Pakistan, Advocates General, Members of the Supreme Court/High Court Bar Associations, Eminent Lawyers/ Scholars, members of the Law and Justice Commission of Pakistan. Chief Justice of Maldives, Senior Puisne Judge, Supreme Court of India, Vice President and Judge Rapporteur of Turkish Constitutional Court, Turkey and other prominent luminaries, researchers and jurists from around the world i.e. Australia, UK, England, USA etc. are expected to participate in the conference. According to the office of the Law and Justice Commission of Pakistan, the conference will continue till April 15 and the inaugural ceremony will be held on Friday in the Supreme Court Building. On second day of the conference, the participants will assemble in eight different thematic groups with specified topics including, “Role of Judiciary in Promotion of a Culture of Tolerance”, “Terrorism and Money Laundering”, “The Role of Judiciary in Good gov-

folK feSTiVal

ernance”, “Alternate Dispute Resolution and International Arbitration”, “Judicial Education”, “Parental Child Abduction and Transnational Jurisdiction”, “Environmental Law and Public Interest Litigation” and “Gender Bias and Issues of Judicial Empathy”. During the session, papers will be presented by different speakers as different topics have already been assigned to them. On the third day, besides others events a special event of book launching ceremony of a book “Counter-Terrorism International Law and Practice” will be held. The book has been edited by Ana Maria Salinas De Frlas, Katja Lh Samuel and Nigel D White and published by Oxford University Press. REScUE OpERATIOn AT GAyARI SEcTOR cOnTInUES: Despite weather hazards, rescue operation at Gayari Sector continues at five priority points identified with the help of SPD team employed along with plant equipment, Army Search and Rescue Teams. A 450 meters long access track has been developed on the avalanche to access the priority points.Work on another access track has also been started to widen search perimeter,said an ISPR press release on Wednesday. Mainly Plant equipment is employed at two points. The work is in progress at rapid speed on both points. At the work on other three points mainly being done with the help of infantry troops who resort to manual digging with some assistance from plant equipment where required. A bulldozer has been employed to restore the water channel, which has been blocked due to avalanche.So far two exits are available with 20 and 15 cusecs discharge.Efforts are in hand to enhance same with the help of plant equipment.

monSTer TruCK in iSlmabaD

Drumming CirCle

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: aPr 06 - 15 2012 Venue: lok VIrSa - IFH (ISlamaBaD)

Date: mar 20 - aPr 21, 2012 Venue: F-9 Park, ISlamaBaD

Date anD tIme: 05:00 Pm, weekly eVent Venue: tHe centre For artS & culture

Folk Festival has got stalls representing different cultures living in Pakistan. additionally there is a folk musicians are performing in open air theatre.

monster truck in Islamabad.

our drumming circle is a (free!) ongoing event and is held every Friday from 5pm to 6pm 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 contaminated water claims more than 10,000 people annually in karachi ISLAMABAD APP

iSlAmAbAd: Activists of Citizens for Peace hold "peace walk" in the wake of current situation in gilgit-baltistan at Parade Avenue. staFF pHoto

wheat procurement to start from 20th ISLAMABAD APP

The wheat procurement campaign for the year 2012-13 will formally be launched from the April 20 in the wheat producing areas of Punjab province. An official in the Ministry of National Food Security and Research told APP here on Wednesday that food departments of the provinces and other allied institutions have finalized the arrangements for conducting the operation. He said wheat harvesting season in the Punjab province is expected to formally start from April 15 and will continue for next two-month. In Punjab, it was cultivated over 16 million acre as against the set target of 16.95 million acre to produce 19.2 million tons of wheat, in Sindh 2.5 million acre against the fixed targets of 2.7 million acre to get out-put of 3.2 million tons, he added. The harvesting has been started in some areas of Sindh province adding that the process will get momentum in the rest of crop producing areas of the country as currently moisture was observed in fields of standing crop, he remarked. The government has set the targets to procure about 7.72 million tons of wheat during the wheat procurement campaign for the year 2012-13 to fulfill the domestic requirements as well as to export, he added. In this regard, he said Punjab has assign the target to procure about 1.30 million ton of the commodity while the Sindh has given the task to purchase about 1.325 million tons of wheat at official fixed rate of Rs. 1050 per 40 kilograms. Meanwhile, Khyber Pukhtunkhwa and Balochistan has set to procure about 0.325 million and 0.100 respectively during the current wheat procurement campaign for keeping the strategic reserves as well, he added. He further said the Pakistan Agriculture Storage and Services Corporation (PASSCO) will also procure about 2.00 million ton of wheat across the country. In this regard, he commented that PASSCO has established 220 centers in 11 zones across the country to start its wheat procurement campaign for the year 2012-13. All the logistic arrangements have been finalized to procure about 2 million tons of wheat to fulfill the domestic requirements as well as keeping the strategic stocks and export, he added.

Day of street Children today ISLAMABAD

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HE International Day for Street Children is celebrated every year on April 12 which provides a platform for the millions of street children around the world to share their voices about their rights. In 2012 the theme for the International Day for Street Children is `challenging perceptions’. The International Day for Street Children was launched in 2011 by the Consortium for Street Children (CSC), bringing together its 70 members to raise awareness of street children by being `louder together’. The day is celebrated by street children, NGOs, policy makers, celebrities, corporate and individuals across the globe. Since the first international day in 2011, the United Nations commissioned a report into street children in order to be better able to protect and promote their rights. Street children are often ignored and stigmatised. They have no support, no family, school, healthcare; they face violence and hunger daily. Unless governments take responsibility and change policy and practice to include street children, for every child helped, another two will be forced onto the street. The International Day for Street Children gives a louder voice to millions of street children all around the world so their rights cannot be ignored. Street children need to be on

national government’s policy agendas and their specific needs recognised and addressed. By raising further awareness and working with governments to actively include these children in policy and practice, it will make a direct impact on the lives of the estimated 100 million street children worldwide. RAfI pEER’S AnnIvERSARy OBSERvED: A gigantic force behind Pakistan’s theater and theatrical talents, founder of modern drama in Pakistan and a playwright Rafi Peer was remembered on his death anniversary here on Wednesday. Born in Rawalpindi on 21st March 1900, Rafi Peer was the son of Peer Tajuddin, a well-known barrister. It was contact with this intellectual circle of his father’s friends that led Rafi Peer to write at a early age and it was thus too that he became involved with politics. Rafi Peer was among the pioneers of performing arts in Pakistan and his work and legacy carried on by his family is now recognized not only in Pakistan but on international stage as well. In early 1900s, he went to England to study law but somehow got interested in theater and when he came back, he started working for All India Radio and also wrote plays. He had a chance to work with leading artists of the time and worked hard to create some legendary dramas. He later established theater practice which went on to become popular among masses. His work in theater was carried on by his family and today ‘Peer Theater

Workshop’ is Pakistan’s leading theatrical production organizations. At time of independence, he was offered lucrative opportunities to work in India, but refused those and decided to come to Pakistan where he continued to live. He died on April, 11, 1974. pRI OffERS pOULTRy TRAInInG pROGRAMME: A week-long, free of cost, poultry training programme is being offered by Poultry Research Institute (PRI), Benazir Bhutto Road, (Murree Road) Shamsabad Rawalpindi. The training programme will start on April 16 with 8.00 AM to 1:00 PM timing of the course. Interested men and women can apply for the course while prospectus of the programme can be taken from the office of PRI. The applications may be submitted in the office of Director PRI till April 16 at 9:00 AM. QAMAR SEEkS pEOpLE’S cOOpERATIOn : Federal minister for Water Syed Naveed Qamar has said that the nation has to take some concrete steps to cope with the energy crisis in the country. Talking to a private news channel, he said energy crisis is very severe in country and we have to change our life style to save the energy. We have to share energy crisis. He said the government has energy security plans and many projects are under implementation adding I belong to Karachi and I will go to business community of Karachi to convince them for the implementation of decisions of Energy Conference.

Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR), on Wednesday, revealed that in Karachi more than 10,000 people die every year because of renal infection caused by contaminated water. A worldwide survey report on water borne diseases revealed that every third person had become a patient of Hepatitis B or C and Sindh province is the most affected by this chronic disease, while Khyber Pakhtoonkhawa and Punjab provinces rank second and third respectively. PCRWR conducted Technical Assessment Survey of water supply schemes in domains of 22 districts of Sindh, which summed up that the performance of these schemes in terms of providing water in an adequate quantity and of safe quality, is extremely poor. The outcome of the survey has revealed that water supply schemes are providing plain pipe water for drinking purposes to meet household needs and for other multiple uses to an enumerated population of 11.716 million persons on 1247 surveyed water schemes. The fact is that 58 people of the schemes are not functioning properly and as a result, nearly 47 percent of the total population is ignored by the water supply schemes. More alarming situation is that 98 percent of the functional schemes are providing unsafe drinking water. Moreover, on province basis, the average water charges, per scheme, figure out to Rs two per month. Talking to APP, Chairman PCRWR Dr Aslam Tahir said lack of proper management, operation and maintenance of the water systems was one of the critical issues of the water supply schemes. Overall, 75 percent of the total 718 nonfunctional schemes have been found as temporarily closed. The Chairman said identified reasons for the temporary closure of schemes are financial problems, breakage of some important components of the water delivery and distribution system or non-functioning of pump, motor or transformer. The survey result shows that 95 percent water sources of the functional schemes, are unfit for drinking purposes and microbiological contamination has been found in all unsafe water samples from functional schemes. According to the survey, nine percent of the schemes are over 20 years old, 16 percent of the schemes are 20-25 years old, 28 percent schemes are between 1520 years old, whereas 47 percent schemes are 10-15 years old. The Chairman said most of the schemes have used G1 pipe for the distribution system, the useful life of which is less than 20 years. It necessitates a program of rehabilitation coupled with redesigning of water supply schemes in the district and the priority should be given to the older schemes. These remedial works should be based on the estimation of present and future water requirement for the increasing population, he said.

Diabetes, blood pressure common in people ISLAMABAD APP

The incidence of chronic kidney disease is rising in the country owing to late diagnosis, high volume of stones disease and rising trend of diabetes and high blood pressure in people. According to health experts, blood pressure and diabetes must be controlled optimally to keep kidney fit and the best way to prevent kidney failure is early diagnosis of underlying disease and aggressive treatment. They said diet, nutrition and lifestyle should be healthy throughout the life even if diabetes or blood pressure is under control. They said that toxic drugs

and fake medicines have their own considerable share in kidney damage. Dr Sharif Astori from Federal Government Poly Clinic (FGPC) hospital said that kidney diseases are diagnosed through history, examinations by qualified doctors and certain tests. He said that many people know nothing about kidney disease until it’s too late, adding, because of lack of awareness diagnosis gets delayed. He observed that unlike many diseases, kidney disease often has no symptoms until it is very advanced. He said to keep kidneys healthier for longer time, a very important step is to learn about the disease and also get kidneys tested on periodic basis. He recom-

mended to make sure fluid intakes are proper during kidney disorder. He said that the clues that can make people aware of kidney problems are generalized weakness, increasing paleness, aches and pain, vomiting, falling appetite, body swelling, breathing difficulties and blood in urine. Kidney diseases also run in families, he added. Dr Astori said that kidney disease is usually a progressive disease, which means that the damage in the kidneys tends to be permanent. He added kidney diseases also make risks for heart diseases and stroke higher. He said if one or both kidneys fail completely then kidney no longer filters wastes properly to keep healthy. He said

that the treatment of kidney failure is either hemodialysis or kidney transplant, whereas dialysis offer an excellent short time cure. He advised that once the kidney damages, patients with blood pressure and diabetes should visit their doctor regularly. The dose of antibiotics should be adjusted according to the kidney function, he added. He said many kidney diseases can be treated efficiently if diagnosed in time otherwise permanent kidney damage occurs that can prove fatal for the patient. He said that transplant is the option which gives the best chance of a good long term quality of life. He said one year patient survival on hemodialysis is 75 percent and after transplant it is 98 percent.


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Sikhs to celebrate Besakhi from 13th ISLAMABAD

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HE Sikh community of India and Pakistan are all set to celebrate Baisakhi popularly known as Vaisakhi festival to be held from 13-16 April at Hassan Abdal and Lahore, respectively, with full religious zeal and enthusiam. Some 2500 Sikh yatrees (pilgrims) from India arrived here in Pakistan to fulfil Besaiki rituals according to their traditional style. For the large farming community of Punjab, Baisakhi Festival marks the time for harvest of rabi crops and they celebrate the day by performing joyful bhangra and gidda dance. For the Sikh community, Baisakhi Festival has tremendous religious significance as it was on a Baisakhi Day in 1699, that Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth

Sikh Guru laid the foundation of Panth Khalsa-the Order of the Pure Ones. During the day people of Sikh faith take out a Baisakhi procession under the leadership of Panj piaras. The procession moves through the major localities of the city amidst the rendition of devotional songs by the participating men, women and children. Dressed in their distinct folk attire, both men and women express their joy by dancing the Bhangra and Gidda and make the festival more colourful. Meanwhile, the All Parties Sikh Coordination Committee (APSCC) has demanded of India to initiate fresh probe into the killing of 36 Sikhs at Chattisinghpora in Indian Occupied Kashmir in 2000. According to KMS, a delegation of the APSCC led by Chairman Jagmohan Singh Raina met Indian Home Minister P Chi-

dambaram at Jammu and put forth its demand. “Central Bureau of Investigation had also alleged that the Chattisinghpora massacre was the handiwork of Indian Army while the apex court (Indian Supreme Court) also pointed towards the involvement of Army in the massacre. We demand fresh probe in a time bound manner in the case,” Jagmohan Singh Raina told media after the meeting. The APSCC also demanded general amnesty to five Sikh youth, blamed for hijacking an Indian plane on August 24, 1984. fBISE TO cOnDUcT HSSc ExAMS fROM ApRIL 26: The Federal Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (FBISE) will hold Higher Secondary School Certificate (HSSC) Annual Examinations 2012 from April 26. The board has dispatched roll number slips of the regular candidates to their

institutions and those of private candidates at the addresses given by them in their admission forms, said a news release issued here on Wednesday. Any candidate who has not received roll number slip can contact Controller Examinations (Conduct) at phone number 051-9250606 and fax number 9250607, Assistant Controller Examinations (HSSC Conduct) at 9250641 and Assistant Secretary (One Window Cell) at 9250651. kASHMIRIS’ IncLUSIOn In DIALOGUE pROcESS STRESSED: The All Parties International Coordination Committee has called for inclusion of genuine Kashmiri leadership in talks between Pakistan and Indian on Kashmir. At a meeting held in Birmingham, the participants were of the unanimous view that Kashmiris were struggling for securing their right to self-determination,

Kashmir Media Service reported. “Any engagement between India and Pakistan for resolving the outstanding dispute of Kashmir is always welcomed, but it cannot be resolved without the participation and consent of people of Jammu and Kashmir,” they said according to a press release issued by the forum at the end of the meeting. The meeting, which was chaired by Chaudhry Muhammad Azeem, was attended by Executive Director of Kashmir Centre London Professor Nazir Ahmad Shawl and many others including Muhammad Riyaz, Muhammad Ghalib, Bostaan Qadri. It was decided that all Parties Kashmir Coordination Committee would support those candidates in upcoming British councillor elections who supported the right of self-determination for the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

2 bodies recovered; Indian cop commits suicide in IHk ISLAMABAD APP

Bodies of two persons were recovered from different parts of the Kashmir Valley. According to Kashmir Media Service, body of a 25-year-old youth was recovered from river Jehlum at Rampora Chattabal in Srinagar. “The body is in decomposed form which shows that it has been in water from over 10-15 days,” police official at Qamawari police station said. Another unidentified body of 12-year old girl was recovered from Nullah Bringi near Gowhar Pahroo in Kokernag in Islamabad. On the other hand, policemen beat up and injured half a dozen government employees of Joint Consultative Committee (JCC) during protest against the anti-people polices of puppet regime near Shaheed Gunj in Srinagar. “Police action won’t deter us. We will continue our fight for our rights. Police arrested 75 of our employees including the Khursheed Alam, Fayaz Shabnum, Fayaz Andrabi, Muntazir Mohiuddin. They are presently lodged in Shergari and Shaheed Gunj police stations,” JCC Spokesperson, Farooq Ahmed Trali said. Meanwhile, an Indian Central Reserve Police Force, head constable committed suicide by shooting himself with his service rifle at Kursoo Rajbagh in Srinagar. This raised the number of such deaths amongst Indian troops and police personnel to 238 since January 2007.

Services exports up by 11.43 percent

iSlAmAbAd: Pakistan navy soldiers present guard of honour to Commander-in-Chief of Polish navy Vice Admiral tomasz mathea upon his arrival at naval Headquarters. online

Faisal Mosque attractive place for visitors ISLAMABAD

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Faisal Mosque Islamabad a symbol of Islamic Art and Architecture has become one of an attractive place for the visitors from all over the country as well as for large number of foreigners. Around 4,000 people visit the Mosque during the five working days, on Friday, Saturday and Sunday and more than 20,000 people visit the scenefull Mosque here in the Federal Capital. An official of Dawah Academy Information Center, working under International Islamic University Islamabad, told APP that the center provides documentaries of Mosques and cassettes of “Khutbat-e-Juma” (Friday sermons). He claimed that around 30,000 people visit the center during a month. Khadim-e-Faisal Mosque Qari Gulzar Ahmed Madni who is also librarian of the public library set up by Dawah Academy in the Mosque, said hundreds of books on Islam and its history are available in the library. He said around hundred people

The exports of services sector grew by 11.43 percent during the month of February as against last month. The exports during February 2012 were recorded at US$ 351 million against the exports of US$ 315 in January 2012, according to data of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS). The services imports into the country were recorded at $ 621 million in February 2012 against the imports of $.617 million in January 2012, showing an increase of 0.65 per cent. Services exports for the period JulyFebruary, 2011-2012, however witnessed a decrease of 19.58 per cent as against the same period of last fiscal year. Overall services exports were recorded at $3.252 billion in July-February 201112 against the exports of $4.044 billion during July-February 2010-2011. On the other hand, service imports into the country grew by 7.41 percent by going up from $4.816 billion in JulyFebruary 2010-11 to $5.173 billion during the first 8 months of the current year, the data revealed.

daily visit the library and benefitted from the collection of books available there. He said the Academy has also set up a book stall where books are sold on discount rates. A gift shop has also been set up in the Mosque which attracts a large number of people, he said adding, the shop sells Pure Honey, Dates and several other Islamic models etc. The Shoe keeper who has got the contract of Rs 3.5 million per year, said around 4000 people daily come here from all over the country. He said that foreigners also come in large number and take keen interest in its architecture. He added that on the Holidays the number of visitors increases to a large extend and families, students and people from organization all around the country came in groups to visit the mosque. ABSTRAcT pAInTInGS TO BE DISpLAyED In pRESS pREvIEw: An exhibition of abstract paintings on feminine sensitivities will be displayed in a press preview here on April 12 by Riffat Ara Baig at Gallery Louvre. The solo show entitled ‘Feminine Feel’ will be open for general public on April 13 featuring the rhythm of

vibrant colors and creative ethos that make a wonderful combination for Riffat Ara Baig to express the world of emotions and happenings around herself. The artist who paints nature also explored the contemporary medium of etching on paper for this recent collection. Riffat Ara Baig completed her graduation from the University of Punjab in 1995 and showed her creative genius with portrayal offeminine emotions that depict some incomplete and unfulfilled aspirations. The expressionistic figurative artist creates images that reveal their meaningful presence in rhythmic flow of lines and curves. Exploring the medium etching on paper, she deals with the technique using sharp and bold colors to attract viewers as well as to reflect intense feelings. According to the artist, “Women of our society are yet to find emotional pathways to express themselves without any fear and societal pressure. Even in the present age, mostly the female painters are hesitant to paint figurative or to portray the feminine feelings, deprivation and the emotional deficits.”

ahmed rushdi’s anniversary observed ISLAMABAD: Renowned playback singer in Pakistan’s cinema world, Ahmed Rushdi was remembered on his death anniversary on Wednesday. Ahmed Rushdi a master of all moods, was adept at singing all styles, be it happy, comedy, tragedy, qawwali, lullaby, and patriotic, pop, revolutionary or folk numbers. Syed Ahmed Rushdi was born on 24th April, 1934, to a well respected Hyderabad Deccan family. Singing was strictly disallowed in his household, but Rushdi was crazy about music and wanted to sing all sorts of songs. In this context, he met many talented seniors, and took admission in a small music school by another name. In 1954, he came to Karachi with his family, and gave an audition at Radio Pakistan. He first sang Himayat Ali Shaer’s poem, soon followed another hit, Bandar Road se Kemari, which was a mega-hit of the times. Rushdi sang his first number for the film Karnama (1956) and sang over 800 songs in films till 1983. Since 1976, Ahmed Rushdi was a heart patient and his doctors advised him to abstain from singing but Rushdi refused by saying that music was his life. When he had a second heart attack in 1981, he was composing a musical album. On the night of April 11, 1983, he died at the age of 48. In recognition of Rushdi’s services, he has been awarded with a Pride of Performance posthumously. APP


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Editor’s mail 11

the Siachen conflict This is with reference to the news report about the great tragedy at Siachen due to which 135 brave sons have been buried under a massive avalanche. The magnitude of this natural calamity is so huge that inspite of continuous rescue efforts by the army, air force and the disaster management authority, no success has been met as yet. Thousands of IndoPak soldiers have laid their lives in this sector not due to active action but due to the harsh weather. The mercury here falls below 60 degree and in this treacherous terrain avalanches, snow storms and blizzards are a routine. Siachen, Baltoro, Saltoro and other glaciers are housing some of the world highest peaks like K-2, Gashabrum-1 to 5, Mushabrum, Trango Towers etc. It was a mountaineer’s para-

Prize bonds are illegal dise and all expeditions were routed from Pakistan till 1984. I do not understand that what prompted India to occupy the peaceful Siachen Glacier. Pakistan was left with no choice but to defend the motherland and since then both sides have locked their horns. Billions of dollars have been spent by both the countries and God knows how long we will continue sacrificing our soldiers. The policies and directions are given by the governments and soldiers follow it without questioning. There have been many initiatives and confidence building measures but no irritant or dispute has ever been solved, be it the Kashmir, Sir Creek, Siachen or the water issues. The recent tragedy at Gayri (Siachen), loss of lives in Kargil and other Pak-India wars

should force both the governments to start meaningful efforts to resolve all the issues. We all know that all conflicts end on negotiating table. Therefore it’s high time that bold initiative must be taken for the peace and prosperity of South Asia. Pakistan has been suffering a lot due to the wrong policies of successive civilmilitary regimes and self interests. The hard-line elements on both sides have kept the peace process hostage for decades and now the factor of terrorism further complicated the issues. It’s very unfortunate that taking the advantage of the trust deficit, non state actors can derail the peace process, like Mumbai attacks. The world is changing very fast and working for the betterment of their peo-

ple. The arms race and piling of nuclear arsenal could not save the Soviet Union and the huge expenditures led to its collapse. The lives of human beings, from any religion, are very precious as it is said in the Quran “If you save a human being, you save the whole mankind and if you kill a human being, you kill the whole mankind”. If the archrivals of World War II can solve their differences and live peacefully, then there is no reason that we should not work to bring peace and prosperity in this region. I agree that all the problems cannot be solved immediately but a beginning should be made and it better be sooner. SHAHID ZAHUR Islamabad

loss of lives in Siachen The Siachen dispute has resulted in thousands of casualties from both sides, mainly because of adverse climate conditions and hard terrain. Over 8,000 soldiers from the two sides have been killed in Siachen so far. Pakistan spends Rs 15 million a day to maintain three battalions at the world’s highest battlefield. The recent avalanche at the battlefield buried alive at least 135 Pakistani soldiers. I suggest that Pakistan and India should sign an accord and pull out their troops from this dangerous battlefield. Both the countries should respect their territories. Through an accord the two can save many a life. KHUSHNOODA TAHIRA Karachi

I feel for Pm gilani

a welcome decision The Indian Supreme Court has rightly felt the pain by the plight of mentally disabled Pakistani prisoners languishing in Indian jails for years. Justice R M Lodha was referring to 21 prisoners, 16 of whom are now mentally unsound and the other five are deaf and dumb. More painful is the fact that they have been kept imprisoned despite serving out of their sentences. The court was justified to comment that such a humanitarian issue should be taken up during the highest level meetings between the two countries. Hundreds of ordinary people, farmers and fishermen of each country are facing the wrath of hatred while behind bars for visa violations, false espionage charges, entering other country’s waters for fishing or just crossing the unmarked/nonfenced border by mistake. One shall presume that such issues which directly impact thousands of families across the border shall be on top agenda during Indo-Pak high profile meetings. But what a pity we always discuses the land disputes – Kashmir, Siachin, Sir Creek etc. Perhaps ordinary people are not that important for the top brass representing these two countries. Anyhow, we should welcome Indian Supreme Court’s order to grant bail to 80-year-old Pakistani Virologist Dr Khaleel Chishti. It was a good gesture on the part of court after the 8 April Zardari-Manmohan meeting. Last year, Dr Chishti was given life sentence in a case which dragged on in Indian courts for 19 years. Hopefully the court will help his extradition to Pakistan as well. Perhaps we are tuning a new page in our bitter history book. MASOOD KHAN Jubail, Saudi Arabia

lack of water Citizens of Karachi are suffering a lot due to lack of water. A person can survive for 30 days without food but without water a person cannot survive more than 15 days. Three major pumps at Dhabeji pumping station had broken due to continuous loadshedding. The difference between city water’s demand and supply is now 2.5 billion gallons. The KWSB has warned that if the KESC does not stop continuous loadshedding, the whole pumping station will be damaged and stop working. I request the government to take action on immediate basis before it's too late and save Karachi from being deprived of water. TAHIR KHAN Karachi

Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry who took note of a case regarding prize bond schemes across the country, said that prize bond schemes, lucky draws and lotteries were gambling and unlawful and strictly prohibited. Justice Tariq Pervez while hearing the case said that lucky-draw schemes were a punishable crime, and those organising such schemes as well as those partaking in them were both equally responsible and guilty. The above statement of Supreme Court judges shows clearly that all these prize bonds are unlawful. So the question is according to which law Central Directorate of National Savings, Ministry of Finance, Government of Pakistan is running these prize bond schemes. Many multinational companies (especially mobile phone operators) conduct lucky draws, why are they not stopped by the Supreme Court? I am sure that the government will not respond to these queries but it will be appreciated if anyone answers these questions. MUBASHIR MAHMOOD Karachi

not interested in people’s welfare It seems that neither the federal government nor the provincial governments of the Punjab, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwah and Balochistan, irrespective of which political parties or coalition of parties are in power, are interested in or concerned with the peoples welfare? This is so because electricity loadshedding has not only lingered on but also worsened in recent weeks to the extent that the suffering people have been forced to come out in protest on the roads and streets and there have been violent riots also in different parts of the country. For resolving this chronic lingering problem of electricity load shedding a quite feasible formula was presented by veteran politician and PML(Q) President Ch Shujat Hussain some days back. In the said formula, which has since come to be known as Shujat Formula, the provinces were asked to make contributions out of their NFC Award share for couple of months so that the mounting circular debt of the IPPs could be paid and all power units could restart generation of electricity to the maximum of their installed capacity to rid the people of this national problem and ensure much needed relief to them. It was again presented in the National Energy Conference, held in Lahore couple of days back, by PML(Q) Secretary General Mushahid Hussain Sayed on behalf of the party chief Ch Shujat Hussain. The energy moot was presided over by the prime minister and participated by the chief ministers of the four provinces among others. It was presented in a more detailed manner, as reports ap-

Soldiers at Siachen The Siachen incident has not only highlighted the need to revisit troop deployment that pose a greater threat to them than the enemy does – for both countries – but at the same time reveals to us the reality that despite such a grave threat they have never uttered a single word of complaint. In fact most of them have opted for Siachen voluntarily. The probability of survivors is becoming remote as time passes by without any tangible rescue work done in the catastrophe hit area. The severity of weather conditions has made rescue work almost impossible and those too who are involved in rescue operations face similar danger. If an avalanche, where hundreds of soldiers of the Pakistan army had to lose their precious lives, is what it takes for the administration and public to realize what the soldiers undergo during their duties, then the hardships endured by all those trapped under layers of hard frozen ice will surely pay off. It goes a long way to show under what conditions a soldier of the Pakistan army is operates either defending bor-

pearing in the media said, and it was expected that the federal and provincial governments would give a positive and instant response to this there and then and announce their proposed contributions out of the NFC Award share thus making the balls rolling and ensuring the electricity load shedding ending couple of months and industry wheels start rolling again in full strength. But it was rather shocking and surprising to note, as mentioned in reports about the energy moot coverage by the newspapers, that the Shujat Formula was not taken quite enthusiastically by the stakeholders as expected and instead they made negative remarks. Through the formula, the provinces were asked to contribute a total amount of Rs 150 billion out of their NFC Award share and even this was to be returned to them by the federal governments after sometime. Cutting the long sad story short, it seems that neither the federal government nor the provincial governments are interested in or concerned with the peoples welfare contrary to all their very tall claims in this respect. Since, there was no other feasible solution presented in the energy moot to end the electricity loadshedding, except that the suffering on this account would be equitable for all provinces, so the people should be ready for continuously bearing this lingering chronic and highly unproductive problem in an unending manner for many more months. The situation is bound to even worsen further in the coming summer months. AHSAN A HAQ SHAIKH Lahore

ders or fighting the various enemies, harsh weather and natural calamities included. Ironic are not the conditions under which they work, but the fact that they face relentless criticism from fellow countrymen that is enough reason to dampen ones morale. The follies of a few at the highest order cannot be generalised upon all ranks and can certainly not wipe away the sacrifices they have made for the motherland and the people of this nation. The relentless support of the nation is what they need to remain motivated and encouraged so that they may keep defending the country. We can never repay their efforts but at least we can try to stand by them by honouring their commitment and hard work instead of waiting for another Siachen or Salala to realise that we are indeed fortunate to have amongst us men of great stature who attain divinity by their actions. They are the people who have ensured the existence of the country by offering the motherland their own. LUBNA UMAR Islamabad

a just demand Why the new Parliamentary Committee on National Security (PCNS) recommendations are not making it conditional to charge a suitable fee from NATO for use of Pakistani airspace? It must not be forgotten that NATO offered billions of dollars to Turkey, for allowing the use of its airspace during the Iraq war. Have we also forgotten that America charged heavily from Pakistan (for the confiscated planes), for even the parking of our fully paid F16 fighter planes? And today, after all our cooperation and sacrifices in the war on terror, for more than a decade, they have repaid our favours by bombing a Pakistani post and killing our more than two dozen soldiers. But still, we want them to use our airspace for free. I earnestly hope and pray that our parliamentarians and politicians stand up and show their guts to forcefully put the above mentioned demand in the PCNS recommendations. SYED NAYYAR UDDIN AHMAD Lahore

You are indeed a man with steel nerves, Mr Yousaf Raza Gilani. During the day as Prime Minister of the country, you have your table full of problems. You have some placements made about which you are kept in dark. You have to call your allies of the government to listen to their latest requests. You have to preside over the cabinet meeting with six-point agenda, all related to economic disorder like pricehike and unemployment issues. You have to give time to some lawyers waiting for NRO, Memogate, contempt case dates and so many more issues resting in SC. You have to give time to the US ambassador. You have to be briefed on hundreds of issues on which you have to face media and cameras. You have Nargis Sethi walk in and out seeking some time for her priorities. You asked the personal staff for a cup of tea, which came in three or four times and went cold. In other words, you were like a computer machine switching on and off on issues of several nature and seriousness. At 8 pm you decided to call it a day and retire back home and have a bite. At home, your wife comes up with tens of problems, including Musa Gilani. The grandchildren assemble around you but you have no time enjoy their company. You have to comment on all of these problems narrated by your wife or else she starts throwing tantrums. You did not have dinner too. Then you retire to your bed room. The bed is as soft as it can be but you can’t sleep. You gulp some sleeping tablets and go off to forced sleep. Another day dawns and, as usual, the same routine starts. This day is even worse than yesterday; the president has summoned you first thing in the morning. Mr Gilani, is this premiership worth the salt? Were you not better off in jail than this? At least, you were a political prisoner in jail. Sir, I pity you. AMJAD H MIRZA Lahore

no electricity News channels have been showing condition of the classrooms where exams are being held. Our government has failed to make simple arrangements for the students appearing in examinations. What is expected from the government is that it provides the students with basic necessities like classrooms with better furniture and proper electricity. But, in our case, the students are forced to sit in the open air with tents providing minimal shade. Not only this, the invigilators pay a deaf ear to what happens in examination halls. Students use illicit means available to them to cheat. If this is how it has to be done then why even take exams? It is high time that the old-fashioned education system should be changed. AZMEENA ALIDINA Karachi

Send your letters to: Letters to Editor, Pakistan Today, 4-Shaarey Fatima Jinnah, Lahore, Pakistan. Fax: +92-42-36298302. E-mail: letters@pakistantoday.com.pk. Letters should be addressed to Pakistan Today exclusively.


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12 Comment and now, another scam let’s keep it in the family

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ot that anything stands proved against Musa Gilani. What we have heard so far are no more than allegations in the eye of the law. But one thing is certain. The allegations are of a highly damaging nature. What thickens the plot are some of the circumstances surrounding the episode. Attempts seem to have been made to hush up the scam. Soon after the Anti Narcotics Force (ANF) initiated an enquiry Secretary Narcotics Control Division was transferred. A couple of month after the ANF initiated a probe into the scam, Director General ANF was also relocated. Afterwards orders were issued for the transfer of two more officers of the ANF associated with the enquiry. The government can claim that these were routine transfers but perceptions count as much as realities when political personalities are involved. It is intriguing that once these officers were out of the ANF, the new appointees rushed to seek the permission of the Supreme Court to withdraw the case. Prime Minister Gilani has a number of positive points to his credit. He played a leading role in developing parliamentary consensus on the three historic constitutional amendments and in piloting the NFC award. He also ordered the release of the judges kept under house arrest by Musharraf and subsequently restored them, albeit belatedly, through an office order. He is known for his conciliatory attitude and poise, qualities which are rare among politicians. There is, however, a flipside also which cannot be ignored. A number of highly damaging financial scams involving government personalities and their close relatives burst into the open during the last four years. Getting rid of the corrupt leadership has become the major plank of the opposition as the elections draw near. It is being claimed that rules were flouted in the allocation of Ephedrine quota by companies that are said to be the favourites of Ali Musa Gilani whose personal secretary allegedly got the out-of-turn quota approved by the health ministry against rules and regulations. The SC has rehabilitated the old enquiry team ordering it to investigate the issue without yielding to any pressure. There is a need on the part of Musa Gilani to cooperate fully with the team to clear his name.

work in progress Committee undecided

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ith every course of action, lie its pitfalls. Reversing the decision to block the Nato supply routes as unilaterally as the government has taken it in the first place would have had a large public fallout. But it would have been a discrete step, one that would have been taken promptly after the government weighed the pros and the cons. On the other hand, passing over the buck to the parliament would automatically get the ownership of the opposition parties, which would help in curtailing the fallout. The PML(N), for instance, even in its most rabid of populism, couldn’t rabble-rouse around a parliamentary decision that it was signatory to. The flipside to getting the parliament on board, however, is the endeavour itself. It is like herding cats. Especially when the opposition benches want to be seen making noises. Even some from the treasury (the MQM, basically) don’t pull any punches when they want to play to the gallery, literally, in this case, with the Press Gallery watching over the legislators. Others, like the JUI(F), face political repercussions were they to agree without objections to a possible resolution. The party’s boycott of the multi-party Parliamentary Committee on National Security continues unabated. There were chances of a thaw with the American ambassador meeting with the party’s chief but the latter’s position is still to be decided. In Pakistan’s relations with the US, the political class needs to realise that there is a scheme of things that has to be explained to the electorate. This pertains to our rather precarious position in the comity of nations. We are this close to being a pariah state. The nexus between elements within the deep state and non-state multinational terror outfits. Similarly, the US needs to understand that Pakistan is not the one-window operation it used to be during the times of (complete) military rule. For cooperation, the elected government has to sell an idea to the polity. The more the US, through its actions, makes the citizens of Pakistan hostile to itself, the less cooperative the government will be able to be.

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: editorial@pakistantoday.com.pk

thursday, 12 april, 2012

let there not be light the solution is simple. but…

By Nazir Naji

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he resumption of contacts between Lahore and Islamabad and Pakistan and India, both are breaking news of this year. In a respect, the news of contacts between Lahore and Islamabad is even bigger than that of those between Pakistan and India. There wasn’t enough estrangement and mutual discord in the backdrop of the Delhi meeting as is the baggage and backdrop for the Lahore-Islamabad liaison. The leaders of Lahore and Islamabad did not let the golden opportunity for snark to let slip. Such was the environment that PM Gilani, who normally knows his poetry, recited some verses incorrectly. The out-of-meter verses are below: Humain daraatay hain taareekyon say Jinn kay dil main roshni ki tamanna nahin (Those who scare us of darkness Have themselves no hope of light in their hearts) Whatever this string of words is that came out of the PM’s mouth, this couplet is not a shaer. I will not accept that even if an executive ordinance says so. The intricacies of poetic diction and prosody aside, let’s get back to the discussion at hand. The contact that was resumed after a long item was done so to deal with the monstrous problem known as electricity loadshedding. The four chief ministers, Governor KP and the prime minister along with their team of experts had long deliberations and finally found the ‘solution’ they were looking for: to overcome the shortfall of about thousands of MW, let’s save hundreds of MW. And to save these few hundred, let’s play havoc with the day-to-day civilian life.

Obviously, office timings will change. Weekly holidays will increase. Also, school timings will have to change too. Factories will have to make adjustments to their timetables too. And despite doing all this, there would be little to no respite to loadshedding or any alleviation of any consequent day-to-day difficulties. So if resources cannot be distributed equitably, then let deprivation be distributed so. But this conference had a solution which could entail distribution of light and not darkness. According to this simple formula, the resources given to the provinces by the federation were well excess of their needs. So much so, that some of the provinces couldn’t spend them even if they wanted to. If the provinces were to return Rs 50 billion from this money for three months to the federation to deal with the circular debt, the problem of loadshedding could end. The plan was elegant in its simplicity. It entailed no extra burden on the provinces. All that they had to do was not take 50 billion in payables that the federation gives to them in lieu of paying off the circular debt. Just a simple write-off to get rid of this gargantuan circular debt within one, two, three months. According to my knowledge, Pakistan’s powerhouse can generate 25,000 MW of electricity, given that they have the requisite fuel. Whereas our electricity needs are 16,000 MW. Our experts talk of importing electricity from India. What they forget is that if we sort out this problem, we ourselves are in a position to produce almost 9,000 MW in surplus which we can sell to anyone. But we ourselves are insistent on becoming buyers rather than sellers. And this is not just buying; it is politicking on the public’s difficulties. God knows when we’ll stop this kind of politics which thrives on gaining mileage out of the public’s difficulties. Anyways, the question remains why the energy summit accomplished this feat of saving mere hundreds of megawatts after playing mayhem with the daily lives of citizens? Even if the programmes agreed upon in the summit is followed to a tee, it will save very little electricity. Loadshedding will go down from eight hours to six or seven hours. What, I ask, is the point? This is like offering somebody 50 loaves of bread and they return

one saying that they aren’t a glutton. This is what our government has done. They have made themselves out to be magnanimity personified in curtailing loadshedding by a whopping one hour or so. They have given this one hour to ‘live it up’. But they have also concomitantly ordained such measures as closure of all markets at 8 pm, closure of all offices for two days etc etc. And what to speak of darkness. It shall be the lot of the entire country. Equitably; but by what measure of equity, no one knows. If we look at Pakistan’s experts, then they might come up with some genius plan to distribute electricity equally. They might even decide to divert watts from the industrial units of Sindh and Punjab to KP and Balochistan so that the provinces can have equal amounts of electricity. And Shahbaz Sharif who was clamouring for equal distribution will throw his hands up in despair as in efforts to curtail loadshedding, the province will have lost even more electricity. You never know of these bureaucrats; they might come up with a magical ‘solution’ that might worsen the problem. The solutions that were devised at the energy conference are in some ways worse than the problem itself. They’ll just address one aspect of the entire problem while creating a host of other issues. The best solution to ending loadshedding is the aforementioned one. The money being asked of the provinces will be no strain on their kitties and the federation will pay off this money in good time. This little cooperation for the time being will give massive relief to the entire nation. It will solve the issue of loadshedding – within a week. Because as soon as this solution is implemented, and all power generators are paid their first instalments and ensured that the problem of the circular debt is on its way out, they will start functioning at full capacity immediately as we have the required fuel for that. According to my understanding, there is more than enough for three months. Then why do the rulers not want to end loadshedding? Maybe it’s because they don’t want the public to be spoilt? Or maybe it’s because this formula came from Ch Shujaat… The writer is one of Pakistan’s most widely read columnists.

Regional Press

on electricity shortages Daily Pashtun Post

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t is a generally followed principle in states around the world that a region which produces a certain commodity is usually given some concession where the price of that commodity is concerned. Moreover, a region with net positive production of a commodity also is never made to face a drastic deficiency of the commodity it itself produces as it would be gross injustice if an area that produces something is itself deprived from that very product. Take the example of wheat production. The prices of the same are lower in Punjab, the province being the area of major production of the crop, whereas other areas in the country have higher prices for wheat. But, unfortunately, in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, where electricity is produced in a larger quantity than that in other areas,

there is an electricity shortage and people have to pay higher prices than what others pay in other localities of the country. Such a state of affairs can only create public resentment. Thus, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has put forward a demand to the federal government to increase the tariff in lieu of power production as the current one is not sufficient and sustainable in the current model. The provincial government has also maintained that they should be paid their due rights as the province produces more electricity than it consumes. The energy sector of the country needs some major restructuring. It is hoped that the federal government, along with the provincial government, can make some headway towards that. – Translated from the original Pashto by Abdur Rauf Khattak


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thursday, 12 april, 2012

Comment 13

the politics of palestine a state vs its own people in Syria, it’s not the West vs islam

looking for a just solution

Washington Watch By Dr James J Zogby

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t may still be possible to imagine a just political resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But, in the real world, politics is not the work of our imagination. Rather it is about power, those who have it and how they use it. Politics, at the end of the day, is not about what we hope for or what we believe is just. Instead, politics is about what we can get with the power we have and are willing and able to use. It is a sad fact that many of those with power have done everything possible to effectively block a just resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. To date, their efforts have succeeded resulting in creating a deeply deformed situation in Israel, in Washington, and in the occupied Palestinian lands. In Israel, hardliners have won the day. Decades of illegal settlement and "Jewish-only" road construction, the erection of an oppressive barrier wall/fence, land confiscation, demolition of Palestinian homes, and the free reign that has been given to a radical fringe allowing them to seize land to build and expand "outposts" deep in Palestinian areas – all have combined to profoundly distort the map of the West Bank. Just this month, the Israeli government flaunted its own legal system refusing to close down an illegal "outpost" that had been built on Palestinianowned land. And even when they did evacuate a home in Hebron that had been seized by extremist settlers in an act of provocation, the prime minister sought to inoculate himself from criticism by announcing that he would begin construction of hundreds of new

housing units between Bethlehem and Jerusalem – two cities that had once had a synergistic relationship, but have now been effectively severed one from another. Add to this the recent report that appeared in Ha'aretz revealing that Israel's Civil Administration has been "secretly setting aside" an additional 10 percent of the West Bank for settlement expansion, and it becomes increasingly difficult to even imagine how and where one would establish a Palestinian state. It is not just the current hardline Israeli government that is at fault, since all of these policies have been at work without interruption for the past 45 years. And there is no hope for change in sight. Polls show that in any future election, Israeli voters would elect a government that would pursue policies that are much the same, if not worse. While Arabs have long imagined that this sorry state of affairs could be arrested "if only America or the 'international community' would act to restrain Israel,” reality has been sobering. Hope, for example, had been placed in President Obama's early commitment to find a solution to the conflict, but these hopes have been dashed. Seeing the US President "schooled" by the Israeli PM and then watching the US Congress embrace Netanyahu, humiliating their own president, was a shocking eye-opener. Equally disappointing have been Palestinian efforts to turn to the United Nations. Here the strong arm of the United States (prodded by Israel and its US supporters) has effectively blocked initiatives to have Palestinian rights recognised or to stop Israeli violations of these rights. Over the past 45 years, this sorry state of affairs has taken a substantial toll on the Palestinians. With the Oslo process, two and one-half decades of a brutal occupation only gave way to an equally harsh reality. During the pre-Oslo occupation, the major sources of Palestinian wealth were poorly paid, humiliating day-labour jobs in Israel, and producing commodities for sale through Israeli middle men. Now these are gone leaving the Palestinian economy largely depend-

ent on foreign aid. Palestinians live in an Apartheid-like system, trapped in isolated cantons surrounded by barriers to commerce and travel, increasingly squeezed by ever-growing settlements and encroaching roads that now cut the West Bank into pieces. The Palestinian metropolis of Jerusalem, once their centre of cultural, social, and economic life, has now been severed from the West Bank. And Gaza, always destitute (it is one of the most densely populated, poorest places on earth), has become strangled by a blockade, its people despairing. All this has impacted the Palestinian society, leaving their economy dependent on various external sources and their leadership divided, lacking in imagination. As is the frequently the case, one further consequence of longterm humiliating oppression has been inward turning violence and other forms of aberrant and sometimes self-destructive behaviours. Efforts to correct this situation have so far been frustrated by some Palestinians who have not wanted to cede what little power they have or outsiders who have used their financial or political hold to squash both moves toward Palestinian unity and efforts to mobilise a national nonviolent resistance movement. In the face of power so ruthlessly and irresponsibly exercised to squash hope for change, there are still those who not only continue to imagine a just peace, but are organising to achieve it. They differ on tactics and even on goals. Some advocate boycotts, divestment, and sanctions, others promote non-violent direct action in the occupied lands, or organising politically to change Washington. Some actively support two states; others are advocating a democratic one-state solution. But where they are united is in a refusal to accept the current state of affairs, be it the oppressive system that has been imposed on the occupied lands, the dysfunctional politics of Washington, or the interference and crippling paralysis that has stymied Palestinian action. The writer is President of the Arab-American Institute.

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he news from Damascus is not good. History is repeating itself and the Baathist regime is determined to quash the civil uprising. President Bashar al-Assad has proven himself to be his father’s son, despite ‘modern’ education and outlook! It is, however, important to understand what is happening inside Syria in the backdrop of international law as the present uprising and the regime’s violent response to it, is being looked upon in some quarters of the Muslim world and especially in Pakistan as yet another episode of West vs Islam. It would not be incorrect to state that there is a brewing civil war inside Syria and the Baathist regime of President Assad has tried on more than one occasion to quash it with all means possible including violence. Rather, violence more than dialogue has been too often used as a tactic to soften and than completely silent the insurgents. The strategy in the long run has always been to further tighten the grip on the annals of power. The latest siege and later destruction of Homs is nothing but redux of Hama massacre of 1982 wherein Gen Rifaat al-Assad, current president’s uncle had massacred 20,000 Syrians including women, children and the elderly, if veteran journalist Robert Fisk is to be believed. Their crime was that they opposed the regime on political and religious grounds. This was done at the behest of late President Hafez al-Assad, current president’s father. Bashar Al-Assad seems determined to outdo his father! Ever since January, 2011, President Assad’s forces, along with vigiBy Taimoor Ashraf lante groups, supposedly supported by them, are said to be involved in heinous crimes like murder, rape, and torture of political descendants. Allegations of unlawful detentions, destruction of property and abductions of those opposing the regime, are also in abundance. The world community has not stayed oblivious to these developments. President Obama has called upon President Assad to step down and Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki-Moon has condemned him as someone who has “lost all sense of humanity.” Irrespective of the rhetoric, the fact remains that there is no consensus amongst the P-5 of the Security Council, clearly evident in the recent 13-2 vote. The most serious allegation levelled against the regime however is that it is directly involved in crimes against humanity. A cursory look at few of the paragraphs from the United Nations Report of the independent international commission of inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic dated 23 November 2011 makes it abundantly clear that the Syrians are in dire straits: “The Syrian Arab Republic has

violated the right to life, as enshrined in article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, through the use of excessive force by military and security forces as well as by militia, such as Shabbiha, acting in complicity with, or with the acquiescence of, State officials and forces.” “Information received demonstrates patterns of continuous and widespread use of torture across the Syrian Arab Republic where protests have taken place. The pervasive nature, recurrence and reported readiness of Syrian authorities to use torture as a tool to instill fear indicate that state officials have condoned its practice. Information from the military and security forces defectors indicates that they received orders to torture. The commission is particularly disturbed over the extensive reports of sexual violence, principally against men and boys, in places of detention.” “The commission concludes that the extensive practices of torture indicate a state-sanctioned policy of repression, which manifestly violates the state’s obligations under article 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Convention against Torture, and article 37 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.” The acts perpetrated by the Syrian regime are nevertheless sanctioned by the highest law making body in the country. The Syrian government has enacted laws legitimising the use of violent and excessive force. While international law empowers a state to legislate on any issue, be it specific or general, within its boundaries or outside, it does not allow a particular state to legislate on any measure which violates the most fundamental of customary international law rules; jus cogens. The right to life and the prohibition of torture are primary examples of such fundamental rules, which no treaty may modify and which no state defence may be able to explain and justify. Customary international law makes a regime responsible for the acts of its security forces, be it uniformed or non-uniformed. In a way, President Assad is responsible for all the acts of omission and commission of his armed forces, down to the last soldier. It is incumbent upon the regime to seize all violent activities at once, arrest the perpetrators and punish them, along with providing the victims with reparations, that they rightfully deserve. But should the Baathist regime be expected to mend its ways now and act responsibly? It is highly unlikely. Under the principles of State Responsibility, President Assad’s regime is responsible for committing horrific acts against its population. Since the Syrian regime has willingly and habitually participated in perpetration of crimes against humanity, it is legally incumbent upon the comity of nations to act and punish the guilty regime. Comparing Syria now and then and, unfortunately, not much has changed. The lust for power remains the same amongst the ruling elite, while the tools of repression have further gotten sharper.


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thursday, 12 april, 2012

Madonna sets

SOCIETY

FASHION

humiliating record

LONDON AgenCieS

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ADONNA’S ‘MDNA’ may be the first album to both top the Billboard charts and be a massive commercial failure. The record debuted at No. 1 on the charts,

prompting her long-time manager Guy Oseary to herald the singer’s comeback as a great success. And though it was quite a triumphant return, it turned out to be a short-lived one buoyed by what some are calling a cheap trick. MDNA sales have fallen a record 88 percent week-over-week, Forbes reports. So why the dramatic drop? In a somewhat savvy move, Madonna packaged the album with ticket sales. Though Lionel Richie’s ‘Tuskegee’ was outpacing her in projected sales, Madge was able to surpass his release by essentially giving her album away to anyone who bought a ticket to see her tour. These “sales” were then counted in Billboard’s tally. With her shows either sold out or nearly sold out, no one’s going to be buying tickets any time soon. Page Six notes that Madge didn’t invent the trick. Both Bon Jovi and Tom Petty used the loophole to finagle their way to the top of the charts. Bob Lefsetz slammed the singer and her team for failing to understand that Super Bowl shows don’t translate to album sales, especially for “an ancient superstar dashing for cash. Oldsters just want to hear the hits, and youngsters just don’t care,” he wrote of her halftime show. In Oseary’s defense, he claims that Madge has foregone traditional album promos, instead focusing on prepping what he’s touting as an epic tour. “The focus is getting the show together so ‘MDNA’ can come to life,” he tweeted.

laHore: the red carpet for the premier of ‘Houseful 2’ was held at DHa cinema. PR

‘Housefull 2’ premiere at DHA Cinema turns out to be a huge success

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NEWS DESK

TH April was a special day in DHA’s history. The cinema which had been shut for a long time saw the first red carpet movie screening ever since it reopened. The event was organised by Encyclomedia PR which is known for introducing intelligent film PR campaigns. The organisers changed the trend of inviting only a particular set of paid models as practiced by a lot of event management companies in Karachi and Lahore. Instead, the attendees included top notch people from the entertainment industry, corporate sector and diplomat circles. Some of the names who graced the occasion were Omar Shareef, Abdul Rauf, Humaima Malick, Irfan Khosat, Hamza Ali Abbasi, Bilal Lashari, Shahvar Ali Khan, Saba Qamar and Nabeel Khan. Zille butt, Humera Ali, Jamshed Zafar, Maria Memon, Fauzan Sohail, Saim and Amna Babar. The

movie was released in Pakistan by IMGC global. Nadia Umar, group brand manager for Nestle Fruita Vitals, Sohaib (brand manager Nestle Fruita Vitals) and Arsalan Khan (Business manager Nestle Fruita Vitals) were some of the prominent names from the film sponsor’s side. This was also the first public appearance of Humaima Malick at an event after receiving the London Asian Film Festival Award at the BAFTAs, beating Shilpa Shetty and Frieda Pinto in the best actress category. She looked ravishing in a black gown, as she was interviewed about the achievement for Pakistani cinema after Sharmeen Obaid’s Oscar. The event was a huge success as it catered well to people belonging to different walks of life. Talking to media, the CEO of Encyclomedia PR, Ammara Hikmat said ‘Housefull 2’ was a crowd-puller. She gave the entire credit to IMGC for providing Pakistani audience with non-stop entertaining cinema from across the border.

SRK’s ‘bad habit’ lands him in legal trouble mUmbAi: asking Shah rukh khan to quit smoking is like requesting rakhi Sawant to keep her mouth shut. the Bollywood superstar, who has been repeatedly making resolutions to bid adieu to the fag, has yet again succumbed to his weakness. and this time around, it has landed him in legal trouble. a complaint was filed against the actor in court for smoking inside a stadium, during an IPl match. lawyer nem Singh rathore, who filed the complaint, said, “Smoking publicly is banned in rajasthan since 2000. However, Shah rukh khan was smoking publicly in front of thousands of spectators. Images of the actor smoking were broadcasted live on the tV channel, which was showing the match.” “the police was confiscating any objectionable items, including cigarettes, during frisking. However, it seems Shah rukh was allowed to carry the cigarette packet into the stadium, which is negligence on part of the police also.” the complainant added. will Srk give up smoking at least to avoid such situations in future? AgenCieS

Salman ready to ‘Kick’ in Statham style

mUmbAi: Hollywood action star Jason Statham seems to have left a deep impression on Salman Khan. bollywood’s dabangg Salman set the coffers ringing enacting larger than life fight sequences inspired by Statham in films like ‘Wanted’ and ‘dabangg’. And if sources are to be believed Sallu plans to do stunts similar to that of Jason Statham’s ‘transporter’ series, in his upcoming movie ‘Kick’ directed by Shirish Kunder. given the fact the Salman’s trademark action style is a sensation among the masses, producer Sajid nadiadwala is said to have roped in a stunt coordinator Philip guegan for ‘Kick’. Philip apparently, has worked with Statham in ‘transporter’ series. bollywood sources confirm that this idea was suggested by Sajid nadiadwala himself. A source said, “From the time Sajid acquired the rights to remake the south indian hit ‘Kick’ in Hindi with Salman, he has been thinking of ways to not only make it in a different way, but also take it to another level as far as the action sequences are concerned.” Further adding, the source said, “the idea is to have more realistic, raw and hardcore action, so that the viewer can comprehend what the baddies actually feel when Salman kicks or punches them. interestingly, larger than life elements will be little more subtle than Salman’s shirt coming off in ‘dabangg’ and ‘bodyguard’.”AgenCieS

Wedding date ‘finalised’ for K neW delHi: Kareena Kapoor and Saif Ali K 5 years, are expected to get married in de reports. the 31-year-old actress herself is disclose a fixed date and sources too indic yet, though talks are still on between them “let’s see. i am as curious about the date would hide it?” the ‘ek main Aur ekk tu’ st stop speculating about it,” she added. Age


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Acting is a priority for me: Rihanna LOS ANGELES AgenCieS

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HE is a world renowned pop star and a true entertainer. And now, singer Rihanna is taking her showmanship one step further by making a film debut. Director Peter Berg’s ‘Battleship’ promises to be a special experience. The epic action/adventure flick marks the acting debut of pop diva Rihanna. The Grammy Award winner stars as Petty Officer Second Class Cora Raikes, a weapons specialist on the USS John Paul Jones, a battleship that takes a final stand against invading aliens. “Raikes kicks a lot of ass,” says Rihanna of her character. “She’s one of the boys, and it was fun to explore

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such a role because I was also a tomboy as a kid. The character is full of raw energy, and it was a moment for me to be someone completely different from the kind of person that the audience is used to seeing,” says Rihanna. Ask her how a movie role is different from performing on stage and she quips, “It’s like night and day, a whole new ball game. Being on stage is something that I’m more comfortable with. Acting is another world that I want to get into. It’s a priority for me.” Inspired by the classic naval combat game, the battle for earth in the film begins at sea. Rihanna will be joined by a cast that includes Liam Neeson, Taylor Kitsch, Alexander Skarsgaard, Brooklyn Decker and Tadanobu Asano as they battle an alien invasion.

Glow by Warid brings Augmented Reality through ‘Dosti Ke Rung’

Bieber pays tribute Jackson, to duet again with Usher

NEWS DESK

KARACHI: Fashion Pakistan Week 2012 concluded with a stunning display of designer creations. AFP

e still not Kareena, Saif Khan, who have been dating for almost ecember or February, according to still not ready to talk about marriage or cate that no date has been finalised m and the families to fix a date soon. as you are, there’s no reason why i tar said. “So, i just hope people would enCieS

Youth-based cellular brand Glow by Warid revealed a new dimension to its popular Dosti Ke Rung Campaign in Lahore, bringing the concept of Augmented Reality for the first time to Pakistan. Augmented Reality itself is a concept involving computer-generated imagery in live video streams where a person interacts with the objects on screen, giving the perception of being part of that reality. This is a virtual world setup where friends stand in a blank space; this is then transposed to appear as if the group of friends is standing in as part of music and dance video. These special Glow setups were initiated from Karachi last month and are being taken onground live with customised activity areas in select colleges,

‘Rowdy Rathore’ is like my debut film: Akshay mUmbAi: Akshay Kumar did comedy for a little too long. His fans are glad he is getting back to action finally. Akshay will be seen in and as Rowdy Rahore in his next directed by Prabhu deva. Speaking about the film, Akshay revealed, “i am doing an action film after seven years. it felt like i am making my

debut once again. i have signed three other action films post ‘Rowdy Rathore’.” Akshay has been paired with Sonakshi Sinha once again in this Hindi remake of a South film. Will Akshay beat Salman Khan and reclaim his position as bollywood’s original khiladi? let’s wait and watch. AgenCieS

LOS ANGELES AgenCieS

universities, shopping and entertainment venues across Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad. Initiated in February 2012, Glow’s Dosti Ke Rung Campaign was launched with a music video last month. Glow also introduced the lowest friends and family call rates across all networks for the youth to keep in touch with their friends at all times.

Singer Justin Bieber paid a tribute to his idol Michael Jackson by aping the late pop iconic’s signature pose for his upcoming music video ‘Boyfriend’. In the video, the teen pop star is seen standing under moonlight, crossing his legs, bowing his head and snapping his fingers. The Canadian singer also tweeted that he’s influenced by Jackson. “Meeting for the #BELIEVETOUR - gonna be epic. #MJInspiration,” he wrote. Bieber and Usher are also making new music together. The singer and his R&B mentor are teaming up for a pair of duets, one of which will appear on each of their upcoming albums. Bieber shared the news via Twitter: “Now headed to a COVER SHOOT with big bro @UsherRaymondIV - we got duets on both of our albums coming 9 Apr 12.” Usher followed up with his own confirmation: “Proud of @justinbieber for his new single #BOYFRIEND - the biggest selling worldwide single first week EVER… Ohh...and trust we got a duet coming for “LOOKING 4 MYSELF” and “BELIEVE” he has come a long way. Proud to see his evolution as an artist!” Usher’s seventh studio album, ‘Looking for Myself’, will be released on June 12. Bieber’s third album, ‘Believe’, is due out later this year.

mUmbAi: actor ajay Devgn envies the sheer dedication with which his co-actor anil kapoor works. “It’s great fun to work with anil kapoor. the kind of dedication he has for his work I think no other actor in Bollywood would have,” ajay said in a statement. “He is always involved with his work and only talks about work all the time to a point it becomes boring. But then you start envying him for the dedication he has even after all these years. anil kapoor is so dedicated on the sets that you cannot distract him. no wonder he has such great body of work behind him,” he added. Both the actors will be seen in action thriller ‘tezz’, which releases april 27. the film also stars kangna ranaut, Sameera reddy, Zayed khan and Boman Irani. AgenCieS


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16 Foreign News

thursday, 12 april, 2012

Syria pounds protest hubs but peace envoy hopeful DAMASCUS

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AFP

YRIA pounded protest hubs Wednesday, despite mounting pressure from world powers, as peace envoy Kofi Annan said there is still a chance to salvage his plan to halt hostilities within hours. Annan rejected calls to arm rebels, saying such a move would be “disastrous,” while China joined calls for the regime of President Bashar al-Assad to respect the former UN chief’s plan to end 13 months of violence. Regime forces killed at least 11 civilians in a new wave of shelling and raids targeting the flashpoint city of Homs and other parts of the country, said the

Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Activist group the Local Coordination Committees said explosions and heavy gunfire were heard in Damascus and southern Daraa province, cradle of the uprising against Assad’s iron-fisted rule. Shells and rockets were fired into Khaldiyeh, a stronghold for regime opponents who have taken up arms, as well as other parts of Homs, the Observatory and LCC reported. Shelling and raids also targeted towns and villages in the northern province of Aleppo, the central province of Hama and the coastal province of Latakia, according to the Observatory and activists. At least seven civilians were killed in Homs on Tuesday, the deadline for Assad to withdraw his troops and weapons from

population centres under the peace plan it agreed with Annan. On the northern border, shots fired by Syrian forces struck a Syrian refugee camp inside Turkey, Turkish media reported, two days after shooting from Syria wounded four Syrians and two Turks on Turkish soil. Annan, speaking in Tehran, said however the situation should be “much improved” by Thursday’s ceasefire deadline if both sides respect his six-point peace plan. “If everyone respects, I think by six o’clock (0300 GMT) on Thursday the 12th... we a should see a much improved situation on the ground,” said the UN-Arab League envoy. Damascus had given “further clarifications” over how it would implement its side of the plan, he said.

“What they mean and want is an assurance that the other forces, the opposition forces, would also stop the fighting so that we could see cessation of all the violence,” he said. Annan said his team has “had positive answers from them” and that “governments with influence” had also been approached to ensure all sides respect the ceasefire. He rejected the option of arming the uprising, as proposed by Saudi Arabia and Qatar, saying: “I’ve always said the militarisation of the conflict will be disastrous.” Annan arrived in Tehran from Turkey. Iran is Syria’s principal ally in the Middle East and has given political and material support to Assad’s regime. Turkey, a one-time ally of the Damascus regime, has called for Assad to step

down to resolve the bloodshed that has killed more than 9,000 people since it started a year ago, according to UN estimates. Fifty-two people, including 28 civilians, were killed on Tuesday alone, the Observatory said, bringing the toll since the weekend to at least 337. Damascus had said Tuesday it was abiding by the plan to withdraw its forces, but Annan accused it of pulling troops from some areas and moving them elsewhere. “I again appeal to the Syrian government and the Syrian parties to cease violence in accordance (with) the plan,” Annan said Tuesday. “I believe there should be no preconditions for stopping violence.” Annan insisted his peace plan was not dead, however.

sudan halts talks with south after ‘most serious’ attack KHARTOUM AFP

WASHingtOn: Standing with millionaires and their assistants, US President barack Obama makes a statement about the ‘buffett Rule’ in the eisenhower executive Office building on Wednesday. named after the billionaire investor Warren buffet, the ‘buffet Rule’ would ensure that the wealthiest Americans pay at least 30 percent of their income in federal taxes and is a centerpiece to Obama’s re-election campaign. aFp

n. Korea’s leader gets new top party post PYONGYANG AFP

North Korea’s new leader Kim Jong-Un was named Wednesday to an apparent top ruling party post as the nation prepared mass celebrations — including a rocket launch — for a major anniversary. The Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK), at a rare special conference, declared Jong-Un its “first secretary”, the official news agency said — an apparently new title. The conference, attended by JongUn, revised party rules and held the new leader “in high esteem at the top post of the party”, it said. His father Kim JongIl, who died last December, was declared “eternal” general secretary of the party, the post he had held in his lifetime. Analysts said the twin announcements would bolster the authority of Jong-Un, aged in his late 20s, by stressing his status as dynastic successor. The country is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the birth on April 15 of founding leader Kim Il-Sung, the late grandfather of the current ruler. The North has started fuelling a rocket for a satellite launch scheduled sometime between Thursday and next Monday to mark the occasion. The United States and other nations have strongly

condemned the plan as a disguised ballistic missile test. The conference “decided to hold Kim Jong-Il, the great leader of the WPK and the Korean people, in high esteem as eternal general secretary”, the news agency said. The decision was based on “the unanimous will and desire of all the party members and other people”. Jong-Un’s new post was in line with his father’s wishes, the agency said. “All the participants paid highest tribute and extended warmest congratulations to him, loudly shouting ‘Hurrah!’ with immense excitement, joy and profound respect,” it added. His election was an expression of absolute support and trust, the agency said. Paik Hak-Soon of South Korea’s Sejong Institute said the regime created the new title to help the young leader control the party while continuing the legacy of his father. Paik stressed the decision to leave the highest post permanently for the late leader did not indicate any weakening of Jong-Un’s leadership. “It’s rather a smart move... to highlight Jong-Un’s loyalty and love for his father and thus further legitimise his status as the latest protege of the ruling Kim dynasty,” he told AFP.

north Korea fuels rocket for anniversary launch PYONGYANG AFP

Defying worldwide calls to back down, North Korea said Wednesday it is fuelling a rocket for launch during a landmark anniversary as it gave its young leader a new title to bolster his authority. Pyongyang has scheduled the launch in a five-day window starting Thursday. It says the “historic” event is a centrepiece of celebrations marking the 100th anniversary of the birth of founding leader Kim Il-Sung on April 15. The rocket is ostensibly designed to put an observation satellite in orbit, but the United States and allies say it is in fact a ballistic missile test by the nuclear-armed state in violation of a United Nations ban. The anniversary will celebrate the family dynasty which has ruled the impoverished nation since 1948 and cement the power of the founder’s grandson Kim Jong-Un, who took over after his own father Kim Jong-Il died in December. The ruling Workers’ Party, holding only its fourth-ever special conference Wednesday, conferred an apparently new title of “first secretary” on Jong-Un and declared his late father its “eternal” general secretary. “The communist state has created the new title for Jong-Un to control the party while continuing the legacy of his father,” Cheong Seong-Chang of South Korea’s Sejong Institute told AFP. Paik Hak-Soon of the same institute said the decision was “rather a smart move... to highlight Jong-Un’s loyalty and love for his father and thus further legitimise his status as the latest protege of the ruling Kim dynasty”. In Pyongyang, officials said launch preparations were proceeding apace. “We are injecting fuel as we speak. It has started (and it) will be over in the near future,” Paek Chang-Ho, director of North Korea’s mission control centre just outside Pyongyang, told foreign journalists. “The launch of the satellite this time will be successful because Comrade Kim Jong-Un is guiding us through the launch step by step, and gives us personal guidance,” he said.

Sudan’s parliament on Wednesday called a halt to negotiations with South Sudan, official radio reported, as the foreign ministry accused Juba of the worst violation of its territory since independence. “Parliament decided to stop negotiations and withdraw the delegation immediately from Addis Ababa,” Radio Omdurman reported after a second day of renewed clashes between the two nations in an oil-rich region along the disputed border. Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs Rahma Mohammed Osman told reporters troops from the South had pushed 70 kilometres (43 miles) into Sudan and were in the Heglig oil region. “I think this is the most serious after South Sudan’s secession and it affects our main oil production area,” he said. “We are calling for the international community to put pressure on South Sudan to withdraw its troops from Heglig without any conditions,” Osman added. Khartoum says it has complained to United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and to the African Union, which has been leading negotiations between the two nations on security, economic and border issues. Sudan does not allow journalists to freely report from the border region, making independent verification difficult. Legislators announced a “mobilisation and alert” of the population, the radio report said, although President Omar al-Bashir had already issued a decree forming a high-level committee for mobilisation on March 26. That same day a series of border clashes began, sparking international fears of a return to all-out war.

nine trapped miners rescued in peru LIMA AFP

Rescuers freed nine miners from a caved-in copper mine in southern Peru Wednesday, ending a seven day ordeal of survival deep underground. The men exited the Cabeza de Negro mine one by one starting at around 7 am local time (1200 GMT), wrapped in blankets and wearing dark glasses to protect their eyes against the bright light of day, AFP reporters at the scene said. One of the miners had difficulty walking, and was wearing an oxygen mask. President Ollanta Humala and relatives of the miners greeted them as they emerged, and miners raised a Peruvian flag atop a rustic pole to celebrate the rescue. Rescuers had to proceed cautiously because of the danger of further cave-ins as they dug through rock and soil to reach the miners, who were trapped in a horizontal gallery 250 meters underground. Trapped since Thursday, the miners, aged 22 to 59 and including a father and son, had escaped injury in the cave-in and were all in the same place. But as the ordeal wore on, some began to complain of health problems, including stomach disorders.


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netanyahu, Fayyad to meet april 17 in Jerusalem JERUSALEM AFP

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will meet his Palestinian counterpart Salam Fayyad in Jerusalem on April 17, a spokesman from the Israeli leader’s office told AFP. It will be the first top-level meeting between the two sides since the peace process ground to a halt more than 18 months ago in a bitter dispute over Jewish settlement building. Officials close to Fayyad and Netanyahu said they were not aware the two men had ever formally met before. A Palestinian official had on Tuesday said the two men would meet on April 17, and on Wednesday, Netanyahu’s spokesman Ofir Gendelman confirmed the date. “The meeting will take place in Jerusalem, probably at the prime minister’s office,” he told AFP. Officials on both sides had previously confirmed the two were to meet after Passover, which ends at sundown on Friday, but had not named a date or a venue. Fayyad is expected to use the rare meeting to personally deliver a letter from Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas in which he lays out his conditions for returning to direct negotiations that have been on hold since late September 2010. In the letter, Abbas was expected to say the Palestinians would only return to negotiations if Israel agreed to halt settlement construction and to accept clear parameters for discussions of future borders. The Palestinian premier will be accompanied by negotiator Saeb Erakat and Yasser Abed Rabbo, secretary-general of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO). Last week, Erakat and Netanyahu’s envoy Yitzhak Molcho met to discuss the letter in what was the first time the two sides had met since January when they held five rounds of exploratory talks in a bid to seek ways of reviving direct negotiations. But the meetings, which were sponsored by the Middle East peacemaking Quartet, ended without any agreement to continue talking. Top Quartet diplomats were to meet in Washington later on Wednesday to discuss ways of helping the two sides resume peace talks, which broke down just weeks after they were restarted in September 2010 in a thorny dispute over settlements.

British pM backs Us-style tax transparency LONDON AFP

Aides to British Prime Minister David Cameron said Wednesday he would be happy to publish details of how much tax he pays, in what would signal an unprecedented move towards US-style transparency. Ministers have come under pressure to reveal their tax affairs in recent weeks after the government slashed the top rate of income tax, and following a bitter wrangle over finances in the campaign for London’s mayoral elections. Days after finance minister George Osborne said he would not object to publishing his tax records, a frequent practice in the United States, a source in Cameron’s Downing Street office said he would also back such disclosures. “The prime minister is relaxed about the idea of the tax returns of senior cabinet ministers being published, but wants the opportunity to explore how this might work,” the source told AFP. The pressure for ministers to come clean began after the government cut the top rate of tax from 50 percent to 45 percent in its March budget. The opposition Labour party challenged Cameron and other members of his Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition, many of whom are privately wealthy, to say whether they personally benefited from the move. Cameron earns £142,500 ($226,400, 172,800 euros) a year as prime minister, but media reports suggest that income from renting out his former London home could push him above the £150,000 top tax threshold.

bAndA ACeH: Acehnese women hug each other and pray shortly after a powerfull earthquake hit the western coast of Sumatera on Wednesday. aFp

Iran to present ‘new initiatives’ at N-talks TEHRAN

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AFP

RAN will present “new initiatives” at nuclear talks with world powers in Istanbul at the weekend, the official leading the country’s negotiating team, Saeed Jalili, said on Wednesday. “The Iranian delegation will have new initiatives and we hope that the other party will have a constructive approach,” he told Iran’s Arab-language television Al-Alam, without elaborating. Jalili, who is close to Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, also warned the Western nations taking part not to try to add to coercive pressure on Iran. “The language of threat and pressure has never yielded results and only reinforces the determination of the Iranian people,” he said. President Mahmoud

Ahmadinejad echoed that statement in separate comments carried by the official news agency IRNA. “The language of force and insults will give no result,” he was quoted as saying. “I say to them in the name of the Iranian people that the method you have adopted will have no result. They need to change their language and speak with respect. Iran’s lawmakers at the same time issued a statement backing Jalili’s team, advising the world powers to accept “the undeniable reality” that Iran has a right to nuclear energy and urging “an end to the current trend” of sanctions. The 204 MPs in the 290-seat parliament also underlined Iran’s “opposition to nuclear weapons” as voiced by Khamenei. Talks on Saturday in Istanbul are to bring together Iran and the so-called P5+1 group comprising the five permanent UN Security Council members (Britain, China,

France, Russia and the United States) plus Germany. They are seen as a crucial opportunity to lower international tensions in the standoff over Iran’s nuclear programme. The United States and its European allies suspect Iran’s activities mask a drive to get to the “breakout” threshhold of having the capability to make atomic weapons. They have imposed increasingly severe economic sanctions on the Islamic republic to pressure it to halt activities, notably uranium enrichment. Iran denies any military dimension to its nuclear activities and has responded defiantly by accelerating them. It also asserts that the sanctions are having little effect and will never force it to make concessions. In February, Khamenei said Iran considered nuclear weapons a “sin,” echoing a 2005 fatwa he is said to have issued declaring the atomic bomb haram, or antithetical to

Putin calls for unity but russian mPs walk out MOSCOW AFP

Vladimir Putin urged his compatriots to unite to build a strong Russia Wednesday after a tense election contest, in a speech to parliament overshadowed by an unprecedented walkout by opposition deputies. After winning the March presidential election despite an outburst of protests against his rule, Putin outlined in a keynote address his vision for Russia’s future as a top five global economy with a growing population. But in a sign his upcoming six year Kremlin mandate may not be as unchallenged as his past 12 years in charge of Russia, an entire opposition faction walked out of the session in protest at one of Putin’s comments. Delivering one of his last major speeches as prime minister before his May 7 inauguration as Kremlin chief, Putin said the country had come through a “tense” period of “heightened emotions and political battles”. But he said it was time for all forces to work together after the turbulence of parliamentary and presidential elections that saw the opposition hold up to 100,000-

strong rallies in protest at what they said were rigged polls. “The logic of a mature democracy is that elections come to an end and afterwards a new — and far more important period — of joint work begins,” said Putin. “We only have one Russia, and her modern development must be the goal that unites all the political forces of the country who want to work on this aim.” Putin told the State Duma lower house of parliament that the 20082009 economic crisis was so serious it could have endangered Russia’s sovereignty but boasted that the country had now fully recovered under his rule. “If we could not have responded to the crisis... it would have put in doubt the sovereignty and the geopolitical integrity of the country and buried for a long time any ideas of modernisation and development,” he said. But his message of unity was partially undermined by the walkout of almost the entire faction of 64 deputies from the A Just Russia party, in protest at his answer to a question about one of their members who is on hunger strike. A Just Russia’s Oleg Shein has been on hunger strike for 26 days along with several supporters over

alleged vote rigging which he says caused his defeat in a mayoral election in the Russian Volga city of Astrakhan. Putin said he had no authority to intervene in the case and urged the candidate to go to court. He also questioned why the hunger strike was declared before any appeal had been filed. Faction leader Sergei Mironov, previously known as an ally of Putin, “gave the order to leave the chamber because of Putin’s rudeness,” A Just Russia deputy Ilya Ponomaryov tweeted. Putin served the last four years as prime minister after emerging as Russia’s undisputed number one in his 2000-2008 two terms as president, after which he temporarily handed the Kremlin to his protege Dmitry Medvedev. The Russian strongman — who could potentially serve two new six year terms to keep him in power until 2024 — in his speech targeted a series of challenges that would build a stronger post-Soviet Russia. Putin earmarked Russia’s number one priority as reversing its post-Soviet population decline which created worries about its ability to keep sustainable populations in its far-flung Siberia and Far East regions.

Islam. Sadeq Larijani, the head of Iran’s justice system, said the West should know that Khamenei’s word “is the greatest possible guarantee” because “all the institutions in the Islamic republic’s regime serve under his orders,” IRNA reported. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton referred to Khamenei’s position during a trip to Turkey on April 1, saying the Iran/P5+1 talks will be aimed at how to “translate what is a stated belief into a plan of action.” “If the Iranians are truly committed to that statement of belief ... then they should be open to reassuring the international community that it’s not an abstract belief but it is a government policy,” she added. To that end, she said Iran should end enriching uranium to 20 percent and ship out its existing stocks, and open itself up to more intense inspections by the UN nuclear watchdog.

32 killed as yemen battles al-Qaeda for key town ADEN AFP

At least 32 people were killed in a third day of clashes Wednesday between Yemeni soldiers backed by tribesmen and AlQaeda militants trying to take over a strategic town in Yemen’s south, local sources said. “Twenty-nine Al-Qaeda militants and three tribesmen were killed” in the battles raging on the outskirts of Loder, the Abyan province town that the extremists have been trying to retake, a source from the area said. Tribal sources also confirmed the toll. The tribesmen, who are residents of Loder, have formed “resistance committees” to prevent the militants from entering their town. Sixteen Al-Qaeda militants, among them two local leaders, were also captured by the tribal committees, tribal sources said. The latest deaths raised the toll to 156 people killed, most of them Islamist insurgents, since they raided army barracks on Monday. Residents in Loder, who confirmed that the battles were ongoing, said that two air strikes by Yemeni forces also targeted the southern entrances of the town. Local sources said that the fighting was concentrated near a power plant at the southern entrance to Loder. “Al-Qaeda militants are still insisting on taking over the town,” said the source. Loder is located some 150 kilometres (95 miles) northeast of Zinjibar, the Abyan capital which militants of the Al-Qaeda-linked Partisans of Sharia (Islamic law) overran in May last year.


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wozniacki advances to 2nd round in copenhagen Page 21

cancer survivor yuvraj ‘positive’ about comeback

Malik positive about his return LAHORE StAFF RePORt

Former Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik has said he could be in contention for national selection after leading his sides to domestic one-day and Twenty20 titles. He led Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) to the National One-day Cup title

while finishing it as the leading scorer and second on the list of wicket-takers. Two weeks later, he led Sialkot Stallions to the National Super Eight T-20 Cup. Malik was called for a fitness assessment at the National Cricket Academy. "I know I have a lot of cricket left. The PCB knows what I am capable of and how I can make a difference by being in the

team. I am fit and in the best form. There is always a bad patch in every player's life but that doesn't mean he is done with his cricket - that's not the case," he said. Malik last represented Pakistan in the ODI series against England in UAE, but was dropped for the Asia Cup, the Daily Times reports. "I am very motivated to try and get back into the side. There is always a time in your

Mushtaq ponders return to Pakistan LAHORE

StAFF RePORt

NEW DELHI AFP

India's World Cup hero Yuvraj Singh on Wednesday vowed to return to cricket after recovering from a cancerous tumour, but was unable to set a timeline for his comeback. "I want to see the Team India logo on my cap again," Yuvraj, 30, told a media conference after his return from the United States where he underwent chemotherapy treatment for a rare germ-cell tumour between his lungs. "It will be a big achievement if I can play for India again. But it won't be easy and will take time. I can't say when I will return to the field. "At this stage, it is more important for me to focus on my priority, and that is to get fit and stay healthy. But I am positive that I will play cricket again." Yuvraj, a left-handed all-rounder who was named the man of the tournament after India's World Cup triumph in April last year, said he found it tough to watch cricket on TV during his treatment. "I tried not to watch," he said. "It was so frustrating to sit before the TV and watch India play. It was painful to see that I was not on the field. "But my family and friends helped me overcome what has been most difficult period of my life. It was so hard to believe that I had cancer, that an athlete like me could have cancer.

E

NGLAND could soon be looking for a new spin-bowling coach after Mushtaq Ahmed held preliminary talks with Pakistan cricket officials in Lahore this week. New Pakistan coach Dav Whatmore is seeking to put together his staff and Standard Sport understands there could be a role for Mushtaq, who has worked with England since 2008. The England and Wales Cricket Board are now considering their next steps, and Hugh Morris, the managing director of England cricket, is expected to speak to Mushtaq in the coming days to gauge the Pakistani’s intentions. As much as he enjoys working with the England team, Mushtaq is thought to be keen to spend more time with his wife and children, who live in Pakistan. He is believed to have had a two-hour meeting in Lahore with Pakistan Cricket Board director Intikhab Alam, where the options for Mushtaq’s possible return were discussed. There are two positions for which the former leg spinner could be considered: that of a bowling coach for the Pakistan senior team, or a more wide-ranging role guiding the country’s most talented youngsters at the National Cricket Academy in Lahore. Should Mushtaq work with the senior team, he would operate

alongside former cricket and baseball player Julien Fountain, who is Pakistan’s specialist fielding coach, as well as Whatmore. Mushtaq is on a consultancy contract with the ECB, which means he is available to work with the senior side only for a certain number of days per year, and that deal has two years to run. Until recently, batting coach Graham Gooch had a similar arrangement to Mushtaq but was promoted to Andy Flower’s full-time staff prior to the recent tour of Sri Lanka. The ECB would be sorry to lose Mushtaq, who they believe has done excellent work with England during more than three years around the team.

Mushtaq has been in the England set-up while Graeme Swann has established himself as one of the best spinners in the world, and his influence is appreciated by the batsmen, too. Kevin Pietersen had a difficult time as England were whitewashed 3-0 by Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates in January and February, but improved dramatically in the limited-overs matches that followed after intensive work in the nets with Mushtaq. Pietersen scored two centuries in the one-day series and then played one of his best Test innings in Colombo last week, a blistering 151 that put England in a position to win their only Test of the winter. Mushtaq is popular with the players, who know him affectionately as “Mr Mushy”, yet there is also an understanding at the ECB that if the 41-year-old were offered a full-time contract by the PCB, it would be difficult to stand in his way. Under such circumstances, the only option for the ECB would be to add Mushtaq to Flower’s staff for the entire international year. While Mushtaq is the main point of contact for slow bowlers in the England senior set-up, the former Essex and England bowler Peter Such is in charge of nurturing younger spinners at the ECB’s coaching base in Loughborough. Pakistan’s next international cricket is a Test and limited-overs tour of Sri Lanka in May and June.

life when you are tested but what's important is that you stand tall and look for the best out of the worst. I have played some great match-winning knocks for the country that earned me a great reputation both on and off the field," he said. Malik's previous comeback attempts proved to be disappointing and he failed to impress against Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and England.

new wisden editor slams Indian ‘self-interest’ LONDON AFP

Cricket officials in India have been urged by the new editor of Wisden Cricketers' Almanack to abandon the "self interest of the few" and concentrate instead upon improving their team's Test results. India is cricket financial's powerhouse, with the passionate following for the sport in the world's second most populous nation making its broadcast and commercial rights the most valuable in the game. As a result, India is able to attract leading players from around the world to the lucrative but domestic Twenty20 Indian Premier League (IPL) tournament. However, five-day Test cricket is still regarded by officials and players as the ultimate form of the sport yet in 2011 India were whitewashed in a series in England before, in early 2012, suffering a similar fate in Australia. But 2011 also saw India lift the one-day World Cup for the first time in 28 years after they triumphed on home soil to beat Sri Lanka in a final in Mumbai. In the 2012 Wisden, new editor Lawrence Booth -- an English cricket journalist -- writes: "India have ended up with a special gift: the clout to shape an entire sport. "Some national boards would struggle to survive without an Indian visit. "But too often their game appears driven by the self-interest of the few -- officials unable to admit that injuries collected in, or aggravated by the IPL damaged their side's chances in England; capable of suggesting disregard for the innings defeat at Sydney in January 2012 by responding with the breathless news of the schedule for IPL 5."

51st Amateur Golf of Pakistan tees off today at Royal Palm LAHORE

StAFF RePORt

The 51st Amateur Golf Championship of Pakistan will be contested at the par 72 Royal Palm Golf & Country Club Golf Course from Thursday 12th April to Sunday 15th April 2012.This was stated by Taimur Hassan,Honorary Secretary,Pakistan Golf Federation in a press conference attended and adressed by Omer Mir,General Manager,Royal Palm,Col(r)Jameel Khalid,Director Golf,Mehmood Aziz,Tournament Director and Khawaja Pervaiz Saeed,Director Media of the tournament.Taimur said that the most heartening and delightful feature of this National Amateur Golf Championship was that top golf players from four countries are a part of the Championship and with their presence the competition attains the status of a grand international championship. The participating countries are Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Iran and Sri Lanka. Col (r) Khalid Jameel shared with the media that the first Amateur Golf Championship of Pakistan was held way back in 1961 at the Rawalpindi Golf Club, where J. G. Donwnie picked up the first title. Since then the Amateur Golf Championship of Pakistan is being held annually and is generally known as an occasion for the charge of the Champions. Played over four days, 72 holes, this premier event of the country's amateur golfing calendar crowns the Men and Ladies National Champion of the year. Col Jameel also said that after 1961, the trophy had been changing hands till 1970. From 1971 onwards, one amateur, Taimur Hassan won the coveted trophy consecu-

laHore: the national teams of Bangladesh, Iran, Sri lanka and Pakistan with ramzan Sheikh, ceo royal Palm and maj gen (r) tariq Salim malik, Vice President, Pakistan golf Federation, on the occasion of Flag Hoisting and opening of the 51st national amateur golf championship while (r) taimur Hassan, secretary PgF, addresses a press conference while other officials look on. staFF pHotos tively for the next 11 years when Imran Ahmed and Faisal Qureshi started to pose challenge. In all Taimur Hassan won the title 15 times. No other player of the country has achieved this honour. Only one player, Shahid Javed Khan has won this national title thrice while Hashim Khan, Zeeshan Ali and Faisal Qureshi have captured the title two times each.Others who became champions won the title once but thereafter could not duplicate the performance. Col Jameel also said that besides the international participants ,the top amateur golf players of the country have converged to Royal Palm for competing in this event. For four consecutive days, good golf will be on display at the 18 holes, par-72 Royal Palm Golf and Country Club Golf Course, already known for its challenging length and demanding layout. Many golfers will be affected by the sweat, stress and strain of this

extremely competitive golf fixture that will test the technique, temperament and traits of the best golfers. All in all this is going to be a championship worth watching and remembering. As regards the format of the championship, the events are as follows: National Men Amateur Championship is an individual competitive golf event played over four days. Any number of players who fulfill the conditions of the tournament including the players of the invited countries are eligible to participate. Generally the field is of 140 players. The winner who submits the lowest score over the four days is the National Champion for the year. International Men Team Match is played over two days of competitive golf. Each invited country and Pakistan will be eligible to enter a team of two players. Scores of both the players will be counted for the overall team score. The team with the lowest two days

score takes the trophy. J. R. Jayewardene Team Trophy is a team match stroke play between Pakistan and Sri Lanka over 18 holes. The team with the lowest gross score is the winner team. It will be played on 14th April. Inter Association Team Match is a team match played over 54 hole (three days) between the four golf Associations of Pakistan. Each team will comprise of four members and three best scores will count for the team score of the day. The team with the lowest gross score over the first three days will be the winner team. Ladies Championship will be contested over threre rounds. Omer Mir,General Manager, Royal Palm stated that the presence of international players is a good omen for the country and the world will see that we are a peaceful country, capable of great things. As for the playing arena, it was said that the Royal Palm Golf Course has a yardage of 6820, the first nine

holes are 3400 yards and the back nine are 3420 yards. This course has four Par 5’s, ten Par 4’s and four Par 3’s. The Greens are in good shape, rolling true and at medium-fast pace. They offer the player a chance for good scoring due to the holding qualities and the attractive speed. It will be important for the players to hit the right areas on the greens to avoid the speedy down hill putts due to the firm but fair pin placements. All in all the golf course has improved its image tremendously and all golfers of significance love to play here and it is now regarded as one of the good ones in the region. The Championship is sponsored by Zong with Coke as the official drink. Defending Champion is Hamza Amin, while Miss Ghazal Yasmeen is the ladies champion, International Team Match Pakistan, President J. R Jayewardene also Pakistan and Inter Provincial Team Match is Federal.


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Double wisden honour for Sangakkara

LONDON AFP

Sri Lanka's Kumar Sangakkara has been chosen as both one of the Five Cricketers of the Year and the Leading Cricketer in the World for 2011 in the 2012 edition of Wisden Cricketers' Almanack, it was announced Wednesday. The 34-year-old Sangakkara, one of the outstanding batsmen of his generation and for much of his career a top-class wicketkeeper as well, became the first man to receive both awards since Wisden, 'cricket's bible', started naming a leading cricketer of the year in 2004. In 2011, no-one else came close to the 2,267 runs Sangakkara scored in all international cricket, and he is now the only man to have topped 1,000 runs in Tests and one-day internationals in a single year on three separate occasions. The left-hander also captained Sri Lanka to the World Cup final, where they were beaten by co-hosts India in Mumbai. Off the field, he also received worldwide praise for giving a deeply heartfelt MCC Cowdrey Lecture at Lord's which caused shockwaves in his homeland when he called for the end of political interference in Sri Lankan cricket. Sangakkara's career Test record of over 9,000 runs in 108 matches with 28 hundreds at an average of nearly 55 stands comparison with all but a handful of cricket's greatest batsmen. Wisden, published every year since 1864, is widely regarded as cricket's leading reference work.

Delhi crush listless Chennai DELHI

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CRiCinFO

HENNAI Super Kings were disappointing with the bat for the second time in three games and their confused running allowed Delhi Daredevils to restrict them to their second-lowest total in the IPL for a comprehensive win. Three of the first four Super Kings batsmen ran themselves out as neither Daredevils' bowlers nor their fielders let up on the pressure. Off the first ball of the game, M Vijay responded too eagerly to a call for a single from Faf du Plessis only for the latter to stop after taking a few steps. Vijay was almost at the other end and had no chance of making it back. Such chaos was to be a feature of the innings. Suresh Raina went too far down the pitch in search of a tight single but could not make it back in time; S Badrinath was to meet a similar fate a couple of overs later. It did not help Super Kings that after hitting three boundaries and looking in fine touch, du Plessis found extra cover off Morne Morkel with another drive. It allowed Daredevils to come back from Irfan Pathan's second over,

new DelHI: Delhi Daredevils batsman kevin Pietersen (l) and teammate mahela Jayawardena walk back during the IPl twenty20 match at the Feroz Shah kotla stadium. aFp the third of the innings, which went for 14. Raina slogged a couple of sixes over the on side before contriving to dismiss himself. The last thing Super Kings wanted was for Daredevils wicketkeeper Naman Ojha to pull off a stun-

ning diving catch off Ravindra Jadeja's outside edge. With Super Kings struggling on 66 for 5, Daredevils were able to exert even more pressure through their left-arm spinners Roelof van der Merwe and Shahbaz Nadeem. The duo

Balochistan officials meet pCB chief

AFP

Louis Oosthuizen follows in the footsteps of Rory McIlroy this week as he looks to recover quickly from US Masters disappointment in the tropical heat of the Maybank Malaysian Open. The South African was just centimetres (inches) away from his second major victory in Sunday's dramatic play-off, before Bubba Watson pulled out a tournament-winning wonder-shot from trees on the second play-off hole. Just three days later and Oosthuizen, winner of the 2010 British Open, has travelled 10,000 miles (16,000 kilometres) to steamy Kuala Lumpur, where he joins four other major champions for the $2.5 million Malaysian Open. It's a challenge met with gusto last year by McIlroy, who atoned for throwing away a four-shot lead on the final day of the 2011 Masters by heading the field for two rounds in Malaysia, before eventually finishing third. And the Northern Irishman proved

conceded just 24 runs off seven overs between them. Super Kings' final hope was the pair of Dwayne Bravo and MS Dhoni but they failed to push on after adding 23 in 41 balls. Super Kings' crawl was summed up by Bravo playing out seven consecutive dot balls against the spinners. After plodding along to 11 off 18, Dhoni could not clear long-on off Morne Morkel as he tried to break free in the 18th over. Bravo followed in the 19th, and Super Kings signed off their innings with one more run-out in the last over. Daredevils' first wicket, Naman Ojha, was also to fall courtesy a run-out but he had already launched the chase in style with three fours in three balls off Albie Morkel. Virender Sehwag sealed the issue with 33 off 21, including a back-foot punch off Albie Morkel that went for six over deep extra cover. Kevin Pietersen and Mahela Jayawardene had too much class to allow Super Kings a whiff of a comeback as the visitors slumped to their biggest defeat in terms of balls remaining. Scores: Delhi Daredevils 111 for 2 (Pietersen 43*, Sehwag 33) beat Chennai Super Kings 110 for 8 (M Morkel 219) by eight wickets.

Bubba golf? no, I need my coach, says quiros KUALA LUMPUR AFP

laHore: PcB chairman Zaka ashraf and Subhan ahmad- coo PcB with the delegation of Balochistan cricket at the PcB headquarters. LAHORE StAFF RePORt

A delegation of the Cricket representatives from Balochistan met Chairman Pakistan Cricket Board Ch. Zaka Ashraf here at PCB on Tuesday. The delegation updated the Chairman on the cricketing issues and problems

faced by them. Chairman PCB assured the delegation that their issues will be taken up on priority basis and all efforts will be made to promote cricket in the Balochistan Region. Ch. Zaka Ashraf- Chairman PCB, Subhan Ahmad- COO PCB, Syed Anwer Shah- President Quetta District Cricket Association, Mir Mo-

hammad Mughal- President Naseerabad District Cricket Association, Khuda Bakhsh- Vice President Quetta Region, Mr. Zain-ul-AbideenSectary Quetta Region, Abdur Rahim Barach- Secretary Loralai District Cricket Association, Amanullah Khan- Sectary Sibbi District Cricket Association.

Oosthuizen takes McIlroy path to Malaysia KUALA LUMPUR

Sports 19

it was possible to bounce back from a major near-miss when, just two months later, he won the US Open with a record low score. Oosthuizen, shattered by his journey and disappointment, admitted he was still coming to grips with the Masters defeat - but said he was now more determined than ever to win the green jacket. "You'll always be disappointed, especially losing in any major. If it was a normal tournament you'd probably be over it much quicker," Oosthuizen told AFP in an interview. "But being a major and being the Masters, it's something you dream about as a kid getting the green jacket. But to me it gives me more drive to go out there and win it. It definitely just makes me want the jacket more." Oosthuizen was joined on the long trip from Augusta by compatriot Charl Schwartzel, who won the 2011 Mas-

ters. He said he had not discussed the weekend in much detail with his old friend. "Sometimes you don't have to say anything," Schwartzel said. "You know what he's going through but he's the type of guy that seems to get over things a little bit quicker and sometimes you don't have to say anything. They know you've just got to be a friend." Martin Kaymer, the 2010 US PGA Championship winner, is also braving the globe-crossing journey, with Michael Campbell and Todd Hamilton completing the list of major-winners. "Obviously coming from the Masters, the course looks a bit easier," Kaymer said. "You can be very aggressive." However, defending champion Matteo Manassero

warned it was "nearly impossible" for any player to cope with the journey, the jetlag and Malaysia's draining humidity, immediately after the rigours of the Masters. "If you come in a week like this being tired, it's nearly impossible. It's very difficult," said the 18-year-old Italian, who claimed his second European Tour win by one shot last year and did not play at Augusta. "Rory did it last year after what happened to him last year in the Masters, and it was amazing he was able to compete -- you've got to be very, very fit. "But I think I couldn't have competed this week after being at the Masters because it would have been so difficult to just carry on for four days in this weather." There will be no late start for Oosthuizen and Schwartzel, who tee off at 8:00 am (0000 GMT) Thursday alongside three-time Asian order of merit winner Thongchai Jaidee. Kaymer has the luxury of a 12:50 pm start. "Tomorrow morning for both of us is going to be a tough round," Oosthuizen said.

Spain's Alvaro Quiros Wednesday poured scorn on suggestions that golfers would follow Bubba Watson and ditch their coaches after the unorthodox American's US Masters win. Quiros, speaking at the Maybank Malaysian Open, said while the selftaught Watson had found success with his flamboyant approach, other winners followed the more traditional route. "He's the only one. Obviously last week was great for him but I'd say the other weeks, the winners of majors and of other tournaments are people who are a little bit mechanical, who have coaches and psychologists," Quiros said. "So you cannot say after just one week what we think about the wildest guy on tour. Probably he's pure talent and it works for him, but everybody's different. "Not everybody will have the same skills as him, putting, chipping, or hitting the driver like him. So I would say the average player needs to have a coach, needs to work out. In his case I'll just congratulate him and wait for the next few tournaments and see what he can do." Former world number one Martin Kaymer said Watson, the tall, free-hitting American with the booming drives, had a game that was well suited for Augusta. "He's not a guy who only hits the ball long. He's so talented at shaping the ball and I think especially in Augusta it helps if you can play around a bit with the ball," said Kaymer. "He has a lot of touch around the greens. It was just a week where everything came together and he's been successful. I think it's just a matter of time that he will win again. "Obviously to win the Masters was different but I was very happy for him." Watson honed his game on tree-dotted land at the back of his house, and it paid off in fine style Sunday when he hooked a pitch shot from foliage to beat Louis Oosthuizen on the second play-off hole. "I always attack," Watson said at Augusta. "I don't like to go to the center of the greens. I want to hit the incredible shot. Who doesn't? That's why we play the game of golf, to pull off the amazing shot." Quiros and Kaymer are both hoping for an easier time on the slower greens of Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club after struggling with their putting at Augusta. Quiros missed the cut while Kaymer tied for 44th. "Obviously coming from the Masters, the course looks a bit easier," Kaymer said. "You can be very aggressive."


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20 Sports Seeds move into next round of model town tennis

thursday, 12 april, 2012

BRIDGETOWN: Australian bowler Peter Siddle (C) celebrates with teammates after dismissing West Indies batsman Darren Bravo (R) during the fourth day of the first-of-three Test matches. afP

LAHORE StAFF RePORt

All seeded players through in 3rd Atlas Honda Cup Tennis Championship here at K-21 Club Model Town Lahore. Today session was started at 10 am with remaining and un-finished matches of 1rst round. All three top seeded players of Pakistan Tennis ie Aqeel khan, Jalil Khan and Yasir Khan who have arrived at K-21 Club straight from Philippines after playing Davis Cup Tie won their matches with ease expect yasir Khan who had to put some extra effort to beat Khuram Nazir . Rao Akbar Latif President K-21 Club told the media today that it is a matter of great satisfaction that Atlas Honda is cooperating and promoting the game of tennis and now its 3rd year that Atlas Honda comes up as main Sponsor. Rao Akbar thanked the Atlas Honda for sponsoring this mega event at national level. He emphasized that in particular multi national companies especially telecommunication sector should come forward to play their role in the promotion of sports as they earn handsomely from this country . “I am delighted as ever to be part of Atlas Honda Cup as this is one of the best tournament across the country Aqeel told today , Tournament arrangements are fantastic , even bounce on lush green courts are result of management’s hard work which results in attracting huge number of entries in this event “ he added. Although ,I have been continuously practicing on clay court because of the Davis Cup tie but I am quite confident that I shall be able to manage here on grass court shifting said Aqeel Khan. RESULTS: Men’s singles: Aqeel Khan beat Usman Ijaz 6-0,6-1,M.Abid beat Munir Ashiq 63,3-6,6-3,Usman rafiq beat Talha waheed 6-0,6-0, Omer Babar beat Hasnain Manzoor 6-3,6-4,Jalil Khan beat saif ali 6-4,6-4, Yasir Khan beat Khuram Nazir 6-4,7-6(4),Saadan beat M.Azhar 6-3,7-6, (1),Ali Murad beat Ayaz Khan 6-0,6-2 Boys singles U-18: M. Mudasir beat Abdul Haider 6-1,2-6,6-3,Imad amir beat Shayan tariq 6-1,6-1,Raja Shahid beat M.Bilal 7-6,(3),6-2, M.Muzamil beat M.Adnan 7-6,6-3,hasnain manzoor beat M.Ahmed 6-2,6-2, saad nor beat Hashim Khan 6-1,6-2, Syed Nofil kaleem beat faisal Iqbal 6-2,7-5, Ahmed Babar beat Hafiz Sheraz 6-0,6-0 Boys singles U-14: Hassan shoukat beat Ali Bhindari 2-6,6-4,6-4,Ghulam Mustafa beat Mustafa Ali 6-1,6-0, Hussain beat Uzaifa W-o, Abdal Haider beat hashim javaid 6-1,6-0,hafiz Arbab beat rauf iqbal W-o, hambal beat sarfraz Khuram 6-1,6-0,Aqib beat Afrun Sardar 6-0, 6-1,Muzamil beat zain-ul abidin6-4,6-2.

Blind cricketers cleared of wrongdoings national junior LAHORE

StAFF RePORt

A four-member commission formed to probe the Pakistan blinds cricket team's defeat to their Indian counterparts last month, has given clean chit to the players and the team management. The commission blamed poor playing conditions in

Chennai as well as the absence of key players from the line-up as reasons behind the defeats. The Pakistani team lost to a young India side in the one-day and T20 series last month, ending their run of seven successive series triumphs. "The commission's report blamed poor facilities for the defeat. The condition of the ground was not

good and balls of substandard quality were used. The absence of key players due to non-issuance of Indian visas and injury to captain [Abdul Razzaq] was another reason," said a PBCC official. The PBCC probed the loss in to order to bring an improvement before the blind World Twenty20 in December in India

AFC U-14 Festival of Football rolls into action ISLAMABAD StAFF RePORt

The Under-14 (Boys) Festival of football has been launched on Wednesday at Jinnah Stadium Islamabad in a most colorful manner. The opening ceremony was started with the passing out parade of the participating teams of Pakistan, Pakistan A, Tajikistan and Afghanistan. The opening ceremony was witnessed by a large gathering of football fans. Mr. Paul Molloy, the Australian Deputy High Commissioner who was the chief guest at the ceremony said that encouraging young people of both sexes to become involved in sports is a main aim of the Australian Sports Outreach Program (ASOP). We also hope that the PFF’s initiatives will have important spill-over effects on the wider community, such as promoting health and wellbeing, and enhancing social cohesion. Such activity reflects the true spirit of our mutual goal for the enhancement of sport activity among our youth, AFC’s Project Manager John Vittal said: “I would like to advise the participat-

ISlmaBaD: Paul molloy, australian Deputy High commissioner, speaks during the opening ceremony of the aFc u14 (Boys) Festival of Football that kicked off in Islamabad. ing teams to take advantage of this opportunity offered to you. All teams should establish friendly relations with each other for updating their knowledge and devel-

oping new skills through such festival”. General Secretary, PFF, Ahmed Yar Khan Lodhi TI (M), speaking at the inauguration ceremony said that AFC U-14

(Boys) Festival of Football will benefit the Pakistani football in all aspects of the game. “I would like to thank AFC for providing this opportunity to Pakistan and I am hopeful that this will boost PFF drive for improvement of football in Pakistan”, Mr. Lodhi added. Pakistan who has been given the rights to host the AFC U-14 (Boys) Festival of Football 2012 for the Central region is prepared for both the organising of the event and their own participating team. The Festivals are less about competition and more about providing an arena for talented juniors from their respective regions to play against each other and forge bonds of friendship. The first week of the Festival is more focused on educating the coaches and referees to prepare them for the matches in the second week RESULT: Tajikistan beat Pakistan 1-0. Tajikistan; Akmed Jaffer 1 Goal at 20 Minutes. Afghanistan beat Pakistan-A 10. Afghanistan; Sher Ahmed Hussaini 1 Goal at 30 Minutes. Tajikistan beat Pakistan-A 2-0. Afghanistan; Muhammad Sharipor 2 Goals at 15 & 22 Minutes Afghanistan vs Pakistan 0-0 Draw.

camp from 19th LAHORE StAFF RePORt

The training camp of national junior probables preparing for participation in the 7th Men’s Junior Asia Cup – Malacca/Malaysia from May 3 to 13 – will be established at the Hockey Club of Pakistan Stadium Karachi on April 19. The PHF has directed following probable players to report to the Camp Commandant (Rana Mujahid Ali) at Hockey Club of Pakistan Stadium Karachi on 19th April, afternoon:tHe PRObAbleS: amjad ali, muhammad khalid, muhammad aleem Bilal, Zohaib ashraf, muhammad Bilal, Fahad khan, muhammad Dilber, Hafiz rizwan ali, Hafiz umer Sardar, muhammad umair, muhammad Jaffar, muhammad Faisal qadir, muhammad kashif Javed, mazhar abbas, muhamamd Suleman, muhammad Irfan, tasawwar abbas, waseem abbas, ammad Shakeel Butt, Syed kashif Shah, muhammad tousiq, ai Shan, muhammad rizwan Junior and muhammad umar Bhutta.

Hockey trials LAHORE StAFF RePORt

The trials to select next cadre of boys for the PHF Hockey Academy Sialkot were observed by the PHF Academies Selection Committee on 10th April 2012 at Sialkot Hockey Stadium, Sialkot. Some 180 talented boys appeared for the trials. The Selection Committee comprised the following:Olympian Khalid Bashir is the chairman while Olympian Muhammad Sarwar, Olympian Dilawar Hussain, Olympian Ahmed Alam are members and Rana Zaheer Ahmed is coordinator. For the PHF Hockey Academy Bahawalpur, the trials will be held on 13th April 2012 at Bahawalpur Stadium.


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thursday, 12 april, 2012

Sports 21

Harris and Hilfenhaus swing test back to Aussies BRIDGETOWN

SCORebOARd

AFP

S

OME fine batting by Ryan Harris and an electrifying spell of bowling from Ben Hilfenhaus looked to have turned the first Test with the West Indies in Australia's favour on an engrossing fourth day here Tuesday. West Indies finished the day on 71 for five in its' second innings, leading by just 114 runs after Australia's tail wagged and Hilfenhaus knocked over their top order. Earlier captain Michael Clarke declared Australia's first innings at 406 for nine with his side still trailing by 43 runs. It was an aggressive move allowing his bowlers to attack the West Indian batsmen either side of tea and Hilfenhaus took advantage in the 25 minutes leading up to the break removing the top three. Harris - who had earlier hit an unbeaten 68 added the important scalp of Shivnarine Chanderpaul shortly after tea. "To get him out second innings for not many was a huge wicket because I think they batted around him a fair bit," said Harris. He thought that the declaration had set the West Indies on the back foot. "To declare and put them in straight away, it probably didn't give them a chance to get their head around batting. "I think it showed, obviously, taking three or four quick wickets. I think it was a good declaration. We want to win the Test match." West Indies' coach Otis Gibson thought that the 145 overs in the field had an impact on the top order. "Hilfenhaus came out and bowled a great spell, some tired legs, batsmen didn't move their feet and so on and he got a couple of wickets. "This is why it's called Test cricket. It's tough. It's tough on you mentally, it's tough on you physically. That three hour session this morning was tough on the guys but they hung in." However; Gibson still believed his side could win. "We believe if we get 200 on the board it'll be a very interesting run chase tomorrow (Wednesday)" It was a remarkable turnaround in fortunes as the Australians had at one point been 199 runs behind with only three first innings wickets remaining. The West Indies had looked like wrapping things up quickly when they took two early wickets in the morning session especially as one was the redoubtable veteran Mike Hussey. However, Harris steadied the ship and played positively from the start of his innings as he and Matthew Wade added 35 runs for the eighth wicket. Wade fell for 28 in his first Test innings when he took a wild drive at a wide Fidel Edwards ball that Darren Bravo took easily at second slip. Harris and Hilfenhaus played gutsy innings as they gradually reduced

WeSt indieS 1st innings 449 for 9 declared (S. Chanderpaul 103 not out, K. edwards 61; d. Warner 2-45, R. Harris 2-83) AUStRAliA 1st innings (248 for 5 overnight) 14 e. Cowan c baugh b Sammy d. Warner c bravo b Sammy 42 S. Watson c baugh b Roach 39 R. Ponting run out (brathwaite/baugh) 4 73 m. Clarke c deonarine b bishoo 48 m. Hussey c baugh b Roach 28 m. Wade c bravo b F. edwards 0 P. Siddle c K. edwards b F. edwards 68 R. Harris not out b. Hilfenhaus b Roach 24 n. lyon not out 40 extras (lb13, w5, nb5) 26 total (declared 9 wickets for, 145 overs) 406 Fall of wickets: 1-50 (Cowan), 2-65 (Warner), 3-83 (Ponting), 4-133 (Watson), 5-215 (Clarke), 6-249 (Hussey), 7-250 (Siddle), 8-285 (Wade), 9329 (Hilfenhaus) bowling: F. edwards 31-4-92-2 (1w, 3nb), Roach 29-8-72-3 (1nb), bishoo 4510-125-1 (1nb), Sammy 21-6-65-2, deonarine 19-5-36-0 West indies 2nd innings A. barath b Hilfenhaus 2 0 K. brathwaite c Wade b Hilfenhaus 1 K. edwards lbw b Hilfenhaus d. bravo c Wade b Siddle 32 S. Chanderpaul c Wade b Harris 12 n. deonarine not out 20 2 C. baugh not out 2 extras (lb1, nb1) total (5 wickets, 38 overs) 71 Fall of wickets: 1-2 (barath), 2-3 (brathwaite), 3-4 (K. edwards), 4-17 (Chanderpaul), 5-67 (bravo) bowling: Hilfenhaus 10-4-17-3, Watson 6-1-16-0, Harris 3-1-14-1 (1nb), Siddle 9-2-11-1, lyon 9-4-10-0, Clarke 1-0-2-0 toss: West indies, Umpires: ian gould (eng), tony Hill (nZl) match referee: Jeff Crowe (nZl), third umpire: marais erasmus (RSA)

the deficit with Harris passing his top score in Test cricket, made in his last innings against India in Adelaide. The ninth wicket partnership of 44 was finally broken when Hilfenhaus, on 24, played an extravagant shot and Roach's delivery took out the middle stump. The West Indies still had a 120 run lead when last man Nathan Lyon came to the crease but he and Harris played so well that Lyon hit his highest first class score of 40. They had added 76 runs when Clarke decided to declare and Hillfenhaus took centre stage. Barath was comprehensively bowled through the gate for two and two balls later Kraigg Brathwaite, who had played such a patient innings first time around, had an uncharacteristic go at a wide delivery and Wade took the catch. Kirk Edwards was the next to go as he moved across his stumps to another Hilfenhaus delivery and was given out lbw. Harris struck a major blow when he bowled the perfect line to Chanderpaul who edged to Wade to leave the West Indies reeling at 17 for four.

Murray dreams of Wimbledon double LONDON AFP

Andy Murray is dreaming of a unique double this year by claiming a first Wimbledon title followed by an Olympic gold medal at the same venue just a few weeks later. The world number four said Tuesday he is building his summer programme around a twin assault on Wimbledon and the Olympics, which will be staged at the All England Club during the London games. "This summer coming up is going to be huge. Wimbledon and the Olympics would be two of my major goals," said Murray, who played at the 2008 Beijing games. "The Olympics is different. The feeling you have on the court is completely different, you feel like you are playing for other people, for your country. "A lot of times when you are on the tour you are playing for yourself and the guys you work with. "When I played in Beijing, I didn't play well but it was one of the best experiences I have had as an athlete, being around all the top athletes in the world," added Murray, who regards the Olympics as a de facto fifth Grand Slam. "Tennis at the Olympics has become a big deal. Everybody plays it now whereas 10-15 years ago people were skipping the Olympics," he said. "Everybody is playing now, a bit like the Slams. No one skips the Australian Open anymore." Asked whether he views it as the fifth Grand Slam, Murray added: "I think so. I have only played in it once and it was very important to me." Meanwhile Murray said he is pleased with the progress he is making under coach Ivan Lendl, who has given him belief that he can mount a challenge

WAtCh It LIve TEN SPORTS First Test: Australia v West Indies 06:50PM

GEO SUPER IPL-5: Super Kings v Royal Challengers 03:30PM

kvitova to lead czechs in Fed cup semis

PRAGUE AFP

Reigning Wimbledon champion and world number three Petra Kvitova will lead holders Czech Republic in the Fed Cup semi-final tie against Italy in Ostrava on April 21-22, the Czech team said Wednesday. Team captain Petr Pala also called up 23-ranked Lucie Safarova, and doubles specialists Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka, numbers eight and 10 in the WTA doubles rankings. The inform Safarova made it to the finals at Charleston last weekend. Hlavackova and Hradecka have won two WTA tournaments this year after clinching the Roland Garros trophy in 2011. Kvitova, who has been sidelined with an illness and injury for most of the past two months, said in a statement she was looking forward to the tie in the eastern Czech city of Ostrava, as she is "beginning to miss tennis". "It's no good analysing the nomination, the key thing is who will play and how, and who will win the three points we need to advance to the finals," she added. The Czechs beat Russia 3-2 in Moscow last November to win their first Fed Cup trophy since their country split with Slovakia in 1993.

Wozniacki advances to 2nd round in Copenhagen COPENHAGEN AgenCieS

on clay at the French Open despite it being played on his least favourite surface. "He is confident in the way my

game matches up against the other guys on the surface," said Murray, a semi-finalist at Roland Garros last year.

Two-time defending champion Caroline Wozniacki overcame Urszula Radwanska of Poland 7-6 (4), 6-2 on Tuesday to reach the second round of the e-Boks Open. The 21-year old Dane was down a break in the first set before rallying to force the tiebreaker. She then broke three times in the second to clinch the victory in 2 hours, 5 minutes. The sixth-ranked Wozniacki will next play Pauline Parmentier of France, who ousted Anna Chakvetadze of Russia 7-5, 6-1 on the hard courts at the Farum Arena. Fourth-seeded Monica Niculescu of Romania also advanced, beating Valeria Savinykh of Russia 6-2, 6-2, while No. 5 Kaia Kanepi of Estonia ousted Anastasia Rodionova of Australia 6-3, 6-4. Secondseeded Angelique Kerber of Germany also advanced, beating Stephanie Foretz Gacon of France 4-6, 6-2, 7-5. Alize Cornet of France had the easiest win of the day, routing Danish wild card Malou Ejdesgaard 6-0, 6-0. Seventh-seeded Ksenia Pervak of Kazakhstan had to retire from her match against Australia's Johanna Konta when trailing 6-3, 1-0. Sixth-seeded Mona Barthel of Germany ousted Sweden's Johanna Larsson 6-3, 6-4, while No. 8 Sofia Arvidsson of Sweden lost 7-5, 5-7, 6-1 to Austria's Patricia Mayr-Achleitner. Other first-round matches, Petra Martic of Croatia beat Germany's Annika Beck 6-4, 6-4 and Anne Keothavong of Farum: caroline wozniacki returns the ball to Britain ousted Hungary's Melinda Czink urszula radwanska during their wta first round 4-6, 6-2, 6-3. tennis match in Farum, north of copenhagen. aFp


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SC seeks report on condition of missing prisoners ISLAMABAD StAFF RePORt

E

xPRESSING concern over the miserable condition of seven prisoners of Adiyala Jail Rawalpindi presently detained at an internment center in Landi Kotal, the Supreme Court on Wednesday issued notices to the attorney general, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa advocate general and counsel for ISI and the Military Intelligence to submit a report in this regard. A three-member bench of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Khilji Arif Hussain and Justice Tariq Parvez was hearing a plea filed by Ms

Ruhaifa, mother of two prisoners. The chief justice directed them to inform the court that who was responsible for the worst condition of the prisoners. “We would not allow anyone to badly treat the prisoners,” the chief justice said. He said even the Geneva Convention provided guidelines for proper treatment of prisoners, adding that the persons kept in internment centers were Pakistani citizens and not foreign enemies. He said four prisoners had already died in custody. He inquired from Raja Muhammad Irshad, counsel for the ISI and MI, that why were the prisoners treated badly. Raja Irshad informed the court that his clients had no

role in this matter. He said now KP chief secretary and provincial government was responsible for poor condition. Earlier, Tariq Asad, the counsel for missing prisoners, informed the court that the life of seven surviving prisoners of the 11 Adiyala Jail inmates allegedly picked by agencies after their release, were in danger. He said five of them, namely Dr Niaz Ahmed, Abdul Basit, Gulrose, Muhammad Shafiq and Shafiqur Rehman were detained in an internment center in Landi Kotal. He told the court that on April 6, 2012 he and the relatives of missing persons visited the internment center. He said the meeting of relatives along with their counsel was arranged with the

detainees in a very congenial environment one by one for over an hour. However, he said they were disappointed to see their living conditions, as they were being kept in an unhygienic cell of about 7x7 square feet, which smelled foul. “They are not allowed to walk even for a moment, which is causing swelling in their legs,” Asad said. He said Dr Niaz Ahmed, who was admitted to Lady Reading Hospital, was also shifted to the Internment Center against the medical report and the apex court order. He said it was observed during the meeting that he was in a critical condition. Dr Niaz told them that he was suffering from tuberculosis and hydronephrosis, as the treatment had

been discontinued, the lawyer said. “Abdul Majid and Mazharul Haq, who are still admitted in the hospital, are also not in safe condition. Majid is suffering from HepatitisC and cancer, while Mazhar was suffering from fever and there is apprehension of cancer too,” Asad submitted. He prayed that the detainees be provided a specific room or rooms for proper living with reasonable beds in the camp. He said the detainees be allowed to walk for at least an hour within the premises under security and their proper treatment as prescribed by the consultants of the medical board of Lady Reading Hospital be ensured.

SC moved to review its rPPs verdict ppr seeks correction in judgment regarding advance payment of $14.58 million for Multan project g

ISLAMABAD mASOOd ReHmAn

KARACHi: motorcyclists ride past a charred passenger bus which was torched by protesting Sindhi nationalists on Wednesday. online

farooq naik sworn in as law minister

govt leaving top slots vacant for ‘political reasons’ KARACHI StAFF RePORt

ISLAMABAD Online

Former Senate chairman and senior PPP leader, Farooq Naik was appointed federal minister for law, justice and parliamentary affairs on Wednesday. Naik was sworn in by President Asif Ali Zardari during a ceremony held at the Presidency. Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani was also present. Naik replaced Maula Bukhsh Chandio, who resigned from his post during a Senate session earlier this year when reports emerged that his predecessor, Babar Awan could be reappointed as the law minister. Chandio later denied tendering his resignation but Leader of the House Nayyer Hussain Bokhari confirmed it. Awan, who was considered the righthand man of the PPP co-chairman and the president, has now been sidelined by the leadership due to his refusal to appear before the Supreme Court as a witness in a contempt of court case against Gilani.

It has been months that the coveted posts of defence secretary and establishment secretary are lying vacant, as the federal government is showing reluctance in filling them due to “political reasons”, sources said. According to sources, currently five officers of Grade-22 were waiting for their posting as federal secretaries, but the government was not willing to appoint any of them to the highprofile posts, and wanted to run these ministries on ad-hoc basis. Sources said the government had been ignoring the Grade-22 officers for appointment as federal secretaries, while recently appointing their juniors (Grade-21 officers) on some of the posts of secretaries. They went on to claim that five officials of Grade-22 were waiting for their posting as federal secretaries, while the government had offered some of the posts to Grade-21 officials, who had just been elevated from Grade-20 and were enjoying political backing. According to the rules, only a government official in Grade-22 qualifies for holding the post of federal secretary. This slot can only be given to Grade-21 officer in case a Grade-22 officer is not available. A few weeks ago, the government promoted nearly two dozen officials. Some were

elevated from Grade-21 to 22, while others were promoted from Grade-20 to 21. However, sources said the government was still keeping mum on the fate of Grade-22 officers which include Qasim Niaz, Shaigan Sharif Malik, Anjum Bashir, Nazeer Saeed and Nazar Bashir. These bureaucrats are believed to be neutral, and are still waiting promotion. Waiting to be appointed on the key slots of defence secretary and establishment secretary, the above mentioned officials are less likely to be appointed. “The government is not willing to appoint any of the five Grade-22 officials in queue on these posts,” sources claimed. They said that Zafar Abbas Luk, who was recently promoted to Grade-21, had been appointed as federal secretary of the Narcotics Control Board immediately after his elevation from Grade-20. Asif Ghafoor, who is also in Grade-21 now, had been appointed as secretary of the National Heritage and Integration because of his alleged political backing. Munir Qureshi, another Grade-21 officer, had been appointed as secretary of the Board of Investment (BOI), Islamabad, because of his supposed connections with BOI Chairman Saleem Mandviwala. Farooq Awan, who had also been elevated to Grade-21, was given the post of federal secretary for Information Technology.

Published by Arif Nizami for Nawa Media Corporation (Pvt) Ltd at Plot # 7, Al-Baber Centre, F/8 Markaz, Islamabad.

The Pakistan Power Resources (PPR) on Wednesday filed a petition seeking a review of the Supreme Court judgment in the rental power plants (RPPs) case that declared all projects illegal and non-transparent last month. PPR requested the court to suspend its judgment until the disposal of the review petition to the extent of its (PPR) applicant and direct National Accountability (NAB) to maintain status quo in the matter. The petitioner pointed out that no advance payment was made or received by it for the Piranghaib Multan project and sought suspension of the operation of the judgment to this extent. The petitioner sought court orders to the concerned authorities, particularly the NAB and its officials, to restrain them from taking any action including coercive measure against the PPR until correction of the error in the main judgment of the RPPs case. A two-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry had declared in the judgment that Pakistan Power Resources (PPR) (Piranghaib, Multan) did not generate electricity at all, although a down payment of $14.58 million was made to it, “which has not been returned”. The review petition was filed through Advocate-on-Record MS Khattak with a plea that it was a mistake and error apparent on the face of the record that Piranghaib Multan plant was made payment of $14.58 million. PPR pleaded that no advance payment

whatsoever was made to or received by it for its Multan project. Besides, it said that counsel for PEPCO, NPGCL and NEPRA had confirmed the fact to the apex court through verbal and written submission in pursuance of the court orders to file a report on the progress of the projects. Besides, it was categorically stated by the NPGCL through its letter on April, 4, 2012 that no advance payment was made to the PPR (the applicant), the petitioner stated. The petitioner submitted that following the judgment of the apex court in the RPPs case, NAB authorities had called the chief executive of the PPR by saying that they were bound to obey the SC order to recover $14.58 million from the petitioner until or unless the Supreme Court corrected its order in the matter. “The review has been filed against rigorous timelines in view of the coercive action of NAB to recover the so-called advance of $14.58 million in the Multan Project which was never received by the applicant – the applicant will seek the indulgence of the apex court to file supplementary grounds of review within the statutory period of limitation,” the petitioner maintained. The PPR prayed for interim relief, saying that if the remedy was not granted the applicant would suffer irreparable loss. The petitioner further prayed for suspension of the operation of the judgment to the extent of the PPR by issuing order to all the concerned authorities, particularly the NAB, to avoid taking any action including coercive measure against the PPR until correction of the error in the main judgment of the case.

Editor: Arif Nizami, Executive Editor: Sarmad Bashir, Resident Editor: Rana Qaisar

e-paper pakistantoday 12th april, 2012  

e-paper pakistantoday 12th april, 2012