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President can be impeached if people want: LHC
Pakistan, Afghanistan pursue peace despite spy chief attack
north Korea defies warnings in rocket launch success PAGE |04
thursday, 13 december, 2012 Muharram 28, 1434
Rs 15.00 Vol iii no 166 19 pages islamabad — peshawar edition
nABBeD! PPP ministers lament naB chief’s turning on govt By unearthing corruPtion details ISLAMABAD
ollowing the national Accountability Bureau’s announcement to publicise a position paper on rampant corruption in the country, ministers of the ruling Pakistan People’s Party criticised nAB Chairman Admiral (r) Fasih Bokhari for digging deep in the corruption cycle of the country and biting the hand that fed him. Sources privy to developments in wednesday’s cabinet meeting said PPP’s Minister for Religious Affairs Khurshid Shah and some others lamented that nAB chief Bokhari, who was appointed by the PPP, had turned on the very party by exposing corruption running rampant in national institutions. The agitated ministers said it was impossible that corruption of Rs 6 billion to Rs 7 billion, as claimed by nAB, was being done in the country on a daily basis. nAB on wednesday announced to make public its “position paper” pertaining to corruption and
embezzlement of the public exchequer due to “inefficiency and the lack of capacity” of the stakeholders concerned, which was resulting in theft of Rs 6 billion to Rs 7 billion on a daily basis. “The nAB is in the process of preparing a position paper pertaining to the wastage of public exchequer due to inefficiency and the lack of capacity of the concerned stakeholders. This paper would be shared with the media on Friday, December 14, 2012,” a nAB spokesman said. “it would not be out of place to highlight that since March 2012, under the Prevention initiative, 173 projects at federal and provincial level were put to scrutiny by nAB carrying financial impact for Rs 1.475 trillion,” the spokesman added. The washington-based world Justice Project (wJP) said last month that Pakistan was the seventh most corrupt and the top-most insecure nation of a total of 97 countries assessed. Also, an annual report by Transparency international (Ti) released last wednesday named Pakistan the 33rd most corrupt country, up nine ranks from the 42nd most corrupt country position it held in 2011. Besides the commotion over corruption, the federal cabinet approved a bill seeking an increase of 11 reserved seats for minorities in the national and provincial assemblies. Continued on page 04
Nearly 70% MPs don’t file tax returns ISLAMABAD staff report
Fewer than a third of the country’s parliamentarians file annual tax returns, according to a report published on Wednesday, lending new focus to longstanding complaints from foreign donors and ordinary Pakistanis about tax evasion at the highest levels of society. The report, which was jointly published by two civil society organisations, found that just 126 of the country’s 446 members of the National Assembly filed annual income tax returns in 2011. The report does not take into account the tax paid by politicians on their parliamentary salaries, which is automatically deducted by the government. Instead, it focuses on the lawmakers’ declarations of supplemental income from property, professional practices and other sources of revenue. Nevertheless, in a country where many politicians enjoy lifestyles that far exceed their official salaries, the report raises fresh questions about the dedication of top lawmakers to enforcing the tax laws they are supposed to oversee. “Tax evasion has become a social norm in our country,” said Umar Cheema, an investigative journalist who compiled the report for the Center for Peace and Development Initiatives and the Center for Investigative Reporting in Pakistan. “People don’t consider it a crime. But this tax demand established a bond between the people and the state. That’s how you become a stakeholder in society.” Pakistan has a chronically low rate of income tax collection. Of the country’s 180 million people, only two percent are registered to pay tax, and fewer than a quarter of those actually do so according to the report. Continued on page 04
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02 News NewS
all UK visa seekers to be interviewed from now
iNfoTAiNmeNT life size Noah’s ark launched
Story on Page 09
Zardari’s bomb-proof mansion in final stages of construction
The construction of President Asif Ali Zardari’s bombproof house has entered final stages according to reports from a private news channel. The 128 canals mansion has 13-feet high bomb-proof walls surrounding it. The fortified walls will have mounted posts guarded by armed personnel. Sources said President Zardari will be looking after political matters of Pakistan Peoples’ Party in PML-N’s traditional stronghold from this heavily fortified house. MoNItorING desK
India’s top court frees Pakistani after 20 years NEW DELHI: India’s top court on Wednesday quashed the murder conviction of an 82-yearold Pakistani who spent 20 years in jail, allowing him to return home. Khalil Chishti, a microbiologist, was arrested and charged with murder in 1992 after a brawl in the western Indian city of Ajmer which he was visiting for a family wedding. He was convicted in 2010 by a local court and given a life sentence. After freeing him on bail last year on account of his age, the Supreme Court quashed the murder charge but upheld a conviction for voluntarily causing hurt, the Press Trust of India reported. “Truth has prevailed in the end,” Chishti said after the verdict, which ordered authorities to return his passport. “I will be going to my country after an endless wait.” app
8 deer stolen from BZU MULTAN: Eight deer belonging to the Bio Park of Bahauddin Zakariya University (BZU) mysteriously disappeared on Tuesday night and are feared stolen. According to Resident Officer Dr Amanullah, there were a total of eight deer in the park, four out of which went missing. A report was filed in Alpa Police Station regarding the theft and investigation was underway when the remaining four deer were also stolen. Five years ago, the Lal Sonhar administration had gifted two deer to the former BZU vice chancellor after which the total number of deer had risen to eight. INp
Story on Page 14
Pakistanis face racist attacks in Scotland LONDON MajId KHattaK
Pakistanis and English face the highest number of racist attacks in Scotland, the Scottish Government revealed on Wednesday. According to the report issued on Wednesday, the Scottish police recorded 1,295 racist incidents in 2012 where the victim was either of English or Pakistani origin. The figures have increased by 57 percent since 2004. The Scottish Government’s data also showed that there were 5,389 racist attacks this year, compared to last year’s 4,911, with an average of 15 attacks per day. 23 percent of the attacks (1,357) were directed against Pakistanis and 22 per cent (1,295) against white Britons. Scottish authorities claim that since 2004, the number of incidents with the victims being Pakistani has fallen from 1,773 to 1,357. However, the attacks on Britons have increased from 826 to 1,295. Figures show that only three per cent of the culprits were Asian; suggesting that the vast majority of attacks were white-on-white and the English people were the victims. Men aged between 26 and 35 were the most likely victims, while the perpetrators were most commonly men aged 20 or younger.
BAHAWALPUR: Vehicles stand in queues at a CNG filling station on Wednesday as the standoff between OGRA and CNG Association continues to inconvenience the people. INP
Kundi irked by absence of ministers from NA session g
NA deputy speaker directs govt to ensure presence of federal ministers during Question Hour ISLAMABAD
HE National Assembly once again witnessed a thin attendance of federal ministers during the Question Hour on Wednesday, following which National Assembly Deputy Speaker Faisal Karim Kundi directed the government to ensure presence of its federal ministers during the Question Hour. MNAs belonging to the opposition benches registered a strong protest on the issue. Minister for Religious Affairs Khurshid Shah said he would not defend the ministers who were absent from the House, adding that they should be present to respond queries related to their ministries and departments. PML-N’s Barjees Tahir expressed serious concerns over the issue, saying if the ministers could not appear in NA sessions, they should not
hold their positions. On a point of order, MNA Himayatullah Mayar pointed out that no one had opposed to the role of Punjab while debating on the controversial Kalabagh Dam, however whenever the issue was debated upon in House, Punjab would be a part of the discussion as the Lahore High Court’s, that gave the decision on the controversial dam, was situated in Punjab. He was of the view that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa had rendered more sacrifices as compared to any other province in the ongoing war against terrorism, adding that now the people of the people did not want the dam to be constructed, so the issue should be buried forever. He said the Kalabagh Dam would only cause more differences among the provinces. JUI-F MNA Asia Nasir lauded the government’s decision to raise the number of seats for minorities in the National Assembly, saying the bill should be tabled as soon as possible.
flights and staﬀ salaries: PerhaPs it arrives (Pia) ISLAMABAD oNlINe
Pakistan International Airlines’ (PIA) woes deepen as the organisation faces an acute financial crisis which resulted in salary cheques of employees bouncing due to nonavailability of funds in the national airline’s bank accounts. A report said PIA did not even have money for purchasing fuel. Furthermore, the airline’s planes including Boeing 777 and 147 which were sent abroad for maintenance could not be brought back after repairs due to shortage of funds. On one hand PIA does not have enough
Thursday, 13 December, 2012
funds to pay salaries to its employees but on the other hand vehicles worth billions of rupees were purchased for its officers, though full payment was not made for these luxury cars owing to the fiscal crunch, revealed the report. PIA spokesman Sultan Hussain Shah termed the allegation of non-payment of salaries to staff as baseless and stated that no cheque issued by PIA had been rejected. He added that salaries and allowances are being paid to employees on the 30th of each month. Shah said rumours that only $16000 remained in PIA’s foreign currency account were far from the truth. “As a matter of fact, more than three million dollars are in the ac-
count,” he said. He further stated that provident funds of the employees were safe and there is no truth in allegations stating that amounts have been withdrawn from the account. “No one can withdraw the said amount for it belongs to the employees,” said Shah. Accepting that PIA’s financial health was not solid, Shah said the situation had not deteriorated to the point where the organisation could not pay salaries to its employees. “The payment to daily wagers is made by the contractors and PIA has nothing to do with it. If a cheque from these contractors bounced somewhere, PIA cannot be held responsible for it,” the spokesman added.
Following a calling attention notice by the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) in connection with the airing of international drama serials by local channels, the minister for regulation and services said after devolution of powers, the Film Department had also been transferred to the provinces. He was of the view that currently the film censor board alone was working as a regulator. The National Assembly was informed by the Ministry for Water and Power that India had made five violations of the Indus River Treaty since October 1999. The ministry concerned said India had assured Pakistan that it would remove the objections raised by Pakistan in connection with Kishan Ganga Hydro project. The Ministry for Religious Affairs said the new Haj Policy was in its final stages and would soon be presented in the federal cabinet for its approval, however adding that the new Haj Expenditures would be announced later.
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News 03 ArTS & eNTerTAiNmeNT
Bruno Mars sings song for Cheryl Cole
pakistan, turkey agree on early implementation of joint projects angelo Mathews ready for test captaincy
eDiToriAl acting against safe havens Not a one-way action
commeNT dr james j Zogby says; Obama’s second term: Full plate of Middle East challenges
Ch shoaib saleem says; Objection, My Lord!: Why the flowers only for Hamid Mir?
Story on Page 14
Story on Page 18
Story on Page 15
Articles on Page 10
SC orders delimitation, localities start cordoning off Karachi areas g
‘Security’ claimed to be major reason behind installations of barriers KARACHI
Swat girls protest naming of college after Malala
Dozens of college girls in Swat lodged a protest against naming their institution after Malala Yousafzai, reports said on Wednesday. Students from Government Girls College Saidu Sharif forced the administration to shut the institution and demanded the provincial authorities restore the original name of the college. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Amir Haider Khan Hoti had approved the summary to name the college after Malala Yousafzai on October 16. The angry protestors tore apart posters of Malala and gave a threeday ultimatum to the provincial government for the restoration of the college’s name. Malala’s popularity has plummeted across the country, including in her native city, after an unusual interest of the United States and other western countries in the issue, media reports said. The college girls were in a complete defiance against the provincial government’s decision to change the name of the college. “The girls demanded the college administration restore the original name…but they lodged a protest after their demands were not met.” Subsequently, the college administration held talks with the students and ensured that they would raise the issue with the provincial government.
OLLOWING the Supreme Court’s (SC) orders regarding delimitation of constituencies in the financial hub of the country, barricades and barriers have started popping up at major streets and service roads in the city on the behest of providing security, blocking passage of vehicles and pedestrians, Pakistan Today has observed. The apex court had recently issued a verdict ordering that the constituencies of the metropolis be delimited and the electoral rolls be verified with the help of army and the Frontier Corps. This practice of erecting brick walls and installing iron barriers was predominantly seen in Urdu and Pashto speaking areas of the city. However, after the apex court’s orders, blockades have started appearing on major service roads unlike before. In Gulshan-e-Iqbal alone, 80 percent of service roads have been installed with barriers. There is hardly an entrance into areas from Hassan Square to Nipa and Gulshan Chowrangi which is causing serious problems for residents and visitors alike. This situation has left the authorities in an awkward situation since, in addition to being illegal; such barriers restrict movement of citizens, law enforcement personnel and emergency workers. However, residents of these localities seem to be tacitly approving such measures since they believe it will keep them secure in the violence-hit city. “We have little option but to take these self-help measures since the government and the law enforcement agencies appear helpless against the growing levels of crime in the city,” said a resident. The various political parties active in the city have expressed mixed views regarding the legitimacy or the need of such barriers though numerous observers have pointed out the dangers inherent in sectioning off a city in this way when it is already geographically divided across ethnic and political lines. In recent times, the city has witnessed the growing phenomenon of roads being blocked off permanently or between certain hours of the day by residents or local committees on the pretext of ensuring security for their localities. In addition, various political parties, politicians, mosques and imambargahs have also installed barriers on certain streets to prevent the passage of ordinary traffic in lieu of security threats. Relevant authorities have no numbers on locations that have been blocked off by such illegally-installed
barriers. The official sources confirmed that except for barriers installed in the proximity of foreign missions, all obstructions are illegal. Sources said no government functionary or department has the authority to grant permission for the installation of barriers on public roads. In fact, such an act is considered a punishable offence under the Police Order 2002. The Sindh government had recently decided that all illegal barriers, which restrict the movement of law enforcement agencies and emergency workers, would be removed. The decision drew strong criticism from the quarters concerned, which forced authorities to sort out the modalities before the launch of any removal operation. The areas that have been cordoned off with barriers include Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Mehmoodabad, Shah Faisal Colony, Gulshane Jauhar, North Nazimabad, New Karachi, Gulberg, Lalo Khet, Mooninabad, Saddar, Garden Town, Burns Road, Model Colony, Maskan Chowrangi, Quaide Azam Colony, PIB Colony, Safoora Chowrangi, Mosmiyat, Rabia City, Pehlwan Goth, Chisthi Nagar, Shanti Nagar, Lyari, Korangi Industrial area, SITE Town, Shershah, Orangi Town, Baldia Town, Gulshane Maymar and around 300 other sites. This activity, which has seized to be an anomaly in the city, is a clear violation of Article 139(c)(d) and 141 of the Police Order 2002 A senior police officer told Pakistan Today that the local police could exercise these powers by placing bar-
Phc gives seven days to recover abducted gomal Zam employees PESHAWAR oNlINe
Peshawar High Court Chief Justice (CJ) Dost Mohammad Khan on Wednesday gave a week’s deadline to authorities for the recovery of the Gomal Zam Dam project employees who were abducted from Tank in August this year. The CJ, heading a two-member bench, directed Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Masood Kausar, the interior ministry and FATA authorities to ensure safe and early recovery of the employees even if a combat operation was required. The court contended that in the presence of a large number of security personnel in FATA, there was no excuse for such kidnap-
pings. Earlier, family members of the abducted employees had requested authorities to take steps and use all options available for the recovery of the eight employees. The eight officials were kidnapped from the Tank-Wana Road while they were on their way from the Gomal Zam Dam to Dera Ismail Khan for Eidul Fitr holidays on August 15th. The abducted men include four security personnel and two other staffers apart from SubDivisional Officer Shahid Ali Khan, a resident of Swat, and Sub-Engineer Sanaullah. The Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) had released a video a few days ago that showed the eight employees pleading the authorities to accept TTP demands or they would be executed.
ricades on several roads as part of the security measures for a procession, public meeting or around government installations. In December 2008, the Sindh Home Department had announced to launch a crackdown against installation of illegal barriers and a notification was issued instructing all Station House Officers (SHOs) to remove illegal barriers from the streets and societies of the city. However, the practice has only accelerated owing to apathy of the concerned police stations, sources told Pakistan Today. After passage of three and a half years, a high level meeting of police and Rangers’ officials had on June 21, 2012, decided to constitute a joint team to conduct surveys to collect data on illegal barriers throughout the city. The joint survey team was constituted following the orders of Sindh government for removal of such barriers. However, no progress has so far been made in this regard. Senior officials at the Gulshan-e-Iqbal Police Station told Pakistan Today that major streets and service roads were blocked by political parties as they wanted to keep their areas safe and secure. “No political party or individual ever seeks prior permission to install any barrier in their area,” an official said. The same views were expressed by officials of the Aziz Bhatti Police when Pakistan Today asked them for their opinion on the matter.
PAC seeks list of bureaucrats who received plots ISLAMABAD: The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on Wednesday asked all four provincial chief secretaries to submit a list of all government employees who have acquired residential plots in the federal capital. The committee which met under its chairman Nadeem Afzal Chan in the parliament house reviewed the audit observations of the Ministry of Housing for the year 2004-05. Federal Employees Housing Federation Director General Tallat Rashid and Pakistan Housing Authority gave a briefing to the committee regarding the rules and regulations of allotment of plots to the officers of grade 20 and 21 in Islamabad; but the committee, expressing its dissatisfaction, declared it to be incomplete. During his briefing to the committee, Housing Foundation DG Tallat Rashid said that 5554 officers filed applications under the policy of ‘allotment of plots to government employees in Islamabad’ on the basis of their age and only 1800 officers could be provided plots. Declaring the allotment policy discriminatory, the committee also sought a list of all officials who had not been allotted plots. oNlINe
Thursday, 13 December, 2012
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04 After tattoos, Darul Uloom Deoband issues fatwa against dyeing hair black MONITORING DESK: After terming tattoos as anti-Sharia, the Darul Uloom Deoband has issued a fatwa against dyeing hair black. According to the islamic seminary, Sharia does not permit one to colour his or her hair black. Some believers had sought the view of the authorities of the seminary on this issue. Answering the questions, the seminary said colouring hair black was not in accordance with the Sharia, though one could apply a colour like henna (mehndi) on the hair. According to the seminary, the Sharia prohibits use of such dyes that leave a layer on the hair as it obstructs water from reaching the roots of hair during wazu (ablution) and make it invalid. Answering the question if namaz was permissible after applying colour on hair, the seminary said that it was allowed to use colour other than black provided the colour does not contain impure things and does not leave such a layer on the hair that prevents water from reaching the roots. “otherwise wazu (ablution before offering namaz) shall not be valid and when wazu is not right then namaz shall also not be valid,” the seminary said.
Deviations in seniority of judges must stop, SC told ISLAMABAD app
A counsel for the referring authority on Wednesday contended before the Supreme Court that the president’s role in the appointment of judges was not mere ministerial, but he could cite reasons for the constitutional deviations which came to his notice. Wasim Sajjad, counsel for the referring authority, resumed his arguments before the fivejudge special bench headed by Justice Khilji Arif Hussain hearing a presidential reference moved under Article 186, invoking the court’s advisory jurisdiction with regard to appointment of judges to the Islamabad High
Court (IHC). The counsel said some grave departure from constitutional provisions was noticed in the instant case, over which the president could seek the court’s interpretation and his decision was subject to judicial review. To the bench’s query over determination of seniority of the judges of superior judiciary, he replied that the executive wanted the judiciary stronger and more independent. “Who will determine seniority? At least such constitutional departures should be stopped,” Sajjad said, cautioning that if the referring authority in extraordinary circumstances confirmed the decisions of Judicial Commission and Parliamentary Com-
mittee, without noticing such deviations, then the judges in Pakistan would start determining their seniority decisions by citing their names topping the rosters. Justice Riaz Ahmed Khan was the most senior judge according to recommendations of the IHC chief justice and in accordance with the judicial norms and practices, but in his absence, Justice Anwar Khan Kasi attended the Judicial Commission (JC) meeting. Sajjad said the constitution provided the term most senior judge but it did not contain anywhere “available senior most judge”. He said Justice Kasi was altogether a stranger to proceedings of the JC and his presence was ultra vires to Article
175A which led to annulment of the decision taken by the highest forum. Such a thing was noticed by the referring authority, who wanted the indulgence of the court to interpret the issue that would have wider future applications, the lawyer added. He contended that in Munir Hussain Bhatti’s case, the role of parliamentary committee over appointment of judges had been in question, but a para in the said judgment written by Justice Jawwad S Khawaja made observation over the role of the president’s office, though it was never argued. He said such observations had no binding effects upon the court. To Justice Khilji Arif Hussain’s observation on the 19th
north Korea defies warnings in rocket launch success
Deadline for repatriation of Afghan refugees extended ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf has extended, by six months, the tripartite agreement between Pakistan, Afghanistan and UnHCR on the repatriation of Afghan refugees which was scheduled to expire on Dec 30, 2012. This decision was made at a high level meeting held at the Prime Minister’s Secretariat after a presentation was made on Management and Repatriation Strategy for Afghan Refugees living in Pakistan. The Prime Minister also decided to constitute a committee under Minister for State and Frontier Regions Engineer Shaukatullah to monitor the repatriation of the Afghan refugees. The meeting was briefed that only 0.2 million Afghan refugees will have repatriated by the end of 2012 and there were still 1.6 million registered and 1 million unregistered Afghans residing in Pakistan. INp
India tests nuclear-capable Agni-I ballistic missile NEW DELHI: india successfully test-fired its nuclear-capable surface-to-surface Agni-i ballistic missile on wednesday. india’s integrated Test Range (iTR) Director MVKV Prasad said, “it was a practice trial conducted by the Strategic Force Command of the indian Army.” The country’s defence scientists claim that because of its specialised navigation system, the missile, having a range of 700 kilometres, can reach its target with a high degree of accuracy. oNlINe
KP cabinet approves old local bodies system PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa cabinet approved the restoration of the old local bodies system in the province on wednesday. Reintroduction of the municipal corporations, district councils and the independent office of deputy commissioner are the central points of the approved local government system. This would replace the local government system which was introduced by former president Pervez Musharraf. it will end the office of DCo which used to function under elected district nazims and reintroduce the provincially controlled office of the deputy commissioner. oNlINe
Hurriyat delegation to leave for Pakistan on Friday SRINAGAR: Despite uncertainty over the issuance of visas to two of its executive members, Hurriyat Conference (M) is all set to leave for Pakistan on Friday. Srinagar’s Regional Passport officer said two more executive members, Abbas Ansari and Musadiq Aadil, had been issued passports while the application of another executive member Mukhtar Ahmad waza was still under process. Meanwhile, senior separatist leader Shabir Ahmad Shah is understood to have applied for visa to travel through the line of Control (loC). NNI
Thursday, 13 December, 2012
Amendment, the counsel said it was adopted to implement a court’s observation substantially. Citing Al-Jehad Trust case of 1996, the counsel said there was a provision for an acting chief justice, but not for an acting senior most judge. “If a member of the Judicial Commission, like the law minister, is absent from its proceedings, it is no issue, but what will happen if an interior minister attends the meeting in his place,” he elaborated his point. Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan drew Sajjad’s attention to clause 14 of the Article 175A by saying that the absence of a member of the commission would not render the decision of the commission invalid.
CaIro: egyptians walk past a line of army tanks stationed outside the presidential palace on wednesday.
Nearly 70% MPs don’t file tax returns Continued fRoM page 01
Income tax evasion is particularly high among the wealthiest Pakistanis, leaving the country with the lowest tax-to-GDP ratio in South Asia. Meanwhile, the poor bear a disproportionately high tax burden, experts say, because of indirect taxes on electricity, food and other goods. Pakistan’s flawed tax system has long been an issue for Western donors, who have given the government billions of dollars in humanitarian and development aid over the past decade and supported bailout programs from multinational institutions such as the International Monetary Fund. Addressing a Congressional
hearing in 2010, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said: “They don’t tax income. They don’t tax land. And a lot of the wealth is held in these huge feudal estates.” “They have no public education system to speak of and it’s because the very well off, of whom there is a considerable number, do not pay their fair share,” she said. The report found that tax evasion was spread evenly across the political spectrum, with low rates among the governing Pakistan People’s Party, the opposition Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and other religious and regional parties. According to Cheema’s findings, President Asif Ali Zardari did not file a tax return in 2011 and neither did 34 of the 55 cabinet members including
Interior Minister Rehman Malik. Information was not available for one cabinet minister. Of the 20 cabinet ministers who did pay, most made only negligible contributions, including Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf, with Rs 142,536 ($1,466) and Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar with Rs 69,619 ($716). The cabinet member who paid the most was Water and Power Minister Ahmad Mukhtar with Rs 1.09 million ($11,223). Religious Affairs Minister Syed Khurshid Ahmed Shah paid the least with Rs 43,333 ($446). Among all the lawmakers in the upper and lower houses of the federal parliament, 67 percent failed to file tax returns in 2011; 28 percent did and five percent
Government NABBED! Continued fRoM page 01
Once the bill is passed, the total number of reserved seats for minorities in the National Assembly would increase from 10 to 14, one reserved seat would be increased each in Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, two in Punjab Assembly, while three seats would be increased in the Sindh Assembly. The bill would soon be tabled in parliament for approval. The cabinet also discussed the issue of strike by CNG dealers and retailers that had hit the people hard. However, detailed deliberations could not be conducted due to the absence of Advisor to Prime Minister on
Petroleum Dr Asim Hussain. “Most of the ministers belonging to the PML-Q raised the matter and recommended intervention by the prime minister to resolve the matter. They said the CNG sector was being targeted by Dr Asim Hussain who was pursuing his personal agenda. But as Dr Asim is abroad, Prime Minister Ashraf deferred the matter,” a source in the cabinet told Pakistan Today. The cabinet also endorsed the stance adopted by Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf on Wednesday and asked the Afghan government to refrain from levelling “unfounded accusations” against Pakistan. Ashraf called “baseless”
the allegations levelled by Afghanistan regarding Pakistan’s involvement in the attack on Afghan head of National Directorate of Security, and asked Kabul to provide “solid proof” of its claims. The prime minister said Pakistan was heading towards general election and free, fair and transparent polls were vital for the continuity of democracy and for national progress and prosperity. He said the government would provide all out support to the Election Commission of Pakistan for conducting transparent polls. During the sitting, the cabinet reviewed status of implementation of cabinet’s
were not possible to verify, according to the report. It also found that 78 members of parliament are still not registered with a national taxation number. In the Senate, it found that the most tax was paid by prominent lawyer Aitzaz Ahsan, who turned over $133,000 in taxes last year. The least was paid by Mushahid Hussain, a member of the Pakistan Muslim LeagueQuaid, who paid less than 10 cents (approx Rs 1000. Cheema said his findings were based on a combination of publicly available data and questionnaires he had sent to members of both houses of parliament — though just two members responded to his queries. decisions pertaining to Foreign Affairs and Human Resource Development divisions. The cabinet was informed that 85 percent of its decisions had been implemented while the rest were in various stages of implementation. The cabinet also confirmed the decisions taken by Cabinet Committee on Privatisation in its meeting held on November 8. Talking to reporters later, Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira said issues concerned to the CNG sector would be resolved soon. He said the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) was an autonomous body and should resolve the CNG price issue as the Supreme Court had directed. He said gas supply was affected in winter and such a sit-
North Korea on Wednesday defied international warnings with an apparently successful launch of its rocket. The rocket, launched at 09:49 local time (00:49 GMT) Wednesday, appears to have followed its planned trajectory, with stages falling in expected areas. North Korea says a satellite has been placed in orbit, the US confirmed an object had been put into space. South Korea, the US and Japan have condemned the launch as a banned test of longrange missile technology. The US called it a “highly provocative act that threatens regional security”, while UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said it was a “clear violation” of a UN resolution. The launch comes a week ahead of the South Korean presidential election and roughly a year after the death of leader Kim Jong-il, on December 17, 2011. The three-stage rocket was launched from a site on North Korea’s west coast. “The launch of the second version of our Kwangmyongsong-3 satellite from the Sohae Space Centre... on December 12 was successful,” state news agency KCNA said. “The satellite has entered the orbit as planned.” The rocket had been scheduled to pass between the Korean peninsula and China, with a second stage coming down off the Philippines. The Japanese government, which put its armed forces on alert ahead of the launch, said the rocket had passed over parts of Okinawa prefecture, south of the Japanese mainland. uation arose every year where people had to face difficulties in its wake, he added. To a question, the minister said OGRA could not be rolled back altogether, but it could be improved to deliver more efficiently. Commenting on reports of corruption, Kaira said corruption was a worldwide phenomenon and the developing countries were grappling with the menace, therefore, the same was not restricted to Pakistan only. He also rejected the allegations and impression that only the federal government was responsible for corruption, saying there were so many institutions having their own heads and four governments functioning in the country. Thus, it would be unjustified to say that corruption took place due to the federal government only, he added.
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Thursday, 13 December, 2012
No house to live in!
cda, residents join hands to save margalla hills national Park
govt oﬃcials face severe shortage of living space since no residential unit has been constructed since 1995 only 3,200 of more than 500,000 employees have a house n
HE acute shortage of housing units for government employees in Pakistan’s federal capital of Islamabad can be gauged from the fact that out of more than 500,000 government employees only 3,200 (0.64 percent) get this facility, the Peninsula reported. According to rules, every government servant is entitled to accommodation while serving in government departments. The problem of accommodation became grave during the previous government, which did not take any step to develop new housing. Instead, it had directed the ministry concerned to concentrate on providing rented housing to government officers in need of accommodation. But this facility was not extended to all government employees. Hundreds of cases are pending for thirty or more years of government employees seeking accommodation. Most of them retired without getting any housing facility during their service. However, highly placed officials in Islamabad State Office, while confirming the report and requesting anonymity, said that there was acute shortage of government housing in Islamabad. The problem has become aggravated during the last eight years.Recently, following an order by
the Supreme Court, the Pakistan People’s Party government formed a hardship committee with the purpose of allotting accommodation to employees whose cases were genuine. The government servants have to approach the Housing Ministry and get their name included in a list with the committee. The members of the committee would soon meet to decide their cases. Some government employees said that they had applied some five years ago to get housing facility in accordance with the rules and regulation, but till now they have not received any positive response. A senior official in Islamabad State Office while commenting over the grievances of these employees said that the entire record submitted during the years 2005 to 2007 was destroyed in violence during the Lal Masjid incident. The shortage of houses has aggravated in the capital because new residential units have not been built since 1995, sources said. A, B, C and D type flats have been built for government employees in different residential sectors and they are being sublet by the residents as one or two rooms, sources said, adding that this had been going on for a long time because of complicated allotment procedures and unavailability of living space in the federal capital, officials said.
ISLAMABAD s ta f f r e po rt
6 houses used for commercial activity sealed
The Capital Development Authority (CDA) has initiated a partnership programme with local residents for preserving the Margalla Hills National Park. According to CDA officials, the civic authority held its first free medical camp in Gokina village. The medical camp was inaugurated by Environment Member Dr Kazim Nawaz. Under the programme, the CDA will carry out different welfare activities in collaboration with the National Rural Support Programme. Separately, the CDA administration issued orders for the transfer of 43 officials except the director estate management (one) and officials who had been in the department for over four years. According to the notification, civic management DG (two) has been given the additional charge of civic management (one), while Law Deputy DG Habib-ur-Rehman has been transferred to labour relations. Sanitation Deputy DG Nadeem Akbar Malik had been transferred to HRD and other officers of grades 18, 17 and 16 have also been reshuffled.
ISLAMABAD: Capital Development Authority (CDA) officials have sealed six more houses in Sector F-6/1 for violating the authority’s by-laws. On directives of CDA Chairman Tahir Shahbaz, a team of Enforcement Directorate and Building Control officials led by Planning and Design Member Mustafeen Kazmi carried out an operation against the commercial use of houses in residential areas. A boutique in House No-40, Street 32, an art gallery in House No-4, Street 41, a gym in House No-15 on School Road, an office in House No-41, Street 38, a furniture décor showroom in House No-20 on Seventh Avenue and another boutique in House No-39, Street 32 in Sector F-6/1 were sealed. The CDA began the campaign a few days ago against commercial activities in residential areas and sealed over a dozen houses. staff report
10 new water filtration plants to be set up n
Water Quality lab to be inaugrated on 15th ISLAMABAD staff report
The Capital Development Authority (CDA) will install ten additional water filtration plants in different areas to ensure provision of clean drinking water for residents. CDA Chairman Tahir Shahbaz announced this while visiting different filtration plants in the city. He said the CDA will extend all possible resources to facilitate residents and provide clean drinking water. New filtration plants would be set up in Sector I-9/4, G-10/4, G-9/3 near CDA blocks, G-9/4 near Jehangir Market, G-7/1 I and T centre, F-8 Markaz, E-7 Markaz, Blue Area, G-9 Markaz, G-11 Markaz and G11 near PHA Flats. CDA Engineering Member Sanaullah Aman told the chairman that 30 filtration plants had been upgraded and maintenance work on the remaining plants would be completed soon. He said that new filtration plants were being installed on a need basis. Shahbaz directed Aman to take steps to control leakages from rusty and dilapidated water supply pipelines. He said the water tanker service would be improved so that public complaints could be addressed promptly. He called on residents to avoid wastage
of water. He said to cope with requirements of the growing metropolis the CDA was working on additional water resources to provide the basic amenity. Shahbaz directed the authority to carry out an awareness campaign for water conservation and said that those involved in water wastage would be fined. Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR) will inaugurate a water quality laboratory on December 15. Around 21 water quality testing laboratories are already functional in different cities. These labs have state of the art equipment and are located in different cities including Lahore, Bahawalpur, Tandojam, Quetta, Peshawar, Gujranwala, Sialkot, Faisalabad, Sahiwal, Multan, Sargodha, Mianwali, DG Khan, Nawab Shah, Karachi, Hyderabad, Abbottabad, Muzaffarabad, Dera Ismail Khan, Badin and Lora Lai. PCRWR spokesperson Lubna Naheed said six research and demonstration farms had also been established to conduct research on various aspects of water resources. They include technology for testing water conservation, developing efficient irrigation techniques, evolving desertification control technology, rainwater harvesting techniques and saline agriculture.
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06 Islamabad UNFORTUNATE: People gather near a car which ran over a bicycle rider at Super Market. ONLINe
transporters’ strike: Pm forms committee to resolve issue ISLAMABAD oNlINe
Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf on Wednesday formed a two-member committee to resolve issues faced by goods transporters after they went on strike on Tuesday. According to sources, the issue was raised by MQM leader and Minister Dr Farooq Sattar during a cabinet meeting chaired by the prime minister. The committee comprises Minister Babar Khan Ghouri and Minister Abbas Khan Afridi. Ashraf directed both members to resolve the issue immediately.
Flour shortage reaches crisis proportions RAWALPINDI staff report
Shortage of flour in the city has irked residents of Rawalpindi. The price of flour has also increased due to the drop in supply which might create a crisis situation if not rectified immediately. Rawalpindi Kariyana Merchant Association President Haji Saleheen and Secretary General Ghulam Qadir said the flour mills had been supplying a nominal amount of flour during the last three days and the supply had stopped completely on Tuesday. They added that the situation was affecting poor citizens the most who bought flour on a daily basis. Flour suppliers said the government was not supplying enough wheat. They requested the federal and Punjab governments to provide sufficient wheat to flour mills so they could meet the demand.
3 alleged terrorists caught making video of air head quarters! ISLAMABAD oNlINe
Three men were arrested for making videos of highly secure and sensitive areas. According to reports, three men from Waziristan were caught by intelligence agencies while filming the DCI Complex at the Air Head Quarters. They were later shifted to an undisclosed location for interrogation.
Woman gives birth to 4 boys and a girl! ISLAMABAD staff report
A woman gave birth to quintuplets at the Poly Clinic Hospital on Wednesday. According to hospital sources, the woman gave birth to four boys and a girl, after undergoing a C-section. Doctors said the babies and their mother were healthy.
Light showers expected in most areas ISLAMABAD
AKISTAN Meteorological Department (PMD) on Wednesday forecast light rain/thunderstorm in isolated areas of upper Punjab including Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Sargodha and Gujranwala divisions during the next 24 hours. Partly cloudy to cloudy weather is expected in most parts of the Punjab. According to the synoptic situation, a fresh westerly wave is
affecting upper parts of the country and is likely to persist during the next 36 hours. Light rain/thunderstorm with snowfall is expected in isolated areas of KP during the next 24 hours. Dry weather is expected in most parts of Sindh during the next 24 hours. In Balochistan, partly cloudy weather is expected in most parts, however light rain/thunderstorm is likely in isolated areas of Quetta and Zhob divisions during the next 24 hours. Light rain/thunderstorm with snowfall is expected in isolated
areas of Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan during next 24 hrs. Lowest temperatures recorded in different places were at Sakardu -10C, Parachinar -05C, Gupis, Kalat and Astore -04C, Hunza -03C and Malamjabba -02C. Rainfall was recorded during the last 24 hours at Islamabad Zero point-3mm, Parachinar-2mm, Mirkhani-2.2mm, Dir-2mm, Garhi Dupatta-2mm, Murree-2mm, Parachinar-2mm, Rawalakot-2mm, Drosh-1.4mm, Rawalpindi-1mm and Mangla-0.5mm. Seven inches of snowfall was recorded at Murree.
‘US, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Taliban need to talk’ ISLAMABAD staff report
Former foreign minister and PTI leader Khurshid Mahmood Kasuri on Wednesday said that the only viable way out for Pakistan, United States, Afghanistan and Taliban would be to enter into serious talks on the post 2014 situation in Afghanistan. Talking to the special US Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan (AfPak) Robin Raphel, he said that Pakistan desired a negotiated settlement because it had paid a very heavy price because of the war on terror in Afghanistan following the
Geneva Accords in 1989. He told the ambassador that Pakistan Tehreek-eInsaf strongly felt that the drone strikes were counterproductive and the use of drones in the tribal areas was promoting extremism because a large number of innocent civilians were losing their lives as a result of these strikes.
Pti’s isf challenges establishment division intervention in hec’s aﬀairs ISLAMABAD staff report
Insaf Students Federation (ISF), the student body of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, has challenged the direct intervention by Establishment Division in High Education Commission, an autonomous body, in Islamabad High Court. Filling a writ petition in Islamabad High Court (IHC), Insaf Students Federation, made federal government, the HEC chairman, its executive director and Dr Atta ur Rehman, former chairman/founder of HEC as respondents. ISF adopted before the court that HEC was established under the Higher Education Commission Ordinance 2002 and as per law only 18-member commission of the HEC was the appointing authority of the ED. Central President of ISF, Farrukh Habib, the petitioner along with Ch Arslan, has prayed in the petition to the court to suspend the appointment of new ED. It was not a matter of an individual but the autonomy of an institution which was playing a vital role for a prosperous Pakistan, he explained. Farrukh Habib said that the petition had been filed through advocate Farrukh Dall. ISF has also issued a fact paper on the current issue for the awareness of masses.
‘Pakistan supports Afghan peace process’ ISLAMABAD o N lI Ne
Acting President Nayyer Hussain Bokhari on Wednesday said that Pakistan fully supported the Afghan peace process and was committed to an Afghan-owned and led reconciliation. Addressing a seven-member delegation from Afghanistan, led by Afghan Senate Deputy Speaker Gul Afghan, Bokhari said a peaceful, prosperous and stable Afghanistan was in Pakistan’s na-
Thursday, 13 December, 2012
tional interest. Only an inclusive intraAfghan dialogue could bring sustainable peace to the region, he added. Bokhari underscored the need for an exchange of delegations to enhance trust and understanding between people of both countries. He said the presidents of both countries were holding talks in Turkey which would have a positive impact in the future. He added that the people and the political leadership had sacrificed a lot for democracy. Senator Sehar Kamran observed that it
was good opportunity to share views on various issues. She said both countries needed to cooperate to bridge the trust deficit. She also highlighted the need for better communication to counter negative propaganda. Gul informed the acting president about the purpose of their visit. He thanked the government for providing shelter to Afghan refugees and said that both countries had cultural, religious and social commonalities and faced the common threat of terrorism.
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report on situational analysis of children, women says Pakistan lagging in 24 of 35 millenium Development Goals n Says literacy rate falling because of illiterate mothers n
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LANNING Commission of Pakistan and United Nation’s Children Fund (UNICEF) jointly launched a national report on situational analysis of children and women in Pakistan. The report pointed out that Pakistan’s Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) had declined significantly in recent years, but still it was relatively high (276 per 100,000 live births). Speaking on the occasion as chief guest Deputy Chairman Planning Commission of Pakistan, Dr Nadeem Ul Haq said immense resources and efforts will be required to achieve targets of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) under which MMR should be reduced to 140 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births. Giving reference of the report findings he said, more than a third of deaths of children under age five were caused by treatable illness and 60 percent are the result of water and sanitation-related diseases. Malnutrition contributes to 35 percent of under-five deaths and more than 40 percent of
children are either moderately or severely stunted; malnutrition rates in two provinces are above emergency levels. The report stated that less than half of Pakistan’s children are fully immunised, immunisation rates have actually fallen in every province except Punjab, and at the end of 2011 Pakistan was one of four countries in the world where new polio cases were still emerg-
immunisation rates fell in all provinces except Punjab. less than half of the country’s children are fully vaccinated.” ing, despite massive nationwide immunization programme. Nearly half of primary school-age children are not enrolled in schools, and among eligible girls the out-of-school proportion is closer to three-quarters. Completion rates to the fifth year of schooling have actually declined in the past five years. Fifty-five per cent of all Pakistani
YOgA WiTH AmAnDA
adults are illiterate; among women the rate is closer to 75 percent. The Situation Analysis shows that females in Pakistan face different problems including discrimination, exploitation and basic right to education. It said women are also subjected to local customs and cultural practices which all too frequently restrict their mobility, and bar them from working. The analysis said a child’s nutrition status is strongly correlated with the mother’s education, adding that children whose mothers have higher education are the least likely to be underweight and stunted. The nutrition survey revealed that 58 percent of households nationally are food insecure with 29.6 percent living in the state of moderate or severe hunger. Sindh appears as the most food-deprived province, with 72 percent of families being food insecure, it pointed out. It is followed by Balochistan where 63.5 percent of families face similar challenges while Khaber Pakhtunkwa has the highest proportion (68.5) of the population having access to affordable food in all seasons.
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Syrian opposition meeting opens in Morocco MARRAKECH
HE world’s major powers are poised to give full political recognition to the Syrian National Coalition, an opposition bloc, as the fourth conference for the “Friends of the Syrian People” opens in Morocco. More than a hundred government delegates, including from the US, France, Britain and the Gulf countries, have gathered in the Moroccan city of Marrakesh on Wednesday to unveil measures to support the newly formed Syrian group. The meeting comes as rebel forces in Syria have scored a number of victories
against the government of Bashar alAssad in recent weeks and have intensified a push towards Damascus. A draft declaration at the meeting states that the members were prepared to recognise the opposition coalition as “the legitimate representative of the Syrian people”. It also called on President Asad to “stand aside” in order to allow “a sustainable political transition” process. “It’s going to be a major diplomatic achievement, coupled with the gains made on the ground by the rebels, this is something that will push them to press ahead today with major demands,” reported Al Jazeera’s Hashem Ahelbarra from Marrakesh. Speaking at the conference, Moaz al-Khateeb, the leader of the
coalition, said that if the Syrian government used chemical weapons against his people, the opposition will hold the international community, and particularly Russia, responsible. He has also urged Syria’s Alawites to rise in “civil disobedience” against Assad and called on Iran to withdraw any personnel it had “providing assistance” to the Syrian government. Khateeb said that the coalition needed not just political backing, but also financial support, particularly the setting up of a reconstruction fund. He also said that members of the Syrian government should be charged in the International Criminal Court. On the eve of the talks, Barack Obama, the US president, announced that his government would be recognising the coali-
tion as Syria’s “legitimate representative”. His announcement stopped short of authorising the US to supply weapons to the opposition, however. Fighting has intensified in recent days, with rebels claiming they have taken over a large military base near the city of Aleppo, and both sides trading mortar and artillery fire in southern Damascus. On Wednesday, the state SANA news agency reported that at least one person had been killed and several others wounded in two bomb blasts in the Syrian capital and Jaramana, a southeastern suburb of the city. The government forces’ firepower is still superior to that of the rebels’, however, and the latter have repeatedly asked the international community to aid
them by providing heavy weapons. Little in the way of direct military or financial support is expected to be channelled to the coalition at the Morocco meeting, partly because it lacks the ability to act as a provisional government and because Western powers are still wary of backing certain fighters in the rebel ranks. On Tuesday, the US declared the alNusra Front, part of the opposition Free Syrian Army, a “terrorist organisation”, terming it an offshoot of al-Qaeda in Iraq. The opposition, dogged by splits and rivalries, as well as a lack of clarity on the command structure of its armed wings, established a more unified political opposition and military command, in a bid to win international support.
Putin warns of foreign meddling in russia MoScoW: Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has warned against foreign meddling in Russian politics and criticised opposition politicians of being in the pay of foreign interests. “Direct or indirect meddling in our internal political process is unacceptable,” Putin said in his annual state of the nation address on Wednesday. Putin, who last year accused the United States of encouraging opposition protests and claimed foreign governments spend money to seek to influence elections, said Russians receiving money from abroad should be barred from politics. “A politician who receives money from beyond the borders of the Russian Federation cannot be a politician on its territory,” added Putin. The state of the nation speech is the first by Putin since winning a third term in March’s election despite a wave of massive protests in Moscow. In July, Putin signed a bill forcing foreign funded nongovernmental groups involved in political activity to register as “foreign agents” in Russia. Sergai Strokan, a staff writer for the Russian newspaper Kommersant told Al Jazeera that “Putin’s speech was telling the opposition to think twice before they hit the streets in protest as they are now labelled as foreign agents.” In the speech that also focused heavily on social issues, Putin promised to encourage families to have more children, create 25 million new jobs and develop new incentives for teachers, doctors, engineers and others. Turning to the economy, he said: “Our entrepreneurs have often been accused of lacking patriotism. “According to available data, nine out of 10 transactions by them go unchecked by our laws.” He also pledged to support “institutions that represent traditional spiritual values,” a hint at even more state support for the Russian Orthodox Church. In August, three members of the punk band Pussy Riot were sentenced to two years in prison for performing a protest song in Moscow’s main cathedral against the church’s backing for Putin. One of them was released on appeal, but two others are serving their sentences despite an international outrage over what was widely seen as the intolerance to dissent in Russia. Putin said Russia would follow its own view on democracy and shrug off any “standards enforced on us from outside.” Putin said that on the global stage Russia’s task will be to preserve its “national and spiritual identity,” adding that the strengthening of the nation’s military might should “guarantee its independence and security.” aGeNCIes
atMeH: syrian boys walk to their tent at a camp for displaced people. AgeNcIeS
Mali’s president names new PM BAMAKO aGeNCIes
Mali’s interim president, Dioncounda Traore, has named a new prime minister to replace Cheick Modibo Diarra, who quit under pressure from former coup leaders. Diango Sissoko, a longtime civil servant, was appointed on Tuesday, less than 24 hours after Diarra announced his resignation on state television after being arrested as he tried to leave the country for France. The former coup leaders are opposed to foreign military intervention to drive out Islamists occupying the northern half of the country while Diarra has called for UN backing of such a move. Bakary Mariko, a spokesperson for the group of soldiers who seized power in a March 21 coup, told
France 24 television that Diarra’s resignation was “not a new coup d’etat”. Mariko said Diarra was arrested as he tried to leave the country after “inciting trouble” and was put under house arrest. The interim president said a new government would be formed by the end of the week. The UN Security Council condemned Diarra’s arrest and renewed a threat to impose sanctions against those hampering “constitutional order”. The Security Council said the action contravenes repeated UN calls for the Malian military to stop interfering in the west African nation’s transition. The 15-nation body stressed its “commitment to authorising as soon as possible the deployment of an African-led international support mission in Mali”. France is drawing up a resolu-
tion giving a mandate to an international force. But negotiations have been prolonged by US opposition to sending just an African-led force to Mali.Diarra had been the interim prime minister since April when the army handed power back to civilians. Cissoko told the AFP news agency that his priorities were to regain control of the north from Islamists and organise a general election. “The priority is the recovery of the north and the organisation of elections.... I want to create a government of national unity,” he said. The US condemned the latest developments, with state department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland saying: “We condemn this act by the military junta and insist that it halt its continued interference in Malian political affairs and government.” Nuland said the events illus-
trated “the need to get as quickly as possible to free and fair elections, ideally by April 23rd or as soon as it’s technically feasible.” Jim Terrie, a former senior analyst with the International Crisis Group, a think-tank, told Al Jazeera that the prime minister had quit due to pressure from those behind the coup. “I think it’s a way of saying to the prime minister and the interim president - those civilian aspects of the current government - that ‘we’re still in control,’” Terrie said from Sydney, Australia. For several weeks, tension has been mounting between the soldiers who led Mali’s coup and Diarra. Last weekend, Diarra organised a demonstration calling for a UN resolution to back a planned military intervention to retake Mali’s north from armed groups.
Israel to keep Palestinian funds for months TEL AvIv aGeNCIes
Israel will withhold tax revenues from the Palestinian administration until at least March, in response to the Palestinians’ bid for statehood at the UN, Israel’s foreign minister says. Under current peace deals, Israel collects about $100 million every month in duties on behalf of the Palestinian Authority (PA) in the occupied West Bank. That money is primarily used to pay public sector salaries.
Thursday, 13 December, 2012
“The Palestinians can forget about getting even one cent in the coming four months, and in four months’ time we will decide how to proceed,” Avigdor Lieberman, the Israel foreign minister, said in a speech on Tuesday night. Israel says Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas violated previous peace accords by side-stepping stalled negotiations and securing a Palestinian status upgrade in the United Nations last month. The December funds transfer has already been withheld, with Israel saying
that the money would be used to begin payments on the $200 million the Palestinians owe the Israel Electric corporation. Lieberman, a hardline member of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s conservative coalition government, said that the Palestinians also had another debt with the Israeli water authority. “Israel is not prepared to accept unilateral steps by the Palestinian side, and anyone who thinks they will achieve concessions and gains this way is wrong,” he said. Yasser Abed Rabbo, a senior Palestinian official, said earlier this month that
Israel was guilty of “piracy and theft” by refusing to hand over the funds. The European Union has also criticised Israel for withholding the funds. “Contractual obligations ... regarding full, timely, predictable and transparent transfer of tax and custom revenues have to be respected,” it said on Monday. Israel has previous frozen payments to the PA during times of political or security crisis, provoking strong international criticism. The last time it took this step was when the UN cultural body UNESCO
granted the Palestinians full membership a year ago. Israel was one of nine countries who late last month voted against upgrading the Palestinians’ observer status to “nonmember state” at the UN General Assembly. Hours after the UN vote, Israel said it would authorise 3,000 new settler homes in the West Bank and East Jerusalem and expedite planning work for thousands more in a geographically sensitive area close to Jerusalem. Critics say this plan will kill off Palestinian hopes of a viable state.
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News 09 Islam second largest religion in Britain LoNDoN: With more than five percent population, Islam is the second largest religion of Britain after Christianity, a census revealed on Wednesday. Britain 2011 Census showed that around 3 million people living in Britain were Muslims, 35 million Christians, 817,000 Hindu’s and only 263,000 Jewish, who, however, are considered the most powerful community in the United Kingdom. According to the survey, around 4 million migrants have settled in the UK during the last 10 years. The figures also show that around 7.5 million people who were born abroad were living in the UK; more than half of whom are living there since 2001. The highest numbers of people who have migrated are from India (238,000), then from Poland and with 170,000 immigrants, Pakistan is on the third. “This means that 71 per cent of the overall population growth in the last decade is accounted for by the non-UK resident population. In London, more than half the people in the boroughs of Brent, Newham, Westminster, Kensington and Chelsea were born abroad,” the report said. The census results revealed that England remains a nation of shopkeepers, more than 200 years after the phrase was coined. The most common job is working in the retail or wholesale trade, with nearly one in every six people employed in supplying and selling goods and services. Health and social work is the second most common occupation with more than 12.5 percent; and with 8.9 percent, education is on number three. MajId KHattaK
QUetta: an elderly man sits near a bonfire to keep himself warm as the temperature decreased considerably across the province on wednesday. INP
Youth to compete against looters in coming polls: Imran Khan LAYYAH
AKISTAN Tehreek-eInsaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan has said the nation’s youth would compete against looters in upcoming general election. Addressing a public meeting in Layyah on Wednesday, Khan said the looters were going to contest the polls with the money they embezzled. “A conspiracy is being hatched to win the election by doling out money,” he said. “The youth will block the way of looters…tested faces will not be allowed to come to power again,” he said. He vowed to build a new Pakistan
and usher an era where the green passport would be respected across the world. “We will build a Pakistan where the poor will be able to live a respectable life.” The PTI chairman asked the people of Karachi not to vote for any party that had a militant wing if they wanted to bring back peace to the city of lights. He said his party had an alliance with the youth of Pakistan. “We have said it again and again that Karachi is being destroyed. The people of Karachi should decide not to vote for a party that has a militant wing,” he added. He said the PTI was the only party that conducted free and fair internal elections in which everyone was given a chance to participate.
All UK visa seekers to be interviewed from now LONDON staff report
Foreign students and prospective immigrants will be interviewed before being issued visas for the United Kingdom, the British home secretary said on Monday. Britain Home Secretary Theresa May said that from next April onwards, the border staff will question all prospective immigrants in order to root out the abuse of the visa system, while making sure that UK remains as a destination for foreign students to study at. Last year, the UK Border Agency began a pilot scheme in which “high-risk student visa applicants” from Pakistan and elsewhere were interviewed instead of the usual paper-based checks. More than 2,300 prospective students were questioned. In a speech to London-based think tank, Policy Exchange, Theresa May said, “The lesson from that pilot scheme was clear. Abuse was rife, paper-based checks were ineffective, and the interviews being conducted by entry clearance officers, with the freedom to use their own judgment in doubtful cases, were working.” “The government wants to strike a balance between encouraging the lucrative market in higher education and ensuring that student visas are not being used as a backdoor route into working in Britain,” she said. However, she assured that there was no cap on the number of students being allowed to study in UK and neither was there any plan to introduce one.
He said the PTI planned to strengthen the federation, while all other parties sought only to strengthen a particular province. “You can see how all other parties fear the PTI when we have not even taken part in elections, but they are still frightened,” he said. Lashing out at the Sharifs, Khan said the family of exhibitionist Sharif (a reference to Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif) was posing as Mughal emperors. He urged the youth to get ready to shape a new Pakistan with righteous principles. PTI leader Shah Mehmood Qureshi said Imran Khan had now become a public leader and the PTI had emerged as a public party. “We will open the PTI office in every locality,” Qureshi added.
Balochistan MPA Domki attacked in Quetta
QUETTA: Unidentified armed men attacked the caravan of Balochistan MPA Mir Bakhtiar Domki on Wednesday. Domki was on his way to Quetta when he was attacked and fired at near Bolan area in which several of Domki’s bodyguards got injured, however, the parliamentarian remained unhurt. In February, Domki’s wife and daughter were shot dead in Karachi by armed motorcyclists. INp
leadership of a third country not required post us-withdrawal: Pak, afghan mPs ISLAMABAD app
Parliamentarians from Afghanistan and Pakistan met on Wednesday for the seventh Pak-Afghan Parliamentarians Dialogue and agreed that supremacy or leadership of a third country in the region was not needed at present or following withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan. The parliamentarians agreed that the prospect of US and NATO troops exit from Afghanistan posed both, opportunities and challenges, for Afghanistan and Pakistan. The two countries, they said, needed to work together to convert these challenges into opportunities. They supported the need for a candid and continued dialogue on critical issues. Both sides, however, agreed that dialogue and diplomacy should be conducted through diplomatic and parliamentary channels and not through media. The MPs recognised and appreciated the diplomatic initiatives undertaken by the two countries in the
recent past to improve relations. They stressed that difficulties and trust-deficits in the relationship could only be overcome through bilateral dialogue. They concluded that Pakistan’s stability was in the interest of Afghanistan and vice versa. They agreed that the two countries must look to find political solutions to the issues at hand. The meeting was co-chaired by Senator Abdulwali Raji, member of the Meshrano Jirga, and Mirwais Yasini, member of the Wolesi Jirga. Afghan MPs who joined the dialogue included Senator Ahmad Mawen, Senator Bahramkhan Samkani, Senator Baz Mohammad Zormati, Senator Mohammad Amin Safi, Senator Nisar Ahmad Hares, Abdul Ghaffar Qael and Abdul Latif Pedram. Pakistani MPs belonging to different parties participated in the dialogue including National Assembly Deputy Speaker Faisal Karim Kundi, Senator Jehangir Bader, Senate Chiarman Nayyar Bokhari, Senator Raja Zafarul Haq, National
Assembly Opposition Leader Chaudhry Nisar and Senate Standing Committee on Industries and Production Chairman Senator Muhammad Adeel. They further stressed on the continuation and acceleration of talks on peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan. The Parliamentary Friendship Groups in the two Parliaments must play an effective role in removing mistrust between the brotherly countries, said members from both sides. The parliamentarians further highlighted that earlier recommendations from the sixth Pak-Afghan Parliamentary Dialogues must be implemented at the earliest. Of these, special mention was accorded to control over cultivation and trafficking of illicit drugs and related substances and enhancing border security management. On conclusion of the dialogue, parliamentarians from both sides agreed to share the joint declaration with their respective parliaments and foreign offices.
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10 Comment Dedicated to the legacy of the late Hameed Nizami
Obama’s second term full plate of Middle east challenges
Arif Nizami Editor Lahore – Ph: 042-36375963-5 Fax: 042-32535230 Karachi – Ph: 021-35381208-9 Fax: 021-35381208 Islamabad – Ph: 051-2287414-6 Fax: 051-2287417 Web: www.pakistantoday.com.pk Email: email@example.com
Acting against safe havens Not a one-way action
ribal areas remain a source of anguish, both for Pakistan and for its allies. This is all the more so in the case of the two Waziristan agencies. Most of the high profile attacks inside Pakistan have been planned here. The TTP’s logistic centre continues to move from one side to the other. It is here that the various organization s that comprise the militant network have set up facilities for training their agents, providing them sanctuary and support. The bombing of the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad was planned here. Pakistan military decided to launch an operation in South Waziristan after getting credible evidence that the attack on the GHQ had also originated from the agency. While the elections are to be held within months, the TTP has issued threats to attack the public gatherings of secular political parties. Western media reporters have been taken to these agencies to interview the militant leaders. The Punjabi Taliban and prominent Al Qaeda leaders have been killed in drone attacks in North Waziristan. The two safe havens are also a major source of friction between Pakistan, Afghanistan and the US. Long before the US raised the issue, Kabul had been claiming that a number of attacks inside Afghanistan emanated from North and South Waziristan. Washington also has been making similar complaints. Pakistan has so far avoided to launch a full scale offensive in North Waziristan despite immense pressure from its allies on the ground that it was not properly prepared for it. It cannot afford to wait any longer. With the US and its allies preparing to leave by the end of 2014, the militancy has to be brought under check within two years. There is an urgent need on the part of the US, Pakistan and Afghanistan to devise a joint strategy for the containment of militancy through both military action and dialogue with the Afghan Taliban. This alone can ensure that Afghanistan is not turned into a safe haven for Al Qaeda, Afghan Taliban and the TTP. A failure to do so is likely to turn the region into the centre of international terrorism, posing an existential threat to Pakistan. Islamabad can no longer afford to bury its head in the sand. The clarification by the TTP that there was going to be no change in its leadership should lead the Pakistani agencies to shed unrealistic hopes of a policy turnaround in the militant outfit. The US, Pakistan and Afghanistan have to act jointly to eliminate the terrorist threat. Pakistan meanwhile needs to link up any operation in North Waziristan with a similar operation by the NATO inside Afghanistan against TTP leaders like Mullah Fazlullah who continue to launch attacks inside Pakistan from across the border.
washington watch By Dr James J Zogby
s President Obama gears up to begin a second term, his Middle East agenda will be more complex and potentially more consuming and dangerous than the one he inherited from his predecessor four years ago. Back then, the pressing priorities were: winding down the US military presence in Iraq; pursuing an Israeli-Palestinian peace; rebuilding America's damaged image and frayed relationships across the region; confronting violent extremism; and reigning in Iran's nuclear ambitions. Today, the US military is out of Iraq and a recent Zogby Research poll shows that after a dip in 2011, there has been a marked improvement in the approval ratings given to the US across much of the region. That, however, is the only good news. The rest of the story is deeply troubling owing, in large part, to the unsettling effects of the crumbling of the region's old order. While the US is limited in its ability to manage the fallout of the "Arab Spring", the Obama Administration continues to believe that it is in the US’s interests to assist, where we can, and to seek to mitigate, where possible, the hardships or the violence that has flowed from these largely internal developments. The bottom line is that Washington will have its hands full in the Middle East in the coming years. What follows is a snapshot of the problems the US will face: Egypt: Because of its size, position, and cultural and political leadership role, Egypt remains a key player in the Arab World. When Egypt had its "Arab Spring" moment, the impact on the entire region was profound. If anything has been made clear, however, by the events of the past few weeks, it is that the revolutionary process that is reshaping Egypt is far from over. It appears that the Muslim Brotherhood has overreached seeking not
only to win elections, but to use its victory to monopolise power and silence opponents. This has caused a backlash that has further destabilised the country. The US has some economic leverage here and is attempting to maintain a balance between respecting Egypt's fledgling democracy while insisting that the Morsi government protect political freedoms and work to compromise with its opposition. How this will play out is far from certain, but Egypt and the success of its democracy will remain a concern. Israeli-Palestinian peace: The rights of Palestinians, always at the core of Arab and regional concerns, will of necessity continue to be front and centre on the Administration's agenda. It will be there because Palestinians continue to insist that their rights be recognised, because the rightward drift in Israeli politics continues to lead to policies which inflame tensions, and because the US credibility is tied up with how we deal with this issue that continues to evoke such deep passion across the Arab World. Syria: The situation in Syria goes from bad to worse. The Assad government continues its bloody assault on its own people as it is confronted by an increasingly radicalised and militarised opposition that has taken hold in several parts of the country. The US and allied efforts to fuse together a more broadly based political opposition have been somewhat successful, but serious questions remain about the ability of this grouping to control, or even relate to, armed elements operating throughout the country. Syrians remain deeply divided, with growing fears that we may see sectarian blood-letting – like what occurred during Lebanon's "long war" or during the US occupation of Iraq. There are voices in the US and the region calling for increasing arms to the opposition or the establishment of a "no-fly zone" or other forms of intervention. But none of these proposals address the "day after" questions. Given this, the nightmare of Syria will either drag on, as is, for the foreseeable future, or be resolved by the collapse of the regime, or a, at best, messy negotiated compromise leading to a transitional government. But whatever scenario plays out, the Syrian "Pandora's Box" has been opened and will not close anytime soon. Syria’s fallout: Already the fallout from Syria is being felt region wide. There are heightened sectarian and ethnic tensions in Lebanon, Turkey, and Iraq. And vulnerable Jordan has been impacted as
well. Kurds in Syria are demanding independence and being aided by compatriots in neighbouring countries. In other areas, Sunni/Shia tensions have been exacerbated, and Christians in Syria and region wide are feeling threatened. Add to this, the looming humanitarian crisis caused by the increasing influx of refugees and the tragedy of Syria promises to be a major concern that will consume the Administration for years to come. Iran: Pressure continues from Israel's friends in Washington and from several Arab Gulf states for the Administration to deal with Iran's nuclear programme. Should the President make a renewed overture to engage with Iran, it is hoped that the Islamic Republic will respond wisely. It would also be smart for Washington to take a page from its approach to North Korea and to include Arab allies in the conversation and not sideline them as has been done in the past. No one should have an interest in a military confrontation. Neither the US, nor the countries in the region, will benefit from the crisis that would ensue. Should that occur, the already existing full plate of issues facing the Administration and the region will only become more complicated and more out of control than they are at present. But, there should be no doubt that pressure will continue and tough choices will have to be made to resolve the issue of Iran's programme. And finally...: If all this were not enough, there are still fires burning in other areas that will continue to require attention. Iraq's internal political situation remains quite tense and could easily flare up in renewed violence. Libya is still largely out of control with armed militias operating beyond the control of that country's newly elected government. Bahrain's sectarian tensions are still simmering and unresolved. And, despite the death of bin Laden, extremist groups, far from defeated, have metastasised into diverse regional threats taking root in several conflict zones. And so before pundits and policymakers glibly speak of US policy “pivoting East”, as if the Middle East is an “old story” with which we are finished, it is important to understand that the challenges the region presents remain serious and, despite our limited influence to direct outcomes, they will continue to require attention in the coming years. Thus begins the second term. The writer is President of the ArabAmerican Institute.
Objection, My Lord! why the flowers only for Hamid Mir?
By Ch Shoaib Saleem
our Excellency holds the top-most office in the country, that too of dispensing with justice to the deprived and the down-trodden. Your Lordship has earned unprecedented respect and honour that no chief justice in the world has ever dreamed of. Your Honour reinvigorated the hopes of the oppressed and the aggrieved to the level that no one felt himself sans justice. Your Highness stood against every force bent upon damaging democracy and the state institutions. We the Pakistanis would never have imagined such a scrupulous, meticulous and conscientious chief justice that Your Lordship has turned out into. Whether it was the issue of Steel Mills or Railways, missing persons in Balochistan or
Thursday, 13 December, 2012
law and order situation in Karachi, the inflated prices of CNG or the petroleum products, the supremacy of law or defending the constitution, and whether it was the matter of agencies’ aggression or transgression, everything was dealt in accordance with the law and in true spirit of justice. This all, My Lord, became possible only because of you. Endless examples of suo motu cases are to your credit for the betterment and integrity of the country. Conducting of next general elections under the supervision of judicial officers through your consent will prove another momentous decision in strengthening the true spirit of our feeble democracy in the country. Every observation made by Your Majesty’s office has the full force of law. Newspapers across the country carry every word of yours as headlines on front pages. And readers find their self-confidence bolstered thinking they might get some amount of looted money back to the national exchequer from the corrupt atop. Thy Majesty’s landmark judgments have put the democracy onto strong footings, thereby letting the people have a great political treasure in the future. Notwithstanding all such historic achievements, Your Honour, I have just one question, with all due respect. Why did Hamid Mir get a special treatment, given special prestige and honour, and received a bouquet of flowers given by Your Lordship?
True, he has earned good name and fame through his profession. Any attempt of killing a Pakistani must be condemned in the strongest possible terms irrespective of how higher the status he enjoys. This we should do for Mr Mir as well who is doing a great job just as well as thousands of other journalists and professionals are doing in the country. Though naïve in legal matters, I have been an ardent supporter of the black coats’ movement. I have as much grave concerns over the future of the country as Your Lordship has being the Chief Justice of Pakistan. But your acts have bruised my feelings and hurt me deeply. Why were the flowers sent only to Hamid Mir and not to thousands of other journalists who fell ill, wounded, died and perished in terror attacks, that too when Mr Mir himself is a petitioner against the information ministry in a case lying pending before the Supreme Court? No doubt Your Honour has maintained beyond any doubt equiponderance in all cases as is demanded and expected of a judge as per Article 1 of the Code of Conduct for the Judges of the Superior Judiciary in its letter and spirit. I must openly acknowledge, as the record of yours office reveals, that you are God-fearing, law-abiding, abstemious, truthful of tongue, wise in opinion, cautious and forbearing, blameless, and untouched by greed. But the Article II of the said conduct
says that a judge must ensure ‘balance, complete detachment for the formation of correct conclusions in all matters coming before him’. Moreover, a judge must ‘maintain an equal aspect towards all litigants as well as lawyers appearing before him’. Also that he must be ‘above reproach, and for this purpose to keep his conduct in all things, official and private, free from impropriety, is expected of a Judge (Article III).’ Your Honour, this is what you and your colleagues working in the superior judiciary are expected of. Nothing more, nothing less. In Mr Mir’s case, some feelings, no matter the highest standard of morality may have demanded this, has been shown and expressed openly by Your Lordship for the ‘petitioner’. He (Mr Mir) should have been treated like any other aggrieved party by approach Your Lordship. The philosophy of detachment and seclusion for dispensing with justice, if violated, can hardly keep any judge ‘above reproach’. Inquiring after some one’s health and sending him bouquets by all definitions do touch the boundary of socialisation if they do not completely come within the ambit of socialisation. And which, My Lord, can prejudice a judge for or against the party appearing before him. Though being above reproach is quite an impossible task while dealing with a highprofile cases, that too of political nature. But what can stop all this from happening is the
cautious attitude of judges to keep their conduct free from impropriety. And the bonafide violation on Thy Majesty’s part drew hard criticism by the executive as the respondent, Qamar Zaman Kaira, promptly reacted against it and cast aspersions on Your Lordship’s act. Through he said it in a subtle manner but the people got the message he intended to convey, thus materialising the consequences which the code of conduct has epitomised in its text. Who else better knows than Your Majesty that all are equal before law and every citizen is equally entitled constitutionally to enjoy all basic rights guaranteed to him by the constitution. A commoner in the open sky in severe chill outside the Supreme Court has as much the same rights towards Your Lordship as did Mr Mir and vice versa. More than anything else, the missing persons case, and many others indeed, are in need of your attention. My Lord, justice is deaf, dumb, indifferent, callous, and has no commiseration for sobbing, bawling and wailing but for the supremacy of law. Justice is blind and sees all people equally whether it is you or an aggrieved person on hunger strike outside Your Majesty’s court or Hamid Mir. All are equal before law and all must be treated so. The writer is a staff member and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Editor’s mail Send your letters to: Letters to Editor, Pakistan Today, 4-Shaarey Fatima Jinnah, Lahore, Pakistan. Fax: +92-42-36298302. E-mail: email@example.com. Letters should be addressed to Pakistan Today exclusively.
oic: some recommendations It is a very appalling reality that the largest Muslim Intergovernmental Organization, OIC, also called the toothless tiger, has not functioned in accordance with its coveted charter since its inception. What adds to its being dysfunctional is its inactive, unclear and haphazard stance on the core issues of Palastine and Kashmir. Meager steps have been taken so far except rhetorical statements and claims. This is a deplorable and abominable condition that the 57 Muslim countries despite constituting almost 1/3 of the whole world population along with a huge share in the oil, gas, coal and manpower resources are that much incapable to frame any result-oriented and common agenda. The recent Israeli atrocities in the occupied Palestine are huge blows on the existence of OIC. The hue and cry of the Palestinians in the very hub and center of the Muslim land speaks volumes of the standstill and slumber of the OIC and demand for reformations. It is high time the OIC took prompt U-Turn in restructuring its policies. Why is it not that much achieving like EU, ASEAN, SCO and NATO? Here are some are recommendations for its rise and size in the international decision making circles: 1) There should be a common Muslim currency in OIC on the format of E.U Euro. 2) There should be harmony between its rhetoric and action in place of hollow wits. 3) A joint force of all the Islamic countries on the format of NATO so that any aggression can be dealt with an iron hand. 4) A communiqué dealing with the joint strategy for vacating the occupied Muslim territories should be released; otherwise a strict boycott of the imperial setup should be launched. 5) Last but not the least, there should be functionalism and not merely ritualism or formality gathering. The Muslim can get their renaissance through collective efforts, revival of Islamic values and updated seminary. IMTIAZ AHMAD Karachi
breaking from rustic customs It has been more than six decades that we became a sovereign independent state after a constitutional struggle waged by men like Allama Iqbal, Maulana Fazalul Haq etc, led by Quaide-Azam Mohammadd Ali Jinnah. This was to rid Muslims of economic slavery by an affluent Hindu majority with large feudal land holdings and political clout that they held. The British occupation used lands as bribes to win loyalties of natives recruited in bureaucracy and uniformed services to perpetuate their rule, a practice which they never adopted within their own country. Even after more than 65 years, vested interests continue to cling to this culture of state lands being doled to paid servants and political loyalists. This insatiable greed for assets has
made these vultures biggest collaborators of land mafia, with few rogues going from rags to riches, getting political power, destroying our moral and ethical value system and compromising individual rights of citizens granted by constitution. Instead of adopting political culture of Quaid-e-Azam, what we have acquired is sickening feudal political culture, where brute force and bondage has served the interests of former collaborators of Colonial Raj, who were showered with state lands and titles as a reward for betraying their motherland. The consequences of adopting culture of violence and abuse is rise in street crimes, kidnapping for ransom, target killings, rape, slave bondage, human trafficking, drugs and unchecked flight of capital.
before it’s too late For decades, we have been ruled by a bunch of elites. In Ayub Khan’s era, there were 22 families who had the total control over the state affairs and the economy. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was able to end this monopoly but he failed to end the feudal system. Even now things are the same, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) are ruling this country for the past few decades and during their reign nothing has changed. People are still confronted with their basic needs and common man is entangled in the web of poverty. Food, clothing and shelter are some of the main problems of people and PPP couldn’t even provide them. In fact inflation rose to its heights in PPP regime. A similar situation there was in Nawaz Sharif’s tenure where there was uncertainty in every step. In 2008 elections, PPP got the mandate of 180 million people and made a coalition government. People expected a lot more from the co-Chairperson of PPP Mr Asif Ali Zardari but things didn’t go the way people wanted. Corruption, lawlessness, terrorism and inflation were among the grave issues people faced and nobody was there to grieve the affected. The PML-N came as a major opposition party criticising the negative steps of the PPP-led government and advocating themselves as the real politicians sincere to the country. In the parliament, Leader of the Opposition Ch Nisar strongly criticises PPP for their negative policies. This portrays that PML-N is the real political party which is advocating the rights of the people. Many criticise Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif for being a friendly opposition and this thing is now getting true as 2013 general elections are getting near and Nawaz Sharif seems to abide by the rules set by the President of Pakistan Mr Asif Ali Zardari. A few days ago, Nawaz Sharif said that he had no problem in becoming the prime minister under the presidency of Asif Ali Zardari. However, it’s the same Nawaz Sharif who used to openly criticise Asif Ali Zardari on his negative policies. The PPP has also developed a soft corner for PML-N as they have begun to favour Nawaz Sharif and CM Punjab Shahbaz Sharif. In a recent statement,
The British may have left, but those who have sworn oath of loyalty to UK or USA continue to plunder this country and destroy our economy. Nations prosper only, when they shed the negative customs adopted over years, and accept what are universally accepted norms, such as freedom of expression, equal access to opportunities, supremacy of law and submission to majesty of the writ of law. American reformation from the Wild West culture started only after Lincoln abolished slavery in 1865, inspite of fierce opposition from Southern states, who insisted it was part of their culture. Norway broke away from brutality of its Viking past and is today become a symbolic welfare state. Far East places like Singapore and
issued by the PPP’s Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Qamar Zaman Kaira, he said that no power could stop Mian Nawaz Sharif from becoming the next prime minister. This shocks the whole population that how two rival political parties who were violent enemies suddenly turned into close friends. This shows that these two political parties made an agreement regarding the future of Pakistan. For the past few years, the senior politicians and analysts used to say that there was a secret agreement between Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto, where they decided that first it will be PPP’s government and the next will be of Nawaz Sharif’s. As PPP is done with their tenure now, it’s time for Mian Nawaz Sharif to take the place and for that the whole establishment has begun to work in that way, paving way for Nawaz Sharif’s future government. It’s a dilemma that the PPP created a mess in their five-year government and Nawaz Sharif was just aiding them, acting as a friendly opposition. We must wake up and show the entire community their true colours or else another democratic dictatorship will occur and this will throw our country in the hands of enemies. Imran Khan is still better off than these, as he has never joined hands with any one of them and criticised both PML-N and PPP for supporting each other. These political parties have decided our future; they are controlling us directly and indirectly so that they can fill their pockets at the expense of the poor. They are ruling us turn by turn and we have to stop them anyway. We have the power to nominate the rightful person and nobody can stop us from doing that. We should use our power to vote appropriately and vote the right person deserving it. We have to stop it before it’s too late. SYED MUHAMMAD ABUBAKER Lahore
Stabbing the country in the back Babar Awan surprised me by coming out in support of Kalabagh dam in a TV interview. He also criticised the cowardly stand of some parties on the issue. Obviously, he was hinting at PML-N. The ground real-
Malaysia used to be littered with filth, until state moved to enforce writ of law by severely punishing those involved in drugs etc. Today if anybody spits chewing gum or beetle leaves known as pan in subcontinent, or even a piece of paper in public place anywhere in the developed part of Far East, heavy fines equivalent to US$100 are imposed. No private citizen, other than uniformed law enforcement, can dare carry a gun in public. It is the strict penalties that enforce the rule of law, not mere enactment of laws, rhetoric or seminars. The choice is that individuals, without any exception and society as a whole submit to laws, or else anarchy and jungle law prevails. MALIK TARIQ ALI Illinois, USA
ity, seeing the violent reaction to the Lahore High Court judgement in Sindh and KPK, is that any party supporting the dam will be wiped out in Sindh and KPK in the elections. This will mean giving a blank cheque to PPP. Which perhaps is a fate even worse than not building Kalabagh dam, because Pakistan will not survive another five years of PPP. Imran Khan also talks of consensus but not construction. Even Musharraf had to make a hasty retreat when faced with a white wash for his party in Sindh. Benazir has not only turned her own people against Kalabagh dam with her unprincipled somersaults but has also made it impossible for any other party even to talk about it being essential for the country, leave alone build it. If I was an orthodox Muslim I would say God will punish her for stabbing the country in the back, but alas even that consolation is not available to me. KHURSHID ANWER Lahore
if we succeed As we look around the world and see people celebrating Human Rights Day, the day to affirm those inalienable rights instituted in UN Declaration of Human rights such as right to life, liberty and security etcetera; our urge to lose all our hope is but very human. The frequent alienation of several citizens of Pakistan from these very rights is evident in the genocide of Shia Muslims, destruction of Hindus' temples, desecration of graves in Ahmadiyya graveyards, acid burnings of women, torture of journalists, widespread illiteracy and child labour (just to name a few maladies routinely heard of). If we succeed in at least instilling the spirit of acquiring education in our coming generation and create opportunities of educational for all, it will be only be a matter of time when people begin to realize the value of rights they own and who deserves to be elected... and more often than not, it will be the one who at least provides hope that all these long lost inherent rights will be restored. ATIF KHAN Lahore
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Fall For Pelle CaPanna Prince William breaks silence on Duchess Kate’s pregnancy
HE Duke of Cambridge, Prince william, has broken his silence on his wife’s pregnancy and revealed that Duchess Kate is beginning to feel better after suffering from acute morning sickness. The royal broke this news at the winter whites gala in aid of Centrepoint, the homeless charity, of which he is patron. The 30-year-old joked about the inappropriate name of his wife’s recent illness, which saw her hospitalised for three nights earlier this week.“i don’t know why they call it morning sickness - they should call it all day and all night sickness. it’s a long old process but she is getting there. She feels like it is going to go on forever,” the Mirror quoted him as saying. News desK
manisha Koirala's surgery successful
C T R E S S Manisha Koirala, who was recently diagnosed with ovarian cancer, underwent a successful surgery in new York on Monday. "Manisha underwent a surgery on Monday at around 9 am. i got a message from her family members and they said it was a successful surgery," Subroto ghosh, Manisha's manager, told iAnS. "Manisha's mother, father and her brother are by her side. one of her close friends is also there with her," he added. Several speculations regarding her health were made following her hospitalisation in Mumbai. Manisha was admitted to the Jaslok Hospital nov 28 after she reportedly fell unconscious. However, the reason behind her illness was not made clear. later it was reported that she is flying to the US for treatment for cancer. The actress, who has worked in critically acclaimed films like Dil Se and 1942: A love Story, made her debut with Saudagar in 1991. She recently made a comeback with Ram gopal Varma's Bhoot Returns. News desK
Bruno mars sings song for Cheryl Cole
ingER Bruno Mars surprised Cheryl Cole by singing a song specially for her dressing room. Bruno, 27, went outside Cheryl's dressing room and and sung his hit single "Just the way you are " in front of her. The former's mother was also present there. "Bruno came up to Cheryl and her mum out of nowhere and just started singing to her. He looked her in the eyes the whole time, it was very sweet," dailystar.co.uk quoted a source as saying. Cheryl is dating dancer Tre Holloway. News desK
Thursday, 13 December, 2012
I T H winter freezing our days and the increasing need to fight off the chills, there is no better option but to make leather your best friend. That’s must for warm trendy look. Instead of cladding yourself in layers of wool commencing from ice age, it would be wise to keep the warmth in single layer of leather. Why leather? Simple. Leather is hot! The past few years have seen immense change in winter dressing. Leather coats plus Leather boats have become hot favorite. You’ll even see teachers in it. As for Leather jackets, they’ll never go out of style. Pelle Capanna’s leather jackets in shades of black or brown that goes perfectly with darker colored jeans. A matching leather handbag and Pelle Capanna’s cover for your electronic notebook and an iPhone case will complement the jacket and complete the look of the sophisticated urban man. But for many of us, women, who prefer warm clothing other than leather in our casual routine, accessories in leather are the best option to top the trend list. Get ready to indulge in Pelle Capanna’s collection of leather handbags, jackets, shoes and accessories. Worn with jeans, the jackets add an extra zing to an old outfit. Get done with the image of fragile femininity. Make a bold statement this season with leather. Categorizing its leather bounty in six different product lines, Pelle Capanna has something for everyone. Liberating the Social Butterfly from the stereo typical image of forged style and attitude, Pelle Capanna introduces a chic range of high-fashion leather ensemble and accessories. So shield yourself from the wicked wild wind while you’re on your social spree.As for The Urban Woman, well she has enough space in her hand-bag to carry all the nuts and bolts. Go for leather bags with depth. Throw your files, stationery, and wallet and make up pouch in. It’s the best pick for style and usability. If you are the Man of Substance, define character with leather; strong, tough and valuable. There are mobile covers and laptop bags made out of lush leather, to be kept in use when the rest of the world has forgotten the phrase ‘It’s not about the technology you carry but it’s the way you handle it’.For The Urban Man paving his way to success, stand out in Pelle Capanna designs that give you edgy look that create the edgier look. Go for pure leather luxury in form of laptop bags and stylish business bags. Leather bags giveprofessionalsa tough look. With these business-bags, organizers and diaries, you are sure to enjoy more from work than just your salary. You’re wrong if you think leather is not for The Young and The Restless. Pelle Capanna is the new name for freedom. Leather items in hip and cool style are perfect for the lighthearted and care-free. Exploring, adventurous and daring, the Young and the Restless have a long way to go in Pelle Capanna creations for the youth. If skin colored leather is boring, go for plush colored leather outfits and accessories. But don’t dare mess up with the Black Leather Pants! To bring in the warmth of Christmas glow, accessorize your home with leather.Splash it in colors of bright and plush. Add leather cushions to your sofas. Enhance the look and feel of your home with leather accessories such as photo frames, cigar case, jewelry box and lamp shades.
spice girls hit london for theatrical premiere NEWS DESK All five members of legendary British pop group The Spice Girls braved sub-zero conditions to greet fans on the red carpet at the opening night of stage musical Viva Forever in London on Tuesday. Geri “Ginger” Halliwell, Emma “Baby” Bunton, Victoria “Posh” Beckham, Mel “Sporty” C and Mel “Scary” B were joined by show creator Jennifer Saunders to meet hoards of screaming fans at the Piccadilly Theatre in the British capital’s West End. True to form, Beckham kept her bandmates and fans waiting after getting stuck in traffic, but the remaining members kept busy by posing for pictures on their mobile phones and hugging. The group’s biggest hits provide the backdrop to the show, which lampoons TV talent show X Factor and explores the themes of motherhood and friendship. Writer and comedian Saunders said she was inspired by the five-piece’s “extraordinary energy”. “When the Spice Girls were at their prime my three daughters were huge fans and in writing the musical I wanted to bring that all back,” she explained in the official programme. “That sense of excitement and slight anarchy. The joy of being a girl and being able to be whatever kind of girl you choose to be,” she added. Simon Fuller, manager of the 55-million-selling band, threw his weight behind the production, declaring “the spirit behind the Spice Girls lives again.” Bunton, Mel B, Halliwell and Beckham all attended with their children, and have previously said they hope that the show will introduce their music to their sons and daughters. Taking to the stage at the end of the show, the band paid tribute to the show’s creators and actors. “There are so many people to thank, thank you all for being here but the people I’d like to thank is the wonderful cast,” said Mel C. Halliwell praised producer J udy Craymer for “making the Spice Girls’ dream come true” calling her “a true woman of girl power”. Beckham, who sat apart from the other members during the show, thanked Saunders and her family “for being here, I love you all.” The show follows the fortunes of aspiring singer Viva, played by television actress Hannah John-Kamen, who enters reality talent contest “Star Maker”. Although packed with 1990s nostalgia, the show contains plenty of contemporary pop culture
references. One of the characters working for the reality TV show speaks using Twitter hashtags while Google, Lady Gaga, Downton Abbey and William and Kate all receive a mention. The show ends fittingly with the band’s breakthrough hit, “Wannabee”, the biggest selling single ever by an all female band. Superstar footballer and “Spice Boy” David Beckham joined in as the audience rose to its feet and sang along with an encore medley of upbeat numbers “Stop” and “Spice Up Your Life”. Guests were driven to the nearby after-party in red double decker buses, as seen in movie “Spice World”, decorated with “Viva Forever” banners.
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13 Satyamev Jayate has brought me in touch with reality, says Aamir Khan NEWS DESK
The beckhams attend Viva forever, a new musical based on the music of the Spice girls. (l-r) romeo, cruz, David, brooklyn & Victoria beckham.
Indian sitar legend Ravi Shankar dies
EGENDARy Indian sitar player Ravi Shankar, who influenced musicians ranging from The Beatles to violinist yehudi Menuhin, has died aged 92 in the United States after surgery, his family said Wednesday. Shankar, the father of American singer-songwriter Norah Jones and fellow sitar star Anoushka Shankar, died on Tuesday in hospital in San Diego, California, where he had undergone an operation to replace a heart valve. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh hailed Shankar, who popularised Indian classical music around the world, as "a national treasure and global ambassador of India's cultural heritage". "An era has passed away... The nation joins me to pay tributes to his unsurpassable genius, his art and his humility," he said. Shankar, who had houses in California and India, was born into a high-caste Bengali Brahmin family in the Hindu holy city of Varanasi in northern India on April 7, 1920. He taught close friend the late Beatle George Harrison to play the sitar and collaborated with him on several projects, including the ground-breaking Concert for Bangladesh in 1971 to raise awareness of the war-wracked nation. Harrison called him "The Godfather of World Music" while Menuhin, himself widely considered one of the greatest violinists of the 20th century, compared him to Mozart. Shankar, a three-time Grammy winner, was on the bill with Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix at the Woodstock Festival in New york state in 1969 when 500,000 people gathered for one of the iconic cultural events of the century. Dressed in traditional Indian clothes and always seated on the floor when playing, he was lauded by the hippie generation but he expressed reservations about the excesses of Western stars and said his priorities were music, yoga and philosophy. In a statement released from New york via his official Twitter feed, Shankar's wife Sukanya and one of his two daughters Anoushka described him as a "husband, father, and musical soul". "His health has been fragile for the past several years and (last) Thursday he underwent a surgery that could have potentially given him a new lease of life," they said. "Unfortunately, despite the best efforts of the surgeons and doctors taking care of him, his body was not able to withstand the strain of the surgery. We were at his side when he passed away. "Although it is a time for sorrow and sadness, it is also a time for all of us to give thanks and to be grateful that we were able to have him as a part of our lives." nEwS DESK
Monsoon Wedding to make Broadway debut in April 2014 Mira Nair doesn't work on the same subject twice. But, in the case of her acclaimed film Monsoon Wedding, she is making an exception. She is converting the film into a musical that makes its Broadway debut in April 2014. She is currently in India to record songs for it, with music being scored by Vishal Bhardwaj. Speaking to TOI, Mira said, "The songs propel a musical. We are creating 12 songs for the musical. We're done with six songs and I am here to record four. There are also two-hour reprises from the movie. A Punjabi rock band from New York called Red Baraat will perform the music live on stage. It's all very hard, detailed work because it is live. We are finishing the creative work now." She adds that she is visualising the musical as a complete spectacle. "The film is about upstairs and downstairs â€” the upper class and the working class â€” so, I'm translating that on to the stage by having Dubey (originally played by Vijay Raaz) and his sidekicks as aerial actors. They will be above us because they are fixing the tents as we speak down below," she says. News desK
Superstar Aamir Khan says that his hugely popular television series Satyamev Jayate has taken him closer to the reality of life in India. "The show has brought me in touch with reality and taught me so much in the last two years that it can never be measured in money," he said on the Aap Ki Adalat show. "As creative persons, we entertain people, but we also feel we have to contribute to our society by bringing about improvement in the social fabric and inculcate better values," he said. "Two things are required to change India: one, all of us should change our attitude towards females, and two, we should not be self-centric and think about working in the larger interest." The actor admits he is an emotional person and often cried while working on the Satyamev Jayate show. "I wept several times while shooting for Satyamev Jayate and the shooting had to be halted. It was terrible when common people narrated their woes. Even when I go abroad, I feel homesick and start weeping," he said. The actor added that police had provided security to Mahvish, widow of Abdul Hakim, a resident of Bulandshahr in Uttar Pradesh who was apparently killed by his wife's family. The couple had appeared in an episode of Satymev Jayate and spoken against honour killings. Aamir said all five accused in the killing have been arrested and Mahvish, who is pregnant, was now getting police protection. A doctor and a nurse have been assigned to take care of the widow, and if required she may be given treatment in a Delhi hospital, he added.
Legendary actor Dilip Kumar speaks to fans in Pakistan on his birthday Bollywood icon Dilip Kumar and his wife Saira Banu delighted a group of their Pakistani fans who gathered in Peshawar, his birth place, to celebrate the thespian's 90th birthday by speaking to them on phone on December 11. In his brief remarks, Dilip Kumar conveyed his "salams" to the people who gathered at the Peshawar Press Club to celebrate his birthday. The actor was born as Muhammad yusuf Khan in Peshawar on December 11, 1922. The son of prosperous fruit merchant Lala Ghulam Sarwar, the silver screen icon spent several years of his childhood in a house near the famous Qissa Khwani Bazar or "Market of Storytellers," where travellers and traders from across Central Asia gathered to swap tales. Saira Banu, who also addressed the gathering, asked people to pray for her husband's health. She reminisced about her visit to Peshawar with Kumar in 1988. "This is Saira Banu yusuf Khan speaking and I convey my salams to all the persons who have gathered there for this event. I'm remembering my visit to Peshawar with yusuf saab. I remember the alleys of Qissa Khwani Bazar and the visit to yusuf saab's home," she said. "The images are being refreshed in my mind. I wish we could visit there again and experience all those things again," Saira Banu said on the phone from Mumbai. Pakistani TV news channels reported extensively on the birthday celebration organised in Peshawar by the local chapter of the Cultural Heritage Council. Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain cut a cake that was inscribed "Legend Dilip Kumar 90th Birthday 11 Dec 2012." The celebration was attended by members of the Pashto film industry, journalists and political leaders. "Pakistan, particularly the residents of Peshawar, love Dilip Kumar for being a great human being," Mian Iftikhar Hussain told the gathering. He said efforts were continuing to remove obstacles holding up the acquisition of Dilip Kumar's ancestral home so that it could be declared a national heritage site. The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government's plan to acquire Dilip Kumar's ancestral home and preserve it ran into problems earlier this year after several persons laid claim to the property. After authorities said they would pay Rs 30 million for the dilapidated home, several persons emerged to claim ownership. News desK
Thursday, 13 December, 2012
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Infotainment 14 Loneliness can ‘cause dementia’
ESEARCH undertaken by doctors in Holland suggests that there is a link between feelings of loneliness and the development of dementia in old age. The study, published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, shows that those who feel lonely are 64 per cent more likely to be diagnosed with dementia in later life. Forming part of the Amsterdam Study of the Elderly, the investigation was led by Dr Tjalling Jan Holwerda. As part of the study, scientists conducted tests on over 2,000 people over the age of 65, looking for factors related to depression, dementia and high death rates. The same people were then re-tested three years later. Commenting on the findings, Dr Holwerda said: “Individuals with feelings of loneliness remained 1.64 times more likely to develop clinical dementia than persons who did not feel lonely.” However, Jessica Smith from the Alzheimer’s Society insists that further investigation is required to prove “whether it is a risk factor or in fact an early symptom”. News desK
UST as the first storms of winter roll in, Dutchman Johan Huibers has finished his 20-year quest to build a fullscale, functioning model of Noah’s Ark – an undertaking of, well, biblical proportions. Huibers, a Christian, used books 6-9 of Genesis as his inspiration, following the instructions God gives Noah down to the last cubit. Translating to modern measurements, Huibers came up with a vessel that works out to a whopping 427 feet (130 meters) long, 95 feet (29 meters) across and 75 feet (23 meters) high. Perhaps not big enough to fit every species on Earth, two by two, as described in the Bible, but plenty of space, for instance, for a pair elephants to dance a tango. Johan’s Ark towers across the flat Dutch landscape and is easily visible from a nearby highway where it lies moored in the city of Dordrecht, just south of Rotterdam. Gazing across the ark’s main hold, a huge space of stalls supported by a forest of pine trees, visitors gaze upon an array of stuffed and plastic animals, such as buffalo, zebra, gorillas, lions, tigers, bears, you name it. Elsewhere on the ark is a petting zoo with actual live animals that are less dangerous or easier to care for – such as ponies, dogs, sheep, and rabbits – and an impres-
sive aviary of exotic birds. “This boat – it’s amazing,” said Alfred Jongile, visiting from South Africa with his Dutch wife. For Huibers, a builder by trade, it all began with a nightmare he had in 1992, when the lowlying Netherlands was flooded, as it has been many times throughout its history. Huibers thinks that new floods are possible, not least due to global warming. He cites a New Testament passage prophesying that “the cities of the coast shall tremble” near the end of times. But he’s not worried the whole Earth will ever be flooded again. In the Bible, the rainbow is God’s promise it won’t be. “I had a call from American television,” he says, laughing. “This has nothing to do with the end of the Mayan calendar,” he said. He said his motivation is ultimately religious, though. He wants to make people think what their purpose is on Earth. “I want to make people question that so that they go looking for answers,” and ultimately find salvation through God and eternal life, he said. Johan’s Ark also contains a restaurant on the topmost level and a movie theater capable of seating 50 people. Around the edges of each level of the craft are displays on ancient Middle Eastern
history and dress, scenes from the life of Noah, and games for kids, including water pumps and a system of levers to lift bales of hay. Down below there is a honeycomb system of hatches, each opening into an area where food could be sealed in for long-term storage. There is an outdoor space near the stern with a dizzying series of stairwells. Walking around, Johan points out features such as the curvature of the upper deck, which he said would have been used to collect rainwater for drinking, as well as for letting animals such as horses out to exercise where they could run around. Another visitor, Martin Konijn, said he was impressed with the level of detail. “You might know the story of Noah, okay, but if you see this you begin to get an idea of how it would actually have worked in practice.” Huibers says he’s considering where to take the floating attraction next, including European ports or even across the Atlantic – though the latter would require transport aboard an even bigger ship. But Huibers is also working on a new dream, perhaps even more unlikely than the first one: he wants to get Israelis and Arabs to cooperate and build a water pipeline from the Mediterranean Sea to the Dead Sea. “If you have faith, anything is possible,” he says. News desK
Yahoo! revamps e-mail to try to catch google Yahoo! has revamped its email service - the first major product makeover since Marissa Mayer took over as CEO five months ago. New versions of Yahoo! Mail are being brought out for smartphones and tablets, in keeping with her focus on mobile devices. There will also be a revamped version of its web-based mail product for PC users that cuts out ancillary features and promises to deliver faster performance. “You’ve told us loud and clear that you want fewer distractions when it comes to email,” Ms Mayer posted on Yahoo!’s official blog. “You want to quickly log in, communicate and get on with your day.” Yahoo! unveiled an update to its mobile email app for smartphones based on the Android operating system, as well as Yahoo!’s first standalone app for Apple’s iPhone. It also released a version designed for tablets and PCs based on Microsoft’s new Windows 8 operating system. The PC version of Yahoo! Mail features fewer ads, primarily by doing away with pages that users previously encountered before they could access their inbox. The improvements will be available over the coming days. News desK
Female smokers have higher risk of sudden death
ONGTIME women smokers are two-and-ahalf times more likely to suffer sudden cardiac death than non-smokers, a researcher in Canada says. Dr. Roopinder Sandhu, assistant professor of medicine at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, who conducted the study as a visiting scientist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, said the study involved 101,018 women who took part in the Nurses’ Health Study. In 30 years of tracking, 351 cases of sudden cardiac death were reported, WebMD reported. Sandhu and colleagues found the amount and duration of cigarette smoking was strongly associated with the women’s risk of sudden cardiac death. The study, published in the journal Circulation: Arrhythmia & Electrophysiology, found women who smoked 25 cigarettes a day or more had more than three times the risk of sudden cardiac death than women who didn’t smoke. News desK
The Pope tweets for the first time, blessing online followers
Facebook criminals suspected of £500m heist
The Vatican announced earlier this month that the Pope would start tweeting in an attempt to engage with the more than a billion Catholics around the world, especially the young. He will tweet in English and several other languages, including Arabic. While the Vatican is keen to embrace new media, the Pope would manage to keep in check his newfound enthusiasm for Twitter, officials said. “The Pope is not the kind of person who, when they are in a meeting or at lunch, looks at his Blackberry to see if there are new messages. He’s not walking around with an iPad,” said Greg Burke, the Vatican’s media consultant. Benedict is unlikely to follow other Twitter users and will not be engaging in debate with people who send him messages. His tweets will be confined to matters of faith and Christian theology. Benedict will not type his tweets himself, but every message will have his approval. Monsignor Paul Tighe, an Irish priest and the secretary of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, said earlier this month: “Every tweet will have been personally seen and approved by the Pope. They will be pearls of wisdom coming from the heart of the Pope’s teaching.” Papal tweets should not be regarded as infallible teachings of the Church, said Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, the president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communication. News desK
CTING on information from Facebook’s security team, the FBI said the suspects from Britain, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, New Zealand, Peru and the United States were arrested in the operation. They are suspected of having links to “Yahos”, a piece of malicious software that can be used to take control of victims’ computers and steal their banking and other login credentials. The FBI said criminals had created a “botnet” of 11 million remotely-controlled computers. Facebook helped in identifying the perpetrators and those affected by the malware. “Yahos targeted Facebook users from 2010 to October 2012, and security systems were able to detect affected accounts and provide tools to remove these threats,” the FBI said. “Facebook’s security team provided assistance to law enforcement throughout the investigation by helping to identify the root cause, the perpetrators, and those affected by the malware.” News desK
Thursday, 13 December, 2012
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thursday, 13 december, 2012
mcllroy could break major record: Norman Page 18
‘Dhoni sacking blocked by board chief’ M NEWSDESK
OHINDER Amarnath, the former India selector, has said it was the BCCI president, N Srinivasan, who overruled the selectors' unanimous call for sacking of MS Dhoni as captain after the two whitewashes in England and Australia. "The Board President did not approve the unanimous decision to replace Mahendra Singh Dhoni," Amarnath told CNN-IBN. In response to the comment, the BCCI chose to stay quiet at the moment. "We don't wish to respond to these allegations at this point when the team is due to play a Test," Sanjay Jagdale, the BCCI secretary said. "But I want say that the BCCI has full confidence in the captain and the coach and we are fully supportive of the team. " Post the Test debacle in Australia, Amarnath said, the selectors wanted to appoint a young captain for the triangular one-day series that followed, but their decision was overturned. "We selected the team for the triangular series, selected 17 players but we did not select the captain," he said. "The captain was selected by somebody else." Asked whether he questioned the decision, Amarnath said, "When you re-
wade’s tenuous grip on gloves
spect a person you don't ask questions. But my question is, you have a selection committee those who think what is best for Indian cricket then why they are not given a free hand." There was massive speculation that this was the reason Amarnath's term as a selector ended abruptly when he was actually expected to be the new chairman of the selectors. When asked about that, all Amarnath said was: "I don't miss it." However, Ra-
jeev Shukla, the IPL chairman, denied any such events happened. "I will not go into what he [Amarnath] has said," Shukla said. "I don't think it is appropriate to give statements like this. Whatever one has to say, one can say while participating in the [selection] meeting. Making comments about it, I think, it is not appropriate as it creates some kind of perception in the minds of players and fans. Selectors are independent. They are not under any pressure." Amarnath was asked to clarify a rumour doing the rounds that he was cited the BCCI constitution that stated he could not sack Dhoni without the higher-ups clearing it. "Neither will I say yes nor will I deny it, okay," he responded. "I know the facts, and I will tell you the facts when I feel the time is right." He did go on to say, though, that he was not aware of the constitution. "When somebody becomes a selector, I don't think you are aware of the constitution of the BCCI," he said. "I was not aware. I don't think even the current committee is aware of the constitution." According to the Indian Express, Amarnath, Narendra Hirwani and Raja Venkat, during a meeting in January this year for selecting the squad for the CB Series in Australia, wanted to sack Dhoni.
Australia's wicketkeeper Matthew Wade is acutely aware of his tenuous place at the top of what is by far the national team's most competitive market. At a time when high quality batsmen and spin bowlers are in short supply and fast bowlers are almost as likely to drop with injury as they are to flourish, Australia has seldom had a more bounteous supply of glovemen. While Phillip Hughes was recalled after his first Sheffield Shield century of the summer, Wade knows that behind him in the queue lurks a small army of stumpers. His predecessor Brad Haddin, keen on one more Ashes tour, is swinging from the hip for New South Wales with a reconfigured batting grip. Tim Paine has battled back manfully from a serious finger fracture and took the Australia A gloves this year. Chris Hartley maintains a never less than fastidious standard behind the stumps for Queensland and has grown his batting notably. And this is all without mentioning the likes of Peter Nevill, Tom Triffitt and Peter Handscomb, all considered worthy of eventual national call-ups. Wade regularly runs his eyes across the competition, the resurgent Haddin in particular, and has resolved to play each match in the manner Ricky Ponting approached the Perth Test as his last. "Every time you walk out onto the ground for Australia you've got to live that moment. Every time could be your last," Wade said. "So in that regard, I do live the moment I suppose for Australia. I keep an eye on cricket games and, yeah, Hadds is playing really nicely and he was always going to. A world-class player.
NEWSDESK: The BCCI has chosen not to respond to the comments made by former selector Mohinder Amarnath in which he said that MS Dhoni's sacking from the captaincy role after the tour of Australia was blocked by the BCCI president. "We don't wish to respond to these allegations at this point when the team is due to play a Test," Sanjay Jagdale, the BCCI secretary, told ESPNcricinfo. "But I want to say that the BCCI has full confidence in the captain and the coach and we are fully supportive of the team." According to Amarnath, the selectors wanted to appoint a young captain after India's Test losses in Australia, but N Srinivasan, the BCCI president, intervened to overrule the selector's decision. There was massive speculation that Amarnath's disagreements with the board were the reason his term as a selector ended abruptly when he was actually expected to be the new chairman of the selectors.
Angelo Mathews ready for Test captaincy NEWSDESk
BCCi deadbats Amarnath’s comments
Angelo Mathews has expressed enthusiasm for the leadership role and appears ready to take over the captaincy once Mahela Jayawardene, Sri Lanka's current Test captain, steps down. Jayawardene accepted the post reluctantly in January and has seemed eager to be rid of the reins ever since. He has hinted he will step down after the tour of Australia as long as Sri Lanka avert disaster there, and his deputy's apparent willingness to take over will only make that move easier. Mathews is already Sri Lanka's Twenty20 captain and has been groomed for the role in the longer formats. He arrives in Australia in form, having been the team's topscorer in the home series against New Zealand, and has seen his Test batting bloom over the last 18 months. He has been the vice-captain in all formats since July 2011, and in the SLPL, he led the Nagenahira Nagas to the final of the competition. Mathews' unflinching attitude and an expanding reputation for even-headedness under pressure have
made him appear much more like captaincy-material than at the end of Kumar Sangakkara's tenure, when he was considered for the role, but lost out to Tillakaratne Dilshan. "I think that's totally up to the selectors - if
they think I'm ready for the captaincy, I'm ready," Mathews said. "It doesn't really matter for now because Mahela's been a great captain for years and I think he's been serving the country for decades. But if the selectors think I'm ready - it's up to them." If he does succeed Jayawardene after the tour, and there are no retirements, he will lead a side with three former captains and several other players senior to him in age, if not always in international experience. At 25, Mathews may be leading one of Sri Lanka' oldest Test sides, but he said he sees the older players' presence as a boon, rather than a challenge. Indeed, the prospect of having time to mentor Mathews in the initial phase of his captaincy has been the reason Jayawardene has cited for wanting to relinquish the captaincy before he retires. "When I initially got into the team, there were so many captains. Sanath Jayasuriya was there, and now we have Dilshan, Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela. They teach us a lot and we can always go back to them to ask questions, and they're always willing to help out. There's a lot we can learn from Mahela."
india have the character to bounce back: Dhoni
NEWSDESK: MS Dhoni, India's under-fire captain, has said this is the time for the team to show character. India are 2-1 down against England and could lose their first Test series at home since 2004 if they don't win the Nagpur Test. In all they have now lost 10 of their 11 Tests against England and Australia, and almost every player in the side has had his place questioned in recent times. "Not only as a captain, but as an individual too you rarely get these situations," Dhoni said. "Against South Africa [in 2008], we were in a similar situation, when we were down in the series, going into Kanpur. I won't say this is a very good situation to be in, but you get to know the character of a team or a person only in tough times. In a way it's a good situation to be in where we have nowhere to go. We have to do well in this game." Dhoni said the team has been in good spirits despite the reverses over the last few weeks.
finn in doubt for Nagpur Test
NEWSDESK Steven Finn has emerged as a major injury doubt ahead of the fourth Test in Nagpur after suffering a back injury. Finn, who missed the first two Tests with a thigh strain, reported some soreness on the final day of the Kolkata Test. A scan has shown a minor disc injury in his lower back and he was unable to take any part in training on Wednesday. While the England team management are not ruling Finn out of the Test, his inclusion would appear to involve them taking an uncharacteristic risk. They are expected to pick just two seamers for the game, so will be loathe to go into it with any injury doubts over one of them. Stuart Broad has been ruled out of the Test after a scan on his left heel showed bruising.
I am number four: Watson SYDNEY aGeNCIes
Shuffled almost as often as a deck of cards in a poker den, Shane Watson's itinerant Test match batting career may finally have found a permanent home at No. 4. Since his debut in 2005, Watson has been tried everywhere from No. 7 to opening, but has only now settled into the batting position with which he first became familiar when playing for Tasmania and Queensland before his international career began. Following Australia's training session at Bellerive Oval on Wednesday, Watson confirmed that he would move down to No.4 to accommodate the recalled Phillip Hughes at No.3, and expressed hope that this would be the post where he would finally settle down as an international allrounder. It is no coincidence that No.4 is also the spot occupied by Jacques Kallis, as the coach Mickey Arthur has made no se-
cret of his desire to have Watson scoring runs with something like the South African's formidable consistency, while also offering substance with the ball. "I think this is more a permanent move. I hope so anyway," Watson said. "It has certainly tested out what my skills are. I certainly enjoyed opening but it meant I wasn't really able to bowl that much really, considering I was going to have to go in and take the first ball. Four hopefully will suit me really well. I know how important the No.4 spot is. "To be able to hopefully set up an innings when the platform has already been set for me, or come in and hopefully build a big total if we've lost a few early wickets. It's where I actually started batting when I was playing first-class cricket when I was younger. It's the position I probably know the best from a few years back anyway." For an Australian side desperate to have Watson graduate from the handy scores he delivered consistently when opening the
batting, and the mediocre ones he has turned out when tried elsewhere in the order, there is some useful history to his occupation of the position. No.4 was the site of Watson's highest first-class score, a doublecentury for Queensland in a Sheffield Shield
final, and the position from which he first pushed for international selection with Tasmania. "That's where I batted for Queensland, and it is where I batted for a bit of my time in Tasmania as well," Watson said. It just gives me that opportunity to be able to bowl the overs that my body allows me to and the captain wants [and] to then be able to freshen up and hopefully be able to bat for a long period of time as well. It'd be nice to be able to get into a position and make it my own by scoring the runs so that hopefully they don't really want to move me anywhere else." Critical to all this will be Watson's attitude, which has been at its most poised and confident when opening the batting. Regardless of where Watson bats, many of his innings have followed a familiar pattern of early free scoring followed by a gradual slowing in momentum and eventual dismissal for a less than satisfying score. Well aware of the flaw, Watson said he was determined to fight his way through it at No.4.
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NZC apologises to Ross Taylor
EW Zealand Cricket Chairman Chris Moller has apologised to Ross Taylor for the manner in which the team's captaincy changeover played out, but he said there was no need for heads to roll over the saga. Brendon McCullum replaced Taylor as captain in all formats last week after Taylor declined an offer to stay on as leader in Tests only, and the way the captaincy issue was handled left Taylor feeling disaffected enough to sit out of the upcoming tour of South Africa. Much of the tension surrounded the relationship between Taylor and the coach Mike Hesson, who recommended changes in the limitedovers leadership. "The board has reviewed all aspects of the captaincy issue and wishes to publicly place on record its apologies to Ross Taylor and his family for the manner in which events have unfolded," Moller told a press conference in Wellington on Wednesday.
martin reminds Hughes of Hobart memories MELBOURNE aGeNCUes
Chris Martin, the New Zealand pace bowler who condemned Phillip Hughes to another year on the sidelines, has heaped pressure on the Australian batsman as he attempts to revive his test career against Sri Lanka in Hobart. Martin had Hughes caught four times in as many innings during New Zealand's drawn two-test series on tour a year ago, the last two dismissals at Bellerive Oval quickly followed by the opening batsman's expulsion from the team. "I was just bowling the same ball each time and he kept finding a way to nick it to the cordon," the 38-year-old Martin said in comments published by News Ltd websites on Wednesday. "His recollections of his dismissals would be nightmarish, but we tried to keep it simple. "To be honest, I felt a bit sorry for Phil Hughes in Hobart because a lot of the focus was that he kept nicking off and was under pressure for his spot. "In those situations, you never like seeing a guy playing for his career." The 24-year-old Hughes, whose nicks off Martin all flew behind the wicket to Martin Guptill in remarkable symmetry, will face his demons on a traditionally lively pitch that has seen state sides skittled cheaply in the domestic Sheffield Shield. The lefthander on Tuesday declared himself a much better batsman than the flighty incarnation of a year ago, having worked hard on improving his technique and compiled a mountain of runs for his adopted South Australia state. Martin warned the pint-sized opener to beware of Sri Lanka seamer Nuwan Kulasekara. "He bowls a good outswinger to the left-hander so that could test him," he said. "After you get a guy a couple of times, you know he is watchful of you. You don't expect to get a guy out the same way four times, but if you get the ball in the same areas again, you can get them out." Martin also said the unfancied Sri Lanka, still chasing their firs test win Down Under, could upset Australia in Hobart, in the same way New Zealand edged the hosts to level their twotest series 1-1 last year. "The Sri Lankan attack have parallels to our (New Zealand's) bowlers," Martin added. "If they turn up with some very simple plans and execute them, the Hobart wicket will definitely help them, it did for us." The first test starts on Friday, with the series heading to Melbourne on Dec. 26 before the third and final test begins in Sydney on Jan. 3.
Pakistan in Kabaddi world cup final BATHINDA: Pakistan have qualified for the final of third Kabaddi World Cup defeating Canada here on Wednesday. Pakistan defeated Canada by 53-27. It would now face archrival India in the final on Saturday. aGeNCIes
Moller also said that "additional material" on the captaincy saga had come to light and would be reviewed by NZC. However, he
said there was no need for any sackings over the messy way the changeover was played out in the public. "No heads are
going to roll," Moller said. "here were no hanging offences in all of this. Yeah, the ball's been dropped, absolutely. Could we have done things better? Absolutely. Are we going to learn from those mistakes? Well we hope so. Is there any reason for anybody to have their heads taken off? No, and that is a decision the board has made." NZc cHAIRMAN SHoULD RESIgN: Mark Greatbatch, the former New Zealand batsman and coach, has called for NZC chairman Chris Moller to resign in the wake of Ross Taylor being dumped as captain. Moller publically apologised to Taylor and his family for how the situation was handled after Mike Hesson, the New Zealand coach, told Taylor that he wanted a change of captain during the Sri Lanka tour but did not specify that he meant in limited-overs cricket only. However, Moller added that nobody in the NZC management would lose their jobs over the controversy.
ASiA CriCkeT CuP
Pakistan deaf team title defence in style LAHORE staff report
Pakistan deaf cricket team started its title defence in the Asia Cup in style beating arch rivals India by 10 runs here on Wednesday at Lahore Gymkhana Bagh-e-Jinnah ground. In the second match, Sri Lanka imposed massive 310 runs defeat to Nepal at Lahore City Cricket Ground. The 50 over a side game was reduced to 40 overs due to wet out filed due to overnight dew at Bagh-e-Jinnah
ground . Pak team elected to bat after winning the toss scored 174 for the loss of eight wickets in 40 overs. Their main scorers were Nabeel Ajnum ( 46) runs and Naveed Qamar ( 29) and Seyed Komail (23) .Indian pacer Fahimuddin took three wickets while Kuldeep Singh captured two wickets. In reply Indian side was bowled out at 163 when man of the match quick bowler Shakeel took 4 wickets for 22 runs. Indian notable scorers were Varinder Singh (53) and Surve (29) as their rest of the batsmen fell cheaply.
In the second match, Sri Lanka, chosen to bat after winning the toss scored piled up huge 310 for the loss of three wickets in 40 overs, thanks to sparkling 110 by Asanka off 88 balls and Fernando posted 88 runs. Nepalâ€™s proved a house of cards and they could manage just 37 in 10.3 overs runs . jaya Sigha took 6 wickets in 8 overs for 8 runs . Matches for tomorrow, Thursday, Pakistan vs Sri Lanka at Bagh-e-Jinnah ground and Afghanistan vs India at LCCA ground .
BlinD CriCkeT T20 WOrlD CuP
Pakistan into finals after defeating england LAHORE staff report
Pakistan reached the finals of the Blind Cricket Twenty20 World Cup after defeating England by nine wickets in Bangalore on Wednesday. Pakistan will take on India in the final on Thursday (13th December). The tournament is played in Bangalore, India. Reports received here said that Pakistan had won the toss and elected to bowl. England had set a target of 182 runs, which was chased by Pakistan in 13 overs. Pakistanâ€™s Muhammad Akram scored 103 runs on 42 balls which helped the team in winning the match. He also earned the Man of the Match title. Ali Murtaza, a new player, also successfully scored 29 runs on nine balls. In the second semi-final of day, India beat Sri Lanka and will now face arch-rival Pakistan in the final match to be played today. Pakistan has so far remained unbeaten in the series.
Pcb to get 1000 spectator tickets for india-Pakistan match at Delhi LAHORE staff report
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) will get 1,000 spectator tickets and 100 VIP tickets for the upcomingIndia-Pakistan cricket match in Delhi, reports said. In all other venues, both these numbers would be halved, Indian Minister of State for Home M. Ramchandran said in a written reply in Indian parliament. The minister said the India-Pakistan cricket series from Dec 25, 2012 to Jan 6, 2013 would involve three One-Day internationals and two Twenty-20 matches. He added that Pakistani spectators would be allowed to enter and exit India only through Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai (by air) and Attari (by bus and train). No permission would be given for crossing on foot through Attari and by train at Munnabao, he said. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) would also suggest to PCB the list of hotels at each venue where the Pakistani spectators can be accommodated, he said.
New zealand's gillespie replaces milne for SA T20s NEWSDESK New Zealand fast bowler Adam Milne has been ruled out of the Twenty20 series against South Africa, after picking up an Achilles injury while warming-up for a firstclass game on Monday. He will be replaced by Mark Gillespie, who is returning to international cricket after a nine-month injury lay-off. Milne, 20, injured his leg while exercising just prior to his game for Central Districts against Wellington in New Zealand's domestic first-class competition, the Plunket Shield. The injury was not very serious, New Zealand Cricket's medical team said, but they didn't want risk any further damage and so decided to pull Milne out of the series. Gillespie, who will join the squad in South Africa on Friday, last played an international match against the same opposition - the Wellington Test on South Africa's tour of New Zealand in March this year. That series also marked an international comeback for Gillespie, who had not played for New Zealand for over three years previously. He made his mark too, finishing New Zealand's top wicket-taker despite playing only two out of the three Tests, but was then ruled out with an ankle injury. He returned to competitive cricket in October, and has 13 wickets in three firstclass games for Wellington since then. National selection manager Kim Littlejohn said South Africa should suit Gillespie: "It is disappointing for Adam to suffer an injury however it does present a great opportunity for Mark. Mark has an impressive record in South Africa and the conditions will suit his aggressive style of pace bowling."
Australia open post-Ponting era against Sri Lanka SYDNEY aGeNCIes
Australia open the post-Ricky Ponting era with three tests against Sri Lanka over the next four weeks, desperate to build on the positives from a thrilling series against South Africa and hoping to emerge with the opposite outcome. The men in baggy green caps went blow-for-blow with the Proteas for much of their three-test series before falling to a 309-run defeat when the world's top-ranked test side finally hit their stride in Perth last week. The hosts will be confident of coming out on top in tests in Hobart, Melbourne and Sydney, even if the bowling unit is still counting the cost of injuries and Ponting's retirement means more than just a new look to the Australian batting line-up. "Ricky's departure leaves a massive hole in the dressing room, not just in terms of his batting, but the aura he brings to the dressing room and his intensity around training and his cricket nous," coach Mickey Arthur said after the Perth defeat. "We've got to find a way to fill that. I've
had a chat to a couple of other players, we need someone to stand up and fill that void." The space in the team left by Ponting as a batsman has been filled by Phil Hughes, who claims he has mastered the technical problems that twice led to him losing his place in the team. The 24-yearold is unlikely to dislodge the opening partnership, however, and should bat at number three in his 18th test with all rounder and former opener Shane Watson slipping further down the order to replace Ponting at four. The top order has been shaky this year but Mike Hussey and in particular Michael Clarke rode to the rescue to provide a slew of runs against the vaunted South African bowlers in the middle order. With young guns James Pattinson and Pat Cummins again sidelined by injury, quicks Peter Siddle, Ben Hilfenhaus, Mitchell Starc and Mitchell Johnson are likely to be vying for three spots in the team for the opener in Hobart on Friday. The Bellerive Oval wicket has proved a seamers' paradise in recent years but Clarke has shown a marked disinclination to go into a test match without spinner
Nathan Lyon since he took over as skipper last year. Sri Lanka have never won a single test, never mind a test series, in Australia and while they boast a strong batting lineup, their own bowling unit looks a little thin on experience. Left-arm orthodox spinner Rangana Herath has stepped a little out of the shadow of the retired Muttiah Muralitharan and his 20 wickets in the drawn two-test series against New Zealand have elevated him to third spot in the ICC bowling rankings. The art of spin, however, may not be much of a factor in Hobart or Melbourne and only perhaps late on in the final test at the Sydney Cricket Ground. What Sri Lanka lack in experience in the pace bowling unit, they have made up for in quantity with Chanaka Welegedera, Nuwan Kulasekara, Shaminda Eranga, Dhammika Prasad and Nuwan Pradeep all included in the 16-man squad. There is no shortage of experience among the batsmen
and in Kumar Sangakkara, skipper Mahela Jayawardene and Tillakaratne Dilshan, they have a core of quality batsmen in their mid-30s keen to bring an end to their Australia win drought. "When you do get older, you do look for achievements where you haven't really tasted victory so here and in India (we have) test matches still to win," Sangakarra said in Hobart this week.
Thursday, 13 December, 2012
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17 Sports Siddle stares down vegetarian critics
Black cats trio ease pressure on O’Neill NEWSDESK
NEWSDESK Australia's vegetarian fast bowler Peter Siddle has chewed up and spat out the suggestion that the absence of meat from his diet was the reason he was unable to recover from his Adelaide exertions in time to play in the pivotal Perth Test against South Africa. As he prepared to resume as the leader of the hosts' attack in the Test series against Sri Lanka, starting in Hobart on Friday, Siddle flatly rejected the view proffered by Dennis Lillee, among others that meat was essential to the diet of a fast bowler. Siddle backed up his rebuttal with the correct observation that his ability to maintain high pace and accuracy for long periods has in fact been helped by the lifestyle change, which he made earlier this year. "I struggled to bowl over 50 overs [before becoming vegetarian] so, to bowl 64, I think that's an improvement," Siddle said at Bellerive Oval. "So I'm probably in a better place than I ever was. For people to say that's the problem and that's the reason why [I withdrew], they're the ones kidding themselves. They're not the ones out there having to do it and having to go through it. To still be bowling 140 kmph in my 64th over at the end of the fifth day in a Test match, that probably shows the improvements." Siddle's pre-season admission that he had foresworn meat has been the cause of some mirth among those who harbour cliched views about the dietry habits of fast bowlers, even though he made the change with plenty of support from Cricket Australia's dieticians and support staff. The team performance manager Pat Howard has previously pointed to the decorated examples of the triathlete Dave Scott, the AFL footballer Brett Kirk and Martina Navratilova's tennis mastery as examples of vegetarian success in elite sport.
Goals from the McClean, Fletcher and Sessegnon secured a win for the Black Cats, moving them out of the relegation zone as the Royals remain deeply rooted in it following yet another flat performance. The hosts were in control right from the outset as James McClean put them one ahead with an impressive strike after just two minutes, before Steven Fletcher eventually extended the deficit with an immaculate backheel and Stephane Sessegnon capped off the rout with a goal in the dying moments. Sunderland made two changes from the team that suffered a 3-1 loss to Chelsea, with Fletcher returning from an ankle injury to replace Connor Wickham up front, while Jack Colback came in for Phil Bardsley, leaving Craig Gardner to deputise in an unfamiliar role at right-back. The away side, meanwhile, made three changes from the side that endured a disappointing 1-0 defeat against Southampton, as Alex Pearce, Garath
McCleary and Noel Hunt all stepped in to the side in place of Sean Morrison, Hal Robson-Kanu and Jason Roberts. Sunderland got off to a fantastic start and had the lead in the 2nd minute, when a fairly innocuous-looking corner was flapped at by goalkeeper Federici, before falling to McClean on the edge of the box, and the winger duly slammed his effort past the melee of bodies to hand his side the lead. This pressure finally paid off as they extended their lead in the 28th minute, after Danny Rose drove to the byline and fired the ball across the area for Fletcher to beautifully back-heel the ball goalwards. The Royals improvemed in the second half as Mignolet was tested for the first time after an excellent Nicky Shorey free kick forced him into an equally excellent save. The away side failed to capitalise on their pressure, though, and, with twenty minutes remaining, Sunderland looked as if they had a handle on the game, as an excellent Sessegnon snapshot produced an impressive stop from Federici.
chelsea are tighter under Benitez, says cahill YOKOHAMA aGeNCIes
Chelsea have become more compact defensively under interim manager Rafael Benitez as they prepare for the football Club World Cup in Japan, defender Gary Cahill said on Wednesday. The English Premier League side, who face Mexico's Monterrey in their semi-final in Yokohama on Thursday, took four games to register their first win under the Spaniard. However, nine goals in their last two matches have given Chelsea a boost for a tournament they are under pressure to win after an embarrassing group-stage exit from the Champions League. "Since (Benitez) came we have tightened up as a unit defensively and as a team," Cahill told reporters. "That's given us a platform to build on. It was hard at first to get his points across because we were playing games
almost every other day. "Now the players are adapting, they know what's expected of them and it's working well at the minute." Cahill said the Chelsea players had realised the significance of the Club World Cup since flying out to Japan following Saturday's 3-1 win at Sunderland. "Since coming here it's sunk in now how big it is," the centre-
back said. "It's hard to get into the competition in the first place. ‘cHELSEA WILL ScoRE BUT WE cAN BEAT THEM’: Monterrey coach Victor Vucetich says his side will be powerless to prevent Chelsea from scoring in Thursday's Club World Cup semi-final in Yokohama but still believes the Mexicans can pull off their biggest ever win. Chelsea have scored nine goals in their last two games following a difficult start under interim manager Rafael Benitez with misfiring striker Fernando Torres netting four times. Monterrey beat South Korea's Ulsan Hyundai 3-1 in the quarter-finals at the weekend after experiencing a powerful earthquake following their arrival in Japan. "I'm sure Chelsea will score goals tomorrow," he told reporters on Wednesday. "They are a strong, physical side and technically skilful.
Wenger not embarrassed by cup defeat to lowly Bradford LONDON aGeNCIes
Arsenal's quarter-final League Cup exit at the hands of minnows Bradford City left manager Arsene Wenger questioning the power of his strike force but the Frenchman refused to label the defeat as an embarrassment. Despite playing almost an hour with five attackers, Arsenal failed to break down the League Two club who went on to claim Tuesday's match 3-2 on penalties after a stubborn defensive display. Wenger started German international striker Lukas Podolski alongside Gervinho and finished the match with attack-minded players Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Marouane Chamakh and Tomas Rosicky on the pitch, but it was left to captain and centre back Thomas Vermaelen to send the match into extra time when he equalised in the 88th minute. Gervinho squandered a glorious chance in front of goal and Francis Coquelin hit the woodwork in the 38th minute. The end-ofmatch statistics showed Arsenal had registered 28 shots with 12 on target compared to Bradford's five shots with three on target. "We played with a very offensive team. What is disappointing is (we played) basically
Thursday, 13 December, 2012
over an hour with five strikers and couldn't score," Wenger told club website www.arsenal.com. "We created a lot of different situations. You have to say they defended very well. It's difficult to play this kind of game. "I know people will say: 'it's League Two', but a cup game is a cup game. In football you always have a chance if you give everything." Asked whether he was embarrassed by the defeat, Wenger said: "You feel embarrassed when you don't give everything. I feel the team did fight and will be more disappointed and frustrated. "I cannot fault the effort. We have put the effort in (and) have given absolutely everything until the last minute. It was a typical English cup game and Bradford got on top of us in the end. We missed three penalties - that's a lot to take." Arsenal have not won a major trophy since the FA Cup in 2005 and the latest setback in a disappointing season could trigger another departure at the club with Britain's Telegraph newspaper reporting on Wednesday that Manchester United have their eye on Theo Walcott. Walcott, who did not play against Bradford, has yet to commit to Arsenal after contract talks broke down in August and the 23-year-old becomes a free agent at the end of the season when his current deal expires.
eu court adviser backs free TV cover of finals
Bradford bask in glory of Arsenal upset
BRUSSELS: Britain and Belgium should be allowed to ensure free-toair TV coverage of the World Cup and Euro football finals as they consider them of major public importance, an adviser to Europe's highest court said on Wednesday. World football's governing body FIFA and its European counterpart UEFA argued that the two countries had interfered with their property rights by restricting the broadcast of both competitions to free-to-air TV channels, preventing pay TV companies from bidding to screen them. TV broadcasting rights for the finals of the major tournaments, each held every four years, account for a significant source of revenues for FIFA and UEFA. In club football, for example, the English Premier League has became the most richest domestic competition in the world game thanks to live TV deals with BSkyB and other pay TV companies. FIFA and UEFA appealed to the Luxembourg-based EU Court of Justice (ECJ) after the General Court, Europe's second-highest, last year threw out their challenge to a European Commission ruling backing the British and Belgian decisions. aGeNCIes
BRADFoRD: Bradford City manager Phil Parkinson hailed his penalty-kick kings after they dumped Arsenal out of the League Cup quarter-finals with their ninth straight shoot-out success. Bradford, playing in the fourth tier of English football, went through to the last four on Tuesday after beating the Premier League side 3-2 on penalties at a packed Valley Parade after the sides had finished 1-1 after extra time. Arsenal had needed an 88th minute equaliser from Thomas Vermaelen to force extra time but despite putting Bradford under immense pressure they could not finish their numerous chances to kill the hosts off. Bradford, who last played in the English top flight from 1999 to 2001, had won their last eight shoot-outs and made it nine in a row when Vermaelen missed Arsenal's final spot-kick. "To be only three minutes away from beating a team of Arsenal's calibre says it all," Parkinson told the club's official website. "The talk after the game might be about the penalty shoot-out win and our run of penalty victories, but that shouldn't take anything away from the lads' performance." aGeNCIes
PiA, NbP in NbP gold cup Hockey final LAHORE staff report
Pakistan international Airlines and National Bank of Pakistan continued the flow of their victories in the NBP Gold Cup hockey tournament here on Wednesday and advanced into the final of the event at the outer ground of the national stadium. NBP beat Wapda 4-2 and PIA made short work of Army 3-1. In another match Customs beat Sui Southern Gas Company 3-2. Thursday is the rest day. PIA will play NBP in the final on December 14 and Army will face Customs in a classification match. PIA finished the first half 1-0 against Army getting 20th minute field goal from Imran. Airlines continued their hunt for more goals and accelerated the pace of their attacks with the aid of their right and left flanks duly supported by mid field. In the following session of the play Inyatullah added the 60th minute penalty corner goal as Ammad Butt contributed a field goal in the very minute to enhance the worries of their opponents. Army made their presence felt at the filed when Habib ur Rehman scored a field goal in the dying moments of the play. NBP led 3-0 at break against Wapda after taking control right from the start. Dilber scored the 2nd minute penalty corner goal followed by Kashif Javed’s field goal in the 16th minute and Akhtar Ali dominated in a filed move, three minute before the close of the first session. Wapda broke the dead lock when Zubair Riaz struck twice with a rousing display of skills and technique ,contributing 45th and 52ndminutes goals before bankers Mohammad Ayub produced a field goal in the 50thminute. Customs wrapped up the first half 3-1 against SSGC Customs took lead through 10th minute goal scored by Waseem Abbas and SSGC leveled at 1-1 after receiving 14th minute goal from Abdul Qayyum. Waseem Abbas and Rizwan Khan scored one goal apiece in 15thand 30th minute from Customs.
cables beat gulberg in Veteran league LAHORE staff report
Amer Cables routed Gulberg Gymkhana by 9 wickets in a match of the 4th SPM Lahore Veteran Invitational Cricket League here on Wednesday at Shah Faisal cricket ground. sCores: gulberg gymkhana batting first 221/9 in 30 overs. Javeed Hafeez 93, Afzal munir 42, ejaz Ahmad 34 & manzoor ilahi 10 runs. Amar cables bowling rauf wain bowling well 3/28, Tariq Hussain raju 3/47 & Shaukat Ali 1/31 wickets. in reply Amar cables knocked off the necessary runs making 222/1 in 29.2 overs. Amar ilyas butt 46, man of the match Dastgeer butt 85 runs not out & Aziz ur rehman 79 runs not out. gulberg gymkhana bowling Javeed Hafeez 1/24 wickets. Qaisar waheed and Ansar mehmood were the umpires and waqar Ahmad was the scorer.
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olD TrAfforD: Steven fletcher tries to direct the ball into the goal in a match won by Sunderland 3-0 against reading.
US PGA feels tougher rules may hurt game NEW YORK aGeNCIes
Thaworn looking to end season in style BANGKOK aGeNCIes
Thailand’s Thaworn Wiratchant is looking forward to bring the curtain down on his memorable year with a win at the US$2 million Iskandar Johor Open. The 15-time Asian Tour winner knows it will not be a stroll in the park as he chases his fourth Tour victory this year at the Asian Tour season-ending event which will tee off at the Horizon Hills Golf and Country Club on Thursday A strong international field that includes world number 20 Sergio Garcia of Spain, reigning British Open champion Ernie Els of South Africa as well as a host of Asian Tour stars can still put a dent on Thaworn's title and merit aspirations. "It's a crucial week but the most important thing is to stay focus and handle the pressure well. I believe I can do it," said Thaworn, who holds the world record of lowest number of putts recorded in a tournament after making 91 putts over four rounds at the King's Cup held on home soil a fortnight ago. Australia's Marcus Fraser, South Africa's Jbe Kruger, India's Gaganjeet Bhullar, Japan's Masanori Kobayashi and Thailand's Prom Meesawat are still in the running for the prestigious Merit crown and are expected to bring the race down the wire this week. "As I look back on the year, I'm happy that I've won three times. All three wins were very memorable and I can't say which win was the best. But if you ask me what the highlight of the year is, I hope it would be winning the Order of Merit as that would really mean a fantastic year for me," said Thaworn.
IMITING how far the ball travels and the type of putters players can use could do more harm than good for golf, the PGA of America said on Tuesday. The PGA of America, who is opposed to a proposed ban on players anchoring long putters to their body, feels making golf easier would grow the game and is ready to resist a possible move to reign in the distance golf balls travel. "If you do anything that's going to cause the rank and file amateur player to not hit the ball as far, there's no way you're going to enhance their enjoyment of the game," PGA President Ted Bishop told reporters on Tuesday. Golf's rulesmakers have not formally proposed dialing back how far a golf ball can go, but it has been something the United States Golf Association (USGA) has long pondered. Bishop, whose eye is trained on increasing the popularity of the game, said he worried about the average player if such a rule were to be passed. According to Bishop, the USGA has said controlling the distance of golf balls is something that may be worth exploring to help improve golf course maintenance costs and potentially lessen the amount of land required to build golf courses. "I'm not so sure that's the greater issue we have to deal with," Bishop told Reuters. "This game is a hard game and anything we do to make the golf course play longer, play more difficult, is certainly going to deter from the enjoyment of the game for the average
player." A review process on the proposed anchoring rule by the USGA and the Royal and Ancient is set to continue through next February and if approved would be enforced from Jan. 1, 2016. The PGA reacted quickly, issuing a statement calling on the rules bodies "to seriously consider the impact this proposed ban may have on people's enjoyment of the game and the overall growth of the game."
A survey of PGA members showed 63 percent were against a ban of anchoring, a putting style used by three of the past five major champions - Keegan Bradley, Webb Simpson and Ernie Els. "I've already had players in my club that are using long putters ... saying 'are you going to make it a local rule that's going to allow me to putt this way?'" said Bishop, for 20
years the general manager and director of golf at The Legends Golf Club, in Franklin, Indiana. "It puts us in a tough position as club professionals trying to administer events at our club level." Some have suggested two sets of rules, one governing professionals and another applied to more ordinary players, referred to as bifurcation. Pete Bevacqua, the new chief executive the PGA of America, did not think split rules were a good way to go. "Everyone wants to see where the rules go," Bevacqua told Reuters. "(But) I tend to agree with the USGA, I don't think bifurcation is the answer. It would be crazy if we all played by different sets of rules. "I think it's great that you see what the elite players are doing and get to judge their performance or the performance of their friends against them. That's part of the charm of golf." US RyDER cUP cAPTAIN To BE NAMED oN THURSDAy: The United States will announce their new Ryder Cup captain on Thursday, breaking with tradition by revealing his identity on breakfast television. The PGA of America said the captain would be introduced on NBC's Today Show before attending a formal news conference near the top of New York City's Empire State Building. The new captain will take charge of the 12-man American team for the next Ryder Cup against Europe, at Gleneagles in Scotland in 2014, replacing Davis Love III. The U.S. lost the most recent Ryder Cup, held on the outskirts of Chicago in September, after blowing a four-point lead heading into the final day.
Mcllroy could break major record: Norman
NEW YORK aGeNCIes
Former world number one Greg Norman believes Rory McIlroy is more likely to break Jack Nicklaus' record of 18 major championships than Tiger Woods. Woods claimed his 14th major at the 2008 US Open in a dramatic 19-hole play-off
with Rocco Mediate, but has not won one since after seeing his career set back by the sex scandal which led to the breakdown of his marriage. And Norman, speaking on the eve of the Australian PGA Championship at Coolum, would like to see McIlroy - who has two majors to his name - be the man to surpass Nicklaus instead. "I don't think so, no," Norman said when asked if Woods was capable of winning the five majors he requires to pass Nicklaus. "Every year that passes by that he hasn't won a major it just gets that much harder to win a major. "I don't care how many you have won, it just becomes more and more difficult He might win one or two more but I don't think he will win the four or five more that he needs to win to break the record." McIlroy won the US Open in 2011 and this year's US PGA Championship and Norman says the sky is the limit for the talented 23-year-old. "I think if anybody can break Nicklaus' record I think he could, because he is young, he is ahead of the game, he is ahead of the curve on a lot of things and he has a very balanced life across the board," Norman said. "So I will keep my fingers crossed for him because I would love to see that happen. Somebody will do it one day and it could be Rory. "I am a big fan of Rory's, he can be as big as he wants to be." Norman was bullish about his chances at this week's PGA Championship but conceded golf is low down on his list of priorities these days. Asked his goal for the week, Norman quipped, 'to do a Peter Senior', referring to the 53-year-old's victory at last week's Australian Open.
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Jeff the dinosaur scares Australian PgA away from resort QUEENLAND aGeNCIes
The Australian PGA Championship will leave its traditional Queensland venue next year after the Coolum resort painted adverts on the fairways and put a giant replica dinosaur on the course. This year's A$1.25 million ($1.3 million) tournament starts on Thursday but according to local media reports it was nearly scrapped after a dispute between the PGA and mining tycoon Clive Palmer, the resort's new owner. While late negotiations ensured the 2012 event would go ahead, players will be greeted by the sight of 'Jeff', a 20metre long and eight metre-high dinosaur plonked between the ninth and 10th holes. PGA chief executive Brian Thorburn said the tournament, one of four marquee events on Australia's golf calendar, would move to another Queensland course in 2013 after an 11year run at the Coolum because the resort would not meet sponsorship demands. "Commerce plays a part in these things, you've got to make the books balance ... but emotionally it'll be sad, the PGA's had a great run here and we're sorry to be leaving," he said. This year's competitors will be allowed to lift and place their balls if they land on any of the 61 adverts and slogans painted on the fairways. "Only about six to 10 of them are in landing zones and come into play," added Thorburn. Players were amused by the course's unusual decoration during practice rounds on Tuesday.
Parr delves into the art of war LONDON aGeNCIes
Former Williams chairman Adam Parr has explained publicly for the first time, and in the novel format of a cartoon book, why he abruptly left the Formula One team just when he had been identified as Frank Williams' heir apparent. In "The Art of War: Five years in Formula One," the Briton presents an eyewitness account of a period of intense political turbulence and paddock in-fighting from 2006 to his sudden resignation last March. As he spells out in the 80-page hardback, profound differences with Formula One's octogenarian supremo Bernie Ecclestone over a new commercial 'Concorde' agreement and the future direction of the sport led to him taking a bullet for the sake of the team. "I had resigned that week, rightly or wrongly believing that Ecclestone had told my board that no Concorde offer would be forthcoming while I was running Williams," wrote Parr of the events of March 25.
Bronze win to help revive sagging fortune of the game: Bajwa LAHORE staff report
Secretary, Pakistan Hockey Federation, Mohammad Asif Bajwa has said the national teams finish at third place in the Melbourne Champions Trophy will help in reviving the sagging the fortune of the game in Pakistan. “It is indeed a big performance which comes after eight years and team’s third place achievement will generate a new concept about our hockey among the youth of our country,” he said on Wednesday after his return from Melbourne after the watching the performance of the team
in the event, “After years in shambles we have seen a good performance on part of our team and it is like a silver line on the sky,” he added. Bajwa said getting the third place has added to the confidence of the team which is a blend of experience and youth and PHF is gradually inducting young players in the side to prepare a balanced combination for 2014 World Cup. He set aside the criticism of some quarters that Pakistan team thrived in the presence of weak teams like Germany and Belgium in the Champions Trophy.
“It is a foolish thought, they (some quarters) should acknowledge the performance of Pak team of taking the third place besides praising PHF efforts for infusing young blood in the side,” he said. He further added: “It is our team, Pakistan hockey team and we should endeavor to boost its morale and should not indulge in a negative propaganda campaign against it.” He said it is a good omen that team has started producing good results after a deadlock and now it the right time to take more effective measures to enhance its performance for its future endeavours .
Bajwa urged the Pak team members not to feel complacent and put in more hard work to life the level of their performance to contribute in the overall performance of the team. “ Before our team entered the Champions trophy some individuals were saying that it will finish at the last position but our team proved these pre-tournaments thoughts wrong by exhibiting collective show,” he said adding “It is quite a happy news for hockey after 2004 when we finished third in the Champions trophy “. Secretary PHF said it is time to support Pakistan hockey for launching a rare guard action for regaining lost
glory . “ Hockey has suffered a lot due to dismal performance of the team and now the stage has come that we should think of a bright future of the game by encouraging the performance of the team in Champions Trophy”.
Thursday, 13 December, 2012
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Thursday, 13 December, 2012
Pakistan, Afghanistan pursue peace despite spy chief attack g
Turkey, Pakistan, Afghanistan ink MoU on trade ANKARA aGeNCIes
HE leaders of Afghanistan and Pakistan are determined to press ahead with peace efforts after a meeting in Turkey, the country’s president said Wednesday, despite an attack that wounded the Afghan intelligence chief. President Abdullah Gul described the bombing, which Afghanistan believes was planned in Pakistan, as an attempt to derail dialogue between the two countries. At the end of a meeting aimed at easing tensions and increasing cooperation between the governments in Kabul and Islamabad, Gul said both had ”renewed trust and are determined to work together.” He was flanked by counterparts Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan and Asif Ali Zardari of Pak-
istan. Afghan intelligence chief Asadullah Khalid was seriously injured last week when a suicide bomber posing as a Taliban peace envoy detonated an explosive, dealing a setback to fragile efforts to reconcile with the Taliban and find a political resolution to the war in Afghanistan. Karzai has said the attack was planned in Pakistan, but stopped short of directly holding Islamabad responsible for the explosion that was claimed by the Taliban. Karzai said Wednesday the two leaders had ”very good conversations” about the assassination attempt, but refused to go into details. Afghan officials said Karzai would present evidence to Zardari during their meetings about the attack. ”Hopefully the fight against extremism and terrorism will take itself to a conclusion where the populations of the two
countries are not threatened by these attacks,” Karzai said. ”The environment of dialogue is better than it has been,” Karzai said. ”At the same time, we are seeing unfortunate incidents of terrorism both in Afghanistan and Pakistan.” For his part, Zardari distanced his country from the attack on Khalid. ”They (terrorists) don’t want us, the governments, to get together and to be able to lead the nations to peace,” he said. ”It is in the interest of Pakistan that Afghanistan prospers,” he said. ”It is in my interest that peace returns to Afghanistan and Pakistan.” A joint statement issued at the end of the meeting said a ”joint working group” would address the attempt on the intelligence chief’s life. Meanwhile, the governments of
Turkey, Pakistan and Afghanistan signed a trilateral memorandum of understanding (MoU) to promote and facilitate trade and economic cooperation among the three countries. The MoU, signed during the 7th trilateral Summit of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Turkey in Ankara, provides for the establishment of Trilateral Trade Council, which will work for promotion of foreign investment, enhancing and diversifying commercial ties and exploring possibilities for cooperation in services sectors among the three countries. The MoU will also facilitate exchange of information particularly concerning their respective legislation on trade and economic activities. The “Trilateral Trade Council” will provide a useful platform to discuss advancement of regional, bilateral and trilateral cooperation besides sharing practices on the issues of commercial and economic
relations, trade-policy matters and trade facilitation among the three countries. The council meeting will be convened annually or when the parties deem it necessary more often, alternately in Turkey, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Under the framework of “Trilateral Trade Council”, the three governments have agreed to provide the necessary facilities to the businessmen of the three countries to increase trade and to resolve the issues that may emerge in this regard. The entrepreneur and organisations of the three countries would also be encouraged to participate in exhibitions, fairs and other promotional activities as well as promote the exchange of trade delegations and business representatives. The MoU has been initially signed for a period of one year and will be renewed automatically for successive periods of one year as per consent of the three countries.
President can be impeached if people want: LHc
aNKara: president asif ali Zardari and his turkish and afghan counterparts abdullah Gul and Hamid Karzai at a lunch hosted by the turkish president on wednesday.
Karachi violence on the rise despite ‘targeted’ operations g
extortion mafias non-complying businessmen KARACHI staff report
In another day of violence in the financial hub of the country, at least 10 people including a doctor and a policeman were shot dead on Wednesday despite the ongoing ‘targeted’ operations of law enforcement agencies against criminals in Karachi. A mosque and nine shops were damaged late on Tuesday in a show of strength by the city’s mighty extortion mafia on houses of transporters who refused to submit to their demands. Per details, three weeks ago unidentified extortionists had approached Ritas Khan Niazi and Haji Aurangzeb, demanding Rs 5 million as extortion money. Upon refusal, the extortionists hurled hand grenades at houses of both transporters located at Manghopir Road in Mianwali Colony. As a result eight
KaraCHI: people rush an injured person to the hospital as violence flared up in the city on wednesday. ONLINe shops, including a bakery, located at the ground floor were destroyed while the house and a neighboring mosque were partially damaged. However, no human life was lost. Heavy contingent of police
cordoned off the area after the attack and a case was registered against unknown miscreants. Unidentified gunmen riding a motorbike shot dead two laborers in SITE’s
Published by Arif Nizami at Plot # 7, Al-Baber Centre, F/8 Markaz, Islamabad.
Metroville area and fled from the scene, according to police sources. In another incident, a doctor, identified as Zubair, was gunned down in Korangi No. 1 area. A policeman was targeted in Baldia Town on Wednesday morning. Police said he was injured in a gun attack and later taken to a hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. Meanwhile, two people were shot dead in Sherpao Colony of Landhi area. The deceased were cousins. Per preliminary reports, the family named no suspects and the police was investigating the motive behind the murder of the two relatives. Similarly, at least eight men, including two Rangers personnel were killed in drive-by assaults in different areas of the city late on Tuesday. In another incident, at least two people lost their lives after a bomb exploded near a local restaurant in a busy locality. According to initial reports, a loud explosion shook the Muzafarabad colony area of Landhi, injuring eight people, two of whom later died at the hospital. Initial reports also suggested that the bomb was placed near the wall of Ghareeb Nawaz hotel, a local restaurant in the busy neighbourhood.
Editor: Arif Nizami
Justice Mansoor Ali Shah of the Lahore High Court (LHC) has said that the president could be impeached if the people so desired. He gave these remarks while hearing a contempt of court plea in the dual office case against President Asif Ali Zardari on Wednesday when a fivemember LHC bench headed by Chief Justice Omar Atta Bandial resumed hearing in the matter. The court granted the plea from the counsel for the federation on advancing arguments in the case. LHC Chief Justice Omar Atta Bandial remarked he had no authority to nullify provisions of the constitution. Justice Mansoor Ali Shah observed people had to bring change in law as they were supreme. AK Dogar, counsel for the petitioner, argued that the basic spirit of the law could not be changed even if the people wanted to. He said the matter of contempt of court and law were equal for everyone. “No one could be exempted from punishment for committing contempt of court whether it was the head of state or an ordinary citizen,” he added. Justice Mansoor Ali Shah said the president could be impeached if the people wanted his impeachment. Chief Justice Bandial said, “We are not here to convict or disqualify everyone. Ensuring implementation of court’s verdicts is our objective.” But the bench would ensure that judicial directives were implemented, the judges said, adding that the country’s high-profile figures should not be “targeted” through such petitions. The bench, however, said it was ironic that certain sections had been referring to the ideals of law, the Sunnah and constitution, and yet they kept returning to the argument of presidential immunity. Subsequently, the court adjourned the hearing until today (Thursday).
Published on Dec 13, 2012