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Supreme Court indicts Babar Awan for contempt
Pakistan among most vulnerable countries facing climate risks
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Pakistan preparing to open supply route, says US commander
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Rs 15.00 Vol II No 321 22 Pages Islamabad-Peshawar Edition
Friday, 18 May, 2012 Jamadi-ul-Sani 26, 1433
Pakistan a ‘black hole’ for US aid: lawmakers g
Democrat and Republican lawmakers slam Obama admin’s $2.4b request for Pakistan WASHINGTON onLIne
US lawmakers from both Democratic and Republican parties have slammed the Obama administration’s request for $2.4 billion for Pakistan, calling the country a “black hole” where the US has “sunk” $24 billion over the last decade. “Pakistan is like a black hole for American aid,” Gary Ackerman, top Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs panel on the Middle East and South Asia said during a hearing on
Wednesday. “Our tax dollars go in, our diplomats go in – sometimes, our aid professionals go in – sometimes, our hopes go in, our prayers go in,” he said. “Nothing good ever comes out.” Alleging that Islamabad continues to pursue its national interest at America’s expense and that of its allies, Ackerman said, “Pakistan continues to shelter, directly support and sponsor terrorists.” “Officially acknowledging this indisputable fact might be grossly impolitic; but that doesn’t make it less true. American standing in Pak-
istani public opinion is terrible and getting worse,” he said. Similarly Republican Dana Rohrabacher blasted US support for Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who he said was taking “marching orders” from Pakistan. “We should cut Pakistan off of every cent because it has been used for evil purposes, including killing American troops,” he said. However, a State Department official testifying at the hearing suggested cutting off aid would be short-sighted. “Our current discussions with the Pakistanis on how best
to pursue our common interests will take time to resolve, and it’s not easy right now to provide satisfying answers to some questions,” Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Daniel Feldman said in written testimony. But “the fact of the matter is, is that we’ve been able to kill more terrorists on Pakistani soil than just about any place else,” he said, citing President Barack Obama’s words after the death of Osama bin Laden last May. “We could not have done that without Pakistani cooperation.”
Zardari going to ChiCago
Invitation to NATO moot ‘unconditional’ Gilani says restoration of NATO routes still under negotiation g Says certain political parties trying to step in the shoes of SC judges g
A RASHKAI: Local residents gather at the crash site of a Pakistan Air Force Mushshak plane after it crashed on a house on Thursday. Tariq aziz
two PaF trainers collide midair, four pilots killed PESHAWAR STAFF RePoRT
Two trainer aircraft of Pakistan Air Force (PAF) collided midair near Risalpur on Thursday morning, killing all four crew members on board. The dead crew members include two under-training pilots and their instructors. The collision took place at Rashkai near the PAF stronghold in Risalpur, Nowshehra, and the two planes fell in a populated area, injuring several people, including women and children. The cause of the accident was not immediately clear. It was the sixth PAF crash in seven months and the second in a week. “Two PAF Mushshak aircraft, while on a routine training mission, crashed near Rashkai, Risalpur. Four pilots embraced Shahadat,” said a statement issued by the PAF. A board of enquiry has been ordered to determine the cause of the accident, the statement said.Police officials confirmed the crash, saying that one aircraft fell on a house in Rashakai, while the second plane crashed into a two-storey building. Police said that several people had been injured due to the crash, and were taken to Bacha Khan Medical Complex in Mardan.
army and naB to jointly investigate nLC scam ISLAMABAD
naB receives fresh reference against Sharif brothers
NAB chief Admiral (r) Fasih Bokhari and Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani have agreed to formulate a mechanism to jointly investigate the National Logistics Cell case and the JAG Branch of GHQ, PGA and NAB would devise a strategy to conduct the joint inquiry into the case. This was said by NAB spokesman Zafar Iqbal Khan at a media briefing held at NAB headquarters on Thursday. He claimed that a fresh reference had also been filed against Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leaders Nawaz Sharif and Shahbaz Sharif and the bureau would take cognizance of the matter under the laws of the land and would solve the case on merit. He said the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) had referred
the NLC case to Minsitry of Defence to look into the affair, where it was alleged that the authorities in NLC had made huge investments in stocks even after getting loans from banks over the period of time.
He said the GHQ was investigating against three former army generals while the NAB was conducting inquiry against NLC’s member finance and the investigation was at an initial stage.
S the Foreign Ministry on Thursday confirmed that President Asif Zardari would attend the NATO summit in Chicago, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani said NATO’S invitation to the moot was not conditional on opening up of transit route for the alliance’s supplies to Afghanistan. Talking to reporters at the World Telecom and IT Society Day, the prime minister said Pakistan had received an unconditional invitation. “The issue of reopening of NATO supplies through Pakistan was still under negotiations,” he said while answering different questions in this regard. “Accepting the invitation, President Asif Ali Zardari would visit US to take part in the conference on Afghanistan,” he added. He said the Defence Committee of the Cabinet and the federal cabinet had also endorsed this invitation. According to the prime minister, the relevant ministries would stay engaged with their US counterparts for implementation of the Parliament’s recommendations. “If US authorities are not giving information, why should we do so? We have given direction to concern ministry that is negotiating with US authorities to conclude talks aimed at restoration of NATO supplies,” Gilani said. Meanwhile, the White House said late on Thursday no meeting was scheduled between President Obama and President Zardari when the latter visits the US for the NATO moot. To a question, the PM said he was misquoted in his statement about someone leaving the country. “A foreign TV journalist had asked me a question referring to impressions of Pakistan being a failed state. That I had answered in so many words that Pakistan was a successful country and only those who consider it as a failed one should better leave it,” he explained. Asked when he would step down in the wake of his conviction in the contempt of court case, Gilani said, no competent authority had sought my resignation. “Only those who do not like my face as prime minister ask me to step down,” he added. He said certain political parties were trying to step in the shoes of the judges and were trying to assume the role of implementer of the apex court’s verdict. “The Constitution of Pakistan clearly prescribes the mechanism for the implementation of the apex court verdicts,” he added. “Therefore, Nawaz League has nothing to do with Supreme Court’s decisions, notwithstanding, the party’s thinking that it was their duty to do so.” To a query on appointment of chief election commission, the prime minister said when he contacted the opposition leader in this regard, he refused to accept me as prime minister now they accepted the committee to finalize the issue and let the committee decide. Gilani said he would follow the constitution and the parliamentary committee headed by Syed Khurshid Shah would now oversee the issue. To another question on Waziristan operation, he said the army and concerned forces would decide when to start the operation. “We are moving in right direction to establish Seraiki province for betterment of the people but some people want me to be quit before it comes into existence,” Gilani added. Asked why the government had failed to overcome power crisis, the premier joked that he wanted to impress the nation. “No government would ever want to be unpopular in the public, its people who like us and like our policies therefore they vote us into power again and again,” Gilani said.
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02 News Today’s
Friday, 18 May, 2012
Pakistani commodore awarded
HRW urges Zardari not to sign Human Rights Commission bill
Story on Page 09
Story on Page 05
Another 11 perish in Karachi violence KARACHI: The dead body of a youth was recovered from the Lines area of the city on Thursday morning, pushing the overall death toll in the unrelenting violence during the last 24 hours to 10, officials said on Thursday. According to police, the dead body was bundled into a sack, which was found near a technical school located in the Lines area this morning. Meanwhile, during the past 24 hours, a former union council nazim was gunned down in Malir. Elsewhere, two brothers, Saeed and Mujeeb, were murdered in Baldia Town, and another man, Malik Hasnain, was shot dead in Orangi Town. Also, three dead bodies were found in Lyari’s Khadda Market, Malir and Baldia Town areas. onLIne
JUI-F does not recognize Nisar as opposition leader in NA: Haideri OKARA: Differences appear to have widened between two major opposition parties as Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) Secretary General Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri on Thursday said his party would not accept Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan as opposition leader in the National Assembly. Talking to the Okara Press Club over telephone, the senator said Chaudhry Nisar could be a leader of the PML-N but not of the opposition. He said Nisar became chairman of Public Accounts Committee with the support of the PPP and played the role of friendly opposition and thus had no right to criticize the JUI-F. He said just to get the post of leader of the opposition in the Senate, Nisar did not allow PML-N senators to contest election for chairman and deputy chairman of Senate despite having the support of the JUI-F. Haideri said the JUI-F accepted PML-N as a major opposition party in the Senate, but they did not have the courtesy to welcome them. “In the past, the PML-N deceived the APDM that included Imran Khan, Mahmood Khan Achzai and Qazi Hussain Ahmed and now Nisar, under an agenda, is dividing the opposition in the Senate by criticising the JUI-F,” he said. Haideri said Nisar was betraying the Sharif brothers by meeting some people in the “dark of night”, while in broad day light, he spoke against them. He said he had accepted an invitation given by Qazi Hussain Ahmed to participate in religious parties’ meeting to be held on May 21 in Islamabad. To a question, he said that there was no possibility of the revival of MMA. nnI
One dead, two injured in Peshawar bomb explosion PESHAWAR: A man was killed while two sustained critical injuries in a bomb explosion in Scheme Chowk area of Badbher in Peshawar on Thursday. According to the police, the bomb exploded in a car mechanic’s shop. Three persons sustained critical injuries in the incident and were shifted to Lady Reading Hospital where one succumbed to his injuries. onLIne
8 killed as jeep falls into River Neelum near Muzaffarabad MUZAFFARABAD: At least eight people were killed when a passenger jeep veered off the road and fell into River Neelum near Muzaffarabad on Thursday, officials said. The vehicle was coming to Muzaffarabad from Neelum valley when the accident took place at about 9:30am, a police officer told the media. All the ten people on board died as police and rescue teams recovered eight bodies from the river. “It was not known how the driver lost control of the vehicle which veered off the road and hit the rocky riverbank over 300 feet down,” he said, adding the police were investigating the cause of the accident. onLIne
KARACHI: Workers preform maintenance on an oil tanker used to transport fuel to nATo forces in Afghanistan on Thursday. aFP
Pakistan, India likely to sign free visa agreement on 24th ISLAMABAD
N agreement for liberalising business visa regime between India and Pakistan is likely to be signed at the conclusion of the two-day secretary level talks on May 24 in Islamabad enabling traders of both countries to visit each others’ countries under the free visa agreement. Federal Secretary of Commerce, Zafar Mehmood stated this while giving a briefing to the NA Standing Committee of Commerce on Thursday headed by Khurram Dastagir Khan. Mehmood feared that in the beginning of trade liberalisation between the two countries, few sectors would come under pressure but assured the traders of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) of the country that the government would take all stakeholders on board before taking the final decision. The commerce secretary, while briefing the committee members on the progress on Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status to India and liberalising the trade regime between the two neighbours said that that ministry had been working with its Indian counterpart on deleting the non-tariff barriers. He told the committee that both sides were
working to enhance the number of custom stations as well as trade routes between the two countries. He said the Indian trade minister would visit Pakistan next month with the trade mission for the deliberations on trade liberalisation between the two countries. He said while referring the study done by Dr Ishrat Hussain that Pakistan’s trade volume with India can be increased by 10 times as compared to the present day if trade regime liberalised. He said a middle class of 300 million and a total population of 1 billion, an immensely large avenue for Pakistan suppliers. The commerce secretary told the committee that Pakistan had comparative advantage over India in a range of products, including cotton, textiles, rice, leather, leather products and surgical goods. He said Pakistan stood to save between $400 million to $900 million on its import bill if it allowed imports from India on several items replacing its present imports from other countries at higher cost. While briefing the members on the ministry’s budget for FY 2012-13, the secretary said the ministry had demanded Rs 5,549.88 million, of which Rs 5,049.88 million would be used under non-development budget and Rs 500 million would be used under annual development head.
indian cabinet clears turkmenistan gas deal NEW DELHI: The Indian government has approved a deal to buy natural gas from Turkmenistan via a $7.6 billion pipeline passing through Afghanistan and Pakistan, reports said on Thursday. The cabinet approved the signing of the Gas Sale and Purchase Agreement as well as the payment of a transit fee to Afghanistan and Pakistan for allowing the pipeline to pass through their territory, the Press Trust of India reported. The 1,735-kilometre pipeline is likely to be operational by 2016, the news agency said, quoting a government official. The announcement comes after New Delhi said this week it would cut purchases of Iranian oil by 11 percent following US pressure to isolate the Islamic republic over its disputed nuclear programme. Washington favours the Turkmenistan pipeline and has pressured both India and Pakistan to hold off on a pipeline deal with Tehran. Energy-scarce India, which imports four-fifths of its crude, says it shares the US anti-nuclear proliferation goals but it views Iran as an important source of oil to feed its economy’s fast-growing needs. AFP
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Friday, 18 May, 2012
ARTS & eNTeRTAINMeNT
Iran vows never to renounce nuclear ‘rights’
no Khans for Kareena, says her rival
Hafeez calls teammates to refrain from any controversy newer provinces
COMMeNT All this is rather troubling.
Lyari is not in Waziristan.
Arif nizami says: A year after the raid: No questions answered yet.
White Lies Does the Punjab government writ extend to Lahore’s cantonment areas in matters of wedding activities? Apparently not! There is a grey, rather a khaki area here and it has been noted that wedding celebrations in these areas of Lahore extend way past the cut-oﬀ time.
Story on Page 14
Story on Page 17
Story on Page 18
Articles on Page 12-13
India may rent out 50 locomotives to Pakistan NEW DELHI
S part of the efforts to strengthen bilateral trade ties, the Indian Railways is mulling to rent out 50 diesel locomotives to Pakistan. Under the plan, India is likely to charge an approximate rent of Rs 1,500 per hour for each locomotive of 3,000 HP, Press Trust of India (PTI) reported.
Besides leasing out, India will also provide training facilities to Pakistani railwaymen to run Indian locomotives. “The Ministry of External Affairs has already Okayed the proposal, and now the modalities of supplying locomotives are being worked,” a senior Indian Railways Ministry official said. “If the supply takes place, it will be for the first time that Indian Railways will come to the aid of Pakistan,” the official said.
Though India regularly supplies locomotives to Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Myanmar, Mozambique, Tanzania and Ghana, it will be for the first time that locomotives will be rented out to Pakistan, said the official. “The Railways supplies about 10 locomotives on an average in a year. Generally, we sell locos on outright purchase basis to other countries but this will be for the first time that we are considering to give it on hiring basis because Pakistan
SC orders HBL president to appear with record of amount withdrawn by Younus Habib ISLAMABAD APP
The Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday ordered the president of Habib Bank Limited to appear on the next date of hearing with relevant ledger detailing the withdrawal of amount by the then chief executive Younus Habib, one of the main character in the Mehran Bank scandal, and any other material to help in determining that these amounts were taken away without adopting due procedures. A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry also asked the governor of the State Bank of Pakistan to look into the matter and share with the court any information he had. The bench resumed the hearing of a petition filed by Air Marshal (r) Asghar Khan in 1996 against the alleged distribution of Rs 140 by former Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief among the rivals of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) to influence 1990 elections. The bench also issued notice to commander Shahbaz, legal director at the Ministry of Defence, to inform the court about the ministry’s willingness to appear and record a statement over the issue, or its role as an observer. During the proceedings, petitioner’s counsel Salman Akram Raja insisted that the authentic enquiry report over Mehran Bank scam be produced. Attorney General of Pakistan Irfan
Qadir told the bench that there was no such authentic report available with them. He requested the bench to grant him time so that he could authenticate the copy of Mehran Bank scam, and find out the availability of any final report on Habib Bank Limited. Law Ministry Secretary Yasmeen Abbasi produced a copy of the interim report sent by HBL Enquiry Commission chairman Mohammad Ilyas on April 22, 1997. In response to the bench’s question, she replied that there was no final report on record in the ministry. The attorney general said the interim report contained many names and the bench could quiz them. The bench observed that the interim report had no substance except the list of members of the commission and of 13 witnesses. It said that from the material available on record, it was evident that the amount was taken out for onward distribution among the politicians. Justice Jawwad S Khawaja said there should be some standard operating procedure which existed when the alleged amount was taken out. The chief justice questioned why such interventions had been made in the democratic process since 1977. Justice Khilji Arif Hussain observed that without the availability of the required enquiry report, they would be groping in the dark. On the request of the attorney general, the bench adjourned further hearing until June 4.
SC demands explanation over new OGra chairman’s appointment ISLAMABAD InP
The Supreme Court on Thursday took notice of new OGRA Chairman Saeed Ahmad Khan’s appointment and demanded an explanation from the Ministry of Petroleum and the Cabinet Division within 14 days. According to sources in the Petroleum Ministry, the Human Rights Cell of the Supreme Court demanded the explanation on orders of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, from the departments concerned over the appointment of the new OGRA chairman. After receiving replies of the Cabinet Division and Ministry of Petroleum, the Supreme Court will decide upon further proceed-
ings over OGRA Chairman’s appointment. The letter mailed by the HR Cell of the Supreme Court, to the Cabinet Division and Petroleum Ministry, stated that the newly-appointed OGRA chairman had no prior experience of the oil and gas fields and there were some allegations of corruption on him as well. The OGRA Ordinance states that having good reputation is a must for any candidate but merit and experience in related field were also ignored at the time of OGRA chairman’s appointment. Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani made the appointment on April 14. Former OGRA chairman Tauqeer Sadiq had been sacked by the Supreme Court for holding a fake degree and on corruption charges against him.
Railways is preferring leasing to buying,” said the official. Currently, India is manufacturing about 250 diesel locomotives in a year. With the continuous growth in traffic volume, there is a demand for the production of more locomotives. The three-member team of the Pakistan Railways Advisory and Consultancy Services Limited (PRACS) had earlier held preliminary discussions with the officials of Railway In-
frastructure, Technical and Economic Services (RITES). RITES have received request from Pakistan Railways regarding the supply of locomotives from India. “A formal agreement will be signed between RITES and PRACS after the finalisation of modalities,” said the official. Pakistan is facing an acute shortage of locomotives as it has about 520 locomotives out of which about 450 are under repair.
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Friday, 18 May, 2012
New French govt gives itself 30% pay cut PARIS
RENCH leader Francois Hollande’s new Socialist government got down to work on Thursday with the first order of business a symbolic 30 percent pay cut for the president and ministers. With the cabinet set to hold its first meeting, Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said the top item on the agenda would be the salary cut, a Hollande campaign promise that the premier said was about “setting an example”. The move was aimed at drawing a clear distinction between Hollande and former president Nicolas Sarkozy, whose salary famously increased by 170 percent to 19,000 euros ($24,000) per month after he took office in 2007. Senior ministers meanwhile said the government’s first concern would be to tackle the European debt crisis and push Hollande’s vow to shift the European Union’s economic focus from austerity to growth.
“The priority is to disentangle the crisis in Europe,” Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told news channel BFMTV. “I am profoundly European but we need a different Europe, a Europe that is much more focused on jobs.” Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici reiterated that Paris would not ratify the EU’s fiscal austerity pact if it does not include measures to boost growth. “What has been said quite clearly is that the treaty will not be ratified as is and that it must be completed with a chapter on growth, with a growth strategy,” Moscovici told BFMTV. Moscovici also gave assurances that the Socialists would keep public finances under control. “We must reorient the reconstruction of Europe, but not by turning our backs on budget discipline,” he added. “I want to be very clear, Francois Hollande has said it repeatedly, we must tackle the public debt, reduce deficits, and secure France’s situation. That is fundamental, a country that runs up debt is a country that is getting poorer.”
Hollande, who defeated right-winger Sarkozy in a May 6 vote, on Wednesday unveiled a government of mainly moderate Socialists and long time allies. Fabius, 65, was prime minister under France’s last Socialist president Francois Mitterrand between 1984 and 1986, while 54-year-old Moscovici was Hollande’s campaign chief during the race. Jean-Yves Le Drian, a 64-year-old local politician from Brittany, was named defence minister, while Manuel Valls, a free-market moderniser seen as on the right of the Socialist Party, was named interior minister. Hollande also chose close ally Michel Sapin, 60, as labour minister and put Arnaud Montebourg, a 49year-old from the left wing of the Socialist party, in charge of reindustrialisation. Notably absent from the government was Socialist leader and former labour minister Martine Aubry, a key figure in the party’s oldguard left wing, who said she would not join cabinet after being passed up for the premiership.
russia warns ‘hasty’ Western wars could provoke nukes MOSCOW AFP
Russia cautioned Western powers on Thursday against launching “hasty” wars that could lead to the rise of radical Islamist factions and even result in regional nuclear wars. Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev told a legal forum ahead of his visit to the G8 summit as Russia’s official representative at Camp David that Moscow noted numerous examples of powers infringing on the sover-
eignty of other states. The comments were a clear reference to Russia’s current standoff with the West over Syria and its earlier condemnation of NATO’s air strikes against Libya. “The consequence of hasty military operations in foreign states usually means that radicals come to power,” Russia’s former president told a televised forum in Russia’s second city of Saint Petersburg. “And sometimes these actions — which undermine state sovereignty — could re-
sult in a fully-fledged regional war. And even — although I do not want to scare anyone — the use of a nuclear weapon.” The Saint Petersburg event included speeches by US Attorney General Eric Holder and other top international dignitaries and legal scholars. Medvedev will stand in for President Vladimir Putin — elected to a third term after serving four years as premier — at talks starting Friday after the Russian leader pulled out citing the need to complete his new government.
PARIS: (LtoR) France's newly-appointed Junior Minister for Foreign Countries and Development Pascal Canfin, Junior Minister for european Affairs Bernard Cazeneuve, Minister of Foreign Affairs Laurent Fabius and Junior Minister for French Living Abroad and Francophony Yamina Benguigui arrive for the first cabinet meeting on Thursday. aFP
Taliban dressed up as afghan police kill 7, injure 12 HERAT AFP
Gunmen dressed in Afghan police uniforms and wearing suicide vests stormed a government compound on Thursday, killing seven people and wounding 12 others in the southwest, police said. The four attackers targeted the offices of Governor Mohammad Ikhpolwak in Farah, capital of the southwestern province Farah, which borders Iran and is considered a trouble spot for the decade-old Taliban insurgency. The assault under-
scored the major security challenges as Afghanistan heads to a NATO summit in Chicago on Sunday with a demand for $4.1 billion a year to bankroll its security forces after Western troops pull out in 2014. “Four suicide bombers in Afghan police uniforms armed with suicide vests and rocket-propelled grenades today attacked a government compound in Farah, exchanging fire with police,” said Mohammad Ghaus Malyar, provincial deputy security chief. “As a result, seven people were
killed — six police and one civilian — and 12 others were wounded including three policemen and nine civilians,” Malyar added. Officials said the four attackers also died. Two of the attackers detonated their suicide vests and the other two were shot dead by police, said Interior Ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi. The ministry blamed the attack on “terrorists”, a phrase Afghan officials use to refer to Taliban insurgents and other militants. In mid-April, dozens of people were killed and in-
jured when Taliban suicide attackers occupied construction sites in Kabul, including one at the heart of the diplomatic enclave, unleashing a battle with security forces that lasted about 19 hours. Farah is a volatile area where remnants of the Taliban ousted from power in the 2001 US-led invasion are fighting to bring down the Western-backed government. This month the militia announced the start of its annual spring offensive, a campaign of bombings and attacks that picks up every year as the weather warms.
bomb threat delays PIA flight to Dubai by 4 hours ISLAMABAD A bomb threat delayed a passenger flight bound for Dubai by four hours on Thursday, with officials clearing it to take off after searches found no explosive device on board. The Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight
was preparing for a scheduled 11:00am departure from Lahore when an anonymous caller rang the airport claiming there was a bomb on board. “The plane has been thoroughly searched and no bomb was found, it has taken off at 3:00 pm,” Hasan told AFP.
Civil Aviation Authority spokesman Pervez George said all threats had to be taken seriously although most turned out to be hoaxes. Pakistan’s aviation industry has been in the spotlight after a Boeing 737 from the private airline Bhoja Air crashed near Islamabad on April 20, killing all 127 people
on board. Last month, a PIA jet was forced to land shortly after takeoff from Karachi after a passenger made a hijack threat. The state carrier is on the verge of going bust, but provides the only direct services from Pakistan to Britain, Europe and North America.
salary packages, relocating CNG stations even out of province etc,” he added. He said the accused made dysfunctional two of the OGRA members and even didn’t pay attention to government instructions. Meanwhile, NAB converted the inquiry into an investigation, which was under process. The spokesperson clarified that as reported in the media, NAB’s prosecutorgeneral accountability (PGA) was not working for or against the interest of any person in his personal capacity but under the provisions of NAO 1999. “Whatever legal opinion is framed in NAB’s Prosecution Division is in black and white.” He said billions of rupees were involved in the case and one of the accused in OGRA case (Mansoor Muzaffar, Member Gas) was in NAB custody since
May 16, 2012 and an Accountability Court of Rawalpindi had granted 10day remand of Mansoor Muzaffar in the said case. He said arrest warrants for other officials in the case had been issued and they would be arrested shortly. In the RPPs case, he added, the SC took a human rights case filed by Faisal Saleh Hayat/Khawaja Asif on September 26, 2009. The NAB took cognizance of RPPs under the direction of SC on March 30 and was in the process of conducting inquiry for recovery of looted money. “In the beginning, NAB sent names of all the accused persons involved in the RPPs case to the Interior Ministry to place them on the ECL, marked the caution on their bank accounts and other assets in-
cluding the equipment installed for generating power.” Zafar Khan said NAB also directed CAA for not allowing a plane belonging to one of the RPPs to fly out of country. So far, the NAB has recovered Rs 2.012 billion from RPPs and was still in the process of reconciliation so that the remaining amount could be deposited to the government exchequer. Moreover, he added, NAB also sent its teams to inspect the sites of RPPs and teams were busy finalizing their reports. “Types of embezzlement committed by the RPPs include illegal advance money payment, different rates for different companies, gas projects were signed when Pakistan is already facing shortage in gas, no tax was levied on import of equipment from
these companies. No company has ever produced electricity in full capacity as per agreement except M/s Gulf,” he added. He said NAB was proceeding against nine companies and so far recovered more. About cases of Pakistan Railways, the NAB spokesman said NAB recovered 80 million rupees in the scrap case. In NRO case, under the reconciliation agreement between various parties, an ordinance was promulgated by the then president in October 2007 where many people got benefit, including persons involved in 155 corruption cases. He said NAB has opened all the cases closed under this ordinance. He said NAB had also started inquiry against Adnan Khawaja in the OGDCL case and submitted its findings with the SC.
Army and NAb CONTINUED FROM PagE 1 “NAB’s investigation team is in liaison with the team in the GHQ and recently the NAB team met JAG (judge advocate general) branch team. This impression that the GHQ has refused to share any information with NAB is incorrect,” he added. Responding to a question about the action against army personnel, the spokesman said National Accountability Ordinance (NAO) did not allow NAB to take action against any army official except for those who were or had been performing their duties in civil departments. He said in a fresh reference against the Sharif brothers, NAB would take cognizance under the laws of the land and would solve the case on merit. As far as their old cases were concerned, they remained pending as the Sharifs were out of Pak-
istan, he added. “At present, the Lahore High Court has directed not to open those cases against them as they took the plea that based on these cases they could be politically victimized. In case of Hudabia paper mills, the court has ordered to defreeze those assets which they have got back,” he asserted. The NAB spokesman also rejected CDA’s claim that NAB had accorded approval in LED project. He maintained that the bureau had at no time given any approval whatsoever to the said project. “So, the (media) report is not factual and doesn’t present correct perspective. The fact of the matter is that NAB had asked CDA for a presentation a few months ago, when media highlighted the issue, on the said project from the perspective of the preven-
tive regime, but it never gave any sort of clearance. NAB had issued a letter to the CDA after presentation highlighting the areas where the agency needed to work more before taking any further step.” He said NAB had started inquiry against OGRA’s chief in November 2011 under the direction of Supreme Court where a private person filed the case leveling 17 allegations. He said the SC directed NAB to conduct an inquiry against Tauqeer Sadiq based on his appointment and other actions taken by him during his period in office. “After completing the inquiry, NAB submitted a detailed report to the court in January 2012 covering various allegations leveled against the accused including misuse of authority for appointing his favourites on lucrative posts with higher
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Judicial Commission to meet today ISLAMABAD onLIne
The meeting of the Judicial Commission for the Appointment of Judges in the Supreme Court and Sindh High Court will be held today (Friday) in Islamabad. The meeting will be chaired by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and attended by the nine members of the commission. The meeting will seek appointment of additional judges in the SHC and one permanent judge in the SC. Before the previous sitting of the judicial commission, the government had opposed the appointment of two adhoc judges while the bar councils and the government had supported the appointment of a judge on a permanent basis, so the appointment of one judge in the SC would be easily materialised. Sources said Lahore High Court Chief Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed would likely be appointed permanent judge of the SC while Justice Umar Atta Bandiyal would likely to acquire the position of the LHC chief justice.
Parliament ‘useless’ if NATO supplies restored: PTI chief LAHORE
AHMeDABAD: Bajrang Dal volunteers participate in an obstacle crossing drill during a youth camp on the outskirts of the city on Thursday. Bajrang Dal, a hardline Hindu organisation in India, is the youth wing of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and is based on the ideology of Hindutva. Apart from safeguarding 'holy cows', other goals include protecting India's Hindu identity from the perceived dangers of communalism, Muslim demographic growth and Christian conversion. aFP
PCNS seeks details of missing persons
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan said on Thursday that if NATO supplies were restored against the recommendations of the parliament, then such a parliament was “useless”. Talking to the reporters at Allama Iqbal International Airport, Khan said that about Rs 66,000 were being spent on the parliament every minute, but the legislature had proved to be unproductive and its recommendations went in vain. He said that a national conference on NATO supplies was due to be held on May 29. Senior PTI leaders Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Javed Hashmi and Dr Arif Alvi have been given the task of organising the conference, he added. He said the US would have to discontinue drone attacks. He reiterated his stance that Pakistan should come out of the war on terror, and resolve the matter through talks. He said the present government was involved in corruption and the soaring inflation-rate was its direct consequence. Each government organisation is facing a financial deficit, and the common man has to pay high taxes to minimise the deficit, Khan added.
HE Parliamentary Committee on National Security (PCNS) on Thursday sought details from the Interior Ministry on proposed legislation regarding the issue of missing persons and anti-terrorism laws by May 31. The PCNS also directed the ministry to provide comparative study resembling drafts of legislations of other countries having same laws especially, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and others. The committee also asked the members to submit proposals and recommendations for amending the existing laws by May 28. PCNS met in camera at Parliament House with Mian Raza Rabbani in the chair to discuss existing laws on forced disappearance of people at the hands of security agencies and decided to compile draft of recommendations for amendments in the relevant laws to ensure release of disappeared people as
well as to avert happening of such incidents in the future. Talking to reporters after the meeting, PCNS Chairman Mian Raza Rabbani said the committee reviewed the existing pertaining laws and asked proposals and recommendations from members by May 28. He added that details were also sought about the current state of implementation of two regulations namely PATA and FATA from concerned quarters. He was also of the view that PCNS had also asked Ministry of Interior to provide draft of anti-terrorism law moved and then withdrawn in 2009. He observed that committee had further asked the ministry to prepare a comparative study of Pakistani relevant laws with other countries having similar legislations including Indonesia, Sri Lanka and others. To a question, Rabbani maintained that PCNS was mandated to propose recommendations for amendments for legislation to the government and had not been delegated any power to amend the laws by itself.
Pakistan among most vulnerable countries facing climate risks: report ISLAMABAD nnI
Countries in Asia and the Pacific are at a crossroads and must now strike a balance between rising prosperity and rising emissions. Their success or failure will have repercussions worldwide, predicts Asia-Pacific Human Development Report launched on Wednesday. The Asia-Pacific region must continue to grow economically to lift millions out of poverty, but it must also respond to climate change to survive. Growing first and cleaning up later is no longer an option, advises, the AsiaPacific Human Development Report 2012 – One Planet to Share: Sustaining Human Progress in a Changing Climate. The publication is aimed at reinvigorating climate change dialogue by bringing people’s concerns to the fore in the lead-up to the Rio +20 conference. What happens in this region – which is home to more than half the
world’s population and half of the planet’s mega cities - can make a global difference. The report says that “countries of the developing Asia-Pacific are much less locked into the old, carbonintensive ways of production and consumption. Asia-Pacific not only has the imperative, it also has the opportunity to manage development differently”. The report argues that in the face of climate change, countries in Asia and the Pacific “will need to change the way they manufacture goods, raise crops and livestock, and generate energy”. This will mean “moving to greener, more resilient, lower-emission options that not only sustain the environment but also offer opportunities to the poor for employment and income”. The ceremony was chaired by Ministry of Climate Change Secretary Muhammad Javed Malik. Addressing the ceremony he reiterated that the recommendations of these strategic documents and climate change policy must be translated into concrete actions and
must form an integral part of the human development agenda in Pakistan. While presenting the findings of the report, Toshihiro Tanaka, the UNDP country director, said, “Asia-Pacific region including Pakistan needs to walk the tightrope between the pursuit of economic growth and vulnerability to climate change. We witness increasing frequency and impacts of climate related disasters. Disaster risk reduction is a must for any sustainable development strategy to be successful.” At the launch, a presentation on Pakistan’s National Sustainable Development Strategy (NSDS) was also shared. The NSDS will be presented at Rio +20. The NSDS envisions evolving a just and harmonious society in Pakistan through the promotion of sustainable and inclusive growth without over exploitation of the country’s natural resources. The NSDS focuses on integrating economic, social and environmental dimensions into the current develop-
ment model with a view to make it more sustainable and equitable. UN Resident Coordinator Timo Pakala congratulated Pakistan for preparing the NSDS and the National Climate Change Policy. These two documents and testimonials to the commitment of Federal and Provincial governments to promote sustainable growth and address the effect of climate change in Pakistan. Also presented at the launch was the much awaited National Climate Change Policy which was recently approved by the Federal Cabinet. The policy provides a framework to address the issues Pakistan faces vis-à-vis the phenomenon of climate change and suggests ways and means to adapt to and mitigate the ravages posed by climate change. The ceremony was attended by representatives from government, national and international development partners, civil society organizations, academia and media.
HRw urges Zardari not to sign Human Rights Commission bill
NEW YORK onLIne
The Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Thursday urged President Asif Ali Zardari not to sign a bill to authorise a newly formed national human rights commission until it is revised to “authorise investigations of the military and the intelligence agencies for human rights violations.” “The National Human Rights Commission, if given teeth, can play a critical role in improving Pakistan’s dire human rights situation. President Zardari should tell parliament he will only sign the bill when it gives the commission authority over abuses by the military and intelligence agencies,” said Brad Adams, Asia director at the international human rights’ watchdog, in a press release issued here. The National Assembly passed the National Human Rights Commission Act on May 4 for the commission’s formation, but the act requires the president’s approval before it goes into effect. The Human Rights Watch has expressed concerns that the bill would prevent the commission from addressing or investigating “human rights violations by members of the armed forces and intelligence agencies.” “Pakistan’s military and its intelligence agencies have a long and welldocumented history of serious and systematic abuses,” said Adams. “A primary reason to create a national human rights commission should be to address longstanding impunity for the army and intelligence services.” “A strong and independent National Human Rights Commission can be a key institution in aiding Pakistan’s transition to a truly rights-respecting democracy,” he said. “But a commission that cannot take on cases involving the army and intelligence agencies would perpetuate a cruel joke on Pakistanis whose rights have been violated.”
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Pakistan preparing to open supply route: US commander WASHINGTON
A K I S T A N is preparing to open the crucial NATO supply route to Afghanistan, a top US commander based in Afghanistan has said, noting that there were signs of improvement in bilateral ties. “There have been in the last several days, some very important signals coming out of Islamabad that there is a consideration to re-open the ground lines of communication, and we, frankly, would welcome that, we would applaud that decision,” General John Allen, commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan, said. “It would, in fact, be helpful to us if the ground lines of communication were opened, not just because of what could flow into Afghanistan but what could flow out of Afghanistan,” Allen said in his address by video conference to the sixth annual 2012 Joint Warfighting Conference, in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
Allen acknowledged that the relationship between US and Pakistan had been hit after the November 26 incident in which 24 Pakistani soldiers were killed in a cross border fire, following which Islamabad closed the crucial NATO supply route. “I will tell you the effect of the closure of that route on the campaign has not slowed us at all. The air bridge into Afghanistan and the flow of materiel across the Northern Distribution Network were modulated in a way that continued to support the campaign in every operational respect,” Allen said. The top US Commander said that there has been a general review by the Pakistani Parliament of relations with the United States and some very hopeful signs. “I would say that over the next several months, we may well see, between ISAF and the Afghan national security forces and the Pakistani military, an ability to work very closely to ensure that we can coordinate operations along the border,” Allen said.
In his remarks, Gen Allen said many of the nations that are helping support the Afghan people in their fight against the Taliban will continue to help the country long after their active combat has ended. He described how most ISAF nations are establishing their own bilateral agreements to assist the Afghan government beyond the fighting. “We will keep our commitment to the Afghan national forces beyond 2014,” Allen said of the planned end of ISAF combat operations. The bilateral relationships will ensure continued training, advising and mentoring of the Afghan force. Ultimately, the goal is to have the Afghan army carry out all counterinsurgency operations and allow the police to focus on traditional police issues, the general offered. “The police should be able to move from being the trailing edge of counterinsurgency to being the leading edge of law enforcement and justice,” he stated.
PeSHAWAR: A police officer inspects the site of a bombing at a market on Kohat Road on Thursday. iNP
Militants blow up women’s college in Jamrud JAMRUD: Unidentified militants blew up the building of a government degree college for women with a remote-controlled device in Jamrud tehsil of Khyber Agency, officials said on Thursday. However, no casualty was reported. According to the political administration, the improvised explosive devices (IED) were planted on the outer wall of the college by militants. Political Tehsildar Asmat Wazir visited the site of explosion and registered a case against the unknown assailants. APP
ATC indicts Madhyana, six associates in teacher torture case SARGODHA: An anti-terrorism court of Sargodha indicted a former MPA of the PPP, Aslam Madhyana and six of his associates in a teacher-torture case on Thursday. During the hearing, the court summoned witnesses for further proceedings. The court had also indicted the former Punjab Assembly member on March 29. The court had upheld all the sections of the Terrorism Act against the accused. However, Madhyana denied all charges. Madhyana was booked in a case for breaking legs of an aged school teacher, Akhtar Lodhi, who had been raising voice against the alleged crimes of the former lawmaker in his hometown. InP
Haqqani’s boycott of memo proceedings makes the probe controversial
ISLAMABAD PReSS ReLeASe
The boycott of the memo Commission by Husain Haqqani and his legal team for not allowing Husain Haqqani to record his statement via videolink has made its findings controversial as the commission unusually concluded his findings first and later on ordered forensic investigation on Blackberry handset of Mansoor Ijaz. Haqqani’s legal team seem perturbed on turning down his request of recording his statement via video link from abroad and failing to make any effort to get statements from other potential witnesses such as US General James Jones, who transmitted Ijaz’s memo, and Admiral Michael Mullen Husain Haqqani citing various discretionary measures has already withdrawn from the proceedings. He says the commission went out of the way to facilitate Ijaz’s claim and recorded his statement via video link and agreed for a forensic examination of his blackberry set according to his own terms and conditions whereas he had been denied the same facility despite repeated requests made through Haqqani’s counsel. Haqqani maintains Commission has deviated from its mandate and for the unknown reasons taking steps one after the other that end up facilitating Mansoor Ijaz and his side of the story. Haqqani’s close circle say the fact finding would have been possible only if all witnesses were allowed to record his statement with same ease as they enabled Mansoor Ijaz without much ado. However, the Commission is unlikely to stop its proceedings and accommodate the concerns of Haqqani but the outcome will be controversial for all purposes. It may be recalled here Haqqani has been requesting the Commission to record his statement in the same way as Mansoor Ijaz but the refusal of the Commission compelled him to withdraw from the deliberations. The nature of the Commission is not more than fact finding body and Haqqani has not been formally charged of any crime or conspiracy.
‘Australia keen to see positive development in strained US, Pakistan relations’ ISLAMABAD
Pakistan is key player in the war on terror and Australia is keen to see some positive development in strained relations between Islamabad and Washington over reopening of NATO supply routes issues, Australian High Commissioner Tim George said on Thursday. Addressing a press conference, he said, “It is very good development that President Asif Ali Zardari has been invited to attend Chicago conference – while Islamabad is also considering reopening NATO supply routes.” George, whose three-year term comes to an end shortly, said, “We do understand the feeling of people over the Salala checkpost incident.” However, he said now both countries had almost settled the issue. The ambassador also praised Pakistan’s role in war on terror. He said he was privileged to serve as high commissioner during a period of strong growth in Australia’s relationship with Pakistan. The ambassador said, “I particularly welcome the deepening of our engagement, which is based on a productive, friendly and mutually beneficial partnership. Areas I would highlight include development cooper-
ation, defence cooperation, collaboration in tackling transnational crime, education and other people-to-people links, and closer collaboration in the trade and investment sphere. We see Pakistan as a valuable long-term partner. We also wish to support Pakistan in facing its significant challenges.” George said he was very pleased at the ex-
pansion of high-level links and dialogue between the two countries. He welcomed Pakistan’s valuable participation in the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Perth in 2011, the revival of senior officials’ talks between foreign ministries and of the joint trade committee, and good progress towards cementing much closer parliamentary ties. Australia’s development assistance to Pakistan has expanded significantly in the recent years to an estimated A$96 million in 2012-13. The signing of the Australia Pakistan Development Partnership (APDP) was an important milestone, providing a positive framework for our long term bilateral development cooperation. Australia has also been a major contributor of humanitarian assistance in time of crisis. Cooperation between Australia and Pakistan in combating terrorism and transnational organised crime has expanded substantially. A landmark development has been the establishment in 2010 of the highlevel Pakistan-Australia Joint Working Group (JWG) on Border Management and Transnational Crime, which meets annually. George said he appreciated deeply Pakistan’s excellent cooperation on these issues.
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Passive smoking may lead to cardiovascular disease ISLAMABAD APP
People who are exposed to even small amounts of secondhand tobacco smoke have a considerable higher risk of developing cardiovascular problems. Exposure to low levels of secondhand smoke even for 30 minutes can cause significant damage to the lining of their blood vessels, a condition which leads to hardening of the arteries or atherosclerosis, Press TV reported. For the new study, researchers used a smoking machine to produce particulate concentrations of tobacco smoke and measured the effects on 33 healthy nonsmoker adults ranging in age from 18 to 40 years old. The participants were either exposed to one of three levels of secondhand smoke including clean air, lower levels of lingering smoke found in smokers’ homes or a restaurant, and high levels found in highly smoky places. The results revealed that a major blood vessel found in the upper arm, called the brachial artery, did not dilate properly in the people exposed to lingering secondhand smoke. The finding showed the inner lining of the blood vessels of highly exposed people were not working properly. The researchers emphasized that the negative effect might be even higher if the study repeated short exposure rather than measure a one-time interval, a condition which many none smokers face in their daily life.
ISLAMABAD: A firefighter extinguishes fire which erupted in green belt of F-6. ONLiNE
IlO to hold `global youth employment forum’ ISLAMABAD APP
Against the backdrop of unprecedented youth unemployment levels, International Labour Organization (ILO) will host a `Global Youth Employment Forum’ from May 23-25. The forum to be held at its headquarters in Geneva, will bring together more than 100 youth from around the world for wide-ranging discussion and reflection on the state of the global jobs crisis and the major challenges facing young people in their search for decent work, said a news release issued here. Young representatives from employer and worker groups, youth associations, and the share their experiences and views, ILO and partner organizations will give practical examples of successful initiatives. The forum will focus examining the impact of the youth employment crisis and reviewing facts and issues from across different regions; discovering ways to enable access to decent work for young people; including students, interns, informal workers, unpaid family contributors, developing partnerships for more and better jobs for youth.
PbM demands Rs 4.5b for next financial year ISLAMABAD APP
Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal (PBM) has demanded a sum of Rs 4.5 billion in the next financial year (2012-13) for smooth running of its various operations. According to an official, the budget of PBM was Rs 2 billion during the last financial year (2011-12). Keeping in view the inflation, he said Rs 2 billion is insufficient to meet the expenses. Pakistan Bait ul Mal has established 28 Pakistan Sweet Homes across the country in which 2800 orphans are being provided basic amenities of life free of cost. Nine Sweet Homes have been sponsored by philanthropists while PBM is bearing the expenditures of 19 sweet homes. PBM would soon establish another Sweet Home for the orphans in the capital.
Lok Virsa celebrates World Museum Day g
Khalid Javaid says museums have importance in people’s life ISLAMABAD
HE World Museum Day is observed annually all over the world today (18 May) with a view to highlight the importance, necessity and role of museums for educating and enlightening people, specially younger generation about culture, heritage, history, flora and fauna, and progress of a country. Lok Virsa (National Institute of Folk and Traditional Heritage), Ministry of National Heritage and Integration, has announced to celebrate World Museum Day on 18 May. Talking to this scribe, Lok Virsa Executive Director Khalid Javaid said: “museums have a great role and importance in the lives e of people. There are many types of museums; some depict the indigenous culture and traditions inherited by people from their forefathers from generation to generation like museums created and operated by Lok Virsa. Others present archaeological sites, past history, natural history and scientific inventions. The archaeological museums preserve past history and ancient civilizations that fall in Pakistan under the domain of Department of Archaeology. Museums not only acquaint people with their culture, history and other related aspects but also provide them education in an informal and interactive way. They also serve to give fun to the masses, in particular children, he maintained. He further addd: “Lok Virsa has proud of establishing two national thematic museums in Pakistan. These include Pakistan National Museum of Ethnology, popularly known as Heritage Museum, at Garden Avenue,
Shakaparian, depicting living cultural traditions and life styles of the people of Pakistan. The second is Pakistan Monument Museum, adjacent to National Monument at Shakarpain which presents birth, history and development of Pakistan as a progressive state with special focus on the struggle for freedom movement. Both these museums, located at the beautiful lush green Shakaparian hills, not only contribute significantly towards the attractions of the federal capital but also enhance its beauty and landscape”. Khalid Javaid said: “government fully supports all initiatives in Pakistan that aim to expand and strengthen the museums. As regards Heritage Museum at Lok Virsa, I would also like to acknowledge the valuable contribution made by the Norwegian government, in particular their mission in Islamabad, by providing adequate funds under joint institutional cooperation programme for the improvement and expansion of museum displays”. The person behind creating these milestone achievements is Khalid Javaid himself who joined Lok Virsa in the year 1974. He took a major role in acquisition of most of the collections for both the museums. The artifacts were collected through extensive village-tovillage and town-to-town mobile field research. I have collected 98 percent of the exhibits displayed at the Heritage Museum, he told this scribe. Another major contribution of Khalid Javaid as a museum expert is recreation, redesigning and completion of Pakistan Monument Museum, the first thematic museum in Pakistan which opened to public in November 2010. He has also compiled/published the first directory of craftspeople in
Pakistan which serves as a basic manual and guideline for the craft promoters and craft-related agencies in planning and materializing activities, programmes and projects aiming to promote and preserve the dying traditional skills in Pakistan. He has also contributed towards different publications regarding craft heritage of Pakistan by way of his valuable input including the Encyclopedia of South Asia published in USA. In view of his vast knowledge and expertise in the craft heritage of Pakistan, he was included in the international team of experts nominated by UNESCO for preparation of a comprehensive report on Cultural Tourism in Pakistan. Khalid Javaid was also among a few pioneering officers of Lok Virsa who instituted “Lok Mela”, the only Artisans-at-Work Festival in Pakistan which aims to reviving endangered traditional arts and promoting rural artisans, folk artists and musicians. As a bonafide and experienced craft collector and researcher, he interviewed, researched and documented thousands of hours recordings and completed numerous research projects after extensive field surveys. His work is not only of serious archival value but also serves as a rich source of information and inspiration for future researchers/collectors. Answering a question about the forthcoming activities of Lok Virsa, Khalid Javaid informed that he was going to hold a folk festival “Lok Mela” at the end of this month in Lahore. On the World Museum Day, a musical performance featuring folk artists and musicians will be held throughout the day from 10.00 am to 6.00 pm (except break for Friday prayers from 1:00 to 2:30 pm) at Heritage Museum, Garden Avenue.
Drinking coffee lowers death risk ISLAMABAD APP
People who are used to drinking four or five cups of coffee a day are at a lower risk of dying from various diseases compared with less or non-coffee drinkers. The findings published in The New England Journal of Medicine was the result of a major US government study that analyzed the coffee-drinking habits of more than 400,000 people ages 50 to 71, Iranian Press TV reported. Overall, people who drank coffee tend to die sooner than non-coffee drinkers because coffee consumption was often linked with other unhealthy behaviors like smoking, eating more red meat, fewer fruits and vegetables, less exercise and more alcohol. But when the scientists eliminated the effects of those risks, the data revealed that the more coffee a person consumed, the less likely he or she was to die from a number of health problems, including diabetes, heart disease, respiratory disease, stroke, infections and even injuries and accidents.
Hareem’s novel `Spy Girls’ published ISLAMABAD APP
Poorab Academy Publishers has published `Spy Girls’, a novel written by young novelist, Hareem Rashid. Hareem is student of class 7th and has done such a marvelous work by writing a novel at a quite a young age which clearly indicates that there is no shortage of talent in Pakistan, said a news release issued by National Language Authority (NLA) on Thursday. Young Novelist belongs to the capital city and wrote many short stories while young Hareem is a poetess, painter, debater and also a good singer. She has won many musical competitions. ARREARS SHOULD BE RECOvERED FROM CONSUMERS: FARAZ: Former Secretary Petroleum Dr Gul Faraz Ahmad Gul Faraz has said that federal and provincial governments should recover the payable dues from the consumers to meet with energy requirements.Talking to Radio Pakistan, he said the circular debt has vast negative impacts on the economy of Pakistan and it has been increasing from Rs. 15 to 20 billion per month.
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ISLAMABAD: Girls take keen interest in paintings displayed during Group exhibition by the graduates of national College of Arts. ONLiNE
PNCA chief 97,000 Haj applications lauds youngsters’ received so far art work ISLAMABAD
ISLAMABAD MAHTAB BASHIR
Creative, innovative and incorporated stunning art work was the hallmark of a group exhibition presented by the young graduates of National Council of the Arts, Rawalpindi Campus, which was showcased at the National Arts Gallery (NAG) under the auspicious of PNCA here on Thursday. The exhibition titled ‘Pastiche’ was inaugurated by PNCA Director General Tauqir Nasir amid the presence of a number of art lovers and students. While strolling inside the art galleries, the PNCA chief spoke highly about the creative art works of the youngsters who pondered, explored and documented the interactive art. Appreciating the diversity of the artists, Nasir said these youngsters have the ability to sustain their originality, dynamism and direction to encounter the challenges of the future in this particular field. “This exhibition aptly titled ‘Pastiche’ aims to enter a dialogue between the viewer and the artists that will help paving way setting up future dimension in the sphere of visual arts,” the DG said. As many as 11 fresh graduates of NCA presented their collective work representing novel ideas and vision of the post-modern Pakistan through 55 art pieces. The artists included Sundas Rana, Narjis Mirza, Faten Suleman, Nazir Ahmed, Rabia Ayub, Amna Saeed, Sumaiyah Arshad, Tazeem Anwar, Maimoona Riaz, Afshan Yousuf, and Sundus Tariq. Pastiche is a work of art using material from similar works, a work of literature, music, art, or cinema that makes use of material from other similar works, especially in order to laugh in a gentle way at those other works. The exhibition will continue till July 2.
VER 97,000 Haj applications have been received under the government scheme from across the country and the successful candidates would be announced next week, Spokesman Ministry of Religious Affairs Joint Secretary Hafiz Sher Ali said Thursday. Talking to APP he said that the successful applicants would be selected on the basis of first come first serve basis. The process of receiving Hajj applications under the government scheme was started on May 2 and the number of the applications had surpassed the allocated quota of 89,605 on May 9, he said. He said, as many as 179210 lucky persons would perform Hajj this year. Half of them would perform Hajj under the Government scheme while the rest under private scheme. The intending pilgrims have been divided into Green, Blue and White categories. The intending pilgrims, who paid 7500 riyals, would be provided residential facilities within 900 meters of Haram Sharif. They would be placed in the Blue category. The Green category pilgrims would be provided residence facilities from 900 to 2000 meters (from Haram Sharif) in 5000 riyals. White category pilgrims would be provided residences from over 2000 meters from Haram Sharif in 3600 riyals. Over 625 Private Hajj Group Organisers (HGOs) will start receiving hajj application after the decision of the court as the matter is subjudice. He said Takaful Fund has been established in Saudi Arabia for the protection of the Hujjaj. Substantial compensation would be paid to each Haji in case of death, injury or disability. The deceased would be buried in Saudi Arabia as per set rules.
SAUDI GOvt tO ExtEND ALL OUt HELP tO IIU : The Saudi government is ready to extend every possible help to International Islamic University (IIU) for making it a source of knowledge with the combination of modern and ancient studies. This was stated by Pro-Chancellor of IIU, Dr Sulaiman Abdullah Abal-Khail in a reception which was organized in his honour at IIUI. Ambassador of Saudi Arabia in Pakistan Dr Abdul Aziz Al-Ghadeer was also present on the occasion. Dr Mohammad Masoom Yasinzai, Rector IIUI, Prof Dr Sahibzada Sajid ur Rehman, President IIUI, Deans, Faculty members and administrative officers also attended the reception. Dr Sulaiman said people of Pakistan and Saudi Arabia love each other because of same religion. He said it is good time that Muslims should coordinate and discuss various issues of mutual interest to work for the betterment of Muslim Ummah. He was pleased to know that shariah and modern education are taught at IIUI Dr Sulaiman also thanked the president of Pakistan for his appointment as Pro. Chancellor IIUI. Dr Sulaiman said universities are the hub of knowledge and intellectual. He further said Islam is the religion of peace and harmony for everyone. Everyone should share suggestions and opinions to improve the education system in IIUI and hoped that there will be visible change in IIUI in near future. Dr Masoom Yasinzai while talking to the media persons said Pakistanis have more love and devotions to Saudi Arabia as compare to homeland. He said knowledge and expertise of Dr Sulaiman will contribute a lot for the development of IIUI. Dr Yasinzai hoped that IIUI will achieve its objectives under the guidance and supervision of Dr Sulaiman Abdullah.
ExhiBition oF PottErY
DATe: MAy 10 - 21, 2012 VeNUe: KHAAS ART GAlleRy (FRee)
DATe: MAy 08 - JUNe 24, 2012 VeNUe: NATIONAl ART GAlleRy (FRee)
DATe AND TIMe: 05:00 PM, weeKly eVeNT VeNUe: THe CeNTRe FOR ARTS & CUlTURe
Please join us this Thursday, 10 May 2012 for Mohsin Shafi's first Solo Show at Khaas Art Gallery at 5:00 p.m onwards. Do spread the word and bring your friends to meet the artist in person and see his work.
exhibition of Pottery by SHeHeReZADe AlAM on Tuesday 8 May, 2012 the exhibition will countinue till 24 June, 2012 Closed Friday, Saturday & Public Holidays
Our drumming circle is a (free!) ongoing event and is held every Friday from 5pm to 6pm we are having a great time, and want to share the good time with you! Our drumming circle has children ...
dirt UndEr MY naiLS
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Islamabad 09 Classical music concert on `Rubab’ today ISLAMABAD APP
ISLAMABAD: Sadia Rahat, wife of naveed Butt, addresses a press conference to raise the issue of her missing husband at national Press Club. STaFF PhOTO
Pakistani commodore awarded
PPP to continue struggle for rule of law: Sumsam ISLAMABAD
ISLAMABAD PReSS ReLeASe
In recognition of the efforts made to enhance military co-operation between Pakistan and France in the capacity of Naval Attaché at the Embassy of Pakistan, Commodore Asif Khaliq was awarded “Ordre National du Merite’ (National Merit Order) by President of France. The award was conferred upon Commodore Asif Khaliq by H E Mr Daniel Jouannau Paul Henry, Ambassador of France in Pakistan in a ceremony held at French Embassy.
IeSCO power shut down notice ISLAMABAD APP
INISTER of State for Information and Broadcasting Syed Sumsam Bokhari Thursday reiterated his party’s resolve to continue fighting against fascist forces for supremacy of the constitution. “We rendered sacrifices for democracy and supremacy of the constitution. We respect differences and believe in consensus and reconciliation,” he said addressing the ceremony held in connection with 35th anniversary of Radio Pakistan Islamabad. “But, if differences are based on conspiracies, the situation leads to destabilization,” he added.The minister also reiterated his government’s resolve to respect the court verdicts but stated, they reserved right to appeal in apex court’s decision in contempt of court case against Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani. “We have a long history of struggle and sacrifices. No matter who leads the government, PPP will continue its struggle for democracy and supremacy of the constitution,” he said. He regretted that Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was hanged to protect the constitution and the present regime is
and prepare them to meet the challenges, the nation is facing. “Only those win who are rightful and committed. Let us carry forward the vision of Shaheed Z A Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto to steer country out of problems and to relieve masses from social ills,” he added. He said when the clouds of anarchy were hovering over the country, President Zardari shouldered the responsibility to keep all the federating units united and delivered successfully for promoting national cohesion and unity among masses. Sumsam also announced Rs 100,000 donation for the PBC officials who preserved the speeches and voice of Z A Bhutto despite all efforts by the dictator to erase his memories and words from PBC record. He also cut the birthday cake to celebrate the anniversary of Radio Pakistan Islamabad. Director General PBC Murtaza Solangi said under the able leadership of President Asif Ali Zrdari and Prime Minister Gilani, Radio Pakistan is emerging as an effective media to reach out to people even in far-flung areas. He said the dictators tried to undermine the people-friendly role of radio but they could not erase the imprints of Z A Bhutto’s memories from minds of Pakistani people.
Notices served to 190 illegal cattle farmers ISLAMABAD: Around 190 illegal cattle farmers in Sohan and nearby areas have been served notices through union councils to shift their cattle outside human settlements immediately to eliminate any chances of disease outbreak. Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) administration has launched cleanliness drive in the rural areas of Islamabad to ensure pollution free environment in the summer season. The official sources said that as part of preventive measures against dengue mosquitoes, around 190 illegal cattle farms in Sohan and nearby areas have been served notices through union councils to shift their cattle dens. He told that necessary action under relevant laws would be initiated against the violators. The administration would ensure that surrounding environment of human settlements in the rural areas should be clean and free from germs and pollution. APP
Government committed to development of ICT: Ashraf ISLAMABAD APP
Islamabad Electric Supply Company (IESCO) on Thursday issued power shut down schedule for various areas of its region due to necessary maintenance and routine development work. According to IESCO Spokesman, power supply of the areas fall under the following Grid Station/feeders would remain suspended as under:-May 19 (Saturday) From 09am to 2pm, Pindi Point feeder, Kohallah feeder, Patriata feeder, Treat feeder, Chita more, Numbal, Sehniw, Rawat, Osia, Dewal, Kotli Sattian, Vehgal, Patriata, Ban, Bari Imam, Saidpur, Chuntra, Pir Sohawa From 09am to 1pm, Radio Pak feeder, Capt. Amir feeder, Allama Iqbal Colony, Tench Bhatta Bazar, Dhok Syedan and surrounding areas.
facing challenges for upholding the constitution. “Democracy and struggle is the valuable asset of PPP. Our moto is to protect masses rights against the fascist forces and we will continue doing it,” he stated. “We never said we did not make mistakes. But, there should be justice. Struggle for masses right is our right and we shall fulfil our obligations,” he said and mentioned to his party’s sacrifices for restoration of deposed judiciary. Without naming anybody, the minister mentioned to some political leaders who believed in right-sizing and downsizing of institutions and added, to render people jobless is not policy of the PPP government. “Those who live in palaces cannot understand the miseries of the poor. But, people like us who have a long history of sacrifices, can only come up to their aspirations.” He assured the PBC employees to resolve their problems and extended all out support advising them to look at future and forget the hardships of the past. “We need to progress, we need to be prosperous. Let us not repeat follies of the past but learn a lesson from our past.” He said even in this age of progress, Radio is the most effective media to educate and aware people about their rights
Instrumental Ecstasy - a six part series of concerts will hold its final concert on classical music of subcontinent here today (Friday). The event is being organized by the Institute for Preservation of Art and Culture (IPAC) and Kuch Khaas, Center for Arts, Culture and Dialogue featuring the instrument of `Rubab’ by artists Ustad Mazhar Hasan Shagganon accompanied by Ustad Muhammad Ajmal on Tabla. The classical music of the subcontinent is one of the oldest unbroken musical traditions in the world. Its origins go back to the Vedic Period (roughly 1500 BC to 500 BC). According to the organizers, ‘Rubab’, also known as “the lion of instruments” is a short necked lute-like folk musical instrument commonly found in northwest Pakistan and Afghanistan. It is probably the most popular instrument from the Pakhtun folk tradition and has become an icon of North West Frontier of Pakistan. Ustad Mazhar Hasan Shaggan will play Classical music from the North Indian tradition on the Rabab. He is one of the leading Rubab players of Pakistan and has the distinction of developing his unique playing style on the Rubab by adapting this traditional folk instrument for North Indian classical music. Mazhar hails from the Gwalior Gharana of classical music and has received training under his father, the vocal maestro Ghulam Hasan Shaggan. Mazhar has served at Pakistan Radio in Peshawar and Lahore and has performed at numerous national and international forums where he has received acclaim from wide ranging audiences. He is also an accomplished mandolin player and composer. The concert will take the music lovers on an exciting journey to discover the melodic brilliance of the Indian subcontinent through Classical Instrumental Music.
Federal Minister for Information Technology (IT) & Telecom, Raja Pervez Ashraf Thursday said the government is committed to the development of information and communication technologies, infrastructure and applications for the provision of quality services, education, employment generation and women empowerment. He said the government was fully committed to make maximum participation of women in the field of IT, following the vision of Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto. While addressing on the occasion of “World Telecommunication and Information Society Day” he reiterated that his ministry would continue expanding IT network to the masses particularly to fill the gap of
Urban-Rural Dichotomy. Earlier Secretary IT and Telecom, Farooq Awan in his welcoming address informed the guests and audience about the ongoing projects under his ministry and said IT sector has shown marvelous achievements during last four years. He also said that the ministry is working on broadening the Broad Band Network which he said was the foremost priority of the ministry. He informed that currently there are 1700 IT companies operating in Pakistan which was a symbol of customers & service providers’ trust on the policies and services of the ministry and its allied departments. The event was attended by a large number of professionals, government officials, companies’ representatives and students. The purpose of World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD) is to help raise awareness of the possibilities that the
use of the Internet and other information and communication technologies (ICT) can bring to societies and economies, as well as of ways to bridge the digital divide. This day (May 17), marks the anniversary of the signing of the first International Telegraph Convention and the creation of the International Telecommunication Union. ICt tO ACCELERAtE EFFORtS AGAINSt PROFItEERS: Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) administration has decided to continue the on-going price checking drive in city and ensure implementation on rate list of food items. The source said that stability in the prices of food items would be ensured as administration has directed the shopkeepers to display the rate list of fruit and vegetables. He said that Deputy Commissioner Islamabad, Amer Ali Ahmed has also ensured
that protection of the consumers interests would be priority of the administration and availability of fruit and vegetables would be ensured at the control rates. Assistant Commissioners and Magistrates would continue price checking drive in their areas and they would also hold meetings with the traders to solve their problems, the source added. Encroachments would also be removed from the markets and traders co-operation would be sought in this regard. He said that CDA has been also asked to issue the same rate list of food items to the CDA stall holders in the markets which is being issued to the CDA weekly bazaars. Stall holders of markets have been directed to display their licenses issued by the CDA failing which stern action would be taken against the offenders, the source maintained.
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Friday, 18 May, 2012
AIOU to host AAOU’ annual conference 2013 ISLAMABAD
LLAMA Iqbal Open University (AIOU) will host the Asian Association Open Universities’ (AAOU) annual conference 2013 to strengthen regional cooperation to fight illiteracy and ensure quality education through distance-learning and e-learning systems. The preparations for this purpose are already underway” this was stated by Prof Dr Nazir Ahmed Sangi while addressing the 25th meeting of Board of Advanced Studies and Research (BASR). Dr Sangi further said AIOU will promote research work at the higher educational level that helps to solve the
community-based problems and the national issues, like energy crisis, illiteracy and unemployment. The students of the universities while doing research work must concentrate on the socio-economic problems, faced by the country. They should be a helping hand to the government and other relevant institutions to solve the issues of the national importance. There is also need of bringing about necessary amendments in the on-going research methods that could meet contemporary needs. “We must promote productive and creative research works at the universities’ level so that it could be beneficial for formulating policies of public importance”, he asserted. He said the students should work hard to raise the standard of their re-
search journals so as to enhance their utility and application at the community-level. The Board’s meeting was attended, among others by the deans of the four faculties- Education, Social Sciences, Basic Sciences, and Arabic and Islamic studies, besides AIOU Registrar Agha Hafizullah and Director BASR Directorate Dr Hamid Khan Niazi. More than 60 research papers/proposals of MPhil and PhD level offered by the AIOU’s faculties were presented at the Board’s meeting for consideration. Majority of them were approved after necessary changes. A list of supervisors/experts/examiners was also presented by the different departments for the approval of the board. Meanwhile, Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) Muzaffarabad Regional
Campus started functioning in its new building that will facilitate around 50,000 students of the area. The building costing about Rs 50 million is equipped with latest `state-ofthe-art’ facilities. It was formally inaugurated on Wednesday by the Vice Chancellor. While inaugurating the new campus building, he said that it has been set up to ensure equal quality education for all in all parts of the country. The new campuses and study centers were being set up at the provincial and district levels to provide educational facilities to the students at their door-steps. Access of quality education for the students has been the top priority of the University. Efforts are also been made for the availability of the basic infra-
structural support as well as e-learning system in every nook and corner of the country, specially in the backward and neglected regions, he added. The AIOU, Dr Nazir Ahmed Sangi added has made a remarkable progress in the last two years in enhancing its educational network with maximum students’ supporting facilities. The students’ enrolment has now reached to 1.3 millions and these numbers are getting increased in each semester of various AIOU’ programmes. Prof Dr Nazir Ahmed Sangi also highlighted the efforts being made by the University in introducing new job-oriented and vocational based programmes that he added are aimed at enhancing their participation in socio-economic development of the country.
Rawalpindi police arrest 15 outlaws RAWALPINDI APP
During a fresh crackdown, Rawalpindi police arrested 15 outlaws and recovered weapons, bottle of liquor and drug from their possession here on Thursday. According to police spokesman, Waris Khan police station held Shan Masih and recovered 40 liter liquor. In another operation, Pirwadhi police arrested Safeer and recovered 40 liter liquor. Gujar Khan Police held Suleman and recovered 65 bottle of liquor from him. Police Station Wah arrested Shakir Ullah and recovered 295 round 30 bore from his possession. Rashid was arrested by the Khauta Police for having illegal 30 bore pistol. Kalar Syedan police station held Abbas and recovered 30 bore pistol from him. Police Station Saddar Circle arrested Manzar Abbas and recovered 7mm pistol from his possession. Police have registered separate and started investigation. RAWALPINDI POLICE RECOvER FAKE CURRENCy: Rawalpindi police on Thursday apprehended a man and recovered fake currency worth thousands of rupees. According to a police spokesman, Murree Police held Mohsin, resident of Azad Jammu and Kashmir and recovered Rs 20,000 fake notes from his possession. In another operation, the same police arrested Idrees and recovered Rs 25,000 from his possession. Police warned the citizens to keep a vigilant eye while exchanging currency notes.
RAWALPInDI: A Cantonment Board worker baton charges eunuchs during a protest demonstration in Rawalpindi. ONLiNE
Measures to curb hepatitis spread urged ISLAMABAD APP
Social workers and patients of hepatitis have asked the concerned quarters to take serious measures to curb the spread of killer diseases in the country. They demanded concrete steps to reduce prices of the medicines, especially life-saving drugs which are no more affordable for the common man. Workers of different social sector organizations and patients of hepatitis B and C raised these demands while holding a demonstration in front of National Press Club here against expected artificial increase of prices of some costly drugs. Over ten per cent population is suffering from hepatitis just because of the re-use of disposable syringes, unscreened blood transfusion and contaminated equipment in medical facilities, they said. They alleged that some multinational companies are exploiting the situation by selling drugs on exorbitant prices while barring entry of affordable medicine in the market. These multinational companies are also delaying local research aimed at finding cheap local alternatives, they added. The protestors said that cost of the most widely prescribed hepatitis medicine is not more than Rs 3000. However single dose of the pre-filled syringe is being sold at Rs 13000. The health practitioners who prescribe the medicine get Rs 6500 as commission while rest of the money is distributed among importers, health officials, distributors and retailers, they informed.
WorLd hYPErtEnSion daY 2012
Balanced diet essential for healthy lifestyle ISLAMABAD APP
Today marks the World Hypertension Day 2012 across the world including Pakistan to promote public awareness of hypertension and to encourage citizens to prevent and control this silent killer. The theme for year 2012 is Healthy lifestyle -healthy blood pressure. Exercise on regular basis, a reduced intake of salt and controlled sugar level keep the blood pressure normal, says an expert Dr Naeem Mian while talking to PTV on Thursday. He said with continued efforts at the national, regional and local levels to increase public awareness about healthy lifestyle, healthy blood pressure and adherence to therapy will make a huge difference. He said the word hyper means much and pressure means increase, normally it remains controlled in our body but when its level increases,
problem of high blood pressure occurs. He said almost everybody including male and female who are above 60 become patient of it naturally. “Unfortunately now a days due to social and financial constraints people are having complaints of high blood pressure even at very young age but its controllable”, he said. Replying to a question he said hypertension can be caused due to obesity, smoking, physical inactivity, and alcohol. So every body should visit the doctor for check ups after every six months. He suggested some best preventive measures in this regard: modifying lifestyle; balanced diet; less use of salt, sugar and fat to keep control the weight; use of green vegetables should be frequent. He added whoever is patient of high blood pressure, his fat metabolism system get disturbed and when fat increases than blood pressure also increases which can damage kidneys
and can cause brain hemorrhage to the patient so sugar should be controlled at first, rest of the problems will be automatically controlled. “Blood pressure itself has no symptoms but if a person complains of eye sight weakness, headache, lack of appetite, less activity than he is suffering from hypertension (blood pressure), he maintained. CPO tO HOLD KHULI KAtCHERI : Rawalpindi City Police Officer (CPO) Azhar Hameed Khokhar will hold ‘Khuli Kutchery’ on May 19 at 11:00 AM in Mandra Police Station. People having complaints against the respective police station can attend the ‘Kutchery’ to present their applications to the CPO for their redressal. ‘Khuli Kutcheries’ are being held on the special orders of Chief Minister Punjab Mian Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif and Inspector General of Police Punjab aimed at resolving peoples’ problems at their door steps.
Peace indispensable in region: experts ISLAMABAD: We are running out of time to make peace a possible solution,” said BA Malik here on Thursday. He was the main speaker at a roundtable organised by the Institute of Regional Studies (IRS) on “Building Bridges of Peace in South Asia and Beyond”. He said there were several internal, regional and international factors that have halted the peace process in South Asia, however, until and unless Pakistan resolves its internal issues it will not be at peace with other South Asian players. BA Malik emphasised on the need to look for commonalities between different players, particularly the arch-enemies India and Pakistan to build a bridge of friendship and tolerance. He argued that it was time to promote common threats the region faces today instead of pivoting one nation against the other. He further said Pakistan needed to ‘develop its own height’ by strengthening relations with its neighbours as foreign governments are not interested on solving our problems. He concluded with a positive note that, “Peace in the region is indispensable” however, he warned that “If we do not follow the peace route, time will come when peace will no longer be possible.” Others participants included: Lt Gen (r) Saleem Haider and senior fallow Brig (r) Bashir Ahmad. STAFF RePoRT
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Friday, 18 May, 2012
Editor’s mail 11
Unemployment issues Unemployment is a central problem of Pakistan. Youth of any country is revolutionary power for it. But it has been very unfortunate here in Pakistan that the overwhelming majority of youth is unemployed. The energy and talent of people in Pakistan has not been channelised. The socio economic system of Pakistan and institutions has failed to provide employment to the increasing labour force. Labour force includes all persons who are of ten years and above.
The root cause of distrust According to a World Fact Book report, 17 percent of Pakistanis are unemployed, but this figure does not show the true figure of unemployment. From a layman’s point of view, unemployment can be seen as just being jobless or a state of joblessness. Being jobless is frustrating emotionally, socially, psychologically on the part of the unemployed. Unemployment can affect people in ways such as it causes depression, dissatisfaction, anxiety, hopelessness and
many other negative emotional states. It is usually observed that the mental health of unemployed people is lower than that people that have job. The unemployment socially makes our society weak and stops the productive power. People can’t have better education or even medical treatment for their children. Otherwise people who are unemployed can’t take part in their cultural activities. All this means they are totally cut off with a society.
Unemployment has negative impact on mutual relations in the family and society the financial crisis effects on a family as being of most concern. It is a great fact that money is money and no one can deny its importance to live in society. The effect that unemployment has on the emotional side is more serious than to understand. Little things often become serious issues. SALWA NOOR Karachi
Nato supplies Time management and proper method of doing things are two most important lessons which Islam has taught us among other millions of lesson. It is unfortunate that the present regime has neither learnt this lesson nor any other. Adhoc decisions and steps is what we have been seeing in the past 4 years. Resumption of NATO supplies at this stage is as detrimental to Pakistan cause as it was when we suspended them some six months earlier. Was the attack of Salala check post at the middle of the night a mistake by NATO? Are the anti-Pakistan overtures by Hillary in India not a plan? Has US issued an apology? Has the US stopped drones on Pakistan? US has issued stern warning to Pakistan and if any sane minded person reads things between the lines, the threats are the same which were sent to Saddam Hussein. Resumption of NATO supplies at this time and under these circumstances is totally making Pakistan a slave nation. Then if the resumption is imminent as expressed by our school girl foreign minister, the extent of resumption and the method adopted by Pakistan is novice. Where was her vision hen she advocated NATO supplies ban? If our Interior Minister, de facto PM, could not recite even Surah-e-Nas when asked upon, I can imagine the pathetic situation we are in for other major decisions and strategies. We are totally jeopardized. AMJAD H MIRZA Lahore
Remembering bhoja Air The tragic crash of Bhoja Air flight B4-213 from Karachi to Islamabad took place on 20th April 2012. It was a second major accident after Airblue flight within a span of two years which occurred on 28th July 2010 and at the same airport. As the media in our country is so vibrant and dynamic, it immediately came into action and started live telecast of the rescue operations. As is the case in many instances, media persons immediately began airing interviews of some of the eyewitnesses of the crash and some, of so called aviation experts. In the heat of competition amongst the electronic media, different TV channels caught hold of anyone who was remotely associated with the business of aviation, and aired their interviews without confirming his expertise in the field of commercial aviation. At that time facts were not available to the experts, yet they opined about the airline itself, the illfated aircraft type and its history, weather, Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) of Pakistan and most sadly about the competence of the aircrew, specially the Captain. Ironically most of them were wrong in their opinion. It is really unfortunate that this accident occurred during the initial days of revival of Bhoja Air, otherwise it would have soon transformed into a very successful private airline. As it overcomes the jolt it has received in its infancy, it is expected that the airline will soon be back on the roadmap to success it had drawn for itself. All negative propaganda unleashed on the media, whether willingly or innocently in the heat of competition, will prove to be unfounded. The most probable cause of the crash is weather. I am sure the truth will bring some solace to the bereaved families that it was not due to some omission or commission by anyone in the chain responsible for safe operations of commercial flights, but act of nature beyond the control of us mortal humans. I pray for all the departed souls and pray to Almighty Allah to give them a place in Jannah! Ameen. ALI ABBAS SHAH Hunza
The Indus River was always considered to be Sindh’s river when five rivers flowed through Punjab. With the loss of three rivers to India now the whole country has to subsist on the remaining three rivers of which only the Indus has surplus flows. Tarbela dam was built to transfer water from the Indus to the canals in north and south Punjab which were previously serviced by Ravi and Sutlej rivers. By storing surplus flood water Tarbela dam increased canal supplies by 25 percent. Of this increase Sindh got an additional 7 million acre feet of water and was able to cultivate more than 20 lac additional acres. It is quite wrong for Sindh to deny north and south Punjab their legitimate shares from the increased supplies from Tarbela dam. Through the CJ and TP canals in the case of south Punjab and through the left bank canal at Kalabagh dam in the case of north Punjab. The intention of the Indus Water Treaty could not have been to deprive north and south Punjab from the waters of Ravi and Sutlej without providing for replacement water from the Indus. It is imperative that the public takes note of the statement of the Sindh chief minister in this regard. ENGR KHURSHID ANWER Lahore
Students and politics
endless miseries As soon as loadshedding period is increased, our peoplefriendly government uses another lethal weapon at the same time: the increase in power tariff. I don’t know where this will end but I can predict that after a
Denial, denial, denial During the last few weeks, it was quite amazing to read classic excuses from some high profile responsible persons to hide their or their institutes’ failures. The special Investigation Team (SIT) has told the Indian Supreme Court that parliamentarian Ahsan Jaafri could have fired on the rioters during the siege of Gulberg society in 2002 Gujarat riots. Jaafri’s action might have instigated the rioters to put the whole colony on fire wherein 69 persons including Jaafri were burned to death. Pakistan army’ paramilitary force – Frontier Corp (FC) head Major Gen Ubaid Khan told the Supreme Court that his force has nothing to do with ‘missing persons’ and extremists were involved in kidnapping of people while using FC uniforms and vehicles. During the hearing a video clip obtained from a CCTV camera was also played showing FC soldiers stopping three persons at a hotel entrance and then taking them away in FC vehicle. Ubaid Khan rejected the footage saying it didn’t prove that his men were involved in the kidnapping of these people. Former Liberian President Charles Taylor has accused the prosecution of paying and threatening the witnesses to accuse him in the ongoing war crimes trial in Geneva. Taylor expressed ‘deepest sympathy’ for victims in Sierra Leone but insisted of his innocence. He told the court that he is a father of many children, have grand children and great-grand, therefore, court shall consider his age when deciding on the charges. These high profile excuses may provide some historians a logical precedent to ‘correct’ the record of many infamous massacres such as My Lai, Sabra and Shatila, Srebrenica, Cave of the Patriarchs, 9/11, Bhagalpur – the list goes on. MASOOD KHAN Jubail, Saudi Arabia
let us not be fooled Yesterday, it was reported in the media that US/NATO have agreed to pay USD one million per day for the use of land route through Pakistan. In simple words, the Pakistani negotiators have agreed to peanuts and apparently they are happy. When such an offer was made
few years, per unit cost will be at least Rs 50 and people will only be paying electricity bills instead of other basic necessitieies. KAMIL HASSAAN Lahore
to President General Zia, he refused the offer and called it peanuts forcing the US to come with a much better offer. Does this mean that Zia was a better negotiator? The price of USD one million a day is not really sufficient as already the pending CSF amount of USD 2.5 billions is still outstanding. We should first make the US pay our arrears and ask them to pay an amount, may be USD three millions per day, upfront and with no credit to the US anymore. The additional amount must also be asked for the maintenance of the used land route. The US needs us badly as the years 2012 and 2013 are very important for the US withdrawal from Afghanistan. We should learn to make use of this opportunity by asking for more. We should be sticking to our terms of apology and no drone attacks to extract much more. The US has always used carrots and stick policy for Pakistan and they played a bluff knowing the weaknesses in our leaders. We need to have a proper "think tank" to study all moves and recommend necessary actions viz a viz the US offers. The present rulers and all major parties must select the members of such a think tank who should deliberate upon all international issues keeping in mind what’s best for our country and without any vested interests. Let us not be bluffed or fooled by any country/super power. RASHID MAQSOOD Lahore
KbD is Pakistan card The PML(N) chief has stated that Sindh card has expired and he is using Pakistan card to woo Sindhis during his speeches in interior Sindh. In the same breath he has said that KBD case may not be promoted as Sindh has same reservation on it. This shows that the PML(N) chief inadvertently falls back on the Sindh card in backtracking on KBD. I remember that during a visit to Raiwind residence the venerable late father of PML(N) chief Mian Muhammad Sharif had disclosed to the scribe that Mian Sahib was going to announce the building of KBD which was subsequently done at the time of exploding six nuclear devices by Pakistan in response to five of India. However, later on, PML(N) chief
probably got cold feet due to opposition of some political parties. There was yet another occasion when KBD agreement could have been achieved from ANP when the former NWFP was going to be renamed Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Here also the historic chance to tame the ANP to drop its rabid opposition to KBD was blown by compromising on the removal of ban on third time primeministership and forgetting the KBD issue altogether. This was nothing short of a national betrayal of historic proportions. As such to talk now of an expired Sindh card does not behove the PML(N) chief as KBD is a Pakistan card in personam being the only guarantee for saving Pakistan. The World Bank has recently stated that Pakistan is losing four billion US dollars annually in industrial shutdown due to inability in building KBD. Pakistan is faced with an existential threat due to its water and energy woes while India goes ahead to build scores of dams on our Western rivers ostensibly to generate power. Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf had a go ahead to build the dam and complete it in his period but the general lacked the guts to do it by being hamstrung by the MQM supremo. So the bus of KBD has been missed repeatedly at the altar of political expediency and no amount of wooing now in Sindh is going to help as the key of KBD lock is in the hands of PPP which they are destined to use it or lose it at their own peril. DR MUHAMMAD YAQOOB BHATTI Lahore
Malir incidents I am currently studying at FAST-NU located at Shah Latif Town in Karachi while I live in Gulshan-e-Iqbal. Malir is located in between my home and my university. I cross Malir twice daily to go to my university and come back to my home. Almost every day unlawful incidents take place in Malir. Most of the times due to firing among various groups many innocents are killed. I have to check the situation of Malir when leaving from my university to come back to my home that there is no firing going on. It is my humble request to the law enforcing agencies to bring peace to Malir. MUHAMMAD SOHAIL Karachi
The life of student is the life of devotion to his studies and preparation for facing all the problems that await him in his future life. We expect students to be confined within four walls of their educational institution and don't like that they should participate in politics. It can be observed now that in colleges and universities students involve in politics which leads to clashes between political parties in educational institutes which is harmful for our students, but being young they are always ready to lay down their lives for the sake of their ideals whether it is patriotism or anything else. Furthermore, some political sources use this youth power for their own purpose and ruin students’ lives. As a student’s first priority is to study, this does not mean that he should be unconnected from the world, especially of his own country. When Pakistan became independent students played vital role in a positive way. The only advice that they should be given is that for all noble causes they should go forward and serve the people of Pakistan and always remember our ancestors’ struggle for our country. It is hoped that higher authorities take strict action against those political parties in educational institutes which are playing with the future of our country. FARHEEN QURESHI Karachi
Use of narcotics The use of narcotics is a great curse for the society. It is increasing day by day and has become a menace and a challenge to the humanity. They seriously affect the nervous system of the user and make him a burden on the society. In our country, the use of ‘heroin’ is increasing very rapidly. Even the educational institutions are not spared of narcotics menace. A survey report shows that our young ones are using different drugs such as opium, charas, bhang, heroin etc. Some of them take these drugs as a fashion while the others are addicted to escape from day to day worries. This seems even more alarming when we know that these drugs are being used by ladies also. Most of the people fall prey to the narcotics sellers due to their ignorance. But once they are trapped, they become slaves of these drugs. These drug pushers are the enemy of humanity. They are selfish persons and want to become rich overnight. They deserve severe punishment. It is also an irony of fate that small children are being used to sell narcotics secretly. I request the concerned authorities that they should play their part. They should take serious action against such culprits. ZUBIA KHAN Karachi
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12 Comment Necessary Reopening of supplies
he two allies in the war on terror, Pakistan and the US, have somewhat remained estranged after a series of incidents last year that put Pakistan in a not so good light, both inside the country and before the world community. The Salala check post incident was the final blow after which Pakistan reacted with cutting off the Nato supplies going through its territory. This became a burning issue putting the US and its coalition forces in difficulties. After locking horns for months, Pakistan and the US have now shown the first clear signs of reaching an agreement and are moving towards a resumption in their relations that is so crucial to the war on terror. President Zardari is going to attend the Chicago summit on Afghanistan while the government of Pakistan has almost agreed to reopen the Nato supply lines that had been closed down for almost six months now. Pakistan is also going to charge one million dollars per day on the supplies transported through Pakistan, thus somewhat compensating its losses in customs, transportation and road usage charges. But, it is not going to be easy for Islamabad as well. To make sure that they get what they are paying for, the US has asked for better security for the supplies, an issue that has already caused controversies. Under the present setup, private transportation companies have been hired for this task but they have often been targeted by militants and miscreants, making the whole exercise not viable and putting lives of the transporters and coalitions forces in harm’s way. Making foolproof security arrangements is going to be a tough job for the country’s weak civilian leadership. Nevertheless, it has to be done, or allegations of incompetence or being complacent will again do the rounds. Besides the Nato supplies issue, an apology from the US over the Salala incident and reimbursements of almost two billion dollars under the CSF suspended for over two years are the main issues that made this relationship go sour. Sensing that the apology might never come, Pakistan is no more insistent on that front but it is still vocal about CSF, which Washington has used as a hedge to make Pakistan come around to its terms. These issues need sorting out and that too soon. Otherwise, it won’t be the terrorists that will be suffering.
Passing the buck Amusement at the courts
ell, of course he was going to spill the beans. Exarmy chief Gen Aslam Beg couldn’t possibly have expected his former spymaster Gen Asad Durrani to have carried the can for him regarding the ISI’s disbursement of funds scandal of the 90s. Earlier, the retired COAS had said he hadn’t been aware of any such plan to finance anti-PPP political parties. Gen Durrani’s emphatic statement in the court, where he all but rubbished his former boss’s claim, made clear that Gen Beg was the one who had originally given him the order. The Asghar Khan petition, which took more than a decade and a half to be taken up seriously by the Supreme Court, has put up a wedge between the old boys’ club. Do we expect a greater set of revelations as the tumult grows? Once the past of the shadowy organisation becomes clearer and clearer, it will also be easy to ascertain what, exactly, is its current role. The IB provides the civil government with intelligence, the MI takes care of military intelligence. The military should be asked to make a case for why there is another intelligence agency. Moreover, even when these three intelligence agencies are not meddling in politics and staying within their “legitimate” ambits, they misinterpret their role. The job of intelligence agencies is simply to collect intelligence. If they manage to get the dirt on someone, they should present that solid evidence to the police, who should then apply the criminal procedure code. Interference in the democratic process is merely the next step on the timeline once they forget their brief. An impression is being given by apologists that the episode in question is but a dark one in the agency’s history. But there really is no saying whether or not the practice has stopped in earnest. Exhuming the dead is a useful exercise because it gives a clear direction for what isn’t permissible in the future. The courts should move on beyond punishing the guilty party in the Asghar Khan petition and hold the current operations of the national intelligence setup accountable.
Dedicated to the legacy of the late Hameed Nizami
Arif Nizami Editor
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Friday, 18 May, 2012
PML(N) in Sindh Will it get a foothold?
By Aziz-ud-Din Ahmad
ian Nawaz Sharif’s overtures in Sindh are unlikely to weaken the PPP’s grip on its traditional stronghold despite its overall bad performance and colossal failures. The PML(N) has been unable to create a niche for itself in the province because its leadership did not try to understand the real problems of Sindh. The PML(N) looks for electable candidates when it comes to making preparations for the elections. These are supposed to be people with sufficient financial clout and muscle power. The rural elite are chosen because they have the means and the technical knowhow to fight the elections. They can also bring their dependents, tenants and servants to public gatherings. Those among the Sindhi electables who dislike the PPP need the protective umbrella of another mainstream party to deter a vengeful provincial government from highhandedness. What the feudal lords want is the tag of a party seen to be the next in power. Unlike the nationalists, they do not raise disturbing political issues once they have been accommodated and tickets assured for their group members. What is more, they prefer to cut secret deals to ward off any possible embarrassment. Most of the traditional Sindhi politicians are hedging their bets. They are keenly watching the tripartite political contest to determine which one of the parties has the best chances to win. The PML(N), therefore, has so far succeeded in gathering around it no more than a dozen presentable faces. How many of them are able to win their seats remains to be seen. Like their Punjabi counterparts, the Sindhi feudal lords are a force of the status quo. Even if the PML(N) comes to power with their support, it will fail to change the social conditions in Sindh. A chance to promote inter-provincial harmony would thus be lost and misunderstandings will multiply. The PML(N) has been in contact with the Sindhi nationalist and progressive parties also. Unable so far to win any seats, these pressure groups nevertheless have street power that the PPP
has mostly lost. Unlike Sindhi feudal lords, they insist on a prior agreement on the provinces’ rights. Despite serious complaints against Punjab, Sindh remains by and large wedded to mainstream politics. The nationalists are critical of the treatment meted out to Sindh during the tenure of the PML(N) but are unhappy with the performance of the PPP also. In order not want to be left at the mercy of the PPP, they would like to bargain with the PML(N) which rules Punjab. The nationalists think that a Punjabi politician is better placed to provide Sindh a modicum of relief. The PPP can afford to ignore the demands of the people of Sind and still win the elections. The PML(N) cannot. Nawaz’s 1999 water distribution formula has flaws, they argue, but concede that the PPP government didn’t have the guts to get even this implemented. It is also understood that an alliance with a mainstream party would put them in a better position to overcome the deficiencies of the electoral politics and counter the MQM machinations to turn Sindhis into a minority in their own ancestral homeland. An alliance with the nationalists will help the PML(N) develop a sound and sustainable base in Sindh. But for this, the party will have to understand what Sindh really wants. As things stand even the agenda of the moderate Sindhi nationalists is beyond the comprehension
of Mian Nawaza Sharif’s team. What is likely to give Nawaz unease is that none of the nationalists will be content with secret understandings. Whatever agreements are reached will have to be clearly spelt out and defended in Punjab. There are at least two clear cut red lines Nawaz will be required to respect. First, no talk of the division of Sindh whatsoever. While Nawaz concedes this, he will have to counter the MQM proxies in Punjab who off and on issue statements in support of a Mohajir province. Second, no to the Kalabagh dam. Instead of going for large water reservoirs, Nawaz will have to commit himself to the development of the Thar coal project which will not only reduce the gap in power production but also generate jobs in Sindh. Nawaz will have to commit himself to the further extension of provincial autonomy. He could do that without much thinking. He is advised, however, to try to understand how provincial autonomy is being defined in Sindh today to be able to talk to the Balochi nationalists tomorrow. Acceptance of natural resources as the provinces’ property is the first but by no means the last item on the unfinished agenda of the extension of provincial autonomy. The writer is a former academic and a political analyst.
wagers of sin The Hindu
he world of cricket faces a formidable challenge after a television channel's sting operation has brought the corrosive effect betting can have on the game and its players back into sharp focus. The Board of Control for Cricket in India should be commended for swiftly suspending the five cricketers involved from all forms of the game till a committee headed by Ravi Sawani, the former International Cricket Council anti-corruption unit chief, submits the findings of a preliminary report within 15 days. Whatever his findings, the fear is that the latest allegations are the tip of the iceberg. Cricket shed its heart-warming amateur spirit long ago and not many call it a ‘gentleman's game' these days. The Indian Premier League is cash-rich and this means the stakes are high not just for the broadcaster, the franchises and the cricketers but also for the betting syndicates. The Twenty20 format, too, is especially vulnerable to fixing. Since this form of the game is so compressed in nature, a couple of deliveries or a single over could influence the eventual outcome of a match. Here, spot fixing, even a single deliberate no-ball, can alter the result. Under the circumstances, the allegation that one of the
cricketers demanded Rs.10 lakh from an undercover television reporter for sending down a deliberate no-ball in an IPL match is extremely disturbing. Are there loopholes in the system and is it possible for a cricketer to pull off this illegal act in an IPL match? The IPL – after initial reluctance – now has ICC's anticorruption unit overseeing its matches, but are the mechanisms in place fool proof? The cricketers allegedly trapped by India TV's sting operation might not be big-time players but we should not allow the smallness of the names to cloud the enormity of the issue. Ever since Shane Warne, Mark Waugh and Tim May alleged that the then Pakistan captain, Salim Malik, approached them to fix an international game in 1994, some marquee cricketers have found themselves on the wrong side of the law. In 2000, Hansie Cronje of South Africa admitted to match-fixing and the subsequent scandal saw some Indian stars, including its skipper at the time, being banned from the game. And the News of the World sting saw Salman Butt, who was Pakistan's captain at the time, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir being convicted and jailed for spot fixing in 2011. Money brings with it greed and cricket needs to be very careful to preserve its soul. Otherwise the game – in the eyes of a cynical public – could well end up like one of those wrestling tournaments where the protagonists play-act and the outcome is fixed.
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Friday, 18 May, 2012
Our biggest problem? Spoiler alert: It’s not corruption By Abdul Majeed Abid
he mantra of corruption and eliminating corruption has gained increasing popularity after the historic Lahore jalsa by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf. The politicians of that party and the supporters have raised hue and cry over the issue of corruption by the politicians and bureaucrats. This, interestingly, is not a new phenomenon. There has been an undercurrent in the socio-political discourse about this issue and for the last 30 years, corruption is hailed as the root cause of most of our problems. Their solution to this problem seems to be a “technocratic” government, a model which has been tried at least twice in this country and failed to change anything. I beg to differ with this point of view and I want to explain why do I think that? (It’s not because I am on the payroll of any party). To start with, I would like to quote some facts and figures. According to Pakistan Public Opinion survey 2009, 45 percent people said that the single most important issue facing Pakistan was inflation, 26 percent said it was unemployment, 17 percent said it was terrorism, 15 percent said it was electricity and water, 10 percent said it was poverty and only eight percent said it was corruption. This does not mean corruption does not exist on a large scale in our country. Unfortunately, the only corruption being highlighted is the one done by the elected representatives of the people while the other institutions keep on looting this country without a second thought. As Mohammad Hanif once wrote, “Pakistan's army is as corrupt as the politicians from whom it wants to save the country. It's just better at paperwork.” Corruption is deep-rooted in our society and eliminating it would require more than sloganeering or a single regime change. We need to understand the dynamics behind corrupt practices and how ordinary people are equally responsible for a corrupt society than a politician or a bureaucrat. Bringing an end to corruption will take at least a generation which would be brought up on the agenda of honesty and belief in hard work rather than nepotism and paying your way out of trouble. We may love to hate them but we
should learn some lessons in this regard from our neighbours, India. Last year, Anna Hazare created a stir in the Indian society and media by launching a crusade against “the corrupt practices” of politicians. It was idealistic, utopian and ultimately failed to reap any rewards. Pankaj Mishra, wrote the following about that movement in The NewYork Times, “Led by Anna Hazare, the movement was presented by sections of the media as a long overdue political awakening of the middle class, even as India’s second freedom struggle. With a mostly urban constituency in mind, Hazare’s vision was narrowly focused on the alleged misdeeds of elected officials – above all those in the ruling National Congress Party, which has traditionally sought votes from the Indian poor – and bureaucrats. Among other things, he called for the establishment of an unelected anticorruption agency, which, lavishly budgeted, would have extraordinarily wide powers of surveillance, policing, and prosecution – and, by implication, make the state more efficient and technocratic and less encumbered by the unruly and lengthy processes of parliamentary democracy.” After all the above mentioned points, I should also mention what in my humble opinion is the biggest problem facing Pakistan. It’s the population explosion and the aspect that makes it more alarming is that it is not considered among the top five or ten challenges facing Pakistan. None of the major political parties in Pakistan has focused its policies or plans on how to control the population problem. With more than 180 million people, Pakistan has nearly six times the population of Afghanistan (or Iraq), twice the population of Iran, and almost two-thirds the population of the entire Arab world put together. Rapid increase in population has led to decrease in the efficiency of the infrastructure that was established for lesser number of people. It has also led to a gross income disparity, decrease in natural resources, youth bulge and unemployment on massive scales. To some extent, hypocrisy is also one of our biggest problems and it has been given no attention as well. A 59 year old leader of the youth, flying to a city on a private jet to lead a rally demanding a change in status quo, how much more cliched can it get.
in Kashmir In search of something
his month for the first time in my life I went to Kashmir, which you Pakistanis think is yours and we think is ours. In childhood, I would often say to classroom enemies: Doodh maango ge, to kheer denge Kashmir maango ge, to cheer denge [Ask for milk, I’ll give you cream Ask for Kashmir, I’ll slice you in half] Of course, this message was originally made for you, my dear Pakistanis. Let’s leave the past behind. I want to talk about the present. My first day in Srinagar was spent in the Martyr’s Graveyard in the old part of the town. It was crowded with men who, it is said, died in the struggle for an independent Kashmir. The graves were covered with grass, irises and roses. The sky was overcast. It was cold. Inscribed on the gate: Lest You Forget We Have Given Our Today for Tomorrow of Yours A cobbled path snaked through the cemetery. One grave was draped with a sheet of blue silk. Another had a garland of plastic flowers. Some were surrounded by red roses. A few graves were left empty for tomorrow’s martyrs. A lamb was grazing on the adjacent lawn. Far away, black clouds were coming down the pale blue By Mayank Austen Soofi hills that ring the city. As it started to rain, a young man entered the cemetery, and stood beside a grave. In the hotel, the manager told me, “Mirwaiz Molvi Farooq, our religious leader who was assassinated in 1990, is buried in that cemetery. His assassin too has his grave there. The Martyr’s Graveyard is Kashmir’s strangest place.” The same evening I was talking a stroll about the heavilyguarded Boulevard beside the Dal lake. The sun was setting behind Hari Parbat. The ancient temple at the top of Shankaracharya Hill
had disappeared from view. The boats on the Dal were reduced to their outlines. The lights coming from the houseboats had turned the water into strips of green, red and white. As the night chill set in, a group of Gujarati tourists left the lakeside. Most boatmen, too, were seen preparing to head home. But one boat seemed to be stranded on the lake. It had no oar and no boatman. According to a belief in this part of the world, when a man is killed, the sky turns red. That evening the sky was orange before it turned black. Perhaps nobody died in Kashmir that day. The next morning I was at Jamia Masjid in Nowhatta, a neighbourhood in the heart of Old Srinagar. The mosque was a snug little world of mossy brick paths, grey pigeons, yellow poppies and smooth pillars made from the wood of Deodar. Built in 1400 and destroyed thrice by fire, it has four wooden towers at four corners. The principal entrance looks to a bazaar that seemed to have seceded from India, at least emotionally. One chai shop was decorated with a framed portrait of your former president Ayub Khan. One wall was depicted with this crudely-drawn calligraphy: Gaza Strip It was dark in the masjid’s pillared hall. Burqa-clad women asked for alms, while devotees performed namaz or read the Quran. In the garden, the women sat under chinar trees, little boys jumped across brightly-coloured flower-beds, veiled college girls talked in low voices and crows made regular dips in the cool water of the wuzu pool. There was a clear view of the faraway hill-top fort of Hari Parbat. Taken over by the Indian Army, it is barred to Kashmiris. But sitting in the Jamia Masjid garden, it was easy to forget that we were in an occupied territory. The valley has two layers of beauty. The outer skin has superficial loveliness of snow-clad peaks and scenic lakes, a common trait of all the vulgar hill stations of South Asia. The inner layer reaches out only to those who are capable of feeling Kashmir’s violent past and uncertain future. This beauty is more delicate. But one thing that you must do before you die is to take a walk down the Bund in Srinagar. A pathway by the Jhelum, it teems with Kashmiris, not tourists. In the afternoon, schoolboys sit on the riverside slopes, while
schoolgirls stand around chaat stalls. Others lounge in a garden that is opposite Ahdoo’s, a hotel popular with Delhi journalists who periodically land in the town to cover the unrest in Kashmir. The Bund has many tailoring shops and a few abandoned houses, whose wooden balconies look down towards the empty houseboats. As the daylight fades, the mountains seem to come closer to the Bund. The world shrinks. It gets intense. In its issue dated 21 April 2012, Open, a Delhi-based newsweekly, published a cover story on Kashmir titled “Sorry, Kashmir is Happy.” The author Manu Jospeh asked: “Why is it obscene to accept that a historically wounded people are ready to move on?” In the story, he wrote: Srinagar does not have pubs or discos or cinema halls. Most young people there do not drink. A popular form of fun is sitting in a café and having coffee with friends. They are still uncorrupted by city slickness and there is an endearing honesty in their words. Trying to search for happy Kashmiris, I found my happy Kashmir in an outdated guidebook. Kashmir Tourist Book was published during the 1950s when the Delhi-Srinagar airfare was Rs 172 and Srinagar still had cinemas (Neelam, Regal, Palladium, Sheraj, Naaz, Broadway, Firdaus and Khayam). The guidebook delves deep into Kashmir’s happiness. The happy vale of Kashmir is renowned most for its wonderful air, lovely scenery and excellent beauty. This is that happy valley where one can make life most enjoyable to different tastes and interests. This is that happy valley where spring appears in all its glory. This is that happy fairy lotus-land where the lotus blooms to greatest perfection. This is that happy valley where trees like chinar and poplar are most beautiful at all stages. This is that happy valley before which the title “Eden of the East” blushes and artists find undreamed beauties of colour and scenery for the brush. Are you happy? Mayank Austen Soofi lives in a library. He has one website and four blogs. The website address: thedelhiwalla.com. The blogs: Pakistan Paindabad, Ruined By Reading, Reading Arundhati Roy and Mayank Austen Soofi Photos
ISB 18-05-2012_Layout 1 5/18/2012 12:59 AM Page 14
Friday, 18 May, 2012
Britney is back
- and so are the brickbats LOS ANGELES ReUTeRS
RITNEY Spears hasn't even taken her seat as the new judge of ‘The X Factor’, but the pop icon is already getting a lesson in the media glare of live, talent show television. Spears had barely wrapped up an appearance in New York confirming she is joining the singing contest before the celebrity knives were out, raising the question of how well the singer, who went through a public meltdown in 2007, can handle all the newfound attention. Her dress, nails, shoes, legs and figure have all come in for scrutiny most of it negative-in a taste of what may come when the show returns to TV in September for two nights a week over four months. The New York Daily News ran photos of the ‘Toxic’ singer's "bloody picked fingernails". It also showed a close-up of her thighs, commenting that she "appeared in a short
white mini dress that showed off her famous pop star legs - and what looks to be a bit of cellulite." Spears, famed for raunchy dance routines and music videos in her heyday, is now 30-years-old and a mother of two. Outside her sell-out global concert tours, she has been largely shielded from the media since a career and personal breakdown in 2007 that resulted in her affairs being handed over to her father. Mary Fischer at The Stir, said the singer should take a tip from Prince William's wife and style icon Kate Middleton who "is the definition of being sexy without revealing too much skin." Celebrity magazine Us Weekly was
more excited by Britney's three carat diamond engagement ring, estimated to be worth about $90,000, that boyfriend Jason Trawick slid on her finger in December. But some readers weren't so dazzled by the ring. Kathleen Tandy commented on the magazine's website that although Britney looked good in the second, purple dress she wore for photos, "she looked like straightup trailer trash" in the cream outfit. But the ‘Baby...One More Time’ singer also had plenty of defenders. "I don't care for Britney, but seriously what is with all the fat comments? I'd love to see what some of you guys look like or your spouses,” wrote HuffingtonPost.com user Goldie Treasure. "The only thing that looks kind of weird is her knee, but whatever on that. Christina (Aguilera) and Britney are not little 17 yr old pop princesses anymore they are women in their 30's with kids, cut them some slack."
ishaq Khuda to bring
MADRID: Kristen Stewart, Charlize Theron and Sam Claflin pose during a photocall for their film ‘Snow white and the Huntsman’. aFP
CANNeS: eva longoria poses on the red carpet before the screening of ‘Moonrise Kingdom’. aFP MUMbAI: Vidya balan poses during the unveiling of the DVD of 'Kahaani' directed by Sujoy Ghosh. aFP
revival in Pakistani cinema NEWS DESK With blockbusting successful movie like ‘Mohabatan Sachian’ and ‘Sulakhein’ on his resume, Shahzad Rafique is determined to bring a revival to the Pakistani film industry. He has focused all his directional skills on his latest upcoming movie ‘Ishq Khuda’ which is scheduled on global release this Eid. The film is based on a love triangle between Ahsan Khan, Meera and another actor yet to be revealed. Centred on the theme of Sufism, Khan explains that the film intends to show that
when a person fails in the pursuit of worldly endeavors and passions, they start to question their reason for existence and start to struggle for a higher love. Shaan and Saima will have guest appearance in the movie. ‘Ishq Khuda’
No Khans for Kareena, says her rival
has been extensively shot in the war-torn and floodaffected region of Swat. It is written by Saleem Zuberi and Pervez Kaleem. The movie is distributed on global level by IMGC and Encyclomedia PR is handling its PR.
lOUISVIlle: lady Antebellum Hillary Scott and Charles Kelley perform as part of Rebuilding Henryville with lady Antebellum. aFP
MUMBAI: Kareena Kapoor might have been tagged as the queen of bollywood box Office, for delivering hits after hits but there is someone who is pretty jealous of her success. A leading daily had reported that an arch rival of the Kapoor girl is passing comments on her and has said that Kareena doesn’t have a single film with any of the big Khans in bollywood in the near future. Apparently, Kareena had once said that she cannot do without the KhansSalman, Aamir and Shah Rukh. In fact, she is probably the only actress who hasn’t been linked to any of the camps and is very much comfortable with her ultimate Khan- Saif Ali. However, off late things seem to have stopped working in her favour. “what Khans is she talking about when she has no films with any of them in the pipeline?” a daily quoted Kareena’s foe as saying. In the recent past, Katrina Kaif too had said in an interview that given a wish she wouldn’t want any of the Khans to work with any heroine apart from herself. Kat has ‘ek Tha Tiger’ with Salman, an untitled film with Shah Rukh and ‘Dhoom 3’ with Aamir. So who is that bitter contemporary of Kareena who doesn’t want to share the three big Khans with her? we really wonder. AGenCIeS
‘Ek Tha Tiger is not anti-Pakistan’
MUMBAI: Director Kabir Khan says this about his new film, as he is repeatedly being asked this question after the release of the first teaser of the Salman Khan-starrer ‘ek Tha Tiger’. Kabir Khan's forthcoming film ‘ek Tha Tiger’ has managed to creat a lot of buzz with the release of its first theatrical trailer. The director has been getting lots of compliments from his fans and friends from the industry. However, Kabir is constantly being posed one question: Is ‘ek Tha Tiger’ an anti-Pakistan film? As its promo suggests the question is much obvious. but Kabir denies it. He said, "I
have been getting lots of comments from people thinking eTT is anti-Pak. let me say this once and for all, No eTT is not antiPakistan.” Overwhelmed by the response, Kabir informs that the film will be a total entertainment for Salman fans. He himself watched the first teaser at the theatre to check out audience response. "I spent 15 days on just the sound design of the teaser but in the theatre there was so much screaming and shouting that I couldn't hear a thing. Salman is very happy with the tremendous response," he says, smiling. AGenCIeS
ISB 18-05-2012_Layout 1 5/18/2012 12:59 AM Page 15
Jennifer Lopez and Brangelina
‘most powerful’ NEW YORK AGenCIeS
ORBES just released its yearly list of the 100 most influential celebrities, and the results might surprise. The top spot-in a list containing Oprah Winfrey, Tom Cruise and Steven
Spielberg-went to Jennifer Lopez. It was power to the pop stars, with six of the top 10 spots being grabbed by singers-teen idol Justin Bieber landed at number three. The dark horses included Ray Romano, who doesn’t currently have a show on the air but rakes it in from reruns. There were some newcomers, like electronic music maestro Skrillex, and
CANNeS: Chris Pine and guest arrive for the screening of ‘Moonrise Kingdom’. aFP
a lot of comedians and comedic actors made the list, among them: Ben Stiller, Tina Fey and Melissa McCarthy. The list-which Forbes says reflect money, publicity and social media buzz-also includes three couples: Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, Beyonce Knowles and Jay-Z, and Gisele Bundchen and Tom Brady. So which is the prime pair? This year Jolie released her directorial debut with “In the Land of Blood and Honey,” her legs nearly stole the show at the Oscars. While her new fiancé was nominated for his role in ‘Moneyball’, their impending marriage is attracting immense buzz. Jay-Z and Beyonce’s baby buzz wasn’t exactly tiny. Their combined power was enough to shut down a whole maternity ward – and they even trademarked Blue Ivy’s name. Bundchen is ubiquitous as the world’s top supermodel, plus she inflamed New England Patriots fans when she lashed out at hubby Tom Brady’s teammates after their Super Bowl loss. If you add the individual rankings to form a crude combined ranking of these supercouples, Brangelina wins, with Beyonce and Jay-Z coming in second and Gisele and Tom in third. Accolades and bridal buzz aside, the soon-to-be Mr and Mrs Jolie-Pitt (or Pitt, or Pitt-Jolie, or whatever) pulled in $45 million. Between Gisele’s fashion empire and Brady’s football throwing-not catchingprowess, Bundchen and Brady manage an upset, coming in number two with $72 million. But Beyonce and Jay-Z topped them both, racking up $78 million ways to make sure Baby-Z never has to worry about a thing.
Justin Bieber grows up: Gulzeb’s label goes global Singer talks cars and Kim Kardashian LOS ANGELES AGenCIeS
CANNeS: French actress Marion Cotillard poses during the photocall of ‘Rust and bone’ presented at the Cannes film festival. aFP
As most 18-year-olds are preparing to head off to college, Justin Bieber is raking in $55 million a year, collects seriously fancy cars and just bought his first multimillion dollar home in Calabasas. For all intents and purposes Bieber lives a very adult life, but 18year-old boys are not known for their maturity. For months the singer has been talking about growing with his fans, creating good music and becoming a "mature" artist, but as GQ recently found out, Bieber behaves just like most kids his age, he's just not allowed to show it. So when GQ set out to make a man out of Bieber, proposing a number of "insane ideas" that might make for a good profile, his people preemptively shot down t h e i r
prime directive, which was to get the kid good and drunk. No one can dispute that Bieber's image is carefully controlled. It's hard to get a sense of who Justin Bieber really is, but he really is all about loyalty. When he overhears one of his business advisers trashing his pal Kim Kardashian, Bieber pipes up. "You guys are so mean, bro. People say she doesn't do anything; she works hard," he says defending Kardashian, with whom he tweets and has collaborated on a photo shoot. As peers like Demi Lovato, Miley Cyrus or even his longtime girlfriend, Selena Gomez, worry about growing up too quickly-projecting a too-sexy image that could alienate younger fans-it's Bieber's natural inclination tow a r d immaturity that could hurt him.
Gulzeb, a young Pakistani couturier based in Dubai and Karachi who launched herself in Dubai Fashion Week 2011, has decided to start multibrand store in Dubai, Pakistan Today learnt. Gulzeb launched herself in Dubai Fashion Week in 2011 an event was incredibly successful and acted as an ideal platform that helped to introduce her label in the fashion world. Talking to Pakistan Today, Gulzeb, an ambitious lady, said her love for Pakistan is certainly undeniable as her work also includes Pakistani traditional and bridal pieces. “Although, I am known as a designer in industry, but my pieces may show creativity and maturity, which usually comes with years of experience,” she said, adding that her collections intertwines both eastern and western elements that allow for variety of styles. “I am able to maintain a traditional look whilst still catering to popular modern involving spectrum of colours,” she said, adding that her collection is ideal for women in search of classy -yet-chic look as well as
Ishaqzaade may not be released in Pakistan
Big B, Aamir: Who’ll be crowned
the ‘Prime Icon’? neW DeLHI: bollywood megastar Amitabh bachchan and superstar Aamir Khan are among the contenders for the title of ‘India’s Prime Icon’. big CbS Prime has pitted them as contenders among other known names from various fields for its upcoming show ‘India’s Prime Icon’, said a statement from the channel. Other contenders for the title on the show, expected to start in the third week of June, include Salman Khan, Ranbir Kapoor, A.R. Rahman, leander Paes, Rahul Gandhi, Kishor biyani, Adi Godrej, Kapil Dev and Rahul Dravid. The winner of the title will be decided through audience votes, after the show goes on air. AGenCIeS
AlTHOUGH the Indian public is loving Arjun Kapoor's debut film 'Ishaqzaade' not all's well with film as far as its release in Pakistan is concerned. Reportedly, the film may not be given permission for release in Pakistan as producer Aditya Chopra refused to accept and make the changes in the film as desired by the Pakistani censors. Chopra has said no to making any cuts in the film and it is being
speculated that the film may not be screened in Pakistan. but there's good news too for the film and it is, that ' Ishaqzaade' will be released this week in both the US and UK. Some trade analysts are of the opinion that yash Raj wanted to avoid the Hollywood biggies that were releasing along with 'Ishaqzaade' and so they postponed the release to next week. neWS DeSK
for women who prefer a more covered and cultured style. “My designs are more suited to empower women giving them confidence in their appearance for both formal and celebratory occasions,” she added. Talking about quality of her designed clothes, she said the fabrics used include silk, chiffon, shamooz and jamawars. “At present I am stocking at Gulzeb couture which is located in Khyban-e- Bukhari in Clifton which has a huge collection of summer prêt and these clothes will be available in Dubai very soon as well,” she said. Gulzeb has participated in the Panteen Bridal Couture Week and decided to be part of the next Pakistan fashion week.
MUMBAI: while Aishwarya Rai has been a hands on mother to daughter Aaradhya, dad Abhishek bachchan hasn’t been able to do much. The excited father is happy that his little daughter is now six months old and he is hoping to help put Ash with baby chores. “I can now carry her all the time, play with her, attempt to change her diapers,” said Abhishek to a daily. “Ash didn’t want me to handle our baby when she was younger, because it may have been awkward” Abhi added. Apparently, Abhishek was asked to leave the bedroom quiet a few times due to the baby’s routine. “Aaradhya wakes up in the night for her feed and a nappy change. Ash, who’s completely clued in, is up in a jiffy. However, I must confess, it took time for me to get used to the new routine. when the baby cried, I woke up too, but couldn’t go back to sleep immediately. So Ash suggested that I sleep in another room till such time as Aaradhya was slightly older,” added the actor. but wasn’t he hurt to be shut out of his own bedroom? “Ash suggested that I should sleep separately whenever I have a shoot the next day. I can hardly come on set yawning," he reasoned. The actor also admitted that he is tab bit jealous of the mother daughter duo and the bond they share. “Ash’s day starts and ends with the baby. Since she insists on doing everything for Aaradhya, including giving her a massage, bathing her and attending to her round-the-clock, I’m now waiting in queue for Ash’s attention.” AGenCIeS
Radcliffe avoids watching 'Harry Potter' movies LONDON AGenCIeS
Actor Daniel Radcliffe says he has better things to do with his time than to watch himself in ‘Harry Potter’ films. He has seen the ‘Harry Potter’ movies at their premiere screenings. "I don't look back at them. If you're a fan, watch them all you like, but I was there," showbizspy.com quoted him as saying. "I just don't like watching myself. I don't think many actors do, but I certainly don't, because it's very embarrassing," he said.
Sana Safinaz gear up to launch new retail outlet NEWS DESK After gaining widespread recognition for their incredible designs, the famous designer duo Sana Hashwani and Safinaz Munir has geared up to launch their new retail outlet in Karachi. Owing to the terrific demand of their fashion products, Sana Safinaz will now be offering a “one-stop” shop. The Sana Safinaz retail outlet will provide a wide range of fashion apparel and accessories like footwear, jewelery, clothing, and handbags. There will also be a variety of textile fabrics, lawn, readymade shirts, and much more like day wear, evening wear, party wear and formal wear. Sana Safinaz will be launching a total of two retail shops, one in Karachi and Lahore with the plan of adding more in future. Sana Safinaz have also been nominated at the Lux Style Awards in the category of lawn prints this year.
I’m now waiting
in queue for Ash’s attention,
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16 Foreign News Bahrain warns iran against meddling in its affairs DUBAI AFP
Bahrain on Thursday warned Iran to stop interfering in its internal affairs while affirming its support for a union between the six nations of the Gulf Cooperation Council. Foreign Minister Sheikh Khaled bin Ahmad Al-Khalifa made the remarks a day after Iran called on its people to protest on Friday against the union that Gulf officials say will start with Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. “The union... is a demand by the people of the GCC,” Sheikh Khaled said according to the official BNA news agency, adding that Bahrain “rejects Iranian interference in the affairs of the kingdom.” The minister said that “every once in a while, we hear Iranian claims that Bahrain is the 14th governorate” of the Islamic republic and that Bahrainis want to “return to the motherland.” “This meddling and this Iranian stance is not just directed against Bahrain, but against everybody” in the Gulf bloc. Sheikh Khaled accused Iran of stoking tensions with its Arab neighbours, warning the Islamic republic would suffer the “consequences of these interventions.” But Iran hit back Thursday, with foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast saying “the proposed proposed union or annexation of Bahrain to Saudi Arabia” would lead to the “disappearance” of the tiny Gulf archipelago. “It seems that internal problems — the repression by Bahraini leaders and the military of peaceful demonstrations and Saudi military intervention — have created an inappropriate situation. “We advise Bahrain’s leaders to change their ways and not aggravate the situation with such plans,” he added. Iran’s Islamic Propagation Coordination Council, which organises state-backed protests, has urged citizens to protest on Friday against what they called “the American plan to annex Bahrain to Saudi Arabia and express their anger against the lackey regimes of AlKhalifa and Al-Saud.”
China blind activist to get passport ‘within 15 days’ BEIJING AFP
Blind activist Chen Guangcheng said Thursday China had agreed to issue him a passport within 15 days, allowing him to go to the United States after a bitter row between Beijing and Washington. It was the first indication of when Chen would be allowed to leave the country since he left the US embassy more than two weeks ago after seeking refuge there following his dramatic escape from house arrest. Speaking to AFP by telephone from the hospital where he is being treated, Chen also said authorities had promised to investigate murder charges brought against his nephew that he has said are motivated by revenge. “Officials visited yesterday, we filled out passport application forms for myself, my wife and children,” said the 40-year-old legal campaigner, who triggered a diplomatic crisis when he fled to the US embassy last month. “They said the passports should be issued within 15 days,” he added. The couple have a nine-year-old son and a six-year-old daughter. Chen, one of China’s best-known dissidents, has won plaudits for exposing rights abuses including forced sterilisations and late-term abortions under China’s “one-child” family planning policy. His activism earned him a four-year prison sentence that ended in 2010 when he was placed under extrajudicial house arrest in his home village of Dongshigu in the eastern province of Shandong, where he languished until his escape. Wednesday’s meeting with government officials was his first since May 7, when they told Chen they were processing papers for him to leave for the US, where he has been offered fellowships to study law.
Friday, 18 May, 2012
UN talks take first steps on 2015 climate deal PARIS AFP
N members on Thursday took their first steps in a marathon to negotiate a new global pact by 2015 that for the first time will place rich and poor under a common legal regime to tackle climate change. Meeting in Bonn, the 195 parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) began wrangling over how to work towards the target enshrined at their landmark conference in Durban, South Africa, last December. Maite Nkoana-Mashabane of South Africa, who presided over the maiden session, urged countries as they embarked on the long road to set aside “old and unhelpful negotiating practices,” a reference
to the bickering that typically dogs climate talks. “Time is limited and we need to take very seriously the desperate calls of some of our brethren, especially the small island states,” she said, referring to lowlying nations threatened by rising seas. The inaugural session of the ad-hoc working group, webcast over the Internet, took place in UNFCCC talks at senior level running in the former German capital to May 25. If all goes well, a new accord will be wrapped up in 2015 and take effect in 2020, placing rich and poor under the same legal roof for tackling greenhousegas emissions that drive climate change. At present, legal constraints under the UN’s climate banner are divided among developed and developing countries — a format dating back to the 1990s that crit-
ics say is badly out of date. Rich countries bear most of the historical responsibility for global warming today. But they say it is unfair to shoulder the burden for fixing the problem in the future. Their places in the league table of emitters are being taken by emerging giants such as China, India and Brazil, which are massively burning coal, oil and gas as they battle to rise out of poverty. Small-island states and African countries on Thursday sounded a loud alarm over the “ambition gap” — the difference between pledges for cutting emissions and what is needed to avoid dangerous warming. Scientist say current emissions are stoking possible warming of four degrees Celsius (7.2 degrees Fahrenheit), twice the 2 C (3.6 F) goal set by UNFCCC parties in 2011 as a
safe maximum. “The inadequate mitigation pledges... risk temperature increases that will have catastrophic impacts worldwide, and particularly for Africa,” said Seyni Nafo, spokesman for the African group. In a sign of the tussles ahead, the UNFCCC said the first meeting of the board of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) — an initiative designed to channel up to 100 billion dollars a year in aid to poorer countries — had been postponed. The May 31 meeting has been delayed “pending finalisation of the process for nominations” from countries seeking a place on the 24-seat panel, it said. “The next window to meet will be the last week in June or first week in July, in Geneva,” said Christiana Figueres, the UNFCCC’s executive secretary.
PASAR SKoW: French swimmer Philippe Croizon rests while Papuan residents looks on after his arrival at the coastal village of Pasar Skow located in Indonesia’s eastern province of Papua on Thursday. Croizon, 43, who lost his limbs in an accident braved strong winds and currents to swim from Papua new Guinea to Indonesia in the first stretch of a mission to swim between five continents. Croizon, who uses prosthetic limbs with flippers attached took seven and a half hours for the 20 kilometre (12-mile) journey.aFP
Mladic war crimes trial halted over ‘irregularities’ THE HAGUE AFP
The war crimes trial of former Bosnian Serb army chief Ratko Mladic was abruptly halted on Thursday, just a day after it opened, because of prosecution “irregularities” in the high-profile case. The decision was announced by the presiding judge shortly after the prosecution described the “horror” of the 1995 Srebrenica massacre it says was orchestrated by Mladic, the worst acrocity in Europe since World War II. “The hearing is adjourned sine die,” said judge Alphons Orie, three hours into the trial’s second day at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague. He said there were “irregularities” in the transfer of prosecution documents to the defence to enable it to prepare for the trial, but that the court hoped to announce a date soon for the resumption of proceedings. Mladic, the so-called “Butcher of Bosnia” is charged with war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide over the 1992-1995 war in the Balkan state and in particular the Srebrenica massacre of almost 8,000 Muslim men and boys. “Mladic himself was on the ground and personally involved,” pros-
ecuting counsel Peter McCloskey told the court, showing footage of the former general triumphantly entering Srebrenica and congratulating his men. “We give this town to the Serbs as a gift,” Mladic said in the video footage taken in Srebrenica after the mass killings in what was meant to be a UNprotected enclave on July 11, 2005. Prosecutors say Mladic orchestrated the mass killings as part of a brutal campaign of ethnic cleansing in the 1992-95 Bosnian war that killed 100,000 people and left 2.2 million homeless. McCloskey showed the court photographs of graves in Srebenica, saying: “This is an example of the horror created by Mladic.” He said most military orders were given orally, but that certain “crucial” documents had survived and that former Mladic subordinates were willing to testify against him. Now 70, Mladic, dubbed the “Butcher of Bosnia”, has been indicted on 11 counts of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. “Ratko Mladic assumed the mantle of the criminal goal of ethnically cleansing Bosnia,” prosecutor Dermot Groome told the court on the opening day of the trial on Wednesday. “The prosecution will present evidence that will show without reasonable doubt the hand of
Mr Mladic in each of these crimes,” Groome said, as relatives of the Srebrenica victims watched the proceedings on a live broadcast in Sarajevo. The former Bosnian Serb commander had pleaded not guilty to the charges at an earlier court hearing last June. He faces life imprisonment if convicted. In his opening address, the prosecutor displayed population maps showing the ethnic distribution in Bosnia before and after the war, explaining how mixed or predominantly Muslim municipalities became exclusively Serbian after a campaign of ethnic cleansing he said was one of Mladic’s “strategic objectives”. Prosecutors also hold Mladic responsible for the 44-month siege of Sarajevo where his forces waged a “terror campaign” of sniping and shelling that left an estimated 10,000 people dead, the vast majority of them civilians. “Sarajevo was a model of diversity, a cosmopolitan city,” said Groome. “They (Bosnian Serb leaders) sought to destroy it, to sever the city in half, with the Serbs living in one part and the non-Serbs in another part.” It was in pursuit of a “Greater Serbia” that Mladic allegedly also ordered his troops to “cleanse” other Bosnian towns, driving out Croats, Muslims and other non-Serbs.
iran threatens to sue Google over ‘nameless map’ tEHRAN: Iran warned on Thursday it could sue Google for leaving the body of water separating it from the Arabian peninsula nameless on its online map service. Shiite Iran insists on calling the waterway the “Persian Gulf” but the Sunni-ruled Arab countries on the other side of the body of water prefer “Arabian Gulf” or simply “Gulf.” “Google’s action is part of the plots against our country,” Foreign Ministry Ramin Mehmanparast told reporter on Thursday. “If Google does not correct its mistake as soon as possible, we will file an official complaint against Google,” he said, adding that many Iranians have protested online against the Internet giant. Iranians say historical evidence shows the water has always been “Persian,” and that the Gulf’s identity is part of Iran’s territorial integrity. Earlier this month Iran criticised Google over its decision, saying keeping the map nameless would hurt its credibility. Tehran has constantly criticised countries and institutions that do not use the term “Persian Gulf.” In 2010, it warned that airlines using the term “Arabian Gulf” on in-flight monitors would be barred from Iranian airspace. The simmering dispute also resulted in the cancellation of sports events by the Riyadhbased Islamic Solidarity Sports Federation in early 2010, after Iran used the term “Persian Gulf” on medals for the event it was seeking to host. aFP
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Friday, 18 May, 2012
Tensions over British queen’s regal jubilee lunch LONDON AFP
A lunch for sovereigns from around the world celebrating the diamond jubilee of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II was marked Thursday by a withdrawal, protests and controversy over the guest list. Spain’s Queen Sophia has pulled out of Friday’s glittering event at Windsor Castle, west of London, amid tensions over Gibraltar, while there were protests over the reported attendance of Swaziland’s King Mswati III. Bahrain officials also said King Hamad, whose Gulf island country is in a state of civil unrest following a deadly crackdown on protests last year, should be attending, angering rights groups. Buckingham Palace will neither confirm who is on the guest list nor comment on the lunch, being held to mark Queen Elizabeth’s 60 years on the British throne. Queen Sofia cancelled her trip due to tensions with Britain over the tiny Gibraltar peninsula, which Spain ceded to Britain in perpetuity in 1713. “The government considers it is hardly adequate that in the current circumstances, Queen Sofia take part in Queen Elizabeth’s jubilee,” a spokesman for the Spanish royal household said Wednesday. Last week Madrid protested to London over a planned visit to Gibraltar by Queen Elizabeth’s youngest son Prince Edward and his wife Sophie, Countess of Wessex. Edward’s June 11-13 trip is part of celebrations to mark the jubilee, with all Commonwealth realms and some British overseas territories getting a royal visit on the queen’s behalf. Spain’s King Juan Carlos was due to attend the Windsor lunch with his wife, but after he underwent hip replacement surgery last month following a fall during an elephant hunting expedition in Africa, the royal palace announced only the queen would attend. Prince Charles, the heir to the British throne, and his wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, are hosting a dinner for foreign sovereign monarchs at Buckingham Palace in London on Friday evening.
Foreign News 17
Iran vows never to renounce nuclear ‘rights’ US military option on iran ‘ready’: envoy to israel I TEHRAN AFP
RAN rejects Western pressures over its nuclear activities and will never give up its rights, Tehran’s chief nuclear negotiator said Thursday ahead of crunch talks with world powers in Baghdad next week. “If we participate in the negotiations... it is because of our resistance (to Western powers). Thanks to our resistance, we have defended the rights of the Iranian people,” Saeed Jalili said in a speech broadcast on local television. “The Iranian people will never give up even an iota of their rights,” Jalili added, in reference to the Islamic republic’s nuclear drive which the West suspects is masking a weapons programme. Tehran vehemently denies the charge. After a 15 month hiatus, Iran and the P5+1 powers — Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States plus Germany — held their first talks in Istanbul in mid-April, which were described as “positive.” The parties agreed to more indepth discussions in Baghdad on May 23.
“I advise Western officials against making calculated mistakes. In Baghdad, we can negotiate for cooperation on the basis of respect for Iran’s undeniable rights,” Jalili said. “The path chosen by our country is a path of no return. The (West) would like to block Iran’s progress in the nuclear domain, but they have failed. Iran today has become a nuclear power,” he added. “To those who say that time is running out for dialogue, I reply: What is running out is the policy of pressuring Iran, because this strategy has not yielded the results” expected by world powers. The United States and the European Union have tightened economic sanctions on Iran, imposing tough restrictions on its vital oil industry, to pressure it over its disputed uranium enrichment programme. US President Barack Obama warned Iran in March that time was running out to resolve the standoff through diplomacy. But Jalili was defiant on Thursday, insisting that sanctions and international pressure were not affecting Iran’s determination. “Those who think they can pressure Iran with these sanctions are wrong... because
JERUSALEM: The United States has a military option “ready” if diplomacy fails to halt Iran’s controversial nuclear programme, the US envoy to Israel has said, an Israeli newspaper reported on Thursday. “It would be preferable to resolve this diplomatically through the use of pressure than to use military force,” right-wing nationalist daily Makor Rishon quoted Daniel Shapiro as telling an Israeli bar association meeting this week. “But that doesn’t mean that option is not fully available,” the newspaper quoted him as saying. “It is not just available, but it is ready, the necessary planning has been done to ensure that it is ready.” The United States, Israel and much of the international community believes Iran’s nuclear programme masks a weapons drive, a charge Tehran denies, saying the programme is for peaceful civilian energy and medical use. Washington has pursued a policy of pushing tough sanctions against Iran, while leaving the door open to a diplomatic resolution. After a 15-month hiatus, Iran and the P5+1 powers — Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States plus Germany — held their first talks in Istanbul in mid-April, which were described as “positive.”aFP the sanctions have allowed us to make progress,” he said. He argued that the conditions imposed on Iran at talks in Geneva in 2009 for the delivery of uranium enriched to 20 percent for its Tehran research reactor had in fact forced it to produce the
nuclear fuel itself. “We told them: ‘If you do not give us the fuel, we will produce it ourselves.’ I will never forget the smiles from certain members of the P5+1. “But in less than two years we produced the fuel, and we are using it today.”
Yemen army says qaeda routed from southern town ADEN AFP
Yemeni troops sent Al-Qaeda fighters fleeing from the southern city of Loder on Thursday and pressed towards militantcontrolled Zinjibar, military officials said, as an army offensive pushed into a sixth day. “We have cleansed Loder (of AlQaeda) and the fighters have been forced to flee,” a military official involved in the assault told AFP on condition of anonymity. He said that Al-Qaeda gunmen retreated from three positions on the outskirts of Loder, in southern Abyan province, which they have been trying to overrun for several months. Thousands of Loder residents took to the streets to celebrate the minor military victory while gunmen from the local militias danced and waved their guns in the air. “Today we accomplished a great victory against AlQaeda,” said Ali Ahmed, a spokesman for the Popular Resistance Committees militia, comprising local residents who are fighting alongside the army against Al-Qaeda. “We will continue chasing them (Al-Qaeda) until they have been ousted from all of Abyan,” said Ahmed, referring to Yemen’s southern province where the extremists have taken control of several cities since May last year. The bodies of three soldiers, three local gunmen, and two Al-Qaeda fighters were discovered near the city Thursday, one military official said but gave no further details. One civilian was also killed and five others injured in an army raid on the town of Shaqra, also controlled by Al-Qaeda, a local official said. Thursday’s casualties bring the death toll from six days of fighting to at least 158, including 105 Al-Qaeda operatives, 23 soldiers, 17 civilians and 13 militiamen.
DHAKA: Bangladesh nationalist Party (BnP) leader Mizanur Rahman Minu scuffles with police during a nationwide strike on Thursday. aFP
Syria shells rebel bastion, assad hits out at ‘criminals’ DAMASCUS AFP
Syrian forces sent shells crashing into rebel stronghold Rastan on Thursday, a watchdog said, hours after President Bashar al-Assad branded the armed opposition as “criminals” infiltrated by Al-Qaeda. Rami Abdel Rahman of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least 30 shells smashed into Rastan in a 10-minute period after midnight, and urged UN observers monitoring a shaky truce to immediately rush to the town in central Homs province. “The army is trying to gradually destroy Rastan,” Abdel Rahman told AFP. There were no immediate reports on casualties. Rastan has for months been the focus of an offensive by the regime as it
attempts to regain control of the town, defended by the largest concentration of rebel soldiers in the country and encircled by the army. On Monday, the UN Supervisory Mission in Syria (UNSMIS) reported heavy fighting near Rastan, where activists said at least 23 soldiers and seven civilians died in fierce clashes between government forces and rebels. The Britain-based Observatory alleged regime troops had this week carried out two “massacres” of civilians — one in Homs city in which 15 civilians were “summarily executed” and another in the town of Khan Sheikhun, in Idlib province, when they gunned down 20 people at a funeral procession. Clashes across Syria continue despite an April 12 truce brokered by UNArab League envoy Kofi Annan as part of a six-point plan aimed at ending violence
that has swept Syria since March 2011, when the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad erupted. Assad, in an interview with Russian state news channel Rossia-24, on Wednesday accused the West of ignoring violence by “terrorists” and said he would demand an explanation from Annan when he visits Damascus later this month. He complained that, since the arrival of the UN observers there had been an increase in “terrorist attacks” despite a reduction in “direct confrontation” between government forces and their foes. “The West only talks about violence, violence on the government side. There is not a word about the terrorists. We are still waiting,” he said. “I will ask him (Annan) what this is about” when he next visits Syria.
Two Palestinians ‘restart’ hunger strike JERUSALEM AFP
Two Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails are refusing food, despite the signing this week of a deal to end a mass prisoner hunger strike, Israeli and Palestinian officials said on Thursday. An official from the Palestinian Prisoners’ Club, which tracks the well-being of the 4,700 Palestinians in Israeli jails, told AFP that “prisoners Mahmud Sarsak and Akram Rikhawi are still on hunger strike.” The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said both prisoners had never stopped their protest, even after prisoner leaders on Monday accepted a package of Israeli measures easing conditions in exchange for the end of a mass hunger strike that had grown to include about 1,550 detainees. Israel Prisons Services spokeswoman Sivan Weizman confirmed Sarsak and Rikhawi were refusing food, but said they had briefly stopped their hunger strikes on Monday, before resuming them on Tuesday.
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Friday, 18 May, 2012
Federer and Nadal coast through in Rome Page 21
world XI cricket series in Pakistan postponed LAHORE STAFF RePoRT
The organisers who had earlier confirmed the arrival of a World XI to play two matches in Pakistan have postponed the two Twenty20s and will now work with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on revised dates. Sindh Sports Minister Dr Mohammad Ali Shah, in association with the U.Sbased company Xtreme Sports, had roped in renowned current and former cricketers for the matches scheduled for May 25 and 26. The cricketers who the organisers claimed to have confirmed included former Sri Lanka captain Sanath Jayasuriya, Justin Kemp, Charl Langeveldt, Paul Adams, Andre Nel, Richard Levi and Jerome Taylor. The organisers requested the PCB to allow the matches to take place at the National Stadium Karachi (NSK) and also sanction the national team. The event, according to the organisers, would have created a better image of the country, which has been facing a drought of international cricket since March 2009. However, the PCB refused to be part of the plan and said that hosting international cricketers was a huge task, which needed careful planning. The officials went on to request the organisers to postpone the series, a move that has been confirmed by Shah. "The matches will now be held after the tour of Sri Lanka that ends on July 13. The tentative dates are July 14 and 15 but it will be finalised after consultation with the PCB Chairman Zaka Ashraf," Shah said. However, according to sources, the organisers took the decision after the PCB changed its stance. "The Pakistan Cricket Board , after looking at the potential in the event, wanted a role in the matches," an official said. "Earlier, the company approached the PCB before going to Dr Shah to arrange these matches but they refused. We were left with no choice but to postpone as the PCB is the game's governing body in the country and we don't want any tiff with it but want to host these matches in a befitting manner," he added.
Hafeez calls teammates to refrain from any controversy LAHORE
AKISTAN'S newly installed Twenty20 skipper Mohammad Hafeez Thursday asked the teammates to refrain from drawing into any controversy and develop an atmosphere trust and goodwill in the team ranks. Talking to journalists here during the camp training at the Gaddafi Satdium, Hafeez said that team effort, trust and a good environment would be necessary for any team’s progress and they have to maintain such an atmosphere among themselves before they leave for the next month's tour of Sri Lanka. The talented team often makes headlines over rows between the players and a volatile dressing room atmosphere, but Hafeez said he would continue the good example set by Misbah-ul Haq. Misbah,
dropped from the Twenty20 squad but retained as one-day and Test captain for the Sri Lankan tour, is credited with uniting the team after a 2010 spot-fixing sandal saw Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamer banned and jailed. "It's not a team of any individual and we all trust each other and I think the way Misbah has settled the atmosphere of the team -- you will see that this tour will be very positive," Hafeez told reporters. According to a foreign wire news agency, Hafeez also faces the challenge of leading a team which has two former captains in Shoaib Malik and Shahid Afridi, often difficult for the incumbent skipper. "What I have discussed with T20 players is that I am trying to give them full confidence, unfortunately after one or two performances we start thinking that a player does not deserve to have a place in the team," he said. "I will try to make a good
environment for them in the dressing room and give players, like Malik and Khalid (Latif) trust." Pakistan opens the tour with a Twenty20 in Hambantota on June 1. The two Twenty20 matches will be followed by five one-day and three Tests. Hafeez agreed his team were short on Twenty20 practice, noting that players were missing out on the ongoing Indian Premier League. Pakistani players featured in the inaugural IPL in 2008 but have since not been allowed to play as relations between the arch-rivals nosedived after the 2008 Mumbai attacks, which India blamed on militants based across the border. Hafeez said the training camp meant players were well drilled. "The whole team is focused, practice sessions are going well and we are trying to bring ourselves into an international mould and we will try to bring in good results on the tour," he said.
Trials for world Junior Golf LAHORE STAFF RePoRT
lAHORe: The members of the Pakistan cricket team train at the Gaddafi Stadium. MUrTaza aLi
PHF plans extensive training for team ahead of Olympics LAHORE STAFF RePoRT
The Pakistan Hockey Federation has drawn a comprehensive training programmer for the national team and is also streamlining practice matches for the Olympics team with the foreign teams of repute particularly during the team’s tour of Europe. PHF Secretary Asif Bajwa who returned from Malaysia after watching the national junior team participate in the 9th Junior Asia Cup, also praised the performance of Pakistan Junior Hockey Team and showed full confidence on players and the team management, who got silver medal in the 7th Junior Asia Cup played in Malacca from 3rd to 13th May 2012. The junior team has also qualified for the coming Junior World Cup 2013, which is really an achievement, he added. He said that as a part of training programme, the junior team will play 4-Nation Tournament being held in China in the month of August 2012 and 7-Nation Tournament to be played in Malaysia in the month of November 2012. After Junior Super League in the month of December 2012 or January 2013, the PHF intends to organise a 4-Nation Junior Hockey Tournament in Pakistan. The junior hockey team will visit 5 European countries for a training tour in the months of May and June 2013. He further said that participation in 21st Sultan
Azlan Shah Hockey Tournament from May 24 to June 3, the national senior team will undertake a training tour of Europe and will play two matches against German hockey team in Cologne, one match against Belgian hockey team and one match against Dutch hockey team. After European tour a 16 member’s team for the London Olympic 2012 will be announced. This team will go to London on 11th July for preOlympic training at Cannock Hockey Club Birmingham for 10 days. The team will also play matches against Belgium, New Zealand or Argentina, Belgium match is confirmed and efforts are being made to have second match out of the two nations. PHF Disciplinary Committee who have had a session with those national players who took part in an unsanctioned event i.e. World Hockey Series (WHS) will submit the recommendations to PHF by next week. The players have not only violated the PHF Constitution but also ignored the Directives of FIH. The Committee has asked the players to submit their agreements along with the record of first payment received by them. As per the FIH Bye-Laws, any player who signed contract after 31st March 2011, a one year ban can be imposed.
The World Junior Open Golf Championship 2012 will be contested at the Fair Heaven Golf Club, Lancashire, England from July 16 to 18. At this world event Pakistan has been allotted one slot and will be represented by one junior. And to select the final nominee, Pakistan Golf Federation is conducting three days trials from May 18 to 20, 18 holes each day and a total of 54 holes, at the Defence Raya Golf Club in Lahore. A total of nine juniors are taking part in the final trials and include Farid Rizwan Mir (Gujranwala Golf club), Rao Muhammed Hassan, M.Minhaj Maqsood warriach, Asad Attique (all from Rawalpindi Golf Club), Hamza Khan, Fawaz Trimzi (Islamabad Golf Club), Mustafa Ghani (DHA Golf Club, Karachi), Sain Shazli and Rao Abdur Rehman badr (Karachi Golf Club). The age criteria for selection laid down by the international golf body is that the junior should not be above the age of 16 as on January 1, 2012 and below the age of 12 as on July 16, 2012. The youngsters taking part in the trials are all junior golfers of ability who have been identified as the talented ones and participation in these trials is going to give them a strong competitive experience. Playing at Defence Raya Golf Course will also be a learning experience as it is a course that matches the best in Asia.Farid Rizwan is capable of playing sensational golf and players like Mustafa Ghani, Asad Attique and Rao Abdur Rehman will also make their presence felt, alongwith other contenders.The tee off is scheduled for 2.30 pm on Friday at the Defence Raya Golf Club. Taimur Hassan, Honorary Secretary, Pakistan Golf Federation wll supervise the trials alongwith Mehmood Aziz(PGF)and Brig(r) Akram of Punjab Golf Association. Taimur Hassan said that "PGF has a strong commitment to development of junior players and pursues this aspect of golf with passion". The selection committee comprises of Aslam R.Khan, Asad I.A. Khan, Mehmood Aziz, Brig (r) M. Akram, Taimur Hassan.
PbCC forms national selection committee LAHORE STAFF RePoRT
The Chairman Pakistan Blind Cricket Council has formed a National Selection Committee for the term of one year to select the Pakistan blind cricket team for the future international competitions. The committee will comprise Imran Ahmad Sheikh as Chairman, Tahir Mehmmod Butt, Syed Hassan Raza and Muhammad Dawood as its member. Their first assignment of the committee is to select the Pakistan blind cricket team for the forthcoming Twenty-20 Blind Cricket World Cup to be held in the coming December in India.
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Friday, 18 May, 2012
West Indies 243-9 against England LONDON
EST Indies, after losing the toss, were 243 for nine against England at stumps on the first day of the first Test at Lord's here on Thursday. Shivnarine Chanderpaul was 87 not out after Stuart Broad ended play for the day by having Fidel Edwards caught behind for two to finish Thursday with figures of six for 72. This is the first of a three-Test series. Earlier, at lunch, Adrian Barath's unbeaten 41 helped the West Indies to 83 for two at lunch on the first day of the first Test against England at Lord's here on Thursday. West Indies were suffering an all too familiar top-order struggle at 32 for two after England strike bowler James Anderson had removed Kieran Powell and Kirk Edwards. But opener Barath refused to be cowed and with Darren Bravo (27 not out) offering solid support in an unbroken stand of 51, the West Indies -- who came into this match having won just two of their previous 30 Tests -- got through the session without losing any more wickets against the world's number one-ranked side. England captain Andrew Strauss won the toss and elected to field, doubtless hoping his seamers would exploit the overcast conditions. But with Barath unfurling several cover-driven boundaries, England did not have things all their own way. Powell, who made a cenntury against the second-string England Lions
West Indies 1st Innings A. Barath c Anderson b Broad 42 K. Powell b Anderson 5 K. edwards lbw b Anderson 1 29 D. Bravo run out (Prior/Swann) 87 S. Chanderpaul not out 31 M. Samuels c Bairstow b Broad 6 D. Ramdin c Strauss b Broad 17 D. Sammy c Bresnan b Broad K. Roach c and b Broad 6 F. edwards c Prior b Broad 2 extras (b6, lb8, nb3) 17 Total (9 wkts, 89.4 overs, 378 mins) 243 Fall of wickets: 1-13 (Powell), 2-32 (K edwards), 3-86 (Barath), 4-100 (Bravo), 5-181 (Samuels), 6-187 (Ramdin), 7-219 (Sammy), 8-231 (Roach), 9-243 (F edwards) To bat: S Gabriel Bowling: Anderson 25-8-59-2; Broad 24.4-6-72-6 (3nb); Bresnan 20-7-39-0; Swann 18-6-52-0; Trott 2-0-7-0 england: Andrew Strauss (capt), Alastair Cook, Jonathan Trott, Kevin Pietersen, Ian Bell, Jonathan Bairstow, Matt Prior (wkt), Tim Bresnan, Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann, James Anderson Toss: england Umpires: Aleem Dar (PAK) and Marais erasmus (RSA) TV umpire: Asad Rauf (PAK) Match referee: Roshan Mahanama (SRI)
last week, fell for five when Anderson, after moving several deliveries away from the left-hander, expertly swung one back in. Powell was late with his intended defensive shot and was bowled off stump to leave West Indies 13 for one in the ninth over. Anderson was in the wickets again when Edwards, aiming across the line of a full-length delivery, was lbw for one. At that stage, Anderson had taken two wickets for nine runs in 19 balls. But Barath struck his sixth four in just 25 runs when Stuart Broad felt the force of his cover-drive, while off-spinner Graeme Swann was denied a customary early wicket.
bollywood star faces police probe over cricket row MUMBAI AFP
Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan faced a police probe and a lifetime ban from Mumbai's main cricket stadium on Thursday following a furious late-night row with staff at the ground, officials said. The actor, who co-owns the Indian Premier League (IPL) team Kolkata Knight Riders, took a group of youngsters including his daughter Suhana onto the Wankhede Stadium pitch after a match on Wednesday night. A security guard tried to stop the children from playing, leading the multi-millionaire actor to argue angrily for 10-15 minutes before finally giving up and leaving the premises, an AFP photographer witnessed. "Security officials told him to leave, but Shah Rukh Khan started the brawl," Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) secretary Nitin Dalal told NDTV news. "He entered the ground half an hour after the game. The officers told him that this was not the right time. He misbehaved and he used foul language." Dalal said the MCA had filed a police complaint and would ban the 46-year-old cricket-crazy star from future attendance at the Wankhede Stadium. Speaking outside his Mumbai home on Thursday, Khan denied accusations that he was drunk or behaving illegally, saying he had become angry when officials at the stadium abused him and "physically manhandled" the children. "They were being aggressive and I became aggressive back," he told reporters, saying the MCA owed him an apology. MCA treasurer Ravi Savant said the stadium ban on Khan would be "for life". "He'll not be allowed for any match -- Test match, oneday international or any T20 or IPL matches hereafter. That is what we have decided," he said. Khan is one of the Bollywood film industry's most popular stars, but his sweaty and dishevelled appearance during the incident was a far cry from the carefully managed image presented through his advertising and acting roles. The actor was embroiled in another ugly row in January after a female director accused him of assaulting her husband at a late-night party. Khan has also been summoned to appear before a court in Jaipur later this month after he was seen smoking at that city's main cricket stadium, in violation of anti-smoking laws. Balbir Punj, a senior leader of India's Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, told NDTV that Khan was an icon and public figure who "should know how to behave in public". He referred to an incident last month that saw Khan detained for questioning by US immigration authorities when he arrival at a New York airport.
10 matches played in NbP T20 Cricket LAHORE STAFF RePoRT
lONDON: west Indies cricketer Kieran Powell bats during the first day of the first Test match against england at lords. aFP
Shining, P&T, Mehboob Park Gymkhana, Faraan Gymkhana, Wahdat Eaglets, Cricket Centre, Free Batters, Imtiaz Academy, Shah Faisal & Ghulam Qadir Won their matches. SCoReS: wahdat eaglets beat Faran Sports. Faran Sports 126/4 in 20 overs. Rana bilal 24, Shehzad 25, Fawad Ahmed 34, Shabir Ahmed 30. Hanan bashir 1/13, Imran Ali Shah 1/16, M Ali Shah 1/35. wahdat eaglets 130 for no loss in 12,3 overs. Abdul waheed 101(no) in 46 balls including 4*6 and 17*4, M Ali Shah 26(no) Shining beat New National. batting 1st Shining made 165/6 in 20 overs. Asim Naz 59 & Muntazir Mehdi 44, Saifullah took 2 wickets from New National Gymkhana. New National bowled out at 42 runs. Muhammad Irshad took 4,Usamn Malik 3& Ghulam Ali took 2 wickets. P & T beat Dharampura Sports. P & T made 192/2 in 20 overs. Test Cricketer Abdul Razzaq65 not out & Imran Nazir 53 not out. Irfan Zafar & Mudassar Hussain took 1 wicket. Dharampura Sports bowled out at 129/6 in 20 overs. Muhammad ejaz 57 not out. Rohail Ali took 3 wickets. Cricket Centre beat Ghaziabad Sports. Ghaziabad Sports made 99/9 in 20 overs. Aaqib Mehmood 20, Muhammad waheed took 3 wickets. Cricket Centre chased the target in 12.3 overs. Test Cricketer Adnan Akmal made 67 not out. Nisar Ahmad took 2 wickets. Ghulam qadir won by 41 Runs. batting 1st Ghulam qadir made 164/7 in 20 overs. Irfan Ahmad 67,qamber Iqbal 33. Faisal Ali took 3 wickets. Ravi Park bowled out at 119 runs. Adnan Haider 4, Rizwan ahmad took 2 wickets. In other matches Mebbob Park Gymkhana, Free batters, Imtiaz Academy, Shah Faisal & Faraan Gymkhana won the matches.
Gilchrist, seamers push Chennai to the brink DHARAMSALA CRICInFo
Kings XI Punjab kept themselves in contention for a place in the playoffs with a comfortable victory set up by their seamers in Dharamsala. In conditions conducive to swing and movement, Praveen Kumar and Parvinder Awana stymied Chennai Super Kings, who finished their league campaign on a disappointing note. Super Kings are still hanging by a thread in this IPL though, and are at the mercy of other results. Kings XI's decision to go in with a four-pronged pace attack paid off and despite a Super Kings fightback led by Dwayne Bravo, a target of 121 proved easy to scale down. Adam Gilchrist, returning to lead his side after a lay-off of nearly a month due to a hamstring injury, smashed an unbeaten half-cen-
tury to see his team home in front of a full house at the picturesque HPCA Stadium. Gilchrist, after winning the toss, had no doubts about putting Super Kings in and Praveen went about justifying that decision. Several IPL venues around the country have supported movement off the pitch but here there was genuine swing on offer. The Super Kings openers were confident when the ball was pitched up but indecisive when the length was just held back a touch. Praveen sensed that early and beat M Vijay, before having him caught behind when he tried to play an expansive shot. SCORES: Kings XI Punjab 123 for 4 (Gilchrist 64*, Bravo 2-18) beat Chennai Super Kings 120 for 7 (Bravo 48, Awana 2-12, Praveen 2-18) by six wickets NARINE MyStERy tOO MUCH FOR MUMBAI: It had all built up to that one mo-
ment. Gautam Gambhir, playing three spinners against the home side's decision to stick to three fast bowlers at the Wankhede Stadium, had hoped at the toss that the pitch would turn later. Kolkata Knight Riders had just about recovered from a horror start to post a decent 140. Mumbai Indians had found run-scoring as difficult as Knight Riders had, but had lost only two wickets at the halfway stage. The last ball of the 11th over, Sunil Narine bowled a good length delivery to Sachin Tendulkar, who went for the cut. The ball spun in a mile and cannoned into off stump off bat and pad. Had both not come in the way, it would have taken out leg stump. SCORES: Kolkata Knight Riders 140 for 7 (Tiwary 41) beat Mumbai Indians 108 (Narine 4-15, Balaji 211) by 32 runs.
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20 Sports Pakistan, Vietnam play a draw in Al-Nakba Football
Friday, 18 May, 2012
ATHENS: Torchbearer Dimitrios Chondrokoukis lights a cauldron with the Olympic Flame atop the Athens Acropolis. rEUtErS
LAHORE STAFF RePoRT
The Pakistan and Vietnam opening match of Group A of the Al-Nakba International Football Tournament ended in a goalless draw at the Majed Asad Stadium in Palestine on Wednesday. The draw against Vietnam has made the situation difficult for the Greenshirts as they opened their account with one point and now will need a win against hosts Palestine in their last game on May 18 to qualify for the semifinals. However, if Pakistan notches off a draw against Palestine, then they will fight for a slot in the top four as the best second placed team, which looks difficult considering the fact that Palestine are fielding their senior team and will also have home advantage. Palestine is in stronger position as they only need a draw to make it to the last four, having beaten Vietnam 2-0 in their first match. The competitions are being held under round robin system and a leading team from each group and the best secondplaced side from the three groups will make it to the semifinals. The matches are being held at the Faisal Husseini Stadium, Alram, Nablus Municipal Stadium, Nablus, Majed Asad Stadium, Albireh, Alhussein Ben Ali Stadium, Hebron and Dura Stadium, Dura.
Original US Amateur trophy among stolen artifacts NEW YORK AFP
The original US Amateur trophy and a replica of an award given to Ben Hogan were among artefacts stolen from the US Golf Association Museum in an overnight burglary, the organization said Wednesday. The US Amateur Trophy, created in 1926 and retired in favor of a new award in 1992, had been lifted by such golf legends as Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Bobby Jones, Phil Mickelson and Francis Ouimet. The new trophy was in place when 14-time major winner Tiger Woods began his run of three consecutive US Amateur titles in 1994. Also taken was a copy of the Hickok Belt, given to the late Hogan for being the top US pro athlete of 1953. The USGA obtained from golf legend Hogan's estate in 1998 and has displayed at the museum for the past 14 years.
iranâ€™s ahmadinejad wants to attend Olympics TEHRAN AFP
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Thursday he hopes to attend this summer's Olympic Games in London but that the British authorities were reluctant to allow him, state media reported. "I would like to be beside the Iranian
athletes at the Olympic Games in London to support them, but (the British) have issues with my presence," Ahmadinejad said, without offering further explanation. "The enemies do not want our athletes to win medals, but our young people shall be present at the Olympic Games and, like Arash, give new reasons to take pride in Islamic Iran," he said, quoted by
the official news agency IRNA. Arash is a mythical hero of ancient Persia. According to legend, he was instructed to shoot an arrow that would determine the country's border. He exerted all his strength to shoot the arrow a great distance, but was destroyed in the process. Relations between Tehran and London are at an all-time low.
Pumping concrete with Team Laos VIENTIANE AFP
The sun is setting over the scruffy outdoor stadium as Kilakone Siphonexay, the fastest man in Laos, lies on the homemade, wooden weights bench, raises both arms and grips the scaffolding pole above. On either end of the metal spar, painttins filled with concrete serve as weights, forming a makeshift barbell to hone the muscles of the poor, Southeast Asian country's leading Olympic hope. "There's no weights room," says the thin, bespectacled 100 metres sprinter with an apologetic smile, before pumping some quick bench-presses aided by his coach. When it comes to the Olympics, there are the strong nations, the less good, the weak and the abject. Communist Laos is in the last category. But with facilities like this, it's hardly a surprise. The landlocked country, which was extensively bombed during the war in neighbouring Vietnam and ranks as one of the world's poorest states, has not only never won an Olympic medal -- it hasn't even come close. In an Olympic history stretching back to Moscow 1980, no Laotian competitor has ever made it past the first round, where required. Success at the coming Games in London would be easily defined: not finishing last. "We're not strong like the USA or the British," chef de mission Kasem Inthara tells AFP, as he sits in a dingy stadium of-
fice. "We're in a group like Brunei or East Timor. We're a small country. "If we can beat only one country in the first heat, that would be a success." Even getting to London would be a victory after not one Laotian qualified for the 2012 Games by right, leaving them waiting for special dispensations to compete in athletics, swimming and taekwondo. Kilakone, 23, clings to this hope after missing the 100m qualifying time of 10.24 seconds, already snail-like compared to Usain Bolt's world record of 9.58 sec. The personal best of Kilakone, Laos's national champion, is 10.73 sec. "I like to train hard," he says. "In London, I would like to try my best to beat my personal record. But we're still lacking weight training. I need weight training and equipment." Kilakone, wearing an Arsenal football team shirt and tight running trousers, trains for three hours each evening in Chao Anouvong Stadium, an ageing facility in the heart of the capital, Vientiane, which dates back to pre-communist 1961. Vandalised advertising hoardings are strewn on the floor and children noisily chase a football as Kilakone jostles for space on the track with dozens of other amateur enthusiasts on a warm, sticky evening. For Kilakone, and female 100m hopeful Lealy Phoukhavont, 16, it's a simple routine consisting mainly of sprinting and acceleration work. Weight training is minimal, and specialist nutri-
tion is non-existent. "They don't eat anything special. They eat with their families," says coach Chaleunsouk Aoudomphanh, who seems surprised at the question. Kilakone says he eats "local food -- sticky rice and vegetables". Chaleunsouk himself shouldered the hopes of Laos at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, where he ran his 100m heat in a disappointing 11.30 sec -- a time he still remembers with a rueful shake of the head. Now he trains Kilakone and Lealy as a part-time volunteer, in between the demands of looking after his newborn daughter and helping run a small business at a Vientiane market. "I take standard training courses and modify some parts of them," explains Chaleunsouk, who has coaching qualifications with the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). "Because we don't have the equipment, and you have to take into account the individuals -- everything's different, but I modify the training so it's suitable for Laos people." According to chef de mission Kasem, the challenges facing Laos's athletes are simple: no facilities, few competitions, and the weather is too hot. Plus, the people are too short, he says. "Even in the Southeast Asian Games we can't get medals from swimming and athletics because if compared to the morphology of more talented people, we are short! Shorter than the others," says Kasem.
While such problems are not easy to fix, more money would help. However, with Laos aid-dependent and short of major industry, grants and sponsorship are not forthcoming. Laos students have sports on their curriculum, but many schools have no facilities. And there are few opportunities for athletes -- just the national, military, police and university games which are held in rotation, one per year. Kasem has been ever-present in Laos's Olympic campaigns since he went to Moscow 1980 as a coach. But when asked to describe the country's best moment at a Games, he is at a loss. "We just like to participate, we don't expect to get a medal," he shrugs. "If we can't develop to the top ranking, we can't compete." If only petanque were an Olympic sport, things might be different. Laos is a gold medal winner at Southeast Asian Games level in the popular bowling game, a legacy of French colonialism. Until that day, the Laos's Olympic dream rests largely with Kilakone, Lealy, Chaleunsouk and their home-made weights in the sweaty, crowded Vientiane stadium. Next to the paint-tin barbell, which weighs "about 20 kilos (40 pounds)", lies a heavier challenge: another scaffolding pole, but this one attached with two concrete-filled car wheels. The coach and athletes shake their heads. "We hope we can get more equipment," says Chaleunsouk.
Top 64 players play in Chromatex Masters Table Tennis LAHORE STAFF RePoRT
Altogether 64 men and women players will be displaying their talent in the Chromatex Masters Table Tennis League that is commencing here on Friday at the Chromatex Hall. "Country's top most 32 men and similar number of women players representing various departments and provinces will be taking part in the 3-day event", said former national player and organising secretary of the competition, Abdul Qayyum Khan said in a press statement on Thursday. He said players from Wapda, PWD, Chromatex Chemicals, NHA, HBL, Railways, Army, HEC, Punjab, KPK, Sindh,Islamabad and Fata and Balochistan have reached here to compete in men's singles and ladies singles. "Former national champions Asim Qureshi,Bilal Yasin and other renowned players Kashif Razzak, Yasir Bhatti are the added attraction of the event and their participation will supplement our efforts for the cause of table tennis in the country", said the organising secretary. Chromatex will be led by former international Ahmad Hussain Khan and its other members are Asim Aziz and Mehboob Elahi and Fareed Malik. He said the competition to be played on league and play off system will ensure that good number of matches will be available to each participating player. "The winner of mens singles and ladies singles will receive cash prize of Rs 25,000 each while the runner up will be getting Rs 10,000. Similarly cash prizes will also be given to the semi finalist of each event", he added. Qayyum said the event will be an ideal opportunity for the Pakistan national junior team to get much needed practice ahead of its participation in Junior South Asian Table Tennis Championship being played from June 17 to 19 in India. The final of the league will be played on May 20.
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Friday, 18 May, 2012
Federer and Nadal coast through in Rome ROME AFP
OGER Federer and Rafael Nadal stepped up their preparations for the French Open a gear as both advanced without any problems in their opening matches at the Rome Masters here on Wednesday. Federer's last minute decision to compete was rewarded immediately as he coasted to a 6-3, 6-4 second-round win over Argentinian journeyman Carlos Berlocq. Nadal slayed a mental dragon as he earned revenge against Florian Mayer 6-1, 7-5 after losing to the German last autumn in Shanghai. Second seed Nadal won the first set on a double break, with a break for 6-5 in the second paving the way to the win. "The first set was important," said the Spaniard. "I felt good with my forehand. It's tough to play Mayer, he gives you on rhythm." Federer was back on court just three days after winning the Madrid title on the controversial blue
barcelona to set up school in India NEW DELHI AFP
Spanish giants Barcelona are setting up a football school in India as they expand their coaching network worldwide with the aim of training 10,000 youngsters in the next three years. The school in New Delhi, the first of its kind in India, will be managed by the club's training arm FCBEscola and welcome 300 children aged between six and 14, club officials said.
Greece prepares to hand flame to London ATHENS ReUTeRS
Greece formally hands over the Olympic flame to a London delegation led by Princess Anne and including David Beckham on Thursday at the Panathenaic stadium where the first modern Games were held in 1896. Seb Coe, chairman of the London organising committee LOCOG, spoke of a 'massive, massive moment' as the clock ticks down to the Games opening on July 27 while London Mayor Boris Johnson was typically ebullient. "It's an amazing day for us. This is the moment when we prepare to take the torch and the eyes of the world are swivelling to London," Johnson told reporters. "I think they will see a city that has made phenomenal progress in getting ready...by any measure, London is extraordinarily well prepared." Princess Anne, daughter of Queen Elizabeth and a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as well as a former Games competitor, will receive the flame from the president of the Hellenic Olympic Committee, Spyros Capralos, in the ceremony. Greek president Karolos Papoulias, whose debt-stricken country risks bankruptcy and an exit from the European single currency, is also due to attend after naming a caretaker Prime Minister in an emergency government on Wednesday to lead Greece to new elections next month. Former England soccer captain Beckham, born in east London where the new Olympic Park has taken shape, will play a role in the proceedings with five young Britons chosen for their commitment to sport and promoting Olympic values. The youngsters will join Princess Anne, who is president of the British
Olympic Association, in receiving the flame. Greek rowing world champion Christina Giazitzidou will carry the flame into the stadium, built in 330BC and reconstructed for 1896, after it travels from its overnight perch on the golden rock of the Acropolis down through the centre of Athens. The final two torchbearers will be Greek weightlifter Pyrros Dimas and Chinese gymnast Li Ning, who lit the cauldron at the 2008 Beijing Games. The lighting at ancient Olympia last week by an actress playing the role of high priestess brought bittersweet emotions for some of the spectators, emphasising how far Greece had fallen from its glorious past. Coe said the response to the torch relay around Greece since last Thursday had been extraordinary, despite the economic difficulties. "It's reminded them that, for all the current challenges, you can't expunge 28 centuries of history. This is uniquely theirs and a moment of celebration," he said. The flame will be kept overnight in lanterns at the British embassy in Athens and then flown on the golden-liveried 'Firefly', British Airways Flight 2012, to a navy base in Culdrose near Land's End in south-west England. The 70-day, 8,000-mile (12,874-km) relay around Britain starts on Saturday and organisers hope it will spark an explosion of enthusiasm for the third Summer Games London has hosted. "This is really the beginning of the journey," said Coe. "Once that flame starts its route...8,000 torchbearers within 10 miles of 57 million people over 1,000 villages, towns and cities, I think people will recognise that actually there is no turning back now. It's theirs."
waTch iT Live GEO SUPER IPL-5: Deccan Chargers v Rajasthan Royals 07:30PM
Azarenka out of Rome, in Paris fitness battle ROME AFP
clay surface, an event where rivals Novak Djokovic and Nadal fell by the wayside - both of them fiercely critical of the slick surface. But with a ferocious series of tests over the next four months including the French Open, Wimble-
don, the London Olympics and the US Open, Federer was not about to overload his programme unnecessarily. "I only decided today after practise this morning," said the Swiss, whose win in Madrid took him to 74 ATP titles.
Victoria Azarenka is facing a battle to be fit for the French Open after the top seed pulled out of the Rome Masters here on Thursday with a shoulder injury. The Belarussian now has 10 days to recover in time for the start of Roland Garros on May 27 as she seeks to back up the Australian Open title she won over Maria Sharapova. Women's world number one Azarenka was the last on court on Wednesday when she saw off the talented Israeli Shahar Peer with a 61, 6-2 victory in the second round. Her withdrawal handed a walkover victory to her scheduled third-round opponent Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia.
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Friday, 18 May, 2012
SC indicts Babar Awan for contempt Former law minister refuses to accept judgment g
FTER having been completely sidelined by the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leadership for not appearing before the Supreme Court (SC) to testify in the contempt of court hearing against Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, former law minister Senator Babar Awan was indicted by the Supreme Court on charges of contempt of court. A two-member bench comprising Justice Athar Saeed and Justice Ejaz Afzal heard the proceedings of the contempt case on Thursday. While indicting the former law minister, the bench said that Awan had passed humili-
ating comments and insulted the court in a press conference on December 1 at the Islamabad Press Information Department. Awan, while refusing to accept the court’s judgment, said that he had not committed contempt, and that no law on contempt of court existed in the country. In his statement, Awan said that his press conference was not against the apex court, but was targeted against the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N). He said that he had spoken against the PML-N as a central member of the PPP, adding that the press conference was addressed by 5 individuals, but the court was taking action only against him. “I am regretful over the comments I made during the press conference and I had already apologised unconditionally for my remarks, as I respect the courts from the core of my heart,” Awan stated. He said the government of Pakistan had already clarified that the press conference was of political nature, adding that he had not been
told so far whether he was being prosecuted on civil or criminal basis. Awan said the objection was already at hand, asking why the contempt proceedings against him were being carried out in two different courts. He said the attorney general (AG) had stated in a written reply that no law on contempt of court existed in the country, and asked the AG to provide legal assistance to the court. The AG told the court that there was no law on contempt of court in the country. In response, Justice Ejaz Afzal said that Article 204 of the constitution was about the contempt of court. The SC ordered the attorney general to present evidence against Awan until May 26, and adjourned the hearing until May 29. The former law minister was charged with contempt of court after he criticised an apex court verdict handed down on December 1, 2011, pertaining to the formation of a judicial commission to probe the Memo scandal.
Pakistan seeks $5,000 transit fee for each nato container: WP NEWS DESK
QUeTTA: Security personnel collect evidence from the site of an attack on a police vehicle on Western Bypass on Thursday. ONLiNE
india to discuss hafiz Saeed in secy-level talks NEW DELHI onLIne
India has reiterated that Hafiz Saeed was the mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai attacks and that New Delhi would raise the issue during the upcoming foreign secretary-level talks between Pakistan and India. Indian Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai told reporters on Thursday that “we will take up the issue of Hafiz Saeed in bilateral talks”. The secretary said the issue of other criminals being holed up in Pakistan would also be raised in the talks.
2 policemen shot dead in quetta QUETTA onLIne
Unidentified motorcyclist opened indiscriminate fire on a police van in Quetta on Thursday, killing two policemen on the spot and critically injuring two others. Per reports, the attack occurred in the Sardar Karees area of Quetta. The deceased were identified as constables Sanaullah and Ghulam Murtaza, while ASI Muhammad Hussain and Constable Deen Muhammad sustained critical injuries. The bodies and injured were shifted to Bolan Medical Hospital.Police and FC cordoned off the area and started a search operation for criminals.
rulers alarmed at Sindh’s response to my visits: nawaz
Pakistani negotiators have proposed a fee of $5,000 for each NATO shipping container and tanker that transits its territory by land into and out of Afghanistan. The amount is a key sticking point in discussions about the terms of a deal that would allow the traffic to resume, about six months after Pakistan closed its border crossings, Washington Post said on Thursday quoting US and Pakistani officials. Officials said a deal was imminent, after they reached agreement in principal on reopening the transit corridors. But the details were being negotiated. “The framework is ready, but we are now looking at rates,” a Pakistani official said. A US official emphasized that the United States had not agreed to any figure. According to officials from both countries, who spoke on condition of anonymity about the closed-door negotiations, Pakistan proposed the figure after calculating its total outlays for damaged infrastructure, primarily wear and tear on its roads from the heavy vehicles, as well as security costs and a new tariff. Pakistani officials said they had also taken into account their belief that NATO, by using alternative, far longer transport routes through Central Asia, is paying at least double the amount they had demanded. Nonetheless, the notion of payment for using what are known as the Pakistani GLOCs,
for Ground Lines of Communication, has been difficult for the Pentagon to swallow, because access previously was considered free. But other US officials have pointed out that the United States had given Pakistan billions over the past decade as compensation for its counterterrorism efforts. That money is expected to be discontinued as the new arrangements are put in place. Pakistan says US still owed more than $3 billion for past operations; the United States puts the figure at about $1.3 billion.The transport agreement is being considered as a matter separate from other aspects of the bilateral security relationship, including Pakistan’s rejection of US drone attacks on militants inside its borders. Discussions on that issue are continuing between senior intelligence officials. Before the closures, more than 70 percent of NATO’s supplies in Afghanistan, largely paid for and utilized by the United States, traveled over land from the Pakistani port of Karachi. The route has become even more important to US and coalition forces as they begin the combat troop withdrawal scheduled for completion by the end of 2014. Some analysts speculated that President Asif Ali Zardari might wait to announce in Chicago any new deal with NATO. On Wednesday, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani’s unwieldy cabinet — 53 ministers in all — took up the matter but ended the day with no decision except to reinforce the parliament’s recommendation that shipments contain no weaponry or lethal supplies.
PMl-N chief says money-laundering reference against him ‘nothing but revenge’ g
PML-N President Nawaz Sharif on Thursday said his recent visits to Sindh and the response of the province’s public had rung alarming bells for the rulers. Denying money-laundering cases against him, Nawaz said it was nothing but vindictive moves of the failed rulers. He lamented that the government paid no heed to parliamentary recommendations and always threw them into the dustbin. About US policies, he said Washington was ready to offer an apology over the Salala attack in February but the government asked it to do that at an “appropriate time”. He said reopening of the NATO supply routes would be a matter of great disgrace for the entire nation, adding that the rulers were happy to attend the Chicago conference. To a query he said, “I am amazed as well as ashamed at the statements made by the prime minister. He does not know how to talk over a wide range of issues,” he said. Nawaz said he had no personal grudge against Yousaf Raza Gilani but they would force the government for the rule of law and implementation of the Supreme Court’s orders. He declared all options including a long march would be utilised against the rulers. “The situation is heading towards the politics of 80s and 90s,” he warned. He said the appointment of an impartial chief election commissioner was a prerequisite for free and fair elections and all political parties should show concern on the matter. Nawaz also blamed the government for all economic woes and energy crises in the country, saying it had failed to provide any relief to the public in the last four years.
Published by Arif Nizami for Nawa Media Corporation (Pvt) Ltd at Plot # 7, Al-Baber Centre, F/8 Markaz, Islamabad.
Editor: Arif Nizami, Resident Editor: Rana Qaisar