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Not scared of any earthly power, says Altaf PAGE |04
Malik ‘misinformed’, misled India on Saeed's arrest
Obama calls for new US gun controls PAGE |04
tuesday, 18 december, 2012 Safar 4, 1434
Rs 15.00 Vol iii no 171 19 pages islamabad — peshawar edition
SC notices PM’s favour to son-in-law ISLAMABAD STAFF REPORT
PESHAWAR SAJJAD ALI
t least 18 people were killed and more than 40 injured in a car bombing in the main bazaar of Jamrud tehsil of Khyber Agency on Monday. A number of children and women were among those killed in the blast. the blast occurred near the taxi
station of Fuji Market in Jamurd bazaar. the office of the Jamrud assistant political administration was close to the site of the bombing. Jamrud Political tehsildar Asmatullah Wazir confirmed the dead toll at 18, saying children and women were among those killed. Six of those killed belonged to a single family. Zulfikar, who was injured in the blast, said the bomb went off at about 10am. Following the incident, the Khasadar Force and FC personnel condoned off the area and blocked the Pak-Afghan
Road and Jamrud Bazaar for rescue operations. Rescue teams rushed to the site and took the dead and injured to Hayatabad Medical Complex (HMC) and Sherpao Hospital in Peshawar. Hospital sources said eight among the injured were in critical condition. the explosion destroyed several nearby shops and at least 12 vehicles. Khyber Administration chief Mutahir Zaib Khan told reporters at the site of the blast that the explosion might be in retaliation to the successful security forces’ operation against militants in
parts of Khyber Agency. As many as 30 kilogrammes of explosives were used in the blast, he said, adding the situation was under the administration’s control. Security sources said the militants might have targeted the Zekha Khel tribe’s taxi stand. “Zekha Khel tribe, who has been targeted earlier as well, might be the target,” a security official said. “Zekhakhel tribe had formed a lashkar against the militants in tirah Valley. In reaction, militants have targeted the tribe thrice so far,” he said.
The Supreme Court on Monday took notice of the alleged illegal appointment of Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf’s son-in-law in the World Bank. A three-member SC bench headed by Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali would conduct hearing in the case on December 19. The suo motu was taken over news reports that Raja Azeem had been appointed as the executive director in the international monetary organisation. Sources said Finance Minister Hafeez Shaikh had expressed reservations over the decision but the prime minister had put his foot down over the issue and ordered appointment of his sonin-law to the lucrative position. Transparency International-Pakistan (TIP) had on Sunday drew the attention of Prime Minister Raja Parvez Ashraf towards allegations of nepotism in rapid promotion of his sonof-law in Employees Old Age Benefit Institution (EOIB), his appointment in the PM’s Secretariat and his current posting as the WB executive director. It said until a few years back, the PM’s son-inlaw was serving in grade-18 in the Continued on page 04
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02 News CArtOON
China major concern, Pakistan not so much: Indian FM
iNfOtAiNMeNt Paralysed woman’s thoughts control robotic arm
Story on Page 09
Female MPs accuse Imran Khan of discriminating against women
Govt moves bill to increase minorities’ seats ISLAMABAD: The government on Monday moved the 23rd constitutional amendment bill in the National Assembly to pass a law on the cabinet’s decision regarding the enhancement of minorities’ seats in the Lower House as well as in the provincial assemblies. The bill, called The Constitutional (Twenty-Third) Amendment Act 2012, was moved in the House by Law Minister Farooq Naik. As the bill was not opposed by anyone, Deputy Speaker Faisal Karim Kundi sent it to the committee concerned for deliberation. This amendment contains the proposal to enhance four seats for minorities in the National Assembly while the seats reserved for minorities in provincial assemblies shall be increased to various numbers. Once this bill is passed and the constitution is further amended, number of seats for minorities in National Assembly shall increase to 14. For the provincial assemblies of Punjab, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan, the number of seats for minorities will increase to 10, 12, four and four respectively. Consequently total seats for the Punjab Assembly will rise to 373, for Sindh 171 seats, for KP 125 seats and Balochistan the figure will increase to a total 66 seats. Dilating upon the amendment, the law minister said, under Article 36 of the Constitution, the state is obliged to safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of minorities and presently under Article 51(4), 10 seats are reserved for non-Muslims in National Assembly. Regarding the seats for non-Muslims in the provincial assemblies, the minister said, three seats each were reserved for non-Muslims in provincial assemblies of Balochistan and KP while eight in Punjab and nine seats were reserved for minorities in the Sindh Assembly. APP
Naik tables Tax Law Act 2012 in NA ISLAMABAD: The government tabled ‘Tax Law (Amendment) Act 2012’ in the National Assembly to mute a few legal provisions and grant immunity to personnel declaring undisclosed incomes. The bill was moved in the House by Law Minister Farooq H Naik. The bill would provide immunity to people people declaring undisclosed assets and incomes from prosecution under Accountability Ordinance, FIA Act and Foreign Exchange Regulation Act and Companies Ordinance. However, the bill would not grant immunity to cases falling in the domain of Narcotics Substance Act 1997 and the Anti-Terrorism Act 1997. A new section inserted to the existing law states that “notwithstanding anything contained in this Ordinance or any other law for the time being in force, the Federal Board of Revenue may make a scheme of registration, on payment of registration tax, in respect of registered and un-registered nonfilers”. Elaborating upon the aims and objectives of the bill, Naik said, the bill seeks to provide a mechanism for bringing potential taxpayers into the tax net and to enforce compliance to the tax laws, by giving a one-time amnesty to unregistered persons and non-filers to regularize their tax affairs by adopting a simplified procedure. The bill would grant an overriding effect to new provisions over the provisions of the National Accountability Ordinance 1999, FIA Act 1974, Companies Ordinance 1984 and Foreign Exchange Ordinance 2002. APP
Story on Page 14
PAC chairman demands enquiry against NGO for maligning tax-paying politicians g Judges should avoid making political remarks, says MQM’s Waseem Akhtar g
AKISTAN Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan’s recent statement on reserved seats for female parliamentarians was not taken well by the female legislators on Monday as they declared it an insult of the House and of female members. Responding to a point of order raised by Yasmin Rehman, Anusha Rehman Khan from the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz said that some “political puppets” who were not even members of the parliament were questioning the legitimacy of female representation in the parliament. “Imran Khan took admission in Oxford University on the basis of cricket and should not be compared to female politicians like Fatima Jinnah and Benazir
Bhutto,” she said, challenging the PTI chief to compare his educational certificates with her qualification. “Very highly qualified and educated women, including Fatima Jinnah, Benazir Bhutto, Dr Nafeesa Shah and Begum Shehnaz Wazir Ali have been part of this parliament, and Imran Khan is challenging their legitimacy as members in an immoral manner,” she said. Shehnaz Wazir Ali also hit hard at the PTI chief and said that those who were criticising female lawmakers “do not have the mandate of the people to even sit in this House”. “Imran Khan does not know how to respect women,” she said. “All women sitting in this House are here because of their qualifications and are performing their duties well,” she said. Jameela Gillani accused Imran Khan of discrimination against women. “Women reach the House because of their own political struggles and Imran Khan’s verdict has proved that he held an undemocratic approach,” said Gillani. Kashmala Tariq said that Imran Khan’s statement proved that he is “mentally and politically immature”. Law Minister Farooq Naik said that no one had the right to d e -
SC suspends Qamar Zaman’s appointment as HEC executive director ISLAMABAD AGENCIES
The Supreme Court on Monday suspended the appointment of Qamaruz Zaman as the executive director of the Higher Education Commission (HEC). A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry suspended the prime minister’s directives on the appointment of the HEC ED. The bench noted prima facie that the prime minister had no authority to appoint the executive director of the HEC. It ordered that a fresh appointment be made to this post on the basis of merit. Earlier the HEC chairman in his submission before the SC said he was appointed chairman by the controlling authority of the HEC -- the prime minister of Pakistan -- three years ago on a four-year tenure per the HEC Act. He said in 10 years since the establishment of the HEC, the commission had quadrupled enrollment in universities, increased the number of research publications by a factor of eight, produced more PhDs than in the first 55 years since independence of Pakistan, and recorded the second largest increase in research publi-
tuesday, 18 December, 2012
cations worldwide. “Today the HEC is one of the shining stars in Pakistan and the developing world. All this was possible due to the autonomy of the HEC and it being led by qualified individuals,” he said. Leghari said in the last three years, the HEC had to face numerous challenges, but “we aced them boldly despite threats to me and my immediate family”. “These challenges included, among others, verification of parliamentarian degrees, which we successfully completed, proposed devolution of the HEC after the 18th Amendment, which was set aside by the Honorable Supreme Court, and which had the support of over a million youth, and a drastic cut in funding which put many of our scholars in foreign countries begging in front of mosques.” The HEC chairman said in each of these cases, “we fought for the autonomy of the HEC, which is protected in the HEC Act, and with the support of the nation and the Courts, won”. He said the most recent onslaught against the HEC was to place it under the administrative and financial control of the Ministry of Education and Training, first through a notification issued by the ministry, which was challenged in the Sindh
clare the House unconstitutional. GONDAL REJECTS: Venting his anger at a recent report which accuses parliamentarians of not filing their tax returns, Public Accounts Committe Chairman Nadeem Afzal Gondal protested that his name was also included in the list of ‘tax thieves’, damaging his reputation badly. Gondal demanded an audit of the NGO, saying that it should be made public that who was financing this particular NGO and misleading the people. “If I am given justice, I will not hesitate in contacting the Supreme Court,” he said. National Assembly Deputy Speaker Faisal Karim Kundi said that some NGOs were trying to malign politicians in order to get money from donor agencies. “All NGOs are not like this but some are misusing their funds,” Kundi said. MQM JUDICIARY: Waseem Akhtar of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) used strong language against the judiciary over the SC’s recent decision to summon MQM chief Altaf Hussain in a contempt of court case. “Judges, in their ruling, used the word ‘monoply’ for the MQM, which is an insult of the 10 percent population of Pakistan who have given mandate to Altaf Hussain,” he said. “I term the remarks by these judges as biased,” he said. He said that the judiciary was blind to the law and order situation and killings in Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and was constantly focused on Karachi. The National Assembly speaker interrupted Akhtar and asked him not to debate on the conduct of the judiciary as per the rules and regulations of the house. Akhtar, however, maintained that his focus was on the particular decision of the SC and advised that the judges should also avoid making political statements. The House was adjourned until Tuesday morning.
Asim criticises OGRA’s performance ISLAMABAD APP
FILE PhOTO High Court, and set aside, and now more recently, through a notification issued by the Establishment Division, at the directives of the prime minister, to appoint Ministry of Education and Training Secretary Zaman acting executive director (ED), who is the CEO and the principal accounting officer of the HEC. This appointment is a violation of the HEC Act, he argued. The chairman elaborated that per the HEC Act, the ED can only be appointed by the commission, whose affairs are governed by an 18-member board. “As was
decided by the HEC Board on August 27 and again in a special meeting on November 8, the powers to appoint the ED only lie with the commission. These decisions were reinforced again in the HEC Board meeting of December 14. He and all offices of the HEC Secretariat are bound by the law to implement the decisions of the Board as per HEC Act. He said since the assumption of charge on his own by Zaman as acting Acting Director, which the commission does not recognise, the situation at the HEC had become very tense and ugly.
Adviser to the Prime Minister on Petroleum Dr Asim Hussain on Monday called in question the performance of the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) and accused it for not delivering as required under the act governing it. During National Assembly proceeding, responding to a calling attention notice regarding the theft of gas and the role of OGRA, the adviser said OGRA should also have one member each from the Finance and Gas departments. Members Shireen Arshad Khan and Tasneem Siddiqui had raised questions about OGRA’s performance as well as about gas theft from the system, asking the adviser what measures were being taken to improve the mechanism. Hussain said the losses mentioned by the MNAs was not theft rather it was “unaccounted for gas” which had a certain limit and due to the recent legislation and strict monitoring by the government, these losses had been cut down sufficiently. “There are transmission and distribution losses and losses owing to pipeline blasts in the wake of terrorist attacks,” he added. The adviser said to control the losses and theft, OGRA had been allowed to import digital gas metres. He also said the government was trying to segregate the distribution and the transmission system as he acknowledged that losses in certain cases might be more than other countries.
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News 03 ArtS & eNtertAiNMeNt
LiLo 'up for hire as celeb guest'
Cy2012 saw Pakistan equities gain 48%
England end 28-year wait for win in India
eDitOriAl Power abused: Public money and elections.
COMMeNt Aima Khosa says; Beyond Sidi Bouzid: Perspectives on post-revolution Tunisia.
Malik Muhammad Ashraf says; What’s missing?: Complexity of Pakistan-Afghanistan relations.
Story on Page 14
Story on Page 18
Story on Page 15
Articles on Page 10
Peshawar terrorist’s tattoo ‘not a big deal’ Security official says terrorist may have got the tattoo before his indoctrination by religious extremists g KP info minister claims terrorists used tattoos for identification g
LAHORE: Security officials on Monday said the ‘demonic’ tattoo found on the back of a terrorist killed in the Peshawar operation two days ago held no significance, Pakistan Today has learnt. Talking to Pakistan Today on condition of anonymity, a senior security official said the security agencies weren’t placing any importance on the tattoo found on the body of one of the 10 terrorists who targeted the Peshawar airport on Saturday night. “The tattoo was at least 10 to 15 years old. There is a strong possibility that he got the tattoo before his indoctrination with terrorist elements. Such tattoos are common in countries like Uzbekistan from where this particular suspect is believed to have belonged,” he said. However, TTP spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan told a TV journalist on Monday evening that all terrorists who took part in the Peshawar airport raid were Pakistanis. “The terrorist with the tattoo on his back was a Pakistani. It’s quite
Judges under oath to protect constitution: CJ
possible that he got the tattoo during a foreign visit,” said Ehsan. Commenting on the demonic tattoo, Ulema Council Pakistan Chairman Allama Tahir Ashrafi said he doubted that the tattoo was made before the suspected terrorist joined the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). “So what if the tattoo was made before the terrorist joined the TTP?” he asked. “A man calling himself a Mujahid would have had it covered once he joined jihad.” Ashrafi said that this was not the first time tattoos had been found on a terrorist. “The men nabbed
in Swat had tattoos as well,” he said. He added that there were rumours that the killed terrorists were not circumcised, adding that this was similar to the case of the men nabbed in Swat. He was of the view that foreign elements were seeking to destabilise Pakistan, saying that it was no coincidence that only the army, the air force and the naval bases were being targeted. “These are foreign elements attempting to weaken the state of Pakistan,” he said. “Afghanistan has a lot of interest in Pakistan’s affairs and I would not be surprised if they had a role in this recent attack.” Earlier in the day, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Information Minister Iftikhar Hussain said in a statement that “international powers” were behind the attack. He claimed that the killed terrorists belonged to an international outfit and bore tattoos on their bodies for identification.However, the KP minister’s claim runs contrary to the fact that only one of the 10 attackers had tattoos on his body. The tattoo on the back of the suspected terrorist hit the headlines because it appeared to be a rendition of a Boris Vallejo sorcery-fantasy character. The tattoo was unfinished with one entire limb, strands of flowing hair and a sorcery-monster missing. Tattoo experts said the tattoo was representative of “evil and rebelliousness”. They also expressed their doubts that a religious person would get such a tattoo. AIMA KhOSA
Shahbaz gives Rs 5m to national hockey team LAHORE INP
Punjab Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif on Monday gave away a cheque of Rs 5 million to the national hockey team. He also announced that players of the national hockey team will be recruited in the police department and will get regular promotions. “The Punjab government will extend all possible support for the promotion of the national sport. We want the players to pay full attention to the game without any economic burden on their shoulders,” he said. The chief minister announced
that Astroturf will be laid in the Punjab University ground in Lahore and in Vehari, whereas the Astroturf in Gojra will be replaced with a new one. “The Punjab government has provided record funds for the promotion of all sports in the province and has successfully held the international sports festival,” he said. The meeting was attended by Punjab Assembly Deputy Speaker Rana Mashhood Ahmed Khan, Pakistan Hockey Federation President Qasim Zia, National Hockey Team Manager and Head Coach Ch Akhtar Rasool, Youth Affairs and Sports Secretary and Sports DG among others.
Peshawar airport attack toll rises to 9 PESHAWAR AGENCIES
A high-level inquiry into the Bacha Khan Airport attack has been carried out as another victim succumbed to his injuries, pushing the overall death toll to nine. Terrorists attacked the airport late on Saturday night, killing five people. An encounter with the terrorists occurred again on Sunday, in which five more terrorists were killed and three security personnel embraced martyrdom. The 42 injured were taken to Khyber Teaching Hospital, one of them died on Monday, taking the death toll to nine. The other 33 injured were sent home after first-aid treatment. Three injured have been shifted to the Intensive Care Unit. According to Town Police Station, the FIR of the airport attack has been registered against the unidentified attackers. However, the FIR of Sunday’s police encounter had not been lodged so far. The officials said the government had decided to conduct DNA tests of the terrorists who were killed in the two incidents. The samples had been taken and would be sent to Lahore. The officials added a highlevel investigation committee had been formed to probe the attack on the Peshawar airport. Meanwhile, Peshawar CCPO Imtiaz Altaf has revealed that one of the terrorists involved in the attack was from the Russian republic of Dagestan. According to the CCPO, a letter recovered from the terrorist also mentioned details of attacks on security forces.
Altaf faces ‘unnatural threats’ in Pakistan, says Sattar Sattar ISLAMABAD STAFF REPORT
The Muttahida Qaumi Movement deputy convener, Minister for Overseas Pakistanis Dr Farooq Sattar, on Monday said party workers had prevented Altaf Hussain from coming back to Pakistan “as the party chief is facing unnatural threats here”. “Personalities like Altaf Hussain are born in centuries. He is a ray of hope for millions of Pakistanis and we cannot expose him to the real and present dangers,” Sattar told reporters. He said it would not be appropriate to ask him to come to Pakistan, in the present circumstances. “It was due to the existing hazards that he was stopped several times by the MQM workers from coming back to Pakistan.” The Supreme Court had served a contempt notice to MQM chief Altaf Hussain ordering him to appear before the court on January 7 following Altaf’s statement against judges during his telephonic address to a public meeting.
Senate asks govt to set up shelter houses for the elderly ISLAMABAD
ISLAMABAD TAyyAb huSSAIN
Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry on Monday said that judges were under oath to uphold the constitution and to protect the national interests of Pakistan. The CJ was heading a three-member bench comprising Justice Gulzar Ahmad and Justice Azmat Saeed. The bench was constituted to produce a verdict on the pending case for awarding mining license at Reko Diq mines. During the hearing the CJ said that “it was mandatory that decisions must be made as per articles of law”. BHP’s counsel Hafeez Pirzada said that the matter must be resolved soon as non statutory delays would dent the credentials of the apex court. The CJ responded that the matter would be dealt constitutionally and added that the bench would pronounce its verdict soon. Hafeez Pirzada would continue his arguments on Tuesday.
The Senate on Monday adopted a unanimous resolution asking the federal and provincial governments to set up shelter houses for senior citizens, who are either abandoned by their children or are issueless and no one else is there to look after them. The resolution, moved by Senator Karim Ahmed Khawaja of the PPP said, “This House recommends that the government may establish shelter houses for senior citizens and necessary legislation and awareness campaign should be launched to sensitise the younger generations for taking care of the old.” The PPP, PML-Q, ANP, PML-N, and the MQM supported the resolution while PML-Q’s Kamil Ali Agha and MQM’s Babar Ghauri put amendments to the resolution. Later the resolution was passed unanimously. Taking part in debate, Agha said the
shelter houses should be built with proper legislation and the government should allocate funds for such houses. He said there were some good old-age homes being run in the private sector in Lahore, Karachi and Rawalpindi. However, he added that there was a possibility that such shelter homes may be affected by “social evils” without proper financial support by the government. Agha said there was a need to move amendments in the bill. Ghauri said his party – the MQM supported the idea of shelter homes – however, he added the youth must be sensitised for taking care of their parents. He said the media could play an important role in sensitising the people on the issue. Begum Najma Hameed said the government should own and fund this project. She said this was a basic project and was the need of the hour, adding that the PML-N would fully support the idea. Senator Kazim Khan said the idea was a good initiative, adding that the govern-
ment might allocate necessary funds for provision of salary to senior citizens just like the BISP and family members should take care of their parents. Raja Zafarul Haq said old-age homes
had become an institution. He said an awareness campaign was necessary so families could be sensitised to cater for the needs of their old. He said the state should provide funds for the purpose.
tuesday, 18 December, 2012
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04 Israeli mole in US stole info on Pakistani nuclear programme NEWS DESK
L QuETTA: Relatives of Director Public Relations Khadim hussain Noori mourn over his dead body after unidentified men gunned him down on Jinnah Road. inP
Ex-Musharraf aide Ijaz Shah set to take solo flight ISLAMABAD ONLINE
If everything goes according to his expectations, former Intelligence Bureau (IB) Director General (DG) Brig (r) Ijaz Shah would join the National Assembly (NA) after elections. A close confidant of General (r) Musharraf, Brig (r) Ijaz in his heydays was building momentum among the electorates of his native city of Nankana Sahab, located at a distance of 75 kilometres from Lahore.
Sindh CeC sacked ISLAMABAD ONLINE
The Sindh Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sono Khan Baloch has been removed from his present office, media reports said on Monday. Justice (r) Fakhruddin G. Ebrahim also confirmed the reports regarding Sono Khan’s removal from CEC Sindh’s office. He had been appointed as Election Commission Director General Budget instead. It should be mentioned here the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) received requests from different political parties for the removal of Sono from the office.
SC notices Continued fRom page 01
Income Tax Group, but he was first hired by the EOBI in BPS20 and soon after his father-in-law’s elevation as PM, he too was elevated in the PM Secretariat to a grade-21 post. The TIP said the post of World Bank ED was highly lucrative, offering $220,000 per annum along with other perks and privileges. The news report regarding the appointment said the Finance Division believed Azeem’s appointment might create an embarrassing situation for the country because the ED represented several countries like Iran, Algeria, Afghanistan and others, and they might raise objection when Pakistan’s designated son-in-law assumes charge as full fledged ED.
tuesday, 18 December, 2012
Brig (r) Ijaz had been planning to contest the elections as an independent candidate and had claimed to have enough public support to defeat his rivals, no matter which party they belonged to. Recent reports suggested that the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) was thinking of awarding the NA ticket to Brig (r) Ijaz, despite his controversial role in post military coup of October 1999, which saw the PML-N government being overthrown by the powerful Pak-
istani military. “There is no way I am getting the ticket of PMLN. There is no truth in the reports,” Brig (r) Ijaz told Online. He explained the local leaders hailing from mainstream political parties had recommended his name to their respective high commands as they wanted him as their NA candidate in order to capitalize on his support base in Nankana Sahab. Asked if he would like to get a ticket from the Pakistan
Muslim League-Quaid-eAzam (PML-Q), he said that the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Punjab President Mian Manzoor Wattoo would not allow the Chaudhry’s to get the seat of Nankana Sahab. The former IB DG had always shared a good rapport with the Chaudhry’s of Gujrat. Brig (r) Ijaz was allegedly instrumental in 2002 and 2008 general elections, where critics blamed him of applying anti-democracy tactics to manipulate the elections in favour of Musharraf.
Obama calls for new US gun controls WASHINGTON AGENCIES
US President Barack Obama has called for change to America's gun controls. Americans have been left in shock after 26 people - including 20 pupils were killed in a shooting at Sandy Hook school in the US state of Connecticut on Friday. "These tragedies must end and to end them we must change," Obama told
people at a vigil at the school in Newtown on Sunday. "I come to offer the love and prayers of a nation," Mr Obama also said in his speech. "You are not alone in your grief. All across this land of ours we have wept with you." Obama said he would use whatever powers he had to try and stop this kind of thing from happening again. It's thought there are
300 million guns in the US, where the laws aren't nearly as strict as they are in the UK. The US Constitution, which sets out the country's rights and freedoms, says people are allowed to keep and bear arms. "I come to offer the love and prayers of a nation," Obama also said in his speech. "You are not alone in your grief. All across this land of ours we have wept with you."
ONG before Pakistan conducted nuclear tests in 1998 at Chaghai, the Pakistani nukes’ lab was one of the targets of an Israeli espionage effort that led to the arrest and conviction of Jonathan Pollard. Pollard, Israel’s mole in the US Navy’s Anti-Terrorist Alert between 1984 and 1985, passed thousands of documents to his handlers and provided information about Pakistan’s plutonium reprocessing facility near Islamabad. The details are carried in The Jonathan Jay Pollard Espionage Case: A Damage Assessment, October 30, 1987 prepared by the CIA, and declassified for the second time on December 13. A heavily redacted version of the report was first declassified in 2006. The latest version gives more insight and was re-
leased as a result of appeals by the National Security Archive, a non-profit organisation working to reduce secrecy in US government. Then defence secretary Caspar Weinberger said Pollard delivered to the Israelis documents that could fill a 6’x6’x10’ space. He was detected and arrested in the US in 1985, convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment. The assessment report contains a confession by Pollard and reveals new details on the subjects on which he was asked by his Israeli handlers to provide intelligence, “in descending order of priority”: “Arab (and Pakistani) nuclear intelligence; Arab exotic weaponry, including chemical and weapons; Soviet aircraft; Soviet air defences; Soviet air-to-air missiles and air-to-surface missiles; and Arab order-of-battle, deployments, readiness.” In the 17 months that Pollard worked for Israel, he was
Malik ‘misinformed’ Continued fRom page 19
"On a larger plane, it was stated that terrorism is affecting all aspects of the relationship and that we must deal with this menace effectively," he said. In the Lok Sabha, senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha demanded that no talks should be held with Pakistan until culprits of Mumbai terror attacks and the prime conspirator Saeed were handed over to India by Islamabad. Maintaining that Malik's statements during the visit had "hurt the prestige of the country", he attacked Shinde for not countering his Pakistani counterpart and remaining "silent" during the entire period. In the Rajya Sabha, BJP Deputy Leader Ravi Shankar Prasad said it was "a deliberate design" by Pakistan not to take action against Saeed as he enjoyed "the protection of the Pakistan government", adding that this was "very disturbing". He charged Shinde with being "conspicuously silent" on many contentious issues
raised by Malik during his visit, including that of the Babri Masjid demolition which he termed as "interference in the internal affairs of India". "If this was to be done, then why was he called," Prasad posed. Later, members in the Upper House sought a discussion on the issue and Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman PJ Kurien agreed to the demand on the "serious" issue. In his statement, Shinde said he especially mentioned to Pakistan the fact that "our investigations have shown that Hafiz Saeed was one of the masterminds of the 26/11 attack conspiracy and Pakistan has yet to take effective action to charge him". "I reiterated the value of the voice samples for establishing the identity of those who were audacious to be caught on tape while directing the attackers," he said, adding he also emphasised the need to respond to the Letters Rogatory sent to Islamabad following the investigation by the National Investigation Agency.
initially paid $1,500 a month, the amount was later increased to $2,500. In a still heavily toned down section titled “Implications of Compromises —What Israel Gained from Pollard’s Espionage”, the document reveals on Page 58 that “Pollard’s stolen material, from the Israeli perspective, provided significant benefits [redacted] …. Page 59, [redacted] Pollard’s deliveries concerning PLO headquarters near Tunis, Tunisian and Libyan air defenses, and Pakistan’s plutonium reprocessing facility near Islamabad.” The reference to Pakistan is most likely about the Pakistan Institute of Science & Technology’s New Labs near Rawalpindi, where there has been a plutonium reprocessing facility since the 1980s. In 2009, New Labs was in the news again when a US think tank, using satellite imagery, said it had added another plutonium separation plant at the same site.
Not scared of any earthly power, says Altaf
MONITORING DESK Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) Chairman Altaf Hussain on Monday night said he was not afraid of any earthly power and feared only the Almighty, a private TV channel reported. "I only fear the wrath of Allah. No worldly power can intimidate me," Altaf said in a statement. The MQM leader asked his party workers to have their say on whether his stand on the contempt issue could aggravate the situation at hand. "I ask my workers, will my stepping down as the movement’s leader and quitting politics impact the situation?” Altaf further said that he was in constant consultation with his legal advisers over the contempt of court issue.
internet marriages an emerging trend in Pakistan MONITORING DESK Sania was just a schoolgirl when she logged onto an internet chat room and met a young college student called Mohammad. They fell in love and decided to get married. Internet dating in the West is now so common that it is no longer considered an act of shameful desperation but an acceptable way for busy professionals to discover a like-minded partner. But for Sania, the 22year-old daughter of a conservative truck driver in Pakistan, online romance and her subsequent marriage has meant repeated beatings and
death threats at the hands of her relatives. "No one gets married outside our community. It is our tradition," Sania told a foreign news agency. She is from the garrison city of Rawalpindi and Mohammad comes from Muzaffarabad, the capital of Azad Kashmir. At first she and Mohammad chatted online. Then they both bought mobiles to continue their relationship by telephone. For several years they asked their parents for permission to marry, but were refused. So Sania decided to escape. She packed a bag and sneaked out while her brother was at school, her
mother sleeping and her father out at work. She took the bus straight to Muzaffarabad. "I spent the four-hour journey in fear. I kept thinking that if my family caught me, they'd kill me," she said. In Muzaffarabad, Mohammad met her off the bus and they got married immediately. Twice they have
dragged her back to Rawalpindi since her marriage and have demanded repeatedly that she break off relations with Mohammad. "Last time they took me back three months ago and put lot of pressure on me to break off this relationship. I got in contact with my husband and asked him to fetch
me. I escaped from the house at midnight and we managed to flee," she said. Now Sania and her 24-year-old husband have moved to a new oneroom house in a slum, changed their phone number and dare not venture out of the city. "They say they will kill us whenever they find us," Sania says. Women in Pakistan who marry against the wishes of their parents are ostracised or even killed by male relatives for supposedly bringing dishonour on the family. But online relationships are a new phenomenon. More than 2.1 million people are officially estimated to
have access to the internet in Pakistan, a drop in the ocean of the population of 180 million, a reflection of the huge disparity in wealth and literacy. Mohammad Zaman, professor of sociology at Quaid-e-Azam University in Islamabad, who has written a book about marriage, says arranged unions that have dominated for centuries are on the wane. "Internet marriage is a new emerging trend in Pakistan. Technological advancement has entered into our homes and traditional taboos are slowly vanishing in educated and affluent families," Zaman said.
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tuesday, 18 December, 2012
Senate panel not happy over PEMRA’s performance ISLAMABAD
HE Senate Standing Committee on Information and Broadcasting on Monday expressed dissatisfaction over the performance of the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) and decided to hold a meeting to discuss the authority’s affairs. Senator Kamil Ali Agha chaired the meeting and said the PEMRA had failed to take punitive action against TV channels that presented an intolerable attitude towards political party heads. Many television dramas, especially Turkish teleplays dubbed in Urdu, aired objectionable content and nobody could watch them with their families, he added. Information Secretary Rashid Ahmed said the PEMRA had taken notice of these programmes but the government did not want to shut down private channels as it could be perceived as an attack on media’s freedom. He said that whenever a channel was served a notice its management went to the court and obtained a stay order. The committee also expressed concern, over the screening of Indian films in Pakistani cinemas and Indian advertisements on Pakistani TV channels. Ahmed said there should be a ban on Indian advertisements and called for the establishment of a censorship committee to be established for this purpose. The committee issued directives to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to provide a detailed report on attacks on journalists since 2002. The committee said the list provided by the ministry earlier was incomplete. Ahmed informed the committee that his ministry had written a letter to the Interior Ministry which had provided details for Sindh, KP and the Federal Capital Administration. No details had been provided by the Punjab and Balochistan governments, he added. Ahmed further said that his ministry had taken all possible steps for the protection of journalists but the issue was a provincial matter. Pakistan Television MD Yousuf Beg Mirza gave a detailed briefing on the organisation’s operations. He said the PTV planned to launch an English channel in the first week of January and its purpose was to have a better outreach to foreign viewers and present Pakistan’s perspective. The committee recommended the PTV management to consider contract and daily-wage employees for regularisation who did not meet the required criteria but had served the organisation for several years. PEMRA Chairman Dr Abdul Jabbar said the authority had never issued instructions for the closure of any channels. He said in November, due to a dispute between Pakistan Broadcasters Association (PBA) and cable operators in Karachi, the transmission of some TV channels had been blocked. Dr Jabbar said he had personally visited Karachi and met office bearers of both parties to get the channels’ transmission restored.
Crowds throng to landa bazaars ISLAMABAD: The demand for second hand clothes and accessories in ‘landa bazaars’ has risen once again as temperature in the twin cities has further dropped. The recent rains have brought on a cold spell that has people rushing to these bazaars to purchase second hand woollen clothes and acces-
sories. Prices of new winter wear sold at Super Market, Jinnah Super, Karachi Company, Aabpara, Commercial Market and Saddar Market are beyond the reach of common people who instead rush to these bazaars. Women throng to landa bazaars to stock up on affordable winter wear for their families. Munir Ahmed, a citizen, said that quality clothes were available at landa bazaar for reasonable prices. Akram Ali, another customer, said the rates of second hand clothing have also increased due to the demand. STAFF R EPO RT
FJA and UNDP sign MoU ISLAMABAD ONLINE
Supreme Court Justice Nasirul Mulk on Monday said that in this age of globalisation judges are expected to have a well-rounded education and an understanding between the Federal Judicial Academy (FJA) and the UNDP/UNOPs would be helpful for improving the quality of judicial education. He expressed these views on the occasion of the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Federal Judicial Academy and the UNDP/UNOPS. Mulk said, “This memorandum of understanding provides a broad framework for on-
going interaction on issues such as infrastructural, professional growth and development and research excellence for the legal empowerment of the poor in Pakistan. This initiative is a historic development and we foresee an exchange of information and mutual support in a number of areas such as the proposal to hold joint seminars, workshops, orientations on new subjects of common interest, which will add to our portfolio of cooperation in the future.” The judge spoke about the role of the Supreme Court’s Human Rights Cell and its modus operandi for an easy and speedy dispensation of justice to complainants. He expressed sincere gratitude to every-
PPP has taken several steps for workers’ welfare, says Qamar Zaman Kaira ISLAMABAD STAFF REPORT
Information and Broadcasting Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira said on Monday that the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) government is a pro-worker dispensation which has taken several steps for the welfare of the labour class. Addressing a function organised by the Pakistan Television Corporation (PTV) Employees Union, the minister said the PTV had played an important role in presenting the government’s point of view before the masses which was worth appreciation. He said when the PPP government had come into power in 2008, the country was facing
multiple crises and the economy was in shambles. “Despite these difficulties the PPP had served the masses and will emerge victorious in the next elections as well,” he noted. Kaira said the PPP had revoked several anti-worker laws that had been in place until 2008, and taken legislative action to regularise thousands of employees in various public sector organisations, including the PTV. The government had also restored thousands of employees that had been sacked in 1996-97 on political grounds, he added. “Prices of petroleum products and edibles have increased in the international markets which have adversely
affected consumers, but Pakistan is the only country that has increased the salaries of public sector employees by 150 per cent in four years,” said the minister. Kaira said as a party of farmers, workers and labourers, the PPP would continue to take further steps for the welfare of these segments of the society. He said all workers had the right to job security and directed the PTV managing director to forward cases of all employees who had completed their probation period so they could be regularised. He also said Christian PTV employees would be given salaries in advance.
one, including UNOPS Country Director Mikko Lainejoki, UNDP Country Director Jean Luc Stalon, their colleagues and district judiciary judges from Rawalpindi and Islamabad who attended the ceremony. Academy DG Parvaiz Ali Chawla said, “This MoU will help us improve judicial education and research for quality coverage of the judicial system. On behalf of the FJA, I would like to reaffirm our commitment to this agreement.” Stalon said, “Legal empowerment lies at the nexus of law and development and is an essential process for attaining key outcomes of strengthening rule of law and improving access to justice.”
‘Surkh Pholon ki Sabz Khushbo’ launched at RAC ISLAMABAD: The Rawalpindi Arts Council (RAC) and the Embassy of Japan launched a book titled “Surkh Pholon ki Sabz Khushbo” in celebration of the 60th anniversary of Pakistan and Japan’s diplomatic relations. Ambassador of Japan to Pakistan Hiroshi Oe was the guest of honour on the occasion along with Naheed Manzoor. The book compiled by Khurram Sohail marked a journey of creativity between individuals of both the countries. It explored how Urdu flourished in Japan before partition of the sub-continent and became popular. It further talked about how Japanese characters transformed themselves in Urdu and how the language made inroads into Japanese culture through short stories and popular readings. Hiroshi said “The book launch represents our efforts to continue promoting bilateral relations in various fields at different levels”. He said this year marked the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Japan and Pakistan. “In our efforts to enhance ties between the two nations, the Embassy of Japan has been holding cultural events throughout the years,” he added. Hiroshi also thanked the RAC for its cooperation in this regard. APP
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06 Islamabad 11th Indo-Pakistan Track II dialogue kicks oﬀ in Bangkok ISLAMABAD STAFF REPORT
ISLAMAbAD: A view of leaking water pipeline near Islamabad Expressway needs attention of authorities concerned. inP
‘Jail laws need to be amended in context of human rights’ ISLAMABAD ONLINE
Adviser to Prime Minister on Human Rights Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar on Monday said that Pakistanis are battling against a mindset that is in contradiction with human rights, and particularly women rights. He expressed these views in a national stakeholders’ conference on the juvenile justice system, organised by the Society for Human Rights and Prisoners Aid (SHARP) in collaboration with the German embassy. He said the government had tabled the “Human Rights Bill 2012”, with articles addressing the increase of the juvenile offender age and penalisation of child trafficking in the country. SHARP Chairman Liaqat Banori said that prisoners and jail laws should be amended in the context of human rights. He urged the government to bring legislative amendment in the bail procedure specified in the Criminal Procedure Code. He added that World Prisoners Day should also be observed internationally. Parliamentarians, prisons and probation authorities, police, international organisations and civil society representatives across Pakistan participated in the conference.
Wafaqi Mohtasib to redress public grievances ISLAMABAD
FFICIALS of the Wafaqi Mohtasib at a consultative meeting on Monday discussed proposals to make the institution more efficient to redress public grievances within the minimum prescribed time. The proposals made by mohtasib officials from all provinces are expected to be finalised for legislative cover by January 31. The meeting was chaired by Acting Federal Wafaqi Mohtasib Salman Faruqui. Law Minister Farooq H Naek and Law Secretary Justice Yasmeen Abbasey were later briefed in a meeting attended by a group of mohtasibs. Naek highlighted the need to resolve public grievances and streamline the system by remov-
ing anomalies for people who required swift justice against maladministration by government departments. He said the proposals would be circulated in the media, civil society and experts for input before consideration by government agencies and parliamentary committees. Officials also discussed the need to establish offices of Grievance Commissioners in all ministries and institutions that dealt directly with the public. The commissioner would have direct access to case files and the department head, if he found merit in the complaint. The complaint would be referred to the Ombudsman if no action was taken by the department. These grievance cells would be known as ‘Instant Grievance Resolution Cells’. The new procedure would allow complainants to file griev-
ances by email, not require legal counsel or pay a fee. A separate exercise would be initiated to dispense with the personal presence of complainants and the documents provided by complainants and departmental files would be sufficient to arrive at decisions. The meeting was attended by Wafaqi Tax Ombudsman Dr Shoaib Suddle, Federal Ombudsman for Protection against Harassment of Women at Workplace Musarrat Hilali, Provincial Ombudsmen Asad Ashraf Malik (Sindh), M Mukhtar Khan (AJK), Akbar Ali Baloch (Balochistan), Badsha Gul Wazir (KPK), Federal Insurance Ombudsman Azhar Ali Farooqi and Syed Pir Ali and Sindh Provincial Ombudsman for Protection against Harassment of Women at Workplace and representative of Banking Mohtasib Farhat Saeed.
Number of polling stations increased ISLAMABAD STAFF REPORT
In order to facilitate voters, the Election Commission has increased the number of polling stations in Islamabad from 379 to 538. The number of polling stations have been increased from 182 to 253 for the constituency NA-48 and from 197-285 for NA49. A draft list of stations in the constituencies NA-48, Islamabad-I and NA49, Islamabad-II have been drawn by a committee under the chairmanship of District Election Commissioner Aleem Shahab. These draft polling schemes have been displayed in offices of all union councils in Islamabad as well as in the District Election Commissioner’s office for inviting objections and suggestions from electors of each constituencies within 15 days of the list’s publication. The number of polling stations has been increased so that all polling stations were within two kilometres of residential areas.
tuesday, 18 December, 2012
RAwALPINDI: Labourers seen working during the construction of Pir wadhai More flyover on Peshawar Road. OnLinE
A delegation of senior experts left for Thailand on Monday to attend the 11th round of the Chaophraya Dialogue, an India-Pakistan Track II initiative by the Australian India Institute and the Jinnah Institute (JI) to encourage informed dialogue on Indo-Pak relations. The process is now entering its fifth year. The Chaophraya Dialogue had been aiming to give informed members of the strategic community in India and Pakistan an opportunity to interact with each other on a sustained basis. Past participants have included senior former officials (including ambassadors, foreign secretaries, intelligence chiefs and topranking members of both armed forces), academics, journalists and political leaders from India and Pakistan. Initiated before the Mumbai attacks of 26/11, the process played a critical role in bringing together senior interlocutors from the two countries when the official dialogue process was suspended. The dialogue had since encouraged participants to share the conclusions of each round with their respective governments. There have been many efforts in the recent years to establish Indo-Pak peace through Track II dialogues that have contributed towards an increased level of understanding between the two countries. The Chaophraya Dialogue had been drawing from a growing international community of stakeholders committed to peace and had attempted to innovate its conference agendas by addressing the rapidly changing bilateral dynamic on the ground. The liberalised visa and trade regimes were a result of sustained efforts at the Track II level, but new avenues of cooperation and mutual learning needed to be explored to make these gains permanent. The 11th round of the dialogue would be held in Bangkok from December 18-20 and would address crisis preventive measures and the issue of Afghanistan in a regional context. Both sides would be represented by senior experts who would deliberate on opportunities and challenges in the Indo-Pak relationship and devise a set of policy recommendations addressing them. Participants from India included Prof Amitabh Mattoo, Nirupama Subramanian, Gopalaswami Parthasarathy, Dr Ajay Darshan Behera, Dr Happymon Jacob, Dr Mallika Joseph, Mr Baijayant Jay Panda, Mr MK Venu, Vivek Katju, Prof Ila Patnaik, Vice Adm (r) Vijay Shankar, Mr Raashid Alvi, and Mr Thiranjala Weerasinghe. Participants from Pakistan included Aziz Ahmad Khan, Lt Gen (r) Talat Masood, Dr Ijaz Nabi, Marvi Sirmed, Rustam Shah Mohmand, Saleem Safi, Mehreen ZahraMalik, Dr Zafar Iqbal Cheema, Ayaz Wazir, Dr Aisha Ghaus Pasha, Hameedullah Jan Afridi, and Salman Zaidi.
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ISLAMABAD: A vendor displaying eggs awaits customers at Aabpara Market. inP
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APC to consider implementation of polio emergency ISLAMABAD
N All Parties Conference (APC) has been called on December 19 at Islamabad in view of the recommendation by the Independent Monitoring Board (IMB) of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative to clamp travel restrictions on passengers travelling from polio endemic countries including Pakistan. The APC would be convened by the Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development (PILDAT) in cooperation with the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF). Announcing the APC, PILDAT officials said that despite a drop in the number of confirmed polio cases in Pakistan as compared to 2011, 56 confirmed cases have so far been reported in Pakistan during the current year. Khyber Agency in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), Pishin, Qilla Abdullah and Quetta districts of Balochistan and Gaddap Town in Karachi have been named as
some of the last existing polio sanctuaries in the world. Nigeria and Afghanistan were the only other two polio endemic countries in the world. India, which used to be the fourth polio endemic country until a year ago, had managed to control the menace and after non-reporting of even a single polio case during the past one year, the country had been declared as a poliofree country. Meanwhile, the PILDAT/UNICEF have extended invitation to 16 major political parties represented in the current or the previous Parliament to join the APC including Awami National Party (ANP), Balochistan National Party Mengal (BNP-M), Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan (JIP), Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (Nazriyati), Jamiat Ulema-e-IslamSamiul Haq Group (JUI-S), Jamiat Ulema-e-Pakistan Noorani (JUP-N), Jamiat-e-Ulema-Islam-Fazlur Rehman (JUI-F), Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), National Party (NP), Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PKMAP), Pakistan Muslim League-
YOgA WITH AMANDA
Quaid-e-Azam (PML-Q), Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz (PML-N), Pakistan Muslim League-Functional (PML-F), Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) and Qaumi Watan Party. A majority of the parties have accepted the invitation and confirmed their representation at the highest or second highest level in the conference. The PILDAT/UNICEF had stressed in the APC invitation that the current polio crisis in the country required an acrossthe-board political consensus if the target of polio eradication was to be achieved. The APC was being organized to facilitate across-the-board political support for eradicating polio, to encourage political parties to recognize the magnitude of the polio crisis facing Pakistan, include specific commitments to eradicate polio in their upcoming election manifestos and to facilitate signing of a joint declaration/pledge to eliminate this crippling disease and reiterate collective political commitment for a Polio Free Pakistan.
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DAte: OCt 22 - DeC 31 VeNue: KuCH KHAAS: ArtS & Culture
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DAte AND tiMe: 05:00 PM, WeeKly eVeNt VENuE: tHe CeNtre fOr ArtS & Culture 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 ...
tuesday, 18 December, 2012
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08 News Angry crowd hurls stones at Tunisian leaders SIDI BOUzID: Angry protesters have hurled rocks at the Tunisian president and parliamentary speaker in Sidi Bouzid, the cradle of the revolution that erupted in the north African country two years ago. The incident began after a speech by President Moncef Marzouki in the central Tunisian town, where celebrations are taking place on Monday to mark the anniversary of the revolution. Mustapha Ben Jaafar, the parliamentary speaker, was about to address the crowd when the violence began. Security forces swiftly evacuated the two men to the regional government headquarters, the AFP news agency reported. The protesters invaded the square where the head of state had been addressing the crowd, shouting “the people want the fall of the government”. The police held back, after violent clashes over the past few months, which have often followed attempts to disperse protesters angry over the government’s failure to improve living conditions in the poor region. Clashes and strikes have multiplied across Tunisia in the run-up to the second anniversary of the start of Tunisia’s revolution. When the president took to the podium on Monday, many in the crowd of around 5,000 started shouting “Get out! Get out!” - one of the rallying cries of the revolution that toppled the regime of former dictator Zine El Abedine Ben Ali. Marzouki promised economic progress within six months to the people of Sidi Bouzid, where poverty and unemployment were key factors behind the uprising that began there on December 17, 2010, after Muhammad Bouazizi a street vendor set himself on fire in protest at police harassment. “I understand this legitimate anger. But the government has diagnosed the problem. In six months, a stable government will be in place and will provide the remedy to heal the country’s problems,” said the president, who was jeered by the crowd. “For the first time, we have a government which is not stealing from the people,” he said. Marzouki had been heckled earlier in the morning, when he visited the grave of Bouazizi. AGENCIES
Japan’s Abe sees difficult road ahead TOKyO AGENCIES
HE leader of Japan’s conservative Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), which won a landslide victory in parliamentary elections, has said that the road ahead for the country will be difficult, as he tries to revive a sputtering economy and bolster national security amid deteriorating relations with China. Shinzo Abe was speaking on Monday after his party won 294 seats in the 480-seat lower house of parliament in a nationwide election, according to unofficial results. The LDP led Japan through most of the post-World War II era, but was voted out in 2009 following an economic slowdown. With the elections over, a vote among the members of parliament to install the new prime minister is expected as soon as December 25. Abe, who was prime minister from 2006-2007, is almost certain of winning that vote because the LDP now holds the ma-
jority in the lower house. “We won more seats than even we expected,” Abe, 58, said on Monday. “We have a very heavy responsibility.” Yoshihiko Noda, the outgoing prime minister, announced his resignation late on Sunday. He said the election results had been “severe”, but he acknowledged that his party had failed to live up to the expectations of the nation. His Democratic Party of Japan reportedly won only 57 seats. Among its casualties were eight Cabinet ministers - the most to have lost in an election for more than six decades. Economic issues, including plans to raise taxes and other measures to bolster Japan’s underperforming economy, were the top concerns among voters. Abe, who would be Japan’s seventh prime minister in six-and-a-half years, will likely push for increased public works spending and lobby for stronger moves by the central bank to break Japan out of its deflationary trap. Stock prices soared on Monday morning to their highest level in more than eight months, reflecting hopes in the business world that the LDP will be more effective
in its economic policies than the Democrats were. Although the election was the first since the March 11, 2011, earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disasters, atomic energy was a side issue during the campaign. Abe’s party stressed national security, amid an ongoing dispute with China over a group of small, uninhabited islands that both countries claim territorial sovereignty over. The LDP is likely to form a coalition government with its longtime ally, the New Komeito party, party officials said. Together, the two parties have a two-thirds majority, controlling 325 seats, making it easier to pass any new legislation. A dizzying array of more than 12 parties, including several new ones, contested the polls. The most significant new force is the right-leaning, populist Japan Restoration Party, which won 54 seats, according to NHK. The anti-nuclear Tomorrow Party - formed just three weeks ago - won nine seats, according to NHK. Party head Yukiko Kada said she was very disappointed to see the LDP, the original promoter of Japan’s nuclear energy policy, come back to power.
Cyclone Evan lashes Fiji FIJI: The south pacific nation Fiji, is being severely battered by Cyclone Evan, as thousands of people have been forced to flee to evacuation centres. Cyclone Evan pummelled the main island Viti Levu on Monday with winds exceeding 200 kilometres per hour, bringing down trees, blocking roads and forcing all flights to be grounded at the popular tourist destination. Fijian authorities have confirmed there has had been no reported casualties from the category four storm, unlike in neighbouring Samoa, where it killed at least four people late last week and left another 10 missing. Government spokeswoman Sharon Smith-Johns, who earlier on Monday told Fijians to “prepare for the worst”, said emergency planning appeared to have paid off, including moving hundreds of tourists from luxury resorts on outlying islands. She said some 3,500 people were sheltering in well-stocked evacuation centres, locals appeared to be heeding warnings to avoid travel and all non-essential government personnel had been ordered to remain at home. “We’ve had a week to prepare for this, so we’re as prepared as you can be,” she told Radio New Zealand. Smith-Johns said that while the lack of early casualties was “encouraging”, the cyclone would continue to batter the west coast of Viti Levu overnight and there was no room for complacency. “The extent of the damage I don’t think we’re going to know until tomorrow morning when we wake up and see how badly it has hit,” she said. The Joint Typhoon Warning Centre said Evan could generate 12 metre swells, creating a major flooding concern for authorities. The cyclone is thought to be the strongest to threaten Fiji since Cyclone Kina, which killed 23 people and left thousands homeless in 1993. AGENCIES
South Africa foils ‘bomb plot’ CApE TOwN: A plot to bomb the national conference of South Africa’s governing African National Congress has been foiled, a police spokesman has said. Four white suspected right-wing extremists have been arrested, he said. President Jacob Zuma and other top officials are at the heavily-guarded conference in Mangaung, where the ANC is due to start electing its leaders. The ANC has been in power in South Africa since the end of white minority rule in 1994. Its leader will be overwhelming favourite to win elections due in 2014. Police spokesman Phuti Setati told Reuters news agency the four suspects were arrested for planning to plant a bomb in a marquee at the conference, which is being held at the University of the Free State in Mangaung. South Africa’s City Press newspaper reports that the arrests took during police raids in three of South Africa’s nine provinces - Free State, Northern Cape and Limpopo. The Federal Freedom Party (FFP), which campaigns for the selfdetermination of South Africa’s white Afrikaner minority, confirmed that two of those arrested were its members. However, it denied any role in the alleged plot. “We were not involved and do not associate ourselves with their actions,” FFP national secretary Francois Cloete told Reuters. AGENCIES
tuesday, 18 December, 2012
PyONGyANG: Residents and a soldier take public transport during the first anniversary of the death of the former leader Kim Jong-il. AgEnCiES
20 die as more deadly bombings hit iraq BAGHDAD AGENCIES
A series of car bombs near Shia places of worship has killed at least 20 people and injured many, a day after multiple blasts had hit two Iraqi cities killing nine people, a year after US forces departed the country. Three gunmen attacked a police checkpoint on the highway west of Tikrit, killing one policeman and wounding three. A police patrol then chased the gunmen, who abandoned their car and then detonated explo-
sives in it, killing four more police and wounding two, a police lieutenant colonel told the AFP news agency. In the village of Al-Buslaibi, north of Baghdad, a roadside bomb targeting an army patrol killed three soldiers, an army captain said. A car bomb exploed in Khaznah, a village near Mosul in north Iraq populated by the small Shabak minority, killed seven people and wounded 12, while two car bombs near a Shia place of worship killed five and wounded 20 in the northern flashpoint town of Tuz Khurmatu,
police officers and doctors said. Monday’s violence comes a day after a string of bombings and a shooting which killed 19 people. Two car bombs and seven roadside bombs on Sunday targeted two Shia places of worship in Kirkuk, one in the city’s north and another in its south, killing a total of five people and wounding 14, a senior police officer told the AFP news agency. The attacks occurred around 7:30pm local time (16:30GMT), the officer said. A doctor from Kirkuk general hospital confirmed the toll.
Afghanistan mine kills 10 girls in Nangarhar Kabul AGENCIES
At least 10 young girls have been killed and two others injured in a landmine explosion in eastern Afghanistan, officials say. The girls were collecting firewood when one of them hit the mine with an axe, a spokesman for the governor of Nangarhar province said. It is unclear if the mine was recent or one left over from a previous conflict. Meanwhile at least one person has been killed in an explosion on the outskirts of the Afghan capital, Kabul. Several more were injured in the blast, which took place on the Jalalabad road, home to many Nato bases and compounds housing international staff. Police said the explosion happened near the offices of an international construction company, but it is unclear what the target was. The Taliban say they carried the attack, adding that a suicide bomber drove into the compound of a
Chavez allies sweep Venezuela polls
US-based engineering and construction company. Foreigners are among the wounded. There are conflicting reports as to whether the landmine in Nangarhar was planted by insurgents or was left over from Afghanistan’s many decades of conflict. Such unexploded mines are still commonly found in rural areas. One spokesman said that this was a recent landmine, but another official said it dated from the Soviet invasion of the 1970s and 80s. Another landmine was found nearby. “Most of those killed were aspiring engineers, doctors and teachers. Only four bodies can be recognised,” a tribal elder told the BBC’s Bilal Sarwary in Kabul. “This area was used during fighting against Russians but the Taliban and Afghan government are also fighting in this area,” he said. The mine blew up near Dawlatzai village, in Nangarhar’s Chaperhar district. The two injured girls were in a critical condition in hospital, one official said.
Hugo Chavez’s ruling Socialist Party has won nearly all of Venezuela’s 23 states in elections, while Henrique Capriles, who lost to Chavez in October’s presidential vote, consolidated his position as top opposition leader by winning re-election as governor. Capriles, the 40-year-old governor of Miranda, beat Chavez’s former vice president Elias Jaua in elections on Sunday, and retained control of the country’s secondmost populous state. The ruling party, however, extended its control over the South American OPEC nation, snatching four states from the opposition to win 20 of the 23 states. Possibly benefiting from a wave of sympathy over Chavez’s battle to recover from cancer surgery, it staged several upsets, including a victory in the most populous state of Zulia. The youthful Capriles’ reelection will help maintain unity among the opposition in a potential election against Vice President Nicolas Maduro, Chavez’s anointed successor.
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Zardari, Nawaz both following agenda of betraying nation for power: Imran ARIFWALA
A K I S T A N Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan has said that both Asif Ali Zardari and Mian Nawaz Sharif are betraying the nation to cement their power and no one can stop the PTI revolution from happening. Addressing a public gathering at Arifwala, Imran said that government as well as the opposition had no agenda to facilitate the nation and to drag the country out of the prevailing crises, adding that all their concentration was diverted towards saving their power and to come into power again after the next general elections. He said that masses were well aware of the agenda of the ruling political party and the opposition who deprived them of the basic amenities of life and gave them nothing during their rule. Therefore, the citizens of Pakistan would never trust them again. The PTI chairman said that the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Chief Mian Nawaz Sharif who claimed to be the well wisher of the nation and masses had always supported the sitting government against the interest of the masses, and he shunned the public
when they needed his support the most. Imran said that due to massive corruption and large-scale looting of national exchequer, not only foreign investors had fled the
country but local investors were also shifting their businesses to other countries. Imran claimed that after coming into power, the PTI would introduce such an
economic system which would protect the rights of consumers and investors alike and would convince foreigners to invest freely in Pakistan.
Firdous denies intention to join PML-N ISLAMABAD PR
Minister for National Regulations and Services Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan has rejected the impression that she intends to join the Pakistan Muslim LeagueNawaz (PML-N). In a statement in reaction to a report published in this paper, Firdous said she could not even think of leaving the Pakistan People’s Party. “Such reports are a conspiracy of ill-wishers of the PPP,” she claimed. “My life and death is associated with PPP and I am more than sure that PPP will win in the coming elections under the leadership of President Asif Ali Zardari. PPP is my home and no sane person leaves his home. Thus it is out of question and those dreaming of our defeat will soon be waked up [sic] with shattered dreams by the results of the coming general elections,” she said.
PEShAwAR: Relatives of abducted Gomal Zam Dam employees stage a hunger strike camp in front of Peshawar Press Club on Monday. inP
China major concern, Pakistan not so much: Indian FM g
Khurshid says China more important ‘in terms of global vision’ while Pakistan’s impact ‘more specific’ NEW DELHI ONLINE
India on Monday said China was a more “major concern” than Pakistan given the power it had to impact the country in various spheres. Noting that China was necessarily more important in terms of India’s global vision and the ties between the two countries could impact the region, Indian External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid, in an interview to Press Trust of India, said as far as Pakistan was concerned, the impact was “more specific”. He was replying to queries on what was a bigger challenge for India - territorial dispute with China or trust deficit with Pakistan. “China is necessarily more important in terms of our global vision. In terms of economics… in terms of stability and impact of stability that our friendship and understanding can have on Asia and South Asia. As far as Pakistan is concerned, it is more specific.” “China is part of a larger picture
and Pakistan being part of that picture...significant part of the picture and can ruin that picture if Pakistan does not have right colour.” “But it is a much larger canvas and picture we are dealing with as far as China is concerned. China we engage multilaterally everywhere. China can be a very, very important partner both in Asia and Africa and elsewhere. China will play a significant role in what we want to do in the UN,” said the minister, who was on his way back from Myanmar after a three-day visit. He added, “China is also a constant reminder to us that we got to put our economy at the right track. We can pretend that China is not there. But China is there and unless we put our economy on the right track, it is going to overwhelm us completely. “So China is a major concern and Pakistan, in a significant way (is a concern) but not a major one.” “Because Pakistan has the ability to ruin the game for us, therefore, we have to keep Pakistan also in focus...,” the minister said.
“There are linkages also between China and Pakistan and that is important. But the linkages again is a less important dimension,” Mr Khurshid said. Asked about the ‘pinpricks’ China keeps giving to India on the territory issue, he said, “I really wish they do not happen but they do happen.” “We have learnt to live with them. We have learnt to manage them. We have learnt to control them. But today these are not restricted to what was our real problem i.e. issue of the border. Today, they are coming elsewhere in multilateral situation. We don’t want to be drawn into any dispute visa-vis China because we want to look at the positive as far as possible,” the minister said. He said India should engage with China, grow with China as was decided in 1988 during former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi’s visit to Beijing, and added that India was getting signals from China that the emerging young leadership also wanted to go on the same path.
National Power Generation Plan 2007 fails ISLAMABAD: The National Power Generation Plan 2007 has failed to achieve its set targets of power production through indigenous resources and needs the attention of authorities concerned to review the plan on priority basis. A well informed source told Online here on Monday that the power generation plan 2007 was developed with the aim to establish a balance between power production and its consumption. It was decided that power production from hydel sources would be increased and 1,260 megawatts (MW) of power would be generated from hydel resources in the country, but unfortunately power production through hydel sources had not been ensured and different projects under the umbrella of the Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) have been delayed and not made operational. The source said that Khan Khawar (72MW), Malakand III (81MW), Allai Khawar (130MW), Gomal Zam dam (17MW) and Satpara dam (16MW) were not made fully operational so far, while the demand of power production was escalating due to the current power crisis being faced by the country. Furthermore, 96 MW of power generated through Jinnah hydro power had been delayed while Jabban power plant was expected to become operational till March next year, the source added. He further said that the government had planned to fulfil the country’s power requirement through coal that was another cheap source of power production, but contrary to that not even a single megawatt of electricity had been produced so far from coal. Meanwhile, two other projects of 405 MW and 205 MW power plants based on coal energy were also planned but these plants have not been materialized as yet. The source apprised that power production plants using Thar coal have not been initiated and not even a single megawatt had been produced from the much touted Thar Coal project in the last several years. However, the source informed that satisfactory progress had been made in the area of nuclear power generation where Chashma II nuclear power plant of 325 MW capacity was operating from 2011 and construction work on other projects was continuing at a good pace. It was expected that these projects would be materialized during the next two to three years, he added. Online claimed that it tried to contact Special Secretary Himayatullah to get his version on the issue, but he did not respond to the calls and text messages. ONLINE
Indians to discuss ToRs before JC’s visit to India ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan government has accepted an Indian delegation’s request to visit Pakistan to discuss the terms of reference (ToRs) before the Judicial Commission’s expected visit to India in the near future. The Indian delegation, which is expected to arrive in Pakistan on December 19, will meet the Attorney General of Pakistan (AGP) and other law ministry officials in order to work out the terms of reference in the light of the orders of the trial court. INP
Only 13% of Pakistanis support war for Kashmir ISLAMABAD: According to a Gilani Research Foundation survey conducted by Gallup Pakistan, only 13 percent of Pakistanis support war as a solution to the Kashmir dispute. A nationallyrepresentative sample of men and women from across the four provinces was asked, “How do you think the Kashmir issue should be resolved?” Responding to this, 39 percent said through the United Nations, 34 percent said through dialogue with India, 13 percent said through war, seven percent said “Kashmiris should be involved in the decision”, six percent said silently and one percent said the Kashmir issue had already been resolved. INP
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10 Comment Dedicated to the legacy of the late Hameed Nizami
Beyond Sidi Bouzid Perspectives on post-revolution Tunisia
Public money and elections
By Aima Khosa
ith the elections just around the corner, Raja Pervaiz Ashraf is being overly generous to bolster his standing in his constituency – from the public coffers. He was elected from a high-risk Rawalpindi Division where in 2008 the PPP had managed to scrape through by the skin of its teeth while traditional rival PML-N had won most of the seats with a thumping majority. Add to it the results of the latest by-elections in Punjab, the panic on Raja’s part is quite understandable. What is not is the volume of splurge, for Rs 42 billion is no peanuts. Reportedly, the prime minister has received Rs 32 billion within the last few months to spend on selected constituencies. He has now sought Rs 10 billion more. While building roads and bridges and public amenities is per se not objectionable, preferential treatment to a handful of constituencies in a district of a division definitely amounts to depriving the rest of the country of the fruits of development. When the PML-N government initiated the rapid transport project in Lahore it was criticised for spending too much in just one city of the province. What the PPP PM is doing is no different. In a way, it is even more objectionable because funds are being diverted from vital projects and strategically important regions. Reportedly, the Planning Commission will place a cut on development budget allocated for different sectors, and it includes education and water and power, to accommodate PM’s rather skewed development demands. Both the sectors are crucial and already starved of funds. Spending all this money in the Punjab and that too in a small area, by the prime minister of the country, would be resented. Among those who have strongly criticsed the demand for further funds is Aftab Ahmad Sherpao – apparently for perfectly valid reasons. Rs 4 billion was withdrawn, according to Sherpao, from the development budget of FATA – a region badly in need of schools, health centres, roads and bridges. Appropriating around 30 percent of its Annual Development Programme to the PM’s People’s Works Programme to help the party in power in its election campaign is unacceptable, he maintains. Sherpao has asked the CEC to take notice of the spending. First Yousaf Raza Gilani and now Raja have used their position to spend billions of rupees in the Punjab and that too in just two regions. This would not only create dissatisfaction among other legislators in Punjab but also raise eyebrows in other provinces. Thanks to the declining level of governance in the country, there is not enough administrative capacity to ensure the utilitisation of the mega allocations honestly and efficiently within months. Thus the likelihood of a portion of the funds being pilfered or wasted too cannot be ruled out.
et’s face it. Had the Sidi Bouzid Revolt of Tunisia not happened, the rest of the Arab Spring might just have remained a dream. The uprisings in Egypt, Yemen, Syria and Libya found their basis in the Tunisian revolt of December 2010, a three-week uprising that saw the end of longtime President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali’s rule over the country. As with all revolutions, it carried a strong message: a stand by the Tunisian citizens against a long era of oppression, unemployment, inflation, lack of freedom of expression, corruption and poor living standards. Mohamad Bouazizi’s self-immolation was the final act of sacrifice the Tunisian people oversaw – the anger and mourning of which led to the end of a long regime of tyranny. That is the spirit of the revolution, a natural order of history – where resistance finally boils to a point that the state crumbles before public anger. Well and good. But what is next? In Tunisia’s case, did this uprising lead to a complete revolution, a complete annihilation of the system Tunisians had known before the uprising? Or were the Tunisian people, the inspiration to hundreds of thousands of men and women fighting against oppression in their own states, doomed to repeat the same mistakes that had brought them to this point of boiling anger in the first place? A brief description the Tunisian society is in order. The pre-revolution government of Tunisia had been ruling for over 22 years. President Ben Ali had no immediate successor. The regime had not only lost touch with its people, it did not tolerate any advice or criticism, whether local or international. Moreover, the government increasingly began to rely on the use of police to quell any dissent.
Tunisia boasted of one of the healthiest economies in the Maghreb. Unfortunately, the domestic situation was not as heartening as the former Tunisian government would have liked to think. It was increasingly getting harder and harder for the government to generate jobs for scores of university graduates that were appearing on the job market. The Tunisian government had invested heavily in education. It just did not plan for what came after. The university graduates were untrained for what the job market was looking for. This is exactly what happened to one of the heroes of the Arab Spring. Mohamad Bouazizi was a 26-year-old graduate who sold vegetables from a cart since his education was of no use to him. When he set himself on fire, the initial protests just expressed sympathy. As his story spread, the protest took a shift in momentum and message. It soon became a stand against the general state of affairs in the country. They led to President Ben Ali fleeing to Jeddah and an uprooting of the entire system of governance that the Tunisians had known. Fast forward to 2012; Tunisia has an elected government, led by Ennahda Movement (also known as Renaissance Party). It is the largest, most systematic force in the country. They call themselves a moderate Islamist political party. The secular forces in Tunisia also found their presence in the new setup as a former dissident and human rights’ activist Moncef Marzouki was sworn in as president. He led the secular centreleft Congress for the Republic Party. The country has shown commendable progress towards democracy, shaking the widely-held belief that the Arab world is dominated by monarchs, militaries and mullahs. Tunisia has paved the way for institutional reform, starting from the constitution itself. The ban of the hijab was lifted, women were guaranteed rights. The constitution also restricted the role of the president and increased the power of the parliament. Recipe for a healthy democracy? Indeed. At the same time, the country is also grappling with a wave of nation-wide crime that became possible after the release (and escape) of about 10,000 prisoners during the revolt. Local militias have also sprung up in various cities as a result of the influx of refugees from the war-torn Libya. Tunisian Salafism is also on the rise, a fact the mainstream media is quick to dismiss. These groups are not known for their
terrorism and have a common stake in seeing an end to it, in their own interest and in the interest of the regional peace. Logically speaking, no country would be yearning for peace in Afghanistan more than Pakistan who is a victim of the turbulent circumstances in the neighbouring country and continues to bear the brunt of terrorism. It has paid the highest cost in men and material. With a loss of nearly US$80 billion and 40,000 lives due to war on terror, it would be the last country to think about anything but peace. It has been making relentless and concerted efforts to improve relations with Afghan government and joining hands with it to orchestrate an Afghanled solution to the conundrum. But unfortunately, the ambience of mistrust rooted in the past events has been hindering these earnest efforts. Karzai has always found it convenient to vent his frustration on Pakistan in the wake of his efforts to make headway with Afghan Taliban hitting a snag. Another very strong factor in precipitating the mistrust is that whenever things start moving towards the right direction, the terrorists scuttle the process through an act of terrorism and for Karzai, Pakistan again becomes a convenient fall guy. The involvement of RAW in pushing the relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan into a nosedive also cannot be ruled out, which adds an element of complexity to the obtaining situation.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai said that promises made for peace, stability, and economic development of the region would have to be materialised for real progress. But he has to understand that these objectives can only be attained if he discards his mistrust of Pakistan and tries to understand the desirability of working together with sincerity of purpose. Peace in Afghanistan can act as a catalyst for economic prosperity not only of the two countries but also the entire region. The economic potential of the region is waiting to be exploited to the benefit of the people living in the region through the completion of trans-regional projects like Tajikistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline and CASA-1000 that would ensure power transmission from Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan to Afghanistan and Pakistan, for which Russia has already expressed support and committed to contribute US$ 500million. Afghanistan has a population of nearly 29 million out of which 14 million are Pushtuns. The Pushtun population on our side of the border is also in the vicinity of 14 million. This element combined with historic, religious and cultural affinities forms a strong bond between the two countries and due to this reason their destinies are inextricably linked. Therefore, it is essential that both the countries work together to bring peace to Afghanistan. The mistrust
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organisational strength and depth. To the contrary, these are a collection small, disorganised right-wing individuals. It is interesting to note their emergence; they were virtually non-existent before the Tunisian uprising. In the 1990s, they were systematically silenced by the government. The government used a variety of methods, forcing many to go into exile, or going underground. In many cases, they were imprisoned and harassed. This points to an increasing trend of polarisation around the role of Islam in Tunisian politics. At the same time, the Tunisian Left has made a secure space for itself in the country’s politics. The revolution allowed the Tunisian Left to regroup and emerge as a strong force once more. Rabita al-Umal alYassaria (or the Left Workers League) came back stronger in the wake of the revolution. At the same time, two Maoists groups, Party of the Patriotic Democrats and Movement of Patriotic Democrats, also announced a merger. Trade unions were also reborn in the vacuum that was created in the absence of an oppressive regime. The country is still grappling with the problem of unemployment. The 2013 World Development Report shows horrifying statistics about the projections on employment in Tunisia. According to an IRI survey, large majorities identify economic issues as their primary concern: 60 percent describe the economy as bad or very bad, while 81 percent mention jobs as one of their top three issues, followed by “developing the economy” (51 percent) and “living standards” (49 percent). Some 85 percent say that unemployment is the top problem facing the country, followed by economic crisis (63 percent). A rather stunning 57 percent of respondents say that they are not currently employed. Tunisia today is no longer black and white. Its systems are deep-layered and complicated – as with most countries. Added to this is the pressure on the government and the international scrutiny on the people because one wants to see where the revolution took the country. It is needless to say that revolutionary movements around the world are rooting for post-revolution Tunisia to be a success, to thrive under a balance found between secular and conservative forces, to manage the economic situation and to become a force to be reckoned with. The writer is a staff member at Pakistan Today
must give way to confidence and faith in the sincerity of each other. Now that the Americans are poised to end war in Afghanistan and are supportive of the process of reconciliation and Afghan-led peace, it is imperative for both Afghanistan and Pakistan to cooperate with each other and employ all their means and seek help from friendly countries like Turkey and other stakeholders to ensure an end to the strife in Afghanistan. The willingness of the US even to talk to the Haqqani group and reports about efforts aimed at bringing about reconciliation between Taliban and Northern Alliance are encouraging portents and must be vigorously pursued because Afghanistan can return to normalcy only by facilitating patch-up between Taliban and Karzai government. The reconciliation between Taliban and the Northern Alliance, who have been fighting with each other before the arrival of the NATO forces for ascendency and are still at daggers drawn, is also an indispensable requirement. It is indeed a very complex situation and the knots can be untied with determination, perseverance and united strength of both Pakistan and Afghanistan and involvement of all the stakeholder to peace in Afghanistan, encouraged and facilitated by friendly and brotherly countries, within and beyond the region, who can exercise some influence on the warring parties.
What’s missing? Complexity of Pakistan-Afghanistan relations
By Malik Muhammad Ashraf
n the backdrop of yet another hiccup in relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan following an attack on Afghan spy chief and Hamid Karazai pointing an accusing finger towards Pakistan, the trilateral summit between Pakistan, Afghanistan and Turkey has proved to be a whiff of fresh air. Afghan president also acknowledged this fact by saying that the trilateral arrangement was proving fruitful in bettering their relations. The moderating influence of Turkey in lowering the heat between Afghanistan and Pakistan is a good augury for keeping the relations between the two countries on the right track and promoting the process of talks on the ways and means to end armed conflict in Afghanistan. The trilateral summit reiterated its resolve to confront the regional chal-
tuesday, 18 December, 2012
lenges, especially security problem in Afghanistan and pursuing an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned process of peace and reconciliation and enhancing cooperation in commerce and trade by signing an MOU for the establishment of Trilateral Trade Council charged with the responsibility to oversee and deal with matters relating to these areas among the three countries. The summit also decided to form a joint working group of relevant agencies of Pakistan and Afghanistan to resolve the mystery surrounding the attack on Afghan intelligence chief – the latest irritant in the relations between the two countries. The findings of working group will surely help in clearing the haze and contribute to confidence building between the leadership of the two countries. President Zardari, addressing a joint press conference along with his counterparts, said that Pakistan was determined and making sincere efforts to defeat extremist mindset that has hurt both Pakistan and Afghanistan. He said the latest attack on Afghan intelligence chief was part of a design of the extremists to undermine their unity against terrorism. He further said that it was in the interest of Pakistan to support the peace process in Afghanistan. One can hardly contest his observations and the determination expressed by him to thwart the designs of the extremists. Pakistan and Afghanistan have been badly hit and hurt by the phenomenon of extremism and
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Ajmal Kasab’s execution The Amnesty International has asked India to abolish death sentence, after the reports that Ajmal Kasab was hanged to death in haste. A bill was already in place in the Lok Sabha seeking the abolition and all executions were pending owing to this bill. But how Kasab’s execution was decided has a story behind. According to Jawed Naqvi, a senior Indian columnist, the now deceased Hindu fundamentalist leader, Bal Thackeray, had taken a word from Mukherjee during the latter’s presidential election campaign. Now, referring to the execution of Kasab in Pune on November 21, the AI has written to President Mukherjee and sought abolishing of death sentence and immediate moratorium on executions. It is yet to be seen how the Indian government responds. A similar move is also in process in Pakistan. Notably, during President Zardari’s tenure, not a single execution was made, except one last month. A debate is going on in favour of abolishing death sentence. This might be true but it is also noteworthy that not a single terrorist who caused deaths to many has so far been taken to task, or at least met with fair trial or prosecuted due to intimidations to police individuals, lawyers and judges by the terrorists. MARYA MUFTY Lahore
Anarchy rules All systems have collapsed in Pakistan, even civil society organisations and NGOs have failed to deliver. Rats are reigning in hospitals and poison is being openly sold at medical stores. There is no check, no accountability. It is free for all, criminals go scot free, law abiding population is suffering. If this is not anarchy, then what is? The powerful are busy in looting national resources and assets as if there is no tomorrow. Where is governance? NGO funds are being spent on hefty salaries, fancy offices, parties and designer dresses of executives. Who should the underprivileged look up to? Is it Doom’s Day scenario? Is there light at the end of the tunnel? ASGHAR MAHMOOD Islamabad
i dare speak The country is facing severe shortage of electricity and gas, but the federal and provincial governments have done nothing in the past five years except shifting blame to their predecessor governments. Since, LHC has ordered the federal government to construct KBD, I dare express my views. A cursory look at the fifth five year plan reveals that 135 million were earmarked for KBD feasibility report and work was to commence in the sixth plan and completed in 1993. Along with feasibility report a WAPDA colony was set up for employees at the proposed site. In the seventh plan (page 195) there is
only mention of project in few words which read “Imperative of KBD.” Eighth plan (page 230) approved by Benazir Bhutto, manifest words “work on KBD, Ghazi Brotha, and Bhasha at various stages of preparation.” When all engineers under chairmanship of Nasir-ul-Mulk unanimously agreed that the project was viable and vital, politicians from KP and Sindh made hue and cry against it. While KP leaders objected on the basis of fears of floods in many regions of KP, Sindhi politicians were afraid that their province would turn into desert. Consequently, although design of the dam was revised and
Not our war? What did you say, it’s not our war? Agree with you because you have a loaded gun to prove your viewpoint. But what about children and women killed in Jamrud Monday morning; what about the attack on Peshawar airport and airbase the other day; any comments on beheading of police and army soldiers in KP; attack on Malala Yousafzai must have been orchestrated by the US; what about attack on Mehran naval base and Kamra airbase; how about almost daily killing of sectarian minorities in Quetta; Karachi, Parachinar, Kurram and other parts of the country; what about consistent killing of pilgrims travelling on buses; attack on armed forces’ GHQ not to be mentioned; killing of devotees visiting Sufi shrines shall be ignored; what about attack on markets frequented by families in KP; routine attacks during Friday and Eid prayers; attacks on political and religious leaders and workers shall be accepted as fate; how about suicide bombing during a volleyball game wherein 105 people died; attacks during funerals while killing the mourners; attack on Sri Lankan cricket team shall be the work of opponents; no more talk about bombing of intelligence agencies offices, mosques, shrines, schools, colleges, health centres, infrastructure? No, I can’t record all the terrorist attacks wherein more than 40,000 members of law enforcement agencies and civilians including children, women, men, both young and old, without any distinction, were killed. If you still say it’s not our war, I will agree because you have a gun to prove your point. MASOOD KHAN Jubail, Saudi Arabia
A disturbing image Most of the times, whenever one opens a newspaper there are mostly depressing and disturbing news. On Sunday, when I looked at the newspaper the image of a baby who was injured in the Peshawar attack was published by a leading English newspaper of Pakistan. It depressed me a lot and unfortunately my two kids also saw that photo and started questioning as to what had happened to that baby. It would have
height reduced to address reservations of political leaders of KP who refused to budge an in their stance, no serious efforts seem to have been made to allay the fears of Sindh. During the two PML governments Nov. -1990 to Apr. 1993 and 8-2-97 to 2-10-97, Mehtab Abbasi and Sabir Shah were Chief ministers respectively of KP, but failed to pass a resolution in favour of KBD. The PML government stumbled in evolving consensus about this project and now is dragging judiciary in this controversial game. The LHC asked the federal government to construct the KBD as per recommendation of CCI. This
been better if the newspaper had not carried that photo, and used any other less disturbing one. It is right that media reflects the society and shows what is happening but it is now time that media (both print and electronic) stopped printing and airing those images which disturb people. MUBASHIR MAHMOOD Karachi
unprepared we go on Despite a decade of war, Pakistan stands unprepared to tackle any kind of emergency at state level. Whatever little is seen is of micro-scale and at a micro-level. Apparently, this poor preparedness of the authorities is becoming a source of misery for the already wretched population that has enough of the trauma unleashed upon them by the long war. The attack on the military base in Peshawar exemplifies that no tangible steps have been taken that may help in diverting such attacks on significant installations. Agreed that the aggressor is at an advantage in such attacks which takes the security forces unawares, but this is not the main point here. Whether an attack was faced bravely or cowardly is irrelevant, for the people are well aware of the warring skills of our soldiers. The real problem however is the recurrence of these high profile attacks. Can they be stopped or avoided? Can we devise a security strategy that may reverse the role to give advantage to our security forces instead? Many are now raising the question that despite being adjacent to the Tribal areas and in the presence of tens of thousands of security people, the terrorists could undermine our preparedness. Prepared we are not, because that is something that we have never focused upon. For us to be prepared we must first accept that things are not in our hand, then we must have the will to correct the problems and the most important is to develop the ability and courage to alter present state of dysfunctionality into a state so that we may benefit. We are a people who believe in the pages of the book. Thus, the progress that we ever make remains statistical and preserved in printed form so that we can boast of it to others. Data shows we are progressing, the GDP has increased, our economy is getting stronger, state of security has improved,
body is meant only for solution of water disputes between provinces and not to approve any project. In fact it is the ECNC that enjoys power to approve any mega project and ask for implementation. Though I am not averse to idea of building KBD of, yet if its construction creates any dissension among federating units the prudent way is to abandon it and concentrate on completion of Bhasha dam and other viable projects. We should stop escalating to a failed cause and focus our attention, resources and energy of developing upstream dams. RAJA SHAFAATULLAH Islamabad
poverty is being eliminated, literacy rates are higher etc… but we know better! We direly need change in policies that may also be translated into achievable objectives based on the altering social, economical, political and security situation. We need to break free from the past legacy of hegemonic forces controlling us through imperial laws and policies. We must make our own laws to succeed. LUBNA UMAR Islamabad
the tattooed body The attack on the Peshawar airport on the evening of the last weekend by the so-called terrorists of TTP is perhaps a cover story. The responsibility claimed by Mr Ehsanullah Khan, the so-called spokesperson of TTP, is also perhaps a cover up by the masterminds. Whatever our celebrated interior minister says is, like always, a pack of lies. Now the cat is out of the bag. The tattooed body of one of the terrorists killed reveals many things. The most important fact that comes out is that he is not part of TTP as not many Muslims make such tattoos on their bodies. This particular shape of tattoo shows that he belonged to some special/secret organisation. It can be found out or may be that our agencies already know it. Now the government should have courage to announce who were the attackers. It may also give lead to as to who attacked the Mehran base or Kamra base or GHQ or even the attacker of Malala. If CIA and Blackwater are involved in all such episodes, we should come out clearly without any reservations. We all remember that once Rehman Malik, the interior minister, announced that if any member of Blackwater was found in Pakistan, he would resign. He definitely knows the existence of CIA and Blackwater operatives in Pakistan who are doing all these nefarious activities to destabilise Pakistan. He is responsible to give cover to CIA agents when caught. We have not forgotten the case of Raymond Davis who was let free by our interior minister against the wishes of the entire nation. Malik sahib, show some guts and resign. You have miserably failed as the interior minister. MUHAMMAD AZHAR KHWAJA Karachi
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Justin bieber was targeted for castration with pruning shears by a man who apparently had the teen pop idol’s face tattooed on his leg. from the alleged al Qaeda kidnap plot against russell Crowe, to frank Sinatra Jr.’s being held for ransom by two gunmen, see the craziest murder plots against celebrities COuRTESEy TDP
Superstitious Govinda doesn’t pay on Thursdays
o v I n d a does not make any payments on Thursdays. The actor, who usually consults astrologers, avoids giving cheques and cash in the middle of the week. a source close to the actor said, “anybody who comes to collect their payments on Thursday are sent back empty-handed and are told to come the next day. govinda considers it inauspicious to make payments on Thursday.” The actor also makes it a point to consult an astrologer for the right time in the day to make payments,” said the source. NEwS DESK
LiLo 'up for hire as celeb guest'
IndSay lohan reportedly wants to hire herself out as a celebrity guest for weddings and special occasions to clear her outstanding debt. The 26-year-old actress has accumulated debts of 1.8 million pounds in unpaid taxes and legal fees. "Book one of Hollywood's biggest movie stars now!" the daily Star quoted the uS agency 123Talent as writing in bright pink lettering on their website. according to the new york Post, the website reads, "not only is lindsay an actress but she is also a Fashion designer, model and Recording artist." The website, which also includes a hastily photo shopped composite of the 'Parent Trap' star, goes on to list all of her film and television stints. NEwS DESK
Danny Boyle turns down knighthood
lumdog millionaire' director danny Boyle has snubbed a knighthood for planning the remarkable opening ceremony for this year's olympics. The 56-year-old oscar-winning director has turned down the honour from the Queen so he can remain "a man of the people". Boyle earned worldwide praise for the london games ceremony, and his show included a shock appearance by the Queen with James Bond star daniel Craig. But when officials approached him about becoming Sir danny Boyle, he refused to accept it. "I'm very proud to be an equal citizen and that's what the opening ceremony was about," the daily Star quoted him as saying. NEwS DESK
tuesday, 18 December, 2012
It’s creepy enough that a 23-year-old man allegedly had a Justin Bieber obsession serious enough to have him tattoo the singer’s face onto his leg. Creepy turned into disturbing, however, when that man, Tanner Ruane, along with his 41-year-old uncle and a convicted killer, hatched a plot to strangle and castrate the 18-year-old pop star before his concert at Madison Square Garden a few weeks ago. Both uncle and nephew were arrested after the convicted killer (45-year-old Dana Martin, who’s currently in jail serving two life sentences for raping and killing a 15-year-old girl), tipped off police about the plot, which allegedly called for Bieber and three other victims to be strangled with a paisley tie, then castrated with pruning shears and an assortment of “murder tools.”
It takes both guts and insanity to try and bring down an Olympian, but in March 2009, that’s just what 36-year-old Floridian Robert O’Ryan tried to do. O’Ryan was convinced that Shawn Johnson, a gold medal-winning American gymnast, had been communicating telepathically with him during the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and was in love with him and wanted to have his children. He was caught scaling a fence outside the studio where 18-yearold Johnson was filming Dancing With the Stars. A police search of O’Ryan’s car revealed a shotgun, a handgun, a knife, and several types of cords. “I didn’t know him. He was a stranger to me. To see someone with that kind of obsession scared me,” Johnson later testified in court, helping get O’Ryan found guilty and sent to a mental institution.
In June 2011, Joss Stone was the target of a harebrained robbery and murder plot at her farmhouse in rural Devon, England. Though Stone wasn’t home at the time of the attempted robbery, her neighbors sure were. They called the police to report suspicious activity, and two men were later arrested and found in possession of swords, rope and a body bag.
In 2008, rumors swirled that a Louisiana teenager had attempted to hijack a flight from Los Angeles to Nashville and crash it into a Miley Cyrus concert. The FBI denied this, but handcuffs, rope, and duct tape were found in the teenager’s possession.
Michelle “Bombshell” McGee destroyed Sandra Bullock’s marriage to Jesse James, but would she have gone so far as to kill Bullock, too? That’s what one man claimed when he told police he had been contacted to help carry out a plot arranged by McGee, James’s former mistress. Though the FBI investigated the tip, they ultimately deemed it “not credible.”
FrANk SINATrA Jr.
Frank Sinatra H may have been the leader of the Rat Pack in the ‘60s, but he found himself helpless in December 1963, when his then 19-year-old son, Frank Jr., was kidnapped from his room in Harrah’s Lodge in Lake Tahoe, Calif. Two men dressed up as roomservice waiters entered the room, then pulled guns out and demanded money from Sinatra Jr. When they didn’t get it, the two blindfolded and tossed him into the trunk of a car, then made a ransom call to Old Blue Eyes. Sinatra offered the criminals $1 million to release his son and, 54 hours (and only $240,000) later, Frank Jr. was let go.
Letterman isn’t alone in having incurred the wrath of the jihadists, however. Russell Crowe claimed in an interview with GQ that al Qaeda hatched a plot to kidnap him in 2001 as a way to “culturally destabilize” the United States. He said the FBI had to protect him during the filming of A Beautiful Mind and Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, but at some point, the FBI began to doubt the seriousness of the threats. Crowe was fired up and ready to face his would-be kidnappers, though. “Mate, if you want to kidnap me, you’d better bring a mouth gag,” he joked to the magazine.
In January 2010, Two and a Half Men star Jon Cryer was convinced his ex-wife had hired a hit man to kill him. Cryer and his ex-wife were in the middle of a bitter divorce and custody dispute when the actor allegedly alerted authorities to a threat made against his life and requested heightened security on set. His former wife, Sarah Trigger, denied any knowledge of the threats via her lawyer, but the FBI investigated anyway— and came up empty.
DAvID lETTErMAN What, al Qaeda can’t take a joke? Late-night host David Letterman incurred the wrath of a jihadist website after he cracked wise on his show about Ilyas Kashmiri, an al Qaeda leader who was killed in a drone attack in Pakistan. A poster on the website allegedly called for someone to “cut the tongue of this lowly Jew and shut it forever.” Of course, Letterman (who is not Jewish), turned the whole thing into an entire monologue’s worth of punchlines. “And so now, State Department authorities are looking into it. They’re not taking this lightly. They’re questioning, they’re interrogating, there’s an electronic trail—but everyone knows it’s Leno,” he joked.
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HERE are no regrets, it is all about looking at things positively and regarding everything as a part of your growth. I don't think anyone should have regrets, whether it is your personal decisions or your career choices, as you learn from them," Sonam told IANS in an exclusive interview. "Being a human is about learning from your life and that's why we have been put in this world...to gain knowledge," she added. Daughter of veteran actor Anil Kapoor, Sonam made her Bollywood debut with 2007 film Saawariya and has since been part of movies like Delhi 6, Aisha, I Hate Luv Storys, Thank You, Mausam and Players, though most of them failed to garner their expected success at the box office. The actress is, however, undeterred and is now eagerly looking forward to her two new films, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag and Raanjhnaa. Both the films release next year. "I think it is better than getting no reactions. Next year is a good year; so I am looking forward to 'Raanjhnaa' and 'Bhaag Milkha Bhaag'," she said. Though the 25-year-old got a chance to play diverse roles in a career span of five years, Sonam feels none of them was even close to her real life personality. "I am too complicated a character to be incorporated in a film. I don't think anyone would be able to write such a complicated character like me," she said. "Unfortunately I have been stereotyped as a de-glam actress. All my friends are in fashion; so they ask 'When are you doing a glamorous film? When can we give you glamorous clothes?' So I guess, other than 'Aisha' and 'Players', my movies didn't have much of fashion involved," added the actress, who is otherwise known as the fashion icon of Bollywood. "I played very simple girls. It is completely the opposite of my image and what people perceive me to be." She will once again be seen playing a simple Indian girl in Raanjhnaa too. "In 'Raanjhnaa', I play a Banarsi girl, who joins JNU (Jawaharlal Nehru University). I think it is important to have an Indian touch, as we have been doing a lot of films influenced by the west. I like the language, story and everything of the film. I had the best time working on this film," she said. Sonam is also keen on getting an opportunity to work with the three Khans of Bollywood - Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan and Aamir Khan. "I would love to work with all three...maybe at the same time. Whatever comes my way is good. I would like Aamir to direct me. One of my favourite films is 'Taare Zameen Par'," she said. "For me, I love him as a director. I think he has a keen eye when it comes to performances; so I would like him to give me that knowledge," she added. COuRTESEy IANS
anne Hathaway at the Chateau marmont Hotel in West Hollywood.
I regret some of her outfits: lady gaga's stylist NEWS DESK After designing the only meat dress to ever walk the red carpet, pop star Lady Gaga's designer Nicola Formichetti says he is not sure about some of the things he has made her wear. Formichetti is responsible for some of Gaga's most outrageous outfits including her 16 kilogram meat dress which he admits was originally meant to be even more unusual, reported Daily Mirror. "We came up with the idea together. Originally I made her a meat bikini for vogue hommes Japan cover shoot with Terry Richardson, then it became a red carpet version. The meat was bought in a local LA butcher - I think it was Argentinian." "She told me the meat dress was the most comfortable thing I ever made for her," he said. But despite 26-year-old
Gaga's willingness to wear whatever Formichetti comes up with, he is increasingly uncertain about the way he has dressed her in the past. "I didn't want to do this just for the sake of clothes looking like art. Gaga told us the 9 inch Mugler heels were too low," he added. Gaga is currently been busy in New York looking like a cross between Yoko Ono and a 17th century pilgrim while rehearsing for her performance with the Rolling Stones this evening. "I am so honoured and excited to announce I will be performing with @rollingstones on Dec 15 for their 50th Anniversary Concert One More Shot," she tweeted.
Imran shocked by Connecticut killings
mRan Khan is a uS citizen. He finished his last two years of high school in the state of California. In the wake of the recent shocking Connecticut killings, Imran shares his take on the 'gun-violence' issue that continues to plague uSa. Says Imran, "I have studied in the uS. I was in the 11th grade, about 17 years old, when a guy in my class was expelled for carrying a 'weapon'. It was not disclosed what kind of weapon it was. But the schools, colleges there have a zero tolerance policy towards anything that is designed as a weapon. you cannot carry weapons in these institutions. The problem lies with the Second amendment to the united States Constitution which guarantees an individual a right to keep and bear arms. It is for self-defence but the presence of a weapon only increases the likelihood of a person using it, even for an argument. Weapons are easily available to anyone above the age of 18 in the States! In the wake of the Connecticut tragedy, someone proposed, had the teachers in the school been armed, this tragedy could have been averted! This scary thought process of 'carrying guns to counter gun violence' itself is wrong. The policy makers and lobbyists feel the illegal usage of guns will rise, if it is to be legally brought under control. This is only cultivating fear amongst the civilians. If you look at such past incidents, most of the miscreants have opened fire with 'legal' weapons which have been registered in someone's name. Weapons should not go to untrained people unless your job is to protect people." Speaking on President obama, Imran added, "obama is an intelligent man but he is in a bad situation where his hands are tied. He has a divided house." NEwS DESK
thanks Malaika Arora Khan for ‘Fevicol Se NEWS DESK The undisputed queen of the Box Office, Kareena Kapoor Khan is going gaga over her close friend Malaika Arora Khan for making ‘Fevicol Se’ the latest sensation of sorts. The rustic item number happens to be Bebo’s first piece of work post her wedding to Saif Ali Khan. Though Farah Khan has choreographed the number, Bebo has heaped praises on Malaika, the producer of the ‘Dabangg 2’ starring Salman Khan and Sonakshi Sinha for the success of the song. Talking to TOI, Kareena said, “The song was choreographed by Farah Khan who I love working with. But what made ‘Fevicol Se’ an even more memorable experience for me is the fact that it is produced by one of my closest friends Malaika. Malli just took charge of everything from the costumes, set to the props, and she should be given credit for making this song the craze it is.” Looks like Munni has made the most of Kareena’s Halkat Jawani! Well done girls, we say.
tuesday, 18 December, 2012
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Infotainment 14 Paralysed woman’s thoughts control robotic arm
NRIVALLED control of a robotic arm has been achieved using a paralysed woman’s thoughts, a US study says. Jan Scheuermann, who is 53 and paralysed from the neck down, was able to deftly grasp and move a variety of objects just like a normal arm. Brain implants were used to control the robotic arm, in the study reported in the Lancet medical journal. Experts in the field said it was an “unprecedented performance” and a “remarkable achievement”. Jan was diagnosed with spinocerebellar degeneration 13 years ago and progressively lost control of her body. She is now unable to move her arms or legs. She was implanted with two sensors - each four millimetres by four millimetres - in the motor cortex of her brain. A hundred tiny needles on each sensor pick up the electrical activity from about 200 individual brain cells. “The way that neurons communicate with each other is by how fast they fire pulses, it’s a little bit akin to listening to a Geiger counter click, and it’s that property that we lock
onto,” said Professor Andrew Schwartz from the University of Pittsburgh. The pulses of electricity in the brain are then translated into commands to move the arm, which bends at the elbow, wrist and could grab an object. Jan was able to control the arm after the second day of training and over a period of 14 weeks became increasing skilful. The report said she gained “coordination, skill and speed almost similar to that of an able-bodied person” by the end of the study.
Prof Schwartz told the BBC that movements this good had not been achieved before. “They’re fluid and they’re way better, I don’t know how to say it any other way, they’re way better than anything that’s been demonstrated before. “I think it really is convincing evidence that this technology is going to be therapeutic for spinal cord injured people. “They are doing tasks already that would be beneficial in their daily lives and I think that’s fairly conclusive at this point.”
The field of harnessing a healthy brain to overcome a damaged body is advancing rapidly. Earlier this year, Cathy Hutchinson used a robotic arm to serve herself a drink for the first time since her stroke 15 years before. In both studies the results were achieved inside a laboratory so are of little help in the home. Researchers are now trying to mount the arm on Jan’s wheelchair so she will be able to use it in her everyday life. There are also attempts to give sensation to the prosthetic arms to restore a sense of touch. In a review researchers Gregoire Courtine, Silvesto Micera, Jack DiGiovanna and Jose del Millan described the control of the arm as “highly intuitive and probably responsible for the unprecedented performance of the brain-machine interface”. They added that the system was a “remarkable technological and biomedical achievement” and that such designs were getting closer to a point which “might soon become revolutionary treatment models” for paralysed patients. NEwS DESK
iPhone 5 sales surpass 2 million in China
PPLE announced Monday that it has already sold more than two million iPhone 5s in China since its December 14 launch. The device went on sale on Friday and surpassed sales of two million in less than three days. “Customer response to iPhone 5 in China has been incredible, setting a new record with the best first weekend sales ever in China,” said Tim Cook, Apple's CEO. “China is a very important market for us and customers there cannot wait to get their hands on Apple products.” Apple said the iPhone 5 will be available for sale in more than 100 markets by the end of the year, which Apple calls the fastest iPhone rollout ever. Apple sold more than four million iPhone 5s when it first launched in September. At this point, Apple has not said how many iPhone 5s it has sold in total since it first went on sale. Apple has changed the way it sells iPhones and iPads at its retail stores in China. The devices can be picked up from official Apple retail stores only if they are first reserved by consumers. Apple began accepting in-store reservations for the iPad Mini on Thursday, December 6, and for the iPhone on Thursday, December 13. Customers must then return the following day to pick up their device. The reason behind this change is two-fold. First, Apple wanted to avoid some of the launch day shenanigans that have occurred in the past. (Earlier this year, an angry mob threw eggs at Apple's flagship store in Beijing when the iPhone 4S went on sale. Apple later decided the iPhone 4S would be available for purchase in China only through its website.) Second, it wanted to cut down on the number of scalpers purchasing i-devices and then later selling them for a profit. NEwS DESK
Twitter offers complete tweet archives Groom heads to wedding, ends up in jail
OME guys are hesitant about getting married, but not Timothy Thompson. He was so excited about getting hitched on Dec. 8, he sped to the church in Portage, Ind., in hopes of getting there on time. Problem was, officials clocked him at 100 mph and pulled him over, according to a police report obtained by NWI. During his pre-nuptial joyride, officers said he drove erratically, switched lanes abruptly and, at one point, almost wrecked his Jeep Grand Cherokee. The police finally cornered Thompson when he turned into the parking lot of Nativity of Our Savior Church, where he again nearly tipped over the vehicle, but only after allegedly doing two doughnuts in the parking lot, the Chicago SunTimes reported. When the officers questioned Thompson, they say he explained he was late for his wedding and was only speeding so that he’d make it to the church on time. They also say he told them he had been flashing his emergency lights and honking his horn helpfully to warn other drivers, UPI.com reported. At some point during the interrogation, three people approached Thompson and the officer and started yelling at the accused for his bad driving. These witnesses were lated identified as relatives of Thompson, and when they started arguing, he got back in his car and started to drive away. The officer blocked Thompson with his cruiser and then asked why Thompson was trying to leave, according to WXIN-TV. “Oh, I thought you were done and I’m late for a party in Chicago,” Thompson allegedly told police, “It now means I have to drive really fast to get there.” Thompson — who told police he had just been released from jail earlier that day, according to the arrest report — didn’t make it to the party or to his wedding. He was arrested for resisting law enforcement, criminal recklessness and reckless driving. He was also cited for speeding and improper passing, NWITimes.com reported. NEwS DESK
Twitter has begun allowing members to download an archive of all their tweets, so they can look back on their entire history on the microblogging network for the first time. The firm revealed it was working on the new feature in July, but only began making it available to members over the weekend. A spokesman said it was in testing with “a very small percentage of users”. To access their archive, Twitter members must click the link at the bottom of their settings. The firm warns that it may take some time to generate an archive and says it will notify members via email when the file is ready for download. The archive comes as a compressed .zip folder, containing members’ tweets in .csv spreadsheet format, and as .json file, a format often used to transfer and represent data online. Metadata, such as location, is also included. Twitter says the easiest way to explore the data is via a link provided, which
opens a searchable web page as a portal to the archive. Deleted tweets are not included. The development delivers on a promise from Twitter chief executive Dick Costolo that members would be able to access old tweets. Facebook already allows its one billion members to download their archive. Twitter’s engineers have met a public deadline set by Mr Costolo of providing the feature by the end of 2012. He said they complained at the complexity of archiving every tweet since the service was introduced in 2006. “Now, again, once again, I caveat this with the engineers who are actually doing the work don’t necessarily agree that they’ll be done by the end of the year, but we’ll just keep having that argument and we’ll see where we end up year-end,” Mr Costolo said last month. The email delivering the archive carries a warning for members to be careful about sharing their archive as it “may contain sensitive content”. NEwS DESK
Man steals Miley Cyrus sex doll A 22-year-old North Carolina man is facing shoplifting charges after he allegedly stole an inflatable sex doll that looks like pop singer Miley Cyrus. Officials in Spartanburg, S.C. arrested Benjamin Greene after an employee at Spencer’s Gifts reported seeing him take a blow-up “Mylie Doll” from a shelf, remove it from the box and hide it in his coat, WIS-TV reported. Greene reportedly passed all the registers before he was stopped by the employee, who then asked for the doll. At that point, the package allegedly fell out from Greene’s coat, presumedly deflating any chance for latex love. The doll in question is officially known as
the “Finally Mylie! Love Doll” and retails for $19.99. The doll was released in November 2010, right after singer Miley Cyrus turned 18. Although the doll doesn’t actually look like the pop singer, there is a Cyrus lookalike on the cover strumming on a guitar, TheSmokingGun.com reported. The company making the doll, Pipestream Productions, has a whole “Super Star Series” with rubber dolls referencing Paris Hilton, Christina Aguilera, Jessica Simpson, Lindsay Lohan, and Katy Perry. Greene has been released from the Spartanburg County Detention Facility on a $1,000 bond, according to GoUpstate.com. NEwS DESK
Chinese spacecraft narrowly avoids smashing into Toutatis
HINESE probe Chang’e-2 has successfully flown by Toutatis, an asteroid named for the Celtic deity often invoked by cartoon characters Asterix and Obelix. 4179 Toutatis, to give the object its full name, has an orbit that brings it very close to Earth’s, before swinging out into Jupiter’s neighbourhood. Last week that orbit brought the rock close enough to Earth that China’s Chang’e-2 was able to close within a few kilometres and grab some snaps. China’s space agency, the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense (SASTIND), isn’t a patch on NASA when it comes to publicising discoveries with shiny pictures, but has let it be known the encounter means China has joined the ranks of nations capable of meeting asteroids in space, albeit in a junior capacity. Wu Weiren, chief designer of China’s lunar probe program told Xinhua: “The success of the extended missions also embodies that China now possesses spacecraft capable of interplanetary flight.” Just what Chang’e2 found out about Toutatis isn’t known at the time of writing, as only the images below have been released at the time of writing. Sharp-eyed Reg readers may, however, be wondering why Weiren, whose title relates to lunar exploration, is talking about asteroid encounters. Weiren’s been quoted because Chang’e-2’s first priority was a lunar mapping mission. That was achieved, capturing a seven-metre resolution map of the moon’s surface for posterity using some clever orbit planning. Chang’e-2 is now bound for the outer reaches of the solar system. That China was able to nudge it into an encouter with Toutatis augurs well for its ability to make other interesting visits along the way. NEwS DESK
tuesday, 18 December, 2012
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Tuesday, 18 December, 2012
Casey Dellacqua out of Hopman Cup with foot injury Page 17
England end 28-year wait for win in India NAGPUR
S an individual event this torturous Test match will not linger long in the memory, but for what the end result enabled England to achieve will be chronicled as one of the team's finest hours. By batting out the final day with barely an alarm, largely through a 208-run stand between Jonathan Trott and Ian Bell, who both scored hundreds, England secured their first series win in India for 28 years. India have significant weaknesses and problems that need to be addressed, but it has been England's excellence over the last three games that has exposed those shortcomings. On the last day in Nagpur it was two batsmen earning redemption for relatively lean years that prevented any late nerves and added to the complete team nature of the performance. Trott's hundred, his eighth, was his first since March and for Bell, while also being his first hundred in India, it ended an even longer wait for three figures going back to The Oval against this opposition in 2011 at the end of what had threatened to be a low trip for him. What was really extraordinary, though, is the turnaround, not only from a crushing defeat in Ahmedabad but also from a year that was on the brink of being their worst ever in Test cricket. Throw into the mix
Kanpur likely to lose Australia test NEWSDESK The Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad is likely to host its second Test of the season if the BCCI decides to move the fourth Test between India and Australia from Green Park in Kanpur. The decision is expected to be made before the year-end, after Cricket Australia expressed dissatisfaction over facilities in Kanpur. ESPNcricinfo understands that CA's venue inspection team, which visited Kanpur on December 12, expressed concerns over not only the in-stadia facilities but also about hospitality. "The dressing room is not suitable to accommodate a modern-day entourage of a cricket team. Besides, they were not impressed with the facilities at the only five-star hotel in the town," a source said. The BCCI asked the Uttar Pradesh Cricket Association (UPCA), the host association, to get things in order within a fortnight but if the board's recce team, which had inspected the facilities on December 1, finds the venue unsuitable, then Kanpur "will have to be replaced". The beneficiary will be the Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA), which had hosted the first Test of the home season, against New Zealand in August. The Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium became India's 10th active Test venue when it hosted its first Test two years ago. The BCCI awards Tests to each venue by rotation and since India have 10 home games this season, Hyderabad will have first right of hosting the fourth Test against Australia, if Kanpur is ruled out. The UPCA, however, is making a late attempt to not lose the Test. Green Park is the only Test centre in India that is not owned by the cricket body. "Since it's owned by the state government, maintaining it and renovating it becomes too difficult," a UPCA official said. "Hopefully, we will be able to erase all doubts raised and be able to put up a good show." Green Park has not hosted an international since the Sri Lanka Test in November 2009 primarily due to the UPCA's administrative tussle with the state government. Though the UPCA office bearers were in talks with the government officials last year for leasing the stadium, the attempts haven't reaped any rewards.
controversy surrounding their star batsman and a change of captain before this series and it is one of England's finest achievements. Alastair Cook, who was able to watch contently from the dressing room during the final day, has laid down a high marker for his captaincy career. India needed a couple of early wickets to send a few tremors through the England camp but they never threatened. The new ball was taken one over into the day without making a jot of difference. Barring a couple of sessions, this has been a Test devoid of excitement and low in the watchability stakes. England, of course, will not care in the slightest about that but pitches like this are far worse that the "result" surfaces that get the ICC twitchy. If it is not marked down the game's priorities are wrong. However dead the surface, for Trott and Bell there was a job to do in the first session and they did it expertly. There was good intent from the pair in the first half an hour of the day to ensure the lead was soon in excess of 200 and getting out of sight of India. Trott has played as freely as anyone in the game and twice drove Ravindra Jadeja beautifully through mid-on - or, in the second case, under mid-on as R Ashwin dived over the ball. His leg-side play was wonderfully elegant throughout the innings. He reached his hundred with two boundaries in three balls against Piyush Chawla, a cover drive followed by a trademark flick wide of mid-on, and allowed a little bit of
emotion to come through his steely demeanour. Trott had not reached three figures since the second innings against Sri Lanka in Galle earlier this year, and it was only his second hundred since making 203 against Sri Lanka in Cardiff in May 2011. However, he has continued to chip in, the average has only dipped and not plummeted, and once again England were immensely grateful to their rock-solid No. 3. It did not look as though he was going to give away the chance to boost his statistics during the afternoon and it came as a surprise when he clipped Ashwin to leg slip shortly before tea, a few runs short of setting a new record fourth-wicket stand for England in India. That mark remains held by Andrew Strauss and Paul Collingwood, who added 214 in Chennai in 2008. Trott's Warwickshire team-mate, Bell, was equally composed in making his first major contribution of a difficult series, where his frailties in India had been exposed again. Although the situation was comfortable for England by lunch, that was not the case when Bell had come in at 94 for 3 so it was a strong display of character from him. His fifty, just the second he had scored in India, came with a straight drive off Ashwin as the off-side play that makes him so pleasing to watch when in form began to make an appearance. He was given a life on 75 when Virender Sehwag spilled a catch at slip and he would have been run out for 97 by a direct
SCOREbOARD ENGLAND 1st innings 330 INDIA 1st innings 326 ENGLAND 2nd innings c IJL Trott 143 Kohli b Ashwin b KP Pietersen 6 Jadeja not IR bell 116 out JE Root not 20 out EXTRAS (b 8, lb 6, nb 6) 20 (4 TOTAL 352 wickets dec; 154 overs; 578 mins) (2.28 runs per over) DID NOT bAT MJ Prior†, TT bresnan, GP Swann, JM Anderson, MS Panesar FALL OF wICKETS 1-48 (Cook, 29.5 ov), 2-81 (Compton, 46.4 ov), 3-94 (Pietersen, 55.5 ov), 4-302 (Trott, 134.1 ov) bOwLING 40I Sharma 15-3-42-0, PP Ojha 14-70-1, R Ashwin 38-11-99-2, PP Chawla 26-6-64-0, RA Jadeja33-17-59-1, G Gambhir 2-0-4-0-2 Match details Toss England, who chose to bat Series England won the 4-match series 2-1 Test debuts JE Root (England); RA Jadeja (India) Player of the match JM Anderson (England) Player of the series AN Cook (England) umpires hDPK Dharmasena (Sri Lanka) and RJ Tucker (Australia) TV umpire S Ravi Match referee JJ Crowe (New Zealand) Reserve umpire CK Nandan
hit from square leg. For much of the afternoon he eked along at a pace befitting this match, but started using his feet to Jadeja, lofting him for a straight six followed by a slightly scuffed boundary over mid-on.
Watson likely to lead on Boxing Day HOBART AGENCIES
Shane Watson's Australian Test captaincy debut on Boxing Day is now a "distinct possibility" following Michael Clarke's suffering of a hamstring strain in the first Test against Sri Lanka, according to the national coach Mickey Arthur. While Clarke led his team in the field on the fourth day and after scans and treatment overnight will do so again on the fifth, his barely mobile state was plainly clear, leaving him in considerable doubt to be fit in time for the biggest date on the Australian cricket calendar. Arthur confirmed this, and mentioned the former wicketkeeper Brad Haddin among a quartet of batsmen in the queue to replace Clarke. "It is a distinct possibility, it would be a really good challenge for Shane," Arthur said. "We'll learn a lot about Shane and his leadership ability, I'm confident he will come through it very well. If it does materialise, it will be a really good opportunity for him. "That batter, whoever it is, would have to be part of our extended squad. There are possibilities. [Brad] Haddin's one of them, [Rob] Quiney's one of them
and certainly Usman Khawaja's very much in the frame. Alex Doolan has played well also." Arthur said Clarke was resolved to stay out in the field so long as the Test needed to be won, and having taken two
wickets on the fourth evening Australia look in fair shape to take a 1-0 series lead on the final day. "He will get all the treatment he needs, he will get that after hours tonight and he will get that tomorrow between breaks," Arthur said. "
bangladesh cricket team agree to tour Pakistan DHAkA: Bangladesh have agreed in principle to tour Pakistan early next year and thereby become the first Test playing team to visit the country since attack Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore in 2009. “We have in principle agreed to tour Pakistan. It’s a commitment made by former BCB (Bangladesh Cricket Board) president Mustafa Kamal. We are keeping his word, “ Enayet Husain Siraj, the board’s head of cricket operations, told AFP. He also stated that the tour will also be cleared only after satisfying all security considerations. “The tour is subject to security clearance, “ he added. Pakistan have not hosted any team ever since gunmen attacked and shot some Sri Lankan cricketers during the island nations’ tour of Pakistan in 2009. Bangladesh had accepted an invitation from Pakistan to participate in a short ODI bilateral series last April but the series was blocked by the Dhaka High Court on security issues. Pakistan had successfully hosted a couple of unofficial T20s between the Pakistan XI and an All Star XI comprising of players from Sri Lanka, West Indies, South Africa and Afghanistan in October, 2012. AGENCIES
BJP PLAyS BELOW ThE BELT NEW DELHI AGENCIES
BJP today demanded cancellation of the upcoming Indo-Pak cricket series in the wake of visiting Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Malik “insulting” India. The party also accused Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde of remaining silent by not responding appropriately to Malik, who triggered controversy by equating 26/11 Mumbai attack with Babri Masjid demolition and describing LeT terrorist Abu Jundal as an operative of Indian intelligence agency. New Delhi has rubbished Malik’s assertions. Senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha said, “The Indo-Pak cricket series (commencing on December 25) should be cancelled.
Asks to call off indo-Pak cricket series
“What kind of goodwill are we creating by playing cricket matches after Malik’s visit,” he told reporters outside Parliament House. “Our Home Minister has shown weakness by not responding to Rehman Malik in kind. He should have immediately responded, if he (Malik) used hard words, he (Shinde) should have used hard words,” Sinha said. “If you (Malik) insulted India, you (Shinde) should have said we don’t accept it. He (Shinde) should have contradicted the Pakistani Interior Minister’s statement then and there.” pAkISTAN'S HARIS SOHAIL TwISTS ANkLE, INJURY NOT SERIOUS: Batsman Haris Sohail has twisted his left ankle at Pakistan's ongo-
ing training camp in Lahore, ahead of the India tour, but is not expected to be out of action for too long. Sohail, who is yet to make his international debut, is part of Pakistan's squad for the one-day leg of the tour. Sohail was taken for an MRI scan that revealed the injury was not serious. He was advised six days rest, which would mean he should be ready to play in time for the India ODI series, which begins on December 30 in Chennai. This was Sohail's maiden call-up to the senior national squad. He had been in fine form on the domestic circuit, scoring three hundreds and a half-century in his last four first-class appearances for Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited. He had also scored a rapid, unbeaten
fifty in Sialkot Stallions victory over Abbottabad Falcons in the just-concluded Faysal Bank T-20 Cup.
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Sri Lanka lose early wickets in big chase HOBART
USTRALIA have been here before. One day to play, one bowler short, and an opposition whose top order has already been rattled. But Sri Lanka will need even greater powers of concentration to match the remarkable feats of Faf du Plessis and his South African colleagues, who secured a draw in Adelaide last month by batting out the final day. As stumps approached on the fourth evening in Hobart, the pitch was providing such variable bounce that even two of the world's finest batsmen, Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene, could do little but chuckle with resignation. They will begin the final morning with Sri Lanka's total on 2 for 65 in a chase of 393, with Sangakkara on 18 and Jayawardene on 5. The target appeared extremely challenging when Sri Lanka began their innings - their best chase to win a Test was 352 for 9 against South Africa in Colombo in 2006 - and by stumps it looked nigh on impossible. But with two such talented batsmen at the crease, the Sri Lankans will also know that anything can happen, and Australia will need to find the remaining eight wickets without the injured Ben Hilfenhaus in their attack. The captain Michael Clarke also battled injury on the fourth day, retiring hurt with a hamstring problem after scoring a brisk half-century. He took his place in the field during Sri Lanka's chase and directed proceedings from the slips cordon, but did wince on a couple of occasions when forced
lyon a likely threat on final day: Herath HOBART AGENCIES
Sri Lanka will have to contend with turn in addition to variable bounce on the final day of the first Test in Hobart, after Rangana Herath credited a surface that was becoming increasingly conducive to spin for his five-wicket haul on day four. Herath's 5 for 96 helped restrict Australia to 278 in the second innings, and was aided by a wearing, cracked surface that offered much more lateral movement for him than in the first innings. Australia's offspinner Nathan Lyon had already exploited the bowler's footmarks when he bowled earlier in the Test, and dismissed Thilan Samaraweera with a topspinner that leapt off the turf. Lyon is set to have a high workload on day five, with Ben Hilfenhaus' injury leaving Australia a bowler short, and Michael Clarke also unlikely to bowl his left-arm orthodox spin due to a hamstring strain. Herath will now likely finish as the top wicket-taker in 2012, with 60 wickets and a Test to go. His five-wicket haul in Hobart was his seventh of the year in nine matches. "I didn't get a wicket in the first innings, but on a fourth day pitch I thought that there would be some assistance for the spinner, and there was some turn and bounce," Herath said. "The ball does not spin as much as Sri Lanka, but if you maintain a good line and length, you can take wickets. "Lyon will get turn and bounce as well he always gets bounce because he is tall, and he will have the assistance of the surface as well." Several seasons of county cricket before he became a mainstay in Sri Lanka's Test side also contributed to his performance in Hobart, he said. "I used my experience of playing in England. When you get wickets on a pitch like this it's always pleasing. The main thing is that it helped me to adapt to the situation and the pitch, and I managed to do that. That's why I was successful." Herath said Sri Lanka had not ruled out victory, and backed Sri Lanka's batsmen to see out the final day if a draw seemed the better option. Sri Lanka were set 393 for victory, but lost both openers in the 37 overs before stumps. They will begin at 65 for 2 on day five, with Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara at the crease, and 328 runs required for victory.
to stretch his sore right hamstring. The injury might place him in doubt for the Boxing Day Test, but Australia will be more comfortable with that scenario if he delivers them a 1-0 lead on the final day in Hobart. Things had started reasonably well as Shane Watson struck with his first delivery, nipping the ball away from Tillakaratne Dilshan and finding the outside edge through to Matthew Wade. Dilshan's opening partner Dimuth Karunaratne looked reasonably solid until he was bowled for 30, the victim of a Mitchell Starc yorker that sneaked under the bat. Runs came slowly for Sangakkara and Jayawardene, whose primary goal was survival, and when one ball from Watson skidded almost along the ground to Sangakkara, the enormity of that
SCOREbOARD 450 AuSTRALIA 1ST INNINGS 336 SRI LANKA 1ST INNINGS 278 AuSTRALIA 2ND INNINGS SRI LANKA 2ND INNINGS FDM KARuNARATNE b STARC 30 TM DILShAN C †wADE b wATSON 11 KC SANGAKKARA NOT OuT 18 5 DPMD JAyAwARDENE* NOT OuT 1 EXTRAS 65 TOTAL TO bAT TT SAMARAwEERA, AD MAThEwS, hAPw JAyAwARDENE†, KMDN KuLASEKARA, hMRKb hERATh, RMS ERANGA, uwMbCA wELEGEDARA FALL OF wICKETS 1-26 (DILShAN, 9.1 OV), 2-47 (KARuNARATNE, 23.1 OV) bOwLING MA STARC 10-4-21-1, PM SIDDLE 7-3-12-0, SR wATSON 9-410-1, NM LyON 10-3-16-0 MEK huSSEy 1-0-5-0 MATCh DETAILS TOSS AuSTRALIA, whO ChOSE TO bAT uMPIRES AL hILL (NEw ZEALAND) AND NJ LLONG (ENGLAND) TV uMPIRE ALEEM DAR (PAKISTAN) MATCh REFEREE bC bROAD (ENGLAND) RESERVE uMPIRE SD FRy
task was apparent. The Australians could have had Sangakkara on 3 when his thick edge off Nathan Lyon was dropped by Clarke at slip, and they knew he was their primary obstacle, the same man who scored 192 against them on the same ground five years ago, also in the fourth innings of a Test. On that occasion, Sri Lanka were chasing 507; this time the target was sub-400, confirmed when Hilfenhaus was the last man out in Australia's innings shortly before tea, handing Rangana Herath his fifth wicket for the innings. Michael Hussey remained not out on 31 when Australia were dismissed for 278, with Clarke not emerging from the dressing rooms to bat again having earlier retired hurt on 57. It was to Sri Lanka's credit that they fought back with the ball after David Warner and Ed Cowan gave Australia a strong start with a 132-run opening stand. Both men fell shortly before lunch and the Sri Lankans were able to claim the rest of the wickets before tea. Watson (5) was the victim of a sharp stumping by Prasanna Jayawardene off the bowling of Herath, before Phillip Hughes was bowled by Shaminda Eranga for 16. Matthew Wade, promoted to No.5 in an attempt to provide the Australians with quick runs, was on 11 when he holed out to long-on from the bowling of Herath and that brought together Clarke and Hussey, who so often this summer have rescued the Australians. Again they proved a strong combination and Clarke was in typically fine touch, moving the score along at a rapid rate with boundaries all around the wicket.
MCiLROy EndS yEAR AS WORLd nO 1 World Cup fixing LONDON AGENCIES
Rory McIlroy has ended the year as world No.1 for the first time with a comfortable lead at the top of the official rankings over Luke Donald and Tiger Woods. The 23-year-old Ulsterman won four tournaments during the year including his second major at the USPGA Championships in August That allowed him to break free of a year-long logjam atop the rankings involving himself, Donald and Lee Westwood. Charl Schwartzel and Sergio Garcia end the year 14th and 16th in the world respectively after their weekend wins in South Africa and Malaysia. Dane Thorbjorn Olesen held on to 50th spot by 0.01 ranking points from Australian Geoff Ogilvy and so earns himself a US Masters debut next April. Final 2012 positions in the world
scandal hits South African football
golf rankings (end of 2011 positions in brackets): 1. (3) rory Mcilroy (Nir) 13.22pts 2. (1) luke Donald (eNG) 8.62 3. (23) tiger Woods (uSA) 8.53 4. (18) Justin rose (eNG) 6.42 5. (5) Adam Scott (AuS) 6.21 6. (40) louis Oosthuizen (rSA) 6.14 7. (2) lee Westwood (eNG) 6.03 8. (21) bubba Watson (uSA) 5.30 9. (33) Jason Dufner (uSA) 5.29 10. (38) brandt Snedeker (uSA) 5.23 11. (10) Webb Simpson (uSA) 5.13 12. (16) ian Poulter (eNG) 5.00 13. (31) Keegan bradley (uSA) 5.00 14. (9) Charl Schwartzel (rSA) 4.90 15. (13) Graeme McDowell (Nir) 4.81 16. (17) Sergio Garcia (eSP) 4.74 17. (14) Phil Mickelson (uSA) 4.69 18. (6) Steve Stricker (uSA) 4.65 19. (42) Peter Hanson (SWe) 4.59 20. (12) Nick Watney (uSA) 4.54
NEWSDESK The South African Football Association says it has suspended officials, including its president, after a FIFA report into match-fixing ahead of the 2010 World Cup found "compelling evidence" that one or more games were fixed by betting syndicates. The association made the announcement in a statement Monday. On Saturday, the association said that it was "infiltrated" by now-convicted match-fixer Wilson Perumal and his "bogus" football company Football4U, which was a front for the Asian syndicates. No players have been implicated in fixing matches. Instead, referees appointed by Football4U are believed to have fixed the games. SAFA didn't identify the games but South Africa's 5-0 win over Guatemala was under suspicion.
Virat Kohli is ready for Test captaincy: Sunil gavaskar NEW DELHI AGENCIES
India has now lost their last three major series under Dhoni's captaincy including one at home, and the question pertaining to 'what now' was apt. Sunil Gavaskar favoured former cricketer Abbas Ali Baig's suggestion to make Kohli Test skipper but Atul Wassan was still circumspect. England beat India at home after a 28-year-gap winning India 2-1 in the Test series after the fourth and final match ended in a draw. Gavaskar suggested that it is time the selectors look to the future now. Gavaskar said, “Till the fourth day of the Nagpur Test, I would have backed Dhoni. Now that Virat has come up with a hundred under trying circumstances where he curbed his natural game, he discovered a good part about himself. He is ready to take on the mantle of Test cricket. That needs to be looked at in a positive manner by everyone concerned as that is where the future lies." Wassan said, “I have got this view
point that one captain cannot be used for all formats. Certainly there is no alternative as of now and Virat is our future choice. But God forbid if the team keeps on losing and we have to sack him, who do we fall back on. The succession plan has to be in a phased format and has to be earmarked. Just like in Australia, we knew that Michael Clarke will
be the next captain four years ago. Virat should be eased by the selectors in shorter formats since India is in a transition phase as of now." When Sunil Gavaskar was asked about MS Dhoni's comments that 'he could not have done anything different on the Nagpur pitch', he cam down hard on the skipper as said, “India could not
get enough wickets on day 4. Also, they doddled around in the first hour on Day 4. If India had wanted to win the Test, they could have shown some intent by declaring on the overnight total or by asking the tail-enders to play slam-bang cricket. Yes, England batted well. But you do not put a forward short leg or silly point to get a catch there. You do that to force a batsman to give a catch some place else. Trott or Bell might have done something stupid then. India could have attacked more. But that's not the only reason India lost. Our bowlers were by and large ineffective." Wassan and Gavaskar were also asked about the reasons that led to such a humiliating series loss. "I think the complacency factor, which is a part of the Indian psyche. We can't do much. Everytime an Indian tries to be ambitious he is pulled down. No Indian will overtly show his ambitions. That's why we do not have killer mentality too. But when we won the first Test, that complacency came in. Even in Kolkata, batting in the second innings was very careless.
Monday, 17 December, 2012
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17 Sports ten teams to feature in lahore Polo Cup
lAHOre: inzamam ul haq the newly hired batting consulting leading the prayer during the practice session of the Pakistan National Cricket team. MuRTAzA ALi
LAHORE STAFF REPORT
The country's best polo players drawn is ten teams are show casing their talent in the Bank of Punjab sponsored Lahore Open Polo Championship. This was stated by Abdul Haye Mehta, President, Lahore Polo Club here on Monday at a news conference. Also present were Kamran Ali, Group Head ,Operations, bank of Punjab and Maughes Bokhari, group head, Human recourse. Mehta said the event which commenced today (Monday) has its own significance as top polo players of the country are participating in it and high quality polo will be witnessed during the week long event. " It is the third successive year that Bank of Punjab is sponsoring this event which is a regular annual feature of the LPC polo calendar and a tournament on the calender of Pakistan Polo Association",he added. He said efforts are being made to turn LPC in a most modern polo facility in the country by improving existing facilities of riding school, grounds and infrastructure. " Our future plans focus on adding squash courts, swimming pool and other sports facilities to make it a modern club which is also available for other than polo and horse riding activities",he asserted. LPC chief praised the contribution of the sponsors and said it will go a long way in the further popularising polo among youth. " We are making gradual progress in the development of polo and it is heartening sign that our junior polo league is being participated by around 200 aspiring riders who are committed to take up polo as a sport in future ". Kamran Ali of BOP said their association with polo is getting stronger with each passing day as they are sponsoring this event on regular basis. " BOP is playing its due role for building a healthy society and we are patronising a number of sports other than polo to keep engage youth in constructive activities ",he said. following are the teams of the event, (PAf) fahad Hadeed, Shaukat Ali Malik, Omer Minhas, Nausher Khan. (Diamond Paints) Nafees barry, Mir Shoaib Ahmad, Hamza Mawaz, raja Samiullah. (Magic river),Hassan Agh , Ahmed zubair, Ahmad tiwana, raja temur. (Hataf) Muhammad Samir, Malik Azam, Hassan Ali farrukh.(OCl team) Abdul rehman, Ghulam Mustafa, usman Haye, Saqib Khan,(Newage),bilal Hayat, Adnan Jalil, bilal Haye, Shah Shamyl. (lahore Garrison) Qurban, babar Mehboob, Shehryar Munir, Nauman Wasif. (rijas) faisal Shahzad, Omar Asjad, Ahmad Nawaz, Atif tiwan.(Colony Sugar) Sameer Habib, Mian Hussain, taimur Mawaz. (Master Paints), Asif Manzoor, Sufi Mohammad Amir, Shah Qubilai and Sufi Muhammad Haris. the final will be played on December 23.
Casey Dellacqua out of Hopman Cup with foot injury
Malir win Cricket for unity kARACHI: Malir Cantonment Board beat Cantonment Board Clifton to clinch Cricket for Unity Tournament won by 30 runs in the final at Moin Khan Cricket Academy. Malir batted first and scored 142 runs in 15 overs. Cantonment Board Clifton managed 105 all out in 14.2 overs. Additional Director General Military Lands & Cantonments Raja Nadir Ali was the chief guest of final match. He appreciated the efforts of Director ML&C Karachi Region Mrs. Zeenat Ahmed to organize a successful event. In the end, ADO showed satisfaction on the overall working of ML&C Karachi Region.STAFF REPORT
KArACHi: Additional Director Military lands and Cantonments raja Mohammad Nadir Ali gives away trophy to Captain Malir Cantt for winning the Karachi region Cricket tournament. Director Karachi region zeenat Ahmed and cricketer Moin Khan are also present.
tuesday, 18 December, 2012
ERTH tennis ace Casey Dellacqua is out of the Hopman Cup with a foot injury, sparking fears the rejuvenated baseliner might also miss next month's Australian Open. Dellacqua was looking forward to playing in front of her home crowd later this month, but peroneal brevis tear suffered during a tournament in Osaka in October proved to be her downfall. "Although it’s getting better every day, it's not going to be ready in time
for Perth and I can’t rush my return to competition," Dellacqua said in a statement. "I really hope I can try and play in Hobart if I'm ready and if I get a wildcard. "I always love playing at Hopman Cup. The people of Perth always get behind me and it’s a great feeling to have so much support. "I was also really looking forward to being part of history and playing at the new Perth Arena. Hopefully I have the chance to come back next year." Dellacqua was due to team with Bernard Tomic in the December 29 to January 5 event. A replacement for Dellacqua is yet
to be announced. "We are so disappointed for Casey that she’s had to withdraw from the Hyundai Hopman Cup and wish her all the very best for a speedy recovery," Event director Steve Ayles said. "I know how much playing this event means to her and how much she loves playing in front of her home crowd in Perth. "Casey is concentrating hard on her rehab and is looking forward to playing again very soon. "I’m sure everyone will join the Hopman Cup team in wishing her all the best for her Australian Open preparation."
balotelli's dolce vita turns sour with City tribunal LONDON AGENCIES
With a tribunal on the horizon over a club-imposed fine and a rap sheet more distinctive than his mo-hawk, Mario Balotelli is fast becoming the Christmas gift Manchester City could not give away - even if they offered complimentary wrapping. Rash tackles, sendings-offs, tantrums after being substituted and the infamous 'Why Always Me?' undershirt have been the on-field norm for the Italy international since he joined City from Inter Milan in August 2010. His off-field antics have been equally as colourful as the cards he has been shown during his two years at the Etihad Stadium, especially his new camouflaged Bentley and his well documented clash with fireworks in his bathroom. But despite boss Roberto Mancini displaying more patience than a seasoned Buddhist monk, it now appears Balotelli will be sent packing after reports emerged he was disputing a club imposed fine of two-weeks' wages for last term's misdemeanours. Media outlets say the 22-year-old striker was docked 340,000 pounds ($548,100) in wages when City's tolerance was finally broken after he received his third red card of the season during a 1-0 loss away to Arsenal in April. Manchester City nor the Premier League, when contacted by Reuters, would confirm details of Balotelli's hearing which is due to take place in front of an independent tribunal in London on Wednesday. During their Premier League title-winning season last term, Balotelli missed 11 of Manchester City's 54 competitive games. In total, he was banned for six domestic league, two League Cup and three Champions League fixtures. Balotelli, whose internal club appeal was unsuccessful reports say, will be accompanied at the tribunal by his lawyer and a representative from the Professional Footballers' Association. Legal representatives for City will also be in attendance.
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Grosjean wins Race of Champions NEWSDESK
RENCH Formula One driver Romain Grosjean, whose future with the Lotus team is yet to be confirmed, beat Sebastian Vettel and Michael Schumacher on his way to winning the Race of Champions event in Bangkok on Sunday. Dubbed a 'first lap nutcase' by Australian Mark Webber after he caused a number of collisions this year, including one in Belgium that got him banned for a race, Grosjean showed a steadier side to his talents. After beating Red Bull's triple champion Vettel in the quarter-finals and seven-times F1 champion Schumacher in the semi-finals, Grosjean went on to defeat Denmark's eight-times Le Mans 24 Hours winner Tom Kristensen in the best-of-three race final at the Rajamangala Stadium. "It's been a tough end to the Formula One season but I finally got back on the podium yesterday and now this," Grosjean, who lost the team final to the German pair on Saturday, said on the event website. "It's great to get this win before I head off for a holiday," added the 2011 GP2 champion. The annual event pits winners and champions from various motorsport series against each other over several rounds in identical machinery.
watch it Live ESPN Australia V Sri Lanka 04:30AM
STAR SPORTS England V India 09:00AM
england gets tough over Olympic funding NEWSDESK Six sports, including swimming and tennis, have been warned that they will have millions in grassroots funding taken away unless they can show that they can improve participation figures in the next 12 months, as Sport England unveiled its investment priorities for the next four years. The grassroots investment body has revealed how £493.4m in lottery and exchequer funding will be divided up between 46 sports over the next four years as it attempts to drive government promises to buck the trend of previous Games and use the 2012 Olympics to increase the numbers playing sport. Among the biggest winners were those sports that have already shown they can deliver. Cycling will receive a total of £32m over the next four years, up £7.3m on the previous four-year cycle, and netball will receive £25.4m, up from £18.7m. Smaller sports also benefited, with triathlon's investment up from £4.5m to £7.7m. "If you have put in a good plan and succeeded in driving participation, there is more money. We have always said we'd back winners, which we've done," said Sport England's chief executive Jennie Price.
Pakistan clinch Asia Deaf Cup LAHORE STAFF REPORT
AtP tour Opposes uS Open Move, Prize Money Distribution NEWSDESK The men’s tennis tour said it opposes a switch of the U.S. Open final to a Monday and wants a shake-up of prize-money distribution at the tournament. The United States Tennis Association, which runs the annual Grand Slam event at the National Tennis Center in New York, last week announced it was moving the women’s final to a Sunday and the men’s final to a Monday from 2013. The aim is to provide a rest day between the semifinals and finals. Rain has forced the men’s final, previously scheduled for Sunday afternoons, into Monday in each of the past five years. Players complained last year that the schedule, especially if altered due to rain delays, gave them no time to recuperate. The U.S. Open, which doesn’t have a roof, was the only major that scheduled the men’s semifinals and finals on consecutive days. Although the ATP World Tour welcomed the rest day, it said in an e-mailed statement today that it “made clear to the U.S. Open that we do not support a Monday final.” “We strongly believe the U.S. Open should keep a similar schedule to the other Grand Slams, with the men’s semifinals completed by Friday and the final on Sunday,” the ATP said. “It is unfortunate the U.S. Open response did not reflect our views on this issue and the ATP and its players will continue to pursue this matter in its discussions with the USTA.” The USTA also announced last week that it would boost U.S. Open prize money by $4 million to $29.5 million. It follows the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon, who have all boosted prize money this season. GREATER SHARE: Although the ATP welcomed what it said was the biggest U.S. Open prize-money increase since 1990, the rise didn’t reflect discussions held with the four majors regarding a more even distribution of prize money that the ATP says would benefit players across all levels of the tour. The ATP has also been fighting for a greater share of the revenue generated at the four Grand Slams.
Batsmen must take responsibility: Dhoni NAGPUR AGENCIES
MS Dhoni admitted that India were outplayed in most departments as they slumped to a 2-1 series defeat against England, their first series loss on home soil since 2004. England comfortably batted out the final day in Nagpur as India managed just one more wicket, with the home side's ambitions of levelling the series hindered by a lifeless pitch. However, over the previous two Tests in Mumbai and Kolkata there had been considerable daylight between the teams and Dhoni picked out James Anderson's role and India's lack of runs for special mention. "We thought our spinners were right on the mark but the difference on the bowling side was James Anderson," he said at the post-match presentation. "He bowled really well. The other fast bowlers in the series looked quite aver-
age but he was testing the batsmen. Apart from that the batsmen have to take the responsibility for not putting enough runs on the board." Dhoni pinpointed England's ability to win key sessions, such as the third evening in Mumbai and fourth after-
noon in Kolkata, when India twice suffered collapses. "It happens if you are playing on tracks that turn from the first day," he said. "You have to be at your best because if you make a few mistakes you will have to face a bit of extra pressure. It is sessions like those that really matter because in a fourTest series it can be those two sessions, or four hours, that really change the course of the Test match." India made a good start to the final Test, reducing England to 139 for 5 on the first afternoon, but it was already clear that the pitch was dead. "As the game progressed we saw there wasn't much for fast bowlers or the spinners," Dhoni said. "It was difficult to score runs but if you kept your head down it was difficult to get batsmen out. By the fifth day the wicket got better, the ball was coming on to the bat and batsmen could play their strokes. You would have needed three or four more days to get a result."
Pakistan on Monday won the 2nd Asia Deaf Cricket Cup 2102 beating Sri Lanka by 92 runs in the final here at the LCCA ground. Pakistan won the toss and elected to bat first. Naeem Arshad played a wonderful inning of 93 runs and Usman Gohar scored 51 in Pakistan’s total of 234 for 8 wickets. Sir Lankan bowler Asanka took four wickets and Sanjeewa had two wickets. Pakistan bowler did wonderful job and bowled out all the Sri Lankan team in 37 overs. Sri Lankan team scored only 142. Asanka was the only successful batsman from Sri Lanka who scored 59 runs. So Pakistan won this match by 92 runs. Muhammad Shakeel took 3 wickets, Adnan Ghani took 2 wickets and Zaka Ahmad took 2 wickets. It was most successful international event that opened many doors of international cricket in Pakistan. All the five countries teams were happy to participate in 2nd Asia Deaf Cricket Cup. Shafique Ahmed, General Manager Domestic Cricket PCB and Pervaiz Malik MNA (PML-N) was the chief guest of then prizes distribution ceremony while Khajwa Imran Nazir was also present as guest of honor.
COOk SAvOUrS 'A SPECIAl TOUr' NAGPUR AGENCIES
Alastair Cook left the presentation in Nagpur overladen with trophies after England completed their first series win in India for 28 years. Not just one series trophy but two, plus individual recognition as man of the series, completed a perfect start to Cook's England Test captaincy. Add his unofficial stint as Test captain in Bangladesh when he stood in for Andrew Strauss and he has already twice led England to victories in subcontinent conditions which they have often found so alien. "It is obviously a very special day; a special tour," he said. "We will have great memories. It's an incredible achievement." England's celebrations were a world away from their misery in Ahmedabad less than a month ago when they were
beaten by nine wickets in the opening Test; their frailties against spin again apparent. Since then, Cook has taken particular pride in England's ability to adapt to whatever conditions have been thrown at them. His own run tally of 568 in the series set the example with the bat as England conquered India's spinners and also unveiled two superior slow bowlers themselves in Monty Panesar and Graeme Swann. "We have played on four very different wickets," Cook said. "We didn't handle the Ahmedabad
wicket so well, but the other three wickets were all very different in subcontinent style. Everyone in this squad can be proud of what they achieved, especially the way we bounced back after the heavy defeat in Ahmedabad." Nagpur was the oddest test of all, a pitch that was strikingly slow and uneven at the start and which gradually became more docile, ultimately providing a perfect surface for an England side prepared to bat with discipline to avoid defeat and so win the series. "We were slightly surprised by the
pitch at the start, how low and slow it was," Cook said. "We thought it would get worse but actually it got better. We knew when we were batting in the second innings it was going to be very hard for India to take those wickets and if we applied ourselves with not too many soft dismissals it would be very hard to bowl us out." England's authority on the final day was unshakeable as the Warwickshire pair of Jonathan Trott and Ian Bell took their fourth-wicket stand to 208 in 79 overs before the sides shook hands on a draw with England 352 for 4 and celebratory hugs broke out on the England balcony. "I can't credit the batters enough for fronting up and taking on that challenge," Cook said. "Normally there are a few nerves on day like this but the calm way that Trotty and Belly batted was just fantastic. You can say it's a flat wicket but when you know you have to bat for 150 overs a series win seems a long way away."
tuesday, 18 December, 2012
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tuesday, 18 December, 2012
PAC to decide SC registrar’s fate today
Malik ‘misinformed’, misled India on Saeed's arrest g
indian home minister says Pakistan never arrested JD chief for role in Mumbai attacks NEW DELHI AGENCIES
India on Monday said Jamaatud Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed had never been arrested in connection with the Mumbai terror attacks, even though Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik claimed so. Making a statement in both houses of parliament, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said Malik, who just concluded his visit to India, was "misinformed" about the actual reasons for the arrest of Hafiz Saeed, whom India blames as the main conspirator in the 26/11 attacks. "From the papers given to us, it is clear that the detentions of Hafiz Saeed in the aforesaid cases were for other reasons and not for his role as a conspirator in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks. Therefore, I can only say that Rehman Malik appears to have been misinformed in the matter," Shinde said in Rajya Sabha, where BJP sought to corner the government, alleging that it had not responded strongly to controversial comments made by the Pak-
likely to forward reference against registrar to parliament g PMl-N opposing option of detaining, getting forced appearance of SC registrar
ISLAMABAD ANwER AbbAS
HE Public Accounts Committee would decide a final plan of action vis-à-vis the Supreme Court registrar during a sitting today (Tuesday) – half of which would be an in-camera session – and is likely to forward a reference against him towards parliament, Pakistan Today has learnt from a reliable source. A source told Pakistan Today that despite an invitation extended to SC Registrar Dr Faqeer Hussain for participating in the body’s today (Tuesday) meeting, the SC registrar would be making no such appearance. The body would review three options today, contacting Supreme Court of Pakistan over the conduct by the registrar, issuing summons for the registrar and asking police to detain and present him before the body or forwarding a reference to the parliament over the issue. The source said PPP members in PAC are opposing the first option, saying they did not expect any justice or favourable decision from the Supreme Court. The second option, suggested by committee member Noor Alam Khan, seeks police assistance for bringing the SC registrar before the body, and in handcuffs. However, PAC members from the PML-N, including Sardar Ayyaz Saddiq, Zahid Hamid, Engineer Khurram Dastagir, Khawaja Asif and others, are strictly against the option, pressurising the PAC chairman to
istan minister. Shinde noted that Malik "has been telling us repeatedly that he had arrested Saeed thrice and that, on each occasion, he was let off by the courts for lack of evidence. We had been given to understand by the interior minister of Pakistan that Saeed had been arrested on charges of being a part of the conspiracy for the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks," he said. He said when India pursued the
Govt official, security personnel targeted in Quetta, lakki Marwat
matter, Pakistan had given the papers pertaining to the detention of Saeed in 2002 and 2009. During his talks with Malik, Shinde said Pakistan had been told that it was of "paramount importance" to bring those guilty of the terror strikes to justice to ensure that the Indo-Pak peace process proceeds in an atmosphere free of terrorism and violence. Continued on page 04
Pakistan fully backs Kashmiris’ struggle, PM tells APHC
SC Registrar Dr Faqeer hussain proceed with the issue peacefully and avoid confrontation between the institutions. The third and final option, which is most likely to be exercised today with consensus, is forwarding a reference to parliament against the defiant attitude of the registrar. The proposal has the backing of all members from the PPP, PML-N and other parties in PAC. The source said PAC
would hold its meeting in two sittings and the latter session would be in-camera to review the registrar issue. The first half of the proceedings would take up financial accounts and audit paras, objections related to the Ministry of Law and Justice, Ministry of Industries, Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), Finance Division and the Planning and Development Division.
Militants killed a government official and three policemen in Quetta while at least three soldiers were slain in separate incidents of violence in Quetta and Lakki Marwat on Monday. In Quetta, unidentified men gunned down four people, including three policemen and a public relations official, in two separate attacks. Police and rescue officials said unidentified assailants opened fire on a vehicle of Public Relation Director Khadim Hussain Noori on Jinnah Road. Noori was killed on the spot while a police constable was injured. In another incident, unidentified men shot three policemen dead in the Liaquat Bagh area of the city. In Lakki Marwat, at least three soldiers were killed and three others sustained injuries in clashes between security forces and extremists in Lakki Marwat town in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Monday. Dozens of insurgents armed with guns and rockets stormed a security checkpost in Lakki Marwat, killing three soldiers and injuring three others, including a major-rank official.
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf has said that Pakistan sought to resolve the Kashmir issue on the basis of United Nations’ resolutions and aspirations of the people of Kashmir. He was talking to a sevenmember delegation of All Parties Hurriyat Conference led by its Chairman Mirwaiz Umer Farooq that called on him on Monday. Welcoming the delegation‚ the prime minister said there was consensus among all political parties in Pakistan on the Kashmir issue. He said Pakistan took pride in the indigenous struggle waged by the people of Kashmir for their right to self determination. Mirwaiz thanked the PM for welcoming the delegation at the Prime Minister’s House and said the people of Kashmir valued the unconditional support of the government and the people of Pakistan. The APHC delegation also held separate meetings with other political leaders including Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, Asfandyar Wali and the Kashmiri leadership from Azad Kashmir. ONLINE
SC stays CNG price until Thursday g
Seeks 10-year record of CNG prices, sectors receiving gas subsidy g OGrA suggests CNG tariff of rs 73.96 per kg for region 1, rs 65.50 for region 2 ISLAMABAD AGENCIES
The Supreme Court of Pakistan has ordered authorities to maintain the current price of compressed natural gas (CNG) until December 20. While hearing the CNG price case, the apex court ordered the government to issue pricing policy guidelines and directed OGRA to resolve the CNG issue at the earliest. The CNG station owners were again directed to submit their audited accounts to OGRA. The two-judge bench of Justice Jawwad S Khwaja and Justice Khilji Arif
Hussain also sought the ten-year record consisting of CNG’s average price, postsubsidy prices and the difference in prices between domestic and industrial consumers. The counsel for OGRA, Salman Akram Raja, informed the court that the price determined in meetings between the CNG association and station owners would be presented in the federal cabinet on Tuesday. However, Petroleum Secretary Waqar Masood said he had no information whether it was on Cabinet's agenda. Akram added that Rs 73.96 per kilogramme had been recommended for Region 1, while Rs 65.50 per kilogramme had
been recommended for Region 2. Justice Khwaja asked if the prices of Rs 74 and Rs 65 were proposals or a final decision, adding that whatever happened in the past was OGRA’s mistake and masses were bearing the brunt of it. “How can the court find out if the regulator’s prices are up to the mark? A commission could be set up to determine the prices,” he remarked. OGRA requested the apex court to set an interim price of CNG, however, the court turned down the plea and directed the regulating authority to maintain the present prices as it were. The counsel for OGRA ap-
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prised the bench that to date, only 400 CNG stations had provided their audit record, but representatives of CNG station owners disputed the claim, saying a majority had submitted the requisite record. They emphasized that the issues highlighted in a report compiled by Justice (r) Rana Bhagwandas regarding fixation of petroleum prices needed to be implemented. Abid Manto, counsel for Sui Southern Gas Company Limited and Sui Northern Gas Company Limited, also submitted a report regarding other aspects of gas, like unaccounted gas loss of two companies. Justice Khwaja said the court would
Editor: Arif Nizami
definitely interfere wherever there was violation of human rights, adding that the entire cabinet was sitting in comfort. He directed the Petroleum Ministry and OGRA to take immediate steps to steer the people out of the current crisis. The bench said the government and OGRA must take prompt action on the issue of prices of CNG, as it was affecting a large number of CNG consumers and CNG station owners. The court also summoned the record of sectors receiving gas subsidy from the Petroleum Ministry. The hearing of the case was adjourned until December 20.