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Prime Minister Gilani honours Arfa Karim with commemorative stamp
Intervention in Iran would trigger war and chaos, says Sarkozy
Rs15.00 Vol ii no 205 22 pages islamabad — peshawar edition
Apex court demands govt’s stance in writing within two weeks ISLAMABAD MASOOD REHMAN
The Supreme Court on Friday directed the government to present within two weeks its stance in writing that it had no intention to sack Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and InterServices Intelligence (ISI) Director General (DG) Lt General Ahmad Shuja Pasha. A three-member bench comprising Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Khilji Arif Hussain and Justice Tariq Parvez gave the orders after Attorney General Maulvi Anwarul Haq, who appeared on notice, told the court that the government had no intention to remove the COAS and ISI DG and they would serve their tenure. He said the petition against any possible move to sack the military and intelligence leadership was based on assumptions and hypothesis. The chief justice observed that the situation
should move towards improvement. “It would be better if the government submits its stance in writing,” the chief justice said, and directed the attorney general to take formal instructions from the government and submit to the court the reply in writing over the issue within a fortnight. “We want to resolve the issues and it would be better in the interest of the country as well as the nation,” the chief justice said. The peti-
ISLAMABAD: President Asif Zardari decorates Naval Chief Admiral Asif Sandila with Nishane-Imtiaz (M) during a special investiture ceremony held at Aiwan-e-Sadr on Friday. online
President Asif Ali Zardari and Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani had an informal exchange of views on Friday over the process of review of terms of engagements between Pakistan and NATO forces by the Parliamentary Committee on National Security (PCNS). A source told Pakistan Today that both leaders met here at the Presidency after a ceremony held to decorate Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Muhammad Asif Sandila with the Nishan-e-Imtiaz (M). “Both leaders had an informal discussion on the professional matters of the armed forces, post-NATO at-
Saturday, 21 January, 2012 Safar 26, 1433
Power and gas shortage over in six months! Gilani says govt struggling to maintain balance among institutions g Says PPP respects the judiciary
President and COAS discuss review of Pak-NATO relations
SC wants assurance COAS, ISI DG won’t be sacked g
‘Kiss’ and sex talk lands Ali Zafar’s film in trouble
tack strategy and the scope of recommendations finalised by the Parliamentary Committee on National Security. Security issues were also discussed during the meeting between both leaders,” the source said, adding that both leaders exchanged views while the services chiefs were also present. “The president told the army chief that the recommendations by the PCNS had been finalised and they would now be presented in the joint session of parliament, which is likely to be summoned within the next 10 days,” said the source and added that the body language of both leaders suggested that tension between the presidential camp and the general headquarters was lowering. Defence Minister Chaudhry
tion seeking to block any attempts by the government to sack the military and intelligence leadership was filed by lawyer FK Butt a few weeks ago when the brewing tussle between the civilian government and the military leadership over the memo controversy had already led to the sacking of the defence secretary and triggered speculations that the government might take similar action against the army and intelligence chiefs.
No legal cover for 2008 polls ISLAMABAD TAHIR NIAZ
Amidst open criticism from certain quarters over the Supreme Court decision of staying the upcoming by-elections on existing electoral rolls, which contain bogus voters, and the possibility of moving an application in the court to get the 2008 general elections declared null and void on the same basis, the government has ignored giving legal cover to the 2008 general elections and found a remedy for the it in the 20th Amendment to the Constitution Bill, which it introduced in parliament to validate the status of 28 parliamentarians elected through by-elections when the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) was incomplete. On January 19, the apex court, on petitions moved by Pakistan Tehreek-eInsaaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP)’s slain former chairwoman Benazir Bhutto, issued a stay order against the upcoming by-elections as it maintained that the existing electoral rolls contained bogus votes. It asked the ECP to prepare verified voter lists first and then hold the elections in the respective constituencies. The ruling immediately affected by-elections scheduled in eight constituencies: five National Assembly (NA-9 Mardan-I, NA140 Kasur-III, NA-148, Multan-I, NA-149 Multan-II and NA-195 Rahimyar KhanIV); two Punjab Assembly seats (PP-18 Attock-IV and PP-44 Mianwali-II) and one Sindh Assembly seat (PS-57 Badin-I). Continued on page 04
Ahmed Mukhtar, Information Minister Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan, Finance Minister Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, Commerce Minister Makhdoom Amin Fahim, Secretary General to the President M Salman Faruqui, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC) General Khalid Shameem Wynne, Air Chief Marshal Rao Qamar Suleman, senior officials and officers from the armed forces were also present on the occasion. The citation read on the occasion said Nishan-e-Imtaiz (M) was being conferred upon the naval chief in recognition for his long meritorious services. Admiral Asif Sandila is also a recipient of the Hilal-eImtiaz (M) and Chevalier de I’ Ordre National de Merite.
RIME Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani said on Friday that the government was aware of the current energy crises and was taking steps to resolve them, and that the gas and electricity shortage problems would be resolved in six months. The prime minister’s claim of overcoming power shortage might not be taken seriously by the people as his former water and power minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf had made repeated claims and even gave deadlines to resolve the power crisis, but the situation only worsened. Gilani said the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) government respected the judiciary and was struggling to maintain a balance in all the institutions, adding that dictators who did not give anything to the country in their tenures did not stand a chance. Gilani told reporters after the 9th convocation ceremony of Lahore College of Women University (LCWU) here on Friday that those who did not give anything to this country should know they would never come into power in future. He said his appearance in the Supreme Court was proof that he respected the judiciary and added that Zulfikar Ali Bhutto gave a constitution to the country and the government was fighting for it now. He said the opposition was doing what it was supposed to and the government would run according to the mandate given to it by the people. The premier said the only
stable position rested with God Almighty. He said further that every institution must work within the ambit of the constitution and that the government had strengthened the state organs by restoring the constitution to its original form. He said those who came into power in the past but could not give anything to the country were now claiming they would end corruption and poverty, but they had failed to do so when they were in power. “It is the job of the opposition to criticise the government and the people should let them fulfil their duty. What did they do when they were in power?” said the prime minister. He also said he was the longestserving democratically elected prime minister of Pakistan. Talking about NATO attack on Pakistani checkposts in Mohmand Agency, the prime minister said the government had taken stern action against the attack and it was his government who had asked the United States to vacate the Shamsi airbase and also boycotted the Bonn Conference and blocked NATO supplies going through Pakistan. He said the joint session of parliament would decide whether NATO supplies would be resumed or not. He said the government took these steps because it was not answerable to any other country. Earlier, addressing the convocation ceremony as the chief guest, Gilani said only God’s throne was invincible and the state institution should consider their limitations and should perform their duties within the boundaries.
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Beaconhouse launches fun gala with learing activities ‘The general’ busted!
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SC seeks AG’s report on Balochistan situation in summary form Islamabad: Returning the Intelligence Bureau’s (IB) report over the worsening law and order in Balochistan, the Supreme Court (SC) on Friday directed the Balochistan advocate general (AG) to submit the report in summary form on January 27. A three-member bench consisting of CJP Iftikhar Chaudhry, Justice Khilji Arif Hussain and Justice Tariq Pervez was hearing a petition on law and order in Balochistan and target killings filed by Balochistan High Court Bar Association President Hadi Shakeel Ahmed. The CJP said that a larger bench would be constituted for hearing the case, adding that the case might be heard at the SC Quetta Registry. During the hearing, Balochistan AG Amanullah Kanrani submitted three-month reports of IB and CID on the law and order in Balochistan but the court returned it. Earlier, the court had rejected a report filed by the Balochistan chief secretary on the security situation in the province. STAFF REPORT
Judicial commission to visit India from February 3-6 Islamabad: Pakistan’s judicial commission will visit India from February 3 to 6 to interview individuals linked to the investigations into the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks. Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan Sharat Sabarwal called on Interior Minister Rehman Malik on Friday and informed him about the scheduled dates for the commission. The meeting was held in a cordial atmosphere and the two officials discussed bilateral matters. The interior minister also thanked the Indian diplomat for allowing Pakistan’s judicial commission to India. STAFF REPORT
Conjoined twins born with one heart in Larkana laRKaNa: A woman on Friday gave birth to conjoined twins with one heart. Talking to a private TV channel, hospital incharge Professor Sikandar Mughal said that one of the babies was in a critical condition and if the twins also share a liver then they would need to be treated in Karachi. The mother said that due to poverty she could not afford the treatment. INP
Faisalabad departmental store fire causes loss of millions FaIsalabad: Goods worth millions of rupees were gutted when fire broke out in a departmental store in posh area of ‘D’ ground on Friday. Firefighters controlled the fire after four hours. According to details, fire broke out on second floor of the departmental store due to short circuit and engulfed the fourstorey building. The security guard informed Rescue 1122, which reached the spot. Precious perfume bottles started exploding, which spread the fire creating problems for rescue teams. The store owner said that he suffered loss worth Rs 100 million but no casualties were reported in the incident. INP
Chinese envoy meets Imran Khan Islamabad: Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Lio Jian on Friday called on Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan and exchanged views on matters of common interes. According to a press release, the PTI chief thanked the Chinese envoy for facilitating his visit to China at the invitation of the Chinese Communist Party. He also requested the ambassador to convey his appreciation to the Chinese political leadership for hosting him and his delegation. They discussed the current situation in Pakistan and the region, including the issue of president’s immunity and the memo scandal. STAFF REPORT
Only ‘direct’ talks can bring peace: Afghan official WASHINGTON AFP
An Afghan official on Thursday said his government was hopeful that peace talks could achieve “a political solution” with the Taliban, but stressed that any agreement must come from “direct” negotiations between the two parties. “Ultimately direct peace negotiations will have to be between Afghan partners,” said Afghan Foreign Ministry Spokesman Janan Mosazai in a videoconference from Kabul with the Pentagon. “There’s no alternative to that. We welcome the support and assistance of countries in the region and in the international community,” he added. The Taliban announced earlier this month that they planned to set up a political office in Qatar ahead of possible talks with the United States. The Afghan government gave its blessing to that move as all sides eye a political solution to the conflict, but Kabul is reportedly wary of being sidelined in talks between the insurgents and Washington. Mosazai said officials are “committed to a political solution in Afghanistan and that’s why President (Hamid) Karzai has expressed the Afghan government’s support of an address for the Taliban.”
HYDERABAD: Labourers freed from the captivity of a landlord in Samaro district, Umerkot, are loaded onto a truck as they head home after a hearing at the high court on Friday. online
lHC review bench orders release of lJ’s Malik ishaq LAHORE STAFF REPORT
A three-member review board of the Lahore High Court (LHC) on Friday denied a request by the Punjab government for an extension in the detention of Malik Muhammad Ishaq, the leader of a banned outfit, and ordered his release. The review board hearing the matter, comprising Justice Nasir Saeed Sheikh, Justice Manzoor Ahmad Malik and Justice Sheikh Ahmad Farooq, observed that the Home Department had failed to provide any substance required for extending the detention. Ishaq was produced before the board under tight security on Friday for the proceedings. The additional home secretary requested the board to extend Ishaq’s detention, set to expire on January 25, for another month but Ishaq opposed the request. The board heard the arguments and did not agree with the government’s re-
quest and denied the extension. Ishaq was released on July 14, 2011, after being imprisoned in Kot Lakhpat Jail for 14 years. Later, the Punjab government detained him in a Rahim Yar Khan prison for 10 days under the Maintenance of Public Order, which was extended further for 60 days on October 25. According to the Punjab Maintenance of Public Order Ordinance of 1960, the Home Department can detain a person for up to three months if they could create a law and order situation upon release. According to Section 5 of the ordinance, no person can be detained for a period exceeding three months unless a judicial board has reviewed the case and concluded that there is sufficient cause for such detention to continue. Ishaq was involved in 44 cases, but was convicted in only two and sentenced to one-and-a- half and five years in prison respectively. He was acquitted in 34 cases and granted bail in seven cases, while one case was discharged.
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ArtS & entertAInment
Rushdie pulls out of Indian lit fest
Veena Malik praised for ‘professionalism’
Overpowering England a great boost: Mohsin Another revelation
COmment The Norwegians spies are here too.
Take a bow, Pakistan A job well done, Team Misbah.
Arif Nizami says: To the courts: Better sense prevails.
White Lies: Rumour has it that there was some debate on who should drive PM Gilani to the court premises on Thursday. The PM decided that he would drive his own car himself. The lesson of the story? I am in the driving seat. Well tell that to the judges and of course the president.
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Story on Page 17
Story on Page 18
Articles on Page 12-13
Senior al Qaeda figure killed in last week’s drone strike g
US officials say targeted militants were travelling near border with Afghanistan WASHINGTON/ISLAMABAD
Pm honours Arfa Karim with commemorative stamp Islamabad: Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani has approved a commemorative stamp in honour of Arfa Karim Randhawa, the youngest Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) in world, who passed away last week, Geo News reported. The stamp has been issued in honour of Arfa’s services to the nation. Born in 1995, Arfa died at the Combined Military Hospital (CMH) on January 14 at the age of 16. She suffered an epileptic fit in December 2011 that affected her brain and heart. She was in a coma for 26 days at the CMH before she passed away. In August 2005, Arfa was honoured by the government of Pakistan with the Fatima Jinnah Gold Medal in the field of Science and Technology. In 2006, she also participated in a Microsoft keynote session in the Tech-Ed Developers Conference held in Barcelona. The theme of the conference was “Get ahead of the game”. STAFF REPORT
militant who acted as a senior operations organiser for Al Qaeda was targeted and killed in one of two US drone strikes launched against targets inside Pakistan last week, a US official said. US and Pakistani sources told Reuters that the target of the attack was Aslam Awan, a Pakistani national from Abbottabad, where Osama bin Laden was killed last May by a US commando team. They said he was targeted in a strike by a US-operated drone on January 10 directed at what news reports said was a compound near the town of Miranshah in the North Waziristan Agency. That strike broke an undeclared eight-week hiatus in attacks by the armed, unmanned drones that patrol Pakistan’s tribal areas and are a key weapon in US President Barack Obama’s counter-terrorism strategy. The sources described Awan, who also was known by the nom-de-guerre Abdullah Khorasani, as a significant figure in the remaining core leadership of Al Qaeda, which US officials say has been sharply reduced by the drone campaign. Most of the drone attacks are conducted as part of a clandestine CIA operation. Pakistani officials could not confirm that Awan was killed in the drone attack,
but the US official said he was. One of the sources described Awan as an associate of Al Qaeda’s current chief of external operations, whose identity is known to intelligence officials but not to the general public. “Aslam Awan was a senior Al Qaeda external operations planner who was working on attacks against the West. His death reduces Al Qaeda’s thinning bench of another operative devoted to plotting the death of innocent civilians,” a US official said. Several previous alleged chiefs of external operations for Al Qaeda have been caught or killed in drone attacks or counter-terrorism operations, the most notorious being Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, alleged mastermind of the September 11, 2001 attacks on New York and Washington DC. Mohammed was captured and is being held by US authorities in the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba detention facility. Because their role in arranging operations involves interacting with militants in the field, external operations chiefs of Al Qaeda have found themselves more vulnerable to exposure and counter-attacks by security forces than the movement’s most senior leaders, who until bin Laden’s demise last year appeared to be able to move about the region and issue provocative audio and video messages with near-impunity. A Pakistani security source based in the country’s border region said that
Awan was the remaining member of an Al Qaeda cell Pakistani authorities have been trying to roll up since 2008. “We thought he was very close to Ayman al-Zawahiri,” the source said, referring to Al Qaeda’s current leader and bin Laden’s long-time deputy, a former Egyptian doctor. However, a US source said that American experts did not believe that Awan was particularly close to al-Zawahiri. The drone strike that targeted Awan was one of two such attacks last week, in what US sources indicated was a resumption of the US drone campaign following the eight-week pause. In the other drone strike, also in North Waziristan, a group of “foreign fighters” sympathetic to the Taliban and Al Qaeda, some of Uzbek ethnicity, were targeted on January 12. HIt NeaR boRdeR: The targeted militants were believed to be travelling, possibly in preparation for an operation near Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan, and some were injured or killed in the attack, the US source said. US officials said they could not confirm news reports, based on claims from Pakistani sources, that Hakimullah Mehsud, leader of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), was also killed in the June 12 attack. Pakistani and US sources said that Mehsud was not targeted in the drone strike, and one Pakistani source said: “He is alive. Hakimullah is alive.”
Four people kidnapped in Kalat QuETTA STAFF REPORT
Unidentified armed men injured a woman and kidnapped four people over a marital dispute in Kalat on Friday. Levies officials said that a Chappar-bound passenger van was coming from Kalat when armed men fired at it. As a result, a woman was injured and the driver was forced to stop the vehicle. Afterwards, the assailants ordered four men to come out from the van and drove them away to an unidentified location. The Levies Force reached the site and shifted the injured to nearby hospital and started a search operation. A case was registered against unidentified men.
Gas pipeline destroyed in dera Bugti QuETTA STAFF REPORT
A gas pipeline exploded in Sui Dera Bugti on Friday. Levies officials said that unidentified men attached explosives with a gas pipeline, measuring 16 inches in diameter in Pir Koh Gas field area, which went off with a huge blast damaging a large portion of the pipeline besides suspending gas supply to the Sui Purification Plant from Well Number 15 and 17. Law enforcement agencies reached the spot and cordoned off the area. A case was registered against unidentified men.
Assefa concerned over polio resurge ISLAMABAD GNI
Polio Eradication Ambassador Assefa Bhutto Zardari on Friday expressed concern over recent reports of polio incidents. In a meeting with Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) chairperson Farzana Raja, Assefa said that polio had been completely eliminated in other countries and reiterated her resolve to fulfill her mother Benazir Bhutto’s commitment to completely eradicate polio from Pakistan. Farzana briefed the ambassador on matters relating to polio eradication and the BISP’s role in this regard. She also briefed her about the future plans, fund raising measures and implementation issues being taken to eradicate polio. Farzana said that more than 300,000 children in Bajaur, Kurram and Khyber agencies of FATA had been administered polio drops by the BISP in coordination with FATA Health Directorate.
Bangladesh needs to be vigilant about hardliners in army: analysts MONITORING DESk A day after the army in Bangladesh said it had foiled a coup attempt, analysts told Voice of America the Muslim-majority country needs to stay vigilant about the presence of hardliners within the military. The army says that the plot to overthrow Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was led by around 16 serving and former military officers with “extreme religious views” who wanted to introduce Islamic law in the country. Dhaka University professor, Imtiaz
Ahmed, says reports of grievances in some elements of the military had been around in recent weeks. He says there is not much information available as yet, but praises the army’s handling of the “coup attempt.” “It will take some more time to understand what happened, but it was met very professionally,” he said. “There was no noise, it was low profile.” Political analysts say the alleged conspiracy was apparently mounted by mid ranking officers and may not represent a serious threat to the elected government. But questions are being raised
whether the plot had support from hardline Islamists. Since taking power after a landslide victory in 2009, Sheikh Hasina has angered Islamic groups, including the country’s most prominent religious party, the hardline Jamaat-e-Islami. Last year, her government faced protests after it made changes to make the country’s constitution more secular, although Islam was retained as the state religion. She has banned Islamic militant groups. Several senior leaders of the Jamaat-e-Islami have been put on trial for war crimes during the 1971 struggle that
led to the country’s independence from Pakistan. Sukh Deo Muni is an analyst at the Institute of South Asian Studies in Singapore. “There are hardliners within the army, the influence of the Islamists has not been dominant, but it has always been present,” said Muni. “No doubt some of the religious parties, Jamaat-eIslami particularly, are under pressure, so the possibility of they using their army connections to upset the government cannot be ruled out at all.” This is not the first time Sheikh
Hasina’s government has confronted unrest in the military. Soon after she took office, a revolt in the paramilitary forces swept through several towns and killed 70 people including 51 army officers. In recent months, she has warned that extreme groups are conspiring against her government, and asked people to be vigilant. Bangladesh has a history of violent coups and democracy was restored after a long spell of military rule in 1991. More recently, an army-backed interim government ruled the country for two years until the end of 2008.
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Govt to thwart efforts to derail gas disbursement plan ISLAMABAD AMER SIAL
NNOUNCI N G that additional 700 mmcfd gas will be inserted into the national transmission system by June, Petroleum and Natural Resources Minister Senator Dr Asim Hussain said on Friday that efforts of influential lobbies to derail the gas disbursement plan will be thwarted through strict implementation of policy and gas theft act. Holding a press conference after meeting an All Pakistan Textile Mills As-
Indian SC dismisses petition on army chief’s age NEW DELHI
sociation (APTMA) delegation, he said that a threeyear plan to overcome gas shortage would be unveiled next week. The minister said that the industrial sector in Punjab will start getting gas for at least three weekly days from Monday next week. Asim said that industrial units will be divided into four zones, adding that the present unconstrained gas demand stands at 6 bcfd while production was 4.2 bcfd but supply to domestic consumers would improve after the extreme cold spell was over. The minister said that the federal government had adopted the policy of open-
ness and provided realistic and objective presentation of facts regarding the gas crisis. Castigating the opposition’s clamour against gas shortage, he said it was not a time for confrontation and urged the opposition to provide workable solutions for overcoming the energy crisis. Asim said that measures on war-footing were being taken to bring down the percentage of Unaccounted-for-gas (UFG) losses in SNGPL and SSGC. The losses had been reduced from 12.5 percent to 11.2 percent and would be brought down to 7 percent, he said. The minister said that a single percent UFG
nA body seeks explanation on bill relating to eCP members ISLAMABAD
The Indian Supreme Court on Friday dismissed a petition seeking directions to the government to restore Army Chief General VK Singh’s date of birth as May 10, 1951, saying it was not maintainable under law. “In our view, the writ petition filed at the behest of an association is not maintainable. The writ petition is dismissed as not maintainable,” a bench headed by Chief Justice SH Kapadia said. “This is purely a service matter,” the court said. The bench was furious that the petition filed by the Grenadiers’ Association (Rohtak Chapter) annexed the opinions of former chief justices of India in the petition on the age row of the army chief, despite the former judges’ instructions that the opinions were not meant to be presented before the court. He directed the apex court registry not to accept any writ petitions in cases where opinions of former chief justices are annexed. General Singh himself has filed a petition before the Supreme Court seeking a direction to the government that his date of birth be treated as May 10, 1951 and not 1950.
The National Assembly Standing Committee on Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs on Friday asked the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) secretary and attorney general for an explanation over a bill introduced by the federal government to legalise actions of the chief election commissioner during the time when the ECP was incomplete. The parliamentary panel asked the chief law officer and ECP’s representative to appear in the next meeting and apprise committee members
about the 20th Amendment bill. “We have asked the government to give us details of Supreme Court orders referred in statement of objects and reasons of the bill as the basis for moving the constitutional amendment,” committee member Anusha Rehman said. The statements of objects and reasons of the bill had mentioned a SC judgment of April 25, 2011 wherein directions were given to the ECP and the federation for constitution of the commission in accordance with the amended provision of the constitution through the 18th Amendment. The government had proposed amendment in Article
ISLAMABAD While submitting its enquiry report before the Supreme Court on a contract awarded by Pakistan Railways (PR) for the purchase of spare parts, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) revealed that the Executive Committee of the Railways’ Board had illegally approved the deal with M/S Dalian for the maintenance of Chinese locomotives. According to the NAB report available with Pakistan Today, the deal was unnecessary because the spare parts purchased were not required, and were still lying in PR warehouses. The report said that from 2003 to 2007, the Railways
219 of the constitution that relates to “duties of the commission” through insertion of new proviso: “Provided always that till such time the members of the commission are appointed in accordance with article 218(2), the commissioner shall remain charged with the duties enumerated in paragraphs (a), (b) and (c) of this article.” The committee approved the bill that provides oath of office and terms of office including salary, allowances and privileges of ECP members, [The Members, Election Commission (Oath of office, term, salary, allowances, perks and privileges) Bill, 2011].
neurosurgeon’s absence claims toddler’s life sWat: The absence of a neurosurgeon at the Saidu Teaching Hospital claimed the life of a one-and-a-half-year-old child, whose parents awaited treatment for three hours on Friday before the death of their child. Reportedly, the child named Zakria, son of Javed Iqbal of Fatehpur, fell down from the roof of his house and received injuries on his head. His relatives rushed him to the hospital, where they learnt that the neurosurgeon Dr Liaquat seldom visits the hospital, and examines patients at his private clinic after 3pm. “I have been waiting for the doctor for some good three hours, but in vain. The doctor never showed up. As a result of the delay, the child died of his injuries,” said Hussain Ahmad, a relative of the child. The angry relatives protested against the misconduct and absence of doctors from duty, and appealed to the relevant authorities for taking stern action against the doctors responsible. When Dr Liaquat was contacted, he repudiated the charges and said that he was busy in prayers at the time the child was brought to the hospital. He claimed that he rushed to the operation theatre, but found the child already dead. He said the hospital staff tried to help, but a 30-feet fall from the roof was fatal for the child, and that any medical help could not save his life. HAROON SIRAj
PR spent money on useless spare parts still rusting in warehouses: nAB report STAFF REPORT
translates into Rs 2 billion per annum loss. During last year, the utilised recorded losses of Rs 25 billion forced the government to allow a massive tariff hike of 14 percent. Asim said that he would be visiting India on January 24 to discuss security and other technical issues on the TurkmenistanAfghanistan-PakistanIndia Gas Pipeline Project with his Indian counterpart. Regarding negotiations with Qatar for LNG supply, he said that the term sheet will be received from Qatar next week, after which process of finalisation of the agreement for imports will start.
procured a fleet of 69 locomotives manufactured by M/S Dalian Locomotives Works in China. The report added the manufacturer had provided spare parts for up to three years. However, by early 2009, most of these locomotives developed major faults, and inflicted huge losses on the department. The report stated that the PR board executive committee considered the maintenance contract for the purchase of spare parts on August 17, 2009. The report pointed out that out of 586 items on average the prices of 276 items were five times higher, while 340 items were almost twice the accepted PR rates. “Subsequently, under the maintenance contract, almost
80 percent of PR maintenance budget was released to M/S Dalian, leaving no money for the purchase of spare parts, repair and maintenance of other PR locomotives. The report said that due to this contract, the whole fleet of PR locomotives went out of order, as there was no budget left for purchasing spare parts, and repairing the Chinese-made and other locomotives of the Railways. The report added that the former PR general manager (Operations) had admitted that the maintenance contract of $15.2 millions had failed to produce any results. The report added that the enquiry into the matter was continuing and would be completed soon.
KARACHI: Relatives of missing persons protest for their recovery outside Karachi Press Club on Friday. online
Taliban corpses’ desecration video ignites militants kABuL REuTERS
Taliban fighters in Afghanistan have been enraged by a video which shows US marines urinating on three corpses, believed to be insurgents, and some say they do not understand their leadership’s relatively measured response to the tape. News of the clip spread fast across Afghanistan, even though only a minority of people have electricity, and the internet is restricted to a tiny
urban elite. Radio can reach remote militants and villagers, and mobile phones are used by many Afghans on both sides of the war for storing and sharing videos even in remote areas with little communications infrastructure. “I heard from some friends about this shameful act of the US forces but could not see it at first,” said one militant who called himself Qari Babar, explaining that a Pashto-language radio broadcast first alerted him to the tape’s existence. The video, posted on
YouTube and other websites, shows four Marines in camouflage combat uniforms urinating on three corpses. One of them jokes: “Have a nice day, buddy.” Another makes a lewd joke. Afghan President Hamid Karzai has condemned the video, describing the men’s actions as “inhuman” and calling for an investigation. United States and NATO military commanders condemned the actions of the men, and Pentagon has acted quickly to respond to the video, in a bid to limit the fallout.
no legal cover for 2008 polls Continued fRom page 1 However, the court accepted the plea of National Assembly Standing Committee on Law and Justice Chairperson Naseem Chaudhry to give time for the validation of the status of 28 parliamentarians, who were elected through by-elections when the ECP was incomplete under the provisions of the 18th Amendment. During the hearing, the court was told that the bill for the 20th Amendment to the constitution was moved in parliament, therefore time may be granted to validate the by-polls held so far. The Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) said in a press release on Friday that the Supreme Court ruled that byelections could not be held on
the vacant seats in the National Assembly and the provincial assemblies because the electoral roll was “bogus” and “unverified”. However, it added, the same voter lists were used in the 2008 general elections to elect all other members of the assemblies. FAFEN believed that such rulings from the Supreme Court did not augur well for the independence of the ECP, especially in an election year. It said until the new electoral roll was finalised, the current rolls could not and should not be suspended by the Supreme Court, as was clear from the statutes governing the electoral rolls. As the government moved the 20th Amendment bill in the National Assembly to give legal
cover to the election of the 28 parliamentarians, questions on the legality of the 2008 general elections will continue to be raised. But the government did not choose to ‘legalise’ the 2008 general elections in the 20th Amendment. When asked about the legality of the 2008 general elections in the light of the apex court decision, Justice (r) Saeed-uz-Zaman Siddiqui said that during the proceedings, no one raised questions on the legality of the 2008 general elections, nor did the SC pass any order in this regard. However, he cautioned that somebody could approach the SC to get the general elections declared null and void as they were also held on the bogus voter lists.
UK played major role in easing Pakistan-US tensions ISLAMABAD SHAIQ HuSSAIN
The United Kingdom (UK) has played a key role in the thaw in relations between Pakistan and the United States, two estranged allies in the global counterterrorism campaign, who are now set to resume their bilateral ties to the fullest with Islamabad about to restore supplies for US-led foreign troops in Afghanistan that were suspended in the aftermath of NATO air strikes on two Pakistani border checkposts in November last year. Pakistan is likely to resume the suspended NATO supplies in the next few
days after an approval of a resolution by the joint session of parliament, which is being convened within days, to ratify the recommendations of the Parliamentary Committee on National Security (PCNS) on review of relations between Islamabad and Washington that became strained after the NATO air strikes. “This resolution will pave the way towards the resumption of ties with the United States and also lead to the restoration of suspended NATO supplies,” said a Pakistani diplomat here on Friday, seeking anonymity. However, he said a lot
of effort had been made by Washington to normalise ties with Islamabad, adding that the sole world superpower had also involved another important ally, Britain, which had good relations with Pakistan, as well to iron out differences with Islamabad. “The UK played a key role in bringing closer the two estranged allies and both Islamabad and Washington are now willing to work together to end their differences and move towards normalisation of relations,” he said. He said the UK would also play a role of guarantor that the US would fulfil its commitment about not
violating Pakistan’s sovereignty in future. He said now that Islamabad and Washington were most likely to do away with their differences, the important visit of US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Marc Grossman to Pakistan was likely to take place in the next two weeks to give final shape to the new ‘terms of engagement’ between the two states. Pakistan refused to host the special US envoy earlier this month on the grounds that first Islamabad would complete its homework for future course of action regarding ties with the US.
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NADRA has sped up work on new electoral rolls, Malik tells Senate ISLAMABAD
N T E R I O R Minister Rehman Malik told the Senate on Friday that on the directions of the Supreme Court, the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) had speeded up the process of completing new electoral rolls and had also recruited additional temporary staff for the purpose. During the Question Hour at the Upper House, Malik said a project had been launched for the computerisation of the record of police stations. He said initially the project had been launched in 23 districts of the country and would be extended to the entire country in a phased manner. He said the project had already been implemented in the federal capital and software had been developed for availability of first information reports (FIRs) both in English and Urdu. Malik said the government was deploying all the necessary tools in coordination with other countries to curb human trafficking. He said because of
these efforts, 800 human traffickers were arrested in 2011, 1,779 in 2010 and 1,755 in 2009. In a written reply, the minister said 12 Pakistanis were killed while entering Europe illegally via Turkey during April 2010 and September 2011. The House was told that new aircraft on lease would be inducted into the fleet of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) by the end of February, which would help improve the efficiency of the national flag-carrier. Defence Minister Chaudhary Ahmad Mukhtar told the House in response to a question that the availability of new aircraft would help resume flight operations to and from dysfunctional airports. He said the replacement of aging fleet with new aircraft would also reduce the losses incurred by PIA. He pointed out that the old aircraft consumed more fuel and their maintenance had substantial costs. He said there were 26 operational airports in the country, while seven had been shut down on account of insufficient traffic load. He said further that a proposal to start flights to Kashgar from Islamabad or Skardu was under consid-
eration. Defending the increase in PIA airfare, he said it was necessitated by a surge in the prices of petroleum products. Railways Minister Ghulam Ahmad Bilour said Pakistan Railways must get 400 locomotives to become a profit-
making entity. “I will be ready to be dragged by a rope around my neck if Railways runs into losses after the provision of 400 locomotives,” he said. The Finance Ministry had arranged Rs 6.1 billion from banks as part of efforts to revamp Pakistan Railways, he added. He said 20 locomotives had recently been rehabilitated, while 100 more would be rehabilitated by the end of the year. Bilour said Pakistan Railways has 494 diesel electric locomotives of various horsepowers, and a fleet of 1,761 passenger coaches and 17,698 goods wagons. Out of 494 locomotives, 57 are temporarily deleted, 231 were ineffective because of unavailability of imported spare parts in back shops and 60 were under maintenance in sheds. The remaining 146 locomotives were available for passenger, freight, departmental and shunting services, he added. In a written reply, Information Minister Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan told the House that a transmitter had been installed in the new premises of Radio Pakistan Turbat. She said since it was a 15-year-old transmitter, it may require modification and an upgrade.
Gang-raped woman gives birth to baby girl PESHAWAR STAFF REPORT
Uzma Ayub, a gang-rape victim, gave birth to a baby girl at a local hospital in Peshawar at 11.45pm on Thursday night, sources told Pakistan Today. The girl’s mother Bilqees Begum told reporters that Uzma had gone into labour in the evening and was rushed to the hospital, where she gave birth to the child after approximately six hours. Both mother and child are reportedly in stable condition. Bilqees said the chairwoman of a local non-government women rights organisation had taken the baby away from the hospital. Uzma’s case was a high profile one because of the involvement of local police officials in her kidnapping and repeated gang-rape for a whole year. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Ameer Haider Hoti had ordered the formation of an enquiry committee soon after news of the atrocity first broke. In the enquiry report, DNA testing of the accused police officials and others involved in the case was recommended after the birth of the child, and later the Peshawar High Court (PHC) had also taken suo motu notice in the murder case of the victim’s brother, who was shot dead on December 9, 2011 on the premises of court in Karak in the presence of police officials.
musharraf not seeking US help to avoid arrest: State dept WASHINGTON INP
QuETTA: A boy warms his hands on Friday as the provincial capital is facing a spell of cold weather. online
The United States has denied reports that former president General (r) Pervez Musharraf had sought a meeting with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton over his return to Pakistan. State Department Spokesperson Victoria Nuland said on Thursday that Musharraf was not asking for favours from US officials to avoid arrest in Pakistan. Musharraf had announced in a telephonic address to a public gathering in Karachi that he was planning to return to Pakistan in the last week of January. Nuland said the issue of Musharraf’s return was an internal matter of Pakistan. “The US wants a relationship with Pakistan that is broad and deep, and the two sides work together across the range of issues, including economic things, development things, and the full range of security issues,” she said, adding that the two countries had a lot to do together across the range of concerns. “Victoria, you’re saying it should be broad. So are you suggesting right at the present time it is not broad and comprehensive, and it is only restricted to security measures,” asked a journalist present at the briefing.
‘the general’ busted! kARACHI AFP
Police have arrested a man who spent three years posing as a general to grab land and solicit favours from the government, police officials said Friday. Maqsood Shah, 52, was detained on Thursday near an army area in eastern Karachi as he strolled in uniform to meet a government official in order to clinch approval for an illegal land transfer, officials said. “We have arrested a man who runs a private hospital but has been successfully pretending to be a lieutenant general for three years to grab land and garner undue favours,” senior police official Ghulam Subhani told AFP. Shah was detained after allegedly threatening the official in question,
who subsequently tipped off police. “We checked him out to confirm that he was a fake and arrested him outside the cantonment,” Subhani said. “He is the brother of a retired army colonel who is abroad. We found fake military gear, an AK-47 rifle and a Blackberry from his house.” Police accused Shah of ringing up several provincial cabinet ministers and pretending to be a general in order to solicit “undue favours”. He even attended the funeral of influential local politician Pir Pagara, paying his respects in uniform without being detected. The police said he would be put on trial and faced a maximum sentence of five years if found guilty of fraud. A military spokesman said he had no comment.
KARACHI: Policemen present Maqsood Shah, arrested for posing as an army general, to media at a police station. AFP
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Snap polls not expected soon but situation may change, says Shujaat
FAISALABAD: Firefighters make efforts to extinguish a fire in the City Mall Mega Mart Plaza at D-Ground on Friday. inP
Rabbani seeks explanation for presence of foreign spies in Pakistan ISLAMABAD
H E disclosure about the presence of Norwegian intelligence operatives in Pakistan resounded in the Senate on Friday as Parliamentary Committee on National Security Chairman Raza Rabbani described the presence of operatives of spying agencies from a number of countries in Pakistan as “unusual”. Speaking on a point of order in the Upper House of parliament, Rabbani asked the government to explain if it was on a reciprocal basis or otherwise. He said he was surprised to learn that spy operatives from a number of countries were present in Pakistan. However, responding to his concerns, Interior Minister Rehman Malik said it was for the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and the Intelligence Bureau (IB) to keep an eye on foreign spies. He said since both of the organisations were under the control
of the prime minister, he would get information and share it with the House. He said further that Norwegian agents were operating in Pakistan without the government’s permission.
92% of tribal people do not pay electricity bills PesHaWaR: While the country is suffering from persistent power outages due to a circular debt of hundreds of billions of rupees, only a few are paying electricity bills in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). Sources in the Tribal Areas Electricity Supply Company (TESCO) told that the federal government provides an annual power subsidy of Rs 102 billion to FATA. They said that Rs 17 billion still remained in outstanding bills against domestic consumers in the tribal belt. Sources said that 92 percent of the tribal people do not pay electricity bills, and when their connection is cut off, they take up arms and forcibly get the supply line restored. Officials added that government departments in the tribal belt had Rs 920 million against them in outstanding dues. INP
ISLAMABAD: A Pakistan Navy doctor checks patients at a free medical camp at Gwadar. The camp extended medical facility to more than 6,000 low income people suffering from various ailments. PR
He also told the House that some operatives of foreign spying agencies, including several nationals of Scandinavian countries, had been arrested from Balochistan, but shared no further details. He said vigilance in the province had been increased to curb the movement of foreign nationals, adding that a special squad had been deployed to Dera Ghazi Khan and Dera Ismail Khan on the way leading to Balochistan. He said no foreign national could move towards these areas without prior approval of the government. According to the Order of the Day, the law minister was to move “The Delimitation of Constituencies (Amendment) Bill of 2011” to amend the Delimitation of Constituencies Act of 1974, already passed by the National Assembly with certain amendments, but the bill instead had to be referred to the committee concerned after the Leader of the House Syed Nayyar Hussain Bokhari pointed out a flaw in it. At the very outset of the proceedings, Senate Chairman Farooq Naek expressed his anger over the absence of the
ministers concerned from the House, saying this had become a routine practice. This also prompted a treasury senator to point out that after the 18th Amendment, it was mandatory for the ministers to be present during the Senate and National Assembly sessions. The chairman adjourned the House for 15 minutes, saying he would give a ruling if the ministers did not come. However, three ministers were present in the House when it met after the short break. The sitting was marked by low attendance, with only eight senators present when the proceedings began and 28 present when the House adjourned. Standing Committee on Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Chairman Senator Muhammad Kazim Khan presented a report on the Special Economic Zones Bill of 2010. Standing Committee on Water and Power Chairman Senator Mir Lashkari Raisani also presented a report of the committee on “The Private Power and Infrastructure Board Bill of 2011”.
In the present scenario, early general elections are not expected but the possibility of mid-term elections could not be ruled out, Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) President Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain said on Friday. He was talking to journalists after condoling Pakistan Muslim LeagueFunctional (PML-F) chief Pir Pagara’s death at Pir Jo Goth. Shujaat said that whenever the next general elections were held, the PML-Q would enter into seat adjustment with the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP). He said that Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) MNAs, who avoided accompanying the PM to the Supreme Court, attended the president’s dinner. The PML-Q president said that his party did not fear the Pakistan Tehreek-eInsaaf’s (PTI) increasing popularity, as the PML-Q was a stable party and the masses would vote for it. He said that it was a good sign that new people were joining politics but rejected reports that the PML-Q was holding secret talks with the PTI. Shujaat said that PML-N President Nawaz Sharif was never been sincere in uniting all Muslim League factions. To a question about President Asif Ali Zardari’s Swiss accounts, he said that the matter was sub judice and he would not comment on it. The PML-Q president said that former president General (r) Pervez Musharraf was not coming back. “We hope that he will not be arrested on his return,” he said.
dI Khan couple publicly lashed for marrying by choice PAHARPuR INP
The bitter memories of the lashing of a young girl by the Taliban in Swat retuned to haunt the country as another case of a young couple being lashed came to the fore in the Paharpur area of Dera Ismail Khan. According to information gathered by INP on Friday, the incident occurred three days ago in the Kacha Hazara North area of Paharpur, where a local panchayat headed by former union council nazim Makhdoom Aun Shah ordered the lashing of a young couple for getting married by their own choice. The couple was first tied up with ropes and then ‘punished’ with 60 lashes each in the presence of a large crowd, who played the role
of silent spectators. Iqbal, the brother of the accused Zafar, could not control himself and tried to intervene but he too was thrashed by the panchayat men and his teeth and nose were broken in the process. Seeing the fate of Iqbal, no one in the crowd dared to intervene despite the painful cries of the couple for help. The condition of the couple deteriorated after the brutal lashing and both were moved to an unknown location by the panchayat men. The socalled panchayat had accused the girl of eloping with Zafar and getting married despite the ‘fact’ that she had been ‘married’ to another man as a child. The panchayat tried to hush up the matter but eventually it became public after three days. Police have so far not acted against the culprits.
THESE TWO WERE FIGHTING! A policeman stands guard over two roosters at Hyderabad’s Pinyari Police Station after they were seized in a raid on a cockfight on Friday. online
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Out-of-order water tankers disrupt water supply PAGe 08
Fake gold sellers and policemen arrested ISLAMABAD STAFF REPORT
The police on Friday claimed to have busted two gangs. One of the gangs was involved in selling fake gold, while the other was looting money from people while pretending to be policemen. According to a police spokesman, a gang of women was busted in the Bara Kahu Police Station precincts, which used to sell fake gold ornaments to people. He said that the arrests of the women were made upon the complaint of Zahid Mehmud, one of the victims of the scam. The arrested women were identified as Shazia Noreen and Sumera Sadiq. During the preliminary investigation, they confessed to selling fake gold to several persons and minting money from them. The police have also recovered fake gold from them and efforts were underway to arrest their other accomplices. Meanwhile, two persons, Hasnain Haider and Jameel, were arrested in the Industrial Area Police Station precincts. The arrested were involved in minting money from the people after portraying themselves as policemen. The fake cops used to stop people, introduce themselves as policemen and take money from them during physical search or under other pretexts. The accused have confessed to the crimes, including taking money from a person, Sarfaraz Khan in I-8 Markaz, a few days ago.
ISLAMABAD: A beautiful view of the sunset in the capital on Friday. STAFF PHoTo
noise pollution reaches alarming level RaWalPINdI: The problem of noise pollution in Rawalpindi is aggravating day by day as traffic rush and lack of management on the part of the authorities concerned reflected the gravity of the hazard on the roads and markets of the city. The population of the city is increasing at a rapid rate because every year a large number of people from all over the country arrive in the twin cities either for jobs or to get education, which has multiplied the burden on roads and resulted in increase noise pollution. According to a survey conducted by Pakistan Today, the highest noise pollution was recorded near the Pirwadhai General Bus Terminal, which is the hub of intercity and intra city traffic, where the noise pollution is extremely higher than the other parts of the city. The second highest noisy location was spotted near Churr Chowk on Peshawar Road in Rawalpindi. The situation at Faizabad is also the same where acute noise pollution was observed because of the traffic rush and sounds created by the vendors and stall holders. The environmentalists in the city have urged the law enforcement agencies and regulatory bodies to pay attention to the problem and bring down the noise pollution level for the betterment of the residents of the city as well as the nearby areas. STAFF REPORT
ICt offices shifted to Sector G-11/4 Islamabad: The ICT administration offices have been shifted from F/8 Markaz to Sector G-11/4. The offices of the chief commissioner, deputy commissioner of Islamabad, additional deputy commissioner (G), assistant commissioners, magistrates, Islamabad Transport Authority secretary, Local Government and Rural Development Department, have been shifted to the new building in Mauve Area, G-11/4. In the second phase, the office of the inspector general of police and the SSP Islamabad will also be shifted to Sector G/11. STAFF REPORT
University employees to get enhanced salaries ISLAMABAD
FTER the assurance by the Ministry of Finance for releasing funds to the Higher Education Commission (HEC) for the public sector universities, the HEC has directed all the varsities to start paying enhanced salaries to their employees, which the government had announced during the last two years. “The Ministry of Finance has promised to release Rs 4.613 billion to the HEC in fourth quarter. After this assurance, we have directed to all public sector universities to pay enhanced salaries to their employees, from January 1, 2012,” said HEC Executive Director Dr Sohil Naqvi on Friday.
It is relevant to note that the government was not paying increased salaries to the university employees for the last one year, which it had pledged during the 2010 and 2011. In 2010, the government announced 50 percent raise in the salary of the universities employees but it was halted next year, while citing that it was just a one-time raise. Similarly, the employees are also not being paid 15 percent increase pledged by the government in the current fiscal year budget. Dr Naqvi said the now the universities would give both 50 percent and 15 enhanced salaries to their employees from January 1, 2012. Talking about the World Bank’s pledge for giving US $300 to the HEC, Dr Naqvi said the WB would release the
amount through the Ministry of Finance. He said during the last year, an agreement was inked between Economic Affairs Division Secretary Dr Waqar Masood Khan and WB for $300 grant for Pakistan’s higher education Sector. The WB would release said amount under its Tertiary Education Support Programme in three instalments, he added. A senior official of HEC said the WB grant would be spent on various programmes to improve higher education sector, including faculty development; quality assurance; research, innovation and entrepreneurship; improving equitable access; excellence in leadership governance and management; and financial management and sustainability.
Court seeks report on torture of prisoner ISLAMABAD STAFF REPORT
A local court on Friday sought report from the jail superintendent on a petition, seeking action against the officials of Adiyala Jail for beating the undertrial prisoners. Five under-trial prisoners of Adiyala Jail including Naeem Iqbal, Asad Raza, Arslan Shah, Munir Ahmad and Waheed filed an application before the court of Additional Sessions Judge Yar Muhammad Gondal, alleging that Assistant Superintendent Jail Mr Mazhar had thrashed them inhumanely and was continuously threatening them. They alleged that some days ago, some prisoners were sitting in the jail premises as they have to appear before the court after a short time. “Mazhar came towards us while he was intoxicated and started beating the prisoners along with his subordinates,” they stated in their application. The prisoners further alleged that Mazhar also threatened them to face dire consequences, if they (prisoners) tried to take any legal action against him. They appealed the court to direct the officials concerned to ensure safe environment for the inmates.
Gambler goes wild after suffering loss g
Business partner accuses police constable of snatching his car, bike ISLAMABAD STAFF REPORT
After facing loss in the illegal business of ‘parchi juwa’ (a form of gambling), a constable of Islamabad police snatched his partner’s car and motorcycle, despite agreeing to share the loss and profit equally. The incident came into light on Friday when Murad Ali and his wife visited SP City office and reported that Constable Irfan Mahmood invested Rs
0.2 million in 2008 with them for running parchi juwa in F/10 Markaz, but he snatched their car and motorcycle and after facing loss in the business. The said constable is currently deputed at Kohsar Police Station. Parchi juwa is a gambling providing the people an opportunity to try their luck either to become millionaire or empty pocket through prize bonds numbers. In their application, the couple contended that initially their business run well and they earned handsome profit,
but they gradually suffered loss amounting to Rs 0.5 million. “Now, our partner started demanding return of Rs 0.2 million and upon he snatched their cab bearing number VRC 2577 and a motorcycle refusal.” The couple further maintained that the said police official was threatening them of dire consequences and demanded registration of FIR against the accused. The SP City Office marked the Murad’s application to DSP City for
conducting an inquiry. When contacted, the said constable said, “Yes, I impounded the car and motorcycle of Murad. I had given them a loan of Rs 0.2 million as he was facing loss in their business. When I asked him to return the money, he along with his wife started visiting police officers, seeking registration of case against me.” When asked why he invested for illegal activity, the cop innocently said that he was not aware the nature of business.
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Out-of-order water tankers disrupt water supply
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CdA’s negligence in repair causing inconvenience to residents and financial loss to the authority
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HE Capital Development Authority (CDA) has blamed load-shedding for the delay in water supply to the residents, however Pakistan Today has learnt that the civic body has been negligent in the repair of water tankers, a great number of which are out of order now, resulting in slow waters supply through tankers. The water supply directorate and finance wing have paid no heed to the required repair work of the water tankers, causing a loss of millions of rupees to CDA, which is now mulling to sell its precious property to overcome the financial crisis. According to some CDA officials, besides trying to open new doors for earning revenue, the authority should also think about the assets which have been shoved away in the garages. In the CDA office situated in sector G/10, about 13 water tankers have been standing dysfunctional and some have also been standing at the CDA Machinery Pool Organisation (MPO). “The price of each tanker is in millions but they are now out of order because the finance wing did not release funds for their repair and in addition, the water supply directorate high-ups also seem reluctant to put pressure for release of funds in order to repair the out of order water tankers or to buy new ones,” said a senior CDA official, seeking anonymity. He said that the CDA officials were aware of the problems being caused to the people, yet they were not improving the situation. After taking charge, New CDA Chairman Engineer Farkhand Iqbal had acknowledged the presence of corruption in the organisation, promising to wipe out the corrupt elements and putting the authority’s business on track, the CDA official said, adding that the chairman should also take notice of the large number of water tankers standing and the authorities’ negligence in this regard. He said that the CDA had also decided to auction the out of order water tankers to buy new ones because it was more expensive to repair these
tankers than to purchase new ones. He pointed out that timely repair was necessary for keeping the tankers in operation, adding that the average life of the water tankers was 10 years and a majority of them were past their prime. He said that the condition of tankers currently in use was also very poor, therefore the authorities needed to look into the matter urgently to prevent further loss to CDA. He said that the laxity shown by the civic body was also a cause of inconvenience to the residents of Islamabad, particularly in G and I sectors, which have been facing an acute water shortage for several months and have no choice but to seek help from these tankers and sole reliance on the water tankers often means prolonged waits for water supply. The CDA water tankers with leaking pipes were also causing a huge loss of water and mocking the authority’s slogan for water preservation. Pakistan Today learnt that hundreds of people wait for the tankers to fill water each morning as
early as 4am and register their complaints at the CDA’s desk set up in the office, while several others lodge their complaints over telephone. However, no relief has been granted to the residents so far. “We have to face many problems due to the poor service of water suppliers and leaked pipes of most of the tankers,” said Mustafa Qureshi, a resident of G/10-4. The residents said that the CDA’s water tanker service was inefficient. “One would be lucky if the tanker arrived by late evening,” said Amjad, a resident of I/10 Sector. “Most of the CDA water tankers are in poor condition with their worn out pipes that not only fill the water tanks of the residents but also wash their homes. The water gushing out from several points of pipes looks like a fountain, which waters everything that comes in the way to the water tank,” said Hamid Agha, a citizen. The Water Supply director was unavailable to comment on the issue.
COLLeGeS / UnIVerSItIeS InternAtIOnAL ISLAmIC UnIVerSIty 9260765 BAhrIA UnIVerSIty 9260002 nUmL 9257677 qUAId-e-AzAm UnIVerSIty 90642098 ArId AGrICULtUre UnIVerSIty 9290151 FJwU 9273235 rIPhA InternAtIOnAL UnIVerSIty 111510510 nCA rAwALPIndI 5770423 PUnJAB LAw COLLeGe 4421347
dAte: JAn 26 — 29, 2012 VenUe: nUSt, h12 OPPOSIte tO POLICe LIne
dAte: JAn 09 — 16, 2012 VenUe: nAtIOnAL Centre FOr PhySIC
After two highly successful Intra-nUSt episodes, nUSt now invites you to its first ever All Pakistan event- nUmUn 2012. this January, we'd like to welcome you here at h-12 and change all that you know about this place for the better.
Organised by Centres of excellence in Science and Applied technologies, Islamabad. In the last eight conferences more than eleven hundred papers have been presented and more than four thousand participants attended the conference. It is the largest scientific event in Pakistan which is held regularly.
dAte And tIme: eVery FrIdAy 6:30-7:30Pm VenUe: KhAAS Art GALLery ISLAmABAd Capoeira is an Afro-Brazilian martial art that combines elements of dancing, ritual combat & music in a unique synthesis of self defense and rhythm.
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Beaconhouse launches fun gala with learing activities ISLAMABAD STAFF REPORT
The Beaconhouse School System on Friday organised a Fun Gala with learning activities at its primary branch in F/7. The activities included minute to win it games, face painting, WWF stalls and others. “We began the New Year with fun with learning activities. We have proudly registered our branch as Green School with WWF. The registration is valid for one year and it includes many activities which will encourage children to think positively about conservation of wild life and natural resources.” said a press release. During the gala, the school presented displayed recycled waste materials where children made pencil holders, parakeets, flowers and borders under supervision of their Art teacher. The Motorway police presented media presentation on road safety and conducted a quiz. They also awarded gift hampers.
Patients suffer as doctors continue strike ISLAMABAD ONLINE
The authorities of two major Islamabad hospitals have turned a blind eye to the difficulties faced by the patients who come to these hospitals from far flung areas as the doctors continued their strike for the 20th day on Friday. The Joint Action Committee (JAC) of federal hospitals is on strike against the proposed Health Personnel Scale (HPS), leaving the Outdoor Patient Departments (OPD) of hospitals ineffective. As a result, a large number of PIMS and Polyclinic patients were suffering from negligence. The patients, including children, women and senior citizens are searching for doctors. “My grand son got a chest infection. I went twice to PIMS and once to Polyclinic but the hospital staff refused to facilitate me due to the closure of the OPD,” said Sadiqa who had come from Noor pur Shahan. A few patients were seen using the reference of influential people to receive immediate. A majority of the patients were seen sitting there unattended to. The administration has, in a show of inflexibility, refused to meet the demands of those medical and non-medical staff who refused to opt for the HPS scheme. The patients are forced to go to other hospitals and receive costly treatment. “My father had a serious accident a couple of weeks ago and lost his right leg, he is fighting the battle of life and death in a PIMS medical ward but there are no nurses to look after him properly,” said Nadeem Asghar who came from Layya. The patients especially those who could not afford treatment from private health clinics said if the authorities concerned did not pay the attention to the issue, the situation could get worse and the patients would suffer much more.
A teacher and students play during fun gala at Beaconhouse. STAFF PHoTo
A Motorway police officer gives presentation on road safety at the fun gala. STAFF PHoTo
OverburDeNeD lOwer juDICIAry
Capital courts get six new judges ISLAMABAD SALMAN ABBAS
EEPING in view the troubles being faced by litigants, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) have issued notices for the appointment of six new judges in the lower courts of the capital city. However, sources in the lower courts said all of sudden notification did not allow them even to make proper sitting arrangements for the new judges. According to the sources in district courts, the judges may take the charge of their seats today (Saturday). Four of the new judges include Acting Civil Judge Abdul Ghafoor and civil judges Nasarun Minallah, Muhammad Shabbir and Amir Aziz belong to Balochistan, while the remaining two civil judges Muhammad Shakeel and Rasool Bakhsh are from Sindh. The courtrooms for the new appointees have been established in the offices which were previously used by Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) officials including chief commissioner, deputy commissioner and additional
commissioners. Now, the officials of ICT have been shifted in their new building in Sector G/11. “We have not even bought new chairs for the judges, and now we will arrange the chairs from the office bearers of bar association as they had taken away some of our chairs during their functions,” said an official of the district courts, who wished not to be named. Another official told Pakistan Today that the lower courts had been divided into two zones ‘East and West’. “Fourteen judges are currently available to deal with the cases of West Zone alone, but at least 25 judges each are required in both divisions so the appointment of six judges for East zone is a way forward to reduce the burden of cases,” he pointed out. The official said non-availability of proper and enough space for the judges was also considered as one of the main reason in delay in appointment of the new judges. He said currently, each judge was dealing with more than 200 cases on daily basis due to which many of the cases remain unheard. He said thousands of cases were pending before the lower courts, adding that in
many cases, the IHC also directed its cases to the lower court. “Now the list of East division would be sent to the new judges and they will deal with all the cases of said zone,” he said. The new building of lower courts houses the Islamabad High Court (IHC) while the authorities concerned have yet to establish a new building for the IHC. The building of the district courts is situated in sector F/8 which is not proper place for the courts as shops are being used their as court rooms. Lawyers’ community has also expressed their concern on delay in shifting of lower courts to the new building. District Court Bar Association Secretary General Arbab Gujjar told Pakistan Today that the construction work on new building for IHC had not been started yet and it seemed that it would take at least four to five years in shifting of lower courts to the new building. However, the staffers of the lower courts told this scribe that the appointment of new judges would reduce the sufferings of litigants as well as of the judges.
In order to mitigate the energy crisis and adopting alternate resources for energy, the Punjab government has started taking steps to promote bio-gas technology scheme in the province. On the instructions of Chief Minister Punjab Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif, under this scheme, financial assistance of Rs. 50,000 would be provided to 10 applicants in each who will be interested in getting constructed and installed bio-gas plant in the rural areas where Sui gas facility is not available. In Rawalpindi, balloting was held in the office of District Officer Coordination (DOC) Rawalpindi to announce ten successful applicants for bio-gas plants in the presence of the applicants and members of the balloting committee. Secretary Agriculture Punjab Arif Nadeem constituted a five member committee in each district of the province headed by concerned DCO and District Information Officer, Agriculture Engineer, District Officer (Livestock) and Assistant Agriculture Engineer (field) as its members for the purpose of transparent balloting in the presence of applicants for bio-gas plants.
nLA employees get pension cheques ISLAMABAD ONLINE
Free puppet show on 23rd ISLAMABAD STAFF REPORT
Pakistan National Council of the Arts (PNCA) has scheduled a free puppet show on January 23 at the National Art Gallery. According to a press release issued here Friday, the National Puppet Theatre will present folk tales and skits to provide entertainment and education about social problems like health, education and environment etc. Children along with their parents are invited to see the show. The puppet show will be presented every Monday at the same venue and time.
Punjab govt to promote bio-gas technology
ISLAMABAD: National Highway and Motorway IG Wajid Ali Khan Durrani speaks during the DIGs’ conference. STAFF PHoTo
Federal Minister for Culture and Heritage Samina Khalid Ghurki has said the democratic governments always took steps for the welfare of the masses and to provide them with basic commodities of life. The federal minister stated this during a pension cheque-distribution ceremony among 23 retired employees of National Linguistic Authority (Muqtadera Quomi Zuban) here on Friday. She said the government was providing every possible relief to the people of the country. She said the welfare of intellectuals was responsibility of the state as such people were a precious asset to the country. She said Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani took special interest in this issue and credit went to him for providing money for the welfare of these people. She said though natural calamities badly affected the performance of the government, it was committed to the welfare of the people. She said the government would support the legislation for the welfare of intellectuals. Funds for the payment of pension to the employees of NLA were issed on the directives of Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani and order of the Supreme Court of Pakistan.
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Saturday, 21 January, 2012
nFSA releases rs 47m to CdA for lab building ISLAMABAD APP
ISLAMABAD: A gas metre of a private hotel installed by the authorities in the middle of a footpath, creating problem for pedestrians at G-7/1, TNT Centre. STAFF PHoTo
Recognition of parliament’s supremacy necessary: seminar ISLAMABAD STAFF REPORT
HE leftists and progressive nationalists warned on Friday that the edifice of parliamentary democracy faced an existential threat and without a robust and uninterrupted political process, the state and society would not be able to survive the ongoing crisis. They were speaking at a seminar entitled ‘Democracy Besieged’, organised by leftists and progressive nationalists at the National Press Club. The seminar was attended by a large number of political workers, students, intellectuals and trade unionists. They passed a unanimous resolution demanding that the higher judiciary and military establishment recognise the supremacy of the parliament and refrain from any steps
that would unhinge the political process. IA Rahman of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) said that in the recent months, a new power game had taken shape in which the military establishment and the superior judiciary were seeking to emasculate the parliament, with the tacit support of the corporate media. The rhetoric of ‘corruption’, ‘sovereignty’ and ‘rule of law’ was being employed to delegitimise the elected regime, with a host of politically motivated court cases, including NRO and memogate, to exert pressure. Rahman said that the parliament was being exclusively blamed for the persistence and worsening of longterm structural problems of energy, economic hardships and the deteriorating quality of public services. The implication of it was that the vast majority
of the Pakistani people wanted an end to the current democratic government, for ‘clean’ and ‘efficient’ alternatives. In fact the public discourse was being manipulated and hard-won political freedoms were in the danger of being subverted, he added. Noted scholar and analyst Dr Ayesha Siddiqa said that Pakistan faced a number of potential futures depending on whether the political process was allowed to thrive or was suffocated. She said that the power of the military establishment could only be gradually reduced if diversity was promoted through a representative parliament and other institutions such as the media and the educational institutions. For this to happen, all political parties must develop a consensus that relations with the neighbouring countries must be normalised and the patronage of the religious mili-
tancy must stop, she added. Aasim Sajjad of the Worker’s Party said that the backdrop for the restoration of democracy was a street movement featuring the Supreme Court chief justice and rhetoric that proclaimed the end of the ‘doctrine of necessity’. However, he noted, that the subsequent developments have indicated that the superior judiciary, instead of strengthening the edifice of parliamentary democracy, was instead asserting a new interventionist role that was subjecting the weak democratic structure to new pressures. He emphasised that the Supreme Court had been extremely biased in choosing which issues to bring into its purview, with the military in particular, notably exempt from any judicial scrutiny. He pointed in particular to the intelligence agencies’ conduct in Balochistan.
National Forensic Science Agency (NFSA) is massively pursuing to construct its own lab building and has submitted an initial amount of Rs 47 million to the Capital Development Authority (CDA). The Capital Development Authority has said that it will complete drawings and site survey by January 30, which will help to assess total cost and start the construction work of the building as early as possible, NFSA Project Director Syed Khalid Gardezi said. He said NFSA, a project of Ministry of Interior, was working in a rented building to support the law-enforcement agencies in conducting biological tests and striving to connect crime scene and judicial system through development of delivery of impartial expert scientific opinion evidence. He said the amount provided to the CDA was meant for first block (27,000 sqft) of the NFSA’s headquarters building in H-11 Sector, which would have laboratories and other facilities, in accordance with international standards. Expected total cost of the building was around Rs 465 million, he added. Gardezi said land for regional labs in Peshawar, Karachi and Quetta had also been acquired. The boundary wall of regional forensic science laboratories in Peshawar and Quetta had already been completed while boundary wall of Islamabad plot was in progress. He said after the completion of the headquarters building on 153,091 sq ft, the agency would be able to deliver in a more professional manner. An institute would also be established at the NFSA headquarters building to impart training in forensic field.
Chattha Bakhtawar residents demand school ISLAMABAD ONLINE
A lack of government schools in Chatha Bakhatawar has deprived poor children of education. Chatha Bakhtawar is a thickly populated area that lacks educational facilities as no public sector educational institution is operating in the area and parents are forced to send their children to private schools. The private schools charge high fees while offering sub-standard education. Parents have to sometimes send their children to school in distant areas. Chatha Bakhtawar has not been declared a sector or a model village because of which there is no school in the area. The Chatha Bakhtawar residents demanded the authorities concerned to establish primary and high schools in the area so that their children could also benefit from educational facilities.
Students protest change in laptop policy RAWALPINDI AGENCIES
The Rawalpindi Medical College students expressed concerns over their exclusion from the laptop distribution scheme. Following a change in the laptop distribution policy, the names of hundreds of students were omitted from the list of students to be awarded laptops by the Punjab government. According to the policy, students who obtained 60 to 70 percent marks were eligible to benefit from the scheme. 1655 Rawalpindi Medical College students were registered as a result. Following the change in the policy the medical students were excluded from the scheme. Now 20 out of 100 students will get laptops in the project’s first phase. taHlI moHRI ResIdeNts
lIvINg as outcasts: Parts of Tahli Mohri, Dheri Hassan Abad have turned into garbage dumps due to the lack of sanitation facilities in the area. In Tahli Mori, Dheri Hassan Abad, Altamash road, Dakkhana road and Ghousia chowk the drains are choked with waste and the streets clogged with puddles of filthy water. The residents of these areas said no sweeper has been appointed by the sanitation department and they are forced to live like pariahs amid heaps of filth. The residents feared the outbreak of an epidemic if the unhygienic conditions persisted. They said the government officials would be responsible for any disease outbreak. The residents appealed to the Chaklala Cantt Board station commander to visit the area and ensure cleanliness. oPeRatIoN demaNded agaINst HaNd-dRIveN
caRts: Hand driven carts owners have encroached upon different Potohar Town areas in connivance with corrupt officials. The areas of Adiala Road, Bostan Road, High Court Road, Wilayat Road and others are under the illegal occupation of hand-pushed carts owners. This has led to perpetual traffic jams. These areas have become impossible to negotiate for vehicles and pedestrians alike. “Whenever we try to go to the market, we are taken over by herds of carts and we have to return home without making any purchases. These cart pushers misbehave with us when we ask them to give way,” said Amna Bibi a resident. Citizens demanded the district administration to remove the hand driven carts from the Potohar Town. classIcal NIgHt oN JaN 24: Kuch Khaas, Center for Arts, Culture
and Dialogue is organizing an evening of classical music with Ustad Sultan Fateh Ali and his students here on January 24. The show will feature classical and semi classical singing by Ustad Sultan Fateh Ali of the Patiala Gharana and his students for the music lovers of federal capital. Patiala gharana is a family which produced several generations of renowned classical singers. He is the son of the famous maestro Ustad Fateh Ali Khan and nephew of the late Ustad Amanat Ali Khan. Since the age of 7 years he started receiving training in classical music, and growing up in a family of classical `giants’, he got more in terms of guidance from music maestros. Sultan Fateh Ali Khan is an extremely versatile singer, and apart from classical singing, he is amazing at semi classical, ghazal, folk and light singing, said the organizers.
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Saturday, 21 January, 2012
Editor’s mail 11
Underpaid? This article is regarding a story published in an English daily about the perks and privileges given to the parliamentarians. The story was well-written and very convincing and forced me to do a bit of research on the topic. It was one of the few occasions that I could use my internet for gathering some important information rather than watching YouTube videos and updating statuses on Facebook. To my surprise, the story was contrary to facts. The facts included that every member of the assembly was paid
Black coats or black sheep Rs 54,000 per month without any daily allowance, 20 air tickets to the capital and back home, no telephone bills or any other utility bills are paid, no free transportation, no office maintenance allowance given and the children’s educational fees are not paid. The story published stated quite to the contrary. I personally feel stories like these contribute in maligning the democratic setup and dishearten the parliamentarians. On the other hand, the Indian parliamentarians receive about Rs 85000 monthly as well as Rs 3500 daily al-
lowance. Other facilities given to the Indians MPs include daily allowance of Rs 750 for a personal secretary, free rail transport all over India and free air tickets for attending assembly sessions, free telephone calls and free electricity. The total that Indian government is spending on one MP is about Rs 380000. After reading what the Indian’s MP gets, I was surprised and shocked that India spends so much on its parliamentarians. But this also made me think that if they are given all the facilities, they will work in a more effective manner and this
shall reduce the corruption rate. A 16thgrade bureaucrat is given more salary than a parliamentarian, not counting the perks and privileges. A parliamentarian is an elective representative and certainly deserves more. We as a nation criticise our politicians regardless of knowing the facts but would never try to understand the difficulties they face. We should not criticise the system for the sake of criticism always but give it time to evolve into a mature setup. MAJID TAIMOOR Lahore
PIA changing gears? This is apropos to news item published in your esteemed paper (19 Jan) that PIA has replaced Boeing with Airbus to cater to the ever-increasing traffic originating from Karachi and Sialkot to Muscat. There is no doubt that our national airline has been under great criticism in recent past due to delays and cancellation of flights especially during the Hajj season. But the good steps being taken by the national airline should also be appreciated. As reported in the press, 12 new aircrafts are being inducted in 2012 in the PIA fleet to ease the traffic and delays. Apart from this, new routes are being added to generate more revenue. It is planned to raise the strength of fleet to 70 by the end of 2020. The new aircrafts being added are being purchased directly from the manufacturing companies to eliminate kickbacks which had become a hallmark of deals conducted by the airline. That these aircrafts are being arranged without government guarantees testifies to the credibility of the airline and its creditworthiness. Since private airlines do not operate on northern routes, PIA has to subsidise the fares that adds to regular loss to the airline. Another factor that contributes to loss of the PIA is excess manpower. While downsizing may not be viable due to the prevalent unemployment but restructuring and streamlining should be done to make the airline more efficient. To make the airline profitable, PIA has to take revolutionary steps and expedite the purchase of aircrafts and add new routes and utilise manpower judiciously. Let us appreciate the good work being done by PIA to make this airline one of the leading airlines of the world once again. LT COL (Retd) MUKHTAR AHMED BUTT Karachi
Go team Green! Ajmal mesmerising with 10 wickets, Umer Gul sealing the match with crucial four wickets on the last day, Rahman spinning magnificently and Hafiz supporting with his doggedly accurate line and length is just what the teamwork is all about. Pakistan bowling out England, the world’s number one test team, for under 200 twice in the first test in Dubai was indeed a fine specimen of teamwork from the bowlers who gelled well as a line up. This teamwork was also apparent in the batting lineup with contribution from all around. There were four fifties, one each from sparkling Hafiz, solid Taufiq, sound Misbah and sedate Adnan. Thus, it was teamwork of our team that sealed the fate of the English. Catching superbly, plugging fielding loopholes, bowling according to the field and the captain leading from the front have contributed a lot to this test win achieved in merely three days. The highlight of the winning Pakistan team is every player conducting themselves admirably both on and off the field. While on the field, Pakistani cricketers’ performance spoke for itself, off the field they were also gentlemen. The way Saeed Ajmal conducted himself in the face of unwarranted criticism against his action (which has been approved by the ICC) is indeed laudable. The fact that the players can now ignore such media antics is a testament to the fact that they are settling down as a team and maturing as players. PARVEZ JAMIL Karachi
The conduct of the lawyers outside the SC, both chanting in favour of the PPP and CJP, was in extremely bad form. Firstly, the premises of the annals of justice have to be respected. Secondly, this is not a death match between the CJP and PPP and this sloganeering is needlessly giving the impression that the court is grinding a political axe and casting aspersions on its neutrality. Lawyers have time and again resorted to street muscle to overturn what is not to their liking, even forcing a high court judge into hiding. This is an unfortunate fallout of the lawyers movement which was a noble movement to depose a dictator. All bar associations of the country should take not so that the lawyer community does not squander the goodwill it has earned NADEEMA BILQUIS Lahore
Our energy crisis
The runaway general It seems that Musharraf’s return has been ‘delayed’ even though he had claimed to return very soon. It is very easy for some of our leaders to toot their horns while safely ensconced in foreign shores (London seems to be a popular choice) but it is much harder to come back and face public opinion. He was right that he is a military man and has seen much in his life but now that Pakistan is a democracy, military men (past and present) should be answerable to civilians and the public.
teaching rule-breaking? Schools all around the world are entrusted with the responsibility of teaching children manners and instilling in them the characteristics of obeying rules, especially state rules. However, the schooling system in our beloved country Pakistan has also become a victim of social disparity that exists in our society. The majority of the public schools here seem like ghost schools with students or teachers being absent on a consistent basis whereas, on the other hand, we have the private schools that are full in terms of students and teachers but teach nothing substantive to help them become better citizens. The private schools here are often owned by well-connected people who have influence over local authorities to expand their school and defy the rule at their convenience. One such school that has been defying the rules is a new private school in the posh area of Defence, Karachi. This school has been able to host a multitude of extra-curricular activities ranging from fashion shows to concerts in its vicinity which is in the midst of a residential area. The residents around the school have become helpless with the local authorities being incapable of stopping the school’s activities in any way. The school in the name of security has barred cars from being parked in front of the houses irre-
Now that he is no longer in uniform, he has every right to partake in politics as a civilian but the fact that he has taken off his second skin (as he called his uniform) doesn’t mean he is absolved of what he did while in uniform. If he wants to write his own political melody, he should be ready to face the public music. SAMINA A Lahore
spective of the cars being of the guest’s coming to visit the houses nearby. The school does not even respect the notices of the government. It stays open even on the days the government has announced a public holiday be it Shah Abdul Latif’s Urs or Begum Nusrat Bhutto’s funeral. The school may be good in imparting knowledge to its students but the regular defiance of state rules and laws does not set a good example for the children studying there. Schools are there to play a dual role, impart knowledge and make the children better citizens, and if the school itself is defying rules, we can imagine what the children would do. AFFAN Karachi
recognising the youth Arfa Karim’s death was sudden, unexpected and a huge loss for Pakistan. The nation already has a dearth of heroes the youth can look up to and Arfa’s loss has left a void that cannot be filled. She was an incredibly talented girl who had a bright future ahead of her and would have benefited numerous youngsters in Pakistan as she was the perfect role model. Arfa became the youngest Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) in the world when she was just nine years old in 2004.
She was then invited by Bill Gates to visit the Microsoft headquarters in the United States. Her remarkable achievement was duly recognised by the then President Pervez Musharraf. In a country where the accomplishments by the youth are largely ignored and not highlighted, this was a great gesture. She received the Salam Pakistan Youth Award from President Pervez Musharraf in August 2005. In the same year, Arfa also received the Presidential Award for Pride of Performance and is the youngest recipient of the award so far. On the occasion of the 113th birth anniversary of Mohtarma Fatimah Jinnah she was awarded the Fatima Jinnah gold medal in Science & Technology by Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz. Even Shahbaz Sharif has now recognised the young girl by naming the newly built IT city after her and instituting a programme to train young Microsoft CPs. Pakistan’s current median age is 21.6 years – a huge potential that needs to be fully exploited. Providing youngsters with the right resources and opportunities is important so that they can be properly motivated. It is up to the government to consistently recognise and reward the achievements of our young people. AAMER HOSAIN Karachi
Pakistan’s economy sustains a 5-6 percent loss of GDP per annum due to the crippling electricity shortages and subsidy that is the main cause of increase in unemployment and unrest. How we plan and manage our energy requirement for next 10 years will determine our financial future. Our current dependable energy capacity is at 19379 MW (that too if all plants are running at 100 percent capacity). With our projected energy requirement for the year 2011 standing at 26431, there is a deficit of over 5000 MW. This incurs a loss to GDP @5 percent which is calculated at 10 Billion USD. Our projected electricity requirement for the next 20 years is as follows: Year 2010, 24474 MW; Year 2015, 36217 MW; Year 2020, 54359 MW; Year 2025, 80560 MW; Year 2030, 113695 MW. This means that at least an average of 4500 MW of new capacity additions have to be made every year to sustain this requirement. Our GDP Loss will increase to 13 percent i.e. 140 billion USD in 2020 with a cumulative loss of the next 10 years at USD 890 billion if we increase our capacity by only 2000 MW every year instead of 4500 MW every year for next 10 years as per projected requirement. We would need to add 34000 MW of new capacity in the next 10 years with an investment of USD 34 billion other than infrastructure enhancement investment. Pakistan’s GDP size will be over USD 500 billion by 2020 if we are able to achieve a projected target of producing 54000 MW of electricity. FAZEEL ASIF Karachi
Parliament’s supremacy I was amazed to see the recent statement of Imran Khan in the press in which he has stated: If Parliament has to do everything, what is the use of having an apex court? I would put this question to Mr Khan rather this way: If apex court has to do everything, what is the use of having a parliament? Parliament is the supreme body everywhere and people cannot be allowed to snatch powers from parliament for their personal likings or disliking. I advise Mr Khan to study the Constitution of UK as its parliament is already labelled as the “Mother of all parliaments.” It is generally said that the UK Parliament can do each and every thing except to change the sex of woman to a man and vice versa. We all must condemn the efforts being made by a lobby in Pakistan who wants to eliminate the supremacy of the parliament for their vested interests. MOHAMMAD KHAN SIAL Karachi
SOPA: An Orwellian legislation After 9/11, a world that was sympathetic to the US stand on terrorism, saw a new strategy unfolding – the Bush Doctrine: go and kill the terrorists anytime and anywhere in the world as a preemptive measure to safeguard American interests and be not answerable to anyone or any court. However, by the end of the last decade, the support for such a unilateral doctrine declined with a sharp rise in anti-Americanism across the globe. Now comes another unilateral doctrine from the present American administration - SOPA (The Stop Online Piracy
Act). No one questions that steps are required to protect the intellectual property rights of content online, but is SOPA an answer to the piracy of intellectual material and infringement of copyrights on the web? I don’t think SOPA will provide a workable solution and if ever passed will be termed as ‘the Obama Doctrine’ – another unilateral doctrine on the part of Americans that does not take into account how it will impact the rest of the world. SOPA will grant private American
companies holding intellectual copyrights the power to go and request the authorities to shutdown non-American websites they consider are involved in piracy. No courts to be moved to hear the case, no prosecution, no defense; just go and kill the website. Who will make sure that the American companies and American internet regulators are acting in good faith especially when someone is not required to justify his/her actions? This will surely lead to gross injustices. Wikipedia was shutdown on Jan 18
in protest against SOPA and others have also come out and protested against this unfair legislation. Piracy is a menace and it should be stemmed - no doubt about that. But how is it possible in this age with people having unprecedented access to information freely? We need to come up with innovative solutions to address this menace without compromising on freedom of information and without infringing on others’ rights. MASOOD KHAN Saudi Arabia
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12 Comment Another revelation From norway with love
t was a revelation that cost the Norwegian spymaster her job. And one that prompted our foreign office to seek an explanation from the country’s mission in Islamabad. Janne Kristiansen made a disclosure in the Norwegian parliament the other day about the presence of her intelligence operatives within Pakistan. It was a bad move, regardless of how one chooses to slice it. For the Norwegians, it was bad because it would compromise the security of their nationals in the country, what to say of whatever the objective of their mission was. For the Pakistanis, because it is yet another affirmation of our position as an international pushover. Ms Kristiansen offered her resignation, which was readily accepted for having “breached confidentiality through the disclosure of classified information.” Is every country in the world now going to have their spooks nose around this neck of the woods? The Americans, British and the Indians one could understand would be in on it, with us returning the favour but the Norwegians come as a surprise. Who is next, Burkina Faso? And things would have been different were it only intelligence gatherers that were under discussion. Bringing up Raymond Davis at the drop of a hat might be the constituency of the far-right hawks, but it merits mentioning here that the intelligence community is not without its share of muscle-heads. Speaking of foreigners with guns, it is also an unfortunate reality that Pakistani territory is also being used as springboards by militants. If the country has become known as an international terrorist supermarket, we cannot expect other countries to be pedantic about issues like sovereignty, especially when they are targetted themselves. A shamefully large proportion of terrorist attacks after 9/11 were either hatched in Pakistan or had some sort of involvement by Pakistani nationals. The correct action for the republic would be to tackle this twin encroachment on our sovereignty simultaneously.
take a bow, Pakistan no 1? what no 1?
fter all its tribulations over the last five years or so, touching its all time low in 2010 in England, and its fallout haunting our boys through 2011 with the sentencing of the tainted trio, this is a sweet moment. Indeed one of our finest for many years, with the possible exception of capturing the T20 World crown in 2009. England were not just beaten, they were toyed with and mauled – and with such aplomb. Before this humiliation, the reigning World No 1 Test side had not been put to the sword in the last 13 months. Over roughly the same period, starting with South Africa in the autumn of 2010 at the same gulf venues that we are now obliged to call our cricketing ‘home’, Pakistan began plotting its revival. What has followed is quite remarkable – a whole year of positive results and a move up the rankings across all three formats. Misbah-ul-Haq meanwhile has emerged as skipper extraordinaire. Under him, Pakistan lost just one game apiece in Tests and ODIs. More important than that statistic is how he has raised the team in his own image, with equipoise, focus, dedication and team effort the bywords. This is most unlike Pakistan captains of recent past, and this team is unlike those that used to wear its unpredictability like a badge of honour. This emphatic win against England is no fluke, no flash in the pan. This is the measure of Pakistan’s resurrection – from nadir to zenith, from a loser’s demeanour to a winner’s aura. Whatever the outcome of the ongoing rubber, one can safely predict two things. One, England is too good a side not to come back hard. Two, this Pakistan team may lose the odd game but it has the composure and self-assurance to hold its own. And they have the resources to boot. Pakistan’s batting has fewer flashy stroke-makers. The pace they set is often not a spectacle to die for, but the accent is on solidity. To quote the skipper, “entertainment can wait”. And the bowling has already got England twice under 200, not a mean feat on the Dubai featherbed. Bowling as a unit could have been better off with a left-arm option in pace, but Saeed Ajmal’s wristy guile and command over mind games and Umar Gul’s unalloyed aggression are good enough to roll over England again. Time for Pakistani fans to sit back and rejoice.
Dedicated to the legacy of the late Hameed Nizami
Arif Nizami Editor
Lahore – Ph: 042-36298305-10 Fax: 042-36298302 Karachi – Ph: 021-34330811-3 Fax: 021-34330900 Islamabad – Ph: 051-2287414-6 Fax: 051-2287417 Web: www.pakistantoday.com.pk Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Saturday, 21 January, 2012
To the courts Better sense prevails
t was almost surreal to witness the prime minister appearing in person before a seven member special bench of the Supreme Court in a contempt of court case. Neither he nor his eloquent and able lawyer Aitzaz Ahsan offered an unqualified apology for not writing to the Swiss authorities for reopening the corruption cases against President Asif Ali Zardari. The courtroom was packed with the supporters of the prime minister, mostly his cabinet colleagues .Understandably, apart from a bevy of lawyers, there was a large media contingent present including a number of familiar faces from the electronic media one sees pontificating every evening on different news channels. The news channels and the so-called beeper culture have changed the manner in which Supreme Court proceedings are reported. Technically speaking, cell phones are not allowed in the court premises. But most media organisations have reporters flitting in and out of the courtroom busy giving one-liners to their respective news channels over their cell phone. The judges, ordinary mortals and By Arif Nizami playing to the gallery (literally in this case), enjoy this media attention. This was in sharp contrast to the time when Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was hauled up for contempt in courtroom number 1, by Chief Justice Sajjad Ali Shah back in December 1997. At that time, electronic media apart from the government-controlled PTV was non-existent. Nawaz Sharif like Yousaf Raza Gilani personally appeared in the court and offered an unqualified apology. Chief Justice Shah bent upon getting rid of him (and in cahoots with the then president Farooq Leghari as it turned out to be later) refused to accept it. Nawaz would have been history had the then COAS General Jehangir Karamat not refused to be drawn in the conspiracy hatched by Leghari and Shah with the tacit backing of the then ISI chief Lt-General Naseem Rana. Karamat’s non-cooperation forced Leghari to resign. It is another matter that Nawaz bit the hand that had fed him by sacking Karamat within less
than a year. Another contrast that can be safely drawn on the day of Gilani’s appearance in the apex court is the orderly behaviour of the PPP supporters and virtual absence of the ubiquitous jiyalas. PML(N), which now has become a champion of an independent judiciary, left no stones unturned to intimidate the court through its workers back in 1997. Not only Akram Sheikh, the advocate opposing Nawaz at that time, was roughed up by a senior party stalwart, a few days later the apex court was stormed by an unruly PML(N) mob. The manner in which Sajjad Ali Shah’s court was divided and destroyed by a combination of coercion and bribery is an unsavoury part of our judicial history. The present members of the apex court are united behind the chief justice and give him the respect he deserves. But ironically, some senior members of the ruling party unjustifiably brand the present court as the “Sharif Court”. The relief given to Nawaz in a National Accountability Bureau(NAB) appeal against the release of Sharif’s family assets recently raised many an eyebrow in the PPP. They feel that selective justice is being meted out. Sadly, the attitude of a sizeable swath of the black coats leaves a lot to be desired. Chanting slogans against Aitzaz and Zardari and in favour of the Chief Justice on the day of the contempt hearing in the premises of the court, they gave the impression that somehow Aitzaz had betrayed the cause of an independent judiciary for which he had struggled so hard. This undemocratic behaviour from those who are mandated by their profession to uphold the rule of law is indeed sad. During the contempt proceedings, mostly Justice Asif Saeed Khosa and Justice Sarmad Jalal Usmani questioned Aitzaz about why the government’s refusal to write the letter to the Swiss authorities did not constitute contempt of the apex court. Aitzaz as an independent jurist had been maintaining that there was no harm in writing to the Swiss authorities as Zardari would still enjoy sovereign immunity. As the counsel of the prime minister, Aitzaz Ahsan was being put on the spot. However, he cleverly argued that no contempt of the court had been committed as the chief executive was of the firm view that the president of Pakistan enjoyed immunity from prosecution past or present, within the country and abroad, according to the constitution. Those expecting speedy justice wishing
Zardari and Gilani to be hanged in one stroke must have been sorely disappointed. Although the counsel for the prime minister did not get the time he had asked for, the court did grant him ten days to prepare his case. The conciliatory atmosphere permeating the court was in sharp contrast to previous days when the hard-hitting rhetoric and professionally incompetent methods of the maverick Babar Awan were creating tensions. Better sense has finally prevailed and the government has decided to fight this case on legal grounds rather than put up a sloppy political defence. Some observers who have been dismissing Gilani as a rubber stamp prime minister living under the shadow of Zardari (a la Shaukat Aziz) are pleasantly surprised by his newfound assertiveness . The decisive manner in which he sacked the defence secretary Lt-General(rtd.) Naeem Khalid Lodhi for violating the rules of business and his statement to a Chinese news agency at a time when General Kayani was on an official visit to China not only raised eyebrows but also triggered an angry response from the military. Apparently these moves by Gilani did not have the prior approval of the presidency. The prime minister also successfully thwarted moves to induct Babar Awan as law minister. He has also made it clear that Babar is not welcome back in the federal cabinet in any other capacity. Despite the temporary respite from the contempt case, other legal challenges especially the memo case hang like the sword of Damocles over the government’s head. It is trying its best to meet the goal of holding the Senate elections under its auspices, an opportunity denied to previous PPP and PML(N) governments by the powers that be lest they become too powerful. No civilian government in Pakistan has been able to evolve a modus vivendi with the military. Most of the governments had been declared corrupt and incompetent by coupsters who replaced them and were condoned by the higher judiciary almost without exception. But now it is commonly accepted that the condition for another coup in Pakistan are not ripe. Nevertheless, there are those who believe that a ‘slow coup’ is already underway. They are entitled to their views. But only history will judge what the courts did or did not do to break the vicious circle. The writer is Editor, Pakistan Today
whiteLIES R By ess Aich
umour has it that there was some debate on who should drive Prime Minister Gilani to the court premises on Thursday. There was the official chauffeur and many political drivers, all too willing to take on the symbolic duty besides the fact they are also adept at handling range rovers. It was at this point that the Prime Minister put his foot down and decided that he would drive his own car himself. The lesson of the story? I am in the driving seat. I am in control. I am definitely my own man. Well tell that to the judges and of course the president.
e hear that there were so many requests to the Registrar, Supreme Court for a seat in the visitors’ gallery of the court on the day of the PM appearance that even King Khan would have been proud to get such a response for a Bollywood premier. Of course, it is not known whether the crowd wanted to witness a tragedy or a comedy or simply more song and dance. However, everyone did note that the Attorney General was unaware of the excitement around him. When the PM walked into court, the AG was seen doz-
ing away in his seat, oblivious of the charged energy around him. ********** ord has it that residents of Muslim Town had been lobbying their MPA for some time to get their dilapidated Ayub Park looking like a park. Delegation after delegation of local notables knocked on his door to activate him on this front. Their joy knew no bounds when they learnt that the MPA had gotten two and a half crores sanctioned for the job. However, two years later there was
no work on the ground and the MPA was also unavailable. The residents decided they had to do something about it and they did but this time on a self-help basis. Though not exactly a tourist attraction, Ayub Park now looked presentable. But on Thursday, residents were surprised to find a banner in the park thanking the MPA for restoring the park. Not surprisingly, the angry residents ripped the banner apart and started chanting “Where is the two and half crores? What have you done with it?” What, indeed?
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Saturday, 21 January, 2012
objection, m’lord! Rein in the rabble-rousers, please
By Nasim Zehra
t the end of the first day of the Supreme Court hearing for the contempt notice issued to the prime minister, there was both relief and concern. Relief, because the panic over whether the contempt notice could be the harbinger of the prime minister’s exit from his post, subsided as the issue seemed to be proceeding along legal grounds. However the issue of concern that stared us in the face as our Dunya News team spent hours on the Supreme Court premises covering the high priority story for millions of Pakistanis, was one of the violation of the sanctity of the Supreme Court. And ending of this violation, is in the hands of the Chief Justice of Pakistan, who is also the administrative head of the Supreme Court. In the clear view of dozens of television cameras and even more journalists, contrasting with the inside calm of the court room proceedings was the stormy and aggressive sloganeering, taking place at the main door of the Supreme Court building. To our surprise, a partisan position was adopted and projected by some lawyers who began with raising pro-CJP slogans. Some lawyers responded with pro-PPP slogans. And then the crowd of pro-CJP lawyers began to expand as more lawyers walking in from the main gate and
some agitated one from a side entrance, joined in. Intermittent chants of “Chief teray jaan-nisaar bay shumaar bay-shumaar”, “Hakumat kaa jo yar hai ghadaar hai, ghadaar hai.” were hurled , in louder and more aggressive tones. Office bearers of the Islamabad bar council led this crowd of lawyers. They have earlier sent out emails and text messages urging the lawyers to come to the SC premises in support of the CJP. The following text message was sent to the Islamabad Bar members, "Respectable Members of Islamabad Bar, come forward and reach Hon'ble Supreme Court of Pakistan on 19.1.2012 at 9AM to show your commitment for the Rule of Law and respect to the Hon'ble Superior Judiciary of Pakistan. Syed Javed Akbar Advocate, President Islamabad Bar...)". In many cases where the judges did not appear in their court room, the court staff informed inquiring lawyers that only important matters will be heard after 12 since the lawyers were protesting outside the SC. So the gathering on the premises was not merely accidental. This rallying for the CJP has not only been a consequence of the habit sown in 2007 but indeed of the power play that has since ensued and in which the Supreme Court appears to be a player. However no less may have the government’s approach of dealing with the Supreme Court via Babar Awan sahib’s attacking and aggressive, no less disrespectful, tactics contributed to this lawyers’ politicking for the CJP. The Supreme Court sits in the middle of Pakistan’s politics with the government considering it biased against it while the opposition considers him the man who has a medicinal role for an ailing Pakistan. While we all await the
Supreme Court hearings, there is an important and related issue on which the Honourable Chief Justice should in his own wisdom and his commitment to upholding the dignity of the Supreme Court, pass an immediate order. Irrespective of which political party or which judge such a gathering supports, it undermines the institutional dignity of the Supreme Court. The CJP surely wants to rise above all divides. He derives his mandate to facilitate the upholding of justice from the constitution, and not from sloganeering lawyers or even from political parties threatening long marches and tsunami marches. This is not the Pakistan of 2007 in which the populist muscle became imperative because of the military ruler’s violation of the constitution and of the Supreme Court. In today’s Pakistan, the Supreme Court’s intrinsic authority and muscle, which is derived from the constitution itself, must be banked upon. Now the incumbents too, including the chief executive, have switched to a more respectful and constitutionally mandated-attitude towards the Court. In the days ahead, while there will be intense legal battling within the Court rooms, can we request the Honourable CJP to kindly ban, with immediate effect, all gatherings and sloganeering by lawyers, to send a message to the Pakistanis of his own neutrality and credibility. The constitution and not his jaanisaars should be the source of the Chief Justice of Pakistan’s strength. The writer is the host of Policy Matters and Director Current Affairs Dunya News. She is also a Fellow of the Asia Centre at the Harvard University.
The trap Hurtling towards the inevitable
he NRO implementation case before the Supreme Court may be crawling towards its end, but not without causing immense consternation among a multitude of people. The pervading perception that the incumbent government is corrupt and mala fide is taken as reason enough for it to be sent packing. But, law has its own course as it goes beyond the realm of perception alone and looks at hard core evidence before handing out a judgement. Even if, in the end, the government were to be held responsible for multiple lapses - in the instant case for not sending the required letter to the Swiss court - the process of law should be pursued relentlessly with no one left with even a modicum of doubt for casting aspersions. For that, and to that extent, one stands with the apex court. In an environment signifying controlled defiance replacing unbridled arrogance, the state attorney has taken the plea that the prime minister is not guilty of contempt for not sending the letter to the Swiss court because, in his view, the president enjoyed immunity. The government’s position, therefore, inevitably hinges on the court’s interpretation of the immunity clause which reads: “No civil proceedings in which relief is claimed against the President or a Governor shall be instituted during the term of office in respect of anything done or not done by him in his personal capacity, whether before or after he enters upon his office…”. This is a trap that the government’s team of legal wizards may have inadvertently fallen into. There are two critical factors which By Raoof Hasan will be deliberated in the matter. First, it is not a new case that is being instituted against the president. The court is also not asking for continuing any proceedings against the president. Understandably, the apex court is only asking for correcting a wrong. The case against Mr Zardari was already before a Swiss court which, through a letter written by the then attorney general, had been withdrawn vide the promulgation of the NRO. Since the said NRO has been declared void ab initio by the apex court, all benefits accrued by people thereof, including the president, have to be reversed. No new case is being instituted. Request is also not being made for initiating any proceedings against the president. The apex court has only asked for restoring an old case to its original, pre-NRO days’ form. The other factor would focus on the admissibility and applicability of the immunity clause outside (and inside) Pakistan. Understandably, the constitution of the country deals with matters of Pakistan alone and its contents cannot impact the laws of other countries, including those of Switzerland where the case was being investigated before it was withdrawn. No specific mention has been made in the constitution regarding any such applica-
bility either. Therefore, it can be argued that the domain of the immunity clause does not extend beyond the geographical boundaries of Pakistan. Hence, there is a prospect that the court may adjudicate against the grant of immunity to the president in the matter of the Swiss case. The above leaves out the moral factor: whether there should be an immunity clause at all concerning the conduct of certain people? Although this may not fall within the parameters of the present case, and the court may also not be empowered to amend the constitution, yet it is bound to elicit extensive comment in the days leading up to February 1. But, there is one other question that has plagued many a mind: if there were no NRO, would Mr Zardari be eligible to become the president of the country on the day when he submitted his papers? And if he wasn’t, are we living with an historical aberration which needs to be corrected? Because, after all, the foundations of any state and its leadership must rest firmly within the contours of morality and the rule of law! But, does any of this have any meaning for the charlatans residing in the corridors of power? During their four years, the protagonists of the incumbent dispensation have taken the country and its people to a level of amorality that is terrifying. No longer is corruption viewed as a punishable offence. Good governance is not an occupation of the ruling mafias. The line distinguishing the state exchequer from personal coffers has been blurred beyond recognition. Destruction of key institutions is a priority with the proponents of ‘democracy’. Bartering state security for personal survival is a favourite indulgence. Politicising matters of law is a unique speciality. When questioned about any of this, the power corridors go hoarse with shouts of ‘conspiracies being hatched’ and ‘democracy being attacked’. All this is happening in a country where political parties clamouring for democracy have no democratic traditions within their own ranks. They are like bloated monarchies where the leadership mantle is passed from the father to the chosen disciple and where, according to the 18th amendment, the right to send a notice of disqualification of a sitting legislator has been taken away from the parliamentary leader and given to the ‘owner’ of the political party. In an encouraging development, the Supreme Court has admitted a petition for hearing pleading that elections should be held in all political parties at all levels. It may already be too late for that as the culture of operating political parties on the basis of avowed allegiance to an individual can be traced to the continued regression that the country has been irretrievably sinking into over decades. This would change only if and when our trappings of invincibility are challenged. The writer is a political analyst and a member of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Saturday, 21 January, 2012
Coldplay, Paul McCartney among
IN LIMELIGHT mUmBAI: An Indian boy walks the ramp displaying creations during the ‘India Kids Fashion week 2012’. AFP
mUmBAI: Sushmita Sen (L) and her daughters walk down the ramp during the show stopper for designer nishka Lulla at the ‘India Kids Fashion week 2012’ fashion show. AFP LOS ANGELES
AUL McCartney will join Coldplay and Rihanna among the artists playing at next month’s Grammys, organisers for the music industry’s annual awards show said. The former Beatle will take the stage along with the Foo Fighters, Bruno Mars, Nicki Minaj and Taylor Swift, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on February 12. Iconic US band The Beach Boys announced last month that they expect to appear at the Grammys, ahead of a 50th anniversary reunion tour, although they were not included in the line-up so far put out by Grammy organisers. McCartney, 69, already has 14 Grammy awards from his
long career, and is nominated at this year’s show for Best Historical Album for ‘Band On The Run’. British megaband Coldplay and chart-topping diva Rihanna will be playing together for the first time at the 54th edition of the awards fete, which will be hosted by rapper LL Cool J. The Grammys show traditionally features performances by iconic artists. Last year’s show starred Rolling Stones front-man Mick Jagger, Barbra Streisand and Bob Dylan. The Grammys will also pay special tribute this year to late Apple founder Steve Jobs. Lifetime Achievement Awards will be given to the Allman Brothers Band, country crooner Glen Campbell, Jobim, country star George Jones, soul stars the Memphis Horns, Ross and rap trailblazer Gil Scott-Heron, who died last year.
mUmBAI: A woman and her daughter looks at various Barbie dolls on display at a stall during the first India Kids Fashion week. the 3 day-long IKFw is a one-ofa-kind initiative to give India’s upcoming and high potential kids fashion segment, a boost. AFP
CALIFOrnIA: Actress Kate Beckinsale attends the Premiere of Screen Gems’ ‘Underworld Awakening’. AFP
‘The Iron lady’, ‘A Separation’ ‘The Artist’
shine at Critics’ Circle awards LONDON REuTERS
French black-and-white silent movie ‘The Artist’ scooped three big prizes at the London Film Critics’ Circle Awards-best film, best director and best actor. Also taking home three prizes was Iranian drama ‘A Separation’, winning best foreign language film, best screenwriter for Asghar Farhadi and best supporting actress for Sareh Bayat.’The examination of the class divide in contemporary Iran was an instant hit with critics and audiences when it was first
launched at the Berlin film festival a year ago. Meryl Streep continued her march towards Oscars glory with another award for her portrayal of former British Prime Minister
Veena Malik praised for
Margaret Thatcher in ‘The Iron Lady’. Olivia Colman was named British actress of the year for her performances in ‘The Iron Lady’ and ‘Tyrannosaur’, while Kenneth Branagh won best supporting actor for his turn as Laurence Olivier in ‘My Week With Marilyn’. Michael Fassbender collected the British actor of the year award for his performances in ‘A Dangerous Method’ and ‘Shame’. Director Lynne Ramsay was at the ceremony to receive The Attenborough Award: British Film of the Year for ‘We Need to Talk About Kevin’.
MuMBAI: A Bollywood baddie these days is talking a lot about one actress ...guess who? Well it's Murli Sharma talking about Veena Malik. Well you see the actor in the item song of the Akshaye Khanna starrer ‘Gali Gali mein Chor Hai’ where he gyrates along with Malik on the tunes of ‘channo hai khidki pe aayi’, composed by Anu Malik. “It was fun,” quips Sharma who's also got another film with Malik called ‘Zindagi 50-50’ where he plays a corrupt cop and we get to know he’s got some really hot steamy scenes with Veena who plays a call girl. And that's not all; we hear they are all set to do a short film together soon. “She is very professional and it's great working with her,” says he. AGENCIES
PArIS: Swedish actress noomi rapace, director Guy ritchie and Jude Law pose during the premiere of the film ‘Sherlock homes : A Game of Shadows’. AFP
CALIFOrnIA: morgan Freeman hits a shot during the first round of the humana Challenge in partnership with the Clinton Foundation. AFP
KOLKAtA: An Indian woman holds a kite representing an eagle during a Kite Festival. AFP
edges out Hrithik, Ranbir
MuMBAI: For months, there has been speculation over who will play the lead role in the hindi remake of the 2009 telugu hit ‘magadheera’. hrithik roshan and ranbir Kapoor were two names that were constantly doing the rounds. however, sources confirm that the role has actually gone to ranveer Singh. negotations with the ‘Band Baaja Baraat’ actor were on for some time and finally he has signed on to play the role of a warrior. the remake rights of the film have gone to producer Vikas Bahl and director Anurag Kashyap, who've finally clinched the deal. As a part of the preparation for the role, Singh will undergo intense physical training. he has already watched the original and plans to bring something new to the table. he also plans to interact with ram Charan, who played the lead in the original, to get some valuable inputs. ‘magadheera’ is a historic love story. Set against the backdrop of 17th century India, the film is said to have an estimated budget of rs 50 crore. AGENCIES
MuMBAI: Only a few in Bollywood have the guts to challenge Salman Khan. In a land where no one messes with the bhai, filmmaker Vijay Gilani, the maker of Salman’s ‘Veer’ has put up a brave face to the dabangg of B-town. For the uninitiated, Vijay Galani was accused of not paying Salman Khan rs 15 crore for the actor`s role in his 2010 production, ‘Veer’. Following this, Gilani was banned from filmmaking until he settles his dispute with Salman Khan. however, breaking his silence for the first time, Vijay Gilani rubbished all claims and said: “Unnecessarily, people have accused me of not paying Salman his dues. I do not owe Salman any money at all. I am clean. I know what I am saying. I have kept quiet for too long. not anymore though.” Let’s see what Salman has to say to that! ZEENEWS
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15 ‘Kiss’ and sex talk lands Ali Zafar’s film in trouble
mUmBAI: Indian film and television actress Karishma tanna (C) walks the ramp with two girls displaying creations during the ‘India Kids Fashion week 2012’. AFP
HE sex talk and kiss in ‘London, New York, Paris’ got its trailer an ‘A’ certificate. After the Censor Board clamped down on Ali Zafar and Aditi Rao Hydari’s next, the filmmakers are now in a panic mode. The sex scene between the two has already created a problem for the film’s producer after the board gave an ‘A’ certificate to the film trailer, thereby limiting its reach. The trailer is said to have sexual references. ‘Adult’ trailers can only be screened with feature films for mature audiences. It is also being said that Pakistani pop star Ali Zafar’s smooch with Aditi might be up for moral scrutiny in the actor’s home country. Now the producers have decided to modify the sequence for both the trailer and feature film format. Vijay Singh, the CEO of the production company says: “We got an ‘Adults’ certificate for the trailer. But we’re aiming for a ‘U/A’. Unlike Delhi Belly that targeted an adult audience, our film is for a much younger audience. We will modify the sex ref-
erence in the relevant scene.” We also hear that Ali was rather reluctant to kiss his co-star in the film. However he had to give in finally. Says a source: “Unlike some of his Pakistani colleagues from the entertainment world, who come to India and create controversies, Ali is very careful about his image. When the kisses in the script were narrated to him he had flatly refused, arguing that they could be fudged. He did not want to risk offending his country’s strong political and cultural lobby after kissing his co-star. On top of being a Pakistani, Ali is also a married man with a child.” However, it seems Aditi has no qualms with smooching scenes despite belonging to a conservative royal family in Hyderabad. Our source points out: “Aditi has done innumerable kisses in Sudhir Mishra’s ‘Yeh Saali Zindagi’. She also kissed Ranbir Kapoor in ‘Rockstar’. She convinced Ali it was okay to let the lip-lock happen.” We hear that instead of several kisses that were penned in the script, Zafar finally agreed to shoot for just one. The producers have refrained from commenting on this matter. Ali’s kissing debut is being kept as quiet as possible.
j.Lo, beau tweet that age doesn't matter LOS ANGELES AFP
i got a bit too cocky: Simon Cowell
SãO PAULO: models present creations during the 2012 winter collections of the Sao Paulo Fashion week. AFP
Simon Cowell has broken his silence on the disastrous decisions he has made which have led to a slump in ratings for ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ and ‘The X Factor’. The music mogul, who is now back in Britain following a month-long holiday, is hoping he can find out what went wrong last year and turn things around for his two biggest shows. After a successful 2010 for both series, Cowell admitted he got “a bit too cocky” last year and admitted the slumping viewing figures had “put my ego in check”. As the 52-year-old prepared to return to the ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ panel full-time for the first time in Manchester today, Cowell admitted he was prepared to work hard to get back on top. With the brutal honesty he is famous for, Cowell criticised last year’s BGT panel Michael McIntyre, David Hasselhoff and Amanda Holden for not doing “a good enough job”. 2011 saw Cowell quit the panels of both ‘X Factor’ and ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ to focus on launching ‘X Factor USA’. Of course, ‘X Factor USA’ didn’t go too smoothly after he fired Cheryl Cole and the show failed to attract the huge ratings he predicated. The 2011 series of ‘X Factor UK’-with new judges Gary Barlow, Tulisa Contostavlos and Kelly Rowland joining Louis Walsh - found itself being regularly
beaten in the ratings war by BBC rival ‘Strictly Come Dancing’. He told The Sun: “I got a bit too cocky. We got a big wake-up call. We went into 2011 thinking, ‘It’s all going to be easy’ and of course it wasn’t. It was the year my ego was put in check. I ended 2010 on a real high, it was the Matt Cardle year-my favourite year-and the figures for X Factor were huge.” As well as the fall in the UK shows, his new game show ‘Red Or Black’ was surrounded in controversy when it was revealed the £1million winner Nathan Hageman had been jailed for assaulting his girlfriend. Earlier this month, it was revealed Cowell had poached A l e s h a Dixon from ‘Strictly’ to be a judge on the new series of ‘Britain’s Got Talent’, along with David Wal-
for Lara Dutta and Mahesh Bhupathi!
MuMBAI: Baby boom continues in B-town as tennis ace mahesh Bhupathi and his actress wife Lara dutta became proud parents of a baby girl on Friday in mumbai. the tennis player tweeted, “ItS A GIrL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! @duttaLara. I Love u....(sic)”. the couple got married in Goa in February 2011 in a quiet ceremony. the actress, who was last seen in ‘don 2’, announced the news of her pregnancy around may. Congratulatory messages poured in from all quarters soon after mahesh announced the birth of his daughter. Bhupathi’s South African trainer Shyamal Vallabhjee tweeted, “COnGrAtS bro… Bring her back a trophy…(sic)” doubles champion Bob Bryan of the United States tweeted, “@maheshbhupathi @duttaLara So awesome, guys!!! Beautiful!! Congrats!!(sic)” Lara’s colleague and friend, actress Bipasha Basu tweeted, “Congratulations to Lara n mahesh fr hving a baby girl!wow!(sic)” Actress neha dhupia tweeted, “Congratulations to the lovely couple @maheshbhupathi and @duttaLara on the arrival of their little princess! Lots of happiness, always.(sic)" ZEENEWS
liams. And after ‘X Factor’ was frequently beaten by ‘Strictly’ last year, Cowell was in the mood for revenge. “The Alesha thing was kind of fun. My decision to poach her was 7030 on the fact she was on ‘Strictly’ and the fact I liked her. I knew the BBC was putting on The Voice. They’ve done this to have a pop at The X Factor and to have a go at the BGT ratings.” Meanwhile, Cowell is also preparing to make “changes” to ‘X Factor USA’. Although the series attracted healthy ratings, they were still a long way off attracting the same audience as Cowell’s former show ‘American Idol’. Whether Antonio ‘LA’ Reid, Paula Abdul or Nicole Scherzinger will be returning this year or if Steve Jones continues to present the show remains to be seen.
Kareena between the
Jennifer Lopez, 42, and the 24-yearold back-up dancer reported as her new flame say age doesn’t matter -and they have proudly tweeted it. JLO who has not confirmed a romance with Casper Smart, retweeted messages from him saying other people's views don't matter and that “our hearts are endless.” “We should all honour our time here by indulging our passion and dreams. So, close your ears and open your hearts; Love and be happy!” said one comment retweeted by J.Lo, who split with husband Marc Anthony last year. “Our ages are mere reminders of the hours logged on this earth... Age, status, n opinions of others are irrelevant ...Our hearts are endless and our souls infinite,” added another. Media reports suggest the pair have been dating for three months.
No flowers again on Poe’s birthday WASHINGTON AFP
A mysterious nocturnal visitor who used to visit the grave of American poet Edgar Allen Poe on his birthday failed to appear for the third consecutive year. After waiting up all night, the curator of the Poe museum officially declared that the night-time tradition was over. Each year since 1949, the 100th anniversary of Poe’s birth, an often-times cloaked individual left a bottle of cognac and a few roses at the foot of Poe's tomb, usually at night. No-one has ever been able to identify the mystery visitor. The original yearly visitor apparently died in 1998, but passed the pilgrimage on to his two sons. More than the 5,000 people visit the house every year where the author of ‘The Tell-Tale Heart’ spent part of his life. Poe-best known as a master of mystery and the macabre and the inventor of detective dramas-died in 1849 at the age of 40.
MuMBAI: Who needs a phone or internet, when you can have Kareena Kapoor for a messenger? And that's exactly what the actress has been to the bhanja-mamu jodi, Aamir and Imran. Both the actors have reportedly been so pre-occupied with their respective films that they haven't had anytime to catch up with each other. Imran, who was busy shooting for ‘Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu’ last year, is currently involved in the film's promotions. And Aamir has been consumed with work on ‘Talaash’. Since Kareena is working on both projects, a source close to the actress revealed that she has been the bearer of news about Imran to Aamir and vice versa. “Imran always ends up inquiring about his mamujaan and Kareena happily gives him all the updates. And likewise on the sets of ‘Talaash’, Aamir wants to what his bhanja has been up to. Aamir keeps teasing her that she only wants to work with Imran and has no time for him. When she is promoting ‘Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu’, Imran constantly teases her about mamu and how she gives him all the attention. Says Imran: “Oh that's an easy banter. I love to tease Kareena.” Not that Kareena minds it because she is very good friends with both of them. And it looks like Kareena bridges the distance between the two. “It's an absolute pleasure working with Aamir and young Imran. Both are really very adorable as co stars,” says Kareena. AGENCIES
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16 Foreign News
Saturday, 21 January, 2012
Intervention in Iran would trigger war and chaos: Sarkozy PARIS AFP
French President Nicolas Sarkozy warned Friday that any foreign military intervention against Iran’s nuclear programme would trigger “war and chaos” across the Middle East and beyond. “Time is limited. France will do everything to avoid military intervention, but there is only one way to avoid it: a much tougher, more decisive, sanctions regime,” Sarkozy told an audience of diplomats in Paris. He called on all countries to freeze Iranian central bank assets and halt imports of Iranian oil. “Those who do not want to reinforce sanctions against a regime which is leading its country into disaster by seeking a nuclear weapon will bear responsibility for the risk of a military breakdown,” he warned. “And I say to our Chinese and Russian friends: Help us guarantee peace in the world ... we clearly need you,” he added. “A military intervention would not solve the problem but would unleash war and chaos in the Middle East and perhaps, alas, the world,” he warned. France has been one of the loudest Western voices pushing for economic sanctions to force Iran to abandon its nuclear programme, which Paris fears could lead to the Islamic regime developing an atomic bomb.
Gaddafi regime had undeclared chemical weapons THE HAGuE AFP
The Libyan regime of Moamer Gaddafi possessed mustard gas shells which it had not declared as a member of the Organisation for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons, the OPCW said Friday. A team of OPCW inspectors had visited Libya this week to check a stock of weapons discovered by the country’s current rulers, the National Transitional Council, and previously undisclosed, a statement said. “At the request of the Libyan authorities the inspectors examined munitions, mainly artillery shells, which they determined are chemical munitions and hence declarable,” the OPCW said. The shells were currently stocked at the Ruwagha depot in southeastern Libya, along with quantities of sulphur mustard and other chemicals that had been declared by the Gaddafi government but not yet destroyed, it said. “Libya must now submit a detailed plan and completion date for destroying all of the declared materials to the OPCW not later than 29 April 2012, the date of the final extended deadline,” it added.
Crocodile swallows Indonesian girl kuPANG AFP
A wild crocodile swallowed a 10-year-old girl while she played in a river with her father in eastern Indonesia, the second death in the same place in two months, a local official said Friday. The girl was swimming in Wailolong river on Thursday when the large crocodile suddenly appeared, swallowed her instantly and disappeared into the water, said Viktor Mado Waton, Lembata district head in East Nusa Tenggara province. “They only found the girl’s clothes three hours after the incident, some 200 metres (650 feet) away from the attack site,” he said, adding that her family members were still trying to find the body. “Her father saw this shocking scene as he was only five metres away in the water.” He said the father and the girl’s teenage brother were hunting turtles in the river while she was playing. A 12-year-old boy was killed and eaten by a crocodile in the same river in early December when he was playing with his friends, Waton said. The district head said he has warned locals of the danger and he will work with police to shut the area off to prevent another incident.
jERuSALEM: Israeli, Palestinian and foreign activists reopen a blocked road during a protest in the East jerusalem neighborhood of Issawiya on Friday against a decision by the jerusalem municipality and Israel’s Nature and Parks Authority (NPA) to build a national park on Palestinian land in the holy city between the neighborhoods of Issawiya and A-Tur. AFP
Pressure mounts for UN to intervene in Syria thousands pour out of mosques after Friday prayers to call for ouster of President Bashar al-Assad’s regime g France will not stay silent on Syrian ‘scandal’, says Sarkozy
RESSURE mounted on the Arab League Friday to seek UN intervention in the face of growing exasperation that the bloc’s hardwon observer mission in Syria has failed to staunch 10 months of killing. Meanwhile, thousands of people poured out of mosques after Friday prayers to call for the ouster of President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, after choosing “Prisoners of the Revolution” as the slogan for this week’s main protests. They are demanding that the government deliver on its promise to the Arab League to release tens of thousands of people arrested since protests first erupted in March. As protests began in Aleppo, Latakia and Idlib, the Syrian Organisation for Human Rights said security forces were out in force. The Britainbased group said there were clashes in Aleppo between security forces and dissidents and that demonstrators in Idlib had been fired on. The widely criticised League mission hangs in the balance as its head, General Mohammed Ahmed Mustafa al-Dabi, prepares to report to Arab foreign ministers, who will decide on Sunday whether to extend it for a second
IDLIB: An image grab taken from a video uploaded on YouTube shows Syrian protesters holding up an anti-regime banner during a demonstration against the authorities’ crackdown on dissent in the village of Hass in the restive Idlib region on Friday. AFP month. Human Rights Watch said there was no sign of any let-up in the regime’s crackdown despite the observers’ presence, with activists reporting 506 civilians killed and another 490 detained since the monitors deployed on December 26. The head of the opposition Syrian National Council, Burhan Ghaliun, headed to Cairo to lobby the Arab ministers to refer the observer mission’s findings to the UN Security Council for tough action. Ghaliun planned to “ask the head of the Arab League and Arab foreign ministers to transfer the file
on Syria to the UN Security Council with a view to securing a decision to establish a buffer zone and a no-fly zone” in Syria, an SNC statement said. The group, which has been strongly critical of the observer mission, said it would demand that Dabi pull no punches in his findings on the Damascus regime’s compliance with the Arab League agreement. “The SNC delegation will insist that the report contain a clear text concerning the ‘genocide’ and ‘war crimes’ carried out by the (Syrian) regime against unarmed civilians,” the statement said.
russia’s medvedev holds mideast talks with Abbas MOSCOW AFP
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev held talks Friday with Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas focused on efforts to kickstart stalled peace negotiations with Israel. Abbas told Medvedev in opening remarks at the Russian president’s suburban Moscow residence that the Palestinians “will always draw upon your advice and the favorable approaches proposed by the Russian Federation.” He added that the local leadership of Jericho had decided to name one of the West Bank city’s main streets after Medvedev in honour of his visit there in January 2011. “I see this as a symbol of Russian-Palestinian friendship, which stretches back not decades but centuries,” Medvedev said. “This is proof of the fact that our relations remain on an excellent level.” Abbas arrived in Moscow on Thursday on the final leg of a European tour that also saw him visit London and Berlin. The trip is aimed at securing European backing for the Palestinians’ position amid unsuccessful attempts to resume peacemaking efforts with Israel. Russia is a member of the so-called peacemaking Middle East Quartet that also includes the United States along with the European Union and the United Nations. Moscow’s influence in the region has waned considerably since the collapse of the Soviet Union. But it still remains a port of call for Arab world leaders who grew up under Soviet patronage. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Thursday following her meeting with Abbas that it was “very, very important that we see progress, that each side sees that good will is there.”
Malaysian prosecutors appeal Anwar sodomy acquittal kuALA LuMPuR AFP
Malaysian prosecutors on Friday filed a notice of appeal against the acquittal of opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim on sodomy charges, sending the long-running divisive case back to court. Anwar was cleared earlier this month of charges he had sex with a young male former aide, ending a two-year trial that shook the conservative Muslim-majority country. He had slammed the allegations as politically motivated, concocted by Prime Minister Najib Razak’s govern-
ment to stifle his resurgent opposition. Anwar’s lawyer Sankara Nair said he had not yet received the notice of appeal but called it “regrettable and atrocious”. “The trial judge has stated succinctly in his verdict that the crucial evidence was ‘tampered’,” he said in a statement. “It appears to be a case of political persecution of Anwar and not prosecution,” he added, calling the appeal a “desperate act”. Sankara said an appeals court was now expected to hear the case although no date has yet been set. The attorney general’s chambers said prosecutors had decided to file the notice of appeal based on an eval-
uation of the available evidence. “The attorney general’s chambers wishes to emphasise that in making any decision, the department acts solely on the evidence and in accordance with the law, not influenced by any emotion or parties,” it said. Anwar, 64, was charged in 2008, months after his opposition scored unprecedented gains in general elections against the Barisan Nasional coalition, which has ruled the country for over five decades. Kuala Lumpur High Court Judge Mohamad Zabidin Diah cleared Anwar on January 9, saying DNA evidence submitted by the prosecution in the case was unreli-
able. Sodomy is punishable by up to 20 years in jail. Anwar’s accuser, Mohamad Saiful Bukhari Azlan, 26, said he was “grateful” for the appeal. “I will continue to pray... and be patient,” he said in his blog. Anwar, a former deputy prime minister, was convicted and jailed on sodomy and corruption charges more than a decade ago after he had a fallout with his then boss, former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad. He was freed in 2004 when the sodomy conviction was overturned after spending six years in jail, and went on to lead a threeparty opposition to the 2008 electoral gains. He has denied all charges.
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Foreign News 17
US military chief in Israel talks amid Iran tensions JERuSALEM
S military chief General Martin Dempsey on Friday urged Israel to keep the channels of communication open amid concerns the Jewish state could launch a military strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities. Speaking after talks with Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak on what was his first visit to Israel since taking office last October, Dempsey said both sides would benefit from greater engagement over regional issues, in an apparent reference to the Iranian nuclear standoff. “We have
many interests in common in the region in this very dynamic time and the more we can continue to engage each other, the better off we’ll all be,” he said, in remarks communicated by Barak’s office. Israel fears a nuclear-armed Iran would pose an existential threat to the Jewish state and has refused to rule out a resort to military action to pre-empt it, although earlier this week Barak said any such decision remained “very far away.” Reports suggest Washington is against such a strike, and the US administration is understood to be putting pressure on Israel to hold off. In the morning, Dempsey said Israel and Washington shared a “common challenge” and stressed US backing
for the Jewish state in remarks addressed to Israeli Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Benny Gantz. “Your characterisation of the common challenge we face and the sacred trust we have to protect those values of freedom — I couldn’t agree with you more,” said Dempsey, whose comments were carried on Israel’s public radio. “And I assure you that America is your partner in that regard.” Dempsey arrived late on Thursday for a flying visit, his first to Israel since taking up the post of chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in October, which was expected to focus on Iran. He had an early morning meeting with Gantz before meeting Barak, after which he travelled to Jerusalem with the chief of staff to meet
President Shimon Peres and pay a brief visit to the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum. He was to meet Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu later in the day before leaving in the early evening, officials said. Peres’s office said that at the meeting with Dempsey and Gantz, they had “discussed the politicalsecurity developments in the Middle East and the world.” “I am sure that we shall win this battle,” Peres said in remarks carried by public radio, apparently alluding to the Islamic republic. “It is not only for the United States of America, not only for Israel. It is really a struggle to make the world a free place, a safe place for people.” Israeli press reports said the visit was to focus on Western sanctions against Tehran, which Netanyahu said
earlier this week did not go far enough, as well as on the possibility of a pre-emptive Israeli strike against Iranian nuclear facilities. “The main disagreement pertains to the possibility of a strike on the Iranian nuclear sites,” the Maariv daily said. “While an increasing number of voices can be heard in Israel supporting such a move, US officials are trying to calm the atmosphere, and fear that Israel could act without informing them or only provide a warning shortly in advance.” Quoting officials engaged in preparatory talks ahead of Dempsey’s visit, Maariv said they “would try to reach an understanding with the Americans and set a kind of red line based on various criteria, including timetables and actions on Iran’s part.”
US shutdown of sharing site draws hacker retaliation WASHINGTON AFP
US authorities have shut down one of the largest file-sharing websites and charged seven people with copyright crimes, sparking a retaliatory cyber attack on the FBI and Justice Department websites. The two government sites were up and running again early Friday after being shut down for several hours in an attack claimed by the “Anonymous” hacktivist group, which also briefly disabled music and recording industry websites. The filesharing site Megaupload.com went offline as officials and the Federal Bureau of Investigation laid out the details of what they described as “among the largest criminal copyright cases ever brought by the United States.” The founder of the Hong Kong-based Megaupload site was among four people arrested for online piracy and crimes that justice officials said had illegally netted them millions of dollars from subscriptions and advertising revenue. The site is popular with Hollywood celebrities and has been endorsed by music stars such as Kanye West. It was also reported Thursday that Swizz Beatz, a music producer married to the singer Alicia Keys, was its chief executive. Beatz, whose real name is Kasseem Dean, was not named in the indictment. The announcement of the indictment on Thursday came one day after Wikipedia, Google and other websites staged a protest against congressional legislation intended to crack down on online piracy.
yemen scraps amnesty for Saleh’s aides SANAA AFP
The Yemeni government has tweaked a contested bill that would have granted legal immunity to aides of President Ali Abdullah Saleh implicated in criminal affairs, a government source said Friday. The new version “grants complete immunity to president Saleh” but his assistants will only benefit from “political immunity” and will be eventually held accountable for criminal or terrorist acts, the same source told AFP. The amended bill, adopted by the government on Thursday during an extraordinary meeting, also provides for the ratification of “laws on national reconciliation and transitional justice.” The government is to submit the bill to parliament on Saturday. The original version, submitted January 8, would have granted amnesty against prosecution to Saleh and the aides “who who worked with him in all government, civil and military departments during the years of his rule.” In November, Saleh signed a Gulf-brokered deal to end the political crisis in the impoverished country. Under it, he handed authority to Vice President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi, and the opposition formed a national unity government. Saleh serves now as an honorary president until polls are held in February to elect Mansur as his successor.
MOGADISHu: Somali IDP’s displaced by famine queue at a food-aid distribution centre on Friday. AFP
Rushdie pulls out of indian lit fest JAIPuR AFP
British novelist Salman Rushdie pulled out of India’s largest literary festival Friday, saying he feared assassination after his participation was opposed by senior Muslim clerics. “I have now been informed by intelligence sources... that paid assassins from the Mumbai underworld may be on their way to eliminate me,” the Indian-born writer said in a statement read by the producer of the Jaipur Literature Festival, Sanjoy Roy. Rushdie had been scheduled to speak on the festival’s opening day on Friday, but the event kicked off without him. Rushdie’s 1988 book “The Satanic Verses”, which is banned in India, is still seen by many Muslims worldwide as a blasphemous work that insults their religion. The 65year-old writer, who was born in Mumbai, spent a decade in hiding after Iranian spiritual leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued a fatwa in 1989 calling for his death over the novel. While voicing doubts about the accuracy of the intelligence reports, Rushdie said it would be irresponsible to attend the festival in such circumstances. “Irresponsible to my family, to the festival audience and my
fellow writers. I will therefore not come to Jaipur as planned,” his statement said. In a separate message on his Twitter account, Rushdie, whose current whereabouts are unknown, said he still hoped to make a longdistance contribution to the event. “Very sad not to be at jaipur. I was told bombay mafia don issued weapons to 2 hitmen to ‘eliminate’ me. Will do video link instead. Damn,” he tweeted. The row over Rushdie’s participation began last week with demands from clerics at the influential Darululoom Deoband seminary in northern India that he be kept out of the country. Festival organisers said they were deeply disappointed that Rushdie had been forced to withdraw, with Roy arguing that challenges to free speech were becoming a “huge problem for Indian democracy”. “The whole thing is the result of a tragic game of Chinese whispers,” added author and festival co-
founder William Dalrymple. “The reality of Rushdie’s writings are completely different from the way they have been cartooned and caricatured. “In a more just world his arrival here would have been heralded by people in the streets throwing out rose petals in front of him rather than this nonsense,” Dalrymple said. The hardline Jamaat-e-Islami Hind group, which had threatened protests if Rushdie came to Jaipur, welcomed his decision to withdraw, while denying any link to the assassination threats. “It’s good that the author has cancelled his visit which was our demand,” said spokesman Mohammad Nazimuddin. “I cannot comment on what intelligence agencies reported but our plan was to protest peacefully, not aggressively,” he said.
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Injury agony sets up Li, Clijsters rematch Page 21
overpowering england a great boost: Mohsin no need to panic, DuBAI AFP
Pakistan coach Mohsin Khan insisted Friday that the comprehensive ten wicket win over the world's best Test team England will boost the image of his team. "Our aim is to provide a boost to the nation and fans of Pakistan cricket, and to show the world that there is more to Pakistan cricket than just negatives like spot-fixing," Khan told AFP on Friday. Pakistan romped to a 1-0 lead in the three-Test series with two days to spare as England crumbled to 160 in their second innings with Umar Gul (463), Saeed Ajmal (3-42) and Abdul Rehman (3-37) sharing the spoils. Khan said the team were determined to improve their performances and their image. "This group of players is playing an important role in improving the image of Pakistan cricket, by playing tough cricket and winning consistently and therefore showing the world that Pakistani cricketers are among the best and
where are you? Barmy Army get empty feeling DuBAI AFP
England's Barmy Army of noisy fans were left with an empty feeling as their team slipped to defeat by Pakistan inside three days in a first Test played in a ghostly 25,000-capacity Dubai Stadium. Dressed in England's blue one-day colours, the Barmy Army, who follow their team around the world, outnumbered the Pakistani fans who struggle to get time off from their jobs in the Gulf State. "It's exciting to be here in the UAE, but the stands are silent," Graham Ffitch told AFP. "We hope to get real competition in the stands from the Indian fans when England go there in October this year." England will tour Sri Lanka in April and face a real challenge to maintain their world number one Test status in the sub-continent, regarded as their weak point. Things have not started well. England crumbled against Saeed Ajmal on the first day of the first Test as the off-spinner took a career-best 7-55 to bundle the tourists out for 192.
they deserve respect," said Khan. Khan took over as interim coach after Waqar Younis quit the post in September last year. The 56-year-old was retained for this series but is likely to be replaced by former Australian batsman Dav Whatmore next month. Khan praised off-spinner Ajmal for getting his second ten-wicket haul in Test cricket. "Ajmal was brilliant and when you play against the best team in the world then getting ten wickets is a big achievement, but I would say that Gul, Rehman and Aizaz Cheema all bowled well and deserve credit," said Khan, a former opener. Khan said Pakistan's good start gave them the upper hand. "We had a wonderful start to the Test match and after getting five early wickets we thought that the game was in our hands and we knew that if we get a good lead we can put pressure on England and that happened to our plan," said Khan. England, who won the toss and decided to bat, were left struggling at 525 at lunch on the opening day -- a
position from where they could never recover. Khan also praised the good job done by the batsmen. "After we got to 338 (in first innings) we had a confident feeling that now we can bowl our way to the victory and Gul provided that with a brilliant spell, we were expecting a win but not inside three days," said Khan. Pakistan gained a 146-run lead on the back of half-centuries from Mohammad Hafeez (88), Adnan Akmal (61), Taufiq Umar (58) and Misbah-ul Haq (52). "It was a great team effort and the boys gave their almost hundred percent, we must praise our batting as well, the openers gave us a sound start and then everyone chipped in by showing good fighting spirit," said Khan. "I hope the intensity and the hard work continues because we have just won the first Test and must show consistency to win the series," said Khan. The second Test starts in Abu Dhabi from January 25. Dubai will stage the third Test from February 3-7 followed by four one-day and three Twenty20 matches.
England destroyer Ajmal is world’s best DuBAI
AKISTANI off-spinner Saeed Ajmal on Friday rose to the position of world's highest ranking spinner a day after guiding his team to a comprehensive ten wicket win in the first Test against England inside three days. The 34-year-old registered his second ten-wicket haul -- a career best 7-55 in the first innings and 3-42 in the second -- to help Pakistan take a 1-0 lead in the three-Test series. Ajmal termed his top ranking as a "great honour." "It's a great honour to be the best spinner in the world but performing in my team's win is always more important for me than anything else," Ajmal said. The International Cricket Council (ICC) added: "Ajmal earned 117 rat-
ings points for his magnificent bowling performance, now has England’s second-ranked James Anderson firmly within his sights who has 37 more ratings points." Given that Ajmal is still in a qualification period for bowlers, it is likely that he will move even further up the ladder depending on how he performs in the second Test which starts in Abu Dhabi on January 25, the ICC said. South African paceman Dale Steyn tops the bowlers' list with 896 rating points. Ajmal has also leapfrogged England's off-spinner Graeme Swann who has slipped one position to fourth, while Ajmal's spin partner Abdul Rehman has also leapt five places which has put him in a career best 14th position. The latest rankings have brought bad news for England batsmen.
England opener Alastair Cook and Ian Bell, who entered in third and fourth positions respectively, have slipped two and three positions respectively, while Kevin Pietersen has fallen out of the top 10. Pietersen, who scored two and nought in the Dubai Test, has lost six places and is now in 16th position while England captain Andrew Strauss has also dropped six places to 34th spot. The only England batsmen to make any upward movements are wicketkeeper Matt Prior in 18th (up by one) and Swann in 64th (up by 11). In contrast, the Pakistan batsmen have made positive gains with Younus Khan in fourth (up by two), captain Misbah-ul-Haq in 14th (up by three), Mohammad Hafeez in 30th (up by 15), Taufeeq Umar in 32nd (up by six) and wicketkeeper Adnan Akmal in 70th (up by 23).
Andy Flower on Friday expressed his confidence in England staging a swift comeback against Pakistan after losing the first Test by ten wickets inside three days. England crumbled to 160 all out in their second knock on Thursday to go 1-0 down in the three-match series -- their first Test as world number one, a position they attained in August last year following a 4-0 rout of India. Flower, who was named UK coach of the year in 2011, said beating Australia in Australia was a bigger test, but coming back in the second Test will also be a big task. "Pakistan certainly outplayed us by a long margin in this Test. We underperformed, poorly. However, we can come back from this. Is it a real test? Yes it will be," the 43-year-old England coach told reporters. "Beating Australa in Australia was a big test. This team has done great things in the recent past, but you have to move on from the past and live in the present, and this is a very good indication that you have to live in the present," said Flower. England have not lost a series since losing to the West Indies in 2009 -Flower's first after he took over from Peter Moores. Flower disagreed that England -playing their first Test since August last year -- were under-prepared or lacked application. "I don't think it's either of those. Our preparation were excellent," said Flower of the two wins inside games here. "It might be fair to say that the lay-off we've had probably means people aren't quite up to speed as we usually are. "However we needed that break, the players needed a mental and physical break and you can't have it all ways. Our challenge now is to get up to speed for the second Test," said Flower the match starting in Abu Dhabi from January 25.
Defeat a mockery of England’s No 1 ranking ExPERT COMMENT
F you can’t bat, you can’t win, and this was a pathetic, unexpected and shocking batting display by England. I never thought I would see a three-day Test match in the United Arab Emirates. These pitches are slow, flat and good for batting on for long periods. Watching England’s two innings gave the impression of a team who had not prepared well and did not have a clue about how to play in the subcontinent. Yet we all know that this group of players, and their huge number of backroom staff, have been out here for just more than two weeks. They have had time to adjust. A par score on this pitch was more than 350. When England made 192
on the first day they dug such a big hole for themselves that it was impossible to scramble out. Jack Nicklaus always said you can’t win a golf tournament on the first day but you can sure as hell lose it. England did exactly that with awful batting. This England team have not won in the subcontinent. They even played badly in the World Cup last year, which was held in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Until they start playing well in the subcontinent they can’t call themselves the best team in the world and definitely can’t be judged against some of the other great England sides. Our bowlers did a splendid job. Our seamers bowled disciplined lines, they made the ball shape a bit in the air and move occasionally off the seam. Bowling out Pakistan for just over 300 on this pitch was a good performance. The bowlers ran in with pace, commitment and no blame can be attached to them. Forget the twospinners debate. England lost because of the way they batted. Simple. While trying to save the game on Thursday, Alastair Cook and Kevin Pietersen should not have been attempting the hook shot. Cook, of all people, is capable of batting for long periods. KP,
we all know, just doesn’t think. It is all bravado and talent. “I am going to play my way and nobody is going to stop me.” It was as if their brains went out of the window as they were padding up in the dressing room. From two innings it is clear Ian Bell couldn’t pick Saeed Ajmal. He has more chance of picking his nose than Ajmal’s doosra. And if you can’t pick a wrist spinner then you are struggling. Andrew Strauss was unlucky to get a bad decision. I wouldn’t have given him out. Jonathan Trott played a faultless knock, a bit like Matt Prior in the first innings. His performance was about occupation of the crease, being watchful, careful, patient and simply waiting for an easy ball to hit. Then somehow his concentration lapsed and he succumbed to a cross-batted cut without moving his feet. Eoin Morgan is overrated as a Test match cricketer. I know he is a superb one-day batsman but under pressure in Test matches he doesn’t cut it. In the first innings he attempted a premeditated sweep to a straight half-volley. In the second innings he played back to a half-volley that turned out of the bowlers’ footmarks and all he could do was get a thin edge to the keeper. Making runs in
Test cricket is no big deal. Morgan made a hundred at Edgbaston against India last summer, but everyone was at it then against a poor attack. It is making runs for the team when you are in trouble that is the mark of a quality player. Strauss was interviewed after winning the toss and said all the right things about how the team had realised in the two weeks since arriving here that they had to occupy the crease, show a great deal of patience and accept that runs arrive at a slower pace than on the bouncy pitches in Australia and South Africa. He was dead right. But only two of his players stayed on message: Prior and Trott. In the first innings, and at times during the second, England gave the impression that they had decided not to let
Ajmal tie them down. Somehow they felt they had to get on top of him and score runs. In the first innings Cook was out cutting Mohammad Hafeez but picked the wrong length and it was too close to his body to play that shot. Also this was only the sixth over of the match. Strauss then attempted to pull a good-length ball that was not short enough before Pietersen missed a straight ball, lunging at least two feet in front of his pad. Ken Barrington knew how to bat in the subcontinent. He used to say you had to book in for bed and breakfast, which means when you get in, stay in and make the opposition bowl you out. The two guys who made runs for Pakistan, Hafeez and Misbah-ul-Haq, did exactly that. It is not rocket science and England should have taken note. (Telegraph)
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New corruption scandal erupts in Malaysia kuALA LuMPuR
new football scandal has erupted in Malaysia over match-fixing involving players, and officials warning on Friday that it has marred the image of one of its professional leagues. Nine players with the northern Perlis state admitted having contact with a bookmaker who offered them up to 100,000 ringgit ($32,000) each be-
Shining Club crush tauseef Club
fore they lost 7-2 against a weak team on January 9, the New Straits Times said. Following the shock defeat, Perlis Football Association chief Shahidan Kassim questioned players who said a bookmaker had convinced them to lose the match. "Nine players are under investigation for corruption. We have suspended one player," Azhar Ahmad, Perlis FA deputy president told AFP. "I am in favour of drastic action against players who indulge in corrup-
tion. They should be banned for life and their assets seized," he said. An initial probe revealed that a former Perlis player had approached the players to lose the match, Azhar said. "We are disappointed by their actions. It has brought shame to the Perlis FA. Our supporters have called me to express their disappointment," he said. Twelve teams contest the second-tier premier league tournament which is under supervision of the Football Asso-
Skipper AB de Villiers hit 96 Friday and predecessor Graeme Smith regained his limited overs form with a brisk 68 as South Africa totalled 299-7 against Sri Lanka in the fourth one-day international. Number three De Villiers hit eight fours and three sixes off 76 balls before being bowled by Thisara Perera with the ball slamming into middle stump after an attempt to steer it down leg side backfired. Smith managed only six, 28 and two in the first three matches of the series, triggering a media and public outcry that led to De Villiers coming out in support of the Test captain. He struck seven fours and a six off 69 balls at sun-drenched De Beers Diamond Oval in the northern Cape city before being caught by Sri Lankan captain Tillakaratne Dilshan off the bowling of Lasith Malinga. His dismissal 23.5 overs into the innings was soft with the bat turning in his hand as he attempted a leg-side shot off a delivery that was short of a length. De Villiers won the toss and opted to bat as South Africa sought a 4-0 lead over the visitors ahead of the final match in Johannesburg, and they put 84 runs on the board before Alviro Petersen (37) was first to fall. Colin Ingram was trapped leg before just four
LCCA Super League schedule announced LAHORE STAFF REPORT
The schedule of the LCCA Super Cricket League of next 10 matches of East Zone clubs was announced here on Friday. The match between Lahore Gym and Ghaziabad gym will be played on Jan 22 at Bagh-e-Jinnah ground under the supervision of Furqan Butt and M Sabir while other nine matches will be played on Jan 25 at various grounds of the city.
Arif mujeed new mtSwF
Barcelona eye el Clasico boost in title race
Mian Arif Mujeed took over as the new chairman of the Model Town Sports Welfare Federation while Mian Rizwan Ali was named as general secretary. Mujeed clinched the post unopposed. He urged Model Town clubs to support him in the larger interest of the game as it is one of the key bodies of the country. MTSWF comprises Chairman Mian Arif Mujeed, Vice Chairman Azmat Slam Puri, President Shoaib Dar, General Secretary Mian Rizwan Ali and Secretary Finance Syed Ajmal BuKhari.
Barcelona believe their latest El Clasico victory over Real Madrid will be the perfect tonic as they attempt to eat into their bitter rivals' five-point lead at La Liga summit. Barcelona beat Real 2-1 in a bad-tempered Kingâ€™s Cup quarterfinal first leg clash in midweek and will start as favourites to wrap up the tie in the second leg at their Nou Camp home next week. Before then, the defending champions travel to Malaga on Sunday while Real tackle Athletic Bilbao. In Wednesday's feverish cup atmosphere, Jose Mourinho's Real looked nothing like the side which had won all but one of their last 23 matches and amassed 63 goals so far this season in the league. That lone defeat had also come against Barcelona in December. Real have been stuttering away from home recently where they have only won three out of eight games and looked defensively frail last weekend in the 4-2 win over Real Betis. In midweek, Mourinho preferred to offer a more defensive display where Pepe was once again the villain. The Portuguese attempted to stop Barca with some over the top challenges with the worst offence his crude stamping on the hand of Lionel Messi as the Argentine star lay on the ground. Gerard Pique has not been a regular in the Barca side this season due to injuries and has often been left out when coach Pep Guardiola has played three at the back. He produced a solid performance against Real and said that when Barca play to their potential they are still the team to beat. "That was one of our best performances and when we play like that then we are not going to lose. We have a style of football which we have been playing for many years and we play the same in whichever stadium," he said.
KIPS cry foul in Football Championship LAHORE STAFF REPORT
KIPS College team is being denied third position in the Lahore Board Inter-collegiate Football Championship by none other than the Lahore Board officials. Railway Road College and KIPS clashed in the classification match of the championship and Railway Road College fielded a player who was shown red card during the semi-final match. But when KIPS protested to the organizing committee, it called a meeting on Friday with an official of the Railway Road College holding a key position in the committee who held the decision. The KIPS college officials have now appealed to the chairman Lahore Board Sports Committee to intervene and declare Railway Road College disqualified for violating football rules. Lahore Board Sports Official Mohammad Khalid, Sports Secretary Lahore Board, an official of Railway Road College and Prof. Faisal Fayyaz DPE KIPS were present in this meeting.
vestigations by the anti-corruption agency and police indicate the nine players are indeed involved in the latest scam, the team will have to pull out of the tournament because there are no substitute players. "What is important is we weed out corruption. We want to stop this matchrigging from spreading," he said. "I think outraged fans will not turn up to watch tonight's match in (the capital) Kangar," he added.
De Villiers leads way as SA make 299-7
LAHORE Shining club advanced to the next round of the 9th M Siddique Memorial Cricket Tournament beating beat Tauseef Club by 72 runs at Wahdat Colony ground on Friday. Moazam Hayat for 5/11. P&T Gym , Model Town club, Wahdat Eaglets, Mughalpura Whites and Lahore Gym have already marched into the next round. SCORES: Shining Club 160/6 in 20 overs. hamayon Farhat 67, rizwan 44, muntazar mehdi 17. Sheraz Baig 2/21, ISrar Baig 2/30, mohsin Agha 1/41. tauseef Club 88 all out in 19.0 overs. m Ahmed 23, Ibrar Baig 21, Sajid 15. moazam hayat 5/11, mudassar 1/16, Usman 1/21.
ciation of Malaysia (FAM). The tournament began barely two weeks ago and the integrity of the league could be thrown into doubt if corruption is not eradicated, an FAM official told AFP on condition of anonymity. The scandal is a fresh blow to Malaysian football, which has struggled to recover from a 1994 investigation that saw 21 players and coaches sacked, 58 players suspended and 126 players questioned over corruption. Azhar said if in-
SCOREBOARD SOuTH AFRICA A. Petersen c Tharanga b Herath 37 68 G. Smith c Dilshan b Malinga 96 A.B. de Villiers b Perera 1 C. Ingram lbw b Kulasekara 36 j.P. Duminy c Sangakkara b Perera F. du Plessis c Sangakkara b Herath 5 W. Parnell run out (Tharanga) 21 23 R. Peterson not out 2 V. Philander not out 10 ExTRAS (b4, w6) TOTAL (7 wkts, 50 overs) 299 Fall of wickets: 1-84 (Petersen), 2-171 (Smith), 3-172 (Ingram), 4-242 (Duminy), 5-250 (De Villiers), 6-252 (Du Plessis), 7-289 (Parnell) BOWLING: Malinga 10-0-57-1 (4w), Kulasekara 8-0-40-1, Senanayake 10-1-53-0, Perera 4-0-34-2 (2w), Mathews 1-0-60, Dilshan 8-0-60-0, Herath 9-0-45-2 Did not bat: M. Morkel, L. Tsotsobe Sri Lanka: u. Tharanga, T. Dilshan (capt), K. Sangakkara, D. Chandimal (wkt), L. Thirimanne, A. Mathews, N. Kulasekara, L. Malinga, R. Herath, T. Perera, S. Senanayake Match situation: Sri Lanka need 300 runs to win, Toss: South Africa, umpires: johan Cloete (RSA) and Billy Doctrove (WIS), TV umpire: Nigel Llong (ENG), Match referee: jeff Crowe (NZL).
KIMBERLEY: South Africaâ€™s batsman AB de Villiers (L) plays a shot as Sri Lanka's wicketkeeper Kumar Sangakkara waits to make a catch during the fourth one-day International match (OdI) against Sri Lanka. AFP
balls after the departure of Smith, but Sri Lankan hopes of wresting the initiative were dashed as De Villiers and JP Duminy
(36) added 70 fourth-wicket runs. Sri Lanka, who came to South Africa out of form and lost a Test series 2-1 before the
ODI matches began, arrived in Kimberley under a cloud with their government ordering a probe into a "crisis situation".
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Australian Open Tennis Diary
Aisam makes to second round in both doubles ALI AKBAR FROM MELBOuRNE
ARCOS Baghdatis' unprecedented meltdown in his match against Stan Wawrunka where he systematically destroyed four racquets, has developed a huge worldwide following, with over 350,000 people and counting, accessing it on YouTube. Even top seed Novak Djokovic could not wait to see Baghdatis in action. Baghdatis also earned himself a $1200 fine in the process. This probably earned him more publicity than his run to the Australian Open finals a few years ago. Meanwhile, at the tennis, Aisam Qureshi won his Mixed doubles first round match comfortably, he and partner Andrea Hlavackova taking out Jelena Dokic and Paul Hanley of Australia, 6-3,6-1. The Czech-Pakistani pairing was especially good on the big points, winning four out of nine break points while not allowing their opponents to win even one of their eight break opportunities. Aisam and Jean Julien
Roger play Phillip Marx and Adil Shamasdin in the second round of the men's doubles Saturday (today), the fourth match on court 18. FedeReR, Nadal oN sHoWdoWN couRse He started out as a basketball player but injuries forced him to take up tennis. Croatian Ivo Karlovic has not done badly for himself on the tennis court either. His 6 ft 10inch frame gives him a huge angle into the service box and he also owns the record for the fastest serve ever. This afternoon Karlovic gave Roger Federer all he could handle in their third round match. Karlovic had set point in the first set, but a desperately scrambled lob was too much for him and Federer pulled away to a straight sets victory. Rafael Nadal advanced comfortably and the two are scheduled to meet in the semifinals. The two are good friends although Nadal came out against Federer's policy of avoiding controversy in tennis’ political matters. stRIKe oN tHe caRds? It seems that there is trouble bubbling under the surface of the smoothly running ATP Tour and there is even talk of a strike by the players. What is obvious is that the lower rungs of the tour, the Futures and the Challengers have prize money which is a fraction of that on the main tour. Something definitely needs to be done to address this so that the up and coming players can at least pay their way through these tours. American John Isner was bounced out of the Open, leaving no American in the last sixteen. This is an accurate reflection of the state of American men's tennis, which has fallen on desperately hard times.
Make or break time for Manchester United A preview of United’s forthcoming run and North London’s quest for vengeance against Manchester on Sunday EPL CrystaL BaLL kuNWAR kHuLDuNE SHAHID
ITH a titanic clash with old rivals Arsenal, due tomorrow, Manchester United embark upon an arduous run of fixtures that sees them take on four of the big boys one after the other. United’s next six fixtures read; Arsenal (A), Stoke (H), Chelsea (A), Liverpool (H), Norwich (A), Tottenham (A). They take on three of the top five sides away from home, and then there is the small matter of hosting archenemy Liverpool at Old Trafford, to round off a run of fixtures that surely is ‘make or break’ for Manchester United. Slotted in amongst this ensemble of daunting matchups is an F.A Cup tie at Anfield – next weekend to be precise – as well. If results go United’s way, they could find themselves within close proximity of the top of the league table, with a tough barrage of fixtures out of the way; and on their way to F.A Cup glory – a tournament they haven’t won since 2004 – with two big guns, City and Liverpool, knocked out. Au contraire, they could find themselves out of the title race and the F.A Cup, with only the Europa League to play for – and that would be excruciating for the
English giants; no two ways about that. United currently trail leaders Manchester City by three points, and with the latter traversing a continuum of hiccups of their own, the defending Champions should look to cling onto the coattails of their neighbours for as long as they can. If United emerge from this tough run with the aforementioned coattail within their sight, Sir Alex would undoubtedly fancy his side’s chances of defending their league title. A cluster of significant fixtures can work both ways; if United find their feet and instigate a decent run, their momentum can carry them over the next month or so. Similarly, a poor performance and result can have its ramifications on the forthcoming fixtures as well. Decisive matches being crammed in also denote that the menace of injuries becomes all the more spinetingling for the gaffer – a 2-3 week injury layoff for one of your key players could mean that he misses out on 3-4 of the biggest games of the season. Sir Alex is the living anthology of the ‘been there done that, seen it all’, but he’d be the be the first one to acknowledge – albeit in solitude – that the pack of cards he has with him at the moment is short on a few aces; especially when juxtaposed with United teams of the previous couple of decades. All the same, the wily old Scott has conjured up league titles with not-so-brilliant sides and a
season of middle of the road performances as well, and he’d be looking to pull out another rabbit this year. If after the Spurs game on 3rd March, United find themselves within five points of the summit – with eleven games to go – Sir Alex would be completely over the moon. And with City showcasing a wobble or two every now and then, Mancini’s side might aid their neighbours’ cause as well.
MAN CITY VS SPuRS This Sunday sees four of the top five sides taking on each other, with three of them being bona fide title contenders. First up we have Spurs taking on Manchester City, trailing the league leaders by five points, and vying to make a statement for their title credentials – or so we think. City and Spurs have formulated an intriguing rivalry over the past couple of seasons owing to the two sides competing for Champions League qualification. However, this year round it’s the EPL title that’s up for grabs for both sides – even though Harry Redknapp continues to downplay his side’s chances of lifting the trophy come May. Granted that if at the start of the season, one had give Harry a third (or even fourth) place finish, he’d have bit your hand off and said thank you very much! But considering the fact that if the league had started in September, Spurs would be top of the table, Tottenham should be giving the league a serious go – they’re only five points off the pace, and playing arguably the best football in the league. For Tottenham Sunday’s game at Etihad Stadium presents an ideal opportunity for a reprisal for their early season 5-1 drubbing at White Hart Lane. Spurs were still settling down back then, with the
Modric soap opera going on, whereas now they have the Croatian along with Bale, Adebayor and Van Der Vaart at the top of their game. Even though the 1-1 against Wolves last time round was a blemish on their recent upsurge, Spurs still have enough armour to trouble a City side sans Kompany and Yahya Toure – along with David Silva the two most influential City players. For City, their recent troubles are well documented; however, while the side struggling for defensive stability without Kompany is understandable, their attacking impotence is not. City still have a 100% home record, even though they’ve suffered back to back home defeats in the F.A Cup and Carling Cup, against United and Liverpool respectively; however, if Spurs play to their potential expect that stat to change on Sunday.
ARSENAL VS MAN uNITED There is a lot of history involved in this fixture; and now with Scholes and Henry returning, the history involved is a notch or two more than usual. They were integral cogs in their respective machines when the Arsenal-United rivalry was at its apogee during 19992005, and watching them on Sunday would be a nostalgic throwback – and not only for the fans of the two clubs. As far as the meaningful numbers for Arsenal are concerned, they currently lie fifth – four points of fourth placed
Chelsea – and on the back of successive away defeats. To label Arsenal’s away form as ‘abysmal’ would be very generous on this column’s part and hence they’d need to make sure that they capitalise on their home form that has seen them unbeaten at the Emirates since Liverpool toppled them in August. The match on Sunday would also be an opportunity to do one over their long time rivals in reciprocation of the 8-2 mauling early on in the season. Like so often at the Emirates, Arsenal taking on United promises to be a duel between the home team’s possession play versus United’s counter attack. Whenever, Fergie’s team has got the better of Arsenal at their own turf recently it has owed a lot to their counter attacking prowess. If Arteta is passed fit, the Spaniard along with Song and Ramsey would look to control matters in the middle; but with Scholes returning to join Carrick in the center United have retraced stability in the middle of the park as well. Nevertheless, we could have the game’s decisive matchup on Arsenal’s right wing. Considering Evra’s form, Walcott can run him absolutely ragged; and with the Frenchman being out of position (and his comfort zone) – the former habitually, and the latter courtesy Walcott – expect Van Persie to trouble United’s central defense. However, the good news for United fans is that Rio Ferdinand might not be fit for Sunday.
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MELBOuRNE: Fans watch the match between tomas Berdych of the Czech republic and Kevin Anderson of South Africa at the Australian Open tennis tournament. ReUTeRS
Federer, Nadal progress as US men flop
WAtch It LIvE STAR SPORTS Australian Open Tennis 05:30AM
ESPN Barclays Premier League: Fulham V Newcastle United 08:25PM
wAPdA, nBP in national hockey final LAHORE STAFF REPORT
CE-COOL Roger Federer showed nerves of steel to down Croatian giant Ivo Karlovic Friday as his great rival Rafael Nadal extended his hot streak at the Australian Open. As John Isner completed the worst ever US men's showing in the open era, Kim Clijsters moved one step closer to defending her title and Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki reached the fourth round as she clings doggedly to the top ranking. Injury-hit world number 11 Juan Martin del Potro equalled his best grand slam performance since winning the 2009 US Open, and Australian teen Bernard Tomic won a rollercoaster five-setter against Ukraine's Alexandr Dolgopolov. With the 6ft 10ins (208 cm) Karlovic hammering serves from on high and constantly coming forward, blocking the court with his outsized frame, Federer faced an awkward task. But at set point down in the first set tie-break and scrambling to a drop shot, he did not flinch and gamely aimed a vertical lob over the Croatian beanpole, who could only parry it into his own court. Federer, deftly combating the sport's fastest serve with his unerring backhand, took his first set point, then conjured the match's first break
Wozniacki, Azarenka romp to wins
to take the second set before clinching it 7-6 (8/6), 7-5, 6-3. "I knew it could come down to a few (points) here and there and obviously you need a bit of luck," he smiled. "I definitely got a bit fortunate and I started to play better as the match went on." Earlier, Nadal bludgeoned his way into the fourth round with a straightsets win over Slovakia's Lukas Lacko - but he denied he was having it easy at the year's opening major. Nadal came into the tournament jaded and troubled by injuries, but he has given no such signs on the court so far. After a hard-fought opening against Lacko, the 2009 champion raced away with it 6-2, 6-4, 6-2. "Nothing is easy. Everything is difficult. Every match you have your problems," he said. "First set was 6-2, but I had to fight for it. It was a tough one. But I played solid all the match, so that's why I won." Clijsters, 28, showed her quality in a straightforward 6-3, 6-2 win over Daniela Hantuchova on Hisense Arena, as she aims to kick off her final season on tour with back-to-back Australian Open titles. And Wozniacki won 6-2, 6-2 against Monica Niculescu as she aims for her first major title and defends her top ranking from Victoria Azarenka, Maria Sharapova and Petra Kvitova, who could all be crowned number one after this event.
Injury agony sets up li, Clijsters rematch MELBOuRNE AFP
meLBOUrne: Caroline wozniacki of denmark plays a stroke during her match against monica niculescu of romania. AFP MELBOuRNE AFP
Top seed Caroline Wozniacki and thirdranked Victoria Azarenka both reached the Australian Open's fourth round without dropping a set Friday as they target maiden grand slam wins. But while Wozniacki cruised past Romania's Monica Niculescu 6-2, 6-2, Azarenka was handed her first real test of the tournament before beating Germany's Mona Barthel 6-2, 6-4. Wozniacki had been severely tested during her second-round match against Georgia's Anna Tatishvili, but against Niculescu the 21-year-old Dane took control from the outset and never relented. She won the first set in 31 minutes and only slipped up in the second when, serving for the match at 5-1, she was broken by the Romanian. But Wozniacki broke
meLBOUrne: Victoria Azarenka of Belarus plays a stroke during her match against mona Barthel of Germany. AFP
meLBOUrne: Julia Goerges of Germany gestures after victory in her match against romina Oprandi of Italy. AFP
straight back to win an entertaining match and move into the fourth round as she bids to retain the top ranking, which could be usurped by Azarenka, Petra Kvitova or Maria Sharapova after the Open. "There's not too much rhythm playing against Monica," Wozniacki said. "She slices the ball from both sides, she can play high and she can play aggressive. "You need to be fast on your feet to win the points because she's so fast." Azarenka had earlier put aside some contentious line calls in her win over Barthel. The Belarusian, who had been expected to win easily, showed her anxiety towards the end of the contest when two line calls went against her on her third and fourth match points. Azarenka had no Hawk-Eye challenges left after three earlier unsuccessful appeals and had to accept the calls, but after winning the match she turned and glared angrily at
the official before walking to the net. She later conceded that she may have overreacted. "I was wrong three times so it was my fault too," she said, referring to her earlier Hawk-Eye challenges. Although winning in straight sets, Azarenka never had it her own way against the feisty German, who won her maiden WTA title as a qualifer in Hobart last week after beating the top two seeds along the way. "Even though I won the first set 6-2 there were a lot of long points, but I was strong and took my chances," she said. "In the second set I lost my concentration a little but I hung in there." She now takes on Czech Iveta Benesova, a 6-1, 6-3 winner over Russian qualifier Nina Bratchikova. Eighth-seeded Pole Agnieszka Radwanska moved through to the fourth round largely unnoticed when she beat Galina Voskoboeva of Kazakhstan 6-2, 6-2.
WAPDA and NBP have moved to the final of the 31st U-21 National Junior Hockey Championship being played here at the National Hockey Stadium. On Friday, both the semi-finals were played with WAPDA beating SSGC and NBP edging aside Punjab Colours. In the first semifinal, WAPDA gained 3-2 win in the extra time. The teams remained locked two-all by the completion of full 70 minutes play forcing them to play in extra time. SSGC was leading the first half but WAPDA came from behind to first level the score and then got the golden goal in the 81st minute of the match. WAPDAâ€™S goal scorers were Mohammad Suleman, field goal in the 66th minute, Asad 68th minute and Mohammad Umair came up with winning hit in a field move in the 81st minute. SSGCâ€™s Waseem Abbas scored the opening goal in the 35th minute on a penalty corner while Hafiz Umer doubled the lead in the 49th minute through a field move. In the second semi-final, NBP moved to the final by 2-1 win over Punjab. Similar to the first semi-final, the second was also played on equal terms when both the teams were one-all at half time. NBP got lucky to get a penalty corner in the 46th minute which got them ahead of the hosts. Punjab got lead in the third minute of the match through their captain Mohammad Mushtaq while NBP got the equaliser from Ahmed Zubair in the 16th minute and Kashif Javed made the win possible in the 46th minute short-corner. Iftikhar Ali Malik, Chairman Guard Group of Companies was the chief guest. The final of the championship will be played on Monday between WAPDA vs NBP National Hockey Stadium, Lahore at 1400 hours.
Kim Clijsters and Li Na will meet in a rematch of last year's Australian Open final after a dramatic end to the women's third round on Friday. After defending champion Clijsters reached the fourth round with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Slovakia's Daniela Hantuchova, Li went through when Spaniard Anabel Medina Garrigues retired in tears after injuring her ankle. Li was leading 2-0 in the first set when Medina Garrigues agonisingly turned her right ankle during a baseline rally. After a medical time-out she tried to continue but lost the next game and retired during the fourth. The injury ensured a highly-anticipated fourth round match with Clijsters, the first meeting between the two since last year's final, won by the Belgian in three sets. Earlier top seed Caroline Wozni-
acki and third-ranked Victoria Azarenka both reached the fourth round without dropping a set as they target maiden grand slam wins. But while Wozniacki cruised past Romania's Monica Niculescu 6-2, 6-2, Azarenka was handed her first real test of the tournament before beating Germany's Mona Barthel 6-2, 6-4. Clijsters will need to better Friday's effort if she wants to go much further in the tournament. The match on Friday was closer than the scoreline suggested, with Hantuchova missing a number of chances to put pressure on the title-holder with some simple mistakes. The 11th-seeded Belgian broke Hantuchova five times in the match, but was broken twice herself as she made only 56 percent of her first serves. Clijsters also made 18 unforced errors in a sometimes sloppy display, but was rescued by her ability to smash winners from all over the court, 27 of them compared with 12 from Hantuchova. "I think in general, the type of player that I had in front of me who hits the ball very low over the net w h e r e you're going to have to step in, there's going to be a higher unforced error count," Clijsters said. "But in general, I still felt like I was hitting enough winners."
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6 US, 4 French troops killed in Afghanistan kANDAHAR
IX US troops were killed in a helicopter crash in southern Afghanistan, officials said on Friday, indicating the incident was not believed to be the result of enemy fire, as four French soldiers were shot dead and 16 were wounded by a member of the Afghan army in eastern Afghanistan. The helicopter, a CH-53 Sea Stallion, went down in the volatile Helmand province, according to one US official who said: “Initial indications are that this was not hostile fire.” The dead were members of the US military, another US official told AFP. In a brief statement, NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said the cause of the crash was under investigation. “However, initial reporting indicates there was no enemy activity in the area at the time of the crash,” it said. The helicopter came down in the Musa Qala district of Hel-
US will wait for Mansoor ijaz claims he has Pakistan to reassess US support for Pakistan visit ties: marc Grossman Refuses to appear before PCnS g
because he is not a Pakistani national
NEW DELHI AGENCIES
Downplaying Pakistan’s refusal to allow him to visit, US Special Representative for Pakistan and Afghanistan Marc Grossman said on Friday he would wait until the Pakistani parliament and government had reassessed and reevaluated the country’s relationship with the US. Amidst the political crisis in Pakistan, Grossman also said the US supported the civilian government and democracy. “This is a question for Pakistanis. This is an internal question for them. They have their own ways of going forward and I would not comment any further on internal developments,” he said. “The Pakistan government has sought time to reevaluate its relationship with the US. I respect that. I would be ready for talks when Pakistan is ready,” he told reporters after meeting Indian Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai. “We respect that and what I say is when Pakistan is ready to reengage with dialogue with US we are glad to do so at any time, [at] any point,” he said. Asked if Pakistan was discussed during his meeting with Mathai, Grossman said the Indian government could speak for itself on Pakistan. “What I would say is that of course we follow issues in Pakistan carefully,” he added. He said the relationship between Pakistan and the US was very important. Grossman also said the US would continue to reinforce its conversation with Pakistan on the situation in Afghanistan and pitched the need for reviving the trilateral dialogue.
mand province at around 10pm on Thursday “due to technical failure”, the provincial Afghan army corps commander Sayed Mulook told AFP. Qari Yousuf Ahmadi, a spokesman for the Taliban militia, claimed the insurgents had shot down the helicopter. Mulook rejected the claim. The Sea Stallion is a heavy transport aircraft capable of carrying about 40 people. The US officials did not say whether anyone else was on board, other than the six victims. An ISAF spokesman told AFP in Kabul that the crash occurred late on Thursday. He stressed that “there was no enemy around”, but could not give further information such as the terrain at the crash site or the weather. Meanwhile, four French soldiers were shot dead and 16 were wounded by a member of the Afghan army in eastern Afghanistan on Friday, a NATO spokesman and Afghan officials said. “A man wearing Afghan army uniform opened fire on French nationals killing four and injuring 16 others this morning in Tagab district of Kapisa
Pak seeks 3 agreements to make India MfN ISLAMABAD
Repeating his claims of receiving threats from Pakistani officials on a daily basis, Pakistani-American businessman Mansoor Ijaz, the central character in the memo controversy, said on Friday that he had now been assured by the US government of its support during his forthcoming visit to Pakistan, Geo News reported. Ijaz also said he would travel to Pakistan but would not say when. In an exclusive interview with Geo News, Ijaz said he offered former ambassador Husain Haqqani to stop “telling lies” about him and he (Ijaz) would stop telling “the truth” about him (Haqqani), but said the former ambassador did not “stop”. “I had a conference call with the US State Department a couple of days ago. The US government will provide the support that they always do for US citizens,” Ijaz said in the interview in London. “They (the US government) made their official position very clear and I made my reasons for going very clear. They understand it’s a high profile case and they understand I am a reasonably high-profile American citizen,” he added. “And I think If, God forbid, anything goes wrong they will certainly be there to help my family make sure that things got sorted out. I am absolutely confident that the American government will do the right thing if something went wrong,” he said without elaborating what could possibly go wrong. Ijaz is set to appear before the judicial commission probing the memogate scandal in Islamabad on January 24. He was issued a one-year multiple-entry visa by the
As Indian Commerce Minister Anand Sharma will be arriving along with a large business delegation on February 13, Pakistan plans to sign three confidence-building agreements with India before formally awarding Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status to its archrival. Briefing media on the progress on MFN status to India, Commerce Minister Makhdoom Amin Fahim, along with Commerce Secretary Zafar Mehmood, said Pakistan wanted to sign three confidence-building agreements, including the Customs Cooperation Agreement, to avoid arbitrary stoppages of goods at each other’s ports; Mutual Recognition Agreement for acceptance of certificates of internationally accredited laboratories; and Redressal of Grievances Agreement in case of any disagreement. Fahim said opening up trade with India would be beneficial for consumes. Giving an example, he said prices of many pharmaceutical products were higher in Pakistan as compared to India, so free trade would lead to improved competitiveness among local producers. However, he said, measures would be taken to protect the local industry. When asked whether the army was on board with the decision to grant MFN status to India, he said all stakeholders were on board, they were kept
Pakistani High Commission on Thursday evening. Ijaz appeared seriously distrustful of the Pakistan government’s claims about his security. “Part of the problem is that you have government officials that are threatening me on a daily basis and I find that a little bit strange that from one corner of their mouth they are saying that I’m secure and at the same time they are threatening me too,” he said. Ijaz praised the memo commission for addressing his concerns, and also appreciated Pakistan Army, which he said had agreed to “do certain things that they have not agreed to do for anybody else and I very much appreciate that”. “Now all of this has been dealt with, I’m ready to go, in fact I want to get it over and done with,” Ijaz said. “I am very much looking forward to going to Pakistan and putting this whole thing behind us,” he added. Ijaz also said the parliamentary committee probing the case could not summon him because he was not a Pakistani citizen. Expressing reservations on appearing before the committee, Ijaz said his legal adviser was reviewing the notice from the committee.
booked over fake degrees LAHORE STAFF REPORT
The Lahore Police has registered a case against five female members of the Punjab Assembly (MPA) for submitting fake degrees in the Election Commission of Pakistan. The Islampura police said that Deputy Election Commissioner Ishtiaq Ahmed on Friday filed a complaint against five female MPAs – Farah Deeba, Safeena Saima, Afshan Farooq, Sameena Aziz
and Naseem Nasir – for submitting fake degrees with the ECP along with their nomination papers. He stated that their educational degrees turned out to be fake during verification. A case has been registered against the
province,” a security official told AFP on condition of anonymity. A spokesman for NATO forces said four NATO troops were killed and the shooter had been arrested, but did not give the nationality of the troops. “Four ISAF service members were killed today in eastern Afghanistan by a member of the Afghan National Army,” the US-led force said in a statement. French troops had surrounded their base in Kapisa and were not allowing any Afghan soldiers to approach, a security source told AFP. The latest deaths brought to 82 the number of French soldiers killed in Afghanistan since French forces deployed there at the end of 2001. Last year was the bloodiest so far, with 26 killed. France has about 3,600 soldiers serving in the country, mainly in the provinces of Kabul and Kapisa. Four French soldiers were killed in the attack and “around 15 wounded including eight seriously,” a ministry source told AFP. Defence Minister Gerard Longuet had said earlier that eight troops were hurt in the attack.
female legislators under Peoples Act 1976. Sources in Islampura Police told Pakistan Today that authorities have stopped them from taking any action against the legislators until further orders.
Published by Arif Nizami for Nawa Media Corporation (Pvt) Ltd at Plot # 7, Al-Baber Centre, F/8 Markaz, Islamabad.
abreast and decisions were taken with mutual agreement. The commerce secretary said the ministry had kept a neutral approach and sought suggestions from the industry about the negative impact on their products in order to compile the negative list. He said the Institute of Business Administration (IBA) was conducting research on the proposals given by the industry and the list would be finalised in the next few days and would be submitted for the cabinet’s consideration and approval in early February. The final decision on awarding the status would be made after approval from the cabinet, he added. Fahim said the improvement in trade was not moving alone but was under the ambit of a composite dialogue between the two countries. He said they were trying to follow a stepwise approach to improve relations so that there could be no reverting because of any incident. Mehmood said the ‘Made in India Exhibition’ would be held on February 11 to 13 in Lahore, in which close to 100 Indian exporters would participate. He said under the World Trade Organisation (WTO) laws, no countryspecific measures could be adopted even though Pakistan would be having a negative list for trade with India, which would have to be done away with but safeguard measures would be taken for the protection of Pakistani industries under the WTO laws.