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Tendulkar announces retirement from one-day internationals
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Indian police ban rape protests in central New Delhi PAGE |04
Monday, 24 december, 2012 Safar 10, 1434
Rs 15.00 Vol iii no 177 19 pages islamabad — peshawar edition
inhajul Quran international Chief and Sheikhul islam allama Dr Tahirul Qadri attracted an awe-inspiring crowd at Minar-e-Pakistan, lahore on Sunday, as he urged the people to stand up for real change and warned the government of mending its ways within three weeks or else be ready for ouster. With a slogan of “save the state, not politics”, Qadri gave his opponents, and critics, a wake up call on a chilly Sunday afternoon as he addresses hundreds of thousands of people at the historic venue. it was the biggest political gathering in the city of late, with conservative number of attendants estimated at a million people. The firebrand scholar gave the government three weeks, or a deadline of january 10, to install a caretaker setup, implement electoral reforms and run the country’s affairs in light of the constitution. Threatening to hold a mammoth rally of four million people in islamabad on january 14 if his demands were not fulfilled, Qadri tested the rally participants with questions of supporting him to the end. “Will you march to islamabad with me?” he queried, and a thundering “yes” was the response. Qadri said the attendance of people at the gathering has proven that the people had rejected the cruel and injustice system and they wanted change. he said he was striving to eradicate the rule of feudalism and the tyrant system in the country to build “a new Pakistan”. he rejected any intervention by the army, saying he would be the first to oppose if such a move was ever made. “if the system is run properly, the army will not interfere.” The Minhajul Quran chief said there was no role of foreigners or agencies behind the gathering, and people had themselves turned up to listen to him.“Corruption is one of the major reasons of the poor state of the economy,” Qadri said, adding that he did not have any other agenda but to see implementation of electoral reforms that guaranteed fair and transparent polls. Continued on page 04 8
PPP, PML-N in covert talks over caretaker PM
Gen Kayani makes Afghan peace ‘top priority’
The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) have once again opened backchannel discussions on a proposal raised by the PPP to give a lead role to politicians instead of technocrats in the caretaker setup and the initial contacts have suggested that both parties would agree to appoint a politician as caretaker prime minister rather than a retired judge, Pakistan Today has learnt reliably. In case both parties fail to evolve consensus over the caretaker PM and his team by March, the matter would automatically be referred to the chief election
Pakistan’s army chief, General Ashfaq Kayani, has made reconciling warring factions in Afghanistan a top priority, military officials and Western diplomats say, the newest and clearest sign yet that Islamabad means business in promoting peace with the Taliban. General Ashfaq Kayani is backing dialogue partly due to fears that the end of the US combat mission in Afghanistan in 2014 could energise a resilient insurgency straddling the shared frontier, according to commanders deployed in the region. “There was a time when we used to think we were the masters of Afghanistan. Now we
commissioner (CEC) who will appoint the new caretakers at will under constitutional provisions. If both parties agree on a politician to head the caretaker setup, the PML-N would withdraw its previous
demand to name either Justice (r) Nasir Aslam Zahid or Justice (r) Shakirullah Jan as caretaker prime minister. Resultantly, the chances of Mian Raza Rabbani’s appointment as caretaker Continued on page 04 8
just want them to be masters of themselves so we can concentrate on our own problems,” said a senior Pakistani military officer stationed in South Waziristan, an Indian TV channel quoting a UK news agency said. “Pakistan has
the power to create the environment in which a grand reconciliation in Afghanistan can take place,” he said, speaking in the gritty town of Wana, about 30kms from Afghanistan. “We have to rise to the challenge. And we are doing it, at the highest level possible.” On December 7, Kayani hammered home his determination to support a negotiated end to the war in Afghanistan at a meeting of top commanders at the army headquarters in Rawalpindi. “He (Kayani) said Afghan reconciliation is our top priority,” said a Pakistani intelligence official, who was briefed about the meeting. Major progress with Kayani’s help could enable Continued on page 04 8
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02 News cartoon
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Life sentence for acid throwing being pursued in NA ISLAMABAD: A nine-member group of MNAs is pushing to substitute capital punishment with life imprisonment for culprits involved in incidents of acid throwing. Recently, the group tabled the “Acid Throwing and Burn Bill 2012” in the National Assembly that initially proposed a death penalty for the crime. Later, efforts were made to replace the punishment with life imprisonment on grounds that the PPP was in favour of abolishing execution. The bill has once again been forwarded to the Standing Committee for further review. ONlINE
Elections will not be postponed due to law and order: Gilani BAHAWALPUR: Former prime minister Yousaf Raza Gilani said elections would not be postponed on the behest of a law and order problem in the country. Addressing a press conference on Sunday, Gilani said if anyone thinks elections would be postponed by acts of terrorism or targeted killings, they are misguided. The former premier said postponement of elections would not be in the interest of the country and democracy. He was confident that elections would be held on schedule. Gilani termed the assassination of Bashir Ahmad Bilour as a national tragedy saying it was a big loss for the country. He said PPP wanted free and fair elections stating that poll rigging had been used in the past to defeat the PPP. He said the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) was a powerful institution following the introduction of the 18th amendment. INP
Fatwa in India bans uploading photos on matrimonial, social sites BAREILLY: An organisation of Sunni Muslim clerics prohibited uploading photos on the internet for matrimonial purposes and on social networking sites. The fatwa issued by Madrassa Manzare Islam of Dargah Aala Hazrat came in response to a question posed by a man from Kanpur who had asked whether it was appropriate according to Islamic laws to post pictures on matrimonial and social networking sites. Mufti Syed Mohammad Kafeel replied that this action would be considered ‘haraam’. However, he said bio-data could be posted on the internet without pictures. Shahi Jama Mosque’s Imam Mufti Khurshid Alam said a fatwa from Mufti Azam Hind was already available in which he had forbidden photos without necessity. He, however, said a photo could be used for passports and other application forms when necessary. INP
monday, 24 December, 2012
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Thousands mourn as Bashir Bilour laid to rest PESHAWAR
ENS of thousands of mourners on Sunday attended the funeral prayers of slain Khyber Pakhtunkhwa senior minister Bashir Ahmad Bilour. Awami National Party President Asfandyar Wali Khan, Interior Minister Rehman Malik, Khyber Pakthunkhwa Governor Barrister Masood Kausar, Engineer Shaukatullah, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Amir Haider Khan Hoti, Federal Communication Minister Arbab Alamgir, Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid senators Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and Mushahid Hussain, Opposition leader in KP Akram Khan Durrani, Pakhtoonkhwa Milli Awami Party leader Mehmood
Khan Achakzai, President’s spokesman Senator Farhatullah Babar and Iranian consul general attended the funeral prayers. Sindh ANP President Senator Shahi Sayed, KP PPP President Anwar Saifullah Khan, Balochistan Nationalist Party leader Mir Hasil Bazenjo, PML-N Senior Vice President Amir Muqam, Qaumi Watan Party Chairman Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao, KP Information Minister, Mian Iftikhar Hussain and Mutahida Qaumi Movement Rabta Committee Member Gulfaraz Khattak also attended the funeral prayers. Security was heightened across Peshawar, particularly in Cantonment. The roads leading to Bilour House and Captain Karnal Sher Khan Shaheed Stadium were closed for traffic. During funeral prayers, the Peshawar Cantonment su-
perintendent of police and other officials were in hunt of suspected suicide bombers. During the funeral procession, the ANP workers were unable to control their sentiments. Right from Bilour House to the stadium, dozens of youths were shouting slogans against terrorism. Earlier, thousands of people visited Bilour House and condoled the aggrieved family. With tears rolling down her face, ailing Begum Nasim Wali Khan prayed that the departed soul may rest in eternal peace. She remained with the coffin for couple of minutes. Rehman Malik, Masood Kausar and Ameer Haider Hoti laid floral wreaths and prayed for the departed soul. On the occasion, a contingent of KP police presented guard of honour. Later, his body was shifted to his native grave-
Baloch lawmakers show concern over educational crisis ISLAMABAD aNwEr abbas
A majority of Baloch lawmakers have expressed their concerns on educational situation in the province. Talking to Pakistan Today, they said Balochistan’s education sector is facing a worst setback because of poor law and order situation, militancy, shortage of lecturers, substandard quality of education, kidnappings and killings of lecturers and teachers, high dropout ratio from schools and low budgetary allocations. They said the government is executing nothing to improve education situation in the province. Former Senate deputy chairman Mir Jan Muhammad Khan Jamali stressed that the situation of education in the province had entered its weakest status at present and direly needed a complete revamping. Jamali said that the province faced a scarcity of teachers as a large number of teachers and lecturers had fled the province, fearing killing and abductions. He said that teachers from other provinces avoid serving in Balochistan due to killings and abductions of renowned educationists, adding that the government has to prepare cadres from within the province to produce local master trainers. National Party Senior Vice President Mir Hasil Khan Bizenjo expressed his complete disappointment on declining situation of education in Balochistan and said that no measures were being taken to improve education sector. Militancy, Bizenjo said, had posed a great loss to Balochsitan’s education sector, as majority of teachers
(native speakers of other languages including Punjabis) have left the area. Now counter-militancy campaigns have exposed the education sector, teachers and lecturers to other threats. He pointed out that the total budgetary allocation for education was less than 2 percent, of which the share of “the province is like peanuts”, adding, “If we distribute this budgetary allocation among students then it would stand hardly Rs 20 or Rs 30 per student per annum.” “Sixty-five percent schools in the province are without teachers, and in those schools where teachers are available each teacher teaches five classes a day. It is need of the time to introduce specific educational projects in Balochistan on war-footing,” Bizenjo said. Awami National Party Senator Daud Khan Achakzai was of the view that teachers in the province were available at a primary level, but not at university level, because of poor law and order situation that resulted in life loss of many renowned lecturers. The ANP leader said several teachers had left the province, adding that as many as 100 lecturers had left Balochistan University. “When a university loses 100 of its faculty members, you can better guess the situation there,” he said. Pakistan People’s Party Senator Saifullah Magsi said that the province’s education sector was going through most difficult time, adding that it not only lacked teachers but the education system had collapsed. Former National Assembly deputy speaker Sardar Wazir Ahmed Jogezai said that the education conditions in the province were identical to those of other provinces as private school system was there to fill the vacuum.
yard, adjacent to Syed Hasan Pirbiri graveyard, where the body was laid to rest. On Saturday, Bilour, SHO Khan Raziq, Inspector Sattar Khan Khattak, Bilour’s personal secretary Noor Muhammad and six others were killed and another 18 were injured when a suicide bomber targeted the KP senior minister in Dhaki Nalbandi. Separately, the Kabuli police have registered a case against unidentified people for attacking the ANP leader. According to officials, as many as 10 people, including Bashir Ahmad Bilour, Inspector Sattar Khan Khattak and Noor Muhammad were killed in the suicide attack. Meanwhile, the funeral prayers of SHO Sattar Khattak and Noor Muhammad were also offered at village Behram Karak and Kakshal Peshawar.
OGRA sends new CNG pricing formula to ECC ISLAMABAD: Two days after the Supreme Court (SC) orders, the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) on Sunday sent the compressed natural gas (CNG) pricing formula to the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC). “According to the new formula prices of Rs 72.20 per kg and Rs 63.76 per kg have been proposed in region-I and II respectively,” OGRA Chairman Saeed Ahmed said.The decision on the prices would be made in a committee meeting. The SC had on Friday declared OGRA’s pricing formula void and ordered it to set a new formula for determining prices. Meanwhile, the All Pakistan CNG Association (APCNGA) has demanded OGRA to announce an interim CNG sale price to save CNG station owners from insolvency. “Interim prices would help the authority take time to review audit reports of 3,400 CNG outlets to know average costs and take appropriate decisions,” APCNGA Chairman Ghiyas Abdullah Paracha said in a statement. He said per directions of the SC, the new formula should be acceptable to all stakeholders including the masses. Paracha said the masses as well as owners of CNG stations were facing a hard time since two months. He urged the sub committee of ECC and the petroleum ministry to start consultations with all stakeholders. aGENCIEs
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PML-N PLANS TO LEAD GRAND ALLIANCE PmL-n office-bearers say Pir Pagara will visit Lahore to announce alliance g contacts between PmL-n and JUi-f enter final stage in Balochistan g
H E Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz is making plans to join hands with other parties with upcoming general elections approaching. The PML-N is contacting various parties not only to enter the echelons of power, but also to put a check on its archrival the Pakistan People’s Party. Sources told Pakistan Today that PML-N President Nawaz Sharif is trying to make room for his party in the Sindhi politics, which has always been a stronghold of the PPP. Recently, the successful power show by Pakistan Muslim LeagueFunctional leader Pir Pagara has
forced Nawaz Sharif to contact him for establishing a strong alliance for the upcoming general polls. The alliance would not only provide the PML-N a chance to knock at the doors of the PPP stronghold, but also bar the PPP from securing seats from Sindh in both provincial and federal constituencies. Despite the recent appointment of Makhdoom Syed Ahmed Mahmood as the Punjab governor by the PPP-led federal government, PML-N sources confirmed that things have been settled between the PML-F and PML-N, adding that in the last week of December Pir Pagara would visit Lahore and would formally announce the alliance. In Balochistan, the contacts between the PML-N and Jamiat-e-
Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) have entered a final stage and mostly things have been settled down. It is likely that the two parties will emerge as allies to contest the upcoming general polls at provincial a level. The Awami National Party, an old ally of the PPP, would form a coalition with the Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) and no PPPANP cooperation is expected for the general elections. The PML-N is also in contact with the Baloch nationalist leadership. However, no productive outcome has been spotted so far. In Punjab, sources said, the PMLN has decided to make seat adjustments in six constituencies with the Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat – formerly known as Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan.
On the other hand, the PML-Q (likeminded) is also girding up its loins to contest the upcoming polls while standing alongside the PML-N. Dr Tahirul Qadri’s return has also rang alarm bells for Nawaz Sharif as Qadri either supports Imran Khan or the PPP. Dr Qadri has a considerable vote bank across the country, especially in Lahore. The Jamaat-e-Islami is facing opposition from inside over issue of developing an alliance with the PML-N. However, a majority of party workers are pressing the top leadership to join hands with the PML-N in Punjab and KP. The PML-N has also contacted the Muttahida Deeni Mahaz (MDM), led by Samiul Haq, to counter Fazlur Rehman-led Mutahidda Majlis-eAmal in KP.
Political, military ties with US improving: Naveed Qamar
Nisar, CEC discuss caretaker setup, upcoming polls
ISLAMABAD: Opposition leader in the National Assembly Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on Sunday met Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Justice (r) Fakhruddin G Ibrahim and exchange views on holding free and fair elections and the formation of a caretaker set-up. Sources close to the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) said the ‘secret’ meeting took place at the Islamabad Club, which continued for an hour. The two exchanged views on the constitutional role of the CEC, verification of the voter lists in Karachi and delimitation of constituencies in the light of the Supreme Court’s direction. Sources said further Nisar had certain reservations about registration of voters in his constituency. On the other hand, the CEC told him that voter lists have been made transparent and mistakes, if any, were being removed immediately. The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) is keen to bring all the administrative machinery under its control to ensure free and fair elections. Meanwhile, it is understood that members of the ruling parties at the Centre and in Punjab are against holding of early elections. INP
Defense Minister Naveed Qamar said Pakistan’s political and military ties with the United States (US) are on an upswing after nearly two years of setbacks and crises. Qamar said bilateral understanding had also improved between the two countries on how to counter terrorism in Pakistani border regions and promote political reconciliation in neighbouring Afghanistan. Bilateral cooperation has been gradually improving since July when Pakistan unblocked NATO supply lines into Afghanistan. The latest demonstration of normalising ties came earlier this month when the Obama administration notified Congress it would reimburse nearly $700 million to Islamabad for the cost of conducting anti-terrorism operations on the Afghan border. In an interview, Qamar said his country hoped the US would soon release other promised military aid to keep the momentum going. “Things have improved to quite an extent and I would venture out to say that we are back to where we were sometime back, where there is a constant cooperation between the two countries at various levels, political, military,
intelligence and so on,” Qamar said. Pakistan had been receiving around $2 billion in annual security assistance from the US, including military reimbursements. These payments had been held up because of diplomatic tensions over the US raid that eliminated Osama bin Laden, and the killing of 24 Pakistani soldiers in a cross border NATO air-strike in November 2011. That incident had provoked Pakistan to block NATO supply lines and halt all anti-terror cooperation with the US. For its part, the US has been critical of Pakistan’s refusal to mobilise troops against bases of the Haqqani network in the North Waziristan border region, a safe militant haven being used for crossborder insurgent attacks in Afghanistan. The defense minister said there was now a better understanding in Washington of his country’s reservations about an all-out war against Islamist militants on its soil. “In terms of when to do what, it is best left to those who are on the ground so that they can make a good judgment of whether a particular operation will be productive or counter-productive. We do see the US moving closer to the Pakistani position but we need to work hand-in-hand to be able to come to the ultimate objective of weeding out terrorism,” said Qamar.
ANWAR SAIFULLAH: MAN ON A MISSION PESHAWAR
oric against his own coalition partners.
Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) President Anwar Saifullah, in his attempt to make the province a PPP stronghold, is at odds with major parties in the province, including PPP’s coalition partner, the Awami National Party (ANP). ANP Since assuming the party office in August last year, Saifullah has been eyeing influential politicians in the province belonging to different political parties to garner support for PPP in the upcoming elections. At the same time he has been throwing dirt at ANP for poor governance and corruption in the province. ANP chief Asfandyar Wali however, has turned a blind eye to Saifullah’s rhetoric in lieu of his understanding with President Asif Ali Zardari. Some ANP members in the past couple of days have however, criticised Saifullah for his rhet-
PML-N Meher Sultana became the second female MPA from PML-N who announced joining PPP in a period of less than a month. Earlier, Shazia Aurangzeb along with her spouse became part of PPP after developing differences with the PML-N high command. MNA Sardar Mushtaq from Haripur has also changed his loyalties in favour of PPP. Disassociation of these three is a major setback for PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif. Jehanzeb Khattak, who happens to be Meher Sultana’s brother, had served PML-N at a very critical juncture when the Sharif family was in exile. However, he became alienated with the Sharifs for resuming links with former foreign minister Gohar Ayub Khan and his son Omar Ayub and has also joined PPP’s ranks. JUI-F So far no heavyweights from Fazlur
REACTIONS TO QADRI’S RALLY Positive and eﬀective LoNDoN: Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain on Sunday felicitated Tehreek Minhajul Quran chief Dr Tathirul Qadri for his successful gathering at Minar-ePakistan in Lahore. In a statement, the MQM chief said that the revolutionary programme unveiled by Dr Qadri in his speech was positive and effective. “We pray for Dr Qadri’s success,” he said. “We will continue our unconditional support for Dr Tahir ul Qadri to bring about change.” The MQM chief said the nation fully agrees with Qadri’s views on justice and education systems and elimination of corruption and outdated feudal system. aGENCIEs
Qadri seconded PTI’s agenda SUKKUR: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan congratulated Tehreeke Minhajul Quran chief Tahirul Qadri for attracting a massive gathering at Minare Pakistan and said Qadri had endorsed PTI’s stance over numerous issues concerning the people of Pakistan. Talking to media personnel on Sunday, Khan said Qadri had reiterated PTI’s demand that the tax-evading members of Parliament should not be allowed to take part in general elections. “Qadri also said there was a covert understanding between the PPP and PML-N leadership and both parties were pursuing a similar agenda. This has been a long standing stance of the PTI,” remarkerd Khan. Khan said Qadri had ingeminated PTI’s stance that the leadership of these two parties was responsible for a majority of the sufferings Pakistanis were facing at present which was why the masses wanted to abandon them. Holding of general elections on time, said Khan, was the only way to rid the country of this corrupt coterie. He said PTI believed elections were the only means to oust these corrupt politicians. aGENCIEs
Address negation of democracy LAHoRE: PPP Punjab President Manzoor Wattoo on Sunday dubbed Tahirul Qadri’s statement at a public address here as inappropriate and a ‘negation of democracy’. Addressing a press conference at the Governor’s House, Wattoo said the slogan of “first accountability then elections” was an overused one and it had been chanted by dictators in the past. He said not holding of elections was also an unconstitutional act and said it was illogical not to hold elections on the pretext of law and order. Wattoo said Awami National Party leader Bashir Bilour had given a message by embracing martyrdom that all should rise together to root out terrorism. aGENCIEs
Rehman’s Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam have joined the PPP but Saifullah’s nomination as PPP provincial president meant curtailing of JUI-F in southern districts of the province. Before his nomination, Rehman’s JUI-F had been able to gather leading figures from the area. Amongst them were heirs of late MNA Kabir Khan from Lakki Marwat, PPP Bannu Division President Malik Riaz, sitting MPA from Hangu, Attique Rahman and ex-ANP MPA from Kohat, Shaukat Habib. Since the 2008 general elections, JUI-F was on an offensive but after Saifullah’s nomination, the party has opted for a defensive position without creating many inroads. Now there seems to be a cold war between PPP and JUI-F in the southern districts of KP. PTI The PPP provincial leadership has also made visible cracks amongst the ranks of Pakistan Tehreek -e-Insaf (PTI). So far they have succeeded in bringing back Iftikhar Jhagra whereas talks are in progress with several others including ex-provincial ministers Pervez Khattak and Yaseen Khalil. Saifullah
had even suggested that Khawaja Mohammad Khan Hoti be asked to rejoin PPP but some central leaders opposed the idea forcing Hoti from Mardan to adjust himself in PML-N. After losing several heavyweights, it could be hard for the PTI leadership to compete with PPP in general elections. PPP-SHERPAo This settlement could cause hardships for PPP in Mardan which was once considered a stronghold of the party. Likewise, reports suggest Saifullah has been making attempts at reconciliation between the PPP high command and Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao or a seat adjustment between the two parties. Saifullah’s active political manoeuvres could force other political forces to enter into alliances or agree on seat adjustments with each other. So far Fazlur Rehman is reluctant for restoration of Muttahida Majlis-eAmal (MMA) in its original shape but Saifullah could compel him to welcome Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) chief Munawar Hussain back into the MMA while PML-N and ANP could go back to an alliance like that in the ‘90s.
monday, 24 December, 2012
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04 Indian police ban rape protests in central New Delhi NEW DELHI: Indian police on Sunday banned protests in central New Delhi following a wave of violent demonstrations over the savage gang-rape of a medical student last weekend, an official statement said. Areas close to the president’s residence and parliament had been declared off-limits to protesters, it said, a day after police tear-gassed, baton-charged and fired water cannon at demonstrators. Thousands of protesters, most of them college students, rallied at the India Gate monument in the heart of the Indian capital on Saturday, demanding death penalty for the accused and better safety for women. Early Sunday morning, police cordoned off all the routes leading to landmark government buildings and said that they had detained a group of protestors
Political leaders being targeted to create instability: Malik ISLAMABAD aGENCIEs
Interior Minister Rehman Malik said leaders and workers of Awami National Party (ANP), Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) and Mutahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) were being targeted by terrorists to create instability in the country. Talking to media personnel after returning from Peshawar where he attended the funeral of senior provincial minister Bashir Bilour on Sunday, Malik said attacks on political leaders were
part of a policy of the militants to silence their voice. He said the time was not right to go into debates over the philosophy of politics or state saying Pakistan’s situation today was worse than what it faced in 1969 and 1971. He questioned as to why ANP and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) were major targets for terrorists. He said those who killed Bilour were the same people who had targeted defense installations of the country. He said the Pakistani Taliban had become a limited
company and were targeting innocent people, kidnapping for ransom and conducting robberies. These people, he said, were against the solidarity and security of Pakistan and will have to be defeated. Malik said he had earlier warned that top leadership of the country would be targets of militant attacks adding that the interior ministry had issued an alert on 19th December. He said the Pakistani Taliban had declared him their next target over radio a few days ago but he was not afraid of such threats.
US delivers two naval vessels to iraq The United States has delivered two naval support ships to Iraq, which is seeking to boost its fledgling maritime capabilities, the US embassy said on Sunday. The two 60-metre (200-foot) offshore support vessels were delivered by the US navy on December 20, the embassy said in a statement. The vessels are “large, multipurpose, multi-functional ships capable of providing a wide range of support to Iraqi naval operations”, it said. They will also offer support to Iraq’s patrol and fast attack boats at sea, offshore oil platforms and help move security personnel, it added. According to the embassy, the US and Iraq shared the $115.5 million price tag of the ships and related support, equipment and training. MoNiToriNg DeSk
MAN of the MoMeNt
The United States (US) Ambassador to Pakistan Richard Olson and United Nations (UN) SecretaryGeneral Ban Ki-moon expressed deep grief at the death of senior provincial minister Bashir Ahmed Bilour and offered condolences to his family and friends. In a statement‚ Olson said Bilour was a courageous man and an outspoken voice against the politics of fear and
terror. “We are deeply saddened at the death of Senior Minister Bashir Ahmed Bilour and offer our condolences to his family and friends,” Olson said on Sunday. “He was a courageous man and an outspoken voice against the politics of fear and terror. We applaud his commitment to democratic values, which led him into harm’s way more than once,” the ambassador said. He stated the US embassy stood with the people of Pakistan in
condemning this outrageous attack‚ and hoped that Bilour’s vision of a secure and prosperous Pakistan will continue in the work of those that he inspired. A statement issued by Ban Ki-moon’s spokesman said, “The secretary-general reiterates the strong support of the United Nations for the efforts of the government and people of Pakistan to combat the scourge of terrorism.” “He conveys his sincere condolences on this tragic loss,” the statement added.
PPP, PML-N in covert talks over caretaker PM Continued fRoM page 01
PM are brighter than ever, a man equally respected within the PPP and PML-N for his impartiality and character. Asked to comment on the information gathered by Pakistan Today, PML-N Secretary Information Mushahidullah Khan said informal contacts were taking place between both political parties on a regular basis, but no formal contact had been made to date to discuss the proposal. “Contacts do take place and suggestions are made between political parties. But there is a formal route under the 20th constitutional amendment and a formal proposal has to be tabled to Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly Nisar Ali Khan,” he added. A well-placed source in the ruling party said in wake of media discussions suggesting chances of delaying the general election, another round of informal dialogue between the leadership of the PPP and PML-N had started and
monday, 24 December, 2012
exchange of indirect messages had taken place between President Asif Ali Zardari and Nawaz Sharif. “Rumours are rife in the federal capital that a petition is being prepared seeking delay of polls and seeking accountability of politicians before polls, as elections without accountability would make no change in the present setup and the allegedly corrupt politicians may return to power. The Presidency is reviewing the situation closely and thus decided to contact the PML-N,” the source said. The PPP had contacted Senator Ishaq Dar for communicating to Nawaz their concerns over the rumours, suggesting that both parties should evolve consensus over major issues before it got too late, the source added. “We have conveyed to Nawaz Sharif that under the law, if both parties fail to evolve consensus over the caretaker setup, the matter would automatically go to the chief election commissioner, Justice (r) Fakharuddin G Ebrahim, who is toeing the line of superior courts. In
Continued fRoM page 01
US President Barack Obama to say his administration managed to sway Pakistan often seen as an unreliable ally - to help achieve a top US foreign policy goal. Afghan officials question whether Kayani genuinely supports the dialogue, or is merely making token moves to deflect Western criticism of Pakistan. Relations between Taliban commanders and Pakistan’s security establishment have increasingly been poisoned by mistrust, however, raising questions over whether
ttP plans to attack prominent lawyers, journalists
He said the masses would not accept the results of the polls if the reforms were not implemented, adding that the caretaker setup should also involve members of the judiciary and army besides political leaders. The Pakistan Awami Tehreek chief also underscored the importance of an independent judiciary in the effort to change the system. “The orders of the Supreme Court are not being implemented.” Qadri said the system of exploitation and oppression should end in a peaceful manner, and slammed the government for turning the country into a safe haven for terrorists.
“If a government cannot maintain law and order, it is unconstitutional and unlawful and we are not willing to accept it,” he added. Appealing to the militants, Qadri called on them to give up their arms. He said he would support those who were against drone attacks and violation of the country’s sovereignty, and in return ask them to stand with him to protect mosques, imambargahs and innocent people. He thanked the workers of Pakistan Awami Tehreek, Tehreek-e-Minhajul Quran and general public for making the rally successful. He also thanked MQM chief Altaf Hussain for cooperating with him, saying he had sent a delegation of 50 people to the rally. STaff rePorT
LAHoRE: Banned outfit Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan has prepared plans to target nine dignitaries, three shrines, a jail and 15 important sensitive installations. Through a communiqué, the Punjab Home Department on Sunday issued red alert on the basis of intelligence reports. The department said that militants have planned to launch explosive attacks on sensitive installations and shrines. The department also said that those on the hit list of militants include prominent lawyers, Shia leaders, politicians and journalists. iNP
Kayani’s spymasters wield enough influence to nudge them towards the table. Nevertheless, diplomats in Islamabad argue that Pakistan has begun to show markedly greater enthusiasm for Westernbacked attempts to engage with Taliban leaders. Western diplomats, who for years were sceptical about Pakistani promises, say Islamabad is serious about promoting stability in Afghanistan. “They seem to genuinely want to move towards a political solution,” said an official from an EU country. “We’ve seen a
real shift in their game-plan at every level. Everyone involved seems to want to get something going.” Kayani, a career soldier who assumed command of the army in 2007, has been a key interlocutor with Washington during one of the most turbulent chapters in USPakistan relations. Arguably Pakistan’s most powerful man, he has earned a reputation as a thoughtful commander who has curbed the military’s tendency to meddle overtly in politics. With Kayani’s support, Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar has held repeated rounds of discussions with Afghan counterparts, and in
November Pakistan released more than a dozen Taliban prisoners. The move aimed to reassure the Afghan government and Pakistan’s allies of Islamabad’s good faith and telegraph to the Taliban that Pakistan is serious about facilitating talks. “There is a change in political mindset and will on the Pakistani side,” Salahuddin Rabbani, the chairman of Afghanistan’s High Peace Council said. “We have reason to be cautiously optimistic.” Kayani flew to Kabul last month for talks with Afghan President Hamid Karzai and accompanied Khar on a visit to Brussels to meet top NATO and US officials in early December.
Continued fRoM page 01
olson, Ban Ki-moon express grief over Bilour’s killing Kayani makes Afghan ISLAMABAD
citing the prohibitory orders. “We are here to protest a heinous crime. We have the right to protest,” the Press Trust of India news agency quoted one of the protesters as saying. Six drunken men were joyriding in a bus when they picked up the physiotherapy student and her 28-year-old male companion last Sunday. They took turns raping her before throwing the pair off the speeding vehicle. During her ordeal the victim suffered serious intestinal injuries from being beaten with an iron rod. The attack has triggered calls to introduce capital punishment for rapists, and the government has said it is considering bringing in legislation to allow judges to hand down the death penalty for the most extreme assaults. ageNcieS
such a case, nothing could be predicted about polls and accountability,” the source said, adding that it had been communicated that the media was already discussing a possible delay in elections and proposals of accountability before election may soon surface. The source added that the president was reluctant to rely on loyalties of any technocrat, fearing that technocrats, especially retired judges, could not be trusted as they lacked political vision and any technocrat may anytime follow the advice of the judiciary, media or could also follow any popular demand. “The president is also suspicious over the media debate about polls’ delay despite the fact that he and the government ministers have been categorically stating that elections would be held on time. He also fears the khakis and can’t trust any retired judge or a technocrat. He wants appointment of politicians as caretaker prime minister and chief ministers,” he added. The source said Khursheed Shah had contacted Senator Ishaq Dar for
communicating the PPP’s proposal to Nawaz instead of Nisar, who being leader of the opposition, should be the principal negotiator between both parties per the norms and constitutional provisions. “However, we know that Nisar is on board,” the source added. Commenting on the development, a PML-N leader said Nawaz was likely to agree to the idea, as politicians were more credible than bureaucrats. “Over the years, Nawaz has changed a lot and he prefers politicians over bureaucrats due to his bitter experiences in the past,” said the Nleaguer, adding that to date, no name had been shared by the PPP as a possible caretaker PM. “The dialogue is at initial stages and only the idea of replacing technocrats with politicians in the caretaker setup is on the table,” he added. He said if the PPP forwarded the name of Mian Raza Rabbani, the PML-N would possibly not object due to the noncontroversial stature of the seasoned politician. However, he expressed his doubt that Asif Zardari would propose
Rabbani as the caretaker PM. “If initial messages make a breakthrough, formal talks would begin between the PPP and PML-N for formal dialogue. We understand that Asif Zardari fears that if both parties fail to evolve consensus before March, the chief election commissioner would have the final say and he would nominate the caretaker PM and CMs,” he added. In case both the parties agree on a caretaker setup comprising politicians, the federal government would have to convince other major players in this regard and the coalition partners would have to be obliged. The PML-N and PPP would dominate in Punjab, while the MQM and PPP would dominate in Sindh. The PPP has also withheld the notification of PML-F nominee as opposition leader. The ANP would play an important role in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, while the PPP, PML-Q and JUI-F would get significant shares in Balochistan.
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collective efforts needed to win war on terrorism: Kaira ISLAMABAD aPP
Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Qamar Zaman Kaira on Sunday stressed the need for collective efforts to win the war on terrorism. He said it was not the responsibility of a single group, party or faction to root out terrorism from the country. He said that the war on terror could only be won with the combined efforts of the people. Talking to Pakistan Television, he said, "We have to follow the mission of martyred Bashir Bilour, a senior minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, if we want to make progress." He appealed to the people to expose the elements among their ranks who were proTaliban. He prayed to Allah Almighty to rest the departed soul in eternal peace and to grant courage to the bereaved family to bear this irreparable loss. He said that late Bashir Bilour was a seasoned politician who was the symbol of courage and the man of great character.
IslaMabaD: a family sits around a bonfire to keep themselves warm during chilly nights in the capital. NNi
Pakistan’s population to increase to 190 million by 2015: report ISLAMABAD aPP
HE population of the country will increase to nearly 190 million by 2015, to over 220 million by 2020 and to almost 275 million by 2050, as Pakistan retains its position as the sixth most populous country in the world. According to “Situation Analysis” of women and children in Pakistan jointly released by the Planning Commission of Pakistan and the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF), the current fertility rate was about 3.2 per-
cent in the country and the population was growing at a rate estimated by some sources to be 1.57 percent a year. The analysis revealed that at present two-thirds of Pakistanis were under the age of 30 years, adding that only one other country, Yemen, had more citizens under the age of 24. One in three Pakistanis had been estimated to be 14-year-old or younger, which meant that the country's population would remain youthful for decades to come. The analysis further stated that a number of young people in the age bracket of 15 to 24 years would swell
by 20 percent by 2020, and under 24 years population would be in majority by 2030. Furthermore, as late as 2050, the medium age was still expected to be only 33 years. Pakistan being one of the fastest urbanizing countries in South Asia, the “Situation Analysis” indicated that at least half of the population would live in cities till 2020. And by 2030 the urban population of the country which was currently 35 percent of the total was expected to have increased by 140 million. Due to the demographic transition, the analysis mentioned that Pak-
istan have moved from a high-fertility and high-mortality phase to one of low fertility and low mortality. This had brought about major changes in the age distribution of the population in the country. The analysis reviewed that if jobs could be found for most of the new entrants into the labour force, the economy and society benefit would show positive trends, and if they did not become economically active, the economy would face a huge challenge of finding ways to provide gainful employment to those falling in the working age.
fathers to face imprisonment for not sending children to school: waqqas akram ISLAMABAD aPP
Federal Minister for Education and Trainings Sheikh Waqqas Akram said that fathers who are not sending their children to schools have to face imprisonment and hefty fines in the federal capital. Talking to APP, the minister said that the government was carrying out sincere efforts to promote education in the country. He said that the government had already passed a law which carried three months imprisonment and Rs 25,000 fines for those parents who were not sending their children to schools. The minister further said that people who were involved in employing children would be sentenced to six months imprisonment and also had to pay a fine of Rs 50,000. Presidnet Asif Ali Zardari the other day signed a bill into a law that makes it compulsory for the state to provide children education up to grade 12.
car theft cases show 50% increase in November n n n
Burglary cases record 100 pc jump, Robbery cases witness 98 pc hike IGP says overall crime rate ‘declining’ ISLAMABAD KasHIF abbasI
The Islamabad Police seems least bothered over the increasing crime rate in the federal capital as the month of November witnessed an upward trend in car theft, burglary and robbery cases as compared to the corresponding period of last year, Pakistan Today has learnt. According to police sources, as many as 45 cars were stolen and three other were snatched at gun point from various areas of the federal capital in November. Police records showed a significant increase in car theft cases as during the
month of November last year only 30 cases of car theft were reported in different police stations of Islamabad, while in November 2012, cases of car theft had reached up to 48 by registering an increase of 50 percent. Per data collected by this correspondent from various police stations, a 100 percent increase was registered in robbery cases in November this year, while 95 percent increase was witnessed in burglary cases. In the last month, police registered 30 cases of robbery as compared to 15 cases registered in November last year. Whereas, during the said period the number of burglary cases this year were 22 as compared to 12 cases regis-
tered last year. A number of anonymous senior and junior police officers while commenting on the increase in crime rate told Pakistan Today that until and unless the government did not permanently fill the post of Islamabad Inspector General of Police (IGP), which had been lying vacant since June 2011, with a dedicated officer, the crime rate could not be controlled. On June 20, 2011 after the transfer of IGP Wajid Khan Durrani, the then Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Operations Bani Amin Khan was given the acting charge of Islamabad IGP and till date he had been holding the post. “Since Bani Amin Khan is not a permanent IGP, he used to succumb to political pressure in many cases, particularly in the appointment of Station House Officers (SHOs). When department will appoint SHOs on political basis, then controlling crime can be a daunting task. People at the helm of affairs have been deliberately avoiding posting a permanent IGP. If the Pakistan Peoples Party government wants to control crime, then either Bani Amin
Khan should be made the permanent Islamabad IGP or he should be immediately placed with some other officer,” said a senior police officer, who wished not be named. It is important to note here that majority of police officers appointed in various Islamabad police stations have a tainted past service record but they had still been enjoying lucrative posts. Even a Sub Inspector (SI) named Fazal Rehman had been enjoying the benefits of a SHO post for the last two years at his desired police station namely the Tarnol Police Station, where he was also commanding a few inspector level officers. This influential SI’s illegal appointment to the post was evidence enough to judge the level of transparency with in the police administration. Talking to Pakistan Today, Islamabad IGP Bani Amin Khan claimed, “Overall crime rate has declined. As far as November is concerned there is an increase in cases of car theft, robbery and burglary cases. Therefore, on the basis of November’s figure alone, the performance of police should not be evaluated.”
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06 Islamabad ‘tV channels eroding moral fabric of society’ ISLAMABAD ONlINE
Lal Masjid Naib Khateeb Maulana Amir Siddique has said those imparting moral lessons on TV channels are eating into the ethical fabric of society. In a press release issued here on Sunday, he said unless the prevailing system in the country was updated in the light of recommendations of the Council for Islamic Ideology, education system, academic syllabus was evolved in line with the teachings of Quran and Sunnah, Islamic social justice was enforced and procedure for equitable distribution of wealth was worked out, the problems facing the country would stand unresolved. He alleged that Absar Alam a so-called journalist and anchorperson was working for promotion of homosexuality in the country under the banner of Open Society Foundation. “Our moral values, traditions and family system are being undermined in the name of liberalism,” he warned. “I appeal to Supreme Court to take suo motu notice of immoral activities being perpetuated by this anchor person in a hotel so that the people could become aware how terribly the elements who are championing the cause of morality on TV channels are playing with the moral norms of the society,” he maintained.
couple, two children die of gas suffocation in murree MURREE
rawalPINDI: an attractive view of autumn trees in a green field at outskirts of city. iNP
CNG crisis may affect outcome of elections: IWCCI n n
CNG pricing issue being delayed deliberately SC move to provide relief to masses turned into crisis ISLAMABAD
A couple and their two children died due to gas suffocation here on Sunday. According to sources, the family had come to the hill station from Sialkot to enjoy the first snowfall of the current season. They were staying in a house located near Pindi Point. The previous night, they put on a gas heater in their room as it was very cold. “The room lacked sufficient amount of oxygen as there was no ventilation in the room and as a result, the entire family died due to suffocation,” sources said. The victims were identified as Muhammad Ansar, his wife and two children, 5-year-old Muhammad Ali and 7-yearold daughter Sania.
PPP believes in resolving issues through dialogue, says Gondal ISLAMABAD aPP
The Federal Minister for Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD) Nazar Muhammad Gondal has said that the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) will continue politics of reconciliation and all important issues will be resolved through dialogues. Talking to APP, he stressed the need to strengthen the parliament to effectively resolve all the issues being faced by the country, adding that the parliament had the constitutional right to complete its term. He said the PPP leadership and workers had always given sacrifices for democracy and had taken a stand for the masses to resolve their problems.
monday, 24 December, 2012
HE Islamabad Women's Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IWCCI) on Sunday said that CNG pricing issue is being delayed deliberately to please the hierarchies of influential sectors at the cost of the masses. Regretting apathy of the rulers and silence of main opposition parties over the plight of the masses, the IWCCI representatives said that the crisis would have an impact on the outcome of the upcoming elections. Politicians and “babucracy”, none of whom belonged to middle class or were consumers of the economical fuel, had remained indifferent to the problems of the masses which was contributing to the unpopularity of the government, said IWCCI President Farida
Rashid. Speaking to the business community, she said that the Supreme Court in its landmark decision provided relief to the masses which had been transformed into a never-ending crisis by some politicians to meet their personal agendas. A ministry known for exceeding its authority, forwarding illegal summaries and conspiring against the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) was behind the crisis, she observed. Farida said that additional as well as questionable incentives were being offered to foreign investors in oil and gas sector, but the CNG sector in which locals have invested Rs 400 billion was subjected to intrigues. She further said that the investors in the CNG sectors would reinvest their income and would not transfer funds abroad like others. Banning any type of
ccP striving to rectify anti-competitive behaviour ISLAMABAD aPP
The Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) has taken action against 298 undertakings for cartelization and prohibited agreements so far to ensure protection for consumers. An official at CCP on Sunday highlighted the pre-emptive measures taken against cartelization and said the commission was striving to create awareness for a culture of compliance to rectify anti-competitive behaviour as in this process, it had achieved various successes through compliances and commitments. He said in discharge of its statutory role under Section 29, it had issued 11 policy notes so far regarding any policy or law which was in conflict with the mentioned act. The commission had also launched the initiative of reward payment to informants, while advocacy booklet under the title "Infor-
mation Booklet on Protection from Anti-competitive Practices" was printed and disseminated by the CCP. Moreover, he said the CCP also developed a research capacity and published research based publications in order to study the state of competition in the sectors and to act accordingly. An online complaint cell had also been established for facilitation of general public, he added. He further said that the CCP had build a coalition of support by reaching out aggressively to the media, consumer associations, professional bodies, chambers of commerce, and sector wise business associations. Enumerating the other measures adopted during last the three years against cartelization, the official said that 14 orders were issued in this regard, out of which two orders were issued by the Appellate Bench, four orders were related to prohibited agreements (Cartelization), five were
related to abuse of dominant position and three were about deceptive marketing practices. The official said that three policy notes were issued regarding Demutualization and Integration of Stock Exchanges in Pakistan, amendment in Bilateral Air Services Agreement of 1972 and price fixing agreement between All Pakistan Sugar Mills Association and Ministry of Industries and Production. In addition, he said an opinion on exemption of regulatory duty on import of ware potatoes by international fast food chains franchises was also issued while six inquiries, covering a wide range of commercial/economic activity were conducted where in violations of the mentioned act had been pointed out. Similarly, in 2010-11, 19 orders were issued, along with two Policy Notes, while 52 show-cause notices were issued to companies, trade associations as well as individuals for violation of the act.
vehicle from using economic fuel was illegal and against the constitution, she added. Moreover, the IWCCI president said that less than one per cent gas was wasted in Bangladesh while the ratio stood at 13 percent in Pakistan which could otherwise be used to generate 2,000 megawatts of power. Furthermore, she said that a major part of wasted gas was stolen with connivance of officials concerned, but the ministry of petroleum wanted to charge honest consumers for its inefficiency and mismanagement which was both illegal and unconstitutional. Farida also said that efforts to bring the OGRA under the clutches of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources (MPNR) or to dissolve it would open the flood gates of corruption which would reverse the progress of the country.
taxi fare explodes out of proportion in capital ISLAMABAD aPP
Burgeoning taxi fares have become a big problem for the masses in the federal capital due to the shortage of proper public transport facilities on different routes. People had been using taxis as a substitute source of travelling to reach their respective destinations. Taxi drivers were approximately charging Rs 25 per kilometre in normal situations. However, if Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) was not available, they would charge according to their own will. In addition to this, there was no functioning metre system in almost all the taxis plying on the roads of the twin cities, while fare charts were not displayed by taxi drivers in their vehicles. Meanwhile, passengers said that taxi drivers were charging fares according to petrol prices, when in fact almost all taxis were converted to CNG. Similarly, taxi drivers had been known to charge double fare from the commuters at night time. A passenger named Saima said that female had to face a lot of problems while bargaining with taxi drivers as only front seats were made available for women in public transport which was no less than a joke.
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Youth educated on Sexual & Reproductive Health Rights during two-day workshop
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city Directory emerGency HeLP PoLice emerGency amBULance reScUe HiLaL-e-aHmer eDHi foUnDation BomB DiSPoSaL fire BriGaDe centre ciViL Defence
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HoSPitaLS maHroof int PimS PoLy cLinic cDa SHifa internationaL aLi DiStrict HQS ULtraSonic cLinic HoLy famiLy
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ISLAMABAD sTaFF rEPOrT
two-day “Youth Engagement Workshop” on Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) of youth ended here on Sunday. The interactive workshop aiming to develop an edutainment serial focusing on SRHR, involved youth activists and local theatre participants from nine districts from across Pakistan, including Peshawar, Abbottabad, Rawalpindi/Islamabad, Lahore, Lodhran, Jamshoro, Karachi, Quetta and Pishin. The workshop was organised by Life Line under its mass awareness campaign titled “Hayat” which had recently been launched in Lahore, Islamabad, Karachi and Peshawar. Day two of the workshop titled “Edutainment Drama on SRHR”, involved the participation of renowned names from the media industry, including Pakistan’s lead-
ing playwright and director Shahid Mehmood Nadeem, executive producer of Bol-the Movie and a seasoned behavior change communication expert Fayyaz Khan, and Kashif Nisar, a talented TV-drama director and playwright. The day’s session kicked off with the Communications Research Strategies Pvt. Ltd. (CRS) Chief Operating Officer Khawar Azhar requesting a one-minute silence to mourn the death of Awami National Party leader Bashir Ahmed Bilour, who was martyred on December 22 when a suicide bomber exploded himself at an ANP rally in Peshawar. On the occasion, Shahid spoke about drama conceptualization and scripting techniques. Sharing tips from his extensive experience in the media field, Shahid emphasized on the importance of issue-based entertainment products which would be both relevant and engaging, while not diverting focus from the core message being portrayed to the audience.
Furthermore, Shahid shared clips from his popular issue based plays, including Janjaal Pura and Jam Jam Jeevay Jammanpura, and highlighted how entertainment products could cover serious social issues like population explosion. Fayyaz Khan focused his session on “Enter-Educate” which revolved around the concept of how to effectively use entertainment for educational purposes. According to Fayyaz, storytelling, songs and pictures were among the most effective learning tools. They should be used smartly to devise enter-education products that could grab viewer attention and leave long lasting messages in the minds of viewers, he said. Moreover, Fayyaz showed clips from the award winning film Bol, which, like Janjaal Pura, brought major social issues like maternal mortality and male child preference to the mainstream. Meanwhile, Kashif Nisar spoke at length about issue based drama
cultural show to mark Quaid-e-azam Day today
Pnca to hold puppet show today ISLAMABAD
raiLwayS city Station (enQUiry) reSerVation raiLway PoLice
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airPort fLiGHt enQUiry Pia reSerVation
production and direction. He highlighted the various steps involved in producing a drama, beginning from pre-production activities, and leading all the way to the final product. Furthermore, Nisar also showed clips from his award winning directorial achievement Khuda Zameen Se Gaya Nahi, and spoke about the various challenges they had to overcome to make an entertainment product on the issue of terrorism. Later, participants were asked to brainstorm and give ideas about a concept for a 16-episode drama on SRHR issues on the final session of the day. Five concepts shortlisted from a collection of more than 25 received from 105 educational institutes from nine targeted districts were tabled and one was selected in the end. Lifeline CEO Omer Aftab, CRS CEO Aniq Zafar and Khawar Azhar ended the workshop after distributing certificates among the participants.
Students from various educational institutions of the twin cities will present a colorful cultural show to mark the birth anniversary of founder of the nation Quaid-e-Azam Muhammed Ali Jinnah at Pakistan National Council of the Arts (PNCA) on Monday. The event was being organized in collaboration with the Ministry of National Heritage and Integration to highlight the importance of celebrating national days and to educate the young generation about their history through informative entertainment. The show would give an opportunity to the students to showcase their talent in the field of performing arts as they would present tableaus, national songs, speeches and other items. A part of the show would be based on competitions of Naat and Qirat. Children of different age groups would also present skits, national songs and tableaus based on various stories portraying the significance of December 25 as Quaid Day and the value of freedom movement.
YoGA With AMANDA
Pakistan National Council of the Arts (PNCA), and the Ministry of National Heritage and Integration has scheduled free puppet show on Monday, December 24 (today) at 4:00 pm at PNCA Auditorium, F-5/1,Islamabad. National Puppet Theatre would present folk tales and skits to provide entertainment and education about social problems like health, education and environment. Children along with parents were invited to see the show. A puppet show would be presented every Monday at the same venue and on the same time.
PotterY & hoBBY CerAMiCS
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: oct 22 - Dec 31 VenUe: KUcH KHaaS: artS & cULtUre
Date: oct 22 - Dec 31 VenUe: KUcH KHaaS: artS & cULtUre
this yoga course will creatively and mindfully incorporate physical poses with the rhythm of the breath. the course will teach you the fundamentals of yoga, such as good alignment, body mechanics, and breathwork.
instructor: Shahid waheed timings : 4pm - 6:00pm Days : monday, tuesday & wednesday.
Date anD time: 05:00 Pm, weeKLy eVent VENuE: tHe centre for artS & cULtUre our drumming circle is a (free!) ongoing event and is held every friday from 5pm to 6pm. we are having a great time, and want to share the good time with you! our drumming circle has children ...
monday, 24 December, 2012
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08 News North Korea could have US within missile range: South SEOUL aPP
North Korea’s rocket launch this month showed it has likely developed technology, long suspected in the West, to fire a warhead more than 10,000 kilometres, South Korean military officials said on Sunday, putting the US West Coast in range. North Korea said the Dec. 12 launch put a weather satellite in orbit but critics say it was aimed at nurturing the kind of technology needed to mount a nuclear warhead on a long-range missile. North Korea is banned from testing missile or nuclear technology under UN sanctions imposed after its 2006 and 2009 nuclear weapons tests and the UN Security Council condemned the launch. South Korea retrieved and analysed parts of the firststage rocket that dropped in the waters off its west coast. “As a result of analysing the material of Unha-3 (North Korea’s rocket), we judged North Korea had secured a range of more than 10,000 km in case the warhead is 500-600kgs,” a South Korean Defence Ministry official told a news briefing.
Japanese anti-nuclear vote melts away TOKYO aPP
Eight million people signed an Internet petition demanding an end to nuclear power and hundreds of thousands joined public protests. Yet Japan handed an election landslide to the most pro-atomic option on offer. Anti-nuclear activists have been left licking their wounds after the first national poll since the tsunami-sparked disaster at Fukushima saw an apparent melting away of public anger as the country welcomed back the establishment. “A problem was that political divisions emerged over when and how to stop nuclear power,” said Hideyuki Ban, co-director of the Citizens’ Nuclear Information Center, an anti-nuclear advocacy group. “It would have been ideal if the parties had came together under a simple, broad goal of ending nuclear power. But parties had to differentiate themselves from others for the election. Maybe it was inevitable,” he said. The Liberal Democratic Party bagged 294 of the 480 seats in the lower house, crushing their opponents, the biggest of which won only 57 seats. Where smaller parties offered an end to nuclear power — immediately, over ten years, or within three decades — the LDP pledged only to “decide” on reactor restarts within three years.
KaBul: Exhausted firefighters stand over the rubble of shops gutted by a massive inferno that swept through a market in downtown Kabul on Sunday. There were no casualties in the blaze that destroyed most of the cloth market. oNLiNe
Egypt’s constitution approved in vote, say rival camps CAIRO
constitution drafted by an Islamist-dominated assembly was approved by a majority of Egyptians in a referendum, rival camps said on Sunday, after a vote that the opposition said drove a wedge through the nation. The Muslim Brotherhood, which propelled President Mohamed Mursi to power in a June election, said an unofficial tally showed 64 percent of voters backed the charter after two rounds of voting that ended with a final ballot on Saturday. An opposition official also told Reuters their unofficial count showed the result was a “yes” vote. The referendum committee may not declare official results for the two rounds until Monday, after hearing appeals. If the outcome is confirmed, a parliamentary election will follow in about two months. Mursi’s Islamist backers say the constitution is vital for the transition to democracy, nearly two years after the
chavez ‘heir’ Maduro steps up leadership profile amid void CARACAS aPP
Chavez recovering from cancer surgery in Cuba, his designated heir Nicolas Maduro is spotlighting his own leadership in case of an early presidential vote, experts say. “Today, Maduro is completely different from when he was just the foreign minister: he is the vice president but he also is the handpicked successor (of Chavez) and the de facto acting president,” said Luis Vicente Leon, who leads the Datanalisis pollster. Since Chavez headed to Cuba on December 10 for a fourth round of cancer surgery since he was diagnosed in 2011, Maduro has worked on honing his skills as a
monday, 24 December, 2012
overthrow of autocrat Hosni Mubarak. It will provide the stability needed to help a fragile economy, they say. The constitution was “a historic opportunity to unite all national powers on the basis of mutual respect and honest dialogue for the sake of stabilising the nation,” the Brotherhood said in a statement. “According to our calculations, the final result of the second round is 71 percent voting ‘yes’ and the overall result (of the two rounds) is 63.8 percent,” a Brotherhood official, who was in an operations room monitoring the vote, told Reuters. His figures were confirmed by a statement issued shortly afterwards by the group and broadcast on its television channel. The opposition said voting in both rounds was marred by abuses. However, an official said the overall vote favoured the charter, with nearly 70 percent in favour in the second round, in line with the Islamists’ estimate. “They are ruling the country, running the vote and influencing the people, so what else could we expect,” a senior official from the main opposition coalition, the National Salvation Front, told Reuters.
Monti says unlikely to run in general election
RoME: Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti on Sunday gave his strongest signal yet that he may not run in February elections, just hours ahead of a news conference on his political future. “I still don’t know (whether to run). But something inside me is telling me not to,” Monti said in an interview published Sunday by the Repubblica daily. aGENCIEs
Peace envoy heads to Syria to meet Assad
Bombings kills four in Iraq MONITORINg DESK
higher-profile leader in his own right in this OPEC member sitting atop the world’s largest proven oil reserves. Maduro has lashed out at the opposition, Chavez-style,
on national television. And he has combatively pledged to fight to defend the socialist revolution that Chavez, a leftist ex-paratrooper, launched.
Three separate bomb attacks killed a member of the Kurdish peshmerga security forces and three construction workers in Iraq on Sunday, officers and doctors said. A bomb blast in an under-construction house in the town of Mishahada, north of Baghdad, killed the workers and wounded another, a police captain and a doctor said. A roadside bomb attack against an army patrol wounded three soldiers in the town of Khanaqin, northeast of Baghdad, while a member of the peshmerga forces was killed when a second bomb exploded as he and his team arrived at the scene of the first bombing. Two other peshmerga were also wounded in the second Khanaqin blast, an army officer and a doctor said. Violence in Iraq is down from its peak in 2006 and 2007, but attacks still occur almost every day.
International peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi was to head to Syria on Sunday and expected to meet President Bashar al-Assad a day later, airport sources in Lebanon said. Brahimi arrived in Beirut International Airport on Sunday afternoon from Cairo and was to head to the Syrian capital Damascus by car, the sources said. Damascus airport has been almost completely shut down due to fighting nearby between rebels and Assad’s forces. MONITOrING DEsK
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US-Pakistan ties to be a priority for Kerry WASHINgTON
uS lawmakers hail Kerry’s nomination
S-PAKISTAN relationship is likely to remain a key priority at the State Department under John Kerry as President Barack Obama works to end the Afghan war and maintain a broader focus on Asia in his second term. An analysis of Obama’s remarks at the formal nomination of Kerry for the post of secretary of state and reports in the American media point to the importance Washington would continue to assign to Pakistan and Afghanistan in the years ahead that include 2014 combat drawdown timeframe. Obama, who began his remarks with the observation that the United States is winding down the Afghan war, looked at the work ahead for Kerry this way: “As we turn the page on a decade of war, he (Kerry) understands that we’ve got to harness all elements of American power and ensure that they’re working together — diplomatic and development, economic and political, military and intelligence — as well as the power of our values which inspire so many people around the world.” Looking at Obama’s pick for secretary of state, a report in The Washington Post said Kerry, 69, is a familiar face to the world leaders vital to American interests and that working on U.S.-Pakistan ties would be a priority for the new secretary of state. “The son of a diplomat and Obama’s unofficial envoy, Kerry spent hours walking around the palace in Kabul persuading Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai to agree to a runoff election in fall 2009. The relationship will be crucial in the coming months as the administration draws down U.S. forces after more than a decade of war. “In Pakistan, Kerry helped quell the anger after the U.S. incursion into the country to kill Osama bin Laden in May 2011. The uneasy ties between Washington and Islamabad will be a priority for Kerry at the State Department,” the Post commented.
WASHINgToN: Top US lawmakers from both Republican and Democratic parties on Friday welcomed nomination of Senator John Kerry as the next secretary of state, stating he would make an exceptional diplomat. Congratulating Kerry on his nomination, Senator John McCain said he looked forward to working with him as the Senate fulfills its responsibilities to provide advice and consent. “Our nation faces complex challenges around the world which demand strong American leadership, and the next secretary of state has big shoes to fill. Senator John Kerry has served our nation with honour and distinction for many years,” McCain said. House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi said Obama had made a wise choice in nominating Kerry as the next secretary of state. “Senator Kerry will bring deep experience, extraordinary intellect, and sound judgment to the task of effectively representing American interests and values on the world stage,” she said. Senator Ben Cardin, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, chairman of subcommittee on International Development and Foreign Assistance, and co-chairman of the US Helsinki Commission, said Kerry is fully prepared to tackle the challenges that await him as the top US diplomat. “The next secretary of state will need to be open to systemic reforms within the department while remaining a strong advocate for America’s interests around the world,” he said. “Kerry is well respected among his colleagues in the Senate and I look forward to a prompt and thorough confirmation process that will provide an opportunity to address some of the serious security and political challenges facing American diplomats and development professionals abroad,” Cardin said. “Kerry will make an exceptional secretary of state,” said House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith. “As Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman, he also fully understands the power of diplomacy, and using soft power to achieve our national security objectives. This understanding will be crucial to his success,” he added. ONlINE Meanwhile, Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States Sherry Rehman has said Islamabad looks forward to working with Kerry on the important relationship. Ambassador Rehman, who has been engaged in an extensive diplomatic outreach on the Capitol Hill towards improvement of Pakistan-U.S. ties, said Senator Kerry has demonstrated through the years an “extraordinary understanding of the complexities of South and Central Asia.” “He has been a steadfast friend of Pakistan and is keenly aware of the strategic importance of a democratic, economically viable and stable Pakistan,” the ambassador noted. “We look forward to his confirmation and to working with a statesman of his high moral standing and outstanding diplomatic caliber, to strengthen PakistanUS relations, and to build peace and stability in South Asia,” Sherry Rehman added in a statement. In an analytical report on President Barack Obama’s elevation of Kerry to the chief American diplomat, the New York Times said Senator Kerry would bring even
deeper experience to the position of Secretary of State than Hillary Clinton did but his appointment is likely to further centralize policy decisions in the White House, a major newspaper report suggested. The Times noted that for the past four years the U.S. “president and a small circle of advisers have kept a tight grip on issues like Iran’s nuclear program, China, Pakistan, and the winding down of the war in Afghanistan.” “There’s every reason to believe that we’re going to have a very White Housecentric foreign policy,” said David J. Rothkopf, the chief executive of the Foreign Policy Group. According to the paper, Rothkopf said “Kerry is going to have to show his loyalty and willingness to work within the Obama system.” The report points out that in contrast to Hillary Clinton, whom Obama named to his cabinet after they competed against each other in the 2008 presidential primaries, Kerry has been a loyal supporter of the Obama administration.
The paper particularly noted the Massachusetts Democratic senator’s role in “guiding an arms-reduction treaty with Russia to ratification in the Senate and playing diplomatic troubleshooter for the White House in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Sudan.” The lawmaker, who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has also figured at critical moments in Obama’s career. At the 2004 Democratic National Convention that nominated him for president, Kerry gave the keynote speaking slot to Obama, then a little-known Illinois state senator, catapulting him to national prominence. In early 2008, Mr. Kerry endorsed him over Mrs. Clinton, and this fall he played the role of Mitt Romney in mock debates — sessions that by some accounts put the president’s teeth on edge. The Times, citing the presidential aides says, Obama likes current US ambassador to UN Susan Rice’s blunt style and is in sync with her view of foreign policy, which places a premium on aggressively defending human rights.
As a result, Ms. Rice, who earlier this month dropped out of the nomination list but is staying in her post, remains a candidate for a major foreign-policy post in the second term, according to administration officials. Thomas E. Donilon, the national security adviser, is expected to stay on for a year or so, but Ms. Rice could be named to his job. If she were to move into the White House, analysts said, that would pose a test for Kerry, given her access to Obama and their shared views on many foreign policy issues. “The easiest model to see developing is one in which Kerry is on the road a lot, interfacing with foreign leaders, but the decision-making is done at the White House,” said Elliott Abrams, who held foreign-policy posts in the administrations of Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush For Mr. Kerry, exerting influence internally is likely to be the greatest challenge of the job he has long coveted. Friends and former aides predicted he would carve out a role, just as Hillary Clinton did, says the report.
Govt set to remove PMDC chief to pave way for Dr Asim’s induction ISLAMABAD ONlINE
The government is all set to remove Dr Sibtul Hassnain, president of the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC), from his office on account of various allegations against him. National Regulations and Services (NRS) Secretary Imtiaz Inayat Elahi has issued showcause notice to Dr Hassnain, demanding a reply from the latter within seven days and threatening him with removal from service without holding any inquiry. Sources said Dr Asim Hussain – PM’s adviser on petroleum who runs a range of medical colleges and hospitals in the private sector and is vice president of the PMDC – was eager to be appointed the PMDC president. The show-cause notice issued to the incumbent president is being seen as the first step towards paving the way for induction of Dr Asim Hussain as president. NRS Deputy Secretary Maqsood Ahmad had sent a letter to the PMDC on April 24 that the newly-created ministry was facing a shortage of vehicles and only one vehicle had been provided by PMDC for the protocol duties of the minister, therefore, more vehicles should be provided. Sources said this demand was not met by the PMDC. The show-cause notice issued to Dr Hassnain contains nine allegations. The charges say the PMDC headquarter was located in Islamabad but he always remained in Lahore and his work suffered heavily.
swaT: People cross the river swat using makeshift cable cars. The unique mode of tansport connects the Fazagat and Mam Dheri areas. oNLiNe
3.5m Pakistani children miss polio vaccine: WHO ISLAMABAD NNI
More than 3.5 million Pakistani children missed out on polio vaccination this week in a campaign overshadowed by the deaths of nine immunisation workers, a UN official said. Pakistan is one of only three countries in the world where the highly infectious, crippling disease remains endemic and infections shot up from a low of 28 in 2005 to almost 200 last year. Nine people working on the UNbacked programme were shot dead in Karachi and the northwest this week,
murdered for trying to protect children from a cruel disease that can leave limbs flaccid and useless in a matter of hours. “Of a total target of 18.5 million for the last polio round, 14.9 million children were vaccinated throughout the country, resulting in over 3.5 million children missing out on vaccination,” Dr Elias Durry, the World Health Organisation’s senior coordinator for polio eradication in Pakistan, said. “WHO and all the partners in polio eradication salute the bravery of thousands of polio team members in the country who performed their duties in the line of fire to reach the 14.9 million children,” he said.
Durry said figures showed 1.75 million children were missed in southern Sindh province after the campaign was called off following the killing of four female polio team members in Karachi, the country’s commercial capital. In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, around 700,000 children were missed as a result of the early suspension of the campaign after the deaths of polio team members. In central Punjab, more than 800,000 remained unvaccinated but WHO officials said some major cities started the campaign a day late and data was still awaited. It was expected the number of missed children would signif-
icantly fall. More than 200,000 children in various areas remained unvaccinated for reasons unrelated to the attacks. Efforts to tackle polio in Pakistan have been hampered over the years by local suspicion about vaccination. Taliban have denied responsibility for the latest attacks though they have threatened polio workers in the past and in June, they banned vaccinations in the Waziristan agency, condemning the drive as a cover for espionage. Resistance also comes from parents, often poorly educated and impressionable, who believe wild conspiracy theories about the vaccine.
monday, 24 December, 2012
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10 Comment Dedicated to the legacy of the late Hameed Nizami
He hates bad news so do we. but how to gloss over what breaks us every day?
Arif Nizami Editor Lahore – Ph: 042-36375963-5 Fax: 042-32535230 Karachi – Ph: 021-35381208-9 Fax: 021-35381208 Islamabad – Ph: 051-2287414-6 Fax: 051-2287417 Web: www.pakistantoday.com.pk Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Silenced a sad day, a black day
f there was an iota of doubt left in anyone’s mind about the nefarious agenda of the terrorists, Saturday’s dastardly attack that took the lives of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Senior Minister Bashir Ahmed Bilour and eight others should prove more than an eye opener. One might even term it a clarion call for a united stand against the forces of darkness which succeeded in silencing a voice that rose above all others among the political cadre in vocalising for the cause against terrorism. What makes this incident even worse lies in what it brings to sharp relief, yet again: how badly the state – its security, law enforcement and intelligence setups – has failed in providing a fundamental right, that of safety and security of life, to its citizens. “We are ready to kill or be killed in this battle for peace”, is what Bashir Bilour had said when he made a case for the ownership of this war against terrorism. Being outspoken was surely his hallmark but it proved to be a thorn in the terrorists’ side. One might question the security and intelligence level offered for the protection of such a high profile public figure whom the terrorists had already marked, and he had already survived two assassination attempts. The terrorists in Darra Adam Khel, along with the TTP, were quick in claiming the responsibility of the attack, a sort of slap in the face to the security apparatus. KP has been the go-to area for the terrorists over the last decade. As the security and intelligence agencies gained an insight as to how they could tackle this menace, the terrorists have also improvised their tactics in the same period. What remains constant, though, is the suicide attack, just like the one which killed Bilour, to which no singular safety measure has proven to be worthwhile. Even then, it is obvious that militants have become way more brazen, intense and more precise in their tactics. From attack on GHQ to attack on Malala, from attacks on anti-polio teams to fatal attacks on politicians, they surely have grown considerably in their influence and reach. Part of the blame lies with the politicians themselves, for they have not been vocal in condemning the militants. Some of them tacitly, and some openly, divide them into good and bad militants, thus offering them a chance to squirm away from any legal and political ramifications. It is ditto for the security establishment. Peace talks, ceasefires, jirgas, these all are nothing but stalling tactics for them, ironically offered by the government itself. If the government is really serious about handling this issue, it should start from within. Mind you, the validity of this ‘if’ will become highly dubious if no concrete steps are taken immediately. Changing the mindset of politicians and security establishment would be a good start.
By Kamran Rehmat
remember how we were protesting outside Geo’s office in Islamabad back in late 2007 following the Main kissi se nahi darta General’s blackout of private television channels after the Emergency. In what should rank as some irony, one of the politicians who were part of the public solidarity demo that day was Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, the future water and power minister — unbeknownst to us as the harbinger of pitch dark. Ashraf has come a long way since then — and so have we. Only the directions have not been exactly in consonance. We have ‘load-shed’ like never before during his stint as power minister and ever since even as he has risen to heights like there was no tomorrow. Should one envy his phenomenal rise to glory, overlooking the Supreme Court’s indictment of his alleged role in the questionable procurement of rental power plants and the subsequent scrapping of the exorbitantly expensive deal besides the loss of ministerial office? Perhaps not, for, that is pretty much the fable of quirky rise in Pakistani politics. You can cut it — even when it seems you can’t by any stretch of imagination. In Ashraf’s case, he didn’t need to get into a mission impossible like Tom Cruise. The PM’s office just fell into his lap like Newton’s apple — although the force of gravity was decidedly Brand Z! But our man from Gujar Khan is relishing every bit of his party in the palatial house. To begin with, he displayed Misbahul Haq-like stoicism in the face of Gilani-like predictions of doom. Once President Asif Zardari decided to change his mind and let the latter go, Ashraf has studiously consolidated the god-sent gain. Now, he can be seen crisscrossing the land without the fear of being booked for an early flight. The change in fortunes has landed him, apart from other gifts, the selfassumed halo of a statesman as well. The other day, speaking at the launch of
a book — somewhat aptly entitled Reconciliations, Reform and Revival — published by the Directorate of Electronic Media and Publications in the republic’s capital, he said, “the media should avoid projecting things that lead to feelings of dejection and despair about the future of Pakistan”. The prime minister specifically asked the media, in general, and new TV channels, in particular, to “carry out self censorship” and shelve parts where speakers vent their views against Pakistan. A newspaper report quoted him as saying that “Pakistan being a nuclear and a determined nation would foil the desperate attempts of a few people to malign Islam as well as the country.” Like a true psychologist, the PM also had the pulse of the moment. He also asked the nation “to shun despondency as desperation and hopelessness were a sin in Islam”. The most interesting part of this news report pertains to the report presented to the PM. Ashraf is said to have appreciated the efforts of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in compiling the achievements of the government over the last four years but “urged it to do their work honestly”. Freudian slip or not, the advice towards the end pretty much sums up the performance. But I decided not to take any chances if solely looking up at the day’s developments to see if the media could take the PM’s advice and eschew stuff that sends our national despondency soaring. In the interest of taking the advice seriously, I decided not to go de rigueur — effectively ruling out any discussion on unemployment, price hike, the snaky lines at the gas stations, blasts of all hues and last but not least, the Achilles heel of the prime minister — energy crisis (read load shedding). And I also decided to look at just one
national (English) newspaper of record (never mind that this had the inherent drawback of lesser ‘bad’ news). A sample showed there was this stomach-churning episode of mob justice as one man was lynched and burnt alive on suspicion of blasphemy inside a police station in Dadu; in an ambush in Gwadar, gunmen shot dead 11 would-be economic migrants before the assailants fled unchallenged; in Kachi district, two persons were killed in a landmine explosion and another two were injured when unidentified persons lobbed a grenade at a shop in the Jail Road vicinity of Quetta; a fight between two groups led to a scary intrusion in Karachi’s Jinnah Hospital with 17 bullets fired from a submachine inside the casualty ward; parents rushed their children for polio drops to hospitals after the national vaccination campaign came to a grinding halt thanks to the killing of nine vaccinators, including young girl volunteers, that made international headlines and forced the UN agencies to pull out; and last but not least, a call from Malala Yousafzai to a local administrator in Swat backing the decision to reverse schools named after her over fears of reprisal from militants. So Mr Prime Minister, what do we do? Turn a blind eye to these pesky ‘little’ happenings or just grin and bear, and pretend the coming morrow — which you feverishly predict will return your party to power — will somehow turn ours into a land of milk and honey? This, or perhaps, take your predecessor’s straightforward advice to get out of the daily grind. Remember the “Why don’t they just leave then, who’s stopping them?” retort when told one-fifth of Pakistanis saw that as a way out in a Gallup poll? The writer is Editor, Pique Magazine. He may be reached at email@example.com
of Malala and farzana The tale of a ‘fighter’ no one knows about
By Azam Butt
he Time magazine announced its person of the year results on Wednesday, December 19. The number two spot on the list went to Malala Yousafzai, the famed teen education activist who shot to fame for speaking up against the Taliban for discouraging girls’ education and who shot to international fame after surviving a gruesome attack by the very forces she chose to differ with. TV anchors who broke the news were seen crying on national TV while narrat-
monday, 24 December, 2012
ing the horrific saga, while the entire nation, rightfully, stood up in arms against the barbarians, and called for the strongest possible action against them. Condemnation of the attack and messages of praise for Malala, who Time hailed as a “fighter”, poured in from across the world. Locally, lawmakers minced no words while castigating the Taliban, vigils were held everywhere, and by everyone, and the girl was eventually declared a “daughter of the nation” by a unanimous resolution passed by the National Assembly. After initial treatment in Pakistan, Malala was flown to the United Kingdom and is being treated there on state expense ever since. Her family was flown in to meet her, and her father eventually landed a job with the UN, named the Special Adviser on Global Education. The Awami National Party, ruling Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province where Malala was attacked, was seen at the forefront of the campaign to hail Malala and her efforts. The province’s Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain had admired
Malala Yousafzai’s campaign for the promotion of peace and education and said any harm drawing near her would be thwarted. He had also announced a Rs 10 million reward for anyone who identified the terrorists who attacked Malala. Though the story is a heart-wrenching tale and a sure-fire movie hit, there occurred an even grave incident in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa that somewhat balances out the “Malala effect”. The teen education activist was 14 years old when attacked. The same age as a volunteer of the recent violence-marred anti-polio drive, Farzana, who was among the six polio workers killed in attacks on the second day of the three-day anti-polio drive across the country. Farzana’s courage was somewhat gigantic. She went out to immunise children on Tuesday, December 18, the same day five polio campaign volunteers had already been targeted and killed in Karachi. She became the sixth victim that day. Her family mourned alone. No consolation, no condolence came from anyone. No one praised Farzana’s courage. No one thought of making her the
daughter of the nation. And no one vowed to keep her mourning family out of harm’s way. Rather, no one even knows, or cares, who Farzana was, what she was doing and if she had even been killed. Why? Because nobody made the people realise it was the way they should be feeling or reacting. No one said feeling sorry for Farzana and her family was “the right thing” to do. No news anchor had tears in her eyes while narrating Farzana’s death. Vigils were held by nobody and nowhere. Assemblies, lawmakers – all remained missing in action. Even more baffling was the stance of Mian Iftikhar Hussain, the KP information minister, who, and his party, had went out of the way to garner backing for Malala. Speaking in the KP Assembly on Wednesday, a day after Farzana’s killing, Mian Iftikhar Hussain casually said Farzana’s assassination had nothing to do with the attacks on polio teams, but a result of family dispute. Farzana’s father Saeed Rahman denied the charge. The same day, Malala was named the
number two on Time magazine’s person of the year list for her “fight”. No one can imagine how Mr Saeed Rahman might have felt over the award to Malala a few hours after he buried his own daughter. Farzana was killed fighting for an equally, rather more important, opportunity for human beings. The right to an able, healthy body. Education comes much later. But it can be safely said that Mr Saeed Rahman would not be getting a job at the UN for promoting the cause of polio workers, or educating people about the crippling disease. Nor would Farzana be declared the “daughter of the nation” or be named the ambassador for polio eradication in Pakistan in place of Aseefa Bhutto, sister of PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, who following the attack on Malala, with tears in his eyes, had said, “Today, my sister was attacked”. That’s Pakistan for you. Farzana, God be with you, child! The writer is an assistant news editor at Pakistan Today, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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what does it tell you about politics?
border Crossings By Kuldip Nayar
ujrat going the way of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Himachal Pradesh to the Congress was expected even before the first vote was cast in the two states. Although Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi has crossed old tally of 117, he must be disappointed that he did not get 145, the figure which the exit polls had projected and he had begun to cherish. That the Congress has gained four or five seats is not a plus point because the incumbency factor and the revolt by Keshubai Patel, till recently a top BJP leader, should have cut into Modi’s strength. That he still has twothirds of a majority in the 182-member house does not speak well of the Congress which had its top leaders campaigning in the state and enticing the Muslims and tribals. Indeed, the corruption factor has worked against the BJP in Himachal. Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal had charges against him, even though his governance had wide acclamation. It seems that Himachal is following the pattern of Tamil Nadu where the DMK and the AIADMK are elected alternately. I fail to comprehend what message does Gujarat convey to the rest of India by re-electing Modi? This is his victory and that of his views which are out of tune with the 21st century thinking. Democracy also means pluralism. All people are equal before the law, whatever their religion or caste. Modi cares little about such ideas or values. True, the middle class, which constitutes a majority in Gujarat, wants a polity which enables it to earn more, enjoy more comforts and give it normalcy even though on surface. It seldom questions the rulers and virtually never challenges the
wisdom of their deeds. Yet, the middle class does not realise – or care – that Modi is authoritarian, like the late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, and his anti-Muslim bias is so strong that he did not field even a single Muslim candidate. I do not grudge Modi and his party, the BJP, the sweep in the state. But is it the kind of India we want to build, a society sans secularism? Mahatma Gandhi who led the freedom struggle and who was himself a Gujarati said that Hindus and Muslims were his two eyes. He would take out prbahat pheris selling khadi in the morning on Ahmedabad’s streets which had killers and looters walking in 2002. The British lathi-charged peaceful processions, but in Modi’s regime the police connived at what the fanatics did. The same Gujarat saw ethnic cleansing, planned and executed by the Hindutva exponents under Modi’s guidance. How some 17 crore Muslims in the country would have felt when Modi’s electoral fight was parochial? Gandhiji had a different approach and sacrificed his life at the hand of a Hindu fanatic. Granted that Modi’s campaigns never mentioned the Muslim community by name, yet he used mian before the name of Ahmed Patel, Congress President Sonia Gandhi’s political adviser. Modi played the anti-Pakistan card by introducing the Sir Creek dispute two days before polling. He wrote a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh not to hand over the Sir Creek, a narrow bay, to Pakistan and alleged that the visit of its Interior Minister, Rehman Malik, to Delhi during the Gujarat polls was in that connection. The prime minister himself made it clear that there was no such move. Finance Minister P Chidambaram characterised Modi’s assertion ridiculous and a fig of imagination. But the harm had been done. The fence sitters went to the Modi’s side to “save” Sir Creek. In fact, the Election Commission should look into his tactics to win. The Gujarat chief minister claims that he won because of developments he effected in the state. What kind of development is it when the Muslims have become poorer and even the riot victims have not been rehabilitated? There is no drinking water, no roads, no municipal facilities in their areas. Also, the adivasis have remained marginalised and tribals have not
benefited in any way. It is the middle class, both in cities and countryside, which has been the gainer and, therefore, it is not surprising that it has voted en bloc for Modi. In contrast, Dhumal has been jettisoned by the growing middle class in Himachal. It is a healthy sign that the middle class is asserting itself. But it is unfortunate that it has not yet risen from its parochial moorings. In Himachal, the distance between the Punjabi and the indigenous population seems to have counted a lot. While the defeat of Dhumal will only be registered by the BJP high command, the victory by Modi is going to create problems for the party. Already the posters appearing in Gujarat suggest that the “state’s sher (lion) will become India’s sher”. This means that Modi is prepared for a national role which may not be liked by some of the top leaders of the party. Not long ago, its president Nitin Gadkari told me that there were too many aspirants in his party for the prime minister’s post. It is an open secret that Gadkari and Modi do not see eye to eye. Since the RSS, the BJP’s mentor, is backing Modi he would be a formidable candidate. Where Modi may be stumped is the dislike for his way of politics and the categorical anti-Muslim view that scares away many in the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA). One of its leaders and Chief Minister of Bihar, Nitish Kumar, has conceded that the BJP, the NDA’s senior party, has the right to choose the leader but he has to be a consensus candidate. Modi may not make the choice because apart from the NDA allies, the country on the whole will feel horrified even at the mere mention of his name. Both Gujarat and Himachal are straws in the wind. It cannot be taken for granted that the states ruled by the BJP would return its party candidates to parliament in the next election in 2014. It is a pity that the nation has to choose between the Congress and the BJP in the absence of an alternative. People’s movements throughout the country should get together and rescue the nation from mis-governance and corruption which has been the hallmark of rule by the two parties. The writer is a senior Indian journalist.
Send your letters to: Letters to Editor, Pakistan Today, 4-Shaarey Fatima Jinnah, Lahore, Pakistan. Fax: +92-42-36298302. E-mail: email@example.com. Letters should be addressed to Pakistan Today exclusively.
anti-social activities of the society In every country there are people who work day and night against the basic interests of their countrymen, violate the laws of the land to which they are socially and morally reprehensible. These people say goodbye to universally recognised means of decent livelihood and adopt those which could satisfy their greed of money in the shortest possible time. The desire to be the master of millions of banks notes leads the man to begin a career from which honesty of purpose respect for the laws and customs of the country feeling for the good of others and other moral values have no place. Anti-social elements are the greatest enemies of their country because they cause harm to its stability by creating conditions and then they derive enormous monetary gains. These agents of lawlessness and enemies of the public trade in contraband goods derive foodstuff and products of the industry underground and create an artificial scarcity of all vital necessaries of life, causing inflation and disrupting the normal life of the people. The contrabands articles are so highly, prized by the moneyed classes that those who trade in then may hope to make a fortune out of them within a matter of days. The activities of these crafty traders are so subtle and well organized that there is hardly any chance of their detection by the ordinary processes of law and if by any means they are caught there is always a way out using unfair means can save them from the clutches of law. Honesty, patriotism and the voice of conscience are smothered by the power of money which manages to purchase law enforcing machinery. Hoarding of foodstuffs of other articles of daily use which are in great demand and of imported luxury items which fetch high price is an anti-social vice, which unfortunately is spreading like an epidemic which is earning the trading class of our society fabulous profits. If these elements are not weeded out from society, the greed to make more money through channels of illegitimate trade or conduct grows. Moreover, a society where some people are fabulously rich while the majority is suffering from poverty and where education and democratic practices have failed to play
their role effectively always breeds unscrupulous effectively elements who show utter disregarded for their countrymen. It is a herculean task to curb the activities of these anti-social elements of our society. Sermons on the virtues of honesty do not prick the guilty conscience of these hunters of wealth. Law enforcing agencies must take strict action against those who are sowing the seeds of immorality in soil of our civilised society. It also becomes the responsibility of each and every one of us to discourage such elements so that we could provide for our generations. Another anti-social class of our society consists of those who adulterate foodstuff, manufacture spurious medicines and introduce them in the market. The innocent buyers purchases diseases, ill-health and very often death causing stuff from the market with his hard-earned money. This is what we all have seen in a recent Tyno syrup case. This cough syrup took more than 20 innocent lines. The deceased did not know that they were buying not medicines but their own death. For a civilised society like ours, it’s a shameful act which should be condemned largely and those responsible should be dealt with ironhands. People who abuse their power or position in order to feather their nest or show undue favours to friends and relations, thereby depriving the deserving people of their legitimate rights may also be included in the list of anti-social elements with a society free of all such vices. FATIMA HASAN BUTT Lahore
How fair is the fair trial Bill? How on earth a democratically elected parliament could pass the controversial Fair Trial Bill? It is beyond comprehension as to why politicians have succumbed to the pressure of the military establishment. The matter of grave concern is not the law but how this law could be manipulated against the people. Though it will be the politicians who shall be the most affected as such bills will give cover to the agencies who are already bugging and tapping phones. In my opinion, this bill will not aim to achieve higher conviction rates but to settle personal scores. Political manoeuvring for vested interests and ulterior motives would be the order of the day and the list of missing people may increase. Those at the helm of affairs, especially heading the intelligence agencies, should ensure their subordinates should not misuse the power granted to them and people should not be framed for personal enmities. It is requested that the authorities responsible must take extreme care regarding the privacy of the people. MUHAMMED ZAFIR ZIA Karachi
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12 BOLLyWOOd 2012 LiLo didn’t want to kiss Charlie Sheen in Scary Movie 5
indsAy Lohan refused to kiss Charlie sheen during the filming of scary movie 5, according to reports. despite Lohan being a great sport during the opening scene, according to TmZ.com, Lohan refused to kiss the hollywood party boy because she was allegedly concerned that his mouth was a hot-bed of germs, the new york Post reported. They were reportedly supposed to kiss at least three times during filming but Lohan refused and both parties had to eventually sign releases stating they didn’t have cold sores. even with the alleged release, the starlet still wouldn’t go for it. Filmmakers even tried using a body double but it did not work so they tried writing out the kissing completely. Apparently, sheen did not react badly at all to Lohan’s objections and never voiced concerns over a rewrite. NEws DEsK
Kim Kardashian threatens to quit Instagram over new policies
im Kardashian is reportedly so angry over the photo-sharing site instagram’s new terms of service, that she is considering leaving it. The 32-year-old reality star has told her friends that she is thinking about shutting down her instagram account and going to a rival photo-posting company and taking all of her followers with her, TmZ.com reported. Kardashian has the highest number of followers than any instagram user at 5,726,343, way past Justin Bieber (4,366,729) and President Barack Obama (1,834,079). Plus, if she goes, her family members could follow and Khloe, Kylie, Kendall and Rob are also in the Top 10 most followed on the site. NEws DEsK
HEROINES RULE HEARTS AND BOX OFFICE
vEn though 100 crore-earning, hero-centric films dominated the calendar, heroines too made a mark by taking on lead roles in many interesting films. The likes of Kareena Kapoor, Rani Mukherjee, Bipasha Basu, vidya Balan and Sridevi chose offbeat roles to battle it out with their male counterparts at the box office. The year began with vidya's Kahaani. The actress, who had already delivered a success with The Dirty Picture last year, broke many stereotypes with the thriller. The film explored themes of feminism and motherhood in a male-dominated indian society. it had a seven-month pregnant heroine in the lead without any recognisable stars but managed to earn critical acclaim as well as audience's love. Word-of-mouth publicity and good critical response paved the way for the film's commercial success, with a 50 day worldwide gross of Rs104 crore. Bipasha had three releases this year. While Players and jodi Breakers failed to make a mark, she delivered a hit with the horror flick Raaz 3 portraying a fading superstar obsessed with her career. Even Kareena, who is largely seen playing the glam doll in hero-centric films, carried Madhur Bhandarkar's next "heroine" on her shoulders. although the film garnered mixed reviews, Kareena's performance as a declining superstar was appreciated.
From doing the raunchy item song halkat jawaani to the scenes where she is battling depression and popping pills, Kareena made her character Mahi memorable and lovable. Sridevi, who ruled the silver screen with films like Sadma, Chandni, Mr india and lamhe in the eighties, was back on the big screen after a gap of nearly 15 years with the sweet and simple English vinglish. The 49-year-old actress played the central role of a middle class indian housewife burdened with an ungrateful family, who embarks on learning English after being mocked by her relatives. The story evolved as she rediscovers her selfesteem by sneaking off to English lessons during a visit to new York for a family wedding. The film was premiered at the 2012 Toronto international Film Festival, where Sridevi's performance received a standing ovation. The film was declared a big hit in india and overseas. it also went on to complete a golden jubilee 50-day run at the box-office. While Rani, who was seen playing a headstrong journalist in no One Killed jessica last year, was back to scorch the silver screen with back-to-back films -- romantic comedy aiyyaa and thriller Talaash opposite aamir Khan. although aiyyaa failed to create magic at the box office, Rani convincingly played the role of a devastated mother and a caring wife in Talaash. NewS DeSk
i am a free man now: Arbaaz Khan PRODUCER-DIRECTOR ARBAAZ KHAN TELLS TOI HOW HE JUGGLED BRAND SALMAN AND BRAND DABANGG Are you relieved with the response to Dabangg 2? Especially since some people said you'd fail as a director? Yes. I am genuinely feeling relieved. It was a huge weight on my shoulders. I was aware of the cynicism and I know a lot of people said I wouldn't be able to deliver. But I relied on my instincts and decided to let my work do the talking. I must admit I was very tense but I also knew if I did good work, everybody would appreciate it. On the other hand, if I made a bad film, I wouldn't have anywhere to run. And now the film is out and you guys have liked it. I am a free man now. Is it true the sequel had been elaborately discussed during the shooting of Dabangg? That's utter rubbish. Everything was done by the team of the new film. Each and every aspect was conceptualised and executed by us. This time around, we knew what we wanted to create and the process was smooth. There was no ambiguity, no revision of scripts and no creative differences.
Mila Kunis called `dirty Jewess` by Ukrainian politician
ewish organizations around the world are angry at the Ukrainian government, after their politician used an Anti-semitic slur about mila Kunis in a Facebook rant. Lawmaker igor miroshnichenko wrote that Kunis (a Jew born in the Ukraine) is not a true Ukrainian, as she’s a “zhydovka” a word that has been used as a slur against Jewish people since the holocaust. After protests by Ukrainian Jews, the government announced the word was OK to use as it appears in the Ukrainian dictionary, as a term for a Jew that isn’t necessarily a slur. simon wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles wrote a letter to Ukraine’s Prime minister to express their outrage and indignation against the slanders of the svoboda Party directed against the Jewish community in the Ukraine. in the letter, Rabbi marvin hier explained that the term “zhydovka” translated to “dirty Jewess”. nEWS DESK
monday, 24 December, 2012
Considering Dabangg 2's rights were sold to distributors at a premium, you must be now laughing all the way to the bank... (Laughs) Money always follows a successful film and I never wanted to be an exception to that rule. Imagine what would have happened if I had made a bad film after Dabangg. I was handling two brands simultaneously; one being Salman Khan and the other Dabangg. In any case, making a sequel is hard work and the bar set by Dabangg was very high. I was always more concerned about surpassing the expectations of Salman's fans than the money the film would generate. And I refused to lend an ear to my critics because that wasn't doing me any good either. All said, the tension was palpable during the countdown to the release. It was a huge brand and my job was to make it even bigger. Are you now ready to announce Dabangg 3, what with a successful second installment. We will definitely go back to the drawing board but I want to take a breather and do a film in between. coUrTeSy MM
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Gangnam Style hits one billion views on YouTube Gangnam Style has become the first video to clock up more than one billion views on YouTube. The South Korean dance track was posted online in July, propelling pop star Psy to worldwide fame. It has inspired hundreds of parody clips, from members of the British army, Thai navy and Minecraft gamers, among others. YouTube's owner, Google, said the video had been watched seven million to 10 million times a day on average. It overtook the previous record holder - Justin Bieber's music video Baby - on 24 November. "Psy's success is a great testament to the universal appeal of catchy music - and er, great equine dance moves," wrote Kevin Allocca, YouTube trends manager, on the service's blog. One industry watcher said the fact so many people continued to post their own versions of Gangnam Style had played a huge part in the clip's success. "I've seen a statistic which reckons the one song will have generated something like $8m [£5m] by the end of the year from money that comes directly from YouTube through advertising plus download sales, its uses in adverts and TV programmes," Chris Cooke, business editor of the CMU music news site, told the BBC. "It shows that YouTube - which is a free-to-use as a promotional platform for the music labels - can lead to substantial income. "Should every artist be trying to think of a funny video that will go viral and be mimicked? I don't know whether it's a template that can be copied, but it
BOLLYWOOD ENTERTAINERS WHO BID 'ALVIDA' IN 2012 A maverick filmmaker like Yash Chopra, a superstar like Rajesh Khanna, character artists like Achala Sachdev and A.K. Hangal, famous cinematographer Ashok Mehta and widely followed movie critic Nikhat Kazmi - it was almost as if god was planning his own movie in heaven this year. IANS takes a look at the lives of those who regaled the audiences in their own unique ways through the film industry those who gave their'aakhri salaam' to filmdom in 2012: NIKHAT KAzMI (JAN 20): Breast cancer took a toll on the life of the lady whose moviebased writings and reviews were awaited by readers of The Times of India for over two decades. She wasn't a celebrity or an entertainer; but to miss out on Kazmi in this list would be highly unfair, given how she showed the "road for improvement" to youngsters like Abhishek Bachchan. She died in the capital at the age of 53. RAJ KANWAR (FEB 13): He gave stars like Shah Rukh Khan andPriyanka Chopra their first big breaks with "Deewana" and "Andaaz", respectively. Kanwar, who also directed "Judaai", "Jeet", "Badal" and "Laadla", breathed his last in Singapore before he could undergo a kidney transplant. He was in his early 50s. JoY MUKHERJEE (MARcH 9): Known as the Bengali candy, thisBollywood charmer of the 1960s, became popular through movies like "Love In Simla", "Love InTokyo" and "Phir Wohi Dil Laaya Hoon". One of the best looking Indian actors of his times,Mukherjee lost his life to thalassemia in Mumbai. He was 73. AcHALA SAcHDEv (APRIL 30): Bollywood's quintessential on-screen mother Achala Sachdev's life came to an end after six months of being bedridden at a Pune hospital. The actress, especially known for her role in 1965 film "Waqt", where she was part of the legendary song "Ae meri zohra jabeen", made her last big screen appearance in "Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham". She played mother to Amitabh Bachchan, who has memories of her soft-hearted and benevolent nature. TARUNI SAcHDEvA (MAY 14): She was hardly 14 and lost her life in a plane crash in Nepal. Popular for appearing in a line-up of Rasna commercials, little Taruni is also remembered for playing the role of Amitabh Bachchan's
cute classmate in "Paa". She was talented, and had even featured in two Malayalam films - "Vellinakshatram" (2004) and "Sathyam" (2004). DARA SINgH (JULY 12): He made a rare transition from the wrestling ring to the big screen and tasted success as the 'Iron Man' of Bollywood. He played numerous characters - the action star, hero, father, uncle and grandfather - in films and endeared himself to several fans, who enjoyed his presence in over 140 films, including "Anand", "Mera Naam Joker" and the much-loved "Jab We Met". He breathed his last following a brief illness. He was 84. RAJESH KHANNA (JULY 18): Women looked up to him as the "epitome of romance" India's first superstar, Rajesh Khanna, fondly remembered as Kaka, succumbed to a liver infection at the age of 69. He knew it was time to "pack up" and his funeral procession, attended by thousands of fans, was proof of the adulation he had amassed over the years through movies like "Aradhana", "Do Raaste", "Safar" and "Anand". ASHoK MEHTA (AUg 15): One of India's best known cinematographers, Ashok Mehta became an informidable name in the film industry, given his filmography of evocative projects like "BanditQueen", "36 Chowringhee Lane", "Paroma", and "Utsav". He suffered from advanced lung cancer. He was 65. A.K. HANgAL (AUg 26): At 96, would you think of being on the fashion runway? Such was his zest for life that A.K. Hangal did that. He died at 97 - but only after over four decades of entertaining Hindi movie viewers with about 200 films like "Shaukeen", "Sholay", "Bawarchi", "Abhimaan" and "Guddi". He was in penury towards his last few years, and was even unable to pay his mounting medical bills. But his passion for his art remained unaffected. YASH cHoPRA (ocT 21): Romance thy name in Bollywood has always been Yash Chopra! He almost taught youngsters "how to romance" through his love sagas like "Daag", "Kabhi Kabhie", "Chandni" and "Lamhe". He made socially relevant films like "Dhool Ka Phool" and "Waqt" too, and finished his last movie, "Jab Tak Hai Jaan", just in time before dengue and an ensuing multi-organ failure took this beloved filmmaker's life. He was 80. NewS DeSk
certainly shows how quickly an eyecatching clip can spread thanks to social networks and YouTube." Sir Martin Sorrell - chief executive of advertising giant WPP - paid tribute to the achievement by making a link between Psy and one of the west's most influential economists. "Another great example of Theodore Levitt's 'globalisation' and the power of K-pop," he told the BBC. Scott Mills, the BBC Radio 1 DJ who championed the song on his show, said he was amazed by the phenomenon that the song had become. "The thing that interests you in the video is the fact that you don't understand the lyrics. British troops in Afghanistan have made their own version. Footage courtesy BFBS: British Forces News "The first time I saw it was on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in America and I just thought it was a bit of fun, but I didn't expect it to be as big as it was. "Psy came into my Radio 1 show and The Guinness World Records presented him with a plaque for the most 'liked' YouTube video of all time and the amazing thing is he is just a guy, he hasn't tried to do any of this." D C Han, a South Korean hair stylist who worked in Gangnam before starting a business in London, added that he was proud to see the song become such a massive hit. "I was amazed" he told the BBC. "K-Pop is getting stronger and stronger, everywhere in Asia they are listening to it - China, Hong Kong, Taiwan. Maybe even in Japan but they might not admit it." NEws DEsK
SISTINE CHAPEL TOURISTS TO BE VACUUMED THE five million tourists who visit the Sistine Chapel every year are to be vacuum cleaned and cooled down before entry in an effort to reduce the pollution damaging Michelangelo’s frescoes, the director of the Vatican museums has said. Visitors who traipse sweat, dust, skin flakes and hair into the 16th-century chapel will be “dusted, cleaned and chilled”, Antonio Paolucci told the Italian daily Corriere della Sera. The heat and dirt generated by 20,000 tourists pouring through the chapel every day has been blamed for the layers of grime that accumulate on the paintings, which include Michelangelo’s depiction of God giving life to Adam. “We will
cover the 100 metres before the entrance with a carpet that cleans shoes, install suction vents on the sides to suck dust from clothes and lower temperatures to reduce the heat and humidity of bodies,” said Paolucci. “Dust, temperature, humidity and carbon dioxide are the great enemies of the paintings.” The chapel features 300 figures painted across 2,500 square metres by artists including Botticelli, Perugino and Pinturicchio as well as Michelangelo, whose ‘Last Judgment’ fills the end wall. For the ceilings, which are 20 metres high, the artist devised special scaffolding to enable him to paint. Paolucci has been searching for a way to cut down
on bodily emissions of tourists since restorers scrubbed a thick layer of dirt off the frescoes two years ago. A 20-year-old air extraction system is no longer up to the job and air conditioning is essential, he has warned. The Italian writer Pietro Citati has demanded that the Vatican restrict visitor numbers, calling the chapel “an unimaginable disaster” where tourists resemble “drunken herds”. Paolucci has resisted, claiming that limiting numbers would be a throwback to the days of the Grand Tour when only a lucky few could afford to visit. The new virtual tour, he added, would not be a replacement for a visit to the real thing. NewS DeSk
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The best and worst foods for your digestive system Boeing engineers use spuds to improve in-air Wi-Fi
HEN it comes to the best foods for digestive health, perhaps the best way of thinking about it is this: If it doesn't cause any symptoms, then it's good. There are "foods that clean out your bowel system, foods that help to keep you regular, those that will not increase reflux and those that won't cause diarrhea," Kristi King, R.D., a senior dietitian at Texas Children's Hospital and a spokesper-
son for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, tells HuffPost. Good digestion starts the moment you put a food in your mouth, King adds, noting that foods that are "good" for digestion are generally those that make the digestive process easier. Different nutrients from foods benefit the body in different ways, says Dr. Matthew L. Bechtold, M.D., F.A.C.G., a gastroenterologist at the Digestive Health Center at the Uni-
versity of Missouri - Columbia. However, even nutrients that aren't readily absorbed by the body can be healthy -- fiber, for instance, helps to ensure regular bowel movements. Fiber is the "Roto-Rooter, the Drano, of the digestive system," King says, though she notes that it is possible to have too much. People should generally have between 20 to 30 grams of fiber each day, which is the amount in five to seven servings of fruits and vegetables and about
four to five servings of whole grains. The body is designed to digest many types of foods, but everyone is different in that some foods may trigger digestion-related symptoms for some and not others, Bechtold says. Bechtold and King offered up some of their picks for the best and worst foods for digestion, based on their ability to help keep things moving in the body, as well as their likelihood of triggering nasty symptoms like diarrhea and acid reflux. NEws DEsK
Bat immunity research may shed light on cancer
Woman wants to marry man convicted of killing her twin
woman in Argentina wants to marry the man who was convicted of murdering her twin sister. Edith Casas, 22, believes that her fiancĂŠ, Victor Cingolani, "would not hurt a fly" and is innocent in her sister's death, the BBC reported. Cingolani is currently serving a 13-year sentence for the murder of Johana Casas, a model whose body was found in a field with two bullet wounds in 2010. Cingolani had dated Johana, but the two were not in a relationship when she was killed. "[Edith Casas] isn't jealous," Cingolani told Argentine newspaper Clarin, according to the BBC. "We always talk about Johana, about how she was." The convict also noted that while his relationship with Johana Casas was "casual," he is "in love" with Edith. The wedding was supposed to take place Saturday, El Patagonico reported. However, a civil judge has postponed the event after Casas' mother, Marcelina del Carmen Orellana, submitted a request for a court-ordered psychiatric evaluation of her daughter. Orellana, believes the would-be bride is clearly "psychologically ill." Casas' family has stated they feel she is guilty of "a terrible betrayal." Cingolani's attorney, Lucas Chacon says that while he can sympathize with the family's concerns, "Edith is not marrying a killer." Chacon insists that Marcos Diaz, who was dating Johana Casas when she was killed, is the real murderer, the Mail reported. Diaz is scheduled to go on trial next year. NEws DEsK
The bat, a reservoir for viruses like Ebola, SARS and Nipah, has for decades stumped scientists trying to figure out how it is immune to many deadly bugs but a recent study into its genes may finally shed some light, scientists said on Friday. Studying the DNA of two distant bat species, the scientists discovered how genes dealing with the bats' immune system had undergone the most rapid change. This may explain why they are relatively free of disease and live exceptionally long lives compared with other mammals of similar size, such as the rat, said Professor Lin-Fa Wang, an infectious disease expert at the Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School in Singapore who led the multi-centre study. "We are not saying bats never get sick or never get infections. What we are saying is they handle infections a lot better," Wang said in a telephone interview. What was missing from both species of bats was a gene segment known to trigger extreme, and potentially fatal, immune reactions to infections, called the cytokine storm. Cy-
tokine storms end up killing not only offending viruses in the body, but the host's own cells and tissues too. "Viruses rarely kill the host. The killing comes from the host's immune response. So it looks like what bats are doing is depress the inflammation (cytokine storm). If we can learn that, we can design drugs to minimize the inflammation damage and control viral infection," Wang said. The study, which saw the participation of researchers from China, Denmark, Australia and the United States, was published on Friday in the journal Science. Compared with other mammals of similar size, bats live a long time, with lifespans of between 20 and 40 years. Rats live between 2 and 3 years, on average. Wang said we have much to learn from the bat, which has evolved to avoid disease and live exceptionally long lives. "Cancer, ageing and infectious disease, these are the three major areas of concern for people," he said. "We have studied rats for 150 years to understand how to do better in these three areas. Now we have a system, the bat that has done very well in evolution. We can learn from the bat. With modern techniques, we can design new drugs to slow down the ageing process, treat cancer and fight infections." NEws DEsK
IRLINES and aircraft makers have been striving to improve this with the growing use of wireless devices and the number of people who don't want to be disconnected, even 35,000 feet up. Engineers at Chicago-based Boeing Co. used sacks of potatoes as stand-ins for passengers as they worked to eliminate weak spots in in-flight wireless signals. They needed full planes to get accurate results during signal testing, but they couldn't ask people to sit motionless for days while data was gathered. "That's where potatoes come into the picture," Boeing spokesman Adam Tischler said. It turns out that potatoes-because of their water content and chemistry-absorb and reflect radio wave signals much the same way as the human body does, making them suitable substitutes for airline passengers. "It's a testament to the ingenuity of these engineers. They didn't go in with potatoes as the plan," Tischler said. Its conclusions led the Boeing researchers to wonder if potatoes might serve just as well as humans during their own signal testing. Despite some skepticism, they ended up buying 20,000 pounds of them. Video and photos of the work, which started in 2006, show a decommissioned airplane loaded with row upon row of potato sacks that look like large, lumpy passengers. The sacks sit eerily still in the seats as the engineers collect data on the strength of wireless signals in various spots. The Boeing engineers added some complicated statistical analysis and the result was a proprietary system for fine tuning Internet signals so they would be strong and reliable wherever a laptop was used on a plane. Boeing says the system also ensures Wi-Fi signals won't interfere with the plane's sensitive navigation and communications equipment. NEws DEsK
Speed bumps help diagnose appendicitis
HETHER you find driving over speed bumps painful could help doctors work out whether you are suffering from acute appendicitis or not. While the link between speed bump pain and appendicitis was already suspected -- some doctors even use anecdotal reports of the discomfort in their diagnostic procedure -- evidence for the idea had not been produced until now. "It may sound odd, but asking patients whether their pain worsened going over speed bumps on their way in to hospital could help doctors in a diagnosis," said Dr Helen Ashdown of the Department of Primary Care Health Sciences at the University of Oxford. "It turns out to be as good as many other ways of assessing people with suspected appendicitis." Appendicitis is tricky to detect accurately and misdiagnosis can lead to healthy appendices being removed in unnecessary operations or inflamed appendices going without surgery and risking blood poisoning and death. The results of the study by medical professionals from the University of Oxford and Stoke Mandeville Hospital showed that speed bump pain compared well to other diagnostic methods when dealing with appendicitis, either in terms of considering it or -- with more accuracy -- in ruling it out. High sensitivity to pain over speed bumps in patients with acute appendicitis means that when the bumps don't induce a jolt of pain doctors can rule out a problem appendix more confidently. But the pain sensitivity was also reportedly linked to abdominal problems such as a ruptured ovarian cyst and therefore doesn't make for a great "rulein" test. The study concludes that questioning patients about their sensitivity to speed bumps should form part of the routine assessment for patients with suspected appendicitis. NEws DEsK
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Sachin Tendulkar retires from ODIs
ACHIN Tendulkar has retired from ODI cricket. Tendulkar finishes an illustrious career in the 50over format, having played 463 ODIs, scored 18,426 runs and made 49 centuries, each of them a world record. His last ODI was against Pakistan in Dhaka during the Asia Cup, where he made a half-century in India’s victory. “I have decided to retire from the One Day format of the game,” he said in a statement. “I feel blessed to have fulfilled the dream of being part of a World Cup winning Indian team. The preparatory process to defend the World Cup in 2015 should begin early and in right earnest. I would like to wish the team all the very best for the future. I am eternally grateful to all my well wishers for their unconditional support and love over the years.” Tendulkar made his ODI debut on his first international tour, in 1989, against Pakistan in Gujranwala, where he got a duck. He scored his first halfcentury in his ninth ODI and made an immediate impact when promoted to open the batting in 1994, in an ODI against New Zealand in Auckland, where he smashed 82 in 49 balls. His first century took 79 ODIs to arrive but he kept
Sehwag back for oDis, zaheer stays out
NEWSDESK India made six changes to India’s ODI squad that had toured Sri Lanka in July and August this year, for the three-match ODI series against Pakistan, starting December 30. Virender Sehwag survived the axe on a day Sachin Tendulkar retired from ODI cricket but Zaheer Khan was not considered for the high-profile series. The selectors, who met captain MS Dhoni and coach Duncan Fletcher at the BCCI headquarters, replaced allrounder Irfan Pathan, fast bowler Umesh Yadav and middle-order batsman Manoj Tiwary, who are all nursing injuries. The selection committee headed by Sandeep Patil also decided to leave out Zaheer and the spin duo of Pragyan Ojha and Rahul Sharma. The six men who have come in their place are Yuvraj Singh, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ishant Sharma, Shami Ahmed and Amit Mishra. While Yuvraj, Jadeja and Ishant’s inclusion was expected, Bhuvneshwar, the Uttar Pradesh allrounder and Shami, the Bengal seamer, have been rewarded for their consistent performances on the domestic circuit and India A tours. Legspinner Mishra’s inclusion in the ODIs was a big surprise. Though there is not much to choose between Mishra and Piyush Chawla when it comes to leg-spin bowling, Mishra’s fielding has been a big weakness. Besides, he has had a prolonged problem of overstepping while bowling. There are doubts over whether Sehwag will play in the 2015 World Cup. He was dropped for the Asia Cup in March following a poor CB Series in Australia. However, he showed glimpses of regaining his form. Still, Sehwag averages only 23.66 from his previous nine games, with just one 50-plus score, since scoring a world-record 219 against West Indies last December.
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piling them on with remarkable consistency. (Click here to see Tendulkar’s cumulative ODI record.) Some of the batting highlights in his ODI career include back-to-back hundreds against Australia in 1998 in a triangular tournament in Sharjah, finishing as the highest run-getter in the 2003 World Cup in South Africa, and
becoming the first batsman to score a double-century in the ODI format, against South Africa in February 2010. He was part of one of India’s greatest ODI achievements over the last three decades, when they won the World Cup in 2011, beating Sri Lanka in the final on his home ground in Mumbai - it was his last ODI in India. In preparation for that
World Cup, Tendulkar had curtailed the amount of ODI cricket in the year playing only four ODIs in the 12 months before the tournament. Since the end of the World Cup, Tendulkar has played 10 ODIs, seven in the CB Series against Australia and the last three of his career being played at the Asia Cup in Dhaka. His innings of 114 against Bangladesh on March 16 was his 100th international hundred in what turned out to be Tendulkar’s penultimate ODI match for India. Tendulkar’s announcement of his ODI retirement came through a statement from the BCCI which stated that he had spoken to BCCI president N Srinivasan. His retirement was announced on the day the Indian selectors picked the teams to play in the fivematch T20 and ODI series against Pakistan. “It was not sudden. He informed us before the selection about his decision,” Sanjay Jagdale, the BCCI secretary, told reporters. “He spoke to me and the president about his decision. Naturally he must have been (emotional) I can’t say we just spoke on the phone.” “What he has expressed is his concern that India has to prepare for the next World Cup,” the BCCI’s chief administrative officer Ratnakar Shetty added. “From that point of view, he felt that it was time that he retired.”
England omit Pietersen for New Zealand series NEWSDESK Kevin Pietersen has been omitted from England’s one-day squads for their tour of New Zealand next year as England’s selectors have accepted that he needs to rest to survive a heavy international schedule. Formal rest periods have become ever more prevalent in England cricket, but Pietersen’s absence from the New Zealand squads as England look to manage his workload is nevertheless a notable concession to the player so soon after his lengthy dispute with the England hierarchy. Geoff Miller, England’s national selector, said: “There are a number of players who we have decided not to select for parts of the competitive programme this winter as we look to manage their workloads effectively while ensuring we remain competitive across all formats. We feel this is the best way of keeping players as physically and mentally fresh as possible during a demanding 2013 and beyond. “Kevin Pietersen will miss the lim-
ited overs tour of New Zealand with Graeme Swann missing the T20 leg of the tour. This approach also provides an opportunity for talented young players to gain more international experience which will be important for their development and the development of England sides in the future.” Pietersen is expected to play in the Test series in March before heading to
India for the IPL ahead of the English season. Since his much-publicised “reintegration” into the England set-up Pietersen has missed two Twenty20 series despite being one of the world’s most outstanding players in this format. He was also rested for the two matches against India, but England still drew the series 1-1 after winning in Mumbai and registered their highest winning total in Twenty20 cricket in the process. England’s introduction of a job share in their coaching set-up, with Andy Flower running the Test squad and Ashley Giles taking charge of the the ODI and Twenty20 sides in the New Year, supervised by Flower as overall team director, is another recognition of cricket’s demanding calendar. England have played 44 matches in all formats this year and the ECB has now accepted that for players and management rest periods are essential if they are to maintain hunger, fitness and a stable family life.
Ponting leads Hurricanes to comfortable win
NEWSDESK A half-century from Ricky Ponting and a hat-trick from spinner Xavier Doherty helped the Hobart Hurricanes to a comfortable 30-run win over the Sydney Thunder. It was so comfortably, in fact, that Ponting was afforded an over of offspin late in the run chase, and he even claimed the wicket of Scott Coyte, but it was his return to form with the bat that was both eye-catching and significant to his team’s cause. Ponting showed glimpses in his previous innings against the Renegades and again took his time settling after Hobart was sent in on a good Bellerive surface. Ponting and Tim Paine rolled along at only a run-a-ball through the first seven overs. There were crisp strokes mixed with a lot of dot balls, as Ponting lofted Coyte majestically over the cover fence in the fifth over and Paine smeared Azhar Mahmood into the midwicket stands in the next over. Between times they found the fielders more often than the gaps. But debutant Simon Keen’s introduction triggered Ponting to shift gears. He nearly cleared the cover rope for a second time before backing away a cracking a bulletlike square-drive backward of point for consecutive boundaries. Ponting then took to Mahmood with a well-struck straight drive for four, a neatly placed flick to the fine-leg rope, and a brutal front foot pull that was hit frightfully hard over the midwicket fence to bring up his fifty.
cLarke 50-50, STarc To SiT oUT NEWSDESK Australia’s chairman of selectors, John Inverarity, has declared Michael Clarke only had a 50-50 chance of playing the Boxing Day Test and said Mitchell Starc was almost certain to be rested due to his heavy workload. On Sunday, Clarke jogged at half pace on the MCG under the watchful eye of the team physio Alex Kountouris, as he continued his recovery from the hamstring injury that forced him to retire hurt while batting during Australia’s win over Sri Lanka in Hobart. Clarke did not bat at training on Sunday and had his troublesome muscle strapped with an ice-pack while his teammates worked in the nets in Melbourne’s extreme heat. He took part in long discussions with Inverarity and the coach Mickey Arthur, and while Clarke remains in contention to lead the side on Boxing Day, Inverarity said a conservative approach would be taken regarding Clarke’s fitness. “He’s travelling optimistically and well. But he’s 50-50 as to whether he’ll be fit
enough to play on Boxing Day,” Inverarity said. “He’s a very precious asset and I would go low risk. He’s always upbeat, he desperately wants to play. But we certainly don’t want to push him especially hard in a Test for him to break down.” Shane Watson will captain Australia if Clarke is ruled out, and he would become the 44th man to lead Australia in a Test. It is an elite group that does not include some of Australia’s greats - Victor Trumper and Shane Warne, to name just two men who did not captain Australia in Tests and Watson said he had learnt plenty about leadership while filling in for Clarke during eight one-day interna-
tionals earlier this year. “It’s about as big as it gets for an Australian cricketer,” Watson said. “There’s no doubt if that opportunity arises it certainly would be … an amazing opportunity to think something like that has come along in your life. But I’m trying not to get too far in front of myself at the moment. “The thing that really stood out to me [in the ODIs] was to trust my gut instinct. Until you captain a side you don’t really realise the intuition you’ve developed over 10 or 11 years of first-class cricket and also being around some of the best players who have ever played for Australia. Intuition really does come to the fore and you’re able to do things tactically
that you didn’t think you had in you.” If Watson leads the side, he will almost certainly be without the left-armer Starc, who is not injured and bowled in the nets on Sunday, but is expected to be rested. At 22, Starc is one of the younger members of Australia’s fast-bowling group and after the breakdowns of James Pattinson and Pat Cummins, the selectors are wary of asking too much of Starc, despite the fact that he has taken 14 wickets in the past two Tests. “He’ll either play Melbourne or Sydney, but it would make some sense that he misses this one and plays Sydney rather than goes Hobart and then Melbourne,” Inverarity said. “It’s about bowling loads. The science behind it is that they’ve got to build up their bowling loads so the oscillations are not very significant. If they do become reasonably significant, as they have done for Mitchell, then you enter a danger period, a high-risk period.” Should Starc sit out, that would mean a Test debut for the Tasmania fast bowler Jackson Bird, who would join Peter Siddle, Mitchell Johnson and Nathan Lyon in the attack.
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Sports 16 murad wins DwP Golf title at royal Palm
32ND NAtioNAL GAMeS
WAPDA dominate majority sports events LAHORE
LAHORE sTaFF rEPOrT
A total of 73 keen golf players and corporate leaders took part in the DWP Corporate Golf Tournament supported and backed by DWP, Xerox, Dell, EMC and APC that concluded at the par 72 Royal Palm Golf Course yesterday. Whereas quite a few accomplished ones of the corporate world added color to the occasion by their presence, their swings were rusty enough to cause inaccurate hitting and though they were good in patches, the scores did reflect hiccups and prevented them from ending up as winners. However there were others who produced quality golf to add golfing sparkle to the competition and amongst the front runners were accomplished ones like Sardar Murad,Azfar Hassan,Shoaib Bokhari,Faisal Ali Malik and Jawed Mohiuddin. Sardar Murad was steady all through the 18 holes and never relented, his control over his shot making certainly laudable.It was this control that gave him a winning score of gross 76,and he was the rightful winner of the DWP trophy.Others who did well in the gross section of handicap category 0 to 9 were Azfar Hassan and Shoaib Bokhari of Together We Golf.Azfar won the 2nd gross position and Shoaib Bokhari came third. In the net section in handicap category 0 to 9,the first net was captured by Faisal Ali Malik with a net score of 69.The runner up was Asad Amin Sheikh of Quiz and Shoaib Shams of E2E. There was also a competition for participants in the handicap category 10 to 18 and the gross winner in this category turned out to be Dr.Nasrullah, with Farooq Khan second and Salman Cheema third. Performers in the net section were Jawad Mohiuddin (first net), Tajjamal Hussain (2nd net) and Atta Mohiuddin (third net). At the conclusion of the DWP Golf tournament, winners were given prizes by EMC Country Manager Usman Khan and Farooq Nasim of DWP Group.
Dominant openers raze Sixers ADELAIDE aGENCIEs
The Sixers, the defending Big Bash League champions and the recent Champions League winners, were humbled by the Strikers to the tune of 9 wickets at the Adelaide Oval. It was Sixers’ third successive loss, and the Strikers’ third win of the tournament, as they announced themselves as genuine title contenders. Sixers’ decision to bat first backfired almost immediately when they slumped to 2 for 10. Former Australian spinner Brad Young, aged 39 years and 304 days, was picked for his first domestic fixture in almost a decade and picked up the first wicket of the match. Daniel Smith sliced an attempted drive to Callum Ferguson at point. Steve O’Keefe ran himself out when he took on the arm of Johan Botha at mid-off. It was the first of two direct hit run-outs for Strikers’ captain in the field. In between, Botha managed his bowlers very well. He had a fair arsenal at his disposal. Shaun Tait thundered in and bowled consistently at 145kph, Kane Richardson and Matt Johnston both swung the ball at a lively pace, and his spinners, Young and Cameron Boyce, besides himself, all varied in age and style but bowled with control and guile. Brad Haddin and Steve Smith came together to try and conquer the Strikers attack and resurrect the innings.
AVOURITES Wapda are dominating majority of the sporting events of the 32nd National Games winning 10 gold medals on day two here on Sunday. Wapda was clear leader in events like cycling, football, shooting, baseball and softball while HEC and Sindh came up as s surprise in swimming. HEC men won three gold medals in swimming while the Sindh ladies got five gold medals and their win they are now places second in the medals table while HEC is third with four gold medals. As many as four events were contested on day two of the 32nd National Games Cycling on Sunday with Wapda showing dominance in all the four events. On the day two men and two women events were contested and in all the four events that were held Wapda cyclists maintained their grip on the sport. The events contested included 4 kms and 3 kms team Pursuit for men and women, 4 kms Indi-
vidual pursuit for men and 3 kms Individual pursuit for women. In 4 kms team men pursuit, Wapda’s cyclists secured gold medal with a time of four minutes and 5987 seconds while HEC was places second and Railways got third position. In 3 kms women team pursuit, the story was the same with Wapda taking gold medal with a timing of four minutes and 50.44 second. Similarly HEC was second but in ladies category Punjab got the third position. In 4 kms individual pursuit for men, Mohammad Sabir of Wapda left everyone high and dry to win the gold medal in the event with a time of five min-
utes and 15.42 seconds, he was followed by Ahsan Abbas and Mohammad Shakeel of HEC and Punjab respectively at second and third positions. In the 3 kms individual pursuit for women, Wapda’s Raheela Bano secured the first position when she clocked four minutes and 51.23 for the top slot. Asma of HEC and Fiza Riaz of Railways were second and third in the event. Punjab and Wapda secured easy wins in the Kabbadi event of the 32nd National Games on Day two here at the Central Model School Ground on Sunday. In the first match, Punjab defeated Khyber Pakhtun Khawa by 46-
Sri Lanka seek inspiration from Durban 2011 MELBOURNE aGENCIEs
For most of Sri Lanka’s Test squad, Christmas may almost seem like déjà vu, having found themselves in a near-identical situation this time last year. Chasing their first ever win in South Africa, Sri Lanka had been defeated on a difficult surface in the first Test, though their demise on that occasion had been scripted on a Centurion greentop that derailed their first innings, unlike the fissured Hobart track that made survival difficult on the final day. In Australia, Rodney Hogg had announced the visiting quicks “the worst new-ball attack” ever to arrive in the country, but in South Africa, Sri Lanka had suffered an even more injurious assessment, when Kepler Wessels claimed even South Africa’s A side could defeat the visitors. On both occasions, Sri Lanka have largely been viewed as soft opposition against whom youngsters may be blooded and sides can be bedded down for more harrowing tests ahead. But in the test starting on 2011’s Boxing Day, Sri Lanka stunned their hosts on a dry surface in Durban to record as unexpected a victory as any in the year. A Thilan Samaraweera century and Chanaka Welegedara rampage in the first innings secured a 170-run first-innings lead, before 108 to Kumar Sangakkara and Rangana Herath’s five-wicket haul delivered the 208-run win. Sri Lanka’s fifth-day fight at Bellerive Oval that had delayed Australia’s victory until the final hour constituted a more meritorious showing than the inningsloss at the Centurion, and Sangakkara was hopeful that a lift in performance would be easier to achieve for this year’s
Boxing Day Test. The MCG surface is also expected to be more given to turn than the Hobart pitch. “I think Durban is a great example of how we bounced back,” Sangakkara said. “We went there knowing that that was a wicket that’s more suited for our style of play. Centurion I don’t think anyone has experienced in a long time the kind of wicket we got. Here again similar sort of scenario. Different sides of course, but the only different is that the conditions might not be as spin friendly as it was in Durban. But we have three to four fast bowlers who can do a job for us.” Sri Lanka are likely to field the same seam attack that played in the first Test, where the fast men were economical in patches, but lacked penetration until reverse swing arrived in earnest on the fourth day. Welegedara collected six of the eight wickets taken by Sri Lanka’s seam bowlers, having found pace and rhythm in the second innings, which he had lacked in the first. Shaminda Eranga was also intermittently wayward, but de-
livered tight spells in patches, surpassing 140 kph regularly, while Nuwan Kulasekara was reliable but wicketless. “With our bowling I think we have got to be we have to be more consistent and put pressure on batsmen. It doesn’t matter that we can’t bowl at 145 or 145. What matters is that we put the ball in the right areas. A good ball is a good ball for anyone. We have the skills to do that. On occasions like Boxing Day Test Matches it’s important that we get everything together. “That said we have three to four fast bowlers who can do the job for us. It’s interesting to see how people step up. You need to look at our fast-bowling line-up and each one is different and each on has got the ability to go out there and take those wickets. If we go out there with a positive frame of mind knowing that we have done the hard work at training, it will be a good game.” Sangakkara also called for increased resolve from Sri Lanka’s experienced top order, who had slipped to 87 for 4 in Hobart, before a strong partnership from Tillakaratne Dilshan and Angelo Mathews revived the innings. The top order had also collectively had a poor series against New Zealand, in two Tests at home, though various players had passed fifty in different innings. “It’s great that we are playing a Boxing Day Test Match. It’s important that we realise that it’s a great occasion and also understand where we went wrong in the first Test. First innings is always important, especially when you are playing good sides. We really need to buckle down and put on a good enough total for our bowlers to be able to put pressure on the opposition from that position onwards.”
31. In the second match of the day, Wapda completed a 48-27 rout of KPK. Wapda kept to its billing in Football event when it beat KPK by a hard-fought 10 margin here at the Model Town Academy ground. Wapda beat KPK by 1-0, Police beat Punjab by 2-0. Women: Punjab draws with HEC 0-0 In gymnastic, Wapda’s supremacy in the remained intact in the gymnastic events at the Sports Hall of Government College University. Railways was second with 80.3 points and HEC is on number three spot with 68.7 points. reSULtS: team event quarter-final men: wapda beat Hec 2-0, Punjab beat Sindh by 2-0 individual single quarter-final: aqeel khan wapda beat malik Hamaza Sindh 6-1, 6-0, Hera ashiq Punjab beat Saad mubarik Hec 6-1, 6-1, ahmad Babar Punjab beat Usman ejaz Hec by 4-6, 6-3 retried hurt yasir Khan wapda beat talah zubair Sindh by 6-0, 6-0 Sindh girls got their team 125 points by winning five gold medals while two of their girls won silver and one got bronze that took them to the top of the swimming medals table and dented the wapda’s chances of being the overall leaders in the event.
Buttler hails ‘world class’ morgan
Jos Buttler described Eoin Morgan as “world class” after the pair had combined to help England to a six-wicket win over India in the second T20 international and square the series at 1-1. With England needing three runs for victory, Morgan, England’s stand-in captain, hit the last ball of the match for six to end unbeaten on 49 and complete his team’s highest successful run chase in the format. Buttler also played his part, hitting two crucial boundaries during the penultimate over, bowled by Parvinder Awana. He and Morgan added 32 runs from 13 balls to make sure England got over the line after an opening stand of 80 between Alex Hales and Michael Lumb had set them on their way, only for Yuvraj Singh to again menace the tourists during the middle overs. “We’re really pleased to get that victory. It was a world-class finish from a world-class finisher in Eoin Morgan,” Buttler said.
LEHMANN QUESTIONS SAMUELS’ ACTION NEWSDESK Brisbane Heat coach Darren Lehmann has been charged with breaching Cricket Australia’s Code of Behaviour when he questioned the legitimacy of Marlon Samuels’ bowling action after his side’s loss to the Melbourne Renegades at Etihad Stadium. Lehmann is charged with breaching Rule 9 of CA’s code which states that that a player or official must not “denigrate or criticise another player or denigrate or criticise an official, umpire, referee or team against which they have played or will play, whether in relation to incidents which occurred in a match or otherwise; denigrate or criticise another player or official by inappropriately commenting on any aspect of his or her performance, abilities or characteristics.” Samuels delivered four overs for just 18 runs in the Renegades win. He has the
fourth-best economy rate of any bowler with 12 overs or more in this year’s Big Bash League to date. “I’ve spoken to the umpires about it,” Lehmann said after the game. “I just want something done. “He couldn’t bowl in the IPL (Indian Premier League) last year, yet he can bowl in the BBL. “We’ve got to seriously look at what we’re doing. Are we here to play cricket properly or what? “If he’s deemed legal, I’m totally understanding of that. But from my point of view from 20 years’ of cricket, I’ve got a problem with 120km/h off no steps.” Samuels was reported for a suspect action in the IPL in April by on-field umpires, Aleem Dar and Bruce Oxenford, and the third umpire Vineet Kulkarni while playing for the Pune Warriors against the Chennai Super Kings. It was not the first time Samuels had problems with his action. He was reported for a suspect action in the third Test be-
tween South Africa and West Indies in Durban in January 2008. On field umpires Simon Taufel and Aleem Dar and third umpire Brian Jerling reported their doubts over his action, especially with respect to his “fast” deliveries. Roshan Mahanama, the match referee, subsequently informed both the ICC and the West Indies team management of the report, as per the ICC regulations governing the reporting process. In September 2011 the ICC cleared Samuels’ action after an independent test found his action to be legal. Cricket Australia did state out its policy on suspect actions, saying, “CA has a Doubtful Bowling Action Procedure and according to this policy, any bowler mentioned by three different umpires in the same season is reported. Umpires also have the option to bypass the mentions process and lodge a report directly if they feel it is warranted.”
monday, 24 December, 2012
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17 Sports Vettel gearing up for fresh title tilt NEWSDESK Sebastian Vettel believes he has more improvement in him as he seeks a fourth consecutive world championship in 2013. The Red Bull driver became the youngest ever triple world champion at 25 this year, joining Juan Manuel Fangio and Michael Schumacher as the only others to achieve the feat. But with 26 grand prix victories already to his name, the German is widely to tipped to add plenty more to his tally in seasons to come. “In terms of results, the last three years and winning the constructors’ championship have been perfect but I still feel that there are little bits here and there we can improve on,” Vettel said. “That’s the philosophy and the spirit that we share in the whole team. You can always do better.” After sealing his third world title at the Brazilian Grand Prix in November, Vettel said his rapid success had surprised both himself and the team but is refusing to rest on his laurels. “At the moment, I don’t really reflect too much on what has happened over the last three years,” he said. “I am extremely happy and extremely proud of what we have achieved. “If you put it into perspective, it sounds even crazier when you look at the people who have achieved the same or similar in the past.
wilshere hails fighting spirit NEWSDESK Jack Wilshere hailed Arsenal’s fighting spirit after the Gunners ground out a victory over Wigan that lifted them back into the Champions League places. The Gunners had been at their freeflowing best in thumping Reading 5-2 on Monday but had to show a different side to their game in the 1-0 win at the DW Stadium. The Latics more than matched their opponents on a sodden pitch but Arsenal made it three Barclays Premier League wins in a row thanks to Mikel Arteta’s hotly-disputed penalty. Arsene Wenger’s side have been criticised in the past for slipping up in such games, and Wilshere said: “We got the points and we showed a different side to our game. “It’s a tough place to come to, Wigan, and they play a strange formation compared to other teams in England. They caused us some problems but we dealt well with it. “It was a big adjustment with the pitch and the conditions but we showed great character. We know we can come to places like this and dig out results and we have to keep doing that.
akinfenwa back after ban NEWSDESK Northampton have top scorer Adebayo Akinfenwa available for their Boxing Day trip to AFC Wimbledon following suspension. The Cobblers front man was ruled out of Saturday’s 2-0 home win against Aldershot due to a one-match ban, but is set to make an immediate firstteam return against the Dons. Ishmel Demontagnac deputised for Akinfenwa against the Shots but is unlikely to keep his place after being substituted at half-time. Jake Robinson staked his claim for a starting spot after making an immediate impact from the bench as Demontagnac’s replacement, opening the deadlock just three minutes after coming on the field. Manager Aidy Boothroyd also has Joe Widdowson at his disposal, after the defender made a full recovery from a dead leg.
monday, 24 December, 2012
LaHore: Hec women football team trying to take possession of the ball in a match against Punjab women during national Games. MUrTaza aLi
NaDal WaRY aBOuT RETuRN fROm kNEE INjuRY g
Spaniard is set to play an exhibition tournament in abu Dhabi on December 27
FTER a seven-month hiatus nursing a hurt knee, Rafael Nadal is wary about his upcoming return to the tennis court and believes it may be some time before he is back in top form. “I have my doubts. It’s normal. We are talking about a knee, so of course I am afraid to see how it is going respond,” Nadal told Canal Plus television Friday. “But I can only trust my doctors and believe in myself and that everything will be all right.” The 26-year-old Spaniard is set to play an exhibition tournament in Abu Dhabi on Dec. 27. It will be his first action since he was sidelined with tendinitis in his left knee after a second-round loss to 100th-ranked Lukas Rosol at Wimbledon in June. The injury prevented Nadal from defending his Olympic singles gold at the London Games, where he was supposed to be Spain’s flag bearer in the opening ceremony. He also had to pull out of the U.S. Open and Spain’s Davis Cup final against the Czech Republic, which his teammates lost without him. The 11-time Grand Slam winner and former No. 1 player said his knee had improved over the last two months after making frustratingly little progress during the summer. Even so, he acknowledged that he may have to skip some more events to get back to full speed. “I’m prepared to accept that at the start my knee might not respond well and I may have to take it easy, mixing periods of play and rest for the first three months,” he said. Nadal said that he wanted to play
tennis owed Murray a slam: Nadal NEWSDESK Nadal, who is preparing to make his long-awaited comeback after six months on the sidelines with a knee injury, believes Murray’s victory at the London 2012 Olympics was the trigger to success in New York. “I really
thought Andy would win the US Open because tennis owed him something. That was my feeling,” Nadal told The Times. “The Olympics was a big change and with the calm of winning that gold medal at home, you go to a grand slam final and you feel that Andy, before the match, believed he
was the favourite. “If you really believe in yourself, it doesn’t matter if you were leading by two sets to love and the opponent comes back. I really felt Andy would win, even though you know how much a great champion Djokovic is and how many matches he had saved in difficult circumstances.”
at Indian Wells and Miami with the goal of being completely fit by April to play at Monte Carlo, a clay-court tour-
nament he has dominated for eight consecutive years. The Abu Dhabi tournament features
a six-man field that includes top-ranked Novak Djokovic and No. 3 Andy Murray of Britain.
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Sangakkara wants more Tests for Sri lanka
UMAR Sangakkara hoped better communication between administrators and players would in future help avoid the dearth of Test cricket that Sri Lanka face in 2013. When the Sydney Test ends early in the new year Sri Lanka will have played their last Test against top-flight opposition until December. Two-thousand-and-thirteen had shaped to be a busy year for Sri Lanka in the longest format, but the removal of five Tests now means a glut of ODI cricket will now overwhelm their schedule. A two-Test series in the West Indies was the first to be scrapped, as both boards scrambled to make their players available for the duration of the IPL - a significant boon for that tournament, given Sri Lanka and West Indies were finalists in this year’s World Twenty20. In place of the cancelled Tests, the teams will play a budgetfriendly ODI tri-series involving India, which can only take place after the Champions’ Trophy, which was the time Sri Lanka had originally been slated to host South Africa at home. That three-Test series was then postponed until 2015, with the Sri Lanka Premier League, which is scheduled for early August, ensuring that South Africa’s visit could not be moved to that month. The culling of Tests from Sri Lanka’s schedule had already become a theme of the present administration, who also did away with one home Test against then world No.1 England in March this year, as well as
Lois Goodman cleared of murder charges
LOS ANgELES aGENCIEs
Tennis umpire Lois “Lolo” Goodman was reinstated as a professional referee Friday in the wake of a decision by prosecutors to drop charges that she bludgeoned her husband to death, her attorney said Friday. Goodman, a fixture on the U.S. Tennis Assn. circuit for a couple decades, had been sidelined since October following her arrest in New York on suspicion of killing her husband, Alan Goodman. Last month, prosecutors decided to drop a murder charge against Lois Goodman without revealing their reasons. The move was made before her defense attorneys submitted a pathology report disputing coroner’s findings that her husband was deliberately killed and citing a heart attack as the cause of his death. “This is a wonderful holiday gift for Lolo and her family,” said one of her attorneys, Kelly Gerner. “Lolo thanks the USTA for their prompt action and she wishes a happy holiday to her many friends and supporters.” Goodman’s arrest in August made international headlines when police apprehended her in New York as she was on her way to referee qualifying matches for the U.S. Open. Her lawyers said the USTA informed her Friday morning that they were lifting her suspension. Although prosecutors have dropped the charges, Ed Winter, deputy chief of coroner’s investigations, said Alan Goodman’s April 17 death remains listed as a homicide and it remains an open police case.
replacing two Tests against India in July and August with a five-match ODI series. The news of the Test removals were met with personal disappointment among the seniors in the Sri Lanka team, but in November captain Mahela Jayawardene defended the board’s decisions, suggesting the preference of limited-overs cricket over Tests would allow the board to continue to function despite its financial distress. If both of the two Tests scheduled in Zimbabwe materialise, Sri Lanka will play no more than six Tests in the year, with four of those having been against Bangladesh and Zimbabwe. “I think each country should play a minimum of 10 to 12 Test matches a year,” Sangakkara said. “Hopefully 12
Test matches a year. We need to make sure that we find time to do that. I think players and administrators and everyone should really be together and talk on these things and understand that Test cricket is important. That’s the only way cricketers are going to improve.” Sri Lanka last played South Africa at home in 2006, when they defeated the visitors 2-0 in a two Test series. At 35, Sangakkara may not be playing Test cricket in 2015, while 35-year-old Mahela Jayawardene and 36-year-olds Tillakaratne Dilshan and Thilan Samaraweera are also likely to consider retirement before that series. “South Africa coming to Sri Lanka would have been a fantastic opportunity for us to try and beat the number one side in our own conditions. We have done that before. So it’s disappointing. Hopefully, there will be more Test matches played and more thought put into scheduling and having a discussion as to how we fit in ten to 12 Test Matches a year.” Sangakkara also said the detriments of the paucity of Tests would spread beyond the Test specialists in the team, like Samaraweera, Prasanna Jayawardene, Chanaka Welegedara and Suraj Randiv. “It’s not just disappointing for them, even for us. Whatever the form you play, you want to play more Test cricket. So hopefully after next year we can be more proactive in our scheduling and we can talk on which countries are willing to come and play and how are we going to schedule Test cricket so that it is kept as the ultimate form of the game.”
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england 2014 world cup win not impossible: Hodgson LONDON aGENCIEs
Winning a second World Cup title in Brazil in 2014 should not be impossible for England, manager Roy Hodgson said on Sunday. “We’re far from being favourites but you’ve got to shy away from ‘impossible’ in football,” Hodgson told the BBC. Hodgson, appointed on May 1 on a fouryear contract, used Chelsea’s Champions League win in the same month as an example of how unpredictable football was. “There are plenty of events in football that you could have said were impossible but people have done it. “It wasn’t likely that Chelsea would become champions of Europe, especially having to change their manager midstream but they did it. That was by beating Barcelona and Bayern Munich - two of the best teams in Europe, so I’d like to keep that dream alive.” England reached the quarter-finals of the European championship this year but lost on penalties to Italy and have failed to get past the last eight of a major tournament since Euro 1996, when they made the semi-finals on home soil. The 1966 World Cup winners have a battle on their hands to make it to Brazil as they are second in Group H, two points behind Montenegro after four games and with six fixtures remaining in 2013. Hodgson said that, given the amount of home-grown talent, he felt optimistic about the future and hoped that with so many players of a high standard there would be increased competition for places.
BEST WOMEN’S MATCHES OF THE YEAR SABA AzIz For far too long women’s tennis has remained under scrutiny in terms of its quality and appeal, and has been relegated to playing the supporting act to the men. While there has been plenty of debate revolving around equal prize money for both men and women at Grand Slams, the women went all out this year to prove their worth. They entertained the tennis crowds the world over with their new brand of aggression and grit, featuring in some memorable matches throughout the course of the year. Here is my top 5 list of the best women’s matches for 2012: 1.sErENa wIllIaMs D VICTOrIa aZarENKa, 6-2, 2-6, 7-5, us OPEN FINal The final at Flushing Meadows pitted the world number 1 against the best player this season. Serena’s run to the final can at worst be termed comfortable, as she stream-rolled all her opponents losing just a mere 19 games. With the three-time champion in such ominous form, the writing was on the wall for the Belarusian. However, the title match was anything but a walk in the park for Williams. She dominated proceedings in the first set, taking it 6-2 after blasting 16 winners to Vika’s 2. But a slight loss of form and concentration on the American’s part, and the world number 1 was right back in it. The 6 foot tall Belarusian, taking advantage of Serena’s erratic play, staged a spirited fight back and we were tied at one set apiece. In the decider, Azarenka was on the verge of a shock win at 5-3, and that is when the wheels started to come off. With her back against the wall, Serena produced a remarkable comeback, so typical of her, to hold aloft the US Open crown. It was a nail-biting finish to one of the greatest women’s finals in years. Knowing well that she had laid it all out there on the court, the world number 1 was gracious in defeat: “I’m just honored to be standing with such a champion here. I definitely gave it all today. Stepping out of this court today I will have no regrets.”
2.aNGElIquE KErbEr D sabINE lIsICKI, 6-3, 6-7(7), 7-5, wIMblEDON quarTErFINal This all-German encounter at Wimbledon this year had a little bit of everything – drama, emotions and plot twists of a degree similar to an Alfred Hitchcock classic. What this match lacked in quality and elegance, more than made up for in its character and animation. With a semi-final place beckoning, the two blondes went toeto-toe for three long, roller-coaster sets inside the closed Centre Court roof. Kerber, 24 and Lisicki, 23 have very contrasting game styles – the former a great retriever, while the latter know for her offense – so their match-up had the potential of being a classic, and it surely did not disappoint. The older German clinched the first set and ran off to a 3-0 lead, and just when you thought that Lisicki was done and dusted, she dug deep and drew level. Lisicki went on to save three match points at 4-5 and in the tie-break, before stealing the second set away from her opponent. This added to the frustration of an already volatile Kerber, who rolled her eyes and looked unhappy throughout the final set. Yet, when Lisicki took the lead and served for the match, Kerber relaxed and took advantage of her
hit-and-miss opponent. In a strange turn of events, the tanking Kerber somehow pulled off the win and the two exchanged a cold handshake at the net. There was bad body language and a lot of psychological ups and downs on display, but the match did not fail to entertain. 3.VICTOrIa aZarENKa D aNGElIquE KErbEr, 6-7(13), 7-6(2), 6-4, wTa CHaMPIONsHIPs IsTaNbul rOuND rObIN With the year-end top ranking on the line, Azarenka had to bank on all her reserves to sneak out a three-set win against her German counterpart. She had to fight off an in-form Kerber and a couple of match points before she got to the finish line. The first set tiebreak equaled the longest in championships’ history and the match also tied the WTA Championships’ record for most games played at 36. After a three-hour epic battle that saw some high-quality shot-making and high drama, the two women were proud of their efforts. 4.VICTOrIa aZarENKa D saMaNTHa sTOsur, 6-1, 4-6, 76(5), us OPEN quarTErFINal With the way the world number 1 cruised through the first set, nobody would have anticipated this quarterfinal turning into a classic. In front of a half-
empty Arthur Ashe stadium and under dark clouds, there was little to inspire the Australian, who had never even managed a set off Azarenka in their six previous encounters. Using her big forehand, Stosur made an impressive come back, clinching the second set. The final set brought out the best of the two reigning hard court Slam holders and saw a series of momentum shifts. In a tense third set tiebreak, Azarenka hit a beautiful, spur-of the-moment drop shot to set up match point. One final forced error from the Australian and Azarenka clinched her first semi-final berth at Flushing Meadows. 5.sErENa wIllIaMs D ZHENG JIE, 6-7(5), 6-2, 9-7, wIMblEDON THIrD rOuND In a rematch of their 2008 semi-final at SW19, the diminutive Chinese showcased all her grass court prowess to push the four-time champion to the limit. With Hollywood legend Dustin Hoffman in her player’s box, Williams had plenty of reason to get inspired. She dug deep and blasted a record 23 aces to hold off the Chinese challenge in a real knife-edge battle. It was matches like these that kickstarted Serena’s impressive run of form for the rest of the season.
monday, 24 December, 2012
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19 DAMASCUS aGENCIEs
PAC facing increasing Centre, Punjab ready non-compliance of orders to lock horns over rifts among members, with auditor general of Pakistan un-devolved depts rendering premier committee ineffective
ISLAMABAD aNwEr abbas
Public Accounts Committee (PAC) seems to be losing its grip and is facing serious issues in implementation of orders owing to rifts among members as well as between the body and the Auditor General of Pakistan (AGP), Pakistan Today learnt through reliable sources. According to details, PAC Chairman Nadeem Afzal Gondal is facing multiple issues within the body’s ranks which are affecting its progress and specifically the implementation of its directions. A source close to the PAC said there was a strong clash between Gondal and AGP Buland Akhtar Rana. On the recent issue relating to the Supreme Court’s (SC) accounts, Rana maintained that SC’s accounts were being audited annually without hindrance while the PAC chief seemed to believe that the AGP wanted to give the apex court a clean chit on the matter.
PAC summoning the detailed departmental audited accounts and records of the SC is reflective of the committee’s lack of confidence in the AGP. This rift between the AGP and PAC chief, which is not something new, started when Rana following his appointment as AGP did not participate in PAC meetings for a long time despite multiple directions. Meanwhile, some other institutions and ministries are also not ready to abide by the directions being issued by the accounts body, and are in noncompliance with PAC directions regarding their accounts. The number of such ministries and departments is growing with time which is an alarming situation for the parliamentary accounts committee. A few weeks earlier, the presidency, PM House and SC registrar had been served notices asking them to appear before the committee. SC registrar had refused appearing
before the committee challenging the mandate of the body. Around sixteen government and semi-government organisations including Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan, National Press Trust, Pakistan Medical and Dental Council, Pakistan Alleviation Fund, Pakistan Ordinance Factories Welfare Trust, National Bank of Pakistan, Virtual University Lahore, National Database and Registration Authority, Pakistan Telecommunications Limited, Pak-China Investment Company, Defense Housing Authority and Frontier Works Organisation were among those institutions who strongly resisted the audit of their financial accounts. Other departments that were issued various directions by the body have also avoided following its orders. Sindh housing ministry, for example, avoided submitting details of the allotment of plots to its employees for five months.
LAHORE uMaIr aZIZ
A fresh tussle is likely to erupt between the Punjab government and the Centre, as the former has demanded complete transfer of leftover departments of the devolved ministries still under control of the federal government. Pakistan Today has learnt from sources on good authority that the aforementioned were on the agenda of the Council of Common Interests (CCI) and its standing committee would deliberate upon the matter on Monday. The federal government devolved around 20 ministries to the provinces under the 18th constitutional amendment. However, it still retains a few departments despite a lapse of more than a year since the amendment was implemented. The provincial government is going to take up transfer of Aiwan-e-Iqbal, Sheikh Zayed Hospital, besides billions of rupees in funds of the Employees’ Old-Age Benefit Institution (EOBI) and Workers Welfare Fund (WWF) among many others still retained by the Centre. “The matters taken up by the government are all valid because the Punjab government is not asking for WAPDA or the State Bank; it is demanding what has already been devolved legally and constitutionally to the province,” a senior official said
Published by Arif Nizami at Plot # 7, Al-Baber Centre, F/8 Markaz, Islamabad.
Editor: Arif Nizami
on condition of anonymity. The sources said that other matters on the agenda included representation of provinces on federal bodies such as WAPDA and Railways. “The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has taken up this issue and Punjab will support it because these federal organisations cannot decide provincial policy matters without taking input from the federating units,” they further said. The Punjab government has been calling for a complete devolution of all subjects in “letter and spirit” following the passage of the 18th amendment, however, the Centre has been giving out in “bits and pieces”. The argument given by the federation was that by holding certain tasks with itself, it could “maintain” quality in case of drug regulation and “efficient” distribution in case of workers’ funds across the country. The sources said Sheikh Zayed Hospital was “partially” transferred to Punjab in return for the government agreeing to a federal drug regulatory authority. Talking to Pakistan Today, Implementation and Coordination (I&C) Secretary Momin Agha said the standing committee of the CCI had been set up to “thrash out” matters before sending it to the CCI — a forum where the prime minister and all chief ministers meet. “All issues the government has taken up are legal while those raised by the Centre can easily be addressed.
ORE than 60 people were killed in a regime airstrike on a bakery in a rebel-held town on Sunday, monitors said, as peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi launched a new bid to resolve Syria’s brutal 21-month conflict. In one of the deadliest incidents of the conflict, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the strike hit a bakery in Halfaya in the central province of Hama, killing more than 60 people and wounding at least 50. Many of the injured were in critical condition, the monitoring group said, adding that the death toll was likely to rise. “In Halfaya, regime forces bombarded a bakery and committed a massacre that killed dozens of people, including women and children, and wounded many others,” said the Local Coordination Committees, a grassroots network of activists. “A MiG (jet) has attacked! Look at (President Bashar al-) Assad’s weapons. Look, world, look at the Halfaya massacre,” says an unidentified cameraman shooting an amateur video distributed by the Observatory. The footage showed a bombed one-storey block and a crater in the road. Bloodied bodies lay on the road, while others could be seen in the rubble. Men carried victims out on their backs, among them at least one woman, the video showed. On Monday, rebels launched an all-out assault on army positions across Hama, which is home to strong anti-regime sentiment. During the summer, rights groups accused government forces of committing war crimes by dropping bombs and using artillery on or near several bakeries in the northern province of Aleppo. Another of the bloodiest attacks in the Syrian conflict was on a bread line in the Qadi Askar district of Aleppo city on August 16 that left 60 people dead, according to local hospital records. International envoy Brahimi, meanwhile, travelled to Damascus overland from neighbouring Lebanon on a previously unannounced visit, officials said. The UN-Arab League envoy last visited on October 19, but since then there has been fighting between government forces and rebels on the road to Damascus airport. During his October visit he met President Bashar al-Assad and other officials to clinch a temporary ceasefire for the Muslim feast of Eid al-Adha. Despite pledges, the truce did not hold. Shortly before Sunday’s air strike, Information Minister Omran al-Zohbi reiterated calls for national dialogue. “Only Syrians will participate in national dialogue,” the minister told reporters. “We tell those who do not want dialogue to engage in talks, because time is running out.” He also played down Vice President Faruq al-Sharaa’s assessment that the conflict could not be resolved by military means. “It is one opinion among 23 million opinions in Syria, which is a state led by institutions and leaders who will give the final opinion,” said Zohbi of Syria’s population. Sharaa said in a Lebanese newspaper interview published last Monday that a clear winner was unlikely to emerge in Syria’s war and he preferred a negotiated solution, in remarks at odds with Assad. Apart from those killed in Halfaya, at least 49 others were killed on Sunday in violence across Syria, said the Observatory. Other airstrikes included a raid in Aleppo province. “At least 13 people were killed in an air raid on the town of Sfeira,” said the group, which relies on a network of doctors, activists and lawyers for its information. Warplanes also hit the town of Saqba in Damascus province, just north of the road linking the capital to the international airport, the Observatory added.
monday, 24 December, 2012