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Aitzaz Ahsan says he was in favour of writing the letter
MQM and ANP vow to work together in Karachi
PAGE | 02
Minister takes NPCC staﬀ hostage over outages
Rs 15.00 Vol iii no 31 17 pages islamabad — peshawar edition
Afghan Taliban’s cross-border attacks continue Forces repulse attack on Kurram checkpost by Taliban from Paktia province g Clashes in Orakzai Agency leave three soldiers, 10 militants dead g
PESHAWAR Shamim Shahid
The already tense relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan took a turn for the worse when unidentified Afghan terrorists attacked a security checkpost in Kurram Agency on Wednesday, as clashes in neighboring Orakzai Agency left three soldiers and 10 militants dead in the latest acts of violence in the country troubled northwest. Reports said dozens of armed militants raided a paramilitary checkpoint in Orakzai, sparking clashes that left three soldiers and at least 10 attackers dead, officials said. “More than 30 militants attacked a Frontier Corps checkpost in Dabori area of Orakzai on Wednesday afternoon and killed three security persons,” a security official told AFP in Peshawar. “The security forces responded to the attack with full force and used helicopters for shelling on militants. At least 10 militants were killed in the response.” Seven troops were injured during the firefight. In the Kurram attack, officials said a group of armed militants attacked a security forces checkpost set up in Ali Nagar sector of the agency, injuring two security personnel. However, the security forces successfully repulsed the attack. Officials said militants entered Kurram Agency from Paktia province
of Afghanistan. The Afghan government has so far not commented on the attack. Accusations of cross-border attacks and infiltrations are being traded between Islamabad and Kabul for some time now, with both handing out strict warnings to the other to rein in unbridled militants on their sides. A few days ago, Kunar Governor Fazalullah Wahidi accused Pakistan of firing more than 300 rockets and mortar shells that landed in Afghanistan. He claimed four civilians had been killed and several others injured by the salvo, while a formal protest was lodged with the Pakistani ambassador in Kabul. However, the Foreign Office rejected the allegations. The Afghan governor slapped the allegations soon after PM Raja Pervez Ashraf’s daylong trip to Kabul. Earlier, Pakistan had expressed serious concern over the failure of Afghan and NATO forces to reign in Taliban who launched several attacks on Pakistani troops in Bajaur Agency and Upper Dir district. Pakistan had also summoned the Afghan ambassador to the Foreign Office to hand him a formal letter of protest. The Pentagon also jumped in the scene on Wednesday to ease the rising tensions, saying it was involved in negotiations with both countries to soothe frequent exchange of accusations.
thursday, 26 July, 2012 Ramadan 6, 1433
SC gives attorney general two weeks to submit govt’s reply on Swiss letter g
Court tells AG to find solution to judiciary-executive row g
Govt expecting judiciary to decide contempt law case by Friday
Khosa hints at leniency towards Zardari, says court may declare immunity to president in judgment g
HE Supreme Court on Wednesday provided a breather to Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf in the NRO implementation case and granted the attorney general for Pakistan (AG) two weeks for submitting a reply, asking him to come up with a solution to the pending row between the judiciary and the government on the next date of hearing. The court also gave the federation an option to file a review petition against its verdict of July 12. A surprise for many, the apex court showed further leniency and hinted that the court only wanted to reopen the cases in Switzerland, keeping an option for immunity cover for President Asif Ali Zardari. Legal experts, however, think that the leniency shown by the bench might be a tactical move to provide a breather to the new prime minister as the amended contempt law did not approve strong action against the chief executive. A source in the government said the government was expecting a judgment in contempt law case by Friday and the next hearing might be a tough one for Ashraf. Earlier, the Supreme Court had rejected the prime minister’s reply submitted to the court on Tuesday, with a notion that a plea for review of the court’s order should have been filed instead. The five-judge bench headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa and comprising Justice Amir Hani Muslim,
Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, Justice Ijaz Ahmed Khan and Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed, dictated its order after hearing Attorney General Irfan Qadir over the suo motu case regarding implementation of judicial order in the NRO case of year 2009. Continued on page 04
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abu Jundal discloses 24 indians in plotting attacks
foreign newS anna hazare to start new fast
on Page 16
Story on Page 05
I was in favour of writing the letter: Aitzaz NEW YORK
Govt, UNHCR say registered Afghan refugees won’t be deported by year end
Senior PPP leader, Senator Aitzaz Ahsan on Wednesday disclosed that in the past he was in favour of writing a letter to the Swiss authorities to reopen graft cases against President Asif Ali Zardari. Talking to a private news channel in New York, Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan said that the matter pertaining to writing a letter to the Swiss authorities to reopen graft cases against the president has become so complex for both government and the Apex Court to acquit from the matter, adding he was also in favour of writing the letter but after looking into the complexity of the matter his thinking changed. Aitzaz Ahsan predicted no signs for new general elections in the country in coming days, adding that new election would be held in the country after the third prime minister. Criticising the US policies towards Pakistan, Aitzaz said that outstanding matters between Pakistan and the US would be solved peacefully if the US changed its policy towards Pakistan. “The United States is responsible for the deteriorating law and order situation in Pakistan as the White House called some people its friend, whom it announced foes and put head bounty on them in the past,” Aitzaz Ahsan said. He said that police failed to maintain law and order in Pakistan as the remains of British imperialism were present in the shape of bureaucracy.
Riaz contempt case adjourned until formation of new bench ISLAMABAD OnLinE
Justice Asif Saeed Khosa on Wednesday excused himself from further sitting in the bench hearing contempt case against real estate tycoon Malik Riaz. The case was adjourned until the formation of a new bench. A three-member bench of the Supreme Court heard the case against Malik Raiz regarding his off-air footage. Malik Riaz’s counsel Barrister Ali Zafar said the footage was stolen during the run of a programme and the mentioned video was unverified hence the evidence regarding the programme were unacceptable. Justice Khosa agreed saying he was also of the same opinion. Later on, he retracted himself from the bench and adjourned the case until the formation of a new bench.
Story on Page 09
E M B E R S of parliament and United Nations Human Rights Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) have denied the media reports that 1.7 million Afghan refugees would be expelled from Pakistan by end of this year. Talking to Voice of America (VOA), UNHCR Spokesman Aslam Khan termed such reports as baseless, saying Pakistan had no intention to oust the Afghan refugees by the end of 2012. He said Pakistan was bound to fulfil its obligation, adding that the Afghan refugees possessing registration cards would not be displaced by force until they were ready to go back to Afghanistan voluntarily. He said the war-torn Afghanistan was not in a position to afford the burden of 1.7 million Afghan refugees at this stage. Federal Minister for States and Frontier Region Shaukatullah said that
all registered Afghan refugees, willing to go back to their homes voluntarily, would be repatriated by end of this year. “All registered Afghan refugees who are voluntarily desirous will be allowed to go back to their homes in Afghanistan.” Talking to VOA, Awami National
Party (ANP) Senator Afrasiyab Khan Khattak said that Afghan refugees are undoubtedly a burden on Pakistan in view of the present economic situation, but these people are living in Pakistan due to their certain compulsions, therefore, he would not support their forced expulsion from the country. He said
Divorce her, or else…
Boy and his family being threatened by his wife’s relatives KARACHI afTab Channa
The family of Adeel Masood who has ‘married for love’ in Britian - is being harassed and tortured by the girl’s family. Even
though the couple married out of volition, the girl’s family was not in favour of the union. Now they are threatening Masood’s family with grievous consequences if he does not go ahead and
divorce his wife. According to details, Karachi resident Adeel Masood s/o Syed Masood Hamid Wasti got married to a British citizen Samia Bibi against the will of the girl’s family in 2009. Soon after the marriage took place in Britain, the girl’s close relatives in Pakistan started pressurising Adeel’s family in Pakistan and demanded a divorce. Samia’s parents wanted her to get remarried to one of her close relative in Pakistan but Samia, however, did not want to go through with this and instead married Adeel consensually. After her marriage to Adeel, those relatives of Samia who wanted her to get married to their son in Pakistan have been trying all kinds of tactics to get her divorced. These relatives have made this
an issue of ‘honour’ and ‘prestige’ of the family and want to get Samia married to their son by hook or by crook. To this end, they are putting intense pressure on Adeel’s family so that they can force him to divorce his wife. Adeel’s family has changed their residence several times due to threats to their life and safety. The harassment has reached such an extent that Adeel’s brother Mehmood Masood Wasti was even subjected to physical and mental torture by the girl’s family and given an ultimatum. He was threatened that if Adeel would not return to Pakistan after divorcing Samia in two weeks, a spectacle would be made of Adeel’s entire family and they would be terrorised. Adeel’s family has informed the local police about this shameful incident. However, no action has been taken so far by the police because of the social and political influence of the suspects. Samia has also reportedly taken up her grievances with the Forced Marriage Unit of the UK Home Office and has requested their help in this matter as her parents were forcing her to get married to the son of their close relative against her will.
that forced expulsion of Afghan refugees might affect bilateral relations of both the countries. Khattak said the governments of Pakistan and Afghanistan should evolve a joint strategy for the return of Afghan refugees. Dunya Aslam Khan, UNHCR’s spokesman in Pakistan, said the return of Afghan refugees should be on voluntary basis. She said those refugees who were living illegally might be expelled from Pakistan. She said the UNHCR contacted the government officials to verify the media reports. She said Pakistan had made a commitment to the UNHCR country director that no recognised Afghan refugee would be deported from Pakistan. According to Pakistani officials, about one million Afghans are living in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa without valid documents. At least one million unregistered Afghan refugees presently living in Pakistan are reported to be sent back by force. UNHCR officials urged the unregistered Afghan refugees to get registered before being repatriated to Afghanistan.
No end in sight to internal strife in PML-N KP chapter ISLAMABAD OnLinE
The internal rivalry and dispute over ranks in the Pakistan Muslim LeagueNawaz (PML-N) Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) chapter between Captain (retd) Safdar, Pir Sabir Shah and Sardar Mehtab Abassi have intensified, well beyond any rapprochement. The situation has gone so ugly that allout hectic efforts of senior vice president PML-N Ameer Muqam and even of Mian Nawaz Sharif, the president of PML-N, have failed. Sources say that reconciliation at this juncture between the personalities at clash would end any the intra-party crisis in PML-N, ending all problems regarding the organization of the party in the province. This internal strife between three party leaders of PML-N KPK chapter has also caused a buzz of speculations and doubts among party activists, which could be quite detrimental for party’s rank and file, hurting its electoral mandate.
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artS & entertainMent
Saifeena wedding mystery of the year?
Cashing in on spirituality
younis desires to work as aussie’s bowling coach ends
News 03 editoriaL a crisis postponed Temporarily?
coMMent by Kamran Rehmat Christmas crumbs: BCCI’s invite not the manna from heaven made out to be
by Kuldip nayar Shrugging off injustice: Uncivil silence of civil society
Story on Page 08
Story on Page 12
Story on Page 20
articles on Page 14
WelCoMe to GhAs MANdi:
Asia’s largest gambling den The area hosts more than 5,000 gamblers KARACHI TaRiQ habib
AMBLING, though legally banned in Pakistan, continues to make its way in the under currents of the society as an aberration. Still every now and then, the newspapers carry a news item in which police had busted a den of gamblers or something like it. But what most of us Pakistanis have been unaware of is quite baffling. Pakistan supposedly hosts Asia’s largest gambling den in the Ghas Mandi area, situated in Karachi, where more than 5,000 gamblers are running their businesses under the shelter of high-ups of the law enforcement agencies and the government. Sri Lanka hosts the second biggest gambling point where six to seven different games are played but Ghas Mandi has a lead on it as it offers almost 11 games being played in various formations. A gambler can play Chakri, Naal Wali Chakri, Rolat, Chaka, and other games at Ghas Mandi. There are eight Chakri, four Chakay, two Rolat and 30 books of different games of South Africa that are being run in this area. More than 200 bookies are
running their books for cricket matches in this area. Gamblers in the area living in rented houses and flats that cost them almost five times higher than standard rates. “A flat or house normally costs 5,000 to 8,000 rupees per month in rent while gamblers in the area are paying more than 20,000 rupees per
whereas several gamblers have also purchased their own property here,” said sources. Government officials and law enforcers are generating hundreds of millions of rupees from the gamblers in Karachi. This area is a golden goose the high-ups in the law enforcement agencies take heavy bribes from
this area to keep silent and provide protection. “Ghas Mandi area alone provides 250 million rupees per month to Sub Inspector of the area, named Waseem, while different criminal groups with links to political parties of the city generate anywhere between 10-100 million per month from this area,” sources said. “SI Waseem has close links with the high-ups of the police and home department and delivers bribes to the officials,” said a gambler. Sources at police department claim that this sub inspector has great influence and has his fingers in many pies. “One can guess the level of influence he enjoys by the fact that he is directly involved in posting of the SHOs in all of the police stations in Karachi,” said sources in police department. The local police station of Ghas Mandi area does not poke its nose in this business as Waseem has instructed them to keep away from them. Police sources also said that Waseem was a controversial person as he was very close to the highups. Two years ago, his wife and nephew were killed while he survived in an attack by unknown persons. Waseem claimed the incident as an attack on him but sources said that it’s a controversial issue and the inquiry of the case had been halted on the instruction of police highups, sources said.
fia nabs Madam Bavri! agency says female human trafficker is involved in olympic visa scam g Summons record of all players and support staff going to London after scam reports g
MONItORINg DESK The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on Wednesday arrested a female human trafficker involved in conning people out of millions with fake Olympics visas, a private TV channel reported. According to Express News, Nuzhat alias Madam Bavri had been using newspaper advertisements to lure people in. She had seven cases registered against her, the channel reported. It said that Abdul Sattar, a scam victim,
went to the FIA with a newspaper advertisement and told them that the woman had taken Rs 1,500,000 as fee for five people at a rate of Rs 300,000 for each person. He told the FIA that he did not get a visa in return. The FIA conducted a raid with his help, and managed to arrest Madam Bavri, and also recovered five passports from her possession, the channel said. Earlier, the FIA arrested 11 suspects believed to have been involved in a fake passport scam carried out by a Lahore-based politician and other offi-
cials. A UK-based tabloid, The Sun, had claimed to have unearthed a scam on Monday, involving a “Lahore-based politician” and other officials, wherein Pakistani nationals were brought into England under the garb of participants and officials accompanying the Pakistani Olympics delegation for the summer 2012 games set to start on Friday. Meanwhile, the FIA summoned the record of all players and support staff of the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) participating in London Olympics, Online reported. According
to details, the FIA investigation team asked the PHF to submit the record of all players and support staff, who had left the country to participate in London Olympics 2012. The FIA released Iqbal Shahid, director of the Punjab passport office, as he was proved innocent during initial investigation. The initial investigation also revealed that corruption had been committed at the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA). The FIA also recorded the statements of five female officials of NADRA in this regard.
NATO supply trucks surge at Pakistan border PESHAWAR afP
The flow of trucks supplying NATO troops in Afghanistan has surged at a key Pakistan border crossing in recent days, officials said Wednesday, despite a deadly attack and Islamist protests. Few containers had trickled across the border since Islamabad reopened the routes three weeks ago, but officials at Torkham, in Pakistan’s northwestern tribal district of Khyber, said more than 100 had crossed in the last two days. Islamabad closed its land routes to NATO convoys in November following botched US air strikes that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers, but reopened them on July 3 after Washington said sorry for the deaths. “More than a 100 trucks have crossed Torkham border in the past two days, a total of 140 have so far crossed into Afghanistan,” Obaidullah Khan, a customs official at Torkham, told AFP. Before the blockade, around 150 trucks crossed into Afghanistan each day at Torkham — the closest border crossing to Kabul — and officials say the flow will rise to up to 300 a day. News of the increase came a day after gunmen attacked NATO supply trucks near a market in Jamrud town in Khyber, killing a driver. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for Tuesday’s attack but Pakistani Taliban have threatened to attack NATO trucks and kill their drivers.
PM forms ‘load management committee’ ISLAMABAD STaff REPORT
Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf has formed a load management committee, headed by Minister for Water and Power Ahmed Mukhtar, to supervise the distribution of electricity through DESCOs with a view to ensuring equitable load shedding in the country. The prime minister was chairing a meeting of the Energy Committee at the PM’s Secretariat on Wednesday that was attended by Mukhtar, Finance Minister Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, Adviser to PM on Petroleum Dr Asim Hussain, Minister for Kashmir Affairs Manzoor Wattoo, Minister for Textile Makhdoom Shahubuddin, Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira, the president of APTMA and CEOs of DESCOs in the country. He directed the Load Management Committee to ensure distribution of electricity to each DESCOs and its further distribution in the respective regions without deviating from the scheduled load shedding plan. The prime minister also directed all the CEOs of DESCOs to double their efforts without fail in curtailing line losses and also speed up the recovery of the receivables from the public and the private sectors in their respective regions.
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Afghan Taliban’s cross-border attacks continue Forces repulse attack on Kurram checkpost by Taliban from Paktia province g Clashes in Orakzai Agency leave three soldiers, 10 militants dead g
PESHAWAR Shamim Shahid
iSLamabad: muttahida Qaumi movement leader dr farooq Sattar talks to reporters outside Khyber Pakhtunkhwa house on Wednesday as awami national Party leader haji adeel looks on. ONLINE
6 booked in Khawaja Sharif ‘murder plot’ LAHORE OnLinE
The Federal Investigation Agency has declared the murder plot of former Lahore High Court chief justice Khawaja Sharif baseless and registered a case against six officials. The case was registered on the direction of FIA Punjab director general. Those booked include Ehsanur Rehman, Shahid Mahmood, Toqeer Shah, Talha Burki and two Crime Investigation Department officials. According to the FIR, the chief of the Punjab Special Branch Col (r) Ehsanur Rehman, Director Special Branch Shahid Mahmood, Secretary to Punjab CM Toqeer Shah and PML-N worker Talha Burki with the help of two CID officials hatched a conspiracy to produce a false and fabricated intelligence report in a bid to create differences among the federal government, provincial government and judiciary.
sc seeks status of its orders on Balochistan g
Directs IGP to present a progress report on each case ISLAMABAD aPP
The Supreme Court on Wednesday granted a day’s time to the Balochistan advocate general to submit a statement on implementation of its orders regarding the Balochistan situation. A three-member bench of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Jawwad S Khawaja and Justice Khilji Arif Hussain resumed hearing in a suo motu case on Balochistan’s law and order. The bench also directed the provincial home secretary to submit his report, while the IGP was ordered to present a report showing progress on each case. During the course of proceedings, the chief justice inquired from Balochistan Advocate General Amanullah Kinrani about the submission of joint statement by the concerned authorities on their apparent failure to enforce constitution
in the province. Expressing his displeasure over little progress, the chief justice observed that it was a mockery of the courts. Kinrani apprised the bench that provincial administration was doing its best to improve the situation and they had to make efforts to cover an area of 2,500kms along the border with Iran and Afghanistan. He said the provincial leadership was very serious in resolving the issue. Justice Khilji Arif Hussain observed that the graph of law and order in the province was deteriorating and they got the impression that the administration had given up. The bench observed that the federal government should have taken appropriate steps. Muhammad Munir Peracha, counsel for the federation, contended that under Article 148(i), the federation could only give instructions to provincial governments.
To the bench’s query, he replied that God forbid if ever the federation had to interfere in provincial issues, it would have to dissolve the provincial assembly first. The chief justice observed that they would have to go through the set procedure. “For God’s sake people are being pulled out of buses and killed. Attacks are being carried out on madrassas,” the CJ added. He said no person involved in targeted killings in the province had been arrested so far. “The courts will say enforce the constitution,” he added. President Supreme Court Bar Association Yaseen Azad told the court that they were arranging another conference over the Balochistan issue in Quetta. He said he had addressed the government functionaries through his letters and sent them joint resolution adopted during a conference held in Islamabad in May.
The already tense relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan took a turn for the worse when unidentified Afghan terrorists attacked a security checkpost in Kurram Agency on Wednesday, as clashes in neighboring Orakzai Agency left three soldiers and 10 militants dead in the latest acts of violence in the country troubled northwest. Reports said dozens of armed militants raided a paramilitary checkpoint in Orakzai, sparking clashes that left three soldiers and at least 10 attackers dead, officials said. “More than 30 militants attacked a Frontier Corps checkpost in Dabori area of Orakzai on Wednesday afternoon and killed three security persons,” a security official told AFP in Peshawar. “The security forces responded to the attack with full force and used helicopters for shelling on militants. At least 10 militants were killed in the response.” Seven troops were injured during the firefight. In the Kurram attack, officials said a group of armed militants attacked a security forces checkpost set up in Ali Nagar sector of the agency, injuring two security personnel. However, the security forces successfully repulsed the attack. Officials said militants entered Kurram Agency
from Paktia province of Afghanistan. The Afghan government has so far not commented on the attack. Accusations of cross-border attacks and infiltrations are being traded between Islamabad and Kabul for some time now, with both handing out strict warnings to the other to rein in unbridled militants on their sides. A few days ago, Kunar Governor Fazalullah Wahidi accused Pakistan of firing more than 300 rockets and mortar shells that landed in Afghanistan. He claimed four civilians had been killed and several others injured by the salvo, while a formal protest was lodged with the Pakistani ambassador in Kabul. However, the Foreign Office rejected the allegations. The Afghan governor slapped the allegations soon after PM Raja Pervez Ashraf’s daylong trip to Kabul. Earlier, Pakistan had expressed serious concern over the failure of Afghan and NATO forces to reign in Taliban who launched several attacks on Pakistani troops in Bajaur Agency and Upper Dir district. Pakistan had also summoned the Afghan ambassador to the Foreign Office to hand him a formal letter of protest. The Pentagon also jumped in the scene on Wednesday to ease the rising tensions, saying it was involved in negotiations with both countries to soothe frequent exchange of accusations.
Us trying to ease Pak-Afghan border tension: Pentagon WASHINgtON SPECiaL CORRESPOndEnT
The Pentagon has said it was working with both Afghanistan and Pakistan to reduce tension between the two neighbors over cross-border skirmishes. “We are working closely with both countries, obviously, to try to limit violence along the AfghanPakistan border. We have obviously been in constant contact with the Afghan government to work on these issues and we have put pressure on the enemy that operates along the border,” Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said at a news conference. “On the Pakistani side of the border, we are settling back into a normal phase of cooperation with our Pakistani partners and coordination, we believe, is improving,” he told
reporters in response to a question that Afghanistan has warned Pakistan to stop cross-border shelling as civilians are being targeted. Little said he did not think there would be any change in Pakistan policy towards Afghanistan because of the new prime minister. “No, we don’t believe so,” he said. Meanwhile, the US Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano expressed her condolences over the weekend fatal shooting of three contractors stationed at the Herat Training Centre in the western province. “All three individuals were supporting Afghan Border Police training efforts when they came under attack. Their tragic deaths remind us of the dangers facing our men and women overseas and the many sacrifices they make on our behalf every day,” she said.
sc DelAys The DeADline Continued fRom page 01
The bench in its order observed that bridging the gap between the two state institutions, the executive and the judiciary, was not impossible and asked the AG to bring about a solution to the pending issue. During the course of proceedings, the AG apprised the bench that he had moved an appeal against the bench’s order of July 12 requesting it to recall its earlier orders in contempt issue, but it was objected to by the SC registrar. He said he required some time to file the appeal afresh with amendments. Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa responded to AG and said, “Why such impression is being created that you would not get time. We
both have to swim and sink together, it is our country.” He asked the AG to play his role in sorting out the issue and observed that the court had taken a decision based upon law and there was little room for flexibility, while politicians were trained to make adjustments. He told the AG that no such adjustment was made on the part of the executive. “Solutions are always there, only thinking is required,” he remarked. He told the AG that the court did not intend to send former prime minister Yousaf Raza Gilani home and reminded him that no action would be taken to damage the country’s system. Justice Khosa also made it clear that the court’s static position was to write a letter simply
to ignore the request of former attorney general Malik Qayyum, while the respondent’s position was that the president enjoyed immunity under the international laws. “If you have concerns (about the president’s immunity), it is our concern as well as he is our president too and his office requires respect and honor. He enjoys immunity under customary international laws,” Justice Khosa said. “We have respect for him as president. If you want our help, we will write in decision that he (the president) enjoyed immunity under the international laws,” he added. He further declared that democracy in the country would not be derailed. “We do not want to derail the system, person or office,” he re-
marked, asking the AG to play his role in resolving the executive-judiciary row. The AG in his arguments contended that all the perceptions about the respondent were incorrect and in his view, there were flaws in the NRO judgment. Neither an officer of the NAB could be issued direction by the court under NRO verdict nor was he answerable to the court, he added. He pleaded that the court should not take it upon itself the responsibilities of the executive or legislature and every institution deserved the respect which was enjoyed by the judiciary. Objecting to presence of Justice Khosa in the bench, he said propriety rights demanded that Justice Khosa must recuse, as
on February 12, being his friend, he had discussed the NRO case with him. Justice Khosa negated his contentions and warned him that it would be more damaging for him as it was he who had gone to Geneva twice to prosecute the cases against the PPP leadership. The AG denied the charge, stating that he had never been to Geneva to prosecute the cases against the PPP leadership. Justice Khosa said that they had no personal interest in the case except in the constitution and institution. The AG said that it was unfortunate that a PM was sent home illegally. He contended that the bench’s order of July 12 was not in consonance of earlier order. He said that it was nor-
mal that certain judicial orders were passed which could not be implemented. KK Agha, the NAB prosecutor general, apprised the bench that in respect of Adnan A Khawja and Ahmed Riaz Sheikh, both NRO beneficiaries, the investigation was completed and the issue was placed before the executive board meeting which had approved filing references against both. About progress on Malik Qayyum’s case, he apprised the bench that he was cooperating with them with submission of certain documents which could not be placed before the bench. He said the inquiry might be completed and the issue would be placed before the executive board meeting for further decision within four weeks.
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NA body calls for release of funds for Thar Coal project ISLAMABAD aPP
H E National Assembly Standing Committee on Science and Technology on Wednesday asked the government to tap all resources for Thar Coal Project and provide funds as proposed by the Planning Commission to overcome the energy crisis in country. The committee met under the chairmanship of Dr Abdul Kadir Khanzada. Dr Samar Mubarakmand briefed the committee on the project and underground coal gasification (UCG) project. He apprised the committee that his team had carried out work on Block 5 project and had got successful results in the field. Mubarakmand also informed the committee on the total power generation of the world, worldwide UCG experience, seam depth and thickness besides briefing the NA body on map of exploration and availability of coal in the area.
The committee was also briefed on five other Thar Coal Blocks allotted to local and international companies and three more blocks available for investment. Mubarakmand also updated the committee about drilling rigs in operation and production by it. “Thar Coal is the future of Pakistan but due to the unavailability of required funds, the project was pending,” he added. He also talked about new options for Pakistan with UCG from Thar Lignite Coal and with the process of Thar Coal they could make power steam, diesel low cost gas, methanol and ammonia urea. A member of the Planning Commission informed the committee that he had also examined the project on site and found it practicable. The committee members including Mehmood Bashir Virk, Dr Khatu Mal Jeewan, Anusha Rehman, Shakeel Awan, Zafar Baig Bhittani and Jamshed Dasti supported the Thar Coal project. Annual report of the Pakistan Science Foundation for the year 2009-10 that was tabled in the House in this month was also presented before the committee.
nA body wants human rights secretary on his toes IsLaMaBaD: The National Assembly Standing Committee for Human Rights on Wednesday expressed its dissatisfaction over the restructuring of the ministry, and asked the secretary to come fully prepared at the next meeting. During the meeting under Acting Chairwoman Yasin Rehman, the committee reviewed the cases of those killed and injured during the Hazara province movement. The secretary of the Ministry for Human Rights briefed the meeting that the ministry “takes notice of human rights violations but it has no power to take action”. He supported the idea of setting up branches of Human Rights Ministry at the district level. The secretary further said that the Ministry of Human Rights had the lowest budget. Kashmala Tariq, a committee member, pointed out that numerous NGOs were operating in the country and no one knew about their objectives. She asked the ministry to devise a proper mechanism to ensure a keen watch on the activities of the NGOs. The committee also sought a briefing from the Economic Affairs Division about funds and monitoring of the NGOs. inP
2 killed, 5 seriously injured in Kasur roof collapse kasUR: Two young sisters were killed and five other family members were injured when the roof of their house collapsed on Wednesday near Basti Qadirabad. The incident occurred in the jurisdiction of Sadar Police Station. Reportedly, eight family members of a family were sleeping in their home when the roof of their ramshackle house caved in. As a result, two sisters Shazia, 18, and Sajida, 16, died on the spot, while their father Muhammad Anwer, brother Qasim, and three sisters Yasmeen, Muqadas and Mafia received serious injuries. Rescue 1122 reached the spot and shifted the injured to the Kasur District Headquarters Hospital. The condition of the injured was stated to be critical. STaff REPORT
QUETTA: Patients and their attendants move around in the deserted lobby of a hospital as doctors in major cities of the province went on strike on Wednesday in protest against the non-recovery of Dr Din Muhammad Bangalzai who was kidnapped near Mastung a few days ago. ONLINE
More rain in coming days ISLAMABAD aPP
With weather turning pleasant after widespread rains in various parts of the country, Pakistan Meteorological Department Director General Arif Mehmood said on Wednesday that monsoon currents are penetrating into upper parts of Pakistan. Talking to PTV, he said the ongoing rain spell would continue until Thursday except for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh and Balochistan where hot weather would continue to persist. In most parts of the country, weather during the last 24 hours remained hot and humid. However, isolated thundershower/rains occurred in Malakand, Hazara, Bannu, Kohat, Peshawar, Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Gujranwala, Lahore, Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan. Replying to a question, he said more rains were needed in Lahore, Gujranwala and Sahiwal divisions, where large area is covered with rice crop that needs water at this time. Replying to another question, he said there was not enough water in the rivers, as the country’s two major reservoirs Mangla and Tarbela lack sufficient water storage facility. He said that humid weather would continue in August and September, and rainfall was expected in few areas of the country. The amount of rain recorded during the last 24 hours is: Pattan, 29mm; Muzaffarabad, 27mm; Bannu, 23mm; Lahore (A/P), 20mm; Rawalpindi (Chaklala), 15mm; Islamabad (Bokra), 13mm; Islamabad (ZP) and Kohat, 10mm, Kotli, 9mm; Islamabad (Golra) and Rawalpindi (Shamsabad), 8mm; Drosh, 7mm; Parachinar and Rawalakot, 5mm; Astore, Garidupatta and Mirkhani, 4 mm.
no fooD, no wATer AnD no elecTriciTy
Prayer as protest: fasting people take to the streets Daska: After the Isha prayers, hundreds of perturbed traders and shopkeepers blocked the Sialkot GT road and offered Taraweeh prayers on the road as a protest against the stepped up 22 hours long daily “forced” load shedding of electricity in Daska city and its surrounding areas. The protest rally began from Sambrial Road and ended at Civil Rest House Chowk after passing through all the main intercity roads in Daska. The participants were carrying banners and placards and they chanted anti-government slogans. They parked tractors and trailers in the middle of the roads and kept the traffic blocked for nearly two hours by burning tyres. People have been angered and inconvenienced by the power loadshedding during Iftar and Sehri time and their miseries have been exacerbated by the hot and humid weather. Traders, tailors and shopkeepers said that it seemed like HESCO had no proper plan in place for loadshedding and had not devised a sutiable timetable for the month of Ramzan. According to traders, there has been no relief despite shops being closed after Asr prayers. Tailors are annoyed because unscheduled power outages disturb their work and they are to deliver clothes on schedule. Residents suffering at the hands of unscheduled and prolonged power outages and electricity fluctuation took to the streets in spite of the heat and the fact that many were fasting. STaff REPORT
Wife kills govt officer in Gujranwala GUJRaNWaLa: A woman on Wednesday killed her husband after a brawl in Gujranwala. Rizwana Kauser allegedly shot her husband Assad Hassan, Deputy Director Planning, dead after a brawl. Police rushed to the spot and arrested Kauser and her child. Kauser said that she gunned down Hassan as she was fed up with daily quarrels with her husband. STaff REPORT
Abu Jundal discloses 24 Indians in plotting attacks MUMBAI OnLinE
Deported terror suspect Zabihuddin Ansari alias Abu Jundal has disclosed the names of more than two dozen Indian terrorists in planning attacks on India. Faiyyaz Kagzi, Raheel Shaikh, Taqueer Subhan Qureshi, Riyaz Bhatkal, Iqbal Bhatkal, Yasin Sidibapa and his mentor Aslam Kashmiri are among a few named by Jundal, who said he had met most of them, except the Bhatkals and Sidibapa, in Lashkare-Taiba (LeT) camps or meetings in Rawalpindi and Muridke, reported Times of India. Jundal, who hails from Beed, fled India after the Aurangabad arms haul in 2006 and allegedly remote-controlled the 26/11 attacks from Pakistan. He was later deported from Saudi Ara-
bia and arrested by the Delhi special cell. He was handed over to the Mumbai police last week for the 26/11 case. He, with Abu Kahafa, Zaki-ur-Rahman Lakhvi, Abu Wassi, Zarar Shah and a major general, reportedly monitored the attack. “Jundal communicated with terrorists Imran Babbar alias Kasha and Abu Umar who laid seige to Nariman House in Colaba, egging them on to fight with the police, army and navy till the last breath,” an official said. “Hafiz Saeed was present only at sermons but he wasn’t in the control room during the attacks.” Jundal has told the police. Jundal has told the police that he was taken into the core group of LeT chief Hafiz Saeed in August 2008, four months before the attack. He said initially around two dozen youths, including a few Indians, were given the Daura Khas and Daura Aam trainings, but Lakhvi reduced the number to 10. It
was also reportedly planned to send one or two Indians among the 10, as they would find it easier to mingle with the crowd. The decision was dropped as they feared that if the Indians were arrested, they would spill the Pakistan connection, Jundal told cops. He said the attack was not supposed to be in November but during Ramzan in September, when most Muslims would have been indoors, but a choppy sea made them change the plan. The police on Wednesday called the forensic experts to record Jundal’s voice. For that, the terror suspect will be asked to read out the exact words he had said to the two terrorists at Nariman House on 26/11. Jundal was directing Imran Babbar and Umer to fight the police and army till last breath. Forensic experts will match his voice.
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demand for islamic audio-visual products sky rockets during ramadan g telecommunication companies introduce naats as ring tones, umrah lucky draws to attract customers g
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HE market for CDs, DVDs and audio cassettes playing Naats, Durood Sharif, Qawalis, Quranic verses and Islamic Ringtones, has skyrocketed in major cities across the country, especially in Lahore, Rawalpindi and Islamabad. Sales of these CDs, DVDs and cassettes, featuring famous Naatkhawans have shot up in Ramadan, as music outlets have started playing their latest CDs and cassettes to attract customers. Kashaf Rashid, from Islamabad, said that she had purchased two new DVDs of fresh Naats, to play during Sehar and Iftar. “I have downloaded Naats and Quranic verses onto my mobile phone because I don’t want to listen to songs during Ramadan,” said Muhammad Ali, “As a Muslim, this month is important to me and I don’t want to listen to songs out of respect for its sanctity.” M Hashim, owner of a music outlet, said that the demand f o r
as a Muslim, this month is important to me and i don’t want to listen to songs out of respect for its sanctity,” muhammad aLi
such CDs, DVDs and audio cassettes had increased during the last 11 days. “Our sale is expected to continue to rise in the coming days of Ramadan,” he said. “It is natural for people to ignore music in this month and to buy religious lectures, naats and other products,” said Rehman Malik, another shopkeeper. A lot of customers could be seen purchasing new Islamic CDs, DVDs and cassettes at music outlets, and shopkeepers are busy attracting more customers by playing these CDs in marketplaces.
QasimAli said, while buying these CDs at a shop, that he preferred buying CDs of famous Naatkhawans, but complained that vendors overcharge, taking advantage of the demand hike. Several CD vendors in Liberty Market, Lahore and in Rawalpindi said that customers prefer to purchase CDs featuring prominent scholars, clerics and preachers and famous reciters of the Quran, in this month. They said that these cassettes and CDs are prepared in time for Ramadan, with names of scholars, titles and excerpts of the content stamped across the covers. That helps attracting the right kind of audience. As demand increases, street vendors and hawkers switch to selling such CDs and cassettes as they believe this is a much more lucrative business. They distribute these Islamic cassettes and CDs featuring Quran, sermons and Anashid before mosques and on street intersections and crowded markets. In an attempt to cash in on this growing market, mobile telecommunication service providers have joined the competition, providing a wide range of Islamic tones, supplications, Anashid and SMS messages.
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Syrian army, rebels mass forces for Aleppo battle BEIRUt
HE Syrian army and rebels deployed more forces in and around Aleppo on Wednesday as a “decisive” battle for control of the country’s second city raged, activists and regime sources said. “Hundreds of rebels from all over the north of Syria are arriving in Aleppo, which appears to have become the decisive battle,” a journalist for a Syrian newspaper working in the city told AFP. “Around a dozen districts on the outskirts of the city are in the hands of the rebels and you can hear the sound of bombardment and automatic gunfire,” he said. Rami Abdel Rahman, director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, confirmed the influx of rebel fighters. They “are sending numerous fighters to Aleppo to battle the regime because, for them, Aleppo is as important as Benghazi was for the Libyan rebels.” “Aleppo is the capital of the north and the northern regions are already in their hands so, if this city falls, the regime is over and the two sides know it,” he said. Abdel Rahman said the army had also sent reinforcements to the city. “In the past 48 hours, there are army reinforcements arriving on the DamascusAleppo highway,” he said, adding that rebel forces were targeting the convoys. On Wednesday afternoon, they used
roadside bombs to hit a convoy of security forces travelling towards the city, killing eight. On Tuesday, the had attacked a convoy in a bid to slow its arrival in Aleppo. “It’s a decisive battle and the regime is sending reinforcements to stop the rebels from taking its bases and public buildings,” he said. A security source said the key battle underway was in the districts between the city and the airport, “which are in the hands of the terrorists.” Clashes continued in the neighbourhood of Bustan al-Qasr, in the south of the city, where army helicopter gunships fired on the neighbourhood, the Britain-based Observatory said. In Aleppo, clashes raged in the central AlJamaliya neighbourhood, close to the local headquarters of the ruling Baath party. In Kalasseh, in the south of the city, rebels set fire to a police station, the Observatory said. Fighter jets overflew the city, breaking the sound barrier but not carrying out bombing raids, Abdel Rahman told AFP. Nationwide, the Observatory put the death toll at 45 by Wednesday afternoon, the majority civilians. The watchdog also reported clashes in the district of Al-Hajar Al-Aswad in Damascus, one of the last remaining rebel bastions in the capital, 10 days after fighting broke out there. Helicopter gunships and heavy machinegun fire pounded the embattled southern neighbourhood, as they tried to “reclaim” it, the Observatory said.
North Korean TV confirms leader Kim is married SEOUL afP
North Korean state media Wednesday confirmed that its new leader Kim Jong-Un is married and named his wife as Ri Sol-Ju. The announcement ended weeks of speculation about the identity of a stylish young woman pictured accompanying the young leader to official events this month. State television reported that Kim and Ri took part in a ceremony marking the completion of a Pyongyang amusement park. “Marshal Kim Jong-Un took part in the opening ceremony of Nungra People’s Amusement Park with his wife, Comrade Ri Sol-Ju,” it reported. The official news agency also reported that Kim and his wife attended the event and were given an “enthusiastic welcome”. It was unclear what day Kim and his wife visited the park or how long they have been married. Kim, believed to be in his late twenties,
took over the nuclear-armed nation when his father Kim Jong-Il died last December. But the intensely secretive state had previously released no details of his private life. The short-haired woman was first shown with Jong-Un during a concert in Pyongyang on July 5. She was seen walking next to the leader on July 8 when he visited the mausoleum of his grandfather and the nation’s founder Kim Il-Sung. On July 24, photos aired by state television showed her standing close to the new leader during a visit to a kindergarten. With other officials staying a few steps behind the pair, the woman was seen smiling while standing immediately behind or next to Jong-Un as he hugged and talked to children. In contrast to his late father, who spoke just once at a public event during his 17 years in power, the younger Kim has cultivated an outgoing and informal style. He has been seen hugging soldiers, posing for photos with troops and linking arms with women.
Foreign News 09
LaiShui: Vehicles damaged after flooding in the town of Laishui in northern China’s hebei province, just north of capital beijing, on Wednesday. AFP
Qaeda says Iraq bloodshed marks new campaign BAgHDAD afP
Al Qaeda’s front group in Iraq said Wednesday that a wave of attacks that killed 113 days earlier marked the launch of a new offensive, as officials said seven people died in new unrest. The spate of violence nationwide on Monday, which also wounded more than 250 people, was the worst to hit Iraq in more than two and a half years
and shattered a relative calm that had held in the lead-up to the holy Muslim fasting month of Ramadan. On Wednesday, the Islamic State of Iraq claimed the attacks in a statement posted on jihadist forum Honein. “As part of the new military campaign aimed at recovering territory given up by the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI), the war ministry has sent its sons and the mujahedeen on a sacred offensive during the month of Ramadan,”
Tajik forces declare ceasefire after deadly clashes DUsHaNBE: Tajik government forces Wednesday declared a temporary ceasefire to allow for talks in a deadly operation to reassert government control in the southeast over militants loyal to an ex-warlord. The talks involved Tajik Defence Minister Sherali Khayrulloyev and representatives of the town of Khorog that was the focus of this week’s deadly clashes, a military source told AFP. The initial truce was only supposed to last four hours to the early afternoon, but there were no reports of further fighting and the Tajik independent news site Asia Plus said Tajik President Emomali Rakhmon had ordered that the truce would be permanent. The presidency in Dushanbe said it was unable to immediately confirm the reports. According to Asia Plus, the head of the Badakhshan region Kodir Kosim read a message from Rakhmon to inhabitants, saying that the ceasefire would be indefinite to ensure the evacuation of wounded and dead whose bodies risked “decomposing in the streets”. afP
northeast india clashes kill 38, displace 170,000 gUWAHAtI afP
Indian police recovered 12 bodies from rice fields and roadsides in the remote state of Assam on Wednesday as the death toll from ethnic violence rose to 38 after four days of bloody clashes. At least 170,000 villagers have fled from their homes to relief camps, government buildings and schools to escape the unrest, which has raged since Friday with scores of homes burnt down by rioters. Military reinforcements were called in to try to quell the fighting between indigenous Bodo tribes and Muslim settlers who have competed for years in longstanding territorial disputes. “It appears all these 12 people were killed in overnight attacks,” said Tarun Gogoi, the chief minister of Assam, an oil and tea-rich state in the northeast of India bordering on Bhutan and
Bangladesh. “The situation is tense,” Gogoi told AFP, adding that there had been a “massive deployment of army, police, and paramilitary troopers”. Northeast India, which is linked to the rest of the country by a narrow land bridge, has seen decades of friction among ethnic and separatist groups, though some rebel movements have recently started peace talks with the government. News channels broadcast pictures of homes that had been set ablaze by rioters, and of women and children gathered in the government-run camps where food was handed out and soldiers were on duty to provide protection. Hagrama Mohilary, chief of the Bodoland Territorial Council, a local government body, told AFP by telephone that an estimated 170,000 people are sheltering in relief camps.
ChiRanG: Smoke rises from a house burnt by rioters at nelibari village on Wednesday. indian police recovered 12 bodies from rice fields and roadsides in the remote state of assam as the death toll from ethnic violence rose to 38 after four days of bloody clashes. AFP
the group said. “The operation by the jihadists has stunned the enemy and made him lose his head. It has demonstrated the failings of the security and intelligence services,” it continued. Last weekend, the group said it would look to retake territory, and appealed for Sunni tribes to provide support and send fighters, in an Internet audio message purportedly left by its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
Anna Hazare to start new fast NEW DELHI afP
Indian anti-graft activist Anna Hazare, whose hunger strike last year generated a nationwide outpouring of support, vowed on Wednesday to hold another fast to pile pressure on the government. Hazare pledged to re-start his protest nearly one year after his public hunger strike in New Delhi to demand stronger anti-corruption legislation in India, where many citizens complain graft is endemic in everyday life. The 75-year-old former army truck driver on Wednesday appeared at a demonstration in Delhi where three of his campaign members began a fast, but he declined to talk to reporters. “We need some positive signs from the government to show that they are serious about tackling corruption, otherwise Anna will start his fast on Sunday,” Aswathi Muralidharan, a spokeswoman for his campaign, told AFP. “We want a special investigating team to look into corruption charges against ministers, MPs and party leaders, and we want a fast-track court,” she said. Massive rallies across India in support of Hazare’s 12-day fast last August badly shook the government, which has been hit by a series of major corruption scandals since being re-elected in 2009. The activist’s campaign tapped into widespread anger among millions of Indians and dominated television news coverage for weeks, but it has since struggled to maintain momentum. Hazare’s direct attacks on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the ruling Congress party also led to accusations that he and his campaign organisers were pursuing a political agenda.
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10 Comment Dedicated to the legacy of the late Hameed Nizami
thursday, 26 July, 2012
Christmas crumbs bCCi’s invite not the manna from heaven made out to be
Arif Nizami Editor Lahore – Ph: 042-36298305-10 Fax: 042-36298302 Karachi – Ph: 021-34330811-3 Fax: 021-34330900 Islamabad – Ph: 051-2287414-6 Fax: 051-2287417 Web: www.pakistantoday.com.pk Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
a crisis postponed Temporarily?
t is no small matter to sack one prime minister after another particularly at a time when there is a widespread concern about the grave challenges facing the country that include a declining economy, power shortages, rising unemployment, militancy, the country’s isolation in the region and a standoff with Washington.. The prime minister is meanwhile required to enter into parleys with the opposition over a consensus caretaker setup for conducting fair and free elections. He cannot play his role effectively if a Damocles’ sword is all the time hanging over his head. A conflict between the Supreme Court on the one hand and the executive and parliament on the other could threaten the system and harm the country. The Supreme Court relied on the contempt law to unseat Yousaf Raza Gilani setting a new precedent for the removal of a popularly elected Prime Minister. To ensure that the option was not available to the court in the case of Raja Pervez Ashraf, the Parliament passed another contempt law. The new contempt law has been challenged in the apex court which is hearing the case on a day to day basis. While parliament was accused of passing the law hastily, the court seems to be equally in a hurry to undo it. The Supreme Court bench overseeing the implementation of the NRO verdict has adjourned the hearing till August 8. A crisis has, thus, been temporarily averted. Many had praised the apex court for taking up suo motu cases to undo the wrongs to the common man who continues to suffer due to an unresponsive bureaucracy and an inefficient and corrupt administration. While the court’s intervention benefited a few and even brought a portion of the looted money back to the national exchequer, the system remains as rotten as ever. It is like giving alms to a beggar which consoles the giver without resolving the root cause which is abysmal poverty. A perception is being formed now that the court believes that it has a panacea for every malady in the country. To think that the Constitution has a solution for every problem is to fall victim to a new type of fundamentalist thinking. While the attempts to recover the missing persons in Balochistan were laudable, the roadblocks faced should have convinced the court that authority alone cannot guarantee the resolution of complex social issues. If the idea is to get cases opened against Zardari in the Swiss court, one expects the SC to find a more efficient way of achieving the aim instead of ratcheting up the level of confrontation with the executive and parliament and still fail to achieve the objective.
t is a measure of how desperate we are to engage India that the crumbs of a mid-break handed out by their cricket board have been welcomed as manna from heaven. Forgotten in the euphoria is how humiliating the invite is, to begin with. The pithy three ODI ‘series’ is slotted in a Christmas break for the visiting Englishmen, who would return to play the last leg of the series after India takes pity on Pakistan! Ah! But it’s not even pity, if the word doing the rounds is to be believed. The roots of the decision to play ball with the neighbour half a decade after the last bilateral engagement is said to lie in the increasing heat India is facing from Australia, England and New Zealand on the Umpires Decision Review System, which Pakistan also vociferously supports. Financial powerhouse India has so far blocked all attempts by ICC to make it mandatory but there’s a limit to how much opposition it can withstand. The idea, according to the speculation, is to revive the Asian bloc — Sri Lanka and Bangladesh form the quartet — to hold the forces at bay. Like millions of fellow subcontinent By Kamran Rehmat lovers of the sport, I have been a great supporter of India-Pakistan engagement at the worst of times but clearly, we could have done with more honourable terms of engagement. Agreed that security is a major concern and so India cannot come over here — as the ICC future tour programme envisions — but Pakistan had shown willingness to host the matches abroad. Even now it has rather meekly wel-
comed the announcement despite feverishly pushing for India to either come to Pakistan or play abroad first rather than itself going to India. All these years, India has not only thumbed its nose at Pakistan by regularly refusing to play in a bilateral series and allegedly leaning on its other neighbours not to tour Pakistan but also refusing to allow Pakistani stars — some of the world’s best in the shortest version — to participate in IPL and Champions League. There is resentment even within India for the bilaterals. And this diatribe is led by none other than the much respected Sunil Gavaskar. An Indian friend of mine argued that being a fellow Mumbaiite of Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray, who has once again pledged not to allow Pakistanis to play, he has to make a pitch along those lines. Not too convinced that this is actually the reason — Sunny’s outburst centred on Pakistan’s alleged lack of cooperation to bring the perpetrators of Mumbai attacks to justice — but it says something about the kind of atmosphere that will greet Pakistani players if the ‘series’ hopefully, goes ahead. Truth to tell, the Indians are simply not interested in a re-engagement as recent history and the general discourse in India following the announcement of a short engagement this winter suggests. To be fair to them, while they may have a reason not to — it begs emphasising that those are decidedly political reasons. In my humble opinion, where they are flawed is in the approach. Sport should never be made a hostage to politics. It defeats the very purpose of engagement: imbibing the best principles of healthy competition. From an Indian perspective, it can also be argued that the approach is inherently flawed since the stringent policy of non-engagement is not followed in international tournaments. Why? It is because it would lead to penalties/forfeiture of points. Also, for some strange reason, the bilateral disengagement is not strictly followed in sport other than cricket.
I’m also surprised at the romanticism associated with Indo-Pak cricket — the usual premise being that it is a leveler of animus, and somehow builds bridges. Engagement may be helpful in terms of the latter but am not so sure about cricket per se. No matter how pronounced the mantra, it takes a back seat when the two countries have a cricketing rendezvous. No amount of goodwill and diplomacy seems to work when fires of rivalry are stoked by crazy fans and passionate players hungry for instant glory. But what shatters the fallacy of romanticism is raw emotion, which bubbles up to the surface like boiling water. Not that it deters the intelligentsia, which extols the virtues of a lovely game, which truth to till, now seem as distant as to belong to the Victorian age. However, bad it might seem, the history and geography of the region, often gallops from the background to the foreground whenever these two countries meet on a cricket field. Amazingly, people begin to see more than a cricket match — in a cricket match. To an outsider, all this is pretty intriguing. The population of peaceniks who are capable of treating an Indo-Pak cricket encounter as no more than a game constitute a virtual silent minority. Over the years, ‘experts’ have propounded the theory of regular competition to reduce the intensity of rivalry and pave the way for stronger political and cultural connect. However sound the idea may seem, it hasn’t delivered on the cricket front until now. Sure enough, people want to see more people-to-people contact at all levels but when it comes to specifically cricket, they don’t wish to settle for anything less than seeing their own team win. The game’s virtues brushed aside, it then simply boils down to “Us” versus “Them”. The writer is a senior journalist based in Islamabad and can be reached at email@example.com
Shrugging off injustice uncivil silence of civil society
By Kuldip Nayar
n Parwan province, north of Kabul, Afghanistan’s capital, a gunman shoots a woman dead to the delight of wild crowd. Taliban had held her guilty of ‘adultery’ in a Kangaroo court. More or less at the same time and at the same distance from India’s capital, New Delhi, a Muslim village in UP gives women the Taliban-type diktat not to go to the market without escort, not to use mobile phones and not to have a love marriage. In this case, there is no protest and even politicians prefer to keep quiet. Instead, a Khap, a combination of 35 panchayats, endorses the furman (order) while the Supreme Court wants some action against the Khap.
Something more shocking and scandalous happens at Guwahati, where a 17year-old girl is molested in public. A local television channel telecasts the incident the whole day long. The editor and the reporter of the channel resign when their complicity becomes public. The police is late to act and so is Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi. The National Commission for Women tarries behind at Delhi until the media points a finger at its indifference. The senior superintendent of police is merely transferred after the demand by the academicians. Not long ago, girls in Pune were asked by the self-appointed custodians of morality not to wear jeans. In Mumbai, a similar force forbids women from going to the bars. In Assam, a legislative assembly woman is beaten mercilessly because she marries a Muslim. A nine-year-old girl is killed when a member winning the corporation election fires at random to celebrate his victory. All these incidents may seem unconnected and taking place far from Afghanistan. Still they have the same pattern of irresponsibility and the same ruthlessness that has distinguished Taliban from other terrorists. The former want to register their cruelty beyond comparison. Indian civil society, the thinking segment
of the nation, remains quiet. There is no evidence of its unhappiness, much less any demonstration. People shrug their shoulders and put the entire blame on the government. The elite does not mention such incidents in their drawing rooms lest they should spoil the mood of over-dressed, over-fed class. The media reports some incidents but does not pursue them except Arnab Goswami, who is relentless in exposing such horrors and dwelling on them. By announcing that it is against the cricket series between India and Pakistan this December, the Shiv Sena has again shown its same old bias. This organisation is like any other set of fundamentalists who are out to pollute the atmosphere of amity. Some similar organisations and individuals may adversely react to resuming India-Pakistan cricketing ties. Retired players on both sides should voice their protest against those who are trying to sabotage the series that may make even the Pakistani authorities sit up and ponder over the court’s rejection of the judicial commission’s report on 26/11. The tragedy is that the right thinking people choose to keep quiet and leave everything to the government which has its own policies. The question that the Indians have to ask themselves is: Has civil society become effete
because it is afraid of being targeted or is it a victim of the Taliban-type culture where the people has effaced the thin line between right and wrong, moral and immoral? Whatever the answer, the fundamentalists cannot escape the blame. They are brainwashing young men in the name of religion and they are the ones who, in turn, are hijacking the society. Even those who feel that there is victimisation of women or the marginalised, they keep quiet lest they should become unpopular in the eyes of fundamentalists. They do not dare to join issue with either a maulvi, a pandit or a granthi. Civil society all over the world represents the nation’s conscience. True, it is invariably lost in its own doubts, ifs and buts, but it does assert itself at times. They are the ones who have to call a spade a spade. If they do not — and invariably they don’t — they harm the cause and encourage the wrongdoers. Their silence is the loss of society. I have seen that civil society, over the years, has become insensitive. Even the slightest wrong used to lead to a furore but now it does not care as if cruelty has become part of living. When pushed or cajoled, a segment of society expresses itself but it goes back to its inactivity and slumber when it should be in the field all the time. Martin Luther King has said, “The day you see the
truth being challenged and you do not speak out is the day when you begin to die.” This is probably too high an expectation in a society which is too absorbed in making money by hook or by crook. Yet it is the duty of every person to preserve the fundamental values of a democratic society. He or she must display a degree of vigilance and willingness to sacrifice. Without the awareness of what is right and a desire to act according to what is right, there may be no realisation of what is wrong. The role by human rights activists is commendable. Thousands of them are working at the grassroots level throughout the country and facing the wrath of extremists on the one hand and the repressive authorities on the other. The successes of activists may be limited compared to their failures but the nation should be grateful to them because civil society is complacent and the government-sponsored bodies are on the side of the political party which appoints them. The truth has strayed from the path of righteousness. The activists alone are trying to retrieve the situation but with very little success. Civil society has to get its act together and speak out to be counted. The writer is a senior Indian journalist.
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thursday, 26 July, 2012
Editor’s mail Send your letters to: Letters to Editor, Pakistan Today, 4-Shaarey Fatima Jinnah, Lahore, Pakistan. Fax: +92-42-36298302. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Letters should be addressed to Pakistan Today exclusively.
Hooked on the hookah Hookah, also known as water pipe, is a centuries old contraption and shisha is the glamorised, modern version of hookah which is very trendy these days, especially amngst youngsters. Shisha contains various types of tobacco fermented with molasses and various fruity odours which conceals the smells of these dangerous chemicals like nicotine and tar. There are plenty of flavours available in shisha due to which a lot of teens are tempted to try and frequently smoke it. Shisha is gaining popularity not only in Pakistan but it has become a common practice in plenty of Middle Eastern countries, as well as in Bangladesh, India, Turkey and in China. Not only men and teenagers are consuming shisha but a lot of women are also consuming it and more as a fashion statement. It has been surveyed that around 100 million people are smoking shisha worldwide. More and more people are getting attracted to the habit of shisha-smoking because of the misconception that it is safer compared to cigarettes. However, they need to know that there are many adverse health consequences related with shisha that are quite similar to those associated with cigarettes. There was a well-conducted research on shisha which showed that shisha affects the lungs and heart much like cigarettes. Some of the other common diseases related to shisha usage are lungs cancer, food pipe cancer, emphysema, chronic lung disease, asthma and pneumonia. Besides this, there are plenty of infectious diseases that can spread through the use of shisha besides these known diseases. The sad part is that it is gaining a lot of fame and now it is offered in plenty of restaurants, cafés and hotels in Pakistan. Since this is a hazardous habit to adopt, there should be proper steps taken in order to create awareness in people. There are heavy metals like chromium, cobalt, arsenic and lead used in shisha and a normal shisha produces the smoke which contains nicotine and tar equivalent to about 20 cigarettes. So government should take some steps to restrict the use of shisha in restaurants as well as in public places. SYED MUHAMMAD ABUBAKAR Lahore
challenges for the cec The new Chief Election Commissioner of Pakistan. veteran jurist F G Ebrahim, has said that it has been his dream to present a prosperous and democratic Pakistan to the new generations and that the ECP could make his dream come true by holding free, fair, transparent and impartial elections. I think as a head of an independent national institution, the CEC has the opportunity to implement the political parties order 2002 which is intended to ensure that all election candidates are chosen by their respective political parties in a democratic and transparent manner. It can also ensure compliance with the provisions of law regarding money contribution to political parties by companies or individuals. The SC's judgement last month directed the ECP to take some special steps towards improving the
the delta needs water As agreed in Water Accord 1991, a survey for release of water in downstream Kotri, was to be conducted by Wapda to fix the quantity of water to be released in order to save Indus delta – the sixth largest in the world and to meet the mandatory requirements of water for 2.6 million people living in areas of 145 kilometres stretching between Kotri and Arabian Sea, in Sindh. In absence of release of water, the Indus delta is on verge of death due to man-made scarcity of water resulting in intrusion of sea water inundating 2.7 million acres of valuable land besides emerging environmental disaster in Sindh. On behalf of people of Sindh, I appeal to President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Raja Ashraf Pervez and Chief Justice Supreme Court of Pakistan Chaudhry Iftikhar to take serious notice of this issue. MOHAMMAD KHAN SIAL Karachi
Violence against women Our society is facing many problems and those problems that arise due to some of our retrogressive customs are the worst to counter. Violence against women is one such problem and is gaining ground rapidly. If proper timely measures are not taken, then it will make the situation even more unbalanced. Violence can be both through action and intention. Domestic violence is a mounting problem in our society, as it has disturbed the lives of many women. Women are being directly affected by different types of violence. As we look around our environment, we will come to know that the rights of
preparation of electoral rolls and monitoring election expenses, and exploring means and ways to introduce another appropriate system of election for real representation of the people. According to one report, almost 20 million Pakistanis of voting age, the majority of them being women, are estimated to have been unregistered in the draft electoral rolls. To ensure that new electoral rolls will not have any mistakes of gender and address, the ECP must have authority over polling staff to take disciplinary action so that the government staff employed in polling stations cannot influence voters or the outcome of their area. The ECP should employ a method whereby voting becomes compulsory for all citizens. Almost 70 percent of the population of Pakistan lives in rural areas
the women are not being delivered properly to them. Even in this day and age in Pakistan, women are targeted through different brutal practices. Women are tortured and sexually abused every now and then, and many incidents of this nature are happening all around us. Acid throwing, wani, forceful marriages, marriage to the Quran, etc have disturbed the overall fragment of the society. Women are being cornered every now and then, and as a result they are being suffering from different physiological and psychological disorders. Entrenched violence against women is a massive hurdle on the path to development, as their role is negated and neglected and they face different kind of inequalities. As a citizen of Pakistan, it is our duty to eradicate the violence that women of our society face – be it familial, societal, institutional or structural, so that they can function as vibrant members of society and contribute fully to its prosperity. Proper policies must be formulated, adequate legislation must be passed and these, most importantly, must be implemented through proper enforcement channels (which includes not just the justice machinery but the investigation and law enforcement machinery as well). MUHAMMAD UZAIR NIAZI Mianwali
Mandate squandered? The PPP and PML(N) were mandated by the people of Pakistan on 18/02/08 to find the solution to their problems which include an upward price spiral, unemployment, load shedding, lawlessness, extremism and health care, but their aspirations have so far been dashed on the rocks of politics. All the social and economic ills continue to soar high without any pause. The politicians seem to have
and 35 percent of them are living below the poverty line. They represent almost 90 percent of those who cannot afford to spend any money to contest the elections. It is a sad fact that our laws are faulty and full of loopholes which only allow very resourceful landlords, industrialists and political families with hereditary leadership to win the election seats. These politicians with a few exceptions are in politics only to strengthen their family's interest and consolidate their political standing. Laws should be made such that all political parties are required to provide funds to contesting candidates; only then can real representation of people's will be possible. S T HUSSAIN Lahore
forgotten their pledges made to people during election campaign. Instead they have entered into a loathsome war of accusation against each other and revived their old rivalry of 1980-90, which is eroding their own credibility. This unholy practice is neither good for democracy nor for the general masses. The federal government of PPP and the provincial government of PML(N) in Punjab have full control and authority to do what their leaders want to do, and need to do. No effective steps have been taken to reduce the sufferings of people. The industrialists, businessmen, hoarders, profiteers, influential politicians and bureaucrats enjoy unbridled freedom to extract money from citizen without resource. Moreover, the increase in dacoities, theft and daylight robberies has made life intolerable. The citizens feel insecure even in their homes. The political leaders of both the parties are expected to accept the responsibility and take drastic measures with courage but it seems the political will is missing. The politicians ought to deliver rather than dodge because the source of every failure is excessive politicising of issues. RAJA SHAFAATULLAH Islamabad
Prices rise, employment falls Regrettably, with the beginning of holy Ramadan, the prices of daily edible items have massively surged in the upper and lower Sindh districts especially in the districts bordering with Punjab province. If the rising prices are not controlled, then the conditions are set to become more difficult in the said areas of the province. However, neutral analysts put the responsibility firmly at the provincial rulers and district administration,
which are not performing their duties diligently, uprightly and honestly. Food security is also going to become a serious problem in the rice growing belt of the province because the region faces an acute shortage of water and like the past rulers , the incumbent rulers have not invested in agriculturerelated infrastructure to support farmers. Sindh is a province that is blighted by crumbling urban and rural infrastructure. There are regular water and power cuts, while the cost of everyday foods has surged. The unemployment rate is so high that almost two out of every three Sindhi youngsters are out of work. The province has never seen so many suicides among the youth and it is heart-rending to see the young people being pushed into despair and disillusionment by joblessness and social disruption. Claims by the provincial rulers and development sector organisations that Sindh province’s economic fundamentals are excellent are seem hollow when one hears in the headlines of the press and the electronic media that this many jobless young people committed suicide in this and in that part of the province. Indeed, the pace of job generation is slowing as the economy loses momentum. With elections not more than six or seven months away, the rulers are requested to take pragmatic steps to contain the alarmingly rising inflation, improve and upgrade the crumbling infrastructure, and also generate more jobs and fill the vacant seats in state departments and provincial authorities (reported to be in thousands) and also direct the multinational companies to accommodate the local talent which is being discriminated against in employment in those companies. HASHIM ABRO Islamabad
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thursday, 26 July, 2012
Kristen Stewart cheats on Robert Pattinson Arquette covers his walls with mother’s nude pictures
AVID Arquette has covered the walls of his new Hollywood venue bootsy bellows with raunchy nude pictures of his late pin-up mother brenda, including some risque bondagethemed shots. "People are like, 'Dude, your mom is naked all over your club," Contactmusic quoted him as telling The Sun newspaper. "It was the '60s and New york. Later she went on to become a marriage and family counselor. This is a way of honoring her youth." The Sunset Strip venue is already a favourite with the likes of Katy Perry, Robert Pattinson and Lindsay Lohan, but the 'Scream' actor confessed that he is nervous about showing his eight-year-old daughter Coco the nightclub. "I don't know what I'm going to do when I walk my daughter through there - I'll have to cover it up," he added. nEWS dESK
hudson’s family murderer sentenced for life
ENNIFER Hudson's former brother-in-law William balfour has received three life sentences for murdering her mother, brother and sevenyear-old nephew. balfour, 31, was found guilty of three counts of murder and four other counts related to the 2008 killings earlier this year and he has received the life sentences along with 120 years for the other charges, CbS News reported. The 30-yearold actress and singer was present in the Chicago courtroom for the sentencing, which came after Circuit Judge Charles burns denied balfour's request for a new trial. He faced a mandatory life sentence, as the state of Illinois does not have the death penalty. He had been married to Hudson's sister, Julia and prosecutors contend that he shot the family members in a jealous rage because she had been dating another man. nEWS dESK
shilpa back to her fabulous self
ubby Raj Kundra posted a trailer of his upcoming show SFL, which features a rather fit and gorgeous looking Shilpa Shetty. In his tweet, the doting husband wrote, "Check out the latest #sflchallengers promo with @TheShilpaShetty looking fab after just 2 months of delivering my son!" She was last spotted on the big screen as a sultry beauty in the Dostana (2008) item number Shut up And bounce and since then, Shilpa Shetty has largely been away from the arclights. but now, after motherhood, the actor is back in front of the camera, shooting for her hubby Raj Kundra and friend Sanjay Dutt’s new reality show, Super Fight League (SFL) Challengers. She shot for the special web promo video, only 50 days after giving birth to her son Viaan. nEWS dESK
The relationship between Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson has been rocked by claims that the actress had a brief fling with a married director. Stewart's hookup with Snow White and the Huntsman director Rupert Sanders who is married and has two children - is believed to have occurred recently. "Kristen is absolutely devastated," People magazine quoted one source as saying. "It was a mistake and a complete lapse in judgment. "She wasn't having an affair with Rupert. It was just a fleeting moment that shouldn't have happened. She never meant to hurt anyone. She's a good person who just made a bad choice," the source said. Meanwhile, Us magazine revealed on Tuesday that it's set to publish photographs
of a "marathon makeout session" between Stewart and Sanders. It said that the 41year-old and his dark-haired woman were caught in a series of clinches on July 17 and "it seemed like they couldn't get enough." The 22-year-old actress and Pattinson, 26, were all laughs just days ago at Comic-Con, even joking about their on-camera smooching scenes. The couple met on the first Twilight set and reports began almost immediately that they were a couple. COurTESy TOI
sAifeeNA WeddiNG MYSTERY OF THE YEAR? Mom says the wedding date is fixed. Son says it's not. Sister says she's clueless. And now some tabloid sources have revealed that it's the bride who's behind all this drama. Yes, you guessed it right. We are talking about Saif-Kareena's wedding. Let's explore all the angles of this 'family drama': TWIsT IN THE TaLE: Kareena Kapoor has reportedly decided to delay the wedding to sign on some meaty projects. Mumbai Mirror reported: "According to sources, the actress, whose Heroine is set to release on her birthday, September 21, believes she is at her career-peak. She has signed on a few other big banner projects, one of them with younger Imran Khan and she is not prepared to concede any ground to her rivals who are hot at her heels." "Especially after Bhansali's biting remark that "no married heroine" can be his Juliet, Kareena and Saif decided, it was better to focus on her career right now. In fact, sources close to the couple say they were concerned that the wedding may alter the quality of projects offered to her. And Saif, being the understanding partner that he is, did not want her to compromise," a source told the tabloid. Saif Ali Khan is on the same page as Kareena. He's also giving preference to his career now post the success of Cocktail. NoN-coMMITTaL saIf: The actor told Mid Day, “I can’t confirm the date right now. Probably a couple of months down the line, I would speak to you about it. Right now it’s only Cocktail, and I want to keep my professional and personal life separate.” In an interview to HT he had said: “I haven’t fixed a date for my wedding! I’m yet to meet Kareena’s parents to sort out the date ... the venue is also not finalised,” says the actor, maintaining the obvious: It’s going to be a year-end wedding.” The denial had come soon after Sharmila announced the wedding date. We wonder, why Saif and Sharmila didn't discuss in advance about the announcement. cLUELEss soHa: When asked about her brother's wedding date, this is what Soha had to say: "I am quite confused myself. I know it is happening with the people in question, but they haven't set the date or talked about it," Soha told a daily recently, adding, "I think it is happening imminently." Interestingly, it was Soha, who had let the cat out of the bag last year. She had said: “They (Saif and Kareena) have been together for quite some time now and their relationship has grown. I can hardly wait for the wedding next year. There will be a number of functions and I am very excited about what to wear.” THE aNNoUNcEMENT: Confirming that Saif will wed Kareena on October 16, Sharmila Tagore had said: "Yes, that's the date we have decided upon. There will be a reception, too, but not a very big one." After the reports of Saif denying the October 16 wedding emerged, Sharmila said in an interview to Mid-Day that her busy son will have to take out time from his shooting schedules as the date has been finalised by her once and for all, and there’s no getting away. She said it was a ’warning’ for him. COurTESy TOI
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13 christian Bale visits Aurora victims
The onscreen Batman prayed for those who lost their lives and met the injured in the Medical Center of Aurora. Christian Bale paid a surprise visit to the victims of the Colorado shoot-out tragedy on Tuesday. There was an online campaign of sorts on Twitter, expecting Bale to go see the victims. Bale did just that as he along with his wife Sibi Blazic visited the Medical Center of Aurora to check on those injured in the tragedy. He enquired about their
health and even posed for pictures with them. He even posed with the hospital staff, who was thrilled by his visit and kind gesture. The ugly incident happened at a theatre in Colorado on 21st July, where a man randomly opened fire on the fans who had come to watch The Dark Knight Rises premiere. The shooter was identified as James Holmes. Thus the reel life Batman was expected to go see his people. Bale met the victims, their fam-
ilies and made them smile amidst the immense pain and irreparable loss. It is said, he spent about over two hours at the hospital. One of the victims even posted his picture with Christian Bale on Facebook. The English actor even visited the memorial of those dead and observed moment of silence with their families. He wasn't identified immediately and even when he was, no one bothered him too much. Production House, TDKR Warner Bros have apparently clarified that they had no role to play in his visit. He came on his own and wasn't accompanied by any PR or assistants. Bale's sweet gesture has won the hearts of his fans and critics. He had even issued a statement post the tragedy stating, "Words cannot express the horror that I feel. I cannot begin to truly understand the pain and grief of the victims and their loved ones, but my heart goes out to them." Bale is the Bat with the heart of gold! Superhero in every sense of the word. COurTESy TOI
Deepika reveals the secret behind her perfect figure Deepika Padukone's orange bikini scene from her latest film, Cocktail, has been the talk of the town. The actress says the secret behind her perfect figure is not any crash diet, but a combination of regular workouts and healthy eating. "I think ideally one should not reach a stage where you have to go on crash diets. You need to be conscious on a daily basis. I feel that this should be your lifestyle," Deepika told IANS. "For me, working out and eating healthy is a part of my lifestyle. I don't do it for a particular shoot. I know people who eat in a crazy way and suddenly they want a perfect body, and they go on crash diets. That takes a toll on your hormones," she added. In an industry where size zero seems to be going out to fashion, the 26-year-old says she doesn't mind being a 'healthy' version of it. "I feel that size doesn't matter, fitness and health should come first. I know people who are heavy, but have great stamina, and I know skinny people with no stamina. It depends on your fitness level. There is nothing wrong with being a size zero as long as it is a healthy size zero," she said. alking about her bikini shoot, Deepika says she just had to tweak her workout and diet a bit for the desired results. "We shot in Cape Town and I did alter my diet for the shoot. But because I have always been fit, I didn't have to go on any type of crash exercise or diet," she said. Deepika's bold and vivacious character named Veronica in the film has been liked and appreciated by all. She says she is happy to break the perception people had formed of her. "It's nice to know that people have woken up and realised that there is more to this person than the way she looks. They always associated me with being glamorous and thought that I could do only a certain type of role. I'm happy I managed to break this notion in people's minds," she said. Styled from head to toe by stylist Anaita Shroff Adjania, Deepika has no qualms in saying that her chic look in Cocktail has been her favourite so far. \But even though she loved it, she would not like to repeat it just for the sake of winning a similar response. COuRTESy TOi
oprah sparks outrage for ‘ignorant india’ special
PRAH Winfrey has sparked outrage after the recent broadcast of a two-part TV special about her trip to India in January. The Oprah's 'Next Chapter' special was dubbed "myopic, unaware, ignorant and gauche" by one Indian commentator and "snobbish" and "snooty" by another. The Daily bhaskar website said that the "ill picturized and badly scripted show" portrayed the country "in poor light," the bbC reported. The 58year-old drew particular criticism for remarking on the Indian tradition of eating with one's hands. "I heard some Indian people eat with their hands still?" she is seen asking a Mumbai family she had joined for dinner. "using our hands to eat is a well-established tradition and a fact none of us are ashamed of," blogged Rituparna Chatterjee of the CNN-IbN news channel. "As a responsible public figure about to air a show that will be beamed across the world, you should have done your homework," Chatterjee wrote. The media mogul's week in India saw her hobnobbing with bollywood royalty, attend a literary festival in Jaipur and visit the Taj Mahal in Agra. The result, according to the Wall Street Journal's India Real Time blog, typified "India as Westerners imagine it, one stereotype at a time". COuRTESy TOi
it is always fun to play the bad guy: dinklage
pirate of all pirates, Gutt loves being a brigand and living by the strict code of the sea. Dinklage’s role as Tyrion Lannister in the popular series Game of Thrones has earned him superstardom. “What appealed to me about Gutt was that I had never played such a character ever, and I’m not sure if I’ll get such an opportunity again. So when these jobs come up, you grab them,” he jokes. We also hear the actor loves to play the bad guy! “He’s the villain and villains are always fun. It’s always fun to play them,” he said. Ice Age 4: Continental Drift, releases on July 27. nEWS dESK
rajesh Khanna leaves behind a farewell message India's first superstar Rajesh Khanna, who passed away on July 18, 2012, left behind a special recorded message for his family, friends and fans, which was played at his chautha held over the weekend. In the message he is heard saying that he owes his success as an actor to the stage. He has talked about how he began his career as a theatre artist when there was no godfather whom he could turn to. He came into the movies through the United Producers Filmfare Talent contest where he was seated on a long table in presence of celeberated filmmakers like Bimal Roy, Shakti Samanta and many others. Rajesh Khanna recounts that Mr Chopra retorted saying: "You are from the stage so make your own characterisation." During that audition the chapter of his stardom
opened. The dialogue he mouthed in front of the stalwarts was: "Haan main kalakar hun, haan main kalakar hun, kya karoge meri kahani sunkar..." (Yes I am an artist , yes I am artist, why would you want to hear my story...). And rest, to use a cliche, is history. Rajesh Khanna appeared in 163 feature films and delivered various hit films such as Kati Patang, Safar, Ittefaq, Aradhana, Anand, Amar Prem and Aan Milo Sajna. In the tape Rajesh Khanna also thanked his fans saying, “friends, I'm a part of you, and as I said, you have all taken time out for me. This is the love, your presence in numbers that I'm grateful for, thank you, thank you my salaam to you all.” The eight-minute long audio sounds more like an extract from the superstar's some old interview and very little like his last words. COuRTESy TOi
sarah Jane pelted with stones
HAT was touted to be the city first ‘adult afternoon’ went awry when Kyaa Super Kool Hain Hum actor Sarah Jane Dias was hit with a stone at the event. Sarah was on stage with co-stars Riteish Deshmukh, Tusshar Kapoor and Neha Sharma when a group of guys flung a stone at her at the event, which took place at Crown Interiorz Mall, Faridabad on Monday. The sharp, pointed stone hit her face, after which a shocked Sarah immediately left the stage with Neha. While Tusshar went to check on the actor, Riteish showed the stone to the crowd and said, “This kind of behaviour from the crowd was not expected. We are extremely disappointed. While Sarah was unavailable for comment, Tushar said, “There is swelling on her face. Thank God, her eyes are safe.” According to sources, Sarah was crying in her vanity van and the security officials did little to help. Later, mall authorities apologised to the actors, even as many among the onlookers suspected it to be a publicity stunt. nEWS dESK
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isive "500 thrilling pages on 500 dec " days that changed everything. or Edit ior Sen , -Jon Foro
Graﬃti artist reveals olympicsrelated artwork
ANKSY unveiled Olympic-related graffiti artworks on his personal site on Monday to mark London 2012. One image shows an athlete throwing a missileshaped javelin, while another shows a pole vaulter leaping over a fence on to a dirty mattress. The artist has left the locations a secret at present, which may explain why they have escaped the alleged whitewashing of other street artists and their work in the lead up to the Games. Despite being an internationally renowned street artist who was nominated for an Academy Award last year for his documentary Exit Through The Gift Shop, Banksy has managed to keep his identity a secret and works solely under his pseudonym. Last week four street artists were arrested by police in London in the lead up to the Olympic Games, on suspicion of conspiring to inflict criminal damage. nEWS dESK
"The old man takes a look at his life." -Jon Foro, Senior Editor
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11-year-old flies to rome without ticket, passport
"Among the most lyrical, sweeping novelists I know." -Chris Schluep, Senior Editor
simply Witty foodblog goddess shares tos." pho ent lend resp , pes reci ious lusc Editor ior Sen , -Mari Malcolm
N 11-year-old boy has managed to sneak on board a flight to Rome from Manchester Airport without a passport or boarding pass. Liam Corcoran passed through security on his own without being checked, before making his way on to the Jet2.com flight on Tuesday, after he ran away from his mother during a shopping trip at Wythenshawe Civic Centre and made his own way to the airport. A Manchester Airport spokesman said: "This extremely serious matter is now being urgently investigated by officials from the airport and airline. "It is clear that documentation has not been checked correctly at security and the boarding gate. "The boy went through full security screening so the safety of passengers and the aircraft was never compromised. "We are now making preparations to ensure that his return to the UK is handled sensitively to avoid any distress." nEWS dESK
"A hilarious, harrowing road trip from Kesey's spiritual heir." -Jon Foro, Senior Editor
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dying "Schwalbe talks books with his t." lian bril 's She mother. He's lovely. ctor Dire l oria Edit on, -Sara Nels
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"Swinging London in the '60s . Spies and sex and moral ambiguity . Yum." -Sara Nelson, Editorial Director
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ten by "The Royal Tenenbaums as writ ible." sist irre nds Jennifer Weiner? Sou ctor Dire l oria Edit on, -Sara Nels
deb PerelMAN the sMitteN KitCheN CooKbooK by
sWeet tooth by iAN MCeW AN
“The most absorbing story ever written about watching paint dry.” -Mari Malcolm, Senior Editor
Amazon's editorial director and senior editors have released "the big books fall Preview," a compilation of the new releases they're most excited about for the coming season. Among the selected titles are "Mortality," Christopher hitchens's essay collection written while he was hospitalized for esophageal cancer, and "sweet tooth," ian Mcewan's post-Cold War espionage story. Zadie smith's "NW" and Junot diaz's "this is how you lose her" are notable exclusions from the Amazon book editors Picks, as are Michael Chabon's "telegraph Avenue," Martin Amis's "lionel Asbo: the state of england" and J.K. rowling's "the Casual vacancy." regardless, this fall is a monumental season for book releases, and it can be easy to miss out or feel overwhelmed. Amazon's picks are one way to guide you on your book-selection endeavor. We'll have our own picks next month; in the meantime check out Amazon's suggestions
WAGiNG heAvy PeACe by Ne il youNG
Ald 500 dAys by Kurt eiCheNW
AtteNberG the MiddlesteiNs by JAMi
the Art forGer by b.A. shAPiro
thursday, 26 July, 2012
"TED phenomenon Brown expounds on why the courage to be vulnerable changes ever ything." -Mari Malcolm, Senior Editor
A multi-faith praying booth has been installed at a university. The specially converted photo booth of the Pray-o-mat offers more than 300 pre-recorded prayers and incantations in 65 different languages, via a touch screen. The free to use machine at the university of Manchester is designed for people on the go in their daily lives. Choices include Our Father in German and English, buddhist and Islamic benedictions; Aborigine devotional songs and even the solemn chanting of an orthodox Jewish congregation. Many of the prayers were collected by the machine’s creator, German artist Oliver Sturm, with some taken from radio archives. A three-year research project on multi-faith spaces is being conducted at the university. A team has visited almost 250 multi-faith spaces in the uK and abroad. Charting the emergence and scope of the spaces has been difficult because many are concealed from public view, according to the university. but it is estimated more than 1,500 exist in the uK. Project leader Dr Ralf brand said: “Though the Pray-o-mat is a bit tongue-in-cheek, there is a serious message to what we’re doing. “Successful multi-faith spaces do not need to be flashy or expensive. In many places a small, clean and largely unadorned space can serve adequately.” nEWS dESK
Press PlAy to PrAy
Malware forces ‘iranian N- computers to play AC/dC at full volume’
YBER warfare has been taken to a new, hard rockin' level. According to one security expert, a computer virus has attacked computer systems in Iran and forced them to play heavy metal, at full volume, during the middle of the night. The computer worm reportedly compromises the machines, and makes them repeat the track 'Thunderstruck' by AC/DC, ad nauseum. The unconfirmed report, picked up by Gawker, comes from Mikko Hypponen, who is a researcher at the Finnish security company F-Secure. He said that his team received several emails from Iran's Atomic Energy Organisation which claimed the AC/DC assault was in progress. The emails said the worm had also shut down automatic systems and other hardware, as well as playing the hard-rock anthem. nEWS dESK
harry Potter star gets degree
ATTHEW Lewis, the actor made famous by his Neville Longbottom character in the Harry Potter franchise, has been awarded an honorary degree by Leeds Metropolitan University. Lewis, who was born and bred in Leeds, was given an honorary Masters of the University on Tuesday for his “significant contribution to the arts and charity work” On receiving the degree, Lewis said: “It’s a great honour to share this day with all the graduating students. Leeds is my home and this means an awful lot to me, I’m proud of the city and it’s a real privilege to receive this award from the university.” A spokesperson for the university said Lewis was joking how his girlfriend picked up a degree after a four-year teacher course while he got one for nothing. Lewis is the latest name in a long starry list to be awarded a doctorate and joins the likes of Kylie Minogue, Fabrice Muamba and Aung San Suu Kyi to be honoured by a UK university. nEWS dESK
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Thursday, 26 July, 2012
federer finishes his olympic preparations Page 17
Tragic team-mate inspires Pakistan runner ISLAMABAD afP
iSLaMaBad: Pakistani female athletes rabia ashiq (L) and Maria Mratab jog during a training session at the islamabad Sport complex. AFP
Players to have special drinks, equipments for uae series MUMBAI biPin dani
Australian players will do "everything possible" to keep themselves cool during the forthcoming home series against Pakistan in the summer heat of the UAE. "I have liaised with Alex Kountouris, the Australian team physiotherapist, who confirms the standard processes we use to manage hydration when we regularly play cricket in hot weather, including here in Australia, will be used in the UAE. For example, we will be using ice baths, and pre-cooling strategies such as iced drinks, electrolyte drinks such as Gatorade, and the measurement of hydration status with analysis of body weight and urine analysis", Peter Young, the General Manager (Public Affairs) said from Melbourne. Cricket Australia has accepted the itinerary of three ODIs and three T20 matches and also UAE as the neutral venue for the series in August and September this year. The ODI matches are scheduled to begin at 6.00 PM and end at 1.45 AM local time the next day. A few Cricket Australia (CA) officials, including their team manager visited all three venues in the UAE last week, Dilawar Mani and Mazhar Khan, the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) officials confirmed. "Apparently they were satisfied with the arrangements. Members of both Pakistan and Australian teams will use different equipments like ice baths, ice-vests etc. to beat heat", the officials said. The PCB was represented by Usman Wallah, the PCB official for International cricket. Intrerestingly, Paul Marsh, the Australian Cricketers' Association (ACA) chief had not accompanied on this short inspection trip. It may be recalled here that Marsh had initially expressed concern over playing in UAE in summer and also at odd hours.
OR Pakistani athlete Rabia Ashiq, the Olympics are not about glory or medals -- she knows she has no chance -- but honouring a close friend and team-mate who died in tragic circumstances. When the 20-year-old, one of only two female competitors at the London Games from the conservative Muslim country, takes to the track for the 800-metre heats on August 8, she will run in memory of sprinter Mubeen Akhtar. Akhtar was declared Pakistan's fastest woman when she bagged the 100 and 200-metre titles at the national championships, but just a month later, in June, she was found dead in her Lahore home. The circumstances surrounding her death at age 20 are still unclear -- her family said she fell down the stairs, but there have been claims of suicide in local media. Whatever the sad truth, Ashiq is determined to honour Akhtar's memory by giving her best on the highest stage of all. "She was a close friend and her death shook all of us," Ashiq told reporters before leaving for Britain. "When I go on the track I will remember her and I will run in her memory." Pakistan's athletes failed to qualify for the
Olympics but the International Olympic Committee gives wildcards to member countries to allow them to compete. "I am not a medal contender, I know that, but I want to dedicate my Olympic appearance to Mubeen because she was very happy when I was given the wildcard to represent Pakistan," Ashiq said. "Mubeen is the motivation for me to try to do well in my event. I want to make her, my coach Bushra Parveen and all the women in Pakistan proud. It will be a great moment for me." Pakistan's other female participant will be swimmer Anum Banday, also a wildcard. The late Akhtar had not been expecting to join them. Pakistan's only chance of winning a medal lies in field hockey. They have won three Olympic golds, three silvers and two bronzes in the event -- the last coming at Barcelona in 1992 -- as well as a wrestling bronze in 1960 and a boxing bronze in 1988. Ashiq wants to continue the lineage of women's participation in the Olympics, in a country which frowns upon women taking part in field events. It was only in 1996 that the government of then-prime minister Benazir Bhutto -- Pakistan's only female premier -- defied tradition to send Shabana Akhtar as the first woman athlete from Pakistan to go to the Olympics. Although the long jumper lagged well behind
in competition, she was a pioneer. Since then, Shazia Hidayat competed in the 1,500 metres in the 2000 Sydney Olympics, followed by Sumeria Zahoor in the same event at Athens 2004 and Sadaf Siddiqui in the 100 metres in Beijing four years ago -- all were mere also-rans. Ashiq knows she will suffer the same fate, but she is undaunted and has set her own goals. "I want to run 2:02.00 at the Olympics," said Ashiq, hoping to smash the national record of 2:08.04 set by her coach Parveen in 2006, but still nearly 10 seconds off the world record. "I want to make a difference in the record books -- if not at the international level, then at least at the national level." To conform with Muslim beliefs about modesty, Ashiq competes wearing leggings, but in Pakistan, male spectators are barred from watching female sports and she was nervous about having the eyes of the world on her in London. To get over this, she trained with men -- an idea put forward by her coach. "Now my biggest dream is close to being realised and while I'm excited, the feeling is accompanied by tension and anxiety," she said. "I'll enjoy my time in London and watch all the track and field events in order to learn from the best, and memories of my friends will be with me."
younis desires to work as Aussie’s bowling coach ends LAHORE STaff REPORT
Former Pakistani swing King, Waqar Younis’ run for becoming Australia’s bowling coach is over after he was turned down for the post following an interview by the Aussie Board. Cricket Australia has been in search of a bowling coach after Craig McDermott left his duties in May due to hectic scheduling, with Waqar openly declaring his desire to coach and work with the Australian camp. "I was interested but it didn't work out between me and Cricket Australia," Waqar said. “It didn't really work out. They did interview me. I guess what I'm offering and what they're looking at are two different things. I don't know, I haven't really asked them the details but that's how it stands at the moment. It has just been in the last couple of days." Waqar reported to have insisted that he is keen to coach in
Australia even if it leads to coaching younger players. He later stated that any progress regarding a stint with the Down Under giant is out of question for now, while further adding that he is now looking at other possibilities. "The whole [Cricket Australia] talk has just finished now so I've probably got to start thinking about different things.” said Waqar. The veteran
fast bowler will be busy coaching one of the teams in the Sri Lankan Premier League, which starts next month and will then fulfill his obligations as a commentator in the ICC World T20 Cup, scheduled to take place from mid-September. Interested in replacing McDermott, whose one year term concluded with impressive results where the Aussies remained undefeated in a full series for a full season, the former Pakistani speedster faced stiff competition from Ali De Winter, who now remains in pole position to take the job, having already worked with some of the current Australian pacers. Taking 416 ODI wickets and 373 Test scalps, the veteran was considered a master at reverse swing. After retiring from the game in 2004, the player turned to coaching and worked as the national team mentor till 2010 before resigning from his duties on health and personal ground, and focusing on doing commentating.
Pakistan olympian swimmers feel honoured LAHORE STaff REPORT
Manager of the Pakistan one-man swimming team, Zoraiz Lashari said on Wednesday that participation in London Olympics is an ideal opportunity for swimmer Israr Hussain to lift the level of his game to perform better in future events. “Participation in Olympics is a big honour and a life time opportunity to show case talent and potential and I firmly believe Israr is going to make best use of this chance,” he told this scribe before leaving with the team for London on Wednesday morning. Not only the swimming team but the whole Pakistan contingent left on Wednesday for London. Lashari is managing the male swimmer while Fatima Lakhani is the manager of the only female swimmer Anam Bandy who is already in London. Pakistan swimmers though could not qualify for London Olympics due to poor standards of swimming but they are participating in the mega event on wild cards granted by the International Olympic Committee to encourage them. “It is a bitter reality that our simmers are not at par with the international standards of qualifying for the Olympics and participation through wild card will definitely add to their confidence and to motivate them to do better in their future endeavours,” said Lashari, a former national captain. He said Pakistan swimmers (both male and female) are the threshold of an opportunity to learn modern day swimming technique and to benefit themselves from the experience of other participants while competing in the heats (qualifying rounds) of Olympics. Lashari said that the heats will be held in the morning while the finals of the category will be held in the evening. Israr will be testing his skills in 100-metre freestyle while Anam will be competing in 400m individual medley and their chances to make to the second heat appear slim. “Of course we cannot expect sterling performance on part of our swimmers as years long training and planning are required to train swimmers and then to expect medals,” he said. He further added: “It is a long process to train swimmers for major international events including Olympics and most modern countries are grooming their swimmers from very young age and by that way they are winning medals.” Fatima Lakhani said the it is good omen that Pakistani swimmers are taking part in London Olympics as they have lesser opportunities to take part in such high profile events. “Wild card participation is a big encouragement to swimmers of such countries which are behind qualification standards and it is a big way of learning to improve their own national records and to aim high for future events,” she said.
At Lord’s, bows and arrows replace bat and ball LONDON afP
Lord's, the historic 'home of cricket', was bathed in brilliant sunshine on Wednesday -- perfect conditions for a Test match. But any members of Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), which owns the north London ground, turning up hoping to hear the comforting sound of leather on willow reverberating around the venerable venue over the next week or so will be in for a shock. For the keys of Lord's have been handed over to the London 2012 Olympic Games Organising Committee (LOCOG) to stage the archery competition, which gets underway on Friday. And on Wednesday, 48 hours before the first arrow whistles across the velvet green carpet towards its target, competitors from India were putting in some practice at the Pavilion end. Behind the targets,
a 14 metre high purple backdrop has been erected, with giant Olympic rings emblazoned on the spaceship-style press box suspended over the Nursery End on the far side of the ground. Flanking the archery arena are two metal grandstands with room for 6,500 spectators. "We could have sold three times the number of tickets," said Michael Peart, British reserve team member and LOCOG volunteer, proudly. While Lord's has been used in the past for sports other than cricket this is the first time its owners the MCC have relinquished control of the ground since the Second World War, when Britain's Royal Air Force moved in. "It was a huge thing for the MCC to allow us to use Lord's," Peart conceded. "But they couldn't have been more helpful, the only stipulation they made was that we couldn't touch the centre of the ground." He added: "The atmosphere will be electric,
and we've got lots of MCC members coming to watch. They want to witness this latest chapter in the history of Lord's." Lord's has dusted off its crusty image and made serious strides at keeping pace with the modern world - women finally being admitted as MCC members in 1999. But the lowering of the MCC flag and the raising of the IOC and LOCOG standards in its place during the height of the English cricket season ranks as one of MCC's more radical move. Olympic personnel and athletes have taken up residence in the magnificent Pavilion where MCC chief executive Derek Brewer's first floor office is now a doping centre. A copper plaque at the graceful front door to the Grade II Listed building reads: "Whilst in the pavilion gentlemen shall wear ties and tailored coats and acceptable long trousers with appropriate shoes." The bare-chested workman, wearing
a bright yellow hard hat and torn shorts, sauntered past the notice, happily oblivious to the centuries of tradition he was flouting. For India's 2010 Commonwealth Games gold medal winner Rahul Banerjee, competing at Lord's is a dream come true as he and his colleagues target a first ever Olympic archery medal. Placing his bows gently down by his side after his practice session the 29year-old Kolkata-born archer told AFP: "I'm cricket mad, everyone's crazy about cricket in India, so to be here is amazing. "I've watched lots of Tests from Lord's, it's hard to believe I'm walking out on the ground where my hero Sachin Tendulkar has played. "There is enormous interest in archery back home. It's historic to be here, and we want to make more history at the Games, if we can continue our good form we have a reasonably good chance of picking up a medal."
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16 Sports we will break the games 1500m record, says kiprop
thursday, 26 July, 2012
Emotional Malisse snaps Los Angeles losing streak LOS ANgELES afP
World and Olympic 1500m champion Asbel Kiprop has expressed confidence the Kenyans will break the Olympic record established 12 years ago by compatriot Noah Ngeny during the London Games. Kiprop, along with countrymen Silas Kiplagat and Nixon Chepseba will form a formidable team at the games, as all of them have run the fastest times in the world this year. "It's hard to pick who between the three of us will win the gold medal. But I am sure that the Olympic record of 3min 29.77sec set by Noah Ngeny 12 years ago will be broken," said Kiprop. Ngeny set the mark when he outsprinted world record holder Hicham El Guerrouj of Morocco in one of the biggest upsets at the Sydney Games in 2000, breaking the previous record held by Britain's Sebastian Coe, who is now the chairman of the London Olympics organising committee.
greek athlete kicked out for racist tweet aTHENs: Greek triple jumper Voula Papachristou was kicked out of the Olympics on Wednesday for a racist tweet which poked fun at Africans living in the country. The 23-year-old Papachristou had written that "with so many Africans in Greece, at least the mosquitoes of West Nile will eat homemade food". Although she subsequently deleted the message after a huge public backlash, the Hellenic Olympic Committee decided to drop her from the squad for London. "The triple jump athlete has been expelled from Olympics for comments contrary to the values of the Olympic," said a statement. afP
AVIER Malisse snapped a racquet over his knee in a fit of anger but eventually got his game under control to end a four-match, first-round losing streak at the Los Angeles Open on Tuesday. The fifth-seeded Belgian levelled his record at the ATP Tour event at 8-8 as he beat recent UCLA graduate Nicolas Meister, of the US, 6-4, 6-1 to advance to the second round. It marked the first match win for Malisse here since 2005 when he defeated Tommy Haas in the second round and eventually reached the quarter-finals. Meister was the lowest-ranked player in the qualifying field at 625 and was playing in his first ATP main draw event. He won three qualifying matches in as many days, losing just one set to enter the tournament. The 32-year-old Malisse, who is ranked 72nd in the world, got off to a quick start in the opening set but then got bogged down as the challenger started to threaten. Malisse had a minor meltdown after dropping serve in the eighth game of the opener as Meister broke with a lob to reach four-all. But the European veteran recovered in a marathon ninth game, breaking back on a fifth-break point from his opponent's backhand out. Malisse re-established his serve, taking the set 6-4 after 59 minutes. He ran away with the second as his game started to click, clinching the set on his first match point from Meister's backhand error. "In the first set, I was trying to find my game," said Malisse, who lost in the Atlanta first round last week after a Wimbledon fourth-round showing. "In the second set I played really well. "Hopefully I can keep this up. I didn't know my opponent's game, but I remembered that I had hit with him before. He's a good player who hangs in. "Now that I'm
getting older, maybe I'm not thinking so much on court and letting it flow. The grass season was good for me, but I'm still a bit tired." There was a contrasting fate for veteran James Blake, with the 2007 runner-up falling to Germany's Tobias Kamke 6-2, 5-7, 7-6 (7/4) in a two-and-a-quarterhour thriller. The number 108 claimed only his fourth match win of the season against 13 defeats. Kamke wobbled while leading a set and a break, with Blake finding new life as he won the second set. But the American was unable to keep up the pace despite recovering a break and serving for the match leading 5-3. Blake went
LONDON: Pakistan officials and athletes watch news about them on a tablet during the flag raising ceremony held at the Olympic village, two days before the start of the London 2012 Olympic Games. AfP
down in the tiebreaker for his eighth loss from nine matches this season. Kamke, making his Los Angeles debut, said he had some luck on his side. "I played my best in the beginning and then he started to play better in the second, " he said. "I just tried to win every point, it worked out pretty well for me. I'm glad to be through into the second round. When I was down in the third set, I still had a small chance and that was enough tonight." American Michael Russell earned a second-round place as he beat compatriot Jesse Levine 6-3, 6-4 while Russian Igor Andreev put out Israeli Dudi Sela 7-6 (7/4), 6-4.
olympics still special for williams sisters LoNDoN: They may have won 21 Grand Slam singles titles between them, not counting their doubles successes together, but Venus and Serena Williams insisted Tuesday the Olympic Games were still special. Many observers have argued that sports like tennis, where winning Olympic gold is not the ultimate achievement compared say to a Wimbledon or US Open title, ought not to be in the Games. However, the Williams sisters -- the defending Olympic women's doubles champions from Beijing, having also won gold together at the 2000 Sydney Games -- insisted there was nothing to compare to Olympic competition. "I think growing up as tennis players we always dream of winning Grand Slams and doing well at tournaments like Wimbledon but to have the opportunity to win a gold medal and be mentioned among the greatest athletes is an honour," said younger sister Serena. "For me every tournament I've won, I enjoy my gold medal probably the most." Venus, at 32, two years older than Serena, added: "When you're at tournaments and announce your name if it has 'Olympian' and 'gold medallist' behind you it's such a thrill and it's not something you ever get over. "We do feel that spirit of representing our country, this is an event that brings the whole world together, so we're part of that great movement," insisted Venus, who also won singles gold in Sydney. afP
Torch lights up Wembley Stadium LONDON afP
The Olympic flame was held aloft at Wembley Stadium on Wednesday, two days before its marathon journey around Britain comes to an end with a starring role in the London 2012 opening ceremony. Gordon Banks, England's goalkeeper when they won the 1966 football World Cup at Wembley, carried a torch along Olympic
Way in front of the national stadium in northwest London. The flame also visited Wembley Arena, the London 2012 badminton venue, where it was carried by Nathan Robertson, Britain's badminton mixed doubles silver medallist at the Athens 2004 Games. The torch relay is on the 68th day of its 8,000-mile (12,875-kilometre) journey around Britain. The flame has been on a seven-day tour of Lon-
don that will culminate at the Olympic Stadium on Friday. Rupert Grint, who played Ron Weasley in the "Harry Potter" films, was to carry the torch at Middlesex University. Daley Thompson, who won the decathlon gold at the 1980 and 1984 Olympics, was to be the final torchbearer of the day, lighting a cauldron at Alexandra Palace, from where the first public television service was broadcast in 1936.
MeLBourne: the members of the women's Britain team celebrating after winning the women's team Pursuit. AFP
Olympics kick off but London's drivers must get in lane LONDON afP
London: the olympic flag (L) and flags from Brunei (2nd L), Myanmar (3rd L), netherlands (4th L) and Pakistan (5th L) flutter during the flag raising ceremony at the olympic village. AFP
The Olympics start Wednesday, two days before the opening ceremony as Britain's women footballers kick off the Games, but commuters in London suffered delays as reserved road lanes came into operation. Britain takes part in the first sporting action, an honour reserved for the host nation, when Team GB's women take on New Zealand in the Welsh capital Cardiff in front of an expected crowd of 35,000. Reigning champions the United States take on France among later matches. The Games lanes -- dubbed "Zil lanes" after the limousines that whisked VIPs past the traffic in Soviet times -- are designed to ensure Olympic athletes and officials get through congested London and to their events in time. The introduction of the full 30mile (50-kilometre) network for the first time caused long queues in the morning rush hour. There was an eight-mile tailback on the M4 motorway, the main road linking the capital to Heathrow Airport, the main point of arrival for the Games, said Transport for London (TfL), the city's public transport au-
thority. But the situation seemed to ease as the morning wore on. "The public transport is working well, the lanes are working well. Traffic is moving well," insisted Jackie Brock-Doyle, communications chief for the London Games organisers. They breathed a sigh of relief when a threatened strike by border and immigration officials on Thursday, the eve of the Games, was called off. The strike risked causing holdups at Heathrow on a day when thousands of athletes and spectators are expected to arrive. The Public and Com-
mercial Services union said it had reached an agreement with the Home Office interior ministry on a dispute over jobs. Olympics minister Jeremy Hunt had earlier urged the border officers to call off their action, saying: "For an immigration officer... Thursday is one of the biggest days in their professional career." As expectation built ahead of Friday's official opening of the Games, former England captain David Beckham -- who was surprisingly snubbed for Britain's men's football team -- revealed he has been offered a role in the ceremony. Beck-
London: the designated traffic lanes for the London olympic games 2012. AFP
ham, 37, who played a key lobbying role during London's campaign for the Games in 2005, has already ruled out any prospect of him lighting the Olympic flame, saying the honour should go to an established Olympian. "It is some kind of role in the opening ceremony, which I am honoured to be involved in because obviously I was involved in the start process with this seven years ago," said Beckham. Without the star power of Beckham, the Great Britain men's football team is battling apathy. A press conference held by coach Stuart Pearce and captain Ryan Giggs on Tuesday at Manchester United's Old Trafford stadium attracted just seven reporters. But Pearce, the former England defender who took the decision to omit Beckham, predicted that interest would pick up once his team take on Senegal on Thursday at Old Trafford in front of an expected crowd of 70,000. "Once it gets started and they see the magnitude of the teams, the professionalism and the standard of football they will see, they will sit up and take notice," Pearce said. Meanwhile, Asia's Olympic chief said London faced a battle to match the spectacular, no-expense-spared 2008 Beijing Games.
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thursday, 26 July, 2012
Sports 17 wAtch it Live ESPN Sportscentre 07:30PM
From Athens to London stats corner S. PERvEz QAISER
22nd OLymPiC GamES in 1992: VEnuE: Barcelona, Spain daTES: July 25 to august 9,1992 numbERS Of SPORTS: 32 (286 events) numbERS Of naTiOnS: 170 numbERS Of PaRTiCiPanT: 9356 (6652 men and 2704 women)
finaL mEdaLS TaLLy:
olympic hEROES/RECORd hOLdERS LEWiS: mOST GOLd mEdaLS in OLymPiCS carl Lewis is one of only four olympic athletes to win nine gold medals and one of only three to win the same individual event four times. in 1984, Lewis matched Jesse owens’ feat of winning four gold medals with victories in the 100m, the 200m, the long jump and the 4x100m relay. at the 1988 Seoul games, Lewis gained a second gold medal in the 100m after Ben Johnson was disqualified. He also defended his long jump title and finished second in the 200m. at the 1992 Barcelona olympics, Lewis won a third gold medal in the long jump, defeating world record holder Mike Powell by three centimetres. He also anchored the world record-setting united States relay team. in 1996, Lewis barely qualified for the united States olympic squad, placing third in the long jump trials by only three centimetres. at the atlanta games, he needed all three jumps to qualify for the final. in the final, he moved into first place with his third jump and no one was able to catch him. twelve years after his triumphs in Los angeles (or, as Lewis put it, "fourteen hairstyles" later), carl Lewis was still the olympic long jump champion. Besides winning the 10 medals in olympics (nine gold and one sliver), carl Lewis also won 10 medals (eight gold, one silver and one bronze) in world athletics championship. CaRL LEWiS PERfORmanCE in OLymPiC GamES: OLymPiCS G S b Los angeles 1984 4 Seoul 1988 2 1 Barcelona 1992 2 atlanta 1996 1 TOTaL 9 1 S.PERVEz QaiSER
ioc drugs expert irked by Pound attack LoNDoN: Veteran International Olympic Committee (IOC) anti-doping crusader Dr Arne Ljungqvist played down Wednesday criticism by former World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) president Dick Pound over the time taken to test samples stored after the 2004 Athens Olympics. Pound, a onetime IOC presidential contender and the driving force behind setting up WADA, said the original aim of storing the samples as a deterrent to cheating athletes, who thought they could get away with it if they didn't get exposed at the Games, had been lost. afP
Federer finishes his Olympic preparations LONDON afP
S Roger Federer put the finishing touches to his Olympic preparations on Tuesday, the rest of Wimbledon was a blur of activity as the hallowed arena's remarkable facelift reaches its conclusion in time for the start of the London Games. Just 20 days after Federer consoled a distraught Andy Murray on Centre Court, following the Swiss star's record equalling seventh Wimbledon final victory, the All England Club will be the centre of attention again on Saturday as it hosts the Olympic tennis event for the first time since 1908. The novelty value of Wimbledon staging the Olympics has got players and fans exicted, but it has also been a logistical nightmare. It is the first time since tennis returned to the Olympics in 1988 that the sport has been played at a facility not designed for the Games and, with so little time to prepare, Wimbledon was still getting its finishing touches just four days before the event begins. Federer, world number two Novak Djokovic and French Open champion Maria Sharapova were among the big names practising in blazing sunshine on Tuesday. But the sound of racquet on ball was often drowned out by the clatter of heavy machinery in the usually tranquil surroundings of leafy south-west London. A crane was lifting billboards bearing the "Inspire a Generation" Olympic slogan onto the outside of Centre Court, while groundstaff were putting up the information signs that will direct any fans disorientated by the
London: Swiss tennis player roger federer takes part in a training session at wimbledon, two days before the start of the London 2012 olympic games. AFP makeover. Dark green is the dominant colour during the Wimbledon fortnight, but the All England Club will be lost in a purple haze for the duration of the Games, with Centre, Court One and many of the outside courts decked out in the vivid Olympic livery and legendary ring logo. Perhaps most noticeably, the Wimbledon requirement that players wear white clothing will be gone as players wear outfits in the colours of their nation. Federer will be wearing a red polo shirt with the 'RF' logo on the sleeve and the Swiss Cross on his chest, while former Wimbledon champion Venus Williams, who owns a fashion label, has looked to the Stars and Stripes for inspiration. "It's the Olympics, and so it won't be another Wimbledon, so that's what
makes it different. We'll be wearing team colours. Red, white, blue - and hopefully gold!" the American said. Venus's sister Serena is rarely regarded as a traditionalist, but the reigning Wimbledon champion admits to being disappointed that all-white is no longer obligatory for the next fortnight. "It definitely will be weird playing in colours. Even when I'm playing on other grass courts I feel I should be playing in white. It's going to be a little bit of a sad moment for me," she said. For Sharapova, however, the opportunity to get creative with her costume at Wimbledon is something to treasured. "I think it's really exciting. It will be a little strange and fun to wear colour at Wimbledon," she said. "I planned my outfit some time ago. It's based around the colours of my country." How head groundsman Eddie Seaward must wish he could take such a relaxed aproach to the Wimbledon facelift. Seaward and his 28-man crew have been working overtime in a bid to restore the usually immaculate grass courts to something approaching their best condition. The process of stripping the turf from the courts and planting fresh grass seed normally takes between three and four weeks. This year it was done in 24 hours. Centre Court looked in good condition on Tuesday, but there were still a few bare patches on the baseline on some of the outside courts. "There are fewer matches for the Olympics than for a grand slam, and the matches are shorter, but it's going to be very high profile," Seaward said as he contemplated the strain on his beloved courts.
COunTRy ciS (unified team) united States germany china cuba Spain South korea Hungary france australia canada italy great Britain romania czechoslovakia north korea Japan Bulgaria Poland Holland kenya norway turkey indonesia Brazil greece Sweden new zealand finland denmark Morocco ireland ethiopia algeria estonia Lithuania Switzerland Jamaica nigeria Latvia austria namibia South africa Belgium croatia iran yugoslavia israel taiwan Mexico Peru Mongolia Slovenia argentina Bahamas colombia ghana Malaysia Pakistan Philippines Puerto rico qatar Surinam thailand TOTaL
G 45 37 33 16 14 13 12 11 8 7 7 6 5 4 4 4 3 3 3 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 260
S 38 34 21 22 6 7 5 12 5 9 4 5 3 6 2 8 7 6 6 4 4 2 2 1 7 4 2 1 1 1 3 3 2 2 2 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 257
b 29 37 28 16 11 2 12 7 16 11 7 8 12 8 1 5 11 6 10 7 2 1 2 1 4 5 2 4 1 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 2 1 2 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 298
Barcelona, Spain was awarded the right to host the 1992 games in 1986. the city was promised the 1924 games, but the then president of the international olympic committee (ioc) Baron de coubertin changed his mind in the last moment and awarded it his place of birth - Paris. incidentally Barcelona is the birthplace of the present ioc president Juan antonio Samaranch. television revenue in these games set a new record with the nBc paying $401 million for the american rights. for the first time in 20 years none of the nations boycotted the games. Hence there were a record number of participation for both countries and competitors. interestingly for the first time ioc felt compelled to discuss the need for "quotas" to limit numbers for future games. South africa returned to the olympic fold after a gap of 32 years at Barcelona. Spain’s king Juan carlos, an olympic yachtsman in the 1972 Munich games declared these games open. the olympic flame at Barcelona was lit by a paraplegic archer antonio rebollo. He symbolically shot an arrow at the torch tower at the stadium. the disintegrating Soviet union, now known as the commonwealth of independent States (ciS) or unified team (ut), made its last appearance. austria’s yachtsman Hubert raudaschl equaled the olympic record of having competed in eight games from 1964 to 1992. canada’s rider christlot Hanson-Boylen in her sixth olympics in 1992, equaled the record 28 year span of competition for women.
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thursday, 26 July, 2012
Football kicks off London Games LONDON
OMEN'S football kicks off the London 2012 Olympics Wednesday -two days before the official start -- as athletes pour into the country and organisers put the final touches on the opening ceremony. The referee's whistle at 4:00 pm (1500 GMT) will start not only Great Britain and New Zealand's clash at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium, but will open a 19-day festival of sport watched by billions around the globe. Hope Powell's side will become the first combined British team to play an Olympics in 52 years, in the first of six games on day one also taking in Scotland's Glasgow and Coventry in central England. In Coventry, world champions Japan open their bid for a famous double when they take on Canada, while heavyweights the United States play France at Glasgow's Hampden Park. Brazil play Cameroon, Sweden face South Africa and Colombia are against North Korea as battle begins for a Games-wide total of 302 gold medals culminating on August 12. "It puts women's football out there, puts it on the map and hopefully will showcase the sport," British coach Powell told the BBC, when asked about opening the Games. "It's our first time as Team GB and you will be nervous, but I'm sure they will rise to the occasion," she added. Heathrow Airport is expecting another 3,700 athletes, coaches officials and media on Wednesday as competitors fill up the athletes village at sprawling Olympic Park, built on a disused industrial site in east London. At the Games, Usain Bolt is hoping for a second successive sprint treble, Michael Phelps needs just three more swimming medals to become history's most decorated Olympian, and Roger Federer leads a galaxy of tennis stars.
China are bidding to top the medals table for a second successive Games, after amassing 51 golds at their glittering home event four years ago in Beijing. Meanwhile "Slumdog Millionaire" director Danny Boyle will lead a team of 10,000 participants in the full dress rehearsal for
Friday's hotly anticipated opening ceremony. While details of the curtain-raiser -- which has much to live up to after Beijing's lavish opener -- are a closely guarded secret, the show is expected to feature cows and sheep along with Sir Paul McCartney and David Beckham. "It
is some kind of role in the opening ceremony which I am honoured to be involved in because obviously I was involved in the start process with this seven years ago," said Beckham, a key part of the London bid who has been overlooked for Britain's men's football team.
counter-punching Portugal prepare spain ambush DoNETsk: Having swept past France to reach the Euro 2012 semi-finals, Spain can expect a more exacting ordeal on Wednesday when they face a Portugal team who beat them 4-0 in their last meeting. Spain have largely held the upper hand against their Iberian rivals, losing just nine times in 37 encounters, and they edged Portugal 1-0 in the last 16 en route to their triumph at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. However, Portugal claimed emphatic revenge less than five months later with a four-goal victory in Lisbon that condemned the reigning world and European champions to their heaviest defeat in 47 years. The teams have changed little since. Nine members of Portugal's likely starting line-up at Donbass Arena in Donetsk on Wednesday featured in the game, while Spain are expected to start with eight of the same players. Cristiano Ronaldo terrorised the Spanish back line at Estadio da Luz two years ago and would have claimed one of the finest goals of his career had Nani not headed his goal-bound shot over the line from an offside position. The 27-year-old is not short of scores to settle against a team who can call upon five of his Real Madrid colleagues. After match-winning performances against the Netherlands and the Czech Republic, he is finally making his mark at a major tournament and Spain's ability to keep him quiet will be pivotal. The match should provide an intriguing clash of styles, with Spain likely to dominate possession while Portugal await opportunities to spring forward on the
counter-attack. "Portugal will be very difficult," said Spain's Cesc Fabregas after Saturday's 2-0 win over France. "They have strong individuals and strong players. Apart from their good open play, they are very good on the counter-attack, and we'll have to work hard. "They have Ronaldo, Nani, Raul Meireles, Joao Moutinho. They have very good players." Spain have lost only three times in 47 competitive matches
and are closing in on an unprecedented treble of major honours, but Portugal right-back Joao Pereira says his side can take heart from their own recent form. "We're going to keep our own personality because things are going well," he said. "We have respect for them, of course, because they're world and Euro-
pean champions, but we're not going to give them too much respect because it's 11 versus 11, and we play good football." For the first time at the tournament, Portugal coach Paulo Bento will be obliged to change his starting line-up due to the thigh injury sustained by striker Helder Postiga in Thursday's 1-0 win over the Czech Republic. Werder Bremen's Hugo Almeida is set to deputise, while defenders Pepe and Fabio Coentrao both returned to training on Sunday after sitting out Saturday's session to rest injuries. Spain reported no new injuries after their victory over France, but coach Vicente del Bosque must decide whether to persevere with Fabregas in the 'false nine' role or restore Fernando Torres to his starting XI. While Spain are gunning to become the first team to win three consecutive major international tournaments, Portugal are aiming to reach a first final since their heartbreaking loss to Greece as hosts of Euro 2004. The two sides' records in semi-finals are sharply contrasting. Spain have never been beaten at this stage of an international competition, but Portugal have won only once in five attempts. Even the great Eusebio succumbed to the country's semi-final jinx, with a late penalty not enough to prevent Portugal losing 2-1 to England at the 1966 World Cup. The 70-year-old will not be present on Wednesday after being taken ill at Portugal's team hotel and going to hospital, but he has since been given the all-clear. Victory for Portugal would be the perfect get-well gift. afP
PTCL’s online Gamers’ League gets massive response ISLAMABAD STaff REPORT
Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) recently held a major online gaming tournament “PTCL Gamers’ League” in Karachi, Lahore & Islamabad, in which the country’s youth participated with much enthusiasm. The Gamers' League Tournament was held with the aim to promote Broadband Internet gaming in Pakistan, and engage the nation’s youth in community-based creative online activities. The Gamers’ League Tournament was based on the famous multiplayer game “Counter Strike 1.6”. Each city had 16 teams comprising five players. The winning team was awarded a prize money of Rs.50,000, while the runner-up teams were awarded Rs.20,000 each. In Karachi, Team Dx took the first prize while Team Incredible was the runner-up. In Lahore, Team U5 took the first prize while Team Clan 300 stood second. In Islamabad, Team Xtremers and Team Anarchy were the winners and runner-up, respectively. Prizes were distributed to winning teams in colorful ceremonies held in the three major
cities. GM Consumer Sales South, Sajid Shabbir Mangrio gave away prizes in Karachi; and GM Consumer Sales Central, Awais Javed gave prizes in Lahore; and GM IPTV & VAS Yasir Mansoor gave the top prizes in Islamabad. PTCL’s exclusive entertainment portal “PTCL Buzz” can be accessed at http://entertainment.ptcl.net, while gaming enthusiasts can play online through PTCL Broadband online at gaming.ptcl.net with multiplayer gaming access at http://gamersleague.ptcl.net. “Positive entertainment and sporting activities such as online gaming is imperative for the development of our youth,” said PTCL Senior Executive Vice President (SEVP), Naveed Saeed. “PTCL is striving to create a better tomorrow for the country’s youth by connecting them with the international information highway.” “As the largest integrated telecommunications company of Pakistan, PTCL Broadband Pakistan has provided customers with reliable and affordable Broadband Internet service,” said GM IPTV & VAS, Yasir Manzoor. “PTCL will continue its efforts to provide our valued customers with the most innovative telecommunication and entertainment services.”
Bari no more director education, anti-corruption LAHORE STaff REPORT
Former Pakistan Captain Wasim Bari handed over the charge of Director Education and Anti-Corruption at the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) after an unfruitful wait of three weeks for his contract to be extended. Bari, who has also served as the Chief Operating Officer of PCB during former Chairman Ijaz Butt's tenure, saw his current contract expire on June 30, 2012. The board, unflinching as it was, only issued a routine letter on June 29 in this regard. The former test cricketer handed over the charge after directives from PCB headquarter. All official properties were also returned.
court revokes suspension order of Lrca secretary LAHORE STaff REPORT
The Lahore Civil Court revoke the order of the Executive Committee of Lahore Region Cricket Association (LRCA) for suspending its secretary Mian Javed Ali for violation of the association’s constitution. Civil Judge Zameer Hussain Rammay gave the stay order on Wednesday after hearing the petition of Mian Javed through its lawyer Syed Iftikhar Hussain Shah Advocate. On July 20, Lahore Region Cricket Association President Khawaja Nadeem Ahmad presided over a special executive committee meeting which suspended Main Javed Ali as secretary LRCA for violating the association and Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) constitution and repugnant to the aims and objects of the association as well as has failed to abide by the instructions of the LRCA.
fia seeks olympic participants’ record LAHORE STaff REPORT
Deputy Director Passport office, Iqbal Shahid earlier arrested in Olympic passport scandal has now been released on Wednesday here, while FIA has called for the record of the London bound Olympic participants from Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF). FIA officials said that the Deputy Director, Iqbal Shahid of passport office located in Garden Town here was found not guilty in the initial investigation, as he was posted in this office a few days earlier only. The officials said that tempering of any sort in the passport office was not proved in their initial investigation. In the Olympic visa scandal, the passport of Mohammad Ali which came to the fore was found containing particulars in accordance with the identity card, FIA officials said. The five female employees of NADRA office have also recorded their statements with the FIA officials. Meanwhile, FIA team is hunting for the arrest of the main accused in the scandal Abid Chaudhry who has gone in hiding.
British border guards call off pre-Games strike LONDON afP
British border officials called off Wednesday a strike planned for the eve of the London Olympics, but travel woes still stalked the event as special lanes for Games traffic caused tailbacks. Organisers said the British capital was "moving well" despite the opening of the widely-disliked Olympic road lanes for the first time and a fresh outbreak of problems with the the creaky Underground railway system. Union leaders said they had reached a deal with the government in a dispute over jobs and had
scrapped a 24-hour walkout by immigration officials scheduled for Thursday, the day before the opening ceremony of the Games. The strike had threatened to cause disruption at London Heathrow, the gateway airport for the Olympics. Public and Commercial Services union general secretary Mark Serwotka told a press conference that 800 new jobs would be created in the border force and 300 in passport offices. "We are pleased that with these new posts and the progress made in talks we are able to avert a strike ahead of the Olympics," Serwotka said. The British goverment -which saw the Olympic build-up dark-
ened on Wednesday by figures showing worse than expected economic numbers -- had been due to go to court Wednesday to prevent the strike going ahead. Immigration Minister Damian Green welcomed the union's decision to call off the "irresponsible strike", saying it was not supported by a majority of union members. But he disputed the figures given by the union and said that "no concessions have been made by the government." Queues at Heathrow had been "almost non-existent" in the past week, Green added, despite fears of chaos after long lines built up at the border there earlier in the year due to a
shortage of immigration officials. Heathrow's Spanish-owned operator BAA said it was "great news" that passengers arriving for the Olympics on Thursday would have a "smooth journey through Heathrow". The government said around 3,500 members of the "Games Family" were due to arrive in Britain on Wednesday, including more than 1,000 athletes. A total of 18,700 delegates have arrived so far, including more than 5,500 athletes, from a total of 175 countries. The need to keep Olympic visitors moving smoothly around the clogged British capital prompted the govern-
ment to create a network of 30 miles (50 kilometres) of Games Lanes, which came into force on Wednesday. Unauthorised drivers face a fine of £130 ($201, 166 euros) for using them. They have been nicknamed "Zil Lanes" by sceptical Londoners after lanes once used by the limousines of Soviet leaders. Television footage showed a handful of brightly coloured Olympics cars speeding past lines of slow moving traffic. There was an eight-mile tailback on the M4 motorway, the main road linking the capital to Heathrow, said Transport for London (TfL), the city's public transport authority.
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thursday, 26 July, 2012
Cabinet decides to take legal action against The Sun g
Approves signing Mou with uS on terms of engagement and reopening of NATO supply routes ISLAMABAD aGEnCiES
HE federal cabinet met here on Wednesday under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf and took two important decisions while discussing various other issues on agenda. One of the decisions involved the Olympic visa scandal about which the cabinet expressed regret and decided to take legal action against British newspaper The Sun, while the other important decision related with the approval of signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the United States envisaging terms of engagements and reopening of the NATO supply routes. The cabinet also discussed the Saudi offer of aid for Pakistan and relations with Afghanistan. The cabinet took serious notice of the publication of a fake story about passport scandal in Pakistan by the British newspaper, The Sun, and directed the Law Ministry to file libel suit against the newspaper as it was a question of prestige of Pakistan. DG Passport Office Syed Wajid Ali and
NADRA Chairman Tariq Malik briefed the cabinet about the alleged scandal. The cabinet members expressed concern over the issue and directed both the officers to adopt strict monitoring mechanism to avoid such incidents in the future. The cabinet noted that there was absolutely no question of issuance of fake identity cards or visas and slipping of any person to UK on the occasion of Olympics as necessary checks were in place at every stage. Briefing newsmen on the occasion about the fake passport scam, Chairman NADRA Tariq Malik said that the investigation conducted by NADRA had unearthed the facts in the fake scam orchestrated by the British newspaper. He said the paper didn’t even know that NADRA did not issue passports, it just prints them. He said there was no fraud or illegal activity done while obtaining the National Identity Card (NIC) and passport by the alleged person named Mohammad Ali Asad. He said that Mohammad Ali Asad obtained NIC from NADRA in 2002. He later went to United Kingdom and got British nationality. He contacted NADRA office this month to update his photo. The chairman
NADRA said that all the photographs of the person were matched and found correct. The chairman said that the publication of this fabricated story by the newspaper was designed to malign Pakistan. He said all possible steps would be taken on all fora to bring the culprits to justice. MoU oN NaTo sUppLIEs: Briefing journalists, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Qamar Zaman Kaira said that the decision to approve the signing of an MoU with the US regarding the reopening of NATO supply lines was in line with the parliamentary guidelines of having no hidden or unwritten agreement with any foreign country and every agreement to be made in black and white. He said that the draft MoU had been finalised after extensive consultations and input from all relevant ministries and armed forces. The minister said that it was a step towards transparency in our foreign relations. To a question he said the MoU also envisaged details of goods that could transit and routes for supplies. He said the details would be shared with the people of Pakistan when the MoU was signed. The cabinet also allowed ministry of petroleum
and natural resources to initiate talks with India to explore possibility of purchase of POL products. The cabinet noted that import of those products could be inexpensive due to proximity factor and there was also the possibility of Pakistan exporting Naphtha to India. The ministry was also allowed permission to initiate negotiations with India for import of RLNG. However, the final decision would be taken on receipt of terms and conditions and financing feasibility. RELaTIoNs WITH saUDI aRaBIa aND afGHaNIsTaN: The prime minister briefed the cabinet about his visit to Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan. He appreciated the Saudi gesture of 100 million dollar grant for Pakistan. Ashraf briefed the meeting about his bilateral meeting with the Afghan President and trilateral meeting with Afghan President and British Prime Minister. The PM said that during his visit to Kabul he conveyed in unequivocal terms that Pakistan wanted a peaceful and prosperous Afghanistan. He said Pakistan supported an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned process of reconciliation. He said Pakistan would continue to play its
role in promoting efforts for peace in Afghanistan. Ashraf also told the cabinet that he had taken up the issue of visa facilitation for Pakistani businessmen and the Afghan President had pledged to take measures in this regard. The cabinet held in depth discussions on Balochistan and formed a ministerial committee led by defence minister to talk to all stakeholders and come out with recommendations in one week. Replying to a question, the information minister said general elections would be held next year and the government would contact the opposition on caretaker setup when that stage would come. To another question he said the government had already submitted its response to the Supreme Court on NRO issue and the apex court had adjourned the hearing till August 8. He hoped that some solution would be found. The information minister told a questioner that the prime minister was taking personal interest in resolving the power crisis. He chaired a meeting of the cabinet committee on energy Tuesday and its deliberations continued on yesterday to ensure equitable distribution of power in the country.
minister takes nPcc staff hostage over outages ISLAMABAD inP
LOndOn: Officials and athletes from Pakistan march during the flag raising ceremony at the Olympic village on Wednesday, two days before the start of the London 2012 Olympic Games. AFP
6 booked in Khawaja Sharif ‘murder plot’
Govt to establish committee for finalising caretaker set up
The Federal Investigation Agency has declared the murder plot of former Lahore High Court chief justice Khawaja Sharif baseless and registered a case against six officials. The case was registered on the direction of FIA Punjab director general. Those booked include Ehsanur Rehman, Shahid Mahmood, Toqeer Shah, Talha Burki and two Crime Investigation Department officials. According to the FIR, the chief of the Punjab Special Branch Col (r) Ehsanur Rehman, Director Special Branch Shahid Mahmood, Secretary to Punjab CM Toqeer Shah and PML-N worker Talha Burki with the help of two CID officials hatched a conspiracy to produce a false and fabricated intelligence report in a bid to create differences among the federal government, provincial government and judiciary.
The government has decided to establish a high-level committee for finalising names for the caretaker set up to conduct the next general election. The committee will include representatives from the Pakistan People’s Party and its allies while the PPP has finalised the names of its leaders who will negotiate with Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl and other opposition parties regarding the caretaker government. Sources said the PPP-committee that would hold talks on caretaker setup with the opposition parties comprised Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira, Law Minister Farooq Naik, Minister for Religious Affairs Syed Khursheed Shah, Syed Naveed Qamar and Nazar Gondal. The committee will not only be responsible for facilitating establishment of the caretaker set up but also for preparation of strategy for the next general election and determination of the point of time for having the election. Former prime minister Yousaf Raza Gilani will monitor the process of organisation of the caretaker government. The government has given him special powers for decision-making during the whole process, the sources said. Aitzaz Ahsan will also play a role in talks with opposition parties and will take into account the legal matters regarding the
While the uncontrollable and prolonged load shedding in the holy month of Ramadan continues unabated with protests in many cities across the country turning violent, one of the ruling party PPP’s ministers took an extreme step on Tuesday by taking hostage the staff of National Power Control Centre (NPCC) as a mark of protest against prolonged load shedding in his constituency. According to reports, Minister of State for Defence Sardar Saleem Haider, who has been elected from NA-59 constituency situated near the federal capital, went to NPCC situated in Sector H-8 on Tuesday afternoon to inquire about the reason behind 20-hour load shedding in his constituency. The centre is responsible for making and executing the schedule of load shedding in the country. The situation has not been helped by the energy shortfall in the country that has reached 454o MW. In Lahore, along with other cities, power outages have been increased to 12 hours while in rural areas it has reached to 18 hours.
negotiations. Interior Adviser Rehman Malik will talk to the Muttahida Qaumi Movement along with Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah, Agha Siraj Durrani and Nisar Khuro, and will monitor the affairs related to seat-adjustment in Karachi. PPP’s central leader Faryal Talpur will supervise the political affairs in Sindh. The government’s allies will also assist the committee and the names given by them will be included in it. The sources said the caretaker set up would be given a final shape by the middle of August, while some were of the view that announcement regarding the caretaker government would be made by August 13. According to the sources, talks had started between the government and a major opposition party. The two parties are considering various options and a unanimous charter was being prepared in which the opinion of all political parties and suggestions would be included, they said. The opposition party has asked the government to hold elections in October or November, but the government is willing to conduct general election in January next year, the sources added. This resulted in a deadlock in the talks between the government and opposition, they added. The sources also claimed that the government was working on organising a major alliance for the next election while seat adjustment in Punjab with Pakistan Muslim League-Q had been given a final shape.
Published by Arif Nizami at Plot # 7, Al-Baber Centre, F/8 Markaz, Islamabad.
Editor: Arif Nizami
The minister, accompanied by the people of his constituency, after unsatisfactory response from the general manager took the whole staff of the centre hostage. PM’s principal secretary after getting information about the incident immediately contacted Sardar Saleem Haider and requested him to release the ‘hostages’ but he refused. Later on, on the request of Federal Minister for Water and Power Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar, Saleem Haider released the ‘hostages’ after more than two hours. Saleem Haider justified his act by saying that he was left with no other option as the prolonged load shedding in Ramadan had damaged PPP’s reputation. He said he didn’t care for the consequences of his act. Meanwhile, the protesters in many cities once again took to the streets and turned violent in many cases. Lahore, Gujranwala, Faisalabad, Multan, Rawalpindi and many towns saw protests that seem to have become a routine matter for the authorities. The protesters damaged public and private property while burning tyres along with usual chorus of chanting slogans against the government.