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Turkey PM dismisses rumours he has only two years to live PAGE | 17
Tarbela Dam hits dead level PAGE | 03
CDA may face music as IHC orders FIA to get record by 12th PAGE | 7
rs15.00 vol ii no 250 22 Pages islamabad — Peshawar edition
thursday, 8 March, 2012 rabi-ul-sani 13, 1433
ECP slaps twoyear ban on Waheeda Shah
HE Election Commission of Pakistan on Wednesday disqualified Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) MPA-elect Waheeda Shah for two years and termed her election null and void for slapping two female polling staffers. The landmark verdict was a split decision by a five-member election commission and Chief Election Commissioner Justice (r) Hamid Ali Mirza and ECP Sindh Member Roshan Aisnai reflected the influence of PPP by opposing the ban. “Three members of commission voted to disqualify Waheeda Shah for slapping female staffers … while two members, including CEC Justice (r) Hamid Ali Mirza and Justice (r) Roshan Aisani opposed the disqualification …
but due to a 3-2 majority, the ECP disqualified Waheeda for two years,” said Afzal Khan, the ECP joint secretary, while talking to reporters. ECP member from Punjab Justice (r) Riaz Kiyani, Balochistan member Justice (r) Fazalur Rehman and Khyber Pakhtunkhawa member Justice (r) Shahzad Ali Akbar decided to disqualify Waheeda Shah. Per decision, the PPP leader has been barred from taking part in any kind of election for a two-year period, which will end on March 7, 2014. According to initial vote-count on February 25, 2012, Shah was declared the winner from PS-53 Tando Muhammad Khan, Sindh. However, following the slapping incident, the ECP had withheld official result of the constituency and ordered the registration of an FIR against her. Later, Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Iftikhar Muhamamd Chaudhry also took suo motu notice of Waheeda’s act. The ECP joint secretary said the commission also directed Sindh inspector general of police for taking disciplinary action against DSP Irfan Shah and other police officials, who despite their presence on the scene, remained silent over Shah’s misbeahaviour. Shah was caught on camera while mercilessly slapping two female staffers in presence of police officials inside a polling station. Her rival candidate Mushtaq Talpur later filed a petition with the ECP challenging the PS-53 election. In his petition, Talpur levelled 19 allegations against Waheeda Shah, including slapping two female polling staff. He had also pointed out 11 polling stations where violence and rigging allegedly took place. continued on Page 04
PPP announces strike over ecP decision | Page 04
Assassin target three Punjabis in Balochistan QUETTA Shahzada zulfiqar
Three men were killed and another seven injured in an incident of targeted killing in Kechh district of Balochistan on Wednesday. Levies Force officials said a group of Punjabi-speaking people were waiting at a bus stop in Mand Bulo area, 190 kilometres west of Turbat, to leave for Punjab via Karachi when unidentified armed men sprayed them with bullets. As a result, two men were killed and eight were critically injured. One of the injured succumbed to his injuries at the hospital. The victims were identified as Riaz Ahmad, Mohammad Fayyaz and Gulzar while the injured include Fiaz, Shafiq, Ejaz, Sufyan, Ehsan, Muhammad Farooq, Muhammad Hussain and Abdul Karim. continued on Page 04
Blast kills child, injures 3 others in Peshawar PESHAWAR: A nine-year-old child was killed and three others were wounded on Wednesday when a bomb planted in a sewer exploded in Peshawar, police said. The blast took place in the Scheme Chowk neighbourhood of Peshawar. “A nine-year old boy was killed and three others, two children and a man, were wounded in the bomb blast,” senior police official Tahir Ayub told AFP. It was a remotecontrolled device, bomb disposal squad chief Hukam Khan said. Nobody claimed the responsibility for the blast but Islamist militants have carried out several attacks in the area. afp
Chinese official sees militant links in Pakistan BEIJING reuterS
China is facing a network of militants entrenched in neighboring states, but authorities, especially in Pakistan, are trying to stamp out violence and protect China’s interests, the governor of China’s Xinjiang region said on Wednesday. China has blamed incidents of violence in Xinjiang on Islamic separatists who want to establish an independent state called East Turkestan. Some Chinese officials have blamed attacks on Muslim militants trained in Pakistan, though China’s
Foreign Ministry has refrained from public criticism of Pakistan. Xinjiang’s governor, however, was more explicit. “We have certainly discovered that East Turkestan activists and terrorists in our neighboring states have a thousand and one links,” Nur Bekri said on the sidelines of China’s annual meeting of parliament, when asked about a Pakistan connection with attacks in Xinjiang. “But officials, especially in Pakistan, have said over and over again they oppose any violent activities directed against China and will maintain China’s
national sovereignty and core interests,” he said. Both Chinese and Pakistani officials have in the past said that the militants based in western China have ties to the Pakistani Taliban and other militants in northwestern Pakistani regions along the Afghan border. Officials in Kashgar, a city in south Xinjiang, said a stabbing attack there in late July was orchestrated by members of the separatist East Turkestan Islamic Movement who trained in Pakistan before returning to China. Bekri said he was assured of Pakistani support in the campaign against militancy.
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ppp protected women’s rights with legislation: fiza No media curbs being planned by government, says firdous
Story on Page 05
Story on Page 09
Brig Ali’s health worsens during court martial proceedings SIALKOT: Court marshal proceedings against Brig Ali Khan were stopped temporarily and a doctor was called in after his health deteriorated during the trial on Wednesday. Brig Khan and four other officers were detained in May, 2011 for suspected links to Hizbut Tahrir, a militant group. He was working at the army’s headquarters in Rawalpindi at the time of his arrest. Sources said that an officer equivalent to the rank of major general was heading the proceedings when Brig Ali’s health worsened. Colonel (r) Inamur Raheem, the counsel for Brig Ali, expressed his concerns over the health of the former army officer. He alleged that the army had not followed the orders of the Rawalpindi bench of the Lahore High Court (LHC) which had directed the army to provide Brig Ali a physician of his choice. iNp
PPP minister’s relative kidnapped! QUETTA: A relative of a Pakistan People’s Party leader and a minister was kidnapped by unidentified armed men from his home district of Nasirabad, some 400 KM southeast of Quetta, on Wednesday. Police said Nazimuddin Umrani, the cousin of Balochistan PPP President Mir Sadiq Umrani was on his way to his house with two farmers when armed men intercepted them and kidnapped Umrani. Police have registered a case against unidentified kidnappers while family members have said nobody had contacted them for ransom. Shahzada zulfiqar
President to address record NA session ISLAMABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari on the advice of Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani has summoned the National Assembly session on March 12 at 5pm while he will also address his fifth and the record joint session on the 17th. The NA is expected to debate important issues including recommendation of the Parliamentary Committee on National Security about NATO supply line as well as situation in Balochistan and price hike. The day also marks the beginning of the new Parliamentary Year. New Senators of the upper house of parliament are also likely to take oath on March 12. None of the presidents in the country’s history have addressed the joint sessions these many times. iNp
ECP gives NADRA 48 hours to fix errors ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Wednesday gave 48 hours to the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) for correcting the mistakes in computerised voters’ lists. The ECP secretary summoned the NADRA chairman and provisional ECP officials and expressed his resentment over the mistakes committed by NADRA while preparing voters’ lists. In door-to-door verifications, 127,000 entries out of 5.3 million verified so far, have been found defective, while the correction process is still in progress. The ECP also directed NADRA to address public complaints lodged at display centres. ECP officials informed Online that voters’ lists, comprising some 83 million voters, were displayed across the country. oNliNe
iSlaMabad: Jamaat-e-islami (Ji) chief Munawar hasan shows sympathy with the relatives of missing persons at parade avenue. INP
Senate asks govt to ensure speedy recovery of missing persons g
Senators warn government of cooking oil shortage as import consignments stuck at Karachi Port ISLAMABAD
E R M I N G the abduction, arbitrary lifting and forced disappearance of any human being illegal and intolerable in a civilised society, the Upper House of parliament on Wednesday asked the federal and provincial governments to take immediate and effective steps to ensure the speedy recovery and release of all such persons, except those who were charged for an offence under the law of the land. In a resolution moved by Senator Prof Khurshid Ahmed and unanimously adopted by the House, the issue of missing persons was declared persistent violation of articles 9 and 10 of the constitution. The House ex-
pressed deep concern over the issue and sought immediate remedy to it. The resolution said, “The Senate of Pakistan expresses deep concern over the issue of missing persons, involving persistent violation of articles 9 and 10 of the constitution. While acts of terrorism or subversion are unforgivable, even a citizen is innocent until proven guilty through due process of law. The abduction, arbitrary lifting and forced disappearance of any human being is illegal and intolerable in a civilized society. The Senate resolves that the federal and provincial governments should take immediate and effective steps to ensure the speedy recovery and release of all such persons, except those who are charged under the law of the land for any offence.” Speaking on a point of order, Senator Haseeb Khan said transportation
of imported palm oil to the rest of the country was suspended due to strike of the transporters. He said 250,000 tonnes of palm oil was lying at the Karachi Port and ghee mills were facing shortage of the raw material. He warned of severe shortage of ghee in the market in the coming days. Senator Ilyas Bilour also endorsed the concerns of the legislator and asked the government to do the needful to avert the looming crisis. Senators including Abdul Ghafoor Haideri, Abdul Ghaffar Qureshi and Salim Saifullah Khan condemned the Sindh government for not notifying Arbab Ghulam Rahim as opposition leader in the Sindh Assembly. They were of the view that the provincial government should promote democratic norms in the country instead of giving discriminatory treatment to the opponents. Senator Tahir Mashhadi
criticised the performance of the Sindh Police for not taking action against the accused involved in molestation of women and girls. He said during the last two days, seven cases of rape and molestation involving women and minor females were reported from Sindh but the police failed in taking action against the accused. The House also passed the Industrial Relations Bill 2012, to ensure more rights to labourers and consolidate and rationalise the law in Islamabad Capital Territory and at trans-professional level, relating to formation of trade unions, determining the collective bargaining agents, regulation of relations between employer and workers, the avoidance and settlement of any differences or disputes arising between them or matters connected therewith and ancillary thereto.
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ARtS & ENtERtAiNmENt
Norway gunman charged with ‘acts of terror’
Sharmeen obaid-Chinoy interested in making feature film pakistan up to prove their detractors wrong
News 03 CommENt elections on time?: It suits everybody.
a downgrade: Pakistan gets a B-.:
Nazir Naji says: Four years: Somehow, somewhat, the PPP made it.
Kuldip Nayar says: India at the hustings: No longer carnivalesque.
imran husain says: Versatile Pakistan: We have much to celebrate.
Story on Page 14
Story on Page 17
Story on Page 18
Tarbela Dam hits dead level g
Kharif sowing in Sindh may be affected due to decline in water availability ISLAMABAD aMer Sial
ITH summer around the corner, load shedding is all set to increase further, as the water level in the country’s main reservoir Tarbela Dam reached the dead level on Wednesday, which will negatively impact hydel power generation expected to fall below 2,000MWs from the present peak generation of 3,800MWs. An official source at the Indus River System Authority (IRSA) said that the water level in Tarbela Dam reached the dead level of 1,378 feet. Inflows before reaching the dead level were 20,000 cusecs while outflows were 38,000 cusecs. “Now, onwards whatever comes in will go down”, he added. A meeting was convened in Lahore today (Thursday) to devise a strategy to cope with the situation. Power demand remained over 10,000MWs and might increase if the weather becomes hotter. A Water and Power Ministry spokesman said that power generation from Tarbela will decline but remain constant from Mangla. He admitted that the decline will be sig-
Girl leaves for india in search of her ‘missing’ father HAFIZABAD: Raheela Wakeel, daughter of Muhammad Wakeel, on Wednesday vowed to search out her father in India, who went missing in the neighboring country after the Samjhauta Express tragedy five years ago. Raheela said she would strive to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to personally inform him about the plight of her family, along with recording her statement in the Indian court on April 20. “I don’t know why the Indians have imprisoned my father,” Raheela said. Raheela will leave for India today (Thursday) via Samjhauta Express from Lahore. iNp
Bomb blast kills 4 on Afghan-Pakistan border: police KANDAHAR: Four civilians were killed and 10 injured on Wednesday when a remotely controlled motorbike bomb exploded in an Afghan town on the border with Pakistan, police said. Officials blamed the attack in the town of Spin Boldak in Kandahar province on the Taliban. “There was a motorbike bomb blast against border police in Spin Boldak. Four civilians, one of them a woman, were killed and 10 others were injured,” said Janan, a police unit commander. afp
nificant and more load shedding would be carried out if funds were not released for thermal power generation. The Mangla reservoir was at 1,068 feet against the dead level of 1,040 feet. It had an inflow of 24,000 cusecs from Jehlum River while outflow was 35,000 cusecs. The water inflow in two unregulated rivers, Kabul was recorded at 12,000 cusecs and Chenab 20,000 cusecs. The additional capacity of 3 MAF
of Mangla Dam could not be utilised for the last two years due to failure of WAPDA to resolve resettlement issues. Sources said that the Kharif sowing in Sindh, which starts from early April might get delayed for a couple of weeks due to low water availability, if the temperature did not pick up from midMarch to the month’s end. He said that there was no chance of water shortage affecting the wheat crop, as timely steps
were taken to release enough water for the last irrigation of the crop. The government had set a wheat production target of 25 million tonnes for this year, which was heavily dependent on timely water releases for a good harvest. Talking to Pakistan Today, IRSA Chairman Syed Mazhar Ali Shah said that the situation was under control, as enough water was released for last watering of wheat crop. He said that water inflows decline during winter and will improve with the mercury rising in the next few weeks. Mazhar said that river catchment areas had received good snowfall this year and hopefully there will be enough water for Kharif. He said that a IRSA technical committee will assess the situation in mid-March to devise the water release plan from the Kharif season that begins from April. When asked about the reason for the sudden decline in water, he said that the Rabi season started with a 16 percent shortfall but provinces were given 10 percent extra or 3.5 MAF more water in November to bring more area under cultivation. But a cold February resulted in decline in water inflows but with rising temperature from March onwards the situation will improve, he said.
Articles on Page 12-13
Pakistan rejects iCAN report on its nuclear arsenal ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Wednesday rejected as highly exaggerated a report by International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) about its nuclear programme, which claimed that Islamabad possessed up to 110 nuclear weapons and spent a whopping $2.2 billion on its atomic arsenal last year. In the report titled “Don’t bank on the bomb”, ICAN said Pakistan had between 90 and 110 nuclear weapons. “Its arsenal has grown substantially in recent years, from 60 to 80 nuclear weapons in 2008,” it said. The report, issued this week, quoted sources as saying that Pakistan intended to double its arsenal in the next five to 10 years with the goal of having up to 350 weapons of varying yield. Commenting on the report, Foreign Office Spokesman Abdul Basit said the ICAN report was highly exaggerated and part of an insidious propaganda campaign. He underlined that Pakistan’s strategic programme was modest aimed at maintaining a credible minimum deterrence to ensure national security. The spokesman emphasised that Pakistan’s primary focus had been on economic development and welfare of its people. He said Pakistan was opposed to arms race in South Asian or in any other part of the world. Staff report
troops kill 17 militants in orakzai UPPER ORAKZAI: At least 17 militants were killed and 12 others were wounded in clashes with security forces in Upper Orakzai Agency, military officials said on Wednesday. The officials said that militants ambushed a post manned by security personnel, but had to face stern retaliation in which 17 militants were killed. They said that six foreign nationals were also among those killed in the skirmish occurring late Tuesday night in a remote area of Orakzai Agency. The officials did not provide any information on casualties from the military side. oNliNe
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Fresh video of abducted UoP VC Ajmal Khan released by TTP PESHAWAR iNp
The banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) on Wednesday released a fresh video of the abducted Vice Chancellor of University of Peshawar Dr Ajmal Khan. Dr Ajmal appealed for his recovery from the Taliban in the video. “I am asking the teachers and student unions to
become active and play an active role for my safe release from the custody of the Taliban,” Ajmal Khan appealed. Dr Ajmal Khan stated in the video, “I am in custody of Taliban for 18 months and the government has refused to accept their demands.” He requested the government of Pakistan to do something for him. He added that the “gov-
ernment is not taking any measures for me and I appeal to the teachers and students organisations to make some efforts to recover me”. “Another vice chancellor of Kohat University was also abducted by the Taliban but government has managed his release by accepting demands of the Taliban,” Ajmal said, adding that in his case government was not doing anything. Since 2007,
HRCP wants military help to quell sectarian violence GILGIT iNp
The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan on Wednesday demanded that whenever required, the military could be called in to curb sectarian violence in any part of the country. In a press statement, the HRCP expressed its grief over
the sectarian attack on a bus carrying 18 passengers of Shia community. Welcoming a statement of the army chief over extension of cooperation to trace out assailants, the HRCP stressed that military and civilian set up should jointly work out a mechanism to check such kind of incidents in future and stop open sale of
military uniforms in the markets. The HRCP also demanded setting up an independent, impartial commission to bring the culprits to justice. “The government should step up its efforts to stamp out incidents of terrorism and accelerate its efforts for promotion of harmony across the country,” the statement added.
US says Iranian general key train drivers set in Afghan heroin trade WASHINGTON afp
The US on Wednesday named a general in Iran’s elite al-Quds force as a key figure in trafficking heroin from Afghanistan. The US Treasury designated Gen Gholamreza Baghbani, who runs the Revolutionary Guards’ Quds force office in Zahedan near the AfghanPakistan border, as a narcotics “kingpin” for facilitating Aghan drugrunners to move opiates into and through Iran. In return, the smugglers helped move weapons for the Taliban from Iran “on behalf of Baghbani”, the Treasury said in a statement. It said Baghbani had also aided the smuggling of chemicals used to make
heroin through the Iranian border into Afghanistan. He was the first Iranian to be officially named as a “specially designated narcotics trafficker” under the US “Kingpin Act”, which allows the Treasury to prohibit any US citizens or entities from engaging in commercial or financial transactions with the named individual. Treasury said the designation of Baghbani “exposes (the Quds force’s) involvement in trafficking narcotics, made doubly reprehensible here because it is done as part of a broader scheme to support terrorism”. The Quds force is the shadowy special operations unit of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards and often operates outside of Iran.
for wheel-jam strike from today LAHORE iNp
Pakistan Railways’ train drivers have announced to go on a countrywide “wheel jam strike” from Thursday (today) after their talks failed with the PR administration. The All Pakistan Train Drivers’ Association (APTDA) announced the strike to protest against the government’s refusal to accept their demands. APTDA President Salim Raza said no practical step have been taken to raise their pay scale, and also declined to provide them insurance coverage of Rs 1.5 million in case of accident. The drivers also announced a hunger strike after their talks failed.
‘Curry’ hinders raising age of criminal responsibility: Malik MONITORING DESk Interior Minister Rehman Malik has justified the opposition to a change in law that would allow the criminal age of responsibility in Pakistan to be raised from seven to 12, using another one of his ingenious explanations, this time blaming “curry” the Pakistani children eat. The interior minister said that the nation’s children grew up more quickly than in other countries due to the hot climate and spicy food, according to a report by Daily Mail. Raising the age to 12 would adhere with United Nations guidelines, but the move is frustrating politicians eager to get the bill passed. The bill, drafted over three years ago, also aims to make child pornography, child trafficking and sexual abuse illegal, for the first time. Minister of Human Rights Mustafa Nawaz
Khokhar said Pakistan could be subjected to international sanctions if it failed to raise the minimum age for prosecutions. ‘These are the problem I have to deal with,” he told The Daily Telegraph. “Not only are we trying to raise the age of criminal liability, but we are also trying to introduce legislation to outlaw child pornography, trafficking and abuse which doesn’t exist in Pakistan at the moment,” he told the paper. “The legislation is being obstructed due to an unscientific theory that children here mature faster,” he said. The Ministry of Law and Justice says sharia law views children as adults when they reach puberty. And since this onset varied depending on various factors, it would prove impossible to raise the age of criminal responsibility. In a written submission, the ministry stated: “It can be well understood that at-
tainment of maturity of understanding depends on social, economic, climatic, dietary and environmental factors. That’s why a child in our subcontinent starts understanding nature and consequences of his/her conduct much earlier than a child in the west specially because of general poverty, hot climate, exotic and spicy food which contribute towards speedy physical and mental growth of the child”. The ministry also claimed that raising the age would enable young, wouldbe suicide bombers to avoid punishment. Khokhar said he had urged Rehman Malik, the interior minister, to reconsider the proposals. He said: “These very young children are victims and should not be treated as criminals. We have rehabilitation centres for them.” No one from the Interior Ministry was available for comment, the paper claimed.
Taliban have kidnapped several professors and doctors. They often target foreign aid workers in Pakistan in hope of securing huge sums of ransom for their release. In an earlier video message, Ajmal Khan explained that he was abducted while going to his office for being a relative of Awami National Party (ANP) leader Asfandyar Wali and a government officer.
PPP calls strike over waheeda Shah’s disqualification MONITORING DESk The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) will go on a shutterdown strike in Tando Mohammad Khan today (Thursday) to protest Waheeda Shah’s disqualification for hitting female polling officers during PS-53 by-election. On February 25, Waheeda had slapped Presiding Officer Habiba Memon and Assistant Presiding Officer Shagufta Memon in a polling station of PS-53 Tando Muhammad Khan in the presence of a DSP. In a landmark verdict, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had disqualified the PPP candidate for two years and declared her election in PS-53 Tando Muhammad Khan null and void.
SC to hear Balochistan targeted killings case in Quetta on 20th ISLAMABAD Staff report
HE Supreme Court on Wednesday decided to hear a case pertaining to increasing incidents of kidnapping for ransom and targeted killings in Balochistan at its Quetta branch registry on March 20. The court directed the Balochistan chief secretary, advocate general and inspector general of police, as well as the attorney general for Pakistan to ensure their appearance before the court on the said date. A three-member bench of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Khilji Arif Hussain and Justice Tariq Parvez was hearing a petition filed by Balochistan High Court Bar Association President Hadi Shakeel Ahmed against targeted killings and kidnapping for ransom in the
Balochistan. During the hearing, the chief justice expressed concern over the law and order in the province, saying it was the responsibility of the government to control and normalise the situation in the province. He said the chief minister of the province should take interest in the matter and take effective measures for improving the law and order. He said the concerned authorities/stakeholders should hold jirga after consulting Sardar Ataullah Mengal, Mir Bakhsh Marri and other tribal leaders. “It’s a dangerous situation as not only the civilians but also the personnel of law enforcing agencies were also being killed,” the chief justice observed. Justice Khilji Arif Hussain observed that the present turmoil in the province was a reminder of the situation in 1971.
Student awarded gold medal in economics SWAT: Sadia daughter of Fazal Khaliq (late) from Swat was awarded a gold medal in economics for session 200809 in the University of Agriculture, Peshawar. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Barrister Masood Kausar conferred the gold medal during the convocation. Sadia clinched the distinction with a CGPA of 3.77 with 86 percent marks and also completed her MPhil. harooN SiraJ
Assassins target three Punjabis continued froM Page 1 “The victims were waiting for bus after returning from Iran via Mand Bulo border when they were attacked,” Khalil Ahmad, levy official told Pakistan Today. He said the victims belonged to various parts of Punjab, including Sahiwal and Faisalabad. He said three companions of the victims luckily escaped unhurt in the ambush. The bodies of the deceased were dispatched to their native areas via Turbat after completion of legal formalities. No group has claimed
responsibility for the killings so far. Meanwhile, two Bugti tribesmen were killed and one belonging to the Marri tribe was injured in Nasirabad on Wednesday. In the search operation continuing since the last two days, the FC personnel killed two men and injured another in Peru Pul area in Mir Hassan police precincts, some 15 km east of Dera Murad Jamali. The injured was later arrested. One of the deceased was identified as Baga Bugti while the injured was named
as Rory Marri. An FC spokesman said the FC personnel were attacked by armed saboteurs during routine patrolling in the area close to Nasirabad and Dera Bugti district border. He said the FC men retaliated, killing two of the assailants. The spokesman of Baloch Republican Army, Sarbaz Baloch rejected the claim of the security forces and alleged that Wednesday’s killing was part of the state forces’ atrocities against the Baloch population.
During the hearing, Attorney General Maulvi Anwarul Haq in compliance with the court’s earlier order submitted the classified reports of InterServices Intelligence (ISI) and Military Intelligence (MI) on Balochistan’s law and order. The court accepted the agencies’ plea for not making their reports public. The attorney general told the court that military authorities had requested it (court) to allow them for giving an incamera briefing over the Balochistan situation, like they had earlier briefed it on targeted killings in Karachi. Sindh Additional Inspector General Police Ghulam Shabbir Sheikh presented before the court a report on the killing of the wife and daughter of Mir Bakhtiar Domki. The court directed the Sindh police to continue the investigation and submit a report on March 20.
waheeda Shah continued froM Page 1 The other day, the ECP had completed the hearing on the petition and reserved its decision. During the hearings, Waheeda’s counsel Mustafa Safvi sought apology on behalf of his client for the incident. A senior ECP official said Shah may also face a jail term as an FIR under section 186 (for obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions) had already been registered against her with the Tando Muhammad Khan police station. He said per law, the accused could face three months in prison. Mustafa Safvi, counsel for Waheeda Shah, said his client had a constitutional right to file an appeal with the Supreme Court against the ECP decision. When asked whether his client would appeal the decision, he said “it is yet to be decided”.
SC accepts record continued froM Page 1 Aitzaz presented as defence evidence the record pertaining to correspondence of then chairman of Ehtesab Bureau Saifur Rehman and attorney general Chaudhry Farooq with the Swiss authorities in 1997 to 1999. When Sethi told the court on oath that she would speak truth before the court, Aitzaz asked some questions from her, to which she said she joined the civil service on April 5, 1980. She said she also served as principal secretary to the prime minister as well as the health secretary. To Aitzaz’s query, she said she served as principal secretary to the prime minister from December 15, 2009 to January 17, 2011. “Did you record the PM’s directions correctly or not?” To this, the court objected, saying it was a cross
examination. “Let me ask the questions, as the court is performing the function of prosecution,” Aitzaz pleaded. Sethi stated that para 20 and 21 of the summaries were the PM’s directives. To a query asked by Aitzaz, Sethi said in government affairs, if the law secretary did not act upon the PM’s directives, the summary was again forwarded to the PM. She said apart from the administrative matters, the prime minister did various jobs under the rules of business. She said the prime minister had a lot of responsibilities, which could not be stated in words. She said he remained in touch with parliament and participated in majority of its sittings. Sethi said the prime minister also met parliamentarians, allied parties, diplomats and visiting dignitaries, besides in-
teracting with the media. She said, being the principal secretary, she never observed the PM in anger or indulged in altercation with any one. She said the premier never uttered even a single word against the judiciary. Justice Asif Saeed Khosa said all these things were routine matters and everyone knew about them. Aitzaz said any matter about the prime minister or ministers’ character could be known by their near ones. He said since Sethi had been working with him, she knew better about him. Aitzaz said the best witness against any accused was one who worked with him. After hearing various questions on several aspects of the PM’s political and parliamentary role, the court asked Aitzaz whether he wanted to award a “charac-
ter certificate” to the PM. During the hearing, when Attorney General Maulvi Anwarul Haq raised some objections over the defence, the court asked him that his objections would be examined later. The court adjourned proceedings until today (Thursday). Talking to reporters, Aitzaz said he wanted to prove that his client had not committed any contempt of court in any manner. He said the statement of Nargis Sethi recorded on Wednesday would be reviewed today (Thursday). He said Sethi had proved that the PM had participated uninvited in the dinner hosted in honour of outgoing Justice Khalilur Rehman Ramday at the Supreme Court, just to make the relations between the judiciary and the executive better.
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malik appears before Abbottabad Commission ISLAMABAD Staff report
Interior Minister Senator Rehman Malik on Wednesday briefed the Abbottabad Commission and shared all related information acquired by his ministry about the operation. Justice (r) Javed Iqbal chaired the meeting of the commission while Lieutenant General (r) Nadeem Ahmed was also present. The commission held a detailed interactive session with the minister, who was assisted by the secretary interior, chief commissioner, ICT, IGP Islamabad, director general FIA, additional secretary, Ministry of Interior, director general, Immigration & Passport, National Coordinator NACTA and joint secretary, Ministry of Interior.
Railways general manager given extension LAHORE Staff report
Railways Minister Haji Ghulam Ahmed Balour has spoiled the dreams of Railways Assistant General Manager (Traffic) Junaid Salim, as retiring Railways General Manager Saeed Akhtar has been given an extension blocking Salim’s way to hold the top office. Salim, who reportedly celebrated his promotion by distributing sweets among officials and friends on Monday, had to face great disappointment when the minister awarded a year’s extension to Akhtar. Sources alleged that despite the fact that railways was in shambles due to mismanagement, Bilour promoted nepotism by giving an undue favour to the general manager. Akhtar had completed his tenure on Monday but for some obvious reasons he managed to secure a year’s extension.
CD shops blown up TAkHT BHAI Staff report
Around 26 CD shops were blown up when explosive devices went off in a CD market at Takkar Road on Wednesday. No casualties were reported in the incident. According to police, unidentified men planted explosive material in Khurshid CD Market, which went off with a bang, completely destroying six shops while 20 shops were partially damaged. Police reached the spot and cordoned-off the area. According to police, eight kilogrammes self-made explosive device was used in the blast, which spread terror among the people. Police lodged a FIR against unidentified men and started interrogation. Two and half years ago, the market was blown up by unidentified men.
raWalpiNdi: a hindu family says a prayer on holi, the spring festival of colours. hindu communities in pakistan celebrated holi on Wednesday. INP
No media curbs being planned by government, says Firdous information minister says imposition of 2% tax on cell phone cards and Rs 50,000 on purchase of new cars as radio licence fee would be made after consulting all stakeholders g
ISLAMABAD Staff report
INISTER for Information and Broadcasting Firdous Ashiq Awan on Wednesday contradicted reports about media curbs being planned by the PPPled coalition government, saying that the government was in touch with all the quarters concerned and their suggestions would be considered before formulating any policy, law or regulation. “I want to totally dispel the impression that the government has any intention to curb on media,” said the minister while addressing a joint press conference along with PFUJ President Pervaiz Shaukat at the PID media centre. The minister said the government believed in freedom of expression and did
not intend to impose curbs on media. “The government wants to strengthen and empower the media by making code of conduct in consultation with all the stakeholders.” She said the proposed draft of regulation content would be shared with the civil society, the Pakistan Broadcasters Association (PBA) and the general public, which would also be displayed on PEMRA’s website for suggestions and recommendations. She also said the imposition of two percent tax on mobile phone cards and Rs 40,000 to 50,000 on purchase of new vehicle as licence fee for radio would be made only after consulting all the stakeholders. Responding to the queries of reporters, Firdous said both the proposals for radio tax imposition were actually recommendations of the National Assembly
Standing Committee on Information and Broadcasting, which would be referred to the Finance Ministry for approval and the ministry would decide the matter. However, the minister defended the committee’s decision about radio tax arguing that if a person was capable to purchase a new vehicle worth Rs 2.5 million, paying one-time radio tax should not be a problem for him. “This is the decision by all political parties as they have their representation in the standing committees of the Senate and the National Assembly on information,” she said. Asked who would be the new Senate chairman, the minister did not confirm the name of new chairman Senate but said that the Senate chairman would be elected soon. Hailing the unanimous passage of Industrial Relations Bill 2012 from the Sen-
SC moved for contempt proceedings against Swat admin ISLAMABAD Staff report
A petition requesting the Supreme Court (SC) to initiate contempt proceedings against the Elite Force Rawalpindi, Swat district administration, Defence Ministry joint secretary and four military officials for not implementing SC orders, was filed on Wednesday. The petition was filed by Mumtaz Begum and others under Article 204 of the constitution with provisions of the Contempt of Court Ordinance 2003, making Israr Abbasi, SP Headquarters (Incharge Elite Force) Rawalpindi, Niaz Ahmed, district officer (Revenue) Swat, Kamranur Rehman, DCO Swat, Dr Fakhar Alam, commissioner Malakand, Brigadier Tariq Mehmood, Colonel Sarfraz (commanding officer), Major Inayat, Major Mattie c/o Five Light Defence Unit,11th Corps, Swat and Muhammad Yaqoob, joint secretary, Ministry of Defence as respondents. Earlier, petitioner late Abdul Ghaffar Khan (husband of the petitioner) had requested the court to help him retrieve his
ancestral cultivable agricultural land and gardens allegedly occupied by the Pakistan Army, which he had left behind as an internally displaced person (IDP) when Operation Rah-e-Rast was launched against terrorists in the Swat Valley.
The petition was disposed of by the apex court when the Swat Revenue Department had informed the court that all property was handed over to legal heirs of the owner in pursuance of court orders. Counsel for the petitioners, Sanaullah Zahid alleged
that Tariq, Sarfraz, Inayat and Mattie took possession of the land and developed a grudge against the petitioners. The petitioners contended that court orders were intentionally disobeyed and such act fell under contempt of court.
ate, the minister termed it a land mark achievement of the government which would become an act after its approval from the National Assembly. She said protection of the rights of labourers was part of the PPP’s manifesto and the legislation would go a long way in protecting the rights of labour community. The minister said after assuming power, the PPP-led coalition government had abolished the anti-labour IRO 2002 and introduced this new bill to protect the rights of labour after the devolution of the Labour Ministry to provinces. Asked about lifting ban on students unions, the minister said after passage of the 18th Amendment, education had become a provincial subject and so the matter could now be raised at the Council of Common Interest (CCI). However, she said the PPP believed that student unions were nursery of political leaders.
Rs 4.2m looted from Kabirwala bank KHANEWAL: Rs 4.2 million were looted from Bank Alfalah Kabirwala Branch on Wednesday. According to details, at around 9:30am nine armed robbers riding on two cars reached the bank situated at Khanewal Road, near the DSP Office and seven of them entered the bank. According to eyewitnesses, the robbers took guards Tasawar and Sarwar hostage at gunpoint and fled after collecting Rs 4.2 million from the cash counter. Bank Manager Arsalan showed the CCTV footage to journalists, according to which all four robbers were young and without masks. Khanewal DPO Waqar Abbasi said that he had constituted teams to trace the robbers, adding that police had earlier arrested a number of culprits from different areas. A FIR was registered in the Kabirwala Police Station on the bank manager’s request. Staff report
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Say federal govt launched several programmes to benefit women ISLAMABAD
hYderabad: a Sindhi woman breaks stones on the eve of World Women’s day to earn her bread. ONLINE
Muslim envoys walk out in protest from UN gay rights debate GENEVA afp
African and Arab states walked out in protest on Wednesday during a UN Human Rights Council debate on gay rights, saying that they could not legitimise homosexuality. The 47-member state council was holding a session on sexual orientation-based discrimination for the first time after a historic resolution seeking equal rights for everyone was passed in June 2011, to the consternation of Muslim states. On Wednesday, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, the Arab group and the African group made their opposition clear, by walking out during the meeting. “Licentious be-
haviour promoted under the concept of ‘sexual orientation’ is against the fundamental teachings of various religions including Islam,” Pakistan’s envoy said. “From this perspective, legitimizing homosexuality and other personal sexual behaviours in the name of sexual orientation is unacceptable to the OIC,” he added. At the opening of the debate, UN chief Ban Ki-moon signaled his support for homosexuals and transgender people in their struggle against discrimination. “To those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, let me say: you are not alone. Your struggle for an end to violence and discrimination is a shared struggle,” he said. “Any attack on you is an at-
tack on the universal values the United Nations that I have sworn to defend and uphold. Today, I stand with you — and I call upon all countries and people to stand with you, too,” he said. For UN rights chief Navi Pillay, it was clear that sexual orientationdriven discrimination was prevalent across the world. “What emerges from all of the material we gathered is a pattern — a clear pattern of targeted violence and discrimination directed at people because they are, or perceived to be LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender). “It is a pattern toolong overlooked by many states and one that this Council has a duty to address,” she added.
N their messages on occasion of the International Women’s Day today (Thursday), President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani on Wednesday vowed to emancipate and empower women. This year the day would be observed on the theme ‘Empower Rural Women-End Hunger and Poverty’. Zardari complimented women and assured them of full support in their just struggle for rights and reiterated the commitment of the federal government to emancipate and empower women. He reaffirmed the PPPled government’s commitment to take comprehensive action to ensure that policymakers adopt a systematic approach for empowerment of rural women. Rural women and girls could not wait and governments could not afford to fail them, the president said. He said that promotion of women’s rights was part of the history of struggle of the PPP. As the first woman ever elected
to head an Islamic nation, Benazir Bhutto felt a special responsibility to address issues relating to women, the president said. Zardari said that it was this vision of the PPP that Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s government appointed women for the first time in the subordinate judiciary and police. The subsequent PPP governments appointed women to the high courts and created special family courts headed by women judges and special women’s police to investigate crimes against women, he said adding that they did not want women facing shame in having to relate to men the violence they might have been subjected to. The president said that for the first time in the country’s history, the federal government appointed a woman speaker, a woman foreign minister and a woman as ambassador to the US with a separate ombudsperson for women. Gilani said that the International Women’s Day reminds us of the heroic struggle waged by women’s rights activists against anti-women policies and restoration of women rights and pledged to work
even harder for their empowerment. He said that this year’s theme calls for a level playing field for rural women. The PM said that the federal government fully acknowledged the fact that women in rural areas were contributing a lot to the national economy in diverse ways. Gilani said that the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) was his government’s flagship programme aimed at empowering rural women economically. Financial support was being provided particularly to the rural women through the BISP while the Waseela-e-Haq, Waseela-e-Rozagar and Waseela-e-Sehat were other major facets of BISP, which were serving as major vehicles for economic empowerment of rural women. National Assembly Speaker Dr Fehmida Mirza, in her message, said that parliament was fully cognisant to the plight of women and enacted various pro-women laws. She said that women participation in public affairs was central to the functioning and strengthening of democracy and struggle against oppression.
Nawaz demands early elections LAHORE: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) chief Nawaz Sharif has once again called for early general elections, saying the government had lost every right to stay in power. Talking to reporters before leaving for London on Wednesday, he said new mandate had become necessary to meet the challenges faced by the country. “Only the PML-N, through people’s power, can change the destiny of the country,” he said, adding that fresh elections were the only hope for positive change in Pakistan. He said the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP)-led government was reluctant to face the people, and was not ready to hold elections. “The PPP has nothing on its credit to give people therefore it is not opting for early elections,” he said. He said that unemployment was at its peak and the prevailing conditions had threatened the survival of the common man. Staff report
Bangladesh professors sued over war textbook DHAkA afp
A Bangladesh high court has ordered police to sue 17 professors for allegedly distorting the country’s liberation war history and maligning its founding leader in a school textbook, lawyers said on Wednesday. In a deepening row over who called Bangladeshi people to launch armed resistance against Pakistan in 1971, the court also summoned 30 other professors who wrote or edited the textbook, a top state prosecutor said. “It ruled on Tuesday that the book distorted liberation war history
as it dropped the name of father of the nation Sheikh Mujibur Rahman as the proclaimer of independence,” Additional Attorney General MK Rahman told AFP. Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, who is fondly known as Bangabandhu (friend of Bengal) was Bangladesh’s first president and led the rebellion against Pakistan during the bloody nine-month war in 1971. “The textbook wrongly said Major Ziaur Rahman was the proclaimer of our independence. It also dropped Bangabandhu from Sheikh Mujibur’s name,” he said. Bangladesh’s independence remains a bitter political issue as Ziaur
Rahman’s widow is now leader of the opposition, while Sheikh Mujibur’s eldest daughter is the current Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. An angry, decades-long debate about who actually called for the armed resistance still divides national politics in Bangladesh. The book on civics was originally written in 2000 with “correct information, but an edited version made the distortion in 2009” when Hasina stormed back to power, said lawyer Belal Hossain, who represented the petitioners. The court in January ordered seizure of millions of copies of the textbook in the same dispute.
quetta: Government employees take out a protest rally under the all pakistan Clerks association. NNI
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Arrangements finalised for anti-polio drive: DC ISLAMABAD Staff report
Deputy Commissioner Amer Ali Ahmed on Wednesday said the ICT administration, in collaboration with all related departments, had made comprehensive arrangements for the upcoming fourday anti-polio drive, beginning from March 12 in the rural and urban areas of the capital. He said 227,000 children would be administered anti-polio drops during the campaign. He added social mobilisation drive was also underway in the urban and rural areas to ensure active participation of notables of the areas as well as students, parents and teachers. The DC said the ICT administration had requested parents to get their children vaccinated against polio and fully cooperate with the mobile teams. He disclosed that 322 mobile teams for rural and 528 for urban areas had been activated which would conduct door-to-door visits for vaccination. He added 12 zonal supervisors for the 12 union councils of Islamabad with the active participation of notables of the area and 55 area heads would monitor the performance of mobile teams, headed by the assistant commissioner (rural), assistant commissioner (Secretariat) and magistrates.
iSlaMabad: federal information and broadcasting Minister firdous ashiq awan addresses a press conference. STAFF PHOTO
aRts and CRaFts VillaGe
CDA may face music as IHC orders FIA to get record by 12th g
former member planning says record might have been misplaced ISLAMABAD
HE delaying tactics adopted by the bosses of the Capital Development Authority (CDA) in providing record of the controversial arts and craft village to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) may come to an end as the Islamabad High Court (IHC) has directed the FIA director to obtain record of the project from CDA on 12th of the current month. The directions were given after the FIA official told the court that despite directions of the court, the CDA chairman did not provide the requisite record of the arts and craft village project for investigation. During the hearing of a case filed by Director Operations Arts and Craft Village Shariq H Khan against the high-ups of CDA and management of Indus Heritage Village Trust (IHT) on Tuesday, Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddique directed the FIA official to re-
main in contact with the chief legal advisor of the CDA instead of other officials to get record of the project. The petitioner, Shariq Khan, was appointed as director arts and craft village on July 23, 2008, but as he (Shariq) raised his voice against the illegal awarding of village’s contract to IHT and was terminated from his services on August 12, 2011, after which he moved the IHC against his termination. He, through his counsel, pointed out gross irregularities committed by the then CDA chief and other officials. He also informed the court that FIA was investigating the matter and prayed to declare his termination letter as illegal. In clear violation of CDA bye-laws the said project, with connivance of CDA officials, was awarded to the Indus Heritage Trust due to which some three months ago FIA took up the case for probing into the anomalies of the project. However, according to the preliminary enquiry of FIA, which it had submitted before the IHC, many corrupt activities and il-
legalities have been committed by officials of CDA in the award of arts and craft village contract. According to the inquiry report, the CDA has awarded the management contract of arts and craft village to a firm M/S (IHT) against the rules and advertised conditions against the merit and in violation of PPRA rules. The report said that location of the project was illegally changed from Saidpur Village to park area just to benefit the private party. It has been submitted that CDA has provided incomplete record to the FIA and the scrutiny of provided record revealed that CDA has not provided vital information regarding initiation of the project and its award to IHT, financial and technical evaluation. According to the inquiry report, CDA has also provided some details about the income of the project and perusal of that document revealed that IHT in last seven years has just deposited a nominal amount of Rs 18,000 in the joint account through another NGO namely ‘Sungi’ while utility bills
worth more than Rs 3 million were pending against Sungi. CDA Chairman Engineer Farkhand Iqbal told Pakistan Today that he had no link with the record of project as his predecessors were responsible to keep the record of the said project. “If anyone in the CDA said that the record had been misplaced from the authority, it will be unjustified,” he said, adding he was also mulling to revise the agreement of arts and craft village as earlier it was not awarded on merit. When contacted, CDA’s former member planning Tahir Shamshad, who is also respondent in the case, said the said project was initiated by directorate of environment and directorate of sports and culture of CDA. He said according to the director of arts and craft village project, the record of the project was sent to directorate of sports and culture. “But the directorate of sports and culture has made it clear that they have no record of the project,” he said, adding the record might have been misplaced.
US lauds Pakistani women police officers’ role ISLAMABAD Staff report
Pakistani women police officers joined the US embassy for a roundtable discussion on women in law-enforcement agencies to mark International Women’s Day. The Narcotics Affairs Section of the US embassy organised the event as part of its Women’s Police Programme. “Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah had said, “No struggle can ever succeed without women’s participation. It is a healthy sign that women police in Pakistan were standing shoulder-to-shoulder with male police officers,” said Mission’s Deputy Chief Richard Hoagland. “The work you do keeping Pakistan safe is a tremendous contribution to your community, he told Pakistani women police.” The roundtable was attended by American and Pakistani female law-enforcement officers, criminal justice experts, and police trainers. They discussed challenges and opportunities for women police in Pakistan. Panelists leading the discussion were Rose Byremo Olsen, Nordic Police Adviser; Brooke Williams, Political Officer, US embassy; Sarwat Hamid Butt, Deputy Director Crime Circle Record Office, Federal Investigation Agency; Dr Hina Jawaid Kalyal, assistant professor, National University of Sciences and Technology Business School; Simona Gallotta, mission of European Union.
Pharma industry warns of anti-anxiety drugs shortage ISLAMABAD Staff report
The shortage of active narcotic ingredients will result in a huge healthcare crisis in the coming months as pharmaceutical companies have not been allocated their import quota, jeopardising the production of antianxiety pills and other drugs. Experts from the medical and pharmaceutical industries expressed these fears while talking to reporters on Wednesday. They said the import of the ingredients is normally completed by the beginning of the year. They said this year the process is wrought with chaos as after the devolution of
the health sector. They added that the cabinet division was not processing the routine paperwork on the pretext that the health department has been delegated to the provinces and that they do not have any jurisdiction. The pharmaceutical companies’ representatives said they were in a fix as how to procure the highly sensitive ingredients and start production to avert shortage and price hikes of the drugs. They said due to the delay in the quota allocation of ingredients such as ephedrine, codeine, lorazepam and temazepam, the supply of important, daily use drugs, including cold and cough syrups, anti-anxiety, anti-depression, psychotropic and epileptic
drugs are likely to fall short of demand in the near future. They said the situation has become worse due to the negligence of the authorities concerned. As a result, the manufacturing process have been jeopardised for daily use drugs, like narcotic analgesics for pain; sedatives and hypnotics for sleep disorders, anxiety disorders and depression; tranquilisers and antidepressants for depression and anxiety. According to the industry figures, the total number of marketed brands selling narcotics and psychotropic drugs are over 800. The value growth remained at 17 percent in 2010-11 over the last year while the unit growth stood at 12 percent during the same period,
indicating that the consumption of these products is growing. Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) Psychiatry Professor Dr Rizwan Taj said the shortage of these drugs would result in crisis for the patients because narcotic substances dull centers in the brain and relieve depression, thereby improving the quality of life of the patient. With increasing age, incidences of bone and joint disorders and cancers are increasing, and those patients require strong narcotic analgesics. In the absence of narcotic drugs, these patients are given heavy doses of Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) which result in complications like hypertension, renal impairment and gas-
trointestinal perforations that could lead to death, he added. Industry representatives said the failure of the Narcotic Control Board to allocate the active ingredients’ quota will result in a shortage of drugs, leading to inevitable black marketing and price hikes. According to the rules the international narcotic control awards quota to Pakistan’s narcotic control board, which then allocates the quota to the pharmaceutical companies. As per norms the allocation of these ingredients take place before the start of every year for timely production commencement which then makes the availability of the drugs made of such ingredients possible in the market in time.
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HE Institute of Strategic Studies, Islamabad (ISSI) organised a public talk under its Islamabad Debate Series 2012, titled ‘Pakistan’s Political and Economic Imperatives Require it to Pursue a Path Towards Normalisation of Relations with India, Even if an Acceptable Kashmir Settlement Remains Elusive for the Foreseeable Future’. Highlighting the importance of Kashmir as a fundamental factor in India-Pakistan relations, the roundtable debate speakers’ arguments inclined more towards focusing on the genuine problems that Pakistan is overwhelmed with, most crucially the lack of economic development in the country. The speakers at the debate were Former Foreign Secretary (Rtd) Najmuddin Sheikh who spoke in favour of the proposition, and former ambassador Asif Ezdi who spoke against the motion. The Institute of Strategic Studies Director General while welcoming the distinguished speakers highlighted the importance of the proposition. The debate opened up with Ambassador Sheikh’s comments. He talked of the need to ensure individual security and the economic well being of the people and the need to curb internal insurgencies and violence. He said it was vital to move the country out of poverty, by fostering non-tariff trade with India and regional cooperation to promote overland trade.
This would generate huge sums of money in the shape of revenues for Pakistan, create millions of jobs and increase Pakistan’s share in international trade. Another essential issue on which Pakistan and India had to negotiate was the nuclear issue, owing to its sensitive nature and capacity to inflict enormous damage. Terrorism is an issue that afflicts both India and Pakistan, and hence requires a collaborative effort to arrive at a lasting solution to attain stability in the region. Returning to the Kashmir issue, Ambassador Sheikh said an acceptable settlement of the Kashmir issue was elusive which was evident from the international community’s unchanged attitude towards Kashmir over the decades. Asif Ezdi said the policy of linking the normalisation of relations with a satisfactory settlement of Kashmir enjoyed national consensus for more than fifty years, before being broken by Musharaf. This was not the result of a national debate or of any “political and economic imperatives” but of what Musharaf saw as the “imperatives” of his own domestic political ambitions. He stated that since Musharaf’s ouster from power, his policies on Kashmir have been continued by the current government. The decision to grant MFN status to India is the latest act in a gradual retreat from Pakistan’s policy of treating Kashmir as the core issue. It is also significant that the decision to normalise trade relations with India has been accompanied by reports of moves to resume the back-channel dialogue on Kashmir started by Musharaf to pursue his “four point plan” for a Kashmir settlement. He added that most countries in the world
shy away from talking publicly on Kashmir but privately recognise that its resolution is of central importance for the long-term peace and stability of the region. He strongly disagreed with the argument that the people of Kashmir themselves are tired of waging a freedom struggle as the alienation of the Kashmiri people with Indian rule remains deep and the urge for freedom has not been diminished. He also disagreed with the arguments that the burden of the defence expenditure on Pakistan is unbearable and that Pakistan would benefit from economic engagement with India as according to him Pakistan’s defence expenditure has to be assessed not in isolation but in the light of the security threats the country faces. The benefits of sidelining Kashmir, Ezdi argued, are extremely dubious. India gave Pakistan MFN status in 1996. Despite this, Pakistan’s exports to India have remained stuck at a level of about $200 million to $350 million during last five years. On the other hand, India’s exports have risen during this period from $1.4 billion to $2.3 billion. He said after having gained MFN status in Pakistan, India’s next objective will be the opening of the overland route through Pakistan to Afghanistan, Central Asia and beyond. Ezdi warned that normalisation of relations with India before the issue of Kashmir is settled would send a message to the Kashmiri people that they can no longer count on Pakistan’s support in their freedom struggle. If Pakistan could not do much for the Kashmiri people in last sixty years, the least it could do is not extinguish the torch of freedom but keep it burning and pass it on to the next generation.
MonsteR tRuCk in islMabad
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DAtE: mAR 23, 2012 – 10:00Am VENUE: iSlAmABAD
DAtE: mAR 20 - APR 21, 2012 VENUE: f-9 PARK, iSlAmABAD
DAtE AND timE: 05:00 Pm, wEEKlY EVENt VENUE: thE CENtRE foR ARtS & CUltURE
Cycling is a healthy but energy saving transport option. Governance is going to plan a strategy to make it most prestigious transport option in Pakistan. Your suggestions, ideas, and support will definitely ad worth to our cause. we Pakistanis need to come out to make decisions to build Prosperous and sovereign Pakistan.
monster truck in islamabad.
our drumming circle is a (free!) ongoing event and is held every friday from 5 to 6 p.m. we are having a great time, and want to share the good time with you! our drumming circle has children ...
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lack of education, awareness root cause of violence ISLAMABAD Staff report
Gender based violence particularly against women has become a serious problem in Pakistan. A major factor contributing to the alarming trend is the lack of education and awareness about gender-based issues. Another reason why such crimes are still committed is the involvement of powerful and influential people who exploit religion and culture for their own benefits. These were the findings of a comprehensive outreach programme that Individualland Pakistan, an Islamabad-based consultancy and advocacy group undertook with the support of USAID and Aurat Foundation on the ‘Sensitisation of media personnel on Gender Equity’ in 2011. The project was initiated with a baseline survey to gauge the existing perceptions of the public and media on gender equity. The results of the survey were representative of the fact that gender-based violence and injustices are prevalent in Pakistan, particularly in areas that are still under the influence of the feudal culture. For instance in Chaghi and Pishin, Balochistan, women did not even participate in the survey. There is an alarming trend of accepting unjust social practices, such as honour killings, especially in the rural areas of all the provinces.
iPo calls for copyright protection ISLAMABAD: The creation of the Collective Management Organisation (CMO) would help regulate matters related to protecting the copyrights of creators and helping the Pakistani music and film industry. This was revealed in a joint meeting on Wednesday in which music companies’ representatives and Intellectual Property Organisation (IPO), PTA, broadcasting stations officials participated. International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC) Regional Director Ang Kwee Tiang who is visiting Pakistan to examine the constitution and functioning of the CMO, was also present at the occasion. The representatives participated in the discussion and highlighted the core issues being faced by them, specially the unauthorised use of music contents. Tiang said the concept of the CMO was introduced in France where the first CMO was established in 1777. He added that currently there are 300 CMO’s working globally. He mentioned the success stories of many CMOs that are working successfully to protect the interest of creators and performers. Administration and Human Resource Director Messaq Arif said the CMO has become a source of income for performers by evolving a balanced and mutually accepted strategy. Staff report
iSlaMabad: dr Wyatt, wife of uS ambassador to pakistan, with pakistani women on the eve of international Women’s day. STAFF PHOTO
inteRnational WoMen daY
PPP protected women’s rights with legislation: Fiza ISLAMABAD
HE International Women Day is celebrated every year across the world on March 8 and this year marks the 101th anniversary of the day. It is a day when women are recognised for their achievements without regard to divisions whether national, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic or political. It is an occasion for looking back to past struggles and accomplishments, and more importantly for looking ahead to the untapped potential and opportunities that await future generations of women. The global theme for International Women Day for 2012 is “Connecting Girls, Inspiring Futures” whereas the national theme for International Women Day for 2012 is “Legislations for Protecting Women’s Rights”. Keeping in view the historic legislations passed by the present parliament for the protection and promotion of women rights, Goodwill Ambassador for Women Empowerment, Fiza Batool Gilani
said: “Whether it is ‘Prevention of anti-Women Practices Act 2008’ or ‘Acid Control and Acid Crime Prevention Act 2011’ or ‘Protection of Women against Sexual Harassment at Workplace Act 2010’ or ‘Women’s Commission Bill 2012’ or ‘Domestic Violence (Protection and Prevention) Bill 2012’ each of these legislative measures has touched upon those problematic areas which had long been hindrances in the way of women’s self-realisation and their self-actualisation.” Fiza said it was simply unimaginable for any country to grow without vibrant and equal participation of women in its economic, social and political life. Without attending to 49 percent of Pakistani women’s potential, the dream of self-sufficiency will remain, but only a dream. Our religion, Islam, has also been a great proponent of women rights but, much to our chagrin, it has been misused and misinterpreted to deny equal access to womenfolk in all walks of life. She said their great leader Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Shaheed was also a great votary of women’s eco-
nomic empowerment as she was well aware that in economic empowerment of women lies their true emancipation and empowerment. She deserves special place in the annals of women struggle for emancipation because she destroyed the myth built by the social taboo that the woman’s place is in the house and that it is shameful or dishonorable or socially unacceptable for a Muslim woman to work, she added. In line with the vision of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto, Fiza said, the present PPP government had made considerable strides in the realm of women’s social, political and economic empowerment. Parliamentary enactments have been made to curb brutal customs like vani and Swara and heinous crimes like acid-throwing. In order to provide the working women with an enabling environment, a separate law against harassment at workplace has been passed. National Commission on Women has been given financial and administrative autonomy, which will definitely be of great help for it to play its role more vigorously for the betterment of Pakistani women. Some 10 percent quota
has been fixed for women in all federal jobs. Women have been given top political, administrative and educational appointments to enhance their representation at the policymaking levels, she further added. “I have no doubt in my mind that women’s condition in the country has changed but it has not taken the best possible shape as yet. The path to women empowerment is still strewn with hindrances like 100 percent girl literacy, technical and vocational training, stereotyping, lower wages and glass-ceiling. Laws have been framed but their implementation remains an abidingly daunting challenge. Governmental bodies, civil society organisations and all the societal stake-holders have to work hand in hand for the attainment of this challenging task. I want to take this opportunity to assure that from now onwards, in collaboration with all stake-holders, part of my efforts will be directed towards addressing the issues of domestic violence and home-based workers through awareness and by bringing in legislative enactments on these areas”, she concluded.
Campaign to end violence against women ISLAMABAD Staff report
On the occasion of International Women’s Day activities, ‘We Can Campaign’ organised a public awareness event here on Wednesday in federal capital on in collaboration with Torciare Pakistan. A large number of volunteer students from different schools, colleges and universities distributed pamphlets, brochures, and flyers among the general public to raise awareness about different aspects of violence against women. The interactive communication material distributed by the campaign volunteers was aimed at engaging and educating the public regarding various aspects of social, cultural, and structural violence prevalent in the society. The creatively designed brochures con-
tained an image of a woman whose hands were physically tied with a ribbon and people had to untie the ribbon to open the brochure. The ribbon symbolised the prevalent violence and discrimination against women and the act of untying the ribbon by individuals meant that everyone was supposed to contribute towards making the society a safe a just place for women. Apart from distributing the communication material, the volunteer students directly interacted with public to make them aware of the social approval and cultural condonation granted to different violent practices which deprive women of their basic human rights. The initiative of the campaign was appreciated by general public. Commenting on the activities of campaign, Hajera Pasha, the national coordinator of the We Can Campaign, said the campaign engaged the
Pakistani society on two levels: individual and institutional. On an individual level, the campaign mobilises and rallies ordinary women and men who commit not to tolerate or perpetuate any kind of violence against women under any circumstances. The campaign calls these individuals change makers. On an institutional level, the campaign will continue to engage and collaborate with different state institutions, the civil society, non-governmental organisations, and educational institutions to highlight different social aspects of violence against women. Muhammad Aashir, the campaign officer, said the campaign was fully cognizant of the fact that bringing about a paradigm shift in the attitudes of a society towards violence against women would be very difficult unless the social, political, and economic costs of the structural and culturally institutionalised violence against women were highlighted.
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AIOU pays rich tribute to Dr Zaki ISLAMABAD
PEAKERS at a condolence references paid rich tributes to renewed educationist and founder of Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) late Prof Dr Wali Muhammad Zaki for his outstanding contribution to promotion of quality and affordable education in the country. In recognition of his services in development of distance-education, a newlyestablished academic complex of the AIOU has also been named after Prof Dr Zaki. AIOU Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Nazir Ahmed Sangi announced this while addressing a reference held in the memory
of late Prof Zaki. Dr W M Zaki who recently passed away in Houston (USA) after protracted illness remained the vice-chancellor twice from 1973 to 1975 and from 1990 to 1992. He was the first Pakistani who was awarded PhD by Howard University. Dr Zaki also served as secretary of national education commission. He also worked as advisor/consultant in Saudi Arabia, Nigeria and Nepal as the representative of Unesco. Dr Zaki made tremendous contribution to establishing the university on sound footing. His role in making the university ever-lasting and most viable institution for promoting distance education in the country would be remembered forever, said Dr Sangi. He said the mission of Dr Zaki to take
quality education to every nook and corner of the country should be kept alive and the officers and the staff of AIOU should work with zeal and dedication to fulfill his mission following in his footprints. Dr Sangi said that AIOU was now engaged in strengthening its regional network. Regional Campuses of Muzaffarabad and Gujranwala will move to their own buildings soon, he said, adding that constructional work for establishing AIOU’s own buildings of regional campuses at Bahawalpur and Rahim Yar Khan would be started during the current month. Dr Sangi announced that 20 new scholarships in the name of Dr Zaki will be given to the outstanding students of the university. In the first phase, a fund
of Rs 30 million had been allocated for this purpose. While enumerating the services of Dr WM Zaki, AIOU Registrar Agha Hafeezullah said he was architect of the first-ever distance-level education institution in Asia. He said Dr Zaki had undertaken the task with missionary zeal and worked day and night to turn the ideal of promoting country-wide distance education in the country into reality. He was most towering personality in the education sector. This was because of his untiring efforts that the university had got a huge land in Islamabad for introducing various faculties, he added. While paying tributes to Dr Zaki, Officers Welfare Association General Secretary Abdul Wadood said his glorious
services in the education sector will be long remembered. He was the man of integrity, who set a shinning example of doing good work for the cause of others, providing education to the deprived section of society. Faculty of Arabic and Islamic Studies Dean Prof Dr Ali Asgher Cheshti also praised his educational work especially for establishing a unique institution like AIOU. He prayed that Allah Almighty may rest his noble soul in eternal peace and grant fortitude to the bereaved family to bear this great loss. The participants offered “Fateha” for the departed soul on the occasion and a condolence resolution was also adopted to place on record his glorious services and send the same to his family members as a mark of respect for him.
‘Vocational training vital for economic empowerment of women’ ISLAMABAD Staff report
Women, who constitute almost fifty percent of the Pakistani population, need to be trained in marketable trades to facilitate their inclusion in mainstream income generation activities. It was stated on Wednesday by Capital Administration and Development Division Secretary Imtiaz Inayat Elahi while inaugurating the ‘Annual Product Exhibition’ organised by the Women Welfare and Development Centre functioning under the Directorate General of Special Education and Social Welfare. The Women Welfare and Development (WW&DC) Centre organised the ‘Annual Product Exhibition’ to celebrate the International Women Day. The activity is a regular feature of the center which provides an opportunity to the trainees to exhibit their products. The center is providing vocational training to women from the vulnerable segments of the society. Imtiaz Elahi appreciated the efforts of the centre which works to empower women by imparting vocational skills. He said he has instructed the administration to work out a proposal for the expansion of the centre to allow more women to benefit from it. He stated that better coordination was required among the organisations providing vocational trainings, such as NAVTEC and PBM. Directorate General of Special Education and Social Welfare Director General Syed Mustafain Kazmi thanked the organisers for their commitment to the event. He said the centre would be transformed into a ‘centre of excellence’ by expanding its activities to the rural areas of Islamabad. Since its inception, the WW&DC has trained more than 15000 women from low income groups and made them able to earn their livelihood. The target group for the trainings offered by the center includes orphan girls and widows, especially those from the rural areas. The courses offered range from a one-month short course, a three-month certificate course and one-year diploma courses in different trades such as sewing, cutting, stitching, dress-making, information technology and fashion designing.
PAfRoA meeting on 10th ISLAMABAD Staff report
The Pakistan Air Force Retired Officers’ Association (PAFROA), Rawalpindi/Islamabad chapter, is holding its monthly meeting on March 10. The meeting will be held at Base Officers’ Mess, PAF Base Chaklala. All the members and their families are cordially invited and are requested to intimate about their attendance to PAFROA Secretary Wing Commander (retd) Rehman A Malik on telephone No 9525811 and 9280376. PAF retired officers desirous of becoming members of the association are also cordially invited.
iSlaMabad: Women inspect stalls at annual products exhibition of Women Welfare and development Centre. STAFF PHOTO
FBR needs autonomy, experts: speakers ISLAMABAD Staff report
Participants of a roundtable discussion organised by the Institute of Regional Studies (IRS) here on Wednesday agreed that the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) will have to be made operationally autonomous to improve tax collection and control corruption within the organisation. Dr Muhammad Shoaib Suddle, the Federal Tax Ombudsman (FTO), who was the main speaker of the roundtable titled “Institution of Ombudsman and the Taxpayer Grievance System: An Overview” shared that the FTO had disposed of 15,827 complaints out of the total 16,000 cases filed with it since its establishment in 2000, adding that it had decided 85 percent of the cases in favour of the taxpayers. Dr Suddle shared that FBR was required to implement FTO’s decision within 30 days or refer the case to representation before the president, because there was no appeal against FTO decisions in any other court. He said since his assumption of the office of FTO, the average time for resolution of a complaint had been reduced from
117 days in 2009 to 60 days in 2011, and that out of the total 7.89 billion refunded by the FTO to the taxpayers since its inception, 5.98 billion were refunded during his term. Similarly, he said implementation of FTO decisions had improved from 170 cases in 2009 to 760 cases in 2011. Dr Suddle believed that option of representation to the president by the aggrieved party was a costly delaying process. He added with the appeal to the president, the implementation of FTO decision was stayed automatically pending presidential response, which usually takes at least two years. Dr Tariq Hassan, Attorney and Advocate, said that according to Article 199, it was unconstitutional to stay a financial matter beyond six months. Dr Suddle termed FBR’s lack of required will and capacity to reform as another major challenge to the work of FTO. He suggested a fixed term of service for the chairman of FBR to save him from political influences. He was of the view that ideally the FBR should have been able to take care of most of the individual complaints coming to the FTO so that the FTO could concentrate on systemic problems
in the grievance redress mechanisms of the FBR. He also called form improved investigative capacity of FTO and greater public awareness about the institution and its work. Dr Abdullah Yousaf, former chairman of FBR, called for a systemic reform within the FBR, which he believed was hampered by frequent policy changes with changes in the government. Dr Gulfaraz Ahmed, former federal secretary, called for documentation of the economy for improving the tax-to-GDP ratio and to tap on the actual revenue potential of the country. Dr Tariq Hassan argued that an emphasis on rectifying how the taxpayer money is spent would also be instrumental in improving the tax-to-GDP ratio. Other participants of the roundtable were Mr Ashraf Azim, President of IRS, Brig (r) Bashir Ahmed, Senior Fellow at IRS, Dr Pierre Mayaudon, Deputy head of the EU Delegation, Farhan Bokhari, senior journalist. Tahir Dhindsa, Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), and Nouman Khan, Executive Committee Member, Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
merlins wood signed moU in may 2011 ISLAMABAD Staff report
In order to implement the United Nations’ initiative on reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, known as UN-REDD with the goal of helping countries implement REDD+ strategies, Merlins Wood signed an MoU in May 2011 with the government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to develop a REDD+ project in the province. The company has also a similar MoU in place with the government of Azad State of Jammu and Kashmir. Terra Global Capital has partnered with Merlins Wood to carry out the carbon development work and market the pioneering projects. Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD) is an effort to create a financial value for the carbon stored in forests, offering incentives for developing countries to reduce emissions from forested lands and invest in low-carbon paths to sustainable development. “REDD+” goes beyond deforestation and forest degradation, and includes the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks.
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Editor’s mail 11
Negligence at its best The issue of ‘missing people’ has been somewhere in the air for quite sometime now, however it was sometimes chosen to be talked about by the media and sometimes not. Sometimes brought up by the Chief Justice, sometimes not. Few days back the Chief Justice ordered the show up of the missing people like never before. Seven out of many were brought to the front. Two of which were sons of a woman whose eldest son had already died at the hands of
horse trading the ISI. When these two were brought to the court, their condition was such that they couldn’t walk themselves and the mother couldn’t bear it, weak enough to die later of a cardiac arrest. We have become immune to listening or reading news regarding casualties everyday, however news like this where our army, supposedly the only ‘alive and kicking’ institution that we have, is involved in inhumane incidences like this is a moment of immense worry for the na-
tion. Who is responsible for the disaster that those numerous people’s lives have become? Who is responsible for those countless grieved families who have nowhere to go to? If our system of justice gets this late every time, who are we to seek justice from? Who is responsible for the years of tears that mothers have shed and then see their children one last time in a condition unbearable? Meanwhile, our political parties
found a point to raise finger on the government and the ‘uncontrolled’ army. PML(N), constantly in search of a flaw, has finally tried to reach out to people through case of these missing persons. What good was ever achieved by playing blame games, when they themselves have not been able to control a petty disease, how were they going to control an army this powerful? ZARA HUMAYUN LUMS, Lahore
Realism in expectations Highhanded claims and promises to stir up emotions to take the people to a point where the only way forward is backwards. This has been exercised by the political and military rulers alike in order to retain office without considering how their inability to deliver leads to heightened sense of frustration, paranoia and angst that interferes with the individuals competency and attitudinal aspects, thus injuring the societal fabric altogether. A dangerously similar trend has been seen in our electronic media where pseudo-analysts and experts are found arguing, in most cases, with a loud voiced anchor acting as a catalyst in the process to speed up and spice up the show. Take the case of the past few months where expectations in the ‘memogate’ scandal had soared to a point where a collapse in the current political setup was the least that was being predicted. The clash between the state institutions, the judiciary and the armed forces was to result into a drastically chaotic end where the army chief and ISI chief would certainly be shown the way home. The relative calm that has descended upon the political horizon, however, instead of being accepted with a sigh of relief, is again being interpreted as a superior move made by Zardari who is believed to be “more adept than any of his peers at the political compromise”, thus giving rise to yet another romantic debate. What we require is not romanticism but some element of realism through which we analyse our own situation. To believe that petty firecrackers do not possess the ability to set ablaze our precious sovereignty, that differences between institutions do not always mean the initiation of a civil war. We need to stop this emotional melodrama and embrace a more realistic stance for our own collective betterment. LUBNA UMAR Islamabad
Red-carpets rest After special US envoy Grossman, US General James N Mattis has been advised by Pakistan to put off his trip. Z A KAZMI Karachi
The existing government, being very notorious in the masses for its fowl playing, once again reasserts its scandalous nature in these Senate elections. The government has issued bribery in the name of development funds to parliamentarians to buy votes for the desired candidates. In one of the local newspapers it has been said that the PPP government has given 65 corers to an MPA in Balochistan, under the title of development funds, to influence him to vote for the PPP’s candidate. Another evidence for the horse trading is that the media groups were not granted passes to give coverage to the elections. Is this democracy? Is this the transparency which is acclaimed by the authorities every now and then? The seeds of corruption sown today in elections will keep hampering democracy for the next six years .Who will be responsible for these acts? We need to be on our toes from now onwards to elect those people for the provincial and federal assemblies who instead of channelling with their personal alliances and gains should go for the real. This is the way in which the democratic process can be made transparent, fair and worth having. AYMEN MUKHTAR LUMS, Lahore
Award for Chinoy
pakistan’s problems Pakistan is facing problems from the day one. The revival of economy and law and order situation is the main ones that have not yet improved. Unfortunately, no serious efforts were made to resolve these issues. We stand where we were in 1947. Lawlessness is on the rise and Balochistan situation is worsening. Handling of missing persons matter is the worst example of lawlessness in the country. No one knows where we are going. No legislation is being
made to resolve these outstanding issues. We are failing. Everyday comes with a new demand to do more in supplies to Nato, Afghan peace dialogue and others. As time passes, it is adding to the miseries of people. It is a matter of great concern as to how many suo motus will it take the judiciary to get the government running properly? TARIQ HUSAIN KHAN Karachi
mian Nawaz Sharif’s demand Apropos to news on 5 March of the PML(N) president Mian Nawaz Sharif terming PML(Q)’s politics as hypocritical. Mr Sharif criticised them as they were ready to elect dictator Gen (Retd) Pervez Musharraf in uniform 20 times but now that his arrest warrants have been issued while they are sitting in the ruling coalition. Earlier on Sunday, he said that he was ready to join hands with PML(Q) if they tendered apologies to the nation supporting a dictator and further ensuring that in future it would not be repeated. This announcement came at the time of welcoming of a turncoat of
PML(Q) into his party. Supporting a dictator or opening doors for turncoats fall in the same category. President PML(N)’s demand is very unfair as he himself was groomed by a dictator whom he still owns. PML(Q) joined hands with a dictator to bring back democracy where as PML(N)’s president preferred to strike a deal with the dictator to have a peaceful exit from the country. If you compare the two dictators, late General Ziaul Haq with Gen Msharraf, the former under the garb of Islamisation has shaken the foundation of the country beyond repair and the latter's rule has comparatively been
better in all respects except carrying stigma of uniform. The PML(N) should wake up to the ground realities and avoid accusing Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) being part of establishment instead should prepare to meet the challenge of PTI. It is true that law and order situation in 1999 was very much in control but there was no war on terror at that time. Time is running short for all the factions of PML, if they fail to unite they stand no place in country's politics except to sit in opposition. MUKHTAR AHMED Bradford, UK
This is to congratulate Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy for winning an Oscar for her documentary ‘Saving Face’. This is the first Oscar Award for Pakistan. The subject of the film was based on criminal acts of throwing acid on women. She has highlighted an ugly reality of our society. People (women) like her make us all proud Pakistanis. She has put film industry of Pakistan on the world map. Her acceptance speech was brilliant. She dedicated her award to the women working on female issue. Marvi Memon has the credit of introducing the bill in the House regarding these atrocities. The legislation has been passed by the House and Senate. The credit goes to these brave and bold women for their struggle to help the victims of acid assaults. This Oscar will help in promoting the women’s cause against such crimes and criminals. Sharmeen deserves all the glory. JAVAID BASHIR Lahore Send your letters to: Letters to Editor, Pakistan Today, 4-Shaarey Fatima Jinnah, Lahore, Pakistan Fax: +92-42-36298302 E-mail: email@example.com Letters may be edited for length and clarity. It would be appreciated if letters were addressed to Pakistan Today exclusively.
Women empowerment By Sobia Nasir “No nation can rise to the height of glory unless your women are side by side with you; we are victims of evil customs. It is a crime against humanity that our women are shut up within the four walls of the houses as prisoners. There is no sanction anywhere for the deplorable condition in which our women have to live.” – Muhammad Ali Jinnah, 1944 omen empowerment refers broadly to the expansion of freedom of choice and action to shape one’s life. It implies control over resources and decisions. An empowered woman will be one who is self confident, who critically analyses her environment and who exercises control over decisions that affect her life. The idea of empowerment manifests itself at all levels of societal interaction. It is found in giving a voice to the weak and marginalized. It requires having an access to the needed tools and materials for the expansion of capacities. Women empowerment has five components:
women sense of self worth; their right to have and determine choices; their right to have access to opportunities and resources; their right to have the power to control their own lives, both within and outside the home; and their ability to influence the direction of social change to create a more just social and economic order nationally and internationally. In general, few people have misconception that women empowerment and gender is a foreign agenda but its only misconception women all over the world have been facing challenges and gender inequalities since the beginnings of history. If we seek help from our Glorious Quran and the Hadith then it would be clear they both also emphasise on the protection of the rights of women, including the rights of education, worship, freedom of opinion, choice of spouse, economic freedom and social role. National development must be balanced with the equal distribution of resources to both males and females as in Pakistan females are approximately 51 percent of the total population and without the active participation of females
Pakistan cannot achieve the required level of growth rate. Since the creation of Pakistan in 1947 it inherited the menace of poverty and the burden of this poverty was put heavily on female population because of the reason that the majority of females are involved in agriculture work, performing tasks to maintain household , carrying water and collecting fuel wood but their work in productive activities is unrecognised and, therefore, the female participation represented in economic activities seems to be low. In a globalising world gender equality and empowerment of women are vital tools to achieve the sustainable development therefore It’s very important to bring women into mainstream so that they can play its due role in the development of country. For promoting gender equality and women empowerment, the government of Pakistan has signed many international and national commitments like Convention On Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), National Plan Of Action (NPA) and Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) despite all
these international and national commitments, women are still much more than man to be poor, malnourished, illiterate and have less access to decision making, property ownership, credit, training and employment. It is worth recalling that enhancing the participation of women in mainstream development would mean providing greater opportunities and accessibility for them to make decisions, to mange their own resources and to be self reliant. Therefore, considering the plight of women and to uplift the status of women in society, the government of Punjab has started many initiatives. One of them is the implementation of Gender Reform Action Plan (GRAP), Punjab. The main goal of the GRAP is to bring about such changes in the structures and process of the government that it brings equity among men and women. GRAP is implementing its agenda of gender mainstreaming and women empowerment through its four key reforms ie, women employment in public sector, political participation, policy and fiscal reform and institutional restructuring. Main purpose of the
GRAP is to initiate proposals for bringing about institutional reforms to include gender perspective at provincial and at district level. To promote the gender equality and women empowerment; to highlight the importance of women representation and participation in decision making; and to motivate the women towards public and private sector employment, GRAP is organising awareness raising programmes like celebration of events, seminars, workshops and trainings at district and at provincial level that are being organised on regular basis through its three main units ie, Gender Mainstreaming Units(GMUs) at provincial level, Career Development Centers at University level and Gender Support Units(GSUs) at district level. Moreover, for the promotion and protection of women rights, to restore the personal security and dignity of women and to give them protection at workplace, the Pakistan government has taken deliberate and conscious steps like reservation of 10 percent quota for females, on the political side, reservation of thirty three percent
seats for women in all local bodies (more than 36000 women councilors), seventeen percent seats have been reserved for women in the constituent assembly, senate, provincial assembly and in national assembly, to tackle the issues of harassment and to eliminate the gender based violence. No doubt Pakistan government has taken many measures to enhance the participation of women in economic sphere but instead of all this, there is dire need to upgrade the status of women in society and it is only possible through giving them protection legally and mentally. She should be given access and control over resources. An effective mechanism should be institutionalised to enable the women in decision making at all levels. Subject of gender studies should be introduced from secondary level in the course curriculum, provision of women friendly infrastructure and environment at workplace, research and documentation on the achievements of women and launching of awareness raising campaigns among citizens on gender and development.
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12 Comment Elections on time? Not a bad idea
hile political parties argue about the timing of the elections some of the most basic measures needed for holding fair and transparent polls are yet to be put in place. Topmost among these is the preparation of error-free electoral rolls. On PTI chief Imran Khan’s petition against 27 million fake voters, the Supreme Court had ordered an urgent revision of the electoral lists. Despite constant goading by the CJ, the task was not finished by February 23 as promised by the ECP. The issue has been complicated by the decision to give the right of vote to about 8 million expatriates Pakistanis. The opposition’s demand regarding an independent commission has been accepted by the government but an agreement has yet to be reached on a new CEC as the incumbent’s nonextendable three year tenure ends on March 16. There is still no consensus on an independent interim setup which is equally important as it is to oversee the polls. Under the circumstances, it might not be a bad idea to hold the elections early next year when the present government has completed its full tenure. This would allow the contesting parties to complete their much needed homework. The parties have yet to gear up their electoral machinery at the federal, provincial and constituency levels. The parties also need to prepare well thought out and realistic election manifestos outlining their policies to enable the voters make a choice. They have to interview hundreds of aspirants for party tickets before the can finalise the teams that they intend to field in the elections. The opposition parties which were agitating for early elections at the end of the last year and had threatened to issue calls for strikes and long marches finally realised that the agitation would harm the system. This brought an end to soapbox oratory, restored normalcy and allowed mutual consultation that made the timely holding of the Senate elections possible. This was indicative of a modicum of maturity in the political leadership. One hopes the government would accommodate the opposition’s viewpoint while finalising with it the interim setup and the opposition would drop its unrealistic refrain of early elections.
Four years it wasn’t easy. it wasn’t easy at all.
By Nazir Naji
think I should say this merely to remind people that Bhutto sb’s constitutional government lasted for a total of less than 4 years. After that in the 90s when democracy was ostensibly restored, both the prime ministers viz Nawaz Sharif and Benazir Shaheed couldn’t last three years. The incumbents will complete four years in the upcoming days. I know that a country where the constitution was broken with unparalleled consistency, nothing can be said with certainty. But still, the times they are a changing and it seems the conditions are not that unfavourably disposed to democracy anymore. However fast and furiously the SC decisions come, they can’t and won’t wrap up democracy; and there are no apparent reasons for the military to take over. No military dictator moves in without the American go-ahead as they need American patronage not only to take over government but to run its affairs as well. All the dictators that Pakistan was subjected to were promoting American interests. These stooges bartered off Pakistan’s interests to serve the US to cement their seat of power. It is a separate issue that they were discarded disgracefully when the US no longer needed their services. No military dictator exit with their dignity intact. The last one is living exultant in a state of helplessness. There is a court notice now tacked to his house’s door and Interpol has issues red warrants against him. If he comes back to Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif is waiting for him here. Obviously, there are still forces and vested interests out and about to take down democracy. They have been at it four years. What these fools don’t understand is that their requests, entreaties and appellations are not enough to incite a coup. What is needed first and foremost is American approval. Once that has been obtained, then these people are
A downgrade the B’s and C’s of our financial standing
very little penny counts when it comes to the financials of a household. And everything, howsoever small, counts when it comes to a country’s financials. One such thing is the reputation or standing of a country, financially, before the world. And who decides this standing is the job of a few ratings companies. If they say you have got something, you’ve got money rolling in, but if they say you are not doing well, the money stream starts running dry pretty soon. The Standards and Poor’s ratings agency has lowered Pakistan’s credit ratings to a B- for long term and a C for short term credit ratings. This in no way bodes well for Pakistan. The agency did not go easy in laying out the reasons as to why it has done so. The country’s poor governance and a tripartite tussle between the executive, the judiciary and the army are the culprit here, the S&P says. What it will translate into is alarming: even lower foreign investment, higher interest rate on government bonds in the international market and weakening trust of investors. There is then this added baggage of a constant fear that the market may come crumbling down on its feet if anything untoward happens on the political horizon – say PM Gilani has to resign over the contempt case he is facing currently. A bludgeoning current fiscal deficit and dying out foreign direct investment form a perfect formula to undo even the semblance of a stable economy with foreign reserves of over $17 billion and an increase in foreign remittances. Without an environment that is market friendly, political stability, and simplified investment procedures, the current downward spiral will be hard to arrest. Memogate, the non-writing of the letter to the Swiss authorities and various other corruption scandals get a new meaning in this backdrop. Each one of them has the potential to push away investors, and with our foreign aid already dwindling, we do not have many options. The only way this can be changed is by improving the current security situation and by offering a more stable and riskfree investment environment.
Dedicated to the legacy of the late Hameed Nizami
Arif Nizami Editor
Lahore – Ph: 042-36298305-10 Fax: 042-36298302 Karachi – Ph: 021-34330811-3 Fax: 021-34330900 Islamabad – Ph: 051-2287414-6 Fax: 051-2287417 Web: www.pakistantoday.com.pk Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
thursday, 8 march, 2012
needed to write their laudatory write-ups, to cook up and distribute sweet-treats at the end of democracy and to issue appreciative statements to manufacture the impression that it was democracy that was flawed and the albatross around our neck and it is the men in uniform who are the saviours. But these people adjuring the military for four years have not succeeded because Amreeka bahadur has not given the green signal. Everyone knows that there is neither any principle nor any rationale behind taking over government rule undemocratically. There is merely an opportunity. As soon as a general sees that the iron is hot, they strike. They neither look left nor right and pounce. And then out come the worst of the social riff-raff from the woodworks to sing in sycophancy. Those mounds of riff-raff still exist and we can still hear the murmurings of these vested interests from deep within their bowels. But what is to be done? The US is not giving any encouragement. But on the contrary, there are many loud and persistent discouraging voices. Thus an environment has been created that even if a dictator does take over, he will find it nigh impossible to run government. It’s pretty easy to shout slogans about American defeat and weakness here at home but it is still mighty difficult to prop and run a dictatorship without American support practically speaking. It may be possible in a country like Burma where generals can suffice with two pairs of uniforms and a worn and mended pair of boots and can keep their impoverished public in line. But in our country, the tribe of influentials, be they in uniform or not in uniform, are not used to adversity. The people who are fond of bringing dictatorships back should understand that even their families will grow weary of the difficult lifestyle they will have to suffer through if they swoop upon government without American backing. I say this because every dictatorship in Pakistan has been formed due to American wishes and efforts and has also been ousted with it. There are other countries in the world which could support our dictators but they won’t be able to sponsor the lavish lifestyles of our ruling elites. Otherwise, China could be looked to as a dependable friend in this regard. There friendship is with the Pakistani public. They have scarce concern for governments. With respect to their habits and manners, no government of ours would want to be under Chinese influence. It is the public pressure that compels our governments to pursue good relations with China. Our rulers especially try to use
the ‘China card’ when they are getting no love from the US. But the US is well aware of this clichéd ploy as is China which is why the ‘China card’ has not been played successfully by any khaki or civilian ruler. The incumbent democratic dispensation is the weakest one in the history of Pakistan. It is the only government that has constantly played on the backfoot against the military government. It is the government which has had to take back many decisions. It is the government that made announcements and found that it couldn’t go through with them. The world witnessed that when a delegation of Pakistan’s highest leadership, both civilian and military, visited the US, the most importance was given to one COAS. The rest of the delegation appeared like mere tacked-on adornments and the real negotiations were carried out with the one who was considered to have the real power. Internally speaking, the elected government has had to face a constant battle for survival. No previous government has had to face the SC that the present day government has had to. No day has passed in the previous three years when some person or some group has not looked expectantly at the SC to give a decision that would tip the scales (pun not intended). All kudos to the government that it has survived while an independent and active Supreme Court in place. The ruling classes of Pakistan do not have this temperament of taking this kind of treatment lying down. But it is the force of circumstances that they had to bear it. Now the situation is such that every subsequent government will have to live with the reality that an active and independent apex court is in place. Despite all of democracy’s flaws, this attribute alone is enough to support the incumbents that the judiciary is taking historic and unprecedented decisions on its watch and also has the ability to get them implemented. If I start to count, there are many arguments in favour of this embattled and vulnerable government but that it has let the judiciary function and has functioned itself in the face of a functioning judiciary is enough for now. By doing so, it has strengthened the federation like never before under any dictator. If the problem of Balochistan came under the purview of parliament, it would have been solved long ago too. Now the situation is such that the government is thinking of holding elections on the designated time but the possibility of elections in October can also not be discounted. Let’s see what happens. The writer is one of Pakistan’s most widely read columnists.
Netanyahu comes bearing a matchstick
Washington Watch By Dr James J Zogby
sraeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu hopes he is coming to a very different Washington this week. From his perspective, past visits have all been marred by that "pesky" Palestinian issue. On one occasion, he was pressed to recognise the need for a "two-state” solution. Then he was chided about his settlement expansion program. And just one year ago, he was reminded that the 1967 borders were the basis for a peace agreement with the Palestinians. As is his style, the PM dealt with each of these "annoyances.” He manoeuvred, he dissembled, he harangued, and, when all else failed, the Israeli leader turned to his allies in the US Congress who rather forcefully defended his stand against their own president. But Netanyahu now hopes that all of this unpleasantness is a thing of the past. With fires raging in Syria and
with the drums of war beating incessantly over Iran, the PM comes to town believing that the Palestinian question has been all but forgotten. He comes bearing not an olive branch, but a match with which he hopes to ignite a firestorm. With Palestine and peace off the table, it is Iran that will be the focus of this visit. Netanyahu's host, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), is supporting legislation that paves the way for a US confrontation with Iran. Sponsored by a bi-partisan group of Senators, led by Joseph Lieberman, Lindsay Graham, and Robert Casey, the bill would push the Administration to reject any Iranian nuclear enrichment program, while eliminating as an option, mere "containment" of Iran's program. Says Graham of his resolution, "All options must be on the table when it comes to Iran – except for one, and that is containment.” The logic involved behind this bill is as remarkable as the precedent it creates. I cannot recall an instance where the Congress authorised or came as close as this to limiting the options of the Administration to pursue any option other than war, without the president asking for it or, as is most often the case, pushing for it. AIPAC, and the LIKUD, which have wanted this confrontation for more than a decade, are closer than ever to realising their ambition. This, Netanyahu must be thinking,
is what friends are for. And so it is that the tables appear to have been turned in the Washington that will greet the Israeli leader. He will not be pressured to do what he has long been loath to do: address Palestinian rights. Now he will be in the driver's seat, pressuring President Obama to once and for all forsake diplomacy as a tactic or containment as a strategic option, and join Israel in the march to war with Iran. Expect an outbreak of war fever at AIPAC's annual policy conference that begins on Sunday. It will be “all Iran, all the time.” They will make the case, push the case, and then dispatch their lobbyists to the Hill to broaden the already substantial sponsorship enjoyed for their supported bill. Attention now turns to President Obama who will speak at the beginning of the policy conference. With the Republican presidential aspirants (with the exception of Ron Paul) leading the war chorus and criticising Obama's “softness,” and with even many of his Democratic allies in the Congress joining in, the president is feeling the heat. Arab critics already feel that Obama "gave away the store" last September at the United Nations. But the Israelis are continuing to press the president for more, not less. Israel's supporters have been
fuming over the White House's recent efforts to pour cold water on their threats of war. Netanyahu is particularly upset with warnings by senior administration officials regarding the potentially devastating consequences of a military strike against Iran or concerns raised by US military officials about the effectiveness of an Israeli attack. They want a clear message of support from the president for their push to end diplomacy, isolate, and then punish Iran. They want Obama to embrace the "red lines" they have drawn up regarding Iran's nuclear programme and to join them in ratcheting up the rhetoric against Iran. And they do not want any reminders from Obama of the matter they are working hard to forget. They do not want criticism of Israel's ever expanding settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, or of demolitions of Palestinian homes and new repression in the occupied lands all of which have intensified in recent weeks. Israel's American supporters, and the PM they have embraced, want the smokescreen of Iran and election year politicking to block out any mention of the issue they want to just go away. They are hoping that this visit will be unlike any of the others that have come before. The writer is President of the Arab-American Institute.
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India at the hustings
Not a carnival but a circus
border Crossings By kuldip Nayar
lections in India have lost the carnival spirit because no processions, no buntings, no bands and no posters are allowed by the Election Commission. But this has not decreased the expenses. UP, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Manipur and Goa after going to polls have ratcheted some of the highest amounts ever spent in state elections. The rough guess is around Rs 2,000 crore. Proportionately, Punjab was at the top of the pack. The Election Commission can do little because the money is distributed at unknown places, generally in the hush of night. No Lokpal can detect this because the purchase of vote is at the individual level. And each constituency has hundreds of hands employed by political parties in the name of bandobast. They have to search their heart if the illegal money which they spend bothers them in any way. But then they are driven by the mania of power. In our times, a volunteer would sling a thaila (bag), carry grams for sustenance and go on foot. This was canvassing at the grassroots. Today even a party worker would ask for a jeep for travel and expect four meals, starting from breakfast. The communists and the RSS pracharaks are the only ones who remain motivated. But even among them, that type of dedication is lessening. The Election Commission has confiscated nearly Rs 50 crore and some trucks carrying liquor. Instances of “paid news” have also been spotted for action. But all this does not amount to even one per cent of money the candidates and political parties have spent. Yet the credit of making the polling
without violence goes to the Election Commission. The commissioner stretched the polling over six weeks so that the central security forces were available in all the five states. It is a sad reflection on the state police but the force is so much at the beck and call of chief minister that no fair election is possible if it is left to the state. Even local police used to help and acted independently till the mid-seventies when morality was ousted from politics. One thing which stands out in elections is the enforcement of model conduct code, agreed upon by all political parties some 20 years ago. The ruling Congress is the only party to join issue with the Commission on this point and has threatened to make the code statutory so that the violation is dragged to law courts instead of the Election Commission where the action is immediate and the complaint is attended to forthwith. The government’s thinking is understandable because the Congress has been the biggest sinner. Starting from Law Minister Salman Khurshid to the crown prince, Rahul Gandhi, the party has paid scant attention to model conduct code. It has even played the religious card by announcing that the party, if returned to power, would allocate 9 percent of reservation to Muslims in education and employment from the overall 27 per cent reservation for the backward classes. (According to the Sachar Committee report the plight of Muslims in India is worse than that of Dalits and that the 80 per cent Muslims are backward). Rahul Gandhi has been batting on a different pitch. He has been indulging in such antics which do not befit a person who may be India’s prime minister. He tears the manifesto of an opposition party and makes remarks which even street urchins would hesitate to do. A case has been registered against him at Kanpur where he had a road show violating the understanding on the timing and the route he gave. Had he apologised, the issue would have been sorted out. But he has persisted with it. In fact, UP saw the entire
Gandhi family, including the husband of Priyanka, Sonia Gandhi’s daughter. The dynasty somehow has come to believe that it alone strings India together and all political parties are petty and parochial except the Congress. Therefore, the dynasty gathered in UP to pull out the party from a quagmire of non-existence it had been stuck for years. It is regrettable that the party should introduce religion as an appeal which the dynasty’s head, Jawaharlal Nehru, denounced throughout his life. Muslims constitute about 19 per cent of the electorate and the Congress has jettisoned its secular credentials to placate them. The BJP is expected to communalise the atmosphere but it is no use blaming the BJP when the Congress throws the first stone. The BJP did not have to get CM Narendra Modi of Gujarat pogrom to UP because Uma Bharti had poured enough venom against Muslims. That a party which considers itself an alternative at the centre should have the building of temple at the site where the Babri masjid stood once indicates the policies the BJP would follow if it is ever returned to power. Unfortunately, the use of caste or, more so, the sub-caste has increased in every segment of activity even in urban areas. This malady has spread even among Muslims who are prohibited from putting their faith in the caste system. In fact, many Hindus have embraced Islam to escape the tyranny of discrimination. But they find the Muslim society as hierarchal as the Hindus’. Elections have been free and fair and the Election Commission deserves all the kudos. But when money, caste and religion come into play and make a mockery of polls, can they be called free and fair? This is one question which all political parties have to answer, not the Election Commission which has been awaiting for months the government’s permission not to allow such candidates who have been charged with big crime like murders, rapes or dacoities. The writer is a senior Indian journalist.
ur press tells us Pakistan is a dangerous place. I feel safe here in Pakistan, that’s why I’m here. Let me say on behalf of my colleagues Luciano Musolino from Italy and Yap Seng Teck from Singapore that we have thoroughly enjoyed the hospitality, have felt totally safe over three days here. I’ve been before with my wife, often over 25 years and I am looking forward to the next time”, said Hans-Peter Rieker from Aichelberg, Germany. The three presided over the German Shepherd Dog Club of Pakistan’s annual National Championship dog show at Islamabad. Mr. Rieker is among the senior, revered authorities on the breed. Mr Musolino is President of the Italian Club and Mr Yap represents Chinese interests in pet food manufacturing and distribution. Mr Rieker’s remarks were met with loud applause by five hundred odd persons at the F9 park. The coverage provided to the event in the press and on PTV on both days of the show was impressive. Full marks to the event managers and organisers. This is indicative of Pakistan’s versatility and its ability to think beyond the extremist capsule the world encloses us within. In 2008, purely by chance, a German reporter visiting Lahore happened to come across a banner advertising the same event, coincidentally judged by Mr Rieker, and came to see for himself. He told me he could not believe such an event was random thoughts happening in Pakistan and came to see if it were true. He was so imBy Imran Husain pressed he ended up filming the event. It was broadcast nationally by ARD television in Germany in a 45minute documentary and was hugely appreciated. German friends and acquaintances wanting to come to Pakistan overwhelmed me. Okay, security measures in Islamabad, especially the “extra” care that is taken at the five star hotels, do overwhelm visitors. But at the park, there were no such measures. It is a free, open space and, believe me, nobody looked over their shoulders even for a minute. The crowd represented all echelons of society, entry was free, and the appreciation and applause was par excellence. As was the sportsmanship. Pakistan has so much to offer, I don’t know why we sit and complain all the time. What seriously needs to be done is to promote the huge liberal energy prevalent in the country. This energy needs to propel the country forward. It needs to compel the judiciary to take action against extremist elements operating. Why, for instance, has suo-moto action not been initiated against the presence of a famed terrorist at a public gathering of the infamous DPC? If you can’t find the
terrorist, haul up the organisers and lock them up until they produce him. Why is judicial action not ordered against the merciless and ruthless targeted killing of Shias in Gilgit? Look jumping down the administration’s throat for producing persons taken into custody for alleged connections to extremist elements is perhaps justice but then so is stopping extremism from gaining ground in the country. The prime minister has been hauled up before the bench. It’s high time the extremists are too. We need to garner writers to push the liberal button and to take to task all those organisations and even the administration for not promoting freedom of thought and action. We are being blackmailed into submission by a vicious minority due to insufficient enforcement of writ. Enough is not being said; the issue is being skirted. Editors of newspapers need to be convinced that Pakistan comes first. Sensationalism is not necessarily the only way to commercially market newspapers. Quality intellectual content will eventually find its way into the minds of all levels, not only the elite. Today we are confronted by this chronic ailment without realising that contorted translations of the vernacular are provided to foreign embassies by over-zealous local employees. Reporters must be edited carefully and trained to be rational. Prioritisation of news items and coverage must be given serious attention in accordance with their relevance. Pakistan’s electronic media needs to project Pakistan. Not just the government owned station but all stations. After all they are Pakistani, whether they are with government or against it is unimportant. Projecting a badly managed Pakistan, deficient in every aspect, is totally contrary to reality. And if it is what they say it is then it will not go away with a change in government. Every government will have the same problem and limited success. Which means investment or FDI is something we should never expect. Our media is lost in sensationalism some may consider entertaining. Talk shows have almost zero credibility and are fanning this feeling themselves. They need to look at the abundant positives and work from thereon. We have now no English language TV channel or content. For a developing country seeking foreign investment and the need to project itself at all levels, such a platform is an absolute essential. I can understand that such a venture may not be commercially viable. Then the government has to make the investment and create a completely independent entity without governmental editorial control. It will be an investment that is Pakistan-centric. We need this and need it fast. The writer may be contacted via e-mail at email@example.com
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Sharmeen ObaidChinoy interested
in making feature film
AKISTAN’S first Oscar winner Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy recently talked about winning the Oscar, meeting Angelina Jolie at the Academy backstage and about directing a feature film: Apart from getting Pakistan its first Oscar for ‘Saving Face’, an Emmy award for ‘Taliban Generation’, Sharmeen is also the first non-American to win the prestigious Livingston Award for Young Journalists. She says it feels great to be representing Pakistan as a woman on such prestigious stages. “I am proud and grateful to be the first Pakistani woman to have achieved such accomplishments, and l look forward to watching other Pakistani women achieve bigger and brighter goals in the very near future.” When asked about choosing a subject like the work of Dr Mohammad Jawad, she said: “My co-director, Daniel Junge, conceived the idea behind ‘Saving Face’. He had heard Dr Jawad, the Pakistani British plastic surgeon featured in ‘Saving Face’, on the radio and contacted him in regards to his work in Pakistan. Daniel got in touch with me in regards to partnering with him for the film when it was in preproduction, and I was immediately attracted to the subject matter.” Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie congratulated Obaid-Chinoy and got a copy of ‘SF’ after she won the Oscar. Angelina spoke to the filmmaker about her frequent travels to Pakistan and her experiences in the country. She said that she had fond memories from her trips and was glad that Sharmeen had addressed the issue of acid violence. She says the Oscar win has reinforced her intent to present stories that highlight narratives that are not present in the mainstream media: “My content and the topics I choose will continue to centre around civil and human rights. It’s possible to present a positive image of Pakistan whilst still maintaining ones journalistic ethics, and ‘SF’ intends to do exactly that. Sharmeen says ‘Saving Face’ is an exploration of the way regular life alters when faced with irregular circumstances: “Above all, it is a celebration of acid survivors and their journeys of seeking justice. I feel that the narrative will shatter stereotypes about Pakistan, not reinforce them. I would love to take “SF” to other countries that are faced with acid violence so that we can initiate an international conversation around this issue and collaborate in our efforts.” When asked about her plans for the future she said: “I would absolutely love to direct a feature film, hopefully sometime soon.”
2 1. mUmBAi: minissha lamba attends the final day of lakme fashion week. 2. PARiS: Sean ‘P. Diddy’ Combs attends the Kanye west fall/winter 2012-2013 ready-to-wear collection show. 3. AtlANtA: the queen of Soul Aretha franklin performs at the fox theatre. 4. NEw YoRK: Director Daniel Junge and producer Sharmeen obaid-Chinoy address the audience prior to hBo’s documentary screening of the oscar winning film ‘Saving face’ at Asia Society. KARAChi: mauSummery by huma introduced ‘the Pure Print Collection’.
mauSummery by huma exhibits
‘the Pure Print Collection’ kARAcHI pr
MauSummery by Huma introduced ‘The Pure Print Collection’ which was exhibited at the Marriott Hotel in Karachi from 06 - 08 March. In keeping with the brand’s commitment to bringing high quality fabrics, versatile designs and vibrant colours, MauSummery’s Pure Print Collection is a fusion of all three while retaining their principal philosophy of bringing individuality of style to each print. The Pure Print Collection consists of 13 designs. In addition to the signature MauSummery lawn, chiffons and woven materials have also been introduced for the very first time within this collection. Further, the brand also offers wider width lawn, with detailed embroideries and intricate borders, complimented with a variety of embellishments. This summer collection is inspired by a diversity of cultures, with strong influences from vintage Victorian designs, ancient Al-Hamra architecture, Arabesque patterns and Kashmiri shawls resulting in a contemporary collection that draws from old world charm. The colours this season range from watermelon pink to aruba blues, from stark blacks to vibrant fuchsias complete with scarlet red and champagne touches. In addition to the exhibitions at the Marriott Hotel in Karachi, the MauSummery by Huma Pure Print Collection and MauSummery PURE prêt a porter collection is now available at their Flagship Store at 5 AP M.M. Alam Road, Gulberg and at Meena Baazar both in Islamabad and Karachi.
Sumeha Khalid huma ahmad, fatima and Khadija
Vidya Balan wins National Award for ‘The Dirty Picture’ NeW delhi: Actress Vidya Balan won her first national award in a rare triumph for Bollywood as regional cinema prevailed in key categories at the 59th National film Awards.the best actor honour went to Girish Kulkarni for ‘Deool’ — a marathi film that shared the top prize for best feature film with ‘Byari’, a movie in the Byari dialect spoken in parts of Karnataka. Balan’s win for ‘the Dirty Picture’, based on the life of actress Silk Smitha, didn’t come as a surprise as she had won several Bollywood ‘best actress’ awards for her role in the 2011 film. ‘the Dirty Picture’ also shared awards for make-up and costume design. Among the honours that came Bollywood’s way, ‘Chillar Party’ walked away with three prizes: best original screenplay, best children’s film and a shared award for best child artist — with Partho Gupte also winning for ‘Stanley ka Dabba’. Shah Rukh Khan’s ‘Ra.one’ won the national award for best special effects. ‘Game’ picked up two of the three awards for audiography while’zindagi Na milegi Dobara’ won the third. Bosco and Caesar bagged the choreography award for the ‘Senorita’ song in ‘zindagi Na milegi Dobara’. reuterS
SRK’s ‘Don 2’ beaten by
‘Dabangg’ MuMbai: Everyone is known to tom-tom their achievements about town. Karan Johar was ecstatic when ‘Agneepath’s’ satellite rights were sold for a whopping Rs. 37 crores (approx.) and Shah Rukh and farhan were on top of the world when ‘Don 2’s satellite rights were sold for an impressive Rs. 32 crores. News has it that the sequel of ‘Dabangg’ has managed to beat both these movies, and that producer Arbaaz Khan is being offered about Rs. 45 crores for the satellite rights. Arbaaz, it is heard, had received some tempting offers previously as well, but the man was not ready to sell anything just yet. he preferred to hold on for some time, and the fruits seem to have paid of. Arbaaz Khan wasn’t reachable to confirm or deny the news, but sources informed that the filmmaker isn’t ready to sell yet. well, the Khans are surely making hay while the sun is shining, as Sallu prepares to don his ‘Dabangg’ garb all over again, this time with a slight difference. aGeNCieS
prays for ailing father MuMbai: She has always been her daddy’s girl. Standing by her father even when he was dogged by vicious controversy. And now, Priyanka Chopra is flying down to Ajmer Sharif to offer a special prayer for the ailing Dr Ashok Chopra. A source close to Priyanka revealed, “Dr Chopra was diagonsed with cancer in 2009. After prolonged treatment, he was quite alright. But it seems the problems have resurfaced.” A concerned Priyanka has been spending as much time with him as possible. the family has been together, with her mother Dr madhu Chopra and her younger brother, by her father’s side almost all the time. the actress has had her hands full, hopping from hyderabad, where she is shooting for Krish 3, to Darjeeling, where she is shooting for ‘Barfee’. “Dr Chopra had flown down to Darjeeling to spend time with Priyanka. father and daughter are very close to each other,” said the source. it was in 2009, that Dr Chopra was diagnosed with the dreaded disease and was hospitalised for a while to undergo a major surgery. At that time he had fondly and proudly said of his daughter, “Priyanka looks after me very well. She was with me in the hospital throughout. there was brief spell of well-being. But in 2011 afgain, Dr Chopra complained
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Creed to return ‘Harry Potter’ and with new album ‘Drive’ lead Empire Awards nominations and tour
15 Demi lovato retraces life from demise to recovery
LOS ANGELES CbS
Fifteen years ago, Creed stormed on to the charts with the release of its debut album, ‘My Own Prison.’ Several hits and a Grammy award later, some may be wondering: Where is the rock band now? It turns out, right where it wants to be: In the studio working on new material and preparing for a US tour. Creed frontman Scott Stapp is ready to tell his story in more ways than one. Five songs are already written for the next Creed effort, the follow-up to 2009’s ‘Full Circle.’ And this time, Creed is looking to its fans for guidance. “They’ve (fans) really pushed us lovingly in a direction to reconnect with our first two records and do it with them,” Stapp said. The 38-year-old rocker hopes to release the new Creed album by the end of 2012. Fans will likely get to hear some of the new material once Stapp, guitarist Mark Tremonti, bassist Brian Marshall and drummer Scott Phillips hit the road on April 13 in Chicago. A new album and tour aren’t the only projects Stapp is focused on these days. Also in the works is a memoir, which Stapp describes as a “first-hand narrative of the journey from my rootsfrom the day I was born to the present.” Due in October 2012, the book will chronicle everything from Stapp’s childhood and the formation of Creed, to song-writing, and even Internet bullying. For a time, you couldn’t escape Creed’s Grammy-winning song, 2000’s ‘With Arms Wide Open.’ It ruled the radio waves. Later, the band’s third studio album, 2001’s ‘Weathered,’ tied ‘The Beatles Anthology,’ for the most consecutive weeks at Number One on Billboard’s Top 200 chart. In all, Creed has sold an estimated 35 million albums worldwide.
Adele’s ‘Rolling in the Deep’ breaks digital sales record LOS ANGELES CbS
Adele has broken yet another record. The Grammy-winning artist’s hit song ‘Rolling in the Deep’ has become the biggest-selling digital song of all time by a woman in the United States, reports Billboard. The song’s cumulative sales rose to 6.68 million, surpassing Lady Gaga’s ‘Poker Face’ (6.62 million) to hold the top selling women’s song in the U.S. The 99,000 download bump at the end of the week of Feburary 26 caused ‘Rolling in the Deep’ to become the second biggest-selling song among all digital songs, behind the Black Eyed Peas’ ‘I Gotta Feeling’ (7.82 million). Last month, the British songstress’ album ‘21’ surpassed the Whitney Houstonled soundtrack to ‘The Bodyguard’ as the longest running No. 1 album by a woman in history. Adele’s ‘21’ nabbed the Album of the Year title at this year’s Grammys.
‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part Two’ and ‘Drive’ have received five nominations each for this year’s Empire Awards. The movies would be competing against each other for best film, best director and best actor categories, the BBC reported. ‘The Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes’, ‘Attack the Block’, ‘Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy’ and’ The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo’ have been short listed in four categories. The awards are given on the basis of votes received from the British public via the film magazine’s website. However, Oscar-winning releases ‘The Artist’ and ‘The Help’ failed to make the list of nominations. Daniel Radcliffe, Daniel Craig, Gary Oldman and Andy Serkis will fight it out against each other for the best actor trophy. In the best actress category, Drive Star Carey Mulligan will do battle with Meryl Streep for her performance in ‘The Iron Lady’. Michelle Williams for her performance in ‘My Week With Marilyn’, Rooney Mara for ‘The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo’ and ‘Tyrannosaur’s’ Olivia Colman are also in the running. Daniel Radcliffe, Daniel Craig, Gary Oldman and Andy Serkis are pitched against each other for best actor. Steven Spielberg is up for a best director nod for his work on ‘War Horse’, in a shortlist that includes the director of the last Harry Potter episode. Winners will be revealed at a ceremony in London on Sunday March 25.
John Lennon was bulimic, claims new book loS aNGeleS: Beatles legend John lennon was bulimic and suffered from food fetishes and obsessions, claims a new book. ‘BackStage Pass ViP’ alleges that lennon was always hungry and loved to eat but “hated the feeling of being full” so he would often “force himself to vomit” after eating. “lennon was confused about his obsession with food. he was surrounded by talented musicians, but many had drinking and drug problems? so it was hard for them to see lennon’s purging behaviour as extraordinary,” claims author Debra Sharon Davis. “one must also realise that at that time the public and the media were unaware of bulimia as an addiction and health risk which made it all the more frightening for John lennon. he literally had no point-of-reference on what he was experiencing,” she added. Davis said that lennon, who was shot dead by a crazy fan in December 1980, “harboured food fetishes”. “for instance lennon loved eating huge bowls of Rice Krispies with large scoops of ice cream on top. he enjoyed putting ice cream on everything when he could.” A journalist and pop culture historian, Davis’ book offers never-before-heard stories of icons from mick Jagger to Janis Joplin. aGeNCieS
LOS ANGELES aGeNCieS
After her successful career began to head into the wrong direction with personal and physical struggles, Demi Lovato exposed an in-depth look at her recovery process through a special entitled ‘Stay Strong’ that aired on MTV. In the one-hour special that ventured through the various stages of Lovato’s demise and recovery, the 19-yearold singer and actress was very candid about her struggle with self-mutilation. “I was dealing with all this pain emotionally, and I felt guilt and shame,” Lovato confesses in the featured clip. “I decided to take it out on myself. I harmed myself.” As an image of her wrists then dominates the screen, Lovato elaborates, “It was my way of taking my own shame and my own guilt out on myself.” Although she admitted during the special that she can not honestly say that she hasn’t self-mutilated or struggled with her eating disorder since returning from rehab, Lovato is making strides to keep her career on track. She admitted that music itself has been what has propelled her recovery and essentially sustained her life.
Arif lohar debuts in Bollywood with ‘Jugni’
NEWS DESk With many Pakistani celebs entering the Indian cinema, Arif Lohar has also gone across the border as a playback singer. He will be singing his immensely popular single, ‘Jugni for the movie ‘Diary of a Butterfly’. The film, in which Udita Goswami is playing the lead actress, is directed by Vinod Mukhi and produced by Rakesh Sabarwal.
huma ahmad of extreme weakness and his alarmed doctors advised him to take rest, but under supervision. At that time, he had gone to the US for the much-needed recuperation. Priyanka was there again by his side, flitting between the clinic and the studios, where she was recording her album. aGeNCieS
Madhuri Dixit’s wax statue unveiled at
Madame Tussauds loNdoN: Bollywood diva madhuri Dixit Nene’s wax statue was unveiled at the madame tussauds. the 44-year-old dancing diva is the latest indian film star to join the top line up at the madame tussauds wax museum which also houses statues of Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Aishwarya Rai, hrithik Roshan and Salman Khan. the actress is famous for her performances in ‘tezaab’, ‘Ram lakhan’, ‘Sajan’, ‘Beta’, ‘hum Aapke hain Kaun’, ‘Dil toh Pagal hai’ and ‘Devdas’. After her marriage to US-based doctor Shriram madhav Nene, madhuri shifted her base to Denver and bid adieu to Bollywood in 2002. But the actress recently relocated to india with her husband and two sons. the actress was last seen in the film ‘Aaja Nachle’, which failed to create magic at box office. however, the dancing queen struck the right chord with her fans when she appeared on the small screen as the judge of dance reality show ‘Jhalak Dikkhla Jaa 5’. aGeNCieS
‘Salman-Katrina’s chemistry is magical’ MuMbai: Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif will be seen together on the screen after four years in ‘Ek tha tiger’ and director Kabir Khan is happy with their chemistry in the romantic thriller, saying the couple looks magical on screen. “Salman Khan and Katrina are wonderful together, they are magical. once you see them on screen, you will know how magical there chemistry is,” Kabir Khan said. Salman-Katrina’s last film as a couple was 2008 release ‘Yuvvraaj’. while some scenes of ‘Ek tha tiger’ were shot in istanbul, recently the team canned some major portion in Cuba. however, the last schedule of the film has been kept under wraps. “we have shot 90 percent of the film. Rest 10 percent will be shot soon. i can’t reveal where we will be shooting our last schedule though. the film is almost ready for the August Eid release,” Khan said. item songs being the eye candy of the films, Khan too plans to have one in his movie and said: “there might be. i can’t talk too much about it at the moment.” aGeNCieS
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16 Foreign News qaeda claims huge Yemen attack, plane blast DUBAI afp
Al Qaeda on Wednesday claimed responsibility for a string of attacks in Yemen, including an assault on soldiers that left scores dead in the southern province of Abyan and bombing of a military plane in Sanaa. On Sunday, “the mujahedeen carried out a series of operations... against government forces deployed at the entrances of Zinjibar,” capital of Abyan province, said the group’s Yemeni branch. The extremists claimed that “around 100 soldiers and officers were killed while 12 others were wounded and 73 held captive” in these attacks. Military officials and medics had told AFP that 185 people were killed on Sunday when Islamist militants attacked a Yemeni army camp in Abyan province. On the same day, “the mujahedeen blew up a Yemeni air force military plane in Dulaimi army base that was transporting weapons to Aden and Hadramawt” provinces, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), said in a statement. “The blast took place after (the militants) sneaked into the base and planted an explosive device in the plane,” it said. An airport technician had told AFP at the time that a “mysterious” blast ripped through a Yemeni military plane at Dulaimi base, near Sanaa international airport, without causing any casualties. In Wednesday’s statement, AQAP claimed responsibility for several other attacks on security forces across the lawless south and southeast of the restive country. The attacks, of which Sunday’s was the deadliest, began after President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi took office on February 25, pledging in his inaugural speech to crackdown on the militants. The violence highlights the security challenges facing Hadi as he tries to restore order and unify the country’s armed forces, as stipulated by a Gulf-brokered transition accord that ended former president Ali Abdullah Saleh’s 33-year rule. State news agency Saba quoted Hadi on Tuesday as saying: “We are determined to confront terror with all our strength whatever the price. We will track them to their last hideout.”
thursday, 8 march, 2012
UN aid chief in Syria, focus on civilians DAMAScUS
HE UN humanitarian chief started a mission to Syria on Wednesday to urge the regime to allow aid into battered protest cities, putting the focus on civilians in a conflict which has cost thousands of lives. Valerie Amos flew in for a two-day visit, after an international outcry over President Bashar al-Assad’s previous refusal to let her in, and is to followed by UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan on Saturday. Syria is ready to cooperate with the visiting UN humanitarian delegation, Foreign Minister Walid Muallem said in talks with Amos. The state SANA news agency said Muallem “underlined Syria’s commitment to cooperate with the delegation within the framework of the respect, sovereignty and independence of Syria.” The International Committee of the Red Cross has been negotiating with authorities since last week to be allowed to deliver aid and evacuate the wounded from the battered Baba Amr rebel district of Homs city in central Syria. Syrian authorities have said access
Syria vows to cooperate DAMASCUS: Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem told the visiting UN humanitarian chief on Wednesday that his government is ready to cooperate with her team which is seeking access to battered protest cities. In his meeting with Valerie Amos, Muallem “underlined Syria’s commitment to cooperate with the delegation within the framework of the respect, sovereignty and independence of Syria and in coordination with the foreign ministry,” the state SANA news agency reported. SANA quoted Muallem as saying that Syria was doing its best to provide food and medical assistance to its citizens despite “the burden it faces as a result of unfair sanctions imposed by some Western and Arab nations which are affecting the population.” Amos’s two-day visit comes after an international outcry over the previous refusal of President Bashar al-Assad’s regime to let her in despite mounting concern about the plight of trapped civilians. SANA said Amos told Muallem the aim of her visit was to assess the humanitarian situation and to determine what can be done to provide the population with basic assistance. was being denied because of safety concerns over mines and unexploded bombs, but the opposition charges that the delay is aimed at allowing time for the regime’s “crimes” to be covered up. Also on Wednesday, a Chinese envoy sent to discuss ways to end the bloodshed in Syria was to discuss a six-point peace plan with Muallem and
opposition figures. Envoy Li Huaxin, quoted in Al-Watan newspaper, said he already met with Deputy Foreign Minister Ahmad Arnus to discuss China’s “six-point vision” on the yearlong bloodshed in Syria. The Chinese initiative calls for an immediate end to the violence and for dialogue between Assad’s
regime and the opposition. Beijing’s proposal rejects foreign interference or “external action for regime change” in Syria but supports the role of the UN Security Council “in strict accordance with the purposes and principles of the UN charter.” Li was also expected to meet representatives of opposition groups, according to Al-Watan. Russia, which like China has been criticised for blocking Security Council action on the crisis, urged its ally Damascus and the rebels to “immediately” halt violence and assist the arrival of Amos’s mission. The Russian foreign ministry said it received Syria’s ambassador to Moscow at his own request and made clear that “violence must end immediately, no matter where it comes from.” Russia also “underscored the critical need to solve acute humanitarian problems in Syria,” the ministry said. On the ground, tanks and troop carriers were headed for the embattled province of Idlib in northwest Syria on Wednesday, said the Syrian National Council, the main opposition alliance. It also said “several people were killed” in bombardment of Maaret alNuman, another town in Idlib province.
7 killed in two suicide car bombings in iraq BAGHDAD afp
Two suicide car bombings on Wednesday killed at least seven people in Tal Afar, north of Baghdad, the Iraqi interior ministry said in a statement. “According to initial reports, a terrorist attack of two car bombs aimed at shops in Tal Afar killed seven people and wounded 14 others,” the ministry said. Athil Nujaifi, the governor of Nineveh province, told AFP that at least five people had been killed in one of the explosions.
MiNSK: a belarus policeman gives a flower to a female driver in Minsk on Wednesday, a day before the international Women’s day, one of the popular holidays in belarus, russia and in other post-Soviet countries. AFP
Libyan leader threatens ‘force’ to foil east autonomy bid TRIPOLI afp
Libyan leader Mustafa Abdel Jalil on Wednesday said he would defend national unity “with force” if necessary, after tribal leaders and a political faction declared autonomy for an eastern region. “We are not prepared to divide Libya,” Abdel Jalil said as he called on leaders in the eastern Cyrenaica region to engage in dialogue and warned them against remnants of the regime of slain leader Moamer Kadhafi in their ranks. “They should know that there are infiltrators and remnants of Kadhafi’s regime trying to exploit them now and we are ready to deter them, even with force,” he said in televised remarks during a conference in Misrata held to unveil a draft national charter. “The national charter contains provi-
sions that protect this nation and it is like a constitution for Libya’s future,” Abdel Jalil said of the draft document, which was later posted online. The charter lays the foundations for a parliamentary democracy with a decentralised system of administration, promising local accountability to citizens through mechanisms decided by the executive branch. A faction of tribal and political leaders in the oil-rich east of the country is trying to carve out a semi-autonomous territory and has called for a federal system of governance. On Tuesday, they unilaterally declared the region of Cyrenaica, or Berqa in Arabic, as autonomous but recognised the ruling National Transitional Council as the country’s legitimate representative in foreign affairs. Libya was a federal union from 1951
to 1963 during the monarchy of Idris Senussi, which split the country into three states — Cyrenaica, Tripolitania and Fezzan. Advocates of a return to federalism say it will prevent the east from being marginalised as was the case for decades, while opponents fear the initiative will split the country and stand in the way of reconciliation. Three-quarters of the north African nation’s oil weath is concentrated in the proposed territory of Cyernaica, according to Arish Sayid of the Benghazi-based Arabian Oil Company. Senior officials in Tripoli, including interim Prime Minister Abdel Rahim al-Kib, have flatly rejected the federalist project as a throwback to the past, promoting a programme of decentralisation instead. On Tuesday, Abdel Jalil charged that
some Arab nations were supporting and financing sedition in eastern Libya in a bid to prevent the so-called Arab Spring from reaching their doorsteps. Hundreds of people demonstrated on Wednesday against federalism in southern Libya, including in the desert cities of Sabha and Kufra, according to video footage posted on Facebook. Several Libyan cities, including Benghazi, have witnessed similar rallies rejecting the federal system of government, with banners emphasising national unity and state-building, and stressing that Tripoli is the only capital. Ahmed Zubair al-Senussi, who was appointed head of Cyrenaica’s governing council on Tuesday, downplayed fears that the federal model, which grants each territorial unit limited executive, legislative and judicial powers, would splinter the country.
“This is not sedition,” he said in an interview with AFP, arguing that federalism, which thrived in the United Arab Emirates, is the most suitable form of government for Libya. Senussi is a relative of the late monarch, a member of Libya’s National Trasitional Council, and was the longest serving political prisoner under Kadhafi’s regime. Meanwhile, Organisation of the Islamic Cooperation chief Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu urged Libyans on Wednesday “to preserve national unity and territorial integrity of Libya.” Ihsanoglu in a statement received by AFP also “renewed his call for all Libyans to rally around the (NTC) which is the sole legitimate representative of the Libyan people, and to support the transitional government in this important sensitive period.”
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Foreign News 17 US sees ‘progress’ on aid talks with North Korea
Six British soldiers missing presumed dead in Afghanistan
Six British soldiers are missing believed killed in Afghanistan, the Ministry of Defence said Wednesday, taking the British death toll in the country over 400. The ministry said an explosion had hit the soldiers’ Warrior armoured vehicle on Tuesday while they were on patrol in Helmand, the restive southern province where most British troops are based. “I have the tragic duty to report that six soldiers are missing, believed killed, during a security patrol,” said British spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Gordon Mackenzie. The servicemen’s families have been informed, the ministry added. A military source in Afghanistan told AFP that the possibility that the vehicle had hit a Soviet-era mine had not been ruled out. Prime Minister David Cameron described it as a “desperately sad day for our country”. “Every death and every injury reminds us of the human cost paid by our armed forces to keep our country safe,” Cameron told parliament. “Our mission in Afghanistan does remain vital to our national security,” he continued. “We’re there to prevent that country from being a safe haven to AlQaeda, from where they might plan attacks on the UK or our allies.” Before the explosion, a total of 398 British forces personnel had died while serving in Afghanistan since the start of operations in October 2001. If confirmed, the deaths would be the biggest British loss of life in a single incident in Afghanistan since a Nimrod aircraft crashed in 2006 after leaking fuel made contact with a hot air pipe, killing 14 crew.
Egypt sentences 2 to death for beheading officer cAIRO afp
An Egyptian military court on Wednesday sentenced two men to death for beheading an army officer during the uprising that ousted strongman Hosni Mubarak, the official MENA news agency reported. Three others received life sentences, and two more were jailed for 15 years each for the murder of the army officer in a police station on February 7 last year, during the anti-Mubarak revolt which later brought the army to power. The men, drug dealers, tortured the officer before they killed him, severed his head and hung it from the roof of the police station south of Cairo which they then burnt down, the agency reported. The military has sentenced thousands of civilians in military trials since taking power and several of them having been sentenced to death. Mubarak called the military to the streets on January 28, 2011, after nationwide protests targeted his despised police forces.
thiruVaNaNthapuraM: hindu devotees pray and prepare rice porridge in the streets surrounding the attukal bhagavathy temple in thiruvananthapuram on Wednesday as they take part in the pongala festival or attukal pongala in the southern indian state of Kerala. More than 3.5 million women took part in the festival which is attempting entry into the Guiness book of World records for the largest gathering of women at a festival in the world. AFP
Safety fears delay search for survivors at Congo blast site BRAZZAVILLE
LAGS flew at half-mast in Congo’s capital Wednesday as the country mourned nearly 200 victims of the blasts at a munitions dump there, but safety fears were still delaying the search for more survivors. Red Cross workers had been kept away from the Mpila barracks site in the east of Brazzaville, as experts carried out more checks for unexploded munitions, officials said. “It’s not easy,” defence ministry spokesman Colonel Jean-Robert Obargui told AFP by phone. “We are talking after all about a munitions explosion... It’s difficult to go there as long as we have not studied the sector,” he added.
Army officers and experts from the international Mines Advisory Group (MAG), which specialises in demining work, had inspected the site on Tuesday, said Obargui. A statement posted on MAG’s website Tuesday said they were working with the Congolese army to make the site safe by cooling down depots, homes and other hazardous areas. The armouries in the area appeared to have been destroyed in the blast, Lionel Cattaneo, MAG’s technical expert in Brazzaville, said. Their main concern now was the danger that unexploded rockets, mortars and other ordnance — scattered across the city by the force of the initial explosions — could still kill unwary civilians. “If tampered with, they can kill. Children, who are naturally inquisitive, are usually most at risk,” said Cattaneo.
“We are concerned about the presence of unexploded devices,” said a statement from the president of the Congolese Red Cross, Christian Sedar Ndinga. But he added: “We hope to be able to get access very quickly to recover any possible wounded and bodies.” As well as killing nearly 200 people, Sunday’s disaster left more than 1,300 wounded. The explosions, blamed on a short-circuit and fire, flattened hundreds of houses in Brazzaville, leaving more than 5,000 people homeless. The blasts were felt as far away as Kinshasa, the capital of the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo, across the Congo river. In the district around the Mpila barracks of the armoured regiment, soldiers were still restricting access to the area, letting only those who lived there pass.
Turkey PM dismisses rumours he has only two years to live ANkARA afp
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday dismissed as “impudent” rumours about his health based on an email released by WikiLeaks claiming that he had only two years to live. “Allah is the owner of our soul,” Erdogan told a meeting of his ruling AKP party in Ankara. “It is Allah and only Allah who will decide how long I will live.” The prime minister, who turned 58 a few weeks ago, has undergone two successive operations on his intestinal system, one on November 26 last year and the second on February
10. A long period of convalescence after the first operation has prevented Erdogan from travelling overseas, while leading many to speculate on his state of health. But Erdogan has repeatedly said that the surgeons had taken out polyps from his intestines and there had been no trace of cancer. A recent batch of emails released by the whistle-blowing website however includes a purported exchange between two colleagues at US intelligence company Stratfor dated December 10, 2011. The email said to be based on information from an “old classmate friend” of the lead surgeon on Erdogan’s surgery alleged the Turkish prime minister has colon cancer.
The email said doctors had cut out 20 centimetres (eight inches) of Erdogan’s colon during the first surgery on November 26, describing it as a “really significant operation” and noting that Erdogan would not be able to travel for a while. “The prognosis is not looking good, though. The surgeon said they were estimating two years for him,” the email added, according to the WikiLeaks release. Erdogan heads the Justice and Development Party (AKP), which has been in government since 2002. He has returned to his busy agenda after a long period of rest and chaired the cabinet meeting Monday after a break of almost a month.
Negotiations Wednesday between the United States and North Korea on how to organise a supply of food aid to the communist state have “made progress”, a top US diplomat said. “These issues are complicated and we had some discussions. We had two very good sessions today, we discussed a number of the issues, made progress,” Robert King, the US envoy on human rights in North Korea, told reporters in Beijing. The discussions in the Chinese capital are to sort out the details of how to deliver the 240,000 tonnes of food aid announced by Washington after Pyongyang agreed to a moratorium on its nuclear activities. “We still have issues to resolve and will be meeting tomorrow to deal with those issues,” King said. Washington announced late February that North Korea had agreed to freeze its nuclear and missile tests and uranium enrichment programme. North Korea has also accepted the return of inspectors from the UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, to oversee the moratorium on uranium enrichment. The United States in turn pledged to provide 240,000 tonnes of food assistance to be delivered to the most needy in North Korea. The North has relied on international help to feed its people since a famine in the 1990s killed hundreds of thousands. The surprise agreement between Pyongyang and Washington was reached in Beijing during the first contact between the two sides since Kim Jong-Un took power in late December following the death of his father Kim Jong-Il. The discussions were aimed at persuading the North to return to the six-nation denuclearisation talks after it angrily abandoned them in April 2009 and staged its second atomic weapons test a month later. The two Koreas, Japan, China, Russia and the United States have been talking for months about ways to revive the discussions.
Norway gunman charged with ‘acts of terror’ OSLO afp
Anders Behring Breivik, who killed 77 people in twin attacks in Norway last July, was Wednesday charged with committing acts of terror, prosecutors said as they presented the formal indictment. The 33-year-old right-wing extremist “has committed extremely serious offences on a scale that has never previously been experienced in our country in modern times,” the 19-page indictment read. The charges carry a penalty of up to 21 years in prison, although a provision may enable the term to be extended for as long as he is considered a danger to society. The prosecution meanwhile said it was prepared at this stage to pursue the case on the premise that Behring Breivik was criminally insane and therefore not responsible for his acts, and as such is calling for him to be sentenced to confinement in a psychiatric ward. But it reserved the right to alter that view if new elements emerged about his mental health by the end of the trial. Police read the charges to Behring Breivik on Wednesday morning at the high security Ila prison outside Oslo where he is being held pending the beginning of his trial on April 16. Afterwards, police officer Tore Jo Nilsen told reporters gathered outside the prison that the confessed killer had been “completely calm” during the 30 minutes it took to read the charges.
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New No. 1 mcilroy tries his hand at tennis Page 21
ICC may agree to local match officials in Pakistan LAHORE
HE International Cricket Council (ICC) may waive its requirement for neutral match officials in a proposed one-day international series between Pakistan and Bangladesh next month. The three matches, which are subject to agreement by Bangladesh, would take place in Karachi and Lahore from 16 to 26 April. The matches would be the first full internationals in Pakistan since March 2009 when the Sri Lanka squad and match officials were attacked by gunmen in Lahore. Haroon Lorgat, chief executive ICC, has pointed out that safety and security is the sole responsibility of individual Member Board’s for bilateral matches and the
appointment to matches of non-neutral match officials could be justified in exceptional circumstances. Lorgat’s statement came after the meeting of the ICC Chief Executives’ Committee which met in Dubai over the past two days. The executive committee went into details of the proposed Bangladesh tour of Pakistan and recognised that the ICC Board had determined that a decision as to whether a particular tour should take place or not is one for the participating countries and the ICC’s role was limited to considering the safety and security of the match officials after a tour had been confirmed and a security plan produced. The CEC also noted that in the
event of the participating countries deciding that the tour should proceed and the ICC determining that it was unsafe to appoint match officials to the tour, a special dispensation to depart from the Standard Playing Conditions to allow non-neutral match officials to participate in the matches would be required from the ICC Board. While acknowledging that the granting of such dispensation must involve a wide range of important considerations, the CEC agreed to recommend to the ICC Board that, from a cricket perspective only, the granting of the special dispensation would be justified. Haroon Lorgat, the ICC Chief Executive, said: “Bearing in mind that safety and security
is the sole responsibility of individual Member Board’s for bilateral matches, the CEC regarded this as an exceptional circumstance in which the appointment to matches of non-neutral match officials could be justified but stated clearly that it should not to be regarded as a preferred option or precedent if the dispensation were to be granted.” The CEC meeting recommended that the maximum number of Twenty20 Internationals allowed to be played by any international side in a calendar year should be increased from 12 to 15 in a year which featured an ICC World Twenty20 tournament. It also recommended that the 2014 ICC World Twenty20 tournament in Bangladesh should feature 16 (instead of 14) men's teams and that the tournament should continue to be a joint men's and women's event.
Stanford found guilty of $7b Ponzi scheme
BD chief selector quits over tamim row
Financier and cricket mogul Allen Stanford was found guilty by a US jury of a $7 billion Ponzi scheme Tuesday, closing the book on the flamboyant ex-tycoon's stunning fall from grace. The verdict will bring some satisfaction -- but likely little financial relief -- to 30,000 investors from more than 100 countries who were bilked by bogus investments with Stanford International Bank. Investigators could not find 92 percent of the $8 billion the bank said it had in assets and cash reserves. Stanford, 61, has spent the past three years in jail after being deemed a flight risk. He may never taste freedom again. Jurors found the mustachioed Texan guilty of 13 of 14 counts of fraud, conspiracy, money laundering and obstruction of justice. Each count carries a maximum sentence of five to 20 years in jail. Even if a judge decides Stanford should receive concurrent sentences on the 13 counts at an upcoming hearing, he will likely still face 20 years in federal prison. Stanford remained stoic as the guilty verdicts were read, but his elderly mother, two adult daughters and a family friend dropped their heads into their hands in dismay. His lawyers told reporters the verdict was a "disappointment" and vowed to appeal. Prosecution attorneys left the courtroom quickly, and were not immediately available for comment. Cassie Wilkinson, one of Stanford's victims, said she had waited at length for this outcome. "We were taken advantage of not just by Allen, but by a whole band of crooks," she said. "It's great to know there were
Bangladesh's chief selector Akram Khan resigned from his post on Wednesday, citing interference from the country's cricket board president in team selection for the upcoming Asia Cup. Khan quit a day after Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) president Mustafa Kamal rejected the inclusion of star opener Tamim Iqbal in the 14-man squad for the one-day tournament starting in Dhaka on Sunday. "Tamim was in our team because he is one of the best batsmen we have in Bangladesh," Khan, a former national captain, told AFP. "But the president dropped him from the final list. "His regular interference in team selection has made top players worried about their place in the national squad. I have resigned because I was not enjoying my job." Tamim, a nephew of Khan, is widely regarded as Bangladesh's best batsman. He won the Wisden Cricketer magazine's Test Player of the Year award in 2010.
12 jurors who felt the same way." The only non-guilty verdict was returned on Count 2, in which Stanford was charged with wire fraud for allegedly purchasing $9,000 tickets to the Super Bowl annual American football championship game for Antiguan bank regulator Leroy King. Badly beaten in a jailhouse brawl, Stanford was temporarily declared unfit for trial after he became addicted to painkillers while also on antidepressants. He tried to have his case completely dismissed after claiming that the beating and drugs destroyed his memory, but the judge denied the request. Defense attorneys at trial tried to shift the blame to former chief financial officer James Davis, who they accused of perpetrating the entire fraud while Stanford naively placed his trust in his former college roommate.
Clarke, Pattinson out of series decider
Australian captain Michael Clarke and young paceman James Pattinson were Wednesday ruled out of the tri-series decider against Sri Lanka, as coach Mickey Arthur demanded a new strategy. Clarke scored a century in Australia's crushing loss to Sri Lanka as the visitors levelled the series 1-1 in Adelaide on Tuesday, but it came at a price. He strained a hamstring which not only ruled him out of the final tri-series game on Thursday, but could also see him miss the start of this month's tour of the West Indies where Australia will play five one-dayers and three Tests. "It doesn't look great for certainly the early part of the one-day series in the West Indies," Arthur told reporters of Clarke, who was due to have scans later Wednesday. Clarke only returned to action last weekend from a strain to his right hamstring, which sidelined him for three games. Pattinson will also miss the match with a buttock strain. Sri Lanka blazed to an emphatic eightwicket victory Tuesday with the World Cup finalists easily running down Australia's 271 for six to post 274-2 with 34 balls to spare. Arthur was not happy with the scale of the defeat and said Australia needed to go back to the drawing board. "It simply wasn't good enough. There was no excuse for it," he said. "We need to play in a different way in these conditions which are totally different. "We have had a couple of serious chats... we are looking at ways we can beat Sri Lanka in these conditions.
asia Cup CRiCket
Pakistan up to prove their detractors wrong
AKISTAN are a team which have an element of surprise around them and are known to turn the tide when cornered. A year ago, marred by the infamous spot-fixing scandal, it appeared Pakistan cricket's downfall had started. But their players showed their character and bounced back to script a series of impressive wins, most notably a 3-0 Test whitewash of England in the UAE. By beating the No. 1 Test team, Pakistan got an elixir to leave behind all criticism and shame. After the Test series followed the one-dayers against England, but England set the score equal by clinching the series 4-0. What followed is quite common in the subcontinent: the swords were drawn and the team was berated, performances put under scrutiny. Now the Asia Cup - to be held in Bangladesh from March 11 - gives Pakistan a chance to prove to their detractors that their recent resurgence was not a fluke. With the experienced Dav Whatmore appointed as coach, Pakistan are strong contenders for the Asia Cup title. Shahid Afridi remains Pakistan's most mercurial player, captain or not. In 2011, he took 45 wickets from 27 matches – including leading Pakistan to the Word Cup semi-finals – while scoring 462 runs at 22. His batting hasn't clicked much in recent times, but his whippish legspin has been immense for the team. On the slow and low tracks of Bangladesh, Afridi will be a
major threat to the opposition. Mohammad Hafeez's all-round game has helped Pakistan win games over the past year and he too is a vital player with bat and ball. At the top order, Asad Shafiq offers stability with a bit of dash. As the Asia Cup is being played
in Bangladesh this time, Pakistan will surely relish the subcontinental conditions and this will play an important factor in their campaign. Pakistan's real strength is their bowling attack comprising of Umar Gul, Wahab Riaz and the spin duo of Saeed Ajmal and
Abdur Rehman. Moreover, the return of Afridi has given them more bowling options and added to that, their opener Hafeez can be deadly with his offspinners in spinnerfriendly conditions. Pakistan's pace attack led by Gul is doing a decent job and more importantly, what has been impressive about this team is that they are playing as a unit. Misbah-ul-Haq as captain has showed maturity, sharpness and patience to deal with success and failure. He is not bogged down by pressure and the players have accepted him as their able leader. Another aspect that holds Pakistan in good stead is their fielding, which will go one notch above with the appointment of foreign coaching staff. For Pakistan, the matter of concern is their batting; the openers have not always given the right kind of start and their middle order isn't always capable of sustaining in case of top-order collapse. The veteran Younis Khan and Misbah in the middle order bring some sense of assurance. However, in the four ODIs against England, it was the batting which failed Pakistan. Before the start of the Asia Cup, the batsmen would desperately want to regain their form in order to bring back balance to their side. The form of Hafeez, Younis and Umar Akmal are matters of concern, though Misbah's show with the bat has been consistent. Pakistan have played Bangladesh nine times in the Asia Cup, winning each of these
matches. In 10 face-offs with India in the Asia Cup, Pakistan have come up trumps four times, with four losses, one abandoned game and one match ending without a result. They have had the least success against Sri Lanka, winning just three of 11 Asia Cup matches since 1984. What can trump Pakistan v India? This match, scheduled for March 18, will be the most anticipated of the series, and based on the way these two teams faced off in the World Cup quarterfinal last year, expect fireworks. A tigerish Pakistan bowling performance in Mohali could have knocked India out except for Sachin Tendulkar’s chancy 85 and a late cameo from Suresh Raina, and chasing a stiff target, Pakistan failed to hold their nerve. Afridi has said the upcoming clash is not about revenge, but when have Pakistan shied away from India? It sure is, for Pakistan have won five of six matches at Mirpur's Shere Bangla National Stadium. Those wins have included success over India in 2008 and a crucial World Cup quarter-final rout of West Indies last April. Though they are coming off a 4-0 ODI defeat to England, Pakistan remain a challenging team because of their experience of the conditions and their strong bowling attack. If the top order fires in unison, a strong target is a definite possibility. The team's challenge lies in maintaining their consistency over a span of ten days. Staff report
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Martin puts Kiwis on top against SA DUNEDIN
EW Zealand seized control of the first Test against South Africa Wednesday thanks to a stunning spell of three wickets in four balls from paceman Chris Martin. The Proteas ended the day at 191 for seven, with Jacques Rudolph (46) the only recognised batsman left after skipper Graeme Smith and Hashim Amla scored half centuries but the rest of the line-up failed to fire. South Africa trounced New Zealand in the limited overs series and the Test looked to be heading the same way before Martin triggered a collapse that saw six wickets fall in the final session of a rain-shortened day in Dunedin. With almost four hours of play lost to the weather, New Zealand captain Ross Taylor looked to have made the wrong call sending South Africa into bat after winning the toss, as the Black Caps' attack struggled in the first session. South Africa were 86 for one at tea, with Smith notching his 31st Test 50 and Amla looking settled on a flat, lifeless pitch that yielded only one wicket, Alviro Petersen (11), for New Zealand's bowlers. But Taylor's gamble paid off spectacularly when the clouds cleared and Martin dismissed Smith for 53 in the first over after the break, the batsman
Amar Cables beat textile tigers
SCoreboard South afriCa 1st innings: Graeme Smith c Nicol b Martin 53 alviro petersen lbw b boult 11 62 hashim amla c taylor b Vettori 0 Jacques Kallis c taylor b Martin 0 ab de Villiers lbw b Martin 46 Jacques rudolph not out 4 Mark boucher run out dale Steyn c taylor b bracewell 9 Vernon philander not out 4 eXtraS (lb1, nb1) 2 total: (7 wickets, 59 overs) 191 fall of wickets: 1-34 (petersen), 2-86 (Smith), 3-90 (Kallis), 490 (de Villiers), 5-156 (amla), 1-161 (boucher), 7-179 (Steyne) boWliNG: Martin 14-2-34-3, Southee 8-1-32-0, boult 7-0-54-1, bracewell 14-2-39-1, Vettori 15-4-31-1, Nicol 1-1-0-0 umpires: billy doctrove (WiS), aleem dar (paK) tV umpire: richard Kettleborough (eNG) Match referee: ranjan Madugalle (Sri).
driving the ball to debutant Rob Nicol at cover as he attempted a boundary. Martin struck again in his next over, dismissing Jacques Kallis for a duck when the batsman nicked the ball to Taylor at first slip. AB de Villiers became scalp number three in the next ball, trapped lbw for a golden duck when the delivery nipped back sharply, skidding past the bat and crashing into the batsman's pads. De Villiers called for a television review, which backed the umpire's decision and sent the despondent South African trudging back to the pavilion with the Proteas reeling at four for 90. Martin could not manage a hat-trick when Rudolph came to the crease but his devastating spell lifted the Black Caps, who suddenly looked sharper in
LAHORE: Amar Cables beat Textile Tigers by 54 runs in the First Veteran Cricket Champion Trophy here at the Ali Garh Cricket Ground. Amar Cables batting first 257/7 after 30 overs. Amer Ilyas Butt played well 64, Dastgeer Butt 55, Ameer Akbar 52, Azeez-ur-rehman 18, Munir Shah 30 & Muhammad Hafeez 27 runs not out. Saleem Iqbal 2/30, Hafiz Saeed 2/62, Rehan Rouf 2/64 & Maqsood Ahmad 1/32 wickets. In reply Textile Tigers 203/5 after 30 overs. Test Cricketer Ashraf Ali batting very well 100 runs not out & Romail Bashir 32 runs. Tariq Hussain Raju 2/42, Munir Shah 1/22, Rouf Wain 1/15 & Muhammad Hafeez 1/31 wicket. Qaisar Waheed, Muhammad Asif Umpire, Azhar Hussain and Qasim Shafique was the scorer. Later chief guest CEO Amar Cables Amer Ilyas Butt presented the man of the match award to Ashraf Ali. Rizwan Nisar was also present on the occasion. Staff report
DUNEDiN: Rob Nicol of New zealand bowls during day one of the first five-day match against South Africa at the University oval. AFP
Rangers’ sale ‘accelerated’ SJAl outplay SwAP in Sports as cuts plan fails festival Cricket LONDON
lAhoRE: Chief guest CEo Amar Cables, Amer ilyas Butt gives away the man of the match award to Ashraf Ali.
the field and more threatening with the ball. Amla kept his cool to steady South Africa, grafting out a valuable 66-run partnership with Rudolph to post his 22nd Test 50. Doug Bracewell thought he had the batsman caught and bowled on 56 but a television review showed the chance fell just short of the diving bowler's fingers. However, Amla was dismissed in the next over, mis-hitting a Daniel Vettori delivery and sending the ball looping to Taylor in the slips. Mark Boucher (4) faced only two balls before being run out when Rudolph, on strike, took off for a single, only for Bracewell to fire the ball back from the field to South African-born keeper Kruger van Wyk, who broke the stumps. Rudolph then survived a huge lbw appeal from New Zealand on 32 when replays showed Bracewell overstepped the line before releasing the ball. The bowler made amends in his next over, coaxing an edge from Dale Steyn to the slip cordon which richocheted off Martin Guptill's hand but stayed in the air long enough for Taylor to snatch the chance. The Proteas will hope Rudolph can combine with the tail enders to post a competitive total to keep alive their dream of a clean sweep in the three match series, which would see them take top spot in the ICC world Test rankings.
Rangers' administrators said Wednesday they were looking to sell the Glasgow giants within "days" in a frantic bid to keep the financially stricken Scottish champions operating as a going concern. Administrators Duff and Phelps added that the uncertainty surrounding Rangers meant there there was a real risk the club could fail to fulfil the remainder of its Scottish Premier League fixtures this season -- a move that could see the club forced to drop into the lower leagues. Duff and Phelps had hoped to persuade the first-team squad at Ibrox to accept a package of salary cuts but two days of talks broke up Wednesday without a deal being done. Joint administrator David Whitehouse said in a statement: "We are announcing today we are accelerating the sale of Rangers Football Club. "The club is in a perilous financial situation and that should not be under-estimated. "Regrettably, we have been unable to agree cost-cutting measures with the playing staff on terms that will preserve value in the business. "We understand the players' position as the scale of wage cuts required to achieve these savings without job losses were very substantial indeed. "In view of this, we are faced with a situation of mak-
ing redundancies within the playing staff on such a scale that would materially erode the value of the playing squad. "We are striving to strike a balance where cost-cutting measures can be implemented but do not destroy the fabric of the playing squad to the extent that it will inhibit the prospect of a sale." Duff and Phelps are seeking to make reported savings of £1 million per month and Whitehouse said: "No-one should be in any doubt that in the absence of sufficient cost-cutting measures or receipt of substantial unplanned income, the club will not be able to fulfil its fixtures throughout the remainder of the season. "As a result, we are expediting the sale process and over the next few days we will be holding discussions with prospective purchasers who have declared their interest. "The manager, Ally McCoist, will play an integral part in these discussions. "If, however, it becomes apparent that the sale process cannot be accelerated there will be no choice but to implement very severe cost cutting measures at the club." Duff and Phelps were called in on February 14 after British tax authorities went to court to seek payment of an unpaid bill of £9 million ($14m) built up since owner Craig Whyte took control at Ibrox in May. Rangers are also awaiting the verdict of a tax tribunal that could leave them with a bill of up to £75m, according to Whyte.
The 140-year-old club were docked 10 points for entering administration, a penalty which effectively handed the SPL title to arch Glasgow rivals Celtic. Administration is the process whereby a troubled company calls upon independent expert financial help in a bid to remain operational But earlier on Wednesday, Rangers' second-largest shareholder said the scale of the club's cash crisis was so great they faced "inevitable" liquidation. South Africa-based director Dave King, who has threatened legal action against Whyte, said Rangers might have to reapply for membership of the Scottish Football Association. King added this could mean Rangers having to work their way back to the top flight from the lower leagues. "It is a sad point to have reached, but if managed sensibly, it can result in Rangers returning to its former glory as a football club in the shortest time possible," King said. Gregg Wylde and Mervan Celik became the first players to leave Rangers on Tuesday after administrators rejected a proposal by the squad to have wages deferred rather than cut. The administrators reportedly wanted to implement a scheme where the highest-earning players accepted a 75 percent wage cut, with those lower down the pay scale agreeing to salary reductions of between 25 to 50 percent.
LAHORE Staff report
The Sports Journalists Association of Lahore outplayed the Sports Writers Association of Punjab by 65 runs in the cricket match of the Punjab Sports Festival held at Faisal Town ground on Wednesday. SJAL scored 135 runs. Abdul Rauf scored 70 runs while Imran Sohail made 34 for their team to win in 8 overs. On the other side, SWAP could manage 79 runs at the loss 5 wickets. SJAL also beat Lahore Press Club to qualify for the final to be played against Multan Press Club. In the bar association cricket, Gujranwala beat Lahore by 11 runs. The score was 105 by Lahore and 116 by Gujranwala. Bahawalpur beat Rawalpindi by 2 runs at 7 wickets loss. In the press clubs cricket teams, Multan defeated Sahiwal by 9 wickets. In the special children cricket, Sahiwal beat Lahore by 12 runs, Sahiwal again defeated Gujranwala by 20 runs. Rawalpindi beat Multan by 35 runs.
five matches decided LAHORE
Pakistan coach Whatmore ready for Asia Cup kARAcHI afp
Pakistan's new coach Dav Whatmore said Wednesday he was ready for next week's four-nation Asia Cup and is confident that his team will overcome their recent one-day slump. The 57-year-old former Australian batsman, who coached Sri Lanka to a World Cup title in 1996, took charge of Pakistan last week on a two-year contract with his first assignment in Dhaka. Defending champions India join Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bangladesh in the biennial Asia Cup which runs from March 11-22. Whatmore said he is looking forward to the Asia Cup, at which Pakistan will meet arch-rivals India on
March 18. "I know the Asia Cup is an important event with top class teams, even Bangladesh can be a tough opponent as they are playing on their home grounds, so it is one of the many tests that we have and we are looking forward to it," Whatmore told reporters. The Pakistan team fly to Dhaka late Wednesday and play their opening match against the hosts Sunday. "We know there is an extra interest attached to the India game and it's good for the teams, for cricket and for the players but we are going to treat that match as any other game," said Whatmore. The March 18 match in Dhaka will be the first between the two countries since the high-voltage World Cup 2011 semi-final clash in Marach at
Mohali, which India won before taking the title. Whatmore hoped Pakistan has learnt from its mistakes after their 40 and 2-1 defeats in the one-day and Twenty20 matches against England in the United Arab Emirates last month. "That was little bit not in the script but this team wants to make amends to what happened in the oneday after their brilliant performance in the Test series," said Whatmore of the Tests in which Pakistan whitewashed England 3-0. "Every player wants to look forward and make amends in the Asia Cup. "These Pakistan players are wonderful and talented and welcomed me and its pleasure to be with them and we will work together to do well."
Another five matches of East Zone clubs were decided in the LCCA Super Cricket League at various ground of the city on Wednesday. In the 1st match Rising Star beat Young Mughalpura Greeners by 121 runs at Township ground (Rising Star 283/6, Young Mughalpura Greeners 162). In the 2nd match Ghari shaho Gym outplayed Khan Gym by 71 runs played at Cricket Center ground (Ghari Shaho Gym 239, Khan Gym 168). In the 3rd match Muslimabad Gym beat Mughalpura Gym by 5 wickets played at Wahdat Colony ground (, Mughalpura Gym 209/8, Muslimabad Gym 210/5). In the 4th match Dharampura Gym down Ghalib Sports by 45 runs at ALBilal ground (Dharampura Gym 230/6, Ghalib Sports 185). In the 5th match Mughalpura Whites beat Gadaffi club by 64 runs played at Imtiaz Academy ground (Mughalpura Whites 242/8, Gadaffi club 178).
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Cornet bows out to Shuai Zhang in final qualifying round
iNDiAN wEllS: Alize Cornet of france tosses the ball up before serving to Shuai zhang of China during the qualification for the BNP Paribas open. AFP INDIAN WELLS
LIZE Cornet of France failed to escape an upset in the final qualifying round of BNP Paribas Open at the hands of the 160th ranked Chinese competitor, Shuai Zhang, on Tuesday. It was a gruelling encounter of three hours and 17 minutes that ended up with scores of 2-6, 7-6(4), 7-6(3). Previous head-to-head battles were won by the French tennis professional but this time the Chinese contestant was in no mood to
iNDiAN wEllS: Shuai zhang of China returns a backhand to Alize Cornet of france during qualification for the BNP Paribas open. AFP
give up and fought until the end. She got off the mark in the third face-off between the two players and more importantly booked a post in the opening round of the tournament. The Chinese contestant started the match in dismal fashion having lost a couple of early breakthroughs and trailed 0-4. She could only register a couple of successful serve games before the French gusted away with a set lead. It looked like Zhang was on course to her third head-to-head defeat in Indian Wells. The second wasnâ€™t good at all for the Chinese at the start when she went a couple of breaks down with scores marching on to
0-3. She fought extremely well to win the following three games and tied the scores at 3-3. It was a classic comeback that turned the tables on the French. A couple of breakpoints were saved by the French to stay in the contest and enforce a tie-breaker round. Things were looking good for the Chinese. She won an early mini-break in the tie-breaker and progressed ahead with a set triumph under her belt as well. A taxing battle in the third set was witnessed at the hard courts of California. Both players swapped a couple of breakpoints to start the set and then repeated the same after registering one serve
hold each. Four breakpoints were already won by each competitor but the scores were kept together at 5-5. No more breakpoints and the scores tickled over to 6-6 with a second tie-breaker round into play. It was all down to one mistake from either opponent. The first one to commit a suicidal error was the superior ranked French who tried to improvise with a drop shot but struck the ball straight into the net. A minibreak for the Chinese proved beneficial that was coupled with a cracking winner down the line to gobble up the win. She progresses into the main round; will face-off the Romanian starlet, Simona Halep.
Blake looks to turn heat on Bolt as Olympics loom
Returning Jelimo confident ahead of worlds BRIVE-LA-GAILLARDE afp
American Taylor Phinney was the latest rider to drop out of Paris-Nice due to a stomach bug which forced Tour de France star Andy Schleck off the stage race on Tuesday. Phinney, of the BMC team, and RadioShack pair Jan Bakelants and Joost Posthuma pulled out ahead of Wednesday's fourth stage from Brive to Rodez. It means RadioShack have now lost three riders to the bug after Schleck -- who is set to inherit the 2010 Tour de France title following the recent ban handed to Spain's Alberto Contador -- pulled out on Tuesday morning. Britain's Bradley Wiggins (Sky) currently leads the race with a 6-sec lead on American Levi Leipheimer, who also races for RadioShack. The race finishes on Sunday.
No tour of flanders defence for injured Nuyens NEW YORk afp
Reigning world 100-metres champion Yohan Blake of Jamaica said Tuesday he was focussing on getting a faster start in his bid to relieve compatriot and training partner Usain Bolt of his Olympic 100 metres title later this year. The 22-year-old was speaking from his Jamaica base as he prepares for a hectic season. "Nothing really different we do in training. One thing I'm trying to work on is my start and the technical details. Basically I've been working on that and trying to get off to a better start for the first 30 metres. "I want to work on the first 30 metres and get my start right. I can improve on my first 30 metres. The rest of my race is wonderful but that I need to work on for the Olympics. All of that is going to come into play for the Olympics. Blake became the youngest 100m world champion last year at Daegu, South Korea, but his victory in the
final lost some of its lustre after Bolt false started out of the race. "His false start was a big shocker," Blake said. "It did not change anything really. I was really ready. (Winning the world title) has meant a lot to me. It has opened a lot of doors." That included a Tuesday morning meeting with England's Prince Harry. "He's a funny guy," Blake said. "He was a good person to talk too. It meant a lot to meet him." Blake figures the Jamaican Olympic trials 100m final in June will be a strong preparation for the Olympic sprint showdown. "A lot of the guys are running really fast. A lot of them are going to be in the Olympics 100m final," Blake said. "Asafa Powell, me, Usain Bolt, I think it's going to be a tough one in June. "Last year I was the one doing the chasing. You win and all these guys want a piece of you the next time. Basically it's everybody." Training with Jamaican's finest runners has removed some of the nervousness and awe from sharing a starting line with them, Blake
said. "I run with these guys all the time," Blake said. "At the starting line, I know these guys are human so I don't really feel so nervous. "Daegu gave me a lot of belief. But even before Daegu my training gave me a lot of belief to be where I am right now. I ran with these guys. I know what they can do." That includes Bolt, who looks to defend his 100 and 200 Olympic gold medals from Beijing. "Usain Bolt pushed me a lot in training," Blake said. "That has helped me run even faster to keep up with his speed. That helped me a lot to train for the Olympics." Bolt even tagged Blake with a nickname, the Beast. "I work twice as hard as anybody else. That's why they call me the Beast," Blake said. "When I get Christmas break I still train. Coach Mills has to call me and tell me I'm on a break and to stop working. When you guys are sleeping I'm out there working." Blake knows his world title has raised expectations but said he can handle that. "I'm car-
rying a lot of weight on my shoulders," he said. "I know what's on my shoulders to carry. I think it's going to be a good year I'm going to have this year." Blake has concentrated on the 100 this year even though he considers the 200 his stronger race and said he would not mind running the 4x400 relay at London if the opportunity came his way. "This year I'm really focusing on the 100," Blake said. "In the 200 you can make a mistake and recover. In the 100 there's no room for mistakes. You have to have 200 percent confidence in the 100 meters. One mistake and you are out. "The 200 I just need to get out of the blocks much faster and keep doing what I'm doing in the straightaway. If I really push myself more at the turn, I think I could run a good time in the 200." Bolt has joked that Blake will take the 100 and Bolt will win the 200 at the London Olympics in a repeat of their world meet runs. "I don't want to beat Usain Bolt. I want to win the gold medal in the 100 and 200," Blake said.
LAc DE VASSIVIERE afp
Belgian rider Nick Nuyens will be unable to defend his Tour of Flanders title after it was revealed on Tuesday he has suffered a slight fracture to his right hip. The 31-year-old suffered the injury when he fell during Sunday's time-trial in the Paris-Nice race and scans on Tuesday revealed the extent of it, his Saxo Bank team announced. Nuyens must undergo at least two weeks rest before undergoing more scans prior to being given the green light to resume training. "It is a huge blow both for me and the team," said Nuyens. "I am very sad. I felt that in time I would have reached the peak form required to defend my title in the Tour of Flanders. "I know now that it is not possible. Falls are part of cycling, I have to accept that, but this accident couldn't have come at a worse moment." It is the latest blow for the Bjarne Riis-run outfit after their star rider Alberto Contador, who was slapped with a two-year doping ban in February although, being backdated, he will return to competition at the beginning of August. The team also risks losing its WorldTour (top division) licence with the sport's governing body the International Cycling Union (UCI) due to give its verdict in the coming weeks.
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MoMbaSa: Players in the maasai warriors cricket team are silhouetted as they plays cricket on the beach. the team is made up of maasai warriors from the laikipia region of Kenya. aFp
WATCh IT LIve ESPN Sports Center 07:30PM
Pff increases Challenge Cup prize money LAHORE Staff report
Makhdoom Syed Faisal Saleh Hayat, President, Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) in a meeting at Football House showed his love for the game by enhancing the prize money for the KPT National Football Challenge Cup-2012, for winning teams and players. According to an official of the PFF, the prize money of the KPT National Football Challenge Cup -2012 has been increased from Rs 150,000 to Rs 300,000 for winning team while the runner up from Rs 100,000 to 200,000 and the third position holder from Rs 75,000 to Rs 100,000. The Fair Play from Rs 20,000 to Rs 30,000, best goalkeeper from Rs 10,000 to Rs 20,000 best player of the Challenge Cup from Rs 10,000 to 25,000, maximum goal scorer from Rs 10,000 to 20,000. The PFF has also introduced the Best Referee award of Rs 20,000 and Best Assistant Referee from Rs 10,000. This encouraging step would make the players put their best efforts in the game. The announcement by the president PFF has been welcomed whole heartedly by the participating teams and football lovers all over the country. They feel that increased Prize Money and incentives will be beneficial for the promotion of the game of football lovers of Pakistan.
New No. 1 McIlroy tries his hand at tennis MIAMI afp
World No. 1 Rory McIlroy hits tensionpacked golf shots with the world's best players, but he had never been so nervous as when he was asked to play a little tennis with one of his girlfriend's pals. But then, McIlroy's girlfriend is women's tennis star Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark, the friend was Russian star Maria Sharapova and the request came during an exhibition match at New York's famed Madison Square Garden. On Tuesday, McIlroy arrived at Doral for his first tournament as the World No. 1, a World Golf Championships event that starts on Thursday, and admitted he was gobsmacked by his brief tennis foray the night before. "I've never been so nervous in my life," McIlroy said. "I can hit a golf shot in front of a million people but getting up there, I wanted to hit a serve but I was thinking, 'If I frame this into the crowd it's going to look so bad.' "So just a little underarm over the net. Maria was nice. She hit it back to me at quite a gentle pace." Sharapova hit a McIlroy backhand wide to win the point, delighting the crowd. "Never thought I'd play tennis at Madison square garden!! Had a great time," McIlroy tweeted. "I even won a point!" McIlroy explained that he felt obligated to join Wozniacki on the court ahead of her match, which went to Sharapova 6-3, 6-4.
NEw YoRK: Golfer Rory mcilroy of Northern ireland joins his girlfriend Caroline wozniacki of Denmark on the court against maria Sharapova of Russia during the BNP Paribas Showdown at madison Square Garden. AFP "Maria had got someone from the crowd to dance with and then Caroline turned to the crowd and said, 'Any hot guys that want to dance with me?' And I'm like, 'Well, I don't want anyone else dancing with you,' so I put my hand up. "Thank God she didn't ask me to dance. I was much happier hitting a tennis shot." McIlroy, who took the top ranking with a victory last Sunday at the Honda Classic, was glad to escape golf. The 22-
year-old Northern Irishman plans to take off three weeks after this one before playing in the Masters. "It has been nice to sort of get away from golf a little bit and reflect and sort of let it sink in, but I'm looking forward to getting back at it this week," McIlroy said. "People from all walks of life and different sports have reached out to me to say, 'Well done.' So it's very nice to have so many people watching you and encourag-
ing you and supporting you." Among those who sent messages of support were entertainers, golf rivals and football stars, notably from Manchester United. "Got one from Fergie. Got one from Wayne Rooney, Rio Ferdinand, a few of the United boys," McIlroy said. "To have their support and for them to reach out to you and say congratulations, it is pretty surreal watching Man United for so many years and then having Alex Ferguson send you a text message or Wayne Rooney or whatever. It's a nice position to be in." McIlroy will tee off as the World No. 1 in a tournament for the first time on Thursday morning at Doral's 10th hole alongside English pals Luke Donald and Lee Westwood, the two prior golfers to hold the World No. 1 ranking. "It doesn't feel much different," McIlroy said. "It was a great feeling on Sunday just to win the tournament and with a couple of guys making a charge, it was nice to play pretty solid coming down the stretch and get the job done. "It's great to get to this position and obviously I'd love to stay here for as long as possible. I just need to concentrate on playing good golf, trying to win tournaments. If I can do that, then the position I'm at will hopefully take care of itself." The reigning US Open champion has handled success at a young age but takes it in stride. "My dad always said to me, 'If you're good enough, you're old enough.'"
Pak tt team visas delayed LAHORE Staff report
The Pakistan table tennis team which is to participate in the World Championship was on Wednesday asked by the Germany embassy to produce permission letter of the Pakistan Sports Board. The 2012 World Team Table Tennis Championships will be held at the Westfalenhallen in Dortmund, Germany from March 25 to April 1. The embassy delayed the teamâ€™s visa consisting of four male and the same number of female players on grounds that they did not produce the No Objection Certificate of the Pakistan Sports Board. However, the players produced the NOC of their departments. Shahjahan Latif, secretary Lahore table tennis pointed out that the visas were delayed because the federation was trying to get some non-genuine table tennis official visa of Germany and urged the PSB to issue NOCs to the players and genuine official so that they could take part in the câ€™ship.
munir Dar Gold Cup LAHORE Staff report
The 1st All Pakistan Munir Ahmed Dar Gold Cup Hockey Tournament was scheduled to be held from March 9 to 16. Due to the clash of dates with the Punjab Sports Festival, which is in progress at Lahore, the tournament is being postponed and will be held from March 15 to 21 at Bahawalpur.
IGP KPK appreciates MSSST achievements PESHAWAR Staff report
Akbar Khan Hoti, Inspector-General of Police Khyber Pakhtunkhwa termed the healthy sports activities that encourage the youth to actively take part in sports events is highly commendable Akbat Hoti made these comments at the inaugural ceremony of the IGP KPK Inter Academy Cricket Tournament being held under the auspicious of Malik Saad Shaheed Sports Trust (MSSST) Central Police Office (CPO) and dedicated the event to the shaheed police officer and jawans across the province Also present on the occasion were MSSST
Secretary-General Amjad Aziz Malik, Mazhar-ulHaq, Malik Tajmaul Hussain and Syed Ali Nawaz Gilani Members MSSST Board of Trustees(BOT). Akbar was briefed by Malik about the recent activities of the Trust specially MSSST BOT meeting presided over by the Governor KPK and Trust network across the province to further develop the sports, education and healthcare facilitation and activities. Akbar Khan Hoti was also informed about ongoing IGP Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Inter Academy Cricket Tournament in which 16 teams from all over the Province and tribal area are participating and final will be played in Peshawar in second week of March,
PEShAwAR: iGP Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Akbar Khan hoti with federal Additional Secretary interior Khushdil Khan, mSSSt's Secretary Amjad Aziz malik, members Bot Syed Ali Nawaz Gilani, mazhar-ul-haq, malik tajmaul hussain during the formal launching of the iGP KPK inter Academy Cricket tournament.
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SC accepts record presented by Sethi in PM contempt case Cabinet secretary Sethi says never observed PM in anger, utter a single word against judiciary g
T peShaWar: police inspect the site of a blast triggered by a remote-controlled bomb placed in a sewer. a 9-year-old child was killed and three others were injured. INP
SC verdict on Babar Awan contempt case today ISLAMABAD Staff report
The Supreme Court will today (Thursday) announce its reserved verdict on the show-cause notice issued to the PPP vice president and senior lawyer, Babar Awan for his contemptuous address to a press conference against the court’s December 1, 2011 order in memo case. The verdict will be announced by a two-member bench comprising Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan and Justice Ather Saeed, which had reserved its’ judgement on March 1 on the contempt of court case against Awan.
On the last hearing, Awan’s lawyer Ali Zafar had argued that his client had not given any remarks that ridiculed the judiciary. The court however had pointed out that the remarks were passed against the family of a Supreme Court judge in the December 1, 2011 press conference. Zafar had stated that his client in his statement had reconfirmed that he had the utmost respect and regard for the judge and considered him a leading luminary and in case if he (Justice Asif Saeed Khosa) was hurt, Awan had the deepest regrets. Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan had then said Awan had only “expressed regrets”
but had not tendered an apology. He had said Awan was a popular lawyer as well as a politician. Therefore, he should have respected the judiciary. Zafar had repeatedly said his client was accused of committing judicial contempt and in such proceedings the court was like a parent while the alleged was similar to an errant child, and this was why the world over this contempt jurisdiction was used sparingly, in exceptional circumstances and not by way of punishment. Earlier, the court had suspended Awan’s licence declaring his behavior ‘unbecoming’.
Restore NAto supplies, No unnecessary munter asks foreign stay in Afghanistan: secretary ISLAMABAD Shaiq huSSaiN
US Ambassador Cameron Munter on Wednesday asked for early reopening of NATO supply routes to Afghanistan while conveying Washington’s concern to Islamabad over the delay in the restoration of blocked supplies through Pakistani soil. “US Ambassador Cameron Munter paid a courtesy call on Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani,” said a Foreign Office statement. “The two discussed a wide range of bilateral issues including re-engagement with the US after a joint session of parliament considers the Parliamentary Committee on National Security’s recommendations on the future course for Pakistan-US relations,” it said. According to the statement, the foreign secretary expressed satisfaction that the parliamentary process would bring the much-needed clarity and transparency to Pakistan’s ties with the US. He said Pakistan had had a long-standing relationship with the US spanning more than six decades, which formed an important element of Pakistan’s foreign policy. Jilani underscored that Pakistan wanted to have a relationship with the US on the basis of mutual respect and interest. A diplomatic source told Pakistan Today that the US ambassador conveyed to Jilani the concern over delay in the restoration of NATO supplies that were blocked in the wake of NATO airstrikes on Pakistani border posts in November last year, which killed 26 soldiers. He said Munter demanded that Pakistan go for early resumption of NATO supplies and resume full counterterrorism cooperation with the US.
US president WASHINGTON reuterS
US President Barack Obama on Tuesday said the United States was committed to long-term ties with Afghanistan but did not want to keep troops there longer than needed to disable al Qaeda and ensure a modicum of stability as foreign forces withdraw. “President (Hamid) Karzai understands we are interested in a strategic partnership with the Afghan people and the Afghan government,” Obama told reporters in a news conference. “We are not interested in staying there any longer than is necessary to ensure that al Qaeda is not operating there and that there is sufficient stability that it doesn’t end up being a free-for-all after ISAF has left,” he said, referring to the NATO military force led by the US. Obama spoke as the White House seeks to put behind it the spasm of violence that erupted when US soldiers burned copies of the holy Quran on a NATO military base last month - and the questions it has raised about US strategy.
HE Supreme Court on Wednesday accepted as evidence the documentary record presented by Cabinet Secretary Nargis Sethi to defend Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani in the contempt of court case. A seven-member special bench of Justice Nasirul Mulk, Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa, Justice Sarmad Jalal Osmany, Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, Justice Ijaz Ahmed Chaudhry, Justice Gulzar Ahmed and Justice Muhammad Ather Saeed, also directed Sethi to appear before it today (Thursday) to get herself cross examined. Sethi also got her statement recorded on oath before the court. At the onset of hearing, the court expressed dismay over the prime minister’s defence for not appropriately submitting the record of summaries sent to the premier, advising him not to write a letter to Swiss authorities for reopening corruption case against President Asif Ali Zardari in compliance with the court’s December 16, 2009 and subsequent orders in the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO), as the president, being head of the state, enjoyed absolute con-
Air marshal tahir Rafique Butt appointed air chief ISLAMABAD Staff report
President Asif Ali Zardari on Wednesday approved the appointment of Air Marshal Tahir Rafique Butt as chief of air staff, on advice of the prime minister. An official handout quoted Presidential Spokesman Farhatullah Babar as saying that Air Chief Marshal Rao Qamar Suleman was due to retire on March 18 on completion of his three-year tenure. Tahir would be granted the rank of Air Chief Marshal from the date he assumes charge of the appointment, he said.
stitutional immunity. The bench suspended the proceedings for half-an-hour directing the submission and production of summaries’ record properly. Later, when the bench resumed the proceedings, PM counsel Aitzaz Ahsen told the bench that Sethi, being a defence witness, had submitted the record and wanted to produce the summaries’ and other relevant record. The court then allowed her and she presented the record. After examining the record, the court again got the record verified by Sethi. The court also accepted the record as evidence. The record contained May 21 and September 21, 2010 summaries, signed by then law secretary Aqil Mirza and then law minister Babar Awan respectively, as well as opinion of former attorney general Anwar Mansoor Khan sent to the PM by the Law Ministry. Aitzaz asked the court to treat the May 21, 2010 summary as defence’s evidence number one and the correspondence of Saifur Rehman led Ehtesab Bureau with the Swiss authorities as evidence number two. Aitzaz also presented as evidence the letter of then attorney general Chaudhry Farooq written to the Swiss authorities in 1999.
We’re not threatening over gas pipeline: US ISLAMABAD: US Deputy Chief of Mission Richard Hoagland on Wednesday dispelled the impression of US threat of sanctions on Pakistan over the IP gas pipeline, saying the urge for gas was a legitimate demand of Pakistan and the US was ready to help the country. “The US has never threatened Pakistan with sanctions, Iran-Pakistan project is not a matter going to be implemented within a week or a month. We are ready to work with Pakistan on different options to help,” he told reporters at the sideline of a roundtable discussion to commemorate “the services of women in law enforcement agencies”. Hoagland said General James Mattis, commander of US Central Command, and Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani were in contact. However, he said no date has been finalised for General Mattis’ visit to Pakistan. He said Ambassador Cameron Munter has not brought any message regarding NATO supplies from America. aGeNCieS
“Yes, the situation with the Quran burning concerns me,” Obama said. “I think that it is an indication of the challenges in that environment and it’s an indication that now is the time for us to transition.” NATO forces have begun to gradually put local police and soldiers in the lead for security. While the Afghan military is far larger and better equipped than it was, it will remain heavily reliant on outside help and funding for years to come. Obama said he was confident his plan could be carried out. “But it’s not going to be a smooth path,” he said. “There are going to be bumps along the road just as there were in Iraq.” On Tuesday, Karzai’s government said it may soon reach an agreement with the Obama administration on US-managed detention centers, one of several sticking points that have held up conclusion of the agreement for months. The White House has been hoping to wrap up the agreement before NATO leaders gather in Chicago in May. The United States now has around 90,000 soldiers in Afghanistan.
Published by Arif Nizami for Nawa Media Corporation (Pvt) Ltd at Plot # 7, Al-Baber Centre, F/8 Markaz, Islamabad.
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Editor: Arif Nizami, Executive Editor: Sarmad Bashir, Resident Editor: Rana Qaisar