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Indian company launches ‘Islamic smart phone’
Azam Swati says goodbye to parliament, JUI-F
FERTILISER SECTOR: Gas supply extended till 31st
rs15.00 Vol ii no 161 22 pages islamabad — peshawar edition
President tells allies he’s ‘hale and hearty’
President Asif Ali Zardari told Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain on Wednesday that he was “hale and hearty” as reports about his health sparked rumours that he would resign on the grounds of illhealth following a trail of controversies plaguing his presidency. Altaf Hussain had called President Zardari, who was admitted to a hospital in Dubai for chest pain, on the phone. Altaf also urged the nation to pray for the president’s quick recovery. Zardari thanked Altaf for this appeal to the nation and told him that he was “all hale and hearty by the grace of the Almighty”. ANP leader Asfandyar Wali called Zardari to enquire after his health and delivered his best wishes to him. Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Fazlur Rehman also called Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani and enquired after the health of the president. Meanwhile, the MQM chief asked the prime minister to convey his sentiments to the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari. The prime minister thanked Altaf for his call and for the MQM’s cooperation in the maintenance of law and order during Myuharram. Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashed alMaktoum also visited the president at the hospital. Sheikh Mohammad, also vice president and prime minister of the United Arab Emirates, wished Zardari a swift recovery, the official WAM news agency reported. Outside the special ward at the American Hospital housing Zardari, Pakistani security guards and local officers guarded the area. Party members, diplomats and media milled about, waiting for word on his health.
Zardari in Dubai for heart check-up, contradictory reports from various quarters spark rumours
thursday, 8 december, 2011 muharram-ul-haram 12, 1433
FP magazine suggests president weighing his options about stepping down Claims Zardari was ‘incoherent’ during his recent telephonic talk with President Obama ISLAMABAD mian aBrar
s reports from Dubai said on Wednesday that President Asif Ali Zardari’s medical tests were normal and Petroleum Minister Dr Asim Hussain also claimed that the president would return within four days (after getting clearance from his doctors), the doubts about his return had apparently been cleared, though details about his health were still awaited as the guessing game in the country continued. A health bulletin issued by the president’s physician Col Salman said: “Routine evaluation of the president’s condition is being carried out… investigations carried out so far are essentially within normal range and the president’s condition is stable.” ZARDARI WEIGHING OPTIONS: The president’s departure for Dubai on Tuesday for treatment following
unlikely to address parliament | page 04
“mild chest pain” had set off the rumour machinery in the wake of the Supreme Court decision on the NRO review petition and the memo issue continuing to hound the Presidency. Added to that were the incoherent statements issued by the presidential spokesman and PM’s House and the US-based Foreign Policy magazine suggesting that Zardari was weighing his options whether to face the tide or step down citing health reasons, all of which tended to lend credence to the countrywide speculations about the role of Zardari as head of state.
“President Asif Ali Zardari is in a Dubai hospital for medical tests and checkup as planned. Reports in some sections of the media speculating on the president’s activities and engagements are speculative, imaginary and untrue,” said Presidential Spokesman Farhatullah Babar. The PM’s House, after a meeting between Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, said the president went to Dubai following symptoms related to his pre-existing heart condition. “After the initial medical tests in Dubai,
By Hook or By Crook
PML-N covertly planning to engineer next Punjab elections LAHORE naSir Butt
The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PMLN) is considering using all resources to ensure a smooth victory in the next general election in the province, with a special focus on constituencies in the southern Punjab. Sources privy to the arrangements being done by the PML-N leadership through provincial resources confided to Pakistan Today that Shaukat Javed, member of the Punjab Public Service Commission (PPSC), was playing an instrumental role in preparing a plan of technical engineering of the next general election for the PML-N in Punjab, besides managing any of the by-polls to be held in the province. He is also believed to be playing a vital role for bringing meaningful political groups and influential people from various parts of Punjab in the PML-N’s fold and garnering support for the PML-N in southern Punjab is one of his major tasks, sources said. They claimed that Javed, who was the joint director general of the Intelligence Bureau (IB) Punjab during Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) government, had defected to the PML-N with a “roadmap of election management” in the province during the caretaker set up of 2008, consequently turn-
Shaukat Javed, the maStermind ing the tables on the PML-Q and bringing enormous majority to the PML-N’s side. The sources said Javed had devised a smart plan to engineer poll rigging during the 2008 elections by managing 5,000 votes in provincial assembly constituency and 8,000 votes in National Assembly constituency for the PML-Q, however, he anticipated the PML-N popularity and joined the Sharifs with his master plan, adding additional seats
to their fold in the result of 2008 polls. As a reward, he was appointed the chief of Punjab Police by the PML-N government and appointed member of PPSC after retirement from where “he is managing information gathering agencies and administrative services falling under purview of the Punjab government to achieve political targets of his bosses in Raiwind”. According to the circles privy to the plan, Javed is one of the key members of the shadow team of the PML-N making preparations for the next election, whether held on time or earlier. They said Javed enjoyed good relations with several political figures of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), PML-Q and other political stakeholders in Punjab who mattered in making and breaking the political order of the province. The sources said that the Special Branch of the Punjab Police was working in close coordination with Javed and several of his proposals had become the line of action of the provincial intelligence service. Javed has proposed a special elite political cell in the provincial intelligence agency that should work under his direct command, besides getting sophisticated eavesdropping and laser wave catching gadgets for the proposed cell, without the knowledge of Continued on page 04
doctors found him to be in stable condition. The president went to Dubai at the insistence of his children,” the statement said, adding that the doctors had yet to determine whether the president’s condition was due to adverse reaction to the medication he was taking or a development related to his pre-existing cardiac condition. Continued on page 04
zardari’s ill-disposition | page 04 is president zardari on the way out ? | page 15
Fai was spying for ISI ! WASHINGTON reuterS
US-based Kashmiri separatist leader Syed Ghulam Nabi Fai pleaded guilty on Wednesday to secretly receiving millions of dollars from Pakistan and the ISI while lobbying in the United States over Kashmir. In a deal with federal prosecutors, Fai pleaded guilty in US District Court in Alexandria, Virginia, to conspiracy and tax violations over a decades-long scheme to conceal $3.5 million that came from Pakistan to fund his lobbying efforts. The Pakistani government has denied any knowledge of Fai’s activities. Fai and another defendant, Zaheer Ahmad, were initially charged in July with conspiring to act as Pakistani agents in the United States without registering as foreign agents. Ahmad, also a naturalised US citizen, remains at large and is believed to be in Pakistan. Fai served as executive director of a Washington group, the Kashmiri American Council that described itself as a nonprofit organisation run by Kashmiris and financed by Americans. But an FBI affidavit filed in court in July said Fai and the group received several million dollars from Pakistan and the ISI since the mid-1990s in an effort to influence the US government’s position on Kashmir. “For the last 20 years, Fai secretly took millions of dollars from Pakistani intelligence and lied about it to the US
government,” US Attorney Neil MacBride said in a statement. “He did the bidding of his handlers in Pakistan while he met with US elected officials, funded high-profile conferences, and promoted the Kashmiri cause to decision-makers in Washington,” MacBride said. Fai admitted in court that, from 1990 until his arrest in July, he conspired with others to obtain money from Pakistani government officials, including the ISI, to operate his group. Fai, 62, who lives in Fairfax, Virginia, faces up to five years in prison for the conspiracy count and up to three years in prison for the tax violation. The judge set sentencing for March 9.
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02 News Today’s
Thursday, 8 December, 2011
mourning in peace
uS should contain Pakistan army’s excesses: riedel Saudi woman to be lashed for driving, despite royal pardon
Story on Page 08
Story on Page 10
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Muharram terrorist attempt foiled in Mardan MARDAN: The local police foiled a terrorist bid by defusing two explosive devices, planted in a shop near Sheesh Mahal Bakery in Bigut Gunj Bazaar on Tuesday, the tenth day of Muharram, officials said. Upon information, a bomb disposal squad and the local police reached the site, a few metres from Imam Bargah Hadaria and defused the two bombs weighing 2 and 7 kilogrammes each. The bombs had been planted in a deserted shop located near the Sheesh Mahal Bakery. The bombs were planted on the route of the Muharram procession, according to sources. The police started investigation into the matter. However, no arrests have been made so far. StaFF rePOrt
DGMO to brief cabinet on NATO attacks ISLAMABAD: In a special sitting being held here today (Thursday), Director General Military Operations (DGMO) Major General Ishfaq Nadeem Ahmed will give a detailed briefing to the federal cabinet on the recent NATO attacks on Salala check posts in Mohmand Agency which killed 24 soldiers. An official source told Pakistan Today that previously, the meeting had to take up a one-point agenda, however due to bad health of President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani would very likely take his core team into confidence on the developments which took place during the last 48 hours. In the last cabinet meeting held in Lahore, the prime minister had decided to get a briefing from the DGMO on the NATO attacks. StaFF rePOrt
Taliban looking for Zar Gul Wazir’s murderers PESHAWAR: Taliban are making all out efforts to find out the perpetrators of Zar Gul Wazir’s mysterious assassination. Highly-placed sources told Pakistan Today on Wednesday that Wazir, who was found dead four days after Eidul Adha, was one of the most active militant commanders and was inducted in the central shura od the Taliban two years ago. The sources said Wazir belonged to Hassankhel clan of Utrman Wazir dominating Speen Wam region of North Waziristan. He led several actions against the US-led allied troops across the border in Afghanistan. However, he was against of Taliban’s involvement in criminal acts in Pakistan. In particular, he was not in favour of kidnapping for ransom and killing of hostages. In this respect, he earned enmity of those local and foreign militants who favoured such terrorist acts. Wazir was mysteriously assassinated by unidentified men and his body was found on a roadside near Mirali town. No one has claimed responsibility for the assassination so far. Shamim Shahid
karachi: a Shia flagellates himself during an ashura procession on tuesday. AFP
FATA development not on government’s priority list g
Govt releases only Rs 1 billion of Rs 15 billion allocated to FATA development ISLAMABAD
HE government’s sincerity in bringing peace and development to the restive areas of FATA could be gauged from the fact that during the first two quarters of the current fiscal year (2011-12) only Rs 1 billion of Rs 15 billion was released. A source in the FATA Secretariat told Pakistan Today that of the Rs 15 billion Annual Development Programme (ADP) only Rs 1 billion had been released by the Finance Ministry. “The Annual Development Plan (ADP) of Rs 15 billion, passed in July this year, also includes Rs 1.45 billion for FATA Development Authority to carry out development projects in mineral, industrial, skill development, small dams, township development and
tourism sectors,” he added. The official said the programme outlay carried approximately 20 percent increase compared with last financial year’s allocation. “More than 1,000 development schemes, including 300 new projects, had to be implemented during the current financial year while 70 percent of the total funds had been allocated for the ongoing schemes and 30 percent for new schemes,” he said. Parliamentarians from FATA expressed serious concerns over the slow pace of release of funds which was hampering the objective of peace and development in the area. Talking to Pakistan Today, FATA MNA Akhunzada Chattan said in the last fiscal year, only 30 percent of the total allocated funds were released. “The delay in release of funds badly hampers development in the region which is already lagging behind other
parts of the country… from December to March you cannot execute development works in FATA due to harsh weather conditions,” he said. Chattan said the government had also not launched any mega project in FATA. “Perturbed with this injustice, our parliamentary group met Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani many times but to no avail… he (the premier) cites country’s financial problems due to war on terror and natural calamities… but, on the other hand we (FATA lawmakers) cannot face our constituents as we have done nothing for them,” he said, demanding the government release developments funds for FATA in one go so that all ongoing and new projects could be completed in time. He said the government must realise that only development, education and employment would bring peace in restive FATA. The official of FATA Secretariat
said in the development strategy, the government had included improvement of the existing infrastructure and construction of new roads and bridges to improve connectivity and had emphasised on improved social sector delivery through upgrading and removal of deficiencies from the existing education and health institutions and providing drinking water facilities. “Under the ADP, funds distribution among the tribal agencies and frontier regions had been made on the basis of population and area with 65 percent and 35 percent consideration, respectively,” he said. Another official of FATA Secretariat said the FATA Secretariat had initiated a case for the creation of 4,545 posts in 2009 amounting to Rs 11 billion but so far the Finance Division had agreed to release funds for 1,000 posts and even funds for those posts had not been released.
Opposition embarrassed as it fails to manage Senate quorum ISLAMABAD StaFF rePOrt
The opposition in the Senate on Wednesday faced embarrassment when it failed to ensure quorum for a session it had requisitioned, with the presiding office proroguing the House as the required one-fourth members were not present despite the bells having been rung for five minutes. PPP Senator Syedda Iqbal had pointed out in the very beginning that the proceedings of the House could not be held due to incomplete quorum. JI Senator Professor Ibrahim said a member of the treasury benches was pointing out incomplete quo-
rum and it suggested the failure of the government. Leader of the House in the Senate Nayyar Bukhari, however, replied that the session had been called on the request of the opposition members and maintaining the quorum was the responsibility of the opposition. Senator Afrasiab Khattak, who was presiding over the proceedings in the absence of chairman and deputy chairman of the Senate, ordered to ring the bells and after a few minutes, the House again started its proceedings. Raising a point of order, Tahir Mashhadi said that the government should make efforts to reinstate some sacked journalists of Multan. Nayyar Bukhari, speaking
on another point of order, said the questions of the current session should be postponed to the next session. However, the proceedings were suspended in the owing to Maghrib prayers and PML-Q’s Simeen Saddiqi again pointed out an incomplete quorum after the prayer interval. The bells were rung again, but the House did not meet the quorum. The session was, therefore, prorogued. This was not a regular session of the Upper House and it had been requisitioned by the opposition members to debate the NATO strike and memo issues. The Upper House is scheduled to hold its regular session from December 9. Only 16 members of the Upper House
were present in the House when the quorum was pointed out by PPP Senator Syedda Iqbal and 23, six from the government and 17 from the opposition, were present when Simeen Saddiqi pointed out the quorum later. Later, PML-N Senator Ishaq Dar told reporters that members of the treasury were held back from proceedings of the Upper House and an incomplete quorum was pointed out deliberately by the government as part of its scheme to avoid debate on NATO airstrike and the “memogate” issue. “It was decided in the advisory committee that no one would point out quorum in the Senate, but pointing out incomplete quorum and holding most of its members back
from participating in the proceedings of the Upper House by the government is part of its scheme to sabotage the debate on NATO airstrike and revelations of US citizen Mansoor Ijaz, as both the issues could have been embarrassing for the government,” Dar said, adding that his party would submit an adjournment motion against the move. Dar said the debate on memo issue and NATO airstrike engender a number of questions about the performance of the government and suggested its utter failure in resolving national issues. Moreover, Senator Mushahidullah said the government told many of its members to leave when the House was about to meet the quorum.
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Thursday, 8 December, 2011
ARTS & eNTeRTAiNMeNT
assad says only ‘crazy’ leaders kill own people Fhm to sue veena malik for rs 250 million magnificent Pakistan complete clean sweep
News 03 COMMeNT rumour, again, has it: Our dysfunctional republic.
thanking the taliban: Mr Malik says the magic words to them.
nazir naji says: Rumour mill overdrive: Where they are emanating from and why?
imran husain says: There is light: Some say glass half empty, other half full.
kuldip nayar says: Apportioning blame: Everyone’s naked in this bath…
Story on Page 19
Story on Page 16
Swati says goodbye to parliament, JUI-F Resigns from JUi-F basic membership amidst speculations of him joining PTi g
N what was taken amongst the party ranks as a defiance and betrayal of trust, Jamiat Ulema-eIslam-Fazl (JUI-F) Senator Azam Khan Swati on Wednesday resigned from his Senate seat and the basic membership of the party amidst speculations that he had cleared the hurdles in his way towards joining Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI). Although he did not mention anything adverse for the JUI-F leadership in the resignation and only criticised the government for its incompetence, his resignation from the basic party membership had strengthened the impression that he was set to join the PTI. Talking to reporters outside the Parliament House, he said, “Under the prevailing political situation, it is high time to detach from parliament… I would discuss with my friends about the future course of action,” he added. Criticising the government, Swati said the rulers were the major threat to the country. He said he could not sit in parliament with fake degree-holders. In his resignation submitted to the Senate chairman, Swati expressed complete dissatisfaction over the government’s performance, saying he always raised concerns over “unprecedented corruption, mismanagement, ineffectiveness of government, lack of good governance, lawlessness, unemployment, escalating cost of
Body on national security meets today
living and other social and economic ills” the country was facing. He mentioned in his resignation the recent episode which, he said, was a clear threat to national security at the hands of present rulers. He was of the view that the Upper House of the parliament had failed to play an effective role in resolving all issues and ‘political uncertainty’ had compelled him to resign from Senate. A few days ago, Swati had asked the party leadership for resignations en-masse from parliament, as he was of the view that the present political dispensation had failed to deliver to the masses and resolve the prevailing challenges on political and security fronts.
SC holds full court reference
The Parliamentary Committee for National Security would meet today (Thursday) to start a probe into the memogate issue and to finalise its guidelines for future policy regarding the country’s engagement in the war against terrorism and its relations with the US. The meeting would take place with Senator Raza Rabbani in the chair at the Parliament House. The meeting would discuss the matters related to memogate and NATO strikes, said a source. Senior officials, including the defence secretary and the secretary for foreign affairs have been summoned to attend the meeting. The sources said that the parliamentary committee would investigate into the matter of memogate. The members would also present their proposals for evolving final recommendations to frame the future guidelines for the government to deal with the US and NATO forces in the perspective of post NATO strikes scenario. Meanwhile, the members of the Senate Standing Committee on Defence would be given a briefing today by the officials of the GHQ and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the NATO attack on the Salala check post in Mohmand Agency. According to the agenda of the meeting, the circumstances leading to the attack, its repercussions and Pakistan’s options would also be discussed by the members of the committee.
A full court reference on the eve of retirement of Supreme Court Judge Justice Muhammad Sair Ali, will be held at the Supreme Court on Friday. The full court reference, chaired by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, will be attended by the judges of the apex court, attorney general for Pakistan, Supreme Court Bar Association president, Pakistan Bar Council’s vice-chairman and lawyers. Justice Muhammad Sair Ali will be retiring on December 11 (Sunday) after attaining the age of suppuration, 65 years. He was appointed as the Supreme Court judge on April 14, 2009 and as the Lahore High Court judge on May 2, 2001. With the retirement of Justice Muhammad Sair Ali, the strength of the Supreme Court judges will fall to 16. The other SC judges who retired this year included Justice Mahmood Akhtar, on October 13, Justice Ghulam Rabbani, on October 20, Justice Raja Fayyaz Ahmad, in May, Justice Javed Iqbal from Balochistan, in July and Justice Khalilur Rehman Ramday, an ad hoc judge from Punjab, in February. Meanwhile, Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, Justice Ijaz Ahmad Chaudhry, Justice Gulzar Ahmed and Justice Muhammad Athar Saeed were appointed as judges of the Supreme Court on November 17.
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Articles on Page 12-13
eD joint secretary released on bail in Haj corruption case ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday ordered the release of former Establishment Division (ED) joint secretary SM Tahir. IHC Chief Justice Iqbal Hameedur Rehman heard the bail plea of Tahir. He was arrested in connection with the mismanagement in Haj affairs during 2010 for hiding facts in a working paper that later paved way for the appointment of Rao Shakeel Ahmed as director general (DG) Haj in Saudi Arabia. Rao Shakeel is the main accused in the mega corruption Haj scandal for allegedly embezzling millions of rupees in the renting accommodations for pilgrims in Saudi Arabia. Tahir was also accused of concealing the original date of
birth of Rao Shakeel and did not mention pending criminal cases in the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) against him in a Working Paper prepared for his appointment as DG Haj. After hearing the arguments from the defence counsel and officials of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), the IHC granted bail to Tahir against a surety bond of Rs 200,000. Tahir’s lawyer, Sanaullah Zahid, argued before the court that his client was innocent and the FIA could not prove any allegations against him. The court questioned the FIA assistant director (investigations), who could not give a satisfactory reply. The court then issued bail orders for Tahir. StaFF rePOrt
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Thursday, 8 December, 2011
Zardari’s ill-disposition: is there Diplomats ‘monitoring’ more to it than meets the eye? Islamabad situation LAHORE
ISLAMABAD Sta FF re PO rt
he foreign diplomatic missions in Islamabad are concerned about the current political developments in Pakistan, especially following reports of President Asif Ali Zardari’s illness and his departure for Dubai for treatment coupled with rumors about his stepping down and resignation from office. The diplomatic missions of the US, UK, Ger-
many, Russia, China, India, Japan and other western and Muslim states were already perturbed about developments taking place in recent months in Pakistan since the May 2 US raid, the latest issue of president’s likely resignation has further added to their concerns and worries. The foreign missions are keenly monitoring the evolving situation in Islamabad and they are in touch with not only Pakistani officials, but also analysts and journalists, to have as much informa-
tion as possible and to have their opinion on the current state of affairs in government. US ambassador Cameron Munter, who met Interior Minister Rehman Malik on Wednesday, is believed to have spoken about the president’s health with him and the other foreign diplomats are also contacting the Foreign Office and other officials in Islamabad. “Yes the foreign diplomats are worried about what is happening in Islamabad and their contacts with Pakistani
officials have increased in the wake of President Zardari’s heart problems and his departure to Dubai for treatment,” said a Pakistani diplomat, requesting anonymity. He said all the important countries were inquiring after the latest developments in Islamabad. A diplomatic source said the diplomatic missions of various countries were also in touch with their governments and were regularly sending cables on their understanding of the situation in Pakistani capital.
ill Zardari not likely to address parliament ISLAMABAD StaFF rePOrt
President Asif Ali Zardari will not address the joint session of parliament in the near future because of illhealth, as he is currently being kept under medical observation. On Sunday, a presidential spokesman had announced that the president had decided to address a joint session of parliament after Muharram and called upon the government to take appropriate steps in this regard. It was for the first time that a statement issued by the Presidency also mentioned the role and responsibility of the president as “supreme commander of the armed forces”, triggering a debate against the backdrop of the NATO strike and more importantly his alleged involvement in the memogate controversy and his supposed differences with the top military brass. Under Article 56(1) of the constitution, the president may address either House or both Houses assembled together and may for that purpose require the attendance of the members, Spokesperson Farhatullah Babar had said. However, a press release issued by Prime Minister’s House on Wednesday said the president would remain under (medical) observation and return to resume his normal functions as advised by the doctors.
A lengthy meeting of the members of the United Arab Emirates (UAE)’s royal family with President Asif Ali Zardari, who is under treatment there for a heart condition, shows that the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP)’s top leader’s health is not as bad as being portrayed in the Pakistani as well as Western media, as if he is on his way out of the Presidency ostensibly on health grounds. The president’s meeting with the princes of the Al-Nayhan family in Abu Dhabi also lends credence to another important rumour making rounds in the power and political circles of Pakistan: the royal family of Abu Dhabi represented Pakistan at the Bonn Conference on Afghanistan and President Zardari’s presence in the emirate apart from health reasons could be for a debriefing from the royal family after the international moot. The political circles here are abuzz with rumours that after Pakistan’s refusal to attend the conference as a reaction to NATO strikes in the country, the Al-Nayhan family was asked to represent Pakistan as part of a secret deal between the Pakistani government and international players, and President Zardari is visiting Abu Dhabi to share information relevant to Pakistan. Sources said his meeting on Wednesday with members of the Al-Nayhan family was part of consultations after the conference about what the international community expects of the Pakistani leadership and military in the coming days. Sources said that even if any destablising move is afoot, especially from any big power, the interaction between Zardari and the princes could be part of efforts to prevent any such incident. Meanwhile, political analysts do not expect any political change in the country in the near future as being speculated in the media, nor do they believe that Zardari’s exit could lead to any change of the PPP-led government in Pak-
PMl-N covertly planning MUlTAN: Former foreign minister and PTi vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi addresses a public meeting at Shah Rukn-e-Alam Colony on Wednesday. ONLINe
Two troops, 10 US wants ties with Pakistan militants killed in back on track: Pentagon Kurram clashes pact on the operations. WASHINGTON KURRAM AGENCY: At least 10 militants and two soldiers have been killed in clashes between security forces and militants in central Kurram, military officials said on Wednesday. In another incident, three soldiers of Elite Force sustained injuries when eight mortar shells fired from an unknown direction hit Hangu on Ashura. The injured have been shifted to the district headquarters hospital. O nl in e
Continued from page 1 The very fact that Bilawal Bhutto Zardari was present in the country and one of his sisters was in Britain, the statement issued by the presidential spokesman that the president went to Dubai to meet his children also suggested that there was more to the episode than what the spokesman had said for the consumption of the media. A health bulletin to explain the condition of the president was also not released by the Presidency, rather a brief statement was issued by PM’s House. “The president will remain under observation and return to resume his normal functions as advised by the doctors,” the statement issued by PM’s House said, indicating that the president would stay in Dubai for some time and the proposed presidential address to parliament was not likely
Pentagon said it was trying to get the military coordination and cooperation with Pakistan back on track, saying the US was committed to mend its relationships with Pakistan. “We want to get back to a level of greater cooperation with the Pakistanis, but we have a rough patch,” Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said. Pentagon spokesman Captain John Kirby told reporters that this would certainly have an im-
NATO CHIEf URGES PAKISTAN: NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen on Wednesday urged Pakistan to cooperate with military operations in Afghanistan despite the cross-border NATO strike. “The only way forward is positive cooperation between Afghanistan and Pakistan, between the United States and Pakistan, between NATO and Pakistan,” said Rasmussen, repeating his regret for the November 26 incident.
Continued from page 1 three prime intelligence agencies – the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Military Intelligence (MI) and Intelligence Bureau. The sources said Javed was also creating assets for the PML-N in provincial information gathering agencies and administration with a view of solid assistance sources in case the next polls were held under an unfriendly or alien set up. In pursuance of the proposed strategy, a cell of the Special Branch has been set up at Club Road near the Chief Minister’s House under the supervision of a superintendent of police. When the spokesman of Punjab government, Senator Pervez Rashid, was contacted, he strongly contradicted the information and declared it a dirty propaganda by the opposition.
The American Hospital in Dubai. istan, especially in the presence of a prime minister from the PPP. So they believe if any attempt is being made to bring about political changes from certain quarters in the country, it would fall short of achieving its objectives. They said if Zardari was on his way out, he would not have left his son behind, shown by TV channels in a meeting with the prime minister and quite relaxed. The political analysts say there was hardly any plausible threat to the existing political setup before Zardari’s departure to Abu Dhabi that could scare away the president. They said the memogate scandal or National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) was not enough to terrify Zardari. After all, they argue, the memogate scandal was a case applicable to all stakeholders, including the army chief, and hence not reason enough to force the president to quit. Sources close to the Presidency say Zardari was genuinely ill for the last few days. “But then anybody could fall sick, especially keeping in view the stressful nature of Pakistani politics,” said a senior political leader. However, the departure of Zardari for medical treatment created such hype in the country that it has already overshadowed everything else from the memogate scandal and the NRO case to general politics in the country.
Afghans asked to declare properties by January 15 ISLAMABAD StaFF rePOrt
Interior Minister Rehman Malik on Wednesday asked all Afghans who have assets in Pakistan to declare them by January 15, 2012 to the Ministry of Interior, adding that failure to do so would result in confiscation of the properties. Keeping in view the complaints of Pakistani community abroad, the government had also decided to open 30 new offices of the Directorate General of Passport and Immigration across the world, the interior minister said while chairing a highlevel meeting at the Ministry of Interior. During the meeting, it was decided that keeping in view the numerous complaints by Pakistan community abroad, the staff strength of Passport and Im-
Rumours Galore to take place in the near future. The US-based Foreign Policy magazine had reported that President Zardari might step down on the pretext of poor health as the noose was tightening around his neck because of his alleged involvement in the memogate scandal. In its report, the Cable quoted a former US government official as saying that when US President Barack Obama spoke to Zardari recently regarding the NATOs strike in Mohmand Agency, Zardari was “incoherent”. It was also wrongly claimed that it was not a heart problem, rather the cause of the president’s indisposition was related to his brain. Probably, if true, it might be because of a reaction to the
medicine the president had been using. Doctors are in the process of determining whether the president’s condition is because of the adverse effects of medication, but the situation is currently unclear. The Presidency and PM’s House did not say a word on this and all the statements they issued said it was a heart problem that took the president to Dubai for a checkup. However, the question was still being raised whether a person with a cardiac problem could be flown to another country when state-of-the-art facilities were available in Pakistan. While a section of media reported that the president was flown to Dubai in an air ambulance, the infor-
mation proved to be incorrect. It was also being speculated that the president went to Dubai in a private aircraft of a real estate tycoon. This was neither confirmed nor denied. Pakistan Institute of Medical Science (PIMS) Cardiology Department Head Dr Iqbal Saifullah told Pakistan Today that the cardiac treatment facilities were far better in Pakistan than in Dubai. “We don’t have heart transplant facility but we can do anything when it comes to heart diseases,” he said. Petroleum Minister Dr Asim Hussain, a close aide of the president, caused further confusion by saying that when the president had left for Dubai he was normal.
This contradicted the statements issued by the Presidency and PM’s House. Dr Asim also claimed that all of the president’s tests were normal. His argument that no announcement was made or required in case a person went abroad for medical treatment or a checkup was out of place, as it was not related to an ordinary person but a head of state. He simultaneously claimed the president was kept under intensive care in the hospital, but would return to Pakistan in four days. Political analyst Dr Hasan Askari Rizvi said it was not a surprise for him as the elite of Pakistan was in the habit of making foreign trips on public expense for medical treatment. “Though
migration Directorate would be increased in every office abroad. The minister instructed that two extra passport officers be posted immediately to facilitate the process of issuance of machine readable passports. Malik also instructed that in view of the demand by the overseas Pakistanis, new offices shall be opened and a three-month time limit was given for the purpose. The new offices would be opened in Damam in Saudi Arabia, Rasul Khema in UAE, Sharjah, Al-Ain, Salah in Oman, Qatar, Jordan, Lebanon, Birmingham in UK, Manchester, Glasgow, Paris, Valencia, Barcelona, Milan in Italy, Austria, Netherlands, Tokyo, Beijing, Seoul, Moscow, Berlin, Bonn, Dublin, Ottawa, Jakarta, Houston, Washington, Chicago and Arizona.
there are state-of-the-art medical facilities available in Pakistan for angiography or angioplasty, our elite feels pride in making foreign trips for medical treatment. But what is surprising for me is the way the Presidency handled the matter of the illness of the president,” he said, adding that half-truths about the president’s health and mysterious press releases issued by the president’s media team had strengthened the rumours. Asked whether or not the memo controversy had built pressure on the Presidency, Rizvi said it was true that the memo case in the apex court had built pressure on the president but the enquiry into this issue had yet to be completed and the matter had not passed a situation that could have pressed Zardari to leave the country. “There is no such indication,” he added.
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Thursday, 8 December, 2011
demand for winter delicacies on the rise PAGe 08
Women protest against gas load shedding ISLAMABAD StaFF rePOrt
Scores of women accompanied by their children, staged a protest against gas load shedding and blocked the 7th Avenue Road between sectors G-6 and G-7 for traffic here on Thursday. The protesters said gas supply had been erratic over the past 10 days. They demanded the government end gas load shedding and chanted slogans against the authorities concerned for nonavailability of gas. They said they were dependent on gas for heating and cooking and complained about the low gas pressure. They said the authorities had not taken any step to address the problem. Nasreen, a protester, said gas load shedding had aggravated their problems. She said children and men went to their schools and workplaces without breakfast because of low gas pressure in the morning. “Preparing breakfast for the family is becoming a hard task,” she added. Later the group dispersed peacefully.
iSlamaBad: resident of G7/3-3 protest against gas load shading at 7th avenue. STAFF PhOTO
Petition filed against veena ISLAMABAD StaFF rePOrt
A petition has been moved in the Islamabad High Court, seeking cancellation of actress Veena Malik’s Passport for showing herself nude on a magazine cover in India. Former police officer Saleem Ullah Khan filed the petition, contending that Veena Malik had defamed Pakistan Army and Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). “Veena used ISI tattoo on her arm and took a grenade in her hand. She also wore the Pak Army’s bandolier,” the petitioner maintained. The writ branch of the IHC accepted the petition and fixed the matter for Wednesday. Justice Anwar Khan Kasi will hear the case today (Thursday).
CDA’s new chairman appointed ISLAMABAD StaFF rePOrt
The government has appointed Engineer Farkhand Iqbal as the Capital Development Authority’s new chairman. Iqbal was previously working in the Planning Commission as senior chief of energy wing. He has replaced Imtiaz Enayat Elahi. Iqbal has also served as National Police Bureau Project Director General. Imtiaz Enayat Elahi has been posted as secretary, Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD).
FDE to probe delay in repatriation of teachers on deputation ISLAMABAD
HE Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) has constituted a threemember committee to identify those responsible for not repatriating around two hundred teachers to their parents departments after completion of their terms. “We have constituted a team to expose the FDE officers who after the completion of deputation period of around 200 teachers never bothered to repatriate them to their parent departments,” said Atif Kayani, the FDE director gen-
eral here on Wednesday. Kayani, who will be heading the new committee, told Pakistan Today that within one month, all those responsible for the delay in that regard would be taken to task. He said the services of teachers in question had been borrowed for five years from their respective provinces but after completion of their term, they were yet to be sent back to their parent departments. It is relevant to note here that during last month, the FDE had ordered the repatriation of the teachers to their respective education departments in Punjab, Sindh, Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Azad Kashmir, FATA and Gilgit
ISLAMABAD StaFF rePOrt
Inspector General of Police (IGP) Bani Amin Khan on Wednesday transferred five police officials. According to a police official, Kohsar Station House Officer (SHO) Fayyaz Tanoli had been transferred to Aabpara police station and Aabpara SHO Tanveer Abbasi to the SSP office, security branch. Inspector Allah Bux was transferred from security branch and posted as Kohsar SHO. Inspector Chaudhry Akhtar was transferred from investigation wing and posted as Nilor SHO and Inspector Asjad Altaf was transferred from Nilor to Rescue 15.
at the same station. The IHC had observed that there was no provision in the service rules for absorption or taking services of government employees on permanent basis from the provincial departments to the federal departments and directed the Law Ministry to evolve a mechanism for absorption of such appointees. Atif Kayani said the teachers in question had completed their term and hundreds of other teachers including female teachers from other districts were requesting the FDE to retain their services. He said that FDE had issued notification in that regard to expedite the repatriation process.
60 years of Pak-CHina friendsHiP
Chinese eye surgeons begin operating on 1,000 Pakistanis ISLAMABAD StaFF rePOrt
Five police officials transferred
Baltistan. Separately, more than 100 female teachers also moved the Islamabad High Court (IHC) urging the court to set aside the FDE repatriation orders and sought absorption in different schools of FDE under ‘wedlock policy’. The IHC chief justice, Iqbal Hameedur Rehman, on 26 November dismissed their plea and ordered the FDE DG to take action against those who had not repatriated the teachers in time. According to the court orders, the teachers who had been posted in Islamabad under ‘wedlock policy’ were not entitled to be absorbed in the FDE schools. Under wedlock policy, working couples are entitled to live and work
A team of Chinese Eye Surgeons launched the ‘Bright Light Tour’ to Pakistan on Wednesday by starting operations on patients at the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) to restore vision to 1,000 people. The tour was announced by Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao during his visit to Pakistan to mark 60 years of Pak-China friendship. A launch ceremony for the ‘Bright Light Tour Programme’ was held at PIMS which was attended by the Chinsese Deputy Head of Mission to Pakistan Huang Xilian and the Embassy’s Commercial Counsular, Zhou Zhencheng and the Chinese team of eye surgeons as well as top professionals from the medical community. Speaking on the occasion, Deputy Head of Mission Huang Xilian said, “The ‘Bring Light Tour’ is an important part of our Friendship Year’s celebration. It is a gift from Chinese gov-
ernment to our great neighbour, a symbol of love from Chinese people to Pakistani brothers and sisters and a manifesto of special bonds between our two countries. The medical team consisting of China’s best ophthalmologists will conduct surgeries in Islamabad and Multan.” He said the Chinese surgeons came from Beijing’s TongRen Hospital which had a record of 100 percent success in restoring vision in cataract patients, adding he was confident that the ‘Bring Light Tour’ would be one of the highlights in this year’s celebration of China-Pakistan friendship. Pakistan’s National Blindness Prevention and Control Programme Head Dr Saqlain Gillani said: “Under the programme Chinese surgeons will conduct 1,000 cataract surgeries in Pakistan. As agreed in our discussions with our Chinese counterparts, the surgeries will be performed over a two-year span covering 10 high prevalence districts of Pakistan.
In the first phase 500 surgeries will be performed, 250 each in Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences, Islamabad and Nishter Hospital, Multan. Beginning from Wednesday, the Chinese surgeons will operate on cataract patients till the 11th of December.” PIMS Executive Director Prof Mehmood Jamal said: “‘The Bright Light Tour’ brings a message of hope and health. The gesture of our Chinese friends symbolises their concern for Pakistani brethren and reflects the deep-rooted ties amongst our people that indeed stand taller than the Himalayas.” He expressed gratitude to the Embassy of China and the Chinese medical team on behalf of the patients, their families and the doctors of PIMS. Blindness remains a key public health problem in Pakistan. According to the National survey of Blindness and Low Vision 2002-2004, the prevalence of blindness in Pakistan is 1% with 1.5 million vision-impaired people in the country.
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Thursday, 8 December, 2011
CiA busts four gangs
French scholar visits iiUi, talks on Pakistani literature
ISLAMABAD StaFF rePOrt
ISLAMABAD StaFF rePOrt
Renowned French scholar David Waterman called on Prof Fateh Muhammad Malik, the rector of the International Islamic University Islamabad (IIUI) here on Wednesday and exchanged his views with the host on contemporary Pakistani literature. Prof Malik appreciated Waterman’s efforts in that regard. Meanwhile, the university also organized a presentation on “Contemporary Novels in English: History, Nation and Family”, said a press release issued here on Wednesday. David Waterman, the associate professor at the University of La Rochelle France, gave his presentation on the subject. He told the audience that the story of a nation could not be explained without its historical backdrop, particularly a new one like Pakistan. Regarding Pakistani literature, he said, it emerged during the freedom movement. He described ‘the germs of extreme nationalism’ based on religious norms, social set-up, a quest for freedom of cultural and traditional heritage with special reference to early Pakistani literature. The post-partition literature, he said, dealt with the socio-political, ideological and ethnic problems of the Pakistani society. He added further that it was essential to make the distinction between literal and exemplary memory as the first would subordinate the present to the past while the second allowed the past to be exploited in the present. He elaborated that cultural identity was always a function of social relations and the struggle of families as units offered the reader a personal perspective with which to consider issues of cultural identity on a large scale. So, history can be taken as narratives of nation and families, said David.
iSlamaBad: islamabad high court Bar President ashraf Ghuger addresses a press conference. STAFF PhOTO
The Crime Investigation Agency (CIA) of the capital police arrested several members of four dacoit gangs here on Wednesday. The police also recovered looted items worth millions of rupees from their possession including a stolen car, hashish, 15 mobile phones, and weapons. A police spokesman said Senior Superintendent of Police Muhammad Yousuf Malik had directed Superintendent Police (Investigation) Ch. Liaqat Ali to arrest these dacoits. A special team was constituted, comprising CIA in-charge Bashir Noon, inspectors Mubarak Ali, and Malik Muhammad Bashir, sub-inspector Zulfiqar Ahmed, assistant subinspectors Haider Ali Shah, and Tariq Rauf and others. The team arrested a total of 18 people including two women. The dacoits had confessed to looting ‘Panjgaran’ petrol pump besides committing robberies in areas of Sector F-11, Shahpur Bara Kau, Faizabad, Alipur Firash and Taramri.
Conference to mark 10 years of independent broadcasting ISLAMABAD
two-day national radio conference to review the successes and shortcoming of the the radio sector in Pakistan is starting here from today (Thursday). Perceptions from abroad on the role of radio in community service, the role of PEMRA in the development and the future of FM radio in Pakistan will also be discussed in the conference. The conference will focus on the
ways and mechanisms of building networking among Pakistan’s FM stations including discussions on why radio has still to emerge as a popular public information medium. The representatives from some 40 leading FM radio stations from across the country will participate in the conference to discuss the role of FM radio stations in local communities and their achievements in this regard. The conference is being organised by the Intermedia Pakistan, a Pakistani media development organisation that has been providing advocacy, research
and training resources for the radio sector under the title “FM Radio as a voice of local communities-Building a Better Broadcast Sector in Pakistan”. The conference will take stock of ten years of independent non-visual broadcasting in the country and celebrate its success and discuss the challenges the sector is facing. The conference also aims at providing opportunities to all the key broadcast stakeholders such as Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA), community groups, government authorities and radio associations to promote networking and collaboration opportu-
nities. It has almost been ten years since the broadcast sector regulator PEMRA was established to promote independent broadcast media in the country. “This milestone call for a review of the successes and challenges of the dozens of FM radio stations in Pakistan and how they have become to be an every day reality in both the urban and rural areas in the large parts of the country and are positively contributing to a sense of community,” said Adnan Rehmat, the executive director of Intermedia Pakistan, in a statement issued here on Wednesday.
Training on women in media from today ISLAMABAD: The International Labour Organisation (ILO) is going to launch the largest media training programme on a thematic issue in Pakistan’s history from today (Thursday). The event is first in a major series of 43-day trainings on improving portrayal of working women in media for over 800 journalists across Pakistan, including Federally Administered Tribal Areas, says a press release issued. Pakistani independent media and policy development and advocacy organisation Civic Action Resources, which is the ILO’s partner on the media component, will conduct media trainings. The training for the first batch of 20 journalists of all key TV channels, newspapers and radio stations from Islamabad, Rawalpindi and some adjacent districts is an outcome of a landmark media partnership established by the top media leadership of Pakistan, including owners, news managers and practitioners. StaFF rePOrt
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Thursday, 8 December, 2011
Islamic calligraphy exhibition opens today ISLAMABAD
n order not to let the centuries old tradition of Islamic calligraphy fade into oblivion, the Louvre Gallery is all set to hold an exhibition today (Thursday). The organisers have arranged the event while keeping in mind the sanctity of Muharram. The exhibition will be featuring the works of various artists from all over the country, featuring different styles of calligraphy done in different mediums. Alina, the curator and owner of Louvre Gallery, told this scribe that the administration was trying its best to promote all kinds of visual arts, especially the calligraphy. “In almost all Muslim societies, al-
most every household is decorated with some kind of Islamic calligraphies, featuring different verses from the Holy Quran. Here in Islamabad, we are just trying to offer a wide variety of the art and giving people a chance to learn from masters like Ahmed Khan,” she added. The art of calligraphy dates back to a period when the writing began. It is a type of visual art which is often called as the art of fancy lettering. A contemporary definition of calligraphic practice is “the art of giving a form to signs in an expressive, harmonious and skilful manner”. Alina said further that the artists whose works were being displayed include Ahmed Khan, MA Bukhari, Bushra Zeeshan, Rashid Ali, Javed Qamar, Warqar, Bashir and Arif Khan.
Ahmed Khan is a distinguished artist and educationist, the work of Ahmed Khan is celebrated for the luminous paintings, in which a traditional interpretation of line and form are reassessed as calligraphic design. The gestural beauty of line is translated by the artist into an exciting contemporary personal expression assimilating a unique and complex process. The exhibition is also showcasing the acrylicon-canvas works of M A Bukhari. Bukhari has calligraphed ninety nine names of Allah under different traditions of the art. In his works, Bukhari describes beauty through painting techniques and blends magnificently the modern art blended with cultural and religious values. He is known for his large canvases, broad strokes and vibrant and lively colours,
which signify his creativity as well as aesthetic sensibilities. The artist uses the paint generously, applying it in thick layers with an abandon that is eye-catching and bewildering at the same time. Among new artists, Bushra Zeeshan is showcasing her work in both acrylic and oil including Kufic calligraphies. Zeeshan’s works are elegant and done in uniform script-styled calligraphy in which the borders contain details with delicate patterns which provide a perfect balance to the strong fonts employed. Her work is a combination of square and angular lines on one hand, and compact bold circular forms on the other hand. The vertical strokes are short, while the horizontal strokes were long and extended. What is very refreshing and becoming
about her work is the use of standalone colours, their consistency and smooth flow. Apart from Bushra’s work, the remaining calligraphies are in a cursive script that dates back to the early Muslim era. Then there is the work of Rashid Ali, a graduate of Mashkoor School of Art. Ali is known for his palette knife work pigeons also made an appearance with his calligraphies of Thuluth font. His colourful backgrounds and knife execution is definitely a new to the capital. His medium is oil-on-canvas, and his work involves large canvases. He mostly uses single words which have a very impressive finishing. Another artist being featured in the exhibition is Javed Qamar, whose work can be described as calligraphy in an antique style.
Kahuta college seeks Punjab govt’s help ISLAMABAD StaFF rePOrt
Scores of teaching and non-teaching staff of Government Degree College Kahuta staged a protest demonstration on Wednesday outside the local press club to push the Punjab government for the release of financial grant for their salaries. The protesters said they were not paid salaries for the last four months due to the finical crunch, adding that in the last financial year, the provincial government reduced the college fund, which resulted in a crisis for the college. “The college has no fund to pay salaries. For the last four months not a single employee was given salary and still there is no ray of hope,” said Prof Arif Javaid Khan. The Government Degree College Kahuta is an autonomous body, which is being run by a Board of Governors (BoG), headed by the Khan Research Laboratory chairman. Prof Arif Javaid said the BoG chairman personally raised the issue with the Punjab government but the Education Ministry showed indifference to the just demand. The teachers said more than one thousand poor students were enrolled in the college. They demanded the Punjab chief minister to order releasing the financial grant for the college and to take over the control of the institution in the greater interest of poor students and staffers.
iSlamaBad: teachers demonstrate outside the national Press club in favour of their demands. STAFF PhOTO
16 days of aCtivism against gender violenCe
Artworks depict fight against militarism, state repression Poetry recital, documentary on working women and culture also part of the programme
ISLAMABAD StaFF rePOrt
The Nomad Gallery in association with United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN WOMEN) on Wednesday organised a string of cultural activities including poetry recital, screening of documentary, singing on a giant mural and calendar 2012 launch at its premises to observe ‘16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence’. The event, held under the theme ‘From Peace in the Home to Peace in the World: Let’s Challenge Militarism and End Violence against Women’, aimed at bringing together women, peace and human rights movements to challenge militarism and sexual and gender-based violence committed by state agents, particularly police and military. A large
number of activists, local artists, students and art lovers attended the programme. The activities kicked off with participants signing and writing messages to end discrimination against women on a large size peace mural ‘Aman Shanakht Banao’ (Let peace be your identity). Young poets recited English and Urdu poetry followed by the recital from creative artist and writer Ahmed Habib, who read out excerpts from his new book. Sarwat Mohyuddin also recited Urdu poetry from her book, highlighting sexual and political violence against women, including pre/during/ post-election violence. On the occasion, a 50-minute documentary ‘Shanakht- Mein Houn Zindagi’, produced by Nageen Hyat, was also screened with an aim to highlight and sen-
sitise the viewers on working women, culture and taboos in Pakistan. The documentary that was presented in collaboration with PTV also included women writers and poets sharing their views on the issue. An art exhibition containing around 20 artists’ work highlighted sexual violence and political violence against women, was also displayed on the walls of Nomad Gallery. Talking to Pakistan Today, Nomad Gallery owner Nageen Hyat said the mural would remain open for comments along with the artworks on display till December 10 (Human Rights Day), while the Nomad would also hold an outdoor craft festival, music performances, peace mural, art display, mime performances, and poetry reading, for supporting women’s rights on the same day.
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08 Islamabad Demand for winter 18High°C delicacies on the rise 09°C Thursday, 8 December, 2011
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ITH a sudden fall in temperature especially during night, people in the federal capital have started enjoying seasonal food like doodh jalebi, gajar ka halwa, chicken corn soup, Kashmiri tea and coffee. As the mercury is dropping continuously that reaches freezing point at night, the demand for chicken corn soup in particular has increased manifold. A large number of people can be seen revelling in having protein rich food and other winter delicacies at the makeshift stalls and shops at Karachi Company (G-9 Markaz), Peshawar Morr, G-10, I-10, I-9, Melody, Aabpara, Jinnah Super Market (F-7), Super Market (F-6), and Bhara Kahu. These stalls have dotted the city, concentrating on all most all the shopping malls. “Kashmiri tea is high in demand these days. I prepare two drums of tea and it all sells like hot cakes,” said Kashif Pervaiz, a vendor at Karachi Company. But he added that insecurity and fear, besides inflation, had damaged his business a bit. “It’s unimaginable for me to shop all the time without refreshing myself with a cup of Kashmiri tea or a bowl of hot soup in winter,” said Lala Rukh Farooq, a visitor at G-9 Markaz. “There is a crave for fried items during winter and it’s hard to resist,” said Lala Rukh, adding that even the weight conscious people could not stay away from this food. While taking a sip of Chicken corn soup at the stall, she said despite the fact that there was so much dust around the setup, she could not resist the temptation. Besides liquid, fried food like pakoras, samosas and vegetable rolls are also high in demand. These spicy items are considered to be an integral part of evening tea. Gajar ka Halwa is supposed to be one of unputdownable food items in winter. Prepared with carrots, condensed milk and dry fruits the deli-
cious dessert is not only a source of energy but it also adds colour and taste to meal. “A chicken corn soup is now available for Rs 50 a bowl, while last year it’s price was Rs 30. However, taste and quality of chicken and place determine the price,” said a visitor at F-10 Markaz. Vendors said prices of ingredients were soaring so they had also increased prices of their products. “Sugar crisis has caused prices of these edibles to go higher, while rising prices of milk, chicken, tea leaf, has forced us to increase the prices of all winter intakes,” vendors said while talking to this scribe. However, many of customers at several stalls and shops observed that care is not taken to serve the chicken soup in hygienic ways. “It’s quite ironic that care is not taken to serve the chicken soup in accordance with health standards,” said Osama Khalid at I-10 markaz. He said he had ordered for a bowl of soup at a stall but returned it on noticing that the pot
was not properly washed. “I have seen a soup stall-holder serving the broth in the same bowl several time without bothering to wash it,” said another customer. He said he heard someone saying that chicken soup was also called grandma’s penicillin due to its healing effects upon health, but the way it was being served “wastes all its benefits.” Dr Abdul Latif Bhatti, who works at a private hospital, told this scribe one could not deny that there were host of benefits of taking chicken soup, but care should be taken to ensure its hygienic serving. He said that only those should be allowed to set up stalls who assured the authorities to maintain hygienic standards. Health experts, while talking to Pakistan Today, warned people against having excessive tea, chicken corn soup, fried snacks and ‘halwa’ which could have a negative impact on human health. They said people should focus on exercise and increase intake of fruit juices.
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DATe: TUeSDAy DeC 27, 2011 6:00 PM veNUe: iSlAMABAD
DATe: NOv 29 - DeC 25, 2011 veNUe: iSlAMABAD
The band is set to visit Pakistan once again, this time to it's capital. Performing smashing hits like "That's My Name", "My Passion", "Stay with Me" & the new track " Feelings on Fire " they are sure to set the stage ablaze and make you sway.
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DATe AND TiMe: eveRy FRiDAy 6:30-7:30PM veNUe: KHAAS ART GAlleRy iSlAMABAD Capoeira is an Afro-Brazilian martial art that combines elements of dancing, ritual combat & music in a unique synthesis of self defense and rhythm.
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Thursday, 8 December, 2011
Haqqani retains lawyer for defamation claims PRESS RELEASE On December 6, former ambassador to the United States Husain Haqqani retained Washington DC based attorneys Steven K Barentzen and R Kenly Webster to investigate and consider pursuing defamation claims against The Newsweek/Daily Beast Company LLC (“Newsweek”). On December 3, Newsweek published on the company’s on-line Daily Beast website an article written by Mansoor Ijaz falsely accusing Haqqani of having prior knowledge of the United States’ “stealth mission to eliminate [Osama] bin Laden that would violate Pakistan’s sovereignty” and of having a role in a memo Ijaz wrote and sent to the US joint chiefs of staff. Haqqani has vehemently denied these allegations as “reckless, baseless and false”. In a letter sent to the editor of Daily Beast/Newsweek, Haqqani stated, “In the strongest terms possible, I categorically reject as reckless, baseless and false the allegations levied against me by Mansoor Ijaz about prior knowledge of US plans for a raid in Abbottabad in violation of Pakistani sovereignty to eliminate Osama bin Laden as well as his earlier charges” of having a role in the memo Ijaz wrote. President Barack Obama, US Ambassador Cameron Munter and others in the United States government have repeatedly stated that the government of Pakistan was not informed prior to the raid. The White House reiterated this in a statement released on December 5 stating that “[t]here is no truth to the reports that Ambassador Haqqani or President [Asif] Zardari had advance knowledge of the May 2 Abbottabad operation. As we’ve said repeatedly, given the sensitivity of the operation, to protect our operators we did not inform the Pakistani government, or any other government, in advance.” At the same time, the creditability of Mansoor Ijaz is being called into question. In a recent Washington Post article, Richard Lieby describes Ijaz as “prone to exaggerating his importance in this and other murky international negotiations” and in an article posted on CNN’s website, David Frum, former special assistant to George Bush, described Ijaz as a source “of the very weakest credibility”, and described Ijaz’s allegations regarding Haqqani’s prior knowledge of the raid to be “even more desperately implausible” than earlier allegations Ijaz made which led to “Memogate”. Haqqani has retained Barentzen and Webster to investigate whether Newsweek and Ijaz made these statements with malicious intent or whether they acted with reckless disregard for the truth, and if so, whether to pursue claims against them for the serious damages these outrageous allegations have caused Haqqani.
Mission impossible for progressives Khudi, a group that preaches moderation, finding hard to talk people out of radical views g Says incidents like NATO attack on Mohmand make easing anti-West sentiment harder g
small but enthusiastic group of “progressive” Muslims arrives at a hotel conference room in Pakistan’s capital with the tools they hope will help blunt extremism in the unstable US ally. The Khudi organisation – self-esteem in Urdu – does not expect the government to tackle the problem of spreading Islamist radicalism. So it has taken on what seems to be mission impossible – creating a social movement that can reverse the growing tide. Seconds after using laptop computers, a slide projector, a film documentary and examples from history to highlight the dangers of militancy, Khudi leaders are confronted by hostile university students in the audience. A veiled woman says amputations of thieves’ hands should not be criticised because they reduce crime in Saudi Arabia, which is accused of funding hardline Islamist seminaries in Pakistan. Others deny there is intolerance in Pakistan – where al Qaeda-inspired Sunni militants kill members of minorities – arguing instead that Western conspirators fabricate the problem. “I just don’t know how to get my point across to you,” said one of the lec-
turers, visibly frustrated. The US and other Western countries have long urged the government to counter extremism. Critics say Pakistani leaders have failed, allowing everyone from clerics in small rural mosques to school teachers in big cities to spread radicalism in the nuclear-armed state. Khudi’s struggle underscores the difficulties of stabilising Pakistan, seen as critical to US efforts to tackle militancy. It was founded in 2010 by Maajid Nawaz, a former member of the Islamist group Hizb-ut-Tahrir, that tries to recruit military officers in Muslim nations to topple pro-Western governments. Nawaz, a Briton whose family comes from Pakistan, spent years persuading Muslims – from Europe to Egypt – that Western-style democracies were doomed and only Islamic theocracies could succeed. During four years in a notorious Cairo jail for his activities, Nawaz vowed to become a suicide bomber after watching state security agents electrocute fellow Islamists. After holding political debates with fellow inmates, he eventually decided to preach moderation in deeply conservative Pakistan, where liberals and intellectuals are seen as impotent. Although Khudi has spread its message in many Pakistani universities, its leaders say it could years to make an impact. Just mentioning the world secular-
ism can be a problem because it is portrayed as a non-religious concept – so someone secular could easily be labelled an infidel. “We are trying to create the al Qaeda of democratic movements,” said Nawaz, 34, in a telephone interview, referring to the militant group’s reach. “Pakistan is uniquely difficult. Anyone who mentions the word democracy is immediately labelled a Western stooge.” Khudi believes holding free and fair elections in Pakistan is not enough, because religious radicalism is stifling democratic concepts like free speech and freedom of association. So it is reaching out to the young, since over 60 percent of Pakistan’s population is under 25. Made up of eight executive committee members and about 5,000 volunteers, it deploys ideas as its weapons, insisting that military crackdowns on militants produce limited results. Khudi members hold workshops at universities, hand out pamphlets and show films that condemn violence. The group is trying to uproot hardline Islam that can be traced back decades. In the 1980s, for instance, president General Zia ul-Haq nurtured Islamist militants and turned society towards radicalism. National coordinator Fatima Mullick recalls how as a teenager in the 1990s she heard how 40 Shia doctors were shot dead outside their homes or on the way to work in just a few months in her home
KP govt to approach CCi for restoration of Magistracy System PESHAWAR StaFF rePOrt
lahOre: Former prime minister and Pml-n President nawaz Sharif talking to former Pml-Q members mna Safder Shakir, mPa mazhar Gill, mPa arif Gill and PPP ticket-holder ray usman kharal after they joined the Pml-n. INP
Bonn Conference: Pakistan has lost the opportunity SiTUATiONeR Shamim Shahid
Contrary to the claims and pretexts on part of the ruling junta and its loyalists regarding the boycott of the second Bonn conference, Pakistan has lost a valuable opportunity to explain the ground realities to the world and to reaffirm its stance on the war on terror. No one can ignore the lack of trust between Pakistan, Afghanistan and the United States — the main stakeholders in war on terror — which led to further complexities in the alliance. Since long, gatherings in Bonn have played a key role in addressing the Afghan crisis, mainly because of traditional relations between Germany and Afghanistan. During the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the German government extended help to Afghan refugees and militiamen, besides gathering the Afghan elite at Bonn with a view to help them evolve a suitable formula to resolve the conflict.
city Karachi. “There is no illusion,” the 27-yearold said of Khudi’s challenge. “This is the toughest job in the world.” For Imran Khan, a senior Khudi trainer and spokesman unrelated to the cricketer-turned-politician, it was the September 11 attacks on the United States that raised his awareness. “People around me, even people from my family, were very happy that a few ‘infidels’ were killed by Muslim jihadis,” he said, sitting beside teenage Khudi volunteers with funky haircuts and Westernstyle sweatshirts. Khudi pioneers work out of a type of safehouse in the capital Islamabad for fear of attacks by militants. To achieve its aims, Khudi holds workshops on university campuses. A big part of the problem is the growing perception that the West is plotting against Muslims. Recent events like the November 26 NATO air strike that killed 24 Pakistani troops on the border with Afghanistan are fuelling anti-Americanism, and making Khudi’s job harder. “I have relatives who work for Pakistani intelligence. They told me the Americans were behind all the suicide bombings,” said Sobia Baig, a Pakistani woman at the hotel workshop. Khudi is troubled by Pakistan’s long history of creeping radicalism. But a far more recent event shocked its leaders.
Bonn is also accredited for hosting the internationally recognised conference, which concluded with the constitution of a new Afghan government under President Hamid Karzai after the collapse of Taliban rule. At present when the Afghanistan situation in particular and the regional situation in general are worsening, the German government announced to host another gathering of the international community to discuss ways and means to resolve the Afghan conflict. Just ahead of the Bonn conference, NATO helicopters and aircraft attacked two Pakistani border posts and killed 24 soldiers. The barbaric action on the part of the US-led alliance was widely condemned by the global community, as Pakistan announced to cut NATO supplies to Afghanistan and pull out of the Bonn conference. Despite offering numerous sacrifices in the war on terror, Pakistan routinely comes under fire for not “doing more” and even blamed for extending support to some militant groups. Not only its neighbours like India and Iran who are engaged
in undeclared rivalries, a number of other countries are also suspicious of Pakistan’s role. Even the two major stakeholders of the ongoing war on terror — US and Afghanistan — publicly accused Pakistan of extending help and support to extremist groups. The Bonn conference was meant to pinpoint the causes of ongoing violence in Afghanistan, and discuss ways and means to combat the unrest. It was a valuable opportunity for Pakistan to explain its position on Afghanistan. So far almost all the participants have eulogised the importance of Pakistan and even said that without Pakistan’s support no one could resolve the long standing Afghan conflict. The international community is not only supporting the war on terror, but also wants its early and logical conclusion, which is possible only with the cooperation between Pakistan and Afghanistan. The Pakistani leadership rightfully protested against the barbaric NATO strikes, but with boycotting the Bonn conference, it lost an important opportunity to highlight its stance on the Afghan con-
flict and could win the support of the international community in the favour of its point of view. Unlike the US and other countries in the NATO alliance, Pakistan is on the frontline. First, it faced multiple social and economic problems after allowing the Afghan refugees who were fleeing their country after the Soviet invasion. After entering the US-led war on terror, it suffered a loss of thousands of lives and infrastructure, besides losing foreign investment in the country due to security fears. The country is still hosting more than 2.5 million Afghan refugees. Keeping in view the reservations of certain members of the international community, particularly the US, Bonn was a suitable forum for Pakistan to explain its position and unearth ground realities. The war on terror and the long-standing Afghan conflict are political matters and could easily be resolved through political means. Currently Pakistan is being governed by a mature political leadership therefore it must ensure mustering maximum benefits of Bonnlike political gatherings.
In a bid to ensure law and order in the province and streamline the affairs of state institutions through the Magistracy System (Commissioner System), the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) government on Wednesday decided to approach the Council of Common Interests (CCI). This decision was made in a provincial cabinet meeting held under Chief Minister Amir Haider Khan Hoti. The cabinet discussed in detail the situation arising with federal government’s reluctance to go back to the Magistracy System, which was replaced with the devolution of power system introduced by former president General (r) Pervez Musharaf in 2001. Briefing the media about the cabinet’s decision, KP Information Minister Mian Iftikhar said that as the federal government had rejected the request by the KP government to restore the Magistracy System, the provincial Home Department was now planning to approach the CCI to consider its proposal. He claimed that besides the KP government, the governments of Sindh and Balochistan were also interested in reverting back to the Magistracy System. He said the Sindh government had already returned to the old Executive System, but the move was later withdrawn on federal government’s orders, while Balochistan government’s decision was challenged in the court. He said the KP government was carefully monitoring the situation, particularly the court proceedings. He was hopeful of other provinces’ support on the issue in the CCI meeting. In response to a question, Iftikhar said that with the abolishing of the Magistracy System, the state-functionaries were facing hardships in maintaining law and order. He said the executive wing, which is responsible for maintaining law and order, had lost its influence under the present system. He said the cabinet members also condemned the NATO strikes that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers, and called the incursion “unwanted and barbaric”.
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chiniOt/FaiSalaBad: (left) Shias carrying large tazias during the ashura procession in chiniot. (right) mourners self-flagellate at Ganta Ghar in Faisalabad on tuesday. ONLINe
US should contain Pakistan Army’s excesses: Riedel g
Former CiA officer says US engaging Pakistan, but not doing enough to ‘contain’ its army WASHINGTON
HE United States must shift to a strategy of engaging Pakistan while containing the worst “excesses” of its army, an expert who helped develop the current US approach to Islamabad said Monday. After coming to power in January 2009, President Barack Obama tasked Bruce Riedel, a former CIA officer, to chair an interagency review of policy towards Afghanistan and Pakistan for the White House. The review urged close dialogue with Pakistan and an intensification of drone attacks against extremist militants in the tribal areas in northwestern Pakistan. “That strategy made sense at the time but I think in the light of developments, it’s time to shift to a policy of engagement and containment,” said Riedel, now a senior fellow at The Brookings Institution think-tank. “That is to say to continue to engage Pakistan to try to support the development of civilian democracy, to try to help Pakistani economic develop-
veteran Pashto, Urdu poet Fazal Deen Khattak dies
ment but at the same time trying to contain the worst ambitions and excesses of the Pakistani army.” Speaking at a panel discussion, he said that for now, Washington was “not doing enough on the containment part. We’re slipping and sliding into it, but I think without a coherent framework.” US officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the Obama administration had no plans to adopt such a policy at this time. Ties between Washington and Islamabad took a turn for the worse after a US special operations raid killed Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in the Pakistani garrison town of Abbottabad in May. Relations slid to a new low last month when NATO air strikes killed 24 Pakistani soldiers on the Afghan border, prompting Pakistan to boycott the Bonn Conference on Afghanistan’s future. According to Riedel, the Pakistani army is gradually installing a new military dictatorship, without even needing to resort to a coup. “The new military dictatorship that is emerging in Pakistan will be very different from
malik asks us to take action against mansoor ijaz ISLAMABAD StaFF rePOrt
Interior Minister Rehman Malik on Wednesday asked the United States government to take action against Pakistani-American businessman Mansoor Ijaz for violating US laws and passing false statements against the Pakistani leadership and military. US Ambassador to Pakistan Cameron Munter called on Malik at the ministry and discussed bilateral issues. According to sources, Malik told Munter that as the US had admitted that the Pakistani government and former ambassador Hussain Haqqani had no prior knowledge of the Abbotabad operation against Al Qaeda chief Osama Bin Laden, therefore the US government should take action against Ijaz for making false allegations in this regard. Malik also told Munter that Pakistan had always been asked to “do more”, but it was time for the US to take action against a person who was violating US law and misguiding the international community. He said that Ijaz had not kept a firm position on his allegations, rather had been constantly changing his stance. Sources said the two officials discussed bilateral cooperation on the war on terror, and Pakistan’s decision to cut NATO supply routes and vacate its airbases from US control. its predecessors,” he said. “The facade of civilian government is likely to continue to go on... with very little real
power. The media will continue to be very active and alive, except when they criticise the military.”
University’s VC to appear before SC today to justify 4th extension
S ta F F r e PO rt
Popular and veteran Pashto and Urdu poet and writer, former Animal Husbandry director and founding president of Pukhtaneh Leekwal, Dr Fazal Deen Khattak passed away on Wednesday after a protracted illness. Funeral prayer of the deceased will be offered on Thursday December 8, at 11am in Mohmand Abad, Syed Hassan Pir Road Peshawar City. The deceased was the brother of Akmal Asad Abadi, and Moeenuddin Khattak and father of vice president of Pashto Aalami Congress Shahabuddin Khattak advocate, prof Naeemuddin Khattak, Shuja Khattak and Ziauddin Khattak.
A two-member Supreme Court bench will today resume its hearing on a case on the fourth extension of Prof Dr Khalid Mahmood Khan, vice chancellor of the University of Arid Agriculture, Rawalpindi. The bench comprising of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and Justice Tariq Parvez had summoned the VC in the previous hearing to appear before the court. The court had also sent notices to the attorney general, Punjab advocate general and the Punjab chief secretary to appear before the court. The court has asked Mahmood justify why he had been hold-
ing the VC office for the last 10 years and got four extensions. The court took a suo motu notice on the issue after Ahsan Munir filed an application to report the fourth extension to the 70-year-old VC. The applicant argued that the fourth extension was granted in violation of the university’s charter. Earlier on Nov 30, after a preliminary hearing of the application, the court had directed Mahmood to appear before the court through his counsel after Punjab Additional Advocate General Jawwad Hassan, representing the Punjab chief secretary, had conceded before the court that the appointment was illegal and therefore the provincial government would not support it.
Quoting a recent Supreme Court decision on the petition of former National Accountability Bureau (NAB) prosecutor general Irfan Qadir, Hassan argued that no extension could be granted to an individual after the end of his four-year tenure as vice-chancellor. He also submitted that according to the rules, a person who attains the age of 65 could not be granted any further extension. Mahmood was appointed the university’s VC in 2001 during the government of former president General (r) Pervez Musharraf, because he was a close relative of the then petroleum minister Naurez Shakoor. His third extension will end in 2012.
Swat rallies against NATO strike on Mohmand SWAT harOOn SiraJ
Rallies and demonstrations against North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) airstrike that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers in Mohmand continued across the country, with people of Swat taking to streets in Mingora on Wednesday to lodge their protest against the incident. A large number of people participated in the rally at Nishat Chowk, including businessmen, members of civil society, elders of the area, women, bankers, political leaders and workers and students. The rally continued for a couple of hours. The rally started from Nishat Chowak and culminated at Grassi ground. Participants of the rally were chanting slogans against NATO and American forces and holding national flags, placards and banners inscribed with slogans in favour of the Pakistan Army. They demanded a permanent closure of NATO supply line. Addressing the rally, Swat Trade Federation President Abdur Rahim said, “We are with the Pakistan Army and term the attacks an unprovoked aggression on the sovereignty of the state.” He hoped an investigation would defuse the crisis and that confidence-building measures repair Pak-US ties. Pakistan Human Rights Chairman Raja Liaqat Ali said they were standing behind the Pakistan Army and would fight with it against the US and NATO forces. He said time had come to talk with the US on equal terms. He asked the government to seek an apology and assurance from NATO forces that such an incident would not occur in the future. Later, the participants prayed for the martyred soldiers and officers. The Swat Traders Federation had given call for strike and a complete shutter-down was observed in Mingora.
5 killed in crossfire between militants and peace force KHYBER AGENCY: Five people were killed and several others injured in clashes between the Lashkar-eIslam (LI) militants and volunteers of the Zakha Khel Peace Lashkar in a remote area of the Tirah valley on Wednesday, official and local sources said. Sources said that a group of LI militants attacked peace force fighters in the Torgat area and tried to occupy their position. However in retaliation, the volunteers claimed to have killed four LI militants, injured three, and taken several others hostage. Members of the Zakha Khel Lashkar confirmed that one of their volunteer was also killed in the crossfire and three others had been wounded. StaFF re PO rt
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Editor’s mail 11
Generation saving What a pity that the members of the same family don’t even have the time to talk to each other these days which is essential for a good life. Members of the family, usually engage themselves with TV, computers, video and cassette players, telephones or cell phones whereas the healthy habit of reading books has almost disappeared. Now, people literally eat, line and talk in front of their TV sets. We may not realise it but such habits are extremely harmful for healthy living
Afraid of Khan and proper upbringing of children. There is a lot of talk about privacy. Children are given their own TV computers, video, cassette recorders and phones etc. In such a situation, it becomes extremely difficult for the partners to monitor their activities. Generally, they assume their children are studying or putting the computer to good use but it will be otherwise. Internet misuse is quite common, while this certainly doesn’t mean that separate rooms for children should be
discouraged, it would instead be a good idea to keep your children’s activities under check. Unnecessary use of mobiles is another aspect, which has distanced members of the same family. They spend hours while in the company of other people without realising they are being rude to those around. Here too, the elders set an example for the young generation. It is true in a way that mobiles have brought the people closer together but on the other hand, it has also sent them further away.
It is very important that parents must find time for their children because they are the real investments. It is necessary that we communicate among ourselves and give our family members a chance to tell us about themselves and their problems. Elders should give the younger generation an opportunity to speak their minds; otherwise, suppressed thoughts could lead to depression and other problems. NIDA ZEHRA Karachi
economics and shariat Let it first be noted that the shariat is concerned much more with trade, taxation and distribution of wealth than it is with the organisation and processes of production. “Praiseworthy is the merchant who is truthful, honest and reliable, he who weighs and measures correctly and is selling with the same weight at claimed or displayed.” Laws requiring accuracy in business dealings must practically be enforced. There should also be laws to ensure truth in advertising; exaggerative or otherwise misleading advertisements must be forbidden.The shariat requires that contracts of purchase and sale to be written down and signed not only by the parties concerned but also by witnesses. These signatories should be acting of their own free will and they should be mature and sane enough to understand the agreement that is being made. Thus as a general rule, minors may not make or be a witness to contracts. Once a contract has been “signed, sealed and delivered,” it cannot be repudiated unilaterally. Needless to say, its object must be lawful; Muslims cannot agree to sell grapes to win makers, or supply weapons to the murderers. This has already been taken care of by the existing law and the shariat with regard to these matters is honoured. HARIS RIZWAN Karachi
exerting pressure Pakistan’s absence in Bonn Conference has certainly made it indecisive and the world now seems realising Pakistan’s role for Afghan solution. A recent news says that due to Nato’s supply lines clogged from Pakistani routes, the per gallon fuel cost has risen to US$ 400. Further, this has also put a question mark to the exit strategy of 30,000 troops who are striving hard to pull out of Afghanistan in the wake of the upcoming US elections. I think our stand against the US and Nato’s unjust act of intrusion has started yielding fruits as the head of USA’s Senate Intelligence Committee and various other Senators have begun lobbying to highlight immense significance of Pakistan’s role in Pak-Afghan regional politics. Being a common Pakistani I demand that our military and government must carry on the hard line stand and discontinue all kind of logistic and diplomatic support to this thankless ally who has given us nothing but economic instability and irreparable life loss of 40,000 fellowmen. Pakistan should take full advantage of the situation. We should re-negotiate terms of cooperation with USA with clear understanding for engagement of CIA activities in Pakistan Afghanistan region. Our high command should chalk out transparent and clear rules of engagement and unilateral action against any Pakistani, inside or outside Pakistan. Similarly, drone attacks and border intrusion should also be stopped at once and USA should be asked to vacate all other bases in Pakistan, including Jacobabad base. Most importantly, we also demand a write-off of the loan that USA has graciously granted to our leaders as it never reached Pakistani citizens. SYED ABID HUSSAIN Lahore
Shamsi, Nato, Memo What is common between the three? We were able to hear a few things about all of them, contrary to what the foreign policy has been designed for for years. Z A KAZMI Karachi
Mr Nawaz Sharif seems afraid of the PTI tsunami. He seems unable to handle bouncers from the captain. The PML(N) is so terrified with Khan’s in-swingers that they have started putting false, baseless allegations with no genuine proof in hand. This shows their frustration within the party. People say that the PTI doesn't have experienced team to handle these allegations. In fact, it is the PML(N) that doesn't have any experienced team to handle the bouncers of Imran Khan and his team. Same goes for the PPP. Ms Sharmila Farooqi in one of the programmes gave sweeping statement on Khan that "he is not a Muslim" as he was involved in betting and stuff. I would like to ask her what does she have to say about corruption? Is corruption haram or halal? If that is the case, then all the politicians with only a few exceptions are non-Muslims. Mr Imran Khan clearly stated in one of the talk shows that it was not a typical betting stuff. Ms Sharmila must have done her home work before coming to the show. PPP’s government is already on the verge of collapse. Its slogan was roti, kapra aur makan which they got only for themselves. People don’t want to hear rubbish by political leaders, they want to hear the solutions to their problems. They want a leader in a true sense of the word who could lead them from the front. And that ray of hope is Mr Imran Khan. People are looking up to him for a change in a positive and constructive way. ASMA AHSAN Islamabad
Same elements again
environment-friendly government? The Canal Road widening project is underway with much fanfare by the Punjab government. It has caused severe environmental impact as well as hurt the cultural beauty of the city. Even though the Supreme Court has declared the Canal Road, its trees and the area these trees cover a public park, Punjab’s populist government has gone ahead with its project, uprooting and cutting down hundreds of trees, many of them decades old.
Who is he? Mansoor Ijaz, the person who is now all over the place. Ever since his controversial op-ed in the Financial Times he came to prominence, this Memogate has well boosted his publicity. The person who is entertaining people with new stories periodically has not yet provided any valid clue about his dubious identity. Isn’t he playing quite smart? Anyhow the history about his social circle is quite interesting; he has links with the elite and top nerves of US, he drafted the memo for US top military and political brass, so is it that easy for an ordinary man to do so and if not then who dictated him the memo? Why is out of bag now? Why is he revealing secrets about Haqqani now and who is backing him? Obviously, there is a mastermind controlling all the strings. Nevertheless, the recent revelation about him also demands consideration: Why he approached RAW to broker a peace deal between New Delhi and jihadis and who drove him to meet Hizbul Mujahideen’s chief? How is he able to approach the key intelligence agencies? Most of the facts indicate him a CIA product but the possibility of being double agent cannot be ruled out; he can be a part of dangerous coalition or troika having anti-Pakistani sentiments. Whatever the truth is, we should keep in mind the potential traps which can possibly be designed to ignite mutiny in our imperative institutes. Beside, serious efforts should be made to know his dubious identity and game plan. MOMINA ASHER Islamabad (II) If Mansoor Ijaz has no credibility or is a man of shady character, how could he be so close to Pakistan’s ambassador to the USA, Gen James John and American government that his memo could reach Admiral Michel Mullen, the then chief of General Staff of American Forces?
Even then, what makes the government suppose that this will solve traffic mess that this road has to face on a daily basis? With each new year, more vehicles are bound to come on to the provincial capital’s roads. Unless traffic management is handled in an efficient manner, there is no chance cutting down trees will help solve this issue. KAINAT FATIMA Lahore
Another important point is the text of the memo and its timing of unveiling it to the world media. Mansoor Ijaz could not write all this on his own and dare to send it to Admiral Mullen without some authority behind him. Either he had the blessing of Hussain Haqqani or it is a brainchild of CIA who used an influential Pakistan-born American. The government of Pakistan should not delay finding the truth which perhaps is already known to our Prime Minister (who had a meeting with Gen Ashfaq Pervez Kayani discussing this memo) who is as usual gaining time by fighting a lost battle with his legal wizard Dr Babar Awan to complete his term of five years. They are fighting the issue and not telling the public what actually happened. The government must expose the involved personalities and diffuse the public anger and stop the speculations. MUHAMMAD AZHAR KHWAJA Lahore
Dams on our rivers It has been repeatedly revealed by media that India is building 60 large and small dams on our three western rivers in Occupied Kashmir under the plea that Pakistan is wasting its waters into the sea. Pakistan is smugly laying its bets on Bhasha dam while ignoring the KBD, which could have been built in half the time of Bhasha dam to solve our chronic problem of energy and water shortage. India would have completed the planned 60 dams on our rivers by the time we build Bhasha. In 12 to 15 years time India would have depleted our water on Indus to an extent that Bhasha dam would become high and dry. World has built 45,000 large dams so far while we have built only two large dams with seven percent of world’s irrigated area which shows our criminal neglect in safeguarding our life giving waters.
As water has been declared as a fundamental right, it is incumbent on our Apex Court to treat the case of KBD before anything else, since it is a vital matter for the nation and is of great public importance. DR MUHAMMAD YAQOOB BHATTI Lahore (II) No number of small or medium dams can give us 6.1 million acre feet of water in five-year time. No other dam can ever trap the flood waters of the five tributaries of the Indus which will continue to wreak havoc in south Punjab and Sindh every year. No other dam can ever give north Punjab and KPK their share of water from the dams on the Indus. No other dam can, in good time, save the people from the threat of water scarcity, food scarcity and food inflation. No other dam can, in good time, increase our very low reserves of 30 days for combating Indian designs on our rivers. No other country with rivers has less than 100-day reserves. ENGR KHURSHID ANWER Lahore
Peaceful Muharram The police should be congratulated for their efforts in maintaining peace during the holy month of Muharram. It has been reported that around 8,000 police personnel were deployed across the country for maintaining security. It is important to note that in previous years, police personnel have achieved martyrdom while preventing terrorists from successfully carrying their objectives in this holy month. It is important that in the future the police service should be provided with the necessary equipment and cooperation in anticipation for a tight security during this month. YASIR HAMEED Islamabad
In my view, as an aftermath of the decision of the government to not attend the Bonn Conference, we are now witnessing a replay of the same media reaction as was evident in the aftermath of the army action on Lal Masjid back in 2007. The very same media and civil society that were earlier clamouring for action against the militants sitting inside the Lal Masjid and Jamia Hafsa, had started criticising the government immediately after the army action had been launched and the occupants were flushed out. In almost the same manner, while nobody opposed the government decision to boycott the Bonn Conference, some elements have already started to track back on the decision by saying that we have missed the opportunity to make our presence felt at an important platform. When will our media and the socalled political analysts stop confusing the people about various key issues? Also will our media stop treating Pakistan’s enemy number one, ie, Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan as the President of Pakistan? The coverage given to Karzai by our TV channels during the Bonn Conference was no less than what is accorded to our own President. ZOYA GULZAR Karachi
National interest Why the land of the pure has turned into the land of corruption, favouritism, nepotism, extremism, inequality and exploitation? Who is responsible for this dismal state? Why the honest hardworking people have become dead soul? We are still not clear about our national interests and ideology. Our 50 percent population is still deprived of education, health, and is living below poverty line. Which state institution is responsible to define national interest objectively? Is it not the responsibility of the state and government to control its territory and guarantee the security to its citizens, maintain the rule of law and create an enabling environment for self-sustaining economic growth? Does our national interest say to consider India our enemy number one and Afghanistan our strategic depth? Is it in our national interest to live on foreign grants and loans while our rulers live like kings and make false promises with the people? S T HUSSAIN Lahore
Send your letters to: Letters to Editor, Pakistan Today, 4-Shaarey Fatima Jinnah, Lahore, Pakistan. Fax: +92-42-36298302. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Letters should be addressed to Pakistan Today exclusively.
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12 Comment Rumour, again, has it Our dysfunctional republic
nything can happen in life,” quips Michel Houellebecq, “especially nothing.” The rumours that are making the rounds after the president left the country for a medical check up do hit one with a sense of déjà vu. Haven’t such rumours been the staple diet of mainstream media audiences ever since the government was formed? Since there is little internal accountability, if any, in the media, many pundits are still at their jobs, despite one deadline of theirs after another biting the dust. Such rumours are, however, caused by a different set of stimuli every time, this time being no different. And it is an arresting case that they make. For starters, this time, the claims are being made not by some irresponsible Pakistani publication but by Foreign Policy magazine, no fly-by-night publication. The timing, also, is sort of right. The memo affair, for whatever it is worth, has stirred up a controversy that refuses to die. The embers are certainly being stoked constantly, not (only) for want of TV ratings but by the usual quarters that want to push the government into a corner. Couple this with the fact that the president has, in fact, left the country. Are these dots to be connected or just random coincidences? This paper has it on good authority that the president did not leave on an air-ambulance; so he is not critically ill, as one rumour has it. The rumour that this is all a ruse to leave the country doesn’t hold up to the presidential doctor’s statement that it is a medical condition albeit not a critical one. Even if these rumours are false – as they have been time and again – they should still serve to remind President Zardari and his government of how tenuous their hold on the seat of civil government is. If there is even an iota of truth in them, however, it serves to signify how dysfunctional our polity is. Significant changes in democracies simmer over months, if not years, and the politicking, even the behind-the-scenes variety, is reported by the media and is basically there for all to see.
Rumour mill overdrive uS birdies all around
By Nazir Naji
he readers will recall that last week I mentioned an analyst Spengler’s article in connection with American plans for the region and his revelation that the US would ‘now export instability into Pakistan.’ This ‘campaign’ was then in its initial phase. Later, Mansoor Ijaz came forth with another article which was laden with new allegations. Along with that, he was also featured on the CNN in a special interview where he criticised the ISI to his heart’s content. If it had been any other country, the ramblings of such a non-state actor would not have been paid heed to. But Pakistan is fertile ground for hearsay and rumours. And we are more than an eager and receptive audience for the same. Up till now, we had been rowing with India. We had neither the experience of squaring off with the US or quite frankly the cojones to. But the cruelty of fate brought us to such a point that we have to become the US’ target despite our best wishes. The US knows that we can’t hold a candle to it militarily or deal with its pressure otherwise due to our economic compunctions. This is why it is cranking the pressure up and wants us to take its dictation with regards to the Afghan endgame. We are not doing so and it is, thus, trying to push us off the instability ledge. Let’s focus on Mansoor the menace here. This man wrote a feature for the Financial Times six or seven months after the Abbottabad operation which wasn’t given much importance. But that piece suddenly became the eye of the storm when it was taken up by the Pakistani media three weeks later. During this furore, the ISI chief had a clandestine meeting with him in London. Why did the ISI chief decide upon this rendezvous? I think if he reviews the events that followed, the chief could ascertain whether the chain of happenings that culminated in their oneon-one might have been manufactured.
Thanking the Taliban Why?
hile many wanted to congratulate the Pakistani security agencies for maintaining peace during the Ashura, Rehman Malik has surprisingly thanked the Taliban also for their cooperation. The common man expects the government machinery to provide him security. What Malik has said conveys the message that the country is still at the mercy of the TTP and but for its cooperation, the common man’s life would remain insecure. The TTP has never in the past condemned even the most barbaric terrorist attacks on Sunni shrines or Shia congregations. Two year back, Rehman Malik and his colleagues in the government had criticised the Punjab chief minister for making appeals to the extremists to spare Punjab and of the PML(N) for hobnobbing with the TTP. Malik’s critics would now be asking whether he, too, had approached the TTP this time with requests for maintaining peace. Interestingly, the Afghan Taliban have strongly condemned the devastating attacks on a Shia congregation in Kabul and another in Mazare Sharif, killing 56 people and injuring 193 on Tuesday. The group has characterised the attacks as cruel, indiscriminate, inhuman, and a work of the enemies of Islam. The attack has been owned by Lashkar-e-Janghvi al Almi, a group with links to Al-Qaeda. The Taliban statement is yet another indication of widening schisms among the extremist networks. It has been recently maintained by the TTP watchers that the organisation has splintered into scores of groups because of internal differences sharpened by shortage of funds, battering by Pakistan army’s operations and US drone strikes. The ongoing standoff between the US and Pakistan can only help the extremists. Even countries like Russia and China who are keen to see the US-led coalition’s back in Afghanistan at the earliest expect Pakistan to be fully devoted to the eradication of the extremist menace. What is needed at this stage is an unwavering pursuit of the army’s current policy of divide-and-conquer. Any indication of weakness on the part of the agencies could damage the army’s efforts.
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Thursday, 8 December, 2011
A review of the events is necessary. The first person who acknowledged the alleged Mansoor Ijaz memo was Admiral Mullen. After that, General James John. Following that, another one of Mr Ijaz’s write-ups graced the pages of Newsweek. That was followed by the interview on CNN. People aware of how things work in the American system know well that such campaigns cannot take off without the patronage of the State Department and Pentagon. This same Mansoor Ijaz has been touring the world on self-appointed missions but never has he been accorded this kind of importance except now that he has started spewing allegations against Pakistan. He is part of these well-laid American plans, the freshest manifestaion of which is what happened on 6th December. President Zardari went to Dubai for medical reasons. Elements under US influence suddenly put their rumour mills in top gear. Many stories were concocted. The one that was most widely circulated was that President Zardari wanted to go to Dubai but the army leadership took him to the armed forces’ Cardiology Centre for verification where doctors deemed him a hundred percent fit. Another rumour was that the president was told that PLM(N) and its affiliates would boycott his speech to the joint session of the parliament. But the truth is that he met no one important on the 8th, 9th and 10th of Muharram. Who could’ve told him this? He only met PM Gilani and Chairman Senate Niaz Naek before going to Dubai. His checkup date in Dubai had been pre-fixed as he is a heart patient who has already undergone angioplasty in New York and has been advised to undergo regular check-ups. There are a lot of dignitaries who go abroad for their check-ups and these include CM Punjab, Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and many others. Similarly, the president too had to go abroad on such a matter. He was supposed to go on the 6th but he was a little reluctant to travel. He wasn’t feeling quite well due to which some doctors, which included military surgeons, checked him up and advised him to go for his check-up. Because the president was still reticent, his son Bilawal was called in who finally persuaded his father to go to Dubai. Bilawal wanted to accompany him but he was stopped from doing so by the president. One report states that the president said to Bilawal that he should stay back to prove that they were not people who would shy away easily. Events surrounding this incident are proof of the US campaign to destabilise Pakistan. After the entire memo fracas in which Admiral Mullen and General Jones had
jumped in followed by the interview of Mansoor ‘the-enemy-of-Pakistan-army’ Ijaz on CNN, the magazine Foreign Policy also stoked the fire by publishing a rumour-ridden report which said President Zardari had gone to Dubai due to being unwell and might resign. It further stated that someone from the PPP would take his place while no such reports were circulating in Pakistan in the wake of the president’s departure. The FP magazine is a well-respected periodical. A report that is filled with so many unverified claims being published in this magazine gives credence to the notion that the US is trying to destabilise Pakistan and is not above using such ‘credible’ journals for its ploys. If we still don’t get why this deluge of Pakistan-related stories is coming from the US, then God save us. The point being stressed in this campaign of allegations is that the civilian government of Pakistan is totally helpless and that the army is the one calling the shots and wants to remove this socalled democratic government. If one is to even think about it a little, it is apparent that there couldn’t be a worst, more inopportune and dangerous moment for the army to take over. Even if the army is invited to do so, it will not take over right now. Have our experts on military affairs not realised that our army is being maligned deliberately for the past many months by the repeated accusations that it does not let any democratic government work in the country and why would it take over when such things are being said about it? In the current scenario, if any institution is most willing to save the current setup, it is the military. But the Americans somehow want to push the army to take over. Because after that, they can truly up the ante on destabilising Pakistan. It is my analysis that President Zardari, PM Gilani and the army are opposing this US campaign to create instability in Pakistan vehemently and they are all united in their effort to save democracy. And it should be that the entire nation be united to save democracy at this hour. We can solve our internal spats later but we shouldn’t allow these schisms to be exploited by foreign powers. How ill was President Zardari is pretty apparent from the fact that his daughters were away in Britain while his son was back in Islamabad. But, rumours were still aplenty. As a closing statement, I would like to say that the most potent attack of the US will be where it tries to divide our armed forces. We should be prepared… The writer is one of Pakistan’s most widely read columnists.
Turkey's changing regional role
Washington Watch By Dr James J Zogby
n just one year, relations between the US and Turkey have moved from tension to cooperation. This was the focus of remarks by a Turkish journalist speaking at the opening session at the second convention of the Turkic-American Alliance. After reviewing the differences in the bilateral relationship, then and now, he asked rather pointedly, "What happened to account for this change and where will it lead us?" The journalist recalled that when he had appeared at the group's founding conference, in 2010, relations were at an all-time low. Turkey had broken with Israel over its blockade of Gaza. And the US was none too happy with Turkey's efforts to negotiate a compromise that might ease international concerns with Iran's nuclear
program. In reaction, Congress and the Administration had been harshly critical of Turkish "meddling" and Turkey's new "anti-Israel" bent. Today, in contrast, relations seem warmer than ever. What happened to account for this change? In short, it was the "Arab Spring", and the difficulties the US has had finding its way through the maze created by the region's new political realities. What were constants have now become variables changing the Arab World's landscape. All this has occurred at a difficult time for the US. Despite its economic and military dominance, the ability of the US to manoeuvre in this changing environment has been hampered by several factors. Foremost has been the damage done by the Bush Administration’s reckless war in Iraq which created deep resentment across the Arab World and emboldened Iran. Add to that the failure of the Bush Administration to act to halt Israel's four bloody wars against Lebanon (2006) and the Palestinians (West Bank in 2002 and Gaza in 2006 and 2009), which only deepened Arab anger. And finally, despite President Obama's intention to change direction, Israeli intransigence and the deep partisan split in Washington have repeatedly frustrated his efforts. As a result, at the onset of the
Arab Spring, US policy in the Middle East was adrift. One by one allies had fallen or were at risk, and Washington found itself in a bind. The Administration could talk about supporting popular revolts, but it knew all too well that should the revolts succeed the resulting transformation would only complicate further the US's already difficult situation in the Arab World. Furthermore, Washington's "unshakable" bond with Israel, had, in effect, "taken it out of the game". It was at this point that Syria exploded. Like the US, Turkey was also caught off-guard by the unfolding Arab Spring. They, too, initially meandered in response to developments in Egypt and Libya. But with their southern neighbour boiling over, Turkey made a determined effort to intervene: first urging reform, then negotiations, then demanding an end to the bloodshed, before finally embracing the opposition, giving up on the Assad regime, and announcing far-reaching sanctions against their one-time ally. The US now appears to be deferring to Turkey as an invaluable ally in handling Syria for one important reason. As a result of its demonstrated support for Palestinians, Turkey has earned "street cred" in the Arab World, while the US has
none. Turkey can meet with the Arab League as a partner, the U.S. cannot, and Turkey can endorse the Syrian opposition in a way that the US cannot. But several cautionary notes are in order. Turkey cannot overplay its hand in Syria. It is neither the "leader of the Arabs", nor does it, I believe, intend to play that role. It is true, as our recent polling demonstrates that Turkey's standing is quite high across the Arab region. But that is not an invitation for Turkey to reassert a new "Ottomanism". Secondly, Turkey must be careful not to allow either hubris or external pressure to force it to get dragged too deeply into a Syrian quagmire. Some Syrian oppositionists may want Turkey to militarily intervene in Syria, but that might prove to be a fatal mistake. It would exacerbate an already bloody conflict causing even more unrest and would compromise Turkey's hard won regional credibility. The wiser course would be for Turkey to resist these pressures and to continue to work in concert with the Arab League to insist that the Syrian regime enter into negotiations leading to broad reform and an orderly transfer of power. The writer is President of the Arab-American Institute.
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Thursday, 8 December, 2011
There is light
it’s not just the politicians…
looking past the gloom and doom
Border crossing By Kuldip Nayar
ndia is the only country in South Asia where democracy has survived in its classical form. It got disfigured in Pakistan because the military, not the elected government, has the last word. In Bangladesh, the perpetual boycott by the opposition, this time by the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), has lessened parliament’s credibility and, in Sri Lanka, the confused opposition has affected its representative character. Nepal is yet to settle down to face the basic norms of parliamentary democracy. Unfortunately, the political parties in India have come to believe that stalling parliament is the best way of expressing their opposition to a government legislation or action. The Congress party did it in the late 90s and early 2000 when the BJP was in power. The BJP has adopted the same methods today. The Congress is repenting over what it did then as the BJP would do if and when it came to power. Not allowing parliament to function has somehow become part of their political strategies. Since the proceedings of both houses are watched throughout the country, the non-functioning of parliament is having its effect, which is generally negative. Many wonder the utility of parliament and some suggest the Presidential form of government prevailing in the US and France. The worst fallout is the mood of uncertainty that is sweeping the country. I do not want to make politicians a whipping boy for India going downhill. They may be more to blame than others like the judiciary, the government and the media. Everyone is naked in the bath. The point to find out is why a nation which has largely followed democratic methods, since 1950 when the constitution was adopted, is turning violent in its
action and the language that people use. A slap on the face of Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar remains as unacceptable as was the shoe thrown at Home Minister P Chidambaram. Both are violent expressions which neither the constitution nor the country’s ethos allow. The ‘Shining India’ suddenly appears to be receding into shadows. The economy continues to register a slowdown and the governance is practically non-existent. No official wants to take any decision, much less quickly. HRD Minister Kapil Sibal rationalises that officials are afraid because they would be taken to task if the decision turned out to be wrong. If I were to point out one lapse, I would say that politics or, for that matter, every segment of the society has shed morality. The realisation that some things are not done or that wrong methods are not employed is not there any more. Therefore, no political party has any compunction in doing anything to get what it wants, through peaceful methods if possible or the use of violence, if necessary. Had the rot been confined only to the politicians the nation might have saved its equilibrium. Every activity has been affected. The media, puffed up by a sense of self-righteousness, has deteriorated to the extent that you can publish anything on any page in the news columns by giving a price (paid news). But this does not call for any control over the media. Jawaharlal Nehru said: “I would have a completely free press with all the dangers involved in the wrong use of that freedom than a suppressed or a regulated press.” The judiciary, thumping its back for independence, can be generally “managed” according to eminent lawyers and former judges. It is an open secret that the clients know which judge has what type of predilection and the price involved. Cases are accordingly preferred before a particular bench. Some judgments astound you and they suggest that there is something that does not meet the eye. No one criticises the judges fearing the contempt laws. Thus the veneer of respectability stays. The bureaucracy which runs the administration is so divided hierarchically that the right hand does not know what the left is doing. Joint secretaries and above
cannot be touched without the permission of ministers who are mostly corrupt. The Supreme Court gave a judgment to stop the practice, called single directive, but parliament restored it. An appeal against the new law is awaiting the court’s verdict. All parties know from their experience how handy these joint secretaries and secretaries are. Take the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in retail. Ministers and bureaucrats decided on the step, worked out on the details and announced its introduction to India without consulting anyone outside the government. The pronouncement was made when parliament was in session, not in any house, but through a press statement. Rightly, all parties, including the Congress’s ruling allies, were up in arms. The PM consented to have an all-party meeting to explain the FDI in retail but this was like adding insult to the injury. Nothing came out of it. Why couldn’t the meeting be convened earlier even if the government was determined not to brook any opposition? And how does the government’s prestige suffer if the FDI takes precedence over discussion on price rise or the black money? What havoc the FDI in retail would cause is another story. A senior Congress minister’s remark that “Where is India going?’ is pertinent. But his party is more responsible than the opposition because it is ruling the country. The minister, used by the party to sort out knotty problems, will concede that a consensus is the only way to govern. The ruling Congress has to lessen the distance from the opposition. When the rightist BJP and the leftist Communists are on the same page, there is something wrong in Manmohan Singh’s policies. The stalled parliament is not a good precedent for the neighbouring countries where the democratic system is already under sufferance. New Delhi feels good when the countries in South Asia applaud it for certain steps. How would the common man on the streets of Lahore, Dhaka, Colombo and Kathmandu be feeling when he sees that parliament in the largest democracy in the world does not function day after day. The writer is a senior Indian journalist.
e appear to have reached a point where only tales of disasters, negatives and bad news are of interest. These are embraced with open arms and the day begins with negative expectations; all the good around is eclipsed with this unbelievable mindset. It is as if we are willing ourselves into nothingness. Pakistan is endowed with the greatest natural endowments possible. What don’t we have? We have a fertile landmass, we have untapped mineral treasures, we have a coastline, we have a mighty river, we have an industrious population. The list is endless. We have assets that other countries just dream of. With all this, why, even now, is political rhetoric based on the tribulations around us? Given the need for developing untapped resources to create job opportunities, raise the standards of living and allowing the people to reap the benefits, one would believe that the massive energy, spent in gathering hordes of people only to scream vitriol against existing governments and leaders, would be used instead to promote and project plans to harness and develop. Not a word of Pakistan’s positive attributes is heard these days. In this backdrop, it was invigorating to hear Dr Hafeez Sheikh at the Karachi Press Club last weekend. He was positive without ramming it home, in his own quiet, inimitable style. A style perhaps politicians and debaters could benefit by adopting. Pakistan is in transition was the main theme. It’s true! After ten years of military rule, democracy has returned. This has given vent to incarcerated frustrations. random thoughts However it is the peoples’ job to ensure that democracy is not derailed, By Imran Husain instead it is fortified. The benefits will accrue. It may take, perhaps, more time. The promise of irrevocable exercise of free will is a massive incentive. Patience may not have proven to be a virtue in the Pakistan context, but right now only tolerance will allow this basic right, seized from reticent sources, to be sustained. The state of the economy inherited by democracy was beset with serious flaws and on the verge of a meltdown. Today, while it remains fragile, indicators project a more positive outlook. Exports last year were the highest at $26 Billion, similarly remittances reached a record high and foreign exchange reserves achieved comfortable status. Internal revenues have recorded an all time high in the last five months, PKR 640 Billion at 28 percent higher than in the corresponding period. Dr Hafeez deliberated at length on the fact that public sector corporations continued to heavily undermine development by feeding on huge financial resources. Improved corporate governance and involvement of
the private sector is an absolute essential. The subsidy on electricity has cost the government PKR 3 Trillion in the last 4 years. In effect, energy is being sold at a cost lower than it is generated, a burden that the government can no longer bear. The solution for this is improved operational efficiency and a better oil-fuel mix to ensure optimum economy. Steps have been initiated to address these issues. Despite the fact that devastating floods had caused a loss of $10 billion and hit the GDP by two percent (an effect further exacerbated by rising fuel prices), the Benazir program for the poor had been provided PKR 50 billion under a cash transfer scheme to alleviate the misery. Although he exercised the required caution in commenting on matters relating to foreign affairs, the US in particular, he did assure that the impact of disruption, if any, of aid would be minimalised through efficient resource management. Referring to the country’s security, he maintained that this is the priority and that funds would be diverted from any or all sources to ensure adequate funding for this purpose. He sought unity among all national institutions to formidably face the challenges confronting us. The current economic situation facing major world economies has forced closure of many prime international corporations, banks and industries. Pakistan must create the atmosphere conducive to investment. Listening to the confident doctor in front of the nation’s press corps, one realised that there is stuff going on which is unfortunately not being presented to the people. A couple of the papers, both English and the vernacular, provided good coverage and a couple of television stations did the same. However, a statement of this importance needs to be played and replayed as are the negatives incessantly. While the steps initiated are positives, they must be termed as first steps in the right direction. Resources both human and financial require serious review. The country’s image needs complete refurbishment. I am dismayed by a BBC documentary in which Pakistan has been termed a “pathological liar”! There is a visible reticence to keep good people out and promote favourites or, we may even say, cronies. Whatever light there may be is darkened by stealthy shadows. Just as the people are required to exercise patience, politicians are required to review positives and the outside world to consider Pakistan’s real term assets for investment, the deployment of outstanding people is a prerequisite for the corporate efficiency the finance minister stressed upon. Certainly the ways can be found and the light enhanced but there must be will. This is what the people and democracy expect. The writer may be contacted via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
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14 Foreign News
Thursday, 8 December, 2011
indonesia brings global nuclear test ban one step closer VIENNA aFP
The nuclear test ban treaty CTBT is one step closer to being implemented, following its ratification by key signatory Indonesia, the commission overseeing the treaty announced Tuesday. “I welcome today’s outcome of the vote in the Indonesian Parliament to ratify the treaty,” Tibor Toth, head of the CTBT’s preparatory commission, said in a statement, describing it as a “historic decision.” Jakarta’s move brings the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty “a significant step closer to becoming global law,” he added. So far, the CTBT, which aims to outlaw all nuclear explosions, has been signed by 182 states but 44 key states — all with nuclear technology — need to ratify it before it can come into force. With Indonesia’s vote, 36 of these countries have now ratified the treaty. But among those still missing are North Korea, Iran, Israel, Pakistan, India, China and the United States — all states known to have or suspected of developing nuclear weapons. Indonesia is already one of the 10 states making up Southeast Asia’s nuclear-weapon free zone (NWFZ).
US put ‘low priority’ on first india N-test WASHINGTON aFP
US intelligence agencies put a low priority on predicting India’s first nuclear test as it concluded that the step would have minimal strategic impact, declassified documents said Monday. US papers retrieved by George Washington University’s National Security Archive found other Western countries also doubted India would carry out a nuclear test but that a Japanese diplomat accurately forecast the 1974 test. A secret US intelligence memo, produced in 1972 when Richard Nixon was president, said India was clearly capable of producing nuclear weapons and admitted that preparations may “not come to our attention.” “A relatively modest priority has been attached to relevant intelligence collection activities,” the memo said, adding that the immediate strategic significance of an Indian test would be “negligible.” “By entering the nuclear club, India would gain the satisfaction of demonstrating its scientific and technical progress. However, India is years away from developing a credible nuclear deterrent against the only prospective enemy with a nuclear capability — China,” it said. Nixon had troubled relations with India, which tilted increasingly toward the Soviet Union as the United States reconciled with China and sided with Pakistan in the 1971 Indo-Pakistan War that led to Bangladesh’s independence.
SrinaGar: kashmiri women listen to the speech of separatist leader Yasin malik on Wednesday. AFP
Egypt’s Islamists claim most seats in run-off vote CAIRO
GYPT’S Muslim Brotherhood said on Wednesday it won most seats in a first-round parliamentary vote, with early tallies suggesting liberals had backed some of its candidates to block hardline Salafis. The Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), which has promised to work with a broad coalition in the new assembly, secured 34 individual seats out of the 45 it contested in the run-offs on Monday and Tuesday, a party source told Reuters. The Islamist group, which was banned under ousted president Hosni Mubarak, had already won 37 percent of the vote in an initial phase of the multi-pronged election, meaning it is well on course to have the largest bloc of seats in the new assembly. Its success confirms a trend set by Is-
lamist election wins in post-uprising Tunisia and in Morocco, disappointing many of the democracy activists who led protests that toppled Mubarak. But the real surprise in the opening ballot was the success of the ultra-conservative Salafi alNour party, which secured 24 percent of the vote and went head-to-head with the Brotherhood in 24 of the run-offs. Official results are not due until Thursday, but leaked tallies suggested secular moderates might have rallied behind the Brotherhood to thwart the Salafis. Sayyeda Ibrahim, 52, a cook from Cairo, said she voted for a Salafi candidate in last week’s first round but regretted her choice later when she saw him debate with a liberal candidate. “That bearded fellow is too radical,” she said. Among the Salafis who lost out was Abdel Moneim el-Shahat, a prominent spokesman for the movement in its base in Egypt’s second city of Alexandria, who was defeated by a Brotherhood-backed
rival, local media reported. Shahat caused uproar among liberal Egyptians for suggesting democracy was “haram” (forbidden) and the country’s ancient Pharaonic statues which draw millions of tourists to the country should be covered up or destroyed as they are idolatrous. WORRIED WEST: The strong showing by Islamists has unnerved Israel, which called on Egypt this week to preserve their 1979 peace treaty, and also the United States which has backed the peace deal with billions of dollars in military aid for both countries. The Brotherhood and Salafi al-Nour party share much of the same rhetoric, focused on applying Islamic sharia law as the solution to Egypt’s problems. But the Brotherhood has emphasized the political reform agenda it shares with a broad range of groups that took part in the uprising at the start of the year and is sounding more open to compromise with liberal forces in parliament.
Assad says only ‘crazy’ leaders kill own people BEIRUT reuterS
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has denied ordering his troops to kill peaceful demonstrators, telling the U.S. television channel ABC that only a “crazy” leader kills his own people. Assad is under mounting international pressure, including a threat of sanctions from the Arab League, over a crackdown on nationwide anti-government protests in which the United Nations says more than 4,000 people have been killed. “We don’t kill our people ... No government in the world kills its people, unless it’s led by a crazy person,” ABC’s website on Wednesday quoted Assad as saying in a recorded interview. “Most of the people that have been killed are supporters of the government, not the vice versa,” Assad said. Syrian activists say around a quarter of the more than 4,500 deaths they have recorded in nine months of protest have been among the security forces. Most foreign media have been excluded from Syria, making it hard to verify events independently. The
neW YOrk: Syrian President Bashar al-assad being interviewed by Barbara Walters during his first exclusive on-camera interview with an american journalist since the uprising in Syria. AFP Arab League has threatened to impose sanctions on Syria unless armed forces are verifiably withdrawn from towns and cities and a political dialogue is opened with opposition representatives. Major Western powers as well as neighbors Turkey and Jordan are calling on Assad to step down. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Tuesday that Washington and its NATO allies wanted Assad to make way for a government
ready to establish the rule of law and protect “the rights of all citizens, regardless of sect or ethnicity or gender.” MASSIVE fORCE: Peaceful protests against Assad, inspired by the Arab Spring in Tunisia and Egypt, were met with massive force as soon as they began in March. Now Syria is creeping closer to civil war as armed opposition groups organize and move into some city districts. Assad conceded that some members of
his armed forces had gone too far, but said they had been punished. “Every ‘brute reaction’ was by an individual, not an institution, that’s what you have to know,” he told ABC’s Barbara Walters. “There is a difference between having a policy to crack down and between having some mistakes committed by some officials,” he said. “There was no command to kill or be brutal.” Asked if he regretted the violence that has beset his country, he said he had done his best to “protect the people.” Assad repeated that he was introducing reforms and elections, but said the changes could not be rushed: “We never said we are a democratic country ... we are moving forward in reforms, especially in the last nine months ... It takes a long time, it takes a lot of maturity to be a full-fledged democracy.” He said the mounting international effort to impose sanctions on Syria would have little effect. “We’ve been under sanctions for the last 30, 35 years. It’s not something new,” Assad said. “We’re not isolated. You have people coming and going, you have trade, you have everything.”
Private eye arrested in UK’s newspaper hacking probe LONDON reuterS
British police have arrested the private eye at the heart of the scandal over illegal newspaper telephone hacking, which forced Rupert Murdoch to shut Britain’s most-read newspaper and rocked the media and political elite. Britain’s media industry, politicians and police have been hit this year by revelations that journalists and private investigators illegally intercepted mobile phone voicemail messages to get gossip for stories. Detectives are also looking into whether reporters paid police for information. The case forced Murdoch’s News Corp to shut the News of the World tabloid in July. Top London police officers have resigned and Prime Minister David Cameron’s media advisor - a former News of the World editor - quit and was arrested. Police said a 41-year-old man has been detained in London on suspicion of conspiring to intercept voicemail messages and perverting the course of justice. Sky TV, part-owned by News Corp, said the man was Glenn Mulcaire, the private investigator accused of listening to phone mail messages on behalf of journalists. Mulcaire’s lawyer was not immediately available for comment. Mulcaire, 41, a former professional soccer player, worked for years as a private investigator for the News of the World. Questions for News Corp executives in parliamentary hearings have focussed on how much they knew about his activities.
italy arrests top Naples Mafia boss Zagaria NAPLES reuterS
Italian police on Wednesday arrested Mafia boss Michele Zagaria, one of the country’s most-wanted fugitives and head of the powerful Casalesi clan that controlled a swathe of territory north of Naples. Zagaria, 53, a top boss of the Camorra or Naples Mafia, had been on the run for 16 years, and was sentenced in absentia to life in prison for murder in 2008. He was captured living in an underground bunker in his home town of Casapesenna, police said. Zagaria’s clan inspired Roberto Saviano’s best-selling book “Gomorrah: Italy’s Other Mafia”, which was made into a graphically violent prize-winning movie. Saviano lives under police protection.
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Anti-Wall Street protesters target foreclosures SAN FRANCISCO reuterS
Anti-Wall Street protesters, seeking a new focus as cities across the country shut down two-month old Occupy encampments, launched a new wave of activism on Tuesday by rallying around homeowners as they try to resist evictions from foreclosed homes. Protesters gathered outside a home in a depressed San Francisco neighborhood, while in nearby Oakland they took over a vacant bank-owned property and offered it as shelter to homeless people. In Los Angeles, they helped a former Marine move his belongings back into his foreclosed home. In Philadelphia, protesters said they were moving toward a similar strategy to focus public attention on big banks and other lenders who benefited from taxpayerfunded bailouts only to turn around and foreclose on taxpayers. The shift came after authorities in many U.S. cities, often citing health and safety conditions, moved to dismantle protest camps that sprang up as part of the Occupy movement against economic inequality and excesses of the U.S. financial system. “People are refusing to leave,” said Vivian Richardson, speaking in front of her home in a San Francisco neighborhood where she is fighting eviction. “Today is national reoccupy our homes day.” Activists announced a coordinated series of actions in several large cities organized by a dozen loosely affiliated housing rights groups. A handful of earlier attempts to take over vacant or foreclosed property in the San Francisco Bay area failed when protesters were evicted by police.
Foreign News 15
Millions flood Iraq’s Karbala for Ashura KARBALA
ILLIONS flooded Iraq’s shrine city Karbala on Tuesday for Ashura rituals on Shiite Islam’s most important day, amid tight security after bomb attacks targeting pilgrims killed 28 people. Throngs of pilgrims walked the streets beating their chests or flaying their backs with chains, ritually mourning the death of Imam Hussein, a grandson of the Prophet Mohammed, who was killed by armies of the caliph Yazid near Karbala in 680 AD. Tradition holds that the revered imam was decapitated and his body mutilated. Hussein’s body is buried in the holy city, 100 kilometres (60 miles) south of Baghdad. His death was a formative event in Shiite Islam. The processions of mourners, many dressed in black, included a person reciting poetry concerning Hussein’s death over a loudspeaker. Some people also carried pictures depicting the battle in which he was killed. The red flags representing the blood of Hussein and his half-brother Abbas, who was also killed near Karbala, that usually fly over their respective shrines in the city were changed to black for mourning. The commemorations, which also included a reenactment of the attack that killed Imam Hussein, officially wrapped up at around 3:00 pm (1200 GMT), according to an AFP correspondent. “The number of visitors to Karbala to commemorate Ashura reached about three million” people, Karbala governor Amal al-Din al-Har told AFP. Iftikhar
Abbas, head of the province’s tourism committee, said the visitors included some 650,000 foreigners — 430,000 from Europe, the United States, Iran, India, and Pakistan, and 220,000 from Syria, Egypt, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries. The city’s roughly 400 hotels were full and pilgrims rented private homes, she said. Tuesday’s rituals took place amid a heavy deployment by Iraqi security forces. Lieutenant General Othman al-Ghanimi, the head of Al-Farat al-Awsat operations command which covers the Karbala area, said 28,000 police and army personnel were deployed in and around Karbala to protect pilgrims. Iraqi helicopters played a
role in the security plan, he added. On Monday, at least 28 people were killed and 78 wounded in a wave of bomb attacks in central Iraq against Shiite pilgrims. Martin Kobler, the special representative in Iraq of UN chief Ban Ki-moon, condemned the attacks in an emailed statement on Tuesday. Kobler “condemns in the strongest terms yesterday’s terrorist attack that targeted pilgrims and resulted in killing and wounding dozens of people,” the statement said. “I am deeply saddened by the horrific attacks that continue to shatter the lives of Iraqis across the country. Yesterday’s attack of pilgrims who gather on
Ashura to practice their religious rights is particularly appalling,” he said. One policeman was also killed and eight other people — three policemen and five civilians — were wounded on Tuesday by mortar shells fired at a Shiite mosque in the disputed northern Iraq city of Kirkuk, police said. The 10-day Ashura commemorations began on November 27, peaking in Karbala on Tuesday. During the 10 days, Shiites gather at night to listen to stories about Hussein’s family and other companions who were killed prior to his death on the 10th day of Muharram, the first month of the Islamic Hijra calendar year.
Canadian imams to speak out against ‘honor killing’
Protesters sit in at Congressional offices WASHINGTON
Protesters brought their message about alleged economic unfairness to Capitol Hill on Tuesday, sitting in or outside several Senate and House offices. Anti-Wall Street Occupy DC protesters joined demonstrators from other groups in legislative office buildings, and police arrested one protester at the office of U.S. Representative Vicky Hartzler, a Missouri Republican, for unlawful entry, a Capitol Police spokeswoman said. Hartzler won election last year with the support of the conservative “tea party” movement. “We’ve been monitoring activity all over the Hill,” the police spokeswoman said. The offices of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, and House Speaker John Boehner, an Ohio Republican, were among the targets.
Russian police crack down on anti-Putin protests MOSCOW reuterS
Hundreds of people took to the streets of Moscow for a second successive day on Tuesday to demand an end to Vladimir Putin’s 12-year rule, defying a crackdown by tens of thousands of police reinforced by crack Interior Ministry troops. Police said they had detained about 250 people in central Moscow when they tried to stage an unapproved rally and held about 200 more in St Petersburg, where opposition forces have also been emboldened by the prime minister’s worst election setback since he took power in 1999. After permitting the biggest opposition rally in Moscow for years on Monday evening, the police were out in large numbers. The Interior ministry said about 2,000 special troops were supporting almost 50,000 police, and some moved through the city centre in armoured vehicles in a show of force. Hundreds of pro-Putin youths also tried to spoil the rally, shouting “The people! Putin” and beating drums to drown out the opposition protesters’ chants of “Russia without Putin” and “We want free elections!” A few minor scuffles broke out.
JuBa: South Sudan’s President Salva kiir (2nd l) smiles at the end of Sunday mass in this South Sudanese capital, one day after the historical week-long independence referendum vote ended. AFP
Canadian imams plan to condemn the “misguided notion” of so-called honor killings in their Friday sermons this week, responding to the high-profile trial of a father accused of murdering his three teenage daughters, allegedly because they shamed his Afghan family. The two dozen imams, backed by 60 Canadian Muslim groups, will plead for action to fight domestic violence, perhaps quoting comments from the prophet Mohammad that “the best amongst you is he who treats women the best.” “We felt very strongly that we had a responsibility to make it very, very clear that honor killings — so-called honor killings; we don’t want to consider them anything honorable — have absolutely nothing to do with Islam,” said Sikander Hashmi, an imam in the Ontario city of Kingston where the trial is taking place. Canadianborn Hashmi said he addressed the issue in a sermon to the 150 to 200 people in his mosque last month and plans to do so again this Friday. The issue hit the headlines as an Afghan immigrant businessman, his wife and his son face trial for the 2009 drowning deaths of the three teenagers, and of a fourth woman, said by the prosecution to have been the businessman’s first wife. The young women allegedly shamed the clan with dating and other practices. The three defendants deny the charges, and say it was all an unfortunate accident that they had nothing to do with. But in the murder trial the prosecution played a secretly recorded tape of remarks the father, Mohammad Shafia, made to his son Hamed in the weeks after the deaths: “Even if they hoist me up onto a gallows, nothing is more dear to me than my honor.” Another conversation has him saying of his three dead daughters: “God curse on them for generations. May the devil shit on their graves.” The prosecution said Shafia had displayed unhappiness with how his girls had been dressing and who they had been seeing. One of them had a Spanish-speaking Christian boyfriend, who testified at the trial. The U.N. Population Fund estimates that “honor killings” claim the lives of 5,000 people a year. Many but not all of the deaths occur in Islamic contexts.
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parties in Goa with current flame and exes MUMBAI
IPASHA Basu is having one gala time. The bong beauty is shooting for her next film ‘Jodi Breakers’ in picturesque Goa and partying hard post shooting. And the actress has three hunks to give her company. The actress is shooting for the film with former flame Milind Soman. And while the duo is all excited to catch up on old times, they are joined by Bipasha’s other ex Dino Morea for joy de verve. What more, Bips’ current arm candy, southern star Rana Daggubati, has also flown down to Goa to spend some quality time with her. The group was spotted partying hard on Saturday at Dino Morea’s current girlfriend, Nandita Mahtani’s beach party. A source said, “It’s refreshing to see how she has managed to stay such good friends with her ex boyfriends.” When Bipasha was asked how she manages to be on such good terms with her exes, she said, “Dino and I have been close friends since forever. Milind is a super fun person and I’m having a blast shooting with him. We’ve stayed in touch over the years. Good people matter to me and will always be in my life, so there’s nothing to hide. I have loved and shared a lot with both Dino and Milind over the years, so why can’t we still be friends?” And how does she explain Rana’s presence in Goa? “Yes, he is here. Ram Charan Teja, one of his actor friends from Hyderabad, got engaged so some 60 friends are here in Goa. He is also shooting with Genelia D’Souza for their Telugu film ‘Na Ishtam’ so the entire crew is here. Apart from that, my friends Rocky S and Deanne Pandey are also here, along with Maddy’s wife Sarita. We’re all party people so we’re having a blast here!” said Bips. We wonder what ex boyfriend of 9 years John has to say!
‘islamic smart phone’ launched NEW DELHI teleGraPh
An Indian company has launched an ‘Islamic smart phone’, featuring a full copy of the Koran, a GPS application which points to Mecca and a calculator for Zakaat charitable donations. India is the world’s fastest growing mobile phone market with more than 850 million subscribers, including poor rickshaw drivers and farmers. According to the ‘Islamic’ mobile’s creators, Muslims are under-represented among the growing ranks of Indian mobile phone users, but they believe their new phone will bring them into the digital world. “India has around 180 million Muslims and the penetration of mobile phone in that community is less. But when a compelling product or service is available, it has a potential to increase the number of users. So far, we have had a tremendous response for the product,” said Anuj Kanish, who has launched the ‘Enmac’ in India. “Religion has a very important place in Indian society, so has the mobile phone. Our aim was to bring a device which caters to both the sections, the product is a combination of both technology and religion, the first of its kind in India,” he said. The Enmac translates the Koran from Arabic into 29 languages, including English, Bengali, Urdu, Malayalam and Tamil, includes the Hadith sayings of the Prophet Mohammed, and a guide for Indian Muslims on how to perform the Hajj rituals in Mecca and Medina.
Kangana is never wrong mumBai: Actress Kangana Ranaut has no qualms in admitting that she is stubborn and that she never accepts her mistakes. “i don’t accept my mistakes. i never say i’m wrong, not even if i’m hanged,” she confessed on UTv Stars’ show ‘live My life’. The actress has been controversy’s favourite child whether it is for her relationships or for her tiffs with movie producers. But it has not affected her work and she has proved her mettle as an actor with her performances in films like ‘Gangster - A love Story’ and ‘Tanu Weds Manu’. She even won a national award for essaying the plight of a top model in ‘Fashion’. The 24-year old has enough work to keep herself busy in 2012 - she has ‘Der ishqiya’, ‘Krrish 2’, ‘Tanu Weds Manu 2’ and Priyadarshan’s ‘Tezz’. aGencieS
Angelina Jolie praises
‘wonderful’ Brad Pitt
lOS anGeleS: Angelina Jolie has praised her “wonderful” partner Brad Pitt. The Oscarwinning actress - who raises six children, Maddox, 10, Pax, right, Zahara, six, Shiloh, five, and three-year-old twins Knox and vivienne, with the Hollywood actor - is grateful to have had the support of Brad while she filmed her directorial debut ‘in the land of Blood and Honey’. Angelina told People magazine: “i have a wonderful partner in Brad and we take turns working always. So i was with the kids when he shot ‘Moneyball’, and when he finished he took a few months off while i was shooting this. it was helpful [to have them there], but the kids had to be kept away from most of the set. So they would be outside playing with the fake snow and i would be inside working on something else.” The 36-year-old star admitted she “couldn’t” have worked on the project without her support system in place. Speaking about having the trio by her side, Angelina added: “it means everything. i couldn’t be standing here without them.” aGencieS
‘Salman and I were
serious about each other’ mumBai: After a number of denials, Bollywood’s hottest babe Katrina Kaif has finally admitted that she was indeed dating Salman Khan. Spelling out her success story in films and her relationships to a magazine, Katrina said that her relationship with Salman was her first serious relationship. “Salman was my first serious relationship,” she said to the magazine. Post a couple of films with the Kapoor scion, Kat was linked with him and the two were allegedly very serious about each other. However, denying ever being in a relationship with Ranbir, Katrina said, “As far as rumours of dating Ranbir go, we did two films that worked well for both of us. i think what you learn from relationships is that they are unpredictable. Right now, i am single and i believe that you cannot control or predict these things. i am also a hopeless romantic. love should be all about giving and trusting.” zeeneWS
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17 FHM to sue
Veena Malik for Rs 250 million MUMBAI/ISLAMABAD
H E Indian magazine that Pakistani actress Veena Malik has accused of morphing her pictures for a nude photo shoot has sent her a legal reply threatening to sue her for 250 million rupees. In their 11-page legal reply to her notice, FHM India categorically denied that her photo had been morphed, and said that Malik was the one who had initially pursued the magazine for a shoot. “Your client permitted our clients for her photo as well as video shoots which were carried out by our clients with the consent and authority of your client,” a daily quoted FHM India as saying in their legal notice. “Your client wanted to do a sexy, bold and in-your-face shoot and to express intent for the same she also sent… pictures of her in bikinis etc to show that she was in good shape for a shoot for FHM,” it said. The notice closed claiming damages worth 250 million rupees and asking the actress to apologise for fabricating false claims in a press conference. Earlier, Malik had slapped a claim of 100 million rupees on FHM India and followed it up by filing a police report in Mumbai and a complaint with the cyber crime wing against the magazine’s editor and photographer. Back home, Veena’s father Malik Mohammad Aslam has disowned his daughter for “appearing nude” on the cover of FHM magazine. Apparently, Veena has denied
posing nude for the magazine cover and insisted that her pictures were doctored but her father is hard to placate. She has also slapped a legal notice against her ‘so called’ offenders and has fined them for a whopping sum of Rs 10 crore for maligning her image. But Aslam has demanded a promise from his daughter not to visit India once the scandal is over. Aslam said, “I have disowned her. I have severed all ties with her and I don’t want her to have any share in whatever meager assets I have until she is cleared of the controversy and pledges not to visit India again.” “I can ignore if she disobeys me but I cannot tolerate anything against my country and my faith,” he added.
Lady Gaga takes anti-bullying campaign to White house WASHINGTON aGencieS
Eccentric pop diva Lady Gaga took her anti-bullying campaign to the White House on Tuesday where she was lauded as a source of strength for many young people who are scared at school. Her visit follows a White House bullying conference earlier this year, called to mitigate the plight of nearly a third of US schoolchildren, or 13 million students, who are bullied each year, according to official figures. President Barack Obama was away making a major speech on the economy in Kansas, but Lady Gaga was welcomed to the White House by Valerie Jarrett, one of his most senior political advisers. “Lady Gaga has described this cause as a personal one — she has said that as a child,
PariS: models present outfits by karl lagerfeld during the chanel metiers d’art Pre-Fall collection show, entitled ‘Paris-Bombay’. Since 2003, every year, chanel launches a parallel collection to their Pret-a-porter and haute coutute collections: the annual metiers d’art collection which is this year inspired to india. aFP
Vidya Balan goes way in real life too mumBai: People who have watched ‘The Dirty Picture’ will certainly accept the fact that the very talented vidya Balan has pulled off an award winning performance in the recently released film. Smitha’s character has impacted hugely on vidya as the superstar was spotted wearing a burqa at a theatre where her film was being screened. Apparently, vidya wanted to see how the audiences were reacting so she visited Gaiety Galaxy, in Bandra to secretly get a first hand feedback. By doing so, she in a way relived those portions in the film which show her watching her own films in theatre to see how the viewers react to the film. During the intermission, on not finding too many people around, the actress cautiously removed the hijab (veil), to attend a phone call. But she couldn’t escape the eyes of a moviegoer, who called out her name aloud in excitement. vidya’s mission remained incomplete as she had to rush out of the theatre in order to avoid being crowded by fans. zeeneWS
she was often picked on for being different,” Jarrett said in a White House blog post. “I am deeply moved by the way she has used her story, and her success, to inspire young people, and shine the spotlight on important issues. Over the last three years, we have seen that when we work together on behalf of human rights, we can accomplish truly amazing things, yet too many young people still remain at risk.” The ‘Bad Romance’ singer has linked up with the MacArthur Foundation and Harvard University to launch the Born This Way Foundation, which will explore ways to enhance the safety of children at school. Obama encountered an extravagantly dressed Lady Gaga during a fundraising event in California in September, and ABC News said she brought up bullying with the president during a closed question and answer session. Lady Gaga told fans in September that she would bring up the case of a 14-year-old New York boy Jamie Rodemeyer, who committed suicide after complaining in an online video that he had been bullied.
Brueghel masterpiece nets record £7m at london sale LONDON aGencieS
Pieter Brueghel II’s painting ‘The Fight Between Carnival and Lent’ sold at a London auction for almost £7 million on Tuesday, an auction record for the Flemish renaissance artist. The painting, which depicts the traditional ceremonial battle between the figures of Carnival and Lent — common in 16th century Netherlands — was snapped up for £6,873,250 at a Christie’s sale of Old Master and British paintings. “The subject is one of Pieter Brueghel the Younger’s finest reinterpretations of his father’s work,” said a press release from the auction house. “The picture sold this evening is one of five known versions of the present composition by the artist’s son, and one of only three considered autograph.”
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Pakistan’s approach was defensive: Rehan Page 23
PCB finalises list of coaches, announcement after BD series
Ashraful returns for Pakistan Tests
latif asks PCB to seek compensation for india’s 2009 tour LAHORE StaFF rePOrt
LAHORE StaFF rePOrt
HE Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) will appoint a new coach for the national cricket team after the Bangladesh tour. The PCB’s selection committee has chosen a head coach and some specialised coaches but will make its formal announcement after the Bangladesh tour. Apart from Dav Whatmore, who is seen as the front-runner for the top job, Mohsin Khan, Aaqib Javed and Julien Fountain are tipped to get the batting, bowling and fielding posts. Waqar Younis left the coaching position in September, citing medical reasons, and Mohsin Hasan Khan has been serving in the interim. The team has recently moved up in international
Pakistan former Test captain Rashid Latif has urged the Pakistan Cricket Board to play a bilateral series with India only after they compensate Pakistan for the cancelled tour of 2009. "I have been reading a lot of statements from the board officials on resumption of bilateral matches with India. I don't think we should tour India until they compensate us in some way for the tour they cancelled in 2009," Latif said. "Why do we have to always take the initiative in wanting to resume bilateral ties with India? They didn't allow our players to take part in the IPL for the last three editions, what difference has it made to our cricket? In fact our team is doing well and our players are in demand all over the world," Latif said. He pointed out that Pakistan had also suffered financial losses due to India canceling the 2009 tour but they still survived. "Pakistan cricket has survived and also done well despite international teams not coming to our country despite India ignorrankings. Meanwhile, Brig (r) Sajid Hamid will assume Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Director Coordination wing charge in a couple of days. Sajid was appointed to coordinate with the government departments, regional cricket associations and domestic bodies and Pakistan Cricket Board
ing us and the spot-fixing scandal so we should take heart from all this while dealing with the Indians." "Even the ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat has said that it is about time the member boards showed more grit while dealing with the Indians," he said. Latif also urged the PCB to do away with the idea of appointing Dav Whatmore as head coach of the Pakistan team. "There is no need to change the team management at this stage. And I don't think Whatmore is the right man to work with our cricket culture and the mindset of our players," he said. He said Sri Lankan players had complained to their board about the attitude of Whatmore. "He is a good coach but he is also known to be arrogant and I don't think he will get along with our players." The former captain said even if the board wanted to appoint Whatmore, it should bring him to run the cricket academies and junior teams. "We need to restructure and improve our cricket at the grass root level. We really don't need a foreign coach for the national team which can manage itself and only needs a good management team."
protocol, security, public relations and media departments will also work under this wing. He would also update PCB chief Zaka Ashraf about the problems faced by the board staff. The governing board earlier in its meeting on November 29 approved Sajid as director coordination wing and created the new post.
PCB director general Javed Miandad convinced the governing board to appoint Sajid as Director Coordination Wing. Sajid is among the trustworthy companions of the PCB chief and his appointment will help in improving the relations with media, protocol, public relations and government departments.
Bangladesh’s selectors have recalled former captain and middle-order batsman Mohammad Ashraful for a two-Test series against Pakistan starting in Chittagong on Friday. Ashraful, who has scored 2,418 runs in 56 Tests, had been axed for the two home Tests against the West Indies in October-November and was also kept out of the recent one-dayers against Pakistan. Vice-captain Mohammad Mahmudullah, seamer Robiul Islam and batsman Mohammed Nazimuddin, who also did not feature in the West Indies Tests, were named in the 15-man squad, announced by the Bangladesh Cricket Board on Wednesday. Nazimuddin has played seven one-day internationals but is yet to make his Test debut, while Robiul has played two Tests. The second and final Test will be held in Dhaka from December 17. Bangladesh Test squad: Mushfiqur Rahim (capt), Mohammad Mahmudullah, Tamim Iqbal, Shahriar Nafees, Mohammad Ashraful, Shakib Al Hasan, Naeem Islam, Nasir Hossain, Rubel Hossain, Nazmul Hossain, Elias Sunny, Shahadat Hossain, Suhrawadi Shuvo, Robiul Islam, Mohammed Nazimuddin.
Magnificent Pakistan complete clean sweep CHITTAGONG aFP
Pakistan’s spinners revelled in helpful conditions to crush Bangladesh by 58 runs in the third and final one-day international on Tuesday to win the series 30. The tourists, bowled out for a modest 177, hit back to dismiss Bangladesh for 119 on a wicket that turned and bounced at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury stadium in the port city of Chittagong. Shoaib Malik marked his 200th oneday appearance with three wickets for six runs in four overs and fellow off-spinner Mohammad Hafeez picked up three for 27 as the Tigers were shot out in 38 overs. It was Pakistan’s 28th win in 29 onedayers against Bangladesh, boosting the confidence of Misbah-ul-Haq’s men ahead of the two-Test series starting on Friday. The match was interrupted for 20 minutes in the second session when the floodlights went off, plunging the entire stadium into total darkness. Bangladesh were sailing smoothly at 69-1 in the 20th over when five wickets crashed for 14 runs to allow Pakistan to
bounce back in the match. “This was a really tough game,” said a relieved Misbah. “But when there is self-belief you manage to get through. “Our bowlers did wonderfully well but we need to improve our batting. Bangladesh had lost only one wicket when the lights went out and we were feeling a little low. “But our coaches (Mohsin Khan and Ijaz Ahmed) assured us the game was not over and one more wicket would bring us back. That is what happened.” Bangladesh skipper Mushfiqur Rahim blamed his team’s batting for the series whitewash. “Our bowlers did well all through the series, but our batsmen let us down,” he said. “Hopefully we will overcome this loss and perform better in the Test matches.” Bangladesh lost opener Tamim Iqbal off the first ball of the innings, bowled by Hafeez, before Shahriar Nafees and Mohammad Mahmudullah put on 69 for the second wicket. The home team lost Nafees (25), Rahim (0) and Mahmudullah (35) in the space of three runs -- all leg-before to the spinners -- to slide to 72-4 by the
ScOreBOard PakiStan: mohammad hafeez c reza b Shafiul 0 asad Shafiq b Shakib 7 Younis khan c rahim b razzak 26 misbah-ul-haq c kapali b razzak 47 umar akmal st rahim b Sunny 57 Shoaib malik c and b razzak 0 Shahid afridi c nasir b Sunny 9 abdur rehman lbw b mahmudullah 4 Sohail tanvir c rahim b mahmudullah 8 umar Gul c rahim b mahmudullah 0 Saeed ajmal not out 3 eXtraS: (b12, lb1, w2, nb1) 16 tOtal (all out, 46.1 overs) 177 Fall of wickets: 1-0 (hafeez), 2-37 (Shafiq), 3-39 (Younis), 4133 (misbah), 5-133 (malik), 6-148 (afridi), 7-162 (akmal), 8-172 (tanvir), 9-172 (Gul), 10-177 (rehman). BOWlinG: Shafiul 6-1-32-1 (1w, nb1), reza 2-1-2-0, razzak 10-2-21-3, Shakib 10-2-21-1, Sunny 9-0-36-2 (w1), kapali 4-0-17-0, nasir 4-0-31-0, mahmudullah 1.1-0-4-3
BanGladeSh: tamim iqbal b hafeez 0 Shahriar nafees lbw b ajmal 25 mohammad mahmudullah lbw b hafeez 35 mushfiqur rahim lbw b rehman 0 Shakib al hasan c and b hafeez 9 nasir hossain c misbah b rehman 3 alok kapali c Shafiq b malik 12 Farhad reza lbw b ajmal 21 elias Sunny b malik 1 abdur razzak not out 1 Shafiul islam b malik 0 eXtraS: (b4, lb3, w5) 12 tOtal (all out, 38 overs) 119 Fall of wickets: 1-0 (tamim), 2-69 (nafees), 3-70 (rahim), 4-72 (mahmudullah), 5-81 (Shakib), 6-83 (nasir), 7-117 (reza), 8-117 (kapali), 9-119 (Sunny), 10-119 (Shafiul). BOWlinG: hafeez 10-2-27-3 (w3), Gul 2-0-3-0, rehman 10-1-32-2, afridi 4-0-27-0 (w1), ajmal 7-4-6-2 (w1), tanvir 1-0-11-0, malik 4-2-6-3 tOSS: Pakistan umPireS: Johan cloete (rSa) and enamul haque (Ban) tv umPire: Sharfuddoula Saikat (Ban) reFeree: Javagal Srinath (ind)
CHiTTAGONG: Pakistan cricket team pose for a group photo with the series trophy. AFP 22nd over. Hafeez took a return catch of Shakib Al Hasan in his final over before Nasir Hossain, who scored a century in the last match, was caught off Abdur Rehman for three. Farhad Reza and Alok Kapali delayed the end with a seventh-wicket stand of 34, before Malik polished off the tail to complete his team’s emphatic win. Earlier, Bangladesh spinners Abdur Razzak and Mahmudullah shared six wickets to bowl Pakistan out cheaply. Left-armer Razzak claimed three for 21 in 10 overs and off-spinner Mahmudullah grabbed three wickets in seven balls as Pakistan folded in 46.1 overs. Umar Akmal top-scored with 57 and Misbah made 47, the pair adding 94 for the fourth wicket after Pakistan were reduced to 39-3 by the 12th over.
Bangladesh to probe stoning incident CHITTAGONG: The Bangladesh Cricket Board are to carry out an investigation after the car carrying match officials following Tuesday’s defeat by Pakistan was alleged to have been stoned. Home fans in Chittagong for the third one-day international were angry with South Africa umpire Johan Cloete after he decided Bangladesh all-rounder Farhad Reza was out leg before wicket off the bowling of spinner Saeed Ajmal. Fans booed when the replay of the incident was shown on the giant screen at the ground as it appeared Reza had managed to get his bat to the ball first. After Reza’s dismissal, Bangladesh then lost their last three wickets for two runs to be bowled out for 119 and a 58-run defeat to lose the series 3-0. “An incident happened and the window of the car carrying the match officials broke,” Mesbahuddin Serniabat, the security chief of the Bangladesh Cricket Board told reporters on Wednesday. “But we are not fully convinced if it is because of stoning. It may be just an accident. We are investigating the matter.” he said, adding that no one was hurt in the incident. This is second reported incident of stoning in a year at a cricket match in Bangladesh after the West Indies team bus was pelted after they bowled out Bangladesh for 58 runs during the World Cup in March. reuterS
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Kiwis look to exploit Hughes flaw HOBART aFP
EW Zealand will try to heap the pressure on out-of-form Australian opening batsman Phillip Hughes as they seek to level the series with victory in the second and final Test starting Friday. The heat is off former Australian skipper Ricky Ponting and wicketkeeper Brad Haddin after good performances in the home side’s comprehensive nine-wicket victory over the Black Caps in the first Gabba Test. Ponting hit 78 and Haddin 80 in the first innings after speculation on their Test futures following a run of low scores, but the spotlight has now shifted to left-hander Hughes and his technical flaws outside off-stump. Hughes has passed 36 just twice in his past 17 Test innings and with allrounder Shane Watson (hamstring) and Shaun Marsh (back) on track to return from injuries in the Boxing Day Test against India, the opener’s position appears vulnerable. His six-ball failure on Sunday as Australia reeled off the 19 runs for victory in their second innings, highlighted his weakness. His average has dived from 69 after three Tests in 2009 to 36. There have been calls for Usman Khawaja to move up the batting order to opener and make room for uncapped all-
Ajmal on top, Hafeez second in iCC bowlers rankings LAHORE StaFF rePOrt
Pakistan’s opening batsman and rightarm off spin bowler Mohammad Hafeez claimed second position in ICC ODI bowlers’ rankings after an impressive performance in the series against Bangladesh. Hafeez, who took six wickets in three one-day match series, now jumped to second position while his team-mate Saeed Ajmal leads the list. Umar Akmal also broke into top 10 in batting table and he is the only Pakistan batsman in Top 10. Hafeez all-rounder took six wickets in the series against Bangladesh at an average of just 8.16 and an economy-rate of less than two runs per over. Ajmal did enough to stay top of the world rankings with series figures of 4-52. There were also gains for Umar Gul, who rose three places to 26th position, and Shoaib Malik, who gained 35 places to 82nd in the world. Hafeez’s bowling, coupled with some good support with the bat down the order, has earned him a place on the Reliance ICC Player Rankings for ODI allrounders and he now occupies second position, having overtaken Australia’s Shane Watson. He is just 13 ratings points behind leader Shakib Al Hasan of Bangladesh.
US, Bahrain on 2012 F1 world calendar PARIS aFP
Bahrain and the United States were included on the calendar for the 2012 Formula One world championship on Wednesday despite serious concerns over the two venues. The debut American race at Austin in Texas has been in doubt to a financial wrangle while the security situation in Bahrain, which led to the cancellation of the 2011 race, has returned to haunt organisers after a bomb exploded outside the British Embassy in Manama at the weekend. Austin's Circuit of The Americas, where work had been halted, has been at the centre of a row over its sanctioning fee between local promoters and Bernie Ecclestone, the sport's commercial ring-master.
rounder Dan Christian, who has been added to the Australian squad following a side strain to fast bowler Ben Cutting. New Zealand captain Ross Taylor could not disguise his relish when asked if he wanted Hughes to play in the Hobart Test. “I’d love him to be in the team,” Taylor said after the Gabba Test. “We had a lot of video footage of all the Australian players and Hughes got caught at second, third slip and gully a lot
in the Ashes and in South Africa. “That was definitely an area we wanted to target, and with the way Chris Martin bowls, he bowls across the lefthander.” Martin claimed Hughes’s wicket twice at the Gabba, both times caught by Martin Guptill in the slips. Senior Australian batsman Mike Hussey believes Hughes should continue playing his natural attacking game. “I just think it’s important for him to
keep a real clear mind and to keep playing his way,” Hussey said. “He’s had success playing his way. He’s still put together some really good scores for us in difficult conditions in Sri Lanka (126) and South Africa (88). “He works extremely hard and he knows the areas he needs to work on.” Australia remained unbeaten at the Gabba since 1988 with their emphatic victory over New Zealand, who are without a Test win in Australia since 1985. “We don’t play as much Test cricket as some of the other nations but we need to learn quicker than we are at the moment,” Taylor said. “That’s the ultimate goal, to apply pressure for as long as possible and absorb it as for as long as possible as well.” Australia unearthed another matchwinning fast bowler in 21-year-old James Pattinson, who took five for 27 to help rout New Zealand for 150 in their second innings at the Gabba. Michael Clarke has welcomed the inclusion of Christian in the squad. “He gives us options and that’s what we’re looking at in regards to the wicket in Hobart,” Clarke said. “We don’t know what we’re going to get. It is always nice to have another option in regards to your bowling.” Australia have never lost a Test in the total of nine played at Hobart’s Bellerive Oval, although the Kiwis have drawn twice in three Tests at the ground.
odi series averages
Akmal, Hafeez, nasir claim top honours tOP SiX BatSmen, BOWlerS
stats corner S. PERVEZ QAISER Nasir Hossain scored the highest number of runs while Mohammed Hafeez claimed the highest number of wickets in the just concluded three-match one day series between Pakistan and Bangladesh. Nasir Hossain of Bangladesh scored 124 runs at an average of 41.33 and a strike rate of 68.13 with one century in three innings of as many matches. He hit 13 fours and a six in this series. Umar Akmal took the number one position for Pakistan. The right hand middle order batsman scored 123 runs at 41.00 and a strike rate of 81.45 with two fifties in three innings of three matches. He hit nine fours and three sixes in three innings. Mohammad Hafeez took the first spot among the bowlers. The Pakistani offbreak bowler claimed six wickets at an average of 8.16 and economy rate of 1.96 in three matches. Rubel Hossain, Shakib Al Hasan and Abdur Razzak were the most successful bowler for the hosts. The three bowlers claimed four wickets each at an
BAtsMAn nasir hossain (Bangladesh) umar akmal (Pakistan) misbah-ul-haq (Pakistan) Shahid afridi (Pakistan) Younus khan (Pakistan) Shakib al hasan (Bangladesh) tOP SiX BOWlerS in SerieS:
M 3 3 3 3 3 3
I 3 3 3 3 3 3
nO 1 1 -
mohammed hafeez (Pakistan) umar Gul (Pakistan) Shahid afridi (Pakistan) Shoaib malik (Pakistan) Saeed ajmal (Pakistan) rubel hossain (Bangladesh) Shakib al hasan (Bangladesh) abdur razzak (Bangladesh)
3 3 3 3 3 2 3 3
25 16 17.3 16 23 18 29.4 24
49 58 99 41 52 81 90 94
6 5 5 4 4 4 4 4
8.16 11.60 19.80 10.25 13.00 20.25 22.50 23.50
1.96 3.62 5.651 2.56 2.26 4.50 3.03 3.91
3-27 4-36 5-23 3-6 2-6 2-23 2-42 3-21
average of 20.25, 22.50 and 23.50 respectively. Apart from Nasir Hossain's only century in the series, two fifties were scored, both by Umar Akmal. Two bowlers, both from Pakistan side, claimed a four-wicket haul in this series. Shahid Afridi took five wickets for 23 runs at
Runs 124 123 100 75 65 58
AVG 41.33 41.00 50.00 37.50 21.66 19.33
Hs 100 59 47 42 37 34
s/R 68.13 81.45 52.63 127.11 56.03 40.00
100 1 -
50 2 -
Dhaka in the first match while Umar Gul claimed four wickets for 36 runs in the second match at Dhaka. Pakistan won the one day series against Bangladesh for the fourth time. It was the 17th time that Pakistan have won all the matches in a bilateral series of three or more matches.
irfan merited selection for Australia series
WASiM AKRAM The Indian selectors' decision to pick Abhimanyu Mithun ahead of the in-form Irfan Pathan is surprising. I would've picked Irfan. His previous experiences in Australia would have been a boost to Team India. I don't know why he wasn't considered. Irfan has hit peak form, and it would have been perfect to unleash him at this stage. He looks confident and his swing would have been very handy in those conditions. If they gave Abhimanyu Mithun an opportunity in the Ahmedabad ODI, it would have only been fair to see how Irfan performed in the remaining two games. I think it's a bit unfair, but the selectors probably had a different line of thinking. An experienced cricketer like Zaheer Khan has broken down twice in two previous tours to Australia. On a big tour like this, the pressure to perform is huge, and I think Mithun would struggle on that front, which is why Irfan's experience would have been handy. It's good to see the BCCI has scheduled two practice matches before the Boxing Day Test. I think overall, it should be good enough preparation.
Cummins keen to play in iPl HOBART aFP
Australia’s hot fast-bowling prospect Pat Cummins is keen to play in the Indian Premier League, reports said on Wednesday. His manager Neil Maxwell said the 18year-old pace sensation would nominate for the IPL auction, The Daily Telegraph said. Cummins, who took six for 79 in a man-of-the-match performance on his Test debut against South Africa last month, said he wanted to experience the IPL, but only if there was no overlap with his Australian and domestic commitments. “I see it as a really good opportunity to play in different conditions against the top players, and it’s good fun,” Cummins told the newspaper before scans revealed he has a stress fracture in his left heel.
Odds against Sri Lanka in South Africa JOHANNESBURG aFP
The odds appear stacked against the Sri Lankan cricket team on their tour of South Africa, which starts Friday with a three-day match against a South African Invitation XI in Benoni. The tourists will play three Tests and five one-day internationals, hoping to break a losing streak in both forms of the game. Sri Lanka have not won a Test match since defeating India in master spin bowler Muttiah Muralitharan’s last Test in Galle in July 2010. Since then they have played 14 matches, losing four and drawing 10. They have lost their three most recent series, against England, Australia and Pakistan, each by a 1-0 margin. Their record in one-day internationals is similarly unimpressive since they reached the World Cup final against India in Mumbai last April in what was Muralitharan’s last international appearance. They have lost successive series against England, Australia and Pakistan. South Africa has not been a happy venue for Sri Lankan teams, although it will be their first tour of the country since the 2002/03 season. In seven Tests, South Africa have
Sangakkara has made two hundreds against South Africa. FILe PhOTO won six with one drawn. The hosts also hold a 12-5 edge in ODIs between the countries in South Africa - although in their most recent meeting Sri Lanka gained a convincing win
in the 2009 ICC Champions Trophy. Former South African captain Kepler Wessels has dismissed Sri Lanka’s chances, saying the home selectors should use the
Test series to introduce new players because of bigger challenges ahead, including away series against England and Australia next year. Wessels said a second-string South African team would be able to beat the Lankans. His comments drew a predictable response from star Sri Lankan batsman Mahela Jayawardene, who said his team welcomed being labelled underdogs. “The statement is great ammunition for us to motivate ourselves and send a clear message to the players that this is how they are thinking about us so let’s try to change their mind,” he said.Sri Lanka appear desperately short of bowling firepower, particularly for the Test series, with Muralitharan having retired and Lasith Malinga available only for one-day games. To compound the tourists’ problems, they have been hit by injuries to fast bowlers Suranga Lakmal, Shaminda Eranga, Nuwan Kulasekara and Dhammika Prasad. When Lakmal became the latest to withdraw from the tour, chairman of selectors Duleep Mendis said no replacement would be named in the hope that one of the other injured players would recover in time to join the squad.
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Pakistan judo team in Grand Slam Tokyo LAHORE StaFF rePOrt
Shah Hussain will make a second attempt to confirm Pakistan’s presence at the 2012 Olympics’ Judo event when he tries his luck at the International Judo Federation’s (IJF) Grand Slam that starts on December 9 in Tokyo. This 18-year-old Shah Hussain will represent Pakistan in the sub 100-kilogramme event along with a partner named Shahzaib. He will play his first international event. Last month Shah Hussain took part in the World Judo Championship in Cape Town where he lost to a Russian entry in the second round. “The PJF is trying to avail every opportunity here and Shah Hussain and his partner are our best hope since they are already in Japan,” said an official of the PJF. “The event will be tougher than Cape Town and participants more than 80 other countries will fight for the title. We just need them to qualify for the quarter-finals to book Pakistan’s berth in Olympics-2012 at London,” an official said.
WAPDA, KPT advance in PPFl LAHORE StaFF rePOrt
WAPDA and KPT registered slender margin wins in the 8th Pakistan Premier Football League which resumed on Wednesday after Ashura break. WAPDA beat NBP 1-0 at the Railway Football Stadium, Lahore. The all important goals of the match for WAPDA came from forward Arif Mahmood in the 15th minute. KPT beat PMC Athetico FC 1-0 at the PMC Football Ground, Faisalabad. Forward Jamal-ud-Din brought the winning goal of the matches in the 53rd minute of the match.
Moosa guides Professional veterans to final KARACHI StaFF rePOrt
Nadeem Moosa guided Professional Veterans to the final of the 3rd Pakistan Veterans Cricket Association Cup on Wednesday. In the second semifinal played at RLCA Gulberg Karachi, Omer veterans scored 169 runs for four wickets in 20 overs. Ashraf Pakhali scored 50, Akber Alam 37, Akram Khan 33. Haji Ashraf got three wickets and Khaliqullah got one for 33 and 20 runs respectively. Nadeem Moosa was scorer for Professional Veterans and played marvelous innings and scored 70 not out. He got good support from Tahir Rasheed 36 runs and Nadeem Yousuf scored 34. Professional Veterans achieved the target of 170 runs losing four wickets in 15.4 overs. Badar Ansari and Munir Ul Haq got one wicket each for 42 and 43 runs respectively. Nadeem Moosa was declared Man of the Match. This tournament is being organised by Pakistan Veterans Cricket Association.
iNDORe: West indies cricket players warm up for a practice session at The Holkar Stadium. AFP
Windies keen to cash in on India’s batting woes INDORE aGencieS
NDIA have to sort out their batting problems when they take on the West Indies for the fourth ODI on Thursday. Windies had competed well against the stronger and more fancied hosts in the first two matches that they lost at Cuttack and Vishakapatnam, but the victory in the must-win Ahmedabad match has lifted their sagging spirits on the tour where very little has gone right for them. The much-vaunted Indian batting line-up would certainly be wary of the dangers posed by the varied Windies attack after the way they folded up in the Motera Stadium. Rohit Sharma played a lone dominant hand among the frontline batsmen and has been the bulwark of this batting order that is without the presence of key players Sachin Tendulkar, Mahendra Singh Dhoni - both rested - and the indisposed Yuvraj Singh. The biggest flops have been the Delhi
duo of Virender Sehwag, who is leading the squad in the absence of Dhoni, and Gautam Gambhir, performing well below par in the three games. Both were dismissed shockingly for first-ball ducks by West Indies` pacer Ravi Rampaul who has made a big impact with both the bat and the ball in the rubber. Sehwag and Gambhir need to pull up their act and come out with bigger contributions for India to take an unassailable lead and clinch their second ODI series in a row after the 5-0 whitewash of England. "We have to look at our top order. We have to click and fire. We have to give a good start as a team so that we can achieve any target or set any target for the West Indies in the coming games," said Sehwag after India lost at Ahmedabad. Parthiv Patel, donning the gloves in the absence of Dhoni, did show some encouraging form in Ahmedabad while stroking his way to 39, but would need to convert such starts into more meaningful ones. The bowling too did not exactly set the Sabarmati river on fire with the likes
of Umesh Yadav and Abhimanyu Mithun having been carted around by West Indian captain Darren Sammy and Andre Russell. The old penchant of the Indian bowling attack to concede big runs to the lower order after packing off the top has resurfaced in this series. Yadav has been given a break for the last two games and Irfan Pathan, who had been in the international wilderness for nearly two and a half years, brought into the squad and his inclusion in the playing 11 would give the right-oriented pace attack a bit more variety. The Baroda man`s presence, who has been rewarded for some consistent display in Ranji Trophy this season, would also add meat and experience to the line-up with his ability as a power-hitting lefthanded floater in the batting order. "It would be difficult for me to say whether it`s more of happiness or relief, but I would like to make full use of the opportunities available. Not many people get a chance to represent the country and I have been fortunate enough to do that and, God willing,
would like to represent my nation for a long time," he has said. There certainly could be a hint of nervousness in him when he steps on the field, but the 27-year-old is a potential match-winner and could not have asked for a more appropriate stage to rekindle his career. Pathan and Vinay Kumar could be a handful for the West Indies batting line up which is likely to miss the classy Darren Bravo who retired hurt when in good flow in Ahmedabad because of a left hamstring strain and did not resume his innings or come on to field. Left-handed Bravo`s availability for the match is in doubt and his absence would be a big blow for the struggling Windies outfit. The visiting batsmen would again be confronted by the spin duo of Ashwin and left-armer Ravindra Jadeja both of who bowled well and economically in Ahmedabad. The visitors need to be more positive against this duo to keep the momentum going in the middle overs.
memBer assoCiations elite referees Course
PFF awards 25 referees, six assessors LAHORE StaFF rePOrt
The Member Associations Elite Referees Course’s closing ceremony was held on Monday at the Football House here. As many as 25 referees, four Instructor Observers and six Referee Assessors received the certificates. In the closing ceremony, FIFA’s technical instructor, Masoud Enayat said that he was pleased with the performance of the referees. “I am very pleased with the performances of the referees both in the theory and in practical,” he added. "You have now gained a lot of experience and knowledge from the top instructors from FIFA. Now it's the time to share and impart the same experience and knowledge to referees and instructors in your associations,” said PFF Secretary Lt. Col (retd) Ahmed Yar Khan Lodhi. Masoud Enayat thanked the PFF and the organisers for the hospitality they received during their stay in Pakistan. FIFA Physical Instructor from Singapore Ganesh Manium also spoke in the ceremony. He reflected on the current developments in the referees department and said he
would do everything in his power to improve the skills of referees. “I would do everything I could to improve the level of referees.” Masoud Enayat, who acted as Match Commissioner during Pakistan-Qatar's Beijing Olympics Qualifier at Islamabad four years ago, concluded that the course will provide Pakistani referees with information and methodologies that will assist them to refresh their referee career. The Participating referees: Yasmeen Zareen, Salma Majeed, Fatima Ayub, Khurram Shehzad, Muhammad Ali Junior, Zahid Ullah, Allauddin, Zahid Ali, Abdul Aziz, Javaid Bangash, Ansar Javaid, Muhammad Arslan Sharif Senior, Muhammad Tahir, Arslan Sharif Junior, Touqeer Aslam, Ali Nawaz, Hidayat Ullah, Dilawar Khan, Shah Zaman, Rana Naseer Ahmed, Rana Jahnzaib, Irshad-ul-Haq, Adnan Anjum, Majid Khan and Muzamil Hussain. The Instructor Observers: Syed Imtiaz Ali Shah, Muhammad Iqbal Junior, Qamar Yar Khan and Ghulam Muhammad Samad. The Referee Assessors: Qazi Muhammad Asif, Abdul Shakoor Baloch, M. Saleem Khan, Hidayat Ullah, Mohammad Shafiq, Naseemuddin and Tariq Masood.
lAHORe: PFF Secretary lt Col (r) Ahmed yar Khan lodhi presents a shield to FiFA’s technical instructor Masoud enayat after the elite Referees Course while Col Mir looks on. STAFF PhOTO
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Thursday, 8 December, 2011
Pakistan out, Spain thrash Britain 8-1 AUCKLAND aFP
Messi relishing world club mission
Barcelona star Lionel Messi has dismissed the notion that the Club World Cup in Japan is an unwanted distraction, at a time when the Spanish giants trail Real Madrid at home. The reigning Spanish and European champions jet to the annual showpiece in the unfamiliar position of not topping La Liga, but it would be a huge shock if Barcelona didn’t claim their 13th title under coach Pep Guardiola. In Messi, Barcelona, who were Club World Cup winners in 2009, have arguably the finest player around, and the Argentine wizard insists his celebrated side are giving the tournament of continental champions due respect. “It’s great to play in a Club World Cup and it’s an important tournament for us. We’ve got some lovely memories of the last one we played in and we can’t wait to experience that again and celebrate in the same style,” he said. Glory two years ago, when Barcelona came from behind in the final to beat Argentine side Estudiantes 2-1 in extra-time, crowned an amazing year when the Catalan outfit won all six cups that were on offer.
Wozniacki to play in Montreal MONTREAL aGencieS
Top-ranked Caroline Wozniacki will return to the Rogers Cup in Montreal next year. Wozniacki and No. 3 Victoria Azarenka of Belarus confirmed Tuesday that they’ll play at the Aug. 4-13 event at Uniprix Stadium. Wozniacki defeated Russia’s Vera Zvonareva in the final when the Premier WTA tournament was last played in Montreal. She made a second-round exit at the Rogers Cup last summer in Toronto. Zvonareva and Marion Bartoli of France announced last week that they will play in the 2012 tournament.
TEN SPORTS FIH Champions Trophy 2011 03:55AM
NEO CRICKET India West Indies 4th ODI 02:00PM
Pakistan’s approach was defensive, says Rehan
PAIN humiliated Great Britain 8-1 to reach the top four of the the Champions Trophy hockey tournament Tuesday, as hosts New Zealand advanced with a barnstorming comeback against the Netherlands. In the last day of initial pool play, New Zealand trailed 3-0 against the Holland but salvaged a 3-3 draw, to consign Olympic champions Germany to the bottom four of the last major men’s hockey tournament before the London Games. Germany could only manage a 3-3 draw against South Korea, not enough to remain in the elite group, while Australia thrashed Pakistan 6-1. Britain, South Korea, Pakistan and Germany will join the “best of the rest” to fight over the bottom four places when play resumes following a rest day on Wednesday. Beijing gold medallists Germany needed a win against South Korea to ensure a spot in the top four. Pakistan manager manager Khawaja Junaid said his team, making their first Champions Trophy appearance since 2007, were still on a learning curve ahead of the Olympics after the 6-1 defeat to Australia. “It will take time,” he said. Britain slumped to their heaviest defeat in the competition’s history, found wanting under an unrelenting inquisition from a Spanish team determined to make amends for a disappointing sixth place in this year’s European championship. Coach Jason Lee’s side went a goal up through skipper Barry Middleton after 23 minutes but from there it was all one-way traffic as Spain tore apart the British defence. “We were very, very poor... we physically and technically couldn’t cope,” Lee said, lamenting the way his team gifted Spain “two of the softest goals I’ve ever seen” to begin the rout. Lee was upset not only at the lop-
watch it Live
LAHORE StaFF rePOrt
AUCKlAND: Pakistan’s Ali Shan (C) competes with Matthew Butturini (R) of Australia. AFP sided scoreline, but also the lack of fighting spirit his team displayed in their meek capitulation. “The British have a great deal of pride and we’ve dented it quite severely today,” he said. Spain responded to Middleton’s opener with four goals in seven minutes to lead 4-1 at half-time. After a Juan Fernandez fifth just after the break, Spain scored another three in the final minutes of the game to pile on the agony for Britain. Spanish captain Santi Freixa, who scored twice, said his team had brought an attacking philosophy to the tournament and were capable of beating any opponent on their day. “Every day we’re growing and improving, learning from what we didn’t do right the day before... today we showed we’re not just here to play in the tournament and we’re in the top four again,” he said. The result means Spain join Australia, New Zealand and the Netherlands in the top four group that will compete for medals at the eight-nation tournament. But complacency set in after they took a 2-0 lead into the break, with the neversay-die Koreans slamming home three second-half goals, requiring a Tobias Matania shot three minutes from full-time to ensure a 3-3 draw. The draw was not
enough after Pool B rivals New Zealand, spurred on by vocal home support, staged a desperate fightback from 3-0 down to earn a 3-3 draw with the Netherlands. NZ Hockey spokesman Shane McLeod said New Zealand’s Black Sticks were determined to make a mark on the tournament on home soil. “They’ve wanted to do really well in this, they’re up against really tough opposition and I think you saw the passion take over from the brain,” he said. Results from match day three of the men's Champions Trophy field hockey tournament on Tuesday: Pool A Spain 8 (Tubau 24, 67; Quemada 25; Freixa 29, 66; Dabanch 31; Fernandez 44, Oliva 70) Great Britain 1 (Middleton 23) Australia 6 (Dwyer 22, 45, 48; Ockenden 31; Doerner 40; Paterson 53) Pakistan 1 (Tousiq 64) Pool B South Korea 3 (you 48; Kim y-J 54; Seo 64) Germany 3 (Fuchs 31; Montag 34; Matania 67) New Zealand 3 (Hilton 53; Burrows 55; Couzins 66) Netherlands 3 (Bakker 28; Hertzberger 29; Taekema 48) Australia, Spain, the Netherlands and New Zealand will compete for the top four places. Pakistan, South Korea, Germany and Great Britain will contest places 5-8.
National hockey striker Rehan Butt said he was surprised to see Pakistan playing a defensive game in the Champions Trophy matches. Talking to journalists here at the National Hockey Stadium, Rehan forward said that Pakistan team could have easily won against England and Spain. “These are the teams Pakistan could have beaten without any trouble. It was really surprising to see them go down to these teams without much fight,” he added. “Had I been among the forward line-up, I would have kept the strikers on their toes but they looked lethargic in their approach,” he maintained. He further stated that he was keeping his options for the national team open. “I was available for selection and it was the selection committee which did not pick me for the tournament.” “I will only decide to be playing in the World Hockey Series when the time will come,” he maintained. “If I play in the series it would be with the permission of the federation,” he maintained.
Chelsea, Marseille qualify for last 16 PARIS: Chelsea booked their passage to the Champions League knockout phase on Tuesday with a 3-0 win over Valencia at Stamford Bridge while an already-qualified Arsenal went down to defeat at Olympiakos. Valencia enjoyed some impressive periods on the ball, but the Spaniards -- who went into the finalday duel level on points with their rivals -- never recovered from a third-minute opening goal from Didier Drogba, who played a starring role in a match which saw the Blues win Group E at Bayer Leverkusen’s expense. Daniel Sturridge hit a laser-guided pass to Juan Mata and the former Valencia star fed Drogba, the Ivory Coast striker firing home an unerring left-footed finish. Jordi Alba responded by striking the post for Valencia but Chelsea, knowing they had to go for the three points to ensure further progress, turned the screw again on 22 minutes as a defensive mix-
up, coupled with a mazy Drogba run, saw Ramires nip in ahead of Victor Ruiz to score. A neat Drogba finish with 14 minutes remaining wrapped up an ultimately comprehensive victory, with Chelsea emphatically crushing any talk of crisis at the club three days after winning by a similar scoreline at Newcastle. Arsenal meanwhile were able to ring the changes -- nine in all compared with their weekend romp at Wigan -- having already won Group F. But Arsene Wenger’s 200th European match in charge ended in a 3-1 loss to Olympiakos, who were two minutes away from joining them in the next round only to be denied by a last-gasp Marseille goal at Dortmund. Algerian forward Rafik Djebbour netted the hosts’ opener before substitute ‘keeper Vito Mannone -- who came on for the injured Lukasz Fabianski -- completely flunked an attempted clearance as David Fuster made it 2-0. AFP
National Women’s Judo from Jan 18 LAHORE StaFF rePOrt
lONDON: valencia’s Sofiane Feghouli (R) sprints past Chelsea’s defender Ashley Cole. AFP
The Pakistan Judo Federation in collaboration with the Army sports Directorate is holding the 5th Women National Judo Championship from January 18 to 20 in Rawalpindi. Top 12 teams are participating in this championship from all over Pakistan which includes Khyber PK, Sindh, Punjab, Balochistan, Fata, Islamabad, Army, WAPDA, Railway, Police, Air Force and HEC. Around 120 athletes along with 44 officials will participate in this championship.
Undefeated Pakistan fail to beat draw curse NEW DELHI aGencieS
The Pakistan football team will be returning undefeated from India where they drew all the three matches it played at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Delhi. Thus having a hat-trick of draws. In other matches, India defeated Sri Lanka 3-0 and Afghanistan thrashed Bhutan 8-1 and Maldives beat Bangladesh 3-1 on Tuesday while Afghanistan and India qualify for semifinals from group A while Maldives and Nepal qualify for semifinals from group B. Participating in the last league match of SAFF Cup 2011, Pakistan drew with Nepal one-all. Pakistan and Nepal split the points among them in their final group B match held at the on Tuesday. Earlier, Pakistan remained goalless with Maldives and
Bangladesh. A first half strike by man of the match Bharat Khawas of Nepal was cancelled out by Samar Ishaq’s spot-kick in the second half. Nepal are the first side to qualify for the semi-finals while Pakistan’s future in the competition still hangs in the air as that would be determined at the end of the second match – Maldives versus Bangladesh. If the game between Maldives and Bangladesh ends in a goalless draw, that would see a draw of the lots between Pakistan and Maldives. If Maldives - Bangladesh ends up in a scored draw, Pakistan would be out as it would be Maldives who shall progress. Pakistan coach Zavisa Milosavljevic
made two changes from the last match as Kaleem Ullah and Muhammed Ahmed were included in the starting line-up. Graham Roberts seemed to have lost his patience with Anil Gurung as Santhosh Khala and Jumani Rai were the two strikers. The two teams played cautiously with Pakistan playing with almost all their players behind the ball except Jadeed Khan looking to hit on the counter. Sagar Thapa had a chance when he volleyed Sagar Thapa’s free-kick from his own half which didn’t trouble the rival custodian. Pakistan appealed for a penalty in the 16th minute when Sagar Thapa won the ball from Jadeed Khan with a sliding tackle. While the referee waived off the appeals,
Pakistan coach seemed displayed about it. Kaleem Ullah had a crack on goal when he collected a ball from Nepal half and unleashed a fierce left footer which saw Kiran Kumar Limbu dive to his left and save the danger. The breakthrough came eight minutes before the end of the first half as Bharat Khawas, unmarked inside the area, slotted home from a Rajju Tamang cornerkick. Just three minutes into the second half and Pakistan found the equaliser through Samar Ishaq as he sent Kiran Kumar Limbu the wrong side from the penalty sspot. This was after Sandip Rai fouled Kaleem Ullah inside the box which left referee Nagor Aamir no choice but to award the spot-kick. The play had to be halted for five minutes or so when there was a clash of heads between Rabin Shreshta and Muhammed Rizwan Asif.
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Thursday, 8 December, 2011
Karzai blames LJ for rare sectarian attacks
Malik thanks Taliban for Ashura peace
In a surprise move that caused much controversy, Interior Minister Rehman Malik thanked Taliban militants for not attacking Ashura processions across the country. “I am thankful to the Taliban who did not carry out any attacks on Shia Muslims and showed respect to their rituals,” Makik told reporters. “I hope they would also remain peaceful in future, lay down arms and work together with us for the security of the country,” the interior minister said. He said that he had appealed to the Taliban to spare the processions of Shia Muslims and “they positively responded to my appeal”. “This is a good sign and I am confident that the security situation will improve further in future,” he added.
US resumes talks with Taliban ISLAMABAD Online
The United States has resumed talks with the Taliban and another round of dialogue has been held in Qatar, sources told Online on Wednesday. However, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid denied any knowledge of talks with the US. “I do not know about this yet,” he told Online in an email. Sources said some European sympathisers of the Taliban had brokered a meeting between Taliban representatives and senior US officials. Sources said Tayyab Agha, former private secretary and spokesman for the Taliban’s supreme commander Mullah Omar, led negotiations with the US officials. They said the Taliban’s former ambassador in Islamabad Shahabudin Dilawar and former second secretary in the Afghan embassy during the Taliban regime Sohail Shaheen accompanied Agha. Three rounds of talks have previously been held between the US and Taliban in Germany and Qatar. However, the negotiations hit a deadlock after the US revealed the talks to the media. Earlier, the talks were moderated by Michael Steiner, Germany’s Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan and one of the country’s most experienced diplomats. Steiner is very optimistic about the current situation in the region and considers a political solution in Afghanistan possible. The sources said that the fresh round of talks with Taliban also concluded without any major breakthrough, probably because of the negotiators from the US.
FGHAN President Hamid Karzai blamed Pakistan’s extremist Lashkar-eJhangvi group for a bomb at a Kabul shrine that killed 59 people, demanding justice from Pakistan as a roadside mine killed another 19 civilians and injured five when it exploded in the southern Afghan province of Helmand on Wednesday. The Ashura was marked with rare sectarian violence in Afghanistan, with Wednesday’s blast following attacks in three Afghan cities a day earlier that killed 59 people and refocused attention on the fragile Afghan security situation. Karzai’s comments are likely to antagonise already tense relations with Islamabad further, which boycotted Monday’s Bonn conference on the future of Afghanistan following NATO air strikes that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers. “The president said he blamed the Pakistani-based militant group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi,” said the Karzai’s spokesman Aimal Faizi, following reports of a purported claim from the faction blamed for scores of similar attacks on Shiites in Pakistan. “The president said that he will demand Pakistan take executive measures in this regard since this group is based in Pakistan so that justice can be done,” Faizi added. Karzai’s comments came as he visited victims of the Kabul blast in the hospital. “Lashkar-e-Jhangvi which is based in Pakistan has claimed responsibility for this attack... We will investigate the issue very carefully and will discuss it with the Pakistani government,” Karzai said. “This is the first time in Afghanistan, on a very important religious day, they have acted. Without doubt it is hostile to Afghanistan, the people of Afghanistan, and Islam,” Karzai said at a hospital treating victims of the Kabul blast. ‘SPOKESMAN’: A caller who identified himself as a spokesman for the Lashkare-Jhangvi al-Alami had claimed respon-
78 killed in last two days as Pakistan demands evidence from Afghanistan
kaBul: afghan Shias sit around the coffin of a bomb attack victim outside the karti Sakhi Shrine on Wednesday. AFP sibility for Tuesday’s suicide attack in Kabul, in a telephone call to a Reuters reporter hours after the attack. The caller, who identified himself as Abu Bakar Mansoor, said the Shia community was the target. However the claim could not be independently verified. EVIDENCE: Meanwhile, Pakistan asked Afghanistan to provide evidence to support accusations that Lashkar-e-Jhangvi
was responsible for the Kabul attack. “Lashkar-e-Jhangvi is a banned organisation. We would encourage Kabul to share with us evidence, if any through official channels,” Foreign Office Spokesman Abdul Basit told AFP by text message. Karzai had said earlier on Tuesday that Pakistan had an important role to play in the Afghan peace process, including in any negotiations with the Taliban.
US State Dept defends aid to Pakistan WASHINGTON aFP
The US State Department on Tuesday defended aid to Pakistan amid calls from senators for a full review of whether economic and military assistance there serves the US national interest. “We believe our assistance to Pakistan still continues to provide dividends for the American people in trying to grow and strengthen Pakistan’s democratic institutions, boost its economy,” said spokesman Mark Toner. “In the long term, you know, those are the kinds of things we’re seeking to achieve,” he told reporters one day after Republican Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham made a full-throated call for reevaluating the aid. His comments came shortly after US Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Dianne Feinstein said that cutting assistance to Pakistan would be unhelpful but warned that calls to do so had strong congressional support. “I don’t think that’s useful,” she told reporters. “My understanding is that there’s some overtures under way to restore the relationship. Well, that’s fine, but I suspect that if a bill were to come to the floor which fenced money, the bill would have a good chance of passing,” she said. “I can only express my profound disappointment with the relationship” and the “deterioration” in an already troubled alliance that “goes up and down, and up and down, and up and down”, she said. “My very strong feeling is you can’t walk both sides of the street with respect to terror,” said Feinstein. “This is a very complex relationship,” Toner said, adding that the deadly border incident “was difficult for the Pakistani people, for the Pakistani government”.“They have reacted in a way that shows how important and how significant this tragedy was for them,” Toner said. “It’s absolutely essential that Pakistan, Afghanistan and the US, other international partners, work through this and beyond. It’s in all our interests.” But Republican Senator Mark Kirk told AFP that McCain and Graham, who serve on the Senate Armed Services Committee, “are right”. “Military aid to Pakistan is unsustainable, and in this time of deficits and debt, we ought to save the money,” he said, warning that if Pakistan has chose “to embrace terror and back the Haqqani network”, it should do so “without subsidies from the US taxpayer”.
PPP looks to shift media focus from memo controversy ISLAMABAD StaFF rePOrt
The core committee of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) decided on Wednesday to gear up efforts and create new issues to shift the media focus from the memo controversy onto the creation of new provinces, especially the creation of a Saraiki Province, to capture the party’s vote bank in Southern Punjab and lessen the impact created by recent campaigning by Pakistan Tehreek-eInsaaf (PTI) leaders Imran Khan and Shah Mahmood Qureshi. A source told Pakistan Today that the meeting, which was held at Prime Minister’s House and was attended by the party’s Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari for the first time, was of the view that the recent
happenings on the political landscape had badly harmed the image of the party in particular and the government in general and there was a dire need to defuse the situation through proper media handling. “The meeting tasked Qamar Zaman Kaira, Dr Babar Awan and Jahangir Badar to counter the negative media criticism while Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani has been asked to play his part in again raising the Saraiki Province issue to muster public support and shift the media focus away from the memo controversy and the precarious health condition of President Asif Ali Zardari,” said the source. The source said the meeting also discussed the pressure tactics used by the establishment vis-à-vis the memogate scandal and Prime Minister Gilani was asked to play
iSlamaBad: Prime minister Yousaf raza Gilani in a meeting with PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto zardari on Wednesday. ONLINe his role in defusing the situation between the civilian government and the security establishment.The source said that participants expressed their concern that the ailment of the president had further weakened the government and it was necessary for the prime minister to ensure that the government ma-
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chinery looked effective and functional. The source said the meeting also expressed concern that the delay in the presidential address to the joint sitting of the parliament would be a setback for the party that had caused the media to speculate whether the establishment had warned him not to do so.