Issuu on Google+

KHI 01-01-2012_Layout 1 1/1/2012 2:43 AM Page 1

pakistantoday.com.pk

Rs22.00 Vol ii no 185 27 pages Karachi edition

Sunday, 1 January, 2012 Safar 6, 1433

Nawaz believes it’s time to replace govt g

PMl-n chief tells rally his team will bring Pakistan back on track of sovereignty, self-reliance GUJRANWALA

P

MULTAN

MUHAMMAD SHAFIQUE

AkISTAN Muslim LeagueNawaz (PML-N) President Nawaz Sharif told supporters at a rally held in Jinnah Stadium on Saturday that a government that violated the Supreme Court’s decisions and was corrupt and negligent could not be tolerated anymore, and it was time to replace it with the best available team in the country, which he alone possesses. He said the youth could not be detracted by a “World XI” or “B team” of former president Pervez Musharraf and that the PML-N would bring the country back on the track of sovereignty and self-reliance. Sharif said the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) government had destroyed national institutions such as Pakistan International Airlines, Pakistan Railways and Pakistan Steel Mills just to safeguard its corruption and negligence and that was why poor people had been forced to commit suicide. He said the people had been deprived of their basic rights such as food, health and education and printing currency worth Rs 200 million every day had further hurt the inflation-hit economy. He condemned the price increase in basic utilities such as electricity and gas and said unemployment had reached its highest levels only because of the malpractices of the “Zardari regime”. He said President Asif Ali Zardari was following in the footsteps of former president Pervez Musharraf and ruined the sovereignty of the

Corruption, weak governance constraints to Pak growth: WB

APP

GUJRANWALA: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz President Nawaz Sharif addresses a large public gathering in a show of power as elections draw nearer. online country. “The green passport was one of the most respected assets in the 90s when Pakistan defied five calls from (former US president) Bill Clinton and became a nuclear state to make its defence invincible,” said Nawaz. He said the Zardari regime had ruined all of this and Pakistan had ended up in the struggling period yet again. Sharif said the PML-N had the wisest brains and a corruption-free team in the country and would make Pakistan a self-reliant economic power. The venue was packed with PML-N supporters. The stadium has a capacity of 25,000-30,000 and chairs for another 30,000 were set on the ground, but

New Year brings new, higher fuel prices

ONLINE

LAHORE: As the sun sets on the year 2011, a man takes home firewood to burn instead of natural gas, the shortage of which marred the end of the year and all but completely stymied daily life. irfan chaudhry g

g

g

Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani on Saturday said being a custodian of the 1973 constitution, the Pakistan People’s Party-led government would defend the sovereignty, integrity and solidarity of the country at all cost with the support of its allies. Addressing a function after inaugurating Muhammad Wala Bridge over River Chenab, he said, “We have to save the country and take care of it. No one can cast an evil eye on Pakistan’s sovereignty and integrity.” The prime minister said the vision and thoughts of Benazir Bhutto would never subside and it was the responsibility of the PPP government to materialise her dreams. He said the government had taken various decisions and initiatives, besides announcing the projects

when the people started to gather there was no space left to even stand. The PML-N chief told his supporters that the gathering reminded him of the long march and he saw a ‘mini-long march’ all the way from Lahore to Gujranwala as the people of Pakistan were fed up with this government. Sharif also said that if his party came to power, he would give loans without interest on a non-profit basis to ensure the prosperity of the country. He announced that Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif would visit Gujranwala within 10 days.

ISLAMABAD Terming corruption and weak economic governance the main constraints to growth, the World Bank said in a report on Saturday that Pakistan had failed to bring improvements in governance. According to the report, a range of governance, corruption and business environment indicators suggested that these areas remained a challenge. Current Freedom of Information (FOI) legislation of Pakistan remained weak, though new legislation had been introduced in the National Assembly, which, with suitable amendments, had the potential to raise transparency and improve accountability. The World Bank said in its report that the New Framework for Growth Strategy (NFGS) launched in June 2011 set out priorities to revive the economy in the medium term. “The Government has outlined a comprehensive plan to accelerate economic recovery under the NFGS, which identifies low productivity associated with weak economic governance as the main constraint to growth,” the report said. It sets out an ambitious agenda under six thematic areas to address this constraint: competitive markets, openness, cities, connectivity, youth development and governance. Successful implementation of the strategy could help the country improve its stabilisation and growth prospects in the coming few years, reduce poverty and provide jobs for some 8,000 people that come to the labor market every day.

Govt to defend sovereignty at all costs: Gilani

Govt increases price of petrol by Rs 1.65 President Zardari intervenes to keep HSD price at Rs 98.82 Power tariff also likely to be raised by 4 percent in January

ISLAMABAD AMER SIAL

As a difficult 2011 passed without any relief to the people, harder times are ahead with 2012, which is also not promising any good news for the electricity, gas and POL consumers as the government notified an increase of Rs 1.65 to 5.13 per litre on petroleum oil product prices with effect from Sunday (today). According to a notification from the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA), the price of petrol has been increased by Rs 1.65 per litre to Rs 89.54 per litre, while the price of High

Octane Blended Component (HOBC) has been increased by Rs 5.13 to Rs 111.91 per litre. The prices of High Speed Diesel (HSD), Light Diesel Oil (LDO) and kerosene have been retained at last month’s level of Rs 98.82, Rs 86.78 and Rs 89.24 per litre respectively. The government had also increased HSD prices by Rs 1 per litre but intervention from President Asif Ali Zardari forced the Finance Ministry to withdraw the increase from the notified prices. Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) chief Nawaz Sharif Continued on page 04

on merit without any discrimination. Gilani said the Akbar Bund (levee) would also ensure a protection for Multan city and other adjoining areas, including Muzaffargarh. He said the project was announced by Benazir Bhutto when she came to Multan two days before her martyrdom, saying it was completed as early as possible. The prime minister said the deprivations of the people of the area of the last 65 years would be redressed. He said despite the criticism, he had made unprecedented development from karachi to khyber and projects worth Rs 150 billion were in progress. Gilani said, “We have been given the chance by the grace of God and I assure you that we will truly represent the aspirations of the people of the country.” “We restored the 1973 constitution to its original form and all institutions have been made stronger,” he said. “We are the real owners of the constitution.” The prime minister dispelled the impression that the PPP did not want to respect the institutions. He said some political orphans, neglected and rejected by the people of their own areas were claiming that PPP was somehow a threat to the country. “We restored the constitution, gave media its freedom, released the judges and restored them...the PPP has been working for the solidarity, progress and prosperity of the country and it could not be a risk to the country in any sense,” he added.

PAKISTAN TODAY wishes its readers a blessed and peaceful


KHI 01-01-2012_Layout 1 1/1/2012 2:43 AM Page 2

02 News Today’s

Sunday, 1 January, 2012

kARACHI

NEWS

fOREIGN NEWS

Paramedics protest’ puts OPD patients in limbo

The PML-N dynasty all set to continue

Kim Jong-Un declared military chief

Story on Page 05

Story on Page 10

Story on Page 16

Quick look

PML-N not to exercise option of resignations: Aitzaz ISLAMABAD: Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader Aitzaz Ahsan said on Saturday that the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) will not exercise the option of resignations from assemblies, as it would be at the receiving end this way. He was talking to journalists. Aitzaz said that the Supreme Court (SC) had opened a new door by declaring the memogate case as maintainable. The renowned lawyer said that the commission constituted by the apex court would not make any decision without hearing all stakeholders. The PPP leader said that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) had emerged as the third political force. INP

President orders probe into Dr Salim’s murder ISLAMABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari, taking notice of Dr Salim kharal’s murder, who was killed during a firing incident, directed the Sindh IG to conduct an immediate investigation of the incident besides bringing the culprits to justice. According to the Bilawal House spokesman, President Zardari condoled with Salim’s family. The deceased was the brother of MPA Naeem kharal. ONLINE

One killed in police raid FAISALABAD: One person was killed during a police raid on Saturday, which sparked protests amid reports that several protesters were injured in clashes with police. During the night between Friday and Saturday, the Sargodha Police tried to enter into a house at Jaranwala Road on suspicion of involvement of its inmates in a theft case. The inmates fired at police during which Sabir was killed and Shahbaz injured. The family of the deceased blocked Jaranwala Road by placing his body on the road. The protesters started pelting stones when police tried to disperse them. Clashes started after firing of tear gas shells by police. Some policemen and villagers were injured during the clash. People also set ablaze a police post in the area. ONLINE

BLA grenade injures six policemen QUETTA: Six police personnel were injured in a hand grenade attack on their official vehicle in industrial town of Hub, as three rockets landed in Quetta on Saturday. The rockets, however, did not cause any damage in the provincial capital. The Baloch Liberation Army claimed responsibility for the attack on policemen. Per details, unidentified men hurled a hand grenade on the police vehicle in Hub and escaped. As a result, six policemen received injuries and were moved to karachi for treatment. Meanwhile, the three rockets, fired from the western side of Quetta, landed in various localities of the city but did not cause any damage to either to life or property. One of them exploded in an open area along Sabzal Road, another on Spiny Road and the third on the roof of a house. A spokesman or the Baloch Liberation Army told newsmen late at night that BLA activists attacked a police van in Hub and killed two policemen and injured three others. He said that they also attacked on a vehicle carrying settlers working in Attock Cement factory and killed one of them. SHAHzADA zULFIQAR

Enquiry report recommends stopping pension of former IWC ISLAMABAD STAFF REPORT

The enquiry report against former Indus Water Commissioner (IWC) Syed Jamaat Ali Shah has been completed and forwarded to the government with the recommendation that his pension should be stopped as he already stands retired from service. An official source told Pakistan Today that the enquiry report compiled by Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) Secretary Imtiaz Tajwar held the former IWC responsible for negligence in informing the government on the construction of Nimoo Bazgo hydroelectric power project on the Indus River in Indian Occupied kashmir. Delay in informing the government allowed India to complete the project by getting the carbon credits from the United Nations. The enquiry was ordered by the government after reports in the local media criticising the government’s failure to block India’s access to carbon credits from UN for building a hydroelectric power project in a disputed territory. The source said the enquiry only held Shah responsible for delay in informing the government. However, he said the report did not ascertain the role of Foreign Office officials who took no steps to keep India from getting carbon credits when the issue surfaced in the UN.

As the lAst sun sets: Children play nonchalantly with tyres in hyderabad as the last sun of 2011 sets behind them. INP

Jhagra set to become PMl-n secretary general g

Sartaj Aziz turns down party request to assume the post due to his affiliation with a private varsity LAhoRe YASIR HABIB

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Iqbal Zafar Jhagra seems set to don the mantle of the party’s secretary general after Sartaj Aziz declined to accept the slot due to unavoidable reasons, Pakistan Today has learnt. PML-N President Nawaz Sharif might announce Jhagra as the party’s secretary general anytime while Sartaj will remain vice president. Jhagra worked as secretary general during Sharif’s exile and remained on the post until the party dissolved all offices and announced intraparty elections two years ago. Jhagra was disappointed after Nawaz nominated former finance and foreign minister Sartaj Aziz as secretary general, which created unrest among the party ranks. Party leaders generally felt that the PML-N leadership had sidelined some party stalwarts, who faced difficulties during the Musharraf regime. Sartaj’s refusal to assume the charge of sec-

retary general proved a true bonanza for Jhagra and it happened at the time when rumours were gaining ground that the disgruntled leader was contemplating to depart the PML-N following Javed Hashmi. On being contacted, Jhagra said that he had not been conveyed about the development by the party so far. But if the issue was decided, Nawaz could announce the party’s secretary general anytime now, as the PML-N General Council, during party elections on July 27 in Islamabad, had empowered Nawaz to do so. PML-N Information Secretary Mushahidullah khan confirmed that Sartaj had conveyed his inability to perform as secretary general due to his numerous obligations as vice chancellor of a private university. “Jhagra is expected to retain the position,” he added. According to sources, the PML-N leadership had offered Sartaj the post of secretary general but he apologised on age grounds, saying that he would be unable to work on the post that required an active person.


KHI 01-01-2012_Layout 1 1/1/2012 2:43 AM Page 3

Sunday, 1 January, 2012

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

SPORTS

Skeletons in the closet of Pakistani cinema

A grim year off the field

News 03

COMMENT The judgement:

Today’s

Hailed by some, hauled by others.

Worsening situation: The Baloch have had enough.

Humayun Gauhar says: Time past; Times future: 2011 was gloomy, 2012 promises to be too.

Sarmad Bashir says: Democracy survives: A difficult year for Pakistan’s political landscape.

Quick

M J Akbar says: The year of the ludicre: On the ludicrous and ridiculous in 2011.

Story on Page 18

Story on Page 25

look

Articles on Page 12-13

‘Electricity, gas load shedding to increase unemployment’ APTMA leader Gohar Ejaz says China stopped gas supplies to domestic users 30 years ago to facilitate industries g

LAhoRe

T

CID arrests 5 alleged Punjabi Taliban in karachi KARACHI: The Crime Investigation Department (CID) on Saturday arrested five leading members of the Punjabi Taliban from thermal factory located in Shah Latif police precincts and also seized explosives material they were carrying. Addressing to a press conference at the CID’s Office in Civil Lines, CID Additional Inspector General (IG) of Police Ghulam Shabir Sheikh said the arrested Taliban belong to the Tehreek-e-Taliban Punjab’s Qari Aslam group. He said they have been identified as Muhammad Farhan khan alias Ali, Aamir Shehzad alias Mufti alias Chacha, Muhammad Irfan alias Mawia alias Jheenga and Shahjehan alias Munna. The terrorists were involved in targeted killings and confessed to having killed seven people in Hyderabad, kidnapping and robbery, and were wanted by police. Moreover, police recovered two suicide vests, carrying 145 kgs of explosives, three kalashnikovs, bullets and ball bearings. The chief of Tehreek-e-Taliban Punjab’s Sindh chapter Allahuddin alias Shakirullah alias Doctor was also arrested. He added that law enforcement agencies in interior Sindh had also been alerted. ONLINE

STAFF REPORT

H E sudden closure of gas and massive load shedding for industries would result in massive unemployment and at the same time exports would decline sharply, All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) leaders, including Gohar Ejaz, Ahsan Bashir, Seth Abid, Fayyaz Warraich and others said on Saturday. They were holding a press conference. The APTMA leaders said that the Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) had announced to resume gas supplies to the industrial sector on December 29 but it did not do so. Ejaz said that the federal government had even taken away the option of holding strikes, as mills were already closed. He said that the industrial sector did not want to bring workers on street, as it would result in damage to infrastructure and property in Punjab. The renowned industrialist said that under such serious circumstances, industrialists were still trying to protect workers’ jobs. “But it is a million dollar question that how long industrialists could sustain salaries of workers without operating their units,” he said, adding that labour would react violently when limited

resources of entrepreneurs would exhaust. Ejaz said that around 10 million workers had gone unemployed due to gas closure. He said that it had become impossible to run industries when there was no power and interest rates were high. The APTMA leader said that foreign investors were not interested to come to Pakistan under these circumstances. He said that the CNG sector was given gas for five days in a week while domestic users were burning precious gas in heaters and geysers and industries were denied gas. Ejaz said that Petroleum and Natural Resources Minister Senator Dr Asim Hussain had promised us to give gas for three and half days but the promise could not be materialised. “The industrial sector does not want to deprive any sector from gas but its distribution should be rational that provides some chance to every sector to operate proportionate to its availability,” he added. The renowned industrialist said that a similar situation emerged in China around 30 years ago and the Chinese went to the extent of cutting off supplies to domestic consumers to make sure that industries remain operative. He said that this was done because jobs and production was important for Chinese planners. “Perhaps pleasing domestic con-

2011 saw 12 journalists killed in Pakistan g

Outgoing year worst for journalists working in South Asia with threat from both non-state, state elements MoNIToRING DeSk

The outgoing year 2011 was the worst for journalists working in South Asia as threat, from both non-state and state elements to their safety, especially in the conflict areas, kept taking its toll on them. According to South Asian Free Media Association (SAFMA) report launched on Friday, working conditions for journalists in Pakistan were more risky against the backdrop of ongoing conflicts in the vast north and south western regions of the country. While militants target them with impunity, fingers are also raised at the role of security agencies in their kidnapping and killing. The total number of journalists killed in South Asia was 17, of which 12 were Pakistanis. In India three and in Afghanistan two deaths were recorded, the report said. It was also informed in the report that the impunity index of the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has ranked Pakistan as the 10th most dangerous country in the world for journalists where the chances of getting away with murders are extremely high.

In 2010, the South Asia Media Monitor reported killings of 19 journalists and one mediaworker in South Asia, most of them in the conflict-ridden regions. Pakistan was among the top in the list of the “most dangerous countries”. The report revealed that eight killings had had a direct link to their work as journalists. Wali khan Babar from the Geo News TV, Nasrullah Afridi from PTV/Urdu daily Mashriq, Saleem Shahzad from Asia Times Online, Asfandyar khan from Akhbar-e-khyber, Shafiullah khan from The News, Muneer Shakir working for the Online News Network and a television channel Sabzbaat, Faisal Qureshi, the editor for a political news website London Post and Javed Naseer Rind, a senior sub-editor and columnist with the Urdu-language Daily Tawar have become victims of targeted killing, suicide bombing and the wrath of intelligence agencies. It has not been ascertained whether llyas Nazar, a reporter with the Baloch-language magazine Darwanth, Abdost Rind from Daily Eagle, Rehmatullah Shaheen and Zaman Ibrahim, crime reporter with vernacular Daily Extra News, were targeted due to their journalistic work, the report said.

It said journalists were in increasing danger in the region with repression and violence directed at media workers. Right to information and Internet activists reporting in blogs, on Facebook or via Twitter increasingly attracted the attention of authorities and of groups tending to violence. The report said in the outgoing year, many incidents of violence and intimidation of journalists had been reported, involving police, Rangers and various other agencies which sent a message to the media that they better toed the line drawn by the extremists. Media organisations were not spared from the anger and wrath of many non-state actors. Offices of private TV channels, Multan Press Club and karachi Press Club were attacked and copies of national dailies were burnt, but no preventive steps were taken to end the violence against media organizations, it was alleged in the report. Journalists in conflict areas were more vulnerable and exposed to the law enforcement agencies, militant groups and other nonstate actors. No proper steps were taken to provide security, insurance and risk coverage by the media houses.

sumers and facilitating high-income group motorists is more important for our government than jobs and productivity” he added. APTMA Punjab Chairman Ahsan Bashir said there was still a way out if federal government planners took pain. He said that CNG consumed 350 mmcfd gas, which the federal government subsidised heavily. Bashir said that against revenue collection of Rs 3.5 billion gas supplied to CNG stations all over Pakistan, the federal government subsidised the cost to the tune of Rs 4 billion. He said that if the federal government closed down CNG stations for a certain period it could pass on that subsidy to motorists on petrol for that period. The federal government could generate more revenue by supplying the spare gas to industries, he added. All Pakistan Textile Processing Mills Association, Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Punjab Steel Melters Association, chemical manufacturers and auto vendors appealed to the federal government to save the main industrial base of the country situated in Punjab from complete annihilation. They asked the federal government whether it wanted employment or chaos. They said that the federal government was least bothered about the massive unemployment caused by closure of industries in the province.

Musharraf’s decisions before 2008 elections damaged PML-Q: Shujaat MIANWALI INP

PML-Q President Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain on Saturday said certain decisions taken by former president Pervez Musharraf before the 2008 elections not only damaged his party but Musharraf himself suffered from the decisions as well. Talking to reporters at the residence of late PML-N MPA Amir Hayat Rokri, Shujaat said it would make no difference to the government if the PML-N decided to resign from the assemblies. He said the government would continue to function and there would be no early elections because the Election Commission of Pakistan was not prepared for it. To a question, the PML-Q president said if the PML-N decided to resign from the assemblies, the district administration would be have to ensure free and fair by-elections.


KHI 01-01-2012_Layout 1 1/1/2012 2:43 AM Page 4

04 News

Sunday, 1 January, 2012

AGP cannot audit NBP accounts g

PAC had wanted AGP to conduct audit of bank’s accounts ISLAMABAD

I

TAHIR NIAz

N an absolute disagreement with the Finance Division’s opinion and disregard to the PAC’s directions on audit of accounts of the National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) by the Auditor General of Pakistan (AGP), the Ministry of Law has opined that the AGP had limited powers and had no authority to audit the bank’s accounts, until specifically appointed for such purpose by the federal government. According to the sources in the Finance Division, the audit of bank accounts by the AGP had been a contentious issue since the latter approached NBP in 2003 to arrange audit of the bank by the AG’s Office. However, the bank declined audit, arguing that the SBP could inspect the accounts of any banking company so authorised under Section 40 of the Banking

Companies Ordinance, 1962, and if directed by the federal government, the bank may provide the said inspection report to the government. It further held that in terms of Section 27 of National Bank of Pakistan’s Ordinance 1949, the audit of the bank was carried out by registered accountants elected by shareholders in the general meeting. It said that under the provisions of Section 28 of the said ordinance, only the federal government was authorised to appoint someone for examination of the bank’s accounts. It further said that the SBP had prohibited NBP from disclosing inspection reports to any other organisation due to their confidentiality. In 2010, the monitoring committee of the Public Accounts Committee discussed the issue and asked the Finance Division to take up the issue with the NBP management. The bank told the division that the monitoring committee’s decision of

audit of the accounts through the AGP was not covered under laws and regulations governing the bank. The sources said the Finance Division, however, was of the opinion that the AGP was empowered to inspect the accounts of any authority or body established by the federal government or a provincial government. It held that in view of the related constitutional provision, the refusal of NBP or SBP to share any inspection report of accounts or disagree to the proposal to carry out audit by the AGP had no legal force. Since the issue had become contentious, the Finance Division sought the opinion of Law Ministry on the subject. The sources said the Law Ministry had held that the AGP had limited powers regarding NBP accounts. It said under Article 171 of the constitution, the AGP was required to put his report only before the National Assembly.

Commission to meet on January Hashmi, PML-N bicker over 2 to initiate memo probe ISLAMABAD: The judicial commission tasked to probe the memo controversy is all set to hold its first meeting at the Islamabad High Court on January 2 at 11am. A source told Pakistan Today on Saturday that the secretary of the commission, sessions judge Islamabad, had issued a notification in this regard on the direction of Balochistan High Court Chief Justice Qazi Faiz Issa, who is also head of the judicial commission. The commission was formed by Supreme Court to probe the “memogate” while it had also been empowered to conduct forensic investigation into the email and blackberry messenger communication allegedly taken place between former ambassador to the US Husain Haqqani and US business tycoon Mansoor Ijaz. STAFF REPORT

SC to decide Haqqani’s fate on RIM’s report Continued fRom page 24 a link would be established between memo and Husain Haqqani and the committee would not be in a position to negate this fact,” he said. “However, if no proof of links between Haqqani and memo is established, the judicial commission and parliamentary body will have the same findings. But the nature of findings of both the bodies will be different. The judicial commission’s findings will be judicial findings, while the committee’s findings will not be judicial in nature,” he added. Sattar said if the blackberry company did not verify the data, it would be proved that the data was doctored. “Moreover, a conflict would emerge if the blackberry company refuses to provide data verification to any of the commissions. In such a case, both commissions may end up on a conflicting note,” he added. He said in any case, a judicial verdict would be given later by the apex court whether both commissions come up with same or different findings. Justice (r) Tariq Mehmood said in case of divergent findings, the accused would benefit from any such situation. “After the findings of the fact finding, a trial would have to be followed by the court. Conflicting findings by committee and judicial commission would benefit the accused,” he added. He, however, said whatever the situation may be in the future, he was sure that any decision by the apex court on memo controversy would finally damage and further divide the nation, which was already facing the brunt of the lawlessness, price hike, high power tariff, etc.

Pakistan to assume UNSC seat today UNITED NATIONS: Pakistan will assume its seat on the UN Security Council, the world body’s power centre, today (Sunday) as a non-permanent member for a twoyear term. APP

gifted vehicle LAhoRe STAFF REPORT

PTI leader Javed Hashmi and his former party, the Pakistan Muslim LeagueNawaz, are finally on the path of confrontation, as they have begun the first skirmish over a vehicle reportedly in use by Hashmi that was gifted to him by PML-N President Nawaz Sharif in 1999. Per reports, the PML-N has demanded the vehicle back from Hashmi after his defection to the PTI, to which Hashmi said he would return the vehicle along a new one, humbly. Hashmi said the vehicle was given to him during imprisonment, though it never remained in his use, adding that it was an old car that had turned into a “skeleton”. “The vehicle is parked in my garage and has been out of order since long,” he said. “I have great regard for Nawaz Sharif and will gift him a new vehicle soon,” Hashmi said. Reacting to the issue, PML-N spokesman Asif Saeed kimani denied any move and clarified that the news regarding the demand from Hashmi was baseless and fabricated. He said Nawaz gifted the Toyota Land Cruiser to Hashmi in 1999. “It is in his use and Nawaz wants it to remain in his custody,” he said through an SMS.

PPP rivals will fail: farzana LAHORE: The PPP is a political party of those who have made sacrifices for the rights of the people of Pakistan and those conspiring against President Asif Ali Zardari are bound to fail, Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) Chairperson Farzana Raja said on Saturday. GNI

Quetta bomb toll rises to 15, police defuses explosives QUeTTA SHAHzADA zULFIQAR

The death toll in Friday’s car bomb blast at the house of PML-Q leader and former Balochistan chief minister Mir Naseer Mengal has risen to 15, as police defused seven hand grenades and explosives weighing seven kilogrammes found near the site. Addressing a press conference on Saturday, Deputy Inspector General of Police (Operation) Nazir Ahmad kurd said the death in Fridays’ blast had risen to 15 and over 40 people had gotten injured. He said police were still to deter-

mine whether it was a suicide blast or one carried out through an explosivesladen car parked in front of the gate of the house. The guard of the house told the police that unidentified men had parked a vehicle in front of the house before disappearing. However, he said, another in his statement told that the person remained seated in the car when it was blown up into pieces. kurd said in its investigation, the police had gotten to know that the vehicle used in the incident was a greencoloured Parado. He said the explosive laden vehicle was similar to the one Mir

Shafiqur Rahman, the son of former Chief Minister Mir Naseer Mengal, used. He said 10 of the bodies had been identified while the identity of the rest was yet to be determined. He said police also defused seven hand grenades found in the premises as well as other explosives weighing seven kilogrammes. To a question regarding the murder of police surgeon Baqir Shah, kurd said investigation was underway. He said police had offered him proper security when he complained that his life was under threat. He said Shah refused to take security.

i regret March 2007 decision: Musharraf g

Says decision triggered downfall, NRO and Benazir Bhutto’s assassination MoNIToRING DeSk

Former president General Pervez Musharraf on Saturday regretted his decision of sacking the chief justice in March 2007 on the premise that it resulted in a chain of negative events, including the NRO and the unfortunate assassination of Benazir Bhutto, which ultimately resulted in his ouster from the Presidency. In an interview with Pakistan Today Editor Arif Nizami on Samaa TV, Musharraf made it clear that the solution to the perilous conditions of this country should be sought in politics and democracy, rejecting any possibility of a military coup. Musharraf said the political status quo should be broken because the four years of the PPP government had brought only failure in all domains. “Conditions of the common man of Pakistan are getting worse day by day. Electricity shortage and PIA crisis are only two of the outstanding issues faced by this government, and the officials have proved themselves, time and again, incapable of coming out with some tangible and practical solutions,” he said. He said Pakistan needed him badly because he was the only person experienced enough to get the country back on the track of progress. “All depends on the people of Pakistan now. If they want to see me leading, it will be well and good. And if they don’t need me, I will still respect the decision,” he said. He made it explicitly clear that Pakistan had all the resources to become a developed country, “but the mismanagement hinders its way to progress”, adding that during his tenure new projects of 2,900 megawatts of

electricity were initiated. To a question regarding the Supreme Court’s verdict on the memo conundrum, Musharraf said such issues should not be stretched for too long because then they give birth to many other political complexities. About Osama Bin Laden being killed inside Pakistan, he made his position clear that he never knew about Osama either in Afghanistan or Pakistan. He said he had always denied any knowledge of OBL’s whereabouts. “Although it was an intelligence failure on our part that such a hot target had been living in Pakistan unidentified for the last many years”, he said. Musharraf also shared his plans of returning to Pakistan in January but said he could not give any specific dates. “I will probably decide about my returning date after addressing the people of karachi on January 8,” he said.

faTa can’t be province in absence of political parties, free media: anP ISLAMABAD ARIF TAJ

The Awami National Party (ANP) would oppose the constitution of FATA as a separate province unless political activity is generated to influence the opinion in favour of or against the issue by political parties, ANP spokesman Senator Zahid khan told Pakistan Today on Saturday. “FATA parliamentarians want the region as a separate province because they are culturally a separate entity from khyber Pakhtunkhwa. No public opinion or support for or against FATA province can be fathomed if there is no political party and political activity and a free media in the area. Public opinion can evolve in political environment only. Let political parties find time to generate political activity in FATA first and shape public opinion with the help of a free media, then ask the people if

they want FATA as a new province or want it to be integrated with khyber Pakhtunkhwa,” khan said. The FATA parliamentarian’s group on Friday submitted a resolution in the National Assembly pleading that FATA should be given the status of a province. Senator Zahid khan said the resolution was submitted by parliamentarians who were elected without any political manifesto, as there was no Political Parties Act and free media in FATA at the time of election 2008. “How you can claim that people of FATA want the area as a separate province if there is neither a political party nor media to form public opinion,” the ANP senator said. He added that his party was not against the rights of the people of FATA, but only wanted time for political parties and the media to influence or shape public opinion through various political

programmes. Asked if his party would support the creation of FATA as a province, he avoided giving a direct answer, saying an ultimate decision in this regard should be taken by the people of FATA. khan, however, added that certain geographical factors should be taken into account prior to any decision regarding FATA province and the people should be educated on the issue. “All FATA agencies do not directly share their borders as many settled areas of khyber Pakhtunkhwa separate one tribal agency from the other. FATA is not contiguous and it may cause problems for FATA sooner or later. That’s why I plead that let the political parties be active and educate the masses first and then ask for their opinion about FATA province,” he said, adding that his party would accept whatever decision the people made.

New Year fuel prices Continued fRom page 1 also warned on Saturday that they would be protesting against any increase in POL prices and gas tariff. The start of the new year, with increase in POL and gas prices, will further increase the inflation the people have been braving for the last four years when this government came into power. Prices of POL have decreased in the international market but the increase was to be made because of the declining trend in the rupee compared to the dollar, in which imports are made. The Finance Ministry had rejected the proposal of the Petroleum Ministry that called for lowering Rs 10 per litre petroleum levy (PL) on POL products in order to reduce the gap between CNG and petrol prices. The government collects Rs 16 billion per month in sales tax on POL and another Rs 7 billion as PL. This double taxation provides Rs 23 billion every month to the government and enhances inflation and cost of production of nearly every sector of the economy. OGRA too had recommended lowering of PL to provide relief to the people because of increase in the gas tariff. On Friday, the government had notified a massive increase of 14 percent in the gas tariff along with an imposition of gas infrastructure development cess on all categories except domestic, commercial, cement and new fertiliser plants, with effect from the new year. Imposition of cess is estimated to generate Rs 22 billion during the second half of the current fiscal year, which the government plans to utilise for developing infrastructure for gas import projects. The government could have reduced hike in gas tariff by forcing utility companies to reduce their abnormally high annual unaccounted for gas (UFG) losses of 12 percent as compared to the international benchmark of 5 percent. One percent UFG converts to a loss of Rs 2 billion per year. This translates into a massive loss of Rs 24 billion per year. The government and OGRA both failed in their primary duty of protecting consumers by not opposing increase in gas tariff because of UFG. Other than the increase in POL and gas prices, the people will be jolted with another increase of 4 percent in the power tariff along with monthly fuel price adjustment (FPA) after withdrawal of stay orders from the court during the current month. The government estimates a loss of Rs 71 billion during the first half of the current fiscal year for not being able to pass the FPA on to consumers because of the court orders.


KHI 01-01-2012_Layout 1 1/1/2012 2:43 AM Page 5

Sunday, 1 January, 2012

Airblue crash probe report vexes victims’ families Justice denied? 08

Five months after, KESC workers on the streets again

docTor’s KillinG

Paramedics’ protest puts oPd patients in limbo

■ ‘Enough is enough’, employees announce resumption of protest against power company’s management kARAChI

A

AAMIR MAJEED

FTER five months, hundreds of karachi Electric Supply Company (kESC) workers regrouped outside the karachi Press Club (kPC) on Saturday to resume the protest against their forced dismissal from service. On July 26, after a series of talks and the mediation of civil administration, an 86-day long protest by thousands of kESC workers had ended after the labour union reached an agreement with the Abraj-led kESC management. The workers – described by the power utility as ‘non-core, non-technical, and non-management’ employees – were fired from the kESC and only reappointed again after intense protests and the intervention of the Sindh governor. Claiming that the governor had deceived them and their demands have still not been met, the sacked kESC workers announced resumption of hunger strike against the power company’s management on Saturday. During the protest, a man identified as Zamarud khan, a driver at kESC, tried to commit suicide by setting himself on fire. He was rescued by his col-

leagues and shifted to the Civil Hospital, where doctors pronounced his condition as stable. Speaking at the demonstration, kESC labour union president Ikhlaq khan said that the Sindh governor in collaboration with the kESC administration had deceived the workers as the power company has not restored the employees. “Around 4,500 employees declared non-core employees by the kESC were assured that the Voluntary Separation Scheme (VSS) would not be imposed, but the governor failed to fulfil his commitment,” he said. “To date, six kESC workers have committed suicide due to the anti-labour policies.” Alleging that the kESC has started punishing the employees who protested against the management, khan claimed that some workers have not been given their monthly salaries for the past eight months. “The company is hiring new employees on contractual basis but is not paying salaries to the protesting employees,” he said. The labour union president alleged that the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and the kESC have a deal in place and that is why the provincial governor did not honour his commitment. “Enough is enough and now we will

not believe on anyone and continue our protest until the kESC accepts all our demands,” khan warned, adding that the 4,500 employees will resume their protest from Monday (tomorrow). A camp for hunger strike will be established outside the kPC on January 2 and the labour unions of all government and private institutions will join the kESC workers. “On January 5, the employees would decide the future strategy if their demands are not met,” he added. Addressing the protesters, MNA Safdar Abbasi lambasted the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP)-led government, alleging that the government is working on anti-labour policies. “If then federal labour minister khursheed Shah, Sindh Power Minister Shazia Marri and senior PPP leader Taj Haider are supporting the kESC employees, then who is more powerful than them that the demands of these workers were not being accepted,” he questioned. Responding to a question from Abbasi, the protesting kESC employees responded that President Asif Zardari is the only hurdle in their way. Assuring the protesters of joining them, the MNA asked labour unions of the country to join hands against the current government and announce a rebellion as that of 1968.

four ‘Punjabi Taliban’ arrested kARAChI STAFF REPORT

The Crime Investigation Department (CID) claimed to have arrested four Punjabi Taliban militants of the Ustad Aslam group, along with its Sindh ameer, with

explosives, suicide jackets and weapons. The CID conducted a raid at the National Highway, near a thermal factory in the Shah Latif area, and arrested Punjabi Taliban Sindh Ameer Alauddin alias Shakirullah, Farhan khan alias Ali, Amir

Shahzad alias Mufti Asadullah and Shah Jahan alias Adnan Munna. Two complete suicide jackets, 145kg explosive materials, six detonators, 23 rocket grenades, three kalashnikovs, a 9MM pistol, 2kg ball bearings, 10kg fertiliser and detonat-

ing wires were also recovered. During the interrogation, the detainees confessed being associated with Ustad Aslam, who is the ameer of the Punjabi Taliban. CRIME: Pasban-e-Aza General Secretary Askari Raza was attacked by motorcyclists near the Gulshan Chowrangi. Gulshan-e-Iqbal police said that Raza was travelling in a four-wheeler when the motorcyclists opened fire on his vehicle. Raza and his driver were injured as a result, and shifted to the Aga khan University Hospital. Hospital sources termed their condition as critical. Following the incident, tension prevailed in Gulshan-e-Iqbal, where miscreants resorted to aerial firing and shops were also closed. Moreover, some of them set a passenger bus on fire at the Abul Hassan Ispahani Road. Separately, a man was gunned down in Orangi Town. Iqbal Market police said that Muhammad Hussain Saqafat, 52, was on his way to work when unidentified culprits opened fire on him in Tauheed Colony, killing him on the spot. The deceased was taken to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital, and the body was later handed over to the heirs.

The JPMC OPD wears a deserted look due to the doctors’ protest. asiM rehMani kARAChI AMAR GURIRO

The outdoor patient departments (OPDs) at all major state-run hospitals in the city remained closed on Saturday as doctors, professors and paramedic staff protested the killing of Dr Saleem kharal, the in-charge of Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC) Pathology Department. Late on Friday night, Dr kharal – the brother of a Pakistan People’s Party lawmaker from khairpur, Naeem kharal, and uncle of Senior Superintendent of Police Sharjeel kharal – was gunned down near Punjab Chowrangi. Due to the closure of the OPDs at public hospitals, thousands of patients had to return without treatment or routine check-ups, as only emergency wards and operation theatres were functional at JPMC, Civil Hospital, National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases

and National Institute of Child Health among others. Talking with Pakistan Today, JPMC spokesman Ameer Hussain said the hospital staff has announced a three day mourning. “All 28 OPDs [at JPMC] remained closed and the doctors and professors observed a peaceful protest against the killing of one of the most important doctors of our hospital,” he said. “On Monday, the JPMC doctors will hold a huge demonstration at the hospital.” Meanwhile, Dow University of Health Sciences (DUHS) Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Masood Hameed khan and the varsity’s faculty members have expressed heartfelt grief, sorrow and deepest sympathies towards the family members of Dr kharal. In a statement issued on Saturday, calling for a judicial inquiry to investigate the issue, DUHS staff members demanded law enforcement agencies for ensuring the safety and security of the doctors’ fraternity.


KHI 01-01-2012_Layout 1 1/1/2012 2:43 AM Page 6

PakistaN today

06 karachi

Sunday, 1 January, 2012

Amid biryani, tea and speculation, press club holds election kARAChI

A

AMAR GURIRO

large number of reporters, cameramen, subeditors, photographers and other members of the press gathered at the karachi Press Club (kPC) on Saturday to cast their votes for electing kPC office-bearers for the year 2012. The annual election of the kPC, an important event of karachi-based journalists, is held every year in late December. There are 12 seats – president, vice president, treasurer, general secretary, joint secretary and seven for the members of the governing body – in the kPC elections, for which members came out in large numbers to vote for the new body. Every year in early December, the schedule for the election is announced. The election committee comprises usually on senior associate members. Though kPC is primarily an association of journalists, which are council

members and have the right to vote, besides availing all the basic facilities available at the club, academics and civil

society members as associate members also avail the facilities equal to that of the council members, but they do not vote.

Established in December 1958 by a group of journalists in a bungalow with Victorian architecture, the kPC was the first press club of Pakistan. Its first election was held the same month, with Iqbal Hassan Burney as its first president. Since then, even during the 1965 and 1971 wars, the annual elections have never been postponed and have been held regularly every December. Following the announcement of the elections, members submit their forms for different seats, and a day is given for withdrawing their nominations. For contesting in kPC’s elections, some journalists have formed panels, through which the members of those panels submit forms for almost every seat. After issuance of the final list of the contesting candidates, the hopefuls start campaigning. There are 64 units – or offices of

newspapers, televisions, magazines and radio stations – in karachi, and the contesting candidates visit almost every unit during their campaign. For promoting their candidates, the panels print special pamphlets carrying photos, manifestos and other details of the panel members. Special pamphlets are also displayed at the units, as well as inside and outside the kPC. On the election day, the candidates and their supporters greet members, with backslapping and handshakes all around. The polling starts at 9:00 am and ends at 5:00 pm. Special biryani and tea is also available while the members chat and speculate on the winners with old friends. Three panels took part in the kPC Election 2012. Until the filing of this report, the election committee was counting the votes. The initial, unofficial results have been hinting that the panel of The Democrats might win this year’s election.

Get ’em young, and the possibilities are endless Sindh Assembly ends 2011 ‘Opposition-free’ ■ SIUT holds certificate awarding ceremony of 26th batch of student volunteer programme kARAChI AMAR GURIRO

Students are the pillars of future and if they are guided in their tender age with a view to improving society, then the coming future shall be brighter and we would be able to say that as a nation we are life savers not takers, said Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation (SIUT) Director Dr Adibul Hasan Rizvi. Rizvi was addressing the certificate awarding ceremony of the 26th batch of student volunteer programme, organised by the SIUT’s Resource Generation and Outreach Department. He said that students have always played a vital role in the promotion of community service in the society, and that they ought to dedicate their altruistic community services as a priority of their lives. Commenting on the training programme, he said that programmes of such nature enlighten the students’ sense of responsibilities and roles in life. “The effort of helping out humanity is reflected by the glow of happiness

on students’ faces due to the sense of achievement.” SIUT’s core philosophy of serving humanity invigorates the thought process of selflessness among the students, he reiterated. Reminding the students of their moral duties, he urged them to remember that they are the representatives of a philanthropic society, as this is a great responsibility on their shoulders. He also advised them to search for newer horizons in the field of social service. He also paid a lot of tributes to the parents and the teachers. Speaking on the occasion, Dr Anwar Naqvi informed the participants that the volunteer programme of SIUT is an inspiration for students to come forward and implement this learning in their daily life. “The participants were provided with first aid training, while they also helped the staff members of the SIUT in providing non-medical nursing services to the patients,” he added. He also praised the enthusiasm shown by the young volunteers during the training, and said that 118 students completed 30 hours of training, in which they assisted parents, nurses

and helped the patients in different wards. “The volunteers were also briefed about SIUT’s out-patient departments, radiology, clinical laboratory, dialysis, lithotripsy, transplantation and other medical/surgical facilities.” So far, 2,516 students have been trained in this programme since its inception, Naqvi said. He hoped that the participants would follow this code of service throughout their lives. “The concept of public service would be propagated in the society through these volunteers and it shall flourish.” The student representative said on the occasion that this programme has given them a new dimension in life and instilled in them a deep sense of human suffering and the services that could be provided to them. The ceremony was attended by a large number of parents, teachers and students. Renowned composer Javed Mir and Zainab Imran concluded the ceremony by performing SIUT’s song: “Aao milkar baantein dukh, sukh ki baat karein”, which was much admired by the participants.

kARAChI RAzzAK ABRO

Despite facing enormous political hurdles during 2011, the strength of the ruling coalition prevailed in the Sindh Assembly, leaving the provincial legislative house technically an ‘Opposition-free’ ground. Already dominated by treasury members with all major political parties of Sindh, including Pakistan People’s Party and Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), sitting in the government, the house’s Opposition benches shrunk a bit further as the Pir Pagara-led Pakistan Muslim League-Functional (PML-F) and Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) members joined the PPP-led coalition in July. Before joining, PML-F senior member Jam Madad Ali was the Opposition leader in the Sindh Assembly, however, he too became a provincial minister afterwards as the Leader of the Opposition office fell vacant. Recently though, a fourmember former Sindh chief minister Arbab Ghulam Rahim-

To unite or not: nationalists divided on PTI alliance kARAChI QAzI ASIF

With the majority of Sindh nationalists not in favour of forming an alliance with the Pakistan Tehreek-e Insaf (PTI) but Sindh United Party (SUP) leader Jalal Mehmood Shah already in talks, the opinion on joining hands with the Imran khan-led party remains divided. Well-placed sources informed Pakistan Today that not only PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi, but khan himself has also held meetings with nationalists like Shah. On the record, the meeting was held between nationalists and PTI leaders at Haider Manzil, the residence of SUP chief on December 26, the second day after the PTI’s public rally in karachi. Talking to reporters after the meeting, Shah had said that political relations can change with the passage of time. “Our point of view is that there is a need to make Pakistan a federation in the real sense, the need for good governance, the need to eliminate corruption; and the PTI is thinking on same lines also,” he said, adding that a real change can be brought only through a political programme.

Qureshi had said that Pakistan was made by his and SUP chief’s elders but was not protected by the leadership that followed. He had announced that PTI will form an independent commission to review issues about nationalities, geographical, demographical, cultural, social and economical issues. After the meeting between SUP and PTI, a discussion is active within the nationalist circles, as Sindh Taraqi Pasand Party (STPP) led by Dr Qadil Magsi and Ayaz Latif Palijoled Awami Tehreek (AT) in favour of forming an alliance with the Nawaz Sharif-led Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz. Another nationalist party, Sindh National Movement (SNM), considers khan to have no programmes to resolve the issues of Sindh. SNM Central President Ali Hassan Chandio was of the view that the state is preparing new horses for the politics of the country. “The establishment is ruling the country indirectly and introducing newly-made up old faces,” he added. Whereas, the SUP says there is nothing wrong in holding talks with the PTI, the sources said that Shah-led nationalist group has agreed to work with PTI in Sindh.

led group had applied for the Opposition leader’s slot for either Rahim or its MPA, Abdul Razaque Rahimoon, but the Sindh Assembly Secretariat turned down the request on the grounds that officially the group is a part of the PML-Q, which is a part of the coalition now. The MQM parted ways but later the party returned to the government’s fold. In absence of MQM, the PML-Q and PML-F filled the void and got hold of the MQM ministers’ portfolios. After the MQM’s return, the PPP irked its two coalition partners by asking them to vacate their portfolios. The PPP later managed to keep the coalition intact by accommodating PML-F and PMLQ in other ministries. During the year, the Sindh Assembly held six sessions and passed at least 20 bills. However, the ruling coalition could not bring the much-awaited Sindh Local Government Bill because of lack of consensus between the two major partners. After the expiry of SLGO, 2001 on November 5, the magistracy system was restored in the province.

Sindh (Repeal of the Police Order, 2002 and Revival of the Police Act, 1861) Act, 2011; Sindh (Repeal of the Sindh Local Government Ordinance, 2001 and Revival of the Sindh Local Government Ordinance, 1979) Act, 2011; Sindh Land Revenue (Amendment) Act, 2011; Sindh Boards of Intermediate and Secondary Education (Amendment) Act, 2008; Zulfikarabad Development Authority (Amendment) Act, 2011; Thar Coal and Energy Board Act, 2011; Sindh Civil Servants (Regularisation of Absorption) Act, 2011; Sindh Sales Tax on Services Act, 2011; Sindh Financial Management and Accountability Act, 2011; Sindh Protection of Human Rights Act, 2011; Sindh Child Protection Authority Act, 2011; Sindh Criminal Prosecution Service (Constitution, Functions and Powers) (Amendment) Act, 2011; Sindh Travel Agencies Act, 2011; Sindh Tourist Guides Act, 2011; Shahdadpur Institute of Medical Sciences Act, 2011 were passed among other s during the fourth parliamentary year.


KHI 01-01-2012_Layout 1 1/1/2012 2:43 AM Page 7

Sunday, 1 January, 2012

karachi 07 PakistaN today

May the New Year bring freedom for fishermen! ■ fisherfolk, Pff, PILER call on Pakistani and Indian governments to release detained fishermen kARAChI

P

THE LAST SUNSET OF 2011: Against the backdrop of the setting sun on Saturday, migratory birds traverse the orange sky over the Clifton beach as horse owners try to negotiate with potential customers at the shore. iMran ali

AMAR GURIRO

AkISTAN Fisherfolk Forum (PFF) Chairman Muhammad Ali Shah anticipates the governments of Pakistan and India to announce the release of innocent fishermen languishing in jails on both sides of the border. In a statement issued on Saturday, the PFF termed the year 2011 to have experienced the worst situation in terms of detaining fishermen of Pakistan and India in a predetermined allegation of violating the sea territories. With the new year just around the corner, Shah expressed the hope to see the Pakistani and Indian governments realise the issue of detaining fishermen and resolve the matter for good. According to the statement, 34 fishermen, including 18 who were arrested during the last months of 2011, have been languishing in Indian jails, with 183 boats confiscated, whereas the total number of Pakistani fishermen detained by the Indian forces is 53, as many of them have gone missing, and it is feared that they might have been detained from the open sea. “A total of 164 fishermen from India, along with 34 boats, have

The year it was, deadly for journalists ■ PfUJ report states 23 journalists killed in 2010 and 2011; many of them targeted for stories and others caught in acts of terrorism kARAChI STAFF REPORT

During the past two years, Pakistan has witnessed a surge in violence against journalists as 23 media persons were killed in 2010 and 2011; many of them targeted for their stories and several others getting caught in bomb blasts and other acts of terrorism. Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) has been raising its voice against the killing of journalists and has staged several protests and sit-ins in order to pressurise the government into taking action against assailants and keep a check on the rising trend of targeting media persons. In 2010, 14 journalists – Ashiq Ali Mangi, Malik Arif, Azmat Ali Bangash, Ghulam Rasool Birhamani, Ejazul Haq, Faz Mohammad khan Sasoli, Mohammad Sarwar, Ejaz Ahmed Raisani, Misri khan, Mujeebur Rehman Siddiqui, Lala Hameed Hayatan, Altaf Chandio, Mohammad khan Sasoli, Abdul Wahab and Pervez khan – died in the line of duty. Those killed in 2011 included Ilyas Nazar, Wali khan Babar, Nasrullah Afridi, Saleem Shehzad, Asfandyar khan, Shafiullah, Muneer Shakir and Javed Naseer Rind. In the case of Shehzad, a sit-in was staged outside the parliament house and a judicial commission headed by a Supreme Court judge was demanded to investigate the journalist’s killing. Initially resisting the demand of the PFUJ, the government finally set up a commission headed by Justice Saqib Nisar of the Supreme Court with PFUJ President Pervaiz Shaukat among its members. The PFUJ also adopted a number of measures for the protection of journal-

ists and highlighted the plight of journalists and the government’s apathy towards their protection. In collaboration with International Federation of Journalists, International Media Support and a number of other international media rights organizations, PFUJ has launched programmers to enhance the capacity of journalists. The programmers aim at providing training to journalists and equip them with the necessary skills while reporting in hostile environment. To raise awareness of safety measures among journalists, a number of posters and brochures were published with the assistance of International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), which provided detailed information on how a journalist should react and what he or she should do when faced by threats. The literature was distributed among all journalists’ unions and press clubs in the country to create awareness of who to contact and what to do when pursued by unidentified people or receiving threatening calls or messages. In collaboration with international media support, the PFUJ also established a ‘Journalist Safety Fund’, in which Intermedia – a media rights organisation – partnered the PFUJ in its implementation. Though still in its initial stage, the fund – handled by a steering committee including members having backgrounds in journalism, law, human rights and civil society – has taken up a number of cases of journalists, who were attacked or threatened. Benefiting from the fund, a number of journalists including Jehangir Aslam, Jamal Tarakai and Abdul Salam Soomro were relocated to Islamabad for lodging

and support. A number of other cases are also being reviewed by the steering committee. The mandate of the fund, however, is restricted to journalists under threat alone and does not cater to their families, besides the fund supports temporary assistance and in no way assists relocation abroad. The PFUJ also provided financial assistance to journalists who had, like many thousands of people, lost everything in the floods last year. A number of workshops and international seminars were organised by the PFUJ that were attended by numerous journalists from all over the country who were given training by international trainers. Local missions in collaboration with the IFJ were arranged and most recently sent to Balochistan and khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Federally Administered Tribal Areas, with the purpose to ascertain in what state the journalists are, especially in far-flung areas, and what obstacles they face while performing their duties. Missions to Punjab and Sindh are also underway and would considerably help in collecting necessary data of journalists working in smaller districts and gathering information on the nature of threats faced by media persons there. PFUJ President Shaukat and Secretary General Amin Yousuf as well as other office bearers of the union are striving at various forums to improve the situation for journalists. At present, 7th wage award case is being pursued in the Supreme Court and it is hoped that the constant struggle of journalists for the rights would bear fruit in the end.

been arrested between April and December this year under the same charges,” it added. The figures show that although both the governments released fishermen during 2011, they still target the fisherfolk on the pretext of territory violation. Moreover, according to a new research, a sufficient number of minor children are reported to be hailing from both sides in jails, most of whom are known to be the sole breadwinners of their underprivileged families. karamat Ali, the director of the Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research (PILER), the organisation that is one of the parties pleading for the release of Indian fishermen in the Supreme Court (SC) of Pakistan, said, “Basically, it’s the political issue between both countries, and it is being delayed because it is related to other matters, like demilitarisation of Siachen and demarcation of the controversial Sir Creek. Once these issues are resolved, the detaining of the fishermen will be stopped.” Both the governments acknowledge to have implemented the decisions to stop arresting fishermen from both sides, with a clause that stranded boats should be warned in the first place before proceeding to arrest them, he added. Ali, who was one of the par-

ticipants in Pakistan’s judiciary team that recently visited India to resolve the fishermen’s issue, said that it is their obligation according to the United Nations Convention on the Law of Sea that fishermen cannot be arrested by security forces of neighbouring countries. After the SC of Pakistan, the SC of India has also seriously taken up the matter and might ask the Indian government through its decision to ensure the release of Pakistani fishermen and stop further actions. “We have asked both the governments that the fishermen are not prisoners of war, and that they depend on fishing for their livelihood. Hence, they should be treated humanly while being arrested,” said Ali. “It is the Pakistani and Indian governments’ responsibility to process demarcation without further delay so that the fishermen may not cross the territory during their livelihood activities.” Not only this, these authorities should also resolve the issue of returning boats, which they seize while arresting the fishermen,” he said. Meanwhile, the PFF chairman has demanded of both the governments that all the confiscated boats be handed over to the fishermen of both the countries, as depriving them of their tools is a violation of human rights.


KHI 01-01-2012_Layout 1 1/1/2012 2:43 AM Page 8

PakistaN today

08 karachi WEATHER UPDATES

28°C High

Clear skies

15°C Low

13% Humidity

MONDAY TUESDAY WEDNESDAY 27°C I 14°C

28°C I 15°C

28°C I 18°C

PRAYER TIMINGS fajr 5:56

Sunrise 7:16

Zuhr 12:36

Asr 3:34

Maghrib 5:55

Isha 7:15

Starting time in karachi

CITY DIRECTORY EMERGENCY HELP POLICE 15 BOMB DISPOSAL 15, 99212667 fIRE BRIGADE 16, 99215007, 99215008 EDHI 115, 32310066-2310077 kHIDMAT-E-kHALQ fOUNDATION 36333811 RED CRESCENT 35833973 GOvERNOR’S HOUSE 136 CHIEf MINISTER’S HOUSE 99202051 MOTORWAY POLICE 130

HOSPITALS ABBASI SHAHEED CIvIL JINNAH NICvD AGA kHAN TABBA

99260400-09 99215749, 99215960 99201300-39 99201271-6 34930051 36811841-50

BLOOD BANk HUSSAINI fATIMID PWA

32238405-8 32225284, 32258656 99215740, 32735214

COMPLAINT kESC PTCL kWSB CDGk SUI GAS

118 1218 1339 134 1199, 99231603

Sunday, 1 January, 2012

Airblue crash probe report vexes victims’ families ■ To be challenged in Peshawar High Court and international courts kARAChI

T

WAQAR HAMzA

HE families of the victims of the Airblue crash have rejected the investigation report of the incident. They are going to challenge it in the Peshawar High Court (PHC) in the next hearing due on January 19. The families have demanded the authorities concerned to release the DNA report of the victims. They have also demanded that an independent body, answerable only to the parliament, head the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). They said that the body should only comprise aviation experts – not retired officers from the CAA, Pakistan International Airlines or Pakistan Air Force (PAF) – and judges of the Supreme Court to ensure the authority’s efficiency. Airblue Crash Affectees Group Convener Junaid Hamid said that the group has rejected the appalling investigation report of the Airblue crash that the CAA had submitted in the PHC, because the report is nothing but a gimmick. Hamid demanded a judicial investigation of the incident, and said that the group would also challenge the report in the international courts. “We have already sent copies of the report to our international aviation lawyers for review,” he added. He said, “The release of the investigation report is considered to be a landmark, because for the first time in the 64-year history of the country, the CAA has released an investigation report of an accident.” Hamid said that there is no sign of ownership in the report, as the whole blame was put on the pilot, ignoring the fact that there might be a technical error in the equipment, for which Airblue and Honeywell International are to be held responsible. “We have come to know that one of the members of the investigation team had written a note of dissent on the report, but that note has not been included in the report when it was submitted in the court,” he added. He said that no forensic test of any equipment was conducted by the investigation team and it is very evident that the report was put together only to blame the pilot for the incident. “We demand that the authority share with the court the report of Airblue’s hull insurance, because the airline has amassed hundreds of millions of rupees in terms of insurance and also recently bought three new aircraft,” he added. Hamid said, “The report is full of contradictions. The Islamabad International Report is jointly managed by the CAA and PAF, so it is quite clear that the latter’s involvement is being held, because the key role played by the air traffic control system in the incident is under the aegis of the air force.” A v i a t i o n

lawyer Shah Murad said that a strong legal system is required for aircraft accident investigations, and the current legal regime governing the investigation of aircraft accidents and incidents in Pakistan needs to be improved in compliance with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Standards and Recommended Practices. Murad said that it is necessary to enact a reliable, unified and stronger regulatory framework for conducting the investigation of aircraft accidents and incidents to ensure transparency in the entire process. He said, “Following an aircraft accident, the investigator’s role is to identify facts, conditions and circumstances. Once it has been determined what happened, the scenario should also be tested and proved. However, the Airblue investigation report lacks both.” He also said that the ICAO Human Factors Training Manual stresses the fact that humans do not act alone, but are part of larger, more complex system, and that when a catastrophe has occurred, the investigator must ensure that all the elements of the system are investigated when determining why the accident took place. The manual specifically states that the investigation of human factors in aircraft accidents and incidents should form an integral part of the entire investigation and the resultant report, he added. Murad said, “Every accident has evidence. If correctly identified, it will allow the cause to be ascertained so that corrective action can be taken to prevent further accidents. Following the aircraft accident of the Airblue aircraft, the CAA did not take reasonable measures to protect the wreckage of the plane and its contents at the crash site.

The crash site was not declared a ‘crime scene’. Consequently, several people participated in the rescue operations, without adopting standard procedure, which resulted in a loss of vital evidences.” He said that the Standard 3.2 of ICAO Annex 13 (Aircraft Accident and Incident Investigation) requires that the state of occurrence shall take all reasonable measures to protect the evidence and to maintain safe custody of the aircraft and its contents for the purposes of an investigation. He also said, “Protection of evidence shall include the preservation, by photographic or other means, of any evidence that might be removed, effaced, lost or destroyed. Safe custody shall include protection against further damage, access by unauthorised persons, pilfering and deterioration.” However, he added, the victim’s family members still have the right to pursue the court for a judicial investigation that goes several steps beyond the technical investigation and utilises other tests to evaluate the results of the investigative process for criminal and civil liability on the parties concerned that have been at fault. It is pertinent to mention here that the CAA had finalised the Airblue crash as a case of controlled flight into terrain (CFIT), in which the aircrew failed to display superior judgment and professional skills in a self-created, unsafe environment. CFIT means an accident in which an airworthy aircraft under the control of pilots is flown unintentionally into terrain. According to statistics of Boeing, it is the world’s second leading cause of commercial aircrafts’ fatalities. From 1959 to 2009 in 961 commercial aviation accidents, 5,001 people have lost their lives.

RAILWAYS INQUIRY CITY STATION CANTT STATION

117, 99213565-6 99213538 99201118

AIRPORT fLIGHT INQUIRY PIA RESERvATION

114 111786786

COLLEGES / UNIvERSITIES kARACHI UNIvERSITY NED UNIvERSITY fUUAST DUHS SMIC fAST-NU SZABIST IOBM IBA IvS

99261300-06 99261261-8 99244141-9 99215754-7 99217501-3 111128128, 34100541-7 111922478 35090961-7 111422422 35861039-40

ECONOMIC RECESSION

SAEED AKHTAR

HADIA/KIRAN/SOBIA

LeCTURe oN JANUARY 1 AT 04:00 PM VeNUe: AL-AhMAD MANSIoN

ART eXhIBITIoN STARTS JANUARY 7 AT 05:30 PM VeNUe: ARTSCeNe GALLeRY

ART eXhIBITIoN STARTS JANUARY 10 AT 05:30 PM VeNUe: ChAWkANDI ART

Prof Goeff Brown’s lecture on ‘Economic Recession and its Impact on Asia’ at 8, Al-Ahmad Mansion, University Road.

Saeed Akhtar’s exhibition of charcoal drawings from January 7 to 14 at the ArtScene Gallery. Call 35843961 for more information.

Hadia Moiz, kiran Saeed and Sobia Ahmed’s art exhibition from January 10 to 18 at the Chawkandi Art gallery. Call 35373582 for more information.


KHI 01-01-2012_Layout 1 1/1/2012 2:43 AM Page 9

Sunday, 1 January, 2012

News 09

Seven killed in accident at Dir UPPeR DIR STAFF REPORT

Seven people were killed, including women and children, and 17 others injured when a passenger van collided with a troller coming from the opposite direction at Mooha, Upper Dir on Saturday. According to details, a passenger pick-up was on its way from Sahibabad, Upper Dir to Timergara, Lower Dir. The vehicle collided with a troller coming from the opposite direction at Mooha. Officials confirmed that seven people were killed on the spot and 17 others injured. The injured were admitted to Timergara hospital. According to doctors, six of the injured were in a critical condition.

Zawahiri sends veteran jihadists to Libya WAShINGToN INP

Al Qaeda’s leadership has sent experienced jihadists to Libya in an effort to build a fighting force there, according to a Libyan source briefed by Western counter-terrorism officials. The jihadists include one veteran fighter who had been detained in Britain on suspicion of terrorism. The source describes him as committed to al Qaeda’s global cause and to attacking US interests. The source told Cable News Network (CNN) that al Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri personally dispatched the former British detainee to Libya earlier this year as Muammar Gaddafi’s regime lost control of large swathes of the country. The man arrived in Libya in May and has since begun recruiting fighters in the eastern region of the country, near the Egyptian border. He now has some 200 fighters mobilised, the source added. Western intelligence agencies are aware of his activities, according to the source.

Bhitai’s Urs from 9th hYDeRABAD APP

The three-day annual celebrations of 268th Urs of great mystic poet and saint Hazrat Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai will commence with traditional enthusiasm, and reverence from January 9 in Bhitshah district Matiari. The historical town will be the host of tens of thousands of devotees from January 9 to 11. They will not only pay homage to the great Sufi poet but will also take part in various programmes to be organised by provincial government organisations. Sindh Assembly Speaker Nisar Ahmed khuhoro will inaugurate the Urs celebrations while Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah will be the chief guest at the concluding ceremony.

HANGING OUT: A labourer places clothes out to dry at a factory in Faisalabad. inP

Will PTI challenge Senate polls on bogus voting? ISLAMABAD

T

IRFAN BUKHARI

HE Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) central leader and former Supreme Court judge, Justice (r) Wajihuddin has said the upcoming Senate elections can be challenged on legal grounds that the constituents who would elect Senate members are themselves elected on bogus votes in February 2008 elections. “In my personal opinion the holding of next Senate elections scheduled for March 2012 can be challenged in a court of law on the grounds that the members of the National as well as provincial assemblies, who are going to elect new members of the Senate are themselves elected with the help of 35 million bogus votes,” Wajihuddin said while talking to Pakistan Today on Saturday. He clarified that it was his personal opinion as a legal expert, adding that he could not comment on PTI’s position in this regard. “As it is also a political issue, the

PTI’s top leaders (core committee) can deliberate on whether to challenge the upcoming Senate polls in the SC on these grounds or not,” he said, adding that the Senate elec-

tions which were held in 2009 could also be challenged on same grounds. Justice (r) Wahihuddin said in the petition, one could take the plea that 2008 general elections were not held under constitutional obligations. “It is a complicated matter as the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) does not admit that the 35 million votes were bogus… rather they claim the voters used adult franchise only on old identification cards,” the retired justice added. PTI Chairman Imran khan on Monday said a parliament, elected through 45 percent bogus votes, would obviously choose senators similar to itself. The ECP in July this year had told the Supreme Court that 35 million unverified voters had been removed from NADRA’s record while around 36 million new voters had been added to the database. This information was revealed during hearing of a petition, filed by khan, who raised questions on the authenticity of voters who participated in the 2008 general elections.

Two security personnel killed in NWA IED blast

ISLAMABAD APP

Pakistan has enough coal reserves to provide electricity for more than 30 years, Science and Technology Planning Commission member Dr Samar Mubarakmand said on Saturday. Talking to a private news channel, he said Thar coal power generation project had been successfully completed and it would bring prosperity and development to the country. Mubarakmand said coal was burnt at about 250 feet underground on December 11, and on December 19, scientists found the gas in Islam kot area of Thar. He said the project could generate 10,000 megawatts of electricity for 30 years and could produce 100 million barrels of diesel per year. The Thar coal project would become operational in December 2013, he said, adding that the project would cost Rs 8.898 billion with a foreign exchange component of Rs 5.847 billion that was approved by the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council last year. Mubarakmand said the success of the Thar coal project would lead to investment from the leading international companies.

Stop military operation: Bara tribesmen

PeShAWAR STAFF REPORT

At least two personnel of security forces were killed as a result of an improvised explosive device (IED) explosion on Boya Data khel Road in North Waziristan on Saturday. Officials said the personnel were on routine patrolling duty and moving in a convoy from Boya to Data khel. On the way, one of the vehicles hit an IED planted along the road by unidentified militants. As a result of the explosion, a security official was killed on the spot, while another succumbed to injuries at a hospital. Soon after attack, the administration imposed curfew in the area and security forces launched a search operation in the surroundings. Meanwhile, 10 militants were killed and six others injured in military action in Manikhel area of Upper Orakzai Agency on Saturday. The officials said four dens of the militants were also destroyed in the military action.

Coal reserves can provide 30 years of electricity: Samar

PESHAWAR: Bara tehsil residents He said the closure of schools, coland khyber Union (kU) khyber leges and other educational instituAgency activists on Saturday set up a tions for the last 28 months in tehsil hunger strike camp in front of the Bara promises a dark future for the Peshawar Press Club against the con- new generation. He said trade and businesses had tinuing military operations in the area and pressure the government to been destroyed. He said the government must consider the tribal areas end the blockage of roads to Bara. Protesting tribesmen criticised part of the country and stop the the ‘inhuman’ government attitude senseless military operation against towards the people of Bara. Tribal its own people. He said the governelders led protestors who were joined ment must ensure registering afby khyber Union Students Wing fectees and provide financial Central President Daulat khan packages to the homeless families, Afridi. They waved placards and ban- those injured and killed in the miliners at the protest camp, asking the tary operations. STAFF REPORT government to stop the so-called military action, end lawlessness and open all roads leading to Bara. Addressing protestors, Daulat Afridi demanded the government and authorities concerned stop the inhuman operation in tehsil Bara and immediDAULAT KHAN AFRIDI ately release all tribesmen Central President, khyber Union Students Wing arrested by security forces.

The government must consider the tribal areas part of the country and stop the senseless military operation against its own people

LANDI KOTAL: A security official asks people to ‘back off’ after a bomb blast at a Jirga killed two schoolchildren and injured seven others. inP


KHI 01-01-2012_Layout 1 1/1/2012 2:43 AM Page 10

10 News

Sunday, 1 January, 2012

The PML-N dynasty all set to continue LAhoRe

D

YASIR HABIB

YNASTIC politics in the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) gained visible currency in 2011, proving to be a chink in the Sharifs’ armour, as ominous fallouts are surfacing in the form of desertions from party. The recent political christening of Maryam Nawaz, the older daughter of PML-N President Nawaz Sharif and lobbying for Hamza Shahbaz, the son of Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, for a key slot in the party this year are steps to further family politics in the PML-N, the second largest political party in the country. The likely introduction of Hassan Nawaz, son of Nawaz Sharif, and Suleman Shahbaz, the younger son of Shahbaz Sharif, in politics also gathered buzz in 2011. Though no practical move came to the limelight to this effect, insiders in the PML-N dropped strong hints that the entry of the Sharifs’ children into the party was imminent. Nawaz Sharif spared no chance to promote a democratic culture in political parties, but scoffed at every such move in his own party. Consequently, the party is also suffering a longer delay in the completion of intra-party elections to adjust family members of the Sharifs at attractive mantles. Veteran PML-N leader Javed Hashmi, who recently parted ways with the party and joined the Imran khan-led Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI), was a strong critic of dynastic politics in the party and always came down hard on the Sharifs for bringing ‘political heirs’ into the PML-N. He once blasted the Sharifs for preferring their children to senior party leaders. In the face of the growing culture of nepotism in the party, the Niazi brothers (Inamullah Niazi and Najeebullah Niazi) also abandoned the Sharifs’ ship. Naeem Mir, a former provincial information secretary of the PML-N, central general secretary of All-Pakistan Anjuman Tajran and former secretary of Mall Road Traders’ Association, resented the PML-N leadership and the scion of Shahbaz Sharif. “I quit the party on the humiliating attitude of Hamza Shahbaz,” Mir told the media. Sobbing, Mir

THE ‘SHARIF’ GENERATION NExT

HAMZA SHAHBAZ

MARYAM NAWAZ

said he gave 17 years of his life to the party but Hamza mistreated him like a junior. He advised Hamza to quit politics if he wished to keep Nawaz Sharif’s party alive in the provincial capital. The year also witnessed the manifestation of nepotism when Ishaq Dar, a close relative of Nawaz Sharif, was nominated by the PML-N for the vacant post of Senate opposition leader, preferring him over many senior senators in the party. The move prompted deep unrest among influential party groups, who believed the Sharifs wanted to keep all major seats within the family to promote the politics of dynasty. Party big-shots squabbled that Raja Zafarul Haq, Mushahid Ullah khan and Syed Zafar Ali Shah were the potential candidates but Dar was named instead. A senior PML-N leader told Pakistan Today that nobody could challenge Nawaz’s decision but it was causing uneasiness that could soon explode into open rebellion, leading to the party’s disintegration sooner or later. He said Dar was the most “blessed” person in

the party because of his family ties with the Sharifs. “He is parliamentary leader of the Senate from 2006 to 2012. He worked as chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Industries and Production. He also worked as deputy chairman of the Implementation Commission, but resigned on April 20, 2011,” he added. The PML-N stalwart said Dar was just a chartered accountant and looked after the finances of the Sharifs. In comparison to senior leaders, Dar’s political acumen was average but he was given preference in every matter, he added. “Family politics do not stop with this. Almost all influential slots are in the hands of the Sharif family,” he added. “Shahbaz Sharif remained the party president for so long. Shahbaz was always crowned chief minister of Punjab as well. Capt (r) Safdar, son-in-law of Nawaz Sharif, is also working as chief organiser [of the party’s] youth wing,” he said. He said National Assembly Member (MNA) Hamza Shahbaz, son of Shahbaz Sharif, had assumed the charge of Lahore coordinator for the

party. “He is also responsible for the affairs of Chief Minister’s Secretariat as the party considers him the successor to Nawaz Sharif. He goes through the official files and has authority to approve or deny the works requested by even senior party leaders,” the PML-N leader said. Meanwhile, MNA Abid Sher Ali, whose mother was a first cousin to Nawaz, was chairman of the Standing Committee on Education and a member of the Standing Committee on Privatisation and Investment, Standing Committee on Water and Power and Standing Committee on Youth Affairs. “MNA Bilal Yaseen, another close relative of Begum kalsoom Nawaz, worked as chairman of the Water and Sanitation Authority. Provincial Assembly Member (MPA) Mohsin Latif, who has family terms with the Sharifs, worked as chairman of the Task Force on Parks and Horticulture. Sohail Zia Butt, whose mother is first cousin to Nawaz, has great say in the party,” he added. His son, Umer Sohail Zia Butt, is an MPA and recently, being head of the LDA staff union, he won the referendum. Political experts were of the view that the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), PML-Quaid, Awami National Party (ANP) and the PML-N were all examples of dynastic leadership. “The PML-Q is run by the Chaudhry brothers; the PPP was led by the Bhuttos and now Bhutto-Zardaris; the ANP is run by khan Abdul Ghaffar khan’s family while the PML-N is dominated by the Sharif family. It implies that our politicians have made their parties personal fiefdoms by passing on party leadership as an inheritance to their successors,” they said. However, Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah denied there was nepotism in the PML-N, saying that PML-N was not an estate that may be transferred to somebody. Talking to the media in front of the Punjab Assembly, the law minister said the PML-N was a party of energetic leaders and agile activists. “No dynastic politics is being practiced in it,” he added. He said that everybody could take part in elections for party leadership. “As far as Hamza Shahbaz and Maryam Nawaz are concerned, they started their political career as party workers,” he added.

Aman Ittehad to mark Solidarity Day 2012 PeShAWAR STAFF REPORT

WHEN A DRINK IS A MILE AWAY: A woman returns after filling her pot with clean water at Kotri. inP

Tension rising in Washington over access to drone information WAShINGToN

asfandyar puts 3 conditions to militants for talks MARDAN INP

INP

Tensions are quietly increasing between the White House and some congressional leaders over access to sensitive information about the US government’s use of drones in Pakistan and Yemen. The White House has brushed aside requests for information from lawmakers, who argue that the strikes, carried out secretly by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the military’s Joint Special Operations Command, have broad implications for US policy but do not receive adequate oversight. Some current and former administration, military and congressional officials point to what they see as significant oversight gaps, in part because few lawmakers have full access to information about the drone strikes. Lawmakers on Congress’s intelligence committees are privy to information about all CIA and military-intelligence operations, but members of at least two other panels want insight on the drone programme.

Aman Ittehad (AI) announced it shall hold rallies public rallies, press conferences and seminars on Sunday (today) to mark Solidarity Day 2012 at 140 locations across Pakistan, including khyber Pakhtunkhwa (kP) and Federally Administrated Tribal Areas (FATA) and frontier regions. Addressing a press conference on Saturday, Amaan Tehreek organiser Idress kamal, Professor Ijaz, khundo kor member Nazra, Shereen Javed, Areas Study Centre member Dr Sarfaraz, Citizen Rights member Sameena Afridi and Sustainable Development (CRSD) said they will unite people against the torture, targeted killing and kidnapping of people across Pakistan, particularly Balochistan. They said the state’s failure to apprehend perpetrators in the recent spate of kidnappings and killings had increased public anxiety. They said the State was responsible to provide life security, livelihood and liberty to all citizens without discrimination of religion, sect, class or clan and gender. They said States must implement laws that protect citizens against violence and repeal discriminatory laws. AI demanded an increase in investment in public utilities, education, health, justice and equal opportunities to all citizens. They said thousands of citizens from villages, towns and cities would join the rallies to tell state institutions to fulfill their duties as per the constitution of Pakistan.

Awami National Party (ANP) President Asfandyar Wali khan on Saturday put three conditions to the insurgents for negotiations, saying that no one had rendered so many sacrifices in the war on terror than the Pashtuns under the red-flag. Addressing a rally, Asfandyar told the militants that they could also talk to other insurgents when the government negotiated a peace deal with Mullah Fazlullah and Sufi Mohammad, but they had to accept three conditions. He said the insurgents would not be asked to lay down arms because in the Pashtun society “when one asks someone to drop the gun, he gets furious”, adding that the insurgents should rather

shun terror strikes. “Secondly, the militants should accept the writ of the state and thirdly, they should make sure that they will not give refuge to any foreign miscreants,” he said. Asfandyar said if Pakistan had not offered refuge to the Uzbeks and Arab Jehadis 35 years ago, the country would not have been humiliated on May 2 and also drone attacks would not have been occurring inside Pakistan’s territory. He said khyber Pakhtunkhwa got its identity during the ANP’s rule, adding that the ANP was a powerful and famous political party. He said conspiracies were being hatched to initiate tussle between institutions, adding that the government would complete its tenure. Asfandyar said if someone left the ANP, it would make no difference to the party.


KHI 01-01-2012_Layout 1 1/1/2012 2:43 AM Page 11

Sunday, 1 January, 2012

Editor’s mail 11

Talk and build Being such a significant player in the ongoing war, it is correct that a lot depends upon Pakistan’s response towards reconciling with the Taliban. It must be realised, however, that Pakistan has always maintained that a political dispensation of the conflict in Afghanistan is the best way forward. Thus, talks about need for lesser military operations and stress upon reconciliation and peace had always dominated the Pakistani discourse. The infamous ‘strategic depth’ paradigm too has lost its appeal inside Pakistan as it takes a backstage in com-

White-collar crime parison to the overriding war trends that requires us to have a peaceful and stable Afghanistan towards our western border instead. The aftershocks of a turbulent Afghanistan have been felt most intensely by Pakistan due to its geo-strategic proximity. A strengthened Afghan security force and a subsequent transition into a functioning political system is what lies in Pakistan’s interest the most. The unanimous Pakistani stance of engaging groups into talks instead of continuing with the ambivalent US policy of talk,

fight and build is pretty well known and Pakistan has had quite some spanking for going against the tide. Apparently, the fighting phase is over, with the Al-Qaeda group reaching near extinction in South Asia after ten long years and surely all the players have had enough of fighting thus leaving the only two options of talking and rebuilding as the most favoured in the current scenario. Pakistan too needs to make its peace objectives and policy in Afghanistan very clear and transparent. How it aims to engage groups into talks,

who are the groups and factions that need to be brought to the table more urgently and what incentives it aims to provide them for negotiations. Also what needs to be kept into consideration is the position from which the process would begin. Although equal significance ought to be given to the negotiating groups, but who holds the cards should be made amply clear so that agreements should benefit the state and the people as well instead of favouring just a few. DR SAFA REHMAN Islamabad

Replying to allegations Mr Hanif Abbasi appearing on a television talk show has raised strong objections against Imran khan, the PTI chief, and Hamid khan was speechless and had no clue as to how to answer him. He tried to rebuff the allegations, but to no avail. Mr Abbassi laid some serious allegations on Mr Clean and contended that he had documentary proof. It is imperative that the PTI chief reply to these allegations. a) Imran khan wrote a letter to the chief minister for allocation of a plot in Islamabad for house building and gave the affidavit that he has no house. b) He allegedly used the funds collected for SkMH on employing his own relatives. c) His soft stance on the kashmir issue, while interviewed by an Indian journalist on side-lines. He said this issue must be kept on the back burner and this is a disservice to the kashmir cause. d) It was also alleged that he has a soft corner for America in private meetings with American dignitaries, while opposing American policies in public. These are grave allegation indeed and Mr Clean should come clean if he wants to prove that he is innocent. Otherwise, his image will be needlessly tarnished. JAVAID BASHIR Lahore

Unity in difference I am writing this letter to bring to your attention the issue of increasing intolerance in Pakistan. Pakistan has a lot of diversity in terms of ethnicity and the major ethnic groups include Punjabis, Pashtuns, Sindhis, Seraikis, Muhajirs, Baloch, Hindkowans, Chitralis and other smaller groups. Moreover, there is religious plurality as well. Social, ethnic and cultural differences that exist in Pakistan hamper harmonious coexistence of these diverse groups. Recent events throw light on the increasing antagonism between these groups. karachi has become the centre of ethnic tension. This year hundreds of innocent people were killed because of political and ethnic differences between the the Pashtun-dominated Awami National Party (ANP) and the Urdu speaking MQM, which has considerable influence in Pakistan's largest city. Sectarian violence has reached new heights. One of the gruesome events took place on September 2011 when gunmen opened fire on a bus carry pilgrims at Mastung in Balochistan province. At least 26 Shia Muslims were killed in that incident. Shia-Sunni conflicts were fuelled by Zia’s Islamisation policy and the clashes have only increased ever since, taking lives of hundreds of innocent people. Minority religious groups have also been a target of sectarian violence. There has been a rampant increase in the kidnapping of Hindus in Balochistan. The provincial minister of minority, Jay Parkash Lal, has raised voice against this issue but no serious action has been taken to resolve the problem. These are but a few examples of the assaults that occur in our society because of plurality and diversity. Attention must be paid to this grave problem as ethnic violence can lead to major constitutional upheavals and collapse of the state in the long run. Attitudes such as racism, practices such as torture and discrimination of various groups need to be acknowledged as morally wrong and unjust by the people. IQRA QAMAR Lahore

Today, our society is full of white collar crimes. Affluent, respectable people commit these crimes in the course of their everyday business. In our society, a big array of crimes are now categorised as white-collar crimes like income tax dodging, stock manipulation, consumer fraud, bribery, and withdrawal of kickbacks, larceny, and distortion of commercial information. Computer crime is also a newer one. It enables embezzlement and/or electronic scam without leaving a paper trail. Besides the monetary costs of this type of crime, that amounts to the tune of billions of rupees every year, whitecollar crimes have several social costs as well. Due to the rising incidence of white-collar crimes in the country, one would hope and expect for this difficulty to be handled very seriously by the criminal court of justice of Pakistan. Still, white-collar culprits are treated very leniently compared to other kinds. They aren’t caught for bail-before-arrest is granted to them without demur, their hearings always get delayed in the courts, and only financial fines are charged upon them in the end. Furthermore, in our corruption-ridden country, such unlawful doings do not destroy a person’s social standing as much and many white-collar criminals continue to live lives of relative respectability. Unless the stigma associated with these crimes becomes more acute, these influential criminal with ‘power’ and ‘prestige’ will continue with their actions. SIDRA AGHA Islamabad

CSS age limit

Asking for flour The bread has gone out of reach of poor masses so much so that even beggars now ask for alms to buy flour. The flour sells at Rs 36/kg and a household of four people would consume a minimum of one kg per day. This means about Rs 1000 per month on bread alone. Almost 60 percent of the people living on an income of one dollar a day, ie, Rs 90 per day, would spend 37 percent of their income on flour, leaving only 63 percent to be spent on other expenses of food, health, education clothing and housing which would be impossible to do. So where is the slogan of roti, kapra aur makan in the

New Year’s present Reports are pouring not only of an increase in CNG price but also of full closure during the month of January. With the advent of the New Year, every one tries to better themselves or at least resolve to better themselves. But such an attitude is concertedly missing on our government’s part. The government announced the sky-high augment in CNG prices and prepared us for another fateful year which would be direr than the previous one. The colossal increase in the CNG prices will cripple the running of the nation where a large chunk of the population depends heavily on CNG for their transportation. Almost all forms of public transportation have converted their engines in to CNG as the cost of petrol consumption is unreasonably high for them. This decision will affect the lower classes that use public transport and the middle classes that have CNG-based vehicles. The upper classes that own luxurious, posh cars will not be affected by this decision. The government has taken this decision in dire circumstances and this will have a very bad impact on the country. Our government should not only spend more money on exploration and exploitation of gas reserves but also develop other alternative energy resources as this crisis is here to stay. HADIA MUKHTAR Karachi

New entrants People are criticising Mr Imran khan's induction of old faces in his party. When he was all alone, people used to gripe that he is playing all alone in this pitch. But now when he is all set to take off, people are blaming him for this. The very people who criticised him for not having prominent personalities in his party are now finding fault with him

above scenario proclaimed by PPP Chairman Bilawal in the cozy environs of Dubai. Does he have any realisation of the hand to mouth jiyalas that support the pyramid of PPP at the top echelons where the co-chairman lives in a presidential palace with billions stashed abroad safely under the canopy of his self-acclaimed immunity. There has never been such a stupendous hoax in the human history as is being inflicted on the hapless peoples of Pakistan. DR MUHAMMAD YAQOOB BHATTI Lahore

for taking on experienced politicians. What people do not understand is that to make any organisation or any company work, a mix of seniors and juniors have to be relied upon to run the company affairs. It is very important to have an experienced lot at the helm of affairs to guide the juniors for a steady outcome. The same strategy is being applied in PTI to induct an experienced lot with some experience of handling the affairs of the government as their help in devising the strategies in an efficient and effective manner to run the country affairs would be invaluable. To run the country affairs is not a joke! We all know that PTI is new to all this so they desperately need a strong team of experienced players along with PTI founding members for the proper execution of the strategies for the development of Pakistan. These people who are being inducted are truly patriotic citizens of Pakistan and free from the stigma of corruption. Their only fault is that all of them were members of corrupt parties and part of corrupt governments. They stayed there because as there was no choice for them at that time. But now they have an option: the PTI. ASMA AHSAN Islamabad

On Punjabi It is unfortunate to see the stigma attached to one of the most beautiful of the languages on the planet i.e. Punjabi. To the elites, it is the language of the middle class, so there is no chance of it being present in their discourse. To the middle class, it is something that does not allow them to enter into the elite circle, so it must be avoided at any cost. For the poor class, it is the only choice in most cases. They use it in their everyday life but not without thinking that it is far lower than any of the languages they have heard of. Without sug-

gesting any solution in his regard, I would request the audience to give this issue a thought and try to understand where the problem stems from. WAQAS MALOOK Lahore

Punjab in pieces It seems that all the problems in Pakistan have been solved. There are no shortages, no poverty, no bad governance. Only one problem is now worthy of the attention of our government: that is to increase the number of provinces in the country and doing that by bifurcating Punjab into four. Is it the destiny of Punjab to be partitioned again and again? The British cut a vast area of North West Punjab in1901 inclusive of Hazara, Peshawer and other Punjabi speaking areas for making the North Western Frontier Province. In 1947, Punjab was partitioned between India and the newly created state of Pakistan resulting in one of the bloodiest massacres of history in which one million people were killed, more than 30 million became displaced and homeless and loss of honour and property was unimaginable. Then, the Indian Punjab was bifurcated into three units leaving not more than one-third of the land of East Punjab for Punjabis. And now once again the plan to carve out a Seraiki province on the soil of Punjab is getting momentum. Many leaders, including Imran khan and Altaf Hussain, are supporting this because it will get them some political mileage. The question arises that whether the bifurcation of Punjab will address the grievances (genuine or manipulated) of the areas ignored by Takhte-Lahore? In my humble opinion, it will not. It will only open a Pandora ’s Box of separatist tendencies. TARIQ MAHMUD JATALA Lahore

In spite of the demands of uncountable candidates, there has been no relaxation in the age limit for CSS examination. I think authorities are in the mood of disturbing candidates as usual. They have nothing to do with the wishes of the candidates who are not born into privilege but earn their credential through hard work and they are suffering because of the government’s indifference. Many of these candidates suffering do not have schools and colleges at a stone’s throw from their houses. They have to spend much time to stay away from home and get the requisite education. Hence, candidates from far-flung and under-developed areas are at a disadvantage here. For instance, certain areas in Sindh, Balochistan and khyber Pakhtunkhwa do not have quality universities and students take greater time to obtain their degrees as they live away from home. Moreover, due to tremendous poverty in some areas of the country, students are unable to pay a sufficient amount to carry on their studies in big cities. It is wrong to expect these people to prepare for the examinations with their limited resources within the given age limit. I request President Zardari, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani and Chairman FPSC Justice (retd) Rana Bhagwandas to increase the age limit in the CSS examination by five years. DR IRFAN ALMANI Rawalpindi

Commercialisation? The commercialization of education is an issue often raised in popular modern discourse. What I fail to understand is whether the problem lies with the commercialisation or the fact that the moral integrity of an institution meant for the noble purpose of education is being defiled? For as is the law of capitalism, commercialisation has created a competitive environment where quality education is being provided. Furthermore, it has created a filter that allows for the intellectual elite to go where they might be appreciated. Other ideologies aside, this is not completely and utterly wrong. Rather it just creates a system that is being utilised to its maximum. The problem, I feel, lies in the value judgment of this system. Does anyone have the right to a better education? Are we not all equal? And if we are, does this commercialisation inherently render that equality void? It is these questions, I believe, which should be dealt with. BILAL KHAN Lahore

Send your letters to: Letters to Editor, Pakistan Today, 4-Shaarey Fatima Jinnah, Lahore, Pakistan. Fax: +92-42-36298302. E-mail: letters@pakistantoday.com.pk. Letters should be addressed to Pakistan Today exclusively.


KHI 01-01-2012_Layout 1 1/1/2012 2:44 AM Page 12

12 comment The judgment Reservations abound

L

ooking at the immediate reactions to the Supreme Court verdict on the maintainability of the memo case, one is led to conclude that the decision could turn out to be one of the most contentious in Pakistan’s history. All the more so because it comes at a time when a fragile elected government is trying hard to complete its tenure while warning that the military cannot act like a state within a state. The decision raises the issue whether judges should strictly interpret the law while keeping their eye shut to extraneous concerns like national security, particularly when these are hotly agitated in the media. The detailed judgment will be read carefully to find whether it has implications for media which often takes up ‘sensitive’ issues for discussion and debate. In case, the probe concludes that the document was genuine and was conceived by someone in power, this would have serious ramifications for the government. If the memo is found to be a hoax, this would indicate how a mischievous person can waste hours and days of the highest court in the country. The verdict has been welcomed by the petitioners’ lawyers. It has however been strongly criticised by some of the respectable figures in the legal community. Foremost among them is Asma Jahangir who besides being a former President of Supreme Court Bar Association is recognised as an ardent supporter of an independent judiciary. She is also known as an outstanding champion of human rights in the country. Another critic is Advocate Tariq Mehmud who was in the forefront of the struggle for an independent judiciary. Asma thinks that the verdict brings the civilian authority under the military establishment and gives the national security more priority than fundamental rights thus compromising an individual’s right to justice. Both Asma and Tariq Mahmud opine that the court had given the petitioners more relief than they had asked for. What is required now is for everyone to accept the decision and wait for the detailed judgment to have a better understanding of the verdict.

Worsening situation Tolling bells fall on deaf ears

I

t’s only so long you can keep a lid on a simmering pot. There will come a time when it will boil over. The problem in Balochistan has been deteriorating for a while and its deterioration has been escalated by the callous mishandling of the situation. The suicide bombing that has taken place in Quetta is a testament to the fact that the people over there no longer have faith in the system. That they have resorted to such extreme measures should be a wake-up call for our state, nay deep state, but hopes of that remain bleak. While no elements can be allowed to take up arms against the state and erode its writ, it must also be analysed why these elements have taken up arms against the state. We must discard conspiratorial notions of ‘foreign hands’ and ‘trouble-making elements’ and look at the gripes of a people that feel colonised by its own state. Our heavy-handed conflation of genuine grievances with militant separatism has proved to be a self-fulfilling prophecy and this has to stop. With the advent of this democratic dispensation, many thought that the situation would improve – even if slightly. The government announced the Aghaz-eHaqooq-e-Balochistan package and extended an olive branch to the extremely disgruntled Baloch leadership. But since the military footprint in the province has not decreased, people and activists still continue to disappear and be killed ruthlessly, the aforementioned measures have amounted to naught. It is the peculiar nature of our state that the civilian government, even though it had its heart in the right place, could not do anything, much because of the fact that the handling of this situation is not its preserve to begin with (but this does not mean that it can be exonerated completely – especially on counts of inaction and docility). Law and order has now become an untenable thing in the restive province. Despite claims by the authorities that the situation is under control, it is apparent that fissures of discontent (be it sectarian, separatist or others) are deepening with each passing day. Advising the powers that be to reach out to the Baloch now seems to be an exercise in futility. Once it was a situation that could’ve been dealt through dialogue but wasn’t. Why? If we can talk to the other terrorist elements that bomb us, why can’t we talk to our own aggrieved people? Reaching out purposefully to the Baloch remains the only option.

Sunday, 1 January, 2012

Times Past; Times future “The fault is not in our stars”

By humayun Gauhar

T

imes present are acute uncertainty. Pakistan is certainly in trouble, but the world is in even more trouble. We are all in it together. So what ‘Happy New Year’ is everyone going on about? 2011 was far from happy and this one promises to be unhappier. The omens are dire. We claim that the Mayans think the world will end on December 13. Let’s see. But this much I do know: the convulsing Leviathan will start showing its new skin. Then we will know. With so much to say, I can only make some points, but briefly. 2011 finally exposed the death of economics, something that had happened decades ago. A new economic philosophy will only emerge after the bones of the old one are interred. The damage that Harold Laski’s halfbaked socialist teachings in the LSE did to the Third World was matched by the damage that keynes’ sodden capitalist teachings in Cambridge did to the First World. To be fair, it was rapacious Wall Street bankers who did away with keynes’s inbuilt caution and misapplied his monetarist supply-side economics after they took over the global economy in 1981 when Reagan became president. They conjured fake wealth and illusory wellbeing by reckless spending, irresponsible borrowing and mindless consumption. That roller coaster ride has ended. The bitter fruits of dropping the Gold Standard in 1971 and adopting a piece of paper without a shred of intrinsic value as the global reserve and trading currency are on display. Every world currency is without value. It has been the greatest gold swindle in the world, the most impressive con job. Now the dollar is mighty no more. Actually, it never was. A new reserve currency will have to be found, but how? China could bring the Yuan closer to floatation, but it might meet the same fate as the dollar. Or it could launch a Global Reserve Currency this year or the next, but how? What will the GRC be based on? Hot air and promises again, just like the dollar? Returning to the Gold Standard will raise the metal’s demand so much that its price would become prohibitive, even for governments. It’s a non-starter. Gold, in any case, is just a metal, no different from paper when you come to think of it. It has intrinsic value because it is finite. If it could be mass-produced its ‘intrinsic’ value would disappear. WANTED: An alchemist. Talk of computer credits to replace paper currency has resurfaced. That is where the future of money lies if the world wants to move forward, provided ‘credits’ are international and their computerised databank is unassailable. It’s still not going to be easy giving international value to labour, services and goods and making the formula accept-

Arif Nizami Editor

Lahore – Ph: 042-36298305-10 Fax: 042-36298302 Karachi – Ph: 021-34330811-3 Fax: 021-34330900 Islamabad – Ph: 051-2287414-6 Fax: 051-2287417 Web: www.pakistantoday.com.pk Email: editorial@pakistantoday.com.pk

sion that this is a recession, not a depression, will soon disappear. The danger is the illusion that having got out of Iraq they can again open a second front against Iran to prevent it from extending its hegemony over Iraq. Oil will pierce the ceiling and not only destroy the sole superpower but also the world. Such destruction, no matter on whom, and this will be on us all, is terrible, for all are human and not to be blamed for the circumstances of their birth. But perhaps this is the price mankind has to pay when a monster destroys itself. We have seen it again and again with no guarantee that the world will necessarily be a better place afterwards. This time, I wonder if there is any world left at all, a world worth living in. What…did I hear someone say ‘Israel’? What is that? As to beloved Pakistan, never without crisis, it continues to thrive in Wonderland, while in reality its painful evolutionary experience grinds on towards fortune or failure that only a short time will tell. It would be uncharacteristic if it were not in crisis. 2011 started with Raymond Davis and ended with President Zardari asserting his political, physical and mental health. Only days earlier, while Pakistan’s chattering classes were on tenterhooks about their president’s health, North korea’s President kim Jong Il died. Our president returned home. One hoped that some semblance of normalcy would return, but no way, because Pakistan cannot function without crises. Betwixt came Abbottabad, Mehran, Salala, the memo, NRO, break with America and international donors, the military-civilian cleft and much more, not least world class pontificating, chattering and rumour mongering. Oh, yes, towards the end came a seeming silver lining in the gloaming, the arrival of prodigal son Imran khan. The bottom line is: no one knows what, why and how, least of all our wiseacres, of whom there is no dearth. Meantime, we just keep asking stupid questions with obvious answers while passing the buck to all and sundry, not looking for our own culpability: “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, But in ourselves, that we are underlings.” keep dreaming. Happy nightmare. The writer is a political analyst. He can be contacted at humayun.gauhar786@gmail.com

Regional Press

Pakistan for peace in Afghanistan Daily khabroona

P

Dedicated to the legacy of the late Hameed Nizami

able to all. Yes, if we want to move backwards, we could return to barter, countertrade and recognition of one another’s currencies for bilateral trading. Nothing wrong with that: Pakistan already has done this with China and Turkey. This year, or soon thereafter, China will have to become the largest donor to the IMF, if it is interested. Then it will be within its rights to demand that it be relocated to Beijing. America will certainly balk; even print more dollars to pay the IMF to keep it in America, which is no solution. Then what? A new Chinese IMF? Most of our exports, and of almost everyone else, are to America, Japan and Europe. When their imports diminish for lack of money and forced austerity, where will we export? Increasing domestic demand amongst a very poor people is easier said than done. It’s a pipedream unless you bring prices within reach, which we just don’t have the capacity to do being import-driven with imported inflation. Yes, we still have the capacity to commit suicide and start creditbased borrowing ourselves. We tried it in the last government and only created graveyards of cars and home appliances, turning banks into real estate funeral parlours. Japan’s earthquake, tsunami and nuclear accident revealed that it is over-borrowed without a hope of reprieve. The Euro is done. Its collapse will likely become formal this year. It was always a non-starter, what with 17 fathers, none with enough fiscal and monetary authority to keep it out of trouble. The future of the European project seems dark. The EU could begin to unravel. Depends on how long it takes Germany to fail in this third attempt to extend its hegemony over Europe, economically this time, not militarily as in the first two, by acting bailer-out-in-chief with France behind its coattails. With German and French banks in dire trouble, what pipedream are they conjuring up? The Uk is bankrupt. The British must learn to live with their diminished status. They are a clever people and should be able to reconcile to loss of empire. If they do they can ensure that their country never becomes totally irrelevant. As to the USA, the politest way one can put it is that they are up the creek without a paddle, except for the illusion that unnecessary wars can still end recession. The delu-

akistan has always stood for a peaceful Afghanistan and has faced problems and challenges for the same cause. Pakistan continues to support this cause, seeking a lasting peace in the neighbouring country, yet allegations from Afghanistan, along with other losses in the war on terror, have not been so helpful. Pakistan has also always stressed upon other countries of the region to pay special attention to the Afghan issue and search for a solution to bring peace there in its real sense. Talking to authorities from Maldives, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani has maintained that Pakistan supports a peaceful Afghanistan and would not budge to utilise all resources in its

power in this regard. A peaceful Afghanistan is not only good for Pakistan but also for the entire region. It is now a necessary for the Afghan government to ensure its full cooperation with Pakistan in order to wipe out terrorism from the region. It should also take a look back at the history wherein Pakistan was always there to help out its neighbour in its need. If they could not unite against terrorism, its consequences would be too much to bear for both of these countries. It is time that both Afghanistan and Pakistan should face directly and jointly the foreign countries’ attempts into the region and come up with close cooperation. – Translated from the original Pashto by Abdur Rauf Khattak


KHI 01-01-2012_Layout 1 1/1/2012 2:44 AM Page 13

Sunday, 1 January, 2012

The year of ludicre New word for a new day

Third Eye By M J Akbar

W

hat precisely is the difference between ridiculous and ludicrous? With their inter-changeable syllables they even sound like each other. Philology is not very helpful. One word has a root, ridicule; but there is no ‘ludicre’ in English. Why? Since language does not have a Pope whose word is law, we will never get an answer. My own view, that ridiculous is pathos and ludicrous is bathos, is probably no more than a literary conceit dredged up to justify the inexplicable. Since lists are a congenital part of year-end rituals, one feels obliged to offer some sort of homage to custom. A short list of two will do: the most ridiculous, and the most ludicrous. A rummage through politics poses a problem. There is simply too much to choose from. It doesn’t seem worth the effort. The harvest is so much better outside the realm of pomp, power and pretty sordid levels of corruption. Nothing I have heard in the deathbed year of 2011 was more ridiculous than Sourav Ganguly’s command to our cricket team in Australia on the “Agneepath Series”: Be Fearless! After which he added a paean to his own fearlessness. That was both cheeky and thick. Long before he retired, Ganguly began to play cricket with his neck: his neck was far more agile than his bat against the rising ball. On more than one occasion, Ganguly developed mysterious back aches at the sight of a green pitch on the first morning. Whenever the world’s quickies were short of a laugh all they had to do was watch a video of Ganguly trying to get out of the way, and the party could begin.

Ganguly had class, but he lacked courage. No one is perfect. Virendra Sehwag has courage by the bucket, and talent by the pail, although when it comes to judgement you need to measure it by a tablespoon. That is him. Take it or leave, and we take it, happily, for Sehwag’s presence far outweighs the sniffle at his departure. On the other hand if you want an example of the ludicrous, you can watch the rate at which hair is reappearing on Sehwag’s head. Since we don’t watch Sehwag to study the pace of hair transplants, it doesn’t matter. [Incidentally, what do Australians call the Agneepath Series? Probably the XXXXpath Tests; the X’s are of course code for a four-letter word called ‘fire’.]

poetry is eternal, but his views did not always belong to the narrative of modern India. Ghalib lived through 1857. He watched 23 Mughal princes being hanged and fellow Dilliwallahs being massacred by merciless British columns. Ghalib was more interested in a pension from Queen Victoria, as is evident from his diary, Dastambuy, than a war for independence. This does not diminish his poetry, but it does raise questions about his politics. Justice katju has read a million more books than any silly journalist, but perhaps he has not come across Joya Chaterji’s masterly Bengal Divided [Cambridge University Press, 1996]. He would surely have noticed a speech that

Since lists are a congenital part of year-end rituals, one feels obliged to offer some sort of homage to custom. A short list of two will do: the most ridiculous, and the most ludicrous. We may have to search elsewhere, however, for the heights of ludicre [what the heck: let’s coin a word for the new year] established in 2011. It is well known that Press Council chairman Justice Markandey katju’s heart is in the right place, and his high intellect worthy of those who have achieved a place on the Supreme Court bench. But his mind does like an occasional walk in space. He has said, in his new avatar as conscience-keeper-cum-godfather of hacks, that journalists can be unread, tasteless and enjoy a bit of opium in the office. In his ideal world, cricket and Dev Anand’s death do not constitute frontpage news. By such Olympian standards, he has a lot of work ahead, so let us wish him a happy new year. But his campaign for a Bharat Ratna to Mirza Ghalib and Saratchandra Chattopadhyay is ludicrous. One of my great personal regrets is insufficient knowledge of Urdu, and ignorance of Persian: the two books I would carry to the proverbial desert island are the complete works of Shakespeare and Ghalib. Ghalib’s

Saratchandra, an undoubted literary genius, made in 1926. There isn’t space for the full text, but a few sentences establish the flavor - and trust me, I am leaving out the more gruesome bits: “The truth is that if Muslims ever say they want to unite with Hindus, there is no greater hoax. The Muslims came to India to plunder it, not to establish a kingdom…Unity can only be realised among equals…’Hindu-Muslim unity’ is a bombastic slogan…Hindustan is the homeland of the Hindus.” Et al. Saratchandra’s India was not the India that Mahatma Gandhi lived and died for. The past has its glories. The past has its dilemmas. The past has its mistakes. The past has its rage. Shall we reserve the Bharat Ratna for those who fought for a future in which every Indian is an equal? The columnist is editor of The Sunday Guardian, published from Delhi, India on Sunday, published from London and Editorial Director, India Today and Headlines Today.

comment 13

democracy survives Will it live to see another year?

2

011 came to an end leaving behind the crisis that may continue to haunt the nation in the days to come. Confronted with multifaceted challenges on the external and domestic fronts, the country suffered a major setback from the institutional infighting with the infamous Memogate pitching the civilian arm of the government against the powerful security establishment. Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani must have ruffled many feathers when he recently declared on the floor of the National Assembly that nobody would be allowed to create a state within the state. As a matter of fact he simply asserted the parliamentary sovereignty and delved deep into the principles of civilian supremacy when the military and the ISI appeared to be transgressing their constitutional mandate. No matter what the critics say it was only logical that the PM would subsequently accept General Ashfaq Parvez kayani’s statement that the army was fully aware of its constitutional obligations and responsibilities The army chief’s observation might have defused the stand-off temporarily but it cannot be taken to mean that the security establishment has confidence in the democratically elected government or that it is prepared to accept the civilian control over the armed forces and their intelligence apparatus. Somehow the army considers itself custodian of the national interest. And its insistence on defining the national security paradigm reflects a peculiar mindset which remains unchanged despite many humiliating misadventures in the past. Former Ambassador By Sarmad Bashir Muhammad Younas recounts in his latest book how the unified state of Pakistan began to crumble after the military action on the people of East Pakistan in March 1971: “Pakistan Army, the only element in the body politic of Pakistan continued to feel confident of managing the unravelling situation that had been created in East Pakistan by its action since 25 March 1971. Senior civilian officials and entire ministries were reduced to having to refer to the military headquarters for their day-today workings. These generals exuded unruffled confidence in an environment of depression and loss of direction. Prompt directives poured forth from them in an unending stream creating an illusion of order and control. Their ready issuance was, however, due to the fact that their thinking was short-sighted rather than the result of careful delib-

Politics Bazaar

eration and political savvy.” Then came the kargil debacle. But our security establishment did not seem to have learnt any lesson from a series of disasters it had committed nor did it try to understand the spirit of Georges Clemenceau famous saying that war is too serious a business to be left to generals alon.. Not just that. It believes that it is well within its right to intervene in the democratic process. It was against this backdrop that, lending credence to Mansoor Ijaz’s allegations, it desperately wants the superior judiciary to investigate the matter regarding former Ambassador Haqqani’s alleged involvement in the drafting of the so-called memo. The PM did not get it wrong when he talked about the conspiracies being hatched to ‘pack-up’ his democratically elected government. After all he was aware of machinations drawn by certain quarters against his government from the very outset. It included attempts to drive a wedge between the president and the PM that failed after Mr Zardari voluntarily surrendered his powers vested in the Constitution. The removal of Article 58(2)b brought to an end the arbitrary powers of the president to dismiss an elected government. As if it was not enough, another conspiracy was hatched towards the end of the last year to create a rift between the executive and the judiciary over the NRO issue. Rumours were rife that instead of implementing the court verdict, the government had decided to remove the 17-member Bench of the Supreme Court by revoking the executive order of March 16, 2009 through which judges sacked under Musharraf’s Proclamation of Emergency were restored. The government was once again being accused of planning to remove the army chief and the DG ISI with the rumour mill cranking out speculations at a time when the prime minister has already softened his tone to avoid confrontation with the military and the judiciary. Now that the Supreme Court, declaring the petitions filed in the memo case maintainable, has formed a judicial commission to probe the issue, coming on its heels was a comment by Haqqani’s lawyer Asma Jehangir: “This is a black day. This is very disappointing judgment. Today we feel that the military authority is superior to the civilian authority. Today, the struggle for the transition to democracy has been blocked.” The fact that conspiracies hatched to dislodge the elected government failed indicates that the political leadership across the spectrum has a consensus on resisting extra-constitutional means to derail democracy. And while judiciary is also on the same page, it can do the nation a great favour by drawing up the parameters for the ISI functioning. The writer is Executive Editor, Pakistan Today


KHI 01-01-2012_Layout 1 1/1/2012 2:44 AM Page 14

14 comment

Sunday, 1 January, 2012

The minorities of delhi Small community adjusting in a big city

T

he final days of 2011 have ended on a beautiful note for me. On the cold evening of December 18, around 0.0053715 per cent of the population of Delhi and its surrounding regions were invited to a location near Dilli Gate. They were to commemorate the golden jubilee of their fire temple. These people were the Parsis, whose numbers in the world is constantly dwindling. The ancestors of these people, fleeing persecution in Persia, had landed on India's western shores more than a thousand years ago. However, their history in Delhi is relatively new. In 1913, there were hardly 30 Parsis in the capital. At one point their number crossed 1,000 before dwindling to a couple of hundreds. Now there are fears that they would be finished. By Mayank Austen Soofi I talked to a few of the city’s Parsis. "Our community is disappearing from the face of the earth," says Ava khullar, a 73-yearold Parsi woman who married into a Hindu family but is still active in the community where she serves as trustee of the Delhi Parsi Anjuman, the parsi community organisation. As if confirming her fears, the city's Parsi brotherhood appears cloaked in a blink-andyou-miss shroud. While driving, you won't know when you drive past Dare-Meher, the Capital's only fire temple, next to Maulana Azad medical college, on Bahadurshah Zafar Marg. Not many know that there's a tiny Parsi cemetery hidden behind khan Market. Perhaps such igno-

Delhi Calling

rance is understandable, for it is Bombay that has the largest number of India's Parsis. Out of around 70,000 Zoroastrians in India, 55,000 live there. In the national capital, their number is embarrassingly low. Check out the 'Parsi Meter' at delhiparsis.com, the community website for Parsis in Delhi. The population stat displayed there is so low that if you catch all Parsis in town, you would still not be able to fill the 980-seater Delite cinema in Turkman Gate. On the day of writing this column, the meter reported only 752 Parsis in this city of 14 million. The reasons for such a low number of Parsis are the same as it is for them in other cities: emigration, inbreeding, infertility, and marrying outside the community. The last is considered most threatening. "When Parsi women marry nonParsi men, their children are more likely to adopt the religion of their fathers," says Dhun Darains Bagli, who manages Parsi Dharmshala. In any case, they won’t be allowed to convert to the religion of their mothers. Sometimes it is difficult even for children with a Parsi father to get initiated into the religion if their mother is not from the community. Inter-religious marriage, however, is inevitable as a third of the population is 60-plus and a lot of young Parsis have moved abroad, leaving the rest with no choice of a suitable chokra or chokri. Amid these dismal tidings, a religious revival is taking place among the young Parsis, says Bagli. "They are going to the fire temple more often than the previous generation." There are a few more reasons to be optimistic: come to the temple complex any second Saturday and you would find Parsis aged 5-20 years assembled there for Farohar (a special class for religious awakening). Even intermarriage has its advantages. "When Parsis marry outside their religion, they grow more interested about where

they have come from," says Mehernosh Shapoorjee of delhiparsis.com. "Besides, we Parsis never lose our own in communal riots," says Bagli. "We shall survive." A few evenings later I found myself among people whose very survival was once at stake. Once they were victims; now they have victims. It was the final evening of Hanukkah, the eight-day Jewish holiday commemorating the re-dedication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem in the 2nd century BC. I was in a Chabad House, a Jewish community center run by an orthodox Jewish organisation based in Brooklyn, US. There are thousands of Chabad Houses in the world. In the capital, it is in Paharganj, a hotel district popular among the Israeli backpackers, and in Vasant Vihar, a residential neighbourhood dominated by foreign diplomats. To travelling Jews, a Chabad House is a home away from home. The rabbi (priest) and rebbetzin (priest’s wife) host religious festivals and Sabbath (Saturday) meals for both practicing and secular Jews. A Chabad House serves as a synagogue, the Jewish

house for prayer. It offers classes in Torah, the first five books of the Bible that were revealed by God to Prophet Moses. It is also a community kitchen for Jews, especially Israeli tourists, feeling homesick for dishes like hummus, thina and Israeli salad. India receives a great number of tourists from Israel who land in Delhi on their way to destinations like Goa, Pushkar and Mnali. After about 10 people had gathered on the first floor of the Chabad House, a young man from Paris was awarded the honor to light the menorah, the nine-branched candle stand. On the first night of Hanukkah one candle is lit on the right side of the menorah. The following night a second candle is lit to the left of the first candle and so on, proceeding from right to left over the eight nights. The leftmost candle is always lit first. On the final night, all candles must burn. As the Parisian lit the candles one by one, moving from left to right, the congregation started chanting Hanerot Halalu, an ancient hymn reminding the sacredness of the Hanukkah lights. The ceremony symbolises the miracle

of the temple oil in Jerusalem that was expected to last for a day, but burned for eight. Some secular Jews see this glow as a source of comfort, particularly in a season when days are shorter and nights longer. As a candle flickered, the man wearing a flat-brimmed black hat, black pants and white shirt, the dress of Hasidic Jews, cupped his palm around the dying flame. The worshippers then proceeded to the Main Bazaar to light candles on the street. The shopkeepers, beggars and street children – many of them Muslims, many of them Hindus - clapped. The festival ended with the traditional Hanukkah meal of sufganiyot (doughnuts) and latkes (potato pancake). Friend, my New Year wish is for such a world where people form different religions can live together happily. Mayank Austen Soofi lives in a library. He has one website and four blogs. The website address: thedelhiwalla.com. The blogs: Pakistan Paindabad, Ruined By Reading, Reading Arundhati Roy and Mayank Austen Soofi Photos.

Geopolitical outlook for 2012 Looking ahead

By Arif Ansar

I

n my previous columns, I have been presenting the emerging geopolitical patterns in various regions. Now that we are at the end of the year, the challenge is to determine which one of these trends are going to be most critical in shaping the future of Pakistan. There are two opposing views in this regard; some think the internal variables are more important, while others give more weight to the external influences. Historically speaking, it’s the change in the international environment that has been more consequential. PoliTact recently released its initial GIPSEE (Global Intelligence, Political, Security, and Economic Estimate) Geopolitical Forecast, and following is a list of 10 leading interconnected observations. 1. Many in Pakistan, and around the world, have gotten

used to thinking about the emerging world with the nationstate mindset. However, this classification increasingly appears moot in dealing with patterns that operate across borders. Consider for example the War Against Terror, while the US and terrorists have waged a war across borders, the states of these regions are under tremendous stress and the irredentist claims are resurging. The war against extremists has overtime merged with the goal of containing adversaries. Use of Afghanistan for sending spying drones over Iran, is a case in point. 2. In the post Osama environment, the US withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan does not imply any reversal of policy, instead, a change in tactics towards a smaller and smarter footprint and a drift of the front to North Africa, where it is mixing up with the dynamics created by the Arab Spring. 3. 9/11 has assisted in altering how the threats to security were traditionally perceived in the Middle East and South Asia. In the Arab world, the risk has shifted away from Israel and towards Iran, the extremists, and its disgruntled populace. While in the case of Pakistan, it has moved away from India and towards the Taliban and kashmiri Jihadist. The tensions between the old and the new security paradigms would continue to com-

plicate the conduct of international relations and internal politics of these countries. 4. Another trend has to do with the broader premise that economic cooperation can eventually ease security concerns and lead to conflict resolution. On the contrary, the security and nationalistic concerns are domineering over the benefits that economic cooperation may offer, as is being witnessed in Asia Pacific and Europe. This trend will likely complicate the PakistanIndia détente and AfghanistanPakistan-India trade relations while denting Pakistan’s commercial prospects. 5. As a general rule, the emerging powers usually like to wait and see how events unfold but the established powers often do not have the liberty of time. This means that NATO and the US are likely to take on a more aggressive and confrontational stance towards Russia and China. In the AfPak region, this posture could hasten Pakistan's drift away from NATO and into the arms of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), which is considered by many to be the security arm of BRICS. However, this position does put the onus on China i.e., if it wants to confront, or allow US to carry on unimpeded. 6. For the first time since the end of Cold War, a fundamental shift is taking place in Europe. These changes not only include

the decline of European Union, but also the rise of Germany and the resurgence of Russia. Moreover, the Germans and the Russians are also moving closer to each other. This makes the French, British, and other European countries uneasy and causes them to look towards the US to counter balance. However, due to the economic weakness of the US, these Europeans are also for the first time also seeking Chinese assistance. This would have far reaching consequences on other regions. 7. In the chaos that has resulted from the Arab Spring, the European powers appear to be establishing their zones of influence in North Africa and Middle East. And as they do, the nationstates structures are weakening. While the Uk and France have been more active in Libya and Syria, in AfPak, we could see the Germans, becoming more active. The Germans are, for example, actively involved in facilitating the Afghan reconciliation process and in talks with the Taliban. 8. More than any other factor, how Israel thinks about its national security, will determine the future direction of the Middle East. As the Arab Spring unfolds, Israel is seriously concerned about Islamists gaining influence, for example, in places like Egypt. Israel's goal will be to prevent any coopera-

tion to develop between Islamists from different countries, or an alliance to be formed between states that can threaten Israel. One of the main goals of Israel would be to keep the rage of the Arab street turning toward the Jewish state, and it would employ all possible counter measures towards this end. For example Iran, Pakistan and Turkey, were beginning to edge closer to one another through developing trade relations. However, the Israel and Western emphasis on Iran's nuclear program and Turkey's stand against Syria has complicated Iran-Turkey relations, and this will also harm the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project. 9. The most important determinant of the future of Afghanistan will be the flux in the balance of power of the Middle East, between the Turks, Arabs and the Persians. In the long run, it would be the situation of Middle East that would determine if the Afghan solution is going to be a durable one. Historically, whichever Islamic power dominates in the Middle East, it also exerts influence in the rest of Islamic world. Presently, the sway of Sunni Wahabi monarchs is on the decline while the Sunni Turks and the Shiite Iran are resurgent. In this tussle, the Turks and the Gulf monarchs both enjoy Western backing while the Iranians do not. On the other hand, both the

Turks and the Iranians are not threatened by Arab Spring style uprisings at the moment, like the Arabs. The crisis over Iran’s nuclear program is likely to come to a boil next year. In this context, the most important scenario to visualise is the trajectory of events in the South and Central Asia, when and if this occurs. 10. It’s the Afghan reconciliation that would have the most significant impact on the politics and future of Pakistan, and its relations with US and other Western nations. For the first time, it’s the Pak-US military-tomilitary ties that are not going well. As US attempts to manage the influence of Pakistan in Afghanistan, American dependence on Pakistan’s politicians has increased. To counter this, Pakistan would focus on bringing the civil and military sides on the same page. Although the Afghan reconciliation has picked up considerable pace in recent days, a viable political solution to the quagmire there would have to involve the regional stakeholders. The situation of Iraq provides significant clues on what can be expected in Afghanistan, once the US withdraws. The writer is the chief analyst for PoliTact (www.PoliTact.com and http:twitter.com/politact) and can be reached at aansar@politact.com.


KHI 01-01-2012_Layout 1 1/1/2012 2:44 AM Page 15

15 Foreign News

Sunday, 1 January, 2012

Syrian Opp charts ‘transition period’

g

syrian rebel chief says armed actions suspended NICoSIA/ BeIRUT

T

AFP

HE Syrian National Council (SNC) opposition group has signed a political agreement with another faction of dissidents laying the ground rules for a “transitional period” should the regime be toppled, a statement said. The SNC, a major umbrella of factions opposed to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, signed the deal with the National Coordination Body for Democratic Change in Syria, NCB chief Hassan Abdel Azim said on Saturday. According to the statement received in Nicosia, the NCB and the SNC signed an agreement “which sets out the polit-

ical and democratic rules for the transitional period,” should Assad be ousted by a pro-democracy uprising that erupted in March. The accord also “determines the important parameters for Syria’s future which aspire to ensure that the homeland and every citizen’s rights are treated with dignity, and for the foundation of a civil democratic state,” according to an English-language text from the NCB. The deal was signed late Friday in Cairo by SNC chief Burhan Ghalioun and the NCB’s Haytham Manna and “will be deposited as an official document with the Arab League” on January 1, said the statement. NCB chief Abdel Azim said the agreement underscores the need for the opposition to close ranks in a bid to fend off

any foreign intervention in the country. “Opposition factions inside and outside Syria must unite their efforts,” he said. “A common political vision is needed to ensure a total change in Syria and achieve the goals of the peaceful revolution to avoid the dangers of foreign military intervention,” he added. The SNC is a coalition of 230 members, including the banned Muslim Brotherhood and liberal figures who are determined to end Assad’s 11-year autocratic rule. Only 100 of its members live in Syria. The NCB is an umbrella group of Arab nationalist figures, socialists, independents, Marxists and also comprises members of Syria’s minority kurdish community. The coalition is staunchly opposed to any international military in-

tervention. The agreement, posted on the Internet, calls for the protection of civilians in Syria. It also opposes foreign military intervention and says “the transition period starts with the fall of the regime and all its symbols.” The pact voices support for the socalled dissident Free Syrian Army that has been battling regular army troops. Meanwhile, the rebel Free Syrian Army is suspending operations against regime forces during the mission of monitors deployed in Syria to implement an Arab League peace plan, its chief said on Saturday. “We have decided to stop all the operations, except those for self-defence,” dissident Colonel Riyadh al-Asaad said in a telephone interview from his base in Turkey. His forces, which he says

comprise some 20,000 deserters and swelling, have claimed responsibility for several deadly operations against the regular army. Asaad warned however that his men were ready to pick up arms against the Syrian regime forces at any moment, noting that “massacres are on the rise” in Syria. “Resuming operations will depend on developments on the ground,” Asaad said. “Massacres are on the rise and we cannot stand it anymore. “Before, 20 people used to be killed each day. Now it is 50,” he added. He also accused the Syrian authorities of failing to implement the terms of the Arab League peace plan and pursuing the crackdown against pro-democracy protesters.

Afghan forces take control in former Taliban hotspots kABUL AFP

NATO-led forces have handed over responsibility for security to Afghan control in three former Taliban strongholds in the restive Helmand province, the provincial governor's office said Saturday. Afghan security forces took control of Nad Ali, Nawa and Marjah Friday as part of the second wave of security transition announced by President Hamid karzai at the end of November. British forces have been operating in Nad Ali, a farming community, since 2006 and recently said the joint security effort had led to an 86 percent drop in violence in 2011 compared to 2010. But the insurgent threat in the district remains, underlined two days ago when 10 Afghan police were killed after their vehicle struck a roadside bomb. And locals say that while security may have improved in some areas, Taliban continue to operate and they still suffer from intimidation. AFgHAN WOMAN CUTS OFF FATHER-IN-LAW'S gENITALS: An Afghan woman cut off her father-in-law's genitals with a knife after he tried to sexually harass her, a doctor in eastern Afghanistan's Ghazni province said Saturday. "One day when the husband was away from home he attempted to sexually harass his daughter-in-law and she cut off his genitals with a knife," the doctor from a private hospital in Ghazni said on condition of anonymity. The man went for treatment at the private hospital but was sent on to the capital kabul for specialist treatment, he added. The incident took place two weeks ago but has only just come to light. According to figures in an Oxfam report in October, 87 percent of Afghan women report having experienced physical, sexual or psychological violence or forced marriage.

SYDNEY: A kaleidoscope of fireworks explode over the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge on Saturday. Over one and a half million Sydney-siders lined the harbour vantage points to watch the spectacular pyrotechnic display usher in the New Year. afP

Egyptian Muslims, Christians clash over caricature CAIRo/ WAShINGToN AGENCIES

Sectarian clashes broke out in the southern Egyptian province of Assiut after a Christian student posted a blaphemous caricature on the Internet, officials said on Saturday. The clashes, which spread to three villages, saw several Christian homes burned and left five police officers injured, a security official said. On Thursday, dozens of Muslims tried to storm the home of the Christian student after the drawing appeared online. Police were called to the scene, arrested the student and formed a cordon around the house to prevent clashes, Assiut governor Abdelrahim Borei said.

But on Friday, a group of Muslims set fire to a shop owned by the student’s father in a nearby village and another group burned Christian homes in another neighbouring village and clashed with its residents. Borei has called for an emergency meeting with political and church officials as well as with recently elected MPs and members of ultra-conservative Salafi Muslim groups to try to defuse tensions. “The situation is now calm in the three villages. We have deployed police in the areas in order to maintain order,” Borei told state television. Egypt’s military ruler Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi said the army would increase security around churches during the New Year and Coptic Christmas period, which falls on January 7.

iran keeps tensions high over oil strait g

Prepares to test-fire missiles in key oil waterway g Refusing to fuel some European, Arab airlines TehRAN AFP

Iran on Saturday kept tensions simmering over its threat to close the Strait of Hormuz to oil tankers by readying war game missile tests near the entrance to the Gulf. The United States has warned a closure of the strait “will not be tolerated” after Iranian Vice President Reza Rahimi’s threat this week that “not a drop of oil” will pass through the channel if more Western sanctions are imposed over Tehran’s nuclear programme. Iran has brushed off the warning from the United States, which bases its Fifth Fleet in the Gulf, with Iranian navy chief Admiral Habibollah Sayari saying it would be “really easy” to close the strait. A spokesman for the Iranian navy,

Commodore Mahmoud Mousavi, told state television on Saturday that, “in the next days, we will test-fire all kinds of surfaceto-sea, sea-to-sea and surface-to-air as well as shoulder-launched missiles” in the final stages of the war games. He did not say exactly when the launches would start, but explained they would involve tests of “medium- and long-range missiles” to evaluate their operational effectiveness. Twenty percent of the world’s oil moves through the Strait of Hormuz, at the entrance of the Gulf, making it the “most important chokepoint” globally, according to information released Friday by the US Energy Information Administration. Around 14 crude oil tankers per day pass through the narrow strait, carrying a total 17 million barrels. In all, 35 percent of

all seaborne oil transited through there this year. Analysts and oil market traders have been watching developments in and around the Strait of Hormuz carefully, fearing that the intensifying war of words between arch foes Tehran and Washington could spark open confrontation. Iran is subject to four rounds of UN sanctions over its nuclear programme, which many Western countries allege is being used to develop atomic weapons. Tehran denies the allegation. The United States and its allies have also imposed unilateral sanctions on Iran’s economy. More sanctions are on the way. US President Barack Obama is expected to soon sign into law additional restrictions on Iran’s central bank, which acts as the main conduit for Iranian oil sales.

The European Union is considering other measures that could include an EU embargo on Iranian oil imports, with foreign ministers to meet on the issue in a month’s time. Iran’s oil minister, Rostam Qasemi, said sanctions would cause the price of oil to “increase drastically.” “Sanctions on Iran’s oil will drive up the price of oil to at least 200 dollar” per barrel, he predicted. As threats and counter-threats pile up, Iran is also reportedly leaving the door open to resuming long-stalled talks on solving the standoff over its nuclear programme. Meanwhile, Iran is refusing to refuel some European and Arab airlines at its main international airport in a tit-for-tat move over major oil companies denying fuel to Iranian planes abroad, the airport’s chief said Saturday.

‘Nothing unusual’ in Russian protests: Putin MoSCoW AFP

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Saturday said there was nothing unusual in the mass protests against his domination of Russia, describing the turbulence as the “unavoidable price of democracy”. Tens of thousands took to the streets on December 10 and December 24 to denounce the alleged rigging of parliamentary elections and the Russian strongman himself, ahead of his candidacy in March presidential polls. “Of course, we are in the middle of a political cycle - the parliamentary elections have finished and the presidential elections are going to start,” Putin said in a televised message to Russians ahead of the New Year. “In such times, politicians always exploit the feelings of citizens, everything gets shaken around a bit, boils up. But this is the unavoidable price of democracy,” Putin said. “There is nothing unusual here,” he added. Putin has in the last days mocked the nascent protest movement against his rule, saying they appeared to have no programme and no leader.


KHI 01-01-2012_Layout 1 1/1/2012 2:44 AM Page 16

15 Foreign News

Sunday, 1 January, 2012

Syrian Opp charts ‘transition period’

g

syrian rebel chief says armed actions suspended NICoSIA/ BeIRUT

T

AFP

HE Syrian National Council (SNC) opposition group has signed a political agreement with another faction of dissidents laying the ground rules for a “transitional period” should the regime be toppled, a statement said. The SNC, a major umbrella of factions opposed to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, signed the deal with the National Coordination Body for Democratic Change in Syria, NCB chief Hassan Abdel Azim said on Saturday. According to the statement received in Nicosia, the NCB and the SNC signed an agreement “which sets out the polit-

ical and democratic rules for the transitional period,” should Assad be ousted by a pro-democracy uprising that erupted in March. The accord also “determines the important parameters for Syria’s future which aspire to ensure that the homeland and every citizen’s rights are treated with dignity, and for the foundation of a civil democratic state,” according to an English-language text from the NCB. The deal was signed late Friday in Cairo by SNC chief Burhan Ghalioun and the NCB’s Haytham Manna and “will be deposited as an official document with the Arab League” on January 1, said the statement. NCB chief Abdel Azim said the agreement underscores the need for the opposition to close ranks in a bid to fend off

any foreign intervention in the country. “Opposition factions inside and outside Syria must unite their efforts,” he said. “A common political vision is needed to ensure a total change in Syria and achieve the goals of the peaceful revolution to avoid the dangers of foreign military intervention,” he added. The SNC is a coalition of 230 members, including the banned Muslim Brotherhood and liberal figures who are determined to end Assad’s 11-year autocratic rule. Only 100 of its members live in Syria. The NCB is an umbrella group of Arab nationalist figures, socialists, independents, Marxists and also comprises members of Syria’s minority kurdish community. The coalition is staunchly opposed to any international military in-

tervention. The agreement, posted on the Internet, calls for the protection of civilians in Syria. It also opposes foreign military intervention and says “the transition period starts with the fall of the regime and all its symbols.” The pact voices support for the socalled dissident Free Syrian Army that has been battling regular army troops. Meanwhile, the rebel Free Syrian Army is suspending operations against regime forces during the mission of monitors deployed in Syria to implement an Arab League peace plan, its chief said on Saturday. “We have decided to stop all the operations, except those for self-defence,” dissident Colonel Riyadh al-Asaad said in a telephone interview from his base in Turkey. His forces, which he says

comprise some 20,000 deserters and swelling, have claimed responsibility for several deadly operations against the regular army. Asaad warned however that his men were ready to pick up arms against the Syrian regime forces at any moment, noting that “massacres are on the rise” in Syria. “Resuming operations will depend on developments on the ground,” Asaad said. “Massacres are on the rise and we cannot stand it anymore. “Before, 20 people used to be killed each day. Now it is 50,” he added. He also accused the Syrian authorities of failing to implement the terms of the Arab League peace plan and pursuing the crackdown against pro-democracy protesters.

Afghan forces take control in former Taliban hotspots kABUL AFP

NATO-led forces have handed over responsibility for security to Afghan control in three former Taliban strongholds in the restive Helmand province, the provincial governor's office said Saturday. Afghan security forces took control of Nad Ali, Nawa and Marjah Friday as part of the second wave of security transition announced by President Hamid karzai at the end of November. British forces have been operating in Nad Ali, a farming community, since 2006 and recently said the joint security effort had led to an 86 percent drop in violence in 2011 compared to 2010. But the insurgent threat in the district remains, underlined two days ago when 10 Afghan police were killed after their vehicle struck a roadside bomb. And locals say that while security may have improved in some areas, Taliban continue to operate and they still suffer from intimidation. AFgHAN WOMAN CUTS OFF FATHER-IN-LAW'S gENITALS: An Afghan woman cut off her father-in-law's genitals with a knife after he tried to sexually harass her, a doctor in eastern Afghanistan's Ghazni province said Saturday. "One day when the husband was away from home he attempted to sexually harass his daughter-in-law and she cut off his genitals with a knife," the doctor from a private hospital in Ghazni said on condition of anonymity. The man went for treatment at the private hospital but was sent on to the capital kabul for specialist treatment, he added. The incident took place two weeks ago but has only just come to light. According to figures in an Oxfam report in October, 87 percent of Afghan women report having experienced physical, sexual or psychological violence or forced marriage.

SYDNEY: A kaleidoscope of fireworks explode over the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge on Saturday. Over one and a half million Sydney-siders lined the harbour vantage points to watch the spectacular pyrotechnic display usher in the New Year. afP

Egyptian Muslims, Christians clash over caricature CAIRo/ WAShINGToN AGENCIES

Sectarian clashes broke out in the southern Egyptian province of Assiut after a Christian student posted a blaphemous caricature on the Internet, officials said on Saturday. The clashes, which spread to three villages, saw several Christian homes burned and left five police officers injured, a security official said. On Thursday, dozens of Muslims tried to storm the home of the Christian student after the drawing appeared online. Police were called to the scene, arrested the student and formed a cordon around the house to prevent clashes, Assiut governor Abdelrahim Borei said.

But on Friday, a group of Muslims set fire to a shop owned by the student’s father in a nearby village and another group burned Christian homes in another neighbouring village and clashed with its residents. Borei has called for an emergency meeting with political and church officials as well as with recently elected MPs and members of ultra-conservative Salafi Muslim groups to try to defuse tensions. “The situation is now calm in the three villages. We have deployed police in the areas in order to maintain order,” Borei told state television. Egypt’s military ruler Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi said the army would increase security around churches during the New Year and Coptic Christmas period, which falls on January 7.

iran keeps tensions high over oil strait g

Prepares to test-fire missiles in key oil waterway g Refusing to fuel some European, Arab airlines TehRAN AFP

Iran on Saturday kept tensions simmering over its threat to close the Strait of Hormuz to oil tankers by readying war game missile tests near the entrance to the Gulf. The United States has warned a closure of the strait “will not be tolerated” after Iranian Vice President Reza Rahimi’s threat this week that “not a drop of oil” will pass through the channel if more Western sanctions are imposed over Tehran’s nuclear programme. Iran has brushed off the warning from the United States, which bases its Fifth Fleet in the Gulf, with Iranian navy chief Admiral Habibollah Sayari saying it would be “really easy” to close the strait. A spokesman for the Iranian navy,

Commodore Mahmoud Mousavi, told state television on Saturday that, “in the next days, we will test-fire all kinds of surfaceto-sea, sea-to-sea and surface-to-air as well as shoulder-launched missiles” in the final stages of the war games. He did not say exactly when the launches would start, but explained they would involve tests of “medium- and long-range missiles” to evaluate their operational effectiveness. Twenty percent of the world’s oil moves through the Strait of Hormuz, at the entrance of the Gulf, making it the “most important chokepoint” globally, according to information released Friday by the US Energy Information Administration. Around 14 crude oil tankers per day pass through the narrow strait, carrying a total 17 million barrels. In all, 35 percent of

all seaborne oil transited through there this year. Analysts and oil market traders have been watching developments in and around the Strait of Hormuz carefully, fearing that the intensifying war of words between arch foes Tehran and Washington could spark open confrontation. Iran is subject to four rounds of UN sanctions over its nuclear programme, which many Western countries allege is being used to develop atomic weapons. Tehran denies the allegation. The United States and its allies have also imposed unilateral sanctions on Iran’s economy. More sanctions are on the way. US President Barack Obama is expected to soon sign into law additional restrictions on Iran’s central bank, which acts as the main conduit for Iranian oil sales.

The European Union is considering other measures that could include an EU embargo on Iranian oil imports, with foreign ministers to meet on the issue in a month’s time. Iran’s oil minister, Rostam Qasemi, said sanctions would cause the price of oil to “increase drastically.” “Sanctions on Iran’s oil will drive up the price of oil to at least 200 dollar” per barrel, he predicted. As threats and counter-threats pile up, Iran is also reportedly leaving the door open to resuming long-stalled talks on solving the standoff over its nuclear programme. Meanwhile, Iran is refusing to refuel some European and Arab airlines at its main international airport in a tit-for-tat move over major oil companies denying fuel to Iranian planes abroad, the airport’s chief said Saturday.

‘Nothing unusual’ in Russian protests: Putin MoSCoW AFP

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Saturday said there was nothing unusual in the mass protests against his domination of Russia, describing the turbulence as the “unavoidable price of democracy”. Tens of thousands took to the streets on December 10 and December 24 to denounce the alleged rigging of parliamentary elections and the Russian strongman himself, ahead of his candidacy in March presidential polls. “Of course, we are in the middle of a political cycle - the parliamentary elections have finished and the presidential elections are going to start,” Putin said in a televised message to Russians ahead of the New Year. “In such times, politicians always exploit the feelings of citizens, everything gets shaken around a bit, boils up. But this is the unavoidable price of democracy,” Putin said. “There is nothing unusual here,” he added. Putin has in the last days mocked the nascent protest movement against his rule, saying they appeared to have no programme and no leader.


KHI 01-01-2012_Layout 1 1/1/2012 2:44 AM Page 17

Sunday, 1 January, 2012

karzai welcomes US ‘Taliban not our enemy’ remarks

Foreign News 16

2011 toPshots

kim Jong-Un declared military chief

kABUL

SeoUL

AFP

Afghan President Hamid karzai Saturday welcomed US Vice President Joe Biden’s remarks that the Taliban “per se is not our enemy”. Biden’s comments to Newsweek magazine last week caused uproar in the US, which has been fighting a 10-year war against the Taliban-led insurgency, but reflected an increasing focus on finding a political settlement. “We are very happy that America has announced that Taliban are not their enemy. This will bring peace and stability to the people of Afghanistan,” karzai said during a ceremony in kabul. karzai has agreed that if the United States wants to set up a Taliban address in Qatar to enable peace talks he will not stand in the way, as long as Afghanistan is involved in the process. The September assassination of karzai’s peace envoy, former president Burhanuddin Rabbani, appeared to have derailed any prospects of progress in talks. But recent unconfirmed reports suggest the US could be open to a deal which includes the transfer of Taliban prisoners from Guantanamo Bay. In the interview with Newsweek Biden emphasised the need for the Taliban to cut ties with Al Qaeda. “We are in a position where if Afghanistan ceased and desisted from being a haven for people who do damage and have as a target the United States of America and their allies, that’s good enough,” he said. As it pushes for a political settlement, the Afghan government has changed its tone towards the insurgents, referring to “terrorist” rather than “Taliban” attacks.

AFP

NATORI: Photos recovered from tsunami damage and debris are displayed at a gymnasium on April 18, 2011, following the world’s worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl. afP

‘Iraq Day’ declared to mark US pullout BAGhDAD/BAQUBA

P

AFP

RIME Minister Nuri alMaliki declared “Iraq Day” on Saturday to mark the end of a pact allowing US forces to stay in the country, two weeks after they left and with Iraq mired in a political row. Speaking at a ceremony at the AlShaab stadium complex in central Baghdad, Maliki said December 31 was “a feast for all Iraqis” and marked “the day Iraq became sovereign”. “I announce today, the 31st of December, which witnessed the completion of the withdrawal of US forces, to be a national day,” Maliki said. “We call it Iraq Day.” “Today, you are raising the Iraqi

4 dead after blast, gunfire in Nigeria

flag across the nation, and unifying under that flag. Today, Iraq becomes free and you are the masters.” US troops completed their withdrawal Iraq on December 18, nearly nine years after Washington launched a controversial war to oust Saddam Hussein. At their peak, American forces in Iraq numbered nearly 170,000 and had as many as 505 bases. In 2008, Baghdad and Washington signed a deal which called for all US soldiers to leave Iraq by the end of 2011. Efforts to keep a significant American military training mission beyond year-end fell through when the two sides failed to agree on a deal to guarantee US troops immunity from prosecution. In addition to a Marine detachment

responsible for securing the US diplomatic mission, 157 US soldiers remain in Iraq, under the authority of the embassy and charged with training domestic forces on US-purchased equipment. Maliki’s remarks came amid a festering political standoff in Iraq, with authorities having charged Sunni Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi with running a death squad and Maliki calling for Sunni Deputy Prime Minister Saleh al-Mutlak to be fired. Mutlak and Hashemi’s Sunnibacked Iraqiya party has boycotted parliament and cabinet meetings. Hashemi, who is holed up in the autonomous kurdish region, rejects the accusations. IRAQ ATTACK KILLS FIVE ANTI-QAEDA FIgHTERS: A gun attack early Saturday morning on a

checkpoint manned by anti-Qaeda militiamen in central Iraq left five of them dead, security and medical officials said. Attackers struck the Sahwa checkpoint in khan Beni Saad, 40 kilometres north of Baghdad in Diyala province, while some of the Sunni Arab militiamen were asleep, according to an official in the security command centre in provincial capital Baquba. The shooting killed five Sahwa militiamen, a doctor at Baquba hospital said. The security official confirmed the toll. Both spoke on condition of anonymity. The Sahwa are made up of Sunni tribesmen who joined forces with the US military against Al-Qaeda from late 2006, helping turn the tide of the insurgency.

North korea said Saturday new leader kim Jong-Un has formally been appointed supreme military commander, another sign he is tightening his grip on power, as it renewed vitriolic attacks on Seoul. Jong-Un had already been declared “supreme leader” of the country during memorial ceremonies for his late father kim Jong-Il on Thursday, as the nation ended 13 days of mourning. “The dear respected kim Jong-Un...assumed the supreme commandership of the korean People’s Army at the behest of leader kim Jong-Il,” according to the official news agency. It said the decision was proclaimed Friday at a meeting of the political bureau of the ruling communist party’s central committee. JongUn, aged in his late 20s, inherits the world’s fourth largest armed forces of 1.2 million and a national policy known as Songun that prioritises their needs over those of civilians. UN agencies say a quarter of the population urgently needs food aid, the ailing economy is struggling with shortages of power and raw materials and a nuclear and missile programme has brought international sanctions. But the regime stressed Friday it would not change course. Pyongyang renewed the attack Saturday, threatening to “settle accounts” with President Lee Myung-Bak’s government unless it apologises for the alleged insults. “He (Lee) is the worst type of antireunification element, traitor and pro-US fascist maniac steeped in extreme bitterness towards compatriots and confrontation hysteria to the marrow of his bones,” the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of korea said in a statement. The North “is left with no option but to finally settle accounts with the Lee group unless it apologises for the above-said crimes”, it said.

42 dead in south Indian cyclone

kANo

CheNNAI

AFP

AFP

An explosion and gunfire rocked an area near a mosque and market in northeastern Nigeria late Friday, killing four people, residents said, but the military denied there was a blast and said two people had been shot dead by armed robbers. The violence erupted after a series of Christmas Day attacks blamed on Islamist sect Boko Haram that killed at least 49 people, most of them outside a Catholic church near the capital Abuja, and triggered fears of reprisals by Christians. Details of Friday’s incident remained unclear, with residents initially reporting a loud explosion near a mosque in Maiduguri, a northeastern city that has borne the brunt of violence blamed on the Islamists. Two residents said they later saw four dead bodies. A spokesman for a military task force at first confirmed an explosion near the city’s main market, but later strongly denied there had been a blast, saying armed robbers had shot three people and that soldiers were in pursuit.

At least 42 people died when a cyclone hit southern India, officials said on Saturday as engineers rushed to restore power supplies knocked out by winds of up to 140 kilometres an hour. Cyclone Thane lashed the coast between Cuddalore in Tamil Nadu state and the territory of Pondicherry on Friday, leaving in its wake a trail of destruction, officials from the affected regions said. “The death toll has now reached 22 in Cuddalore,” district administrator V. Amuthavalli said, adding that the toll is likely to rise. “Approximately 50,000 (thatched) huts are damaged by the high winds but we will get a clearer picture of the damage later today,” the official said and added that people also reported to hospitals with injuries. Most of the deaths occurred due to electrocution and walls collapsing in the coastal district. Five others died elsewhere in Tamil Nadu, other officials said in state capital Chennai. They said engineers were working to restore phone lines and power supplies that were cut off in some regions during the cyclone, while rail and air traffic had resumed normal service on Saturday. The gale pushed a cargo ship aground off Chennai, while the storm also damaged 70 fishing boats. Hundreds of acres of paddy crops ready for harvest were damaged in four coastal Tamil Nadu districts. The storm also slammed the former French en-

PONDICHERRY: A ship sinks on the seafront during a severe cyclonic storm. afP clave of Pondicherry, leaving at least seven dead, the region’s Chief Minister N Rangasami said. “I have never seen such havoc in my entire life,” Rangasami said, referring to the widespread damage caused by the cyclone, which later weak-

ened into a depression. India and Bangladesh are hit regularly by cyclones that develop in the Bay of Bengal between April and November, causing widespread damage to homes, livestock and fields.


KHI 01-01-2012_Layout 1 1/1/2012 2:44 AM Page 18

17

Sunday, 1 January, 2012

Most awaited

hollywood films of 2012 From vampires to Roman generals, superheroes to tragic heroes, Middle Earth to Gotham City - Hollywood has lined up a superb visual extravaganza next year

TOP PAKISTANI NEWSMAKERS OF 2011 LAhoRe

NAQV I FATI MA zE HR A

very k-peek at our Here’s a snea d the be ab gr ho w own celebrities ht last year elig maximum lim

LES MISERABLES EXPECTED RELEASE: December THE DARk kNIGHT RISES EXPECTED RELEASE: July THE AMAZING SPIDERMAN EXPECTED RELEASE: July The well-liked ‘doctor’ created a huge controversy when his behind-thescenes shots were leaked online, showing him using abusive language.

THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY EXPECTED RELEASE: December

Aisam turned pos ter boy with his tennis triumphs, endorsement dea ls and that sunshi ne smile. Definitely broke many hearts wh en he tied the knot.

TWILIGHT SAGA: BREAkING DAWN PART II EXPECTED RELEASE: November SkYfALL EXPECTED RELEASE: November THE BOURNE LEGACY EXPECTED RELEASE: August THE GREAT GATSBY EXPECTED RELEASE: December CORIOLANUS EXPECTED RELEASE: february DJANGO UNCHAINED

Branded as queen of controversy, Veena shocked the nation many a times. While her entry into ‘Bigg Boss’ and PDAs with housemate Ashmit Patel enraged clerics, her nude photo shoot for Indian magazine FHM skyrocketed her notoriety.

EXPECTED RELEASE: Christmas 2012

Most viewed 1 1 videos of 20

ns female fa . ys legions of garnered ay from her VJ da he , er ng w pular si a long eady a po a has also come lr A . ro ocolate he r’. Co-star Mahir ssential ch safa the quinte hit drama ‘Hum Fawad: e th t in bu de s hi post

The airport controversy couldn’t blight the glory of the maestro who gave us chartbusters like ‘Tere Mast Mast Do Nain’ and ‘Rabba Main Tou’.

If you look back at 2011, you can safely call it the year of the viral videos! It has been a whirlwind journey of everything from funny uploads to can’t-get-it-out-ofyour-head songs this year. All the videos in fact, spread like wild fire and made their way into Facebook, Twitter, blogs and even mobile phones to become immortalised as virals of the year. Considering YouTube has more than 1,000,000,000,000 (one trillion) playbacks a year, it amounts up to 140 views for every person on the earth! Here is a recap of these most-watched videos of year 2011 Here’s the international list of most-watched YouTube community videos of 2011: 1. Rebecca Black’s ‘Friday’: Do we even have to say more! 2. Ultimate Dog Tease: This video of a talking dog has 74 million views! 3. Jack Sparrow (ft. Michael Bolton): The hi-

larious video that has been watched by 60 million people. 4. Talking Twin Babies: This howlarious clip of twin babies has been viewed a staggering 56 million times. 5. Nyan Cat (original): has been watched by 54 million people. 6. ‘Look At Me Now’ (karmin Cover): has over 50,000,000 views and has become one of the most viewed YouTube videos of 2011! 7. The Creep: With over 48,562,705 views, this Saturday Night Live feature with Nicki Minaj and John Waters became an online rage within hours of its upload. 8. Maria Aragon-Born This Way: The video stands at 45,108,486 views. 9. The Force: features a small boy playing Darth Vader around his parents house, trying to use his superpowers! 10. Cat Mom Hugs Baby kitten: With close to 40 million views, this video makes it clear that there’s nothing like a cute animal or baby video to get the internet abuzz.

Top 10 couples of 2011 1. Selena Gomez & Justin Bieber 2. kate Middleton & Prince William 3. Beyoncé & Jay-Z 4. Victoria & David Beckham 5. Stacy keibler & George Clooney 6. Jennifer Aniston & Justin Theroux 7. Nikki Reed & Paul McDonald 8. Blake Lively & Ryan Reynolds & Sandra Bullock 9. Rachel Weisz & Daniel Craig 10. Emma Stone & Andrew Garfield

USt with a ture the kno tor tied nsuccessful ven ec ir d su es The actr r right after her hum’ octo ein G based d ‘Love M

Her claim-to-fame ‘Bol’ launched her as a bankable actress. Even the stingy Indian media critics couldn’t help raving about her path breaking performance.

Bollywood debutantes to look forward to in 2012 Varun Dhawan: David Dhawan’s younger son will debut as an actor with karan Johar’s ambitious project ‘Student of the Year’. Alia Bhatt: karan Johar will also be introducing Mahesh Bhatt’s daughter Alia Bhatt in his campus love-story ‘Student of the Year’. Siddharth Malhotra: Siddharth completes the debut factor in the lead cast of karan Johar’s ‘Student of the Year’. Arjun Kapoor: Prominent Bollywood producer Boney kapoor’s son and Anil kapoor’s nephew, Arjun kapoor will be launched by Yash Raj Films in ‘Ishaqzaade’. Ileana D’cruz: Ileana makes her Bollywood debut opposite Ranbir kapoor in ‘Barfee’. Tapsee Pannu: Tapsee will be making her debut in the remake of ‘Chashme Buddoor’ being directed by David Dhawan and is paired opposite Ali Zafar. Amy Jackson: Amy Jackson in another foreign import who will make her debut opposite Prateik Babbar in ‘Ek Deewana Tha’. Esha gupta: Model Esha bagged the role in ‘Jannat 2’ for her hot looks and sex appeal. Pulkit Samrat: TV actor Pulkit Samrat makes his Bollywood debut with ‘Bittoo Boss’. Imran Zahid: Imran Zahid would be another Bhatt discovery who will debut with ‘Jannat 2’.


KHI 01-01-2012_Layout 1 1/1/2012 2:45 AM Page 19

18 Skeletons in the closet of Pakistani cinema LAhoRe

T

xARI JALIL

HE year 2011 proved to be lucky for Pakistani cinema. Many new Pakistani films were released this year including ‘Bol’, ‘Love Mein Ghum’, ‘Bhai Loag’, ‘Son of Pakistan’. Many films are also slated for release next year, including Syed Noor’s ‘Price of Honour’, Wajahat kazmi’s ‘The Dusk’, ‘kaptaan’, ‘5 Ghantay Mein 5 Crore’, ‘kolachi’ and ‘Seedlings’ by Summer Nicks. With ‘Bol’ the audience flocked to the cinemas. Some left the auditoriums melancholic yet inspired by the Shoaib Mansoor masterpiece. Others thought the piece was overrated. However on the downside, a few films that incorporated Pakistani talent were

s behind-theve language.

banned by the Central Board of Film Censorship (CBFC). One of these was British-Pakistani Hammad khan’s ‘Slackistan’ which was banned on grounds of the film’s use of abusive language and words like ‘Taliban’ and ‘lesbian’ with some scenes showing characters drinking. In a press release, he said: “The censor board’s verdict is oppressive, arbitrary and steeped in denial about life outside their government offices. Maybe the establishment’s view is that young Pakistanis saying words like ‘Taliban’ and ‘lesbian’ represent a more potent threat than the bullets and bombs that are, day by day, finding increasing legitimacy in the country.” ‘Tere Bin Laden’, which was not a Pakistani film, had vocalist and musician Ali Zafar playing the central character, was a medium grosser in India but was banned

from being screened in Pakistan. Ironically, Syed Noor’s ‘Ek Aur Ghazi’ was not only passed, but was also screened for a short time before it flopped miserably. This film was an aid to those who believe in arbitrary punishments meted out for people accused of blasphemy. According to Noor the film was based on a real life story of a man who stole a pistol inside a jail to kill a blasphemy accused. However the macbre line ‘Gustakh-e-Rasool ki Saza, Badan Sarr Se Juda’, was something that openly showed his stance in the movie. Although the censor board feels that religious lines must be promoted in movies, but when it comes to vulgar dances, Syed Noor (read censor board) are all but one on the issue. Also, in the movie, when the blasphemy accused is finally killed, by no other than a Muslim who gambles and is into all kinds of vices, the en-

Best Bollywood actresses 2011 He led team gre en to gre victory o at field. A n the World C n u not man d although he p did age to w in the C he sure ly won u our hea p, rts.

Vidya Balan: For ‘No One killed Jessica’, cameos in ‘Thank You’ and ‘Dum Maaro Dum’, and of course ‘The Dirty Picture’.. Kareena Kapoor: Two films and both hits! ‘Bodyguard’ and ‘Ra.One’. Priyanka Chopra: For ‘7 khoon Maaf’ and ‘Don 2: The king Is Back’. Katrina Kaif: For ‘Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara’ and ‘Mere Brother ki Dulhan’. Kalki Koechlin: For ‘Shaitan’, ‘Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara’, ‘That Girl in Yellow Boots’ and ‘My Friend Pinto’. Kangana Ranaut: For ‘Tanu Weds Manu’, ‘Game’, ‘Double Dhamaal’, ‘Rascals’ and ‘Miley Naa Miley Hum’. Rani Mukherjee: For ‘No One killed Jessica’. Anushka Sharma: For ‘Patiala House’ and ‘Ladies VS Ricky Bahl’. Deepika Padukone: For ‘Aarakshan’ and ‘Desi Boyz ‘. Mahie gill: For ‘Utt Patang’, ‘Not A Love Story’ and ‘Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster’.

Bollywood

weddings in 2011 The multi-talented lad is achieving an enviable rise in Bollywood, and Ali, who gave us the melodious ‘Jhoom’, has never failed to top charts with his music.

A number of celebrities walked down the aisle this year. Harshada Rege lists some of the walks down the aisle that were much-talked about Imran khan and Avantika Malik: January 10 Celina Jaitly and Peter Haag: March 16 Vijender Singh and Archana Singh: May 17 Shabbir Ahluwalia and kanchi kaul: November 27 Ganesh Hegde and Sunayna

Shetty: June 5 Samir Soni and Neelam: January 23 Nikhil Dwivedi and Gauri Pandit: March 7 Gul Panag and Rishi Attari: March 13 Lara Dutta and Mahesh Bhupathi: February 16 Anurag kashyap and kalki koechlin: April 30 Rajeev khandelwal and Manjiri kamtikar: February 7 Sameer Dattani and Ritika Jolly: March 16

tire jail staff begins to chant ‘Allah o Akbar’ (God is Great). Shahzad Rafiq director of ‘Salakhein’ and many other films in Lollywood, said ‘Bol’ was a new benchmark for Pakistani cinema. “In order to reach somewhere we must improve our cinema technology and our story telling. Thought provoking issues in this context may lead us somewhere,” he said, adding that that Reema’s ‘Love Mein Ghum’ was a better effort than any other in 2011 in terms of production and ‘Bhai Loag’ also did well in its cinematography section. But Rafiq says that the movies under production, which had incorporated Pakistani talent by being shot in Pakistan, directed by Pakistanis or have Pakistani actors in them will bring a more promising future next year. Rafiq himself is releasing ‘Ishq khuda’ to be released at Eid-ul-Fitr 2012.

Bollywood in 2012

weddings

kareena kapoor and Saif Ali khan Riteish Deshmukh and Genelia D’souza Vidya Balan and Siddharth Roy kapoor Soha Ali khan and kunal khemu Neetu Chandra and Randeep Hooda Dia Mirza and Sahil Sangha Rani Mukherji and Aditya Chopra John Abraham and Priya Runchal

Top Bollywood

movies of 2011

Hottest Bollywood item boys of 2011 They are hot, they are sizzling, they are the new screen scorchers. Ranbir Kapoor: Ranbir takes an item bow in film ‘Chillar Party’. Shah Rukh Khan: SRk says ‘Chammak Challo’ in ‘Ra.One’ Salman Khan: Salman grooves to ‘Desi Beats’ in ‘Bodyguard’. Aamir Khan: Mr Perfectionist has fans grooving in ‘Delhi Belly’. Sanjay Dutt: Scorches the screen with Lisa Hayden in ‘Rascals’. Ranveer Singh: Ranveer was majboor with his aadat in ‘Ladies VS Ricky Bahl’. Akshay Kumar and John Abraham: They move and groove in ‘Desi Boyz’.

‘Pyaar ka Punchnama’ ‘Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara’ ‘Shor In The City’ ‘Rockstar’ ‘Shaitaan’ ‘Tanu Weds Manu’ ‘I Am’

‘Stanley ka Dabba’ ‘No One killed Jessica’ ‘The Dirty Picture’ ‘Delhi Belly’ ‘That Girl In Yellow Boots’ ‘Dhobi Ghat’


KHI 01-01-2012_Layout 1 1/1/2012 2:45 AM Page 20

Sunday, 1 January, 2012


KHI 01-01-2012_Layout 1 1/1/2012 2:45 AM Page 21

20

Sunday, 1 January, 2012

The year ThaT was... ALL BASES COVERED

R

kUNWAR khULDUNe ShAhID ECORDS were shattered, status quos transformed and upsets galore, as the best of the best treated sports fans around the globe with some momentous performances. Here’s a throwback to some of the most memorable achievements.

DJOKOVIC REIGNS SUPREME

The year 2011 can appositely be labeled as Novak Djokovic’s year. With three Grand Slam titles (Australian Open, Wimbledon and US Open), seven other pieces of silverware, posting a 70-6 overall record and a 41-match unbeaten streak, Djokovic posted some monstrous numbers last year. Of course, the fact that he usurped Rafael Nadal’s number 1 ranking as well, caps off one of the most lucrative years in the history of tennis. Nadal was at the receiving end of a Serbian onslaught six times this year – all finals; two of them Grand Slam finals. Rafa, however, did bag his sixth Roland Garros title to equal Bjorn Borg’s record tally in May and also guided Spain towards their fifth Davis Cup title in December. The 10-time Grand Slam champion realises that to down Djokovic this year he would need to further bolster his repertoire; for, the Spaniard has been comprehensively beaten on all three surfaces by the World Number 1 last year. Which direction the Nadal-Djokovic rivalry is veered towards in 2012, is the question that is whetting the appetite of the tennis aficionados already. Among other usual suspects, Murray managed to prop up his place in the top four without conjuring up his maiden major title. Murray managed to win three straight titles in Asia late last year to rekindle his hope of climbing up the pecking order. And of course when/if that ‘maiden major title’ monkey actually comes off the Scott’s back will be one of the facades shrouding 2012 as well. Federer meanwhile, failed to win a Grand Slam this year – for the first time since 2003. But he did go on a 17-match winning streak that culminated in his 6th ATP World Tours Finals title. Just when everyone else had run out of gas, Federer was opportunistic enough to end a notso-remarkable season on a veritable high. Then there was the return of Del Potro from injury, the rise of Ferrer – who reached the Australian Open final – and the upsurge of Tsonga – who came from two sets to love down to beat Federer in a staggering quarterfinal triumph at SW19. These three might be the ones who can upset the domination of the Big Four this year. However, the biggest question this year of course will be whether or not Djokovic can prove that he is not a ‘one season wonder.

KVITOVA EMERGES

IT WAS A YEAR OF AMAZING TURNAROUNDS AND TRANSFORMATIONS AS NEW CHAMPIONS EMERGED AND STAMPED THEIR AUTHORITY AT THE BIGGEST STAGE While the men’s top ranked player conquered all before him and bagged three major titles as well, the same cannot be said of the Dane that sits atop women’s rankings. Wozniacki’s hunt for her first major title to match her boyfriend’s (more on him later) first major title in golf has penetrated into 2012. Even though Wozniacki maintained her stranglehold on the number one ranking throughout the year, the fact there were four different Grand Slam winners – including three first time champions – divulges the lack of a monopoly over silverware, a la Djokovic, in the women’s game. kim Clijsters won her fourth major title in Australia, while Li Na became the first Asian major winner at Roland Garros. If any of the ladies really managed to make her mark on the tour, it was Petra kvitova who won the Wimbledon title and backed it up by her conquests in the season ending WTA Tour Championships and the Fed Cup title with Czech Republic. Sam Stosur won at Flushing Meadows to round off an unpredictable year for the ladies.

held the number 1 spot, before Luke Donald eventually strengthened his stranglehold over the number 1 ranking. Even so, a first major title is yet to materialise for the World Number 1. He would be looking to change that in 2012, as Rory McIlroy vies to reach new heights this year.

VETTEL REWRITES HISTORY

the team that has proven itself to be the kiwi’s bogey team in the past. It is hard to pick out one star performer for New Zealand, who showcased quintessential team performances throughout the tournament. Israel Dagg’s tries, pressure relieving kicks and tackles were always a menace for the opposition and skipper

CARDINALS DEFY THE ODDS

We were fortunate to witness one of those rare seven-game World Series; and my word was it a closely fought affair! St. Louis Cardinals put together one of the most awe-inspiring post season runs to topple the baseball odds. David Freese – the saviour of an astonishing game 6 – was the deserving MVP for the series, after pulling off salvage acts on a multitude of occasions. The finalists Texas Rangers, meanwhile, were forced to lick their wounds after ending up as the bridesmaid for the second year running. St. Louis got the better of more fancied sides in the post-season after having qualified as the wild card. They were discarded as serious challengers for even the Division series, but now sit proudly at the second spot on the all-time list of World Series title winners with 11 titles.

MIxED YEAR FOR AMIR KHAN

MCILROY: GOLF’S NExT SUPERSTAR As five F1 world champions battled it out for supremacy this year, it was German prodigy Sebastian Vettel who came out on top. Vettel became the youngest man in the history of the sport to win two world championships and also the youngest to conjure up back to back titles. The Red Bull ace also took a record 15 pole positions, eclipsing Nigel Mansell’s tally of 14 from 1992. Vanquishing 11 out the total 19 races, Vettel is en route to fulfilling the prophecies of those who touted him as the next big thing a couple of seasons back. Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button also managed a trio of race wins each, but Vettel’s judicious racing meant that the gap between the German and the chasing pack continued to grow throughout the season. Vettel’s triumphs were, more often than not, built upon an early lead and impeccable tyre management. If he continues to do the same next year, brace yourself for an era of domination in Formula One. Just like the ladies half in tennis, we had four different major champions in golf as well – all four first-timers. In fact, there have been 13 different major champions in the past 13 majors; and with Tiger Woods taking a plunge into obscurity, golf has found itself on the crossroads of simmering competition. However, what Woods’ downfall also meant was that there was going to be the void of a genuine superstar in golf – the mantle that Woods has held for a decade. Nonetheless, with McIlroy arriving at the big stage this year, the cavity seems to be filled. McIlroy has come to the fore this year, and has brought one of cleanest hitting range in golf along with him. Rory has every shot in the game and his staggering triumph at the US Open was an authoritative golfing show. However, what made the triumph at Congressional all the more awe-inspiring was the fact that it came two months after his meltdown at Augusta Masters that allowed Charles Shwartzel to win the year’s first major. Darren Clarke won the Claret Jug at Royal St. Georges, becoming possibly the most popular British Open Champion in recent memory, while keegan Bradley bagged the PGA Championships to give the American contingent something to cheer about, as Europe continues its ascent in golf. Lee Westwood and Martin kaymer had solid starts to the season, when they

Richie McCaw threw in towering performances galore to ensure that he manages to get his hands on the elusive Willian Web Ellis Cup. McCaw was castigated in Cardiff 2007 for a lack of authority in his leadership... This time around he battled on a single foot just to guide his troops to the Promised Land.

MAVERICKS CONDENSE THE HEAT

ALL-BLACKS TRIUMPH AT LAST

New Zealand’s triumph over France in the final of the Rugby World Cup this year, culminated 24 years of soul searching of a nation, whose history is marred by malfunction at the biggest stage. With seven wins out of seven – including a staggering semifinal conquest over archenemy Australia – in the tournament, New Zealand repaid the faith of the home crowds who had been all anticipation throughout the month and a half. Having overpowered most of their opponents throughout the course of the world cup, the All-Blacks were forced to dig it out in the final, against a resilient French side –

Miami Heat were being peddled as a shoo-in for the NBA ring even before the season started. With LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh amongst their ranks, the Heat had more firepower than any of their peers – on paper at least. Also, the Lakers were chasing history by pursuing the title, but it was Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks that upped the ante at the tail end of the season and eradicated their phantasms of malfunction in the clutch time of the play-offs. Mavericks captured their first ever NBA title by beating Miami in six in the finals – which was also a revenge for the finals defeat in 2006 for the team from Dallas, when they blew a 2-0 lead. Nowitzki was massive throughout the course of the play-offs, and after orchestrating his side’s demolition act over Lakers in the quarters, he guided his team to glory against Miami.

Amir khan lost his WBA and IBF light-welterweight titles to Lamont Peterson in controversial circumstances in December, which has meant that Amir’s jump up to Welterweight has come under scrutiny. The boy from Bolton was the overwhelming favourite going into the match, but owing mostly to a bizarre refereeing show and some of it to his own technical deficiencies, he was edged out by the American, who in turn usurped the titles that were on the line. A rematch is on the horizon, which means that Amir khan has the opportunity to start this year on a high. However, it wasn’t all bleak for the British boxer, who taught Paul McCloskey and Zab Judah unforgettable boxing lessons in 2011. Amir’s triumph over the latter especially, was genuinely awe-inspiring. Amir khan’s eradication of Judah saw him vanquish his IBF belt; and that too within the blink of an eye. And of course the year for the boxing prodigy might have ended on a low, but he displayed enough promise and vigour in 2011 to present an unadulterated case for mounting up the pecking order in 2012.


KHI 01-01-2012_Layout 1 1/1/2012 2:45 AM Page 22

21

Sunday, 1 January, 2012

Glory, hope and promise for Pakistan ALL BASES COVERED kUNWAR khULDUNe ShAhID

I

The highs and lows of athletes from our neck of the woods

T was a year of promise for Pakistan in various sports; one that has left sports aficionados in anticipation of a fruitful 2012.

MIxED BAG FOR PAKISTAN HOCKEY Pakistan hockey team ended 2010 on a high at Guangzhou. The Asian gold medal – the first gold that the hockey team had conjured up on the global stage since 1994 – was a luminous bolt of the blue after the lows of Beijing and New Delhi. And hence 2011 was being touted as the year when Pakistan hockey team would finally turn the protracted corner. At the Azlan Shah Cup in May Pakistan peddled a breathtaking brand of hockey and even the two teams that got the better of the green shirts – Great Britain and Australia – were stretched to their limits. The performance against Australia in the final was truly momentous and our side stretched their universally extolled rivals to their last joule of energy. After an impressive showing in Malaysia, the hockey side embarked upon a European tour which was flaunted as the warm up to bigger challenges that were to follow, and while the results were a mixed bag, the primary task of conditioning the squad for bigger challenges was served. At the Asian Champions Trophy, that followed the European tour, Pakistan were undone at the final hurdle against India, who managed to capitalise on their supremacy in midfield to further ameliorate their recent record over us and in turn extended our run of middle-of-theroad performance at the global stage. Then Pakistan had a couple of expeditions Down Under; first up was the innovatory tournament called the Super 9s, where Pakistani youngsters paraded some sublime skills and played their full part in entertaining the hockey fans. After the Super 9s, the next task was the tri-nation series that featured Pakistan, Australia and India. The group stages were marred by an Indo-Pak brawl where Indian players instigated a needless fight that led culprit Indian players and their manager being justifiably suspended. After reaching the final, Pakistan pulled off a masterstroke and overcame Australia 4-3 in a pulsating final, recording their first win over the kookaburas since 2004. Not only was the win unexpected, since Australia were playing in front of their home crowd it also showcased the lionhearted spirit of our boys. The win was heralded as the jumping board for the national sport. The remodeled Champions Trophy at the tail end of the year was the final major hockey event before next year’s London Olympics. Pakistan were in the same pool as Australia, Spain and Great Britain and we failed to make our mark in the games

partnered by Jean-Julien Rojer – a top 20 player – and great things are expected from them with the Australian Open on the horizon. With our national hero tying his knot with his better half recently, the next few months are going to be pivotal for Aisam as he copes with changes, both on and off the court.

AQEEL CONTINUES HIS DOMINATION

Pakistan’s resounding wins over Sri Lanka marked their return to the big stage in 2011. against these European sides. Losing 2-1 to Great Britain in a closely fought encounter, we then went on to lose heavily against Spain and Australia, which meant that we filtered into the lower tier in the next pool. Another hammering against Germany was a big blow as we finished 7th – definitely not the position we were vying for. There was a stark contrast in the fitness and speed between Pakistan and the rest of the sides. The forward line was pedestrian throughout the tournament, and they flaunted an inability to keep hold of the ball. The Champions Trophy was another unfortunate throw back to the demons of malfunction in global events for the hockey side. China’s tour in December has ended the year on a high for Pakistan hockey, in that it has proclaimed the return of International hockey to Pakistan after six long years. The on field showing was a ragbag throughout the year, and with the London Olympics merely months away, the current crop needs to get their act together and display some mettle and desire. The gauntlet has been thrown to the men in green, for a prosperous 2012.

MISBAH BRINGS STABILITY Misbah took over the reigns of out Test side following the controversy marred tour of England after the summer of 2010. He then brought a sense of steadiness to the side, and since August

2010 Pakistan is yet to lose a test series. Pakistan faced West Indies, Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh this year in the test arena; and while barring Sri Lanka none of the other trio exactly qualifies as a cricketing powerhouse, the clinical way in which we dispatched their challenges was noteworthy. The biggest catch was indubitably Sri Lanka, who were convincingly beaten in the three match series – even if the final scoreline of 1-0 showcased a narrow margin. However, frittering away the chance of beating West Indies for the very first time in their own backyard was a blemish in what was an uncharacteristically unwavering year for us. We had a relatively lucrative year in the limited-overs format as well. Prior to the World Cup, when Pakistan were in New Zealand, PCB – led by the “astute” Ejaz Butt – bizarrely announced the squad for the tournament without announcing the captain. The justification behind this brain detonation act was that the body was taking its time in choosing between the then captain Shahid Afridi and Misbah-ul-Haq. As things panned out, these two went on to make the headlines for an assortment of reasons throughout the year. Reaching the semifinals of the World Cup was a highlight; even though things could have been better had we curbed our profligacy in Mohali. After a successful

West Indies tour the Butt-Afridi soap opera became a tedious affair, with the former throwing his toys out of the pram and the latter redefining retirement antics. Wins over Ireland and Zimbabwe followed; but again it was the 4-1 thumping of Sri Lanka that announced Pakistan’s return to the big stage. Following the series our spinning trio of Ajmal, Hafeez and Afridi – arguably the best in the business – climbed up the ODI rankings as well; with the former two at numbers one and two respectively. And to round off a prosperous year we also managed to improve on our recent slump in T-20 cricket at the end of the year. While spot fixing scandal and changes at the helm of PCB had their ramifications as well, the year stood out for an influx of stability – a term one has never associated with Pakistan cricket. Misbah deserves most of the credit for that.

AISAM’S RESURGENCE Whilst the year 2010 brought the Indo-Pak Express to the fore, 2011 brought some previously elusive accolades, before the pair disbanded at the end citing London Olympics as the reason. The Aisam-Bopanna partnership had a promising year and managed to cement their place among the Who’s Who of tennis teams by qualifying for the year ending ATP World Tour Finals. The Indo-Pak Express also vanquished its first ATP Masters 1000 title in Paris, as Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi continues to reassert himself as a preeminent doubles player in world tennis, winning approbation from the pundits and his peers alike. On the Grand Slam front, the year wasn’t quite as fruitful for the team. The semifinal berth in the U.S Open was their best run of the year, following w h i c h there was a dip in f o r m which led to a continuum of first round exits. After the culmination of the season, Aisam and Bopanna parted ways, with the latter ostensibly pursuing Olympics glory. Aisam would now be

The khan brothers; Aqeel, Jaleel and Yasir continued their domination of the local circuit, as the trio continues to hog the top three rankings in the sport. Samir Iftikhar’s participations in the tournaments was sporadic. However, Abid Mushtaq managed to climb up the national pecking order this year. And with Abid Ali Akbar making a name for himself in University of Idaho in the US tennis circuit, Abid Mushtaq looks like being the strongest contender from the current crop featuring the likes of Waqas Malak, Faizan khurram and Heera Ashiq et al to disturb the status quo at the summit of local tennis. In fact, last month Abid Mushtaq managed to beat Yasir khan in a three set thriller at karachi and might have the big two in his sights soon. The highlight of the year was possibly the men’s final in Model Town club Lahore between Aqeel khan and Jaleel khan, which went to a third set tie-break. This writer had the fortune of being the chair umpire for the match.

SABA AzIz RISES TO THE TOP Saba Aziz ended the year as the new ladies number one in Pakistan, courtesy three triumphs in national tournaments. Saba was at her ruthless best throughout the year, and literally swept the tournament held at karachi recently. Ushna Sohail meanwhile has been touring abroad mostly and Sarah Mehboob has gone to University of New Mexico to pursue further studies.

KABADDI’S DOPING SHAME The kabaddi World Cup this year was engulfed by doping. Pakistan nevertheless managed to leave an imprint on the matters in India by reaching the semifinals; and by doing so fairly. Paksitan were toppled by the two North American sides, America – in the first pool game – and then Canada – in the semifinals; thus ensuring that our side didn’t manage to realise their dream of going one step better than last world cup, by actually winning the whole thing. India went on to win the kabaddi world cup again, but after the performance put on display by our side, we can safely say that we’re on the coattails of the mightiest side in the realm of kabaddi.

PAK FOOTBALL MOVING FORWARD After hosting a tie against Palestine in March, Pakistan played practice matches in Thailand and Malaysia home and away as well. We gave all these teams a run for their money, and in fact managed to hold Malaysia – a prestigious name in Asian football – for a draw as well. We were lucky not to beat Malaysia at Lahore, after controlling most matters on the pitch barring the goal count as the match ended in a 0-0 draw. Pakistan’s Under-16 team provided the highlight of the year for football by winning the SAFF Championship in Bangladesh. The senior side also did well in the SAFF Championship in India, by returning home unbeaten from their pool. Pakistan football is on a steady ascent, and we wish the sport – which is gaining popularity in the country – and the team all the very best for 2012.


KHI 01-01-2012_Layout 1 1/1/2012 2:45 AM Page 23

22

Sunday, 1 January, 2012

World Cricket:

Six of the best in the fray Given its familiarity with the conditions in UAE, Pakistan may have an edge over England

SpORtS thiS WEEk

T

ALI AkBAR

HERE promises to be a feast of cricket in the next few weeks, with six of the best teams facing off in Test and ODI series around the world. Australia have already drawn first blood against India with a facile win in the first Test. South Africa and Sri Lanka are tied at one all in their series after Sri Lanka fashioned a morale boosting win in the second Test. Pakistan and England face off in the third week of January. Australia have not been their usual confident, cocky self of late. They are slowly rebuilding after losing a clutch of players from what was possibly the greatest Test team ever. The old guard is also losing some of their sheen. Ricky Ponting seems to have lost the ability to score big hundreds and is finding himself getting out after reaching his half century. Mike Hussey has also been a bit shaky and skipper Michael Clarke would have struggled to get into the Aussie team of 10 years ago. But then, there are few sporting nations such as the Aussies and the talent continues to rise. There is the young paceman James Pattinson who has had some of the best batters shying away. Pattinson was man of the match in the first Test with a haul of six wickets even though Ben Hilfenhaus took seven. However it was Pattinson’s adventurous batting that earned him his second man of the match of his young career. Sri Lanka snatched a much needed win over South Africa, tying the three Test series after an abject performance in the first Test. A nervy South Africa did their usual choke, giving away wickets as the Sri Lankans rode kumar Sangakkara’s hundred to their first Test win since Muttiah Muralitharan retired. This underlines the value of the wily spinner who cast such a long shadow over Sri Lankan cricket. The Sri Lankans have always had good batsmen but it is bowlers who, in the end, win matches and Murali won countless Tests for his team. It remains to be seen whether this team can build on this success and prove that it was not merely a flash in the pan. In another series that will have a considerable bearing on the world standings, the high flying English team are taking on a resurgent Pakistan on what is, effectively, Pakistan’s home grounds, the UAE stadia. The English bowlers are very effective in the swinging seaming English conditions and will have their work cut out for them in the placid UAE pitches. A lot will depend on how Graeme Swann does with the ball. He will be matched up against Pakistan’s Saeed Ajmal. Pakistan may have the edge with the secondary spinners Mohammad Hafeez and Abdul Rehman. The pacers will be led by the impressive Aizaz Cheema who seems to be able to wring life out of any wicket and Umar Gul who is bowling well of late. England will be choosing between James Anderson, Stuart Broad, Chris Tremlett and Steven Finn. The English pacers are taller and should be able to extract more bounce out of the tracks. The batting on both

sides is solid. Pakistan, under the calm leadership of Misbah are showing much needed maturity at the crease. The result should be a tossup with Pakistan’s familiarity with local conditions giving them a slight edge. The side that holds its catches should win.

INTERNATIONAL TENNIS RESUMES The international tennis season resumes after an all too short break, with the Qatar Open and the Chennai Open paving the way for the Australian Open which starts in mid January. The long season and the deep inroads they invariably make into every tournament, has meant that two of the top players Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, are hobbled by niggling injuries. With the Davis Cup final which Spain won against Argentina in November, there was all too little time for Raffa to recover and he plans to take a February off after the Open. Djoker is also suffering from niggles and ironically, the oldest player among the top five, Roger Federer is looking fresh and strong after superlative end to 2011 where he won 17 straight matches. Roger would be fancying his chances for another Grand Slam or two to add to his 16 and will be looking confidently at Australia. Federer’s smooth, effortless style means that his body suffers less than the counter punching physical games of Raffa and Novak. 2011 could also be a turning point for the luckless Andy Murray who is struggling to win his first major. He has gotten into a couple of finals but has found players so in the zone that Murray’s inability to lift his game has left him completely becalmed. Murray will have to take a close look at his attitude on court where he shrieks in agony upon missing a shot and his shoulders sag. Not only does that reduce his performance but it also encourages his opponent and in a close match, it makes all the difference. Till now Murray has shown that he is one of the best players but is not a champion. That is a bridge he has to cross, but it may just be a bridge too far. Caroline Wozniacki must also be finding some solace from Murray’s troubles. She is world number one but is yet to win anything of consequence. There are too many players who are stronger than her the talented Czech Wimbledon Champion Petra kvitova, Russian Maria Sharapova and the American Williams sisters are big hitters and can overpower players of Caroline’s size who do not have a major weapon. Look for kvitova and Sharapova to go deep into the draw, with the fearless hitting kvitova a likely winner. Our own newlywed Aisam Qureshi will be making a fresh start in doubles with a new partner. His former partner Rohan Bopanna clearly has the Olympics in his sights as he partners countryman Mahesh Bhupathi. It should be worthwhile for Aisam to consider partnering our own Aqeel khan with an eye to qualifying for the Olympics. Aqeel is a talented player and has partnered Aisam to wins over several world ranked players. The two could compete with the very best on the tour. Having Aisam and Aqeel in the Olympics would be a big boost for Pakistan tennis.


KHI 01-01-2012_Layout 1 1/1/2012 2:46 AM Page 24

23

Sunday, 1 January, 2012

The legends we lost in 2011 Comment SAJJAD hAfeez

AIR MARSHAL NUR KHAN

JOE FRAzIER Joseph William popularly known as Joe Frazier (January 12, 1944– November 7, 2011), also known as Smokin' Joe was one of the most high-profile loss of the year. He was an Olympic and Undisputed World Heavyweightboxing champion, whose professional career lasted from 1965 to 1976, with a one-fight comeback in 1981. He is known for beating Muhammad Ali on points in the highly-anticipated "Fight of the Century" in 1971. Two years later Frazier lost his title when he was knocked out by George Foreman. He

fought on, beating Joe Bugner, losing a rematch to Mohammad Ali, and beating Quarry and Ellis again. After retiring, Frazier made cameo appearances in several Hollywood movies, and two episodes of The Simpsons. Frazier was diagnosed with liver cancer in late September 2011 and admitted to hospice care. He died November 7, 2011. Frazier was awarded the Order of the Palmetto in Beaufort, South Carolina in 2010. Frazier was diagnosed with liver cancer in late September 2011. Within a few weeks, the cancer had metastasized. By November 2011, he was under hospice care, where he died on November 7. On Frazier's death, Muhammad Ali said, "The world has lost a great champion. I will always remember Joe with respect and admiration."

PETER ROEBUCK

A charismatic and inspirational figure, Air Marshal Nur khan (Feb 1923-Dec 2011) was our own Charles de Gaulle. Very few administrators command as much respect as did Nur khan. It was Pakistan sports’ good fortune that he happened to head hockey, squash and cricket. As chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (then BCCP), he brought World Cup to the sub continent, and when he headed the Pakistan Hockey Federation, Champions Trophy was introduced as a tournament. Nur khan was part of the Pakistani contingent that clashed with the Israeli Air Force during the Six Day War. Former Israeli President Ezer Weizman wrote in his autobiography: "He was a formidable fellow and I was glad that he was Pakistani and not Egyptian". An Aitchisonian, Nur khan was born in 1923 and enjoyed an illustrious military career. He was commander-in-chief of the PAF from 1965 to 1969. Under him, PIA established itself as one of the world’s best airline. In his term, PIA became the first Asian airline to operate jet aircrafts. He took over as PCB chief in February 1980 and remained at the helm for four years. He brought professionalism, accountability and much more to Pakistan cricket. He made the Asia Cup a reality and brought the World Cup to the subcontinent for the first time in 1987. Founder of the Champions Trophy, Nur khan transformed Pakistan's squash and made hockey team world titleholders. When this writer interviewed former FIH chief Mrs. Els Van Breda Vriesman in the Hockey Champions Trophy in 2004, the last high-profile sports event in Pakistan, she spoke of hockey world’s immense indebtedness to Nur khan. He died of anemia and chest infection at the age of 88. It is ironic that Ijaz Butt happened to lead the same board, under Asif Ali Zardari.

DAN WHELDON

GARY SPEED

Former English cricketer Peter Roebuck (March 6, 1956 –November 12, 2011) committed suicide in mysterious circumstances in South Africa. A great cricket commentator and writer, Roebuck died after he was asked by police to answer questions about an allegation of sexual assault. The former Somerset captain was respected figure in cricket circles. He was was a righthanded batsman and occasionally bowled right-arm offspin. Roebuck became a controversial figure in 1986 when, at the end of his first season as captain of Somerset, he was instrumental in the county's decision not to renew the contracts of its two overseas players, Viv Richards and Joel Garner, whose runs and wickets had brought the county much success in the previous eight years. Roebuck arrived in Cape Town, South Africa, on 7 November 2011 to report on a Test Match between South Africa and Australia for The Sydney Morning Herald and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC). On November 12, when South African Police entered the hotel, claiming to desire to speak to him about an alleged sexual assault on a 26-year-old Zimbabwean man and Roebuck called the ABC's Jim Maxwell in his hotel room and asked him to find him a lawyer and to then come to Roebuck's hotel room.

SóCRATES DE SOUzA Brazilian footballer Sócrates Brasileiro Sampaio de Souza Vieira de Oliveira, (February 19, 1954 – December 4, 2011) was a doctor by profession and left the football fraternity mourning. A popular figure Sócrates played as an attacking midfielder. Sócrates was known for great through passes and his vision on the field, as well as his physical strength. He was considered to be one of the greatest midfielders ever to play the game. Sócrates played for Brazil during seven years, scoring more than 20 goals and representing the nation in two World Cups, captaining the team in the 1982 edition; he also appeared in the 1979 and 1983 Copa América tournaments, and was named South American Footballer of the Yearin 1983, being selected to Pelé's FIFA 100 list in 2004.

SEVE BALLESTEROS

GRAHAM DILLEY

Seve Ballesteros (April 9, 1957–May 7, 2011) is regarded as the greatest Spanish golfer of all time and one of the sport's leading figures from the mid1970s to the mid-1990s. Ballesteros won five major championships between 1979 and 1988: the Open Championship three times, and the Masters Tournament twice. He is best known for his great short game, and his erratic driving of the golf ball. In 2008, he was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumour. After reports that Ballesteros would make a return to the spotlight at the 2010 Open Championship, following the advice of doctors he did not travel to St Andrews. Ballesteros was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award for the second time at the BBC Sports Personality Awards 2009. Ballesteros died of brain cancer on 7 May 2011, aged 54. Ballesteros led the Official World Golf Rankings for a total of 61 weeks in the period from their inauguration (in April 1986) to September 1989, including being world number one at the end of the 1988 season. In 1999, Ballesteros was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame. He underwent chemotherapy treatment as an outpatient. In January 2009 a message on his website said he had responded well to one course of chemotherapy.[37] On 6 May 2011, Ballesteros' family released a press release announcing that his neurological condition had "suffered a severe deterioration".

Former English fast bowler Graham Dilley (May 18, 1959–October 5, 2011) died just a week after being diagnosed with oesophageal cancer, at the age of 52. He played 41 Test Matches and 36 ODIs for England. He is perhaps best remembered for his tail-end batting with Ian Botham in England's second innings at Headingley in 1981, reaching his Test highest score of 56 in an eighth-wicket partnership of 117 in 80 minutes. His bowling style often fascinated many, with his unusual run-up surprising many. It is believed that he tried to adopt the Jeff Thomson's slingy bowling style, and later Dilley's style was used by Chris Cairns in New Zealand. Geoffrey Boycott once said of him, "Remember what happened to Graham Dilley, who started out as a genuinely quick bowler. They started stuffing line and length in his ear and now he has Dennis Lillee's action with Denis Thatcher's pace".

Former Welsh footballer Gary Andrew Speed, (September 8, 1969 –November 27, 2011) and administrator shocked everyone by committing suicide at the age of 42. The former captain of Wales football team, he played forLeeds United, Everton, Newcastle United, Bolton Wanderers and Sheffield United. Rarely troubled by injury or suspension, he held the record for the most appearances in the Premier League at 535, until it was surpassed by David James. At the time of his death, only James and Ryan Giggs had played in more Premier League matches than Speed.

Death of British driver Dan Wheldon (June 22, 1978–October 16, 2011) was the most tragic of the year 2011. At just 33, he died in a horrible crash after sustaining injuries in a collision at the 2011 IZOD IndyCar World Championship at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Wheldon was born in England and he developed a rivalry with Jenson Button before ultimately leaving the United kingdom to race in America. Commenting in 2007 on the perception of him as 'difficult', Wheldon said "I put everything into my racing, and I expect the same back. If I see people who aren't giving it I'm not afraid to say so but that sometimes comes out a little brash. That could be improved a little bit."

AMIR HAYAT KHAN ROKHRI There would always be a question mark on the legacy of Aamir Hayat khan Rokhri (August 12, 1956 –December 29, 2011). Another Aitchisonian, Rokhri died of heart attack just two days before the start of the new year. He remained president of the Lahore City Cricket Association for two decades but there was little to boast in achievements. He was also former secretary of the Pakistan Badminton Association. Rokhri, who took over from former PCB chairman Ijaz Butt as the LCCA head and was ousted by kh Nadeem three year ago. He was also Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) MPA (PP-44 Mianwali-II). Rokhri was son of khan Amir Abdullah khan Rokhri and was born on August 12, 1956, in Lahore. He obtained his early education from Aitchison College Lahore and graduated in 1977 from FC College, Lahore. Being an active sports enthusiast, he worked actively as President LCCA since 1985. He had been a serving member on the Governing Body of Pakistan Cricket Board since 2002.

MARCO SIMONCELLI Italian Moto GP champion Marco Simoncelli (January 20, 1987 –October 23, 2011) died in a tragic accident at the 2011 Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang. Marco Simoncelli was born in Cattolica but grew up and lived in Coriano with his family since childhood. He won the Italian Minimoto Championship in 1999 and 2000 while also became the runner-up in the 2000 European Minimoto Championship. The following year, he stepped up to the Italian 125cc Championship and he won the title in his rookie year. In 2002, he competed and won the European 125cc Championship. On 23 October 2011, Simoncelli was involved in a collision with Colin Edwards and Valentino Rossi during the Malaysian Grand Prix at the Sepang International Circuit. In fourth position during lap two, Simoncelli's bike lost traction in Turn 11 and it started to slide towards the gravel, but the tyres regained traction and his bike suddenly veered across the track into the path of Edwards and Rossi, with Simoncelli hanging down on the right side. Edwards also fell from his machine and suffered a dislocated shoulder. After sliding down the track surface Simoncelli lay still, his helmet having come off during the incident. The race was immediately red-flagged. Simoncelli was taken by ambulance to the circuit's medical centre, but at 16:56 local time it was announced that he had died from his injuries.


KHI 01-01-2012_Layout 1 1/1/2012 2:46 AM Page 25

24 2011: League Football Review Sunday, 1 January, 2012

A truly remarkable year The beautiful game continued to spread its charm around the globe, but none of the intensity faded COmmEnt J.k WALI

S

UMMING up the entire year of the world’s most popular sport is a massive ask, but one that this scribe takes infinite pleasure in. The beautiful game continued to spread its charm around the globe, but none of the intensity faded in a truly remarkable year. BATTLE OF MANCHESTER The two Manchesters – City and United – sat at the top of the Premier League, as the calendars around the globe turned over a page. It was a just finale because these were the two teams that battled it out for supremacy in England in 2011. However, it is indeed ironic that neither of the two finds itself in UEFA Champions League knockout stages. Manchester United were sluggish throughout the previous season, and frankly their league triumph in May could easily be labeled as ‘by default’. And one can say this because City hadn’t really found their groove as yet, Liverpool had Roy Hodgson to ruin their season, Chelsea were in a slumber till April and Arsenal – well they were Arsenal. Manchester City, nonetheless, managed to win their first trophy for thirty five years in the shape of the F.A Cup. And the fact that they beat Manchester United on their way to glory made the triumph all the more sweet. The start of the season 2011-2012 has again seen the two neighbours battling it out for supremacy. United were off the blocks early, but after being embarrassed 6-1 at Old Trafford, the onus is now on City to go on and grab the title from their archrivals’ grasps. BARCELONA gOVERN SPAIN Barcelona continued their hegemony in Spain by getting the better off Real Madrid in every competition the two played in – well almost. Last season’s Copa Del Rey triumph for Real was the only silver lining in a season that saw Barcelona do the La Liga-Champions League double. What was even more humbling for the Madrid side was that they were on the receiving end of some serious drubbings in the entire year as well. We had so many El-Classicos in 2011 that it was virtually impossible to keep count of them. And with Barca controlling most games, and giving Madrid some serious beatings – including the UCL semifinal – Madrid looked hapless against Pep Guardiol’s well oiled machine. Messi was

Beckham put in huge performances throughout the season in the twilight of his career – with an injured back – to guide Galaxy to a Supporters’ Shield and MLS Cup double

at his staggering best throughout the year; the genius of this man has no limits. Xavi and Iniesta ably supported him, but it was the Messi show throughout 2011 and there is only going to be one winner when it the Ballon d’or award is announced this month. MILAN RE-CONQUER ITALy Guided by a wily old tactician, Massimiliano Allegri, Milan captured their 18th Serie A title in 2011 – their first since 2004. They beat city rivals Inter by a comfortable six point margin in the end, but were made to sweat it out throughout the season. It was the trio of Pato, Robinho and Ibrahimovic who provided the arsenal for a memorable season with 16, 15 and 21 goals respectively in all competitions. The latter might get a lot of stick for not being a big game player, but the Serie A title would never have been possible for Milan without the services of Ibrahimovic who dragged his side out of a fix throughout the season. DORTMUND DOMINATE gERMANy Jurgen klopp h a s

synthesized a talented bunch together at Dortmund, and unearthed a gem in Mario Gotze. After their league triumph in 2011, Dortmund are again rivaling

their globally venerated opponents, Bayern Munich; and are doing so while playing some sublime football. When klopp arrived at the helm, Borussia Dortmund

were in a financial quandary. The gaffer strung together a title winning side from a minuscule budget, and instilled an ethos of unity and teamwork in his side. Dortmund play an eye-catching brand of football, and are an example for other more ‘illustrious’ European clubs who are drowned in debt in their superficial quest for temporary glory. AJAx’S ROPy yEAR Ajax were made to deal with the loss of Luis Suarez in January, but still managed to trot on to the Eredivise title. The Amsterdam club owes most of that to the appointment of Frank de Boer as the manager who brought in steadiness in the club. All the same, after winning the title in 2010-2011, the matters are not quite as bright in 2011-2012 so far, as Ajax currently occupy the fourth spot and have been dumped out of the Champions League as well. P S g ’ S RICHES Even though Lille won t h e French Ligue 1 title in 2011, the real story coming in from France is the takeover of Paris-Saint Germaine. Purchased by a Qatar Investment Authority, PSG has been flexing their muscle throughout the year and one feels that they might be hell bent upon buying their way to glory, a la Manchester City. BECKHAM WINS SILVERWARE AT L.A David Beckham was scorned at following his move to L.A Galaxy, from all quarters. They said it was a money-minting deal and not a sporting collaboration. However, if there is one thing that Beckham has done throughout the course of his career, is that he has been able to shush his critics. Beckham put in huge performances throughout the season in the twilight of his career – with an injured back – to guide Galaxy to a Supporters’ Shield and MLS Cup double. The only question that is now intriguing as all is where is Mr David off to next? The safe money is on PSG. RIVER PLATE BITE THE DUST The biggest story coming in from South America is the catastrophic demise of the once mighty River Plate. River Plate are one of the biggest clubs in the world, and possibly the biggest name to bite the dust in the recent past. Despite the fact a coefficient system is in place – basically to ensure that the big guns, River Plate and Boca Juniors don’t get relegated – the Argentinean giants could not survive. It just goes to show the spectacular fall of one of the biggest names in the world of football.


KHI 01-01-2012_Layout 1 1/1/2012 2:46 AM Page 26

25

Sunday, 1 January, 2012

A welcome calm after the storm A GrIM YEAr T off the field COmmEnt SAMBIT BALL

C

RICkET has had a curious year. The signs from the field ought to spread optimism. The World Cup, the game's showpiece event, defied predictions and turned out to be everything the organisers would have prayed for. Test cricket was blessed with dramatic contests too, and though England were the only team to scale the peak, many other sides contributed to keep Test cricket absorbing and unpredictable. Even Zimbabwe, reappearing on the circuit after six years, nearly pulled off a stiff final-day chase, against New Zealand. It can be argued that the English summer was blighted by the Indian team never turning up, but that would be missing the main story. India arrived in England underdone, but they were truly cooked by the most complete bowling attack for English conditions. The story continued in Sri Lanka, South Africa and Australia, where exciting new talents exploited conditions to bring alive the central appeal of Test cricket: the contest between bat and ball. But away from the field, the story was grim and eerily mirrored the global economic crisis. Many of the words used for the bankers and finance-sector czars who brought the world economy to its knees could be applied to cricket's administrators: greed, cockiness, self-interest and shortsightedness spring easily to mind. A landmark investigation and judgement In one part of the world swing bowling never went out of fashion. England may provide the best conditions for the ball to nip around in, but over the last four decades the Pakistanis can be credited with having not only kept the art alive but with having given it new dimensions. Seen in that context, Mohammad Amir's descent into the dark world of match-fixing is one of the great tragedies of cricket. From a wider perspective, the criminal trial of the three Pakistanis charged with spot-fixing and their subsequent sentencing was a seminal moment for the sport. The News of the World, as the world has learnt now, has been guilty of many unethical journalistic practices, but cricket owes it a huge debt of gratitude. Match-fixing is the hardest of crimes to nail, and it can be argued that a sting operation is the only way to do so. In this case, the means certainly justified the end. Player associations reacted with horror to a suggestion that the ICC should explore similar methods to entrap corrupt players. Invasion of privacy is a legitimate concern, but as Rahul Dravid said in the Bradman Oration, players must be prepared to sacrifice a bit of privacy to protect their game. For all its best intentions, the

ICC is ill-equipped to deal with crime and investigation. It did conduct an efficient trial and administer its own justice in the spot-fixing case, but as deterrents go, a jail term easily beats being banned from playing cricket. It was fortunate, too, that the matter came to light in England, where the justice system is tight and swift. There were murmurs in Pakistan about matters of sovereignty, about Pakistani citizens being tried and punished in a foreign land, but cricket's problem with the earlier episode of match-fixing is that too many got away. Mohammad Azharuddin, who is serving a life ban now sits in the Indian Parliament; many others who were accused, charged and reported are now in positions of similar respectability. Some boards didn't even bother to follow the investigation to its logical end. Six months is not a lot in a lifetime. It is only a matter of months before Amir walks a free man. Of course, he will still have four years of the ICC ban to serve, but with his admission of guilt he has already taken a huge step towards redemption. Cricket must give him a second chance. Pakistan's healthy glow On the field the Pakistan story was far more encouraging. Statistically they were the most successful team of the year, winning 60% of their Tests, and nearly 78% of their one-day games- a higher success rate than India, the World Cup winners, and Australia, who remain the No. 1 team in the ICC rankings. The top wicket-taker in Tests is also a Pakistani - Ajmal with 50 wickets - and four of their batsmen feature among the top 10 run-getters in Tests. Of course the numbers are a bit misleading because Pakistan played the bulk of their Test matches against Zimbabwe, Bangladesh and a weakened Sri Lanka. But numbers are not the thing. The real story about Pakistan is that they were back on the road playing cricket again, and playing lots of it. They have finally said goodbye to their comically catastrophic president Ijaz Butt, and though it is hard to see international cricket returning to Pakistan in the foreseeable future (the scheduled Bangladesh visit in 2012, pending a security inspection in January notwithstanding), they are settling into their home away from home in the Middle East, where they have recently taken control of the pitch-making process. The resumption of bilateral ties with India will depend on the politics of the region, but if the selectors stay patient and the administrators vigilant, Pakistan could be on the road to recovery However, the biggest challenge to cricket has come, as far as the administrators are concerned, from unexpected quarters. Not that the signs haven't been there, just that the administrators have been too giddy and self-absorbed to notice. (Cricinfo)

DRS brought an intransigent Indian board at odds with the rest of the world. file PhoTo

COmmEnt MUhAMMAD BUTT

HE Pakistan cricket team did not forfeit any match in 2011. None of the cricketers were found consuming cricket balls or drugs, trying to hit each other with cricket bats, or bowl scripted no-balls. In an uncharacteristically sedate year for Pakistan, the only controversy, quite literally, emerged in the form of Shoaib Akhtar’s book, Controversially Yours. So what went wrong (or right in this case) one would ask? The credit in large part goes to the current captain, Misbah-ul-Haq. Misbah’s appointment as captain of the Test team and eventually his leadership in the shorter formats was met with surprise and criticism from most quarters but the stoic Misbah brought a sense of calmness and predictability, traits that are often missing from Pakistani cricket. Misbah lead from the front and under his watchful eye, the team ended the year with a win-loss record of 6-1, second only to England’s 6-0 and an ODI record of 24 wins from 32 matches. Some of those wins came when Afridi was in charge including their appearance in the semi final at the ICC World Cup. Pakistan’s stellar year was rounded off by four wins out of five in T20 internationals. Admittedly, the opposition that Pakistan faced was not of the highest standards but Pakistan, since that fateful Oval Test of 2006, have been mired in one controversy after another, each more embarrassing and debilitating than the previous one, so 2011 proved to be a welcome change. Team and individual performances are inter-linked and there was no shortage of individual brilliance as well; Ajmal finished the year as the highest wicket taker in Tests and the number one bowler on the ICC ODI bowler rankings. Hafeez and Afridi also joined him on that list making it a memorable year for the trio of Pakistan spinners. While the spinners dominated proceedings, Pakistan unearthed some very fine fast bowlers in Junaid khan and Aizaz Cheema. Things got better off the field as well with Ijaz Butt’s comical and disastrous tenure coming to an end and his replacement Zaka Ashraf getting off to a good start. The chairman has already delivered on his promise of bringing cricket back to Pakistan by negotiating a deal with the Bangladesh Cricket Board which will see them tour Pakistan in early 2012, subject to a security report. More importantly, Ashraf so far has come across as someone who likes to stick to his job and not meddle in every matter, a hobby Butt loved as the head honcho of the Pakistan Cricket Board. With so many good things happening on and off the pitch, there were bound to be moments which would prove to be a buzz kill. The semi-final in Mohali stands out for obvious reasons and while the team needs to be applauded for the show

they put up throughout the tournament, one cannot help but feel disappointed at a very good opportunity lost. Speaking of missed opportunities, the team yet again failed to register a series win in West Indies against a line up that can rightly be termed as a shadow of their former glorious self. As far as off-field matters go, the spot-fixing scandal and the eventual trial saw the three implicated cricketers being convicted and sent to prison. There is hope that budding cricketers learn from the shamed trio and steer clear of such notoriety. The past year proved to be a resounding success but everyone involved with cricket in Pakistan must look to build on from here and not rest on their laurels. Pakistan’s fielding still leaves a lot to be desired and the strong bowling attack coupled with weak oppositions papered over the cracks in our batting department that will be no doubt be tested against sterner opposition, starting from England in January. As Imran khan once said: “Good teams learn from their mistakes while great teams learn from their successes.”


KHI 01-01-2012_Layout 1 1/1/2012 2:46 AM Page 27

26

Sunday, 1 January, 2012

Shabbir consolidates place in Pakistan Open Golf kARAChI STAFF REPORT

W

ITH ideal weather and excellent golf course conditions, Shabbir Iqbal used all facilities to his advantage to build a platform for his victory on Sunday. At the end of the third round and going into the final phase in this 41st Pakistan Open Golf Championship in progress at the DHA Country Club Golf Course, Shabbir Iqbal never looked unsettled like his nearest challenger of the second day Mohammed Munir who dropped shots with gay abandon and lost his way. Whereas Shabbir Iqbal had a competent and effective round of 71 and a three days aggregate of 210, six under par, Munir's distraught looking 77 pushed him to fourth position, eight strokes behind Munir. The third round of major

Ushna Suhail’s hat-trick in fed Cup trials LAhoRe STAFF REPORT

Ushna Suhail, national ladies and junior champion, ended the year 2011 on an impressive note with her hat-trick of wins at the Fed Cup trials that concluded at Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) Complex courts Islamabad. These trials were held to select Pakistan women tennis team for the FED CUP being played in China from 30 January 2012. Ushna Suhail defeated Emaan Qureshi (6-0, 6-2), Mehak khokhar (6-0, 6-1) and Saba Aziz (6-2, 61). The team is expected to be announced by PTF shortly. Pakistan participated in the Fed Cup last year after a long gap of 11 years by virtue of PTF’s initiative.

faisalabad, SIalkot advance in Inter Academy Hockey

championships is always critical and to stay in contention every shot has to be planned. And this is what Matloob and Adil Jehangir did. Matloob’s 71 on the third day helped him to an aggregate of 214 and appears to be the only one in a position to challenge Shabbir and as Matloob said, "He is not daunted by Shabbir and it is going to be a match play duel in the final round on Sunday". As for Aadil the magical touch reappeared to enable him to shift gears and come up with the best round of the day, a 68, four under par, an aggregate of 216 and a capture of the third position on the leaderboard. The top positions: M.Shabbir Iqbal (ISD) 69+70+71=210; Matloob Ahmed (Garrison) 71+72+71=214; Adil Jehangir (Gymkhana) 76+72+68=216; Mohammed Munir (Islamabad) 70+71+77=218; Afsar Ali (karachi) 73+73+72=218; Javed Inayat (karachi) 79+68+71=218; Shahid Javed khan

(Royal Palm) 72+72+76=220; Irfan Mehmood (Rawalpindi) 70+76+76=222; Hamza Amin (Islamabad) 79+68+75=222; Mohammed Safdar (Gujranwala) 73+75+74=222; Wisal khan (Peshawar) 77+72+73=222 In the senior professionals section the race for honors and abundant cash prizes began on Saturday, and after completion of 18 holes the senior who excelled over his 27 fellow competitors is Asghar Ali of Lahore Gymkhana. Asghar's round was clinical indeed, his score of 72 resulting from accurate hitting backed by decent putting on the greens. Placed four strokes behind him is Ghani khan of karachi Golf Club and a stroke further behind is Shaukat Ali (IGC) at 77 with Ghulam Nabi (PIA) and Mohammad Aslam (Lyallpur) at 78. To recall the past Ghulam Nabi in his younger days won the Pakistan Open title six times. "I do think of those days when

I was considered the mighty one,” said Ghulam Nabi. "I just hope I can maintain my fitness as golf is in my blood and maybe I can live without oxygen but not golf". The amateur section has its own fighters, though their scores may not be as remarkable as those of the professional golfers. Yet the fight is visible as the overnight leader Anser stands displaced and Ali Hai and Waseem Rana jointly take over the top position. Ali Hai of karachi Golf Club and Waseem Rana of DHA are bracketed at a three rounds score of 229, with Anser Mehmood at 232, Ghzanfar Mehmood at 235,and Sajid khan at the same score. Taimur Hassan and Mohammed Rehman are at 236. At the conclusion of this four days national open championship,c sponsored by AkD Securities, the prize distribution will be held at DHA Golf and Country Club at 4.00 pm(1600hrs).

DRS row biggest disappointment of 2011: Lorgat LAhoRe STAFF REPORT

The International Cricket Council (ICC) chief executive Haroon Lorgat on Saturday said that one of the disappointing aspects of year 2011 for ICC was not being able to reach a consensus regarding the use of the Decision Review System (DRS) for international matches, despite majority of the players being in favour of the technology. DRS has been the topic debate ever since Australian batsmen Michael Hussey and Ed Cowan were given out by the on-field umpire despite TV replays showing otherwise. Even Zaheer khan could have got Ricky Ponting leg before as television replays showed that the batsman was plumb infront. "We have not achieved uniformity or consistent application of the Decision Review System (DRS) even though a vast majority of the players would like to have it," Lorgat said. Another major low according to Lorgat was Pakistan trio of Salman Butt, Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif being found guilty of spot-fixing. "A major lowlight would be the sentencing of the three Pakistan players after having been found guilty of spot-fixing. "It was significant that the independent tribunal banned Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamir

from the game for 10, 7 and 5 years, respectively and then later the courts in the United kingdom finding them guilty of criminal offences and sentencing them to jail terms." The chief executive was all praise for the world cup jointly hosted by India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. "I think 2011 will be most noted for being the world cup year that was spectacularly hosted in Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka and for the host nation India winning it after some 28 years. I can clearly recall those magical scenes in Mumbai after India had won the World Cup." According to Lorgat, the year was an exceptional one for Test cricket also. "Notwithstanding, it has been an exceptional year with Test cricket coming to the fore very strongly. There has been a lot of speculation about its enduring attraction, but we have seen some fascinating Test matches and I think it has well and truly confirmed its place in the hearts and minds of players and fans who continue to enjoy it.'' Another disappointment for Lorgat was not being able to organise the world test championship in 2013. "I referred briefly to the test championship and my disappointment that we did not agree to 2013 being the inaugural year and instead postponed it to 2017."

Police thrash Balochistan in National Baseball LAhoRe STAFF REPORT

Police and Punjab earned victories like champions on the third day of the 19th National Baseball Championship at the Iqbal Park Sports Complex here on Saturday. Police overpowered Balochistan by a big margin of 16-1. Police made a stormy start scoring 12 runs in the first innings against just one by Balochistan. Shabbir, Ahsan, Musadaq Hanif, Dure Hussain and Abdullah scored two runs each, while, Mohammad Usman, Shahzad Raza contributed one run each. The lone run from Balochistan was contributed by Usman. Police added four more runs in the second innings and as the lead of Police had been increased to more than 10 runs, the match was closed at the end of the second innings. Shabbir, Nasir, Musadaq Hanif and Abdullah all scored one run each for Police. In the second match, Punjab easily toppled Sindh 11-1 after either team could score one run each in the first innings. For Punjab Azeem scored the run while for Sindh Nadeem Azhar struck, which proved the last for them. In the second innings Punjab moved ahead scoring five runs through Azeem, Muzafar, Ali Raza, Aqeel and Afzal. In the third innings Punjab plundered five more runs through Ahsan (2), Azeem, Faisal and Zaman one each.

ICC denies PCB’s statement LAhoRe STAFF REPORT

The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Saturday denied a reported statement made by the Chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board that fast bowler Wahab Riaz was selected in the Pakistan squad for the series against England after clearance from the game’s governing body. In a statement, ICC Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat said: “I have said before and reiterate that the ICC has no part to play in the selection of any team. It remains the absolute right of a Member Board to decide which player it wishes to include in a squad or select in its team for any match.” Lorgat further added: “Only if a player has been charged and/or provisionally suspended by the ICC and/or banned by an independent tribunal, will he will not be cleared for selection. In all other circumstances, it is the Member Board’s absolute right to select players.”

SIALkoT STAFF REPORT

Another four matches were played in the second PHF Inter Academy Hockey Tournament being played here at the Sialkot Hockey Stadium with the teams winning includes Faisalabad, Bahawalpur, Sialkot and Lahore. RESULTS: Faisalabad beat Bannu 2-1 (Full Time) 1-1 (Half Time) Faisalabad: Rizwan 26th minute (FG) & M. Shan 59thminute (PC). Bannu: Atif 16th minute (FG). Bahawalpur beat Gojra 2-1 (Full Time) 00 (Half Time) Bahawalpur: Sohail Yousaf 38th minute (FG) & Zohaib khan 57th minute (FG). Gojra: Mubashir 68th minute (PC). Sialkot beat Quetta 1-0 (Full Time) 10-0 (Half Time) Sialkot: Hammad Zafar 2nd minute (FG), Nohaiz Zahid 5 Goals 5th, 7th, 25th, 28th, 49th minutes (FG), M. Ali 3 Goals 9th, 20th, 23rd minutes (PC), Ali Raza 14th minute (FG), Amir Sohail 29th minute (FG), M. Arslan 2 Goals 44th, 58th minutes (FG) & Qasim 48thminute (FG). Lahore beat karachi 2-0 (Full Time) 0-0 (Half Time) Lahore: Rana M. Atif 50th minute (FG) & Fezan Amjad 58th minute (FG).

Glory to Ahmad, Rida in SICAS-Salamat School Tennis LAhoRe STAFF REPORT

Ahmad Babar and Rida khalid clinched the 3rd SICAS-Salamat School System Tennis Tournament singles boys and girls title here at the Bagh-i-Jinnah’s PLTA Courts on Saturday. Shahid Husain, Chief Execuitve Officer of Servis Industries was the chief guest of the final and gave the trophies to the winners. Former Davis Cupper Rashid Malik and PLTA secretary khawaja Mohamamd Bakhsh were also present on the occasion. Babar shoved off the Zafar resistance in straight sets in the final and during the process there was rarely any occasion Zafar had troubled Babar who took the match 6-1, 6-4. Rida khalid beat Saba 6-2, 6-3 Abdal Haider like the under-18 final took the under-14 title in straight sets 6-3, 6-0. He beat Hafiz Arbab Ali who show some good ground strokes but wilted as the game approached in to advance sessions. In the under-12 category, Hafiz arbab Ali beat Sahabzada Mohammad Ali 6-2, 6-2 while in the under-10 age group, Taimur Ali beat Mohammad Saeed 6-3.

LAHORE: The participants of the SICAS-Salamat School Tennis Championship pose for a photograph. sTaff PhoTo


KHI 01-01-2012_Layout 1 1/1/2012 2:47 AM Page 28

Sunday, 1 January, 2012

27

Punjab to get little or no CNG at all LAhoRe

P

LAHORE: The owner of a filling station showing a transporter the OGRA notification banning the use of CNG in public transport vehicles in order to prevent deadly accidents, ease the gas shortage and improve gas pressure. inP

IMRAN ADNAN

UNJAB will get little or no Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) to run hundreds of thousands of gas-fired vehicles this winter, as despite three weekly gas holidays – from Monday to Wednesday – most CNG stations in the provincial capital are still closed because of low gas pressure. Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) disclosed that it was currently facing around 700mmcfd (million cubic feet per day) shortage that might swell to 800mmcfd during January 2012. They indicated that SNGPL had already issued provisional notices to CNG stations for complete shutdown for one month. A senior SNGPL official said Petroleum Minister Dr Asim Hussain had already announced complete closure of all CNG stations because of acute gas shortage and low pressure. He revealed that SNGPL had decided to reduce gas

pressure from 5pm to 10pm to most CNG stations in order to maintain reasonable pressure for domestic consumers. He said it was most likely that a large number of CNG stations in big cities would remain closed in the evenings during January if the government did not order complete suspension of gas supply to CNG stations. He said the drop in temperatures had given rise to huge demand for natural gas and its pressure was dropping on a daily basis. It was being expected that if CNG stations were not closed, gas supply to all other sectors would have to be curtailed, he said. It was a wrong impression, he said, that the government was discriminating against the CNG sector. In fact, acute shortage of natural gas had compelled the Sui companies to curtail gas supply across the board. He pointed out that a large number of industrial units were already closed and suspension of gas supply to another 4,000 industries across Punjab was awaiting the nod.

— will challenge cnG closure in sc LAHORE: The Punjab government decided on Saturday to move the Supreme Court against the federal government’s decision to close Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) stations to public transport. A highlevel meeting headed by Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif decided that the federal government’s decision would be challenged in the apex court. The meeting decided that the Punjab government would submit a petition in the Supreme Court within two days, in which it would tell the court that the CJP had taken suo motu notice in 2009 in which he ordered the government to run public transport without diesel, including Lahore, after which Lahore transporters installed CNG kits in their vehicles to continue their business, but now CNG was not being provided to public transport vehicles. inP

sc to decide haqqani’s court proceedings against fate on riM’s report Babar awan from January 4 ISLAMABAD MIAN ABRAR

Jurists say that with the memo case seized with the apex court, the fate of Husain Haqqani would now be decided by the data verification report of Canada-based Blackberry Company – research in motion (RIM) – on the basis of which a trial would be initiated. The legal wizards also believe that the parallel probe into the memo controversy by the judicial commission and parliamentary committee on national security (PCNS) are mere “fact finding” missions that would eventually have to share their findings with the Supreme Court of Pakistan that would decide the fate of Haqqani on the basis of the probe’s finding. Talking to Pakistan Today, Justice (r) Wajihuddin Ahmed said the parliamentary body tasked by the prime minister to probe the memo case, as well as the judicial commission, were mere fact finding missions and not decision making bodies. “Both would finally have to send their recommendations and findings to the apex court. Supposedly, if both commissions come up with divergent findings, an ultimate decision has to be taken by the court, which would examine the findings of both bodies and then

make a decision. None of the bodies can initiate a trial of the accused,” he said. Ahmed, however, said that under the rules of business of parliament, if any matter had been taken up by the apex court, the same could not be discussed in parliament or any subsidiary body. “Neither parliament nor any committee formed by parliament can even discuss a matter that has been taken up by the court. Moreover, no discussion can take place about judges’ conduct in parliament. No parliamentary committee can take up a matter if the court is seized with the same. It is against constitution and rules of business,” he asserted. Babar Sattar said there was remote possibility of a conflict between the findings of the judicial commission and parliamentary committee on national security, as both would have to make recommendations on the basis of the report of the blackberry company in question – the RIM. “The terms of reference (TORs) of the committee are clear – it would review the circumstances which led to the memo controversy. Moreover, on the basis of its findings, it may give recommendations to the court. If the RIM company confirms that the communication data was verified, Continued on page 04

ISLAMABAD STAFF REPORT

The Supreme Court will start formal proceedings against Dr Babar Awan from January 4 for addressing an alleged contemptuous press conference on December 1, 2011 against the apex court’s decision to accept Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz President Nawaz Sharif’s petition in the memo case. According to the declaration passed by the Supreme Court on Saturday: “After perusal of transcription of the press conference dated December 1, 2011 addressed by Dr Babar Awan, in presence of three others as well as reply/reaction of the Prime Minister dated December 23, 2011 and December 26, 2011 filed through Maulvi Anwar-ul-Haq, Attorney General for Pakistan, it is considered appropriate to take up this matter on judicial side. Thus, office is directed to place the matter before Bench No. 6 on January 4, 2012 for proceedings in accordance

with law.” The two-member bench, comprising Justice Ajaz Rahim and Justice Athar Saeed Sheikh, will conduct a hearing on this matter on January 4. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has sent the copies of its orders regarding the declaration of the memo case being worthy of hearing to all parties. The orders state: “After having heard the parties and having taken into consideration the relevant provisions of the Constitution and the law, judgements cited on behalf of both the sides and the pleadings of the parties carefully, we hold as under: (a) In exercise of powers of Judicial Review, we hold that in these petitions, petitioners have succeeded in establishing that the issues involved are justiciable and question of public importance with regard to enforcement of fundamental rights, prima facie, under Articles 9, 14 and 19A of the Constitution has been made out. Thus, the petitions under Article 184(3) of the Constitution are maintainable. “(b) To delineate meas-

ures with a view to ensure enforcement of the fundamental rights noted in para ibid, a probe is called for to ascertain the origin, authenticity and purpose of creating/drafting of Memo for delivering it to Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen through Gen (Retd) James Logan Jones, former US National Security Adviser. Thus, in exercise of powers conferred upon this Court under Article 187 of the Constitution, Order XXXII, Rules 1 and 2 read with Order XXXVI of the Supreme Court Rules, 1980 coupled with the principle of Civil Procedure Code, a Commission is appointed.” The court order appointed Balochistan High Court Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa the chairman of the commission and named Islamabad High Court Chief Justice Iqbal Hameed-ur-Rehman and Sindh High Court Chief Justice Mushir Alam its members. Islamabad District and Sessions Judge Raja Jawwad Abbas Hassan was appointed the secretary of the commission.

ahmad Kasuri asks sc to reject reference to reopen Bhutto case ISLAMABAD STAFF REPORT

In his reply to the presidential reference seeking to revisit the Zulfikar Ali Bhutto case, Ahmad Raza kasuri submitted to the Supreme Court on Saturday that the court had no jurisdiction to reopen the case, therefore, the presidential reference should be dismissed since the Supreme Court had already rejected the review petitions unanimously. The federation had filed the presidential reference under Article 186 of the constitution. “That instant case falls within the purview of settled principle of Law, ie ‘closed and past transaction’,” kasuri stated. Since the administration of justice heavily leaned in favour of ‘finality’, hence a litigation that was closed and past could not be reopened indirectly through Article 186 of the constitution, he contended. Besides, the word ‘revisit’ was unknown both to the law and constitution, he said, adding that one did not find any mention of word in any legal dictionary. He contended further that the advisory jurisdiction of the court, on an issue where it had already given its judgement, was not tenable keeping in view the interpretation of Article 186 and that was stated by the Supreme Court of India in an identical matter (AIR 1992 SC, 522). Article 143 of the Indian constitution was identical to Article 186 of Pakistan’s constitution, he argued. he counsel

said the president was constitutionally empowered to seek the advice or opinion of the apex court and the court had to answer the reference, but it was subject to conditions that the matter would be a ‘live issue’ and not previously decided by the court. “President Asif Ali Zardari is also the holder of the office of co-chairman of the PPP (Pakistan People’s Party), therefore, the reference to the Supreme Court is a reference by the party chief and not by the president of Pakistan. The nature of reference speaks for itself (res ipsa loquitor). Mr Bhutto being the founder of PPP is sought to be cleansed of the slur on his name that he was convicted and hanged for having committed a heinous crime of murder,” kasuri said. “Zardari has abused his power as president and in the garb of the reference seeks to reap advantage in utter bad faith (mala fides), by demonstrating that his leader Mr Bhutto was innocent and that the then judiciary was ill disposed against him and committed ‘judicial murder’ of his leader. The present applicant considers that alleging the Supreme Court judgement as ‘judicial murder’ is a blatant contempt of court,” he added. kasuri said further that the president was an interested party and it would not be possible to file a reference concerning his family affairs since he was the son-in-law of Bhutto.

Published by Arif Nizami for Nawa Media Corporation (Pvt) Ltd. Printed by Ghulam Akbar, AA & NHT Group, Plot 24, Shalimar Road, Lilly Market, Soan Garden, Islamabad.

Two children dead as bomb targets khyber tribal jirga PeShAWAR STAFF REPORT

Two children were killed and 18 others sustained serious injuries when a bomb planted in khyber Agency went off on Saturday. According to local sources, the explosives were planted near the guest house of tribal elder Malik Rasool Jan in koghakhel area of he agency’s Landi kotal tehsil. A tribal jirga was in process at the facility and the bomb went off just as the participants took a break for lunch and came out of the guest house. The injured included several tribal elders, who had gathered at the guest house to resolve a dispute through the jirga. The injured were rushed to hospital for treatment, while those in critical condition were moved to a hospital in Peshawar.


E-paper Pakistantoday KHI 1st January, 2011