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Husain Haqqani fears being killed if he leaves PM’s House
Democracy is our tribute to Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, say Zardari and Gilani
Kayani leaves for China to discuss security, defence
rs15.00 Vol ii no 189 22 pages Karachi — edition
thursday, 5 January, 2012 safar 10, 1433
Babus’ assets will be known to all
Door to military courts shut forever, says CJP ISLAMABAD MASOOD REHMAN
Cabinet approves bill making it mandatory for civil servants to make assets public g army, judiciary also no longer exempt from declaring assets g
He ‘Babus’ finally came under scrutiny on Wednesday, with the armed forces and judiciary also not being exempted, as the federal cabinet, in a landmark decision, rejected the observations of top bureaucrats and decided that all civil servants, including the armed forces and judiciary, must declare their assets to make them public like those of politicians. “The federal cabinet has approved a proposal of the private member’s bill to make public assets of all employees every year, and whoever draws salaries from the national exchequer would have to declare assets. This would include officers of judiciary and military,” Information Minister Dr Firdous Ashiq told reporters in a briefing on the decisions of the federal cabinet, which held a six-hour session to develop a strategy to deal with power and gas shortage. Asked whether the government had taken the decision in view of its stand-off with the judiciary and military establishment, the information minister said the cabinet had endorsed a private member’s bill and it was not its own initiative. “The cabinet did not take this decision in a confrontational mode. No specific individual or institution was targeted. Whosoever draws salary from the national exchequer, they would have to make their assets public. We have decided that this clause should not be restricted to politicians only and rather all state institutions should
be included in this system to ensure transparency,” she said. According to a summary of the Cabinet Division, the establishment and Law Divisions had rejected the private member’s bill by Pakistan Muslim LeagueQuaid (PML-Q) MNA Dr Donya Aziz, advising the federal cabinet to oppose it. The private member’s bill, moved in February last year, had proposed amendments in the Civil Servants Act of 1973 “to allow for the people of Pakistan, through their elected representatives in the National Assembly, to exert oversight in matters related to postings and promotion of civil servants”. The minister said the cabinet members were of the view that just like parliamentarians who declared their assets as routine practice, public sector employees should also declare their assets, which should also be publicised. The minister said every civil servant submitted assets every year but now their assets would be publicised in view of the cabinet’s decision. She also said the cabinet rejected another clause of the bill that aimed to clip powers of the prime minister in civil servants’ promotions. When asked whether the cabinet had taken any decision regarding the court notices sent to ministers and the government in the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) case, the minister said this issue was not part of the agenda. However, she added that the government’s legal team was discussing a strategy to deal with the issue. Continued on page 04
LAHORE: A woman makes flatbread for her family on a wood stove because of the acute shortage of gas in the country. Nadeem Ijaz
ISLAMABAD IRFAN BUKHARI
As all critical cases against the top Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leadership, including the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) case, the memo case, the presidential reference on the Zulfikar Ali Bhutto case and the contempt of court case, appear to be reaching their logical conclusion in a month or so, the government on Wednesday went berserk in the National
Seemingly in response to a statement of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Nawaz Sharif about setting up military courts in Karachi, which was widely reported in the media and criticised by the political parties, Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry observed on Wednesday that there was no room at all for military courts in the country as a constitutional court of ultimate jurisdiction had already shut doors for such courts forever. Heading an 11-member larger bench of the Supreme Court hearing a presidential reference filed by President Asif Ali Zardari under Article 186 of the constitution seeking to revisit the death sentence of former prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, the chief justice said the system was being run by the constitution and not by military courts. He said supremacy of the constitution was connected with its strict adherence by the judiciary, adding that the court had rejected the military courts’ law in the Liaquat Hussain case in the past. Referring to dictatorial regimes in the country, he categorically said past Continued on page 04
Assembly when even the usually cool-headed Syed Khurshid Shah, amidst heated arguments across the political divide, also lost his patience and blasted the courts and the judicial commission, saying “I don’t care about any contempt notice”. Surprisingly, after Opposition Leader Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan’s harsh criticism of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) for ‘dramatising’ the creation of Saraiki and Hazara provinces in the National Assembly without Continued on page 04
ppp top brass to disCuss Court Cases strategy today | page 04
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Thursday, 5 January, 2012
‘Novels are my first love’
No need for Hazara province, ANP tells MQM
Sarkozy camp outraged by opposition leader insult
Story on Page 06
Story on Page 09
Story on Page 15
nA speaker accepts resignations of six MnAs ISLAMABAD STAFF REPORT
National Assembly (NA) Speaker Dr Fehmida Mirza on Wednesday accepted resignations of six MNAs, who resigned after joining the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI). According to notifications issued by the NA Secretariat, Shah Mehmood Qureshi’s (NA-148 Multan) resignation was accepted with effect from November 15, Nawabzada Muhammad Khan Hoti ‘s (NA-9 Mardan) resignation was accepted with effect from December 16, Jahangir Tareen’s (NA-195 Rahimyar Khan) resignation was accepted with effect from December 21 and Makhdoom Javed Hashmi’s (NA-149 Multan), Maimoona Hashmi’s (RS Punjab) and Sardar Assef Ahmed Ali’s (NA-140 Kasur) resignation was accepted with effect from December 29.
SngPL team, police thrashed by ‘gas thieves’ GujrAnwALA ATIF BUTT
In an open example of lawlessness, the Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) Inspection Team, including the magistrate and policemen, were severely beaten by ‘gas thieves’ on Wednesday in Sadhoki area. According to reports, an inspection team consisting of Magistrate Abdul Sattar Khan, Operation engineer Sanaullah Tarar and policemen, including one ASI and two constables along with the SNGPL staff, raided Latif Woolen Mills on reports of massive gas theft. When the team inspected the factory, owner Farhan Sheikh threatened them of serious consequences and asked the team to leave. On refusal, the owner ordered factory workers to beat the team on which around 250 workers armed with iron rods and sticks attacked the team. The SNGPL staff was kept hostage for around two-and-a-half hours. Police and journalists reached the spot and after one hour negotiations between Chief engineer Hanif Ramay and the factory owner, the SNGPL team was released. Talking to Pakistan Today, negotiation team member Asim Mir said that Farhan lied to workers that the SNGPL team was against their livelihood on which they attacked the team. He said that the owner incited the workers to attack the team after gas theft was exposed. Asim said that team members were seriously injured. Talking to Pakistan Today, Sadhoki Police Station SHO Iqbal Aughla said that a case was registered against the owner under FIR number S/12 and Farhan was under detention under sections 506,342 and 148 of the PPC.
Major gas pipeline blown up QuETTA SHAHZADA ZULFIQAR
A major pipeline supplying gas to Sindh from Sui town was blown up in district Jaffarabad, some 320 kilometres south-east of Quetta, in the early hours of Wednesday. Unidentified saboteurs attached explosives to the pipeline, measuring 18 inches in diameter, in the Pat Feeder area near the Sindh-Balochistan border and blew it up. As a result, the gas supply was suspended from Sui town to the neighbouring province of Sindh. Anayatullah Ismail, the spokesmen of Sui Southern Gas Company Limited (SSGCL), confirmed the incident and said the pipeline was injecting around 114mmcfd of gas into the company’s network every day.
LAHORE: All Pakistan Textile Mills Association activists protest against gas load shedding at Manga Mandi on Wednesday. INp
Kayani leaves for China to discuss security, defence ISLAMABAD SHAIQ HUSSAIN
RMy chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani on Wednesday embarked on a five-day official visit to China at the invitation of the Chinese leadership amidst tensions in Pakistan’s relations with the United States. “The army chief will call on the political and military leadership of China during the visit,” the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in a statement. General Kayani’s interactions will encompass the complete range of Pakistan-China relations related to security and defence, the statement said. An official seeking anonymity said the visit of General Kayani was very important as it was taking place at a time when there was stalemate in relations between Islamabad and Washington. “At present, Pakistan and US are trying to iron out their differences and normalise the ties,
which got strained after NATO air strikes on Pakistani border posts. General Kayani will also brief the Chinese leadership and take them into confidence over these Pak-US efforts, as China is our close friend and important world power,” he said.
earlier, China had assured to stand by Pakistan through all difficult times as it advised the Pakistani leadership to defuse the tense situation and try to find an amicable solution to the stalemate in ties with the United States. He said apart from Pakistan-US standoff, General Kayani would also discuss with Chinese leaders ways to enhance bilateral defence ties. In recent years, China has provided Pakistan frigates, combat jets and other military equipment at subsidised prices or against soft loans and according to the official, the visit of army chief would further enhance the relations between the two friendly states in the field of security and defence. General Kayani is visiting China after last month’s trip to Islamabad by top Chinese diplomat Dai Bingguo. “The Chinese official also discussed the standoff between Pakistan and the US in his talks with Pakistani leaders during his stay in Islamabad,” the official said.
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Thursday, 5 January, 2012
ArTS & enTerTAinMenT
BIPS enraged over Rana’s digression
Clarke, Ponting pummel hapless India
CoMMenT Demand for fresh polls: ‘Democrats’ destabilising democratic processes.
Time to talk: Treading with caution.
Nazir Naji says: Spurned by the Taliban: We’re feeling left out.
Kuldip Nayar says: A toothless bill?: The disagreements over the Lokpal continue.
Imran Husain says: Swinging in reverse: Imran Khan needs to do more than rile emotions.
Story on Page 16
Story on Page 18
Articles on Page 12-13
RIM willing to share data with SC ISLAMABAD STAFF REPORT
Research In Motion (RIM), the Ottawa-based manufacturer of BlackBerry smartphones, has said that access to data might be given for court’s assistance, but vowed to defend the legal privacy rights of BlackBerry users after a judicial commission in Pakistan ordered copies of smartphone communications in the memo controversy probe. “Like others in our industry, from time to time, we may receive requests from legal authorities for lawful access
assistance,” the RIM said in a statement. “We are guided by appropriate legal processes and publicly disclosed lawful access principles in this regard as we balance any such requests against our priority of maintaining the privacy rights of our users,” it added. A high-powered three-member judicial commission had asked the government to make the data of former ambassador to US Husain Haqqani’s BlackBerry device available. However, some experts, who have gone through the documents presented before the apex court in the memo case, said while the Inter-Services Intelli-
gence (ISI) chief and the Supreme Court had called for verification of the BlackBerry communications between Mansoor Ijaz and Haqqani, the alleged drafting of the memo was never discussed in any email or BlackBerry Messenger message from Haqqani’s side and Haqqani had never denied exchanging communication with Mansoor Ijaz periodically. They argue that the BlackBerry data would only prove communication between the two that was not in dispute, as they say that the real question is whether Haqqani asked Ijaz to write and transmit the memo or not. Their opinion is that the manner in
Only parliament to decide on NATO supply: Khar ISLAMABAD STAFF REPORT
Sherry calls on PM to discuss US assignment
ISLAMABAD: Ambassador-designate to the US Sherry Rehman, who leaves for Washington early on Saturday on her new assignment, called on Prime Minister yousaf Raza Gilani here on Wednesday to discuss matters pertaining to her diplomatic responsibilities. “It may be mentioned that Sherry Rehman is leaving for USA soon to assume her diplomatic assignment there,” said a statement issued by the PM’s office. Rehman was supposed to leave for Washington by the end of the current month but owing to the expected ‘breakthrough’ in Pakistan-US relations, she has been asked to reach the US capital in the next few days. “Ambassador Rehman is supposed to play her role for the success of the process of reconciliation between Islamabad and Washington and back the current military-to-military contacts between the two sides in order to do away with the impasse in their ties over the NATO air strikes in Mohmand agency,” said a Pakistani official, who asked not to be named. He said the ongoing secret talks between Islamabad and Washington had proved to be somewhat fruitful and once again there were chances that the relations would be put back on track as a result of the breakthrough. STAFF REPORT
OReIGN Minister Hina Rabbani Khar told the National Assembly on Wednesday that it was only parliament, which would take a decision regarding NATO supplies to Afghanistan through Pakistan. “The Parliamentary Committee on National Security is looking into the matter. The recommendations of the envoys’ conference have also been forwarded to the same committee and it will formulate recommendations vis-àvis the terms of engagement with NATO, ISAF and the US, in light of these recommendations and keeping in view the ground realities,” she said in reply to a question during the question hour. She said the recommendations of the security committee would be discussed in the House to reach a unanimous decision on the issue. To another question, Khar said it was difficult immediately after May 2 incident for Pakistan to show such a response as expressed after the attack on the Salala checkpost because the country was comparatively on weaker morale position due to proven presence of Osama bin Laden on its soil. The foreign minister said the sanction regimes on Iran due to its nuclear programme would not affect Iran-Pak-
which Mansoor Ijaz’s statements were released through a section of the media, an impression was created that there was ‘incontrovertible’ evidence of Haqqani’s link to the memo Ijaz had sent to US Admiral Mike Mullen through former national security adviser General James Jones. The 81-page affidavit submitted in the Supreme Court by Mansoor Ijaz made it clear that the only alleged link between Haqqani and the memo were handwritten notes made by Ijaz of a telephone call. None of the text messages and BBM messages included in the affidavit referred to the memo.
My life is in danger, but will return: Musharraf
US continuing dialogue with Pakistan: Pentagon wASHInGTOn ONLINE
The United States is continuing military dialogue with Pakistan despite recent serious setbacks because the US-Pakistani relationship is very important, Pentagon spokesman George Little said on Wednesday. The US, he said, had conducted “a thorough investigation” into the border incident in late November, in which 24 Pakistani soldiers were killed in a NATO air strike near the Afghanistan border, and “expressed our deepest regret to the Pakistani people”, the spokesman told reporters. “We have acknowledged and take responsibility for the mistakes we made on Nov 25-26,” he said, adding that the US had also offered to compensate the families of those killed and wounded in the incident. Despite the US moves to remedy the relations damaged by the attack, ground supply routes through Pakistan remained closed to coalition forces in Afghanistan. “We are hopeful that our Pakistani partners will reopen the ground supply routes,” Little said. istan gas pipeline project, saying Islamabad was keen to complete it as soon as possible. She said there were three kinds of sanction regimes ie UN sanctions, US sanctions and european Union sanctions. “The export of gas from Iran does not fall under any of these,” the foreign minister said. Minister for Professional and Technical Training Riaz Hussain Pirzada told the House that Pakistan and India were working on a list of 58 items to be included in the mutual trade. Defending the government’s decision to declare India the most favoured
nation, Pirzada said it would benefit Pakistan and added the mutual trade would cost comparatively low to both countries due to cross border route. He said the decision to declare India as MFN was taken after consulting all institutions concerned. To a question, she said the number of trade centres along the Line of Control would be increased as the country was trying to increase LoC trade. To a question, Federal Minister for Railways Haji Ghulam Ahmad Bilour said employees were getting their salaries on time now, adding that pensioners were also not facing problems.
KArACHI STAFF REPORT
Former president General (r) Pervez Musharraf has said despite the threat to his life, he would return to the country and fight back. He was video conferencing with his party workers and businessmen on Wednesday. Musharraf said he would announce the date of his return to the country at a public rally of his party at Quaid-e-Azam’s mausoleum on January 8. He said the government had failed to deliver, despite getting the opportunity for a third time. “If I get political backing, I am willing to work for the country. I am confident that I will get another chance to work,” he said. Musharraf said he would appeal to the people of all four provinces to vote for his party and give him a chance again, as he could take the country out of crises.
Military top brass ‘doesn’t want to rock the boat’ LAHOrE NADEEM SyED
Majority of the corps commanders and top brass of the military are supportive of army chief Gen Ashfaq Kayani’s approach of letting the Pakistan People’s Party government complete its term. Sources close to both political and military leaderships maintain that apart from some powerful elements in the military that want to see the back of the incumbents at the earliest even if that involves some sort of tinkering with the prevailing political system, the rest of the lot does not want to get involved in any controversial move which may harm the PPP government. But more heartening for the rulers is
that although Gen Kayani and most of his corps commanders are not happy with the performance of the government, they have no desire of sending the PPP government packing through any adventurism. The sources revealed that Kayani also recently conveyed a message to the prime minister through common friends and intermediaries to be more watchful in the coming days in the wake of the ‘memogate’ controversy, adding that the PM softened his stance inside and outside parliament after this “message”. The top military brass was not happy with the stance of the political leadership on “memogate” and the way the government was protecting former Pakistani ambassador to the US Husain Haqqani. Some
recent outbursts of the prime minister also worked to widen the gulf between the two state institutions. Tension soared between the two institutions when the leaders from both sides took diametrically opposite positions on “memogate” before the Supreme Court, creating political instability in the country. But Gen Kayani’s statement that the military would not destablise the present set up and supported democracy, followed by President Asif Zardari’s reconciliatory tone during his recent address to mark the death anniversary of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto worked wonders in damage-control efforts. The sources claimed that the situation is under control now, terming any move of
destablisation of the government next to impossible. The images of meeting of the prime minister with the army chief and the Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee Gen Khalid Shamim Wyne and chiefs of other services on the sidelines of an event at the National Defence University also indicate the increasing thaw in the relations between the two institutions. Political analysts believe that there is hardly any constitutional way to dislodge the president or the prime minister, let alone removing them both. They said removal of one through any legal or other means would not serve the purpose either. However, some political leaders think that the government was still not out of the woods and the month of March would be very crucial.
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Thursday, 5 January, 2012
PCNS needs another week to finalise Govt strikes a defiant note in Na war against terror recommendations Continued from page 1
ISLAMABAD ARLIAMeNTARy Committee on National Security (PCNS) on Wednesday decided to extend cut-off date for finalising its recommendations about the country’s role in war against terrorism and the proposals would be finalised next week, Pakistan Today has learnt reliably. A source said the commission discuss the recommendations made by the foreign ministry and defence ministry. The source said substantial developments were made today and a consensus was being developed. However, the sensitivity of the matter meant the cut out date is being extended and recommendations will be finalised next week.”
However, the source said the committee has finalised its draft recommendations on the new terms of engagement with Nato and ISAF forces which would be sent to Prime Minister yousuf Raza Gilani. Later, briefing reporters after the meeting of committee held at the Parliament House, PCNS Chairman Senator Raza Rabbani said committee members carefully discussed 63 recommendations, including proposals from committee members, from the envoys’ conference and the ministry of defence and ministry of foreign affairs in light of the overall international situation after the NATO attack on Pakistani checkposts in Mohmand agency. “The committee has almost finalized its recommendations,” he said. On the continued absence of the finance minister from committee meeting, Rabbani said the finance minister will attend the
Asia Bibi is ‘well’, faces ‘no threat in jail’: husband
5 TTp men, 2 FC troops killed in zhob
LAHORE: Asia Bibi, a Christian woman sentenced to death for blasphemy last year is “well” and faces “no threat in jail”, her husband told AFP on Wednesday, rejecting recent claims of her poor health. “She is perfectly alright, all the media stories about her are incorrect”, Ashiq Masih, husband of Asia, told AFP by phone. The Masihi Foundation, a purported Christian rights group, said in December it had visited the 46-year-old and was quoted by Catholic news agency Fides describing Bibi’s “very frail” physical and mental state. But her husband said the rights group “never visited her”, and insisted “she has no threat in jail”. Sheikhupura Jail Superintendent Sheikh Khalid Pervaiz also told AFP that Asia had received no visitors apart from her husband. “She is well in her lock up. She is getting special treatment in CClass cell. No other person other than her husband met her in the jail for the last one year or so,” he said. AFP
Senate body approves economic Zones Bill ISLAMABAD: Senate Standing Committee on Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Wednesday approved “The Special economic Zones Bill, 2010” with minor amendments, which included inclusion of two members of the parliament to be nominated by the Prime Minister in the Board of Approval (BOA) and that decisions of the BOA shall be taken by 51 percent of its total strength. Senator Muhammad Kazim Khan chaired the meeting held at the parliament house. There shall be established for each province and for Islamabad Capital Territory an authority to be known as the Special economic Zone (SeZ) Authority. The Zone developer would be entitled to concessions like exemptions from all taxes on all imported capital goods for development, operation and maintenance of the SeZ. exemption from all taxes on income accruable in relation to the development and operation of the SeZ for a period of 10 years, starting from the date of signing of the development agreement. Any person having 50 acres of land in any part of the country can apply for SeZ without any restriction. STAFF REPORT
QuETTA SHAHZADA ZULFIQAR
Five militants of Tehreek-eTaliban Pakistan and two personnel of paramilitary forces were killed in an armed encounter in Zhob, 320kms northeast of Quetta on Wednesday. Ten of the militants were arrested, however, their commander succeeded in escaping. Intelligence agencies had received reports that a TTP commander, Ainul Zaman, had taken shelter with his militants in Murga Kibzai area of Zhob. A large number of Frontier Corps Balochistan personnel surrounded the hideout
Thursday meeting to present his perspective. “The secretaries of foreign affairs and defence will be invited to attend the meeting on Tuesday next week to give their input. If found necessary, their points of view will be incorporated in the final recommendations,” he added. He said the final recommendations will be sent to the Prime Minister to present them in the joint session of Parliament and form a strategy in the light of the recommendations. Replying to a query, he said that all the recommendations had been finalised with a consensus and there was no descending note from any member. Members of the committee include Wasim Sajjad, Prof Khurshid Ahmed, Ishaq Dar, Munir Khan Orakzai, Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao, Syed Haider Abbass Rizvi and Sardar Mehtab Abbassi.
and started operation in the morning. An exchange of fire between the two sides lasted for about five hours. As a result, five militants were killed, while ten others were arrested along with a large cache of arms. Reports said the house in which the TTP commander and militants were hiding belonged to a brother of former JUI-F provincial minister Faizullah Akhunzada from Zhob. An FC spokesman said that in the wake of rising incidents of kidnapping of government officials and NGO staff in Killa Saifullah, Killa Abdullah and Pishin, the security agencies started gathering information about militants.
Babus’ assets Continued from page 1 Responding to another question about whether she had received a contempt notice from the apex court, the information minister said she had not received any notice yet. “Whatever action is taken by the government would be within the ambit of law and the constitution. When they feel it is appropriate, they will share their strategy with the media. We want to strengthen the state institutions. We have rendered sacrifices for the supremacy of the judiciary,” she said. The information minister also held the opposition parties responsible for public unrest on gas and power load shedding, claiming that the opposition parties were provoking innocent people to act against the government. “The opposition is politicising the energy crisis and a conspiracy is being hatched to provoke the people. Moreover, Punjab Police does not cooperate with SNGPL officials and the officials are refused security provision when they take action against gas thieves,” claimed the minister. The information minister said the federal cabinet directed the Petroleum Ministry to ensure smooth supply of gas to domestic consumers. The cabinet also directed the ministry to suspend gas supply to industrial, fertiliser and cement sectors along with independent power producers (IPPs) in January, she added. Chairing the meeting, Prime Minister yousaf Raza Gilani ordered that in January, full gas pressure should be ensured for domestic con-
sumers and the agreement reached by the ministry with the CNG sector should be implemented in letter and spirit, under which no gas would be provided to industrial sector three months every year, said Firdous. She said during a comprehensive briefing to the cabinet by the petroleum secretary, the prime minister was requested to inaugurate the Kunnar Pasaki gas field near Hyderabad in the next few days, which would help add 100mmcfd gas to the system. Firdous said Sindh produced 69 percent of the country’s natural gas while its consumption was 41 percent; Balochistan produced 17 percent while it consumed only 7 percent; Khyber Pakhtunkhwa produced 9 percent and consumed 7 percent, while Punjab produced 5 percent and consumed 45 percent.Firdous said the government had reduced the inflation ratio to a single digit of 9.7 percent from 15.5 percent. The minister said that Sensitive Price Index (SPI), Consumer Price Index (CPI) and Wholesale Price Index (WPI) had all registered decreases as compared to the same period last year. The information minister said the cabinet also decided to add additional financial support to increase power generation by at least 1,200 megawatts and it was decided to give Rs 15 billion in additional subsidy to the power generation sector to reduce load shedding. This would be in addition to Rs 10 billion already allocated to this sector, taking the total tally to Rs 25 billion, she added.
having representation in Punjab and KhyberPakhtunkhwa, another Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) central leader Ahsan Iqbal offered support of 92 PML-N MNAs to the Awami National Party (ANP) and the MQM to form a government “to get rid of the incompetent and corrupt PPP government”. Amid shouts of “electricity thieves” and “gas thieves” by the PML-N parliamentarians and “tandoor thieves” from the PPP side, Religious Affairs Minister Syed Khurshid Shah said the Supreme Court should take suo motu notice to determine who was responsible for the current energy crisis in the country. “If suo motu notices can be taken on small pieces of paper, why can such actions not be taken on such serious issues? We are not afraid of contempt of court notices,” Shah said. At one stage, Water and Power Minister Naveed Qamar asked PML-N lawmakers to avoid indulging in politics of allegations otherwise the quarrel between politicians might encourage the “third force” to send democratic parties packing. In a bid to settle scores, Shah started pointing out the misconduct of the PML-N in Punjab. He said there was a Rs 120 billion deficit in Punjab. “They will also attempt to close the BISP (Benazir Income Support Programme) in future, which is associated with 7 million poor families of this country,” he said. He also raised the issue of the pardon that was given by former president Pervez Musharraf during his tenure, saying the NRO was comparatively respectable. Shah made this point when the PML-N lawmakers were taunting the PPP-led government by chanting “NRO” during his speech. “We are ready for accountability so the opposition should avoid levelling allegations,” he added.
Nisar also claimed that PML-N President Nawaz Sharif had not said the PMLN would establish military courts again to control law and order in Karachi. “I, on behalf of Nawaz Sharif and the party, clarify that he never said in Karachi that if he come into power, he would establish military courts. Nawaz Sharif was just referring to military courts which the PML-N set up in its past government to control law and order in Karachi,” he said while speaking on a point of order. He criticised Prime Minister yousaf Raza Gilani for his speech in the House in which he had strongly condemned Nawaz’s remarks about establishing military courts in Karachi. “It has been the tradition of the House to not hit out at anyone who is not the member of this House. Nawaz had just said that his civilian government had used military courts for restoration of peace in Karachi. The PML-N and its leadership completely reject the idea of establishing military courts in any part of the country,” Nisar said. Sharing background of establishment of military courts in Karachi during the PML-N government, Ch Nisar said that the decision had been taken by the cabinet. “I had opposed the idea strongly but it was passed with majority vote, then the Supreme Court termed those courts against law and we accepted apex court’s decision without any protest,” he said. Nisar said the PML-N was not only against military courts but it also opposed military operations in the country. Speaking about the controversy over the creation of new provinces in the House in the last session, Nisar said the PML-N was not against creation of new provinces in the country but it was a sensitive matter that should be dealt with carefully and under the constitution. Without naming the MQM, he said the party that
was demanding Saraiki and Hazara provinces in Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa had not a single seat in provincial assemblies of both provinces. He said the PML-N was not against Bahawalpur, Hazara or any other province but opposed the creation of provinces along linguistic lines. “If provinces are created on the basis of language, it will create unending unrest in the country. Punjab can afford provinces on lingual basis but other provinces will not be able to bear the process,” he said, adding that the prime minister should represent the whole country instead of representing only Saraiki people. He demanded the formation of a high-level commission on the creation of new provinces. “In all countries where new provinces were created, they were made by commissions. We will have to reach consensus on numerous issues such as grounds of divisions, assets, liabilities, seats of representation in the Senate, etc,” he said, adding that through the slogan of new provinces the government was trying to divert the people’s attention from real issues. “Since the government knows it will be rejected by the people in the next elections for their bad governance and corruption, they are trying to win the people’s support through this slogan,” he asserted. During Nisar’s speech, Jamshed Dasti of the PPP chanted the slogan of “Long live the Saraiki province”, to which the PML-N lawmakers responded with shouts of “Fake degree”. Responding to the PMLN’s criticism of power outages, Qamar said the prime minister would inaugurate the Kunnar project next week, which would be helpful in meeting the demand in the gas sector in future. “Mere point-scoring and blame game would not work as this is not the way to do politics,” he added.
door to military courts shut Continued from page 1 adventurism was enough, so everybody should make it clear that there was no way out for military rule in the country. At the outset of the hearing, Sindh Advocate General Fateh Malik, who appeared on notice, defended the presidential reference saying that the author and architect of the constitution of Pakistan – Bhutto - was hanged, so his case demanded that justice must be done. He said, in fact, the reference was not filed to seek revisiting of the Bhutto case, but to get an opinion of the court on questions of law raised in the reference. The chief justice observed that the court would deliver an exemplary judgement in the reference, so it had to judge whether it could revisit any duly decided case or not under Article 186 of constitution. He said the president, being constitutional head of the state, was the president for all. He said it would be better if the presidential reference was defended on legal and constitutional
grounds instead of emotional arguments. The advocate general contended that the apex court had heard Nawaz Sharif’s case after years by expanding its jurisdiction, upon which the chief justice noted that his case was not filed under Article 186 of the constitution. “Is parliament authorised to declare judicial decisions null and void?” Justice Mian Saqib Nisar asked the advocate general, adding that parliament was the platform for the presidential reference. Justice Sarmad Jalal Osmany noted that the Bhutto case was a unique case in the history of Pakistan, adding that the law was the same for everyone. In his arguments, federation’s counsel Babar Awan stated that under the constitution the court was bound to hear the questions of law raised in the presidential reference. One of the amicus curiae, Fakhruddin G ebrahim, submitted that the court had to decide whether the trial in the Bhutto case was legal or illegal and what was its jurisdiction with respect to Article 186 of the constitution and the presi-
dential reference. He however submitted that one of the judges of the bench that had heard the Bhutto case had confessed in a television programme that he was under immense pressure to deliver a verdict against Bhutto. He said that was enough evidence of a biased approach in the trial. He said that during the martial law period, judges had one eye on the law and the other on the GHQ, as military dictators kept judges in their pockets. Another amicus curiae Abdul Hafeez Pirzada submitted that it was the prerogative of the president to decide which matter had public importance and might be sent to the Supreme Court for its opinion. He said there was no plea in the reference, but it only sought the opinion of the apex court. Quoting a recent verdict of the Supreme Court, he said for supremacy of the constitution, Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry had also declared the appointment of 102 judges illegal. The court then adjourned further hearing for Thursday (today).
Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said a committee was formed to oversee the power crisis but in three months, only four meetings were held. Qamar replied that it was the prerogative of the committee’s chairman to call meetings. In response to Khurshid Shah, PML-N legislator Hanif Abbasi proposed a commission chaired by Shah to analyse the allegations. The House also passed the Delimitation of Constituencies (Amendment) Bill of 2011, thus brining the provisions of Delimitation of Constituencies Act of 1974 in conformity with Articles 51, 106 and 218 of the constitution as amended by the Constitution (18th Amendment) Act of 2010. The bill, moved by Law Minister Maula Bakhsh Chandio and already passed by the Senate, stated that on the basis of the population, a total of 17 seats should be allocated to Balochistan in the National Assembly. Similarly, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa should be given a total of 43 seats, 35 general and eight reserved for women; Punjab should be given 183 seats, 148 general and 35 reserved for women; Sindh should be given 75, 61 general and 14 reserved for women; FATA should be given 12 seats and the federal capital should get two seats in the National Assembly, he added. There would be a total of 332 seats in the National Assembly, aside from 10 seats reserved for non-Muslims. earlier, before passing the bill, the House unanimously allowed PML-N’s Zahid Hamid to introduce two amendments in the bill, which were later passed by the House. A bill to give effect to the convention on the prohibition of development production and stockpiling of bacteriological and toxin weapons and on their destruction (The Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (Implementation) Bill of 2012) was also introduced in the House.
PPP top brass to discuss court cases strategy today ISLAMABAD STAFF REPORT
The top brass of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), also known as the core committee, will meet today (Thursday) to finalise its strategy to deal with the contentious issues confronting the party leadership, including pending cases of NRO, contempt notices served on party leaders, presidential reference for reopening the ZAB case and the memo controversy. Though the presidency staff expressed ignorance about the meeting that was not included in official engagements of the president, a party leader said the decision was taken during a meeting of the president with Dr Babar Awan. Despite repeated attempts, no official word was available about the time of meeting, but a source said the meeting would be held in the afternoon on Thursday.
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over 5,000 illegal connections removed in operations keSC’s anti-theft drive 07
From slums, HuT makes its presence felt ■ Stickers of pan-islamic global network crop up along roadsides, calling on people to unite for establishing caliphate system in Pakistan KArACHI
AKING advantage of political instability in the country, Hizbut Tahrir (HuT) – a selfproclaimed non-violent, international organisation with an aim to unify all Muslim countries in a single Islamic state or ‘caliphate’ – is quietly spreading its influence in the metropolis, preaching to unite for the establishment of caliphate in Pakistan – the only Muslim nuclear power state. Caliphate (or khilafat) – the dominion of a caliph (successor) – refers to the first system of governance established in Islam. The head of the state and other officials are representatives of the people and of Islam and must govern according to constitutional and religious laws (Shariah). Operating undercover most of the time, the pan-Islamic global network has invited, through indirect channels, the ‘sincere’ Pakistan Army officials to join HuT and help in its efforts to turn Pakistan from “Darul Kufr” into “Darul Islam” and fight against the US and India – the “real enemies of Pakistan and Muslims”. Concentrating its efforts in the slums of Karachi, the HuT is pasting its posters on the walls and electric poles along the roadsides, while its members are regularly visiting mosques in Landhi, Malir, Shah Faisal Colony and Gulistan-e-Jauhar to deliver lectures after the prayers. After hectic efforts, Pakistan Today was able to arrange a meeting with a group working for the HuT. When asked about their objectives, the group members said they were working for the establishment of a caliphate system in the country. “We are inviting the sincere officers of the Pakistan Army to join the HuT against the traitors within their ranks. We are trying to convince them that how can they allow the US to hijack the strongest army of the Muslim world,” they said. The message to the Pakistan Army officials was: “Can you afford that the US and India, in collaboration with these traitors, ride at your backs? If not then it is the right time to join HuT and help us in establishing caliphate in Pakistan. From the very first day of its establishment, the caliphate would result in enhancement of manpower and resources for you [army]
and unite Muslims in one state, which may prove a great nation in terms of both power and resources.” The group was of the view that then Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf helped the US in occupying Afghanistan by chanting the fake slogan “Sab Sey Pehlay Pakistan”. “Pakistan gave its sea route, air bases and road links to US for attacking the landlocked country; thereby, damaging the friendly relations between the Muslim states,” they said. “The US then established a strong relationship with our archrivals India, and is now threatening Pakistan of attacking its nuclear assets.” “Utilising its bases in Afghanistan, the US has attacked Pakistan several times and now they are moving freely within the General Headquarters (GHQ) and others sensitive installations while sharing intelligence,” the group opined. “After the extension in his service tenure, COAS General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani is busy in delivering what the US wants from Pakistan,” they alleged. “The US along with the COAS plans a strong block against China, the next super power of the world, and India will play the lead role in this mission.” “In exchange, India along with the US is trying to bury the dispute of occupied Kashmir,” they added. “The HuT had warned the Pakistan Army that the US and the UK have decided to prefer India over Pakistan and the present government wants to establish a friendly relationship with its archrival and agents of the US and the UK in the government set-up are playing a role in this game,” the group members told Pakistan Today. Speaking on condition of anonymity,
huT disseminating its agenda in Model Colony. ImraN aLI an intelligence agency official confirmed that groups operating for the HuT are becoming increasingly active in the slums of Karachi. “In 1990, the HuT initiated its activ-
ities discreetly in Pakistan but they have come out in the open now,” he said. “HuT activists come out on roads at night and paste the organisation’s stickers along the roads.”
A part of the huT letter that calls for jihad against the US and india.
attacks on cellular franchises: were they asking for it? KArACHI WAQAR HAMZA
Though the actual reasons of the recent attacks on two cellular franchises in Karachi have yet to be ascertained, industry sources and real-time experiences are suggesting that the franchises are paying for their massive violations of the security paradigm. It has been learnt that almost all the franchises of the mobile phone companies in the city are involved in huge violations of personal and social security norms that include issuance of SIM (subscriber identity module) cards without the required documents – even the mandatory requirement of a photocopy of the computerised national identity card (CNIC); illegal porting out of mobile numbers; issuance of duplicate SIM cards without the required SIM jackets; leaking out call records to people; re-issuance of blocked SIMs in the name of original subscribers, etc. One of the customer services
“We are trying to track down the people behind the HuT campaign and will hopefully arrest the mastermind behind this planning in the days to come,” the intelligence officer said.
agents at a local franchise located at the Shahrah-e-Faisal said that he was given life threats for not issuing a duplicate SIM card without being provided with a SIM jacket, call details and a copy of the CNIC. “I tried my best not to surrender to the threats of the criminals who wanted to have somebody else’s SIM, but since I am not provided with sufficient security and these types of threats are a routine matter, my family didn’t let me continue my job,” he added. The biggest violation they are involved in is to port out mobile numbers illegally, and nobody’s number is safe. Sources said that once the Darakhshan superintendent of police (SP) faced this issue when his Mobilink number was illegally ported out to Zong, putting him in a dilemma because his number was activated on two connections at the same time. “The SP was not able to receive calls on his original number, but could dial, so one can imagine how powerful
this practice of illegal porting out is,” added the sources. I, too, faced this problem recently when my number 0322-6197275 was reissued to someone else, despite the fact that I had got this number blocked some six months ago. In another case, a person wanted to have call details of some numbers issued, claiming that his brother was kidnapped and he was receiving calls for ransom from the numbers he wanted to have call details of, but he did not have a copy of the FIR that could serve as proof of the kidnapping. Most of the time, the franchise staffs carry out these illegal activities either on being provided a personal reference or for money. The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) is equally responsible for these illegal practises by the franchises. “It is a very common complaint that 789, which is the SIM activation service of the PTA, doesn’t work. After registration of their SIMs with 789, some 90 percent subscribers find that their SIMs
are still in the names of somebody else,” the sources added. Considering these massive violations, said the sources, it is likely that the attacks on the franchises of Telenor and Mobilink could be motivated by personal enmity, counter assault or forcing their staffs to engage in illegal practises. Mobilink spokesman Umer Manzoor said that the security agencies are investigating the matter and they are cooperating with them. Telenor Corporate Communications Manager Affan Haider said that nothing has been ascertained yet as the prime reason of the attack. It is pertinent to mention here that on December 23, two armed men entered a Telenor franchise and killed two people, while two were injured. On January 3, some unidentified men hurled a hand grenade at an outlet of Mobilink in Nazimabad that left four people wounded. Reportedly, the reason of the attack in the latter case was personal enmity with the owner of the franchise.
‘Pagara may be taken to London’ KArACHI STAFF REPORT
Pakistan Muslim League-Functional (PML-F) chief/Hurs’ spiritual leader Pir Pagara, who is in critical condition and has been under treatment at a private hospital in Karachi for over a month, might be shifted to London for further treatment. Pagara was admitted to the hospital on November 24 and might be shifted to London for further treatment. Pagara’s son/PML-F Sindh President Pir Sadruddin Shah Rashidi has already left for London to make arrangements for his father’s treatment in London. A Kingri House spokesperson has confirmed the news, saying that the doctors at the hospital where Pagara is currently under treatment have allowed him to travel to London. A team of doctors might also be travelling with Pagara, who has been coping with complications with his kidneys and lungs. Many political personalities, including PMLNawaz chief Nawaz Sharif, Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah, Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul ebad Khan and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Vice President Shah Mehmood Qureshi, visited the hospital, but due to Pagara’s critical condition, they were not permitted to see him.
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‘Novels are my first love’
■ karachi-born writer Sehba Sarwar discusses with Tamil writer Thenmozhi her interest in writing and the role of literature in the country of ‘drone attacks and terror attacks’ THE HInDu
eHBA Sarwar is a writer, multidisciplinary artist and activist, now based in Houston. She moves between the city of her birth, Karachi, where she spent the first half of her life in a home filled with artists, activists and educators, and her adopted city, Houston, where she has recreated a community similar to the one in which she was raised. Sarwar’s first novel ‘Black Wings’ was published in 2004, and her short stories have appeared in anthologies including ‘And The World Changed’ and ‘Neither Night Nor Day’. Alongside her fiction, Sarwar has published a wide range of essays in publications, while her poetry has been published in anthologies in Pakistan and the US. In addition to her writings, Sarwar serves as artistic/founding director of Voices Breaking Boundaries (VBB), a non-profit arts-activist organisation in Houston, through which she has created a series of video collages that have been screened in Pakistan, India, egypt and the US. Currently, she’s working on her second novel and a collection of essays. Your first encounter with creative writing. I have always been a passionate reader. While growing up in Karachi, I attended a British school and much like anyone who goes through a post-colonial education curriculum, I read a lot of work in english by British writers. I didn’t know about a global world of writers till I flew to the US for an undergraduate degree. There, I was introduced to the works of Anita Desai, Chinua Achebe, Gabriel Garcia Marquez and many others. I also began writing at that time – I was about 19 years old. Before that time, I read vastly, but wrote mostly journalistic pieces for a wonderful eveninger that is now defunct, but was the training ground for many amazing journalists who stayed in the field. After completing my degree, I returned to Karachi and resumed working at the eveninger, but by that time, I was writing a lot of fiction as well, and have continued to do so. Currently, I explore a variety of writings through my work—and I continue to write mostly in english. Novels are my first love and I am working on my second manuscript. I also write poetry and essays. I am also producing video collages and creating installations for VBB that I cofounded 11 years ago. After 9/11, the western world turned hostile towards Muslims. Do you face any hardships? I am a “cultural Muslim” and not a practising one. As such, I haven’t faced that many challenges – in that area, at least. This is also because I am immersed in the alternative arts and activist communities in both Houston and Karachi, so I receive more solidarity than anything else. However, many of my male friends from the subcontinent had tough experiences in the US after 9/11 – and as we
know, stereotypes still continue to affect the lives of many people in the overall Muslim community, not just in the US, but around the globe. Some insight into your family. I was raised in an activist family. My father organised the student movement in Pakistan. He spent a year in jail during the 1950s and was known in the community for his socialist ideals. My mother is an educator and has also been very active in the community. As teenagers during the early Zia years, my sister and I participated in women’s protest rallies in Karachi, as the Women’s Action Forum was being formed. Our home was unusual in that we were immersed in art and politics. My mother used to organise music, dance, poetry gatherings at our house, and as children, we understood the importance of art and speaking out. My sister, Beena Sarwar, is a well-known journalist who is working on peace efforts between India and Pakistan, and there are many educated women in our family who live around the world and work in education, medicine and the arts. You write short stories, poetry, novels and a column. Which form are you most comfortable with? I am most comfortable with novels – that is what I read the most. Since my daughter’s birth (she’s now seven), I’ve had less time to immerse into my second novel, and have been producing essays, poems and short stories. I also enjoy writing essays and I maintain a blog sporadically – but my favourite writing form is the novel. As I said, I read novels much more than any other kinds of writings and I love to just stumble into new worlds – imagined and real – through writings. When working on a manuscript (I’m working on my second one), I allow the characters to guide the narrative, and I love the surprises along the journey. Have you faced any obstacles in publishing your works? I am fortunate to have different options for publication. My New york-based agent tried to get my first novel published in the US way back in 2004, but many editors wanted the novel to represent stereotypes of Pakistani women. So, I went ahead and chose to be published by a Pakistani publisher. I am happy that I chose that option. I did not have to make any text changes and was given the freedom to have the book cover designed by a close friend of mine. As far as my essays, poems and short stories go, I haven’t experienced many problems getting those works published. How did you meet Benazir Bhutto? I first met Benazir Bhutto when I was a 22-year-old reporter for the eveninger, and Benazir had returned to Pakistan after General Zia’s death. I was passionate about her work. But after her two terms as prime minister, I became a little disenchanted. However, when she returned in 2007 and was running for office
again, I had hope. I felt certain that she could turn Pakistan around, and, like most people in the country, was devastated when she was killed. My daughter and I were in Karachi that December and we saw the city burn. Till today, my daughter remembers Benazir Bhutto and she asks why there have been no women national leaders in the US. To the outside world, Pakistan means drone attacks and terror attacks. In this atmosphere, do you see any role for literature? There has always been strong writing in South Asia. Of course, today, there is a stereotype about Pakistan being a country on the verge of collapse. The truth is that art always prevails. even through the tough Zia years, women and men were producing art and literature and we continue to do so. A new literary festival has sprouted in Karachi, and there are many alternative spaces in most major Pakistani cities where artists, poets and writers gather to share work with a larger audience. A large number of Pakistanis are publishing their works in different languages all around the country – so, yes, there is a place for literature. There always has been, and we need to read work from all sides of the borders – inside and out – so we can learn and grow. You have mentioned your daughter Minal in many of your articles. What is the place of a girl child in the Muslim world? My husband is Mexican American. Minal represents at least five different government-carved borders... and she has a place in the world, not just the Muslim world. She already creates and performs poetry and can express herself. No matter where she lives – in Pakistan, the US or anywhere else – she will do well. What about the contemporary literary scene of Pakistan? Who are the important women writers today? Many Pakistani women are producing rich writings in Urdu and other languages: Razia Fasih Ahmed, Attiya Dawood, Hasina Gul, Kishwar Naheed, Zehra Nigah, Fehmida Riaz. Women are also writing in english (which is read by a smaller percentage of Pakistanis, but gets more worldwide attention). In 2006, Muneeza Shamsie created an anthology that contained writings by 25 women writers including Bapsi Sidhwa and Roshni Rustamjee. The anthology was first published in India and has been picked up for publication in Pakistan and the US. Delhibased Rakhshanda Jalil also produced an anthology with writings by Pakistani women authors (writing in english). Do you see any impact of the Partition in the contemporary writings of Pakistan? Sixty years later, most of us continue to be impacted by the Partition (as well as the civil war of 1971 and the creation of Bangladesh). I was recently at a Pakistani education fundraiser in Houston. As
Breaking boundaries: Sehba Sarwar. slides were being shown about the dismal condition of public education in Pakistan, an older woman turned to me and asked, “What will become of Pakistan?” And I said, “Just think of what our region would have been if the Partition hadn’t taken place.” She was shocked by my words, and took them to mean that I was “ProIndia” (her words). But as a product of a family that was torn apart because of the Partition, I still feel strongly about that issue. To create a country based on religion is a mistake, and all of us are paying the price of the legacy that the British left. As artists and writers, we revisit those violent experiences, and our lives and works are shaped by shared histories. Maybe in another 50 years, the creation of those boundaries will have receded far from popular memory, and might not appear in literature and art. But in my generation, where our parents personally were affected by the wars and we still know our families on both sides of the border, that experience is very real. What is your opinion about contemporary Indian literature? India has one of the biggest publishing industries in the world and works are being published in a wide variety of languages. It’s an exciting time and I see only good emerging from an explosion of writers and publications. Do you see any role of literature in building relations between India and Pakistan? Definitely. There is much interest in Pakistan about works from India and vice versa. We tell our truths through our art
and I think people can better relate to art than to government speeches. In one of your articles, you have criticised the gun culture of America and compared it with Pakistan. Can you elaborate on this? The gun culture of Pakistan is directly connected to the United States’ covert operations in Afghanistan back in the late 1970s. General Zia made sure he took advantage of the situation and the Pakistani army and citizens began getting armed – and that phenomenon continues till today. Meanwhile, in Texas, and many parts of the US, people firmly believe in the “right to bear arms” and I’m always shocked to learn how many “normal” people have weapons in their homes. Can you elaborate on the VBB project? What are your future plans? VBB is a non-profit arts organisation that I began with a group of women writers in Houston. We have been operating for more than 10 years and our artistic work is political. My personal projects are productions that explore parallels between Houston and Karachi. I hope to see the project grow, and, hopefully, we can do some work around India, Bangladesh and in different parts of the US – but all that is contingent on funding. You are working on your second novel now. Can you share something about it? I find it difficult to talk about a work in progress. I have quite a bit written, but I’m still not sure about the direction of the story.
Sindh govt wants to settle payment issues of contractors working on bunds KArACHI STAFF REPORT/APP
The Sindh government directed the Irrigation Department on Wednesday to submit the bills of contractors, who are involved in reconstruction and repair work of flood protective bunds, after having them verified by the National engineering Services Pakistan. During a meeting at the Chief Minister’s House, presided over by provincial chief executive Qaim Ali Shah to review the reconstruction and repair of flood protective bunds damaged during the floods of 2010, the Irrigation Department was also directed to restore the bunds and carry out reconstruction and repair work on the right bank of the Indus River.
The meeting was attended by provincial Finance Minister Murad Ali Shah, Irrigation Minister Jam Saifullah Khan Dharejo, Food Minister Mir Nadir Ali Magsi, Chief Secretary Raja Muhammad Abbas, Additional Chief Secretary (Planning and Development) Israr Malik, Irrigation Secretary Khalid Haider Memon, Finance Secretary Naveed Kamran Baloch and Secretary to the Chief Minister Alamdin Bullo. The meeting discussed the liabilities and balance of payments to be made to contractors. The chief minister directed that the Finance, Planning and Development and Irrigation departments should finalise the issue so as to reconcile the bills and submit a report to him. LAW AND ORDER: The chief minis-
ter also presided over another meeting at the Chief Minister’s House to review the law and order situation in the province. The meeting was attended by Sindh Home Minister Manzoor Hussain Wasan, Chief Secretary Raja Muhammad Abbas, Inspector General of Police Mushtaq Ahmed Shah and Additional
Chief Secretary (Home) Waseem Ahmed. The chief minister directed the law enforcement agencies to make adequate arrangements in all parts of the province on Thursday (today) for the 84th birth anniversary celebrations of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.
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Over 5,000 illegal connections removed in operations KArACHI
N line with its anti-theft drive, the Karachi electric Supply Company (KeSC) removed more than 5,000 illegal connections in operations in Gulshan-eIqbal, Taiser Town and Khuda Ki Basti. According to a statement issued by the power utility, a large number of KeSC and police personnel participated in the operations. Around 4,500 metres of telephone wire, 1,500 metres of power cable, 26 kilogrammes of twin core cable, and a number of bamboo and iron poles used for the connections were also confiscated. earlier, the KeSC distributed thousands of new connection forms in these areas, offering cheap price with easy
mode of payment via two equal instalments. After conducting surveys in the areas having huge network of illegal hook connections, the KeSC found that around 70 per cent of electricity supplied to these areas is being stolen, whereas legal consumers owe huge outstanding bills to the KeSC. The illegal users were served disconnection notices; however, operations were conducted only after the residents showed no response. The places from where illegal connections have been removed include villages surrounding Khuda Ki Basti and Taiser Town, Ahmed Goth, Siddique Goth, 52 Ki Patti, Gulshan-e-Surjani, Gulshan-e-Noor, Taj Goth and Memon Goth (Hasan Brohi Goth). In Gulshan-eIqbal, ‘kunda’ removal operation was conducted in Rehmatia Colony, 13/D-2,
Custom Collector PMT (Benazir Basti), Jumma Goth and Block-11 near Wonder Tower. Meanwhile, the KeSC has also lodged an FIR over power theft under the electricity Act. The power company maintains that the KeSC suffers huge revenue loss due to the existence of this web of illegal hook connections. The KeSC has urged the illegal electricity users to utilise the opportunity of cheaper new connections and get their consumption regularised so as to avoid the unpalatable consequences. “Taking advantage of the offer, such illegal users can remove the stigma of power theft upon them and they can play their due role in improvement of overall electricity supply to the general public,” said the statement. Previously, too, the KeSC has launched operations across various kunda-infested points of Manghopir Road near New Sultanabad and Jawedan Factory, only to be met with the wrath of the illegal electricity users, who violently blocked their operations. The KeSC has been condemning such negative reactions and asking the saner elements of society to support the utility’s efforts in ending the menace of electricity theft, which is causing hindrances in the smooth flow of power supply to honest consumers and resulting in massive financial loss to the electricity company.
Protesters block the University road near the old Sabzi Mandi on wednesday, following a clash between two groups that left some passers-by injured. ImraN aLI
‘Only the mQm knows real issues’ ■ Baba haider Zaman says people of hazara to join hands with the party KArACHI STAFF REPORT
“The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) is the only party that is conscious of the people’s worriment, whereas all the other parties in the country are bent on perpetuating the status quo. The people of Hazara would break it by joining hands with the MQM,” said Baba Haider Zaman, a veteran leader of the movement for the Hazara province. In a telephonic conversation, MQM chief Altaf Hussain assured Zaman that his party would continue to struggle for making the resolution on creation of the
Hazara and Seraiki provinces a law. Hussain said, “The MQM would not disappoint the oppressed people and would not be content until this resolution is enacted into a law.” Reiterating his party’s stance of serving the people selflessly, Hussain reminded Zaman that the MQM has already done its duty by echoing the wishes and aspirations of the masses. The resolution submitted by the MQM has been accepted for debate in the assembly, Hussain said. He paid his gratitude to the parties that are supporting the resolution submitted by the MQM in the National Assembly.
“However, some parties are opposing the resolution,” he regretted, and maintained that the MQM would fight those parties with the support of the people. Hussain also urged Zaman not to care about the opposing forces as the MQM itself has been subjected to oppression and injustices from these forces. He also alluded to the journey of the oppressed people, saying that “we would not give up in the face of opposition from anti-people forces.” Zaman thanked Hussain for tabling the resolution in the National Assembly, and criticised those who have been politicking on the Hazara province.
“The MQM has proven itself to be an actual political party that represents the poor and the oppressed people,” he added. Hussain congratulated the people of Southern Punjab and Hazara on the acceptance of the resolution for the creation of Southern Punjab province and Hazara province in the National Assembly for discussion. Terming the acceptance of the resolution for discussion in the assembly as a welcome move, he said that the MQM is striving for the rights of the oppressed and downtrodden people in the country, and asserted that only the MQM would
restore the usurped rights of the people. Hussain thanked the Pakistan People’s Party, Pakistan Muslim LeagueQuaid, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (Fazlur Rehman) and the elected representatives from the Federally Administered Tribal Areas for supporting the resolution. He also praised the parliamentary leader of the MQM in the National Assembly Dr Farooq Sattar, Deputy Parliamentary Leader Haider Abbas Rizvi and all the MQM parliamentarians for fighting the case of the Hazarewal people, and on the acceptance of the resolution for discussion in the lower house of the parliament.
‘We fear change, but with it come opportunities’
KArACHI STAFF REPORT
The 3rd Junior Leaders Conference (JLC) was organised at the Beach Luxury Hotel from December 28 to January 1. A total of 130 youngsters, aged between 13 and 17 years, participated in the conference. They hailed from different areas of Sindh including Karachi, Hyderabad, Nawabshah, Dadu, Sukkur, Larkana, and Ranipur as well as from Balochistan. The JLC is more than a typical youth conference. experts speak on topics of leadership, relationship management, career mapping and much more on selfgrooming. In addition, participants have plenty of networking opportunities. What makes the JLC different
is that it is designed and run for the youth, by the youth, who know what it is like: the schoolwork, parental pressures - feeling like you’re caught in the middle: too young to do some things, but too old to be trusted to do more. In our teens, all that matters is to figure out who you are, and who you have the potential to be. “The JLC is a transformational gift for your children who go through intense conditioning throughout their lives via media and academia,” said JLC Director Umair Jaliawala. “They are baffled, have no idea what to do and feel helpless most of the time. Parents do not know where their children are headed. Such are the trends in action these days which is why we need people with fu-
turistic approach,” he added. Jaliawala said speakers and trainers at this conference understand the gravity of the situation. “JLC is designed to provide teens with avenues to develop their personal capacity for more coherent engagement within a multi-disciplinary context. It is also a good networking opportunity for likeminded individuals where they get to learn more about themselves.” Zain Goplani, conference leader, said JLC experts guide youngsters to a better life because if teenage years can be the most exhilarating era of our lives, they can even turn out to be the most perilous ones. “Change; we don’t like it, we fear it, but we can't stop it from coming. We either adapt to change or we get left behind. But change must be appreciated
mainly because we always come out learning something or the other,” he added. “Sometimes in life we have instances when we hide in our own dark caves. What we fail to understand then is that there is a source of light at the end of a dark tunnel which opens up to new beginnings, beautiful developments and interesting reasons to get back on track once again.” Goplani said makes the JLC different is that it is designed by youngsters like him. “We know what it is like to tackle such problems when you see every door shut and see no other way,” he added. “Success and life-changing learning, like candy, can be the sweetest treat of all. So let’s experience this treat at JLC. Josh-e-Junoon!”
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Chance of rain
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hoSPiTALS ABBASi ShAheeD CiviL JinnAh niCvD AgA khAn TABBA
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ODAy (Thursday), the Pakistani nation is marking the 84th birthday anniversary of Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, the first elected prime minister of the country and a great statesman of the world. It is not just an historic day but an occasion to invigorate our hopes and aspirations in democracy and to reaffirm our commitment to keep the struggle to protect, strengthen and nurture democracy at every level. The Quaid-e-Awam had prescribed democracy as the only form of government that may guarantee the fundamental rights of the people and safeguard the interests of the poor masses of the country. He had firm believe in the people and thus envisioned a country where people can write their own destiny as well as choose a destination for the country. His vision was based on empowering people and to liberate them from endless tyranny and oppression. In the face of powerful adversaries and all sorts of pressures, Bhutto stood tall during testing hours. To organise his struggle for democracy and to give the people their rights and voice, he founded the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), carrying the slogan of “Roti, Kapra aur Makan”. It was a depiction of his economic vision for Pakistan that revived the hopes of the people. Besides, giving people their voice was a hallmark of his momentous struggle against the tyranny. Bhutto infused a new spirit among the people at a time when their hopes were diminishing and their dreams were getting shat-
policies to provide free education to their children. Bhutto created political awareness among the people so that they could realise their fundamental and constitutionally protected rights. To uplift the lives of working class, the leader of the masses introduced a labour policy though which labourers were entitled to get five percent from the annual profit of the factory. This was huge and unprecedented step in the history of Pakistan. Furthermore, it was result of his socio-economic as well as labour policies that bonus for employees, old age benefit scheme and similar other steps were introduced during his democratic regime. It was for the very first time in the history of Pakistan that the workers were allowed to seek justice from the labour courts in case of any grievances. Considering education a key to bring about a real economic revolution, new educational institutes and polytechnic institutions were established and upgraded by his democratic government. Besides, scholarships for the students were increased aiming to further promote education through such incentives. Throughout his democratic regime, the Quaid-e-Awam strived hard to strengthen institutions, correct the economy and improve the living standard of the people. It is indeed a coincidence that the present democratic government, which is the heir of Bhutto’s legacy, is confronting similar daunting tasks of correcting the ailing economy as well as to develop, strengthen and safeguard democratic institutions. Today, the democratic government under the leadership of President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister yousaf Raza Gilani is
striving hard to advance this legacy of serving poor and destitute of society. The PPP-led federal government took courageous steps soon after its inception. These steps were to alleviate the economic troubles and hardships of the masses while following the dreams of Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and the vision of his great daughter, Shaheed Benazir Bhutto. The Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) is indeed a true depiction of Bhutto’s legacy. The BISP is the first ever comprehensive social protection initiative, which is expanding by every passing day despite various economic woes regarding our national economy. In this regard, the programme has introduced various initiatives including long-term interest free financial assistance, vocational and technical training opportunities to poor beneficiary families and life insurance in addition to monthly cash grants. Translating the pro-poor and pro-people socio-economic vision of Bhutto into reality, the BISP has now launched Waseela-eTaleem initiative to provide education to millions of children of poor deserving families. It is worth mentioning here that Bhutto wanted to protect the selfesteem of the poor masses of the country and thus, recently completed door to door nationwide poverty survey was actually in cognisant of the same vision. Today, on the birth anniversary of the Quaid-e-Awam, the PPP-led government is rightly feeling pride on reviving the hopes of people and laying the foundations of a social welfare state as it was envisioned by Bhutto. The writer is a federal minister and the chairperson of the Benazir Income Support Programme
CoLLegeS / UniverSiTieS kArAChi UniverSiTy neD UniverSiTy fUUAST DUhS SMiC fAST-nU SZABiST ioBM iBA ivS
tered. These were the difficult hours when the courageous people of Pakistan, as a result of follies of their short-sighted rulers, were haplessly facing looming threats to social, political and geographical integrity of the country. However, the Quaid-e-Awam dealt with all the threats that were posed by internal and external forces alike. It was the unmatched wisdom of Bhutto when he prescribed greater national harmony as the only solution to keep the social, political and geographical integrity intact and protected. Therefore, he gave the country and the people a gift of a unanimous constitution. Besides, he initiated mega developmental projects including Steel Mills and Kamra Aeronautical Complex aiming to revitalise the ailing economy of the country and to lay down the future economic roadmap of the country. Bhutto had phenomenal love and affection for the poor and downtrodden of the country. This fact is quite evidentiary from the fact that he took numerous revolutionary pro-poor steps in a short span of time. The main thrust of the policies of Bhutto and the manifesto of his party was to uplift the lives of socially and economically deprived segments of society. It was out of this deep love for the poor that the Quaid-e-Awam envisaged his economic policies and development strategies in line with the purpose of reducing poverty as well as to alleviate the economic sufferings and hardships of the masses. Furthermore, he invoked courage and confidence among the labourers, peasants and common citizens so that they could make their voices heard. To improve the lot of common man, he deemed education as an essential tool and envisaged
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WORKING WITH SHARKS
SUFI SHAH INAyAT
THREE IN A CROWD
COnVErSATIOn On jAnuArY 5 AT 07:00 PM VEnuE: T2F 2.0
SEMInAr On jAnuArY 6 AT 04:30 PM VEnuE: ArTS COunCIL
ArT EXHIBITIOn STArTS jAnuArY 7 AT 05:00 PM VEnuE: ArTCHOwK GALLErY
Fouzia Saeed’s ‘Working with Sharks: A Conversation on Sexual Harassment’ at The 2nd Floor. Call 35389033 for more information.
‘Sufi Shah Inayat (Martyr): A symbol of interfaith harmony and civil liberties’ at the Karachi Arts Council. Call 32633105 for more information.
Atif Khan, Sophiya Khwaja & Zaira Ahmed’s ‘Three in a crowd’ from January 7 to 21 at ArtChowk-the Gallery. Call 35300481 for more information.
KHI 05-01-2012_Layout 1 1/5/2012 5:07 AM Page 9
Thursday, 5 January, 2012
No need for Hazara province, ANP tells MQM PESHAwAr
eACTING to Mutahida Quami Movement (MQM) resolutions on creating two new provinces, the Awami National Party (ANP) leadership said the demand to give provincial status to Hazara was based on ill-intensions. “The MQM leadership is using the move to pave ways for the divisions of Sindh and materialising its high command’s long standing dream of creating Jinnah Pur,” ANP Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa President Senator Afrasiab Khattak remarked during a
press conference on Wednesday. He was flanked by ANP members including Provincial Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain. Khattak said people from three out of six Hazara division districts had demanded a separate division. He said the MQM has no justification to amalgamate the genuine demand of the Saraiki people with the Hazara demand and that the ANP had been a longstanding advocate of the Saraiki province. He said the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and other political parties share the opinion but the MQM, by making unrealistic demands, is creating prob-
lems for the PPP and its coalition partners. He said the ANP will not accept the division of Sindh, which was against the interests of all, including the Urdu speaking community. He said the Hazara province demand was from two and half districts, and was therefore “unjustified.” He said the current KP government was giving ‘undue’ respect to the residents of the Hazara division but “hidden hands” were provoking them. He said any differences could be resolved through dialogue. He said if the MQM wanted to reach out to the Saraiki and Hazara people it must protect them in Karachi.
News 09 wASHInGTOn GNI
former PML-q Punjab women’s wing head joins PTi SIALKOT STAFF REPORT
Former PML-Q Women Wing Punjab President Dr Naseem Shakeel has joined the PTI as PTI-Women Wing Human Rights organizer. Sialkot-based PML-Qbacked former national assembly speaker Chaudhary Ameer Hussain is likely to join PTI in a bid to ensure his political survival in Sialkot’s politics. DISTRICT BAR ELECTIONS: electioneering is gaining momentum for the DBA annual elections. The polls will be held on January 14. Rival groups are staking claims. In Daska, Munawar Hussain Chheena, Muhammad Akmal Basra and Zahid Mehmood Goraya have been elected as vice president, joint secretary and library secretary respectively unopposed. Candidates against them withdrew their nomination papers in their favour. In Sialkot, as many as four candidates Muhammad Asif Bhalli, Shahid Mir, Nasir Waheed and Saleem Khan Cheechi are contesting for the slot of President of DBA Sialkot. Two candidates Nadeem Akhtar Butt and Sheikh Suhail Nazeer in the race for the seat of vice president and three candidates Ch. Muhammad Raza, Bilal Ghuman and Muhammad Bashir Sulehria are contesting for the slot of general secretary. TRANSfER: Separately, the Punjab government has appointed Muhammad Sajjad Saleem as eDO (education) Sialkot with immediate effect. Former eDO (education) Sialkot Dr Javaid Iqbal Muzaffar Chishti has been transferred and asked to report to the Secretary education Punjab in Lahore.
US State Dept site shows india’s map with LoC as disputed territory Triggering a fresh controversy, the US State Department has posted a map of India which reflects the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir with dotted lines, thereby projecting it as a disputed territory. There was no immediate response from the Indian embassy in Washington if it was satisfied with the latest India map posted by the US State Department on its website. Following strong protest from the Indian Ministry of external Affairs, the US State Department in November had removed from its website a map of India which showed a portion of Jammu and Kashmir as part of Pakistan. A similar map from its travel website was also removed. US State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland had told reporters at that time that such an error was unintentional. She said the map had “some inaccuracies which were associated with the boundaries of some geographic features”. Meanwhile, Nuland said the US State Department had not posted a new map of India on its website and the one showing the 1972 Line of Control in “dotted lines” had been there previously. “We have not yet replaced the maps that we had to take down that were incorrect. And when we do, we’ll let you know, and we’ll walk you through the whole thing,” she said. “I think the one that you’re referring to is not a new map on the website,” Nuland said when asked about the map of India and its neighbouring country posted on the homepage of the South and Central Asia Bureau of the State Department.
obituary SIALKOT: Slain senior vice president of PML-N Japan Chaudhary Nafees Ahmed was laid to rest in his native village Daallowali-Sialkot graveyard in the presence of hundreds of the mourners. His body was brought from Japan to Sialkot yesterday. STAFF REPORT
PESHAWAR: Vehicles on GT Road engaged by dense fog on Wednesday. STaFF phOTO
China says 7 killed in Xinjiang wanted ‘holy war’ BEIjInG AFP
China on Wednesday said seven people killed in a hostage rescue operation in the restive Xinjiang region had been trying to leave the country to wage “holy war” – a claim disputed by an exile group. The incident last week was the latest reported confrontation in the region – home to roughly nine million mostly
Muslim Uighurs who have long bristled under the Chinese rule – since three deadly attacks in July left dozens dead. The Xinjiang government said “terrorists” kidnapped two people on December 28 in the northwestern region’s Pishan county, adding police shot dead seven suspects and arrested four others. One officer was killed and the hostages freed. “The relevant people wanted to cross the border for the purposes of so-called
holy war,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told reporters, adding they kidnapped two herdsmen on the way. He said police were alerted and the standoff ensued. Hong did not say whether the suspects were Uighurs. But Dilxat Raxit, spokesman for the World Uighur Congress, an exile group, said the incident was a conflict between regular Uighurs and policemen prompted by mounting discontent over
a crackdown and religious repression in the area. “Of the seven who were shot, two were women. Authorities said they arrested four people, and my information is the youngest is seven and the eldest is seventeen,” he told AFP. “I also know that some people who were beaten and are now in hospital are minors,” he said, adding at least 35 people have been arrested in Pishan after the incident.
I fear being killed if I leave my house: Haqqani g
Pakistan’s embattled former ambassador to US fears he will be murdered if he leaves his sanctuary in the official residence of PM MOnITOrInG DESK
N an exclusive interview with The Daily Telegraph on Tuesday, former ambassador to the US Husain Haqqani has said he had been branded a “traitor” and a “Washington lackey” by “powerful quarters” – a reference to the ISI – and that he feared he would be murdered like his friend, late Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer, who was shot dead by one of his own security guards last year after being branded a “blasphemer”. Haqqani was forced to resign last year after a Pakistani-American businessman claimed he had asked him to pass on a memo to the American government calling for their help to oust Islamabad’s military leadership. The businessman, Mansoor Ijaz, said the memo contained an offer, backed by President Asif Zardari, that if Washington helped to oust the current military leadership, a new “national security” team would disband the army unit which
collaborates with the Taliban and other anti-Western militant groups. He was recalled from Washington and now faces a Supreme Court commission inquiry amid accusations that he betrayed his country by colluding with the United States to compromise its sovereignty and territorial integrity. Both President Zardari and Haqqani have denied any involvement in the “memogate” controversy and Haqqani has vowed to challenge the allegations in evidence to the commission. He told The Daily Telegraph the allegations against him were false and part of a “psychological war” against the government of President Zardari and Prime Minister yousaf Raza Gilani by “certain powerful quarters”. Analysts said the row was part of a feud between the country’s elected political leadership and a military establishment determined to pursue the matter, regardless of how deep it plunges the country into further crisis. Western
diplomats fear it could eventually bring down President Zardari’s elected government. On Tuesday, Haqqani said both the president and prime minister were standing behind him and were determined to stay and challenge the allegations. He was speaking after his lawyer, Pakistan’s
top human rights lawyer Asma Jahangir, revealed he had taken refuge in the prime minister’s residence for fear that the ISI would force him to make a false statement on the affair. He told The Daily Telegraph he had only left the prime minister’s residence on three occasions, each under heavy security escort. “I’m a guest of the prime minister with whom I have had a long-standing political association. There are clear security concerns given the hysteria generated against me. Staying at the Prime Minister’s House is the safest option. My good friend Salmaan Taseer was killed by a security guard because he heard in the media that the governor had blasphemed. I’m being called a traitor and an American lackey in the media with the clear encouragement of certain powerful quarters even though I’ve not been charged legally with anything,” he said. He had left the prime minister’s home to go to “the Supreme Court once to meet my lawyer with very heavy secu-
rity, and one day to the dentist, when I had a toothache, and to the Abbottabad Commission (into the American raid which killed Osama bin Laden), with massive security”. “If required I will appear before the inquiry commission with the necessary security. It is not what I would like to do. I’d like to be able to go to a restaurant or visit my family,” he added. Friends of Haqqani said he had been alarmed by repeated suggestions that “his noose was tied” or that he may turn “approver” and give evidence implicating President Zardari in the affair in exchange for immunity. They said none of the evidence against him – mainly BlackBerry message exchanges with Mansoor Ijaz – prove authorship or knowledge of the alleged memo to oust Pakistan’s military leadership. “The president and prime minister are firmly standing behind me and the government is not going anywhere. This is psychological warfare against the government,” he said.
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Thursday, 5 January, 2012
Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto: the legacy goes on Farzana raja
He Pakistani Nation today is marking 84th birthday anniversary of Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, the first elected Prime Minister of the country and a great statesman of the world. It is not just an historic day but an occasion to invigorate our hopes and aspirations in democracy and to reaffirm our commitment to keep the struggle to protect, strengthen and nurture democracy at every level. Shaheed Quaid-e-Awam prescribed democracy as the only form of the government that may guarantee the fundamental rights of the people and safeguard the interests of the poor masses of the country. He had firm believe in the people and thus envisioned a country where people can write their own destiny as well as choose a destination for the country. It was the unmatched wisdom of Shaheed leader when he prescribed greater national harmony as the only solution to keep the social, political and geographical integrity intact and protected, therefore, he gave the country and the people a gift of unanimous constitution. Considering education a key to bring about a real economic revolution, new educational institutes and Polytechnic institutions were established and upgraded by his democratic government. Today, the democratic government under the leadership of President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister yousaf Raza Gilani is striving hard to advance this legacy of serving poor and destitute of society. Today, at the birth anniversary of Shaheed Quaid-e-Awam, PPP led government is rightly feeling pride and honour on reviving hopes of people and laying the foundations of a social welfare state as it was envisioned by Shaheed Quaid.
QUETTA: Pakistan Railways workers burn an effigy during a protest demonstration against privatisation of the national carriage on Wednesday. ONLINe
New York mosque firebombing ignites tensions g
‘Construction on projects worth rs 81b going on in kP’ PESHAWAR: Communications Minister Arbab Alamgir Khan Khalil on Wednesday said work on construction projects worth Rs 81 billion was going on in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa under the aegis of the National Highway Authority (NHA). Speaking in a high-level meeting convened to review the ongoing development projects under the NHA in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and chaired by Governor Barrister Masaood Kausar, Khalil said the country’s economy depended on the commercial traffic plying on these roads and the 260,000 kilometers of highway network. STAFF REPORT
City mayor says whether the attack was a senseless act of violence or a hate crime will be determined later nEw YOrK
He New york Police arrested a man on Tuesday over firebombing of a mosque, but some say the incident reflects much deeper tensions faced by Muslim New yorkers--and that police are partly to blame. Police say they are investigating whether the throwing of Molotov cocktails at an Islamic center and four other sites were hate crimes. even before the question of the motive is resolved, the unusual violence has shocked the multiethnic borough of Queens. “Whether it was a senseless act of violence or a hate crime will be determined down the road. In either case, we are not going to tolerate it,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said after meeting with Muslim, Jewish and Christian representatives at the Imam
Al-Khoei Foundation, an Islamic centre targeted in Sunday's attacks. Police acted quickly after the incidents, which all took place within a small radius and involved throwing Starbucks Frappuccino bottles filled with burning liquid. Late on Monday, a picture of the suspect and footage of someone hurling a firebomb were released and the arrest was made on Tuesday as the suspect, described as a local, got into a car being staked out by officers. Commissioner Raymond Kelly promised to “leave no stone unturned.” But this did not satisfy some Muslims who fear the firebombs reflected the spread of “Islamophobia” in US society since the deadly September 11, 2001 attacks by AlQaeda on New york and Washington. “It was only a matter of time,” said Cyrus McGoldrick, civil rights manager of the New york chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, citing a
“climate of hatred and violence.” Another organisation, the Muslim Peace Coalition-USA, said police were partly to blame for that climate. ever since 9/11, New york officers have played a growing role in anti-terrorism work and Kelly says the city remains the country's biggest target for militants. He cites the string of bomb plots disrupted over the past decade, many of them motivated by anger at US bombing of Afghanistan and Pakistan’s Tribal Areas. But media reports said that police have been systematically infiltrating mosques and keeping tabs on Muslims not suspected of any particular crime have outraged the Muslim community and civil rights activists in general. In a statement distributed at the meeting between Bloomberg and religious leaders on Tuesday, the Muslim Peace Coalition-USA described an anti-Islam and anti-Muslim campaign that had “made Islamophobia
politically acceptable in America.” It highlighted attempts by the police “to keep the whole Muslim community under warrantless surveillance.” In December, a group of Muslim leaders boycotted a meeting with Bloomberg over the same issue, saying it did not want to sit with the man ultimately responsible for the policy and “smile for the cameras.” Bloomberg, who did not take questions on the subject during his brief appearance on Tuesday, has previously insisted that police “don't target any ethnic group,” even if he also says that the authorities must look “where the potential threats are reported to be.” Kelly was visibly annoyed--and kept silent--when asked if controversy over surveillance could help to stir antiMuslim feelings. “That question is not appropriate. Will you please refrain?” interjected a mosque official overseeing the press conference.
Karzai looking to foil US’s new move on Afghanistan ‘independent judiciary’s PESHAwAr SHAMIM SHAHID
No one can neglect the phenomenon regarding the United States’ involvement in “establishing, sponsoring and strengthening” al Qaeda and similar militant groups. With the help of such militant groups, the US earlier succeeded not only in settling the Vietnam score with the former Soviet Union, but even plunged it towards disintegration. These groups even became “stairs” for the US secret services and armed forces personnel for directly landing in South Asia and Middle east. The US has now made up its mind for another adventure after realising its dream of “camping and influencing from Afghanistan and Iraq”. Al Qaeda was destabilised with
the “mysterious assassination” of its founder Osama Bin Laden in Abbottabad on May 2. Like Osama, founder of Tehreek-e-Taliban Afghanistan (TTA) Mullah Omar has accredited him as “second mystery” in the socalled war on terror, which could be considered a decisive episode of the “Great Game”. Through its secret service, the US already succeeded in disintegration and destabilisation of TTA. Since the middle of 2007, the CIA and UK’s MI-6 personnel and agents have been engaged in “secret hobnobbing” through informers and paid-agents. Though the process is lingering since long, it got tremendous success after the assassination of Osama Bin Laden. In the light of such successes, the US had made a successful attempt for “restoration of links or resuming of friendship with the Taliban”. But fearing a renewed
threat to the future of Afghanistan, President Hamid Karzai had approached Hizb-e-Islami Afghanistan (HIA) headed by engineer Gulbadin Hekmatyar. A powerful delegation of the HIA held detailed talks with President [Hamid] Karzai in Kabul. When the US and UK agreed to “replace or substitute players” in the ongoing “Great Game”, they intended to woo none other than former “blueeyed” or “remnants of the favourites” in the region. Analysts believe that the Taliban could prove useful and fruitful for the US as its policy makers have no interest in either vacating Afghanistan or let another rival getting benefits of its “hardships” in the ongoing war on terror. So far, US policy makers and think-tanks are carefully playing their cards and the Taliban might prove a “trump card” in this respect.
But President Karzai also remains alert. Remaining in close association with the US and the spy agencies of partners like Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, Karzai has learnt a lot. He is aware of the US and other forces’ intentions in the region. Utilising his “jihadi days” links with friends, he is attempting to utilise the services of HIA to foil the plots being made by the US and its allies in the region through Afghanistan. The HIA is considered the strongest religiopolitico force and could emerge as a stable force in the near future of the war-stricken country. Despite rifts and conflicting approaches on internal issues, both President Karzai and the HIA have similar views on external issues and insist on an end to all “external intervention and influence” in internal affairs of Afghanistan.
dream not realised yet’ ISLAMABAD STAFF REPORT
Legal experts said on Wednesday that the country’s judiciary is moving towards change but the dream of a complete independent judiciary is yet to be materialised. They were speaking at a seminar organised by the Jeevay Pakistan Jeevay MaqamiHakumat (JPJM) at a local hotel. JPJM Chairman Daniyal Aziz, Justice (r) Fakharuddin G Ibrahim, Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) President yasin Azad, Justice (r) Tariq Mehmood, Athar Minullah and Zulfiqar Abbas Naqvi participated in the event. Daniyal said that the federal government and bureaucracy, which called themselves champions of an independent judiciary, were trying to curb the judiciary’s independence by implementing the executive magistracy system and enforcing the Local Government System 1979. He said that the historic judgment of the Balochistan High Court (BHC) on JPJM petition’s had restored the constitution’s supremacy and foiled all efforts to curb the judiciary’s independence.
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Thursday, 5 January, 2012
Editor’s mail 11
it’s either equality or nothing Salmon P Chase said: All men are born equally free. equality means that everyone enjoys certain rights without any discrimination or prejudice: right of education, right of health care, right of opportunity for employment, right of justice, right of freedom of speech and so many more. Different discriminations like race, status and gender makes it difficult for us to achieve the level of equality. The state of our country today is no doubt a victim of such discriminations among the people, who think they are superior or better than the ones working under them. Taking a look at the working departments, the people at higher ranks as officials and executives always degrade the ones working under them; these high ranked people do not imply the same things on low level workers’ success as they imply it to themselves. That is one of
the reasons why a lower class man remains a lower class man until he dies because there is no one around him who can actually lift him up; instead, the ones who are supposed to do that push him down even more. A scenario of a house is no different, a lady in a house will never treat her maid in a good way, a boy having an iPhone will always mistreat a kid who does not have a cell phone at all and a beggar will always be pushed away at a signal. Such things will never let these people improve, instead it will and is dragging the situation. This difference between the classes never let the lower class people improve and do something beyond expectations. They keep on doing the same things because they know no matter what they will always be treated in the same way. When we talk about religious discriminations in our country, Shias and
A precious life lost Sunnis are the two most dominant groups which always target each other in one way or another. Talking about men and women equality, our women in rural areas are still treated as useless, they are not allowed to study, not allowed to work in a different environment and most importantly they are not allowed to marry and choose their own life partners. Instead, they are either sold out or forcefully married to someone else. The most highlighted discrimination in the country is of rich and poor, hundreds of shops are in the country where many people cannot go and buy while some of the people can actually buy the whole of it. Why is that specific group of people in the country called the elite class? And making the situation even worse, our government does not give any importance to such discriminations and raises the prices day by day which the
rich can overcome but the poor can’t. These inequalities in a state never let it improve, they work as a barrier. We should try giving equal rights to everyone. Giving every person his right over his own circle will eventually make him equal to others. A luxurious and comfortable life does not in any way make one different from those who are not living it the same way. Buying branded items, having cool gadgets and a pretty look on your face wouldn’t make you any superior. every man’s life is important; people living in this world with him have no right to judge his level of life. Not forgetting that all of us in the end will have to go before one Lord, when no one will have preference over anyone, why not live equally here in our world and be at a higher rank in the eyes of our Lord. REHAB RUKHSAR Lahore
Can any one explain? Is there any authentic spokesman from PPP who can explain the following for the people of Pakistan to understand the situation? 1. Why ZAB is called shaheed? And likewise why the two brothers of BB are called shaheed too? ZAB was officially hanged by the judiciary on murder charges and the boys were killed in ordinary murders in the street. Then why shaheed? 2. What made Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan cry in cabinet meeting in Karachi recently? What bothered her so much? 3. In what capacity does Dr Babar Awan hold nasty press conferences? Who has given him this mandate? 4. Why has the PPP quietened over catching the murderers of BB? 5. Why was the sickness of Zardari kept so confusing and secret? 6. Where has the gas gone? The entire country is kept devoid of gas through a very favourite term shedding. 7. Why does the government call the memo ‘just a piece of paper’ when two senior most army officers have testified it as a threat to the national security before the Supreme Court? 8. Why is Hussain Haqqani hiding in PM House now and was earlier hiding in the Presidency? 9. And last but not the least, why a word said against PPP as a ruling government is termed by one and all, including the PM, as a threat to democracy? Is democracy the divine right of only the PPP? I have heard PPP stalwarts in various TV talk shows. Whenever they are asked such questions, they immediately call it a ‘conspiracy’ against democracy. Is PPP the only pillar of democracy? AMJAD H MIRZA Lahore
Aggression in society The country is plunged into natural, political and economic disasters and there have been much heated debates on these topics in order to end these evils from the society. However, there is one more nuisance to which our society is subjected and that is the growing rate of aggression which the citizens of Pakistan and especially those of the metropolitan city Karachi are facing every day. Though this aspect has not yet been under serious consideration, it is becoming a colossal problem for the general public as there is a very low tolerance rate amongst the people and this is leading to serious malfunctioning of the society where individuals are now willing to fight and physically abuse each other on the smallest of issues. This increasing trend of aggression is very alarming and requires serious attention from the concerned authorities to psychologically rehabilitate people and assist them from the problems of stress, depression, anxiety and moral panic which envelops the society today due to fundamental lack of justice, security and basic necessities for the masses. Until and unless the people as well as the authorities work in coalition to eliminate this social issue, the problem will remain dominant in the society, creating an inhumane environment for all who dwell in the city, in particular, and the country at large. MUHAMMED FAIQ LODHI Karachi
This merciless killing of Professor Bashir Channer, who was working as Director Students Affairs in the University of Sindh, Jamshoro has indeed drawn a widespread condemnation. However, the Sindhi intelligentsia in and abroad have slammed the growing gun culture on the campuses. The ruthless murder of a professor in such an environment where the police and other law enforcement agencies personnel are ubiquitous and the scenic varsity affords a look of an occupied island, calls for retrospection on the part of the administration and thorough probe into the murder so that the killers are nabbed and awarded an exemplary punishment as per law of the land. Since it has been a terrible incident on the campus, hence, the administration must think outside the box, outside the luxurious offices, and outside the norm. They must leap outside the office and administration block and above all must take stern action to limit the availability of guns on the campus. HASHIM ABRO Islamabad
imran khan’s tsunami
Discrimination against the third gender The ‘transgender’ or ‘third gender’, known as Khwaja sra in Urdu and Khusra in Punjabi, are the people who are neither categorised as men nor women. They live in a pitiable situation in Pakistan. In the patriarchal society of Pakistan where the males dominate the whole system and where females are deprived of many rights, the condition of transgenders is far worse. even though the Supreme Court of Pakistan has taken notice of this issue and now the application forms for NICs contain a third option of Khawaja sra along with male and female, these people are not given equal rights of citizenship. Our society is desensitised towards the issue of the third gender. They are branded as disgraceful and deemed as toys for just dancing and seeking sexual pleasure. There exists an
Jamaat Ali Shah affair Pakistan’s former Commissioner of Indus Water Jamaat Ali Shah, who facilitated India in building Nimoo Bazgo hydropower project, has managed to flee to Canada in spite of being on the eCL. This man has damaged the country immensely and yet the powerful lobby which comprises of corrupt dual nationality holders within the establishment, helped him dodge accountability by the concerned authorities, which unfortunately are controlled by men with split loyalties, having their assets located abroad. This incident should emphasise the need to rescind any dual nationality
enormous intolerance towards these people and are discriminated against in issues like inheritance etc. As these people are despised by society and do not get opportunities to come up with a healthy lifestyle, these people are compelled to earn their living through humiliating acts like dancing at parties and weddings, and often become victims of sexual abuse. Therefore, the government should take positive steps for the betterment of the third gender and develop public awareness campaigns in order to deal with this issue. Training institutes should also be opened so that the abilities of these people can be properly utilised. WAQAS MALOOK Lahore
holder from assuming any public office. There is a vast network within Pakistan which facilitates and organises the flow of massive capital from Pakistan to help corrupt bureaucrats, retired khakis, traders and politicians to transfer their ill-gotten black money abroad. This group holds key positions with national airline, major financial regulatory bodies like State Bank, FBR etc. Men like Jamaat Ali Shah, with split loyalties, should never have been allowed to hold such sensitive assignments where their decisions have a long term impact on the future of this country and its180 million citizens who have chosen to live and die here. It is unfortunate that such men, few rotten eggs, have brought a bad
name to our expatriate community, most of whom like Lord Nazeer, have shown their commitment to Pakistan. Such men, if selected for foreign postings and diplomatic assignments, are liable to be tempted to compromise their commitment to Pakistan, if they or their spouses and children have taken an oath of loyalty to another country, or are in the process of doing so. All citizens, whether they seek elections, or are paid public servants must be thoroughly probed that they neither hold dual nationality nor own vast assets abroad. The risk involved is too much with devastating consequences for this country. MALIK TARIQ ALI Lahore
teaching moral standards with good values and education, all we do is trivial pursuits and nothing else. The prime example: changing the name of a province. Will it make life any better? Will the problems of everyday life lessen? No. This country from one end to another is completely locked into everything that is nonsensical; spot the trivia and cotton on it and stay stead fast, getting a new name is all that matters, the rest can go to the dogs. Pakistan is in dire straits, there are a lot of people who delude themselves and think that waving the flag and singing the
anthem will solve our problems. Reality is a bit different. We have huge problems and they are not going to fizzle away. There is no other solution but for all of us to take stock of our predicament and take meaningful steps. Power should have been the first priority, but other trivia of daily life seems to inspire the wooly headed thinking of the top. There seems to be no one inclined to tackle the enormous issues we have which seem to be crippling the lives of millions. There are laws but who is following them. It’s not the storm that matters but
Imran khan’s political gathering at Quaid’s monument gained popularity among the politicians and citizens alike mainly due to his revolutionary ideas to bring change in the current political system and bring solace to people and eradicate aggravation in the society as a whole. In order to gain inspiration from the endless endeavours of the legendary leader and reaffirm the political, social and structural foundation the way Quaid foresaw, the venue was symbolic for Imran Khan’s speech. The word which has gained tremendous popularity among the news channels in particular is Imran Khan’s prophesy of the tsunami whose target will be both the cause and repercussion of corruption inherent at every level of the system and human life in our country will then commence in the twilight of peace and security. His speech, no doubt paints a rosy picture of our society, where virtue reigns over the vices; however, his method of gaining quantitative strength to his league is highly questionable. Many influential politicians by being highly intimidated by his radical ideas to turn the face of Pakistani politics are gaining allegiance in his league in overwhelming amount, making the current situation very ironic. Many of the influential leaders hold diametrically opposite views than that of Imran Khan and the irony is that Imran Khan will have to compromise his core message at the expense of quantitative strength. The aftermath of the speech raises questions rather than answers and the major question lies on the nature of change advocated by him. Is the change merely superficial, an old illusion given a new face or the change will be as true as his words? We can only keep our fingers tight and anticipate where this tsunami would lead us to. HADIA MUKHTAR SINGAPURI Karachi
Safe economically? World Bank will provide loans up to $5.5 billion to Pakistan, reads a news item. We already knew it when a day earlier our finance minister confirmed that Pakistan was safe on economic front. Z A KAZMI Karachi
The pursuit of nonsense We as a nation have become so used to being fooled by our leaders and our moments of joy are so scarce and fleeting that we are just not accustomed to celebrating them wholeheartedly; we remain suspicious about the real significance of what is presented to us. We have become addicted to gloom and for reasons that are not so flimsy our ability to appreciate the brighter side of a situation may have diminished. yet a ray of hope is always kindling in the human breath. yet here in our country, for which people scarified their lives and homes, instead of thinking for bettering the way,
the way we set our sails that enables us to steer our course through hardships and distress towards a peaceful harbour of a well deserved success. For this, we need to be strong in our moral ethics, have integrity and sincerity in tackling anything. This can only happen through education and as Napoleon once said, “Give me good mothers and I will give you a good nation”, we need to teach our people how to be good human beings and take responsibility for their actions. MAHA ISHTIAQ Lahore
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12 comment Demand for fresh polls why so impatient?
he demands for immediate elections and insinuations of initiating an agitation if the government fails to oblige assume an ominous significance in the midst of suggestions about a government of technocrats or of the Bangladesh model as solutions of Pakistan’s problems. The argument that the government has lost the mandate is both contentious and self serving. The constitution des not envisage fresh elections in case of the opposition concluding that the people are fed up with the administration. equally worrisome at this junction is the promise by Nawaz Sharif to set up military courts to curb crime in Karachi. The proposal has been opposed both in the National Assembly and the Sindh legislature. As Gilani put it, there is no room in a democratic setup for military courts. Notwithstanding the slow movement of cases in the civilian courts and the fact that notorious criminals sometime get themselves released by pressuring the witnesses and the prosecutors, the solution lies in the improvement of the working of normal courts than in setting up a parallel judicial system. If it is right to try the target killers in Karachi through military courts, these courts should have been set up long ago in Punjab where terrorists continue to benefit from the laxity of the system, to the annoyance of the agencies which nab them by putting the lives of their personnel in grave risk. For that matter, why shouldn’t military courts be set up in all the provinces of the country where terrorists continue to operate? Impatience to get things done urgently and in line with one’s personal timetable can be ruinous for the system as the events of the 1990’s amply prove. Without being conscious of it, a leader may turn into a tool in the hands of those who want to demolish the democratic set up. There is a need on the part of both Nawaz and Imran Khan to avoid any hasty decision that can upset the apple cart. It is better to allow the government to completes its tenure than seek its removal through means not recognized by the constitution.
Time to talk The Taliban finally ready
t seems that the US policy of trying to pursue peace with the Taliban in Afghanistan while simultaneously tightening the noose around them militaril\y has yielded a dividend. The Taliban have, for the first time, dropped their precondition of a withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan for peace talks. The US is not the only one using the cocktail of peace offerings and military engagement. The Taliban themselves, while ready to open up a political office in Qatar, are also consolidating their resources in the fight against western forces in Afghanistan. The militia is said to have told its wing in Pakistan and other allied groups to cease and desist from attacks on Pakistani targets and redeploy instead for a possible March offensive against foreign forces in Afghanistan. Like the first snowflake before a snowstorm, it was five years ago when the first western newspaper column asked the then unforgivable question: is it time to talk to the Taliban? Since then, the number of people advocating this increased till it started including senior military officials and policy makers. The most recent heavy-hitter to have reached the conclusion was American Vice President Joe Biden, emphatic in his claim that Al-Qaeda, not the Taliban were the enemy. All this change of heart was no doubt brought about by the stalemate that the coalition forces saw in Afghanistan. The Taliban regime fell nigh instantly, much like the Baathists in Iraq. But while the latter (and the other anti-American forces of Iraq) later on fizzled down into a workable arrangement, the Taliban maintained a relentless struggle. The militia’s refusal to talk, however, was way too big a stumbling block. Since that is no longer the case, endorsements of the talks might come from all the way up. What are the implications for other players? Pakistan, no doubt, is going to be feeling a bit left-out in the whole affair, now that the Americans and the Taliban are going to be speaking to each other directly. In fact, western analysts allege that the arrest of Mullah Baradar, the Taliban government’s defence minister and the architect of the insurgency, from Karachi in 2009 was an attempt to circumvent a direct link between the US and the Taliban. Attempts at peace are one of mankind’s most noble endeavours, they should never be written off completely for ideological reasons. But it should be borne in mind that there shouldn’t just be peace for peace’s sake. There should be a just peace, resulting in a regime that has an acceptable human rights record and one that cooperates with the rest of the world in matters of security.
Dedicated to the legacy of the late Hameed Nizami
Arif Nizami Editor
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Thursday, 5 January, 2012
Spurned by the Taliban We’re not their only contact reference
By nazir naji
s the centrality that Pakistan occupied in the ‘Great endgame’ in Afghanistan on the wane? If one recalls the time when the Taliban took control of Afghanistan, their single ally and aide was Pakistan. Pakistan was the one that enabled them to establish effective control over there. In the Taliban’s war with Northern Alliance, Pakistan matched the covert support given by India and Russia to the latter. After the formation of the Taliban government, it was Pakistan that helped with their international relations. It was because of us that Saudi Arabia and UAe accepted their government and it was also us that became a liaison between them and the US and the Taliban embassy in Islamabad remained active in international relationing on behalf of its government in Kabul. Thus, there was once a time when Pakistan could be exclusively relied upon to establish any kind of contact with the Taliban. So much so that when the US and its allies became worried about an increase in Al-Qaeda’s activities, they requested Pakistan to convince the Taliban to desist in their support. According to the Musharraf government, they did do that. But as per another conflicting report, the ISI chief who took Musharraf’s message to Mullah Omar told him – as opposed to the original message - to remain steadfast in his convictions and aid Al-Qaeda in their jihad. The result then was against Pakistan’s interest and wishes. Mullah Omer refused to stop supporting Al-Qaeda and gave them permission to operate inside Afghanistan with impunity. I will relate two anecdotes here to show that Mullah Omar, after establishing control in Afghanistan, gave Pakistan quite the cold shoulder instead of being grateful for its help. A longstanding issue that we have with Afghanistan is the dispute over borders. When the Taliban government was asked about ascertaining the border using the Durand Line as guidance, they gave the same answer that previous Afghan governments had given. Obviously, this answer was not encouraging for us. Later, when the US expressed its concerns about an increase Al-Qaeda’s sphere of activities, Pakistan sent the message to
Mullah Omar that Afghanistan’s territory should not be allowed to be used for terrorist activities. At that, Nawaz Sharif was the country’s prime minister and it was 1999. I can personally testify that Nawaz Sharif’s tour of Abu Dhabi on 12th October 1999 was about these activities. On this visit, Nawaz Shari forwarded the US’ concerns to Shaykh Zayd bin Sultan Al-Nayhan and consulted with him about how to convince the Taliban to cut off their support to Al-Qaeda. Shaykh Zayd was a seasoned leader and fully aware of the movements and ongoings in the Muslim world. He recommended that instead of directly pressuring Mullah Omar at the individual level, he should be prevailed upon by invoking the wishes of the Muslim ummah. Nawaz Sharif concurred with this suggestion and it was decided that the Saudi Arabia would be taken into confidence and a consensus would be tried to be evolved in the Muslim comity. Shaykh Zayd bin Sultan took it upon himself to meet the Saudi ruler and prepare ground for some kind of unanimous resolution. I often think that why was the ruler of Pakistan deposed the very afternoon he met the ruler of UAe to convince the Taliban to stop supporting Al-Qaeda. even though there were many stories of disagreements between Nawaz Sharif and Musharraf in circulation, I think the decision taken in Abu Dhabi also had something to do with it. If we analyse the situation in light of the game that Musharraf played after coming into power – the price of which the entire nation is still paying – we can see that maybe Musharraf and his American overlords did not want a peaceful end to the entire Al-Qaeda issue. Because as soon as Nawaz Sharif was gone, there was an escalation in AlQaeda’s activities. Then, the tragedy of 9/11 took place and the drive to establish American bases in Afghanistan began the first stage of which was militarily occupying Afghanistan. The other recommendation of Pakistan (apart from settlement on the Durand Line) that the Taliban refused to accept was ceasing to support Al-Qaeda. Nawaz Sharif told Mullah Omar in his own capacity to stop international terrorist activities being conducted from the Afghan domain and readers will recall that a statement of Shahbaz Sharif had appeared in the media back then to the same effect which exhorted the Taliban to stop terrorists from operating from within their country. Hence, the Pakistani leadership was snubbed by the Taliban, both in the cases of the Durand Line and supporting Al-Qaeda. I have explained this context to explain that we should be ready for such rebuffs and blows in the upcoming days as well. In my opinion, the US directly negotiation with the Taliban is a big blow for us. The US cannot be complained to because there are reasons enough for the distrust and bad blood between us and
them. But Mullah Omar can have no such complaints and reason to distrust us. From helping the Taliban establish control over Afghanistan once to giving sanctuary to fleeing Taliban after the American occupation, we took every risk, even those which could endanger our national security even. We even gave an opportunity to the Afghan Taliban to regroup and rearm. If we look at the first three or four years of American occupation in Afghanistan, it is clear that they had to face no noteworthy resistance. This resistance only started when the Taliban again gained a foothold and started to reorganise themselves. We invited the wrath of a superpower to help the Taliban. It is our extreme bad luck that some elements within the Pakistani state (whether privately or with approval of high authorities) had given asylum to OBL, an inexcusable act. One reason to do this, if ever there could be in the minds of these misguided elements, could’ve been to curry favour with the Taliban and this must’ve been done in collusion with the Taliban. And this is what became ‘the’ reason for the tension in Pak-US relations. So at a time when we are under great American pressure, the Taliban bypassing us and directly talking to the US is a big and painful blow for us. If today the US is ready to talk to the Taliban, it is because of countless sacrifices on the part of Pakistan. At this time of crisis, it was incumbent upon the Taliban that they insist Pakistan be included in the process. But, alas, that did not happen. Pakistan has never agreed to a negotiating table without a seat for the Taliban over the past decade. But, the Taliban, at first instance, started talks with the US and subsequently established a Qatar office and got a prominent leader released from Gitmo. This could create many problems for us. This is because the released leader Mullah Muhammad Fazal is responsible for killing the Hazara community and is alleged to have also killed Iranina diplomats. Hence, this could needlessly complicate Pak-Iran ties. I am also disappointed by the fact that some Taliban leaders went for the Bonn conference as well though they were stopped from going to the conference hall by some well-wishers. There is no doubt that Pakistan – because of its position importance and strategic location – will have an impact on the Great endgame underway in Afghanistan. The US cannot ignore Pakistan’s centrality. efforts will be, or rather are, afoot to normalise relations between Pakistan and US and to bring them ‘back on track’. But our policy makers should definitely take a long hard look at how the Taliban have behaved with us and come up with a new policy regarding them in light of experience. The writer is one of Pakistan’s most widely read columnists.
Protests in Peshawar Daily Pashtun Post
nder the aegis of All Rickshaw Union, many rickshaw drivers resorted to protest and held demonstrations against the provincial government and the local administration at Peshawar. Hundreds of rickshaw’s driver took part in these demonstrations and blockaded the main GT road for all plying traffic. The rickshaw drivers were protesting against the proposed shift system wherein rickshaws would be divided into two groups, where one would be allowed to operate at night while the other will operate during the day. Looking at the number of protesters and the vehemence of their demands, the police resorted to shelling tear gas as well as baton charge. The police seized thousands of rickshaws that are to be coloured red and white for the shift system. People that suffered at the hands of these protests and unavailability of rickshaws demanded of the local administration
and the government to take the shift system decision back. They said that this step on the part of the government is tantamount to depriving the poor stratum of society of their means to earn their livelihoods. The rickshaw union made it clear that until the government takes back the decision, they are going to continue with their protests. Many people were injured during the course of these protests due to police brutality and protester violence. The government is not only answerable to the people for the inconvenience they suffered but also to the losses they incurred. The government must not only reconsider this decision and see if it will have the desired effect or do the demonstrators have just cause to protest. Otherwise, it is better to appease the agitating protesters and come up with a solution that is agreeable to all the stakeholders. – Translated from the original Pashto by Abdur Rauf Khattak
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Thursday, 5 January, 2012
a toothless bill? Defeats the purpose
Border Crossing By Kuldip nayar
t a time when civil society is arguing feverishly over the details of government’s move to set up the Lok Pal (Ombudsman) machinery to deal with corruption, reservation can be dynamite. So let the proposal of such a step be analysed carefully. What it means is that out of the 9-members Lok Pal, 50 percent of person will be from the Schedules Castes, Schedules Tribes, women and backward classes. This is the first time since independence when the principle of reservation has been extended to top positions. Tomorrow, a similar demand may be made on the appointment of judges in the High Courts and the Supreme Court. This principle, pernicious enough, stops the best talent from the country being chosen for top jobs. Instead, anyone ca be brought as long as he or she fulfils the qualification for reservations. This approach has already forced the country to lower the standard of education and the quality of government service. yet nothing anybody can do even to fix the time limit for reservations because any suggestion on the subject creates furore from the interested groups. All political parties are slaved to reservations because they link them with their electoral prospects. The ruling Congress has too fixed its eyes on elections in January-March 2012 in five states. Reservations may influence the dalits who have turned their back on the party. yet, something more acrimonious happened when the bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha. Members belonging to Other Backward Classes (OBCs) demanded a quota for Muslims. The government gave in because it also has the Muslim electorate to placate. Although Muslims have been
allotted 4.5 per cent from the 27 per cent of reservations provided in the Constitution, the BJP is up in arms and has threatened a civil war if the quota is given to Muslims. On the other hand, the Muslim leaders have demanded the 10 per cent reservations outside the Constitutional provision of 27 per cent. The Supreme Court gave a ruling some time ago that the total reservations cannot exceed 50 per cent. Surprisingly, the Congress has already decided to give Muslims a quota of 4.5 percent in educational institutions and employment. But this decision yet to be implemented and the quota will be from the overall reservation of 27 per cent. The quota is probably illegal because the Constitution forbids any reservation on the basis of religion. Cases are pending before the Supreme Court from Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka where a quota has been given to religious minorities, Muslims and Christians. Legal experts have pronounced that the government’s step to give reservation to religious minorities is unconstitutional. But in the meanwhile the atmosphere of parochialism is affecting different communities and creating an embarrassing situation for civil society. The Congress could not have hit the ethos of pluralism more severely than it has done by introducing reservations in top positions. This may well be a move to defeat the Lok Pal bill in Parliament because the BJP would never agree to a quota for Muslims. It, along with the left which is against reservation in principle, can defeat the bill in the Rajya Sabha, the Upper House, where the Congress and its allies cannot muster a majority. But the BJP should be prepared to bear the responsibility for not having the bill passed by the end of the year, a demand made by the Gandhian Anna Hazare. I am unable to make out why the Congress withdrew its support at the last minute to the draft bill which had got the near consensus at the all-party meeting at the Prime Minister residence. The hitch may have been because of the reported opposition by Congress president Sonia Gandhi who has said that they are ready to take on Anna Hazare. The last time it was her son, Rahul Gandhi, who had diluted the bill finalised by the
Parliament Standing Committee. The government has not in fact taken Lok Pal bill demand seriously from the beginning and has not understood how infuriated the civil society is. even then, the bill it has brought before Parliament under pressure gives control of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to the personnel department at the centre. CBI has been used by the different government for their political purpose. even the appointment of apex body to select persons for the Lok Pal machinery is a panel that consists of the PM, the Opposition Leader and the Chief Justice of India. How can the CJ be on the selection committee when the appeal against the wrong or motivated appointment lies with the CJ. It seems that the bill has been drafted in haste and probably with the purpose that it should fall either in Parliament or in the Court. True, the government has accommodated Anna Hazare on many points but if one were to analyse the provisions it would be clear that what the government gives by one hand takes away by another. Against this backdrop I can understand the pressure by Anna Hazare to pass the bill but I am unable to appreciate his fast for 3 days when Parliament had already taken up the bill. In any case he had given the call for jail bharo (fill the jail) from January. His enunciation is to propagate against the Congress in the five states assembly to defeat the party is suspect. This unnecessarily gives strength to the allegation that the whole movement is political and meant to help the BJP and the opposition. The country is going through political and economic crises. Any wrong step by government or by civil society can harm the nation and unwittingly support the parochial and desperate elements. I recall the words of US President Jefferson from his inaugural address “Let us reflect that, having banished from our land that religious intolerance under which mankind so long bled and suffered, we have yet gained little if we countenance a political intolerance as despotic, as wicked, and capable of as bitter and bloody persecutions.” The writer is a senior Indian journalist.
Swinging in reverse Rhetoric on emotional steroids
appy New year! Almost ten years ago, in August 2002, I published an article, Reverse Swing, during a period of upsurge in Imran Khan’s political fortunes, prior to the ill-fated Musharraf referendum. It read, “Imran, today, exhibits the evolution from celebrity cricketer to mature politician. It has taken time but now, more than ever, the reverse swing is in full flow, the line and length is impeccable and he is working up a pretty lively pace. It’s visible in his body language and the message is strong. Imran Khan is on song! Unfettered by the disadvantages facing other political parties in respect of registration formalities and disqualifications, he is on the move with his country-wide campaign swinging from North to South, and back again, with results fast becoming visible. He is hitting the deck hard and the “toe breakers”, too, are beginning to land. He is yorking the government for its blunders but at the same time supporting the original Musharraf agenda. Most important is that he has decided to go it alone and not join the “icons of corruption”. As he stands for transparent government and good governance, it is apparent that he shuns the expediency, garbed as pragmatism, prevalent today. The issues he is raising have root in the masses and the vote bank targeted is the wealth of young, newly enlisted voters. An astute stance, indeed!” A lot of this is true even today, in fact most of it. But the “most important” part of that time is now, sadly, in reverse. Imran, it appears, has succumbed to “the expediency, garbed as pragmatism” prevalent Random Thoughts then, as it is today. In his own words, “icons of corruption” that he By Imran Husain castigated then are, slowly but surely, wending their way to his party’s watering hole. His defence, a pragmatic one, is the dearth of electable candidates and ‘kiya mein farishteh laoonga’ (will I find angels). This is more than a matter of record; it also serves as a glaring reminder to the electorate that time and events change the thinking process of leaders. More often than not, crafty handlers cleverly conceal this. In fact, it is why the more brilliant among us always counselled refrain from saying too much, or even speaking too much, because one ends up exposing oneself to the undoable. The biggest problem facing Pakistan’s growth, aside from the disastrous implications of war, is the inability of the population to realise where we are at, supported by the incessant rhetoric of politicians to promote hope minus the material or mental resources to provide actual relief. empty vessels have
consumed our horizon for decades; not one has really delivered. Nothing on ground today indicates a positive time frame for fulfilling the peoples’ manifesto. An analyst expressed the other day that Imran can galvanise public opinion towards fulfilment of the peoples’ civic and allied responsibilities. It’s great to have one’s convictions but to convince the nation that a non-economic manager can galvanise an unruly population to subject itself to responsible behaviour is a joke. What we are seeing is a typical Pakistani phenomenon. euphoria and entertainment while ignoring ground realities. Let Imran tell them of the taxes he needs to collect and see the euphoria fritter. My argument is find me a leader who can retain popularity and yet get the people to meet their simple civic obligations. To our population rational is for the birds. They believe solely in personal needs. Perhaps this is not wrong, but they unfortunately do not want to contribute towards it. emotional reactions have delivered momentarily relief but at the same time have taken us away from permanent solutions. The truth is that Pakistan’s limited developed resources have been consistently stretched to subsidise our lives. every politician shouts hoarse that he can do better without saying exactly how. The answer lies in seeking and obtaining from the electorate sufficient time to enable the natural endowments and resources to develop and provide the means to make Pakistan a true welfare state. This requires patience, good governance and, last but not least, sacrifices. A knee jerk reaction to emotional outbursts and resultant deviations from the projected path leads to disaster. The state of our economy is living proof. Tragically there is no evidence of the healer reforming himself. The cost of managing equitable distribution of free fuel to small farmers is itself prohibitive. Governments have played this tune to its death. PKR 145 billion has been allocated to this government’s BISP; is it having an effect on the economy? The power subsidy has cost the government three trillion. Imagine the benefits if these amounts were made available for real growth. Creating more provinces means more expenditure on governments within the scarce resource base. We already have six provincial and one central government to fund. The people emotionally being led to the precipice foolishly believe they will benefit. Provide evidence please. This is political wrangling and we all know it has one goal. Will we be lead blindly yet again? One can argue endlessly. The essence of success lies in managing expectations to fit the resources. Otherwise we will continue to swing in reverse, upside down. Our fate sealed by our emotions. The writer may be contacted via e-mail at email@example.com
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14 Foreign News
Thursday, 5 January, 2012
iraq PM backs off sacking threats in political row BAGHDAD AFP
Iraq’s premier backed off threats to fire ministers boycotting cabinet, instead naming temporary replacements Wednesday, as the UN voiced concern over a row that has stoked sectarian tensions. Nuri al-Maliki’s decision was the latest in an apparent calming of Iraq’s political crisis, which has seen the country’s Sunni Vice President charged with running a death squad and the main Sunni-backed bloc boycott parliament and cabinet, shortly after US troops completed their withdrawal. Despite ministers belonging to the Iraqiya bloc skipping Tuesday’s cabinet meeting, Maliki declined to follow through on an earlier threat to sack them, instead declaring they were on “extended leave”, Maliki’s spokesman said. “We cannot allow the government’s work to stop,” Ali Mussawi said. “Their absence gave us two choices — either fire them or consider them on leave. The cabinet voted that they were considered to be on extended leave.” Their portfolios were temporarily handed to other sitting ministers, with deputy premier responsible for energy Hussein alShahristani handling the electricity ministry, and Planning Minister Ali alShukri taking over finance, a parliament official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. Trade Minister Khayrullah Babakir Mohammed was handed the industry portfolio, while Higher education Minister Ali al-Adeeb takes over education and Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Safaldin al-Safi is charged with Provincial Affairs. For the past two weeks, Iraq has been engulfed in a political crisis sparked by authorities’ decision to issue an arrest warrant for Vice President Tareq alHashemi on terror charges.
US urges against ‘provocations’ after kim Jong-il death BEIjInG AFP
US diplomat Kurt Campbell on Wednesday urged “all parties” to refrain from “any provocations” after North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il’s death, as he left China, where he met foreign ministry officials. Campbell, the assistant secretary of state for east Asian and Pacific Affairs, is the first US diplomat to visit China — North Korea’s closest ally — since Kim died from a heart attack on December 17. “We both underscored how important it will be over the course of the coming months to maintain very close contact between Washington and Beijing,” said Campbell, who met vice-foreign ministers Zhang Zhijun and Cui Tiankai.
LONDON: The father of murdered British black teenager Stephen Lawrence, Neville Lawrence (2R), poses with members of his family outside the Old Bailey court on Wednesday, after Gary Dobson and David Norris were sentenced to at least 14 and 15 years, respectively, for his son’s murder. aFp
Syria accuses US of interfering in Arab affairs g
Syrian opp in disarray, struggling to present a united front DAMASCuS
yRIA accused the United States on Wednesday of interfering in Arab League affairs, as a US envoy travelled to Cairo for talks with the bloc about ending the Damascus regime’s deadly crackdown on dissent. Meanwhile, democracy activists have denounced the 22-member Arab bloc over the “unprofessionalism” of a team of peace observers whose presence in Syria has failed to stem the bloodshed. “The United States is one of the parties which is seeking to rekindle violence by its mobilisation and incitement (to violence),” foreign ministry spokesman Jihad Makdisi said in a statement. “The US ... statements are a gross interference in the work of the Arab League and an unjustified attempt to internationalise” the issue of
Syria, he said. Arab League observers have been in Syria since last week trying to assess the regime’s implementation of a peace agreement aimed at ending violence in the country. The US State Department said on Tuesday that Jeffrey Feltman, the assistant secretary of state for Near east Affairs, would travel to Cairo for consultations with the Arab League about Syria. Feltman is due to arrive in the egyptian capital later on Wednesday and is scheduled to hold discussions with the Arab League on Thursday. His trip was announced as the White House said it is “past time” for the UN Security Council to act, as “sniper fire, torture and murder” were continuing in Syria and the Arab League conditions for the regime have been dishonoured. “We want to see the international community stand together united in support of the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people,” said White House spokesman Jay
Carney. Despite the presence of the monitors, Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi has acknowledged that “there are still snipers” in Syria, but defended the mission for securing prisoner releases and removing tanks from the streets. The United Nations estimated last month that more than 5,000 people have been killed in the Syrian government’s crackdown on dissent since March. There were no signs of the violence abating on Wednesday, with the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reporting that three more civilians were killed. In a statement sent to AFP in Nicosia, the Britain-based group said two civilians died and four were wounded in the besieged central city of Homs by gunfire from a car likely belonging to the regime. Another civilian was killed in the city of Hama, to the north of Homs, where Arab League monitors were sent. Hundreds of regime supporters were already gathering on the same square car-
Singapore cuts PM pay but still world’s best paid SInGAPOrE AFP
Blasts kill 2 children, policeman in iraq BAGHDAD AFP
Bomb and grenade attacks north of Baghdad on Wednesday killed three people — two children and a policeman — and wounded 17 other people, officials said. A series of 11 apparently coordinated blasts targeting security officers rocked the restive central city of Baquba, 60 kilometres (40 miles) north of Baghdad, on Wednesday morning, an official in the provincial security command centre and a doctor at the city’s hospital said. A six-year-old girl was killed and 12 people were hurt in the attacks against a variety of checkpoints, security officers’ homes and dismounted patrols, the security official and Dr. Firas alDulaimi said. Also in Baquba, capital of ethnically-mixed Diyala province, an 11year-old boy was killed and two other youths were wounded when a mobile phone they had found while playing exploded, the security command official said. In Samarra, 110 kilometres (70 miles) north of the capital, a grenade attack on a federal police checkpoint killed one officer and hurt three others, police in the city said.
rying Syrian flags and chanting slogans in support of President Bashar al-Assad, an AFP correspondent reported. Making matters worse, Syria’s opposition was in disarray and struggling to present a united front despite repeated calls by Western governments for them to put aside differences and join forces in their bid to oust Assad. A pact agreed on Friday by two of Syria’s main opposition factions — the Syrian National Council (SNC) and National Coordination Body for Democratic Change in Syria (NCB) — now appears to be in tatters. The political agreement signed in Cairo had outlined a “transitional period” should Assad’s regime be toppled by the pro-democracy uprising. However, in a Facebook posting, the Syrian National Council said late Tuesday the “document conflicts with the SNC’s political programme and with the demands of the Syrian revolution.”
MALMO: A man takes a photograph in Malmo harbour as the latest winter storm hit the Swedish coast on Wednesday. Winds of 31 metres per second were recorded at the west coast and more than 15,000 customers had their power cut off in southern and western Sweden. aFp
Singapore will slash its leaders’ unpopular multi-milliondollar salaries by at least a third, new guidelines showed Wednesday, but they will remain the world’s best-paid politicians. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who promised the salary review to ease public anger that surfaced in landmark 2011 elections, will take a 36 percent reduction in basic pay to Sg$2.2 million ($1.69 million). That is still the highest salary of any elected head of government in the world — more than four times as much as Barack Obama who earns $400,000 a year as president of the United States. It is also more than 45 times the $36,200 annual salary, including allowances, that Manmohan Singh is paid as prime minister of India, a nation of 1.2 billion people. The People’s Action Party (PAP), which has ruled Singapore since independence in 1965, has been on the defensive since its share of votes in the 2011 election fell to 60 percent, an all-time low. Among the hottest issues facing the PAP was ministers’ high pay, which the government has justified as necessary to attract talent from the private sector and to deter the corruption that afflicts other Asian countries. Under the new scale the city-state’s largely ceremonial president will see his pay reduced by 51 percent to Sg$1.54 million, while entry-level cabinet members will receive half the premier’s salary. That still puts them well ahead of government leaders in the world’s major economies. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who heads europe’s biggest economy, earns a gross salary of about 189,216 euros ($246,750) a year, less than France’s President Nicolas Sarkozy who earns just over 230,000 euros. Hong Kong chief executive Donald Tsang earns roughly $543,500 annually and the Japanese prime minister gets about $513,000 a year.
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Thursday, 5 January, 2012
nigeria police hit in first attack since emergency decree
Iran ramps up warning over US navy in Gulf g
Defence minister says iran will do anything to preserve security of Strait of hormuz TEHrAn
Gunmen have attacked a police station in northern Nigeria’s Jigawa state, killing a teenage girl and wounding an officer in the first such incident since a state of emergency was declared. It was not immediately clear who was behind the attack late Tuesday, though Islamist group Boko Haram has been blamed for scores of such incidents in northern Nigeria. “The gunmen shot indiscriminately into the police station and engaged our men in a shootout, killing a teenage girl trying to flee and wounding a policeman,” Jigawa state police commissioner Hashimu Argungu said. “They threw an explosive into the police station but it did not detonate, which saved the police station from being destroyed, although its walls were riddled with bullets from the attack.” President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency last weekend in parts of four states hard hit by attacks blamed on Boko Haram. The decree included parts of yobe state, which neighbours Jigawa, as well as areas of Borno, Niger and Plateau states. Some have expressed fears that Boko Haram would shift its attacks to areas not affected by the state of emergency. Tuesday night’s attack targeted a divisional police station in the town of Birniwa on the border with yobe. Jonathan’s declaration came in response to a wave of attacks attributed to the group, particularly bombings at Christmas that killed 49 people, most of them in a gruesome blast at a Catholic church as services were ending. While Boko Haram has been carrying out increasingly deadly attacks for months, including an August suicide bombing of UN headquarters in Abuja that left 25 dead, the Christmas violence sparked intense fear and outrage. Muslims have frequently been victims of Boko Haram attacks, most of which have occurred in northeastern Nigeria, but the Christmas Day bombings particularly targeting churches set off fears of retaliation from Christians. Protests have also broken out in various cities since the government announced an end to fuel subsidies on Sunday, causing petrol prices to more than double in a country where most people live on less than $2 per day. The protests turned violent on Tuesday, with crowds setting bonfires and police firing tear gas. One of the country’s main unions claimed police shot dead a protester, but police denied it and said he was killed by a mob. On Wednesday, hundreds of protesters shut down petrol stations in Kano, northern Nigeria’s largest city, and a mob threatened to burn a newspaper office before police stopped them.
Armed commandos to protect india’s tigers BAnGALOrE AFP
Armed commandos are to be deployed in the jungles of southern India to deter poachers from capturing and killing endangered tigers, state government officials announced on Wednesday. The 54-strong Special Tiger Protection Force will patrol the two main tiger reserves of Bandipur and Nagarhole national parks on the Karnataka-Tamil Nadu state border, the Karnataka government in Bangalore said. The squad, which includes forest rangers, has undergone a three-month course in jungle survival techniques as well as weapons training. “We plan to induct an additional 54 personnel into the force for deploying in the other three tiger reserves across the state,” B.K. Singh, the state’s principal chief conservator of forests, told reporters. “They will also undergo physical training, unarmed combat, training in using weapons, field engineering (and) map reading,” he added, hailing the initiative as the first of its kind in India. India is home to half of the world’s rapidly dwindling wild tiger population but has been struggling to halt the big cat’s decline in the face of poachers, international smuggling networks and loss of habitat. From an estimated 40,000 animals in 1947, when India gained independence from British colonial rule, numbers were down to around 1,706 — about half that in 2001 but slightly up on the 1,411 in 2006.
Foreign News 15
RAN on Wednesday renewed its warning to America against keeping a US navy presence in the oilrich Gulf, underlining a threat that Washington has dismissed as a sign of “weakness” from Tehran. “Iran will do anything to preserve the security of the Strait of Hormuz” at the entrance to the Gulf, Defence Minister Ahmad Vahidi said, according to the website of Iran’s state television. “The presence of forces from beyond the (Gulf) region has no result but turbulence. We have said the presence of forces from beyond the region in the Persian Gulf is not needed and is harmful,” he
was quoted as saying. The comments echoed a warning issued Tuesday by Iran’s military that it would unleash its “full force” if a US aircraft carrier is redeployed to the Gulf. “We don’t have the intention of repeating our warning, and we warn only once,” Brigadier General Ataollah Salehi, Iran’s armed forces chief, said as he told Washington to keep its aircraft carrier out of the Gulf. The White House on Tuesday had brushed off the warning, saying it “reflects the fact that Iran is in a position of weakness” as it struggles under international sanctions. The US Defence Department said it would not alter its deployment of warships to the Gulf. But on Wednesday, Salehi reinforced his warning, and called 10 days of Iranian navy war games just held near the
Strait of Hormuz a “message” to the United States. “The forces from beyond the region have received the appropriate message from these manoeuvres,” he said, according to the official IRNA news agency. “Those who have come as enemies should be afraid of our manoeuvres,” he said. The exercises climaxed Monday with the Iranian navy test-firing three types of missiles designed to sink warships. The head of Iran’s parliamentary national security and foreign policy commission, Aladdin Brujerdi, was also quoted by the Fars news agency as saying the US description of Iran being weak “is a completely illogical stance.” He added: “The US talks about sanctioning our oil but they should know that if Iran’s oil exports from the Persian Gulf are
sanctioned, then no-one will have the right to export oil through the Strait of Hormuz.” The developments have helped send the prices of oil soaring, though they pulled back a little Wednesday. Brent North Sea crude contracts in London were selling for $111.58 per barrel. New york trading of West Texas Intermediate crude was at $102.30 per barrel. “The situation with Iran remains worrisome,” said Nick Trevethan, a senior commodities strategist at ANZ Research in Asia. “The consequences of any military action in the Middle east will be enormous. A spike in crude prices will kill off any recovery in the US,” he added. The US Defence Department said in a statement it would continue the rotation of its 11 aircraft carriers to the Gulf to support military operations in the region.
QALIUBIA: An Egyptian soldier checks the ID card of a burqa-clad woman at the entrance of a polling station on Wednesday, as Egyptians headed to the polls again in the final round of a phased election to choose the first parliament since a popular uprising toppled Hosni Mubarak in February. aFp
Sarkozy camp outraged by opposition leader insult PArIS AFP
Supporters of France’s President Nicolas Sarkozy demanded that his main opponent in his re-election battle apologise Wednesday after he reportedly insulted him at a lunch for political journalists. Socialist flag-bearer Francois Hollande, who will face Sarkozy in April’s election, allegedly called the president a “sale mec” — literally a “dirty guy” and roughly equivalent in force to a term like “nasty piece of work”. Tuesday’s lunch was supposedly an off-the-record briefing for reporters, including one from AFP, but Hollande’s taunt was partially revealed in the daily Le Parisien, drawing outrage from the right. Le Parisien reported the term as an insult, but other journalists at the lunch interpreted the phrase as part of an imagined dialogue in which Sarkozy described himself in unflattering terms in order to appear tough. Imagining himself in the mind of Sarkozy, Hollande said: “I’m the president of failure, a nasty piece of work, but in this difficult period I’m the only one capable of handling things. I alone have the bravery.
“He’s going to present himself as Captain Courageous, courting unpopularity. He’s a weak candidate because if that’s how he’s beginning his campaign it’s unimpressive. France deserves better,” he continued. Several of Sarkozy’s ministers and supporters in parliament
denounced the insult. Valerie RossoDebord of Sarkozy’s UMP party said: “Frankly, it’s a red card offence. you do not insult the president of the republic.” Interior Minister Claude Gueant branded Hollande’s attack “unacceptable” and several other ministers demanded a public apology from the opposition leader. Sarkozy is reportedly privately very caustic about Hollande, and his career has also been marked by several insulting outbursts. In February 2008 he was caught on camera telling a member of the public who refused to shake his hand at the Paris agricultural show: “Get lost, you stupid bastard.” Responding to the criticism, Hollande’s spokesman recalled this episode. “Honestly, if Francois Hollande had said to Nicolas Sarkozy ‘Get lost, you stupid bastard,” he would have had reason to complain,” Bernard Cazeneuve said. “But that’s not the kind of thing Francois Hollande says and Francois Hollande will not be the president of ‘get lost, you stupid bastard’. “This story is false. Francois Hollande is not in the habit of launching insults. He campaigns on the issues,” he continued.
romney wins iowa nail-biter by 8 votes DES MOInES AFP
Mitt Romney won the first battle in the 2012 White House race in dramatic fashion on Wednesday, wresting Iowa from devout Christian conservative Rick Santorum by just eight votes. The result cemented Romney’s status as the frontrunner for the Republican nomination to take on President Barack Obama in November, but failed to dispel lingering doubts about the extent of his popularity. In one of the closest finishes in presidential campaign history, Romney trailed Santorum by four votes with one precinct left to report. But after an agonizing delay, the final votes turned things around and gave Romney a razorthin 30,015 to 30,007 victory. “Congratulations to governor Mitt Romney, winner of the 2012 Iowa caucuses. Congratulations to senator Santorum for a very close second place finish, an excellent race here,” Iowa Republican Party chairman Matt Strawn said. The result capped a remarkable performance by Santorum, written off a few weeks ago and now suddenly propelled into the top tier of candidates seeking the Republican crown to challenge Obama on November 6. “Game on,” Santorum, a former Pennsylvania senator, told cheering supporters after his exhaustive months-long, on-the-ground campaign paid off. “you have taken the first step in taking back this country.”
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Thursday, 5 January, 2012
‘ZONG CMPAK LIMITED REJOICE 2012 NEW YEAR’ Esna and Iraj
gets two nods for Producers guild Awards LOS AnGELES AGENCIES
Two George Clooney films have been nominated for the top prize at the Producers Guild of America Awards. Family drama ‘The Descendants’ and political saga ‘The Ides of March’, will vie for the prize, along with silent film ‘The Artist’ and comedy ‘Bridesmaids’. Other nominees in the motion picture category include Steven Spielberg’s take on the stage hit ‘War Horse’ and Martin Scorsese’s 3D family film ‘Hugo’. The awards will be handed out on 21 January in Los Angeles. The ceremony takes place two days after the US Writers Guild honours its chosen films. Terrence Malick’s ‘Tree of Life’, starring Sean Penn and Brad Pitt, was notably absent from the nominations list. The movie has notched up several nods at other prestigious award ceremonies and, in May, it was named the winner of the Palme d’Or prize at the Cannes Film Festival. Spielberg was also nominated for the animation movie ‘The Adventures of Tintin’, along with ‘Lord of the Rings’ director Peter Jackson, who also produced the film. ‘Cars 2’, ‘Kung Fu Panda 2’, ‘Puss In Boots’ and ‘Rango’ will also compete in the animation category.
netflix programme puts new york mobster in norway
SAn FrAnCISCO AFP
Online film and television show titan Netflix will make its original programming debut in February with ‘Lilyhammer’, a “fish-out-of-water story” about a New york mobster starting anew in Norway. Steven Van Zandt, a guitarist in Bruce Springsteen’s famed e Street Band, stars as Frank ‘The Fixer’ Tagliano, who enters a federal witness protection to be given a new identity after providing authorities, according to Netflix. “I am very careful with my choices and this project was so exciting to me because of the wonderful writing, the rich characters and the fascinating
culture of Norway,” Van Zandt said in a release. “Netflix is the perfect home for such a unique show,” he added. The first episode of the show, which is set in Lillehammer, Norway will be available for streaming beginning February 6 online by Netflix . “A sports fan, Frank wants to make his new life in Lillehammer, the Norwegian town that hosted the 1994 Winter Olympics, or as he calls it ‘Lilyhammer’, Netflix said. “Frank has visions of a paradise of ‘clean air, fresh white snow and gorgeous broads’ far away from the temptations of the Big Apple and from mob hit men,” the California-based firm continued. events in the show, of course, turn out to be spectacularly different, Netflix promised.
Esna, Dr. Ikhtiar Baig, Makhdoom Shahabuddin, Ali Kamran, Usman , M. Usman & Tehmina.
Mr & Mrs Sarmad Sufian
Zong CMPak Limited hosted a grand New year’s night in Karachi, at the DHA Golf Club Convention Centre. The event was attended by celebrities from the fashion and TV industries and notable names from the corporate, advertising and government sectors.
Mr Fu Li, CCO, CMPak Mr Sajid, CEO, CMPak Mr Fan Yunjun, Director Corporate Pakistan Ali Kamran & Mr Peng.
Naureen Baig, Mr Makhdoom Shahabuddin, Dr Baig & Mr Manzoor Wassan
Shah Rukh accepts what
Katrina Kaif declines MUMBAI: with the wedding season on in full gusto, the stars are in more demand than usual. katrina and Shah rukh khan, who have been holidaying with their families in London and Dubai respectively, were reportedly invited to attend the wedding of Asma rahman, daughter of Mir Shakeel-Ur-rahman - owner of a Pakistani entertainment Channel in Dubai. And while a source from the wedding revealed that Srk graced the occasion and stole the thunder of the newlyweds, katrina decided to turn down the invite. “rahmans wanted katrina kaif also to attend the occasion. But they failed to convince her,” added the source. when contacted, katrina’s friend defended her decision to give the wedding amiss, saying: “katrina is in London with her family. She celebrated new year with them. She didn’t want to just up and leave them to go to Dubai.”AGENCIES
Esna, Dr. Ikhtiar Baig, Makhdoom Shahabuddin, Ali Kamran, Usman , M. Usman & Tehmina.
enraged over Rana’s digression MUMBAI: Looks like the blossoming romance between Bipasha Basu and rana Daggubati has gone kaput. word has it that rana’s been avoiding Bipasha of late. recently, the rumoured couple was in goa holidaying and Bipasha had plans to hang around with rana but the hunk apparently had a different plan in mind. once described by Bips as a tall good looking friend, rana was seen hanging out with south indian actress Trisha. This obviously left Bips heartbroken and the actress even unfollowed rana from her social networking site Twitter. Meanwhile, rana and Trisha reportedly got cosy in goa but managed to get away from the cameras. Bipasha is said to be mighty enraged and we can only wish good luck to rana! ZEENEWS
Olita, CEO CMPak Fan Yunjun and Nina
Dhanush not getting rich with ‘Kolaveri Di’! MUMBAI: ‘kolaveri Di’ might have become the top song of 2011, but the man behind this ‘soup song’ hasn’t become overnight rich. Apparently, Dhanush sold the rights for ‘kolaveri Di’ to Sony Music for a trifling. And now when there are nu-
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husband ‘not on the run’
Sehr & Naureen
INGeR Meesha Shafi has rejected reports suggesting that a local court has issued arrest warrants for her and husband Mahmood Rahman. In a press statement, Shafi said, “The recent allegations of warrants of arrest having been issued by a court of law against my husband Mahmood Rahman and myself are baseless, incorrect and untrue. We have neither been served such warrants nor have we been contacted by the court officials or the police in this regard. We, therefore, request the media to kindly discontinue the publishing and purporting of such negative and defamatory claims immediately.” The statement came after reports that arrest warrants had been issued against the couple for allegedly stealing equipment from musician Farhad Humayun’s studio.
Director Martin Scorsese is to be honoured with the British Academy fellowship at the Bafta Film Awards ceremony next month. The annual award is Bafta’s highest accolade and was bestowed to actor Christopher Lee last year. Bafta chair Tim Corrie called Scorsese “a legend in his lifetime, a true inspiration to all young directors”. The filmmaker will collect his accolade at the Bafta Awards in London on 12 February. Scorsese, whose latest movie ‘Hugo’ has been applauded by the critics, said: “It is a great honour to be recognised by the British Academy and to join the ranks of such an esteemed group of industry colleagues and friends.” Previous recipients from the discipline of film-making to gain the award include Steven Spielberg, Alfred Hitchcock and Stanley Kubrick. Scorsese’s film career spans six decades, with work including ‘Taxi Driver’, ‘Gangs of New york’ and ‘The Aviator’. He has picked up nine Bafta nominations for directing, winning in 1991 for ‘Goodfellas’. The film-maker, 69, picked up a string of Oscar nods during a long wait to finally win best director for ‘The Departed’ in 2007. Scorsese’s most recent film ‘Hugo’ marks his first foray into 3D moviemaking in the family film genre.
french honours branded a ‘joke’ after Sarkozy makes Salma hayek a Chevalier PArIS THE TELEGRAPH
France’s highest order of merit has been branded a joke after Mexican-born actress Salma Hayek was made a Knight of the Legion of Honour. News that the 45-year old sex symbol was to become a “Chevalier” along with other actors and singers prompted one former minister to refuse the award. Others warned it would see Napoleon “turning in his grave”. Hayek is currently promoting ‘Puss in Boots’, a film in which she provides the voice for a character called Kitty Softpaws. President Nicolas Sarkozy has the last word on who receives the Legion of Honour, created by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802 in his bid to replace nobility with a republican meritocracy. Hayek is married to billionaire Francois-Henri Pinault, whose business interests include Gucci and Christie’s auction house. He also happens to be a close friend of Sarkozy. Hayek’ father-in-law, Francois Pinault, will also be made a Grand Officer of the Legion of
merous versions of the hit number, Dhanush’s family and friends are upset at his paltry income from the deal. in fact, Dhanush has no legal right to curb bootleg versions of ‘kolaveri’ that are doing rounds on the internet. Talking to a daily, the actor-turned-singer said, “i can’t release any version of ‘kolaveri’ without Sony’s approval. And i’ll have to share every version of the song with them. So essentially i’ll get paid only for my singing. Like the Tamil version, the hindi version of ‘kolaveri’ is with Sony Music. There’s nothing i can do about it.” when questioned why he didn’t retain the legal rights for the song, Dhanush answered: “who knew the song would go so far? But it’s okay. i don’t regret it. i am content with what i’ve got from this song. And what i’ve got is priceless.” interestingly, Ar rahman praised Dhanush, referring to him as the Aamir khan of the South. responding to rahman’s compliments, Dhanush added, “Coming from him, it’s a great honour. i’d love to work with him.” ZEENEWS
martin Scorsese to be awarded Bafta Fellowship LOnDOn
Mr & Mrs Aziz Memon
sequel still planned LOS ANGELES: The sequel to the ‘girl with the Dragon Tattoo’ is still in “development”. Sony has confirmed ‘The girl who Played with fire’ will continue to be made despite some believing the film - starring Daniel Craig as a former investigative journalist and rooney Mara as private investigator - has underperformed, having only made $60 million in the US since its release on December 20. A representative for the studio told entertainment weekly: “‘Dragon Tattoo’ continues to do strong business and nothing has changed with respect to development of the next book.” The follow-up to the movie has a planned late 2013 release date and both rooney and Daniel are signed up to star in the follow-ups. however, director David fincher has yet to commit to the second project. The film - a remake of an original Swedish version starring noomi rapace - has made $72 million at the worldwide box office, and cost $90 million to make. AGENCIES
Honour in the same list at the elysée Palace in a few weeks’ time. This year’s honours list drew an angry response from many - including Henri Torre, the 78-year-old former minister and member of Sarkozy’s ruling UMP party, who turned down a Legion of Honour. “Too many people have been nominated who do not deserve to me honoured,” he said, insisting that the award had become tainted with “cronyism”. The Legion of Honour was created “to reward the men and women who have devoted themselves, sometimes to the death, to the nation”, said a second express reader. “What services has Salma Hayek rendered to France?” asked a reader of Le Figaro. According to the government’s official journal, Hayek was chosen for her work as “director and producer (and) active member of charitable foundations for 23 years”. Some suggested that Mr Sarkozy was trying to “buy” popularity with the list before this year’s presidential elections. “The way things are going with Sarkozy, refusing the award will soon be a mark of honour,” said one.
Criticism of the Legion of Honour’s opaque, highly political selection process is nothing new but has reached new heights under Sarkozy. There was also controversy in 2008, when Mr Sarkozy decorated the magistrate who pronounced his divorce from second wife Cecilia. The row follows similar criticism
of the honours system in the UK, where Prime Minister David Cameron has been attacked for rewarding Tory Party donors, including tycoon Gerald Ronson, who was jailed for his part in the Guinness share-trading scandal. In 1998, Jacques Chirac decorated the entire French football team after its World Cup final victory.
Manila promises help for
MAniLA: even movie super-spy Jason Bourne needs help against the nightmarish traffic in the Philippine capital Manila, the city’s administrator said on wednesday. Metro Manila chairman francis Tolentino is taking steps to avoid chaos on the roads when the latest instalment in the blockbuster series, ‘The Bourne Legacy’, starts filming in the country later this month. Some of the major roads in the traffic-clogged city will be used for car chases and action sequences, Tolentino said. Motorists will be advised about alternative routes during shooting days, he said, adding that teams will be deployed for crowd control and to re-direct traffic. “The movie will be shown worldwide. its best that we clean the area first before filming,” Tolentino told reporters. “we will advise the neighbourhoods concerned to be more sensitive to the once-in-a-lifetime shooting opportunity.” The character of Jason Bourne, a CiA agent suffering from memory loss, was originally created in a series of books by robert Ludlum which in turn have been turned into hugelysuccessful movies: ‘The Bourne identity,’ ‘The Bourne Supremacy’ and ‘The Bourne Ultimatum,’ all starring Matt Damon in the title role. AFP
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Thursday, 5 January, 2012
kvitova helps Czechs beat US in hopman Cup Page 21
Clarke, Ponting pummel hapless India SCOREBOARD INDIA, 1st innings: 191 (M.S. Dhoni 57 not out, S. Tendulkar 41; J. Pattinson 4-43) AUSTRALIA, 1st innings: (overnight 116 for 3) 8 D. Warner c Tendulkar b Zaheer Khan 16 E. Cowan lbw b Zaheer Khan S. Marsh c Laxman b Zaheer Khan 0 R. Ponting c Tendulkar b Sharma 134 M. Clarke not out 251 55 M. Hussey not out 18 EXTRAS: (lb12, w3, nb3) 482 TOTAL: (for 4 wkts; 116 overs) Fall of wickets: 1-8 (Warner), 2-8 (Marsh), 3-37 (Cowan), 4325 (Ponting) BOWLING: Zaheer Khan 26-4-106-3, yadav 18-2-94-0 (2w), Sharma 22-0-106-1 (1nb), Ashwin 28-4-103-0 (1w), Sehwag 141-38-0 (2nb), Kohli 8-0-23-0 Toss: India Crowd: 30,077 Umpires: Marais Erasmus (RSA) Ian Gould (ENG) Video umpire: Bruce Oxenford (AUS) Match referee: Ranjan Madugalle (SRI)
SyDney: Australian batsman Michael Clarke (C) celebrates after scoring 200. (right) ricky Ponting plays a cut shot to the boundary for four runs. aFp SYDnEY
ICHAeL Clarke hit the highest score by an Australian at the Sydney Cricket Ground and Ricky Ponting struck his first Test century in two years as the hosts pounded India in the second Test Wednesday. Captain Clarke scored an unbeaten double-century and Ponting broke through for his first hundred in 34
Double-centurion Clarke seeks fans’ respect
Test innings in dramatic style to put Australia a commanding 291 runs in front with six wickets left and three days to go. The pair shared the biggest partnership -- 288 runs -- for any wicket against India to leave the dispirited tourists with a mountain to climb to save the four-Test series after going down by 122 runs in last week's opening Test in Melbourne. At the close on the second day, Australia were 482 for four with Clarke unconquered on 251 off 342 balls and Mike Hussey on 55. The pair had
put on an unfinished 157 for the fifth wicket. Ponting, 37, gave the perfect riposte to those calling for his retirement with a dogged 134, while Clarke basked in the adulation of his home crowd by surpassing Doug Walters' previous highest SCG score by an Australian of 242 set in 1969. The Australians, trailing by 75 at the start of the day, lost only one wicket in a dominant day's cricket after the helter-skelter of 13 wickets tumbling on Tuesday. While the first day's play was all about
wickets, Wednesday's action was purely about runs as Australia set about building a massive lead to go after a 2-0 series lead. Clarke brought up his 18th Test century and fourth against India with a glorious cover drive off Ishant Sharma in the last over before lunch. He went on with the job of surpassing his previous Test best 168 against New Zealand in March 2010 and offered only one chance to the attack, when he was on 182, that Sharma failed to take advantage of. Ponting meanwhile scampered off for a
pakistan team learning, gaining strength: mohsin
Michael Clarke said he hoped to earn some respect from home fans after posting the highest score by an Australian against India in the second Test in Sydney on Wednesday. Clarke has battled to win over the Australian cricket public since taking on the Test captaincy and a year ago he was booed as he came out to bat in a one-day international against england in Brisbane. But he earned the fans' adulation on Wednesday with an unbeaten 251 as Australia built an imposing 482 for four at second day stumps to hold a lead of 291 with six wickets intact and three days to play. Records toppled for Clarke as he surpassed Doug Walters' 242 as the highest score by a home batsman on the Sydney Cricket Ground, set back in 1969 against the West Indies. Clarke and Ricky Ponting (134) put on the biggest partnership -- 288 runs -- for any Australian wicket against India to leave the dispirited tourists with a mountain to climb to save the fourTest series after going down by 122 runs in last week's opener in Melbourne. It was Clarke's 18th century in his 78th Test and fourth against India and bettered his previous Test best 168 against New Zealand in March 2010. Although Clarke casts a genial and polite image, he polarises opinion among Australia's cricket followers, with some people disapproving of his perceived glamorous lifestyle. On the day Clarke took over as Test captain from Ponting, a newspaper poll showed only eight percent of respondents favoured the appointment. "Hopefully it helps me continue to earn respect. That's all I can do," Clarke said after his supreme batting performance.
Pakistan’s interim coach Mohsin Khan has said that the upcoming series against england would be a battle of experience and youth. “england is an experienced side and Pakistan team is full of youngsters but are learning and gaining strength,” said Mohsin, on the sidelines of the national team’s training camp that started here at the Gaddafi Stadium on Wednesday. “We are trying to harmonise youth and experience so that the players get into rhythm before the series start later in the month,” said he. He further said that all the players are fit and would be ready for the series once the camp is over. On Junaid Khan and Umur Gul, he added that the pacers are used for short spells and it’s not necessary that bowling long spells make them unfit. “The reliance will not be on just spinners, the fast bowlers will also play their part in the series and the pressure will be on the batsmen of both the teams as compared to bowlers. “We are not only strengthening the top order but also laying special emphasis on the lower order batting so there won’t be any crisis situation. The english team have a good combination of experienced players while the young Pakistan team is improving a lot physically, technically and mentally. My task is to develop them into a mentally strong unit who could give their best in pressure time. Here my experience would help them understand the rhetoric of tough times,” he maintained. On coaching, Mohsin said he is available as long as the PCB required his services and he has no issues in working in any role given to him. Mohsin remained interim coach of the team during the Pakistan’s series wins over Sri Lanka and Bangladesh since replacing Waqar younis in October last year and this is now his third series as coach in continuity. A three-member committee appointed by the PCB finalised its recommendations on Wednesday, but the new
coach is not expected to be named until after the series against england, beginning January 17. On his own fitness he said that he had a foot injury but now he is fine and working with the team.
single on 99 to mid-on and flung himself full-length to make his ground as Zaheer Khan's throw whistled past the stumps at the bowler's end 20 minutes after lunch. The former skipper clambered off the ground, his shirt coated in dirt, smiling broadly and with his bat raised to mark his first hundred in 34 Test innings -- his last being 209 against Pakistan in January 2010. It was his 40th Test century and sixth at the SCG, where he is also the leading alltime Test run-getter with 1,480. Ponting was finally out shortly before tea when he sliced to Sachin Tendulkar in the gully off Sharma. He batted for 335 minutes, faced 225 balls and hit 14 fours. Australia's run onslaught exacted full toll on India's mediocre 191 firstinnings total, leaving the tourists with a massive task just to get the home side to bat a second time in the match. Clarke and Ponting came together with Australia at a shaky 37 for three and put the home team in an impregnable position to force a result. Hussey carried on his form from his 89 in Melbourne with a flourishing half-century, with his 50 coming off 70 balls and featuring one straighthit six off spinner Ravi Ashwin. India have never won a Test series in Australia.
end of an ordeal for Ponting SYDnEY AFP
Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting finally ended his two-year wait for a Test century on Wednesday with 134 against India and said the battling knock had revitalised his confidence. The 37-year-old played on as a batsman after quitting as skipper last March, but he had gone 34 Test innings without a hundred, prompting calls for him to make way for a younger player. But Ponting, playing in his 160th Test, looked in no mood to move aside as he and current skipper Michael Clarke put India to the sword on the second day of the second Test in Sydney. Ponting, Test cricket's third-highest run-scorer, put on 288 with double-centurion Clarke -- the highest stand for any Australian wicket against India -- leaving the tourists with a mountain to climb to save the match. It eclipsed the 239 partnership Ponting and Steve Waugh put on in Adelaide in 1999. "Confidence is our game is an amazing thing. Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been able to spend a bit of time in the middle," Ponting said. "And after this innings, I’ll have more confidence about my game than I’ve had for a long time now. "The bottom line is self-belief. If you believe you can do it, then you can keep doing it. If the day comes where you wake up in the morning and can’t find any way to make yourself a better player then you’re wasting your time." Ponting, dropped by wicketkeeper M.S. Dhoni on 10 late Tuesday, batted for 335 minutes and faced 225 balls with 14 fours for his 134 -- his 40th Test century and first since scoring 209 against Pakistan in Hobart in January 2010. The veteran from Tasmania said he felt a big score was imminent after hitting 62 and 60 in last week's Melbourne Test.
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Bell warns england against complacency DuBAI AFP
england's key middle-order batsman Ian Bell Wednesday warned his world's top Test team of any complacency against Pakistan, saying their opponents pose a big challenge. england rose to number one in the ICC (International Cricket Council) rankings in August last year by blanking India 4-0 at home, but faces a big test in the series shifted to the United Arab emirates (UAe) due to security fears in Pakistan. The 29year-old right-handed batsman said england could not let up on the progress they had made. "The need to avoid complacency is huge. We worked really hard to get to No.1 and it does not stop there," Bell told reporters, ahead of england's opening three-day match against ICC Combined XI starting here from Saturday. They play another three-day match against the Pakistan Cricket Board XI -- also in Dubai -- from January 11-13 before the first of three Tests starts here from January 17. Bell said england have more to achieve. "There are more things for us to achieve but for us we are hungry enough. "We have had a nice break and the guys are looking forward to playing cricket now and we enjoy playing as a team and this is a big series for us," said Bell. england have not played a Test since beating India and were blanked 5-0 in a one-day series in India late last year. Bell said Pakistan -- unbeaten in Tests and one-day matches since losing to england in a spotfixing marred tour in 2010 -- were playing good cricket of late. "We watched quite a bit of Pakistan recently and they have been playing some really good cricket and so this is a massive challenge for us, something which we are all looking forward to," said Bell, a veteran of 69 Tests. "Any time you play Pakistan we know that they have got world class players and they are really dangerous." Bell, having scored 5027 Test runs, reckoned england are a better batting unit since beating Australia in 2005 Ashes at home. "Our batting is a lot better than in the past. After beating Australia (in 2005 and 2009 at home) we have been able to beat Sri Lanka, India and now we have a reached a stage of not looking too far ahead of us and just break it down." Bell said england will be looking to win every match, even the practice games. "In the past we were all guilty of using the warm up matches to get a score and use as practice. "Now our goal is also to win every warm up games and try and get twenty wickets and try and win the game. "It gets everyone in the right frame of mind and game mood. This is very much needed when you are playing teams like Australia and Pakistan and you cannot slowly get into the series. "We learned that from Australia and we want to take that to every series. We tried and used that in the summer when we were together for three days, Test match preparations has to be as sharp if not tougher." The second Test will be played in Abu Dhabi from January 25-29 while the third will again be played in Dubai from February 3-7. The Tests will be followed by four one-day and three Twenty20 internationals.
LAhore: The Pakistan team warms up on the opening day of their training camp at the gaddafi Stadium. murTaza aLI
South Africa push Sri Lanka to the wall CAPE TOwn
RI Lanka lost two wickets after taking a pounding from South African batsmen Jacques Kallis and AB de Villiers on the second day of the third and final Test at Newlands on Wednesday. Sri Lanka were 149 for two at the close in reply to South Africa's 580 for four declared, a deficit of 431 runs. Kallis made a career-best 224 and De Villiers hit an unbeaten 160 before the declaration. Sri Lankan captain Tillekeratne Dilshan hit a dashing 78 before he was caught at deep mid-on off leg-spinner Imran Tahir. Fellow opener Lahiru Thirimanne was earlier bowled by Morne Morkel for 23 as Sri Lanka set out on the massive task of playing themselves back into the match after Dilshan's decision to send South Africa in backfired spectacularly. South Africa scored at better than four runs an over and were able to declare in mid-afternoon in an attempt to push for a series-clinching victory. Kallis was out in the last over before lunch when he was caught at midon off left-arm spinner Rangana Herath after batting for 435 minutes. He faced 325 balls and hit 31 fours and a six. His fourth wicket partnership with De Villiers was worth 192. South Africa added 106 runs in 28.3 overs be-
SOUTH AFRICA, first innings (overnight 347-3) G. Smith b Prasad 16 109 A. Petersen c Dilshan b Welegedera H. Amla lbw b Prasad 16 224 J. Kallis c Mathews b Herath 160 A. de Villiers not out J. Rudolph not out 51 4 EXTRAS (lb1, nb2, w1) TOTAL (4 wkts dec, 139 overs) 580 Fall of wickets: 1-25, 2-56, 3-261, 4-453 BOWLING: Welegedera 29-7-107-1 (2nb, 1w), Perera 22-1131-0, Prasad 30-2-154-2, Mathews 12-0-47-0, Herath 42-4-108-1, Dilshan 4-0-32-0 To bat: M. Boucher, V. Philander, D. Steyn, M. Morkel, Imran Tahir SRI LANKA, first innings 23 L. Thirimanne b Morkel T. Dilshan c Smith b Imran Tahir 78 35 K. Sangakkara not out M. Jayawardene not out 7 EXTRAS (b4, lb1, nb1) 6 TOTAL (2 wkts, 39 overs) 149 Fall of wickets: 1-70, 2-126 BOWLING: Steyn 12-2-40-0, Philander 10-2-34-0, Morkel 10-2-55-1 (1nb), Imran Tahir 7-0-15-1 To bat: T. Samaraweera, A. Mathews, D. Chandimal, T. Perera, R. Herath, C. Welegedara, D. Prasad Match situation: Sri Lanka trail by 431 runs with eight first innings wickets remaining, Toss: Sri Lanka, Umpires: Richard Kettleborough (ENG), Rod Tucker (AUS), TV umpire: Steve Davis (AUS), Match referee: Chris Broad (ENG).
AB de villiers raises bat to celebrate his century during the Test against Sri Lanka. aFp fore lunch before the scoring rate rocketed after the interval as De Villiers and Jacques Rudolph (51 not out) piled on another 127 runs off 20.3 overs in 79 minutes. De Villiers reached his century off 176 balls and then cut loose, adding another 60 off 29 balls. His innings included 19 fours and two sixes the latter hit off successive balls from
Dilshan. Kallis, resuming on 159, hit boundaries off his first two balls of the day, from Dhammika Prasad. But he had an escape on 171 when Prasad was able to make a ball deviate enough off the pitch for Kallis to edge it low to second slip where a diving Mahela Jayawardene got his fingers to the ball but was unable to hold on.
Army defeat Wapda to win National Baseball title LAHOrE STAFF REPORT
LAhore: former ig Punjab Police and President Pakistan federation Baseball Shaukat Javeed presents the 18th national Baseball Championship winner’s trophy to Army captain while khawar Shah and Asif iqbal look on. STaFF phOTOO
A fine performance by pitcher Ihsanullah helped Army dethrone Wapda from the top and won the 19th National Baseball Championship title by 12-2 score at the Iqbal Park Sports Complex here on Wednesday. Ihsanullah, who has recently returned back from South Korea after getting modern training for two months in pitching on scholarship, did not allow any Wapda batter to settle down. Army and Wapda scored two runs each in the first innings. Army scored through Iftikhar Hussain, who hit the home-run and Arshad Khan contributed one run while for Wapda Sumair Zawar scored one and Zaheer Butt hit home-run. Army added one more run in the second innings through Arslan, while Wapda failed to move ahead. In the third innings no run was scored. Army plundered three more runs in the fourth innings as Arshad Khan and Majeed hit home-run and Imtiaz Ali chipped
in with one run. The fifth innings yielded no run, while in the sixth innings Army maintaining its offensive batting earned two more runs from Arshad and Imtiaz. In the seventh innings, Zafar Junior hit grand-slam home-hit with all the three bases were filled to add four runs and to complete the tally. At the end, president Pakistan Federation Baseball Shaukat Javed distributed the prizes. He announced that the PFB had decided to dedicate its National Department Championship to the name of Shaheed Iftikhar Iqbal, who was an international baseball player from Army and had sacrificed his life in Wana operation. Meanwhile, secretary Khawar Shah said that 22 players had been picked from the championship and some more would be picked from the Shahid Iftikhar Iqbal National Departmental Championship which will be held in February, to select a best national team for the upcoming first east-West Baseball Championship to be held by Pakistan in Lahore in April this year.
fifA appoints faisal as Players’ Status Committee member LAHOrE STAFF REPORT
Pakistan Football Federation President Makhdoom Syed Faisal Saleh Hayat has been designated as member of the “Players’ Status Committee” of Federation Internationale de Football Associations (FIFA). He has been given the assignment in addition to his previous job as member with the FIFA’s Disciplinary Committee. Faisal has been the first ever Pakistan official in the 64 years history of Pakistan to have got the unique distinction of becoming member of dual committees of FIFA from South Asian region. A PFF official felt pride in having Faisal in the FIFA committee. “The appointment of Faisal is not only a great honour and pride for the Pakistan but also the entire football family of Asia as he has been entrusted with yet another assignment which reflects trust reposed by FIFA in his leadership. The parent football body of the world has recognised the services rendered by the President PFF for the promotion of soccer in Asia, he added. The “Players’ Status Committee” shall set up and monitor compliance with the regulations on the status and transfer of players and determine the status of players for various FIFA competitions. Its powers of jurisdiction are governed by the FIFA regulations on the status and transfer of players. It is also responsible for the work of the Dispute Resolution Chamber in accordance with the Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players and the Rules Governing the Procedures of the Players’ Status Committee and the Dispute Resolution Chamber.
Africa Cup of nations countdown begins jOHAnnESBurG AFP
equatorial Guinea and South Africa kick off a 13-fixture warm-up schedule Friday ahead of the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations tournament. Sudan have lined up three friendlies, Gabon, Ivory Coast, Senegal and Tunisia two each and Angola, Botswana, Burkina Faso, equatorial Guinea, Ghana, Guinea and Zambia one apiece. Libya, Mali, Morocco and Niger have not informed world football governing body FIFA of any friendly fixtures they will play before the African showcase between January 21 and February 12 in equatorial Guinea and Gabon.
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DOHA: Rafael Nadal returns the ball to Denis Germelmayr of Germany during their ATP Qatar Open match at the Khalifa Tennis and Squash Complex. aFp
Three more matches decided in Academy hockey SIALKOT STAFF REPORT
Another three matches were played in the 2nd PHF Inter Academy Hockey Tournament being played here at the Sialkot Hockey Stadium. Abbottabad, Bahawalpur and Gojra tasted wins on Wednesday. Mian Riaz, ex-Chairman Sialkot Airport, was the chief guest. RESULTS: Abbottabad beat karachi 2-0 (full Time), 0-0 (half Time) Abbottabad: ihsan riaz 2 goals 45th minute (fg) & 56th minute (fg). Bahawalpur beat faisalabad, 5-4 (full Time), 4-1 (half Time) Bahawalpur: Sohail yousaf 2 goals 5th & 15th minutes (fg), Umar hamdi 2 goals 19th & 49thminute (fg) & kashif Javed 20th minute (PC). faisalabad: Shan Ali 23rd minute (fg), Asad iqbal 34th minute (fg), Amar 50th minute (fg) & Muhammad Asad 57th minute (fg). gojra beat quetta, 5-0 (full Time), 3-0 (half Time) gojra: Atif Arshad 3rd minute (fg), Shahbaz 8th minute (fg), Atif Mushtaq (Capt) 2 goals 21stminute (fg) & 60th minute (PC) & faisal Shah 54th minute (fg).
guard group, rijas get big wins LAHOrE STAFF REPORT
Guard Group and the combined team of Rijas and Waste Busters on Wednesday got big wins in the Bank of Punjab Lahore Open Polo Tournament which is in progress here at the Lahore Polo Club ground. Guard Group thrashed Adisseo by 10 goals and allowed the rivals score six. Major contribution in the win came from Taimur Ali Malik, who hit in five goals while Raja Samiullah managed to score four and Raja Temur Nadeem came up with one. Sameer Habib Oberoi took the major burden of fight from the losing side with five goals while Adnan Jalil Azam scored one. In the second match of the day, Rijas-Waste Busters got a five-goal margin win over Sakuf when they scored seven goals to two. Atif yar Tiwana was the main player to get his team the winning status with three goals while Ahmed Ali Tiwana contributed two. Faisal Shahzad and Ahmed Nawaz Tiwana contributed one goal each to play their part for Rijas-Waste Busters. On the other hand Shah Shamyl Alam was the only scorer of the Sakuf side, who managed both the goals for his team.
Nadal has a difficult start to 2012 DOHA
PAIN'S Rafa Nadal had to fight hard not to lose his opening match of 2012, going a break of serve down in the final set before surviving against an opponent ranked outside the top 40 in the Qatar Open here on Tuesday. The French Open champion fought back with typical courage in his 6-3, 6-7 (2/7), 6-3 win over Germany's Philipp Kohlschreiber but it was a patchy performance which left an impression that tennis is a bit of a struggle for him at the moment. Nadal found it hard to achieve rhythm and consistency with his ground strokes, sometimes leaving the ball short, and allowing his intensity to subside surprisingly during a second set spell when he went 1-4 down. But after dropping serve in the first game of the final set, the world number two began to hit some more solid blows, particularly with inside out forehands taken from the backhand corner, and finished looking much more in charge. "I didn't have a chance to practise much, I had problems with my shoulder and knee, and arrived feeling soso," Nadal said, referring to an off-season curtailed by the late finish
of the 2011 Davis Cup. "So a victory was very important. The beginning was a bit risky but I came back well and played a bit more aggressive." This was not though the Nadal depicted in his new year resolution, one who aims to become more permanently an aggressive player, taking the ball on or inside the baseline at every opportunity. "When I say I want to be more aggressive, it doesn't mean that I want to try that every day," Nadal explained. "It doesn't mean it will happen in the first match. "I need time. But I have decided to play aggressive. This is something which is needed." Nadal was probably referring both to his long term physical survival on an increasingly arduous tour, and the extra dimension needed to answer the surge of Novak Djokovic, who took over as world number one last year. He might have made life easier for himself had he converted the two break points he had at 5-5 in the second set, but Kohlschreiber saved one with a bold volley and another with a pressurising backhand drive. The world number 43 from Germany also produced some good variations as he tried to deny the winner of ten Grand Slam titles as much rhythm as possible. But Nadal, who next plays another German, the qualifier Denis Gremelmayr, believes his shortcomings were
just some of the normal difficulties in re-acquainting himself with a tennis match. He later came up with a more positive interpretation. "I was happy with my level," he said. "I think it is really positive I am through, and that is very important. I am happy having matches on the court. I didn't know if I would be here a week and a half ago." Later Nadal’s perennial rival Roger Federer had an utterly different start to the year. The secondseeded defending champion from Switzerland needed less than an hour to get past the former champion, Nikolay Davydenko, by 6-2, 6-2. Federer admitted he surprised himself with the level of his performance against the Russian opponent who beat both himself and Nadal while winning the 2010 title here. "I played aggressively, served well, and I had good movement, which is surprising early on in the season," said Federer. "But there again every match is new, and I will have to work on my game because every match in the draw is potentially tough." He next plays Grega Zemlja, a qualifier from Slovenia who won 4-6, 6-1, 6-1 against Sergei Bubka, a wild card entrant who is the son of the Soviet pole vaulter (of the same name) who was repeatedly voted the world’s best athlete.
Pakistan to take part in Cw Judo LAHOrE STAFF REPORT
The Pakistan judo team for the first time will be participating in the Commonwealth Judo Championships 2012. According to an official of the Pakistan Judo Federation the championships is being held on January 22 to 27 at Wales, Cardiff (UK). This championship further gives a chance to the Pakistan contingent to prove themselves in the world as competent judokas. Meanwhile, the president of the PJF Col Rana Shujaat Ali will participate in the International Judo Federation’s arranged Military and Police Commission Meeting as a member which is going to be held in Feburary-2012 at Paris, France. The participants of the meeting will look into ways to enhance the judo sports facilities and take a proper analysis on security issues and its solutions.
Punjab Cycling C’ship from 27th LAHOrE STAFF REPORT
The Punjab Cycling Championship will be held here on January 27 to 29 at the Cycling Veledrome and Ring Road. According to Waqar Ali, there will be six track events and three road competitions. The championship will be participated by cyclists from Rahimyar Khan, Multan, Muzaffargarh, Sahiwal, Lahore, Kasur, Faisalabad, Sargodha, Gujranwala and Sialkot.
Sri Lanka ‘wants to host IPL matches’ CHEnnAI AFP
Sri Lanka is in negotiations to host Indian Premier League (IPL) matches to raise money for its financially-strapped cricket board, the Cricinfo website reported Wednesday. Upali Dharmadasa, the newlyelected president of Sri Lanka Cricket, told the website he had approached the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to schedule some of the glitzy Twenty20 league's games on the island. "I would request the Indian board, and we have already started talking, why not play a couple of matches in
Sri Lanka?," Dharmadasa was quoted as saying by Cricinfo. Dharmadasa said the short distances between India and Sri Lanka would not pose any scheduling problems. "Make it a venture," he said. "On the whole, they (the BCCI) will help Sri Lanka as a tourist attraction and see that Sri Lanka Cricket comes up." The Sri Lanka board
has debts of around $70 million after building two new stadiums in Pallekele and Hambantota and renovating the Premadasa Stadium in Colombo for the 2011 World Cup. To raise funds, Dharmadasa has also asked India to play only one-day and Twenty20 games on their tour of Sri Lanka in July, instead of the three Tests originally scheduled.
BAYLISS NAMED KOLKATA COACH IN IPL: Australian Trevor Bayliss, who guided Sri Lanka to the 2011 World Cup final, on Wednesday replaced compatriot Dav Whatmore as head coach of the Indian Premier League side Kolkata Knight Riders. "We are pleased to welcome Trevor Bayliss as our head coach," Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan and co-owner of the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) said in a statement. "With his rich experience, very successful track record and knowledge of the conditions in the sub-continent, we believe he is the right person to take KKR to the next level of performance."
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PA passes 8 bills, rejects proposed amendments LAHOrE STAFF REPORT
The Punjab Assembly on Wednesday passed eight bills, including the Ghazi University, Dera Ghazi Khan Bill 2011, while all amendments proposed by the opposition were rejected. The treasury also laid the Punjab Supervision of Curricula, Textbooks and Maintenance of Standards of education Bill 2012. The Bills passed by the PA included Ghazi Unversity Bill 2011, Punjab Public Service Commission (Amendment) Bill 2011, Provincial Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill 2011, Punjab Agricultural Pesticides (Amendment) Bill 2011, Punjab Industrial and Commercial employment (Amendment) Bill 2011, Punjab Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill 2011, Punjab Workers’ Children education (Amendment) Bill 2011 and the Punjab Bonded Labour System abolishment (Amendment) Bill 2011. Punjab Law Minister Rana Sana Ullah moved all the bills while the majority of opposition members were not present in the House. Apart from Amna Ulfat, Samina Khawar Hayat, Mohsin Leghari and Chaudhry Zaheer ud Din, most of the opposition members showed no interest in the process of legislation.
‘Call early elections before it’s too late’ LAHORE: Reiterating his demand for early general elections, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Nawaz Sharif said on Wednesday that general elections should be called before it is too late. He was talking to party leaders on different issues facing the country at Raiwind. Talking to PML-N leader Ali Akbar, Nawaz said that the federal government had made people’s life hell. He said that people were cashstrapped due to price hike and increasing electricity, gas and petroleum prices. The PML-N president assured the people of providing relief at their doorstep, if he came into power. STAFF REPORT
Jamaat Shah rejects ‘baseless allegations’ Former Pakistani Indus Water commissioner Jamaat Ali Shah has said that he had been “extremely disturbed” by news appearing in sections media levelling various allegations on him relating to the Nimmo Bazgo and Chuttack power projects by India. In a press statement, he said, “The allegations are absolutely wrong and appear to be motivated either on the behest of the people who harbour personal enmity with me or the sources that want to destroy institutions in Pakistan”. He said he had “come to Canada to attend to my mother’s health conditions. My visit to Canada had not been a secret. I had informed the water and power secretary even though I was retired by then. Media should not sensationalise it. I intend to come back by the end of February and shall be available for any official reviews formally”. PR
Democracy is our tribute to Bhutto, says Zardari g
kvitova helps Czechs beat US in hopman Cup
President, PM ask workers to revive ZAB’s ideals
He best tribute to Zulfikar Ali Bhutto is to follow his footsteps to strengthen democracy and empower people by ending poverty, President and Pakistan Peoples Party co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari said on Wednesday in a message on the 84th birth anniversary of the PPP founder Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. Zardari said PPP workers must reinstate a determination to tread the path lay down by Bhutto. He said Bhutto believed
in dialogue to solve political problems rather than use force and was able to recover territory lost in 1971 and secure the return of prisoners of war and prevented the war trials of military officers to protect Pakistan’s honour. He said the Simla Accord had brought the longest spell of peace between India and Pakistan and the current democratic government retains Bhutto’s belief in negotiations as the model for lasting peace in the region. He said the current government also restored the 1973 Constitution through dialogue. He said, "our heads bow in gratitude for restoring the Constitution that
Bhutto will emerge from every household Dr FIrDOuS ASHIQ AwAn A human being actually dies when he and his sayings are forgotten by the people. But the philosophy and ideology of great leaders like Zulfikar Ali Bhutto resemble the nuclear energy that illuminates the dark avenues for thousands of years and keeps the flame of resistance burning – doused in their blood – against the forces of oppression. The people of Pakistan do not have a short memory. They are well aware of the machinations and antics that have been employed since independence to insult, humiliate and push them into the blind alleys of poverty and ignorance. During the last 64 years, whenever a ray of hope emerged, it was smothered through night attacks. edicts of paganism, fake and fabricated news reports, misleading columns, false evidences that were used to carry Bhutto to the gallows and martyrdom, are still fresh in the minds of the people. The episode sent a clear message to the people, intellectuals and those who loved this country that they will have to put their lives on line before yearning for democracy. The way the democracy was disgraced, the self-respect of the people vitiated and their dreams pummeled, were indeed very sad and admonitory moments in our history. The very thought of those moments
plunges one into sobs and darkness. History is a witness to the fact that only 10 years after independence the foundations of the country were shaken through the promulgation of martial law which ultimately culminated in the dismemberment of the country. Under these unenviable circumstances Bhutto responded to the call of the history because the people and Pakistan needed him like the Muslim of the subcontinent needed Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah. He adopted a democratic path with the support and backing of the people as envisioned by the Quaid-e-Azam and through his struggle and actions proved it beyond an iota of doubt that he was the rue heir and a trustee of the legacy bequeathed by the founder of Pakistan. Those raising the slogan of revolution today should take a leaf from Bhutto’s book, who through his indomitable character, sagacity and infectious philosophy triggered such a revolution that the people under his leadership challenged the forces of evil and pulled down the edifice of dictatorship. He did not resort to any course other than democracy. And when he was entrusted with the responsibility to lead truncated Pakistan, he put in place such reforms which set into motion a real revolution within the space of five and half years.
was first given to the people by the PPP's founding father." He said Zulfikar Ali Bhutto gave the people a voice which no subsequent dictatorship was able to stifle." Zardari said the government was determined not to let the dark forces of dictatorship stifle the people. He said Bhutto was `Pakistan's modernizer' who left a mark in history. Separately, Prime Minister yousuf Raza Gilani said the dynamic leadership of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto created political and social awareness amongst people which improved their lives. He said, “Today marks the birthday of a great leader in the history of the subcontinent; a leader known as a symbol of struggle against the forces of exploitation, injustice and oppression.” He said Bhutto sacrificed his life for principles and became immortal, while his murderers were condemned to the annals of history. He said Zulfikar Ali Bhutto is not the name of a personality but that of a movement and ideology, which would continue to inspire and motivate people in the struggle against exploitation and oppression. He said that after Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was the true leader who had created roots amongst ordinary people.
haqqani’s rebuttal is self mockery: Brigadier (r) imtiaz ISLAMABAD: Former Pakistani ambassador to the US Hussain Haqqani’s rebuttal is only self mockery and a neurotic ‘hung up’ because the stated fact about the fake letter was a part of history and known to many other responsible people, former Intelligence Bureau (IB) director general (DG) Brigadier (r) Imtiaz said on Wednesday. He said that Haqqani had probably forgotten that he had been once on the pay roll of the stated ‘intelligence henchman’. Imtiaz said that Haqqani’s philosophy of life was replete with changing political loyalties as a saleable commodity. The former IB DG advised Haqqani to recapitulate his tenure as ambassador to Sri Lanka, an appointment earned by him as a reward and his ugly role in collaboration with a retired bureaucrat to fuel the then erupted strife between former president Ghulam Ishaq Khan and Pakistan Muslim LeagueNawaz (PML-N) president Nawaz Sharif, which resulted in ouster of the democraticallyelected government. INP
Kvitova opened with a 6-2, 6-1 victory over Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Berdych beat Mardy Fish 6-3, 6-3. Berdych saved four break points while serving for the match before converting his first match point. Berdych and Kvitova made it a clean sweep when they beat Mattek-Sands and Fish 63, 7-5 in mixed doubles. The extra point that the winners earned could help determine the final placings in Group A, where the Czechs are strong favorites to qualify for Saturday's final. The Americans, which have won the Hopman Cup a record six times, fell to 0-2 after losing to Denmark in their opening match on Monday in the eight-nation tournament. The Czechs and Denmark play each other Friday, featuring a singles match between No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki and the second-ranked Kvitova, while the U.S. plays Bulgaria. earlier Wednesday, Bulgaria's Tsvetana Pironkova and Grigor Dimitrov came back from a set down to win the deciding mixed doubles and complete a 2-1 victory over Wozniacki and Frederik Nielsen. The Bulgarians won the mixed doubles 3-6, 6-4, 10-1 after a champions tiebreaker, leaving both teams with 1-1 records in Group A. Wozniacki had given Denmark the lead when she beat Pironkova 7-5, 4-6, 6-2 but Dimitrov evened it for Bulgaria, beating Nielsen 76 (5), 6-2. Wozniacki beat American Bethanie Mattek-Sands in straight sets in her first singles match Monday just hours after arriving from Thailand. On Wednesday, she and Pironkova struggled with their serves and Wozniacki was given a code violation for receiving coaching from her father during the seventh game of the third set. "It was a tough match. I like to give the spectators a little bit of value for their money," Wozniacki said. "I'm not a real morning person, so 9:30 is pretty early for me."
ATC allows fiA to transfer Mumbai attacks case record ISLAMABAD: A Rawalpindi Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) on Wednesday allowed the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to transfer its record of the Mumbai attacks to Magistrate SS Shinde, who has been nominated by the Mumbai High Court to head a judicial commission formed to probe into the matter. STAFF REPORT
Coalition partners outsmart PML-N on gas demos, play ‘new provinces card’ ISLAMABAD MIAN ABRAR
Under immense pressure from the PMLN backed public demonstrations across Punjab against gas outages, the top leaders of coalition government on Tuesday smartly played their “new provinces card” to shift media and public’s attention from real issues being faced by the people at large – including gas and power shortages, massive increase in CNG prices and power tariff. A source in one of the coalition party told Pakistan Today that under the plan, the government now feels that it would take the new provinces controversy to a level that might inflame public sentiments on both sides of political divide, followed by the media that would help shift public attention
from real issues being faced by the public. Per source, the plan was given final touches during an hour-long meeting held on Monday in the National Assembly between four top leaders of the coalition partners –Prime Minister yousaf Raza Gilani, Asfandyar Wali Khan, Chaudhry Pervaiz elahi and Haider Abbas Rizvi. “It was the idea of Prime Minister yousaf Raza Gilani to use the resolution submitted by the MQM to shift public and media attention from gas and electricity load shedding, which he believed was being used by the PML-N leadership to provoke public demonstrations,” said the source. The source added Gilani’s idea was discussed in length and MQM and PML-Q leaders were asked to play on the new provinces mantra while the ANP had to defend it. “The following day – on Tuesday – every character played his role per the script and now the National Assembly is all set to debate the new provinces mantra which
would shift the media focus from real issues,” added the source. Political analyst Prof Dr Rasool Bakhsh Raees said the government’s plan was a “damage-control exercise” as the popularity of the coalition partners had already been hit hard. “yes, these are seasoned politicians who are smart enough to drive the media’s attention away from real issues. However, they can no more befool the public who are facing problems and their focus can’t be distracted as every day they are facing the brunt of power and gas shortages and they are paying hefty bills,” he added. Dr Raees, however, said the new provinces issue was a wise choice on part of the coalition, as they could play with the public sentiments on both sides. “There is a minority view for creation of new provinces while a vast majority is against this idea. Now, once you play with emotions on both sides, you can cash your objectives. But the government can only
shift media focus from real issues by this idea,” he said. The analyst said the people were hard-pressed with rising inflation and even the shift of media’s focus would not be able to shift their attention from issues they were facing. “I think new provinces mantra would not help the government to win elections. Rather, they would have to rig elections if they can,” he said. On Tuesday, it was MQM’s Haider Abbas Rizvi who on a point of order sought permission from the chair for a debate on his party’s resolution, however, Bilour strictly rejected a debate, stating that no debate could be allowed by the National Assembly as only provincial assemblies, per the constitution, could pass a resolution by two-thirds majority to create any new province. Sheikh Aftab of the PML-N suggested that before discussing the issue in the House, it should be taken up first at the Business Advisory Committee.
“The matter is of great national importance and any haste in discussing it at this time will serve no good.” He said a non-issue was being made an issue. Supporting MQM’s point of view, PMLQ’s Sheikh Waqas Akram said the creation of new provinces was necessary to address peoples’ problems in a better way. “Formation of new provinces will help solve peoples’ grievances and governance issues.” Minister for Railways Ghulam Ahmed Bilour, while opposing the discussion in the National Assembly, said as the matter was related to provinces, the concerned provincial assemblies should discuss it. Finally, it was Prime Minister Gilani who stole the show by fully supporting the creation of Seraiki province. Taking advantage of the situation, he also took to task PML-N leader Nawaz Sharif for his statement about military courts and sent quiet messages to different recipients without naming anyone.
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Memogate commission sends notices to all concerned
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister yousaf Raza Gilani addresses a meeting of the federal cabinet on Wednesday. ISLAMABAD
haqqani set to file review plea against memo order
SC issues show-cause notices to five PPP leaders Babar awan, Khurshid Shah, Qamar zaman Kaira, Firdous ashiq awan and Farooq awan told to file their replies by january 13 explaining why contempt proceedings should not be initiated against them for ridiculing court orders g
ISLAMABAD STAFF REPORT
Pakistan’s former ambassador to the US Husain Haqqani has finally decided to file a review petition shortly against the Supreme Court’s December 30 short order in the memo case, in which a three-member enquiry commission headed by Balochistan High Court Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa was formed to probe the memo issue, which has already begun investigating the matter. To devise a further strategy to fight the memo case, a crucial meeting of Haqqani’s legal team was held on Wednesday, in which it was decided that a review petition against the short order would be filed within a day or two. The team decided that the review plea would particularly focus and challenge the appointment of the enquiry commission. The legal team, comprising Supreme Court Bar Association’s former president and noted human rights activist Asma Jahangir, former judge Syed Zahid Husain Bokhari, Idrees Asharf and Sajid Tanoli discussed the legal challenges in the memo case in detail. They decided that Bokhari would be the lead counsel for Haqqani before the enquiry commission appointed by the Supreme Court and he would be assisted by Tanoli. Bokhari had also advocated for slain former prime minister Benazir Bhutto in 1990 in a number of cases that were filed against her for her political victimisation. He is a senior lawyer with more than 40 years of experience in criminal law. He was appointed judge of the Lahore High Court in 1995. Later, he was appointed the Punjab prosecutor general in March 2009. He served as a member of the Punjab Bar Council during 2000-2004 and was also elected chairman of the Legal education Committee and Disciplinary Committee of the Punjab Bar Council. Asma Jahangir and Idrees Ashraf will file the review petition. Asma will defend Haqqani before the Supreme Court. The legal team, after having met with Haqqani, decided to prepare a solid defence for their client and to fight the legal battle at all forums. It was again resolved in the meeting that Haqqani would present himself to any enquiry conducted under due process of law. It was also decided that his fundamental rights would be protected under all circumstances.
He Supreme Court issued show-cause notices on contempt of court charges to five leaders of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) on Wednesday for ridiculing the court’s December 1, 2011 order in the memo case during a press conference held at the Press Information Department. Issuing the notices to Senator Babar Awan, Religious Affairs Minister Khurshid Shah, PPP Information Secretary Qamar Zaman Kaira, Information Minister Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan and Adviser to the Prime Minister Farooq Awan, the court asked them to file their replies by January 13 explaining why contempt of court proceedings should not be initiated against them for ridiculing the court orders. A two-member bench comprising
Justice ejaz Afzal Khan and Justice Muhammad Ather Saeed noted that sufficient material was available on record that warranted initiation of contempt of court proceedings against those who arranged and addressed the press conference against the judicial order. The court insisted that Attorney General Maulvi Anwarul, who appeared on notice, tell the court whom he was representing and who had managed and addressed the press conference – the government or the PPP. The attorney general however stated that he had already submitted the reply of the prime minister over the matter, in which the premier stated that what was said in the press conference was the stance of the PPP. He read out the prime minister’s reply submitted to the court on December 26, stating that the government could not even think about ridiculing the court. The court had rejected, being un-
satisfactory, the first reply of the prime minister over the press conference. “Was challenging the independence, neutrality and impartiality of the court not contempt of court?” Justice Saeed asked the attorney general. On court orders, the attorney general also read out contents of the press conference in which derogatory remarks were made against the judiciary. Justice Saeed observed that the order of the court was criticised “contemptuously”. He said government functionaries ridiculed the judiciary in flagrant violation of the dignity of the court. Speaking at a press conference on December 1, Awan, Shah, Kaira, Firdous and Farooq Awan had criticised the Supreme Court, saying that by ordering a probe into the memo issue it had denied the right of a bipartisan and bicameral Parliamentary Committee on National Security to hold an enquiry into the scandal.
A three-member judicial commission probing the memogate controversy has issued notices to all the petitioners and respondents, including President Asif Ali Zardari, for January 9. The second meeting of the commission is scheduled to be held at the Islamabad High Court building on January 9, in which the attorney general will inform the commission about progress in obtaining data from Research In Motion, the Canada-based manufacturer of BlackBerry smartphones, pertaining to the communications between Husain Haqqani and Mansoor Ijaz. The president has so far not submitted a reply to the Supreme Court during the preliminary hearing of the memo case despite the fact that Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief Lt General Ahmad Shuja Pasha submitted their replies. A reply on behalf of the federal government was, however, filed. The commission has already sent notices to former US national security adviser General James Jones and others. The first meeting of the commission, which decided to issue the notices, was held at the Islamabad High Court building. Meanwhile, Geo News reported on Wednesday that Mansoor Ijaz had agreed to come to Pakistan and appear before the commission provided he was given adequate security. The commission is headed by Balochistan High Court Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa and includes Islamabad High Court Chief Justice Iqbal Hameedur Rehman and Sindh High Court Chief Justice Musheer Alam as its members. Despite being summoned, Haqqani did not appear before the commission in the first meeting.
Karzai agrees to Taliban-US talks KABuL AFP
The government of Afghanistan on Wednesday gave its blessing to talks between Taliban insurgents and the United States and to the opening of an office for the Islamists in Qatar. The hardline Taliban announced on Tuesday that they had come to an “initial agreement with relevant sides including Qatar” to set up their first representative office outside Afghanistan. The move is seen as a precursor to talks to end the bloody war between the Taliban and the US-backed government of President Hamid Karzai. “Afghanistan, to save the country from war, conspiracies, the killing of innocent people and to reach peace, agrees with the negotiations between US and Taliban that will end up in creating an of-
fice for Taliban in Qatar,” the government said in a statement. The statement said the government “considers negotiations the only way to reach peace and end the war and violence that have been imposed on our people”. It added that the acceptance of the TalibanUS negotiations aimed to “save our country and people from foreigners’ pretexts and servants who are used to continue war in Afghanistan”. Analysts hailed the move to open an office abroad as a step back from the Taliban’s previous refusal to negotiate until all foreign troops have left Afghan soil.“I think this is positive news for peace in Afghanistan,” Giran Hiwad, of the Kabul-based think-tank, Afghanistan Analysts Network, told AFP. “Until yesterday the Taliban were not even talking about talks. But now they say they are prepared to open an office in Qatar.”
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