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Drones multiply militants, says Hina Rabbani Khar
Halt!Healthcare professionals running amok
Government gives in to opposition’s demand on caretaker setup Dar, Rabbani to propose new consensus draft of 20th Amendment Bill PPP to take allies into confidence on new bill
rs15.00 Vol ii no 224 22 pages lahore edition
Maldives ex-president Mohamed Nasheed awaits arrest
Friday, 10 February, 2012 rabi-ul-awal 17, 1433
PPP, PML-N reach deal on 20th Amendment
Sc teLLS PM
ISLAMABAD MIaN aBRaR
Let there be an independent and neutral caretaker setup. The government finally agreed to the demand of the opposition parties that the appointment of a consensus independent but neutral caretaker setup should be guaranteed in the Constitution through the 20th Amendment. A source told Pakistan Today that under the agreement, an amendment was likely to be added to the 20th Amendment Bill 2012 that would provide amending the word ‘consultation’ with a new word, ‘consensus’ with the opposition leader, paving the way for a consensus legislation for installing a consensus caretaker setup to hold general elections. However, he added, these words might also be changed in the final draft, which would be prepared in a day or two by representatives of both parties. “Raza Rabbani and Ishaq Dar have been named to propose a consensus draft on the new amendment. The government has taken the leadership of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) into confidence on its decision about yielding to the opposition’s demands while the leadership of the Pakistan Muslim LeagueQuaid (PML-Q) and Awami National Party
NATO supplies continuing through Pak airspace: Munter ISLAMABAD Staff RepoRt
US Ambassador to Pakistan Cameron Munter on Thursday said NATO supplies were continuing through Pakistani airspace. Talking to reporters at the Pakistan National Council of the Arts (PNCA), Munter said there should be a mechanism in place to stop future attacks such as the one on the Salala checkpost in Mohmand Agency in which 24 Pakistani troops were killed in a NATO airstrike. The US ambassador reiterated that the attack was not preplanned and was unintentional. Asked if it were true that despite the blockade of road routes for NATO supplies for forces stationed in Afghanistan, Pakistan’s airspace was being used to provide for them, Munter replied in affirmative. “As I have commented before many times, what happened was tragic but unintentional and this is something that we all must work together to try to prevent. The way to work together is to make sure these kinds of tragedies do not take place,” Munter said.
Apex court says contempt case can be discharged if Gilani commits to writing letter g Admonishes Ahsen for raising points tantamount to influencing the court g
ISLaMaBaD: prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani shakes hands with punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif before a meeting of the Council of Common Interest on thursday. online (ANP) would also be taken into confidence. After taking its allies on board, the government would table the 20th Amendment Bill in a special cabinet meeting to be held in a few days,” said the source. Reportedly, the MQM also demanded the inclusion of members from all po-
litical parties in the draft committee of the new bill so all political forces could be taken on board. However, no MQM leader was available to confirm their demand. continued on page 04
Mind your own business, not Balochistan, senators tell US g g
Call move breach of Pakistan’s sovereignty, meddling into its internal affairs Raza Rabbani asks govt to take serious note of US committee hearing ISLAMABAD Staff RepoRt
Lawmakers in the Upper House of parliament were up in arms against the US congressional meeting on the Balochistan issue on Thursday, calling the move a breach of the country’s sovereignty and meddling into the internal affairs of Pakistan. Strongly condemning the US congressional committee hearing on the Balochistan unrest, the senators from all political parties, except the Awami National Party (ANP), questioned how the US lawmakers dared talk about Pakistan’s territorial integrity. Speaking on a point of order, Senator Raza Rabbani of the PPP said the move was a direct attack on Pakistan’s sovereignty and made it clear that no foreign country would be allowed to examine anything inside Pakistan. “I condemn this in the strongest possible terms… we are not ready to accept any such message as we are a sovereign state. The US which has a track record of human rights violations across the globe ought to think twice before taking any such step,” he added. Rabbani, who is also chairman of Parliamentary Committee on National Security, called upon the government to take serious note of the US committee hearing over the Balochistan issue and ask the US clearly as to why it had called a meeting over a purely internal issue of another sovereign state. He said if the government failed to take appropriate action in this regard, he as the chairman of Parliamentary Committee on National Security, would take a sou motu notice of the hearing. Senator Prof Ibrahim Khan of the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) said Pakistanis had the capacity to resolve its issues without seeking anybody’s help. He urged the US to learn to respect human rights. continued on page 04
balochistan needs your attention, mr pm | page 03
US Congress discusses Balochistan again WASHINGTON: The United States Committee on Foreign Affairs convened a congressional meeting on Thursday for an exclusive discussion on the situation in Balochistan. The Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, chaired by Representative Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) held a session to discuss the targeted killings and human rights violations in Balochistan and termed it a matter requiring urgent attention. He also co-authored an article a few days ago favouring an independent Balochistan. In his opening remarks, Rohrabacher said Balochistan was a turbulent land marred by human rights violations “by regimes that are against US values”. He said human rights violations were also there in Balochistan, even though the province had vital strategic importance. Human Rights Watch (HRW) Pakistan Director Ali Dayan Hasan said in his submitted remarks that cases documented by the HRW showed Pakistan’s security forces and its intelligence agencies were involved in the enforced disappearances of ethnic Balochs. He asked the US government in his recommendations to “communicate directly to the agencies responsible for disappearances and other abuses, to demand an end to abuses and facilitate criminal enquiries to hold perpetrators accountable”. He clarified that the HRW took no position on the issue of the independence of Balochistan. continued on page 04
ISLAMABAD MaSooD ReHMaN
he letter has to be written. This was a clear position the eight-member bench, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, took without budging from its stance while hearing an intra-court appeal against the seven-member bench order that decided to charge Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani with contempt of court. “If you commit that the letter (to the Swiss authorities) will be written, we are ready to discharge the case,” the chief justice told the prime minister’s counsel Aitzaz Ahsen, who remained noncommittal despite all the judges repeatedly saying that the case revolved around the letter, which had to be written. “You may consider it (the letter) the Faisalabad Clock Tower (Ghanta Ghar) that stands straight in front of you no matter which road you take,” Justice Khilji Arif Hussain remarked. During the almost seven-hour long arguments on Thursday, Ahsen tried to convince the bench to set aside the order of summoning the prime minister on February 13 to indict him for contempt of court, recall the show-cause notice in the interest of justice and suspend the proceedings of the seven-judge bench hearing the contempt case. But the judges did not appear convinced by his arguments. However, the court gave Ahsen a full chance to build his argument and did not show any haste as it decided to continue hearing the case on Friday (today). But Ahsen was asked to complete his arguments before 10.30am. Today, therefore, is the day of judgement - whether the prime minister will be charged for contempt or not. At the outset of the hearing, the court expressed dismay over some points raised in the appeal, which were related to the restoration of the judges giving the prime minister this credit, and directed Ahsen to delete them. The court noted that these questions were tantamount to influencing and ridiculing the court. Ahsen had argued in the appeal that it would be ironic to send to prison a democratically-elected prime minister, who had released the detained judges even before taking oath as the chief executive. The chief justice observed that the judges had taken oath under the constitution and no one was above the law. He said the appeal not only carried some unbecoming points about the judges, but also against their children. “Should we give relief to your client on these grounds?” the chief justice asked. He said the holder of a constitutional office and chief executive not only put the court in an embarrassing position by raising such points but also perplexed himself. “We are unable to understand how your client compelled you to write such things in the appeal,” the chief justice asked Ahsen. The judges remarked that these questions gave the impression that the prime minister, being an institution, could influence the court. The judges repeatedly told Ahsen that the contempt notice would be discharged if he assured the court that his client would write the letter to the Swiss authorities to reopen graft cases against President Asif Ali Zardari. But Ahsen continued to stick to his contention that he was not supposed to argue about writing the letter or the president’s immunity, instead he was defending his client in the contempt case. Referring to various judgements, he tried to establish that his client had not committed contempt by not writing a letter to the Swiss authorities, as he had acted on the advice given to him by the experts and a summary moved to him by the law secretary and attorney general stating that the cases in the Swiss courts had been abandoned because of lack of evidence, thus writing the letter was a futile exercise. He said his client had a bona fide intention by not writing the letter, thus he deserved to be given the benefit of doubt. continued on page 04
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Friday, 10 February 2012
pakistan touted as being under the gun of climatic fluctuation afghan jihad said to attract fewer foreign fighters
Story on Page 08
Story on Page 05
CJ takes suo motu notice of Lahore factory collapse ISLAMABAD oNLINe
Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry on Thursday took suo motu notice of Lahore factory collapse. According to reports, a threemember bench headed by Justice Shakir Ullah Jan will hear the case on Friday (today). The report said that the CJ had taken the notice on a note written by Justice Shakir Ullah Jan and Justice Khilji Arif.
Four Senate seats to PML-Q, 5 seats to PPP ISLAMABAD oNLINe
The formula for seat adjustment from Balochistan in Senate elections between Pakistan Muslim LeagueQuaid (PML-Q) and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) was finalised on Friday. PML-Q President Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain confirmed the seat adjustment formula from the Balochistan assembly for the senate elections had been agreed in a meeting with President Asif Ali Zardari. He said 5 seats will be given to PPP and 4 to PML-Q. Sources said on Thursday that Chaudhry Shujaat visited the President House with 17 MPA’S from BA and met President Zardari who offered his support to the BA. Shujaat said the seat adjustment for Senate election (March 02) between PML-Q and PPP had been settled.
Man gunned down in Turbat QuettA Staff RepoRt
Unidentified men shot dead a settler in Turbat on Thursday. According to reports, the deceased was identified as Khuda Bakhsh, a resident of Rahim Yar Khan. Police moved the body to hospital for autopsy and handed it over to the deceased’s family after completing legal formalities.
MOJGHAR: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz President Nawaz Sharif prays for the departed soul of his party worker Ghulam Fareed’s daughter on Thursday. NNI
MQM MnAs demand resignation from Mukhtar, Bilour to improve PiA, Railways ISLAMABAD Staff RepoRt
In another show of discord between the coalition partners in the treasury, two government members sought resignations from Minister for Defence Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar and Minister for Railways Haji Ghulam Ahmed Bilour in order that the performance of both ministries could improve. Both members who sought resignations from the PPP and ANP ministers belonged to the MQM. Speaking on a point of order, Sajid Ahmed Khan of the MQM said the situation of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) was deteriorating each day. “I suppose if the defence minister submits resignation, PIA’s situation could improve. If matters of the PIA could not be improved in four years under Mukhtar, what betterment could come in the next few months,” he said. Mukhtar was not present in the House to respond to the remarks. Earlier, MQM legislator Asif Hasnain sought resignation from the railways minister, saying he was
responsible for the downfall of the railways. However, Bilour said he would not resign and rather the MP should seek resignation from the finance minister who was not releasing funds for railways. Earlier, PPP’s Sumsam Bokhari urged the government to take strong action against those who were killing the followers of Holy Prophet (PBUH) and his Ahl-e-Bait. He said the government had turned a blind eye to criminals who had attacked a procession on Eid Milad-un-Nabi in Mansehra. He said the killed people were either those who stood for Sunnah or those who followed Ahl-e-Bait. He said some Jewish lobbies were behind the act to get the Muslims divided. Parliamentary Secretary for Defence Ministry Rai Mujtaba Kharal also expressed concern over the growing acts of terrorism against the followers of Sunnah and assured the House that the Law Ministry would take strict action and a report would be submitted to the House. Responding to a calling attention notice about the abundance of obscene websites on the internet, Par-
liamentary Secretary for Information Technology Nawab Liaquat Ali Khan said the government had blocked around 13,000 obscene websites. He said it was difficult to block thousands of such websites as there was no proper system for it. He said China and Iran had introduced an auto-filtration system, but it was very costly. Speaking on a point of order, PML-N legislator Abid Sher Ali came down hard on Minister for Water and Power Naveed Qamar for his statement regarding an end to load shedding. He said that the minister should not have made a claim in the House that he could not uphold. Responding to the outburst, Qamar clarified that he had had said that there would be a by-and-large control on load shedding in the country. Responding to a calling attention notice regarding excessive electricity bills throughout the country, particularly those issued by the KESC in Karachi, Qamar said there was no possibility to shift the burden of any consumer of electricity to another.
Railways lost Rs 1.3b in 2010-11 due to suspended service, says Bilour ISLAMABAD Staff RepoRt
Railways Minister Ghulam Ahmed Bilour on Thursday told the National Assembly that Pakistan Railways (PR) had suffered a loss of Rs 1,313.24 million in 2010-11 due to discontinued train services. Responding to a question during the question-answer hour, Bilour said Pakistan State Oil (PSO) was providing diesel of Rs 1 billion on credit to the Railways, but the ministry was now trying to push the credit limit to Rs 2 billion. To another question on illegal occupation of Railways’ land, the minister said the government was now reclaiming the land by moving the illegal occupants under the directions of the Supreme Court. However, only those pieces of land would be vacated which were occupied after 1985, Bilour added. The minister said the corruption cases in the Railways had been sent to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), and the ministry was also trying to curb the thefts of diesel and train tickets. He said the former government in 2000 had purchased locomotives without including spare parts in the procurement deal, and consequently a number of locomotives could not be repaired in the following years.
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ARTS & eNTeRTAINMeNT
‘top Gun’ prince Harry set for afghanistan return
Big B prepares to go under the knife
pakistan, afghanistan set for historic one-dayer
News 03 COMMeNT Balochistan killings: The US Congress sits up and take notice.
protests, not war:
There’s a right way to get the govt to listen to you.
fahd Husain says: Who’s afraid of India?: Let’s stop getting angry, let’s start getting even.
Hashim Bin Rashid says: Coronation of a carcass: The Business Express model will not work.
Mayank austen Soofi says: Austen or else: Reading Jane in Delhi.
Story on Page 15
Story on Page 17
Story on Page 18
Articles on Page 12-13
tArgeted kILLINgS, worSeNINg LAw ANd order
Balochistan needs your attention, Mr Prime Minister g
Provincial lawmakers call on Gilani ‘to console people of Balochistan’ QuettA
awmakers of the Balochistan Assembly on Thursday urged Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani to visit Quetta to ensure peace, help check targeted killing and control deteriorating law and order in Balochistan. The assembly session started one hour later than schedule with Speaker Muhammad Aslam Bhootani in the chair. Question hour was disposed off as the movers and the relevant ministers were not present in the House. Nine of the total 65 members of the Balochistan Assembly attended the assembly sitting. The House rejected the leave applications of 14 lawmakers, including provincial ministers.
Two resolutions on the assembly agenda on issues including Pakistan International Airlines and Quetta Greater Water Supply Project were also disposed of, as the movers - Minister for Quetta Development Authority Haji Ismail Gujjar and Pakistan Muslim League-Q MPA Sheikh Jaffar Mandokhel – were not present in the House. Speaking on a point of order, Senior Minister for Planning and Development and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl leader Maulana Abdul Wasay expressed his concern over targeted killing of religious scholars, women, teachers and other citizens in Balochistan. “Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani should visit Quetta to calm down sentiments of the people of Balochistan who are furious over targeted killing of female family members of MPA Mir Bakhtiar Domki, murder of JUI-N leader Maulana
Abdul Ghanni Haqqani and the deteriorating law and order,” he said, adding that it was time to console people of Balochistan. Minister for Irrigation Sardar Aslam Bizenjo asked Chief Justice of Supreme Court Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry to take suo motu notice of killing of family members of Mir Domki. He, however, said PM Gilani himself should look into the matter by visiting Quetta. Criticising private TV channels for giving hours-long coverage to what he called the “nonsense of film actress Veena Malik”, he said they were not highlighting resolutions of the Balochistan Assembly on important issues, including law and order. He warned that he and other lawmakers would boycott Senate elections if attention was not paid to the issue of bringing peace in Balochistan. Minister for Zakaat Saleem Khosa said he
Pakistan has conveyed concern to US over Balochistan issue: Fo g
Pakistan looking forward to completion of Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline ISLAMABAD GNI
Pakistan said on Thursday it had formally conveyed its concerns and raised the Balochistan issue with the US authorities, both in Washington and Islamabad. “We believe Washington fully understands our position. The matter was clarified by the US State Department on Wednesday,” Foreign Office Spokesman Abdul Basit told reporters at the weekly Foreign Office press briefing. He said Pakistan’s position on drone attacks was clear. “These attacks are unlawful and unacceptable. Regarding the reopening of the NATO supply routes, our parliamentary process is underway. We are awaiting policy directions from our parliament to move forward,” he said. To a question about Pakistan voting in support of a resolution on Syria against the Chinese position, he said Pakistan had always underlined the importance of the principles of non-intervention and noninterference in internal affairs of states, respect for sovereignty, independence and
territorial integrity, respect for human rights, as well as importance of dialogue and reconciliation for accommodation of legitimate aspirations through peaceful means. “This has been our position regarding Syria as well. There was substantial and substantive amendment to the original draft resolution on Syria, which enabled Pakistan to vote in favour of the draft resolution. As far as China’s veto is concerned, every country has its own valid reasons to vote in favour of or against any draft resolution. It is not for me to comment on why China vetoed that draft resolution. Pakistan–China relations are unique and solid. One should not generalise things on the basis of voting on one Security Council resolution,” he said. About the impression that the US would disallow the Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline, the spokesman said there was no change or shift in Pakistan’s position on the project. “We are looking forward to the completion of the project by 2014. This project is important for us to meet our growing energy requirements. We are
therefore, committed to it,” said Basit. About the foreign minister’s visit to Russia and the Russian interest in the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-PakistanIndia (TAPI) gas pipeline and CASA-1000 projects, he said Russia was interested in several energy projects in Pakistan. “We hope that there would be some progress in the months ahead,” he said. “They have shown interest in CASA-1000 as well as TAPI.” To a question that the US had indicated that it would not like Russian involvement in any gas project in the region, he said various options were being considered for the TAPI gas pipeline. “Nothing is final yet. Russia is an important country in our common region. They have resources to invest in such projects. We would welcome Russia to participate in this project,” said Basit. On the increasing US pressure on Iran, he said: “We would like all the issues relating to Iran’s nuclear programme to be resolved peacefully because we cannot afford another conflict in our region. We would always advise restraint and resolution of issues through dialogue.”
Qatari petroleum minister robbed in Turbat QUETTA: The Qatari minister for petroleum, Sheikh Ali bin Abdullah Thani-Al Thani, who came to Pakistan on a private hunting visit, was robbed in Turbat on Thursday, sources said. Sources said the minister was looted in his camp set up in Makran desert where he had come to hunt migratory birds. They said the robbers had looted Rs 60 million in cash and also made away with expensive watches. Levies sources said they were conducting an operation to arrest the culprits after registering a case. The looted items included expensive watches. Per reports, the Qatari minister is encamped along with hundreds of his staff in Kolva area, 120kms east of Kechh district, for hunting. The people who are believed to be among personal staff of the Qatari Shiekh stole the cash and some costly watches from his tent. After receiving the information, the district administration sent a team to the Qatari minister’s camp to inquire about the matter and investigate. When contacted, Mohammad Aslam Jamali, the commissioner of Makran, told this ascribe that the reports being broadcast on some TV channels that a Qatari minister was robed of cash, but they were false. He said the people from inside the camp had stolen the cash and other belongings and when the district administration wanted to investigate into the matter, a member of the royal family refused and said that his staff would investigate the matter on its own. NNI
endorsed Sardar Bizenjo’s decision to boycott Senate elections, adding that they would pave the way for a drive to boycott Senate elections if the Balochistan Assembly’s resolutions on law and order were not responded to. Minister for Local Government and JUIN leader Abdul Khaliq Bashar Dost said religious scholars were being killed in targeted killings in Balochistan under a pre-planned conspiracy. He staged a walkout from the House against what he said targeted killing of leaders and workers of religious political parties. Speaker Bhootani lamented that lawmakers had adopted a non-serious attitude in connection with attending the assembly session. He asked the assembly secretary to ring bells for want of quorum, who after a few minutes, told him that the quorum could not be met as only nine lawmakers were present in the House.
New voters’ lists for 10 constituencies prepared ISLAMABAD Staff RepoRt
The Elections Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and National Database Registration Authority (NADRA) have prepared new electoral rolls to hold bye-elections in 10 constituencies. The bye-elections in 10 constituencies were scheduled to be held on February 25. In the ECP’s meeting held on Thursday with the chief election commissioner (CEC) in the chair, NADRA Deputy Chairman Tariq Malik said that electoral rolls of 10 constituencies had been provided to the ECP. He said that scanning and data entry of 85 million voters had also been completed and now printing was going to start. The issue of giving voting rights to overseas Pakistanis was discussed and it was decided that the ECP will hold a meeting on February 14 with UNDP and IFES experts to finalise the modus operendi. To check election expenses by candidates during the campaign, the ECP decided to jointly work with FBR. The statistics secretary said that a notification to freeze the numbers of census block will be issued today (Friday).
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nATo air strike killed eight children: Karzai KABuL afp
A NATO air strike killed eight children in Afghanistan’s Kapisa province, northeast of the capital Kabul, President Hamid Karzai said on Thursday. The president “strongly condemned the aerial bombing by foreign troops that killed a number of children in Nejrab district” on Wednesday, said a statement from his office. “Based on information by (the)
provincial governor, as a result of an air strike conducted on February 8... eight children were killed,” the statement said. Karzai had assigned a delegation “to launch an all-out probe into the NATO bombing in the province of Kapisa”, it added. A NATO spokesman said he could “confirm there has been a situation. A joint assessment team went there to identify the situation”. The Afghan president, who has a strained relationship with his Western allies,
has regularly condemned NATO for civilian deaths in the decade-long war against Taliban insurgents fighting to overthrow him. Kapisa district police chief Abdul Hamid Erkin told AFP: “Two nights ago foreign special forces carried out a raid on a house in Geyawa village in Nejrab district. The next morning their plane carried out an air strike on a house in the village as a result of which seven children and one adult were martyred.” He said com-
Zawahiri says Somalia’s Shebab joined al Qaeda DuBAI afp
Somalia’s extremist Shebab fighters have joined ranks with Al Qaeda, the terror network’s chief Ayman al-Zawahiri announced in a video message posted on jihadist forums on Thursday. “I will break the good news to our Islamic nation, which will... annoy the crusaders, and it is that the Shebab movement in Somalia has joined Al
Qaeda,” Zawahiri said. In the first part of the video, Shebab’s leader Ahmed Abdi Godane, also known as Mukhtar Abu Zubair, addressed Zawahiri, saying: “We will move along with you as faithful soldiers.” “In the name of my mujahideen brothers, leaders and soldiers... I pledge obedience,” Zubair said. “Lead us on the road of jihad and martyrdom, in the footsteps that our martyr
Osama bin Laden had drawn for us,” he added, referring to Al Qaeda’s former leader who was killed last year in a covert US raid on his hideout in Pakistan. The Shebab group proclaimed its allegiance to bin Laden in a video documentary distributed in 2009. The hardline Somali Islamists are fighting to overthrow a fragile western-backed transitional government in the war-torn Horn of Africa country.
manders of French troops who operate in the area “claimed that the target was a group of Taliban facilitators, but we checked the area and there were no Taliban”. “In fact the people in the area have very strong anti-Taliban feelings. We filmed the victims, who were children, and showed it to the French commanders,” Erkin said. The children were aged between about seven and 15, he said, while the adult was a mentally-handicapped 20year-old.
PIA fares take off KARACHI: Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) increased fares on its domestic and international flights on Thursday. Oneway fare on domestic routes was increased by Rs 400 while international fair was increased by Rs 2124. A private TV channel quoted the PIA spokesman saying the increase was made in fuel surcharge due to the increase in price of oil in the international market. Earlier, PIA had enhanced fuel surcharge in the month of August. PIA has begun charging the increase in fuel surcharge with immediate effect. oNLINe
British Islamists jailed for plotting terror attacks LONDON
British court on Thursday jailed nine Islamists inspired by slain AlQaeda lynchpin Anwar al-Awlaqi for planning terror attacks on targets including the London Stock Exchange. The nine men, who are all British nationals of Bangladeshi and Pakistani origin, had pleaded guilty to a variety of terror-related offences at a hearing a week ago at Woolwich Crown Court in southeast London. Judge Alan Wilkie sentenced three of the men to “imprisonment for public protection” — an indeterminate jail term for suspects regarded as dangerous — while the other sentences ranged from 16 years to five years. Wilkie said they were “fundamentalist Islamists who
have turned to violent terrorism in direct response to material, both propagandist and instructive, issued on the Internet by Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.” Awlaqi, the US-born leader of AQAP, was killed on September 30 in an air strike in Yemen. Wilkie added that it was a “difficult and complex sentencing” that “gives rise to a number of issues of principle and has a high profile”. Prosecutors said the men belonged to a group of fundamentalists who planned a spate of mail bomb attacks during the run-up to Christmas 2010 and discussed launching a “Mumbai-style” atrocity. Four of the men — Mohammed Chowdhury, 21, and Shah Rahman, 28, from London and brothers Gurukanth Desai, 30, and Abdul Miah 25, from Cardiff — admitted preparing for acts of terrorism by planning to plant an impro-
vised explosive device (IED) in the toilets of the London Stock Exchange. Miah was jailed for 16 years and 10 months, Chowdhury for 13 years eight months, Rahman and Desai for 12 years each. Three others, Mohammed Shahjahan, 27, Usman Khan, 20, and Nazam Hussain, 26, all from Stoke in central England, received indeterminate sentences with a minimum of eight years for making longerterm plans which included taking part in “terrorist training” in Pakistan. Another man, Omar Latif, 28, from Cardiff, admitted preparing for acts of terrorism but was not involved in the specific plots and was jailed for 10 years four months. Mohibur Rahman, 27, from Stoke, admitted possessing a copy of Inspire, an Internet magazine produced by AQAP, and was jailed for five years.
minister was not an ordinary thing. He said if the prime minister did not want to write the letter, he should remove the judges and bring his party’s men to sit in the Supreme Court. He said when the prime minister appeared in the trial proceedings every day, what would be the barometer of the stock market? Ahsen contended that the seven-judge bench summoned his client to frame charges, but did not give reasons. Justice Amir Hani Muslim noted that if the bench would have given reasons, it would be harmful for the premier. To a court query, Ahsen said his client could not reject the summary of the Law Ministry, but the judges did not accept his argument saying that
the summary stood as just a proposal and it could be rejected by the premier. The court rejected a contention of Ahsen’s that the NRO verdict should have been executed by the high court and noted that the apex court had the constitutional authority to get its verdicts implemented on its own. “Do you want that the Supreme Court should leave the premier and the high court should arrest him and punish him?” asked the court. Ahsen, however, could not reply and asked the court to decide the appeal on merit. The court then appreciated Ahsen’s methodology of arguments and assured him that the appeal would be decided on merit. The court then adjourned the hearing for Friday (today).
SC tells PM continued From page 1
ISLaMaBaD: a Bangladeshi media delegation called on federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Dr firdous ashiq awan.
Memo body considers going continued From page 22 He read out a message from Ijaz, which he received during the break, stating: “I will appear in London. I will depose. I am waiting to depose.” Justice Isa said the venue of Pakistan’s High Commission in London was fine, and when Bukhari questioned how the commission could operate in London, Justice Isa replied: “Pakistan’s High Commission in London is a sovereign premises.” Shaikh argued that the commission should go abroad to record Ijaz’s statement, which he said was within the commission’s jurisdiction. However, despite repeated queries, Shaikh did not give any assurance to the com-
mission that his client would be available to the commission abroad. Sheikh said further that in so many cases a commission constituted another commission to probe into some particular matter and added that a commission could delegate its powers to another commission. He cited an example that an accountability court in Lahore in 1997 constituted a commission to verify documents in the Swiss courts. All the other petitioners, except Barrister Zafrullah Khan, supported Shaikh’s point of view. At one time, the commission chairman admonished the deputy attorney general (DAG) and the officials of the Foreign Office for not complying with the
orders of the Supreme Court and the commission, and added that the foreign secretary kept sitting on a letter written by the Canadian High Commission in Islamabad but the secretary, who was summoned on short notice, cleared his position that he received the letter from the commission on January 30 and forwarded it to the attorney general on January 31. The DAG told the commission that US Admiral Mike Mullen did not intend to appear before the commission. The AG and Shaikh exchanged harsh words as the former labelled the latter “the alleged counsel of a so-called witness”. The commission is set to meet again today and decide whether to go abroad.
US should mind continued From page 1 Senator Ahmed Ali of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) regretted the US congressional committee meeting, saying that the US should have taken such steps against rights abuses in Kashmir instead of exploiting the Balochistan situation. Senator Abdul Rahim Mandokhel of the PkMAP
asked the government to take concrete measures against killing of innocent people without any trial. Senator Kalsoom Perveen of the Balochistan National Party-Awami said the US should not interfere in Pakistan’s internal affairs. “This is our problem and we can solve it in a better way,” she said. Contrary to the views of other senators, Sen-
ator Haji Muhammad Adeel of the ANP said the world had become a global village and “we cannot stop human rights groups to speak against the atrocities taking place on our soil”. Senator Zahid Khan of the ANP also endorsed the views expressed by his fellow colleague, saying that instead of being furious “we should put our own House in order”.
The court noted that this letter not only had to be written to the Swiss government but some other countries as well. Justice Tariq Parvez observed that even if the prime minister was convicted on contempt charges, the letter would still have to be written. To a court query, Ahsen said the president enjoyed immunity not only within the country but internationally as well. Without naming the president, the chief justice noted that in an interview with Hamid Mir, it was said that the letter would not be written until the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) government was in power. “Is it not disobedience of the 17-judge bench order?” the chief justice asked. To a query about whether
the government had done something to bring back the looted money, Ahsen said Para 178 of the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) judgement, related to opening of Swiss cases, could not be implemented. He said when the cases in Switzerland were abandoned, there was no possibility of bringing back the $60 million. The chief justice said the court was saying that the person involved in this laundered money was the head of the prime minister’s party. He said the money could be brought back by writing the letter. “The prime minister has certainly been ill-advised,” Justice Mian Saqib Nisar remarked. At one point, the chief justice noted that the contempt trial of an incumbent prime
PPP, PMl-n reach deal continued From page 1 The source said the prime minister and opposition leader would nominate individuals for the next caretaker setup, however, in case of difference of opinion between the two, a six-member committee, with three members each from the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and the PML-Nawaz, would be formed to resolve the matter amicably. Religious Affairs Minister Khursheed Shah also confirmed that both sides had agreed to a new
draft of the amendment. “This bill would be submitted to a special meeting of the federal cabinet within the next few days and after passage from the cabinet, the bill would be tabled in parliament,” he added. He also said the draft amendment would be agreed upon by the opposition and government within a day or two. After being urged by the government to support its 20th Amendment Bill, the PML-N had put forth four preconditions for supporting
the bill: appointment of an independent chief election commissioner, installing a caretaker government with consensus of the National Assembly opposition leader, empowering the political parties to fill reserved seats for women and transfer of the EOBI, Worker’s Welfare Fund and Sheikh Zayed Hospital from the Centre to the provinces. The government had agreed to three demands and finally has agreed to the fourth with a minimal change.
US Congress discusses continued From page 1 He argued that the US and UK had made enforced disappearances possible by allowing them during the war on terror, which had led to the military doing the same. The hearing, which lasted a little over an hour, came to an end as congressmen decided to go to the floor for a
vote. In his closing remarks, Rep Rohrabacher declared that the hearing was no stunt, and that they wanted to start a national dialogue on what US policy should be in that part of the world. Addressing a news briefing here later, US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Amer-
ica did not support an independent Balochistan. Nuland confirmed the meeting on Balochistan but said the US position on Balochistan had not changed, adding that her country encouraged all the factions involved in the province to tackle all their differences peacefully and under the political process.
Turkey delivers three modernised F-16 aircraft ANKARA oNLINe
Turkish Aerospace Industries Inc (TUSAS) has delivered three modernised F-16 aircraft to PAF, the semiofficial Anatolia news agency reported. Turkish Defense Industry Undersecretary Murad Bayar was quoted as saying at a delivering ceremony that Turkey and Pakistan had successfully cooperated in a wide range of technology, including radio, electronics and military information systems. PAF Deputy Commander Asim Suleiman said that Pakistan’s air defense will become even stronger with the aircraft modernised in structural and avionic aspects. TUSAS signed the contract with the Defence Ministry in June 2009 after winning out in the tender of PAF F-16 Modernisation (Peace Drive II) Programme.
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Drones multiply militants: Khar Foreign minister discusses cooperation on energy projects with Russian energy minister g
QUetta: Railways Colony residents block the Joint Road to protest against a campaign targeting encroachers in the colony. online
President meets Tajik envoy, calls for close bilateral cooperation ISLAMABAD NNI
President Asif Ali Zardari has said that Pakistan and Tajikistan need to work closely on infrastructure, energy and trans-regional economic cooperation projects. During a meeting with Tajikistan Ambassador Zubaydullo N Zubaydov at the President’s House on Thursday, Zardari said that Pakistan attaches high importance to its fraternal relations with Tajikistan. The two discussed bilateral relations and the progress on various mutual projects during the meeting. The president conveyed his thanks to President Emomali Rahmon for extending invitation to attend the Navroz festival in Dushanbe. The president also urged to increase the volume of bilateral trade, which despite its positive trend was far below its potential. He said that Pakistani ports provide the shortest access to the Tajik goods and Pakistan was ready to provide Tajikistan access to Gwadar Port for in-
MERICAN drones hitting targets on Pakistani territory is illegal, and involvement of the Pakistani spy agencies with Taliban not even worthy of comment, Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar told Russian news channel Russia Today (RT) in an interview on Thursday. Attacks by US drones on Pakistani territory are illegal and cannot be tolerated, Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar told RT. In a recent development, a US drone strike killed four people in the tribal belt on Thursday. On Wednesday nine people were killed in another attack, including some Taliban fighters. These follow tensions between the Pakistani government and the US administration over American air strikes last year that accidentally killed 24 Pakistani troops. According to the minister, the US attacks promote extremist moods in the region. “Drones are not only completely illegal and unlawful and have no authorisation to be used within the domains of international law but even more importantly, they are counter-productive to the objective of getting this region rid of militancy, and terrorism and extremism,” Khar said. “Because if one strike leads to getting you target number one or target number three today, you are creating five more targets or 10 more targets in the militancy that it breeds, in
the fodder that it gives to the militants to attract more people to join their ranks,” she said. “We are today in Pakistan suffering from the consequences of what many other powers of the world decided to do in that region to rid itself of the challenge that appeared in 1979, which was the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan,” she said. “Allegations that the Pakistani security forces maintain close contact with Taliban and even sponsor them are old and not even worth a comment,” Khar told RT. “I think every intelligence agency in the world maintains ties with one group or the other and all of them at some level,” she said. Khar also met Russian Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko on Thursday to discuss cooperation on energy projects in Pakistan. Khar, along with her Russian counterpart, earlier said that Pakistan needed Russian cooperation in energy sector.
Snow leopards among threatened species to benefit from $3.3m aid GeNeVA afp
ternational trade. He said the Afghanistan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement had added opportunities for trade linkages between the two countries. Zardari said Pakistan was willing to finalise a trilateral transit trade agreement to facilitate movement of goods to and from Tajikistan. The president also underscored the
need for the two countries to explore possibilities of preferential trade arrangements and to implement the ECO Trade Agreement (ECOTA). The Tajik ambassador thanked the president for the meeting and said that Tajikistan was also eager to enhance multifaceted partnership with Pakistan for the mutual benefit of the two countries.
Snow leopards, gorillas, cockatoos and frogs are among a list of threatened species to benefit from a $3.3 million aid award, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) said on Thursday. The conservation fund Save Our Species (SOS), set up by the IUCN, the World Bank and others, has announced it is to allocate the cash to more than 20 projects. SOS is involved in the protection of the Cross River Gorilla and Black Rhino in Africa and the
Afghan jihad said to attract fewer foreign fighters PARIS afp
The Afghan-Pakistan jihad is attracting fewer foreign fighters following the death of Osama bin Laden, the growing threat posed by US drones, and lack of funds, Western security officials say. While no precise figure is available, it would appear that the number of would-be jihadists from abroad has been drying up, according to one security official who declined to be named. However, more Pakistanis are willing to take up the fight and make up the numbers, he also warned. “Over the past six months, young Frenchmen there have nearly all left Pakistan. There were 20 to 30 of them, who had either converted (to Islam) or had links to the Maghreb, today there are hardly any left,” he said. “Other European countries whose nationals used to go to Pakistan to join the jihad have drawn the same conclusion — a drastic reduction over recent months,” he added. The “Arab Spring” revolts also acted as a magnet, with a number of jihadists moving to Libya to join the fight to remove Moamer Gaddafi from power, he said. “Fighting in Afghanistan is also less attractive because of the idea that the Afghan Taliban want to concentrate more on home fighting and that world jihad is less and less their cup of tea,” he added. For Frank Cilluffo, who co-authored “Foreign
Fighters” for the Homeland Security Policy Institute, “first and foremost, military actions, including the use of drones, has made the environment less hospitable to foreign fighters traveling to the region, by disrupting al Qaeda’s (and associated entities’) training camps and pipelines”, Direct and indirect accounts by jihadists also speak of disarray within al Qaeda in northwestern Pakistan where activists avoid coming together for fear of being attacked and whose weapons training now takes place indoors because of aerial and satellite surveillance. In a report, entitled “Militant Pipeline” describing the links between the northwestern Pakistani frontier and the West, researcher Paul Cruickshank quotes one Ustadh Ahmad Faruq, described as a Pakistan-based al Qaeda spokesman who recently acknowledged his network’s difficulties. “The freedom we enjoyed in a number of re-
gions has been lost. We are losing people and lack resources. Our land is being squeezed and drones fly over us,” he reportedly said in an audio cassette. “It’s difficult to have reliable figures,” on the number of foreign fighters, according to Cruickshank, who is a fellow at New York University’s Center on Law and Security. “I think the drone strikes have been a major issue for the militants, the death of bin Laden is going to be a very big challenge as well. He was so important for a lot of these militants – he was the al Qaeda brand. “By going over there they were joining his cause. The fact that he has been removed from the scene is likely to be a great recruiting challenge for Al-Qaeda,” he said. “But the conflict is still going on in Afghanistan and in the radical circles it is still viewed as a very legitimate jihad. So it’s likely that the number of volunteers is going to be diminished, but as long as there are US soldiers to fight, I don’t think it’s going to dry up entirely,” he added. Hafiz Hanif, a 17-year-old Afghan who trained in northwest, recently told Newsweek magazine the number of foreign fighters there was dwindling. “When new people came they brought new blood, enthusiasm and money. All that has been lost. Now leaders seem to spend all their time moving from one place to another for their safety,” he said.
Snow Leopard in Pakistan. Asia’s Spoonbilled Sandpiper and Madagascar’s Golden Mantella Frog are also on its list. The body is meanwhile working to re-introduce the Philippine Cockatoo to its native land. “By implementing on the ground conservation action, the projects (that) SOS select help protect entire habitats which both people and wildlife depend on,” said SOS director Jean-Christophe Vie. The body was established in 2010 by IUCN, the World Bank and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) with more than $10 million funding to help protect threatened species.
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Decent housing is every citizen’s right: Gilani
Seminar held in memory of late Hameed nizami SANGLA HILL Staff RepoRt
PM says govt encouraging public-private partnership in housing projects for low-income groups g
HE Pakistan People’s Party government wants all citizens to not only have a roof over their head, but a place where they can live a decent life, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani said on Thursday. Addressing the ground-breaking ceremony of Kurri Housing Scheme, he said the state was responsible to explore all available options to provide people housing. Gilani said that in his first speech in the National Assembly he had promised that the government will provide people affordable housing. He said the promise was in line with the vision of Zulifiqar Ali Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto. He said the current government remains committed to Pakistan People’s founding slogan: ‘Rotti, Kapra aur Makan.’ He said the Kurri
housing scheme was a step towards realising that vision. He said civil servants were the backbone of a system of governance since the execute government policy and give policy input. He said, “Satisfied state functionaries deliver to the best of their ability but unsatisfied workers become liabilities on the state exchequer.” He said government servants deserve respectable living and the PHA affordable housing scheme was a good step in this direction. He said, “The present scheme at Kurri aims at providing residences to serving and retired civil servants on ownership basis at reasonable prices. It has been conceived by leading designers and professionals.” He said, “The government’s priority is to establish public-private partnership on sustainable basis. I will direct PHA to establish collaborations with the private sector in the process of implementing the PM’s Housing Scheme.”
Hameed Nizami Trust Pakistan President Hasan Javed Chatha advocate with the cooperation of Engineer Khurram Shehzad Thaheem arranged a seminar in the memory of late.Hameed Nizami at Government Degree College for Women, Sangla Hill. The seminar was well attended by locals to praise the son of Sangla, late.Hameed Nizami for his work as a journalist and participant of the Pakistan Movement. Sangla Bar Association President Muhammad Nawaz Khichi, Prof Tallat Yasmin Chatha, Prof Asfa Zara, Prof Musharaf-un-Nisa, Prof Muhammad Nawaz Kanwal, Dr Maqsood Sayar, Project Director Saleem Thaheem, Prof Kashif Shareef, Prof Nawaz Sajjad and Huda Sugar Mills Manager Rai Rayaz spoke at the event. They also paid tribute to the services of Mr Hameed Nizami’s son Arif Nizami.
Speakers at the seminar.
Mortar shell explodes in children’s hands
Two sisters killed for ‘honour’
A mortar shell exploded in the hands of two children who were collecting fire wood in the mountains of Chuparyal in Matta, Swat on Thursday. Officials said that several children were picking fire wood in the mountains for use at home. Two children, identified as Hamidullah and Muhammad, sighted a mortar shell and tried to carry it to another place, but the shell exploded in their hands and injured them badly. Hamidullah was taken to Peshawar due to his serious condition, but Muhammad was admitted to the Saidu Sharif hospital, where his condition is stated to be stable. Police and army officials are silent over the incident, but the locals believe that the mortar shell was either abandoned by the Taliban militants or fired by security forces.
Two sisters and another person were killed over alleged illicit relations in Faisalabad district on Thursday. The slain girls’ mother Jamila said her two daughters, Kalsoom, 10, and Rehmana, 20, and her paying guest Shaukat were killed late on Wednesday night by unknown persons. She said she had been working in a factory in night shift and when she got home she saw her daughters and a paying guest dead. She told police that she had that she had uneasy relations with her husband. Jamila said her son Mubashir (17) left home after the incident at Mohallah Naseer Abad near police station Nishaat Abad Police registered an FIR and SSP Sadiq Dogar said the murder appeared to be a honour killing.
Gang rape exposes gruesome attacks on Mozambican women MAPutO afp
A 35-year-old woman walked through a field in northern Mozambique, near where a group of teenage boys were undergoing their ritual circumcision into adulthood. Accusing her of trespassing on sacred ground forbidden to women, the traditional leader meted out his punishment: He ordered 17 of his young initiates to gang rape her. Four of the youth were arrested, but no trial date has been set, Delfino Jose, from Mozambique’s unit for crimes against women told AFP. In Mozambique, many court cases simple fall off the radar and never go to trial. The case has ripped open a searing debate about women and tradition, in a country lauded for advancing women in politics. The previous prime minister and current parliament head are women, as are 39 percent of lawmakers. Mozambique won the African Gender Award for promoting women in 2009. But this is just window-dressing in a nation where women suffer brutal attacks, said activist Gilberto Macuacua. In January a man in central Mozambique cut off his wife’s arm with a machete when she confronted him about his affair with her cousin. Last year a man pierced his wife’s vagina with a bayonet, then sewed it shut. “Men still aren’t ready to see women as people with the same rights as men,” Macuacua said. “There is little or no knowledge of human rights, especially women’s rights. There are many women in parliament, but most don’t exert much pressure,” he added. Award-winning health journalist Pedro Nacuo justified the gang rape in a column, saying the woman had repeatedly trespassed on purpose. Hospital staff treated her like an at-
tempted suicide case, assuming she knew the consequences of walking in the area, he said. “The nurses treated her as they would treat someone who deliberately steps in front of a car to be run over,” he wrote in the state-run Noticias newspaper. “No one condemns, morally or traditionally, the punishment applied to this lady, although severe, because our institutions are made up of people who know how to deal with these issues,” he said. Women’s rights organisation Muleide defended the mother of five, saying she was walking to her crops and didn’t realise it was close to an initiation site. “This case recalls the collective rape of a young woman ordered by a tribal council in a rural area of Pakistan in 2002,” said a coalition of six advocacy groups in a statement. “Contrary to the journalist’s conservative, sexist and Talibanist views, authorities have to intervene in this case,” the coalition said following Nacuo’s statements. Nacuo declined to comment to the “uninitiated”, but has branded his critics as lackeys of foreign donors. Mozambique in 2009 passed a law on domestic violence. In a survey three years earlier, more than half the respondents had been victims of physical or sexual violence. Experts say the real figure is probably higher. “It’s unbelievable, because we have many formal instruments which guarantee equality, but then we encounter resistance to implement them, incompetence and complicity of the institutions that should do this,” said anthropologist Maria Jose Arthur from Women and Law in Southern Africa. “There’s a lot of resistance to administer this law because people have prejudices,” she told AFP. Macuacua agreed, “When a woman does speak, it’s a type of threat. Women cannot speak.”
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walking on fresh grass at dawn Playing with colours 08
Halt! Healthcare professionals running amok ■ Over 1,300 doctors and paramedics ransack KMC head office at Civic Centre, demand salaries and regularisation of services ■ Staff shuts down Abbasi Shaheed hospital and Karachi Institute of heart Diseases KARACHI
HE central areas of the city came to a standstill as a large number of doctors and paramedical staff from different government hospitals rallied to protest against the non-payment of salaries and non-regularisation of their services. Around 1,374 paramedics of 11 hospitals working under the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) took to the streets against the KMC and demanded regularisation of contractual paramedics of 21 hospitals operating under the local government. The hospital staff also closed down outdoor-patient departments at different hospitals, leaving the patients visiting to face several hardships. Reportedly, young medical staffers ransacked the offices located in Civic Centre in the Gulshan-e-Iqbal town, throwing stones and flowerpots at glass walls, breaking windowpanes and furiously shouting slogans against city government authorities. Initially, the paramedics had gathered outside the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital (ASH) and staged a protest at the Nazimabad No 7 bus stop, blocking the roads leading to Golimar and Board Office for all vehicular traffic. They chanted slogans against KMC Administrator Muhammad Hussain Syed and demanded regularisation of all 1,374 of them
working at hospitals operating under the local government. Later, the angry protesters besieged the KMC head office and staged a demonstration outside the Civic Centre. They shattered the KMC headquarters’ windows and damaged its furniture until the police arrived on the scene and dispersed them. Only a few policemen were present there who unsuccessfully tried to control the situation as scuffles between cops and infuriated medics were witnessed inside the building. Due to the presence of hundreds of people at Hassan Square, all traffic leading to Jail Chowrangi on the University Road was adversely disrupted. The demonstrators dispersed only after the law enforcers teargassed and baton-charged them. The KMC administrator said the protesters damaged public property to express their anger, and the local government would register a case against the attackers. ASH Emergency Ward incharge Dr Naeem said the local government is not regularising 1,374 paramedics of 21 hospitals (Above) Protesting doctors block the operating under the KMC. He said the paramedics of 11 Thursday. (Right) emergency ward at hospitals participated in the shut down. ASiM ReHMAni/iMRAn Ali protest and all the departments, except the emergency wards, at protest until their demand of regthese 11 hospitals remained ularisation is met. closed. “Contractual paramedics He also said the contractual working at hospitals in other paramedics would continue their provinces have been regularised,
road at Nazimabad No 7 signal on Abbasi Shaheed hospital was also but the paramedics in Sindh have yet to be regularised. We shall not sit silently, and decide our future strategy in the next few days,” he added.
Whale shark ‘a piece of history’ Prof Qaiser appointed new ■ KFhA shifts 40-foot fish carcass to zoological museum
KU vice chancellor KARACHI Staff RepoRt
KARACHI Staff RepoRt
‘To provide a better environment to citizens and foreign delegations’ coming to view the whale shark – hauled to the jetty on Tuesday – the administration of Karachi Fish Harbour shifted the massive 40-foot carcass to the zoological museum on Thursday. Taking the fish carcass into its custody, the Karachi Fish Harbour Authority (KFHA) shifted the globally declared endangered shark species to the Zoological Museum Karachi. The fish carcass, with blood still oozing, was placed on the floor under a makeshift marquee but as there was no ice to preserve the body, a foul smell soon enveloped the entire area. The historic Natural History Museum, commonly known as Zoological Museum, was established in 1960s under the Zoological Survey Depart-
ment at the Karachi Fish Harbour, West Wharf Karachi. The museum has the largest collection of the country’s preserved fauna and precious skeletons of marine species as well as scores of invertebrates for research purposes. Talking with Pakistan Today, KFHA Spokesman Saghir Ahmed said the main purpose of shifting the dead whale shark was to “save” the harbour environment and provide a “peaceful place” for foreign delegations and a large numbers of people who were coming to the fish harbour to take a look at the giant shark. “A team from the Centre of Excellence Marine Biology of Karachi University had visited the fish harbour and taken samples from the dead shark for laboratory tests,” he said. “A foreign delegation including an expert from the USA and three more from the UK will also come for research and making a
documentary on the marine vertebrate.” Ahmed said that KFHA Director Operation Shamsul Haq Baloch with his team completed the operation of shifting the carcass. The 40-feet long and around 4,000-kg heavy dead whale shark was brought to the Karachi Fish Harbour on February 7 by a fisherman named Dilawar Hussain, who had towed the fish to the jetty from around 50 miles away off Arabian Sea coast and reportedly sold off the carcass at Rs 170,000. It had taken more than six hours for two cranes to fish out the enormous shark form the sea. Considered the largest extant fish species in the world, the whale shark (Rhincodon typus) is a slow-moving filter feeding shark. The largest individual confirmed on record had a length of 12.65 metres (41.50 feet) and weighed over 21.5 tonnes. Unconfirmed reports suggest the presence of considerably larger whale sharks.
Prof Dr Muhammad Qaiser was appointed as the new vice chancellor (VC) of University of Karachi (KU) on Thursday, replacing the long-serving Prof Dr Pirzada Qasim Raza Siddiqui. On January 4, Siddiqui’s term as KU VC was extended on temporary basis and it was expected that he will get a permanent extension; however, the Governor’s House notified the appointment of a new VC on Thursday. According to a notification issued by Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ebad – also the KU chancellor – Qaiser will perform his duties as the new VC for the next four years. Born on August 15, 1946, Qaiser got his PhD from Karachi in 1976 and got a post-doctorate degree from Germany in 1984. Qaiser had been serving as the VC of Federal Urdu University of Arts, Science and Technology. Qaiser has 43 years of experience and at least 10 students have completed their PhDs under his supervision. He has also served at KU as an acting vice chancellor on various occasions. He twice remained the KU registrar from August 1999 to August 2001 and January 2004 to July 2004. Meanwhile, appreciating the services rendered by the outgoing KU VC, the Sindh governor wished Siddiqui well in the times ahead.
Committee on NPP resolution within rules: Khuhro KARACHI Staff RepoRt
Sindh Assembly Speaker Nisar Ahmed Khuhro said he did not stop National People’s Party (NPP)’s Masroor Jatoi from tabling his resolution. Khuhro said he had only advised Jatoi to present the resolution on any other day but Friday, because they were running out of time. The speaker said he had not imposed any ban on the committee constituted to ensure the legality of Jatoi’s resolution against the Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s 20th amendment. Speaking to the media at a local hotel on Thursday, Khuhro said he had not received any complaints from the committee’s chairman or any of its members. “The committee has made the decision that the meetings of the committee would be held ‘on camera’ because nobody knows what is being discussed at the committee’s meetings,” he added The speaker said the committee was formed after consultation with the resolution mover, and it is carrying out its activities as per the rules. “It was the decision of the committee that the proceedings of its meetings are not made public, which is why we need to wait until the committee prepares its report,” he added.
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The first dream artist natasha iqbal could recall is of playing with colours
RT to the artist Natasha Iqbal is creation, dawn of a thought process. “It’s a vast genre. I believe art is present in everything: the art of talking, the art of cooking, the art of carrying yourself. And then, there are the visual arts, the performing arts and many other forms,” Natasha told me in an interview. According to her, an artist is someone who has the courage to express and propagate their thoughts and who knows that it is an artist who swims against the current. The first dream that she could recall is of playing with colours, when she had no idea about what art is or what an artist does. “I’ve been struggling to become an artist since the beginning, and I think I have a long way to go. I still think twice before calling myself an artist, which in turn, I think, makes me one.” Talking about her work, she said, “If even a stroke of mine has ever made a viewer stop, turn their head and stare at it for more than a second, I think I have been successful in creating a piece of art.” When asked if artists are different from other people, she said, “Definitely! A true artist, I believe, is the one who isn’t running after galleries, who isn’t counting the days until holding their next exhibition, who makes art for the sake of art, and who sees and comments on things in a way that’s quite different from how others would.” Describing what attracts her about being an artist, she said, “Art is just like a walk on the fresh grass at dawn, the way you feel the dew entering your blood through your pores. When you feel something like that, how can anyone ever stop you from being pulled towards it?” As an artist, Natasha feels she has a huge responsibility on her shoulders. “Just like doctors, lawyers, engineers and soldiers, I believe artists also need to serve their country. Just like any other movement in the past, today’s artists need to comment and make people think about current issues.” Regarding when she realised she wanted to be an artist, she said, “I guess it was something God might have whispered in my ear at the time of creating me, because I feel I had wanted to become an artist from the day I could distinguish between blue and green.” While she likes experimenting with different mediums, “one medium that’s my best friend is ink. One pot of Indian ink, one plain piece of sheet and one brush. That’s all I need.” She tries to get inspiration from as many things as possible. “Being a writer as well, it allows me to absorb everything around me and channel it out one way or another.” She admits that looking at other artists’ works influences her own, which is why she tries not to look at other artworks. “I try to produce art in isolation. I can never be happy about something I made out of someone else’s creation. For me, that’s a lie.” Talking about her process of producing art, she said, “It’s quite surprising for me, as well as for many artists and teachers. I’m more of a visualiser than a sketcher. I paint every single stroke in my head first. I don’t waste any time or let the idea get stale by going through a long process. It’s snip and snap for me.” Moreover, it’s the process that Natasha enjoys more than the finished piece. “I think the process will always win, because a time comes when you’re having a dialogue with your painting. You feel like it’s communicating with you. Once the painting is complete, the communication stops and the painting gets silent. To me, a finished painting is like a conversation that has dried out.” When asked what drives her to continue producing art, she said, “It’s something I am, and you can never stop being someone you are. So, I’d never need any drive to produce art. It’s in me. I sometimes ex-
press in the form of a painting, sometimes a sketch, sometimes a poem or sometimes a boring graphical poster. But, yes, I always keep on expressing myself in whichever way I can. I don’t think I can ever stop myself from expressing. I like to talk, communicate and put my point of view out there, and I keep on finding ways to do that.” She said her work is important. “Like every drop of the ocean, like every grain of sand and like every leaf of a tree, my work stands somewhere in the ecosystem of expression.” When asked why she produces art, she said, “There are artists who paint
from her father. “He saw one of my paintings and said, ‘Don’t ever throw this painting away or give it to anyone.’ And the worst reaction was from my teacher Asim Akhtar who simply said, ‘Horrible.’ ” When asked if it’s important for her that people understand or like her work, she said, “No. Rather, I appreciate it when they don’t. It helps keep my fuel going and my engines running to produce something better.” Regarding what her art gives back to her, she said, “A conversation, which I could never have with a human. Every painting of mine talks to me and we
As an artist, I feel I have a huge responsibility on my shoulders. Just like doctors, lawyers, engineers and soldiers, I believe artists also need to serve their country. Just like any other movement in the past, today’s artists need to comment and make people think about current issues.
for money, some paint for success, some paint for adding to their portfolio, some paint to get their message out there, some paint to comment on social issues, and some paint because that’s what they do best. I often wonder which of these categories I fit in.” The best reaction she received on her art was
converse every time I look at any of them.” When asked if her art fulfils her, she said, “I exist because I can express, and nothing can ever fulfil me in a better way than my art.” She said her friends and family have played a great role in her work. “I believe every single person I have come across has made me who I am, for
better or for worse. And I could never be more thankful to all of them. I think my family has been there for me always, and I could never be more thankful. My friends and family not only support me, but also encourage me whenever I feel disheartened or defeated.” Talking about criticism, she said, “Healthy or not, it plays a pivotal role in shaping up a line of thought. It’s just like a blade on a hedge; the sharper the cut, the tidier the hedge turns out. And after every few days, you need another cut. So, it’s a constant process.” However, she doesn’t take criticism well. “My work is my child. I give birth to it after a long series of pain and misery. It’s quite hard to take criticism when you know what you went through to create it. But I take time to absorb all the criticism I get and try to channel it into positive energy and creativity.” She works with lines and circles a lot. “Figurative or symbolic, my work somehow has angles and curves. They are recurring elements in my work, and I have now stopped myself from even trying to avoid them. They find their way in the composition one way or another.” She listed “life, existence, and what man wants and desires” as the frequent themes of her work. Natasha puts her soul, her blood, her sweat – her everything – in her work. She believes that passion is the driving force of any profession, not just art. “Passion is that spark that goes off in your head to ignite the thought process. It is the direction or course of life that determines what it’s going to invest in. So, passion plays a great role in producing anything – a tune, a clock, a straw, and also a painting.” Once she starts a project, she cannot sleep until she finishes it. “I do not linger on my painting for long.” Among artists long gone, she admires Vincent van Gogh the most; whereas among the living, her most favourite is Olafur Eliasson. When asked which artist she would prefer to receive training from, she said, “It’s like choosing between soda in summer and hot coffee in winter. I’d love to meet Jackson Pollock, Pablo Picasso, Van Gogh, Salvador Dalí, Marcel Duchamp – the list goes on!” She said the only reason art is considered taboo in the Pakistani society is because very few artists have painted for the people or, at least, made art accessible to the layman. She believes that the government needs to not only fund art schools, but promote art as a profession as well. “I am surprised how even today highly educated families want their children to become engineers or accountants or bankers.” She said art is as important as any other profession, but “it just needs to find its way into people’s hearts.” When asked if it’s difficult to be an artist these days, she said, “No. I believe being an honest artist in today’s world is more difficult. Then again, just being honest is very difficult these days.” She thinks art is more popular today than it was in the past. “It’s being practised by a lot of promising artists, and I’m very hopeful that it will blossom more in the coming years.” She said a lot of contemporary artists are producing mediocre work. “I feel really sad when an artist finds shortcuts or easier ways to make art. One should never compromise quality for the sake of quantity.” She believes that some artists produce controversial art only because controversy sells. Then again, she added, controversy attracts everyone. “It’s a human trait that even artists can’t keep themselves away from.” Natasha graduated with a gold medal in 2010 from the Fatima Jinnah Women University and would be leaving later this year for her master’s degree in painting under the Fulbright Scholar Programme. Pictures provided by Natasha Iqbal
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Friday, 10 February, 2012
karachi 09 PakistaN today
For handicapped ‘We’re bushed! Don’t in Sindh, a ‘card’ blame ATCs for accidents’ with a silver lining
■ Air traffic controllers say too much workload on them to ensure aircraft safety KARACHI
■ Government to provide ‘Disability Card’ for providing facilities to people with physical impairments KARACHI
HE Sindh government has decided to give the disabled people in the province with a “Disability Card” for providing the persons with physical or any other impairment with facilities of international standards. The decision came at a meeting presided over by Adviser to Sindh Chief Minister on Special Education Imtiaz Ahmed Sheikh held at the new Sindh Secretariat on Thursday, where Karachi Commissioner Roshan Ali Sheikh, Sindh Special Education Secretary Muhammad Ali Shah, representatives of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) working for handicapped people and social welfare organisations were also present. Sheikh was of the view that physically handicapped people had to visit various government departments to get their disability cards, but the process for acquiring various incentives including transportation
facilities has been made easier now. “Our target is to issue cards to 10,000 disabled persons and once the process completes in Karachi, it will be started in other parts of the province,” he added. It was decided at the meeting to make Karachi a “disabled-friendly city” while setting aside two percent government job quota for the handicapped people and starting an awareness campaign besides formulating a special education policy. The process of disbursement of cards will begin from February 11 on experimental basis at Aga Khan University Hospital, where initially 100 disabled people would be issued such cards through one-window operation. Speaking to the media after the meeting, the Karachi commissioner said the data of handicapped people would be collected through conducting a scientific study, for making Karachi a “disabled-friendly city”.He said various NGOs, other stakeholders and around 5,000 seminaries will be included in the exercise.
ColD WAVe ConTinUeS
More rain and snow by Saturday, predicts met dept KARACHI Staff RepoRt
The Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) has predicted more rain with snow on hilly areas in different parts of the country by Saturday, due to which the cold wave would persist for a few more days, especially in Sindh, including Karachi. In a fresh advisory issued on Thursday, the PMD said another westerly wave is heading towards Pakistan and is likely to enter
Balochistan on Saturday evening. Under the influence of this weather system, scattered rain with snow on hilly areas is expected in Northeast Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, upper Punjab, Gilgit-Baltistan and Kashmir on Sunday, said the PMD. The department also said more snowfall is also expected in Murree and Galiyat on Sunday and Monday, whereas the prevailing cold wave in most parts of the country, particularly in Sindh, is likely to subside during the next weekend.
Men charged with lawyers’ murder remanded until 16th KARACHI Staff RepoRt
The three men arrested by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) for the murder of three lawyers were remanded by the AntiTerrorism Court (ATC)-II on Thursday. Three lawyers were gunned down and a fourth wounded near the city courts on January 25 in what appeared to be a targeted sectarian attack. CID officials presented Taufique Ansari,
Salahuddin and Maulana Muhammad Rashid, who are affiliated with the outlawed Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan, before ATC-II Judge Ghulam Mustafa Memon. The officials requested remand of the accused men to continue their investigation, following which the court remanded the detainees until February 16. Another ATC judge Bashir Ahmed Khoso remanded until February 16 two men accused of killing a police officer on Shahrah-e-Faisal a day earlier.
Fulfilling their wish of dining in an elite atmosphere with their families, seriously ailing children were invited for dinner by the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) management. The picture shows PIA Managing Director Nadeem Khan Yousufzai, Mrs Zareen Khan Yousufzai and Make-A-wish Foundation Pakistan President Ishtiaq Baig among other staff members with the ailing children. STAFF PHoTo
R efusing to accept the responsibility of safety of aircraft in the airspace, the air traffic controllers (ATCs) in the city have said that they will not go to the courts to face criminal prosecutions in case of any accidents. The message was conveyed to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) administration at a meeting held on Wednesday. “Due to heavy density of air traffic in the Karachi west sector, it is beyond a single controller’s capacity to manage 45 to 50 aircraft at a time on a single frequency for up to 10 continuous hours in front of the radar scope without any
rest,” the controllers said. At present, all air traffic operators are wearing black bands while working and have also stopped working extra hours. Since January 27, the airlines of the country have suffered combined losses of 10,010 nautical miles (nm) on account of extra track miles, with the Airblue losing 4,088 nm and the Shaheen Air 5,754 nm during the 14-day period. Due to the non-cooperation movement of ATCs, the total loss to the aircraft operators per day comes to around 1,418 nm while the operating cost for the Airbus 320 (medium-type aircraft) is $53 per minute. At the meeting, the ATCs stated that
the issues of increasing density of traffic in the airspace and safety were also highlighted by former CAA Deputy Director General Riazul Haq in his working paper in 2010. However, no extra favours are provided to the air operators despite the heavy workload and deteriorating surveillance conditions like that the Pasni radar is out of service for the past five days. It is worth mentioning that total track shortening per day favoured by ATCs to all airlines is 715 nm excluding the holding in air or ground, while it does not include flights operated from Lahore towards China, Delhi, Afghanistan and northern areas of the country through ATR aircrafts.
Welcome to the Pak-Japan ikebana ‘Celebration’ ■ Four-day Japanese floral art exhibition begins KARACHI aftaB CHaNNa
A four-day ikebana (Japanese floral art) exhibition to celebrate 60 years of diplomatic relations between Pakistan and Japan and 550 years of recorded history of Ikenobo Ikebana commenced at a hotel on Thursday. With the year 2012 declared the year of friendship’s celebration, Japan Cultural Centre of the Consulate General of Japan in Karachi, Ikenobo Study Group and Ramada Plaza are jointly organising the ikebana exhibition under the title ‘Celebration’ from February 9th to February 12th. Sindh Information and Electric Power Minister Shazia Marri inaugurated the event and went through the floral presentations, lauding the efforts of the Ikenobo students for enhancing
the natural beauty of flowers. “Pakistan and Japan enjoy friendly ties for the past 60 years, which reflects a positive image to the international community of Pakistan being a committed and trusted country that has vast potential for the world,” said the minister. She hoped that the event will bring the people of both the countries closer to each other by sharing cultural knowledge and celebrating art.
Marri lauded the efforts of Ikenobo Ikebana President Prof Asifa Ataka and the Japan Consul General staff for organising a number of cultural events in the city aimed at bringing people closer through art. Speaking on the occasion, Japanese Consul General Masaharu Sato said the amalgamation of Japanese thoughts and designs with Pakistani expertise is a sign of strengthening bonds between the two beautiful countries. Announcing another mega cultural event in the city, Sato announced the celebration of “Japan Fiest” at Arts Council Karachi on March 10 and 11. The Ikenobo Ikebana president also spoke on the occasion. The event is expected to be attended by a large number of foreign missionaries, ministers, celebrities, media persons and government officials. The exhibition is also open for the general public.
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10 karachi weATheR UPDATeS
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PRAYeR TIMINGS Fajr 5:53
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CITY DIReCTORY eMeRGeNCY heLP POLICe 15 BOMB DISPOSAL 15, 99212667 FIRe BRIGADe 16, 99215007, 99215008 eDhI 115, 32310066-2310077 KhIDMAT-e-KhALQ FOUNDATION 36333811 ReD CReSCeNT 35833973 GOveRNOR’S hOUSe 136 ChIeF MINISTeR’S hOUSe 99202051 MOTORwAY POLICe 130
hOSPITALS ABBASI ShAheeD CIvIL JINNAh NICvD AGA KhAN TABBA
99260400-09 99215749, 99215960 99201300-39 99201271-6 34930051 36811841-50
Friday, 10 February, 2012
Pay more attention to WASH sector, AWARE asks govt ■ Study conducted in three worst flood-affected UCs of Umerkot reveals 87 percent water sources highly contaminated KARACHI
HE Association for Water, Applied Education & Renewable Energy (AWARE), a non-governmental organisation of Umerkot, has initiated a campaign in collaboration with the Freshwater Action Network South Asia Pakistan and other civil society organisations by sending letters and cards to authorities concerned, demanding them to give priority to the Water, Sanitation & Hygiene (WASH) sector that is in dire need of improvement. The volunteers sent cards to the departments concerned, including the Sindh Public Health Engineering Department, Thar Taluka Municipal Administration, Sindh chief minister, President Asif Ali Zardari, chief justice of Pakistan, Sindh Assembly members and National Assembly members. AWARE Executive Director Ali Akbar Rahimoon said 5-9 feet of stagnant floodwater is affecting six union councils (UCs) of Umerkot
district – Satriyo, Arharo Bhurgari and Samaro of Samaro taluka, and Sher Khan Chandio, Talhi and Nabisar of Kunri taluka. He said, “People are living in miserable conditions and there is no alternate source of potable water in the submerged area. The stagnant water is an obstruction in the rehabilitation of 200,000 displaced persons. Moreover, no crops can be cultivated in these areas as well. People are using irrigation water for drinking.” He deplored the fact that the emergency declared by the Pakistani government and the United Nations was withdrawn on December 31, but there is still an emergency situation in Umerkot. On the banks of canals, people have no other option but to use the available space or canal banks for urination and defecation, resulting in contamination of the water sources, he said. He urged the authorities concerned to take immediate notice of the situation and take significant measures.
An AWARE study conducted in three of the worst flood-affected UCs of Umerkot revealed that 87 percent of the water sources are highly contaminated and injurious to human health, as they include up to 92 per-
cent of bacteriological contamination, up to 5,500 parts per million of total dissolved solids and up to 400 nephelometric turbidity units of turbidity in the water samples collected and analysed by the association.
Scheduled Caste Graveyard Journalist with Cleaning Day in lyari Town failed kidneys seeks
government’s help KARACHI aMaR GURIRo
BLOOD BANK hUSSAINI FATIMID PwA
32238405-8 32225284, 32258656 99215740, 32735214
COMPLAINT KeSC PTCL KwSB CDGK SUI GAS
118 1218 1339 134 1199, 99231603
RAILwAYS INQUIRY CITY STATION CANTT STATION
117, 99213565-6 99213538 99201118
AIRPORT FLIGhT INQUIRY PIA ReSeRvATION
COLLeGeS / UNIveRSITIeS KARAChI UNIveRSITY NeD UNIveRSITY FUUAST DUhS SMIC FAST-NU SZABIST IOBM IBA IvS
99261300-06 99261261-8 99244141-9 99215754-7 99217501-3 111128128, 34100541-7 111922478 35090961-7 111422422 35861039-40
KARACHI Staff RepoRt
A day-long Scheduled Caste Graveyard Cleaning Day was organised the Pakistan Hindu Seva (PHS) on Thursday in the historical graveyard adjacent to the Gujjar Hindu Cremation Ground in the Old Golimar area of Lyari Town. Over 100 volunteers participated in the activity and cleaned the graveyard, which is one of the oldest graveyards in the city for the scheduled caste Hindus. PHS President Sanjesh said, “We recently observed that most pathways of the centuries-old graveyard were covered with garbage, bushes and drain water, but no government authority representing the religious minority has taken notice of the issue. So, we arranged the graveyard cleaning ac-
tivity on self-help basis.” He said it was also observed that there are no streetlights installed in the vicinity, which creates many problems for the community, and during the recent rainfall, many graves have been destroyed and the condition of the cemetery has further deteriorated. The cleaning day was arranged in collaboration with the Maharishi Naval Mandal (MNM) who has already been working hard to improve the condition of the graveyard. Volunteers of the PHS and the MNM enthusiastically worked together for effectively cleaning the graveyard. The PHS urged the whole community to “leave the caste system behind and work together for improving the quality of life of the entire community, irrespective of caste, creed, religion, colour or the ability to pay.”
Qurban Khoso, the renowned environmental journalist and the only wildlife reporter from Thar Desert, who was hospitalised in Karachi last month has been diagnosed with complete renal failure and is in dire need of kidney transplantation. Doctors said Khoso was born prematurely with one kidney smaller in size than the other one, in which stones were recently formed. The 32-year-old journalist, who is on dialysis and staying at a rented house in Gulistan-e-Jauhar, needs to visit the hospital every other day. Khoso’s wife is prepared to donate her kidney, but the doctors have estimated that the transplant and other treatments would cost Rs 1 million. Though most of the funds would be provided by the hospital, the reporter still needs a huge amount for his hospital stay, meals and other expenditure during the treatment. Local journalists have demanded President Asif Ali Zardari, the Sindh chief minister, the Sindh information minister, the Sindh health minister and other authorities to provide financial aid to Khoso. Khoso works for a Sindhi newspaper, and has always reported boldly, even though he was jailed twice and tortured several times for writing against local influentials and politicians.
aftaB NaGI/MaRRIUM KHaN
NfaK GIRLS CHoIR
ARt eXHIBItION StARtS FeBRuARY 10 At 05:00 PM VeNue: t2F 2.0
ARt eXHIBItION StARtS FeBRuARY 10 At 06:00 PM VeNue: MAJMuA
MuSIC ON FeBRuARY 11 At 07:30 PM VeNue: t2F 2.0
Marium Agha and Madiha Hyder’s ‘Layers’ from February 10 to 17 at The 2nd Floor. Call 35389033 for more information.
Aftab Nagi and Marrium Khan’s dual show from February 10 to 25 at the Majmua art gallery. Call 35304306 for more information.
‘Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan Girls Choir’ featuring Alan Simon at The 2nd Floor. Call 35389033 for more information.
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Friday, 10 February, 2012
Editor’s mail 11
Safe chicken meat Chicken meat is a good source of cheap protein all over the world. In Pakistan, poultry industry makes considerable contribution to food production and plays a vital role in the economy of the country. Poultry farming in Pakistan has virtually proven a profitable enterprise as it is the best source of cheap, palatable and nutritious food protein. In Pakistan, 407 million poultry birds are being maintained having 372 million commercial and 35 million rural (household), giving 0.514 million metric ton poultry meat and 9618 million eggs per year. The per capita meat consumption is 4.26 kg per annum as compared to 30 kg in developed countries. In poultry industry antibiotics are being used widely as growth promoters and for the treatment of infectious diseases. These practices
Fleecing the public can lead to development of antimicrobial resistance in normal flora of poultry and other pathogenic organisms. These microorganisms can transfer resistance to human pathogens via food chain. Antibiotic resistance or drug resistance is the situation when the concentrations of antibiotic needed to kill the bacteria are not effective to kill the particular pathogen or cure the infection. Escherichia coli (E coli) is a microorganism which resides in the lower intestine of warm blooded animals including human and poultry as a normal micro flora. E coli normally plays a beneficial role in intestine by competing with harmful bacteria. The background of drug resistant studies on E coli signify that extensive and irrational use of antimicrobials
in human and veterinary sector for treatment, prophylaxis and feed additive made this organism resistant to commonly used antimicrobials. Chicken meat becomes contaminated by antimicrobial resistant E coli at the time of slaughtering. As the organism is normally present in gastrointestinal tract, soiling of carcass with intestinal contents may transfer resistant E coli to meat. E coli have the ability to transfer resistant genes to non resistant bacteria through various pathways. As a result pathogenic organisms are also becoming resistant to commonly used antibiotics. The development of drug resistance in pathogenic organisms is one of the major causes of limiting the choice of antimicrobials for therapeutic purposes. Infections caused by drug resistant
pathogens may also require more toxic therapy which can lead to adverse outcomes to patients. Therefore, there is a need to check the extent of resistance to ensure the efficacy of antimicrobials used in public health. In order to curb the situation, government of Pakistan has banned the use of antibiotics in poultry feed but still there are various avenues which needs to be addressed. One of them is over the counter availability of antibiotics both in veterinary as well as human sector. In order to overcome the problem of antibiotic resistance, there is a need for modification in the Drug Act to control the irrational use of antibiotics. DR FAYAZ YASIN, DR ALI AHMAD SHEIKH UVAS, Lahore
A crucial joke? While we were still enjoying the joke being circulated on SMS on the difference between Pakistani and Indian democracies – that in India government determines the age of army chief while in Pakistan it’s the army chief who determines the government’ age – then came a real news as well. It’s not a joke but a dark reality – the Supreme Court has accepted a case against ‘possible’ removal of army chief and DG ISI. The apex court has asked the attorney general to get a written confirmation from the government that it has no intention to remove the two generals. As per constitution, army chief reports to defence secretary who in turn reports to the defence minister. Now, the court is asking a written confirmation from the prime minister that he will not remove a subordinate (not a direct subordinate but at a third or fourth ranking in the hierarchy). Do we need another joke to be circulated? Why can’t we change the constitution to reflect the ground realities? This will save the court a substantial time for some constructive cases as well. MASOOD KHAN Jubail, Saudi Arabia
viable political system Many have written on the subject of the supreme judiciary when it was suspended and black coats were actively trying to restore it. Today again the situation is far worse and the economy is on the verge of collapse and “highly vulnerable” as warned by IMF on the Feb 7, clearly indicating that this need is far badly imminent today than at any time before. This vulnerable position is mainly caused by extremely high corruption, adding $11.3bn foreign debts, during the short period of four years, clearly indicating the immediate need to evolve a viable political system to save the country from the imminent economic collapse, involving possible danger of losing its very independence as over 90 percent resources go in debt servicing. Leaders, like Imran Khan, are promising to end corruption within weeks and months, as if they can do so with some magic wand, which to a lay man appears impossible, especially through the existing corruption prone parliamentary system. In this system, corruption starts with the high election cost, which is usually retrieved through corruption and ministerial position, after more expensive horse trading. The situation is even worse in a hung parliament. Thus the only system which can stop political corruption is presidential system, like the US, where the elected members are barred from seeking ministerial position. The chances of political corruption can be further reduced in case the election system is made less costly and clean. This is possible if the qualifications of the candidates for the assemblies as specified in the Constitution (Art 20-31, 43, 63 etc) are very strictly adhered to by the Election Commission. Art 2-A offers a simple way to overcome all such problems and deserves to be enforced to save the country from any further damage through corruption and political malpractices, as it does not require any amendment, being an integral part of the constitution itself. S M H RIZVI Karachi
a thumping victory Team Green has registered a thumping win in the Test series against the English team with a 3-0 defeat. After getting all out on 99 in its first innings of the third Test in Dubai, Pakistan became only the second team to win a Test after scoring less than 100 in their first innings.
Aid and education I am replying to an article in The New York Times by columnist Nicolas Kristof, titled “A Girl, A School and Hope”, in which he made the following statement: “The United States has provided $18 billion to Pakistan in aid since 9/11, yet Pakistan’s government shelters the Afghan Taliban as it kills American soldiers and drains the American Treasury. Meanwhile, only 8 percent of Pakistanis have confidence in President Obama, according to the Pew Research Center. That’s not even half as many as express confidence in bin Laden…. Meanwhile, Pakistan seeks post-flood aid from Western taxpayers, yet barely taxes its own affluent citizens at home. And its feudal landholders have historically opposed good schools, for fear that poor Pakistanis – if educated – would object to oppression.” This kind of assessment predominates in the American media and EuroAmerican views of Pakistan. I find it troubling and deeply disturbing that Kristof and other western observers impose conditions for educational development on a country that has seen far more violence and implemented far stricter anti-terrorism regimes than any western nation. Superficially at least, Kristof’s linkage defies common sense and factuality. Pakistan has done more than any other country to stem the growth and recurrence of religiously-motivated violence and to identify not only its sponsors but it sources in the social fabric of Pakistani society. Underlying Kristof’s complaint, however, are some hard statistics: for example, a kindergarten child in this country has only one percent chance of reaching the 12th grade, according to the Pakistan Education Task Force. The average Pakistani child is significantly less likely to be schooled than the average child in sub-Saharan Africa. Yet the West and the United States in particular insists on
Team Green has created a remarkable record of Test cricket history. Best wishes to the Greenshirts for their ODI and T20 series! DR SAIF UR REHMAN Islamabad
propping up generals and their anti-terrorist machine while ignoring important justice movements such as the Lawyers Movement for Democracy. The media needs to focus on Pakistan’s positive movements for change as an incentive for a pro-democracy culture that values education for all segments of the society. Without such focus, it is far too easy for the West to concentrate its attention on violence and financial corruption, which are surely part of the story but not the whole story. Fairness, accuracy and balance of coverage should be Pakistan’s strong suite in this discussion. HIRA SALEEM LUMS, Lahore
US-Taliban talks After opening of Taliban office in Qatar and initiation of talk process between America and Taliban, it may be assumed that peace will be established at last. For the last many months, America was trying to hold talks with the Taliban. It tried to have the same through Karzai government but failed to achieve success. At the same time when America was trying to establish good relations with Taliban it was pressurising Pakistan to do more. It seems America has yet to learn about the sociology of this region as it has totally forgotten Pakistan and hasn’t included the same in negotiations. If America really wants to establish a sustainable peace in the region then it has to take Pakistan on board. America and NATO both have to address Pakistan’s concerns for durability in the peace. America must accept that dynamics of the Taliban are totally different which they can’t understand. Pakistan is the country which understands Taliban well and their dynamics. Any peace talks negating Pakistan’s critical role in Afghanistan will be a total failure and would prove to be a futile effort. DR HASNAT NABI Islamabad
Another petrol bomb Thanks to yet another petrol bomb thrown on 1 February 2012 by the federal government across the board on the people hailing from all walks of life, price of diesel has crossed Rs 100 per litre and petrol is not lagging behind. Protests and hue and cries raised by the people every time the petrol bomb is thrown by the industrialists, businessmen and other segments of the society fall on deaf ears with no positive response by the federal government which seems to be little bothered and concerned about the aggravating people’s problems and mounting financial burdens on their domestic budgets with every POL price-hike. This time also, the reaction has been blatant negative by the federal government. It has been throwing such bombs on the people quite frequently without realising that how much adversely these affect with prices of even essential daily use articles also further going up with the increase in petrol prices on the pretext of higher transportation charges besides the hiked fares which the commuters have to pay. Quite obviously, with petrol prices being increased every now and then, people with moderate resources having cars and other transport means for daily use have to look for means as to how to keep the ever-increasing expenses on this count in control to the maximum extent possible. Quite obviously, such a situation calls for adoption of fuel saving measures on priority basis by the people, in particular those having modest resources. This may involve spending of some more money but hopefully the resultant saving in petrol consumption will be much more. As one of the affectee motorists hit hard by the frequent petrol, diesel and CNG price-hike, I also want a solution to this problem. ASIM MUNIR Rawalpindi
Someone, in the print media, has drawn attention towards an injustice being done by the PTV which is collecting Rs 35 from every electricity subscriber earning a colossal amount of money but he wonders where it all goes as there is no improvement in the quality of PTV programming. He says that the PTV is charging double the hapless people; namely, once through cable operators and then through electricity consumers. PTV silently increased its fee from Rs 25 to Rs 35 and perhaps without the approval of competent authority. Not merely as a conscientious civic minded but also the one paying this fee I raised this issue with the so-called protector of citizens rights, the Federal Ombudsman vide No ONL/0001107/10. I knew what the response from PTV could be for which I had in mind a very logical valid argument at the rejoinder stage. On 24 March 2011 checking online status of my complaint I found “the complainant rejoinder not received”. Since then I am regularly drawing the attention of the Federal Ombudsman Secretariat that after filing my complaint I never received any further response from the Secretariat; hence, I repeatedly requested that I may be provided a copy of its communication (surely PTV reply) against which I am alleged to have not responded. According to the then Federal Ombudsman non-response to public communications is an act of maladministration and his own Secretariat has not responded me at all during this year. On 8 February 2012, the status of my complaint reads that a reminder was issued to the complainant. Again, I never got it. Our whole ombudsman system lacks proper knowledge and importance of “delivery of notice” and I have in writing drawn several time the attention on this issue. There should be no doubt, and this senior citizen is not afraid of saying this, in that the government departments are in fact protecting the fleecing of public one way or the other and they do not have any sympathy, even in words, for the common man. JAVED Karachi
Responsible media Media has always demanded freedom and surely deserves it. But does that mean that the media takes undue advantage of the expression of freedom and uses it as an anti-state tool? This mail is regarding the news that Punjab government threatened a private news channel anchor on exposing the bad performance in Punjab government. The term “threatened”, according to Najam Sethi (a renowned anchor), was misused as the appropriate term would be “protested”. The media should behave maturely before going on to a media trial of any person or political organisation. Media thinks it’s always right and there is no room for any argument of any story that’s being told or published. If someone does try to register a protest or differ from their views, the person is either wrong or threatening the media. I by no means want to say that the entire media is doing it but a faction of it is surely doing it. Media should be independent and vibrant but at the same time responsible too. MAJID TAMOOR Lahore
Fake medicines In Lahore, many patients in hospitals are affected by fake and spurious medicines. Many deaths have been confirmed so far due to the reactions of these medicines. However, a report regarding the death of patients due to the reaction of the medicines in Services Hospital, Mayo Hospital and Ghurki Hospital Lahore during the last few days has been received. Poverty is one of the biggest issues of our country. Many poor people can’t afford to buy medicines. The government should try to pay more attention towards this issue. The owners of the pharmaceutical companies should be arrested who are supplying these kind of fake medicines and then they should be punished. MADIHA TARIQ Lahore
Send your letters to: Letters to Editor, Pakistan Today, 4-Shaarey Fatima Jinnah, Lahore, Pakistan. Fax: +92-42-36298302. E-mail: email@example.com. Letters should be addressed to Pakistan Today exclusively.
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12 comment Balochistan killings Others taking notice too
t is understandable on the part of the Foreign Office to convey Pakistan’s concerns over the open hearing on Balochistan convened by the US House of Representatives’ Committee on Foreign Affairs. It would not serve the US if the Congress is seen to be supportive of any possible move aimed at the Balkanisation of Pakistan. It would in fact further strengthen the view that foreign countries are interfering in the restive province. Concern about the forced disappearances and extrajudicial killings continues to mount inside Pakistan also. The upsurge in the forced disappearances led HRCP to collect evidence which indicated the involvement of agencies in the disappearances. In November 2009, the Supreme Court started hearing the disappearance cases, but in March 2010 these cases were transferred to a newly created judicial commission. What happened subsequently was the appearance of tortured dead bodies of Baloch activists who had mysteriously disappeared earlier. With the ghastly killing of Baloch MPA Mir Bakhtiar Domki’s wife and daughter in Karachi the issue has landed in the Parliament and the media with an unprecedented force. On Tuesday, the matter came under discussion in National Assembly where charged speakers from various parties condemned the killings and called for immediate probe. The SC ordered Sindh IG to arrest those behind the heinous act in four days. Calling for a detailed debate on the Balochistan situation, MNA Lt Gen (r) Abdul Qadir Baloch castigated the Assembly for ignoring the issue. On Wednesday, the matter caused an uproar in the Senate where members from all parties condemned it in the strongest possible terms. Later, the entire house staged a token walk out against the killings. At a talk show on a popular private TV channel, the host said the DG FC in Balochistan had disdainfully turned down the request to present his point on view on the issue. The attitude of burying the head in the sand will lead to serious consequences. It is not enough on the part of the agencies to deny their involvement. But at the same time, interference of foreign countries in our internal affairs cannot be tolerated.
Protests, not war Learning dissent
ould political scientists and social science investigators draw a relation between the maturity of political protests and the extent to which the democratic process has permeated into the polity? A directly proportional relation between the two, where the electoral process, and all that goes along with it, acting as a sort of a safety pressure valve that would fizzle out all the more violent and disruptive forms of protests? Consider the wave of recent protests by the medical community; the doctor who attempted self-immolation at a protest at the Abbasi Shaheed hopsital in Karachi. Consider also the protest by the paramedical staff in Lahore, where Jail Road, an important artery within the city, was clogged, resulting in the death of - in a cruel irony - a patient being shifted from one hospital to another. Also throw in the debate the strike from last year, where the doctors working in Lahore’s government hospitals went on strike, resulting, predictably, in a number of casualties. If the medical community, assumed generally to possess a thoughtful, calm demeanour, can employ such tactics, what is to be expected of other groups? Not much, really. All over the country, especially in the peripheries, protesting mobs usually gravitate towards the nearest railway station, even in protests not remotely related to the railways in any capacity. The railways being, historically, a powerful symbol of the state in this part of the world, can draw mobs. Other horde-magnets are power stations; the madness of crowds is most evident when these are attacked and vandalised even during protests against power outages. It is up to the disaffected to show some maturity during protests and make efforts to reach out, not only to the government, but also the media and the general public in a much more effective manner. If their case has merit, it would be clear for all to see and the sitting government would be under pressure to comply. But an intransigent pressure group, be it from the legal fraternity, the medical profession or even, yes, the media itself, should be held to book for not wanting to talk things out properly. An us-and-them attitude towards the government will go only if the political process is allowed without interruption and the culture of representative politics gains a firm foothold in the mindspace of the electorate.
Dedicated to the legacy of the late Hameed Nizami
Arif Nizami Editor
Lahore – Ph: 042-36298305-10 Fax: 042-36298302 Karachi – Ph: 021-34330811-3 Fax: 021-34330900 Islamabad – Ph: 051-2287414-6 Fax: 051-2287417 Web: www.pakistantoday.com.pk Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday, 10 February, 2012
Who’s afraid of india? peace is practical
By Fahd Husain
o Pakistan and India want each other dead, dead and dead. First we used axes, then guns, followed by tanks, and now we brandish nukes. Dead is what we want the other to be. Fear is the key. Fear of what we can do to each other borne of fear of a hauntingly shared past and an ominously volatile future. Such fear is rooted in the grim reality of reciprocal violence and psychological loathing. When hands instinctively grab the other's throats and squeeze the larynx, love does not spout from the lips. Fair enough. But not good enough. If ever a transformational moment in history was needed, it is now. Mutual acrimony served its purpose, but its utility is fast running out. They say peace comes from the ground up, but what they don’t say is that usually it is sparked off by those at the top. In either case, peace can only become a potent force when it contains within it seeds of mutual benefit. Bottom line: what's in it for me? Plenty, actually. Let's start off with the fact that India is racing towards becoming the third largest economy in the world. Among other things, this means India – the poverty stricken backwater of the global economy – will be a rich country. Sure there will still be slums, and homeless people, and malnourished children, but macro-growth will be galloping, productivity will be skyrocketing and wealth-generation will be multiplying faster than rabbits. Riches breed riches. Especially the ones that are created, not dug out like oil. They also tend to round off hard edges, which means they procreate a strong tendency for peace, stability and an absence of conflict. So here's this economic powerhouse rising right next to us. We can either be scared witless, or gaze in wonder at the amazing possibilities it throws our way. If we are scared, we can either capitulate, or strike back in envy. Both options are wrong. There's a third and better, best described by one word. Leverage. Yes leverage the growth of a giant next door. Ride on its wave. Do whatever it takes, but don’t miss the oppor-
tunity to grab this opportunity by the horns and shake it till the gold dust falls on our shoulders. But they hate us, you say. They have never accepted our existence, and never will. They are out to dismember us – again. And not only do they detest us, they loathe Muslims across the planet. Really? Fine, let us assume for a moment that such thinking reeks of truth. But we are not talking about begging India to throw some crumbs our way, and neither are we tying ourselves to their coattails. Relations between states – on the basis of reciprocal benefits – need not be measured in sentimental terms like love and friendship. They are only measured in more circumspect terms like, well, interests. It is in India's interest to have a peaceful neighbourhood. It is in our interest to reap economic dividends from the rise of India. So let's stop getting mad, and start getting even. How? Trade is an obvious choice. India has already accorded us the Most Favoured Nation status. That was way back in 1996. As per the requirements of the WTO (which by the way we have signed), we have to give a similar status to India. The government apparently is quite keen to do so, and Commerce Minister Makhdoom Amin Fahim says all the groundwork is complete. The Cabinet is expected to give the final nod shortly. But this is just the start. Free trade will spur competitiveness, which in turn will spark off a huge incentive for better quality goods and services. Trade will also create deep and wide economic linkages, provide greater stakes for both countries in each
other's economies, allow for greater interaction and freer flow of ideas not necessarily restricted to the economic field. Economies of scale will kick in, and consumers in both countries will have access to cheaper and better quality goods. Are we shaking in our boots yet? Perhaps those of us are who fear open competition; who are used to being mollycoddled by the state through high tariff barriers and other types of protection, which by the way, they have used to reap windfall profits on the backs of captive consumers. Such people will cry foul, saying Pakistanis will lose jobs etc. Baloney. Fear is never a plan of action. In a market economy, consumer is king, not the manufacturer. If our businessmen can't give better and cheaper goods to our customers, then so be it. In case these industrial barons have forgotten, we now live in a globalised economy. Which means we have options. But will these options be constricted because of political disputes between the two nations? Yes, if we let them fester. And no, if we decide economic interest carry far more weight than political disputes. Hindsight is always 20/20. But foresight can be even sharper. The transformational moment is upon us and foresight demands we latch on to it for dear life. Otherwise, we will be left for dead. The writer hosts a primetime talk show on ARY News. He has worked as Director News of Express News and Dunya News and Editor The News, Islamabad. He can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @fahdhusain
No peace without US withdrawal Daily Pashtun Post
fghanistan has always been a war-ravages area. It has been the hotbed of hostilities and violence for a long time in history but its invasion by America has resulted in some of the worst bloodshed the country has seen and the country is still restive and much of the restiveness is due to the presence of allied forces and alien soldiers in the region. Even though America has been talking of a pull out for a couple of years now, that has not been put in action and its drawdown might be in name only. America is here in Afghanistan with an aim of establishing permanent bases in the country but it has been facing defeat on many fronts. The proof is that the Americans are now seeking talks with the Taliban for peace and have duly let them open an office in Qatar for the same purpose. They had been relenting to talk to the Taliban since the beginning of the war but that policy proved to be unsustainable and they are now doing it as much out of necessity as of expediency.
The question is whether the plan of getting possession of Afghanistan has yielded any benefits to America or that it has realised the mistake it committed by plunging into the region with sheer use of force. Pakistan should be be-praised for the role it has played in the larger interest of the region. Not only has Pakistan hosted homeless Afghans for decades but Pakistan has also continued with its efforts for lasting peace in the region. The talks intended for peace in the region amongst various stakeholders cannot shun the importance of Pakistan to the whole process. All the stakeholders should have a say and the chance to protect their rights but it is of prime importance that the Afghans should be allowed to implement a solution that they think is best for them. There should be no attempt to enforce a solution on them that is to their detriment and prioritises others’ interests over the locals’. tak
– Translated from the original Pashto by Abdur Rauf Khat-
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Friday, 10 February, 2012
Coronation of a carcass Business express or Bourgeoisie express?
By Hashim bin Rashid
his is a milestone in railways history,” the elected leader of the people said before cutting the red tape. He was surrounded by dignitaries, businessmen, local and foreign journalists: all keen to take a peek into the future of the Pakistan Railways (PR). Pakistan’s elite had gathered to launch a train for itself. And it was time to rejoice. All had gathered to coronate the carcass it had produced. But hush…no one was to speak of the past. Chug, chug, chug – the train had departed from the Lahore Railway Station. As they got aboard, a foreign journalist snarked, “A security guard pointing a gun at your chest may not be a perk of first-class travel in the West, but it is all part of the service on Pakistan’s gleaming Business Express.” But on days of celebration, elites never care about mild snark. Chug, chug, chug – the train pulled into the Karachi Cantt Station. Garlands, cameras, journalists, ministers awaited the arrivals. On a separate side at the station, railways workers also stood protesting. When the reports came out, the voice of the railway workers was silenced. On the same day, the PR had destroyed the homes of hundreds of people in an anti-encroachment campaign claiming to implement the SC order of vacating security forces from railways land. No one spoke about this. The Business Express train, contracted to a company known as Four Brothers International, with a CEO of its own, was the new hope for the Pakistan Railways. A hope that could have only been come up with in a state of collective amnesia. If one asks those celebrating the premature re-birth of the Pakistan Railways, “who killed the Pakistan Railways?,” the answer mumbled will boil down to: non-paying passengers, inefficient workers and corrupt politicians. But the real story of the PR demise is incomplete without adding:
non-thinking bureaucrats, greedy generals and the alienated bourgeoisie of Pakistan. If we take a short historical journey, the Pakistan Railways, a public enterprise according to its constitution (let it be reminded), was almost breaking even before the Zia dictatorship set up the National Logistics Cell, a military-run transport and construction company, in 1978. Freight was transferred from railway freight bogeys to 16-wheelers imported by the NLC. When Zia died travelling in an airplane (not train), the railways had begun to lose $400,000 a day. At this point, it was the World Bank, not the bureaucracy, that thought: the PR must be privatised. The bureaucracy merely consented and became the instrument of pushing the WB agenda. The idea implemented had four cornerstones: pull back infrastructure investment, sack workers, move to a public-private partnership and move to privatise the railways. “We should have given the railways to a foreign company for free in the 1990s. The WB told us New Zealand implemented the model and it was very successful,” a senior official in the 1990s Privatisation Commission told this writer with bizarre confidence only recently. But the WB’s own reports at the end of the 1990s admitted the infrastructure investment pull-back had hurt the railways more as it entered the 2000s. The trouble is that the publicprivate partnership model being celebrated with the launch of the Business Express in 2012 was tried and tested two decades ago when the Lahore-Narowal and LahoreFaisalabad lines were handed to a private operator. The matter ended with the private operator filing a lawsuit against the railways whose bills ran into millions. The history lesson of the railways is sobering but the launch of the Business Express shows that no one is learning. There was blind joy accompanying the trains’ maiden journey but the business statistics of the train belie that. With a capacity of 486 passengers; day one saw 150 passengers, day two saw 50% ticket confirmations and day three saw 125 passengers aboard the train. In a climate where only about 40% of regular trains are functioning, the Business Express ticket, at Rs 5000 one-way, is priced way out of the range of the regular railways customers (middle to lower middle
class). The Business Express CEO also issued a warning that got muffled by the congratulations: “We might not meet costs in February since we are paying Pakistan Railways Rs 3.04 million per journey.” While overtly the Rs 1.15 billion annual payment promised to railways is an impressive contract, but reports have already filtered through that the Business Express is 4-days - or Rs 12.16 million in debt. Railway unions have also cried foul play at the Rs 5,000 ticket, which they say is Rs 1,400 more than was contracted, and Rs 3,600 more than what economy class passengers pay in the few Karachi-Lahore trains still operational. The only milestone the Business Express train truly represents is that its launch represents the point from which trains will stop being accessible to the millions of lower-middle class and poor citizens that actually use them everyday. Those are the focus of the successful model that has been adopted across the border. To them, the railways is not exotic travel, it is necessary travel. The Business Express is designed to offer the ‘exotic.’ It does not fulfil existing demand; it intends to create new demand where there is none. Somehow, amidst the furore around the launch of the Business Express, everyone has failed to ask: does the mere fact that the train has been launched make it a success and the model worthy of replication? The Pakistan Railways thinks so and has announced it will privatise four more trains within the next month. The irony was not understood that the much maligned railways minister upon receiving the Business Express at Karachi asked, “Where is the Rs 11.1 billion bailout promised in 2010?” Spent well, it seems as the Rs 200 million spent on this train, the bailout could have revived the railways as a public enterprise. But the dignitaries that left the Karachi Cantt Station having travelled aboard the Business Express, they were the new saviours of the Pakistan Railways; the very people that had coronated its decaying carcass. The writer is a staff member. He blogs at voiceamidstsilence.blogspot.com and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Austen or else from intellectual discourse to intellectual intercourse
his week Karachi will host its annual literature festival. This year the world is celebrating the 200th year of publication of Jane Austen’s comedy Pride and Prejudice. My dear Pakistani readers, I’m using this column to invite you all to an initiative that I’m starting in Delhi – provided you get the Indian visa for Delhi! Now, hold on to your tea cup and listen to me. It is such happiness when good people get together – and they always should. Every Pakistani is invited along with my fellow Delhiwallas to join the Jane Austen Society Club. I’m launching it next week. The only condition for the membership being that you must have read all six Jane Austen novels at least six times each. Each Sunday evening, after completing their purchases in Daryaganj’s Sunday Book Bazaar, Jane Austen admirers will gather in front of Urdu Bazaar and sit on the Jama Masjid stairs. Over doodh-waali chai and biskut, we will read excerpts from Jane Austen’s novels. There will also be a guest of honour at each meet. For instance, firangi backpackers from the unsanitary bowels of Paharganj will be invited to share how Delhi belly keeps them “in a continual state of inelegance” while residents of north Delhi may complain of snobbish south Delhi’s myopic belief that their Delhi is the only Delhi (ah, “one half of the world cannot understand the pleasures of the other”). The Jane Austen Society will also be a platform for young people to share their delights and By Mayank Austen Soofi disappointments. After all, whether you are from the fashionable Vasant Kunj or from the cheapside of Vikas Puri, you must like “to be crossed in love a little now and then.” The Jane Austen Society, it is hoped, will “certainly be the finest balm for the pangs of disappointed love.” The Jane Austen Society will conduct walking tours in the city where you may pretend to be strolling on the verdant grounds of England, and not the sunny smoggy steamy lanes of Delhi. You can also hop by landmarks like Urdu poet Mirza Ghalib’s final
haveli in Ballimaran and recite his verses as passionately as Marianne Dashwood recited Shakespeare’s in Sense and Sensibility. At the end of each meet, the members will, of course, be given a few minutes to speculate on the weather the following Sunday. However, my dear reader, in case if you think Jane Austen is shallow and you are profound, you should still consider getting a visa to Delhi. If you are fond of books, you have to visit BP Road. Shh, this is strictly between us. Next to Ajmeri Gate in the Walled City, BP Road is the thinking man’s Heera Mandi. It attracts Delhi’s booklovers starving for intellectual intercourse with the opposite sex and willing to pay for it. While pirated thrillers are stacked everywhere, the regular customers know that these stores are just a front for the ‘trade’. Book-ies will escort you behind the bookshelves, to winding staircases that lead to first-floor cells. These are the dens where many a young men from south Delhi’s most distinguished families ruined their lives and finished their fortunes. One cold evening last week I went to the area’s most popular cell - no. 9-3/4. A covered veranda was lined with shelves containing Penguin classics. The ladies of the house were sitting on red velvet sofas, chatting, reading, and waiting for customers. Their asking price depended on the authors they specialised in. The lowest (50 Rs) was for those who analysed, compared, critiqued and evaluated the popular appeal of Chetan Bhagat novels in ten-minute long sessions, very popular with bank cashiers. A little pricier were sittings with the English Honours graduates (1st div.), famous for guiding you through the essays of Susan Sontag and Edward Said. The pretentious opt for slim cigar-smoking girls especially trained to read out the Greek classics – provocatively. If you are rich, you can get any author. For 10,000 Rs, you have a lady reciting the entire John Milton and Mirza Ghalib from memory. For 25,000 Rs, bookaholic brunettes lend you their rare editions for a day; for 50,000 Rs, you have a PhD scholar explain Amartya Sen in two hours flat; for 75,000 Rs, you land up with a busty white Ukrainian trained in ripping apart William Dalrymple’s pulp-fictions; for 1,00,000 Rs, you are sold a dinner date with that Tina Brown look-alike who got her poem published in The New Yorker’s Oct. 13, 2011 issue. And if your father is a feudal lord in Punjab or have connections with ISI, you can afford a brain-with-a-babe to come over to your Gulbarg pad in Lahore and discuss any topic – Euro crisis, Arundhati Roy, or the Taliban. And yes, until this year’s end, anything on Jane Austen will come for free. Mayank Austen Soofi lives in a library. He has one website and four blogs. The website address: thedelhiwalla.com. The blogs: Pakistan Paindabad, Ruined By Reading, Reading Arundhati Roy and Mayank Austen Soofi Photos
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Friday, 10 February, 2012
Brad Pitt moves
behind-the-scenes LOS ANGeLeS
EVER content to be just another Hollywood hunk, Brad Pitt these days is not just one of America’s most bankable film stars but also a sought-after and influential movie producer. The actor, 48, starred in the critically acclaimed ‘Moneyball’ which has earned him a best actor Oscar nomination at this year’s awards, as well as in the art
film ‘The Tree of Life.’ But these days, it is Pitt’s work as a producer that most sets his heart racing. The actor is on a mission to make sure that quality films, not just mindless trifles, get made in Hollywood. In ‘Moneyball’ Pitt played the role of Billy Beane, a baseball manager who used a quirky but effective statistics-based approach to spotting on-field talent. Pitt relished his Oscar-nominated role in the film, but said he may have gotten even more satisfaction as its producer. “Any movie you see here today wouldn’t have made it to the screen, unless you had someone with the idea that this would make a good movie and then the fortitude and luck to push it through. Each one of these movies took some heavy lifting,” Pitt told AFP. “That’s why I enjoy the producing side so much,” he said. His work on the production side of the film business had been made possible via his Plan B Entertainment film production company. Over the years he has produced some two dozen films, including ‘Running with Scissors,’ ‘Kick-Ass’ and ‘The Tree of Life’ which Pitt also starred in. He plans to take a breather from the frenetic pace, to spend a bit more time with Angelina Jolie and the six children they have together. As for trying his own hand at directing in the future, he has ruled it out. “It’s too much. I’m too much of a perfectionist,” he said. Pitt can be seen in two more upcoming films in which he has starring roles, ‘Cogan’s Trade’ and ‘World War Z.’ Pitt has since been nominated for acting Oscars in 1996 for ‘Twelve Monkeys’ and again in 2009 for ‘The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.’ Moneyball, his third nod, also garnered a best picture nomination.
teHRaN: peyman Maadi, Iranian actor of ‘a Separation’ which is vying for an oscar at the US academy awards, at Iran’s 30th fajr film festival. AFP
LOS ANGeLeS: Melanie Amaro, winner of the X-Factor and Kelly Rowland arrive at the 3rd annual eSSeNCe Black women in Music event. AFP
BeRLIN: Jury members Jake Gyllenhaal and Charlotte Gainsbourg pose for photographers before the opening of the 62nd Film Festival. AFP
New YORK: Sarah Jessica Parker attends the amfAR New York Gala To Kick Off Fall 2012 Fashion week. AFP
Depilex launches The lounge in lahore NeWS DeSK The Lounge by Depilex Men is the new grooming destination for men in Lahore. The launch of ‘The Lounge by Depilex Men’ was attended by many high profile celebs of the film, drama and music industries. Among the attendees were film star Sana, Moammar Rana, singers Fariha Per-
for being unprofessional
vaiz and Quratulain Baloch, Saleem Sheikh, Sayeen Zahoor, Rambo and Sahiba, fashion designers Maheen Kardar, Hamza Tarar, Shammal Qureshi, and Sana Bhatti. The creative director of men’s salon, Rida Misbah and CEO Musarrat Misbah were very happy at the launch of their new salon. Zareen and Shazrey Khalid events were the organisers of this event.
MUMBaI: a dream debut opposite Bollywood badshah Shah Rukh Khan in ‘om Shanti om’ followed by plum offers, Deepika padukone couldn’t have asked for more. But after having spent five years in the industry, the lass seems to have turned a ‘star’ in the literal sense by working according to her own whims and fancies. Deepika’s snobbish behavior hasn’t gone well with producer Ramesh taurani. the dimpled hottie chucked taurani’s ‘Race 2’ without prior notice for Rajinikanth’s next. She did not even bother to apologise for her action and on the contrary turned deaf ears when the producer went to talk to her. talking to a tabloid, taurani said, “I have been a part of the Hindi cinema industry for 25 years. I have made several blockbusters. I have worked with famous actresses like aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Katrina Kaif, Vidya Balan and Kareena Kapoor. But I have never faced a situation like this before.” taurani is mighty peeved with the girl, so much so that he went on to call her attitude as “unethical, unprofessional and unacceptable.” “earlier, in october, we had to change our schedule since Deepika had date problems. this was due to her film with ayan Mukerji to be produced by Karan Johar. at the time, I had spoken to Karan and worked out a schedule that would help Deepika manage both the projects. Now, when everything is in place, she just walks out after six days of shoot. What can I say? We are left with no choice. our directors and the other actors are extremely annoyed with her,” said the troubled producer. aGeNCIeS
hOLLYwOOD: Reese witherspoon, Chris Pine, actress and writer whitney Cummings and Kristin Cavallari arrive at the Los Angeles premiere of ‘This Means war’. AFP
Big B prepares
to go under
MUMBaI: Megastar Amitabh Bachchan has revealed that he will undergo abdominal surgery on Feb 11. “There were some medical procedures today as well for-and this is being disclosed to the ef (extended family) at this point of time-a surgery that I shall be undergoing on the 11th morning. I do not wish to talk much on my medical condition, but trust and faith in my FmXt (extended family) allows me to do so,” Amitabh wrote on his blog. “The surgery they say is not too complicated, but then all doctors say the same as you end up on the operating table, and before long the details and the subsequent anxieties begin to rise. The next few weeks shall be full of nothing else but the hospital and medical bulletins... boring it may be but it shall be as informative as possible,” Amitabh posted. The 69-year-old has been battling with health issues for long and wishes to have an ailment-free life, but says he is grateful that he is still going strong. “My stomach which has already been the bed of many complicated battles in the past, shall have to entertain this as well. It's a war zone, my body, and one which has been through a great deal and still does,” he wrote. “I sometimes lament the fact that I do not have the benefit of a complete and ailment free body structure, and I wonder how wonderful it would be to be normal again. But this was my fate and I shall accept it with a smile.” aGeNCIeS
MUMBaI: Shahrukh Khan, who was recently named as a role model for youth, has gone candid with netizens revealing how he was “reprimanded” by his daughter for lighting up. “Big reprimand for smoking from my strict little atom bomb of a daughter!!!” Shahrukh wrote on twitter. the comments came in the backdrop of a newspaper survey naming him as the role model for youth. “Daughter just reprimanded me...how can u be the youth role model if u smoke. So to all the youths out there...please don't smoke!!” he said. the 46-year-old actor was chosen as the best youth role model. Meanwhile, owing to ill health, Shahrukh will not be able to attend the screening of ‘Don 2–the King is Back’ at the 62nd Berlin film festival in Germany. “oh fever not abating. Will have to rest it out...it sucks! Sad couldn't travel to Berlin tonight. Will do after rest. till then @faroutakhtar @ritesh_sid @priyankachopra keep Donism alive in Berlin..!!” Shahrukh tweeted. the actor has some tips to offer for the co-stars attending the film festival. “Don's do's and dont's for my 3 reps at Berlinale. 1. have the D tattoo on at all times. 2 no inner warmers at any cost..Don doesn't wear warmers..Don't wear your cellphone on a belt clip at any cost & don't dance with your hands above your head (sic),” the actor said. aGeNCIeS
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15 ‘twilight’ scripts initially ‘sucked’ LOS ANGeLeS aGeNCIeS
Grab your pitchforks, Twi-hards! In a recent interview, Catherine Hardwicke, the director of the first ‘Twilight’ movie, had some unkind words about the film's initial script. At a Sundance dinner, Hardwicke had been handed five scripts and asked to read them. “Every one of those scripts sucked,” she says. “Oh, Lord, did they suck.” At the time, Hardwicke was best known for the critically acclaimed ‘Thirteen,’ which she wrote and directed. So, if she really thought the scripts for ‘Twilight’ were so horrible, why did Catherine eventually take the gig? Besides being allowed to do a complete rewrite, she was attracted to romance between Bella and Edward. “I thought the script was horrible, but then I looked it up on the Internet and I thought, Okay, it's based on a book and people tend to like it. There’s gotta be something there. So I read the book and I thought ‘That's kind of a good challenge.” Although the rewrite Hardwicke asked for did little to sway the critical opinion of the film, it certainly helped the finished product in some eyes. Despite the “horrible” initial script, the first ‘Twilight’ went on to gross $392 million worldwide.
Katy and Russell dodge court battle LOS ANGeLeS aGeNCIeS
According to court documents, Katy Perry and Russell Brand have reached an agreement concerning how their property will be divided in their divorce. Additionally, Perry requested to terminate the court's ability to award spousal support to Brand. Perry will also restore her maiden name back to Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson. Brand's court filings, dated February 8, agree that the former couple has agreed on a settlement. Russell Brand is entitled to a large sum of money from Katy Perry in the couple's divorce, but he's reportedly not asking for any of it, despite being able to walk away with tens of millions of dollars. Perry and Brand wed in October 2010. News of their split broke in December 2011.
SRK's daughter thinks he's a
bad role model
Grammy presents to break first-ever dance and electronica performance LOS ANGeLeS
HEN the Grammy Awards take place on Sunday night it will feature the first dance/electronic performance ever staged in the event's 54-year history. Grammy show producer Ken Ehrlich had considered putting dancing/electronica music into the ceremony in the past, but could never quite figure out how to incorporate the high-energy club feel in front of a sometimes staid audience. He thinks he's figured it out this year. For the first time, the Grammy show will put the spotlight on the genre with a segment featuring Grammy nominees deadmau5, Foo Fighters, Chris Brown, David Guetta and Lil Wayne, all performing in a tent space amid
1,000 fans. “We decided to go all out this year,” Ehrlich said of the performance taking place outside the Staples Center in Los Angeles, where Sunday's ceremony will be held. “All we're going to try and do next week is to try and put the home audience in the middle of it. It is more than just sitting there and watching it.” Dance music did not receive its own category until 2003 with the best dance recording/dance field, and the music had not been featured with its own segment in the show. Ehrlich calls the performance the “most ambitious number that we've ever done outside the Staples Center.” He said the performance reflects the popularity of dance music over the past few years. In April 2011, the Recording Academy announced it would be reducing the number of Grammy categories from 109 to 78. Other performers will include Adele, Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney and Taylor Swift.
LOS ANGeLeS aGeNCIeS
Fans of ‘The Simpsons’ will attempt to break a Guinness World Record for marathon TV viewing this week. 100 fans in Los Angeles will begin watching consecutive episodes of the US TV series. The last fan standing at the end of the marathon will win $10,500 and ‘Simpsons’ merchandise. Participants are allowed to eat and drink during the marathon, but they'll be disqualified if they fall asleep. Each episode of the ‘Simpsons’ is around 22 minutes long, which means it would make more than eight days to watch every episode. Twentieth Century Fox, which broadcasts ‘The Simpsons’ in America, is sponsoring the event and supplying the winner's prize. Fans need to be a US resident and over 18 to take part, according to the event's official website. ‘The Simpsons’, which was created by Matt Groening, is the longest-running animated comedy show of all time. The show's 500th episode – ‘At Long Last Leave’ - is due to air later this month.
Adele used phone app to curse LONDON ReUteRS
British singer Adele has broken her silence after vocal cord surgery, revealing one of the hardest aspects of being unable to speak while recuperating was not cursing. Her solution: resort to a smartphone voice app. “The great thing is, because I love to swear, most of them (apps) you can't swear on but I found this one app where you can swear, so I was still really getting my point across,” the singer told Anderson Cooper in an interview. The 23year-old singer, who has captured the attention of millions of listeners with her raw, soulful voice on sophomore album ‘21’ and is currently up for six Grammy nominations, revealed the moment she realised there was something wrong with her voice. She was singing live on a French radio station. “(It was) like someone put a curtain over my throat. I could feel it. It felt like something popped in my throat,” said Adele. The singer then underwent laser surgery on her vocal cords in November 2011 and was placed on strict vocal rest. It was a challenge she said she found “really hard” because “I love talking.” Adele, who is set to make her live comeback on the Grammy stage on Sunday, told Cooper that while she has never felt more confident in her singing, the surgery was a wake-up call to help her realise her vocal limits.
Jennifer Lopez to perform at
Indian sporting event LoS aNGeLeS: It looks like the stream of visitors from hollywood to Bollywood will continue in 2012 too. After Akon, Pitbull, Lady Gaga, Tom Cruise and Oprah winfrey, it’s the turn of the very hot Jennifer Lopez to say hello to Bollywood. The person responsible for getting her to India is none other than Shilpa Shetty’s husband, Mr Moneybags, Raj Kundra. According to reports, Jennifer will perform at the opening ceremony of the sporting league owned by Raj Kundra and Sanjay Dutt. She is scheduled to perform in Mumbai on March 11 at the Andheri Sports Complex in Mumbai. Apparently Raj, probably inspired by the glamour of Indian Premiere League (IPL) parties, wanted to have a grand opening
Guinness World Record
ceremony for his venture too and came up with the idea of having a JLo performance. The management then got in touch with her team and finalised the details. The hollywood star is due to arrive on March 6 and have practise sessions at her suburban hotel where is being put up. She is slated to perform on some of her biggest hits including her latest album ‘Love’. aGeNCIeS
MUMBaI: Its bad news for all Katrina fans in the south Indian film industry. Bollywood’s chikni chameli Katrina Kaif has rubbished reports of her signing film with South icons Kamal haasan or Rajinikanth. It was reported that Kat had signed two films down south and charged a fee of Rs 5 crore each. however, according to a leading daily, Kat has categorically denied all such reports. The beauty, who is currently shooting in Cuba for Yash Raj Films ‘ek Tha Tiger’ opposite Salman Khan, said, “No one has contacted me or my manager for any of these films.” Buzz had it that Katrina was contacted to play the lead opposite Rajinikanth in ‘Kochadaiyaan’, helmed by Rajini`s daughter Soundarya. “Katrina was quite upbeat about the project as the script fascinated her a lot,” Soundarya reportedly said a few days ago. however, latest reports suggest that Deepika Padukone has been finalised for the film. Soundarya confirmed it by tweeting that Deepika Padukone has been confirmed to star in ‘Kochadaiyaan’. aGeNCIeS
NeW YORK CBS
The Red Dress Collection fashion show, an annual New York Fashion Week kickoff event, draws attention to women's heart health by putting celebrity catwalkers in a parade of gowns by some of the country's most famous designers. The event is part of the Heart Truth campaign, headed by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. Marchesa co-founder Georgina Chapman is once again lending a dress for the gala, to be worn by model and actress Rebecca Romijn. Among the models will be Christie Brinkley, who has participated before, and Jenna Elfman, who is new to the catwalk.
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16 Foreign News new Maldives leader moves to curb ‘anarchy’ MALe afp
The new president of the Maldives Mohamed Waheed, who is accused by his predecessor of taking part in a coup, struggled Thursday to contain “anarchy” in the holiday paradise as protests and violence spread. Waheed made two emergency cabinet appointments — home and defence — after supporters of former president Mohamed Nasheed stormed police stations and burned government buildings in outlying atolls of the archipelago nation. “Even though the appointment of a national unity cabinet is taking time, the president made these two urgent appointments to take charge and control the spread of violence,” presidential aide Mohamed Shareef told AFP. “What you see on the roads is anarchy,” he said. The mayor of the second-biggest city of Addu, Abdulla Sodig, told AFP that police stations had been torched overnight. “There’s no law and order at all. It’s a complete breakdown,” he said by telephone.
Friday, 10 February, 2012
Maldives’ ex-president awaits arrest MALe
HE ousted ex-president of the Maldives Mohamed Nasheed, who claims he was forced from office in a coup, said he expected to be arrested on Thursday as protests and violence escalated in the holiday paradise. Nasheed, the Indian Ocean country’s first democratically elected president, told AFP at his modest family home in the capital that a court order had been issued for his detention and he anticipated being sent to jail. “They have issued a warrant to arrest me now and said that I will be the first former president to spend the rest of his life in jail,” he said. “I hope the international community will take note
and do something right now.” While dozens of supporters surrounded the home, elsewhere in the country the police and army struggled to take control after a night described by a presidential aide as “anarchy”. “What happened is utterly disgraceful and it is the saddest day in the modern history of Maldives,” newly appointed Home Minister Mohammed Jamil Ahmed told AFP. Maldives police commissioner Abdulla Riyas said 18 police stations had been attacked on outlying islands in the archipelago, while numerous court and government buildings had been looted and torched. Police had received the order for Nasheed’s arrest, but they “had not yet carried it out”, Riyas told AFP, while refusing to explain the reasons for the delay.
MaLe: former Maldivian president Mohamed Nasheed greets supporters at his residence on thursday. AFP
Two killed in south Yemen anti-polls demo
Greek unions call 48hour general strike against new cuts
Yemeni security forces shot dead two southern Yemeni activists during a demonstration Thursday in Daleh against presidential elections to be held later this month, witnesses and activists said. “Southerner wake up, no more elections,” chanted the protesters referring to a referendum-like election in which Vice President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi stands as a sole candidate based on a Gulf brokered deal signed by departing President Ali Abdullah Saleh in November. “Revolt revolt south,” they shouted waving the flag of the formerly independent South Yemen, witnesses said. “Clashes erupted and security forces opened fire killing two activists,” said one witness. The protesters marched towards the headquarters of the electoral committee in the city of Daleh in an attempt to drive its members out of the city of Daleh when security forces opened fire, witnesses said.
Greece’s main unions on Thursday called a 48-hour strike, the second this week, over new austerity cuts agreed by the country’s coalition government in return for bailout loans. “We will hold a general strike on Friday and Saturday along with the civil servants’ union,” said a spokeswoman for GSEE, the leading union that represents the private sector. Greece’s three-party coalition early on Thursday consented to a new wave of labour cuts to pave the way for a 130-billion-euro eurozone bailout before a loan repayment on March 20 which Athens cannot meet without assistance. According to reports and party leaks, the measures include a 22-percent cut in the minimum wage, a 15-percent cut in complemetary pensions and 15,000 civil service redundancies to meet a target of 150,000 layoffs by 2015. But the deal still fell short by 625 million euros ($823 million) required to plug a budget deficit, with coalition officials saying part of the money might have to come from pensions. The 625-million-euro shortfall to correct slippage from targets agreed with Greece’s public creditors will be partly made up from defence cuts, said Panos Beglitis, spokesman of the socialist Pasok party which is part of Greece’s government coalition. “A two-week period has been given for us to find the remaining 300 million euros,” Beglitis told AFP. Greece’s public creditors are the so-called ‘troika’ of the European Union, International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank. Greece has run up total debt of about 350 billion euros, roughly 160 percent of its gross domestic product. The IMF has insisted that level be brought down to a maximum of 120 percent of GDP in 2020.
Putin wins backing of Russia’s religious leaders MOSCOW afp
NeW YoRK: this photo taken by Chinese father He Liesheng shows his son running almost naked through the snow along a street in New York city. a home video showing this four-year-old Chinese boy being forced by his parents to run almost naked through the snow in bitterly cold New York has sparked an online uproar in China. He Liesheng told afp he was only trying to train his son to be strong and manly, but the footage has ignited debate about the tough parenting style for which China became known after the publication of amy Chua’s book ‘tiger Mother’. AFP
nigerians flee to Cameroon to escape islamist violence FOtOKOL afp
Nigerians have fled in droves to neighbouring Cameroon to escape violence claimed by the Islamist Boko Haram group and revenge attacks by Christians. “Everybody is insecure in Nigeria. The fear is all-pervading,” said a Nigerian Christian priest, speaking on condition of anonymity, in Fotokol, a Cameroonian border town where dozens have taken shelter in the last few weeks. It is located about 100 kilometres (60 miles) from the Nigerian city of Maiduguri, the bastion of the shadowy Boko Haram sect which has been blamed for a slew of terror attacks that have sowed panic in Africa’s most populous nation. Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation and largest oil producer,
is roughly divided between a mainly Muslim north and predominantly Christian south. Boko Haram has claimed to be fighting for an Islamic state in Nigeria’s north, but its demands have varied. “Many Nigerians like myself have fled their villages in the south. We feel secure in Cameroon,” the priest said in Fotokol. “That is why I am sheltered here,” he added. He has rented a house which is about 10 minutes by motorcycle to the nearest town in Nigeria, Gamboru Ngala, where he heads the local Catholic church. It is difficult to gauge the exact number of Nigerians who have fled to Cameroon as they cross the border illegally, but there are easily dozens sheltered here since the attacks and tit-for-tat ripostes by Christians. Mahamat Tujani, a Muslim trader from Maiduguri, fled to Kousseri near Fotokol.
“I abandoned my business and my family to seek refuge at the home of my cousin,” a Cameroonian, he said. “I escaped out of fear.” He hoped to return home soon, he said, “but if the killings continue, I will bring over my family members here.” Boko Haram has been blamed for scores of bomb attacks in Nigeria’s Muslim-dominated north. It claimed responsibility for January 20 coordinated bombings and shootings in Nigeria’s second-largest city of Kano that left at least 185 people dead — Boko Haram’s deadliest attack yet.The August suicide bombing of UN headquarters in the capital Abuja which killed at least 25 people was also attributed to the group. “When you scent danger, you must escape,” the priest said. “Even in the Gospel, the Lord says the moment you sense danger, you must
escape. If you don’t it’s suicide,” he said. The priest said two Christians from the mainly Christian Igbo ethnic group were killed in Mobi in Adamawa state about three weeks ago. “When the other Igbos went to reclaim their bodies the Boko Haram struck and killed 29 others,” he said. Sectarian violence has been rising since elections in July last year. He urged both Christians and Muslims to “return to God.” The priest said Muslims were also targeted by Boko Haram. Between January 28 and 30, three people — including a Muslim — were killed in Gamboru Ngala, Nigerian and Cameroonian police and medical sources said. The priest was following an Africa Cup of Nations match on television at a bar, along with six other compatriots. In another room, eight other Nigerians sat, drinking.
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has received the backing of Russia’s powerful Orthodox Church, its chief rabbi and top Islamic leader as he seeks a return to the presidency next month. Putin met the three religious leaders on Wednesday in the latest in a series of gatherings with leading cultural and public figures ahead of the March 4 vote. “I would like to thank you. You once said that you are working as a slave in the galley,” Patriarch Kirill said at the meeting. “But with the only difference being that a slave lacked the degree of commitment to work that you have,” Kirill said in comments posted on Putin’s campaign website. “Thanks to the Almighty, the country has been saved from ruin,” added Russia’s Chief Mufti Talgat Tadzhuddin. “And one must add — with your direct involvement!” Chief Rabbi Berl Lazar for his part thanked Putin “for everything you have done for Jews.” A series of mass protests that followed fraudtainted December parliamentary election have posed the most serious challenge to Putin’s 12-year domination of Russia as president and head of government. The swelling wave of demonstrations and dip in Putin’s public approval ratings have prompted his team to seek the public backing of top celebrities and clerics. Several media outlets poured scorn on Putin’s latest attempt to win public favour with the Nezavisimaya Gazeta broadsheet noting that “religious leaders have taken part in the prime minister’s election campaign.” Putin is seen as the overwhelming frontrunner in the election despite a recent admission that he may lack the 50-percent backing needed to win in the first round.
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Syria’s Homs under new deadly blitz DAMASCuS
EGIME forces launched a new blitz on the Syrian city of Homs on Thursday, killing dozens of people, activists said, as the UN weighed a joint mission with the Arab League to end the violence. Shelling erupted at daybreak, killing at least 24 people in the besieged central city and burning bodies beyond recognition, Rami Abdel Rahman of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights told AFP. Rebels carried out an ambush later that killed at least seven security forces and wounded dozens in
Daraa, southern cradle of the nearly 11month revolt against President Bashar al-Assad, said the head of the Britainbased group. At least 400 people have died in Homs in a relentless onslaught by government troops that began very early on Saturday, activists say. “The shells are raining down on us and regime forces are using heavy artillery,” said Ali Hazuri, a doctor in the Baba Amr district reached by telephone from Beirut. Omar Shaker, an activist in Baba Amr also reached by phone, added residents of the district were hiding on ground floors as there were no underground shelters. “When you venture outside, you can see
craters every 10 metres (yards),” he said. In eastern Deir Ezzor province, machinegun fire wounded dozens of people including women and children in Koriyeh, the Observatory said, adding that army reinforcements were being sent into the town. UN chief Ban Ki-moon said Wednesday the “appalling brutality” of the assault on Homs “is a grim harbinger of worse to come.” He launched the idea of sending a joint observer mission with the Arab League as he bemoaned the UN Security Council’s failure to agree a resolution on the crisis. The pan-Arab bloc’s secretary general, Nabil al-Arabi, said he had spoken with Ban on the proposed mis-
sion, which would include a UN envoy. The 22-member League suspended its month-long monitoring mission to Syria on January 28 because of the mounting violence. The UN chief said consultations would be held with the Arab League and Security Council members in coming days “before fleshing out the details.” Ban hit out at Russia and China for their steadfast refusal to back UN resolutions condemning the violence in Syria, saying this had encouraged Assad’s regime to continue with the repression. Moscow, a staunch ally of the regime in Damascus, has insisted any solution to end nearly one year of bloodshed must come from within Syria.
china meets Syria opp in Beijing BEIJING: China said Thursday it held talks with a key Syrian opposition group this week, amid fierce criticism of its decision to block a UN resolution condemning a bloody crackdown in the Middle East country. China and Russia drew international ire for blocking the UN Security Council resolution on Saturday, with Washington calling their rejection a “travesty” and another Syrian opposition group saying they had handed President Bashar al-Assad’s regime a “licence to kill”. Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said the visit by the National Coordination Body for Democratic Change (NCB) had “long been scheduled” and was not linked to China’s controversial veto. NCB representatives told Chinese officials they would like Beijing “to play a bigger role for an early resolution to the Syrian crisis,” Liu said. But the NCB, one of the main opposition factions in Syria, staunchly opposes foreign military intervention in the conflict — which is in line with China’s long-standing policy of non-interference in other nations’ internal affairs. The other main opposition group, the Syrian National Council (SNC), is widely regarded as the most inclusive of Syria’s opposition alliances and has previously called for foreign military intervention. AFP
Sadrists fete iraq departure of US ‘occupiers’
KaBUL: Internally displaced afghan men carry winter supplies at a UNHCR distribution centre in a refugee camp on thursday. AFP BAGHDAD afp
Supporters of anti-US Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, whose militia fought pitched battles with American forces, on Thursday officially celebrated the departure of the “occupiers” from Iraq. The last American soldiers except for a small number under US embassy authority departed Iraq in mid-December, after almost nine years in the country. But the official Sadrist celebration was held on Thursday after the end of Arbaeen, the 40day period of mourning following the Ashura commemorations, which mark the death in battle of Imam Hussein, a formative event in Shiite Islam. Tens of thousands of people turned out for the event, which was held in Sadr City in northern Baghdad, an area named for Moqtada’s father, Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Sadiq al-Sadr, who was killed along with two of Moqtada’s brothers in 1999 by gunmen allegedly sent by dictator Saddam Hussein. “The armies of resistance terrified the occupiers, so they left after they lost,” Moqtada said in a recorded message broadcast on a large screen at the celebrations. American forces “turned from being a liberating army, as they said, into an occupying army,” he said. “The occupying forces were working for strife and destruction and to destabilise security. The occupier is not the one who can bring peace and safety to Iraq, but rather you, and only you.” At the urging of the cleric, his supporters shouted, “Yes, yes, to unity, yes, yes, to peace, yes, yes, to resistance.” Sadr also called “on the government to release the resisters,” in an apparent reference to insurgents detained by Iraqi authorities. Thousands of Sadr Movement members marched in formation with Iraqi flags at the event, while supporters gathered on the roadside, some holding banners reading, “No, no to America, no, no to Israel.”
‘Top Gun’ Prince Harry set for Afghanistan return LONDON afp
Britain’s Prince Harry could return to Afghanistan, the Ministry of Defence said Thursday, after he qualified as an Apache attack helicopter pilot with a special award for his gunnery skills. The 27-year-old — the grandson of Queen Elizabeth II and third in line to the throne — has completed 18 months of “intensive” training including a stint in the United States. Harry received a prize for being the best co-pilot gunner at a dinner on Wednesday to celebrate the completion of training by around 20 pilots, St James’s Palace said in a statement. He was given a polished 30millimetre round from an Apache cannon, mounted on a stand, at the dinner at Wattisham Air Station in Suffolk, eastern England, where he has been training. A Ministry of Defence spokesman confirmed that Harry could serve in Afghanistan but said that the young royal first had to gain further operational experience. “We do not comment on individual states of deployment. But in the normal run of things we would expect that he would be deployed in eight to 12 months,” the
spokesman told AFP. Harry’s father, heir to the throne Prince Charles, was “very proud” of his son’s achievement, the Prince of Wales’s office said. Harry, a captain with the Army Air Corps, is keen to return to combat in Afghanistan after he was hastily withdrawn from his first tour of duty in 2008 when a media blackout was broken. His elder brother Prince William is currently on a six-week tour in the Falkland Islands as a Royal Air Force search and rescue helicopter pilot — a deployment that Argentina, which claims the British-ruled archipelago as its own, has slammed as “a provocation”. Britain has around 9,500 service personnel fighting Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan, the second largest contingent after the United States. Britain has used the two-man Apache helicopters in Afghanistan to hunt Taliban fighters, gather intelligence and provide cover for larger Chinook transport helicopters. As co-pilot gunner, Harry sits in the front seat of the Apache and is responsible for commanding the mission, firing weapons and liaising with forces on the ground, with some flying duties. He is known as Captain Wales within the Army Air Corps.
Toxic liquor kills 30 in india
BHUBANESWAR: At least 30 people died after consuming toxic home-made liquor in eastern India, officials said Thursday, warning that the toll could rise with more victims in hospitals. The deaths — just the latest from dangerous bootleg liquor in India — were reported from several villages near Cuttack city, 30 kilometres (20 miles) north of the capital of Orissa state, Bhubaneswar. “At least 30 people are confirmed dead,” district administrator of Cuttack, Girish S.N., told AFP. As many as 100 people are believed to have drunk from the same batch of poisonous liquor on Monday night. The state administration rushed emergency medicine and doctors to the government-run S.C.B Medical College and Hospital, in Cuttack. An officer at the hospital, Dr B. Maharana, said 61 patients were being treated and five were in a critical condition. Most were labourers.
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Sharapova hits ground running at Paris Open Page 20
Pakistan, Afghanistan set for historic one-dayer SHARJAH
AKISTAN and Afghanistan play a historic first-ever one-day international between the two countries here on Friday with both captains vowing to make the game a memorable one. "It is a very important game for both countries and we will try to make the occasion memorable with some quality cricket," Pakistan captain Misbah-ul Haq said. "It is important for countries like Afghanistan to play a top team which will help them improve and we are going to play with our full strength team as they have some good players." Friday's match in Sharjah Stadium -which holds the world record of staging the most one-day internationals with 201 -- is fitting because most of the Afghan players learnt the game in Pakistan while staying as refugees after the Soviet invasion of their country in 1979. Afghanistan captain Nawroz Mangal thanked Pakistan for giving them chances. "We thank Pakistan for allowing us to play this one-day and also giving us opportunity to play in their domestic competitions which raised our confidence," said Mangal, who led Afghanistan to oneday status. "It is a history making match against a top team like Pakistan and we will try our best to put up a good fight in a contest which is a big challenge for us," said the 27-year-old Mangal, an off-spin bowler. Mangal said his team had prepared well for Pakistan's spinners Saeed Ajmal and Abdul Rehman who were behind the 3-0 destruction of England in their threeTest series: Ajmal finished with 24 wickets while Rehman took 19.
ShARJAh: Misbah-ul haq (R) and his Afghan counterpart Nawroz Mangal (L) hold the One-Day International trophy during a press conference. AFP "We have prepped well for Pakistan's spin duo and I am confident my batsmen will do their best," said Mangal, adding that paceman Hamid Hassan, who has 24 wickets in 14 one-day internationals, will miss the match through knee injury. They still have Mohammad Nabi, an off-spinner who took five wickets while playing for an ICC Combined XI against England last month and wicket-keeper batsman Mohammad Shahzad who scored 51 and 74 in the same match. Pakistan will be further boosted by the return of allrounder Shahid Afridi
who will add variety to team's spin attack. Mangal hoped a sell-out crowd of 15,000 largely Afghan and Pakistan expats, enjoying the weekly holiday here, will show their support. "We want the public to share this historic moment with both the teams," said Mangal. War-ravaged Afghanistan gained a notable foot up on the world cricket stage by finishing fifth in the 2011 World Cup qualifiers which earned them the right to play one-day internationals. They also won the right to play the third edition of World Twenty20, held in
the Caribbean in 2010, by winning the qualifying tournament and then finished with a silver medal in the Asian Games in China in November that same year. Afghanistan, one of the 59 associate members of the International Cricket Council (ICC), are also the title holders of the Inter-Continental Cup meant for the Associate nations. The ICC, which contributes approximately 700,000 dollars a year to help Afghanistan's development in cricket, has shown great delight in their progress, terming it as "a success story in cricket".
new Zealand cap Zimbabwe whitewash NAPIeR
New Zealand crushed Zimbabwe by 202 runs in the final one-day international in Napier on Thursday to complete a 3-0 series whitewash over the out-classed tourists. Zimbabwe again failed to fire as New Zealand, inspired by a man-of-the-match century from skipper Brendon McCullum, plundered 373-8 in their 50 overs and then routed the Africans for 171 with six overs to spare. Captain Brendan Taylor, whose brisk 65 off 62 balls was the high point of the Zimbabwe innings, was left looking for positives from a series in which the gulf between the teams progressively widened. "We've got to just keep trying to climb that ladder and become better players," he said. "We've got a lot to learn and we'll be better for it after this tour." Returning to the ground where they suffered a humiliating defeat by an innings and 301 runs in a one-off Test last month, Zimbabwe let themselves down with loose bowling and shoddy fielding on a flat wicket. New Zealand capitalised after winning the toss and electing to bat, with a 153-run opening partnership from Martin Guptill (85) and Rob Nicol (61) laying the foundation for their side's third-highest one-day international total. McCullum piled on the agony with a swashbuckling 119 from 88 balls, including five sixes, as Zimbabwe's Brian Vitori suffered the indignity of becoming only the fifth player to concede more than 100 runs in an ODI. Vitori haemorrhaged 105 runs in nine overs for just one wicket, at one point conceding three sixes in three balls to Nathan McCullum, the New Zealand skipper's
NAPIeR: New Zealand's Brendon McCullum (L) and Zimbabwe's Brian vitori watch the flight of his shot during the third and last one day international match. AFP brother, in a horror over that yielded 26 runs. Zimbabwe have two Twenty20 matches remaining on the tour, the first in Auckland on Saturday, in which to salvage some pride. The home side rode their luck at times but always looked comfortable against a Zimbabwe attack that has failed to adapt to New Zealand conditions. Opening batsman Nicol, a centurion in the last one-dayer, was given out lbw for four in the first over but survived after appealing to the third umpire, who ruled he had got an inside edge off a Vitori inswinger. He should have been out two overs later when a mis-timed pull shot sailed to square leg, only for Tinotenda Mawoyo to ground the catch. Guptill made the most of the short
McLean Park boundary, bringing up his fifth consecutive one-day half century in 38 balls, including four sixes and four fours. Prosper Utseya eventually broke the opening partnership, trapping Nicol lbw, while Guptill went after a bizarre stumping the next ball. The batsman played and missed at an innocuous Ray Price delivery, called a wide, then took off for a single, believing the ball had skidded past wicketkeeper Tatenda Taibu. However, the ball had lodged under Taibu's arm and the wicketkeeper gleefully pulled it out and whipped off the bails as Guptill tried to scramble back to his crease. It was one of the few pieces of good fortune to go Zimbabwe's way and the tourists' run chase began poorly when openers Tino Mawoyo (9) and
NeW ZeaLaND: R. Nicol lbw b Utseya 61 M. Guptill st taibu b price 85 J. oram b Jarvis 25 B. McCullum c Mawoyo b Jarvis 119 K. Williamson lbw b Chigumbura 38 N. McCullum c Matsikenyeri b price 21 a. ellis run out 5 D. Bracewell c taylor b Vitori 1 t. Latham not out 7 eXtRaS: (b1, lb1, w8, nb1) 11 totaL: (8 wickets; 50 overs) 373 fall of wickets: 1-153 (Nicol), 2-154 (Guptill), 3-192 (oram), 4276 (Williamson), 5-320 (N.McCullum), 6-344 (ellis), 7-364 (Bracewell), 8-373 B.McCullum BoWLING: Vitori 9-0-105-1, Jarvis 9-0-58-2, Chigumbura 100-92-1, price 10-0-59-2, Utseya 10-1-47-1, Waller 2-0-10-0 ZIMBaBWe: t. Mawoyo run out 9 S. Matsikenyeri lbw b Bracewell 5 B. taylor c sub(deGrandhomme) b Williamson 65 t. taibu c sub(deGrandhomme) b Bates 26 M. Waller run out 4 R. Chakabva c sub(Southee) b N.McCullum 24 e. Chigumbura lbw Nethula 16 p. Utseya c Williamson b Nethula 5 R. price c Bates b Williamson 14 B. Vitori c B.McCullum b N.McCullum 0 K. Jarvis not out 0 eXtRaS:(w3) 3 totaL: (all out; 44 overs) 171 fall of wickets: 1-14 (Mawoyo), 2-14 (Matsikenyeri), 3-81 (taibu), 4-101 (Waller), 5-115 (taylor), 6-137 (Chigumbura), 7-147 (Utseya), 8-168 (price), 9-171 (Chakabva), 10-171 (Vitori) BoWLING: Bracewell 8-1-26-1, Bates 8-1-24-1, oram 4-0-17-0, Nethula 10-1-41-2, ellis 8-1-29-0, N.McCullum 3-0-21-2, Williamson 3-0-13-2 Result: New Zealand win by 202 runs Man of the match: Brendon McCullum (NZL) Series: New Zealand win the three-match series 3-0 toss: New Zealand Umpires: enamul Haque (BaN) Gary Baxter (NZL) tV umpire: Rod tucker (aUS) Match referee: David Boon (aUS)
Stuart Matsikenyeri (5) went cheaply. Captain Taylor and Taibu combined for a 67-run stand before debutant seamer Michael Bates and substitute fielder Colin de Grandhomme broke the partnership.
Fixing claim hits Bangladesh's IPL-style event DHAKA afp
Bangladesh's inaugural Twenty20 league opened on a sour note on Thursday when a leading player revealed he had received a spot-fixing proposition. Former Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza said he had been approached by an unnamed player regarding potential spot-fixing when he turns out as skipper of the Dhaka Gladiators in the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL). "I have told my team management about the approach and I'm sure they will do the right thing," Mortaza told the Cricinfo website. The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) confirmed the report. Dhaka newspapers reported that Mortaza said he would step down from the team captaincy if he suspected any irregularities once the tournament -- styled along the lines of the successful Indian Premier League (IPL) -- got going. Mortaza was asked to provide information on whether he would play certain matches and even whether he would be wearing his sunglasses or a cap when he takes the field. In exchange, he was told, he would be paid 15-20 percent of the earnings from the spotbetting. BCB officials said Mortaza has been asked to reveal the name of the player who made the approach. "This is a very serious offence," BCB spokesman Jalal Yunus told AFP. "We have zero tolerance towards these things and will do whatever is needed to nail it down quickly. "Mortaza has to disclose the name of the player. It needs to be addressed very seriously." Mortaza will be speaking to officials of the International Cricket Council's AntiCorruption Security Unit before the matches get under way on Friday, Yunus said. Thursday is the opening ceremony for an event where West Indians Chris Gayle and Kieron Pollard are the leading players. The six-team league is to be played in Dhaka and Chittagong, with the final on February 29. Pakistan's Shahid Afridi, the most expensive foreign player at last month's auction after being sold to the Dhaka Gladiators franchise for $700,000, is not taking part due to international commitments. Pakistan begin a one-day series against England in the United Arab Emirates this week.
Ajmal set for second worcestershire stint LONDON afp
Worcestershire have re-signed Saeed Ajmal following the off-spinner's clutch of wickets for Pakistan in their Test series whitewash of England. Ajmal will join the Midlands county as their second overseas player for the domestic Twenty20 competition, along with Australia batsman Phil Hughes who will be at New Road for the whole of the 2012 English county season. The in-form Ajmal took 24 wickets in Pakistan's 3-0 rout of England in the United Arab Emirates, including a Testbest seven for 55 in the series opener. He spent the second half of last term with Worcestershire and helped them avoid relegation from the First Division of the County Championship. Ajmal also collected up 16 Twenty20 wickets for the county at an average of just over 11 apiece. "Saeed showed last summer when playing for us what a quality bowler he is," said Worcestershire director of cricket Steve Rhodes. "His recent performances against England only serve to back this up," the former England wicket-keeper added. "We are delighted that he has agreed to return to New Road for a second time." The 34-year-old Ajmal, in a Worcestershire statement, said: "I really enjoyed my time at New Road in 2011 and look forward to returning this summer to help inspire the club to Twenty20 success."
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Juve stun Milan to put one foot in final ROMe afp
UVENTUS have one foot in the Italian Cup final after Martin Caceres scored a brace to hand them a 2-1 win over AC Milan in the semi-final, first leg at the San Siro on Wednesday. Italian youth international Stephan El Shaarawy replied for the hosts but it wasn't enough. The victory maintained the Serie A leaders' unbeaten run this season in league and cup. It was the second time in this campaign the champions have lost to their bitter rivals but Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri denied his side's chances of reaching the final had been dimished. "We have to accept the defeat knowing that nothing has been compromised," he told Rai. "We were naive in conceding the second goal and that's disappointing in a game such as this. "Those are errors we need to cut out but we'll stay serene. We had many players out injured but we don't have time to blame anyone," added Allegri in a reference to Juve's complaints at the weekend that the referee had cost them a win against Siena. "I know my team's strengths with many strange injuries. We have to remain calm and continue to work hard." The other semi-final is between Siena and Napoli, with their first leg to be played in Tuscany on Thursday. The first half was a tentative and tight affair with few chances for either side, both of whom had rung the changes, resting several first choice regulars. But Juve coach Antonio Conte praised his bit part players for their con-
Punjab Sports Festival in full swing LAHORE: The Punjab Sports Festival at tehsil level is in full swing in all over the province and competitions are underway in all the nine divisions of Punjab. In Faisalabad, 58 union councils participated in badminton, 160 in cricket, 96 in cricket hardball, 27 in volleyball, 48 in kabaddi and 80 in hockey. Similarly in Bahawalpur, Bahawalnagar, Chistian, Fortabbas, Minchinabad and Haroonabad the sports competitions in hockey, football and cricket were held. In Gujranwala, 20 union councils participated in hockey, 13 in athletics, 77 in cricket, 14 in kabaddi and 15 in volleyball. In Lahore, Model Town, UC 97 beat UC 96 by 2 runs. In volleyball, Government Boys Model High School Model Town outplayed Government FD Boys Higher Secondary School. In cricket, UC 63 beat UC 140 by 55 runs, UC 138 defeated UC 142 by 1 run. IN Cantt/Shalamar, volleyball matches were held in which UC 65 beat UC 51 by 3-1. The score was 25-15, 25-20, 19-25 and 25-21. In football, UC 51 beat UC 54 by 1-0. Zuber hit the golden goal to win the match. In cricket hardball, UC 2 beat UC 10 by 3 runs. Staff RepoRt
tribution. "What I liked the most was the response from the lads, and I'm talking about the new ones and the ones called to the cause for an important match such as this in a Cup semi-final away to Milan," he said. "The whole team gave an important response but particularly those players who have been less used than the others." Clarence Seedorf lashed a dropping ball wide for Milan for whom El Shaarawy then beat Andrea Barzaglie with a clever touch only to fire his shot from a tight angle across the six-yard box. Juve didn't create a decent chance until after the half hour mark when Marcelo Estigarribia thrashed wide from 15 yards. Emanuele Giaccherini hit a shot from outside the box that took a wicked deflection but Milan goalkeeper Marco Amelia stretched out a hand to tip it over bar. The second half was a much more lively affair thanks to the visitors taking an early lead. Former Milan forward Marco Borriello wriggled free in the box to get off a shot that Amelia could only push out and Caceres was quickest onto the loose ball to finish on 53 minutes. Juve threatened to run away with it and captain Alessandro Del Piero fizzed a shot wide of the upright. But the hosts started to come back into it and following a cross from Luca Antonini, captain Massimo Ambrosini teed up El Shaarawy to fire home a crisp finish on 62 minutes. Zlatan Ibrahimovic then had the ball in the net but it was ruled out for a somewhat obvious handball. Milan appeared the more likely and Ibrahimovic had another chance that
MILAN: AC Milan's Swedish forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic (C) fights for the ball with Juventus' defender Giorgio Chiellini (back) and Andrea Pirlo during their Tim Cup semifinal match. AFP Giorgio Chiellini blocked with a dramatic full-length dive. Juve went close when Amelia pushed out Mirko Vucinic's shot only for Fabio Quagliarella to arrive too late to knock home the rebound. But seven minutes from time Giac-
cherini beat the offside trap to escape down the left and cross for Caceres to take a touch and plant an unstoppable curler into the top corner that left Amelia rooted to the spot. There was an ugly finish to the game
lahore Board win All Pakistan inter-board Football
LAhORe: UNeSCO official Dr Kaoz Niigata and Youth Affairs and Sports Secretary and Lahore Board Chairman Dr Allahbaksh Malik with Multan team, the runners-up of the All-Pakistan Inter-board Football Championship. STAFF PHoTo LAHORe Staff RepoRt
Lahore Board won the All Pakistan Inter-board Football Championship beating Multan board in the final here at the Punjab Stadium. Lahore Board produced two goals
to claim the title drew to be contested by 23 boards’ teams of the country. UNESCO official Dr Kaoz Niigata was the chief guest and distributed prizes among the winners. Dr Allahbaksh Malik, Secretary Youth Affairs and Sports and chairman Lahore Board, Dr Abdul Razzak, Secretary
Lahore Board and Anwar Farooq, controller Lahore Board were also present on the occasion. UNESCO officials Fakharuddin and Ms Faiza were also among the guests. Bannu Board beat Peshawar Board to secure the third place in the championship.
as Ibrahimovic, sent off and banned for three league games for slapping Napoli's Salvatore Aronica at the weekend, clashed with Juve goalkeeper Marco Storari while Chiellini also flared up with Milan assistant Mauro Tassotti.
Karate camp concludes LAHORE: The two months karate coaching camp organised by the Pakistan Karate Federation concluded here at the Crescent Model Higher Secondary School, Lahore. The camp was organised as a part of talent hunt scheme of the PKF in which coaching camps are being organised in different schools and colleges of the country in order to spot talent from grass root level. Muhammad Jahangir (Black Belt 5 Dan) supervised the camp and Fayyaz Feroze was the coach of the camp. More than 150 boys participated in the coaching camp in which the players were taught the basic techniques of karate, kihon, kata and kumite. Karate competition was also conducted at the end of the training camp in which following players secured the positions: Seniors: M. Shouzab Riaz (Jinnah House), M. Hamza Sajjad (Iqbal House), Jahanzaib Asdaq (Alamgir House). Juniors: Hamza Ahmed (Jinnah House), Muaaz Tanveer (Qasim House) and Harris Rehman (Tariq House). Javed Arif, Head Master Crescent Model Higher Secondary School Lahore, awarded the certificates to the players. He also appreciated the efforts of the PKF for promoting the game of karate. Staff RepoRt
Rosberg puts Vettel in shade JeReZ afp
Double world champion Sebastian Vettel returned to the track for the first time in two months on Thursday, but was overshadowed by German compatriot Nico Rosberg. Vettel, behind the wheel of the new Red Bull RB8, clocked 1min 19.297sec in his first stint of winter testing with Rosberg flying to a day's best of 1min 17.613sec in his Mercedes. "It’s been two months since we were in the car, so it does take a couple of laps to get back in the rhythm, but the car feels fine and as we expected," said Vettel. "There’s quite a loss of grip due to the regulation changes, but you get used to it quickly and then start to explore how the new car feels. So far we can be happy, we had a couple of issues, but it’s normal when the car is new." Rosberg's speed followed on the trail of teammate and former seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher who was fastest on Wednesday with 1min 18.561sec. "I'm happy with the testing that we have achieved here in Jerez, and we learned a lot about the Pirelli tyres
and a few other things for the new car," said Rosberg. "It seems that the tyres are closer performance-wise this year, with the rear tyres also looking a bit stronger. "You can't really compare the lap times with other teams, but it was interesting to learn a lot with our 2011 car. Now I'm really looking forward to the two Barcelona tests with our new Silver Arrow." Thursday times: 1. Nico Rosberg (GER/Mercedes-AMG) 1min 17.613sec 118 laps 2. Romain Grosjean (FRA/Lotus-Renault) 1:18.419 117 3. Sebastian Vettel (GER/Red Bull-Renault) 1:19.297 96 4. Lewis Hamilton (GBR/McLaren-Mercedes) 1:19.464 80 5. Jean-Eric Vergne (FRA/Toro Rosso-Ferrari) 1:19.734 79 6. Sergio Perez (MEX/Sauber-Ferrari) 1:19.770 46 7. Fernando Alonso (ESP/Ferrari) 1:20.412 67 8. Bruno Senna (BRA/Williams-Renault) 1:21.293 125 9. Giedo van der Garde (NED/CaterhamRenault) 1:23.324 74
JeReZ De LA FRONTeRA: Red Bull's German driver Sebastian vettel takes part in a Formula One training session at Jerez racetrack. AFP
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1997 Tour de France winner Ullrich banned LAuSANNe afp
Germany's 1997 Tour de France winner Jan Ullrich on Thursday received a twoyear ban for a blood doping offence, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) announced. CAS also ruled that all of Ullrich's results since May 1, 2005, be annulled. The German, who retired in November 2007, thus sees his thirdplaced finish in the 2005 Tour de France written off. "The CAS has partially upheld the appeal filed by the UCI (International Cycling Union) and has found Jan Ullrich guilty of a doping offence," CAS said. "As a consequence, Jan Ullrich is sanctioned with a twoyear period of ineligibility starting retroactively on August 22, 2011. Furthermore, all results achieved by the athlete on or after May 1, 2005, until his retirement are annulled." CAS added: "Given the volume, consistency and probative value of the evidence presented by the UCI, and the failure of Ullrich to raise any doubt about the veracity or reliability of such evidence, this panel is satisfied beyond its comfortable satisfaction that Ullrich engaged at least in blood doping in violation of Article 15.2 of the UCI Rules." The CAS hearing came about after the UCI appealed to the court against the Swiss Olympic Committee's decision to halt an investigation into Ullrich's past. The Swiss Olympic committee, with whom Ullrich had a licence, had decided not to pursue the investigation about Ullrich, who lived in Switzerland, because the German resigned from the Swiss cycling federation in 2006. Ullrich, the former T-Mobile lead rider, was linked to the Operation Puerto scandal in 2006 after samples of his blood were found during a police raid on Spanish doctor Eufemiano Fuentes who was at the centre of a doping ring. Ullrich has always inisted he is innocent and has never doped. CAS saw it otherwise, however, with secretary-general Matthieu Reeb saying the date of May 1, 2005, had been "retained because it is established that Jan Ullrich was fully engaged with the doping programm of Doctor Fuentes at least from that date".
PARIS: France's Pauline Parmentier hits a return to Germany's Mona Barthel during their Paris' wTA tournament tennis match. AFP
Sharapova hits ground running PARIS EATEN Australian Open finalist Maria Sharapova made a winning start at the WTA Paris Open on Wednesday, beating South Africa's Chanelle Scheepers 6-3, 6-1 to reach the last 16. Given a first-round bye due to her top seeding, the Russian world number three was competing in her first ever match at the indoor tournament at the Pierre de Coubertin arena in Paris' chic 16th arrondissement.
Sharapova had been forced out of Russia's Fed Cup victory over Spain on Sunday due to a cold but she showed no signs of ill health against world number 44 Scheepers. The 24-year-old three-time Grand Slam-winner will face either Romania's Monica Niculescu or Angelique Kerber of Germany in the next round. "I had a few problems finding my rhythm at the start," said Sharapova. "The court is pretty quick. But I really like these conditions and once I'd got my bearings, it went better." With Li Na and Jelena Jankovic having both been
forced out of the tournament by injury, Sharapova's main rival for the title is likely to be French second seed Marion Bartoli, who begins her campaign on Thursday. Elsewhere on Wednesday, Italian seventh seed Roberta Vinci reached round two with a straight sets win over Romanian Simona Halep, but eighth-seeded Spaniard Anabel Medina Garrigues fell 2-6, 6-3, 6-3 to home favourite Pauline Parmentier. "There were lots of people who are very important to me around the court," said Parmentier, the French number two. "That allowed me to push myself to the limit. I forced myself to do it."
PARIS: Russia's Maria Sharapova blows a kiss to celebrate her victory over South Africa's Chanelle Scheepers at the end of their Paris' wTA tournament tennis match. AFP
PARIS: Germany's Mona Barthel hits a return to France's Pauline Parmentier during their Paris' wTA tournament tennis match. AFP
PARIS: Germany's Julia Georges returns to Czech Petra Cetkovska during their Paris' wTA tournament tennis match. AFP
India set to extend Tendulkar wait PERTH AFP India Thursday looked set to extend star batsman Sachin Tendulkar's long wait for his elusive 100th international century by resisting calls to scrap their toporder rotation policy. Captain M.S. Dhoni would not confirm Tendulkar would be rested for Sunday's tri-series game against Australia, but he said India would continue to drop one of their top three to make space for Rohit Sharma in the middle order. In Wednesday's four-wicket win over Sri Lanka, the "Little Master" cruised to 48 but then chopped on to his stumps, making it an agonising 27 innings that he has been stuck on 99 centuries -- a wait that goes back to last March. "You will have to wait and watch," Dhoni said. "I will look to rotate as I want Rohit to play as many games as possible. It gives him an opportunity to get set into the side. "As of now, we will still look to rotate the openers." The 38-year-old Tendulkar, who holds the all-time records for the most centuries, runs and appearances in both Test and one-day cricket, has not got into three figures since his 111 against South Africa at the World Cup. Opener Virender Sehwag missed the opening tri-series game against Australia at the MCG on Sunday, while Gautam Gambhir was rested in Perth on Wednesday, suggesting Tendulkar was next in line for the drop. However, Sehwag remains in poor form in Australia after the usually dashing right-hander holed out to third man for 10 on Wednesday.
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Federer rules out Hingis Olympic mixed doubles ROMe afp
OGER Federer is looking forward to the "once in a lifetime" opportunity to play in the Olympic Games at Wimbledon in August but revealed he won't be doing so with Martina Hingis. Federer will be amongst the favourites on the famous court in which he is the undisputed king having wracked up a record six Wimbledon crowns in the Open era. And the 30-year-old Swiss can hardly wait. "It's an amazing once in a lifetime experience and may never come again in our lifetimes," he told Gazzetta dello Sport. "It's a big, big milestone for tennis at the Olympics for all players of my generation. "It will be a very, very big and special atmosphere there, I'm really looking forward to it and I hope I can make a big result there." However, he has ruled out the somewhat romantic and fanciful idea of teaming up with the now retired but former
Woods hopes to get ball rolling again at Pebble
PeBBLe BeACH afp
Tiger Woods returns to the site of two of his most stirring victories when he makes his PGA Tour season debut at the $6.4 million Pebble Beach Pro-Am which begins Thursday. "I am excited to be back," Woods said. "Everything is kind of headed in the right direction." Woods, who is playing in this event for the first time in a decade, had a magical season at Pebble Beach in 2000. He won the 2000 US Open by a monstrous 15 strokes and earlier that year, Woods rallied from a seven-shot deficit in the final round to capture the Pebble Beach tournament. It marked his only Pebble Beach ProAm win in a half dozen years from 1997-2002. "Things were kind of going my way," Woods said of the comeback in 2000. "I figured I had to shoot 66 or lower to give myself a chance. All of a sudden, boom, three shots, two holes and I am back in the ballgame." Those triumphs seem like a distant memory now for the 14-time major winner Woods who is looking for his first official PGA Tour win in over two years. The former world number one has seen his ranking and personal life take a tailspin since a 2009 car crash and subsequent sex scandal that also led the breakup of his marriage. Lately, however, things have
been looking up. In his only other appearance this season, Woods finished third two weeks ago in Abu Dhabi. This week Woods will be partnered with Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo. Woods, who is ranked 18th in the world, is one of just four of the top 20 players in the Pebble Beach field. The others comprise Dustin Johnson (No. 10), Nick Watney (No. 13) and Phil Mickelson (No. 17). American D.A. Points could also make some noise this week. Points will be hoping for a repeat performance starting Thursday when he tees off with playing partner actor Bill Murray of Caddyshack fame. Points is off to a fast start this season with a pair of top 10 finishes. "It is a nice feeling to be the defending champ," Points said Wednesday. "Hopefully this week I can try to make it feel as much like a normal Tour event as possible." His hole-out from the fairway on the parfive 14th in the fourth round last year was considered one of the greatest shots of the 2011 season. Since winning here last year, Points' game has headed south. But the 35-year-old American feels he has a better handle now on what went wrong. "After I won I just really wanted to climb the ladder," Points said. "I had all these great expectations. "I just wanted to excel in those events to really boost my world rankings and give myself all these opportunities that I've always wanted to have.
women's singles and doubles world number one Martina Hingis, his compatriot. Hingis was a child prodigy and won her first Grand Slam, the Wimbledon doubles with Helena Sukova, when she was still 15. A year later she became number one in the world in singles and won three of the four Grand Slam titles on offer, while also reaching the final in Paris. "I thought about it, actually I didn't know mixed doubles was a part of the Olympics," added Federer. "The only partner I could imagine myself playing with was Martina because she's been such an amazing player from such a young age. "She's only one year older than me and in some ways I learnt so much from her about how to play at the highest level for so long. She drove me and inspired me as well. "I spoke with Martina on the phone and she said I don't think we should do it, I would love to do it but you should concentrate on the singles and doubles. "It would be crazy, I wouldn't do it. So I said ok, we don't do it, we're both very
happy, you're happy in retirement and I'm happy on court. "It was a good conversation, in a way I'm disappointed but it was the smart decison to make." Federer may have turned 30 and dropped down to number three in the world behind Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, but he insists he still has his eyes set on return to the top of the rankings. Two years ago he beat Andy Murray to win the Australian Open and last year he reached the final at Roland Garros, where he lost to Nadal for the fourth timme in six years. "I'm so close (to number one), give me one big or two big tournaments and I'm in it," said Federer. "I'm looking forward to the next few months because it's going to be an amazing stretch of tournaments starting on clay all the way through to the US Open. "It's going to be make or break for many of the players at that part of the season, I hope I can play my very best there and launch an attack on the world number one."
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Drone attack purportedly kills al Qaeda’s Pakistan chief PeSHAWAR
istani officials and a member of his group said. The drone fired missiles at a compound in Miranshah, the headquarters of North Waziristan, in the early hours of Thursday. Officials said Taliban militants had converted an abandoned house into a hideout in Zafar Town, Miranshah. The drone fired at the compound at around 4.30am on Thursday, destroying it completely and killing its four occupants, one of whom was believed to be Badar Mansoor. “He died in the missile attacks overnight in Miranshah. His death is a major blow to al Qaeda’s abilities to strike
United States drone attack killed al Qaeda’s chief in Pakistan, one of the Americans’ main targets in the country and wanted for attacks that killed scores of people, along with three other militants on Thursday. Badar Mansoor, who reputedly sent fighters to Afghanistan and ran a training camp in North Waziristan, was killed in a drone strike near the Afghan border, Pak-
in Pakistan,” a senior Pakistani official told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity. His death was also confirmed by one of his loyalists. “Badar Mansoor was killed in the missile attack,” a militant among his group confirmed by telephone. Intelligence officials in Miranshah said Mansoor - whose first name is also sometimes spelled Badr - had been killed, but other Pakistani officials were divided. “We’re not sure. We cannot give confirmation just like that,” one of them told AFP on condition of anonymity. The senior Pakistani intelligence official described
Mansoor as the “de facto leader of al Qaeda in Pakistan” after his predecessor, Ilyas Kashmiri, was reported killed in a drone strike last June. Unlike Kashmiri, who had a $5 million bounty on his head, Mansoor is not listed on the US State Department Rewards for Justice list. There was no immediate confirmation of his death from the United States, but one Western counterterrorism expert described Mansoor as the local chief of al Qaeda and one of the Americans’ chief targets in Pakistan. “If it’s true, this is very good news for the anti-terrorism fight, and this was very impor-
tant for both the US and Pakistan,” the official said. He called Mansoor al Qaeda’s go-between with the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan and a member of al Qaeda’s leadership shoora in Pakistan. Other officials said Mansoor was responsible for attacks in Karachi and on the minority Ahmadi community that killed nearly 100 people in Lahore in May 2010. Aged about 40 and from Dera Ghazi Khan in Punjab, Mansoor moved to Miranshah several years ago to set up his own training camp. “Western officials believed he was involved in sending fighters to Afghanistan,” the senior Pakistani official told AFP.
CCi discusses everything but drug regulatory authority nargis Sethi comes under fire for not providing committee’s recommendations to attendees g
ISLAMABAD MIaN aBRaR
ISLaMaBaD: aitzaz ahsen, counsel for prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, leaves the Supreme Court building on thursday after a hearing of Gilani’s appeal against his indictment in a contempt case. AFP
Memo body considers going abroad to record Ijaz’s statement
US voters back obama’s drone policy
Haqqani’s lawyer paints worst possible picture citing security concerns g
ISLAMABAD taHIR NIaZ
US President Barack Obama has overwhelming support from American voters for his use of drone strikes against terror suspects and his planned troop drawdown in Afghanistan, a poll found on Wednesday. Obama, who signed off on the US special forces raid which killed Osama bin Laden last year, also enjoys a wide edge over his likely Republican election foe Mitt Romney on national security and foreign policy, the poll showed. Eighty-three percent of those asked in the Washington Post/ABC News survey said they backed Obama’s use of unmanned drone aircraft against terror suspects, which have caused disquiet among some civil liberties groups. The president spoke publicly about the drone strikes for the first time in a Google+ and YouTube interview last month, and has presided over such attacks against extremists in Pakistan, Afghanistan and elsewhere. Seventy-eight percent of those asked approved of Obama’s plans to draw down troops in Afghanistan, despite fierce criticism of the president’s strategy from Republican presidential candidates, including Romney. Voters were also asked whether they approved of the decision to keep the Guantanamo Bay war on terror detention facility in Cuba open and 70 percent approved. Obama vowed to close the camp, which he said was a recruiting tool for terrorists, shortly after taking office in 2009, but due to congressional opposition and complications in dispersing inmates has been unable to do so.
Continuing with his attempts to dissuade the judicial commission probing the memogate controversy from recording the statement of Mansoor Ijaz, the central character in the memo case, former ambassador Husain Haqqani’s counsel Zahid Bukhari on Thursday painted the worst possible scenario for the consideration of the commission’s members before they decided whether to go abroad to record Ijaz’s testimony, saying many of the spy agencies of the world were against the country and its judiciary and the commission was taking it lightly. Arguing that as the American national had failed to appear before the enquiry tribunal in Pakistan despite repeated assurances of his security, Bukhari requested the commission to ‘bury’ the matter and not even think of visiting London or anywhere else to record Ijaz’s statement as the security of the chief justices and lawyers concerned would be a big issue. “The move under consideration would neither be in the interest of the nation nor in the interest of the judiciary. It would neither be legal nor is it necessary,” he added. Bukhari also questioned whether local laws would allow the commission to record Ijaz’s statement in London, adding that it would be an insult to the whole nation. “Just imagine if the commission decides to visit London and he does not turn up there,” said Bukhari. Commission Chairman Justice Qazi Faez Isa replied: “The commission has been put in a difficult position… all eyes are on the commission and if we don’t conclude the probe, it will
also be an insult to the nation.” Bukhari stated that the world would laugh when the three chief justices of Pakistan would land at the London airport. He said further that the commission had allayed Ijaz’s fears during the previous hearing and also added that Akram Shaikh – Ijaz’s counsel - had not requested the commission to go abroad to collect evidence. Bukhari also told the commission that the missing Blackberry smartphones of Haqqani could not be recovered. He also declined to waive Haqqani’s privacy rights with Research In Motion (RIM) Limited, the Canada-based manufacturer of BlackBerry phones, until Ijaz came forward with his allegations. The attorney general also said the commission might go the UK or Switzerland but Ijaz might not turn up there. “The possibility cannot be ruled out, he may be absent,” he said. He said further that Mansoor’s counsel has not given any assurance to the commission that he would certainly appear before the commission abroad. However, Justice Isa replied: “Then you can initiate a defamation case against Mansoor Ijaz.” He also objected to the conduct of the US national but repeatedly said that the commission had to comply with the order of the apex court, which also empowered it to go abroad to collect evidence if it had to. However, the attorney general said the move could be humiliating at this time, as Ijaz had failed to come to Pakistan. Earlier, Ijaz’s counsel told the commission that his client had agreed to visit Pakistan’s High Commission in London to depose before the commission.
The Council of Common Interest (CCI) took up six out of seven agenda items on Thursday but the most crucial issue, the establishment of a drug regulatory authority, was not taken up at the meeting, which was attended by three out of the four chief ministers as Balochistan CM Nawab Aslam Raisani chose not to attend. During the hearing of the spurious drugs case, the Supreme Court had directed the federal government to immediately form a drug regulatory authority to resolve the issue of registration of drugs on a priority basis. Cabinet Secretary Nargis Sethi came under fire in the CCI meeting as the chief ministers expressed their anger at the unnecessary delays in the provision of relevant material regarding the agenda items to be taken up during the meeting, and the prime minister directed the cabinet secretary to ensure that relevant material was provided to all participants on time. Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani chaired the meeting of the CCI, its 8th since the passage of the 18th Amendment. A source told Pakistan Today that during the meeting, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif expressed his annoyance at not being provided copies of the committee’s recommendations on the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) Ordinance. “However, when asked, Water and Power Minister Naveed Qamar told the prime minister that the committee’s recommendations had been forwarded to the Cabinet Division. However, the officials of the Cabinet Division had failed to circulate the papers on time. He also criticised the cabinet secretary for failing to do so,” said the source. The source quoted Shahbaz Sharif as saying that the chief ministers did not meet to have
fun during the CCI meetings, as they were very busy. He said whenever they met at the CCI they should be provided all relevant material in time so deliberations could be made by the CCI on each agenda item. “The prime minister then directed the cabinet secretary to ensure that in future all relevant material was provided to the participants in time,” the source added. The meeting considered six agenda items and approved the Annual Report of the last year, which has to be presented to parliament as a constitutional requirement. On the presentation by Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah, the prime minister directed the Planning Division and Economic Affairs Division to provide full support in arranging funds for the Thar Coal Project on top priority basis, as it was a national project for power generation. The prime minister also accepted the request of the Punjab and Sindh chief ministers to incentivise power generation by sugar mills using their baggas to generate around 2000 megawatts per year. The premier asked his Advisor on Finance Dr Hafeez Shaikh to convene an energy conference at the earliest, which he would chair, aimed at removing the snags, if any, being faced at present. The CCI approved in principle the policy of Petroleum Exploration and Production 2012. The prime minister ordered that a meeting of provincial governments’ representatives be held early next week to address some observations raised by the provinces. The CCI approved an amendment in its earlier decision to charge 30 paisas per MAF of water and half a paisa for each unit of electricity produced from hydroelectric and nuclear sources. The CCI also approved the National Science, Technology and Innovation Policy 2012, which was unanimously approved by all the chief ministers.
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Published by Arif Nizami for Nawa Media Corporation (Pvt) Ltd at Qandeel Printing Press, 4 Queens Road, Lahore.
Editor: Arif Nizami, Executive Editor: Sarmad Bashir