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rs15.00 vol ii no 195 22 pages Karachi —


6 options, 6 days SC says ‘prima facie, PM may not be an honest person on account of his not being honest to the oath of his office’ g




IMe is short and the choices are limited. The fivem e m b e r Supreme Court bench on Tuesday framed a chargesheet against the prime minister and left the matter for the larger bench to finally take a decision and, exercising judicial restraint, gave the government a chance to reconsider its position on the implementation of the apex court’s decision on the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) by January 16. What set the alarm bells ringing in the corridors of power was the five-member bench’s observation that the prime minister had violated his oath and that he, prima facie, was not an honest man who met the constitutional condition for being elected as a member of parliament. Announcing its order on the government’s failure to implement the NRO verdict, the five-judge special bench headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa held that the persistent, obstinate and contumacious resistance, failure and refusal of the prime minister to completely obey and execute the directions issued in the NRO case reflected that “at least prima facie, he may not be an honest person on account of his not being honest to the oath of his office and seemingly he may not be an ‘ameen’ due to his persistent betrayal of the trust reposed in him as a person responsible for preserving, protecting and defending the constitution and also on

account of allowing his personal political interest to influence his official conduct and decisions”. The court held that the federal government and the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) were not serious in implementing the NRO verdict at all and were only interested in delaying and prolonging the matter on one pretext or the other.The court pointed out that it could take six options against the willful disobedience of the government in implementing some parts of the NRO verdict and consequent directions. In its first option, the court held that failure to implement the NRO verdict was a case of brazen and blatant failure or refusal of the federal government and the buck stopped at the office of the chief executive of the federation, the prime minister. The court held that the prime minister had violated his oath by not executing and implementing the NRO verdict. The court said the prime minister in his oath had made an unambiguous commitment with God not only to conduct himself completely in accord with the commands and requirements of the constitution, including those of Articles 2A, 37(d), 189 and 190 thereof, also totally in sync with the requirements and teachings of the Holy Quran, but he violated his oath by not obeying the court orders. Continued on page 04

govt Cornered into isolation | page o4

Wednesday, 11 January, 2012 safar 16, 1433

Government opts to huddle behind parliament g

Prime minister to present govt’s case in NA on Thursday ISLAMABAD Mian abrar

Now it’s between the parliament and the judiciary. With the Supreme Court leaving no space for the government to further dilly-dally on the implementation of the National Reconciliation Ordinance verdict and holding the prime minister responsible for obstructing action on its decisions, President Asif Ali Zardari on Tuesday rushed to Islamabad for a meeting with his party’s coalition partners to seek their support and it was decided that the matter would now be taken to parliament to respond to the judiciary. Faced with a tough situation in a standoff between the government and the judiciary, the heads of ruling coalition on Tuesday decided to throw the ball in parliament’s court after failing

to reach a consensus on a joint future plan of action on implementation of the Supreme Court’s NRO verdict. “Now the government will not respond to the judiciary as now the parliament will decide what to do,” a source told Pakistan Today after the meetings of the parliamentary heads with the president and the core committee of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP). He said it was also decided that no statement would be issued by the government but the response by the parliament would, however, be strong. The source said the prime minister would make a speech in the National Assembly giving details of what the government had implemented with regard to the SC’s decision on the NRO, besides highlighting how the court had ridiculed government officials and functionaries by selectively taking up

the cases against the executive. The source said a resolution might also be passed by the House in favour of the prime minister, reposing confidence in him to send a strong message that the parliament stood by him. He quoted the president as saying that the judiciary had become a party and this was the reason that he was opposed to the restoration of the judges. Though a private TV channel said the president had asked his coalition partners that he was ready to resign if they desired or advised so, it was not confirmed by the Presidency. An official handout issued from the Presidency stated that leaders of the allied parties decided to convene National Assembly’s session on January 12 (tomorrow). Continued on page 04

Pir Pagara passes away in London NEWS DESK Pakistan Muslim League-Functional (PML-F) chief and spiritual leader of the Hur community Pir Syed Mardan Shah II, more commonly known as Pir Sahib Pagara, passed away in London late on Tuesday night, Geo News reported. He was 83. The veteran politician was taken to London by a special air ambulance on January 5 along with his physician and family members for treatment of infected lungs. His sons Pir Sadruddin Shah Rashdi and Pir Sibghatullah Shah Rashdi, his wife, physician Dr Saulat, secretary Dr Karim Mehar and adviser to the Sindh Chief Minister Imtiaz Shaikh were also in London to oversee his treatment at a private hospital. Hazrat Pir Syed Mardan Shah II was

the leader of the Sunni Muslim Sufi order of Hurs in Sindh. His father, Hazrat Pir Syed Sibghatullah Shah, was hanged on March 20, 1943 by the British colonial government during his struggle against British rule. He will be buried in his native town of Pir Jo Goth, Khairpur district, Sindh, where he was born. Pir Syed Mardan Shah II was given the title

of Pir Pagara in 1922 when he was only 12. Pagara was fond of horse races and he often spent his Sundays at the Karachi Race Course. He also took active part in Pakistani politics since the 1960s. When Fatima Jinnah lost elections to Ayub Khan, she declared the Muslim League “Functional” and made Pir Pagaro the head. In politics, he was known for his predictions for governments and his supporters believe his predictions to be correct. He was first arrested in 1930 for his struggle against British rule and Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah represented him in court. The news of his death spread like wildfire throughout Sindh as his followers and party workers began to mourn his demise. His body will be flown to Karachi today (Wednesday) as the Sindh CM announced a three-day mourning in the province.

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02 News Today’s

wednesday, 11 January, 2011




Sindh’s 70 percent people underfed

rushdie dismisses call for ban on india entry

assad firms up reform timetable, vows to crush terror

Story on Page 07

Story on Page 10

Story on Page 14

Quick Look

Zardari postpones Dubai visit, goes to Islamabad KARACHI: President Asif Ali Zardari, due to depart for Dubai on a private visit, left for Islamabad after a five-member bench of the Supreme Court (SC) decision to convene Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Core Committee (CC) meeting to discuss the apex court’s decision. Zardari was scheduled to depart for Dubai on a 2-day private visit on January 11. However, he postponed his engagements and left for Islamabad to chalk out a future strategy after the apex court decision. A five member bench of SC headed by Asif Saeed Khosa decided to refer six options relating to National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) implementation case to the Chief Justice for constitution of a larger bench to hear the options. Sources privy to President Zardari told Pakistan Today that he was scheduled to depart for Dubai for a two-day visit (January 1112) for checkup at American Hospital Dubai. However, the president departed for Islamabad to a chair PPP core committee meeting to review the situation. Presidential Spokesman Farhatullah Babar verified the information. He said that the president has postponed his engagements in Karachi and arrived in Islamabad where he has called a PPP core committee meeting. However, he refused to specify the president engagements which were postponed. Staff rePort

PML-N meeting today to discuss NRO case fallout LAHORE: The PML-N has summoned a crash meeting today (Wednesday) to put heads together on ensuing impacts of the Supreme Court ruling on the NRO case and consequences of the government’s defiance in implementing it. PML-N President Nawaz Sharif would preside over the meeting to be attended by party ace leaders to map out the party’s strategy to get the SC decision implemented. The decision to this effect was taken during an important meeting held at Nawaz’s residence in Raiwind. Leader of the Opposition in national Assembly Nisar Ali Khan and Punjab CM Shahbaz Sharif were present in the meeting. The meeting also resolved to exert maximum pressure on the government to implement the SC verdict in its true letter and spirit. It observed that hiding behind Article 248 implied “something fishy” and said blaming courts of bigotry was conspiracy to blackmail the judiciary. The meeting also discussed the letter sent by JUI-F chief Fazlur Rehman for conveying his recommendations for early polls. The letter entails suggestions regarding independent elections commission, verified voter lists and caretaker setup. YaSir Habib

JUI-F, PML-N inch towards alliance ISLAMABAD: The ice finally melted between Jamiat Ulema-eIslam-Fazl (JUI-F) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) on Tuesday when Maulana Fazlur Rehman, apparently disappointed with the fate of the PPP-led coalition government, extended a hand of cooperation towards Nawaz, writing a letter to him seeking evolving of joint opposition strategy. “The JUI-F has asked the PML-N to make a joint strategy on various issues and in this regard, JUI-F chief Maulana Fazalur Rahman has written a letter to PML-N President Mian Nawaz Sharif,” JUI-F spokesman Maulana Amjad while told Pakistan Today. He said Fazl proposed to PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif to evolve a joint strategy of all opposition parties. He said Fazl had further proposed in the letter that a joint strategy should be made for snap polls, as such a situation might rise in the near future. Amjad said the JUI-F chief had also asked Nawaz that there should be a mechanism on bogus voter lists for the upcoming elections and an independent and fair election commission. Staff rePort

Lawyers boycott courts to protest colleague’s murder

A FLAG CERTAINLY WORTH MORE THAN GARBAGE: Beaming 10-year-old scavenger Yar Khan and his friend stand atop a garbage pile from where they found this flag. Murtaza Ali


Lawyers across the country observed a complete strike on Tuesday to protest against the killing of their colleague, former Punjab Bar Council (PBC) member Nasrullah Warraich. The PBC had announced to hold protests and observe black day after Warraich was shot dead by unidentified people outside his residence in Lahore’s Gulshan-e-Ravi area. The lawyers in Lahore did not appear in the Lahore High Court and lower courts, and observed the day with black flags hoisted at bar rooms and black ribbons tied around their arms. Lawyer’s unions demanded the government to immediately arrest those responsible for Warraich’s murder and bring them to justice. They also criticised the Punjab police for showing “complete negligence and inefficiency”. The lawyers in Islamabad and Rawalpindi also observed a complete strike and boycotted court proceedings to express solidarity with their colleagues in Lahore. Similarly, lawyers of the Karachi Bar Association also observed a strike on the call of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA).

PCNS adopts most of envoys’ Taliban appoint new conference recommendations leader for Peshawar ISLAMABAD


Mian abrar

He Parliamentary Committee on National Security (PCNS) on Tuesday adopted most of the recommendations forwarded by the envoys’ conference besides finalising its recommendations on new terms of engagements with the US and NATO forces in war against terrorism. A source told Pakistan Today that the committee had to extend its deadline for drafting its recommendations by another day as it had to incorporate some “useful input” from foreign and defence ministries based on the recent communication with the US administrations. “Some useful proposals have been received by the committee from defence and foreign ministries which were needed to incorporate in the recommendations. This input was based on recent communication with US administration including those interactions held recently,” the source added. earlier, Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar and Secretary Defence Lt General (r) Naeem Khalid Lodhi

gave their input for a second time to the members of the committee over the subject matter. The committee discussed in length the recommendations by Finance Ministry and later approved them. Committee chairman Raza Rabbani told reporters that the committee members would have a final meeting today (Wednesday) afternoon to give final touches to the draft of recommendations, which would later be sent to Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani who would later forward it to the joint sitting of parliament for approval. “We would not give specific recommendations to the joint sitting of the parliament and rather these would be policy guidelines for new terms of engagements with NATO and the ISAF forces,” he said. earlier, Foreign Minister Hina Khar said Pakistan and the US were necessary for each other. Responding to a question, the minister said there was no recommendation to link the restoration of NATO supplies with provision of civil nuclear technology to Pakistan. She said that the PCNS had adopted most of the recommendations forwarded by the envoys’ conference.

Shura: report

MONItORINg DESK A war-oriented American journal has published on its website that the Taliban have appointed a leader with close ties to Al Qaeda to lead one of their four regional military councils in Afghanistan. According to a report by the Long War Journal, Sheikh Mohammed Aminullah, who in 2009 was placed on the United Nations Sanctions Committee’s list of “individuals and entities associated with Al Qaeda,” has been named to lead the Taliban’s Peshawar Regional Military Shura, which is considered responsible for operations in eastern and northern Afghanistan. The report also cited an article in the Hindu, an Indian daily, that Aminullah, reportedly listed as Fazeel-a-Tul Shaykh Abu Mohammed Ameen al Peshawari, had been named to lead the Peshawar Shura. The journal quoted two unnamed US intelligence officials confirming that Aminullah was appointed to lead the Peshawar Shura sometime last year, when he replaced Mullah Abdul Latif Mansour. According to the United Nations Sanctions Committee designation, Aminullah runs the Ganj Madrassa, or religious school, which he allegedly used to recruit and provide support for Al Qaeda. Aminullah is also accused of supplying suicide vests to Al Qaeda and Taliban suicide bombers, and supporting the families of dead bombers.

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wednesday, 11 January, 2011



Pose nude? never: Veena

Pakistan promise fresh start against england the verdict:

News 03

COMMeNT Things heating up

our faustian bargain: Does the loss of human life figure in the Pakistan army’s calculus?

Dr Hasan rizvi says: No country for elected men?: Destabilising democracy.

ali aftab Saeed says: Pervez MacArthur?: On Musharraf’s return.


Quick Look

Harris bin Munawar says: The army’s ghairat: Only on selected issues.

Story on Page 17

Story on Page 18

articles on Page 12-13

SC verdiCt on nro

Govt has declared war against judiciary: PML-N LAHORE


Staff rePort

eACTING to the Supreme Court’s decision in the NRO case, the PML-N on Tuesday said the government had announced an open war against the judiciary by not writing a letter to the Swiss government. PML-N Deputy Secretary General Ahsan Iqbal said the Zardari government was giving the masses a slip on NRO case. “It is ridiculous that the government is mocking the court and people on the issue,” he said. “The NRO was black law. Not only the PML-N but the allies of the

government also strongly opposed to it in parliament. Later, the PML-N challenged the NRO in the apex court but the central government kept prolonging it to save its skin.” PML-N senator Pervaiz Rashid asked if the government deemed the allegations levelled against President Asif Zardari untrue, “what is the reason for the panic, as the Swiss courts are not Pakistani courts which it doesn’t trust”. PTI Punjab President Ahsan Rashid said the NRO was a great injustice with this country as around 8,000 people were its beneficiaries. He said the cases of such people should be opened and they should be treated according to law.

JI chief Munawar Hasan termed the Supreme Court judgement in the NRO case prudent, and counselled the PPP leadership to respect and implement SC orders instead of going for a confrontation. He said the government claimed to respect to the Supreme Court but the president and the prime minister had bluntly rejected its orders by declaring not to write to the Swiss authorities. He said the Supreme Court had already given two years to the government to implement its judgement in the NRO but in stead of implementation, the rulers were continuously committing contempt of court. PML likeminded Provincial Secretary Information Muhammad Asif

Freeze quotas to produce accurate census ISLAMABAD Staff rePort

Clash of institutions a threat to Pakistan, says Shujaat ISLAMABAD: Terming the clash of institutions a threat to the country, Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) President Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain on Tuesday said the leaderships of all political parties and institutions should have a dialogue to steer the country out of crisis. “We should stick to the policy of reconciliation, as in the current scenario neither the judiciary nor the military and the executive can afford extreme steps,” he told reporters after chairing a parliamentary party meeting of the PML-Q. The meeting was called to discuss the situation developing in the country after the Supreme Court’s verdict on the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) case. He said the ongoing situation in the country required prudence and a cool temper. Staff rePort

LAHORE iMran aDnan

The social media has been flooded with SOS calls for the release of 14-year-old Madina Anwar, who is in the custody of abductors since May 17, 2011. Social and human rights activists from all over the world are constantly appealing to the country’s leadership to help the poor family, but neither the president or prime minister nor any other senior government official has so far offered the poor family any support, Pakistan Today learnt on Tuesday. Talking to Pakistan Today, father of Manida Anwar, Shamsul Anwar, revealed that he did not receive a single phone call from government high ups. However, a large number of people from all over the country approached him for financial support. He said he was running from pillar to post to save his daughter, but neither the government nor the police were helping him. Being an employee of the Pakistan Army, Anwar said he served Pakistan for over 17 years, but in these trying times he did not see any hope from anywhere. He pointed out that the captors had demanded a ransom of Rs 1.8 million for the return of his daughter before January 12. To a question, he said he did not receive a single sympathy call from any serving military official. Anwar disclosed that a retired

To ensure transparency and reliability of the 6th population census, the Statistics Division has proposed that the National Assembly Standing Committee on the economic Affairs Division recommend that the government freeze all quotas under 1998 census to counter provincial efforts to inflate population figures to get larger shares from federal resources allocated. Briefing the committee, Chief Census Commissioner (CCC) said that India has frozen quotas which had helped depoliticise the census and produced a more reliable set of data. Committee Chairman Malik Azmat Khan said the committee will hold another meeting to finalise its recommendations.

The committee was informed that the house listing exercise was completed in April-May 2011 and population census was planned to be held in September-October 2011. However, it could not be executed as the Council of Common Interests (CCI) in August decided that a separate meeting between the Prime Minister and provincial Chief Ministers will be held to discuss outstanding issues. Since the meeting has not been held, the planned exercise could not be carried out even though everything was ready for implementation. The CCC informed that the house listing survey showed a 3 to 6 percent increase in houses in Sindh but for the rest of the province they were stable. Houses in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa also increased. In Pakhtun areas of Balochistan there was an increase but in Baloch areas

there were difficulties in getting housing data. He said some areas were not covered in Punjab. When asked what were the reasons for patchy work in Balochistan, he said the census teams were not provided cover by the law enforcement agencies, while in Pakhtun areas cooperation was offered for the housing census. He said the Punjab government has not supported the work of census staff that resulted in failure to finalise its housing data. However, he said that the housing census was just a management planning exercise to identify trends for population census, which will be done under GIS parameters and help from Google maps will be taken. In reply to question, CCC said that international bench mark is to complete the population census within six months of the house listing survey.

Retired army official’s heroics bring him agonising misery colonel, who was his unit in charge, contacted him over phone and assured him full support. He added that noted human rights activist Ansar Burney, who was leaving for Dubai, also contacted him on phone and assured help. Meanwhile, social media users are raising numerous questions that raise questions about the government’s tall claims of good governance. TwITTER’S nEvER EnDIng TIMELInE SHOwS: “The police wouldn’t help Shamsul Anwar. Why would they? Aren’t they all involved? #unfairworld #JusticeForShamsulAnwar #truestory,” “NRO, verdict, Supreme Court, Chief Justice, bla bla bla…. everything looks so small. Bigger challenge is… #JusticeForShamsulAnwar,” “Had Shamsul Anwar been a high rank officer in the #army, would things be different for him? #unfairworld #PakArmy #JusticeForShamsulAnwar,” “Can’t stop thinking about Madina Anwer. She is a year older to my own daughter. Come home soon darling your pa waits #JusticeForShamsulAnwar,” “I read the whole story and I am willing to donate $1000 #JusticeForShamsulAnwar,” “@AnsarBurney thank u sir as always u stepped in on time hope #JusticeForSham-

sulAnwar is achieved & his daughter is home ASAP stay blessed,” “@marvisirmed: Good progress #JusticeForShamsulAnwar. Political, military authorities on board. V r now waiting 4 abductors’ call @AnsarBurney,” “7- Influential anchors, I beg you to kindly kindly kindly reach out to authorities on your own. Put pressure, Please #JusticeForShamsulAnwar,” and it goes on and on. What is Madina Anwar’s fault? Madina Anwar’s only fault is that she is a daughter of a retired military lance naik, Shamsul Anwar, who saved the lives of hundreds of worshippers by risking his own life. It was January 1, 2001, when Anwar encountered some terrorists at Jamia Mosque of Dhoke Gujran at Misrial Road, Rawalpindi. He helped the law enforcement agencies to arrest one terrorist red handed when he (terrorist) was planting some explosives in the basement of the mosque, while the Imam was delivering his sermon. In the bid to save the worshipers, he sustained three bullet fires in his left leg and remained in hospital for over a year. His courage helped the law enforcement agencies to arrest as many as 17 terrorist of the outfit on the information provided by the nabbed terrorist.

Though his bravery saved the lives of hundreds of worshippers, his courage proved lethal for his own family, as the terrorists warned him of “teaching him a lesson”, and they did. During his treatment in hospital, he and his family were given complete security, but it was withdrawn after a year. The unfortunate spell of the family started when after five years of the episode, same terrorist outfit kidnapped his two sons – Mohammad Yaseen, 16, a student of 10th class, and Faizullah, 14, a 9th class student of Noor School in Dhoke Gujran – on May 15, 2006 from their school in broad daylight. He immediately contacted the local police, but when it refused to register the case he contacted his parent department, the army. Unfortunately, he did not receive a prompt response. Meanwhile, the terrorists contacted him on phone in November 2006 and demanded Rs 1.4 million as ransom for the release of his sons. He once again contacted the military, who took prompt action and involved the political agent to take action against terrorist group. But political agent suggested he pay the ransom so that they could arrest captors red-handed after the

said the rulers were trying to seek political martyrdom by considering themselves above the law and the constitution. JI Secretary General Liaqat Baloch said the government was determined to protect corruption and was showing disrespect to the judiciary’s orders. He said in view of the court orders, the PPP workers should get rid of their corrupt leadership. Meanwhile, PML-N women wing (Punjab) led by Joint Secretary Kanwal Nauman staged a protest demonstrations against the government’s obstinacy on the NRO case demanding dismissal of President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani.

gujranwala citizens protest against gas, power outages gUJRANWALA Staff rePort

Responding to the call of Gujranwala Chamber of Commerce, businessmen, industrialist and workers staged a huge demonstration to condemn unscheduled gas and electricity load shedding at Chanda Qila bypass on Tuesday. The demonstrators blocked the road for about three hours, hampering the traffic flow to Lahore, Faisalabad, Sargodha and Hafizabad. Workers unions, industrialists and businessmen strongly condemned the unscheduled gas and electricity load shedding and warned the authorities of dire consequences. Chamber President Zaheerul Haq said failed policies of authorities had crippled the economy and the industrial sector was breathing its last. safe release of his sons. He thought the suggestion was apt, but could not go with it as it could cost him his sons’ life. However, the terrorist were observing all activities and resultantly, Anwar had to collect the body of his eldest son – 16-yearold Mohammad Yaseen Anwar – in a gunny bag. The terrorist brutally slaughtered the young boy, in the presence of his younger brother. Anwar’s miseries did not end there. After disposing all his saving, he managed to get his younger son – 14-year-old Faizullah – released after paying the Rs 1.4 million ransom. But when Faizullah returned, he fell seriously ill and doctors diagnosed that he was suffering from blood cancer because the captors had injected intoxicating medicines into his body during detention. Then, it was the turn of the unfortunate daughter Madina Anwar, who was kidnapped on May 17, 2011 from her school at Misrial Road, Rawalpindi and shifted to Kurram Agency. Again, police kept on with its traditional attitude and showed him the door. The young girl is still in the custody of the captors, who gave a deadline of January 12 to his father for the payment of Rs 1.8 million as ransom. His father awaits a miracle; otherwise, God forbid, he may have to collect another gunny bag.

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04 News

NRO verdict corners govt into isolation ISLAMABAD Mian abrar/taHir niaZ


He government stood isolated on Tuesday. The opposition parties endorsed the Supreme Court’s orders in the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) implementation case and the government’s coalition partners also did not openly support it, suggesting that they sit on the fence, not clearly siding with the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), as constitutional experts also asked the government to either implement the court’s order or the prime minister should resign. endorsing the Supreme Court order, the opposition parties advised the government to implement the apex court order in letter and spirit to avoid a confrontation with the judiciary, with the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PMLN) demanding the government immediately announce fresh elections. However, the allies of the PPP either declined to comment on the development or took the middle ground in expressing their views on what was being seen as a major blow to the government on the judicial and moral front. It seemed that the coalition partners of the government were in a fix when they were approached for comment on the apex court order. The constitutional and legal experts held opinion similar to the opposition parties, asking the government to implement the court’s order in letter and spirit or the prime minister should resign if he was not ready to implement the order of the five-member bench. When asked to the comment on the order, Senator Haji Adeel of the Awami National

Party (ANP), a coalition partner of the PPP, declined to directly comment on the development. However, he was sure that “the stage is being set to jeopardise the Senate elections”. When further pressed for comment, he said: “I don’t want to comment on the SC order but one thing is sure that all the political hustle and bustle is part of the main agenda that is aimed at blocking the Senate elections in the presence of present assemblies.” Senator Tahir Mashhadi of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), also an ally of the PPP, when contacted for his reaction on the SC order said his party’s Coordination Committee would study the detailed order and after that he would be in a position to comment on the issue. PML-N Information Secretary Mushahidullah Khan told Pakistan Today that the government should accept and implement the Supreme Court decision in letter and spirit. Similarly, the legal community also chose to side with the court in pressing the PPPled coalition government to implement the court orders. Senator SM Zafar said no government in any country of the world could have survived after such a verdict by the apex court and the government had no grounds to stay in power and run the country’s affairs. Justice (r) Tariq Mehmood also referred to the sixth option mentioned in the court verdict and said it provided the government with a choice to go for fresh elections. He said it also provided the premier the option to resign. Dr Farogh Nasim termed the verdict another time-giving exercise, stating that this was not an action and rather the court had given further options to the government.

wednesday, 11 January, 2012

Continued from page 1 It said according to clause (f) of Article 62(1) of the constitution, “A person shall not be qualified to be elected or chosen as a member of parliament unless he is sagacious, righteous, nonprofligate, honest and ameen, there being no declaration to the contrary by a court of law.” The court noted that it had the option to hand down a declaration in terms of clause (f) of Article 62(1) of the constitution which finding or declaration may have the effect of a permanent clog on the prime minister’s qualification for election to, or being chosen as, a member of parliament or a provincial assembly. The court noted that somewhat similar oaths had also been taken by the co-chairman of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) before entering the office of the president of Pakistan and by the federal law minister before entering the office of a federal minister and apparent breaches of their oaths may also entail the same consequences. In its second option, the court held that it may initiate proceedings against the prime minister, law minister, and the law secretary for committing contempt of court by persistently, obstinately and contumaciously resisting, failing or refusing to implement or execute in full the directions of the court in the NRO verdict. “It may not be lost sight of that, apart from the other consequences, by virtue of the provisions of clauses (g) and (h) of Article 63(1) read with Article 113 of the constitution a possible conviction on such a charge may entail a disqualification from being elected or chosen as, and from being, a member of parliament or a provincial assembly for at least a period of five years,” the court held. In its third option, the court held that in exercise of its powers under Article 187 of the constitution read with Rules 1 and 2 of Order XXXII of the Supreme Court Rules, 1980 and all other enabling provisions, it may appoint a commission to execute the relevant parts of the NRO judgement and consequent directions. The fourth option states that although in the present proceedings nobody had so far raised the issue pertaining to the protections contemplated by Article 248 of the constitution, yet if anybody was likely to be affected by exercise of these options by the court and wished to be heard on that question, an opportunity may be afforded to them in that respect before exercise of any of these options. The fifth option states that it is a statutory duty of the NAB chairman under the National Accountability Ordinance of 1999 to proceed against any person prima facie involved in misuse of authority while holding a public

6 options, 6 days office. It said on January 3, the court had directed the NAB chairman to attend to the matters of appointment of Adnan Khawaja as Managing Director of the Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL) against merit and appointment/promotion of Ahmed Riaz Sheikh as additional director of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) at a time when both of them were convicted persons and to proceed against all those who were responsible for such appointments/promotions. The court said the chairman had also failed so far to initiate any action against former attorney general Malik Muhammad Qayyum. It said the chairman had not only failed to advance any satisfactory explanation for his inaction but had also manifested defiance towards the court by categorically refusing to carry out the court’s directions. The court noted that such inaction on his part in derogation of his statutory duty prima facie amounted to misconduct attracting the last part of Section 6(b)(i) of the National Accountability Ordinance of 1999 dealing with removal of the chairman from office. The court noted further that the chairman had attempted to screen, shield and protect the relevant persons from criminal charges, which may attract consequences in some criminal and other laws. In these circumstances, appropriate recommendations or directions may be made or issued by the court in such regards. The sixth option states that the constitutional balance vis-à-vis the trichotomy and separation of powers between the legislature, the judiciary and the executive is very delicately poised and if in a given situation the executive is bent upon defying a final judicial verdict and is ready to go to any limits in such defiance, then instead of insisting upon the executive to implement the judicial verdict and thereby running the risk of bringing down the constitutional structure itself, the court may exercise judicial restraint and leave the matter to the better judgement of the people of the country or their representatives in parliament to appropriately deal with the delinquent. “After all, the ultimate ownership of the constitution and of its organs, institutions, mechanisms and processes rests with the people of the country and there may be situations where the people themselves may be better suited to force a recalcitrant to obey the constitution,” the court noted. The court expressed dismay over the attorney general, NAB chairman and NAB prosecutor general for showing no progress in complying with the court’s order in the NRO implementation case. The court also rejected

the reports submitted by the NAB prosecutor general in which he categorically concluded that the bureau had decided not to proceed in the matters of Adnan Khawaja and Ahmad Riaz Sheikh. The court termed the reports utterly unsatisfactory and held that an attempt had been made through them to screen, shield and protect all those in public offices who were involved in appointments/promotions of the convicted persons. The court stated that the accountability prosecutor general had confirmed the fact that in the reports a clear conclusion about lack of criminal intent of all concerned and involved had been recorded without even holding a formal enquiry or investigation, which the court found to be “strange and unusual”. The court said the NAB prosecutor general had gone on to submit that even in the matter of proceedings against Qayyum, a decision had been taken by the accountability watchdog not to initiate or take any proceedings despite a clear direction having been issued by the court in that respect. “The NAB chairman has not only owned the reports submitted by the prosecutor general but has adopted a defiant attitude by stating that the decision whether to proceed against any person under the National Accountability Ordinance 1999 or not is a decision which falls within his exclusive jurisdiction and he has decided not to proceed against any person in the matters of Adnan Khawaja, Ahmad Riaz Sheikh and Malik Muhammad Qayyum,” the court said. The court said further that the chairman had also stated in most categorical terms that no enquiry or investigation was warranted in those matters and he had stated so in contemptuous disregard of the fact that the court had already passed an order for taking proceedings in those matters. “We have particularly noticed the defiant posture and position adopted by the chairman and have been struck by his willful disobedience to the earlier directions issued by the court. It appears that instead of obeying the directions, he has decided to take the court headon, which attitude we find to be contumacious, to say the least,” the court said in its order. It said despite clear orders, the law secretary did not turn up on January 3 on account of being abroad and even today he did not appear and the court was informed that he was unwell and was receiving medical treatment, but nothing had been produced before the court to substantiate the claim. “It appears that he prefers foreign sojourns over his commitments before the highest court of the country,” the court noted. Attorney General Maulvi

Anwarul Haq stated that there was no change in the situation since the last date of hearing and no step in furtherance of the court’s earlier directions had been taken by anybody during the interregnum. Ahsan Raja, former additional interior secretary tried to convince the court that he had no malicious intent in the matter of promotion of Ahmad Riaz Sheikh. The court noted it appeared that all concerned had consciously decided to defy and disobey the court. It said it had already shown a lot of grace and magnanimity in the matter and had demonstrated a lot of patience and restraint in this regard over the last two years or so, but in the present dismal and most unfortunate state of affairs, the court was left with no other option but to take appropriate actions in order to uphold and maintain its dignity and to salvage and restore the delicately poised constitutional balance in accord with the norms of constitutional democracy. “We are conscious that the actions we propose to take are quite unpleasant but maintaining the necessary constitutional poise and balance is a part of our duties, particularly when we have made an oath before Allah Almighty to ‘preserve, protect and defend the constitution’ and to ‘in all circumstances to do right to all manner of people, according to law, without fear or favour, affection or ill-will’,” The court said. “When Article 189 of the constitution gives the decisions of the Supreme Court ‘binding’ effect and when Article 190 of the constitution commands in no uncertain terms that ‘All executive and judicial authorities throughout Pakistan shall act in aid of the Supreme Court’, the constitution does not envision an executive professing only ‘respect’ towards the decisions of the Supreme Court but at the same time derisively or disdainfully paying little or no heed to implementation or execution of such decisions,” the court said. “Obedience to the command of a court, and that too of the apex court of the country, is not a game of chess or a game of hide and seek. It is, of course, a serious business and governance of the state and maintaining the constitutional balance and equilibrium cannot be allowed to be held hostage to political tomfoolery or shenanigans. Article 5 of the constitution declares in most unambiguous terms that loyalty to the state is the basic duty of every citizen and obedience to the constitution and law is the inviolable obligation of every citizen,” the court noted. The court pointed out that in a recent interview the president had categorically stated that

Govt huddling Continued from page 1 Before the meeting of the heads of the coalition partners, President Zardari and Prime Minister Gilani also held a one-on-one meeting to discuss the situation and finalise their strategy. The coalition partners meeting was attended by Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, Asfandyar Wali Khan, Senator Afrasiab Khattak, Senator Mir Israrullah Zehri, Dr Farooq Sattar, Senator Babar Khan Ghauri, Munir Khan Orakzai, Syed Khursheed Ahmed Shah, Senator Dr Babar Awan, Raja Pervez Ashraf and spokesperson to the president Farhatullah Babar. A source said during the meeting, PML-Q President Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and Awami National Party (ANP) chief Asfandyar Wali Khan advised the president and prime minister to review

their stance of defying court orders and suggested that the matter be handled with care. The source said that both the senior politicians were of the view that opening too many fronts at a time was not wise and rather the executive should observe restraint visà-vis its relations with major state institutions – the armed forces and the judiciary. President’s spokesman Farhatullah Babar said the meeting discussed current political situation with particular reference to the most recent developments. The heads of coalition partners proposed that the session of the National Assembly be urgently called to discuss the latest political issues. Before the session of the National Assembly, a joint meeting the parliamentary parties will be also held in the Parliament House to work out the strategy to be adopted during the NA session.

under his co-chairmanship his political party had taken a political decision not to obey some parts of the judgement handed down by the court in the NRO case. The court said even the prime minister and the law minister had been harping on the same theme for quite some time on various occasions through speeches made on the floors of the National Assembly and Senate, and also through print and electronic media. Their conduct in the matter also went a long way in confirming what they had been proclaiming, the order said, adding that such an attitude, approach and conduct prima facie shows that the president, the prime minister and the law minister had allowed loyalty to a political party and its decisions to outweigh and outrun their loyalty to the State and their “inviolable obligation” to obey the constitution and all its commands. “We may unhesitatingly observe that in our country governed by a constitution, political loyalty cannot be accepted as stronger than loyalty to the State and dictates of a political master or party cannot be allowed to be put up as a defence to failure to obey the constitution,” the order said. “Our government is the potent, the omnipresent teacher. For good or for ill, it teaches the whole people by its example. Crime is contagious. If the government becomes a lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy,” it said further. “We, the judges of the Supreme Court, have made an oath before Allah Almighty to ‘preserve, protect and defend the constitution of Pakistan’ and, thus, it is our bounden duty to take appropriate action whenever we find that the constitution is not being obeyed or its express commands are, wittingly or otherwise, being disregarded. Let nobody forget that in the nottoo-distant past we stuck to our commitment to the constitution and constitutionalism and were not shy of giving personal sacrifices for fulfillment of that commitment,” the order said. Meanwhile, the court issued a notice to the attorney general directing him to address arguments before the court on next date of hearing, after obtaining instructions from those concerned as to why any of the six options may not be exercised by the court in these matters. The bench requested the chief justice to consider the desirability of hearing of these matters on the next date of hearing by a larger bench of the court, on account of constitutional importance of these matters and adjourned the case for January 16, directing the attorney general, law secretary, NAB chairman and NAB prosecutor general to ensure their appearance before the court in person.

Malik reveals the Sharifs’ ‘NRO deal’ Continued from page 24 he told reporters after attending a meeting held to review the implementation process of the Aghaz-eHaqooq-e-Balochistan Package. Reacting to Malik’s tirade against Nawaz, PML-N central leader Senator Pervez Rashid said the pieces of paper that were being made public by Malik had already been dumped in the dustbin of history by the Supreme Court. “Rehman Malik should not throw stones at others while sitting in a glass house,” he said. The interior minister said facing jail was not easy and Nawaz sought pardon for himself and his family members, signed a deal and left the nation to face a dictator. He also made public the documents signed by the PML-N leaders.

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Sindh’s 70 percent people underfed Nutrition survey 07

Federal big shots in da (Sindh) House! ■ high-profile federal bureaucrats’ ‘permanent’ occupation of Islamabad-based Sindh house’s VIP suites discussed in Sindh assembly KARACHI


iSMaiL DiLaWar

UeSDAY saw a huge hue and cry in the Sindh Assembly as the provincial lawmakers questioned the “permanent” occupation of VIP suites of the Islamabad-based Sindh House by high-profile federal bureaucrats. “Yes, some government officials have permanently occupied some rooms of the Sindh House, Islamabad,” said Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah, also the Sindh Works and Services Minister, in his written reply to a question of Member Provincial Assembly

Fayaz Ali Butt. It is interesting to note here that most of the occupiers of around 10 VIP rooms of the Sindh House have backing of either the Prime Minister House or the President House. The occupiers named in the chief minister’s written reply include Nazir Ahmed Mallah, Chief Secretary Officer c/o President House; Ghulam Qadir Jamot, Director General Prime Minister’s Task Force; Jamil Soomro, Media Adviser c/o President House; Gul Khan Kaka, c/o President House; Syed Khalid Ali Raza Gardezi, Additional Secretary Finance, Sindh Services, General Administration and Coordination, Camp Islam-

abad; Muhammad Ishaque Lashari, Director General Admin President House; Bilal Sheikh, c/o President House; Muhammad Saleem Khan, Secretary Ports and Shipping Corporation; Abdul Ghaffar Soomro, Additional Secretary Minorities Affairs; and Ghulam Sarwar Dars, Personal Secretary to Minister for Overseas Pakistanis. In response to supplementary questions of the members, Sindh Law Minister Ayaz Soomro, responding in place of the chief minister, said that the officials’ stay in the 27 VIP suites should normally range between two days and a fortnight, and that too with a cost.

While the law minister was in a defensive mood, lawmakers like Humera Alwani, Abdul Sattar Rajpar, Arif Mustafa Jatoi and Aleemur Rehman expressed concern over the permanent occupation of the rooms that they said were meant for the residence of officials from Sindh. The speaker was critical when Soomro clarified that the suits’ occupation was taking place on an on-and-off basis and was not permanent. Later, lawmakers from the Pakistan Muslim League-Functional objected as the entire proceedings of Tuesday, a private members day, were dedicated to general discussion on a resolution

paying tribute to the late Pakistan People’s Party’s founding chairman Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. F-League’s Nusrat Sehar Abbasi was on her feet when the speaker was about to call it a day at around 2:00 pm, demanding that the members be allowed to table their private resolutions. The speaker, however, rejected her request due to time constraints, thanks to the lawmakers who had arrived late. The day had seen the speaker calling the provincial legislature to order at 11:30am, almost an hour and a half later than its scheduled time, 10am. “What is our fault in this?” asked Abbasi, to which the speaker

said, “We can’t run the house without members.” The house, which was in session from 11:30am to 2:15pm, passed the most-discussed resolution in view of the late Bhutto’s 84th birth anniversary on January 5. A short debate also took place in the house, with the members wanting the house to be adjourned until Friday, and the speaker insisting that Saturday should also be a working day in that case. “It is in the rules,” Sindh Information and electric Power Minister Shazia Marri was quick to remind the speaker, who then said that the house would meet again on Friday at 10am.

‘Nationalist-cum-terrorist’ held KARACHI aftab CHanna

An alleged high-profile terrorist affiliated with a Sindhi nationalist party has been arrested from Steel Town, the Crime Investigation Department (CID) claimed on Tuesday. Headed by Operations Senior Superintendent of Police Fayyaz Khan, the CID promptly acted on a tip-off and apprehended a most-wanted terrorist involved in bomb blasts at railway tracks across the province.

CID sources claimed that the detainee, Saiful Bugti, is affiliated with the Jeay Sindh Muttahida Mahaz (JSMM) and involved in blasts on rail routes. They said that during the initial interrogation, the detainee had admitted being affiliated with the Shafi Burfat-led JSMM and being involved in bomb blasts. “Bugti has also confessed to his involvement in terrorist activities for the past five years. Police have shifted him to an undisclosed location for further investigation,” they added.

Male or female? Transgenders will now have a choice ■ Sindh election Commission holds meeting with transgender community representatives KARACHI iMDaD SooMro

Following the orders of the Supreme Court, the Sindh election Commission on Tuesday convened a meeting with representatives of the transgender community at the commission’s provincial head office in Karachi to ensure that the names of their community members are entered in the voters list ahead of the upcoming elections. Leaders of the transgender community would be asked whether they want their names to be entered in the ‘male’ column or the ‘female’ column, as many community members have female names, while others have male names. The apex court had ordered the government to ensure that the names of the members of the transgender community are entered in the voters list, as this would prove beneficial for them to acquire proper jobs.

Provincial election Commissioner-Sindh Sono Khan Baloch had contacted Shemale Foundation President Almas Boby, Gender Interactive Alliance President Bindiya Rana and other representatives of the transgender community to attend a high-level meeting at the Sindh election commission’s office. Sources said that three aspects would be covered in the meeting – ensuring registration of the names of the transgender community members, verifying their addresses and their preferred place for vote-casting, and asking them for their preferred gender (‘male’ or ‘female’) column in the list. If the community’s representatives would like to provide suggestions of their own, they would be encouraged to do so, added the sources. The meeting would be attended by the Sindh election commissioner, election Commission-Islamabad joint secretary, and Social Welfare secretary and director.

TRUCk aRT: a young artist applies finishing touches to his masterpiece at the Mauripur truck stand. AsiM rehMANi

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City to host 1st international women leaders’ summit KARACHI PreSS reLeaSe

As part of the Women in Business Conference Series for professional women, an international women leaders’ summit is being organised on January 25 in Karachi. The speakers would include Rokia Afzal Rehman, a former minister from Bangladesh who will deliver the keynote address on “enterprising WomenLessons from South and Far east Asia”. Social activist and voice

of Afghan Radio during the Afghan war Jamila Mujahed from Afghanistan would share her experiences on “Tools of education for Afghan Women during War”, while famous author elif Shafak from Turkey would speak on “Women, Modern Day Living and Spirituality”. The first Pakistani emmy Award winner Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy would discuss “Women Facing Challenges of extremism”. Representatives of leading business organisations including Asad Umar,

Naved A Khan and Mian Abrar would discuss role of businesses to promote gender diversity. A panel moderated by Dr Huma Baqai, associate professor at the IBA Karachi, would include senior bureaucrat Begum Nasreen Haque, Ayesha Aziz, Nadira Panjwani, and Yasmin Lari to discuss the success of women in public and private sectors. Ayesha Tammy Haq will lead the session on “Local entrepreneurs Success Stories” with Sana Safinaz, Farzeen Irtizaz and local entrepreneurs.

SSGC needs Rs 30bn to upgrade supply network ■ gas company needs to bring down penalties imposed on it by OgRa for wasted gas

KMC administrator inspects Banaras Flyover construction KARACHI aftab CHanna

Aiming to upgrade its network of pipelines and bring down the penalties imposed by the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA), the cash-strapped Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) requires at least Rs 30 billion so that the precious natural gas could be saved from wastage, Pakistan Today has

KARACHI Staff rePort

Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) Administrator Muhammad Hussain Syed visited the Banaras Flyover, Shahrah-e-Noorjehan and other ongoing development projects on Tuesday. He was accompanied by Technical Services Director Altaf G Memon, Senior Health Director Dr Shoukat Zaman, District West Administrator Nazir Lakhani and West Chief engineer Subhan Jatoi. Banaras Flyover would be opened for two-way traffic this week. The administrator directed the officials concerned to finish the repair work and shifting of pipelines passing beneath the Abdullah Girls College Roundabout within 10 days. The administrator said that the flyover is being completed at a cost of Rs 1.2 billion and Rs 700 million are being spent on the construction of roads pass-

ing around and beneath it and the shifting of underground water and sewerage pipelines. “The construction of three underpasses and five flyovers in the city will also begin soon while the hurdles in the renovation of Shahrah-e-Noorjehan and Shahrah-e-Qaddafi are being removed and their construction will be completed during the current year,” he added. The administrator said action would be taken against those involved in damaging water supply pipelines. “Pipes with six feet width were manufactured by Pakistan Steel and the first consignment of these pipes would be received in March 2012,” he added. “The other lines would be changed after new ones are supplied.” He also said the Sher Shah Suri Road that connects with the Banaras Flyover would also be completed during the current month.

learnt. Gas distribution companies were set up in the mid 1950s i.e. (the Karachi Gas Company and the Indus Gas Company) and the network of pipeline was laid in urban areas including Karachi and Hyderabad. But now, the network has become overloaded and dilapidated, causing the company to pay huge penalties that were imposed by

OGRA under the head of ‘Unaccounted For Gas’ (UFG) benchmark set by the authority. Sources said the SSGC can efficiently provide natural gas to industrial, commercial and domestic customers. However, the financial position of the company is weakening due to imposition of financial penalties on account of UFG. Under the new plan, the

company plans to undertake massive renovation of pipelines in a bid to bring down the UFG to an acceptable level. It would require deploying all financial and technical resources to achieve the task in time, not to only to avoid further penalties by OGRA but also to help improve the energy situation of the country by saving precious gas.

Balloting for plots of Naya Nazimabad project KARACHI PreSS reLeaSe

The balloting ceremony for plots in blocks A, C and D of the Naya Nazimabad project was organised on Tuesday. Naya Nazimabad is designed to provide secure and affordable housing for the progressive middle-income class. It offers residential units, along with a wide range of amenities i.e. schools, colleges and university, hospitals and clinics, parks and shopping malls. The project spans a vast area and is located close to North Nazimabad. “It gives us immense pleasure to inform you that the full quota of plots has been booked and we are still receiving applications. We owe this success to the

people of Karachi and our friends and associates who placed their trust and confidence in us,” Arif Habib, chairman of the Arif Habib Group, said on the occasion. Also present at the ceremony were the Naya Nazimabad project’s senior management and partners, customers and other stakeholders. The project’s residential zone is based on single-unit and double-storey houses and plots measuring 120, 160 and 240 square yards. Other than premier amenities, the Naya Nazimabad project would have overhead water tanks and an efficient sewerage management system. Residents would be facilitated by an internal transport grid and security would be ensured through gates,

staffing and close circuit security cameras. An international standard cricket stadium is also on the verge of completion. “The only reason why I was convinced to buy a house in Naya Nazimabad was because of the level of security offered. It is a great burden off my mind that my kids finally have a secure environment to enjoy in,” said one of the customers. Another customer said, “It is very heartening to see such a brilliant project being developed in Karachi. I have always been reluctant to invest in housing projects due to untrustworthy builders but this time I am convinced of the builder’s credibility. I am sure soon the keys of my future house would be handed over to me soon.”

50 years of Pak-german partnership celebrated in pictures KARACHI PreSS reLeaSe

A photo exhibition titled “50 years of Pakistan-German Development Cooperation” was inaugurated on Monday at the Goethe-Institut Pakistan by Consul General of Germany in Karachi Dr Tilo Klinner and Goethe-Institut Pakistan Director Dr Markus Litz. The exhibition would run until the end of the current month. Speaking on the occasion, the German consul general said half a century ago in 1961, the governments of Pakistan and Germany launched their development partnership. Pakistan was therefore one of Germany’s first partner countries. Since then, this cooperation has formed an important dimension in the relationship between the two countries and has significantly con-

tributed to deepening the ties between both the governments, as well as between the private sector and civil society of both countries. “Thus, when celebrating the 50 years of development cooperation, we also celebrate a rich history of institutional and human interactions which has laid a solid foundation for a long-standing friendship between our peoples,” he noted. The consul general thanked all Pakistani partners at all levels, in particular the colleagues in the economic Affairs Division in the Ministry of Finance, for many years of harmonious and fruitful cooperation. “It is this positive experience that permits us to look ahead to the future with confidence for further joint efforts. Over the past five decades, Pakistan and Germany have implemented numerous development projects and it has been made possible to have selected examples and

impacts of these projects presented in the photo-exhibition in words and pictures,” he said. Today, the priority areas of PakistanGerman development cooperation are good governance, energy, health and basic and vocational education. In addition, the German Ministry for economic Cooperation and Development supports Pakistan with refugee aid and in coping with natural disasters, most recently following the floods in 2010 and 2011. In October last year, the parliamentary state secretary in the German Federal Ministry for economic Cooperation and Development, Gudrun Kopp, visited Islamabad and announced that Germany would support emergency aid measures for the survivors of 2011 floods in Sindh and Balochistan provinces with 5.6 million euros.

german Consul general Dr Tilo klinner, goethe-Institut Pakistan Director Dr Markus Litz and other some other guests at the exhibition.

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Sindh’s 70 percent people underfed ■ National Nutrition Survey 2011 reveals no progress over food security in the province in a decade KARACHI


aMar guriro

eSPITe being an agricultural province, Sindh is the poorest and the most food-deprived province of the country with 70 percent of its total population (estimated at 35 million) facing food insecurity, according to the National Nutrition Survey (NNS) 2011. The national survey reveals that the women, especially mothers, and children are the worst sufferers of the food insecurity in the province, which contributes 70 percent to the country’s total tax collection revenue and 34 percent towards gross domestic product. Due to lack of food, 51 percent of the women population and 52 percent pregnant women suffer from acute anaemia. The worsened food insecurity has caused 73 percent of the population to suffer from malnutrition and around half of the children in Sindh are malnourished. Health experts and Sindh Nutrition Cell officials have termed the survey “more than alarming” and urged the government departments and international donors to work together for overcoming the problem. The Aga Khan University (AKU) in collaboration with United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICeF) carried out the NNS 2011. The nutrition survey has been conducted after a decade as the last one was done in 2001. The survey reveals that little has changed over the last decade in terms of core maternal and childhood nutrition indicators in the province. Not only food insecurity, but the NNS 2011 report also went on to add that other indicators of basic healthcare are also worse than average. The survey report also states that a large number of people in Sindh are without access to fresh drinking water while children under five years of age are suffering from abdominal diseases and diarrhoea because of consuming contaminated water. The ceremony titled “Dissemination of National Nutrition Survey 2011” to announce the results of the survey was held at a local hotel on Tuesday. The event was also attended by Sindh Health Minister Dr Sagheer Ahmed, Health Secretary Hashim Raza Zaidi, government officials and representatives of UNICeF, World Food Programme (WFP), Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), World Health Organisation (WHO) and other donor agencies including United States Assistance for International Development (USAID), AusAID and United Kingdom’s Department For International Development (DFID). Disclosing the details of different indicators of the survey, AKU Professor Sajid Soofi said that in absence of coordination between different government programmes running at different levels to overcome food insecurity, no significant results were seen. “In the last ten years since the last survey, no improvement has been witnessed in the nutrition status of mothers and children in Sindh, despite several government programmes in place in the province,” he said. Prof Soofi was of the view that due to the floods last year and this season’s heavy monsoon downpours, a large population

tion,” Ahmed said. “For achieving the target next time, we are planning to include the Population Welfare Department and other government department in the process.”

It is not the sole responsibility of the provincial health department, and we need multidimensional approach with help from different departments, including social welfare and agriculture, to end this important issue

UNICeF’s health specialist Dr Asif Farrukhi said the UN, including UNICeF, are working along with Sindh government to overcome the problem of malnutrition in the province.

Dr SaLMa KauSar SinDH nutrition CeLL Manager

in the province was displaced and are facing acute food shortage. Terming the data of the national survey “more than alarming”, Sindh Nutrition Cell Manager Dr Salma Kausar said malnutrition, especially among women, pregnant women and children, is the worst. “It is not the sole responsibility of the provincial health department, and we need multidimensional approach with help from different departments, including social welfare and agriculture, to end this important issue,” she said. Talking about the reasons behind increased malnutrition, Kausar said among other reasons low ratio of literacy among mothers and poverty were the most important. “Internationally, malnutrition of

15 percent population in a region is supposed to be an alarming situation; whereas, in Sindh over 30 percent of the population is underfed, which is unacceptable,” she said. Speaking on the occasion, the provincial health minister termed the national survey result as “ground realities”. “During the past two years, Pakistan including Sindh went through the worst disasters in its history, including floods and monsoon rains; thereby, increasing food insecurity in the province,” he said. “We are running several programmes on nutrition and immunisation but not getting the [desired] results. There are several other reasons but the major cause of the failure of these projects is malnutri-

Don’t ignore NrO’s positive aspects: Taj haider KARACHI aaMir MaJeeD

Reacting to the Supreme Court’s verdict on the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) case, the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Sindh said the ordinance was a political agreement that helped restore democracy in the country, but some beneficiaries are now trying to evade the next general elections by bringing the pact to an end. “Some beneficiaries of the NRO are

trying to sabotage this agreement,” PPP Sindh Secretary General Taj Haider told Pakistan Today. “These political beneficiaries have tried several times to have the Swiss cases reopened and are also trying to sabotage the next general elections,” he added. “They have always tried to create the impression that the president is the only beneficiary of the NRO. Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Nawaz Sharif and the Punjab chief minister also came to the country after a political agree-

ment. Why has the PML-N president not issued a contempt notice for pressuring courts?” Haider said Swiss Attorney General Daniel Zappeli has already clarified that the Swiss courts cannot reopen cases against President Zardari as he enjoys immunity as per the Pakistan’s constitution. “It is not only the Pakistani law, but the international law also provides immunity to President Zardari like it does to the presidents of France and Sudan,” he added.

A National Accountability Court (NAB) acquitted the only arrested man in the Cotecna reference case and it has decided that the court could not initiate action as President Zardari, also accused in the case, as he enjoy immunity under the constitution, Haider pointed out. “The PPP Sindh would review options to call a general body meeting after its core committee meeting in Islamabad,” he added. PPP acting Information Secretary Waqar Mehdi claimed that all cases

against President Zardari have been proven to be fabricated. “If we can face jails, then we can also face courts during our rule,” he said. Saifur Rehman, the former NAB chief, sought forgiveness from President Zardari for hatching a conspiracy against him on the directives of anti-PPP forces,” he added. “We are monitoring the situation closely and would decide the future strategy after the PPP core committee meeting in Islamabad.”

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wednesday, 11 January, 2012

We need to stop competing against each other and follow Bhittai

PRayeR TIMINgS Fajr 5:58

Sunrise 7:18

Zuhr 12:40

asr 3:41

Maghrib 6:01

Isha 7:22

Starting time in karachi

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32238405-8 32225284, 32258656 99215740, 32735214


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117, 99213565-6 99213538 99201118


114 111786786


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INDH’S greatest Sufi poet and mystic, Hazrat Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai was born in 1689 to a well-respected family of the province. Bhittai was never attracted to comfort and rejected the luxuries of life to search for true spirituality. Spending most of his life in deep solitary meditation, the questions that burned through his mind revolved around man’s purpose for being on earth and his relationship with his creator. It was through his poetry that Bhittai preached the beliefs of tolerance, love and conquering tyranny and oppression. Tolerance is what makes a man human. Man, who has many desires, moods and ambitions, is constantly struggling to get ahead of the rest or to achieve his desired objectives. It seems that everyone is in some kind of a race and we are competing against one another and many a times, this competition gets severe because we tend to overlook others’ feelings or even attempt to hurt others. Islam, being a way of life, shows us how to lead our lives on a day to day basis… how to behave with different relations, how to perform good deeds, how to talk, how to discipline ourselves and so much more. It is a known fact that God loves those who love his beings. Indeed, why not? Don’t we love those who show love towards our children? But sadly, everything falls apart when it comes to that race! People are losing faith in one another, trust being broken more regularly than ever! A brother doesn’t trust his brother! Husband doesn’t have faith in his wife! One relation betraying another is becoming a common practice. Back-biting, which is strictly prohibited in Islam, is no big deal for anyone anymore. One looks for an opportunity at all times to malign the other. Rules are broken with pride, there is no patience to stand at a traffic signal just for a few seconds and throwing garbage and spitting paan on roads and streets is common now! Look at what we have done to our historical buildings and heritage sites! You must be wondering why did I shift from the topic of Bhittai and ended up here. Well you see this is what we need to understand and value because love and tolerance, as propagated by Bhittai, is what we need today to fix our society. We need tolerance to co-exist and we need love to care for all beings created by God, thus making the Almighty happy. Bhittai wrote poetry on the women of Sindh, admiring their courage and loyalty. Women, who give birth to life, need to be respected and appreciated for the struggle they go through in a world where fathers, brothers and sons dominate the society. Wise women suffer because their wisdom becomes a nuisance for them. Bhittai’s mesmerising poetry pays tribute to women and their various abilities. Bhittai’s message was not limited to one region. His philosophy of love and tolerance had no boundaries and he preached about greater harmony. Today, when countries are aggressively confronting one another, conspiracy theories are popping up every single second, terrorists are working on their evil plans, territories are becoming more precious than human life and blood of

innocent people and children is being shed in different wars, we need the message of Bhittai to spread! We need to end these wars, stop the conspiracy game, stop the shedding of precious blood and this is what Bhittai’s philosophy of greater harmony is all about. It is the best resolution of all conflicts. Bhittai undoubtedly thought much ahead of his time and that is why he devoted his life to the greatest cause of spreading love and tolerance amongst all. Bhittai’s poems, collected and compiled, have survived generations and inspired million across borders and faiths. His teachings of humanity, piety, respect and emancipation of women, tolerance between faiths and moral courage continue to be our guiding light. Sindh is known for its great Sufi saints and we take pride in their message of love and peace. Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto, who often visited the shrines of the Sufi saints in Sindh, understood how important it was to spread this message of peace and so she initiated the process of reconciliation.

faraZeH SYeD

Her vision of reconciling for greater peace in the country and region is a mission for us today and we continue to move in that direction under the leadership of President Asif Ali Zardari, who too forgave those who never forgave him. They punished him for being on the right path, they tortured him to break his silence but he struggled with dignity. The Pakistan People’s Party continues to promote peace through reconciliation. Today we need to remind ourselves of Bhittai’s message of love and tolerance and peaceful co-existence. We need to forget our differences and learn to respect each other’s point of view. We need to end disputes and conflicts and value the little things in life. We need to make peace within and outside, reconcile and work together for greater peace and harmony. We need to really work hard to make our world the better place to live in! Long live Bhittai… The writer is Sindh information and electric power minister.

SaeeD aKHtar

tHe SKY StiLL LingerS




Farazeh Syed’s art exhibition from January 13 to 20 at the Unicorn Gallery. Call 35831220 for more information.

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

Art exhibition ‘The Sky Still Lingers’ until January 15 at the Photospace Gallery. Call 0300-8242197 for more information.

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wednesday, 11 January, 2012

News 09

Pakistan writes to UN to register complaint over Sir Creek NEW YORK onLine

Pakistan has complained to UN chief Ban Ki-moon that the geographical coordinates of the Sir Creek estuary notified by India were “inconsistent” with the international law and “impinge” upon Islamabad’s territorial limits in the disputed area, Indian media reported on Tuesday. The complaint was made in a letter from Pakistan’s mission to the UN which has been posted on the UN website. It was in response to India’s notifications specifying its geographical coordinates and boundary claims with regards to Sir Creek, which were placed on the website of the UN Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea in May and November 2009. The letter said India’s “base points impinge upon Pakistan’s territorial limits in the Sir Creek area and encroach upon its territorial waters, which are within its sovereign jurisdiction. This encroachment by India in Pakistan’s limits is a grave violation of international principles”. It said Pakistan did “not recognise the baseline system promulgated” by India”. “While the government of Pakistan reserves its right to seek suitable revision of this notification, any claim India makes on the basis of Indian notification to extend its sovereignty and jurisdiction on Pakistani waters or extend its internal waters, territorial sea, exclusive economic Zone and Continental Shelf is, therefore, not acceptable to Pakistan,” the letter added.

No provision in constitution to create new provinces: aNP PESHAWAR Staff rePort

Despite the enactment of the 18th and 19th amendment; there is no provision in the constitution to create new provinces, Awami National Party (ANP) senior vice president and parliamentary leader in Senate Haji Muhammad Adeel said on Tuesday. He said that neither Article239(4) nor provincial assemblies nor the parliament could create new provinces. He said even securing 100 percent votes and a resolution cannot create new provinces. He said Article 1 of the constitution mentioned the provinces and areas that fall in the country or may be added to it. He said the change would require drastic changes in the constitution and dozens of articles will need to be reframed. He said the former Mohajir Qaumi Mahaz (MQM) was trying to create a rift between tribal Pakthuns and settled Pakthuns by raising the Hazara card.

MuZaffarabaD: Schoolchildren walk through a snow-covered road in Pir Chanasi. ONLiNe

Federal government approves reconstitution of Railways BoD LAHORE


iMran aDnan

He federal government has given approval for reconstitution of the board of directors (BoDs) of Pakistan Railways. To revamp the Pakistan Railways, the new board would largely be dominated by members from the private sector, Pakistan Today learnt on Tuesday. Official documents made available to Pakistan Today show that the new BOD will include eleven professionals from the private sectors, three members from the public sector and two ex-officio officers.

The proposed list of names for the railways BOD shows that the government is considering the names of industrialist Mian Azizur Rehman, noted economic professor Dr Akmal Hussain, Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Ltd (SNGPL) former general manager engineer Saeeduz Zaman, former banker Ahmed Alman Aslam, LUMS professor Dr Imran Ali, agriculturist Qaiser Zulfiqar, WAPDA Chairman Shakeel Durrani, advocate Malik Mushtaq Ahmed, Pakistan Railways former general managers Aurangzeb Khan and Iqbal Samad Khan and the member Privatisation Commission Board. Similarly, federal minister for rail-

ways or railways chairman, member (nominee of Ministry of Railways) and representative from the Cabinet Committee on Restructuring (CCOR) would represent the public sector. Whereas, the Pakistan Railways chief executive officer (CeO) or member and chief financial officer (CFO), member finance (Auditor General Department) would be included as ex-officio. According to the railways’ existing rules, the board consists of a chairman and members who are appointed by the federal government and includes railways division secretary (chairman of the board), communication division secretary, finance division secretary, planning

Bin Laden death hits al Qaeda hard PARIS afP

The death of Osama bin Laden last year severely damaged Al-Qaeda’s finances and left the shadowy network struggling to survive in the mountains of Pakistan and Afghanistan, analysts say. Deprived of its historic leader, whose legendary name drew in generous contributions from rich families in the Gulf, Al-Qaeda’s money troubles have forced it to scale down its activities, they said. “When Osama was alive, Al-Qaeda had more money,” said a senior security official in in the northwestern Pakistan city of Peshawar. “Before Osama’s death, we received reports showing disputes between Osama and Ayman Al-Zawahiri about money. The money was coming from Osama, and Zawahiri was the operational head,” he said.

Zawahiri was bin Laden’s deputy who took over after his Saudi boss, who was believed responsible for the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, was shot dead in May by US commandos in Pakistan after a 10-year manhunt. Zawahiri has neither the stature, the influence nor the networks to collect funds from Gulf donors and the organisation’s finances quickly began to dwindle after the death, analysts said. “He is an egyptian, and that plays a major part,” said Riad Kahwaji of the Institute for Near east and Gulf military analysis (INeGMA). “He still has to prove himself as a capable leader for the cause. We have a lot of reports that show that he is still being challenged by many of other prominent Qaeda members,” he said. “In the Gulf, family connections, tribal connections do matter a lot. The death of bin Laden had a major impact

on the finances of Al-Qaeda,” said Kahwaji. Bin Laden first began touring the Gulf to collect funds back in the 1980s when he was taking part in the jihad against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. He was received as a hero during these tours. A Pakistani Taliban source interviewed by AFP in Karachi said the Gulf donors are still financing anti-American jihad in the region but that the Afghan Taliban were now favoured above Al-Qaeda. Another Taliban source in Peshawar said that “Al-Qaeda still has money, but they focus now more on Afghanistan. “Before they were giving money to TTP (Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan), but now they’re only giving them some small money to survive,” he said. Volunteer fighters returning from Pakistan’s northwestern tribal belt have told of under-manned Al-Qaeda

cells that are lacking in focus, short of cash and terrified of attacks by US drones. “They have been seriously depleted, not just by financial problems but also by drone strikes and lack of morale generally and lack of leadership,” said Richard Barrett of the AlQaeda-Taliban monitoring team of the United Nations. “Al-Qaeda has been so discredited by its irrelevance to all the changes in the Arab world that it’s no longer attractive as a recipient of funds for donors,” said Barrett, a former head of counter-terrorism at Britain’s MI6 intelligence agency. Kahwaji added: “People who used to support it now see that you can have an Islamic movement able to send elected members into parliament or government. “They don’t need any more to support a rogue group living thousands of miles away from them to help them change things in their respective countries.”

and development division secretary, Pakistan Railways general manager operations and general manager manufacturing and services and Railways Division member finance as ex-officio. It also includes three members from the private sector, which are nominated by the federal government. The federal cabinet in its meeting held in March 2010 considered a summary submitted by the Finance Division on “Approval of the Decision of Cabinet Committee on Restructuring (CCOR) of Public Sector enterprises (PSes)” and approved the proposed roadmap for reorganisation of the boards of directors of the identified PSes.

army plans pompous demolition of bin Laden’s home ISLAMABAD inP

The house where Osama bin Laden was shot dead by US Navy Seals is set to be flattened by rocket-propelled grenades and then bulldozed. Military chiefs in Pakistan plan a spectacular blitz in front of TV cameras to prevent the walled complex becoming a shrine, UK newspaper The Sun reported Tuesday. Interior Minister Rehman Malik said Monday: “We will hit it like an enemy fort. But first we must erase everything related to bin Laden from our country.” Pakistan has been stung by claims it turned a blind eye to the hideout in Abbottabad, 30 miles from capital Islamabad. The demolition will take place next month. The ISPR spokesman Major General Athar Abbas said US and european officials will be invited. He said, “It will be a big event.”

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10 News PPP MNa azeem Daultana killed in road accident

wednesday, 11 January, 2012

Doctors trying their best to save Pakistani child prodigy g

Family appeals for prayers for her health LAHORE


Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) MNA, Mian Azeem Khan Daultana, was killed in a road accident, his family said on Tuesday. Daultana was on his way to Vehari when his car ran off the road and flipped over on Kot Wali Bridge near Luddan. His driver died on the spot, while, Daultana succumbed to his injuries while he was being rushed to the hospital. Daultana was a nephew to Pakistan Muslim League-N leader Tehmina Daultana. He was also parliamentary secretary for information & broadcasting. According to sources in the family, he was due to get married in two weeks. President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, Information Minister Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan and other ministers and politicians condoled with the family.

SaLaHuDin SafDar

team of American doctors was taken on board on Monday by the Microsoft Corporation for the treatment of the world’s youngest Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) Arfa Kareem while her disease remained a mystery to medical experts. The family of the IT prodigy was also contacted by Microsoft owner Bill Gates’ aide to express the Gates’ wishes for Arfa’s health. Arfa, who was called “a new face of Pakistan in the world”, is still under intensive care after she suffered from an epileptic seizure and cardiac arrest three weeks ago. Arfa’s uncle, Tariq Randhawa, while talking to Pakistan Today denied that Bill Gates had contacted the family but said a Microsoft representative had conveyed his wishes for Arfa’s early recovery and informed the family that a panel of four doctors had been employed by Microsoft for consultations on Arfa’s mysterious disease.

The foreign doctors contacted Arfa’s Pakistani doctors and obtained her medical records and details about her illness over the internet. Randhawa added that doctors from all over Pakistan and abroad were monitoring Arfa’s condition. He stated that the girl was still on life-support but her brain had shown signs of improvement and that the doctors were optimistic about her condition. He said the foreign doctors were also content about the medical facilities being provided to the child in Pakistan. Arfa’s doctors had said earlier there were not enough facilities available in the country to shift the critical patient to another hospital. However, her uncle told Pakistan Today that the doctors were not in favour of shifting the patient elsewhere until her condition became stable. He added that the family was satisfied with the medical care provided to Arfa. Arfa’s medical records, including scans of her brain were also mailed to renowned medical experts in Australia and other countries.

According to the child’s family, she suffered from a seizure on December 22 which was followed by a cardiac arrest that affected the blood supply to the brain, limiting its efficiency. Doctors have not yet been able to identify the cause of her seizure.

Arfa was immediately taken to the Lahore CMH where she was admitted in the intensive care unit and put on a ventilator. The doctors at CMH were hopeless about the girl’s recovery before the response from her brain was recorded. Arfa’s father Col (retd) Amjad Kareem said her brain is now showing continuous activity and she has started to move her hands and feet. Arfa, now 16 is a student of A-levels in Lahore. She won the title of the youngest Microsoft Certified Professional at the age of 9 in 2004. She was also invited by Bill Gates to visit the Microsoft Corporation’s headquarters in the US. Piloting a plane at the age of 10 was also proof of Arfa’s astonishing skills. She also received the President’s Award for the Pride of Performance at the same age and the Fatimah Jinnah Gold Medal from the government in 2005. She was awarded the Salaam Pakistan Youth Award and became a brand ambassador for PTCL in 2010. Arfa’s family has asked the nation to pray for the recovery of the extraordinary girl.

address SSP employees issue, Iftikhar tells govt PESHAWAR Staff rePort

The federal government must resolve the issue of the absorption of the Soil Survey of Pakistan (SSP) employees who have been deprived of their salaries for the last few months at the earliest, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Minister for Information and Cabinet Committee on Absorption of Federal employees Chairman, Mian Iftikhar Hussain said on Tuesday. He made the demand while chairing a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Absorption of Federal employees transferred to province under 18th Constitutional Amendment at Peshawar. The meeting was also attended by establishment Secretary Aarifeen Khan, Population Welfare Secretary Ahmad Hanif Orakzai and authorities concerned of devolved departments.

SuKKur: Children stand in queue to fill their vessels with clean drinking water from a roadside tap at Station road. iNP

Rushdie dismisses call for ban on India entry NEW DELHI afP

British author Salman Rushdie has dismissed demands by an influential Islamic seminary in India that he should be banned from entering the country to attend a literature festival later this month. Rushdie, who was threatened with death in a “fatwa” order from Iran over his 1988 novel “The Satanic Verses”, is due to speak in the city of Jaipur alongside fellow writers such as Lionel Shriver and Richard Dawkins. The Darululoom Deoband seminary, one of the world’s most important Islamic universities, is known for its conservative teachings thought to have shaped the views of some radical Islamist groups such as the Taliban. Maulana Qasim Nomani, a seminary official, called for India to cancel Rushdie’s visa, saying that “the man whose blasphemous writings have hurt the sentiments of Muslims all over the world must not be allowed to set foot on Indian soil.” Rushdie — who was born in Mumbai in 1947 — responded late on Monday by pointing out on Twitter that he did not need a visa to visit India. The novelist spent a decade in hiding after Iranian spiritual leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued the fatwa in 1989 calling for his death for alleged blasphemy against Islam in “The Satanic Verses”. The Times of India said on Tuesday that Rushdie had visited India dozens of times over the last 20 years and it accused the seminary of trying to link the issue to state elections in Uttar Pradesh that begin on February 8. “Whenever Rushdie has come here, we have always con-

Peace and tolerance: The message of shah Abdul Latif Bhitai SHAzIA MARRI

demned it,” Maulana Abdul Khaliq, seminary deputy vice chancellor, said. “People who admire him can go and find him abroad.” Organisers of the Jaipur festival said Rushdie had attended literary events in India without incident in recent years, and was still scheduled to speak on January 20 and 21. “In plural societies such as ours, it is imperative that we continue to allow avenues for unfettered literary expression,” they said in a statement.

Sindh’s greatest Sufi poet and mystic Hazrat Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai was born in 1689 into a well-respected family of Sindh. He was never attracted to comfort, rejected the luxuries of family and home to spend his life searching for true spirituality and connection to God. Spending most of his life in deep solitary meditation, the questions that burned through his mind revolved around man’s purpose for being on earth, and his relationship with his Creator. It was through his poetry that he preached to his disciples beliefs of tolerance and love, conquering tyranny and oppression. Love and tolerance as propagated by Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai is what we need today to fix our society. We need the tolerance to co-exist and we need the love to show care to all beings created by God. Bhitai wrote poetry on the women of Sindh, admiring their courage and loyalty. He says women, who give birth to life, need to be respected and appreciated for all the struggle they go through in a world

where fathers, brothers and sons dominate society. Wise women suffer because they are wise and being wise becomes a nuisance for them, says Bhitai’s mesmerising poetry, which pays tribute to women and their various abilities. Shah Latif’s message was not limited to one region, his philosophy of love and tolerance had no boundaries and he preached about greater harmony. Today when countries are aggressively confronting one another, conspiracy theories popping up every single second, terrorists working on their evil plans, territories becoming more precious than human life, blood of innocent people and children being shed in wars, we need the message of Bhitai to spread, We need to end these wars, stop the conspiracy game, stop the shedding of precious blood and this is what Shah Latif’s philosophy of greater harmony is all about, the best resolution of all conflicts. (The writer is Provincial Minister for Information and Electric Power, Government of Sindh)

KHI 11-01-2012_Layout 1 1/11/2012 2:33 AM Page 11

wednesday, 11 January, 2012

Editor’s mail 11

a tribute to Shah abdul Latif Bhittai The annual Urs of Hazrat Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai, a magnanimous soul who guided the humanity with his rare qualities of head and heart and who loved everyone as his own soul, is being celebrated with usual fervour and solemnity in the famous town of Bhitt Shah, Hyderabad division. One can witness various activities throughout the province where

Nur khan as I saw him

all and sundry pay a glowing tribute to him who is sociologist and philosopher of rare breed. Shah sain is indeed an inspiration to every individual. Shah Latif is emotionally and spiritually nearer to everyone. Millions of people have been influenced by his life, mission and vision. His vision is peace, progress and happiness.

His writings bring sensitivity, sagacity, simplicity, creativity, hope and solace to the lacerated hearts. However, in order to pay tribute to him and advocate his message of humanity and humanitarian values, I appeal to the President of Pakistan to direct the foreign ministry, the external publicity wing of ministry of information and broadcasting and also the

culture department to project and promote his message of “peace and social justice”, “tolerance and toleration”, “harmony and development” around the globe. For this purpose his poetic works “Shah Jo Risalo” should be translated in all UN official languages at the earliest. HASHIM ABRO Islamabad

Presidential immunity These days the burning question of President’s immunity is very much the topic of national attention. The resident claims immunity for all past and present deeds while the Apex Court has observed that immunity has to be claimed from the court. As a result the nation is in a logjam over the critical issue. The President has vowed that the PM would not issue a letter to Swiss courts to open the case of his bank accounts of millions of dollars as required by the Apex Court. The above imbroglio could best be resolved by reverting to pristine Islamic history where even the Holy Prophet (PBUH) offered himself to be accountable to a citizen and the caliphs presented themselves in the court for being accountable. Article 25(1) of the Constitution also states that all citizens are equal before law and have equal protection of law which surmounts all other provisions as the President is also a citizen of Pakistan and could offer himself for being accountable for his deeds. DR MUHAMMAD YAQOOB BHATTI Lahore

a triple distinction Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani should be entitled to a triple crown: Crown I: Prime Minister Gilani has made more statements than the number of days he has been in office. Crown II: Prime Minister Gilani has made more statements than all the prime ministers and presidents of Pakistan. Crown III: Prime Minister Gilani has made more statements in office than all the prime ministers of the British Commonwealth of Nations combined. By virtue of these distinctions, Prime Minister Gilani should be entitled to a place in the Guinness Book of Super Records. Ninety percent of Prime Minister Gilani’s statements are self-contradictory or frivolous. Five percent are retractions or flip-flopping and the rest may make me sense. (This is said in jest. I assure the Hon. Prime Minister of my deep respect.) BASHIR A MALIK Lahore Send your letters to: Letters to Editor, Pakistan Today, 4-Shaarey Fatima Jinnah, Lahore, Pakistan Fax: +92-42-36298302 E-mail: Letters may be edited for length and clarity. It would be appreciated if letters were addressed to Pakistan Today exclusively.

Sab se pehle Pakistan The man, who has initiated his politics under the civilian clothes and who chants sab se pehle Pakistan, seems to be in some very hot waters as the details of his bank accounts has just been made public, which incidentally make him a billionaire in dollar terms. His claims to lead the country would have no cred-

a positive change It is not too late. eminent Baloch Sardar and politician Ataullah Mengal came out with the blatant truth in his TV talk on 8 January when he admitted that it was questionable whether the youth of Balochistan spearheading the so-called ‘separatist’ movement are able to run the affairs of government if the Balochistan province gets independence from Pakistan. The Sardar who was a month back pleading for independent Balochistan in yet another statement two weeks back surprisingly enough went too far when he said: “Balochistan has rich resources and any other force could trap us into another quagmire. We have no other solution, except to keep the country intact.” Chief Minister Nawab Aslam Raisani followed the remark by saying “the world is eyeing on the Gwadar Port and natural resources of the province, but we will not let the

ibility if he is not going to undergo accountability of the highest order, along with his trial for the crimes he committed against the national leaders. SADIA KHAN Lahore

province become part of any great game.” This is the most welcome statement which is certainly a ray of hope for us as a nation. This change is visibly seen in the veteran Baloch politician’s mind after the PML(N) president Nawaz Sharif visited Sardar Mengal’s place where the latter warned the nation about the enraged Baloch youth who are living in the mountains. Very few know about who is leading those youth or whether their movement is under the BLA tag or BRA insignia? It is for your readers’ information that Dr Aala Nazar is the leader who seems to be working on some others’ agenda. Dr Aala Nazar has very dubious background. His MBBS degree is not probably authenticated. Besides the holding of nationalist pro-separatist leader Sanaullah Zehri’s PML(N) slot in Balochistan is a major development. The FC and military circles are also pointing towards the mysterious movement involving the said to be Balochistan youth which is mostly in the

Brahwi-concentrated areas. This also seems likely that neither Sardar Ataullah Mengal nor Mir Khuda Bukhsh Mari have any kind of control on those movement-youth and they are worried about their actual motive of campaign, as the traces of the hands behind are so far visibly clueless. The Centre as well as the politicians of all the provinces need to be cognizant of the fact and they not only need to read the writing on the wall but also join hands together and take a joint step towards saving the Balochistan province from being separated. If Sardar Ataullah, Sanaullah Zehri and Sari Mari can be briefed about the actual situation and the conspiracies behind, why can’t a similar dialogue process, brain-storming sessions, awareness seminars and motivated media campaigns be initiated as immediately as possible? Baloch people need to be understood. IMRAN JAMALI Rojhan Jamali, Balochistan

Late Air Marshal Nur Khan has been profoundly complimented for his exemplary leadership role as chief of the Pakistan Air Force, and later twice at the helm of the PIA. Nur Khan kept himself away from public life for many years. His statements seldom appeared in newspapers. Also, his admirers did not arrange any significant public event to acknowledge his achievements and personality. Shouldn't our civil society consider appreciating and recognising the role played by people like Nur Khan? Shouldn't we pay homage to such personalities in their lifetime rather than after their death? This will enable those still holding public positions to be emulated as role models. The wrongs, if any, should also be brought to light in their lifetime to provide them opportunity to offer clarifications as a human is always prone to mistakes. I had an opportunity of observing Nur Khan who once handled a group of students in Nawabshah when he was Governor West Pakistan way back in 1969. I was a college student then. While walking to the college, I saw a small group of students agitating over the transfer of the headmaster of the district council high school, Nawabshah. He had held that position for a very long time. The students were determined to approach the Governor. en route spotting the crowd Nur Khan stopped the motorcade and inquired about the problem. After getting the details he directed the then deputy commissioner to review the transfer order which was immediately complied with. Later entering practical life I realised how much our system of governance is centralised even in present times. The local administration’s decision was overturned within no time, leaving them in utter embarrassment. S BUKHARI Karachi

gender discrimination When a boy is born in most developing countries, friends and relatives exclaim congratulations. A son means insurance. He will inherit his father's property and get a job to help support the family. When a girl is born, the reaction is very different. Some women weep when they find out their baby is a girl because, to them, a daughter is just another expense. Discrimination against girls and women in the developing world is a devastating reality. It results in millions of individual tragedies, which add up to lost potential for entire countries. Studies show there is a direct link between a country's attitude towards women and its progress socially and economically. The status of women is central to the health of a society. If one part suffers, so does the whole. SABEEN IMAN Lahore

Peace talks versus violence

By Waheed Hussain


he killing of 15 kidnapped Frontier Constabulary soldiers in the frontier region Tank last week by Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan is a great tragedy for those unfortunate souls, their families and the country. What was the fault of those brave soldiers? Why did they, like thousands of others, sacrifice their lives? Don’t they have parents to cry, wives to mourn and kids to weep? Those security personnel who were butchered had human, social, economic and physical aspects that could not be ignored. Apart from the economic realities related to the persons who have been killed, there are always wider

psychological aspects for the family members left behind, particularly their children who are left orphan. The human and psychological aspects cannot be alleviated by any amount of financial compensation. But the bigger tragedy related to the issue is that despite all these unmatchable sacrifices rendered by the soldiers, the Americans are not ready to acknowledge Pakistan as the frontline state against war on terror. Similarly, the killing of those FC soldiers is a clear signal for everybody that the war on terror is not yet over. The danger and threat to the lives and property of both civilian and security forces remains a challenge. Anti-state or non-state actors may hit the country whenever or wherever they get a chance; however, tribal regions being close to the war theatre of Afghanistan are more exposed to violence and brutalities. The reason is obvious as the terrorists, whatever groups they may belong to find a tangible support from across the border but the US and

the Afghan governments are not willing to take responsibility except blaming Pakistan for all evils. Majority in the US and the West acknowledges the fact that a failed US Afghan policy is the main cause of all violence and instability in Afghanistan as well as in the region. Pakistan is also a victim of America’s failed military approach on war on terror. The US generals’ “Garrison Afghan Strategy” has left the whole region unstable and we in Pakistan have paid a greater cost for it than any other nation in the world. The US talk-fight-talk approach could not restore peace in the region. even now nobody is sure whether the US is serious about resolving the Afghanistan conflict through unconditional talks with all Afghans groups without discriminating them either good or bad. So, it won’t be difficult at all to determine that the brutal killing of FC soldiers has a direct link to the volatile situation of Afghanistan. Give them whatever name you

want to – fundamentalists or extremists or terrorists – all those elements who challenge the writ of the state are criminals. So, all their violent actions taken under whatever ideology or circumstance cannot be endorsed or justified at any cost. Those who do not respect the country’s laws and its institutions must be dealt with an iron hand. Today, there are reports of behind the scene contacts and negotiations at different levels between the state functionaries and the Taliban operating in various agencies of FATA. There are reports that the Taliban have agreed to halt their violent actions against the security forces in the tribal belt and further modalities are being worked out for a future peace deal. As a matter of principle, when there are deals they are based on give and take. As the government has been denying making any deal or agreement, therefore, nobody is in a position to translate the fundamentals of the engagements. The peace talk initiative is a welcome step. War could be one of

the options of resolving conflict or dispute but is not the solution. We can see in the history that all the major conflicts were ultimately resolved through peaceful negotiations. However, fundamentals of any peace deal should have a clear guarantee that the two parties will respect the agreements and will not resort to violence. Taliban must ensure that; 1, they will not challenge the writ of state; 2, they will not put any restriction on the movement of security forces in any part of the tribal areas; 3, they will not attack security personnel and civilians; 4, they will not damage or destroy vital installations, public and private properties, schools and hospitals etc; 5, they will not intimidate government officials performing their official duties; 6, they will not block any communication system including roads within the tribal areas; 7, they will help security forces and law enforcement agencies to arrest anyone involved in any criminal activity in the FATA region; 8, the rich and the business community

will not be forced to pay any money in the shape of funds for the organisations etc; and 9, the cross-border legal bilateral trade between Pakistan and Afghanistan would not be disrupted. If these fundamental conditions are not fulfilled then the whole concept of peace would be nothing else but a joke. There is another angle to such killings and attacks on the security forces. There is an ample possibility that those internal and external forces, that do not want a peace deal between the government and the Taliban in FATA, may play a dirty game to sabotage the whole process. So, the two sides must remain vigilant and should also have confidence and trust in each other and the peace process. However, dictating the terms through violence will bring no peace and no solution. The writer hosts a primetime talk show on a TV channel and can be contacted via email:

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12 comment The verdict In the mood for confrontation?


he five member Supreme Court bench has drawn conclusions which are rife with highly serious implications for the government and the system. Among other things, the court has concluded that prima facie the prime minister has violated his oath while both the president and PM have preferred party loyalty over loyalty to the state and can be held unfit to hold their offices. The charges can have grievous consequences for the government while these could also lead to senior leaders’ disqualification from holding public office over long terms. Acting with judicial restraint, the court has however given an opportunity to the government to defend itself before the larger bench on January 16. The decision comes in the wake of a serious standoff between the government and the military establishment. Prime Minister Gilani again reiterated the charge that the COAS and DG ISI had violated the rules of business while submitting statements before the memo commission. Meanwhile, sections of the opposition are in full cry demanding fresh elections a year ahead of the completion of the government’s tenure. The knives are out. Instead of foiling the alleged conspiracies, the PPP, in an act of sheer recklessness, has simultaneously taken on both the army and the SC. It is taking a confrontationist attitude at a time when its standing in the general public has considerably gone down on account of it abysmal performance. even in Sindh, the stronghold of the party, the common man is unhappy because of the government’s failure to reach out to the rain-cum-flood affected people and over three year long spree of target killings in Karachi. Disregarding saner voices in the party, the PPP leadership has taken the stand that it would not agree to the opening of the Swiss cases. It has also said it would only accept the findings of the parliamentary committee and not those of the memo commission. A continuation of the policy would strengthen its opponents’ view that the party has decided to take the way that leads to martyrdom because it suits the party politically.

Our Faustian bargain … it continues


he warden is away and the inmates are ruling the roost. In the aftermath of the public declaration of interest by senior figures in the US government of a settlement with the Taliban in Afghanistan, there appears to be a wait-and-hold period in the offensive against the scourge within Pakistan. Subsequently, the militants have been on an incessant rampage over the course of a week, the latest being the bomb blast in the Khyber Agency yesterday, which has yielded a casualty count of 27 people, with many more injured. They have also, it is presumed, have had time to regroup following the easing up of the pincer movement of military action and drone strikes against them. It is not known where the loss of innocent lives figures in the grand calculus of our security establishment. Since the beginning of the war against terror, which was way overdue and should, ideally, not have been at prodding of the US, the Pakistani security setup has pursued a dual policy of strikes and appeasement. This has had disastrous consequences. In the Waziristans, for instance, it has yielded the complete annihilation of the once large number of anti-Taliban lashkars. In Swat, in another instance, the militants only controlled the Matta sub-district when the army was called in for action by the provincial government; by the time the government was all but forced into a peace deal, the militants were controlling the whole of the district! It’s like the mental puzzle game of trying to get the fox, the hen and the sack of grain across the river and our home-grown Clausewitzes are insisting on getting the sack of grain (or strategic depth, if you will) across first. What happens to the hen, our great unwashed, is something they cannot be bothered with. The operation was successful, many a myopic doctor has claimed, but the patient died a painful death. What leverage in a post-American Afghanistan do we need that is worth letting the militants tear asunder our very social and national fabric?

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: Email:

wednesday, 11 January, 2012

No country for elected men? national security and democracy


ational security is integral to any state system. Internal and external dimensions of national security are assigned an important place in resource allocation and policy making. However, if the considerations of national security dominate all other concerns and responsibilities of the state, the latter becomes a lopsided entity. Human and societal needs are neglected and the political process becomes distorted. This is more so for states that are in the process of installing and consolidating the democratic political process. Democracy and societal development are stifled if for one reason or another national security becomes the dominant consideration. This benefits non-elected institutions and gives an undue advantage to the security establishment. The memo is the latest example how the issue of national security is being used to strengthen non-elected state institutions and challenge whatever effort has been made to rehabilitate the political and soBy Dr Hasan Askari Rizvi cietal processes. The main argument is that the contents of the memo have threatened not only national security but also undermined national interest and national honour and that the Supreme Court must identify the culprit who has committed such “crimes” against the state. The Supreme Court has entertained several petitions on this matter. Though the petition by the PML(N) leadership has not mentioned any name, others have not been so discreet. Some person based in Canada has sent a letter to the Chief Justice on the memo which has also been turned into a petition. This letter is clear as to who is the target. He has also offered to bear the cost of his petition. It is known to all that these petitions are part of the on-going efforts to somehow dislodge the elected government, and if possible, get President Zardari removed for being part of some plan to undermine national security and honour.

The opposition parties do not have sufficient votes in the National Assembly to dislodge the PPP-led federal government through a vote-of-no-confidence. This means that the opposition cannot remove the president by impeachment that requires two-thirds votes in both houses of the parliament. The non-availability of these options has led the opposition, especially the PML(N), to talk of irrelevance of the parliament and seek their objectives through other means – street agitation to paralyse the government and recourse to the superior judiciary to seek disqualification of the president or some key officials of the federal government, if not the removal of the whole government. The opposition parties and anti-PPP activists are viewing the superior judiciary as forum to pursue their partisan agenda against the PPP-led federal government and the president. This is not the first time that national security and national interest have been employed to build pressures on elected civilian institutions and processes. Right after the attainment of independence, the initial security and survival pressures turned Pakistan into a security state that assigned the highest priority to external defence against India and linked the survival of the state with a strong and assertive military. Pakistan’s foreign policy was geared to serve the security needs that led Pakistan to join the US sponsored alliance system in order to obtain new weapons and economic assistance from the United States. The immediate security needs were met adequately but this entangled Pakistan in the Cold War that had a long term negative impact on Pakistan. The overemphasis on external security adversely affected the prospects of democracy and weakened the civilian institutions and processes. Democracy and participatory governance was never a priority except in rhetoric. This led to the ascendancy of the military in Pakistan which began to dominate many policy areas long before it directly assumed power in October 1958. The security-oriented mindset became the dominant worldview of the Pakistani state and a major part of the society. This mindset looked at the participatory demands with a lot of suspicion. The demands for provincial rights and autonomy were described as antinational. The political, economic and cultural demands from east Pakistan were often viewed by the dominant power elite and the military as divisive and a challenge to Pakistan’s solidarity and unity. Four periods of military rule ingrained the security dominated thought process in the society that any talk of reconciliation with India

or a demand for reducing defence spending was viewed as unpatriotic and dangerous. Traditional national security paradigm was invoked by the Pakistan military for dealing with the Kerry-Lugar-Berman Bill in September-October 2009. The Pakistan military top brass denounced the bill because they felt that some of provisions were anti-military. The civilian government came under pressure not only from the military but also from the civilian opposition that got encouraged by the military’s disposition and supported the military’s position. Now, in 2011-12, the army/ISI is using the memo issue to build pressure on the civilian government by describing the memo as a national security concern. Such a public posture by the military establishment is another attempt to discredit the civilian institutions and processes without staging a coup. This position is being supported by the major opposition groups that see the memo issue as yet another opportunity to get rid of the federal government and President Zardari. Islamic and militant groups have also put their weight in favour of the military by holding the Defence of Pakistan conferences, targeting the federal government and the US. In other words, the military/intelligence establishment, right-wing Islamist political groups and militants are working concurrently to discredit democratic institutions and processes. They have chosen the Supreme Court, known for unprecedented judicial activism, to be the arena to tackle the elected parliament and elected executive. In a polarised political environment, there will be political fallout of whatever position the Supreme Court adopts on the memo. Pakistan’s security is not so precarious that it can be threatened by a non-official document. However, the political forces are using this document to get some extra political mileage and pressure the federal government. The military is using it to neutralise whatever role the civilian government still has in security and military affairs without directly taking over the government. The civilian opposition and Islamic and the political farright are aligning with the military to pursue their own agendas against the federal government. The memo episode may not dislodge the federal government but the non-elected institutions like the military and the judiciary have caused enough tension in the political system that will hinder the consolidation of elected institutions and processes.

The writer is an independent political and defence analyst.

The army’s ghairat Pick-and-mix outrage

Man bites Dog By Harris Bin Munawar


wenty-five Pakistani soldiers were bound, gagged, brutally tortured, and killed in cold blood in two mass slayings in a week. Their naked mutilated bodies were dumped in ravines. Most of them were shot more than 40 times each at point-blank range. Fifteen of them were abducted by 30 Taliban militants in a brazen pre-dawn attack on a guarded fort in Tank on December 23, in which one soldier died and several others had to retreat and hide. Their mutilated bodies were dumped in the Shewa town of North Waziristan last week. Taliban had promised in a statement after the raid that they would “cut these soldiers into pieces” and send them to their commanders as a New Year gift.

They have delivered on such promises in the past, and publicly released video tapes of teenagers beheading unarmed men like animals. Another 10 soldiers were abducted from an outpost in Orakzai in a late night attack on December 21 by more than 100 Taliban militants who killed 13 other troops in the raid. Their bodies were dumped in a gorge and found on Monday. A Taliban spokesman said bodies of 10 troops were left there as part of an exchange of corpses that reporters said had been negotiated by tribal elders. An army that claims it is ready to take on the world’s only superpower to protect its soldiers is on its knees against the Taliban. Opinion makers and organisations who had orchestrated the circus following the tragic death of 24 troops in an unintended NATO attack on Salala border post on November 26 are simultaneously talking about negotiations with the Taliban who have killed twice as many troops and policemen since. The 25 soldiers who were tortured, murdered and defiled by the Taliban were given less than a 10th of the air time given to those who died in the November 26 attack. There was no outrage in the

newspapers, no televised funerals in flag-draped coffins, no emotionally charged reports on the families they have left behind, and no TV anchors and self-proclaimed guardians of Pakistan’s honour frothing at the mouth over the brutality. There were no claims of violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty and no demands to defend the country and its army’s ghairat. Our troops who lay their lives to protect us are to be honoured and mourned only when it suits the agenda of those in charge. Our territorial sovereignty is violated and our national honour at stake only when our invisible government wants to arm-twist the US into giving us more aid and weapons and agreeing with our plans for the future of this region. The Taliban, who are the lynchpin of those plans, are not to be fought, resisted or even questioned. Our national narrative is very flexible in dealing with them. When they kill us, they are funded by the US. When they kill Americans, they are soldiers of Islam. This is “the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them....To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has

become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just as long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality which one denies - all this is indispensably necessary”. This is ‘Doublethink’, from George Orwell’s dystopia 1984. And while our invisible government is busy manipulating public opinion to exploit brutal killings of its citizens and soldiers for political goals, it has failed to see a gaping hole in its future plans for the region. The major problem with Pakistan’s doctrine of strategic depth is not the simple trade-off between space and time. It is that the lawless territory Pakistan wants to withdraw into – in order to sustain an initial thrust from India and launch a counteroffensive – has quickly expanded southeastwards to an extent that it threatens to eat up our country, our culture, our trade and our military. The very civilisation that they had wanted to protect is now at risk. The writer is a media and culture critic and works at The Friday Times. He tweets @paagalinsaan and gets email at

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wednesday, 11 January, 2012

comment 13

change in policy Pervez MacArthur? A talking the walk Waiting for the (in)glorious comeback

By Ali Aftab Saeed


t has been more than three years since Musharraf left the country, but it’s on the announcement of his return that the detailed report of his assets has been published. The report is obviously not just mere fancy, although the reporter is notorious for passing his wishes off as news. Nor does it look like an investigative report, which is simply beyond the reporter’s capability. It likely came out of a file that was handed over to him by an institution, in order to discourage Musharraf from heading back to Pakistan. In other news, Rehman Malik has chosen to make public the preparations for Musharraf’s prospective stay at the Landhi Jail. The interior minister doesn’t appear too keen on the retired general boarding that flight home. Hardly surprising, considering Zardari’s already full plate, what with the NRO, Memogate, the judiciary, the state within a state, etc. True, Zardari had attempted the impossible (crazy?) task of putting the ISI under the ministry of interior, but those were entirely different times. Back then, Nawaz Sharif and Imran Khan used to be Musharraf’s fiercest critics. However, Imran has since employed half of Musharraf’s team, and now that people have started taking him seriously he obviously doesn’t want to have to go after the current COAS’s former boss. Sharif, threatened by Imran’s support in the establishment and keen to offer his own services instead, isn’t exactly fan-

cying a fight with Musharraf either. The Supreme Court faces its own set of troubles in the event of Musharraf’s return. One, it legitimised Musharraf’s coup of 1999 and gave him a free hand to amend the constitution (one will have to search very hard to find a parallel elsewhere). Two, Musharraf is likely to name names, if forced to, and it will be difficult to convict the “originator” without soiling the name of the “guarantor” of NRO. Also, on issues such as high treason and the emergency, Musharraf’s partners in crime, including the corps commanders, will inevitably enter the frame, causing the court obvious difficulties. Three, to project any semblance of consistency, the court will have to be as active and enthusiastic on cases against Musharraf as it has been on cases against the present government. However, the institution that lands in the most precarious position if the comeback happens is the one Musharraf served for over 40 years. Considering the short memories of people of this country, Musharraf’s departure was the best thing that could have happened. Now that he is coming back, letting civilian courts try him will set a bad example. even trying such a high profile general in military courts is a painful option. Musharraf has also recently declared that Pakistan should have diplomatic relations with Israel. Makes sense, because if we couldn’t handle Bangal, and we still can’t handle Balochistan, and we have made a royal mess of the rest of Pakistan; it is crazy to pretend to be the defender of the non-existent Muslim ummah. But this wouldn’t exactly have endeared the general to his former institution. By the way, I always marvel at the great insight our generals start displaying so soon after taking off their khakis. Musharraf has now managed to achieve something that he couldn’t in all those years in

power, that is, unite all the key players by threatening to make a glorious comeback. I therefore believe that the odds of Musharraf actually landing in Pakistan are very high indeed. However, it is going to be very interesting if he manages to get back somehow. Let’s examine the likely scenario. In many ways, it will be a rerun of the Raymond Davis episode. The opposition parties will be forced to demand the federal government to arrest him. For obvious reasons, the PPP-led coalition will resist the temptation, and would much rather the Punjab provincial government bask in this glory. Nawaz Sharif will leave for england for his medical checkup (and an operation or two if needed), and on his return will decide to leave this matter alone. The SC will probably hear the cases just like it did the Asghar Khan case. All this, in the best interests of the country of course. Musharraf is reported to be seeking guarantees from King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia before landing in Pakistan. The irony! Not very long ago, it was Sharif who was rescued by the Holy Kingdom but now the boot seems to be on the other foot. The boot is on the other foot in another respect as well. Benazir had made a comeback after getting security guarantees from the Musharraf administration, but now Musharraf is in need of such arrangements. Benazir’s return didn’t go too well. The unfortunate scenario of Musharraf meeting with a similar fate could solve a lot of problems for a remarkably high number of players, including the religious fundamentalists who almost succeeded in killing him even when he enjoyed presidential security. Returning to Pakistan, therefore, may not be in Musharraf’s best interests either. The writer is a member of the band Beygairat Brigade that has recently released the single Aaloo Anday.


012 opened on a hopeful note for the AfPak region leaving behind a difficult year punctuated by serious turmoil in Afghanistan and a major crisis in bilateral ties between two principal actors in the war on terrorism. The crisis in the relationship, still not over, has nonetheless obliged both sides to review an acrimonious and distrustful alliance which hopefully will help impart a measure of clarity in their respective positions on the Afghan scene. The Americans seem to have finally recognised the merit of diplomatic engagement with the Taliban, till recently a despised enemy, in shaping the closing chapter of the Afghan endgame. Vice President Joe Biden’s remarkable statement that Taliban were not per se the enemy, in clear contradiction of the decade long direction of the US war effort which had systematically targeted them, testifies to a positive evolution in Washington’s thinking. The resilience of the Taliban in the face of a far superior hostile force seems to have compelled the deduction that more war would not lead to the creation of an environment conducive for the timely and dignified western withdrawal from Afghanistan. The realisation that continued conflict, as opposed to a negotiated settlement, would henceforth be detrimental to America’s long term interests in the region may have accelerated the shift. The US has not so far publicly resiled from its declared position that any real peace process must be preceded By Shaukat Umer by the insurgents agreeing to abandon violence, break with AlQaeda and abide by the Afghan constitution. At the same time, it is understood that the acceptance in advance of these seemingly unexceptionable demands would obviate the need for any negotiations. It makes better sense, which the Americans too would appreciate, that these terms would more appropriately comprise a part of the final agreement and not a precondition for the talks. How can the Taliban be expected to lay down arms when ISAF is still carrying them? The Taliban have matched the evolution in the American approach. Back channel contacts between the two sides, sporadically reported in the media, have resulted in the Taliban decision to open a political office in Doha, to serve as the locus of the anticipated dialogue with the Americans. The previous Taliban demand of complete ISAF withdrawal prior to the commencement of negotiations is no longer being insisted upon.

The government of Hamid Karzai, following initial reservations, has signalled support for the opening of the Doha office provided it is used only for facilitating intra-Afghan talks i.e. between him and the Taliban. Undeniably a politically correct position but runs foul of the realities on the ground. There are two principal protagonists in Afghanistan, the US and the Taliban; the rest would have to learn to operate through them. After having successfully resisted a superpower for over a decade, the Taliban would be singularly ill-advised to negotiate the endgame with its proxy. By the same token, despite the fact that but for Pakistan they would have faced severe depletion, the Taliban would be averse to Pakistan’s interlocution on their behalf. For obvious reasons, they would want to negotiate directly with the US. Scepticism continues to be voiced as to the viability of this process. According to latest reports, some Taliban spokesmen have denied any decision to negotiate with America. One would tend to interpret these denials in the context of shadow boxing which routinely precedes the onset of serious talks. It should also be remembered that the adversaries have been engaged in deadly combat for the last decade. In such situations, posturing usually marks the shift from conflict to negotiation. The token demand for the release of a handful of prisoners from Guantanamo should not be too hard to meet. If this is what is required to enable the Taliban to claim victory before their cadres, so be it. The addition of these numbers to the Taliban ranks will barely have any impact on the conflictual equation. The Taliban were clever enough to ask for a purely symbolic gesture which is easily doable. The main imponderable is the continuing divergence in the perspectives of the White House and the American military which, reportedly, remains wedded to the idea of a decisive military victory in Afghanistan. While conflict will not end during the currency of the negotiations its intensity would have to be modulated to avoid a complete breakdown. President Obama’s firmness in sticking to the deadline for the withdrawal of troops from Iraq, despite the sectarian showdown, and the recent unexpected surge in the US economy should make him sufficiently self-assured to insist on affixing his imprint on the Afghan endgame. His failure to ensure the withdrawal of the surge troops before November would most likely cost him the election. Where does Pakistan fit into all this? The answer to this question is likely to be shaped by the developments in our relations with the US currently under review, which we shall leave for next week. The writer is Pakistan’s former Ambassador to the United Nations and European Union. He can be contacted at

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14 Foreign News

wednesday, 11 January, 2012

Israel ‘preparing to take in Syria refugees’: army chief JERUSALEM afP

Israel is preparing to receive Syrian Alawite refugees on the occupied Golan Heights if the regime of President Bashar al-Assad collapses, Israel’s army chief of staff said on Tuesday. “On the day the Assad regime falls, it is expected to harm the Alawite clan. We are preparing to receive Alawite refugees on the Golan Heights,” Lieutenant General Benny Gantz told MPs at the parliamentary committee on foreign affairs and defence, in remarks communicated by a spokesman. It was the first time that a senior Israeli official had raised the possibility that members of the Alawite minority, which includes the Assad family, could seek refugee in Israel in order to escape an expected backlash in the event the regime collapses. The Assad family are Alawites, members of a Shiite minority group who are strongly represented in the top ranks of the Syrian army and the ruling Baath party. Gantz also said Assad’s fall was likely to affect its alliance with Iran, Lebanon’s Hezbollah Shiite militia and the Palestinian Islamist Hamas movement. “Assad cannot remain in power and his fall could cause cracks in the radical axis,” he said.

Libya given $20 billion of freed assets, says minister tRIPOLI afP

Libya has received roughly $20 billion in assets that were held overseas by Moamer Gaddafi’s regime and frozen during the conflict that ousted him, the foreign minister said on Tuesday. An estimated $150 billion (117 billion euros) of overseas assets were frozen following UN Security Council sanctions against his regime during the popular uprising and civil war that led to the dictator’s downfall. On Tuesday, Libyan Foreign Minister Ashur bin Khayyal said most of the $20 billion received so far by the country’s new government came from United States, France and other european states. “I don’t have the exact figure, but I know that the first tranche is approximately $20 billion,” Khayyal told reporters at an event focused on the future of the UN’s mission in Libya. When asked by AFP if Libya had received these funds, Khayyal said: “Yes, it has been received,” but there has not yet been independent verification as to whether the money has been deposited with the Central Bank of Libya.

Case of tortured girl to be taken to afghan president KABUL afP

The case of a tortured Afghan child bride that shocked the world will be taken directly to President Hamid Karzai on Wednesday, a lawyer for a women’s group said. Sahar Gul, 15, who was burned and beaten and had her fingernails pulled out after she defied efforts to force her into prostitution, was found in the basement of her husband’s house in northeastern Baghlan province last month. The girl, who had been locked in a toilet there for six months, is still traumatised and barely able to speak of her ordeal but wants her husband and in-laws jailed, said Afghan Women’s Network lawyer Wida Latif. “We met her a couple of day ago, and when she saw us she burst into tears,” Latif told AFP Tuesday. “She still suffers from trauma, and still has bruises all over her body. She cannot speak a lot but she told us ‘I want my husband and in-laws sent to prison’. “She needs special care. We will meet the president tomorrow and ask him to give her a place to live in, or else she will be taken to a women’s shelter and will be forgotten like many other women who live in those shelters.”

Cairo: egyptian women show their ink-stained fingers after voting at a polling station in Cairo’s al-Sahel district during a re-run round of landmark parliamentary elections on tuesday. AFP

Assad firms up reform timetable, vows to crush terror

Syria clerics hit out at armed rebellion, sanctions DAMASCUS afP




YRIAN President Bashar al-Assad on Tuesday firmed up a timetable for promised reform in the face of 10 months of antiregime protests but vowed to crush “terrorism” with an iron fist. Assad’s rare public address, lasting nearly two hours, came as the UN Security Council prepared to discuss the crisis amid opposition criticism of the failure of a hard-won Arab League observer mission to end the bloodshed. The embattled Syrian leader, who has made repeated promises of reforms that have failed to materialise in the past, said a new constitution in place of one which enshrines his Baath party’s dominant role would be put to a popular vote as soon as the drafting had been completed. “After legislation has been drawn up and a constitution... we will call a referendum... (maybe) in the first week of March.” he said, adding that it would be followed by a general election. “elections must be linked to a new constitution,” he said. “They could be at the start of May.” Assad said the new constitution would “focus on a central issue — a multi-party system.” The president insisted no orders had been given to the security forces to open fire on civilian demonstrators and

insisted he was still optimistic despite the violence which has rocked the country since March. “By law, nobody can open fire, except in self-defence,” he said. “These past 10 months, despite all their hardships, were very beneficial... I am confident about the future.” Assad said that restoring security was the “absolute priority” for Syria and pledged his government would tackle terrorism with an “iron fist,” after a Damascus suicide bombing killed 26 people on Friday. “There can be no let-up for terrorism — it must be hit with an iron fist,” he said. “The battle with terrorism is a battle for every-

one, a national battle, not only the government’s battle,” said Assad. “We must deal with terrorism through all legal methods. They have struck innocents... they are killing the Syrian people.” Assad rejected opposition charges that his regime was a dictatorship. “I rule with the will of the people. If I give up power, I will do so with the will of the people too,” he said. “The largest part of the Syrian people want reform and do not go out and violate laws.” Assad hit out at the Arab League, which has had a widely criticised observer mission in Syria since December 26 charged with overseeing a plan to end the violence, involving the withdrawal of troops from towns and cities and the opening of negotiations with the opposition. He asked what right governments whose countries belong to the pan-Arab organisation, including the absolute monarchies of the Gulf, had to lecture Syria about democracy or reform. “The first parliament in Syria was in 1917. Where were they then?” he asked. “Their situation is like a doctor who smokes and recommends to his patient to give up smoking while he, the doctor, has a cigarette in his mouth.” As the Security Council prepared to discuss the crisis, the Syrian opposition has stepped up its calls for the world body to take over the lead role from the Arab League in efforts to find a solution.

Burning roadblocks on second day of nigeria fuel strike LAgOS: Gangs set up burning roadblocks, police fired tear gas and businesses shut in Nigeria Tuesday, the second day of a national strike that has paralysed the country and left six people dead. As thousands took to the streets to protest soaring fuel costs, youth gangs set up roadblocks of burning tyres along major roads in Lagos, the largest city in Africa’s most populous nation, and threw stones at cars while extorting cash from drivers. Protesters marched through the streets of the city to the sound of blaring afrobeat music, sometimes with soldiers

clapping and taking pictures. One person brought a goat wrapped in a union flag while others carried a mock coffin labelled “Badluck”, a play on the name of President Goodluck Jonathan. Protesters encouraged those watching from the roadside to join in. The mass of marchers later crossed a bridge and entered the historic centre of Lagos, chanting and dancing through the winding roads. In one area of the city, protesters set up roadblocks and held up drivers, claiming a bus had run over someone on his way to the demonstration and killed him.

Traders in another part of Lagos were said to have stayed away from a market out of fear that criminals would seek to rob them amid the unrest. In the northern city of Bauchi, police fired tear gas and shot into the air to disperse a few thousand protesters at two locations, residents said. No one was reported hurt. The indefinite strike follows the government’s controversial move to end fuel subsidies on January 1, which caused petrol prices to more than double in a country where most of the 160 million population lives on less than $2 a day. AFP

Syria’s top Muslim cleric called on rebels to lay down their arms while a Christian counterpart hit out at Western sanctions, in sermons aired by state television on Tuesday. Grand Mufti Sheikh Ahmed Badreddin Hassoun and Greek Orthodox Archbishop Luka al-Khuri were both speaking at an interfaith memorial service in the capital’s Holy Cross Church for 26 people killed in a suicide bombing in Damascus on Friday. “I call on all those who have taken up arms... to lay them down,” the mufti said. “If you want to share power, put forward your programme without taking up arms, and if we’re persuaded by it, we’ll implement it,” added Hassoun, whose son Sariah was killed in October in a wave of assassinations targeting figures seen as close to the regime. Hassoun urged dissidents to make the transition from “argument to dialogue.” The archbishop, who officiated at the church service, spoke out against the european Union and United States sanctions imposed on Syria to punish the regime for its deadly 10-month crackdown on dissent. “Those who are imposing sanctions on Syrians and threatening their daily bread know neither Jesus Christ nor the meaning of democracy, neither human rights nor human values,” said Khuri.

Iraq bombs kill six, including 6 schoolboys BAgHDAD afP

Bomb attacks in Baghdad and north Iraq on Tuesday killed six people, including an army colonel and three schoolboys, security officials said, a day after a spate of violence left 17 dead. In the disputed town of Saadiyah, Diyala province, Colonel Hassan Ali was killed when a roadside bomb struck the convoy he was travelling in, Saadiyah mayor Ahmed alZarkushi and a provincial security command centre official said. Three of Ali’s bodyguards were wounded in the 5:00 am (0200 GMT) attack in Saadiyah, which lies in a tract of disputed territory claimed by both the central government in Baghdad and Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region. In another roadside bomb attack in the village of Yathreb, in Salaheddin province around 70 kilometres (45 miles) north of the capital, three boys aged between nine and 11 years old were killed while going to school, a police officer and a medic at nearby Balad hospital said.

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wednesday, 11 January, 2012

Foreign News 15

West edges closer to confrontation with Iran tEHRAN



RAN’S showdown with the West slid closer to dangerous confrontation on Tuesday as international alarm over a new uranium enrichment plant and Tehran’s death sentence for a “CIA spy” raised the stakes. Both sides were digging in, with Iran’s defiance hardening and the United States and european Union actively taking steps to fracture the Iranian economy through further sanctions. The IAeA’s confirmation on Monday that Iran had begun enriching uranium in a new, underground bunker southwest of Tehran was seized upon by the United States, Britain, France and Germany as an unacceptable “violation” of UN Security Council resolutions. But Iran’s envoy to the International Atomic energy Agency, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, on Tuesday shot back that the stance was

“politically motivated”. The underground Fordo plant had been revealed two years ago and documented, he said. The 20-percent enriched uranium it was to produce would be used for “peaceful and humanitarian” purposes, namely isotopes for cancer treatment, he said. Both Solatanieh and the IAeA stressed that the UN nuclear watchdog had 24-hour cameras there and inspectors to keep it under watch. That seemed unlikely to reassure the United States, though, or its chief Middle east ally, Israel, analysts said. “Israel, which has already warned Iran that it could take military action against installations, is very, very worried by this facility ... We are moving into dangerous territory,” said Mark Hibbs of the Carnegie endowment for International Peace. But while Iran downplayed the significance of Fordo — and affirmed it was ready to resume nuclear talks with world powers that collapsed a year ago — it continues to send tough signals to its longtime foe, the United

States. On Monday, a Revolutionary Court in Tehran sentenced an American former Marine, Amir Mirzai Hekmati, to death after convicting him of being a CIA spy. The United States has called for the release of Hekmati, 28, who also holds Iranian nationality through his Iranian family who settled in the United States before his birth. US officials said the allegation he was sent by the CIA to infiltrate the Iranian intelligence ministry was false, though State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland would not answer a question about whether Hekmati had links to any other US intelligence service. “I don’t think we need to go any further than what we’ve been saying, which is we consider these charges a complete fabrication,” Nuland said. Iran, which last month put on display what it said was a CIA reconnaissance drone it claimed to have captured through cyberwarfare, has also been stepping up military exercises in a show of strength.

China says war over iran will bring disaster BEIJINg afP

A top Chinese diplomat said Tuesday war over the Iranian nuclear issue would bring disaster to the world economy and urged all nations involved to exercise restraint and prevent hostilities. The remarks by Chen Xiaodong, a top Chinese diplomat on Middle eastern affairs, came as Iran’s showdown with the West slid closer to confrontation as alarm over its new uranium enrichment plant and Tehran’s death sentence for a

“CIA spy” raised the stakes. “We urge all relevant nations to remain calm, exercise restraint, refrain from taking actions that will intensify the situation and make common efforts to prevent war,” Chen said in an online interview with state media. “everyone knows that 40 percent of the oil shipped daily to every part of the world goes through the Strait of Hormuz, so once war starts in this region not only will the relevant nations be affected and attacked, it would also ... bring disaster to a world economy deep in crisis.”

Suicide group storms afghan govt building, 7 killed KABUL afP

Three policemen and four civilians were killed when a group of suicide bombers stormed a government building in southeastern Afghanistan on Tuesday, the interior ministry said. After a siege that lasted for hours, all the bombers were killed, ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi told AFP. “There were three suicide bombers, one of them was gunned down by police, the two others detonated themselves. “Three policemen and four civilians have been martyred, and two policemen and one civilian have been injured,” he said. The group of suicide bombers seized a building housing the directorate of communication in Sharana, the capital city of Paktika province, after killing a police guard at the gate. Police surrounded the building and two policemen were killed in the ensuing gunbattle, a ministry statement said. It was not immediately clear how the four civilians died. Taliban insurgents fighting the government of President Hamid Karzai claimed responsibility for the attack. Provincial governor Muhibullah Samim told AFP he believed the bombers had planned to target an intelligence office close to the building they had taken over.

North korea military pledges support for new leader SEOUL afP

North Korea’s powerful military has held a mass rally to pledge loyalty to the country’s new chief Kim Jong-Un, vowing to become “rifles and bombs” to protect him, official media said Tuesday. The North also announced a rare amnesty for prisoners as the untested young leader tries to build support. Service members promised to “become rifles and bombs to serve as Kim Jong-Un first-line lifeguards and Kim Jong-Un first-line death-defying corps”, the official KCNA news agency said. The regime moved quickly to proclaim JongUn, aged in his late 20s, as its new chief after the sudden death of his father and supreme leader Kim Jong-Il on December 17. It has appointed the son, who is ranked a general but has no known active military experience, supreme commander of the 1.2 million-strong military. On Sunday state media showed Jong-Un driving a tank and giving orders to artillery, navy and air force units, in an apparent attempt to bolster his credentials with the world’s fourth-largest armed forces. KCNA said armed forces chief Ri Yong-Ho read the pledge of loyalty to Jong-Un at Monday’s rally in Pyongyang of the three branches of the military, which ended with a march past. The message pledged to “wipe out the enemies to the last one if they intrude into the inviolable sky, land and seas of the country even 0.001 mm”, it said.

bagHDaD: iraqi Shia pilgrims walk to the holy city of Karbala to mark arbaeen in baghdad’s Dora district on tuesday. AFP

india’s malnutrition ‘a national shame’: PM NEW DELHI afP

India’s Premier Manmohan Singh called malnutrition in the country “a national shame” on Tuesday as he released a major survey that found 42 percent of children under five were underweight. “The problem of malnutrition is a matter of national shame,” Singh said at the launch of the HUNGaMA (Hunger and Malnutrition) Report, which surveyed 73,000 households across nine states. “Despite impressive growth in our GDP, the level of under-nutrition in the country is unacceptably high. We have also not succeeded in reducing this rate fast enough,” the 79-year-old prime minister added. Singh said the findings of the report by an alliance of non-government organisations were both “worrying and encouraging” for India — a fast-growing country of 1.2 billion people with the highest number of children worldwide. The research found the proportion of under-fives who are underweight had declined 11 percentage points in seven years, but Singh said it remained “unacceptably high” at 42 percent. “We cannot hope for a healthy future with a large number of malnourished children,” he said. India’s economy has boomed in the last 20 years since a liberalisation wave began in 1991, with GDP growth rates of nearly 10 percent in the last

decade helping to change perceptions of the country. Foreign companies and India’s powerful conglomerates have invested heavily, selling vast quantities of cars, luxury goods and Western lifestyle products to the growing middle classes. Rohini Mukherjee, from the Naadi Foundation, one of NGOs that produced the report, said the wealth created in a country estimated to have 57 billionaires last year had not trickled down fast enough to the impoverished masses. Meas-

ured by the prevalence of malnutrition, India is “doing worse than sub-Saharan Africa,” she told AFP, echoing observations made by UN children’s agency UNICeF. This is despite the world’s biggest government programme for early childhood development, called the Integrated Child Development Services Scheme, which is seen as riddled with corruption and inefficiency. Data from UNICeF shows that one in three malnourished children world-

wide is found in India, with 47 percent of under-threes underweight. The survey by Naandi and its partners was the “first of its kind” in its scope and methodology, Mukherjee said. The last government audit at a district level was carried out in 2004. One of the findings in the new research was that malnourished children in India were rarely hungry, merely badly fed due to widespread ignorance about nutrition among Indian parents.

HYeDerabaD: a file picture shows indian schoolchildren waiting in line for their mid-day meal at a government primary school. AFP

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wednesday, 11 January, 2012

Just Prêt Brands


wows shoppers



RANDS Just Prêt, a high-end luxury prêt multi brand store, opened its doors to eager shoppers on December 23rd. Located in the centrally situated new Dolmen City Mall in Clifton, Brands Just Prêt is positioning itself as a luxurious and but affordable option amongst the existing multi-brand stores. The range of products available at Brands Just Prêt ranges from prêt wear, to shoes, jewellery, bags and clutches. Hadi Anwar, CeO of Brands Just Prêt said: “I strongly believe that we are fulfilling a niche in the market by providing a home for luxury prêt. We plan to set international standards when it comes to shop décor, customer services, quality of products being retailed, selection of our designers and the overall look and feel of our first “state of the art” outlet, designed by Najmi Bilgrami Collaborative Limited and fitted out by Dimensions. For us, this is just the beginning of a long ambitious journey.” Brands Just Prêt currently stocks more than 30 designers including Sublime by Sara Shahid, Ayesha Khurram and Slate by Faiza Samee. Sublime is one of the pioneers of prêt in Pakistan, while Ayesha Khurram is a recent star whose pop art embroidery motifs are all the rage in the country. Slate is also one of the most recognisable and popular upcoming prêt brands. Other prominent names include Wardha Saleem, Ayesha, Somaya, Zainab Sajid, Limited editions, Hina Khan, Zarmina, Farida Qureshi, Nida Ali, Naaj, Hejab Zafar and Amrah Khan. “I feel we have an excellent line-up of designers,” said Hadi, 33, who is based in the UAe and plans to expand Brands Just Prêt internationally. “We have been very particular and choosy in putting together a

list of designers who produce high-end products, attract crowds and compliment the design aesthetic of Brands Just Pret.” The backbone of Brands Just Prêt are the two managing directors, Hasaah Hadi and Somaya Adnan. Hadi has extensive background in marketing, human resource and finance which provides the required business foundation and strength to Brands Just Prêt. She has been actively planning the expansion of Brands Just Prêt internationally. After the successful soft launch of the store in Karachi, she is working towards the opening of the second retail outlet in the Middle east. On the other side, one half of the renowned Ayesha Somaya brand, Somaya is a dynamic and versatile businesswoman who has managed to build her own retail brand into an easily recognisable brand. Now she brings this understanding of fashion retail to running Brands Just Prêt. “Being a designer has helped me greatly in developing Brands Just Prêt’s business model,” said Somaya Adnan. “I am well aware of the hurdles and nuisances I face when stocking at other places and this is why we have tried our best to tailor made Brands Just Prêt into a model which is designer friendly.” Hadi continues, “I feel that we have a very strong, versatile and tenacious team which is why we have achieved in months all what other Multi Brand Stores aspire to achieve in years. The model seems to be working because designers are already raving about Brands Just Prêt.” Brands Just Prêt Karachi is expected to be just one of a series of retail outlets which will be opened up in the next few years. A second retail outlet in the UAe is expected to open up shortly, possibly followed by more outlets in the Middle east. The team also has plans of expanding nationally to cities like Lahore and Islamabad.

KaraCHi: guests attend the opening of the brands Just Prêt store.

Snoop Dogg arrested for marijuana possession SAN ANtONIO reuterS

Rapper Snoop Dogg was arrested over the weekend after border control agents found what they said was a small amount of marijuana on his tour bus. A spokesman for the sheriff's office said Snoop Dogg “freely admitted”

the pot belonged to him. He said a dog found a prescription bottle containing rolled marijuana joints and two other containers with marijuana. The rapper was cited for possession of drug paraphernalia. Snoop Dogg has been arrested and convicted numerous times in the last 10 years for possession of drugs ranging from marijuana to cocaine, and weapons offences. In 2008, Snoop Dogg and Willie Nelson collaborated on the song and music video ‘My Medicine’, a thinly veiled homage to marijuana. Both artists have made their appreciation of pot an important part of their public personas.

Hrithik turns 38, B-town says 'Happy Birthday' MuMbai: hrithik Roshan turned 38 Tuesday and wishes from tinsel town came pouring in for the star. Friends and colleagues wished success and happiness to the Bollywood heartthrob who is ready to charm his fans as Vijay Dinanath Chauhan in the new version of ‘agneepath’, coming out Jan 26. here is what they had to say: BIpAsHA BAsu: “My birthday has just it is hrithik, fellow Capricorn, so ya happy Birthday.” ARjuN RAMpAL: “hrithik we love you. you have become so fit and you are an inspiration for all of us, have a superb year.” AsIN THOTTuMKAL: “I wish him a very happy Birthday and a great year ahead and a great life ahead.” pREITY ZINTA: “happy Birthday to my dearest, hottest and sweetest friend with the nicest heart!!! Love you... have a Rocking 2012.” FARHAN AKHTAR: “happy birthday @ihrithik. wish you a Super-heroic year.” ABHIsHEK BACHCHAN: “happy birthday @ihrithik have a great year brobraz!!!” agenCieS

Riya may


with Veena for item number

MuMbai: Veena Malik and riya Sen, known for their time rivalry, courtesy ashmit Patel, are playing lead roles in ‘Zindagi 50-50’, but they shot their scenes separately. now director rajeev ruia wants them to shoot an item number together for the movie. riya, an ex-girlfriend of ashmit, was not really comfortable sharing the screen space with Veena who came closer to the actor when they participated in fourth season of the reality show ‘bigg boss’. “both Veena and riya had problems with each other. they didn't want to face each other. So i had to schedule two different shoots for both Veena and riya. i am done with Veena's shoot and presently we are busy with riya's shoot,” ruia said. but now he wants them to shoot together for an item number. “after finishing the entire film, i have decided to direct an item song with Veena and riya. i will try my best to convince both of them for the item number,” said ruia. ‘Zindagi 50-50’ is about the lives of three struggling girls and the cast also includes Supriya Kumari, rajpal Yadav, arya babbar and rajan Verma. While Veena plays a sex worker, riya will be seen as a junior artist in it. before casting Veena, ruia had signed nisha Kothari. “after watching Veena in ‘bigg boss’, i thought she will be perfect as a sex worker and will justify the role. So i asked Veena to replace nisha Kothari,” he said. agenCieS

MuMbai: Being an on-again, off-again boyfriend to a pretty woman is a difficult job. ask Shahid kapoor. when the actors were in a relationship, he would constantly pretend that he was single and rubbish all rumours. he also had to carefully plan his amorous trysts with the former Miss world so that they wouldn’t be caught by the media’s roving eye. But despite their break-up, it seems Shahid has a huge soft spot for his former lady love. Or perhaps he was just playing the gallant knight in shining armour. whatever be the reason, Shahid proved he truly cares about Priyanka when he protected her from a mob of over 30,000 fans recently! Thousands of fans turned up at the Daulatabad Fort, where Shahid and Piggy Chops were both shooting for kunal kohli's upcoming film titled ‘Teri Meri kahaani.’ as time passed, the crowd, anxious to catch a glimpse of the stars became so uncontrollable that it led to a stampede. Priyanka started getting a bit jittery when Shahid, swooped her up and took her away from the crowd. when director kunal kohli (‘Break ke Baad,’ ‘hum Tum’) was approached for comment he denied the incident altogether and said he was too busy filming the movie to notice anything that happened outside the sets. well we don’t know about kunal but we do know one man who has his constant attention on Priyanka and is ready to put himself in harm’s way to keep her safe! agenCieS



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17 Pose nude? Never: Veena



AKISTANI actress VeenaMalik has denied reports about her acknowledging posing nude for international magazines and Hollywood assignments. The actress claimed that she has been misquoted and that she would never do anything which would tarnish her reputation. Veena revealed that she has already shunted the offers given to her by renowned international magazines to pose nude. A source close to Veena Malik has confirmed that she did get offers from the Play

Boy, Sun UK and Zoo magazine with a huge amount of money but she refused to pose nude. She said: “I have been misquoted by a media agency that I was willingly to do anything if I was offered Hollywood films as the working culture was different from Indian and Pakistani films.” Veena did quote: “When I'm in Hollywood I would do what is expected of me within their industry. I'm an entertainer after all.” “But this doesn't mean that I would go nude for work. How can one reach to any such conclusions,” clarified Veena who is presently in Dubai.

Picasso painting stolen from greek gallery AtHENS bbC

A Picasso painting, given to the Athens National Gallery by the artist himself, was stolen along with two other valuable works of art. Picasso's ‘Woman's Head’ was given to Greece in 1949 in recognition of the country's resistance to Nazi Germany. In a statement, police said a Mondrian painting and a sketch by Italian artist Guglielmo Caccia had also been stolen. The heist took place shortly before 05:00 local time and took just seven minutes, police added. The thief or thieves broke into the back of the gallery after forcing open a balcony door. All three artworks were stripped from their frames. A guard was alerted by a burglar alarm and caught sight of the silhouette of a person running from the building. He ran after the thief, who dropped another painting Mondrian's ‘Landscape’ - as he made his escape. Police said the guard had been distracted by several alarms going off at various points in the building earlier in the evening. When he went to investigate, he found noone in the gallery. The police added that the theft occurred on the final day of an exhibition called ‘Unknown Treasures’, which included works by German artist Albrecht Duerer and Rembrandt. Museum officials have not yet determined the worth of the stolen artwork, but closed the gallery as a result of the break-in. It was already scheduled to to close for expansion and refurbishment work following the end of the ‘Unknown Treasures’ exhibition.

Shahid is Priyanka’s



Google translations

Katy Perry exits show after split from Brand LOS ANgELES reuterS

Pop singer Katy Perry on Monday pulled out of this week's People's Choice Awards show and what would have been her first major public appearance since her split with husband Russell Brand. Perry, 27, one of the leading nominees in the first big Hollywood awards show of the year, said in a Twitter message: “Unfortunately I will not be able to attend the People's Choice Awards. I want to thank u all for voting for me, fingers crossed!” Perry, who has enjoyed a string of hits with songs like ‘Teenage Dream’ and ‘Firework’, is up for favourite pop artist and favourite female pop artist and had been listed as attending the ceremony, which takes place on Wednesday in Los Angeles. But the awards show, to be shown live on U.S. television, comes 10 days after Brand filed divorce papers to end their 14 month-old marriage. Bubbly singer Perry and British comedian Brand wed in 2010 and became a power couple in show business. But they spent Christmas

thousands of miles apart, confirming weeks of media speculation that their marriage was on the rocks. Perry has since kept a low profile and has said little about the split apart from a Twitter message on Satur-

MuMbai: Katrina Kaif has bagged the coveted role opposite southern legend rajinikanth in Kochadaiyaan, being directed by none other than his daughter, Soundarya. When contacted, Soundarya confirmed the developments, saying: “Yes, we are indeed in talks with Katrina and we will let you know soon.” Katrina, who is busy shooting two back-to-back Yash raj films – ‘ek tha tiger’ with Salman Khan, and an untitled one with Shah rukh Khan - will accommodate rajinikanth's dates in between her tight schedule. all other portions of the film have been shot, and only the ones with Katrina remain. Her dates will be worked out soon, and the film will then be complete, the member said. a r rahman is composing the music for the film. as for Katrina, it will be tough but she really wanted to work with rajinikanth for the longest possible time, according to a friend. the first look of Kochadaiyaan, which literally means, ‘the king with long hair’, will be unveiled in the third week of January. of course, rajinikanth will sport long flowing tresses for the parteven if it means donning a wig. agenCieS

day in which she urged fans not to trust gossip. “Concerning the gossip, I want to be clear that NO ONe speaks for me. Not a blog, magazine, ‘close sources’ or my family,” she said in a tweet.

Charlie Sheen insists

Katrina Kaif to


eye-poked over


'crazy' days are over LOS aNgeLeS: Charlie Sheen has assured tV critics he is getting his career back on track and said that last year's bizarre antics were merely a “crazy” episode. the 46-yearold actor said that he has put last year's troubles behind him. “i'm not crazy any more. that was an episode,” quoted the actor as telling People Magazine. “everything is a lot more mellow and focused and much more rooted in reality,” he said. Sheen was fired from his hit CbS comedy show last March for his hard-partying ways and verbal attacks on the show's creator Chuck Lorre, is now seeking to shift publicity from his personal life to the forthcoming fX series ‘anger Management’, which he both produces and stars in. “it's nice to be in a situation where the people i'm working with are excited about my input. that wasn't the case for a long time,” he added. agenCieS


Malaysia's defence ministry on Tuesday blamed the use of Google Translate for the mangled english that appeared on its website sparking online ridicule. The translations from the Malay language into english included dress guidelines for ministry staff that prohibited “clothes that poke eye”-a reference to revealing attire. Instead, the dress code recommended women wear “appropriate clothing and worn neatly and politely in line with the practice of noble character”, according to blog postings. Users of Google and other free online translation services can see their words and sentences instantly converted from one language into another when they type into a text box. But the results can be varied. Another section of the ministry's website said that after 1957 independence from Britain, the new Malaysian government took “drastic measures to increase the level of any national security threat”. Snickering Malaysians passed the bungled translations around via social networking sites. The passages have since been removed from the ministry's website. “We have corrected the mistakes and translations are no longer done that way. It is now done manually,” Defence Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi told The Star daily. Malaysia's national language is Malay but english is taught in schools from the early grades and official matters are often conducted in a mixture of both languages. Many Malaysians speak both languages fluently but there has been growing public handwringing over a perceived recent decline in english levels and the potential for that to harm the country's competitiveness.

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wednesday, 11 January, 2012

Tough Sydney openers for wozniacki, kvitova Page 21

Pakistan promise fresh start against England DUBAI



AKISTAN cricket captain Misbah-ul Haq on Tuesday stressed the need for forgetting the 2010 spot-fixing scandal when his team take on england in the first of three Tests here next week. The Pakistan captain got the first taste of how the series -- the first between the two countries since the scandal -- will be seen during his press conference after arriving here on Monday. The scandal, related to the bowling of deliberate noballs during the Lord's Test against england, ended in jail terms for then captain Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir. When asked about the scandal, a visibly upset Misbah said: "That's the past, we don't get into that. I am only focusing on what we can do on the ground. I think everybody knows in both teams that we just have to forget the past." Since the scandal, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has implemented a strict code of conduct for the players and introduced anti-corruption courses for both international and domestic cricketers. Misbah said corruption in Pakistan cricket was no more a concern. "It's not an area of concern for me. Our area of concern is to play good cricket, fair cricket, and that's what we can do," said Misbah, under whom Pakistan have not lost a Test series since the spot-fixing scandal. And since he replaced Shahid Afridi as one-day captain, Misbah has led Pakistan to wins over Ireland, Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. Misbah said the credit goes to the players. "I think the credit goes to the team and all the players after that difficult time," he said. "They just wanted to collect their thoughts and prove to the world that we are good players, a good team, and I think they just proved it. "They are really focusing on their cricket and making my job easier. The players are ready to give their hundred percent and we are concerned with the present and future, not about the past." Misbah said the series against england will be played in good spirit. "Our target is just to play cricket in the true spirit ... good relations, and play really good and hard cricket," he said. Misbah also praised his off-spinner, Saeed Ajmal, who took 50 Test wickets last year. "Ajmal is a fine bowler and has a lot of variations but we are not depending on him only," said Misbah of Ajmal, who has promised to use a surprise delivery against england. "england will have to explore themselves. Let's see how england's batsmen tackle it. That's a secret." england, who earned a hard-fought three-wicket win against an ICC Combined IX here on Monday, take on a PCB XI in another three-day game here from Wednesday. The first Test starts on January 17. Both teams will also play four one-day and three Twenty20 internationals.

DUBaI: Pakistan captain Misbah ul-haq stretches with teammate Umar gul during a practice session at the ICC global academy. AFP

amir could still have international career, says PCB KARACHI reuterS

Teenage Pakistan fast bowler Mohammad Amir, serving six-months in jail for spot-fixing elements of a test match, could still have a future in international cricket, Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Zaka Ashraf said. Amir, 19, was detained for six months in a young offenders institution after he admitted bowling two intentional no-balls in the Lord's test against england in August 2010. Amir, along with team mates Mohammad Asif and Salman Butt, was banned for a minimum of five years by the International Cricket Council in February last year. "Whenever he is cleared by the International Cricket Council and serves his punishment, we think he needs intense counselling and then the selectors can decide about him," Ashraf told a news conference on Tuesday. "As far as his playing again is concerned that is for the selectors to decide because there is no doubt about his immense talent and he is still very young." Amir has taken 51 wickets in 14 tests. Former captain Butt and Asif were jailed for 30 months and one year respectively by a London court in November for their part in the gamblinginspired plot.

Australia on course for 4-0 rout of India eXPert CoMMent

waSIM akRaM The ghost of India’s horrendous england tour last summer is haunting MS Dhoni and Co. in Australia. The pre-series premonition of India conceding a 2-0 lead to Australia has already come true. If Dhoni and his men do not improve their body language on the field and see the Australians in the eye, Australia will win the next two Tests in Perth and Adelaide and win 4-0. Winning at home does not make any side the No. 1 team in the world. India’s reputation had taken a beating in england and the signs are not encouraging in Australia, either. Winning matters, but to win overseas is the real thing. India does well in their backyard but are found wanting when they play on foreign pitches. When I was playing, Pakistan had won in New Zealand, Australia,

West Indies and england and that made us a top side. The innings defeat at Sydney was India’s sixth successive Test loss, overseas. The consistency in such poor performance is clearly alarming. India are seriously looking out of sorts. There seems to be no planning in the team. Players are just looking like individuals and not gelling as a unit. This is surprising considering the fact that almost the same team were world No. 1 just a few months back. India’s inability to match Australia’s aggression has been disappointing. India lost the plot on the second day itself. It was disheartening to see the fielders lose hope as the Aussie batsmen piled on the runs. The lack of coordination between players made me feel that India are going to field for another two days. The seniors were not talking with their young bowlers. It was only Sachin Tendulkar whom I saw chatting with Ishant Sharma. Such body language was very unlike Dhoni and company. Australia were three down for 37 on Day 2 and it was the opportune time for India to strike hard. But as soon as Ponting and Clarke took control, the complexion of the Indian attack changed for the worse in just six or seven overs. The shoulders drooped and the fielding became dull. So the overall body language was very negative. (eSPN STAR)

Haddin takes swipe at struggling indians SYDNEY afP

Australian vice-captain Brad Haddin has taken aim at struggling India, saying the tourists "break quicker than anyone in the world" and turn on each other when things are not going their way. Wicketkeeper Haddin turned up the heat on India, trailing 2-0 ahead of Friday's third Test in Perth, by revealing that Australia had discussed the tourists' mental frailties. India were crushed by an innings and 68 runs in last week's second Test in Sydney after losing the series opener in Melbourne by 122 runs. Australian captain Michael Clarke scored 329 not out, and Ricky Ponting and Michael Hussey hit centuries as Australia kept the Indians slaving in the field for almost 11 hours in amassing 659 for four declared in Sydney. "We spoke about a bit of that when we were batting," Haddin was quoted as saying in the Sydney Morning Herald. "The longer we could keep them out on the field the bigger chance we had of

breaking them. "We know this side can be as fragile as any team in the world if things aren't going their way and they can turn on each other and the media turns on them pretty quick. "We knew if we could keep them out there and put the numbers like we did on the board we knew we'd get the rewards because they break quicker than anyone in the world." Fast bowler Ryan Harris, expected to play in Perth for the injured James Pattinson, has also said India were "down and out already" and being torn apart by internal divisions. Former players and captains have criticised the Indian team's performance with the latest focus on senior batsman V.V.S. Laxman. Former Indian batsman Sanjay Manjrekar believes Laxman, 37, should be dropped at the WACA ground, allowing for a Test debut for Rohit Sharma in the middle order and for Virat Kohli to retain his place. Haddin also indicated Australia had detected a weakness in Sachin Tendulkar, whose quest for a 100th international hundred will resume in Perth. Tendulkar has been the standout In-

dian batsman in the first two Tests, making 226 runs at an average of 56.5, but he is still short of that elusive milestone. "What we have found is if we can build enough pressure on him he wants to score and he wants to feel bat on ball and he wants to get into a rhythm," Haddin said. "We find if we can push him a little wider, make him feel for the ball a bit we can build enough pressure to get a chance and it's worked in the last two Tests." Haddin told a radio sports programme that paceman Peter Siddle had the ability to get under Tendulkar's skin. Siddle dismissed him twice at the MCG before Pattinson and Clarke removed the 38-year-old legend in Sydney. "We've found he can be a bit uncomfortable in the areas Siddle's been bowling to him," Haddin said. "I knew if we could build enough pressure we can create a chance to get him. He's a great player and it's always a privilege to play against guys like this. "There's been a lot of talk about his hundredth hundred but from our point of view it's our job to make sure he doesn't get it this series."

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MCC mulls cricket matches in Pakistan LAHORE


Staff rePort

H e MCC plans to send a delegation to Pakistan to investigate the possibility of staging international cricket in the country, it was learnt Tuesday. No international side has toured the country since the Sri Lanka team was attacked by terrorists in Lahore in 2009, with Pakistan staging their 'home' matches elsewhere since. Pakistan is currently hosting england in the nearby United Arab emirates. Following this week's meeting in Cape Town, the MCC's world cricket committee noted "some optimism" with regard to security in the country, reports quoted former PCB chief executive Majid Khan, also an ex-Test player, about the security situation. Following the meeting, the MCC released a statement which read: "The committee notes with some optimism the security improvements over recent

Cantona’s latest goal is French presidency

months. "In light of this presentation, the MCC world cricket committee recommends that, subject to Government advice and MCC committee approval, a small delegation from the club visits Pakistan to assess the situation, its suitability for tours and the possibility for the return of international cricket in the future." It is planned for the delegation to report back in August. The committee also expressed its "disappointment" that no place had been found in the calendar until 2017 for the proposed ICC World Test Championship. "A World Test Championship would, crucially, prov i d e additional context for Test cricket," it said. "The committee is convinced that Test cricket is the pinnacle of the sport, and that it needs to be encouraged and marketed in every way possible." The committee also again urged the ICC to produce a uniform Decision Review System for use across the international game.

Bangladeshi players worried on touring Pakistan LAHORE Staff rePort

President of the Cricketers' Welfare Association of Bangladesh (CWAB) Naimur Rahman said Tuesday that Bangladeshi players are worried about the security situation in Pakistan. Pakistan has not hosted any international match since March 2009 when Sri Lankan cricket team was attacked by militants on their way to Gaddafi Stadium. Since then, Pakistan has been hosting its home series at the neutral venues of england and UAe. Sri Lanka cricket board had last year hinted at sending its team to Pakistan but no progress was made in this regard and Pakistan was once again forced to host its home series against the Islanders at the neutral venues of United Arab emirates in October last year. Besides all this, Pakistan was also deprived of the hosting rights of last year’s esteemed world cup event, causing a huge financial loss to the Pakistan Cricket Board. The PCB officials had last year requested their counterparts in the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) to send their players to Pakistan for a bilateral series. The BCB agreed to send its na-

imran inspired my generation of fast bowlers, says jaffar LAHORE Staff rePort


Footballer-turned-actor eric Cantona is lining up a long-shot bid for the French presidency, with the ex-Manchester United star trying to gather enough political backing to topple Nicolas Sarkozy. After failing in a recent quixotic bid to destroy global banking, the man known to english fans as King eric has written to French mayors to get the 500 signatures needed to stand in April's election. But Cantona appears to be applying one of his legendary footballing feints on the political field, using the unlikely presidential run to secure his real aim -- help for the poorly housed, on behalf of one of his favoured charities. In his letter to city mayors, revealed by the daily Liberation, the 45-year-old said he is "a citizen very much aware of our times," which offer "limited opportunities" to the young and generate "violent" injustice. He said he felt obliged to speak up "at a time when our country faces difficult choices" and that the current economic uncertainty gave him "a sense of my responsibility". Getting the 500 mayors to sign up to his message on housing and poverty "would allow me to send a simple but clear message: a message of truth and respect," he said. Cantona, who has starred in adverts for such multinationals as L'Oreal and Nike, said he "chose the housing issue as it seems to me to be essential and concerns 10 million people". "I had to act at a time when I was likely to be heard."

tional team to the terrorism hit country but had requested the government to send a team to Pakistan to assess the security arrangements for the Bengali players. But now it has been reported that the players have expressed concerns over the itinerary and want BCB to discuss the matter with them before reaching a decision. According to reports, Rehman, who was also the first Test captain of Bangladesh, said that the security situation in the country is not that encouraging, saying it is not safe to send the players when no other board is willing to do so. "We CWAB don't have a stance as such, but we know that the players are worried," said Rahman. "The situation is not normal there and no other team is going to Pakistan… I personally believe it is not safe. The worried players haven't approached us formally, but when they do, we will take the matter to the cricket board," he added further. Meanwhile the PCB is striving for fool proof security arrangements for the Bangladesh team and have sought bullet and bomb proof vehicles from the interior ministry to provide transport to the visiting team.

Former Pakistani cricketer Saleem Jaffar has said Imran Khan set the fast bowling trend in Pakistan, which subsequently led to the arrival of Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Aaqib Javed, Shoaib Akhtar, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir to the scene. “His action, his run-up, his bowling style, and the way his ball possessed pace; the generation of that time became quite impressed because of this. He indeed brought the fast bowling tsunami,” PakPassion quoted Jaffar, as saying. Jafar said the overall quality of cricket has not improved much since his time and added that the quality of players was much better during his time. He, however, admitted that fielding has improved drastically over the past few years.

“Nowadays, fielders have begun to slide more often, throwing has improved a lot, and so I will say that in my opinion, if you look at it from the perspective of financial benefits even, then currently, cricketers have much more benefits and cricket is much more stressful these days,” Jaffer said. He also pointed out that cricketers

tend to get confused by hiring different coaches at different levels, and stressed that the player should rely on one coach. Jaffar admitted that Karachi club cricket’s structure has ceased to be competitive and it has failed to produce batsmen like Khalid Latif, Shahzaib Hasan and Khurram Manzoor in recent times. He stressed that cricket selection was not marred by political interferences during his tenure as selector but added that the selection process cannot be ‘black and white’ under certain circumstances. “For example, if you have Inzamam ul Haq in your team playing a certain position in the batting order and you have someone who has scored more runs playing at that position, you can’t automatically select him until the position is vacant,” he said. Jaffar featured in 14 Tests and 39 ODIs for Pakistan.

Venus williams out of australian Open WASHINgtON afP

Seven-time Grand Slam singles champion Venus Williams withdrew from the Australian Open on Monday as she struggles to return from the autoimmune disease Sjogren's syndrome. In a posting on her website, the US star said that she has been making progress and plans to return to WTA Tour play in February, when events begin in the United States. "I regret to announce that I am withdrawing from the 2012 Australian Open," Williams said on her website. "After several months of training and treatment, I am making steady progress to top competitive form. "My diet and fitness regimen have allowed me to make great strides in terms of my health and I am very close to being ready to return to WTA competition. I have every intention to return to the circuit in February." Williams, whose ranking has slipped to 100th in the world, pulled out of last week's WTA event in Auckland because of the illness, which saps her energy and causes pain in her joints. World number one Caroline Wozniacki said Williams's health was the most important thing. "Venus has played for many years, but she's been unlucky with the virus thing," Wozniacki said at the Sydney International. "I'm not completely sure what it is exactly, but the most important thing is the health. Tennis is a game but most of all, the most important thing is that you're healthy and she'll be 100 percent healthy by February." Williams, 31, is not the only member of her family in doubt for the first Grand Slam event of 2012. Younger sister Serena, a 13-time Grand Slam singles champion, pulled out of last week's event at Brisbane with a sprained ankle. Serena Williams posted a Twitter message saying she was doing better, hinting she might be ready for the Melbourne fortnight that begins on Monday.

hataff, sufi Group notch wins in Pakistan Polo Cup LAHORE Staff rePort

Hataff and Sufi Group registered wins on the opening day of the Sufi Group Pakistan Polo Cup that saddled into action here at the Lahore Polo Club on Tuesday. Hataff edged ahead of HBL by one anda-half margin which it enjoyed as a handicap otherwise they would have lost. But by the close of play Hataff won by seven-and-a-half goals to seven goal difference. Hashim Kamal Agha and Sameer Habib Oberoi shared three goals each for Hataff while the unfortunate quartet of HBL got their score through Raja Temur Nadeem who managed four goals while Taimur Ali Malik had two and Raja Samiullah hit in one. Sufi Group edged ahead of Pakistan Air Force 9-8 with Shah Qublai Alam playing the major role in the Sufis’ win by scoring six goals while Saqib Khan Khakwani got the remaining three. The losing side PAF had Waqas Niazi shine through with five goals with Shaukat Ali Malik getting two and Sattar Niazi one. The matches were played under the supervision of Ahmad Nawaz Tiwana, Ahmed Ali Tiwana Omar Asjad Malhi and Santiago Mendivil.

LahORe: The riders of Sufi group and PaF teams struggle to get control of the ball during their Pakistan Polo Cup match. NADeeM ijAz

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Tiger to make US Pga 2012 debut at Pebble Beach PEBBLE BEACH afP

Tiger Woods will play his first US PGA event of the 2012 season at next month's Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, the 14time major champion announced Monday on his website. The appearance will be the first for Woods at the event since 2002. He won the Pebble Beach Pro-Am in 2000, rallying from five strokes back in the last round, and won the US Open four months later by a record-setting 15 strokes. "I'm excited to start my PGA season at the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am," Woods said. "I'm looking forward to playing in this event. I haven't been to this tournament lately, but I have a lot of good memories at Pebble." The major victory at Pebble Beach began a run of four major titles in a row for Woods, the famed "Tiger Slam". Woods, who first saw the Pacific Ocean-side layout as a junior golfer, shared fourth at the 2010 US Open at Pebble Beach. "It has always been one of my favorite spots," Woods said. "It might be the prettiest place on earth." Woods will open his 2012 season on January 26 at the HSBC Championship in Abu Dhabi. The Pro-Am features play on Spyglass Hill and Monterey Peninsula's Shore course as well as Pebble Beach in the first three rounds. "I've never played Monterey Peninsula and am looking forward to it," Woods said. "From all I've heard, it's a wonderful course and the greens are fast." Woods snapped a two-year win drought last month by winning the 18-man World Challenge event to benefit his foundation, but has not won a US PGA event since September of 2009. "It was great to finish 2011 strong," Woods said. "More importantly, it's good to be healthy again. I'm hoping to get off to a fast start." Woods, whose 84 worldwide titles include 71 in US PGA events, was nagged by injuries the past two seasons as well as the fallout from his infamous sex scandal. In addition to chasing the career record of 18 major titles won by Jack Nicklaus, Woods is also chasing the alltime US PGA victory record of 82 won by Sam Snead.

DUBaI: Pakistan's cricketers warm up during a practice session at the ICC global Cricket academy. AFP

Henry makes fairytale return for Gunners LONDON afP


HIeRRY Henry needed just over 10 minutes to mark his Arsenal return with the winning goal as Leeds United were edged out 1-0 at the emirates Stadium in the FA Cup third round on Monday. The former France international, 34, left the Gunners in June 2007 as the club's record goal-scorer and returned last week on a twomonth loan from New York Red Bulls. He could hardly have made a more impressive comeback, showing his colleagues how to finish after Leeds, currently eighth in the Championship, held out stubbornly until the 79th minute, 11 minutes after Henry had come on to a rapturous welcome from the home fans. It was his 227th Gunners goal and Arsenal's reward is a fourth round tie at home to Aston Villa. After the match he told eSPN: "It's kind of weird, I only came back from holiday in Mexico 15 days ago, I never thought I was going to be playing for Arsenal again and then score the winner. "The feeling I had when I scored was amazing, I've rejoined the club as a fan, I just wanted to come and help the team, and then I end up as man of the match - it wasn't my plan to be a hero. "I'll always remember tonight. When it comes to Arsenal, something happens to me." The 1998 World Cup winner settled a game that was a repeat of the draw for the same round last season, which saw Leeds come within a handful of seconds from winning at the emirates Stadium but went on to lose in the replay. Arsene Wenger

LONDON: arsenal's aaron Ramsey (L) vies with Leeds United's aidan white during the third round Fa Cup football match. AFP had allowed captain and top scorer Robin van Persie to take a holiday, with Marouane Chamakh taking his place up front before departing for the Africa Cup of Nations. Otherwise it was close to being as strong a starting line-up as a series of injuries to defenders would allow, with Wojciech Szczesny, Aaron Ramsey, Alex Song, captain for the night Mikel Arteta and Andrey Arshavin all included. Henry, as expected, began on the bench, as did Theo Walcott, the inheritor of the number 14 shirt the Frenchman left behind four-and-a-half years ago when he decamped to Barcelona.

Can djokovic stay ahead of the pack? SYDnEY: Novak Djokovic says nothing's impossible as he sets out to repeat his jaw-dropping performances of last season, starting with the Australian Open grand slam from Monday. The Serbian world number one won three of the four grand slams and five Masters titles in 2011, became the top-ranked player, put together a 70-6 winning record and banked a record 12.6 million dollars in prize money. Last year's Australian Open final triumph over Andy Murray was the first of seven straight tournament wins in a 41-match winning streak that was finally ended by Roger Federer in the semi-finals of the French Open. "My success gives me a reason to believe that I can win again. Why not?" Djokovic said. "I think it doesn't make any sense to be anything other than optimistic. I need to believe in my qualities and my abilities and I need to be-

lieve that I can repeat the success. "Of course it is going to be an incredibly difficult task to achieve, but you never know, nothing is really impossible." Djokovic, 24, dominated men's tennis last year, winning a career-best 10 titles in 11 finals. He defeated world number two Rafael Nadal six times and overall was 21-4 against top10 opponents. But his incredible season now marks him as the hunted as his top rivals Nadal, Federer and Murray will be out to prevent Djokovic from sweeping all before him again. "What he (Djokovic) did, (is) very difficult for him to do again," former US Open champion and world number 11 Juan Martin del Potro said this week. "I think Roger and Rafa (Nadal) will be going after Novak because they don't want him to repeat the year he just had." Djokovic's landmark season took its toll with a combination

of back and shoulder trouble, but the Serb said he was now injury-free. "Injuries are past at this moment," he said. "I am happy to announce that it has been a couple of weeks since my last match and I have had enough time to recover physically and mentally and to get back into shape." But Nadal finished last season with a sore left shoulder and was not sure whether he would be at his peak during the Australian Open. "I know I am working well, with a much more positive attitude than I had during the second half of last season, especially in the final stretch," he told Catalan sports daily Sport. "I see myself capable of having a good tournament but you never know. I am happy with the level of my game, of how I am doing things and I think I am sowing seeds that will bear fruit. But maybe not in Australia." afP

Delhi’s rugby club due in city today LAHORE: The Punjab Rugby Association under the auspices of the Pakistan Rugby Union is hosting The Delhi Lions Rugby Club in Lahore from January 11 to 16. The tour will comprise two full 15-a-side matches against two of Pakistan's top super league teams, with the first match being played against the new super league team Punjab Warriors while the second match will see two old rivals Lahore Djuice Rams, Pakistan No 1 ranked Super League Club against the guest Delhi Lions Rugby Club who were recent winners of the All India 7s tournament. This is the third time the two teams will be competing against each other. The first time was when Lahore Rams toured Delhi and won two test matches and 7s tournament. The second encounter was when Delhi Lions toured Lahore to take part in the Lahore 10s Rugby Tournament. UMT University will host the first of the two test matches on January 12 and DHA L Block Stadium will host the Rugby 7s Tournament on January 14 and final test match on the January 15. The event will also feature a 7-a-side tournament format with total 9 teams taking part including the Delhi Lions. The other teams taking part are Lahore Djuice, Rams, Garrisonions Servis Bulls, UMT Lahore, Lums Lahore, University of Lahore, AIT Rugby Club, Multan rugby Club, Muzzafargurh rugby and DHA Club. Staff rePort

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Messi wins third straight Ballon d'Or

wAtch It LIve STAR SPORTS Big Bash League: Adelaide Strikers vs. Sydney Sixers 02:00AM

ESPN Sports Center 08:00PM

NBP, waPDa off to winning start in National Jr hockey LAHORE Staff rePort

ZURICh: awarded people stand on stage at the end of the FIFa Ballon d'Or ceremony. AFP zURICH


National U-14 Football Festival from Feb 3 LAHORE Staff rePort

The Pakistan Football Federation is organizing the National U-14 Football Festival-2012 at Jinnah Football Stadium, Islamabad from February 3 to 15. The tournament is being participated by 16 teams including one team each from provinces, region and eight teams of Aid 27 coaches. The following provinces, regions and Aid 27 coaches teams will be participating in the Festival. The Aid 27 coaches teams are: Faisalabad Zone, Lahore Zone, Karachi Zone A, Karachi Zone B, Quetta Zone, Chaman Zone, Peshawar Zone, Noshehra Zone. The provinces teams are Punjab, Balochistan, Sindh and Khyber PK (KPK) and regions teams are Islamabad, Gilgit Baltistan, Azad Jammu & Kashmir (AJK) and Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).


IONeL Messi was on Monday awarded the 2011 FIFA Ballon d'Or at a star-studded ceremony in Zurich, the third consecutive year that he has won the prestigious award for the world's outstanding footballer. The 24-year-old Barcelona and Argentina forward finished ahead of his Real Madrid rival Cristiano Ronaldo and Barca team-mate Xavi. "It's a great personal pleasure for me," said Messi. "It's the third time I've won it. It's just an amazing honour. I want to thank everyone that's been involved with me -- my team-mates, trainers, physios, the coach (Pep Guardiola) and everyone at Barcelona. "I'd also like to thank the Argentina national team as well." Messi becomes only the second player, after current UeFA president Michel Platini, to win the award for three consecutive years. He also joins Platini, Johan Cruyff and Marco van Basten as the only men to have won the prize on three occasions. "I want to share this honour with my team-mate, Xavi," added Messi, who then addressed his club-mate in the audience at the FIFA Ballon d'Or Gala. "He deserves it, too. I want to share it with you, because you deserve it as much as me. It's a pleasure to be here alongside him and to play with him." The award was formed when the Ballon d'Or merged with the FIFA World Player of the Year award in 2010 and is voted for by national team coaches and captains, as well as a panel of football journalists selected by France Football magazine. Messi was the strong favourite to retain his prize after a year in which he inspired his club to five trophies, including the Champions League, the FIFA Club World Cup and a third consecutive La Liga title. He scored twice, including a memorable solo goal at the Bernabeu, as Barca beat old enemies Madrid in the Champions League semi-finals and he was also on target from long range in the 3-1 defeat of Manchester United in the final at Wembley. This season he has scored his 200th goal for Barcelona and is closing in on Cesar Rodriguez's all-time record of 235 goals for the club. Barcelona were given further reason to celebrate when Guardiola was named FIFA Coach of the Year. The 40-year-old former Barcelona and Spain midfielder had been nominated alongside Madrid's Jose Mourinho - winner last year after guiding Inter Milan to three trophies including the Champions League - and Sir Alex Ferguson of Manchester United. "I want to dedicate this award to the thousands of people who, through more than a hundred years, have worked for FC Barcelona and helped develop one of the best clubs in the world," said Guardiola.

The blow was softened for Ferguson by the FIFA Presidential Award, which was presented to him by FIFA president Sepp Blatter in recognition of his 25 years of service in the Old Trafford dug-out. "I've been a lucky manager to have such great players from the word go right through to today," said the 70-year-old Scot. "What makes United such a special club, from our past right up to the present day, is that they have always retained the courage to play and the courage to win." Barca boasted five players in the FIFPro XI for 2011, with Dani Alves, Gerard Pique and Andres Iniesta selected alongside Xavi and Messi. Madrid had four representatives -- Iker Casillas, Sergio Ramos, Xabi Alonso and Ronaldo -- while Manchester United pair Nemanja Vidic and Wayne Rooney completed the line-up. Messi and Rooney missed out on the FIFA Puskas Award for the best goal of 2011, which was awarded to Santos forward Neymar for a remarkable solo goal that he scored in a Brazilian league game against Flamengo. Japanese midfielder Homare Sawa claimed the women's equivalent of the Ballon d'Or, after she won the Golden Boot for top scorer and the Golden Ball for player of the tournament as Japan secured their first ever women's World Cup title in Germany.

NBP, Railways, PAH Academy and WAPDA registered opening day wins as the 31st U-21 National Junior Hockey Championship started here at the National Hockey Stadium on Tuesday. Director General Sports Board Punjab Usman Anwar performed the opening of the championship. On the occasion, Organising Secretary Rana Mujahid Ali, Tournament Director Saghir Ahmed, Olympian Khawaja Muhammad Junaid manager hockey team, Olympian Anjum Saeed, Olympian Muhammad Usman and officials of DHA Lahore were also present. NBP thrashed FATA by 23 goals and they scored a dozen goals by half time. NBP got their goals through M. Dilber (5 goals 5th, 7th , 22nd , 23rd & 27th minutes), Khurram Shahzad (3 goals 8th ,26th & 69th minutes), Kashif Javed (4 goals 11th & 28th, 25th minute and 61st minute PC), Ayub Ali (7 goals 16th, 30th, 30th, 42nd, 44th, 48th & 69th minutes FG), Arslan Qadir (46th minute), Zohaib Azeem Khan (2 goals 50th minute & 66th minute) & Ahmed Zubair 53rd minute. Railways beat Pakistan Boards 2-0 and one goal each was scored in either half. Railways’ Ateeq Arshad scored in the seventh minute and Akbar Ali in the 57th minute. PHF Academy beat KPK by three goals. They led the match by one goal after 35 minutes game was called off. PHF Academy scorers were Mudassar Ali 24th minute (FG), Mawadit Ali 57th minute (FG) & M. Ali Khan 70th minute (FG). Wapda beat Punjab Whites 6-1 (Full Time). The half time score was 4-0. Wapda managed its big win through M. Suleman 10th minute (FG), M. Irfan (Capt) 2 goals 22nd minute (PC) & 30th minute (FG), Aleem Bilal 2 GOALS 31st & 57th minutes (PC) & Asad 36th minute (FG) while the losing Punjab’s only goal was scored by Arslan in the 45th minute (PC).

Condolence LAHORE Staff rePort

Chairman PCB Ch. Zaka Ashraf, Chairperson PCB Women Wing Mrs. Bushra Aitazaz, and PCB COO Mr. Subhan Ahmed have extended their deepest condolences to the family of Mr. Talib Rizvi on his sad demise. Talib Rizvi was a seasoned lawyer and father of Mr. Tafzul Rizvi, legal adviser to PCB. He died of cardiac arrest today at Lahore.

tough sydney openers for Wozniacki, Kvitova SYDNEY afP

World number one Caroline Wozniacki and her chief rankings rival Petra Kvitova had demanding three-set introductions to the Sydney International in their first official matches of the season on Tuesday. Wozniacki and Kvitova, tuning up for next week's Australian Open, were on court for more than two hours in warm conditions after beginning their Australian campaigns indoors at last week's Hopman Cup in Perth. Wozniacki was beaten by world number two Kvitova in three sets in the mixed teams Hopman Cup, after beating American Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Bulgaria's Tsvetana Pironkova in her other singles matches. After her two hour and 22 minute match against the 18th-ranked Slovakian Dominika Cibulkova, the Danish world number one said her 7-5, 2-6, 6-4 victory had been a tough contest. "I thought I didn't have that chance, but I never gave up the fight," said

Wozniacki, whose tenure at the top of the women's singles rankings comes despite not yet winning a grand slam in 19 attempts. "I'm happy to be through to the next round here. Definitely that I could fight back from that score is satisfying, but I definitely need to step up my game a little bit in the next round." Wozniacki set up a quarter-final clash against Polish seventh seed Agnieszka Radwanska, who overcame Germany's Andrea Petkovic in straight sets. Wozniacki leads Radwanska 5-1. On her much-anticipated contest with Kvitova for the top spot, the Dane said she was looking forward to it. Kvitova trails Wozniacki by 295 rankings points with 470 points up for grabs to the winner of the Sydney International. "Petra is a great girl. I like her a lot. She's one of my good friends," she said. "I'm sure we'll play against each other and we'll both do well in the years to come," Wozniacki said. "The most important thing is that we're all healthy and playing well. The competition on the court will be good fun for the fans as well."

SyDNey: Caroline wozniacki of Denmark returns to Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia in their second round match. AFP

SyDNey: Marion Bartoli of France eyes a return against Jelena Dokic of australia during their second round match. AFP

SyDNey: Petra kvitova of the Czech Republic returns to alexandra Dulgheru of Romania during their second round match. AFP

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SC could have challenged Zardari’s oath, says CJP



29 killed, 35 wounded as Jamrud hit again PESHAWAR



T least 29 people were killed and more than 35 others injured when a high-intensity bomb went off at the main market in Jamrud, Khyber Agency on Tuesday morning. Two Khasadar Forces personnel, two children and women were among the dead, most of whom belonged to the Zakakhel clan of the Afridi tribe. Officials said an explosives-laden pickup truck parked in a petrol filling station at Main Bazaar had been remotely detonated. “According to initial information, it was a remote-controlled device planted in a passenger pickup van,” said Mutahir Zeb, a top official of the agency. The resultant explosion was so massive that it was heard and felt as far away as University Town in Hayatabad and other localities of Peshawar adjacent to the border regions of Khyber Agency. Around 19 peo-

ple lost their lives on the spot and another 10 succumbed to injuries at the hospital. Jamrud Assistant Political Agent Mohammad Jamil Khan told Pakistan Today that 35 wounded people were under treatment at various hospitals and doctors had declared several of them to be in serious condition. Over a dozen people with minor injuries had already been discharged after treatment. The blast damaged several vehicles and shops and completely gutted the filling station and a number of shops close to it. Soon after the explosion, high-ranking officials in the political administration of the agency rushed to the site to supervise rescue activities. The injured were admitted to Peshawar’s Hayatabad Medical Complex, Khyber Teaching Hospital and Lady Reading Hospital. There have been no claims of responsibility so far but local tribal elders and officials believed Zakakhel tribesmen were the target. The Afridis of the Zakakhel clan from Tirrah Valley have formed peace militias against militants associated with the banned Lashkar-e-Islam, headed by Mangal

JaMruD: a tV cameraman captures the scene of a bombing as residents look on here on tuesday. sTAFF PhOTO Bagh. The Zakakhel tribesmen also support the war on terror. Meanwhile, AFP reported that 35 people had been killed in the blast and more than 60 were wounded. Trails of blood could be seen around the site of the blast, which had left a large crater in the

road, an AFP reporter said. The bombing was the first major militant attack in Pakistan since September 15, when a suicide bomber killed 46 people, targeting anti-Taliban militia at a funeral in the northwestern district of Lower Dir.

Staff rePort

Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry on Tuesday said the Supreme Court (SC) could have objected to the oath administered to President Asif Ali Zardari by former de-facto chief justice Abdul Hameed Dogar, but avoided taking action only to prevent anarchy in the country. The chief justice was heading a four-member SC bench hearing a petition filed by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan against bogus voters’ lists. His caution to the president came while hearing a matter about the last byelections, held following the passage of the 18th Amendment when the election Commission of Pakistan (eCP) was not complete. He said that something would have to be done for the rule of law without caring for the results, and that the courts would not work on the ‘doctrine of necessity’. During the hearing, the chief justice asked Attorney General Maulvi Anwarul Haq to tell about the legal status of those by-elections held with an incomplete eCP. Haq submitted that a bill had been drafted to give protection to the candidates elected in by-elections, which would be sent to the cabinet for formal approval. The chief justice asked why the salaries and facilities availed by the 28 lawmakers elected in the controversial bypolls should not be withdrawn. Later, the court adjourned the hearing until January 12. earlier, the eCP had declared that the disputed by-polls should be considered and treated as “correct and legitimate”, because they were past and closed transaction. The court in response said, “This is the doctrine of necessity, which we have buried once and for all.” The court observed that the law had been violated by holding by-polls with an incomplete eCP therefore the resulting successful candidates could face disqualification.

iSi gets a clean chit Kayani consults commanders in Saleem probe g

No journalist interviewed pointed finger at security agencies ISLAMABAD Mian abrar

The secretary of the Saleem Shehzad Commission on Tuesday presented its probe report to Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani on the mysterious murder of the journalist, giving a clean chit to the country’s security agencies, including the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). Saleem Shehzad was an investigative journalist who had claimed of receiving life threats and pointed fingers at the country’s security agencies, especially the ISI, only a few days before his murder. A source privy to the details said the 140-page report had recommended the prime minister make the report public. “The commission found no involvement of any security agency, including the ISI, in the killing of the journalist. Moreover, none of the journalists interviewed gave any evidence or shared information about the involvement of agencies. No one even blamed any intelligence agency of involvement,” added the source. However, the source said the commission directed the intelligence agencies to streamline their working vis-à-vis media

and maintain proper record of their interactions with journalists. The commission further directed the Islamabad and Punjab police departments to continue their respective investigation process to identify the perpetrators of the crime. The commission further asked the government to pay compensation amount to the family of the slain journalist and also cater for the educational needs of his children. “Though the commission was given six weeks to compile its report, it took six months to finalise the probe due to the sensitive nature of the matter. During the period, the commission recorded interviews of 41 individuals that have been made a part of the report,” the source said.

RAwALPInDI: Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Ashfaq Kayani on Tuesday held a meeting with senior military officials at the Army General Headquarters (GHQ) following his return from China. The army chief was briefed about Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani’s recent interview to a Chinese newspaper wherein he said that General Kayani and ISI DG Lt Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha’s statements to the Supreme Court were illegal. Kayani was in Beijing on a five-day official trip to meet the Chinese military and political leadership when the prime minister told the Chinese media that the replies submitted by General Kayani and General Pasha in the Supreme Court in the “memogate” case were illegal, as they were not approved by the government. According to sources, the military leadership was extremely annoyed over prime minister’s statement at a time when General Kayani was on an important visit to China. Sources said the military leadership also expressed surprise over the continuous change

of stance by the prime minister regarding the relations between the civil and military leadership. The military leadership was also annoyed over the use of Chinese media to target security institutions, according to INP sources. They said the following 24 hours were extremely important as far as civil-military relations were concerned. The corps commanders’ meeting, scheduled to take place next week, has also been postponed. AGeNCies

don’t forget your own plea bargains, Gilani tells opponents ISLAMABAD agenCieS

Malik reveals the Sharifs’ ‘NRO deal’ ISLAMABAD Staff rePort

Displaying the documents signed by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Nawaz Sharif and his brother, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, in which he appealed to former president Pervez Musharraf for pardon during the trial of cases against him and his family members in 2000, Interior Minister Rehman Malik said on Tuesday that Nawaz deliberately ignored the ‘National Reconciliation Ordinance’ (NRO) he had signed with the military dictator to avoid imprisonment. “Nawaz Sharif is talking too much about the NRO promulgated by the previous regime but has forgotten the NRO he had signed with Pervez Musharraf to escape imprisonment,” Continued on page 04

Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani on Tuesday reminded his political foes not to forget the plea bargains they had reached in order to have their crimes condoned and strongly rejected their claims over the controversial National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO), which was agreed upon by slain former Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) chairwoman Benazir Bhutto and former president Pervez Musharraf. The premier said elements who were trying to create mayhem with their hollow hue and cry should not forget the unmatched legacy of the PPP, which never succumbed to pressures. Addressing a group of parliamentarians from Sargodha, the prime minister claimed that the era of entering the power corridors “on crutches” had passed and now it could be only done through public support. “The politics in the country is not an ideal business; the PPP leadership bore trials and faced jails,” he said, adding that the real revolution was introduced by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, against whom the top political leaders of their time could not stand. Gilani said agreements such as the NRO were enforced in the past, but the only difference was that the PPP government had been made a stock of criticism while others were awarded. Calling party leaders loyal to PPP’s ideology assets, he said those who left the party were opportunists and stressed upon his party workers to value its leadership by showing allegiance. He said the leaders or members of the PPP could have differences of opinion over

issues but there were no two opinions about the ideas imbibed by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto. “All the dictators are innocent whereas all the politicians are pictured as corrupt,” he said, adding that media reports provided details of assets worth millions of rupees possessed by Musharraf, but no action was taken against him. The prime minister said his government had introduced a legislation through which all government servants would have to show their assets and referred to the restoration of the constitution as an achievement of his government.

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

E-paper Pakistantoday KHI 11th January, 2012  


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