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Sharifs hit back: Younis Habib is Asif Zardari’s ‘man’ PAGE | 02
Anti-Mohajir province lawmakers receive SMS threats
Federer, Nadal advance as flu hits Indian Wells
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Rs15.00 Vol II No 255 22 Pages Karachi Edition
Tuesday, 13 March, 2012 Rabi-ul-Sani 18, 1433
New senators take oath amidst slogans Syed Nayyar Hussain Bokhari elected chairman, Sabir Baloch named deputy chairman g
ISLAMABAD: Presiding Officer Senator Afrasiab Khattak administers oath to the newly-elected Senate Chairman Syed Nayyer Hussain Bukhari at Parliament House on Monday. onlIne
PIC DrugS CaSe
Imperialism prevalent in Punjab: SC LAHORE AgeNCIeS/StAff RePORt
Supreme Court Justice Saqib Nisar has said that there was a system of imperialism prevalent in Punjab and the provincial government did not care about the courts’ decisions. Justice Saqib Nisar gave these remarks while hearing the Punjab Institute of Cardiology (PIC) medicines reaction case on Monday. A bench of the apex court conducted suo motu hearing of the PIC drugs at the SC Lahore Registry. He said like emperors, the provincial government issued notifications regarding sacking of officials. He said courts talked about the law, but the governments did not follow the decisions. He said that vi-
olation of law and constitution would not be tolerated further. The SC bench also issued notice to the provincial government on a plea by former chief of PIC Dr Azhar. In his petition, Dr Azhar was of the view that he was sacked and the Punjab government’s claims about his resignation were not true. The bench ruled that if the role of any pharmaceuticals was proven in deaths of patients at PIC caused by spurious medicine, the court would determine the compensation which the company would have to pay to the bereaved families. The chief executive officer of a pharmaceutical company, Muhammad Abdullah Feroze, appeared before the SC and informed it that his factory was closed after the issue was raised by the media. He said
all 15 concerned staffers of the company had joined investigation and so far the involvement of his company had not been established, as investigation was underway. Justice Jilani asked him if he was ready to pay the compensation to the families in case the role of his company was established in the incident. Feroze’s counsel replied that the Punjab government had announced compensation for them. The judge said in case the role of his company was established, the court would not let him adopt the conventional law for compensation, rather it would invoke its power to issue him direction to pay the compensation which it would fix itself. Later, the court adjourned the hearing until March 16.
y all means it was Pakistan Peoples Party’s (PPP) day which emerged as the single largest party in the Upper House of parliament with 41 seats besides getting elected two of its members as chairman and deputy chairman of the Senate, respectively, as 54 senators-elect took oath as members of the House on Monday amidst sloganeering of ‘Jiyay Bhutto’ by excited party workers present in the lobbies. Senator Nayyar Hussain Bokhari and Sabir Baloch were elected unopposed as chairman and deputy chairman of the Senate, respectively, as the opposition parties did not field its candidates for the slots. No doubt the recent Senate elections due to which PPP emerged as the majority party in the House have infused a new spirit amongst the party leadership and its workers as was vivid in the House, but former law minister Babar Awan seemed to have lost respect amongst party ranks as he could not get a response from the excited party workers similar to other party senators when they signed the senators’ roll. There was hardly a party worker who chanted slogan on the turn of Awan. The irony of the situation is that all the sloganeering was in violation of the Senate Rules and even the former chairman of the Senate Committee on Rules and Procedure Senator Tahir Mashhadi of the MQM was amongst the parliamentarians who shouted slogans in the House in favour of their respec-
tive party heads. He shouted “Jiye Altaf” as he signed the senators roll. Newly-elected Senators Saeed Ghani of the PPP and Shahi Syed of the ANP also chanted slogans in favour of their respective party leaders when they signed the senators roll. The PPP workers continued chanting slogans in the House as “Zinda hai Bhutto Zinda hai”, “Ik Zardari sub pay Bhari” and “Jiyay Bhutto” for their victory, upon which PML-N Senator Zafar Ali Shah staged a walkout, saying the Senate was a constitutional institute that must be respected. Interestingly, PPP Chief Whip Islamuddin Shaikh addressed the party workers present in the lobbies and allowed them clapping, which is also not allowed under the rules. After the Senate elections, PPP has emerged as a majority party in the House with 41 seats followed by PML-N with 14, ANP with 12, JUI-F and MQM with seven each, PML-Q five, BNP-A four and National Party and PMLF with one each. The remaining members are independent. At a critical juncture when the power game is taking its course, parties like Jamaate-Islami, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf, PkMAP and Awami Muslim League lost the ground and will have no representation in the Upper House. On the other hand, PML-N has decided that Ishaq Dar would be the opposition leader. Later, members congratulated newlyelected members and the chairman and deputy chairman Senate. However, they were concerned over the Balochistan situation and called upon the government to do the needful before it was too late.
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02 News Today’s
tuesday, 13 march, 2012
arts & EntErtainmEnt
Mayor topbas’ travels
Veena to return to Pakistan to launch music album
story on Page 07
story on Page 14
PM Gilani sets the ball rolling on Mirpur development projects MIRPUR INP
Prime Minister (PM) yusuf Raza Gilani Monday announced the decision of constructing an airport for Mirpur, saying that it would prove to be a milestone for the development of the area and the residents. Addressing a public gathering, PM Gilani asked the government to allocate funds for the mega project. Gilani vowed to follow the vision given by the two martyrs of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto and Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and said it would work to protect all wings of the party that had been striving to preserve the party ideology. Gilani, who had earlier inaugurated a number of mega development projects worth over Rs7 billion, said it would usher in an era of development and progress in the area. He said the Mirpur University of Sciences and Technology (MUST), Benazir Medical College and the bridge across the Mangla Reservoir would go a long way in improving the living standards of the people of Pakistan. Gilani iterated that the Mangla Dam raising project would be crucial in helping the country meet its urgent energy needs. He announced a university for Information Technology in Mirpur and said the federal government would provide the funds for the campus, and asked the Azad Kashmir government to provide the land for the project. PM lauded the role of media and announced Rs 10 million for the Mirpur Press Club. He also directed an end to unscheduled power outages so as to ease the problems of the citizens. He also announced the shifting of Radio Tarar Khal from Rawalpindi to Azad Kashmir.
eight militants killed in Upper orakzai Agency PESHAWAR INP
Security forces in their operations in different areas of Upper Orakzai Agency on Monday killed eight militants and destroyed their three hideouts. Security sources said that troops pounded militants’ hideouts by using heavy guns resulting in killing of eight militants and injury to many others. They also confirmed the destruction of three hideouts. Security forces were advancing in areas under control of militants by launching attacks and cordoning the area.
DeRA ALLAHYAR: Wrestlers display their skills during a sport called ‘Malakhra’ during the Urs of Hazrat Syed Rakhel Shah at Dargah fatehpur on Monday. onlIne
Sharifs hit back: Claim Habib is Zardari’s ‘man’ ISLAMABAD
ML-N Senator Parvez Rashid on Monday said the party had no link whatsoever with the Mehran Bank scam and the court verdict would prove the innocence of his party leadership. Talking to reporters outside the Parliament House, Rashid pointed finger at the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leaders for their involvement in the scam and claimed that his party had all the relevant record about the scam. In an apparent reference to President Zardari and Habib, Rashid said the Mehran Bank scam was the creation of an uncle and a nephew. He said the nephew was using the uncle to blame the PML-N leaders. “younus Habib said on record that four billion rupees loans were written off by the Mehran Bank on the directives of the PPP leadership,” he asserted. “Be-
tween 1988 and 1990, Safdar Abbas Zaidi had withdrawn a heavy amount from the bank through fraud and as a result the PPP government was formed in 1993. After the formation of the PPP government, Safdar Abbas Zaidi was made Director of Board of Investment,” claimed Rashid, who himself was a part of the PPP in 1993. He said PML-Q Secretary General Mushahid Hussain Sayed, who was the PML-N’s secretary general in 1993, had proved in a press conference at the time that Mehran Bank money was used to dislodge Pir Sabir Shah’s government in the NWFP. “If General Asad Durrani had distributed money to the leaders of PML-N, why did the PPP made him ambassador to Germany? Certainly, Asad Durrani, during his tenure as DG-ISI, must have given some favours to the PPP and in return got the ambassadorial job,” he claimed. The PML-N senator said there was no proof that a person of the name
of Asif Jamshed, who was the then president of Mehran Bank Punjab, had given money to Shahbaz Sharif. “When Mian Manzoor Wattoo became chief minister through a conspiracy, he extended the tenure of Asif Jamshed. On the other hand, when Shahbaz Sharif again became chief minister, he cancelled the extension of Asif Jamshed on March 25, 1997,” he said and asked Jamshed to come up with proof if he had sent money to Shahbaz. Earlier, the Sharif brothers said the former bank chief younas Habib was an important man of President Asif Ali Zardari and was levelling baseless allegations against the PML-N on the directives of the president. A statement issued by Pakistan Muslim League-N chief Nawaz Sharif and his brother Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif said, “younas Habib is Zardari’s man and levelling allegations at his (Zardari’s) behest.”
PML-N MPa’s house robbed GUJRANWALA StAff RePORt
Thieves looted 150 tolas of gold and Rs 810,000 cash from the house of PML-N MPA Kamran Khalid Butt on Monday. The theft occurred when the family was busy in the house but when they came to the main room, they found out that the safe was broken and gold and cash had been stolen. A FIR was registered in the Satellite Town Police Station against three unidentified people. Investigation In-charge SubInspector Muhammad Ashfaq said that a FIR was lodged against three unidentified people and police had started the investigation. Local resident Rustum said that law and order was deteriorating by each passing day. He said that if government politicians were being robbed how could the common man feel safe.
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tuesday, 13 march, 2012
five Palestinians killed as gaza fighting rumbles on
Higher trades instigate bull run, index up 29pts
PCB not to draw into hasty conclusions
News 03 commEnt He won’t, it seems: Let the parliament decide?
Another attack: No let up.
Waqqas Mir says: Freer than ever?: There are grey in the black-and-white freedom of speech discussion.
Arif Ansar says: On Pak-US ties: The smokes and mirrors game continues.
Umair Javed says: Merit and law in colonial India: On some myths that needs to be dissembled.
story on Page 23
story on Page 17
govt ‘revising’ list of banned terror groups ISLAMABAD AfP
Pakistan on Monday invited Islamist militant groups, including the Taliban, for peace talks and said banned organisations would be delisted if they “closed down their militant wings”. Pakistan has banned more than 30 militant outfits, including al Qaeda, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan and Laskhar-e-Tayyaba (LeT), the group blamed by New Delhi and Washington for the 2008 Mumbai attacks. “If the proscribed organisations assure us that they have closed down their militant wings and abandoned extremism, then we would like to meet them in next few days,” Interior Minister Rehman Malik told reporters. Pakistan has faced heavy criticism for not doing more to clampdown on the groups, many of which are allowed to operate freely under new names, such as Jamaatud Dawa, a UN blacklisted charity considered a front for LeT. Despite a relative decline in high-profile attacks, there has been a recent surge in bombings in the northwest blamed on the Taliban and their accomplices. “We have been contacted by several banned organisations that want to sit and talk. If they want to give up militancy we will talk to them as we are revising the list of proscribed organisations,” Malik said. He did not identify any group but said that the government had “even offered the Taliban to give up militancy and join the federation”. According to an AFP tally, Islamist militants have killed more than 4,900 people across Pakistan since government troops raided an extremist mosque in Islamabad in July 2007. The military says more than 3,000 soldiers have died. There were about 120 bomb attacks in Pakistan in 2011, up from 96 in 2010, but fewer than the 203 in 2009, according to an AFP tally.
Two killed and 17 injured as coach hits IeD in Kurram PESHAWAR StAff RePORt
story on Page 18
Yet another Christian woman charged with blasphemy Bahawalnagar Police show undue haste in registering case under Section 295-C against Shamim even though one of the two witnesses and complainant were not present at the alleged crime scene LAHORE
OLICE in Khichiwala, Bahawalnagar district have charged a young Christian woman under the country’s blasphemy laws allegedly for speaking against the Holy Prophet (PBUH), while her family claims that she has been framed for refusing to renounce her faith on the insistence of some relatives who had recently converted to Islam, Pakistan Today has learnt. Twenty-six-year-old Shamim, mother of a five-month-old girl and resident of Chak No. 170/7R Colony, Fort Abbas tehsil, was taken into custody on February 28, by the Khichiwala Police and charged under Section 295-C of the Pakistan Penal Code after her neighbours accused her of uttering blasphemous remarks against Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). However, Shamim’s brother Ilyas Masih and brother-in-law Shahbaz Masih told Pakistan Today that the young woman had been wrongly accused as she had turned down an invitation to convert to Islam just a day before she was accused of uttering blasphemous remarks. “Nazeeran, sister of Shamim’s husband Bashir Masih, nephew Nadeem and niece Bella converted to Islam on February 24, and called on her to do the same … she refused, telling them that she was satisfied
with Christianity and did not want to convert,” Ilyas said. “Shamim told us on the telephone that Nazeeran and others were forcing her to convert, and asked us to visit her. We [Shamim’s father and two brothers] went to meet her on February 27, and left just before evening. At night we were informed that Shamim’s neighbours had accused her of blaspheming,” said Ilyas. According to the First Information Report (FIR No. 30/12) registered by the Khichiwala Police Station, Ansar Ali Shah, a local prayer leader of Chak 170 /7R Colony, alleged that Shamim’s neighbours Hamad Ahmed Hashmi and Abdul Qayyum had told him and other Muslims that they had heard the Christian woman blaspheming while standing in her courtyard. As the allegation against Shamim spread, a large number of villagers besieged her house and demanded “severe punishment” for her as she had hurt their religious sentiments. WrOnGlY aCCUSED Shamim’s family claims that she has been wrongly charged with the offence. “Qayyum, one of the two men named in the FIR as witnesses, has denied hearing anything from Shamim’s mouth that supports the charge. Qayyum told police that he wasn’t even present in his house at the time of the alleged incident, and had come to know about it from Hamad, the
other witness,” said Shahbaz, Shamim’s brother-in-law. Shahbaz said that according to the information gathered from Shamim’s neighbourhood, Hamad, who drives a motorcycle rickshaw, was also not present at his house at the time of the alleged incident, 3pm (as noted in the FIR). “Hamad transports schoolchildren and could not have been in his house at the time of the incident as it was just after school closing hours,” he said. Talking to Pakistan Today, Bahawalnagar SP Investigation Irfan Ullah admitted that one of the two witnesses had admitted to not being present at the alleged crime scene at the time of the incident. “Qayyum told us that he hadn’t witnessed the incident and his name had been included in the FIR by the locals, but still that does not prove that Shamim did not commit blasphemy. The other witness is standing by his claim and she has produced nothing so far which can prove her innocence,” Irfanullah said, while vehemently denying that the police had caved-in to pressure of the locals and registered the case in undue haste. “I visited the village twice and so far nothing has come up that suggests that the people have accused Shamim wrongly. We registered a case against her on the directions of the District Police Officer,” he said, adding that her challan would be sent to court within the week. Bahawalnagar DPO Salman Ali Khan’s phone went unattended.
PAC members request Pirzada to become committee’s chairman ISLAMABAD IRfAN BUKHARI
At least two people were killed and 17 others injured when a passenger coach was hit by an Improvised Explosive Devise (IED) at Peer Qayoom area, close to Sadda town of Kurram Agency, on Monday. The injured included nine women and children. Officials said a passenger coach was on its way from Peshawar to Parachanar when it hit the IED at Peer Qayoom. The injured were later shifted to the Agency Headquarters Hospital in Parachinar. The officials said all victims belonged to scattered areas of Parachinar. Elders of the Shia community expressed severe resentment over frequent terrorist acts and alleged that certain elements within the government were responsible for such acts. They alleged that notorious militants headed by Fazal Saeed Haqqani had already been “good Taliban” by the authorities. Officials also claimed to have foiled a terrorism attempt by defusing a highintensity explosives devise at Bagzai, near Sadda. The explosives were planted by militants along the main road connecting Parachinar to Peshawar.
articles on Page 12-13
Members of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) have asked Federal Minister for Professional and Technical Training Mian Riaz Hussain Przada to rejoin the parliamentary watchdog and become its chairman so that a non-functional body could resume its job and take up audit reports pertaining to the incumbent government. The members of PAC belonging to both treasury and opposition benches floated this proposal after they failed to reach a consensus on electing chairman from current composition of the parliamentary body. The PAC is non-functional for the last three months since its former chairman Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan resigned in November 2011 after developing serious differences with the government over appointment of Akhtar Buland Rana as auditor-general of Pakistan.
Mian Riaz Hussain Pirzada has served the PAC before his oath taking as federal minister in May last year as a result of the PPP-PML-Q power sharing deal. He also served as the convener of one out of three special committees of the Public Accounts Committee. A source in the PPP told Pakistan Today that the PAC members including yasmeen Rehman from the PPP and Sardar Ayaz Sadiq from the PMLN had requested Riaz Hussain Pirzada to quit ministerial portfolio and take the office of PAC chairmanship so that the parliamentary body could resume its job. “The PML-N members of the PAC have told Pirzada that Opposition Leader Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan also had no objection over his name for PAC chairmanship,” the source said. The parliamentary committee, before becoming non-functional, smoothly disposed off backlog of audit reports of many years. Now, when the audit objections relating to
the present government starting from its first year – 2008-2009 – are in office, the parliamentary watchdog has become non-functional as its members have failed to elect new chairman to fill the vacuum created by Nisar’s resignation. After the resignation of Chaudhary Nisar Ali Khan, the PPP considered appointing some senior PPP MNA like Qamar Zaman Kaira or Nadeem Afzal Gondal but later on the idea was dropped keeping in view the violation of the Charter of Democracy (CoD) signed by Nawaz Sharif and Benazir Bhutto. The relevant CoD clause says the chairmen of the Public Accounts Committees in the national and provincial assemblies will be appointed by the leaders of opposition in respective assemblies. The government further faced troubles when Nisar, at the time of resignation from PAC chairmanship, announced that no PML-N parliamentarian would take the PAC chair.
Qayyum told us that he hadn’t witnessed the incident and his name had been included in the FIR by the locals, but still that does not prove that Shamim did not commit blasphemy Irfan Ullah
Gilani appoints Aslam Gill as special assistant MIRPUR APP
Prime Minister yusuf Raza Gilani Monday announced the appointment of the PPP nominee for Senate seat from Punjab Aslam Gill as his Special Assistant with the status of the Minister of State. The Prime Minister, while addressing a large gathering, mentioned the defeat of Aslam Gill in the recent Senate polls from Punjab and announced his appointment as his adviser. He said the party knew how to honour its supporters and said that it was being investigated as to who had betrayed the party.
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the surprise is on you mr cm! taken aback! 07
province lawmakers receive SMS threats
lone cop thwarts bank heist bid, kills two robbers
■ Home minister tasks police to trace anonymous cell numbers ■ mQm says its reported silence on anti-mohajir province draft ‘incorrect’ KARACHI ISMAIL DILAWAR
NNAMED “institutions” came under fire on Monday for “coward” attempts to derail the present reconciliation-driven democratic government as some lawmakers in the Sindh Assembly complained of receiving life-threatening text messages (SMS) on their cell phones for supporting a resolution passed in the provincial legislature condemning the Mohajir province campaign. “Please allow me to read out the anonymous threatening message that I and some other members have received for supporting the resolution against a separate Mohajir province,” PML-F’s Nusrat Seher Abbasi asked Sindh Assembly Deputy Speaker Shehla Raza, who allowed the floor to the lawmaker but did not allow her to recite the SMS. “We are the daughters of Sindh and will never be afraid of such threats,” she declared. While Sindh Law Minister Ayaz Soomro looked unhappy with Abbasi for making the message public, the PPP’s deputy speaker quoted her party’s “martyrs”, saying that “Mur Wesoon, Sindh Na Desoon” (We would love to die, but won’t give up Sindh). Sindh Home Minister Manzoor Wassan said that some previous anti-Sindh governments had been depriving the province of its due shares in terms of National Finance Commission awards, water distribution, etc. He said the ruling coalition partners were on the same page on the issue of the Mohajir province and agreed that the issue must not be given any importance. “No one should worry about Sindh,” he
added. The rhetoric, however, did not go down well with Sindh Food Minister Nadir Magsi, who demanded action against those responsible. “This is a plot. We should look into this as we have the technology [to trace out the message senders]. So nab and hang one to deter others,” he said. The home minter assured the House of action against the culprits but that, he later told reporters, would take some time. “The [anonymous cell phone] numbers have been furnished to us to be worked on,” he said. He said that some elements were trying to pit different communities against each other on the basis of language. “The police have been tasked to move,” he added. During the session, MQM’s parliamentary leader in Sindh Assembly Sardar Ahmed rejected the “wrong statements” reported by some newspapers and the impression that his party had remained silent on the resolution against a Mohajir province. “We were not approached by anyone on the tabling of the resolution but still we approved it and Moeen condemned it in a statement,” he said. “Those saying the MQM was silent are absolutely incorrect,” he added. The deputy speaker, however, appeared disapproving when the MQM leader said his party’s view on the issue was very clear and should not be twisted. PPP’s parliamentary party leader Pir Mazaharul Haq and the Sindh law minister slammed the “coward” elements for conspiring against the prevailing reconciliatory climate in the province. Haq said that some forces were following the policy of “divide and rule” to fulfil their designs. “Deplorably, some institutions are part of
those forces who don’t want to let the present democratic system run smoothly,” he added. He said the people sitting in the institutions do not want to allow democracy flourish in the country. Soomro went a step further to criticise the Sharif brothers for the unmasking of their “black faces” in the Mehran Bank scandal. “The so-called nationalists and Mians can be silenced well but we have confidence in our leadership,” he said. Later, the members raised various issues on a point of order. MQM’s Saifuddin Khalid said that two youngsters, Adil and Faheem, from Haryana Colony of Orangi Town were kidnapped and killed last Saturday after they had left their homes for the Shershah market. Such incidents are detrimental to the peace of the city, he added. Saleem Khursheed Khokhar called for the recovery of the two Christian employees of a Korean hospital, who were kidnapped in Orangi Town on the 29th of last month. MQM lawmaker Heer Soho, though without quoting names, blasted “some members” – Sassui Palijo and Humera Alwani – for maligning her party’s reputation by their statements on Friday. “Altaf Hussain has clearly condemned all demands for the division of Sindh,” an enraged Soho protested. The chair, however, turned the guns towards the newspapers which, she claimed, were publishing such statements to increase their circulation. Before calling it a day until Tuesday (today), the chair informed the lawmakers that the briefing of NADRA and election commission officials would be held at the Committee Room Number 1 of the assembly building at 3:00 pm.
Paramilitary soldiers stand outside the bank where bandits attempted a robbery. However, the hero of the day was a police constable. onlIne
KARACHI StAff RePORt
A police constable single-handedly thwarted a bank heist attempt in Nazimabad No 2 on Monday, killing two robbers in a shootout. The Taimuria SHO told Pakistan Today that four bandits disguised as policemen entered a private bank after the snatching the repeater of the security guard deployed there, however, the branch manager rang the emergency alarm. Confused, the robbers tried to escape when Police Constable Raheem Bukhsh of the Taimuria police station, who was also deployed outside the bank, opened fire at the escaping robbers and killed two of them after a brief shootout, the police official said. “One of the robbers was killed on the spot while another succumbed to his injuries while being treated at the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital, the SHO added. “Another bandit was also injured but he managed to escape with his accomplice.”
The police official said a Taimuria police van also reached there, but there was confusion as the robbers were wearing police uniforms and this helped the two of them escape. “There were five robbers and four of them entered the bank, while one was waiting in a white corolla car outside the bank”, he added. The SHO added said the police recovered a Kalashnikov, a repeater and a cell phone from the possession of the bandits and also impounded a motorcycle bearing a registration number of Lahore. Nazimabad division DSP Rehmatullah told Pakistan Today that the police are tracing calls made by cell phones recovered from the deceased bandits so that the mastermind behind the group can be arrested. The Police registered FIR No 118/12 under sections 375, 170, 353, 324 and 13D Sindh Additional Inspector General of Police Akhtar Gorchani has announced the promotion of the constable who foiled the bank robbery bid as well as a cash reward of Rs 50,000.
Ban on carrying arms lifted KARACHI The Sindh government on Monday lifted the four-year ban imposed on carrying weapons in the province. In December 2008, the Sindh Home Department had banned carrying and display of all kinds of weapons across the province through an order numbered ARMS/HD/11(01)/2007. According to an order issued by the home department on Monday, the provincial government withdrew its previous order with immediate effect
“in the best interest of arms licence holders”. “Now there is no ban on carrying of weapons,” the order numbered SOJI/8-01/2012 stated. “It was being felt that the said ban is causing uncalled hassle to the licence holders who have to go through the ordeal of procuring ‘carry permits’ after obtaining legal licences,” it was stated. “This ban was the longest and lasted four years so I decided to remove it, but displaying weapons would still be banned,” Sindh Home Minister Manzoor Wassan told a post-session briefing at the Sindh Assembly. ISMAIL DILAWAR
KeSC given 3 days to restore industrial units’ power ■ Power utility officials face tough time at nEPra hearing KARACHI gHULAM ABBAS
Taking serious notice of the Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC)’s move of disconnecting power supply industries having captive power plants, the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) on Monday issued an order to restore supply to the affected industries within the next three days. The KESC had illegally disconnected electricity supply to around 92 industries despite clear restraining order numbered TCD 09/805-2012 issued by the NEPRA on March 5, 2012. During a public hearing on KESC’s petition filed for increasing around Rs 3 for the months of September, October and November 2011, the NEPRA noticed the
outburst of dozens of industrial representatives against the power company’s move of disconnecting supply while bypassing all rules and regulations. The authority later issued an on-the-spot notice to the KESC, instructing to restore the power supply to the industries within three days. The hearing, held at the NIPA office, was attended by NEPRA Chairman Khalid Saeed and other members of the government body including Shoukat Kundi, Ghiasuddin and Akbar Khilji. To oppose KESC’s petition, prominent industrial representatives from the seven trade associations of the city including Qazi Ahmed Kamal, Muhammad Irfan Moton, Javed Bilwani, Aarif Bilwani and Muhammad Hamid
among others were also present at the meeting, besides the office bearers of KESC Share Holders Association, including its General Secretary Chaudhry Mazhar Ali. The KESC was defended by its officials Abdur Rauf yousuf and Rizwan. Soon after the start of the hearing, industrialists complained to the regulatory authority that despite paying their dues regularly, power supply to their units was disconnected by the Abraaj-led power utility. The NEPRA chairman asked the KESC why it was violating the already-mentioned rules. The regulatory authority was of the view that the KESC being a service provider was not authorised by NEPRA to disconnect any power except in three conditions accord-
ing to consumer service manual (CSM) by NEPRA i.e. “A premises is liable to be disconnected if the consumer is a defaulter in making payment of the energy consumption charges bill; if he is using the electric connection for a purpose other than for which it was sanctioned; and if he has extended his load beyond the sanctioned load even after receipt of a notice in this respect from the power distribution companies (DISCOs)”. “As the industrial consumers are neither defaulters nor have increased their loads or do they indulge in any illegal abstraction of power, there is no provision in NEPRA rules to give cover to the KESC to sever power in the fourth condition,” the NEPRA observed. “Both the end user and the KESC are ordered to abide by the CSM”. During the hearing, a power consumer also stood up complain-
ing that he was being issued television fee in both electricity bills he receives from KESC. Highlighting the issue, another complainant also questioned as to why the television fees was including in the bills issued to mosques and imambargahs. The KESC Share Holders Association general secretary pointed out that despite collecting the fee for the last three years, the KESC was not paying the same to the Pakistan Television (PTV). However, the KESC representative claimed that the company owed only a small amount to the PTV. Defending its petition seeking fuel adjustment surcharges, the KESC claimed that due to the reduction of gas supply from Sui Southern Gas Company, it had burned 73,000 metric tonnes (MT) and 87,000 MT furnace oil during October and November.
“To adjust the additional expenditures, the power company has asked the authority for allowing it to pass on Rs 2/kwh and Rs 1.6/kwh to the consumers against the fuel used in the two respective months,” it said. The KESC, however, sought reduction of 62 paisa/unit for the month of September last year. However, Ali alleged that as the KESC management was purchasing fuel from its sister company – Byco – through open trucks there are doubts that whether the mentioned quantity of oil was consumed or not. Doubting the reports of auditors, who were paid by the KESC, he also suspected bogus invoices. Ending the hearing, the NEPRA officials assured that proper investigations of the fuel supply issue would also be made by the regulatory authority.
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five hurt in KU clash KARACHI StAff RePORt
a colourful Basant festival was recently organised at the DHa golf club. Qatar airways was the main sponsor of the event. Qatar airways country manager ajmal Zahidi, finance Director rizwan marchant and marketing manager Zeeshan siddiqui distributed kites and other gifts among the visitors. IMrAn AlI
Sindh spending Rs 100m on Commonwealth moot, but who’s showing up KARACHI ISMAIL DILAWAR
ITH the participating countries showing little or no enthusiasm, the resource-constrained Sindh province is spending millions of rupees by hosting an international parliamentary conference in the city. To be inaugurated by National Assembly Speaker Dr Fehmida Mirza on Tuesday, the 4th Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Asia Regional Conference-2012 is envisaged to attract provincial and federal lawmakers, senators and other parliamentary officials from the Commonwealth countries including India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Maldives. Acting Speaker Governor Nisar Khuhro would deliver a welcome address at Tuesday’s opening session that would focus on trade barriers between the participating countries. According to Deputy Speaker Sindh Assembly Shehla Raza, the conference would be held for brainstorming on trade barriers, terrorism and violence against women during three different sessions. Sindh Assembly Secretary Hadi Bux Buriro told Pakistan Today that the number of ex-
pected participants is around 55, the deputy speaker was unsure about the arrival of most of the delegates. Maldives, she said, had refused to turn up due to its internal problems. Bangladesh had not yet confirmed its attendance until 2 pm on Monday when the deputy speaker along with the Sindh Assembly secretary was giving details about the conference to the media at a press conference at the Assembly Secretariat. “They will confirm their participation by evening. We will let you know till then,” Raza told reporters. However, the government did not provide any update on the country’s participation until the filing of this report. About India, a major stakeholder in the South Asian region, she said the nuclear-armed neighbour would be participating in the annual event as an observer. Sri Lanka is the only country, whose delegation, the deputy speaker said, had arrived in Pakistan. To be conducted by Nafisa Shah, the event would also be attended by speakers, secretaries, senators and parliamentarians from other provinces of the country including Azad Jammu and Kashmir. “If these two countries cannot participate, we cannot stop our programme,” Raza replied when
asked why half of the participants were not showing up. The deputy speaker and secretary remained tightlipped when asked about the estimated cost of the moot. “We will use our own funds (the Assembly’s),” Buriro told Pakistan Today. However, according to sources close to the organisers of this international event, the Assembly Secretariat had estimated the expenditure to reach around Rs 100 million. The sources said on the special directives of the Sindh Assembly speaker, the assembly building was renovated with new curtains and carpets, numerous flower-pots and the furniture was polished. Besides, they said, the guests would be accommodated in two costly hotels and special planes are being chartered to transport the dignitaries across the province. The Assembly staff, divided in different committees to undertake various assignments, would be given separate salaries for working for the five-day event. Asked if hosting the international conference was mandatory or voluntary for Sindh, which is already falling short of funds after last year’s devastating rains and floods, Buriro replied that the province chose to hold the event and it was not compulsory for it.
Five people were injured in a clash between two rival student organisations at the University of Karachi (KU) campus on Monday. Dozens of students of the Islami Jamiat Talba (IJT) and the All Pakistan Muttahida Students Organisation (APMSO) attacked each other resulting in injuries to three APMSO and two IJT activists. Pakistan Rangers reached the campus and brought the situation under control. Some clashing students were arrested but later released. “Our activist, Saleem Akhter, was kidnapped by the APMSO from the KU two days ago, and released him after torture near the Sir Syed University,” the IJT spokesman told Pakistan Today. “The APMSO activists attacked IJT activists, and injured two students,” he alleged. However, the APMSO pinned the blame on the IJT. “They [IJT] want to impose their own version of Islam in the society,” the APMSO spokesman told Pakistan Today. He said the IJT wants to turn the KU campus into Wana and Wazristan by attacking couples at the campus.
woman shot dead KARACHI StAff RePORt
An unidentified man shot dead a woman in Bismillah Colony within the limits of Mominabad police station, police said on Monday. The victim was a resident of Mansoor Nagar and was identified as Rashinda, 35, wife of Muhammad Aslam. Her body was shifted to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre. The Mominabad police said the attacker, who was riding a motorcycle, opened fire at the woman, who was in Bismillah Colony to visit her relatives.
memon community needs to excel in technology: Polani KARACHI StAff RePORt
The Memon community needs to excel in technology as education can be a remedy for a number of problems, Yahya Siddique Polani, chairman of the Pakistan Travel Association and the Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and industry, told Pakistan Today. Polani is also considered the social leader of the Memon community. He belongs to Bantwa Memon community and is the son of well-known social leader Siddique Polani. He has devoted many years of his life serving his community. His social work is remarkable and he has played a vital role the All-Pakistan Memon Federation. He said his relationship with APELTIA community goes back a long time and Haji Masood Parekh and Akhtar Younas have always stood by him and supported his work. Polani observed that selection for the federation needs to be carried in a transparent manner to avoid controversy.
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SUrPrISe vISIT To SeCreTArIAT bUIlDInGS
karachi 09 PakistaN today
The surprise is on you Mr CM! Qaim finally ■ Provincial chief executive finds almost all officers absent
realises drainage work in rain-hit areas too slow
HIEF Minister Qaim Ali Shah paid them a surprise visit to the New Sindh Secretariat and the Sindh Secretariat Tughlaq House on Monday but ended up being unpleasantly surprised himself after discovering that almost all government officers except for the lower staff were ab-
KARACHI StAff RePORt
sent. He was accompanied by Political Coordinator Siddique Abu Bhai and his office team. The chief minister visited all floors of both the two secretariat buildings and visited every office. According to an official statement, he was surprised to note that all department heads, secretaries, special secretaries except for one, additional secretaries, deputy secretaries and section officers were absent. The chief minister was also surprised that many offices were either locked or some of them were only manned by naib qasids, chowkidars or clerks. He inquired from the available staff about the arrival timings of the secretariat officers and staff, and expressed displeasure over “such careless, negligence and violation of punctuality”. He directed the chief secretary to take strict action against latecomers and also take measures to ensure observance of punctuality and availability of officers and staff at the secretariat buildings.
Lamenting the slow process of draining water from the rainhit areas of the province, Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah expressed concern on Sunday that there might be disease outbreaks there if the progress remains sluggish. Shah was presiding over a meeting at the Chief Minister’s House. “President Asif Ali Zardari has also expressed concern over the sluggish rain relief measures and draining of water from the affected areas,” Shah informed the participants of the meeting. Despite the passage of a long time, there is still a large quantity of rainwater inundating many areas of Sanghar, Mirpurkhas, Umerkot, Tharparkar, Tando Allahyar, Shaheed Benazirabad and Matiari districts, the chief minister observed. Shah said he recently visited Tando Allahyar, Mirpurkhas, Umerkot and Sanghar and there was still water in abundance flooding the areas there. “There are many complaints from the general public and the media about the situation,” he said. “Despite the availability of water suction pumps, they are not being utilized, but diesel consumption is reported regularly,” he added. Shah said that he visited Sanghar, Tando Adam, Pithoro, Khadro, Berani and other places, but there was no Irrigation Department officer there, but only the director of SIDA. The chief minister warned that no negligence will be tolerated and the officers not performing their duties will be dealt with accordingly. “I am really annoyed because a large number of people are suffering,” Shah remarked. He directed Irrigation Department officers to ensure that encroachments built on the path of natural waterways are removed before June 2012. He also directed that the task of dewatering be completed without further delay.
Every child must be vaccinated against polio: mQm chief KARACHI StAff RePORt
Using plates to paddle, a man uses a car seat as a raft under the native Jetty Bridge.
In view of the three-day anti-polio campaign that started on Monday, Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Husain has appealed to the masses to have every child up to five years of age vaccinated. “This will save our future generations from the dangerous and incurable disease of polio,” he said Hussain noted said that slight negligence on part of the parents can leave their child disabled for life. The MQM chief appealed to the people to actively participate in the drive against the disease.
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Flood survivors’ miseries continue in inundated villages. TarIq SaeeD/IrIN
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city DirEctory KARACHI
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VER since floods swept away dozens of homes and damaged many others in their village in the Sanghar district of Sindh six months ago, Dinu Muhammad and his extended family of 10 have slept on thin pieces of cotton cloth spread out on a mud floor. Their home is a piece of canvas tacked to a roughly constructed wooden structure in a makeshift settlement in the district. “We fled our village on foot - and because many other families from our village and others around it set up what shelter they could here, we joined them,” Dinu told IRIN. He said they had never expected they would be here so long, or that they would receive such little help. Around 30 families remain at the settlement, unable to go home as their villages are still inundated. Others are similarly affected in Sindh. “My home has been wrecked, my fields destroyed - and the road that leads to our village is still covered in water, making it very difficult to come and go,” Ghulam Chandio, encamped since September last year at another roadside settlement a few kilometres from the town of Kunri in Umarkot District, told IRIN. According to an International Organization for Migration (IOM) assessment carried out in February, 13,325 individuals have been unable to return home following the 2011 floods, and remain based in 95 temporary settlements. “Of these, 90 percent are spontaneous settlements, mostly along roadsides and other pieces of land. Four percent are planned camps and one settlement is in a school,” IOM spokesperson Mutya Izora Maskun told IRIN. She also said the IOM priority was to assess how people could be helped to return. “A fair number have reported standing water either en route to, or in, their village, which is preventing their return. Others have reported lack of resources for recovery - both reconstruction and livelihoods preventing them from returning. We want to find out how many can return, and also how many may continue to need assistance in the temporary settlements for months to come,” she said. DOnOr rESPOnSE: Regarding the Early Recovery Plan for Sindh flood victims launched two weeks ago by the Pakistan government, Maskun said a donor response and additional funding was being “eagerly anticipated”. In a 2 March press release, the IOM appealed for $29 million to help meet “urgent early recovery needs”. The humanitarian community as a whole is seeking US$440 million to help an estimated 5.4 million flood-affected people in 23 districts of Sindh in 2011. The IOM survey has noted multiple problems at the existing temporary settlements, of which 75 percent lack lighting, 46 percent lack blankets, and residents at 39 percent of settlements have reported acute watery diarrhoea or other air- and water-borne disease. Multiple other problems, including security issues for women and children were also recorded. While efforts continue to help the 2011 flood victims, in Sindh, the worstaffected province last year, there is concern about what lies ahead. “The rains could begin again in a few months, and what will we do then?” asked Guloo Ahmed in his village in Khairpur District. While Ahmed returned home in November 2011, he says he has been unable to re-build his badly damaged house or plant new crops due to a lack of resources. PrEParEDnESS: The monsoon season runs from mid-July to September. As it approaches, thoughts have been turning to preparedness. Interna-
tional humanitarian organizations, including Oxfam, have in the past highlighted the risks of poor preparedness. The need for better readiness is something disaster management officials heading government agencies agree is “very important”. There has been growing awareness of this. Earlier this month, the IOM-led “shelter cluster”, along with the Sindh Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA), organized a workshop on camp coordination and camp management (CCCM) to improve disaster preparedness in Sindh. The meeting followed a month-long exercise, during which around 93 aid workers, including NGO activists, government school teachers, revenue officials and others working with the 2011flood victims in Badin, Dadu, Hyderabad and Sukkur districts were offered training in CCCM. The trainees will work to train other camp managers and staff. “We learnt a lot at the training session. Details like how to set up rows of tents, and run relief activities in a coordinated fashion will help us manage things much better, and avoid the chaos we so often see at camps,” Waheeda Bibi, a school headmistress who attended the training in Sukkur, told IRIN. Her school has been used as a shelter during past disasters. “We need to build our disaster management capacity, and exercises such as these really help,” said Sindh PDMA head Danish Saeed. Flood victims certainly hope so. “We lived in miserable conditions in a makeshift camp in Badin near our village for three months. Even now, our house is a wreck. The land we farmed is destroyed and I have no means of earning a living.” Arshad Ali, a farmer, told IRIN. “I don’t know what the future will bring.”
ART EXHIBITION UNTIL MARCH 16 VENUE: CHAWKANDI ART
EXHIBITION UNTIL MARCH 18 VENUE: FARAAR
ART EXHIBITION UNTIL MARCH 24 VENUE: VM ART GALLERY
Nahid Raza’s exhibition of recent artworks until March 16 at the Chawkandi Art gallery. Call 35373582 for more information.
‘Feica: A Retrospective of Political Cartoons and Paintings’ until March 18 at the Faraar gallery. Call 35389033 for more information.
Farah Mahbub’s ‘Baraka Silsila-eNisbat’ until March 24 at the VM Art Gallery. Call 34940411 for more information.
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Editor’s mail 11
conspiracies? I have often heard the PM and the President, followed by their ministers, that conspiracies are being hatched against PPP. No one mentions details of these conspiracies. It leaves people, including me, bewildered about these conspiracies. Is NRO and its case in SC a conspiracy? Is Memogate a conspiracy? Is Mansoor Ijaz fake? Is Mehran Bank scandal a conspiracy? Is SC ordering to write a letter to Swiss banks a conspiracy? Is loadshedding a conspiracy? Is massive mismanagement a created conspiracy? Has Railways, PIA etc almost come to a halt out of conspiracy? Is Waheeda Shah’s slap a conspiracy? Is making a poor teacher invalid for life by PPP MPA a conspiracy? Is printing billions of notes
our natural resources a conspiracy? If all of the above are acts of conspiracies, then 99 percent of them are the doing of present regime. Gilani Sahib could not find any male to testify for him in the SC, except a woman, who holds the record of being three-in-one Federal Secretary and who got grade 22 in her relative youth. Is it the fault of some politicians? In my humble opinion, it is either his incompetent cabinet or his allies in the government who have made all these and many more things happen. Let me advise the PM to stop this useless theory of conspiracy to gain people’s favour. The Shaheeds theory too carries no weight now. If Mr Gilani and his associates want to return to assembly, they must do
something worth the name in these three or four months they still have. These cheap slogans won’t carry them any distance now. I remember a theory that their godfather Zulfikar Ali Bhutto used. That was to ‘disclose the secrets of Tashkent Declaration’. He too never revealed them and went to gallows with those secrets eventually. Mr Gilani or Mr Zardari should come up with novel things. Some suggestions in this regard I can give are ‘the secret of good health on Nawaz Sharif?’ ‘The dubious bowling action Imran Khan had’? ‘The real reason of Shahbaz Sharif’s raising his single finger?’ ‘Why has Sheikh Rashid not married?’ These are just a few lines to toe. To me all these things look like conspiracies
against democracy and specifically PPP. I am sure that Babar Awan, Firdaus Ashiq Awan, Rehman Malik, Kaira and associates can think of many other things. Oh, by the way, Katrina Kaif can also be useful to identify more conspiracies when she comes to Islamabad. I heard that she is being invited by Rehman Malik for consultations on law and order situation. Katrina is expert in maintaining law and order in curvy situations. She, I have heard, is also expert in holding and revealing information. Dr Firdaous Ashiq Awan should also benefit from her time strategies of holding and revealing things. Sania Mirza deceived her earlier on. AMJAD H MIRZA Lahore
Hazara movement It is strongly objectionable that the movement for creating the new Hazara province is being launched in Karachi instead of their own province, KP, thus putting the fragile law and order situation of Karachi at further risk. As a matter of principle, had they confined such activities to their own province, no one would have raised such objection. It seems Baba Haider Jalal, who poses himself as a champion of the socalled Hazara province movement in Karachi, might inadvertently disturb the peace of Karachi.I suggest that the Sindh government, as a policy matter, should ban forthwith such objectionable activities that can disturb the law and order situation in Karachi. MOHAMMAD KHAN SIAL Karachi (II) The leader of the Tehrik-e-Hazara has started the movement for a separate Hazara province. Although he has every right for speaking in favour of Hazara province, he seems not to understand the ground realities. He should know that the creation of a new province is a complicated process in the country. No one can create new province by using just slogans. Ground work is necessary for this task. Then there is the need of twothirds majority for pursuing the resolution in the respective province. The leader of this movement, Baba Haider, has no seats. I suggest him to first secure provincial strength and then get the resolution for a separate Hazara province passed in the KP assembly. TARIQ HUSAIN KHAN Karachi
child abuse Child abuse can either be emotional, physical or sexual mistreatment of a child. In Pakistan, the rate of sexual and physical child abuse is increasing rapidly. This is really shameful for all of us. In recent news headlines I came across a report in which a child who was only four-year-old was sexually abused and killed brutally. A four-year-old child? Can't he be protected? Have they got any rights for their protection? Why a child is subjected to such an atrocious act? The condition of children's rights in Pakistan is horrendous and cannot be ignored further. This is a serious issue that should be looked over. In recent years, both boys and girls have been sexually or physically abused. The effects of child abuse include guilt, nightmares, insomnia, etc. Abused children believe that they have no value and they also suffer from depression. This should be stopped as soon as possible. Children are like flowers and they should not be damaged, they should be flourished instead as the future of Pakistan lies in their hands. MAHRUKH JAVED Karachi
Do we follow islam? Islam is a religion of peace and cooperation. Islam teaches us to be tolerant and humble. Pakistan is an Islamic state, but no sign of peace and tolerance is to be seen. We call ourselves Muslims, but do we really obey what our God has ordered us? No! Killings, looting, corruption, is this all a part of Islam? No! If we follow the basic principles of Islam, our country would surely come close to the word "development". AMNA TAQVI Lahore
Undoubtedly, Pakistan is fortunate enough regarding natural resources as the country is blessed with enormous mineral wealth, particularly Balochistan. And if Pakistan develops these assets, it will emerge as one of the richest economies of the world. However, we have badly failed in this regard due to incompetent and corrupt governments and poor policies in the country. Pakistan’s Reko Diq which means “Sandy Mountain” in Balochi language, an unexploited copper and gold mine of fabulous potential, was meant to be the biggest foreign investment in the country’s mining sector, but it too has been entangled in snare for one or the other reason. Tethyan Copper Company (TCC) had sunk $220 million over the last five years into exploring the deposit. According to the media reports, the company was planning to invest a total of $3.3 billion when the provincial government abruptly refused to grant a mining license last year. The Balochistan government, meanwhile, has recently handed out exploration permits in the area around Reko Diq to new Pakistani and Chinese companies with no mining experience. Consistent turmoil in Pakistani politics and other uncertainties hanging over the economy risk are deepening the steady attrition of foreign direct investment while TCC’s feasibility study alone was already the largest single foreign direct investment in Pakistan’s history. The mystery behind all this saga of Reko Diq has been further intensified after startling facts revealed that 11 new licenses were issued hastily in the area to a group of five companies. MUHAMMAD SHAHID Rawalpindi
the inhumane act
magazine on January 11, 2001, “Osama paid $10 million to overthrow my government during my first term. A serving Corps Commander held several meetings with PML(N) Chief Nawaz Sharif and bin Laden to chalk out the plan to topple my government. Osama was told that a woman in the prime minister’s position in an Islamic country was against Islam (Osama's Islam) and so he should give them money to overthrow her. Nawaz Sharif told bin Laden he would bring Islam (Osama's Islam) to Pakistan.” In year 2006, former head of Jamate-Islami Qazi Hussain, endorsed BB's statements. He claimed that he himself was an eyewitness of these developments. Afterwards, former ISI official, Khalid Khawaja revealed that being a close friend of Osama bin Laden, he had arranged meetings of Nawaz Sharif with Osama for toppling BB's democratic governments.
And, now, Mehrangate revelations have exposed the devils of the state. In his interview to an anchor of a private news channel, owner of Mehran Bank younis Habib has restarted a new debate on devils of the state. Those politicians and public office bearers, who committed such flagitious and heinous crimes against Pakistan have been uncovered. Articles 6, 62 and 63 have been violated. It is beyond any shadow of doubt that sovereignty of the state was compromised by activities of these devils of state. This is the biggest blunder of country's history after the fall of Dhaka. No one is above the law. Those who are involved in this scandal should be punished according to the laws of state and all these devils must be disqualified from politics for lifetime, so that our country's politics is kept clean. DR SAIFUR REHMAN Islamabad
A deranged, frustrated, vengeful or drunk (you choose the proper adjective) American Sergeant gets out of his base camp Sunday at 3am, and walked off to nearby villages, breaks into three homes and kills at least 16 civilians including 9 children. President Obama calls his counterpart in Kabul to apologize and express condolences. Hamid Karzai has correctly described the incident as ‘unforgivable’. Same day a young suicide bomber explodes himself during a funeral procession/ prayer near Peshawar, killing at least 17 people while scores injured. Taliban from Darra Adem Khel proudly accepted the responsibility for this massacre and vowed more such attacks in future. Regrettably no one apologized for the incident. Same day another suicide bomber, believed to be a foot soldier of Boko Haram, attacked a church in Nigeria killing at least 10 people. Again no one apologized. Earlier on Saturday six people were killed in a grenade attack in Nairobi, possibly a work of Somali group Al-Shabab. Regrettably there were no apologies. Shouldn’t we be asking President Obama to issue a ‘blanket’ apology for all the incidents involving his men and their equally inhuman counterparts? MASOOD KHAN Jubail, Saudi Arabia
one broad brushstroke that fails to appreciate the beauty of its art, the subtlety in its cuisine, the hospitality of its people and the intellectual vitality of its thinkers. One stanza in a poem by Faiz Ahmed Faiz, committed humanitarian and my favourite Urdu poet, gently consoles a despairing soul: “My feet are tired / Listen to the sorrow of my journey / Listen to the hope of a new dawn!” My first reading impressed, even moved me, but I didn’t shake or whimper. There was no doubt that Pakistan faced seemingly insurmountable odds: terrorism, corruption, crime, epidemic disease and natural disasters. Having spent years trying to aid those at the receiving end of these tragedies – the maimed, the robbed, the sick and the displaced – I had begun to get overwhelmed
by the scale of the challenges. Where was the hope? years later, I was sitting with my grandmother around the fireplace in her cozy study, a tranquil refuge of wooden floors, Persian rugs and scores of old, dusty books. I heard the same stanza spoken again as she tenderly told a story of romance, friendship and politics during the explosive Partition of the Indian subcontinent, the point of inception of my nation, my home. I couldn’t imagine a darker night in our national history. In that room, as I held my grandmother’s hand and listened intently to her words, I realized an inescapable truth. If Pakistan could be brutal and heartless, it could also be tender. The endless support for the needy, the lavish feasts that welcome guests even when the hosts can barely afford them, the creativity of budding artists, the peaceful embrace of
Sufism and the country’s love for food and music are manifestations of the country’s soul. This was the Pakistan I knew. I realized then that the poet, writing decades earlier, was addressing my generation, the first one young enough to have grown up without direct absorption of Partition stories and associated emotions diffused by those who suffered. For a few moments, my grandmother and I sat quietly, transfixed by the emotional intensity of the story and the enchanting flames that radiated a warm glow. There was silence, except for the firewood that crackled softly. Then, as if emerging from a trance, she suddenly grabbed my arms, tears in her eyes. She whispered the last stanza again: “Listen to the hope of a new dawn!” I won’t let her down. MAAZ ALVI Lahore
Dengue in Lahore If we say that dengue is back, it would be wrong. It has been here for many years and we will have to live with it for a long time or may be even permanently. This is a reality. One thing that really pinches me is as to why dengue has spread only in Lahore? Why? Why not in Gujranwala,
Devils of the state On April 30, 1999, Benazir Bhutto told the media that there was a definite role of Osama, Nawaz Sharif and 111 Brigade in toppling her first government in early 1990s. “Bin Laden financed an operation to topple me in cooperation with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and the Pakistani intelligence services,” she had stated in an interview with the London-based al-Hayat newspaper. “Ramzi yussef (implicated in the 1993 New york World Trade Centre bombing) tried to assassinate me on two occasions in 1993 to facilitate Nawaz Sharif’s rise to power. yussef admitted to Pakistani investigators before his extradition to the United States that that was his duty to assassinate me, only because I was a woman in charge of the government,” she had added. In another interview with Herald
Wazirabad or other populated cities of Punjab? It does prove that something is wrong somewhere. I think it has been spread by someone intentionally. KAMIL HASSAAN Lahore
Hope Pakistan is a country of pious pretensions and profane proclivities. Having been described as a beautiful catastrophe, it is a living, breathing contradiction. Suicide bombers kill the innocent in the name of a religion that forbids murder and suicide. young army officers take an oath never to interfere in politics, yet generals have ruled the country for half its tumultuous history. It revels in its own ironies and thrives in its hall of mirrors of false perceptions and confusing façades. To much of the West, it is a melting pot of militancy, a Disneyworld of sorts for the world’s most feared jihadist outfits. On the one hand, this isn’t far off the mark: Pakistan’s northwest includes pockets of inhospitable terrain that have become home to terrorist and insurgent movements. On the other – quite dangerously – it paints Pakistan’s picture with
Send your letters to: Letters to Editor, Pakistan Today, 4-Shaarey Fatima Jinnah, Lahore, Pakistan. Fax: +92-42-36298302. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Letters should be addressed to Pakistan Today exclusively.
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12 comment need for cooperation Pakistan, Us and afghanistan
s the US pursues the endgame in Afghanistan, incident after incident has compromised its ability to stage an orderly exit. First there was the Quran burning incident. Now comes the report of an American Army staff sergeant killing 16 Afghans in cold blood, including nine children, and setting their bodies on fire. In a society that strictly adheres to the command of “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth”, the provocation is bound to lead to more attacks on the allied troops in Afghanistan while it would provide many more volunteers to those recruiting suicide bombers. There is an urgent need under the circumstances by the US and Pakistan to jointly hammer out a policy that puts the genie of militancy back into the bottle. This requires a resolution of the issues that have caused a freeze in the relations between Islamabad and Washington. It is time Washington began to realise that it cannot simply order sovereign nations about. It has to learn to treat countries with respect and give proper importance to their concerns and sensitivities. Both Afghanistan and Pakistan have complaints in this regard that need to be addressed. Similar concerns are behind Pakistan Parliament’s decision to undertake a review of the country’s US policy. The US needs to avoid arm-twisting the government and the army. It cannot unilaterally impose sanctions on Iran and expect Pakistan to follow suit at the expense of its energy needs and economic requirements. Similarly, it cannot force the army to undertake military operation in North Waziristan in disregard of the situation in FATA where it is fighting a bloody battle in Khyber and Orakzai agencies. As Centcom Chief Gen James Mattis has put it differences between the two countries should not prevent them from working together to root out militancy from the region which is an issue of grave concern to both. With a change of command in the ISI, there is a need for talks between the agencies of the two countries on ways and means to deal with the existential threat. That alone can ensure a satisfactory conclusion of the endgame in Afghanistan. Exchange of information and cooperation between the CIA and ISI can ensure that the new wave of terrorist attacks in KP does not reach other provinces.
from whom we please move aside, will you?
n this age of scarcity, expect many paradigms to change. Some states are going to forget past disputes, others are going to find new ones. The material dialectic is going to rip through nationstates’ foreign policies and hang them out to dry. Expect the India-Pakistan animosity to continue. But the centrality of the Kashmir dispute, specially as an issue of self-determination or being the jewel of secular India (depending on where you look at it from) is going to be mentioned only as a rhetorical remembrance of simpler – yes, simpler – times. The new rivalry is going to be about water. It is going to be spread out on a larger canvas between these two states and Kashmir itself will be important only because of the water not because of some principled stance. Sad, but true. Expect the same to happen to the allied (to water) issue of food. The age of cheap food is over. Whereas this has hit the urban salaried classes of both India and Pakistan, the agricultural peripheries haven’t done too badly. Thrived, in a number of areas. But the scarcity of food is going to change a lot of prisms. Don’t expect the Afghans to be churlish with Pakistan. Or at least don’t expect them to be churlish with both Iran and Pakistan. A possible Taliban government in Afghanistan is going to have to take its pick. It is in this light that Pakistan is seeking a waiver of possible UNSC gas pipeline sanctions on Iran. Well, that won’t cut it with Pakistan. On the larger, more important issue of western military engagement with Iran, President Zardari has assured to the Iranian government that in no way will Pakistan be complicit. A wise move, not only as far as the principal is concerned but also in terms of the realpolitik. In this very same spirit, we could assert not only our sovereignty but also protect the economic interests of our polity by refusing to enter into energy deals with Iran. The recent statement by a high-ranking US diplomat in Pakistan about how the country should develop alternate sources of energy was absolutely uncalled for.
Dedicated to the legacy of the late Hameed Nizami
Arif Nizami Editor
Lahore – Ph: 042-36298305-10 Fax: 042-36298302 Karachi – Ph: 021-34330811-3 Fax: 021-34330900 Islamabad – Ph: 051-2287414-6 Fax: 051-2287417 Web: www.pakistantoday.com.pk Email: email@example.com
tuesday, 13 march, 2012
economy anyone? Our fragmented polity lacks any policy in this regard
By Dr Faisal Bari
he war on terror, explosions, deteriorating law and order situation, sectarian and religious violence, Asghar Khan case, Memo Commission, Abbotabad Commission, Senate elections, by-elections, political-tsunami and other political upheavals of the day, week or month take the limelight in the media as well as in the larger debate in the country. These are important topics but there are other equally important issues that need to be addressed simultaneously. Aur bhee dukh hain zamaney mein… The reality, for most citizens, is that there is high unemployment, inflation has been stubbornly in double digits for the last many years (means 100 percent inflation every 6-7 years or so), growth has been very slow and in only a few sectors, incomes have been more or less stagnant or declining in real terms for large segments of salaried and fixed income groups, infrastructure services have been declining in standards and there are severe shortages of basic necessities that citizens have had to put up and are still putting up with. We have gotten used to so much, from not having electricity every second hour to no gas to cook meals and/or get heaters even in the height of the winter, to no jobs and low incomes, but putting up with something does not mean it hurts no more. It does. People are suffering: poverty is rampant, horrendous nutritional outcomes are causing stunting in so many of our children, and education and health indicators are depressing. Why do these concerns not generate the level of debate needed? Our economy is in a fair bit of trouble and definitely not performing at its potential. This is acknowledged by everyone, whether in opposition or in government. Ministry of Finance and State Bank’s pronouncements and reports have also said as much. But where is the response? Why does the government’s economic team not have an active debate going on, in government circles and in the larger society, on what needs to be done? It is not even clear who the government economic team consists of apart from the leading members in finance and planning ministries, but even then, why is there no focus on the economy? It also seems there is no one ‘team’ or ‘outlook’ of the government on the economy. On the one hand, PPP government has started Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP), a large intervention to reach to the very poor, which seems to have support from the President and cochair of the party, while on the other the Planning Commission has an ethos that is all about growth and all about markets. The new growth strategy has a view of gov-
ernment that is significantly at odds with what PPP has traditionally stood for and what most PPP stalwarts talk about, when they talk about the economy Of course, a certain degree of diversity in views is always good and welcome as it forces the various participants to challenge each other to, hopefully, deeper and better thinking, but this only happens if there is debate and a unitary structure that forces different people to engage with each other. But what appears to be the case is diversity with fragmentation. Different ministers and ministries work in silos and there is no dialogue across the government. Each person tries to do their own thing and works hard to protect their turf. But this can lead to one and one not even being two instead of being, potentially, eleven. The case of the opposition is no different. There are no economic debates happening in any of the opposition parties too, almost none of them have people working on various areas/sectors and trying to get a debate going in the society on crucial matters. The recent energy debates, organised by PML(N) and PTI separately, were exceptions but the lack of depth in both of these is a good indication of the lack of thinking and debate that is prevalent. Once a friend was talking to a political heavyweight, whose party was all set to form the government having just won the election, and asked him what the major economic initiatives were that the party was going to implement. His response was that they had not focused on it as yet because the important thing was to come into power first and that they will develop an economic vision once they form their government. Good policies cannot be hatched out of nothing in a day or a month. They require active debate that involves large segments of the society on a continuous basis and on lots of experi-
mentation and learning from mistakes. Policies thought-out in drawing rooms are not worth taking beyond drawing rooms, but sadly these are the ones that get implemented in Pakistan. But another funny response that I have gotten over the last few months when I have asked opposition parties about their policies has been: we are keeping them under wraps and will reveal them near or post elections. Opposition parties are afraid their ideas might be stolen by the government in power so they do not want to reveal them! One PTI leader actually said this in public. Would it not be great, for the people, if the current government did indeed start implementing policies that had the support of opposition parties as well and had been discussed in public fora? But this goes back and speaks to the fragmented nature of debates in the country. This is the last budget of this government and elections are likely to happen within the year. The government is going to give an election budget and this is going to mean that there is even less likelihood that they will opt for saner policies. They will do what they have started to do: release development funds as a way of getting loyalties, and inflate the economy through excessive borrowing and/or printing of money. The opposition too will be in even less of a mood to talk to the government as they will be staking out their antigovernment positions. So debate on economic policy is likely to suffer even more. And as the media prefers the sensational, instead of countering the trend, it will further strengthen it. Is there a way of challenging this dominant equilibrium? The writer is an Associate Professor of Economics at LUMS (currently on leave) and a Senior Advisor at Open Society Foundation (OSF). He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
on power rates Daily Khabroona
he public is criticising and resorting to protest demonstrations, not only in the capital city Peshawar but also in the rest of the region, against the repeated increases in power prices by the government. The public and traders union in Peshawar have submitted a writ in the Peshawar High Court against fuel surcharge in electricity bills and have challenged the increase in power prices. The court has issued notices to the power departments including NEPRA, TESCO and Wapda and has called Deputy Attorney General and Advocate General to the court for the next hearing of the
case. Likewise, both PESCO and TESCO have been refrained by the court not to collect electricity bills from power consumers and to send out electricity bills to the consumers without additional surcharge within 10 days. People who are protesting against these power price-hikes maintain that on one hand there is exorbitant loadshedding in the region while on the other hand the government continues to increase power rates, which is not justifiable by any means and is tantamount to drone attacks on poor masses. – Translated from the original Pashto by Abdur Rauf Khattak
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tuesday, 13 march, 2012
-ist, -ising, -isation I understand why Imran’s plan of action has never been made public; it would invite too many questions
Mighty Obvious By Syed Hassan Belal Zaidi
hat would you say is the most vile, revolting, loathsome and hated phenomenon to come out of Pakistan? Wife-beating? Husbandcooking? Acid-throwing? Suicide bombing? Child bride-ing? Drone attacking? Minority rights violation-ing? Economic catastrophising? Fuel and gas shortage-ising? Sugar and edible oil hoarding? Target killing? Ethnic cleansing? Chances are, if you’re a normal, sane type person, you would’ve agreed with one, if not all of the above problems. But if you’re a PTI-ian and an Imran-ist, you will shake your head violently, vehemently denouncing the ludicrousness of the above problems. Instead, you will argue; it is corruption-isation which is the most evil, most foul, most horriblest of maladies to befall this land of the pure. you will also, in the same sentence – if not the same breath – lay out your roadmap for replacing the brown silt-ful water in the country’s canals with white, creamy and frothy milk; all within 13 days of Mr Megalomania becoming ‘first among equals’. I doubt not the veracity of this claim, for indeed, said megalomaniac would love nothing better than to have the Lahore Canal filled to the brim with milky, colloidal cow juice. Does wonders for the skin and the calcium is good for the bones too. Also, it would be helpful if a Milk of Magnesia rivulet were diverted into the greater Zaman Park area. May be better for the health of the country’s most reactionary and revolutionary leader.
On the whole. But coming back to the problem tree; it is quite heartening to see a political leader that takes such a headstrong approach towards the country’s problems. you can be sure that if you vote for the PTI in the next general elections (given that the party decided to take part in the polls in the first place), you will be rewarded with sound municipal and civic management, a national transmission grid that never breaks down and, of course, zero corruption. How do I know this? Well, not to brag, but I have managed to get my hands on the ‘real’ policy outline document that Senor Khan-a Dilbarjana has been working on for the past decade or three. Ever since that fateful night in Melbourne, actually. And this document offers us some valuable insight into the mind of the man who would be king. Corruption, this document states, is a cardinal sin for which there can be no atonement. No matter what form this unspeakable evil might take, be it a small payoff to your cable guy for letting you view restricted channels without any hindrance, or a larger payoff to a government official by a multinational octopuslike corporation with horns and pointy tail – ostensibly to obtain the contract to supply pitchforks to the Pakistan Moral Outrage Society. This also includes all those ‘luxury taxes’ that every citizen ends up paying at places such as the passport office, a NADRA registration centre and your friendly neighbourhood patwari. What was once considered a small, token guarantee that your kaam will get done will now be an outlawed offence, punishable by death, dismemberment and castration, or all of the above. Sound logic, really. I never appreciated the having-to-partwith-my-money aspect of public life. This is why I never tip at restaurants or pay valets and guards for holding my car door open for me. These are all things I can do on my own. Better, in fact, than the simpletons that would charge me an arm and a
leg to do the most menial and meaningless of tasks. Self-reliance is the name of the game and the skipper plays it best. Mind you, this would also mean the abolition of ridiculous burdens-on-the-common-man such as the ‘On’ one must pay when purchasing a motor vehicle, the postage one must pay when mailing a letter or the Value Added Taxes that one must fork over when loading a scratch card into one’s prepaid cellular contraption. Despite my being a member of the privileged class that can afford to pay these paltry sums, no one would be happier to see these frivolous expenditures go than I. No longer will I be held hostage by meter readers looking to make a quick buck. I will simply use my connections in the Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited to ensure that the reading on my meter never changes, ever. This would definitely put me head and shoulders above those who don’t know anyone in SNGPL and cannot avail similar concessions. A sound idea, utopian even. But I understand why this document, this plan of action that could save the country and Imran’s fledging political ambitions in one fell swoop, has never been made public. We must not allow the plebeians to find out what the game plan is. Otherwise, false prophets such as Sana Bucha or Kamran Khan may start poking their noses where they do not belong. Intrepid reporters such as Rauf Klasra and Co may begin to wonder who stands to benefit most from such a perfect, harmonious system. And worst of all, the pundits, the ones that espouse all the –ists, -isms and – isations, may well brand this a tsunami-sation-ism-ist approach, thereby reducing it to the crass, pagan and morally bankrupt level of a coherent ideology. So shush, all of you. Never ask what Imran can do for you. Ask, rather, what your country can do for Imran. The Khan has spoken. Now shutup and get back to work. Follow @mightyobvious on Twitter for more incoherence in 160 characters or less
The third box Sub-continental loan recovery systems
n 2001, the owner of a credit society in Mumbai came up with a unique method of loan recovery: he employed eunuchs to sing and dance, as they do, in front of defaulters’ homes, demanding repayment. Shamed by such public exposure, people invariably settled their loans before long. This tactic has since been successfully used by others in India to recover overdue payments. In 2010, a barrister in Lahore submitted an application to the Supreme Court recommending the same method for the recovery of loans totalling over two and a half billion rupees waived by sundry bureaucrats and army generals who over the years graced our national horizons. The Supreme Court agreed, and recently the Khadim-e-Aala issued directives that eunuchs should be employed for this purpose in the Punjab. A year ago, Pakistan’s National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) took the unprecedented (for this country) step of employing eunuchs in respectable data entry positions in their offices in a deliberate move to provide employment for members of that community. These appointments followed upon regular advertisement for these jobs and a merit based selection process. Nahi nigah main manzil tu justhjoo hi sahi Nahi visaal muyassar to arzoo hi sahi (Although the destination appears elusive, the search for it is present Although the union appears unattainable, the wish for it is present) By Rabia Ahmed The recruits will be trained for the job, NADRA said, adding interestingly, that while there was a good response for the jobs in KP and Sindh, eunuchs did not seem to be interested in working in Lahore. That scarlet lipsticked person with the painted face and exaggerated female gestures who taps on your window when your car stops at traffic light, who is he/she? What must you call him/her? It? Shoma Chatterji is an Indian journalist who, in her excellent essay on the subject, explains in some detail the life, if it can be called such, of the people we hold in sufficient contempt to offer them the job of humiliating others by their presence outside their homes. The word ‘hijra’ used in the subcontinent is strictly speaking a man who has been surgically robbed of his gender. Colloquially however, it
implies any, a hermaphrodite (a ‘dual gendered’ person), a transvestite (a person who opts for the gender he/she was not born with), or a gender neutral person who is actually an extreme rarity. While gay and lesbian persons manage to blend fairly well with the mainstream population, ‘hijras’ tend to stand out making them vulnerable to prejudice and insensitivity. Most have learnt to use the leverage this visibility affords in ham roles as public performers. In India, most hijras owe their status to ‘surgery’ performed upon them as infants, making them as much or greater victims of torture as any inmate of a Pakistani thana. In the absence of information telling us otherwise, we should presume that the story is the same here. After all we shared the Indian Penal Code once upon a time, an amendment to which in 1897 was subtitled: ‘An Act for the Registration of Criminal Tribes and Eunuchs.’ The surgery is performed by untrained dais or midwives and the details are too gruesome for this column. Suffice it to say that the pain these infants go through never goes away. It not only translates into permanent medical trauma, but as children and adults into unrelenting taunts, jeers and a horrible marginalised existence from which there is no escape. Society sees fit to force these people into the role it has foisted on them, by first robbing them of their lives and self-esteem and then the opportunity of holding a respectable job, or any job at all. As a result they are forced almost without exception into prostitution and begging. Pakistan has only now seen it fit to allow eunuchs voting rights, realising rather late that it was their gender they lost, not their brain. The Supreme Court has directed that NADRA should waive the requirement for gender verification in the case of persons belonging to the ‘third gender’ so they may hold a national identity card. They will now be able to check the third box on a form stating that they are ‘khwaja sara’, an umbrella term for ‘ambiguous sex’. In Balochistan, the government has promised to provide them with free health facilities and in KP with inheritance rights. The government of Sindh and the Punjab have also indicated their resolve to contribute in various ways. It will be a while though before we learn the difference between providing an unclothed man with suitable clothing, or clothing him in clown’s attire. However, nahi visaal muyassar to arzoo hi sahi. In the absence of awareness, this could be seen as wishing for (and moving towards) change.
KHI 13-03-2012_Layout 1 3/13/2012 3:32 AM Page 14
tuesday, 13 march, 2012
Pakistani jazz ensemble,
LaHorE: the sukh chain club organised the international women’s Day awards. Pr
set for world premiere
LOBAL youTube and chart topping sensation, Sachal Jazz Ensemble will give their world premiere performance at the Alchemy Festival at London’s Southbank Centre, Europe’s largest centre for the arts. Drawing on influences from Lahore to New york, the Ensemble presents innovative jazz and bossa nova standards from their recent album that has captured musical imaginations with a flood of internet hits. Their fresh re-working of Dave Brubeck’s iconic ‘Take Five’ prompted the jazz legend to exclaim that “this is the most interesting and different recording of ‘Take Five’ that I have ever heard.” Other innovative interpretations include Antonio Carlos Jobim's 'The Girl from Ipanema' and Dave Grusin's 'Mountain Dance', the latter highlighting some incredible sitar playing. In the reworked 'Misty', composed by Erroll Garner, the sitar and tabla supply the melody lines layered on a lush rhythmic foundation. The inspiration behind the Sachal Jazz Ensemble and the wider Sachal project is London-based businessman-turnedstudio boss Izzat Majeed. Working with consultants from London’s Abbey Road studios, he set up state-of-the-art studios
in Lahore, rescued Pakistani musicians from poverty and brought them together to make music. The revival has prompted comparisons with the Buena Vista Social Club’s rediscovery of a lost generation of Cuban musicians. Majeed's wider goal is to rub fresh magic into Lahore’s musical traditions, once a sub-continental cultural hub. He says Pakistan's classical music scene was decimated in the 1980s when the dictator General Zia-ul-Haq, following an austere Islamic line, crushed the local film industry. Majeed, who grew up listening to jazz greats like Miles Davis and Louis Armstrong, says there are similarities between the improvisational aspects of classical music from the sub-continent and Jazz. “Take Five’s rhythmic structure and time scale is pretty close to our kind of music,” Majeed says. ‘Take Five’ has done so well because it was something new and wellplayed.” The performance at the QEH on 17th April at 8pm will present improvised contemporary classical music, Jazz Standards and Bossa Nova interpretations. The festival, described as ‘the UK’s most ambitious celebration of arts and culture from the subcontinent” and now its third year, runs from 12th to 22nd April. The festival features a wide-ranging programme of South Asian contemporary and traditional music and dance, film, craft and fashion.
Arva, Sabah and Raisham
Raisham and Meera
Nasira, Sabah, Nina Akber and Nina Fite
Ayesha and Sidra
Sukh Chain Club CEO Nina Akber and Nisho
Nina Akber presents third Women Award to Raishma
veena to return
to Pakistan to launch music album NEWS DESK Actor Veena Malik has said that she will be back in her home country Pakistan soon for some projects and to launch her own music album. Malik is currently
B’town takes to twitter
to praise Vidya Balan’s ‘Kahaani’
doing three films in India-‘Daal Mein Kuch Kala Hai’, ‘Zindagi Fifty Fifty’ and ‘Bombay 125 Km’. “I am also doing a film, ‘Super Model’, with Ashmit Patel,” se said earlier. While DMKKH is a comedy, Malik plays a sex worker in ZFF, and Bombay 125 Km is a 3D thriller-horror. Talking about her first music album, Malik said she wanted to sing right from the beginning of her career but her friends suggested that she concentrate on acting. “Now, I’ve decided to launch my first album, both audio and video,” she said. The songs would be a mix of Urdu and English and the male lead would be revealed later. “My singing will represent the young generation and I’ll be singing some rock stuff for them,” she added. Malik said that the rights of her Indian show, ‘Veena Ka Swayamvar’, have been bought by an entertainment group in Pakistan. “The show received some 72,000 entries from all over the world which is a record,” she said.
MUMBAI: Ever since sujoy ghosh’s ‘Kahaani’ hit the silver screens last thursday, Bollywood has been running high vidya Balan fever. the very talented actress, who can give all her male counterparts a run for their money, has yet again pulled off a stunner. and director sujoy ghosh is an ecstatic man. He is certainly rejoicing every second of his film’s success. Everyone is talking about his latest flick, but the one who converted his joyous moment into ecstasy was rekha. the diva of yesteryears had watched the film and had called up ghosh to give her verdict. But the filmmaker couldn’t believe his ears when he found rekha on the other end of the phone. narrating his excitement, sujoy took to twitter and wrote, “yesterday rekhaji saw KaHaani & called me. i swear i was going to faint or die when i heard her voice. incredible moment of life. Huge fan.(sic).” Here’s taking a look at what other celebrities from the glam world had to say about the critically acclaimed film: KONKONA SeN SHARMA: Everyone go and watch sujoy ghosh`s super cool Kahaani! CHetAN BHAgAt: what an amazing Kahaani! great film. Big congrats to vidya Balan, director @sujoy_g and story writer @adavaita_kala ! SOPHIe CHOUDRY: #Kahaani is truly brilliant!ammi shotti Bolchi!so proud of @sujoy_g! Balan is outstanding.the entire cast superb!massive congrats 2 the team SHAH RUKH KHAN: @sujoy_g all the best sujoy and the team of kahaani. Korbo...lorbo....jeetbo.....inshallah allah RIteISH DeSHMUKH: a big day 4 my friend sujoy_g .so proud of him that his film #KaHaani is getting critical acclaim frm all corners-a must watch this weekend. AgeNCIeS
Katrina Kaif to
the rescue MUMBAI: Love somebody once and its tough to un-love the person. such is the case with ex-lovers Katrina Kaif and salman Khan. while Katrina was busy shooting for her yash chopra directed film opposite shah rukh Khan in London, her good friend salman was spotted using the actress’ car and vanity van (only because he feels comfortable in it) while shooting for a commercial along with his family members. an eyewitness said, “salman came to the studio around 5 pm in Katrina’s black car. the vanity van that Katrina generally hires for shoots was parked inside for salman.” interestingly, salman does have his own vanity van. while Katrina generally hires a particular vanity when she shoots in mumbai. since salman’s van had a technical snag, the actor chose to hire the one that Katrina uses. “salman is comfortable in the vanity. He used to visit Katrina there when the two were together,” revealed a source close to the actress. AgeNCIeS
Nina Akber presents third Women Award to Quratulain
MUMBAI: at a time when cooked-up stories of rivalries and link-ups have become the order of the day for promoting a film, abhay Deol refuses to be a part of the bandwagon. the actor is reportedly unhappy with the stories of rivalry between him and co-actor Emraan Hashmi on the sets of Dibakar Bannerjee’s ‘shanghai’. and he has chosen to speak out rather than remain silent. the actor said, “i am at a loss for words and i don’t know who is behind all this. i am inclined to believe that this is a marketing strategy to promote the film when there is no need to do it.” recently, there have been stories suggesting that Banerjee is partial towards Hashmi. the industry was buzzing with rumours of Deol playing spoil sport by insisting to redub and wanting to be a part of the promotional track. these marketing tactics have rattled the otherwise unflappable Deol. “i don’t believe in cheap publicity for any of my films,” Deol said emphatically. AgeNCIeS
KHI 13-03-2012_Layout 1 3/13/2012 3:33 AM Page 15
15 Rihanna warned
bruce Springsteen secures
ninth number 1 album over drugs, Chris Brown LONDON ReUteRS
Bruce Springsteen secured his ninth UK number one album with ‘Wrecking Ball’, an often angry look at economic hardship, inequality and the fallout from the financial crisis. The 62-year-old, nicknamed ‘The Boss,’ first topped the UK album charts more than two decades ago, with the global hit ‘Born in the USA.’ Described by one reviewer as “his angriest and most overtly political collection yet”, Springsteen's latest release mixes familiar anthemic rock with gospel, Irish folk music and even hip hop. The album saw off competition from another new entry, ‘In My Dreams’, by the Military Wives, a British choir made up of the partners of British soldiers serving in Afghanistan. Their collection
Madonna injured during rehearsals LONDON
S American singer Rihanna has reunited with her abusive exboyfriend Chris Brown, her family and friends have become concerned about her and are praying hard for the singer who is also indulging in drugs. Rihanna’s religious mentor, bishop Vibert Lowe, says people close to her want the singer to rid herself of all the bad habits. “A lot of people have been praying for her and hoping that she will drop these bad habits. As a young lady she’s not setting a good example. young people look to her as a mentor, they regard her as an idol and copy her
of songs from artists such as U2, Coldplay and Bob Dylan claimed second place, ahead of last week's number one, ‘Our Version of Events’, by soul singer Emili Sande. There was no change at the top of the UK singles chart, the Official Charts Company said. BelgianAustralian singer Gotye's ‘Somebody That I Used to Know’ remained in the top spot, clear of Sande's ‘Next to Me’ and ‘Starships’ by Trinidadian-born singer Nicki Minaj.
lifestyle,” a website has quoted the 64-year-old as saying. Speaking of 24-year-old Rihanna`s reunion with hiphop star Brown, he said: “After all he did, I`d tell her to steer clear of him. He’s not the correct influence on her life.”
Madonna has revealed that she's sustained several injuries in the course of rehearsing for her upcoming tour, and has posted the proof online. The music icon, who wowed fans with a powerhouse Super Bowl halftime show last month, posted pictures of numerous bruises on her body, and an up-close view of a fat lip, on her Facebook page. But a few bruises won't stop the 53-year-old music icon -- she'll follow up the May 26 release of her upcoming album MDNA by kicking off her 2012 world tour May 29 in Tel Aviv, Israel, which will take her all over the globe before finishing up in the US this fall.
Nikie and Mina with Nina Fite
Meera plans Daughter to follow goes topless in Bollywood comeback NEWS DESK
Madiha, Ayesha and Beea
Sehrish, Sarah and Moneeba
Meera, who has often been hailed as the Aishwarya Rai of Pakistan and voted one of the most beautiful girls of South Asia, has also been termed the most eligible bachelorette of Pakistan. Meera made her Bollywood debut opposite Ashmit Patel in Mahesh’s Bhatt’s ‘Nazar’, followed by a few other movies, before she took a sabbatical. Mired in scandals and controversies of all sorts, Meera’s life has always been a rollercoaster ride. But the actress has now planned a turnaround. She recently announced plans of beginning a second innings in Bollywood. The announcement came on the heals of news about her ill-fated engagement to American-Pakistani pilot, Naveed Shahzad. Meanwhile, Meera has said that she didn't mind competing with Aishwarya Rai, Katrina Kaif or Deepika Padukone. That’s okay Meera – as long as they too don’t mind competing with you.
whitney Houston into showbiz LOS ANGELES
LOS ANGELES AgeNCIeS
Whitney Houston's daughter said she plans to follow her mother into show business, while the drug-troubled star's sister-in-law admitted her untimely death could have been predicted. In her first interview since Houston's death last month aged 48, Bobbi Kristina -- Houston's daughter from her stormy relationship with singer Bobby Brown -- also said she still hears her late mother's voice. “I feel her passing through me all the time,” she told TV talk show host Oprah Winfrey. "Lights turn on and off and I'm like, 'Mom, what are you doing?' I can still laugh with her and still talk to her." Asked if she will follow her mother into show business, the teenager said: "I have to carry on the legacy. We're gonna do the singing thing. Some acting, some dancing. It's a lot of pressure, but she prepared me for it.” Houston was found dead on February 11 in a hotel room bath tub, aged 48, a day before the Grammys and hours ahead of a glittering preGrammy party in the Beverly Hills hotel where she died. The singer of hits including ‘I Will Always Love you’ sold over 170 million records during a nearly three-decade career, but fought a long battle against substance abuse while trying to keep her performing talent alive. Her daughter said her
My way or
playing mom: Abhishek MUMBAI: actor abhishek Bachchan says his wife aishwarya rai is happy playing mother to their three-and-half-month-old daughter and would return to work when she feels like doing so. meanwhile the actor is keen to work in films inspired by plays by young writers. “as and when she wants to come back, is completely her decision... as and when she decides, when she sees a script she is inspired by - the decision is entirely hers. currently she is very happy doing what she is doing,” the 36-yearold said at the launch of sorabh Pant's book ‘the wednesday soul’. while most
‘On the Road’ trailer
filmmakers may opt for novels to base their films on, abhishek favours plays penned by young writers. “i like to read biographies and autobiographies. But there are some wonderful plays out there that a lot of young, indian talent is writing. i would love to do one of them,” said abhishek. “i can't decide which one. Like i said, there is a lot of interesting material being written in india, i would love to delve into that resource to come up with a film,” he added. the Bachchan family is yet to announce the name of Beti B. abhishek is currently busy working on ‘Bol Bachchan’ and ‘chakravyuha’. His two sequels – ‘Dostana 2’ and ‘Dhoom 3’ will go on floors soon. AgeNCIeS
mother remains with her. “She literally is an angel. I saw her hurt. I saw her cry. We held each other through that,” she said, when asked what she wanted people to know about her mother. She insisted: "They don't know who she was. Everything people are saying about her -- all that negativity, it's garbage. That's not my mother. In reality, I know who she was. Her family knows who she was.”
MUMBAI: Bipasha Basu has refused to do an item number in sanjay Dutt and vivek oberoi-starrer ‘Zilla ghaziabad’. Dutt, who is taking keen interest in the film which is due for release in may, had approached Bipasha for an item number to be shot with sanjay, vivek and Bipasha, but the sultry actress refused, and the industry insiders say that the reason is vivek. apparently, because Bipasha and vivek are not on talking terms. remember, the two were seen in the superhit item number ‘Bidi Jalailein’ in ‘omkara’ about three years back. Dutt and Bips share great relations, and both got friendlier still when they did ‘Lamhaa’ together. But, Dutt and ‘Zilla ghaziabad’ director are so keen on having Bipasha on board that they have decided to create a situation for another item number which will just have Dutt and Bipasha and but vivek in it so that everything goes smoothly. wonder why is vivek, who has been otherwise so quiet, has such a notorious image in the industry? He was unceremoniously dropped from three films in the recent past sanjay gupta's ‘shootout at wadala’, shiva's ‘Bloody Paki’ and Bejoy nambiar's ‘David’. with about five films releasing in the next two years, hope vivek, who is considered to be a decent actor, finds a foothold in Bollywood once again. AgeNCIeS
We've seen her get married and have a baby, but this is a whole new K. Stew. The debut of the trailer for ‘Twilight’ actress Kristen Stewart's latest role in the movie adaptation of Jack Kerouac's novel ‘On The Road’ has arrived, offering fans a gander at director Walter Salles' take on the Beat Generation—and Kristen topless. The actress, who plays Marylou in the flick, is seen sitting topless while cruising the roads with fellow shirtless co-stars Garrett Hedlund and Sam Riley. Joining Kristen, Garrett and Sam— although with their tops on—is an A-list cast that includes Amy Adams, Viggo Mortensen, Kirsten Dunst, Steve Buscemi, Terrence Howard and Elisabeth Moss. ‘On the Road’ follows a young writer named Sal Paradise (Riley) and his Dean Moriarty (Garrett), who are the poster-kids for the Beat Generation when they hit the highway on a nationwide search for "it"—along with Dean's wife Marylou (Stewart). The flick is set to premiere at the Cannes Film Festival later this year.
to do an item song with Vivek
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British court gives go ahead to right-to-die case LONDON AfP
A severely disabled British man who wants a doctor to be able to lawfully end his “intolerable” life can proceed with his court case, a judge ruled on Monday. The High Court in London ruled that Tony Nicklinson, who is paralysed from the neck down but whose mental faculties are unaffected, can continue his legal fight to ensure that a doctor who kills him would not face a murder charge. The Ministry of Justice wanted the case to be struck out, arguing that only parliament can change the law on murder. Nicklinson, who suffers from lockedin syndrome following a stroke in 2005, has described his life as “dull, miserable, demeaning, undignified and intolerable”. The 57-year-old, from Wiltshire in south-west England, is forced to communicate by controlling a computer with eye movements. His paralysis is so severe that killing him would go beyond assisted suicide. Nicklinson’s wife Jane said there was “huge” public support for his campaign for a doctor to be able to lawfully end his life. “The only way to relieve Tony’s suffering will be to kill him. There is absolutely nothing else that can be done for him,” she said before the ruling. Judge William Charles struck out only one part of Nicklinson’s claim on Monday, allowing most of the case to proceed. The judge said Nicklinson did not have a realistic chance of persuading a court to declare that “existing domestic law and practice fail adequately to regulate the practice of active euthanasia”.
Ex-diplomats, nobel laureates urge Unsc action on syria LONDON AfP
Ex-diplomats and Nobel laureates urged the UN Security Council on Monday to stop the violence in Syria, warning “paralysing” splits in the international community had given the regime a licence to kill. In a letter published in the Financial Times and to be published in Le Figaro in France on Tuesday, they called on Russia in particular to help stop President Bashar al-Assad’s bloody crackdown on protests. “Splits among the international community have provided the Assad government with a licence to kill. This licence must be withdrawn,” the letter said.
BeeR SHeVA: An Israeli missile is launched from the Iron Dome missile system in the southern Israeli city of Beer Sheva in response to a rocket launch from the nearby Palestinian gaza Strip on Monday. AfP
Five Palestinians killed as Gaza fighting rumbles on GAZA CITY
SRAELI warplanes pounded the Gaza Strip for a fourth day Monday, killing four more Palestinians, as a teenager died in a mystery blast, raising the death toll so far to 23. The latest strike killed a man in his 60s and his daughter in the Jabaliya refugee camp in northern Gaza, a medical spokesman said. Several hours earlier, a teenager was killed nearby, just outside Beit Lahiya in what the Palestinians claimed was a drone strike. But the Israeli military said they had not mounted any strikes in the area since the early hours of the morning. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to continue targeting militants for “as long as necessary” and several hours later, Israeli warplanes carried out at least eight strikes across the territory, targeting a weapons storage facility and five rocket-launching sites across Gaza. The first deaths were two militants who were killed in strikes around the southern city of Khan yunis, both of them from the Islamic Jihad group, which identified them as Raafat Abu Eid and Hamada Suleiman Abu Mutlaq, both 24.
Shortly afterwards, a blast killed 15-year-old Nayef Qarmut and wounded six other teenagers, two critically, near Beit Lahiya. “A drone strike hit a group of students who were walking by empty land on their way to school,” emergency services spokesman Adham Abu Selmiya told AFP. But the Israeli military denied activity in the area at the time, and an AFP correspondent at the scene confirmed there was no sign of an air strike. “From an initial check, there were no air strikes in the northern Gaza Strip since the early hours of the morning,” a military spokesman told AFP. The latest attack, which hit the nearby Jabaliya refugee camp, killed Mohammed Mustafa al-Hasumi, 65, and his daughter Faiza, 35, medics said. The latest deaths brought to 23 the Palestinian toll from a weekend of tit-for-tat violence that began with Israel’s killing of a senior militant on Friday afternoon. Before the latest strike, Abu Selmiya said 73 people had been wounded in 36 Israeli air strikes across the tiny coastal territory. A spokeswoman for the army said 31 rockets and mortar rounds had hit Israel since midnight (2200 GMT Sunday), while another seven were intercepted by the Iron Dome air defence system.
Quartet meets as clashes intensify UnITED naTIOnS: Top officials of the diplomatic Quartet on the Middle East conflict — the United States, Russia, European Union and United Nations — held talks Monday amid heightened Israeli-Palestinian clashes. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon met at the UN headquarters. EU foreign affairs representative Catherine Ashton joined by video-conference. The talks came as Israeli warplanes pounded the Gaza Strip for a fourth day, killing four more Palestinians and raising the toll to 23 dead. Israel says it is hitting back at scores of rocket attacks from Gaza. The Quartet has been trying to find a negotiated way to set up a Palestinian state. But its efforts have become deadlocked as there have been no direct Palestinian-Israeli peace talks since September 2010. AfP
Gunmen kill three near nigerian flashpoint city LAGOS AfP
NeW DeLHI: Members of Youth Against Corruption and student union Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad protest against corruption on Monday. AfP
Gunmen shot dead three Christians in Nigeria near the flashpoint city of Jos, hours after 10 people were killed in a suicide bombing and related violence at a church, an official said Monday. In a separate incident in the northern city of Kano, gunmen in a car opened fire early Monday on a police station that has been the target of several attacks, wounding two officers, according to residents. The gunmen near Jos struck late Sunday in a village south of the city where Christian-Muslim tensions ran high after the church attack, state government spokesman Pam Ayuba told AFP, though the two attacks were not thought to be linked.
“Unknown gunmen, in an apparent ambush late Sunday, waylaid and shot dead three people and injured three others — all Christians — in Chugwi village,” Ayuba said. Such violence has occurred repeatedly in and around Jos, located in the middle belt region of Africa’s most populous nation between the mainly Muslim north and predominantly Christian south. Clashes between Christian and Muslim ethnic groups in the area have killed thousands in recent years. “We suspect that the attackers were herdsmen. They left with the handsets of those killed and called numbers on their phones to alert their (the victims’) relations that they were responsible for the killings,” he said from the scene of the attack. Ayuba, who is a native of the Christian village, said no arrests have
been made. The victims included two brothers aged 25 and 30, he said. Three other people at Dogo Garba, a nearby hamlet, were wounded by the same gunmen and were taken to a nearby government hospital for treatment, he added. The shootings came hours after a suicide attack outside a Roman Catholic church in Jos killed seven people, sparking panic and reprisals in which security forces opened fire and youths clashed, leaving three others dead. It was the second suicide attack on a church in the city in two weeks, after a February 26 attack claimed by Islamist group Boko Haram killed three people and injured dozens. Government and relief officials told AFP that in addition to the 10 killed, 24 people were injured and had been taken to three government hospitals in the city.
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47 bodies found after ‘massacre’ in Homs: Syria Opp BEIRUT
HE bodies of 47 women and children, some of them with their throats slit, have been found in the restive Syrian city of Homs, the opposition said on Monday, blaming the killings on the regime. Syrian state media acknowledged that residents of the central city had been murdered but attributed the deaths to “armed terrorist gangs”. It said these gangs had kidnapped the victims, killed them and then made video footage of the bodies in an attempt to discredit Syrian forces. Hadi Abdallah, a Syrian activist in
Homs, told AFP the bodies of 26 children and 21 women, some with their throats slit and others bearing stab wounds, were found after a “massacre” in the Karm elZaytoun and Al-Adawiyeh neighbourhoods of the besieged central city. “Some of the children had been hit with blunt objects on their heads, one little girl was mutilated and some women were raped before being killed,” he said. Activists posted videos online that showed graphic images of charred bodies and children with mutilated and bloodied faces. Syria’s state television also aired gruesome footage showing homes with white walls splattered with blood, bodies of women and children piled on top of each other and several men, with bullet
wounds to the head, lying facing down in a disused building, their hands tied behind their backs. “More massacres could take place if the international community fails to act,” Abdallah said. “We urge a military intervention, strikes against the regime and arming the rebel Free Syrian Army. “Enough with words. The United States and others for months have been calling on the (regime) to stop the violence, but it continues to kill people.” The main opposition group, the Syrian National Council (SNC), called for an emergency UN Security Council meeting to discuss the “massacre”, which it said took place on Sunday. “The Syrian National Council is mak-
ing the necessary contacts with all organisations and countries that are friends with the Syrian people for the UN Security Council to hold an emergency meeting,” the SNC said in a statement. And in a clear reference to Russia and China, the SNC said that allies of Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad shared responsibilty for the “crimes” committed by his regime. Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said news of the killings in Homs had prompted hundreds of families to flee the city for fear of a new massacre. “Hundreds of families fled Homs overnight, notably from the Karm el-Zaytoun neighbourhood, for fear of new massacres by regime forces,” he told AFP.
iran stands by syria, blames Us for unrest TEhran: Iran stands fully behind Syria and blames the United States and Arab nations for the bloody unrest shaking its ally, media on Monday quoted a deputy foreign minister as saying. “The Islamic Republic of Iran underlines its total support for the Syrian people and government,” Hossein Amir Abdollahian said, according to Iran’s official IRNA news agency. He said Western and Arab nations “that support the insecurity and instability in Syria are responsible for any aggravation of the crisis in Syria.” AfP
Jewellery attack kills eight, 13 dead across iraq BAGHDAD AfP
Gunmen killed eight people in an attack on a jewellery shop on Monday, one of several attacks in and around Baghdad that left at least 13 people dead, most of them police officers, officials said. The attack on the shop, in the Urr neighbourhood of north Baghdad, left eight people dead, the interior ministry said on its website, including the two owners of the shop and four members of the security forces. A medical official said nine people were killed and 14 wounded in the attack. Among the people hurt were five police, four soldiers and two wounded. Gunmen also carried out two separate attacks in Tarmiyah, a town 45 kilometres (30 miles) north of Baghdad that was once a stronghold of Sunni insurgents and Al-Qaeda, a police officer there said. “Three policemen were killed in an attack carried out after midnight by unknown gunmen on the municipal headquarters” in Tarmiyah, First Lieutenant Uday Sarhan told AFP, adding that the attack lasted half an hour. Gunmen also attacked a police patrol in Tarmiyah early on Monday morning, not far from the first attack, killing two more policemen, Sarhan said. The interior ministry official confirmed the death toll of five in Tarmiyah, without giving further details.
Ukraine casts doubt on pre-poll ‘Putin plot’ KIEV AfP
Ukraine lacks the evidence to charge two men with plotting to kill Vladimir Putin despite Russian television airing a confession from them days ahead of Russia’s elections, a report said Monday. Russia’s Channel One television revealed the alleged plot to kill Putin in a report broadcast less than a week before presidential elections that the Russian strongman won in a landslide victory. His opponents had already cast suspicion on the plot — which the report said was hatched by Islamist militants in the Ukrainian port city of Odessa — as having the hallmarks of a stunt to boost Putin’s ratings. “The investigation lacks direct evidence of the detained men preparing (to commit) an act of terror against Vladimir Putin,” the Kommersant Ukraine business daily quoted a source familiar with the investigation as saying. Kommersant said Ukrainian investigators had enough evidence to charge the two men with firearms and explosives violations — crimes that carried prison penalties to two to five years. The newspaper did not explain why the televised confessions — where both the suspects said they had plotted to kill Putin — were not considered sufficient evidence on their own. But the Interfax-Ukraine news agency quoted another security source as saying that “to all appearances neither of the detained were implicated in planning acts of terror either in Russia or Ukraine.”
MARSeILLe: Protesters hold a banner that reads ‘World Water forum, market of thirst’ as they take part in a demonstration against the 6th World Water forum on Monday. AfP
Cyprus ex-ministers charged with manslaughter over blast NICOSIA AfP
Manslaughter charges were filed against Cyprus’s former foreign and defence ministers on Monday in connection with a munitions blast that killed 13 people and crippled the country’s main power plant, state radio said. Former foreign minister Marcos Kyprianou and ex-defence minister Costas Papacostas are among eight public officials — who also include three senior army officers and three senior fire service officials — facing prosecution over the July 11 blast that also injured 62 people. Their separate charge sheets were filed at Larnaca district court on the island’s south coast on Monday. According to state media, they face charges of
manslaughter, causing death through negligence, dereliction of duty and acts which caused bodily harm. The other accused are former army commander Petros Tsalikides, his deputy Savvas Argyrou and army Colonel George Georgiades, along with fire chief Andreas Nicolaou, deputy fire chief Pambos Charalambous and commander of the fire service’s disaster reaction unit, Andreas Loizides. The eight accused are scheduled to appear before a Larnaca district court on April 23 to hear the charges against them before a trial date is set. A public inquiry found President Demetris Christofias responsible for the explosion, but there was never any possibility of legal proceedings against him as the constitution gives him immu-
nity from prosecution. Kyprianou, Papacostas and the army commander all resigned over the blast. The deputy commander was sacked. There was a public outcry after munitions stored in the open at a naval base for three years exploded despite repeated warnings that they were unsafe, and streets protests called for Christofias to quit. The president has refused to step down. Some 98 containers were piled up unprotected at the Mari naval base, just 150 metres (yards) from the power station. They were seized in February 2009 when Cyprus intercepted a Cypriot-flagged freighter bound from Iran for Syria and a UN sanctions committee said the consignment contravened a ban on Iranian arms shipments.
Us university student arrested after violence threat WASHINGTON AfP
A University of Maryland student was arrested and taken for psychiatric evaluation after posting threats about a shooting rampage that would “make it to the national news,” the school said. The university’s Department of Public Safety said it made the arrest Sunday of Alexander Song, 19, after learning of the threats at the university’s campus at College Park, Maryland. “The person posting the comments stated he had thoughts of committing an act of violence at the UMCP campus on Sunday, March 11, 2012,” the statement said. “The quote on the website(s) were ‘I will be on a shooting rampage tomorrow on campus,’ ‘hopefully I kill enough people to make it to national news,’ and ‘stay away from the Mall tomorrow at 1:30.’“ School police traced the messages to Song, a current student at the Maryland campus. “University police detectives and patrol officers worked through the night to identify and apprehend Mr. Song,” the statement said. “This incident was taken extremely seriously by this agency and all efforts were put forth to bring it to a speedy and safe resolution.” After his arrest, detectives “determined that an emergency psychiatric evaluation was necessary,” the statement said.
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federer, nadal advance as flu hits indian wells Page 21
new Zealand drop southee for 2nd sa test WELLINGTON AfP
New Zealand on Monday have dropped seamer Tim Southee from the 14-man squad for the second Test against South Africa in Hamilton. Southee, who conceded 140 runs without taking a wicket in the drawn first Test, was replaced by Mark Gillespie, with leg-spinner Tarun Nethula also included to give variety to the attack for the game starting on Thursday. "Tim Southee hasn't been included," national selection manager Kim Littlejohn said. "He's a talented young fast bowler and we're confident he'll return to the (domestic) Plunket Shield and continue to put pressure on those in the Test team." Littlejohn said Gillespie, 32, who returns to Test cricket after an absence of more than three years, was a "strong and reliable bowling option", who had displayed good form in the domestic competition. He said Nethula, who is yet to make his Test debut, was bowling well and "offers a point of difference to the attack". Opening batsman Rob Nicol retained his place despite disappointing returns of six and 19 on debut in the opening Test, which ended in a draw after the final day's play was washed out on Sunday. The draw cost South Africa the opportunity to overtake England as the number one team in the ICC world Test rankings. The Proteas needed a clean sweep in the three-Test series to achieve the goal.
PCB not to draw into hasty conclusions LAHORE
HE Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has decided against jumping to conclusions after a report, published in the UK newspaper Sunday Times, quoted a bookmaker claiming to have fixed international matches including the World Cup semi-final between India and Pakistan. While the newspaper reported that the International Cricket Council (ICC) has decided to launch an inquiry into the claims, made by a Delhi bookmaker, the PCB said it will wait for the ‘evidence' before making an initiative. “It depends on what evidence is presented to the PCB,” the board's chief operating officer Subhan Ahmed reported to have said to questions, if the PCB will help the ICC in its investigation. The semi-final was won by the Indian team, while the excessive number of dropped catches by the Pakistani fielders raised much debate among fans and experts. Despite this, the then chief investigator of the ICC’s anti-corruption and security unit, Ravi Sawani, had denied any claims that the match had been suspicious, and had insisted that there was no need for any inquiry to be carried out. The Sunday Times quoted a Delhi bookie who said that tens of thousands of pounds are offered to players to throw a part of the match or a complete game. The report also mentions that the high-profile semi-final clash between India and Pakistan in Mohali, won by the hosts, was among the fixed matches. The newspaper added that it has evidence that exposes corruption in the game and also states that help from a Bollywood actress was taken to lure the cricketers.
However, Ahmed added that so far the ICC has not contacted the board. Meanwhile, another PCB official said that the board will help the ICC in case investigations provided sufficient evidence. “We are with the ICC in the battle against corruption,” said the official. “The PCB has taken concrete measures after the 2010 spot-fixing scandal and wants to root out the fixing menace. “Primarily it's the job of the ICC's Anti-Corruption and Security Unit to figure out the case but we are ready to assist in case there's authenticity in the matter.” However, a number of startling revelations recently caused a stir when the Sunday Times published a report which stated that an Indian bookmaker had confessed, during a drinking session with an undercover reporter, to having rigged the 2011 semi-final. Coincidentally, the same reporter also played a pivotal role in exposing the involvement of Pakistan’s Mohammad Asif, Mohammad Amir, and Salman Butt in a spot-fixing case two years ago, for which the players were later convicted. “We are grateful for the information you have provided and will launch an inquiry into these serious allegations,” an ICC spokesperson said in response to the newspaper report, confirming that the board would be looking into the matter. Meanwhile, the PCB has insisted that while they will not be taking any action until conclusive evidence is unearthed, they will be ready to provide support to the ICC in what a board official termed the “battle against corruption.” “The PCB has taken concrete measures after the 2010 spot-fixing scandal and wants to root out the fixing menace,” the official elaborated. “Primarily it’s the job of the ICC’s Anti-Corruption and Security Unit to figure out the case but we are ready to assist in case there’s authenticity in the matter.”
Sri lanka-India to provide keen contest stats corner S PERVEZ QAISER World champions India will be taking on Sri Lanka in the second match of the 11th edition of Asia Cup at Shere Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur on Tuesday (March 13). This day and night match will be the 134th encounter between the two teams in limited overs international and 18th in Asia Cup. India have a good record against Sri Lanka in previous ODIs played between the two teams. They have won 70 and lost 51 in 133 previous encounters between the two sides. Twelve matches did not produce result, which include a tied match. Sri Lanka's overall record against India in ODIs is not good but they have good record in matches played in Asia Cup as well as in Bangladesh. The Islanders have won nine and lost eight in 17 previous matches played against India in Asia Cup. They have won four and lost two in six matches played against India in Bangladesh. The Islanders also have a good record against India in day and night matches. They have won 30, lost 23, tied one and abandoned five in 59 matches
played under lights. In last 10 matches played between the two teams, India have won five while Sri Lanka achieved victories in four encounters. The remaining one match ended in a tie. Sri Lanka’s record at Mirpur is quite impressive. They have won six one-dayers here as well out of eight
matches. India, on the other hand, also have impressive record at this ground. They have won eight and lost three in 11 matches played here. Sri Lanka have won two and lost one in three one day international played against India at this ground. The last match between the two teams was
the 11th league match of the Commonwalth Bank Series at Bellerive Oval, Hobart on February 28, 2012. Batting first after put in to bat, Sri Lanka made 320 for four in 50 overs. India scored 321 for three in 36.4 overs to win the match by seven wickets with with 80 balls remaining.
india-sri Lanka one-day encounters
SUMMARY Of ReSULtS: PLAYeD IND WON SL WON ABANDONeD tIeD in England 5 4 1 in india 43 29 11 3 in sharjah 12 8 4 in sri Lanka 51 19 26 6 in Bangladesh 6 2 4 in australia 9 4 2 2 1 in singapore 1 1 in south africa 1 1 in west indies 1 1 in Pakistan 2 1 1 in Zimbabwe 2 1 1 tOtAL: 133 70 51 11 1 Last 10 matches 10 5 4 1 Day/night matches 59 23 30 5 1 asia cup 17 8 9 at mirpur 3 1 2 HIgHeSt INNINgS tOtALS: india: 414-7 in 50 overs at rajkot 15-12-2009 sri Lanka: 411-8 in 50 overs at rajkot 15-12-2009
LOWeSt INNINgS tOtALS: india: 54 in 26.3 overs at sharjah 29-10-2000 sri Lanka: 96 in 41 overs at sharjah 08-04-1984 HIgHeSt MAtCH AggRegAte: 825 runs for 15 wickets in 100 overs at rajkot 15-12-2009 LOWeSt MAtCH AggRegAte: 193 runs for 10 wickets in 62.4 overs at sharjah 08-04-1984 HIgHeSt INDIVIDUAL SCOReS: india : 183 saurav gaunguly at taunton 26-05-1999 183* mahendra singh Dhoni at Jaipur 31-10-2005 sri Lanka : 189 sanath Jayasuriya at sharjah 29-10-2000 BeSt BOWLINg PeRfORMANCeS: india : 6-59 ashish nehra at colombo (r.P) 09-08-2005 sri Lanka : 7-30 muttiah muralitharan at sharjah 27-10-2000 HIgHeSt MARgINS Of VICtORY: india : 10 wickets at sharjah 08-04-1984, 183 runs at Johannesburg 10-03-2003 sri Lanka : 245 runs at sharjah 29-10-2000 9 wickets at colombo (r.P) 28-06-1996 NARROWeSt MARgINS Of VICtORY: india : one run at colombo (r.P) 25-07-1993 2 wickets at colombo (ssc) 25-08-1985, 2 wickets at adelaide 19-02-2008 sri Lanka : 2 runs at colombo (r.P) 17-08-1997 3 wickets at sharjah 25-04-1990, 3 wickets at Dambulla 30-07-2005 3 wickets at nagpur 18-12-2009 (r.P)- r. Premadasa stadium (ssc)-sinhalese sports club ground.
Pakistan, India rivalry set to excite millions comment ABHISEKH GUPTA It is said that cricket is the game of gentleman. Certainly it is, but not true when it comes for the biggest cricket rivals – Pakistan and India. Once again excited eyes of thousands cricket fans across borders are eager to watch intense rivals on battleground. Both arch-rivals would once again face each other on March 18 in the Asia Cup. We all know that rivalry between the teams makes the match more interesting to watch out. But Indo-Pak rivalry just stands apart, as it is considered the most intense rivalries in the world. Be it any match or tournaments, IndiaPak have always supplied nail-biting results, which no cricket admirer want to miss it out. But the ques-
tion which still smacks in one’s wit is that why the India-Pakistan competition so extreme. In point of fact the answer lies between the two nations itself. It is not necessary to induce that since Independence Pakistan and India had about four wars. Since then there was no question for having any sort of correlation between these two Asian countries. Instead enmity and hatred made its way easier. The same enmity and hatred between the two is depicted in the cricket ground. And of course the defeat is just unacceptable to the fans of both the teams. From 2004-08 the diplomatic relations between the two were quiet stable, as both the nations opened their heart out for new friendship. But still the aggression didn’t lower in the play ground. It wasn’t too long for sustainability of this relation that the 2008 Mumbai
Attack added fuel to the fire and the relation deteriorated yet again. The sense of revenge once more made its way through. The rage to follow the game went even higher. The diplomats are dealing with the situation in their own standard. While the spectators and the players have their own technique to illustrate their bitterness. Every shot hit for the boundary is similar to the attack on the chest of the enemy. Every six is like a missile. And nothing but just a victory douses the thirst of revenge. Such feeling of the win over enemy is entirely different. As the days are coming nearer for the biggest clash, the excitement among the nations is inflating. The spectators are ready to let their heart and soul out for cherishing yet another historical battle between the two biggest rivals.
Bollywood actress nupur denies role in match-fixing MUMBAI AgeNCIeS
Bollywood actress Nupur Mehta whose photographs was believed to be had been carried in the daily “Sunday Times” pertaining to its revelations in regard to its report on betting and match-fixing in cricket. The “Sunday Times” report has created a stir in the cricketing world especially within ICC which had been claiming all along that there was no such thing in world of cricket. Nupur said that the picture published in the Sunday Times was her but flatly denied that she reportedly has or had any relation with any of the Indian or international cricketers. She said that allegations made are slanderous and baseless. She said that she has no links with any cricketers and noting to do with match-fixing. Though, she said that she has some interaction with some of the cricketer off and on during get-togethers but clarified there is not serious relationship with any of the cricketers. Nupur said that it is unfortunate and London’s Sunday Times has sullied my image. She said that she would be initiating action against them for smearing my image and giving me mental trauma. Even if it is for representative purpose only, they have not taken my permission." Nupur worked in Sunny Deol starrer movie ‘Jo Bole So Nihal’. The betting and match-fixing story by “Sunday Times” had also stated that world cup semi-final between India and Pakistan World Cup played at Mohali (Punjab) was also fixed claiming that bookmakers had used a Bollywood actress to seduce Pakistani players for fixing. During high-voltage semi-final, Pakistan dropped Tendulkar seven time raising suspicions of betting and match-fixing. Not only this, some of the Pakistani batsmen played very slowly in deliberate fashion which meant run-rate for achieving target kept on piling up all the time.
Baugh replaces ramdin for aussies clash BRIDGETOWN AfP
Carlton Baugh was called up by the West Indies on Sunday to replace the injured Denesh Ramdin for the first three matches of their one-day series against Australia. Ramdin suffered a fractured right thumb while batting on Saturday in the second West Indies warm-up match at the 3Ws Oval and will now return to Trinidad to start rehabilitation. Baugh made 140 while playing for Jamaica against Trinidad and Tobago in the regional four-day tournament. The five-match one-day series gets underway in St Vincent on Friday. WeSt INDIeS SqUAD: Darren sammy (captain), carlton Baugh, tino Best, Devendra Bishoo, Darren Bravo, Dwayne Bravo, Johnson charles, sunil narine, Kieron Pollard, Kieran Powell, Kemar roach, andre russell, marlon samuels.
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tuesday, 13 march, 2012
Pakistan fined for slow over-rate LAHORE StAff RePORt
The Pakistan side has been fined for maintaining a slow over-rate during its 21 runs victory over Bangladesh in the opening match of the Asia Cup in Mirpur, Dhaka on Sunday. David Boon of the Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Match Referees imposed the fines after Misbah-ul-Haq’s side was ruled to be two overs short of its target when time allowances were taken into consideration. In accordance with the ICC Code of Conduct regulations governing minor over-rate offences, players are fined 10 per cent of their match fees for every over their side fails to bowl in the allotted time, with the captain fined double that amount.
matches decided in national women cricket LAHORE
Afghanistan eye World Twenty20 after Asia Cup snub DUBAI
FGHANISTAN are determined to use their resentment over being snubbed for the Asia Cup to fire them to a second appearance at the World Twenty20. The Afghans are among the favourites to land one of the two places up for grabs at the 2012 finals in Sri Lanka in September and October when the 16-nation qualifying tournament starts on Tuesday. But such has been the team's remarkable progress in recent years -- from a ramshackle unit developing a love of the sport in refugee camps on Pakistan's wild frontier to attaining one-day status -- that they believe they deserve more respect. The team are angry that they were overlooked for the Asia Cup in Dhaka this
week, where they could have faced regional powers India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. "We are not featuring in the Asia Cup, that is really disappointing," said hard-hitting batsman and off-spinner Mohammad Nabi, who was the leading wicket-taker when Afghanistan qualified for the 2010 World Twenty20 in the Caribbean. "How are we going to improve if we do not play against these teams? "The ICC should also make sure that any team that comes to Asia for a series against Sri Lanka, Pakistan or India also plays one-dayers or Twenty20s against Afghanistan," Nabi told PakPassion.net. Afghanistan will once again be coached at the qualifiers by Kabir Khan, who has returned to the hot seat, succeeding Rashid Latif. A former Pakistan fast bowler, Kabir was the man responsible for fashioning
Afghanistan's qualification for the 2010 finals in the West Indies. With the qualifiers once again being played in the UAE, Afghanistan skipper Nawroz Mangal believes that the recent Pakistan-England T20 series in Dubai and Abu Dhabi has provided an indication of how sides should approach the event. "It was good to watch them play. These are not pitches for 180-200 (runs). On the pitches in UAE, even 130-135 is fine. So we have to be sensible when thinking of a target to set," he said. Ireland will also be favourites to progress to the Sri Lanka showpiece and captain William Porterfield believes his team, with three recent T20 wins over Kenya under their belts, have hit form at the right time. "We played three T20 games and won all three. The past few weeks have been a good reminder about our abilities. We are confident that we
have covered all aspects of our game," said Porterfield. One of the most unlikely sides in the 16-nation event are Nepal, whose captain Paras Khadka admits that to qualify for the World Twenty20 would be the biggest achievement in his country's sporting history. "We have the opportunity to create and make history and we will try and give every ounce of what we have in us to achieve our goal of qualification," said 24year-old Khadka. "We went on a tour to Mumbai recently, where we played around nine matches. It was a decent outing as we got some good exposure in good cricketing conditions, which were also humid." The qualifying tournament also features the Netherlands, Kenya, Canada, Scotland, Papua New Guinea, Namibia, Hong Kong, Uganda, Bermuda, Oman, Denmark, Italy and the USA.
As many as six mathes were decided in the round three of the 7th National Women Cricket Championship-2012 on Monday. At Lahore, Pakistan Boards beat Sialkot and ZTBL downed Peshawar regions while Faisalabad, HEC, Lahore and Multan were the winners at other centres. SCOReS: at margHaZar groUnD, isLamaBaD: result: Lahore region beat abbottabad by 7 wickets, at moDEL town wHitEs cricKEt groUnD, LaHorE: Pakistan Board 279-6 in 50 overs: (sidra nawaz 53*, 48 balls, 4x4s, farah mahmood 48, 89 balls, 7x4s, ayesha naz 46, 73 balls, 7x4s, farwa Babar 47, 40 b alls, 10x4s, natilia Pervaiz 33, 26 balls, 5x4s) sialkot region 266 in 47.4 overs: (nazia nazir 91*, 77 balls, 10x4s, asma sikandar 61, 90 balls, 6x4s, nadia nasim 20, 33 balls, 2x4s, anum amin 2-44) Player of the match: nazia nazir (sialkot region) result: Pakistan Board won by 13 runs, toss: Pakistan Board, at LaHorE gymKHana: Peshawar region 66 in 33.3 overs: (Zainab Khan 24, 71 balls, 2x4s, sadia yousaf 4-15, Bismah maroof 2-4) ZtBL 67-1 in 14 overs: (sana mir 33*, 39 balls, 5x4s, nain abdi 16*, 27 balls, 2x4s, Zainab Khan 1-6) Player of the match: sadia yousaf (ZtBL) result: ZtBL won by 9 wickets, toss: Peshawar region, Umpires: afia amin & Humaira farrah¸match referee: ashraf ali , official scorer: najmus saeed.
United Bank clinch national oDi cup Div-ii title KARACHI StAff RePORt
United Bank on Monday claimed the National One-day Cup 2011-12 Division-II after it hit KRL hard to get a big 166 runs win at the National Stadium, Karachi. UBK first set a target of 262 for KRL to get but saw them wilt at just 96 runs. Adnan Baig, who was named the man of the match, hammered 79 runs and later the winning team’s Misbah Khan took four wickets to leave KRL in tatters. The winner, apart from the trophy earned United Bank a purse of Rs 250,000 with the runner up KRL getting Rs 125,000. Adnan Baig of the winning team was declared the man of the final and was awarded Rs 25,000. Usman Salahuddin of Lahore Eagles with 221 runs, Ruman Raees and Misbah Khan, both of United Bank with 12 wickets each, Ruman Raees also of United Bank with seven catches and Adnan Jamali of Hyderabad Hawks & Adnan Baig United Bank with six dismissals (5 ct/1st) were declared the best batsmen, bowler, fielder and wicket-keeper of the tournament and were give Rs 25,000 each. SCOReS: United Bank 262 in 50 overs (adnan Baig 79, 95 balls, 11 x4s, saeed mutabir 30, 52 balls, 1 x4s, 1x6s, muhammad sami 36, 39 balls, 4 x4s, Kashif Bhatti 28*, 26 balls,
KaracHi: Zakir Khan, Director Domestic Pakistan cricket Board, gives away the winning trophy to United Bank captain tahir mughal. ali asad 21, yasir arafat 2-45, muhammad irfan 3-50, yasir ali 2-45) KrL 96 in 33.4 overs (Zain abbas 13, yasir arafat 20, Bazid Khan 21, noman ali 15, tahir mughal 2-26, Kashif Bhatti 2-18, misbah Khan 4-18) result: United Bank won by 166 runs. toss: KrL, Umpires: Khalid mahmood sr. and anisur rehman, referee: naeem ahmed.
icc dismisses the sunday times report LAHORE: The International Cricket Council, following a report in The Sunday Times newspaper, has dismissed the claim that it is investigating the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 semi-final between India and Pakistan. In a statement, the ICC Chief Executive Mr Haroon Lorgat said: “The story carried by the newspaper, in which it has claimed that the ICC is investigating the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 semi-final between India and Pakistan, is baseless and misleading. The ICC has no reason or evidence to require an investigation into this match. “It is indeed sad for spurious claims to be made which only serve to cause doubt on the semifinal of one of the most successful ICC Cricket World Cups ever.” In keeping with its policy, the ICC will make no further comment on matters pertaining to the Anti-Corruption and Safety Unit (ACSU). StAff RePORt
Pakistan cricket: my mercurial mistress comment AUN MOHAMMED “How can you tell your wife you are just popping out to play a match and then not come back for five days?” Football manger, Rafael Benitez, on the five-day test cricket format Our relationship is tumultuous. There were days when I couldn’t stand the sight of her, others when I simply couldn’t get her out of my mind. She is very special to me. Some liked to slander her, dismissing her as dishonest, but they didn’t know her like I did. She sinned and then perpetually repented. I admonished and then perpetually forgave. She had her way with me. She promised to seek help but never did. At times I felt like I was fighting a losing battle. She hit her lowest point over a year ago, in London, but now has seemed to turn the corner. Lately, she has become slightly more predictable, more reliable, and – dear I say – even more loveable. Oh Pakistan cricket, why dost thou torment me so? ThE PakISTanI CrICkET SPrInG Controversy is never too far away from our team. Cricket, very much like the country’s politics, seems permeated by corruption. The spot-fixing debacle was only the culmination of years of sinister match-rigging and illicit acceptance of cash in exchange for manipulating results, ultimately hoodwinking a nation of 180 million cricketlovers. Corruption in the game comes as no surprise to Pakistan’s former captain, Imran Khan: “When these players see corrupt people flourishing in our society they think they can get away with anything.” In a society where cricket is almost a religion, and where cricket and politics are forever smooching one another (Asif Zardari is the Patron of the Pakistani Cricket Board); it is inevitable that the malevolence of corruption with spill over into other spheres of society. Corruption in Pakistani cricket dates back to the early nineties, when, after winning the World Cup, the team began chasing riches at the expense of cricket matches. As
Imran points out, the team he left was set to dominate the sport for the next decade; such was the immense talent at Pakistan’s disposal. The Pakistani fast-bowling conveyer built churned out the likes of Wasim Akram, Waqar younis, Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammed Aamir; all vastly gifted in the mysterious art of reverse swing; the spin department boasted the likes of Saqlain Mushtaq (pioneer of the doosra) and Mushtaq Ahmad (now England’s spin bowling coach); the batting department wasn’t too bad either, with modern greats such as Saeed Anwar, Inzamam-ul-Haq, Mohammed yousuf and younus Khan all with their best years ahead of them; Abdul Razzaq and Azhar Mahmood provided support through all-round performances. In reality, however, the promising future was crippled by capriciousness and corruption. Pakistan had no less than 30 captains between 1992 and 2010; Australia had just 4. Furthermore, several of the great players mentioned above became tainted by match-fixing, as documented in the Justice Qayyum Report in 2000. ThE MISbah COnUnDrUM What Misbah and Mohsin Khan have done for Pakistan cricket is nothing short of
extraordinary. Pakistan have gone from a team in disarray, around a year ago, to a world beater, having just completed an annihilation of the world’s best test side. These outstanding achievements have been made all the more impressive when considering the utter turmoil off the field; not being able to play a home test match since 2009, the infamous attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team, and of course, the spot-fixing scandal on the England tour in 2010, alluded to above. Misbah has attracted a lot of criticism, unfair criticism in this writer’s opinion, despite such stellar performances by a severely wounded team. The twittersphere has let loose on what they pejoratively term his “tuk tuk tuk” defensive philosophy. The Pakistani public are used to impulsive captains, captains that wear their emotions on their sleeves, captains that lead teams to fashionable victories now and again but for the most part, lead teams which are deeply divided and often crash out of games rather pathetically. As Ramiz Raja points out: “Misbah’s captaincy is characterised much more by a democratic ethos; an all-inclusive philosophy that can be contrasted sharply with the dictatorial captaincies of the former Pak-
istani captains. In this one’s opinion, Misbah has served his country remarkably well and was just what Pakistan cricket needed. Misbah, although often perceived as emotionless (or as a man ‘who has no problem eating kittens’, according to one person on twitter), is a man with a great cricket brain. He has managed to rally a notoriously sectarian team. Further, he is largely responsible for the meteoric rise of Saeed Ajmal, now the world’s top bowler. Misbah has been around Pakistan’s county circuit for donkey’s years and always championed Ajmal’s talents. Ajmal’s rise to the top of world cricket coincided with Misbah’s captaincy. Nearing 40, calls will inevitably be made for Misbah to step down and for a new captain to take charge. Admittedly, the team must look to the future at some point, but for now at least, leave Misbah be. PakISTan: ThE nOMaDS Of InTErnaTIOnal CrICkET Now what for the future of Pakistan cricket? Zaka Ashraf, Chairman of the PCB, found it necessary to shake things up and appoint a foreign coach. A decision that has proven quite unpopular, especially when considering the great work done by Mohsin Khan. The decision to go for Whatmore signals an intent that the PCB to bring Pakistani cricket out of the international wilderness. Having an international coach, so goes the thinking, will signal to the cricketing world that Pakistan is no longer a dangerous place to play cricket. Pakistan have played much of their recent cricket away from home, and the likes of Azhar Ali, Asad Shafiq and Hammad Azam are yet to play in front of their home fans. Undoubtedly, Pakistan are the nomads of international cricket. Nomads that have made the most of their displacement; having beaten excellent test sides in Sri Lanka and England, and having secured a hard-fought draw against South Africa, Pakistan are once again a force to be reckoned with in international cricket.
The young talents of Azhar Ali, Asad Shafiq and Hammad Azam are to be the focal point of any future Pakistani side, captained, perhaps, by Mohammed Hafeez? ‘The Professor’, as he is affectionately known in the Pakistani ranks, is equipped with an excellent cricket mind and has the respect of all of the players. Misbah regularly consults him in decisions on the field, (further evidence of the democratic nature of this new, less exciting but more consistent, Pakistani cricket team). The debate surrounding whether young Mohammed Aamir should be allowed back in to the side is an interesting one. The youngest of the three spot-fixers, Aamir is the only one of the three still beloved to the nation. Like many cricket fans, Aamir’s woes evoke great sympathy in this writer and it would be a great shame to let this young man’s talent go waste. Such is his talent that Michael Holding, the great West Indian fast bowler, and Imran Khan both urged the ICC to give a lenient sentence to him on account of him being only 18 at the time and with such a promising career ahead of him. Further, he was the only one of the three tainted cricketers to plead guilty from the outset. Alas, my mercurial mistress is no other than Pakistan cricket. Her whimsical tendencies have oft left me enraged but her intrigue has, on occasion, left me captivated; “The more one loves a mistress, the more one is ready to hate her” (French writer Francois de La Rochefoucauld). The failure in the limited-overs series against England should not distract us from the greater overall success achieved by the Pakistani team under Misbah. As one tweeter points out: “Pakistani cricket fans are the most fickle, disloyal lot. Every match [they] build a new hero [and in the] next match [they] drag him through the mud.” Pakistani cricket fans have much to be hopeful for. After all, would you rather be supporting a team whose efforts are thwarted by match-fixing or a team that loses with its dignity intact?
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20 sports England retain top ranking as sa stumble WELLINGTON
tuesday, 13 march, 2012
COLOMBO: England's batting coach Graham Gooch (R) gives instructions to players during a practice session at the R. Premadasa Stadium. England will play the first of two Tests against Sri Lanka in Galle starting on March 26. afP
England will remain the world's topranked Test team after South Africa could only manage a draw in the opening Test of their New Zealand tour, the International Cricket Council said Monday. England's lead in the rankings was slashed to a single point after their 3-0 whitewash by Pakistan, giving the Proteas the chance to take the number one spot with a clean sweep in the three-Test series in New Zealand. But South Africa's hopes were dashed when the final day of the first Test against the Black Caps on Sunday was rained off and the match ended in a draw, meaning England will retain top spot when the new rankings come out next month. The ICC said it was the first time since the rankings began in 2003 that England had held the number one spot on the April 1 cut-off date and they would receive a $175,000 cheque for their achievement. Andrew Strauss' men will end the rankings period on 118 points, one ahead of the Proteas, who are currently on 117, ahead of India and Australia on 111 each. South Africa are favourites to take second place and a $75,000 cheque but could slip to 108 points if a worst-case scenario unfolds in New Zealand and they lose the two remaining Tests to the Black Caps.
Junior memorial finals today LAHORE StAff RePORt
Saad Zafar and Mian Bilal moved to finals of 2nd Nasir Ali Khan Memorial Junior Talent Hunt Tournament being played here at the Punjab Coaching Center Bagh-e-Jinnah. The under-18 event final between Saad and Bilal will be played today at 2.30 pm. In the semi-final Saad Zafar won 3-6, 7-5, 7-6. ReSULtS: U-10 semi-finals: Hauzifa abdul rehman beat talha ahmad 6-2, muhammad saeed beat nalin abbas 6-4. Under-12 semi-finals: H ali 6-2, 6-4, Humbal beat Hafiz arbab 6-2, 6-4, Harris irfanul Haq beat omer mehdi 6-1, 7-5. Under-18 singles semi-finals: ahmad Babar beat anm anwar 6-0, 6-0, saad Zafar beat mian Bilal 3-6, 7-5, 7-6. Doubles: Hatufiza abdul rehman beat talha ahmad 6-2, mohd saeed beat nalain abbass 6-4, ahmad Babarsagar munir beat mian Bilal -akbar tawana 6-3, 6-3, imad amir-saad Zafar beat amanval anwar 6-4, 6-4, U14 semi-finals: omer mehndi beat Hammbal 6-3, 6-3, Hussian Javeed sheikh beat Harris irfanul Haq 6-3, 6-3.
england’s Patel eyes Test spot in Sri lanka COLOMBO AfP
Samit Patel said Monday he was hopeful his all-round talents would help him win a Test cap for England during the upcoming series against Sri Lanka. The 27-year-old Nottinghamshire player will vie with Ravi Bopara for the batting spot left vacant after the exclusion of Eoin Morgan for the two-Test series starting on March 26. Patel, a left-arm spinner and righthand batsman who has played 25 onedayers and eight Twenty20
internationals for England, hoped to prove his Test credentials in the two warm-up matches in Colombo. "I am looking forward to getting a spot on the Test team," Patel told reporters in Colombo. "Its a massive opportunity and I will push my case in the warm-up games. "One of my goals is to play Test cricket. I've always wanted to do that. I want to play all formats for England. "It's easy to get here, the toughest bit is staying in the squad and staying in the team. "I'm ready to come in and bat where I'm asked to bat, and do the job
with the ball. I'm comfortable with the role I've been set." Patel conceded beating Sri Lanka in their own backyard was a challenge for England, the number one Test side in the world, who were stunned 3-0 by Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates recently. "Beating Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka is a massive challenge," he said. "Having said that, staying on top of the Test ranking and hanging onto it for another year is also challenging." Patel, who had been dropped earlier from the England oneday squad for being overweight, said he had worked hard on his fitness regime.
ITf snub a stab in Pakistan tennis’ back SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT The last decade has been devastating for Pakistan sports. Already not in great shape, the refusal of various countries for bilateral series and events virtually sounded the death knell, bringing the sporting activity in the country to a screeching halt. The impact was particularly severe in the aftermath of the brazen attack on the Sri Lankan team in March 2009. But Pakistan was now coming out of this isolation, slowly and gradually. Various international teams and players have started visiting the country. Only the other day, the Asian Snooker Championship was held in Karachi where a Thai player beat an Iranian in the final to walk away with the continental honours. The Pakistan Football Federation has already successfully held home matches against Malaysia and Palestine. The Chinese hockey team visited us in December 2011 for a four match rubber. Judokas from many nations took part in the Asian event and foreign boxers took part in the Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Boxing Tournament. This is a lot of events, and all have remained incident-free.
In this backdrop, the ITF denying Pakistan to play its home tie at the rival’s – in this particular case the Philippines – is rather strange. That when the country refusing to come over itself has known internal strife and violence of vicious variety. This definitely is no service to Pakistan tennis, which is badly in need of succour instead of a setback at a point when the interest in the game is at its highest due to Aisam-ul-Haq’s exploits in the international arena. This Davis Cup fixture – the Asia Oceania Group II second round tie (the semifinal) against the Philippines – is a particularly important one in the context of Pakistan’s progress. Playing it at home would have been great help, but that opportunity has been denied by the ITF, shifting it to Manila, where it would be played from April 6-8. The ITF’s stubbornness to listen to Pakistan’s case in the circumstances is actually is a stab in the back of Pakistan tennis. It particularly hurts because unlike the past, this time round the PTF had reportedly done a pretty competent job of giving detailed security plans and the fixture had to take
place in a high-security zone of DHA, in the Defence Club. The security plans prepared by the PTF president, who happens to be an inspector general of police level officer and has previously headed the prime minister’s security detail, were said to be pretty exhaustive, with a lot of focus on the forensic detail. In the Pakistan camp there was hope, as it was expected that with the rapid change for the better in conditions here shall prompt the ITF to reconsider its previous stance. What Pakistan got instead was little or no consideration before its proposal was summarily disposed. Boycotting the Cup in a fit of pique is no riposte. And participation means that Pakistan is likely to be routed in the overly humid conditions. We have for the moment grin and bear it, for the PTF’s options are limited. But whatever can be done must be done, especially on the diplomatic front. Here involving the continent body, and making it stand up to the ITF as well as enlisting help from member nations that have a greater voice might force a change of heart at the ITF.
NaTIoNaL BrIDge CHaMPIoNSHIP
Preemptors top qualifiers from Lahore LAHORE StAff RePORt
The first leg of the National Bridge Championship was concluded last evening at Lahore Gymkhana Club Card Room, when two teams, Preemptors and J.K. IV emerged as the top ones and thereby qualified to play the final round of the Bareeze Pakistan National Bridge Championship and the national trials to be held, later this month, at the Lahore Gymkhana Club from March 23 to 27. Be-
sides these two qualifiers, four teams from Sindh and two from Rawalpindi and Islamabad will land at the prestigious bridge tables of Gymkhana to compete and the best team out of these eight will achieve the distinction of being the National Champions and earn the right to represent the country in the 2nd Mind Sports Championship to be held at Lille, France this coming August. As regards the qualifying contest in Lahore, Pre-emptors comprising of Izzat Khalil, Air Cdre. Safdar Mahmood, Assad
Iqbal, Jahangir Ahmed Malik Ghias and Ahsan Qureshi excelled in the double round robin matches and finished on top with 62 Victory Points(VP). In the contests they virtually crushed Silver Star team with a big Margin 25-2, but lost to J.K IV 12-18, a not too heartening feature for them. J.K IV a star-studded team failed to be the stars of the qualifying round and although technically they won all their matches but on a VP scale played a draw against Silver Star and Tigers 15-15 and beat the winners 18-
12. The Team consisted of Javed Khalid, Shauq Hussain, Saeed Akhtar and Masood Mazhar all players of international fame. In the aggregate, J.K IV accumulated 48 victory points. Tigers consisting of Moin Rauf, Rana Kamal, Suleman Bokhari, Sajjid Bokhari Hamza and Salman were third with 38 VP’s. Silver Star consisting of Taqi Imam, Tanvir Ahmed, Sikander Butt, Imran K and Mian Tariq ended up third with 38 VP’s. Sarfraz Butt supervised these trials at the Gymkhana Club.
"Fitness is a key factor and everyone has to work hard on their fitness -- some more than others," he said. "It's probably an issue that will stay with me, but I'm not frustrated. "The more work you do, the better you feel. Hopefully I am doing the right things now." England will take on the President's XI in a three-day match at the Premadasa stadium in Colombo from Thursday. The tourists will play another three-day fixture at the Sinhalese sports club in Colombo from March 20, before the two back-to-back Tests in Galle and Colombo.
Junior probables camp from 17th LAHORE StAff RePORt
The second phase of the training camp of the national junior probables preparing for matches against Malaysian and Korean teams from April 4 to 13 – will be established at National Hockey Stadium Lahore on March 17. The PHF has invited following team officials/probable players for the training camp:Players: Amjad Ali, Muhammad Khalid, Aleem Bilal, Usman Aslam, Zohaib Ashraf, M. Bilal Khan, Fahad Khan, Shahzeb Mirza, Ayub Ali, Muhammad Dilber, Hafiz Rizwan, Hafiz Umer Sardar, M. Adnan Anwar, Abdul Kareem Khan, Ahmed Zubair, Muhammad Umair, Muhammad Jaffar, Faisal Qadir, M. Kashif Javed, Mazhar Abbas, Muhammad Suleman, Muhammad Irfan, Tasawar Abbas, Waseem Abbas, Muzammil Bhatti, Arslan Qadir and M. Asad Bashir.=27 TEAM OFFICIALS: Rana Mujahid Ali (Manager/Head Coach), Muhammad Danish Kaleem, Anjum Saeed, Ahmed Alam (Coaches), Syed Abu Zar Umrao (Video Analyst) and Dr. Asad Abbas Shah (Doctor). The players are advised to report Rana Mujahid Ali Camp Commandant on 17th March 2012/afternoon. The Junior team will depart for Kuala Lumpur on April 4 and will be back on April 13. The team will play three matches on April 6, 8 and 9 against Malaysian juniors and on April 12 and 13 against Korean juniors.
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tuesday, 13 march, 2012
Federer, Nadal advance as flu hits Indian Wells INDIAN WELLS
france’s Llodra fined for racial slur INDIAN WELLS AfP
Michael Llodra was slapped with a $2,500 fine for using a racial slur during his opening-round match against Ernests Gulbis at the ATP Tour's Indian Wells tournament, officials said Sunday. The French player yelled at a Chinese female supporter of Gulbis during his 6-3, 5-7, 7-6 (7/3) win over the Latvian on Friday. The incident was witnessed by Canadian journalist Tom Tebbutt who wrote about it on his social networking Twitter site. "Sat very first row -- dead centre behind the court for Llodra-Gulbis -- heard a lot. Deplorable behaviour by Llodra -- read next tweet. "ML smacked ball out of court, threw racquet, called female Gulbis supporter in crowd a ‘(bleep)ing Chinese.' I confirmed later with brother of woman." Officials said Llodra was also verbally abusive towards the ballkids and their coordinator during the match. Besides the fine, Llodra had to apologize for his actions. Llodra and his doubles partner Nenad Zimonjic reached the finals of back-to-back tournaments in China last year, winning the doubles in Beijing and finishing as runners up in Shanghai. Llodra withdrew from his second-round match against fellow Frenchman JoWilfried Tsonga in the first set on Sunday because of a knee injury.
ORMER winners Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal breezed through with straight-set wins Sunday as a flu bug wreaked havoc on the men's and women's draws at the Indian Wells tournament. Reigning Wimbledon champion and WTA Player of the year Petra Kvitova was knocked out early when 19-year-old American Christina McHale fought back to beat the Czech in three sets. But the biggest problem eating into the draw Sunday was a stomach virus that has forced at least eight players to withdraw or retire within the last two days, including men's 14th seed Gael Monfils and women's ninth seed Vera Zvonareva. Third seed Federer defeated wild card Denis Kudla 6-4, 6-1 in a second round night match on centre court. The Swiss master said he was also feeling a bit sick, but not as bad as his family members and not enough to be thrown off his game. Federer hammered eight aces and won 79 percent of his first serve points in the 57 minute contest. "We are fighting something of our own in our family," said Federer who is travelling with his wife and two young twin daughters. "I have a bit of a combination. Not a terrible temperature but I have some things going on. I am the best off in the family. The rest of them are struggling much more." Federer, who won Indian Wells three straight years from 2004-2006, advances to the third round where he will face hardserving Canadian Milos Raonic, who beat Carlos Berlocq in straight sets 6-4, 6-2. It will be the first career meeting between the former world number one Federer and Raonic who has already won two singles titles on the tour this year. "I am looking forward to that match," Federer said. "He's a good player and up and coming. Sometimes it can help and sometimes it cannot help to have never
Chinese tennis star Li Na says she's not about to change her persona just because some people think she might be too outspoken. Li, who became the first Asian player to win a Grand Slam title last year at the French Open, tells it like it is which is a rare quality among pro athletes from China. "I always believe if you lie one time you have to use 10 times to recover that one lie," Li said Sunday after beating compatriot Zheng Jie 6-1, 6-3 at the Indian Wells tournament. "So I didn't want do that. I know if I say real things many people will hate me, but doesn't matter. I'm happy." Li, of Wuhan, has played on
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textile tigers victorious in national veterans LAHORE StAff RePORt
played a guy before." Nadal, a two-time Indian Wells champ, routed Leonardo Mayer 6-1, 6-3. It marked the Spaniard's first match since losing to world number one Novak Djokovic in a monumental five hour, 53 minute final at the Australian Open. "It's fantastic. I am happy to start with a victory," the world number two said. "I am taking it day by day. It's not easy to be back after a while without competition. "I started the match very focused, very aggressive. Today the only thing I can say is I'm very happy." Nadal advanced to the third round, where he will face fellow Spaniard Marcel Granollers, who beat Tommy Haas of Germany 6-3, 2-6, 6-3. The left-handed Nadal hit one ace, posted two double faults and won four of six break point chances. Ninth seed Juan Martin del Potro defeated Australia's Marinko Matosevic 7-5, 6-2 in their second round match. Sixth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga advanced to the third round when Michael Llodra pulled out of their all-French clash with a knee injury. Tsonga was ahead 4-1
in the first set when Llodra packed it in. On the women's side, McHale rallied to upset Czech Kvitova in three sets 2-6, 6-2, 6-3. "She's moving very well, so she played a lot of shots back," Kvitova said. "My serve was not too good. So it was tough." McHale finished the match by winning her service game to nothing, with a backhand slice winner sealing the victory. "I just kind of hung in there early in the second. She played one service game where she gave me a couple of loose errors and then I just kind of kept hanging in there, and then I got more comfortable as the match went on," McHale said. Top seed Victoria Azarenka defeated two-time grand slam winner Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-1, 6-2, extending her season-long winning streak to 19-0. World number one Azarenka advanced to the fourth round where she will face Julia Goerges who beat Anabel Medina Garrigues of Spain 6-3, 6-4. Azarenka faced Goerges three times in 2011, winning two semi-finals encounters at Madrid and Luxembourg.
Textile Tigers beat Sheikhupura Lion by 88 runs & qualify for the quarter-final of the 14th National Veteran Senior Cricket Cup here at the at Khayaban Ghee Mills Muridkee cricket ground. Textile Tigers batting first 249/6 after 30 overs. Muhamamd Riaz playing well 98, Rizwan Nisar 26, Ali Amjad 45, Qadeer Khan 17 & Ashraf Ali 37 runs not out. Sheikhupura Lion bowling Muhammad Anees 2/38, Malik Saleem 1/43 & Waseem Fazil 1/38 wickets. In reply Sheikhupura lion 161 all out. Waseem Fazil 28, Saadat Ali 39 & Malik Saleem 16 runs. Textile Tigers bowling Khalid Habib 3/30, Rehan Rouf 3/26, Azhar Hussain 2/22, Romail Bashir 1/46 & Maqsood Ali 1/9 wickets. Javeed Ashraf, Sagheer Ahmad Umpire & Zahid Anayat was the scorer. Textile Tigers qualify the quarter final. End of the match Chief Guest Rizwan Nisar give away cash award to Muhammad Riaz. In the second match at Race Course park ground. Okara Veteran batting first 190 all out after 29.2 overs. Adnan Amjad 57, Hafiz Khalid 42, Farzand Ali 17 & Muhammad Hafeez 17 runs. DHL bowling Muhammad Ishaq 3/21, Ejaz Ahmad 2/24, Zafar Iqbal 2/21, Tahir Mehmood 1/28 & Riaz-ud-din 1/40 wickets. In reply DHL 191/3 after 27.5 overs. Zafar Iqbal 70, Tahir Mehmood 48, Muhammad Javeed 19, Muhammad Ishaq 18 & Umar Irshad 18 runs. Okara Veteran bowling Afzal Babar 1/34, Farzand 1/20 & Dr. Ghafoor 1/32 wickets. Hanif Muhammad, Irfan Dilshad Umpire & Qasim shafique was the scorer.
Pakistan Hockey Kvitova dumped out of Indian wells coach michel ven den likely to quit
INDIAN WELLS AfP
Reigning Wimbledon champion and WTA Player of the year Petra Kvitova exited Indian Wells when Christina McHale rallied to upset the Czech in three sets 2-6, 6-2, 6-3 on Sunday. "She's moving very well, so she played a lot of shots to back," Kvitova said. "My serve was not too good. So it was tough." It
looked like the third seeded Kvitova might be headed for a routine victory in their first career meeting when she broke the American teenager twice in winning the first set in 34 minutes. But McHale broke Kvitova twice in each of the final two sets, finishing the almost two hour match with six aces and a 66 percent winning percentage on her first-serve points. In the eighth game of the final set, Kvitova double faulted on the final two points, handing the game to McHale and making it 5-3. Serving for the match, McHale won all four points in the final game and took victory with a backhand slice winner that Kvitova was unable to reach. "She started off really well, serving really well," McHale said of Kvitova. "I couldn't get a read on her serve in the first set and I wasn't moving very well. "I just kind of hung in there early in the second. She played one service game where she gave me a couple of loose errors and then I just kind of kept hanging in there, and then I got more comfortable as the match went on." Kvitova finished with just two aces and seven double faults. World number three Kvitova claimed a WTA-leading six titles last year but has yet to win one in 2012. The 22-year-old from Fulnek was forced to withdraw earlier this year from tournaments in Doha (Achilles injury) and Dubai (illness). The 19-year-old McHale won the WTA Newcomer of the year award in 2010 and is making her third appearance at Indian Wells. "This is definitely one of my biggest wins," she said.
Free spirit Li speaks from the heart INDIAN WELLS
watch It LIve
the national team and in Fed Cup events in the past but says her main focus right now is on competing on the WTA Tour. When it comes to Li, what you see is what you get. That's a rarity among pro athletes from China who often seem uncomfortable around the international press. She has been doing her own interviews in English without a translater for about five years. Li's victory in the French Open final over Francesca Schiavone helped boost tennis in China, and made Li a soughtafter and well-rewarded product endorser. But the sport still has a long way to go to catch football, basketball or table tennis in popularity, and she insists she is not interested in being a national icon.
"Many people think, 'Oh, she's maybe next to yao Ming or something,' Li said. "I think for me I'm only a tennis athlete. I'm not here for the country. I just play my tennis. I am just doing my job to try the best." On Sunday, Li snapped a four-match losing streak to Chinese compatriot Zheng with a win in the third round. The last time Li faced Zheng was six years ago in Estoril where she lost in straight sets. Her losing streak dated back to their first WTA Tour encounter in 2004 in Beijing. "It is tough to play someone from the same country because we know a lot about each other," Li said. "I was so happy because it is the first time I beat her."
LAHORE StAff RePORt
The Executive Board Meeting of the Pakistan Hockey Federation will decided the fate of Pakistan team’s Dutch coach Michel van den Heuvel. Reports suggested that the PHF has decided to remove Michel for his refusal to join the national team’s camp in progress at the National Hockey Stadium. Reports said that Heuvel would be fired from his job as he violated clause seven of the contract which he signed with PHF. “Heuvel had not participated in the training camp organized on Feb 29,” sources added. The Executive Board Meeting of the PHF will be meeting on March 15 and the removal of the coach and the future course will be decided in the meeting.
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tuesday, 13 march, 2012
Prayer leader dead in mosque arson in Belgium BRUSSELS AfP
A man set fire to a mosque in Brussels on Monday, killing a prayer leader and injuring another in an arson attack that destroyed the place of worship, police told AFP. “A suspect was taken into custody at the scene,” police spokeswoman Marie Verbeke said, adding that the victim apparently died of smoke inhalation.
Hague faces suit over Pakistan drone strikes LONDON ReUteRS
Lawyers for the family of a man killed in a US drone attack in Pakistan said they would begin legal action against Britain’s Foreign Secretary William Hague on Monday, accusing him of complicity in strikes they say broke international laws. London law firm Leigh Day & Co said it had “credible, unchallenged” evidence that Hague oversaw a policy of passing British intelligence to U.S. forces planning attacks against militants in Pakistan. It plans to issue formal proceedings against Hague at the High Court in London on behalf of Noor Khan, whose father was died in a drone attack last year. Malik Daud Khan was part of a local “jirga”, or council of elders holding a meeting in the tribal areas of northwest Pakistan when a missile fired from the drone hit the group, the law firm said. Attacks by pilotless U.S. aircraft have become a key weapon in President Barack Obama’s counterterrorism strategy in Pakistan and officials say they have helped to weaken al Qaeda’s leadership in the region. However, the attacks have become a source of friction between Washington and Islamabad and have angered many Pakistanis who see them as a breach of their sovereignty and the cause of frequent civilian deaths.
Law-abiding civil servants frequently humiliated: SC ISLAMABAD
HE Supreme Court has come to the rescue of law-abiding civil servants who are put under undue influence by the ruling clouts to follow their toe lines and their resistance can lead to frequent transfers and so-called disciplinary actions. The court on Monday observed that it was noticed that whenever the officers/officials/civil servants follow the lawful orders, they had to face a lot of resistance invariably and several times they were humiliated by their superior immediately ordering their transfers from one place to another. The court said posting them as officers on special duty (OSD) by initiating baseless proceedings of disciplinary nature against
them, in as much as transfer orders were issued by the concerned competent authorities disallowing them to complete their tenure period, without adhering to the rules and regulations. A three-member bench of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Khilji Arif Hussain and Justice Tariq Parvez resumed hearing of a human rights case initiated on an application of Anita Turab, a DMG officer, related to slapping incident of a polling officer during by-elections on PS-53 Tando Muhammad Khan by a disqualified candidate of PPP Waheeda Shah. The bench on the stance of applicant in its order directed the secretary of Establishment Division, as well as chief secretaries and ICT chief commissioner to submit their comments and also to suggest ways and means to protect the fundamental rights of the civil servants throughout in the
country, as enshrined under Article 9 read with Article 18 of the constitution because it was the considered opinion of this court that the persons, who were in the Civil Service of Pakistan ‘are bound to follow the lawful orders’. The bench took serious exception to such scenario by saying that it had also been noticed that frequent transfers, postings and suspensions etc; take place in different departments contrary to the law, rule and regulations. While in Waheeda Shah’s case, the bench directed the trial court and the Election Commission of Pakistan to proceed with the matters in accordance with law, without being influenced in any manner from the instant proceedings when it was apprised that a case was under trial before the Civil Judge/Judicial Magistrate-II, Tando Muhammad Khan against accused Syeda Waheed Mohsin Shah.
The bench also issued orders to inspectors general of Police and the chief secretaries to immediately revert all the shoulder promotions given to police officials out of merit. Directives were given after the bench was apprised by Ghulam Haider Jamali, deputy inspector general police, Mirpur Khas, about the status of Syed Irfan Ali Shah, SDPO, who was present during incident, that he was an inspector, but due to a shortage of officers, had been posted as SDPO. The bench noted in its order high authorities should immediately take action and all police officers/officials to whom shoulder promotions had been given should be demoted to their original ranks and if there was shortage of the officers/officials, the relevant rules should be followed for promoting them to the next higher grades purely on merit.
‘uS needs Islamabad on table as it discusses region’s future’ WASHINGTON INP
A top White House official has said despite the tough phase, Washington has been able to “sustain” its relationship with Islamabad. He said the US “needs” Islamabad on the table as it discusses the future of the region. The official told a group of journalists on condition of anonymity that India and Pakistan have taken “constructive” steps to improve bilateral ties and the US, though not directly involved in brokering the process, is “incredibly” supportive of any efforts by them to expand their relations. “We are incredibly supportive of any efforts the Indians and Pakistanis take to engage in dialogue to expand their relations,” the official said. The comments came in response to a question about the recent efforts of India and Pakistan to improve their relationship, especially in the business and economic field. “We think that both sides have taken constructive steps in that direction,” the official, a confidant of US President Barack Obama, told a small group of journalists on condition of anonymity. In the first 100 days
of coming to power, President Barack Obama had expressed his desire to use diplomatic tools to improve relationship between India and Pakistan. Nearly three years later, Obama administration officials expressed satisfaction over the steps being initiated by Indian and Pakistani leaders. Indian External Affairs Minister SM Krishna said in Singapore that he would be travelling to Pakistan this summer. Last month, commerce minister Anand Sharma visited Pakistan. The two countries have taken specific measures to improve trade and business relationship, which has also improved the political atmosphere between them, US officials feel. “They have the full support of the United States. And we are not going to be able to be the ones to come in and broker, broker some type of agreement, given the longstanding issues at hand,” the White House official said. “But what we will do is express to both sides our strong support for those types of dialogue, and the steps that they are taking on the commercial and investment side. And we very much support seeing that go forward,” the official told a small group of journalist.
avalanche in afghanistan kills at least 45 KUNAR ReUteRS
An avalanche engulfed houses and cut off roads in eastern Afghanistan on Monday, killing at least 45 people, the latest victims in the country’s worst winter in 30 years. Heavy snow blanketed 13 houses and blocked roads leading into a district of Nuristan province, near the border with Pakistan, preventing help from reaching avalanche victims, deputy provincial governor Mohammad Nabi Ahmadi said. An entire village in northern Badakhshan province was covered by an avalanche almost a week ago, killing at least 50 people. Though avalanches are common in the mountainous north and east, the latest deaths are particularly painful during a winter that has killed dozens in the capital Kabul and created further food shortages in one of the world’s poorest countries. Published by Arif Nizami for Nawa Media Corporation (Pvt) Ltd at Qandeel Printing Press, 4 Queens Road, Lahore.
Editor: Arif Nizami, Executive Editor: Sarmad Bashir