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Rs 17.00 Vol III No 228 19 Pages Karachi Edition

Thursday, 14 February, 2013 Rabi us Sani 3, 1434

pML-n divided over MQM’s offer for future alliance

He came to Pakistan with a mission – “Save The State, Not Politics”. He staged a “million-man sit-in” near Parliament House for three days, gave one deadline after the other warning of a takeover of the parliament by his supporters lest the government immediately dissolved the ‘corrupt’ assemblies and reconstituted the Election Commission for electoral reform before the general election. He claimed that only two institutions in the country were dispensing their operations with sincerity – the Supreme Court of Pakistan and the military, and was overwhelmed with joy when the apex court ordered the corruption watchdog to move against the sitting prime minister in the Rental Power Projects scam. “Mubarak Ho, Mubarak Ho, Supreme Court Ne Wazir-e-Azam Ko Arrest Karney Ka Hukam Dey Diya Hai,” the ecstatic religious scholar told his supporters who braved the chilly weather for three days while their leader camped in a customised luxury container. And then he struck a deal with the same prime minister he had accused of being dishonest and corrupt, becoming a stakeholder in the formation of the interim government. What the controversial Pakistani-Canadian cleric Dr Tahirul Qadri had not anticipated was the immense grilling he would have to face by the same institution he had been so vociferously praising in his well-articulated speeches. Having faced the Supreme Court’s ire in the last three days while trying to prove the maintainability of his plea for the reconstitution of the Election Commission, Dr Qadri was on Wednesday sent home by the three-member SC bench, which told the cleric he had no locus standi in the matter. Although Dr Qadri had tolerated the SC’s salvo at him in the first two days of hearing, the cleric lost his cool on the third day when the bench did not discuss the merit of his petition and kept questioning his intentions and patriotism for being a dual national. An enraged Qadri told reporters after the hearing that the PCO oath taken by some of the court judges and his oath to allegiance to the Queen of England were one and the same thing and the SC verdict was a political move. story on page 02

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gulzar, Vishal Bhardwaj ‘sent back’ to India

Indian lyricist Gulzar and director Vishal Bhardwaj have both cut short their trip to Pakistan and returned to India. They were scheduled to attend the Karachi Literary Festival that starts on Friday. Gulzar arrived in Pakistan a day ago and went to his hometown Dina in district Jhelum. However, the Indian High Commission called him back and sent him to India, saying that the situation in Pakistan was not suitable for him. page 04

president stresses early completion of pak-Iran gas pipeline

President Asif Ali Zardari on Wednesday said Pakistan attached great importance to the early completion of Pakistan-Iran gas pipeline project in view of the energy crisis in the country, as he urged Iranian Majlis-e-Shura Speaker Ali Ardeshir Larijani to step up efforts for early completion of all bilateral projects between Pakistan and Iran. page 03

Brennan is a Muslim, claims former FBI agent

Dialogue only if taliban cease fire, says Malik

John Brennan, who was nominated by Barack Obama as the new director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), converted to Islam while working as a station chief in Saudi Arabia in the 1990s. According to former FBI agent, John Guandolo, who retired from the FBI in 2008, Brennan visited the Islamic holy cities of Makkah and Medina accompanied by Saudi officials who may have persuaded him to convert. page 19

Interior Minister Rehman Malik on Wednesday said the government was ready to hold dialogue with the Taliban if they announce a ceasefire and appoint some sincere clerics to achieve purposeful results. Meanwhile in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain said that if talks could be held with the Taliban in Qatar, the same could be done in Pakistan also. He urged the Taliban to name a committee to initiate serious talks with the government. Taliban’s willingness to start dialogue was a big achievement, he said, adding that it could prove to be a key step towards restoration of peace. page 19

The major political move by the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) of offering an olive branch to its former adversary – the Pakistan Muslim LeagueNawaz (PML-N) – has put the PML-N leadership in a quandary. As per the findings of Pakistan Today’s Tayyab Hussain, the option of joining hands with the MQM has triggered divisions within the PML-N ranks. A source in the MQM said that the PML-N was contacted through parliamentary sources and an offer for a possible electoral alliance in the future was made, which was aimed at excluding the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) from the political scene after the upcoming elections. Confirming contacts between the two parties, a member of the PML-N said his party leadership was divided over forming an alliance with MQM. page 04

story on page 04


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SC judgment has concluded Tahirul Qadri’s drama. — Interior Minister Rehman Malik

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HE HAD A DREAM...

news Thursday, 14 February, 2013

SC Ruling AS ExpECtED ISLAMABAD: Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) of Pakistan Fakhruddin G Ebrahim on Wednesday welcomed the decision given by the Supreme Court (SC) of Pakistan in the petition filed by controversial cleric Tahirul Qadri challenging the formation of the commission. Ebrahim said he was expecting the same decision by the apex court because the formation of the commission was in accordance with the constitution of Pakistan. He further said the election commission and SC were on the same path and no one could delay elections in the country. aGEnCiEs

QADRi’S pEtition DiSpoSED off in tHE RigHt MAnnER ISLAMABAD: Former Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) president Asma Jahangir said that it was right to dispose off Tahirul Qadri’s petition in the manner the SC had done so. Talking to media personnel outside the SC building on Wednesday, she noted that the honourable court was being asked to adopt a lenient behaviour, so that the masses might get an idea about the issues that can be taken up by the apex court. She said the attitude of Qadri before the court was driven by emotions. aGEnCiEs

SC HAS unMASkED Anti-poll foRCES ISLAMABAD: PML-N Secretary Information Mushahidullah Khan on Wednesday lauded the Supreme Court for dismissing Tahirul Qadri’s petition against the constitution of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP). In a statement, he said the apex court in its decision had unmasked forces which were trying to delay elections by raising questions on the commission. He said to fight these forces the masses and political parties should come forward and play their role to protect democracy. The PML-N leader said all tactics for delaying elections had failed. He stressed the need for initiating purposeful and decisive consultations between the government and the opposition on the caretaker setup. He also urged the government to announce a schedule for general elections. aGEnCiEs

DR TAHIRUL QADRI FURIOUS AS SC DISMISSES PETITION ISLAMABAD

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Tayyab Hussain

av i n g faced the Supreme Court’s ire in the last three days while trying to prove the maintainability of his plea for the reconstitution of the Election Commission of Pakistan, Tehreek Minhajul Quran chief Dr Tahirul Qadri was on Wednesday sent home by the three-member SC bench, which told the cleric he had no locus standi in the matter. The rejection of the petition by the SC has left Qadri high and dry, as evident from his outburst against the very judges he had praising ever since he returned to Pakistan this December. although Qadri had tolerated the SC’s salvo at him in the first two days of hearing, the cleric lost his cool on the third day when the bench did not discuss the merits of his petition and kept questioning his intentions and patriotism for being a dual national. in his angst, Qadri resorted to strict remarks against the chief justice, but the bench stopped short of issuing a contempt notice to the firebrand scholar. in its short order, the three-member bench maintained that Dr Qadri failed in proving the eligibility of his petition. The court also stated that Qadri could not participate in the elections, but could exercise his right to vote. During the course of hearing, Chief Justice iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry said there were more than 100 registered political parties, 342 elected members of the national assembly and several parties that were not part of the assemblies, yet only Qadri had reservations over the Election Commission. The chief justice asked Qadri how his rights were being infringed upon, adding that he would have to prove the purity of his intentions since he had suddenly appeared on the national stage. The chief justice observed that the petition had been submitted in a personal capacity and the petitioner was not eligible to contest elections, therefore he must prove his right to petition. QADRI’S RESPONSE: Qadri replied that from north to South Pole, no one could revoke the nationality of a Pakistani citizen and the proceedings suggested that a trial of dual nationals was being held as if they had committed some offence. He said he was being put on trial for three days through questions that the constitution did not even allow to be asked. This prompted the chief justice to say

SC KEEPS QUESTIONING QADRI’S DUAL NATIONALITY, IGNORES MERITS OF PETITION that everyone who appeared before the court was liable to questioning. The bench also questioned Qadri’s loyalty as he had sworn allegiance to Queen Elizabeth of England. To this, Qadri said if the CJ’s loyalty could not be termed suspicious for his PCO oath, his oath to Queen Elizabeth could not be questioned as well. Flashing a picture of the CJ taking oath from former military dictator Pervez Musharraf, Qadri said if he had taken oath of loyalty to the Queen, the judges themselves had taken oath from a former military ruler under the Legal Framework Order (LFO). He said there was no difference between him and the judges who had taken oath from Musharraf. The chief justice told him that he was referring to a person who had become history. The CJ said Qadri should know that former dictator Pervez Musharraf was president in 2005 and every chief justice took oath from the president. irked by Qadri’s response, the bench warned him that the hearing of his petition would be adjourned indefinitely if he addressed the bench in such a manner. Qadri was then directed to step down from the rostrum. The cleric found an unexpected ally in the form of attorney general irfan Qadir when the court asked the ag to speak his mind regarding the eligibility of Qadri’s petition. The attorney general advised the bench to focus on the petition instead of the character of the petitioner. He said the verdicts upon which Dr Qadri had been relying were not correct and urged the court to look into the issue whether the petitioner had come with clean hands. QADRI DENIES: Muhammad Munir Peracha, counsel for the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), told the bench that Qadri wanted to delay the elections for two years and he had also expressed his intentions during his public gathering held at Minar-e-Pakistan, Lahore, on December 23. When Qadri denied giving any such statement, the court ordered for the recording of his Lahore rally to be presented to the court. Dr Qadri complained before the court that he had been questioned about his dual nationality for three days of the hearing, but his petition did not come under discussion. in the short order, the court observed that at the conclusion of his argument, the petitioner made uncalled for aspersions against the court which were tantamount to undermining its authority and invoking of contempt of court proceedings under article 204 of the constitution and Section 3 of the Contempt of Court Ordinance 2007. “We, however, are exercising restraint and not proceeding against him at this stage as this jurisdiction

QADRI SAYS HIS OATH TO QUEEN OF ENGLAND SAME AS JUDGES’ OATH TO MUSHARRAF should be sparingly exercised on a case-to-case basis,” the order said. Dismissing the plea, the bench said the petitioner failed to make his case for invoking discretionary jurisdiction of the court under article 184 (3). “in view of facts, none of the fundamental rights of petitioner were violated as he had neither listed any among those nor pointed out during the course of hearing,” the order stated. it said the petitioner also failed to establish his bonafide intention and under the peculiar circumstances, had no locus standi to get relief at this stage as prayed by him in his plea, inter alia as he was also holder of dual nationality (not qualified to contest elections due to the constitutional bar of article 63 (1) (c) which had been interpreted by this court in its verdicts over the issue. However, the bench said it was loudly and clearly observed that as a voter like other overseas Pakistanis, whose names had been notified in the electoral lists, the petitioner could exercise his right of franchise as held by the constitution and the court. QADRI’S OutbuRSt: Talking to reporters outside the Supreme Court, Qadri said there was no hearing held for the appointment of ECP members under the law and the court should have called the parliamentary committee members and asked for the minutes of their meeting. “all of this would have proved that the constitution of the election commission was unconstitutional,” Qadri said while explaining his petition. He also questioned the PCO oath taken by some of the court judges and said if loyalty to Queen of England could create doubts about patriotism of Pakistani citizen, an oath from a dictator also meant the same. “is it not the very chief justice who had taken first oath under the constitution and second oath under Provisional Constitutional Order (PCO),” he added. “With due respect to the judiciary, i want to tell the people the truth. They did not even let me read out a single word from my petition. When i started reading it out yesterday, they did not listen to me and asked me about my dual nationality instead,” he added. Qadri also said that he became furious when the court attacked all dual nationals. “There are millions of Pakistanis who are loyal to Pakistan and are dual nationals. They add billions of rupees to Pakistan’s economy… Their loyalty was questioned.” Qadri said the SC’s dismissal of his petition was a political move, against legal and constitutional norms and tantamount to hurting fundamental rights of millions of overseas Pakistanis.


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The Election Commission should be neutral and upright so that no one could point fingers at its performance. — MQM chief Altaf Hussain

lHC orders AtC to complete Benazir murder trial in 3 months

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news Thursday, 14 February, 2013

president stresses early completion of pak-iran gas pipeline LAHORE

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RAWALPINDI aPP

The Rawalpindi Bench of the Lahore High Court (LHC) on Wednesday ordered a special court to hear the Benazir Bhutto murder case on daily basis and complete the trial within three months. The twomember bench comprising Justice ali Baqar najfi and Justice Mazaahir ali naqvi was hearing a petition filed by the Federal investigation agency (Fia) seeking order for the Special antiTerrorism Court (aTC) to hear the case on daily basis. in its petition, the Fia pleaded that former Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) chairperson Benazir Bhutto was slain on December 27, 2007, in Liaquat Bagh and it was regrettable that the trial of highprofile case could not be completed even after a lapse of five years. Fia Senior Public Prosecutor Chaudhry Zulfiqar ali contended that a trial court, under the anti-Terrorism act 1997, was bound to hold daily hearing of the cases for their quick disposal. He apprised the court that counsel for all the accused were using delaying tactics to delay the case which was evident from the fact that not even a single case of 2007 was pending in the aTC-i except this one. He said the murder case of Punjab governor Salman Taseer had been decided in only ten months.

aPP

RESiDEnT asif ali Zardari on Wednesday said Pakistan attached great importance to the early completion of Pakistan-iran gas pipeline project in view of the energy crisis in the country. The President called for stepping up efforts for early completion of all bilateral projects between Pakistan and iran during a meeting with iranian Majlise Shura Speaker ali ardeshir Larijani at Bilawal House. Spokesperson to the President Senator Farhatullah Babar said the President during the meeting reiterated Pakistan’s commitment to implement all mega projects expeditiously, including the gas pipeline, the 1,000 MW Taftan-Quetta transmission line, 400 MW gwadar power supply project, noshki-Dalbandin highway and upgradation of the Quetta-Taftan track. Zardari stressed upon the need for devising appropriate mechanisms to finance these critical projects. The iranian dignitary is visiting Pakistan for participation in the meeting of Parliamentary assembly of the ECO countries in islamabad. The President lauded the setting up of the Parliamentary assembly of the ECO and expressed hope that by promoting interaction among elected representatives, the forum would help strengthen democracies in member countries and promote people-to-people contacts. He hoped that it would also enable parliamentarians identify new avenues of

KARACHI OnLinE

The Pakistan State Oil (PSO) has stopped fuel supply to the Pakistan international airlines (Pia) over non-payment of dues, media reports said. according to PSO, the national airline is to pay Rs 1.2 billion, adding that due to this non-payment fuel supply to Pia aircraft has been suspended.

cooperation among ECO countries. The spokesperson said that in addition to Pakistan-iran bilateral ties focusing on trade and commerce between the two countries, the regional situation was also discussed during the meeting. The President called for employing the collective strength of Muslims and the need to shun violence in meeting challenges facing the region. We have to take control of our own affairs and find our own solutions to problems, he added. The President reiterated Pakistan’s support for an afghan-owned, afghanled reconciliation process and said that the release of prisoners recently by Pak-

istan proved its sincerity. He also called for greater coordination between the two countries for promoting peace and stability in the country. He said that Pakistan and iran enjoyed deep-rooted fraternal relations and the people of Pakistan had special attachment with their iranian brethren and highly valued ties with them. The President underscored the need for concrete measures to further promote mutual cooperation and to take full advantage of historical, cultural and brotherly ties of the people of the two countries. noting the current low level of bilateral trade, he emphasised the need for

PEMRA cautions TV, radio stations over Valentine’s Day broadcasts ISLAMABAD sTaFF REPORT

pSo halts fuel supply to piA

The national media regulator on Wednesday asked television and radio stations to avoid offending religious sentiments and “corrupting the nation’s youth” in their valentine’s Day broadcasts. Wednesday’s notification was more of a request than a stricter enforcement of Pakistan Electronic Media Regulator authority (PEMRa) rules. The watchdog’s circular said that it was acting on complaints that celebrating the day was not in line with “our religious and cultural ethos”. “Such events have been perceived

as a source of depraving, corrupting and injuring the morality of Pakistani youth as well as violating Code of Conduct developed by PEMRa,” the regulator’s letter said. “all satellite Tv channels/FM stations are, therefore requested to honour viewer’s sentiments/opinion while conceptualising any programme or celebrating any event connected to The valentine’s Day,” it added while pointing towards PEMRa rules of 2009 on the subject. valentine’s Day is increasingly popular among youngsters, many of whom have taken up the custom of giving cards, chocolates and gifts to their sweethearts to celebrate the occa-

sion. However, many disapprove of valentine’s Day as a Western import. a PEMRa official said that the regulator had not banned valentine’s Day programme broadcast, but instead issued a request to channels in the wake of public complaints. Supporters of religious parties staged a noisy protest against valentine’s Day on Tuesday in the Peshawar, denouncing it as un-islamic and calling for a “day of modesty” instead. The student wing of Jamaat-e-islami rallied outside the Peshawar press club chanting slogans against valentine’s Day, saying it had “spread immodesty in the world”.

FBR, SBP to provide ECP data on tax, loan records of candidates ISLAMABAD sTaFF REPORT

in a major development, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) have agreed to provide all details of tax returns and loan history of candidates to Election Commission Pakistan (ECP) for scrutiny. FBR will help the commission in verifying contents of statement of assets and liabilities filed by candidates along with their nomination papers, within 10 days. Before this development, there was no mechanism available with the ECP to verify details of assets and liabilities of candidates. in a meeting held on Wednesday at the ECP Secretariat, representatives of

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FBR and SBP assured the election commission that both institutions would extend full cooperation to scrutinise candidates in the next general elections. ECP Secretary ishtiak ahmed Khan and three other members of the election commission represented the ECP while senior members of FBR and State Bank represented their respective institutions. Representatives from naDRa were also present in the meeting. it was decided that the FBR chairman and State Bank governor will be asked to attend the next meeting, to be held within a week’s time, when a mechanism will be finalised for verification of nomination papers. During the meeting, participants discussed ways and means to halt tax evaders and bank defaulters from taking

part in the upcoming general elections. During the meeting, the possibility of examining the candidates’ telephone and mobile phone records was also discussed. it was also agreed that the FBR will assist the ECP in verifying national Tax numbers (nTns) of candidates. it will also help the commission in verifying contents of the statement filed by candidates within ten days after receiving details from ECP. The FBR also agreed it would share particulars of candidates who were on the tax roll but are not filing tax returns. Whereas, information of all potential tax payers who are not filing their returns or are not on the tax roll shall be shared with the election commission. FBR would formulate its recommendations re-

garding desired changes in the current format of declaration of assets filed by candidates with the ECP. StAtE bANK: The representatives of State of Bank of Pakistan also assured full co-operation to the ECP and told the commission that the data available in Electronic Credit investigation Bureau (eCiB) maintained at SBP contains information on borrowers from financial institutions including defaulted amounts. The representatives of banks assured they were ready to share information as provided under the relevant law. Meanwhile, the commission also sought details of dual nationality holders from Senator Babar awan in reference to his claim last year that he had information on dual nationality holders.

taking measures to realise the true potential of bilateral trade. He said the existing regime of tariff barriers that was adversely impacting economic interaction needed to be revisited. Zardari welcomed the call by parliamentarians to focus on enhancement of trade and hoped that the ECO Container Train would boost cargo trade not only between the two countries but in the region as a whole. He said that improved visa facilitation, opening of new border posts at Mand-Pishin and gabd-Reemdan and enhancing connectivity were critical for greater economic interaction between the two countries. Zardari also felicitated the visiting iranian delegation on their national Day, which was recently celebrated and asked ali Larijani to convey his greetings and regards to the Supreme Leader and President Mahmoud ahmadinejad. ali Larijani was accompanied by Shaheen Mohammad Sadeghi, Member Parliament and Head of presiding Board of the islamic Consultative assembly, gholamreza asadullahei, member Parliament and Head of iran-Pakistan Friendship group, Mehdi Sanaei, Member Parliament and national Security and Foreign Policy Commissioner, Haleema aali, Member of Parliament, Mohammad Jaffery, advisor and Head of the Speaker’s Secretariat of islamic Consultative assembly, alireza Haghighian, ambassador of iran to Pakistan and others. The Pakistani side included Pakistan People’s Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, former premier Yusuf Raza gillani and PPP Secretary general M Salman Faruqui.

22 killED, DozEnS injuRED in RoAD MiSHApS LAhORE/QuEttA: At least 22 people were killed on Wednesday while 30 others injured in separate road accidents in various parts of Punjab and Balochistan. According to Rescue 1122 officials, at 14 people lost their lives in three different incidents of road mishaps in Sahiwal, Chichawatni and Faisalabad. According to details, 10 members of a Tabligi Jamaat died and 16 others were injured when a bus collided with a truck at Chowki bypass near Sahiwal city. Rescue teams rushed to the scene and shifted the bodies and injured to District Headquarter Hospital Sahiwal. In another incident, three persons of a family were killed and three others injured when a car and jeep collided with each other in Chichawatni. According to the police, the accident occurred on Burewala Road where a car crashed into a Pajero jeep, killing three people in the car identified as Muhammad Sajjid, Shahzad and Muhammad Sardar. At least four people onboard the jeep sustained injuries. Moreover, a bus driver was killed and 10 others injured in a collision between a bus and wagon at Jhang Road in Faisalabad. Meanwhile, at least eight people, including three children, were killed in a two-vehicle collision in Kuchlak area of Quetta. According to local police, two vehicles coming from opposite directions crashed into each other, resulting in the death of eight members of a family. Rescue teams and the police rushed to the scene and shifted the injured and the bodies to Quetta hospital. sTaFF REPORT


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news Thursday, 14 February, 2013

While recognising that terrible murders were committed in the Indian parliament attack case and aware of the suffering of the victims and their families, the EU reiterates its principled opposition to the death penalty under all circumstances. — EU Foreign Policy chief Catherine Ashton

pMl-n divided over MQM’s offer for future alliance

HYDERABAD: A shopkeeper shows a Valentine gift to a girl on Wednesday. People across the world will celebrate the day of love today (Thursday). OnLinE

ISLAMABAD Tayyab Hussain

t obama was ready to ‘rain hell’ on pakistan during bin Laden raid WASHINGTON OnLinE

US President Barack Obama vetoed the idea of a Seal 6 team tasked with killing Osama bin Laden surrendering if surrounded by Pakistani troops, instead, he planned to “rain hell” on the Pakistani military in such an eventuality, stirring new insights into the abbottabad invasion that nailed the world’s no 1 terrorist have revealed. an exhaustive account of the abbottabad raid in Esquire magazine by Phil Bronstein, former Editor of the San Fran-

cisco Chronicle, provides granular details of the foray based on interviews with the Seal 6 commando who shot bin Laden dead, identifying him merely as the “shooter”. Discussions during the planning stages looked at what would happen if they were surrounded by Pakistani troops. The original plan was to surrender and have vice-President Joe Biden fly to islamabad and negotiate their release. But President Obama called it differently. “This is hearsay, but i understand Obama said, Hell no. My

guys are not surrendering. What do we need to rain hell on the Pakistani military?” Bronstein paraphrases the shooter as saying. The commando also makes known his admiration for the president, “That was the one time in my life i was thinking, i am f***king voting for this guy. i had a picture of him lying in bed at night, thinking, You’re not f***king with my guys. Like, he’s thinking about us. “ The Seal 6 team later got word that the US would be scrambling jets on the border to back up the raiding party.

gulzar, Vishal Bhardwaj sent back to india LAHORE OnLinE

indian lyricist gulzar and director vishal Bhardwaj have both cut short their trip to Pakistan and returned to india. They were scheduled to attend the Karachi Literary Festival that starts on Friday. gulzar was listed as the keynote speaker at the inaugural session of the three-day event. Bhardwaj’s wife Rekha was also in Pakistan. The trio had spent the last two days in Lahore. Media reports said gulzar arrived in Pakistan a day ago and went to his hometown Dena in district Jhelum. However, the indian High Commission called him back and sent him to india, saying that situation in Pakistan was not suitable for him. Sources said the indian HC sent gulzar back due to possible reaction to the hanging of afzal guru. in a statement, the indian High Commission denied that it had any role to play in their premature return. “gulzar saab’s visit to Pakistan was a private one. The indian High Commission, islamabad was not aware of his itinerary and no one from the mission gave him any advice regarding his return to india. in fact the indian High Commission was not even in contact with him. The news that he has been advised to return to the india by the indian High Commission, islamabad is false and fabricated,” the statement said.

HE major political move by the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) of offering an olive branch to its former adversary – the Pakistan Muslim League-nawaz (PML-n) – has put the PMLn leadership in a quandary, sources told Pakistan Today. according to details, the option of joining hands with the MQM has triggered divisions within the PML-n ranks. a source in the MQM told Pakistan Today that the PML-n was contacted through parliamentary sources and an offer for a possible electoral alliance in the future was made, adding that the aim was to exclude the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) from the political scene after the upcoming elections. “We have expressed the desire to work out differences to make the environment conducive for a possible future coalition government in the centre and in Sindh,” the source said. The PPP enjoys support in rural Sindh while the MQM has public support in urban areas. The PML-n

has no option but to forge an electoral alliance with the MQM which has over 50 MPs in the house of 162 members. For formation of any alliance, the PML-n would have to enter into an alliance either with the PPP or the MQM. “We have approached the PML-n with total sincerity to work closely during and after the next elections. Options are open for shaping up a new alliance,” the MQM leader said. a source in the PML-n confirmed the contact between the parties, adding that the party leadership was divided over forming an alliance with MQM. “The MQM’s offer has put the leadership in quandary since the leadership is divided over what to do,” the source said, adding “nawaz Sharif has started in-house discussions and has sought feedback in this regard. However, this has led to serious divisions within the party.” The source said that national assembly Opposition Leader Chaudhry nisar ali Khan and the Sindh chapter of the party had rejected any alliance with the MQM, stating that in doing so the PML-n would lose confidence of the Sindhi nationalist

parties as well as of the PMLF and other stakeholders. “if the PML-n accepts the offer, it might cost the party heavily as the nationalist leaders from Sindh could possibly part their ways with the party, who recently joined the PML-n in an alliance,” the source added. “Moreover, it seems next to impossible that the PML-n leadership would be able to convince Mumtaz Bhutto, who recently joined the party, because he is a staunch opponent of the MQM,” the source added. The source said Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif was in favour of giving a serious thought to the offer because it would mean that the PPP would have to face tough competition, but he might not be able to convince other leaders of the party. When contacted, PML-n Secretary information Mushahidullah Khan expressed ignorance about any offer made by the MQM. “Look, contacts are made between the political parties but i am not in a position to confirm any contact. But you know contacts are made between parliamentarians normally. There are many unofficial contacts but i am not aware of an official one,” he added.

54 elders, clerics from Kp turn down invitation for anti-taliban conference PESHAWAR sTaFF REPORT

Fearing threats to their lives, at least 54 leading tribal elders and clerics from various parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and the tribal areas have declined an invitation by afghanistan for a joint conference in Kabul. The afghan government is organising a joint conference of Muslim scholars belonging to various schools of thoughts. The purpose of the scheduled conference is to discuss the ongoing violence and issue a joint fatwa (decree) against suicide attacks and other terrorist acts. Through some highly-placed sources, Pakistan Today has learnt that at least 54 invitees from the KP province and its adjoining tribal areas have refused to attend the scheduled conference. Those who refused to proceed and attend the conference in Kabul

include 35 prominent religious figures. according to sources, the religious scholars who have refused to attend the conference are associated with leading religious institutions and parties. One of them had served as chairman of the District Zakat Committee in the previous government. Most of those who have refused to attend the conference are reluctant to talk to the media on this issue, and others want to remain anonymous. So far the invitees have not given any reason for their refusal, but sources say that they are reluctant to become signatories of a fatwa against the Taliban. a number of leaders of the Milli Yakjehti Council, headed by allama Tahir ashrafi, have already declared that they would not go to afghanistan either for attending the Ulema Conference or to become part of a resolution aimed at denouncing militancy especially suicide attacks.

pakistani clerics to boycott afghan Ulema moot ISLAMABAD sTaFF REPORT

The Pakistan Ulema Council (PUC) on Wednesday announced to boycott the proposed afghan Ulema Conference that will be held in Kabul and demanded that the afghan Taliban be extended an invitation to participate in the conference. The announcement came from PUC Chairman and islamic ideological Council member Hafiz Mohammad Tahir ashrafi during a press conference at the national Press Club. Tahir ashrafi said various parties including Wafaq-

ul-Maradis arabia, Tahafuze-Madaris-e-Deenia, Jamiat Ulema-e-islam-Fazl, (JUiF), JUi-S and Jamaat-e-islami had already boycotted the ensuing afghan Ulema Conference. He added that PUC was not a representative of the afghan Taliban. “PUC believes that any reconciliation efforts without the afghan Taliban could not prove fruitful,” he added. Urging the government to invite the afghan Taliban into the conference, he made it clear that without participation of the afghan Taliban the PUC would not become part of any ulema conference.

He said the situation would take a turn for the worse when Mullah Omer would be declared a Satan and Karzai would be taken as a caliph. ashrafi mentioned that PUC had also demanded an end to drone strikes as one of the agendas for the conference. He alleged that international media had censored this demand. He said that the afghan Taliban must be included in all peace negotiations as they were major stakeholders in the situation. Furthermore, he alleged that the afghan ulema had violated an agreement inked with PUC a few days ago.

ashrafi said that the PUC was ready to play its role in ensuring lasting peace in afghanistan and forging unity among various stakeholders but it was not ready to condemn the afghan Taliban or Mullah Umar. ashrafi was of the view that in islamic ideology Council, one faction led by Sajid naqvi was included whereas the other faction led by ahmed Ludhayanvi had been ignored due to which the council lost its credibility. Responding to a question he said he had submitted five points in islamic ideological Council for exterminating sectarian violence.


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The ‘soft power of media’ can be a great blessing for any nation if it is used judiciously and within limits – Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Syed Sumsam Ali Bukhari

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KARACHI Thursday, 14 February, 2013

Weather updateS

290C high

130C

Sunny

25°C I 11°C

DESPITE BAN ON NEW RECRUITMENTS, PPP JIYALAS GET APPOINTMENT LETTERS IN BACK DATES KARACHI

A

aFTab CHanna

Low FrIday

HERE goES VoCifERouS pRE-pollS Rigging!

Saturday

Sunday

24°C I 12°C

27°CI13°C

PRayER TiminGs

Fajr Sunrise Zuhr asr Maghrib Isha 5:50 7:06 12:46 4:01 6:26 7:43 KARACHI sTaFF REPORT

Despite the deployment of police and Rangers around the metropolis, the continuing violence claimed nine more lives including city government’s contractor during the last 24 hours while over 10 people suffered injuries in the gunfire incidents here on Wednesday. The most recent incident occurred at Qalandria Chowk near Sakhi Hasan area of the city where 37-year Jahangir Khan lost his life in drive-by shooting at his car. The deceased was a contractor of the city district government. gulbahar’s sanitary market also witnessed violence when some unknown saboteurs opened

LTHOUgH the Election Commissio n of Pakistan has banned new recruitment s to avoid pre-poll rigging, the Sindh finance department is issuing on political grounds dozens of orders for new recruitments in backdates, thus blatantly violating the law and fundamental rights of competent and eligible candidates. Moreover, the Sindh finance minister has been handing out the orders of data processing assistant (BPS-12) in his constituency purely on political grounds, well-placed sources in the finance department told Pakistan Today. Through an advertisement in the local dailies in mid December 2012,

the finance department had invited candidates (jiyalas) have also been applications for the post of data asked to report for joining however processing assistant (BPS-12) with they will assume office after the graduate in second division and upcoming elections, the sources diploma in computer science from a added. recognised institute by the Board of applications for the same Technical Education, Sindh. vacancies were also invited through These applications were to be an advertisement in the newspapers submitted with section officer on January 27, 2009. However, the (Treasury), Sindh Secretariat 4process was halted and the a Court Road, within 30 orders were suspended days of the temporarily with a Finance advertisement is view that these be Minister syed published. The distributed before Murad Ali shah issued total number of the holding of seats is 67. general 30 appointment letters The formal elections. to candidates interviews of Out of the the candidates total 67 seats, who held fake were conducted Finance diplomas and from December Minister Syed never applied for 12 to 27, 2012, Murad ali Shah however none of the handed out 30 orders the posts candidates who had to the candidates who applied for the said posts held fake diplomas in was issued orders for the computers and never applied for the recruitment. posts, the sources alleged, adding interestingly, after the Election they did not even appear in the Commission of Pakistan imposed tests/interviews. ban on new recruitments on January among the jiyalas who have 21, 2013, the finance officials been issued orders for the data started issuing orders of data processing assistants included Bashir processing assistant in backdates - ahmed Lashari, son of Shafi December 31, 2012, violating the Mohammad Lashari (Kot Lashari ECP’s ban. Besides, these village), Mumtaz Lashari, son of Pir

City turns into bandit territory; 9 more killed indiscriminate fire, killing Malik niaz and idrees on the spot. another man was critically wounded in Orangi Town firing incident. He was rushed to abbasi Shaheed Hospital where he succumbed to injuries. a man identified as azmat was shot down in Korangi 1 and another 35-year man Khalid Mehmood sitting outside his house was gunned down in Qayyumabad.

a 30-year man, ishaq, was killed in a firing incident in gulshan-eghazi, Baldia Town. Meantime, tortured body of a 28-year youth was recovered from Surjani Town, SectorL1. Unidentified gunmen, after chasing a car, opened gunfire at it near Russian Consulate in Clifton, killing the driver, Essa, who dealt in cars.

Baksh Lashari (Sehwan UC-i), Zohaib Mallah, son of ghulam ali Mallah, Bashir Kachar (Sehwan UCii), Qarar Chandio and arif Chandio (UC Jhangara), Waseem Unnar, Sajjad Shah (UC Bajara), Sarfaraz, son of Rajab Memon (a student of BSc nursing and dispenser of Chippa welfare) and israr Bughio, son of Muhammad Bughio of Bhan Saeedabad. The finance minister also handed over the orders of sub-auditor and accountant to ashiq ali Lakho (President Peoples Students Federation), Sehwan Sharif, posted at Thatta, and a rickshaw driver and general-secretary of PSF Shewan as accountant at Matiyari, the sources said. Both the candidates were rickshaw drivers and never attending their offices, they added. Requesting anonymity, an official told Pakistan Today that orders were being issued to candidates however he did not know about the candidates’ details or the fake diploma certificates. “i will raise the issue with the finance authorities to stop such practice, if any”, he commented. This scribe repeatedly tried to contact Finance Minister Murad ali Shah and Finance Secretary naveed Kamran Baloch, but they did not attend phone calls.

opp leader to be appointed as per rules

Some unknown assailants targeted a car near FTC on Shahra-eFaisal, critically injuring sub-inspector ghulam Raza and his wife Fakhra. Meantime, terrorists injured an FC man in Steel Town by opening gunfire at him. Four others were injured in firing incidents in Orangi Town, Machhar Colony, Lasbela’s Zenat Chowk and new Karachi Sector 5B. KARACHI: Sindh Assembly Speaker Nisar Ahmed Khuhro on Wednesday said the leader of opposition in the provincial legislature would be appointed as per assembly’s rules and procedures. The speaker stated this while inaugurating the party’s calendar 2013 at the assembly’s cafeteria. Flanked by Information Minister Sharjeel Memon and other MPAs, Khuhro said the caretaker set-up in Sindh would be formed after completion of the Sindh Assembly’s tenure. The caretaker chief minister and the set-up under him in Sindh would be established with the consensus of all political parties. He said the caretaker chief minister of Sindh would be nominated with the consensus of all political stakeholders in the province. The speaker said the assembly was going to be the first provincial legislature which would complete its five-year tenure. This, he said, made him congratulate all political parties for their role in strengthening democracy in the country. s Ta F F R E P O RT


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Kenjhar Lake under attack CONTAMINATED INDUSTRIAL AND RESIDENTIAL SEWAGE ENTERS THE LAKE THROUGH KB FEEDER

Factories and industries should ensure pre-treatment of their waste before the discharge process gets underway - Ahsanullah

KARACHI sTaFF REPORT

Despite repeated reminders of the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB), contaminated industrial water and residential sewerage water of Hyderabad and Kotri, coming from Kotri and noriabad, is still entering Kenjhar Lake through KB Feeder and is badly disrupting the ecosystem of the area. The contaminated water entering KB Feeder was not only endangering human lives, but was also posing great dangers to marine life and the environment as well. in this regard Hyderabad Commissioner ahmed Bakhsh narejo called a high level meeting in this regard at his office. KWSB Managing Director Misbahuddin Farid, Planning DMD Mashkoorul Hasnain, Technical Services DMD iftikhar ahmed Khan and Deputy Chief Engineer aazam Khan as well as representatives of the irrigation Department, Environment Department, SiTE limited, police and zonal administration were also present in the meeting. KWSB managing director briefed the meeting that contaminated industrial water and residential sewerage water of Hyderabad and Kotri was entering KB Feeder thus putting millions of citizens in Karachi at risk, besides posing dangers to the marine life and the environment. The recent arrangements made in this regard were only

Respect for judges limited to words only

temporary, he added. Moreover, he stated that residents of the surrounding areas also caused the contaminated water to enter the lake since they needed to collect rain water during the rainy season by opening the gates on the feeder and breaking the blockades. a serious and long term practical strategy should be devised and implemented, Misbahuddin protested. The Hyderabad Commissioner briefed the meeting that a monitoring cell had been established under Dr ahsanullah Siddiqui from the Environment Department,

whereas the deputy chief of the monitoring cell would be Chief Engineer aazam Khan. The water board would also provide an office to the monitoring cell at Chalia, the commissioner added. This cell would not only collect daily water samples from the affected points but would also present reports at Hyderabad Commissioner office and with the KWSB managing director. What remains unclear as to who would then look over the reports to inspect the matter and talk to irrigation cell and environment departments.

waste before the discharge process got underway. SiTE Chief Engineer informed the meeting that Kotri Treatment Plant would be inaugurated soon but its capacity was half the total water that needed to be treated. Thanking the commissioner and other participants of the meeting, KWSB managing director said that they needed to complete this work with honesty since there were more than 20 million lives on the line. The commissioner indicated that more meetings of such nature would regularly take place in the future.

DAMnED if wE Do, DAMnED if wE Don’t ISSUE OF COMPULSORY SUBJECT TEACHERS IN KU STANDS UNRESOLVED EVEN AFTER A MONTH KARACHI aamiR maJEED

HYDERABAD: Sindh High Court (SHC) Chief Justice Mushir Alam has said that after the judges’ restoration movement, the government has a golden opportunity to change the fate of country through revolution. Addressing members of Hyderabad Bar Association here Wednesday, the chief justice said had the court verdicts been implemented the situation in the country would have been different. He said the lack of judges in the courts had not been overcome due to interference of the government. He said they could fill the courts with judges but their aim was to bring able persons. The SHC chief justice further said the respect of courts is limited to words only - the actual situation is opposite to it. The people traveling in big vehicles did not pay taxes and the judges were blamed for no reason, he added. inP

The commissioner further explained that iron gates had been placed at the affected points, whereas they were also paying attention to the matters pointed out by the KWSB managing director. He also directed the deputy commissioner to seal all industrial units that were operating without treatment plants. He said that the Supreme Court of Pakistan had also directed all industrial units to establish their own treatment plants. Later on, Dr ahsanullah said the factories and industries should ensure pre-treatment of the

F

RESHMEn at the University of Karachi (KU) have been facing problems due to unavailability of compulsory subject teachers, it is reliably learnt. almost a month had passed since the KU started the new academic year, but there were some departments where not a single class of compulsory subjects had taken place so far. The old students, who had passed their first year, were aware of this habitual practice but the new comers were fading out at the start of their higher education journey. On the other hand, the varsity management was trying to replace the fixed compulsory subjects with

those subjects for which teachers were available. With this, the varsity management had also changed the time-table, which was causing a lot of inconvenience for students at the beginning of their higher education journey. One month had passed since we started visiting the varsity to attend classes, but not a single class of compulsory subjects had taken place since the university reopened, said Fatima, a student of the Department of general History. “in orientation class, the chairperson of the department in her address told us that we will study English as a compulsory subject in the first semester, but not a single class of English has taken place during the one month time that has elapsed,” she added. We regularly visited the office of our department to find out whether a class would be held on that day or not, but they would always tell us to stay in the classroom and wait for a teacher, she said, adding that we had chosen our two optional subjects as per time table announced by the

department and later we were informed that English was replaced with Pakistan Study and the class of compulsory subject would take place at 2:20pm.” “Earlier, the time of compulsory subject was 12:10pm and we chose optional subjects per time table but now we have to change our optional subjects with a change in time of compulsory subject classes,” she maintained. another student Hira, studying in the Department of Economics, narrated the same story as the other students of the varsity. The department has announced that Pakistan Study would be our compulsory subject instead of English, she said, while adding mockingly that the students were now waiting for the moment when Pakistan Study would be replaced with another compulsory subject. an official of the Faculty of arts dean office said that there was shortage of compulsory subject teachers in the varsity, due to which compulsory subjects in some

There was shortage of compulsory subject teachers in the varsity, due to which compulsory subjects in some departments were replaced with others keeping the availability of teachers in mind departments were replaced with others keeping the availability of teachers in mind. The new comers were supposed to study Pakistan Studies in the second semester but now in some departments were teachers for English language courses could not be arranged, would study English in the second semester. However, Faculty of arts Dean Prof Dr Zaffar iqbal when approached for comments, refused to talk on the issue due to some personal engagements.


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I hereby accuse the North American empire of being the biggest menace to our planet. — Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez

news

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Thursday, 14 February, 2013 SERjILLA: A Syrian girl stands at the entrance of a makeshift home set up in the catacombs of a building in the ancient Roman city after fleeing the fighting on Wednesday. aGEnCiEs

Syrian rebels 'capture' air base in Aleppo DAMASCUS

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aGEnCiEs

PPOSiTiOn fighters in Syria have seized a military air base and captured warplanes in the north of the country, as part of an assault on strategic northern targets. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported Tuesday's capture of the military airport at al-Jarah in aleppo province. The London-based monitor said the fighters also seized for the first time a fleet of deployable warplanes including Mig fighter jets. Speaking to the aFP news agency on condition of anonymity, a regime military source in aleppo confirmed the capture "after 48 hours of fierce combat", but downplayed the importance of al-Jarrah. "it is a very small airport, used for training purposes," he said. "There are only small amounts of unusable ammunition left there, and several planes that have long been out of action." During their assault on the airport, the fighters killed, injured or imprisoned 40 troops, the Observatory said. The remaining troops pulled out, leaving behind ammunition and warplanes. Soon afterwards, the air force used fighter jets to bombard the airport in hopes of dislodging the fighters, the Observatory said. Warplanes also carried out raids near the international airport which has come under a rebel assault. activists in aleppo have told the aFP news agency that fighters in the north have shifted their focus from city battles to the capture of military airports and bases. "They are important because they are an instant source of ammunition and supplies, and because their capture means putting out of action the warplanes used to bombard us," abu Hisham, an aleppo-based fighter, said via the internet. While fighters have seen victories in northern and eastern Syria, they have yet to take a major city in the war-ravaged country almost two years into the revolution. The capture of al-Jarrah airport came just over a month after fighters overran Taftanaz airbase, the largest in northern Syria. amateur video shot by fighters overrunning al-Jarrah and distributed via the internet showed a fleet of warplanes lining the airport's runways. "Thank god, ahrar al-Sham [an armed opposition group] have overrun the military airport" at alJarrah, said an unidentified cameraman who shot a video at the site. "Mig warplanes are now in the hands of ahrar alSham. and here is the ammunition," the cameraman added, filming two Russian-made fighter jets similar to those used by the army since last summer to bombard rebel targets. The authenticity of the video could not be verified. according to Un figures, more than 60,000 people have been killed in violence across Syria since protests against Bashar al-assad, Syrian president, began in March 2011.

israel approves 90 new settler homes tEL AVIV: The homes will be built in Beit El, a major Jewish settlement north of Jerusalem, the defence ministry said. Prime Minister Benjamin netanyahu has pledged that 300 new dwellings will eventually be constructed in Beit El, despite a Supreme Court ruling that evicted 30 settler families from the area last June, saying they were living illegally on private Palestinian land. israel has come under international criticism, including from its main ally the US, over its illegal construction policy in the West Bank, territory it occupied in the 1967 war and which the Palestinians claim as their future state. Settlement expansion has been an irritant in a testy relationship between netanyahu and Obama, who is due to visit israel, the West Bank and Jordan this spring. Both israel and the US have played down speculation that the trip could result in the revival of UShosted peace talks with the Palestinians that collapsed over the settlement issue in 2010. "The Palestinian position is clear. There can be no negotiation while settlement continues," nabil abu Rdainah, a spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud abbas, said in response to the new Beit El construction. international law and most of the international community consider israel's settlements illegal. israel disputes this, citing historical and Biblical links to the land. aGEnCiEs

French assembly passes gay marriage bill PARIS

tion of children come into play. "Opening up marriage and adoption to homosexual couples is a very beautiful advance. ... it is an emThe lower house of the French parliament has ap- blematic vote, a vote that will mark history", said proved a bill that puts France on track to legalise gay Corinne narassiguin, Socialist representative, anmarriage and allow same-sex couples to adopt children. nouncing her party's support for the measure. The netherlands, Belgium, Tuesday's measure, apnorway and Spain, as well as proved in the national assembly argentina, Canada and South in a 329-to-229 vote, puts africa have authorised gay France on course to join nearly marriage, along with nine US a dozen mostly European nastates and the District of Cotions that allow gay marriage lumbia. "This law is a first necand comes despite a string of reessary step, a social evolution cent demonstrations by oppothat benefits society overall," nents of the so-called "marriage narassiguin said. for all" bill. "This law is going However, the political right to extend to all families the prohas not given up just yet, saying tections guaranteed by the instithe Constitutional Court, whose tution of marriage,'' Prime 12 members include three forMinister Jean-Marc ayrault said ahead of Tuesday's vote. CorInne narassIgUIn mer French presidents and several other prominent "Contrary to what those who SOCIALIST PARTY conservatives, will determine vociferate against it say fortuwhether the law, if finally nately they're in the minority passed, meshes with the law of the land. "So it's not this law is going to strengthen the the end of the story yet", said Herve Mariton, a meminstitution of marriage", ayrault said. Conservative opponents forced a discussion of ber of the main opposition UMP party. "We still have arguments to make and we want nearly 5,000 amendments, a move derided by Socialto convince people that it is not a good project." ists as inconsequential stalling tactics. Francois Hollande, the French president, made Tuesday's vote makes France and Britain the largest European nations to adopt pro-gay marriage legalising gay marriage one of the planks in his 60policies.Polls indicate a narrow majority of French point programme on the way to winning the presisupport legalising gay marriage, though that support dency in May over nicolas Sarkozy, the falls when questions about the adoption and concep- conservative incumbent. aGEnCiEs

This law is a first necessary step, a social evolution that benefits society overall

BAHRAIn’s poLICe BReAK up pRoTesT neAR MAnAMA MANAMA aGEnCiEs

thai army repels mass attack in restive south bANgKOK: Scores of heavily armed gunmen stormed a military base in unrest-plagued southern Thailand, in a major assault that left at least 16 attackers dead, a military spokesman said. The attack was one of the most ambitious in several years of violence in Thailand's deep south. no military casualties were reported in the early hours assault at the base in Bacho district of narathiwat province, one of three Muslim-dominated provinces near the border with Malaysia. "We learned of the attack in advance from defected militants," Colonel Pramote Promin, the southern army spokesman, told Thai television. "We were able to secure the camp. all of our force are safe." He added that a key local leader of the fighters, who wore bulletproof vests during the attack, had been killed in the clashes. aGEnCiEs

Bahraini police have fired tear gas and stun grenades to disperse protesters trying to march to Pearl Roundabout, the now-crushed symbol of the pro-democracy uprising that began nearly two years ago. Hundreds of people marched towards the square in the capital Manama carrying Bahraini flags and chanting, "square of martyrdom, we all still have the will." The protest was called by the February 14 coalition, a loosely-organised group of mostly young protesters. "Down with the corrupt government," the demonstrators chanted. "Khalifa resign," they called, referring to the king's uncle Prince Khalifa bin Salman, who has been prime minister for four decades. The prince is the longestserving prime minister in the world, and a particularly reviled figure among Bahrain's opposition. The interior ministry said on Twitter that after the

opposition's rally ended, "a group of saboteurs caused [a] riot and blocked roads, requiring authorities to take legal action against them." The protesters who tried to march to the square broke off from a larger rally organised by al Wefaq, the main opposition party, in the village of Sanabis just outside the capital. Opposition supporters have been demonstrating for more than a week ahead of the anniversary. Protesters camped at Pearl Roundabout for

nearly a month in early 2011 before they were forcibly expelled in mid-March. authorities later razed the iconic statue at the centre of the square. More than 80 people have been killed in the unrest. The government set up an independent commission to study the unrest. its report, released in late 2011, documented the excessive use of force against mostly peaceful protesters. Bahrain says it has implemented the report's recommendations, but the opposition says that abuses continue, with regular reports of torture and the widespread use of tear gas in villages. a new round of "national dialogue," organised by the government, began on Sunday; it includes representatives from Wefaq and other opposition groups, plus members of pro-government groups like the national Unity gathering and the salafi asala party. Officials have revealed little about the substance of the talks so far. The opposition has continued to press for major political reforms, including a constitutional monarchy and an elected prime minister.


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Pope Benedict will be remembered for his unquestionable commitment to global peace. — Dr Paul Bhatti

news Thursday, 14 February, 2013

india alleges pakistani hand in north korean nuclear test OFFICIALS SAY TEST COULD CONFIRM PAKISTANI ‘PROLIFERATION LINKAGES’ NEW DELHI

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OnLinE

n D i a officially protested against the third nuclear test by north Korea on Wednesday, which it sees as evidence of a clandestine proliferation network from Pakistan, the indian media quoted officials as saying on Wednesday. indian officials stressed that if the test was found to have been conducted with enriched uranium, it would confirm Pakistani “proliferation linkages”. Criticising north Korea for violating international commitments, new Delhi asked Pyongyang “to refrain from such actions which adversely impact peace and stability in the region”.

Sources said the test revealed significantly improved technical capabilities of the north Koreans, which in itself suggested heightened proliferation activities. “if the speculation is correct that the test was carried out through enriched uranium, it would demonstrate cascading and clandestine proliferation linkages,’’ an indian official said. after the test on Tuesday, north Korea also announced that its nuclear capabilities had diversified, fuelling more speculation that enriched uranium was used for the test. KCna, north Korea’s official news agency, said, “it was confirmed that the nuclear test that was carried out at a high level in a safe and perfect manner using a miniaturised and lighter nuclear device with greater explosive force. it did not pose any negative impact on the surrounding ecological environment.” South Korea recorded seismic activity compatible with a six-seven kiloton explosion. if this is confirmed, north Korea, officials said, could be well on its way to building a functional

nuclear warhead, though its delivery systems may take a while to develop. “When you talk about any nuclear test conducted by north Korea, the role of Pakistan can never be far behind,’’ indian official said. Pakistan on Tuesday yet again blocked moves to facilitate negotiations for a Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT) in the Conference on Disarmament. indian official said both developments were inter-related. according to reports, Pakistan has prevented negotiations for FMCT citing asymmetry with india in its fissile material stockpile. in its nuclear tests of 2006 and 2009, north Korea used plutonium and it was only in 2010 that it was revealed that the country had a sophisticated uranium enrichment programme. The existence of north Korea’s Yongbyon centrifuge plant used for enriching uranium became public in 2010, when Pyongyang allowed foreign experts to visit the facility. Separately, the indian assessment of the nuclear test is that it was a failure

of Chinese foreign policy. The Pyongyang account has been the responsibility of Beijing, but China has failed to restrain north Korea both from going steadily down the nuclear path or persuading it to come to the negotiating table at the six-party talks. The test puts Beijing in an unenviable position. it has already supported fresh sanctions by the Un Security Council, which has piled them on north Korea. Beijing could support further sanctions, or it could take unilateral action against Pyongyang. Both ways, it risks ruining ties with one of its closest allies. Beijing-Pyongyang ties have been strained of late. Last week, the Chinese government used the global Times to warn north Korea. in an editorial, it said, “if north Korea insists on a third nuclear test despite attempts to dissuade it, it must pay a heavy price. The assistance it will be able to receive from China should be reduced. The Chinese government should make this clear beforehand to shatter any illusions Pyongyang may have.”

kamran faisal neither tortured, nor poisoned: forensic report The Punjab Forensic Science agency (PFSa) submitted the forensic report of slain national accountability Bureau (naB) investigation officer Kamran Faisal to the islamabad Police on Wednesday. according to the report, there was no sign of torture on Faisal’s body as claimed by his relatives. The report also proved that Faisal was not poisoned. On February 2, forensic experts from PFSa exhumed the body of Faisal, who was one of the investigating officers in the Rental Power Plants (RPPs) scandal. The agency sought exhumation of the body after a controversy surfaced on the initial post-mortem report.

aPP

The Senate’s Committee on Law, Justice and Parliamentary affairs on Wednesday could not take up the 24th (amendment) Bill 2013, aiming at creation of a new province, Bahawalpur Janoobi Punjab (BJP). The bill had been introduced by Law Minister Farooq H naek during the sitting on February 8. The committee meeting was held under the chairmanship of Senator Kazim Khan. The PPP and MQM did not attend the meeting despite the fact that the ruling party has been vocal for the cause of the new BJP Province. During the proceeding of committee, senators Raza Rabbani, Jahangir Badr, aitzaz ahsan, ahmed Hasan, Saifullah Magsi, Farogh naseem, Muzaffar Hussain Shah, Daud Khan achakzai, Muhammad Sherani. During the meeting, Pakistan Muslim League (PML-n) senators Zafar ali Shah and Raja Zafarul Haq said that all parties’ presentation was a must when the committee was going to take up this important bill. The chairman agreed with them and said Law Minister Farooq H naek should brief the committee about the 24th amendment Bill 2013 and deferred the committee’s proceeding.

Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Governor Shaukatullah Khan on Wednesday said the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) were a part of Pakistan. Speaking to reporters in Peshawar after attending the graduation ceremony at the Khyber Institute of Technical Education, an institute established by the Pakistan Army in the region, Khan said the tribal areas were a part of Pakistan, and that he was capable of handling any post he was given. Referring to the controversy surrounding his appointment, the governor asked why a native of the tribal areas should not be the prime minister or president of Pakistan. Khan added that people were only making such statements in order to incite disagreements. The KP governor said further Pakistan was in a far better position than it was in 2008, adding that the reasons behind terrorism were lack of education and unemployment. With development in FATA and an improvement in the education sector the country would move forward, he added. He said the all parties’ conference on counterterrorism called by the Awami National Party (ANP) would also include parliamentarians from FATA. OnLinE

president takes notice of pakistanis stranded in kSA about the plight of at least 700 Pakistani workers stranded in Saudi Arabia, President Asif Ali Zardari on Wednesday called for a report from authorities concerned. Spokesperson to the President Senator Farhatullah Babar said the president had sought a report within three days. Babar said the president had directed the concerned officials to investigate the matter and immediately take appropriate measures for resolving the issue and return of the stranded workers. aPP

inP

ISLAMABAD

PEShAWAR: Newly-appointed Khyber

LAhORE: Taking note of media reports

ISLAMABAD

Senate body fails to start debate on new province

kp governor says he is able to hold any office

Shahzeb case adjourned indefinitely

FAISALABAD: Residents of Railway Colony blocked the railway track during a demonstration against closure of electricity supply in the colony on Wednesday. OnLinE

ISLAMAbAD: Hearing of the Shahzeb murder case has been postponed indefinitely. a three-member bench presided by Chief Justice iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry was to hear the case on Wednesday but due to a full-court meeting held with regards to the retirement of Justice Tariq Pervez, the case could not be heard and was adjourned for an indefinite period of time. OnLinE

US Senate panel approves Hagel’s Pentagon nomination WASHINGTON aPP

Chuck Hagel, nominee for US secretary for defence, passed a Senate panel on Tuesday. The nomination marks a significant a significant step forward in the former Republican senator’s embattled confirmation process. The final vote in the Senate armed Services Committee was 14-11, along party lines, proving that despite loud protests from Republicans, Democrats simply had more votes. The vote was left open for 10 minutes to allow a Republican senator, David vitter of Louisiana, who was not present and left no instructions, to return and make his views known. He did not return, but his vote would not have changed the outcome. Democrats control 14 votes on the committee, including independent Senator angus King. Democ-

rats also control a majority in the full Senate. The committee’s ranking member, Senator James inhofe, a Republican, unsuccessfully asked that the vote be delayed until his party’s questions were answered. Senator Lindsey graham, a Republican, was one of Hagel’s strongest opponents. “The next secretary of defence will have to deal with a world on fire,” graham said, “and i believe Senator Hagel’s testimony was not reassuring.” Republicans contended Hagel’s past statements showed him as soft on iran and antagonistic toward israel. Democrats and Republicans engaged in verbal duel before the vote in uncharacteristically harsh language. Senator Ted Cruz, a Republican, repeatedly tried to suggest Hagel, a former Republican senator from nebraska, may have received payments from foreign sources, but said he had no evidence because Hagel re-

fused to answer questions about his income. Committee Chairman Carl Levin, a Democrat, pointed out that when asked in writing by the Senate armed Services committee whether he and his wife had received money from a foreign government or an entity controlled by a foreign government in the last 10 years, he had denied such an exchange. “We believe firmly that Senator Hagel will be confirmed as the next secretary of defense,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said. Hagel, 66, faced sharp and sometimes angry questioning from fellow Republicans, especially former ally McCain, at his confirmation hearing on January 31. McCain and Hagel are both decorated vietnam veterans and Hagel was co-chairman of McCain’s 2000 presidential campaign.


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Govt believes in the freedom of media. — President Asif Zardari

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kp minister urges taliban to form committee for serious talks ISLAMAbAD: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain on Wednesday said that if talks could be held with the Taliban in Qatar, same could be done in Pakistan also. Addressing a press conference, the minister said all political parties, except the PTI and the Jamaat-e-Islami, would attend the APC on Thursday (today). He urged the Taliban to name a committee to initiate serious talks with the government. Taliban’s willingness to start dialogue was a big achievement, he said, adding that it could prove to be a key step towards restoration of peace. The minister, however, maintained that Taliban militants, who were serving in jails in Pakistan, could be released only under the country’s law and judicial process. nni

former fBi agent claims Brennan converted to islam

LONDON: John Brennan, who was nominated by Barack Obama as the new director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), converted to Islam while working as a station chief in Saudi Arabia in the 1990s. According to former FBI agent, John Guandolo, who retired from the FBI in 2008, Brennan visited the Islamic holy cities of Mecca and Medina accompanied by Saudi officials who may have persuaded him to convert. Guandolo told the Trento Radio Show via Skype that Brennan visited the holy sites during the Hajj season, while serving as CIA station chief in Riyadh between 1996 and 1999. According to the Daily Mail, the former FBI agent said that Brennan was ‘unfit’ to take charge of the CIA. He added that US government officials based in Saudi Arabia during the period when Brennan worked there ‘were direct witnesses to his growing relationships with individuals who work with the Saudi government and they witnessed his conversion to Islam’. Brennan, 57, spent over three decades working in intelligence. He was nominated as the new head of the CIA on January 7 by Obama, after predecessor General David Petraeus was forced to resign amid a scandal surrounding an affair with his biographer. The CIA is yet to respond to the recent claims about Brennan. OnLinE

ISLAMABAD: KP Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain addresses reporters at KP House on Wednesday. OnLinE

Dialogue only if taliban cease fire, says Malik ISLAMABAD

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nTERiOR Minister Rehman Malik on Wednesday said the government was ready to hold dialogue with the Taliban if they announce a ceasefire and appoint some sincere clerics to achieve purposeful results. “if Taliban are sincere in holding talks, they should have announced a ceasefire and formed a jirga, comprising some serious and thoughtful people instead of nominating a person like adnan Rashid,” he said. Malik was talking to reporters at a photographic competition organised by islamabad Police to create awareness about traffic rules and regulations. He said that Taliban should know that people of Pakistan have seen their actual face and the nation would not forgive the crimes of killing innocent citizens.

“The nation has rejected Talibanisation. Taliban should announce ceasefire first to hold talks,” he said, adding that the overstayed Taliban in Pakistan were not set free rather they were deported. He opined that Waliur Rehman and Hakimullah Mehsud should know that Ehsanullah Ehsan is not loyal to them and they should remain careful. To a question about arrest

of former Oil and gas Regulatory authority chairman Tauqir Sadiq, he said the government implemented all orders of the Supreme Court and would do the same in future as well. He said an officer of the Federal investigation agency (Fia) would hold talks with Dubai authorities to remove all legal complications. However, he said it would be better that Sadiq should voluntarily come to Pakistan and face the court of law. about verdict on the petition of Dr Tahirul Qadri, he termed the decision historic. This showed that nation wanted elections on time, he added. He emphasised that all constitutional institutions should join hands to promote democracy and democratic traditions in the country. Malik praised islamabad Police for arranging the photographic competition to create awareness and suggested holding of lectures in schools, colleges and universities to inform people about traffic rules. The islamabad ig and other senior officers were also present.

Sindh EC submits affidavit on electoral lists to the SC ISLAMABAD aPP

The counsel for the Sindh Chief Election Commissioner Mahmood anwar on Wednesday submitted an affidavit before the Supreme Court regarding the verification of voter lists in Karachi. The three-member bench comprising Chief Justice iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice gulzar ahmed and Justice Sheikh azmat Saeed heard the case regarding the electoral reforms. according to the affidavit, the provincial election commission carried out the verification of voter lists in the five districts of Karachi with the help of the army. During the course of proceedings, the bench also took up two individual applica-

tions, on the same subject, submitted by Hussain Mehnati and Syeda Tehsin Fatima. The chief justice remarked that the process of voter lists verification was going well in Karachi with the help of the armed forces. The bench stated that the process was still continuing and if any grievance was raised, it should be redressed by the provincial election commission. The court reiterated that the election commission staff should make door-todoor visits and the verification process should be carried out purely with the help of armed forces and FC personnel. Later, during the hearing of original case, the bench observed that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had to provide some kind of modality for providing the overseas Pakistanis to exercise their

right to vote. Justice gulzar ahmed remarked that postal ballots could be very dangerous as there were chances of rigging in the process. Justice Sheikh azmat Saeed held that the process of postal ballots was not an easy one as it demanded a lot of exercise, finances and time. Upon this, the chief justice remarked that the time was of essence and the ECP had to be very vigilant in making a strategy for overseas Pakistanis. He directed the attorney general, who was not present, to appear before the court in next hearing to clear the government’s point of view in this regard. The court adjourned the hearing till Thursday.

pakistanis want their daughters to study in all-girls schools ISLAMABAD OnLinE

a survey report on Wednesday revealed that at least 76 percent Pakistanis prefer that their daughters study in an all-girls school. according to a gilani Research Foundation Survey carried out by gallup Pakistan, a national representative sample of men and women from across the four provinces was asked, “imagine that the standard and expenses are the same for both, would you prefer to send your daughter to a coeducation or all-girls school?” Responding to this, 76 percent respondents chose all-girls schools and 21 percent said co-education schools. However, 3 percent did not give a response. The study was released by gilani foundation and carried out by gallup Pakistan, the Pakistani affiliate of gallup international. The recent survey was carried out among a sample of 2,732 men and women in rural and urban areas of all four provinces of the country, during the past month Error margin was estimated to be approximately 2-3 percent at 95 percent confidence level.

ptCl posts record profit of Rs. 8.6 billion in Q4 of 2012 ISLAMAbAD: Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL), country’s largest integrated telecommunications services provider, has posted a record net profit of Rs. 8.6 billion in the 4th quarter ended 31stDecember 2012 along with 37% revenue growth compared to the previous quarter. The company announced these results in the audited accounts for the six months’ period ended 31st December 2012, after the change of financial year of PTCL group to correspond with the calendar year. These results were announced at the company’s Board of Directors meeting held today in Lahore. “The increase in the company’s revenue streams is an indicator of our dynamic corporate identity and increasing customer base. Whether it was through launching innovative wireless products and bundles or segmented propositions, offering unmatched affordable packages, investing in our network for even better customer services, or expansion of our infrastructure for reaching-out to the remotest areas of the country, PTCL maintained an aggressive position that reaffirms our core philosophy of providing latest and most affordable information communications solutions to our customers”, commented Walid irshaid, President & CEO PTCL, after the meeting of the company’s Board of Directors. PREss RELEasE


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Democracy is when the indigent, and not the men of property, are the rulers. –Aristotle

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world as seen by obama And its implications for us

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HiLE the word ‘Pakistan’ did not appear in Barack Obama’s State of the Union address, it had formulations about matters of vital import for this country. Obama’s afghanistan policy, the strategy to deal with terrorism and views about the Middle East, israel and iran are among matters that are going to affect Pakistan directly. The US has continued to narrow down its goals in afghanistan over the years. in his first State of the Union address Obama promised to “reward good governance, reduce corruption, and support the rights of all afghans – men and women alike”. all this is forgotten now. in March 2009 he announced a new afghan strategy which further narrowed down the aims to “disrupt, dismantle and eventually defeat al Qaeda in Pakistan and afghanistan”. The mission is now further reduced to defeating just “the core of al Qaeda.” The US is mainly interested in extracting its troops from afghanistan by the end of 2014. The militants still on the rampage will have to be dealt with by the afghan government itself. a contingent of US troops would stay to train the afghan forces, another to pursue the remnants of al Qaeda and their affiliates. Pakistan has been left to deal with its militants on its own. islamabad needs to move fast to conclude agreements with afghanistan and other countries in the region and beyond for peace in the region and to put down the militancy on its side. Unless it does so, Pakistan could face an iraq-like situation where bomb blasts and suicide attacks continue to kill dozens every month. The Obama speech makes it clear that there will be no respite to drone attacks. To save its troops and reduce military spending the US will act against terrorists who threaten it “through a range of capabilities”, like drone attacks. The only way for Pakistan to put a stop to the attacks is to expel the foreign militants from its territory and stop the local ones from cross border attacks. Those who thought that Obama would help the Palestinians have their own sovereign state were sadly mistaken. Obama’s formulation, “and we will stand steadfast with israel in pursuit of security and a lasting peace” leaves no doubt about the powerful israeli lobby still dominating Washington’s policy making about the Middle East. iran will continue to be under pressure and face sanctions, the address indicates. So will, by implication, the countries like Pakistan who dare to enter into treaties with iran.

A welcome decision Qadri should learn from his mistakes

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O it has been settled then. The Election Commission of Pakistan will not be dissolved and the attempt to have it so by a maverick cleric has been foiled by the Supreme Court. Though there is no guarantee that it would be a smooth democratic transition, our fledgling democracy lives to see another day. The freedom to differ in opinion is what distinguishes democracy from authoritarianism, but this freedom is not unfettered; it comes with certain responsibilities, particularly the one that forbids letting discords fester so much as can put the system at the risk of being eaten inside out. Dr Tahirul Qadri, who led a long march to the federal capital almost a month ago, filed a petition in the SC asking for a reconstitution of the ECP at both federal and provincial levels. Ostensibly his agenda seemed to be vox populi; however, his ulterior motives put a question mark as to where his allegiance lied. The SC has, however, rejected his petition saying that he has no locus standi in the matter. a commendable decision by the court which has already taken a strong stance on dual nationality. now that the superior judiciary, the very same he was calling on to overthrow the incumbent government and thus help his cause four weeks ago, has left him high and dry, he should better look inside and ask what any of his tantrums has actually achieved so far, other than disrupting political, commercial, financial and educational activities in the country. Though protests are his democratic right, if he is any wiser he would to drop the idea of any more protests, long marches or sit-ins, just to save the country from trouble. The decision to reject the petition on the basis that a person with dual nationality can have no locus standi, instead of any technicality or political expediency, stands on legal qualifications. a person who takes oath of loyalty to another country is not the best person to decide what the people of his original country are in need of. Skewed approach to make inroads in the well established political spectrum works to no one’s benefit. The SC decision does strengthen democratic norms but it also makes one wonder what the court was really thinking when it took suo motu notice of the so-called Memogate scandal brought to public by a foreign national named Mansoor ijaz. it is these type of inconsistencies in SC’s functioning that make its intentions suspicious and decisions doubtful. Such decisions should be based on the needs of dynamically changing political environment and they particularly should not appear as an attempt at fighting ghosts from its past. federal governments. it is up to the federal government now to tread the waters carefully and install a democratic setup before the elections.

Dedicated to the legacy of the late Hameed Nizami

Arif Nizami Editor Lahore – Ph: 042-36375963-5 Fax: 042-32535230 Karachi – Ph: 021-35381208-9 Fax: 021-35381208 Islamabad – Ph: 051-2287273 Web: www.pakistantoday.com.pk Email: editorial@pakistantoday.com.pk

the metro bus joyride a All projects are equal, but some are more equal public transport revolution has been claimed in the city of Lahore with the inauguration of the Rs 30 billion Metro Bus Service last Sunday. Minor accidents, multiple near misses and jam-packed buses have been the order of the first three days since the service was inaugurated as government officials have begun to sing the chorus of ‘conspiracy’. Seven buses were sent to the docks for “minor” repairs on the first day with over 800 people arrested for various “violations” of discipline.” Only 20 of the 45 buses were functional with the Pakistan Muslim Leaguenawaz MPa incharge of the project admitting that a number of buses were not being run for “fear of the people”. The chorus sung by this particular legislator-cum-project manager reeks through the entire Metro Bus project. it is a strange logic via which a project that was been charioted by the Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif as “pro-people” is now being saved from “the people”. The discourse of the benevolent ‘developers’ and the ill-disciplined, jaahil awam has been pandered about amongst the middle classes and PMLn wallas. “Oh, look how organised this looks, this is exactly what Lahore needed,” are the words spoken by people who shall neither travel on the buses nor bear the cost of the piling of the province’s meager funds into a single bus route. Let us cut to the chase and be brave enough to say: “This is exactly what Lahore did not need.” The sheer jahalat with which the project was executed aside – although one should take out time to count out the number of violations that went into making the project possible in paperwork and on the ground – the project fails to fundamentally challenge the city’s public transportation trajectory. in fact, before we go on to discuss alternate public transport proposals, let us begin to count the violations that took place. For a project on which work began one fine day in March 2012 without a legally mandatory Environmental impact assessment (Eia) report – or even any form of public disclosure whether such a project was in the pipeline, claiming transparency was never going to be easy. Moreover, to avoid the mandatory approval from the Executive Committee of the national Economic Council (ECnEC), since rules dictate a HasHim bin RasHiD provincial government must seek approval for a project worth over Rs 5 billion, it divided the MBS into six projects, and approved them individually. When the first public hearing for the project was finally held on March 30, the project was reported to have been ‘slammed’ by citizens. asked about the actual problems faced by dis-

Comradely speaking

abled or elderly commuters, TEPa officials preposterously suggested they could cross the main Ferozepur Road to reach the bus stops. The escalators plan, worth another Rs800 million in the budget, was added as a result of this public criticism. added on to it was that almost all public utilities across the rapidly changing bus route (the elevated highway was a later innovation, we are told) were being dug out, laid and relaid again. One official at WaPDa in charge of the process told this writer his team would be given new instructions “midway into a relay” and “be sent to the same spot the next day”. no environmental protection measures were taken, as dust filled the air of the entire city, and smoke from motor vehicles clogged the city roads. Moreover, labour laws were also flouted, with no protection available to workers for over a thousand workers working on the route. There was no separate fund existing, no helmets, gloves, with hundreds of injuries being reported on a daily basis, and one of the safety inspectors having suffered crushed legs from falling debris. The human cost of the project shall never be calculated nor the number of deaths reported. Of course, the criticism the project received did not mean the provincial government ever revised its plan, let alone admit that there were serious flaws in how it was going about it. add on to that the fact that businesses and people’s properties were demolished at will and compensation was doled out also at will. Somehow, despite all these violations on the part of the government, we are expected to believe that the motorcycle rider crossing the buses route through the metal grills, or, the man who jumps onto the one-metre high doors, is the jahil in the picture. This is a classic case of so-called ‘development’ being imposed on a city’s people and a great deal made out of it. The fact that the Punjab government undertook no consultation means it has no basis to claim that this particular MBS model was what the ‘people of Lahore’ wanted. Of course, one also has to ask: why is the Punjab government taking a decision the Lahore government should take? Furthermore, one cannot see the MBS project as separate from the various other ‘developments’ being enacted on to re-configure Lahore’s road infrastructure: the Multan Road widening, the Canal Road widening, the Kalma Chowk flyover, the Kalma Chowk underpass, the Muslim Town flyover, garhi Shahu road renovation, MM alam Road widening and so forth – all of which were built almost in parallel. in fact, the current MBS infrastructure construction falls in line with an earlier plan to create an elevated expressway on Ferozepur Road for which Rs 250 million were sanctioned for a study in 2008. in constructing the current MBS route coupled with two flyovers on the same route, the chief minister has killed two birds with one stone: instead of just an elevated expressway, an elevated bus path was created, while the rest of Ferozepur Road serves as an expressway for all practical purposes. One would also suggest that the MBS project cannot also be seen outside the PML-n’s wider practice of the semi-privatising public service provision in Lahore. This process includes the creation of the Lahore Waste Management Company, Lahore Transport Company and more recently the Lahore Parking Company. Defined and registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission as ‘private, profit-making’ companies, these are operating as government-run subcontractors for multinational service providers, with the

board of governors for each made up of sitting MPas, the DCO and Commissioner for Lahore, and the CEOs serving DMg officers. This brings us to the question of financial transparency of the project. Does anyone know where the money for the project is coming from? and, if, as the Punjab government claims, it is funding the project from its coffers, why has a preferential Turkish bidder been selected, instead of inviting an open bid, or running the system itself? What is the nature of Turkish involvement in the project, whose own Metrobus (istanbul) has been facing questions of its own? and frankly if the Punjab government is indeed paying for the MBS, then why is a Turkish company going to be subsidised by as much as Rs 1 billion a year to run it for half a decade? Somehow, despite laying down a Rs 30 billion infrastructure and promising unilateral subsidies to the Turkish company, both the company and our chief minister have insisted that the MBS is “not about making money, but about brotherhood”. if the Rs 30 billion cost figure provided by the Punjab government is taken at face value then it is equivalent to almost 50 percent of the entire province’s transport budget: a measly Rs 63.5 billion has been allocated for the entire province. Compared with the Rs 16.5 billion health budget and Rs 25 billion education budget, both of which are expected to lapse by at least 20 percent or more (as is usual), the amount of money put into the project is lavish, if not wasteful. This is not to suggest that Lahore, a city of 10 million people and a growing population of cars, did not need a revamp of the public transport system. The point rather is that there were much more apt proposals that were put to the current Punjab government, including a visit in 2008 by the former Mayor of Bagota, who pitched a public transport overall: to increase walking spaces, shrink major roads and create a designated-lane MBS with much lower cost. The Bagota model had emerged after the rejection of a Japan international Cooperation agency (JiCa) proposal to build a multi-billion dollar rapid mass-transit system. The same JiCa that was rejected in Bagota has one of the key advisors on the Lahore transport plan and Master Plan since the 1990s, including the current period. That suggests that the project is less revolutionary and more of the same that opinion makers are imagining it to be. if one may make a prediction from its first few days of operation, Lahore’s Metro Bus Service has kicked off as a bit of a circus and a safari ride, and shall end up as a labour quarry as soon as ticket fares are charged. The Khadim-e-aala’s promise that “the rich and the poor, bureaucrats and ordinary citizens, the chief minister and the voters, all will travel in these buses” is already fading fast. it goes without saying that the dearth of public discourse about urban planning in Pakistan is such that inviting a foreign company to run 45 buses on a purpose built route at the cost of Rs 30 billion is being considered a ‘revolutionary’ step in public transport. One may only hope that the high and mighty too – for the poor would have no other choice but to – take CM’s advice and step aboard one of the Metro Bus joyrides. The writer is the general secretary (Lahore) for the Awami Workers Party. He is also a journalist and a researcher, with a focus on urbanisaton and law. He can be contacted at: hashimbrashid@gmail.com


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There is no such thing as liberty. You only change one sort of domination for another. All we can do is to choose our master. –David Herbert Lawrence

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Editor’s mail Send your letters to: Letters to Editor, Pakistan Today, 4-Shaarey Fatima Jinnah, Lahore, Pakistan Fax: +92-42-32535230 E-mail: letters@pakistantoday.com.pk Letters should be addressed to Pakistan Today exclusively

Fight against thalassemia Pakistan, which lags behind many other areas, also lacks in humanitarian and charitable stuff that could help fellow humans. Though many ngOs are making a colossal effort in introducing a conscientious societal setup, the agendas and plans bragged about by them are not entirely fulfilled. Marathons and races are held all over the word to raise charity and promote a sense of solidarity for the sufferers of various diseases. Such events are a sportsmanly stunt to unite a multitude of people to join them in their support, either through funds, awareness or whatever may benefit the victims. Such a marathon was witnessed on a large scale in Lahore last month by the young philanthropists of various universities, giving an undeviating message to the concerned authorities to make some necessary legislation for the eradication of thalassemia, and highlighting its significance for a layman, who doesn’t understand it properly. Despite knowing the alarming facts and figures about thalassemia, where the government has failed to come up with some rigorous legislation, civil society also lacks in running a proper awareness campaign. To continue living in our small insignificant bubbles while everything around seems to exist only to facilitate our own selfish and narcissistic existence is an utter and shameful waste of life. The only way to let everyone get familiar with this dilemma is to stand up and make our voice heard. as a nation, we should not be ashamed, for silence is admitting our guilt. it’s the right time to take responsibility. it’s the right time to declare war against thalassemia in Pakistan. YASIR SHOAIB UCP, Lahore

Dollar scores a century

the future world Is the US ready to be number two?

KisHORE maHbubani

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Ong before anyone did, former US President Bill Clinton saw that america would have to prepare for the time when it would no longer be the number one power in the world. in his 2003 Yale University address on “global Challenges”, he said: “if you believe that maintaining power and control and absolute freedom of movement and sovereignty is important to your country’s future, there’s nothing inconsistent in that [the US continuing to behaving unilaterally]. [The US is] the biggest, most powerful country in the world now. But if you believe that we should be trying to create a world with rules and partnerships and habits of behaviour that we would like to live in when we’re no longer the military-political-economic superpower in the world, then you wouldn’t do that. it just depends on what you believe.” Long before 2003, Clinton wanted to begin preparing americans for this new world. “Clinton believed [...] what we had in the wake of the cold war was a multilateral moment – an opportunity to shape the world through our active leadership of the institutions Clinton admired and [Charles] Krauthammer disdained,” writes Strobe Talbott, former deputy secretary of state in his book The great Experiment: The Story of ancient Empires, Modern States, and the Quest for a global nation. “But Clinton kept that belief largely to himself while he was in office... political instincts told him it would be inviting trouble to suggest that the sun would someday set on american pre-eminence.” Sadly, few americans have heeded Clinton’s wisdom. Few dare to mention that america could well be number two. i discovered this when i chaired a panel on “the Future of american Power” at the 2012 World Economic Forum in Davos. after citing projections that america would have the second largest economy in just a few years, i asked the american panelists – two senators, a congresswoman and a former deputy national security advisor – whether americans were ready to be-

come number two. To my shock, none could acknowledge publically this possibility. america may well become number two faster than anyone has anticipated. according to the most recent international Monetary Fund (iMF) projections, China will have larger share of global gDP than the United States by 2017. in 1980, in PPP terms, the US share of the global economy was 25 percent, while China’s was 2.2 percent. By 2017, the US share will decline to 17.9 percent, and China’s will rise to 18.3 percent. Even if america becomes number two, we will still have a better world. in many ways, the world is “converging” to american values and standards, as i explain in my book The great Convergence: asia, the West, and the Logic of One World. The global middle class is booming, interstate war is waning, and never before have people travelled and communicated across the world so easily. These changes are creating common values and norms across the world. Education and scientific reasoning, for example, are enabling people the world over to speak with a common language. However, while humanity is well on its way to combating absolute poverty and interstate warfare, other problems are surfacing. Preventing and curtailing transnational issues like climate change, human and drug trafficking, and financial crises require cooperation among nation states, yet this is not happening. a simple analogy illustrates this. Before the era of modern globalisation, humankind was like a flotilla of more than 100 separate boats in their separate countries. The world needed a set of rules then to ensure that the many boats did not collide and facilitate their cooperation on the high seas if they chose to do so. The 1945 rules-based order strived to do this, and despite some obvious failures, it succeeded in producing a relatively stable global order for more than 50 years. Today, the 7 billion people who inhabit planet earth no longer live in more than 100 separate boats. instead, they live in 193 separate cabins on the same boat. But this boat has a problem. it has 193 captains and crews, each claiming exclusive responsibility for one cabin. no captain or crew cares for the boat as a whole. The world is now sailing into increasingly turbulent waters with no captain or crew at the helm. The great Convergence echoes the themes of Clinton’s 2003 Yale speech. it’s in the interest of all – particularly great powers – to strengthen institutions of global governance so that we’re not sailing blindly into choppy waters without a captain. The national intelligence Council recently projected that in 2030 asia would overtake the Western world economically, technologically and militarily. When China becomes a world superpower in a matter of decades, the United States and

Europe will want to ensure that China plays by the rules. But in order to make international organisations like the United nations, the iMF and the World Bank more credible and effective, they must undergo serious reform. it is manifestly absurd that the West makes up 12 percent of the world’s population but takes up 60 percent of Un Security Council permanent seats. it’s nonsensical that the head of the iMF is always a European and the head of the World Bank is always an american as the West’s share of global gDP diminishes every year. This concentration of clout in the hands of a relative few has grave implications for these institutions’ effectiveness and independence, making them instruments of the West. no other organisation, not even huge global ngOs like the Bill and Melinda gates Foundation or the Clinton Foundation, has the scope and legitimacy that the Un currently enjoys. For example, the United States for years has been trying to pressure China to take a more proactive role in fighting climate change. Predictably, China has resisted these pressures because they saw them as a clever yet transparent american ruse to curtail Chinese economic growth. Only when the United nations Development Programme raised the issue with China did the Chinese government take heed, as the UnDP is seen as a neutral party in China. The Un and its many agencies may soon lose invaluable credibility if the West insists on monopolising its power over these institutions. any reform of the Un should take into account three principles: democracy, recognition of power balances and the rule of law. institutions of global governance can be made more democratic by ensuring that their leadership accurately reflects the composition of world’s population. at the same time, we must also take into account geopolitical relationships among emerging and middle powers. Finally, the rule of law is essential to the mediation and resolution of thorny international issues and to governing the conduct of states on the international stage so as to prevent escalation of conflict. in this rapidly changing world, it’s a mistake to allow institutions of global governance to stay as they are. The 1945 rules-based order is no longer appropriate for 21st century circumstances. global leaders must better prepare us for the challenges to come and equip our international organisations to deal with them. Leaders must find the courage to continue advocating for stronger multilateral cooperation. it is time for our captains and crews to emerge from their cabins and start steering the boat. Kishore Mahbubani is dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, NUS, and author of the forthcoming book The great Convergence: asia, the West, and the Logic of One World.

What a befitting tribute to the economic dream team and their political godfathers for enabling the US dollar to cross a century in Pakistan. Perhaps it was a sheer coincidence that when this feat was accomplished, heir to the political dynasty with slogan of “democracy is best revenge”, moved in to yet another new abode, befitting a Mughal Prince, in the city which is Emperor Jehangir’s last resting place. all this was achieved through brinkmanship, politics of reconciliation and monetary wisdom of a street smart politician, who has found himself a permanent place in the brief but unfortunate political history of this country. Let us all pray that god almighty may have mercy on this unfortunate nation and give us the wisdom to have a democracy that serves the people, the sort visualised by our founding fathers, who created Pakistan to function as a modern democratic welfare state with a government of, by and for the people, instead of a government of, by and for the corrupt. MALIK TARIQ Lahore

the wave of terrorism

as we know that terrorism is one of the most highlighting issues in this contemporary world. it creates a very devastating effect in every corner of globe promoting economic and political instability in all countries. Economic instability in the sense that the US is using a lot of resources in the name of war on terror, but the reality is that they want a status quo because they want to capture world’s resources at any cost. generally speaking all around the world Muslims are being targeted. nobody hears their voice and they then automatically get involved in criminal activities. This wrong practice should be ended because if the current situation remains untouched and the countries do not make worldwide strategies, then its consequences will vastly change the face of globe, leaving masses unprivileged. So there is a need of sound democracy, social justice, education and above all harmony in good governance so that poverty, starvation, instability, basic health facilities may be provided to all and sundry without geographical and ethnical distinctions. LUBNA NASREEN Islamabad

Use of renewable energy

When the country was going through a severe energy crisis last year, the president had called for stepping up the search for out-of-the-box, imaginative and bold solutions based on alternative energy to meet the country’s needs. One such solution that has emerged is a wind-powered turbine for road illumination. as reported in this paper, a locally designed pilot wind turbine has been installed on a streetlight in a major thoroughfare in islamabad. The privately developed turbine harnesses energy from natural as well as traffic wind and stores it in a battery that can power the streetlight’s bulbs for 48 hours. But all these advantages can only be reaped if there is official facilitation of the pilot turbine’s manufacture on a large scale and its widespread deployment by municipal authorities in their localities. in this respect, the interest and cooperation of agencies like the Capital Development authority and the Engineering Development Board of the Ministry of industries and Production in promoting the turbine is important. The widespread application of renewable energy — both wind and solar power — in government buildings and urban and highway lighting instead of using fossil fuels and gas will help the country save the latter two resources for more productive uses. Besides, foreign investors may be keen to cooperate in Pakistan’s renewable energy sector. There is, therefore, nothing to lose and much to gain from redoubling efforts to develop our renewable energy resources. FATIMA MOTALA Karachi


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DEEpikA to Don A nEw look in YEH jAwAni HAi DEEwAni

After playing the hot Veronica in Cocktail and steaming the screen with her hotness in Race 2 Deepika plays a complete new avatar. Now she will be seen in a girl next door avatar in her upcoming movie Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani. For the first time Deepika will be seen wearing spectacles onscreen. Although she has been seen in specs a lot of times in real life specially while travelling but this is the first she will be seen wearing them onscreen. Source from the movie say, She is carrying off the look very well. Deepika is playing the lead role opposite Ranbir Kapoor, in Yeh Jawani hai Deewani directed by Ayan Mukerji. The movie has just completed shooting in Kashmir. nEws DEsK

Robert Redford used to be such a handsome man and now look at him: everything has dropped, expanded and turned a funny colour. — George Best

Amitabh Bachchan all set to act in a daily soap

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HE 70-year-old actor will feature in a mega-budget television serial which will go live later this year at a time when his chips were down, television resuscitated amitabh Bachchan’s career. and now, 13 years after his game changing appearance as television’s most popular game show host, amitabh Bachchan is happily paying his dues. TOi has learnt that Bachchan, who recently wrapped up the sixth season of Kaun Banega Crorepati, is preparing to embrace the medium in a different way. Buzz is the 70-year-old star will top-line a daily soap that is set to go on air later this year. The project, which, say sources, is being co-produced by his banner aBCL, is a fiercely guarded secret after all this is going to be the first time Bachchan will act in a feature show. But we have learnt auditions for the rest of the cast is being carried out at several studios in andheri. Bachchan has apparently been toying with the idea of doing a television serial for a while now. “Last year, he held meetings with several channel producers, expressing his desire to act in a daily soap. Some of them even made a few presentations. But nothing worked out then,” says a source close to the developments. “But given that this is Bachchan’s first-ever daily soap appearance, utmost care is being taken to keep the project under wraps,” said the source, adding that an official announcement is likely next week. Early reports suggest the project is being mounted on a lavish scale. “The budgets are huge and the serial is going to be another game-changer for Mr Bachchan and the industry,” said an insider from the television industry on condition of anonymity. it is also being said that though Bachchan will be the face of the serial, but may not make an appearance in every episode. “But he will do all that he can to promote the production,” added the source. incidentally, Big B, who likes to keep himself busy, has not signed any major films this year. “While some attributed to his health concerns, truth is, he worked out his schedule for his television debut. after his stints with KBC, he is now in love and comfortable with the medium,” said the source. and from the looks of it, the medium too is loving him back. Tune in to this channel for more. nEws DEsK

SonAkSHi���S eyes lands her director Krish’s film NEWS DESK She might have missed making her Kollywood debut with Kamal Haasan, but actress Sonakshi Sinha seems to be thrilled to make her Telugu debut with Mahesh Babu’s film. Yes, the actress is all set to play the lead in Mahesh’s Shivam, which will be directed by Krish. Sonakshi wrote on her micro-blogging page, “Lots of support from the south for my Telegu debut. Really looking forward to it... Feels like Dabangg deja vu — debut with superstar, script i couldn’t refuse, capable and intelligent director! Shoot starts later this year. it’s going to be a great journey.” Quiz Krish why he chose to cast Sonkashi in the lead, and he says, “i wrote the script a while back, and to be honest, i had Sonakshi in my mind while i was sketching the female lead. The character, Meenakshi, will have big and beautiful eyes. and when i saw her in Dabangg, i was impressed. Her eyes are mighty expressive, and hold a lot of power.” incidentally, the film’s producer, ashwini Dutt had earlier told us that the film will be a Tamil-Telugu bilingual, making it Mahesh Babu’s first straight Tamil film. But, the vaanam director informs us that as of now, the film will be made only in Telugu. “We will go on floors with the film by later half of this year,” he says.

Jayantabhai different from other ‘bhais’ I’ve played: Vivek NEWS DESK actor vivek Oberoi, who plays JayantaBhai, says, “This bhai is different from the other bhais i’ve played. He’s lovable, jovial and entertaining. His love story is interesting since he and the girl come from two different worlds.” The lead actress, neha Sharma, enthuses, “i’m very anxious, but also can’t control my excitement. i couldn’t have asked for a better team — an extremely supportive producer, a talented director and an amazing co-star.” MuMbAI PLAyS A ROLE tOO Mumbai plays an important part in the film, which has been shot across the city, from Colaba in the south to Madh island and even Dahisar in the north. Says director vinnil

Markan, who has grown up in Delhi, “i love the town side of Mumbai, especially its architecture. it has an old world charm, which i’m mixing with the newworld buzz. We’ve shot in places like Kotachi Wadi in girgaum, Worli Fort, Matunga King Circle and Five gardens in Dadar, locations not usually seen in films.” Monsoon also marks its presence in the characters’ lives. vinnil explains, “Most of the film was shot before and during the initial phase of the monsoon season, the remaining was completed by early July. Rain is used as leitmotif in the film. When it’s all bright between the characters, the backdrop is sunny. But during some significant romantic moments, there is rain. Even in the climax, it starts to rain at the right time” ShOOtINg At tERROR SPOt JBKLS is the first film to be shot outside the five-star hotel — near the gateway of india — which was one of the targets in the 26/11 terror attack over four years ago. Though it was a bit tough to film at the location, vinnil says, “We were supported by the Mumbai Traffic Police.” Didn’t they have trouble obtaining the permission to shoot? “The legal procedure takes some days. So, we fixed our schedules accordingly and shot with minimal hassles. a fixed amount was paid for the shoot and we were even given receipts,” he recalls.

DREAM SONg IN DubAI vinnil says, “The song aa Bhi Jaa Meherbaan shows vivek dreaming about neha. The producer, Kumar Taurani, suggested shooting it in Dubai. To convey the couple’s passion, we decided to shoot in the desert when the temperature was about 51 degrees, but it felt like 55. vivek was wearing chappals, but developed bruises and blisters on the soles of his feet. neha was in a worse state as she was barefoot. i also shot with aatif (singer). The video shows aatif in the city and vivek and neha in the desert. a royal family, which had an outhouse in the desert, lent it to vivek and neha during the shoot.” REAL ActION When the lead actor is playing a bhai, action is a must. There are a few fight sequences of which only one was shot with the help of cable and wirework. “The action is real, hard-core street-style. We did not want cars blowing up and things like that. One sequence was shot in Worli, with the Sea Link and fishing boats in the backdrop. another was filmed at an orchestra dance bar in Dahisar. The climax action sequence was shot at nana Haji ali,” sums up vinnil. DIREctOR’S tAKE “Having started in theatre, i wanted to

make a film on interpersonal relationships — a story of two strong characters discovering love together. So, i took a gangster — he is basically a nice guy, but is in the wrong place at the wrong time — and a girl, who is a telecom engineer. They both aspire to make it big in Mumbai. at the same time, i wanted to make a hard-core Mumbai film, because while i’m born here, i grew up in Delhi and see my birth city differently. Bhai’s character is the USP of the film and vivek suits the part perfectly. neha was Kumarji’s choice, but even i felt that she was right for the part of Simran.” PRODucER’S NOtE “When we approach a film as producers, we look for what will click with the audiences. With JBKLS, it’s a complete package. a lot of hard work has gone into making this movie, including scouting for the right locations. We wanted everything to look as authentic as possible. Tips shares a warm equation with vivek Oberoi and our last film together, Prince (2010), did extremely well at the box office. vivek is open to taking directions and moulding himself into the character. and when it comes to playing a gangster, no one can do it better than him. neha, though relatively new to the industry, is extremely talented and versatile.” JayantaBhai Ki Luv Story, produced by Kumar Taurani, releases February 15.


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A man’s got to take a lot of punishment to write a really funny book. — Ernest Hemingway

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Top RoMAnTIC MoVIes oF HoLLywood 50 FIRST DATES

P.S. I LOvE YOu

CASABLANCA

A WALK TO REMEMBER

ONE FINE DAY

Adam Sandler’s perfect comic timing mixed with Drew Barrymore’s beauty makes 50 First Dates a cute romcom. The storyline is simple: Henry falls in love with Lucy and does everything to win her. Love sparks off until he discovers that Lucy suffers from short term memory loss, devastated, but madly in love with her, Henry tries everything to make this relationship work.

Based on a Cecelia Ahern’s novel P.S. I Love You, the film version revolves around Holly ( Hilary Swank) and her dead husband Gerry (played by Gerard Butler). Gerry leaves Holly a series of letters to help her get over his death and start a new life. Along with her two friends Denise ( Lisa Kudrow) and Sharon ( Gina Gershon), Gerry’s letters help Holly find new love and her dream job.

A love story set in 1942, Casablanca captures love in its most raw form. Based on a play, Everybody Comes To Rick’s, the movie talks about a man who has to choose between the love of his life and duty. Set against the backdrop of World War II, the film stars Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, and Paul Henreid. The black and white film is a classic love story and has some unforgettable moments.

Based on Nicholas Sparks’ bestseller, this movie talks about how a college hero falls in love with a social outcast. Taking tuitions from her, he promises her that it will be easy not to fall in love with her. But cupid strikes and Landon (Shane West) falls in love with Jamie ( Mandy Moore), only to find out that she suffers from leukemia. How he holds her hand through her last days and makes her live to the fullest makes up this tear jerking love story.

Directed by Michael Hoffman, One Fine Day is a wonderful rom-com starring the beautiful Michelle Pfeiffer as Melanie and the handsome George Clooney as Jack. Melanie and Jack are single parents. They are brought together under unpredictable circumstances by their children and they both try to sort things out while also running around for their work purposes.

LOvE STORY

TITANIC

gONE WITH THE WIND

TWILIgHT

SERENDIPITY

Eric Segal’s book became a phenomenon with all romantics and eventually it was made into a movie. Ali MacGraw and Ryan O’Neal brought the characters of Jennifer and Oliver to life in this tragic love story, where the rich boy abandons his lavish lifestyle to get married to the girl of his dreams. But Jenny suffers from cancer and the newly weds face a financial crunch.

Titanic has been a blockbuster to beat them all. Topping most lists when it comes to romance, the sizzling chemistry between Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet and the way they depicted love between the not-very-wellto-do-but-clever boy and the rich girl was unforgettable. Winning the highest number of Academy Awards, this movie has left a deep imprint in the minds of everybody who have known love.

A classic, this film is a passionate love story revolving around four individuals — Rhett Butler, Scarlett O’Hara, Melanie Hamilton and Ashley Wilkes. Their tumultuous love story is captivating with immaculate performances from Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh. Capturing love with all its strong elements of power and passion, the movie was based on a novel by Margaret Mitchell and portrayed love in a unique way.

Love story for today’s generations, Twilight speaks about how a normal girl finds herself attracted to the most handsome guy in school. As she falls ‘irresistibly and irrevocably’ in love with him, she finds out that he is a vampire. Based on the book series by Stephanie Meyer, the Twilight Saga became a rage with youngsters all over the world.

Jonathan (John Cussack) and Sara ( Kate Beckinsale) fall in love at first sight. But both leave their love to fate and part ways to check if they are destined to meet again or not. After many years, when they are both with their respective partners, they meet each other again and realise how much they love each other. Sara’s famous one liner, ‘You just need to have faith in destiny’ made many go weak in the knees. nEws DEsK

Emraan Hashmi to walk the Berlin Film Festival red carpet Emraan Hashmi has been making headlines for quite some time now. The actor is all set to make his first ever appearance at the international film festival and will be walking the red carpet today, February 13 at the Berlin Film Festival in support of Polish director Danis Tanovic and his film an Episode in The Life of an iron Picker. Danis is an academy awardwinning Bosnian-Belgian film director and writer best known for the 2001 Bosnian film no Man’s Land which won him the academy award for Best Foreign Langauage Film. Danis recently signed on Emraan for his ambitious next, produced by aSaP Films (France) , Sikhya Entertainment and Cinemorphic (Prashita Chaudhary). in support of the film and its producers, Emraan took time out from his shoot schedule to attend the festival, where the film features in the competition category. Confirms producer guneet Monga, “We are one big family there to support and cheer for Danis as his film is in competition. i am glad to be producing his next too.” guneet further added, “Emraan is a very good actor and we are excited to be working together. it will be very interesting to see the combination of an indian star, who is so popular among the masses working with an Oscar-winning Director in an international film. We are looking forward to the great collaboration.” Starring Emraan, the film directed by Oscar winner Danis Tanović is in its pre-production stage. nEws DEsK

Sonam discusses weight issues with karisma That Sonam Kapoor was once overweight is a fact well-known. She says when the stress of her weight began to reflect on her health, she became determined to shed the excess kilos. now counted as a style diva in the country’s fashion circles, Sonam opened up about her weight problems to RJ Karisma Kapoor during the latter’s talk show on a radio station’s afternoon women’s show. it was when she was 16 that she decided to work towards a healthy lifestyle of regular workouts, yoga and figure-friendly food. Thus started her journey to become the fashion icon she is today. Clearly, one wonders whether Sonam has come to truly believe in the motto Health is wealth. nEws DEsK

notaBLe tweets soLeIL Moon Frye

Hmm wearing 6 inch shoes to @todayshow Pray I don’t fall :) maybe I can get a shot of them on air

paULo CoeLho Don’t live every day as if it were your last. Live every day as if it were your first

gaBrIeLLe UnIon When you know your truth, your worth & who you are, DO NOT be deterred by crazy...for it has no place in your journey

oprah wInFrey This show with Harville Hendrix was one of most powerful I ever did. Not sexy or with celebrities..but so valuable. #SuperSoulSounday

Jonas Brothers Can’t wait to be back in Minneapolis on 10/8 for the #WeDay Concert!


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tHiS now ExiStS: MountAin DEw BREAkfASt DRink Just when you thought Americans couldn't get any unhealthier comes this culinary revelation: a Mountain Dew breakfast drink. PepsiCo's carbonated Kickstart rolls out this month, bringing the bleary-eyed masses a mix of "Mountain Dew flavor," caffeine, artificial sweeteners, Vitamins B and C, just 80 calories, and what can probably best be described as a touch of juice content: 5% juice (which is enough to qualify as a "juice drink" under the FDA's apparently very rigid standards). Though it comes in flavors like "energizing orange citrus" and "energizing fruit punch" and is packaged in the 16-ounce cans popularized by energy drinks like Monster, PepsiCo says it is not an energy drink. A PepsiCo exec says the idea came from research that showed Mountain Dew fans wanted to drink something other than coffee, tea, and juice with their breakfast, reports the AP. And no, Kickstart isn't the same as Taco Bell's Mountain Dew breakfast drink. nEws DEsK

twittER lEtS You BuY Stuff witH A HASHtAg American Express and Twitter are teaming up to let people buy special deals with a song and a dance—or rather, a hashtag and a tweet in the latest attempt to boost Twitter-based commerce, reports CNN. The first item up for grabs? $25 AmEx gift cards for $15, which registered users can buy by typing "#BuyAmexGiftCard25." More goods will be coming tomorrow beginning at noon, including the Amazon Kindle Fire HD for a $50 discount and an Xbox Controller for about $10 off their regular price, according to Mashable. Call the hashtag purchase "t-commerce." Twitter isn't spilling details about its cut of these deals, but since public tweets will be required to take advantage of these deals, analysts think brand promotion is a likely focus. If it takes off, though, expect to see a lot more hashtags turning up in advertisements in the future. nEws DEsK

The highest possible stage in moral culture is when we recognize that we ought to control our thoughts. — Charles Darwin

Evolution in thought t ALEx YAHANDA

HOUgH many people were probably unaware, yesterday marked Charles Darwin’s birthday. Darwin, as hopefully everyone knows, solidified the theory of evolution with his explanation of descent with modification, the process by which adaptive changes take place. Darwin’s theory has seen a disturbing amount of opposition in the Untied States, and it is not surprising that many americans do not fully understand the workings or importance of evolution. To that end, Darwin’s birthday should have received more coverage, so that evolution could be more properly recognized for its importance. Celebrating Darwin’s birthday would be yet another way to get people discussing evolution more thoroughly. The numbers regarding americans’ belief in evolution are staggering. Some 46 percent of americans believed in intelligent design in 2012. Only 15 percent are of the opinion that humans evolved without an intervening source of assistance. These figures strongly clash with the opinions of the worldwide scientific community, where evolution is almost universally held to be fact. in an affluent and technologically advanced nation like the U.S., one would hope the scientific community would have more influence. We are a society that demands proof and rational justification in nearly any other discipline involving argument. Our leaders’

political theories must be backed up by reasonable opinions if they are to be seriously considered — or such is the hope. Similarly, sufficient evidence must be administered in court before one can be convicted of a crime. The process of evolution is tangible and accessible to anyone. if the overwhelming scientific consensus is that evolution is fact, it makes little sense that evolution still draws such vigorous opposition. Even within the field of science, phenomena with much less supporting evidence are never questioned. Scientists are still unsure as to why gravity exists. nevertheless, there is never debate among the public surrounding possible causes of gravity. Why, then, does evolution continue to be so adamantly rejected by nearly half the nation when its evidence is so apparent? One factor is that the U.S. is the most religious industrialized nation in the world Much of the disbelief in evolution is no doubt because evolution concerns the origins and development of life — two topics that are normally the domain of theological teachings and scriptures. as a result, people feel more at liberty to dispute ideas supported by huge amounts of scientific data. Despite having heard of evolution, m a n y people view

it as an inferior alternative to their religious beliefs. Choosing to disregard evolution in favor of scripture is unfortunate. another reason people reject evolution is because the public is not as cognizant as it should be of such a basic scientific theory. Education reform can help in that area. Mandating the teaching of evolution in middle and high school science classes could go a long way toward increasing the percentage of the population that has a good understanding of how the process works. Though some teachers would allow their personal beliefs to bias the way in which they teach evolution, other teachers would instruct their classes properly. if more students were able to grasp evolution’s major concepts, it would help increase national scientific literacy. indeed, a knowledge of evolution could garner support for other contentious scientific topics. Take, for instance, global warming. Climate change is another area in which many americans have disregarded evidence. But if one understands evolution, one can more competently see why the evidence f o r global warming is so compelling. Species have adapted to life in particular temperature zones over thousands or millions of

Heart Attack grill patron dies of heart attack John alleman visited the Heart attack grill so often, the restaurant designed an entire line of clothing featuring a cartoon of its beloved “Patient Joe,” and placed his face front and center on their menu. now the restaurant reports via its Facebook page that its most loyal patron has passed away at age 52, from a heart attack. The nighttime construction site security guard was never officially on the restaurant’s payroll, but he was such a fixture at the Downtown Las vegas restaurant, encouraging passersby to come in, he came to be known as its unofficial spokesman. according to the Las vegas Sun, alleman suffered a heart attack while waiting for a bus in front of the restaurant, which boasts highly caloric menu items such as the 9,982 calorie Quadruple Bypass Burger, Butterfat Milkshakes and Coronary Dogs. alleman remained at Sunrise Hospital until his brother Paul, his only surviving relative, made the decision to remove him from life support on Monday. alleman passed away soon after. a statement on the restaurant’s Facebook page read, “To all who’ve given hopes and prayers for John’s struggle in the cardio vascular unit, it ended humanely this morning at 10am. Dr andy and Dr Jon were at bedside as John slipped into the next world. WE LOvE YOU

BROTHER!” “Dr. Jon” refers to Heart attack grill’s owner Jon Basso. He is neither a medical professional nor a stranger to controversy – or loss of his most avid fans. The restaurant’s previous 575-pound spokesman, 29-year-old Blair River, died in March 2011 at the age of 29. in February 2012, the restaurant made headlines when another patron suffered a heart attack while eating a Triple Bypass Burger. Heart attack grill is perhaps best known for actively courting fans and nayayers alike with slo-

gans like “Taste worth dying for!” and “Cash only, because you might die before the check clears.” Menu items like lard-fried “Flatliner Fries,” highly caloric “Butterfat Shakes” and unfiltered cigarettes abound, scantily clad female servers dressed as nurses take orders as “prescriptions,” and a house policy allows diners weighing over 350 pounds to eat for free. Basso told the Las vegas Sun that he currently has no plans to alter the grill’s menu, though it will remain closed the day of alleman’s funeral. nEws DEsK

years, and there is already data showing that many organisms are being affected by even small temperature changes. Birds, for instance, are changing their migration patterns, which are highly based on temperature. additionally, the distributions of many plants and animals are moving farther toward the poles to avoid unwanted warmer climates. if one recognizes that species inhabit specific niches as a result of evolution, one can affirm that global warming is already affecting the biosphere whether or not people want to admit it. Knowledge of evolution, therefore, should become more widespread, not just as a way to explain how species came to be but also as a way to show people how easily species can be destroyed. Darwin’s birthday does not necessarily deserve a federal holiday like those awarded to george Washington or Martin Luther King, Jr. But it should have garnered more publicity. Evolution is one of the most interesting aspects of all natural science. it is unfortunate that everyone in this country has the ability to learn about evolution, yet so few truly appreciate its own distinctive grandeur.

woMAn DiES AftER Downing 2 gAllonS of CokE pER DAY Heavy drinking may have led to the death of a new Zealand woman—but it wasn't alcohol she was glugging. it was Coca-Cola, TvnZ reports. She reportedly drank some 2.2 gallons (that's 18 pints) of the soda every day, aFP notes, a habit that went on for years. Her family called it an "addiction" that resulted in the removal of multiple rotten teeth and the birth of at least one child lacking tooth enamel; her partner said natasha Harris suffered withdrawal symptoms if she didn't drink the stuff. The 31-year-old mother of eight died following a cardiac arrhythmia in February 2010, and the coroner called out Coke in his report, which was released today: "i find that, when all the available evidence is considered, were it not for the consumption of very large quantities of Coke by natasha Harris, it is unlikely that she would have died when she died and how she died." The examination after her death revealed an enlarged liver with fatty deposits due to too much sugar, a pathologist said. Low potassium in her bloodstream may also have been linked to the soda. Harris apparently consumed more than two pounds of sugar and 970mg of caffeine a day; experts say even 500mg is dangerous. Coca-Cola said it was "disappointed" about the coroner's emphasis on Coke in Harris' death, though his report did state that the company "cannot be held responsible for the health of consumers who drink unhealthy quantities of the product." nEws DEsK


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We had a good score on the board and we just had to try to defend it. – Kieron Pollard

South Africa expect ‘grafting’ pitch THE NEWLANDS PITCH COULD OFFER THE CHANCE FOR PAKISTAN'S SPINNERS TO MAKE AN IMPACT CAPE TOWN aGEnCiEs

Thursday, 14 February, 2013

top-six proteas among the best, says Smith CAPE TOWN aGEnCiEs

Skipper graeme Smith believes South africa have possibly the best top-six among contemporary batting line-ups as they prepare to face Pakistan in the second test at newlands starting on Thursday. The Proteas crushed Pakistan by 211 runs in the first test at the Wanderers, a win built on the ferocious performance of the team's bowling unit spearheaded by Dale Steyn. Smith also praised the batsmen as he seeks his fifth win in a row as captain. "Our top six is one of the best going around with our experience and the ability to adapt to game situations," Smith said. "We understand how to handle conditions and what is the right play at the right time. "Test matches are about patterns of play and top three especially has done well in setting up a base for the rest. The new ball is a tough place to bat in South africa, but we have often come through that and been able to lay a solid platform." Smith expected Pakistan to adopt a more cautious approach to their batting in second test in contrast to their cavalier approach at the Wanderers. "Pakistan are in a dangerous position as a team, they are a team...used to having two vastly different performances," Smith says. "We cannot underestimate them, especially with the ball. if there is one team who can bounce back it is Pakistan." The tourists are likely to bring in seam bowler Mohammad irfan after his fine performances in a warm-up fixture against an Emerging Cape Cobras side in which he took seven wickets for 40 runs in the match. at over seven feet tall, he will present a new challenge. "it will be a unique experience," Smith said with a smile. The captain also downplayed the relevance of the toss on Thursday, suggesting in South african conditions it was often of little consequence. "in South africa it is unusual to arrive at a ground and think it is a batting day or vice-versa. We probably prefer to get out there and bat to post a strong total but that being said we will look at the pitch in the morning and make a decision from there."

South africa expect to have to put in more work with the bat than they have done in the home season so far in the second Test against Pakistan in Cape Town. Hot weather in the build-up to the match has left the surface dry and set up what allan Donald called a "grafting wicket," for what could turn out to be the bowlers' first challenge of the summer. none of the three Tests played so far have gone the distance largely because South africa's attack has cleaned up opposition cheaply. This time though, they may not have conditions to facilitate that. "it's not quite a 49 all out pitch," alviro Petersen, South africa's opening batsman said after examining the newlands strip. although there was rain in the city over the weekend and some is expected on Wednesday, neither Donald nor Petersen thinks the nature of the pitch will change

too much and both expect a "good Test wicket," that will provide a more balanced contest. Pakistan will benefit from that. "if there is one ground where they can bounce back its newlands," Petersen said. not only will it be gentler in terms of pace and bounce, it is the surface most likely to provide something for the spinners although South africa are mindful to keep that to a minimum. "We don't want to bring their spinners into it at all," Donald said. What it means for South africa is that more responsibility will fall on the batting lineup than at any other time in the home season. They showed they were ready to front up in the first Test when graeme Smith chose to bat in tricky circumstances at the Wanderers with a lot of swing on offer. Their total of 253 appeared belowpar and probably was until the bowlers inflated it by dismissing Pakistan 49. "Our bowlers deserve all the praise they are getting because they have often got us of tight situations," Petersen said.

injuRY Hit pAkiStAn StRiVE foR CoMEBACk CAPE TOWN aGEnCiEs

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LL the hype around the Test series before the first Test at Johannesburg was centered around the bowling strengths of both teams. While South africa boasted of a wonderful opening pair of Steyn and Philander with Morne Morkel turning out to be an effective support cast, if there was one

team that could match the hosts bowling line up was Pakistan. Boasting of an impressive opening combo of Umar gul and Junaid Khan, Pakistan also had arguably the best spinner in recent times, Saeed ajmal. it took just three and a bit days for the myth to be broken. although the Pakistan bowlers put up an impressive show particularly in the first innings, their batsman were found susceptible against Steyn as the hosts blew the visitors away by a massive margin. The series now moves to the beautiful Table mountains as the hosts seek to gain an unassailable 2-0 advantage. The world no. 1 Test team looks complete on paper. graeme Smth has led the team from the front while the middle order is packed with talent and experience. Robin Peterson has had little to do so far in the series, but with a dry pitch expected at newlands, he will have some work to do. vernon Philander has an enviable record at Cape Town having grabbed 21 wickets in just 3 Test matches. Steyn comes fresh from

achieving his career best match figures of 11/60 at Johannesburg. Morne Morkel looked slightly rusty at the Wanderers but the hosts can count on him to put in a good show at Cape Town. On the other hand, lack of form and injuries continue to haunt the visitors. Haris Sohail joined opener Taufeeq Umar in the injury sidelines. imran Farhat joined the squad ahead of the two day match against a Cobras Xi and acquitted himself pretty well against a modest attack. Hafeez missed out of the practise match with illness while azhar ali failed yet again. The visitors will hope for the two to get back to their best form if they are to cause any sort of panic in the South african bowling ranks. With three successive home wins on a trot, the hosts will certainly need no reason to change the winning combination. Mohammad irfan scalped match figures of 7/40 against the Emerging Cobras Xi. He was surprisingly left out of the Wanderers Test and Pakistan might not make the same mistake twice. Rahat ali is the man most likely to make way for the lanky pacer. azhar ali and Saeed ajmal failed to make any sort of impact during the 1st Test, but the team management might not be tempted into making too many reckless changes. Junaid Khan is out due to a thigh injury. given the nature of the pitches in South africa which have pace and bounce you have to keep playing your shots because it is not possible to survive without being positive - Out of favour keeper, Kamran akmal has a few words of advice for his former mates. When you have the right game plans - when you have plan a, B and even C - you can adjust your plan to where the game is - alviro Petersen is confident about adjusting to the dry pitch at newlands.

West Indies stroll to T20 victory over Australia BRISBANE aGEnCiEs

Johnson Charles smacked a half-century and West indies tore through australia's batsmen with slow bowling to win their Twenty20 match by 27 runs in Brisbane on Wednesday. Charles, coming off his maiden one-day international century, struck 57 off 35 balls to propel the tourists to an imposing first innings total of 191 after captain Darren Sammy won the toss and elected to bat at the gabba. australia's adam voges blasted a swashbuckling 51 off 33 balls to give them hope of hauling in the total, but paceman Kieron Pollard and spinner Sunil narine combined for five quick wickets to make sure the hosts' chase came to a crashing halt. The emphatic victory against a second-string australia side ensured West indies finished their tour Down Under on a high, having dismally surrendered the preceding oneday series 5-0. "Obviously, it's a bit too late ... We are

world (Twenty20) champions so we had to play like that," man-of-the-match Pollard said in a televised interview after rattling through australia's middle order to take 330. "We had a good score on the board and we just had to try to defend it." australia brought a depleted lineup to the gabba, with a number of first-choice players having headed to india early to prepare for a four-test series. The rawness showed as Charles, Darren Bravo (32) and Pollard (26) flayed the australian pacemen to drive West indies past 100 within the 12th over, before Sammy chipped in with a useful seven-ball cameo of 20 late in the innings. after the early loss of opener aaron Finch for four, australia appeared to be sailing toward victory before sharp work by wicketkeeper Devon Thomas saw Shaun Marsh (21) and voges run out in three balls. The run-outs proved a turning point, as spinner narine soon coaxed a miscued sweep shot from captain george Bailey, the top edge well caught by a lunging narsingh Deonarine.

sCOREbOaRD wEsT inDiEs inninGs C. Gayle c Coulter-nile b Hazlewood 8 J. Charles b Coulter-nile 57 Dm bravo run out (mcKay/Haddin) 32 K. Pollard c marsh b Faulkner 26 DJ bravo b Faulkner 13 a. Russel not out 23 D. sammy c marsh b Faulkner 20 n. Deonarine not out 6 Extras (lb-4, w-2) 6 Total (six wickets, 20 overs) 191 Fall of wickets: 1-11 2-99 3-106 4-139 5-141 6-172 bowling: mcKay 4-0-44-0, Hazlewood 4-0-36-1, Faulkner 4-028-3 (w-1), Coulter-nile 4-0-36-1 (w-1), b. Cutting 4-0-43-0 ausTRaLia inninGs a. Finch b sammy 4 s. marsh run out (best/Thomas) 21 a. Voges run out (Thomas) 51 G. bailey c Deonarine b narine 15 b. Rohrer c Deonarine b Pollard 16 b. Haddin c Russel b Pollard 22 J. Faulkner c sammy b Pollard 7 b. Cutting st Thomas b narine 0 n. Coulter-nile not out 16 C. mcKay not out 6 Extras (b-1, lb-2, w-3) 6 Total (eight wickets, 20 overs) 164 Fall of wickets: 1-5 2-79 3-82 4-96 5-121 6-139 7-139 8-141 bowling: best 3-0-19-0 (w-2), D. sammy 3-0-30-1 (w-1), narine 4-0-19-2, Russel 1-0-9-0, Deonarine 3-0-37-0, DJ bravo 2-017-0, K. Pollard 4-0-30-3 west indies won the toss and elected to bat first


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It was a good day for us and I'm happy with how we performed during the Al Bustan Cycling. – Nicolas Portal

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woMEn’S woRlD Cup: wi HEAD foR MAiDEn finAl

SA schoolboy cricketers hit by lightning LIGHTNING IS A REGULAR FEATURE OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN SUMMER ON THE HIGHVELD

MERISSA AGUILLEIRA’S SIDE BEAT AUSTRALIA FOR FIRST TIME IN AN ODI TO SECURE SPOT IN FINAL ON FEBRUARY 17 AT CRICKET CLUB OF INDIA CUTTACK aGEnCiEs

A

spirited West indies women’s side claimed an eight-run victory over australia at the iCC Women’s World Cup india 2013 today to secure itself a spot in the final of the event for the first time in its 40-year history, it is also the first time West indies has beaten australia in an ODi. The two teams will face-off again at the Brabourne Stadium on 17 February in a day-night fixture that will be broadcast round the globe in High Definition by the iCC’s Broadcast Partner Star Sports. The victory by West indies means that new Zealand and current champion England, currently playing in a day/night fixture at CCi, are not able to make the final and the two sides will meet again on 15 February to battle it out in the thirdplace play-off and a new global ranking. Meanwhile in Cuttack, Dane van niekerk starred with the bat and ball to ensure South africa finished the Super Six stage with a 110-run win over Sri Lanka. The two sides will meet again on Friday in the fifth-place play-off which, no matter the result, will see both sides finish the tournament ranked higher than they entered the event (Sri Lanka is currently seventh, while South africa is currently eighth in the Reliance iCC Women’s ODi Team Rankings). at the Mig ground, having won the toss Merissa aguilleira elected to bat against australia and the

side was dismissed for 164 before squeezing the australian batting with some tight bowling to dismiss the finalists for 156 to complete a historic win. it was West indies’ first ever win over australia in an ODi fixture and in return australia’s first loss of the iCC Women’s World Cup 2013. West indies batting proved to be inconsistent, at one point, the side was reeling at 7-92 in the 25th over, before allrounder Deandra Dottin, demoted to number seven for today’s game, propped up the batting attack with a dazzling 60 runs, including ten fours and a six to help West indies reach 164. The australian bowling attack once again proved disciplined, bowling good line and lengths to keep the side in check and star bowlers, Holly Ferling (3-27) and Megan Schutt (3-50) were the pick of the Southern Stars team. australia looked likely to secure victory, when in the 39th over it was 1304 but all went wrong for the current iCC Women’s World Twenty champions when it lost its last six wickets for just 26 runs. australia was in trouble early, losing stylish opener Meg Lanning, bowled by left-arm spinner Shanel Daley. Lanning’s opening partner Rachael Haynes was next out with the score at 32. Jess Cameron and Lisa Sthalekar attempted to stabalise the innings but it was up to captain and vicecaptain, Jodie Fields and alex Blackwell, to try and resurrect the innings with a 41run partnership. But Blackwell’s dismissal for 45

pHf invites another nine players in hockey camp

JOHANNESBERG CRiCinFO

triggered a mini collapse as the side lost three wickets for one run. The lower order failed to provide the required runs, with two run-outs and thus helping the West indies secure itself a place in the iCC Women’s World Cup final for the first time. aguillera was elated after the win: “Words cannot express what i am feeling right now. i am completely overwhelmed. We have been through a lot as a team. Our bowlers did a fantastic job today. i felt some panic happening in their camp and i think that’s the time we started to attack them more. We realised that as long as we were bowling in correct areas, we will get wickets and that’s exactly what happened.” While all the batters generally struggled on the slow wicket, Player of the Match Dottin was the only one who was

able to break the shackles and play freely. “Deandra has a natural ability to stroke the ball well. it’s a god-given talent. She is using it well, but she is not using it enough though,” admitted aguillera. SCORES IN BRIEF At MIg: West Indies 164 all out, 47 overs (Dottin 60; Ferling 3-27, Schutt 3-50) Australia 156 all out, 48.2 overs (Blackwell 45, Cameron 39; Daley 322). West Indies won by eight runs. At Barabati Stadium: South Africa 227-8, 50 overs (Brits 52, Fritz 64, van Niekerk 40; Seneviratna 3-44) Sri Lanka 117 all out, 36.4 overs (Atapattu 63; van Niekerk 4-18). South Africa won by 110 runs.

Pakistan play a one-all draw against Maldives LAHORE sTaFF REPORT

Pakistan stunned hosts Maldives when it struck a last-minute goal settling for a 1-1 draw in the first of two international friendly games being played here in Male' Maldives. Pakistan's Muhammad Hameed scored a very late goal to tromp Maldives dream of victory in the international friendly match played at a packed national Stadium last night. assadullah abdulla of Maldives scored LAHORE: The Pakistan Hockey Federation has invited nine more players for the ongoing training camp for the build up of the team to take part in the Azlan Shah hockey cup being played in Ipoh, Malaysia from March 9-17. “We have called new players in order to fill the gap caused by injuries to players and fitness problems some players are facing “,said Chief coach and manager of the team, Akhtar Rasool while talking to APP here on Wednesday after a training session of the team. The invited players are. Mazhar Abbas, Fahad Afridi, Aamir Shahzad, Sabtain Raza, Rana Umair, Muzammal Bhatti, Arslan Qadir, M Suleman and Mohammad Imran Junior. He said with the induction of new players the overall strenght of the players will rise to 30 from 21. “ We want to ensure every measure to select a balanced combination for producing desired results in the Cup and we are confident the new players will give a good account of themselves by showing promise during the camp training “,he said. He said only fully fit players will be selected in the final squad and no compromise will be made on fitness and form. “ Every player, no matter how much useful he is for the team, has to meet the laid down criteria of selection and our long duration camp will help in picking up the most outstanding players for the team “,he added. sTaFF REPORT

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Thursday, 14 February, 2013

in the 48th minute but the last kick of the game came to the Pakistan rescue. in the 11th minute, Hassan Bashir (FW) superb shot went wide outside the box. in the 20th minute a corner kick by Samar ishaq was misplaced by Faisal iqbal and the chance was lost. in 27th minute, Hassan Bashir penetrated the defense line of Maldives and supplied a good ball to Kaleem Ullah but he failed to control it. in 37th minute Maldives made a good shot but was saved by Jaffar Khan. in the first half nobody could score a goal. However, in 48th

minute assadullah abdullah from a header made the first goal for Maldives. in 56th minute Jaffar Khan smashed the attempt of ashfaq of Maldives netting the ball. in the last five minutes the games became very tense and Pakistan was desperate to secure a goal to equalize the match. in 90+2 minute Pakistan achieved in securing a good goal from corner, Ejaz passed to Muhammad Hameed who did not missed the golden opportunity by securing the most coveted goal, thus destroying Maldives’s dream of victory.

Two schoolboy cricketers in Johannesburg remain in intensive care after being struck by lightning while pulling on the covers during a practice session on Tuesday and needing resuscitation. nine players from King Edward vii School, where graeme Smith was a pupil, were hit during the incident with five needing hospital treatment although three of those were released on Wednesday. The school cancelled its fixtures for Wednesday while counselling has been offered to those involved. Two of the players struck are understood to be part of the gauteng Under-19 set-up. an off-duty paramedic, Mike Russell, who had been at the school to watch his son's cricket match before it was cancelled because of the storm, was able to give CPR to two boys who had suffered cardiac arrest. "it's basically a miracle to get two patients out of cardiac arrest using basic CPR," he told the Star. "The storm came up really quickly. When the second lightning bolt hit, we still had guys walking off the field." Smith offered his thoughts to this injured. "it's an unfortunately tragedy that has happened to the KES boys. Our thoughts and prayers go out to their loved ones and families during this difficult and sad time. The Proteas would like to wish the nine boys a speedy recovery, and we hope to see them back on the cricket field as soon as possible." The headmaster, David Lovett, said in a statement: "i would like to thank all the members of the King Edward community for ongoing support, and in particular would like to thank all those involved in the medical care offered to our boys yesterday." Lightning is common on the South african Highveld, especially in the summer, and does not always have to be accompanied by rain. There was also a recent case of other school children being struck by lightning as they walked home in nearby Soweto. in schools matches it is down to the teachers to decide when conditions become too dangerous to continue. Umpires at international level are also quick to take players off if there are thunderstorms close to the ground. Simon gear, a climatologist, told the Star this area of South africa has the highest incidence of strikes in the world in relation to the size of the land area. "it sounds like the teachers did get the cricketers off the field… but if sport is stopped every time there are thunderclouds, there'd be no sport played in the country."

sA to play 50th test match at Cape Town S.PERvEz QAISER

TEST MATCHES AT NEWLANDS, CAPE TOWN:

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OUTH africa will complete a half century of Test matches at newlands, Cape Town when they take on Pakistan in the second Test match on Thursday (February 14). South africa have won 20, lost 19 and draw 10 in 49 Test matches played at this ground. They have won both Test matches against Pakistan here. The hosts defeated Pakistan by an innings and 142 runs when two teams met first time at this ground in 2002-03 series. South africa achieved a five-wicket win over visitors in the second Test match at this ground in 2006-07 series. newlands, home of Western Province Cricket, has been described by many, together with the adelaide Oval in australia, as one of the most beautiful cricket grounds in the World. nestled behind and at the foot of Table Mountain it is one of the most picturesque places in the world to watch cricket. Over the past five years numerous changes have been made to the ground. This has

TEAM South Africa Pakistan

P 49 2

W 20 -

L 19 2

D 10 -

SuCCESS% 51.02 00.00

HIgHEST INNINgS TOTALS: South Africa: 651 in 154.3 overs vs Australia 2008-09 Pakistan: 252 in 87.4 overs vs South Africa 2002-03 LOWEST INNINgS TOTALS:

slightly taken away from its former splendor. Large portions of the grass embankments have been replaced by pavilions increasing the seating capacity to 25,000. newlands is one of the few grounds in South africa that assists spin bowlers borne out by the fact that many of South african spinners have come from the Western Cape. The pitch is also very conducive to results with a small percentage of Tests played ending up as drawn. newlands is also favoured with a Mediterranean winter rainfall climate allowing for perfect weather to watch and play cricket in.

South Africa: 35 in 22.4 overs vs England 1898-99 Pakistan: 157 in 43.1 overs vs South Africa 2006-07 HIgHEST INDIvIDuAL SCORES: South Africa: 228 Herschelle Gibbs vs Pakistan 2002-03 Pakistan: 135 Taufeeq Umar vs South Africa 2002-03 BEST BOWLINg IN AN INNINgS: South Africa: 7-63 Alf Hall vs England 1922-23 Pakistan: 3-44 Danish Kaneria vsSouth Africa 2006-07 BEST BOWLING IN A MATCH: South Africa: 11-112 Alf Hall vs England 1922-23 Pakistan: 5-96 Danish Kaneria vsSouth Africa 2006-07 5-96 Mohammed Asif vs S. Africa 2006-07


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It was a tough match. There were a lot of momentum changes throughout the match. – Lleyton Hewitt said after defeating Blaz Kavcic in the SAP Open

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national Youth wrestling from today LAHORE sTaFF REPORT

Country’s promising grapplers will show case their talent and promise in the 2nd national youth wrestling championship starting here today, Thursday at Punjab college of commerce Pakistan wrestling federation is organizing the two-day activity which will help in identifying new talent ,said Chaudhary Muhammad asghar on Wednesday. Wrestlers from Pakistan army, Railways, Police, WaPDa, HEC, islamabad, Punjab, Balochistan, KPK and Sindh will compete in different age group bouts. The competitions will be held in 10 weight categories including 39 to-42 Kg, 46 Kg, 50 Kg, 54 Kg 58 63 Kg, 69Kg, 76Kg, 85 Kg, and 100 Kg. He said after the completion of the youth competition the 7th edition of the national Junior Wrestling Championship will go into action from February 15 at the same venue. The participating teams are, Pakistan army, Railways, Police, WaPDa, Higher Education Commission islamabad, Punjab, Balochistan, KPK and Sindh. The competitions will be held in eight weight categories , 50 Kg, 55 Kg, 60 Kg, 66Kg, 74Kg, 84, 96Kg, 120 Kg. “Both the events will help in expanding the base of the game with the identification of new talent which will be groomed on long term basis to infuse fresh blood in national junior teams, said PWF official. He said PWF was striving hard within the available resources to groom teams and to organize talent hunt programmes keeping in view the future needs in the game. Saeed iqbal Khan, vice President Pakistan Railways Sports Board will inaugurate the event and Chief Coordinator, Pakistan Olympic association, Muhammad Khalid Mahmood will be the chief guest at the closing ceremony .Chief Coordinator, Pakistan Olympic association

SjAl to play SwAp in football match LAHORE sTaFF REPORT

Sport Journalist association of Lahore will play Sports Writers association of Punjab in an exhibition football match here tomorrow, Thursday at Model town football academy ground.

Following are the teams of the match, (SJAL XI) Syed Ali Hashmi, Afzaal Chaudhary, Ashraf Chaudhary, Ghalib Bajwa, Fawad Asghar, Asher Butt, Musa Warraich, Ibrahim, Hafiz Shahbaz, Imran Sohail, Ejaz Wasim, Mohsin Iqbal, Adnan Butt, Azhar Kazmi, Shahzad Malik, Aftab Tabi, Zulqarnain Sheikh and Afzal Iftikhar. (Team officials) Patron, Sarfraz Ahmed, Manager, Moona Rana, coach, Qayyum Zahid. (SWAP XI) Aamir Raza, Farrukh Butt, Sheikh Ejaz, Azhar Masood, Mansoor Ahmed Khan, Hafiz Imran, Abdul Rauf, Akhlaq Aslam , Abdul Qayum, Rana Aazar, Mustansar, Zahid Shafi, Taqweem-eMillat, Moeen Ahmed, Ahmad Raza, Abdul Rauf, Muhammad Ali and Mansha Cheema. (Officials) , (Patron) Shahid Sheikh, (manager), Ayesha Butt, (coach) Sohail Ali.

MIAMI: Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods will play the same tournaments.

Varsity students impressed with NCA facilities LAHORE

LAHORE

sTaFF REPORT

The Department of Media Studies of the islamia University of Bahawalpur visited national Cricket academy, Lahore where they called on the PCB Chairman, Ch. Zaka ashraf. During a chat with the student, the PCB Chairman informed them that in the last one year, the success rate of the Pakistan team across all formats has been a phenomenal 80 per cent. The PCB is proactively pursuing all avenues to affect all-round improvement of our cricket. “another policy cornerstone has been constant modernization. and it clearly reflects at the national Cricket academy – which is now acknowledged as one of the best nurturing places in the world not just for our budding talent, but for its Elite and Master Coach Education

sTaFF REPORT

Programmes”. “a biomechanics lab is being established at the nCa; this would make Pakistan the first in asia to have such a lab. Soon a post-modern ProBatter machine shall also be installed here that could simulate bowlers from

contemporary cricket for the benefit of our established and emerging batsmen”. The Media Studies undergraduates were extremely impressed with the facilities at the nCa and the PCB’s development programmes.

Lack of big fights frustrates Cleverly WEMBLEY aGEnCiEs

Mathematics graduate nathan Cleverly reckons a politics degree may have served him better as he struggles to negotiate his way into high-profile unification fights. The WBO light-heavyweight champion has been unable to build much momentum since completing his studies over two years ago and turning to boxing full-time. names such as Bernard Hopkins, Chad Dawson, Beibut Shumenov and Tavoris Cloud have all been mentioned but so far, Cleverly has been unable to lure them into the ring. The Cefn Fforest man takes on mandatory challenger Robin Krasniqi at Wembley arena on March 16 before another possible defence against former champion Juergen Braehmer. Once those scraps are out of the way, the 25-year-old is desperate to kick on and elevate himself to the bigger stage after a frustrating 2012 which saw him

make just two outings, against uninspiring challengers Tommy Karpency and Shawn Hawk. "it's been frustrating," Cleverly said. "i could probably do with having a politics degree rather than mathematics. "it's not always easy making these big fights because

gulberg beat tigers in lahore Veteran Cricket league

there are a lot of politics involved, not only getting the financial side of things right but also it comes down to whether these guys actually want to fight. "Perhaps they don't want to get in the ring with a young, hungry fighter like myself. "So the negotiations are

a lot of work but i'm sure we'll get there. i just leave all the politics to my promoters to sort out and concentrate on training and turning up on fight night to win and do the business." He added: "Last year was frustrating because it was quiet and i only had two fights but now we can rebound off that and make 2013 a much better year. "i want to be more active, have more fights and bit-by-bit push towards those big unification fights. "at least last year i stayed undefeated, remained a world champion and this is a fresh start." Serbian Krasniqi (39-2, 15KO wins) has earned his shot by negotiating his way up the WBO rankings but has no notable wins on his statistically creditable record. Cleverly (25-0, 12KOs) knows relatively little about the germany-based challenger except for his appetite for battle. "Krasniqi is a good fighter," said the champion. "He's won his last 38 fights but he hasn't fought anybody like myself so this is going to be a big challenge for him. it's a real step up.

gulberg gymkhana outshone Lahore Tigers by seven wickets in a match of SPM Lahore veteran cricket league here on Wednesday at Stags ground. Brief scores, Lahore Tigers batted first 1reached 165/9 in 30 overs. Mujahid Jamshaid 42, Khalid Jamshaid 26 & Zaheer iqbal 15 runs. gulberg gymkhana bowling Manzar Munir bowling well 4/23, Muhammad asif 2/34, Maqsood 1/23 & afzal Munir 2/36 wickets. in reply gulberg gymkhana answered with 166/3 in 25 overs. afzal Munir struck polished uneaten 58 followed by Maqsood ahmad 40, Faisal Peerzada 27, and azhar Hussain 24. Lahore Tigers bowling Mujahid Jamshaid 2/34 & Saif ur Rehman 1/15 wickets. ansar Mehmood and Sagheer ahmad were the umpires& Zulfqar Baig was the scorer.

wahdat Eaglets outplay Apallo Sports LAHORE sTaFF REPORT

Wahdat Eaglets has outplayed apallo Sports by 5 wickets in the 2nd Phase league stage of 6th nazar Muhammad Memorial cricket event played at ittifaque Hospital ground the otherday. Fine century by najaf Latif was the main feature of the match. ScORES: apallo Sports (249/9) in 40 Overs. afzal Shah 97, Raza Khan 45, Wajahat Hussain 16, Sami Ullah 31, Salman ali 18, abdul Waheed 3/44, M ali Shah 2/50, ali Tipu Sultan 2/44, Qmber ali Shah 1/22. Wahadat Eaglets ( 250/5) in 36 overs. najaf Latif 101, abdul Latif 33, M ali Shah 23, Farman ali 20, Rohail Hussain Bhatti 47, Baber Safder 3/38, irfan 1/46.


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I certainly will miss competing in the Accenture Match Play Championship, and I really do appreciate what Accenture does to make that one of the premier events on our schedule. – Brandt Snedeker

wiE READY to puSH on in 2013

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wAtCh It LIve ESPN BANGLADESH LEAGUE: Barisal Burners v Rangpur Riders 04:30PM Barisal Burners v Rangpur Riders 02:30PM Dhaka Gladiators v Chittagong Kings 07:00PM

PTV SPORTS 2nd test: Pakistan v South Africa 01:30PM

wrestling stunned by 2020 games exclusion

STANDORD aGEnCiEs

woods, Mcilroy face off in three tournaments MIAMI aGEnCiEs

Rory Mcilroy and Tiger Woods will play the same tournaments three weeks in a row starting with next week's accenture Match Play Championship in Tucson. Woods on Tuesday confirmed he will also be entering the Honda Classic in Florida - he was second to Mcilroy last year - and then the Cadillac Championship in Miami. That is the second of this season's world championships and the event he withdrew from on the final day last year because of an achilles injury. "i'm excited to be playing in the Honda Classic again," Woods said on his website. "i like the golf course and i came pretty close last year." He shot a closing 62, but Mcilroy held him off. "it's part of a busy stretch for me, and i want to continue playing well." He won the Farmers insurance Open in San Diego a fortnight ago, whereas Mcilroy has not played since missing the cut - as did Woods - in abu Dhabi four weeks ago.

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iCHELLE Wie is hopeful that 2013 is the year she fulfills her potential after completing a degree at Stanford. Wie endured a tough 2012, recording just one top 10 finish on the LPga Tour and only 19 below-par rounds over the entire season. The year was not a complete write off for the american though as she completed her degree at Stanford with a Major in Communications, leaving her to now focus on her career on the course. "all that i can really remember is just wanting to go to Stanford and just kind of achieving that goal of mine was almost as important as playing golf. "So just being

able to do that was awesome," Wie said at a press conference in the build up to this week's australian Women's Open. The 23-year-old is the first to admit that 2012 was a year to forgot for her. "2012 was probably the worst year i've ever had in my entire career," she explained. "it was rough. Kind of one thing led to another and it kind of snowballed. "The next thing i knew i was kind of struggling to keep my head above water. But i think i learned a lot from last year. "i think that struggling makes you really realise what you have to work on in the game, what is really lacking and it makes you really realise that you have to work harder, you have to become a better player. i just really started from scratch. "i got pretty low a couple of times but i just won't let myself get to that point. it's

still something that i really love to do. "at times it was a struggle, not enjoying it, but i was kind of just going out there and just really giving it my all. i had a lot of help from a lot of people." Having worked hard in the off-season to iron out any faults in her game, Wie is hopeful that she can push on and achieve consistent success. "Sometimes you've got to really look at yourself. i really needed this off season i think to just kind of take some time and not try to fix everything in one week the week before a tournament or whatever, but just take a good month, two months to really let it slowly get back on track, instead of just trying to change it all in one week. "i think that's what i did this off season. Some reporter asked me earlier on what i worked on in the off season and i replied everything.

LAUSANNE aGEnCiEs

Wrestling's world governing body FiLa is "greatly astonished" by the international Olympic Committee's decision to remove it from the 2020 games. in a statement, the governing body vowed to fight what it called the "aberration" of the announcement, which came following a meeting of the iOC's 15-strong executive board in Lausanne. Wrestling will now become one of eight sports - along with the likes of squash, karate and baseball/softball - bidding for inclusion in the 2020 games, with a decision due at the iOC Congress in September. iOC communications director Mark adams said: "This is not what's wrong with wrestling, it's what's right about the other 25 core sports.

Nadal renews attack on hard courts SAO PAULO aGEnCiEs

Former world number one Rafa nadal has renewed his attack on hard courts as he prepares for the second tournament on his comeback trail at the Brazil Open. The 26year-old Spaniard, who returned to competitive action at the Chile Open last week after a left knee condition sidelined him for seven months, said the number of

tournaments played on hard surfaces would limit players' careers. He also criticised a move to speed up matches by strictly enforcing the 20-second rule between points at grand slams. "Hard courts are aggressive on the knees, back and ankles," the 11-times grand slam champion, told reporters in Sao Paulo. "That is a theme among the players and doctors. To make a change like that (reduce the amount of hard court events) it won't be possible in this

generation but i think that the aTP has to work to think of how to lengthen tennis players' careers. "Can you imagine football players playing on cement?" nadal has often been criticised for the length of time he takes between points but warnings for slow play have been few and far between. aTP chiefs recently agreed that umpires would be expected to enforce the 20seconds between points rule at grand slams, prompting criticism from leading players.

Qatar Total Open: Tennis ‘dads from hell’ DOHA aLi aKbaR

There was a first round match at the Qatar Total Open Tuesday that can only be described as unusual. italian Francesca Schiavone has recently been the French Open Champion while Marion Bartoli of France was a Wimbledon finalist a couple of years ago. While Bartoli won the encounter using her double fisted ground strokes from both wings to recover from a 5-2 deficit in the first set and a straight set victory. Bartoli was also the subject of a news item on the sidelines of the event, where it was reported that she had split from her father who has coached her since childhood. a doctor by profession, Walter has been known for his obsession about his daughter's game. Certainly he is not the first one of a breed who live vicariously through the achievements of their offspring. The dean of tennis parents has been the the "Dad from hell" Damir Dokic who once famously threatened to assail the australian ambassador's car with a rocket propelled grenade after the ambassador had criticized

him for physically abusing his daughter. He was kicked out of Wimbledon one year for assaulting a spectator. Mary Pierce, the French Open winner, also had a dad with a violent streak, while andre agassi's father, a former iranian boxer, used to arm himself with a hammer and strike it on a metal fence every time andre missed a shot. These parents are the extreme examples of many others who might prowl the major tournaments as well as the junior events,

thinking that this obsession might in some way help their child. The result is invariably the opposite. Caroline Wozniacki, the former world number one from Denmark, is also coached by her father who although not nearly the standard of the above group, looks to be passionate about his daughter's tennis. in her first round match, after the first set, there was papa Wozniacki, down on one knee, coaching his daughter in a state approaching

frenzy. Caro took the advice calmly as she was winning comfortably. But this parental involvement in a player's game cannot be particularly salutary for the offspring. it has been reported that the father has said that when he is no longer needed, he would quit coaching her. The question is, whose call would that be? That Wozniacki has been slipping in the rankings and has not done well in the majors might be just such a cue. The most successful parents have been

those who stay in the background and let their children win or lose without making it a personal issue. Richard Williams, father of venus and Serena, had no tennis experience, but has admitted fathering the two daughters for the express purpose of turning them into champions. He had watched Martina navratilova win a hundred thousand dollars for an hour's worth of tennis and felt that this was something he could do with his kids. growing up in a violent neighborhood of Los angeles where they practiced on public courts amid gunfire, Williams then moved to Florida where he convinced local teaching pros to coach his daughters. The rest is history. The most successful siblings in the history of any sport have taken the women tennis world by storm. Elder sister venus has been eclipsed by younger sister Serena who can lay serious claim to being the best player ever. it is very difficult for a child to become a tennis star without parental support. But the parents must know when to step back, that there is a line that they should not cross. if they do cross that line then they are liable to do more damage to a player than any benefit that they might be imagining.


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Thursday, 14 February, 2013

Ashraf ‘to soon write to opp leader over interim setup’ LONDON nni

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RiME Minister Raja Pervez ashraf said on Wednesday that he would soon be writing a letter to the leader of opposition to formally broach the subject of forming a caretaker government. ashraf reportedly said this in a telephonic conversation he held with Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief altaf Hussain on Wednesday, a statement released by the party said. The two discussed the political situation in the country including the caretaker government that will take over after the term of the incumbent government is due to end on March. ashraf told altaf all allies will be consulted for finalising the name of a caretaker prime minister and that the matter will be resolved through consensus.

uS-taliban talks fail to make headway in Qatar DOHA/ISLAMABAD inP

Talks between afghan Taliban and the United States failed to make any headway despite the fact that the JUi-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman was in Doha to help the process succeed. The talks between Taliban and the US continued for five days in Doha but concluded without any result. Though, according to sources, the US negotiators assured to meet most of their demands, the Taliban representatives did not show any inclination that they had confidence in the assurances. Taliban insisted on the release of all their prisoners first and refused to accept the government of President Hamid Karzai. They said Maulana Fazlur Rehman was specially invited to Qatar to act as a guarantor but Taliban refused to accept him in that role. according to inside sources, Taliban representatives did not give due courtesy to Maulana Fazlur Rehman and refused to meet him, an indication that they have no confidence in him. The US-afghan Taliban talks were the result of efforts of Qatar, Saudi arabia and the United Kingdom. a spokesman for the JUi-F, commenting on the reports, said Maulana Fazlur Rehman had gone to Qatar on a private visit and never tried to meet Taliban representatives. However, sources insisted that Maulana had gone to Qatar on the request of the United States and stayed at a costly hotel “Ritz-Carlton” where a room costs $4,000 per day.

Kabul’s indifference delaying key strategic pact with Islamabad ISLAMABAD sHaiq Hussain

The prime minister said everyone wants for elections to be free, fair and transparent and for the election commission to be independent. altaf Hussain in his talk with the prime minister highlighted that the deputed police force was grossly insufficient and disproportionate to the rapidly increasing population in the country. in order to clamp down on terrorism and to improve law and order situation in the country, he suggested that police officers should be recruited on an emergency

basis and better equip them to deal with the challenges. Earlier talking to a private Tv channel, Prime Minister ashraf said the government would ensure an interim setup which is acceptable to all. Calling the MQM the government’s best ally, ashraf said he had sent a goodwill message to altaf soon after landing in London. The prime minister said for the first time in the country’s history, a government was nearing completion of its five-year tenure. He said the

continuation of democracy could be ensured only through free and fair elections. ashraf dismissed a news report published in a section of the press that a very expensive suit gad been bought for him from Harrods for his meeting with the British prime minister. “For the meeting [with the British prime minister], i wore my two-year old suit and my four-year-old pair of shoes, the same which i am wearing right now,” he said, pointing to his attire.

no end in sight for ban on youtube ISLAMABAD nni

The federal government on Wednesday decided to continue the ban on the video sharing website YouTube as its administration declined to remove blasphemous material. in a meeting of the national assembly Standing Committee on information Technology, Pakistan Telecommunication authority (PTa) presented a report of the inter-ministerial committee regarding the issue.

The committee was informed that the YouTube administration was not cooperating to resolve the matter. However, the meeting was informed that Youtube’s administration had promised to visit Pakistan at the end of the month to resolve the issue. Furthermore, PTa said that it had closed 80,000 websites promoting material against government while 500 other sites were closed as they were promoting blasphemous material. However‚ the meeting was told that complete removal of such content was not possible.

The proposed Strategic Partnership agreement (SPa) between Pakistan and afghanistan is likely to hit the snags owing to the lack of interest by Kabul for an early conclusion of the vital pact. The pact is intended to strengthen defence and strategic relations between islamabad and Kabul and institutionalise the whole peace process. although the afghan government has verbally announced time and again its willingness to conclude the pact with Pakistan, diplomatic sources say that afghanistan persists with its reluctance when it comes to taking practical steps on signing the agreement with Pakistan. “This lack of interest on part of the afghan government was evident during the recent trilateral summit in London between Pakistan, afghanistan and UK in which President asif ali Zardari, President Hamid Karzai and Prime Minister David Cameron represented their respective countries,” said a Pakistani diplomat seeking anonymity. He said that Kabul was showing lack of interest in the significant pact despite the fact that the agreement was of great advantage to both the countries and especially afghanistan, which was rebuilding its defence capabilities after the decades’ long war. He did not comment on the reason behind Kabul’s reluctance to conclude the strategic pact with islamabad. However, another diplomatic source said the

Published by Arif Nizami at Qandeel Printing Press, 4 Queens Road, Lahore.

afghan president and his government wanted progress and movement forward on peace and reconciliation process in afghanistan, and particularly a vibrant role by islamabad for its success. The strategic partnership pact was proposed by no one else but the afghan president in September 2012 during a trilateral summit in new York on the sidelines of Un general assembly’s session. Before that, in October 2011, afghanistan had signed the same agreement of strategic partnership with india. in October last year, the afghan president said Pakistan should stop its alleged backing to terrorists while dubbing it as a precondition to conclude the SPa with islamabad. it was in november last year that Pakistan and afghanistan began formal negotiations on the pact. Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar presented a draft of the SPa to her afghan counterpart Zalmai Rassoul during his visit to islamabad. Both the foreign ministers told a joint news conference that they would like the pact to be signed as soon as possible. another Pakistani diplomat said that under the proposed agreement, Pakistan would deepen its strategic relations with afghanistan. He said that islamabad would like to impart military training to the afghan national army (ana). “Pakistan has always been for the strengthening of bilateral ties with its western neighbour and efforts for the conclusion of SPa are being made in this regard,” he said. He hoped that the two countries would soon reach this important accord that would bring them further close to each other.

the strategic partnership pact was proposed by no one else but the afghan president in september 2012 during a trilateral summit in new york on the sidelines of Un general assembly’s session

Editor: Arif Nizami


e-paper pakistantoday 14th February, 2013