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No threat to democracy, parliament session was unwarranted, says Nisar PAGE 04
Samsung Galaxy SII versus the iPhone 4S – battle for supremacy
No Aussie uranium for Pakistan, says Julia Gillard
PROFIT | PAGE 04
rs15.00 vol II no 198 22 pages karachi edition
saturday, 14 january, 2012 safar 19, 1433
Opp to convince Zardari to step down ahead of polls ISLAMABAD tAhIR NIAz
As the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz-led opposition parties decided on Friday to convince President Asif Ali Zardari to step down ahead of the next general elections to make the election process transparent, they also agreed to adopt a cautious approach and avoid any confrontation with the government so that no third force could take advantage of the political chaos. The top leadership of the opposition parties met on Friday at a lunch hosted by PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif amidst efforts to unite at one platform and form a grand alliance to push the incumbent political dispensation out of power. A participant of the meeting told Pakistan Today that the opposition leadership had decided to convince Zardari to step down ahead of the next general elections to make them credible. However, he added, the opposition would not push the government to the extent where a third party could take advantage of the situation. The meeting also expected a “changed” attitude from the main ruling party to avoid any confrontation with army and judiciary that, they feared, could change the whole spectrum of politics. A source said it was Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Fazlur Rehman who proposed that all the opposition parties should convince Zardari to step down ahead of elections. The meeting was held at a time when the government has locked horns with the army and judiciary on a number of issues and facing legal challenges emanating from a warning by the Supreme Court to implement its order in the NRO case. Fazl, Jamaat-e-Islami chief Syed Munawar Hassan, former JI chief Qazi Hussain Ahmed, PkMAP chief Mahmoud Khan Achakzai, Hasil Bizenjo, PPP-S chief Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao, Sajid Mir, Gohar Ayub Khan, Salim Saifullah and Prof Khurshid Ahmed attended the meeting, which is being considered the biggest and most serious anti-government gathering in the recent days. Another source said the majority of the opposition leaders were of the opinion that the opposition should adopt a cautious approach to push the government for early elections and rejected the proposals given by Nawaz which called for a no-trust motion against the government, long march or en-mass resignation from the parliament. Talking to reporters after the meeting, PMLN spokesman Ahsan Iqbal said the participants of the meeting agreed on five basic points, however, they would take a final decision in this regard soon. The points included: the government should announce elections immediately, electoral rolls must be completed as soon as possible, all decisions of the Supreme Court must be implemented and an independent election commission and a neutral caretaker government be formed. The meeting asked the government to avoid confrontation with state institutions.
NAB springs into action, arrests high-profile NRO beneficiaries, including Ahmed Riaz and Adnan Khawaja Ismail Qureshi detained despite bail g
ISLAMABAD/LAHORE MIAN ABRAR/ShAfIq ShARIf
EELING the heat from the order of a five-member bench of the Supreme Court, National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Chairman Admiral (r) Fasih Bokhari started implementing the apex court orders against the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) on Friday and cases against all beneficiaries of the controversial law were reopened. The arrests of a close aide of President Asif Ali Zardari and a close friend and former jail-mate of Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani by the accountability watchdog came as a huge surprise, as Admiral (r) Bokhari had told the apex court during the last hearing of the NRO implementation case only a few days ago that he would not implement the verdict. Within a single day, not only notices were issued to several accused people but also big fish such as former Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL) chairman Adnan Khwaja, former establishment secretary Ismail Qureshi and former joint director of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Ahmed Riaz Shaikh - a close confidant of President Zardari - were questioned and
ahmed rIaz shaIkh
detained, while the hunt was on for others. A team of the NAB Special Operations Wing took Qureshi, currently principal of the National School of Public Policy, in custody late on Friday night while he was in a meeting at his office. Sources close to Qureshi’s family told Pakistan Today that the NAB team ar-
rested Qureshi only half an hour after Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani had left the school after meeting him. Sources said Qureshi resisted arrest and informed the raiding party that he had filed a writ petition for pre-arrest bail in the Lahore High Court and the LHC CJ had referred his matter to Justice Manzoor for further action. Sources said the
raiding team did not pay heed to his words and took him into custody, saying they had clear orders to arrest him. Qureshi was arrested for his alleged involvement in financial embezzlement at the National School of Public Policy. Qureshi was taken to the NAB Punjab
Govt would rather go down than beg for help: Gilani PM says resolution not meant to protect his govt but in support of parliament g Says he does not need vote of confidence as he is a unanimously elected PM
nA resolution calls for adherence to trichotomy principle ISLAMABAD StAff RePoRt
ISLAMABAD StAff RePoRt
NEPRA approves Rs 3.01 per unit hike for LESCO, QESCO ISLAMABAD: The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) on Friday approved an increase of up to Rs 3.01 per unit in the power tariff for Lahore Electric Supply Company (LESCO) and Quetta Electric Supply Company (QESCO). NEPRA said the increase had been approved for the current financial year. Power tariff for lifeline consumers had been raised by Re 1 per unit, other categories of domestic consumers by 50 paisas to Rs 3.01 per unit, commercial consumers by Rs 2 per unit, industrial consumers by Rs 2.60 per unit and agricultural consumers by Rs 1.50 per unit. Online
ContInued on page 04
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani greets opposition leader Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan after the NA session. Online
While the government made hectic efforts on Friday to woo the opposition parties to support its resolution in favour of democracy and parliament, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani said the government would prefer to go to the people rather than ask anyone to “save us from the NRO or the army”, suggesting that the resolution was not tabled to protect his government but in support of parliament. Throughout his speech in the National Assembly, Gilani made several indirect attacks against the judiciary and the armed forces but did not make any specific remarks against either institution. Interestingly, the speech was punctuated by political twists, contradictions and somersaults. While the desperate-looking prime minister sought the oppositions’ support for the resolution, he said he did not need a vote of confidence as he was a unanimously elected prime minister. ContInued on page 04
gIlanI, kayanI to meet over memo | page 24
Fearing the democratic system may come under threat, the government on Friday tabled a resolution in the National Assembly that calls for adherence to the principle of trichotomy of powers and expects all state institutions to strictly function within the limits imposed on them by the constitution. The resolution was moved by Awami National Party (ANP) chief Asfandyar Wali Khan. The draft resolution was tabled despite strong reservations from the opposition benches, to get endorsed from the House the efforts made by the political leadership for strengthening democracy in the country. The draft resolution, which remained the topic of discussion in the House for a considerable time, created a clear division between the treasury and opposition, with one side seeing no harm in it and the other terming it absolutely unwarranted. The resolution was redrafted to the acceptability of the opposition as the two sides continued divergent arguments on the issue, but the draft could not convince the leader of the opposition to change his stance on the move. The resolution said: “This House believes that the present democratic dispensation, which is about to complete four years, came into being as ContInued on page 04
mQm undeCIded, pml-Q wIll support | page 02
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02 News Today’s
Saturday, 14 January, 2012
Govt planning to buy new planes to make PIA profitable
Story on Page 05
Story on Page 09
ECP announces by-polls on six seats on February 20 ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Friday fixed February 20 for holding by-elections on five National Assembly and one provincial assembly seats. The seats were vacated by Shah Mehmood Qureshi (NA-148), Javed Hashmi (NA-149), Sardar Aseff Ahmed Ali (NA-140), Jahangir Khan Tareen (NA-195) and Khawaja Muhammad Khan Hoti (NA-9). All these heavyweight politicians had tendered their resignation to join Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf. According to a statement by the ECP, nomination papers will be received on January 19 and 20. On January 23 and 24, returning officers will scrutinise the nomination papers, it said. Appeals against acceptance or rejection of nomination papers will be received until January 26, while February will be the day for withdrawal of candidature, the statement said. The revised list of contesting candidates will be published on February 3, the ECP said, adding that polling will be held on February 20. The ECP will also conduct election for a Punjab Assembly seat, PP-44, which became vacant due to the death of Mir Amir Hayat Khan Rokhari. StAff RePoRt
All set to land in Pakistan, says Mansoor Ijaz Rejecting rumours that he was backtracking from his stance, the “memogate” scandal’s central character Mansoor Ijaz on Friday said he was all set to land in Pakistan. According to a private TV channel, Ijaz said acquiring a visa for Pakistan was not a problem for him. However, he refused to reveal the date and time of his touchdown in Pakistan. Ijaz also refused to comment on who was assisting him in this regard. Ijaz warned former US envoy Husain Haqqani of imminent disgrace, saying the evidence that he would produce before the Supreme Court would “tighten the noose around his neck”. “My then friend and now foe, Husain Haqqani must mind it that upon my arrival in Pakistan, everything will become crystal clear, he will have nowhere to run,” Ijaz said. Earlier, the High Commission in London had said it had not yet received any visa application from Ijaz. According to a statement issued by Pakistani High Commission in London, Foreign Office on January 9 directed the High Commission to issue visa immediately after receiving application from Ijaz. MoNItoRING DeSK
Two corpses found in Chagai district QUETTA: Two dead bodies were recovered from different parts of the Chagai district on Friday. According to Levy officials, the local people informed them about the corpses, which they moved to a local hospital for autopsy. It is not yet clear if the victims were Baloch missing persons or were killed in local disputes. The first body was recovered from the Yak Machh area and the second was found in Lashkarab near Chagai district headquarters, Dalbandin. The identities of the victims could not be ascertained immediately. Elsewhere, a bomb exploded outside a local police station in Quetta on Friday night. The explosives were planted outside the police station in Jinnah Town. Police said that nobody was injured in the blast. StAff RePoRt
MQM undecided, PMl-Q to support AnP’s resolution ISLAMABAD MIAN ABRAR
Of the two major allies of the ruling Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) has decided to support the resolution tabled by Awami National Party (ANP) chief Asfandyar Wali Khan but the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) is still undecided on whether or not to support the move. Though the treasury benches had changed the draft of the resolution several times under pressure from the allied parties, yet the MQM is unclear about its decision. The ANP had presented the resolution in support of democracy and adherence to the principle of trichotomy to ensure balance between the three organs of the state. MQM spokesperson Wasay Jalil said the party would finalise its decision on the resolution by Sunday. Parliamentarians from the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) had also assured the government of their support, while the opposition parties were yet to decide their strategy. A PML-Q leader told Pakistan Today that
Talk to us for early polls: Shujaat to Nawaz ISLAMABAD: PML-Q chief Chaudhry Shujat Hussain on Friday said that PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif should “talk to us” if he wanted elections earlier than schedule. Talking to reporters, Shujaat accused the PML-N of “embroiling the government in unnecessary crisis” and “hindering any effective progress of the nation”. oNLINe his party would support the resolution on Monday, when voting would be conducted in the assembly. Later, PML-Q President Shujaat Hussain told a private television that his party was part of the government and that it would support the resolution. He said the temperature between the army and the government had lowered during the past few days. He said those who wanted a clash between institutions would be disappointed. Responding to a question, Shujaat said he had not met the army chief yet, but the matters would return to normalcy within a week.
KARACHI: Jamaat-e-Islami activists stage a sit-in demonstration outside Police Headquarters on II Chundrigar Road against the alleged kidnapping of their party colleagues on Friday. Online
Following constitution only Bombay HC okays Pak judicial commission’s visit in February way to prosperity: Gilani LAHORE APP
Compliance with the constitution is the only way forward to development, prosperity and integrity of the country, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani said on Friday. Addressing the participants in the 95th National Management Course and the 10th Senior Management Course at National Management College, Gilani said, “Our constitution envisages a federal republic within principles of democracy, freedom, equality, tolerance and social justice, as enunciated in Islam.” Punjab Governor Latif Khosa was also present while National School of Public Policy (NSPP) Rector Muhammad Ismail Qureshi presented the welcome address. Calling the constitution a great achievement of the PPP under the dynamic leadership of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Gilani said the fundamental spirit of the constitution was that all national policies had to be people-centric and not elite-centric. “The excellent document also provides overarching parameters and mechanism for running state affairs,” he added. “The government has achieved such uphill tasks as dealing with internal politi-
cal instability, restoring the judiciary, rebuilding foreign exchange reserves, giving a more balanced 7th NFC Award and implementing the Aghaz-e-Huqooq-eBalochistan Package. The recent 18th Amendment indicates the strategic direction being followed by the democratic government to achieve national objectives enshrined in the constitution. These achievements have, indeed, strengthened the federal-provincial equation, thereby enhancing national integration. Though this is not enough, we have set the right direction,” he said, adding, “We are determined to strengthening democratic values and institutions. There is freedom of expression, freedom of movement, freedom of assembly and freedom of association in the country as guaranteed in Chapter 1, Part II, of the Constitution.” The prime minister said a lot of political activity was going on in the country and the people had now learned a lesson from history that democracy was not easy but it was the only viable option. “Democracies are noisy, reflect power tussles and highlight internal conflicts, but it is only through democracy that we can work together to forge national unity,” he observed.
NEW DELHI INP
The Bombay High Court has given its consent to a Pakistani judicial commission to interview key people linked to the probe of the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks. The High Court has informed the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) that in-principle approval for the visit of the Pakistani judicial commission has been given and the team may come in first week of February. The MHA will soon convey the court’s approval for the visit to Pakistan through diplomatic channels, official sources said. However, it is not clear when the delegation’s visit will actually take place. The commission will take the statements of Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate RV Sawant Waghule and Investigating Officer Ramesh Mahale, who have recorded the confessional statement of Ajmal Kasab, the lone surviving terrorist involved in the attack. This would help the commission pursue the case at home. It also wanted to take the statements of the two doctors who carried out the postmortem of the terrorists killed during the attack. Pakistan has already issued a gazette notification on the formation of the judicial commission and has listed the members who will represent Pakistan government.
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ArTS & EnTErTAInMEnT
News 03 CoMMEnT
Court orders new psychiatric evaluation of Norway gunman Madonna breaks silence on Gaga ‘Born this Way’ controversy Warner wallops clueless India
only rational course The PPP should obey the SC’s orders.
on Saleem Shehzad A crime without a perpetrator.
Arif Nizami says: Life is unfair: Pakistani politics, even more so.
At a wedding in Dubai, President Musharraf was the one that drew the greatest crowd among “politicians”. If this is the kind of warm response he gets at public gatherings then his belief and regular statements that he is “popular in Pakistan” are quite understandable.
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Story on Page 19
Story on Page 20
Articles on Page 12-13
Awan gets more time to engage lawyer in contempt case g
Former law minister says he wants to file his reply to notice through lawyer ISLAMABAD
DG ISI turned memo into a public issue: Asma
H E Supreme Court on Friday granted more time to former law minister and senior lawyer Babar Awan to engage a lawyer to defend him in a contempt of
court case. A two-member SC bench comprising Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan and Justice Muhammad Ather Saeed had taken up a contempt of court case against Awan. Appearing on notice, Awan requested the court to grant him more time to engage a counsel. He said he deemed it appropriate to appear before the court along with his counsel. He said he also wanted to file his reply to the contempt notice through his lawyer. The court granted him until February 2 to engage a lawyer, observing that, “We hope he will behave with caution in the meantime”. “What have you been doing for so many days?” Justice Saeed asked Awan, who replied, “I have some responsibilities to shoulder as I am parliamentarian… I am not going anywhere”, he said. Earlier on January 4, the court had issued contempt of court notices to Awan
LAHORE: Asma Jahangir, former president of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA), on Saturday held the chief of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) responsible for publicising the memo issue. Speaking at the inaugural of a book on famous poet Habib Jalib, she said the controversy was not known publicly until ISI chief General Ahmad Shuja Pasha had met PakistaniAmerican businessman Mansoor Ijaz. She said that Ijaz’s arrival in Pakistan to testify before the judicial commission would make no difference, and the scandal would “end into nothing”. About the ongoing standoff between the state organs, she said that she felt the judiciary was not free and “the sound of army boots” continues to be heard. She said the establishment in Pakistan “influences elections and works only for its own interests”. NNI
and another four PPP leaders, including two sitting ministers for holding a ‘contemptuous’ press conference at the Press Information Department, which had categorically rejected the Supreme Court’s December 1, 2011 decision in the ‘memo’ case.
Just after being served the notice, Awan again spoke to the media and recited a couplet in Punjabi meaning that “nothing happened despite issuance of a notice. Why complain to the darling and not welcome it”. On January 5, the court abruptly put off the hearing of the presidential reference for revisiting the death sentence awarded to former prime minister and PPP founder Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, and issued another show cause notice to Awan, asking him to explain and file a reply until January 9 explaining why his licence to practice law at the Supreme Court should not be cancelled for ridiculing the SC time and again. On January 9, the court had adjourned for an indefinite period the hearing of the contempt case due to the demise of father of Justice Nasirul Mulk, a member of the 11-judge bench, hearing the presidential reference for revisiting the death sentence awarded to former prime minister and PPP founder Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. Besides, Awan, the contempt notices were issued to Minister for Religious Affairs Khurshid Shah, Qamar Zaman Kaira, Information Minister Firdous Ashiq Awan and Adviser to Prime Minister Farooq Awan for addressing the controversial press conference.
Shahbaz urges unification of all PMl factions in Sindh PIR JO GOTH INP
Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif on Friday called for the unification of all factions of the Muslim League in Sindh, as he offered his condolences to the family of Pir Sahib Pagara. Shahbaz said that Pagara’s death had created a void in Pakistani politics which would be difficult to fill. He said that he had come to offer condolences on behalf of the people of Punjab and the Pakistan Muslim LeagueNawaz. He said Pir Pagara was a great spiri-
tual leader and a prominent politician who made great sacrifices for Pakistan which would be remembered for the time to come. He refused to respond to the statements of Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani and said it was time to get rid of a government that had taken the country to the brink of disaster. The Punjab CM said unemployment and poverty were on the rise while there was no electricity and gas leading to the closure of industries. He said corruption was rampant in the country and it had become difficult for an ordinary person to feed his family.
Awan, Malik deny confrontation between state institutions ISLAMABAD StAff RePoRt
Interior Minister Rehman Malik and Information Minister Firdous Ashiq Awan on Friday announced that tensions between state institutions had been removed, and the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) government would complete its tenure. Talking to reporters outside the Parliament House, the two ministers said the PPP government did not believe in confrontation with other institutions of the state. Awan said the people had elected the PPP for a period of five years,
and the next elections would be held on time. She said misunderstandings created by some elements among the institutions would soon be removed. In response to a question, she said the Defence Cabinet Committee would discuss the NATO report on the attack on Pakistani border posts in November. Meanwhile, the interior minister said that tensions between state institutions had been defused, and the issues would be resolved in a week’s time. He tried to dispel the notion that there was any friction between the government and the Supreme Court and military. He said the
institutions did not want confrontation and that the present situation was “just a reflection of the transition to democracy”. When asked why the PPP allies had not supported the original draft of the government’s proposed resolution, Malik said that difference of opinion was the democratic right of a person and the government’s allies had supported the efforts for the continuation of democracy. Responding to another question, the minister said there was no security threat to Mansoor Ijaz and he would be provided security during his stay in the country.
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No threat to democracy: Nisar
opp leader says government must let opposition know whom it fears so much ISLAMABAD StAff RePoRt
National Assembly Opposition Leader and senior Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said on Friday there was no threat to democracy and parliament, rather the government wanted to use the House for its own interests. Speaking on a point of order in the National Assembly, he strongly objected to summoning a session in urgency and without taking the opposition parties into confidence, saying he was unable to understand what forced the government to summon a sitting and pass a resolution as there was no threat to parliament or democracy. Nisar rejected the gov-
ernment’s intention to seek parliament’s confidence in the prime minister and the president at this juncture, questioning whether the opposition moved a no-confidence motion against the premier or had any of the allies quit the government, which prompted it to pass a resolution in the House in favour of the government. “I am unable to understand why the government wishes the parliament to express confidence in it at this particular juncture,” he added. “We have no confidence in the government and still it is expecting that we will repose confidence in it,” he said. He also termed the draft resolution unwarranted and added that the government’s failures were the real threat to the system. He said the govern-
ment never summoned a session to discuss inflation or load shedding, neither did it summon sessions after the Abbottabad incident and the NATO attack. “Let us know whom it is you fear so much… Why do you want to use this House for personal interests?” he added. He said the Supreme Court decision in the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) case could not be discussed in the House. He said if the government had some administrative issues with the army, it was not worthy of being discussed in the House either. Nisar made it clear that the opposition would not let the government use the House to advance its personal agenda as the opposition also had options to block it. The PML-N leader
nABBeD ContInued from page 1
ContInued from page 1 the apex court. He said Khwaja and Shaikh had appeared before NAB offices and were detained while arrest warrants against others were issued. In its verdict in the NRO implementation case last week, the five-member bench headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa had questioned the attitude of the NAB chairman, terming it “defiance against the court” as Bokhari had reportedly refused to implement the verdict. The warrants were issued against Qureshi, Shaikh, Tahir Shahbaz, Raja Ahsen, Akhlaq Jillani and RA Zia. The source said efforts were on to arrest others who had failed to appear before NAB. Qureshi was the establishment secretary when Khwaja was appointed OGDCL chief, while Tahir Shahbaz was additional secretary and RA Zia was serving as the Cabinet Division deputy secretary.
US, UK warn iran over blocking Strait of Hormuz
Hamid Khan group’s Zulfiqar wins lBA elections
The United States and the United Kingdom have warned Iran’s leaders against closing the strategic Strait of Hormuz. The New York Times, citing unnamed US officials, late on Thursday said the White House had communicated to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei that closing the strait would be a “red line” and provoke a response. The officials did not provide further details about the covert communication channel, except to say that it was separate from the Swiss government, through which the US occa-
sionally relays messages to Iran’s leaders. The White House would not confirm specifically that it had contacted Iran through the secret channel regarding the Strait, but said it had ways of making its views clear to the Iranian government. Meanwhile, British Prime Minister David Cameron warned that the “whole world” would take action if Iran closed the strategic Strait of Hormuz. “It is in the interests of the whole world that those straits are open and, if there was any threat to close them, I am sure the whole world would come together and make sure they stayed open,” Cameron told AlArabiya television.
ISLAMABAD StAff RePoRt/APP
Former defence secretary Lt General (r) Khalid Naeem Lodhi on Friday said that he would challenge his sacking in court because the prime minister had no justification in terminating his services. Talking to Geo News, Lodhi said, “The prime minister has given no reason for sacking me. Actually I have been punished for not signing an affidavit prepared by the government, which was meant to prove that the military leaders’ replies in the court were against the prescribed rules and regulations. How could I sign a document that was not prepared by me and I was not aware of the exact contents.” If the former defence secretary goes to the court to challenge his termination, it would further complicate the political crisis and create more problems for the government, ac-
cording to observers. Meanwhile, a spokesman of the Establishment Division has said that Lodhi sent the letters to the Supreme Court without seeking approval of the defence minister and also without getting the comments vetted from the Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs required under Rules of Business 1973, which have been framed under Article 99 of the Constitution. The spokesman said that when the defence minister sought an explanation from Lodhi for not observing the legal provision, he submitted that he was new to the job and was, therefore, ignorant of the rules. He said the defence minister then referred the matter to the Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs for expert views which informed him that Lodhi’s action was in utter and gross violation of the mandatory rule.
Adnan Khwaja, who is not only an NRO beneficiary but also a jail-mate of Prime Minister Gilani, was first appointed the OGDCL director general and was subsequently removed after the Supreme Court took suo motu notice of the appointment. He is an FA-pass individual without any relevant experience who was appointed OGDCL’s managing director on September 9, 2010 in clear violation of the rules. Arrest warrants were issued for around half a dozen accused and it was expected that more arrests would be made soon. A source in NAB told Pakistan Today that the bureau’s chief had reactivated the Special Operations Wing only a few days ago. Arrest warrants were issued by the NAB’s Rawalpindi and Lahore offices against those who had benefited from the NRO or else were wanted on directions from
Office at Thokar Niaz Baig along with Khwaja, where they will both be detained for one night and will be moved to Rawalpindi early on Saturday (today) in order to present them in court. The arrest of Shaikh may jolt the presidential camp as the president had pardoned him earlier. Shaikh was been appointed FIA additional director general despite being an NRO beneficiary. The Supreme Court had taken notice of the issue and on orders from the court, he was rearrested by the police. He was sentenced to 14 years in prison on 2001 on charges of corruption, but he benefitted from the NRO. While he was in jail, not only did important Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) personalities meet him, but the president also granted general pardon to all the prisoners to get him out of jail.
said it was for the first time in the history of the country that no one from the opposition was supporting any undemocratic or unconstitutional change. Nisar also came down hard on one of the federal cabinet members, saying he tried to malign the PML-N leadership. Without naming the PPP minister, Nisar warned that if he continued with his maligning campaign, the other side will also come up with some “stories and documents”. Replying to Nisar, Religious Affairs Minister Syed Khurshid Shah said the session was summoned to debate what was being discussed outside parliament. He sought the opposition’s support for the resolution as “it must be undisputed and unanimous”.
ex-defence secy to challenge sacking
LAHORE: Chaudhry Zulfiqar of the pro-judiciary Professional Group of Hamid Khan was elected the new president of the Lahore Bar Association (LBA) on Friday. He defeated Nauman Qureshi of Friends’ Group led by Asma Jehangir and People’s Lawyers Forum (PLF). A total 5,650 votes were cast of the 11,670 eligible votes in the elections of the Lahore district bar. Zulfiqar won the elections with a lead of 350 votes by securing 2,208 votes, while his rival bagged 1,857 votes. Zulfiqar enjoyed the support of several political parties, including the PML-N and Jamaat-e-Islami. Nauman was being backed by PPP lawyers, Asma Jehangir, Punjab Governor Latif Khosa, SCBA President Yasin Azad, PCO judges and Punjab Bar Council. The vote count for the seats of vice president and secretaries could not be completed until late night. JAMALuDDIN JAMALI
a result of great sacrifices rendered by the people of Pakistan. This House reiterates the belief of the democratic forces that the future of Pakistan and well-being of its people lies in the continuation and strengthening of democratic institutions and constitutionalism for the resolution of national issues, strengthening of the federation and empowering the people of Pakistan.” It further said: “This
House believes that for the furtherance of democracy and democratic institutions the basic constitutional principle of trichotomy of powers must be fully respected and adhered to and all state institutions must strictly function within the limits imposed on them by the Constitution. The House reiterates that sovereignty lies with the people of Pakistan and the parliament is the repository of the collective wisdom of the people.” “This House endorses
and supports the efforts made by the political leadership for strengthening democracy and reposes full confidence and trust in them,” the resolution concluded. Before amendments, the draft resolution had sought the House to endorse the efforts made by the president and prime minister for strengthening democracy and repose full confidence and trust in them. Later, the speaker adjourned the house to meet again on Monday evening (January 16).
7-judge SC bench to hear nro case ISLAMABAD MASooD RehMAN
A seven-member bench of the Supreme Court headed by Justice Nasirul Mulk was constituted on Friday to hear the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) verdict implementation case on January 16, along with the already laid out six-options, of which one could possibly be part of the final judgment. However, a well placed source told Pakistan Today on Friday that the government was likely to move an application in the SC today (Saturday) seeking more time to implement all portions of the NRO verdict and consequent directions, on the grounds that it had started implementation of the verdict, however, more time was required to implement all its portions. He said the implementation of the verdict to the extent of NAB cases had been started by the government. The source said the law secretary was still abroad and would most probably return by the end of next week. The bench comprises Justice Nasirul Mulk, Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, Justice Sarmad Jalal Osmany, Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, Justice Ijaz Ahmed Chaudhry, Justice Gulzar Ahmed and Justice Muhammad Ather Saeed. On January 10, a five-judge special bench headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa, in its short order on non-implementation of the NRO verdict by the government, had laid out six options it (court) could take against the willful disobedience of the government in implementing the NRO verdict and its consequent directions.
Government would rather ContInued from page 1 Reacting to Opposition Leader Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan’s remarks that the opposition did not have confidence in the government, the prime minister said it was not a matter of confidence or no-confidence, as it was all about the democratic process. He also urged the opposition to get the constitution amended to reduce the tenure of the government and parliament from five to four years if they did not like, him but no one else should tell the government to go before the end of its term. “We would support this amendment. Why should any other institution tell us to leave after four years? This is the right of parliament, so you should bring an amendment to reduce the term of the prime minister and the parliament to four years,” he said. He also brushed aside the impression that the ruling party wanted to trigger a confrontation between the state institutions and commit political suicide. “We don’t want confrontation between the state institutions nor is (political) martyrdom our objective. We also did not come here to get your recommendations in support of the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) and we will also not beg for your support to save us from the army. We have reached this point after a struggle,” he said, adding that the resolution was aimed at strengthening parliament. Seeking support from
the opposition for the resolution moved by the treasury benches, Gilani said the lawmakers should gel together to strengthen parliament as even “crows get united in difficult times”. In order to persuade Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) members to support the resolution, Gilani reminded them how all the 17 judges of the Supreme Court had gathered at night on a “misinformation” that he was going to de-notify the judges who had been restored. “This news was more of a misinformation and absurd but they all got together. It happens as even crows get together in difficult times. On my assurance, the judges asked me to state in writing that they would not be de-notified in future. But I told them that they were released on my verbal orders in my first speech, even though I had not taken oath after being elected. They were restored on my executive order. I told them that they would have to believe on verbal assurance of an elected prime minister, but I would not give this in writing,” he said. Gilani also said he was booked under treason charges for supporting Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and had no regrets for that. “But this cannot happen that we ask you to reopen the ZA Bhutto case and you term us traitors. Even the judge who gave verdict against Bhutto admitted in his book that it was judicial murder,” he
added. The prime minister was interrupted with cried of “No, no” by his own colleagues when he reminded the PML-N members that like them, the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) members had also faced brutal torture in their struggle for democratic order in the country. “We, like you, were also subjected to lashes while struggling for democracy,” he said, but was interrupted by his colleagues who reminded the prime minister that none of the PML-N men had fought against the autocracy of General Ziaul Haq in the 1970s. It is, however, a historical fact that the prime minister’s elders were with the PML in the 70s. Gilani immediately corrected himself by stating that though no PML-N leaders had to face lashes, but people like Makhdoom Javed Hashmi were subjected to torture along with him in jail for the cause of democracy. He said it was to his government’s credit that for the first time in the country’s history, the army chief and the ISI DG had been made accountable to parliament. Referring to the resolution, moved in the National Assembly by Awami National Party (ANP) chief Asfandyar Wali Khan, the prime minister said the resolution was not against any institution but meant to support the democratic process and continuity of the parliamentary system in the country. Even though he vowed
that he would never seek help from the opposition, Gilani said urged the opposition to support parliament. “You should protect yourself, you should protect the parliament,” he said. He also said the NRO was not drafted by the PPP but no one was talking about its creator. “Now the same dictator is talking about returning to the country as the people want him back,” he said in a taunting tone. “Let us decide that either there will be democracy or there will be dictatorship in the country,” he said, adding that his government might have made mistakes but parliament should not be punished for the wrongdoings of the government. Recalling the removal of PML-N government in October 1999, Gilani said it was also a conspiracy against an elected government that enjoyed a twothirds majority. “Let me tell you even if my government is sent packing and any new stage is set up, neither the opposition nor we will be given power. We are political workers. We may commit mistakes but democracy should not suffer,” he added. Gilani said although the treasury benches had majority in the House, he did not want to bulldoze the resolution through but wanted to take the opposition along. He said since the opposition wanted some time, the voting on the resolution may be held on Monday to achieve consensus.
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4 years on, heirs of 778 remain uncompensated Sindh Assembly session 07
Oh baby, baby, it’s a wild KU ■ Students Action Committee activists create mayhem inside campus, tear up exam papers ■ BA (Part-I) exam put off, students may be awarded average marks
A few minutes’ drive away from the main Clifton beach, this place known as ‘Do Darya’ is popular for amateur fishing. iMrAn Ali
in Malir, three murders mean trouble’s brewing ■ Victims include member of MQM’s Buzurg Committee KARACHI
LL hell broke loose at the University of Karachi (KU) on Friday when a large number of students – members of an umbrella student organisation - turned unruly inside the campus and forced the cancellation of the annual degree examinations. Activists of the Students Action Committee (SAC) – a newly-formed alliance of four student unions, the People’s Students Federation (PSF), the Imamia Students Organisation (ISO), the Gilgit-Baltistan Students Federation (GBSF) and the Punjabi Students Association (PSA) - attacked the candidates appearing in the morning shift examinations. According to sources, the alliance has been formed to press the university management into accepting its demands. The BA (Part-I) candidates had just started solving the Economics Analysis and Policy paper when violence broke out in the Mathematics, Geography, Geology and Library and Information Sciences departments. The SAC activists allegedly tore up the admit cards, question papers and answer scripts of most of the candidates. The mob also smashed the windows and furniture at the Department of Physiology. Some candidates also accused the miscreants for thrashing the students at those departments as well as snatching their valuables. Several students of BA Part-II were also appearing in the paper for a supplementary examination. However, the candidates had to quit the examination as the SAC activists barged into exam halls, creating a serious security lapse inside the campus. Later, when the candidates affected by the ruckus staged a demonstration outside the KU Administration Block, PSF activists used force to disperse the students, who then gathered outside the Silver Jubilee gate, creating a traffic mess on the University Road. Witnesses said Rangers personnel and the KU security staff stood as silent spectators as student activists created mayhem inside the campus, disturbing the examinations at four examination centres. Later, the SAC activists also gathered outside the Karachi Press Club (KPC) and chanted slogans against the KU management and the varsity’s admissions director. KU Vice Chancellor (VC) Prof Dr Pirzada Qasim Raza Siddiqui told Pakistan Today that the administration had taken a solid stance against illegal admissions and those who were not accommodated disturbed the peaceful atmosphere at the campus. Assuring that the second-shift paper scheduled would be conducted in a peaceful
environment, the KU VC claimed that the security at campus would not allow the miscreants to do such things again. The papers scheduled in the evening shift were conducted peacefully. Talking about the students who could not complete their paper, Siddiqui said the university administration has given the option to these students to re-appear along with the BA (External) candidates’ paper scheduled for February 1. Otherwise, the KU would award average marks to the students affected, according to their performance in other papers. He said the decision was taken in the interest of the students. Talking with Pakistan Today, KU Pro-VC (PVC) Prof Dr Nasiruddin Khan said that out of the 26 exam centres for male candidates inside the campus, the exam was disrupted in four due to the intervention of political activists. “I have asked KU Student Adviser Prof Dr Nasir Ansar to identify the students behind the unrest and report to me,” he said. “I have also requested the [KU] VC to take stern action against the people who are identified in the adviser’s report to avoid such incidents in the future.” A few days ago, KU Admissions Director Prof Dr Khalid Iraqi had vowed not to grant a single out-of-turn admission to any activist of student or political organisations. “I will resign if anyone claims and later proves that I had granted one admission without merit to anyone,” he had asserted. On January 11, the SAC had launched a campaign against the recently-appointed KU Admissions director, threatening the varsity management of staging protests outside the Administration Block until the student organisation’s demands are met. However, when the administration did not budge from its position, the SAC activists in their show of power attacked the students of various colleges, who had come to the KU for appearing in their annual examinations. It appears that for the first time in decades, the KU Admissions director has refused to bow down to the demands of student unions. As the admission process was completed transparently and no activists of student organisations granted out-of-turn admissions, some of the unions have started campaigning against the director to force the KU administration into removing him. Meanwhile, the KU decided not to allow entry of any irrelevant persons and vehicles inside the campus on Saturday (today) and the newly-admitted students would only be allowed to enter the varsity from the Silver Jubilee gate and the IBA gate (Maskan) to attend their orientation. The Academic Session 2012 at the KU would commence from January 16 (Monday).
KARACHI StAff RePoRt
Violence and fear swept Malir and its surrounding areas on Friday following three murders in the town within the jurisdiction of the Al-Falah police station, including that of a man affiliated with the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM). A school van driver, identified as 30-year-old Shah Nawaz Baloch, left home in the morning to pick up children when some unidentified assailants intercepted him near Siddique Goth and shot him. His body was shifted to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC) for postmortem and later handed over to his heirs. A 62-year-old man was killed by unidentified attackers at Qalandaria
Chowk. Muhammad Hanif Sheikh was sitting outside his home when the assailants sprayed him with bullets. His body was also taken to the JPMC. Police said the victim was affiliated with the MQM’s Buzurg Committee. A man identified as 25-year-old Rashid Qureshi was sitting at a poultry shop at Jamia Millia Road when unidentified assailants on a motorcycle opened fire at him. He was rushed to the JPMC but he succumbed to his injuries on the way. Police said that the victim worked at the poultry shop. However, they were unable to confirm whether the victim was affiliated with any political party or not. Following the murders, shops at Jamia Millia Road, Siddique Goth and Qalandaria Chowk were closed and
these areas were rocked by aerial firing. Panicked by the situation, people remained at their homes. Aerial firing was also reported in surrounding areas including Azeempura and Pathan Goth. The Al-Falah police station jurisdiction of Malir has been gripped by violence for the past few days and a number of people have been killed in the area. Separately, two robbers were killed in a police encounter in the limits of New Karachi police station on Friday. Police said two robbers were snatching valuables from citizens when the patrolling police van reached there. The robbers opened fire on the police, and after an encounter, both of them were killed. However, the identity of the two robbers could not be ascertained till the filing of this report.
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With 170,000 students, now wonder we break O- and A-levels records ■ UK minister of state for trade and investment says more people studying for o- and A-levels in Pakistan than anywhere outside UK ■ Highlights strategic partnership between KSBl and Judge Business School at the University of Cambridge KARACHI
HERE are more people studying for O- and A-levels in Pakistan – some 170,000 of them - than anywhere else outside of the UK, said Lord Green, UK minister of state for trade and investment, while speaking to the members of the Karachi School for Business and Leadership (KSBL) at the British Deputy High Commission on Thursday. “One of the most important areas where we can work together to ensure future prosperity is education. It is an area in which the UK and Pakistan are already jointly engaged and where, in a country with 33 million students, there is huge potential,” he added. “We have 30,000 students from Pakistan in the UK, and graduates of UK universities are the backbone of many businesses here in Pakistan. The many thousands of Pakistani students who sit the ACCA and CIMA accounting qualifications can help to drive up trade and investment between our
countries.” He pointed out that UK Prime Minister David Cameron had announced £650 million for education in Pakistan last year. “These UK funds will help to get more than four million children into school, help recruit and train ninety thousand teachers and provide six million sets of text books,” he added. Green also highlighted the strategic partnership between the KSBL and the Judge Business School at the University of Cambridge. Speaking on trade ties, he said UK exports to Pakistan have shown double-digit levels of growth over the last year. “I was pleased to note that Pakistan’s exports to the UK rose by 17 percent in the months from January to October, with particularly strong growth in textiles,” he added. He noted that the UK is the top destination in Europe for exports from Pakistan. It is also the largest European investor in Pakistan. Of the international businesses operating here, one in six is British and the UK is Pakistan's strongest advocate for market
Baroness Warsi takes a trip around city KARACHI PReSS ReLeASe
UK Cabinet Minister Baroness Warsi met with the Archbishop of Karachi at St Patrick’s Cathedral on Friday and also visited the Jesus and Mary Convent in Clifton. She appreciated the Pakistani Christian community’s efforts. Warsi also met with Abdul Sattar Edhi, the head of the Edhi Foundation, and acknowledged the charitable work of the largest welfare organisation of the country. The visits came at the end of a series of meetings and events Warsi attended along with UK Trade and Investment Minister Lord Green over the last two days in Islamabad and Karachi to take forward the trade and business strand of the UK-Pakistan Enhanced Strategic Dialogue. ”It was an honour to meet the archbishop of Karachi and Sister Berchmans, Benazir Bhutto’s former teacher at the Jesus and Mary Convent. I was heartened and inspired to learn about her 58 years of service to women in Pakistan. Her work is an outstanding example of powerful role faith can play in the world,” said Warsi. ”I am pleased to have taken forward with Lord Green the Enhanced Strategic Dialogue between the UK and Pakistan. Whether it is on trade and the economy, or through culture and education, we are serious about building a long-term unbreakable partnership with Pakistan for generations ahead.” access to the EU. “We strongly support the European Commission's proposal to extend GSP Plus eligibility to Pakistan. Negotia-
tions are ongoing and we are pleased that the European Parliament's draft report has welcomed the extension of GSP Plus. There is further potential for
developing bilateral trade as UK consumers become more aware of what Pakistan has to offer.” UK Cabinet Minister Baroness Warsi, who is accompanying Green on his first visit to Pakistan as trade minister also present on the occasion, alongside Hussain Dawood, chairman of the KSBL. Other guests included members of Karachi’s “Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry” and the “Pakistan Business Council”. Speaking on the occasion, Hussain Dawood said Pakistan is facing numerous internal and external challenges and one of the ways these can be addressed is by nurturing and grooming its human talent. “The best way to do so is by establishing centres of excellence for applied education and training. The KSBL is one such example, being established in collaboration with the University of Cambridge Judge Business School, offering world-class education in leadership and business with a focus on ethics and social responsibility,” he added.
Female politicians discuss women’s issues with US CG KARACHI AMAR GuRIRo
US Consul General in Karachi William Martin met with female political leaders and parliamentarians at the Consulate General on Friday. Among them were five female ministers of the Sindh cabinet. Martin congratulated them on the recent passage of the legisla-
tion on women’s rights. The consul general lauded the group for their ability to work across party lines, saying, “The issue of women’s empowerment transcends politics. I commend that you are working together on this important issue.” The female politicians and lawmakers briefed the consul general on the constraints that hold women back in Pakistan, as well as other issues they are addressing
through legislation, including honour killings, acid attacks, and domestic violence. Martin referred to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s “Women, Peace, and Security Initiative”, saying that women’s empowerment improves the society. The discussion over tea was a continuation of a series of meetings the consulate has held in recent months to bring attention to
the US government’s commitment to women’s rights across Sindh, the rest of the country and around the world. These meetings have included a conference marking “16 Days of Activism to Eliminate Gender-Based Violence;” and “Voices of Courage”, celebrating the book launch of Sehra Waheed’s Silent Submission, about her experience in an abusive marriage.
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karachi 07 PakistaN today
SinDH ASSeMBly SeSSiOn
4 years on, heirs of 778 remain uncompensated ■ Provincial government yet to provide compensation to heirs of over 700 victims, who lost their lives in calamities from 2007 to 2010 KARACHI ISMAIL DILAWAR
Bureaucratic lethargy” – one of the most referred to term during the current government’s tenure – has been once again blamed for the Sindh government’s failure to provide compensation to the heirs of over 700 people, who have lost their lives since 2007 during different calamities that played havoc with the socioeconomic infrastructure of the province. This was observed during the Sindh Assembly session on Friday, where Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah had sent written answers to the questions asked by the lawmakers. However, the legislative house did not have the Question Hour due to the early adjournment in respect of the demise of Pakistan Muslim League-Functional chief Pir Pagara VII. According to the chief minister, during the span of four years [2007 to 2010] Sindh witnessed rains and floods that killed at least 778 people and 490,552 cattle heads, damaged 862,885 houses and 6,036 government buildings, inundated 1.733 million acres of cropped lands and resulted in the displacement of millions of people in various districts of the province. Shah – who also holds the provincial Relief portfolio – stated that the rains and floods in various districts of Sindh claimed the lives of 177 people in 2007; 40 in 2008; 84 in 2009; and 517 lives in 2010. Whereas, the Sindh government is yet to pay compensation amounts to the heirs of the people who lost their lives during the natural calamities. However, the chief minister blamed the respective district coordination officers (DCOs) for not being able to swiftly complete the required paper work for providing compensation to the heirs of the deceased – once again highlighting the bureaucratic lethargy that has plagued the administrative abilities of the provincial government in its entire tenure. “The compensation amount to the legal heirs of the deceased was not provided as the verification report was not received from the DCOs concerned,” Shah replied to the query from MPA Muzammil Qureshi. Despite the lapse of two years since heavy floods inundated various districts of Sindh, the respective DCOs of the districts affected are yet to send the summaries detailing the extent of human and infrastructural losses to the Sindh Finance Department. “All the DCOs concerned were requested to furnish the details of losses after verification from their District Relief Committees but the reports are still awaited though expedited time and again,” the chief minister stated. Meanwhile, the provincial government
Pagara’s demise: House adjourned till Monday KARACHI StAff RePoRt
Within minutes after being called into order, the Sindh Assembly session was adjourned by the chair at around 11:15 am on a condolence note over the demise of PML-F chief Pir Pagara VII. The provincial legislature had assembled after a delay of 75 minutes under the chairmanship of Dr Sikandar Mandhro. The house offered fateha for the departed soul of the veteran politician and the spiritual leader of Hur Jamaat, who died on Tuesday in London. The lawmakers also offered condolences to Sindh Assembly Deputy Speaker Shehla Raza on the demise of her father and prayed for his departed soul. Fatehas were also offered for the slain PPP chairperson Benazir Bhutto, journalist Wali Babar and Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer. Besides recitation from the holy Quran and naat, the Orders of the Day on Friday included one-hour question and answer session on Sindh Relief Department, an adjournment motion submitted by MPA Imran Zafar Leghari, the consideration of government bill no 22, Sindh Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Dewan University Bill, 2011 and the presentation of the respective standing committees’ reports on irrigation and power departments and the Board of Revenue. The house would meet again on Monday 10:00 am. has also failed to provide compensation to the owners of the properties ransacked on December 27, 2007 after the assassination of Benazir Bhutto or renovate the partially damaged government buildings in the Khairpur district, the chief minister told PML-F lawmaker Nusrat Saher Abbasi. While billions of rupees are being spent on relief and rehabilitation works, the Sindh government has not devised a permanent formula to distribute the relief money among the affectees. “There is no formula or criteria for district-wise distribution of amount allocated for the provincial Relief Department,” Shah said in reply to another question from Qureshi.
Afza Altaf Flyover to be opened on 15th of next month KARACHI StAff RePoRt
The Afza Altaf Flyover at the Habib Bank Chowrangi in the SITE area would be opened for traffic on the 15th of next month, Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ebad was informed during his visit to the flyover on Friday. He was accompanied by Home Minister Manzoor Wasan and Commerce and Industries Minister Rauf Siddiqui. Ebad and Wasan expressed their satisfaction on the construction work and appreciated the efforts of Rauf Siddiqui for having the project materialised.
Ebad said the project is very important for the industrialists of Karachi and should be completed on time. He announced that police and Rangers check-posts, a Madadgar 15 Center, Edhi and KKF ambulance centers and a fire brigade station would be set up under the flyover after it is completed. On the occasion, Siddiqiui said that the flyover would be opened for traffic on February 15. “I am very thankful to Governor Dr Ishratul Ebad and Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah for their cooperation for the project,” he added.
Members of the KESC labour union stage a protest against the power utility’s management near the Governor’s House on Friday. Online
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■ Winning the Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize has not made Pakistani author Jamil Ahmad more willing-to-talk than how he chooses to be. Following are excerpts from an interview with the 80-year-old author who likes to maintain a low profile THE HINDU
month ago, Jamil Ahmad became the second Pakistani author to win the Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize for The Wandering Falcon after Mohammed Hanif walked away with the honours in 2008 with his The Case of Exploding Mangoes. For Ahmad – who is pushing 80 – the award is just one in a series of surprises which have been coming his way since The Wandering Falcon was snapped up by a publisher over three decades after it was written. A retired civil servant, he penned the loosely-connected collection of short stories to fight the dreariness of working in the far-flung tribal areas of Pakistan in the early 1970s, way before the belt along the Afghanistan border became the headline-grabber that it has been post-9/11. But for his younger brother’s initiative of entering the manuscript for a literary award – albeit a tad late in 2010 – The Wandering Falcon may still have been lying in a cupboard of the former Balochistan chief secretary’s Islamabad home. Thus salvaged, the manuscript – which began as diary jottings which were then typed out by his German wife Helga – was picked up by Penguin India and edited. There has been no looking back since with the literary world taking note and toasting the arrival of arguably one of the oldest authors. How does it feel to have beaten younger writers to the Shakti Bhatt Prize for First Book? The Wandering Falcon has offered me one surprise after another during the past one-and-ahalf years. When it garnered the Shakti Bhatt Prize, my reaction was “what a pleasant surprise?” The feeling of beating other writers never crossed my mind. You say The Wandering Falcon has brought you several surprises over the past year-and-a-half. Could you please dwell on some of these surprises? The first surprise was when it caught the interest of Faiza Sultan Khan in Karachi. She carried it to London and showed it to Meru Gokhale of Penguin India, who took a liking to it. What followed was the decision of Penguin India to publish it. You must be the senior-most writer in age to have won this award for maiden literary ventures. What, in your assessment, gave your book that edge? I really don’t know. It is possible that the flavour of life and description of certain societies as they existed half-a-century ago aroused interest and curiosity of the current generation. Do you think the attention that the war on terror has brought to Pakistan, particularly the tribal belt, has had some bearing on the success of your book? Perhaps. Now that your book has been received so well, do you regret not having published it earlier? No, I have no regrets. There is a time and chance for everything. Perhaps the right time for the book was not four decades ago. Since you have yourself mentioned in earlier interviews that the manuscript had been rejected in the past, what do you attribute the success of your book to? It is possible that the happenings in the past three decades, the wars and genocides in Africa, the Balkans, in Asia, in Central America and the sim-
Pakistani author Jamil Ahmad mering tensions have brought about a realisation that fostering and understanding the tribal system could lead to greater stability and less disequilibrium and that tensions that erupt could be handled, more competently, if tribal sensitivities are taken into account. The Wandering Falcon is a work of fiction but it does try to offer images of tribal life which are other than that of “uncivilised savages”. Most readers and reviewers of your book can’t seem to figure out if it is a novel or a collection of short stories. How would you describe the book? I do not reject the description of connected short stories. Indeed, I have always believed (and more so at my age) that human lives conform more closely to the connected short-story mode rather than the orderly and uninterrupted flow of a novel. What was it that drew you to tribal culture to such an extent that you opted to work in the frontier areas? I cannot say for sure but it is possible that the choice of reading suggested to me by my teachers and elders may have acted as a catalyst in developing an interest in the tribes. And, is this book a conscious effort to make people understand the dynamics of tribal culture or is that just a chance outcome of your writing? I am, and have always been a great admirer of the tribal system and believe that it is the least tyrannical and the least inequitable of all forms of human collectivity. I also believe that it suffered great harassment from other rival lower systems,
nation states, feudalism, empires, consumer capitalist societies, socialist societies. You say the tribal system is probably the least tyrannical. But the general impression is that it is violent, particularly along the Durand Line. How would you reconcile these extreme views? And, what about the rights of women or is that a fallout of the Talibanisation of the area? The scenes in the book precede the Afghan war and the interventions of major powers in the region, which has led to “unintended consequences” of violence and fracture of the old tribal system. Speaking of Talibanisation, how and how much has it changed the areas you once engaged with as an administrator? I am out of touch with the current system. It would not be right on my part to offer any comments based on second-hand reports and observations. Has the success of the book encouraged you to write another book? If yes, then when and what are you working on? At this point, I cannot answer Yes or No. I may take a decision in a month or two. Would you consider a Pashto translation of this book for, after all, yours is a rare sympathetic Punjabi voice on the tribal areas. The Wylie Agency in London is handling translation rights to the book. It is they who will deal with any offer as they have done with other translation rights so far.
the SKY StILL LINGeRS
ART EXHIBITION UNTIL JANUARY 14 VENUE: ARTSCENE GALLERY
ART EXHIBITION UNTIL JANUARY 15 VENUE: PHOTOSPACE GALLERY
ART EXHIBITION UNTIL JANUARY 18 VENUE: CHAWKANDI ART
Saeed Akhtar’s exhibition of charcoal drawings until January 14 at the ArtScene Gallery. Call 35843961 for more information.
Art exhibition ‘The Sky Still Lingers’ until January 15 at the Photospace Gallery. Call 0300-8242197 for more information.
Hadia Moiz, Kiran Saeed and Sobia Ahmed’s art exhibition until January 18 at the Chawkandi Art gallery. Call 35373582 for more information.
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legislation to control IEDs soon ISLAMABAD StAff RePoRt
The government would soon introduce a law to counter and control improvised explosive devices (IEDS) and has sought inputs from all the provinces and other stake holders in this regard. The interior minister on Friday chaired a high-level meeting at the Ministry of Interior in which progress was reviewed regarding strategy for implementation of executive policy for curbing IEDs by all provinces and stakeholders. The meeting was attended by high ranking officials of federal as well as provincial governments, including representatives of all law enforcement agencies. The minister asked the participants to offer their input in the proposed legislation to be enacted shortly through a bill named “Counter and Control of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDS) Bill, 2012” to be drafted by the Ministry of Interior. The draft bill would be circulated to all provinces for deliberations. He directed the Civil Defence DG to take the draft bill to provincial governments of Punjab and Sindh for discussion with chief secretaries, home secretaries and IGPs. Similarly, he directed law joint secretary at the Interior Ministry to take similar action in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan and GilgitBaltistan. Both officers have been directed to submit their joint report after which the same would be promulgated. The minister also directed the interior secretary to form a committee under the chairmanship of National Police Bureau director general for revision and modification of Blue Book according to the new challenges and new security trends, so that the outdated Blue Book could be revised according to the need of the hour.
AJK Assembly shows support for president, PM MUZAFFARABAD INP
The Azad Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly on Friday passed a resolution in favour of Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani and President Asif Ali Zardari. The resolution was submitted by some members of the treasury benches in the assembly session. The resolution praised the efforts of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP)-led government for the Kashmir cause at national and international levels according to the United Nations resolutions and aspirations of the Kashmiri people. The resolution said that the Kashmir issue was attracting the attention of the international community because of the democratic government in Pakistan.
MuzzAfARABAD: Local residents cross River Jhelum using a wooden lift on friday. inP
Govt planning to buy new planes to make PIA profitable ISLAMABAD
HE National Assembly was informed on Friday that the government was going to replace the aging fleet of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) with new aircraft to make it a profitable entity and provide better traveling facilities to passengers. Responding to a calling attention notice moved by PML-N MNA Nuzhat Sadiq and others, Minister for Defence Chaudhry Ahmad Mukhtar said of 39 aircraft, 32 were functional, while seven had been grounded due to various reasons. He said PIA was trying to get nine aircraft on lease in accordance with Public Procurement Regulatory Agency (PPRA) rules. He said most of the PIA aircraft were past their useful life and the ministry was planning to get new aircraft on lease to keep PIA functional.
Asked why two aircraft gotten on lease were banned by Saudi authorities, the minister said during the Haj operations, PIA acquired two aircraft on wet-lease basis and earned five million dollars for transporting pilgrims from Burma. However, he did not clarify why Saudi authorities had banned those two aircraft. To another question, the minister admitted failure of the management to check theft of aircraft spare parts and said efforts were being made to control the theft. He said by leasing the aircraft, the theft chances had been reduced. Mukhtar said leased planes had their own crew which further de-
creased losses. As the minister could not properly respond most of the questions, Speaker Dr Fehmida Mirza directed the ill-prepared defence minister to give a detailed briefing to the House the next day. Meanwhile, Minister for Religious Affairs Syed Khursheed Shah tabled before the House the career structure for health personnel bill, 2012. The bill aims at regulating the appointment and the terms and conditions of service of health personnel serving in the federal health institutions of the government. The minister also laid before the House the annual report of Competition Commission of Pakistan for the financial year ending June 30, 2010.
Haqqani wants action against Akram
Former Pakistan ambassador to the US Hussain Haqqani on Friday moved an application before the judicial commission probing the memo issue, seeking action against Akram Sheikh, counsel for Mansoor Ijaz, for attributing false statements to him. Haqqani, through his counsel Syed Zahid Hussain Bokhari, requested the commission to restrict Sheikh from attributing false, incorrect and provocative statements about the applicant in the interest of justice. He also requested that the commission might kindly take notice or action of this matter by passing an appropriate order. Enumerating reasons, he said on January 9, Sheikh told the electronic media that he had hurled threats at his client. The news reports were also carried by a number of newspapers. He said such fallacious and fabricated claims carried no weight and were malafide.
Doomsday scenarios for PPP taking back seat g
March does not seem that difficult for the PPP anymore
CoMMEnT NADeeM SYeD
Despite heavy odds stacked against the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) government, it is all set to complete its term and even announce the future election schedule, showing a strong penchant to wriggle out of even the gravest crises of the kind it faced more recently from a hostile judiciary and powerful military. Already the month of March does not look that difficult for the PPP anymore. The recent confrontation between the government and judiciary on the one hand and government and military leadership hitting the country like a real thunderstorm created a huge psychological impact that would have sobering effects on all
stakeholders and would allow the government elbow room to come out of it unharmed. But more importantly, the political mindset is changing and focus of political leadership has shifted from disruptive politics aimed at dislodging the present government to Senate polls and early general elections, which are positive signs for the country and even the PPP government so discredited, if we lend ears to the TV channels. It seems the country is heading for election season sooner rather than later with all the doomsday scenarios for the incumbents taking a back seat. The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), the main opposition party right now, seems to be out of sorts after the fast changing and dramatic political developments, lacking both vision and support at
national level from other political forces to force any political change or match the sophisticated moves made by the PPP on the political chessboard. It has already backtracked from its extreme positions it adopted more recently. At one time not very long ago, it was averse to holding Senate elections and was thinking in terms of resigning from assemblies to rob the PPP of getting any advantage in the Senate polls. But now, giving in to the political compulsions, it did not talk against the Senate election as it used to. Other political parties too have no grudge against Senate polls. Nawaz Sharif would like now to see Senate elections taking place on schedule as it would deprive its archrival the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) of any representation in the Upper House and so going ahead with the Senate polls is good for
him. As such the emerging scenario is not that bad for the PPP. The PPP government would be more than happy to announce early elections as part of any political deal with other entities or otherwise. But early elections do not mean they are being held tomorrow. They would be held, at the earliest, by the last quarter of this year. This allows the PPP to present the fifth consecutive budget in the country and another chance to make amends for the lapses it committed before in order to improve the image of its government and Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani to earn the distinction of the first civilian prime minister to present the fifth consecutive budget in Pakistan. Good for him. As such it is a win-win situation for the PPP and its allies. The PPP government would be ready to hold elections as being
demanded by the opposition; free and fair through an independent election commission. Meanwhile, threats once faced by the PPP and played up by the media including long marches, agitation movements by the opposition or resignation from assemblies have receded with the changing political moves. Nor is the political leadership willing to accept any adventurism involving the military. The military top brass, including the army chief and most of his generals, are in favour of not destablising the present setup. Efforts are afoot involving some intermediaries to patch up between the government and military leadership to protect the PPP’s long-term interests in politics. The PPP in the latest turnaround will not like to take its fight with the judiciary too far.
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‘Terrorists can’t demoralise forces’ PESHAWAR
licemen and offered condolences to their families The CM said the government and the people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa would not overlook the sacrifices of the martyrs. Responding to media queries, the chief minister condemned the incident in strong words and expressed grief over the loss of precious lives. He said some of the hideouts of terrorists had been destroyed in a joint operation of police and Frontier Corps (FC) and the terrorists had targeted the police post last night in retaliation, adding that the police and FC personnel fought bravely. He said one FC and two police personnel lost their lives, while seven terrorists were killed, including two skilled commanders. He said this incident depicted that police and security forces were fully active in counteracting terrorists, but regretted that the people were kidnapped and deprived of
HYBER Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Amir Haider Khan Hoti said on Friday terrorists targeting police and security forces would not affect their commitment but would further boost their resolve. He told reporters after offering funeral prayers for two police personnel at the Malik Saad Shaheed Police Lines that further effective actions would be taken against groups involved in terrorist activities. The police personnel were killed in a militant attack on a police post on Thursday. A vibrant contingent of police presented the guard of honour while the chief minister, along with other notable personalities, laid floral wreaths on the coffins of the slain po-
their weapons earlier in such incidents. He said terrorist attacks on FC and police were aimed at weakening their spirits, but such evil agendas would fail and the police and FC’s morale would only be boosted. Provincial Assembly Member Karamatullah Chagarmatti, Senior Provincial Minister Bashir Ahmad Bilour, Chief Secretary Ghulam Dastageer, Inspector General of Police Akbar Khan Hoti, police officials and relatives of the deceased also participated in the funeral prayers. Later, giving financial assistance cheques to the young children of former Awami National Party (ANP) Bannu president Muhammad Israel Khan Shaheed and former Bannu District Zakat Committee chairman Atta ur Rahamn Khan Shaheed, Hoti said the role and sacrifices of ANP workers in the struggle eliminate terrorism were secret to none.
Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard has reiterated that Australia will not agree to export uranium to Pakistan, which is imploring Canberra to make a similar policy change as done recently for India. “This policy is an exception which recognises the compelling rationale and national interest for a change in relation to India only,” Indian news agency IANS quoted Gillard as saying. “In the case of Pakistan, the issue does not arise as it does not have an exemption from the Nuclear Suppliers Group,” she said. Gillard also indicated that the United States might have played a significant role in Australia overturning the ban on the sale of nuclear fuel to India. “Not selling uranium to India made sense when it was part of a widelysupported international strategy to bring New Delhi into the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT),” she said in answer to a question about the primary reason behind the lifting of the ban. “But the US-India civil nuclear agreement of 2007 changed that strategy,” Gillard added. Against that background, it made little sense for Australia to stand alone as a country that would not consider nuclear trade with India, she said.
Khattak blames PMl-n, AnP, JUI-F for Pakhtun woes KARAK StAff RePoRt
Former Intelligence Bureau (IB) director general Masood Sharif Khan Khattak said on Friday that the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, the Awami National Party (ANP) and the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl were the political parties that had sold the blood of Pakhtuns and held them responsible of the disappointments of the Pakhtun people. Addressing a big public meeting at Khurram, he urged the Khattak tribe to help him get the rights of the tribe. He said the ANP leadership could not even arrange a public gathering on its soil and questioned how it could serve the people. He said the oil and gas companies working on the soil of Karak district were only extracting the natural wealth of the district and in return spending nothing on the welfare of the people, which was a failure of the elected representatives.
JI condemns recent drone attacks
India to prosecute Google, Facebook NEW DELHI AfP
PeShAWAR: the driver of this vehicle apparently failed to determine the distance of the edge of the road while parking his vehicle near the central jail on friday. TAriQ Aziz
ISLAMABAD StAff RePoRt
Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) leader Senator Khurshid Ahmad on Friday condemned in strongest terms two recent drone strikes on Pakistani soil by the United States, saying the attacks had killed many innocent people. In a press release, he said that after a silence of six weeks the US had once again started its aggressive violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. He said the parliament had repeatedly demanded the government to take effective steps to protect Pakistan’s air space and its people. The senator said the military leadership had issued a clear message against further aggression after the NATO attack on Pakistani border posts on November 26. “The nation asks the political and military leadership what steps they are going to take to resist these shameful attacks on Pakistan,” he said.
no Australian uranium for Pakistan: Gillard
India’s government authorised on Friday the prosecution of 21 Internet firms including Facebook and Google in a case over obscene content posted online, two sources told AFP. The approval could lead to company directors being called to a trial court in New Delhi to answer serious charges such as fomenting religious hatred and spreading social discord, an official and a lawyer said. A criminal case against the companies was first brought by journalist Vinay Rai who complained that the websites were responsible for obscene and offensive material posted by users.
JUi-F stops short of condemning Taliban PESHAWAR StAff RePoRt
Leaders of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (F) on Friday remained mum over the assassination of 15 soldiers of Frontier Constabulary and influence of thousands of local and foreign militants while addressing a well-attended public gathering in Mirali, the second largest town in North Waziristan Agency. The JUI-F arranged the rally in Mirali for commemorating the services of late tribal MNA Maulana Mohammad Deendar, who breathed his last a couple of months ago. Deendar remained MNA in 1993 and was the first amongst tribesmen who
backed the emergence of the Taliban and banned Tehreek Nifaz-e-Shariat-eMuhammadi. He was in contact with al Qaeda fugitives and arranged the marriage of his grand daughter with an Arab national. The JUI-F conference was addressed among others by party’s provincial chief Sheikh Aman Ullah, Maulana Ataur Rehman, Mufti Kifayat Ullah and Mufti Abdul Shakoor. Former chief minister Akram Khan Durrani and Maulana Gul Nasib Khan were unable to address the gathering. Almost all JUI-F leaders focused their speeches on what they called “wrong policies of present government, particularly in the war on terror”.
Such policies, they claimed, aimed at “getting the blessing of the US and its allies”. They said military action was leading to the killing of innocent people and on such grounds, they demanded an immediate halt to the offensive against the Taliban militants across the Tribal Areas. But at the same time, the JUI-F leaders remained silent over the establishment of “a state with in a state” by the militants in Waziristan. They time and again used the words “mujahideen” and “jihad” for all those who are killing innocent personnel of the security forces and blowing up schools across Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in the name of “jihad against the US”.
Mufti Kifayat Ullah, who is an MPA from Mansehra, said, “Everyone is talking about democracy, constitutions and institutions but no one realises his responsibility towards Quran and Sunna.” He said only the JUI-F was sincere to the Islamic cause. During the rally, JUI-F leaders denounced the US presence, particularly its drone operations in Waziristan region, with the audience endorsing the condemnation with raised arms and loud sloganeering. The JUI-F urged the government to force the US to halt drone attacks. Likewise, they also asked for continuation of sanctions against US-led allied troops in Afghanistan, especially the ban on supplies.
UnHCr to complete Afghan refugees’ repatriation by Dec end TIMERGARA StAff RePoRt
Officials of United Nation High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on Friday announced to repatriate Afghan refugees residing in four different camps at Lower Dir during the ongoing calendar year. Though the UNHCR officials are yet to chalk out a schedule for voluntary repatriation of Afghan refugees, the process usually starts in March and continues until October and November. However, the UNHCR officials have made it clear that they were determined
to vacate Lower Dir by December 31 2012. So far the UNHCR established a registration centre, Volunteer Center for Repatriation (VCR), at Khiaima area of Lower Dir, which was formally inaugurated by the UNHCR and Afghan Refugees Commissioner on Friday. Besides others, UNHCR Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief Ahmad, Commissioner Afghan Refugees Zaheerul Islam, operational commander Colonel Kamran Aslam, Dir Lower DCO Mahmood Aslam and district administrator Afghan Commissionerate Sahibzada Biradar Jan were present on the occasion. Addressing the gathering, the
UNHCR provincial head praised Pakistan and Sudan for hosting Afghan refugees for more than 30 years. He said both Islamic states had rendered great sacrifices for refugees. He said the Afghan refugees had to complete repatriation to their homeland by December, 2012. “The government of Pakistan will no more be responsible for them after the due date,” he said, asking the refugees to make preparations for their voluntary repatriation to Afghanistan. He said townships had been set up in nine Afghan provinces where rehabilitation of the refugees would be carried out. About opening of the office at
Timergara, the UNHCR head said it aimed to facilitate and asses refugees for easy and dignified return to their homeland. He urged the Afghan refugees to strictly follow the directives of the government of Pakistan about their repatriation. “Go to your own home and play an active role in developing your country, Afghanistan,” he said, adding that what Pakistan did for them was appreciable. Ahmad appealed to the government of Pakistan and concerned authorities to keep open the Pak-Afghan border for refugees returning to Afghanistan so that they could easily go to their homeland.
LoWeR DIR: Afghan Refugees Commissioner for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Khwaja zahoorul Islam Balambat inaugurates the VRC office in timergara.
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Editor’s mail 11
Six ways to doom
A ray of light
Tuesday was a black day in the history of Pakistan. The premier arbiters of the country declared the person with most responsibilities, irresponsible. This tells a lot about the slow progress of the country. It also indicates the persistent attitude of Pakistani politicians towards the issues in Pakistan. Pakistan was once seen as the Asian Tiger as its economy was growing at a respectable pace. Traditionally, any comparison with India was in the favour of Pakistan. Its economy, poverty situation, airline, army, and air force had always been a step ahead than its archrival neighbour. Pakistan was a well respected country among the Muslim countries, but now even the most loyal of friends like Saudi Arabia and China see us with suspicions. There might be a never-ending list of
disappointments, but today the attitude of judiciary and media, even with all their faults, show us a beacon of hope. The judiciary has been immensely patient with the ever-embarrassing attitude of the government. It has ignored SC’s decision. Nonetheless, the judiciary has come out with another bold decision. It might be discouraging that the judiciary has not taken any strict action against the prime minister and president for ignoring the top court of the country. Yet, a careful look into this decision, a set of six suggestions, is in fact six ways to doom for the government and the ruling party. The decision includes a possibility of disqualifying the Prime Minister to pressing charges against the responsible politicians and bureaucrats. It hinted on the likelihood of some harsh decisions to be taken in future. Judiciary has been re-
ally impressive in avoiding the possible confrontation even at this hour. One of the six suggestions is to take the matter to Pakistani citizens. It shows the sincerity and devotion of judiciary to avoid conflict and still fulfil its duty of dispensing justice. The suggestion of taking the decision to public might not be the one most talked in the media, but it is the one that must be thought most seriously about. In a civilised world this would be the case that the populace would decide on such important and serious matters. It is an important phase in the history of the country; the public must get to play its role. The country is facing problems from home-grown extremists to foreign powers. Its economy is going down the slope, and there is a severe power problem.
There are important decisions that must be taken to frame a policy for the future of the country. So, this decision of the SC is an important one and must not be ignored by the government this time. The government’s track record cries out loud that the SC’s propositions are going to fall on deaf ears. At least five out of the six suggestions will be fatal to the political career of some important leaders of the ruling party. Even if government takes the option of going to polls it will not be able to secure a good position in the next elections. The current scenario suggests that all of the six ways are going to put the Pakistan Peoples Party in a hitch. It is a sure doom for the party. The situation has become so because of constant wrong steps taken by the party. SULTAN MEHMOOD LUMS, Lahore
revive the name Of late, there has been a discussion going on in various newspapers in which the readers have dissented over changing street names. I tend to back the views of the writers. The names of streets, neigbourhoods and cities carry historical background, thus the people over period of time grow emotional attachment with them. Therefore, changing old street or towns names should be avoided. However, new towns can be built to name them for the required purpose. We can observe in the recent past world famous cities like Leningrad, Peking, Bombay, Rangoon, Madras, Culcatta, have been restored to their old names. In our country the province of NWFP has been renamed as Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, in accordance with the wishes of the people. In this perspective, I would suggest the old Karachi street Bunder Road may also be restored too. Bunder is a word of Sindhi dialect which represents port. During colonial days, Karachi city was carefully designed with a major long road having shops at designated places. The road finally would terminate at the port location called Keemari. After death of the founder of the nation, Bunder road was renamed as M A Jinnah Road. I presume had this name been changed in the life time of Jinnah saheb, he would have surely not allowed it because of its historical importance. I have great regard for the father of our nation and I have no intention of creating any controversy. However, a proposal could be worked out by which the road from Sohrab Goth to Old Numaish may be renamed as M A Jinnah Road. Likewise, the road from Old Numaish to Keemari may be retained with its famous old name which was Bunder Road. Many old people I have met in Singapore, Hongkong, Manila, Kuala Lumpur, New York, still remember with great affection the most famous Karachi street widely known as Bunder Road, which is no more there. I expect our seasoned civil society has the capacity to discuss such issues to reach at logical solutions without getting carried away by sentiments. A PAKISTANI Karachi
In Pakistan, the general public perception is that women are treated unfairly in our society. But while most Pakistani women are victims of inequality, abuse and threats, I believe there is a ray of light that often goes unnoticed. In my experiences, many middle-toupper class women in Pakistan are delicately handled – like valuable, glass objects. They are respected at least outwardly and even allowed to disgrace men in public for initiating eye contact. Women are not treated equally politically, socially and elsewhere. SABEEN IMAN Lahore
The other argument A lot of talk is going around these days on Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). So many people are criticising PTI’s Chief Imran Khan’s talk of change but keeping old faces in his party. People are also saying that these politicians have changed quite a few political parties already and now being with Imran Khan, they cannot bring change. But I disagree. To make it clear, let me quote an example. If the head of a security guard sleeps when he is on his duty, the security guard will also sleep as he will think that his boss is asleep. But if the head is awake, then his junior will never sleep as he will be afraid of his boss. The point is if the leader is credible, honest and hard working, then his team or workers will also work and the leader can monitor and inquire about the work of his workers anytime. MUBASHIR MAHMOOD Karachi
Going where? The government is once again increasing the electricity tariff. This is tantamount to giving the public a deadly shock. This is the latest in a series of tariff increases that have come one after the other in recent months. Indeed, there is a need to rationalise the electricity tariff but doing this in one go is very hard on the suffering common man. Sometimes I wonder if the government is even interested in the welfare of the people or not as it seems with its
Musharraf’s return In his jalsa on 8 January, Pervez Musharraf has announced that he will return to Karachi by the end of the month. It takes great courage to return to the country where people are already calling out for his blood. He himself said that the relative comforts one gets while living abroad are not given up unless the rewards on the other side are greater. Musharraf reiterated that he wants to return to help his people and not for any personal gain. He spoke out clearly against the charges being levelled against him like
gross mismanagement, it is leading the public like some sacrificial animal about to be slaughtered. The government would have found it easier to rally support while it is beleaguered if it had done something to improve people’s day to day lives. But, it has failed to do so. KAINAT FATIMA Lahore
the Nawab Bugti case and Benazir’s assassination. It wasn’t only the urban Karachiites who were present at the gathering. Participants came from Sukkur, Khairpur and other interior areas of the country showing their support. Contesting elections from Chitral shows that he has the confidence in the support of the Northern regions. His support for the province of Hazara is going to further increase his popularity there. Ethnicity is one of the core sensitive issues of our population right now. The presence of Bengalis, perhaps the most discriminated minority, was specially noted and it was wonderful to see
their presence at the rally. The APML rally is sure to invite comparison with the PTI jalsa. It is, however, important to note that there was considerable support of the newly formed party. At this point it is not important to note how many people come out to support a particular party but to appreciate the fact that at least people are coming out for their democratic right. The APML rally was also a part of the democratic process. The party is headed by a man who could prove to be the best choice as he is tried and tested. MASOOMA IMRAN Karachi
The video statements of Mr Altaf Hussain, the chief of MQM, are very fascinating. I have been watching Mr Hussain's video statements since I was a little kid. Since Mr Hussain and his party MQM have been in the opposition most of the time, I think they have forgotten how to act when they are part of the government. A recent video statement of Mr Altaf Hussain, where he is requesting the government to allow new provinces seemed very weird to me because Mr Altaf Hussain and MQM are part of the government and they are requesting the government to do something. Since Mr Altaf Hussain has been living in United Kingdom (he fears for his life and would not return to his country even when MQM have formed a coalition government in Pakistan), was he making these requests to his own workers who are now employed in his government? SHAHRYAR KHAN BASEER Peshawar Send your letters to: Letters to Editor, Pakistan Today, 4-Shaarey Fatima Jinnah, Lahore, Pakistan Fax: +92-42-36298302 E-mail: email@example.com Letters may be edited for length and clarity. It would be appreciated if letters were addressed to Pakistan Today exclusively.
resolving Pakistan's institutional conflict
hange is in the air. The sixth option given by the Supreme Court judges in their judgment on the non-implementation of the controversial National Reconciliation Ordnance (NRO) implies an interim government followed by elections. This is also the demand of the opposition parties, especially the biggest one – the PML(N). The government is looking at October after the Senate elections in March in which they hope to win a majority. It’s a time and space game – the government slowly gives up its space for manoeuvre to gain time while others seek to deny it time as well as space. Going by this the chances are that the executive will obey the Supreme Court’s orders as a last resort and at the last possible minute. The furore will then die down, at least on this issue. If this
does not happen then the other options are always there. Next is the so called ‘Memogate affair’ on which the lines seem to have been drawn between the government and the judiciary and the government and the military. Two facts are important and need to be borne in mind – the Supreme Court is on record as having said that it does not want to derail the system – meaning democracy – and that no unconstitutional step will be accepted implying that the past judicial cover to military coups is a thing of the past. Secondly, the military has stated that it has no intention of intervening, implying that change, if any, should only come through constitutional means. The memo has already claimed two victims – our ambassador to the US and the secretary
defence. It has also led to statements from the government that led to a general perception of a civil military confrontation that could lead on to further destabilising steps. So startling were the statements that some thought that the government actually wanted to be ousted prematurely to trigger the ‘martyr syndrome’ because it was at a dead end in terms of options. Fortunately, the response from the military in each case was measured, deliberate and calibrated to create just the right effect. The result has been follow-up statements from the prime minister that have scaled down the situation and have reassured the nation. Much will now depend on the end of the two trails on which ‘Memogate’ is proceeding – the parallel investiga-
tions by the judicial commission and the parliamentary committee. There may be fireworks but already there are sane voices suggesting that the country and its institutions are far more important than individual ambitions. The media, especially the US media and even official spokespersons, are implying that the military is behind the judiciary and is egging it on so as to undermine or bring down the government – a ‘slow motion coup’ as one analyst called it. The government is being projected as ‘besieged’ by the military and the judiciary and aspersions are being cast on the judicial process in Pakistan. No one is saying what the military hopes to gain by such actions even if these succeed. There is also nothing being
said as to why a judiciary that has won its independence the hard way should now tarnish its image by following dictates from the military. The judiciary is also aware of the fact that its performance is under international scrutiny. The military is likely to remain within constitutional bounds but it will not allow itself to be ridiculed or accused of something that it is not doing. It is also fighting a war that has already cost it heavily in lives. The judiciary will proceed on the path that it deems to be in the best interest of the country. The government having asserted its supremacy will move towards balance but more importantly will also take steps to stem the tide that an absence of governance and internal security are creating. The overarching demand is for
civilian supremacy over the military and a review of Pakistan’s strategic direction in view of its declining resources. Both these steps require carefully thought out strategies but creative strategies are not made by those lighting and putting out fires. For any significant strategy, the requirement is economic viability and internal stability. It’s time to pull ourselves out of the morass of trivial pursuits and orchestrate all institutions and power to develop inner strength as a nation. The people must now take priority. Spearhead Research is a private centre for research and consultancy on security, headed by Jehangir Karamat. Spearhead analyses are the result of a collaborative effort and not attributable to a single individual.
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12 comment only rational course why defy the SC?
he PPP must have realised by now that the MQM and PML(Q) had joined the coalition to share power and not to support it in defying the powers that be. Sensing that the two might not be willing to support it, the government had abandoned on Thursday the idea of seeking a vote of confidence for Gilani from the NA. So far, only the ANP has offered full-blooded public backing to the government. That Asfandyar also presented the resolution in support of parliament, government and democracy on Friday makes one wonder if it was just a chance that Ch Shujaat or Farooq Sattar did not volunteer to do it. In the tripartite standoff, the NA sitting has done little to alter the situation on the ground. The attorney general has rejected the government’s stand regarding the legality of the statements by the COAS and DG ISI. This would weaken the prime minister’s position on the dismissal of the defence secretary, an issue over which reservations were reportedly expressed during Kayani’s meeting with the principal staff officers. While Kayani’s attendance at the defence committee of the cabinet would ensure the continuation of dialogue with the military, there is little likelihood of the gulf created among other things by Gilani’s earlier remarks being reduced. Nawaz Sharif remains determined to change the government at the earliest. There is little possibility of the no confidence move getting anywhere near success as long as the MQM and PML(Q) continue to support the government. The next two steps Nawaz proposes to undertake are collective resignations regarding which he has remained double-minded for long and a long march which is an extra-constitutional measure as it is not visualised in the basic law as a legitimate way of removing the government. Moreover, it could set a dangerous precedent. Under the circumstances, the best move that the PPP may hope to rely on to complete its tenure is to change its attitude towards the SC. The policy of defiance has to be abandoned. The government has to comply with all the court decisions even if it does not agree with them. What is more, it has to fight the memo case with the help of a more competent legal team.
on Saleem Shehzad As flies to wanton boys....
hose who believe that the mood of the court, more than anything else, influences the decisions of the judiciary, would infer a lot from the findings of the commission that was set up to probe the murder of slain journalist Saleem Shehzad. They would infer from this the verdict of the Abbottabad commission: another acquittal for the powers that be? They would also infer from this the verdict of the court in the memo commission: guilty as charged? A flawed belief, one that is the province of gut feelings, unable to stand up to reason or scrutiny. Not demonstrably accurate either. If a fair commission, one that would have been to the intelligence agencies’ detractors’ liking, had been set up and couldn’t find any dirt, they couldn’t have gone ahead and created some. Yet the adeptness of the spooks to clean up after themselves and the widespread public perception that they were, somehow, involved, made the commission talk about the intelligence agencies in its report. Bring them under control, it said about the IB and the ISI. Was including the IB an attempt to lessen the sting? If it was, perhaps they could have thrown in the Special Branch as well. Or the irrigation department. The case itself: Saleem Shehzad couldn’t have been as good as he was at his beat and not attracted the ire of the non-state actors and various “belligerents.” Those protesting the findings of the commission cannot brush away an independent splinter group of militants behind his gruesome murder. The timing of his murder, however, right before he was to publish an installment of his findings on the attack on the Mehran naval base in Karachi, makes it harder to believe that. The commission’s directive to the investigating authorities to go about their work without the fear of reprisals is merely symbolic; we have been down this road many times before. The aftermath of Shehzad’s murder, more than the murder itself, is depressing indeed for professional, feet-onthe-ground journalists in the country. If as prominent a journalist as he could be killed off, with no clue about the culprits, what hope do those working for the local media have? What hope do the local correspondents in the districts and tribal agencies have? As flies to wanton boys are we to the gods, They kill us for their sport
Dedicated to the legacy of the late Hameed Nizami
Arif Nizami Editor
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Saturday, 14 January, 2012
life is unfair Cracking this nutcracker
he PPP-led coalition is in all kinds of trouble, some of its own making. In a nutcracker situation, it is facing the combined wrath of the superior judiciary, the military establishment and the opposition. Whether acting in unison or not, there is a lot of talk in the air about the imminent clash of institutions. The PPP certainly feels that it is being cornered in an effort to hound it out of office. Although both the president and the prime minister exercising restraint are reluctant to say it on record, they suspect a nexus between the judiciary and the military with a helping hand from the opposition led by Nawaz Sharif to engineer their ouster. Endorsing the military’s viewpoint, the apex court in its detailed judgment has given a novel justification for admitting the maintainability of Nawaz Sharif’s petition. The chief justice declaring the link between sovereignty and citizens’ fundamental rights as being obviBy Arif Nizami ous, has added that, “once a country’s sovereignty and independence are compromised, the lives and dignity of the citizen cannot but be adversely affected.” In a related development, the Supreme Court has declined to extend the February 23 deadline for preparation of new electoral rolls. Whereas the PPP is overtly keen to hold the Senate elections on its watch and has announced March 2 as the election date, there are powerful forces that want to rob the ruling coalition of the luxury of a possible majority in the upper house. The most interesting case is that of the PML(N). It wants elections to take place as soon as possible and is willing to go an extra mile to destabilise and isolate the government, forcing its hand to hold an early election. The Sharifs, unnerved by Imran Khan’s rising popularity in their heartland, do not want to lend him time to organise, find suitable candidates and have elections
under fresh lists. The PTI stands to gain more if elections are held on the basis of fresh lists as its vote bank is the younger segment of the population. On the other hand, the PML(N) is also wary of the military with which it has not enjoyed an amicable relationship of late. The military does not trust the Sharifs either. Its charge that the establishment is propping up Imran has to be viewed in this context. Paradoxically, it is the Imran khan factor, which has forced the PML(N) to cooperate with the ubiquitous establishment in the wider scheme of things to get rid of the Zardari-Gilani duo. The PPP has consolidated its position with its allies albeit conditionally. Even if it was contemplating sacking the COAS and the ISI chief, its allied parties have made it clear that they will not support such a move. Also, if Nawaz tries to bring a no-confidence motion against the parliament, the PPP’s coalition partners might not lend a helping hand. It has been suggested to President Zardari to call early elections immediately after the Senate elections. Unless there is package deal on the Memogate scandal and the NRO, the PPP is unlikely to call elections. A way out of the impasse could be the government agreeing to write to the Swiss authorities to reopen the cases against Zardari as has been suggested by eminent PPP lawyer Aitzaz Ahsan. According to some legal experts, the heavens will not fall if such a letter is written as he will continue to enjoy sovereign immunity being president. However, Zardari is still reluctant, saying that this would be tantamount to a trial of the grave of Benazir Bhutto which he will not allow. Although Gilani in his emotional but somewhat measured address in the parliament claimed that he did not need to take a vote of confidence from the parliament, ANP chief Asfandyar Wali tabled a draft resolution immediately after his speech. The resolution while reiterating the need for all state institutions to work within their respective spheres talks about sovereignty lying with the parliament. The prime minister has deferred the tabling of the resolution till Monday ostensibly to seek a consensus with the opposition. If the purpose of the resolution was to send a message to the military, that has
been served. As leader of the opposition Nisar Ali Khan knows well that it does not, however, change the ground realities. A similar resolution was passed by the parliament in October 1999. Musharraf sacked Nawaz only a few days later The meeting of the defence committee of the cabinet (DCC) scheduled for today is crucial. The very fact that it is taking place is a positive development in the sense that at least the military and civilian leaderships have decided to bridge their trust deficit in a structured manner. Previously, General Kayani absented himself from President Zardari’s dinner in honour of the visiting Chinese vice premier. The military has taken the stance that the Supreme Court should judge Memogate and a meeting between the troika – the president, prime minister and the army chief – seems unlikely. The military top brass has made a strategic decision not to intervene politically. But issues like the Memogate and complying with the apex court’s order on declaring the NRO null and void cannot be simply wished away. Even if early elections are called, these issues will keep on haunting Zardari. Hence, there is need for deep introspection by the president to review his present strategy which is simply not working. The prime minister in his speech to the parliament claimed that the government does not want to go as a martyr and simply wants to complete its term. The ground reality is that the PPP is facing a three-pronged attack and the noose around its neck is being slowly but surely tightened. The president’s legal eagle and loyalist Babar Awan facing double contempt charges of the Supreme Court is not the right man for the job at hand i.e. to find a way out of this legal and political labyrinth. Of course, the PPP – the largest and most resilient national party of the country – has been in power four times since its inception. Surely, it will bounce back again if forced out of office. President Zardari, a brave man indeed, is not overtly worried. But as his late wife Benazir Bhutto who faced great adversity during her political career used to say, too bad life is unfair. The writer is Editor, Pakistan Today
whiteLIeS W By Ess Aich
e hear that a star-studded wedding of a media mogul’s daughter in Dubai some two weeks back was a litmus test for celebs and Pakistan’s politicians, especially the latter. President Musharraf was the one that drew the greatest crowd among “politicians” for that is the label that befits him most, now that he has a political party of his very own. If this is the kind of warm response he gets at public gatherings then his belief and regular statements that he is “popular in Pakistan” are quite understandable. The fanfare at Dubai may just have contributed to his dream of landing in Pakistan to be greeted by a sea of banners and waving arms. In stark contrast, former PM Shaukat Aziz cut a lonely figure with no one approaching him for an opinion or a one-liner and that perhaps is
hen the info minister Ms Firdaus Ashiq Awan made her move with tears and put the PM’s favourite mandarin in her place, she did tell a few that she was peaked with a Gang of Four conspiring against her. It included, we were told, a female bureaucrat. Ms Awan may have won that round with tears but it seems the other lady is back with a bang and this time it is another khaki bureaucrat who sits nursing his wounds. ***********
why he stakes no claim to being a grassroots politician. As for Musharraf, we wait and see.
eing behind bars can be a life changing experience as most people have found but sometimes being restricted to an eightstar residence with all perks and no bills can also get to you. When Hussain Haqqani, previously our man in Washington or as some unjustifiably claimed ‘their’ man in the Pakistan Embassy, first came to Pakistan to appear before the Supreme Court in the memo case, he was heard saying loud and clear that he was ever willing to “live and die” for Pakistan. A few days of confinement in the PM
House and the man was being rescued by his advocate and the judiciary. More days and HH was heard issuing statements that “he could be killed if he came out of the PM house”. More weeks and it is a total change of heart. HH has now applied to be allowed to go out of the country. Obviously, our man in Washington is not willing to live in this country for fear that he may actually die here as his book Between the Mosque and Military did not endear him to the militants. One can only say to the PM House: Please release the prisoner.
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Saturday, 14 January, 2012
‘Tis written? An all-too-familiar script
By Aziz-ud-Din Ahmad
he scenario is moving step by step towards the pre-determined denouement. This time the military will not step in directly. The government hawks have damaged its case in the SC so badly that there is a likelihood of the apex court delivering the coup de grace, beginning with Gilani and then moving towards Zardari. The army will then gladly offer its help to execute the decision, if so desired by the courts. After all, this is what it is required to do under the constitution. Had the government not dug in its heels on the issue of the implementation of the NRO verdict, defying the court on the unusual ground that it amounted to the trial of Benazir’s grave, things might have been different, at least in the crucial NRO implementation case. The memo case was built up by those working from the sidelines. After all, the DG ISI did not do all that running around from Islamabad and London for nothing. On the face of it, there is little in the case but even if the government is finally exonerated, it would emerge out of the legal battle badly battered and bruised. A section of the media has already taken the complicity of Zardari in what it describes as treason for granted. Whatever the court’s decision, enough propaganda has already been conducted against the PPP government costing it popularity. Those working from the sidelines have yet another plan up their sleeve if the legal scheme does not work. That PML(Q) and MQM have gradually started distancing themselves from the government indicates that this plan
being simultaneously unfolded. At a wink from the masterminds, the two parties would renounce the alliance with the PPP, ensuring the fall of the government. This could even coincide with Nawaz Sharif’s no confidence move which would be described as a happy coincidence. The army in this country has never tolerated a civilian government for long. Agencies which are adept at political engineering are set in motion. In the 90’s, it all started with a whispering campaign which was followed by newspaper plants. The government in power, it was suggested, was either thoroughly corrupt or some of its ministers were working for RAW, of course with the blessings of the prime minister. Then came the blow, normally from the president who used to be an administration’s man. The government was sent home without completing its tenure. The only civilian prime minister acceptable to the army has to be like Shaukat Aziz. Under the system devised by Musharraf, the chief executive and ministers enjoyed all perks and privileges and were free to mint money in any way they liked. They had absolutely no say in the formulation of policies which was the sole privilege of the president in uniform and his unelected advisors. The system suited the army. It gave it a free hand to formulate internal or external policies without being held accountable for any possible lapses and failure. The blame could always be shifted to the civilian dummies. No genuinely elected government can allow this sort of arrangement. Conflict can at best be delayed but is inevitable. Turkey with a long history of military domination has over a decade managed to put the army under civilian control. The example indicates that political parties in other military dominated countries too can perform the feat. Prime Minister Erdogan’s government managed
to do this because of its unparalleled political and economic performance. It has raised the image of the country with a foreign policy based on friendliness with neighbours and trade with all. The government’s image rose further after it firmly opposed Israeli atrocities and reduced the level of its diplomatic ties with Israel. Its biggest achievement was putting the economy back on track, something that the military rulers and the army dominated civilian governments had failed to do over many decades. With an 87 percent turnout at elections, and the massive public support in the referendum, the party is in a position to take several generals to court for plotting against it. The PPP leadership started with a tragic flaw: millions of illegal dollars piled up in Swiss banks. Its leaders simply forgot that in Pakistan only those in uniform can keep the kickbacks from defence and other such deals. The politicians do not have that privilege. The PPP leadership wants to keep the money and complete the tenure which has brought it into a confrontation with the courts. The PPP was keen to retain the Dogar Court because a pliant judiciary alone could have saved it from legal challenges. The refusal to restore the independent judiciary led the PML(N) to part company with the alliance. To maintain itself in power, the PPP had to bring in the MQM and PML(Q). This led to the induction of a super large cabinet and promoted corruption and bad governance. It also made the PPP unpopular in its stronghold of Sindh. The PPP failed to realise that neither of the two allies would stand by it in case of confrontation with the army and judiciary. What one sees happening is that the chickens are now coming home to roost. The writer is a former academic and a political analyst.
the one liability has become a mountain of crises
he drift of things ever since the PPP-led government took over had always pointed in one direction: disaster, unmitigated disaster. The ones who disagreed and were willing to give the vagrant charlatans the benefit of doubt would possibly be having some second thoughts. But, quite comprehensively, we are well past the stage of any rethink. The seeds were sown extensively and the crop of abominable corruption and abdication of governance tended to lovingly over four arduous years as we wait to reap the ultimate produce. The only question is whether that would come in the shape of a judicial coup or military intervention. I have frequently written about the lack of prospects of the military intervening directly, but its role in any change can never be underestimated particularly when the environment has been distorted beyond the contours of manageability and when there is an open confrontation between the executive on the one hand and the military and the judiciary on the other hand. No one can be blamed more for this than the executive itself which has indulged ceaselessly in acts smacking of mala fide intentions. The government began with one massive liability who, over time, and to hide his transgressions inducted a coterie of cronies, even convicts granted presidential reprieve, who became co-operators in weaving a web of deception concerning every aspect of governance. To hide their crass misdemeanours, they needed to gain unbridled control over all echelons of the government. Three institutions posed prospective hurdles in the process: the judiciary (after restoration), the military and the media. To diminish its stature By Raoof Hasan and credibility, the judiciary was wantonly scandalised, devious tactics were employed to weaken the military and the premier intelligence agency while every endeavour was made to browbeat the media into submission. When neither of the tricks worked, the anger gradually gave way to desperation and the country was set on course to a showdown either with the dubious intention of the government dying a political martyr thus leaving it a chance at the next elections, or bringing the system down and blaming it on undemocratic forces it had been allegedly confronting through the entire tenure of its incumbency. But, while the executive may have been digging its own grave over time, the judiciary and the military did just about everything to facilitate its predilection to hang itself. The judiciary did it by inordinately delaying the issuance of strategic injunctions and going soft on their implementation and the military by showing a total lack of interest in intervening even when the opportunity was offered to it on a golden platter. While the judiciary, basking in its new-found independence, may have been reluctant to move in too quickly to
rein in the governmental transgressions, the military was busy fighting an alien war that had been imposed on it through the hideous capitulation of the former dictator. Instead of using the twin-opportunity to consolidate its hold through good governance and delivery at the grassroots level, the executive chose to perpetuate abject corruption and gross mismanagement of the state and its institutions. When its multiple devious machinations did not lead to giving it unquestioned hold on power, it stooped to conspiring against its own institutions. The Kerry-Lugar Bill, the May 2 incident and the memo are just three instances of this heinous endeavour. But, every failure further incensed the government’s recalcitrance and obduracy because it fully understood that the edifice it had erected stood on weak pillars and the only course open for it to hide its misconduct was continued defiance of the legitimate state institutions. Today, the government stands alone. Its allies are deserting it. It is in defiance of the apex court. Its confrontation with the military has only aggravated with the passage of time. The SC bench hearing the implementation of the NRO judgement case has held the president and the prime minister guilty of having violated their oaths of office and has offered six possible solutions to the government. The judgement makes for another moot point because when the guilt of a person is established, he automatically becomes liable to be awarded an appropriate punishment which cannot be left to his discretion as, in that case, every criminal will want this precedence replicated. Most controversial is option six which states that “...if in a given situation, the Executive is bent upon defying a final judicial verdict and is ready to go to any limit in such defiance, then, instead of insisting upon the Executive to implement the judicial verdict and thereby running the risk of bringing down the constitutional structure itself, this court may exercise judicial restraint and leave the matter to the better judgement of the people of the country and their representatives in the Parliament to appropriately deal with the delinquent”. This, inter alia, politicises a matter that should have been handled strictly within the domain of law. Also, how can it be expected that a parliament that has been rendered irrelevant by the executive would be suddenly electrified to play a role? Does this make for another instance of the judiciary blinking in the face of history? The one liability that the PPP-led government started with at the time of its induction has today become a mountain of crises and conflict that is well beyond control. Its policy of confrontation has led it to becoming increasingly mired in unmanageable controversies and intrigues. The executive has become a victim of its own mala fide work that has dug in deep impacting every aspect of the national life. There appears to be no easy escape – either for the government or the country. The writer is a political analyst and a member of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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14 Foreign News
Saturday, 14 January, 2012
Kuwait police break up stateless demo, several wounded KUWAIT CITY AfP
Several people were wounded and dozens arrested Friday as Kuwaiti police used tear gas, water cannons and batons to disperse stateless protesters demanding citizenship, witnesses and a rights group said. Hundreds of riot police backed by armoured vehicles assaulted several hundred protesters who braved a stern interior ministry warning not to demonstrate as authorities promised to resolve their decades-old plight. Police chased the protesters into the streets of Jahra, northwest of the capital Kuwait City, and arrested many of them, including a 13-year-old boy, the independent Kuwait Association of Human Rights said on its Twitter account. A number of young protesters were seen with their heads bleeding after they were beaten with batons by riot police, witnesses said. Private Al-Watan TV channel said its photographer was wounded. Stateless people, officially known as illegal residents or bidoons, have been demonstrating over the past several weeks for their rights. Kuwait’s interior ministry issued three statements this week warning them not to do so or face punishment.
Court orders new psychiatric evaluation of Norway gunman
GGuLMARG: A Kashmiri snowboarder rides down a slope in Gulmarg, situated about 55 kms north of Srinagar, on friday. Gulmarg is the main ski destination in Indian-held Kashmir and hundreds of foreigners visit the slopes despite an ongoing insurgency in the region. AFP
Mob kills 2, burns mosques in raid on Nigerian village g
Protests, strike shut down nigeria for fifth day running KANO
An Oslo court on Friday ordered a new psychiatric evaluation of Anders Behring Breivik, who killed 77 people in twin attacks in July, after an earlier and widely contested test found him criminally insane. “Due to the gravity of this case, the criminal responsibility (of Behring Breivik) must be examined again,” Oslo District Court judge Wenche Elizabeth Arntzen told a news conference. Two new experts, Agnar Aspaas and Terje Toerrisen, were named to evaluate the 32year-old rightwing extremist’s sanity. In late November, two court-appointed psychiatrists concluded that Behring Breivik was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia and should be considered criminally insane and therefore not accountable for his actions. If the finding is confirmed, Behring Breivik, who has confessed to carrying out the deadliest massacre on Norwegian soil since World War II, would likely be sentenced to psychiatric care in a closed ward instead of prison. The initial report, later supported by an expert panel, was controversial in Norway, with critics pointing to the years of detailed planning Behring Breivik had put in and cool and methodic execution of the massacre. On July 22, Behring Breivik first set off a car bomb outside government buildings in Oslo, killing eight people. He then went to Utoeya, some 40 kilometres (25 miles) northwest of Oslo, and, dressed as a police officer, spent more than an hour methodically shooting and killing another 69 people, mainly teens, attending a summer camp hosted by the ruling Labour Party’s youth wing.
MOB killed two people and burnt mosques and homes in an overnight raid on a mainly Muslim village in northeastern Nigeria in the latest such violence to hit the country, residents said Friday. “It was around 11:30 pm (2230 GMT) when a crowd from Imbur attacked Gwalam village, setting fire on homes and mosques,” resident Abubakar Hussaini said, with Imbur a largely Christian area and Gwalam mainly Muslim. “So far, we have two deaths, and we still don’t know the fate of some residents who fled into the bush to escape the attack.” The attack occurred in Adamawa state, which is to hold a governorship election on January 21. Such ethnic and religious violence often occurs around election periods in Nigeria, though some residents believed the attack was in retaliation for the recent killings of Christians in the state claimed by Islamist group Boko Haram. Gamo Jika, an official in the state for one of Nigeria’s main Islamic organisation, Jama’atu Nasri Islam, confirmed two were killed. “We have two dead from the attack on Gwalam by some Christians. We are taking inventory of houses burnt in the attack,” he
said. Adamawa state police spokeswoman Altine Daniel confirmed the attack but gave no details. Imbur and Gwalam villages are located in Numan, a flashpoint of sectarian violence. Nigeria has seen spiralling violence mostly blamed on Boko Haram, whose recent attacks targeting Christians have sparked fears of a civil conflict in a country roughly divided between a mainly Muslim north and mostly Christian south. Meanwhile, a nationwide strike and mass protests shut down Nigeria for a fifth day running Friday, but union leaders called for a weekend pause in demonstrations as talks sought to avert a halt in oil production. A first round of negotiations be-
tween labour leaders and top government officials, including President Goodluck Jonathan, failed to reach a deal on Thursday night over soaring fuel prices, but more talks are set for Saturday. Union officials said the pause in talks until then was to allow for labour officials from across the country to gather in Abuja and meet on the way forward. With domestic flights grounded, they would be forced to come by road. The main oil workers’ union has threatened to shut crude production beginning on Sunday if the government does not reverse a move that ended fuel subsidies on January 1, more than doubling pump prices in Africa’s top crude exporter.
Saudi forces shoot dead Shia protester RIYADH AfP
Saudi security forces clashed with Shia protesters in the kingdom’s oil-rich east killing one person and wounding three, the interior ministry and witnesses said Friday. A “security forces’ patrol was carrying out its normal duties in (the Shia village of) AlAwamiya late on Thursday when it was attacked with a petrol bomb that left it in flames,” said a ministry spokesman in comments published by state news agency SPA. When security forces “tried to control the fire, they were shot,” it said, adding that Saudi forces responded. “The exchange of fire left two of the assailants wounded. They were taken to the hospital where one of them later died,” said the ministry spokesman. Witnesses said earlier that security forces opened fire with live rounds after protesters hurled stones at one of their vehicles in Al-Awamiya in the Qatif region. Activists said Issam Mohammed, 22, was killed by multiple bullet wounds. Three other people were wounded by security force fire, one of them a man driving through a checkpoint at the entrance to the village, the activists said. Security forces sealed off the village after the clashes, witnesses said. The clashes came after demonstrations were held in four Qatif region villages to call for the “release of political detainees, reform and an end to sectarian discrimination,” one activist told AFP on the condition of anonymity. Protests erupted in the Eastern Province in March when members of the kingdom’s Shia minority took to the streets to condemn Saudi military intervention against Shia-led pro-democracy demonstrations in neighbouring Bahrain.
Palestinians to press UN bid despite Quartet talks push RAMALLAH AfP
Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas said he will press on with a campaign for full state membership at the United Nations despite ongoing “exploratory” talks with Israel. Palestinian officials have said the talks, which so far have included two meetings in Amman in the last 10 days, will not continue beyond January 26 — the deadline set by the international peacemaking Quartet for both sides to submit comprehensive proposals on borders and security. But the current dialogue with Israel will
not stop the Palestinians from seeking UN recognition, Abbas said. “We will continue our (statehood) efforts in the Security Council,” he told a meeting of his Fatah movement on Thursday, adding that he also planned to petition the UN’s Human Rights Council in Geneva over Israel’s continued occupation of Palestinian territory. “We want to make a complaint against the occupation, which violates the Geneva Convention,” Abbas said, according to an official transcript of his remarks. Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat said this week that meetings in Jordan would not develop into full negotiations without
a settlement freeze and Israel agreeing to accept parameters for future talks. “The Amman talks are intended to obtain a settlement freeze and the use of the 1967 lines as a reference for any future talks, and will be given a chance to succeed until January 26,” Erakat told AFP. In the absence of formal negotiations with Israel, the Palestinians have focused their attention on the international arena. In 2011 they won a UNESCO seat over US and Israeli opposition. Erakat said 2012 “will be the year that the Palestinians go to the United Nations and all of its organisations.” Abbas also told
Fatah officials he was committed to reconciliation with the rival Hamas movement. “We want to bring reconciliation to fruition,” he said. “There are people in certain places, I do not wish to specify where, who do not want reconciliation but there are people who do want reconciliation. “Reconciliation is the main thing and we shall not allow anyone to get in our way if we reach an agreement,” he said. The two factions signed a unity deal in May 2011 following years of bitter hostility but it has yet to be implemented. On Thursday, a senior Fatah official said the cause of the hold-up was internal divisions within Hamas itself.
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Saturday, 14 January, 2012
Foreign News 15
Iran buries scientist slain by ‘CIA and Mossad’ TEHRAN
RAN on Friday buried a top scientist it said was killed by Israel and the United States as part of a covert campaign against its nuclear programme, as a USled drive for crippling sanctions ran into opposition, even from allies. Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan, a deputy director of Iran’s main uranium enrichment plant, was given a funeral service in north Tehran after noon prayers, state media reported. He and his driver were killed on Wednesday when two men on a motorbike slapped a magnetic bomb on his car while it was stuck in Tehran traffic. Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said the “abominable” and “cowardly” killing was committed “with the planning or support of the
intelligence services of the CIA and Mossad,” of the United States and Israel. He said in a statement his country would “continue with determination” its nuclear activities, which Western governments suspect mask a drive for a weapons capability despite Tehran’s repeated denials. Some media close to Iran’s conservatives have called for “retaliation” against Israeli officials. The Iranian government has demanded that the UN Security Council condemn the “terrorist” killing. The United States has strongly denied it had anything to do with the assassination, although Defence Secretary Leon Panetta admitted: “We have some ideas as to who might be involved.” The prime suspect is widely seen as Israel, as it was in the murders of three other Iranian scientists in similar
circumstances over the past two years. Israel, though, has a policy of not commenting on intelligence matters. Asked in a CNN interview on Friday if Israel was involved in Wednesday’s assassination, President Shimon Peres said: “Not to the best of my knowledge.” US President Barack Obama spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu the day after the scientist’s murder to discuss developments in Iran. EU foreign ministers are to meet on January 23 to consider new sanctions including action against the central bank and a proposed ban on Iran oil imports that may be phased in over months to avoid hurting struggling eurozone economies. But Iran’s two main allies on the world stage, Russia and China, have expressed strong criticism of the new Western measures and remain adamantly opposed to any new UN sanctions.
UN N-watchdog to visit Iran VIENNA AfP
A high-level UN nuclear agency delegation will visit Iran late this month to try to clear up claims of covert weapons activities that have stoked tensions between Tehran and the West, diplomats said Friday. The trip led by International Atomic Energy Agency chief inspector Herman Nackaerts and the agency’s number two Rafael Grossi would last from January 28 through the first week of February, one Western diplomat told AFP. Another envoy also said the visit, two months after an IAEA report on Iran took suspicions to a new level that Tehran is developing nuclear
weapons, would “likely” be from January 28, although it was not yet definite. There was also some “ambiguity” on whether the delegation would merely hold talks with Iranian officials or be able to visit sites covered in the IAEA’s bombshell November 8 report, the second diplomat said. “It may be that the Iranians just want a short discussion in Tehran, which would not be what the IAEA is looking for,” the envoy told AFP on condition of anonymity. An IAEA spokesman declined to comment. Iran’s ambassador, Ali Ashgar Soltanieh, who said in December he would hold talks with the IAEA in Vienna this month about a visit, was not immediately available to say any more.
2 killed as Yemen police, protesters clash in south ADEN AfP
Two people were killed and 13 wounded when Yemeni police traded gunfire with southern separatists, and as nationwide protests rejected a plan granting the president immunity from prosecution, activists and police said. “Shakib Suleiman Hasan and an elderly man were killed and 10 other protesters wounded when police opened fire on a demonstration” in Khor Maksar district in the main southern city of Aden, said Mohammed al-Abadi, an activist from the separatist Southern Movement . A police official said three policemen, including a man identified as Major Walid Saleh Ali, were wounded. Witnesses said police fired tear gas and live rounds at thousands who demonstrated to reject a Gulf-brokered plan that grants President Ali Abdullah Saleh immunity from prosecution when he steps down. Gunmen among the protesters returned fire, the same sources said. The Southern Movement protesters also called for separation on the anniversary of internal clashes on January 13, 1986 between factions of the Yemeni Socialist Party that ruled the south of Yemen — an independent state at the time. “The Southern Movement is boycotting the upcoming presidential elections across all southern provinces,” read their banners. “The Gulf Initiative does not concern us.” Based on a Gulf plan, Saleh will remain an honorary president until February 21 when Vice President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi will officially replace him.
Myanmar frees leading political prisoners YANGON AfP
Myanmar pardoned prominent dissidents, journalists and a former premier Friday under a major prisoner amnesty, intensifying a surprising series of reforms by the army-backed regime. Western powers have demanded the release of political detainees languishing in jail in the country formerly known as Burma before they will consider lifting sanctions on the regime and its cronies. Friday’s amnesty included members of the “88 Generation Students” group, which is synonymous with the democratic struggle in Myanmar and was at the forefront of a failed 1988 uprising in which thousands died. The mass pardon, which looked set to be the most significant yet under the nominally civilian government which took office last year, was hailed by democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s opposition party as a “positive sign”. Amnesty International welcomed the release as “a major step forward.”
tehRAN: Iranians hold a portrait of assassinated nuclear scientist Mostafa Ahmadi-Roshan and a wanted poster with portraits of uS President Barack obama, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, french President Nicolas Sarkozy and British Prime Minister David Cameron during his funeral after the friday prayers outside tehran university. AFP
Syrians rally in support of rebels as Russia backs ally DAMASCUS AfP
Thousands demonstrated in support of the rebel Free Syrian Army on Friday, as longtime Damascus ally Moscow kept up its opposition to calls for tougher action against the regime, saying they were flagrant attempts to bring about its downfall. Meanwhile, both France and Syria announced investigations into the death of French TV correspondent Gilles Jacquier, the first Western newsman to die in Syria since anti-regime protests erupted in March. Security forces were out in strength as they have been each Friday for the main weekly demonstrations. Security force fire killed one protester in Idlib province in the northwest, a human right watchdog told AFP in Nicosia. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 20,000 people had turned out in the Idlib town of Ariha calling for the overthrow of the regime, and another 15,000 in the Damascus suburb of Douma. Explosions were heard in the flashpoint central city of Homs, the
Britain-based watchdog said. The security forces opened fire on demonstrators in Deir Ezzor in the northeast, Daraa province, south of the capital, and in the Damascus suburbs, it added. The rallies, following a day in which security forces killed 15 civilians in their crackdown, come after the largest civilian opposition group agreed to boost ties with the rebels. Burhan Ghaliun, the head of the Syrian National Council, an umbrella group that initially opposed the use of force in the uprising, met on Thursday with rebel chief Colonel Riad al-Asaad. The SNC said they “extensively discussed the situation on the ground and the organisational capacity of the FSA.” They agreed to “formulate a detailed plan, to include the reorganisation of FSA units and brigades, and the creation of a format to accommodate within FSA ranks additional officers and soldiers, especially senior military officials, who side with the revolution,” it added. Formed from deserters from the regular army who mutinied over the regime’s deadly crackdown, the FSA says it has some 40,000 fighters
under its command. The numbers cannot be independently verified although the Syrian authorities have acknowledged mounting losses at the hands of the rebels in recent months. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, on his way to Syria’s western neighbour Lebanon on Friday, issued a call for the international community to stand together to address a crisis which the world body estimated last month had cost more than 5,000 lives. In an interview with Lebanon’s An-Nahar daily, Ban said he had repeatedly appealed to Assad to stop the bloodshed and listen to his people but that he had received only empty promises. He said the UN Security Council must speak with one voice in seeking an end to the crisis but Moscow renewed its opposition to Western calls for tougher action by the world body. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov rejected Western-proposed amendments to a draft Security Council resolution on Syria which Moscow circulated last month. “Unfortunately, the West’s approach radically differs from ours,” Gatilov said.
British PM meets Saudi king as Gulf tensions run high RIYADH AfP
British Prime Minister David Cameron held talks Friday with Saudi King Abdullah in Riyadh, state media reported, as tensions soar between the West and Tehran, the oil-rich kingdom’s arch-rival in the Gulf. The two leaders discussed “regional and international developments as well as the various means of strengthening cooperation between both countries,” the official SPA news agency said, without elaborating. The meeting was attended by top Saudi officials. Cameron’s first visit to the OPEC kingpin comes as Western governments, including Britain, have moved to step up sanctions over Iran’s controversial nuclear programme, threatening an embargo on vital oil exports that has drawn an angry response from Tehran. Britain has been seeking to strengthen ties with oil-rich Saudi Arabia and boost exports to its largest Middle East trading partner. Annual bilateral trade is worth 15 billion pounds ($23 billion), while Saudi investments in Britain amount to more than 62 billion pounds.
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Nicki Minaj, Foo Fighters to
APPER Nicki Minaj will make her debut Grammy performance next month, joining Foo Fighters, Bruno Mars and country singer Jason Aldean on the list of artists who will take to the stage on the recording industry’s biggest night. Grammy organisers said on Thursday that Minaj, who has four Grammy nominations, will perform at the February 12 awards show, as well as country sensation Taylor Swift, and Kelly Clarkson. But there was no official word on Thursday on whether Britain’s Adele,
whose album ‘21’ was the biggest seller of 2011, will be singing at the Grammys following surgery on her vocal cords in November. Adele, who has been on doctor-ordered vocal rest since November, was not among the first list of Grammy performers. But the 23 year-old ‘Someone Like You’ singer was listed on Thursday as being down to sing at the BRIT music awards ceremony in London on February 21. Rapper Kanye West, who leads this year’s Grammys with seven nominations, is also yet to be confirmed as a performer at the live awards show in Los Angeles. Organisers said additional performers and presenters will be announced in the coming weeks.
lAHorE: Models walk down the ramp during Gliours Fashion Show at a local hotel. inP
LoS ANGeLeS: Lindsay Lohan attends the party hosted by the Weinstein Company and Audi to Celebrate Awards Season. AFP
Judd Apatow slams at 2012 Critics Choice Awards LOS ANGELES ABC
‘The Artist’ took home the prize of the night at the Critics Choice Awards, winning best drama of the year for the “love letter to American cinema,” as the team behind the French silent film put it in their acceptance speech. It was also night of quips. After accepting the award for best comedy on behalf of ‘Bridesmaids’, Judd Apatow slammed Jerry Lewis, saying that the comedy he produced, in which Kristen Wiig served as star and co-writer, proved the veteran comedian wrong: “Jerry Lewis once said that he didn’t think women were funny. So I’d just like to say, with all respect, f*** you.” George Clooney won best actor (‘The Descendants’) and revealed that his mom made him a Naugahyde leisure suit when he was in sixth grade. Patton Oswalt said he’d compensate for not winning best supporting actor (‘Young Adult’) with lots and lots of scotch.
Here’s the full list of winners BeSt PICtuRe: ‘the Artist’ BeSt ACtOR: George Clooney, ‘the Descendants’ BeSt ACtReSS: Viola Davis, ‘the Help’ BeSt SuPPORtING ACtReSS: Octavia Spencer, ‘the Help’ BeSt SuPPORtING ACtOR: Christopher Plummer, ‘Beginners’ BeSt ACtING eNSeMBLe: ‘the Help’ BeSt DIReCtOR: Michel Hazanavicius, ‘the Artist’ BeSt COMeDy: ‘Bridesmaids’ BeSt ANIMAteD FILM: ‘Rango’ BeSt FOReIGN FILM: ‘A Separation’ BeSt yOuNG ACtOR OR ACtReSS: thomas Horn, ‘extremely Loud and Incredibly Close’ BeSt ADAPteD SCReeNPLAy: ‘Moneyball’, Steve Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin, story by Stan Chervin BeSt ORIGINAL SCReeNPLAy: ‘Midnight in Paris’, Woody Allen
Aamir enjoying free time with
MuMBAI: Aamir Khan is a bit free these days and the actor-producer is keeping himself busy spending time in watching his newborn son grow up. “Hope the new year has begun well for you all. Me, I'm spending all my free time with Azad :-) love. a,” the 46-year-old posted on his Facebook page. Aamir and his second wife Kiran rao's son, Azad, was born Dec 1 last year, to a surrogate mother through IVF. The actor, who also has a son, Junaid, and a daughter, Ira, from his first wife reena, loves playing with his new bundle of joy. This year, he will be seen only in one project. He will feature alongside rani Mukerji and Kareena Kapoor in reema Kagti's ‘Talaash’, a psychological thriller written and directed by reema Kagti. This apart, he has also joined hands with Star Plus for a talk show, said to be completely for the masses. Aamir has also been signed on to play the villain in "Dhoom 3". But the movie will only release in 2013. AGeNCIeS
CALIFORNIA: Octavia Spencer, Brad Pitt and Kirsten Dunst arrive for the 17th annual Critics' Choice Movie Awards. AFP
Ranveer’s ‘Kareena fantasy’
fulfilled? MuMBAI: the first time Ranveer Singh set his eyes on Kareena Kapoor, he gushed so much that it almost embarrassed her. Imagine what would happen if he were to share screen space with her? Sources revealed that Kareena's good friend Karan Johar was considering casting the duo in one of his many projects that are in the pipeline. Ranveer had once said that Kareena was the reason he transitioned from boyhood to manhood, so we hope Bebo helps this boy turn from a novice to a natural. AGeNCIeS
hospitalised LoS ANGeLeS: ‘Melrose Place’ actress Heather locklear was rushed to hospital after she reportedly mixed alcohol and prescription medication. “Emergency response personnel responded to a medical emergency call at locklear's residence,” people.com quoted Mike Aranda of the Ventura County Sheriff's department as saying. locklear was rushed to a hospital for further medical attention. Hospital personnel were taking care of her, Aranda said. AGeNCIeS
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HE government of Rajasthan has extended a helping hand to ailing ghazal maestro Mehdi Hassan. As a token of support, the Rajasthan govt has offered to bear all the medical expenses incurred by Hassan and his family. Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot spoke to Hassan’s son Asif Mehdi about the veteran’s health condition and offered monetary and treatment in India. Gehlot also directed the chief secretary of Rajasthan to keep in touch with Hassan’s family across the border. Hassan is currently in the ICU of a private hospital in Karachi since Tuesday after he complained of breathing problem. The 84 year old singer, who was born in Rajasthan had to leave for Pakistan post partition.
PArIS: rooney Mara and Daniel Craig take part in a TV broadcast show as part of the promotion of the movie ‘Millenium : The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo’. AFP
newest haute couture item NEWS DESK
Madonna breaks silence on Gaga ‘Born This Way’ controversy ABC Nearly a year after Lady Gaga released her hit single “Born This Way,” Madonna is finally offering her take on the song … and it’s not exactly enthusiastic. Gaga has long expressed her admiration for Madonna, calling the pop icon an inspiration. Comparisons between the two divas have been inevitable, from their dance-hall beats to their risque musical treatment of sex and religion. The two even teamed up for a “catfight” skit on ‘Saturday Night Live’in 2010. But last February’s release of ‘Born This Way’ had many questioning whether the Mama Monster had gone too far in emulating her idol. The song, critics charged, was stunningly similar to Madonna’s 1989 chart-topper, ‘Express Yourself’. Gaga would go on to say that she got an e-mail from Madonna’s “people” saying they supported the song, but a representative for Madonna later said she was unaware of any such e-mail. Starting with the question of whether Madonna felt Gaga was “copying” her. The pop singer’s response, at first, was complimentary. She called Gaga “a very talented artist” and said she admired her song writing. But she owned up to the connection between Gaga’s music and her own. “I certainly think she references me a lot in her work. And sometimes I think it’s amusing and flattering and well done,” she said. “There’s a lot of ways to look at it. I can’t really be annoyed by it …because, obviously, I’ve influenced her.” But the Material Girl became coy when the conversation turned to “Born This Way. When I heard it on the radio …I said that sounds very familiar,” Madonna said. Asked if that felt annoying, Madonna responded, “It felt reductive.”
After Katrina, Hrithik to walk
the ramp for kids MuMBAI: first Katrina Kaif's look inspired a fashion Barbie doll and now heartthrob hrithik Roshan is likely to walk the ramp for Mattel toys. Katrina had walked the ramp in 2009 for Barbie and Mattel has now roped in hrithik as the brand ambassador for racing game hot Wheels team Xtreme. he is likely to walk the ramp at the India Kids fashion Week, starting Jan 17, in a collection designed by Narendra Kumar. Kumar has a tie-up with ‘hot Wheels team Xtreme: Buckle up’ and his collection targeting boys across all ages will be showcased on the inaugural day. India Kids fashion Week is the first such dedicated to children. the threeday event will see Indian and international designers exploring the relatively untouched territory of children's lines by displaying apparel, toys, accessories and a lot more. AGeNCIeS
MuMBAI: we all know that they have a long history. But former lovers and now friends Katrina Kaif and Salman Khan seem to be bonding big time on the set of ‘Ek Tha Tiger’. So much so, that the couple has decided to go on a dinner date! Buzz has it that Katrina is being encouraged by her former beau Salman to give her best for one of the scenes in the film. The scene is supposed to be a difficult one and it seems Katrina is nervous about performing the scene properly. To encourage Katrina to put her best foot forward, Salman has promised her a lavish dinner date if she gives the perfect shot in the first take itself. The former lovers seem to be very comfortable with each other. Does that mean they will rekindle their romance? Guess, we will have to wait and watch! zeeNeWS
Krizmah, one of the most exciting names to emerge in the field of handmade bags, recently launched at Ensemble, a high-end multi designer boutique located in both Lahore and Karachi. Both boutiques will now be stocking Krizmah bags permanently. The Krizmah label is owned by two Lahore based graphic designers Zainab Ulmulk (a member of the ancient Katur dynasty of Chitral), Nadia Malik and Chitrali female artisans. The purpose behind Krizmah is to produce haute couture hand bags for global followers of fashion. At the launch Zainab said: “I have always been engaged in creative pursuits and was drawn to the idea of developing a Chitrali product because of my link with the area, and that’s where the concept of Krizmah emerged from.” “Each Krizmah bag is completely hand stitched by artisans. Each bag has a story behind it such as the Joshi bag which talks about the traditional annual spring festival of the Kalash people in the middle of May,” said Nadia. After conducting a series of exhibitions for Krizmah in Lahore, Islamabad, London and Singapore, Zainab and Nadia felt that they needed a place where they could permanently stock their bags. “The response to our exhibitions was phenomenal and that was what inspired us to look at a place for permanent stocking and so we chose to go with Ensemble since as a brand house it only caters to high-end products and Krizmah is a high-end product,” said Ulmulk and Malik.
Salman Katrina to go on a
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Azarenka ends liâ€™s winning run in Sydney Page 19
Warner wallops clueless India
Moshin warns England of number one pressure DUBAI AfP
PErTH: Indiaâ€™s Mr wall rahul Dravid is cleaned up yet again. (Centre) David warner plays a shot on his way to scoring 104 and (right) Ben Hilfenhaus celebrates the wicket of Zaheer Khan. AFP/reUTerS PERTH
USTRALIAN opener David Warner questioned India's resolve after slamming the equal fourth fastest century in Test cricket on a horror opening day for the tourists in the third Test in Perth Friday. Warner reached his hundred off 69 balls and did it in style, clouting debutant paceman Vinay Kumar for his third six of the innings. The Indians, down 2-0 in the series and needing to win both remaining Tests to retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, were routed for just 161 off 60.2 overs after being sent in to bat. Australia then raced to 149 without loss at stumps, with Warner unbeaten on 104 and Ed Cowan on 40 for Australia to trail by just 12 runs. The openers scored at better than six runs an over against an impotent Indian bowling attack and Warner questioned India's commitment. "In my mind, they are bowled over already," he said. "They
have to work out how they can play outside India." Warner's prodigious hit was the second-quickest ton at Perth's WACA Ground, behind Adam Gilchrist's 57-ball blitz against England in 2006. It capped a miserable day for the tourists with Sachin Tendulkar's quest for an elusive 100th international hundred again delayed after he was dismissed for just 15. "I didn't even realise when I was on 80-odd I had only faced 40-odd balls and I was actually shocked," said Warner, who has now scored two centuries in five Tests. "I was looking at my strike-rate and thinking this isn't Test cricket, this is something different. But that is how I approach the game." The only setback was when he was struck around the left ear by Umesh Yadav on 80, the left-hander looking groggy as play was held up for several minutes after he sought treatment from the team physio. But when play resumed he clubbed the next two balls for four and took just seven more deliveries to sprint to his second Test ton. Virat
Kohli, who topscored in the Indian innings with 44, said it was bad toss to lose, but denied the cause was lost. "Early on it was seaming around a bit, but as the day progressed it got better to bat on," Kohli said. "They might come out tomorrow and lose wickets in clusters, you never know what might happen." The Indian tail again showed little appetite for the contest as the tourists lost their last six wickets for just 30 runs. The rejuvenated swing bowler Ben Hilfenhaus continued his fine season and took his series tally to 19 wickets with four for 43, while Peter Siddle claimed three for 42. It was another inept batting display by India's ageing top order, with Virender Sehwag out for a four-ball duck and misfiring Rahul Dravid making just nine, while Tendulkar looked in superb form but also went cheaply. Having played two elegant straight drives in the first over he faced, Tendulkar was deceived by a delivery from recalled paceman Ryan Harris that nipped back trapping him leg before wicket.
SCoReBoARD INDIA, 1st innings: 31 G. Gambhir c haddin b hilfenhaus 0 V. Sehwag c Ponting b hilfenhaus R. Dravid b Siddle 9 S. tendulkar lbw harris 15 V.V.S. Laxman c Clarke b Siddle 31 44 V. Kohli c Warner b Siddle 12 M.S. Dhoni c Ponting b hilfenhaus V. Kumar lbw Starc 5 z. Khan c Clarke b hilfenhaus 2 3 I. Sharma c haddin b Starc 4 u. Yadav not out eXtRAS: (b2, lb2, w1) 5 totAL: (all out; 60.2 overs) 161 fall of wickets: 1-4 (Sehwag), 2-32 (Dravid), 3-59 (tendulkar), 4-63 (Gambhir), 5-131 (Kohli), 6-138 (Laxman), 7-152 (Kumar), 8-152 (Dhoni), 9-157 (Khan), 10-161 (Sharma). BoWLING: Ryan harris 18-6-33-1, Ben hilfenhaus 18-5-43-4, Mitchell Starc 12.2-3-39-2 (1w), Peter Siddle 12-3-42-3. AuStRALIA, 1st innings: 40 e. Cowan not out D. Warner not out 104 eXtRAS: (lb3, w2) 5 149 totAL: (for no wickets; 23 overs) BoWLING: zaheer Khan 7-1-44-0 (1w), umesh Yadav 6-1-420 (1w), Vinay Kumar 4-0-31-0, Ishant Sharma 5-0-28-0, Virender Sehwag 1-0-1-0. Yet to bat: Shaun Marsh, Ricky Ponting, Michael Clarke (capt), Michael hussey, Brad haddin, Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starc, Ben hilfenhaus, Ryan harris. Nathan Lyon (12th man). toss: Australia, umpires: Aleem Dar (PAK), Kumar Dharmasena (SRI), Video umpire: Paul Reiffel (AuS), Match referee: Ranjan Madugalle (SRI)
Pakistan coach Mohsin Khan Friday warned England will feel the heat to maintain their world number one ranking against his fast-rising team in the threeTest series starting next week. England rose to the top of ICC (International Cricket Council) Test rankings after beating India 4-0 on their home grounds last year but face a stiff challenge against a resurgent Pakistan on the slow tracks of United Arab Emirates. Khan, a former opening batsman, said England will be hard pressed to maintain their top standing. "I won't say they will be hugely under pressure, but definitely this kind of pressure will be there, because they have to maintain their position. Once a team or a person attains the top position that pressure exists," said Khan, 56. Khan, who took over as interim coach after Waqar Younis quit the post in September last year, said his team was rising fast. "Pakistan is coming up and coming up fast over the last 18 months. I am working hard with the boys who are also doing their best and we are expecting for some favourable results," said Khan. Pakistan have not lost a Test series since losing to England on the 2010 tour. Khan praised England's balance as they won both the side games ahead of the first Test starting here from Tuesday. England beat Pakistan Cricket Board XI by 100 runs on Friday. "I feel that apart from England being ranked number one, which I don't care much about as rankings goes up and down, but they are a very balanced side and will pose good competition for us. "As far as my team goes, I can happily say that we have a talented side and we have to mix up that talent with a professional attitude to counter the opposition," said Khan, who termed the series as a test for the batsmen. "I think both teams have a good pace attack, good spinners, so it will be a test for the batsmen because both the teams have good bowlers," said Mohsin, who started his 48-Test career against England in 1977. Khan admitted spinners would have a role in the series.
Trott misses hundred but England gain another win DUBAI AfP
Jonathan Trott returned to form with 93 as England geared up for next week's first Test against Pakistan with a 100-run win over Pakistan Cricket Board XI in their three-day tour match here on Friday. Trott, England's number three batsman who was declared ICC player of the year in 2011, looked back to his best to allow his team declare their second innings at 138-8 before bundling their opponents out for 150. That made it two wins out of two after they won the tour opener against ICC Combined XI by three wickets here on Monday, to gain valuable confidence ahead of the first of three Tests against Pakistan starting here from Tuesday. Skipper Andrew Strauss also hit 62 but Kevin Pietersen (3), Ian Bell (12 not out) and Eoin Morgan, who did not bat, remained in search of their best form ahead of the Test series. Trott, who hit 12 fours during his 150ball knock, had a sound opening partnership of 130 with Strauss and overcame concerns on his form after scoring one, 35 and nought in the previous innings of the tour. Chris Tremlett (2-32) and Graham Onions (3-38) remained in the hunt for a place in the Tests as England bowled with discipline to get their opponents -- mostly comprising Pakistan's top first-class performers -- out cheaply. Only Pakistan discards Fawad Alam (51) and Usman Salahuddin (32) offered some resistence during their resolute fourth wicket stand of 71, lifting their team from a precarious 16-3 after being set 251 to win in a possible of 63 overs.
DUBAI: PCB XI's Fawad Alam plays a shot as England's Prior and Strauss look on. (right) England's Jonathan Trott plays a shot in the practice match between England and PCB XI. AFP/reUTerS
SCoReBoARD eNGLAND, 1st innings: 269-9 decl (A. Cook 133, M. Prior 46; Yasir Shah 5-75, Mohammad talha 4-43) PCB XI, 1st innings: 200-9 decl (Raza hasan 50 not out; M. Panesar 5-57) eNGLAND 2nd innings: A. Strauss lbw b Shah 62 J. trott c Khalil b Shah 93 K. Pietersen c Jamshed b Shah 3 I. Bell not out 12 eXtRAS: (b5, lb1, nb4, w1) 11 totAL: (for three wkts decl) 181 fall of wickets: 1-130 (Strauss), 2-140 (Pietersen), 3-181 (trott). BoWLING: talha 11-2-50-0 (nb3, w1), Khalil 9-2-27-0 (nb1), hasan 17-1-57-0, Shah 11.3-0-38-3, Ayub 1-0-3-0 overs: 49.3 PCB XI, 2nd innings: Nasir Jamshed c Prior b tremlett 0
Afaq Raheem b onions 7 Mohammad Ayub lbw b onions 0 usman Salahuddin c Swann b Panesar 32 fawad Alam c trott b Pietersen 51 haris Sohail lbw b Swann 11 Sarfraz Ahmed c Prior b tremlett 11 Raza hasan st Prior b Panesar 22 Yasir Shah lbw b onions 10 Mohammad talha lbw b Panesar 3 Mohammad Khalil not out 0 eXtRAS: (nb3) 3 totAL: 150 fall of wickets: 1-7 (Raheem), 2-7 (Jamshed), 3-16 (Ayub) 4-87 (Salahuddin), 5-103 (Alam), 6-114 (Sarfraz), 7-120 (Sohail), 8-134 (Shah), 9-148 (hasan). BoWLING: tremlett 10-3-32-2 (nb1), onions 10-3-38-3 (nb1), Swann 16-4-24-1, Panesar 14.3-3-46-3, Pietersen 2-0-10-1 overs: 52.3 Result: england won by 100 runs toss: PCB XI
Tremlett waits for Test chance DUBAI: Lanky paceman Chris Tremlett said on Friday he did not expect to be selected to play in the first Test against Pakistan starting in Dubai next week due to the nature of the pitch. The 30-year-old fast, who played the last of his ten Tests against India in July last year, took two wickets in each innings during England's 100-run win over Pakistan Cricket Board XI here on Friday. But with a slow, spin track expected for Tuesday's opener against Pakistan, England will be keen on playing two spinners -Graeme Swann and Monty Panesar. The latter increased his chances of playing by taking eight wickets in the second tour match. "The competition (for places) is tight, and you have to be on the ball all the time. I guess I'm not expecting to play, but just waiting to see what happens," said Tremlett, who overcame back trouble to get a place on the tour. Tremlett said England will assess the conditions before deciding on the final eleven for the Test. "We'll assess conditions when we get to the stadium. All I can do is put my name in the hat. I'm back fit and hope I will get selected," he said. AfP
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Afridi to get central contract LAHORE
ORMER Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi will get a fresh central contract when the Pakistan Cricket Board announces its list of centrally contracted players for the year 2012. Afridi had lost his contract in May when he announced his retirement from international cricket in protest against the Board's decision to remove him as captain of the one-day team and its policies. He made a comeback to the national team for the one-day series against Sri Lanka in November and is presently playing in the Big Bash in Australia . A PCB official said chairman Zaka Ashraf had asked the concerned officials to start
preparing the list of players to be given central contracts this year in consultation with the national selectors and team coach. "Obviously Afridi will get a contract because if he is playing. There is no reason to not give him a contract as he is a former captain and senior player who is performing," the official said. But he admitted the same fate might not await senior players Kamran Akmal and Shoaib Malik. Malik was part of the Pakistan team until he was dropped for the series against England because of poor form while the selectors have constantly ignored Akmal since after the World Cup for various reasons. "The emphasis this time will be on rewarding those players who have performed consistently well in 2011 and also maintained top fitness. Taufiq
Umar because of his performances could be promoted to the top contract category," he said. He conceded that the list of contracted players could increase and the emphasis would be on encouraging new players. The PCB has not yet decided whether to make any increments in the present slab system of monthly payments to the players. "This is something for the Chairman and governing council to decide when the list is finalised," the official said. At present the players in the top A category get a monthly salary of 250,000 from the Board besides their match fees and other perks and benefits. The official also said only those players would be considered for the central contracts who are clear for national selection by the cricket board's integrity committee.
Three matches Delhi rugby Club’s chief wants decided in Jr more series with Pakistan national Hockey LAHORE
LAHORE StAff RePoRt
Another three matches were played in the 31st U-21 National Hockey Championship in progress at National Hockey Stadium here. In today’s (Friday) matches WAPDA, PHF Academy and NBP registered easy wins. WAPDA beat Balochistan 12-0 (full time), 3-0 (half time); WAPDA: M. Suleman 4 goals 6th, 11th, 39th & 49th minutes (FG), Asad 2 goals 27th & 60th minutes (FG), M. Rizwan 3 goals 38th, 58th & 61st minutes (FG), Aleem Bilal 2 goals 45th & 70th minutes (PC) & M. Irfan (Capt) 63rd minute (FG). PHF Academy beat Sindh 4-0 (full time), 1-0 (half time); PHF Academy: Awais-urRehman 2 goals 33rd & 45th minutes (FG) & Mudassar Ali 2 goals 41st & 52nd minutes (FG). NBP beat Islamabad 14-0 (Full Time), 40 (Half Time) NBP: Kashif Javed 4th minute (PC), Ahmed Zubair 3 goals 25th, 36th & 56th minutes (FG), Zohaib Azeem Khan 2 goal 29th & 67th minute (FG), Khurram Shahzad 2 goals 35th & 60th minute (FG), M. Dilber 2 Goals 39th & 48th minute (FG), Arslan Qadir 2 goals 43rd & 52nd minutes (FG), Ayub Ali 51st minute (FG) & Ali Hussain 70th minute (PC).
Sindh issues annual tennis ranking KARACHI StAff RePoRt
The Sindh Tennis Association has issued its annual ranking which is based on 11 Sindh ranking championships held in province Sindh during the calendar year 2011. Aqeel Khan continued to be the top players in men’s singles with 130 ranking points and Sara Ahmed became new top women player of the year. With accumulated 150 points, she has taken over the position from Maheen Dada who is at second position with 130 points. FollowInG ArE ToP FoUr PoSITIonS In VArIoUS EVEnTS MeN’S SINGLeS 1: Aqeel Khan 130 pts, 2 Sikander Hayat 111, 3 Jalil Khan 110, 4 omer Shahid 105. ladies Singles: 1. Sara Ahmed 150, 2. Maheen Dada 130, 3. neha Khan 100, 4. Urooj Iltifat 75 JuNIoRS uNDeR 17 SINGLeS: 1. Hassaan Siddiqui 190, 2. Talha Zubair 150, 3. Malik Hamza 120, 4. Farhan Mustafa 110. uNDeR 15 SINGLeS 1. Malik Hamza 195, 2. Saud Shoaib 155, 3. Azhar A. Qadir 130, 4. nazif Ahmed 125. Under 13 singles: 1. Hasan Farooq 265, 2. nazif Ahmed 180, 3. Dawar rehan 160, 4. Marib Malik 150. Under 11 singles: 1. Houd Azher 270, 2. Bilal Imran lohya 205, 3. Shahzil Malik 160, 4. M. Dada 73 Under 9 singles: 1. Houd Azher 290, 2. M. Dada 195, 3. Ali Faisal 90 pts, 4. osama Khan 40. 35 plus singles: 1. Ejaz Sarhadi 65, 2. Tahir Iftikhar 50, 3. Azheruddin 40, M. A Saeed 40. 4. M. Iltifat 35 pts 45 Plus singles: 1. Gul Hameed 80 points, 2. Syed M. Jalal 70, 3. Karim Gul Agha 60, 4. Azheruddin 35.
Delhi Rugby Club president Lala Bhseen Jun Jun is delighted over the love and hospitality he and his team received on their visit to the city. The team arrived here on Wednesday to play a couple of matches and figure in a local 7 a side tournament. Addressing a press conference here on Friday, Lala said that there has not been much of the sporting exchanges between the two countries but the team he has brought to Pakistan is here to win hearts and when they return home they will spread goodwill about this country. Apart from playing the 7s tournament, the visiting team will also play two test matches with Lahore Rugby Club. Pakistan Rugby Union Secretary Arif Saeed said that it was the best opportunity to promote Indo-Pak sports activity. President Lahore Rugby Club Haji Anwar, Captain of LRFC Shakeel Ahmed, Captain of Dehli Lions Happy and DHA rugby club Jibran were also
Statelife/olympia in Pakistan Cup Polo final LAHORE StAff RePoRt
Statelife/Olympia won the match Newage Cables to qualify for the main final of the Pakistan Polo Cup. Hilton Pharma/United won their match and qualified for the subsidiary final against HBL on Sunday. Hilton Pharma/United beat Park View Villas/Army 7-5. Santiago Mendivil with four goals, Ahmed Zubair two and Ahmed Khan one ensured win for Hilton Pharma/United. The losing side got their goals from Isfandiyar Ali Patuadi who hit four goals while Hamza Mawaz Khan had one. Statelife/Olympia had luck on their side when their one-and-a-half goal advantage earned their place in the final. Statelife/Olympia won the match against Newage Cables by half a goal margin (6 ½-6) All the efforts of Shah Shamyl Alam who hit five goals with Bilal Haye Mehta (one goal) for Newage went in vain while Ahmed Ali Tiwana after scoring goals with Atif Yar Tiwana and Abdul Rehman Monnoo having one each returned back to the dressing room smiling with win. Umpires for the matches were Shah Qubilai Alam, Raja Samiullah, Santiago Mendivil and Raja Temur Nadeem.
ronaldinho threatens to quit over unpaid wages RIO DE JANEIRO AfP
lAHorE: Delhi rugby Club’s president lala Bhseen with PrU officials at the press conference. STAFF PHOTO in present on the occasion. LRFC spokesmen Fowzan Wain said that the tour will consist of two full 15-a-side matches and a 7s tournament against Pakistan’s super league teams Lahore Djuice Rams. The first match was played on the 12th at the UMT ground while the second final will be played between the two old rivals, Lahore Djuice Rams, which is Pakistan No 1 ranked Super league
club and the guests. Both the teams having quite a few national team players will meet on Sunday at 2 pm at DHA stadium. The 7s tournament in which the visiting team will feature also involve Lahore Djuice Rams, Garrisonions Servis Bulls, UMT Lahore, LUMS Lahore , University of Lahore, AIT Rugby Club , Multan rugby Club, Muzzafargurh rugby and DHA rugby Club.
indigo Golf at royal Palm from today LAHORE StAff RePoRt
The par 72, 18 holes Royal Palm Golf Course ranks as a majestic and awesome test of golf players’ ability and on Saturday it will host the 5th Club Indigo Golf Tournament, to be contested over 18 holes and participated by 120 corporate leaders, most of whom are golfers of ability, though not in practice and hence shot making might turn out to be a little rusty. But a large number of them do not seek a major victory or a win and will be content with playing at a golf course like Royal Palm in august company and enjoying the superb hospitality of Mobilink who are famous for giving such events a touch of cheer and joy. These 120 competing golfers have a love for this game and the occasion helps them to revive their golfing relationships and a feel of the golfing arena. Amongst them are some who manage to retain their rhythm and without being plagued by any kind of jitters hope to cast their winning spell over the championship and take home some enviable
prizes, supplemented by glittering trophies. Most of such hopefuls are single handicappers who are not bothered by creaky swings or inaccurate hitting and thus add grace to the occasion with birdies and ample regulation pars and thus produce par or under par scores. The Royal Palm Golf Course is demanding with greens true and fast and the fairways supportive to crisp shotmaking. And demons are there too in the shape of 72 bunkers, water hazards on holes 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. 12, 13, 14, 15, 16 and finally on the closing hole, the 18th. Additionally the eight man made lakes cause a fright of their own and golfers have to keep their nerves safe from unbearable stress and causing limbs to stiffen and result in creaky swings. To add a touch of majestic grandeur, are the age old trees, some 50 plus years old. Col(r)Jamil, Director Golf rightly pointed out, "all these threats of hazards and out of bounds can be neutralized with rhythm and graceful play". And at least twenty of the competitors have the ability to do that. The Mobilink Club Indigo Golf Tournament has already been held at Karachi and next arena is the Islamabad Golf Course.
Striker Ronaldinho has threatened to quit his Brazilian club Flamengo unless he receives over $2 million dollars in unpaid wages, his agent and brother Roberto de Assis claimed on Thursday. "I want to reach agreement and then he can compete in the Copa Libertadores. But I don't know if that's going to happen," de Assis told the newspaper Extra ahead of the January 25 tie against Bolivian side Real Potosi. Three-quarters of Ronaldinho's salary is covered by marketing group Traffic, who have not paid in five months, amounting to $2.05 million. "Someone has to take that on, they have to pay. We've been waiting for five months now. They (Flamengo and Traffic) have to reach agreement but that seems difficult to me. Five months have gone by and there has been nothing," de Assis continued. Club president Patricia Amorim expressed his optimism that "things are advancing". But De Assis warned that if the 31-yearold former World Cup winner is not paid immediately he could take up one of several firm offers he has had from teams in Italy, Spain and South America. Ronaldinho returned to Brazil in 2011 in the hope of winning back a place in the national side for the 2014 World Cup which is being hosted by his home country. The 2002 World Cup winner last played in November 2010 after being overlooked for the World Cup in South Africa when his club career at AC Milan began to flag. Twice world player of the year, Ronaldinho whose full name is Ronaldo de Assis Moreira, started with Gremio aged 18 before moving to Paris Saint-Germain, FC Barcelona - with whom he won the 2006 Champions League - and then AC Milan.
Tevez could play for City again, says Platt MANCHESTER AfP
Carlos Tevez could play for Manchester City again, according to assistant manager David Platt, after the want-away striker's proposed transfer to AC Milan collapsed on Thursday. The 27-year-old Argentina international has not featured for Premier League leaders City since September, having been frozen out by manager Roberto Mancini after refusing to come on a substitute in a Champions League match away to Bayern Munich. It had been thought that incident had damaged Tevez's relationship with Mancini beyond repair but Platt, speaking to reporters here Friday, said
there was still a chance of the former Manchester United star representing City again. "Stranger things have happened," former England midfielder Platt said. City, three points clear at the top of the Premier League, travel to Wigan on Monday where they will look to bounce back after suffering successive defeats for the first time since 2008. The holders were knocked out of the FA Cup by United last weekend before a midweek League Cup semi-final first leg loss to Liverpool. But Platt insisted City were not cracking under the pressure of expectation. "No one expected us to continue winning games without having a difficult moment," said Platt. "We can't accelerate the sea-
son by four months to see how it is going to turn out. "But we are still in the Carling (League) Cup semi-final and our players are quite capable of turning the situation around, and 19 clubs would like to be where we are in the championship. "It is not a bad position to be in --- some crisis." Meanwhile Platt said City expected to have David Silva fit to face Wigan after the Spain winger
suffered an ankle injury in the defeat by United that saw him miss the Liverpool clash. "David did a bit of running yesterday (Thursday) and will do a bit more today (Friday)," said Platt. "Hopefully he will be back on the training pitch tomorrow (Saturday)." But Platt was not so positive about striker Mario Balotelli, who aggravated an ankle injury against Liverpool. "Maybe (he could play a g a i n s t Wigan). But that's all it is, a maybe."
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Wozniacki gets tough draw at Australian Open
World number one Caroline Wozniacki could face French Open champion Li Na in the quarter-finals of the Australian Open following Friday's draw for the season-opening grand slam. The Danish top seed, whose world ranking is under threat from Petra Kvitova, also has defending champion Kim Clijsters, third seed Victoria Azarenka and the dangerous Agnieszka Radwanska in her top half of the women's singles draw. Wozniacki is hunting a maiden grand slam title in Melbourne and opens her campaign against Australian Anastasia Rodionova. Clijsters beat Li in last year's Australian Open final before the Chinese
star went on to take the French Open at Roland Garros, in the process making history as the first Asian grand slam winner. "For me playing Li Na in the final last year was one of the fun finals and one of the best finals that I've played so far in a grand slam," Clijsters said at the draw. "It was a really tough match, we both played well in a close match and winning it gave me a lot of confidence and I was able to show the people here my best level and fight for it and there were a lot of emotions involved. "For Li Na there was a lot of outside pressure from her country and a lot of expectations and I was happy to see her do well in Europe in the summer." Li plays Ksenia Pervak of Kazakhstan in her opening match. Wimbledon champion Kvitova, beaten by Li in Thursday's semi-finals of the Sydney International, will face tough opponents as she targets Open glory. Thirteen-time grand slam champion Serena Williams, US Open champion Samantha Stosur and three-time major winner Maria Sharapova all share the Czech lefthander's bottom half of the draw. Kvitova will open against Russian Vera Dushevina, while five-time Australian Open champion Williams, seeded 12 this year, takes on Austrian Tamira Paszek first up. "It's definitely something that has changed over the last few years," Clijsters said of the many potential winners in this year's women's field. "I remember when I was younger everybody was already pencilling in the top seeds, quarter-finals, semi-finals, and that's totally different now. "It's a different mindset for a lot of the top players. You have to focus on the first round onwards because new players, players that I've never played against before, can cause upsets." Stosur, drawn to face Kvitova in the quarter-finals and bidding to become the first Australian woman to win her national Open since 1978, begins against Romania's Sorana Cirstea. Russia's Sharapova, who won in Melbourne four years ago, plays Argentina's Gisela Dulko in the first round.
PErTH: ryan Harris (2nd r) of Australia celebrates after taking the wicket of Sachin Tendulkar (r) of India during their third Test. reUTerS
Federer, nadal in same half of Australian open draw MELBOURNE AfP
Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are in the same half of a grand slam for the first time in seven years after the draw made Friday for next week's Australian Open in Melbourne. Defending champion Novak Djokovic has world number four Andy Murray in the top half of the men's singles draw, while Nadal and Federer, second and third ranked respectively, were placed for the bottom half. It is the first
time since the 2005 French Open that 16-time grand slam champion Federer and 10-time major winner Nadal have been pitted in the same half of a grand slam draw. The draw means that if they progress, the quartet will meet in the last four with Djokovic and Murray on collision course and Federer and Nadal eyeing a semi-final clash. Djokovic, who won three of the four grand slams and five Masters titles in a remarkable 2011, begins his Australian Open title defence against Italy's Paolo Lorenzi.
Inspirational comebacks or sheer desperation? EPL CRYSTAL BALL KUNWAR KHULDUNE SHAHID
United have called back Paul Scholes, Arsenal have recalled Thierry Henry, how long will it be before Liverpool make a move for Robbie Fowler? Legends of their respective clubs and of the Premier League era, Paul Scholes and Thierry Henry have put pen to paper that has heralded their second comings during a truly bizarre start to the January transfer window. Add to these signings the loan deals of Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane, with Everton and Aston Villa respectively, and the peculiarity of the winter signings become all the more conspicuous. Is it a matter of much needed influx of experience, a case of shrewd purchases, a complete lack of quality available in the market or do the moves smack of sheer desperation?
SChoLeS to the ReSCue? Manchester United’s midfield predicament has been thoroughly discussed in this space, and by pundits around the globe. The problem is so obviously ominous that even the most deluded of United fans wouldn’t doubt the claim that 2009 onwards, United’s midfield has been their Achilles’ heel. Recently, Michael Carrick has come to the fore by providing some much needed stability, but since his partner has become a lottery draw – much like most of the United
lineup – the English Champions’ midfield has become a hotchpotch of uncertainty. From 2006-2009, Carrick and Scholes formed a formidable midfield duo. The duo wasn’t quite as robust, or indeed dynamic, as some of the more legendary midfield twosomes; but considering the fact that the era coincided with the Ronaldo (and Tevez) era, the on-the-ball skills of Carrick and Scholes meant that it was like having two very competent quarterbacks orchestrating the show from the middle of the park; allowing Rooney, Ronaldo and Tevez to expound their flair and score goals. Like for like replacements are rare in football; despite the fact that one regularly hears pundits say that player X is yet to be replaced, and the void of player Y is still tangible. The fact of the matter is that when influential players leave, more often than not the managers resort to a new system. Carrick was never Keane’s replacement; he was a very shrewd purchase which resulted in the most successful era in United’s history. The Red Devil brigade might label it blasphemous, but having Keane in the 2006-09 seasons wouldn’t have had been as successful as
having Carrick in the middle along with Scholes. Similarly, when Ronaldo left in 2009, Valencia was never a direct replacement. The signing of the former Wigan man connoted that United were going to resort back to the 4-4-2 of the late 90s – with two proper wingers on either flank – and hence United needed either a goal scoring midfielder or a midfield destroyer to complement that. As of now, even with Scholes arriving, they have neither. Carrick can do the holding midfielder’s job quite competently – not quite of the Didier Deschamps or the Claude Makelele mould – but his reading of the game ensures that he doesn’t have to make last ditch tackles. But with that you need a goal scoring midfielder – a la Frank Lampard or Steven Gerrard of their halcyon days – in front of him. Having Scholes partner Carrick would be a throwback to the two quarterback days but without a fluid interchangeable frontline to make the overall composition of the team as menacing as it was back then.
VA VA VooM Receive a decent through ball, take a touch, compose yourself, locate your spot and bury it with effort-
less ease. Thierry Henry, 34 years young, makes it look oh so simple, while some other forwards in the league with a combined transfer fee of umpteen gazillion pounds aren’t able to buy a goal at the moment. Henry’s return – and instant impact – not only generated a vigorous nostalgic sensation at the Emirates, it also seems to have solved the ‘if not RVP then who’ puzzle. As mentioned in this column a couple of weeks back, Henry’s return is not only a masterful footballing deal, it is all worth it even for the ‘feel good factor’ only. Since Arsenal, unlike United, are calling on their old war horse to solve a minor chink in the armour, hence this move is more likely to bear the desired fruits. Both moves imply that the respective manages aren’t going to delve into the club’s exchequer – and since United’s fix is more long term, the picture looks pretty gloomy for them. This two-month loan deal is going to work wonders for Arsenal, and the youngsters would be gaining invaluable experience from the man who was the cornerstone of the club’s illustrious past.
LIVeRPooL’S PRoBLeM Liverpool’s achievements this season – whatever little they might be – have been formed on the foundation of a solid defensive display. Their win over City in the Carling Cup first leg – the second successive home defeat for the league leaders in 2012, after going the entire 2011 unbeaten at home – was again based on a solid defensive show. While City’s problems are coming to the fore as the season unfolds, Liverpool’s lack of goals has been a problem throughout the season. And it doesn’t look like they’d be taking a plunge into the market. With Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool all vying for the coveted fourth spot, if Liverpool can solve their goal scoring riddle, they would do their chance of Champions League qualification the world of good! Considering the recent comeback trend; Robbie Fowler anyone?
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Fastest centuries in Test cricket Ten fastest test centuries after Australian opener David Warner hit a 69-ball ton in the third test against India on Friday: Deliveries, player, team, opposition, date, venue 56 - Viv Richards (West Indies) v England 1986 St John's 57 - Adam Gilchrist (Australia) v England 2006 Perth 67 - Jack Gregory (Australia) v South Africa 1921 Johannesburg 69 - S Chanderpaul (West Indies) v Australia 2003 Georgetown 69 - David Warner (Australia) v India 2012 Perth 70 - Chris Gayle (West Indies) v Australia 2010 Perth 71 - Roy Fredericks (West Indies) v Australia 1975 Perth 74 - Majid Khan (Pakistan) v New Zealand 1976 Karachi 74 - Kapil Dev (India) v Sri Lanka 1986 Kanpur 74 - Mohd Azharuddin (India) v South Africa 1996 Kolkata
Azarenka ends Li’s winning run in Sydney
WaTCh IT LIvE STAR CRICKET Australia vs India 3rd Test, Day 2 08:00AM
STAR SPORTS ATP - Heineken Open 2012 08:00PM
Kaneria might get one leg dragged in westfield case: latif LAHORE StAff RePoRt
Hockey coaching clinic from 17th LAHORE StAff RePoRt
The Pakistan Hockey Federation as a part of its development plan to groom male and female coaches at national level, is holding a coaching clinic at National Hockey Stadium Lahore from January 17 to 21. The coaches will get full knowledge in the field on the sidelines of the 31st National Junior Hockey Championship, which is in progress at NHS Lahore. Khawaja Muhammad Junaid will be the Course Conductor and Rana Mujahid Ali will be the Coordinator. The PHF has invited following coaches for the Clinic: Ajmal Khan Lodhi, Shahid Ali Khan, Danish Kaleem, Ahmed Alam, Anjum Saeed, Jan Muhammad, Dilawar Hussain, Muhammad Ali, Khawar Javaid, Rahim Khan, Mubasshir Mukhtar, Rana Zaheer Ahmed, Sabir ALI, Farooq Khan, Mumtaz Haider, Muhammad Akhlaque, Abuzar Umrao, Major Tariq Ahmed, Masood-ur-Rehman, Muhammad Shafqat , Muhammad Usman, Muhammad Aslam Roda, Rana Asif, Yasir Khurshid, Mujahid Afzal, Muhammad Riasat, Muhammad Asif, Ms. Beenish, Ms. Saman Islam, Ms. Chand Parveen & Ms. Humaira Mughal.
ICTORIA Azarenka ended Li Na's unbeaten two-year run at the Sydney International with a fighting three-set victory in the final on Friday. The Belarusian third seed claimed her ninth career WTA title with a 6-2, 1-6, 6-3 victory over the fourth seeded Chinese star in one hour 56 minutes at Ken Rosewall Arena. French Open champion Li was on a nine-match winning run in Sydney after beating Kim Clijsters in last year's final, but was edged out by Azarenka, who ranks third in the world behind Caroline Wozniacki and Petra Kvitova. It capped a big week for 22-yearold Azarenka with victories over Jelena Jankovic, Marion Bartoli, Agnieszka Radwanska and Li ahead of Monday's Australian Open in Melbourne. "It brings a lot of confidence," Azarenka said. "But it's going to be a new week, a new tournament, so for me it's going to be starting from zero. "I'm glad the way
I played here through those battles that I went through, so I really tested myself before a big event. "I'm just going to try to keep going the same way with the same attitude, the same way I'm playing." Despite her victory Azarenka will remain at number three in the world, while Li is expected to drop one place to sixth behind Australian Samantha Stosur when the next rankings are released on Monday. Azarenka is among six players with a chance of reaching the top spot depending on results at the year's opening grand slam tournament in Melbourne. In three trips to Australia Li has compiled a 21-4 record, highlighted by a semi-final appearance at the 2010 Australian Open, her runner-up finish to Clijsters at last year's Open, her Sydney win last year and the run to this week's final. Li, who beat Kvitova in Thursday's Sydney semis, heads to Melbourne in form after a dip in the second half of last year following her landmark French Open success, which saw her become the first Asian to win a grand slam title.
The latest case of the spot-fixing in the English county circuit, where Essex fast bowler Mervin Westfield pleaded guilty of spot-fixing, is a reminder of the 2010 episode after which three Pakistani cricketers – Salman Butt, Muhammad Asif and Muhammad Amir – not only banned, but later were jailed as well. The fate of Westfield would be decided on February 10, but former Pakistan captain Rashid Latif feared that leg-spinner Kaneria would be further dragged in the case. “I have a strong feeling that they would allege it was Kaneria who corrupted Westfield, as it was said in the case of Muhammad Amir during the eyecatching probe against three Pakistani cricketers”, said Latif said “I don’t think Kaneria would be sentenced but even though he may be suspected of having had a role, which would be enough to ruin his career”, added Latif who is considered as the whistle blower on match-fixing in the mid 90s. Mervyn Westfield, the former Essex bowler, has become the first English cricketer to be convicted of spot-fixing after pleading guilty at the Old Bailey, London's central criminal court, to criminal charges arising from a spot-fixing investigation by Essex police. He pleaded guilty of accepting £6000 to concede 12 runs in his first over of Essex's Pro40 encounter against Durham in September 2009. Westfield could face a maximum jail term of seven years. Although Westfield’s teammate, Danish Kaneria was also originally alleged to have been involved, but was later released by the Essex police after thorough questioning in May 2010. The police did not find enough evidence to prosecute Kaneria and released him from his bail conditions with "no further action".
ECB offers amnesty to match-fixer Westfield LONDON AfP
English cricket chiefs have offered an amnesty to players to report past match-fixing approaches after former Essex bowler Mervyn Westfield pleaded guilty to spot-fixing at the Old Bailey. Westfield, 23, the first player to admit to a corruption charge in a county match, entered a guilty plea to charges of accepting or obtaining a corrupt payment to bowl in a way that would allow the scoring
of runs. He received £6,000 ($9,199) to bowl so that 12 runs would be scored in the first over of a match against Durham in September 2009, although in fact only 10 were scored. A separate charge of assisting another person to cheat at gambling was ordered to lie on file. Westfield, who will be sentenced on February 10, was told by Judge Anthony Morris on Thursday: "It's open to the court in this case to pass an immediate custodial sentence." Morris added the name of the
other party involved in the deal would be known to cricket fans, but it was not revealed in court. An international cricketer was arrested alongside Westfield but later released without charge. It is already an offence under England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) regulations for players to fail to report approaches related to corrupt activities. But the governing body, at a meeting Thursday, established a "window" until April 30 whereby players can report previous approaches without the
threat of ECB punishment. Chris Watts, information manager to the ECB's Anti-Corruption Commission for Education, Standards and Security (ACCESS), said: "Information is critical in addressing the threat posed by corruption in sport. "Individuals may not have thought these approaches were worthy of reporting at the time and, prior to the decision of the board, may have been concerned that the fact that they did not report such activity may have put them at risk of disciplinary action."
It is easy for a professional to deliver a spot-fix over CommEnT SIMON HUGHES Professional cricketers have actually practised match-fixing and score manipulation for years – in benefit games. Most will have played matches for their county against local club or village sides in which it is taken as read that the professional batsmen will get out when they have struck a few decent blows and the bowlers will give away some runs, usually to ensure a tight finish. I often bowled the last over in such matches with, say, eight runs to win, a fairly hopeless club tailender on strike and the unstated challenge to take the match to the last ball. Mostly I succeeded. Bowlers inadvertently practise it in the nets too. Often at the end of a training session, a batsman will ask a colleague to bowl him some half-volleys or short balls
to hone a particular shot. This he will willingly and effectively do. For a professional bowler it is fairly easy to offer a decent batsman runs. He will have fairly good control of his line and length and, on a flat pitch and against a good striker of the ball, there is not much margin of error anyway. A delivery slightly over pitched will be eagerly seized on and anything wide of off stump in one-day cricket is a licence to print runs. It will be thrashed to the boundary. Such is the intensity of professional sport that a journeyman bowler has to be only 10 per cent or so off his game to offer easy pickings. If a fast bowler wanted to deliberately give a batsman runs, he wouldn’t have to do it conspicuously. He would merely have to throttle back in pace a fraction and look to drop slightly short or aim a touch wide. The lack of venom in the delivery would be enough for the batsman
to quickly seize on it. Also umpires are notoriously strict on wides in one-day cricket. He would only have to slip one a fraction down the leg side to concede an extra and have to bowl the ball again. If you had seen Mervyn Westfield’s offending over live, you would have concluded that it was just a youngish bowler trying to find his bearings early in a spell. None of the deliveries except the third – a very wide ball outside off stump – would have been considered especially bad. Ian Blackwell left the first two and they sailed through innocuously to the keeper. The third was signalled wide, the fourth was only a little short but offered inviting width and was thumped to the extra-cover boundary. The fifth was straight and penetrative and was defended, the sixth was fuller but again wide enough of off stump to allow the batsman some freedom and was driven
crisply through the covers, the last was sliced for a single. I can remember bowling similarly unthreatening overs at the start of a match without it causing great consternation. Now we know what Westfield was up to, the over has a different complexion. He knew that Blackwell was a clean striker of the ball through the off side and that he had little protection on that boundary. It was fairly simple to err consistently a little too far outside off and give Blackwell the scope to club it to the unprotected boundary. There were no glaring long hops, hit-me full tosses or clubbable slower balls. It is much easier for a bowler to indulge in spot-fixing than a batsman. But if team ethics and personal pride do not deter the would-be fixer from sending down some calculated dross, then the humiliation suffered by the hapless Westfield surely will.
Fixers should be coming out in a cold sweat eXPeRt CoMMeNt
This is the best method of prevention because the Westfield case and that of the Pakistani players shows you cannot get away with spotfixing anymore. It is a clear message MICHAEl VAUGHAn to tell young players that anyone thinking about doing this will face prison if they are caught. The county game is vulnerable because it is shown on television in India. I think it has been happening for a while in county cricket but I would be amazed if anything has gone on since this case came to light. Having said that there may be a number of players who had a cold sweat when they heard the news on Thursday. I hope that is the case too because if they have done anything they deserve to be punished. Mervyn Westfield deserves to be punished, too, and I don’t feel sorry for him because he could have said no but somewhere out there is another person who has a lot to answer for. He did not do this alone and somebody else ruined a young bloke’s career. We know in the county game there is not an Anti-Corruption Unit set up which is as stringent as the one in international cricket. Players are told not to take their phones into the dressing room but I have seen it happen. It is impossible to police. I have heard discussions about dodgy things players have thought they have seen. This case has also shown that we can’t just shrug our shoulders and say it is a problem only in the sub-continent. Our game is vulnerable too. If you can turn on a TV and see a game of cricket then you know that match could be vulnerable.
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Gilani, Kayani to meet over memogate today g
Analysts believe PM has prime opportunity to ease tensions with military establishment in meeting of DCC ISLAMABAD
GAINST the backdrop of simmering tensions between the civilian rulers and the army, the Defence Committee of the Cabinet (DCC) will hold its crucial meeting today (Saturday) with Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani in the chair and army chief General Ashfaq Kayani also participating along with other services chiefs to ponder over the “memogate”, that has generated grave political crisis and led to confrontation between the government, army and judiciary. The meeting of the DCC has been seemingly convened to deliberate upon an-
other vital issue of stalled Pakistan-United States relations and especially the recommendations made by the Special Parliamentary Committee on National Security on how to revise the ties with Washington, but it would focus mostly on the “memogate”. The issue is now in the Supreme Court but serious differences have occurred between the government, army and the judiciary owing to civilian rulers’ resort to dub the so-called secret letter as inauthentic, military leaders calling it a real and genuine letter and the apex court frustrated over the civilian authorities’ refusal to accept courts’ jurisdiction over the grave matter. The situation became worse, however, on Wednesday when the prime minister fired defence secretary Lt General
Khalid Naeem Lodhi for not following the rules and regulations while sending the replies of the army chief and ISI DG to the apex court on the memo issue. Before that, the PM said in an interview with a Chinese news agency that the army chief’s and ISI DG’s replies to the court were illegal and against the constitution. The army also came up with a strongworded statement expressing annoyance over the PM’s interview and also declaring that the replies of top military leaders were in accordance with the law. The DCC meeting on Saturday is the first gathering of civilian and military leaders after the escalation of civil-military tensions on Wednesday. One of the government’s allied parties, the Awami
National Party also tabled a resolution in the National Assembly on Friday seeking support for the government in the face of its standoff with the army and it would be voted upon on Monday. “The prime minister is likely to use the opportunity that he has in the form of DCC meeting to iron out the government’s differences with the military, but owing to the serious nature of conflicting issues, it is highly unlikely that he will have success in this regard,” said a security official seeking anonymity. He said the army leadership was of strong opinion that the “memo issue” would have to be settled by the apex court and they were in no mood to allow any other forum for the purpose, including the DCC. Some observers, however, look at
the vital DCC meeting differently, saying the forum could be used to lower the tensions to some extent and it was a good opportunity for the government and for the prime minister. “The DCC meeting could help lessen the civil-military tensions but that depends on the tone that the prime minister would use in the meeting. If he (Prime Minister) opts for conciliatory tone and disposition, it will lessen the tensions and ease the situation to some extent if not ending the standoff altogether,” said noted analyst Dr Hasan Askari Rizvi. “However, if the prime minister opts for the other way round and lodges complaints only during the meeting, the DCC will certainly not help his case,” he said.
Army chief, ISI DG followed rules: AG Haq says linking submission of a reply or letter by former defence secy to statements of army generals not correct g
ISLAMABAD StAff RePoRt
ISLAMABAD: PML-N President Nawaz Sharif discusses the opposition’s future strategy with politicians, including fazlur Rehman, qazi hussain Ahmed and Mehmood Khan Achakzai on friday. AFP
8 soldiers killed, 9 injured in three attacks PESHAWAR StAff RePoRt
At least eight security forces personnel were killed and nine others were injured in separate terrorist attacks in Peshawar, South Waziristan and Tank during the last 24 hours.Officials claimed security forces had killed seven militants, including two notorious commanders, and arrested another in retaliatory action. Reportedly, dozens of armed militants had attacked a checkpost of security forces on Bara Road at Sarband, near Peshawar, at midnight on Thursday. The attack left three soldiers dead and nine injured. Those killed included two policemen and one paramilitary soldier. Soon after the attack began, contingents of security forces rushed to the site to provide backup. The clash continued for around half an hour. Officials also said a group of militants had attacked a checkpost in Sararogha, South Waziristan, and killed four personnel. Security forces said they had killed a militant in retaliatory action. A third attack occurred in the Sarghai area of Tank late on Thursday night when a group of militants attacked a Frontier Constabulary checkpost. A paramilitary soldier was killed in the fighting.
zardari and Gilani exchange notes ISLAMABAD StAff RePoRt
President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani on Friday discussed the current political issues confronting the government, including the implementation of the Supreme Court’s order in the NRO implementation case. Gilani went straight to the Presidency after reaching Islamabad where the two discussed the current situation. The government is facing legal challenges, particularly the implementation on some parts of the SC order in the NRO case which included writing a letter to the Swiss authorities for reopening of cases against the president. According to sources, both leaders discussed the strategy for January 16 hearing in the NRO implementation case in the SC. They said the memo controversy also came under discussion during the meeting. The Defence Committee of the Cabinet (DCC) is also holding its crucial meeting today (Saturday), which will be chaired by the prime minister. COAS General Ashfaq Kayani will also attend the meeting along with other services chiefs. The sources said both the leaders also developed a strategy as to how to go forward on the issue after the committee meeting.
PM, UK deny ‘SOS’ call MONITORING DESK
An unexpected shock for the already embattled Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani came from the attorney general on Friday when he disputed the premier’s statement, telling reporters at the apex court building that the army chief and Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) director general (DG) had submitted their replies following the rules of business. Haq said further that linking the submission of a reply or a letter by the former defence secretary to the statements of the two army generals was not correct. Meanwhile, after Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry turned down the attorney general’s request for a rescheduling on account of simultaneous appearances before the judicial commission probing the memogate scandal as well as the Supreme Court on Monday, Haq decided on Friday to appear in the apex court, being a higher forum, instead of the judicial commission. The attorney general decided this after meeting Akram Sheikh, the counsel for Pakistan-American businessman Mansoor Ijaz, the central character in the memo case. Haq and Sheikh met to file a joint application before the head of the judicial commission to extend the date of hearing, keeping in view the engagement of the attorney general in the Supreme Court on Monday. According to Haq, he would prefer to appear in the SC instead of the judicial commission. However, he said he would think about it
British and Pakistani officials denied a news report that Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani contacted the British High Commission in a “panicky” phone call to express fears that a military coup was imminent in the country, the Cable News Network (CNN) reported on Friday. CNN said that in a story published on Friday citing anonymous sources, the Associated Press (AP) reported that the prime minister asked British High Commissioner Adam Thomson for “Britain to support his embattled government”. Whether Britain took any action was unclear, AP reported. “This is absolutely an incorrect report; the prime minister hasn’t spoken to the high commissioner of UK on this subject,” Gilani’s spokesman Akram Shaheedi told CNN on Friday. “Democratic government led by the prime minister derives its strength from the people of Pakistan - not from any foreign power,” CNN quoted him as saying. The spokesman for the High Commission also said the call never took place and that the commission asked AP to print a retraction. AP did not immediately respond to calls and emails on the issue, said CNN. The call, which one official said was “panicky”, suggested there was a genuine fear at the highest level of the Pakistani government that the army might carry out a coup or support possible moves by the Supreme Court to topple the civilian leadership, said AP. In a BBC radio interview, British Foreign Secretary William Hague expressed doubts about any return to the days of coups as that would damage Pakistan’s struggling economy and image.
Published by Arif Nizami for Nawa Media Corporation (Pvt) Ltd at Qandeel Printing Press, 4 Queens Road, Lahore.
more. He said the government would request the SC not to apply any of the six options it had laid out in the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) case. The commission will hear the memogate case at the Islamabad High Court on Monday and on the same day, the apex court will take up the case about the government’s failure to implement its NRO verdict. The attorney general was summoned for both cases, therefore, he had requested the chief justice to adjust the hearing of the two matters, which the chief justice turned down. This will be at the same time when the attorney general is supposed to appear before the three-judge judicial commission constituted under orders from the Supreme Court to investigate the veracity of the controversial memorandum, which sparked a controversy in the country.