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Bugti was not killed, he Pakistan needs 22MAF of water to counter committed suicide, says Pervez Musharraf Indian aggression PAGE | 03
Pakistan won’t allow drones in its airspace, Sherry tells US
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Rs15.00 Vol ii no 257 22 pages Karachi edition
thursday, 15 March, 2012 Rabi-ul-Sani 21, 1433
SC chides spy agencies for crossing the line Durrani says ISI not involved as he acted in personal capacity
SANAA: Anti-government female protesters wearing pink caps protest against immunity from prosecution to Yemen's former president Ali Abdullah Saleh on Wednesday. afp
Multiple sources available for Ip gas pipeline funding: fM ISLAMABAD
pakistan agrees to restore NaTO supplies, revive ties WASHINGTON
Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar on Wednesday said the Chinese bank’s decision to pull out from the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline would not have any impact on Pakistan’s plan to proceed with the multibillion dollars project as there were “multiple sources” available for its funding. Addressing a joint news conference at the Foreign Office with her Swedish counterpart Carl Bildt, the foreign minister said, “There are multiple sources available for IranPakistan gas pipeline and this is fairly a very viable project. We hope we will not see any problem in finding ways to ensure funds for the project.” She said the impression that the Chinese bank’s decision would affect Pakistan’s plan to import gas from Iran was not true and it would proceed with the project of gas pipeline. The foreign minister was responding to a question that a consortium led by the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) has run away from providing financial advisory services for the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project. To another question on the parliamentary review of ties with the United States, she said that the government’s Continued on page 04
Senior US officials say they have been informed by Pakistani authorities that a high-level meeting in Islamabad on Wednesday agreed in principle to restore supplies for NATO forces in Afghanistan and to revive normal relationship. President Asif Ali Zardari presided over the meeting that was attended by Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Ashfaq Kayani Air Chief Marshal Qamar Suleman and ISI DG Lt Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha. The meeting of the country’s top civilian and military leadership as well as key allies was called just days ahead of the joint session of parliament that will mark the new parliamentary year but will mainly focus on the debate on the future relationship with the US and NATO allies. Although the government spokesmen told the media that the
meeting reiterated the government’s earlier stance that parliament will take the decision on the NATO supply and relationship with the US, the leaders agreed to restore land route for NATO and revive normal ties with the US. Senior US officials in Washington said they had been conveyed about the decisions after the Islamabad meeting. In return the US will also allow the equipments delivery to Pakistan which had been blocked after Islamabad blocked NATO supply line in November. The meeting also decided to receive the top US visitors whenever they wanted to visit Pakistan and they agreed with the proposed visit of the US CENTCOM chief General Mathis, who is likely to visit later this month. General Mathis told reporters in Washington last week that he will discus, besides other important issues, the plan of using Pakistan land route for the American troops at the time of withdrawal from Afghanistan. “This has also been conveyed to the U.S. authorities in Washing-
ton,” the US sources said. The US plans to withdraw several thousands troops this year as part of its Afghan exit strategy. The summoning of long-awaited joint session of the parliament to meet on March 17 is also in line with the understanding reached in Wednesday’s meeting, sources told Online in Islamabad. The Parliamentary Committee on National Security had been tasked with giving recommendations to reevaluate ties with the US/NATO and ISAF following NATO, which had already submitted its recommendations. Participants of the meeting were of the view that the coalition will have no problem in dominating the join session of parliament during the debate on the US ties as they were now in complete command of both houses of parliament, official sources in Islamabad said. The army chief told the meeting that the military will fully respect the decision by the parliament and civilian leadership, sources in Islamabad said.
Kayani takes exception to public discussion on agencies ISLAMABAD StAff RepoRt
Tacitly registering his concern over the debate in the media on the role of the army and the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Ashfaq Kayani on Wednesday said “the national institutions should not be undermined”. “The debate (on TV channels) does not support national institutions as it works to de-motivate soldiers performing their duties in 20˚Celsius below the freezing point. We need to motivate our soldiers instead of demoralising them by such debates,” the COAS said while informally talking to a group of editors at the farewell dinner hosted by Prime Min-
ister Yousaf Raza Gilani for the outgoing Air Chief Rao Qamar Suleman. Though he did not specifically point out any particular talk show, he did say that the debate “in the evening” was not contributing positively. He referred to other countries, including Israel, and said they never talked about their intelligence agencies the way the ISI was discussed in Pakistan. “Even in countries like the United States, the role of agencies is not discussed publicly,” he said. He admitted that mistakes did take place but it did not mean that the institutions should be undermined. “It takes very long to build institutions,” the COAS observed. About the role of the army in politics, Gen Kayani said he had taken a “conscious decision” to
keep his institution out of politics. But when referred to the Mehran Bank scam, he said it had happened 20 years earlier and discussing it now was fighting history. “We should learn from the past, live in the present with a focus on the future,” he said. He rubbished reports that the army or the ISI was supporting PTI chief Imran Khan. “If anyone has any proof of this, it should be brought to the fore and it is also for Imran Khan to take notice of this allegation,” Gen Kayani said. On Balochistan, he said he had many a time said that there was no military operation going on in the province and there was no plan to set up new cantonments there. Continued on page 04
HE Supreme Court on Wednesday expressed annoyance over the working of intelligence agencies, terming their activities “beyond given mandate”. Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry remarked that the secret agencies were not working as per their mandate, saying, “We cannot compromise on the interests of the state.” The apex court resumed the hearing of the Mehrangate scandal by warning Younis Habib – the central figure of the scandal – against scandalising the court, and asked him to submit documents and applications in accordance with the rules of the apex court. Younis, former chief of the defunct Mehran Bank, has recently written a letter directly addressed to the chief justice. Younis then sought an unconditional apology from the Supreme Court in this regard. Former Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief Asad Durrani said he had acted in personal capacity, and that the ISI was not involved in the distribution of funds to certain politicians. The CJP asked Durrani if he was accepting that he had distributed the money among politicians. “You and Aslam Beg were generals when this happened, and we don’t know the consequences of this act,” he said. “How did you, being a government employee, function in your personal capacity? You may take a lawyer if you wish so,” Justice Khilji Arif Hussain asked the former ISI head. Durrani replied, “I kept the ISI out of it all. I will prefer to hire the services of a lawyer.” The chief justice asked Attorney General Maulvi Anwarul Haq to read out a news story published in an English daily about the role of secret agencies. After reading the relevant paragraphs, the attorney general told the bench that he could not verify the authenticity of the said news item. The bench issued notices to the newspaper’s reporter to appear and assist the court by providing classified documents that he had mentioned in his story. The attorney general told the court that the government had no objection if the secret statements of Asad Durrani and Naseerullah Babar were made public. He said that he had gone through the relevant record of Asghar Khan’s case with the cooperation of the Registrar’s Office and could not find anything classified, as the said material had already been known to the public and the media. “A written order will be passed to make the report public during the next hearing of the case,” the CJP remarked. Continued on page 04
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02 News Today’s
Thursday, 15 March, 2012
‘paper one’ art show opens at Khaas gallery
350 marble factories shutting down in protest
Story on Page 08
Story on Page 22
Hopes fade for missing Western climbers ISLAMABAD: Pakistan was forced again to call off a search party for Westerners missing nearly a week in the Karakoram Mountains as hopes faded for their safe recovery, officials said on Wednesday. “We were on standby the whole day today, but the weather is very bad and helicopters had to abandon the mission,” Colonel Manzoor Ahmed, President of the Pakistan Alpine Club, told AFP. The members of an international winter expedition to Gasherbrum-1 peak, team leader Gerfried Goschl of Austria, Swiss climber Cedric Hahlen and a Pakistani high altitude porter Nisar Hussain, have been missing since Friday. It is the highest peak in the Karakoram range on the PakistanChina border, also known as “Hidden Peak”. “It has been a long time now. They were last spotted around 450 metres short of the summit on Friday. Something went wrong after that. They had two Thuraya sets (satellite phones) and they would have called us soon after scaling the peak,” Ahmed said. “But I think they had some accident and could not reach the summit. They might have been hit by an avalanche or strong wind.” Afp
Caller threatens to kill Mansoor Ijaz’s daughter LONDON: An unknown caller has allegedly threatened to kidnap and kill the daughter of the key character of “memogate”, Mansoor Ijaz. According to reports, Mansoor’s son received the threatening call on his cell phone. Scotland Yard has initiated investigation to trace down the suspect through phone call records. Moreover, heavy security has also been deployed at the house of Ijaz. NNi
Minor girl killed, 7 FC troops injured in Mattani checkpost attack PESHAWAR: A minor girl was killed, while her sister along-with six soldiers of Frontier Constabulary (FC) were injured in cross firing ensued following militants’ attack on a security checkpoint in Mattani area, in FR Peshawar on Wednesday, an official source said. Ambrina (5), daughter of Noor Muhammad died in the crossfire, while her sister Sabrina (6) sustained wounds after militants attacked Jani Garh security check post, close to their house. Six soldiers of FC also received bullets wounds during the battle that continued for over two hours. The terrorists managed to flee the scene after the attack. App
Anwar Saifullah defends Ishaq ISLAMABAD: Amidst media uproar on the Mehrangate Scandal, PPP MPA Anwar Saifullah on Wednesday chose to defend the alleged mastermind of the scandal, former president Ghulam Ishaq Khan, who allegedly had ordered to provide heavy funding to different politicians to steal the PPP election win in the 1990 elections. This would be a unique occasion that the party’s legislator has decided to defend the former president. Anwar, who is also a son-inlaw of the former president, said that it was common knowledge amongst people at large that Ishaq had served the country “honestly, with honor and a quiet dignity, and not even his opponents ever questioned his integrity.” In a statement, Anwar said that it was beyond understanding that the case was not taken up during Ishaq’s life and now it had been taken up six years after his demise. StAff RepoRt
Indian guru wants Taliban to de-stress BANI GALA Afp
An Indian Hindu guru may be the last emissary the Taliban expect, but Sri Ravi Shankar would love to teach inner peace to the world’s most notorious insurgents. Visiting Pakistan for the first time in eight years, he basks in the diplomatic rapprochement that made the trip possible but his dreams of harmony couldn’t be further removed from the suffering of millions worldwide. Spry for a man in his mid-50s, dressed in pristine white robes and his hair still ebony, he began the second leg of his three-city Pakistan tour by tossing rose petals into the air cheered on by some of Islamabad’s most elegant women. Nominated for the Nobel peace prize and described by Forbes magazine in 2009 as the fifth most powerful person in India, Shankar established the Art of Living Foundation in 1981. It estimates it has 300 million followers. He travels widely and in 2007 took his message of peace and meditation to Iraq, where he urged Shias, Sunnis and Kurds to give peace a chance and was invited to introduce his Art of Living rehabilitation programme in prisons. His centres teach breathing practices and techniques to help people from all religious backgrounds overcome the stresses, jealousies and insecurities of modern life to become more focused, happier and healthier.
MULTAN: A donkey-cart driver rides past a mural of a handgun in downtown city on Wednesday. afp
Na passes pML-N’s resolution seeking early recovery of missing persons ISLAMABAD StAff RepoRt
The National Assembly on Wednesday unanimously adopted a resolution moved by the PMLN seeking early recovery of missing persons. The resolution says, “This House is deeply disturbed over the plight of the families of persons who have been missing for long periods without any intimation as to their whereabouts and who remain untraced to date. This House notes, with great concern, that in this regard grave allegations of acts and omissions, complicity and concealment are being raised against state agencies, which are tarnishing their image and reputation at home and abroad notwithstanding their immense contribution and tremendous sacrifices in the defence and security of Pakistan.” “This House calls upon the government to ensure prevalence of the rule of law and to implement, without further delay, observations of the Supreme Court of Pakistan and recommendations of the Commission of Enquiry on Enforced Disappearances for enactment of necessary legislation to resolve the problem of missing persons and also recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry concerning the murder of Saleem Shahzad for a comprehensive framework law to regulate the role and function-
ing of the intelligence and security agencies,” the resolution adds. The resolution further says, “This House authorises the speaker to constitute, in consultation with the prime minister and the leader of the opposition, an eight member special committee with equal representation from both sides of the House, to monitor progress in this regard. The special committee shall also, after meetings with representatives of the families of missing persons and victims of terrorism and briefings by the concerned intelligence and security agencies, submit its recommendations to the House within two months as to additional measures required.” Opposition leader Nisar Ali Khan commended the passage of resolution and said a quarter of job had been done in the missing persons’ case through this resolution. “This resolution should neither be construed as against any institution nor it is meant for political point scoring”, Nisar declared and held the view that if anyone was involved in anti-state activities, he should be prosecuted in the court of law instead of disappearing him. Nisar lashed out at Interior Minister Rehman Malik on the missing persons’ issue when Malik spoke and told the House that there were only 43 missing persons in the country. Nisar verbally attacked the interior minister. Nisar said Malik was responsible and asked the chair to teach him the rules of the House, when
he tried to speak interrupting Nisar’s speech. Speaking on a point of order, Manwer Lal, MQM MNA on minorities’ seat said a Hindu woman had been forced to convert in interior Sindh. He alleged that it was done on the behest of one PPP parliamentarian. On it, the MQM and the ANP parliamentarian staged a token walkout from the House. The National Assembly unanimously passed “The Industrial Relations Bill, 2012. The bill provides to consolidate and rationalize the law relating to formation of trade unions, and improvement of relations between employers and workmen in the Islamabad Capital Territory and trans-provincial establishments and industry. The bill has been earlier passed by the Senate. Meanwhile, Minister for Water and Power Naveed Qamar on Wednesday informed the Lower House that the government of Pakistan had raised objections on the designs of some four hydroelectric plant projects, which India intended to undertake recently on Indus river waters. Through his written reply, the water and power minister informed the House that India had officially expressed its intention to undertake construction of four projects including Dumkhar Micro Hydel Project (0.5MW), Marpachoo Hydroelectric Plant (0.75MW), Dah Small Hydroelectric Plant (6MW) and Hanu Small Hydroelectric Plant (5MW).
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Thursday, 15 March, 2012
ArTS & EnTErTAInMEnT
Ahmadinejad defends record before iran parliament
Sharmeen obaid-chinoy: people treat me like a man!
pakistan aim to extend winning run
News 03 CoMMEnT the ip snag: A financier backs out.
the ongoing malice: The mess that is the Pakistan Steel Mills.
Nazir Naji says: Dreams dashed: They hoped democracy wouldn’t live to see another day. But it did.
Kuldip Nayar says: Congress in trouble?: India votes for decentralisation.
talimand Khan says: The politicians and the military: Deconstructing black-and-white narratives.
Story on Page 15
Story on Page 18
Story on Page 18
Articles on Page 12-13
Imran refuses to sit next to Rushdie g
India Today Conclave organisers say PTI chief should have used this opportunity to express his views KARACHI
A K I S T A N Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan has cancelled his participation as a keynote speaker in the India Today Conclave being held in New Delhi. The cricketer-turned politician took the decision soon after he came to know that Salman Rushdie was also participating in the event, said a PTI statement issued on Wednesday. Khan, it said, expressed his regrets to the organisers. “He could not even think of participating in any program that included Salman Rushdie who has caused immeasurable hurt to Muslims across the globe,” the statement quoted the PTI chief as saying. Khan only received and saw the full programme of the Conclave last
evening and took action early this morning to cancel his participation, the statement said. Rushdie is believed to have hurt the religious sentiments of the Muslims across the globe by the publication of his book “Satanic Verses”. The organiser of the India Today Conclave said he “deeply regrets that Imran Khan will not address the India Today Conclave because of Salman Rushdie’s participation. The India Today Conclave is a platform for free and frank exchange of ideas. We do not endorse the views of any of our speakers but we do stand for the freedom of expression in all that we do; it’s an essential principle of a free nation and free media”. He said the conclave, “now in its 11th year has established itself as an independent and credible forum for thinkers and leaders from around the world not all agreeable to everyone. We
wish that Imran had used this opportunity to express his views at the Conclave with all the force and lucidity that he possesses. We can all agree to disagree but we must present our argument”. KASHMIR ISSuE MuSt BE REcOgNISED AS POLItIcAL ISSuE: Meanwhile, talking to Indian High Commissioner Sharat Sabharwal, Khan said that Kashmir must be recognised as a political issue to be resolved at the dialogue table. “What is needed is two strong leaders who can carry their people with them. We need a bold leadership to explain to people the gains from developing the full potential of the subcontinent. We have to sell the idea of dividends of peace and to get out of the past.” Khan referred him to Dr Mazari’s bold idea of civil nuclear cooperation between Pakistan and India which was further explained by her.
Bugti was not killed, he committed suicide, says pervez Musharraf Ishaq notified as Senate opp leader
ISLAMABAD StAff RepoRt
The JUI-F on Wednesday surrendered the slot of Senate opposition leader in favour of the PML-N on which Senate Chairman Syed Nayyar Hussain Bokhari notified Ishaq Dar as the opposition leader even before expiry of the seven-day deadline given to independent candidates to formally join either the treasury or opposition. Former Senate chairman Farooq H Naek on Monday asked independent senators to inform in-writing to the Senate Secretariat if they wanted to join the treasury or opposition so as to help ascertain support for the opposition leader candidate. According to the Senate Secretariat, Dar has support of 14 PML-N senators, 7 JUI-F and 2 independent members, one each from Punjab and Balochistan, making it 23 in favour of Dar. There were 12 independent candidates in the House. Dar was re-elected unopposed on a technocrat seat from Punjab in the recently held Senate elections. Former Senate opposition leader Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri belonged to the JUI-F and was declared opposition leader against Ishaq by Naek due to which both the JUI-F and PMLN had started a tug of war.
Former president of Pakistan and chief of All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) Gen (r) Pervez Musharraf has claimed that Baloch leader Nawab Akbar Bugti was not killed but he had committed suicide. Talking about Balochistan, the former president said the Balochistan issue was not difficult as it was being depicted. There are a few people destroying the peace of the province and they should be dealt with strictly, he said. He further
claimed that India was playing a role in destabilising peace in the country. “The country was on the verge of disaster and then I introduced ‘real democracy’,” a private television channel quoted him as saying. The APML chief said that he would return to the country before the next general elections and the exact date of his arrival would be decided in consultation with his party’s leadership. Meanwhile, Baloch nationalist leader Harbiyar Marri disregarded Musharraf’s claim and said Musharraf now wanted to escape after committing atrocities for 10 years against the Baloch people.
SC takes ECp secretary to task for maligning judiciary ISLAMABAD iNp
The Supreme Court on Wednesday scolded Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) Secretary Ishtiak Ahmed Khan for attempting to malign the judiciary by writing a letter to the chief election commissioner (CEC). Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, while referring to the contents of the secretary’s letter addressed to the CEC, expressed his annoyance, saying, “Everyone has got the liberty to express thoughts within certain limits.” “Casting aspersions on institutions is very bad. For the last 64 years, the tussle in the country has been over rule of constitution or ultra constitutionlism, but at
the end, everyone wants rule of constitution,” he added. The secretary defended his position by saying that he had written the letter to CEC to seek retirement, and did not mean to malign the apex court. A three-member bench headed by the chief justice resumed hearing a constitutional plea moved by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan seeking error free electoral lists, clubbed together with a pending plea of late Benazir Bhutto, former chairperson of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP). The secretary said whatever he had mentioned in his letter carried by newspapers was in line with the opinions expressed by electronic and print media for freedom of thought and expression.
Kasuri reaffirmed his support for Khan’s vision and referred to the need for a “peace with honour” on Kashmir. The high commissioner talked of how Mumbai was a major setback for relations between the two countries. But he said commercial relations were on track and on Jammu and Kashmir, he referred to the movement on travel and trade across the LoC. Presently, according to Sabharwal, trade across the LoC was now four days a week. He said the Indians were also looking at making an easier visa regime. Khan pointed out that the problem in moving forward in relations was the weak and corrupt government in Pakistan “which cannot carry the people with it”. He felt Pakistan was poised to take off but the country needed to get out of the debilitating war on terror. He cited the EU example as a means of improving the lot of the people.
Six killed in Bajaur bombing PESHAWAR: At least six people were killed and several others injured as a result of a highintensity bomb explosion in a guesthouse in Bajaur Agency on Wednesday. Officials at Khar, headquarters of Bajaur, said that a high-intensity explosion occurred in a hujra in Gatkai village when a number of people were present inside. The officials said six people were killed on the spot, while several others were shifted to hospital in critical condition. No one has claimed responsibility for the explosion so far and officials said the anti-militant people of the area were the target. StAff RepoRt
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Thursday, 15 March, 2012
Pakistan needs 22MAF of water to counter Indian aggression g
Former IrSA chief asks president, prime minister to wake up from slumber ISLAMABAD AmeR SiAl
A K I S T A N needs to develop 22 million acre feet (MAF) of water storage on war footing as India has cunningly acquired the ability to store 38MAF of live storage on three western rivers allocated to Pakistan, equaling the full requirement of the country’s Rabi crop. A letter addressed to the president and prime minister, written by former chairman of Indus River System Authority (IRSA) Engineer Fateh Ullah Khan, has warned that Pakistan was in deep crisis due to shortage of irrigation water and hydropower for lack of multipurpose dams that also controlled floods and silting of reservoirs. “Floods like 2010 can ravage again and again during the climate change any time and many time. India has prepared itself for water war in silence. As a result
Rabi water supplies would completely cutoff, and famine would appear, people would die of hunger. Please wake up from slumber even now though late,” it said. A copy of the letter available with Pakistan Today stresses immediate action to develop new reservoirs as India has built 32 dams and has acquired ability to stop 38MAF of Rabi water requirements. It was revealed by Senator John Kerry before US Congress. India was also planning 12 dams on Kabul River to dry Pakistan’s Rabi supplies. The letter said the government had not reacted against the Indian aggression of silently using water as weapon of mass destruction. He proposed building unique 35MAF multipurpose Katzarah Dam in Skardu to store 6 times the storage of Bhasha Dam. It will help generate 10,000MW of hydropower, control super floods in Indus River and work as watershed
management dam to prevent silt in the Indus water. It will also increase life of Basha from 85 years to 800 years. A study conducted by World Bank showed Skardu valley was the source of silt. If Katzarah dam is built, it will help irrigate about three to four million acres of the Kachi plain in Balochistan from Chashma Barrage. Another water storage project Khan proposed was the 8.5MAF multipurpose Guroh Dop Dam on Punjkora River to store 3MAF of its runoff. It will help divert 4MAF of floodwater in Guroh Dop Reservoir from Chitral River through a 22km tunnel by building Mikhani Dam and power generation of 1,400MW. This will control floods in Kabul River. In a unique substitute for Kalabagh Dam, he proposes building 100 feet low dam cum 60 feet barrage over it. The site is three miles upstream of KBD into the Indus valley. This will
help store 3.4MAF of water repeatedly to be filled as the flow at this site is 93MAF. The aggregate storage could be between six to 9MAF. The project would serve as balancing reservoir to produce more power at Tarbela and store released water at the dam-cum-barrage reservoir. It will produce 2,000 to 6,000MW of hydropower on run-of-river with power houses located on both the river banks. The royalty would be shared between Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab. The project will have indefinite life span and requires no land acquisition, no land compensation and no population displacement. Stressing upon IRSA to inform the government about the chronic issues of water shortage, flood havoc, and rapid silting of reservoirs, all relating to water in view of the Water Accord. He says Water and Power Development Authority’s (WAPDA) policy of insistence on “Kalabagh Dam
or no dam” for last 37 years has resulted in devastating floods of 2010 and crippling load shedding that has destroyed the national economy. Kalabagh Dam and Akhori Dam are bad examples as these were rejected by their project consultants. He points out that Bunji and Dassu were power dams on the Indus and there is no dam site on Kabul, Jehlum and Chenab Rivers in Pakistan. “How would the country face this critical situation? It’s a matter of great concern and the president and prime minister need to be informed of the critical situation,” Khan said. To mitigate Indian aggression, he proposes carrying out Integrated Comprehensive Water Management of the 165 years old canal irrigation system that wastes about 50MAF of water, which was incompatible with crop water requirements and was obsolete. The canal system’s modernization will help in saving
water. He also proposes controlling salinity in the Indus basin and reclaiming lands by building surface and subsurface tile drainage to evacuate injurious salts out of the area and maintain salt and water balance. “Pakistan is dangerously exposed to future devastating floods any times and many times like of 2010 and crippling load shedding for no dams built for the last 47 years after Tarbela. The existing reservoirs have rapidly silted by 6.5 MAF due to silting for lack of watershed management, and due to wrong planning of storage dams ignoring their capacity inflow ratio for long life. Saline lands have been wrongly handled by ill-conceived Salinity Control and Reclamation Projects (SCARPs) and National Drainage Programme (NDP), both failed and abandoned. Irrigation system is without drainage, and there is no means to evacuate injurious salts,” the letter states.
Multiple sources available Continued fRoM page 1 decision to rewrite terms of engagement with the US, NATO and ISAF would expand cooperation with global players. She said, “We hope that the world will respect the new terms of engagement. She said that Pakistan wanted to assist the US led foreign troops deployed in Afghanistan with a smooth exit from the war-ravaged neighboring state.” She said Pakistan and western countries had convergence of views on Afghan problem but the area of difference was the tools being used to achieve the ending goal. Foreign Minister Khar also condemned the killing of 16 Afghan civilians including children by a US solider in Afghanistan. She said, “We condemn this act in the strongest possible terms and we want that the person responsible for this must be brought to justice.” Speaking on the occasion, the Swedish foreign minister, whose country is also part of the ISAF forces, also expressed his regrets over the incident of killing of Afghan citizens. He said, “We hope this will not affect the overall policy in Afghanistan.” In her opening statement, Foreign Minister Khar said Pakistan and Sweden had decided to double the existing volume of bilateral trade from $450 million to $900 million by 2014. The Swedish foreign minister said his country endorsed Pakistan’s position that trade, not aid, was the solution to the problem.
Kayani takes exception Continued fRoM page 1 “The Sui cantonment has already been converted into a military college. Similarly, a medical college has been set up in Quetta and it has become operational,” he said, accepting that the only role the army had played was to resolve the disputes between the tribes as it was hampering development work in the province. About the missing persons, the COAS referred to a report already submitted with the Supreme Court and said there were only 47 missing persons in Pakistan as compared to 350 in India and 11,000 in Sri Lanka. However, he refrained from going into details, saying the matter was sub-judice. He said parliament was supreme and the issue of NATO supplies and relations with the United States would be in accordance with the decision of parliament which would meet on March 19. He said he had asked the US military officials not to visit Pakistan before the joint session of parliament which would draw fresh guidelines for relations with the United States and Pakistan’s role in the war on terror. Gen Kayani, however, confirmed that US CENTCOM commander General James Mattis would visit Pakistan by the end of March after the joint session of parliament framed new rules of engagement with Washington after the Salala incident.
SC chides spy Continued fRoM page 1
KABul: uS Secretary of Defense leon panetta leaves after visiting troops from the 31st BN light infantry of the georgian Army on Wednesday. afp
First it was PM, now men in uniform will appear in SC: CJP ISLAMABAD iNp
Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry on Wednesday said the democratic system was thriving in the country and no one could think of any adventurism. He said the elected chief executive of the country appeared twice before the Supreme Court and now it was the turn of the men in uniform. Addressing an oath taking ceremony of various bar associations of Rawalpindi division, he said passage of the 19th and 20th amendments was made possible due to directions of the Supreme Court. “The amendments are adopted by an elected parliament and not by the one which had taken oath under the PCO,” he added.
US soldier behind civilian killings flown out of Afghanistan WASHINgtON: The US staff sergeant who killed over a dozen Afghan villagers this week has been flown out of Afghanistan, the Pentagon said on Wednesday. The commander of US and Afghan forces in Afghanistan, General John Allen, made the decision to fly the soldier, whose name has not been released, out of Afghanistan based on a legal recommendation, a US official said. ReuteRS
Hoti allots 100 percent oil, gas royalty to Karak KARAK: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Ameer Haider Khan Hoti on Wednesday enhanced 100 percent oil and gas royalty to the district, approved 17 kilometers shingle road to Kurd Sharif coalmines with Rs 280 million, Rs 250 million for acquisition of 100 kanals for construction of Karak University and establishment of
The bench questioned the attorney general about the unavailability of the enquiry commission’s report on Mehran Bank. The attorney general replied that the interior secretary was out of country and he would apprise the bench about the status of reports after contacting him. The Supreme Court then adjourned the hearing until March 30. On March 9, Durrani testified before the apex court that he had received instructions from the then chief of army staff Mirza Aslam Beg to make arrangements for disbursement of Rs 140 million among certain candidates to influence the 1990 general elections.
Banda Daud Shah and Latember Girls Degree College. He was addressing a big public gathering at Karak Township. The CM conceded that the people of Karak have the foremost right over natural resources explored on the soil of Karak and announced an increase of 10 percent in the oil and gas royalty to Karak instead of 5 percent. He informed that next year Karak would get Rs 1.20 billion as oil and gas royalty and said that the provincial government was going to establish its own oil and gas company with the name of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Oil and Gas Company Limited to explore oil and gas in the province to increase the income of the province. Hoti claimed that the provincial government had gotten Rs 1.10 billion in net hydel profit from the federal government and resolved that extra resources would be utilised on the welfare of the masses. The CM said that provincial government would launch electricity producing projects in the province with income of the net hydel amount and added that a project of 2000MWs would be inaugurated in April in Madain, Swat. He added that with producing electricity on one side the people would get rid of the curse of load shedding and on the other side the province would get income. Hoti informed that Bacha Khan Poverty Alleviation was functioning in six union councils of Karak and hinted that from the next budget it would be extended to the entire district to resolve drinking water and other problems of the masses on their doorsteps. StAff RepoRt
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iSlAmABAD: Swedish foreign minister carl Bildt called on president Asif Ali Zardari at Aiwan-e-Sadr on Wednesday. INp
Hopes fade for missing Western climbers
‘Free and fair election in Balochistan the way forward’
Pakistan was forced again to call off a search party for Westerners missing nearly a week in the Karakoram Mountains as hopes faded for their safe recovery, officials said on Wednesday. “We were on standby the whole day today, but the weather is very bad and helicopters had to abandon the mission,” Colonel Manzoor Ahmed, President of the Pakistan Alpine Club, told AFP. The members of an international winter expedition to Gasherbrum-1 peak, team leader Gerfried Goschl of Austria, Swiss climber Cedric Hahlen and a Pakistani high altitude porter Nisar Hussain, have been missing since Friday. It is the highest peak in the Karakoram range on the Pakistan-China border, also known as “Hidden Peak”. “It has been a long time now. They were last spotted around 450 metres short of the summit on Friday. Something went wrong after that. They had two Thuraya sets (satellite phones) and they would have called us soon after scaling the peak,” Ahmed said. “But I think they had some accident and could not reach the summit. They might have been hit by an avalanche or strong wind.” Ahmed said army helicopters would make another attempt at the 8,048 metre peak on Thursday when the weather is expected to improve. Colonel Sher Khan, a mountaineering expert, confirmed there were “good chances” that the helicopters will take off on Thursday. Khan, who scaled Mount Everest in 1997, also said they may have been blown away by strong wind. But he said three Poles, suffering badly from frost bite and stranded at a 5,100-metre base camp after scaling the peak last week, would be evacuated as soon as the weather allowed. No comment was available from Adventure Pakistan that facilitated the tour. The missing climbers had taken a new route from the southwestern ridge, while the group from Poland had succeeded via the normal northern route.
REE and fair elections in Balochistan can set the course for improving the scenario there, agreed panelist and participants of a forum on Balochistan. The forum was organised by PILDAT. “If the government and agencies can resolve the issue of missing persons and bullet-ridden bodies, things can improve,” Senator Hasil Bizenjo said, adding that it was a pre-condition for dialogue. He said that youth in Balochistan can still be taken on board, adding that the mindset in rest of Pakistan that Baloch is still a tribal society of the 1960s is deeply flawed. The “talk-down” syndrome of the centre and establishment towards Balochistan is the main cause of is-
sues, he said. Daily Pakistan Editor Mujibur Rehman Shami, former Sindh governor Lieutenant General (r) Moinuddin Haider, defence analyst Ikram Sehgal, Senator Humayun Mandokhel and PPP MNA Qamar Zaman Kaira also spoke on the occasion. Kaira appreciated the initiative of PILDAT and said that such a structured conversation, bringing together different MPs and schools of thought that PILDAT holds is not even generally accomplished by political parties and parliament. He said that media was up in arms even if the government suggests there should be a media-led Code of Conduct. PILDAT Executive Director Ahmed Bilal Mehboob said that despite the 18th Amendment, the 7th NFC Award and the Aghaz-e-Haqooq Balochistan Package, which granted
unprecedented financial, political and administrative autonomy to Balochistan in line with the demands of the nationalist parties and forces, unrest and insurgency in Balochistan is continuing. Shami said that the dominant discourse on Balochistan these days is blaming Pakistan’s military and security agencies for compounding the scenario in the province. Moinuddin said that the provincial government and the assembly were not taking responsibility for resolving the issues of Balochistan. Mandokhel said that population break-up in Balochistan is at 45 percent Baloch and 45 percent Pakhtun but the province is almost entirely run by Baloch at the moment. “Sehgal said that feudalism and democracy could not go hand in hand and feudalist mindset in Balochistan is its key problem.
Pakistani investigators arrives in India for Mumbai carnage probe NEW DELHI Afp
Pakistani investigators and lawyers arrived in India on Wednesday to obtain evidence for prosecuting seven Pakistani suspects linked to the 2008 Mumbai attacks in which 166 people died. The visit is the first of its kind, and comes after Pakistan indicted seven alleged conspirators in 2009. Islamabad has since said it needs to gather more evidence in India before proceeding further against the seven. “The members of the Pakistani judicial commission are in New Delhi. They will leave for Mumbai on Thursday,” India’s Home Ministry Spokeswoman Ira Joshi told AFP. The nine-member commission of prosecutors, defence lawyers and a court official will take statements from witnesses and cross-examine them. “Their mandate is to record statements of those who investigated the 2008 case,” said Joshi.
Panetta acknowledges troubling Afghanistan demands body of ex-Taliban events in Afghanistan US Marines waiting to hear Panetta speak inside a hall asked to leave their rifles outside g
CAMP LEATHERNECK Afp
The US defence chief held talks in Afghanistan on Wednesday, acknowledging that a series of “deeply troubling” incidents had challenged the US war effort but vowing that nothing would derail the mission to defeat Al-Qaeda and reverse a Taliban insurgency. Leon Panetta held a series of meetings in southern Afghanistan just days after an American soldier went on a murderous rampage, shooting dead 16 Afghan civilians — most of them women and children — in the worst single such incident since the 2001 US-led invasion. His spokesman described a meeting with leaders in Helmand as “excellent” but his talks were overshadowed by a bomb attack elsewhere in the southern province that killed eight civilians, a stark reminder of the cost of the conflict. Addressing US, NATO and Afghan troops at Camp Leatherneck, Panetta conceded that the burning of Qurans on a US base last month, Sun-
day’s killings and attacks on coalition troops by Afghan soldiers had posed difficult challenges. “Each of these incidents is deeply troubling,” he said. “We will not allow individual incidents to undermine our resolve. “We will be tested, we will be challenged by the enemy, by ourselves and by the hell of war itself.” But he added that “thanks to your efforts, our strategy is working”. In a sign that nerves are on edge, a group of US Marines waiting to hear Panetta speak inside a hall were asked to leave their rifles outside. American troops typically have their rifles in hand when the US defence secretary addresses them. A defence official told reporters there was no heightened security threat but the US troops had been ordered to leave their weapons at the door to be “consistent”, as the Afghans in the hall were unarmed. The eight civilians who died on Wednesday were killed when a minibus ran over a roadside bomb in Marja district — the focus of a major USled military offensive designed to clear out the Taliban in early 2010.
PESHAWAR StAff RepoRt
The Afghan government has asked Pakistan to hand over the body of former Afghan minister and Taliban leader Mullah Obaid Ullah. Around a month ago, Pakistani authorities had confirmed that former defence minister Mullah Obaid Ullah died as a result of illness inside a prison house. Afghanistan’s Ambassador to Pakistan Mohammad Omar Daudzai on Wednesday called on Jalil Abbass Jillani, minister of state for external affairs. During the meeting, they discussed in depth matters pertaining to bilateral issues. According to the Afghan embassy, Pakistan’s minister of state and Afghan ambassador discussed in depth matters regarding Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan (RECCA). The Afghan embassy also said that during the meeting, Ambassador Daudzai asked Pakistan’s minister of state for handing over the dead body of Afghanistan’s ex-defence minister Mullah Obaid Ullah Akhund to his relatives. In this respect, the Afghan government has already placed a request to Pakistan.
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06 News Two new polio cases surface in Khyber Agency PESHAWAR iNp
Increase in polio virus among the children of FATA added to the worries of the health authorities as two new polio cases surfaced in Khyber Agency on Wednesday. According to officials of IPI FATA, two children, Farmanullah, 06, and Naila hailing from Qaziabad and Tapu Mazakhel areas of tehsil Bara of Khyber Agency were found affected with polio virus. The FATA officials said that polio vaccination teams could not reach the far flung areas of the tribal agencies due to security risks which resulted in surge of polio cases among the local children.
Supporting Musharraf was a political blunder: Marvi
Thursday, 15 March, 2012
Women legislators perform impressively in NA last year ISLAMABAD
s the 13th National Assembly is completing its fourth parliamentary year on Friday (tomorrow), women legislators continued to perform impressively, asserting themselves in their lawmaking and oversight roles. The 40th and last session of the 4th parliamentary year which started on Wednesday will continue until March 16. President Asif Ali Zardari will address the joint session of the parliament on March 17, with which the Lower House would enter into the fifth parliamentary year. Women constitute less than one-quarter (23 percent) of the National Assembly’s current members – 60
elected on reserved seats and 17 through popular vote. However, they were effective voices of constituents as compared to their male counterparts in the Lower House, which is headed by the country’s first woman speaker. Overall, women parliamentarians have been active in introducing legislation – single female members authoring 20 of the 53 Private Members’ bills that appeared on the Orders of the Day in the fourth parliamentary year. Of the Private Members’ Bills moved by women parliamentarians, 14 were introduced in the House, five not taken up while two were passed, said a Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) report. It said the female parliamentarians contributed exceptionally to oversight of executive by putting up questions. Of 2,365 questions raised during the fourth
parliamentary year, more than half (1,196 or 51 percent) were put forward by female members. On average, 16 questions were submitted by each female MNA, almost four times more than their male counterparts who raised 1,169 questions. Women legislators were part of 75 of the total 97 Calling Attention Notices either individually or jointly with their male and female colleagues. A closer look at the Calling Attention Notices shows that women parliamentarians are bringing to the floor of the House issues directly affecting the lives of the people. They raised such critical issues as the energy crisis, increase in power tariff, dilapidated condition of national highways, violence against women, draft electoral list, disaster management and increase in prices of petroleum products.
Of the 1,764 Points of Order raised in the House, the women parliamentarians’ share was 252 or 14 percent. The female legislators representing PPP raised almost half (121) Points of Orders, followed by PML-N and ANP (44 each), PML-Q (24), MQM (13) and MMA (six). Female representatives moved 42 resolutions, either independently or jointly with other female or male colleagues, while their male counterparts sponsored 19. Twenty-five of the resolutions were moved by single female members, three were sponsored by multiple female members and 14 jointly sponsored by male and female members. Eighteen resolutions were raised by single male members while one was sponsored by more than one male member, said the report.
Terming her support for former president General (r) Pervez Musharraf as a political blunder, PML-N leader Marvi Memon said on Wednesday that she would contest the next general elections. Marvi was once a very close supporter of Musharraf and even used his posters to run the PML-Q’s election campaign in the Gilgit-Baltistan elections 2009 due to which she was scolded by her party high-ups. Addressing the Karachi Bar Association, Marvi said that she would not return to the present National Assembly. She said that all political leaderships, including old and new, had been nurtured under dictatorship. “Had it been for power, I would not have resigned from parliament,” she added. Marvi said that the efforts of lawyers aimed at establishing justice and rule of law in Pakistan.
Pentagon looks forward to working with new ISI chief WASHINGTON oNliNe
The US is looking forward to working with the new head of the Inter-Services Intelligence of Pakistan, Pentagon said on Wednesday, noting the US-Pak relationship was critical for the region and Afghanistan. “We look forward to working with the new chief,” the Pentagon spokesman, Navy Captain John Kirby, said in interview, when asked about announcement of the new ISI chief. On March 18, Lieutenant Gen Zaheerul Islam would replace Lieutenant Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha as the new ISI chief. Under Pasha, the US relationship with the ISI had hit a new low. “We look forward to having a good partnership with Pakistan moving forward. That’s what our focus is on. We believe it is critical for the region and for the mission in Afghanistan,” Kirby said. However, he said the US had nothing to say on the appointment and the decision. “This is the decision that the civilian leadership of the nation of Pakistan get to make. It is not for us to make the comment one way or the other their appointments to high office,” said the Pentagon spokesman.
President approves judges of PHC, SHC ISLAMABAD App
President Asif Ali Zardari on Wednesday approved confirmation of two additional judges of the Peshawar High Court and appointment of another two additional judges of the Sindh High Court. Those who have been confirmed as additional judges of the Peshawar High Court are Justice Syed Sajjad Hussain Shah and Justice Yahya Afridi. Judges, who have been appointed as additional judges of the Sindh High Court are Nadeem Akhtar and Shafi Siddique.
iSlAmABAD: foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar and Swedish foreign minister carl Bildt address a joint press conference at the foreign office on Wednesday. INp
SC registrar gets another two-year extension ISLAMABAD iNp
CJP Iftikhar Chaudhry on Wednesday further extended re-employment period of Supreme Court (SC) Registrar Dr Faqir Hussain (BPS-22) for two years on usual terms and conditions. The registrar was already working on contract basis and it was another extension, which was justified by an order of the CJP on basis of his ability and non-availability of his substitute. His previous extension was not seen by many among the legal fraternity as healthy exercise and they have expressed their opinions openly. The fraternity members also voiced their concerns over various occasions citing that the SC had bound the Establishment Division in Tariq Azizuddin’s case not to hire secretaries in BPS-21 and BPS-22 on ad hoc or contract basis, so the same precedent could be set in the apex
court as well. Former SCBA president Asma Jahangir was more vocal and said that all judicial posts should not be filled on ad hoc or contract basis. The statement from the SC said that the CJP had consulted four senior most SC judges over the issue and they were also shared the opinion that Faqir might be re-employed. He also discussed with the senior most judges the fact that in the absence of any eligible officer of the SC to be promoted to BPS-22, they might hire the services of an officer from the government department on transfer or deputation basis, but this option could not be exercised in view of the fact that any new officer would take time to get acquainted with the complex working of the apex court. The SC registrar was also ex-officio secretary of the Judicial Commission of Pakistan, besides working as secretary of the Supreme Judicial
Council. Justifying the decision the statement said, “No right of promotion of any officer of the Supreme Court is being affected because currently there is no officer in BPS-21 in Supreme Court Establishment. The extension in period of re-employment of Dr. Faqir Hussain is in line with the relevant Government Rules and judgment of this Court in PLD 2011 SC 277. Therefore, the Hon’ble Chief Justice of Pakistan ordered the further re-employment for two years of Dr. Faqir Hussain as Registrar Supreme Court of Pakistan in BPS22 w.e.f. 25.03.2012,” a press statement said. It further said, “His re-employment due to non-availability of suitably qualified/experienced, staff does not infringe upon the promotional prospects and rights of the other officers i.e. Additional Registrar and the Deputy Registrars of the Supreme Court Establishment.”
More phones than toilets in Indian homes: census NEW DELHI iNp
Indian census data has revealed that more homes in the country of 1.2 billion people have a telephone than a toilet. The figures, collected during the 2011 census, shed a light on how India’s rapid communication revolution has spread through society but that basic sanitation is still scarce. Data unveiled on Tuesday said 47 percent of the country’s 330 million households have toilet facilities, but that 63 percent of homes have telephone connections — mostly mobiles. “Open defecation continues to be a big concern for the country as almost half of the population do it,” Census Commissioner C Chandramouli told reporters. The census also said that 30 percent of homes have no electricity, 36 percent have no water connection with people having to fetch their own, and only three percent have computers with Internet. Some 63 percent of people use wood to cook, and television is the most popular mode of entertainment with 47 percent of homes owning a set, the census reported.
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Commissioner asks DCs, ACs to assist Health Dept oPV coverage 07
Sindh may exorcise ‘ghosts’ from KMC, KWSB ■ PPP makes decision without taking MQM on board ■ Provincial govt removed contractual employees from then CDgK last year, but former city nazim-backed appointees spared KARACHI
HE Pakistan People’s Party (PPP)-led Sindh government is likely to remove hundreds of ghost employees from various departments of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) and the Karachi Water & Sewerage Board (KWSB), Pakistan Today has learnt. A decision to this effect was made recently by the ruling PPP’s senior leadership; however, its coalition partner, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), was not taken on board for implementing the decision, sources privy to
the development have disclosed. They said that hundreds of ghost employees were allegedly drawing their salaries from the KMC and KWSB accounts, putting extra burden on the provincial exchequer. Majority of these ghost employees belong to political parties, they added. Sources said that through a notification in November 2011, the Sindh government removed a large number of contractual employees from the then City District Government Karachi (CDGK). However, those appointed by former MQM-backed city nazim Syed Mustafa Kamal were spared from the dismissals, they added. Moreover, they said, more than 7,500 illegal appointments
were made during Kamal’s tenure, putting extra burden on the KWSB’s finances. They said the ruling PPP has time and again pointed out illegal appointments in the KWSB. A couple of inquiry committees had also been formed by the authorities to take notice of the illegal appointments and send these politically-backed appointees packing, they added. However, sources said, former coalition partner in provincial and federal governments, the MQM, had always resisted the move in a bid to support its loyalists. They said Sindh Local Government Minister Agha Siraj Durrani had instructed KWSB Managing Director Ghulam Arif in April
2008 to submit a report within 90 days and clarify how these appointments were made during the tenure of the caretaker government and the CDGK. But, they added, the investigations remained incomplete following reconciliation between the PPP and its coalition partner. “Over 7,000 appointments were made purely on political grounds, particularly by the former city nazim,” acting KWSB chairman Haji Munawar Abbasi told Pakistan Today. Usually, he said, the probation period of contractual employees is at least two years; however, the former city mayor, bypassing all the relevant rules, had regularised
these appointees after a period of one year. He said, “The decision regarding cancellation of these illegal appointments would be made by Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah or the local government minister, the head of the KWSB.” Furthermore, the sources said, a large number of ghost employees are also drawing their salaries from various departments of the KMC, causing financial crisis for the city administration as well as the provincial government. They said that in this regard, the Local Government Department has instructed the director payroll KMC and KDA to submit the details of basic data of all the employees drawing salaries from the KMC
within 15 days so that this could be sent to the authority concerned for compilation of employees’ data. The departments were directed to fill the name, designation with basic pay scale, Computerised National Identity Card (CNIC) number, date of birth, date of appointment, posting department, CNIC number of any relative for confirmation and relation with her/him in different columns and send this to Human Resources Management Senior Director Najmuddin Sikandar, they added. The salary bills of those employees would be printed who possess the correct CNIC numbers and bank account, said the sources.
INTErNaTIONaL Day Of aCTION fOr rIvErS
Ode to the (once) mighty Indus ■ Large number of people from different districts of the province gather along the banks of the river near Jamshoro Bridge KARACHI AmAR guRiRo
A colourful gathering along the banks of Indus River to commemorate the International Day of Action for Rivers on Wednesday attracted hundreds of fisherfolk, herders and farmers. A large number of people from different districts of the province, including Jamshoro, Hyderabad, Sanghar, Umerkot, Badin, Nawabshah and coastal areas of Karachi, thronged the banks of the Indus River near Jamshoro Bridge for the event organised by the Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum (PFF). The event began with a song from renowned folk singer Maula Bakhsh Mallah, which he had composed especially to pay tribute to the Indus River. The main objective of the event was to show strength against the building of Bhasha Dam on the Indus River. The fishing community people had decorated their boats with colourful flags to attract the people for boat rides. Demanding the government to restore the once mighty river, the participants showered rose petals on the Indus River. Terming the Bhasha Dam project disastrous for the people living at the tail-end of Indus River, PFF chairman Mohammed Ali Shah appealed to the fisherfolk and farmers to join the PFF’s campaign to oppose the dam. The campaign will continue throughout the year and a “People’s Caravan” will travel from Thatta to Islamabad to commemorate the International Day of Action for Rivers next year to convey the message to the authorities concerned. Urging the need for water conservation, Shah said that around one billion people in the world do not have access to potable water and it is feared 2.6 billion people will face acute water shortage by 2025. He called upon the United Nations to call for a global convention on water and make the countries responsible to ratify laws to ensure conservation of water resources. “We have led the struggle throughout the country in defence of water and territory to protect
the rights of indigenous people, depending on rivers for their livelihoods,” said the PFF chairman. “We recognise water as essential for all life on the planet and oppose the dominant economic model that prescribes privatisation, commercialisation and corporatisation of public and community-owned water and sanitation services.” “Water nourishes not only our bodies but our spirits and is fundamental to our spiritual lives and cultural practices. Water provides for our traditional means of subsistence, food sovereignty and food security and cannot be privatised,” Shah said. Centre for Peace and Civil Society (CPSC)’s Jami Chandio said the rights of tail-end Indus River communities living up to Kharo Chhan in the delta should be recognised and the release of water ensured to meet the demand of the people. “When Kotri Barrage was built it was declared that 1.6 million acres of land will be cultivated downstream. But now due to the receding water, sea intrusion has destroyed 2.4 million acres of fer-
tile land, forcing the communities to leave their ancestral abodes,” he said. “Despite the fact that all major port cities of the world, including Karachi, were initially established by fishermen, these communities have been deprived of their basic rights.” He said the rights of tail-end communities are guaranteed by the UN laws, which should be ensured.
Upcoming writer Akash Santorai said it was a day the people of the entire province should have come together to show strength against the mega water projects planned on the Indus River, especially the Bhasha Dam. Others who spoke on the occasion included Saeed Baloch, Punhal Sario of Hari Porhiat Council, Zulfiqar Halepoto, Jabbar Bhatti and Nazeer Qureshi.
The speakers called for democratic and sustainable management of ecosystems and preservation of the integrity of the water cycle and waterways’ rights to flow through the protection and proper management of human use of watersheds and environment. According to a PFF statement issued on Wednesday, all organisations of fisherfolk, peasants, indigenous people, trade unions, environmental groups, herders,
writers, academics, human rights’ advocates, community activists and networks share the vision of water is the fundamental human right. Calling upon the government to take action to conserve water resources, especially restoration of rivers, the statement added that dams have displaced 80 million people, impoverished millions more and turned fresh water into an ecosystem most affected by biodiversity loss. Large
hydropower projects have typically favoured the demands of extractive industries and urban centres over the basic needs of the poor. The PFF called on the governments and financiers to prioritise the water and energy needs of the poor over the demands of the global market, saying all needs and options are assessed in a balanced, participatory process before new water and energy projects are approved.
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appOINTMENTS ON DEpuTaTION
SC takes notice of court orders’ violation
KARACHI imDAD SoomRo
Proceedings came to a halt at the City Courts on Wednesday as the judges went on a strike. ONLINE
Commissioner asks DCs, ACs to assist Health Dept KARACHI
ITY Commissioner Roshan Ali Shaikh has directed all deputy commissioners (DCs) and assistant commissioners (ACs) of the metropolis to assist the provincial health department in administering oral polio vaccine (OPV) among 2.2 million under five children in the city. Chairing a meeting on Wednesday to review arrangements finalised for oral polio vaccination campaign launched in 17 districts of the province, he urged the officials to ensure 100 percent coverage of the total population. “Vaccination teams must necessarily include a woman, particularly in identified localities, so as to avoid any refusal,” he said. The meeting was also attended by all the deputy commissioners including Mustafa Jamal Kazi (south), Dr. Saif ur Rehman (central), Kazi Jan Mohammad (east), Shaukat Hussain Jokhio (west) and Ghanwar Ali Laghari (west). “It is imperative to achieve 100 percent OPV coverage rates at town and union levels of Karachi,” he said and directed officials to ensure active involvement of the elected representatives of the people. “This must be further complemented with direct contact with
The Supreme Court has taken notice of the appointments on deputation to various departments of the Sindh government, despite the high court’s orders to stop this activity. .A two-member bench of the apex court comprising Justice Amir Hani Muslim and Justice Sarmad Jalal Usmani ordered the Sindh chief secretary and the services secretary on Wednesday to submit on Thursday (today) a complete list of officers appointed on deputation in various departments of the provincial government. The bench was proceeding with the matter of the suo moto taken by the Supreme Court on the issue of illegal construction of buildings in Sukkur. A man named Aga Abid Hussain, introducing himself as the regional director of the Sindh Buildings Control Authority Sukkur Region, wanted to submit a report regarding the illegal construction of buildings in the Sukkur area. When Justice Amir Hani Muslim inquired about his position, Hussain replied that he was originally an employee of the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority and appointed on deputation a month ago. The court remarked that the Sindh High Court in 2011 had ordered to stop appointments on deputation and directed the Sindh government to send back all officers to their respective departments. This decision was endorsed by the Supreme Court but the case under discussion shows that the orders have not been complied with. The court ordered the Buildings Control Authority to submit a complete report on illegal construction of buildings in the Sukkur area within one month and ordered the chief secretary and the services Secretary to present before the court a report on officers appointed against court orders. The same bench summoned the education secretary on Thursday in contempt of court plea filed by commission-passed teachers.
LEaDEr Of OppOSITION IN Sa
Application to nominate Dr Arbab turned down KARACHI StAff RepoRt
notables of each and every area of the city along with social, religious and political leaders of varied communities,” he added. “We, at the current point of time when our country is reporting highest number of polio, cannot afford any complacency.” Shaikh urged his deputies and
other concerned officials to also avail of the current campaign an opportunity for strengthening routine immunization of children against all vaccine preventable diseases covered under expanded programme on immunisation. “There is no denial to the fact that our indifference towards efficient rou-
tine immunisation of our children has landed us to a situation where we are yet to fully protect our kids from the crippling diseases as well as other infections,” he remarked. The commissioner of Karachi directed the DCs and ACs to be equally vigilant about 100 percent success of the OPV campaign.
Sindh Assembly Speaker Nisar Ahmed Khuhro has turned down the application submitted by the Pakistan Muslim League provincial lawmakers to nominate Dr Arbab Ghulam Rahim as leader of the opposition in the House. According to details, five PML members including Arbab Zulfiqar Ali, Nuzhat Pathan, Chetan Mal under the aegis of Abdul Razzaque Rahmoon submitted the application with their signatures requesting the speaker to nominate Rahim as the leader of the opposition in the assembly on February 27. However, the speaker turned down their request saying that there are 11 assembly members of the PML, whereas only five of them have signed the application. This means that Rahim is not supported by the number of lawmakers to be nominated for the position.
Security for Mauripur truck stand ordered STAff REPORT KARAcHi
Sindh Home Minister Manzoor Wasan has ordered formation of a committee comprising the SSP West, Rangers’ officials and transporters’ representatives to chalk out a proper strategy for maintaining law and order and the traffic system. He issued these directives while chairing a
meeting on Wednesday to discuss security for Mauripur truck stand. Provincial Transport Minister Akhtar Hussain Jadoon, additional inspector general, additional inspector general traffic, Rangers officials and representatives from transporters attended the meeting. The representatives of transporters on the occasion expressed their reser-
vations over the security and traffic arrangements for the Mauripur truck stand and for the adjoining areas and also forwarded some suggestions for the resolution of their problems. The home minister directed the officials concerned to address the problems of the transporters and arrange proper security arrangements for the truck stand.
Sindh Health Minister Dr Saghir Ahmed distributes awards and certificates among Adamjee government Science College students, who secured top positions in the intermediate exams. MPA Khwaja Izharul Hassan, Colleges Director general Dr nasir Ansaar and the college’s principal Professor AB Awan are also present on the occasion.
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karachi 09 Way to go Sindh lawmakers! Thursday, 15 March, 2012
■ PILEr executive director writes letter to provincial assembly speaker, appreciating efforts of the legislators who participated in the process of amending the Sindh Irrigation Act-1879 for the removal encroachments from natural and artificial depression courses on government lands KARACHI
HE Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research (PILER) has appreciated the efforts of the Sindh Assembly lawmakers, who actively participated in the process of amending the “Sindh Irrigation Act-1879” for the removal encroachments from natural and artificial depression courses on government lands. In a letter of appreciation to the provincial assembly speaker Nisar Khuhro, PILER Executive Director Karamat Ali hoped that the government will carry on working on the structural changes that are needed to ensure citizens’ access to basic rights and fundamental entitlements such as the right to decent life, livelihood, social justice and environment safety. In the letter, the PILER head said the growth and spread of settlements around floodplains is an ongoing trend, putting the settled communities at grave risk of flooding in times of heavy monsoon rains. “Encroachments on natural or artificial depression courses obviously obstruct the flow of rainwater triggering pervasive devastation during floods. The amendments in the Sindh Irrigation Act 1879 will certainly go a long way in preventing miseries that come about from floods that result from obstruction to smooth water flows,” he stated in the letter. “At the same time, we do feel that more needs to be done in the area of disaster prevention as natural disasters, particularly floods, seem to have become a regular phenomenon. Being an elected setup, the current assemblies are seen by people as their hope for a secure future as in a functioning democracy, public representatives uphold the voice of the people and interests of the citizens,” he added. He urged the government to speed up efforts to put in place necessary safeguards as the province braces for another round of floods later this year. In this regard, he made a few suggestions with the hope that Khuhro will consider them seriously and facilitate a constructive debate in the Sindh Assembly on the issues highlighted. Ali pointed out that these suggestions have been drawn from a broad range of consultations held with members of civil society across Pakistan to develop “The Citizens Charter”, that carry a comprehensive blueprint for disaster mitigation and management, restoration of environment,
and settlement and livelihood reforms for the flood affected community. The charter also calls for the restoration of the basic citizenship rights of the people who have, over the years, been marginalised by an exclusionary state structure that favours a skewed distribution of resources and denies a large majority of people their fundamental right to decent life. He proposed to address the issue of deforestation on an urgent basis. Apart from taking measures to put a halt to it, the forest cover of the province also needs a serious revisit by the elected representatives with a view to expanding it on an urgent basis. He pointed out that in the last two decades, Pakistan has lost a quarter of its natural forest cover and currently the deforestation rate is two percent a year - one of the highest in the world. Sindh has also
lost natural forest due to encroachments on natural waterways. Sindh covers an area of 14.1 million hectares comprising 18 percent of the country’s total land mass. Due to its predominantly arid condition, the forest resources of Sindh cover only 2.3 per cent of the total land area of the province. According to a study by the Sindh Forest Department, the riverine forests of Sindh, comprising 241,000 hectares that grow mostly along the river Indus in the flood plains, are vanishing rapidly. Along with other factors, sprawling encroachment is a major reason behind deforestation in the riverine belt. According to a WWF study, more than 40,000 hectares of riverine forests has been taken over by land grabbers. Not only does deforestation put our population at multiple risks from environmental degradation, it also adds to the disaster risk of
the local communities. Ali urged the Sindh Assembly to promote the idea of public infrastructure projects that should be designed on the basis of sustainable human development needs of the local community and environment. In this regard, he emphasised that we have repeatedly witnessed the impact of poor and ill-planned infrastructure in times of rains as observed in Karachi, Hyderabad, Mirpurkhas, Sukkur and Shikarpur following the last two years floods. Apart from basic services such as safe drinking water, solid waste management, sewage and drainage, urban planning also needs to factor in disaster risk reduction measures as the capacity of the existing order in dealing with disasters, including floods and earthquake, is very limited. He recommended restoring a consensus-backed local government system that
draws public representation from the grassroots and work with the deep involvement of communities for the execution and functioning of development projects in the province. The UN Climate Summit held at Durban, South Africa ranked Pakistan number one on the list of countries worst hit by the extreme weather in 2010. The Disaster Management Act 2010 deems the role of local government, and municipal authorities within disaster management and for this purpose remains heavily dependent on elected local councillors. The uncertainty and later suspension of the local government system left a vacuum that led to the slow response to the floods in the Province in 2010. In 2011, the commissionerate system was put in place that again failed to effectively address the devastating floods that year.
new and old Sindhis firmly united for Sindh’s uplift: Altaf KARACHI StAff RepoRt
New and old Sindhis are firmly united for the development and progress of the province, Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) Altaf Hussain said on Wednesday. “In the past, certain elements tried to use the innocent people of Sindh for their vested interests, but there is a growing awareness among the inhabitants of the province that has enabled them to fight these conspiracies,” he told the office-bearers and activists of the MQM Hyderabad zone via phone. Members of the MQM Rabita Committee, MNAs, MPAs and in-charge of the women’s wing of the Hyderabad zone were also present on the occasion.
The MQM chief warned the “elements against Pakistan” to stop their conspiracies immediately. “The country is passing through extremely difficult times and if these conspiracies continue unabatedly, the country will reach the verge of a disaster,” he added. Hussain said time had torn him away from his workers, but the spiritual connection between them remains. The MQM chief also said as his hands are not tainted by corruption, the party’s activists raise their heads with pride and honour. “The public meeting being staged by the MQM in Hyderabad on March 18 will establish that the permanent residents of Sindh are united under the party’s leadership,” he maintained.
Passengers travel aloft buses on Wednesday due to suspension of Cng supply across Sindh, resulting in shortage of public transport. ONLINE
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Thursday, 15 March, 2012
Optical coherence tomography revolutionising diagnostics ■ Experts say the technology opening new vistas for physicians and researchers KARACHI
PTICAL coherence tomography (OCT) is a technology that has the potential to dramatically change the way physicians, researchers and scientists see and understand the human body in order to better diagnose and treat disease, Dr Idrees Adhi, consultant ophthalmologist at the Civil Hospital Karachi, said at a pre-conference workshop organised by the Ophthalmologists Society of Pakistan on Wednesday. Other speakers at the preKAROPATH Conference 2012 workshop included Dr Usman, Dr Muhammad Hanif and Dr Qazi Wasif. Adhi termed the technology a promising new class of diagnostic medical imaging technology that utilises advanced photonics and fibre optics to obtain images and tissue characterisation on a scale that was never possible before, within the human body. “OCT imaging can be performed over approximately the same distance of a biopsy at high resolution and in real time making the most attractive applications for OCT those where conventional biopsies cannot be performed or are ineffective,” he noted. “Standard electronic techniques are adequate for processing ultrasonic echoes that travel at the speed of sound, interferometric techniques are required to extract the reflected optical signals from the infrared light used in OCT,” he added. Dr Muhammad Hanif discussed the importance of OCT in progression scan in patient management
and said the technology provides images of tissues at near histological resolution without the need for excision or processing of the specimen. “In addition to providing highlevel resolutions for the evaluation of micro-anatomic structures, OCT is inherently able to provide information regarding tissue composition,” he pointed out. “The professionals using spectroscopy can evaluate the spectral absorption characteristics of tissue while simultaneously determining the orderliness of the tissue through the use of polarisation imaging,” he added. OCT is a noninvasive, non-contact and transpupillary imaging technology that can image retinal
structures in vivo with a resolution of 10 to 17 microns. Cross-sectional images of the retina are produced using the optical backscattering of light in a fashion analogous to Bscan ultrasonography. The anatomic layers within the retina can be differentiated and retinal thickness can be measured. The appearance of a variety of posterior segment pathologies using OCT has been described. These include diabetic retinopathy, macular holes, epiretinal membranes, cystoid macular edema, central serous choroidopathy and optic disc pits. Since the early 1990s, OCT has revolutionised the way retinal and glaucoma surgeons approach diag-
nostics in their practices, and it continues to show promise for additional applications. When the technology for OCT was first developed in 1991, surgeons were impressed by the precise imaging created by this modality but questioned if it would become clinically indispensable. Now, many cannot imagine their practices without it. Since its introduction to the commercial market in 1996, OCT has become a common tool in thousands of retina and glaucoma practices, but it took a lot of work and time to convince the community that the technology was not only useful but vital to the treatment of many patients.
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SCREENING ON MARCH 16 AT 7:00 PM VENUE: T2f 2.0
ART EXHIBITION UNTIL MARCH 16 VENUE: CHAWKANDI ART
EXHIBITION UNTIL MARCH 18 VENUE: fARAAR
‘Meherjaan: A Story About Loving the Other’ at 7:00 pm on March 16 at The 2nd Floor. Call 35389033 for more information.
Nahid Raza’s exhibition of recent artworks until March 16 at the Chawkandi Art gallery. Call 35373582 for more information.
‘Feica: A Retrospective of Political Cartoons and Paintings’ until March 18 at the Faraar gallery. Call 35389033 for more information.
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Thursday, 15 March, 2012
Editor’s mail 11
Peace with India Hindu humanitarian Sri Ravi Shankar, the so-called peace icon, came to Pakistan on the 12 March for a threeday visit with an aim to urge the leadership of the two neighbouring nuclear powers of South Asia to find peaceful solutions of all the outstanding issues by promoting friendship and understanding and dialogue. Before embarking on such mission, he should have identified the major irritants between the two countries. He is not the first person who has come from India on goodwill and friendship mission. I am in my 70s and remember the umpteen number of such visits from both sides since 1947 to promote friendship and to ensure cordial relations between these two nuclear charged countries. Both countries have fought four wars plus innumerable border skirmishes since independence without finding a permanent solution for peace. Such visits
Talks with Taliban can never bear fruit unless the major issues like Kashmir dispute and river water’s control are not resolved. India is not prepared to talk on Indian-held Kashmir as their constitution shows the entire Kashmir as part of India (Atoot Ang). According to the India Independence Act of 1947, the division of India has not been fair at the time of partition. Kashmir was to come to Pakistan being Muslim majority area. However, since the ruler at the time of partition was a Hindu, he asked for military support from India. India exploited his helplessness and sent its troops after getting a fake accession deed signed from him and got the control of Jammu and Kashmir. It was a conspiracy which must be investigated and the people of both the countries should be told about the facts. The UN resolution of 1949 has already given a decision for free and fair
plebiscite in Kashmir to which both the countries are signatories. But India is avoiding the implementation of this resolution on one pretext or the other. Similarly, India after taking over the control of three western rivers after water accord ie, Ravi, Sutlaj and Beas, they are now diverting the water of three eastern rivers ie, Indus, Jhelum and Chenab which were supposed be used by Pakistan. India is violating all the water accords and agreements and is bent upon making Pakistan a barren country. The Chenab river flow has been severely interrupted due to Indian's filling of Baghliar-1 reservoir. Similarly, they have plans to divert the waters of all the three western rivers to irrigate Rajhisthan area. They are violating the byelaws of International Commission for Irrigation and Drainage (ICID) by stopping flow of waters to Pakistan for irrigation purposes. So what do
they expect from us in such peace missions. It is preposterous to expect a friendly hand from Pakistan and I think it is a cruel joke on Pakistan to send such a peace icon or a delegation without doing something positive for Pakistan. It is a pity that Pakistan has granted India MFN (most favoured nation) status where in India would draw maximum benefits in trade. What favour India has done to Pakistan ever since the independence. The Indian government and RAW have left no stone unturned to harm Pakistan and perhaps have not reconciled with the creation of another country (Pakistan) out of Akhand Bharat. They should come with two point agenda only: One to resolve long outstanding Kashmir issue and two, the control of waters of rivers flowing into Pakistan, to ensure peace in the region. MUHAMMAD AZHAR KHWAJA Lahore
Sharif Brothers’ denial Sharif Brothers are denying that they have not received any money from Younas Habib of Mehran Bank, while he is claiming that he has paid personally Rs 3.5 million to Nawaz Sharif at his home and Rs 2.5million was transferred to Shahbaz Sharif through Telegraphic Transfer on 27September 1993. Former ISI Chief Asad Durrani has admitted in the Supreme Court that he distributed money to the politicians on the order of COAS General Aslam Beg for forming the IJI as a counter force to the PPP. One fails to understand why the Sharif Brothers are not apologising to the nation for this act. They should have moral courage to accept their wrongdoing. Everybody knows that Nawaz Sharif was very close to the army establishment and it was General Zia-ul-Haq and General Jilani, who adopted him as their political heir, with a common factor of hate against the Pakistan Peoples Party. The Sharif Brothers should appear in the Supreme Court to clear themselves from the charges of receiving tainted money, if they are not guilty. It is time for Sharif Brothers to prove that they are men of dignity. They have been frequently calling upon Zardari to return the looted US$ 60million, now in Swiss banks. S T HUSSAIN Lahore
Smoking is dangerous We all know smoking is hazardous and it has harmful effects. But still the youth is attracted towards a piece of tobacco which just burns them from inside. Everybody is kind of aware of the disasters a cigarette can cause but the question is why do they still go towards it? If we talk about the youth, to smoke is considered to be "cool". Smoking can obviously be not completely banned in Pakistan but at least it could be done for the people under-18. It seems really not good when guys of not a mature age smoke just because there friends are doing so. Why is cigarette available to students under-18? Can’t there be any law for it? Cigarettes are not a big thing to get, drugs are also easily available everywhere. The effects of smoking on human health are serious and in many cases, deadly. MAHRUKH JAVED Karachi
its ocean, is now known for the bloodstreams running through the streets. The unrest usually marked with the protest for the member of any political party or civil society being killed. Protests, which at start seem to be calm, later turn horrendous. In the end, several other lives come to an end and obviously this is not like there is "blood for blood" but "blood for the sake of blood". Street crimes, like mobile snatching has become a serious issue for the city of Quaid. People are afraid to visit Karachi which is the largest cosmopolitan city of Pakistan. This is not good at all for
Karachi and the tourism industry of Pakistan. My eyes go wet, heart sinks and I find myself in great grief by writing that this is not actually the city of Quaid but the city which was forcefully moulded for personal interests. Allah makes it vivid in Quran that man has to do something if he wants to achieve his desires. Karachi'ites are the only one who can make this city peaceful. On behalf of every Karachi'ite I am thankful to those who have made peace possible now. Lots of love for Karachi. AREEBA HUSSAIN Karachi
While the Water Accord of 1991 has been claimed to be a landmark supposed to solve the issue of water apportionment with Punjab bending backwards to allow equal share to Sindh i.e., 37 percent for Punjab and Sindh each. This concession was apparently made to build Kalabagh dam as an incentive but Sindh has retracted from the plan as Kalabagh dam was never built and Sindh does not even want to share any water from Indus with Punjab. It does not even want link canals of Chashma-Jhelem and Taunsa-Panjnad to be operated claiming entire water of Indus for Sindh province. Even IRSA has two members from Sindh appointed by dictator Gen Musharraf to appease Sindh to the dismay of Punjab. The authors of Water Accord of 1991 have since capitulated by bargaining Kalabagh dam for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and removal of a ban on becoming a prime minister for the third time. So where is the Water Accord since two decades when Kalabagh dam is not to be built as agreed by the movers and shakers of Water Accord thus sealing the fate of Pakistan forever? DR MUHAMMAD YAQOOB BHATTI Lahore
troops killing a number of unarmed Afghan civilians, and a number of similar incidents by the Americans, remind us of the pressure and frustration as they do not willingly accept their postings into the war zones of Afghanistan or elsewhere in the combat areas. Recently, a Major of American army, in its headquarters in USA, opened fire on his colleagues, killing four of them, just because he was opposed to his posting to Afghanistan. One wonders why the Pakistan army troops face a similar kind of pressure or frustration while going into war. Why even a single incident of such kind has never occurred in the entire history of Pakistan military? There might have been at the beginning difference of opinion on whether or not the war on terror was the war for Pakistan, but later when it started engulfing Pakistan and hitting
its security forces, the consensus and focus led to not only motivation but sweeping actions by the forces in which our troops’ individual resolve for valour and sacrifice was seen at the peak. Not to mention that they have rendered over 3700 martyrdoms in this ongoing war. But the great aspect which is not highlighted is the height of patience, resoluteness and resilience demonstrated by our men and officers during the course of this asymmetrical warfare. They had to offer their life while not opening fire at the target hiding behind the human shields; the terrorists made locals their hostages and used them as their shields. The troops could have followed the rule ‘everything is fair in love and war’, but instead they paid the price of such a patience and love for their countrymen by giving their lives. The inhuman attitude of US-Nato
troops like pissing on the dead bodies and burning of the copies of Quran in Afghanistan shows the level of ethics and morality the troops of the most civilised world adhere to. Same tactics we have been hearing of the Indian forces demonstrating in IHK and other troubled areas. Imagine what kind of a holocaust such civilised world’s individuals can create while in possession of nuclear weapons? We Pakistanis have maintained such a capability only for our survival. And if the French chief of army staff salutes their martyred colleagues at Yadgar-eShuhads, it is the respect that is due from all the world forces chiefs because their sacrifices have prevented any other 9/11 from happening in America, 7/7 in London and Madrid bombing in Spain. They are of no match, literally. FAROOQ ADIL Islamabad
The constant state of lawlessness in Sindh, especially in Shikarpur, Jacobabad, Kandh Kot, Kashmor and Jacobabad has made the life of natives miserable. These districts have produced a high degree of lawlessness and banditry. People are being kidnapped; they are being killed in tribal clashes, they are being harassed and tortured both by the Pirs and police but there is none to come to their rescue. The government is not visible anywhere in these ill-fated districts. The government officers are there only to mint money and enjoy the perks and privileges. Indeed, my home district Larkano (mistakenly written as Larkana) was never so lawless as it has been made nowadays.
My love for Karachi urged me to reflect my feelings regarding my beloved city on paper and of course your brand is best to write for as it is the bestseller and extensively read around the region. Current law and order situation of Karachi is controlled and peace is maintained. I really wish from the deepest corner of my heart that this will lasts forever. Unfortunately, the peace here in Karachi in usually not very long lasting. You never know when the situation turns worse. Karachi, which was once known for
to Pakistan Army Haqqani will speak more Salute It looked impressive when the French
Husain Haqqani was denying everything because he was in Pakistan under the danger of being arrested, but now he is out of the country, safe and sound, and is admitting that he had contacts with Mansoor Ijaz. It is likely that more disclosures would come from his side and most probably it would be established that he was the main linchpin in the Memogate scandal. It is also a possibility that he may come out with more lethally cobwebbed conspiracies. On whose indications he wrote a book against his own country and on whose go-ahead he engineered the Memogate is not a milliondollar question. May Allah guide him to use his genius for the benefit of his motherland! BAZGHA AYUB Islamabad
The Water Accord
My city, Karachi
Army Chief Gen Bertrand Ract-Madoux laid a floral wreath at the Yadgar-eShuhada outside the GHQ on March 13, a gesture of recognition of the matchless contribution of Pakistan armed forces’ jawans and officers, by a coalition partner, which the Americans and other Nato member countries should also follow. Gen Kayani, while speaking on the occasion, rightly said that the sacrifices made by the Pakistan army were more than that that of the Nato forces in Afghanistan, “therefore it required appreciation and not the baseless accusations.” This leads us to draw a little comparison between the Pakistan armed forces and the contemporary armies of the world. The most unforgettable and in Karzai’s words “unforgivable” act of brutality in Kandahar by the American
The increased hostility that the US troops face in Afghanistan is apparently because they have had enough of foreign control over their territory. That many American soldiers have been killed by none other than their counterparts in the Afghan security forces opens a window into the realm of reality. The Americans may have triumphed in killing Osama bin Laden (OBL) and dislodging the Al-Qaeda network in the region, but that is just a micro-battle in the backdrop of the protracted and massive scale counter-insurgency that rocks Afghanistan. The change in the American war strategy in Afghanistan also indicates the realization that what they had set out to achieve in Afghanistan would be impossible in the manner that the US has adopted and continued for the past one decade. The military strategy needs to be replaced by a political one thus the initiation of talks with the Qatar office of the Taliban. If any workable solution is to be found, it would surely start from this process and would certainly end on it too. The journey that both the Taliban and America have embarked upon is a long and tedious one as it is based upon a precedence of unreliability and inconsistency. It isn’t impossible but surely a lot will depend upon how the Americans deal with the Taliban. The famous US penchant for unilateralism needs to be replaced by a multilateral approach where all stakeholders should be taken onboard the reconciliation process. That talking to the Taliban is surely important, but who does the talking is more significant here. Can a solution be possible without either Afghanistan or Pakistan as active participants? If yes, then let’s just wait with our fingers crossed to see the outcome of this US-Taliban bilateral dialogue. PROFESSOR KABIL KHAN Peshawar
Even during the draconian days of dictators who unleashed their tyranny upon the people of Sindh, this much lawlessness was not to be seen. The business community, lawyers, educationists, doctors, peasants, labourers and all others are in the fear of utter lawlessness and terror. There is none to restore law and order in this historic and culturally rich district of Sindh province. I appeal to the president of Pakistan to take notice of lawlessness and direct strict action against those police officers and outlaws who have made the life of people hellish in Larkano. HASHIM ABRO Islamabad
Send your letters to: Letters to Editor, Pakistan Today, 4-Shaarey Fatima Jinnah, Lahore, Pakistan. Fax: +92-42-36298302. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Letters should be addressed to Pakistan Today exclusively.
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12 comment The IP snag no surprises there
t doesn’t require rocket science to decipher why the Chinese Bank ICBC backed off from financing the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project. Any bank in the world doing business with the West would be reluctant to face the economic consequences of defying the US sanctions imposed on Iran. However, the government’s efforts to complete the project by the December 2014 deadline have hit a snag. Defying US pressures, Islamabad has given top priority to the construction of the pipeline to overcome its dire energy needs. Besides the IP gas pipeline, Pakistan has also gone for the 1,700 kilometre TAPI gas pipeline from Turkmenistan favoured by the US. Islamabad is now required to find new financiers at the earliest. Among the alternatives available is the routing of the Infrastructure Development Cess, recently imposed on gas consumers, to Pakistani banks which should then create a fund with the government. Initial estimates suggest that the cess will be sufficient to meet the project’s funding requirements. It remains to be seen however if the local banking sector which is already overexposed in the power sector and is reluctant to finance existing and new power projects would agree to the proposal. Again would these banks be willing to withstand the US pressure as they are all are involved in business abroad? Another alternative is to approach the Chinese, Russian or Iranian governments for signing a government-to-government contract for the construction of the pipeline. This would however require waiving off the public procurement regulatory authority rules to avoid competitive bidding which is demanded by these countries. The reluctance by the ICBC is in no way a reflection on the all-weather friendship between China and Pakistan. It is quite normal for countries to give priority to their own national needs and concerns. What must be borne in mind is that it is unrealistic to think that China or any other country would sacrifice its core interests for Pakistan. There is a need on the part of the establishment, the political government and media to avoid creating unrealistic expectations among the public.
The ongoing malice now that the SC has taken notice
hat Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) suffers a huge loss running into billions of rupees was all the more reason for the Supreme Court to put the Secretary Industries in the dock for not taking action against those found guilty of financial mismanagement and corrupt practices. A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry sought explanation from the ministry on Tuesday why it had ignored the forensic audit report which had identified cumulative losses of Rs 26.5 billion suffered by the PSM in a single year. The report kept gathering dust since it was submitted to the ministry six months ago. The court appeared dissatisfied with the Secretary Industries’ response that his ministry was contemplating referring the matter to the National Accountability Bureau for initiating investigation against the persons who have already been chargesheeted. Going through the voluminous report which only pertained to the financial year 2008-09 the court expressed shock that it was not known how much loss the Mills had suffered till now. PSM’s Counsel Fakhruddin G Ibrahim informed the bench that the present financial and operational position of the Steel Mills had been far from satisfactory as the losses continued to mount due to over-staffing, non-availability of funds for the purchase of raw material and inability to open letters of credit. He was of the opinion that there was a possibility of the recovery of some amount if the NAB investigated this matter with sincerity. There’s no disputing the CJ’s assertion that it was the Supreme Court which had earlier saved the stateowned entity from privatisation. After that, it was the responsibility of the government and the concerned ministry to take appropriate measures to plug the loopholes causing huge losses to the Steel Mills and other public sector enterprises but unfortunately it was never done. Now that the apex court has taken suo motu cognizance of the matter, it needs to be extended all the help it requires to get to the bottom of the problem.
Dedicated to the legacy of the late Hameed Nizami
Arif Nizami Editor
Lahore – Ph: 042-36298305-10 Fax: 042-36298302 Karachi – Ph: 021-34330811-3 Fax: 021-34330900 Islamabad – Ph: 051-2287414-6 Fax: 051-2287417 Web: www.pakistantoday.com.pk Email: email@example.com
Thursday, 15 March, 2012
Dreams dashed those of democracy’s detractors
By Nazir Naji
he circumstances have changed in a matter of few days; it’s as if somebody has turned off a switch suddenly or as if marionettes have had their strings abruptly snapped and they now lie lifeless centre-stage. The memo scandal, which some ignoramuses in their excitement branded Memogate, is about to reach its conclusion. Behind the recipe for Memogate is the same pernicious attitude which has been behind the many plans to oust Mr Zardari from the presidency. The ‘-gate’ actually comes from the Watergate scandal. Watergate is actually the name of a complex of five buildings where the head-office for the Democratic National Committee. It was here the tapes that implicated President Nixon were recorded. When these tapes first surfaced, President Nixon denied any knowledge of these recordings but investigative reporting proved that not only did President Nixon know about the recording but had actually heard a portion of them as well. After his fabrication was caught, his impeachment became an inevitability. To save face, the president instead chose to resign and this was the drop scene of the Watergate scandal. After reading this brief background, you, dear reader, must be able to gauge that by attaching the -gate suffix to memo (which did not exist), it was attempted to implicate President Zardari of involvement in the entire saga and to hope for a similar outcome for him as that befell President Nixon. While Watergate was a scandal that actually caught the president red-handed, this so-called ‘Memogate’ was based on a fictitious scrap of paper. Other than the memo case, the point of
President Zardari’s health was also sensationalised. This time the inventive fiction was that the president had left the country being afraid of the fallout from the memo case. Aijaz-ulHaq even claimed with certainty that the president would directly go to London from Dubai and not come back. But the hopes of his detractors were dashed when he came back after a routine check-up. When I look at those days, I am amazed how such fabrications can be created and then disseminated in this age of communication where verification is one call or email away. More importantly, why are such fabrications created and spread? Did the progenitors of these lies forget that they will be called out in a matter of days when the president returned? Similarly, when the memo case reaches its conclusion, the many analysts who have held forth on it at length, how will they save face? It was also said (or hoped against hope) by many of these writers and analysts that the Senate elections would not take place. Taking the air out of these political Bocrateses, I said that the Senate elections had nothing to do with the government’s survival and thus why were these naysayers constructing the edifices of their hopes and dreams around the Senate elections? The elections have come and pass and nothing much has changed, as it was said that it won’t. But the Senate elections have afforded the PPP an opportunity to bring forward its loyalists. Chairman Nayyar Bukhari is a PPP veteran and extremely loyal to the party. He has been there for the party through thick and thin. The deputy chairman Sabir Baloch’s identity is also inextricably linked with his party. He has also been with the party through all kinds of times and has never been desirous of any influential posts especially while the party is in power. I have known him for 25 years and am pretty sure that he must not have even expressed the desire for this post, let alone lobby for it. Actually, the PPP has put its best foot forward in the Senate elections by the selecting the best possible roster. Everybody was a little shocked and saddened by Aslam Gul’s defeat. But the party worker’s reaction at his defeat was admirable. Instead of complaining, he thanked his party for the ticket and did not utter a bad word about those who abandoned him for the elections. The party, though, did not abandon him
and made him minister of state and an advisor to the PM. On the other hand, Farooq Naek’s exit was an almost done deal. Many reports had surfaced about him that he had used his authority as Chairman Senate carelessly. But the real reason for his departure was a moment of weakness when he thought that he might get the chance to be president if President Zardari was ousted. President Zardari had trusted him to the hilt and nobody would’ve thought that he could even entertain this thought. But he was not able to honour this relationship of trust. In my opinion, the selection of candidates for the Senate elections has strengthened the PPP and bolstered the confidence of the workers in the leadership. It has shown that President Zardari doesn’t operate on the basis of nepotism and favouritism. With the Senate elections out of the way, it seems he will have some smooth sailing ahead. His opponents have no gameplan to speak of. By taking the Chaudhry brothers on board, President Zardari has virtually checkmated his opponents as this is a ploy for which they have no answer. The experience and contacts of the Chaudhry brothers proved to be an asset for the president. The PPP has no access to the political lobby that they are privy to. This has given the PPP an assured votebank in areas where it previously had none. The effect of this alliance will be apparent come next elections. On the contrary, the tsunami seems to be running out of steam. Its generator is now out of order and there seems to be no power replacement (in a manner of speaking). And the few people who jumped on to the bandwagon due to hopes attached with a certain quarter have been sorely disappointed as the centre of their hopes is no more. A few days ago, they dreamt happy dreams of extensions and tried to count the minutes to when said extension would be granted. But that ship has now sailed. Now they’re in all kinds of flurries. It seems this democratic dispensation will complete five years and anti-people elements are not happy about the fact that it seems like the next five years will also be that of democracy. Hopefully indeed! The writer is one of Pakistan’s most widely read columnists.
With the Americans leaving… Daily Pashtun Post
ith the start of strikes against Afghanistan in the name of the war on terror, any chance and hope for peace in the region were dashed. The US actions, one after the other, backfired and contributed more to instability and violence in the war-torn region than contributing to peace and stability. It is because the land of Afghanistan has proved to be area of defeat for the allied forces. The US was here in Afghanistan with an aim of seeking permanent bases in the country but it seems that it will not be able to fulfil this aim as it is facing interminable losses on all fronts in Afghanistan and its ailing economy will be hard-pressed to sustain any kind of prolonged military presence in the country. This is why they want to cut their losses and run now. The proof is in the fact that the Americans are seeking talks with the Taliban for peace and have duly opened an office at Qatar for the same purpose.
The question is whether the plan to have a military presence in Afghanistan by the US has yielded any result or has the US realised the mistake it committed in plunging into the region without thinking the entire thing through. Pakistan should be praised for the role it has played in the larger interest of the region. Not only has Pakistan hosted millions of homeless Afghans for decades, it has also ceaselessly continued with its efforts for lasting peace in the region through cooperation with regional and global stakeholders. The talks intended for peace in the region among various stakeholders cannot shun the importance of Pakistan to the whole process. But in the ultimate analysis, it is the Afghans who must have a solution of their liking. A solution that has been manufactured to cater to the interest of other stakeholders and powers will not sit well with the Afghans and will be doomed to fail from the start, as history has proved. Thus, the process must ensure that the Afghans are freely able to decide what is best for them. -Translated from the original Pashto by Abdur Rauf Khattak
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Thursday, 15 March, 2012
Congress in trouble? The politicians and the military the former not as sinful as painted; the latter not as saintly
india votes for decentralisation
Border crossings By Kuldip Nayar
tate elections may not predict the shape of next Lok Sabha in 2014, but they do reflect the mood of the electorate. UP, Punjab, Uttrakhand, Goa and Manipur which went to the polls indicate that the ruling Congress is declining rapidly. The party is nowhere in UP despite the Indira Gandhi’s family descending on the state in full strength. Punjab and Uttrakhand, which were expected to go to the Congress, have slipped from its hands. The party has been routed in Goa and the only consolation prize is Manipur where feuding factions do not allow a government run for long. In fact, the other national alternative, Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) has done only slightly better. It is third in UP, slightly above the Congress, and neck and neck with the Congress in Uttrakhand. The BJP can claim to be a winner in Punjab but that is because it is riding the bandwagon of the Akali Dal. Otherwise, the BJP has cone down from 19 to 12. The obvious lesson to learn from the verdicts is that the national parties are losing space to those in the states, which represent local aspirations. The success of Mulayam Singh Yadav’s Samajwadi Party in UP casts a shadow on the prospects of both the Congress and the BJP. The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) of the outgoing chief minister Mayawati looked at one time an avalanche of Dalits sweeping the rest. But the avarice had the better of her and she has ruined the chance of a Dalit ever becoming PM. The Shiromani Akali Dal’s return to power in Punjab
strengthens the belief that the work at the grassroots is what counts ultimately. However, the victory for the Akali Dal, as that of Samajwadi Party, sends a message to the Congress or, for that matter, to national parties that they can no longer ignore or bypass the state parties. Their consultation is essential before framing economic and social policies. Apart from ignoring sentiments prevailing on the ground, the Congress had to pay dearly at the polls for the scams and the price rise. The state parties have been able to convince the electorate that corruption and high cost of living is not their doing but that of those who rule at the centre. It looks as if the states are waking up to the clout they have because of the following of their people. Odhisa chief minister Naveen Patnaik has already raised the banner of revolt against the centre for possessing too much power. He has been supported by many chief ministers in his demand. Several chief ministers, including Mamata Banerjee from West Bengal, feel that the centre must have the states in the picture when it establishes organisations which require the support of their law and order machinery. Recently, the anti-terrorism setup the centre was planning did not have prior consent of chief ministers. Still Home Minister P Chidambaram convened a meeting of chief secretaries and DGs of Police. Belonging to the all-India services and controlled by the centre, both services are manageable. The centre has to realise that the real state boss is the chief minister and he or she must be kept in the picture. I recall the advice of Ghous Bux Bezenjo, a Pakistani leader, who warned me nearly 40 years ago that India should learn from Pakistan and transfer all subjects except defence, foreign affairs, communication and currency to the states. This what the Anandpur Sahib resolution of the Akali Dal said or was even once the demand of the CPI(M) when it ruled
over West Bengal. But the Congress haughtily rejected it without realising that there is no go from decentralisation. The polity needs a consensus. It can be developed through humility, but not arrogance which has become part of the Congress culture. How can PM Singh handle parliament sessions in the next few days if he or his party does not understand that the state elections have given the regional parties a new sense of confidence and they want to assert themselves? He has to reach out to them when important bills, including the budget, have to get the approval of parliament. The immediate problem that the ruling Congress faces is the election of pesident due in the middle of this year. Then there is election of the vice-president. The Congress cannot impose its choice on the parties and pick up nonentities for the top positions. Regional parties will need to be wooed. In any case, a nonCongress person having ability and eminence will ideally fill the office of president. This requires all the tact and charm that the Congress can exert. But the party is too much haunted by a mid-term poll and looks pathetically clueless and without any new idea. Some fear that a weak centre may encourage fissiparous tendencies. This is wrong because the states are an integral part of the country. They do not want to turn up to Delhi for every small concession. Today they have to do it and they have resident commissioners to pursue their projects. Whichever party comes to power at the centre feels it must rule like the governor general of the British days. The people are more conscious of their rights. They know the value of their vote and this explains why almost 60 per cent of the electorate, more women than men, went to polling stations to exercise their franchise. The writer is a senior Indian journalist.
By Talimand Khan
f one were to begin listing Pakistan’s structural problems – problems that have prevented the country from becoming a well governed state – rule of law would feature right at the top. Much has been written about this issue, with the popular narrative blaming the political elite for their failure to implement rule of law uniformly. The narrative paints them as corrupt, opportunistic, and defiant of rules and regulations. Those who talk about fixing the problem – including the politicians – talk of accountability and transparency, of anti-corruption measures, and of exemplary punishments. Imran Khan is the latest example of that. There is little doubt that the political class has failed this country and must be held accountable. But one fact is conveniently overlooked in this discourse: the political elite are only one part of the puzzle and have never truly been in charge. It is the military establishment that has not only escaped any talk of accountability throughout the country’s history but has also created and promoted specific narratives of incompetence and corruption against politicians at will. I do not wish to restrict this argument to corruption alone. The point here is a broader one, i.e. unless all pillars of the state operate at par, the status quo power institution – in this case the military – will retain a free hand to paint situations as it wishes. And since, like any organisation, it has its own vested interests to defend, we will always end up with the civilian sector looking much worse than the military (and than it really is). To be sure, I make this contention not as someone pathologically opposed to our military establishment but as a citizen who is interested in seeing rule of law being established across the board; who knows that mature democracy cannot come about until the civil-military playing field is levelled; and who feels constantly entrapped between poorly performing politicians and an overbearing and self-interested military. It has become amply clear over the years that it the military that has been in the driving seat when it comes to shaping the political environment. Throughout military dictatorships and in the 1990s, the military establishment tailored political parties and actors to its liking and in turn used the failures of these pseudo-leaders to point to civilian failures. Can one truly blame all politicians, or better yet, democracy for these failures? Perhaps the list of questions to ask should be slightly different then usual: is democracy really about creating hand-picked political parties and leaders? Has the Pakistani public ever been given a chance to let the democratic process mature so that incompetent politicians are weeded out over time? Have the politicians been as corrupt as believed? Is there no corruption in the military? Does the military establishment submit itself to the law of the land any more than the civilians? Are narratives targeting the civilian elite really representative of the popular sentiment or are these actively shaped by the powers that be?
Just look at the events of the last year. The year has been full of allegations of civilian corruption. The Supreme Court has been in overdrive, as have pundits on the media in pointing to gross anomalies on the part of the political elite. Fair enough. But are we to believe that there have been no incidences of corruption involving military officials at any level? Of course, we don’t know as these are never brought out. However, military officers would themselves tell you, proudly, that while incidences do happen (they would say these are exceptions, not the norm), internal actions are taken to punish individuals involved. Here is my question: isn’t this defiance of the law of the land? Why are these cases not brought out in the public domain; why are they not taken up by NAB and the Supreme Court; why are internal mechanisms that essentially amount to cover ups allowed; and if this is the most effective way to do it, perhaps every ministry and government department should start doing this as well? Examples of the power of the military in creating narratives as it wishes were on display throughout last year as well. The Raymond Davis affair was quickly turned into an issue of the civilian government allowing visas to unauthorised Americans. Then despite the fact that the ISI played a critical role in getting him released, the blame was laid on the politicians for being weak. May 2, perhaps the most embarrassing episode for the Pakistani nation in recent years, was quickly turned into an issue of sovereignty instead of the incompetence of the military. The civilians were put on notice to back the narrative in “national interest” or, as one politician of the ruling coalition told me, “risk being declared pro-American and unpatriotic”. Drones have become the moniker of Pakistan’s quest to re-establish sovereignty in 2011. The army chief has led the charge on this. One wonders through why he has not introspected on the reasons the military establishment agreed to the drones and continued to cooperate – notwithstanding their denial now – with the Americans on their use. To their credit, the PPP government has tried to stand up to the rhetoric as was evident in some of the statements by the prime minister over the past month. The military’s power however was on display once again as it successfully diverted attention of the people to the memo issue, to the civilian government apparently reaching out to other countries to raise concerns of a potential coup – notwithstanding Gen. Pasha’s own infamous Gulf visit – and to the NRO issue, among others. I could go on but my point is fairly simple. Pakistan desperately needs rule of law and the state’s writ to be pervasive. And while one does not seek to defend anyone unnecessarily, maligning politicians alone to absolve the military from all wrongdoing is the biggest impediment in achieving this. For years, civilian governments have been forced to operate within the limits set by the military establishment. In such an environment, they will never be able to deliver on rule of law issues. And without rule of law, hoping for mature democracies is absurd. The writer is a research analyst at the Sustainable Development Policy Institute, Islamabad
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Thursday, 15 March, 2012
Ali Zafar, Abida Parveen
LAHORE: SABS Salon held its opening ceremony.
mesmerise at Jahan-e-Khusrau Festival
HE three-day Jahan-e-Khusrau festival, designed and directed by filmmaker and painter Muzaffar Ali, and presented by Rumi Foundation hosted eminent artistes of the Sufi tradition from across the world, but it also served as a platform for emerging singers and practitioners of classical and modern dance along with Sufiana music. Celebrating a decade of humanism and peace through music, the 10th year of the festival witnessed performances by singer Abida Parveen, singer-turned-actor Ali Zafar, Hans Raj Hans, Andrea Griminelli, Indira Naik, Vidhi Sharma, Rajesh Pandey, Vidhi Lal, Shivani Varma, Zia Nath, Smitalaya and Murad Ali. The second day of the festival saw a spectacular performance by Ali Zafar, who sang songs like ‘Husn Par Tere Fida Hoon’, ‘Daastan-e-Ishq’, ‘Ni Mai Jaanaan’, and was accompanied by musicians Asad Ahmad and Kamran Zafar on the guitar, Ali Mustafa on the keyboard, and Baqar Abbas on the flute. The actor, who was in India with his wife Ayesha, said, “In my opinion it is very important for an artiste to stay tuned to his real calling. Mine is very much related and inclined to our culture, art and the Sufi tradition. I feel closely knitted to the spiritual domain of this land and cannot dissociate from it. Therefore, any opportunity that provides an association with it is a pleasure. To be part of Jahan-e-Khusrau provides me with just that.” Kamran shared his experience, “We were extremely delighted to see such a huge response. I was surprised to see the popularity of Sufi music slowly catching up amongst the Indian masses. It was also interesting to watch the crowd groove to Sufi music in Delhi clubs.” Asad, who played the guitar, added, “It was heartening to see that people in India love listening to Sufi music. I was taken aback when the crowd recognized us and people came up to us for pictures and autographs.” The final day saw renowned Sufi singer Abida Parveen’s mesmerising performance. She described the festival as “a spiritual call by Muzaffar Ali that we all share and join in each year to further the message of humanism and brotherhood across the world.” “In Sufism there are no barriers, mine or yours, old and new. It belongs to all and connects hearts and souls,” she added.
models walking the ramp during the show.
Shafe,Kiran,Sharzil Shehar Bano and Hissa
Roma and Yasmin
SHEEP expands: opens third store at Dolmen Mall KARACHI pR
In keeping with SHEEP’s commitment to provide brand accessibility, comfortable and convenient retail, the team at SHEEP announces the opening of their 3rd store in Karachi at Dolmen Mall, 3rd floor on the 15th of March. The Tariq Road outlet opening follows soon after the launch of the SHEEP space at Dolmen City Mall in January 2012. In addition to their three Karachi stores, SHEEP also offers a ‘Shop from Home’ service across Pakistan providing local shoppers with the option to purchase SHEEP from the comfort of one’s home with the pieces delivered to the local customers’ doorsteps through its Facebook page. The brand caters to the modern day woman with premium quality ready to wear clothes. The idea is to create pieces that are uncomplicated, wearable and smart fashion for the confident woman.
Aamir Khan chooses TV over Talaash mumBAi: The perfectionist that he is, Aamir Khan has been making no bones about the fact that he wants to concentrate solely and entirely on his debut television show ‘Satyamev Jayate’ for the coming few months. The actor’s eagerly awaited psychological thriller ‘Talaash’, written and directed by reema Kagti, will also release six months later than scheduled. Instead of a June 1 release the film will now hit theatres end november or first week of December. reason is once again the actor’s preoccupation with his upcoming show. A source close to Aamir said, “With ‘Talaash’ having become one of the most viewed trailers on the Internet in recent times, it was a tough call for Aamir and those concerned with the film to push it to november. However, Aamir sacrificed the date, which was actually commercially very suitable for the TV show.” According to a source close to the film, “The fire on the sets of the TV show caused the delay. Aamir is currently completely immersed in his show which will leave him with hardly any time to get involved in matters concerning ‘Talaash’.” Meanwhile, post production of ‘Talaash’ is progressing rapidly with Aamir having dubbed for almost all his parts at the Khar recording studio. And as is common in Btown, one film’s delay has been another film’s getting pushed ahead. Word is ‘rowdy rathore’ will now release on June 1 instead november 30 as was planned earlier.
Samia and Tanzila
Beti B named
Aaradhya mumBAi: Ever since the news of Aishwarya rai’s pregnancy was made public by her Pa-in-law Amitabh Bachchan, fans of this starry family of B-Town had been discussing the youngest member of the Bachchan parivaar. Prior to her birth on november 16, 2011, Aishwarya’s daughter made headlines and post birth, her name was hugely speculated. After a long wait of four months, Aishwarya and Abhishek Bachchan’s first child, who was christened as Beti B by the media has been given a name. Beti B’s name was registered a couple of days back. Big B’s granddaughter has been named Aaradhya. As expected the name is derived out of a Sanskrit word which means one who is worshipped. The Bachchan family is known for being a patron of Indian culture, hence such a name. Big B’s daughter Shweta, who is married into the nanda family had named her children navya naveli and Agastya. We must say the Bachchans know how to pick names. AgeNcieS
Sunita and Athar
Salman Khan meets real dabangg?
mumBAi: Here’s what happened when the reel ‘Dabangg’ met the real dabanng. Salman Khan was shooting for his forthcoming film at Mehboob Studios when a man called Hanumant rao Patil came barging in and stopped the shoot. But contrary to Sallu bhai’s image in the industry, where many would expected some fireworks, the actor restrained and left the location to cool his heels in his vanity van. According to reports Patil works under FWICE (Federation of Western India Cine Employees) and is a self-styled mafia lord, who has been stalling Bollywood shoots for the past few months and tormenting filmmakers in the Hindi cinema industry. While Salman remained unavailable for comments, it is known that the actor has had a word with the officials of FWICE regarding the incident which left him quite peeved. A senior member of the association said that stopping Salman Khan’s shoot is just not done. Will Hanumant rao Patil face the music for daring Salman Khan? only time will tell. AgeNcieS
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15 embarrasses Adam on Twitter loS ANgeleS: Adam Levine is learning this the hard way, when his fellow ‘The Voice’ judge Christina Aguilera took it upon herself to call out his hypocrisy concerning his first foray into the celebrity fragrance game with his upcoming men’s and women’s fragrances ‘222.’ Christina Tweeted a link back to a March 2011 Tweet of Adam’s, which read, “I also would like to put an official ban on celebrity fragrances. Punishable by death from this point forward.” “Haha @AdamLevine,” Aguilera wrote in reply. “What a difference a year makes.” She did however, wish him the best of luck with his new venture, writing, “Welcome to the celebrity fragrance family!” Though her comments seemed to be all in good fun, it seems like she really dug deep to embarrass Adam. After all — there’s few things more embarrassing for a band’s reputation than being accused of selling out. Seems to me like there really is a legitimate beef behind these two’s on-screen tension. AgeNcieS
ufone uth records 2.0 introduces XXI (21) in episode 4 PR Following Ufone Uth Records 2.0 third episode artist Affaq Mushtaq the youth music platform is now set to introduce, XXI (21). The underground band features a versatile trio comprises of Moheet-ul-Islam and Mohammad Taimoor on guitar with Yahya Farid on vocals. Ufone Uth Records 2.0 Episode Four featuring XXI (21) will air on all leading channels and official social networks on Saturday 17th March. XXI (21) will be performing their original composition ‘Taare’ at Ufone Uth Records 2.0 with musician Ahad Nayani featuring as a guest drummer on the track. According to the band, the song has been inspired by those who define and weigh love and relationships on material gains - the message of their song suggests that feelings and emotions should be strong enough to break away from material gains. In the near future, XXI (21) hope’s to see their music “making silence die with its noise.” Speaking about working with XXI (21), producer Louis J ‘Gumby’ Pinto said: “The band 21 is a perfect example of the outcome of a massive media boost about a decade ago. A huge influence of the bands that emerged around that era is what you hear in these guys. The trio have a very pop rock, lively feel to their song and during their stay at the Uth house I learned that Taimur had just started playing guitar not too long ago, and I was amazed at how well he played on the track.” Describing their experience at Ufone Uth records, members of XXI (21) said: “It was simply amazing, an experience which we would not give up for the rest of our lives.” Directed by Zeeshan Parwez, Ufone Uth records 2.0 Episode 2 will air on AAg, Aaj news, Apna Channel, Ary Muzik, ATV, A plus, Channel g, CnBC, KTn, Kashish, Metro, news one, oxygen, Play TV, PTV Home, Style 360, TV one, Waseb and Wateen Cable network as well as across Ufone Uth records’ social media platforms.
Katy Perry offered $2m Sharmeen obaid-Chinoy: for russell Brand book People treat me like a man! LONDON
Rifat and Sonia
Fatima and Fozia
Pop star Katy Perry has reportedly been offered $ 2 million to write a tell-all book about her marriage and split with Russell Brand. The former couple split in December after just 14 months of marriage, with Brand, 36, filing for divorce citing “irreconcilable differences”, Femalefirst reported. “When everything was going well, Katy couldn’t stop talking about him. Since the split neither of them have said anything keeping the price of a deal high,” a source said. Meanwhile, Perry, 27, is rumoured to have moved on with 22-year-old Chanel model Baptiste Giabiconi, who she was spotted “flirting” with at Paris Fashion Week.
Documentary filmmaker Sharmeen obaid-Chinoy talks about her future plans, her family and more, post the first oscar win for Pakistan. When asked about her future plans, she said: “you can look forward to more storytelling. I am currently planning my next film whilst simultaneously producing an animated children’s show geared towards local audiences. on her achievements in a chauvinistic and politically turbulent society, Sharmeen said she never encountered any gender-based hurdles whilst shooting in Pakistan. “During filming, I have found that most people are eager to tell their stories and make their voices heard. Most of the time, people are so taken aback with my forthrightness that they treat me like a man.” Sharmeen says her family has played a pivotal role in her career. Her mother ensured that her daughters received the best education and was supportive of her journalistic aspirations. She said: “My father continues to serve as an inspiration for me, and I owe a formidable amount of my success to his guidance. I have been blessed with a very encouraging husband who has always pushed me to work harder and produce the best work that I can. My daughter, Amelia, is the reason why I make films; I want the Pakistan that she inherits to be better than the one that we currently live in.” Sharmeen, when asked about the comparisons drawn between her and Hina rabbani Khar as the poised, intelligent and good-looking face of Pakistan, said rather than making the men feel insecure, it makes them recognise that the country is producing strong enterprising women. Sharmeen says the Academy Awards highlighted the cause behind ‘Saving Face’. “I also wanted to represent another aspect of Pakistan; one that takes ownership of its faults and celebrates those who are fighting for justice through a creative medium,” she said.
‘Agent Vinod’ perfect for sequels: Saif Ali Khan mumBAi: Actor Saif Ali Khan feels that his upcoming action-thriller ‘Agent Vinod’ with Kareena Kapoor has the potential to become a successful franchise. Though the actor says it is too early to talk about sequels, he admits that the idea has crossed his mind. “I want to take one step at a time. If the audience like the film and they want more, we would go forward with it. I think the film is perfect for a franchise but it is too early to talk about it,” Saif said in an interview. “The film has taken about three years. I got lots of bumps and bruises along the way but it was worth it because I felt it could be something. If it becomes a franchise, it would be a dream project,” he added. The film’s song ‘Pungi’ is already on its way to become one of the biggest hits of the year. The actor says he contributed a lot to the peppy dance number. “There is a sequence in the film when Agent Vinod is being watched in a close circuit camera. We wanted to show the audience that Agent Vinod is capable of humour. People may think that he is a copy of James Bond but he is very Indian. ‘Pungi’ is a lovely song. I made half of the steps myself. It was good fun,” said Saif. AgeNcieS
Peter Facinelli and Jennie garth call it quits
LOS ANGELES cBS
Jennie Garth and Peter Facinelli are the latest celebrity couple headed for splitsville. Their reps confirmed the news releasing a joint statement. The couple said they decided to end their marriage but share “the same deep love and devotion to our children.” Garth and Facinelli said they remain “dedicated to raising our beautiful daughters together.” Facinelli and Garth met on the set of 1996’s ‘An Unfinished Affair’ and wed in January 2001. They have three daughters: Luca, 14, Lola, 9, and Fiona, 5. The 38-year-old Facinelli has had a busy few years professionally, starring on the big screen in the ‘Twilight’ movie installments.
Stephen Hawking to guest star on ‘The Big Bang Theory’
LOS ANGELES AgeNcieS
It’s a dream come true for ‘The Big Bang Theory:’ world renowned British physicist and cosmologist Stephen Hawking will guest star on the sitcom early next month. A press release said Hawking, 70, will “share his beautiful mind with his most ardent admirer, Sheldon Cooper”. “When people would ask us who a ‘dream guest star’ for the show would be, we would always joke and say Stephen Hawking,” executive producer Bill Prady said, “knowing that it was a long shot of astronomical proportions. In fact, we’re not exactly sure how we got him.”
Daniel Radcliﬀe says having girlfriend put end to
‘gay rumours’ loNDoN: Daniel radcliffe says his relationship with girlfriend rosie Coker changed his reputation by putting to rest rumours that he’s gay. The British actor has gone from ‘Harry Potter’ to Hollywood heartthrob thanks to his role in ‘The Woman In Black’. “I had to smile when stories emerged questioning whether I was gay. obviously I knew I wasn’t but people were curiously desperate to suggest I was,” the Daily Express quoted him as saying. “The papers used to say I had a gay face, whatever that is, or a gay voice but it simply wasn’t true. now I have a girlfriend so I’m guessing everyone finally believes me,” he said. radcliffe met Coker, 22, a film production assistant, on the ‘Harry Potter’ set in 2007 but their relationship became widely known only last year. “I decided a long time ago to be open about everything in my life so when photos appeared of me and rosie together I confirmed we were dating and it put an end to the rumours,” he added. AgeNcieS
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16 Foreign News
Thursday, 15 March, 2012
Israel raids Gaza after rockets but shaky truce holds GAZA CITY
SRAELI warplanes conducted two air strikes in northern Gaza early on Wednesday, several hours after militants fired rockets at southern Israel, the military said, despite both sides agreeing a truce. The raids were launched after a Palestinian rocket hit a town in southern Israel, lightly injuring one person, an army spokesman said. Palestinian security sources con-
firmed only one raid which struck a woodyard in northern Gaza City, setting the structure alight but without causing injuries. But a military statement said it had targeted “two terror activity sites in the northern Gaza Strip” in response to rocket fire on southern Israel on Tuesday, which came just hours after Israel and Gaza militant groups had agree to observe a ceasefire. “The targeting of these sites is in response to the rockets fired at Israel over the past day,” it said. The spokesman said eight rockets had exploded in Israeli ter-
ritory throughout Tuesday. Under the terms of a truce agreement which came into force early on Tuesday, both Israel and militants from Islamic Jihad, who were responsible for most of the rocket attacks, had agreed to hold their fire. But there was no indication that either side saw the rocket fire, or the subsequent raids, as putting an end to the Egyptian-brokered agreement. The fighting erupted on Friday when Israel assassinated a militant leader, prompting armed groups to launch a barrage of rockets across the border.
Israel hit back with multiple air strikes, leaving 25 people dead, most of them militants. In a separate development, medics said a seven-year-old Baraka alMughrabi died on Wednesday from injuries sustained in a shooting accident at a funeral of one of the people killed in the Gaza confrontations. Family members told AFP he had been critically injured in the head during funeral in eastern Gaza City when there was gunfire in the air. Emergency services spokesman
Adham Abu Selmiya initially said he was hurt in an Israeli air strike but later corrected his account, blaming it on “wrong information” from the hospital. The fighting erupted on Friday when Israel assassinated a militant leader, prompting armed groups to launch a barrage of rockets across the border, injuring six people. In response, Israel staged multiple air strikes across Gaza, targeting weapons storage and manufacturing facilities, as well as small groups of militants poised to fire rockets over the border.
Bangladesh ferry accident toll rises to 112 KISHORI CHAR Afp
Rescue workers and divers in Bangladesh on Wednesday pulled scores of bodies from the wreckage of a ferry that sank after being hit by an oil barge, as the death toll rose to 112. The packed Shariatpur 1 vessel, carrying about 200 passengers, capsized in the early hours of Tuesday morning after a collision with the barge in the Meghna river, 40 kilometres (25 miles) southeast of the capital Dhaka. Rescue teams completed their search of the ferry after raising it from the river bed and pulling it to the bank, head of the operation navy commander Gulzar Hossain said. “The death toll is now 112,” he told AFP. “Divers have combed through the cabins, decks and every place inside the wreckage and found many bodies.” “We’ve completed our search and most of the missing have been accounted for. Our teams are now scouring the river downstream to see whether any bodies have been washed away.”
Suu Kyi calls for ‘freedom from fear’ in TV speech
HeRAt: An Afghan girl walks with an islamic flag on the outskirts of the city on Wednesday after a memorial ceremony. afp
China’s Wen calls for ‘urgent’ political reforms BEIJING Afp
China could see a repeat of the Cultural Revolution’s deadly chaos without “urgent” political reform, Wen Jiabao warned Wednesday in a dramatic parting shot at his final news conference as premier. Wen is widely considered the most progressive of China’s leaders, but analysts said the comments, at the closing of the annual parliamentary session, were his strongest call yet for political reform in the one-party state. “We must press ahead with both economic structural reform and political structural reform, in particular reform in the leadership system of our party and country,” he told reporters, adding it was an “urgent task”. “Without a successful political structural reform, it is impossible for us to fully institute economic structural reform and the gains we have made in this area may be lost,” he said. “Such historical tragedy as the Cultural Revolution may happen again.” The 1966-1976 Cultural Revolution was a decade of brutal chaos launched by revolutionary leader Mao Zedong to bring down what he perceived as “capitalist” forces. Untold numbers died in the turmoil as students turned on teachers and officials were purged, and that period still haunts the older Chinese generation today.
Ahmadinejad defends record before Iran parliament TEHRAN Afp
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad gave a defiant and at times mocking defence of his economic and political management on Wednesday in an unprecedented interrogation by a largely hostile parliament. “So far no major violation has been proved against my government... If you rate us at less than 100 percent, it would be unfair and cowardice,” Ahmadinejad told lawmakers at the end of a near-hour long reply, which was broadcast on state radio. It was the first time an Iranian president was summoned before parliament to answer questions about his rule since the founding of the Islamic republic in 1979. Ahmadinejad rejected attempts to embarrass him with questions focusing on Iran’s economy, his perceived weakened loyalty to supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and his arguments to loosen up Islamic rules on dress for women and on gender relations. The fact the interrogation took place, however, highlighted Ahmadinejad’s slipping fortunes as he sees out the end of his second and final mandate, which expires next year. Khamenei has over the past year curbed Ahmadinejad in his ambitions to expand power and influence, overruling him when he tried to sack his intelligence minister in 2011 and keeping him on a tight leash on policy
decisions. The 290-member parliament, which already has a majority intent on curtailing the president’s authority, is to have an even smaller pro-Ahmadinejad minority when it is reconstituted at the end of May, following elections early this month. A total 79 MPs signed a petition in February demanding Ahmadinejad appear for the grilling. In the questioning, Ahmadinejad often took a light-hearted tone. When the MP pronouncing the list of questions overran his allotted 15 minutes, the president said he, too, would extend his reply beyond his permitted time. Ahmadinejad at one point mocked a new rule requiring newly elected MPs to have a masters degree or equivalent, saying he thought the questions were drafted by “those who got a masters degree by pushing a button.” The questions “were not so difficult,” he scoffed, adding he could have come up with better ones. The president rejected implications he mismanaged Iran’s economy, which suffers inflation of more than 30 percent, a currency weakened by Western sanctions, and s t a l l e d spending on big infrastruc-
ture projects such as Tehran’s metro (subway) network. Economic growth was strong, he asserted, and higher prices “had nothing to do” with his 2010 decision to scrap subsidies for staples and fuel and replace them with a monthly $35 cash handout to Iranians, he said. As for the weakened currency, “the games played in the foreign exchange and gold market have other reasons, which in due time I will explain to the people,” he said. Ahmadinejad shrugged off a highly publicised incident last year, in which he stayed at home for 11 days after Khamenei reinstated his sacked intelligence minister. “Most people tell me to relax and take care of myself,” he said, adding the business of government had continued unimpeded.
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi called for “freedom from fear” and further moves towards democracy in a leaked video of her first televised campaign speech to be aired Wednesday. “Unless people get human rights with freedom from fear, a democratic system cannot be established and developed,” Suu Kyi said in the video, echoing the title of her well-known political essay “Freedom from fear.” “Only under the rule of law can people really feel the taste of freedom by really getting protection of the law,” she said, ahead of April 1 by-elections in which the pro-democracy icon is standing for parliament for the first time. The speech was censored by Myanmar’s authorities to remove criticism of the former junta, the democracy icon said earlier. Suu Kyi also called for the abolition of laws which have “oppressed the people.” “We have to write and enact laws that can protect the people,” she said. The video, which can be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sR3vv 0DK_jw and on Facebook, will be aired on state television Wednesday evening as part of her party broadcast for her National League for Democracy (NLD) party. Seated in front of an NLD flag, the Nobel peace prize winner also called for a ceasefire to bring an end to the country’s long-running conflicts with ethnic minority guerrilla armies. The appearance on national television of Suu Kyi, who spent much of the past 22 years under house arrest, would have been unthinkable until recently and is a sign of how far the regime has moved with a surprising series of reforms following the end of nearly five decades of outright military rule. Since a nominally civilian government took power early last year, Suu Kyi has been welcomed back into the political mainstream and her NLD is contesting all 48 seats available in the upcoming by-elections.
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Thursday, 15 March, 2012
Saudi executes man who strangled mother RIYADH Afp
Saudi Arabia on Wednesday executed in the kingdom’s east a man convicted of strangling his mother to death, the interior ministry announced in a statement. Masallah al-Shemari, a Saudi, “strangled his mother to death before beheading her,” said the statement carried by official news agency SPA. Shemari was beheaded by the sword in the eastern Saudi port city of Jubail, it said. His beheading bring to three the number of people executed in Saudi Arabia this week and to 14 the number since the beginning of the year, according to an AFP tally based on official reports. Rights group Amnesty International said the kingdom executed 79 people in 2011.
Suicide bomber kills two at Somali presidency MOGADISHU Afp
A suicide bomber blew himself up Wednesday at the compound of Somali President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, killing at least two people, in an attack claimed by Al-Qaeda affiliated Shebab rebels. The bomber detonated an explosive vest at the highly guarded compound, but it was not immediately clear if Sharif, who was in Ethiopia on Tuesday, was back at his residence. The Shebab said one of its volunteers had carried out the attack, claiming 16 people had been killed. “The mujahideen carried out a spectacular martyrdom operation inside the presidential palace of the apostate Somali regime,” the group said in a Twitter post. Police spokesman Abdulahi Hasan Barise said that according to initial reports at least three people had been killed, including the bomber, and that six others had been injured.
Foreign News 17
Anti-Assad front under fire as three break away BEIRUT
HE main opposition coalition stood accused of having become an “accomplice” to the bloodshed in Syria as three prominent figures announced their resignations on Wednesday. A Syrian National Council official, contacted by AFP, said Haitham alMaleh, Kamal al-Labwani and rights activist Catherine al-Telli had quit due to their “disagreements” with the SNC. Labwani, in the decisions announced on their Facebook pages, launched a scathing attack on the coalition formed last August in Istanbul to fight a political battle against the rule of President Bashar al-Assad. He said they resigned because they did not want to be “accomplices to the massacre of the Syrian people through delaying, cheating, lies, one-upmanship and monopolisation of decision-making.” The SNC, he charged, was “linked to foreign agendas which aim to prolong the battle while waiting ... for the country to be dragged into a civil war.” Maleh said he was quitting after the
council’s executive had rejected his efforts to reform and unite opposition ranks, complaining its Paris-based head Burhan Ghalioun was “monopolising opinion.” Lack of unity within the SNC has been one of the main arguments of Western countries to justify their reluctance to arm the rebel forces fighting the Syrian regime which has been faced by a year-long revolt. Telli laid the blame for the SNC’s “inefficiency” on “certain personalities and political trends.” The three figures who broke away had already last month announced the formation of a working group within the SNC to work for “the liberation of Syria,” accusing the bloc of failing to take concrete action. The coalition of Assad’s Islamist, liberal and nationalist opponents has faced criticism for lacking coordination, for delaying its backing for rebel fighters to be armed and over the influence of its Muslim Brotherhood members. Qatar, at the forefront of calls for Assad to stand down, has been urging world powers to recognise the SNC, which is made up of 230 members, almost 100 of whom live inside Syria, as the Syrian people’s “legitimate repre-
Russia rebukes Assad over ‘big reform delay’ MOSCOW Afp
Russia on Wednesday criticised President Bashar al-Assad for his “big delay” in implementing reforms, saying Damascus risked escalating the Syria crisis by failing to take Moscow’s advice. In a rare public rebuke from Moscow to the Syrian leader, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accused Assad of “inertia” and said Russia’s hugely controversial policy on Syria was not aimed at defending his regime. But he also offered little hint of an immediate shift in the policy of Russia, which has irritated the West with its insistence on equally blaming the violence on Syrian opposition rebels as much as the government forces. “The side in the conflict in Syria on which we have influence is the government of Bashar alAssad. Unfortunately, his actions, in practical terms, reflect our advice far from always and far from swiftly,” Lavrov said. In one of his most public displays of frustration with the Syrian leader, Lavrov said Assad’s stabs at reform like ending the one party rule of the Baath party had been welcome but far too late. “Yes he has adopted useful laws to renew the system -- to make it more pluralistic than the one-party system that existed there -- but with a big delay,” he told the lower house parliament the State Duma. “The suggestion to start (national) dialogue is also being made with a delay. Meanwhile the armed resistance is gaining its own dynamic and this inertia can end up engulfing everyone,” Lavrov warned. sentative.” SNC chief Ghalioun said on March 1 that his organisation wanted to organise
weapons deliveries to the rebels and was uniting factions which have taken up arms against the regime.
Azerbaijan says arrests Iran-backed attack plotters BAKU Afp
Azerbaijan has arrested 22 people on suspicion of plotting attacks on the US and Israeli embassies in Baku on behalf of neighbouring Iran, the national security ministry said Wednesday. “Twenty-two citizens of Azerbaijan have been arrested by the national security ministry for cooperating with the Iranian Sepah,” its statement said, referring to the elite Iranian Revolutionary Guards. “On orders of the Sepah they were to commit terrorist acts against the US, Israeli and other Western states’ embassies and the embassies’ employees,” it said.
WARSAW: polish soldiers stand in court as they await the judgement on allegations of war crimes in Afghanistan by poland's top court on Wednesday. afp
28 die in school trip coach crash in Switzerland SIERRE Afp
Twenty-eight people were killed when a coach packed with schoolchildren crashed in southern Switzerland as they returned to Belgium from a skiing holiday, Swiss police said Wednesday. Twenty-two children were killed in the accident, which happened when the bus inexplicably swerved and hit a concrete wall while travelling through a tunnel. Another 24 children were reported injured in the crash, many seriously. The impact of the crash was so violent that the front of the bus was ripped off. Most of those on the bus, from two schools in Belgium, were aged around 12 and were returning from a holiday at the
Val d’Anniviers ski resort. Belgium was plunged into mourning following the news of the crash, and the Swiss parliament observed a minute’s silence for the victims. “This is a tragic day for all of Belgium,” said Belgian Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo. Di Rupo and Swiss President Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf were to visit the crash site later Wednesday. Police and fire services sealed off the scene of the accident, closing the tunnel at both ends, as a fleet of helicopters and ambulances ferried the injured to four hospitals during the night. Fire crews worked for hours to cut free some of the victims from the tangled mass of wreckage. The police commander in the southern Valais canton told reporters early
Wednesday that the tragedy was “unprecedented” and that even seasoned rescuers had been traumatised. Surgeon Jean-Pierre Deslarzes said in one of the hospitals: “All the rescuers were shocked by what they have experienced.” The coach, which was carrying 52 passengers, was travelling towards the Swiss town of Sion on the A9 motorway when the accident happened at 9:15 pm Tuesday (2015 GMT). In Brussels, the Belgian foreign ministry said the coach was one of three hired by a Christian group. The students came from two different schools: in Lommel in northeast Belgium and Heverlee in the centre. “The magnitude of the accident is difficult to digest ... for the moment I am concentrating on the practical aspects,”
said Belgium’s ambassador in Switzerland Jan Luykx who visited the accident site early Wednesday. “The emotional side will come when we meet with the families,” he added. Belgian authorities said were doing everything they could to ensure that the families of the victims were kept informed and treated with dignity, the prime minister’s office said. Foreign Minister Didier Reynders told RTBF radio two army aircraft would be used to fly the relatives to Switzerland. “There are two planes ready to take off,” at the military airport in Melsbroek, near Brussels, he said. “The aim is to accompany the families who want to go to Switzerland,” said Reynders, who was speaking from Viet-
nam where he is on an official visit. A psychological support team was also on hand, he added. “Our first thought was the distress of the families,” he said. Peter Vanvelthoven, the mayor of Lommel in northeast Belgium, where some of the schoolchildren went to school, said they were also trying to help the families. “We have arranged a reception at the school, first for the parents, for the children and for the teachers, too,” he said. At Heverlee, near Louvain, home to some of the other crash victims, the atmosphere was fraught, RTBF reported -- all the more so because it was not yet known who had died and who had survived. The families of the victims were gathered at the SintLambertus School, while the students had been taken to another school.
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thursday, 15 march, 2012
Federer, nadal advance at Indian Wells Page 21
Clarke back for Windies Tests SYDNEY Afp
Injured Australia captain Michael Clarke will be fit to play the first Test against the West Indies, selectors said Wednesday as they named a squad that saw the return of spinner Michael Beer. Clarke was ruled out of the one-day series in the Caribbean that starts Friday after injuring his hamstring in a tri-series clash against Sri Lanka earlier this month. But after intense treatment, he was included in the 16-strong Test squad. "It is anticipated Michael Clarke will be fully recovered and take his place as captain for the first Test match in Barbados beginning on Saturday April 7," said national selector John Inverarity. The skipper later tweeted: "Rehab going really well, should be over in the West Indies in the coming weeks. Can't wait to see the boys." Shane Watson and James Pattinson were both given recalls after their injury-marred Australian summers, but batsman Shaun Marsh remains out of favour after a run of poor form. The biggest surprise was the return of Beer, who is yet to add to his one Test against England in January last year. Following on from the Barbados Test, Australia play a second Test at Port of Spain in Trinidad and a third at Roseau, Dominica. Michael Clarke (capt), Shane Watson (vice-capt), Michael Beer, Ed Cowan, Peter Forrest, Brad Haddin, Ryan Harris, Ben Hilfenhaus, Mike Hussey, Nathan Lyon, James Pattinson, Ricky Ponting, Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade, David Warner
Bangladesh stance surprises Pakistan LAHORE
HE Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is astonished by the new stance of the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) president Mustafa Kamal that Bangladesh would only tour Pakistan if ICC and its government give clearance. Although no senior official in the PCB was willing to comment officially on Kamal's remarks made at a press conference in Dhaka, but insiders said that chairman Zaka Ashraf and chief operating officer Subhan Ahmad are both disappointed by the change in the BCB stance. "As far as getting clearance from its government is concerned, that was a condition from the start and acceptable to the PCB, but this new condition of only touring if the ICC gave clearance and appointed match officials for the series has come out of the blue," an official, who did not want to be named, reported to have said. The official also said that PCB was expecting a positive response from BCB but the whole scenario seems to have changed. "We were very hopeful that Bangladesh would get clearance for the Pakistan tour as their security delegation went back satisfied with the security arrangements and protocol for their team and even gave some suggestions to improve the security net. "We were expecting a positive response from the BCB this week but now it seems the
whole scenario has changed as far as the BCB is concerned and that is shocking to us," he said. Another senior official pointed out that Kamal had said during his visit to Pakistan that BCB wanted to see the revival of international cricket in Pakistan and it would support PCB, but it appears as if the BCB now itself is setting tough conditions for the tour by insisting on ICC approval. Kamal has said in Dhaka that if the ICC wouldn't send its match officials for the tour then there was no way the BCB would take the risk of sending its players to Pakistan. The ICC chief executives committee at its meeting recently had introduced a special dispensation for the series that would allow "non-neutral match officials" for bilateral series in "exceptional circumstances", should it find it unsafe to appoint its officials for a series. "We won't go if everything doesn't happen within the standard
practice, which is the allocation of match referees, umpires and all things by the ICC," said Kamal in Dhaka. "That (allowing officials from the competing teams) means we are not going there because ICC also has responsibility. If they don't take responsibility, then on what basis can I send my players," he added. Sources in the PCB said that the Bangla Board is also unhappy with the ICC stance on the tour. "The ICC had appointed a special task force to look at ways to revive international cricket in Pakistan and also recommend security protocol for future tours. Now they themselves are saying they can't send their match officials so what purpose has this task force served. "The ICC is not even willing to send a team to inspect the security protocol we are putting in place for the Bangladesh series. How does the ICC then expect international teams to tour Pakistan?" a source said. A PCB official said they would wait and see the response from the BCB before making any official comments. "Let us see first what happens but yes things don't look good for the planned series right now." Pakistan agreed to have just three ODIs in the series and play it at Karachi and Lahore for security purposes. Interestingly, the PCB and BCB have not had very cordial relations since 2009 when the ICC moved the World Cup matches from Pakistan and former PCB chairman Ijaz Butt clashed with Kamal over the refusal of Bangladesh to support Pakistan in the ICC meeting.
Sri Lankaâ€™s Angelo Mathews out of Asia Cup DHAKA Afp
Sri Lanka suffered a blow on Wednesday when influential all-rounder Angelo Mathews was ruled out for the rest of the Asia Cup due to a calf injury. The 24-year-old will return home to Colombo to get fit in time for the twoTest series against England starting on March 26, captain Mahela Jayawardene said. "Angelo has not pulled through fitness tests well, so we made a call to send him back home," Jayawardene said ahead of Thursday's crucial match against Pakistan. "He will try to get ready for the Test matches. The selectors back home will decide and send a replacement for us." Mathews, a right-arm seamer and hardhitting batsman lower down the order, had also missed the tri-series finals in Australia earlier this month due to the same problem. Jayawardene said it was unclear if pace spearhead Lasith Malinga will play against Pakistan after he missed Tuesday's opening match against India. "Malinga played through injury in the final two matches of the tri-series in Australia, so we decided to give him a break against India," the skipper said. "We will take a call on him after he bowls in the nets today." Sri Lanka, who lost to India by 50 runs, will need to beat both Pakistan and Bangladesh in their remaining games to stay in contention for the final on March 22.
Pakistan aim to extend winning run DHAKA AgeNcieS
Pakistan will be up against an injury hit Sri Lanka in a crucial Asia Cup encounter on Thursday in Mirpur. On current form, both Sri Lanka and Pakistan holds promise a keenly-contested match. Both sides play an exciting brand of cricket, have batsmen with equal dollops of flair and solidity, and bowlers capable of winning matches on their own. However, it is Pakistan who will be a bit more confident of victory, and not just because they beat Bangladesh on Sunday. Pakistan have come up on top in the last three matches played against Sri Lanka in fact they have won seven of nine matches going back to August 2009 - and that will give them confidence of pulling one more over the opposition. But that is not to say they don't have worries. Pakistan under-performed with the bat in the tournament opener, but rallied with the ball and - with some help from Bangladesh's batsmen - won the match by 21 runs. Their batting was problematic. After a 135-run opening stand, the next five batsmen contributed 45 runs and Pakistan needed Umar Gul's 39 from 25 balls to get them past 250 when once they looked on course for 300. Against a stronger bowling attack they cannot expect to get away with such sloppy batting. The veterans Younis Khan and Misbahul-Haq need to be counted for as well. With the ball, Gul remains the spearhead in conditions where reverse-swing can be attained with the semi-old ball. That, allied with the presence of Shahid Afridi and Saeed Ajmal, poses a big threat to a Sri Lankan side that struggled to cope with the likes of Irfan Pathan and Vinay Kumar in the latter half of their chase on Tuesday. Sri Lanka, after a fine run in the recent CB Series, were also decidedly average with the bat against India on Tuesday despite having a batting line-up that extended to No. 9. Fifties to Mahela
Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara aside, there was little oomph in the batting order and that was the deciding factor in a 50-run defeat. The shot selection was questionable, with Jayawardene admitting his attempted dab to third man, with Sri Lanka 124 for 1 in the 19th over, opened the gates for a collapse. Sri Lanka's fielding too was lacklustre; there were two dropped catches and several run-out chances missed. The bowling also failed to put a check on the flow of runs in the death overs, where MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina looted 78 runs in 43 balls. But for the sheer unpredictability of Pakistan, both the teams seem quite a match for each other on paper. Even Pak-
istan has a long batting order to boast off and they have the destructive Shahid Afridi, who can snatch a game but, like his team, is not consistent enough. He can be the game-changer one day but can also be a complete letdown the next. But Pakistan can bank on his legbreak bowling which comes in handy almost always. Their openers notched up good scores against Bangladesh but the experienced middle-order comprising the likes of Younis Khan and Misbah-ul Haq failed to fire. The bowling too was unimpressive against a side which is considered a minnow at the international level. Pace spearhead Umar Gul was expensive and
would have to get his act together quickly as his form is crucial to the team's chances. Pakistan are unlikely to tinker with their XI for this match. These are the players who have scripted plenty of success over the past year and there really is no need to shake things up. But getting runs from Umar Akmal (who has one fifty in his last five innings), Asad Shafiq (one fifty in seven innings) and Afridi is necessary. As for Sri Lanka, the news that their allrounder and vice-captain Angelo Mathews has been ruled out of the Asia Cup is a big blow. Mathews' calf injury has cut short his tournament before it could even begin, and with the absence of
Thissara Perera the Sri Lankans are struggling to find a capable player in the middle order as well as a bowler. This means that Chamara Kapugedera, despite a first-ball duck against India, should play. The team will also wait eagerly to see if Lasith Malinga is fit to play. If Malinga he is, Suranga Lakmal will likely sit out. Their bowling attack, sans Malinga, came a cropper on a placid track and allowed the Indians to plunder runs in the lung-opener. Malinga is expected to be back for the match after being ironically left out on Tuesday due to his tendency to concede runs against India. On the batting front too, there are concerns as the chase went haywire after skipper Mahela Jayawardene's dismissal. The explosive Tillakaratne Dilshan would hold the key to a big score and the fourtime champions would hope he fires after a rather disappointing start to the tournament. For a batting order that runs till number nine, the effort against India was not good enough. "Three-hundred, I thought, was gettable on this wicket," Jayawardene said after the defeat last night. "We batted really well but we made quite a few mistakes [too], and that has probably cost us the game." What also hurt Sri Lanka was the absence of their two attacking all-rounders -- Angelo Mathews and Thisara Perera -both of whom are out injured. teAmS (fRom): pAKiStAN: Misbah-ul-Haq (captain), Abdur rehman, Aizaz Cheema, Asad Shafiq, Azhar Ali, Hammad Azam, Mohammad Hafeez, nasir Jamshed, Saeed Ajmal, Sarfraz Ahmed (wk), Shahid Afridi, Umar Akmal, Umar gul, Wahab riaz, younis Khan SRi lANKA: Mahela Jayawardene (capt), Angelo Mathews, Dinesh Chandimal, Tillakaratne Dilshan, nuwan Kulasekara, Suranga Lakmal, Farveez Maharoof, Lasith Malinga, Thisara Perera, Seekkuge Prasanna, Kumar Sangakkara, Sachithra Senanayake, Upul Tharanga, Lahiru Thirimanne.
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sports 19 PIA, Wapda over Mani sees ‘fixing’ the top in oDI Cup roots in India Thursday, 15 March, 2012
Pakistan cricketers to get pay boost LAHORE StAff RepoRt
Pakistan's contracted players are set to get a pay raise of around 25 to 35 per cent when the new central contracts list is announced. "Intikhab Alam has been given the task of recommending an increase in pay scale keeping in mind players' performances and also the Board's financial position. He has tentatively recommended an increase of 25 to 35 per cent," said a senior PCB official. The good news for the players is that not only will they get pay rise in their central contracts but also in their present match fees paid out on slab system. "The pay rise will definitely be incorporated in the central contracts but there are 90 per cent chances of this happening in the match fees as well," the official reported to have said. He said Intikhab would shortly send his recommendations to the PCB chairman Zaka Ashraf, who will give the final approval. "The matter has already been formally discussed in the governing council meeting where the feeling was that after three years, the players deserve a pay increase," the source added. Pakistani players are paid out monthly salaries in range of 250,000, 175,000 and 125,000 in their central contracts awarded in three categories while the senior-most player earns around 350,000 and 300,000 as Test match and ODI fees. The PCB also awards special win bonuses beside cash awards for individual performances while also paying out monthly stipends to the 20 best players of each regional association team in different categories for six months of the season.
Wahdat Eaglets down Sanda gym LAHORE StAff RepoRt
Wahdat Eaglets has defeated Sanda Gym by 83 runs in the match of LCCA Super cricket league played at Wahdat colony ground on Wednesday. Fine century by Abdul Waheed and equally good bowling by Imran Ali Shah were the main feature of the match. ScORES: Wahdat Eaglets 291 in 39 overs. Abdul Waheed 120, M Atari 38, Zaheer Siddiq 32, M Asghar 29, HAris NAzar 24. Rehman Tariq 3/15, M Yousuf 2/32, Zeeshan 1/56, Qadeer Khan 1/20. Sanda Gym 208 in 32.3 overs. Tariq Mehmood 70, Zeeshan Ahmed 33, M Yunis 26, Rehman Tariq 15. Imran Ali Shah 5/46, Qaiser Ashraf 2/33, Zaheer Siddiq 2/39. Meanwhile, Aamir Memorial club has advanced when they outplay Ghaziabad sports by 7 wickets in the LCCA Super cricket League match played at Itefaq Hospital ground on Wednesday. Scores: Ghaziabad Sports 158 in 36.2 overs. M Asif 52, Azam 29. Syed Waqas 4/18, Hamza 2/19, Zohaib Akram 2/27. Aamir MEmorial club 159/3 in 21.2 overs. Irfan HAmeed 60, Bilal Haneef 28, Hamza 23*(no). Waseem Ashraf 2/24.
ORMER ICC president Ehsan Mani believes that India will have to play a "significant" role in fighting corruption in the sport and has urged the cricket boards across the globe to work in tandem with their governments to eradicate the menace. Mani said while ICC's role was limited on this issue, India can play a major role by making betting legal in the country. "They (ICC) don't have the authority to set up the sting operations in any country so the responsibility (should be) laid on the individual boards to follow up. The problem is the illegal bookies in the
subcontinent - most of them are from India and some are in Pakistan. They work in a grey area where there is no control and monitoring," he said. "These problems will never finish until the Indian government finds a way to regulate illegal book-making. "I have seen the ECB showing concern, asking players to come and tell them what they know after Westfield's sentencing. I think it's the member boards who have to step up to engage the law enforcement agencies to work with them to clean up cricket," Mani was quoted as saying by a website. Mani's statement came close on the heels of a sting operation carried out by a British newspaper on a Delhi-based bookie, who claimed Indian bookmakers are fixing the re-
sults of England county games and international matches and they are using a Bollywood actress as a honey trap to recruit players. The report also alleged that India's semifinal match against Pakistan in last year's World Cup was also rigged. Mani said the only way to get rid of the menace was to eradicate it from the grassroot level. "Every time it is the cricketers who are under the radar. The ones who corrupt the players are somehow never punished. "One was hoping that the conviction of three Pakistanis and one English cricketer would send out a strong message and frighten players, but this I think is not going to work. In the long run, it is the root-cause that has to be dealt with," the Pakistani said.
Whatmore back on familiar ground DWAIPAYAN DATTA Talk about a cricket coach who specialises in the subcontinent and Dav Whatmore immediately springs to mind. He was the coach of Sri Lanka when they won the World Cup in 1996. He was guiding Bangladesh when they beat India to make the quarterfinals of the 2007 World Cup. He played a crucial role in moulding the India U-19 team led by Virat Kohli that won the U-19 World Cup in 2008, and now he is in charge of a Pakistan team that is looking to find its feet yet again. In between, there was an unsuccessful two-year tenure with Kolkata Knight Riders, but all that is history now. In the here and now, Whatmore is the first one to enter the Pakistan nets at the Sher-e-Bangla Stadium and after a gruelling three-hour session, will be the last one to leave. "He is really a professional. He knows what coaching is all about. We are enjoying the stint under him," former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi told TOI after a practice session on Tuesday. Whatmore has merely been a week into the Pakistan job and Afridi is already feeling the difference. "He is having some very productive sessions with us. I am sure he will be able to recreate the success that he has done with other teams," Afridi added. The Australian himself is jolly and jovial, as usual. Not too many coaches would have come to Pakistan in the present political situation, but Whatmore knows this is his playground. He knows how things work in the subcontinent and is ready to complete a rare circle in a coach's life
DHAKA: Pakistan's coach Dav Whatmore talks to captain Misbah-ul-Haq during a team training session at the Sher-e-Bangla national Stadium. afp that started way back in the mid-90s when he took over as Sri Lanka coach. "It feels good. But now my team is Pakistan and we have got some decent cricket brains in the team. My objective is to interact with them and pick the right combination which will make us a competitive side," Whatmore had said ahead of the Asia Cup. The 57-year-old Aussie has worked with different teams and feels
this Pakistan side "has the right blend of youth and experience that is essential to be successful". "We have done well in Tests against England but things didn't go well in ODIs. Here, our objective is to win," the coach added. Even as he says "I don't look back too often, I look forward," the Aussie probably has a special place in his heart for Bangladesh, the venue for the Asia Cup.
PIA and Wapda had an identical wins in the fourth round of the One-day National Cup 2011-2012 Division-I here on Wednesday. PIA won the National ODI Cup match by three wickets against Habib Bank while WAPDA got the similar margin victory against NBP. In the other matches, State Bank won by two runs over ZTBL, Faisalabad Wolves beat Sargodha by five wickets, Abbottabad Falcons had a two-wicket win against Rawalpindi and Sialkot Stallions thrashed Islamabad by eight wickets. ScoReS: gRoup A At gaddafi Stadium, Lahore: Habib Bank 242-9 in 50 overs (Taufiq Umar 28, 47 balls, 3 x4s, Ahmed Shahzad 42, 4 x4s, 60 balls, Aftab Khan 28, 43 balls, Hasan raza 56, 59 balls, 6 x4s, Kamran Hussain 21, Shoaib Malik 2-42, Zia-ul-Haq 3-49) PIA 243-7 in 49.4 overs (Shoaib Malik 44, 61 balls, 3 x4s, Faisal Iqbal 107*, 106 balls, 8 x4s, 2 x6s, Anwar Ali 24*, Fahad Masood 2-45, Aftab Khan 2-18) result: PIA won by three wickets. Toss: PIA, Umpires: Ijaz Ahmed & Qaiser Waheed, referee: Aziz-urrehman. At Iqbal Stadium, Faisalabad: State Bank 239 in 48.2 overs (rameez raja 51, 25 balls, 4 x4s, 4 x6s, rameez Aziz 67, 97 balls, 5 x4s, gulraiz Sadaf 56, 76 balls, 5 x4s, Hasan Mahmood 18, Mohammad Khalil 2-30, Abdul razzaq 5-30) ZTBL 237 in 50 overs (Abdul razzaq 55, 79 balls, 5 x4s, Imran nazir 49, 39 balls, 4 x4s, 2 x6s, Zohaib Khan 41, 58 balls, 5 x4s, Hasan Mahmood 2-49, Adnan rasool 3-26) result: State Bank won by two runs. Toss: State Bank, Umpires: Saleem Badar & Tahir Shah, referee: Musaddaq rasool. At LCCA ground, Lahore: national Bank 156 in 44.3 overs (Khurram Manzoor 16, Aqeel Anjum 17, Fawad Alam 52, 75 balls, 4 x4s, rashid riaz 30, 38 balls, 1 x4s, Mohammad Talha 13, Azharullah 2-16, Imran Khan 2-35, Zulfiqar Baber 3-27) WAPDA 158-7 in 45.1 overs (riffatullah 47, 85 balls, 5 x4s, Aamer Sajjad 25, Ali Azmat 41*, 84 balls, 4 x4s, Uzair-ul-Haq 2-37, Qaiser Abbas 2-29) result: WAPDA won by three wickets. Toss: national Bank, Umpires: nadeem ghouri & ghaffar Kazmi, referee: Saadat Ali. gRoup B At Jinnah Stadium, Sialkot: Islamabad Leopards 151 in 45.3 overs (Faizan riaz 71, 116 balls, 7 x4s, 7 x4s, 1 x6s, naeem Anjum 31, 46 balls, 4 x4s, Mohammad Imran 233, Atif Jabbar 3-33, Mohammad Azhar 2-30, Bilal Asif 2-31) Sialkot Stallions 155-2 in 31.5 overs (Mohammad yasin 84*, 96 balls, 10 x4s, Mansoor Amjad 41*, 56 balls, 3 x4s, 1 x6s) result: Sialkot Stallions won by eight wickets. Toss: Sialkot Stallions, Umpires: riazuddin & Kamal Marchant, referee: Muhammad Anees. At Diamond ground, Islamabad: rawalpindi rams 2678 in 50 overs (Shoaib Ahmed Minhas 34, 50 balls, 4 x4s, Umer Waheed 62, 89 balls, 3 x4s, Baber naeem 38, 3 x4s, 52 balls, yasim Murtaza 68, 59 balls, 6 x4s, 1 x6s, Mohammad Zeeshan 2-50, nabiullah 2-36, Shakeel Shah 2-37) Abbottabad Falcons 271-8 in 49.4 overs (Hammad Ali Shah 31, ramiz Ahmed 46, 57 balls, 5 x4s, 2 x6s, Almar Afridi 50, 73 balls, 2 x4s, raiz Kail 47, 55 bals, 3 x4s, Khalid Usman 50, 23 balls, 8 x4s, 1 x6s, nasir Malik 258, Mohammad nawaz 3-66) result: Abbottabad Falcons won by two wickets. Toss: rawalpindi rams, Umpires: Ihstham-ul-Haq & Ahmed Shahab, referee: Muhammad Javed. At Sports Stadium, Sargodha: Karachi Dolphins 154 in 41.4 overs (Khalid Latif 79, 100 balls, 7 x4s, 1 x6s, naseer Akram 3-27, Waqas Masood 4-41, Aqeel Ahmed 2-19) Faisalabad Wolves 154-5 in 39.3 overs (Hasan Mahmood 54, 63 balls, 9 x4s, Asif Hussain 33, 56 balls, 4 x4s) result: Faisalabad Wolves won by five wickets. Toss: Faisalabad Wolves, Umpires: rasheed Bhatti & Iqbal Butt, referee: Arshad Parvaiz.
Sports Festival to conclude with 66km cycle race on 17th LAHORE StAff RepoRt
LAHorE: rana Mashood, deputy speaker Punjab Assembly and Usman Anwar, director general Sports Board Punjab, during a press conference. STaff phOTO
The cycling competitions will mark the conclusion of the Punjab Sports Festival 2012 that would end in a colourful closing ceremony at Hazori Bagh on the evening of March 17. Addressing a press conference here at the Sports Board Punjab academy hall, Rana Mashood, deputy speaker Punjab Assembly said that the day will start with an ordinary cycle race of 22 kilometres and will be followed by a 66km professional cycle race while there will be a separate race for the female cyclists. Usman Anwar, director general sports Punjab was also present on the occasion to highlight the salient features of the final day and the closing ceremony. Rana Mashood informed that around 2500 persons have registered for the races and more than 300 females has
shown their desire to paddle off in the last event of the festival. DG sports informed that he had a detailed meeting with all the stakeholders to check the preparations and foolproof security systems at cycle race venue and closing ceremony going to be held at Hazoori Park. Rana Mashood chaired the meeting while Commissioner Jawad Rafique Malik, DCO Rahat Cheema, Secretary Sports Allah Bakhsh and DG Sports Usman Anwar finalized the arrangements. Rana Mashod said that the safety, security and first aid, watering points were reassured during the meeting. “It has been decided that the over heads should be used for the public and media to view and cover the races. He appreciated the positive response of the media towards the Punjab Sports Festival 2012 to make it popularise in the world. "There will be two cycling events, or-
dinary cycling of 22 KM and professional cycling of 66 KM both for male and female separately", he said. He showed his satisfaction and pleasure over the registered cyclists above 2500 males while 300 females for both cycling events and still the booking is going on. He continued: "The winners of the finals will be given the cash prizes by Chief Minister Punjab Mian Shahbaz Sharif." He added: "A competition for the winners of all finals will be held later on to hunt the talent for international level events". He further informed that the winner of the professional race will be given Rs 200,000, Rs 150,000 and Rs 100,000 while the ordinary race winners will be awarded Rs 50,000, Rs 35,000 and Rs 30,000 for the first three position winners while some other prizes will be given to top cyclists other than the winners.
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20 sports Tiger turns to Shaq to help sell newest video game
Thursday, 15 March, 2012
INDIAN WELLS: Roger Federer of Switzerland returns a shot to Milos Raonic of Canada during their singles third round match at the BNP Paribas Open. AFp
NEW YORK Afp
Tiger Woods, the injured golf star coming off record sales for his video game last year with help from the Masters, has enlisted ex-NBA star Shaquille O'Neal's help in selling the newest version. Woods posted a Twitter link on Tuesday to unveil a two-minute video of himself and the massive retired basketball star exchanging kung fu moves before making shots in hyping 'Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13 -- Duel of the Masters'. "Watch me do battle with @Shaq using the ancient method of Golf-Fu," Woods posted on his Twitter website. Woods, a 14-time major champion chasing the all-time record of 18 major titles won by Jack Nicklaus, and 'Shaq' used the Xbox 360 Kinect motion sensor to make game swings after elaborate kung fu-style moves. The video game duel between 'Crimson Cat' Woods and 'Swinging Giant' O'Neal is a nod to older kung fu movies and not unfamiliar to O'Neal, who had a 1990s video game called 'Shaq-Fu'. Woods, whose new video game for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 goes on sale on March 27, had the strongest opening sales for any of his video games last year when Augusta National Golf Club allowed its course to be measured and portrayed in a video game -- an unprecedented move for the famed pine-tree-laden lay-out.
Pessi register big win in Challenge Polo Cup LAHORE StAff RepoRt
Pessi on Wednesday registered a big win in the Zong Challenge Polo Cup 2012 match here at the Lahore Polo Club ground. The Tiwanas - Atif Yar and Ahmed Ali – were the masterminds of their 8-5 win over Diamond Paints, which had its share of goals through Shah Shamyl Alam (three goals) while Mir Shoaib Ahmad and Hassan Ali Farrukh had one goals each. As of Tiwanas they added four goals each in their limelight on the day. Diamond Paints stated the match on a positive note but Pessi took the charge just before the close of the first chukker and never allowed Diamond Paints take control of the match.
England gear up for tough Sri Lanka test COLOMBO Afp
England will look for a good work-out when they prepare for the two-Test series against Sri Lanka with a practice match against a local team in Colombo from Thursday. The three-day match will be followed by another warm-up game from March 20-22 before the first Test opens in Galle on March 26. The second Test will be played in Colombo from April 3. England, the top-ranked Test side, must adapt quickly to the stifling heat
and slow wickets if they are to avoid a repeat of the embarrassing 3-0 rout by Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates. Skipper Andrew Strauss said he expected conditions to be tougher in Sri Lanka than in Dubai and Abu Dhabi where Pakistan's spinners repeatedly destroyed his batting order. "The conditions here are very different to Dubai," said the 35-year-old, who has not played a Test match in Sri Lanka before. "There's a lot more humidity and the heat is much more of a factor out here." "Hopefully once the Tests start, we'll be very much on top of it." The
left-handed opener is himself struggling for runs, having gone 14 Tests without a century. Strauss has passed 50 just once in his last seven innings. "You always want to be in good form, you always want to lead from the front," the skipper said. "I was quite encouraged by how I started to play towards the end of the Pakistan series. "I need to build on that in the two Tests." Sri Lanka's Test wicket-keeper Prasanna Jayawardene will lead the home team in the first practice match, while another international Thilina Kandamby will captain in the other game.
Pakistan enjoy good record against Sri Lanka stats corner S. PERVEZ QAISER After beating Bangladesh in their opening match, Pakistan will take on Sri Lanka in the third match of the 11th Asia Cup at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur on Thursday (March 15). This will be the 127th match between the two teams in limited-overs international and 12th in Asia Cup. Pakistan have a good record against Sri Lanka in previous ODIs played between the two teams. They have won 75 and lost 47 in 126 previous encounters. Four matches ended without a result which includes one tied match. Even in Bangladesh, Pakistan have a good record against Sri Lanka with two wins and a loss. Sri Lanka's overall record against Pakistan is not that good but they have good record in Asia Cup. The Islanders have won eight and lost three in 11 matches against Pakistan It is hard to beat Pakistan in day and night encounters for Sri Lanka. Pakistani have won 26 and lost 18 in 46 matches played against the Islanders
under lights. The remaining two matches were abandoned which include a tie match. In last 10 matches played between the two teams, Pakistan have won seven while Sri Lanka achived victory in three encounters. Pakistan achieved a three-wicket victory over Sri Lanka when the two teams met last time in a limited overs international match at Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi on November 23, 2011.
HIgHESt INNINgS tOtALS: Pakistan: 371-9 in 50 overs at Nairobi 0410-1996; Sri Lanka : 349-9 in 50 overs at Singapore 02-04-1996 LOWESt INNINgS tOtALS: Pakistan : 75 in 22.5 overs at Lahore 24-012009; Sri Lanka : 78 in 16.5 overs at Sharjah 17-04-2002 HIgHESt MAtcH AggREgAtE: 664 runs for 19 wkts in 99.4 overs at Singapore 02-04-1996 LOWESt MAtcH AggREgAtE:
SuMMARy OF ONE-DAy ENcOuNtERS:
At In England In India In Emirates In Sri Lanka In Bangladesh In Australia In Singapore In Pakistan In South Africa In Kenya In Morocco Total: Day/Night Last 10 matches Asia Cup
PLAyED 3 7 40 28 3 5 3 28 5 2 2 126 46 10 11
PAK WON 3 4 25 13 2 4 1 16 4 2 1 75 26 7 3
S.L WON 3 14 13 1 1 1 12 1 1 47 18 3 8
ABDN 2 1 3 1 -
tIED 1 1 1 -
245 runs for 13 wkts in 71.5 overs at Colombo 21-07-2004 HIgHESt INDIVIDuAL ScORES: Pakistan : 129 Moahmmed Yousuf at Sharjah 17-04-2002; Sri Lanka : 137* Tillakaratne Dilshan at Lahore 24-012009 BESt BOWLINg PERFORMANcES: Pakistan : 6-26 Waqar Younis at Sharjah 29-04-1990; Sri Lanka : 5-17 Sanath Jayasuriya at Lahore 16-10-2004 BIggESt MARgINS OF VIctORy: Pakistan: 217 runs at Sharjah 17-04-2002 9 wickets at Gujarnawala 29-09-1995 9 wickets at Colombo 03-08-1994 9 wickets at Nairobi 08-10-2000 Sri Lanka: 234 at Lahore 24-01-2009 8 wickets at Sharjah 17-10-1995 8 wickets at Lahore 05-11-1997 8 wickets at Colombo 12-09-2002 NARROWESt MARgINS OF VIctORy: Pakistan : 6 runs at Lucknow 27-10-1989 2 wickets at Sharjah 02-11-1993 Sir Lanka : 9 runs at Sharjah 12-042002 3 wickets at Perth 31-12-1989 tIED MAtcH: Pakistan (196 in 49.1)Sri Lanka (196 in 49.4) at Sharjah 15-101999.
PLTA appoints Tayyab as assistant coach LAHORE StAff RepoRt
The Punjab Lawn Tennis Association appointed former Pakistan Davis Cup player Tayyab Iftikhar as assistant coach at its coaching centre at Bagh-iJinnah to assist national coach Rashid Malik for the development of the sport in the province. He will be working on the game’s development with Malik at the Punjab Coaching Center Complex Bagh-e-Jinnah. Tayyab, who is the uncle of Pakistan’s tennis ace Aisamul Haq, is father of upcoming star and Davis Cupper Samir Iftikhar. A foreign country educated, Tayyab has a vast international experience in the game’s coaching. It was under his guidance that his 19 years old son Samir progress in the World Ranking at ITF Junior Circuit from 1300th to 250th in record eight months. Samir became the second Junior from Pakistan since 1998 after Aisam to win four ITF Junior World Ranking titles in 2010 and on domestic circuit the same year he caused sensation by beating Pakistan number one Aqeel Khan after 10 years. In 2011, Samir continued his winning spree and powered his way into Pakistan Davis Cup team. Samir is currently in USA on Tennis scholarship. PLTA secretary Ahmad Baksh said: “It is great to have the services of the Ex Davis Cupper who is well-educated and has strong tennis background with international experience which will help PLTA to find talented youngsters from the ongoing talent hunt competitions and groom them to reach at international levels. Tayyab, however, thanked PLTA President Rao Iftikhar and Ahmad Baksh for giving him the opportunity.
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Thursday, 15 March, 2012
Federer, Nadal move in Indian Wells Tennis INDIAN WELLS Afp
AFAEL Nadal breezed into the fourth round at Indian Wells on Tuesday where he was joined by Roger Federer who had to dig deep to fend off rising star Milos Raonic in three sets. Where world number three Federer had to come from behind to beat Canada's Raonic 6-7 (4/7), 6-2, 6-4, his Spanish rival cruised by Marcel Granollers 6-1, 64, to extend his winning run against his compatriots to 10 matches. Nadal will face Alexandr Dolgopolov in the fourth round of the hardcourt tournament in the California desert. In the women's draw, defending champion Caroline Wozniacki saw her bid for back-to-back titles fail as she was dumped out 6-3, 6-2 in the night match by former world number one Ana Ivanovic. Federer also appeared to be facing an early exit after losing the first set to Raonic. But the 30-year-old Swiss, who won three straight Indian Wells titles from 2004-2006, came back to take the next two sets and continue a strong run of form that has seen him take consecutive wins in Rotterdam and Dubai. Federer, who was facing the 21-yearold Raonic for the first time, said he had a difficult time adjusting early to what the hard-serving Canadian. "It was a difficult match," Federer said. "I have never played him before. He has probably seen me play a whole lot on TV which helps him out a bit." Federer hammered 10 aces and won 88 percent of his first-serve points in the two hour, seven minute match, and afterwards expressed pride in the comeback. "I hung in there and played great in the second set. The third set was close and I am glad to be moving on in this tournament," he said. Federer broke Raonic in the seventh
Top seed Victoria Azarenka, who is riding a season long 20-0 win streak, says she's not about to take her foot off the accelerator anytime soon. Despite her success, which has seen her rocket to the No 1 ranking in the world this year for the first time in her career, Azarenka says there is no easing up and when she gets on the practice courts it is all about trying new things and getting better every day. "If I relax my butt but a little bit, someone is going to come along and kick it," said Azarenka following her dominating 6-3, 6-1 win over Julia Goerges at the WTA Indian Wells tennis tournament on
Tuesday. Azarenka struggled in her opening match at Indian Wells, barely scraping past rising German star Mona Barthel but then raised her game to another level with a straight-set victory over former US Open champ Svetlana Kuznetsova. She has won 20 consecutive matches for the best start to a WTA Tour season in nine years when Serena Williams went on a 21-0 streak. Martina Hingis has the all-time Tour record of 37 straight
PTV Asia Cup: Pakistan V Sri Lanka 01:00PM
navy, Army, PAF show supremacy in KPT Cup KARACHI StAff RepoRt
Navy, Army and PAF showed their supremacy in the KPT National Football Challenge Cup-2012, Karachi on Wednesday at Karachi. All the three service teams won their matches with full authority leaving their rivals trampled to defeats. Navy beat National Youth B 2-0 at the PST Ground of KPT Stadium, Karachi and the winning goals were scored by forward Asif Mahmood in the 20th minute while midfielder Abdul Haq scored in the 60th minute. Army routed PPWD by four goals in the second ground of the Peoples Football Stadium. The starts for Army win were midfielder Akhter Hussain (39 minute), forward Imran Hussain (4th minute), forward Ansar Abbas (53 minute) and forward Muhammad Jameel (87th minute). PAF beat Railway by solitary goals that came from defender Sher Ali in the 82nd minute.
InDIAn WELLS: rafael nadal of Spain hits a backhand as he defeats Marcel granollers of Spain at the Indian Wells Tennis. afp game of the third set to go up 4-3. With Raonic serving at 30-30 Federer dug low to snag a 219kmph (136mph) service return, which Raonic then failed to get back over the net. The Swiss won the game on the next point with a backhand passing shot down the line. Federer then took his first match point when Raonic pounded a forehand into the net in front of the 15,000-strong crowd at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Raonic, who already has two titles
this season, showed why he is considered one of the rising stars on the ATP Tour, earning the praise of his opponent. "He is going to be a future top 10 player and a whole lot better. He did very well tonight under pressure," Federer said. Despite the loss, Raonic said he still enjoyed being on centre court against the 16-time Grand Slam winner. "I was there competing with what people say was the greatest player of alltime," Raonic said.
practice makes perfect for top seed azarenka INDIAN WELLS
WAtch It LIve
match wins. Asked if she has a chance of stretching her win streak to 41 matches like men's world number one Novak Djokovic did last year, Azarenka said, "I am definitely going to try." Azarenka celebrated her win over Goerges with an ace on the final point of the 69-minute match on centre court. Goerges was only able to hold serve twice in the match and won just 33 percent of her first serve points. Azarenka said her success this year is because she is healthy and in better shape than
previous years. "The thing that stands out is my physical condition and I'm pleased with that," said Azarenka who started the year by winning the Australian Open. "But I feel like there is so much more room to improve on that. I'm trying to keep pushing and pushing myself." Azarenka advances to the quarter-finals, where she will play number five-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska, who won her match when Jamie Hampton retired with a cramping problem in the third set. Azarenka and Radwanska have met 11 times previously and this will be their fourth contest in 2012. Azarenka won all three matches this year and has an eight to three lead in career meetings dating back to 2006 at Wimbledon.
Indian blinds overpower Pakistan LAHORE StAff RepoRt
India overpowered Pakistan by 5 wickets in the 1st ODI of the thee match series being played at SPIC YMCA Chennai. India won the toss and put Pakistan into bat. Pakistan were bowled out on the last ball of the stipulated 40th over posting 352 runs. Muhammad Fayaz was the top scorer with unbeaten 96 runs while Muhammad Akram made 73 runs. Shekhar and Ajay Reddy took two wickets each. In reply, India achieved the target in 37th over for the loss of 5 wickets. Ganesh was the leading scorer with brilliant 156 runs and well supported by Ajay who scored 76 runs. Zeshan Abbasi took two wickets while Yasir and Jameel shared a wicket each. Ganesh was declared the Man of the match. India with this win, gained 1-0 lead in the three match ODI series. The second ODI of the series will be played on March 16 at the same venue.
Ana Ivanovic beats Wozniacki at Indian Wells INDIAN WELLS Afp
InDIAn WELLS: Ana Ivanovic of Serbia returns a shot during her match against Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark at the BnP Paribas open. afp
Ana Ivanovic of Serbia upset defending champion Caroline Wozniacki 6-3, 62 in the fourth round of the WTA/ATP Indian Wells tournament on Tuesday. The 15th seeded Ivanovic advances to the quarterfinals where she will face Frenchwoman Marion Bartoli, who beat Lucie Safarova 6-1, 6-4.
InDIAn WELLS: Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark returns a shot during her match against Ana Ivanovic of Serbia at the BnP Paribas open. afp
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Thursday, 15 March, 2012
Shahbaz has heard enough, will sue habib now! LAHORE StAff RepoRt
Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has categorically rejected all accusations levelled against the Sharifs by former Mehran Bank president Younas Habib and announced suing him for taking his party’s leadership’s name in the Mehrangate scandal. “Everybody knows that a powerful man sitting in Islamabad is behind the plot and Younis Habib is being used as an instrument,” Shahbaz said in a hurriedly-called press conference at Model Town on Wednesday. He said he was not speaking as the Punjab chief minister but on behalf of the PML-N and his brother Nawaz Sharif. “We have constituted a panel of lawyers to launch legal action against Younis Habib to unmask the real conspirators behind the game,” he said, adding that after winning the case, compensation amount would be
doled out to charity. Shahbaz divulged that schemers had stirred up fake allegations to intimidate the PML-N for raising voice against the government’s rampant corruption and the NRO cases, but he warned that they were mistaken as the PML-N never felt threatened. “We don’t give importance to the statement of Younis Habib as he is notorious for such plots. Moreover, the list of his crimes is too long; that is why he can’t be trusted in any sense as he has changed his statements four times,” Shahbaz said. He termed the accusations of Younis Habib as the biggest lies of the century. The Punjab CM said, “Younis Habib has said that he sent me the amount by TT. Then he changed his stance and said he sent me the money through Asif Jamshaid. However, Younis is unable to produce any evidence to prove his claim.” About Asif Jamshaid, Shahbaz said the person was sacked on Rs 8 million misappropriations, but the PPP
nAB closes corruption cases against Farooqi ISLAMABAD: The executive board meeting of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Wednesday approved closure of three identical cases of alleged corruption cases against Usman Farooqi, father of Sharmila Farooqi and brother of secretary general to the president, Salman Farooqi. The meeting also authorised verification of complaint against Yousaf Baig Mirza, managing director (MD) of Pakistan Television Corporation (PTVC) and others in alleged cases of corruption and corrupt practices and misuse of authority. STaff rEpOrT
BRing it on, sAys HABiB ISLAMABAD: Former chairman of the defunct Mehran Bank Younis Habib said on Wednesday he was ready to face any suit for damages brought against him by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PMLN). Earlier in the day, Habib filed a petition in the Supreme Court demanding reimbursement of “his money, lavished on politicians”. During the hearing of the Asghar Khan case by a three-member bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Habib submitted an affidavit based on the statements of former gener-
als, Aslam Baig and Asad Durrani, in which he prayed that an amount was paid to political parties in 1990 to prevent the PPP’s way to power. The attorney general informed the SC that nothing was classified in what was earlier touted as “classified statements” by generals Naseerullah Babar, Mirza Aslam Baig and Asad Durrani. The Supreme Court also announced that an appropriate order would be passed regarding making these ‘classified statements’ public at an appropriate time, during the next hearing of the case. ONLINE
government awarded him the slot of MD of the Bank of Punjab in 1994. “I terminated him in 1997 and he fled the country to ward off corruption cases,” Shahbaz said. He said how it could be possible that official ac-
count was opened when our government had been overthrown in 1993. The innumerable contradiction exposed the fact that there were no more than lame accusations to vilify party leadership, he added.
‘govt firm on presidential immunity’ ISLAMABAD StAff RepoRt
Reaffirming the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP)-led government’s stance on immunity to President Asif Ali Zardari, Information Minister Firdous Ashiq Awan on Wednesday said the parliament had granted immunity to the president and only it had the power to revoke it. She was briefing reporters at the National Press Club about the decisions taken during the
federal cabinet’s meeting held under Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani. “Until the time the presidential immunity is part of the constitution, the prime minister will not violate this constitutional provision. The premier would also appear before the (apex) court as per the court’s direction,” said Awan when asked if the prime minister would write a letter to Swiss authorities for reopening corruption cases against Zardari in accordance with the court’s new order.
Commenting on the Mehrangate case, the minister said the PPP was waiting for the apex court’s verdict on the matter. “We would see how those who had been handin-glove with corruption would be able to come clean out of this very case. The history would decide the fate of those involved in the Mehran Bank case,” she said, adding that the projects launched by the Punjab government, such as Sasti Roti, flyover bridges, and distribution of laptops, reflected lack of transparency.
Published by Arif Nizami for Nawa Media Corporation (Pvt) Ltd at Qandeel Printing Press, 4 Queens Road, Lahore.
Pakistan won’t allow drones in its airspace, Sherry tells US
AKISTAN on Tuesday told the United States it will no longer permit drones to use the country’s airspace to attack militants and collect intelligence on al Qaeda and other groups. Pakistan Ambassador to Washington Sherry Rehman met US Vice President Joe Biden’s National Security Adviser Antony Blinken on March 9 and conveyed the decision. She told him that Pakistan’s political parties had agreed that the drone flights over Pakistan must end, the Bloomberg news service said, citing unnamed US officials. “Pakistan’s sovereignty over its airspace and the civilian casualties that have resulted from drone strikes are emotional issues in Pakistan, where public opinion heavily favours terminating drone missions,” the report cited Pakistani officials as saying. “The US will try to reach a point with Pakistani leaders,” two US officials said. “The only chance for a compromise,” the Pakistani officials said, “may be if the US agrees to share intelligence and coordinate strikes first, a strategy Pakistan has long advocated.” The US has resisted giving information to Pakistan in advance because of fears that some in Pakistan’s security forces might warn the targets of the impending strikes, the report said.
Editor: Arif Nizami, Executive Editor: Sarmad Bashir