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Independent Balochistan not US policy: embassy
Among BAJIS, BHAI makes ladies go GA GA
Miss Meera Jee finds her ‘hot male’! PAGE 02
rs15.00 vol ii no 234 22 pages Karachi edition
Monday, 20 February, 2012 rabi-ul-awal 27, 1433
Only the fortunate embrace martyrdom: PM Gilani says completion of government’s tenure to bring stability to the country g apC on Balochistan convened to resolve province’s issues through collective wisdom g
PIR JO GOTH
RIMe Minister Yousaf Raza on Sunday said that only the fortunate embraced martyrdom. “I don’t know whether we will embrace martyrdom or emerge as Ghazi (triumphant). But only the fortunate embrace martyrdom,” Gilani said in response to a question while talking to reporters after visiting the residence of Pir of Pagara Sibghatullah Shah Rashidi to condole the death of Pir Pagara Shah Mardan Shah. To a question, the prime minister said the completion of five-year mandate by the parliament and the government would bring political stability in the country. “Conspiracies were hatched against every democratic government in the past. If the governments in the past were allowed to complete their terms, the situation would have been far better,” he added. Gilani, however, did not rule out the possibility of early election, saying the issue could be discussed after the Senate election, which will be held in March, and the presentation of budget in May. “I do not rule out it,” he added. To another question, Gilani said 80 percent implementation of the Charter of Democracy had been achieved, adding that the passage of the 20th Constitutional Amendment by the National Assembly was
KaRaChi: Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani meets Sindh Governor Dr ishratul Ebad Khan and Sindh Chief Minister Syed qaim ali Shah at the Governor’s house on Sunday. afp a great political milestone. He said under the 20th Constitutional Amendment, an independent election Commission of Pakistan had been guaranteed, ensuring free, fair and transparent elections. The 20th Amendment also provided the establishment of caretaker governments at the Centre and in the provinces in consensus with the opposition, he said. To a query, the prime minister said PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif had himself
stated that the president enjoyed immunity. “Now if he has changed his views, I cannot say anything,” he added. Commenting on Balochistan, he said he had called for convening an All Parties Conference (APC) on the situation in the province. He said the government, in consultation with all political parties and following appropriate homework in this respect, would convene the APC so that the issues of Balochistan could be discussed and ad-
dressed through collective wisdom. Pir Sibghatullah Shah Rashidi would also be requested to attend the APC on Balochistan, he added. To a question on the situation in Afghanistan vis-à-vis talks with the Taliban, Gilani said Pakistan was supportive of an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process and was ready to facilitate such a process. Continued on page 04
Govt fails to rein in fiscal deficit during 1st half of current year ISLAMABAD TahiR Niaz
The government has failed to rein in the fiscal deficit that has soared to Rs 545 billion during the first half (JulyDecember) of the current fiscal year, translating to 55 percent of the revised budget deficit projection and 2.5 percent of the GDP, against an estimated 2.35 percent of the GDP, says the Mid-Year Budget Review 2011-12. Besides other factors, the reasons for the spiralling deficit include zero receipts against the Coalition Support Fund (CSF) payments that were projected at $1.2 billion in the budget 2011-12, the process for auction of 3G licences having left incomplete and a loss of Rs 50-100 billion during the current fiscal year due to a delay in implementing reform initiatives in the power sector. According to the review, a copy of which is exclusively available with Pakistan Today, the overall fiscal deficit in the budget 2011-12 was estimated at Rs 851 billion (4 percent of the GDP), which, however, was revised to Rs 986 billion (4.7 percent of the GDP) - an increase of 0.7 percent - due to heavy rains and floods in Sindh and previous obligations relating to relief work for the people affected by the 2010 flood, revision of CSF receipts from $1.2 billion to $800 million, a shortfall in revenue from oil and gas sector due to delayed passage of reduced duty and the outstanding circular debt. Marginal increase in power tariff differential subsidy due to delayed revision of power tariff increase also contributed to a revision in the fiscal deficit from four percent to 4.7 percent of the GDP. Continued on page 04
Steer clear of Balochistan, pakistan to tell US delegation g
US congressional delegation arriving this week to take up a host of issues ISLAMABAD Shaiq hUSSaiN
As tensions rise between Pakistan and United States over a resolution introduced in the American Congress seeking a sovereign country for the Baloch people, a fivemember Congressional delegation from Washington is arriving this week to discuss the resumption of NATO supplies and other conflicting matters with Pakistani leaders, who will use the opportunity to convey a plain and clear message to the US that meddling in Balochistan will harm bilateral ties. The US Congressional delegation, to be led by Representative David Dreier (Republican from California), who is also the chairman of the House Rules Committee, is arriving on February 24 and his visit is very significant as it is the first of its kind after months of tensions between Islamabad and Washington that erupted in November last year when NATO attacked two Pakistani border posts and killed 24 Pakistani soldiers. The delegation will meet President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani and other senior Pakistani officials. “As it is a Congressional delegation, it will provide the Pakistani leadership a good opportunity to convey to them clearly that Washington’s interference will not be tolerated in a Pakistani province and it will
From Left to Right: US Congressmen Dana Rohrabacher, Louie Gohmert and Steve King who moved the resolution on Balochistan. file photo further harm the already strained ties,” said a Pakistani official on Sunday, requesting anonymity. Introduced by California Republican Dana Rohrabacher and co-sponsored by two other Republican Congressmen Louie Gohmert (Texas) and Steve King (Iowa), the US House of Representatives Concurrent Resolution says that the Balochi nation has
a “historic right to self-determination”. Stating that Balochistan was currently divided between Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan with no sovereign rights of its own, the resolution alleges that in Pakistan especially, the Balochi people are being subjected to violence and extrajudicial killing and, therefore, the Balochi people should have the right to self-determination
and to their own sovereign country and they should be afforded the opportunity to choose their own status. The resolution has led to deep anguish and anger in Pakistan, both among policy makers and citizens, with some seeing it in the context of a ‘new great game’ in the region, fearing it was all about the conspiracy that is on for the so-
called ‘Greater Balochistan’. “Yes some serious concerns are prevailing among policy makers in Islamabad and if they don’t necessarily believe in theories like ‘Greater Balochistan’, they still hold the view that the US has started twisting Pakistan’s arm,” said the diplomat. “It is believed by some that all this on part of the US is in response to Islamabad’s decision to move further closer to its timetested friend China after the covert US raid in Abbottabad last year in May that killed al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden and NATO’s Salala airstrikes that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers,” he said. He said the US Congressional delegation would be told to refrain from indulging in Pakistan’s internal matters, as it could be also harmful for counter-terrorism cooperation between Islamabad and Washington. The US delegation, he said, would also discuss with Pakistan other important matters such as the restoration of blocked NATO supplies to Afghanistan through Pakistani soil, drone strikes, presence of US military trainers and the almost suspended supply of Coalition Support Fund (CSF) to Islamabad. Continued on page 04
govt to prove us, indian role in baloChistan | page 28
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02 News today’s
Monday, 20 February 2012
Dha is safe, that’s what you think
Cricket will bring afghans and Pakistanis together: KP governor
Story on Page 07
Story on Page 05
11 accomplices of Dr Afridi suspended from duties
Miss Meera Jee finds her ‘hot male!’
ABBOttABAd: At least 11 accomplices of Dr Shakil Afridi, the Pakistani doctor who helped CIA track down al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden, were suspended from their duties on Sunday. The suspended people include a medical officer and several lady health workers. According to a media outlet, the names of the suspended staff are being kept secret. Last year, British newspaper Guardian reported that the CIA with the support of Dr Afridi launched a fake hepatitis vaccination drive in Abbottabad to gather DNA information of bin Laden’s family. After the report, Pakistani authorities took action against Dr Afridi along with some other provincial health department officials for running a fake vaccination campaign. Meanwhile, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Health Director General Dr Muhammad Sharif told a private TV channel that Dr Afridi had not been sacked, and the authorities were still considering his case. ONLiNE
‘US Balochistan bill part of West’s moves against Muslim world’ islAMABAd: Pakistan’s Permanent Representative in the United Nations Abdullah Hussain Haroon has said the bill of the US Congressmen on Balochistan is part of a series of the West’s ongoing movement against the Muslim world. “The US has no right to interfere in the internal affairs of Pakistan,” he said, adding that only a self-reliant Pakistan could remove the disappointment the country had received from the US. Haroon said the US attitude towards Pakistan had been inappropriate since long, adding “We have been disappointed by the bitterness of the United States but the remedy of the disappointment can be overcome by our self-reliance.” He said Pakistan should promote its relations with Muslim countries, besides immediately raising the issue in the Organisation of Islamic Conference. He said the move of the US Congressmen was against the UN Charter as well. aGENCiES
Indian CM accuses ISI of backing Assam insurgency gUWAHAti: Pakistan’s ISI is backing Maoists and insurgent outfits in Assam and other northeastern states to expand its activities, Indian Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said on Sunday after a meeting wit Home Minister P Chidambaram. The two met for a law and order review at the Raj Bhavan, according to Indian press reports. “The home minister mainly discussed insurgency-related issues. Militant outfits of the northeast have now united due to their reduced strength and the ISI is trying to back the militant outfits and Maoists in spreading their network and activity in Assam,” Gogoi claimed. He said the meeting also discussed strategy on how to tackle the activity of militants. iNP
Famous Lollywood actress Meera on Friday announced that she had finally found a soulmate in the person of a Pakistani-US citizen, Naveed Shahzad, who she would marry soon. Meera, the much sought after actress of Lollywood, who has also tried her luck in Bollywood movies and staged a TV programme seeking a bridegroom of her choice, said Shehzad was a pilot by profession, working with a private US company. Shahzad, along with his family, would come to her home to finalise the wedding ceremony, she added. “I am very happy with this relationship,” a beaming Meera commented, hoping for a secure future ahead.
DEATH UNDERNEATH RUBBLE: At least 12 people including women and children were killed and several others injured in a road accident when a bus hit a concrete barrier which collapsed on the bus late on Saturday night in Korangi, Karachi. oNliNe
‘Stop Quetta kidnappings!’ g
JUI-F force Quetta to shut down over kidnappings for ransom QUETTA ShahzaDa zULFiqaR
A complete shutter down strike was observed in Quetta on Sunday against growing incidents of kidnapping for ransom and lawlessness in the provincial capital. The strike was called Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazal (JUI-F) against growing incidents of kidnapping for ransom after abduction of JUI-F Quetta District Secretary Haji Sadiq Nurzai. Unidentified armed men kidnapped Sadiq Nurzai from link Sariab Road in Quetta four days ago and released him on late Saturday night. All business centers, establishment, markets and shops in the main city areas remained closed throughout the day. JUI-F activists kept roaming the city and forced shopkeepers to shut their shops. JUI-F activists were reported to have manhandled
two shopkeepers when they refused to close their shops. Due to the strike and a general weekly off, vehicle traffic remained thin. Police backed by Balochistan Constabulary and Frontier Corps were deployed in different parts in the city to avoid any untoward incident. Police and FC kept pa-
trolling the city. Hundreds of JUI-F workers took out a protest rally from Science College and walked to Meezan chowk where a demonstration was held. Protestors carried placards against the administrations failure to ensure security to people. They accused
police and law enforcement agencies of backing criminals. 3 killed in firing incidents: Three persons were killed in separate firing incidents in Quetta and Panjgour town, some 800 km south west of the provincial capital on Sunday. Shoukat was murdered in Hazara town in Quetta after exchanging abuses over a petty issue. The accused managed to flee the scene. Abdul Malik, rickshaw driver, was traveling from his home to a bazaar when he was stopped and passing near cattle market in the outskirts when unknown armed persons stopped him and opened fire from point blank range. The motive behind the killing could not be ascertained. In another incident, Arman Zamrani was stop dead by unidentified armed men riding a motorcycle in Shaptan area of Panjgour district.
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Monday, 20 February 2012
ArtS & entertAInMent
Tens of thousands protest labour law reforms in Madrid Tom Cruise denies being ‘gay’!
News 03 CoMMent Pick and choose
australia crush india by 110 runs
Rules should same for all.
Government might make a wrong move.
Waqqas Mir says: Drone strikes: They have become necessary evil.
Reem Wasay says: The hand of God?: What’s wrong with our society?
Umair Javed says: Unfettered existence: The idealism in present youth has died.
Story on Page 15
Story on Page 18
Story on Page 18
Articles on Page 12-13
Pass 21st Amendment to release missing persons: Saleem Saifullah g
15 new families join missing persons’ protest camp outside parliament searching for loved ones ISLAMABAD
AKISTAN Muslim LeagueLikeminded leader Saleem Saifullah Khan on Sunday said parliamentarians should present and endorse a 21st amendment for the release of missing persons, just as they passed the 20th Amendment Bill unanimously in the House to legalise the election of their colleagues. Saifullah on Sunday visited the camp set up by families of missing persons and expressed solidarity with the affected people. More families and relatives of missing persons are gathering at the camp in Islamabad – set up by the families of missing persons under the aegis of Defence of Human Rights (DHR) – outside the Parliament House. DHR Chairperson Amna Janjua said 15 new families of missing
persons arrived at the camp on Sunday, adding that several other families had been in contact and would also arrive to the camp from various parts of the country soon. Politicians, human rights activists, lawyers and other people, including a large number of federal capital resi-
dents, approached the camp to express solidarity and a majority was seen criticising the agencies attitude towards poor and helpless people. Agriculture University Peshawar student Imran Khan, hailing from South Waziristan Agency and now settled in Peshawar, said his brother Advocate Aurangzeb
was on way to Peshawar High Court with another lawyer when they were picked by intelligence agencies on July 14, 2011. The agencies released the other lawyer after torture, but Aurangzeb was still in their custody. “Advocate elahi informed us that the agencies’ personnel had threatened him to not disclose to the court how both lawyers were picked up,” Imran said. Another family of a missing person said after arriving at the camp that armed forces had picked both their male and female family members and destroyed their house completely. Reiterating her resolve, Amna Janjua said the camp for the release of missing persons would only end after the release of the last of the people being illegally detained by spy agencies. Amna also demanded the government to release the missing persons immediately and impose a complete ban on illegal detention of citizens by agencies.
‘Don’t delay resolving Baloch issues’ US misguiding deprived Baloch people: JI CHARSADA iNP
The United States is misguiding and exploiting the Baloch people over their increasing sense of deprivation, Jamaat-eIslami chief Munawar Hassan said on Sunday. Addressing a public meeting along with former party chief Qazi Hussain Ahmad and Deputy Chief Sirajul Haq, Hassan said continuous excesses against the Baloch were providing fuel to separatist movements in the province. He said the government was befooling the Baloch through reform “packages” and convening cabinet meetings in Quetta and now the United States had put the last nail in the coffin by supporting the separatists. The JI leaders said the MQM was a party of extortionists which was creating chaos and fear among the people through “body bags”.
PPP leader says responsibility of the possible catastrophe will rest on all institutions and their heads QUETTA STaFF REPORT
Retired senator and central leader of the Pakistan People’s Party, Mir Munzoor Gitchki, on Sunday warned Islamabad that any further delay in resolving the issues of Balochistan would end in catastrophic results and the responsibility would rest on all institutions and their heads. Addressing a press conference on Sunday, Gitchki, whose nomination papers were rejected for senate election for not being allotted party ticket, said the recent tripartite agreement between Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan had created reservations among the Baloch population. He said the Balochistan issue needed due attention after having been debated upon internationally. He said the powers-that-be would have to play a role and the country would have to be run through a new system so that all nationalities should get equal rights. Oth-
erwise, he cautioned, Balochistan could be out of control and might secede. He said the fire burning in Balochistan was fueled by the wrong policies of Pervez Musharraf,
Difa-e-Pakistan Council defiant, Islamabad rally to go ahead g
haq demands defence minister be sacked for restoring nAto supplies RAWALPINDI ONLiNE
The Difa-e-Pakistan Council would move court against the government’s order to bar the entry of Hafiz Saeed, Ahmed Ludihanvi and Dr Khadim Hussain Dilhon into the federal capital. The council announced the decision after a meeting presided over by Chairman Maulana Samiul Haq on Sunday. After the meeting, Haq told reporters that the government should avoid creating hurdles in the Difa-ePakistan Council’s conference, which would be held on Monday at Aabpara Chowk in Islamabad. He demanded the defence minister be sacked on restoring NATO supplies by air without approval by Pakistan. “We will not allow the government to
reopen the NATO supply lines,” he added. He said the resolution regarding Balochistan in the US Congress was an attack on the independence, sovereignty and solidarity of Pakistan. He said the imposition of ban on Hafiz Saeed, Maulana Ahmed Ludhianvi and Dr Khadim Dhilon is unlawful and Difa-e-Pakistan Council would knock the door of the court in the matter. earlier, former president Pervez Musharraf declared several religious parties defunct but the court rejected his orders. Now the high court has also given a verdict that these parties are not involved in the terrorism. “Protests are being held against the US round the globe and it is pressurising the government regarding the rallies of Difa-ePakistan Council.”
Arrest them if found in capital: Malik islAMABAd: Interior Minister Rehman Malik has directed authorities to arrest and initiate cases against Defence of Pakistan Council leaders Hafiz Saeed, Maulana Ahmad Ludhianvi and Khadim Hussain Dhiloon in case they violated the ban on their entry in Islamabad. The Interior Ministry sources said Malik gave the instructions to the Islamabad Inspector General Police. They said in the light of the direction, all police stations and officials deployed at the entry and exit pickets had been conveyed the orders and photographs of the three leaders were also being displayed. iNP “On the issue of Balochistan, a grand public gathering would be held in Quetta on February 27 in which
Nawaz Sharif, Imran Khan , Shujaat Hussain and other parties would also be invited”, he added.
adding that the sentiments of the Baloch could not be pacified in the wake of the killing of Akbar Bugti, as even his family’s females were not being spared and were brutally killed. Gitchki said after Musharraf’s exit, people expected the situation to be brought under control by taking some measures for building confidence in Balochistan, but extra judicial killings started by adopting the kill-and-dump policy and over 400 youth have been killed so far. He regretted that nobody was ready to take responsibility for the killings and the rulers did not bother about the consequences. The PPP leader said both the federal and provincial governments could not exonerate themselves from these killing and dumping of dead bodies of Baloch youth. He said the rulers did not have the capability to resolve Balochistan’s issue for being toothless, as all powers lay with the military. Gitchki said both the political and military leadership would have to embrace the Baloch population by realising their responsibilities.
eight militants killed by their own bomb PesHAWAr: At least eight militants associated with a banned group were killed on Sunday in a powerful bomb blast in the Astana area of Tirah Valley, Khyber Agency. According to reports, eight militants from the banned Lashkar-e-Islam (LI) group were killed when their own explosive device went off. The LI militants have been engaged in an armed conflict with their rivals from the banned Lashkar-i-Ansar, now renamed as Tauhid-e-Islam since 2004 and the continuing violence has claimed the lives of hundreds of people, including civilians. Besides fighting against each other, the rival groups are also confronting the security forces, which are carrying out an offensive against local and foreign militants sheltering in the inaccessible Tirah Valley. Separately, two women were killed when a mortar shell landed at a house in the Shandrang area of Bara Tehsil. The mortar shell was reportedly fired by the security forces fighting local militants. STaFF REPORT
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McCain warns against weakness in Taliban talks WASHINGTON OP US Senator John McCain warned the United States on Sunday against negotiating with the Taliban from a position of weakness due to the looming troop pullout in Afghanistan. The White House confirmed on Thursday that the United States was taking part in an Afghan-led reconciliation process, after President Hamid Karzai said secret three-way talks were taking
two Italians held over India sea shooting
Steer clear of Balochistan, pakistan
ROUGh RiDE: Motorists start their journey in Cholistan Jeep Rally from Bahawalpur. ONLiNE
Mexican prison riot leaves at least 38 dead MONTERREY aFP
At least 38 inmates have been killed in a riot at a prison near the northern Mexican city of Monterrey, officials said Sunday. The clashes broke out overnight between rival gangs at Apodoca prison, some 30 kilometers (18 miles) from Monterrey. Families were gathering outside the institution, awaiting news of their loved ones in a desperate scene that saw some women pass out after having waited outside the prison gates since early morning. “So far we have counted 38 dead,” Jorge Domene, a spokesman for the state corrections’ system, told AFP, adding that the situation inside the prison was now calm and that forensic teams were working to identify the bodies.
We won’t tolerate Balochistan resolution, Sherry tells US ISLAMABAD aPP
Pakistan’s Ambassador to United States, Sherry Rehman on Sunday said that Pakistan will not tolerate a US Congress resolution on Balochistan and was capable of tackling its own domestic affairs. Talking to a private television channel, she said that the move to table a resolution in the House of US Congress had been taken seriously by the people of Pakistan. She said, “My job here is to protect and safeguard the integrity of Pakistan.” Asked about the timing of the resolution coinciding with the trilateral summit of Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan, Sheery said the US also wants
peace in the region and the trilateral summit was meant to achieve this. She said, “We have told the Americans that the people of Pakistan would not tolerate a resolution in the Congress about Balochistan.”
tHirUVAnAntHAPUrAM: Indian police took two Italians into custody on Sunday after two fishermen were allegedly mistaken for pirates and shot dead from an Italian oil tanker in Kerala. But Rome warned that the two were soldiers who enjoyed immunity as they were on the vessel as representatives of Italy, and that only an Italian court was competent to rule on the case. Indian authorities said would have been avoided if the vessel’s armed guards had “exercised restraint”. aFP
only the fortunate Continued FroM page 1 The prime minister also referred to the recent visit of Afghan President Hamid Karzai to Pakistan and said the issue was also discussed with him and he was assured of Pakistan’s full support to an Afghan-led and Afghanowned peace process. Regarding the MFN status to India, Gilani said the issue was being misconstrued, as MFN status was only meant to root out “dis-
crimination in trade”, just like with other 100 countries of the world. He said the federal cabinet had allowed the Ministry of Commerce to negotiate with India’s Ministry of Commerce on the issue of trade balance, adding that the government would never compromise on the country’s national interests. The prime minister added that since the present government came into power in 2008, cross-LoC
(Line of Control) trade had soared to Rs 15 billion. He said the annual trade between China and India, despite border disputes, was around $60 billion. The prime minister said the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) never compromised on principles and faced every challenge bravely. “The dictators came and went, but the vision and philosophy of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto
senior Republican figure on foreign affairs. “It’s very important that we have a strategic agreement with Afghanistan for a long-term US presence here,” said McCain, a long-time critic of President Barack Obama’s announced timeline for the withdrawal of US troops. “I think that’s the best way to bring about a peaceful solution, is to make sure that we are here to stay, to support the Afghan government and people, and we will supply that assistance for as long as is necessary.”
place with the Taliban. “It’s important to have talks wherever you can, but I also think it’s important to remember that we have to have an outcome on the battlefield that would motivate a successful conclusion to those talks,” McCain said in an interview with ABC News from the Afghan capital Kabul. “There’s also the perception here that we are leaving, which then, of course, is a disincentive to successful conclusion of the talks,” added McCain, a former presidential nominee and
will live forever,” he added. The PPP, he added, had always made sacrifices for the cause of democracy and to uphold the constitution. earlier, the prime minister and his wife Fauzia Gilani met Pir Sibghatullah Shah Rashidi at Pir Jo Goth and offered condolences over the death of Pir Pagara Shah Mardan Shah. Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah also accompanied them.
Continued FroM page 1 Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani has already condemned the US resolution as a move to undermine the country’s sovereignty and the Foreign Office and Pakistani embassy in Washington also took strong exception to it, saying it was against the very fundamentals of US-Pakistan relations. A US embassy’s statement on Sunday said, “The United States respects the territorial integrity of Pakistan. Members of Congress introduce legislation on numerous foreign affairs topics and these bills do not in any way imply US government endorsement of any particular policy.” “The Department of State does not typically comment on pending legisla-
tion, but it is not the policy of the administration to support independence for Balochistan,” it said. Another Pakistani official who spoke on condition of anonymity said that after registering a strong protest with the US, the government had decided to go for a diplomatic initiative to inform important world capitals and friendly states about Pakistan’s position on the resolution introduced in US Congress over Balochistan. He said Pakistani diplomatic missions in various countries had been asked to contact the respective governments and give them detailed presentations on Pakistan’s position on the resolution and its ramifications.
LahORE: Bank of Khyber Managing Director Bilal Mustafa adressing the inaugural session of the bank’s annual Manager’s Conference.
Car-thief policeman arrested QUETTA aPP
A policeman, deployed at Zarghoonabad police station in Quetta, was arrested on Sunday for lifting motorcycles. Police sources said the accused constable was involved in lifting motorcycles from different areas in connivance with the student of a local school. Police took action when a police constable and the school student lifted a motorcycle of a journalist working for an international media organisation parked outside a commercial plaza at Almo Chowk on Airport Road. Acting on a tip-off, a police team arrested the student from his house, who during interrogation revealed that he was working for a police constable. Police arrested accused police officer and recovered three stolen motorcycles from their possession.
Government fails to rein Continued FroM page 1
However, based on revenue and expenditure figures, the federal fiscal deficit during the first half of the fiscal year 2011-12 has amounted to Rs 545 billion (2.5 percent of the GDP), which the government was supposed to curtail at 2.35 percent of the GDP. The review says total expenditure during the JulyDecember 2011 period stood at Rs 1,161 billion, or 45 percent of the annual target, against a target of 50 percent. Provincial surplus amounted to Rs 12 billion against Rs 79 billion for the corresponding period last year. Deficit financed through net external financing amounted to Rs 34 billion, non-bank financing Rs 196 billion and bank financing Rs 302 billion. risks tO BUdget 2011-12: According to the mid-year budget review, FBR tax revenue collection
during July-December 2011 amounted to Rs 845 billion, 43 percent of the budgeted estimate, while 57 percent of the budgeted estimates have to be achieved during the remaining six months of the current financial year and require special efforts and work improvement. On account of petroleum levy receipts, the national exchequer suffered a loss of Rs 30 billion during the first six months of the current financial year due to the nonpassage of original petroleum levy rates, especially for High Speed Diesel. CSF receipts were projected at 1.2 billion dollars, but no amount was received during the said period. An amount of Rs 75 billion was projected in the budget 2011-12 on account of auction of 3G licences. The basic process for auction had been started, but needs completion to realise the estimated revenue. Reform initiatives for
the power sector were also initiated, but their complete implementation remains to be seen and delays in this regard may cause a loss of Rs 50-100 billion during the year, the review says. PsdP 2011-12 The budget for the federal Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) 2011-12 was set at Rs 300 billion (foreign aid of Rs 39 billion). During the JulyDecember 2011 period, an amount of Rs 114 billion (44 percent) was released. Funds amounting to Rs 22.3 billion were released for People’s Works Programme I and II. An amount of Rs 3 billion was released for the earthquake Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Agency (eRRA), while the Planning and the Development Division released Rs 89 billion for federal ministries, special areas and corporations. Supplementary Grants Supplementary grants allowed during July-December 2011 amounted to Rs 4.7
billion, of which Rs 1.5 billion were meant for relief operations in the rain-affected areas of Sindh, Population Census Organisation headquarters was given Rs 0.7 billion and grants to NADRA for Citizen Damage Compensation Package amounted to Rs 0.7 billion. A supplementary grant amounting to Rs 390.7 billion was also provided for consolidation of previous years’ arrears on account of tariff differential subsidy (Rs 312.8 billion), TCP (Rs 63.2 billion) and PASSCO (Rs 14.7 billion). fiscAl OPerAtiOns: Total revenue estimated in the budget 2011-12 was Rs 1,529 billion, which was revised to Rs 1,426 billion. But during the first half, the revenue earned was Rs 616 billion, which is 43 percent of the revised projection. Total expenditure estimated in the budget was Rs 2,504 billion and revised to Rs 2,566 billion later, how-
ever, the actual expenditure was Rs 1,161 billion or 45 percent of the revised projection. In the budget, provincial surplus/deficit was set at Rs 124 billion, revised to Rs 154 billion, however, the actual figure was Rs 12 billion, which is 8 percent of the revised projection. Deficit as percentage of the GDP was estimated at four percent, revised to 4.7 percent, however, the actual deficit is 2.5 percent. Nominal GDP (market price) remains Rs 21,042 billion throughout the budget, the review says. reVenUe receiPts: Federal revenue in the budget was set at Rs 2,732 billion of which the FBR was to contribute Rs 1,952 billion. However, actual FBR revenue stood at Rs 845 billion, which is 43 percent of the revised projection. Other revenue receipts were estimated at Rs 780 billion, revised to Rs 677 billion, but the actual receipts amounted to Rs 237 billion,
which is 35 percent of the revised projection. Gross revenue in budget was estimated at Rs 2,732 billion, revised to Rs 2,629 billion, but actual revenue remained Rs 1,082 billion or 41 percent of the revised projection. Provincial transfer in the budget was estimated at Rs 1,203 billion, but actual figure for the period was Rs 466 billion, which is 39 percent of the revised projection. Net revenue set in the budget was Rs 1,529 billion and was revised to Rs 1,426 billion, however the actual revenue amounted to Rs 616 billion, 43 percent of the projection. federAl exPenditUre: Current expenditure in the budget 2011-12 was set at Rs 2,204 billion and was revised to Rs 2,266 billion, but the expenses in July-December stood at Rs 1,035 billion or 46 percent of the revised projection. Interest payments were estimated
at Rs 791 billion, revised to Rs 795 billion, but actual payments were Rs 397 billion, which is 50 percent of the revised projection. Defence expenditure was estimated at Rs 495 billion and the actual figure for the period was Rs 243 billion, 49 percent of the projection. finAncing Of deficit: Deficit financing in the budget was set at Rs 851 billion and later revised to Rs 986 billion, however, actual (July-December) financing amounted to Rs 533 billion or 54 percent of the revised projection. external financing was set at Rs 134 billion but revised to Rs 146 billion and the actual (July-December) figure was Rs 34 billion, which is 23 percent of the revised projection. Domestic financing was revised to 840 billion from Rs 717 billion and the actual amount in the period was Rs 499 billion, which is 59 percent of the revised projection.
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Monday, 20 February, 2012
Cricket will bring Afghans and Pakistanis together: KP governor PESHAWAR
He people of both the two brotherly countries Afghanistan and Pakistan have sacrificed enough and understand each others grief and sorrow which will help joint efforts to restore peace, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Governor Barrister Masood Kausar said on Sunday. Kausar said the recent joint meeting of the head of states of Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan was a welcome sign. Inaugurating the 3-match cricket series between the Pakistan and Afghanistan T- 20 teams at Arbab Niaz Stadium in Peshawar, Kausar said Pakistan and Afghanistan have jointly experienced every hour of grief over the last three decades. He said that the period was a long one, in
which a new generation had seen those relations develop beyond the limits of normal historic, cultural and geographical relationships. Afghan Council General to Pakistan Muhammad Ibrahim Khail spoke on this occasion. The FATA T–20 cricket team, representing Khyber, Momand and
Bajaur agencies was also present and was introduced to the Governor besides the members of Pakistan and Afghanistan T 20 Cricket teams. Kausar appreciated the cricket tournament as a step towards bringing the two countries youth together on the field of sports. Our youth can
parliament needs to define law for operation of spy agencies ISLAMABAD MaSOOD REhMaN The laws under which the spy agencies function and the authority they answer to remain a mystery in the country, even as the world turns into a global village. Our parliament, which is active and famous for introducing amendments in the law to bring it in conformity with the present day’s needs, needs to immediately define laws to regulate the function of the spy agencies and bring them under the ambit of law. The question about the law regulating the functioning of spy agencies has come and agitated before the Supreme Court many times, but it still remains unanswerable. When the Supreme Court took suo motu notice of missing persons in 2006 on an application of Amna Masood Janjua, whose husband Masood Janjua went missing in 2005, the spy agencies first denied having custody of any of the missing persons, but gradually, the Supreme Court secured the recovery of about 172 missing persons, whereas hundreds of others have yet to be traced and recovered. A few weeks ago, the Supreme Court was informed that of 445 cases, 273 cases of missing persons were still pending. No citizens differ on the fact that everyone working against the interest of the country or involved in the terrorism or any other heinous crime should be brought to justice, but due process of law should be followed. Law and the constitution do not allow any of the state agencies to pick people arbitrarily and confine them, without following the due process of law. The Senate Functional Committee on Human Rights recently observed that there was a need to get rid of the status quo and suitably check the abuse of power to stop violations of human rights in the country. It said the Anti-Terrorism Act may be overhauled in true letter and spirit and be implemented as soon as possible and suitable amendments in the laws may be made to bring the law enforcing officials accountable before the elected representative as well as courts. State institutions should play their role positively to establish the rule of law in the country. During a hearing of the missing persons’ case on November 26, 2010, a threemember Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry had asked about laws that governed the country’s spy agencies, but was informed by none other than the chief law officer (attorney general) Maulvi Anwarul Haq that there were none. The court had raised the question while referring to a reply submitted by Attorney General Maulvi Anwarul Haq on behalf of two premier intelligence agencies — Inter-Services Intelligence and the Military Intelligence. In their brief reply, the agencies had denied having custody of 11 missing prisoners of Adiyala Jail and said an office could not be sued because the proper party in such matters was always the federation through the secretary of the ministry concerned. What had displeased the court was that the statement was not even signed by heads of the spy agencies. “Do they consider themselves above the constitution and the law,” the chief justice had inquired. He was informed that under Section 79 of the Pakistan Penal Code (Act done by a person justified or by mistake of fact believing himself
justified by law) notices could not be issued to these departments. “You have to study it thoroughly because you have raised a vital question and that notices to the intelligence agencies were issued under Article 185(3) of the Constitution and the Supreme Court Rules 1980,” the chief justice had observed. “The PPC was a subordinate law to the constitution and this court is ruled by the constitution”, the chief justice said. He had also observed that the attorney general had not cited any provision or law, article or statute governing the affairs of these agencies. “Your assistance will be of great importance in case we decide the matter,” the chief justice had said, adding that the court could deliver a verdict if he wanted, but he should first ponder over the matter again. The attorney general, however, had conceded that there were no rules or laws to manage these agencies. “I will not mince my words and will make it clear (by asking) if you want to create confrontation among institutions, which you have done, then go ahead,” the court had said, adding that it was the duty of the state to resolve the matter and being part of the state it was the duty of the court to find out the missing prisoners. While hearing the missing persons’ case, the court repeatedly noted that it was handling the matter very carefully, as if it delivered a judgment, it will open a Pandora’s box. Then Rawalpindi DCO Imdadullah Wassal and home secretary Shahid Khan had issued detention orders of these 11 prisoners even after the Lahore High Court had upheld a trial court’s decision to acquit these suspects in cases of a rocket attack on the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex in Kamra, firing of anti-aircraft shots at a plane carrying former President Pervez Musharraf and a suicide attack on a bus of an intelligence agency in Rawalpindi and at the main entrance of the GHQ. These prisoners were then picked from Adiyala Jail on May 29, 2010 by the agency officials the day they were to be released after bail. Later, after repeated orders of the Supreme Court, the spy agencies had conceded that these eleven prisoners were being tried under the Army Act. But none of them was ever tried. The court had then disposed of the plea, asking the attorney general that custody of these prisoners was being handed over to him. Later, a plea was filed a couple of weeks ago that four of the eleven prisoners, had died. The court then again initiated action into the matter, ensured production of the remaining seven and directed the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief secretary to produce the record of the internment centre at Parachinar where three detainees were being kept, how had the four prisoners died and the medical condition of the other four admitted to Lady Reading Hospital. The court directed the attorney general to procure record to satisfy it on their detention prior to January 26, 2012 and also whether they were proceeded against under any provision of law and if so, what was the result. “The chief secretary is also required to collect the relevant record to satisfy the court under what circumstances the detained persons had been allowed to be admitted to the internment centre because such action could not be taken in a mechanical manner but had to be taken through an order passed by applying judicial mind, as regulations required proformas before admitting them to the centre”, the court noted and adjourned the hearing until March 1.
promote peace through sports, he said. “We have a number of common cultural, linguistic and religious values and sports activities will further cement the staunch bonds of relationships between both the countries”, he said. Congratulating organisers for arranging the tournament under the slogan a very useful activity in the name of “Cricket for Peace,”Kausar said that the FATA Olympic Association had been established recently while a complete FATA Directorate of Sports was now functional under the aegis of FATA Secretariat. He said the government was contemplating on establishing sport complexes in each FATA agency to facilitate local sportsmen and would be open to Afghan brethren. Provincial Minister for Sports, Tourism, Archives and Archeology Aqil Shah also attended the event.
Noted pashto poet Murad Shinwari passes away PesHAWAr: Great Pashto writer, poet and intellectual Murad (Ali) Shinwari, son of greater mystic Pashto poet and writer Hamza Shinwari, breathed his last on Saturday. He was laid to rest in his ancestral graveyard besides the mausoleum of Hamza Khan Shinwari. His funeral was attended by hundreds of people from across Khyber Agency and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Hailing from Landi Kotal town of Khyber, Murad Shinwari was highly educated. Beside poetry, he was also popular for his music compositions. Recently, afghan diplomats had visited Lady Reading Hospital to inquire after Murad’s health on behalf of President Hamid Karzai. Chief Minister Amir Haider Khan Hoti had also inquired after his health. Awami National Party’s former federal minister Mohammad Afzal Khan Lala paid rich tribute to Murad Shinwari Lala said Murad’s demise was a great loss for Pashto literature and he would always be remembered for his contribution to Pashto language and literature. Staff report
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06 News temporary opening of Nato supplies treason: Mp GUJRANWALA STaFF REPORT
The temporary re-opening of Nato supply routes amounts to treason, Sunni Tehreek Chairman and MNA Sahabzada Fazal Karim said addressing the “Difa-e-Pakistan rally” at Shairanwala Bagh Gujranwala on Sunday. Fazal said that people will not allow treachery against the blood of the Salala check post dead. He said people had seen the true face of the puppet leaders that had sold the country to their imperialist masters. He said the current government had no foreign or internal policy other than following the dictations of their imperialist masters and the policy to declare India as the favorite country indicated the government was willing to sell he sacrifices of our brothers for personal gain. He said that the current government has ignored the Balochistan situation and the Sunni Tehreek will give call to surround the Parliament to demonstrate against the poor policies of the current government. He said the current government had made Pakistan an American colony and Indian trade market. He claimed terrorism was a gift of war against terror and had weakened the fabric of the society. Jamat-e-Ihle Sunnat Pakistan Chief Sahabzada Mazhar Saeed Kazmi, Pir Abul Daood, Sahabzada Hamid Raza, Ghulam Sarwar Haideri and others were present.
Monday, 20 February, 2012
‘Afghan talks to fail without all groups’ ISLAMABAD
eACe efforts in Afghanistan are likely to fail if they do not include all militant groups, a senior member of one of the country’s most notorious insurgent factions said on Sunday. “If any group is isolated or ignored, that group then becomes the centre of the resistance, and can cause problems,” Ghairat Baheer, of Hizb-e-Islami, told Reuters in Islamabad. “To bring instability or disturb the situation of Afghanistan is not difficult. It is very easy.” Hizb-e-Islami, which means Islamic Party, is a radical militant group with widespread national support in Afghanistan, shares some of the Afghan
Taliban’s anti-foreigner, anti-government aims, and wants to oust international forces. The group, led by Afghan warlord and former prime minister Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, claims to have thousands of fighters in its ranks, based mainly in Afghanistan’s restive east, bordering Pakistan, and in the north. The US State Department lists Hekmatyar as a “terrorist” for supporting Taliban and al Qaeda attacks, but US and Afghan officials have met with Hizb-e-Islami representatives in the last two months to help end the war, now in its eleventh year. “There is communication, and there is negotiation going on between Hizb-e-Islami and the American and Afghan governments,” Baheer, Hekmatyar’s son-in-law. Hekmatyar is a fierce rival of Taliban leader Mullah Omar, and
became a hero to many Afghans while leading mujahideen fighters against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980s. In the early 1990s, forces led by Hekmatyar opposed to the government of then-president Burhanuddin Rabbani took part in fighting in Kabul which is thought to have killed tens of thousands. Hekmatyar left Afghanistan in the mid-1990s and his whereabouts have been unclear since then. The Afghan Taliban announced last month it would open a political office in Qatar, suggesting the group may be willing to engage in negotiations that could give it government positions or official control over much of its historical southern heartland. While the Taliban are the focus of media attention, there are a number of other militant organisations that want a
Lower Dir residents urged to get their children vaccinated against polio LOWER DIR STaFF REPORT
I can bring Karzai, taliban to table: JUI-S chief ISLAMABAD NNi
Chief of Jammiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUIS) Maulana Samiul Haq on Sunday revealed his willingness to play the role of an intermediary for initiating a dialogue between Taliban and the Afghan government. In an interview with a foreign news agency, Maulana said that during his meeting with Hamid Karzai, the Afghan president had urged him to help bring the Taliban to the dialogue table. He said further that the reconciliation with Taliban was laudable and it would help to resolve the Afghan issue and bring peace to the region.
say in Afghanistan’s future. They include the al-Qaeda linked Haqqani network, one of the most feared Afghan insurgent groups blamed for many high-profile bombings. While the Haqqani group has pledged allegiance to the Taliban leadership, it also exercises significant operational independence. Failure to appease these groups could bring prolonged instability, or even civil war, once NATO combat forces withdraw in 2014. “There should be a comprehensive solution involving all parties and groups,” said Baheer, a doctor by training. Baheer, who was held in US detention at Bagram Air Field, north of Kabul, for six years until his 2008 release, said he had not seen enough progress in USTaliban talks to suggest they were any closer to formal negotiations.
TOXiC VEGGiES! The Karachi administration has ordered the destruction of vegetables grown using sewage water in farms near Shah Faisal Colony along Maleer nullah. oNliNe
Four girls injured in acid attack in Faisalabad FAISALABAD iNP
At least four girls suffered burn wounds after an unknown accused threw acid at them and fled the scene. Four girls who work in a hosiery factory were returning home after finishing work on Saturday night when an accused who had hidden his face with cloth threw acid
at them in the Madampura area of Ghulam Muhammadabad, district Faisalabad. The four girls suffered burn wounds. The faces of two girls were affected while the hands of the other two were injured. The affected girls were shifted to hospital for treatment. The victim’s families have nominated Kashif Hussain for throwing acid due to a personal grudge. Punjab Chief Minister
Shahbaz Sharif took notice of the incident and ordered immediate arrest of the attacker. Meanwhile, non governmental organizations (NROs) working for rights of women have expressed grave concerns at increased incidents of acid throwing and sexual harassment against women at work places and at homes particularly in Faisalabad.
Religious clerics belonging to the core group of the National Research and Development Foundation (NRDF) on Sunday urged local communities to get their children below five years vaccinated against polio so that the country could be rid of the crippling disease of by the end of 2012. Separate community meetings were organised by the NRDF in Shamshi Khan and Bajauro Talash that were attended by local elders and notables of the areas. The NRDF district core group members Maulana Zahid Khan addressed the meeting at Bajauro while Mufti Khalid Mehmood addressed the meeting at Shamshi Khan. NRDF District Coordinator Muhammad Abdullah briefed the participants about efforts to end polio in the region. The religious clerics said polio had been a major problem in the country. They said the Pakistanis would have to face difficulties during Haj and Umra if the country was not made polio-free. “Islam does not oppose medical treatment to prevent diseases,” Khali said, adding that awareness about the disease would be spread through Friday sermons and mosque announcements. He said the public should extend full cooperation to the Health Department in eradicating polio from the region. The NRDF coordinator said that next campaign against polio would be started in selected union councils of Dir Lower from March 12.
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Monday, 20 February, 2012
At war with this thing called reality everything for pleasure or understanding
Among bAjis, bhAi makes ladies go GA GA ■ MQM shows PtI, APML and PDC who’s the boss with massive congregation of women ■ Party boasts it is the biggest female rally in the world
Peeved transporters claim they were forced to provide free service
OllOWing in the footsteps of the Pakistan Tehreek-eInsaf (PTI), the All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) and the Pakistan Difa Council (PDC), the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) held its all-women rally ‘empowered Women, Stronger Pakistan’ on Sunday at the Bagh-e-Quaid, opposite the Quaid’s mausoleum. To all the parties that have previously arranged their public meetings at the Bagh-e-Quaid for showing the country the support they have in the city, MQM’s rally on Sunday was a strong response that said Karachi is not a city of any one party. Most of the security arrangements for the women’s rally were made by MQM activists and City Wardens, whereas police and other law enforcers were also deployed in the vicinity. Around 50 stalls selling food, refreshments, tea, coffee, cosmetics, henna, mobile phone cards and other items were set up outside the venue, whereas the facility of 40 public toilets, including mobile toilets, was also provided to the participants of the gathering. MQM’s Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul ebad Khan surveyed the rally from a chopper, as two helicopters circled the venue, with cameras recording the entire event. Party workers claimed that there were 100,000 chairs at the venue, whereas independent sources said there were 40,000 chairs and a large number of women sat on the ground. It is pertinent to mention here that this was the first-ever meeting of the MQM for which chairs were arranged, as in all the party’s previous meetings, the participants sat on the ground. Almost all women and children, many of whom had arrived in the metropolitan from other districts of Sindh, carried MQM flags; however, two girls insisted on having the national flag in return for their vote. Many women’s dresses, dupattas (long, multi-purpose scarves) or bands flaunted the colours of the MQM flag. A group of women living in rehabilitation camps at the Superhighway and other parts of the metropolis were brought to the public meeting in buses. “I don’t know whether they have
Dancing and cheering, the ladies had fun at the rally. arranged transport for taking us back or not,” said an evidently upset old woman. The male and female members of the MQM’s student wing, the All Pakistan Muttahida Students Organisation, performed a tableau ‘Inkar-e-Sitam’ for the participants’ entertainment. Speeches started around 4:30 pm, with MQM Member National Assembly Bilquis Mukhtar saying that mullahs are using Islam to suppress the women in the Muslim society. Laila Parveen addressed the participants in Hindko, Asifa Tahira in Punjabi, Nadia Gabol in Balochi and Heer Soho in Sindhi, whereas Kishwar
KARACHI aMaR GURiRO
The Hindu community throughout Sindh has renovated and decorated its temples with colourful flags, lights and buntings, and religious photos and statues of Shiva in all Shiva temples in Karachi that have been bathed with milk to celebrate one of the biggest Hindu festivals, the Maha Shivratri (the Great Night of Lord Shiva), which would be celebrated on Monday (today). Most Hindus celebrate Shivratri by fasting for the entire day; in the evening, they make offerings of milk, water, fruits, joss sticks and bel patra (bel tree leaves); and at night, prasad (edible gift) is distributed among the worshippers, and most Hindu families carrying pooja (worship) items rush to the Shiva temples and join the prayers to devote the entire night to chanting ‘Om Namah Shivaya’ (‘I bow to Lord Shiva’) and other holy mantras. Local Hindus said there are dozens of Shiva temples throughout Sindh, but the central pro-
Zehra and MQM’s former naib nazim Nasreen Jalil also spoke on the occasion. MQM chief Altaf Hussain’s sister Saira was also asked to be on the stage, but she did not deliver any speech. During her address, Jalil appealed the participants of the gathering to vote for the MQM in the general elections. She also presented some resolutions for women’s rights, adding that the BBC has declared MQM’s rally “the biggest in the world”. Similarly, MQM Rabita Committee Deputy Convener Dr Farooq Sattar told the participants that not only in Karachi or Pakistan, MQM’s rally is the
gramme would be held in the centuries-old historical Shiva temple located inside a cave in one of the city’s posh areas, Clifton, which is supposed to be the biggest Shiva temple in the province. According to Ramshi Kolhi of the Pakistan Hindu Sabha, a leading organisation of Pakistani Hindus, more than 300,000 people – not only from the city, but from other parts of the province as well – visit the temple on Shivratri and offer special prayers to Lord Shiva. The festival is celebrated every year on the night between the 13th and 14th day of the Krishna Paksha (waning moon) in the month of Maagha of the Hindu calendar. While celebrating the festival, Hindus dedicate one night to the leading Hindu god Shiva, also known as Neelkanth (blue-throated). Hindus believe that Shiva once consumed the poison Halahala, which was churned up from the world ocean, and his wife Parvati stopped it in his throat with her hands, causing the poison to turn his throat blue. Hindu mythology states that three gods control the universe –
kArAcHi: While those at the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) women rally on Sunday appeared delighted to be a part of the event, the public transport vehicle owners were not. They claimed they were unwillingly taken on board by being forced to take party activists to the Bagh-e-Jinnah for free. Also facing troubles were the citizens, who rely on public transport to get around the city. As public transport vehicles were booked by MQM activists, they had to opt for private transport to reach their destinations. A crowd of such citizens was seen at many bus stops across the city, waiting for the cheaper transportation option to head their way, while others negotiated fares with the opportunistic private transporters - taxi and rickshaw drivers. “I work at a supermarket in Shah Faisal and I am waiting for the bus for the last 20 minutes, but there was no public transport,” said a commuter at the Kala Board bus stop along the Shahrah-e-Faisal. Another commuter, who wanted to head for Saddar, told Pakistan Today that he has to go to the city’s centre for shopping. “I found the time to go to Saddar today but reaching there will be a problem,” he added. A number of transporters kept their vehicles off roads to avert being booked for the “free service”, but some of them claimed they were approached at their homes and “requested” to “join the cause”. Karachi Transport Ittehad (KTI) Chairman Irshad Bukhari claimed that MQM activists started taking over public transport vehicles since Saturday night. He said he complained to MQM leaders about this, but they did not react. “I spoke with MQM Rabita Committee member Wasay Jalil and he assured me that he will take action against the activists involved, but nothing happened,” he lamented. “It would be wrong if I say that all vehicles were booked without fares, but most of them took the party activists to the congregation with any payment.” Bukhari went on that whenever political parties hire public transport for congregations and processions, they pay the transporters. “I am hopeful that the MQM will also pay the transporters, who were forced into the free service,” he added. She said when Imran Khan organised a public gathering at Bagh-e-Jinnah and availed the public transport service for the participants, he paid Rs 2.8 million. “I am hopeful that if we go to the MQM to claim the money with proof, they will not turn us back emptyhanded. We are not landlords and many of us have acquired vehicles on lease and have to pay installments. If we are booked at gunpoint without fares, we will be unable to pay back to the banks.” Refuting Bukhari’s claims, MQM Rabita Committee member Wasay Jalil said the KTI chairman called him on Saturday night and complained about the taking over of public transport vehicles by MQM activists. “I patiently listened to him and requested him to point out the people involved in these activities, but he couldn’t,” he added. “The MQM organised a historical congregation and we paid for its arrangements. Then how is it possible that we would have left out the transporters. We had allocated a budget to provide transport facility to women and gave sufficient money to the Karachi Tanzeemi Committee to distribute it among various MQM sectors transparently,” he claimed. “I will welcome the KTI chairman if he comes to the MQM office with evidence about any wrongdoing and the party will pay the affected transporters if this has really happened.” aaMiR MaJEED biggest female rally in the world. It is pertinent to mention here that according to the MQM chief’s claim, the number of the participants of his party’s rally was over 1 million. He especially thanked the Bengali women who had attended his party’s rally, which is an interesting thing to consider, as during all previous public meetings at the Bagh-e-Quaid, every political and religious party has thanked the Bengalis for attending their gathering and making it a
Brahma created it, Vishnu preserves and protects it, and Shiva would ultimately destroy it; however, in addition to being the destroyer, Shiva is also the protector. The Hindu community is the largest religious minority in Pakistan, as according to the official 1998 census, there are around 2.7 million Hindus in the country, most of whom live in Sindh and celebrate their religious festivals on a massive scale. “We believe that the Hindu population in Pakistan has grown to around 6 million since the last national census. There were more than 450 Hindu temples in Karachi before the partition of the Indian subcontinent, but now only 60 temples remain, as most of them have been illegally occupied or demolished. Most of these functional 60 temples are being controlled by the so-called upper caste Hindus, which make up only 8 percent of the total Hindu population,” said Kolhi. The functional temples include the Devi Mandir at Bombay Bazaar; the Hanuman Mandir at Frere Road; the Mata Mandir; the Shri Swami Narayan Mandir at Light House; the Narsingh Mahadev Mandir near Risala Police
success. While the MQM succeeded in arranging a huge public meeting of women, the party’s volunteers failed to maintain pin-drop silence during the MQM chief’s address, which is characteristic of the party’s rallies. Many bored women were stopped from leaving the venue during Hussain’s address several times by MQM volunteers until the women finally disregarded the party workers’ requests and left.
Station; the Jagannath Akhra Mandir; the Hinglaj Mata Mandir, Sheetala Mata Mandir Bhimpura, Darya Lal Sankat Mochan Mandir and Hanuman Mandir in Doli Khata; the Shri Varun Dev Mandir at Manora; the Panjmukhi Mahraj Hanuman Mandir at Soldier Bazaar; the Rat Nageshwar Mahadev Mandir in Clifton; the Shiv Mandir near Islamia College; the Bhagnari Shiv Mandir near Kakri Ground; and the Lakshmi Narayan Mandir at Native Jetty.
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Monday, 20 February, 2012
Artist nadia hussain deconstructs everything for pleasure or understanding KARACHI aaMER DhaMaNi
rt, says the artist Nadia Hussain, makes the world more beautiful and bearable – and somehow more significant. During an interview, Nadia told me that art is also what makes humanity more civilised. “It represents the need to express thoughts and feelings so that they last. And in some ways, art records history. It gives us a visual representation of the culture of a particular time and space,” she said. However, she continued, “you could say that art is another way of seeing the world as well. It shows us alternate ways of seeing. We have a need to deconstruct the human condition to understand it and perhaps to enhance the experience of existence. And I feel art allows us to achieve this at some level. Also, it has an intrinsic value that gives us pleasure.” She said an artist is not just a being who is condemned to please with beauty, “though it might seem that way sometimes. An artist is a person who questions ‘reality’ and other such prevalent notions of existence, and represents them in many ways. An artist is actively involved in living with such principles and deconstructing everything for pleasure or understanding.” She believes that in some ways, an artist is at war with what is called ‘reality’ – “not as a form of rebellion, but more as a way of life.” What makes Nadia an artist is that she has given herself the licence to believe that she is. “My practice is multidimensional. I make artwork, and I guide others to do the same and perhaps more. I believe I have a vision that allows this practice to be manifested in many ways.” She makes representations of, what she believes to be, some aspects of the human condition. That makes her work ‘art’. She also motivates people to develop a practice that is meaningful and to question the existing notions. That makes her life’s work ‘art’ as well. “I believe art is not limited to just one aspect of art practice. It includes efforts to question the way things are: Should art be limited to passive representation? Is art just a representation of ‘beauty’? Should art be ‘beautiful’ and simply represent things as they are? Shouldn’t art be functional?” She is currently involved in a personal project that involves deconstruction of inspiration. “I have an anonymous viewer – just one – whom I show my drawings. This person’s response helps me create more drawings. In other words, I have allowed this viewer to be my muse as well as my audience. The work created depends entirely on my interaction with this person. It seemed like a novel idea when it occurred to me. I have yet to decide what to do with this work.” For now, she is quite content with the process. Her other project involves her teaching, which is “a very important aspect of my practice. I believe in functionality within the social structure. As an artist, I can aid others to achieve a clearer understanding of their practice. This process satisfies me and inspires me to continue doing what I do.” Her favourite medium, which she says is also the most important, is human beings, without whom she’d be “quite lost.” The human condition inspires her artwork. She is also “utterly grateful to other artists for showing me different ways of looking at the world.” Her work as well as others’ helps her learn something about herself. “Complete isolation from visual experience would be very uninspiring.” Talking about her process of producing an artwork, she said, “A sliver of an idea leads to the manifestation of it in many forms. My practice is heavily dependent on drawing. I draw what I accumulate inside my head. I also talk about what I am thinking with other artists and people who do other things. This helps me develop as a human being and as an
Art is not limited to just one aspect of art practice. It includes efforts to question the way things are: Should art be limited to passive representation? Is art just a representation of ‘beauty’? Should art be ‘beautiful’ and simply represent things as they are? Shouldn’t art be functional? artist.” Nadia’s family is very encouraging. “I have yet to disappoint them with my work. I feel they believe in what I do and how I live my life. My friends enjoy my work and my practice.” To her, criticism is a useful tool. “It teaches you how to perceive your own work. It is of great importance. Getting other views is necessary to understand what you are doing. It is also important for learning.” She said it is important that people either feel something or understand something from whatever she does. “either one is of equal value.” She also said since she is of this world, she produces art for herself and others. “There is a sense of personal enjoyment, but I do care if other people feel the same. I feel that if I could move even one person in some way, then everything I do would have more meaning and substance.” According to her, introspection could sometimes lead to anti-social behaviour, and she doesn’t like that aspect of her practice, as introversion could be very unpleasant. When asked what her art gives her back, she said, “A reason for my existence and some pleasure. A life without pleasure would be unbear-
ably dull.” Her work centres on human beings and the human body. She believes that passion plays a huge role in producing art. “Without it, I wouldn’t move. Romantic as it might sound, if I wasn’t passionate about doing things, I wouldn’t be motivated to do them at all. Passion not only motivates, but it makes you do things better and with feeling.” As for travelling, “it gives you tolerance and more ways to look at the world. It also gives you new experiences, and is indeed very important.” Besides an artist, she is an art educator. She doesn’t think she could be just one thing. Her art practice includes both. She is an Assistant Professor of Fine Arts at the National College of Arts in Rawalpindi. When asked about her favourite artwork by herself, she said, “My drawings, but those compete with my most favourite work: my students.” She admires the artist Tracey emin these days. Among the deceased, her favourites are Andy Warhol and egon Schiele. If she could receive training from a deceased artist, she would choose Andy Warhol. When asked if art could be taught to anyone, she said, “Ways of seeing can be taught. The artist must
see before he or she makes anything.” She said the most important thing that a potential artist should make sure he or she never forgets is “to be honest with yourself always. Honesty makes you fearless.” She doesn’t think art is taboo in the Pakistani society. “Look around you, it’s everywhere in so many forms.” She said art is more popular now than it ever was. “Art schools are full of young people learning this profession.” When asked if everyone could understand or appreciate art, she said, “everyone has the capacity of understanding anything, but in their own way. One cannot force people to understand things the way one wants. If one can communicate well, then people understand many things beyond what one intends. That makes the whole process more meaningful.” Talking about perfect artwork, Nadia said, “I have seen artwork that moved me to tears. I have experienced art practice that moved me to reconsider everything I believed in. Isn’t that perfection?” Artist’s photo by Hadi Habib; all pictures provided by Nadia Hussain
‘Media can bring positive and lasting change in society’ ■ Participants of Pakistan Press Foundation and Jinnah University for Women’s workshop say media effective tool to guide majority of country’s youth KARACHI STaFF REPORT
The media could bring a positive and lasting change in the society by sensitising Pakistan’s youth, especially the students, said the participants of a oneday workshop on writing skills. During the workshop organised by the Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF) in collaboration with the Jinnah University for Women, the participants said the media is an effective tool to guide the majority of the youth of Pakistan.
Senior PPF coordinator Lala Hassan trained 35 students of the varsity’s Mass Communication department on news and article writing. The participants said students are the last ray of hope that could develop the country by using the media and other resources. Hassan said writing is a skill that could be honed with practice, and writers should follow the code of conduct while reporting or writing on socio-political issues. He said impartiality, honesty, accu-
racy, brevity and clarity with comprehensive information could make writing more valuable. The students were told that news should include the five Ws and one H – Who, What, Where, When, Why and How – and a reporter should not include his opinions in the news. Professor Ahmad Nasim and Assistant Professor Saima Farid said, “A responsible and independent media can bring a change in our society, and students should regularly peruse newspapers.”
Agricultural fields along Malir river, where water contaminated with industrial waste and sewage is used. the area’s authorities have ordered eradication of these toxic vegetables over health concerns. oNliNe
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Monday, 20 February, 2012
karachi 09 PakistaN today
strengthening English language proficiency ■ representatives of higher education Commission and British Council Pakistan select 12 universities across the country for pilot study; visit KU to find out challenges varsity teachers and students face with the language KARACHI
team comprising representatives of the Higher education Commission (HeC) and the British Council Pakistan (BCP) visited the University of Karachi (KU) a few days ago in connection with their project of transforming the teaching of the english language in Pakistan at the tertiary level so that the teachers and students of other disciplines could also improve their linguistic proficiency.
The HeC and BCP have selected 12 universities across the country for running a pilot study that would include english language proficiency courses and preparing master trainers at the university level. Prior to running this study in the selected universities, the HeC-BCP team visited these 12 varsities, including KU, to meet the teachers and students of different disciplines for finding out the challenges they face with the english language. The visit to KU comprised two parallel focus group discussions: one with the
teachers of different departments, including the english, Chemical engineering, Public Administration, Microbiology, economics and Psychology departments; and the other with the students of the faculties of Arts and Science. The discussions, which were conducted at the Department of english, covered the use of english as a medium of instruction and the problems that teachers and students encounter while using the language. Kaleem Raza Khan, KU Registrar as well as Professor at the Department of
english, also participated in the discussion along with other teachers. Talking about his research on classroom discussions, Khan said switching between english and Urdu takes place often in the classroom, which results in the students being unable to conduct a coherent discourse in one language. The participants of the discussion agreed that there is a dire need to improve the students’ as well as the teachers’ proficiency in the english language, which is possible only with an extensive language course for students and teachers of all dis-
ciplines. After visiting the main library, the HeC-BCP team also did a classroom observation to gain some insights into the kind of teaching and learning that takes place at the university. This included observation of two classrooms: one in the Faculty of Science and the other in the Faculty of Arts. Since the Department of english hosted the event, Shumaila Shafket Ali, Lecturer at the Department of english, accompanied the team during classroom observation.
two more law officers climb the nepotism ladder KARACHI STaFF REPORT
MAYBe theY ShoULD ConSIDer A CAreer In PoLItICS: Contestants participate in a tug-of-war competition held at the Clifton beach on Sunday. oNliNe
The Sindh government has appointed Assistant Advocate General Adnan Karim Memon and former additional advocate general Qasim Mirjat as additional advocates general. Governor Dr Ishratul ebad signed the summary for both law officers after receiving it from the Chief Minister’s House. Both have been appointed on the recommendation of Senate Chairman Farooq H Naik. Memon belongs to the chamber of Naik, while Mirjat is also his close friend. Appointments and promotions on political recommendations are very common in Sindh. The current Sindh Prosecutor General Shadat Awan is a leader of the Pakistan People’s Party and also the president of the People’s Lawyer Forum (PLF) Sindh chapter. Sindh Advocate General Fatah Malak was appointed on the recommendation of Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah, while Sindh Additional Advocate General Shafi Memon belongs to the chamber of Senior education Minister Pir Mazharul Haq. Memon is also the taluka president of Pakistan People’s Party in Dadu. Another Sindh Additional Advocate General Miran Muhammad Shah is the younger brother of federal minister Naveed Qamar, Assistant Advocate General Zafar Usmani is the PLF Karachi division president and Additional Advocate General Halima Khan and Assistant Advocate General Saifullah have been appointed on the quota of the ruling party’s coalition partner, the Muttahida Quami Movement. In violation of the Supreme Court’s directions, 167 law officers are still working as lower judiciary law officers. They were appointed without taking the Public Service Commission examination, which is mandatory for the post.
in black gold we trust: KeSC ■ Power utility signs $200 million pact with hong Kong-based firm to run Bin Qasim Power Plant on coal KARACHI STaFF REPORT
The Karachi electric Supply Company (KeSC) has embarked on the first of its kind project in the country, with the aim to convert its 1,260MW (210MW x six units) Bin Qasim Power Plant into a coalfired generation plant. According to a press release issued by the power utility, this project will have a step-wise execution; the phase-one of which will see the conversion of two units, with a generating capacity of 420MW. Replacing residual fuel oil (RFO)-based boilers with coal fired technology would help the KeSC in attaining fuel security by diversifying its existing fuel mix, better utilisation of existing fleet and most importantly aid in reducing cost of power generation; ultimately providing the consumers relief by lowering of the end user tariff. The KeSC is gearing itself to take the pioneering role for coal conversion in the country and is currently in the process of finalising its feasibility study through a reputed US-based consultant, Knight Piesold, having extensive world-wide experience in coal-based projects. The first phase of the feasibility study has been completed, demonstrating technical and economic viability of the project. The second phase of the feasibility study that involves detailing of the engineering design work flow is now under
way. In the near future, the KeSC will also be approaching NePRA for relevant approvals related to this project. To move ahead with this plan, the KeSC has signed a $200 million joint development agreement with the ‘Bright eagle enterprises’, a Hong Kong-based investment company sponsored by Chinese and Korean investors. For the purpose of this project, Bright eagle enterprises has teamed up with leading energy companies from China, namely China Resources Power (a multi-billion dollar state owned power plant, owner and operator) and China National Technical Import and export Corporation. “We are delighted to work with the KeSC on its oil to coal conversion project and remain committed to its successful completion,” said Ping Chen, chairman of the Bright eagle enterprises and also the chairman of the Sun TV Hong Kong and Tide-time, at the signing ceremony. “We applaud the KeSC management’s innovative approach to reduce the cost and increase the availability of electricity to Karachi. Bright eagle is proud to be associated with this project which will help the people of Karachi,” he added. KeSC CeO Tabish Gauhar said the ground breaking initiative will set the course for the country’s power sector that is heavily dependent on RFO. “Conversion to coal is the only sustainable option and KeSC’s lead in this area will set an example for others to emulate,” he added.
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KARACHI STaFF REPORT
eMOcrAtic norms need to be introduced at all levels including in political parties and the overall society, speakers said at a conference held on Sunday. The gathering titled ‘Sindh Conference on Challenges to Democracy in Pakistan and Role of Civil Society’ was jointly organised by Pakistan Institute of Labour education and Research (PILeR) and the Centre for Peace and Civil Society (CPCS) at Hyderabad Press Club. The event was attended by a large number of active civil society members from across the province. PILeR Director Karamat Ali pointed out that the feudal system as a bane for Sindh and stressed the need for land reforms to strengthen democracy and ensure the rights of people. He said under the 18th Amendment, Article 25-A has been inserted in the constitution, according to which all children from the aged between five and 16 years have the basic human right to get free education. However, this is not being implemented. “It is responsibility of the civil society to make sure that no child is out of school from this year,” he said. “There is no other system except democracy, where there is equality. We need to implement democracy in our lives. We have to change our undemocratic attitudes,” he added. Speaking on the background of the campaign by democratic forces and trade unions launched long ago, Ali said, “It is a big struggle that all people should practice according to their faiths without any fear. Pakistan is the only country where land is owned by the state. Our entire system has no accountability because democratic institutions have not progressed.” Dr Riaz Shaikh of the Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology (SZABIST) said the parliament has made three constitutional amendments that should be appreciated. During the tenure of the current assembly, the NFC Award and Council of Common Interest were revived. The devolution of power under 18th amendment is a significant development. He said there is no political victimisation in the country. It shows political process has grown towards maturity. He said all wrongdoings are linked to the government. “We should make it clear that democracy and the elected government are two things, hence we should see them separately,” he added.
He said the military’s efficiency can be gauged from the fact that 35,000 people have died in the war on terror. “Who were responsible for saving people’s lives?” he asked. “Was the GHQ attacked by our parliamentarians? The military failed to save its own GHQ. Osama Bin Laden was hiding in the country and they were not aware. Security institutions have failed to protect the boundaries. Military radars stopped working at the time American attack on Osama Bin Laden. Protecting the Mehran airbase was not the duty of the parliament. But no accountability was made. It is a big allegation that this system is corrupt,” he said. “Apart from this, in 2005 when an earthquake hit Pakistan, the
BLaCK & WhiTE
military failed to provide rescue and relief to the affected people. No one is asking where the billions of dollar provided by donors for the earthquake survivors go. Presently, it is said that the Railways is facing a crisis, but during General Musharraf’s government, the then railways minister Javed Ashraf Kazi bought Chinese engines that stopped working very soon,” he pointed out. He said the judiciary’s role is also questionable. “Billions of rupees came from the Asian Development Bank in the name of the Access to Justice project. Can we ask who benefited from that project? The HRCP 2010 report says 1.4 million cases are still pending in the court,” he remarked.
He said the parliament should be given time to improve its functioning. Powers should be transferred from civil government to civil government instead of allowing military to intervene. CPCS executive Director Jam Chandio said democracy is not taking roots in Pakistan because the civil society has not played its role effectively. He said a watch dog forum should be there for keeping an eye on the developments to safeguard democracy. He said the federation of Pakistan was formed by the people of this country and they are the only owner of this state. The main crisis towards democracy is that ownership of the state has not been transferred to people.
ART EXHIBITION STARTS FEBRUARY 21 AT 05:00 PM VENUE: FARAAR
ART EXHIBITION STARTS FEBRUARY 23 AT 05:00 PM VENUE: GRANDEUR
ART EXHIBITION UNTIL FEBRUARY 22 VENUE: GRANDEUR
Salma Raza’s ‘Black & White’ from February 21 to 26 at the Faraar gallery. Call 35389033 for more information.
A group exhibition from February 23 to 29 at the Grandeur art gallery. Call 35435744 for more information.
Akbar Hafeez’s Valentine week exhibition until February 22 at the Grandeur art gallery. Call 35860744 for more information.
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Monday, 20 February, 2012
Editor’s mail 11
the culture of tax evasion On a recent talk show, Mr Jehangir Tareen talked about culture of tax evasion in Pakistan, where out of 180 million only 0.5 million, apart from salaried class (1.2 million), file any tax returns or pay any tax. Such a pathetic situation could not have continued without consent and connivance of all those who have been in power, the paid civil bureaucracy, the judiciary and our political parties. This country has been ruled or misruled by khakis, politicians, technocrats and no concrete efforts have been put in place to force the rich to pay their due taxes. On the contrary, everybody including expatriate technocrats who came with a briefcase, except for a pep talk, left us in a more precarious state as far as tax evasion is concerned. There have been
Street encroachments numerous reports and seminars by think tanks, NGOs and consultants funded by donor agencies, without any change on the ground. As long as tax evasion and those guilty of cheating or abetting this crime are not given exemplary punishments, nobody will pay any taxes. Mere enactment of laws does not yield any benefits if there is no political will to implement them. We live in a country where more than 60,000 containers exited from KPT Karachi and went missing, yet our FBR in their investigation absolved all of its senior officers of any complicity in a scam which involved several billions in tax evasion. Those investigating this highly publicised scam failed to question the means to justify huge assets of top FBR bureaucrats located not just in
Pakistan but abroad. This is a failure of not just our parliament but all our investigation agencies, be it FIA or others more powerful than it, not to realise that this is the biggest threat to our national security and state sovereignty. We are forced to compromise on both and seek excessive foreign aid, which we could have curtailed had the state not failed to collect taxes. Loopholes exist to facilitate tax evasion and massive flight of capital. In the rare case where a leading money changer was arrested for money laundering, everybody got away because most of beneficiaries were those in power. It does not matter to them if Pakistan has been blacklisted amongst the five nations accused of money laundering by international agencies. From the rise of extremism, to street
crimes, heroin and drug use, to compromises of our national security, all could be curtailed if the state was capable to provide welfare, health and education in this country. Although corruption is a worldwide phenomenon, it rises exponentially when state institutions are involved in institutionalised corruption and protecting those who evade taxes. While tax collection has declined, rise in tax free benefits of the elite has risen. Nowhere in the world would people pay taxes, if they were not forced to do so, because of fear of severe punishments. A state functions only if taxes are collected, otherwise every function of the government collapses. MALIK TARIQ ALI Lahore
not a failure Pakistan may be described as a failure of the dreaming mind; ... perhaps the place was insufficiently imagined. (Salman Rushdie, Shame, 1983, pp 91–2). This was the quote by Salman Rushdie in his book that I am going to analyse in the light of the issues that Pakistan had to face for the past sixty years. At the time of its birth, the leadership of Pakistan had to manage two geographically apart regions that were miles from each other. Moreover, an influx of a large number of refuges was another issue. Then there was the language issue ie, to choose one national language for all the citizens, from the five big ethnic groups, Punjabi, Sindhi, Bengali, Pakhtun and Baloch. Furthermore, Pakistan lost its founding leaders like Mr Jinnah and Mr Liaquat Ali Khan quite early. Also, the leading party Muslim League had its roots in Indian parts of Punjab and Bengal and was weaker in the regions of Pakistan, due to which its leadership was badly affected. Moreover, there was continuous military interference in the state’s politics. On the other hand, Islamic militants also tried to get a strong political hold, especially after the separation of Bangladesh, but they never managed to gain full control over the state. Lastly, Pakistan still faces a severe identity crisis. From all these facts, we can clearly see why Pakistan was “failure of dreaming mind” but it does not mean that “the place was insufficiently imagined”. Mr Jinnah made it very clear that Pakistan will be a state where everybody will be free to practice their own religion and it will be kept out of politics. He also wanted Pakistan to be an economically developed state. What has happened to Pakistan is because of lack of efficient and qualified leadership which would have worked for the national interests, instead of its own individual interests. The interference by military and Islamists are also the obstacles in its success. But I think there is still time to steer Pakistan on its way to Mr. Jinnah’s dream and the first step would be to vote for the right leader in the coming elections. AYESHA IKRAM BUTT LUMS, Lahore
trash cans in streets It is very sad that one can easily find lots of rubbish, paper, plastic, wood and used material in the streets, making them very dirty. Dirty streets can lead to various diseases. Most of the people burn their trash which causes air pollution. People are also in the habit of throwing trash outside their cars in the streets instead of throwing it in a dustbin. In neighbouring countries, people are not allowed to throw trash like this. Their governments have arranged dustbins near each home. If a person throws things outside instead of throwing them in a dustbin, then he/she is charged and punished strictly. Sadly, in Pakistan people throw trash outside in the streets thoughtlessly. The government and relevant authorities do not pay any attention to this issue. I request the government to prohibit people from throwing trash in the streets and must penalise them if they do so. SUMBAL FATIMA Karachi
Over the past few years, encroachments on streets and in bazaars have increased a lot. There are so many street vendors who regularly occupy a major portion of the road, or put up their stalls by the roadside. That area is actually to be used by motorists to park their vehicles, but these people who sell their things on roads have already occupied it. Thus, there is no space available for people to park their cars. Moreover, if someone tries to park their car near the stall of a street vendor, he immediately comes and asks that person to move his car from there and park it somewhere else. Although he should realize that it is his set-up which is encroaching on the street and not the car. Likewise, there are also a lot of restaurants and snack-bars nowadays, who put extra tables and chairs out on the street in the evening, to provide more room for their guests. They occupy the entire roadside leaving no space for parking. Car parking is itself a big problem in major cities and obstructions like street encroachments and blockage of roads only makes it worse. Already there has been a drastic increase in the number of automobiles on the roads in recent years, and on top of that, the growing encroachments further limit the parking space available to motorists. Ultimately, all this leads to traffic jams, double parking, parking in prohibited areas and even accidents. All these street vendors and restaurants have illegally occupied the roads, therefore, they must be removed and the streets should be cleared of all encroachments. MADIHA VIQUAR Karachi
Lessons from Bangladesh
President Asif Ali Zardari, Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad held a joint media session in Islamabad the other day. Asif Ali Zardari was speaking in english language during the briefing whereas Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad spoke in Persian, the official language of Iran. This shows how easy it would have been for the people living in Iran to understand their president’s conversation. Asif Ali Zardari spoke in english which is only a few in Pakistan can understand. It would have been good if the president of Pakistan had used Urdu language which is understood by almost all the people in the country. Our government officials must also follow Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s simple way of living. MUBASHIR MAHMOOD Karachi
It is disturbing to hear news about missing persons in Balochistan and the reported US Congress Sub-Committee hearings on human rights violations in that province. I fail to understand that our former countrymen have not learnt any lessons that repression by military within their own country has only one side effect, it is insurgency, which is further cemented by this syndrome of “sort them out” that seems to be their solution to every problem. For any nation, with varied culture and linguistic ethnicities, it is important that the state must never adopt, or be associated, with either religion or language. Imposing Urdu as national language on Bengali speaking majority was the first mistake, followed by One Unit, which effectively denied democratic majority to former east Pakistan, although Mohammadd Ali Jinnah, the founder, had very clearly elaborated that Pakistan will be a democratic welfare state, where every citizens enjoyed equal rights, equal opportunities without any discrimination as to caste, creed, faith or sex. Those who frame Pakistan’s foreign policy need to understand that if they justify supporting US sponsored resolution in Security Council for intervention in Syria based on alleged human rights violations, they cannot then claim that similar allegations of human rights violations in Balochistan is an internal matter. The military which is only trained for a friend or foe situation can never be expected to resolve political issues. The priority in Pakistan should shift to welfare, education, health and self-reliance, instead of welfare of a select elite like the paid civil or uniformed bureaucracy. Those holding dual nationalities can never be expected to deliver. Politicians in Pakistan are as much responsible as the British trained civil and khaki bureaucracy for failing to deliver. MIAN JAMILUDIN AKHTAR Dacca, Bangladesh
‘Quetta Shura’, the US interest to gain a handle on Balochistan, to find space for its intelligence and contractors to rule the roost, is an obvious desire. Already its frustration over refusal of Pakistani authorities to let it open a consulate in Quetta is well known. Mossad has recently been reported to have operated in the province, in the guise of CIA agents to recruit Jundullah fighters targeting Iran. It bodes ill for Pakistan, and Balochistan, that State Department officials, pseudo military intellectuals and members of Congress have begun to
publicly assert support for Independent Balochistan. While developing a politico-military strategy to thwart ill-advised US interference in Balochistan, we must redouble efforts to bring about constitutional and administrative reforms to empower Baloch people and wean away a small number of miscreants from terrorism, who are the beneficiaries of manipulative rhetoric and inducements by hostile outside powers. GUL RAHMAN WAZIR Peshawar
US meddling The US Congress has passed resolution of an independent Balochistan. Who are they to decide the fate of Balochistan? They should first put their house in order by improving their economy and by closing brutal jails which are a clear violation of
Protecting language This is apropos of news item, ‘Bangladesh court outlaws ‘Banglish’, published on 17 February. As per the report, Bangladesh high court has ordered radio and TV presenters and anchor persons not to use words which are foreign to Bengali language. This order came as an effort to protect Bengali language in the backdrop of widespread distortion of the language with usage of english. Unfortunately, this phenomenon is not limited to Bangladesh but is present in all the third world countries. In our region, we see it in the form of Urduish, Hindish, Punjablish and so on. It is true that with the advent of technological and media advancement, of which the english is the major torch bearer, even the non-english speaking developed countries are not immune to an imminent danger to their own languages. I don’t think that mere a court order can make much difference; it’s an attitude issue. People speaking english or
international laws. It’s our request to them not to worry about us as we know what their real objective is behind all this concern. ASMA AHSAN Islamabad
heavily mixing it with their own language feel better off than others. I don’t think it’s a superiority complex (though they think it that way) but a sign of weakness. Unless we accord our mother tongue or national language a bread earning status, court order will remain just a piece of paper. Civil society, media, educationists, intellectuals, nationalists should close ranks and exert pressure on their respective governments to take up the cause to save the ones country’ language, and that’s possible by making it the official language of the country in all respects. Otherwise, our languages will not be able to resist the West’ technological and media attack which is forcing people to even think in foreign languages. Once we stop thinking in our own language, we stop producing genuine literature and arts. even this may impact our political directions as well. Bangladesh’ court order should be taken as a wakeup call. MASOOD KHAN Jubail, Saudi Arabia
the Persian example
Interference in Balochistan The holding of an exclusive hearing on Balochistan by US House Committee on Foreign Affairs, encouraging terrorist elements there, is indicative of nefarious ambitions to destabilise Pakistan. Loaded US designs were manifest from the fact that Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, who recently authored an article expressing support for an independent Balochistan was to chair the hearing. Ralph Peter, a retired Lieutenant Colonel of the US Army, who was the author/cartographer of his pernicious thesis in 2006 that sought
break up of Pakistan and carving out of an independent Balochistan from Pakistani and Iranian territories, was on the witness panel for this hearing. And incidentally who was he speaking for? The moving spirit behind selection of this highly jaundiced chair and witness combination only speaks of US policymakers’ desire to stir trouble for Pakistan and give a fillip to the efforts of some misguided terrorists who are holding the people of Balochistan to ransom. In the backdrop of the propaganda of
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 Pick and choose Anything goes
o we have a litmus, here, for liberal values? Will the present episode in the crisis of missing persons separate the wheat from the chaff? When this paper, like several others, protests against the illegal detention of Baloch political activists, it finds supporters in the chic new breed of urban liberati. When it protests against the illegal detention of suspected Islamist militants, however, it loses that support. Not too lonely a position to take, however, since there are many from those against the war on terror to begin with (a war which this paper supports) that would chime in there. That the intelligence agencies should be allowed to pick up individuals on mere suspicion and keep them incarcerated in one case and not the other is a very dicey argument, one that cannot hold water against objective external scrutiny. When this internal inconsistency is pointed out, there is much hemming and hawing, not much substance. According to the Criminal Procedure Code of Pakistan, no individual can be held for more than 24 hours without having to appear in front of a civil magistrate. The latter can review the case, there can be a judicial remand or a police remand but under no circumstances can an individual be held indefinitely without charge for purposes of “investigation”. Mouthing tautologies is the occupational hazard of those discussing our dysfunctional republic but here goes: it is the job of intelligence agencies to collect intelligence. They should stick to that. Pass over credible and, on good days, actionable intelligence to the government so it can proceed through the police or, where it has been called out, the army. An aside: the aforementioned chic urban liberati are comfortable with the agencies’ “dirty Harry” approach of messy-but-gets-the-job-done with the Islamist militants. Yet they constantly accuse the agencies of aiding and abetting the Taliban and going soft on them. Wrong on so many levels. Perhaps a conference for this breed of liberals where they can all sit down and figure all of this out, preferably before sundown?
election spending Knowing how much
he government, it is rumoured, is set to start a massive relief package soon enough. That would be understandable. It is, presumably, an election year and the government, like any sitting government, would want to pull out all the stops to compensate (literally, in some cases) for the incumbency factor. Politics is politics and such a spending drive would be kosher. But how much would be too much? This is a slippery and tempting slope which the government should be aware of. Because if the government wants to get popular irresponsibly, there is much it could do. Consider the power crisis. The government can make it all go away. No power outages from a couple of months before the election. It would do this by settling a significant chunk of the circular debt doing the rounds in the power sector and ensuring uninterrupted electricity. Would it work? Yes. Would it be sustainable or even responsible? No. The power crisis emerges from a number of factors, chief of which is the mismatch between the power tariffs and how much it costs to generate a quantum of power. There are also the inefficiencies and transmission losses, which require a huge amount of money to rectify. The correct approach would be to fork out an amount for the latter and raise rates for the former. Not popular steps, these, but they would be the grown up thing to do. In the popular approach, all the money would have been spent and the circular debt would ratchet up again in a matter of months. If the government does not behave responsibly, a part of the blame could also be placed firmly on the media and the puerile and biased manner in which it covers – amongst other areas – the economy. Instead of conveying to the polity the scope and nature of the problem, it plays to a gallery that doesn’t want any sympathy for the government. So in the natural gas crisis, the public thinks that the only crisis is that of incompetence, not that off genuine shortage. In the RGST debate, the public thinks the government plans to increase the GST rate. The list goes on... Here is to hoping some sense, not just in the federal government but also the provincial ones, prevails. Let’s not do a Musharraf on the next government.
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
Monday, 20 February, 2012
Drone strikes and the legality and necessity of them
By Waqqas Mir
resident Obama recently finally acknowledged that the US carries out drone strikes inside Pakistan’s territory. In many ways it has been beguiling and rather absurd as to why the US maintained a policy of non-acknowledgement, if not denial, about this issue. You would think that an administration that prides itself on getting rid of “Don’t ask, Don’t tell” would see the virtue in being candid. Still, better late than never. The issue of drone strikes has been a public relations disaster. The silence, as far as I am concerned, has been inexplicable. From a legal perspective, I have seen the drone strikes as something flowing from a tacit agreement between two sovereign nations. Therefore, the rhetoric of violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty may be seen as revealing less than meets the eye. Documents leaked during the WikiLeaks saga seem to confirm that the Pakistani security and political establishment were on board. Drone strikes are a sensitive issue and I can fully respect, albeit disagree with, people’s arguments about effect of drone strikes on the sovereignty of Pakistan. However, the lack of candor regarding this policy has hurt both US and Pakistan at a deeper level. America’s image has been considerably hurt because of its silence. Since it was not present on the debating table it literally contributed nothing. This left the field open for jingoism by the Pakistani media as well as cer-
tain political parties. The silence hurt Pakistan in the same way as our discourse on the issue became corrupted. Many an opportunity to discuss causes of rising extremism has been lost. A simplistic narrative, attributing rising extremism to drone strikes, has gained traction and has remained largely unquestioned. Of course, cases of collateral damage do have an impact and can be used as a tool of propaganda to recruit extremists. However, this argument almost deliberately ignores the fact that extremism in Pakistan has been rising consistently for a while and did not start flourishing a day after the first drone strike. Issues such as lack of curriculum reform and absence of effective regulation over sources of funding for madrassahs have not received the attention they deserve. We must , however, realise that while we can look away from rising extremism we cannot wish it away. As a citizen, for a while now, I have supported drone strikes as a necessary evil. The cynics, of course, might say that because I go to school in the US I am brain-washed. That is a point of view that I can do nothing about and for which I have little time. Drone strikes are not just more precise than action by infantry or artillery forces would be but the chances of collateral damage are lesser. Those rallying against the drone strikes often fail to consider and weigh the alternatives available. And the fact that the US maintained silence over the issue allowed the debate to be hijacked. Lack of transparent data has also not helped matters but if the issue had been handled with candor from the beginning, a great deal of damage could have been avoided. Absence of openness has meant that the US played straight into the hands of our security establishment. The military, even though it was clearly on board, has clearly distanced itself from any responsibility and has taken every opportunity to revile the US. Politicians, like Imran Khan, have also been allowed to take the issue and run away with it while relying on an absurd logic. Granted it would not have been an easy debate to manage but had the US been open about the drone policy from the beginning, then members of the governing party (PPP
and ANP, for instance) along with other segments of society persuaded by the “necessary evil” argument could have tried making a case, however difficult, for drones. Sure, the debate might not have been won but it would have allowed countering to some degree the absurd narratives now gaining traction in Pakistan. There is also talk now of certain NGOs taking the issue of drone attacks to the Supreme Court. It will be highly unfortunate if the Honourable Court becomes involved in the matter. Courts in the United States have always stayed away from adjudicating on issues of the legality of a war and one hopes that our apex court will follow that example. A tragedy of this whole process, yet again, might well be that the democratic leadership will be maligned in public while the military establishment will remain unscathed. Anyone thinking of taking such issues before the courts should think twice. Such petitions will further not just naïve self-righteousness but also a discourse that undermines elected representatives. If transparency is a value that the US prides itself upon then it must be seen to be implemented in difficult times. More information is also needed to address concerns about the burden of proof that is met before such attacks are carried out. These are important questions and must be addressed. Guarding information has to balanced against an equally important strategic interest of preventing US’s reputation from declining further in Pakistan. For our part, while we must condemn loss of innocent life, we should also remain vigilant against attempts by certain politicians and the security establishment to insult our intelligence and our struggle against extremism. extremism is not born in a day in societies. There are deep rooted fault lines which we must correct. While the US could have been smarter about this issue, we must not forget where the ultimate responsibility for countering extremism and narratives supporting it rests. It rests with you and me. The writer is a Barrister and an Advocate of the High Courts. He is currently pursuing his LLM at a law school in the US and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
the hand of God? ‘Shezan ban’ represents what truly is wrong with us
By Reem Wasay
f some snippets of muddled news reports are to be believed, there is a certain segment from our justice crusaders who have put forth a declaration of discrimination against the Ahmedi community by issuing an exile of fruit drinks manufactured by Shezan, a name owned by a minority borne out of hate – ours. Not only is it staggering and morally offensive that such loathsome decrees can be issued within the four walls of an institution actualised to ensure that all people be treated fairly and impartially under the auspices of the law, it is crushing that we have gradually accepted this corrosion of our propensity for exacting equality without even a passing whiff of surprise alerting us social creatures to the still present merits of our humanity. When credible media sources relayed news of this ‘ban’, the public may have been outraged but it was not surprised; it may have been offended but the move was not unforeseen. And herein lies
the problem. Our midnight gospels, bearded evangelicals, minarets and methodologies, sermons and grindstones, tallies and strategies, voices and venom, curricula and primetimes all reek of one soulless attribute: hate. The Pakistani new wave is growing up on a steady stream of deliberate demonisation of entire sects of humans. We are taught that just because an individual ventures out of neatly defined red lines, he or she is asking for trouble. Just because their belief is not the same as ours, we feel we may have crossed some imagined borders of censure. When elected representatives can amend the constitution and declare a section of society as undeserving of the care and preservation of ethics, law and honour, where official travel documents have whetted and sealed the fate of an entire group of people by ostracising them in completion and where masked militias can enter their ‘places of worship’ and gun them down as though they were a fair game, one can’t really be expected to stand up and decry the frivolity of a juice ban, or can we? The supposed ban on Shezan products within the premises of Lahore’s most ‘virtuous’ courts is a textbook presentation of ‘the sum of all parts’. Clawing away at our antiquated inclination towards the spiritual (as opposed to the self-righteous) and deeply ingrained, almost surreal, in-
stinct for destabilising malice with mortification, the schematic dogma with which our peddlers of perception have changed the course of the crescent upon the green is tragic indeed. It starts off with a cheeky remark over how men and women have adopted ‘western’ norms, slowly inches towards denial of education and gender inequality, creeps up behind the campaigners of free enterprise and suddenly whiplashes an entire group out of its comfort zone and into a no man’s land of carcasses and controls. It is the small parts of this craftily caustic contrivance that has made us what we are today: a nation barely shocked by the cruel, complacent in this wicked deciphering of who gets to stay Muslim and who gets kicked to the curb, and strangely jaded when it comes to hoping for change. Something is wrong somewhere and the only ones who benefit are the hate-mongers who made society as a whole this way in the first place. With the little things adding up to make us a colourless, violent society where the law is being practiced by black-tailed bigots, the picture is one clearly viewed only when one steps out of the frame and actually sees how the dots have been connected. This Shezan ban is nothing sort of hurried gibberish. It is nothing quicker than a slamdunk at 15 minutes of fame by a
group of lawyers desperate to get their names and black suits known and appraised by other like-minded fools. It is a rebellion by the harried ‘champions’ of a mass movement that gave us our first heroes and saviours in generations. Obviously liberalism and enlightenment are not their strong points – neither are they their selling points. It is mighty easy and corruptibly simple to strike blows on a dead pound of flesh – one we extracted from the Ahmeddiya many years ago. This cherrypicked discrimination will never go far. The lawyers who have advocated this ban ought to banish a few more items from their retinue of self-service. The mobile phones they can’t seem to live a moment without, the ties and suits they wear, the cars they drive, all innovations sold to us by the ‘blasphemous disbeliever’ – the scientist, the thinker, the non-Muslim. even the entire justice system ought to be abolished as it is modelled after the system set up and practiced by our colonial masters. But it wouldn’t do to literally defecate where you eat now, would it, rendering one and all unemployed? Shezan is a Pakistani institution much like Pakola. It is a part of the sum and it cannot be denied. The writer is an editor and participant of the Salzburg Trilogue. She can be reached at email@example.com
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Monday, 20 February, 2012
the persian-arab divide
Murky waters, careful treading
The idealism is dead
PoliTact By Arif Ansar
oliTact has been writing consistently on the evolving Persian-Arab tussles, and the theme was also a prominent focus of the forecast for 2012. Meanwhile, the centre of attention of the West has remained fixated on Pakistan’s role in the context of its ties with Afghanistan, India and China. This is turn has also influenced Pakistan’s foreign policy thinking. However, it is increasingly clear that the matters related to the Middle east, more specifically the Iran crisis, will determine the future of not only the Afghan reconciliation but also Pakistan’s relations with other countries. For the most part, western scholars have not tried to understand how the Iran crisis could impact the Afghan reconciliation. The first reference in this regards seems to have been made by the former national security advisor of US and renowned geopolitical strategist, Zbigniew Brzezinski. In a recent talk, he specifically mentioned that if Iran crisis develops into a full-blown conflict, Afghan reconciliation would be seriously dented. PoliTact recently interviewed two other scholars of the region, Lisa Curtis of the Heritage Foundation and Dr Marvin Weinbaum of the Middle east Institute. Lisa affirmed that Afghan reconciliation would be impacted by the Iranian crisis but was not sure about the magnitude; however, Dr Weinbaum backed Brzezinski’s assertion, while also admiring his genius. To make matter worse, Iran also appears to be missing from the fluid Afghan settlement. Most of the discussion in this
regard has focused on Taliban, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. The missing Iranian component may have been due to the focus of American strategy for the region. The US would ideally like to deal with Afghan reconciliation first, and then to shift focus to Iran. And letting sanctions and efforts towards regime change in Syria pile up the pressure on the Iranians. However, from the Israeli perspective, this approach has not been convincing enough and the country is fast running out of patience. The reality is that the events related to both Iran and Afghan crises have been occurring simultaneously, not sequentially, and Iran appears to be taking over the Afghan crisis. The escalating Iran situation has caught India and Pakistan by surprise. Both countries are now balancing their ties between the US and european backed Gulf monarchs on the one hand, and the Iranian regime on the other. The US-eU sanctions on Iranian oil export and the recent UN Security Council resolution on Syria lays out this divide more prominently. India and Pakistan voted in favour of the Arab League supported resolution on Syria; however, both countries have pledged to continue their energy and trade dealings with Iran despite western sanctions. The dilemma for India is even greater than Pakistan as it has strategic relations with Israel, eU and the US. In a recent the Indian Express article, Senior Fellow at the Centre for Policy Research in Delhi C Raja Mohan addresses India’s problematic approach to Middle eastern politics: “The problems for India’s Middle east policy emerged when the regional and internal contradictions began to acquire a salience all their own. If India was flummoxed by the shifting regional coalitions, it was utterly unprepared for internal strife in the Arab states and its external consequences.” The same can be said for Pakistan. Any question related
to its foreign policy is being ducked under one standard comment that the policy review the country had initiated after the November NATO Mohmand attack will provide the needed direction. Though, in recent days, comments made by Pakistan’s civilian leadership have provided clues on Pakistan’s implied policy on Iran. In an interview to The Sun, Pakistan’s High Commissioner to Britain stated that if Israel attacks Iran, Pakistan would be left with no option but to support Iran. Wajid Shamsul Hasan commented, “We wouldn’t like to be seen as part of Israel’s campaign against any country. If Israel attacks Iran, it will have an impact on Pakistan as well.” Pakistan faces a much more serious challenge, as these tensions between Iran and Gulf countries have the tendency to take on Shiite versus Sunni colour. “We will have to safeguard our own interests. We also have a Shia population in Pakistan who will not take it lying down,” the High Commissioner added. Moreover, during the recently held tripartite meeting in Islamabad, President Zardari has commented that Pakistan and Iran “need each other and no foreign pressure should hinder their ties.” He also added that in case the US attacks Iran, Pakistan would not be providing any support to the US. While Afghan conflict has consumed people’s attentions for more than a decade, the scope of Iran and Syrian crisis is much wider. Any realistic assessment of the situation in South Asia would have to envision what happens in Afghanistan, and the region, once the Middle east comes to a boil. Not doing so will only lead to more surprises. The writer is the chief analyst for PoliTact (www.PoliTact.com and http:twitter.com/politact) and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
ello. My name is Sajjad. I’m just over 40, and I’ve been working in the NGO sector for the last 10 years. every evening, I go back home, and I try not to think about the suit I was wearing, the two useless reports I approved, or the fancy hotel lunch meeting I had with a naïve white man (who picked up the tab). every evening, however, despite my best efforts, I go to sleep thinking about the colour of tomorrow’s tie, the three reports I still need to read through, and the planned lunch meeting with another white man. This time, I’d have to pay the bill. It wasn’t always like this, you know. Things were different 24 years ago. Things were unstructured, unregimented, unconstrained. Things were free. At the age of 16, I passed the matriculation exam from Government Higher Secondary School (for boys) in my hometown, Muridke. By the grace of God, my father thought I was smart enough to be sent to Lahore for further education. As I packed for the hour-long bus ride, abbaji stepped into my room and told me his plans for my future: Plan A was admission to engineering University (formally known as UeT), and then a job in the gulf through Uncle Farooq’s younger brother (who knew some people there). If Uncle Farooq’s younger brother bailed, then it By Umair Javed was probably best I sit for the CSS exam. Failing that, I will apply for a grade 16, entrylevel post in the Communication and Works department, Government of Punjab. Plan B was admission to Hailey College of Commerce for a B Com, because, apparently, there are new banks recruiting young graduates and sending them to the gulf. Takes Uncle Farooq’s younger brother out of the equation all-together. Plan C would kick in if I failed to make the merit list after the intermediate examination results. If so, I would move back to Muridke and start work with abbaji at the shop. Deference to paternal authority, it turned out, is inversely proportional to distance. After 5 months in college, a friend of mine convinced me to switch from pre-engineering to arts and humanities. I ditched Physics, Math, and Chemistry, and ended up taking Sociology, Political Science, and economics. I decided I wanted to take up Plan D, which was becoming a col-
lege lecturer. Unfortunately for me, abbaji wasn’t willing to finance a Plan D, and I had no option but to turn to my eldest brother for college related expenses. Luckily, he was less fussy about my choice of subjects. I was arrested for the first time in my life at the age of 17. One of our instructors took a bunch of us to a pro-democracy public gathering on the Mall Road. We were baton charged, tear-gassed, and then finally pushed into a large police van, which took us to the police station. It was a frightening, yet oddly exhilarating experience, and I wanted more of it. An Inter, BA, MA later, I found myself working as a journalist for the Lahore bureau of a major newspaper. Plan D, sadly enough, fell through when the Public Services Commission interviewer, after three questions on political theory, asked me to recite Dua-eQunoot. The idea that the attainment of a political science lectureship hinged on my ability to repeat a certain amount of words in a foreign language seemed ludicrous. I voiced my thoughts, they didn’t like them, and I ended up working as a journalist. As it turned out, it really wasn’t such a bad thing. Four of us had taken up a small apartment in the old city and spent most of our time dabbling in plenty of radical ideas, and even more radical substances. Good times. This is how I lived life for 12 years. The cities changed, the apartments changed, the substances changed, but life was spontaneous, and existence remained unfettered. That Sajjad is dead now. Bogged down by a changing society, and eventually killed by the barrenness of growing old. The worst part is that there’s no new Sajjad either. No 17-year-olds getting arrested, nobody making spontaneous life-style choices, nobody bothering themselves by the added weight of utopian ideals. People want straight, predictable lines, and lives they can see 10 years into the future. They want stability, fancy toys, and gated communities. The only ‘ism’ that they cherish is careerism, (Islamism too, but only as long as it doesn’t interfere with the former). There’s a 24-year-old LUMS graduate working in my NGO. He’s doing well for himself, and he knows it. He sees a promotion at the end of this year, and a fat pay-raise too. After a while, he’ll move to some hi-fi UN type international organisation, get married, rent a bigger place, and buy a bigger car. His ambition, he told me, is to become a Washingtonbased public policy specialist. And he tells me all of this with an earnest, sincere expression on his face. Yep, that Sajjad is definitely dead. The writer blogs at http://recycledthought.blogspot.com. Email him at email@example.com, or send a tweet @umairjav
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Monday, 20 February, 2012
Avatar sequels to be made in Wellington
MUMBAI: Amy Jackson at the premiere of ek Deewana tha. LOS ANGELES aGENCiES
Sir Peter Jackson’s Weta Digital is expecting that film director James Cameron will make Avatar 2 and 3 in Wellington, film industry sources say. It is a job that could be worth hundreds of millions and employ hundreds of people for several years but it is not yet a done deal. Confidence that Cameron would choose Weta and Wellington again to make Avatar 2 and 3 rose when the director recently bought two farms in the Wairarapa. Cameron having a base here is seen as a “positive” sign that his decision will favour Weta. He has expressed a desire to shoot the sequels here but a decision is yet to be announced by his company Lightstorm entertainment. About $362 million was spent in New Zealand making the first Avatar 3-D film, employing hundreds of digital animators in Wellington for years on the complex computer-generated images. Avatar employed more than 1500 people in New Zealand and injected about $100m into the Wellington economy alone. As well as the dig-
ital animation, Weta did the conceptual design, specialty costumes, props and weapons for the film. Two Weta sources said they hoped Wellington would be picked. “Fingers crossed,” one highly placed source said. The other said Cameron’s move to the farm, which is about 15 to 20 minutes by helicopter from Weta’s base near Wellington airport, gave greater confidence. Film Wellington manager Delia Shanly said they had heard the rumours of Avatar sequels being made in Wellington, but there was nothing concrete. “It would be absolutely amazing to have them back here,” she said. “It put so many millions into the Wellington and New Zealand economy. It would just be amazing (to get parts 2 and 3).” While Cameron’s decision to buy a farm here did not make the decision a certainty, “it is not unpromising – it is a very good sign”. In another good sign for Weta, US director Steven Spielberg this week confirmed that Peter Jackson would direct the second Tintin movie in a planned trilogy. Spielberg said Jackson would go into production on the Tintin sequel as soon as he finishes work on The Hobbit films.
MUMBAI: vidya Balan on the sets of tv serial Utran.
MC5 bassist Michael Davis dies LONDON aGENCiES
Michael Davis, bass player with US rock band MC5, has died of liver failure aged 68, his wife has announced. Davis died at enloe Medical Center in Chico, California, on Friday following a month of treatment for liver disease, said Angela Davis. He was part of the MC5 line-up who rose to prominence with their blistering sound, epitomised by the 1969 track Kick Out the Jams. Led by singer Rob Tyner, MC5 are widely regarded as pioneers of US punk rock. Born on 5 June 1943, David replaced original bassist Pat Burrows when Tyner and lead guitarist Wayne Kramer decided they liked his style. He went on to play on the Detroit band’s debut album Kick Out The Jams, the title track with its inflammatory opening statement of intent going on to be one of their best known songs.
Hrithik Roshan voted ‘The most
lovable star’ MUMBai: After winning the Sexiest Man title and top-lining the times 50 Most Desirable Men 2011 list, hrithik’s at it again - winning more acclaim and love from his loving fans and admirers. on valentine’s Day, Duggu was voted the Most Lovable Star on a micro blogging website, beating the other Btown good-looking stock. he boasts of a strong 1.4 million followers on this website and was only too humbled with all the attention and love. You have all our love, too, Duggu. here’s to more shining trophies and terrific titles! For moreBollywood news and gossip, keep watching Planet Bollywood news every night at 7, only on zoom - India’s no.1 Bollywood channel. aGENCiES
SAnreMo: Italian singer noemi performs on the stage of Ariston theatre in Sanremo, during the 62nd Italian Music Festival. AFP
SRK, Salman to continue rivalry over ‘Dhoom’ MUMBai: Some overambitious wags at Yash raj Films inform us that Boss (Aditya Chopra) cracked the tripartite deal with Salman Khan to postpone the release of ‘ek tha tiger’ and accommodate Aamir Khan’s film ‘talaash’ pushing back ‘ek tha tiger’ to eid also by offering Salman Khan the negative role of the thief in ‘Dhoom 4’. While the entire fate of ‘Dhoom 4’ (D4) depends on how good films like the Salman Khan starrer ‘ek tha tiger’ and ‘Dhoom 3’ does at the box office, what also remains to be seen is the camaraderie that Aditya Chopra and salman Khan will share knowing Adi’s proximity to arch rival Shah rukh Khan. Also the big news from our wags is that SrK has already been spoken to play the baddie in ‘Dhoom 5’ (D5). Sounds ambitious, but knowing how hrithik roshan and then Aamir Khan picked up the roles in the subsequent films in the series after John Abraham played the baddie in ‘Dhoom’, the claims seem possible. the wag also says that both the creative brain Aditya Chopra and the writer director vijay Krishna Acharya have already been getting ideas on how to make D4 and D5. Well, that will surely mean some more work for Uday Chopra who is currently working on the production of a hollywood film for YrF. We are told that the first film is already complete and he is beginning to work on the next two from the YrF stable that will be out soon. We did see Uday Chopra trying out a few clothes and looks in his biker jacket with some bikes at the YrF Studios recently for a photo-shoot as well.. aGENCiES
MJ’s estate suing former manager for conning popstar LOS aNGELES: Michael Jackson’s estate is suing the popstar’s former manager for ripping the singer off millions of dollars. Legal documents filed by the estate, show that Dr. tohme tohme got the late King of Pop to sign agreements that earned him a fortune for doing nothing. According to the papers, estate attorney howard Weitzman claims tohme got MJ to agree to pay him 35,000-dollar a month plus expenses as a flat fee regardless of what work tohme performed, tMC.com reported. on top of that, tohme inked a deal that gave him 15 percent of any money Jackson made. tohme also introduced the pop legend to a lender that refinanced neverland. In return, tohme got Jackson to pay him 2.4 million dollars just for the introduction, and got the singer to promise him 10 percent of any profits if the ranch was sold. tohme also got the singer to agree to pay him 100,000 dollars a month for the ‘this Is It’ tour. estate lawyers are anticipating a lawsuit by tohme against the estate for the money he claims he has owed, and wants to shut him down before a suit is filed. the estate is also
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Special Oscar moments: 1983-2011 LOS ANGELES aGENCiES
hAro: Artists of the Spanish company ‘Perfordance’ perform during their play ‘el Carnaval del vino’. AFP
neW JerSeY: rev. Jesse Jackson and rev. Al Sharpton leave Whitney houston’s funeral at new hope Baptist Church. AFP
1983: Dudley Moore, Liza Minnelli, Walter Matthau and Richard Pryor are the mismatched quartet of hosts. When Moore asks Pryor if his suit was expensive, the comic — who accidentally set himself aflame almost three years earlier while freebasing cocaine — quips, “A little. It’s fireproof.” ’84: Johnny Carson’s final hosting gig. “Rhinestone” co-stars Sylvester Stallone and Dolly Parton stumble and giggle through the Best Actor presentation. ’85: Dr. Haing S. Ngor has to physically stop his “The Killing Fields” co-star Sam Waterston from hugging him as he goes to accept Best Supporting Actor. Ngor is only the second non-actor to win an Oscar. ’86: An elegant Anjelica Huston wins Best Supporting Actress for “Prizzi’s Honor,” marking three generations of Hustons to win an Oscar. ’87: Marlee Matlin wins Best Actress for “Children of a Lesser God”; presenter (and Matlin’s then-boyfriend) William Hurt signs to her from the stage after saying her name. ’88: Playwright John Patrick Shanley accepts his Best Original Screenplay award for “Moonstruck” by dedicating it to “everybody who ever punched me or kissed me, and everybody who I ever punched or kissed.” ’89: Sean Connery and Michael Caine present Best Supporting Actor to Kevin Kline. When Roger Moore shows up and says he’s Bond, a shocked Caine points to Connery and says, “ He’s Bond!” ’90: Billy Crystal debuts as host (he’ll be doing it for the ninth time Feb. 26). “Where is that big, terrible number that usually opens the Oscars?” he asks before doing what is now his trademark. ’91: Joe Pesci wins “Goodfellas’ ” only Oscar — amazing but true — and accepts his Best Supporting Actor statuette with a simple, “It’s my privilege, thank you.” ’92: Jack Palance’s one-handed pushups are great — but Crystal’s callbacks are even better. ’93: Al Pacino throws his head back as he fi-
nally wins Best Actor, for “Scent of a Woman.” 94: In his Best Actor acceptance speech for “Philadelphia,” Tom Hanks recalls his high school drama teacher and a classmate, “Two of the finest gay Americans [he] had the good fortune to be associated with.” ’95: Forget David Letterman’s stillborn “Oprah, Uma” gag. The clunkiest moment is when he brings Sadie, “the dog who spins when you applaud,” onstage. ’96: Christopher Reeve makes his first public appearance 10 months after being paralyzed in a riding accident. His first line: “What you don’t know is, I left New York last September and just arrived here this morning.” ’97: Letterman redeems himself by appearing in the opening montage in “The english Patient’s” plane, gunning for Crystal while muttering, “Oprah, Uma, Oprah, Uma!” ’98: Ben Affleck and Matt Damon hug their moms after winning Best Original Screenplay; Affleck starts an ebullient speech with, “I just said to Matt that losing would suck and win-
ning would be really, really scary!” ’99: Hard to say what’s more memorable: The anger on the faces of ed Harris, Amy Madigan, Nick Nolte and the rest of the split audience when name-naming director elia Kazan gets an honorary Oscar, or Martin Scorsese, Robert De Niro and Warren Beatty’s teary respect. 2000: Robin Williams and a cartoony-looking live chorus sing “Blame Canada!” from “South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut.” ’01: Best Director Steven Soderbergh (“Traffic”) says thoughtfully, “ I want to thank anyone who spends part of their day creating — I don’t care if it’s a book, a film, a painting, a dance, a piece of theater, a piece of music ... This world would be unlivable without art.” ’02: In an emotional post-9/11 Oscars, Woody Allen does three minutes of standup before saluting New York. First African-American Best Actress winner Halle Berry says, “This moment ... is for every nameless, faceless
woman of color who now has a chance because this door has been opened.” ’03: Michael Moore brings the nominated Best Documentary filmmakers onstage to make an anti-Bush speech and compare the truth of documentaries with “fictitious” elections and wars. Love him or hate him, that’s preaching what you practice. ’04: Jack Black and Will Ferrell sing a madeup tune, “Get Off the Stage,” as they present Best Song. Winners never want to hear that song, they deadpan, or its lyrics: “This is it, your time is through ... You’re bor-r-r-ing !” ’05: Best Screenplay winner Charlie Kaufman (“eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”) counts the seconds, saying, “I don’t want to take my time. I want to get off the stage.” ’06: Best Song winners Three 6 Mafia (“It’s Tough Out Here for a Pimp”) make a laughing, expletive-laden speech; host Jon Stewart then wonders, “How come they’re the most excited people here tonight? That’s how you accept an Oscar!” ’07: Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and Francis Coppola present a nervous Martin Scorsese with a long-deserved Best Director award. “Hey guys, I never won an Academy Award,” says Lucas. To which Spielberg replies, “So why are you here?” ’08: After Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova win Best Song for “Falling Slowly” from “Once,” they instantly make Oscar history with an ingenuous speech imploring viewers to “make art.” After a commercial, Stewart graciously brings out Irglova, who was rushed off the stage by the orchestra, to finish her speech. ’09: Heath Ledger’s family accepts his Best Supporting Actor Oscar for “The Dark Knight.” ’10: Ben Stiller comes out dressed as an “Avatar” Na’vi to present Best Makeup. “Coochee-mahh, jamescameronkingoftheworld, blee-ahh. I see you.” ’11: Aaron Sorkin’s speech for Best Adapted Screenplay (“The Social Network”) keeps things in perspective: “Roxy Sorkin, your father just won the Academy Award, I’m going to have to insist on some respect from your guinea pig.”
Whitney’s family to attend private burial LONDON aGENCiES
MUMBAI: Simran Mundi at the premiere of ek Deewana tha.
asking for damages. tohme was fired by Jackson just three months before his tragic death in June, 2009. aGENCiES
The family of Whitney Houston is to attend her private burial in Westfield, New Jersey later. The late singer is to be laid to rest beside her father John Russell Houston, who died in 2003, at Fairview Cemetery. It follows a memorial service attended by some of the biggest names in music yesterday, including her mentor and former label boss Clive Davis, Stevie Wonder and cousin Dionne Warwick. The 48-year-old was found dead at a hotel in Los Angeles last week. She had been due to attend the Grammy awards. The cause of her death is as yet unknown, with investigators awaiting the results of toxicology tests. Wonder, Alicia Keys, and R Kelly performed during the three hour and 45
minute-long ceremony, while actor Kevin Costner, who starred opposite Houston in the film The Bodyguard, paid tribute to what he called the “sweet miracle” of her life. Houston’s ex-husband, Bobby Brown, arrived at the service but left again shortly afterwards. The emphasis was on celebrating Whitney Houston’s phenomenal achievements. The gospel choir set a celebratory rather than sombre note. This was where she sang as a child - her family called this her coming-home service. As in life, so there were tensions in death Houston’s estranged husband Bobby Brown, blamed by many fans for her descent into drug addiction, left the service early. The congregation reflected Houston’s journey from Newark to Hollywood. Stars from the music world paid homage - Stevie Wonder and Alicia Keys sang
Tom Cruise denies being ‘gay’! LOS aNGELES: Cuba gooding Jr banned his father from a film set for asking tom Cruise if he was “gay”. the 44-year-old actor worked with Cruise on the huge hollywood hit movie ‘Jerry Mcguire’. “he gave tom a hug and said, ‘I love you man. now seriously, are you gay or not?” the Mirror quoted gooding as saying on ‘the graham norton show’. “I almost fainted. And thought, please lord let me disappear. tom just laughed and said ‘no’,” he added. on the huge success of ‘Jerry Mcguire’ and the famous line “show me the money”, gooding admitted he is still known for that catchphrase more than anything, even though the film was first released in 1996. aGENCiES
heartfelt songs, with Keys praising the woman who mentored her. The service closed on an emotional note, with many weeping as Houston’s anthem I Will Always Love You accompanied the coffin out of the church. As her voice in all its glory at the height of her powers echoed around the church, family, friends and fans reflected on a talented, turbulent life. He later said in a statement released to US media that he and his children “were seated by security and then subsequently asked to move on three separate occasions”. “In light of the events, I gave a kiss to the casket of my ex-wife and departed as I refused to create a scene,” he added. Brown, 43, was on stage last night in Connecticut, performing with his original band New edition. “I want to give blessings to my ex-wife, Whitney Houston. I love you,” Brown he said as he pointed his finger to the sky.
No problem going topless:
Jennifer Aniston LOS aNGELES: Actress Jennifer Aniston, who appears topless in her latest project “ Wanderlust”, says she was unfazed about baring her chest. the 43-year-old says she really enjoyed filming in Clarkesville, georgia, where no one batted an eyelid about nude actors getting make-up applied to their entire body, reports thesun.co.uk. “You do get nervous when there’s a day where it’s oops, I’m naked. I wouldn’t go topless for a cause, going to such an extreme to make a difference. But we’ve been among these people in this environment for almost two months. the topless scene was nothing compared to what happened in the two months prior,” said Aniston. “there was an actor naked the whole time getting his touch-ups and everybody else just having a normal conversation,” she added. Aniston says filming “Wanderlust” was as fun as shooting long-running US sitcom “Friends”. “there was a real community feeling. We were in the middle of nowhere and we were all a hop, skip and a jump from each other peppered around this lake. the farthest people were 20 minutes away. After work we had dinner together and we spent the weekends together,” she said. In “Wanderlust”, Aniston plays Manhattan girl Linda who, along with her husband george ( Paul rudd), ditches the city for a simpler life in a free-love hippy commune. aGENCiES
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Monday, 20 February, 2012
tens of thousands protest labour law reforms in Madrid MADRID aFP
Tens of thousands of people jammed the streets of Madrid on Sunday to protest against sweeping labour market reforms that make it easier to slash pay and lay off workers. Spain’s two biggest unions, the CCOO and UGT, planned protests in a total of 57 cities, including Barcelona and Seville, on Sunday against the reforms which Spain’s new conservative government argues are needed to revive the economy and slash an unemployment rate of 22.85 percent. In the Spanish capital the protesters marched under a sunny sky behind a large banner that read “no to the unfair, inefficient and useless reform”. “We have to take action. They start like this and then they will continue to eliminate rights,” said 44-year-old unemployed construction worker Victor Orgando, who wore a black hat decorated with a red CCOO union sticker. The crowd chanted “strike! strike! strike!” as it made its way from Neptune Square near the Parado Musuem to the central Sol Square. Among the participants were members of the “indignant” social protest movement that sprang up across Spain before local elections in May and teachers wearing green T-shirts with slogans against education spending cuts. Under the reform approved by Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s government on February 11, maximum severance pay is slashed to 33 days’ salary for each year worked from 45 days, going back 24 years at most. Companies no longer need prior authorisation to lodge a labour force adjustment plan, allowing employers to set the conditions for mass layoffs. Unemployment in Spain has tripled since 2007, when it dropped to a low of 7.95 percent a year before a property bubble implosion that laid waste to millions of jobs in the construction sector.
Britain warns Israel over military action against Iran LONDON aFP
British Foreign Secretary William Hague on Sunday said Israel would not be “wise” to attack Iran over its disputed nuclear programme, saying it should give the diplomatic route a chance to succeed. Speaking in the wake of attacks on Israeli diplomats blamed on agents of Tehran, Hague said the Islamic republic “has increased in its willingness to contemplate utterly illegal activities in other parts of the world”. But he told BBC television: “I don’t think the wise thing at this moment is for Israel to launch a military attack on Iran. “I think Israel, like everybody else in the world, should be giving a real chance to the approach that we have adopted, of very serious economic sanctions and diplomatic pressure, and the readiness to negotiate with Iran. “And that’s what we now have to make a success of.” In recent weeks, there has been feverish speculation that Israel was getting closer to mounting a pre-emptive strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities, but Israel has denied reaching such a decision.
MaDRiD: People gather during a demonstration called by Spain’s two biggest Unions to protest against sweeping labour market reforms on Sunday. hundreds of thousands of people, many waving red and white union flags, protested across Spain against sweeping labour market reforms that make it easier to slash pay and lay off workers. afp
Syrian forces clamp down in Damascus after defiance call DAMASCUS
YRIAN security forces deployed heavily on Sunday in a tense Damascus neighbourhood where a mourner was shot dead in the largest anti-regime rally seen in the capital, blunting calls for a “day of defiance”. With protesters becoming more and more emboldened in Damascus following 11 months of revolt which has largely escaped the capital, President Bashar al-Assad’s regime also came under pressure Sunday from regional powers, with egypt joining other Arab League countries in recalling its ambassador. Although the security force deployment thwarted attempts by activists to stage new protests in Mazzeh neighbourhood, scene of a funeral Saturday that turned into a huge anti-regime rally, business there came to a halt, activists said. Mohammed Shami, a spokesman for activists in Damascus province, said most shops were shut in Mazzeh as well as in the neighbourhoods of Barzeh, Qaboon, Kfar Sousa and Jubar. Student demonstrations had been expected in Mazzeh but security forces were deployed around schools, Shami said. “Security forces are heavily deployed throughout Mazzeh,” he
added. Another activist, Abu Huzaifa from the Mazzeh Committee, said police forced the family of Samer alKhatib, 34, who died after being shot in neck during the mass funeral on Saturday, to bury him in a small ceremony earlier than planned, in an apparent move to head off demonstrations. In central Damascus, shops were opened as normal, witnesses said, while state television showed live footage from Mazzeh interviewing people who claimed life was proceeding normally. Deeb al-Dimashqi, a member of the Syrian Revolution Council based in the capital told AFP earlier that “huge demonstrations” were expected, adding however that Syrian forces had clamped tight security around the city. “There is a large security presence,” he said. In a message to Damascus residents on their “Syrian Revolution 2011” Facebook page, activists said: “The blood of the martyrs exhorts you to disobedience,” after more than 6,000 people were killed since protests against the regime of erupted in March, according to activists. Regime forces meanwhile pounded the flashpoint central city of Homs for 15th straight day Sunday, killing at least four people, activists said, while official SANA news agency reported the murder of a prosecutor and a judge in northwestern Idlib
province. Security forces shot dead a woman when they stormed the town of Sukhna in the Homs province to track down wanted activists, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said in a statement. It also said that a man was shot dead at a checkpoint in the northern province of Aleppo. The Baba Amr neighbourhood of the defiant city of Homs also came under sporadic shelling by army forces on Sunday morning, the Observatory said, adding that there was heavy shooting in the area of Bab Sbaa. And a “terrorist group” shot dead prosecutor Nidal Ghazal and judge Mohammed Ziyadeh and their driver in the northwestern province of Idlib on Sunday, SANA reported. The agency said that another “terrorist group” killed on Saturday Jamal Bish, a member of the city council of Aleppo. Saturday’s funerals in Damascus were for four people, including two teenagers, killed the previous day when security forces fired on protesters in Mazzeh district which houses many government offices and embassies, according to human rights group and activists. “The funerals in Mazzeh turned into protests — it was the closest major gathering to Omayyad Square” in the city centre, Observatory head Rami Abdul Rahman told AFP.
N Korea warns of retaliation for s Korean drill SEOUL aFP
North Korea warned Sunday it will bombard islands near the disputed Yellow Sea border with South Korea if an upcoming naval firing drill by Seoul violates its territorial waters. South Korean troops stationed on the five border islands will stage a regular monthly live-fire exercise in the area Monday, a Marine Corps spokesman told AFP. The North’s Western Sector Command warned residents of the islands to “evacuate to safe areas” before
what it said was the scheduled start time of the exercise at 9 am Monday (midnight Sunday GMT). In a notice carried by Pyongyang’s official news agency, the North’s military said Seoul “should not forget the lesson” of the bombardment of Yeonpyeong island in November 2010, which killed four South Koreans. “Once the group of traitors starts a reckless military provocation in those waters... in case just a single column of water is observed in its territorial waters, the KPA (North’s military) will promptly make merciless retaliatory
strikes,” it said. Pyongyang has taken a hostile tone towards Seoul since Kim Jong-Un, the youngest son of the late leader Kim Jong-Il, took over following the death of his father in December. The North has said the artillery attack on Yeonpyeong was in retaliation for a South Korean live-fire exercise which dropped shells into waters claimed by Pyongyang. The 2010 attack briefly sparked fears of war and triggered a major South Korean military build-up on the islands. Seoul has vowed to hit back harder,
using air power, for any fresh strike. The Marine Corps spokesman said the planned live-fire drill — which involves all artillery deployed in the area including K-9 self-propelled guns — is part of its regular exercises. “There is nothing special or new in the drill for this month compared to past ones. This is something we’ve been doing every month,” he told AFP. Yonhap news agency quoted a Joint Chiefs of Staff official as saying: “If North Korea provokes, we will hit back from the standpoint of exercising our right to self-defence.”
top US commander says attacking Iran would be ‘premature’ WASHINGTON aFP
The top US military commander said he believed it would be “premature” to take military action against Iran in response to its nuclear program in an interview to be aired Sunday. General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, also told CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS” program that economic sanctions have to be given a chance to work, and the United States and its allies should be better prepared for a military option. “I think it would be premature to exclusively decide that the time for a military option was upon us,” Dempsey said, according to excerpts of the interview released by CNN. “I think that the economic sanctions and the international cooperation that we’ve been able to gather around sanctions is beginning to have an effect,” he added. In recent weeks, there has been feverish speculation that Israel was getting closer to mounting a preemptive strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities, but Israel has denied reaching such a decision. Tensions between Iran and Israel have also been simmering with Iranian warships entering the Mediterranean through the Suez Canal in a show of “might”, a move Israel said it would closely monitor. The United States, other Western powers and Israel believe that Iran is seeking to build a nuclear bomb, but Tehran denies the charge, insisting its atomic program is for purely peaceful purposes. Iran said last week it was ready to resume stalled talks on its nuclear drive, prompting a cautious welcome from the United States and the european Union. Dempsey said he believed that “diplomacy is having an effect” and suggested that even if the West opted for a military solution, it had to be better prepared for such a step. “I mean, fundamentally, we have to be prepared,” he said. “And that includes, for the most part, at this point, being prepared defensively.” Asked if Iranian leader were acting rationally, the US military commander said: “We are of the opinion that the Iranian regime is a rational actor. And it’s for that reason, I think, that we think the current path we’re on is the most prudent path at this point.”
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Foreign News 17
Suicide bomb kills 15 at Baghdad police academy BAGHDAD aFP
A suicide car bomber blew himself up in front of a Baghdad police academy on Sunday, killing 15 people and wounding 21 others in the deadliest attack for weeks in the Iraqi capital, security officials said. At least seven other people were killed in attacks elsewhere in Iraq. The suicide bomber “blew himself up at the entrance of the police academy on Palestine Street,” an interior ministry official said, putting the toll at 15 killed and 21 wounded. A police colonel confirmed the toll. The ministry official told AFP the assailant was at the wheel of a car bomb and
most of his victims were students applying to join the police force. Security forces armed with Kalashnikov assault rifles were deployed on the street where the bombing occurred, preventing most cars from entering as a truck sprayed water on the site. Tow-trucks dragged the burned-out remains of two cars down the street and off through traffic, leaving behind another car with its windshield shattered. It was the deadliest attack in Iraq since January 27, when a suicide bomber detonated an explosives-packed car outside a hospital in the Iraqi capital, killing 31 people. Also on Sunday, gun and bomb attacks in other parts of the country killed
seven people, among them four police informants, a policeman and two antiQaeda militiamen, and wounded four others, security officials said. “A group of suspected Al-Qaeda gunmen attacked a house in the centre of Baquba around 7:30 am (0430 GMT),” a police major in Baquba, 60 kilometres (37.5 miles) north of Baghdad, told AFP. “The attackers killed three women and one man from one family inside the house,” the major said, adding they were all police informants. Gunmen in a civilian car also attacked a checkpoint manned by police and anti-Qaeda Sahwa (Awakening) militia members in Abu Khamis, north of
Baquba, killing a policeman and two Sahwa members, a police lieutenant colonel said. And two more Sahwa members were wounded by a roadside bomb near Samarra, 110 kilometres (70 miles) north of Baghdad, a lieutenant colonel in the Samarra police said. The Sahwa are made up of Sunni tribesmen who joined forces with the US military against Al-Qaeda from late 2006, helping turn the tide of the insurgency. Violence in Iraq is down from its peak in 2006 and 2007, but attacks remain common, killing 151 people in January. A Baghdad military spokesman said earlier this month that the ranks of AlQaeda, for which suicide bombings are a
favoured tactic, have thinned dramatically but the organisation remains a danger in Iraq. “According to the numbers of our intelligence services, which are the same as those of the Americans, Al-Qaeda had 33,000 members in 2006. Today, they are no more than 3,000,” Qassem Atta told Al-Sharq Al-Awsat newspaper. “Despite this dramatic drop, AlQaeda remains a danger,” he said. Only two to three potential suicide bombers enter Iraq each month compared to 100 would-be martyrs in 2006, when sectarian violence killed on average 180 people per day, according to the same source.
egypt’s presidential elections in early June CAIRO aFP
egypt’s first presidential elections since a popular uprising ousted veteran leader Hosni Mubarak a year ago will be held in the first week of June, officials were quoted as saying on Sunday. egyptian authorities are due to officially announce the timetable for the presidential election later on Sunday. “The election will start in the first days of June and will end in the last week of June if there is a run-off,” Ahmed Shams elDin, a member of the presidential election committee told the independent daily AlMasry Al-Youm. Presidential hopefuls will have three weeks starting March 10 to register their candidacy, after which there will be campaigning for 45 days. Last month, a panel charged with advising the military council had proposed to hold the landmark elections on May 16, a month earlier than the June deadline set by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces. Attempts at bringing forward the date come amid a series of nationwide rallies demanding the ouster of the SCAF. Activists accuse the junta of mismanagement of the transition, of human rights violations and of stifling freedoms.There is a widespread belief that the SCAF will attempt to retain some sort of power after the transition. The military has been the backbone of egyptian politics since the fall of the monarchy in 1952, and every president since has emerged from the top ranks of the armed forces.
harsh winter kills 40 children in Afghanistan KABUL aFP
A harsh winter has killed almost 40 children in Afghanistan in the past month, most of them in refugee camps in Kabul with aid groups warning Sunday of more deaths as temperatures keep falling. Twenty-four children lost their lives in camps on the outskirts of the capital which houses thousands of Afghans fleeing war and Taliban intimidation in southern Afghanistan. Others died from cold in the central highlands, public health ministry spokesman Ghulam Sakhi Kargar Noorughli told AFP. “Over this past one month we have 40 deaths recorded. All have died from cold and are mostly children,” he said. Afghanistan, a landlocked and mountainous country, has suffered its coldest winter in 15 years. International children’s charity Save the Children warned on Sunday that weather conditions were expected to worsen, threatening the lives of more children in the camps. “Save the Children is warning that even more could die from cold in what is Afghanistan’s worst winter for 15 years,” the charity group said in a statement, adding that temperatures were expected to drop as low as -17 degrees centigrade. “This has been a brutal winter and children have little to protect them from the biting cold,” Bob Grabman, Save the Children’s country director in Afghanistan, said.
hERaT: afghan men sit in on chairs as they have their hair cut on Sunday. Poverty and an ongoing insurgency by the ousted Taliban still pose a threat to the stability of the country. afp
Yemen election to mark end of Saleh’s 33-year-rule SANAA aFP
President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s 33year-rule finally comes to an end this week when his deputy takes over in a referendum-like poll, marking Yemen as the first Arab country where an uprising led to a negotiated settlement. Saleh’s shadow however looms heavily over Tuesday’s presidential vote as he maintains a strong hold over the country’s most powerful security forces and has said he will return home ahead of the vote from the United States, where he is undergoing medical treatment. Vice President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi is the only name on the ballot, making the election merely a vote for the 66-year-old soldier from the south, considered by most as the consensus candidate. Two major opposition groups, the separatist Southern Movement and the northern Zaidi rebels, are boycotting the polls. The single-candidate election was a condition of a Gulf-brokered power-transition deal signed by Saleh in November after ten months of mass protests and mounting international pressure calling for his ouster. The uprising’s main proponents have asked Yemenis to throw their support behind Hadi and posters of the vice president have been plastered across buildings and throughout the streets of the capital Sanaa.
“Hadi has local, regional and international support and is a respected leader who has a vision for the future. We call on all Yemenis to participate in the election,” General Ali Mohsen alAhmar, whose defection last March tipped the balance in favour of the protesters, told AFP. Influential Nobel peace laureate Tawakkul Karman has also urged Yemenis to vote for the vice president, saying his election would mark “the fruit of the popular youth uprising.” Once Hadi takes office, he is expected to launch a national dialogue, the first step in the transitional period which will end in legislative and presidential elections within two years. But many Yemenis have expressed concern over the role of the country’s most powerful security forces, which remain under the control of Saleh’s sons and nephews, and who were responsible for much of the bloodshed that occurred during the crackdown on protests. They also fear Saleh’s return to Yemen, which according to political sources in Sanaa, could be as early as Wednesday. “I think the remnants of the old regime pose the greatest threat to the elections,” said Mohammed Qahtan, a leader of the formal opposition Common Forum, whose representatives hold an equal share of posts in the 34member unity government formed in December with Saleh loyalists. “They are trying to encourage other
parties, including the northern rebels, the southern separatists and Al-Qaeda, to disrupt the election to prove Saleh is the only man capable of controlling Yemen,” he added. Saleh’s critics have repeatedly accused the veteran leader of intentionally allowing Al-Qaeda to expand its influence in the country’s lawless south and east to demonstrate that only he can fight the spread of terror. “President Saleh is the kind of person who never gives up completely. This casts doubt on his stated intentions to comply with the settlement plan,” said one Western diplomat. Speaking on condition of anonymity, the diplomat said that those closest to Saleh, including his eldest son Ahmed, commander of the notorious Republican Guard troops, “still act independently and do not seem to be cooperating with the new authorities.” electoral offices and polling stations have already come under repeated attacks in the past few days in Yemen’s southern provinces, and a hardline faction of the separatist Southern Movement has called for marking Tuesday a day of “civil disobedience.” In the north, the Zaidi rebels, who have fought six wars with Saleh’s regime since 2004, have also called on their followers to boycott the vote, after denouncing the transitional agreement for granting Saleh and his closest aides immunity from prosecution for crimes committed during the uprising.
French vote: Sarkozy presents new-style Carla at first rally MARSEILLE aFP
Nicolas Sarkozy was to stage the first major rally of his improbable reelection bid on Sunday as his former supermodel wife Carla Bruni road-tests an equally improbable down-to-earth makeover. With barely nine weeks to go until the first round of France’s presidential election, Sarkozy was to address a crowd of 10,000 supporters gathered to cheer him on in the roughand-ready Mediterranean port city of Marseille. And by his side for the first time of the campaign was to be a first lady formerly more associated with Parisian glamour and jet-set resorts, now trying to re-imagine herself as an ordinary young mum and doting spouse. Sarkozy has begun to close the gap between him and opposition Socialist frontrunner Francois Hollande — and thus to close the gap between him and a second five-year term in the elysee — as polling day approaches. But the right-winger remains on course for a humiliating defeat. Sunday’s latest poll by LH2Yahoo! was in line with all recent surveys in forecasting that Hollande would sweep the May 6 run-off with 55 percent to Sarkozy’s 45. So much was riding on the rally in Parc Chanot, at which he was to give a speech developing his theme of extolling conservative French values and promising a “strong France” through “effort, responsibility and authority.”
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Monday, 20 February, 2012
Azarenka overcomes injury scare to reach Qatar final Page 21
england’s progress excites Finn
All credit goes to England: Misbah
Pakistan batsmen technically weak, says Waqar
In-form paceman Steven Finn on Sunday expressed his excitement at england's progress as a one-day team after clinching an unassailable 3-0 lead in the fourmatch series against Pakistan. The lanky 22-year-old fast bowler has been a star in england's three wins, finishing with identical career-best figures of 4-34 in the first two matches before taking 3-24 off ten overs in the third here on Saturday. Finn and Stuart Broad (4-42) restricted Pakistan to 222 before Kevin Pietersen's first hundred in 36 innings and captain Alastair Cook's 80 steered england to a nine-wicket win. Finn said the one-day series win gives england an opportunity to become a good one-day side. "I wouldn’t say it makes up for the Test series defeat," said Finn of england's 3-0 loss to Pakistan in Tests and in which he only came on to serve the team drinks. "I’d say it shows we’ve improved and adapted to the conditions and now have the chance to make it 4-0 on Tuesday. "It is a great opportunity for us to ram home what a good one day side we’ve become." Finn, who was not included in any of the Tests, said he was bowling well since the start of the tour in January. "I said at the beginning of the trip that I thought I was bowling well. I thought that I was capable of playing. It’s nice to just get an opportunity and helping the team win games really spurs me on," said Finn. Finn stressed getting early wickets is important in one-day matches.
AKISTAN captain Misbahul Haq heaped praise on england for their superb comeback to clinch the one-day series after being routed in the preceding Tests, saying they showed character and discipline. england thumped Pakistan by nine wickets in the third match here on Saturday to take an unassailable 3-0 lead, leaving the fourth and final match here on Tuesday as inconsequential. Misbah, who lost his first one-day series as captain after four wins, said england were the better side. "It's not a nice feeling to lose," Misbah said after the match. "We need to give credit to england for the way they have come back after defeat in Tests. I feel they have played much better cricket than us and were very disciplined." Steven Finn with 3-24 and Stuart Broad 3-42 helped england restrict Pakistan to 222 depite aggressive half-centuries from Shahid Afridi and Umar Akmal. england then chased down the target in 37.2 overs with Kevin Pietersen ending his 36 innings century drought with an unbeaten 111 and Alastair Cook scoring 80 -- narrowly missing a third consecutive hundred in successive matches. Misbah said england attained world number one ranking in Tests through consistent performance. "We expected they will come back any time and they showed they learnt from their mistakes in Tests," said Misbah, who noted that playing away from home could be a factor in team's lackluster performance. "I feel the fact that we are playing away from home can be a fac-
LAHORE STaFF REPORT
tor. Sometime you feel home sickness. It is not that I'm giving an excuse on this matter but it happens when you are not playing at home," said Misbah. Pakistan have been forced to play its home series
on neutral venues as teams refuse to tour them over secuirty fears. They have not hosted international cricket since terrorists attacks on the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore three years ago.
Pakistan's former fast bowling great and former coach, Waqar Younis said that the team's biggest problem was that the top batsmen had technical issues which they were not working on. "The batsmen keep on getting out in the same fashion. Mohammad Hafeez, Imran Farhat, Azhar Ali, etc, they all have flaws. They need to work them out. We need to decide on a stable batting line-up," Waqar said. He also felt that since Pakistan had lost the one-day series there was nothing wrong with experimenting in the final match and giving the young players the confidence to bat higher in the order. He also felt that if Shoaib Malik was in the team he should be given a chance to open or bat at number three to get back into form. "If he can't still prove himself then we should say goodbye to him. But I think he needs to be given one final chance to prove himself at the top of the order," Waqar said.
pace bowlers legacy has grown thin Comment SHOAIB AKHTAR
Its time for the Pakistan Cricket Board and selectors to launch an initiative and unearth new pace talents in the country as there is a lack of quality pacers in the national team. It was really disappoint-
ing to see the performance of the current crop of pacers in the ongoing ODI series against england. People talk about talent in Pakistan. Where is the talent? I think it is about time the authorities start a search for new pace bowling talent from the big cities to remote areas and even in the northern mountainous areas. We need to find new pace bowling talent. Interestingly Pakistan cricket prides itself on the pacers it has pro-
duced over the years. Imran Khan left a legacy of pace bowlers like Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis when he retired. But since then the cupboard has worn thin. Umar Gul and Aizaz Cheema had not bowled well against england compared to Steven Finn or Stuart Broad. It was time for Captain Misbab-ulHaq to sit down with the board and selectors and plan ahead for the future. Our batting has always remained a problem and it is the bowling that has
carried us through. It is time for everyone to sit down and decide what they want to do because our batsmen keep on making same mistakes. If Imran Farhat can't learn to rectify his mistakes even after 12 years of international cricket than he should not be in the team. england had taken the micky out of Pakistan in the one-day series. I thought england underestimated us in the Tests and we underestimated them in the ODI series.
Australia crush India by 110 runs BRISBANE
A dominant Australia cruised to a 110-run win over India in their one-day international tri-series match in Brisbane on Sunday. After blasting 288 for five, the Australians, led by man of the match Ben Hilfenhaus with 5-33, ripped through the Indian top order before bowling them out for 178. The win gave Australia a bonus point victory and sent them to the top of the tri-series standings on 14 points. India stay second on 10 points with Sri Lanka on seven with a game in hand. "It's a long time since I've seen an Australian team bowl as well as that," Australian captain Ricky Ponting said later. "The way we were able to be aggressive early on and at the same time be able to restrict India from scoring boundaries was absolutely first class." Ponting said the opening spells from Hilfenhaus and veteran Brett Lee were outstanding as India were reduced to 36 for four, effectively ending the match as a contest. "I thought the way they bowled early on, with line and length and also with some aggression was the reason we did as well
as we did," Ponting said. "We pretty much had their batsmen under control from the first couple of overs." Indian skipper M.S. Dhoni played a lone hand with the bat, scoring 56 from 84 deliveries but he lacked support as India kept losing wickets at key moments. Hilfenhaus was in outstanding form while Lee continued his resurgence with 3-49 from 10 fast and aggressive overs.
Ponting won the toss and chose to bat, with the Australians recovering from a slow start to overwhelm the Indian attack with some powerful hitting over the final 20 overs. Veteran Mike Hussey top scored with 59 and combined with newcomer Peter Forrest (52) in a fifth wicket partnership of 100 from 92 balls. The last six overs yielded a punishing 65 runs with David Hussey (26)
aUSTRaLia M. Wade c and b Sharma 45 D. Warner c Tendulkar b Pathan 43 R. Ponting c Pathan b Khan 7 P. Forrest c Kohli b Pathan 52 M. hussey c Raina b Pathan 59 D. hussey not out 26 D Christian not out 30 EXTRaS (lb12, w12 b2) 26 TOTaL (for five wickets; 50 overs) 288 Fall of wickets: 1-70 (Warner), 2-83 (Ponting) 3-117 (Wade) 4-217 (hussey), 5-223 (Forrest) BOWLiNG: Khan 10-0-46-1 (4w), Vinay Kumar 10-0-60-0 (1w), Pathan 10-0-61-3 (5w), Raina 10-0-44-0, Yadav 7-0-46-0 (1w), Sharma 3-0-17-1 (1w) iNDia G. Gambhir c Wade b Lee 5 S. Tendulkar c Doherty b hilfenhaus 3 V. Kohli c D. hussey b hilfenhaus 12 R. Sharma c Wade b Lee 0 S. Raina c Wade b Christian 28
M.S. Dhoni Christian hilfenhaus 56 R. Jadeja c Forrest b Starc 18 i. Pathan c Wade b hilfenhaus 19 R. Vinay Kumar b Lee 6 z. Khan c Wade hilfenhaus 9 U. Yadav not out 6 EXTRaS ((lb4, w10, nb2) 16 TOTaL (for 10 wickets: 43.3 overs) 178 Fall of wickets: 1-8 (Gambhir), 2-15 (Tendulkar), 3-16 (Sharma), 4-36 (Kohli), 5-82 (Raina), 6-114 (Jadeja), 7-149 (Dhoni), 8-162 (Vinay Kumar), 9-168 (Pathan), 10-178 (Khan) BOWLiNG: Lee 10-0-49-3 (3w 1nb), hilfenhaus 9.3-1-33-5 (1w, 1nb), Christian 6-0-27-1 (2w) Starc 8-0-36-1 (2w), Doherty 10-029-0 (2w) Toss: australia Man of the Match: Ben hilfenhaus Umpires: Billy Bowden (NzL) and Steve Davis (aUS) TV umpire: Bruce Oxenford (aUS) Match referee: andy Pycroft (ziM) STaNDiNGS (games, wins, losses, tied, points). australia 5, 3, 2, 0, 14 india 5, 2, 2, 1, 10 Sri Lanka 4, 1, 2, 1, 7
and Daniel Christian (30) taking advantage of a demoralised attack. Left arm medium pacer Irfan Pathan with 3-61 was the pick of the Indian bowlers, claiming both Hussey and Forrest as well as the dangerous David Warner, who made 43 at the top of the order. But Dhoni later conceded his fast bowlers struggled in Brisbane's heat and
humidity and battled cramp throughout. Dhoni said he was forced to bowl Zaheer Khan out earlier than he wanted to because he was worried he would cramp up and not be able to continue. India needed a good start they were rocked with the early losses of Gautam Gambhir and Sachin Tendulkar, who failed again in his bid for his elusive 100th international century.
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ICC refuses to attend PCB security briefings LAHORE STaFF REPORT
He ICC has turned down an invitation by the Pakistan Cricket Board to attend the briefings planned for the visiting security delegation of the Bangladesh Cricket Board early next month in Islamabad. Reports quoting well-placed said that the board had asked the ICC to send its security experts to attend the briefings regarding arrangements for the planned tour by the Bangladesh team to Pakistan in April. Pakistan has invited the Bangladesh board to send its team to play two Tests, three one-day internationals and possibly
Southwest Asia Baseball from March 23 at Lahore
LAHORE STaFF REPORT
The five-nation 10th Southwest Asia Cup will roll into action from March 23 to 28 here at the Punjab Stadium. Addressing a press conference on Sunday, President Pakistan Federation Baseball Shaukat Javed said that all the four foreign countries’ teams have confirmed their participation. “India, Iran, Sri Lanka, and Afghanistan, along with Pakistan would feature in the six-day event,” he added. Javed saluted the spirit of Sri Lankan team for again sending its team for the baseball event in Pakistan, despite the tragic event their cricket team had faced in Lahore in 2009. "Sri Lanka has also sent its team to Pakistan to participate in the first SAARC Baseball Cup, which Pakistan won at the Punjab Stadium, and now they have confirmed the participation in the 10th south West cup," he said. Shaukat further said that though India had also sent the names of their squad, but still their participation was subject to the approval of the India government. He said the Punjab Government which had extended its full cooperation to the federation to host SAARC Cup was again helping it out to successfully hold another mega event. Regarding the preparations of the Pakistan team, Shukat said that 24 probables for the training camp would be selected from the National Inter-departmental Championship, which will be held in Lahore from February 25 to March 1. Three teams, Army, Wapda and Police would take part in it. He said the championship had been dedicated to Army's baseball player Kamran Shaheed who sacrificed his life in the war against terrorists.
a T20 match in April. "The ICC informed the PCB that they would only come into the picture once the tour was given final approval by both boards," one source said. "The ICC felt that it was necessary for the Bangladesh board to first confirm their team will tour Pakistan in April after which the ICC would review the whole situation," the source added. The BCB's security delegation, including board and government officials, is due to visit Pakistan on March 1 and 2nd to attend the briefings by the interior ministry and senior police officials on the security arrangements and plan that will be prepared for the Bangladesh team's tour. No Test playing nation has visited Pakistan since March, 2009 when militants at-
tacked the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore. Six Pakistani policemen and a van driver were killed in the attack near the Gulberg roundabout, which is close to the Gaddafi stadium, while five visiting players were wounded. Pakistan is hoping that if Bangladesh tours in April it would break the ice and give them space to invite other teams. The source said that the ICC had said it would review the entire security plan for the proposed series once both boards finalised the series. "The ICC has its own security protocol for series but it has made it clear that since it is a bilateral series it is important for both boards to first finalise the series," he added. The Bangladesh board has said that
whether it sends its team to Pakistan would depend on whether its security delegation is satisfied with the briefing. "Once the series is finalised the ICC will enter the scene and also carry out its own assessment of the security situation in Pakistan and see whether the host country is implementing its security protocols." The chairman of the board, Zaka Ashraf has already left for Dubai where he is expected to meet with ICC officials to brief them on the security arrangements. Another source said venues for the matches would only be decided in consultation with the Bangladesh board, but the plan is to hold the matches at major centres like Karachi, Lahore, Faisalabad and Multan.
levi blasts proteas to NZ win SCOREBOaRD NEW zEaLaND 23 R. Nicol run out 47 M. Guptill c a.Morkel b de Lange B. McCullum c Ontong b Botha 35 K. Williamson not out 28 28 J. Franklin c de Villiers b M.Morkel 3 C. de Grandhomme not out EXTRaS (b1, lb3, w5) 9 173 TOTaL (4 wickets; 20 overs) Fall of wickets: 1-37 (Nicol), 2-97 (Guptill), 3-114 (B.McCullum), 4-159 (Franklin) BOWLiNG: Botha 4-0-22-1, Tsotsobe 3-0-23-0, M.Morkel 4-0-38-1, de Lange 4-0-43-1, Parnell 2-0-15-0, Duminy 30-28-0 SOUTh aFRiCa R. Levi not out 117 h. amla c Franklin b N.McCullum 2 W. Parnell st B.McCullum b Nicol 4 39 aB de Villiers not out 12 EXTRaS (lb2, w10) TOTaL (2 wickets; 16 overs) 174 Fall of wickets: 1-25 (amla), 2-41 (Parnell) BOWLiNG: N.McCullum 2-0-18-1, Bracewell 2-0-37-0, Southee 4-0-40-0, Nicol 1-0-10-1, hira 4-0-34-0, Mills 20-26-0, Franklin 1-0-7-0 Toss: South africa Series: The three-match series is level 1-1 Man of the match: Richard Levi (RSa) Umpires: Gary Baxter (NzL), Chris Gaffaney (NzL) TV umpire: Barry Frost (NzL) Match referee: Roshan Mahanama (SRi).
South Africa's Richard Levi rewrote the record books with a magnificent unbeaten 117 as the Proteas crushed New Zealand by eight wickets in the second Twenty20 international on Sunday. Levi's 45-ball century was the fastest ever in T20 internationals and included the most sixes, with 13, in a performance which had spectators at the sold out Seddon Park ground in Hamilton ducking for cover. His 117 run total also equalled the highest ever score by a batsman in a T20 international, matching the mark set by Chris Gayle of the West Indies against South Africa in 2007. South African skipper AB de Villiers (39) provided able support as his team reached the 174 target set by New Zealand with ease, but it was Levi who demolished the Black Caps in only his second international appearance.
PCB confirms Whatmore as new coach LAHORE STaFF REPORT
Australian Dav Whatmore will take over as the head coach of Pakistan's cricket team next month with the Asia Cup in Bangladesh being his first assignment. A senior official in the board confirmed that Whatmore and fielding coach Julian Fountain would be arriving in the first week of March to sign their contracts. "Mohsin Khan does not figure in the plans that the chairman of the board, Zaka Ashraf has for the Pakistan team," the official said. He said all details with Whatmore had been worked out and he would take charge of the team before the Asia Cup. Zaka Ashraf has, however, been insisting in the media that the board had not made any decision on the coaching position in the national team and a committee headed by Intikhab Alam would take the decision. But the official said a decision had been made with all players on board with the PCB. Another source in the board confirmed that Zaka was not very happy with Mohsin Khan as the former Test opener had been using pressure tactics to get the board to retain him. "The chairman is not happy because he feels that it is the prerogative of the Board to take a decision on the coach and that Mohsin instead of trying to understand and accept the PCB decision has been using all pressure tactics to remain the coach," the source said. "So much so that it has been a while since the chairman has spoken to Mohsin who is presently with the team in UAe as their interim coach," he added.
Pay raise likely for Pakistan cricketers KARACHI REUTERS
hAMILton: South Africa's richard Levi bats during the second t20 match against new Zealand at Seddon Park. afp "It was good fun, every shot I played came off, which was quite nice and I just kept myself nice and calm and collected and kept going," the hulking 24-year-old said. The win levels the three match series 1-1 heading into the final game in Auckland on Wednesday. Levi came out firing, plundering 23 off 10 balls in the first two overs, and never relented even after Hashim Amla (2) and Wayne Parnell (4) departed early. He punished all of New Zealand's bowlers but it was a particularly painful night for Doug Bracewell, who conceded 37 runs off his two overs. New Zealand had made four for 173, never managing to dominate as South Africa's bowlers produced a far better display than in their six-wicket loss in the opening match in Wellington on Friday. Martin Guptill top scored with 47, just missing out on his seventh successive international half century, as the New Zealanders set a target that, while solid,
proved impossible to defend against Levi's onslaught. Opener Rob Nicol dominated the strike early on with a quick-fire 23 from 17 balls but a moment's hesitation taking off for a single proved his downfall, as AB de Villiers seized the ball and fired it into the non-striker's stumps. New Zealand still looked comfortable and were 79 for one at the half-way mark before de Lange coaxed a top edge from dangerman Guptill in the 12th over which looped through to Albie Morkel in the outfield. The dismissal lifted the South Africans and they had New Zealand struggling for boundaries until Brendon McCullum lifted the pace with a six off Morne Morkel. He was out in the next over trying to give Johan Botha the same treatment but Franklin maintained the aggression when he came to the crease, hitting four sixes in five balls in his 28 off 10 before also being out to Morne Morkel.
Pakistan's contracted cricket players are set to get a pay boost from Pakistan Cricket Borad (PCB) when the new central contracts list is announced next month for 2012, PCB chief operating officer Subhan Ahmad said. Ahmad said the increases were a result of the team's good performances over the past 12 months which include a 3-0 whitewash of world number one side england in the United Arab emirates this year. "A committee is finalising details but the board also agrees that pay scales in the new contracts need to be increased," he said. Pakistan players are given contracts in three separate pay allocations with the best paid getting a monthly salary of Rs 250,000 while those in the remaining categories get Rs 175,000 and 100,000. The monthly retainers are in addition to the match fees and other bonuses paid to the players. "The new central contracts list is being finalised and accordingly we are seeing how much raises can be made keeping in mind the board's financial position, We will announce the list early next month," Ahmad said. The PCB awarded central contracts to around 19 players for the second half of 2011. Ahmad said retainers in the contracts had remained the same for the past three years due to the financial issues faced by the board. Test-playing nations have refused to tour Pakistan because of security reasons since 2009.
Razzaq set to get PCB central contract LAHORE STaFF REPORT
DUBAI: Pakistan disabled cricketers pose for photographers after their victory in the oDI series against england disaballity team at the ICC global Cricket Academyin Sports City. afp
Seasoned Pakistan all-rounder Abdul Razzaq is set to get a new central contract despite being embroiled in a controversy over his appearance in the Bangladesh Premier League. Reliable sources in the Pakistan Cricket Board said on Sunday that there were slim chances of the PCB taking any disciplinary action against Razzaq over his BPL appearance. Chief selector Mohammad Illyas had said that Razzaq had notified the selectors that he was not fit to bowl and that is why he wanted to play in the BPL instead of being considered for the national team for the ODI series against england. But in the BPL, Razzaq has performed well as a batsman and bowler raising questions over his commitment to Pak-
istan cricket. "He had informed the board is fitness was not off the standard required to play for the Pakistan team. That is why he was allowed to go and play in the BPL instead," a source said. The source said that another reason the Board gave permission to Razzaq to play in Bangladesh was because the general opinion was that he was no longer a certain selection in the Pakistan team and his international career was more or less over. "That is the feeling in the Board but being a senior player they don't want to cause him problems. That is why in the new central contracts list prepared by the Board, Razzaq has again been given a contract," the source said. The source confirmed that wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal was not in the new list but Shoaib Malik had also got a lifeline. "The announcement of the new central
contracts will be made after the series against england. But one reason for the delay is that the Board has decided to revise the pay scales of the contracts and they have given this task to Intikhab Alam who is still calculating how much raises the players should get in their contracts," the source said. He said once Intikhab finalises the pay scale, the list would be given to the PCB chairman for approval and announcement. But another source said that there were several players who have played for Pakistan and still performing well in domestic cricket who will be disappointed at not getting central contracts even in the lower category. "Fast bowler Mohammad Sami is one such player as despite brilliant performances in domestic cricket he is not in the central contracts list," the source said. He said opener Imran Farhat was also unlikely to get a new contract.
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Monday, 20 February, 2012
ricciardo braced for toro rosso tough love LONDON aFP
Australian Formula One driver Daniel Ricciardo insists he has no worries about living up to the high expectations of Toro Rosso, despite the team's no-nonsense reputation with its rookies. The 22-year-old from Perth made his F1 bow with Hispania mid-way through last season, but as a Red Bull protege, he will team up with Jeaneric Vergne at the world champions' sister team for the 2012 campaign. "I feel pressure to deliver, yes, but it's not only pressure from Red Bull, it's pressure from myself. And not only this year, but since I joined with Red Bull four or five years ago," he told www.autosport.com. Toro Rosso dropped Sebastien Buemi and Jaime Alguersuari -- both former Red Bull young drivers -- last year after they failed to make their mark, suffering similar fates to predecessors Vitantonio Liuzzi and Scott Speed. "even before that I put pressure on myself to try and get spotted by Red Bull. So I guess for my whole career. Basically every driver, to get to this level, has put pressure on themselves," added Ricciardo. "Maybe there is some added pressure from Red Bull but if you want to be world champion then you know you have got to perform, and the only reason they kick you out is if you are not performing and then you don't probably deserve to be world champion. That's just the business we're in."
tseng shows her class to retain title PATTAYA aFP
Taiwan's Yani Tseng clinched victory the Honda LPGA Thailand tournament on Sunday in a thrilling performance that showed why she is the world's number one women's golfer. Tseng, who was the defending champion in the $1.5 million event, fired a six-under-par 66 to edge out Japan's Ai Miyazato by one stroke at the Siam Country Club Old Course. The Japanese star performed bravely throughout the round, battling back time and again to keep the pressure on Tseng. But the Taiwanese seized the win in dramatic fashion with a stunning iron to the green at the 18th from 104 yards, leaving her a two-foot birdie putt to defeat Miyazato, who also birdied the hole for a 68. Korea's Shin Ji-Yai shot 67 for third place while compatriot Amy Yang was a further three shots behind. Tseng said her victory was "very emotional" and she had to work hard for it, especially on the back nine. "That was my shot of the week at the 18th," she said. "I knew I had to get it close because Ai had a birdie lined up. I didn't want it to go to a play-off." Miyazato said she was quite happy with her performance despite just missing out. "Overall I played really well, although I let slip a couple of birdie chances," she said. "But next time I want to win." She praised Tseng's performance. "Yani is No 1, so I knew it wouldn't be easy. After five holes she was five-under and I kind of expected that." The spectators were treated to golf of the highest calibre as the two stars battled it out.
Steady Shoaib claims 6th infotech Golf at royal palm LAHORE STaFF REPORT
Shoaib Bokhari with his steady stride won the 18 holes 6th Infotech Golf Tournament contested at the Royal Palm Golf Course, Sunday. A total of 90 quality golf players converged to this prestigious golf course hoping to win the glittering winners trophy and thereby capture a heap of glory in the process. But as the competition progressed the ultimate fight was reduced to two competitors, the seasoned Shoaib Bokhari and the 16-year-old Nick Faldo series winner Mubraiz Ahmed. And while Mubraiz was brilliant in patches, it was the steady Shoaib who ended up as the ultimate winner with a round of gross 74, two over par as against a gross 77 by the young one. No doubt the three birdies by Mubraiz were a reflection of his golfing excellence but the missed putts on the closing two holes made his score just a little uncompetitive and he had to be content with the second gross. In other categories of the Infotech
LAhore: the prize winners of 6th Infotec golf tournament with chief guest naseer Akhter, Ceo Infotec. Staff photo Golf Tournament like handicap 13 to 18, the net winner was Kamran Nagi, a golfer in great trim and possessing exemplary temperament, who manages to make his mark whenever he competes. And this time again he was the front runner. The runners up position was achieved by Dr Raja Kaiqabad, a notable surgeon, who surged his way to the prize winning slot by applying his golfing skills with deftness and dexterity, never going astray. Winners of other events were Sardar Murad,
winner net in handicap category 0 to 12 and runners up was Rashid Akbar. Winner gross in handicap category 13 to 18 was Imran Miraj, and 2nd gross winner was Zafar Haider.Maximum birdies prize went to Mubraiz Ahmed and Omer Salamat had the longest drive. Sheraz Hussain picked up the nearest to the pin prize. At the conclusion of the event the prizes were awarded to the winners by Asad I.A Khan, Vice President Sindh Golf Assoociation, and Naseer Akhter, CeO Infotech.
Punjab in solid position in Pentangular Cup final LAHORE STaFF REPORT
Mohammad Khalil with his three wickets burst on day two of the Faysal Bank Pentangular Cup (First Class) 2011-12 final got Punjab into a solid position against Sindh here at the Gaddafi Stadium on Sunday. Punjab batting first made got 496 runs for all in 155.2 overs and this big score was the script o Aami Sajjad, who cracked a double century and was supported by Usman Salahuddi and Taufeeq Umer. Danish Kaneria, who is facing match-fixing charges, claimed six wickets. In its first innings, Sindh was at 36 for four in 7.2 overs, thanks to a three for 18 spell fro Khalil. scOres: Punjab 496 in 155.2 overs: (Aamir Sajjad 252, 462 balls, 32x4s, Usman Salahuddin 57, 141 balls, 5x4s, Taufeeq Umer 51, 93 balls, 7x4, Raza Hasan 36, 59 balls, 4x4s, 1x6, Danish Kaneria 6-160, Faraz Ahmed 2-116) v SINDH 36-4 IN 7.2 OVeRS: (Aqeel Anjum 19, 21 balls, 3x4s, Muhammad Khalil 318), Overnight Score: Punjab 266-3 in 90 overs, Toss: Punjab, Umpires: Shakeel Khan & Rasheed Bhatti, Referee: Musaddaq Rasool, Scorer: Najmus Saeed.
Laplacette, Mendivil shine as Colony Sugar win Aibak Cup LAHORE STaFF REPORT
Raul Laplacette and Santiago Mendivil clinched eCU Line Aibak Polo Cup 2012 for Colony Sugar here on Sunday. Playing at Lahore Polo Club’s main Aibak ground, Laplacette and Mendivil shared nine goals of Colony Sugar to leave Shahpur, which got fie and half goals, ruing for not producing quality polo. Mian Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif, Chief Minister Punjab was the chief guest of the final and distributed the prizes among the winners. Raul Laplacette hit in the team’s the opening goal and first o his four while Santiago Mendivil took Colonu Sugar to a dominating position with his three goals in the first chukker and later added
another two to lay the win path while for Shahpur it was only Ahmed Ali Tiwana who converted all the four goals and his team’s one and a half goal handicap too remained of no use. earlier in the day, Pakistan ArmyNadra claied the third position when it beat Hataff Security by eight goals to four and a half. So miserable were the Hataff Security that it could only produce three goals in the field and even their one and a half goals handicap did not earn them any reprieve. As of the winners, it were James Harper, Raja Temur Nadeem and Maj Gen Isfandiyar Pataudi who shared all the eight goals while Vieri Antinori and Bilal Haye scored for the losing side. Simon Mclaren Tosh and Saqib Khan Khakwan supervised the matches while referee for the final was James Harper.
LAhore: Colony Sugar team, the winners of the Aibak Cup Polo, with Punjab Chief Minister Mian Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif while (r) a polo fan watches the final. NaDeeM ijaZ
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Monday, 20 February, 2012
DAYTONA BEACH: Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M's Brown Toyota, spins out of control as Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe's Chevrolet, Marcos Ambrose, driver of the #9 Stanley Ford, and Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #56 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota, drive past him during the NASCAR Budweiser Shootout at Daytona International Speedway. AFP
Azarenka overcomes injury scare to reach final DOHA aFP
Federer battles back to set up Del Potro showdown
ORLD number one Victoria Azarenka overcame a second set injury scare to thrash Aginezska Radwanska 62, 6-4 and sweep into the final of the WTA Qatar Open on Saturday. The top seed from Belarus will meet Australia's US Open champion Samantha Stosur in Sunday's final after Marion Bartoli of France retired early in the second set of their semi-final with cramps. Azarenka won despite having court side treatment on her left foot immediately after Radwanska broke back in the second game of the second set. The world number one was in apparent pain as she had her foot strapped, and for a few minutes it looked like she too would call it quits like Bartoli did an hour earlier. But after a near eight-minute delay Azarenka came back with renewed determination that left Radwanska completely at her mercy. Azarenka said the adrenaline kept her going. "When you are in the match, the adrenaline is going and you try not to think about it and just try to give your best, whatever it is," she said. "Sometimes the pain eases out, especially when you're winning and you are in that mode that you kinda try to forget about the pain. It doesn't happen always. "But I was just trying to have a clear mind and just fight through, whatever happened happened." After the scores were tied at 2-2, Azarenka won three games in a row to lead 5-2 and although Radwanska herself had a break and retained her serve to close in at 4-5, the Australian Open
wAtCh It LIve ESPN Sportscentre 07:30PM
Sports Festival Inter-tehsil events enter fourth day LAHORE STaFF REPORT
champion was not letting the opportunity slip by, winning the 10th game 40-0 with a forehand down the line to reach her third final of the season. "Honestly, I don't know how I managed to pull it off," she said. "I had to concentrate very hard on every point, but I am happy that I made it," added Azarenka, who took her winning streak this year to 16 to equal the now retired Justine Henin's record set in 2004. earlier Bartoli decided to call off her bid for a first title in Doha after losing the first set 6-3 to Stosur. "It started yesterday during
the match against Lucie (Safarova)," Bartoli said. "In the third set I really felt like my right calf was starting to cramp, and I really had to make sure I finished that third set very quickly. "I had a lot of treatment yesterday after the match. Today when I started to warm up, I still felt it. So I knew I was not 100% going to the match." Stosur has now reached her first final since capturing the US Open last September. "This week I've tried to stay relaxed and be a lot more loose. When I'm able to be like that, my tennis flows," she said.
The Punjab Sports Festival 2012 which started on the directions of Chief Minister Punjab Mian Shahbaz Shareef has entered in its fourth day at Inter-tehsil level across the province. In athletics general public competitions, Lahore Cantt won the trophy with 29 points. Lahore City secured 28 points and got second while Model Town with 14 points managed third position. In 100 m, Husnain Ali (Cantt) got first position, Wasiq (City ) was second. In 200m, Mohammed Faisal (Cantt) secured first position, Ashraf (City) was second. In 400 m, Muzaffar Ali (City) achieved first place while Ameer Farooq (Model Town) attained second position. In 800 m, Sadaf Javed (Cantt) was the winner, Ishfaq (City) was second. In 1500 m, Asif of Model Town was first, Majid of Cantt second. In shot-put, Aleemur Rehman of City achieved first place whereas Zohaib of Cantt was second. In javelin throw, Nadeem of Cantt earned first place, Akhtar (Cantt) was second. In long jump, Waheed Ashraf (City ) was first and Azhar Ali of Cantt got second position. In badminton general public semi-final, Lahore City beat Model Town 2-1. In hockey girls college semi-finals, Baghbanpura College and Lahore College remained equal oneall while on the penalty shoots Lahore College won the match 3-2 and qualified for the final. In the second semi-final, Kinnaird College thrashed Post Graduate College Wahdat Road 3-0 to qualify for the final. The final between Lahore College for Women and Kinnaird College will be held today. In the football college, Punjab College of Commerce beat Forman Christian College 2-0.
Urdu literati, Bio-tech scientists win GCU 112th Sports LAHORE
Roger Federer recovered from a set and a break down to defeat Nikolay Davydenko 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 in the Rotterdam Open semi-finals on Saturday, his 17th win in 19 matches against the Russian. Top seed Federer will play for his 71st career title on Sunday when he takes on Juan Martin del Potro in a re-match of the 2009 US Open final won by the Argentine. Del Potro, seeded third, mowed down a listless Tomas Berdych 6-3, 6-1 in just an hour and a quarter to hand the Czech a first defeat indoors this season. Federer had his difficulties against Davydenko, a long-time rival on the tour. "I've played him a lot, we are the same age," said the 30-yearold, world number three. "He was in the top four or five for years and we played a lot of big matches. I'm happy to live up to expectations, he's playing fantastic again but not enough to beat me. We had a great match." The Swiss stands 8-2 over del Potro, who missed 2010 due to wrist surgery but is back to 10th in the world rankings. The powerful Argentine has lost just five games in his last two matches as his successful Rotterdam debut continues. "I beat him in the Australian Open last month in my 1,000th match on tour," said 2005 Rotterdam winner Federer after disposing of the gritty Davydenko who saved 10 of the 13 break points he faced. "It's nice to see him back. I'm sure it will be a good match, I had my first hit this week with him and he will also be my last match of the week. He's played a great tournament, but I hope I can win, let's see how it goes." Federer was caught in the ninth game of the first set on a break as Davydenko moved into the lead, taking the opener after a long game in which Federer saved a set point before sending a forehand out. The Swiss levelled after fighting back from a break down in the third game of the second, breaking Davydenko late in the set to level. In the third, Federer battled to finally take victory with a break in the penultimate game followed by a winner down the line on match point. earlier Saturday, Del Potro never let Berdych into their semi-final. "I played almost perfect," said the Argentine. "I was focused all the time on trying to break and on hitting my forehand. I've been improving match by match, but I need to play better in the final if I'm going to win this tournament." Del Potro picked up where he left off against Berdych, whom he beat in two previous matches in 2009 before his wrist injury problem surfaced.
The Urdu Literati and Bio-Tech scientists lifted the prestigious general trophy at the closing ceremony of the 112th Annual Sports of the Government College University Lahore. Government College Lahore former principal Abdul Majeed Awan and MNA Bilal Yasin were the chief guests of the ceremony which was chaired by Vice Chancellor Prof. Dr. Muhammad Khaleeq-ur-Rahman. The closing ceremony was marked by colourful Gymkhana events including girls chatti race, cricket ball throw, pillow fighting, staff children race, wheel barrow race, musical chair and old ravians handicap race. Declaring the results of the annual sports, GCU Sports Board Chairman Prof. Dr. Ikramul Haq said that the Urdu Departmentâ€™s students bagged 13 gold, 15 silver and 4 bronze medals in boysâ€™ competitions to won the title while in girls events, Institute of Bio-Technology won 09 gold, 11 silver and 3 bronze medals on its journey towards the victory stand. However, Muhammad Khursheed from the Political Science Department won the title of Best GCU Athlete 2012. The english Department secured the second position in both competitions among boys and girls. Speaking on the occasion, GCU Vice Chancellor Prof. Dr. Khaleeq-ur-Rahman said that sports have a profound effect on
LAhore: the winners of the 112th Annual Sports of the gC University Lahore with the chief guests. Staff photo the physical fitness and mental health of students, which ultimately enhances their capabilities and efficiency. Prof. Khaleeq said that GCU academic calendar is planned in way that participation in sports does not affect the studies of the students.
Later, on the closing day, the feminine competitions of Chatti Race and Musical Chairs were won by Rubina and Aqsa Lodhi. The Tug of War between elderly Old Ravains and GCU Sports Board senior officials remained the most enthralling event of the 112th Annual Sports Day which
was won by Old Ravians for the third consecutive year. Nasir Iqbal won the most difficult competition of the day, the Obstacle Race. The Oval Ground resounded with whistles, shrikes and shouts during the Pillow Fight and 60 Meters Race of Old Ravians won by Ch Zulfiqar.
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Monday, 20 February, 2012
Balochistan may be a lost cause if corrective measures not taken: Altaf g
Says Pakistan cannot become strong unless women are empowered KARACHI
UTTAHIDA Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain has said that Balochistan could be a lost cause if drastic measures were not taken to address the grievances of the Baloch people. Altaf said the policies of the establishment had brought the largest province of the country to the brink of separation. He said he had been begging the government to resolve the Balochistan problem, but no one had paid attention to his words. “The situation has worsened to such an extent that resolutions are being passed in parliaments of other countries for granting the right to selfdetermination to the Baloch people,” the MQM chief said, warning that it was already late and bold steps would have to be taken if Balochistan were to be kept with Pakistan. He said all legitimate rights of the people of Balochistan should be granted without any delay, adding that if no solution was found, then Balochistan might be a lost cause. Addressing a massive public meeting of women near the Quaid’s mausoleum on Saturday, Altaf said MQM’s historic women’s public meeting was a splendid display of national unity, as women from all ethnic and religious backgrounds were present at the venue in large numbers. He said it was a clear message for everyone that “we are united and will remain united under the flag of the MQM”. Altaf said a new chapter had been written in the political history of the country in the shadow of the tomb of the Quaid-e-Azam through the mammoth public meeting. He said other political parties had
Independent Balochistan not US policy: embassy ISLAMABAD aGENCiES
The US embassy deputy chief of mission, Richard e Hoagland has once again disassociated the US government from a Congress resolution seeking independence of Balochistan by maintaining that such a resolution does not reflect the Obama administration’s policy. During interviews with Pakistani media on Sunday, Hoagland said the US administration respected Pakistan’s sovereignty. Reiterating the US State Department’s stance, he said Balochistan was an important issue but it did not form a part of the US foreign policy. “We had taken up the human rights violation in the province with the Pakistan government. More than 4,000 resolutions/bills were presented in the Congress in a year but only 91 got approval,” he was quoted as saying. The spokesman said Washington respected Pakistan’s sovereignty as the province formed an integral part of the country. In a statement, US embassy spokesman Robert Raines said, “The United States respects the territorial integrity of Pakistan. Members of Congress introduce legislation on numerous foreign affairs topics and these bills do not in any way imply US government endorsement of any particular policy.”
been making tall claims about holding large public meetings in the Bagh-eQuaid-i-Azam, but the MQM had demonstrated that only the women of MQM were sufficient to meet the challenge of the opponents. Altaf said it was considered inappropriate for women to take part in politics before the MQM arrived, but the party brought women onto the political landscape of the country and women had played a historic role in MQM’s struggle. Commenting on protests by women in Islamabad regarding the recovery of their missing relatives, Altaf said more than 15,000 MQM workers were put to death during ruthless operation against the MQM and 28 workers of the MQM were still missing. Altaf said he could understand the pain of those who had lost their loved ones, as he had lost his brother and nephew to violence. The MQM said his party had been raising a voice against gross injustices
committed against women in the country. “Whether it was Shaista Almani, Dr Shazia or Dr Afia Siddiqui, the MQM always raised its voice in a forceful manner. Dr Afia Siddiqui should be released on humanitarian grounds,” he said. He said it was highly unfortunate that evil customs like karo-kari, honour killing, vani and marriage of women with the Holy Quran were commonplace. He said women had been buried alive in Pakistan and it was dubbed a cultural norm. Altaf said the MQM was against such evil customs, cruelties and injustices, adding that the party wanted to emancipate women and restore their dignity in the society. The MQM chief said it was due to efforts of the MQM that the Women Protection Bill was passed by parliament, adding that the MQM had also introduced legislation in the Sindh Assembly against karo-kari, honour killing and domestic violence.
Govt to give proof of US, indian role in Baloch insurgency ISLAMABAD iNP
In a tit for tat move, the Pakistani government has started preparations to provide proof of US and Indian intervention in Balochistan to the Parliament House and parliamentary committees following the introduction of a resolution on Balochistan in the Untied States Congress. Highly reliable sources privy to the development say the US has been active for a long time to encourage Baloch separatist elements gain independence from Pakistan through the help of India, which is playing the lead role. Sources said the government, in order to avoid further tensions in relations with the US and India, kept silent in the past over the interference of the two countries in Balochistan and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), but that now it has decided to take the parliament into confidence with solid proof. For this purpose, sources said, special briefings would be given to the relevant parliamentary committees. Sources said the government was also mulling the option of launching a diplomatic offensive by raising the issue of foreign intervention in Balochistan at various international forums. They said the United States had
been encouraging India to strengthen its spy network in Afghanistan by helping it open consulates along the Afghan border with Pakistan. Sources said the consulates were being used as bases of Indian intelligence agency, Research and Analysis Wing (RAW). “Through these centres, RAW is openly extending financial and material support to the anti-state elements in Balochistan,” sources said, adding that the US government was also partly financing some militant groups. The US has been pressing Pakistan to allow it to open a consulate in Quetta and deploy CIA staff there under the pretext that Washington needs to keep an eye on the so-called Taliban-linked Quetta Shoora. However, the government, fully aware of the US intentions, did not allow the US to open a consulate in Quetta, sources said. They pointed out that when Shahzain Bugti, the grandson of slain Baloch leader Nawab Akbar Bugti, was arrested by the Frontier Constabulary in Quetta, he first of all contacted the US embassy in Islamabad. They said the incident was a clear proof that the Americans were in league with the separatist elements in Balochistan and were providing them arms and finances to achieve their nefarious designs against Pakistan.
iran stops oil sales to British, french companies g
Ministry spokesman says oil will be sold to new customers TEHRAN REUTERS
Iran has stopped selling crude to British and French companies, the oil ministry said on Sunday, in a retaliatory measure against fresh eU sanctions on the Islamic state’s lifeblood, oil. “exporting crude to British and French companies has been stopped ... we will sell our oil to new customers,” spokesman Alireza Nikzad was quoted as saying by the Ministry of Petroleum website. The european Union in January decided to stop importing crude oil from Iran from July 1 over its disputed nuclear programme, which the West says is aimed at building bombs. Iran denies the charge. Iran’s oil minister said on February 4 that the Islamic state would cut its oil exports to “some” european countries. The european Commission said last week that the bloc would not be short of oil if Iran stopped crude exports, as they have enough in stock to meet their needs for around 120 days. Industry sources told Reuters on February 16 that Iran’s top oil buyers in europe were making substantial cuts in supply months in advance of european Union sanctions, reducing flows to the continent in March by more than a third - or over 300,000 barrels daily. France’s Total has already stopped buying Iran’s crude oil, which is subject to fresh eU embargoes. Market sources said Royal Dutch Shell has scaled back sharply.
Punjab tops list of human rights violations in country
Among european nations, debt-ridden Greece is most exposed to Iranian oil disruption. Motor Oil Hellas of Greece was thought to have cut out Iranian crude altogether and compatriot Hellenic Petroleum along with Spain’s Cepsa and Repsol were curbing imports from Iran. Iran was supplying more than 700,000 barrels per day (bpd) to the eU plus Turkey in 2011, industry sources said. By the start of this year imports had sunk to about 650,000 bpd as some customers cut back in anticipation of an eU ban. Saudi Arabia says it is prepared to supply extra oil either by topping up existing term contracts or by making rare spot market sales. Iran has criticised Riyadh for the offer. Iran said the cut will have no impact on its crude sales, warning that any sanctions on its oil will raise international crude prices. Brent crude oil prices were up $1 a barrel to $118.35 shortly after Iran’s state media announced last week that Tehran had cut oil exports to six european states. The report was denied shortly afterwards by Iranian officials. “We have our own customers ... The replacements for these companies have been considered by Iran,” Nikzad said. eU’s new sanctions include a range of extra restrictions on Iran that went well beyond UN sanctions agreed last month and included a ban on dealing with Iranian banks and insurance companies and steps to prevent investment in Tehran’s lucrative oil and gas sector, including refining.
Memo Commission secy off to London for Ijaz’s statement
Punjab has topped the list of human rights violations during last year, according to a report by the Human Rights Ministry. The report said that Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Islamabad and Balochistan had the second, third, fourth and fifth positions respectively. According to nongovernment organisations (NGOs), Balochistan tops the list of human rights violations. The report said that 14,181 incidents of karo kari, kidnapping for ransom and gang rape had taken place in Punjab. Similarly, 1,322 such incidents had taken place in Sindh, 371 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and 85 in the federal capital, the report said. According to NGOs, in Balochistan, 102 people, including 81 Baloch, 10 Pakhtuns and 10 other persons had been killed during the last year.
The memo commission secretary Raja Jawad Hassan Abbas left for London on Sunday to collect evidence material from the lead witness Mansoor Ijaz and help record his statement before the commission through a video link on February 22. Ijaz is likely to record his statement on Wednesday at the Pakistan High Commission. Zahid Bukhari, lawyer of former ambassador to the US Husain Haqqani, has also submitted a request to acquire a British visa. The secretary is likely to stay in London until February 24. The enquiry tribunal on February 10 had decided that Ijaz’s statement will be recorded at the Pakistani High Commission in London through video-link after he declined to visit Pakistan citing security reasons.
Published by Arif Nizami for Nawa Media Corporation (Pvt) Ltd at Qandeel Printing Press, 4 Queens Road, Lahore.
Editor: Arif Nizami, Executive Editor: Sarmad Bashir