KHI 21-03-2012_Layout 1 3/21/2012 2:21 AM Page 1
Rs15.00 Vol ii no 263 22 pages Karachi edition
Wednesday, 21 March, 2012 Rabi-ul-Sani 27, 1433
Power: Not for the Poor! g
NEPRA jacks up power tariff by Rs 6.39 per unit g Move likely to tighten noose around inflation-stricken people ISLAMABAD ameR Sial
Back to the dark ages – the days of affordable electricity are seemingly over for the common man, as the government on Tuesday tightened the noose around the already economically-crushed people of the country by seeking an unprecedented massive hike in power tariff at the rate of Rs 6.39 per unit under the fuel adjustment charge. The move is sure to draw a massive uproar from the overburdened masses – who were only recently subjected to a massive hike in fuel prices earlier this month – as evident from countrywide violent protests against the price hike. The country’s inflation figure is already above 11 percent and coupled with soaring commodity prices, it seems the people have been left with little room other than taking to the streets in protest against the government’s anti-people decisions. The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) at a public hearing on petitions filed by the Central Power Purchasing Agency (CPPA) agreed to increase the power tariff by Rs 6.39 for four months under the monthly fuel price adjustment mechanism. CPPA had sought an increase of Rs 6.46 per unit. According to NEPRA, the fresh hike was made due to an increase in furnace oil prices, gas shortage and decrease in hydropower generation during the low hydel power
generation winter season. The share of thermal generation was 34.2 percent in October, 31.1 percent in November, 34.1 percent in December 2011 and 31.3 percent in January 2012. Lifeline consumers using up to 50 units per month and consumers of Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC) will be exempted from the hike in power tariff. NEPRA Vice Chairman Ghiasuddin Ahmad said the approved hike in power tariff would be recovered from the consumers in monthly bills. However, NEPRA Member from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Shoukat Ali Kundi opposed the proposed hike, saying there was no justification in passing on the cost of inefficiency, line losses and theft in the power sector to the consumers. Representatives of CPPA claimed that these costs were not included in the power tariff, but when they were asked to elaborate where did it pile up, they said in the circular debt. Kundi said people were the victims of the burden of circular debt. He mentioned that the government did not bother to improve efficiency of the public sector generation plants which operated on 24 percent efficiency as compared to their operational efficiency of 36 percent during the four months period. He noted with concern that no government department was accountable for the inefficiency, line losses and theft. Continued on page 04
Frustrated masses pour onto Punjab streets
PCNS recommends seeking unconditional US apology
Violent protests break out across province g WAPDA bus attacked in Lahore, 2 injured g Public property destroyed in clashes with police
The Parliamentary Committee on National Security (PCNS) has presented its recommendations on revising the terms of engagement with the United States in the war on terror, and suggested the government to seek an unconditional apology from the US on air strikes at Salala check posts, pursue the gas pipeline project with Iran against US pressure, call for an end to drone strikes on Pakistani territory, and broker a civilian nuclear agreement with the US or any other country. The committee also made it binding upon the government that there could be no compromise on the country’s sovereignty and nuclear programme, while setting unambiguous conditions for reopening NATO supply routes through Pakistan. PCNS Chairman Senator Raza Rabbani presented the committee’s recommendations before the parliament on Tuesday for implementation by the government. While presenting the recommendations, Rabbani said it was a historic step towards bringing the country’s foreign policy under the parliament. The PCNS has further recommended that the government shall not enter into any verbal agreement regarding national security with a foreign government or authority. “The strategic partnership with China must be deepened in all its dimensions,” the committee advised.“There should be prior permission and transparency on the number and presence of foreign intelligence opera-
GUJRANWALA/FAISALABAD/JHELUM/LAHORE Staff RepoRt/agencieS
Mobs of angry protesters poured out in several cities across Punjab on Tuesday, demanding an end to over 18-hour-long blackouts and warning of worse consequences than the burning of electricity company offices last year in similar demonstrations. Hundreds of factory workers, irrespective of their unions, took out a rally at Gujranwala’s Khiali Chowk and blocked the GT Road for about an hour. Wielding sticks and stones, the protesters said the 18 hours of loadshedding had triggered massive lay offs at factories due to scant production. They said that astronomical inflation had further threatened the survival of their families and children, as they were not being able to earn enough. Saleem, a factory worker, warned of the explosive consequences of the crisis, saying the authorities had not learnt a lesson from the burning of
Gujranwala Electric Power Company’s (GEPCO) office last year. He said political parties were fighting for power while their children were crying for bread. “The workers are already pushed against the wall, and if the authorities are that indifferent to our miseries, then we would be left with no option other than to revolt and demolish everything. The new episode would be much more devastating than the burning of GEPCO office and Ladaywala Police Station last year,” he said. Adam Pal, a representative of the Pakistan Trade Union Defence Campaign, announced all out support for workers protesting for their rights. He said the current “pseudo democracy” had failed to ensure the provision of basic facilities to the masses. Elsewhere in Faisalabad, demonstrations turned violent when protesters clashed with police. Over a hundred men carrying sticks and stones gathered at Samundari Road and chanted slogans against the government and electricity officials for
their failure to curb power outages. Loss to public property in encounters between the police and angry mobs was also reported. Law enforcers claimed arresting over two dozen people. In Jhelum, protesters attacked a WAPDA office and damaged it badly. They said electricity and gas outages were following each other, adding that the government should quit as it had failed to resolve the people’s problems. In Lahore, several demonstrations took place in different parts of the city. A mob attacked a WAPDA bus near Hall Road and injured two officials boarding the bus. Electricity shortfall in the country has crossed 6,000 megawatts, as Pakistan’s two main reservoirs – Tarbela and Mangla – have dropped to dead level. The urban areas are facing 12 hours of electricity loadshedding, while the rural areas are getting four to six hours of electricity.
piCtuRe | page 22
ISLAMABAD Staff RepoRt
tives in Pakistan,” it suggested. The PCNS has also asked the government that the dialogue process with India should be continued in a purposeful and result-oriented manner on the basis of mutual respect and mutual interest, including efforts to resolve the Jammu and Kashmir dispute in accordance with the UN resolution. US ASKED TO REVIEW ITS FOOTPRINTS: “The US must review its footprints in Pakistan. This means (i) the cessation of drone attacks inside the territorial borders of Pakistan (ii) No hot pursuit or boots on Pakistani territory, and (iii) the activity of foreign private security contractors must be transparent and subject to Pakistani law. It needs to be realised that drone attacks are counter productive, cause loss of valuable lives and property, radicalise the local population, create support for terrorists and fuel anti-American sentiments,” the PCNS said in its report. US-INDO CIVIL NUCLEAR DEAL: In its guidelines, PCNS has said that there would be no compromise on Pakistan’s nuclear programme and assets, including their safety and security. “The US-Indo civil nuclear agreement has significantly altered the strategic balance in the region therefore Pakistan should seek from the US and others a similar treatment/facility. The strategic position of Pakistan vis-àvis India on the subject of FMCT must not be compromised and this principle be kept in view in negotiations on this matter,” it said. Continued on page 04
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02 News Today’s
wednesday, 21 March, 2012
Sc to now frame contempt charges against awan on april 2
story on Page 07
story on Page 05
Memo commission directs Haqqani to appear on 26th ISLAMABAD: The Memo Commission on Tuesday observed that US national Mansoor Ijaz has concluded his evidence and former Pakistani ambassador to the US Hussain Haqqani has not carried out admission and denial of documents. The commission observed that Haqqani was repeatedly asked to admit or deny the documents and three opportunities were granted to him but in the interest of justice a fourth and last opportunity will be given to Haqqani to complete the admission and denial of all documents produced by 5pm GMT today (Wednesday). In case of failure to admit or deny the said documents by the said date and time, it will be presumed that the same were admitted by Haqqani. The commission observed that since Haqqani also undertook before the Supreme Court that on four days notice he would return to Pakistan and appear before the commission to record his evidence. gni
India releases Khalil Chishti after 19 years NEW DELHI: Indian authorities on Tuesday claimed to have released Dr Khalil Chishti, the Pakistani scientist who had been languishing in an Indian prison for 19 years. Indian newspapers claimed that officials on Monday silently released Chishti and deported him back home after the Indian Supreme Court granted clemency to the 80-year-old Pakistani virologist. It is, however, unclear which route he was deported from. Chishti was undergoing life term in Ajmer jail for murder since 1992. He had been suffering from various ailments for a long time heart disease, and left ventricular failure. He also had a hip fracture. Civil society members, journalists and former apex court judge had been pleading with the government of India to release Chishti on humanitarian grounds. inp
Another youth falls prey to wild leopard ABBOTTABAD: A youth, collecting firewood in a forest, became the latest victim of a wild leopard on Tuesday. According to details, Wali Dad was the third person to be killed by the wild leopard during the last six months. He was attacked and seriously injured by the wild cat.The relatives of the deceased blocked the Silk Road and demanded the registration of a First Information Report against the wildlife authorities for their failure to protect the locals. The police reached the spot to negotiate with Dad’s relatives, after which they ended their protest. inp
Honour claims 4 in Kashmor KASHMOR: A person committed suicide on Tuesday after killing four others, including two women, for honour at Goth Lutf Mallah Domki area in Kashmor. Police sources said that Malock Jakhrani killed his brother’s wife, Sabri Khatoon, and daughter-in-law Bakhtar Bibi, and two youths, Qamber Jakhrani and Mehar Dill Jakhrani for allegedly having illicit relations. He committed suicide after killing the four people. online
Fazl seeks probe against Musharraf for negligence on dams
JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman on Tuesday called for a thorough probe against former president General (r) Pervez Musharraf for allegedly showing negligence towards building of dams by India on rivers flowing into Pakistan from Indian-held Kashmir (IHK). He was commenting on former Pakistani Indus water commissioner Syed Jamaat Ali Shah’s statement. According to a statement, Fazl said, “Traitors should be punished and if any Pakistani was involved in covertly helping India in making dams on rivers in IHK, he should meet the same fate.” According to the 1960 Indus Water Treaty, three rivers Chenab, Jehlum and Indus flow into Pakistan from IHK. The JUI-F chief observed that water was a very important issue and there should be no negligence in this regard. He said that the Parliamentary Kashmir Committee held two meetings to discuss the matter of construction of dams by India and advised the Federal Water and Power Ministry to take all necessary measures in this regard.
Panetta wanted parallel intelligence body in Pakistan WASHINGTON inp
Former CIA head and current US Defence Secretary, Leon Panetta, had wanted to establish a parallel spy body inside Pakistan hidden from ISI, a noted Pakistani author said, adding the idea was approved by the Obama Administration. In his latest book “Pakistan on the Brink: The Future of America, Pakistan and Afghanistan”, Ahmed Rashid said such a recommendation by Panetta, who then headed the CIA, was given some time after September 2009. The book, published by Viking, hit the stands Sunday. “Starting in September 2009, over several weeks, Obama conducted a long assessment of his options. The military wanted Obama to consider only three: dispatching 10,000 trainers, sending 40,000 troops, or sending 8,000 troops,” Rashid wrote. He said that there was little discussion
of Afghanistan’s strategic political issues, such as its growing political and ethnic divisions, its economy, relations with Karzai, or the readiness of the Taliban for talks. However, Pakistan occupied a lot of discussion but yielded few political answers, Rashid wrote. “Instead Leon Panetta, the director of the CIA, presented a list of clandestine counterterrorism operations that the CIA wanted to conduct in Pakistan, such as stepping up drone attacks, raising the number of CIA agents and covert contractors, and even setting up a parallel intelligence organisation that would be hidden from the ISI,” Rashid said. “The CIA’s recommendations were accepted, but they soon led to a complete breakdown of relations with Pakistan.” Rashid writes that both the Pakistani and the Afghan governments resented the fact that a major US escalation of troops was being undertaken without consulting them or soliciting their views.
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wednesday, 21 March, 2012
Arts & entertAInMent
obama assails ‘electronic curtain’ in iran
lady gaga slammed for ‘destroying morality’
aamer says ‘brother’ Butt lured him into fixing
News 03 CoMMent a good beginning: The parliament does what its supposed to do.
a verdict or two: More needed.
Dr Hasan askari Rizvi says: Institutional imbalance: Non-elected institutions overbear on elected ones.
Harris bin munawar says: How to look at vulgarity on Internet: Not the way the Pakistani government does.
Salim ghauri says: Economy takes a backseat: But of course in an election year.
story on Page 14
story on Page 18
PESHAWAR: Police officials inspect the site of the explosion on Kohat Road. STAFF PhoTo
story on Page 18
Articles on Page 12-13
An honest peon better than PM: Shahbaz LAHORE
E A C T I N G to Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani’s statement in which he claimed the Supreme Court judges treated him (PM) like a peon, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif on Tuesday said an honest peon was better than a lawbreaking prime minister or chief minister. Talking to reporters, Shahbaz said he would advise Gilani to stop siding with “Ali Baba and forty thieves”. “Gilani says he is a PM not a peon, but I would like to tell him that a peon who earns his bread and butter with honesty is better than you and me,” he said. Addressing a public meeting at Shahkot, the chief minister said he would not be deterred by threats or abuses and would continue to strive for the return of billions of dollars from foreign bank accounts of President Asif Ali Zardari.
The chief minister said Zardari spoke the truth when he said in parliament that he had rewritten history, however, he rewrote the history with record corruption, worst kind of price-hike and unprecedented load shedding. He said that there was no institution that had not been looted and pillaged. Shahbaz said he had asked the prime minister not to shield Zardari, but he paid no heed to his advice. He said that there was still time for Gilani to withdraw his support for thieves and siding with the truth. Shahbaz said the implementation of SC orders was the constitutional obligation of every Pakistani. Later, the chief minister inaugurated and laid foundation stones of various projects worth billions of rupees, including the new building of Government Degree College, new Tehsil Headquarters Hospital, a public park, modern sewerage system and an institute for special children.
National Security Committee recommendations not against any country, says hina Moazzam appointed Fo spokesman
Us, nAto envoys show keen interest in joint session ISLAMABAD: The embassies of United States and other NATO countries took extraordinary interest in the parliament’s joint session on Tuesday in which the Parliamentary Committee on National Security (PCNS) presented its recommendations on the terms of engagement in the war on terror. The embassies made special arrangements for monitoring live TV coverage, and made arrangements to collect the hard copies of the entire set of recommendations. Diplomatic sources said that all envoys immediately sent their reports on the developments to their respective countries. Several diplomats were present in the parliament’s gallery reserved for them, while a large number of foreign journalists sat in the press gallery to cover the proceedings. inp
ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Office (FO) on Tuesday appointed Moazzam Khan as its spokesman. He will replace Abdul Basit, who has been appointed as Pakistani ambassador to Germany. Moazzam was a senior diplomat and presently serving as DG Europe in the FO. He was expected to take charge next week. Staff RepoRt
iSlamaBaD: foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar leaves after attending the joint parliamentary session. AFP ISLAMABAD app
Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar said on Tuesday that the Parliamentary Committee’s recommendations on national security were not targeted against any country.
Talking to the media outside the Parliament House, she said: “We have to uphold the interests of our country.” She said the recommendations would ensure the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country and will unite the nation on national and international issues.
“We are a responsible sovereign nation and want good relations with other nations,” she added. The foreign minister stated that for the first time, the Parliament would decide on the new rules of engagement and an independent foreign policy.
ruling coalition fine-tunes strategy on PCns recommendations ISLAMABAD Staff RepoRt
The top military and civilian leadership on Tuesday discussed the government’s strategy on the recommendations submitted by the Parliamentary Committee on National Security (PCNS) for evolving new terms of engagements with the US in the war against terrorism. Spokesperson for the president Senator Farhatullah Babar said the meeting was in continuation of earlier meetings held on March 14 and 17 and discussed security and foreign policy issues. The meeting was jointly chaired by President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, while PML-Q Secretary General Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed, ANP chief Asfandyar Wali Khan and Senator Afrasiab Khattak, Dr Farooq Sattar and Haider Abbas Rizvi of the MQM, Senator Mir Israrullah Zehri of BNP-Awami, chief of FATA parliamentary group Munir Khan Orakzai, Shaukat Ullah, Khuda Bux Rajar and Syed Muzzafar Hussain Shah of the PML-F and PPP’s Syed Khursheed Shah attended the meeting. Hina Rabbani Khar, Dr Abdul
Hafeez Sheikh, M Salman Faruqui, Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Tahir Rafique Butt, ISI DG Lt-Gen Zaheerul Islam, Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani and Defence Secretary Nargis Sethi were also pres-
ent. The president and the prime minister also had a separate meeting with the coalition partners. The meeting discussed issues relating to the PCNS report that was presented in the joint session
of parliament earlier in the day. The ruling coalition fine-tuned its strategy on the recommendations and a strategy of the ruling coalition was evolved about the recommendations.
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wednesday, 21 March, 2012
51 dead in Iraq attacks ahead of Arab summit BAGHDAD
A KaRacHi: Rescue personnel look for survivors at a yarn factory which collapsed after a boiler explosion on tuesday. oNLINe
Power Continued fRoM page 1 During the hearing, representatives of Islamabad, Peshawar and Haripur chambers of commerce and industry strongly opposed the sought hike in power tariff on account of fuel adjustment. They said that issue of increase in power tariff was sub judice as a case was in the high court and NEPRA should avoid a decision to raise power tariff. In four separate petitions, CPPA had sought hike in power tariff of up to Rs 2.23 per unit for month of October, Rs 1.29 per unit for November, Rs 0.98 per unit for December 2011 and Rs 1.96 per unit for January 2012. But the regulator only allowed the distribution companies to raise tariff up to Rs 2.22 per unit for month of October, Rs 1.27 per unit for November, Rs 0.94 per unit for December and Rs 1.96 per unit for month of January 2012.
Rashid Ahmed, Gul Muhammad Continued fRoM page 22
He inherited 236 kanals of land worth Rs 23.6 million in Haripur district. The Senate chairman said also had 231 kanals of land in Jandala village worth Rs 23.1 million. He also owns another 20 kanals of land valuing Rs 15 million in Tarlai village in Islamabad. His wife partly owns CNG stations in Haripur and Attock districts. Petroleum Minister Dr Asim Hussain has assets worth Rs 70.44 million. He has six properties in Karachi and one in Lahore worth Rs 52.59 million, investments in shares and stocks worth Rs 41.53 million and almost Rs 7 million cash in banks.
Former law minister Dr Babar Awan owns movable and immovable assets valuing almost Rs 310 million. He owns four cars worth almost Rs 5.2 million. PML-N Senator Ishaq Dar owns movable and immovable property worth almost Rs 140 million. Finance Minister Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh has movable and immovable assets valued at Rs 256 million. He owns a house in Dubai worth Rs 70.5 million and has brought remittances of $375,000 (about Rs 30 million). He holds Rs 27.5 million in his bank accounts in Washington and Dubai and has declared the total
Lashkari raisani resigns from senate QUETTA: Former president of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Balochistan chapter, Lashkari Raisani, on Tuesday resigned from the membership of Senate. According to sources, Raisani sent his resignation to the Senate chairman through fax. He was quite disappointed and unhappy with the present PPP leadership, the sources added. In his view, the present government did not take any steps to improve the worsening law and order of Balochistan and he was forced to take this decision due to the nonserious attitude of his party in the province. Rumours have also been circulating about Raisani’s resignation from the basic membership of the PPP. However, nothing official has been confirmed about it as yet. online
PCNS recommends UNCONDITIONAL APOLGY: Condemning NATO/ISAF attack on Salala check post which killed 24 Pakistani soldiers, the committee demanded unconditional apology from the US. “The Government of Pakistan should seek an unconditional apology from the US for the unprovoked incident dated 25th-26th November, 2011, in Mohmand Agency. In addition the following measures should be taken: (i) those held responsible for the Mohmand Agency attack should be brought to justice; (ii) Pakistan should be given assurances that such attacks or any other acts impinging on Pakistan’s sovereignty will not recur and that NATO/ISAF/US will take effective measures to avoid any such violations; (iii) any use of Pakistani bases or airspace by foreign forces would require Parliamentary approval; (iv) Ministry of Defence/PAF and ISAF/US/NATO should draft new flying rules for areas contiguous to the border,” the committee advised. CONDITIONS FOR REOPENING NATO ROUTES: The parliamentary committee has recommended that any consideration regarding the reopening of NATO/ISAF/US supply routes must be contin-
worth of his three properties in Punjab and Sindh at Rs 7.3 million. In his assets declaration, Interior Minister Rehman Malik has written ‘no change since last declaration’ on all the pages of the statement submitted by him. In his last declaration he claimed of having a house in London worth Rs 339.75 million and had capital investment in his own name and in that of his wife in four businesses abroad. JUI-F Senator Talha Mahmood has property worth Rs 90.60 million, vehicles worth Rs 21.81 million, around Rs 15.34 million cash in banks and other assets worth Rs 11.49 million.
gent upon a thorough revision of the terms and conditions of the arrangements, including the regulation and control of the movement of goods and personnel which shall be subject to strict monitoring within Pakistan on entry, transit and exit points. “Fifty percent of US/ISAF/NATO containers may be handled through Pakistan Railways. Taxes and other charges must be levied on all goods imported in or transiting through Pakistan, for the use of infrastructure and to compensate for its deterioration. Such charges shall be, inter alia, used mainly to maintain and support the infrastructure of Karachi-Torkham and Karachi-Chaman roads.” The committee said the international community should recognise Pakistan’s colossal human and economic losses, and continued suffering due to the war on terror. Greater market access of Pakistan’s exports to the US, NATO countries and global markets should be actively pursued, it suggested. NO VERBAL AGREEMENTS: The PCNS has further recommended that no verbal agreement regarding national security shall be entered into by the government, its ministries, divisions, departments, attached depart-
ments, autonomous bodies or other organisations, with any foreign government or authority. “If any such agreement exists it should be reduced to writing immediately, failing which it shall cease to have effect within three months of the approval of these recommendations,” it said. It has further recommended that the “Pakistani territory shall not be used for any kind of attacks on other countries and all foreign fighters, if found, shall be expelled from our soil”. “Likewise, Pakistan does not expect the soil of other countries to be use against it,” it said. “There should be prior permission and transparency on the number and presence of foreign intelligence operatives in Pakistan.” MoUs WITH NATO: Pakistan’s territory has been used by US/NATO/ISAF for logistic purposes. In this context, the following recommendations have been made by the PCNS: “(i) The Government of Pakistan should revisit the MoU, dated 19th June, 2002, between the Ministry of Defence of Pakistan, and the Ministry of Defence of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland acting as Lead Nation for the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF); (ii) Acquisition and Cross-servicing Agreement
(US-PK-01) between the Department of Defence of the United States of America and the Ministry of Defence of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, dated 9th February, 2002, lapses in February, 2012. This agreement and any implementing agreements there under may only be renewed if required on new terms and conditions that should include respect for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Pakistan and ensures the national interests. Provided in case of renegotiation of the said agreement/MoU it should, inter alia, provide a clause on immediate suspension of transit facility through the territory of Pakistan if US/NATO/ISAF forces violate in any manner the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Pakistan.” “For negotiating or re-negotiating agreements/MoU’s pertaining to, or dealing with the matters of national security, the following procedure shall be adopted: (i) All Agreements/MOU’s, including military cooperation and logistics, will be circulated to the Foreign Ministry and all concerned ministries/attached or affiliated organisations and departments for their views; (ii) All Agreements/MoUs will be vetted by the Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs; (iii) All agreements/MoU’s will be circulated to the Parliamentary Committee on National
wave of attacks Tuesday in more than a dozen Iraqi cities killed at least 51 people on the anniversary of the US-led invasion of the country, just days before Baghdad hosts a landmark Arab summit. The violence, which left more than 190 people wounded, bore the hallmarks of al Qaeda, which typically tries to launch coordinated nationwide mass-casualty bombing campaigns, although no one immediately claimed re-
sponsibility. It was swiftly condemned by Iraq’s parliament speaker as a bid by the jihadist group to derail this month’s summit, while United Nations envoy Martin Kobler described the violence as “atrocious”. Bombings and shootings rocked 14 towns and cities spanning the northern oil hub of Kirkuk and the Shia shrine city of Karbala, south of Baghdad, from 7:00 am (0400 GMT), in the deadliest violence to strike Iraq in more than two months. “We lost everything,” said Mohammed Sobheh, a policeman wounded in the Kirkuk attack. “Not one of my
Iran says will hit back at any attack by Israel, US TEHRAN Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, warned on Tuesday his country would hit back at any attack by the United States or Israel, firming tensions in the showdown over Tehran’s nuclear programme. “We have said that we do not have atomic weapons and we will not build any. But if there is any attack by the enemies, whether it be United States or the Zionist regime, we will attack them at the same level as they attack us,” he said in a live televised speech to mark the start of the Iranian new year. The comments reinforced Iran’s position as it faces off against the West over its nuclear activities, and as it con-
fronts Israeli and US threats of possible military action. Khamenei, who was speaking in the northeastern city of Mashhad, said Iran had a divine right to retaliate if struck. “The Koran states that if an enemy attacks you first, the enemy will certainly be defeated,” he said. “This is God’s law. We are not thinking of attacks and aggression, but we are attached to the existence and identity of the Islamic republic.” He accused the United States and its European allies of changing their pretexts for interfering with Iran, and claimed the true goal was to control Iran’s vast oil and gas reserves. “Once, it is the atomic issue ... (another time) it is the human rights issue. The real issue is that the Iran is guarding its oil and gas resources,” the leader said.
Security. The committee shall vet and make recommendations in consultation with the stakeholders and forward the same to the federal cabinet for approval under the rules of business of the federal government; (iv) The minister concerned will make a policy statement on the agreements/MoU’s in both Houses of the Parliament.” CSF ARREARS: The PCNS has also recommended that a new fast track process of billing and payments/reimbursements with regard to CSF and other taxable charges should be adopted. “No overt or covert operations inside Pakistan shall be tolerated,” the committee recommended. FOREIGN POLICY GUIDELINES: Giving its guidelines on Pakistan’s foreign policy, the committee said the government “needs to review the present focus of foreign policy, keeping in view the aspirations of the people of Pakistan”. “It needs to establish a balance by emphasising links with our traditional allies and building new relationships for diversifying the sources of economic, military and political support,” the PCNS recommended. In this regard it may take the following amongst other steps: “(i) Pakistan’s foreign policy must continue to focus on creating a peaceful environment in the region to pursue the goals of economic
development and social progress; (ii) the dialogue process with India should be continued in a purposeful and result-oriented manner on the basis of mutual respect and mutual interest, including efforts for the solution of the Jammu & Kashmir dispute in accordance with the UN Resolution; (iii) special attention must continue to be paid to developing close cooperative relations with neighbours; (iv) the strategic partnership with China must be deepened in all its dimensions; (v) relationship with the Russian Federation should be further strengthened; (vi) Pakistan’s support for the promotion of peace and stability in Afghanistan remains the cornerstone of its foreign policy; (vii) Pakistan’s special relationship with the Islamic world should be reinforced; (viii) Pakistan’s full membership of SCO should be actively pursued; (ix) Pakistan’s bilateral relationships in the region and its institutional partnership with ASEAN must be upgraded and strengthened; and (x) Pakistan should actively pursue the gas pipeline project with Iran.” DIALOGUE AND RECONCILIATION: The cross-party parliamentary committee has observed in its report that in the battle for winning the hearts and minds, an inclusive process based on primacy of dialogue
colleagues is alive — they were all killed.” “I will never forget their screams, as long as I live.” In central Baghdad, a car bomb exploded in the car park opposite the foreign ministry, despite dramatically heightened security in the capital in preparation for the March 2729 Arab League summit. At least three people were killed and nine wounded, officials said, underscoring concerns over Iraq’s ability to maintain security for the meeting. Following the attacks, the government declared a week of public holidays from March 25 to April 1.
Us supports ‘mutual respect’ with Pakistan WASHINGTON: The United States said Tuesday it supported calls by Pakistan for mutual respect but held off a formal response to a parliamentary demand for an apology over a deadly air raid. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters that the United States would not comment in-depth on the longawaited Pakistani report on US relations until it comes up for debate in parliament next week. But she said: “We also have always considered that our relationship should be grounded on the basis of mutual respect and common interest.” afp
and reconciliation should be adopted. “Such a process must respect local customs, traditions, values and religious beliefs: (a) There is no military solution to the Afghan conflict and efforts must be undertaken to promote a genuine national reconciliation in an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned process. (b) To strengthen security along the PakistanAfghanistan border, including the cross border flow of criminal elements, narcotics and weapons, the feasibility of additional measures, including electronic surveillance may be evaluated and the process of local joint jirgas should be encouraged according to local customs and traditions.” “The gap between assertion and facts on the ground needs to be qualitatively bridged through effective steps. The relationship with USA should be based on mutual respect for the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of each other. The government needs to ensure that the principles of an independent foreign policy must be grounded in strict adherence to the Principles of Policy as stated in Article 40 of the Constitution of Pakistan, the UN Charter and observance of international law. Pakistan reaffirms its commitment to the elimination of terrorism and combating extremism in pursuance of its national interest,” it said.
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gas shortage to end within a year through coal reserves: Dr samar ISLAMABAD app
Member of the Science and Technology Planning Commission, Dr Samar Mubarakmand on Tuesday said gas shortage would end within a year through coal reserves. Talking to a private news channel, he said Pakistan has enough coal reserves through which they could daily produce 50-60 million cubic feet of gasifies which would end gas shortage from the country. In answer to a question, he said the gas production project planning commission required $1.5 million. He said three to four gasifies from coal will reduce the shortage of gas on an urgent basis. Dr Samar said it was for the first time in the history of the country that the coal gasification was being launched on a commercial basis and abundant and cheap electricity would be available. He said coal was burnt at about 250 feet underground last year and scientists successfully found the gas at Islam Kot area of Thar. He added that this project could generate 10,000 megawatts of electricity for 30 years and could produce 100 million barrels of diesel per year. The Thar coal project would become operational in December 2013, he said. Dr Samar remarked that the project would cost Rs 8.898 billion with a foreign exchange component of Rs 5.847 billion which was approved by the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council last year.
Avalanche claims 9 lives CHITRAL app
At least nine people, including a girl and two women, have been killed and several others injured when an avalanche struck in the northern area of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, including Chitral and Ghazar areas, police said Tuesday. According to police, four people were killed and two others inured in Tehsil Yasin of Ghazzar due to heavy snow fall. Elsewhere at least five people were buried under the snow when a large block of ice hit their house in Gram Chasmma of Chitral. Three bodies were retrieved from the snow. According to Met Office, dusty winds might continue to blow on Tuesday The dust storm hit Karachi, Hyderabad, Jaccobbabad, Shikarpur, Dadu, Lower Dir, Tank, Hub, Kharan, Quetta and other parts of the country. The Met office said that this was not an unusual phenomenon, but that such dusty environment was usually experienced during mid-April. Owing to poor visibility, the schedule of traffic at the Karachi Airport was also partially affected, with many flights cancelled or delayed.
iSlamaBaD: air chief marshal tahir Rafique Butt meets president asif ali Zardari at aiwan-e-Sadr on tuesday. oNLINe
SC to now frame contempt charges against Awan on April 2 ISLAMABAD
H E Supreme Court, which had fixed March 20 as the date to frame contempt charges against former law minister Babar Awan for his media jibe at the judiciary, on Tuesday set April 2 as the date to frame the charges due to the unavailability of Awan’s counsel. A two-member bench of Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan and Justice Muhammad Ather Saeed was apprised by Babar Awan that his counsel Ali Zafar could not turn up, as he was attending a meeting of a lawyers’ delegation in Lahore, from where he had to leave for India with the delegation for over a week. He requested the court to grant him more time in view of absence of
his counsel. The court accepted his request and put off further hearing by April 2. Now the contempt charges will be framed on April 2. During the hearing, Awan, who looked somewhat furious, told the court that he would be busy in his political activity after April 5, thus he may be granted sufficient time to contest the case. He said his law practice license had already been suspended by the court, thus now he had to do politics. The judges then asked him to contest his case along with indulging in politics. Awan and some federal ministers launched a tirade against the Supreme Court at a press conference held on December 1, 2011, soon after the court ordered an inquiry into the memo issue by Federal Investigation
Agency’s (FIA) former director general Tariq Khosa and attacked the family of a sitting judge of the apex court for being brother of Tariq Khosa. On March 1, a bench comprising Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan and Justice Muhammad Ather Saeed reserved its judgment whether to discharge contempt notice or to frame charges against Babar Awan. On the last hearing, Ali Zafar, counsel for Babar Awan, had argued that the dignity of an institution did not rest on punishment. He had argued that the courts should always take a lenient view if a person appeared and tendered an apology. The former law minister had submitted a written statement expressing regrets over the contents of the press conference and assuring the court that there was no intention or malice to ridicule the judiciary.
Us urged to cultivate ties with Pakistan for regional peace ISLAMABAD app
The United States of America needs to cultivate a normal and constructive relationship with Pakistan, aimed at building stability and regional peace before the former ends its involvement in Afghanistan, a US-based think-tank opines. Teresita Schaffer, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, in an article published in the Foreign Policy magazine, said the US policy-makers should develop building blocks for a post-2014 relationship between the US and Pakistan. Schaffer called for a series of steps to build a stronger relationship between the two countries. She was of the view that as a first step it was vital for the US to have a lower-key diplomatic style. She pointed out that in the past, the partnership had relied on lofty but ambiguous promises to create the impression of a strategic bond.
“The US and Pakistan now need less soaring rhetoric and more understanding of their mutual expectations. Where expectations are unrealistic, they need to be pared down through serious consultations,” she said. She also said it requires greater US willingness to listen to Pakistan’s articulation of its own needs, and vice versa. Schaffer said the US should also start to build up three tools, including a smaller but better targeted economic aid programmed for Pakistan. She said both the countries can benefit from concentrating on activities that support the areas of Pakistan’s economy that are modernizing. She suggested the need to start working with infrastructure: irrigation and power generation facilities. This can be done with Pakistanis in the driver’s seat, she opined. Schaffer also called for helping Pakistan build up the human capacity and institutions to support a larger and more vibrant small and medium busi-
ness sector. She stressed for building up real business ties between the US and Pakistan, including insurance programmes like the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) and pre-investment studies like those funded by the Trade and Development Agency (TDA). The biggest contribution would be extending preferential access to Pakistani textiles - a big stretch in today’s environment but something that could be pursued if current tempers quiet down, she said. She called for a quiet US support for more stabilizing regional relationships; and Afghan trade to and through Pakistan; as well as energy linkages including those involving India and countries in the Gulf. She also urged even allowing the much discussed gas pipeline from Iran to sink or swim on its own commercial merits. It would contribute to embedding Pakistan in a set of regional relationships that create greater peace and
stability over time. She underscored the importance for creating the infrastructure for a more peaceful and prosperous South Asian region. She termed 2011 as a catastrophic year for US-Pakistan relations that began with CIA contractor Raymond Davis’s arrest for shooting two Pakistanis dead in January, the raid in Abbottabad in early May that killed Osama bin Laden, and culminating in the NATO forces lethal attack on a Pakistani border post in November 2011. She said these “series of shocks” shook this important partnership to its core and both the countries expect their future relationship to be more modest, but neither has defined this concept. She said the hope of a common strategy in Afghanistan was completely unrealistic. The two countries’ goals diverge in ways that are too important to sweep under the rug. In principle, both want a stable, governable Afghanistan with no continuing ties to al-Qaeda.
Abbottabad Commission delays report further ISLAMABAD Staff RepoRt
The Abbottabad Commission on Tuesday decided to further delay its report and finalise the same after probing allegations leveled by former ISI DG Lieutenant General (r) Ziauddin Butt about the alleged role played by former president General (r) Pervez Musharraf to provide shelter to al-Qaeda chief Osama Bin Laden in Abbottabad. According to a statement, the commission decided to again invite the foreign minister, defence minister, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa CM, Ziauddin, Lieutenant General (r) Nadeem Taj and former IB DG Brigadier (r) Ijaz Shah for questioning. The commission would submit its final report after recording statements of all the aforesaid dignitaries and a few others. The commission held a detailed interactive session with Air Marshal (r) Shahid Latif and sought his feedback about the US operation.
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06 News Four bodies found MARDAN Staff RepoRt
Bodies of four people were found in the fields in the Saddar Police precincts on Tuesday, police and sources said. They said that people of Ibrahim Khan Kally informed police that bodies of four unidentified people were laying in agricultural fields. Police reached the spot and shifted the bodies to District Headquarters Hospital for autopsy. Sources said that one body was identified as Arif Khan, son of Abdul Jalil, resident of Par Hoti. The other three bodies could not be identified until filling of this report. Sources said that Arif had shifted from Mardan and was missing since the last few years. Sources said that there was no sign of torture or bullets on the bodies, adding that the victims were aged between 30 to 35 years and had beards. Police registered a FIR and started investigation.
wednesday, 21 March, 2012
PM willing to commit contempt of court: Imran g
PtI chairman says there are money laundering cases against nawaz BAHAWALPUR/FAISLABAD/LAHORE
H E prime minister was prepared to commit contempt of the Supreme Court to save Rs 5 billion of the “biggest dacoit” of the country, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan said on Tuesday. Addressing a public meeting, he said that the people were fed up of rulers and wanted to get rid of them. The PTI chairman said that the party stands for free, fair and transparent elections and intelligence agencies should have no role in politics and there was no law and order in the country. Imran said that the nation had sacrificed greatly for restoration of
the judiciary and the PTI will not allow a clash between the judiciary and executive. The nation had decided in favour of a change and it will not settle for anything less than a system, which delivers justice, he said, adding that the PTI was the symbol of change and only it can give a system of governance, which will uphold the rule of law and ensure that the constitution will be supreme. Imran said that the PTI comes into power it will give a programme for farmers with small holdings to save them from inflation. He said that the local bodies system will also be improved. PTI Vice-Chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi and others also addressed the gathering. Separately, talking to journalists at his Zaman Park residence, the PTI
chairman said, “Why is the letter not being written if the money deposited in Swiss banks was not stealthily siphoned off?” He said that the PML-N was under a wrong illusion that the PTI’s ‘tsunami’ had weakened with ISI DG Lieutenant General Ahmed Shuja Pasha’s departure. “There are money laundering cases against Nawaz Sharif. The government could have opened cases against the PML-N and MQM if it had wished so. But, it seems some sort of settlement has been reached,” he said. Imran said that why Interior Minister Senator Rehman Malik was not submitting evidence in the Mehran Bank scandal if he had any. The PTI chairman said that the party did not contest by-elections because old and bogus voter lists were used in the polls.
Plea filed in IhC to quash case against osama’s widow
ISLAMABAD Staff RepoRt
A petition seeking the quashing of a case registered against the youngest wife of al Qaeda founder Osama Bin Laden and for release of her five children was filed in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday.
Chief Justice Iqbal Hameed-ur Rehman will take up the petition filed by Zakarya Ahmad Abd Al-Fattah, brother of Osama’s widow Amal Abdulfattah, through his lawyer Muhammad Amir Khalil. The petitioner cited the interior secretary, DG Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) and state as respondents. It has been stated in the application that Amal Abdulfattah along with her five children were arrested by the ISI without registration of any case against them and later handed over to the Interior Ministry. He said that after the intervention of the Yemeni embassy, eight meetings were held between him and his sister. He said that authorities have kept his sister in illegal custody, adding that the registration of unjust case against his sister was a violation of human rights and the constitution. The petitioner, through his counsel, contended that Osama’s widow and her children were not produced before any court and had been remanded for nine days. The petitioner has pleaded with the court to allow him to meet his sister and to quash the case against her.
peSHaWaR: lady Health Workers protest on tuesday against their provincial coordinator for delaying their salaries for the last six months. STAFF PhoTo
Balochistan Assembly pays tribute to President Zardari QUETTA app
Lawmakers attending the Balochistan Assembly session on Tuesday paid tribute to President Asif Ali Zardari and the government for taking historical measures during the last four years. The assembly session started an hour behind its schedule. Speaking on a point of order, provincial Revenue Minister and Awami National Party (ANP) parliamentary leader, Zamarak Khan Piralizai said: “President Zardari ensured the passage of the 18th, 19th and 20th Amendments, the 7th Consensus National Finance Commission Award and the implementation of the Aghaz-e-Haqooq-e-Balochistan Package.” He appreciated the government’s efforts to resolve the problems of Balochistan. He said the Pashtoon community was thankful to President Zardari as he had played a significant role in changing the name of the North Western Frontier Province to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. He stated that the Pakistan People’s Party-led government had ensured provincial autonomy. He added that more steps needed to be taken to remove the sense of deprivation from among the Baloch people. Balochistan Minister for Women Development and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader Ghazala Gola felicitated President Zardari for address-
Lifetime achievement award for Zardari LAHORE: The International Chicago Labour Confederation (Pakistan chapter) will award its Lifetime Achievement Award to President Asif Ali Zardari. The announcement was made at a special meeting of the Labour Confederation’s central committee, presided over by Confederation Chairman Dr Azam Arrain on Tuesday. The award has been announced in recognition of President Zardari’s role in passing the Industrial Relations Act and the Labour Policy 2010; the reinstatement of 14,000 employees, the regularisation of 72,000 contract and daily wage employees and the 100 percent increase in the salaries of government servants during the last four years. app
ing the joint session of the Parliament for the fifth time. “President Zardari and the PPP-led government have taken several historical steps to put the country on the track of development,” she said. She stated that the Election Commission of Pakistan should be charged with fixing the mistakes in the new computerised voters’ lists.
Accident kills 8 pilgrims in Jhang JHANG: Eight pilgrims were killed and nearly 60 others injured when a bus fell into a ravine in district Jhang, police said on Tuesday. Several injured were registered critical and after an initial investigation it was found that the accident occurred due to speed. Several injured said the bus plunged into a ravine while taking a turn at Darbar Mai Baap for homage in Haveli Bahadar Shah. Police said that the bus heading to Sakhi Sarwar was full of pilgrims from Jaranwala. Rescue 1122 was on the scene immediately and transferred the critically injured to District Hospital Jhang. Other wounded devotees were shifted to Rural Health Center Haveli Bahar Shah. online
Militant who flogged woman publicly arrested SWAT: The Swat Police on Tuesday claimed to have arrested wanted militant commander Fazal Hadi, who had publicly flogged Saira four years ago at Charbagh. The two-minute clip, in which the woman was flogged with her face to the ground while her legs and hands were held by men, was widely condemned. Hadi had escaped the military operation in Swat. He was shifted to an unknown place for investigation. HaRoon SiRaj
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wednesday, 21 March, 2012
thank the governor that your tap’s still running! KesC restores supply to Dhabeji 07
Punjabi boxers discover the wild, wild Karachi ■ Activists of a student organisation force two visiting fighters to lose in finals by threatening their lives ■ one of them goes missing KARACHI aamiR majeeD
WO boxers from Punjab threw in the towel before their opponents from the University of Karachi (KU) on Tuesday to save their lives during the final matches of the Inter-Varsity Boxing Championship 2011-12. The Directorate of Physical Education Karachi had organised the tournament that started on March 17 and invited boxing teams from all over the country. In the finals, two boxers from Punjab opted to live rather than win when some activists of a student organisation started abusing them from outside the ring and warned them that they will not be allowed to go back home alive if they win the fight. In the 60-kg category, Bilal surrendered and allowed a KU boxer to win when a man jumped into the ring, put a gun to his head and warned him that if he wins, he will be killed. Bilal, who was representing the Government College University Lahore, chose to surrender and stepped out of the ring. Bilal told Pakistan Today that he was threatened by an unidentified armed man. “When a man puts a gun to your head, there is nothing you can do,” he added. “A gold medal is not more precious than my life.”
Firefighters douse a blaze that erupted at a factory in new Karachi on tuesday. IMRAN ALI
‘TV blackout in 24 hours’ ■ Cable television operators warn they will switch off countrywide transmission if govt fails to act against people disrupting their services KARACHI iSmail DilaWaR
The manager of the Government College University Lahore boxers, Zahir said Bilal was being abused by people sitting outside the ring when he was closing in on a victory. “Bilal had won two rounds and when the final round started, a man from the crowd jumped into the ring and threatened him. Bilal informed me about this and I advised him to surrender,” he added. The second incident took place with a boxer of the University of Central Punjab, Moiz Khan, who was fighting in the 91-kg category final. When the match started, Moiz had the upper hand over the KU boxer and won the first round. After that, a large num-
ber of activists of a student organisation stepped into the ring and attacked him. The management of the tournament pushed them out of the ring and restarted the match. However, the activists again barged into the ring and attacked Khan, who suddenly surrendered and went missing from the ground. The captain of the University of Central Punjab teams, Qasim Hassan told Pakistan Today that Khan was attacked twice during the match and that is why he surrendered. “Moiz mysteriously disappeared from the ground. We have started searching for him. Even his cell phone is switched off,” he added. Khan was still missing by the time this report was filed.
The cricket-crazy nation is in danger of losing out on viewing the Asia Cup final between Pakistan and Bangladesh on March 22, as the television cable operators on Tuesday warned of suspending countrywide transmission if the government fails to act against the “miscreants” from a political party, who had on Monday cut off several cables in different areas of the city. While the cable operators put the ball in the court of the federal and Sindh governments, the latter claimed to be very much alive to the situation. “We give the government 24 hours to address our grievances or an emergency meeting of the cable operators would decide a complete shutdown of cable transmission across the country,” Cable Operators Association (COA) Chairman Khalid Arain told a press briefing at Karachi Press Club. Flanked by COA office bearers from Karachi and Punjab, he said the miscreants from a political party had not only damaged cables but also roughed up the repairmen sent for restoring the service
affected. “Claiming their party was not being given adequate coverage, the miscreants had warned the cable operators to shutdown transmission of some popular television channels,” Arain said. “However, on our refusal, they cut off the optic fibre worth thousands of rupees.” He said that television cable service was affected in the areas of Esa Nagri, Dalmia, Gulistan-e-Jauhar, Sohrab Goth, Sakhi Hasan and Orangi Town among others. Without giving any names, the COA chief said the activists of a political party, which is a coalition partner in the PPP-led Sindh government and the Centre also, were not allowing the cable operators to mend the damaged wires. He said his association members were receiving threats on telephones from “hidden quarters”. “I appeal to the president to protect the cable operators who air at least 122 television channels to only provide the means for public awareness,” Arain said. He said he had received verbal assurances from various government
quarters including federal and provincial information ministers and the general secretary of Pakistan Broadcasters Association (PBA). “However, no steps have been taken on ground,” he claimed, adding that the COA was looking forward to the PBA meeting to be held in the evening. “The police should lodge an FIR and arrest the culprits.” While the speakers at the press conference did not name the political party accused, their colleagues protesting outside the KPC were chanting slogans against the Awami National Party (ANP) and its Sindh president Shahi Syed. Interestingly, the protestors were also lambasting the party and its leadership for extortions. “Down with ANP; down with Shahi Syed,” read some placards held by protestors. The demonstrators were also shouting “Bhatta Khori Na Manzoor” (extortions not acceptable). Asked to comment on the alleged involvement of its coalition partners in the plight of cable operators, PPP’s Sindh Information Minister Shazia Marri said the issue was being looked into and will be addressed accordingly.
Dust storm made me lose my breath! ■ Many citizens end up in hospitals after meteorological phenomenon strikes out city KARACHI Many were left gasping for breath after the sand storm that hit the city on Monday night, almost blinding everyone with the routine eight-kilometre visibility range reducing to only half a kilometre. The natural phenomenon, which the people said was not at all forecasted by meteorologists, left the city roads deserted as commuters, both drivers and pedestrians, found it difficult to travel due to limited visibility. Most hard-hit were the citizens already suffering from respiratory diseases or with dust allergy. While some shrewd people resorted to wearing facemasks, many others, especially the ones suffering
from asthma, ended up in hospitals or clinics due to respiratory complexities. One of them was 45-yearold Anwar, who was rushed to the Keamari Campus of Dr Ziauddin Hospital to be admitted. “He suffered an asthmatic attack due to the [dust] storm,” his neighbour, Gul Akbar, told Pakistan Today. Talking with Pakistan Today, Dr Nadeem Iqbal, who runs a small clinic in the vicinity of Karachi Port Trust, said he had treated four or five patients for being breathless due to the dusty atmosphere. “Such storms badly affect the asthma patients or those allergic to dust,” the doctor said. He said the patients find it hard to breathe after inhaling excessive dust as well as lack of oxygen.
Ahmed Khan also spent the night shutting down his house’s doors and windows while also wrapping a piece of cloth on his face. “I left my office at around 9:00 pm and immediately went out of breath,” said Khan, who loves in the PECHS area. He said it was impossible for him to respire as nothing but dust was being inhaled. A journalist at the Karachi Press Club, Wakeel Ahmed, recalled that he saw many people sneezing uncontrollably. “They were probably allergic to dust,” he speculated. He claimed having a couple of cups of black tea to clear his throat that he said was full of dust. A biker on the main Shahrah-e-Faisal said he was in a fix while riding home as “I
could neither cover my eyes nor face the dusty air”. Bilquis Khanam, a resident of the Nursery area, said she had just recovered from flu and the storm put her back. “I am sneezing again due to yesterday’s storm,” she complained. Amin Khan said he had his children wear a facemask so that they could avoid inhaling dust. All this puts to the question efficiency of the Met Office which remained ignorant of the dust storm hitting the city. And even if it was aware, the masses were not alerted to take precautionary measures. “I only came to know of the storm when I came out of my office,” said Muhammad Siraj, an office boy at Shahrah-eFaisal. iSmail DilaWaR
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wednesday, 21 March, 2012
Thank the governor that your tap’s still running! ■ KesC restores supply to Dhabeji pumping station on Ishratul ebad’s assurance KARACHI
HE Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC) restored power supply to the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB) including the Dhabeji pumping station on Tuesday after the Sindh governor assured the power utility of an early payment of Rs 1 billion in cash and Rs 4 billion in bank securities as per the Sindh High Court orders on February 27. According to a press statement issued by the KESC, the power utility disconnected electricity supply to the water board when the latter, in violation of court orders, had failed to pay its dues within the 21-day grace period given by the court. The KWSB neither deposited cash, nor provided bank securities to the nazir of the court as per the verdict. The KESC had sent a final disconnection notice to the KWSB on Febru-
ary 16, but had accepted the grace period granted to the board. However, when the KWSB failed to pay its dues, the KESC, under Section 24(1) of the Electricity Act 1910, disconnected power supply to the board including Dhabeji pumping station. Governor Dr Ishratul Ebad, taking note of the critical situation, contacted the KESC authorities and assured them of an early payment of the dues, following which the power utility restored the power supply. The KESC said the water board has been the largest defaulter of power bills and this default has created a very complicated and vicious circular debt issue for the power utility. The undue burden on the power utility’s already constrained financial position and limited resources has caused a huge deficit of cash inflow making it difficult to pay off its dues to its strategic fuel suppliers. Also, despite the longstanding dues, the KESC has exempted all
KWSB pumping stations from load shedding as well, only in recognition of the important role that the water board plays in the daily lives of the citizens; a fact exploited by the water utility to continue with its default behavior, the power utility said in the statement. The KESC further said supplying water to the city consumers is a sacred responsibility upon the governmentrun water board and its management needs to realise its vital role in providing this most essential daily use commodity to its consumers. However, the irresponsible and rather negative role by the water board has caused great difficulties for water consumers of the city for which the board’s management was solely and directly responsible. The KESC asked the water board to take immediate steps for payment of electricity dues as per governor’s assurance in order to save the citizens from acute water shortage.
With funds released, Gorakh hill Station dream may come true after all KARACHI aftaB cHanna
The development of Gorakh Hill Station will start shortly after funds have recently been released for this purpose. Despite the fact that President Asif Ali Zardari had time and again instructed the authorities concerned to accelerate progress on hill station’s development, work at the site had come to a halt. The beautiful hill station is situated within the limits of Dadu district and lies at the altitude of 5,688 feet above the sea level. It has the temperature in between 15 and 16 degree centigrade even in the summer season. The development work at the site was launched in 1989, but the project could not be completed despite the passage of more than 21 years due to lethargy of the authorities concerned. To accelerate the pace of work, the Sindh government established the Gorakh Hills Development Authority (GHDA) few years back that initiated various uplift projects including construction of huts, canteens, tuck shops, restaurants etc. However, all construction was stopped by contractors due to the non-release of funds from the Sindh Tourism Department, a source told Pakistan Today. “Tourism Secretary Pir Bux Jamali stopped Rs 180 million in funds to the GHDA and all the development work came to a halt,” the source added. According to the source, the tourism secretary considers the project a waste of time and money. However, GHDA Director General Engineer Nazir Ahmed Chakrani took up the matter with senior authorities including president, prime minister and the chief minister and the pending funds were released recently after Jamali’s transfer. Chakrani told Pakistan Today that the new secretary, Safdar Ali Shah is taking personal interest in the development of the hill station and the development work at the site will be restarted shortly.
Two newly appointed judges sworn in KARACHI app
Qatar Airways Pakistan Finance Manager rizwan Ali Merchant (2nd from left) along with his family and colleagues at a festival organised at the DHA golf Karachi.
Sindh High Court (SHC) Chief Justice Justice Mushir Alam administered oath to two newly appointed additional judges - Justice Nadeem Akhtar and Justice Mohammad Shafi Siddiqui - on Tuesday.
The oath was administered at a ceremony, organised at the committee room of the court building. It was attended by high court judges and senior lawyers. Later, during a brief chat with the media after the ceremony, the SHC chief justice said the appointment of judges on vacant posts is being carried
out purely on merit. Referring to the shortage of judges at SHC, the chief justice hoped that it will be overcome following the completion of appointment process of new judges, which is being carried out with the consultation of all stakeholder including lawyers bodies of interior Sindh.
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wednesday, 21 March, 2012
‘Increase in MDR TB cases due to over-the-counter availability of drugs ’
karachi 09 PakistaN today
■ experts say sindh government needs to make it mandatory for family physicians and other private medical practitioners to report tuberculosis cases to the provincial tB Control Programme KARACHI
HE steady increase in the incidence of multi-drug resistant (MDR) tuberculosis is due to the over-the-counter availability of first and second line of anti- tuberculosis drugs and their irrational prescription by general physicians, experts observed during a media conference on Tuesday. They warned that severe consequences of misuse, including over- or under-use or even unnecessary administration, of TB drugs is also turning into a major contributory to extra-drug resistance as well as total drug resistant tuberculosis among the local population. The speakers also said the Sindh government needs to make it mandatory for family physicians and other private medical practitioners to report tuberculosis cases to the provincial TB Control Programme. Dr Ismat Ara, director of the Sindh TB Control Programme, Dr Amanullah Ansari, technical advisor to the provincial TB Control Programme and Dr Saleem Hasan Kazmi, national program officer, Global Fund, TB Control Programme were responding to media queries at the event. “Four hundred MDR patients were
enrolled with the Sindh TB Control Programme in 2011 against an estimated number 3,000 such patients in the province,” said Ara. She also noted that between 13,000 and 15,000 new cases of MDR TB are believed to be added to the population of such patients in the country every year. The provincial TB control manager said the declaration of TB as a notifiable disease will ease the process of proper documentation and efficient strategies for timely diagnosis and strict compliance of drug therapy for the disease that is otherwise 100 percent curable. She pointed out that the PC-I of the Sindh TB Control Programme has no provision for MDR diagnosis and treatment. “However, under the joint efforts of the National TB Control and the Sindh TB Control programmes, we are running a program with our private sector partners, through the support of Global Fund, for screening, diagnosis and treatment of all categories and types of TB,” she elaborated. Replying to a question, she said 54,170 TB cases were detected in the province during 2011, in a period when attempts were made to involve private sector in the TB prevention and control strategy. “Collective drug resistance was iden-
tified among 58 percent of these people and 15222 deaths were reportedly caused due to TB, that may not have been necessarily diagnosed in 2011 or 2010 only,” she added. The program director said more than 80 percent of TB patients in the province pertain to productive age groups with 28 percent aged between 15 and 24 years and another 23 percent between 25 and 34 years. Answering another question, she said the cure rate for the disease has been found to be 87 percent against a default rate of seven percent. “Around 418,000 new cases of TB surface in the country every year including 92,800 in Sindh alone,” she added. Ara said the provincial programme is focused on “interrupting the bacterium transmission through timely detection and 100 percent drug compliance”. For this purpose, she said, the Directly Observed Treatment Strategy (DOTS) programme is being implemented at every level, with hospitals and rural health centres working as basic management unit for TB care. Dr Amanullah Ansari said in view of the fact that public sector facilities have reached their optimum potential, private sector hospitals and NGOs are needed to be efficiently involved.
“The country in its endeavor to achieve the millennium development goals needs to acquire a 90 percent reduction rate in the disease prevalence,” he added. “According to a recent WHO report, we have managed to bring down the 500 per 100,000 cases in 1990 to 364 per 100,000 in 2011, with a death rate of 78 per 100,000 in 1990 to 34 per 100,000 in 2011.” Earlier, the partners of the National and Sindh TB Control programmes in-
10Th TeRADATA NATIoNAL IT exCeLLeNCe AWARDS
The best in information technology we have got honoured KARACHI pReSS ReleaSe
Teradata Corporation, the data analytic solutions company, has announced the winners for 10th Teradata National Information Technology (IT) Excellence Awards at an awards ceremony recently held in Karachi. Thirteen awards were given to the “best of the best” in the information technology industry. US Consul General in Karachi William Martin was the chief guest at the event. He recognised Teradata’s efforts in encouraging IT professionals in Pakistan through the awards. He also congratulated the winners for achieving excellence in their respective fields. “I am very pleased to host the 10 th Teradata IT Excellence Awards as this is a novel concept of recognising people in the IT industry at the national level who have been instrumental in introducing, promoting and implementing IT in Pakistan,” said Khuram Rahat, Teradata managing director for Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh. The winners of the Teradata awards in 12 categories were: Excellence in IT Business Intelligence – Khuram Mujtaba, Excellence in Software Development – Shahid Arif, Excellence in Software Export – NetSol Technologies Limited, Excellence in Networking – Dr M Sadiq Ali Khan, Excellence in IT Research and Development – Syed Ali Khayam, CIO of the Year – Muhammad Tariq Malik, Excellence in IT Education – Dr Muhammad Sher, Excellence in Project Manage-
ment –Shafqaat H Shah, Excellence in IT Media and Publication – Muhammad Amir Malik, Excellence as an IT Student – Muhammad Wajeeh, Excellence in IT-Enabled Service Offering – Atif Raees Khan and Owais Zaidi and Lifetime Achievement Award – Salman Ansari. Nominations in the 12 categories were received online by independent auditors KPMG Taseer
Hadi & Co. Ten judges evaluated the nominations based on the supporting documents – the compiled results were later announced by the auditors. The judges were: Dr Ali Sajid Director IB&M, UET Lahore; Anees H Naqvi; Iqbal Abdullah; Prof Dr Abdul Wahab President Mohammad Ali Jinnah University; Shabir Baxamoosa; Jehan Ara President P@SHA; Shahid Sarwar Direc-
tor IT PIAC Computer Centre; Prof Ziauddin Zia, professor at the Gomal University; Amir Zafar Chowdhry, Director General Enterprise Application PITB and Dr Arshad Ali, DG NUST SEECS Islamabad. Hina Bayat and Sidra Iqbal were the hosts for the evening. There was also a lively musical performance by singer Abrarul Haq.
cluding representatives from Indus Hospital, Dr Salman; Regional Coordinator, Assistance for Social Development, Dr Abdul Qadir Shaikh; Dr Srichand from the Marie Adelaide Leprosy Centre; Dr Muntazir Jafferi from the TB Reach Programme; Dr Mubashir from the Aga Khan Community Health Sciences Department; Dr Rafiq Manghi, Bridge Consultants Foundation and M Yasir, Coordinator, GOOD Life Programme of Greenstar shared their experience of diagnosing and treating the patients.
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10 karachi weAtHer UPDAtes
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wednesday, 21 March, 2012
What do country’s cities have in common? Bad air ■ KU organises workshop on air pollution modelling
PrAyer tIMIngs Fajr 5:19
starting time in Karachi
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HE University of Karachi (KU) organised a workshop on air pollution modeling, the varsity said in a statement issued on
Tuesday. The four-day moot was held under the auspices of the university’s Institute of Environmental Studies in collaboration with the Higher Education Commission. “Generally any substance that people introduce into the atmos-
InQUIry CIty stAtIon CAntt stAtIon
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Prof Dr. Tariq Masood Ali Khan, principal organiser, deliberated about the objectives of the workshop. He said that this event is for the first time being organised by the university which has opened new venues for future research. He said the air quality of all cities of Pakistan has suffered from emissions originated from anthropogenic sources. “In most of the EIA studies, air pollution modelling is neglected owing to the unavailability of professional skills,” he added. Dr Piyaratne Dewandege from
the Environmental Protection Authority, Victoria, Australia, the key resource person, apprised the audience about the latest innovation in the field of air pollution modelling. He spoke about the development of new models through which future dispersion of air pollutants can easily be assessed. The workshop provides full description of air pollution modelling techniques based on the use of latest models. There were 25 local and international participants attending the event.
Lecture on smart grid and renewable energy KARACHI app
phere that has damaging effects on living things and the environment is considered air pollution. Air pollution modelling can monitor and estimate public health impacts from air pollution policies,” KU Pro Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Shahana Urooj Kazmi said on the occasion. Dr Moazzam Ali Khan, Director of the Institute of Environmental Studies, while welcoming the participants spoke about the achievements of the Institute. He told the participants about the 4th International workshop of 2012 organised by the institute.
A lecture on Smart Grid and Renewable Energy for Pakistan’s growing energy needs was held by the Faculty of Electrical and Electronics Engineering, Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) School of Science and Technology in collaboration with Siemens Pakistan, it was stated in a press release issued on Tuesday. In his introductory address, Aqeel Ahmed, Vice President Smart Grid Siemens Pakistan, said one of
the smart grid concepts was the demand management system (DMS), which requires “load follows generation”. “This concept was not new to many Pakistanis, as we use residential power generator during load shedding, during that time we curtail our load requirements accordingly and in the process usually let go many luxuries like air conditioning,” he added. He put the question to the audience as to what are the reasons that while DMS is effectively practiced at residential level but at a national level we do not consider our power
system limitations and continue to over use electricity. Hence, certain solutions can be implemented for effective use of electricity without employing technology. Ahmed also highlighted the importance of smart grid solutions in Pakistan and the role of engineering institutes and Siemens in this regard. Irfan Ahmed, head of renewable energy systems Siemens Pakistan, gave a presentation on the potential of solar and wind energy in the country and it’s integration into ex-
golDen collection ii
isting electrical network of Pakistan. Dr Michael Schwan, Head of Network Consultancy Siemens PTI, (Power Technologies International), Germany, talked about network planning strategies for distribution companies with a special focus on loss calculations and minimization and reliability study of electrical networks. Siemens and LUMS have also principally agreed on the concept of establishing a smart grid laboratory in Lahore which will be open to Siemens experts, NTDC and DISCOs’ engineers and SSE students.
ART EXHIBITION STARTS MARCH 21 VENUE: UNICORN GALLERY
ART EXHIBITION UNTIL MARCH 24 VENUE: VM ART GALLERY
ART EXHIBITION UNTIL MARCH 24 VENUE: GRANDEUR
A group exhibition ‘The Golden Collection II’ from March 21 to 28 at the Unicorn Gallery. Call 35831220 for more information.
Farah Mahbub’s ‘Baraka Silsila-eNisbat’ until March 24 at the VM Art Gallery. Call 34940411 for more information.
Khusro Subzwari and Afshan Kohari’s art exhibition until March 24 at the Grandeur gallery. Call 35435744 for more information.
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wednesday, 21 March, 2012
Editor’s mail 11
Alternate energy resources Summer is on its way and we’ve been already warned about the electricity load shedding this year and the increase in price per unit because the snow hasn’t melted yet and the water is at dead level in our dams. If timely planning is not done, one can imagine the energy crisis that will be coming in the years ahead. Our leaders should come up with alternative ways to overcome the crisis but they have been unable to plan anything. We need to find alternate energy resources to overcome these crises. Pakistan is fortunate to be blessed with renewable energy resources such as wind and solar energy. The wind speed is sufficient in Islamabad, Sind and Balochistan to generate electricity. Luck-
ily, the largest wind turbine manufacturer company Suzlon is in India. Pakistan must improve its ties with India to cooperate economically in general. There are a host of areas where the two countries can cooperate and the energy sector is but one. It would be easy for Pakistan to import wind turbines from India and it would go a long way in helping Pakistan’s energy crisis. In recent years, the government has completed several projects to demonstrate that wind energy is viable in the country. In Mirpur Sakro, 85 micro turbines have been installed to power 356 homes. In Kund Malir, 40 turbines have been installed, which power 111 homes. Thus, wind energy can be utilised perfectly in our region.
Hooliganism in the House The other plentiful energy resource we have is sunlight. Anyone who suffers from load shedding knows the heat of the harsh sun. If 0.25 percent of Balochistan was covered with solar panels with an efficiency of 20%, enough electricity would be generated to cover all of Pakistani demand. Solar energy is also used for cooking. In our rural areas, wood is used for burning, which is causing deforestation. Solar cookers can be used for cooking purposes. Despite being blessed with all these resources, the energy crisis is getting worst day by day. We tend to make short term plans which are a waste of time and money. The projects started by one government are either stopped by the new regime or neglected by spending the in-
vestment money dedicated to that project elsewhere. Even though numerous projects with foreign collaboration are often announced but they rarely get completed due to the pervasive malaise of corruption. Only a few projects have been accomplished so far. Those who want to start such projects are not given any incentive by the government. The government needs to pay attention to those who are ready to invest in renewable energy and give major financial incentives to them as well. Pakistan can easily get ahead as a leader in renewable energy due to its geostrategic position and the abundance of natural resources it has. ERUM ZEHRA Karachi
Mothers and infants suffer Unfortunately, the newborns and infants in the upper and lower Sindh districts do not receive high-quality child care and early education. Neither the past regimes nor the present government - both at the federal and provincial level has done anything for the health and wellbeing of mother and child in these districts. In the aftermath of the disastrous floods and rains during the last two years, the morality rate has become alarming in these districts. The infants who survive have chronic health and behaviour problems. I appeal to the international NGOs and child and mother caring organisations to take practical measures to improve the plight of infants and mothers in the upper and lower Sindh districts. HASHIM ABRO Islamabad
no reason to celebrate
truth not out? Osama Bin Laden was killed by US Navy SEALs on 2nd May, 2011 in an Abbottabad compound. Besides being a violation of Pakistani air space by the US gunship helicopters, this was a direct attack on Pakistan's sovereignty. It was additionally, of course, a complete failure on the part of our PAF alert system. If at all Osama bil Laden was there, then it was also a complete collapse of our so called state of the art intelligence agencies. Conspiracy theories about this event abound. They range from Osama bin Laden was never there to President Zardari was in the know about the operation. There are so many theories doing the rounds that the simple truth seems to have been obfuscated. The Pakistani government has constituted a high powered commission headed by Justice Javed Iqbal to enquire into the whole affair. While the commission is still working to meet all the terms of reference of the enquiry, the Abbottabad compound has been razed to the ground for no cogent reasons. One fails to understand why this was done. Does it not give credence to the theories that this was all a staged drama? With the latest technology, the entire operation was being recorded and transmitted direct to the White House, where the top hierarchy of the State Department ,including President Obama and foreign secretary Ms Clinton were seen closely observing the entire operation with awe on their faces. Having killed Osama bil Laden, the attacking forces took his dead body and dumped it into the Indian Ocean in a most mysterious manner. In order to remove the doubts existing in the minds of general public, the US government must show to the world at large, the entire video of the operation and the dead body of the most wanted terrorist of the world having a head money of $ 25 millions. Alternatively, we are justified to doubt the killing of OBL in the Abbottabad compound of Pakistan. The questions about Osama bil Laden’s presence in Abbottabad without the knowledge of intelligence agencies for 6 long years, the silent disposal of his body in the ocean, and the razing of the Abbottabad compound must be answered to prevent these theories from proliferating and the simple fact that the public deserves the truth. MUHAMMAD AZHAR KHWAJA Lahore
The March 17 was “Black Day” in the history of Sindh when hooliganism was staged by law makers belonging to one party in the Sindh Assembly who did not allow the house to take up any business from the order of the day. Thus, the sanctity of the house was brutally violated. As per press reports, the MQM legislators were clearly spoiling for a fight and actual reason for MQM’s protest was unconnected to its new-found interest in ridding Karachi of extortion and kidnapping for ransom. Despite acting speaker Ms Shehla Reza’s call to order amidst noisy protest staged by MQM and repeated requests to the lawmakers to take their seats, some of the agitating legislators displaying posters and shouting slogans did not appear to be in mood to oblige. To protest against the insulting behaviour to MPA Arif Mustafa Jatoi by MQM lawmakers in Sindh Assembly house, a NPP activist Zainul Abdin tried to set himself on fire. It is evident from the behaviour of MQM that they do not believe in the rule of law as they keep taking the law into their hands. It is very sad those people who are involved in extortion and ransom are making a hue and cry against such evils to hoodwink the people. Further, use of the restricted Red Zone by the said party for staging protest on large scale and not allowing others to even register peaceful protests clearly shows that the law is not equally applicable to all. All those who believe in the rule of law must strongly condemn the naked hooliganism of MQM. MOHAMMAD KHAN SIAL Karachi
strikes are violent and practices such as stoning, arson and firing are common, many people lose their lives and suffer injuries as a result of these strikes. Not only is their direct loss to people properties but they also lead to indirect losses by adversely affecting people’s businesses and trade activities. What do political parties think? Will mafias stop their activities because of these strikes? Will they back off? These strikes do not serve the purpose and are not the best way to protest something. There are other better avenues to register one’s protest. A single-day strike causes losses of millions of rupees and further pressurise an already ailing economy. The government should issue a code of conduct regarding the holding of these strikes and regulate and/or curtail this practice. BUSHRA ASIM Karachi
The government officials were extremely happy over the fifth delivery of the president’s address to the parliament. They consider it as a big success. Soon they will rejoice their 5-year tenure and the fifth budget in June /July. I am sure that this junta has reasons to rejoice. But do they know what have they done in 5 long years? The country has been brought down to knees in virtually every aspect of affair. I cannot find a single thing to compliment this government. I cannot even make a list of things that have gone wrong. In the parliamentary form of government, all I know is that the length of the tenure is meaningless. Elections can be called on earlier. Yes, the maximum stipulated time is fixed at 5 years. In United Kingdom and in Japan, elections are called every 2 to 4 years. If the outgoing government is good, it can always be re-elected. It happened with Tony Blair just recently in history. What is it about the 5th address that we should rejoice? The country is on a veritable downward slide and we are giving congratulations to the president on this ‘great achievement’. Let these few benefactors and allies bring their minds back for a change. Filthy street language is being used by these politicians against each other. Election is still some months away and they have resorted to these dirty and filthy tactics. What will we poor citizens do to plug the ears of our kids? I do not understand where are we heading for? Pakistan has been hijacked by these few hundreds of monopolists. It is time the voters exercise their rights and bring decent and honest Pakistanis into office. AMJAD H MIRZA Lahore
ground. Clean drinking water has always been a big issue for public schools. A number of schools in the city have no water tanks and some that have them don’t have drinkable water. The water tanks are not clean and are infested with insects. A number of public school students get sick after drinking water from these tanks. As a result of these conditions, poor parents have found alternatives. According to the World Bank, 1 percent students leave public schools to attend madrassahs as they offer food and lodging in ad-
dition to religious education. Middle class people are compelled to send their children to private schools. These private schools charge high fees from the parents already labouring under hyper-inflation. The government must concentrate on the education sector and take revolutionary steps to improve it. The primary education sector needs to be brought up to modern educational standards. This is the need of the country and its teeming millions. SANIA REHAN Karachi
no farewell to arms? According to data released by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), two countries with a GDP (PPP) per capita of only $2800 – 3700 are the world top arms importers? India ranks first while Pakistan is on the third position. India purchased 10 percent of the world’ arms sale while Pakistan’s purchases stand at 5 percent. Is there anything to be proud of – when 50 percent of Indian homes are without toilet facilities, when millions of children are just discounted as child labour, where millions of children are without basic education and healthcare, millions are without safe water to drink. But both countries are proud of showing off their nuclear arsenals and their delivery gadgets. Both are proud to be at war for the last six decades for this reason or that reason; they feel proud about fighting a proxy war
the second sex Women nowadays are mistreated, disrespected and misjudged. As far as I recall, that is not what our Prophet (pbuh) taught us to do. In fact, he taught us quite the opposite. Before Islam, women were treated in a lowly manner and were disrespected. Whenever a girl would be born in a family, it was though of as an object of shame. When our Prophet (pbuh) came, he put an end to all these misguided practices. It is unfortunate that some of these practices and mindsets persist even to this day. Sexism is a rampant issue the world over. But especially in Pakistan, women and their rights are most harshly exploited. They are confined to live within four walls, tagged in their own minds as inferior creature. A lady has to think twice before stepping out of her house because things like safety or respect for
on the world’s highest front, the Siachen glacier. But both governments and their respective militaries don’t see beyond their nose. When will be the day when these both countries will spend their resources and income not to arm themselves for destroying each other but to provide health care and education to millions of people in their backyard, eradicate poverty, provide access to clean water and at least a shelter for the homeless. But who cares – we need Kashmir, we will interfere in Balochistan, in turn we will send terrorists, we will help your separatists – life goes on. Provided government, military and terrorists in both counties are happy with the arrangement, then who cares. MASOOD KHAN Saudi Arabia
women are not to be found here. Cruel and harsh people hurt their own sisters and mothers. Women's own husbands, let alone strangers, treat their wives like rags. This is sheer illiteracy. So, to prevent all this, we need to raise our voices and give women the respect they deserve. This can only be done by educating people and spreading awareness to combat outdated mindsets. RIZWAN KAREEM Karachi
enough of these strikes Strikes have become the order of the day in our city. There are many disadvantages and dangers connected with them. A strike in one department of life disturbs work in all departments and all sorts of business. It brings much inconvenience and hardship to all concerned. Especially in a city like Karachi, where
Poor condition of public school The majority of public schools lack basic facilities, including clean drinking water, proper furniture etc. Like other past governments, the present government is also spending a large chunk of the budget on defence. Rs 442.2 billion was allocated for defence in the fiscal year 2010-2011. The primary education sector must be the government’s top priority. The condition of the government primary schools in the city and the quality of education being imparted there is going from bad to worse. Many government schools exist on
paper only. School buildings, mostly in rural areas, have been converted to drawing rooms for local landowners or cattle sheds while the children are forced to study under trees or out in the open. An example of this is the Government Primary School, Hamaad Colony, which has no roofs despite being situated right in the heart of the provincial capital. There are a lot other public schools whose infrastructure is beyond dilapidated. Many schools have no furniture in classrooms, and lack a teaching staff, toilets, clean drinking water and play-
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 A good beginning the parliament decides
hat parameters regarding the Pak-US relations are now being redefined by the parliament is a welcome development. Since 1977, a military dominated establishment had treated decisionmaking on crucial foreign policy issues as its exclusive domain. The decisions thus taken, without inputs from the political leadership and the foreign office, led to the isolation of the country in the region and, at times, in the world at large. The military-led establishment created in its laboratories the monster called the Taliban who after capturing Afghanistan turned the country into a safe haven for terrorists and a launching pad for the export of terrorism to China, Russia, and many other countries. The historic opportunity to improve Pak-India relations created by the Lahore Declaration was lost by the ill -conceived Kargil operation. Among other things, the operation led many traditional allies to accuse Pakistan of cross-border terrorism. The recommendations formulated by the Parliamentary Committee on National Security centre round safeguarding the sovereignty of Pakistan. Thus, there is a rejection of any military activity by the US inside Pakistan including the drone attacks. They require a formal apology for the Salala attack and an assurance that actions of the type will not be repeated. The recommendation discouraging any verbal agreement regarding national security on the part of the government or any other ministry or department is quite understandable. The Committee has formulated its recommendations after seeking inputs from political parties, the foreign office and the military leadership. The president and prime minister have already discussed them with major stakeholders. Whatever dotting of the i’s and crossing of the t’s was needed has already been done. The parliament would now put the final seal of legitimacy on it. It is now for everyone to discourage the forces of chaos like the so called Defence of Pakistan Council which has threatened to agitate if parliament was to allow the resumption of Nato containers’ traffic. It is for all organs of the state to ensure the supremacy of the parliament. What needs to be done in months to come is to take up other issues like ties with neighbouring countries to ensure a friendly environment in the region.
A verdict or two More than ambitious rulings needed
aws and judicial directives do not emerge from within a vacuum. They are part of a societal space where different agents interact. If the positive framework of the state doesn’t apply to a functionally lawless part of the land, an ambitious piece of legislation might seem akin to a spoilt boy-king of yore commanding the sun to rise from the west for once. Yes, that is how unactionable, in the short-to-long term, certain variables are. The court’s recent ruling about no agency being able to detain anyone without the registration of an FIR was obviously not only well-intentioned, but was also a reaffirmation of the constitutional liberties that are due to the citizens of our republic. Will it do any good, however? We already have a code for criminal procedure in the country. It says, derived from our constitution, that no one could be detained without being made to appear in front of a civil magistrate within 24 hours. Our spooks are scandalously violating this unequivocal law, what good will the current ruling do? The fact of the matter remains that examples have to be set and protocols need to be laid out. The role of the intelligence agencies is to collect intelligence, not pick people up. If certain extenuating circumstances demand a particular mode of action, there should be constant judicial monitoring of the matter. Furthermore, it should be made clear to the operatives of these intelligence agencies, regardless of their level in their respective organisations, that they cannot follow orders blindly. That they will be as liable to prosecution as the commanding officers who gave them illegal orders. The ball, as ever, is in the courts’ court.
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
wednesday, 21 March, 2012
Institutional imbalance politicians each others’ worst enemies
he key to success of democracy is the effective working of state and societal institutions and processes over a long period of time. These institutions must respect each other because every institution enjoys autonomy but does not operate in a vacuum. If an institution endeavours to expand its domain at the expense of others or develops a self-ascribed mission of rectifying all other institutions, there will be sharp institutional imbalance which is not helpful to democracy. In a country like Pakistan where democracy is trying to rehabilitate itself after long years of military rule, some institutions and power players are trying to retain their hitherto privileged position while others are attempting to expand their domain. The civilian political institutions, especially the elected civilian federal government, often find themselves under pressure from the military that has a long tradition of dominating the political process, and the superior judiciary that has acquired a hyperactive profile to By Dr Hasan Askari Rizvi extend its domain in the post-2009 period. In a democratic system, no person or institution can make an exclusive claim to ‘all wisdom’ or the ‘national interest’. All this is evolved through dialogue and mutual exchange among the political and societal players and state institutions. Politics is viewed as the art of the possible within political power framework rather than an activity simply for promoting textbook honesty or righteousness. These values are part of the collective ideals and norms of democracy but all democratic ideals are pursued through mutual consultation and shared effort. The political process creates institutional arrangements for implementing these norms because it is a shared responsibility. No single institution or leader can enforce them. Pakistan has traditionally experienced institutional imbalance. The return to democracy in 2008 has initiated the process of rehabilitating civilian institutions and balancing them with the state institutions. This balancing of different state and societal institutions has to be distinguished from exact
equilibrium which is neither possible nor desirable. Each institution has a defined role but the primacy is assigned to elected institutions. The pressures on civilian institutions do not come from the military and the judiciary alone. It is also exerted by political leaders and parties. This is done in two ways. First, the poor performance of civilian elected governments alienates the people from civilian leaders and institutions. Second, political leaders delegitimise each other by trading charges and countercharges. The opposition and the government engage in accusing each other of corruption, nepotism and malpractices. They often pursue these agendas in total disregard of democratic norms and political decency. This is a recipe for self-destruction on the part of political leaders. When they try to delegitimise each other, they in fact undermine civilian politics and democracy. It is interesting to note that all major political parties are in power either at the federal level or in provinces. The federal coalition includes four political parties. If the PML(N) is in opposition at the federal level it is ruling the province of the Punjab. The PPP heads the ruling coalition at the federal level and shares power in Sindh, KP and Balochistan but it is in opposition in the Punjab. Being in power at federal or provincial levels, it is ironic that these political parties are busy delegitimising each other by accusing each other of corruption, mismanagement and mishandling of state institutions and resources. The PML(N) engages in mudslinging because it finds itself outsmarted by the PPP leadership that has built such a strong coalition at the federal level that the PML(N) desire to pull down the federal government has failed to materialise. The main target of the PML(N) criticism is President Asif Ali Zardari. The Punjab chief minister, Shahbaz Sharif, seem to have surpassed his party colleagues in condemning and criticising Zardari, turning this into a personal campaign and an emotional issue. The latest demonstration of the PML(N) antipathy towards Zardari reflected in the sloganeering by the PML(N) when Zardari addressed the joint session of the parliament on March 17. It revived the unfortunate memories of the 1988-1999 period when the president used to be
shouted down by opposition whenever he addressed the joint session of the parliament. Interestingly enough, a few of the members of the PML(N), known for disturbing the address of the president in 1988-1999 were active in sloganeering in the joint session on March 17. Some of the activists of the PPP are equally hard hitting in criticising the PML(N), especially the poor performance of the Punjab government and highly personalised management of governmental affairs by Shahbaz Sharif. This keeps politics on the boil. The MQM, a partner of the PPP in the federal and Sindh governments, periodically engages in propaganda against the senior partner in these governments, i.e. the PPP, to extract political and economic dividends regarding its political interests in urban Sindh, especially Karachi. Its campaign for putting an end to extortion is the latest example how it shifts the blame of administrative failure on the PPP rather than share it as a coalition partner. Lacking a long term perspective, it is not surprising that the political leaders have spent time and energy on the Memo issue and the Mehran Bank scandal. The judicial review of these political issues is not expected to contribute to resolving Pakistan’s economic and social problems or improve governance. These two episodes discredit civilian leaders as well as the military. The international financial institutions, other states and political analysts do not have to undertake any research on corruption, mismanagement and institutional decay in Pakistan. They get enough material from what the political leaders have been doing to each other over the last four years. They can also get some material from the remarks of the judges of the Supreme Court. The pathetic show of gross violation of parliamentary decorum by the opposition on March 17 in the presence of the Pakistani service chiefs and foreign diplomats has not simply embarrassed Zardari. It has actually embarrassed the parliament and discredited democracy. This has strengthened the perception that the political leaders lack a long term vision because they cannot get over their personalised and partisan agendas. The writer is an independent political and defence analyst.
how to look at vulgarity on Internet our government’s got it wrong
man bites Dog By Harris Bin Munawar
riticising a proposed Internet surveillance and censorship program last week, I had argued that the Internet is not just a public communications network, but a culture. Because Pakistan’s legislators and public officials do not realise the difference, they do not have the administrative or intellectual capacity to understand the consequences of such regulation. As a public communications network, our government looks at the Internet as a set of interconnected roads that can be used to transport information for the purposes of business, entertainment or control. It looks at the Internet as a means of “mass communication”, an instrument of influence and persuasion, and
a tool that can be used to change opinions and behaviour. It wants to regulate the social and psychological conditions in which this exchange of information takes place. And that is why it is obsessed with only two things: ‘national security’ and ‘vulgarity’. But like all other technology, the Internet can also be looked at as a cultural phenomenon. As much as it is about transmission of information across communication lines, it is about simultaneous participation of people in new social rituals. As much as it is about imparting information and opinion, it is about creating shared meanings and shared beliefs. In that way, it belongs to the commoners and is a coarse and unrefined vernacular. That is the definition of ‘vulgar’. For a government that has little control over a large percentage of its geographical area, spending $10 million to regulate the tribal area of the world wide web is fascinating. Seeing the Internet as a public “mass communication” network, the government can use two scientific strategies to understand and regulate it. The first such strategy is behavioural science, which uses the Interest Theory (a causal expla-
nation) or Strain Theory (a functional explanation) to elucidate laws of behaviour. These laws are statistically true and applicable in general to everyone, but their problem is that they are applicable to no one in particular. For example, even if an overwhelming percentage of young people violate a particular law or watch pornography on the Internet, the statistics cannot be used to implicate any one of them or justify taking away their privacy and freedom. The second strategy is of formal science, which elucidates structures. The problem with that approach is that it may be blind to cultural contexts. For example, in the past our governments has banned human rights blogs and political websites in the name of national security, and sites containing medical information that include names of body parts, or all websites with the word ‘shoes’ in them, while trying to block pornography. Although there is a strong case for the government to regulate the Internet in order to protect people’s fundamental rights, developing a blanket censorship and surveillance system bypassing these problems will only lead to oppression.
Communication theorists have therefore started embracing these problems rather than avoiding them. Raymond Williams believes the term Mass Communication a) considers limited specialized fields such as film and broadcasting and not the whole common area of discourse, b) considers large audience but not specific communication situations, and c) sees media as one-sided flow of information that corrupts the passive mass audience. Stuart Hall says the term limits the studies both methodologically and substantively. Culture refers to a way of life, he says, while communication is an isolated segment of existence. James Carey, author of Communication as Culture, says communication studies have to deal with the challenge of untangling “a multiplicity of complex conceptual structures”. There is no long-distance mind reading in doing so, Carey says, but an attempt to interpret how people interpret their experiences. The writer is a media and culture critic and works at The Friday Times. He tweets @paagalinsaan and gets email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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wednesday, 21 March, 2012
The nation’s spirits
economy takes a backseat
the government’s cruise against booze
political concerns will trump all else in an election year
By Ali Aftab Saeed
he Punjab has the highest crime rate among all four provinces. Does it mean Punjabis are more criminal minded than the others? Does it mean crime gets reported more in Punjab than in other provinces? Or is it a manifestation of the painstaking diligence of the Punjab law enforcement agencies? (You can find the whole of Punjab police along with the elite force on check points everywhere – right next to hotel gates and in the adjoining streets, and at night outside housing societies – to catch people carrying booze inside or outside their bodies.) Is it a combination of the three? On the subject of the crusade against liquor being the police’s favourite activity, I suspect it is because people with booze, unlike murderers and dacoits, don’t fire back, not until they have booze to look forward to. Drinking and driving, for example, is as serious as crimes come, but there is seldom any FIR registered for it. The policemen merely want their cut without getting into any hassle. They simply make you stop at every check post and when you are out of your car, manoeuvre into intimate positions vis-àvis you with the ultimate aim to sniff. It’s such a relief when the police wala retreats even if you are caught drunk – any proximity with a chillar is too much for comfort. As it happens, they let you go in either case, for free if you’re clean and with some bribe if you aren’t. They don’t particularly care whether there is a nuclear reactor tied to the roof of your car.
Is it even Islamic, this whole practice? Hazrat Umar is unanimously considered the most no-nonsense and stern of all Muslim rulers. Even in his tenure nobody was stalked to see if he was carrying booze. Neither was anybody used as a sniff-dog to find out whether somebody was under the influence. If there was a complaint, the suspect was simply asked to differentiate between two pieces of cloth, one white and the other off white. If he could successfully do that he was let go even if he had consumed alcohol. The point wasn’t to punish the use of alcohol per se, but to punish drunkards. The Punjab government appears to be more antiliquor than other governments. It has recently increased tax on raw alcohol per gallon because of which the production of Murree Brewery has decreased considerably since it can’t raise prices – neither of its competitors, Indus Karachi and Quetta Distillery, has been affected by the tax hike. Thankfully for MB, beer appears to be Pakistanis’ favourite hard drink, and MB is the only company in Pakistan that brews beer (QDL is seeking government’s approval desperately to let them brew some too). In Pakistan, these tax increases would tell something about the preferences of men in power. If anybody other than the Sharifs end up making the next Punjab government, one can never completely rule out imposition of value added tax to delicacies such as paaye, khad and zubaan. What’s interesting is that liquor is among only a few products the government can’t get cheated upon (in terms of taxes) because the government regulates the sales itself, and it is only sold on permits. Also, the government can always control the amount of liquor sold by controlling the number of permits issued/renewed every July. The government gath-
ered roughly Rs 3 billion from legitimate sale of liquor in 2010. Sindh accounts for 1.78 billion, Punjab for 926 million, and Balochistan for 118 million (figures for KP could not be found on the internet, where people either don’t drink or else prefer something else). I don’t intend to argue that alcohol isn’t harmful; it undoubtedly is. However, news of deaths caused by consumption of cheap spurious liquor appears frequently in newspapers, mostly in rural areas where there are no hotels and no regulated liquor shops. Ever since the drop in production of MB, such incidents are now getting registered in major cities as well. If the alternative to harm is death, can’t we allow regulated liquor outlets for those who just can’t resist? Isn’t it the government’s responsibility to insure the well-being of everybody? The history of alcohol in Pakistan is rather complex. Bhutto imposed a total prohibition in Pakistan. General Zia relaxed this law, requiring anyone wishing to consume alcohol to present credentials demonstrating that he was a non-Muslim. Either Zia was considerate of the minorities or he was sensitive to the needs of the drinkers among the majority. It is said that the army was once the #1 customer of MB! The situation must be much different now – in the polarised army of the 2010s half the officers must be non-drinkers; the ones who drink would presumably have enough money to go for the imported rather than the local stuff. Times change, and with them the priorities of great nations! This is a difficult issue and I won’t pretend I have the perfect solution for it (I am after all no Imran Khan). However, for starters, will somebody at least tell the police walas to keep some distance? The writer is a member of the band Beygairat Brigade.
By Salim Ghauri
his is the elections year. We cannot call it an economic year for the country. The pre-election activity has already started. Therefore, all government considerations will be of a political nature and not economic ones and that might lead to an economic slowdown. The ruling party will lose ground fast. It has no magic wand to overcome the energy crisis, liquidity crunch, market access for exports and incentives to investors for job creation in country. Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) and other food support schemes are well in place but still more and more people are slipping below the poverty line. The Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry (LCCI) leadership has recently witnessed registration of FIRs against it on holding protests against energy crisis. It happened for the first time in the history of Pakistan that the Chamber leadership was booked for protesting in the larger interest of business community. The All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) leadership also took out a protest rally and staged a sit-in at the Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Ltd (SNGPL) head office against gas curtailment to textile mills. But all these protests, rallies and sit-ins proved useless, as the energy crisis continued due to inability of policymakers to come up with a solution. The upcoming summer season is likely to be the worst one with the addition of home appliances including refrigerator and air conditioners to the load system. A shortage of over 5000MW would keep the economic activity at an abysmal low. The Non Performing Loans (NPLs) would keep multiplying and scarcity of working capital would keep worrying the business houses. The political parties would be more interested in turning the pre-
vailing energy crisis into an election slogan than looking for practical solutions to overcome it at the earliest. Therefore, the business community should take a back seat and wait for a favourable environment until the election fever is over. Especially, the energy crisis would carry on throughout 2012 and even after that, as the PML(N) chief Nawaz Sharif has said recently that overcoming energy crisis would be a challenge for next government. It means that no immediate solution to the energy crisis can be expected. Cash flows to the economy have dried up due to complexity of relations with the US and ongoing crisis in the EU. NATO supplies are at halt. The US has already delayed the idea of Reconstruction Opportunity Zones (ROZs) in tribal areas. The dream of market access of Pakistani products to the US market is unlikely to materialise. The official statistics show that the foreign aid as well as the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is likely to remain suspended throughout 2012. Further, no improvement is imminent in the near future. The energy-dependent industrial sectors are already bleeding fast, massive layoffs are common, factories are turning into graveyards, and many are ready to be tagged as sick units. The falling private sector investment demand in the economy amidst the Herculean challenge of financing fiscal and external current account deficits would keep creating difficulties for the Pakistan economy ahead. Already, the government has championed the borrowing spree against private sector, squeezing the availability of credit for the industrial sectors in the economy. There is a strong demand of bringing the interest rate regime to single digit to make it globally competitive. An absence of an ideal interest rate regime has slowed down the growth in Large-scale Manufacturing (LSM). The factors like continuing energy shortages, unfavourable law and order conditions, and an uncertain political environment have added fuel to the fire, subtracting the business confidence. Meanwhile, the SBP Monetary Policy Statement suggests that the full year expansion in credit to the
private sector is expected to remain weak during FY12 despite interest rate reductions. Its year-on-year growth is already negative in real terms and indicates depressed private investment demand in the economy. In addition, given substantial government borrowings from the scheduled banks together with rising NPLs, banks are likely to continue to avoid lending to the relatively riskier private sector. The average inflation in FY12 is likely to remain in the range of 11 to 12 percent, which would keep pressure on supply side of credit to private sector. Increases in electricity and gas prices, high international oil prices, impact of exchange rate pass-through, increase in support price for the upcoming wheat procurement season, and substantial government borrowings from the banking system would keep private sector demand under pressure. The SBP has emphasised that the implementation of the Medium Term Budgetary Framework (MTBF) is imperative for inflation to come down further. The MTBF envisages a systematic reduction in the fiscal deficit to 3.0 percent of GDP in FY14 by increasing the taxto-GDP ratio and stipulates inflation targets of 9.5 percent for FY13 and 8 percent for FY14. Decisive reforms in the energy sector can also go a long way in achieving the MTBF targets. These reforms not only will reduce the government's reliance on banking system borrowings but also minimise the need to adjust the energy prices in a sporadic and unpredictable manner. Both these factors would help in improving the effectiveness of monetary policy. In my view, the business community should adopt persevere behaviour while dealing with ongoing shortfalls and shortcomings. They should gear up for the worst, defer investment plans and be ready to pay the cost of political activity in the country. The writer is President American Business Forum, Chairman and CEO NetSol Technologies, Honourary Consul of Australia for the province of Punjab, Pakistan and former Co-Chairman of Federal Government’s Task Force on Information & Communication Technologies
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wednesday, 21 March, 2012
SOCIETY KArACHI: Pawny 14 August, a play directed by Anwar Maqsood was presented. PR
“destroying morality” BALI
member of Indonesia's highest Islamic authority has said Muslims should stay away from an upcoming concert by American pop star Lady Gaga, who he said aimed to undermine the values of the world's largest Muslim country. "(The concert is) intended to destroy the nation's morality," said Indonesian Council of Ulema Chairman Cholil Ridwan. Cholil said Lady Gaga's sexy manner of dressing and dance should be considered "un-Islamic". “She's from the West and she often shows her body while performing," he said. He, however, added that he had never watched the singer perform and only heard of her "reputation" second-hand. He said the 25,000 fans who purchased tickets for the June 3 concert leg of the ‘Born This Way’ Bali
tour should return their tickets. The show sold out in around two hours when tickets went on sale March 10.
Bilal Maqsood with a character from the play
Faisal Kapadia with characters from the play
Emu of Emix with the band
KArACHI: L’orÉAL Professional introduced somptueux. PR
introduced the ‘Somptueux’ spring/summer collection KARACHI neWS DeSK
L’Oréal Professional, the Parisian house of hairdressing, exclusively presented their Spring/Summer 2012 collection in Pakistan through a visionary show, ‘Somptueux’, for which the world’s leading professional brand, teamed up with iconic stylist and L’Oréal Pakistan’s creative consultant, Nabila. The evening began with a presentation of attributes common between haute couture and hairdressing, followed by a hair and fashion show where
paired models, presented L’Oréal Professional’s three looks for the season: rich chocolate brown, magenta red and blonde. The visionary showcase concluded with a live coiffure demonstration by Nabila where she styled and cut model Iraj’s hair in under 20 seconds. The show was complemented by live music produced by Emu of E-Mix featuring Shallum Xavier, Nafees Ahmed and Alicia, wardrobe by Zaheer Abbas and Omer Farooq of Republic with styling by N-PRO. The evening was attended by industry stalwarts in-
'Ra.One' named 'worst film'
at Ghanta Awards
cluding: L’Oréal Pakistan Managing Director Musharaf Hai, Wasim Akram; fashion designers Rizwan Beyg, Safinaz Munir, Nomi Ansari, Amir Adnan, Nomi Ansari and Munib Nawaz; jewellery designer Kiran Aman; stylists/make-up artists Nighat Misbah of Depilex, Nabiha Zeeshan of The Square, Pakistan Hair and Beauty Association President Ruhana Iqbal; models Nadia Hussain and Meera Ansari; photographers Tapu Javeri and Ayaz Anis and Syed Shafaat Ali Jaffery of Banana News Network.
mUmBai: salman Khan has bagged worst actor of the year title at this year's ghanta Awards for his performance in 'Bodyguard' and 'ready'. on the other hand, shahrukh Khan's 'ra.one' won the worst film of the year award. Director of 'ready' and 'Bodyguard', Anees Bazmee, was awarded the worst director of the year. sonam won the 'wtF was that?!' award for her film ‘Mausam’. nargis Fakhri won the worst Breakthrough ghanta for ‘rockstar’. the ghanta Awards are a desi version of Hollywood's razzies and celebrates and recognises the worst in Bollywood. agencieS
Emu and Alicia
Iraj during the finale
Shahid is very caring:
Nargis Fakhri mUmBai: swimsuit model turned actress nargis Fakhri is yet to come to terms with the “side effects” of being a celebrity. the pretty girl is wondering how come people are baselessly cooking up stories of her relationship with shahid Kapoor. the ‘rockstar’ actress while talking to a news channel said that she is not dating shahid Kapoor. she said, “I find the dating rumours really amusing.” news of nargis and shahid being an item started doing the rounds when the two were caught together by the paparazzi at the Mumbai airport. shahid had thrown a lavish birthday bash in goa last month and was accompanied by the stunning beauty a day in advance. “People call me to tell about whom am I dating now. shahid is a very caring and down to earth person. we get along well and that’s all,” nargis said. well most couples in B-town deny being in love. we wonder if nargis is really telling the truth. agencieS
KHI 21-03-2012_Layout 1 3/21/2012 2:21 AM Page 15
15 Ashton Kutcher signs up for Branson space flight LOS ANGELES afp
Actor Ashton Kutcher is set to go into orbit after becoming the 500th customer to sign up for Richard Branson's pioneering space ship, the British tycoon said. The newly-single star, who split from actress Demi Moore in November, is "thrilled" to join the line for the Virgin Galactic service, which is in its "final stages" of flight tests, Branson wrote on his blog. "I gave Ashton a quick call to congratulate and welcome him," wrote the multi-millionaire entrepreneur, known for his trademark publicity stunts. "He is as thrilled as we are at the prospect of being among the first to cross the final frontier (and back!) with us and to experience the magic of space for himself." Thirty-four year old Kutcher, who with his wife was a pioneer of social media, re-tweeted Branson's message on his own Twitter feed, but didn't
make any other comment. Branson opened the world's first-ever commercial spaceport in the New Mexico desert last October, having said the previous month that he hoped to launch the first flight within 12 months. Kutcher is best known for TV shows including ‘That 70s Show’ and ‘Punk'd,’ and last year replaced troubled actor Charlie Sheen in the popular comedy ‘Two and a Half Men.’
Katy Perry roped
in to open IPL NEW DELHI
OP sensation Katy Perry is to perform at the opening of the Indian Premier League, organisers said, in a return to the country where she sealed her ill-fated marriage to comic Russell Brand. Perry is among a host of celebrities who will take the stage in southern Chennai on April 3, a day before the money-spinning cricket league gets under way. The BCCI, which owns and organises the annual tournament, promised an "unforgettable" start to the fifth edition of the league, with Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan and leading actress Priyanka Chopra also set to appear. "The verve and originality of her (Perry's) music matches that of the competition and we look forward to an inspired performance from her," IPL Chairman Rajeev Shukla said in a statement. Perry, 27, made waves in India two years ago for her extrava-
gant Hindu wedding to British comic Brand in Jaipur, a tourist hotspot in the western state of Rajasthan. The couple split in December last year. She is best known for hit songs, ‘Teenage Dream,’ ‘California Gurls,’ and ‘I Kissed a Girl.’ Her debut album ‘One of the Boys’ garnered two Grammy nominations, and her second record ‘Teenage Dream’ was given six Grammy nods.
celine Dion able to resume performing after throat problems LOS ANGELES cBS
Celine Dion was given the OK from her doctor to continue to prep for her upcoming run of shows at Las Vegas' Caesars Palace, after she battled a major throat infection. She was cleared to start recording songs for her new English and French albums in mid-April and for her upcoming shows at Colosseum in Caesars Palace which kick off June 9. "During this recovery period, so many fans, many of whom were inconvenienced by the canceled shows, have posted kind words of encouragement on my website. I'm so grateful for their thoughts and their support-more than they'll ever know," Dion said in a statement.
george michael ‘fighting fit’, to re-start tour LONDON ReUteRS
Daniel Radcliffe to play ‘Howl’ poet allen ginsberg LOS ANGELES agencieS
Obviously we'll never, ever forget Daniel Radcliffe as the boy wizard, but the actor continues to prove that he's certainly capable of so much more. Having already given an impressive performance in the spooky supernatural thriller ‘The Woman in Black’, the 22-year-old star is once again stepping back in time. Radcliffe was snapped on the streets of Brooklyn as he began shooting ‘Kill Your Darlings’, in which he takes on the role of Beat Generation poet Allen Ginsberg. And between the vintage hairstyle, the tweed jacket and the tortoise-shell glasses, the guy's got it going on. Of course, it was just a couple of years ago that James Franco also donned a similar get-up to portray Ginsberg for the movie ‘Howl’. Only time will ultimately tell if Radcliffe's portrayal will ‘beat’ his fellow thespian's take on the man.
‘Agent Vinod’ banned in Pakistan NEWS DESK Saif Ali Khan and Kareena starrer spy thriller film, ‘Agent Vinod’, which is going to release on 23rd of March worldwide has been banned from screening in Pakistan by the Censor Board due to negative portrayal of the state. The decision was taken after the censor board previewed the film on 19th March. Revolving around two under cover agents played by Saif and Kareena, this film is Saif Ali Khan's second production venture under Illuminati productions. Directed by Sriram Raghavan, ‘Agent Vinod’ features Kareena as Dr Iram Parveen Bilal, a Karachite. The importer of the film, Sheikh Amjad Rasheed of IMGC Global fully agrees with the Censor Board's decision and has conveyed his feelings of displeasure to the main distributor. According to Rasheed, “Entertainment should facilitate the peace process between both states and not disrupt it. Now that India and Pakistan are extending cooperation on business fronts especially after the exchange visits of both the ministers of commerce, this
Imran Khan gets
abusive mUmBai: Imran Khan is going through a transformation as an actor with his forthcoming film ‘Matru Ki Bijli Ka Mandola’ being a demanding project. Apart from physical changes in look et al the actor will also mouth abusive language. It may not be surprising that vishal Bhardwaj's next movie, ‘Matru Ki Bijli Ka Mandola’ will be as rustic as his previous ones, and foul and abuive language will be employed aplenty, just like in his earlier works (‘omkara’ and ‘Kaminey’, for example). Imran Khan will do away with his chocolate boy image for something more raw and rustic. He sports a beard and has put on weight to look older for his character in the movie. He is required to speak Haryanvi and has even taken lessons to get the accent right. vishal Bhardwaj's close friend gulzar expressed his concern over the language and asked Bhardwaj to tone it down and limit it to fewer scenes. vishal has begun shooting ‘Matru Ki Bijli Ka Mandola’. agencieS
can seriously disturb the business environments.” As a key importer of Bollywood movies to Pakistan he has also conveyed to the main distributors that they will not entertain any such movie in future which hurts either the religious or national sentiments of Pakistanis and decelerate the Indo-Pak peace building process. The publicity of the film in Pakistan was handled by Encyclomedia PR.
mUmBai: we had earlier reported that Kareena Kapoor and Arjun rampal would be shooting for a love making scene for Madhur Bhandarkar’s next. the scene was shot recently and if sources are to be believed, it is one of the steamiest scenes that both Bebo and rampal have ever shot for. A source revealed, “Madhur shot a very steamy love scene between Kareena Kapoor and Arjun rampal recently. It was a closed door affair with only the actors, DoP (director of photography); a couple of key assistants and the filmmaker.” Both Kareena and Arjun have earlier shot for intimate scenes in their films, but insiders say that this one is an all out romp. Madhur, who has filmed bold scenes in his earlier films, was reluctant to divulge details about the scene in question but he did admit, "the hot scene between Priyanka Chopra and Arjan Bajwa in ‘Fashion’ was tame compared to the scene in ‘Heroine’. the ‘Fashion’ scene was vegetarian. this one will create a jalwa." okay then, we get the picture Madhur. wonder what saif and Meher have to say about the scene. agencieS
British singer George Michael has rescheduled dates of a tour he was forced to cancel when he fell ill with severe pneumonia last year and spent several weeks in a Vienna hospital. The 48-year-old former Wham! frontman will re-start his "Symphonica" tour on September 4 with a new concert in Vienna, where he will donate 1,000 tickets as a thank you to the medical staff who treated him. Michael, who went on to pursue a successful solo career recording hits including ‘Careless Whisper’ and ‘Faith’, will also perform at the Palais Garnier Opera House in Paris. Michael has sold an estimated 100 million records over his career and has a personal fortune valued at around 90 million pounds. But the Grammy Award-winning artist has a history of run-ins with the law, notably in 2010 when he spent four weeks in a British prison for driving under the influence of cannabis.
Kareena and Arjun’s steamy scene in ‘Heroine’
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16 Foreign News
wednesday, 21 March, 2012
France conducts manhunt after Jewish children killed Interior Minister Claude Gueant says shooter may have recorded his crime with a sports video camera TOULOUSE
RANCE struggled on Tuesday to grasp why a serial killer had gunned down three Jewish children in cold blood, triggering a massive manhunt and a bout of national soul-searching. School pupils across the country joined public employees and lawmakers to observe a minute of silence for the victims of the gunman’s latest attack, and the country’s presidential race was effectively put on hold. President Nicolas Sarkozy paid silent homage to the victims at a school in Paris close to a Holocaust memorial, and afterwards admitted that authorities had as yet no clue as to the identity or motivations of the killer. Police believe that a sin-
gle gunman was responsible for the murder of an off-duty paratrooper on March 11, of two of his comrades on Thursday and of a rabbi and three Jewish children in Monday’s school attack in Toulouse. “Anti-Semitism is obvious. The Jewish school attack was an anti-Semitic crime,” Sarkozy told reporters at the Paris school after meeting children. “But the soldiers? Was it because they were back from Afghanistan? Was it because they were from minorities? We don’t know,” he said. “We must be very cautious until we have arrested someone.” The three soldiers who died in last week’s attacks were French citizens of North African origin, while another who was critically wounded in the attack was black and from the French West Indies. On Monday, the same gunman — still riding a scooter and wielding a pair of automatic pis-
tols — launched a controlled but vicious attack on a group of parents and children outside the Ozar Hatorah primary school. Teacher Jonathan Sandler, 30, and his two sons Arieh, 5, and Gabriel, 4, were shot dead in the street. The killer then ran onto the grounds and shot Miriam Monsonego, the seven-year-old daughter of the school director. “When you grab a little girl to put a bullet in her head, without leaving her any chance, you’re a monster. An anti-Semitic monster, but first of all a monster,” Sarkozy said. “Civilisation cannot guard us from the madness of certain men, from the barbarism of certain men. What strikes me most is the coldness with which he acted,” the French leader said. Shortly afterwards the bodies were taken from the school to be flown to Paris with their families, where they were to be joined by Foreign Minister
Alain Juppe and flown on to Israel to be buried on Wednesday. Interior Minister Claude Gueant said the shooter may have recorded his crime with a sports video camera witnesses saw strapped to his chest and that he could be planning to put the grim footage on the Internet. During a tour of Toulouse to check beefed up security arrangements in the southwestern city, Gueant said the video clue would bolster what little information police are thought to have about the killer. He appears to be “someone who is very cold, very determined, very in control of himself, very cruel.” French police have been scouring the Internet for possible images from the killer, but Gueant said no trace had been found by Tuesday morning. Police are concerned that the killer might strike again, having carried out three at-
tacks at precise four-day intervals. French authorities stepped up security at Jewish and Muslim schools following Monday’s bloody assault, and Sarkozy has declared a maximum “scarlet” terror alert on the Midi-Pyrenees region. Scarlet alert gives authorities widespread powers to disrupt daily life and implement sweeping security measures, including potentially closing rail terminals and airports or even halting water supplies. Mixed police and military patrols can be ordered. It is the last step in the scale of terror alerts before declaring a formal state of emergency. Israeli media warned of growing prejudice in Europe, with the Jerusalem Post saying that, since 2000, France’s Jewish community had been “exposed to the most extensive outbreak of anti-Semitic violence since the Holocaust.”
Jews, Muslims to mark France killings with silent march PARIS afp
Jewish and Muslim community leaders are to organise a silent march in Paris on Sunday in memory of victims from both communities shot by a suspected serial killer in southwestern France. Richard Prasquier, the head of France’s main Jewish organisation, the Crif, made the announcement after Jewish and Muslim community leaders met President Nicolas Sarkozy at the Elysee Palace in Paris. “In the name of the national community, we will hold a silent march in memory of these abominable acts, from Montparnasse to the Invalides,” Prasquier said, referring to two places in central Paris. “This march only makes sense if it is together,” he said. A gunman on Monday attacked a Jewish school in Toulouse, killing three children and a teacher, days after a shooter killed three paratroopers of North African origin in the same region. Two of the soldiers were Muslim. The head of Paris’s Great Mosque, Dalil Boubakeur, said Parisian mosques would on Friday “bring the faithful together in prayer for all the victims, without distinction, to pray and reflect on the misfortune that affects us.”
toUloUSe: people cry and react before the funeral convoy carrying the coffins leaves the ‘ozar Hatorah’ jewish school after a funeral ceremony on tuesday, one day after the gun attack. AFP
Yemen army kills 5 Qaeda suspects in south ADEN
Obama assails ‘electronic curtain’ in Iran
The Yemeni army shelled suspected hideouts of Al-Qaeda militants in the southern province of Abyan, killing five of them, a local official told AFP on Tuesday. “Five Al-Qaeda fighters were killed and several others wounded in the late Monday bombardment of Al-Quz,” on the outskirts of the provincial capital Zinjibar, which the militants overran last May, the official said. Troops and militants traded machinegun fire early on Tuesday on the city’s northern and eastern outskirts, said the official from nearby Jaar — another militant stronghold. Al-Qaeda militants have exploited the weakening of the central government in Sanaa in the face of 10 months of deadly protests last year to strengthen their presence, especially in the south and east. The United States says the Yemen-based Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP, is the most active branch of the global jihadist network. AQAPlinked militants, fighting under the banner of Partisans of Sharia (Islamic law), swept through a number of southern and eastern towns last year.
US President Barack Obama, in a holiday message Tuesday to the Iranian people, said that the two nations despite their tensions share a “common humanity,” as he pressed for greater freedom for those living in Iran. “There is no reason for the United States and Iran to be divided from one another,” Obama said in a statement to Iranians on Nowruz, the Persian New Year, adding that “the Iranian people are denied the basic freedom to access the information that they want.” “To the people of Iran, this holiday comes at a time of continued tension between our two countries,” Obama said. “But as people gather with their families, do good deeds, and welcome a new season, we are also reminded of the common humanity that we share.” But the message offered fresh criticism of the Iran government on human rights issues, saying Tehran has created an
“electronic curtain” for Iranians. “The Iranian government jams satellite signals to shut down television and radio broadcasts,” Obama said. “It censors the Internet to control what the
Iranian people can see and say. The regime monitors computers and cell phones for the sole purpose of protecting its own power. And in recent weeks, Internet restrictions have become so severe that Iranians cannot communicate freely with their loved ones within Iran, or beyond its borders. Technologies that should empower citizens are being used to repress them.” Because of the actions, Obama said “an electronic curtain has fallen around Iran — a barrier that stops the free flow of information and ideas into the country, and denies the rest of the world the benefit of interacting with the Iranian people, who have so much to offer.” “I want the Iranian people to know that America seeks a dialogue to hear your views and understand your aspirations,” he added. “That’s why we set up a Virtual Embassy, so you can see for yourselves what the United States is saying and doing. We’re using Farsi on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus.”
Nearly 200 arrested in India nuclear protest NEW DELHI afp
Police in a southern Indian state said Tuesday they had arrested nearly 200 activists who were protesting the start of work at a long-stalled nuclear power plant. Engineers resumed working Tuesday on one of two 1,000-megawatt nuclear reactors in Tamil Nadu’s Koodankulam region a day after the local government gave the green light for the resumption of the Russia-backed project. “We arrested around 190 protesters on Monday but today there has been no arrests and everything is now peaceful,” said Vijendra Bidari, police chief of Tirunelvel district where Koodankulam is situated. Bidari said by telephone that policemen were keeping vigil at the site of the plant where work was put on hold last September after thousands of villagers and anti-nuclear activists began protesting. “Those we have arrested were involved in this protest. They are from the surrounding areas,” Tirunelvel police chief told AFP. The Koodankulam plant is one of many India hopes to build as part of its ambitions to produce 63,000 megawatts of nuclear power by 2032 — a nearly 14-fold increase from current levels.
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US sees perils of Israeli strike on Iran, says NYT NEW YORK afp
A classified US war simulation held to assess potential fallout from an Israeli attack on Iran predicts it would spark a broader regional war involving the United States, The New York Times reported Tuesday. The simulation was not considered a rehearsal, the report said, but does indicate potential risks from such an attack. “The results of the war game were particularly troubling to General James Mattis, who commands all American forces in the Middle East, Persian Gulf and Southwest Asia,” the report said, citing unnamed officials familiar with the effort. “When the exercise had concluded earlier this month, according to the officials, General Mattis told aides that an Israeli first strike would be likely to have dire consequences across the region and for United States forces there,” it added. The two-week simulation, dubbed Internal Look, highlighted a series of potential events in which “the United States found it was pulled into the conflict” after Iranian missiles struck a US Navy warship in the Gulf, killing about 200 Americans, according to officials with knowledge of the exercise. The simulation indicated US forces would retaliate by carrying out its own strikes on Iranian nuclear facilities, the report said. The Islamic republic has been buffeted in recent months by ramped-up Western economic sanctions. It has also been threatened with possible military action against its nuclear facilities by Israel and the United States. Throughout, Tehran has maintained that its nuclear program is purely peaceful, denying Western suspicions — largely echoed in a November report by the International Atomic Energy Agency — that it was conducting military research towards designing nuclear weapons.
Queen renews vow of service as UK parliament pays tribute LONDON afp
Queen Elizabeth II reaffirmed her dedication to serve in a speech to British lawmakers on Tuesday, as they presented her with a stained glass window to mark her 60 years on the throne. The 85-year-old monarch said she was “very touched by the magnificent gift”, which was unveiled during a ceremony rich with history and tradition at the 11th century Westminster Hall in central London. About 1,600 lawmakers, former prime ministers, religious leaders and diplomats assembled to hear the speakers of both Houses of Parliament pay tribute to the queen on her diamond jubilee, and to hear her reply. The queen remarked that she is only the second English monarch after Queen Victoria to celebrate the milestone, saying it was reassuring in a time when the “regular, worthy rhythm of life” is often less valued than the new. “We are reminded here of our past, of the continuity of our national story and the virtues of resilience, ingenuity and tolerance which created it,” she said. “I have been privileged to witness some of that history and, with the support of my family, rededicate myself to the service of our great country and its people now and in the years to come.” She paid tribute to the Commonwealth, the armed forces and also to parliament as the “unshakeable cornerstone” of Britain’s constitution and way of life, and took the opportunity to praise her long-serving husband. “Prince Philip is, I believe, well known for declining compliments of any kind. But throughout he has been a constant strength and guide,” she said. The 90-year-old Philip was rushed to hospital in late December and underwent emergency heart surgery that caused him to miss Christmas with his family. Although the queen did not wear her traditional robes and crown for the ceremony, opting instead for a matching buttercup yellow coat, dress and hat, the event was rich with pageantry.
BiSHKeK: Kyrgyz riders play the traditional central asian sport Buzkashi also known as Kok-boru or oglak tartis on tuesday. AFP
Security clamp in Damascus, UN aims to press Syria Russia willing to back ultimatum-free UN statement on Syria DAMASCUS
ECURITY was tightened in Damascus on Tuesday after a spate of deadly clashes, activists said, as the UN Security Council prepared to thrash out a statement warning Syria over its crackdown on dissent. Fresh clashes broke out in the capital while security forces killed at least 16 civilians in violence across the country, according to monitors and activists. Abu Omar, an activist in Damascus, said security forces were deployed in force in most districts of the capital, especially around Abbasid Square, while they also raided several outlying towns, including Douma and Dmeir. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said gunfire was heard in the Qaboon and Barzeh districts, while the Local Coordination Committees, which organises protests, reported shooting around Arnus Square as well. The security clampdown follows deadly twin suicide car bombings against security buildings in Damascus on Saturday. It also followed what activists said was a hit-and-run attack in the capital’s
heavily-guarded Mazzeh neighbourhood on Monday that killed at least three rebels and a member of the security forces. Elsewhere, four civilians were killed Tuesday as a rocket hit their home in Homs and three others — a man, woman and their little girl — in Rastan, both cities in central Syria, the Observatory said. It also reported civilian deaths in Homs and Hama, also central Syria, Deir Ezzor to the east, and Aleppo in the north, while a soldier was killed in Daraa, southern Syria, and a deserter in the northwestern province of Idlib. On the diplomatic front, Russian support for a daily humanitarian truce had raised hopes of a breakthrough at the UN Security Council on Syrian crisis but Moscow on Tuesday made it clear its support of any UN statement was conditional. “We are ready to back the mission of UN and Arab League representative Kofi Annan and the proposals to the government and opposition to Syria,” Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters in Moscow. However, the council “should approve them not as an ultimatum.” And he stressed that the proposals Annan made to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad during their meetings in Damascus earlier
this month had still not been published and needed to be put up for an open debate at the Security Council. Lavrov’s comments came ahead of a Security Council meeting to discuss the draft which urges Assad and the armed opposition to “implement fully and immediately” Annan’s peace plan. The Western-drafted statement, which France submitted on Monday, says the Security Council will “consider further measures” if nothing is done within seven days of any adoption. Ahead off the meeting in New York, UN chief Ban Kimoon warned: “We have no time to waste, no time to lose, because one minute, one hour of delay will mean more and more people dead.” Monitors say a crackdown by the regime on dissent since last March has cost more than 9,100 lives. The plan of former UN chief Annan includes a halt to the year-long violence, humanitarian access, the release of detainees and withdrawal of security forces from protest cities. Russia and China have since October twice used their powers as permanent members of the 15-nation council to veto resolutions on Syria. They said the resolutions were aimed at regime change and that they opposed any sanctions. Before Lavrow’s latest state-
ment on the UN draft, the United States had welcomed what State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland termed “an evolution in the Russian public position” on the crisis in Syria. Her comments followed a meeting between Lavrov and international Red Cross chief Jakob Kellenberger in Moscow on Monday at which they called for a daily humanitarian truce in Syria. “The two parties call for the Syrian government and armed groups to immediately agree to a daily humanitarian truce to allow the ICRC access to the wounded and to civilians who need to be evacuated,” the foreign ministry said. Amid growing concern at the plight of civilians caught up in an increasingly-armed conflict, a technical mission sent by Annan arrived in Damascus at the weekend for talks on a monitoring operation to end the bloodshed. Human Rights Watch warned Tuesday that the armed opposition was carrying out serious human rights abuses, including kidnapping, torture and execution of security force members and government supporters. “The Syrian government’s brutal tactics cannot justify abuses by armed opposition groups,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, the New York-based organisation’s Middle East director.
Thousands mass for funeral of egypt’s Coptic Pope CAIRO afp
Thousands of mourners thronged St Mark’s Cathedral in Cairo on Tuesday for the funeral service of Pope Shenuda III, the head of the Coptic Orthodox Church, who died aged 88 after a long illness. Shenuda’s body, dressed in robes and a gold crown, lay in an open coffin as Coptic hymns filled the huge cathedral, which was packed with clergy from around the world as well as Egyptian ministers, MPs and public figures, both Christian and Muslim. Crowds waited, some all night, for a chance to attend the service, which officials had said would be by invitation only. Those who could not get in massed outside to pay their respects. At one point the gate
to the cathedral compound was opened, causing a stampede into the courtyard before church officials scrambled to close the doors again. Prayers were led by the patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, Abune Paulos, who flew in from Addis Ababa for the service. “Because he is resting, does not mean we have lost him,” Abune Paulos said at the emotional service, aired live on television. Tuesday was declared a day of national mourning in Egypt to mark the death of the leader of the Middle East’s largest Christian community. Flags were flown at half mast around the country, and an unprecedented security plan has been put in place in the capital and in the Nile Delta province of Beheira where Shenuda will be buried in the 4th century St Bishoy monastery, ac-
cording to his wishes. Shenuda leaves behind an anxious flock, amid rising Islamism and political instability in the country since a popular uprising ousted president Hosni Mubarak last year. Shenuda’s death on Saturday brought tens of thousands of Copts to the cathedral in central Cairo to bid farewell to their spiritual leader. Ahead of the funeral, the body of Shenuda, dressed in gold, white and crimson robes, a gilded crown on his head, had been placed seated upright on the ornate papal throne, a carved image of Christ behind him and lions standing guard on either side. Devastated worshippers thronged to catch a final glimpse of “Baba Shenuda,” using their mobile phones to take pictures of him. Three mourners were
crushed to death in the crowd on Sunday, and 137 people injured, prompting church officials to cut short the viewing and close the cathedral to the public. Shenuda’s death after a long illness set in motion the process to elect a new patriarch, who will lead the community through a critical phase marked by political instability and sectarian tensions. The new pope will be chosen by a council made up of senior clergy, current and former Coptic public officials, MPs, local councillors and journalists, in a process that could take months. News of Shenuda’s death caused dismay among Egypt’s beleaguered Coptic population, many of whom credited him with maintaining a cool head during challenging times and helping to prevent widespread sectarian unrest.
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Djokovic, Azarenka look to defend Miami titles Page 20
Aamer says â€˜brotherâ€™ Butt lured him into fixing LONDON
ISGRACED Pakistan cricketer Mohammad Aamer said Monday that former captain Salman Butt had betrayed their friendship by involving him in the spotfixing scandal that has seen him banned from cricket and serve time in a British prison. And the talented Aamer again apologised to fans in cricket-crazy Pakistan for his role in the scandal by saying: "I ask for their forgiveness. I messed up." The highly-rated 19-year-old was released from jail last month after serving half of a six-month sentence for his part in the scandal during the Lord's Test between England and Pakistan in 2010. His former teammates Butt and Mohammad Asif are serving sentences of 30 and 12 months respectively, handed down by a British court in November, after the trio were found guilty of corruption and receiving illegal money. The International Cricket Council (ICC) also banned all three players, with Aamer receiving the minimum five-year punishment after he was found guilty of deliberately bowling no-balls as part of a plan orchestrated by Butt and agent Mazhar Majeed, also now serving a jail sentence. "I'm so angry with Salman," said Aamer, speaking publicly for the first time since his release in an interview with former England captain Mike Atherton broadcast on Sky Sports on Monday "He used to call me 'innocent one'. Like how an elder brother would speak to a younger one," he added in comments translated by Sky into English from Urdu. "He should have helped me instead of involving me in all this." Aamer was once considered the hottest property in international cricket. He emerged on the scene in 2009 and was regarded as a better leftarm paceman than Pakistan great Wasim Akram was at the same age. With 51 wickets in just 14 Tests, Aamer was on the verge of getting the ICC emerging player award in 2010 -- but his
career and life then derailed. The charges were related to bowling deliberate no-balls by Aamer and pace partner Asif in the 2010 Lord's Test against England. What none of the players or Majeed knew at the time was that the scam was part of a sting operation put together by now defunct British newspaper the News of the World. Aamer said he became entangled in the Lord's plot the day before the Test because of fears over phone contacts he had with a businessman he knew as Ali, which Butt and Majeed exploited in a meeting in the car park of the team hotel. "Suddenly he (Majeed) said 'oh bro, you've got yourself in big trouble, you're trapped, and your career is at stake'," Aamer recalled. "I said 'Bro, what's happened?'. He told me that my calls and texts with Ali had been recorded and had reached the ICC." Majeed, who said a friend had told him about the ICC "probe" then explained to Aamer the way his name could avoid being linked publicly with that of Ali was if he did the agent the favour of bowling two no-balls to order. Aamer added: "I said 'what?!' And here there's something crucial that I'd like to say at this point: I'd like to say how
Aamer lying to revive career, says Butt's father LAHORE: The father of Pakistan's jailed former cricket captain Salman Butt on Tuesday accused disgraced bowler Mohammed Aamer of falsely pinning all the blame on his son in order to revive his career. Aamer, in his first interview since being released from a British prison, this week accused Butt of trapping him into the spot-fixing scandal at the Lord's Test against England in August 2010. Butt and fellow team mate Mohammad Asif are serving sentences of 30 and 12 months respectively, after a British court in November found the trio guilty of corruption and receiving illegal money. The charges were related to deliberate no-balls bowled by Asif and
Aamer, but allegedly contrived by Butt in association with agent Mazhar Majeed, also sentenced for 32 months. The three players were also banned by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for a minimum of five years each. In an interview with former England captain Mike Atherton broadcast on Sky Sports on Monday and translated by Sky into English from Urdu, Aamer said: "I'm so angry with Salman. "He should have helped me instead of involving me in all this," he added. However Zulfiqar, Butt's father, responded by accusing Aamer of lying."Aamer on record said before the ICC tribunal that Butt did not ask him to bowl no-balls and then before the UK court last year he said the
same, so was he lying then or now? I definitely think he is lying now," Zulfiqar told AFP. The Pakistan Cricket Board said last month it would rehabilitate Aamer and would consider him for selection once his ban expires. Zulfiqar said Aamer is lying to revive his career. "Aamer's latest interview suggests that he wants to revive his career and that's why he is accusing my son. We have gone through hell and Aamer is trying to put more trouble on us," said Zulfiqar. The family say Butt's youngest son -born minutes after he was sentenced on November 3 -- has been refused a British visa needed to visit his father. "We hope our bad days are over sooner than later," said Zulfiqar.
stupid I was. "I mean on the one hand he was telling me that a report about me had gone to the ICC, and on the other that he wanted me to do two no-balls for him. "I was panicking so much it didn't even occur to me how ridiculous it was. "I knew that it was cheating cricket; that it was out of order, and that it
shouldn't happen." Reflecting on how he got into trouble, Aamer said: "I was stupid. I should have told someone. "I didn't do it for money. Thanks to Allah, I trust myself to distinguish between right and wrong. "They (Butt and Majeed) told me that I was in trouble for texting Ali and what was in those texts. And they said that ICC
had managed to record them. "There had been no need for these guys to make this story up." Aamer, who faces an uncertain future, thanked his family and long-time mentor Asif Bajwa for their backing. "It's a very difficult time but good people are boosting my morale and giving me courage."
India epicentre of fixing: Mani Silva pushes for Test recall against england
NEW DELHI afp
A former International Cricket Council chief on Tuesday accused India of fostering corruption in the sport, saying illegal betting in the country was the root cause of the problem. Ehsan Mani, who headed the ICC between 2003 and 2006, estimated that Sunday's Asia Cup match between India and Pakistan in Dhaka attracted $500 million-worth of bets, but did not say how he had arrived at the figure.
"Unless the betting industry is brought under control in India, you can't stop match-fixing," he told the New Delhibased Mail Today in an interview. "There's no doubt that India, certainly Delhi and Mumbai, is the epicentre of cricket betting." "I'm a strong advocate of legalising betting in India, and bringing it under control of regulatory authorities so that... the conduct of bookies can be monitored properly," he added. "You'll find that the risk of corrupting players around the world will reduce significantly." Mani urged the ICC, headed by federal Indian minister Sharad Pawar, and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), to pressure the government to legalise betting. "It's a matter of how you control it because there's no way, I believe, that it can be stamped out in India. So, if (it) can't be stamped out, how do they control it in a way that it can stop corrupting the game." Mani, a Pakistani chartered accountant, said India should look at the legal gambling systems in Britain and Australia. Legal betting firms inform the ICC's Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU) if they encounter suspicious betting patterns, Mani said. Mani said lucrative Twenty20 tournaments such as the Indian Premier League and the Big Bash in Australia, had emboldened illegal bookies. "Obviously, high profile matches like the IPL and Big Bash leave a lot of scope for players to be corrupted; whether they are being corrupted or not, I can't say," he said. "I think IPL must have added hugely to the cricket betting industry in India." BCCI spokesman Rajiv Shukla was not available to comment on Mani's remarks. Cricket has been under a cloud since 2000 when three former captains -- the late Hansie Cronje of South Africa, Mohammad Azharuddin of India and Salim Malik of Pakistan -- were handed life bans for their alleged dealing with bookmakers. Three Pakistani cricketers were last year jailed in Britain after being found guilty of spot-fixing. Indian bookmakers have often being accused of underhand dealings with players.
Chamara Silva belted a superb century against England on Tuesday to stake a claim in Sri Lanka's line-up for the upcoming Test series against the tourists. The right-hander made 163 off 180 balls to lift Sri Lanka Development XI to 376-5 by stumps on the opening day of the three-day tour match at the Sinhalese sports club in Colombo. The 32-year-old Silva, who played the last of his 11 Tests in April, 2008, smashed 25 boundaries and a six in a timely reminder to the selectors ahead of next week's twoTest series. Silva and skipper Thilina Kandamby (64) put on 151 for the third wicket after pace bowler Stuart Broad two took early wickets to reduce the hosts to 38-2 in the ninth over. Broad, who missed the previous practice match due to a sprained ankle, showed he
was back to full fitness by removing openers Dilshan Munaweera and Malinda Warnapura in his first spell. Broad finished with 355, but the other England bowlers toiled in oppressive heat and humidity on a wicket that offered them little assistance. Off-spinner Graeme Swann's 21 wicketless overs cost 102 runs, while left-arm spinner Samit Patel went for 1-83 in his 18 overs. Steven Finn claimed 1-64 and fellowseamer Tim Bresnan ended the day at 0-47. The tourists had won the first practice match against the Cricket Board XI by an innings and 15 runs. The first Test opens in the southern coastal town of Galle on March 26, followed by the second match at the P. Sara Oval in Colombo from April 3. Brief scores: Sri Lanka Development XI 1st innings: 376-5 (Chamara Silva 163, Thilina Kandamby 64, Angelo Perera 61 not out, Stuart Broad 3-55, Steven Finn 1-64, Samit Patel 1-83).
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Spirited BD beat SL to eliminate India g
tigers take on Pakistan in Asia Cup final tomorrow DHAKA
ANGLADESH defeated Sri Lanka by five wickets in the last league match in Dhaka on Tuesday to go through to the Asia Cup final< eliminating India from the title race. Tamim Iqbal (59) and Shakib Al Hasan (56) hit impressive half-centuries as Bangladesh achieved the rain revised target of 212 with 17 balls to spare in the day-night match. Earlier, fast bowler Nazmul Hossain grabbed three early wickets as Bangladesh restricted Sri Lanka to 232 in a must-win match. Nazmul rocked Sri Lanka in his sharp six-over opening spell, removing skipper Mahela Jayawardene (five), Tillakaratne Dilshan (19) and Kumar Sangakkara (six) to send the tourists reeling at 32-3 in the daynight match. Chamara Kapugedera (62) and Lahiru Thirimanne (48) steadied the innings with an 88-run stand for the fourth wicket, but were not allowed to score freely by the Bangladeshi bowlers. Upul Tharanga was the other main scorer, scoring a 44-ball 48 with one six and five fours. Nazmul, playing his first match of the tournament, was superbly backed by leftarm spinners Shakib Al Hasan and Abdur
sPM stags in zonal veterans quarter LAHORE Staff RepoRt
SPM Stags beat SPM Bucks by 56 runs & qualify the zonal quarter-finals of the 14th National Veteran Senior Cricket Cup while Gujranwala Seniors beat Sheikhupura Tigers by 7 wickets on Tuesday. At the Ali Garh Cricket Ground, SPM Stags batting first 243/7 after 30 overs. Test Cricketer Zahoor Ilahi 98, Shakeel Malik 75 & Shahid Anwar 45 runs. SPM Bucks bowling Zahid Khan 3/54, Ashfaq Aslam 1/43, Nadeem Ghori 1/50, Javeed Butt 1/58 & Javeed Khan 1/24 wickets. In reply SPM Bucks 187/9 after 30 overs. Javeed Butt 74 not out, Tariq Ramzan 21, Rafaqat Ali 19 & Qadeer Shah 16 runs. SPM Stags bowling Shahid Anwar 3/36, Iftkhar Ahmad 2/34, Shakeel Malik 2/32 & Sajjad Akbar 2/36 wickets. Qaisar Waheed, Muhammad Asif Umpire & Syed Najam-ul-saeed was the scorer. End of the match Chief Guest SPM Chief Aizad Hussain Syed give away Cash Award to Shakeel Malik. In the second match at Khayaban Muridky ground, Sheikhupura Tigers batting first 66 all out after 18.3 overs. Nisar Ahmad 19 & Ansar Ali 19 runs. Gujranwala Senior bowling Fazal Kareem bowling well 5/26, Sohail Butt 3/9 & Muhammad Nawaz 2/20 wickets. In reply Gujranwala Senior 67/3 after 12.2 overs. Muhammad Nisar 25, Fazal Kareem 17 & Amir Mehmood 19 runs not out. Javeed Ashraf, Sagheer Ahmad Umpire & Zahoor Alam was the scorer.
SRi lanKa: 5 m. jayawardene b nazmul t. Dilshan b nazmul 19 6 K. Sangakkara c nazimuddin b nazmul 62 c. Kapugedera c Shakib b Razzak 48 l. thirimanne st Rahim b Razzak U. tharanga c Rahim b Shahadat 48 3 f. maharoof c Rahim b Shakib 1 n. Kulasekara lbw b Shakib S. Senanayake not out 19 l. malinga b mortaza 10 0 S. lakmal run out eXtRaS (lb3, w8) 11 total (for all out; 49.5 overs) 232 fall of wickets: 1-19 (jayawardene), 2-29 (Sangakkara), 3-32 (Dilshan), 4-120 (thirimanne), 5-169 (Kapugedera), 6-175 (maharoof), 7-183 (Kulasekara), 8-204 (tharanga), 9-230 (malinga), 10-232 (lakmal). BoWling: mortaza 9.5-1-30-1, nazmul 8-1-32-3, Shahadat 8-0-51-1 (w2), Razzak 10-0-44-2 (w2), Shakib 10-1-56-2 (w3), mahmudullah 4-0-16-0 (w1). BanglaDeSH: tamim iqbal c thirimanne b Senanayake 59
Razzak who bagged two wickets apiece. Paceman Mashrafe Mortaza was the other bowler to impress, conceding just 30 runs in his tight 9.5 overs. Thirimanne hit just three fours in his 73-ball knock before he was stumped off Razzak, the ball rolling on to the wickets after hitting wicket-keeper Mushfiqur Rahim's pad. Kapugedera struck only four boundaries in a 92-ball knock for his eighth half-century
6 nazimuddin b Kulasekara jahurul islam c Kapugedera b lakmal 2 1 mushfiqur Rahim b Kulasekara 56 Shakib al Hasan lbw b Senanayake nasir Hossain not out 36 32 mahmudullah not out eXtRaS (lb 13, w 7) 20 212 total (5 wickets; 37.1 overs) Did not bat mashrafe mortaza, abdur Razzak, Shahadat Hossain, nazmul Hossain fall of wickets 1-8 (nazimuddin, 1.4 ov), 2-39 (jahurul islam, 6.2 ov), 3-40 (mushfiqur Rahim, 7.1 ov), 4-116 (tamim iqbal, 19.2 ov), 5-135 (Shakib al Hasan, 23.2 ov) BoWling: Sl malinga 8-0-29-0, KmDn Kulasekara 6-0-30-2, RaS lakmal 7.1-0-4-1, SmSm Senanayake 8-0-38-2, mf maharoof 6-0-460, tm Dilshan 2-0-12-0 toss Bangladesh, who chose to field Result: Bangladesh beat Sri lanka by five wickets to reach final player of the match: Shakib al Hasan toss: Bangladesh Umpires: Steve Davis (aUS) and paul Reiffel (aUS) tV umpire: S. Ravi (inD) match referee: David Boon (aUS).
in one-dayers before falling to a low catch in the covers by Shakib off Razzak. Pakistan have already made it to the final with nine points from three matches. India have eight points from three games, followed by Bangladesh (4/2) and Sri Lanka (0/2). The hosts need a win to qualify for the final as they have beaten India in the league match.
DHAKA: Bangladeshi cricketer nazmul Hossain delivers a ball during the Asia Cup match against sri Lanka at the sher-e-Bangla national stadium. AFP
LCCA to hold U-19 League from April 2
Ceo Dubai Islamic Bank vows to promote sports LAHORE
S ta f f R e p o Rt
President CEO Dubai Islamic Bank Junaid Ahmad has said that Pakistanis have great potential in sporting fields and they can bring laurels to the country if they will be provided all the necessary facilities in this regard. Talking to journalists here at the Dubai Islamic Bank grand sports gala here at the EME Sports Club, Junaid said that Dubai Islamic Bank would try its best to boost the sports across the country and organizing this sports gala is the part of that commitment for the promotion of games in Pakistan. "I porpoise to support the youngsters in achieving their sports goal and the bank will provide sponsorship to the talented players and make departmental teams very soon like the other banks. The bank has devised a future plan for the promotion of sports and will play due role in brining the international sports back to the country by inviting the foreign teams and provide the deprived fans a chance to witness their heroes in action against the international teams," the CEO hoped. He further said that they had planned to open 25 new branches across the country and they were striving hard for the promotion of Islamic banking. At the end, chief guest Juniad Ahmad distributed prizes among the top performers and lucky draw winners and hoped that the players would try their best to perform well with same passion not only in the field of sports but also every walk.
The Lahore City Cricket Association with the support of Amar Cables is holding the Under-19 Cricket League dedicated to cricket legend Imtiaz Ahmed. Addressing a press conference here on Tuesday, LCCA president Khawaja Nadeem Ahmed said that Director Amar Cables Ahsan Amer Butt, Secretary LCCA Javaid Ali, Imran Bucha and LCCA treasurer Sarfaraz Ahmed were also present on the occasion. Kh Nadeem said that the teams have been divided into two pools. “The purpose of holding this event is to consolidate the base of cricket in the city as it used to be,” he said and also thanked Amar Cables for their support in holding the league. Khawaja Nadeem said the one-day league aimed at creating a sense of competition among the three-affiliated zones whose best teams would be in action. A dozen of teams representing the affiliated zones have been drawn in two pools and three matches will be played daily at different venues. Ahsan Amar of the sponsors said they had come forward to
LAHore: LCCA President Khawaja nadeem Ahmad gives details of the Amar Cables Imtiaz Ahmad Under-9 Cricket League while Director Amar Cables Ahsan Amer Butt, Javaid Ali, Imran Bucha and sarfaraz Ahmed look on. STAFF PhoTo lend support to grass root cricket in the city and they are delighted to sponsor a tournament which will give a good platform to aspiring cricketers to test their skills. "It is just a good beginning to a good cause and we will continue our support to LRCA in future as well," he said.
LRCA Vice President Imran Bucha stressed the need for generating more activity at U-16, U-19, U-23 level to expand the base of the game in Lahore which was once known as hub of cricket activities. "Under-19 league is an important tournament to unearth fresh young talent," he said.
Poor planning led to failure of pacers against India: Sarfraz LAHORE Staff RepoRt
Sarfraz Nawaz, former Pakistani pacer, claimed that poor planning on part of the team management had led to Pakistan’s 6-wicket defeat by India during the 5th Asia Cup match at the Shere Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur. “All our bowlers were beaten in the match,” said Safraz, who had held a training camp with pacers Wahab Riaz, Aizaz Cheema, and Hammad Azam prior to the team’s departure for Bangladesh. “And I believe poor planning led to the defeat against India.” The Pakistan team went into the tournament with a strong bowling attack, but
the players failed to deliver against India. After the batsmen set up a remarkable total of 329, aided by the 224-run opening stand of Mohammad Hafeez (105) and Nasir Jamshed (112), the bowlers crumbled under the belligerence of Sachin Tendulkar, Rohit Sharma, and the hard-hitting Virat Kohli. India’s 23-yearold vice-captain made a mockery of the Men In Green’s target by contributing an astonishing 183 runs to his sides’ total, guiding them to an easy 6-wicket victory with 13 balls to spare. The spinners, particularly Saeed Ajmal who had starred in the series against England, were lackluster, while the pacers were downright disappointing. Umar Gul was the only one who managed
to claim any wickets (2 for 65), with Aizaz Cheema (8-60-0) and particularly Wahab Riaz (4-50-0) proving to be shockingly expensive. However, Nawaz defended the pacers, saying they had not been utilized properly. “As far as Riaz is concerned, the team management shattered his confidence with a number of poor decisions,” Nawaz said, pointing out that Riaz had not been used during the series against England, or in the two opening matches of the Asia Cup, against Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. “Then all of a sudden he was included for a tense encounter and wasn’t even used properly,” he pointed out in an exclusive interview to The Express Tribune. He took issue with the decision to
open with a spinner, saying it had dented the confidence of the pacers, and also criticised the timing of the left-amer’s spell. “Riaz was introduced when the Indian batsmen were on fire. How can you expect a bowler to perform without match practice in such circumstances?” questioned Sarfraz. AJMAL DOUBTS SACHIN TENDULKAR'S ABILITY: The raging controversy surrounding Pakistan off spinner Saeed Ajmal's bowling action intensified after the bowler took a dig at Indian icon Sachin Tendulkar. Ajmal, who got Sachin out in the Asia Cup match on Sunday said If Sachin can't read doosra, then he is nearing end of his
career, Times Now reported. The ICC on Monday sought to put a lid to the controversy, saying the tweaker was well within the allowed degree of tolerance. According to a television report, Indian cricketers have raised their concern over the bowler's action after their stupendous six-wicket victory over arch rivals Pakistan in the Asia Cup match on Sunday. BCCI officials, however, did not confirm whether the team had raised objections over Ajmal's action. Chasing a victory target of 330, India rode on a superb batting display by young Virat Kohli to overwhelm their opponents with more than two overs to spare.
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Faysal Bank Polo begins LAHORE Staff RepoRt
Newage Cables and Guard GroupQuicklink won their respective matches of the Faysal Bank Polo Tournament 2012 on Tuesday. On the opening day, Newage beat Pessi while Guard Group-Quicklink defeated Diamond Paints-Hataff. All the four players of Newage while Shah Qublai Alam were the stars of the wins for Guard Group-Quicklink.
seven-a-side rugby on 24th LAHORE Staff RepoRt
DHA rugby club is holding a Sevens Tournament on March 24 in connection with the Jasha-i-Baharan. A meeting of the club with Tariq Niazi in the chair was held and was attended by Col Asif, Usman Chaudhary and other officials. They detailed eight teams for the tournament including DHA Greens, DHA Gold, DHA Whites, Lahore Ruby Club, Garrion, Service Blues.
Pakistan Intâ€™l squash semis today LAHORE Staff RepoRt
The main round matches of the 2nd FMC Pakistan International Squash Circuit-I, 2012 will start today (Wednesday). Farooq Shahid MD FMC United (Pvt) Ltd. will be the chief guest at the opening semi-final match. On Tuesday qualification second round matches were played with win coming for Owais Khan, Khawaja Adil Maqbool, Aqib Hanif and Syed Hamzah Shah Bukhari. Results: 2nd round; Owais Khan (Pak) beat Sadam ul Haq (Pak) 15-13, 13-11, 11-8 (3-0) 39 Min; Khawaja Adil Maqbool (Pak) beat Syed Ali Shah Bukhari (Pak) 11-9, 11-7, 5-11, 11-5 (3-1) 36 Min; Aqib Hanif (Pak) beat Khalid Atlas Khan (Pak) 11-8, 8-11, 11-5, 11-5 (3-1) 44 Min; Syed Hamzah Shah Bukhari (Pak) beat Tayyab Aslam (Pak) 12-10, 11-5, 11-7 (30) 69 Min.
Lahore Club win LAHORE Staff RepoRt
Lahore Cricket Club won by one wicket in the LCCA Cricket League on Tuesday. Mehran Club batted first scored 212 (all out) in 29.2 overs. Manzoor Ahmed and Syed Furqan scored 69 & 45 runs respectively. Haider Ali took 3/18, Muhammad Kaleem 2/21, Muhammad Imran 2/32 and Rauf Wain 1/32. Lahore Cricket Club achieved the target of 213 for loss of 9 wickets in 29.4 overs. Adnan Ali 64, Muhammad Kaleem 41 and Raf Wain 51*. Muhammad Usman, Muhammad Shehzad, Hafiz Shafiq and Arsalan Mughal took 2 wickets each. Rauf Wain wins the Man of the Match Award. The Match was supervised by Raja Shahid and Shakeel Ahmed (Umpires) and Abdul Hameed was the scorer.
Munir Dar Hockey LAHORE Staff RepoRt
Another four matches were played on Tuesday in the All Pakistan Munir Dar Memorial Gold Cup Hockey being played at Bahawalpur. Pakistan Railways and Wapda Islamabad played a draw three-all, DHA Bahawalpur beat Gojra Academy 5-1, Pakistan Army beat Hyderabad 6-2 and Pakistan Customs and PAF match ended in a one-all draw.
LAHore: guard group-Quicklink and Diamond Paints-Hataff players fight for the ball during the Faysal Bank Polo tournament 2012. NADeeM IjAZ
Djokovic, Azarenka look to defend Miami titles MIAMI
OP-RANKED Novak Djokovic of Serbia and Victoria Azarenka of Belarus will try to defend their titles at the $9.6 million ATP and WTA Miami hardcourt event that begins on Tuesday. The showdown stretches for nearly a fortnight and comes after Djokovic was upset in the Indian Wells semi-finals and Azarenka beat World No. 2 Maria Sharapova in Sunday's final, as she did in last year's Miami final. Djokovic was upset by big-serving American John Isner, who lost to World No. 3 Roger Federer in the Indian Wells final. Now thanks to the first-round byes for Miami's high seeds, Djokovic is off until Saturday when he faces either Argentina's Leonardo Mayer or Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis. "It's still a week to my first match, so I'm going to take some time, regroup," Djokovic said. "I feel physically well. I think I'm playing equally well. I'm confident ahead of the Miami tournament." Djokovic defeated World No. 2 Rafael Nadal in last year's final, adding that title to his 2007 Miami crown. The five-time Grand Slam champion comes into the event off a Grand Slam title at the Australian Open, just as he did last year. Djokovic, who has captured the past three Grand Slam titles, could join Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi as the only three-time men's champions at Miami and become the first man since Federer in 2005 and 2006 to win backto-back titles. Nadal, a 10-time Grand Slam champion, has never won the Miami crown despite three trips to the finals, settling for runner-up honors in 2005 and 2008 as well as last year. Nadal will open against either fell Spaniard Pablo Andujar or Colombia's Santiago Giraldo. Federer, who has won a record 16 Grand Slam crowns, has not won the Miami crown since 2006 but is on a roll, having won three tournaments in a row with titles at Rotterdam and Dubai as well as Indian Wells. World No. 4 Andy Murray of Britain, who crashed out in the second round at Indian Wells, will try to bounce back
at Miami, where he defeated Djokovic in the 2009 final. Murray will open against either Uzbekistan's Denis Istomin or Colombia's Alejandro Falla while Federer's first foe will be either US wildcard Ryan Harrison or Italy's Potito Starace. Isner, ranked 10th, will open against either US countryman James Blake or Russia's Nikolay Davydenko. On the women's side, Azarenka's first match will be against either a qualifier or Dutchwoman Michaella Krajicek while Sharapova, on the opposite end of the draw, starts in round two against a qualifier or Israel's Shahar Peer. Czech third seed Petra Kvitova had the worst luck of the draw, with a bye into round two against either Japan's Kimiko Date-Krumm or US wildcard Venus Williams, a three-time Miami champion with seven Grand Slam singles titles. Williams, like her sister Serena, is coming back after a long injury absence. Chinese eighth seed Li Na, the reigning French Open
champion, opens against a qualifier or Italy's Alberta Brianti. She could face compatriot Peng Shuai in the roundof-16 and Sharapova in the quarter-finals. Australian sixth seed Samantha Stosur, the reigning US Open champion, opens against Czech Clara Zakopalova or a qualifier and she could face a fourth-round matchup with US 10th seed Serena Williams, a 13-time Grand Slam champion. Williams, a five-time Miami women's champion who has been out with an ankle sprain, will open against either China's Zhang Shaui or Britain's Elena Baltacha. Belgium's Kim Clijsters is among those who will play in the first round. If the 2005 and 2010 Miami winner defeats Australian Jamila Gajdosova, she will face Germany's 14th-seeded Julia Goerges in round two. Clijsters is a possible round-of-16 opponent for fourth seed Caroline Wozniacki. The Dane will open against either a qualifier or Czech Barbora Zahlavova Strycova.
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Age is just a number for red-hot Federer INDIAN WELLS
trickett grabs relay berth at London games ADELAIDE afp
Three-time Olympic champion Libby Trickett squeezed into Australia's sprint relay team at the London Games with a fifth place finish in Tuesday's 100-metre freestyle final at the trials. Trickett, 27, teary-eyed and her lip quivering with emotion, savoured the achievement of reaching her third Olympics after making a comeback from 18 months out of the sport. "I'm so over the moon that I have the opportunity to represent my country at my third Olympic Games," Trickett said. "It's unbelievable and I'll probably start crying at some point because this whole journey for me has been probably more challenging, emotionally, spiritually and mentally than it has been physically. "I just knew how fast the girls were going to be tonight and it was going to take a lot. I was two-hundredths of a second slower than last night and that meant I still got away with the fifth placing." Melanie Schlanger (53.85) and Cate Campbell (54.01) will swim in the 100m freestyle for Australia in London after their top-two finish, while Trickett needed to finish in the top-six to gain a start in the 100m relay. Trickett swam 54.21, inside the Olympic qualifying time and enough to get her to London. She finished with the silver medal in the event at the 2008 Beijing Games. In the men's competition James Magnussen shaded Eamon Sullivan by onehundredth of a second to be the fastest qualifier into Wednesday's 50m freestyle final. World champion Magnussen, 20, who missed the 100m freestyle world record by 0.19secs in winning Monday's final, clocked a personal best 21.87secs to Sullivan's 21.88.
WISS superstar Roger Federer is setting his sights on more Grand Slams, after winning his third-straight tournament Sunday in Indian Wells. The 16-time Grand Slam winner had to fight off a cold and a strong field to capture his fourth Indian Wells title. "Well, naturally I love winning tennis tournaments, especially when you put in all the hard work and the sacrifice of playing a lot of matches before this to make sure I get some momentum and confidence going," Federer said after beating John Isner 7-6 (9/7), 6-3 in the Indian Wells final. "Then when it all pays off, after a bit of a scare early in the week, and you get the title and the emotions are going, it's a wonderful feeling." Federer has won 15 straight matches, three consecutive tournaments and six of his last eight. His last lost this year was to Isner in Davis Cup in February but he avenged that by beating 11th seeded American on Sunday. "It's nice taking it all the way and getting the victories," he said. "I was just extremely proud of my performance." World number three Federer will play the next tournament in Miami and then take a well deserved break. "I'm happy I have been holding up because it's been a lot of tennis and I am definitely looking forward to a break soon," he said. "But I will push for one more in Miami, and then I'll probably have to take a week off or so and then I will manage my schedule all the way through to the French Open." Many people were starting to write Federer off last season when he turned
LAHORE A 25-member squad of Iran arrived here to participate in the 10th West Asia Baseball Cup to be held at the Punjab Stadium from March 23 to 28. Besides Pakistan and Iran two other countries taking part are Sri Lanka and Afghanistan. Both Sri Lankan and Afghanistan teams are
ESPN Sports Centre 07:30PM
Del Potro confirms for Queen's Club LONDON afp
30 and his game dropped off a bit. Last year was the first time since 2002 that Federer did not win at least one Grand Slam title. But age is just a number for Federer. "Some people don't understand how you can play tennis at 30 years old which is shocking to me because normally that's still when you're young enough to play some of your best tennis," Federer said. "I think I'm showing that since I turned 30 in August last year. That's basically when my run began. "But at the end of the day, it doesn't matter what people say." Federer said that his biggest wish this year is to win a gold medal at the London Olympics. But he also wants to some day reclaim the world number
one ranking. "I guess that's a long, long-term goal," he said. "I said it loud and clear that it's not right now a goal for me in the short-term because I can't be world No. 1 because Novak (Djokovic) has played amazing these last 12 months. "Just because I have been on a great run doesn't mean he hasn't. "He might go and do another run or someone else might come up like Rafa (Rafael Nadal) might go on his clay court run again and then all things become very difficult for me to get to world No. 1. "So right now that's not even on top of my head. I'm just happy how well things are going, and I will try to use that momentum to win more tennis matches."
Iranian team arrives for 10th South West Asia Baseball Staff RepoRt
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scheduled to reach here on Thursday. Meanwhile, Pakistan Federation Baseball will also announce its team on Wednesday. Currently the Pakistani team is imparting training under the coaching of a Korean coach at Iqbal Stadium. The best team of this Cup will qualify for the main round of the Asia Cup. The Iranian team is: Amir
Bakhtiari, Yasin Sharifi, Mohsen Mohammed, Seyed Abdullah, Hadi Ali, Shahram Maleki, Mohammad Javed, Ghulam Reza, Hussein Abedini, Hasan Bokhari, Abol Fazl Amjad, Mohammad Safdari, Majid Sattari, Ehsan Ebrahimi, Majid Pashari, Keyan Rana, Abtin Nakhijauanpaur, Nima Bagheri. Head coach: Mehrdad Hajian. Coaches: Seyed Ali, E. Zadeh; Mehdi Bahrampour.
Former US Open champion Juan Martin Del Potro confirmed on Tuesday he will compete in this year's Wimbledon warm-up event at Queen's Club. The Argentinian, who beat Roger Federer to win the title at Flushing Meadows in 2009, will join defending champion Andy Murray and last year's runner-up Jo-Wilfried Tsonga at the grass-court tournament which runs from June 11-17. Del Potro, 23, has played at Queen's twice before, reaching the third round last year, while his best performance at Wimbledon also came in 2011 when he lost a close match against Rafael Nadal in the last 16. "I like the surface. I'm not a grass-court specialist but I'm improving," he said. The AEGON Championships at Queen's is an amazing tournament, very nice to come to, to play, to train and I will be there for sure trying to win my first title on grass. "I think that if I play my best tennis I have a chance to win a grand slam on grass but it will be very difficult." Del Potro, ranked 11th, has been returning to form after spending last season finding his way again following a serious wrist injury.
els still hurting after painful PgA loss MIAMI afp
Ernie Els was still hurting a day after his bogey-bogey finish at the PGA Transitions Championship cost him a victory and a spot in next month's Masters, he said in a Monday blog on the US PGA website. The South African star, a three-time major champion who has never won the Masters, led by a stroke on the 17th tee but took a bogey and then missed a short putt on the 18th green to miss out on what became a four-man playoff. "I always play to win, so any time I get the opportunity to do that and don't get the job done, obviously I'm disappointed and angry with myself," Els said. "I was so hot I found it difficult to even think straight. "I've had a night to sleep on it, though. It still hurts the way I finished the tournament, but I know in my heart how well I played all week. "I have to believe that if I keep doing what I'm doing, the results will reflect that and I'll give myself plenty more opportunities to win."
tiger looks solid in return at tavistock Cup ORLANDO afp
Tiger Woods made his return from a left Achilles tendon injury at the $2.15 million Tavistock Cup on Monday, joining Justin Rose in a nine-under par 63 four-ball pairing for Team Albany. Eight days after withdrawing with tendon tightness from the final round of the World Golf Championships event at Doral, Woods teed off in the 36-hole challenge between rival clubs, open only to club members and invited guests. Showing no apparent limp, Woods opened with back-to-back birdies, added two more before the turn, hit an approach at 10 to five feet before Rose birdied and pitched from a bunker within inches from the cup for a birdie at 11. Woods and England's Rose combined for 10 birdies with a lone bogey at the par4 16th in the better-ball format of the exhibition event, which matches six-man teams of PGA players from Isleworth, Al-
bany, Lake Nona and Queenwood. Isleworth led after day one at 26under with host Lake Nona second at 24under, defending champion Albany third at 23-under and Queenwood fourth at 17under. The event concludes on Tuesday with a singles stroke-play format. Health fears abounded over Woods, a 14-time major champion chasing the alltime record 18 majors won by Jack Nicklaus, when he walked off at Doral after hitting his tee shot on the 12th hole. But Woods rested his leg and received medical treatment and said last week he would play in the Tavistock event, the US PGA Arnold Palmer Invitational that begins at Bay Hill on Thursday and at the Masters, which starts April 5. Former World No. 1 Woods has won six titles at Bay Hill in his career. Last year, Achilles and knee injuries kept Woods sidelined for almost four months, keeping him from playing in the US and British Opens.
Woods, ranked 18th in the world, has not won any tour-sanctioned event since the 2009 Australian Masters, just before the start of his infamous sex scandal, and has not won a major crown since limping through a playoff to capture the 2008 US Open. But Woods has been in solid recent form. He won the World Golf Challenge charity event he hosts last December, shared third at Abu Dhabi to open the 2012 season and shared second at the Honda Classic earlier this month after shooting a 62 on Sunday, the best final round of Woods's career. The US duo of Bo Van Pelt and Sean O'Hair fired 11 birdies and an eagle at the par-5 15th for the low round of any pairing at 13-under 59. Four duos were next at nine-under including Woods and Rose, Americans Bubba Watson and Charles Howell for Isleworth and Lake Nona pairs Ben Curtis of the United States and Peter Hanson of Sweden and Ross Fisher of England and Retief Goosen of South Africa.
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Rashid Ahmed, Gul Muhammad Lot emerge as richest senators ISLAMABAD KaSHif aBBaSi
laHoRe: people demonstrate near a cart set on fire on tuesday in protest against the electricity outages in the province. AFP
SC questions govt’s will in resolving Balochistan issue
opp seeks govt’s ‘firm guarantee’ on implementing PCns recommendations ISLAMABAD
Opposition Leader in National Assembly Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on Tuesday said the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PMLN) would not endorse the Parliamentary Committee on National Security’s (PCNS) recommendations on Pakistan’s foreign policy and terms of engagement with the US in war on terror without a firm guarantee from the government that it would implement the decisions of the parliament in letter and spirit. Speaking on a point of order, Nisar demanded a “proper guarantee” to implement the PCNS’ recommendations. “We should be informed about the unanimous resolutions previously passed by the parliament on national security,” he said, adding that the PCNS report had been kept secret and asked the chair to adjourn the joint sitting for two days, as the PML-N needed time to consult other parties over the matter. He said his party had serious objections over some contents of the report and would raise them in the House. “For example, it says at one place that there should be prior permission and transparency on the number and presence of foreign intelligence operatives in Pakistan. No country in the world allows foreign intelligence operatives to operate on their lands, then what is the meaning of transparency … it means we are allowing them to operate,” he added. Nisar demanded guarantee from the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP)-led government that it would not backtrack from the foreign policy recommendations passed by the parliament. “This House should also be informed about past MoUs signed between Pakistan and the US, as this relates to the national security,” he said. The opposition leader said that drone strikes had stopped for a few months after the Salala checkpost incident, but had resumed again. “The deputy air chief had told an in-camera joint sitting of the parliament after the Abbotabad raid that they had the capability to shoot down drones. Then what bars them from doing so,” he asked.Opposition Leader in the Senate Ishaq Dar proposed that an in-camera session of the parliament be held if the MoUs were sensitive in nature. PCNS Chairman Senator Raza Rabbani endorsed Dar’s proposal and asked the chair to hold an in-camera session for briefing on such sensitive matters for the parliamentarians.PML-Quaid’s Ameer Muqam also sought time to go through the recommendations.
EARING a case pertaining to worsening law and order and alarming increase in incidents of targeted killings and abductions for ransom in Balochistan, Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry on Tuesday said time was being wasted over the Balochistan issue instead of finding a resolution. Heading a three-member bench comprising Justice Khilji Arif Hussain and Justice Tariq Parvez, the chief justice questioned why the government was not establishing its writ in the province, adding that who had stopped it from doing so. The court sought a detailed report by March 22 from the Balochistan chief secretary and inspector general of police on incidents of growing atrocities and abductions for ransom as well as about the abduction of an advocate, Hamza Shawani, and
trader Zohaib, who was assassinated. The court was hearing a petition filed by Balochistan High Court Bar Association President Hadi Shakeel Ahmed on law and order and growing incidents of targeted killings in Balochistan. The chief justice observed that the situation in the province was very serious as every day lawyers, government officials and others were being picked up and nobody knew their whereabouts. He expressed annoyance over the growing incidents of abduction for ransom and targeted killings, saying the task to maintain law and order fell under the jurisdiction of concerned chief police officer, but he (Balochistan IGP) preferred staying in Islamabad instead of delivering in the province. At the onset of hearing, the chief justice took serious exception on the absence of the top two Balochistan officials, to which Balochistan Advocate General Amanullah Kanrani told the court that both officials could not turn
up due to bad weather. He, however, admitted that the rate of adductions for ransom had increased, whereas incidents of targeted killings and missing persons had been reduced. The chief justice said police had failed to maintain the law and order, adding that people in Quetta were being killed in broad day light. He said the abduction of Advocate Hamza Shawani and murder of Zohaib took place in congested vicinity of the city and close to a police station. “It is time to establish the writ of government in Balochistan because worsening law and order in the province does not mean laying down weapons,” the chief justice remarked. The court also rejected the request of Kanrani that the case be heard at Quetta registry of the apex court. Meanwhile, the court directed the Sindh IGP to appear before the court on the next hearing with a report on the killing of wife and daughter of Balochistan’s MPA Mir Bakhtiar Domki.
The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Tuesday made public the details of assets of senators and members of three provincial assemblies, in which Senator Engineer Rashid Ahmed and Gul Muhammad Lot have emerged the richest lawmakers. In his assets details, Engineer Rashid Ahmed claimed he owned a coal mine having unlimited value. While Awami National Party MPA Shazia Aurangzeb from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa turned out to be one of the poorest MPA having no moveable and immoveable property in her name. Senator Pervez Rasheed of the PMLN turned out to be the poorest senator, as he owned no movable and immovable property and had only Rs 124,000 in his bank account. According to statements of assets and liabilities for 2010-2011 submitted to the Election Commission, Senator Engineer Rashid Ahmed from FATA claimed that he owned coal and soap stone miles and agriculture land, saying his assets had no limit. He also had jewellary weighing 20 tolas and Rs 0.3 million in cash at a bank. Senator Gul Muhammad Lot owns movable and immovable assets valuing almost Rs 1.14 billion. He owns a number of properties in the UAE and has invested Rs 230 million in a factory in Saudi Arabia. He also owns a flat in London. Senator Mir Israrullah Khan Zehri turned out to be one of the biggest landlords among senators because his family owns some 53,000 acres of land in Balochistan. He has two SUVs and Rs 3.6 million in banks. He said the land was yet to be distributed among his seven brothers, mother and two sisters. PML-Q President Chaudhry Shujaat, Finance Minister Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Amir Haider Khan Hoti, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah and Sindh Assembly Speaker Nisar Ahmed Khuhro claimed that they did not have any vehicles in their name. Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain declared that his 50 percent share in two residential houses located in Islamabad and Lahore was worth Rs 5.2 million and Rs 3.4 million, respectively. He owns 78 acres of agricultural land worth Rs 376,667 and 12.5 acres worth Rs 4.5 million. He has stock shares worth Rs 10.04 million and Rs 53.90 million cash in hand. In his assets declaration, Senate Chairman Syed Nayyar Hussain Bokhari claimed that he and his family owned significant properties in and around Islamabad. He owns two plots in the capital valued at Rs 30 million.
Two cops killed in Peshawar bombing PESHAWAR RaUf KHattaK
Two policemen, including a subinspector, were killed and two others were seriously injured when a remote controlled bomb hit a police van patrolling on Kohat Road in the provincial capital on Tuesday evening. According to bomb disposal squad officials, about one kilogramme of explosives were used in the bomb and its target was Additional Station House Officer (SHO) Hazrat Ali. One of the dead cops was identified as Hussain Khan. In the last few months, targeted attacks against police have increased and several policemen have been killed in the fresh wave of terrorism. A few days ago, SP (Rural) Kalam Khan was killed in a suicide attack when he was on his way to office from his residence in Hayatabad.
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
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