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pakistantoday.com.pk

rs15.00 vol ii no 236 22 pages Karachi edition

wednesday, 22 february, 2012 rabi-ul-awal 29, 1433

GOVT PUTS THE ONUS OF BB’S MURDER ON

Interior minister briefs lawmakers in Sindh Assembly about findings of Joint Investigation Team g Says former president will be arrested and brought back to the country through Interpol ‘anytime soon’ g

F

KARACHI ismAil DilAwAr

ORMeR president and army chief Pervez Musharraf has been indicted along with the militants from al Qaeda and Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), as the federal government on Tuesday briefed lawmakers in the Sindh Assembly about the findings of a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) probing the assassination of the country’s twice-elected prime minister Benazir Bhutto. Also named were the “elements of establishment”, local jihadi groups, some police officials and the “forces” who, the federal government said, felt threatened by the democratic leader, who returned to Pakistan in 2007 despite being warned by her well-wishers, including Afghan President Hamid Karzai and US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. A video clip played in the assembly showed that all of the suicide bombers, aging from 12 to 15

years, were being trained by “Qari Hussain Masood” in Kotaki area of South Waziristan. They were all Pakistanis and were registered with NADRA, the JIT report said adding that some of the bombers, shown offering prayers wearing Sindhi caps, were influenced by the “Lashkar-e-Jhangvi”. The provincial legislators were told that five of the accused of Benazir’s murder were students of the Jamia Darul Uloom Haqqania, a seminary run by Jamiat Ulema-eIslam-S leader Maulana Samiul Haq in Akora Khattak, a town of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Musharraf, Baitullah Mehsud, Maulvi Faqueer Muhammad, Maulvi Fazlullah, Rawalpindi City Police Officer Saud Aziz, SSP Khurram Shehzad Haider, Ibadur Rehman, Saeedur Rehman, Muhammad Rafaqat, Husnain Gul, Sher Zaman, Aitzaz Shah, Rasheed Ahmed alias Turabi, Nadir Khan, Continued on page 04

govt playing on own turf | page 03 analysts say briefing inComplete | page 04

The accused denies charge Reacting to the interior minister’s briefing in Sindh Assembly regarding the Benazir Bhutto case on Tuesday, former president Pervez Musharraf strongly denied his involvement in the assassination of the former prime minister. Talking to reporters, Musharraf said he had informed Benazir about the threats to her life before the first attack. Musharraf said he had met Benazir twice in Dubai, but did not speak to her after October 18. “Rehman Malik was not present in those meetings,” Musharraf added. He said providing security to Benazir was the responsibility of the provincial government and her principal security was being handled by PPP workers. AgEncIES

Countrywide protests Ijaz likely to record his statement against power outages before memo commission today BlackBerry makers refuse to release telephonic record g UK issues visa to Hussain Haqqani’s counsel g

Traders, labourers warn of collective suicide g Power shortfall reaches 6,000MW g

ISLAMABAD/ABBOTTABAD/QUETTA/FAISALABAD Agencies

Citizens across the country on Tuesday took to the streets against prolonged power outages and gas shortage that have badly disrupted routine activities. Hundreds of traders and citizens took to the streets in Islamabad, Abbottabad, Quetta, Peshawar, Gujar Khan and other cities of the country, demanding the government ensure uninterrupted supply of gas and electricity. The protesters carried banners and placards inscribed with slogans demanding an end to unscheduled load shedding and exclusion of additional charges from monthly electricity bills in the name of fuel adjustment costs. Addressing the protesters, the speakers criticised the federal and provincial governments and power companies for failing to overcome the power crisis. They said the government did nothing in the past four years to deal with the energy crisis except paper work and making tall claims, due to which countrymen were suffering adversely. The speakers said political leadership did not get time to think about the miseries of masses as they were busy in protecting personal and party interests. They said they received electricity for

ISLAMABAD TAhir niAz

only a few hours during the day but PEPCO sent bills of thousands of rupees in the name of fuel adjustments. They warned that if the alarming situation was not addressed, they would be left with no choice but to attack power companies’ offices and force the closure of WAPDA offices. Trader representatives said trade and industrial sector had been ruined due to load shedding. The traders and labourers said they would be forced to commit suicide along with their children if the situation remained as it is. Meanwhile, Pakistan Electric Power Company (PEPCO) officials said almost 17 power houses were shut down across the country resulting in a shortfall of 6,000MW of electricity. They said the total production of electricity in the country stood at 8,500MW due to suspension of fuel supply by the Pakistan State Oil (PSO). On Monday, the shortfall of electricity production had reached 5,500MW, resulting in load shedding of almost 10 hours in urban areas and of about 18 hours in rural areas of the country. Sources said the shortfall occurred due to disputes over payments between the PSO and PEPCO, which owed Rs 26 billion to the oil company.

Both the fate of the government and the credibility of the star witness in the memo scandal, Mansoor Ijaz, depend on what is being described as a make-orbreak statement he is likely to record before the memo commission from the Pakistani High Commission (PHC) London via video link today (Wednesday). Ijaz would lose credibility if unable to perform at this critical juncture while the government’s fate is also partially linked with the outcome of the key statement. All is set to record the statement of Ijaz but keeping in view his ‘somersaults’ so far, it still remains a valid question whether he would appear before the commission today. Zahid Bukhari, the counsel for Husain Haqqani, when contacted told Pakistan Today that he received his passport from the UK embassy at 2pm on Tuesday. “It was impossible for me to reach London in time,” he said. He said he had written a letter to the memo commission secretary on February 15, seeking his help for getting visa. “But even after the all out efforts of the Foreign Office and the attorney general, I was able to get my passport back on Tuesday,” he said. Asked if he would object to Ijaz’s

statement when he would not be there to cross-examine him, he said, “I will ask the commission to record the statement per law and that he should be given opportunity of cross-examining.” With all technical arrangements in place, memo commission already in London and Bukhari ‘unable’ to proceed abroad for cross-questioning Ijaz, Wednesday’s hearing would also set the future course of proceedings. The government has made all necessary arrangements for recording Ijaz’s

statement with LCD screens installed at the Islamabad High Court (IHC) and PHC London. The commission would meet at the IHC at 2pm and proceed further into the probe pertaining to the memo allegedly written on the advice of Haqqani and delivered to the top US military officials. During the last hearing, the commission had decided to record Ijaz’s statement from London via video link after he declined to visit Pakistan due to security concerns. The commission had allowed the respective counsels to be present either at the Islamabad High Court or PHC London for cross-questioning Ijaz. However, Bukhari was unable to proceed abroad due to delay in getting visa. Having denied the charges leveled by Ijaz, Haqqani has so far been unable to produce his two official Blackberry sets before the commission, which the inquiry tribunal believed were vital part of the evidence to establish link and its nature between Haqqani and Ijaz. In a statement made before the commission, Haqqani said the Blackberry sets were missing since he left the US. He had also declined to waive his privacy rights with the Research in Motion (RIM) so that no one else could obtain data from the Canadian-based company Continued on page 04


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02 News Today’s

wednesday, 22 February 2012

lAhoRE

NEwS

‘call me, sc, and i will tell you the truth’

20th Amendment was a matter of ‘muk muka’: imran Khan

Story on Page 07

Story on Page 05

CARtooN

Quick Look

Page 13

PM forms 13-member committee on Balochistan APC

PPP suspends Punjab information secy’s membership

ISLaMaBaD: Prime Minister (PM) Yousuf Raza Gilani on Tuesday formulated a committee of lawmakers to decide date of All Parties Conference on Balochistan issue. Sources said the committee includes Mian Manzoor Watto, Arbab Aalmgir, Makhdum Shuhab Uddin, Ayat Ullah Durrani, Syed Khursheed Shah, Raza Rabani, Jahangir Badar, Raja Pervez Ashraf, Nazar Muhammad Gondal, Samsam Bukhari, Changez Jamali, Nayyar Bukhkari and others. Besides fixing the APC date, the body will consult political leadership on the Balochistan issue to find out how to restore peace in the restive province. Meanwhile, Pakistan Peoples Party’s central Information Secretary Qamar Zaman Kaira called on PM Gilani in the PM House Tuesday and discussed the APC. online

Lahore: The PPP on Tuesday suspended the basic party membership of Punjab information secretary Dr Fakharuddin Chaudhry. Talking to Pakistan Today, PPP Punjab General Secretary Samiullah Khan said that Fakhar’s membership was suspended due to his meeting with PML-N MNA Hamza Shahbaz Sharif. Sami said that Fakhar could file an appeal to the PPP co-chairman against his suspension, adding that the officebearer violated the party discipline. sTAff reporT

Shan Gul appointed Punjab AAG

N-pact with India to get 5-year extension ISLaMaBaD: Pakistan on Tuesday announced that it had agreed to extend a vital agreement with India on reducing the risk from accidents related to nuclear weapons for another five years. “Pursuant to the understanding reached during the sixth round of Pakistan-India Expert level talks on Nuclear Confidence Building Measures (CBMs), held in Islamabad on 27 December 2011, the two sides have agreed to extend the validity of the “Agreement on Reducing the Risk from Accidents Relating to Nuclear Weapons” for another five years, with effect from 21 February 2012,” said a foreign office statement. It said, “The agreement had entered into force on 21 February 2007 for an initial duration of five years. It aims at reducing the risk from accidents related to nuclear weapons.” sTAff reporT

Boy drowns in canal while saving brother Lahore: A 17-year-old boy drowned in the canal while trying to rescue his elder brother in the Batapur Police area on Tuesday. According to details, Jabir, 20, and Amir, 17, residents of the Mehmood Booti area were cutting branches from trees at the canal bank to make miswak (chewing sticks for oral hygiene) when Jabir slipped into the canal. Amir dived into the canal to save his drowning brother, but was drowned in the attempt. Local residents informed the rescue officials, who rescued Jabir and took him to a hospital where his condition is stated to be critical. Rescue officials however failed to find any trace of Amir despite 10hour long efforts. They suspended the operation and will resume the search today (Wednesday). sTAff reporT

frienDlY speAKers: national Assembly speaker Dr fehmida mirza receives indian lok sabha speaker meira Kumar at the parliament house on Tuesday. ONLINE

Lahore: Punjab government has appointed Muhammad Shan Gul as additional advocate general on Tuesday. He is the youngest additional advocate general Punjab at the age of 38. Earlier, there was bar of 40 years which was waived. The post of AAG did not exist earlier and a special seat had to be created on administrative grounds. sTAff reporT

Why not limit campaign spending, SC asks political parties...again g

Reissues notices to 26 political parties over petition g Political leaders, ECP ask for more time ISLAMABAD mAsooD rehmAn

H

E A R I N G a plea seeking direction to the Election Commission of Pakistan to fix a specific amount of expenditure to be made by political parties during election campaigns so that ordinary citizens could also contest the election, the Supreme Court on Tuesday re-issued notices to 26 political parties directing them to submit their concise statements over the matter by February 29. A three-member bench of Justice Mian Shakirullah Jan, Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali and Justice Tariq Parvez was hearing petitions filed by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan and Pakistan

Workers’ Party against existence of polluted electoral rolls and seeking election reforms. Abid Hasan Monto, counsel for Workers’ Party, had made 26 political parties, including the Pakistan People’s Party, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, PML-Quaid, PTI, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam and Awami National Party, respondents in the petition. He requested the court to direct the ECP to take tangible measure for fair and free polls in the country. During the hearing, the court observed that a system should be devised so that an ordinary person could also contest the election, as it was impossible in the present system. During the hearing, leaders of some political parties were present in

the court. Haji Adeel of the ANP said he would raise the issue in the central committee of the party, which would decide on it, but some time was needed. Jamaat-e-Islami Central Secretary Parliamentary Affairs Saifullah Gondal said he had received the notice yesterday (Monday), thus he could not prepare a reply. He also sought time to file a reply. The bench, therefore, again issued notices to all parties and directed them to file their reply before the next date of hearing. An officer of the Election Commission of Pakistan told the court that the joint secretary was busy in a meeting, thus he could not turn up. Justice Tariq Parvez expressed annoyance, saying “It was a mockery

of the court as instead of appearing before the court, the joint secretary was busy in meetings.” Regarding 28 parliamentarians elected in by-polls when the ECP was incomplete per the 18th Amendment, the court observed that as the matter of the 20thAmendment was underprocess, it would decide the case after receiving the final gazette on February 29, 2012. Naseer Bhutta appeared on behalf of some candidates who were declared successful when the Election Commission was incomplete. He said both Houses of parliament had passed the 20th Amendment and now it would be sent to the president for signature. After the president’s approval it would become law. The court later adjourned proceedings until February 29.


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wednesday, 22 February 2012

FoREIGN NEwS

ARtS & ENtERtAINMENt

SPoRtS

News 03 CoMMENt

syrian forces pound homs as protests spread in Damascus Arif lohar appreciates huge response from indian fans seamers help sri lanka beat india in oDi

playing with fire Why allow DPC a freehand?

The 20th

The government has taken a good step.

Dr hasan Askari says: Neighbours first: Regional cooperation must be a priority.

Ali Aftab saeed says: Satratan: To the more important issues then.

harris bin muawar says: A game called Snake: How we have started to devour ourselves.

Story on Page 14

Story on Page 18

One mOre missing persOn

‘Two months ago, the ISI took my son’ g

Gujranwala mother struggling to find her missing son gUJRAnWALA

H

sTAff reporT

ER cries for justice are still unheard. Zahidan Bibi still awaits her 22 year-old son, allegedly abducted by intelligence agencies from Gujranwala two months ago. Authorities concerned remained heedless to the cries of weeping mother. Witnesses report Khawar Mahmood, 22, son of Muhammad Arif, a garment sales man was abducted by plainclothesmen two months ago from Gujranwala hotel without prior warning. An eyewitness, requesting anonymity, said, “Ten people in plainclothes arrived at the hotel at around 3 am on December 3 2011 and took Khawar with them without naming the reason. They showed their service cards which revealed they were from the Inter Service Intelligence (ISI).” “We are residents of Muhammad Pura Sialkot and my son Khawar used to work in a garments store as sales man,” Khawar’s

mother Zahidan Bibi said, “Two months ago, on Friday December 3, I called my sons’ mobile upon which he said he was with friends and return in the morning. Since then, he is missing.” She said that she visited Gujranwala hotel to trace her missing son on 24 December, where the hotel owner told her that early on Saturday 10-12 people came and took Khawar with them forcefully. She said that hotel staff revealed that upon inquiry the people in plainclothes showed their ISI identity cards. She said, “On 17 February 2012, I reported the incident in the Kotwali police station but no one heard my plea.” She said that she had knocked at every door but found no light. She said, “I even traveled to Islamabad to seek help to recover my missing son but my efforts went in vain.” Khawar’s brother Babar said, “We reported the case in Kotwali police station but no action was taken. No one wants to recover our missing brother. We fear they will kill our brother and we are helpless.”

Playing on own turf CoMMENt rAnA qAisAr

Benazir Bhutto murder case – the government goes official with nothing new but leaving more questions to be answered. A go-getting team, led by Interior Minister Rehman Malik, on Tuesday briefed the Sindh assembly on the progress into the investigation of former prime minister and chairperson of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Benazir Bhutto’s murder. Understandably, the briefing was arranged following the provincial assembly’s resolution to apprise the members about the progress made to not only expose the culprits but also arrest them. Having listened to the lead investigator and an emotionally-charged Rehman Malik, one concludes that it was an old story repeatedly told but the significance of its timing was certainly politically important – we are in the election year. Why such a briefing has not been arranged for the members of the National Assembly? Answer: The Sindh assembly had passed a resolution for the briefing to the members. Are the PPP members in the National Assembly not interested in knowing what progress has been made in the murder case of their leader? Answer: They must be. Then, why it was Sindh assembly and not the National Assembly? Answer: Because, the PPP members of the National Assembly did not seek such a briefing. No. It’s because the PPP relates itself to Sindh more than any other part of the country – the Sindh card remains its strength. Another reason of not organizing such a hi-tech briefing with multi-media by the investigators for its National Assembly members was because the PPP does not have a majority in the lower house of parliament where the members from other political parties, particularly some pro-Musharraf PML-Q ones, would surely ask poignantly pungent questions – it was not the PPP’s turf.

So the choice was rightfully Sindh assembly. Though some members did ask a couple of questions which continue to boggle the minds of many, the Speaker tactfully called it a day to avoid any tantrums being thrown. The most pointed question was: Why the autopsy was not conducted? Rehman Malik and the investigators comfortably put the blame on to the police officers. The nation was, however, told that Asif Ali Zardari, the husband of Benazir Bhutto, had disallowed the medical examination of his wife’s dead body. The information in the briefing was not new as it had already been reported in media in bits and pieces but it was holistic and for the first time official by the PPP government. Rehman Malik claimed that former President Pervez Musharraf would be brought back home, through the Interpol, to stand in the dock and answer the questions. It’s a mere rhetoric for political consumption. If anything revealing is expected, it will be the statement of Brigadier Javed Iqbal Cheema, former spokesman of the Interior Ministry, before the court. He is the man who had first officially appeared before media to give details of the December 27, 2007, ghastly incident. The investigators claimed Brigadier Cheema had told them that what he had said before the media was the information given to him by an “agency” and this decision was taken at a meeting chaired by Pervez Musharraf. As for the killers of Benazir Bhutto, their names still remain unnamed. A conspiracy to kill Benazir Bhutto and its linkage with the TTP were what the briefing was all about. Asif Ali Zardari, who is now the president of the country, is husband of the former prime minister and father of her children as well. He has always said that he knows who had killed his wife. For all the three reasons, one cannot say that he does not know as to who had killed her. But he remains tight-lipped. Rehman Malik, however, dissociated himself from being part or in-charge of Beanzir Bhutto’s security detail – the briefing served his purpose, at least.

Story on Page 18

Articles on Page 12-13

Trader gunned down in Quetta QUETTA shAhzADA zulfiqAr

Trader Zohib Bhora, belonging to the famous business Bhora family of Quetta, was killed in broad day light on Tuesday while resisting his kidnapping. According to police, Zohib, owner of Meelak Hall, was on his way to his office when some armed men, in a SUV, intercepted him near the post office at Mission Road. Three armed men came out of the vehicle and tried to force Zohib to sit in the car. The businessman resisted on which

the assailants shot him, killing him on the spot, and fled. Zohab was son of Haji Sadiq Bhora, who was kidnapped a decade ago, and after remaining captive for two years, was released after payment of ransom. Zohib’s killing sent shock waves in the city and business community. Separately, three people, including two women were killed in Pishin and Bolan in firing incidents. Police said that Muhammad Afzal killed his wife and mother-in-law in Pishin, and fled. According to police, the incident was result of a domestic dispute.

Also on Tuesday, two labourers died of suffocation and another fell unconscious after their room was filled with smoke in Zhob. According to details, Tawos Badini along with his two roommates, who were working at a private construction company, fell asleep without switching off the generator at Mir Alikhel Road. Resultantly, the generator developed some fault and the room was filled with smoke. Two people, including Tawos, were suffocated to death while another man Nazeebullah fell unconscious and shifted to Quetta.


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wednesday, 22 February, 2012

Ijaz likely to record statement Continued from page 1 pertaining to electronic communication occurred during a specific period of time between the two main characters of the memo controversy, Haqqani and Ijaz. On the other hand, RIM also has declined to provide communication data to the government as was desired be the commission, saying it could not share it with anyone else unless Haqqani waived his privacy rights. On a number of occasions during the previous hearings, the commission doubted that both the government and Haqqani were not cooperating with it and using delaying tactics to make it hard for it to get to the bottom of the scandal. The commission on various occasions also admonished Interior Minister Rehman Malik, Interior Secretary Khawaja Siddique Akbar, Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir and Deputy Attorney General Tariq Mahmood Jehangiri for not cooperating with the commission and complying with its orders in true letter and spirit.

hina calls on UK investors to invest in Pakistan LoNDoN: Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar called upon British entrepreneurs on Tuesday to continue with their business plans in Pakistan while the federal government is always keen to encourage and facilitate international investors and businesses. The foreign minister co-chaired a business roundtable with Alistair Burt, British minister of state for foreign & commonwealth office. Hina called on British Minister of State for Trade and Investment Lord Green and thanked the British government for supporting Pakistan in the EU for tariff concession proposal that was approved in the WTO. The FM also called on British Home Minister Theresa May. hINa to Meet CLINtoN IN LoNDoN: Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar said on Tuesday that she would meet US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at Thursday’s London meeting on Somalia to discuss the strained ties between Washington and Islamabad. mAJiD KhATTAK/Afp

SC moved against ISPR DG for interfering in sub-judice matter ISLAMABAD sTAff reporT

A

petition was filed with the Supreme Court on Tuesday seeking initiation of contempt of court proceedings against Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Director General Maj Gen Athar Abbas for his alleged interference in a subjudice matter involving illegal custody of 11 missing prison-

ers of Adiyala Jail, four of which have died. The petition was filed by Tariq Asad, counsel for missing prisoners, under Article 204 of the constitution read with Sections 3 and 4 of Contempt of Court Ordinance, 2003, making the ISPR DG as respondent. The petitioner prayed the court to initiate contempt proceedings against the respondent for his interference and prejudice towards the process of law in the course of

under adjudication judicial proceedings in missing prisoners’ case. He said four missing prisoners died under mysterious circumstances during their illegal confinement by the spy agencies. However, he said after repeated orders of the court, when the remaining seven missing prisoners were produced before the court on February 13, 2012, the court had directed Attorney General Maulvi Anwarul Haq and Raja Muhammad Irshad, counsel

for Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Military Intelligence, to procure record to satisfy the court about their detention prior to January 26, 2012 and also as to whether they were proceeded again under any provision of law and if so, what was the result. Similarly, he said the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) chief secretary was also directed to collect the relevant record to satisfy the court that under what circumstances the detainees were allowed to be ad-

mitted in Internment Centre at Parachinar by the internment authority, who is the KP governor, because such an action could only be taken through an order passed by applying judicial mind, as mentioned in the regulations. He said the court had pointed out that there were proforma, required to be filled in, before admitting the persons in the Internment Center. He said the court had sought all the relevant record and fixed the case for March 1, 2012.

PIA orders five Boeing 777s WaShINGtoN/QUett a: US aircraft manufacturer Boeing announced on Monday that Pakistan International Airlines has ordered five of its 777-300ER longrange passenger jets worth nearly $1.5 billion with an option for five more. QUetta fLIGht CaNCeLLeD: All PIA domestic and one international flights were cancelled on Tuesday as runway on Quetta international airport could not be cleared from the Karachi flight which had burst its two tyres while landing on Monday. Afp/sTAff reporT

Senior PML-N leader moves ECP against intra-party irregularities

UN, Pakistan launch Floods NADRA employees 2011 Recovery Framework observe strike

Naeem Mir claims appointments made to party offices in Punjab violation of party’s constitution, Political Parties Act

In order to work together for the support of flood-affected people in Sindh and Balochistan, the Pakistan government and the United Nations on Tuesday launched the Floods 2011 Early Recovery Framework, seeking US$440 million for the restoration of livelihoods, support for food security, basic social services, shelter, community infrastructure, health, nutrition, water and sanitation. “We highly appreciate the unflinching support and assistance provided by the international community to the people of Pakistan, during these testing times. The United Nations

g

LAHORE YAsir hAbib

The Sharifs appear to be in trouble over the controversial party reorganisation process, as PML-N senior leader Naeem Mir has challenged all appointments to various party offices in Punjab with the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), calling them a severe violation of the party’s constitution and the Political Parties Act. Mir, former PML-N Punjab additional information secretary, Lahore finance secretary and general secretary (trader wing), submitted a letter to the ECP asking it to take immediate action by annulling all illegal appointments on offices of the

PML-N president, general secretary and others, as none of them went through the due election procedure. The letter sent to the ECP has stirred up a storm within the PML-N circles. The party has already suffered setbacks in the form of Javed Hashmi Inamullah Niazi and Sir Anjam Khan’s departure. “The current resentment on part of another senior leader is a bombshell for the party and has finally proven to be a crack in the Sharifs’ armour,” source in the PMLN central secretariat said. It was the second time that Mir, once a close friend of newly-elected senator Zulfiqar Khosa, threw down the gauntlet against the Sharifs to

get his due right as a member of the party Central General Council, the source added. He had parted ways with the PML-N on December 26, 2011 after getting disgruntled by the treatment meted out to him by MNA Hamza Shahbaz, son of Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif. Mir had sent copies of his resignation to the party chief, Shahbaz, Zulfikar Khosa, Ashfaq Sarwar and MNA Saad Rafique. The resignation letter said, “I gave 16 years to the party but what arrogant Hamza Shahbaz did to me in the last four years is unbearable.” He had said that the CM’s son used to keep him and others standing outside his office for hours.

Malik’s briefing on Benazir murder case widely shunned KARAcHI online

Defence and political analysts on Tuesday denounced Interior Minister Rehman Malik’s briefing on Benazir Bhutto murder case in teh Sindh Assembly as “a bundle of contradictions”. Renowned defence analyst Ikram Sehgal said Malik’s briefing was in itself a contradiction, considering that Malik took no action against

the very Interior Ministry/ intelligence team that refused VIP security for Benazir, and it continued to serve for two years under Malik’s authority. Sehgal also expressed deep mystification over grant of job extension to former interior secretary Kamal Shah by Malik, despite Shah’s failure to protect Benazir. Another noted analyst Mujeebur Rehman Shami was stunned by Malik’s portrayal of Baitullah Mehsud’s

connivance with then president Pervez Musharraf in Benazir’s murder, wondering how would Malik prove his point in a court of law. Senior journalist and analyst, Arif Nizami said Malik’s briefing was “incomplete”, and said it was a vain effort by the PPP to pacify the voters as the general elections were drawing near. Dr Hassan Askari said the government still had to do a lot regarding the investigations into the case.

ISLAMABAD sTAff reporT

agencies, foreign governments, donors, national and international NGOs, and private philanthropists all worked jointly with the national and provincial disaster management authorities and other relevant government agencies, responding to immense needs in the affected areas,” said Advisor to PM on Finance, Revenue, Economic Affairs, Statistics and Planning and Development Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh. During the early recovery phase, the government, the United Nations and its partners will support communities by engaging in planning and exploring solutions to reduce the devastating impact of the 2011 floods and helping communities to quickly return to a normal life.

ISLaMaBaD: Work at NADRA offices came to a standstill with employees observing a strike across regions for the second consecutive day on Tuesday for their long standing demand of regularisation, creating problems for parents who were desperate to get BForms of their children ahead of school admissions. Around five months ago, Interior Minister Senator Rehman Malik had assured the employees that their services would be regularised but no concrete steps were taken in this regard. Work at NADRA Headquarters, Islamabad was continuing due to pressure from the top management. sTAff reporT

Pakistan supports Afghan led talks Continued from page 22 President Karzai also briefed Gilani about his meetings with Pakistan’s political leaders and termed these very encouraging and constructive. He also apprised the prime minister about his telephonic conversation with US President Barack Obama after his return to Kabul from Islamabad. He took Gilani into confidence about his conversation with the US president. Karzai underscored Pakistan’s importance for the peace process in Afghanistan and reiterated his request for Pakistan’s assistance to the reconciliation process. teLephoNIC CoNverSatIoN: Earlier, Obama

talked to Karzai about the Afghan-led reconciliation moves following the trilateral talks in Pakistan, the White House said. The telephone conversation also followed Karzai’s assertion in a newspaper interview last week that his government was involved in talks with the Taliban, both with and without the US. “They discussed regional support for Afghan-led reconciliation, the AfghanistanPakistan-Iran trilateral meetings last week in Islamabad, and other strategic issues of mutual concern,” the White House said in a statement. “They agreed to speak again soon to remain closely aligned as both countries continue our efforts to

achieve common goals, and work to forge a long-term partnership,” it said. The US State Department also welcomed the Afghan president’s offer of talks with the Taliban, saying people in the war-torn country needed to take the lead in reconciliation efforts. “We have been gratified to see President Karzai speaking out publicly in support of Afghan-toAfghan reconciliation,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters. “Our goal is to work ourselves out of a job... because when we get to the point where it’s Afghans and Afghans talking to each other, then we’ll really have a true reconciliation process,” she said.

Triggering Mechanism in the Liaquat Park attack. In this method, Qureshi said, the “strikers’ sleeves” and not the remote control was used to explode the bomber. While the investigators and present government were blaming the Musharrafled government for providing inadequate security to the PPP leader, one of the slides in the presentation read that the government had on “security grounds” turned down in November 2007 the PPP’s request for holding a public meeting at Liaquat Bagh. Marvi Rashdi of the PML-F asked Malik to explain his then responsibilities as well as why the PPP was currently sharing the government with the people (PMLQ) then ruling Punjab. “My duty was to coordi-

nate between the government and Benazir and I was not responsible for her physical security,” he replied. The interior minister, however, ducked the second query of PML-F legislator. The PPP-led coalition government seems to have decided to wind up the chapter of Benazir’s murder case as the interior minister told reporters at Sindh Chief Minister House that: “With regard to hold an enquiry on Benazir’s assassination, necessary enquiry has been completed and all elements and persons, who were involved in the conspiracy, have been exposed.” Concluding the presentation, JIT head Qureshi told the House that the next hearing of the trial court was due on February 25 and that the case was expected to be decided “very soon”.

Government blames Musharraf Continued from page 1 Abdullah Saddam, Faiz Muhammad, Saeed Bilal, Ikramullah, Nasrullah, Abdul Rehman and a mysterious “Maulvi Sahab” have either been killed or are being absconders in Benazir’s murder case. Of the above accused, Rafaqat, Husnain, Zaman, Aitzaz and Rasheed Ahmed are presently confined in the Central Prison of Adiyala and facing a trial in an anti-terrorism court. The two police officers, Aziz and Khurram, are on bail, while former army chief Musharraf was declared a “proclaimed offender” by the trial court. “Five of the accused were students of Jamia Haqqania. I don’t say Maulana Samiul Haque is involved, but I would request all religious leaders running seminaries to

ensure such incidents don’t recur,” Interior Minister Rehman Malik said during, as Law Minister Ayaz Soomro called it, a “special meeting” of the Sindh Assembly on Tuesday. With Sindh’s lawmakers demanding an investigation and arrest of all military and police officers suspected or involved in the murder of Benazir, the interior minister said Musharraf and militants led by Baitullah Mehsud eliminated the PPP leader from the political scene considering her a threat. “Musharraf, in the presence of Mark Siegel, had threatened Benazir that if you come to Pakistan before elections you would be responsible for the consequences,” the interior minister said. “I would not be responsible for

your security,” Malik quoted then president Musharraf as warning Benazir. Musharraf had been challaned in the BB’s murder case for “deliberately” denying VVIP security to Benazir, assisting terrorists to carry out a successful attack despite repeated requests for Benazir’s security, threatening Benazir not to come to Pakistan before elections, linking her security to the state of their mutual relationship and ordering a press conference (of Brigadier (r) Cheema) that prejudiced and hampered the investigation of the case. The self-exiled former president (Musharraf), Malik said, would be arrested and brought back to the country through Interpol anytime soon. The interior minister said

Benazir was also on the hitlist of the militants for her post-return statement that no state within a state could be tolerated. “The conspiracy (to kill Benazir) was hatched by Baitullah Mehsud from Makeen. We knew that but could not previously declare this for want of solid proof that we have in hand now and are based on forensic methods of investigation,” the interior minister said. The interior minister dispelled the impression that Benazir Bhutto had ever endorsed the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO). In fact, she had been constantly demanding the formation of a “truth commission”, he said. Khalid Qureshi, the JIT head, told the House that

then Punjab government’s measures like the washing of the crime scene, failure of the police to carry out postmortem and press conference of Brigadier (r) Cheema had created a lot of doubts and controversies. Further, Qureshi said the year 2007 was when the menace of terrorism was on its peak after the formation of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in December 2004 when 27 militant groups from seven tribal agencies and 24 districts of KP had reorganised under the umbrella of TTP. “Some 500 percent increase was seen in terrorist attacks during 2007 after the terrorists reorganised,” he said. He said the suicide bombers had used a new method called Mechanical


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News 05 ‘SC should take suo motu of BoK’s privatisation’ PESHAWAR sTAff reporT

The Supreme Court (SC) should take suo motu notice of the proposed privatisation of the Bank of Khyber (BoK), as the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government wants to receive kickbacks in the deal, PML-N leader Fareed Tofan said on Tuesday. Holding a press conference at the Peshawar Press Club, he said that the BoK was a profitable institution. “Despite the fact that the provincial finance minister said that the BoK was a moneymaking institution, the govt wants to privatise it for corruption,” Tofan said. The PML-N leader said that railways, PIA and steel mills, which were in a crisis, should be privatised instead of the BoK. He said that silence of Pakhtun leaders Mehmood Achakzai and Aftab Sherpao on the issue was deplorable, adding that all political parties should come out against the proposed privatisation. He accused the ANP of being involved in massive corruption.

PM briefed on BISE’s Skill Development Programme ISLAMABAD sTAff reporT

fireworKs AT The forT: The launch of the 7th cholistan Desert rally was marked by a stunning fireworks at fort Derawar. MURTAZA ALI

NA panel asks EAD to utilise foreign scholarships funds Islamabad sTAff reporT

20th Amendment was a matter of ‘muk muka’: Imran Khan PtI chief claims Rs 366.1m given to senators meant a ‘buy out’ g Says all registered parties should appoint caretaker government g

The National Assembly Standing Committee on Human Rights on Tuesday expressed dissatisfaction over attitude of the Economic Affairs Division (EAD), saying that foreign scholarship funds were not utilised and lapsed in the division. It asked the department concerned to utilise the funds for students of war-affected areas. Chairing the meeting, MNA Riaz Fatyana said that Pakistan being a welfare state failed to provide higher education to its citizens at affordable expenditures and it had become very difficult for people to get higher education both at private and public sector universities. The committee said that on the one side, people were unable to get higher education and on the other side, the EAD lapsed scholarship funds, as it could not publicise the matter properly so that deserving people might apply for it. The committee also expressed concern that the government had allocated meager and negligible amounts for higher education. It also directed EAD to arrange a donor conference for generation of funds, which might be utilised for education of students belonging to war-affected areas of Parachinar and FATA.

tarin denies saying BISP ‘politically motivated’ PRESS RELEASE Shaukat Tarin, who is on the board of the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP), categorically denied on Tuesday some news reports that quoted him suggesting that the BISP was politically motivated. Tarin, a former finance minister, said in a press release that the BISP was an important initiative that had helped alleviate poverty in Pakistan. If the programme continues to be administered properly, and kept clear of political motivation, the BISP will grow further and have an even bigger impact on poverty alleviation in the country, the press release added.

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T I Chairman Imran Khan on Tuesday criticised the 20th Amendment and its passage through the National Assembly and the

Senate. He said it was an example of horse trading and “muk muka” (bargaining), once again proving that the main opposition party, the PML-N continues to play out the farce of being opposition in the centre. Khan said the release of Rs 366.1 million in five hours for Senators to get the 20th Amendment passed through the Senate, was a bad reflection on the country’s legislators. He said that while money was not the development in Balochistan or provide common citizens relief in fuel and utility prices, money was readily available for bribery. He said the 20th Amendment was a fraud on the Constitution since it condones elections carried out

against the provisions of the Constitution. He said that first the government commits a violation of the Constitution, then it brings a constitutional amendment to condone the wrongdoing. The Chairman PTI further added that the 20th Amendment also con-

dones the existence of bogus voters since the elections it seeks to regularise had the participation of the bogus voters identified by the Supreme Court of Pakistan. On the issue of a caretaker government, Khan objected that the 20th Amendment is stacked up against the PTI. He said that the appointment of the caretaker prime minister/chief ministers was in the hands of the partisan and biased Prime Minister/Chief Ministers and Leader of the Opposition which will not allow for a level playing field for other parties. He said that the matter was made worse by the fact that the Election Commission itself will be based on the choice of partisan parties, rather than a consultation of all registered political parties. He said it was strange that the Election Commission was given the final authority to choose a caretaker prime minister/chief minister, a practice not replicated elsewhere.

Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani on Tuesday chaired a meeting of the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) at the PM’s House, in which he was briefed about the Skill Development and Youth Employment Programme. The PM directed officers to coordinate efforts of skill development initiatives and scale up the training programme to benefit a large number of youth to find employment opportunities in a productive manner. Gilani also stressed upon the need for different government departments to avoid overlapping activities to ensure that programmes were run in a cost effective and efficient manner. It was also decided that the training programme should take demand conditions into view so that skilled people could be absorbed in the labour market both domestically and overseas. BISP Chairperson Farzana Raja said that 150,000 youth will be given technical training under the Waseela-e-Rozgar Scheme. The main feature of the scheme was to impart training to 150,000 youth both men and women, through government and private institutions to get them out of the vicious circle of poverty. BISP plans to achieve its goals though a set of relationship with institutions, both public and private, all over the country. Earlier, Farzana briefed Gilani about various BISP initiatives and their positive impacts on socio-economic betterment of millions of beneficiary families. She told the PM that BISP was all set to launch health insurance and Waseela-e-Taleem Programme to provide basic health and quality education facilities to the beneficiary families.

parachinar attack aftermath

‘Security forces shot dead protestors’ PESHAWAR sTAff reporT

Security forces opened fire on a peaceful protest after the February 17 suicide attack in Parachinar and several protestors were shot dead, Turi Bangash tribal elders from Parachinar in Kurram Agency said on Tuesday. Addressing a press conference on Tuesday, they condemned the suicide attack in the agency on February 17 and termed it failure of the political

administration. They said that the suicide attack had made the atmosphere of Parachinar tense again after peace had been maintained in the agency since a bomb blast in 2008. Jamia Shaheed Allama Organiser Abid Hussain Shakri, Allama Arif Hussain al Hussaini, ISO Peshawar Division President Saqib Bangash, Turi Bangash Supreme Council President Haji Gulab Hussain Turi, Imamia Jarga KP General Secretary Muzaffar Akhun-

zada spoke on the occasion. They said the agencies’ youth had voluntarily formed a Peace Committee Pasdaraan (PCP), who search people themselves at all entrance and exit points to Parachinar which had created the peace between 2008 to 2012. They said that after the 2011 peace agreement, PCP had vacated all self-established check-posts on the condition of protection to them in the agency and welcomed security forces with hope. They expressed regret that the main

road towards Parachinar had been closed for Turi Bangash tribes for four years while militants and other miscreants use it at whim. They said the Turi Bangash had sacrificed of 1,500 people and 5,000 injured by resisting the militants in the agency. “We not only defended our people but also our country,” they said. After the suicide attack, they said that residents of the agency were holding a peaceful protest after the blast but security forces opened firing on them and several demonstrators were shot dead.


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Talk of peace stirs up Qaeda-Taliban tensions PESHAWAR Afp

The Taliban’s decision to talk to the US is stirring up tensions with al Qaeda as the Afghan militia comes under pressure to dump its terror allies in the name of peace. Times are hard for al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The network has been weakened significantly by US drone strikes on its hideouts, last May’s killing of founder Osama bin Laden and by finances drying up. And since the Afghan Taliban declared themselves in favour of talks with the United States in Qatar that could help end a decade of war in Afghanistan, al Qaeda has felt increasingly abandoned in its fight against the West. As far as it’s concerned, talking to the Americans is treason. “Al Qaeda blames us. They tell us ‘why are you letting us down, as we helped you when you were down?’” an Afghan Taliban official told AFP. “We’re not happy with the Doha process,” a source close to al Qaeda confirmed to AFP. “We want the war to con-

tinue in Afghanistan and Pakistan.” After taking power in 1996, the Taliban regime allowed al Qaeda to base itself in Afghanistan, taking advantage of fierce codes of hospitality and alliances made during the 1980s jihad against the Soviets in Afghanistan. But the alliance cost the Taliban dear. They refused to hand over bin Laden to the Americans after the September 11, 2001 attacks, the United States invaded and their regime collapsed within weeks. The Americans ruled out any negotiations and the Taliban fled across the border into Pakistan’s lawless tribal belt, where they found support among al Qaeda fighters, giving birth to a new stage in their relationship. Al Qaeda strengthened its links with Pakistani extremist groups, including the umbrella Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), which pledged allegiance and in 2007 launched a bloody insurgency against the US-allied government in Islamabad. In Afghanistan, the conflict only worsened, making it increasingly evident that there could be no military victory for anyone.

PBC concerned over names of 20 lawyers proposed as LHC judges ISLAMABAD

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x PRESSING concern over the list of 20 lawyers being proposed for appointment as judges of the Lahore High Court (LHC), the Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) on Tuesday resolved that if such recommendations materialised, it will amount to violation of the law as laid down in the Al-Jehad case. In its meeting, the PBC’s executive committee passed two resolutions, raising serious questions regarding the appointment of judges to the Lahore High Court and Sindh High Court. The meeting was presided over by committee chairman Asrarul Haq Mian. On a point by Mian Abbas Ahmed, the PBC’s executive committee expressed concern over a news that appeared in the press in respect of the list of 20 lawyers being proposed for appointment as LHC judges. He pointed out that a majority of the

said lawyers, except a few, appeared to be non-practicing and the committee was of the view that if such recommendations materialised, it will amount to violation of the law as laid down in the Al-Jehad case. The PBC committee proposed that nominees/representatives of bar councils in the Judicial Commission of Pakistan should be consulted by the concerned chief justices of the High Courts in the process of preparation and initiation of lists of recommended lawyers for appointment as judges, before the same were forwarded to and placed before the Judicial Commission of Pakistan. The committee further resolved that the present strength of judges in almost all high courts was meagre and badly affected the dispensation of justice, besides causing great hardships to the ordinary litigants. Passing another resolution, the PBC executive committee expressed its dismay with the situation prevailing in the

Sindh High Court where more than half of the sanctioned posts of judges was lying vacant, resulting not only piling up of pending cases but also causing mistrust and distress among the litigants. The committee requested the authorities concerned to take immediate steps to accelerate the appointment of judges of the Sindh High Court, so as to complete its sanctioned strength and hoped that in that pursuit, the chief justice of the Sindh High Court and Judicial Commission of Pakistan (JCP) would take into consideration the sentiments and aspirations of the legal fraternity and ensure appointment of competent, honest and professional lawyers as judges of the high court by giving due and meaningful share to the lawyers of interior Sindh as well. The PBC’s executive committee has already unanimously expressed dissatisfaction over the present JCP procedure regarding the appointment of judges and declared the process nontransparent.

Additional incentives to DiamerBasha Dam Project affectees

Lahore pr

In a major departure from the existing practice in land acquisition and resettlement, WAPDA has decided to provide temporary housing facilities to all families whose lands have been acquired in Thore Valley for construction of the Diamer Basha Dam. The provision of temporary accommodation, in accordance with the weather requirements of the area, was in addition to the full payment for the land and establishment of permanent townships in five years. WAPDA, during its recent meeting, took this decision, which would benefit 131 families whose lands have been acquired for establishing of WAPDA’s offices and

residential structures. This momentous decision would on one hand provide adequate shelter to the affectees and be in line with the ‘Safeguard Policies’ of donors. The amount was to be paid to each family for construction of alternate accommodation consisting of a bedroom along with toilet and would be released in three installments. The first installment through cheque would be delivered within 10 days. WAPDA also decided to provide free medical coverage through an ambulance and doctors to not only the affected families but also to farflung villages of Diamer. It was also decided that a poultry scheme for women would be launched besides establishing veterinary camps in the area. In order to facilitate local residents, pony tracks would also be developed in the valley.

At least 46 journalists killed in 2011, 7 in Pakistan nEW YORK Afp

At least 46 journalists were killed in 2011, with Pakistan the deadliest country for the second year running, a rights group said on Tuesday. The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists said deaths during dangerous assignments — such as covering street protests — reached the highest level on record in 2011 as the Arab uprisings dominated the headlines. Seven deaths were reported in Pakistan, followed by five each in Iraq, where attacks have continued despite the US withdrawal, and Libya, where a popular revolt against strongman Moamar Gaddafi escalated into a NATO-backed war.

“Seventeen journalists died while on dangerous assignments, many of them while covering the chaotic and violent confrontations between authorities and protesters during the uprisings that swept the Arab world,” the report said. Photojournalists and camera operators accounted for 40 percent of fatalities, more than twice the proportion CPJ has documented since it began keeping records in 1992. The group also reported an increase in the deaths of Internet journalists, who “rarely appeared on CPJ’s death toll before 2008.” CPJ said it was still investigating another 35 deaths in 2011 that may have been work-related. Forty-four journalists were killed in 2010, according to the group.


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Making a difference with sewing machines UNESCo-funded project launched 07

Hey did they forget something? Yes, the Karsaz blasts ■ Sindh government forms special committee to carry out detailed investigation into the oct 18, 2007 tragedy KARAcHI

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ENSING covert “mischief” on part of then Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q)-led provincial government, the Sindh government on Tuesday constituted a committee to probe into the twin suicide blasts at Karsaz on October 18, 2007, which resulted in the death of over 170 Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) supporters who had gathered to welcome their slain leader Benazir Bhutto. Formed by the chief minister, the special committee would carry out a detailed investigation into the Karsaz tragedy. “The committee will submit its report with four weeks,” Federal Interior Minister Rehman Malik told reporters at the Sindh Chief Minister’s House. Earlier, while briefing the Sindh Assembly on the headways in Benazir’s murder case, Malik had called on the Sindh chief minister to form an investigation team to probe the Karsaz tragedy and the federation is ready to provide every possible help. Recalling the incidents of the tragic day, the interior minister said he had received a phone call from the provincial authorities, saying no vehicular move-

ment would be allowed to Benazir on her departure from the Karachi airport. “I then contacted the Muttahida Qaumi Movement leadership which assured me of full support and gave the go-ahead.” Malik also claimed to have seen an unidentified “bearded man” filming Benazir’s rally. “I asked the security to apprehend the man who was filming the rally from a tree but he fled,” he said. He also recalled that at one point of the rally a child was being handed over to the “kind-hearted” PPP chief, “but on security grounds I asked the people to keep away the kid, who later exploded himself.” “A policeman sitting in a mobile was asked to hold the child until the terrorist brings his motorcycle,” Malik said. “The second blast took place after the child had exploded in the police van.” Recalling that when Benazir had expressed concern on streetlights going off, Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah said the PPP leader sent in the rear portion of the special truck. “After the twin blasts, the party was preoccupied with looking for the dead and injured and it was the next day’s afternoon, when Benazir asked them to lodge an FIR of the incident at Bahadurabad police station,” he added. “Within two hours [of the blasts], the crime scene was hosed down which was

an unprecedented swift action,” the leader of the House said. “The way our FIR was lodged indicated some mischief.” “The Bahdurabad police had already lodged the FIR without consulting him [Shah] or PPP members who were on that truck when the blasts occurred,” an official statement from Chief Minister’s House stated. Terming investigations carried out by the then government “tainted”, the chief minister said that despite assurances no security was provided to the PPP chief. Shah’s remarks were in response to PPP lawmaker Humera Alwani’s earlier statement drawing the investigators towards the statement of then Sindh chief minister Dr Ghulam Arbab Rahim, who had said “the cheers of the PPP workers would turn into cries in the evening”. When Pakistan Muslim LeagueFunctional lawmaker Nusrat Seher Abbasi questioned the reliability of the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) probe sans post-mortem of the deceased, the interior minister pointed finger at the “police” and “administration”. More legislators, Rafique Engineer, Sassui Palijo, Mujadid Isran and Jam Saifullah Dharejo, also raised various questions pertaining to Benazir’s murder and results of the JIT findings therein.

RESOLUTION FOR KU CAMPUSES IN INTERIOR SINDH

Word ‘rural’ ticks off MQM; text amended KARACHI: A brief but heated argument

took place in the Sindh Assembly on Tuesday when Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) lawmakers introduced a resolution, which its coalition partner, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), believed carried wording based on a rural-urban divide. “This Assembly resolves and recommends to the Government of Sindh to ensure that [the] Karachi University establishes at least two campuses in [the] rural districts of Sindh,” read the draft tabled out-of-turn by PPP’s Dr Ahmed Ali Shah. Commenting on the resolution, Dr Shah said the University of Karachi was so congested that it denies admission to many students from the interior parts of Sindh. The MPA said setting up new KU campuses would attract the people of the province towards higher education. His party fellows Bachal Shah and Dr Sattar Rajpar were quick to back the resolution. But the word “rural” did not go down well with their coalition partner and the MQM’s parliamentary leader Sardar Ahmed opposed the resolution saying the party does not believe in a rural-urban divide and the draft would open a Pandora’s Box. Health Minister Dr Sagheer Ahmed said the impression that in Karachi, the doors of education for students from interior Sindh are closed, is wrong. “Despite doing everything for this province, we are being accused of such things. Please get these words expunged from the assembly’s record,” the MQM lawmaker demanded. He said it is well-known as to which party has the public’s mandate in Karachi. “We are a coalition party,” he re-

minded the PPP legislators. Dr Sagheer said he was opposed to the wording, and not the resolution itself. Senior Education Minister Pir Mazharul Haq reminded the House that passing a resolution will not make the universities act accordingly, as this is only possible by amending their respective acts. The situation, however, was defused when Speaker Nisar Khuhro asked for an amended resolution, which he read later on, with the word “rural” replaced with the names of two districts, Naushehro Feroze and Tharparkar. Earlier, Law Minister Ayaz Soomro and Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid lawmaker Shehryar Maher exchanged barbs when the former criticised the latter, National People’s Party’s Arif Jatoi and Pakistan Muslim League-Functional’s Jam Madad Ali for their media statements against him. Soomro said these lawmakers, who are part of a special committee, violated assembly rules when they made public the proceedings of the body’s meetings. The speaker intervened and concluded the debate by saying revealing the matters discussed during the committee’s meetings should not have been leaked to the press as this leaves a negative impression. Irrigation Minister Jam Saifullah Dharejo responded to supplementary queries of the members during the question hour. The speaker prorogued the House for an indefinite period, but asked lawmakers to stay for a detailed briefing by the Joint Investigation Team and Interior Minister Rehman Malik that lasted for almost two hours. ismAil DilAwAr

54 or 16? how many are ‘missing’ in Sindh ■ Interior Ministry, home Department yet to determine the exact number of people missing in the province KARAcHI AfTAb chAnnA

With the apex court hearing the missing persons’ case, the federal and provincial authorities have failed to ascertain the exact number of persons missing in the Sindh province as the Interior Ministry puts the number at 54 but the provincial administration claims only 16 are missing, Pakistan Today has learnt. According to federal government figures, the total number of missing persons – allegedly picked up by secret law enforcement agencies – from Sindh, Balochistan, Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa stands at 416, with at least 54 belonging to Sindh. However, the Sindh Home Department puts the number at 16. In October 2009, the Interior Ministry had forwarded to the Sindh Home Department a list containing the names of 16 “missing” people for tracing them out. Interestingly, the list also mentioned the names of people who were living free, such as Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz (JSQM) leader Dr Safdar Sarki and Karachi resident Zeeshan Jalil, who was earlier imprisoned in the Adiala Jail, sources told Pakistan Today. “In January 2010, the Interior Ministry again forwarded a list of missing persons from Sindh but this time the number of these people stood at 54,” the sources said. Then Home secretary, Arif Khan, in reaction to the mistake by higher authorities and ensuring strict compliance with the Supreme Court directives,

wrote a letter to the Interior Ministry pinpointing at the apathy of the authorities concerned. The Sindh Home Department also requested the Interior Ministry and the National Crisis and Management Cell (NCMC) to forward another verified and accurate list so that the early recovery of the missing persons could be ensured. “However, the provincial authorities are still waiting for the fresh list from the Centre,” the sources added. As per the Interior Ministry directives, the Sindh government was supposed to publish a detailed list of all missing persons in leading newspapers so that proper information including the whereabouts of these people can be ascertained but no advertisements have been published so far. The people who were allegedly picked up from various parts of the Sindh province include Abdul Karim Mehmood (missing since June 12, 2003); Ghulam Rabbani and his brother Ahmed Ghulam Rabbani (September 11, 2002); Ali Muhammad (May 4, 2004); Qari Muhammad Aslam, Rana Asif and Ayaz Baladi (June 26, 2006); Jahangir (March 13, 2005); Abdul Raheem, Muhammad Israr (October 10, 2006); Mustafa Azeem (September 13, 2006); Abdul Sattar Hakro (November 10, 2005); Chetan Kumar (July 12, 2006); GM Bhagat (September 9, 2006); Ghulam Shabir Soomro (October 18, 2005); Gul Mohammad (November 18, 2005); Gulzar Lone (May 23, 2006); and Hafiz Khan Mohammad Chang (missing since September 2004).

Debris is being removed at the Kati Pahari on tuesday where a landslide injured two people. ONLINE

No room for govt’s boys in SHC? ■ lawyers recommended by Sindh government for appointment as high court judges likely to be disregarded in Judicial Commission meeting KARAcHI imDAD soomro

The names of candidates recommended by the provincial government for appointment as judges in the Sindh High Court (SHC) are likely to be disregarded in the meeting of the Judicial Commission on February 25, Pakistan Today has learnt. The Chief Justice of Supreme Court of Pakistan Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudry has convened a meeting of the Judicial Commission for appointment of judges in the SHC on February 25 in Islamabad.

There are 28 positions of judges vacant in the SHC as only 12 judges are working on the reserved 40 positions. The Sindh government had recommended the names of 27 lawyers, including four former sacked SHC judges Ghulam Dastgir Shahani, Safdar Bhutto, Ismail Bhutto and Iqbal Mahar, members of the People’s Lawyers Forum and some candidates believed to have close ties with political high-ups. Eight names including six district and sessions judges – SHC Registrar Abdul Rasool Memon, Naimat Allah Khuro, Muhammad Sadiq Bhatti, Faiz

Rasool Rashdi, Ashraf Jahan and Abdul Malik Gadi – and two senior lawyers Nadeem Akhtar and Muhammad Shafi Siddiqui were also suggested for the post of SHC judges. The Judicial Commission’s meeting will be chaired by the Chief Justice of Pakistan while Federal Law Minister Maula Bux Chandio, Attorney General Maulvi Anwarul Haq, SHC Chief Justice Mushir Alam, senior SHC judge Maqbool Baqar, Sindh Bar Council representative Lala Yasin Babar and Sindh Law Minister Ayaz Soomro will also participate in the meeting.


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Submit PS-57 voters’ lists, SHC tells ECP KARAcHI

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HE Sindh High Court (SHC) directed the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Tuesday to submit the complete record of electoral lists of Badin provincial assembly constituency PS-57 today (Wednesday), The seat was vacated due to the resignation of former Sindh home minister Dr Zulfiqar Mirza. The SHC division bench including Justice Maqbool Baqar and Justice Nisar Muhammad Shaikh ordered the ECP to present the record of voter lists of 2007 and 2012 on a petition filed by former Sindh minister Syed Ali Bux

Shah alias Papoo Shah, a candidate contesting the upcoming by-poll. Shah’s counsel Advocate Abdul Mujeeb Pirzada argued before the court that according to the Supreme Court decision, elections should be conducted through transparent electoral lists, but the ECP had changed the computerised electoral lists by old manual lists. “According to laws, no changes could be made after the announcement of election schedule and neither new voters can be entered in the lists nor any omitted, but the names of recommendee and secondier are omitted from the list,” he said. Advocate Anwar Mansoor Khan, the counsel of Shah’s rival candidate Hasnain Mirza, contended that the

Supreme Court had ordered to conduct the next general elections through computerised lists not any by-elections. The petitioner had submitted that pre-poling rigging has started for the upcoming by-election in Badin district, as around 19,000 votes were cancelled on the government’s wish. In his petition, Shah quoted the Section 10, Electoral Act 1974, according to which in case of cancellation and admission of new votes, consent may be taken from the people of the constituency. “However, in Badin neither any consent nor any objection or advice was taken from the people,” he stated. In another case, the same divisional bench directed the Sindh government to either pay the salaries and al-

lowances of the employees of district judiciary equivalent to the high court’s employees or file a petition against the SHC order. The court in its order stated that if the decision is not followed, the provincial chief secretary and finance secretary must explain the position in the court.

‘Provincial power policy to be announced soon’ KARAcHI App

A power policy for Sindh will be announced soon and a detailed report on Thar coal is expected in the next two months, provincial Information and Electric Power Minister Shazia Marri said on Tuesday. She was talking to the media at the inauguration of 9th ITIF Asia 2012 at the Karachi Expo Centre. “The power policy will offer incentives to foreign investors and opportunities for skilled Pakistanis,” she remarked. Paying rich tributes to scientist Dr Samar Mubarakmand, she said his efforts are commendable and he has played an important role in making the Thar coal project a result-oriented venture. Marri said small hydel power projects of two megawatts can be installed at the run of canals in Sindh to produce electricity for villages and run tube wells. She also stressed the need for conducting studies on wind mills for production of power. Responding to a question, she said Iran is cooperating with Pakistan in the energy sector and providing help in overcoming the current energy crisis.

two bodies found KARAcHI sTAff reporT

Police found two bodies in separate areas of the city on Tuesday. The body of an alleged criminal was found in Madina Colony, FB Area, within the jurisdiction of the FB Industrial Area police station. The police identified the body as that of 30-year-old Imran, a man with a criminal record and wanted by the Baloch Colony police in several cases of murder and street crime. They said the victim was a resident of Junejo Town in Mehmoodabad. He was visiting FB Area to meet with another alleged criminal named Tariq. Separately, the body of a youth was found in C-1 Area graveyard of Liaquatabad. The Super Market SHO said the body was six days old and the hands of the victim were tied with a rope. The identity of the deceased could not be ascertained by the time this report was filed.

with a glum look on his face, a boy stands at a second-hand clothes stall in Machhar Colony.

IMRAN ALI

Pakistan Navy adds 2 modified P3Cs to its fleet KARAcHI sTAff reporT

The second batch of two modified P3C aircraft was inducted into the Pakistan Navy fleet at the Naval Aviation Base on Tuesday. The aircraft modified with latest avionics, sensors are part of US assistance being provided to the Pakistan Navy under the Foreign Military Funding programme. The Pakistan Navy is to receive six such aircraft from the US in batches of two each. The first batch was inducted into Pakistan Navy in 2010. The aircraft has extended surveillance capability which will help the Pakistan Navy maintain requisite vigil in our vital area of interest in North Arabian Sea. The area regarded as an important trade and energy corridor for the global economy, is home to intense maritime activity both legal and illegal and thus warrants continuous guard. In an induction ceremony, chief guest Vice Admiral M Zakaullah welcomed the addition of the aircraft, which will significantly add to the combat potential of the Pakistan Navy fleet. The ceremony was attended by a large number of serving and retired Pakistan Navy personnel.


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wednesday, 22 February, 2012

karachi 09

Making a difference with sewing machines

PakistaN today

3,222 milk sellers fined Rs 2.4m for overcharging

■ UNESCo-funded project for ‘livelihood recovery’ and promotion of handicraft industry launched at Keenjhar lake KARAcHI sTAff reporT

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project titled “Promoting Cultural Industries for Livelihood Recovery in Sindh” was launched at a ceremony held at Keenjhar Lake on Tuesday. The project is a joint venture of the provincial Tourism Department and UNESCO, under which 46 manual sewing machines and two electric sewing machines along with 40 tool kits were distributed among the female residents of three union councils of Thatta - Makli, Sonda and Jhirk. Besides this, Rs 50,000 were also provided for disbursement among 100 artisans of the area – Rs 500 for each of them. Speaking on the occa-

sion, provincial Tourism Minister Mohammad Ali Malkani said the empowerment of women is among the top priorities of the government so that an egalitarian society can be established. “The project has been designed for the revival of the livelihood of the people in poverty-hit areas through handicrafts,” he added. The minister said the provision of sewing machines to the women from poor families is aimed at improving the lifestyle of these families and in this regard, the role of UNESCO in helping the government is significant. “After getting these sewing machines, these women will not only get an alternative to earn extra money, but the handcrafts and homemade embroidery will also be promoted,” he noted.

KARAcHI sTAff reporT

“Fisherfolk face financial hardships during scarcity of water when

there is no catch and the provincial government plans to start various proj-

ects to extend support to the poor and enable them to earn more.”

Fines, collectively coming up Rs 2.4 million, have been imposed on 3,222 milk sellers for overcharging consumers, during an ongoing drive against the profiteering. This was disclosed by focal person Zahid Hussain at a meeting chaired by City Commissioner Roshan Ali Shah. Additional Commissioner Abdul Wahab Memon, Deputy Commissioner South Mustafa Jamal Qazi, Deputy Commissioner East Qazi Jan Mohammad, Deputy Commissioner Central Dr Syed Saifur Rehman and Deputy Commissioner West Ghanwar Leghari also attended the meeting. The participants of the meeting were informed that 3,222 milk sellers were fined for overcharging citizens in the five districts of the city. Speaking on the occasion, the commissioner stressed the need to accelerate the drive and warned that no negligence would be tolerated in this regard. He also instructed the five deputy commissioners to ensure milk is sold at fixed rates and violators dealt with sternly.

‘loyal’ NADRA employees paid in cash

KARAcHI sTAff reporT

Visitors select books at an exhibition at taimooria library on tuesday.

ONLINE

KMC to assist in organising of Aalmi Mushaira KARAcHI sTAff reporT

The Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) will assist in the organising of the Aalmi Mushaira on March 22, City Administrator Muhammad Hussain Syed assured a delegation of the Saknan-e-Shehr-e-Quaid Mushaira Committee on Tuesday. The convener of Aalmi Mushaira Committee, Azhar Abbas Hashmi, former federal minister Safwanullah, Afzal Siddiqui, Saif-ur-Rehman Girami, Rizwan Siddiqui, Ali Hassan Sajid, Muhammad Rehan Khan and Khurshid Shah were present on the occasion. “Mushairas are part of our cultural traditions and they provide an opportunity to promote our language,” said Syed.

Later, while reviewing the arrangements for the mushaira, the administrator issued various directives including levelling of ground at the venue of event, fumigation and arrangement for drinking water, mobile bathrooms, fire tenders and deputation of city wardens for security.

He said the KMC will hold a reception to honour poets participating in the mushaira and also cooperate in the publication of selected poetry presented at the event. On the occasion, he also became a member of the organising committee by paying Rs 6,000.

NADRA Sindh General Manager Brig (retd) Zahid Hussain distributed cash awards to those authority’s employees, who did not join their colleague’s protest for permanent status. Encouraging the employees, Hussain said it is the prime objective of NADRA to serve the nation, but some people with vested interests want to achieve personal benefits by disrupting services. “The employees have proved that they are not part of any strike and committed towards facilitating citizens,” he added The general manager assured the employees that the NADRA management is trying its resolve their issues because they have played a key role in transforming the authority into renowned organisation of the world.

Administrator suspends executive engineer KARAcHI sTAff reporT

Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) Administrator Muhammad Hussain Syed suspended KDA Wing Korangi Division Executive Engineer Abdul Jabbar Mangi for being negligent in his duties. According to a press release, HRM Senior Director Najmuddin Sikandar was directed to take the disciplinary action against him. The administrator said any negligence while discharging duties will not be tolerated.

nOtice Notice U/S 361 of Companies ordinance 1984, It is notified that M/s Dynavis (Private) limited has passed the following special resolution on 20, February 2012 for the purpose of members voluntary winding up of the company: 1.the Company be wound up voluntary. 2.Mr. Shaikh Muhammad Mukhtar S/o S.M.Deen of 12th floor, Kawish Crown Plaza, D.A.C.S. main Shahrah-e-Faisal, Karachi, has been appointed as liquidator of the company at honorary services. By the board of Directors Dynavis (Private) limited. Dated : 20-2-2012 Place: Karachi Ikram ul-Majeed Sehgal (Chief Executive)


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PakistaN today

10 karachi

Food heals historic hostility

wEAthER UPDAtES

28°C high

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PRAyER tIMINGS Fajr 5:45

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wednesday, 22 February, 2012

Asr 4:03

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Starting time in Karachi

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zofeen ebrAhim

F the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, then the path to peace between India and Pakistan may lie in the commonalities in their cultures and cuisines. So when Poppy Agha, a renowned Pakistani chef, was recently served up kebabs made of okra (lady’s finger) and biryani (rice), followed by firni (dessert), the misgivings she had about India melted away. “I was brought up in a very patriotic household with the usual Pakistani stereotypes in my mind towards India. This feeling has now changed completely,” she tells me

away from a nuclear race by pitting chefs against each other to a gruelling “cross border cook off”. The 26-part series has 16 professional chefs, eight from each side of the border, who show what the “two most culturally rich and fascinating countries” in Asia can do with their respective cuisines. “Cookery can be a terrific friendship builder,” said Pervez Hoodbhoy, a Pakistani physicist and peace activist. “It can transcend manmade boundaries.” And that is exactly what the programme producers are hoping to achieve. In an e-mail exchange, Smeeta Chakrabarti, chief of NDTV Lifestyle, told me: “India and Pakistan have many common passions

Pakistan and India have fought three wars since independence from Britain in 1947 and a traumatic partition on the basis of religion. Their relationship since then has resembled a rollercoaster with moments of understanding punctuating hostilities over the possession of the province of Kashmir. Mani Shankar Aiyar, an Indian diplomat turned politician, told a roomful of Pakistanis that both nations had a choice to either continue living in “simmering hostility” or engage proactively and prosper. He said 90 percent of the people on either side of the border did not nurse grudges from a dark past. Aiyar, who was invited by the

CIty DIRECtoRy EMERGENCy hElP PolICE 15 BoMB DISPoSAl 15, 99212667 FIRE BRIGADE 16, 99215007, 99215008 EDhI 115, 32310066-2310077 KhIDMAt-E-KhAlq FoUNDAtIoN 36333811 RED CRESCENt 35833973 GoVERNoR’S hoUSE 136 ChIEF MINIStER’S hoUSE 99202051 MotoRwAy PolICE 130

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118 1218 1339 134 1199, 99231603 Poppy Agha, Pakistani chef on the ‘Foodistan’ reality tV show. NDTV

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from the Indian capital of New Delhi, where she has gone to take part in a reality show on food. “You don’t have to think poorly of Indians to be a patriotic Pakistani!” said Agha, who runs a professional culinary institute in Pakistan, ladling out aromatic delights to entice the judges. The Indian television channel NDTV Good Times, through its cookery show ‘Foodistan’, has diverted South Asia’s archenemies

such as music, cricket and, yes, fabulous food. The boundaries are just political, and the reality is that in many ways, the people of the two countries live and think in a similar fashion.” “I wish the real wars were over,” said Vir Sanghvi, an Indian judge on the programme. “But, until we can be sure of that, the best way of ensuring peace is for our people to interact with each other in arenas such as Foodistan,” he told me.

group show

Jinnah Institute, an Islamabadbased think tank, to speak on ‘India and Pakistan: Retrospect and Prospect’ said: “History may have divided us but geography binds us.” In India, Agha learnt to develop menus in different ways, but she told me that she gained much more at a personal level. “I have met some great people I can call friends,” she declares. Zohra Yusuf, a Pakistani rights

sips from A broKen TeAcup

activist, believes that “any kind of contact, even a highly competitive one” can contribute to a better understanding in the long run. “While passions may be inflamed, during a tense cricket match, for example, face-to-face interactions helps remove prejudices about the ‘other’ to a great extent,” she told me. In spite of hurdles thrown in by officialdom on both sides, such as denial of visas, requirements for visitors to report to police stations and restrictions on travel, peopleto-people contacts seem to find their own way. Thus, India’s tennis star Sania Mirza could marry Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Malik, or the tennis duo of Indian Rohan Bopana and Pakistani Aisamul Haq Qureshi could get together to start a movement called ‘Stop War Start Tennis’. A Pakistani media house has joined hands with the Times of India daily newspaper in a campaign called ‘Aman ki Asha’ (‘Hoping for Peace’) that, over the last two years, has relentlessly promoted peace efforts. Aman ki Asha’s success depends on a plan to begin anew with the next generation of Indians and Pakistanis and get them to take the responsibility for “shedding the baggage of history”. Stark facts such as the $250 million daily expense in maintaining an electrified, barbed fence with floodlights and security equipment along the border are thrown at young participants. The success of the Aman ki Asha initiative can be gauged by the fact that it was unaffected by the public acrimony generated during the difficult period after the terrorist attack on Mumbai in November 2008, carried out by a group of armed Pakistanis. If anything, the peace show has been gaining ground. In 2010, ‘Chhote Ustad’ (‘Little Master’), a music reality show for young Pakistani and Indian singing and dancing talent, run by the Star Plus TV channel, turned into a huge hit on both sides of the border. Rouhan Abbas, one of the Pakistani winners, returned home with a medal, a trophy, the prize money as well as a basketful of memories. He still misses the bonhomie that developed with young Indian participants at the show. “The notion that India was our enemy was fixed in my mind, since I was little; that was completely erased after our Indian hosts showed us love and warmth,” Abbas told me. There has, of late, been a definite thawing of the relations between the two neighbours, riding on the cultural front: enough for India to slip down to third position among Pakistan’s enemies, after the United States and Israel. Shows like Foodistan can spread the message of brotherhood, says Chakrabarti. “If you see participants from both sides and unless you are told you wouldn’t be able to tell who is from which side of the border,” she said. “Because of travel and visa restrictions, we don’t know enough about each others’ cuisine and culture,” she said, adding that shows like Foodistan can help bridge that gap.

VAlenTine weeK

ART EXHIBITIOn STARTS FEBRUARY 23 AT 05:00 PM VEnUE: gRAnDEUR

cOnVERSATIOn On FEBRUARY 24 AT 07:00 PM VEnUE: T2F 2.0

ART EXHIBITIOn UnTIL FEBRUARY 22 VEnUE: gRAnDEUR

A group exhibition from February 23 to 29 at the Grandeur art gallery. Call 35435744 for more information.

‘The 1971 Diaries: Sips from a Broken Teacup’ with Raihana A Hasan at The 2nd Floor. Call 35389033 for more information.

Akbar Hafeez’s Valentine week exhibition until February 22 at the Grandeur art gallery. Call 35860744 for more information.


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wednesday, 22 February, 2012

Editor’s mail 11

Civil paralysis threatening Balochistan Now it is clear that foreign agencies, western and US media are poised to prove that China intends to occupy Balcohistan’s natural resources and Pakistan’s security forces are involved in killings and abductions at the behest of Beijing. This is absolutely not the case. On one side if we look at the friendship of America, we see not a single mega development project has ever been launched, funded or even supported by Washington nor the multinational companies in the corporate sector across America or Europe. Yes, they have progressed only in one sector ie, the ruthlessly stepped up diplomatic and media propaganda. On the contrary, China has not only developed a wide infrastructure in all areas of Pakistan, particularly Balochistan including the building of pivotal

Gwadar Port project, all aimed at facilitating the nation to stand on its own feet. The government at Centre has contributed far less than what the armed forces are doing in terms of the uplift of Balochistan and changing their lot. Chamalang Education Programme, Sui Education City, Balochistan and Gwadar Institutes of Technical Education, Kassa Hills Marble Project and the enhancement of security forces are praiseworthy steps taken by the military in relation to Balochistan. It is the time that the Pakistan government should take steps in removing and rectifying the common people of Balochistan. In this regard, appreciable gesture has been shown when Prime Minister Gilani renewed commitment to hold talks with the angry Baloch and promised to implement all matters de-

Some serious questions cided in Aghaz-e-Haqooq-e-Balochistan in true letter and spirit. President Zardari expressed determination to strengthen the federation on the death anniversary of Ms Benazir Bhutto. If we join hands now, the American and Indian dream of capturing the region would not succeed because Pakistan, China, Russia, Iran, and Central Asian states are well aware of their hegemonic design but there is a definite need of taking proactive measures against such malicious plans. The government should take firm steps in handling the issue intelligently. The media, instead of blindly singing to the Western media’s tunes, needs to unmask real faces of so-called nationalist leaders and others who are playing in the hands of adversary. Our top political and military brass

should sit together and evolve a consensus strategy to fight the battle first instead of discussing petty issues. The political leadership in Balochistan, civil administration and bureaucracy has virtually stopped playing their due role, which has given space to the anti-state elements. It is near paralysis of the civil dispensation that has actually led to threatening Balochistan. That’s why the FC has to come forward, that too under the provincial government’s orders, but under the circumstances it is proving to be counterproductive. Our top most priority must be to block the enemy’s moves, deter their nefarious designs and thwart any kind of aggression to rip apart the country. MARYA MUFTY Lahore

Secure prisons Israel's ambassador to Honduras, Eliau Lopes has said that he planned to meet with Honduran President Lobo to present a proposal by an Israeli company to build four modern, safe, high-security prisons. Lopes said the cost of the project is high but "it can be achieved with international aid. We are talking about facilities where no one will escape, where there won't be fires," he said.This offer came in the backdrop of 16 February fire in a Honduran jail wherein over 350 inmates were burned or suffocated to death. Lopes may not only offer the technical expertise and assistance but also something to be added to the Honduras’ penal code – how to keep opponents behind bars without getting blamed for constitutional non-compliance. Khader Adnan was picked up by the Israeli forces in a night-time raid in West Bank; he is being detained without any charge or trial under ‘administrative detention’ – a legal cover from British colonial period to suppress the Palestinians. Khader has not accepted Israel’s right to detain him without any charge or trial – he has gone on hunger strike for over last two months to highlight the gross violation of human rights in the beacon of democracy in the Middle East. He is one of 307 Palestinians, including 27 members of Palestinian Legislative Council, who are behind bars under this blanket (il)legal cover. Adnan is being joined by hundred more Palestinians in his hunger strike, but where are the UN human rights watchdogs – why are they silent? Their tactical silence is obvious when their boss, UN Sectary General Ban ki-Moon, himself refused to meet any Palestinian prisoners’ families during his last visit to Gaza; he however met Gilad Shalit’s family several times. In short, Lopes can teach the world how to detain one’s opponents for indefinite period of time without a fear of any voices coming out or a protest/riot disturbing the business as usual of the ruling elites. But for sure for that you need a good backer – may be a policeman of the unipolar world. MASOOD KHAN Jubail, Saudi Arabia

An alarming situation Every year large sums of money are consumed on smoking though it is highly injurious to health. What is alarming is the fact that more and more teenagers are taking to smoking. Teenage being the more enjoyable time of life offers all delights though they can be positive or negative. Teens do smoke first to experience its taste on occasion or at their get togethers. This experimental smoking gradually becomes a habit. Although they know it is dangerous to them, they do it as a challenge. This habit makes them addict. Another reason could be tension and nervousness. When teens lose tempers they start smoking to keep themselves busy. Usually teens lose control when their wishes are ignored by their parents .They want to reduce their temporary tension and hence resort to smoking. A scientific reason is also involved in attracting young people to smoking: nicotine in cigarettes arouses part of the brain that deals with emotions. As the time passes, smoker’s life becomes miserable and shortened. ARIHA ATIQ Karachi

Our country is presently facing a judicial crisis. Like me, millions of people are worried about the present situation and being a common people, they ask some legal questions in order to know the situation better. Hope some jurists would guide us. If President Asif Ali Zardari enjoys full immunity under the prevailing constitution, why is he not being allowed to avail it? All the heads of states throughout the world enjoy full immunity, how come Pakistan has exception? There is no mandatory requirement in the constitution to go to the Supreme Court to avail such immunity. Why is such an impression being created here? In USA and other countries, apex judges are not allowed to watch TV programmes but here our judges are not only watching the TV programmes regularly but are also frequently referring to such programmes during their court proceedings. Why? In some cases, the apex court judges have reportedly acted on the presumption being made by TV anchors that later proved having no footings. Why? MOHAMMAD KHAN SIAL Karachi

Musharraf and oBl

Through the wrong end of the scope This is with reference to Hashim Bin Rashid’s article “The price of Baloch blood” published in Pakistan Today on 19 February 2012. The writer has rightly highlighted the worsening conditions in Balochistan. But the pertinent question is who is really responsible for the present condition? Tribal Sardars are the real culprits here who consider that they are born to rule, whom they have kept illiterate and poor. They have made them believe that after Allah, Sardar is their benefactor. Sardars never al-

A rebuttal Apropos letter entitled “Hidden billing” by Jibran Syed (Karachi) published in Pakistan Today on 21 February, the claims and assertions made against PTCL by the writer are not correct. Following a thorough investigation into his claims, PTCL has found that correct service information was provided to him by the PTCL Helpline 1236. As per PTCL’s periodically released public marketing notifications, all calls made on Sundays are free of cost apart from the free minutes provided on selected packages only. PTCL’s Double Impact Package was activated on October 18, 2011, on Mr. Syed’s number 02134989218 according to the following terms: Double-Play 1Mb @Rs 1,499 with 750 On-Net voice minutes, as per officially announced package, which can also be seen at PTCL’s website. According to PTCL’s records, Mr Syed has used 1,950 minutes against 750 free minutes available on his package. Hence, he was charged for the additional billable 1,200 minutes. Thus, and as per PTCL’s billing record, the local call charges have been correctly billed to Mr Syed. Furthermore, PTCL has found no record in its systems of any calls made from Mr Syed’s claimed landline or mobile numbers. It is absolutely incorrect, baseless and malicious to claim that PTCL Helpline 1236 gives “misleading” information to “misguide” its valuable customers. As the leading telecom company of Pakistan, PTCL is committed to providing seamless, friendly and transparent services to all its valuable customers spread nationwide. Complete information about all its services and products is available for customer’s information on

lowed infrastructure development in areas under their control. Sardars have been governing Balochistan and representing their people in Senate and National Assembly, enjoying all political and financial power. I believe Sardars have major role in Balochistan’s insurgency. If Sardars have no any role in all this, then the federal government and the establishment are responsible for the agony of the Baloch? S T HUSSAIN Lahore

24-hour basis through PTCL’s Helpline 1236 as well as PTCL website: www.ptcl.com.pk. AMMARA DURRANI GM, POCC, PTCL, Islamabad

Is this free media? As media holds a very responsible position in making and shaping people’s opinions, it needs to be handled very carefully. It can make people believe what it actually wants them to believe and this is what makes it a powerful tool changing people’s thought process, beliefs and even choices of life. Unfortunately, our media has always been under the surveillance of either the foreign players or the political biases. Be it a civil bureaucracy or the military rule of Pakistan, every leader has utilised media as an instrument to achieve his/her political agenda. The notion of free media is meant to promote a sense of nationalism, but not to foster the seeds of violence and extremism in the society. Most private TV channels cover political stories and disputes among different sects while undermining the broadcast of the positive aspects of it. Is this the liberal notion of media that we desire? This is indeed the dilemma of our country which is not to be simply overlooked. This partiality of the media coverage mostly respites in the ownership structures of Pakistani media and the dominance of state and non-state actors. It puts more responsibility on our government to make certain laws which ensure the screening of those news and events which serve the national interests rather than vested interests of regional players. Indisputably, we want free but an impartial media in Pakistan. But labelling it a ‘free’ media doesn’t make it one. Maya

Khan’s raid on the parks in Karachi is a recent instance for that matter. This undoubtedly depicts the immaturity and unprofessional functioning of our Pakistani media. Is this what freedom of media supposed is to be? Liberalising media doesn’t mean to exploit people’s integrity and to infringe the private matters of the citizens. Our local media must observe a certain code of conduct and display civic attitude while broadcasting any news or event on the TV screen. GUL-I-HINA SHAHZAD LUMS, Lahore

Cost of 20th amendment The Senate has passed the 20th amendment bill after the government distributed Rs 360 million among 60 Senators as goodwill gesture for their support. This report shows that the money was distributed in the name of development funds but there appears to be no strings attached to this hefty amount. Would this money be deposited in the personal bank accounts of the Senators to be spent at their whims or would it be spent under some overseeing arrangements? It has not been clarified for the people. On the outset, it smacks to be a case of law of necessity which ought to be taken notice of by the Supreme Court which has buried the so-called law of necessity forever. The broad smiles of PPP and PML(N), as also of PML(Q) legislators, display a joyous feeling of “muk muka” which may not be to the benefit of people at large who are aghast at this open show of frivolous expenditure of state money at the hands of public representatives. DR MUHAMMAD YAQOOB BHATTI Lahore

Recently, it has been reported that an ex-security chief in Pakistan has accused former President Pervez Musharraf of knowing bin Laden’s hideout and saying nothing. In an article for American news website The Daily Beast, former Central Intelligence Agency official Bruce Riedel quoted former director-general of the ISI Lt Gen (retd) Ziauddin Khwaja as saying that Musharraf “knew Bin Laden was in Abbottabad”. This report is another piece of the campaign that targets Musharraf without any proof and is only aimed at causing mischief. The source of the article is not trustworthy as he had enmity with Musharraf. The writer also seems to be particularly biased against Musharraf as he wrote an article last year calling for the former president to be accountable for the OBL saga. Since this article was published two things have happened: Ziauddin Khwaja has categorically denied that he made the allegations and said that he was misquoted in the article. Secondly, former Intelligence Bureau (IB) DG Ijaz Shah is filing a defamation suit against the ex-ISI chief for alleging that he provided the OBL hideout. Both these rebuttals render the article by Bruce Riedel bare and meaningless. The issue is not newsworthy anymore. If Musharraf knew in his time that OBL was in Pakistan, then the current government should also have known and should be held accountable. Bruce Reidel also says that the former president should be questioned the next time he visits the USA and fails to realise that the former president is highly respected in America. The country does not need to waste its time in non-issues; it is our involvement in the past conflicts that hinders our ability to move forward. Statements that somehow regularly come up and pique public interest are not in national interest and should not be paid any heed. MASOOMA IMRAN Karachi

Act now Isn't it very intriguing to note that the US who had been interfering in the separation movement in Balochistan has now directly started supporting this hideous movement? The US along with the Indians, the UK and of course with the courtesy of Mr Karzai, have been involved in this activity since Musharraf’s days. The previous dictator and the present democratic rulers are all behaving like an ostrich and due to reasons better known to them have been silent spectators. Since the last over two years, the APC to solve this political problem was not convened due to our could-not-care-less attitude. Why? Did the rulers, including the previous setup, not dare to come up with a solution due to US pressure? Are we too worried not to annoy the US even at the cost of our province? The importance of Balochistan – geographic as well as geological, is known to the entire world. Please, act now before it's too late. RASHID MAQSOOD Lahore

Send your letters to: Letters to Editor, Pakistan Today, 4-Shaarey Fatima Jinnah, Lahore, Pakistan. Fax: +92-42-36298302. E-mail: letters@pakistantoday.com.pk. Letters should be addressed to Pakistan Today exclusively.


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12 comment Playing with fire And without any check too

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espite the earlier assurances that banned outfits will not be allowed to hold a rally in Islamabad, the DPC, which also includes several organisations of the sort, held a public meeting and took out a march in the federal capital. As an understanding between the relevant quarters, three leaders of banned groups were disallowed to enter the city. Lesser leaders of the outfits, however, spoke on the occasion. What is more the crowd mostly comprised the activists of these groups working under different names. Almost every speaker called for jihad against the US which was accused of interfering in Balochistan through “American terrorists”. Instead of realising that the rise of militancy in the province was in the main the outcome of decades of neglect and use of military force, killing of Nawab Aklbar Bugti, forced disappearances and custodial killings, the US was accused of supporting the secessionists in the province. The speakers also warned that if Nato supplies were allowed, sit-ins will be held all over the country. What is more, the protestors would use force to stop the Nato tankers. Threats of violence came also from former DG ISI Hameed Gul who said in his speech that their (DPC’s) protests would turn violent if the government did not change course. The issue of the resumption of Nato supplies is on the Parliament’s agenda which alone is qualified to take a decision over the matter. Threats of the sort are tantamount to dictating to the Parliament. Some of the speakers maintained that they would not allow the Parliament to give India MFN status. The government has to discourage the trend of settling issues of national importance by recourse to force. The establishment needs to ponder over the implications of the stand taken by the DPC leaders. If moves of the sort are not discouraged at the initial stage, they can go out of hand and push the country into anarchy, as several examples from the past indicate. The establishment must not allow the pursuit of short term goals to jeopardise the long term interests of the country. While freedom of speech is guaranteed under the constitution, incitement to violence constitutes a criminal offence. There is a need to rein in the preachers of violence before it is too late.

the 20th Another impressive show

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nd the Senate finally passes the 20th amendment. It was a near unanimous vote with only the JI voting against the amendment; the Jamaat’s days in the Upper House are numbered since they will go out upon the completion of the Senate elections so the vote could have been unanimous were it held some days later. With the passage of the bill, a more trustworthy mechanism for caretaker setups in elections will be adopted. Haters will hate, of course, with out-ofparliament parties like the PTI and, soon, the JI, making claims that the government and opposition have arranged for interim setups more suited to them. Other than that – politics will be politics – the 20th amendment is yet another proof of the fact that our parliamentarians can work together in evolving a consensus on all issues. It wasn’t all smooth sailing; it is never supposed to be. In the Senate, for instance, the ANP, undoubtedly the most steadfast ally of the PPP government, had plenty of reservations. The reservations of opposition parties, then, could be understandable. But they were resolved. Legislation in general and constitutional amendments in particular are a slow, measured dance that involve many concessions on all sides. The PPP’s inclusive policy might have been necessitated by its woefully low numbers in the House but, giving credit where it is due, it hasn’t done too bad a job at it. On another note, it appears that the bill’s passage through the Senate was also made possible by certain perks and privileges to the members of the Upper House. If only a same level of dedication for other affairs of the state.

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: editorial@pakistantoday.com.pk

wednesday, 22 February, 2012

Neighbours first politics of regional cooperation

P

akistan and its neighbouring states often emphasise the need of promoting regional cooperation. Though some regional cooperation organisations exist in the region, cooperation among these states has generally been weak and limited. Some of these states entertain distrust about one another and they generally have more active relationship with the states outside the region. The latest attempt to adopt a shared approach to the problems of the region was made by Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan on February 17 when President Hamid Karzai, President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad and President Asif Ali Zardari held a tripartite meeting in Islamabad. The three leaders were euphoric in expressing their strong desire to work with one another on regional and bilateral maters. They agreed to cooperate for stabilising the situation in Afghanistan as the US/NATO troops withdraw from there. Pakistan and Iran were keen to reduce the role of the US in the region. However, Afghanistan was cautious in taking a clear position on this issue, although President Karzai said that the distance beBy Dr Hasan Askari Rizvi tween Kabul and Islamabad was less than the distance between Kabul and Washington, implying that Afghanistan and Pakistan could engage in cooperative interaction. Karzai has been successful in getting the support of Iran and Pakistan for his bid to enter into negotiations with the Afghan Taliban. He wants Pakistan to encourage the Afghan Taliban leaders to resume dialogue with his government. He also met with some leaders of Pakistani Islamic parties and the PML(N) in order to seek their support for this purpose. Pakistan and Afghanistan also discussed the measures to remove operational problems in Afghanistan’s transit-trade through Pakistani territory and Pakistan’s port of Karachi. Pakistan also explored the option of its trade with Central Asian states through Afghanistan’s land route. The three leaders agreed that they would not allow their territory to be used against one

another. Pakistan specifically assured Iran that it would not allow the use of its facilities for American attack on Iran. The presidents of Iran and Pakistan affirmed their strong desire to expand their bilateral trade and Iran reiterated its commitment to supply gas to Pakistan. It may be mentioned that Iran has also offered to sell 1000MW electricity to Pakistan to help Pakistan to cope with energy shortages. Pakistan’s President Zardari declared that Pakistan would complete the gas pipeline project. The US wants Pakistan to abandon this project and it is willing to support an alternate gas pipeline from Turkmenistan via Afghanistan. Pakistan wants to get gas from both sources. It is a positive development that Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan want to work together for addressing the regional problems. They had two similar meetings in the past but no significant change came in their policies after the first them. However, now these countries have realised that they will have to work together if the region is to be stabilised and the role of outside powers is to be reduced in the region. It is a feeling that unless they work together their problems are not going to be resolved. Each leader wants to demonstrate autonomy from the US. Hamid Karzai is somewhat perturbed by the US’ effort to engage the Afghan Taliban in Qatar because of the fear of being left out. He is worried that the US may not enter into an arrangement with some Afghan Taliban groups that would exclude him from the post-withdrawal political set up in Kabul. Therefore, he has sought the support of the government of Pakistan and the leaders of Pakistan’s Islamic parties for facilitating his government’s dialogue with the Afghan Taliban. If he succeeds in initiating a meaningful dialogue with the Afghan Taliban, he can show to the Americans that he continues to be an active player and that he can build expanded support for his government. Iran has its reasons to cultivate the neighbouring states. This helps Iran to demonstrate that it can pursue dynamic foreign policy despite persistent US efforts to isolate it. Iran is paying attention to strengthen its economic relations with Turkey, Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan and India. It is keen to provide gas and electricity to Pakistan. Pakistan also wants to reduce its reliance on the West, especially the US. It wants to broaden the scope of its foreign policy by paying more attention to non-Western countries.

In addition to China, it is attempting to expand its relations with Russia, Central Asian states, Iran, Turkey and India. It also wants to help the Karzai government to broaden its support base by bringing the Taliban in its fold. These considerations have led the leaders of Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan to make a number of decisions for improving mutual cooperation. However, the main challenge is how to turn these commitments into concrete steps to actually work together and help each other. In the past, these countries often distrusted one another for one reason or another. From time to time, Iran criticised Pakistan with reference to Jundullah’s terrorist activities and Iran’s reservations about Pakistan’s relations with the US. Similarly, distrust manifested in the Pakistan-Afghanistan relations on the issue of cross-border movement of Taliban between these countries. It is difficult to suggest if these countries have overcome their old biases. Pakistan and Afghan officials met separately on the sidelines of the tripartite conference to discuss their bilateral issues. This meeting exposed differences between the two countries. The Afghan leaders continue to hold Pakistan responsible for almost all violence in Afghanistan, arguing that the Taliban have “safe-havens” in Pakistan and that its security forces should take action against all of them. At the same time, they want Pakistan to facilitate their dialogue with the Taliban. It also refuses to accommodate Pakistan complaint that a good number of Pakistani Taliban groups operate from Afghanistan, especially those knocked out of Swat/Malakand and South Waziristan. The Afghan government does not recognise contradictions in their demands on Pakistan. Pakistan faces serious financial constraints for constructing the pipeline in Pakistani territory in order to get Iranian gas. As the US is opposed to this project, Pakistan cannot get funding from the World Bank or the Asian Development Bank. It will have to generate resources from within or from elsewhere. A similar funding problem exists for erecting transmission lines to get electricity from Iran. The tripartite Afghanistan-Iran-Pakistan conference was a commendable development but we will have to wait and see if these countries can adopt meaningful and concrete steps to change the regional strategic and political landscape.

The writer is an independent political and defence analyst.

Satratan

By Ali Aftab Saeed

I

t wasn’t at all a lethargic week. Met a lot of deadlines and couldn’t read enough to have material to write an entire article on a certain something. Secondly, there was this guilt that I named my article on 9 leftover meals ‘naulakha,’ whereas I am told it’s called Nauratan, which sounds inaccurate too because of Mughal-eAzam’s nine gems or number of entertainers. Naulakha is what Jia Pradha seeks desperately from Amitab in Sharabi. Well, here’s another improvisation: a satratan or satranga for you or Gurumatta, if u r a Sikh. 1. I don’t know if it is patriotism that makes me think that Pakistani team was better than England’s or is it the hatred for the British colonisers to digest they are the number one team. Whatever the case, being a Pakistani, one just can't help resist a conspiracy theory after losing a series. My lifelong experience of tape ball cricket makes me an expert on cricket too and I smell a rat. Umar Akmal didn’t perform till Adnan was given a spot. The team held back perhaps wanting Afridi to re-

gain the crown in the shorter version of the game. I hope it is wrong but it would lend weight to my misgivings if we see the charge changing hands. 2. Mansoor Ijaz had a rehearsal session for his statement. The whole episode appears to be a TED Talk more than a statement in the Supreme Court. In most probability his deposition will either lack sufficient proof or Zahid Bukhari will challenge it for hearing it in his absence. There must be technical details to it of which I am unaware but which the common eye will not miss. The more SC jumps into it, the greater the suspicions it will raise. 3. The news of Meera’s engagement came as a breath of fresh air before the news channels went berserk with it. Tickers broke the tiniest details of their relationship followed by videos and pictures. Investigative reporters set a new standard that day. Not only do I now know all about the past of the lucky guy and the circumstances of their bond but that his father is a much married man too. 4. NATO has been allowed to resume air supply for perishable items in deference to divine orders. They are being flown on ‘humanitarian grounds’, said Ahmed Mukhtar. Funny that many insist the supply chain was not discontinued even for a single day after Salala. Mukhtar’s statement pacifies the religious group and parliament takes the blame. The real operators get away Scot free.

5. Air force takes a page out of the army’s book…not that it was not dealing in real estate already. Taking a cue from Fauji cornflakes to Fauji Kalaf (starch), they have started assembling PACPADS, a copy of iPad in a factory that produces J-17 Thunder fighter jets with Chinese help. The manufacturer is a Hong Kong company. The question about how much the venture cost shall forever remain unanswered. It is priced at $200, cheaper than iPad or Galaxy Tab. But, would it be able to compete with Chinese tablets that are less than $200 and are already available in Pakistan? 6. I recently applied for a US partnership programme for journalists and since the documents were supposed to be posted on a PO Box, all the private and fancy courier services refused to be of any help. I learnt that day that GPO charges only Rs 35 to deliver the same, besides fleecing people with overcharged car tokens. They also confirmed that it takes 24 hours and gave me a computerised slip. I have been thinking: A few more accessible post offices and they can wipe out their deficit and poor reputation. 7. As for the Balochistan Congressional Resolution, I hope Sethi sahib is right and it is just a stunt by an insane man who’s had a lobotomy. It has made the early resolution of the Salala aftermath, already a done thing, of mending fences, a bit difficult. The possibility of fair elections in the troubled province

has received a severe setback. I was told by many friends that my phone was tapped. They believed it because of a certain tick tick sound that comes right at the start of the call and after a while at fixed intervals. Only Allah knows the truth besides the competent bugging authority. However, being tapped boosts the ego for some reason. It can be life saving too because everybody then knows I am neither an agent nor an Ahmedia. (All the divine verses pasted on the door by my old fashioned mom won’t be helpful because for all the prohibitions, Ahmedi mothers may be doing the same). Last Monday, after coming back from KLF way past midnight, somehow a guy crossed the locked main gate and started banging the door of my house. I have this tendency of chickening out at times where courage is needed. That was one chickening moment and I didn’t open the door. Verbal invectives were communicated through the door and a glass window before he left. He would have been very disappointed, if he was a dacoit, and had broken in because I am the only valuable thing in the house. He would’ve been extremely disappointed if he was a mullah to find out that I am not an Ahmedi. If it was just a warning, I stand warned, if they tell me what I am to avoid. I can be dealt with anywhere since I’m out most of the time. Terrorising the whole family like this is foul play. The writer is a member of the band Beygairat Brigade.


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wednesday, 22 February, 2012

comment 13

Iran’s nuclear ambitions A game called Snake

A reality check

By Shaukat Umer

I

n several write-ups in this space the undersigned has consistently pleaded for Iran’s right to acquire peaceful nuclear technology. This right is underwritten by the NPT and enshrined in the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Statute, the so-called nuclear watchdog. In fact to describe the Agency as a “watchdog” is a misinterpretation of its original mandate. Prevention of the acquisition and development of nuclear weapons by non-nuclear states, popularly seen as its principal function, was not the cause of its founding. Its genesis lay in President Eisenhower’s vision of “atoms for peace”, to harness the miracle of nuclear science to lift the downtrodden masses of the newly liberated colonies from the clutches of poverty. Nuclear technology has several useful applications in power generation, health and agriculture, amongst others. The composition of the IAEA, which included a sizeable technical cooperation department, reflected mankind’s expectations from this body. The Agency’s role as a watchdog was supplemental to the core objective of promoting peaceful nuclear applications. With this in view a Verification Division was created in the Agency to ensure that the technology made available for developmental purposes was not diverted for military uses. It was within this framework that nuclear power plants were supplied to several non-nuclear countries, including India and Pakistan. Accordingly, Iran’s right to acquire peaceful nuclear technology is based in law and cannot be questioned. The issue, however, was complicated by the clandes-

tine nature of the programme. This might draw the argument that India, Israel and Pakistan also operate, or operated, clandestine nuclear programmes, so why not Iran. The explanation lies in the fact that as non-NPT states these three had the freedom to allow inspections of only those facilities which operate under IAEA auspices, for instance in our case, the power plants at Karachi and Chashma and a research reactor at Pinstech. Iran, by virtue of being an NPT state, is treaty bound to place its entire nuclear infrastructure, material and plans under IAEA purview. It is contractually obligated to accept full scope Agency safeguards which include timely access by IAEA inspectors to all sites, storage facilities and installations. It is here that its conflict with the international community arises. It can be said with some confidence that the Western world, out of concern for Israel’s security and its own regional interests, will never allow Iran to acquire nuclear weapons. Their concern does not stem so much from a possible nuclear attack against Israel as that would invite the most devastating reprisals. The Iranians are astute enough to recognise the incalculable implications of first use. In the Western calculus, a nuclear Iran will radically alter the strategic configuration in the Middle East and severely erode Israel’s power monopoly in the region. It would further empower Hamas and Hezbollah, Iran’s acknowledged allies on the Middle Eastern chessboard, enabling stronger resistance to Israeli depredations in the West Bank and Gaza. The freehand which Israel presently enjoys in its dealings with the Palestinians will be curtailed. The Saudis and other Gulf states have their own set of apprehensions. Apart from the historical antipathy spawned by the sectarian rift, these states saddled with restive Shia populations, would feel a lot more vulnerable in a nuclearised neighbourhood. The prospect of a nuclear armed Iran sitting atop the Straits of Hormuz lends a measure of understanding

for their concerns. Little surprise then that the Saudis have volunteered to augment their production by two million barrels to compensate the importers of Iranian crude once the embargo hits with full force in July this year. Iran’s other neighbours, Turkey and Pakistan would have no interest in Iran acquiring nuclear weapons. Turkey has serious differences with Iran, particularly on the Syrian crisis whereas Pakistan, already under tremendous pressure in respect to its own nuclear program, cannot afford to empathise with another gatecrasher to the nuclear club, especially when Iran had allegedly been a beneficiary of its nuclear expertise. Recently, Iranian officials have signaled their government’s readiness to revive the stalled negotiations. This is a salutary development but its success hinges on the willingness of both sides to earnestly seek common ground. Iran would have to convince its interlocutors with concrete and verifiable actions that it is not in the business of bomb making. The Western powers, on the other hand, would need to modulate their demands to demonstrate recognition of Iran’s right to benefit from peaceful uses of nuclear energy. The argument that Iran’s vast energy reserves disqualify it from developing nuclear power is fallacious and suggestive of malafide intent. If the objective is to pursue a solution within the ambit of the law, on the virtues of which our Western friends never tire of sermonising, then that law must be applied without discrimination. It would be helpful if the Iranians desist from hurling their trademark threats against Israel and Washington moves decisively to pressurise Israel to pursue a peaceful settlement with the Palestinians. Given the peculiarities of Iran’s domestic politics and the queer dynamics of an American election year, this might be asking too much. The writer is Pakistan’s former Ambassador to the United Nations and European Union. He can be contacted at shaukatumer@hotmail.com

playing against yourself

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t the core of Pakistan’s most popular mobile phone game Snake is a paradox: we are constantly manoeuvring to seek rewards that will make our lives harder. Since the release of Nokia’s compact and sturdy 3310 mobile phone in 2000, we have been waiting for trains, wives, work and electricity playing Snake. We kill free time playing a game that mimics our lives until we are back in a socially or economically productive situation. We would once spend that free time sleeping. “Lahoris are always sleeping,” comedian Amanullah Khan said in one of his routines. “Some in their shops, others on the street, one on the tonga, another in the park. One has missed his stop and is fighting with the bus driver, ‘Why didn’t you wake me up?’ And when you ask them, ‘What do you do?’, they reply with a grin: ‘Nothing!’” Amanullah, Lahore’s most awesome cultural critic, was very popular in the 1990s. Since then, times have changed for many of us. Innovation and creativity have often been associated with spare time. Many in Pakistan would argue their Indus Valley ancestors had the time to think about philosophy, mathematics and town-planning when many Europeans were hunting and gathering because they had surplus agricultural produce. While modernity made free time possible, it also took By Harris Bin Munawar it away very soon. Most of us who live in a postindustrial urban Pakistan are employed in the services, development and information sectors, and are part of a flexible cellular workforce that works more hours a week than medieval peasants. When we are not at work, we are available on the mobile phone and on email. We are a temporary workforce and constantly fear being fired. And that is why we want to be productive. But like in the game Snake, the more we work and the better we get at the repetitive tasks we are asked to perform, the faster our life becomes and the harder it is to avoid hitting the walls or our own tail. Collapse is inevitable. We can only fend it off for a finite period of time. The longer we avoid it, the harder it gets. And if during that routine, we do end up with spare time, we “kill” it playing Snake.

man bites Dog

The game is believed to have evolved from the 1976 arcade hit Blockade. Two years after its release, Atari developed a spin-off titled Surround. Sears sold the same game under the name Chase. The first known personal computer version of the game was developed in 1978 and was called Worm. A post-1980 MS DOS version was called Nibbles. The evolution of the name is also fascinating. Nokia design engineer Teneli Armanto developed a mobile phone version in 1997 and his employer embedded it in 350 million devices to make it the most widely distributed game in the history of mobile phones. The other two Nokia games that came out in 1997 were Logic and Memory. The names of both were in line with the productivity paradigm. Why was Snake called Snake? In 2010, YouTube embedded a secret version of Snake in its video player. It can be unlocked by pausing the video and pressing the up and left arrow keys simultaneously on the keyboard. Teneli Armanto has said he had initially “wanted to take advantage of the infrared link in the Nokia 6110 – a first at that time – which would allow people to play against each other.” But as another popular office game indicates, we are only playing against ourselves. Set in the year 2010, Tuboflex is a dystopia that many of us live in. The simple flash game begins with this introduction: "The need of mobility has grown to excess since the first years of the millennium. Nowadays, all the social guaranties and the bureaucracy of the traditional flexible staffing solutions are no more sustainable, because a single worker could be useful for different factories during the very same day. That's why Tuboflex Inc, the world's leading Human Resources Services organization, created a complex tube system that makes it possible to dislocate employees in real time, depending on the demand." “The repetitive and often mechanised work speeds up as the player progresses through the different workplace settings, which include a McDonald's drive-through window, Santa Claus putting smiles on the faces of children (an instance of affective labour), assembly-line drilling, an office worker with a computer and a box handler at a shipping warehouse,” Rita Raley says about Tuboflex in her book Tactical Gaming. “But all attempts to play end with the central character begging on the street.” The writer is a media and culture critic and works at The Friday Times. He tweets @paagalinsaan and gets email at harris@nyu.edu


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wednesday, 22 February, 2012

Arif Lohar appreciates huge

response

IN LIMELIGHT

from Indian fans

O

nEWS DESK

NE of the living legends of Pakistan, Punjabi folk singer Arif Lohar has created a niche for himself in the international global music. He recently toured India and was spotted in Delhi where he was also invited to perform at a private wedding function. In an interview detailing his visit across the border, Arif said: “This is my fourth tour to India and second visit to Delhi. It's a very short trip and I have too many plans in mind. Whenever I have visited India I have always carried back home good memories.” Arif who usually sings Sufi songs and qawwalis with native in-

strument chimta said emotionally: “I have my own distinctive style. I feel that every artist should have their own signature. I feel proud that Pakistani artists have made a mark globally, be it India or abroad and that they have now reached a point where they are recognised the world over. I feel very happy when people recognise me as ‘Dum gutgoo’ singer. I think my sufi kalaam became popular at a time when it was needed most.” Arif who has sung a song for the upcoming Bollywood movie ‘Agent Vinod’ shared his experience saying: “Honestly speaking I was very excited when I was offered to sing in a Bollywood movie. It felt good to know that people appreciate my style and want to hear more of it. Bollywood has been exploring lot of artists from Pakistan like Atif Aslam , Rahat Fateh Ali, Ali Zafar and many others and I feel proud when I watch them.” Surprisingly, Arif who is known for his rocking performances at live concerts was offered to perform at a nightclub in Delhi. So did he agree to do it? He confesses: “I enjoy doing live shows more. Frankly, I have never tried performing at any discos or nightclubs. But I realised as an artist it is always good to experiment. Arif finally agreed to perform at one of Delhi's famous nightclub. “I did not realise I have so many fans here. This was my first time experience to perform at a nightclub. I didn't have a clue where to start and when to end my song. The crowd sang and danced to my performance, which went on for three hours. I don’t think I’ll shy away from performing at clubs anymore.” Besides singing, Arif has also acted in films. “I have also acted in films but I feel more comfortable as a singer before the audience. I like to be recognised more as a singer than an actor.” Unlike other artists, Arif has his own style statement. “People have appreciated my get up-black dress, silver locket and long hairdo and chimta in hand.”

hollywooD: Stacy Keibler, Anna Kendrick, Amy Adams, Shailene woodley pose on the red carpet at the Vanity Fair and Juice Couture ‘Vanities’ 20th Anniversary event. AFP

Club Caramel launches ‘Deewana’ nEWS DESK Adnan Sarwar and Kiran Chaudhry of Club Caramel launched their brand new song ‘Deewana’ in collaboration with Samsung Galaxy Series at the World Fashion Café in Lahore. The launch was an exciting party that kicked off with the premiere of the video for ‘Deewana’. Many singers and socialites also gathered

at the venue including Yousaf Rizvi, DJ Shahrukh, Syed Farhad Humayun, famous singer Ali Azmat, Jamal Rahman, fashion designers Maria B., Kamiar Rokni and many others. The launch event was made more exciting by a live performance by Adnan and Kiran who sang their songs ‘Zindagi’ and the latest release ‘Deewana’. The PR of the launch was handled by Lotus.

We’ve got a name

NEw yoRK: Beyonce attends the basketball game between the New york Knicks and the New Jersey Nets. AFP

ColoMBo: Sonu Nigam arrives for his tour of Sri lanka, where he will perform some of his popular hits. AFP

3 Khans for the last 3 ‘Dhooms’

for the baby, says dad Abhishek mumbAi: the wait is finally over. New parents, actors Aishwarya Rai and Abhishek Bachchan have finally decided on a name for their baby girl. And daddy Abhishek has assured that the name will be revealed soon. there has been much speculation about Beti B’s name and how she looks. Rumours stated that oprah winfrey would reveal Beti B’s new name and her photos on her new chat show. there were also rumours that the little one has been named Aaliya. Putting all speculations to rest, Abhishek stated that they have indeed zeroed in on a name and it is not Aaliya. At a forum, where the actor was a guest speaker, Abhishek said, “we’ve got a name, and I’ll announce it very soon, but in terms of releasing a photograph you know… if people see her in everyday life that’s fine by me, but I just think releasing the photograph is a very pompous thing to do. we don’t believe in any ceremony in terms of naamkaran.” Sources close to the family say that the Bachchans will reveal the name once Amitabh Bachchan returns home from hospital. So perhaps, we can expect Senior Bachchan to reveal the name of the new member of his family. Agencies

mumbAi: The first film made John Abraham one of the most sought after anti-heroes of recent times. The second, made us want to fall in love with the hunky thief hrithik roshan. And now, the third, promises to make Aamir Khan the new bad man in bollywood. Yrf's most popular franchise ‘Dhoom’, has become bigger with every part. And if you thought after Aamir Khan and Katrina Kaif, it couldn't get any bigger, think again. it is reported that Aditya chopra has already chalked out plans for ‘Dhoom 4’ and ‘Dhoom 5’. And 'surprising' is too mild a word to describe Adi chopra's big plans. Adi plans to wrap up the franchise with the fifth part and has already decided to cast salman Khan in the fourth part and none other than his good friend and Yrf

favourite shah rukh Khan in the fifth. however, Abhishek bachchan and uday chopra will continue to play their respective roles of inspector Jai Dixit and Ali. A source said: “salman Khan wanted to work in a stylish action film. And Adi had discussed the possibility of ‘Dhoom 4’ with him. salman had agreed. That's how they ended up working on ‘ek Tha Tiger’. The script of ‘Dhoom 4’ is already locked. The final draft is in process.” however, work on the fifth part that will star srK is still to begin. “Adi has his hands full with Yash chopra's directorial at the moment. Adi wants to end the Dhoom franchise with its fifth part. The plans for the last two parts are currently being kept under wraps,” added the source. Agencies

mumbAi: Apparently, Sanjay leela Bhansali isn’t too happy with his protégé Sonam Kapoor. the lady who debuted in his ‘Saawariya’ four years ago has always held the director in high regard despite her first film being universally criticised. this time her mistake was speaking too much too soon. Sonam went head and confidently announced that she was the leading lady in Sanjay leela Bhansali’s next film at a time when even he had not even finalized the details. Incidentally Sanjay hates revealing his plans before everything is in place. Perhaps he is still bitter about the ‘Bajirao Mastani’ experience where he had announced intentions to make the film with Salman and Kareena but the project never really took off. whatever be the reason, Sanjay was angry with Sonam for talking about the film. And he got back in the only way he could-he announced publicly that he had gone ahead and signed Kareena Kapoor as the lead. well if only Sonam paid equal attention to her statements as she does to her fashion, perhaps she would have more films in her kitty. Agencies


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15 loNDoN: Boxer Amir Khan arrives for the Burberry Prorsum london 2012 Autumn/winter show at london Fashion week. AFP

loNDoN: A model presents a creation during the Mcq Alexander Mcqueen london 2012 Autumn/winter collection show at london Fashion week. AFP

meera robbed of rs 2m worth engagement gift nEWS DESK Film actor Meera was robbed of a wrist-watch worth two million rupees which she had purchased as an engagement gift for her fiancé Naveed Shahzad. The actor stated the watch had been stolen from her house in Lahore. Meera wanted to give Shahzad the watch on their engagement. They will get married by the end of this year. The police speculated the theft was an “inside job”. Meera recently announced her retirement from the Pakistani film industry, after her parents on Sunday accepted the proposal of airline captain, Naveed Shehzad. Meera said that she wants to work a new reputation for herself by working with productions outside the Lollywood circle. She also returned Rs 50 lacs worth of advance she had received from producers she was supposed to work with. According to Meera, she does not want to be associated with Lollywood anymore and now will work with different production houses other than Lollywood. Meera also says that Reema Khan and Veena Malik have copied her as Reema Khan started production after Meera did whereas Veena Malik went to Bollywood following her example. Meera will soon be seen in upcoming Bollywood film ‘5 Ghantey mein 5 Crore’.

Antonio banderas

Rihanna, Chris Brown reunite on two remixes LOS AngELES Agencies

W

E were already trying to wrap our heads around the news that Chris Brown would lend his voice to Rihanna's ‘Birthday Cake’ remix, but the singers have managed to blow our minds a little bit more. On Monday the former couple (who are rumoured to be seeing each other in secret) both released remixes featuring each others vocals. It was known that Brown was the “shocking” addition to ‘Birthday Cake’ that producers promised, but more surprising was hearing Rihanna singing on Brown's remix for ‘Turn Up The Music’. The songs dropped

Whitney Houston dresses, jewellery to be auctioned

ufone uth records 2.0 returns! nEWS DESK

loS ANGElES: Ashton Kutcher watches the game between the los Angeles lakers and the Portland trail Blazers. AFP

In keeping with the brands' consistent commitment to the youth of Pakistan, Ufone brings another season of their pioneering Ufone Uth Records, version 2.0. Starting 25 February, Ufone Uth Records 2.0 will air their first episode on social media networks and across leading television channels, recapping the journey of season one's artists and bands: Jumbo Jutt, Yasir and Jawad with Wali, Usman Riaz, Natasha Ejaz, Ather Sani and RamLal. Ufone Uth Records 2.0 is led by distinguished musician and producer Louis J Pinto, more popularly known as Gumby and has been directed by the acclaimed director Zeeshan Parwez. Ufone Uth Records 2.0 airs nationwide with its first celebratory episode recapping season one, on February 25, on all leading channels and social media networks.

Sanjay Leela Bhansali

upset ‘Heroine’ with Sonam

isn’t another ‘Dirty Picture’: Kareena

mumbAi: Even though she was born into the first family of the hindi film industry, success didn’t come easy to Kareena Kapoor. After having laboured hard to grab the top spot in Bollywood, Bebo wouldn’t want anyone to compare her with anyone. the Kapoor girl who is currently busy shooting for Madhur Bhandarkar’s ambitious project, ‘heroine’ has clarified that the film is no where close to Vidya Balan’s ‘the Dirty Picture’. ‘heroine’ is the story of a very ambitious actress Mahi Khanna, who tastes super stardom and eventually plunges into deep misery. So in order to prevent people from assuming that it’s another ‘Dirty Picture’, Bebo cleared the air. Addressing reporters at a press conference recently, Bebo said, “there are absolutely no similarities between the two films.” Kareena said that ‘the Dirty Picture’ was a film based on the life of a real life sex-symbol, who ruled the south Indian film industry in the 1980s. But in ‘heroine’, Kareena plays a fictitious character. looks like ‘heroine’ Kareena hates getting ‘Dirty’. Agencies

simultaneously and couldn't have been released at a more opportune time. Brown has been a hot topic in the media this past week after he shot back at critics like country singer Miranda Lambert, who were upset to see him honoured and performing at last week's Grammy Awards. Lambert, and other celebrities, spoke out against the music industry officially welcoming Brown back into its good

graces for the first time since he brutally assaulted Rihanna in 2009. Though ‘RIP Chris Brown’ started trending on Twitter after the 22-year-old singer wrote that winning a Grammy was the “ultimate F**k OFF,” his career is somehow still alive. Although many aren't ready to forgive Brown, the remixes are proof that Rihanna certainly has. The 24-year-old singer seems to have extended an olive branch to Brown and perhaps her heart as well. Hearing Rihanna sing on Brown's song the words, ‘I love you baby,’ and Chris singing on ‘Birthday Cake’: “Been a long time, I've been missing your body,” only further fuels rumours the two have being seeing each other in secret.

LoS aNGeLeS: Dresses and jewellery worn by Whitney Houston will be included at a celebrity auction in Los Angeles in late March, it was announced on Monday, a day after the pop diva was laid to rest. “In a rare twist of fate,” several items from her musical career and movie appearances will be available, “as if the pop legend was determined to keep her presence alive,” said celebrity auction house Julien's Auctions. Included will be a black velvet dress with metallic silver ribbon with an estimated asking price of $1,000-$2,000 and faux pearl drop earrings worn by Houston in the hit 1992 movie ‘The Bodyguard,’ expected to fetch $600-$800. “Other items include jewellery and costumes from Houston's appearance in film and on stage,” the auction house said a written statement. Houston was found dead on February 11 at the age of 48, sold more than 170 million records during a nearly three-decade career, but she fought a long and public battle against substance abuse while trying to keep her performing talent alive. Speculation has raged since her death that the singer may have succumbed to a lethal cocktail of prescription drugs and alcohol, though official results from her autopsy may not be made public for several weeks. Afp

to play Picasso in movie LOS AngELES Agencies

Antonio Banderas is to play Pablo Picasso in upcoming film ‘33 Days’, based on the period when the Spanish artist produced his masterpiece Guernica. Banderas told a Spanish newspaper that Picasso “deserves a lot of respect. I was born four blocks from where he was born.” ‘33 Days’ refers to the time Picasso spent on the Guernica mural. The famous painting captured the artist's response to the destruction of the Basque town of Guernica in 1937 during the Spanish Civil War. Banderas said Picasso was “a character that has pursued me for a long time”. Variety reports the film will also focus on Picasso's relationship with his lover, French artist Dora Maar. Banderas is no stranger to art biopics, having appeared in a film about the life of Frida Kahlo in 2002 opposite Salma Hayek and Alfred Molina.

Test tube hamburgers to be on the menu this year VAncOUVER Agencies

By generating strips of meat from stem cells, researchers believe they can create a product that is identical to a real burger. The process of culturing the artificial meat in the lab is so labourious that the finished product, expected to arrive in eight months' time, will cost about £220,000. But researchers expect that after producing their first patty they will be able to scale up the process to create affordable artificial meat products. Mass-producing beef, pork, chicken and lamb in the lab could satisfy the growing global demand for meat and dramatically reduce the harm that farming does to the environment. Prof Mark Post of Maastricht University in the Netherlands had grown small strips of muscle tissue from cow cells and calf serum, bringing the first artificial burger a step closer. The work is being financed by anonymous and extremely wealthy benefactor who Prof Post claims is a household name with a reputation for “turning everything into gold”. Prof Post plans to ask Heston Blumenthal to cook the meat, and the anonymous financer will decide who to invite to eat it.


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Syrian forces pound Homs as protests spread in Damascus g

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YRIAN forces on Tuesday blitzed the flashpoint city of Homs and opened fire to disperse daring protesters in the capital, monitors said, as the Red Cross sought ways to deliver aid to afflicted areas. The escalation comes as Russia, a key ally of President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, said it will boycott an international conference in Tunis this week aimed at seeking political change in Syria, while China refused to commit. It also comes ahead of the weekend referendum on a new constitution that could end nearly five decades of rule by Assad’s Baath party, in a bid by Damascus to fend off pressure for regime

change. Despite a plea by activists on Monday to allow women and children to flee Homs’s besieged neighbourhood Baba Amr, troop reinforcements were sent to the outskirts of the restive city, which residents say has been assaulted by regime forces for 18 straight days. Activists fear they are preparing to storm its defiant neighbourhoods. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said a military convoy of 56 vehicles, including tanks and personnel carriers, were seen on Tuesday travelling on the highway from Damascus, near the town of Qarah, 70 kilometres (38 miles) south of Homs. The Britain-based monitoring group said 16 people, including three children, died in “intensive shelling” that targeted Baba Amr on Tuesday, with the Khaldiyeh and Karm al-Zaytoun districts also blasted.

Another seven civilians, including a child, were reportedly killed by gunfire in other parts of the country. Homs-based activist Hadi Abdullah of the General Commission of the SyrianRevolution, who had earlier voiced fears of an imminent ground attack against Baba Amr area, told AFP that “large reinforcements were heading to Homs.” “We counted at least 150 shells crashing in Baba Amr within two hours this morning. We gave up counting afterwards,” he said. Omar Shaker, another activist in Baba Amr, told AFP that the neighbourhood had “no electricity, nor fuel,” and that “snipers have hit water tanks,” rendering the situation “bad beyond imagination.” AFP was not able to verify the reported death toll nor the reports of shelling as foreign reporters are given only limited access within the country.

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Meanwhile, businessman Mahmud Ramadan, whose brother Ahmed is a member of the opposition Syrian National Council, was shot dead on Monday in Aleppo, according to the Observatory and SANA state news agency. Although SANA said Ramadan was killed by a “terrorist group”, the Observatory said that he was pro-regime, an accusation that his brother dismissed as “defamation,” in a telephone interview with AFP. In the capital, the Observatory reported that Syrian security forces opened fire overnight to disperse a demonstration, as daring protests spread in the stronghold of President Bashar al-Assad’s regime. Security forces opened fire at demonstrators who took to the streets in the capital’s Al-Hajar Al-Aswad neighbourhood, it said.

A Tibetan monk performs during a religious ceremony, known as "Da gui" or beating ghost, to celebrate the upcoming Tibetan new Year which starts on february 22 at Yonghegong lama Temple . The ceremony is held annually as it is believed to expel evil spirits from the monastery. REUTERS

Myanmar to consider ASEAN poll monitors YaNGoN: Myanmar has promised to “seriously consider” allowing Southeast Asian observers for byelections marking the opposition’s return to mainstream politics, the ASEAN regional bloc said Tuesday. The April 1 polls, which will see Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi stand for a seat in parliament for the first time, are viewed as a key test of the military-backed government’s commitment to budding reforms. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) said in a statement that Myanmar President Thein Sein made the pledge to its visiting Secretary-General Surin Pitsuwan during talks in the capital Naypyidaw. “We will seriously consider having observers from ASEAN ... during the April elections,” Thein Sein was quoted as saying. A 2010 election which swept the army’s political allies to power was marred by widespread complaints of cheating and intimidation. Foreign election observers and international media were not allowed into the country for that vote, which was denounced by Suu Kyi’s opposition party and Western powers as lacking legitimacy. AFP

China factory blast kills 13, injures 17 BEIJIng Afp

An explosion at a steel plant in northeastern China killed 13 people and injured another 17, a company official said Tuesday, in the latest industrial accident to hit the country. The blast happened late Monday when a 10-metre (33-feet) wide mold exploded at the plant owned by staterun Angang Heavy Machinery in Liaoning province’s Anshan city, a spokesman for parent company Ansteel Group said. “The rescue work just finished. The bodies of the three missing workers have been found and now the local work safety bureau is working on the cause of the accident,” Song Jiachen told AFP. The 17 injured had been taken to hospital for treatment, the official xinhua news agency said, citing local officials, and six of these suffered burns on more than 65 percent of their bodies and were still critical. The other 11 who were hurt in the accident were in a stable condition, it added. Workplace accidents are common in China, where bosses frequently ignore safety rules in the quest for higher

investigators check the damaged steel casting workshop owned by state-run Angang heavy machinery after an explosion that killed 13 people. AFP profits. Nearly 50,000 people died in work-related accidents in the first nine months of 2011, down 16 percent from

China won’t commit to Friends of Syria meeting

the the same period in 2010, figures from the State Administration of Work Safety show.

China on Tuesday refused to commit to attend an international conference in Tunis this week after Russia said it would boycott the meeting aimed at seeking political change in Syria. The Friends of Syria group will meet for the first time on Friday after being created in response to a joint veto by China and Russia of a UN Security Council resolution condemning a bloody crackdown on protests in Syria. The group is backed by members of the European Union as well as some Arab nations and the United States. “China has received the relevant invitation,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei told a regular briefing. “The Chinese side is currently researching the function, mechanism and other aspects of the meeting.” Russia said Tuesday it would not attend because the meeting only supported the Syrian opposition’s cause, meaning “the interests of the majority of the Syrian population, which supports the authorities, will not be represented”. Representatives from the Syrian National Council (SNC) and other opposition groups will also be at the meeting, Tunisian Foreign Minister Rafik Abdessalem said Monday, reversing an earlier position that the SNC would not be invited. China and Russia have faced a barrage of international criticism for blocking the latest UN Security Council resolution on Syria, including from Arab nations with which Beijing normally has good ties. Beijing has repeatedly defended its decision and Hong said Tuesday that China was “willing to play a constructive role with all sides for the peaceful resolution of the Syrian crisis”. An influential Chinese newspaper on Monday also warned that Western support for Syrian rebels could trigger civil war in the violence-hit nation. Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zhai Jun last week travelled to Damascus for talks with President Bashar al-Assad during which he called for all sides to stop the violence and for elections to go ahead. But Zhai, whose visit coincided with some of the worst violence to date in the flashpoint central city of Homs, said Beijing opposed armed intervention and forced “regime change” in Syria.

Dozens escape Mexico prison after massacre MOnTERREY Afp

Thirty members of a feared Mexican drug cartel were on the loose Tuesday after dozens of rival gang members were killed in a prison massacre apparently organized with the aid of authorities. The massacre early Sunday, in which 44 inmates were stabbed or bludgeoned to death, was apparently a grisly smokescreen planned to aid the escape, according to officials, who said nine wardens had confessed to taking part in the plot. The escaped prisoners were all from the Zetas drug gang, while those killed were all from the rival Gulf cartel. The two crime syndicates have been locked in a bloody turf battle since their alliance broke down in 2010. The massacre on Sunday in the Apodaca prison, an overcrowded facility 30 kilometers (18 miles) north of Monterrey, the state capital of Nuevo Leon, was among the deadliest incidents in years in Mexico’s notoriously violent prisons. “Nine of the 18 (detained) guards said they were actively involved in the escape,” state security spokesman Jorge Domene said late Monday, calling it a “betrayal of public officials who allied themselves with the criminals.” He said the other nine guards and three senior prison officials were still being questioned. The escape took place between 1:00 am and 1:30 am (0700-0730 GMT) Sunday, followed by the attack on the inmates, which lasted around an hour and a half, until prison officials called for reinforcements, Domene said. Rodrigo Medina, governor of Nuevo Leon, had earlier released names and pictures of the fugitives, and posted rewards of up to 10 million pesos ($775,000) for information leading to their capture.


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Italy sends top diplomat to India in shootings row ROME Afp

Giulio Terzi will visit next week amid an escalating row over two Italian soldiers arrested for killing two Indian fishermen. Junior foreign minister Staffan De Mistura will “continue on a political level the action so far carried out by a delegation of experts from the Italian foreign, defence and justice ministries,” the foreign ministry said in a note. “Minister Terzi will visit personally next Tuesday,” the note said. The foreign ministry also said that Indian police had taken “coercive” and “unilateral” action when it escorted the two soldiers off the oil tanker where they were deployed as security guards and arrested them on Sunday. The soldiers, Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone, members of the elite San Marco Marine regiment, were on board the tanker to guard against piracy and Italy has said they mistook the fishermen for pirates. The tanker was sailing from Singapore to Egypt when the incident took place. A magistrate in the town of Kollam in southern Indian state of Kerala on Monday remanded the two in custody for two weeks as a murder investigation continues. The ship is being held in the port of Kochi. Italian authorities insist that the men should not be prosecuted in India as the tanker, the Enrica Lexie, was flying under an Italian flag in international waters when the shooting ocurred on Wednesday off southern India.

bAgrAm: An Afghan demonstrator holds a half-burnt copy of islamic religious text, allegedly set on fire by us soldiers. AFP

Yemenis vote as Saleh’s 33-year rule ends g

Election marks the ‘end to despotism and oppression’ that has marked Saleh’s 33 years at the helm SAnAA

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EMENIS cast their ballots in large numbers Tuesday to mark the end of President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s hardline rule, in a poll marred by clashes in the south and a Shiite rebel boycott in the north. Men and women lined up in separate queues even before polling stations opened their doors in Sanaa at 8:00 am (0500 GMT), waiting to cast their votes for the only name on the ballot: Vice President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi. “Today is the real fall of Ali Abdullah Saleh,” said 25-year-old college student Abdullah Ali after casting his vote at a crowded Sanaa University polling station near Change Square, the focal point of last year’s mass protests demanding Saleh’s ouster. “This is victory day for Yemen,” he said. Women also came out in strength in the capital Tuesday. “We were surprised at the large number of women present even before polling stations opened,” said Abir Afifi, who is in charge of a female polling booth. The Arab world’s first female Nobel peace laureate, Tawakkul Karman, hailed Tuesday’s poll as a “day of celebration” for Yemenis. Karman told AFP the vote marked the “end to despotism and oppression” that has marked Saleh’s 33 years at the helm. In a word of caution,

The Arab world’s first female nobel peace laureate, Tawakkul Karman, flashes the V for victory sign and shows her ink-stained thumb after casting her vote. AFP however, she urged Hadi “to work for young people who took to the streets a year ago ... If their goals are not achieved, Yemen’s youths will force him out just as they did Saleh.” Hadi cast his ballot amid cheers and applause at a far more secluded polling station near his home in the capital. “This is a historic day for Yemen ... we will put the past behind us and turn a new page on which we will write a new future,” said Hadi, who according to close aides was surrounded by heavy security because of threats to his life. Polling day in Yemen however reflected the deep divisions and long-standing conflicts that still plague the

Arab world’s poorest country. Despite the bolstered security throughout the south, violence, not voting, characterised the day. At least four people were killed, including a child, and dozens of others wounded in vote-related violence on Tuesday, medics and security officials said. In Aden, Yemen’s main southern city, smaller crowds were seen heading to the polls in the neighbourhoods of Khor Maksar and Crater, an AFP correspondent there reported. The violence however kept thousands more away. In Aden medics said a 10-

year-old child was killed when militants from the separatist Southern Movement traded gunfire with police near the election commission headquarters. In a separate incident, Southern Movement gunmen killed a policeman and wounded two others, security officials said. In Lahij province, a protester was killed and two others were wounded in clashes between hardline factions of the Southern Movement and security forces, activists from the movement said. Southern separatists, who say the election fails to meet their aspirations for autonomy or southern independence, have boycotted the poll and hardliners from the group had called for a day of “civil disobedience” to prevent the vote. In the Shiite rebel strongholds of the north, many polling stations were either deserted or closed. The rebels who have fought six wars with Saleh’s regime since 2004, boycotted the election. According to a security official, only one polling station in the northern town of Saada was open. Hadi, himself a southerner, pledged on Sunday to address the concerns of the separatists and rebels, saying that “dialogue and only dialogue” can resolve these long-standing conflicts. Yemen’s new president will rule for an interim two-year period, after which presidential and parliamentary elections will be held, a condition of the Gulf-brokered transition deal signed by Saleh in November.

Syrian first lady Asma al-Assad in Beirut MOnITORIng DESK Over the past few years, Syrian first lady Asma al-Assad has had the kind of press coverage that would make even the most composed dictator’s wife blush. “Young, glamorous and very chic – the freshest and most magnetic of first ladies”, drooled US Vogue of the London-born former banker last March, just as the first reports of violent clashes between Syrian protesters and police started to surface. According to an article published in the Australian Financial Review, Mrs al-Assad has “pushed for economic liberation in her country and encouraged women to go out to work” before approvingly dissecting her wardrobe. To the UK Sun, she is “the sexy Brit bringing Syria in from the cold”, while French Elle crowned her the best-dressed

woman in politics in 2008, sighing “du chic, du chic, et encore du chic.” But apparently Mrs al-Assad is more than just a “killer IQ” with model looks and a charitable soul. She’s also loyal – impossibly loyal, you might say. Earlier this month, Mrs al-Assad’s office emailed the London Times to declare her support for her embattled husband, President Bashar al-Assad, whose crackdown on the anti-government protests is now estimated to have resulted in 5,000 Syrian deaths and many thousands of arbitrary arrests, often involving torture. But she is also, apparently, supporting the people being cracked down upon, “bridging gaps and encouraging dialogue. She listens to and comforts the victims of the violence,” the email explains. After years of soft-selling the Syrian regime to the western media, perhaps it’s not surprising that Mrs

al-Assad has decided to speak up once again. It’s just amazing that anyone is still listening. Syria is a one-party state where criticism of the al-Assad family is banned. Its economy is weak and, with an equality ranking of 124th of the 135 countries listed in the Gender Gap Report, so are its women. But until very recently, the president’s well-spoken, Chanelclad wife has been free to talk about “encouraging empowerment in civil society” through her NGO, and the press have lapped it up. When she tells an interviewer she, her husband and three children run their household on a voting system to decide “what we want and where”, the irony appears to be completely lost. President Bashar had potential to be a reformer when he first came to power, but the Syrian state has been stagnant and censorious for years. However, Mrs alAssad has an English accent, a degree from a

well-respected western university and a wardrobe full of high-end European brands. She looks and sounds like she belongs on the world stage next to Carla Bruni and Michelle Obama, discussing citizen empowerment and swapping fashion tips. (As an interviewer admitted in a profile of another westernised Arab first wife, Queen Rania of Jordan, “I can look at Rania … and not make assumptions. But, as a Western woman, I do make assumptions when a faceless woman is hidden under a niqab or burka.”) Despite appearances, some commentators question how much agency Mrs al-Assad really has. “I doubt she feels she has any control or would ultimately have much influence over what her husband is doing,” Syrian expert Andrew Tabler told CNN. Very few autocrats’ wives defy their husbands’ rule, and Mrs al-Assad in particular has been described by

Nigeria steps up security after market attack killed 30 KAnO Afp

Security forces patrolled an extensive market in Nigeria’s northeastern city of Maiduguri on Tuesday where an assault by suspected Islamists killed some 30 people, vendors and residents said. Gunmen believed to be members of the Islamist sect Boko Haram on Monday afternoon stormed the fish section of Baga market and sprayed stallholders and vendors with bullets, traders said. The market opened on Tuesday but security forces shut all entry gates except one directly overlooking a police station. “Most traders in this section of the market have not opened largely out of mourning for their colleagues killed in the attacks of yesterday. We have lost many colleagues,” Bunu Ahmad said on the phone. Witnesses and medics said some 30 people died when the gunmen opened fire and set off bombs inside the market, in what appeared to be a retaliatory attack for the arrest of a suspected Islamist inside the market last week. The military denied there were any civilian victims, saying it shot eight of the attackers.

Tabler and others as naïve or unworldly – genuinely convinced that NGOs and civil society will turn her country around. But can a woman with a tertiary education and a former career at JP Morgan, whose Syrian parents chose to settle outside their home country and under British democracy, really be excused for explicitly supporting violent repression on the basis of childish naivety? And if she can, why do major broadcasters like Sky News give her the freedom to make statements like “What we are trying to do is make sure the progress we are making across the country is inclusive to everybody or as many people as possible, whether it is economic, political or social”? The uprisings of the past year across the Middle East may have reduced Mrs alAssad’s stock as a B-grade celebrity. But rather than just giving her wardrobe a rest from scrutiny, perhaps we should try using the energy to examine instead what part she, and other wives of autocrats like her, really play in the governments they so publicly represent.


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wednesday, 22 February, 2012

Jankovic determined to get back on top of the world Page 20

Seamers help Sri Lanka beat India in ODI BRISBAnE

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N outstanding display of seam bowling from Nuwan Kulasekara and Thisara Perera helped Sri Lanka beat India by 51 runs in their one-day international tri-series match in Brisbane Tuesday. After Sri Lanka scored 289-6, man of the match Kulasekara took 3-40 and Perera 4-37 as India were bowled out for 238 in 45.1 overs, their second loss in three days following their defeat by Australia at the Gabba on Sunday. Sri Lanka, who beat Australia in Sydney last Friday, moved into second on the tri-series points table following the win and are now on 11 points, three behind the Australians and one ahead of India. "We played a pretty good game," Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardene said. "But we made a few mistakes with some dropped catches and we probably should have been able to push for a bonus point win. "We were put under pressure in certain situations but I thought our boys did really well -- they bowled really well, they created opportunities with the new ball." "We picked up wickets again (with the new ball), which is great and it was pretty much a complete game apart from the dropped catches," he added. Jayawardene won the toss and chose to bat on a hot and humid Brisbane afternoon and his batsmen were always on top of the Indian bowling attack. Lahiru Thirimanne scored a quickfire 62 in the middle of the order and bighitting Angelo Mathews smashed 49 not out from 37 balls as the Sri Lankans blasted 91 runs off the last 10 overs. Off-spinner Ravi Ashwin was the pick of the Indian bowlers with 2-50 while left arm seamer Irfan Pathan took 2-54. The Indian run chase began badly with skipper Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar both falling early and any hopes of overtaking the Sri Lanka total were dashed as they kept losing wickets at crucial moments. Virat Kohli was dropped twice by Dinesh Chandimal on his way to 66, once on

sri lAnKA 45 m. Jayawardene c sehwag b pathan 51 T. Dilshan c patel b Ashwin K. sangakkara c Tendulkar b Yadav 8 D. chandimal b pathan 38 l. Thirimanne c raina b Ashwin 62 49 A. mathews not out 10 T. perera b raina 4 f. maharoof not out 22 eXTrAs (w18 nb1, lb2, b1) ToTAl (for six wickets; 50 overs) 289 fall of wickets: 1-95 (Jayawardene), 2-104 (Dilshan), 3-124 (sangakkara), 4-195 (chandimal) 5-244 (Thirimanne) 6-265 (perera) bowling: Vinay Kumar 8-1-48-0 (1nb), pathan 10-0-54-2 (4w), Yadav 8-0-58-1 (2w), Jadeja 10-0-43-0 (1w), Ashwin 10-0-502 (4w), sehwag 2-0-9-0, raina 1-0-10-1 (1w), Kohli 1-0-14-0 (6w) inDiA s. Tendulkar b Kulasekara 22 0 V. sehwag c Kulasekara b malinga 29 g. gambhir c perera b Kulasekara 66 V. Kohli c Kulasekara b perera s. raina c Thirimanne b maharoof 32 r. Jadeja b Kulasekara 17 47 i. pathan c & b perera 4 p. patel c malinga b perera r. Ashwin c sangakkara b malinga 5 r. Vinay Kumar c (sub) b perera 0 u. Yadav not out 0 16 eXTrAs (w9 lb7) 238 ToTAl (for 10 wickets: 45.1 overs) fall of wickets: 1-0 (sehwag), 2-38 (Tendulkar), 3-54 (gambhir) 4-146 (raina) 5-172 (Kohli), 6-191 (Jadeja), 7-215 (patel) 8-232 (Ashwin), 9-233 (Vinay Kumar), 10-238 (pathan) bowling: malinga 8-0-55-2 (2w), Kulasekara 9-0-40-3 (4w), maharoof 10-1-52-1, mathews 4-0-12-0, perera 7.1-0-37-4 (2w), herath 7-0-35-0 (1w) result: sri lanka won by 51 runs Toss: sri lanka man of the match: nuwan Kulasekara (sri) umpires: billy bowden (nzl) and paul reiffel (Aus) TV umpire: steve Davis(Aus) match referee: chris broad (eng)) sTAnDings (games, wins, losses, tied, points): Australia 5, 3, 2, 0, 14 sri lanka 5, 2, 2, 1, 11 india 6, 2, 3, 1, 10

BRISBANE: Sri lankan bowler Nuwan Kulasekara (2nd-R) celebrates with teammates after taking the wicket of India's Ravindra Jadeja while (R) India's Virat Kohli leaves the field after being dismissed during the one-day International against Sri lanka. AFP 14 and the second on 32, with the only other real contribution coming from Pathan, who powered his way to 47 from 34 deliveries to ensure Sri Lanka missed out on the bonus point win. India's big run chase got off to the worst possible start when they lost Sehwag in the second ball off the innings, caught at third man going after a short ball outside off stump from Lasith Malinga. Fellow opener Tendulkar, still looking

his elusive 100th international century, looked in superb touch as he raced to 22 at a run a ball until he shouldered arms to Kulasekara, only for the ball to hit the inside edge of his bat and cannon into off stump. Gautam Gambhir then took up the challenge but he too perished meekly after a promising start, gliding the impressive Kulasekera to Perera in the gully. "We didn't bowl well in the final 10 overs, and we didn't bat well," Sehwag

said. "The way Sachin and Gambhir played in the beginning, I thought we could get a good start but we lost three wickets early." India were looking shaky at 54-3 but Kohli and Suresh Raina dug in and slowly began to increase the run rate against some tight Sri Lankan bowling. The pair put on 92 before Raina was out, chipping a simple catch off Farveez Maharoof to Thirimanne for 32, leaving

the Indians 146-4 from 31 overs. Any hope of overhauling the Sri Lankans disappeared when Kohli was cramped by Perera and his attempted pull shot went straight to Kulasekara at mid-on. Pathan offered resistance but he kept losing partners and was last man out when Perera took a superb caught and bowled chance to wrap up the Indian innings. "We didn't have a good start to this tournament and we had to come back strongly, which we have done," Jayawardene said. "We've played some consistent cricket even though we lost those first few games and now we are trying to finish games off well."

Ponting to bat on in Tests Trailblazing ODI career SYDnEY Afp

World Cup-winning skipper Ricky Ponting, cricket's second-highest one-day scorer, vowed Tuesday to fight on in Australia's Test team despite being dumped from the limited-overs side. Ponting said he had been informed by selectors that he did not fit into their plans for the one-day team, but despite speculation about his future, stressed that he would not be retiring from the five-day game. "I will continue playing Test cricket and I'll continue playing for Tasmania as well," Ponting told a news conference at the Sydney Cricket Ground. "I think I proved to everyone and myself that I am still capable of dominating Test cricket as I did in the last Test series against India." Ponting's ODI sacking comes less than a month after his commanding role in Australia's 4-0 clean sweep of the home Test series against India, when he scored 544 runs at 108.80 with two centuries and three 50s. His dumping also came just a day after he led Australia to a crushing 110-run ODI win over India in Brisbane as stand-in captain for the injured Michael Clarke. Chief selector John Inverarity on Monday said Ponting had been dropped because of a lack of form after just 18 runs in five knocks in the tri-series against India and Sri Lanka. "John made it very clear to me yesterday the direction they are heading with the one-day team and that I am not part of their plans," said Ponting. "I have no bitterness at all about what's happened," he said, adding that "I totally understand" why the selectors were looking to rebuild the team for the next World Cup. Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland said Ponting would be remembered as possibly the nation's best ever limited-overs player. "I think his career is incomparable in one-day cricket," he told reporters. "I just can't think of a player that has made a greater contribution and been a better one-day cricketer, particularly in the big moments." Former Test stars Matthew

Hayden and Darren Lehmann both expressed disappointment at his demise. Ex-opener Hayden tweeted: "Ricky Ponting's omission from the National 1 Day side is an outrage!" while Lehmann called him "an absolute champion". The 37-year-old veteran of 375 ODIs spread over 17 years said even though he was no longer being considered for one-day selection, he would look to extend his 162-Test career in the West Indies in April. Ponting, who ranks second only to India's Sachin Tendulkar with the most ODI runs (13,704), said he remained highly motivated. "The passion for me in international cricket has not died or changed and I've made it clear right through this Australian summer that I still don't see a finish line as far as my international career is concerned," he said. Ponting was defiant that he will finish his illustrious playing career on his own terms and not be discarded by selectors. "I am backing myself to finish the game and finish on a high," he said. "I don't want to finish on a low and I'll make the right decision at the right time. There's no doubt about that." His big task now will be to adequately prepare himself for Test cricket, with international one-dayers no longer an option. "The thing that I thought about most yesterday was how I was going to manage my time and to be well prepared for every Test match that I play for the remainder of my career," he said.

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Ricky Ponting, who declared his 17-year one-day international innings over on Tuesday after being cut loose by Australia's selectors, ranks among the greatest ever in the limited-over form of the game. The 37-year-old, who conceded that he has played his 375th and last ODI, said he intended to continue playing Test cricket after selectors told him he was no longer in their plans for Australia's one-day team. "I have no bitterness at all about what's happened," Ponting told a news conference, adding that "I totally understand" why the selectors were looking to rebuild the team for the next World Cup. Ponting, a three-time World Cup winner and twice as captain, ranks second only to India's Sachin Tendulkar with most runs in ODIs. Since his limited-overs debut in 1995, Ponting, or Punter as he is nicknamed, has accumulated 13,704 at 42.03 with 30 centuries. His brilliant fielding netted him 160 catches. He ranks fourth all-time in the number of ODI appearances behind Tendulkar, Sanath Jayasuriya and Inzamam-ul-Haq and is the only non-Asian inside the top 10, with preceding Australian skipper Steve Waugh next at 11th with 325 games. Ponting led Australia to two World Cup triumphs and his 34-match un-

beaten run in the tournament as skipper ended when Pakistan beat Australia in last year's competition in Colombo. He quit as Test and one-day captain soon after, making way for his deputy Michael Clarke, but made the risky decision to continue in both teams against the advice of some prominent figures, notably Waugh. Once Ponting chose to battle on, he ran the risk of having the decision on his future in the ODI team taken out of his hands. That fateful day came on Monday when selectors axed him from the team after a lean trot in the tri-series against India and Sri Lanka. Born the eldest of four children in the working class Tasmanian suburb of Mowbray, Ponting was influenced to play cricket by his uncle Greg Campbell, who played Tests for Australia in 1989 and 1990. Ponting went on to make his state debut at 17, the youngest to represent Tasmania in the domestic Sheffield Shield competition, before he made his international one-day debut aged 20 in 1995. He only scored one against South Africa in his first match but went on to become one of cricket's batting titans, with his Test debut coming 10 months later in December against Sri Lanka in Perth. Ponting had a rocky beginning in the public eye and was banned for three matches in 1999 by the (then) Australian Cricket Board following an early morning brawl in a Sydney bar. He had been disciplined for an off-field incident previously. A contrite Ponting, with a blackened eye, gave a press conference the next day to apologise for his behaviour, but he matured into a valued mentor in the Australian team over time. His fierce competitiveness also brought him trouble and he was reprimanded by the International Cricket Council for damaging a dressing room television in an angry reaction to being run out against Zimbabwe at last year's World Cup in India. Married with two children, he is known as a campaigner against cancer and established The Ponting Foundation with his wife Rianna to raise money for young Australians afflicted by the disease.


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england avenge test whitewash

Pietersen carves Pakistan’s downfall DUBAI

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EVIN Pietersen hit his second successive century to help a resurgent England beat Pakistan by four wickets in the fourth and final day-night international here on Tuesday for a 4-0 whitewash. The 31-year-old right-hander held the innings together during his 153-ball careerbest 130 -- his ninth one-day hundred -- to help England chase down a 238-run target in 49.2 overs at Dubai Stadium. Pietersen helped England recover from 68-4 with a 109-run stand for the fifth wicket with Craig Kieswetter (43) to maintain his team's domination in the series in which they won the first match by 130 runs, second by 20 and the third by nine wickets. By virtue of this win England overtook Pakistan at number five and pushed their rivals to sixth in the ICC (International Cricket Council) one-day rankings and partially made up for their 3-0 loss in the preceding three-Test series. Pietersen hit Junaid Khan for a six and took a single in the next over to reach his hundred off 136 balls and finished with 12 fours and two sixes. His previous best of 116 came against South Africa at Centurion in 2005. Pietersen had lost his opening partner Alastair Cook -- who hit back-to-back hundreds and 80 in the first three matches -off the second ball of the innings to paceman Khan for four. Jonathan Trott (15), Eoin Morgan (15) and debutant Jos Butler fell in the space of 18 runs before the Pietersen-Kieswetter stand lifted them from 68-4 to 177-5. When Kieswetter was run out, England still needed 61 but Samit Patel (17 not out) in the company of Pietersen brought Eng-

U-21 Girls National hockey from April 25 LAHORE sTAff reporT

The 2ND U-21 Girls National Hockey Championship will be played at National Hockey Stadium, Lahore from April 25 to May 5. The Punjab Women Hockey Association will organise the event on behalf of the Pakistan Hockey Federation Women’s Wing. An official of the Pakistan Hockey Federation said that the championship will serve as a source to spot talent and also widens the base from where a strong and formidable side would be prepared and groomed for the 6th Women’s Junior Asia Cup to be played in Bangkok from June 29 to Jul 8. The championship will be played by two teams each from Punjab and Sindh while one team each from KPK, Balochistan, Islamabad, Railways, Pakistan Boards, WAPDA and Army.

Pakistan hires Iranian judo coach ISLAMABAD

pAKisTAn 1 mohammad hafeez c Kieswetter b Dernbach 58 Azhar Ali c morgan b Dernbach 65 Aaad shafiq b bresnan umar Akmal c Dernbach b briggs 12 shoaib malik lbw b briggs 23 misbah-ul haq c Trott b Dernbach 46 9 shahid Afridi c bresnan b finn 2 Adnan Akmal run out 12 Abdul rehman c Trott b finn 1 saeed Ajmal b Dernbach 0 Junaid Khan not out 8 eXTrAs: (b1, lb4, w3) ToTAl: 237 fall of wickets: 1-1 (hafeez), 2-112 (shafiq), 3-135 (umar), 4144 (Ali), 5-202 (malik), 6-215 (Afridi), 7-220 (Adnan), 8-233 (rehman), 9-237 (misbah). bowling: finn 10-0-42-2, Dernbach 10-0-45-4, bresnan 90-47-1, briggs 10-0-39-2 (w1), pietersen 1-0-4-0 (w1), patel 10-0-55-0 (w1) overs: 50 englAnD A. cook lbw b Khan 4 130 K. pietersen c rehman b Ajmal J. Trott c hafeez b rehman 15 e. morgan lbw b Ajmal 15 0 J. butler c Ali b Ajmal 43 c. Kieswetter run out s. patel not out 17 4 T. bresnan not out 13 eXTrAs: (lb3, w10) ToTAl: (for six wickets) 241 fall of wickets: 1-4 (cook), 2-50 (Trott), 3-68 (morgan), 4-68 (butler), 5-177 (Kieswetter), 6-236 (pietersen). bowling: Khan 9.2-0-53-1 (w2), rehman 10-0-31-1, Ajmal 100-62-3 (w7), Afridi 10-0-54-0 (w1), hafeez 10-0-38-0 overs: 49.2 result: england won by four wickets to take series 4-0. Toss: pakistan umpires: Kumara Dharmasena (sri) and zameer haider (pAK) Tv umpire: simon Taufel (Aus) match referee: Jeff crowe (nzl).

LAHORE sTAff reporT

British cyclist Emily Chappell, who is on a world tour on cycle, was accorded a warm reception on her arrival in the city on Tuesday. The officials of the Pakistan Cycling Federation, President Munawar Baser led the welcome reception. Emily, who started her world journey in December last year, reached Pakistan via Turkey and Iran and will be completing her world trip in four years. “I am elated upon reaching Pakistan and people here are very nice. I have not faced any kind of problem on reaching here. “I have come to Pakistan despite negative feedback from different quarters. Although I don’t carry any special mission in the world tour but the main purpose of the journey is to promote peace,” she maintained. Emil will return back to Britain after traveling to America, North America and South Africa. Later a souvenir was presented to the British cyclist.

Mazzini gets BBJ Pipes to win LAHORE

land within two runs of the win when Pietersen fell to Saeed Ajmal. Tim Bresnan hit the winning boundary. Pakistan promised more than what they made after half-centuries by Asad Shafiq and Azhar Ali but were pegged back in the final overs with paceman Jade Dernbach taking a career-best 4-45.

Shafiq made a 78-ball 65 for his sixth one-day fifty while Ali notched a 89-ball 58 for his first to help lift Pakistan from the early loss of opener Mohammad Hafeez (one) after they elected to bat. Skipper Misbah-ul Haq chipped in with a 52-ball 46 which included one four and a six. Shafiq, who hit six boundaries, repaired

the early loss during his second wicket stand of 111 with Ali but England pegged back Pakistan when Bresnan dismissed Shafiq off an inside edge and debutant leftarm spinner Danny Briggs accounted for Umar Akmal, who made 12. Dernbach had Ali caught off a miscued drive by Morgan to leave Pakistan at 144-4 in the 34th over.

Ponting carries exciting one-dayer career S PERVEz QAISER

turies) at an average of 42.09, he was not too far behind in chases scoring at an average of 41.93 with eight centuries. Ponting’s record of 32 manof-the-match awards puts him third on the list of players with the most match awards in one-day Internationals. BrILIaNt WorLD CUp reCorD: Ponting reserved his best quite often for the crucial games and nowhere was this more evident than in the World Cup. He started his glittering run in World Cups with 102 against West Indies in Jaipur on March 4, in the 1996 World Cup but had a slightly disappointing 1999 World Cup in England where he scored just one half-century. However, as the 2003 World Cup in South Africa, he scored two centuries in the tournament leading Australia to their second consecutive triumph. In the final at the Wanderers in Johannesburg, after a sedate start to his innings, he switched gears and put the game beyond India’s reach with an outstanding unbeaten 140, which included a record eight sixes. Fittingly, he ended his World Cup career with another vital century (104), though Australia lost the match to India in Ahmedabad on March 24, 2011.

Ricky Ponting, who led Australia to two World Cup triumphs in 2003 and 2007, retired from one-day cricket but will continue to play in Test matches. The 37-year-old made the announcement a day after he was dropped from the squad for the ongoing tri-series but said he would continue to play in Tests. Ponting registered five consecutive single-digit scores for the first time, and his subsequent axing from the squad almost guarantees an end to his career in one-dayers. Second only to Sachin Tendulkar in the number of ODI runs — in 375 ODIs he has accumulated 13,704 at an average of 42.03 — Ponting said at a press conference that he did not expect to play one-day cricket for Australia again. For the majority of his career, Ponting played at No.3 and ended with the most runs and centuries (29) at that pivotal position. Through a 16-year career, he maintained a high level of consistency in one-dayers and scored over 1000 runs in a calendar year six times. Although he scored nearly 63% of his runs in the first innings (8630 runs with 22 cen-

LeaDING aUStraLIa to the top: Ponting took over from Steve Waugh as Australia’s captain in Oneday Internationals following Australia’s failure to qualify for the tri-series finals in 2001-02. In his first series as captain, Ponting led Australia to a 5-1 win in South Africa. After their win in the tri-series at home in 2002-03, Australia embarked on a record winning streak of 21 matches between January 2003 and May 2003. Not only did Ponting finish as the most successful captain in ODIs (165 wins), he also became only the second player after Clive Lloyd to lead his team to two World Cup wins and also featured in four World Cup finals. Under his leadership, Australia extended their dominance to the Champions Trophy, a tournament in which they had previously struggled. Only Ponting and Allan Border finished with more than 100 wins in ODIs as captains but Ponting’s win percentage of 71.73 was far higher than that of Allan Border (60.11). Australia’s win-loss ratio under Ponting (71.47) is only matched by South Africa’s under Hansie Cronje, although the latter captained in 92 fewer matches.

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The Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) has acquired the services of Sajjad Kazemi, Iranian Judo Coach for a period of one year in consultation with the Pakistan Judo Federation. The PSB will pay a sum of US$ 1500 per month and economy class return air ticket. The foreign coach will train the Pakistan judo teams for participation in 12th South Asian Games scheduled to be held in India as well as conduct the local coaches clinics. The coach is likely to arrive in Pakistan during the first week of March ad the training camp would be established with 14-male and 14-female players on arrival of the foreign coach. Pakistan won three gold, three silver and one bronze medals in the 11th South Asian Games held at Dhaka, Bangladesh from January 29 to February 9, 2010.

British cyclist Emily ecstatic about her travel to Pakistan

ricKY ponTing in one DAYers Type in Australia outside Australia Total winning cause losing cause Tied matches no result

m 154 221 375 262 96 5 12

i 151 214 365 254 96 5 10

n.o 12 27 39 36 2 1

runs 5521 8183 13704 10726 2658 86 234

AVg 39.71 43.75 42.03 49.20 28.27 17.20 26.00

h.s 134* 164 164 145 164 39 65

s/r 79.85 80.76 80.39 82.45 74.24 61.87 73.35

min 154 189 170 138 198

balls 105 158 127 121 133

4s 13 18 10 4 10

6s 9 1 5 8 2

opponent south Africa zimbabwe new zealand india new zealand

Venue Johannesburg Delhi napier Johannesburg hobart

Date 12-03-2006 11-04-1998 05-03-2005 23-03-2003 20-12-2007

i 24 29 28 24 31 32

n.o 6 1 2 2 6 6

runs 1424 1198 1191 1166 1154 1038

AVg 79.11 42.78 45.80 53.00 46.16 39.92

h.s 134* 126 141* 145 140* 87*

s/r 91.69 81.11 84.05 76.91 81.67 67.44

100 14 16 30 25 5 -

50 32 50 82 69 12 1

0 10 10 20 11 7 1 1

100 5 2 3 3 5 -

50 8 9 8 6 4 5

0 2 1

fiVe besT innings runs 164 145 141* 140* 134*

siX besT YeArs Year 2007 2009 2005 1998 2003 1999

m 27 29 29 24 34 32

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Gerardo Mazzini got BBJ Pipes a slender margin win on the opening day of the Enterprise Punjab Cup Polo Tournament 2012 when they edged aside Nestle by half a goal margin here at the Lahore Polo Club ground on Tuesday. Mazzani cracked five goals while Ahmed Ali Tiwana got one in BBJ Pipes six goals to five and a half win over fighting Nestle, which also had half a goal handicap. From the losing side Shah Qubilai Alam hit in three goals while Raja Samiullah and Hamza Mawaz Khan shared one goals each from the losing side. Umpires for the match were Simon Mclaren Tosh and James Harper. Punjab Cup sees top polo players placed in various teams in action in the week long event which promises to produce high quality polo for lovers of the game. Irfan Ali Hyder, President Lahore Polo Club said: “The Punjab Polo Cup is being held in collaboration with an upcoming and unique corporate lifestyle venue, The Enterprise, A project of Raaziq Group.” Tariq Mehmood, Vice President Raaziq Group said: “We are pleased to bring The Enterprise Punjab Polo Cup 2012 to the fans and to play our role as a socially responsible company.

haris, Ayub crack centuries for Punjab LAHORE sTAff reporT

Punjab on Tuesday extended its lead over Sindh on day four for the five-day Faysal Bank Pentangular Cup (First Class) 2011-12 final here at the Gaddai Stdaium. Resuming its innings at 30 for no loss, Punjab went on to score 267 runs for six in 74 overs. Haris Sohail and Mohamamd Ayub led Punjab charge by hitting centuries Haris made 150 runs while Ayub got 123. As the wicket of Ayub fell the day was called off ad Muhammad Zohaib was batting at 36 at the other end. Tabish Khan and Tanveer Ahmed were the Sindh’s successful bowlers who took two wickets each. scores: Punjab 496 in 155.2 overs: (Aamir Sajjad 252, 462 balls, 32x4s, Usman Salahuddin 57, 141 balls, 5x4s, taufeeq Umer 51, 93 balls, 7x4, Raza hasan 36, 59 balls, 4x4s, 1x6, Danish Kaneria 6-160, Faraz Ahmed 2-116) and 2nd innings 367-6 in 74 overs:(haris Sohail 150, 140 balls, 24x4s, 3x6s, Muhammad Ayub 123, 153 balls, 15x4s, Muhammad Zohaib 36*, 63 balls, 4x4s, taufeeq Umer 26, 44 balls, 5x4s,tabish Khan 2-98, tanveer Ahmed 2-58) v Sindh 235 in 63.1 overs: (Faraz Ahmed 48, 100 balls, 10x4s, Fahad Iqbal 44, 95 balls, 7x4s, Ali Asad 33*, 72 balls, 4x4s, Sarfraz Ahmed 24, 49 balls, 3x4s, Muhammad Khalil 5-73, Bilawal Bhatti 4-79) overnight Score: Punjab 30-0 in 5.5 overs toss: Punjab, Umpires: Shakeel Khan & Rasheed Bhatti; Referee: Musaddaq Rasool; Scorer: Najmus Saeed.


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Golden Eagles beat okara in Senior Veteran Cricket LAHORE sTAff reporT

Golden Eagles Lahore beat Okara Veteran by 4 wickets in the 14th National Senior Veteran Cricket Cup match played at Gymkhana Ground Okara. Okara Veteran batting first 210/8 after 30 overs. Adnan Amjad 64, Shahid 37, Muhammad Hafeez 26 & Amer Toseef 18 runs not out. Naveed Sufi 3/33, Ahmad Shohab 2/32, Khawaja Basharat 1/29, Asif Mehmood 1/38 & Muhammad Zahid 1/30 wickets. In reply Golden Eagles 211/6 after 30 overs. Ali Rafi 61, Karamat Ali 49, Muhammad Zahid 20 & Muhammad Zubair 34 runs not out. Ejaz 1/8, Amer Toseef 1/36, Muhammad Hafeez 1/18 & Faraz Ali 1/65 wickets. In the second match Gujrat Veteran beat Gray Veterans. Gujrat made 168/8 in 30 overs. Mateen Meer 50, Aziz Baig 24 & Nisar Ahmad 53 runs not out. Ejaz Ali 4/21, Jaleel Ahmad 3/36, Rana Hassan 2/30 & Nadeem Shahid 1/32 wickets. In reply Grays veteran 157 all out 29.5 overs. Ejaz Ali 40, Imran Khan 25, Muhammad Azeem 19 & Gulzar Ahmad 17 runs. Muhammad Shahid 3/14, Baidar Bakht 3/39, Shahid Ali 2/17, Sagheer Ahmad 1/35 & Muhammad Ilyas 1/22 wickets. Tassadaq Jamal, Ansar Mehmood umpire & Abdul Hameed was the scorer.

Punjab badminton forms women wing LAHORE sTAff reporT

The Punjab Badminton Association has decided to form associations at district level to lift the sport at the grass root level. An executive committee meeting of Punjab Badminton Association was held here under the chairmanship of Shahraiz Abdullah Khan Rokhri, President Punjab Badminton Association. All the District Badminton Association were asked to complete the necessary documents. Meanwhile, the meeting also decided to form a women wing of Punjab Badminton and Mrs Zeenat Aamer Hayyat Khan Rokhri was nominated as executive member of the association and president of women wing of Punjab. They also announced the holding of the Aamer Hayyat Khan Rokhri Ranking Badminton Tournament in the last week March at Lahore, which will be participated by all the affiliated units of the Pakistan Badminton Federation.

Book launching LAHORE sTAff reporT

The formal launching of Pakistan's ace tennis star Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi will be held on February 22 at Karachi. The book titled "Lesson Learnt From the Tennis Tour" will be launched at a ceremony at the Indus Valley School in Clifton Karachi at 4 PM.

MoNtMElÓ: Mclaren Mercedes' British driver lewis hamilton drives during a training session at Catalunya's Racetrack. AFP

Jankovic vows to get back on top DUBAI

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peer pulls off another diplomatic coup

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ORMER world number one Jelena Jankovic here on Monday made it clear that she has not given up hope of regaining her former status after making a winning start in the city of her adopted home. The extrovert Serbian overcame Petra Cetkovska, the Paris-based Czech, 62, 6-2 to reach the second round of the WTA Dubai Open, where she once reached the final. Jankovic was in good form both on and off the court, hitting ground strokes with good rhythm despite the cold conditions, describing her injury problems in some detail, and not missing an opportunity for humour. "I don't know what's happened to the weather here," she said. "I love it here. But it was very cold and it was windy out there, and it's been a bit crazy with the dust too. "I have been eating kilos of dust when I've been training. It's not the same as some of the desserts!" Jankovic also moved fairly well, which was a little surprising since she suffered an injury at the Fed Cup two weeks ago which required heavy bandaging to her left thigh. "I had a five point five centimetre tear in the

muscle, and now it's only a centimetre," she claimed. "So that's good." Getting fully fit and remaining so is the key to her climbing from her current world ranking of 14 to challenge for the top spot again, she acknowledged with some force. "I wish," she said. "It's my biggest wish. But sometimes there are things you can't control." How far she has controlled her latest ailment, and how likely she is to reach her allotted seeding place in the quarter-finals may be tested more rigorously by her next opponent, Flavia Pennetta. The Italian won 6-3, 6-3 against Anabel Medina Garrigues of Spain, perhaps buoyed by the memory of her

conquest here last year of Victoria Azarenka, now the world number one. Earlier Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova's hope of challenging for the world number one spot took another blow when she was forced to retire from her second tournament in a row. The fierce-hitting left-hander from the Czech republic decided that she had not recovered sufficiently from a virus to take her place in the draw as second seed. Kvitova also withdrew from last week's Qatar Open in Doha. It means that there will be a delay in the next episode in her rivalry with Azarenka, whom she has beaten in their last four meetings, and had been seeded to meet in Saturday's final.

DUBaI: Shahar Peer, the first Israeli female athlete to compete in the United Arab Emirates, is making another piece of diplomatic history here this week. Peer caused a political tremor two years ago when, after much wrangling and fiercely strict security arrangements, she was eventually allowed to enter the Dubai Open. Her admission was preceded by a convoluted refusal to grant her a UAE visa in 2009; this year, by stunning contrast, Peer has actually been invited to take part in the tournament. The offer indicates that her courage, persistence and inspirational on-court efforts, have become regarded as valuable pioneering ingredients in Arab-Israeli relations. The invite came through a wild card entry, a Women's Tennis Association (WTA) regulation which permits tournaments to seek competitors who are unable to gain automatic acceptance through a high world ranking. "I think it's an amazing gesture," Peer said. "It's not something that you just think is going to come naturally. So it's an overcome [sic] for them and I really appreciate it," she added, meaning that there were obstacles to overcome before the decision could be made. Amongst them are the organisation of living, changing and dining facilities separate from other players, a designated and protected outside court for all Peer's matches, bodyguards, and, in the past at least, snipers hidden in strategic locations. Afp

Klitschko eager to 'punish' Chisora in the ring BERLIn Afp

World heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko wants to grant Dereck Chisora a rematch to 'punish' the British fighter for his brawl in Munich with David Haye, but his manager has blocked the idea. Klitschko defended his WBC heavyweight title on Saturday night with a unanimous win over Chisora, but in the post-fight press conference, the Brit traded blows and insults with compatriot and former champion David Haye. Both Chisora, 28, and Haye, 31, are under investigation by German police, who have said the pair could both face prison sentences or fines. Pending the police investigation, Chisora has had part of his fight purse withheld. Having seen Chisora leave the press conference stage to confront Haye, who was working at the fight as a pundit, Klitschko

was shocked to hear the pair trade insults and blows with Chisora shouting that he wanted to "shoot" Haye. After Chisora slapped him in the face at the pre-fight weigh-in, then spat water in the face of his brother Wladimir just before the title bout, Vitali Klitschko has said he is appalled by Chisora's behaviour. "In spirit, I have no need for revenge, but my ego tells me that this man deserves real punishment. I want to knock him out in the ring," the Ukrainian champion told German daily Die Welt. Klitschko, 40, damaged his left shoulder in the fight and will take up to eight weeks off, but his management moved quickly on Tuesday to pour cold water on any rematch plans. "A rematch is absolutely inconceivable and won't happen," Klitschko's manager Bernd Boente told SID, an AFP subsidiary. "Of course, Vitali has been affected emotionally, but a fight is not up for discussion

and we will not offer Chisora a further platform." Boente pointed to Chisora's hearing before the British Boxing Board of Control hearing in London on March 14 -- when he could face a life ban -- as well as Klitschko's shoulder injury. "The hearing takes place in London next month when he (Chisora) will be banned for between nine to 12 months," said Boente. "In addition, he will fall out of the WBC's top 15 rankings and will have to fight his way back up. "Vitali now needs six to seven weeks of treatment and rehabilitation in Hamburg and Kiev. Then we'll see." Chisora also faces being unable to fight here as Thomas Puetz, the president of Germany's Professional Boxers (BdB) Federation, has said he wants to see the Brit banned and on Sunday he branded Chisora a 'public menace'. Both Chisora and Haye issued apologies on Monday, but the fall-out from their well-

documented brawl is likely to last some time. Chisora was detained and questioned by Munich police on Sunday before being released while Haye flew back to Britain before police could speak to him. Klitschko says Chisora has tarnish boxing and he was a bemused by-stander as events unfolded. "I saw it all from the stage, I thought I was in some kind of film," said Klitschko. "Sooner or later in life a man gets his just punishment. "You can't behave like that as an athlete or as a normal person. "This was lower than low, I thought it was a play act and just for show, but then I realised that it wasn't. "He must be sick in the head, when you think of all he has done. "The slap in the face, he spat at Wladimir in the ring, then he fought at the press conference and threatened to shoot someone. "How can anyone behave like that? It's unbelievable, I can't believe it.


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Records expected to fall at new Olympic track LOnDOn

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lahore wheel Chair Marathon on March 18 Lahore: The Lahore Wheel Chair Marathon which was scheduled to be held on March 11 will now be held on March 18. The Punjab Olympic Association in collaboration with Punjab Paralympics Association is organizing marathon that will start from Liberty Round About at 10 am towards Main Market where the marathon will return back to Liberty Round About the finish point. Khawaja Idris Haider, secretary PbOA, said that a handsome cash prize will be awarded to the first three position holders of the marathon. He also hoped that Chief Minister Punjab will be the chief guest of the occasion and give away the prizes to the winners. Last date of entry in the race is March 1 and entry will not be entertained after the given date, he added. He further said that the participants will be provided boarding and lodging for one night who must reach Lahore on March 17 evening. sTAff reporT

PFF names U-14 camp trainees ISLaMaBaD: The Pakistan Football Federation has called Pakistan’s 37 U-14 football players for a camp training starting at the in Jinnah Sports Complex, Islamabad from February 22. The players will prepare for participation in the AFC U-14 Football Festival to be held at Jinnah Sports Stadium in Islamabad from April 3 to 17. The probables of the training camp are: AID 27 Karachi Zone B: Shoaib, Usma, Adnan Ashraf, Faisal Hussain, Safir, AID 27 Karachi Zone A: Junaid Ahmed, Sindh: Nasir, Salman, Zain-ul-A biden, Saeed Babar, Munir, Shahzeb, Junaid Javed, Karam Hussain, AID 27 Quetta Zone: Hafeez, Shakeel Ahmed, Majeed Khan, Faraiz, AID 27 Faislabad/Sargodha Zone:Shahbaz, Ishtiaq Mushtaq, Shoaib Nisar, Shanoo, IFA: Luqman, Shehryar Malik, Hussain Mehmood, AID 27 Lahore Zone: Rashid Khan, Abdul Qadir Khan, Zohaib, AID 27 Peshawar Zone: Owais, AID 27 Chaman Zone: Wali Khan, Gilgit: Waqar, KPK: Danish, Punjab: Ali Raza, Yamin, Muhammad Yasin, Farrukh, Usman. The officials of training camp are Hassan Baloch (Coach), Najeeb Ullah Najmi (Assistant Coach), Zahid Taj (Goalkeeper Coach) and Dr. Kamran Mehdi (Physio). sTAff reporT

Afp

RACK cycling could be set for an Olympic boost when a host of world records are expected to fall at London's new state of the art velodrome. After four days of racing at the final World Cup event of the season, an official Olympic test event, only two world records were set in London's east end last weekend. Yet that number is expected to increase significantly as intense rivalry and the 'curing' of the wooden boards covering the largely oval 250-metre track come into play this August. On Friday Anna Meares and Kaarle McCulloch set a new world mark of 32.828sec in the two-lap team sprint, a time beaten in the final by Great Britain's Victoria Pendleton and Jess Varnish, who clocked 32.754. In another women's event, the 12-lap team pursuit, it was more of the same. After Australia's three-women team had set a new record of 3:19.164, Britain went on to win the final in a new time of 3:18.148. The International Cycling Union (UCI) sanctions world records in a total of 12 track events, eight of which are on the Olympic programme. Arguably the most coveted record to hold in Olympic track is in the team pursuit. On Sunday, the Australian quartet of Jack Bobridge, Rohan Dennis, Alexander Edmondson and Michael Hepburn scorched to 3:54 -- the third-fastest time recorded for the 4km event -- to beat Britain, and threaten the world record of 3:53.314

the Brits set on their way to Olympic gold in Beijing four years ago. Experts estimate that teams will have to clock around 3:50 to win Olympic gold in the 4km men's event. Bobridge, the world record holder in the non-Olympic event of the individual pursuit (4:10.532), says that is a near certainty. "It's only a new track, and for the track to be that fast already, with it being so new, is a good sign of things to come," B o bridge t o l d AFP.

"Give it another six months for the boards to cure and a bit more racing on it, and come the Games there will be pretty good times for sure." For American pursuit specialist Sarah Hammer the London velodrome is particularly kind to pursuiters. "Obviously it's very round, a good pursuiters track... one you can keep full gas on all the way around," said Hammer, who hopes the reputation of the women's team pursuit event benefits in London.

"We're a new event, it's thrilling that we get to do it as women. I would expect and hope we have the same high achievement for the times." Specialists in the speed events meanwhile were happy with the chance to test their tactics on the steep banking and home straights of the velodrome -- made from 56km of sustainably-sourced Siberian pine and some 350,000 nails. Jason Kenny is battling British teammate Sir Chris Hoy for the sole sprinter's spot available in the event at the Games, and said: "A lot of tracks we've been racing on have quite longer (home) straights, and when you're in a match sprint and leading out and trying to overtake someone it does change the characteristics of the race and you just have to race accordingly. "It's just a learning curve really. It's been really good to get on the track and experience some fast racing ahead of the Olympics." Kenny was recently awarded the sprint world title after France's Gregory Bauge was stripped of the rainbow jersey for a doping rule misdemeanour. In London both riders are sure to represent their respective countries in the team sprint, an event in which Britain are Olympic champions and France are world champions. "It's a nice track," Bauge told AFP after his team took silver behind Germany on Saturday. "It feels really good to ride on and with the atmosphere and the heat, plus a little medal motivation from us, I think we can go much faster in London."

watch it Live ESPN Western Australia v New South Wales 08:43

University of Central Punjab win LAHORE sTAff reporT

University of Central Punjab won the All Pakistan Intervarsity Basketball Championship 2010-11 held at Hameedi Hall under the aegis of N.U.S.T University Islamabad. UCP defeated University of Lahore with 61 points. University of Lahore got 49 points. University of Central Punjab Players Waqas, Zohair, Naveed, Aqib, Asar and Rameez played exceptionally well. Prof. Sohail Afzal, Executive Director, Punjab Group of Colleges congratulated the team players and gave them cash prizes. He also appreciated Director Sports, Mr. Arshad Sattar and Coach Mr. Muzmmal Mahmood on this achievement.

Sports Festival fourth phase from 22nd LAHORE sTAff reporT

The Punjab Sports Festival 2012 has now moved into its fourth phase of Inter-district level competitions. The 13 events including cricket, hockey, basketball, volleyball, karate, weightlifting, taekwondo, football, kabaddi, wrestling, badminton and athletics are going to start from February 22 to 25 throughout the province. The cash prize of Rs 24,73,000 will be distributed among the winning teams while the participants will be the general public, male, female school, colleges and universities. The grand opening of the divisional level competitions of this mega event will be held on February 28 for which the rehearsal is going to start from February 25 at the National Hockey Stadium here.

open National Ranking tennis from 27th LAHORE sTAff reporT

Semis line-up decided in National Ranking Tennis KARAcHI sTAff reporT

Aqeel Khan, Nomi Qamer, Yasir Khan and Jilal Khan hae moved to the semifinal of the I.C Trophy National Ranking Tenis Tournament being played here at the Karachi Gymkhana courts. Apart from Nomi, all the top three seeded played won their matches in straight sets while Nomi after losing the first set bonced back to win the three-set match against Abid Mushtaq.

In the ladies singles, Saba Aziz, Maheen Dada, Iman Qureshi and Sara Mansoor completed the semi-finals line-up. reSULtS: Mens singles quarter finals: Aqeel Khan beat Zuhair Raza 6-0,6-0, Nomi Qamer beat Abid Mushtaq 2-6,6-4,7-5, Yasir Khan beat Khurram Nazir 6-2,6-4, Jalil beat Usman Rafiq 6-2, 6-3 Ladies singles quarters: Saba Aziz beat Hajra 6-0, 6-0, Maheen Dada beat Wania Khan 6-0. 6-1, Iman

Qureshi beat Urooj Iltifat 6-0, 6-0, Sara Mansoor beat Rubina Masum 40 rtd Under 18 quarters: ,Adil Kohari beat Malik Hamza 6-4, 6-1, Talha Zubair beat Haseeb Yaqoob 6-4, 16,7-5, Go Mazher beat Saad Noor 75, 6-2 Under 14 quarters: Nafil kalim beat marib malik 6-1,6-0, Jalaluddin Baber beat Shahzil 6-1, 6-4, Dawer Rehan w/o Hasan Farooq, M. Raza beat nazif 7-5,5-1 rtd.

The 24th Chenab Club Open National Ranking Tennis Tournament will start at Chenab Club Faisalabad from February 27 to March 4. Secretary Punjab Lawn Tennis Association K Bakhash said that this national level event will be contested in men singles, doubles, uder14, under-18, ladies, eterans doubles 45 and 55 age categories. He further stated that the event is being held under the auspices of the PLTA and it will be followed by another three national level tournaments at Lahore, Rehim Yar Khan and Bahawalpur. He said that last date of entry in Faisalabad event is February 26.

Dodig, Young advance at Memphis tennis MEMPHIS Afp

Croatia's Ivan Dodig and American Donald Young both had solids starts at the Regions Morgan Keegan Championships by winning their first round matches on Monday. Dodig hammered 19 aces as he rallied to beat eighth-seeded Bernard Tomic of Australia 5-7, 6-4, 7-6 (10-8) at the $1.1 million men's and women's event at the Racquet Club of Memphis. Young needed two hours and 23 minutes to defeat Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov 7-6 (7/4), 4-6, 7-6 (8/6). The 22year-old Young won despite finishing with just one ace and seven double faults. Dimitrov had six aces and won 67 percent of his first serve points but committed six double faults in a sloppily played match. Young will next play the

winner of a contest between top-seeded American John Isner and Gilles Muller of Luxembourg. Dodig will face either Denis Istomin

or Jurgen Melzer. Istomin reached the final of the San Jose Open last week. No. 2 seed Andy Roddick is chasing his fourth title at the event. He beat

Canada's Milos Raonic in last year's final 7-6 (9/7), 6-7 (11/13), 7-5. Raonic will be seeking his second title in as many weeks after winning in San Jose on Sunday. Fourth seeded Raonic, who was named the ATP Tour's Newcomer of the Year, is also trying to win his third title of 2012. He opened his season by capturing the Chennai crown in New Delhi, India. Raonic faces Ernests Gulbis of Latvia in his first round match. On the women's side, third seeded Czech Lucie Hradecka dominated Anna Tatishvili 6-3, 6-1 and fourth seeded Marina Erakovic of New Zealand came from behind to beat Sloane Stephens of the US 4-6, 6-0, 6-1 in first round matches. Former champions of this event include Bjorn Borg, Jimmy Connors and Andre Agassi.


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wednesday, 22 February, 2012

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Karzai speaks to Taliban every day: report g

Afghan officials say to meet Taliban in Pakistan cAnBERRA/KAnDAHAR reuTers

Afghan President Hamid Karzai said his government talks to the Taliban every day through intermediaries, according to an interview by Australia’s SBS television for broadcast on Tuesday. “We talk to the Taliban every day. We were talking to them just a few days ago somewhere around this region,” Karzai said in an interview taped a week ago in Kabul with SBS, adding his contact with the group’s one-eyed leader Mullah Omar was through indirect means. “(But) not personally,” Karzai said when asked if he had spoken with Omar. “I mean not directly, person to person. But through intermediaries, yes.” Karzai and many Western analysts say the reclusive leader is based in Quetta. Karzai also stressed that peace talks with the Taliban are key to regional stability and bringing peace as well to Pakistan. “It’s no longer Afghanistan that’s the sub-

ject of conversation, or the issue. It’s Pakistan as well. It’s peace in Pakistan as well. It’s stability in Pakistan as well,” he said. The interview was recorded before Karzai’s visit to Islamabad last week, where he upset Pakistan by asking for access to Afghan Taliban leaders belonging to the so-called Quetta Shura. Karzai said he was also keen to work together with Islamabad to help advance peace talks with the Taliban. “We as the Afghan people and government are willing to help Pakistan work for peace in Afghanistan and work for peace in Pakistan, together,” Karzai said, adding that Afghanistan was making progress on security in the eleventh year of a costly war, local and foreign support for which is souring. He said the Taliban would not return to power in a total capacity. “I don’t think the Taliban will ever come back to take Afghanistan, no,” he said. “Two years ago I would have been uncertain and unwilling to give you an answer as firm as I do today. The Afghan people will not go back to the nothing of 10 years ago.”

Pakistan supports Afghan-owned, Afghan-led peace process: Gilani ISLAMABAD/WASHIngTOn sTAff reporT/Afp

Meanwhile, a group of Afghan officials from Kandahar has left Afghanistan for Quetta to meet Taliban commanders there and discuss peace efforts, the head of the provincial peace council said on Tuesday. “We have been in contact with midlevel Taliban commanders in Quetta for some time. In the last 10 days, our peace council delegation have gone to Quetta three times in twos and threes,” Kandahar peace council head Ata Mohammad Ahmadi told Reuters.

Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani on Tuesday assured Afghan President Hamid Karzai that Pakistan would wholeheartedly support peace process in Afghanistan, which was Afghan-owned and Afghan-led. “The Afghan president telephoned Prime Minister Gilani and thanked him for the hospitality extended to him during his recent visit to Pakistan in connection with the trilateral meeting,” a statement by the Prime Minister’s House said. The Afghan president also expressed gratitude for the bilateral and trilateral meetings in Islamabad. Continued on page 04

SC to exhibit documentary evidence in PM contempt case today

INP

ISLAMABAD mAsooD rehmAn

navy gets twO mOdified p3c aircraft ISLaMaBaD: A second batch of two modified P3C aircraft was inducted into the Pakistan Navy Fleet at Naval Aviation Base in Karachi on Tuesday. A Pakistan Navy statement said the aircraft modified with latest avionics/sensors were part of US assistance being provided to Pakistan Navy under FMF (Foreign Military Funding) programme. Pakistan Navy is to receive a total of six such aircraft from US in batches of two each. The first batch was inducted into Pakistan Navy in 2010. “The aircraft has extended surveillance capability which will help Pakistan

Navy maintain requisite vigil in our vital area of interesting North Arabian Sea. The area regarded as an important trade and energy corridor for the global economy, is home to intense maritime activity both legal and illegal and thus warrants continuous guard,” the statement said. Speaking at the induction ceremony, Chief Guest Vice Admiral M Zakaullah welcomed the addition of P3C aircraft which would significantly add to the combat potential of Pakistan Navy Fleet. The ceremony was attended by a large number of serving and retired Pakistan Navy personnel. STAFF REPORT

Afghans protest Holy Quran burning by NATO troops BAgRAM Afp

Protesters hurling petrol bombs and firing slingshots besieged the largest US-run military base in Afghanistan on Tuesday, furious over reports that NATO troops burned copies of the Holy Quran. The enraged crowd shouted “Death to Americans” and “Death to infidels” as guards at Bagram airbase, north of Kabul, responded by firing rubber bullets from a watchtower, said an AFP photographer, who was hit in the neck. Hundreds of other people protested in the Afghan capital as security forces dispatched reinforcements in a bid to stop the demonstrations from spiralling out of control in the fiercely conservative Islamic country. The US commander in Afghanistan, General John Allen, apologised and ordered an investigation into a report that troops “improperly disposed of a large number of Islamic religious materials which included Qurans”. “I offer my sincere apologies for any offence this may have caused, to the president of Afghanistan, the government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, and most importantly, to the noble people

of Afghanistan,” he said. He did not mention how the religious materials had been disposed of, but an AFP photographer was shown partly-burnt copies of the Quran said to have been saved from destruction by Afghan workers within the base. Allen’s remarkably candid statement, apparently aimed at damage limitation after similar incidents led to violence and attacks on foreigners, was played repeatedly on Afghan television. Allegations that NATO troops at Bagram had set fire to copies of the holy book were first reported by Afghans working at the base, a senior government official said. A local police official said more than 2,000 people were demonstrating outside the sprawling US-run Bagram base at one stage. The AFP photographer saw at least seven protesters hit by rubber bullets, some of them bleeding. Sediq Sediqqi, an Afghan Interior Ministry spokesman, said Afghan security forces brought the demonstration under control and that by late afternoon it was over. He said one young protester had been wounded, but had no further details. Another protest by about 500 people that broke out in the Pul-e-charkhi district

The Supreme Court will exhibit today (Wednesday) the documentary evidence submitted by Attorney General Maulvi Anwarul Haq, being a prosecutor, to establish that Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani committed contempt by flouting the court orders passed in the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) case’ judgement and afterwards. A seven-member special bench headed by Justice Nasirul Mulk and comprising Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, Justice Sarmad Jalal Osmany, Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, Justice Ijaz Ahmed Chaudhry, Justice Gulzar Ahmed and Justice Muhammad Ather Saeed, will examine the authenticity of the documentary evidence in the open court. The attorney general and a deputy attorney general will appear before the bench on notice. Earlier on February 13, the Supreme Court had indicted the prime minister for contempt of court, after he had pleaded not guilty to the charge. In its charge sheet against Gilani, the court had declared that the prime minister had willfully flouted, disregarded and disobeyed the Supreme Court orders, passed in the NRO case, for writing a letter to the foreign authorities to revive money laundering cases against President Asif Ali Zardari. On February 16, the attorney general, who is acting as prosecutor, had submitted in the Supreme Court a 469-page documentary evidence to prove that Gilani had committed con-

tempt by flouting the court’s December 16, 2009 judgement and its consequent orders in the NRO case. The documentary evidence contained 43 documents/points to establish that Gilani had repeatedly flouted the court orders and committed contempt. All the courts’ orders passed in the NRO judgement and later in the NRO implementation case were also submitted in the documentary evidences. However, no exclusive document had been submitted. Barrister Aitzaz Ahsen, counsel for Gilani, is likely to file the documents from the defence side today and a list of witnesses along with their statements in the case on February 27 and the court will regularly hear the case on February 28. According to attorney general, there was no need to mention or produce witnesses in the apex court, as the evidence itself had the status of witnesses. He opined that a witness was not usually required when the case was of a civil nature. He said the proceedings of the NRO case were of civil in nature, but the court had directed him to act as a prosecutor under Order 27, Rule 7, of the Supreme Court Rules, 1980, which was applicable in criminal contempt of court. He explained that under Order 27, Rules 7, the law comes into action when the court or judges are ridiculed or proceedings are blocked intentionally. The attorney general is likely to contend before the bench today that his appointing to work as prosecutor was not applicable.

of Kabul not far from major NATO bases on the Jalalabad road, was also over, police spokesman Ashamat Estanakzai told AFP. Last April, 10 people were killed and dozens of others were injured during days of unrest unleashed by the burning of a Holy Quran by American pastor Terry Jones in Florida. Allen’s statement reflected concern over the impact of the latest incident in the country, where US troops have been fighting against a Taliban insurgency for more than 10 years and supporting President Hamid Karzai’s government. “I have ordered an investigation into a report I received during the night that ISAF personnel at Bagram Airbase improperly disposed of a large number of Islamic religious materials which included Qurans,” he said. “When we learned of these actions, we immediately intervened and stopped them. The materials recovered will be properly handled by appropriate religious authorities. We are thoroughly investigating the incident and we are taking steps to ensure this does not ever happen again. I assure you — I promise you — this was NOT intentional in any way.”

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

e-paper pakistantoday 22th february, 2012  

e-paper pakistantoday 22th february, 2012

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