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Rs 17.00 Vol III No 265 19 Pages Karachi Edition

Saturday, 23 March, 2013 Jamadi ul Awwal 10, 1434

sTory on Page 02

sTory on Page 04

Will return to Pakistan come what may, says Musharraf

sTory on Page 08

akbar Bugti lives as per ecP record

Deadly riots The resolve for continue in Pakistan Myanmar

Although Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti died some seven years ago, he appears in the registered voters list compiled by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), Pakistan Today has learnt. Reliable sources in the election watchdog told Pakistan Today on Friday that the Bugti tribe has warned the local election staff of dire consequences if they “dared” to remove Bugti’s name from the voters list. The local staff reported the matter to the Quetta provincial election commissioner. Page 02

From March 22 to March 24, 1940, the All India Muslim League held its annual session at Minto Park, Lahore. This session proved to be historical. On the first day of the session, Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah narrated the events of the last few months. In an extempore speech he presented his own solution of the Muslim problem. He said that the problem of India was not of an inter-communal nature, but manifestly an international one and must be treated as such. Pages 12 & 13

PakIsTan Day sPecIal

The education minister with fake education

Two days of rioting between Buddhists and Muslims in a central Myanmar town has killed at least 20 people, a legislator said. The situation in the town of Meikhtila on Friday remained tense and dangerous Win Htein, a local parliamentarian from the opposition National League for Democracy, said. Al Jazeera’s Wayne Hay, reporting from Bangkok, said the death toll is likely to rise in the coming days. “Violence was continuing on Friday morning. Page 07

sc orders elimination of no-go areas in karachi

sTory on Page 02

Imran ready to up the ante with ‘Tsunami Plus’ sTory on Page 04

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saturday, 23 March, 2013

10 killed, 40 injured in jaffarabad bombing JAFFARABAD: As many as 10 people were killed and more than 40 others injured in a bomb blast at a bus stand in Jaffarabad on Friday. According to police, unidentified miscreants parked an explosive laden auto-rickshaw along a road near the bus terminal situated on the Quetta-Dera Allahyar Road in Jaffarabad district. The massive explosion killed seven people on the spot and left more than 40 others injured. Three more died at a hospital later. Police said it was a high-intensity bomb blast that also damaged five shops besides causing causalities and injuries. Jaffarabad DPO said the Bomb Disposal Squad (BDS) had estimated that 20kgs of explosives were used in the blast. Heavy contingents of police and other law enforcement agencies (LEAs) cordoned of the area and started a search operation. STAFF REPORT

PML-N does not believe in ‘give and take’ because the process to appoint a caretaker setup is a matter of great responsibility. — Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan




ESPITE the optimism and long parleys held over the last three days, the eight-member parliamentary committee tasked with naming the caretaker prime minister expired their mandated time on Friday without arriving at a decision, thus dropping the crucial matter in the Election Commission of Pakistan’s lap. The ECP now has to make a decision by Sunday. A source in the PML-N told Pakistan Today that the PML-N leadership had emerged successful in its bid to forward the matter to the ECP. “We wanted to gain two objectives through this plan. Since we are going to polls, we wanted to remove the impression of a deal or “Muk-Muka” between the PPP

and the PML-N by not evolving consensus, as it would have provided PTI chief Imran Khan another opportunity to label consensus as a deal. Moreover, we hope that the ECP would also nominate a neutral person to the post. So this would bring us a win-win situation,” a PML-N leader said. The daylong sessions exposed the fact that the team from the opposition side was powerless and hence time and again the PML-N leaders sought permission from the committee time to seek fresh directions from their leadership, but to no avail. The first break came when PML-N members sought a break to seek fresh directions from their leadership. However, when the meeting started after a delay of over five hours, PML-N leaders Pervaiz Rasheed and Saad Rafique again sought a break and contacted their leadership by phone and sought some directions. Despite the fresh directions, no headway could be made – reflecting the fact that the PML-N leadership did not want consensus over the nominees in the first place, though there were chances of a consensus over the name of Justice (r) Nasir Aslam Zahid or Dr Ishrat Hussain. It was Pakistan People’s Party’s (PPP) Syed Khursheed Shah who raised objection to the PML-N’s nominee Justice (r) Nasir Aslam Zahid for being a PCO judge, while

the PML-N members raised objection over Dr Ishrat Hussain, stating that his brotherin-law was very close to President Asif Ali Zardari. Both sides could not evolve consensus in the first marathon session that started at 11am and was discontinued after the N-leaguers sought a break. “We have failed to evolve consensus and we accept our failure. The politicians have failed and now the ECP would decide the matter,” Farooq H Naik said following the second session of the meeting. He said there was a need to further amend the constitution as the committee was bound to discuss the nominations made by the leader of the House and leader of the opposition and it could not go beyond its mandate. Syed Khursheed Shah said since this was the first time after 18th and 19th constitutional amendments that the committee was tasked to decide the matter of the caretaker PM, it could not come to the expectations of the nation. Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain expressed his anger over the failure of the committee to decide the matter, saying politicians had failed to come up to the expectations of the nation. The PML-N leaders, however, made a failed attempt to remove the impression of the failure of the political elites. “This is not a failure of any side. The committee held its deliberations in

a cordial atmosphere and we are happy that we tried to reach a consensus,” Saad Rafique said. He added that it would be wrong to term the talks as a failure and said that all the four individuals nominated were respectable. He said the scope of the committee was limited and hence it could not resolve the matter in time. Earlier, Chaudhry Shujaat said it would be quite disappointing if the decision was taken out of the hands of the politicians. The committee on Friday nominated Sardar Mohammad Yaqub Nasir as the chair in wake of Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain’s refusal on the plea that he did not want to head a committee that was bent upon referring a political matter to non-political personalities. Shah had said that rules had been laid down and they all agreed in principle not to nominate any PCO judge for the slot of caretaker prime minister. Shah had also voiced strong reservation over the ECP’s statement, which was seconded by his colleagues Farooq H Naik and Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain. He said that the commission should not have given the statement at this juncture when the issue was under consideration, adding that it was politicians that empowered the commission; hence all institutions must remain in their constitutional ambit.

The education minister akbar bugti with fake education ISLAMABAD STAFF REPORT

In an ironic twist in the race for Pakistan’s all-important general elections, former education minister Sheikh Waqas Akram has been embroiled in a fake degree scandal. According to details, the Cambridge Education System (CES) of the UK has declared his A-level certificate as fake. This puts to question the veracity of his BA degree as well as his political future. A new entrant to the PML-N, Waqas had defiantly defended his fake certificates on the floor of the National Assembly, claiming that he did his A-level in 1995 and his certificate had been verified by Inter Board Committee of Chairmen (IBCC). However, media reports confirmed that his IBCC Equivalence certificates as well as its verification certificates were also fabricated. According to documents revealed, the chief executive of the Cambridge Education System (CES) Ann Punits had confirmed that Waqas Akram’s certificate could not be verified from the CES record. In a letter, Punits said, “Having searched our records we must advise you that we are unable to match the number of this certificate with details supplied.” News of his fake degree broke two weeks ago, but the minister defiantly said that he never did his FA, but cleared A Level examination in three subjects in 1995 and obtained the IBCC equivalence certificate the same year. However, much to the minister’s chagrin, his IBCC equivalence certifi-

cate was also forged as it bore the signature of Dr Parveen Shahid as IBCC secretary. IBCC records as well as family sources of Dr Parveen confirmed that the officer only had a short stint with the IBCC as secretary after the year 2000. Investigations also revealed that in 1995, Dr Parveen was a junior officer in Grade-18 while the IBCC secretary was a Grade-20 post. Apparently, the fake IBCC certificate was created after copying the contents of some genuine certificate issued after 2000 when Dr Parveen was serving as the secretary IBCC. Whoever fabricated the document failed to check Dr Parveen’s tenure in IBCC. Similarly, the IBCC verification certificate that according to Waqas was issued on August 11, 2010 also appeared to be forged as Muhammad Usman Khan, assistant secretary of IBCC whose signatures appeared on the verification certificate denied having signed the document. According to official sources, Usman was ready to testify before the court of law that the document is not genuine. Contrary to the ex-minister’s claims of appearing in the Punjab University’s bachelor’s degree examination on the basis of A Levels, his BA admission form available showed that Waqas had only mentioned passing the intermediate examination from the Lahore Board with the roll number 11097. Waqas faces disqualification by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) under Articles 62 and 63 of the constitution, which require a candidate to be honest and sagacious.



Although Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti died some seven years ago, he appears in the registered voters list compiled by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), Pakistan Today has learnt. Reliable sources in the election watchdog told Pakistan Today on Friday that the Bugti tribe has warned the local election staff of dire consequences if they “dared” to remove Bugti’s name from the voters list. The local staff reported the matter to the Quetta provincial election commissioner. However, the matter was ultimately reported to the ECP secretariat by the commissioner. In his letter to the ECP Secretariat on March 21, 2013, the provincial election commissioner sought help on the issue. He said Bugti’s name appears at Serial No. 143, but the Bugti tribe is threatening the election staff, apparently because they are not ready to accept the death of their chief. Sources said in the next couple of days, the ECP will take up the issue and respond to the provincial election commissioner. Akbar Khan Bugti, head of the Bugti tribe, served as minister for state for interior, governor and chief minister of Balochistan. He was killed in an army operation in 2006 in a cave in Kohlu. Later, his heirs registered an FIR against the then president, General Pervez Musharraf, for killing their chief and his companions.

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PTI’s jalsa is nothing more than a desperate attempt at survival and to salvage remains of momentary ascendancy. — Maryam Nawaz

news saturday, 23 March, 2013

sC orders IMran reaDy To UP The anTe wITh ‘TsUnaMI PlUs’ elimination H of no-go areas in karaChi LAHORE

umAIR AzIz



HE Supreme Court (SC) has ordered Rangers and police to launch an operation in Karachi to eliminate no-go areas from the city immediately. A larger bench of the SC presided by Chief Justice (CJ) Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry resumed hearing of the Karachi law and order case on Friday. The other members of the bench included Justice Jawad S Khawaja, Justice Khilji Arif Hussain, Justice Amir Hani Muslim and Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan. The CJ inquired from Rangers’ counsel Shahid Anwar if any Rangers personnel were assassinated in Lyari and if their killers had been apprehended by the force. Anwar replied police conducted raids in Lyari at night and arrested18 culprits. The CJ mocked the counsel saying 8 people were killed in the city yesterday which meant the law enforcing agencies were not doing their job. “A heavy budget was allocated to Rangers and powers were assigned to police. But what result have you shown?” said the CJ. Earlier the Rangers DG and the Sindh IG filed separate replies on ‘no-go’ areas in Karachi. The CJ rejecting the replies said the court had directed filing of a joint reply following a meeting. “Any area where someone other than the government is exer-

sc orDers DelIMITaTIon of 3 na, 8 sa consTITUencIes of karachI KARACHI: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Friday issued a notification for the delimitation of some constituencies in Karachi According to the notification, three constituencies of the National Assembly and eight constituencies of the Sindh Assembly would be subjected to delimitation. The three NA constituencies are NA 239 where Abdul Qadir Patel of the PPP won, NA250 won by Khushbakht Shujaat of the MQM, and NA254 won by Dr Muhammad Ayub Sheikh of the MQM. The constituencies which were included at the provincial level are PS89, PS112, PS113, PS114, PS116, PS118 and PS124. The ECP has set up a five-member committee to implement the Supreme Court’s orders for the purpose. According to sources, Justice (r) Roshan Esani will head the committee. STAFF REPORT

cising writ is called a no-go area. The chief secretary, the Rangers DG and the Sindh IG did not admit in clear terms about presence of no-go areas in Karachi. The court wants immediate peace in Karachi. The Rangers DG and Sindh IG should go now and bring a joint statement,” the court said. The SC directed that the Rangers DG and the Sindh IG monitor the operation for elimination of no-go areas in the city, immediately. The CJ said Rangers’ chief had not accepted responsibility for the worsening law and order situation. “If you go to Lyari, Shershah, Lines area and Jamshed Quarters, you will find no-go areas therein. Girls are being lifted in the presence of police and Rangers in defence,” said the CJ. He further said, “One of you says no-go areas exist while the other negates it. You are making a mockery of courts”. The Sindh chief secretary requested the court to allow 15 to 20 days time to police and Rangers to cleanse Karachi from crime. The CJ said elections are close and asked the chiefs of Rangers and police to ensure peace in the city. SSP Niaz Khosa also appeared in court and said half of Karachi has turned into a no-go area, completely contradicting the Rangers’ chief’s earlier statements. Khosa said, “We are forced to free culprits over phone calls after taking bribes. Calls come from all areas including Lyari when culprits are arrested”.

UNDREDS and thousands of PTI workers and supporters are going to throng Minar-e-Pakistan on March 23 to support the “tsunami” for change against the traditional system of power politics, a passionate Imran Khan said on Friday. During a media talk before the PTI grand show could be termed a second coming for the party, Khan expected a crowd of more than 500,000 expressing their will against the old-guard. “The party has devised an entire system of governance to reform the existing system which has led to corruption due to political interference. The new Pakistan will have institutions independent of political influence and sinking ships like PIA and WAPDA will become profit making efficient organisations,” Khan said. He termed the intra-party elections a historic step, but said they came at a heavy cost of rifts within the party. “This led to a decline in the party’s popularity that was interpreted by the opponents as fading away of the tsunami.” “Those who doubted

the strength of tsunami will know tomorrow as we have passed through that uncomfortable phase and now all leadership has been refined through the elections and there is no distinction between the old and new,” he said. Khan added that the tsunami show on Saturday had scared traditional political players. To questions on funding for the rally, Khan said the money was coming from the ranks and file on the PTI. He said his party would not throw away tax payers’ money and announced that the party would soon start a ‘New Pakistan Fund’ for campaign and electioneering. Khan hinted at the ongoing talks with the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), Nawab Salahuddin of Bahawalpur and Sheikh Rasheed for seat adjustment in the upcoming elections, “but things are tentative and nothing can be said for sure right now”. The PTI chief reiterated his criticism of the Punjab regime for not letting go of power and keeping the decision-making with the chief minister. To a question on foreign policy, former foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said India was our neighbor and an important player in the region

and “we cannot wish it away”, adding that peace and stability was necessary in the region. Imran Khan appreciated the IP gas project, but doubted the “sincerity” of President Asif Zardari who waited for five years for reasons “best known to him” before finally inking the deal. Independent analysts however sniff funding from “hidden” sources for such a grand procession which include logistics, food and all other arrangements. Khan however said the entire money is coming from the rank and file of the party, with “workers even paying for food at political luncheons”.

Malala geTs freeDoM of exPressIon awarD

ISLAMABAD: President Asif Zardari discusses the current political situation with Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf during a meeting on Friday.

eCP jolts candidates with erroneous guidelines contestants to file nominations in person under old UnDP booklet KARACHI ISmAIL DILAWAR

To the politicians’ discomfort, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), in the guidelines issued for the candidates, has stuck to some of its tough conditions strongly resented by former lawmakers in the now-dissolved Lower and Upper houses. The ECP, headed by Chief Election Commissioner Justice (r) Fakhruddin G Ebrahim, seems to have even ignored the National Assembly’s legislation on March 12 which had annulled a “mischief” law requiring the candidates to submit their nomination papers in person to the returning officers. The lawmakers in the National and provincial assemblies had strongly reacted when the ECP had served them a letter asking them to do so. Friday saw the commission placing on its website a “Nomination Form Booklet” to provide the candidates with the es-

Producing educational credentials, tax number a must for hopefuls sentially required information for contesting the election. However, the guidelines in the 23-page-long booklet are going to fall heavily on the candidates as these not only require them to file their nomination papers in person, but also produce “attested” photocopies of their educational credentials to the returning officers. Just four days before the completion of the government’s five-year tenure on March 12, the lawmakers in the National Assembly passed the out-of-turn Election Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2013 to strike off what the legislators dubbed “a Musharraf-era legislative mischief” of making it mandatory for the contestants to appear in person before the returning officer to submit their nomination forms. PML-N legislator Zahid Hamid, who had moved the bill, said the disputed law was enacted to bar his party chief Nawaz Sharif and PPP’s slain chairwoman Benazir Bhutto then in exile, from contesting

ecP official says a clarification will be issued to rectify mistakes elections. Law Minister Farooq H Naik, however, did not talk of Nawaz while speaking on the general principles of the bill, saying the law was aimed at Benazir only as the PML-N chief was in exile as a consequence of a covert deal with Musharraf. The ECP guidelines also want the election hopefuls, over 70 percent of who have reportedly been evading taxes, to attach their national tax number (NTN) with the nomination form for the facility of the ECP’s scrutinisers. “You must attach attested photocopies of your educational qualification certificates… National Tax Number, if any, with nomination paper,” read the guidelines, adding that the returning officers might get the candidates’ documents verified from the concerned department/authority, “if he so desires”. Asked if the ECP had dared not succumb to the immense political pressure and had stood by its reform agenda, an ECP official at the Sindh election commissioner’s office

said, “You are right in saying that the ECP has not succumbed to the pressure.” He was quick to add that the guidelines issued on Friday were outdated as they had not been updated in accordance with the latest developments. “There is no coordination between various stakeholders,” he said, adding that they were told that the guidelines were printed earlier by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). “When we pinpointed this issue, the directors in Islamabad office said they would look into it, but they have not been able to do that yet as there is a lot of unwanted activity in our offices,” the official said. Commenting on the erroneous guidelines, the official said there was no point of seeking candidates’ educational documents as the earlier condition of the candidates being graduates had been abolished. He said the ECP would issue a clarification within the next couple of days to rectify the mistakes in the booklet in question. “I am confident that this booklet will be of immense help for prospective candidates in acquainting themselves with ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’ of the election process and facilitate them in contesting the election in an organised manner,” Justice (r) Ebrahim said. While optimists among the crises-hit 180 million Pakistanis are pinning their hopes on the ECP and its chief for conducting transparent election on May 11, such negligence puts to question the seriousness, if not the ability, of the commission to come up to the expectations of the nation.


Father of Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani schoolgirl shot in the head by Taliban, pleaded to parents to allow their children “freedom of expression” as he accepted an award on behalf of his daughter on Friday. Accepting the award for courageous activism, Ziauddin Yousafzai said, “In many countries, fathers and mothers are usually known by their sons. I feel proud to be one of the few fathers, who is known for his daughter.” “I want to give a message to the world. I didn’t do anything special. As a father, I did one thing, I gave her the right of freedom of expression. All fathers and mothers, give your daughters and sons freedom of expression. Freedom of expression is a most important right. The solution of any conflict is to say the right thing, to speak the truth.” Malala was given an award for her courageous activism at the Index on Censorship Freedom of Expression Awards. Index CEO Kirsty Hughes said, “Malala has shown extraordinary bravery but for a teenager to undertake and understand such intelligent and focused advocacy to advance education is particularly outstanding.”

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Pervez Musharraf will return from Dubai to Karachi on March 24 as per his announced schedule - APML spokesperson Asia Ishaq


sho killed in varsity Clash

KARACHI saturday, 23 March, 2013

Weather updateS

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Station House Officer (SHO) was killed in a deadly clash between two student groups at Quaid-e-Awam Engineering University on Friday. Some 15 students also injured in the clash. Two groups of students clashed inside the university and situation went out of control after police were called in to control the situation. SHO Abdul Rahim Khaskheli was critically injured during an exchange of fire. He was rushed to a local

Fajr 5:17

Sunrise Zuhr asr maghrib Isha 6:32 12:39 4:06 6:45 8:01

exhibition features treasures of islamic art KARACHI: The Quaid-eAzam House Museum hosted a fascinating exhibition of calligraphy on Friday. The exhibition featured treasures of Islamic art and three-dimensional wood carvings created by the prominent artist and calligrapher Ruheena Malik. Winner of a “pride of performance” award Ruheena Malik’s work is inspired by the immortal expression of Allah (SWT) which comprises of exquisite creativity reflected all across the cosmic expanse of this universe. Her expression is based on a firm belief in the Almighty’s power to create. Her beautiful calligraphy of the Quranic verses is a humble but passionate tribute to the limitless imagination of the ultimate creator. Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ebad graced the inaugural ceremony and appreciated the calligraphic work of Ruheena Malik especially in the area of prompting Pakistan as a progressive country that is proud of its Islamic heritage. Over the decades, Ruheena’s superlative talent has been further enhanced by her extensive experience and diverse renditions in the world of art. Her scriptures reflect the ancient forms of intricately carved calligraphy including Kufic, Thulth, Naskhi, Nastaliq, etc. STAFF REPORT

BlAsts DAmAge RAIlwAy tRACK:Two consecutive bomb blasts damaged railway tracks which disrupted the up and down railway traffic late on Thursday night. According to police, two powerful blasts hit railway tracks in Bin Qasim area of Karachi. The blasts damaged the railway tracks which suspended the arrival and departure of trains. Rangers and police were called on the site of occurrence in order to

control the turbulent situation. The railway traffic was restored as railway authorities repaired the damaged tracks immediately. Police said unidentified miscreants had installed bombs on the track which was partially damaged. Another bomb planted on Kotri railway track exploded when personnel of bomb disposal squad were trying to defuse it. An ASI also injured in the explosion. Upon receiving information, security forces including police and Rangers reached the site of occurrence, cordoned off the area and started search operation in order to avoid any further mishap.A large number of passengers had to face

Islam advocates parental guidance during puberty, says Maulana Hadi KARACHI STAFF REPORT


hospital where he succumbed to injuries. According to doctors, the SHO suffered four bullets. Police and Rangers later surrounded the hostel and arrested some students.

Madrassa Arif-ul-Hussaini Principal Maulana Allama Syed Muhammad Jawad Hadi in a statement issued to the press, emphasised the role of parents and teachers in assisting the youth during puberty phase. Maulana Hadi said, “Human beings undergo both physical and psychological changes when they reach puberty.” Children experience many new emotions and physiological changes while undergoing puberty. These changes were caused by hormonal fluctuations and were a normal part of the process of growing up. However, children were not provided with the proper knowledge and education regarding these

changes, due to which they often turned towards unreliable sources to seek the desired information. This in turn made them vulnerable to exploitation and abuse. Girls reached puberty between the ages of 10 and 14 while boys experienced the same changes between the ages of 12 and 15. This sensitive period is associated with significant physical changes, such as height and weight increases, in addition to other changes. Boys and girls also experienced emotional changes during that time. Mood swings, energy changes and frustration were the most common indications of the onset of puberty. Adjusting to this unsettling period could be difficult for both adolescents and their parents

because all these changes were temporary and required a lot of patience and support from the elders. Maulana Hadi stressed that teachers must provide timely guidance to children as advocated by Islam, saying, “Islam places greatest emphasis on education. It holds that children are more likely to be exploited and misled unless they are given the right knowledge and awareness about the changes associated with puberty.” He further said that knowledge, guidance and support during puberty could make the journey easier for children, while adding that parents and teachers have to play a vital role in this regard by equipping children with the correct information about puberty and how to deal with the sudden changes.

difficulties as they could not leave for their destinations according to their schedule. OveR 24 suspeCts ARResteD In lyARI : The city police conducted overnight search operation in Lyari on Friday and the exchange of gunfire is still continuing in Afshani Street. According to South DIG Shahid Hayat, the Lyari area where the operation was still in progress includes Kala Kot, Kalri and Khajoor Bazaar. Police claimed to have arrested several people in the action. The police also entered Afshani Street which is notorious for gang war. The police personnel are currently locked in gunfight with the miscreants.

altaf bhai grieved over killings KARACHI: MQM chief Altaf Hussain has strongly condemned the bomb blast at a bus stop in Dera Allahyar of Jaffarabad district of Balochistan. He expressed his grief and sorrow over the killings of several people in the blast. He said the blood of innocent people was being spilled in incidents of terrorism and elements behind them were open enemies of the country. He extended sympathies to the families of people who lost their lives in the blast and prayed for the speedy recovery of the injured. He appealed to President Asif Zardari, Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf and Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry to take notice of the killings of innocent people in the blast. He said the perpetrators should be brought to justice and steps should be taken to protect the life and property of common people. STAFF REPORT

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KARACHI saturday, 23 March, 2013

kesC formulates climate change policy

KARACHI: A worker decorates a shade for visitors at Sea View. OnLInE

‘sharifs speaking enemies’ language’ KARACHI STAFF REPORT


AKISTAN People’s Party (PPP) Central Deputy Secretary Information Sharjeel Inam Memon expressed his regrets over his opposition over the IranPakistan Gas Pipeline Project which had been welcomed by all segments of the society except the Taliban, its affiliates and a couple of enemy countries. He was responding to yesterday’s press conference of Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif. Sharjeel said that Shahbaz conducted himself as a spokesperson

of an enemy country instead as a leader of one of Pakistan’s most influential political party. He said his claim of routing his political opponents from the country’s political horizon was highly misplaced because his mentor Ziaul Haq could not do so during his life time, while adding that his heir would also meet the same fate. He said President Asif Zardari had presented the party and its government’s performance before the people of Pakistan for their judgment on 11th May which was the election date announced by the president. Sharjeel hoped that politically conscious people would vote in favor of the PPP candidates in the general

election to ensure that the party returned into power with a big margin. He said the people of Punjab in particular were fully prepared to take electoral revenge on the mentioned date from Shahbaz’s mismanagement and corruption committed by him in mega projects like Sasti Roti, Metro Bus project, Laptop scheme, Ashiana Housing Scheme, Ujala lamps schemes and many others. Furthermore, the former Sindh information minister said that Shahbaz had erected barriers between the people of Lahore and the rest of the province by diverting huge development funds for weak projects in Punjab’s capital at the expense of the rest of the province.

Moreover, he said that Shahbaz had plunged the province into a debt trap of Rs 414 billion whereas he inherited the provincial coffer with a huge amount of Rs 100 billion as surplus when he assumed office of the provincial chief executive. Sharjeel also said that Shahbaz had kept 22 departments under his direct control which manifested his extreme inclination for exclusiveness and denial of collective wisdom, which was otherwise important for any cabinet government. He reminded the Punjab leader that 11th May election was not the referendum of Ziaul Haq and therefore the results would not be the same as had been claimed by Shahbaz.

anP to field candidate from each constituency KARACHI:The Awami National Party (ANP) has decided to take part in general elections 2013 and announced that ANP will field its candidates at every national and provincial assembly seats in Sindh for contesting the elections. A meeting of ANP Sindh Think Tank was held in Mardan House on Friday to review political situation and general elections. It was decided that ANP, under the auspices of party Chief Asfandyar Wali, will field its candidates from all across the country particularly Karachi, said ANP Sindh President Shahi Syed. Syed requested the public to cast votes in coming general elections for political stability in the country. He requested the Pakhtuns and other neglected nations living in the province to come forward and cast their votes in favour of ANP. Later, the Sindh ANP spokesman announced that ANP had sought applications from all the willing candidates who wanted to contest coming general elections. STAFF REPORT

KARACHI: Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC), while reaffirming its commitment for cleaner and greener environment, has formulated a comprehensive Climate Change Policy on the eve of Earth Hour which is a worldwide event organised by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), falling on 23rd March. KESC had been playing a proactive role to observe Earth Hour in collaboration with Sindh Ministry of Environment and Alternative Energy and WWF for the past three years. Through mass campaigns and distribution of knowledge-based material, KESC’s Energy Conservation Department had been encouraging households and businesses to turn off their non-essential lights and appliances for one hour as symbolic observance of the event, from 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm, so as to raise awareness about the need to take immediate action. KESC would once again carry out the exercise this year at all its offices, installations and plants during the one hour. A KESC team would also visit Mazar-e-Quaid on the day to mark the global event. In order to meaningfully observe the Earth Hour and in line with its commitment to provide clean, reliable and affordable energy, KESC has drawn the Climate Change vision to adopt a balanced and responsible method while carrying out its core business operations that reduced carbon emissions and ensured social and environmental gains. KESC’s holistic approach aimed at expanding its current generation portfolio by 15 percent through renewable energy and various energy efficiency initiatives over the next five years to mitigate climate change and reduce the country’s carbon footprint. Under the Climate Change Policy formulated as a part of the utility’s ongoing Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance initiative, KESC would propagate and facilitate energy efficient lifestyles through consultation and advisory services to carry out power factor improvement projects and providing free energy audit service. KESC would also upgrade its efforts for implementing its programmes aimed at encouraging the usage of energy efficient appliances and adaptation of efficient energy systems and building codes, awareness creation for adaptation of energy efficient lifestyle specially targeted towards the youth, cost sharing in the conversion of main municipal thoroughfare street lights and landmark monuments to LED and solar lights, and incentive programme for commercial markets to adopt Daylight Saving Programme. STAFF REPORT

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A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work. – Colin Powell


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saturday, 23 March, 2013

assad vows to ‘cleanse’ syria after blast

Aleppo: Syrian civilians react to an air strike by government forces in Al Sukary neighbourhood on Friday. AgEnCIES

World Water day marked with ‘toilet campaign’ unIteD nAtIOns: The United Nations has launched a campaign to lift a deadly taboo on talking about toilets and to turn the world into an “open defecation-free zone”. The move is part of activities to mark the World Water Day. The initiative aims to cut the 3,000 children under five who die each day from water-borne diseases like cholera, dysentry and diarrhea, and the 2.5 billion people without access to a toilet. “Here is a silent disaster which needs to have attention,” UN Deputy SecretaryGeneral Jan Eliasson, a pioneer in unsanitised talk about toilets, said on Friday. “There is an element of taboo around toilets and open defecation,” Eliasson, who recalled a speech to the UN General Assembly in 2010, said. “There was a little bit of ‘hmmm hmmm’ murmuring in the hall. I finished the speech with the word ‘toilet.’ It was not very common in the UN. The words which I will speak more and more often now is: ‘open defecation.’” ‘Fact of life’ The practice is “a fact of life” for the hundreds of millions of chronically poor people who have to go to toilet in the open air. “Can you imagine the lack of dignity around this act, the risk of being raped if you are a woman or a girl going out at night, but also the health risk for personal health and the environment?” the UN official asked. Cutting by half the number of people with no access to fresh water by 2015 was one of the eight Millennium Development Goals on health and poverty set in 2000. It is the target that is most off course. At the current pace, the water target may be reached by 2075. “We have an uphill battle, it is lagging so seriously,” Eliasson, a former Swedish foreign minister, told reporters. Kate Norgrove, of the WaterAid group, told of how she was a teacher in a Nepal village where the school’s single toilet was “a little broken down shack that sat directly above the school playground in full visibility of everyone”.Girls gradually dropped out as they reached the age when they would start to menstruate, she said. “So that’s the taboo we want to break. It is a real problem and it is a real problem for those in that 2.5 billion category,” said Eliasson. AgEnCIES

deadly riots continue in myanmar, 20 killed NAypyIDAW



WO days of rioting between Buddhists and Muslims in a central Myanmar town has killed at least 20 people, a legislator said. The situation in the town of Meikhtila on Friday remained tense and dangerous Win Htein, a local parliamentarian from the opposition National League for Democracy, said. Al Jazeera’s Wayne Hay, reporting from Bangkok, said the death toll is likely to rise in the coming days. “Violence was continuing on Friday morning. Small groups of men are roaming around the town, attacking each other and setting fires to buildings as well,” Hay said. “Many Muslims and Buddhists are leaving the town and some of them, as

they are leaving, are saying that security forces ... have done nothing to restore order.” Fires set to Muslim homes continued to burn but angry Buddhist residents and monks prevented authorities from putting out the blazes, he said. At least five mosques were torched during the violence that started on Wednesday, reportedly triggered by an argument between a Muslim gold shop owner and his Buddhist customers. A Buddhist monk was among the first killed, inflaming tensions that led a Buddhist mob to rampage through a Muslim neighbourhood. ‘unpReDICtABle sItuAtIOn’: Meikhtila is about 550km north of the main city of Yangon with a population of about 100,000 people, of whom about a third are Muslims, Win Htein said. He said before this week’s violence, the community had 17 mosques. It was difficult to determine the ex-

tent of destruction in the town because residents were too afraid to walk the streets and were sheltering in monasteries or other locations away from the violence. “We don’t feel safe and we have now moved inside a monastery,” said Sein Shwe, a shop owner. “The situation is unpredictable and dangerous.” Occasional isolated violence involving Myanmar’s majority Buddhist and minority Muslim communities has occurred for decades. The violence in Meikhtila was the latest sectarian unrest after clashes between Rakhine Buddhists and Muslim Rohingya last year in western Rakhine state left more than 200 people dead and 100,000 homeless. It is also the latest challenge for the government as it tries to keep peace in the country and navigate the transition from military rule to fledgling democracy.

DAmAsCus: Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has vowed to “cleanse” his country of extremism, a day after a blast in a central Damascus mosque killed scores of people, including a key proregime Sunni cleric. State news agency SANA said that 49 people died along with Mohamed Saeed al-Bouti, the most prominent cleric to back Assad’s regime in his fight against opponents. In a statement issued by the presidency, Assad condemned the attack and mourned Bouti’s death, vowing to eradicate “extremism and ignorance” in Syria. The attack was condemned by the opposition, who raised the possibility that the regime was behind the deadly blast at the Iman Mosque on Thursday night. State media said the attack was carried out by a suicide bomber who blew himself up after entering the mosque, where Bouti was addressing religious students. State media said Bouti’s grandson was among the dead. ‘DesttORyIng extRemIsm’: “I swear to the Syrian people that your blood, and that of your grandson and all the martyrs of the homeland, will not be spilled in vain because we will be faithful to your ideas by destroying their extremism and ignorance until we have cleansed the country,” Assad said in the statement on Friday. Pro-government television aired gruesome footage from inside the mosque, where dozens of corpses and body parts, including limbs and hands, were strewn on the carpeted floor in pools of blood. The government declared Saturday as a day of mourning and state-run Syrian TV halted its regular programmes on Friday to air readings from the Muslim holy book, the Quran, as well as speeches of the late cleric. AgEnCIES

sarkozy charged over campaign donations pARIs: France’s former president, Nicholas Sarkozy, has been indicted over claims he accepted thousands of dollars in illegal donations for his election campaign, reports have said. Sarkozy allegedly took funds from L’Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt, France’s richest woman, for his 2007 election campaign. Lawyer Antoine Gillot told French TV iTele that Judge Jean-Michel Gentil in the southwestern city of Bordeaux had placed Sarkozy under investigation, after hours of questioning on Thursday. Under French law, a formal investigation is the final step before a suspect is accused of a crime. Sarkozy, who only this month hinted he could make a political comeback, repeatedly has denied taking campaign funds from Bettencourt. The exact charge against Sarkozy is “abuse of weakness”, since Bettencourt did not have all her “faculties”, according to the newspaper Le Monde. AgEnCIES

Un to probe n Korea suspected rights abuses UNITED NATIONS AgEnCIES

The United Nations’ top human rights body has unanimously approved a formal probe into North Korea for possible crimes against humanity. The 47-nation UN Human Rights Council signed off on the resolution backed by the US, Japan and the European Union on Thursday. The resolution authorises an investigation into what UN officials describe as suspected widespread and systematic violations of human rights in North Korea. Japan’s ambassador, Takashi Okada, denounced the abduction of foreign nationals and other disappearances in North Korea, and said the aim of the investigation is to “guide the international community in addressing this situation from an independent and impartial stand point”.

‘Patterns of rights violations’ The vote follows the recommendations of UN special rapporteur Marzuki Darusman, who told the Geneva-based council in a report last month that the secretive Asian nation displays nine patterns of human rights violations. Darusman said the “grave, widespread and systematic violations of human rights” include having prison camps, the enforced disappearances of citizens and using food to control people. It paves the way for the creation of a “Commission of Inquiry” for one year with three members and calls on Pyongyang to co-operate with that team of independent experts, which will include Darusman. However, North Korea’s UN Ambassador in Geneva, So Se Pyong, fiercely denounced the move. He said the resolution was “no more than an instrument that serves the political purposes of the hostile forces in their at-

tempt to discredit the image of the DPRK and to change the socialist system chosen and developed by our people”. He was referring to North Korea by the initials of its formal name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. The resolution itself was “political invectives with serious distortions, fabrications and accusations about the human rights situation of the DPRK,” he added. “As we have stated time and again, those human rights abuses have totally nothing to do with the DPRK.” Crimes against humanity In 22 previous reports over the past nine years and 16 resolutions adopted by the UN General Assembly, the world body of 193 nations has again and again condemned North Korea’s human rights record. The UN’s top rights official, Navi Pillay, also has urged such an investigation -

the Commission of Inquiry authorised by the United Nations, but performed by independent experts. She has said the UN has amassed evidence indicating that up to 200,000 people are being held in North Korean political prison camps rife with torture, rape and slave labor, and that some of the abuses may amount to crimes against humanity. Julie de Rivero of Human Rights Watch in Geneva said the “long awaited inquiry will help expose decades of abuse by the North Korean government” and send a strong message to Pyongyang that the world is watching. But North Korea maintains that US hostility and the threat of American troops in South Korea lurk as factors in the push for an international investigation. The US stations about 28,500 troops in South Korea, a legacy of the 1950-53 Korean War, which ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty.

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Fair polls are impossible under political governors. — Babar Awan

news saturday, 23 March, 2013




O RM ER military ruler Pervez Musharraf said on Friday he would definitely return home Sunday to contest historic elections in May and that he was prepared to risk any danger to his life. He gave an interview with a foreign news agency in Dubai just hours after a court granted him protective bail in a string of legal cases, paving the way for his return from nearly five years in exile without the risk of immediate arrest. He is wanted in Pakistan over the assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto in a gun and suicide attack after an election rally in Rawalpindi, the headquarters of the army, on December 27, 2007. Commentators say most of his powerbase has evaporated and that he will only be able to secure at the most a couple of seats for his All Pakistan Muslim League (APLM) party in the next national assem-

bly. “Two hundred percent! I am travelling back on Sunday to Pakistan,” he said in Dubai, where he has divided his time with London. “I will go by land, air or sea... even to the peril of my life this is the oath I took for the country.” Musharraf seized power in a bloodless military coup when he was army chief of staff in 1999 and left the country after stepping down in August 2008, when Bhutto’s widower, Asif Ali Zardari, was elected president. The outgoing government led by Bhutto’s Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) always insisted that Musharraf would be arrested should be return to the country and last year he delayed a planned homecoming after being threatened with detention. Commentators believe that an interim government, set to guide the country during the election campaign, should be in place by Sunday. “There will be no arrest or anything,” Musharraf said. “I decided I will go back whatever the judgment (in court) but the judgment is favourable,” he said. B u t political analysts s a i d

Musharraf would be disappointed if he thought he was capable of returning to power. “He has no political future,” says Hasan Askari. “He thinks that people are so annoyed by the outgoing government that they will join his party and support him, but it won’t happen.”

Rasul Bakhsh Raees, who teaches political science at the Lahore University of Management Sciences, agreed. “After an initial show in the media upon his arrival in Karachi, he will have nothing else to do. He has no future,” he said. “I think he will have good time with his buddies, play golf and drink together with them in the future but he won’t have any political activity.” To preclude the prospect of his arrest on arrival, his daughter, Ayla Raza, petitioned a court in Karachi on his behalf for protective bail in three cases, including the 2007 assassination of Bhutto. Judge Sajjad Ali Shah posted bail at Rs 300,000 over the 2007 sacking of judges, the 2006 death of Akbar Bugti, a Baloch rebel leader in the southwest, and the murder of Bhutto. The decision prevents Musharraf being arrested for 10 days in connection with the judges’ arrests and for 14 days in connection with the other two cases. Technically, the Supreme Court could intervene to reverse the order. “He has full protection now and he cannot be arrested in these cases upon his arrival in Pakistan,” Salman Safdar, one of Musharraf ’s lawyers, said.

uk to tighten visa rules LONDON OnLInE

Foreigners visiting Britain from ‘high risk’ countries will have to deposit ‘security bonds’ costing thousands of pounds to deter them from overstaying in the country. British Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg is set to announce plans to bring in the Australian-style deposits for visitors from certain countries, which would be repaid when they leave the UK. According to the Independent, although a list of such nations has not yet been created by the UK Border Agency (UKBA), it is expected to include Pakistan, other countries in the Indian subcontinent and some in the Middle East. The move could meet controversy if the list did not include ‘white Commonwealth’ nations. Clegg, who chairs the Cabinet’s Home Affairs Committee, has asked the Home Office to run a trial ‘security bonds’ scheme by the end of this year. The bonds would cost at least 1,000 pounds, rising to as much as several thousand pounds for visitors from the countries deemed to pose the highest risk, the report said. According to the report, describing the bonds as a ‘powerful new tool’, an advance copy of his speech said that Clegg would say that ‘the challenge is not just stopping people coming into Britain illegally, it’s about dealing with individuals who come over legitimately but then become illegal once they’re already here’. The Liberal Democrat leader will accept that visiting Britain to celebrate a family birth, a relative’s graduation, or a wedding, should not become entirely dependent on the ability to pay a bond. He has also asked Home Secretary Theresa May to double the maximum fine for unscrupulous employers who hire illegal immigrants as cheap labour.

1 killed, 5 injured in attacks on nato oil containers in Peshawar, khyber pESHAWAR/BARA InP

One man was killed and another five were injured when unidentified militants attacked NATO oil containers in two separate incidents in Peshawar and Khyber Agency on Friday. According to the Hayatabad Police, in Peshawar the unidentified militants attacked an oil container supplying fuel to NATO forces in Afghanistan in which one person was killed and three were injured. The injured and the deceased were taken to Hayatabad hospital where one of the injured was stated to be in critical condition. Sources said 10 containers were carrying fuel to NATO forces in Afghanistan on Friday when they came under attack. In the other incidence in Khyber Agency, the assailants attacked a NATO oil container in Wazir Danr area of Jamrud tehsil, injuring the driver and a cleaner, police sources said, adding that the assailants managed to flee soon after.

eCP releases final statistics on registered voters ISLAMABAD OnLInE

After the last day of registration of voters across the country on Friday, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) released final statistics on voters. According to figures, there are 86.1 million voters in total. Out of these, 48.5 million are male while 37.5 million are female. Punjab has the largest number of registered voters at 49.3 million, while the total number of registered voters in Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and Balochistan is 18.7 million, 12.3 million and 3.349 million respectively. In FATA, the total number of voters is 1.751 million while there are 621,000 voters in the federal capital.

four killed in Quetta firing attack QUETTA OnLInE

KARACHI: Former president pervez Musharraf’s daughter Ayla Raza arrives at the Sindh High Court for the hearing of her father’s pre-arrest bail petition on Friday. PPI

At least four labourers were shot dead by unidentified armed motorcyclists on the National Highway in Quetta on Friday. According to sources in the Levies, the four were proceeding to Mehmand Zai when they were stopped by the assailants on Kallat National Highway. The armed men started unprovoked firing, killing the four on the spot. Levies forces said the victims were on their way to fix a solar plant in Mehmand Zai. The bodies have been taken to local hospital and police has started a search operation.

Any caretaker PM appointed by eCP will be acceptable to PML-n: nisar ISLAMABAD STAFF REPORT

Former leader of the opposition in the National Assembly Nisar Ali Khan on Friday said any decision taken by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) in connection with the appointment of caretaker prime minister would be acceptable to the Pakistan Muslim league-Nawaz (PML-N). Talking to reporters outside the Parliament House after meeting the members of the Parliamentary Committee, Nisar said, “The PML-N’s stance on PCO is still valid as we do not support any PCO judge,” adding that Justice (r) Nasir Aslam Zahid had never taken oath under the Provisional Constitutional Order (PCO) and remained active

against former president Pervez Musharraf. When asked, the PML-N leader said Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl chief Fazlur Rehman had already said he would not be a part of any consultation for the caretaker prime minister, “so other than the JUI-F, all opposition parties were taken on board on the issue”. The PML-N leader expressed hope that the Parliamentary Committee would soon reach some agreement on finalising the name for the caretaker prime minister, adding that in case it failed, the ECP would be the final authority on the issue. Nisar said if the issue was referred to the ECP, it would not be anything out of the ordinary, as that was also a constitutional manner of solving the problem. To another query, he said all political

parties had agreed on evolving the system for the selection of the caretaker prime minister. Criticising the Pakistan People’s Party, Nisar said the PML-N had consulted all opposition parties in the Centre prior to finalising the names. However, he said, the PPP in Sindh had finalised the names without consulting the opposition or the alliance of the 11 political parties in Sindh. He said only an allied party in Sindh was consulted by the PPP, that too the one that held the position of governor in the province, adding that the PPP openly violated the 18th, 19th and 20th Amendments in the province. “The Sindh governor even contacted Pir Pagara and offered him positions in the coming caretaker setup, which is a serious violation of the democratic norms and values,” Nisar said.

Nisar said the names proposed by the PPP for the slot of the caretaker prime minister had already been rejected by his party, adding that the PML-N had reservations on the names proposed by the PPP in the Parliamentary Committee. Accusing Rasool Bukhsh Paleejo for being PPP’s pawn, Nisar said Paleejo visited the Presidency of and on, and had never played any kind of a political role, other than the fact that he was said to be a close aide of President Asif Ali Zardari. He said PTI Chairman Imran Khan was in politics just for the sake of criticism, adding that if the government and the opposition reached a consensus on any issue, Imran would call it a deal and if both failed, he would then criticise the PML-N for that.

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People should give mandate to a single party to resolve issues. — Marvi Memon


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saturday, 23 March, 2013

HYDRABAD: Women and their children walk on the bank of Indus River in search of water as the world observed Water Day on Friday. InP

Pakistan’s survival depends on democracy, says Zardari




RESIDENT Asif Ali Zardari said Pakistan was created as a result of a democratic struggle and its survival and well-being depended on a strong democratic system. In his message on the occasion of Pakistan Day, the president urged people to resolve that they would not permit anyone to trample their democratic aspirations. He asked his countrymen to work together

with the spirit of tolerance, mutual accommodation and respect for dissent. “It is a manifestation of the democratic ethos of our people that the elected Parliament first purged a constitution of dictatorial clauses and then completed its full five-year term. I wish to compliment the nation for this,” said Zardari. He said Pakistan Day, this year, will go down in history of the country as a memorable day when the democratically elected Parliament completed, for the first time, its constitutionally mandated term and the nation is poised for a democratic transition. He said 73 years ago on this day, the Muslims of the subcontinent resolved to achieve a separate homeland for themselves and then set out to materialise their dream within a span of seven years. “Pakistan Day, each year, is an occasion to reiterate our commitment to the ideals for which Pakistan was created,” Zardari said. It is also an occasion to pay tributes to the father of the nation, Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, and to all those who struggled, suffered and sacrificed for the cause,” said President Zardari. “May Allah bless us in our efforts to prove ourselves worthy inheritors of the homeland and heritage bequeathed to us by our forefathers,” said the president.

coMPleTIon of consTITUTIonal TenUre a MIlesTone: ashraf ISlAMABAD: Prime Minister (PM) Raja Pervaiz Ashraf said Pakistan is an independent, sovereign and democratic country and has achieved a milestone in the form of completion of a constitutional tenure by a democratic government. In his message on the occasion of Pakistan Day, the PM said the achievement was a leap forward for the cause of democracy. “It is now our duty to put the country on the trajectory of development and prosperity, to realise the dream of our forefathers for which they made untiring efforts and rendered exemplary sacrifices,” said Ashraf. “We are reviving the memory of the Pakistan Resolution at a time when the country heads towards parliamentary elections and the people are eager and resolute for fair, free and transparent polls in the country,” said the premier. This is exactly what Jinnah had envisaged- democracy to flourish and its fruits delivered to the people, said Ashraf. He expressed confidence that people will elect the best leadership in the forthcoming polls and use their sound political acumen. The PM said he would like to reiterate the message of Quaid-e-Azam which he delivered to the nation on 23rd March 1944, in which had asked the nation to go forward full of hope for the coming years, with faith in their hearts and unity in their camps. He said March 23 is a landmark day in the Pakistan Movement for it marked the beginning of a practical struggle for attainment of Pakistan. He said the Lahore Resolution, later named as the Pakistan Resolution, was a great demonstration of unity by the Indian Muslims. APP

Poor infrastructure, less water? ISLAMABAD APP

Pakistan Agriculture Research Council (PARC) on Friday held a seminar to commemorate World Water Day 2013. Speaking at the seminar, experts revealed that despite having the largest irrigation system in the world, Pakistan had lost about two third of its water resources due to poor state of infrastructure and unpredictable climate changes. “About two thirds of our water resources are lost in transmission and seepage,” Ministry of National Food Security and Research Federal Secretary Ahmed Buksh said while addressing the seminar. He said that at least 68 million acre feet of water could be utilised be if the canal system was adequately repaired and maintained. Moreover, he stressed the need for addressing the issue of water resource management at local, national, regional as well as international levels. PARC organised the seminar in collaboration with International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), Planning Commission of Pakistan (PCP),Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) Pakistan Water Partnership (PWP) and other national and international organisations. Speaking on the occasion, FAST rector and former chairman of PARC and ICIMOD board member, Dr Amir Muhammed said that agriculture sector had great potential to boost country’s economic growth and productivity. He said that owing to increasing population, land use was increasing and water resources were decreasing, adding that there was a pressing need for future planning.

Us to ‘rebalance’ its military in Asia Pacific: Pentagon WASHINGTON OnLInE

As part of its “rebalance” in Asia Pacific, the US is all set to deploy additional military resources, including more aircraft careers and fighter jets, in the region, a top Pentagon official has said. “Our rebalance means that a higher proportion of our assets will be in the region,” US Deputy Defence Secretary Ashton B Carter said in a speech in Jakarta on Thursday, a copy of which was made available here. Carter said 60 percent of US naval assets will be assigned to the Asia-Pacific

region by 2020, which he said was a substantial and historical shift. “The Air Force, for its part, will increase its posture and presence in the region by 2017, to include tactical aircraft like the F-22, space, cyber, bomber forces; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance assets like the MQ-9 Reaper, the U-2 and the Global Hawk,” he said. “We will be able to leverage more capacity from our ground forces – including the Army, the Marines, and special operations forces, now that they are coming home to the Pacific from Iraq and Afghanistan,” he added.

Carter said the US was modernising and enhancing its forward presence across the region in cooperation with its allies and partners. “We’re modernising and updating our alliances with Japan and South Korea. In Japan, we’ve added aviation capability, we are in the process of realigning the Marine Corps presence in Okinawa, and we are upgrading our missile defence posture,” he said. “We are working to revise the defence guidelines with Japan to meet the challenges of the 21st century. “On the Korean Peninsula, we are implementing the Strategic Alliance 2015

and taking important steps to advance the alliance’s military capabilities to meet the North Korean threat,” the US official said. Beyond Northeast Asia, the US is enhancing its presence in Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean region as well. “In this regard, I think it’s important to underscore, as National Security Adviser (Tom) Donilon did last week, that we are not only rebalancing to the AsiaPacific but also within the Asia-Pacific, in recognition of the growing importance of Southeast Asia to the region as a whole – emphasising humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, capacity building and multilateral exercises,” he said.

“In Australia, for example, our first company of Marines rotated through Darwin last year – the key first step toward using this presence to engage in bilateral and multilateral exercises with partners in the region,” Carter said. In the Philippines, the US is working on ways to enhance the capacity of the Philippines Armed Forces and to increase its rotational presence and partnerships with the key treaty ally. “In Singapore, the first of four littoral combat ships will be arriving in early April, providing a key capability to work bilaterally and multilaterally with our partners in the region,” Carter added.

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When I got into politics, it was a shock. People promise all sorts of things and then never deliver. –Matt Gonzalez


CoMMenT saturday, 23 March, 2013

free and fair In letter but not in spirit

obama’s blatant partiality Rewards for Israel, threats for Iran, Syria and Hezbollah


ARACK Obama’s first destination at the start of his second tenure was Israel. The US President was under fire during the election campaign for ignoring Israel. The powerful Israeli lobby in Washington is still pressurizing the administration to do more for Israel even if it implies further depriving the Palestinians of their rights. The visit was apparently aimed at reassuring the newly elected Benjamin Netanyahu who had supported Mitt Romney during the campaign that with Obama in power once again, Israel’s interests would be fully safeguarded. In what Netanyahu called a key development, the leaders announced new talks on extending US military assistance to Israel for another 10 years past the current agreement that expires in 2017. Those who had hoped that the appointment of Chuck Hagel as Defence Secretary was reflective of a change in Obama administration’s policy towards the Middle East would be disappointed. Obama had nothing for Iran, Syria and Hezbollah except warnings and threats. For Israel were reserved approbation and rewards. The speech that Obama delivered before a youth gathering in Jerusalem was one part Zionist ideology and one part real talk, observed a British daily. While sharing Netanyahu’s concern about Iran’s nuclear activity, Obama endorsed Israel’s right to defend itself as it deemed fit. This was an encouragement to Israel’s aggressive designs. Obama has raised with Netanyahu the bogey of Syria’s chemical weapons. He has repeated warnings to the Syrian government to keep them off the battlefield and out of the hands of groups such as Hezbollah. On the issue of the illegal Israeli settlements Obama actually backtracked. During his first tenure he had required putting a freeze on the activity. This time he told the Palestinians not to make the issue a precondition for peace talks. This is in fact a hint to Israel to continue the activity. Obama talked a lot about peace in the Middle East. The word actually occurs 22 times in the speech he delivered before the Israeli youth. But there was not a word about a new plan to bring Israelis and Palestinians to the negotiating table. Obama reiterated what he was doing for Israel, The security relationship between the two countries was never stronger, he observed. There were more exercises between the two militaries, more exchanges among their political, military and intelligence officials than ever before. The largest program to date to help Israel retain its qualitative military edge was already in place. Despite all the leverage that these measures provide it, Washington was not willing to put pressure on Israel to end the illegal settlements. Nothing was given to the Palestinians. They were however required to give concessions. This is thoroughly immoral. The visit is likely to raise the anti-US sentiment in the Middle East. What is more, it would strengthen the extremists.

ashgabat conference President’s visit important step for regional cooperation


HE importance of regional alliances cannot be overstressed for an embattled and – for the moment – ‘government-less’ Pakistan. At such a critical moment, with relations with its long-term ally, the US, strained over the go ahead to the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline, President Zardari’s two-day visit to the International Conference on Nauroz in Turkmenistan is a welcome omen. The President went in with a specific agenda, to underlie the potential strategic importance of Pakistan as a bridge between the Central Asian states and South Asia, and shared it with the heads of participating countries, including Turkmenistan, Iran, Tajikistan and Afghanistan. It was indeed important to reiterate Pakistan’s priorities as it has committed to building two key projects: the Gwadar Port and the Iran-Pakistan pipeline. In his address to the conference, President Zardari underlined the geostrategic importance of the region and the need for regional alliances based on economic cooperation. He stressed on the need to build robust road and rail links to enable the countries to fully exploit their natural resources. The President delivered three key statements of intent: willingness “to facilitate the transport of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Central Asia to South East Asia and other world markets,” “the Gwadar [port] is the shortest route for Central Asian states to the Arabian Sea,” and “provide safe transit of piped gas to neighbouring countries.” The underlying message was that Pakistan was still keen on the Turkmenistan-AfghanistanPakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline if the other countries were interested. Addressing a conference attended by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Tajik President Emomali Rehmanov and Afghan President Hamid Karzai, Zardari could have made an important strategic move in the long-term. Projects like the Gwadar Port and the Iran-Pakistan pipeline make no sense without strong regional cooperation between Pakistan’s immediate neighbours in both South and Central Asia. Trade and economic development are the best routes to long term regional peace. More so, the conference came at a timely moment for Pakistan, facing criticism for its strengthening relationship with Iran. Zardari’s choice to attend the Turkmenistan conference was an indicator that threats will not force Pakistan to act against its own interests. But it is important to note that while the verbiage was all positive, no major agreements were signed at the moot. Regional cooperation in the Central to South Asian corridor is still walking its early footsteps. Peace in Afghanistan and the end of terrorism in Pakistan appear to be the two key determinants. But the question is: does peace come first or a commitment to cooperation? It appears President Zardari, for now, has made the right choice.

Dedicated to the legacy of the late Hameed Nizami



HERE is no doubt that history has already been created. Never before in Pakistani politics an elected government has completed its term nor allowed to hold elections under its watch. There are a number of firsts in the May 11 general elections. Despite the hiccups in evolving a consensual caretaker setup, this is the first time that elections are going to be held under ostensibly neutral caretaker governments at the Centre as well as in the provinces. This is a unique experiment that has its own appended complications. Nowhere in a functioning democracy such a system is in vogue to hold elections. Bangladesh briefly flirted with such a dispensation with a military backed caretaker government headed by a judge to conduct general elections. Owing to its inherent complications the system was discarded for subsequent elections. In Pakistan unfortunately the letter of holding fair and free elections is being followed but not the spirit. The federal government kept the banking system open on its last day, which happened to be a Saturday in order to disburse funds literally till the last minute of its tenure. The federal as well as provincial governments being in the election mode for almost a year now have been mercilessly using state funds to bolster their standing. Dr Mubashar Hasan, the veteran politician, has already filed a writ petition challenging these measures. In his view they militate against the holding of fair and free elections. Only a few weeks ago finance minister Dr Hafeez Sheikh was made to resign from his post as well as relinquish his Senate seat. At the time he was portrayed as the hot candidate for the coveted slot of caretaker premiership.

People in the know of things were never in doubt that this was a red herring. The soft-spoken economist might be a myth in his own mind but he is no Turgut Ozal – the late economic Czar of Turkey who is credited for turning around the country’s sinking economy in the 1980s and early 1990s. Dr Sheikh’s backers knew that his name is associated with all that is wrong with the country’s economy. Hence no one would have agreed to his candidature as caretaker prime minister. Unlike Dr Sheikh his successor Saleem Mandviwalla does not sit on files. He is quick on the take. Decisions that the federal government wanted to take in unholy haste before the end of its tenure have been taken at breakneck speed. Neither have the provincial governments including the Punjab government have lagged behind in their endeavour to extract extra mileage in the twilight of their tenure. Thousands of ad hoc employees were made permanent, development funds allocated and doles given at state expense as if there was no tomorrow. The manner in which caretaker governments have been formed in Sindh and Balochistan has also left a bad taste in the mouth. Similarly the obstructionist attitude of the leader of the opposition Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan in tinkering with the process of selecting a caretaker prime minister harks back to the no-holds-barred political confrontation of the 1990s. Theoretically an independent and consensual election commission, an unconstrained and assertive judiciary, and a fiercely independent press should be more than enough guarantee to hold fair and free elections. However the constitutional provision added under the eighteenth amendment to form a neutral caretaker government for holding of elections, by itself is symptomatic of the lack of consensus amongst our polity. While in exile Benazir Bhutto Shaheed and Nawaz Sharif signed the Charter of Democracy in London in 2006 with much fanfare. The spirit of the COD has however come to naught. The only major difference is that the opposition was not boxed in a corner by the PPP led coalition. No longer being a zero sum game, no one is interested to invite the military to rule. Nor is the military under Kayani keen to intervene. How the squabbling politicians are using this space to strengthen democracy leaves much to be desired.



The writer is Editor, Pakistan Today



EDICATED fundraiser and the archetypical PTI auntie Fauzia Kasuri has been disqualified by the PTI’s internal election commission on account of her dual nationality, becoming only the latest victim of the green card curse. Her learning curve as a spin doctor on TV was flattish but her skill as a fundraiser was beyond reproach. Starting off by raising money for the Shaukat Khanum hospital, she went on to raising money for the PTI itself. Just

Another first in the May 11 elections is that it is going to be decided by relatively young voters. According to estimates, almost 58 percent of voters are 40 years old and 34 percent of voters are even younger – 31 years old. It is generally perceived that these 40 million plus votes are up for grabs. The PTI headed by Imran Khan thinks that young voters are the rump of its support and hence form the basis of its so-called tsunami. No doubt Imran is running a well-organized, concerted and well financed campaign. Interestingly although he claims, ‘plague on both their houses’, the brunt of PTI chief’s wrath is reserved for PMLN. Naturally his aim is to cut into the core support of PML-N in Central Punjab. The PML-N now filmy entrenched in its citadel for over two decades is well aware of the challenge being thrown at it. Sharif’s laptop scheme, Danish schools and development projects in Punjab are specifically aimed at appealing to the young voter. But portraying himself as the only agent of change, Imran is however poised to eat into the vote bank of established parties. Will his tsunami be enough to erode the vote bank of these parties to the extent that he bags substantial number of seats? Or he will end up playing merely a spoiler’s role is the big question. Coming weeks will be testimony to how Imran fares. He is banking a lot on his Lahore rally today. A lot of money and organizational savvy is being invested to make the gathering a roaring success. The PTI vociferously denies that it has any truck with the military establishment. Maybe not. But the army, which has never gone along with Nawaz since the demise of his mentor and patron Gen Zia ul Haq, will not mind an Imran Khan-led government emerging from the elections. The military has had a relatively smooth sailing with the PPP-led coalition. However the consistent downward slide of the economy under its watch hurts the khakis’ long term interests. As for Pervez Musharraf, he is returning to the country on Sunday to try his luck at the elections. He is welcome to the club! But as Shahbaz Sharif, who like his brother were hounded out by the former military dictator when they made separate attempts to return to Pakistan, said the other day: “What goes around comes around.”

the last tranche of the money she raised for the party is said to be Rs140 million. That’s seven zeroes, guys. Though forty million of that amount hasn’t yet been cleared after her disqualification. But things have a way of balancing out. Or do they? For a new entry (reentry) into the party is Dr Shirin Mazari. Her Teutonic Frightfulness had left the party some time ago over what she perceived to be a marginalization of the old guard within the party.

HE former finance minister Dr Hafeez Shaikh, a former wouldbe caretaker prime minister, is in London these days to rest and reflect, following the categorical rejection of his candidature by the other parties. Word is that when he’s ready to work again, he is not going to come back to Pakistan but go to Dubai, to work at his investment firm. Makes sense, since he didn’t exactly hedge his bets in the effort to become the caretaker premier and even gave up his senate seat. As they say, thhandi kar ke khaa!

Arif Nizami Editor Lahore – Ph: 042-36375963-5 Fax: 042-32535230 Karachi – Ph: 021-35381208-9 Fax: 021-35381208 Islamabad – Ph: 051-2287273 Fax: 051-2850505 Web: Email:

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The flood of money that gushes into politics today is a pollution of democracy. –Theodore White




saturday, 23 March, 2013

long live Pakistan, long live democracy! A salute is due to the toiling masses


the invisible demons I The nurseries of hate and their patrons must be confronted N a welcome move, the top military leadership has reiterated its resolve to continue the fight against terrorism. The announcement came at the conclusion of a meeting presided over by the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee and attended by the chiefs of the army, the navy and the air force. The reiteration was unequivocal that a “comprehensive strategy will be followed by the armed forces to combat the terrorist threat being faced by the country”. The statement comes when the parliament stands dissolved and the country is moving towards the national elections on May 11. Apparently, the ruling coalition and the opposition appear to be struggling for a consensus on the induction of an interim government. But, like so much else that has lapsed into the realm of the impossible, this also appears headed in that direction and the matter, most likely, will be decided in the court of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) – the least of the desirables at the conclusion of a so-called five-year democratic rule! Among the innumerable failures of the government, the most notable has been its inability to address the menace of terrorism. The whole country remained in the grip of bloody assaults which continued to increase in ferocity throughout the tenure of the government resulting in loss of strategic advantage, human lives and massive damage to infrastructure. This phenomenon has endered the country more vulnerable in facing this daunting challenge. Much against the wishes of the armed forces, and in spite of their repeated exhortations, the government failed in devising a political strategy to deal with this existential threat. Instead, RAOOF HASAn it remained engrossed in making debilitating compromises with its partners and collaborators to stay in power. This inflicted a telling blow on its credibility and writ alike which never quite recovered from the damage. Absolutely mind-boggling is the fact that, for all its five years in power, the government never really got down to chalking out a comprehensive strategy to address the growing menace. While the gun-and-suicide-bombs-carrying terrorists have been much projected, there is another breed of terrorism that has kept sprouting in our midst. This devious form has been perpetrated by leaders who have clandestinely collaborated with the extremist mindset to win political advantage. Included in such outfits are multiple banned organisations and their offshoots that have routinely sprung up in the country. In addition to the FATA region which is alleged to have traditionally harboured the terrorist forces, its other notable sanctuary has flour-

Candid Corner

ished under the patronage of the leaders of Punjab. These nurseries have supplied and nurtured the forces that have routinely unleashed destruction upon the innocent people of the country. Hidden behind these demonic forces are the invisible fundamentalists wearing the garb of deceit and deception. In public, they keep clamouring their irrevocable commitment to root out the menace from the country, but in plush drawing rooms and hidden from the glare of the cameras, they barter the sanctity of the country for a few more seats in the parliament. Their minds are corrupted and their hands tainted with the blood of the people. They are the people who, not very long ago, nurtured the dream of being proclaimed the “Amir-ul-Momeneen” of the Republic when they were openly challenged by some sane voices in their midst. But, it is a dream they have not surrendered. Put away in the closet, they have nurtured it arduously and painstakingly and are clamouring to bring the demon out once given a chance by the electorate. To further their prospects, they strike electoral alliances with the operatives of banned outfits in exchange for continued governmental and personal patronage. No wonder the ones who have wreaked untold havoc on this country demand their guarantee as a precondition to initiating a dialogue with the government. In the meanwhile, the country remains plagued with indecision, literally parched for a credible and sustainable policy and programme for initiating the long and difficult battle to banish the demon of fundamentalism

from its midst. When the enemy is visible, it is easy to do an appraisal on its strengths and weaknesses and chalk out an effective strategy to overcome it. But, when the enemy is invisible, it makes the task enormously more difficult. It is this invisible threat wearing a deceptive garb that Pakistan needs to confront. It is this venomous demon that must be eliminated without any loss of time. The nurseries of fundamentalism reside in the sick brains of these power-grabbers. Their tricks need to be understood and their strategies confronted. If we keep concentrating only on the visible threat, these nurseries of hate and obscurantism will continue to feed the battalions of marauders that are out to permanently dismantle the liberal edifice and ethos that the founding father had outlined for Pakistan on that eventful day of August 11, 1947. It is a miracle that, in spite of countless illicit assaults, that dream of a liberal and progressive Pakistan has survived the ravage. It has survived because this dream resides in the hearts of every Pakistani who wants to see his country freed from the tentacles of religious strife and ethnic and sectarian divisions, who wants to expedite the exit of the prophets of doom and who wants to work for the advent of a prosperous Pakistan. This will come about only when the nurseries of hate have been unearthed and their patrons and protectors indicted.

When the enemy is visible, it is easy to do an appraisal on its strengths and weaknesses and chalk out an effective strategy to overcome it. But, when the enemy is invisible, it makes the task enormously more difficult. It is this invisible threat wearing a deceptive garb that Pakistan needs to confront.

The writer is a political analyst. He can be reached at

HE Pakistan Day on March 23 would be yet another landmark event in the life of the nation. The firstever election to be held under a democratic government has been announced for May 11 by President Asif Zardari after the completion of five-year constitutional tenure of the parliament. It would be yet another WAjID SHAmSuL HASAn first that power would be transferred through vote to an elected government after a series of extraconstitutional interventions of the past. It would indeed be a momentous occasion for the entire nation that has suffered long to see democracy blossom into a formidable dispensation despite long catalogue of intrigues, machinations and Praetorian coups backed by the judiciary. As the nation gears up for the historic polls, I would like to salute the toiling masses who remained steadfast in their commitment to pursue the democratic destiny chosen for them by the Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah and those great men and women who braved worst possible persecution to keep the torch of freedom alight. While it would need a separate article to record the long journey of how we have come to such a joyous pass, briefly I would like to remind the nation about a historic coincidence. One of the greatest political figures of our struggle for democracy Begum Nusrat Bhutto was also born on 23rd March many years before Muslims in India resolved to carve a separate homeland. Begum Nusrat Bhutto was born in Isfahan, Iran on 23 March, 1929. Her life went through many ups and downs in Pakistani politics. Her husband, Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, was the founder of the Pakistan Peoples Party. Her son-in-law Mr Asif Ali Zardari is currently President of Pakistan. Begum Nusrat Bhutto took over as head of the Pakistan Peoples Party after Shaheed Bhutto’s elected government was overthrown in a coup by Gen Ziaul Haq in 1977 and subsequently Bhutto Sahib was eliminated by him in 1979. She led the party for several challenging years until her now-martyred daughter Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto took over as head of PPP to become the first ever woman to be prime minister twice in a Muslim country. Begum Nusrat Bhutto was an iconic political leader who made significant contribution towards establishment of democratic rule in Pakistan and founded a unified opposition – Movement for the Restoration of Democracy (MRD) – to wage struggle to free the country from the clutches of dictatorship. She was one of the most charismatic leaders of our time and god mother for the entire nation, especially those underprivileged who found in her a voice for themselves. Her services for democracy and the masses of Pakistan will never be forgotten. It is satisfying moment for the nation as it pays tribute to Begum Nusrat Bhutto, her daughter Benazir Bhutto and all those who sacrificed in blood, toil and tears and made idea of a democratic Pakistan possible. Notwithstanding the enormous difficulties electoral matters are moving in the right direction and we shall have a change of government through vote at last. Five years of democratic rule have been of far reaching consequence. We never had it as good as manifested in politics of reconciliation and consensus – a vision of Benazir Bhutto – that brought its political leadership including the opposition, military and judiciary on the same page. Constitutional amendments – the 18th, 19th and 20th – have made democracy invincible. Pakistan today is self-sufficient in wheat and its economy has shown improvement slowly but surely overcoming multifarious challenges. Its Benazir Bhutto Income Support Scheme has laid the foundation of a social welfare state. The legacy of the government that is moving out would be a source of strength for its successor since the nation and its institutions are unified on issues of national and strategic importance. President Zardari’s decision of handing over management of Gwadar Port to China and Pak-Iran gas pipeline are of paramount importance for the progress and prosperity of the country. Among its other achievements include opening up of trade with India without compromising on the core issues. Yet another feather in its cap is the excellent relations with the United Kingdom as endorsed by the British Prime Minister in his oft-repeated assertion that “your enemies are our enemies and your friends are our friends”. As High Commissioner of Pakistan to UK I must acknowledge the role played by the UK in getting Pakistan market access into EU and its continued tenacious support to Pakistan for GSP+ status. No doubt the UK has established itself as our most reliable friend in the western hemisphere. As far as Afghanistan is concerned Pakistan has convinced all parties to initiate a dialogue with Taliban for an Afghan-specific resolution when the NATO withdraws by 2014. Now it is up to Taliban to respond positively to a way out of imbroglio. A resilient Pakistan, however, is determined to safeguard its sovereignty and eliminate terrorism. Pakistan today has an independent judiciary that had been rendered into a pliable tool in the hands of dictators in the past. Media too can gloat itself on account of the absolute freedom it enjoys. It is also a matter of pride for the government that there is no political prisoner in the country. Even rallies led by foreign nationals are allowed to symbolise the nation’s strength in democracy. It is satisfying to note that President Zardari has buried the politics of vendetta and replaced it with tolerance and peaceful coexistence as a democratic way of life. He has also ensured that power would be transferred to those who win elections within the framework of the constitution under an interim set up. It is a landmark and proud achievement that a democratic government has completed its tenure to make room for constitutionally mandated transfer of power. Long live Pakistan, Long live democracy! The writer is High Commissioner of Pakistan to the UK

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InfoTaInMenT Saturday, 23 March, 2013

What makes us human, I think, is an ability to ask questions, a consequence of our sophisticated spoken language. –Jane Goodall

mega volcanoes responsible for mass extinctions on earth? NEWS DESK

surprise study: great whites eat often

Great white sharks are a lot hungrier than scientists realized, a new study suggests. The old line of thinking, based on research done in the 1980s, is that a great white could snack on, say, a 60-pound seal pup and go six weeks without another meal. As it turns out, it's more like two weeks, max, say researchers at the University of Tasmania, reports AFP. In fact, the sharks are likely to be feeding every few days, not every few weeks. The findings are based on a meticulous study of a dozen sharks that factored in their metabolic rate and swim speeds. So why was the old study so far off? The best guess is that "they picked a shark that probably wasn't working very hard at the time when they did it," one of the new researchers tells Australia's ABC News. nEWS DESK

Pretoria hunt for missing snake goes high-tech

The Pretoria Zoo says it is turning to technology with infra-red cameras to search for a 6.5-foot-long black mamba snake that escaped from its enclosure a week ago. Zookeepers in South Africa's capital think the snake probably is in the roof of a service building behind its terrarium, preparing to hibernate. That hasn't stopped fearful callers to radio talk shows discussing the nearly always fatal results of a bite from one of the world's fastest and most venomous snakes. The missing snake, of course, now has a Twitter account. nEWS DESK


ASSIVE volcanic eruptions may have led to the extermination of half of Earth's species some 200 million years ago, a new study suggests. The release of gases from giant eruptions caused climate change that led to the EndTriassic Extinction, the widespread loss of land and sea species that made way for the rise of the dinosaurs, the research says. The new study, published Thursday, March 21, in the journal Science, shows that a set of major eruptions spanning from what is now New Jersey to Morocco occurred very close to the time of the extinction. Scientists suspected previously that such volcanic activity and the resultant climate change were responsible for this major extinction and at least four others. But researchers weren't able to constrain the dates of the eruptions and extinctions well enough to prove the hypothesis. The new study, however, dates the End-Triassic Extinction to 201.56 million years ago, the same time the volcanoes were blowing their tops. The eruptions, known as the Central Atlantic Magmatic Province, began when the land on Earth was part of one giant supercontinent called Pangaea. They lasted more than 600,000 years and created a rift that became the Atlantic Ocean. The researchers

studied lava from these flows in modern-day Nova Scotia, Morocco and New Jersey. The previous dates for these eruptions had error margins of 1 million to 3 million years, but this study decreases those numbers by an order of magnitude, lead author Terrence Blackburn, a geologist at the Carnegie Institution for Science, told LiveScience. The results showed that the oldest massive eruptions were in Morocco, followed by the ones in Nova Scotia 3,000 years later and then those in New Jersey another 10,000 years after that. Animal and plant fossils, along with pollen and spores from the Triassic era, can be found in sediment

layers underneath the lava flows, but not in layers above them. This suggests the eruptions wiped out those species. The organisms that went extinct include eel-like fish called conodonts, early crocodile species, tree lizards and broad-leaved plants. Blackburn and colleagues determined the age of the lavas based on their mineral content. When lava flows cool, the center regions remain hot, and some chemical elements, like the mineral zircon, fail to crystallize. Zircon incorporates large amounts of uranium, which radioactively decays into lead at a specific rate. By measuring the ratio of uranium to lead in lava rock, the

universe 80 million years older than we thought

The universe has been around just a bit longer than we've given it credit for. Scientists today unveiled the most accurate data ever recorded from the radiation left over from the milliseconds after the Big Bang, revealing that the universe is roughly 80 million years older than advertised, Science News reports. of course, that only amounts to a 0.5% difference given that the universe is around 13.81 billion years old. But that was far from the only finding of value. The data

comes from the planck space telescope, and combines to form a kind of map of the universe. "It might look like a dirty rugby ball, but some cosmologists would have given up their children to get a copy of this map," says one University of Cambridge cosmologist. Among the puzzling findings: Half of the sky appears to have more fluctuations than the other, contradicting the theory that the universe should look nearly identical in all directions. nEWS DESK

Your next smartphone screen may be made of sapphire NEWS DESK Manufactured sapphire—a material that’s used as transparent armor on military vehicles—could become cheap enough to replace the glass display covers on mobile phones. That could mean smartphone screens that don’t crack when you drop them and can’t be scratched with keys, or even by a concrete sidewalk. Sapphire, a crystalline form of aluminum oxide, probably won’t ever be as cheap as Gorilla Glass, the durable material from Corning that’s used to make screens on iPhones and other smartphones. A Gorilla Glass display

costs less than $3, while a sapphire display would cost about $30. But that could fall below $20 in a couple of years thanks to increased competition and improving technology, says Eric Virey, an analyst for the market research firm Yole Développement. And since sapphire performs better than glass, that price could make it cheap enough to compete, he says. Sapphire is harder than any other natural material except diamond; by some measures, it’s three times stronger than Gorilla Glass, and it is also about three times more scratch resistant. That’s why Apple uses it now to protect the camera on its iPhone 5. Virey says that all major

mobile-phone makers are considering using sapphire to replace glass. “I’m convinced that some will start testing the water and release some high-end smartphones using sapphire in 2013,” he says. An alternative to using pure sapphire is to laminate an ultrathin layer of sapphire with another, cheaper transparent material, maintaining much of the performance advantage of sapphire at a cost comparable to that of the glass typical in mobile-phone displays. For this purpose, GT Advanced Technologies, based in Nashua, New Hampshire, is developing a method for making sapphire sheets thinner than a human hair—much thinner than the nearly millimeter-thick glass used now on mobile phones. (The technology, originally developed for making very thin solar cells, was acquired from Twin Creeks Technologies. See “Startup Aims to Cut the Cost of Solar Cells in Half.”) GT is also cutting the cost of sapphire manufacturing by following the strategy that it used over the last several years to reduce the cost of making crystalline silicon for solar cells.

scientists could figure out precisely when the eruptions occurred. "Zircon's really the perfect time capsule,"Blackburn said. A second piece of evidence supporting the role of volcanism comes from reversals in the Earth's magnetic field. The researchers found mineral grains from one of these reversals in the sediment layer that formed just before the extinction. Since the researchers found the same layers at every site they studied, the magnetic reversal serves as a marker for when the extinction occurred. A final line of evidence comes from repetitive motions of the Earth. As the planet rotates on its axis, it wobbles around like a top, which causes the amount of energy it receives from the sun to fluctuate depending on the areas that are pointed directly at the sun. These fluctuations correspond to different climate conditions and occur on a regular interval. By using these intervals, the researchers were able to determine the age of fossil-containing sediments to within 20,000 years. The gigantic eruptions would have vented sulfates that reflected sunlight back into space, effectively cooling the planet for several thousand years. But the eruptions would also have released large amounts of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, causing global warming. Many species wouldn't have been able to survive this dramatic shift in temperature and would have died out.

new database tracks slave graveyards across us

Fordham has launched a first-of-its kind national database designed to catalog places in the US where slaves are buried. The Burial Database Project of Enslaved African Americans is the brainchild of Fordham's Sandra Arnold, whose ancestors were slaves, reports the New York Times. The site relies on visitors to submit information about the locations of cemeteries along with those buried there. “The fact that they lie in these unmarked abandoned sites, it’s almost like that they are kind of vanishing from the American consciousness," says Arnold. The intent is to build a "historical network of sorts," says the Root, which interviews Arnold and others involved with the project. Had something like this been in place last year, it might have saved Walmart some construction headaches in Alabama. nEWS DESK

are amazon and the Cia doing business? Amazon can already track your book purchases, recommend titles based on your latest browsing history, and is annoyingly great at peppering the websites you see with ads based on your shopping habits. So would it surprise you to learn that the online bookseller is getting into the intelligence game? Federal Computer Week, a magazine that covers technology and the federal government, is reporting that Amazon has signed a contract with the CIA, agreeing to help the agency develop cloud computing technology over the next decade. While the magazine's anonymous sources confirmed the $600-million deal, Amazon, America's largest online book retailer, and the CIA both declined to confirm it. nEWS DESK

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sPoRTs saturday, 23 March, 2013

Pak have good chance of winning davis Cup tie: khalid LAHORE STAFF REPORT

Non-playing captain of Pakistan tennis team, Muhammad Khalid has said that his side has bright chances of winning the Davis Cup Asia-Oceania Group II tie against New Zealand at the grassy courts of Myanmar. “Definitely we enjoy superiority as far as the grass courts are concerned because our players are too on that surface and they have proved it whenever they played on grass,” he said after a training session of the team at a camp here on Friday at Model Town. Aqeel Khan, Muhammad Abid and Yasir Khan are attending the camp which will continue till March 29. Pak will play the tie against Kiwis from April 5-7. “Pakistan’s most celebrated international player, Aisamul Haq is currently playing in Myanmar and he would be joining the team there to give final touches to his preparations with the other team members,” he asserted. Khalid, himself a former Davis cupper, said it is an added advantage for the Pak team that the tie is being playing on grass which is the favourite surface of Pak players. “Our track record shows that we are capable enough on grass and enjoy upper hand against New Zealenders in the tie and what is needed a high quality display on part on our players to outshone our opponents,” he added. He said Aisam is fully fit and engaged in competitive international tennis in Asia and his participation in the tie will be an inspiration for the other team members to put in extra efforts. “But one thing is very obvious that reliance on one player for achieving desired results is not a fair judgment because Davis Cup ties are always challenging and some times weaker oppositions can beat their fancied rivals,” he said. Praising the hard work and talent of Aqeel and his contributions for Pakistan in earlier Davis Cup ties, Pak non playing captain said Aqeel is a vital force of the team and together with Aisam they are a lethal force. “It is a deadly combination of skills and experience and both have greater understanding as they are representing the country quite long in Davis Cup ties." He said he will also be banking upon the young talent of Abid and Yasir and he believes that these players will be there to support the efforts of their seniors. “Even on grass it is not going to be an easy way for us and we have to demonstrate a high quality show to defy a strong challenge of New Zealand side,” said the non playing captain. He urged the team members not to feel complacent of having grassy court advantage.

We fought back really well and tried really hard so I'm proud of the way we bounced back. – AB de Villiers

batting fightbacks on ‘slow pitch’ please misbah, de villiers m DURBAN


ISBAH-UL-HAQ has backed Mohammad Hafeez, saying his reaction suggested he did not wilfully change course while running to obstruct the field. A lot of attention coming into the fourth South AfricaPakistan ODI in Durban was centred around the pitch and subcontinental-like conditions the venue often proffers. While both captains agreed that the track was a bit slow, South Africa's AB de Villiers said the conditions weren't that "difficult" to deal with, rather it was losing set batsmen at the wrong time that cost his team. "The main thing was to adapt quickly and to assess the pitch conditions, it just took us a while and cost us a few wickets," de Villiers said after the match. "After about three or four overs that I faced, I got used to the pace of the deck and realised that it wasn't turning much. It only started to turn more after about 3035 overs, because of which the leading edges were there. There wasn't a lot of turn and it was quite slow; once we got used to that, we rotated the strike and picked up a few boundaries to get the momentum on our side again." De Villiers was left to salvage the South African innings with David Miller, who replaced the injured Faf du Plessis,

after the top order was carved up by Pakistan's new-ball pair. Mohammad Irfan and Junaid Khan had the hosts gasping at 38 for 4 in 10 overs, before a 115-run stand between de Villiers and Miller put them back on track. However, both batsmen were dismissed within four overs on either side of the 35-over mark, denying South Africa an ideal finish. While that proved costly for his side,

de Villiers pointed out that they were dismissed by the "best bowler in the world", in Saeed Ajmal, so it was not "the end of the world". "It was very important to bat till the end. But it's part of the game, you're not going to bat 50 overs every game as an individual. "My gameplan was to get to 45 overs, which I didn't, and I'm sure Dave too wanted to bat longer," he said. "I thought

both of us batted really well, did a massive job for the team to get back into the game and to get a decent total. At one stage we were staring at a low total but we fought back well. Unfortunately I got out at a really bad time. It cost us 20 runs which would have been handy during the end of the bowling session there." Pakistan's innings took a similar course, with a clutch of wickets going down at the start, only for captain Misbahul-Haq to resurrect the chase in the company of Imran Farhat. Importantly for Pakistan, Farhat stayed till the 48th over, bringing them to the very brink. Misbah had good words for him: "The ball wasn't coming at an even pace, there was a little bit of extra bounce in the second half, some balls were stopping a little bit, it wasn't easy to bat on that, but I think at the end Imran batted well. They bowled well, but we showed a little bit of character and we managed to win this game." It was a game Pakistan had to win to keep the series alive, and their chances of doing that took a blow early on as Mohammad Hafeez was out for a duck in the second over, becoming the first batsman in international cricket to be dismissed obstructing the field under the new laws. While Misbah accepted that the decision ultimately lay with the umpires, he said Hafeez's reaction suggested he did not wilfully change course while running to get in the way of de Villiers' throw.

Black Caps take charge on opening day EDEN pARK



Alastair Cook's decision to bowl first backfired badly as Peter Fulton cut England's bowlers down to size with a maiden Test hundred at Eden Park. 'Two-metre Peter', as 6ft 6in opener Fulton is also known, came of age as the second oldest New Zealander to post a century at the highest level for the first time. The 34-year-old shared an unbroken stand of 171 with Kane Williamson (83 not out) in a stumps total of 250 for one leaving England with scant chance already of fighting back well enough on a steadfastly benign pitch to break the 0-0 deadlock in this final Test of the series. Fulton's share of the spoils was 124no from 277 balls, including 15 fours and three sixes, while Williamson was also an immovable force on the way past his own 118-ball half-century. England had only Steven Finn's breakthrough just before lunch, for the wicket of Hamish Rutherford, to show for their unequal struggle. True

EngLAnD WOn THE TOSS AnD CHOSE TO BOWL nEW zEALAnD FIRST InnIngS P. Fulton not out 124 37 H. Rutherford c Cook b Finn K. Williamson not out 83 Extras (b-4, lb-2) 6 250 Total: (for one wicket, 90 overs) Fall of wicket: 1-79 Still to bat: Ross Taylor, Dean Brownlie, Brendon mcCullum (captain), Bj Watling, Tim Southee, Bruce martin, neil Wagner, Trent Boult. Bowling: Anderson 19-5-44-0, Broad 19-5-57-0, Finn 22-6-611, Panesar 25-9-70-0, Trott 3-1-7-0, Root 2-1-5-0 England: Alastair Cook (captain), nick Compton, jonathan Trott, Ian Bell, joe Root, jonny Bairstow, matt Prior, Stuart Broad, Steven Finn, james Anderson, monty Panesar. Previous results: First test - match drawn Second test - match drawn

bounce, a lack of pace and absence of lateral movement gave the tourists precious little to work with - derailing Cook's gamble that this drop-in pitch might be at its most fruitful for his bowlers on the first morning. There was zero encouragement from the outset for England's front-line seam attack, under sunny skies, including

first-change Finn at the same venue where he gave Rutherford a torrid time in the tourists' one-day international victory last month. James Anderson twice beat Rutherford on the back foot, and then had Fulton edging high and just past third slip to go from 12 to 16. But there were no

clear-cut chances, apart from when Finn had Rutherford edging to Cook at slip on the back foot to end an opening partnership of 79. Cook turned to Monty Panesar half an hour before lunch, only to see Rutherford hit the slow left-armer twice for six either side of the short straight boundary in his second over.

Gayle, Chanderpaul turn screw on Zimbabwe DOMINICA AgEnCIES

Centuries from stalwarts Chris Gayle and Shivnarine Chanderpaul highlighted a festival of batting on Thursday as West Indies built up a 206-run lead over Zimbabwe on the second day of the second and final test in Dominica. The hosts reached 381 for eight at the close with Chanderpaul top scoring on 108 after Gayle had earlier made 101. West Indies are well placed in their bid for a sixth successive test win - not achieved since 1988 - after Zimbabwe were bowled out on the opening day for 175. There might have been three centurions in a single day at Windsor Park in Roseau but Denesh Ramdin fell 14 runs short, trapped leg before by Graeme Cremer to a ball that skidded onto him. He and Chanderpaul put together a 173-run partnership for the fifth wicket that ensured a day of toil for the inexperienced Zimbabwe bowlers, who

SCOREBOARD WEST InDIES WOn THE TOSS AnD ELECTED TO FIELD zImBABWE FIRST InnIngS 175 WEST InDIES FIRST InnIngS (OvERnIgHT 114-2) g. gayle c jarvis b utseya 101 K. Powell b jarvis 24 D. Bravo c Taylor b jarvis 0 m. Samuels b Chatara 26 S. Chanderpaul c Williams b utseya 108 D. Ramdin lbw b Cremer 86 D. Sammy c masakadza b Cremer 9 S. Shillingford not out 4 K. Roach b utseya 0 T. Best not out 11 Extras (b-4, lb-7, w-1) 12 Total (for eight wickets, 117 overs) 381 Fall of wickets: 1-35 2-35 3-114 4-181 5-354 6-366 7-370 8-370 To bat: S. gabriel Bowling (to date): jarvis 21-3-82-2 (w-1), Chatara 22-2-69-1, masakadza 17-6-48-0, Cremer 34-6-102-2, utseya 22-6-60-3, Williams 1-0-9-0 West Indies won first test by nine wickets.

stemmed the flow with four wickets in the final session. The 38-year-old Chanderpaul also moved past Mahela Jayawardene of Sri Lanka into eighth place on the list of all time test run scorers, his 28th hundred taking his tally to 10,830 runs in 148

matches. He offered just two sharp chances in an innings of studied concentration that lasted some six hours and 284 balls before being caught by Sean Williams off spinner Prosper Utseya. Gayle was spectacularly caught in the deep by a diving Kyle Jarvis playing one swashbuckling shot too many after plundering three sixes off four balls to get to his ton. The opener went from 61 overnight to reach his 15th test century before lunch. West Indies started the day on 114 for two but saw Marlon Samuels (26) bowled by the first ball of the day -- a full effort from Tendai Chatara that swung late. The wickets of Ramdin (86) and captain Darren Sammy (9) in the last session were the first of the series for Cremer after being heavily punished in the first test in Barbados last week. Utseya finished the day with 3-60, his first test wickets. West Indies won the first match of the series by nine wickets.

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The way we played the first test we can take a lot of positives. In the second test, we bowled them out in one innings and that is quite a positive sign. – Mushfiqur Rahim

Warne blames captains for leg-spin decline

SyDNEy Six years since he quit international cricket with 1 000 wickets to his name and a reputation for reviving a moribund craft, Shane Warne is concerned about the current lack of high-class leg-spinners in cricket. Five slow bowlers feature in the top 10 test bowlers' list but none are leg-spinners, who seem to be being overshadowed by their leftarm and off-spinning cousins. Warne blamed the defensive mindset of captains as the primary reason for the decline of the craft he mastered and glamorised in his illustrious 15year-old career. "Without trying to be arrogant about it, it's hard," the 43-year-old Australian told reporters on Thursday. "That's why we are not seeing a lot of leg-spinners around the world. It's difficult in this age of cricket. So much Twenty20 and so much relying on economy rate." Warne said what made it tough was the attitude of the captains even at junior level, which is in stark contrast with the skippers he and his contemporary Indian legspinner Anil Kumble bowled under.

PCb signs mou with afghanistan board LAHORE STAFF REPORT

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Friday signed a memorandum of understanding with Afghanistan Cricket Board for the development of Afghanistan’s cricket. The Scope of assistance by PCB to ACB includes Game Education Programs (including Level-1 and Level-2 coaching courses, skill and performance analyst, basic umpiring courses as well as preliminary and basic curator/groundsman courses) plan/organize and implement Players Development Programsinclusive of two High Performance Camps for Emerging Players at NCA (one each year) for a duration of four weeks per camp which will include around five matches against the NCA’s Emerging Players Team. These programs will also aim to improve skills in technical, tactical, mental and physical areas. In addition to this, the PCB shall also arrange lectures/ practical activities that include life skills, doping, anti-corruption and various codes of conduct. “The PCB has always supported and helped the ACB with regards to cricket’s development there since the 1990s. Actually it is Pakistan’s support that has Afghanistan cricket make rapid strides amongst the ICC’s affiliate member nations, taking it to the verge of enhanced status to associate member,” said the PCB Chief Operating Officer Subhan Ahmad “With the PCB’s continued support, Afghanistan has the potential to go places. And this would be good not just in terms of spreading the game in Afghanistan but promoting peace and harmony there by bringing the people closer”, he said . The ACB CEO Noor Muhammad acknowledged that the PCB’s support has been of utmost importance to Afghanistan’s cricket. “The MOU that we have just signed shall take Afghanistan Cricket’s development on a fast track. Our cricketers, coaches and umpires shall be able to make use of PCB’s excellent facilities and various education programmes. Our boys will get the opportunity to hone their skills in high-calibre competitions. “I am indeed obliged to the PCB for this kind and voluminous support”, said ACB CEO Noor Muhammad.



saturday, 23 March, 2013

india in command on tricky pitch NEW DELHI






USTRALIA survived an allout India onslaught in the afternoon to reach the relative safety of stumps on 231 for eight on the first day of the fourth and final test in Delhi on Friday. When the players retired for the night, Peter Siddle was on a 125-ball 47 - his highest test score - and James Pattinson had 11. The pair's unbeaten 42-run partnership came in 17 overs, and followed an equally dogged eighth-wicket stand of 53 (in 26 overs) between Siddle and Steven Smith, before the latter became Ravichandran Ashwin's fourth victim, caught at short leg for 46. The hosts took the second new ball in the 93rd over - having sustained a brutally intense over rate throughout the day - but the two quicks, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Ishant Sharma could not make the breakthrough in the final 20 minutes of the day's play. Earlier, India fought back with five wickets in the afternoon as Australia wobbled on 153 for seven at tea. Smith was unbeaten on 25, having faced 104 deliveries, and Siddle had five, as the visitors buckled under relentless pressure from India. Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja were the destroyers, as first Ashwin bamboozled Ed Cowan, tossing it up outside leg, but Cowan missed the sweep and was bowled around his legs for 38. Jadeja struck soon after, fooling Shane Watson by a shorter delivery to which he charged down the track, but it turned sharply and he was left stranded when Mahendra Singh Dhoni whipped off the bails. Watson made only 17. Matthew Wade did not last long, caught by Murali Vijay at silly point off Ashwin for two, but could feel a touch aggrieved as there was no bat involved. Having dispatched Pragyan Ojha for a

AuSTRALIA 1ST InnIngS Ejm Cowan b Ashwin 38 DA Warner c Kohli b Sharma 0 45 Pj Hughes b Sharma 17 SR Watson st Dhoni b jadeja 46 SPD Smith c Rahane b Ashwin mS Wade c vijay b Ashwin 2 gj maxwell c Sharma b jadeja 10 3 mg johnson b Ashwin 47 Pm Siddle not out 11 jL Pattinson not out DnB: nm Lyon Extras (b 5, lb 7) 12 Total (8 wickets; 98 overs) 231 Fall of wickets: 1-4 (Warner, 1.4 ov); 2-71 (Hughes, 20 ov); 3106 (Cowan, 32 ov); 4-115 (Watson, 38.5 ov); 5-117 (Wade, 40.4 ov); 6-129 (maxwell, 46.2 ov); 7-136 (johnson, 53 ov); 8-189 (Smith, 81.2 ov) Bowling: Kumar 9-1-43-0, Sharma 14-3-35-2, Ashwin 30-1740-4, Ojha 23-6-67-0, jadeja 22-6-34-2 India: Am Rahane; m vijay; CA Pujara; SR Tendulkar; v Kohli; RA jadeja; mS Dhoni; R Ashwin; PP Ojha; B Kumar; I Sharma Toss: Australia elected to bat umpires: RA Kettleborough, Aleem Dar Third-umpire: S Ravi Referee: RS madugalle

six and four off successive deliveries, Glenn Maxwell then holed out to Jadeja, presenting an easy catch at mid-off for 10. Mitchell Johnson was the final wicket of the afternoon, when he did not picking Ashwin's

Aussie coach stands by suspension decision


Australia coach Mickey Arthur has no regrets over the decision to suspend four players for disciplinary issues during the current tour to India. The Australia team management caused a major stir last week when they told vice-captain Shane Watson, James Pattinson, Usman Khawaja and Mitchell Johnson they would not be considered for the third Test against India. The quartet were punished for failing to make a presentation on how the side could improve, but Arthur later revealed there were other ongoing issues within the squad that needed addressing as well, including being late for meetings and back-chat. Speaking ahead of the fourth Test against India, where Australia are attempting to avoid a 4-0 series whitewash, Arthur stood by the disciplinary action that was taken. And he also insisted he would do exactly the same if he had to do it all again. He told Radio Five Live: "Absolutely. I've reflected long and hard because it's been a really tough 12 days, probably the toughest of my coaching career, but at the end of the day if you asked me if I believe in

what I did and would I take that decision again, along with (captain) Michael (Clarke) and our team manager, then yes we would because we believe that that was exactly what was needed. "What we've got is a team of very very inexperienced but very talented and good young players and our leadership style had to change towards them. "We had to demand excellence. "We could sit and wallow in mediocrity and stay third or fourth in the world, or we could take a real paradigm shift in everything we did, put team first, be ruthless on the one percenters, be ruthless on team etiquette and basics, and we could give ourselves the best possible opportunity of winning the Ashes and getting back to number one in the world. "And I really believe in that and if we had to do it all over again I would certainly make the exactly same decision because I'm very passionate about where Australia cricket is at the minute." Asked whether the disciplinary action worked, Arthur said: "I've been very very impressed by the reaction of the players over the last 12 days." Following his suspension, Watson hinted he was considering his international future as he flew home to Australia to be at the birth of his child. However, the 31-year-old this week returned to the national fold with a "burning ambition" to continue his Test career, and in a remarkable reversal of fortunes for the all-rounder he could now captain Australia in Delhi. That is because Clarke is struggling with a back injury, although Australia will wait as long as possible before ruling him out. If Clarke's problem proves to be something serious, it will be major concern for Australia with back-toback Ashes series coming up against England later this year.

carrom ball and decided to leave it alone, only for his stumps to be knocked over. The visitors were in charge for the best part of the morning, reaching lunch on 94 for two, fighting hard on a tricky track, after winning

the toss and electing to bat. Cowan (27 not out) and Watson (16 not out) combined after Australia lost David Warner in the second over of the day for a duck, and Phil Hughes for 45. Warner chased a wide ball from Sharma to be caught by Virat Kohli at second slip, a ball he could easily have left alone. Hughes bided his time, capitalising on the frequent bad deliveries and playing with confidence on a wicket that will only get worse as the match progresses. He was especially hard on Kumar and India's best spinner, Ashwin, taking five fours off them in no time, before settling down somewhat. Sharma had the last say, though, first hitting Hughes with a steepler that reared up from slightly short of a length and crashed into the batsman's helmet. Three deliveries later, Sharma found the inside edge as Hughes - probably a tad rattled - defended tentatively only to steer the ball into his stumps.

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It's just fun to know that I obviously can do it, and I take a lot of confidence from that. – Justin Rose

17 S

sPoRTs saturday, 23 March, 2013

Condolence messages keep pouring in on Zakir syed’s death

serena wins first match as numero uno


President, Dar Hockey Academy, former hockey Olympian, Taquir Ahmad Dar, has condoled the death of Zakir Hussain Syed, former director general, Pakistan Sports Board. “Zakir devoted his life for the cause of sports and served a number of sports in different roles besides being an versatile organizer and administrative”,he said here on Friday. He said late Zakir's services for sports will always be remembered. Dar expressed his heart felt sympathies with the bereaved family and prayed to Allah Almighty that the departed soul may res in eternal peace and grant courage to them to bear this loss wit fortitude. Lahore City Cricket Association has condoled the death of former Secretary of Asian Cricket Council, Zakir Hussain Syed who was also a former director general of Pakistan Sports Board. In a condolence message, President, LCCA, Khawaja Nadeem Ahmad, Secretary, Mian Javed Ali and treasurer, Sarfraz Ahmad expressed their heart felt sympathies with the bereaved family. They prayed to Allah Almighty that the departed soul may rest in eternal peace and grant courage to the bereaved family to bear this loss. President, Pakistan Olympic Association, Lt Gen (Retd) Syed Arif Hasan and the entire Olympic family of Pakistan have condoled the death of a former director general of Pakistan Sports Board,Zaakir Hussain Syed. “Late Zakir served countrys sports during his two time regime as DG of PSB and his contribution for the uplift of sports will also be remembered “,they said here on Friday. May Allah Almighty shower His blessings on the departed soul with heavenly peace and grant courage and fortitude to the bereaved family to bear this irreparable loss.

kinnaird college wins Women Cricket title LAHORE STAFF REPORT

Kinniard college imposed a massive 154 runs defeat to Lahore college women club to win the title of inter district women cricket here on Friday at Bagh-e-Jinnah ground. SCoReS: Kinnaird Club Women – 294-5 in 50 overs: (Bismah Maroof 132*, 17x4s, 166 balls, Sidra Amin 75, 7x4s, 117 balls, Fareeha Mahmood 22, 4xz4s, 18 balls, Sana Mir 11, 1x4, 14 balls, Zeba Manzoor 2-60, Marium Shafiq 1-44, ,Rabia Basri 1-43). Lahore College Women Club – 140 in 40.2 overs:(Marina Iqbal 42, 3x4s, 75 balls, Ayesha Qazi 37, 5x4s, 55 balls, Iram Javed 3-27, Elizabeth Barkat 3-24). Afia Amin and Riffat Mustafa supervised the match as umpires and Zahoor Alam was the scorer.




ERENA Williams dropped just two games in her first match back as world number one, cruising past Flavia Pennetta in the second round of the ATP & WTA Sony Open. The American top seed did not have it all her own way from the outset, and found herself 0-40 down on serve in the opening game following two double faults. However, she quickly got into her rhythm and - after saving all seven of her Italian opponent's break-point opportunities - posted a 6-1 6-1 victory in one hour 17 minutes. "It was a little frustrating because I felt like I should be putting the balls away more quickly, but she was so quick and was running every ball down," the 15-time major winner said on "I was trying to get myself more pumped up and more

energetic out there, because I believe she was ranked in the top 10 at one point. "I think I was off, footwork-wise, but it's always good to win a match and then just keep going." The 31-year-old will face Ayumi Morita in round three after the Japanese saw off 31st-seeded Belgian Yanina Wickmayer 7-6 (7/2) 2-6 6-3. Serena's sister Venus also progressed, albeit having been pushed to three sets by Japanese veteran Kimiko Date Krumm. The 19th-seeded American triumphed 7-6 (7/3) 3-6 6-4 to set up a third-round clash with compatriot Sloane Stephens, the 16th seed battling back from a first-set wobble to sink Belarus' Olga Govortsova 0-6 6-4 6-4. World number four Agnieszka Radwanska opened her title defence with a comfortable 6-3 6-2 win over Hsieh Suwei. The Pole, a winner in Auckland and Sydney this year, broke her Taiwanese opponent four times in a match which lasted 65 minutes. China's fifth seed Li Na made a successful return from a seven-

week injury absence with a 6-3 6-1 victory over Holland's Kiki Bertens. Seventh seed Petra Kvitova and ninth seed Caroline Wozniacki each needed three sets to advance, the Czech sinking China's Shuai Peng 5-7 6-2 6-2 and the Dane overcoming Czech Republic's Karolina Pliskova 5-7 6-3 6-3. Thirteenth seed Dominika Cibulkova, Varvara Lepchenko (25) and Kirsten Flipkens (30) enjoyed much more straightforward passages with respective straight-sets wins over Kristina Mladenovic, Irina-Camelia Begu and Stefanie Voegele. Marion Bartoli was the highest-seeded casualty, retiring with a foot injury against Andrea Petkovic. The German led 6-3 4-1 when the Frenchwoman called it a day. Other seeds to fall at the second-round stage were Lucie Safarova (17), Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (23), Julia Goerges (24) and (27), who were despatched by Romina Oprandi, Garbine Muguruza, Ajla Tomljanovic and Magdalena Rybarikova.

Capriati charged with stalking, state US reports pALM BEACH AgEnCIES

Former world number one Jennifer Capriati has reportedly been charged with stalking and battery after allegedly punching her ex-boyfriend last month. The 36-year-old three-time major winner allegedly assaulted Ivan Brannan on Valentine's Day while he was working out at a gym in North Palm Beach, Florida. According to reports in the United States, Capriati has been issued a summons to appear before a judge at Palm Beach Gardens courthouse on April 17. Capriati's attorney, Richard Lubin, on Thursday night insisted his client had done nothing wrong and vowed to clear her name. He told the Palm Beach Post: "Unfortunately, false accusations against celebrities is an almost daily occurrence in the world we live in. "Jennifer Capriati is innocent of these charges, and we intend to vigorously defend her name against this nonsense."

bata fC, usmania in district football semis LAHORE STAFF REPORT

Bata F.C and Usmania F.C breezed into the semi finals of the Lahore district football championship after registering victories in their respective quarter final ties here on Friday at Model Town and Faisal Town Football grounds. Bata eliminated Universal Cargo F.C 8-2. From winners Zahid ul Islam, Usman Mukhtar, Mudasar Mukhtar struck two goals each while Anwer Sohail & Umer Mukhtar produced one apiece from the losing side. Usmania scored hard earned 1-0 win over Real Lahore with Hassan scoring the lone goal of the match in the 18thminute.

Pakistan day Women hockey match LAHORE STAFF REPORT

Fatima Jinnah XI and Begum Rahna Liaqat Ali Khan XI will clash in exhibition match to mark the celebrations of Pakistan day here tomorrow, Saturday at outer ground of national hockey stadium. Leading players of the country drawn in both the teams will take part in the match being organized by Punjab women hockey association.

VC XI wins GCU Festival Cricket Match LAHORE STAFF REPORT

The Vice Chancellor XI Friday chased the enormous target of 220 runs in 15 overs to reign over the Old Ravians XI by 8 wickets, at the festival cricket match at the Government College University Lahore Oval Ground. Former test cricketer and Old Ravian Asim Masood was the chief guest on the occasion. GCU Vice Chancellor Prof. Dr. Muhammad Khaleeq-ur-Rahman graced the festival match as the Guest of Honor.

Earlier, winning the toss Old Ravians XI chose to bat first and made the best of their decision as Old Ravians posted the huge total of 219 runs in 15 overs under the captaincy of president Old Ravians Union Kamran Lashari. Batting maestro, Old Ravians Shahid Anwar, Aftab Iqbal and Mian Mubeen scored some quick runs in the early overs and dispatched the cricket ball all over the ground. Sajjad Akbar played an exquisite innings and secured the end and fell to Azhar Iftikhar in the dead overs of the innings scoring 42 runs. Shahid Anwar remained top six hitter

among the Old Ravians as he smashed the ball beyond boundary for seven times. Chasing a challenging total of 220 runs, Vice Chancellor XI proved their mettle and proved a better side of the day as they chased the target in just 12.2 overs at the loss of only 2 wickets. Azhar Iftikhar, Irfan Zaman and Saleem Barki gave no margin to Old Ravians XI, to strike and sneak an entry back into the match. They were further pushed back on the back foot when Irfan Zaman from VC’s XI was talking in fours and sixes; he played a wonderful innings and

scored 157 runs and guided Vice Chancellor XI safely to the victory. Addressing the prize distribution ceremony, Asim Masood recalled his memories associated with playing under the famous clock tower of GCU, he visited GCU after 47 years. GCU Vice Chancellor Prof. Dr. Muhammad Khaleeq-ur-Rahman congratulated the VC’s XI on wining the annual festival match after 6 year. Later, the GCU Vice Chancellor and Asim Masood along with Director Sports Khadim Ali Khan presented souvenirs to the distinguished Old Ravians and match officials.

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I'd rather it was wet. The inters (intermediate tyres) were very good to us at the last race. – Jenson Button


sPoRTs schwartzel claims share of lead in Malaysia KUAlA lUMpUR: Pre-tournament favourite Charl Schwartzel claimed a share of the clubhouse lead before the Maybank Malaysian Open was delayed for the second day by bad weather. Schwartzel, who won back-to-back tournaments in December last year by a combined total of 23 shots, was four under par after 11 holes of his first round when thunderstorms forced play to be abandoned for the day on Thursday. The South African was among 78 players who resumed play this morning at 7:45am local time and completed an opening 67 in style, chipping in for a birdie on the 18th. That left the 2011 US Masters champion two shots off the clubhouse lead held by Thailand's Kiradech Aphibarnrat, but it did not take him long to wipe out that deficit when the second round got under way. Starting from the 10th, Schwartzel birdied his first two holes and picked up two more shots on the 17th and 18th to be out in 32, while further birdies followed on the third and fifth. At that stage he enjoyed a three-shot lead and looked capable of another runaway victory, but bogeys at the sixth and seventh meant he had to settle for a 68 and nine-under-par halfway total of 135. China's Ashun Wu was also safely in the clubhouse on nine under after five birdies and one bogey in his 68, while Scotland's Alastair Forsyth - winner of the event in 2002 - was two behind with two holes of his second round to play. AgEnCIES

1st national Women Weightlifting today

FURC holds sports Gala


The inaugural edition of national women weightlifting championship will be held here from Saturday at Punjab University Old Campus Ground. All affiliated units of Pakistan Weightlifting Federation including Army, WAPDA, Railways, Punjab, Balochistan, Sindh, KPK and Islamabad are sending their best female lifters to take part in the one day activity, said Hafiz Imran Butt, Secretary, PWLF on Friday. Altogether 40 female weightlifters will compete in seven body weight categories including 48 Kg, 53 Kg, 58 Kg, 63 Kg, 69 Kg, 75 Kg and +75 Kg. “It is the first ever national weightlifting competition among the women and we anticipate interesting and tough competition”, he added. Mrs. Shameela Asalm, a former member of Punjab Assembly will be the Chief Guest of the closing ceremony and will distribute medals among winners at 4:30 pm.

SEpANG Kimi Raikkonen posted his intent to start the Formula One season with back-to-back wins after finishing quickest in second practice ahead of the Malaysian Grand Prix. Just five days after chalking up his 20th career victory by taking the chequered flag in Australia, Raikkonen proved the win was not a flash in the pan as Lotus appear to be strong title contenders. After ending FP1 in a Red Bull sandwich as Raikkonen split pacesetter Mark Webber and triple world champion Sebastian Vettel, the Finn went one better in the

watCh It LIve STAR SPORTS 4th Test: India v Australia

09:00 AM

TEN SPORTS 2nd Test: West Indies V Zimbabwe

07:00 PM

Pakistan day Cycle race today LAHORE STAFF REPORT

Pakistan Cycling Federation in collaboration with Punjab Cycling Association is organizing Pakistan Day cycle race here Saturday. Prominent riders from Punjab will take part in the event which will flag off from Ichhra terminating at the Qadaffi Stadium Junction of Metro Bus Stop. Nasir Siddique Bahti is the incharge of race and Syed Nazakat Ali will act as the Chief Judge of the event . Ch Kamran Amin, Secretary,l Pakistan Cycling Federation will be the chief guest at the closing ceremony to award cash awards to the winners.

rugby elections held LAHORE STAFF REPORT

The General Body of the Pakistan Rugby Union has elected the following officials for the term 2013-17 in their Extraordinary General Body Meeting held on Local hotel Lahore: Election procedure under the Supreme Court senior Lawyer Nawaz Qasori who is returning officer of those elections, Pakistan Olympic association and Pakistan sports board representatives was also observers on these elections. President: Fawzi Khawaja, Vice Presidents: Maj Gen ® M Ashraf Ch; AIG Shahzad Sultan; YahyaBhatti, Secretary: Arif Saeed, Treasurer: Khurram Khawaja, Executive Members: Rizwan ur Rab Malik, Khuram Haroon, Najeeb Tariq, Tariq Pervaiz, Adeel Awan, Noor Aslam. The above have been elected for a period of Four Years.

kPk win inter Provincial judo title LAHORE STAFF REPORT

RAWALPINDI: Students take part in various competitions during Sports Gala held at Foundation University Rawalpindi Campus on Thursday.


The concluding ceremony of Foundation University Rawalpindi Campus (FURC) annual sports gala was held at FURC on Thursday. Rector, Foundation University Islamabad (FUI), Maj. Gen. Gul Muhammad HI(M) (Retd), was the chief

guest while Director FURC, Prof. Dr. Aftab Ahmad was also present on the occasion. The events of the Gala included cricket, table tennis, squash, chatti race, 3-legged race and tug of war. Rector FUI distributed the certificates and medals among the winners of different competitions. While speaking on the occasion, Prof. Dr. Aftab Ahmad said, “Such events play a significant role in the character building,

spirit of competition, discipline and leadership. Besides, these activities help to keep a good physical health and inculcate self-confidence and time management among the students. He said, FURC is fully aware of the importance of sports and is making dedicated endeavors to provide ample opportunities to the students for participation in such activities.

Raikkonen leads the way in second practice AgEnCIES


saturday, 23 March, 2013

second 90-minute session as his form from Melbourne spilled over into Malaysia. Raikkonen's time of one minute 35.569secs was four tenths of a second ahead of Webber's best earlier in the day, and quicker than anything from across all three sessions of last year. The prime reason was the switch to the faster medium compound Pirelli tyre for his run, as opposed to the hard rubber also available. The 33-year-old edged Vettel into second place by 0.019secs, with the German followed closely by Felipe Massa in his Ferrari, the Brazilian 0.092secs adrift. Massa was comfortably clear of team-mate Fernando Alonso,

runner up in Melbourne, with Webber fifth fastest and Romain Grosjean sixth on the timesheet for Lotus. Nico Rosberg again had the edge on Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton, with the duo seventh and ninth and the latter a full second adrift of Raikkonen, either side of Force India's Paul Di Resta. Hamilton, in particular, has been suffering with high degradation to his rear tyres on a circuit where he has yet to win, with his highest finish second in his debut year of 2007. Adrian Sutil rounded out the top 10, but sat out most of the session with a technical problem to his Force India that restricted him to 10 laps.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa won the Interprovincial Judo Championship title with seven medals at Peshawar’s Qayyum Stadium on Friday. KPK claimed five gold, one silver and one bronze medal to take 89 points during the two day event which aimed at unearthing new talent of judo. Pakistan Judo Federation along with K.P Judo Association organized the event in which FATA Judo Association took the 2nd place with 42 points and having won two gold, one silver and four bronze medals ,said the information made available here. Islamabad Judo Association stood third with 39 points with lone gold, two silver and one bronze. In all 42 players and 8 female officials belonging to the team from KKP, Sindh, Punjab,Balochistan,Fata,Islamabad and IJK participated in the competition.

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saturday, 23 March, 2013

only PMl-n can BrIng real change



AKISTAN Muslim LeagueNawaz President Nawaz Sharif on Friday said he would bring real change in the country if given an opportunity to rule. Addressing electoral candidates on Friday, he said the challenges being faced by the country were due to corruption of the rulers. Nawaz said he had vowed to declare unconstitutional the steps of former president Pervez Musharraf and he kept his promise. The PML-N chief said they were not struggling to become prime minister or chief minister but to steer the country out of troubled waters. Criticising his political rivals, he said they were unconscious of the real problems faced by the nation and measures to tackle these problems. He said due to the

deeds of former leaders, Pakistan had been isolated in the world and was being seen with hate. Nawaz vowed to bring an end to load shedding, terrorism, unemployment and inflation and make Pakistan the “Asian Tiger”. He said other political leaders had nothing but hollow slogans to offer that had nothing to do with practical dimension of the challenges faced by the people. Criticising former president Musharraf, he said he was a shortsighted leader who surrendered before then US leadership after a single telephone call and set aside national interests. “History bears testimony that when my party came to power in the past, it introduced revolutionary projects for agricultural and industrial progress,” the PML-N chief said, adding that if the nation gave him another opportunity in the forthcoming elections, they would link Karachi and Peshawar through motorway. He regretted that several commissions, including East Pakistan tragedy and Abbotabad, were formed but their reports had not been made public. Nawaz later took oath from party candidates for not indulging in corruption and to follow party decisions to resolve the problems of the country.

JUI-f withdraws sc petition against Bhc verdict ISLAMABAD STAFF REPORT

The Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUIF) on Friday withdrew its writ petition filed in the Supreme Court challenging the Balochistan High Court (BHC) verdict over the provincial assembly’s opposition leader. During the hearing of the petition, Justice Tasaduq Jilani remarked that it was good that the issue had been resolved gracefully.A divisional bench of the Balochistan High Court (BHC) had rejected an earlier notification by Balochistan Assembly Speaker Matiullah Agha regarding the appointment of Maulana Wasay of the JUI-F and restored Nawabzada Tariq Magsi as the opposition leader in the provincial assembly. The petitioner, challenging the BHC verdict, had pleaded the apex court that Maulana Wasay should be appointed as speaker of the provincial assembly.

DERA ALLAH YAR: Security personnel collect evidence from the scene of a bombing here on Friday. OnLInE

ali Musa gilani, shahabuddin to be indicted in ephedrine quota case RAwAlpInDI: Court of Control of Narcotic Substances (CNS) on Friday decided to indict Ali Musa Gilani, son of former premier Yousuf Raza Gilani, and former federal minister Makhdoom Shahabuddin along with other accused in the ephedrine quota corruption case. The court was also informed that the alleged front man of Gilani had been arrested on Friday from Karachi. CNS judge Arshad Mehmood Tabassum heard the case, while Ali Musa Gilani, Makhdoom Shahabuddin, Col (r) Tahir Lahoti, Ansar Farooq, Ansaar Ahmed, Asad Hafeez, Abdul Sattar Sorani, Iftikhar Ahmed Babar and Abdul Khaliq

analysts say Us must be the first to offer peace overtures to break the deadlock ISLAMABAD SHAIQ HuSSAIn

The Obama administration is urging Pakistan to use its “good offices” for breaking the deadlock between the US and the Mullah Omar-led Afghan Taliban over the recommencement of ‘peace talks’ in Qatar that collapsed in March last year. Currently, there is a standoff between the US and Taliban over the restart of peace dialogue due to Washington’s ‘inability’ to meet the key demand made by the Afghan insurgents to release five Taliban detainees from the Guantanamo Bay prison. The Taliban made this demand during the talks with US officials in Doha, Qatar that collapsed after continuation of some months in March 2011 when the Taliban leadership went out of talks blaming the Americans for failing to fulfill their commitment of releasing the Taliban prisoners. The US also wants the Taliban leadership to renounce publicly the international terrorism and al Qaeda, a major American demand that the Mullah Omar-led Afghan insurgents are not willing to accept before the release of their prisoners from the US prison in Guantanamo Bay. According to diplomatic sources, the constant opposition of Afghan President Hamid Karzai to the formal opening of ‘Taliban office’ in Doha is yet another stumbling block in the move-

were also present in court. The court ordered the prosecution to provide copies of the report to all accused and decided to frame a charge on them in the next hearing. ANF Joint Director Legal Col (r) Akhtar Abbas informed the court that ANF had arrested the alleged front man of Ali Musa Gilani and prime suspect in the case, Tauqir Ali Khan from Karachi on Friday. He was presented before judicial magistrate Muhammad Aslam and got a seven-day physical remand. The court also issued non-bailable arrest warrants for Khushnood Lashari, former principal secretary of premier Gilani, and Anjum

Us keen on resUMIng TalIBan Talks wITh PakIsTan’s helP ment forward as for the Afghan reconciliation process. The Karzai administration is of the view that the Taliban shall use their office in Doha for holding talks only with the Afghan High Peace Council set up by Kabul for peace dialogue and not with the other Afghan groups, whereas Mullah Omar and other Taliban leaders believe that the talks with the US alone could help resolve the Afghan imbroglio and any negotiations with Karzai administration are of no use. “The Obama administration, which is keen to move forward with the peace negotiations with the Taliban in Qatar, wants Islamabad to impress upon Taliban leader-

Published Published by by Arif Arif Nizami Nizami at at Plot Plot ## 7, 7, Al-Baber Al-Baber Centre, Centre, F/8 F/8 Markaz, Markaz, Islamabad. Islamabad.

Shah, the alleged front man for Makhdoom Shahabuddin, due to their continued absence. According to ANF, in 2010, Danas Pharmaceutical Company, Islamabad and Berlex Pharmaceutical, Multan obtained a 9,500 kg quota of the controlled chemical, ephedrine, from the Ministry of Health for export to Iraq and Afghanistan. Later, the medicine manufactures got the export quotas converted to local consumption quotas and allegedly smuggled the chemical to Iran for Rs 7 billion with the help of smugglers in Quetta and Karachi.The court adjourned the hearing until April 5. STAFF REPORT

ship for the recommencement of talks with Washington,” a diplomatic source said on condition of anonymity. Asked about Pakistan’s response to the US demand, the source said Islamabad would support all efforts that led to durable peace and stability in the war-torn neighbouring state. However, he said before the release of Taliban detainees from the US prison, it would be a daunting task to bring the Taliban to the table of negotiations. Hence, the Taliban prisoners needed to be released for the reconciliation process to move ahead. Another diplomatic source, who sought anonymity, said the US also wanted the Taliban to agree to holding talks with the all Afghan groups, including the Karzai government. He said the US officials believed that the Taliban willingness to hold talks with the Afghan government would help in securing the agreement of President Karzai over the opening of Taliban office in Qatar and he (Karzai) would stop opposing the crucial development. Nonetheless, he said the transfer of Taliban prisoners from Guantanamo Bay to Qatar would be a good step to start with for the American authorities instead of the demand coming from Washington that the Taliban should be the first to accept certain conditions, like renouncing the international terrorism. “The Taliban could accept the American demands such as condemning the international terrorism, but for that the Obama administration would have to take the initiative and be first to come up with peace overtures. The release of Taliban detainees would be a good CBM to begin with, for instance,” the source said. Editor: Editor: Arif Arif Nizami Nizami

new book reveals Us scare after accidental shot near nejad’s motorcade WASHINGTON SPECIAL CORRESPOnDEnT

A new book due to be released next month reveals how a US secret agent’s shot near Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s motorcade in 2006 gave the White House a scare which worried how the firebrand leader could use the incident. Excerpts of the book “Deep State: Inside the Government Secrecy” posted by the Atlantic disclose that an intelligence brief on the apparent accident was three sentences long, and it scared the hell out of White House officials. Based on excerpts from the book by Marc Ambinder and DB Grady Mar, the account says one morning in September 2006, during the United Nations General Assembly, President George W Bush’s daily intelligence brief contained a particularly chilling item. It was three sentences long, and it scared the hell out of the dozen or so White House officials cleared to read it. According to one official, it began, “A US Secret Service agent, in an apparent accident, discharged his shotgun as Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was loading his motorcade at the InterContinental Hotel yesterday.” At the time, the Bush administration was weighing how to deal with the Iranian nuclear-weapons programme. And here a Secret Service agent had just given Iran a potentially devastating public-relations coup. Ahmadinejad was certain to reveal the accident in some grand form before the whole of the United Nations. He might allege that the United States had tried to assassinate him, and thus upend the entire conference. “When I read that, I remember closing my eyes,” recalls the official. The agent was adjusting the side-mounted shotgun on one of the motorcade’s armored follow-up Suburbans when it discharged. “Everyone just stopped. The Iranians looked at us and we looked at the Iranians. The agent began to apologise. Ahmadinejad just turned his head and got into his car.” And that was it, according to the Atlantic post. “The Iranians told no one. Their silence led several White House aides to begin to see Ahmadinejad in a new light. Here was evidence that maybe Iran was acting strategically, and therefore cautiously.”

E-paper Pakistantoaday 23rd March, 2013  

E-paper Pakistantoaday 23rd March, 2013