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Rs 15.00 Vol ii no 299 22 pages
thursday, 26 april, 2012
Jamadi-ul-Sani 4, 1433
Gilani’s day of reckoning arrives as PM decides to walk to the Supreme Court to exhibit ‘respect for judiciary’ g PM’s son summoned by ANF for questioning g PPP orders all MNAs, MPAs to reach Islamabad g
ISLAMABAD Staff RepoRt The day of judgement is here – a seven-member Supreme Court bench will today (Thursday) decide the fate of Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani for willfully defying its order by not writing a letter to the Swiss authorities for reopening graft cases against his party’s co-chairman, President Asif Ali Zardari. Gilani on Wednesday told his cabinet he would appear before the court for a third time and head to the court premises “on foot” to exhibit his respect for the apex court. Meanwhile, in an unpleasant surprise for the defiant PM, his son Ali Musa Gilani, a nominee in the Ephedrine quota scam, was summoned by the Anti-Narcotics Force for recording his statement at almost the same time Gilani is scheduled to appear in SC. Gilani’s Principal Secretary Khushnood Akhtar Lashari, also named in the Rs 7 billion drug scam, has been directed to appear before ANF on Friday (tomorrow). The court’s decision cannot be anticipated until it is announced. However, the most likely scenario is that Gilani will have to pay for not implementing the court order. And, he is willing to face the consequences – six months imprisonment and a constitutional bar from holding any public office for five years. Having achieved the distinction of becoming the longestserving chief executive of the country, Gilani has publicly made it clear that he would accept going to jail suggesting that he would neither bow before the court nor would he take the blame for being disloyal to his party.
There are apparently two scenarios – conviction or acquittal. In case of his conviction, the prime minister will be morally bound to immediately step down but this is unlikely as his counsel Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan has said Gilani would still be the chief executive even in jail. Experts are of the view that there is a possibility that the seven-member bench may convict Gilani and sentence him until the rising of the court instead of sending him to jail for six months. But even if his sentence ends with the rising of the case, they say, he would be considered a convict and thus disqualified to hold any public office. It, however, remains to be seen whether his legal team decides to seek a review of the seven-member bench’s decision. If they opt for this, the case may be dragged for some more weeks. But the matter will not end with Gilani’s conviction. Legal experts say the conviction will ensue long-drawn legal procedure to unseat the prime minister, as after his conviction a question has to be raised in the National Assembly that he has become disqualified to be a member of the House. Continued on page 04
US reluctant to restore KerryMysterious disease killing Punjab poultry Lugar Bill, CSF aid for Pakistan Poultry industry hiding the facts from government and masses as thousands of birds have died in several farms g
LAHORE nauman taSleem and imRan adnan
A mysterious disease has hit the poultry farms in Punjab resulting in the deaths of thousands of birds across the province, Pakistan Today learnt on Wednesday. The industry sources said the disease, which has developed immunity against antibiotic treatment, has plagued Punjab for the last one-and-a-half months and the bigwigs in the industry are making all out efforts to hide it from the masses. They said that thousands of birds had died due to the disease. The farms at MangaSundar Road, Kasur, Sialkot and Gujranwala are badly hit by the disease that causes sudden death of chickens. “Farms along the Manga-Sundar Road that are major suppliers to Lahore are worst hit by the disease,” an industry source said, adding that the disease had developed immunity and made it impossible for farmers to stop the deaths. The average age of a healthy chicken is around six to eight weeks. However, with this disease, the bird dies in the third or fourth week. Looking at the disease, the farmers are trying to sell the chicken in the early age so that in case of death, the loss could be reduced. “This is the reason that chicken sold in the city are of low weight but infected by disease,” he added. The supply of chicken has also been disturbed in the city resulting in an increase of prices, which have touched Rs 270 per kg. “So far, the consumers are not aware of the disease therefore they are buying chicken but due to a reduction in supply, the prices are going up,” he added. Interestingly, the Punjab government has so far not checked the quality of chicken
provided to the city and farmers are getting away and selling their produce. “The provincial government is not aware of the disease therefore no action is being taken,” the sources added. Some of the farmers, who spoke to Pakistan Today, confirmed that their stocks had vanished overnight and they were helpless. Tufail Khan, a manager at poultry farm on Manga Road said he vaccinated his birds but the entire stock died. “At least 40,000 chickens expired in one night. The situation is similar in other farms,” he said, adding that in many farms the mortality rate remained more than 60 percent and in some farms 90 percent of birds had died. The medicine suppliers to the farmers have also confirmed presence of the disease, adding that so far the companies are trying their best to develop vaccination for the virus but it will take time. “At least two to three months are required to develope an effective vaccination for this disease,” said a supplier of a company while seeking anonymity. The veterinary doctors, meanwhile, suggested avoiding consuming chicken. They said that it was not certain which type of disease had hit the farms, therefore it was better not to consume chicken. “The bird flu is killed during cooking at high temperature, but under the current scenario it is advisable for consumers not to eat chicken,” Veterinarian Dr Asef Hameed said, adding that every virus changed its shape and as a result the medicine for this specific disease became ineffective. Pakistan Poultry Association former chairman Abdul Basit confirmed that the disease was an advance shape of the Newcastle disease in which chickens died in the fourth or fifth week of life.
The country’s top economic team has failed to persuade the US to restore the aid under the Kerry-Lugar Bill and Coalition Support Fund (CSF) for Pakistan, an official said. “The US has linked the restoration of Kerry-Lugar Bill and Coalition Support Fund with the resumption of supply line for NATO troops in
Afghanistan,” the official in the Finance Ministry said, adding that in the recent Pak-US officials’ meeting held at Washington, the US officials response was not positive when Pakistani authorities raised the issue of aid restoration for Pakistan. Finance Minister Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh in his recent meetings with the US official reiterated the demand for payment of US grant under the Coalition Support Fund to Pakistan and in-
formed them that Pakistan had placed the CSF in the budget, and if it did not receive the amount during the rest of the current financial year, the economic troubles of the country would increase as Pakistan had projected $800 million in receipts. In an attempt to restore the aid of Kerry-Lugar Bill and Coalition Support Fund for Pakistan, the country’s top economic team had reached Washington on April 17 and is scheduled to return today (Thursday).
India, Pakistan to sign ‘liberalised’ visa agreement: Krishna NEW DELHI agencieS
Seeking closer ties through a sustained talks process and a step by step approach to solve outstanding issues, India and Pakistan are likely to sign a “liberalised visa agreement” when their home secretaries meet in Islamabad next month, Indian External Affairs minister SM Krishna said on Wednesday. Krishna was speaking to the Lok Sabha about the April 8 daylong visit of President Asif Ali Zardari to India during which he met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh over lunch. “The two leaders (Manmohan Singh and Zardari) felt that priority needed to be given to issues of people-to-people contacts. In this context, they decided that a liberalised visa agreement which has been worked out should be signed during the next meeting of the home/interior secretaries,” Krishna said.
The home secretary level talks between India and Pakistan, in the pipeline since December, are likely to take place in Islamabad by the end of May. Home Ministry sources said Islamabad had been
asked to give fresh dates for the talks sometime after May 22 when the ongoing budget session of parliament ends. The sources said easier travel and visa procedures were aimed at boosting trade ties so that businesspersons from the two countries traveled without hassle. The proposal also includes non-business visas for divided families, particularly for those aged over 65 years, and for those wanting to attend marriages and funerals. Krishna said Manmohan Singh and Zardari met for about 40 minutes for “friendly and constructive discussions covering India-Pakistan relations, regional and global issues of common interest”. The minister said Singh raised the issue of terrorism and anti-India activities of Laskhar-e-Tayyaba founder Hafiz Saeed from Pakistani soil. “It would be evident that our concerns on terrorism had to be addressed if the people of India are to support and sustain progress in bilateral relations.”
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02 News Today’s
thursday, 26 April, 2012
after planes, trains too fall from grace
indian Sc reserves verdict on ajmal Kasab’s plea
Story on Page 07
Story on Page 05
Nadeem Afzal Chan elected as PAC chairman ISLAMABAD: Pakistan People’s Party MNA Nadeem Afzal Chan has been elected unopposed chairman of the Public Account Committee (PAC). The PAC on Wednesday met in Parliament House and elected the MNA from Sargodha as its new chairman. Chan has been elected as PAC chairman after the resignation of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s Chaudhry Nisar Ali Kahn. Federal Minister for Religious Affairs Syed Khurshid Shah said it was decided in the Charter of Democracy that the PAC chairman would be elected from the opposition and the PPP government gave the PAC chairmanship to Opposition Leader Nisar Ali Khan, however, he resigned from the office due to certain reasons. Khurshid Shah added that the PPP had also written a letter to Nisar and sought his suggestions regarding new PAC chairman but he did not respond in this regard. agencieS
11 killed as jeep falls into gorge near Muzaffarabad MUZAFFARABAD: At least 11 people were killed and 10 others sustained injuries in a road accident in Azad Jammu and Kashmir region on Wednesday. Police said a passenger jeep fell into a gorge while negotiating a sharp turn near Muzaffarabad. Quoting some passengers, officials said the jeep went out of the driver’s control due to some technical fault and nosedived into the gorge that was more than 300 feet. At least 11 persons were killed while 10 others were injured in the incident. After the incident, rescue teams arrived at the site and shifted the bodies and injured to hospitals. nni
PIA flight escapes disaster at Multan airport MULTAN: The pilot of PIA’s flight PK 387 on Wednesday bravely negotiated a temporary fault in the plane close to Multan airport, managing to safely land the plane after over 30 minutes of struggle. The flight had to hover above the airport for more than half-anhour, but its pilot eventually succeeded in landing it safley. Per details, the PIA flight PK 387 with 44 passengers was on its way to Multan from Islamabad. Close to Multan, the plane’s landing gear went out of order due to which the pilot tried to crash land it on the ground of Bahuddin Zakria University, but failed. The pilot had to keep the flight in the air for more than 30 minutes. Ultimately, the landing gear opened and the pilot succeeded in landing the flight safely. Airport administration was of the view that planes were machines that could go out of order at any time. online
Power tariff raised by Rs 2.38 ISLAMABAD: The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) Wednesday approved an increase of Rs 2.38 in the power tariff. NEPRA officials said that the power tariff had been increased under the monthly fuel adjustment charges, while date of its imposition on bills would be announced later. Officials said that this increase would not be implemented on the Karachi Electric Supply Corporation (KESC). In a statement released by NEPRA, the Central Power Purchasing Agency said that extra power was generated from diesel and furnace oil in the month of January and February due to which power tariff was raised by 59 paisa in January and Rs1.79 per unit in February. After the final approval by the federal government, this hike will be charged from all consumers, however people consuming up to 100 units will be exempted from this hike. online
Possible disqualification of PM: Khursheed Shah, Mukhtar, Ghurki strong candidates ISLAMABAD online
In view of a possible disqualification of the Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani in the contempt of court case, the PPP senior leadership has started the process of looking for a new PM. A seven-judge bench headed by Justice Nasirul Mulk on Tuesday reserved its judgment in the contempt case initiated against Gilani for failing to act on the apex court’s directives to reopen graft cases against President Asif Ali Zardari. The court had asked Gilani’s counsel, Aitzaz Ahsan, to ensure the PM’s presence in court when the verdict would be announced on Thursday (today). Gilani could face six months in prison and disqualification if he is convicted. According to reliable sources, President Asif Ali Zardari, who is currently in Karachi, has decided to cut short his visit in view of the possible SC verdict against the PM. In this regard the senior party leaders have started consultations for new names to replace the PM. The sources said the president has also contacted coalition partners in this regard and Federal Minister for Religious Affairs Khursheed Shah, Defense Minister Ahmed Mukhtar and Federal Minister Samina Khalid Ghurki were strong contenders for the PM’s slot. However, names of Makhddom Shahabuddin, Hina Rabbani Khar and Firdous Aashiq Awan are also under consideration. The final decision lies with the president, which would be acceptable to all, the sources said.
KARACHI: A security personnel scans the luggage of passengers at the Cantt Railway Station on Wednesday as security has been beefed up across the country following the blast at Lahore Railway Station. ONLINE
Criticism on judicial commission ends up in personal clash between Nisar, Kaira ISLAMABAD taHiR niaZ
Criticism by National Assembly opposition leader Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on the composition of the judicial commission, constituted by the Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani to probe into Bhoja Air plane crash, ended up in a personal clash between Nisar and Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira on Wednesday. Ch Nisar opposed the idea of turning the Calling Attention Notice submitted by the National Assembly members on the issue of the Bhoja Air crash, into a debate on points of order, saying the government was trying to defuse the issue through a non-serious debate in the House. Ch Nisar also criticised the government for its ‘criminal negligence’ in handling the plane crash, saying the commission constituted by the PM did not qualify to be called a
judicial commission. He also linked the debate in the House on the issue with the government constituting an impartial and independent commission. “The government did not find impartial people, other than the PCO judges, who could be appointed as members of the commission,” he said. He also criticised the interior minister for his demand that the Pakistan Muslim LeagueNawaz take action against PML-N member, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, who is also the chief executive of Air Blue, for the airline’s plane crash of 2010. He said the government should take action against the airline’s management if its negligence caused the crash. Prime Minister Gilani, who appeared in the House for a brief period of time, responded to the reservations of the opposition leader but could not satisfy the latter.
The PM said the government wanted to bring the facts of the recent plane crash on record and that it did not need to apologise. Law minister Farooq Naek also defended the premier on constituting the judicial commission, saying that the commission was constituted according to the law and none of the relatives of the crash victims had expressed their distrust in the commission members. Ch Nisar took the floor again and criticised the law minister for ‘unjustifiably’ defending the government, adding that two of the judicial commission members faced contempt of court charges. Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira tried to defend the government and the law minister’s stance by saying that the enquiry was purely a technical issue and no one could be declared guilty before the plane’s black box and voice data recorder could be examined.
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thursday, 26 April, 2012
ARtS & ENtERtAINMENt
annan urges fast deployment of monitors to Syria
Veena aims to oust naomi campbell from ‘Supermodel’ throne
‘ppl to help bring int’l cricket back to pakistan’
News 03 CoMMENt lahore blast The emergence of a new source of violence.
outspending each other
Indians choose guns over butter.
nazir naji says PM perturbed: Should a PM be so easily disconcerted?
dr James J Zogby says: The resilient community: On Arab-Americans and their persistence.
imran Husain says Defining moments: A memorable weekend in London.
Story on Page 14
Story on Page 18
Story on Page 18
Articles on Page 12-13
Haj Policy comes under fire in cabinet for being ‘anti-poor’ g
Gilani seeks cabinet’s nod for policy due to shortage of time ISLAMABAD Staff RepoRt
INISTER for Religious Affairs Syed Khurshid Shah and secretary of the Ministry of Religious Affairs came under fire in the federal cabinet meeting for presenting an “anti-poor Haj Policy” due to a significant raise in Haj fares and thus “depriving the poor” from the performing the pilgrimage. A source told Pakistan Today that soon after a presentation on Haj Policy, some PPP ministers from Sindh, led by Senator Maula Baksh Chandio, made an effort to hoodwink their colleagues on the Haj fare raise and showered praises on Shah for efficiently managing Haj operations during the past year. However, the move was thwarted by Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) Minister Babar Khan Ghauri who objected to undue raise in Haj fee. “Ghauri’s arguments were duly supported by PML-Q State Minister Shaikh Waqas Akram who said this was an anti-poor move that would deprive the poor from performing Haj,” said the source, adding that Akram’s arguments triggered a heated debate
in the cabinet meeting. “Faisal Saleh Hayat also joined the debate and said it was injustice to the poor who were already facing skyrocketing prices. Manzoor Wattoo also joined in and supported views expressed by the Q leaguers,” said the source. The source said Akram said there was no logic behind increasing the fare by Rs 20,000 for white class – a class for people from poor and middle classes. “This is sheer injustice. Last year, the fare for white class was fixed at Rs 212,000 and now these have been increased up to Rs 233,000. There is no logic for such an increase when around Rs 100,000 have already been added to the Blue Class fare,” the source quoted Akram as saying. Faisal Saleh said when the blue class had been added, there was no logic to increase fares for white and green classes and the government should have provided subsidy for the poor intending pilgrims. Khurshid Shah urged his cabinet colleagues to pass the Haj policy as the same had already been delayed and there was not much time left to make arrangements for pilgrims. “This debate finally compelled Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani to intervene. He asked the cabinet members to pass the Haj policy as there was not much time left. He also directed finance
minister Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh to look into the matter and try to provide some funds to the Religious Affairs Ministry for provision of subsidy to the people related to the poor and middle classes,” the source added. Later, talking to reporters, Minister for Information Qamar Zaman Kaira said that after the Supreme Court verdict on the contempt of court case, a special cabinet meeting will be held. He said that the federal cabinet considered and gave its approval for confirmation of the decisions taken by the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) in its meetings held on 6th and 12th April. The federal cabinet also gave its unanimous approval for Haj Policy and Plan 2012. After the signing of bilateral annual agreement between the Government of Pakistan and the Ministry of Haj, and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on February 22, Hajj Policy 2011 has been reviewed and modified on the basis of an in-depth analysis and consultation with all stakeholders through Haj workshops at Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi and Quetta. While giving details of the Haj policy, Khursheed Shah said the Haj quota for 2012 will remain 179,210 and Haj scheme-2012 shall be implemented through the government and Private Hajj Group Organizer (HGOs) in the ration of 50:50.
Govt files review petition against SC verdict in RPP case ISLAMABAD Staff RepoRt
NAto cargo plane forced to land in Karachi KARACHI: A Russian-made cargo plane carrying NATO supplies was force to land in Karachi airport by Pakistan Air Force fighter planes on Wednesday. According to sources, the Pakistan authorities forced the plane to land in Karachi after it entered Pakistani airspace without permission. The cargo plane had taken off from Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan and was supposed to fly to Al Maktoum International Airport in UAE. The plane entered the Pakistani airspace without advance permission and the pilot was given two warnings which he ignored. Later, PAF fighter jets forced to land at Karachi airport. Civil Aviation Authority sources said the flight RTR 1012 entered Pakistani airspace without permission. The plane was allowed to leave for its destination after the crew was interrogated. inp
The government on Wednesday filed a review petition against the Supreme Court’s March 30 judgment that declared all rental power projects (RPPs) – involving agreements between wealthy private parties and the federal government to produce electricity – null and void for involving corruption of billions of rupees and causing loss to the public exchequer. Justifying the RPPs, the government stated in its petition that the induction of rental power plants as a short term measure was a proper exercise as their induction would have helped not only bridging the
deficit but also enabling the public sector companies to close down their plants for purpose of rehabilitation and modernization. The federation filed the review petition through Ministry of Water and Power secretary and the Private Power and Infrastructure Board (PPIB), praying the court to review its judgment against RPPs. Federal Minister Makhdoom Syed Faisal Saleh Hayat, MNA Khawaja Muhammad Asif and National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) have been made respondents in the petition. In the review petition, the federation stated that the court had not referred to the elaborate facts and figures placed on record and the conclusion arrived at by the court
was not on basis of facts but on presumptions and a reading of the factual position would show that there had been an error which was apparent on the face of the record and the court had passed the decision on erroneous assumptions of material of facts and the same had a material bearing on the fate of the case. The federation contended that the findings of the court that functionaries were prima facie involved in corruption and corrupt practice was not supported by any evidence or material submitted either by the petitioner, or by any other person and such observations undermine the fundamental rights of the functionaries in particular and under Article 10-A.
Crew blamed for Airblue plane crash ISLAMABAD afp
A confused captain and a hostile cockpit atmosphere were to blame for the worst ever plane crash in Pakistan, when 152 people died, the official report on the disaster said Wednesday. Pakistan’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said the crew of the Airblue Airbus A321 “violated all established procedures” in trying to circle and land in bad weather at Islamabad’s international airport. The morning flight from Karachi slammed into the Margalla hills overlooking the capital in heavy rain and poor visibility on July 28, 2010, killing all 146 passengers and six crew on board. Captain Pervez Iqbal Chaudhary was “harsh and snobbish” towards his first officer almost as soon as the aircraft took off, the report said, and this continued
during the flight. “After the intermittent humiliating sessions, the first officer generally remained quiet, became under-confident, submissive, and subsequently did not challenge the Captain for any of his errors, breaches and violations,” the report said. Even as the plane was about to crash the first officer, 34, did not take control. Shortly after takeoff Chaudhary, 61, mixed up Karachi and Islamabad airports and other landmarks, the report said. “The Captain showed signs of anxiety, preoccupation, confusion and geographical disorientation in various phases of flight especially after commencement of descent,” the report said. Despite the bad weather and visibility of only 3.5 kilometres (two miles) Chaudhary ignored standard procedure for circling to land, lost visual contact
with the airfield and tried to follow his own approach, the report said. As the aircraft got closer and closer to the hills, the captain became more confused and failed to take evasive action despite 21 audible warnings from the plane’s safety systems telling him he was heading for solid ground. There was no technical problem with the aircraft or evidence of sabotage, structural failure or external impact such as bird strike, the report said, and blame lay with the crew. “They committed serious violations of procedures and breaches of flying discipline, which put the aircraft in an unsafe condition over dangerous terrain at low altitude,” it said. The report comes days after a Bhoja Air flight also from Karachi to Islamabad crashed in fields near a village on the outskirts of the capital, killing all 127 people on board.
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US eyes options to restart Afghan peace talks WASHINGTON
RESIDENT Barack Obama’s administration, seeking to revive stalled Afghan peace talks, may alter plans to transfer Taliban detainees from Guantanamo Bay prison after its initial proposal fell foul of political opponents at home and the insurgents themselves. As foreign forces prepare to exit Afghanistan, the White House had hoped to lay the groundwork for peace talks by sending five Taliban prisoners, some seen as among the most threatening detainees at Guantanamo, to Qatar to rejoin other Taliban members opening a political office there. In return, the Taliban would make its own good-faith gestures, denouncing terrorism and supporting the hopedfor talks with the government of Afghan President Hamid Karzai. While that plan has not been scotched entirely, several sources familiar with preliminary discussions within the US government said the United
States may instead, as an initial gesture meant to revive diplomacy, send one of those detainees directly to Afghan government custody. The sources identified the detainee as a former Taliban regional governor named Khairullah Khairkhwa, who is seen by American officials as less dangerous than other senior Taliban detainees now held at the US military prison in Cuba. No final decision appears to have been made on Khairkhwa’s fate. A senior Obama administration official, while not disputing that Khairkhwa’s unilateral transfer had been suggested, cautioned that it was still at a “brainstorming” level. The onus was still on the Taliban to show it is interested in Afghan reconciliation, he said. “It’s most definitely not policy,” said the senior official, speaking on condition of anonymity. “At the moment we’ve made clear what we expect from reconciliation ... and the Taliban understand that, full stop.” More than a year ago, the White House launched what began as a secretive diplo-
matic bid to coax the Taliban, the Islamist group that ruled Afghanistan until 2001, into peace talks. That campaign has become central to US strategy as officials conclude the Afghan war will not end on the battlefield alone. It remains far from clear whether the Taliban would embrace sharing power in Afghanistan and whether the militants are cohesive enough to agree on a joint diplomatic approach. But Washington’s strategy, before a May summit of NATO leaders in Chicago, is to build on what officials see as military progress against the Taliban, and encouraging signs from the Afghan and Pakistani governments, to heap pressure on the Islamist group. “As we head into Chicago obviously we’ll continue to highlight each of those (areas) and we’ll continue to work with Congress,” the U.S. official said. The Chicago summit is expected to further detail plans for the withdrawal of most of NATO’s 130,000 troops there by the end of 2014 and set the course for future ties between
Afghanistan and the West. A LONG SHOT, BUT FEW ALTERNATIVES: US efforts to broker the talks were dealt a blow last month when the Taliban suspended its participation and appeared to reject even minimal restrictions for prisoners transferred to Qatar. From the beginning, a transfer of Taliban prisoners has posed major political risks for Obama in an election year. US lawmakers from both parties, but particularly Republicans, have warned that prisoners such as Mullah Mohammed Fazl, a “high-risk” detainee and former Taliban military commander alleged to be responsible for the killing of thousands of minority Shi’ite Muslims, might rejoin militant operations. The transfer proposal has also been divisive within the Obama administration. Because Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, under U.S. law, must personally approve the transfer, Pentagon officials worry their agency will be deemed responsible for any future actions by those detainees. Partly for those reasons, US negotiators are now focus-
ing on Khairkhwa. Once the Taliban’s governor of western Herat province, he was also a Taliban spokesman and interior minister. The senior US official said Karzai has been asking the United States for years to send Khairkhwa, imprisoned since 2002 at Guantanamo Bay, back to Afghanistan. The Taliban has long demanded release of its prisoners, in part as a good-faith move. US military assessments that have been made public characterize Khairkhwa as a ‘high-risk’ detainee and a ‘direct’ associate of the late al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and Taliban leader Mullah Omar. But they also describe him as more of a civilian than a military figure, and he is said to be a friend of Karzai. Khairkhwa was captured in Pakistan in early 2002, allegedly while seeking to negotiate surrender and integration into the new Afghan government. “If you were to take all the senior leaders associated with the Taliban since the start of the movement, and try to find the inclusive figures, ac-
ceptable to fellow Afghans and competent to work for a political agreement, Khairkhwa would definitely be in the top five,” said Michael Semple, a former U.N. official with more than 20 years experience in Afghanistan. SETBACKS: Afghanistan’s High Peace Council, under the leadership of the late former President Burhanuddin Rabbani, had advocated for Khairkhwa’s release, saying he might play a positive role in the peace process. “The cause of Mullah Khairullah Khairkhwa is good for peace, and totally acceptable to Karzai,” Semple said, in part because Karzai and Khairkhwa both come from the Popalzai tribe. Last year, a US federal court rejected a challenge to Khairkhwa’s detention by his lawyers, and an appeal is now pending. If a unilateral transfer were approved, Khairkhwa would be moved to Afghan custody in a country other than Qatar, without involvement of the Taliban. It was not immediately clear whether this might mean a transfer di-
rectly back to Afghanistan. The transfer would still require the Obama administration to notify Congress 30 days ahead of time. But the hope is that Khairkhwa’s transfer would avoid the furor in Congress that moving the other prisoners might bring. Efforts to salvage the peace process follow a series of U.S. setbacks in Afghanistan: bloody riots caused by soldiers’ burning of the Koran; a staff sergeant’s alleged massacre of 17 villagers; and an 18-hour militant assault of Kabul last week. Still, officials point to statistics charting a drop in ‘enemy-initiated attacks’ this spring. They were encouraged by recent steps to finalize a deal outlining the US-Afghan relationship, along with statements of support for the peace process by Pakistani Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani. US officials hope to use all these developments to coax the Taliban’s leadership, under pressure from less senior fighters who oppose negotiations, to formally resume talks.
Ticktok Continued fRom page 1 The National Assembly speaker is bound to send a reference to the Election Commission within 30 days and the Election Commission, under the law, may take ninety days to announce its decision. In case of an adverse decision, Gilani will still have a chance to appeal against the decision of the Election Commission in the Supreme Court. Following the cabinet meeting earlier in the day, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Qamar Zaman Kaira told reporters that the federal cabinet expressed solidarity with the prime minister and decided to accompany him to the court premises.
Kaira said the PM informed the cabinet that he would not accept any privilege while appearing before the SC in the contempt of court case and would go to the court on foot. “The leaders and ministers from the coalition partners would also accompany the PM. We expect justice from the court and hope for justice,” he said. Kaira said the president enjoyed immunity under local and international laws and writing a letter to Swiss authorities would be tantamount to surrendering immunity. Asked if the government would implement the court’s verdict, the minis-
ter said the government’s legal and political teams would take a decision in line with the constitution and law of land. “The prime minister has no ego problem and he is ready to appear before the court for a third time. He would appear before the court like an ordinary citizen,” he added. In a late night development, the PPP leadership directed all its provincial and National Assembly members to reach Islamabad on Thursday to accompany the PM to the SC hearing. A meeting of heads of all coalition parties in the government was also held to discuss the post-verdict scenario.
loWeR diR: a resident of the area holds an anti-aircraft gun after people of various areas of lower dir voluntarily handed over heavy weapons to security forces on Wednesday. INP
Army uses bullets, and classrooms to fight militancy GULIBAGH ReuteRS
Hazrat Gul spent two years in detention for allegedly aiding the Pakistani Taliban when they publicly flogged and beheaded people during a reign of terror in the scenic Swat Valley. Now he wiles away his time in pristine classrooms, a Pakistani flag pin on his crisp uniform, learning about word processing, carpentry and car repairs at the Mashal de-radicalization centre run by the army. Part of a carrot and stick approach to battling militancy in the strategic U.S. ally, the aim is to cleanse minds of extremist thoughts through vocational training, and turn men like Gul into productive citizens who support the state. The success of the program will ultimately hinge, however, on the ability of the government, widely seen as incompetent and corrupt, to help the de-radicalization graduates find jobs. “If a sincere leadership comes to this country, that will solve the problems,” said Gul, 42, one of the Mashal stu-
dents. “Today the leadership is not sincere. The same problems will be there.” Pakistan’s military drove militants out of Swat in 2009. Mashal is in the building which used to be the headquarters of the militants from where they imposed there austere version of Islam. Eventually, the army realized it couldn’t secure longterm peace with bullets alone. So military officers, trainers, moderate clerics and psychologists were chosen to run three-month courses designed to erase “radical thoughts” of those accused of aiding the Taliban. Students like Mohammad
Inam, 28, a former assistant engineer, give the school a good report card. “The environment is very good. Our teachers work very hard with us. They talk to us about peace, about terrorism and how that is not right,” said Inam, in the presence of a military officer. “God willing, we will go out and serve our country and our nation.” School officials say about 1,000 people have graduated since the initiative began two years ago, and that only 10 percent were not cleared for release. Officials concede that their “students” are not hardened militants who killed. Mostly,
they provided the Taliban with water, food or shelter, or beat people. That was enough for a two-year detention, and some say abuse, in a country where the Taliban stage suicide bombings at will and have launched brazen attacks, including one on the army headquarters near the capital. Even if the Mashal institute instills a new mindset and discipline in the students, graduates face an uncertain future. PUBLIC BEHEADINGS: Pakistan’s military presents the Swat offensive and the campaign to root out extremism as a showcase of its success against militancy. On the sur-
face, the valley looks far more stable than it did in the Taliban days when Fazlullah, known as FM Mullah for his fiery radio sermons, was ordering his men to take to the streets and punish the “immoral”, or anyone who disagreed with his violent philosophy. Residents of Swat, 160 km (100 miles) from Islamabad, crowd street markets. Girls schools that were blown up by the Taliban have reopened. A ski resort burned down by the Taliban has re-opened. That is due in large part to a sense of security created by the thousands of Pakistani soldiers still stationed there. But the army’s successes have been tarnished
by allegations of human rights abuses. Human Rights Watch says it has received credible reports of extrajudicial killings allegedly committed by soldiers or police in Swat. The army counters that it takes human rights seriously and has launched an investigation into the matter. Sitting beside an officer in a classroom at the Mashal school, Gul said he was subjected to torture at prisons run by the military or its intelligence agency merely because, out of fear, he had chanted pro-Taliban slogans. “Every time they were talking to us, (they were) beating us,” said Gul, who has a masters in political science. Asked to elaborate, he said: “From A to Z, all kinds of problems.” Minutes later, the officer, who sleeps in a room with a commanding view he said was once occupied by Fazlullah, leaned over to this reporter and said: “What do you expect in prison, massage girls?”. The accounts of ill treatment were echoed by others. Rehman Shah, a former school teacher, says he was only detained because his son
was accused of joining the Taliban. Nine weeks into the course, he praises the de-radicalization concept but says the army made a big mistake by detaining innocent people. “When Pashtuns are treated unfairly, it never leaves their hearts and they take revenge,” Shah said of the dominant ethnic group in Swat and other parts of northwest Pakistan, where most of the military offensives against militants are mounted. “I urge the government and security not to do this and not increase resentment and anger in the people.” A senior Pakistani intelligence official denied abuses take place. “That’s not our strategy at all. They are our own people and we do not believe in these things,” he said. LIFE OUTSIDE THE SCHOOL: Outside Mashal’s classroom, there are signs that not everyone is embracing the new approach. Soldiers led a hooded man into a truck while three others looked on through the barred windows of what appeared to be a cell at the compound.
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News 05 Indian SC reserves verdict on Ajmal Kasab’s plea
NEW DELHI agencieS
KaRacHi: a coast guard personnel shows liquor bottles seized during a raid on Wednesday. ONLINE
SC issues contempt notice to interior secretary in Lal Masjid case ISLAMABAD
H E Supreme Court on Wednesday issued contempt of court notices to the interior secretary, Capital Development Authority chairman and Islamabad chief commissioner for non-implementation on its 2007 judgment in the Lal Masjid case. A three-member bench of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Khilji Arif Hussain and Justice Tariq Parvez was hearing a suo motu case of Lal Masjid and Jamia Hafsa along with a contempt petition filed by Maulana Abdul Aziz.
An unpleasant scene was also witnessed when harsh words were exchanged between Tariq Asad, counsel for Maulana Abdul Aziz, and members of the bench that was hearing the case. At the onset of hearing, Tariq Asad urged the court to take up contempt of court plea regarding the matter, but the court asked him to sitdown as his application would be heard later on. Asad, however, insisted the bench hear his contempt of court application first. Upon this, a court’s assistant intervened into the matter and asked Tariq to leave the court rostrum, but Tariq refused to do and grilled on the court’s assistant during
Govt will not be allowed more corruption in name of democracy: Nawaz
PML-N President Nawaz Sharif has said the rulers would not be given more time for corruption in the name of democracy. Talking to former Sindh chief minister Liaqat Jatoi on Wednesday, Nawaz
said the elimination of corruption from the country was his first priority. He went on to say that only the PML-N could bring change in the country. Prudent and bold decisions were needed to address the problems facing the country and people, he stressed. Nawaz underlined that 180 million people of the country could not be left alone in the prevailing situation. “I will soon visit Jamshoro,” he stated. He assured Liaqat Jatoi that no political figure would be allowed to join the PML-N from district Dadoo and Jamshoro without his consultation. Veteran political leader of Jamshoro district, Malik Changez Khan, would announce to join PML-N during visit of Nawaz Sharif of the district. “Sindh is a citadel of the PML-N and we will win the upcoming general elections with overwhelming majority in all provinces and form government and put the country on the road to prosperity,” Nawaz added.
the proceedings. Upon this, the CJ and Justice Khilji Arif Hussain expressed severe anger with him and said he was getting too much liberty from the court. The chief justice also warned that they would stop him from appearing before the bench due to his irresponsible behavior. “You can’t do it,” Tariq replied. The CJ again warned: “We have already done so with others”. “Then do it,” Tariq challenged and left the rostrum. Iftikhar Gilani, counsel for Wafaq-ul-Madaris told the bench that the federal government had not complied with the court’s order in the Lal Masjid case. A deputy attorney general told the court that administra-
tion of Jamia Hafsa had entered into a contract with the federal government in December 2011. In view of this, the government had given a plot of 20 kanals for Jamia Hafsa in H-11, he said. Iftikhar Gilani said though the government had allotted the plot, it was not constructing the madrasa in view of the court’s 2007 judgment. He also stated that CDA was also not allowing Lal Masjid’s administration to construct the madrasa on its own. The court suggested the CDA to either comply with the court’s order or go through the agreement. It also expressed concern that the court had passed the order five years ago but the relevant authorities were not complying with it.
The Indian Supreme Court on Wednesday reserved its order on Ajmal Amir Kasab’s plea challenging his conviction and death sentence in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks. A bench of justices Aftab Alam and C K Prasad reserved its verdict after a marathon hearing, spanning over two and a half months, of arguments by the prosecution and defence counsel in the terror mayhem in which 166 people lost their life. During the argument, Kasab contended that he was not given a free and fair trial and that he was not the part of any larger conspiracy for waging war against the nation. He had also maintained that the prosecution had failed to prove the case against him beyond doubts and told the bench that his right against selfincrimination as well as his right to get himself adequately represented by a counsel to defend himself in the case had been violated during the trial. 25-year-old Kasab, had filed the appeal from jail challenging his conviction and death sentence. The apex court had appointed senior advocate Raju Ramachandran as amicus curiae to argue on behalf of Kasab.
PMl-N MPA’s vehicle kills woman, injures three in Jampur JAMPUR nni
A woman riding a motorcycle died and three others, including two children, were injured after being hit by the vehicle of a PML-N MPA on Wednesday. According to details, the speedy vehicle of PML-N MPA Sher Ali Gourchani struck a motorcycle carrying four people on the Indus Highway in Jampur area of Rajanpur district. Gourchani rushed the injured to a hospital in his vehicle, where a woman succumbed to her wounds while others were under treatment. The locals protested against the incident and demanded action against the MPA. The PML-N leader expressed grief over the incident and said a youngster riding the motorcycle suddenly appeared before the vehicle and was run over.
PM’s UK tour begins May 8 ISLAMABAD Staff RepoRt
Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani will be visiting the United Kingdom from 8-13 May 2012 to attend the 1st Annual Review Meeting of the Enhanced Strategic Dialogue. “He will be accompanied by a high level delegation including senior ministers and parliamentarians,” said a foreign office statement here on Wednesday. The two sides formally launched the Dialogue in April 2011 during the visit of Prime Minister David Cameron to Islamabad. The Dialogue covers five areas of bilateral cooperation including trade and business, finance and development assistance, education and health, culture, and defence and security. During the visit the two Prime Ministers will review the progress on the Enhanced Strategic Dialogue and launch a Trade and Investment
Roadmap to increase the volume of trade to £2.5 billion by 2015. “The program of the visit includes interaction with British Parliamentarians, Members of the Cabinet, and meetings with prominent British businessmen, investors and the media. The Prime Minister will also address a community gathering and lay the foundation stone of the Consular Hall in the High Commission,” the statement said. “Pakistan and UK are bound by ties that are rooted in shared history, cultural values and people-to-people contacts. Over one million Britons of Pakistan origin / heritage provide a living bridge between the two countries. They have contributed significantly to the deepening of relations between Pakistan and the UK,” it said. The United Kingdom is Pakistan’s second largest trading partner in Europe and an important source of foreign investment and remittances. The UK has been Pakistan’s consistent sup-
porter in gaining enhanced trade access to the EU, including through GSP+. The United Kingdom is one of Pakistan’s major development partners. It has provided assistance in a number of areas including education. Prime Minister Cameron had committed UK assistance of £650 million for primary education in Pakistan. This is the largest education assistance by UK in the world. Besides, UK has agreed to facilitate academic links, student exchanges and increase numbers of Pakistani students in its Universities. The visit of the Prime Minister will further enhance the existing relations between the two countries. Both the countries cooperate and coordinate on global and regional issues with a view to promoting stability, peace and security. The Enhanced Strategic Dialogue will provide the two leaders an opportunity to identify ways and means to further raise the level of cooperation in the various areas of mutual concern.
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06 News Pakistani safe havens hinder Afghan war: US WASHINGTON
thursday, 26 April, 2012
Peshawar to repatriate 0.4m illegal Afghan refugees
Pakistani safe havens and corruption are two factors retarding the progress of NATO forces in Afghanistan, according to a senior US military commander. Pakistan represents a safe haven for terror groups working inside Afghanistan, Maj. Gen. John A. Toolan, commander of the 2nd marine division and the former commander of regional command-South West, told reporters. The problem of Pakistan frustrated him during his yearlong tour in command of the region, he said noting that two places inside Pakistan that were particularly problematic are Chaman and Bahram Chah. Chaman is a major port of entry on the road to Kandahar. It is free-flowing trade hub where the Taliban has built up huge caches of bomb-making material and supplies. Bahram Chah is a hub where drugs go out of the country and lethal aid is coming in, Toonan said. “We saw it. We interdicted a lot,” he said. The problem is, he said, Pakistan has worries of its own and Balochistan, which borders Afghanistan’s Helmand and Nimruz provinces, has its own separatist movement underway. “The Pakistani military knows, “if they start doing things, they could stir up the Balochistan beehive, so they just sit there. And it’s frustrating. Diplomatic pressure on Pakistan is important, “but we don’t want to break the Pakistani government,” Toolan said.
N a bid to maintain the law and order situation and to combat terrorist activities in Peshawar, the city administration has decided to repatriate the Afghan nationals residing illegally in the city, as well as those who lack proper registration documents. “All illegal Afghan nationals living in Peshawar must go back to their homeland by May 25th, otherwise proper action will be taken against them,” said Peshawar District Coordination Officer (DCO) Siraj Ahmad Khan during a press conference on Wednesday. Flanked by Commissioner for Afghan Refugees Zaheer Ul Islam, the DCO said the purpose of such a decision was to reestablish peace in the city. He added that proper cases under the
Foreign Act will be registered against the Afghans nationals residing illegally in the city, as well as those found to be in possession of fake or illegally secured National Identity cards. The DCO said the operation is currently limited to Peshawar and that similar action will be taken against Afghan nationals living in other areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. He stated that the authorities will give due respect to all the Afghans in possession of UNHCR or Afghan Refugees Commissioner registration cards. The United Nation High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) had already fixed December 31st as the deadline for all the registered Afghan refugees to go back to their homeland. The Commissioner for Afghan Refugees said 1.7 million Afghan nationals are residing in Pakistan, out of which 0.8
million are in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. He added that there are 42 camps for Afghan refugees throughout the country and that 29 of these are located in scattered parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Siraj Ahmad Khan said 0.4 million Afghans are residing illegally in Peshawar. The DCO said special committees will be established for identifying the illegal refugees. In response to a question, the DCO said, “The action will be taken against the Afghan nationals according to the capacity of the police and the vehicles earmarked for deporting the illegal residents.” The committees, he added, will help the police in preparing the lists of the Afghan nationals. Regarding re-entry or return of the repatriated Afghan nationals, the DCO said the matter had been discussed with the political administration of the FATA agencies. He added that a plan had been evolved
to discourage the return of the repatriated Afghan refugees. In response to a question, Siraj Ahmad said rapid urbanisation is in progress and that the population of Peshawar now ranges between 3.5 and 3.6 million. He stated that the officials will carry out a detailed survey of all the territories, bazaars and madrasas to isolate the illegally residing Afghan nationals. He said the lists of these individuals will be provided to the provincial government, which will take the final decision. He added that the NICs of the Afghan nationals will also be verified against the NADRA database. Answering a question, the DCO made it clear that the government is determined to respect all commitments and charters made with the UN and other foreign countries and that no one will be allowed to violate the existing rules and regulations.
Musharraf decides to close down charity ISLAMABAD online
Former president Pervez Musharraf has decided to close down his welfare foundation after finding anomalies of around Rs 100 million collected for the rehabilitation of flood victims. Sources that during the charity campaign, Pervez Musharraf Foundation had collected Rs 260 million for flood victims. “Of Rs 260 million, the foundation had only spent Rs 10.5 million on a housing scheme for the flood victims in Muzaffargarh,” sources added. Sources claimed that the officebearers of the foundation were involved in the embezzlement of around Rs 100 million keeping Pervez Musharraf in dark. “The act of the officials of the foundation has put the former president under stress; therefore he has decided to close down the foundation,” sources maintained. Sources said Musharraf has also approved the transfer of remaining funds of Rs 145 million to a NGO, HRD based in London on the suggestion of his close aides Rashid Qureshi and Dr Amjad.
ZoJila: an indian army jeep plies the Srinagar-leh highway about 108 km east of Srinagar on Wednesday. the 443 km-long highway was opened for the season by indian army authorities after remaining snow at Zojila pass, some 3,530 metres (11,581 feet) above sea level, had been cleared. the pass connects Kashmir with the Buddhist-dominated ladakh region, a famous tourist destination among foreign tourists for its monasteries, landscapes and mountains. afp
Azme Alishan rewards resolute Pakistanis for selfless contributions KARAcHI Staff RepoRt
The future of Pakistan lies with our youth, which has lots of potential. They only need a right direction and a platform, which if provided can help them work wonders. These were the highlights of the Azme Alishan’s 2nd Azm Awards 2012. The 2nd Azm Awards, organized by Pakistan’s fast growing social movement Azme Alishan, are aimed at celebrating the nation’s unsung heroes – ordinary Pakistanis who do extraordinary things to help others in Pakistan and promote a more positive image of the country around the world. For Azm Awards, hundreds of nominations were received from all over Pakistan of people working in diverse fields of life, from education and health to women’s empowerment and IT. All the contestants went through a tough selection process that included an initial
public nomination period, a shortlisting phase in which 20 contestants were selected and the final public vote conducted over the first few weeks of March. Prominent personalities including Shaukat Tarin, Sajjad Mir, Mujib ur Rehman Shami, Arif Nizami, Noorjehan Bilgrami, Seema Taher Khan, Rafiq Habib, Razzak Bengali distributed these awards at a grand
ceremony held in Karachi. This year the award winners included ten dedicated Pakistanis, who received the awards through a public and jury voting. Among the award winners was Amir Davis, a Dublin based Pakistani youth who is the pioneer of Amir Public School in Gujranwala. Rahnuma, a group started by Indus Valley students received the accolade for raising
funds for flood affectees through concerts and plays. Khalida Brohi’s Sughar received Azm Award for its contributions for women empowerment. Syed Ali Abbas Zaidi the founder of a youth based platform against injustice, exploitation and social ills - dedicated his award to those working for a better Pakistan. Roshni Public School received award for providing free quality education to the underprivileged children. Mehwish Abdul Sattar was awarded for her contributions in the field of IT. Nadeh Ali of PeshawarYouth Organization was acknowledged for creating social awareness in the youth of KPK. Manzil Education Foundation received award for spreading quality education in all corners of Pakistan. The contributions of the Citizen’s Archive of Pakistan for cultural and historic preservation were also acknowledged. 13 years old Malala Yousafzai, was awarded for championing the cause of the people of Swat.
World’s second largest tablighi Ijtima starts amid tight security SWAT HaRoon SiRaJ
The world’s second largest Muslim preaching congregation started amid tight security at Barikot on Wednesday. Thousands of people from across the country and abroad are gathering in Swat to attend the preaching congregation. Large tracts of have been prepared for the three-day Tablighi Ijtima at GT Road Barikot, some 21 kilometres away from Mingora city. According to the Tablighi Ijtima elders, the number of attendees had exceeded the organisers’ expectations. Senior religious scholars and Ulema are also participating in the Muslim preaching congregation which will end with an exceptionally long prayer offered on Friday, 27th April. It is worth mentioning here that this is first preaching congregation to be held in Swat after peace was restored to the region following a successful military operation in 2009. According to the PSMA General Sectary, all private schools will remain closed on 27th April on account of the Tablighi Ijtima. A large number of policemen and plain clothes officers have been deployed at the venue. The traffic police have setup a control room as well as a police camp under the supervision of a DSP at the site of the congregation.
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BISP empowering women: Diana Coulter 07
Amid protests, Sabzi Mandi shuts down indefinitely
AKAt: new trader union on the block
■ City likely to face shortage of fruit and vegetable as supply halts from wholesale market
KARAcHI Staff RepoRt
The traders of Karachi formed the All Karachi Anjuman-e-Tajiran (AKAT) on Wednesday. Having representation of all small and large markets of the city, the new traders’ association was formed “to gather all businessmen on one platform to launch joint efforts to get their common problems resolved”. AKAT Convener Javed Sheikh announced the office bearers of the newly-formed association in a meeting on Wednesday. The meeting was attended by AKAT representatives including members of its cabinet, coordination committee, advisory council and the managing committee. The AKAT cabinet has 11 members, six coordination committee members, 14 advisory council members and 18 members in its managing committee. It was also announced that a traders convention would be held soon in which leaders of over 400 markets would participate.
RADERS at the Wholesale Vegetable and Fruit Market, popularly known as the Sabzi Mandi, pulled their shutters down for an indefinite period. During a demonstration followed by a press conference at the Sabzi Mandi, the traders said that all business activities at the market would remain closed until their demands are met by the authorities concerned. The traders have demanded that the murderers of their colleague Babar Hayat be arrested by the law enforcement agencies. Hayat, 35, a trader at the Sabzi Mandi, was gunned down allegedly by some extortionists on April 20. In protest against the murder of their colleague and the frequent criminal activities in the area, the traders at
the market have decided to shut down the market as a last resort to highlight the issues being faced by them. Addressing a press conference at the market, traders’ leader Zahid Awan said that despite the huge revenues generated through the trading activities at the wholesale market, nothing has been done to ensure a peaceful environment to the traders besides providing basic facilities. “Despite the huge losses the traders would face due to the closure of their businesses, the decision was made to make their lives secure in the market area as extortionists and other criminals have endangered the lives of thousands of traders and labourers,” he said. In connivance with the police highups in Sachal, Sohrab Goth and Gulshane-Maymar police stations, the criminals are freely looting the traders and labourers in the surroundings of the market.
As KCA leaders escape arrest, govt braces for showdown tomorrow KARAcHI iSmail dilaWaR
April 27 is likely to witness a serious law and order situation in Karachi, as the city and provincial administrations appear to be in no mood to allow the Karachi City Alliance (KCA) to hold the “Amn [Peace] March” that the newly formed alliance has scheduled for Friday (tomorrow). Wednesday saw a heavy contingent of riot police deployed outside the Karachi Press Club (KPC) to, what the KCA leaders claimed, arrest the alliance’s convener Uzair Jan Baloch and leaders Habib Jan and Dr Pervez Mehmood. “When we found out that the police were coming here [at the KPC] to arrest three of our leaders, we prevented them from entering,” said KCA member Suhail Ansari, who is affiliated with the ruling Pakistan People’s Party, after the briefing. He believes that the deployment of police at the KPC was hinting at the government’s intention of preventing the KCA from holding the peace rally. During the press briefing, KCA leaders Maulana Asghar Durs and Malik Ayub Awan expressed the hope that the
Riot police deployed outside the press club to arrest Amn committee leaders appear bored, as the “wanted men” did not turn up at the peace rally. IMRAN ALI Sindh government would not create any hindrance in the way of marchers who would rally from the Merewether Tower to the Mazar-e-Quaid. They said that the provincial gov-
ernment and Karachi commissioner’s office were yet to formally respond to their application filed on April 23 for a formal permission for staging the rally.
APMSO, IJT clash at KU ■ KU employee’s injury results in protest today ■ APMSo activist also wounded in the brawl KARAcHI aamiR maJeed
The employees of the University of Karachi (KU) have announced a pendown strike and staging a protest outside the administration block on Thursday (today) after a lower-grade employee was injured during another clash between two students organisations on Wednesday. In a clash between the All Pakistan Muttahida Students Organisation (APMSO) and the Islami Jamiat Talaba (IJT), Waheed and Shahid were injured. Waheed is a lower-grade employee of KU Protocol and Information Centre, whereas Shahid is a student at the Department of General History as well as an activist of the APMSO. KU Security Adviser Khalid Iraqi
said that activists of the APMSO and the IJT were at each other’s throats after an exchange of heated words. He said that Shahid was shifted to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital, whereas Waheed returned to his house after receiving treatment. Some students had tried to close the offices and stop the classes, but the Rangers arrived on the scene and brought the situation under control, he added. Iraqi said that the classes of the evening programme in many departments were held as per schedule, but some other departments could not conduct classes due to tension at the premises. He said that some unidentified students also forcibly closed shops at the varsity in protest against their associate’s injury, but they were reopened by night, adding that the Rangers would be
patrolling the varsity on Thursday to avert any unwanted situation. Saghir, an official of the KU Employees Welfare Association, said that the varsity’s lower-grade employees between Basic Pay Scale 1 and 16 would observe a pen-down strike on Thursday in protest of Waheed’s injury. He said that they would also stage a demonstration outside the administration block and the strike would continue until the administration takes action against the students involved in the incident. A KU spokesperson said that the academic activities at the varsity would be carried out as usual on Thursday. “I am unaware of the lower-grade employees’ protest, but the varsity will remain open and operate as usual on Thursday,” added the spokesperson.
Out of the estimated $550 million worth of fruit and vegetable exports, 50 percent perishable items are exported through the major wholesale market. At least 4,500 truckloads of goods come to the market daily from various parts of the country that are exported or supplied to over 18 million people of the metropolis. “Both the exports and local supply would remain shut from Wednesday evening as no one from the government has bothered to notice the situation,” Awan said. “Though all the vegetables and fruits in the market may be wasted due to the closure of market, we are ready to bear the loss in order to highlight the security issues in the market.” At least 80 police personnel were stationed at the market to ensure security initially but currently only 10 to 12 cops are present in the market without a mobile service or equipment, Awan said.
“As the police high-ups are involved in the criminal activities, only Rangers can provide security to the traders and daily wagers in the market,” he added. Haji Shahjahan, another traders’ leader, said the Agriculture Ministry and other authorities concerned have not consulted the traders despite the days-long protest at the market. In a resolution passed by the traders unanimously, they demanded enhanced security in the market and its surroundings besides making several check posts and a police station in the area as well as infrastructural developments like service roads and boundary walls. They also demanded the arrest of the murderers of their colleague among other criminals who are snatching valuables at gun point daily from the people inside and outside the market. Earlier, hundreds of traders had protested outside the market to press for their demands.
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‘Indifference to humanitarian laws impossible’ ■ KU International Relations Department Chairperson Prof Dr Shaista tabassum laws not of recent origin but rooted in human history, values and norms KARAcHI Staff RepoRt
HE international humanitarian laws are not of recent origin but primarily rooted in human history, values and norms, said University of Karachi (KU) International Relations Department Chairperson Prof Dr Shaista Tabassum. She was presenting the inaugural speech at a seminar on “International Humanitarian Law” organised by the KU International Relations Department in collaboration with International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on Wednesday. Tabassum stressed the fact that there is a need for a general realisation to assess the significance of international humanitarian law (IHL). “The number of conflict in the world is such that indifference to IHL is almost impossible,” she added. Former KU pro-vice chancellor Prof Dr Shahana Urooj Kazmi presided over the event. She said the violations of human rights have become almost endemic and conflicts
of several types have literally made the lives of people miserable. While expressing her appreciation for the programme, she mentioned that the International Relations Department is one of the most vibrant departments of the KU, which regularly organises national and international level seminars and conferences. These activities, she said, provide an opportunity to the students to learn and grow intellectually. In his opening remarks, ICRC Sub-Delegation Karachi Head Peter Lick said that ICRC has been making efforts to promote humanity and dignity of human lives. “Students and common people should know about the significance of the ICRC because we, as human beings, cannot remain indifferent to human sufferings,” he added. ICRC Head of Communications Anastasia Isyuk spoke in detail on “ICRC and Academic Circles”. She highlighted the relation that exists between ICRC and academic environment in the world. “There is a quintessential link between
ICRC and IHL,” she said. “Education happens to be an invaluable means for disseminating information about the importance and activities of ICRC.” ICRC Karachi Communications Officer Farhan Ahmed Khan discussed the mandate and activities of ICRC in Pakistan. He threw light upon the historical evolution of ICRC. “ICRC was born in the battlefield,” he said. Elaborating on the mandate of ICRC, Khan said it has two major components: protection of human lives in armed conflicts; and to prevent suffering by promoting and strengthening humanitarian law and universal humanitarian principles. He further said that ICRC is an independent and impartial organisation; it remains neutral while helping and assisting victims of armed conflicts and natural disasters. The ICRC is permanently present in 80 countries of the world. ICRC Operational Communication Manager Najmul Saqib said that IHL is something of a legal code that aims at regulating behaviour of states during
wars. It is alternatively called Law of Armed Conflict and protects those that have not, or are no longer, taking a direct part in hostilities. “The civilians, in general, should be protected from warring parties,” he added. KU International Relations Department faculty member Mohammad Salman presented a paper on “Difference between IHL and International Human Rights Law” emphasising on the fact that both of these are based on common principles of integrity and dignity of individuals, but in terms of scope they differ. He illuminated the fact that IHRL is more theoretical whereas IHL has more of a practical connotation and application. Human Rights debates, he continued, provide necessary intellectual and academic backbone to IHL but in reality both laws carry shortcomings in terms of proper enforcement. The programme also had intermittent question and answer sessions and students were given certificates of participation at the end of the event.
6,000 Sindh farmers get subsidised tractors ■ Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah says government doing its best to maximise crop yield per acre KARAcHI Staff RepoRt
Under the third phase of Sindh Agriculture Department’s schemes with the motto of “Prosperous Sindh – Prosperous and Happy Hari”, 6,000 tractors on subsidised rate were distributed through computerised balloting among growers. The department had received 18,506 applications for the subsidised tractors. Previously, 8,736 tractors have been distributed on subsidised rate through computerised balloting. While performing the balloting for the tractors at a ceremony held at the Chief Minister’s House on Wednesday, Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah said that agriculture is the backbone of Sindh economy and the provincial government is doing its best for the progress and development of the agriculture sector to maximise the yield per acre of various crops. Shah said it is the policy of PPP to provide maximum facilities to the growers to equip them with latest trends and technologies for improvement in the agriculture sector for achieving highest production in crops. Due to the government’s concerted efforts, the average yield of crops per acre has increased up to 29 percent. More than 65 percent population in the province depend directly or indirectly on agriculture. Three years ago, Sindh had imported wheat but it is now self-sufficient in edible items and is also exporting some food items. Regarding the increase in prices of inputs like fertilisers and seeds, the chief minister said that due to the in-
crease in prices of diesel, transportation and shortage of electricity and gas, the price of fertilizer and seed had increased. He stressed upon investors, agriculturists and growers to encourage agro-based industries in the province, which is very essential for progress of agriculture in the province. He added that many items are dependent on agriculture and people particularly the growers are paying taxes on various items. He said that at present there are talks at secretary level with the federal government regarding the province’s share of water. Regarding shortage of Bardana (gunny bags), the chief minister said that due to late sowing in lower Sindh, the harvesting process was also late. Keeping in view the expected heavy rains, harvesting process must be completed soon. “We will maximise the procurement of wheat, for which food and agriculture departments are there to look after the interests of growers,” he added. Earlier, Sindh Agriculture Secretary Aijaz
Ali Khan presented a welcoming address, highlighting the perspective of computerised balloting of the scheme, provision of assistance to farmers on purchase of 6,000 tractors in Sindh. He said that the subsidy of Rs 1.6 billion was provided for the purpose with a subsidy of Rs 200,000 on small tractors and Rs 300,000 on large tractors is being provided to the growers. The Agriculture secretary said that Rs 650 million have been spent on other schemes aimed at the progress of agriculture sector. Sindh Chamber of Agriculture President Dr Nadeem Qamar and Abdul Majeed Nizamani also addressed the ceremony. The ceremony was also attended by provincial ministers Ali Nawaz Shah, Murad Ali Shah, Shazia Marri, Jam Madad Ali, MPAs Anwar Mahar, Dr Abdul Sattar Rajpar, Imran Leghari, Board of Investment Chairman Zubair Motiwala and Sindh Chief Secretary Raja Muhammad Abbas among other provincial secretaries and agriculturists.
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thursday, 26 April, 2012
karachi 09 PakistaN today
‘US believes in interfaith bliss’ ■ Consulate General in Karachi holds conference to promote interfaith harmony KARAcHI
HE US Consulate General in Karachi hosted an inter-faith conference bringing together a Muslim mufti, a Catholic bishop and a Hindu social
activist. US Consulate Karachi Public Affairs Officer Kevin Murakami delivered the opening remarks at the conference. “The US does not put more value on one religion over another, rather it values the freedom to worship whatever faith one chooses,” he said. “We are so proud to support this conference because we believe people of all faiths can achieve so much more by working together in an atmosphere of religious tolerance and harmony.” Over 100 male and female students of different faiths from a local educational institution participated in the conference. The conference was organised by the Pakistani alumni of US-sponsored exchange programmes, aimed at fostering dialogue and mutual understanding among Pakistanis of different religions in Karachi. The panel was moderated by Professor Dr Abdul Rashid, a nationally-recognised professor of Islamic Studies Department at the University of Karachi.
Kevin Murakami delivers the welcoming address at the interfaith conference. STAFF PHOTO The panellists included: Rev Sadiq Danial, Bishop of Karachi, Dr Ramesh Vankwani, founder of Pakistan Hindu Council, and Mufti Ferozuddin of the International Peace Committee for Interfaith Harmony. Throughout the day-long conference, the panellists discussed the status of minority religions in Pakistan and debated how to best correct misperceptions held by some faiths
against others. They recommended establishing a special committee to address challenges related to inter-faith relations, such as forced conversions, honour killings and alleged kidnappings. Students in the audience also actively participated through the question and answer sessions and raised their own concerns through sharing personal stories.
BISP empowering women: Diana Coulter KARAcHI Staff RepoRt
The Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) is providing immediate relief to the poor people, enabling them to absorb the shock of rising prices of food and fuel, said World Bank’s documentation mission head Diana Coulter on Wednesday. She visited the BISP cash grant beneficiaries in Sohrab Palari Village in Rahimabad Detho and the BISP Distribution Card Centre at Latifabad in Hyderabad. The delegation was accompanied by BISP Hyderabad Director Abdul Majeed Soomro. Coulter said that within a short span, the BISP has made remarkable progress by providing much needed relief to the poor families by empowering women. The World Bank delegation inquired about the impact of cash grants in their lives from the BISP benefici-
aries. Appreciating the efforts of the government in supporting the poor and needy people, the beneficiaries prayed for slain PPP chairperson Benazir Bhutto. Soomro said that BISP will distribute cash grants
Befitting: Queen Elizabeth’s diamond jubilee celebrations KARACHI: The diamond jubilee celebrations of Queen Elizabeth II’s accession to the throne are being observed not only in the United Kingdom but all over the world. Head of Strategic Communication Pakistan Desk FCO London Katherine Fox said this during a press briefing. “In Pakistan, British High Commissioner Adam Thomson planted a tree at the British Residence in Islamabad to mark the occasion,” she said. The gesture is in consonance with the Woodland Trust’s campaign to plant 6 million trees in the UK to celebrate the Queens 2012 Diamond Jubilee. The objective is to create hundreds of Jubilee Woods and 60 Special Diamond Woods. The year 2012 marks 60 years since Queen Elizabeth II became the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. She is the second longest serving monarch in British history and has travelled more than any other sovereign having visited 116 countries including Pakistan. The reign of Queen Elizabeth II has provided a focus for national unity and identity and given a sense of stability and continuity to the United Kingdom. Staff RepoRt
amongst the eligible BISP families through Benazir Cards throughout the country in collaboration with banks instead of post offices to avoid delays and other complaints in the current delivery mechanism. The BISP head was di-
rected to adopt more efficient and technologically advanced mechanism of delivering BISP funds. The delegation was told by women that the Benazir Card system is faster and transparent than the system of postal payments.
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10 karachi WEAthER UPDAtES
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CIty DIRECtoRy EMERGENCy hElP PolICE 15 BoMB DISPoSAl 15, 99212667 fIRE BRIGADE 16, 99215007, 99215008 EDhI 115, 32310066-2310077 KhIDMAt-E-KhAlQ foUNDAtIoN 36333811 RED CRESCENt 35833973 GovERNoR’S hoUSE 136 ChIEf MINIStER’S hoUSE 99202051 MotoRWAy PolICE 130
hoSPItAlS ABBASI ShAhEED CIvIl JINNAh NICvD AGA KhAN tABBA
Pakistani women’s lives destroyed by acid attacks ■ Campaigners say cases of acid attacks are increasing in most areas, even though tougher penalties were introduced last year ■ It is estimated that over 150 women have acid thrown on them every year – usually by husbands or in-laws – and many never get justice BBc
PRAyER tIMINGS fajr 4:39
thursday, 26 April, 2012
ER name is Shama, meaning “candle”, and she says her husband burnt her flesh as if it was a candlewick. The young mother of four has just joined the ranks of Pakistani women doused in acid. She is scarred for life, with burns on 15 percent of her body. Her crime was her beauty. “My husband and I often had arguments in the house,” she said, in her hospital bed. “On that day before going to sleep he said ‘you take too much pride in your beauty’. Then in the middle of the night he threw acid on me, and ran away.” When her husband fled, he took her mobile phone with him, so she could not call for help. SCORCHED CHEEKS: Shama shows me a picture taken at a children’s party four months ago. It is a snapshot of an attractive young woman, with immaculate make-up, wearing an orange outfit flecked with gold.
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Many acid attack victims are so traumatised by their experience that they end up committing suicide. ing, and is keeping her burns covered with cream. They try to relieve her pain, but cannot ease her despair. “I can’t say anything about the future,” she says, “maybe I won’t be alive. I will try – for my kids – to get back to how I was. I have to work to build a future for them. “If I can’t I’ll do what one or two other girls have done.” They killed themselves. SHUNNED VICTIMS: Fakhra Younis, a former dancing girl in Karachi, was one such woman, who ended her life to escape suffering.
Fakhra’s there are poor prosecutions. Most of the time, victims can’t get a case registered by police.” Offenders now face a tougher sentence – between 14 years and life imprisonment – under a law passed last year. But most attackers still get off scot free, according to Marvi Memon, the former MP who sponsored the new law. “Even if he [the attacker] gets caught, he’ll pay police off and he’ll get away with it in most parts of Pakistan,” she said.
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Shama had every reason to take pride in her beauty before the attack. Her hair is swept back to reveal dangling earnings. But acid has erased that confident, composed Shama. “I feel pain at what I was, and what I have become,” she said, with tears coursing down her scorched cheeks. “All the colours have gone from my life. I feel like I’m a living corpse, even worse than a living corpse. I think I have no right to live.” Shama now lies in Ward 10a of the burns unit in Nishtar Hospital of Multan. It is a monument to neglect. The plaster is peeling off the walls and there is a leaking pipe hanging from the ceiling. When patients need transfusions, their relatives are despatched to buy pints of blood. But the doctors here are expert at treating women disfigured by acid – they see one or two new victims every week. At morning rounds they gather at Shama’s bed, asking if she is eat-
Many attack victims are not optimistic about the chances of getting justice. It has been said of Fakhra that she died twice – once when she was drenched in acid 13 years ago, and again when she committed suicide in Italy last month. Before taking her own life, she had endured almost 40 surgeries. Supporters say Fakhra had given up hope of getting justice. Her former husband, who comes from a powerful political family, was acquitted of the attack. He continues to protest his innocence. Fakhra’s death made the headlines, but activists say many victims are shunned and silenced. “Only about 10 percent of the cases are getting to court,” said Zohra Yusuf, the chair of Pakistan’s Human Rights Commission. “Even in high-profile cases like
“It’s the easiest way to punish a woman. You can just throw acid and destroy her entire life in one second.” ‘MULTIPLE SURGICAL PROCEDURES’: Marvi Memon blames a lack of political will to implement the law. “It’s very difficult to get the police to cooperate with the women,” she said, “because they are under no pressure to do so.” The government admits it needs to do more for acid victims, and says implementing the new law is a major challenge. “Passing the legislation was a first step,” said Shahnaz Wazir Ali, a government adviser, “but how do cases get to trial speedily? That’s the part we still need to work on. We need to sensitise the police, the lower courts
tRanSfoRm YouR WaRdRoBe
and even the legal community.” Back in Ward 10a, there’s a new arrival. A woman named Maqsood is wheeled in, still wearing clothing eaten away by the acid. Beneath her cream shawl the skin on her face is singed and mottled, and her right eye is sealed shut. “My son-in-law came in the night, and threw acid on me,” Maqsood said, “after a small family dispute. He broke in through the roof. There was no power in our area, so we could not catch him.” But he was caught later, and he at least now is in custody. A plastic surgeon, Dr Bilal Saeed, rushes to assess the new patient. He has treated hundreds of women like Maqsood in recent years. He admits to being depressed by his work. “On average we do multiple surgical and cosmetic procedures on these patients,” he said. “But whatever we do, we are not getting their smile back.” Many commit suicide, according to Dr Saeed, in spite of his best efforts. He says others are forced to return to the in-laws or husbands who attacked them because of social pressure or money problems. A few beds away, Shama’s children come to visit, crowding around her bed. She reaches out a burnt arm to stroke their anxious faces, and asks for her youngest, Noor, to be placed on her chest. “Do pray for Mummy,” she tells them, “ask God to make me get better quickly.” Shama’s husband remains at large. If he is ever caught she wants acid thrown on his face. “I want the severest punishment for him,” she said. “That would make anyone think a thousand times before committing such a crime.” As the children prepare to leave, Shama cannot hold back her tears. For their sake, she says she will try to keep going. But like Fakhra Younis before her, she is not expecting justice.
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thursday, 26 April, 2012
Editor’s mail 11
Bleak situation of our security This is with reference to the front page news published in your esteemed paper (25 April) saying that a bomb exploded in Lahore railway station killing two and injuring about 35 persons. The responsibility has been owned by banned Laskar-e-Balochistan. People of Pakistan were already under shock by the Siachen tragedy where 135 soldiers lay buried under deep snow and then we had a terrible tragedy of Bhoja air crash in which 127 people perished. We were lucky to avert major disaster when Shaheen airlines aircraft suffered break of landing gear, in another incident again a Shaheen airliner’s fuel
loadshedding – a joke
tank leaked when the flight was about to take off, and now we have bomb blast at one of the busiest railway stations of the country. Unfortunately, our all public places are so vulnerable that a determined terrorist or his agent can hit any place with ease and confidence and go uncaught. So far the government has not come out with a clear cut strategy to control these bomb blasts except routine measures taken after each incident and that is not the solution to the problem. Our present security strategy has failed to bring halt to such brutal attacks. Rail journey was considered comparatively
safer as compared to air travel. All railway stations are packed to capacity and therefore a very high order of security is needed. There is an urgent need to have screening machines at major railway stations with only one entry point to screen the baggage. Railway police in civil dresses should be deployed at major railway stations to keep an eye on suspected personnel and CCTV camera should be placed in locations and must be checked at regular basis. But at the same time people should also be vigilant and should not rely on government security only. Our half hearted measures intro-
duced after each incident have remained counterproductive. The nation has lost hope and confidence in the government who has failed to protect the life and property of citizens. TV channels should air programmes for the benefit of people giving them caution how a small breach in security can end up in major catastrophe. Media should also draw a line what should be shown to masses. Showing families weeping with dead bodies simply adds to more sorrow and pains and further demoralises the viewers MUKHTAR AHMED Karachi
Wonders of walking Walking is the easiest form of the healthy exercise, walking helps you a number of health benefits. It prevents diabetes type 2 as taking a walk every week reduces the chance of getting diabetes. Benefits of walking include improved physical function of the body and enhanced fitness. Taking two or three hourlong walks per week reduces the risk of breast cancer in women and also reduces chances of getting a heart attack. One of the benefits of walking for the people who want to lose weight is that it helps a great deal in burning calories, by taking two or four long walks per week. Imagine how much weight you can lose by just walking 30 to 35 minutes every day. It helps in improving digestion process and also increases your appetite and gives us better metabolism. It keeps mind relaxed and reduces the chances of depression and headaches caused by stress and the best benefit is if we have somewhere to go, unless it is a long way, one can walk and avoid hassle of worrying about the cost of gas, traffic problem or congested buses. Walking is the easiest form of exercise and is accessible to everyone and is fun to do, especially with a company of friends, MP3 player or an iPod. HUMAIRA MOHSIN Karachi
Bomb blast in lahore I think the recent bomb blast at Lahore railway station was an attempt of the terrorists and our foes to besmirch the image of the country. It seems as if the terrorists had been reactivated by their masters after a short period of rest. Every action of terrorists, no matter intentionally or un-intentionally, has a clear-cut aim to create terror among the masses but I think now Lahore is specially targeted to foil the efforts of Mr Zaka Ashraf, the chairman of Pakistan Cricket Board, for making a comeback of international cricket in Pakistan. The law and order situation of Karachi, Quetta, Peshawar and now Lahore is not in favour of holding an international event. If we really want to resume the international cricket in our country, we have to defuse the prevailing security turmoil. Terrorists want to defile the image of the country and we will have to beat them with strong commitment and effective security measures. MUHAMMAD NADEEM Lahore
Loadshedding is now a part of our culture. But I have certain valid questions which need serious answers. 1. Why is loadshedding not in accordance with the deficit between the consumption and production figures exhibited by the government? Loadshedding maintains its tempo whatever is the deficit. 2. Why does the production vary so drastically? And why are there special days when there is no loadshedding? 3. Why was not even a single MW of additional power added to the national grid in the past four years plus? The truth is that the IPPs have been made as the main source of suppliers of power. These IPPs have to be paid. When we want electricity, we give them money and the circular debt reduces or else we allow circular debt to increase. This way the government is directly controlling the supply of power. In other words, power supply has been made a tool in the hands of federal government to punish or reward some areas. Now a petition has been filed in SC for reviewing its earlier decision on RPPs. IPPs and RPPs together will become even a stronger tool. Innocent and illiterate people are being hoodwinked by these tactful methods. Elections are coming and with what achievements can PPP face public? AMJAD H MIRZA Lahore
the use of secret funds
demand for election Nawaz Sharif, the president of Pakistan Muslim LeagueNawaz is demanding early elections and his nephew Hamza Shahbaz MNA has declared that the next government would be of that of the PML(N). It is the right of the opposition party to demand fresh election when the government in power fails to protect the lives and properties of citizens and fails to solve problems faced by the people. It is a fact that the PPP-led government in the centre has not been able to solve the chronic energy shortages, and cases of corruption are being reported every week, with involvement of high profile persons. But a relevant question is: what is the achievement of PML(N) which is ruling Punjab, which has 62 percent of the country’s population, and what reforms have been implemented by the Punjab government in the police force, health and other institutions, departments which are directly under the Punjab
Encroachments I travel frequently by buses. Today I had such a difficult time on the bus stop because of these weird-looking people who behave as if they own the place. They are fruit-sellers or kids who sell off tissue paper packets and make it difficult for you to stand there. The street hawkers should keep their carts on the streets and not on the road where people have to stand. It's a trouble to first stand at a place from where the
government? Is the province crime and corruption free? Has the number of people living below poverty line decreased? What alternative vision, agenda and plans do the PML(N) have to change the prevailing conditions in the country? Has not the PML(N) ruled twice already? What is its legacy? The people of Pakistan are fed up with conspiracies and lies and are losing faith in democracy due to the inefficient, selfish, incompetent self seeking politicians. The battle between the protectors of status quo and supporter of change has already started. The PTI’s message of “change” is attracting the youth, women and educated middle class, who have been deprived from their basic rights to jobs, education, health, clean drinking water, and participation in governance. S T HUSSAIN Lahore
bus can be spotted and then to get on it without someone coming in between. The City District Government should take an action and remove these encroachments. SUDRISH KHAN Karachi
veena’s decision Pakistani model-actress Veena Malik has said that she would be willing to pose nude in Playboy for $1 million. She is
damaging the image of Pakistani women and now it has become the responsibility of the government to take steps to maintain good image of Pakistani women. The government should give her a warning letter to change her decision of posing nude in Playboy magazine. If she stands on her decision then the government should revoke her nationality in order to save the image of Pakistani women in the world. FAISAL KHALID SIDDIQUI Karachi
The practice of using secret funds for unspecified purposes is back in limelight in Supreme Court as the DG IB filed a reply in the court about the alleged use of secret funds to help away political persuasions in Punjab following the imposition of governor’s rule in the province in 2009. What is the purpose of secret funds in this day and age? Every fund’s detail should be debated in the parliament. The parliamentarians should do away all illegally used funds. The IB should do its job and should not interfere in politics or use the nation’s money illegally. This money should be spent on masses for education, health and sectors. TARIQ HUSAIN KHAN Karachi
Smiling faces In this letter, I want to appreciate the efforts taken by the students of Psychology Department, University of Karachi, to conduct a festival for children at Pediatric ward, Civil Hospital. A group of girls including, Asma Andaleeb, Bushra Subhani, Faiza Ilyas and Shahzeen Sohail arranged games, refreshment, several other activities and gifts for children, which not only brought smiles on those innocent faces but also filled their mothers’ hearts with gratitude. KULSOOM INAM Karachi Send your letters to: Letters to Editor, Pakistan Today, 4-Shaarey Fatima Jinnah, Lahore, Pakistan Fax: +92-42-36298302 E-mail: email@example.com Letters may be edited for length and clarity. It would be appreciated if letters were addressed to Pakistan Today exclusively.
Let us not ask for sorry By Abdul Basit
n American once said; “There are no permanent friendships or enmities, the only thing which is permanent are the interests.” The United States wants to have normal relations with Pakistan. No doubt we, the Pakistanis, also want to have the same and that too at the earliest. But there are certain prerequisites that have to be done by the United States because the United States’ 11 years long war against terrorism has destroyed Pakistan and that is what Pakistan as a poor friend could do for a wealthy friend. Pakistan suffered losses of $ 100 billion for being a frontline ally to the United States in its war
against terrorism. More than 5000 Pakistani soldiers were killed in this war. More than 35000 civilians lost their lives. Brain drain, capital drain and industry drain have given huge financial loss which will continue for a long time and has given joblessness to the remaining people. Psyche of people of Pakistan has damaged and destroyed their confidence. Entire investment scenario got a huge dent to the extent that not only the foreigners but the locals also stopped any sort of new investment or expansion in existing business. The situation has turned so pathetic that a small incident either it has any relation to terror or not get huge space in the media of other countries particularly in the Western media. The US should immediately arrange the compensation of $ 100
billion and should immediately pay $ 10 billion to start with and rest in next five years like 20 billion dollar per year. In our religion, there is a system of Qasas which was adopted by the US government in case of Raymond Davis. The same way the US government should pay Qasas for all those soldiers and civilians who lost their lives in the war and that too only for the American cause. We do not want them to say sorry and get away. All the families who lost their dear ones should be given Qasas. Each soldier should be given one million dollar and civilian $1-2 million each and $ 10 million for each soldier killed in Salala check post by NATO forces as was received by the United States from Libya in Locker B case in 1988. As a principle, if there is a
fighting between two groups or two countries and a third party gets wounds during this scuffle, it is the moral duty of country to pay at least, at least, at least the medical bill for the injured and this 100 billion dollar is the medical bill for Pakistan. Therefore, the United States and the other countries are morally bound to pay this medical bill weather they can or can’t but they should. In Pakistan’s case there are certain contradictions in US policy. On the one hand, all Americans talk of friendship but in real the things are moving into the other way round. For instance, the American administration knows well that Pakistan was in dire need of civil nuclear technology to cope with the energy shortages and for the revival of economic activities but
no word has ever come from them on this subject. They also know that if Pakistani merchandise is given a duty free access to the US market, it could do a lot of help to this country but they always say that they are working on it. And quite surprisingly nobody on this earth knows that when this working would complete. The fate of Preferential Trade Agreement between Pakistan and the United States is also unclear. America needs to get out of Afghanistan, only Pakistan can be helpful for this withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan. If the US wants to ensure its safe exit from Afghanistan it would have to take certain measures and before implementing these measures, it would have to announce them in the press so that common man in
the street could be able to know that the US is leaving Afghanistan. There are a few suggestions that could add to the US respect. These are: all the weaponry of US forces in Afghanistan should be handed over to Pakistan so that Pakistan can handle the post US exit problems. Pakistan will have to face all those forces who have been fighting with US for such a long time. No matter, how much it costs but the United States should also spend some bucks for the improvement of Pakistan Railways as it is the only means of transportation of US army personnel right from the Afghan border to Karachi seaport for a safe exit. The writer is a former senior vice president of the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
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12 comment lahore blast and the lack of security apparatus
o far the country had been facing terrorist attacks launched by the TTP only. The Lahore blast indicates the emergence of a new source of violence. A spokesman of the banned Lashkare Balochistan, comprising ethnic extremists, has claimed responsibility for the attack, maintaining that it was in retaliation to dead bodies being dumped across Balochistan. The organisation warned that if the killings continued, their next target would be Rawalpindi and Islamabad. Hours after the Lahore blast, a bomb was defused at Attock railway station. That only two persons died in the blast was due to the primitive type of the bomb which had no time device. The ball bearings it contained, however, wounded over sixty people. During the initial attacks by the TTP also the number of mortal casualties used to be low. The terrorist however tend to become more lethal with the passage of time. The security arrangements at the Lahore railway station have been found to be inadequate. According to the CPO, none of the 17 CCTV cameras was in a working condition. There are also reports of walk-through gates and metal detectors being non-functional. Another report tells of the company maintaining the scanners having suspended service two months ago for non payment of the dues by the Pakistan Railways. If this is the security situation at the second busiest station in the country after Karachi, one can imagine what havoc terrorists can wreak at other stations. It is dastardly to target innocent people for any cause whatsoever. Earlier, ethnic extremists have killed teachers, doctors, businessmen, even labourers and barbers coming to Balochistan from other provinces which was rightly condemned in the country. What one is constrained to note, however, is that acts of the sort, once unheard of in Balochistan, started to take place only after the killing of Akbar Bugti who was a pro-Pakistan Baloch leader. The subsequent operations in the province, accompanied by involuntary disappearances of political activists and extrajudicial killings further aggravated the situation. There is a need to rein in the state agencies. Unless this is done, a new group of highly motivated terrorists is likely to start endangering the lives of people all over Pakistan.
outspending each other the indians and us
o one wins an arms race, says one of the flurry of tshirt-sized slogans that peaceniks across the world use. Not that they have helped us, or any of those countries that operate and arm huge armies. Militaries in the democratic western countries don’t bat their eyelids even when peace-loving tree-huggers tie themselves to nuclear facilities; those in more repressive regimes do worse than simply being indifferent to these gadflies. No. Peace and a diversion from defence spending come from tangible changes in real factors that affect a region’s security calculus. That is what the deep state tells, condescendingly, to its doves. Pakistan wouldn’t have tested the recent Hatf missile, certain apologists say, if India hadn’t tested a missile of its own a week back. This is an admission, then, that the test wasn’t a test at all but a political statement. The same was the case when we tested our nuclear weapons back in 1998. Real changes in a security calculus are brought about by increases in trade and commerce. Countries that have a huge volume of trade with each other are not likely to go to war with each other. But the hawks within the country want to throw a spanner in those works as well. The brouhaha over the incumbent government’s granting of the MFN status to India is a testament to that fact. What constitutes as real changes can be subject of unending debate. Some of the definitions set by the hawks would be downright unreasonable. For better or for worse, we have to accept the fact that India is a much, much larger country and the way they view their place in the world is in respect with China which necessarily has to be different from what ours should be. Even if they are not adversarial, they are bound to rub the churlish amongst us the wrong way. But some argue that that is what they want. There is a vibrant school of thought within the Indian defence establishment that makes a case for pushing Pakistan into entering an arms race it can barely afford. For the Indians, this would be a case of the operation being successful but the patient dying; to goad Pakistan into spending more and more, the Indians will have to spend more and more. For a country that has so much grinding poverty, it is a shame that the Indians choose guns over butter.
Dedicated to the legacy of the late Hameed Nizami
Arif Nizami Editor
Lahore – Ph: 042-36298305-10 Fax: 042-36298302 Karachi – Ph: 021-34330811-3 Fax: 021-34330900 Islamabad – Ph: 051-2287414-6 Fax: 051-2287417 Web: www.pakistantoday.com.pk Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
thursday, 26 April, 2012
PM perturbed the man with nerves of mush, apparently
By Nazir Naji
or the past few days, the statements of PM Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani have been filled with a strange kind of restiveness, confusion and irregularity. Uptill a few months ago, he seemed like a very balanced and confident man. A man sure of his own surety. When I met him about a year and a half ago, he talked of his political understanding and acumen. I had a good rapport with the late Hamid Raza Gilani. I met him frequently in Islamabad and there would be long conversations when I visited his abode in Multan. He was a worldly man adept at keeping up appearances. His demeanour was laden with humility. Great men do not make great claims and this was also a characteristic of Hamid saaeen. He was a close relative of PM Gilani but there political paths were often miles apart. When I mentioned him, PM Gilani said he did not consider him to be a successful politician. Whereas the PM thought that he himself had overtaken Hamid saaeen as far as political achievements were concerned. It is a fact indeed that PM Gilani is the first amongst his family to reach the prime ministerial post and he can rightfully be proud of this fact. When talking of Hamid saaeen, he said once they were both reminiscing about their political lives together and Hamid saaeen had accepted that PM Gilani was a better politician and it would’ve been better if he (Hamid) had let his political career grow under his (PM Gilani’s) leadership. But the past few weeks, this kind of confidence is conspicuous by its absence in the PM’s statements. His self-belief seems to be on the wan. The PM sometimes talks of going to jail. Sometimes of martyrdom. He has even mentioned the distance between Adiyala Jial and the PM house. He sometimes asks his progeny for direction. He mentions his loyalties; declares his son to be Bilawal Bhutto’s brother. He also casts aspersions on the judiciary and expresses his doubts about its integrity. Recently, he went so far as to declare that he faces no danger from a ‘friendly’ judiciary. These are just some examples I have quoted. But it will be exceedingly apparent if one were to analyse the PM’s statements throughout the last year that his tone and tenor does not befit a confident, self-assured man perched atop the highest seat in the country. He seems to be passing through different emotional states. His statement that a woman proved more capable than
many men was mind-boggling. He was talking of dispensation of duties in an administrative post and his statement implied that there was some difference in the abilities of men and women or in their constitutional status where appointment to such posts was concerned whereas that is not the case. Whatever he meant, the way he put it was not befitting of a prime minister. It is apparent that he is under a lot of stress because of the cases being heard in the SC. But should a person occupying such a high post take such stress? We have seen many leaders go through much more than this but they didn’t let it show. President Nixon was under an extreme media onslaught but he was composed till the very last minute. He was but human too. The pressure must have gotten to him too but he didn’t let the cracks show. Clinton was also made the subject of judicial inquiry. He was made to sit like a common witness and cross-examined. I saw that on television. It was apparent that a leader has to have nerves of steel. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto had to face all kinds of injustices at the hands of a tyrant for almost two years. There were many below the belt things done deliberately to mock him. Many outrageous things were done. No stone was left unturned by Maulvi Mushtaq to malign him. A cage was constructed in the high court for the first time for him. He was subjected to torture in the jail. But Bhutto sb didn’t show for a minute that he had been broken. Similarly, Benazir Bhutto also sojourned in prisons and faced countless court cases. But she didn’t despair and her resolve was not shaken in the least. President Zardari has been on board the character assassination train for quite a while which the PM has only boarded a few months ago. As soon as Asif Ali Zardari became president, he faced a relentless opposition campaign. There is no allegation in the world that has not been levelled against him. Those conducting these campaigns were convinced that he was corrupt and had no right to stay in the president house. Every second month, his exit from the president house would be prognosticated. Stories would be fabricated about
his health. Scandals were made out of his foreign tours. Even the judiciary never had any good news for him. Even the immunity he had under the constitution was denied. Even though the clause is as clear as day and there is little room for ambiguity. Despite all this, the president kept his cool and scarcely said anything untoward about the judiciary. He only addressed some media personnel slyly. The way he has faced this onslaught from many quarters, one would think his nerves are made of some reinforced steel which the fiercest fire cannot melt. But one thing the president has kept a strict control on. His opponents are influential people. The media keeps a close eye on everything that goes on in the president house. President Zardari’s companions and associates also face the closest scrutiny. But no corruption scandal has come forth from the president house. Conjectures and allegations are something altogether different but there has never been definitive proof. Nobody has had the gall to implicate the president or his family in any corruption scandal. If, despite facing the fiercest character assassination campaign, the president has avoided being accused of corruption, the PM should also have. As opposed to the president, the media has always been friendly with the PM and shown him in a good light. But if still stories about his family were coming to the fore, he should’ve taken personal notice of this. But he didn’t. As far as the cases against him are concerned, they should have been no cause for worrying. Any decision in those will have political implications. The real reason for the PM’s lack of confidence is the corruption scandals surfacing. But should a PM be so easily disconcerted? If he can’t take this, what would he do if say a war took place? And what of his incredulous remark that says that the judiciary is his friend? Doesn’t it cast direct doubts on the integrity of the judiciary? Dear PM, please take note of your words and actions. The writer is one of Pakistan’s most widely read columnists.
Peace in tribal belt Pashtun Post
ith the start of strikes against Afghanistan in the name of the war on terror, any chance and hope for peace in the region were dashed. The US actions, one after the other, backfired and contributed more to instability and violence in the war-torn region than contributing to peace and stability. It is because the land of Afghanistan has proved to be area of defeat for the allied forces. The US was here in Afghanistan with an aim of seeking permanent bases in the country but it seems that it will not be able to fulfil this aim as it is facing interminable losses on all fronts in Afghanistan and its ailing economy will be hard-pressed to sustain any kind of prolonged military presence in the country. This is why they want to cut their losses and run now. The proof is in the fact that the Americans are seeking talks with the Taliban for peace and have duly opened an office at Qatar for the same purpose. The question is whether the plan to have a military presence
in Afghanistan by the US has yielded any result or has the US realised the mistake it committed in plunging into the region without thinking the entire thing through. Pakistan should be praised for the role it has played in the larger interest of the region. Not only has Pakistan hosted millions of homeless Afghans for decades, it has also ceaselessly continued with its efforts for lasting peace in the region through cooperation with regional and global stakeholders. The talks intended for peace in the region among various stakeholders cannot shun the importance of Pakistan to the whole process. But in the ultimate analysis, it is the Afghans who must have a solution of their liking. A solution that has been manufactured to cater to the interest of other stakeholders and powers will not sit well with the Afghans and will be doomed to fail from the start, as history has proved. Thus, the process must ensure that the Afghans are freely able to decide what is best for them. tak
– Translated from the original Pashto by Abdur Rauf Khat-
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thursday, 26 April, 2012
The resilient community on arab-americans and their persistence
Washington Watch By Dr James J Zogby
ith all of the dramatic and sometimes discouraging developments currently taking place across the Arab World, the challenges faced by the small but vibrant Arab American community are often given short shrift. This week we took time to acknowledge the threats to the community's security and well-being and the efforts being made to address these challenges. On April 18th, the Arab American Institute hosted its annual Kahlil Gibran Spirit of Humanity Awards Dinner, giving special recognition to our community's resilience, our personal resources and the strong and courageous allies who stand with us in defence of our rights. In the past year, the seriousness of these dangers has come to light. In some cases they have emanated from "hate groups" who have been emboldened in their efforts to defame the community. Once marginal websites that have long propagandised against Arabs and Muslims, have now become mainstream, finding their hate echoed on Fox TV or in the rantings of some presidential candidates. They paint all Muslims as a danger and make no distinction between Arabs and Muslims. Targeting an entire community, they promote intolerance and fear. While the community has relied on law enforcement agencies to defend it against the violence, threats of violence, and acts of outright discrimination that have been the result of the atmosphere created by the "hate groups,” all is not well on that front either. Revelations on CNN that train-
ing manuals used by the FBI and other law enforcement agencies are filled with gross misrepresentations of Arab culture and Islam, and other recent revelations (in a series of AP articles, that just won a Pulitzer prize) that the New York City Police Department has implemented a massive domestic spying operation targeting Egyptians, Syrians, Palestinians, and Muslims, in general, have caused great distress in the community. Instead of accepting this state of affairs, Arab Americans have drawn on their resources and their allies, and have fought back. And the Gibran awards dinner provided the occasion to recognise those who had been important in this effort, making it clear that Arab American are not powerless and do not stand alone. One of the groups honoured with the Gibran "Spirit of Humanity" award was the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a civil rights organisation born in the Deep South during the struggle for African American rights. Today, the SPLC has broadened its purview becoming a leading voice speaking out against Islamophobic hate groups and discrimination in all its forms, thus providing the community with much needed support and strength. Also honoured was a remarkable initiative launched by an Arab American (Dean Obeidallah) and an Iranian American (Negin Farsad). Their effort, "The Muslims Are Coming" comedy tour travelled last year throughout the South going even to communities that had mobilised to block efforts to build mosques. The tour relied on comedy to educate and shatter stereotypes. Using laughter, they both instructed and defused hate. There are those who say that while Arab civilisation had a great past, it has no present or future. They also question whether Arab immigrants to America have made any contribution to the US. In response to this slight to Arab culture, the Gibran awards recognised the work of the Arab Thought Foundation – an example of an Arab institution that promotes
learning, cultural pride, and self-reflection. The Arab Thought Foundation is a centre for the dissemination of learning and a beacon of enlightenment. Annually, the Gibran gala recognises an Arab American who has made an outstanding contribution in the area of public service. This year's recipient of the Najeeb Halaby public service award was presented to former U.S. Ambassador Ted Kattouf for his three decades in the Foreign Service and his decade-long leadership of AMIDEAST, one of America's largest NGO's serving the people of the Arab World. The award was presented by U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, himself a former recipient. As unremarkable as all this might have appeared to some, the fact that a Lebanese American presents an award named after a Syrian American to a Palestinian American itself makes a statement about the success of the Arab American community to rise above division and assert its identity and heritage. The night concluded with a special tribute to Anthony Shadid, a journalist like no other, whose untimely death in February took from us a writer who had devoted his life to serving as a bridge, connecting his fellow Americans to the often misunderstood realities and peoples of the Arab World. The night closed with a reminder that even in what may appear to be the darkest of times, with challenges all around, Arab Americans are a resilient and proud community with allies who support us. We are a community with the strength and creativity to affirm our humanity and defend our rights against those who would defame, dishonour, disown, or try to divide us. Despite the challenges we have faced and continue to face, we remain, at the end of the day, a community that is proud of our heritage, and prouder still of our accomplishments in America, our home. The writer is President of the Arab-American Institute.
Defining moments a memorable weekend in london
here are times in life when, out of the blue, one finds oneself able to avail opportunities that bring you back to things that somehow escape from grasp during the hustle bustle and routine of life. And it’s amazing how you take to those moments seamlessly and then can sit back and reminiscence of the past but also engross yourself in the current scenario almost as if you never went away. Two weeks ago, I had to rush to London for urgent meetings ahead of a scheduled quick break. While there, I met up with a friend who’d also been travelling the world and we hadn’t caught up in a while. Over lunch, we decided to meet the following weekend and do the museums, catch a couple of super exhibitions that were on. I spent Easter with friends and dogs in Germany and took a well-deserved week off. But the best was still to come. I planned to fly to London on Thursday, work Friday, visit the museums Saturday and leave for Karachi Sunday when on Tuesday a colleague called asking if I’d like to go to Wembley on Sunday to watch the FA Cup football semi between Chelsea and Tottenham. I was totally thrilled, made the request to Marcus, the super genius, at the London office to find me a seat Monday, which was promptly done. The flight from Stuttgart to London was full of anticipation and I guess I had a big smile on my face. The tell tale signs, a pain in the jaw and a stewardess asking me the reason for this infectious smile. That weekend in London was simply fantastic. I did stuff I had almost forgotten existed. It was the London I knew, the London of old and I am overjoyed I took the opportunity. Friday night was a fabulous dinner at a new restaurant with my nephew. The food exquisite, the place packed, ambiance charged with energy and atmosphere. And if that were not enough, lo and behold, we bumped into delightful friends we hadn’t seen for a while. It was a great evening that ended in the early hours. Some hours later, I was jumping from my cab on the Embankment at the doors of Tate Britain. Time vanished. The Picasso exhibition was simply breathtaking. Amongst the well-known masterpieces, there were other paintings that were simply exquisite. The versatility of the master is incredible. Some pieces you saw at a distance and didn’t believe they could be his work. Once you drew closer, you saw the unmistakable signature. There were works by other artists influenced by his work that were equally fascinating. These are moments when you get Goosebumps and cannot believe a world exists when access to such bril-
Random thoughts By Imran Husain
liance requires only a little bit of your time and, in relative terms, a small amount of money. I am still living in that moment, adjectives just too elaborate to place on paper. Each painting evokes its own admiration; especially powerful was a simple sketch of a woman in poverty eating from scraps of food. Lunch at Covent Garden’s famous L’Atelier Joel, Robuchon’s famous culinary excellence, needless to say my friend Adiba had planned the day to perfection, where the food was to die for and the grape to match. Then on to Tate Modern; I’d never been before. What can I say! The museum itself is a stunning piece of construction. A purpose-built, modern steel structure lending itself to artists’ installations of all types and sizes. 7 floors of exquisite creations. The facilities are outstanding. The views from the balcony of the members club over the Thames and over to St. Paul’s simply amazing. Damian Hirst was exhibiting; again incredibly versatile. His immersion in the cycle of life is so totally revealing; it brings you repeatedly to the wondrous element of evolution. From egg to living creature to death in just a few hours. Flies, butterflies, reproductive organs, digestion, medicines. Installations that were par excellence, totally inspiring. Followed by a visit to Borough Market. It has changed so! Simply exciting. The Whiskey Exchange a must do for connoisseurs. And then a fabulous Saturday evening ending again in the early hours walking through Soho. Memories ring loud! Sunday, a fabulous lunch at Heston Blumenthal’s finest. His food is simple, not theatrical and yet superbly delicious. The company stupendous. The Mandarin’s views over the Park another exquisite example of London. Then the surface train to Wembley Arena; 10 minutes direct from Marylebone. I hadn’t been to the new Wembley. The old was kind of ‘grotty’. The new is kind of awesome! I hadn’t been to a football game in almost a lifetime. The atmosphere was electric. My mind raced to my first time ever, White Hart Lane in 1961, I was back being 10 again. Enthralled. The game was football at its competitive best. Fantastic! It was a goal fest. Chelsea scoring five brilliant goals against the one from Spurs. And what was more remarkable, with 85,175 recorded audience, was the return journey. Forty-five minutes waiting in queue and a ten-minute ride. The logistics are simply terrific. It’s like Rip van Winkle, rising from slumber. I am awake again. London weekends will figure in my life, as of course will the dogs that have dominated past decades, big time. Thank you Adiba, Damian, Jack, Aziz, Monica, Maggy. Defining moments dragging me back into reality! I’m already thinking London, the Rosso waiting! The writer may be contacted via e-mail at email@example.com
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thursday, 26 April, 2012
Veena aims to oust Naomi Campbell from ‘Supermodel’ throne
HILE earning a supermodel tag it is an achievement for most catwalk beauties, Veena Malik believes that the supermodel status given to her is not exaggerated and already considers herself to be a supermodel. Controversial actress Veena Malik has grab her entry in Navin Batra’s new film ‘Supermodel’ in which she will be essaying the role of a glamorous supermodel. The character is said to be based on the Naomi Campbell, a British model who garnered international acclaim for her work. Sources close to the film say, Veena Malik is compared to Campbell, as both have established reputations as the most recognisable and in-demand faces of the fashion world. Like Campbell, Veena’s life as a celebrity has also gone through many phases and controversies. “Professionally she is a successful model and actress and is an apt choice for the film,” says director Navin Batra. “Her body language, style and poise are that of a supermodel, as has been stated many times by the media. This makes her the right choice,” Batra added. For the film ‘Supermodel’, Malik will be paired opposite Indian actor and rumoured ex-flame Ashmit Patel. The 25-year-old insisted that the film should showcase the sizzling chemistry between her and Patel.
HollYWood: receives a star John Cusack hollywood Wal on the k of fame. af p
NEW yoRK: Kristen Wiig and tyra Banks attend the time 100 Gala celebrating the time 100 issue of the Most Influential People in the World. AfP
mumBai: Madhu attends the ‘Deeri Dixit Nene Puraskar Awards nanath Mangeshkar 2012’. af p
Businessman accuses Mishi Khan of burglary NEWS DESK Drama artist, host and film star Mishi Khan was accused of stealing valuables from the apartment of Jawad Safi Khawaja in Islamabad. Khawaja, who is a well known businessman of the federal capital, has filed a complaint against Mishi Khan charging her with robbing Rs 500,000 cash, a two-tola gold bracelet, three rings and a wristwatch. According to Khawaja, Mishi Khan frequently visited his flat and had seen him place the cash and other items in his cupboard. Two watchmen stationed at the building also stated that they had seen Khan coming out of Khawaja’s flat with two shopping bags in her hands. When Khawaja contacted Khan, she used offensive language and threatened him as well. The police confirmed that they had received a complaint from Khawaja against Mishi Khan. When contacted, Khan denied the allegations levelled against her, saying it had become fashionable to use the name of any famous actress for getting temporary fame. She said some publicity mongers attempted to gain cheap exposure by saying they married an actress. She denied knowing anyone by the name of Jawad Safi Khawaja. “God has blessed me with everything and I don’t need anything else. Why would I get from such a meagre amount,” she remarked.
RANBIR TO CHANGE HIS LOOK? mumBai: this Kapoor lad has been making waves with his acting ever since his debut. Ranbir Kapoor is one of the few actors who has managed to do myriad roles in different genres of films very early in his career. the actor who is known to experiment with his looks (remember ‘Rockstar’s grunge look) will soon go for a major makeover for his role in Anurag Kashyap’s ‘Bombay velvet’. Speaking to a daily, a source confirmed and said, “the character has very closecropped hair in the film. After a lot of discussions and deliberations, the look was finally chosen. It’ll be a challenge for Ranbir to carry it off, and he is very excited about it.” Ranbir will also be seen playing an old man in Anurag Basu’s ‘Barfi!’ and will have pierced ear look for ‘yeh Jawani hai Deewani’. agencieS
laHoRe: Upcoming designer Saima Pervaiz presented her collection. PhotoS By NADEEM IJAZ
Katrina is a stupendous actor: SRK mumBai: Shah Rukh Khan has high hopes from the young players in his ipl team this season even though Shah Rukh Khan is busy with his Yash chopra film co-starring Katrina Kaif, he will take time off to boost the spirits of his ipl team. Says the actor, “i am shooting currently, but when i get some days off, i will fly down to Kolkata to watch the matches. Hopefully, i will complete the film by July and take a couple of months off. only then will i decide what to do next,” adds Shah Rukh, squashing reports saying that he will start Rohit Shetty’s ‘chennai express’ this year. “i have been reading these reports, but i have not decided when i will start shooting.” on another note, the actor is all praise for Katrina. “i do a few films every year, and when i work with young actors, i learn a lot as they have a different way of doing scenes. Katrina is a stupendous actor. She approaches every scene differently, and as a costar i have to adapt differently. that give and take has been absolutely fantastic,” says SRK, adding that anushka Sharma will soon join them in the film’s next schedule. agencieS
‘The Lucky One’ my most mature role: Efron LOS ANGELES: Actor Zac Efron says his part in ‘The Lucky One’ is his most mature role so far and that he used to lighten the mood on the sets by singing and dancing. “I am definitely still a big kid at heart. But this role in ‘The Lucky One’ is definitely my most mature role. I loved the experience. It was hard. Every scene had a gravity to it in a way. I couldn’t improve, or laugh or tell any jokes. No fun stuff. I couldn’t sing,” showbizspy.com quoted Efron as saying. “I would break into song and dance but nobody would join me,” added the 24-year-old. agencieS
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15 laS VegaS: Jennifer Garner arrives promotes her upcoming film, ‘the odd life of timothy Green’. afp
Aniston denies planning big fat Greek wedding
Beyonce named most beautiful
LOS ANGELES agencieS
While ex-husband Brad Pitt may finally be planning a second trip down the aisle, Jennifer Aniston is denying any plans to wed this summer in Greece. Although TMZ reported that Aniston was seen looking at possible wedding locations in Crete, her rep is telling Us Weekly, “How is it that one of the most photographed people in the world supposedly goes to Greece to check out a hotel she never heard of and is not spotted or photographed?” While Aniston and boyfriend Justin Theroux have tried to keep their relationship out of the public eye, the pair was reportedly house-hunting together last year according to People. In an interview, Aniston called Theroux “a great actor,” but joked that he was “the most cold, icy fishy kind of a guy.”
LOS ANGELES agencieS
laS VegaS: Mila Disney Studios Kunis arrives at a Walt presentation to Motion Pictures film, ‘oz: the G promote her upcoming reat and Powerfu l’. Af P
OLLOWING in the footsteps of Michelle Pfeiffer, Jennifer Lopez, Jennifer Aniston and Kate Hudson, Beyonce has been named People Magazine’s Most Beautiful Woman in the world. “She’s flawless, she’s gorgeous, she’s at the top of her game careerwise,” a People editor said on the Today show. “On top of that, she’s got this glow going on. She’s a new mom, which makes her the World’s Most Beautiful Woman.” “I feel more beautiful than I’ve ever felt because I’ve given birth,” Beyonce tells People. “I have never felt so connected, never felt like I had such a purpose on this earth.” Beyonce calls daughter Blue Ivy, “the cutest thing,” adding, “The best thing about having a daughter is having a true legacy. The word ‘love’ means something completely different now.”
Kidman mimics ‘Basic Instinct’ Sharon Stone moment
Red Bull X-Fighters blow away Pakistan with their thrilling performance NEWS DESK: The world’s best Freestyle motocross riders took off to the air again in front of 15,000 people at the Moin Khan Stadium as a part of the Red Bull X-Fighters six-stop 2012 world tour. The Red Bull X-Fighters Jams is a series of exhibitions worldwide, giving the people around the globe an opportunity to witness the action that can be seen on the world tour. The Red Bull X-Fighters concepts has grown to become the biggest and most respected freestyle motocross on the planet. Red Bull X-Fighters had its biggest event in Sri Lanka, Colombo at the Galle Face Green with more than 200, 000 spectators. After rocking Sri Lanka, The Red Bull management brought those tremendous athletes to Pakistan, and for the first ever Freestyle Motocross event. The event started with a brilliantly choreographed cultural show, after which the riders kicked off their bikes. Four of the world’s top riders, namely Martin Koren from California, Nick De Wit from South Africa, Jimmy Verburgh from Belgium and Nick Franklin from New Zealand, showcased the best of their tricks for one and a half hour. Afterwards an electrifying performance by Ali Azmat sent the crowd to their feet. The production and management of the event was handled by the team of Red Bull and the PR by Catalyst PR and Marketing.
’ e l t s a C s s a l G ‘The n o i t a t p a d a film er f i n n e J r a t y s a m Lawrence loS angeleS: Jennifer lawrence is reportedly in talks to star in the big screen version of ‘the glass castle’. deadline.com reports that lionsgate recently got the rights to ‘the glass castle: a memoir’ by gossip columnist Jeanette Walls. the 2005 book spent more than 250 weeks on the new York times bestseller list, longer than any other memoir. it chronicles Walls’ childhood, recounting her experiences growing up with four siblings in a “dysfunctional but vibrant” family. lawrence, star of ‘the Hunger games’, has already been cast in a series of film roles. She’s starring in the horror movie, ‘the House at the end of the Street,’ as well as in ‘the Silver linings playbook’ with Robert de niro and Bradley cooper. cBS
MOVIE WON’T HAPPEN: EVA LONGORIA LONDON: Actress Eva Longoria has denied rumours of a ‘Desperate Housewives’ movie, insisting makers have run out of story lines. The 37-year-old, who played suburban girl Gabrielle Solis on the hit show for eight years, said the show has exhausted every plot possibility for the film, reported Showbizspy. “We won’t do a movie. Marc Cherry, our creator, has said that because we have done over 200 episodes. The difference with ‘Sex and the City’ is that they only did 13 episodes a year and they were only on six years so they didn’t ever really fully explore those characters so you are able to do a movie,” she said. agencieS
LOS ANGELES agencieS
N ICOLE Kidman, who has been in need of a hit lately, has her eyes shut in her new movie with Zac Efron. The 44-year-old Oscar-winner turns up the raunch factor and channels the spirit of Sharon Stone for the thriller ‘The Paperboy’. In new stills released by the film’s producers, Kidman is tanned and trashy, wearing a blonde wig and a short dress. In one scene in particular, where Kidman mimics Sharon Stone’s pose from ‘Basic Instinct’, will remind cinema-goers why Kidman was such hot property during the nineties. Efron too was all praises for his co-star. “Nicole is so gorgeous,” News.com.au quoted him as saying. ‘The Paperboy’, which is directed by Lee Daniels, who was nominated for an Oscar for his film ‘Precious’, also stars Matthew McConaughey and John Cusack. The story, which is based on a crime novel of the same name, focuses on a reporter who returns to his Florida hometown to investigate a case involving a death row inmate.
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thursday, 26 April, 2012
Annan urges fast deployment of monitors to Syria DAMAScUS afp
A handful of UN observers resumed their tour of Syrian hot spots on Wednesday as envoy Kofi Annan urged the fast deployment of the full, 300strong mission and voiced alarm about persistent violence. Nine civilians were reportedly killed across country, taking to nearly 300 the number of people who have died since a tenuous ceasefire went into effect on April 12. Among them were four people whose bus was raked with gunfire by security forces at a checkpoint near
Khan Sheikhun, a town in the restive northwestern province of Idlib, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. The Britain-based watchdog said two civilians were also killed by regime forces in the Harasta suburb of Damascus, while another was killed by sniper fire in Douma, a northeastern suburb of the capital. One child died after being shot in a village in the eastern province of Deir Ezzor, according to the Observatory. And regime forces also reportedly shot dead one citizen in the town of Rastan, in the central province of Homs.
Annan branded the bloodshed “unacceptable” as he and world powers called for the speedy deployment of the 300 observers, but a top UN official said it would take at least a month to get the first 100 in place. Addressing the UN Security Council via teleconference, the UNArab League envoy said he was “concerned” about the violence surging after observers visit individual cities. The former UN chief said Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has still not fulfilled a promise to end violence and said the situation was “bleak” and “unacceptable.” Annan said he was “particularly
alarmed” at reports that government forces had entered the city of Hama after a visit by UN monitors and killed “a significant” number of people. “If confirmed this is totally unacceptable and reprehensible,” he told the council. The Damascus-based Syrian League for Human Rights said nine activists were “summarily executed” by government forces in Hama on Monday, a day after they met UN observers in the central city. More than 30 people were also killed in a government assault on Hama’s Arbaeen neighbourhood on Monday, monitors have said,
prompting anger and criticism by activists who questioned the use of the UN observer mission given the unending bloodshed. Neeraj Singh, spokesman for an advance team of UN monitors who began arriving in the country on April 15 and are set to number 30 in the coming days, said the observers were conducting visits in various regions on a daily basis. He said there were two observers based in the central town of Hama and two others in Homs, scene of fierce fighting between government forces and rebel troops. The rest of the team is based in Damascus.
Breivik accuses experts of lies as he pleads for his sanity OSLO afp
JeRuSalem: israeli soldiers unload their rifles after a memorial ceremony at the military cemetery on mount of olives, overlooking the dome of the Rock mosque on Wednesday. the memorial day commemorates fallen soldiers since 1948, ahead of celebrations of the 64th anniversary of the creation of the state of israel according to the Jewish calendar. AFP
Nepal’s Super Sherpa crosses the Himalayas KATHMANDU
Israel military chief tones down rhetoric on Iran JERUSALEM
Nepal’s “Super Sherpa” on Wednesday voiced amazement at the pace of change in the country’s remote Himalayan communities, as he celebrated his return from one of the world’s most difficult treks. Apa Sherpa, 52, arrived in Kathmandu earlier this week after leading the first expedition to complete the Great Himalayan Trail, a 1,700-kilometre (1,050-mile) trek spanning the entire length of the Nepalese Himalayas. Sherpa, who earned his nickname for scaling Mount Everest a record 21 times, said the world’s highest mountain range had undergone a “transformation”, with improved transport links, communications and education. “I was happy to see kids going to schools and people better connected through mobile phones,” Sherpa told reporters. “But I was saddened to see children working as porters when they should have been going to school,” he said, adding that he found many schools shut so that pupils could work as labourers. Sherpa and three companions set off in January on the Climate Smart Celebrity Trek, an expedition promoting tourism and highlighting the effects of climate change.
Israel’s military chief toned down the rhetoric over Iran’s nuclear programme on Wednesday, describing the Iranian leadership as “very rational” and unlikely to take the decision to build a bomb. Speaking to Haaretz newspaper, Lieutenant General Benny Gantz said Iran was approaching the point at which it would be able to decide on whether to build a bomb, but that Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei had not yet decided “whether to go the extra mile.” So far, Israel and Washington do not believe that Tehran has actually taken the decision to develop a nuclear bomb, a decision which would require the ability to quickly produce weapons-grade uranium. “In my opinion, he would be making a huge mistake if he does so, and I don’t think he will want to go the extra mile,” he said of Khamenei. “I think the Iranian leadership is composed of very rational people,” he said, indicating that the international regime of hard-hitting sanctions was “starting to bear fruit.” Defence Minister Ehud Barak also took a somewhat softer line on Iran, saying it had “not
yet decided to manufacture atomic weapons” and suggesting the sanctions could work. “If the Americans, and the Europeans and we ourselves are determined, there is a change of stopping the Iranians before they acquire the atomic bomb,” he told Israeli public radio. Israel and much of the West suspect Iran is using its civilian nuclear programme as a cover for a weapons drive — a charge which Tehran vehemently denies, and Israeli officials have refused to rule out a pre-emptive strike to prevent it from happening. But there was no sign of any change in the hardline approach of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who said Tehran should remain under biting sanctions until it halts all uranium enrichment. “They have to stop all enrichment,” he told CNN, saying he would not accept Iran enriching uranium to even three percent, which is near the level required for peaceful atomic energy. Iran has already developed the capacity to enrich uranium to 3.5 percent, and to 20 percent, which is used to create medical isotopes, but it would have to enrich to 90 percent in order to make nuclear weapons. The language used by Gantz in Wednesday’s interview was far from the fiery rhetoric of
Netanyahu, who last week said anyone who refused to acknowledge the Iranian threat had learned nothing from the Nazi Holocaust during World War II. “They are afraid to speak the truth, which is today, as it was then, that there are people who want to annihilate millions of Jews,” he said. The attempt by both Gantz and Barak to tone down the rhetoric on Iran comes after a spate of media reports suggesting a division within the Israeli leadership over how to handle the Iranian issue. Two months ago, Netanyahu and Barak appeared to agree that the sanctions imposed on Iran would not work, Haaretz reported, describing the political leadership as “divided” between the premier and the defence minister, and other top ministers who wanted to give the sanctions time to work. But last week, the paper said there was a growing rift between the two after Netanyahu criticised the nuclear talks between world powers and Iran. “Netanyahu’s tough statement also appears to underline the growing rift between him and Defence Minister Ehud Barak on the Iran issue,” the paper said, indicating that Barak “has said he believes the negotiations should be given a chance to succeed.”
Anders Behring Breivik, who wants to be found accountable for his massacre of 77 people in Norway last July, on Wednesday accused a team of psychiatric experts of making things up to prove him insane. Breivik is seeking to convince an Oslo court that he is sane so that his anti-Islam ideology will be taken seriously and not considered the ravings of a lunatic, even though it would mean a prison sentence rather than psychiatric care. The 33-year-old right-wing extremist has already said that being sentenced to closed psychiatric care would be “worse than death”. A first psychiatric evaluation last year concluded that he was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia, but a second opinion found him of sound mind. On Wednesday, he challenged the first examination, which he claims contains “more than 200 lies” in a diagnosis he has called “the ultimate humiliation.” “These are illwilled fabrications,” Breivik told the court Wednesday, referring to passages from the report. He later added: “They may not be ill-willed, but they are in any case wrong.” Psychiatrists Synne Soerheim and Torgeir Husby were appointed by the Oslo district court to carry out the first evaluation. Their conclusion in November that Breiviok was psychotic cleared the way for him to be sent to a closed psychiatric ward for treatment instead of prison. But the diagnosis caused an uproar in Norway, where many were astounded that the man who methodically planned his attacks for years and then executed them with precision could be found not responsible for his actions. The court therefore ordered a second opinion by two other experts, who concluded earlier this month that Breivik was sane. A third panel of experts charged with verifying the validity of the reports has found weaknesses in the second evaluation and asked the authors to provide additional information. It will ultimately be up to the judges to determine whether he is sane when they hand down their verdict in July. Breivik told the court Wednesday that “80 percent of the content from the interviews (on which the first two psychiatrists based their conclusions) is invented.” The two experts drew their conclusion “very early” and aimed the rest of their work at proving their diagnosis was correct, he said. “They were emotionally affected (by the attacks) and they were not competent to evaluate a person responsible for political violence,” he said. “If I had read a description of the person they describe, I would have agreed: this person needs psychiatric care,” he said, adding: “But the person described in this report is not me.” Breivik reiterated Wednesday that he does not want to “end up in an asylum” and said he had exchanged letters with a Swedish militant nationalist who described his own treatment in a psychiatric ward as “a chemical lobotomy.” “He says it’s awful. He sits at a table drooling,” he said.
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Foreign News 17 Murdoch denies seeking favours from UK leaders thursday, 26 April, 2012
France’s Sarkozy rules out deal with far right PARIS afp
French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Wednesday ruled out any pact with Marine Le Pen’s National Front after its electoral breakthrough but insisted far-right supporters should not be demonised. As Socialist frontrunner Francois Hollande accused Sarkozy of going too far to “seduce” the far right, European Union president Herman Van Rompuy condemned “winds of populism” which he warned were blowing across Europe. Hollande won the first round of France’s presidential election on Sunday with 28.6 percent of the vote over 27.2 percent for Sarkozy. The two will square off in a final round on May 6 that polls say the Socialist will win. But the race was shaken up by the 18 percent result of anti-immigration and anti-Europe populist Le Pen, whose score on Sunday was not enough to stay in the race but was the highest ever for a far-right candidate. Sarkozy, the first sitting French president to lose a first-round vote, has tilted further to the right since Sunday, vowing to “defend the French way of life”, drastically reduce immigration and secure France’s borders. “We need to speak to the 18 percent who voted for Marine Le Pen,” Sarkozy said in an interview Wednesday with France Info radio. “But I don’t want ministers from the National Front. I’ve never wanted that. The 18 percent who voted National Front don’t belong to me, but it’s my duty to address them,” he said. “What Mr Hollande has not understood is that we should speak to everybody. There will be no deal with the National Front, no ministers for them, but I have to take them into account and not feel I have to hold my nose.”
UPERT Murdoch tried to downplay his political influence in landmark testimony to a British inquiry Wednesday, even as evidence from his media empire prompted a government aide to resign. The 81-year-old mogul, speaking on oath during his first appearance at the Leveson Inquiry into press ethics, hit out at “sinister inferences” about his ties to British leaders over the past four decades. “I’ve never asked a prime minister for anything,” the News Corp. chairman said in a spirited performance at the judge-led inquiry at the Royal Courts of Justice in central London. He said he “loved” newspapers but
shareholders in US-based News Corp. wanted him to get rid of his titles, which include The Sun, The Times and Sunday Times in Britain and the Wall Street Journal and New York Post in the United States. Murdoch also rejected as “untrue” rumours that he was unhappy with current premier David Cameron for ordering the inquiry following the phone-hacking scandal that closed down his News of the World newspaper in July last year. But as Murdoch was speaking, Adam Smith, a special adviser to culture minister Jeremy Hunt, resigned over claims that he leaked details to News Corp. about the government’s view of its bid to take full control of pay-TV giant BSkyB. Texts and emails from him to News Corp. executive Frederic Michel emerged during evidence given during Murdoch’s son
James on Tuesday, in which Smith apparently gave confidential details and said that Hunt backed the deal. “I appreciate that my activities at times went too far,” Smith said. Hunt — who had the responsibility for the decision about whether the BSkyB takeover should be allowed to go ahead — made a statement in parliament rejecting calls for his resignation. “This is not the time to jump on a political bandwagon. I have strictly followed due process throughout,” he said, although he added that the “volume and tone” of the emails was “clearly not appropriate”. Cameron told parliament that Hunt, who also has responsibility for the London Olympics, had his “full support”. But he added that “hand on heart, we all did too much cosying up to Rupert Murdoch, I’m sure we’ll agree.”
At the inquiry, Murdoch rejected suggestions that he had used his ties to previous prime ministers Margaret Thatcher, John Major and Tony Blair for the commercial gain of his media empire. “I think you are making sinister inferences,” the Australian-born tycoon told Robert Jay, the counsel for the inquiry, when he was asked about his ties to former Labour premier Blair. Blair is godfather to one of Murdoch’s daughters. “In ten years I never asked Mr Blair for anything, nor indeed did I receive any favours. If you want to check that I think you should call him,” Murdoch said. When asked about phone-hacking and the use of private investigators by the News of the World, Murdoch said he believed celebrities and politicians were “not entitled to the same privacy as the ordinary man in the street.”
Indian child marriage annulled in landmark case JAIPUR afp
An Indian couple who “married” when aged just one and three have had their wedding annulled in a ground-breaking case that activists hope will challenge the culture of child marriages. Laxmi Sargara, 18, unknowingly wed her husband Rakesh, 20, in the desert state of Rajasthan 17 years ago after their families decided that when they grew up they would live together and have children. In the first procedure of its type, the pair had their union legally revoked in the city of Jodhpur on Tuesday as part of a campaign against enforced child marriages.“I was unhappy about the marriage. I told my parents who did not agree with me, then I sought help,” Sargara told AFP. “Now I am mentally relaxed and my family members are also with me.” Child marriage is illegal in India but remains common in poor, rural communities in which it is seen as improving the financial security of both families. The girl often remains in her parents’ home until she reaches puberty and is then taken amid great celebrations to her husband’s family.
guadalaJaRa: a massive fire is seen at ‘la primavera’ forest in guadalajara, mexico, on Wednesday. more than 700 firefighters were sent to the site where the fire has been burning uncontrolled for almost five days, and consumed over 5,000 hectares so far. AFP
Romney lays claim to nomination with 5-state sweep WASHINGTON afp
Mitt Romney effectively claimed the Republican presidential nomination as he reveled in a five-state primary sweep and urged voters to help him oust President Barack Obama in November. With wins Tuesday in Connecticut, Delaware, New York, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island, according to US media forecasts, Romney essentially kicked off his general election campaign after months of tangling with Republican rivals. “Tonight is the start of a new campaign,” Romney told ecstatic supporters in New Hampshire — scene of his first Republican primary victory back in January and a potentially pivotal general election battleground. “Tonight is the beginning of the end of the
disappointments of the Obama years — and it’s the start of a new and better chapter that we will write together.” He trounced former House speaker Newt Gingrich and congressman Ron Paul, the two remaining Republicans in the race, in northeastern states that are largely friendly territory for Romney, a former governor of Massachusetts. Romney basked in the glow of the clean sweep, and effectively staked his claim to the nomination. “After 43 primaries and caucuses, many long days and not a few long nights, I can say with confidence — and gratitude — that you have given me a great honor and solemn responsibility,” Romney told supporters. “Together, we will win on November 6!” Romney is still short of the 1,144 delegates needed to be crowned the official nominee at the Republican convention in late
August, but most campaign watchers are treating him as the Democratic incumbent’s challenger. “The nomination struggle is over,” G. Terry Madonna, director of the Center for Politics and Public Affairs at Franklin & Marshall College in Pennsylvania, told AFP. After Tuesday, Madonna said, “he stays on that message. It’s the general election day in and day out.” Romney sought to assure struggling Americans — “the thousands of good and decent Americans I’ve met who want nothing more than a better chance” — that he was the candidate ready to fight for a fair and improving economy. “To all of you, I have a simple message: hold on a little longer. A better America begins tonight,” he said, reprising the central theme of the Republican campaign — that Obama has failed to turn around the US economy.
The Obama White House — which has treated Romney as its main opponent for months — also appeared to formally kick off its general campaign. “Mitt Romney has spent the past year out on the campaign trail tearing down the president with a negative message that even Republicans who have endorsed him have criticized,” said Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt. “This marks the end of that monologue. Now he must put his record and his agenda next to the president’s.” Obama’s supporters have warned that Republicans would return to the policies of the George W. Bush administration, which it says favored the wealthy, worsened inequality and caused the 2008 economic collapse. “The title for Governor Romney’s speech tonight should have been ‘Back to the Future’ because he has proposed a re-
turn to the same policies that got us into the economic crisis in the first place,” LaBolt said. Obama meanwhile swung through North Carolina and Colorado, two key battlegrounds in the general election, where he called on Congress to act to prevent interest on federal student loans from doubling in July. Romney has 683 delegates, compared with 141 for Gingrich and 84 for Paul, according to a tally by RealClearPolitics.com. Rick Santorum has 267 delegates, but he bowed out of the race two weeks ago. Santorum has declined as of yet to endorse Romney, but said Tuesday he was hoping to meet with his former rival in the coming weeks. “I will support the nominee of our party,” Santorum told CNN during an interview in which he repeatedly declined to directly endorse Romney.
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Djokovic to skip Serbian open Page 21
PCB still hopeful about Bangladesh series LAHORE Staff RepoRt
HE Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has not given up its hope for a home series against Bangladesh. The PCB Tuesday asked the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) to keep it updated on the appeal filed in the high court against the petition that sought cancellation of Bangladesh's cricket tour of Pakistan. The tour for ODI and Twenty20 matches, slated to take place here this week, was postponed by the Dhaka High
Patience key to unlocking West Indies potential
rusing the copy of the writ petition regarding Bangladesh tour of Pakistan, pending in Dhaka High Court Division, PCB sent an official communique to Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) asking it to submit copy of the court order and copy of the appeal (if any) filed by BCB against the stay order," PCB said in a statement. "After perusal of the writ by
Court for four weeks citing security concerns. The high court took the decision on a petition of Dhaka university teacher Khandaker Didarus Salam to cancel the tour on security grounds. The court said it will review the situation in a month. The PCB said that the petition against the tour was devoid of merit and not in public interest. "After pe-
officials of PCB assisted by legal advisor, prima facie the writ petition is devoid of merits and has been filed against public interest which will be detrimental to the game of cricket," the release said. Had the tour gone ahead, Bangladesh would have been the first international team to tour Pakistan in three years since the 2009 attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore. For the last three years, Pakistan has been a no-go zone for international teams and they had to play most of their home matches at neutral venues, mostly in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
Semis line-up decided in 34th National Boxing LAHORE Staff RepoRt
West Indies were again guilty of letting a strong position slip from their grasp when they ended the second day of the third test against Australia 163 runs adrift, but their young squad will be given a chance to develop. Australia's tail wagged to punish the hosts, recovering from 169 for seven to reach 328 all out before the Caribbean middle order slumped as the home side fell to 165-8. It was a disappointing day for the Dominican crowd, who had hoped to see Darren Sammy's young team push on from their promising work on Monday and make a bid to tie the three-test series. Despite the setback, assistant coach Toby Radford said that his inexperienced team were going to be given a chance to prove their potential. "These are young guys, talented guys, who I think will have good careers and we've got to be patient with them," the Welshman said. "It's not suicide for us. You learn, you come back and are stronger. Hopefully we can go to England and then perform there," he said, looking ahead to the next action for West Indies. Opening batsmen Adrian Barath and Kraigg Brathwaite have not been able to give their team solid starts with just one half-century stand between them in this series. Brathwaite, who made his third consecutive duck on Tuesday, is just 19year-old, however, and his partner is only three years his senior. With Darren Bravo, 23, and Kieran Powell, 22, also in the lineup, 37-year-old Shivnarine Chanderpaul is the only top order batsman with extensive international experiece. Radford said the West Indies coaching staff were working closely with Barbadian Brathwaite, who made a half-century in the first test and is considered one of the most exciting prospects in the Caribbean. "You chat with him. You talk with him. You practice with him whenever you can and you remind him how good a player he is. He played very well in Barbados in that first innings," he said.
The semi-final line-up in the 49, 52, 56, 60 and 64 kgs weight categories were decided on day three of the 34th Velo National Boxing Championships being held here at the Punjab College Hall. On Wednesday, bouts were held in two sessions with the morning session witnessing the national gold medalists reaching the last four without much difficulty while the second session was yet to start at the time of filing this report. Both the sessions have 20 bouts each to be fought and similarly on Thursday the competitions will be held in two sessions with 10 bouts each for either session. The prominent boxers that made through to the last four include Mohib Barha of Police, Mohammad Nauman of Army, Naqubllah of Wapda, Mohammad Wasim of Wapda Nematullah of PAF, Khawar of Wapda, Nawaz Dad of Army, Faisal Khan of Army. Apart from these, those who reached the semifinals include Sheroz, Abdul Waheed PAF, Hallar HEC, S Israr Sindh, Samiullah Navy, Kadir Khan Wapda, Mohammad Haroon Police, Amar Navy, Sanullah Balochistan, , Adnan PAF, Mohamamd Ali Navy. Overall Army and Wapda are going neck and neck in the championship. It was Wapda which came from behind to come on level terms with Army which was dominating event by the end of the first two days. Navy is another team which carries a unique skill to surprise with some of its boxers too making the semi-final round.
tHiRd daY ReSultS: 49kgs: Mohib Barha Police beat Obaid PAF on points 16-12; Sheroz Navy beat Azam Punjab 21-10; Mohamamd Nauman Army beat Abdul Jabbar Balochistan 34-7; Naqeebullah Wapda beat Shoaib Murad Rangers 20-13 52kgs: Attaullah Police beat Imam Fata retired first round; Abdul Waheed PAF beat Jamal Army 20-6; Mohamamd Waseem Wapda beat Mohammad Asif Railways 33-7; Hallar HEC beat Shoaib Sindh 18-5. 56kgs: S Israr Sindh beat Khawar Mahmood Rangers 10-9; Samiullah Navy beat Mohammad Raza Railways 20-9; Nematullah PAF beat Sajjid Ali Army 21-11; Khawar Wapda beat Asadullah HEC 13-6. 60kg: Kadir Khan Wapda beat Faheem PAF 13-6; Mohammad Haroon Police beat Fareed Khan KPK 17-11;
Amar Navy beat Asamatullah Railways 30-14; Nawaz Dad Army beat Mir Balaj Sindh 19-13. 64kgs: Sanullah Balochistan beat Farhan Sindh rt 2nd rd; Faisal Khan Army beat Jibran Rangers RSC OC 2nd rd; Adnan PAF beat Sahib Khan Wapda 20-14; Mohamamd Ali Navy beat A Pukar Police 9-5. Earlier on day two, Nawaz Dad of Army, Mir Balaj of Sindh, Adnan Hasan of PAF, A Pukar of Police, Mohammad Ali of Navy, Arshad Hussain of PAF, Tanvir Ahmed of Navy, Faheem of Rangers, Zulqarnain of Army, Aamer Khan of Wapda, Dur Mohammad of Navy, Tayyab Usmani of Islamabad, Shahid Khan of Punjab, Atif Mehmood of Army, Ahmed Ali of Army, Noor Ali of Rangers, Banyal of Islamabad, Mohammad Hassan, Riaz Ali and Naimatullah won their respective bouts.
Wade keeps ambitions in check despite maiden century ROSEAU ReuteRS
Australia wicketkeeper Matthew Wade hit an impressive maiden test century in the third West Indies test on Tuesday but does not expect his achievement to change his status as understudy to first choice Brad Haddin. Haddin had to give up the gloves for this series for personal reasons and Wade has been accomplished both behind the stumps and with the bat. His ability as a batsman was illustrated with a sparkling 106 from 146 balls which rallied Australia to 328 before West Indies were reduced to 165 for eight by the close of the second day. Playing with aggression against Shane Shillingford's spin, that had caused the Australian top order so much trouble, Wade showed his game is suited to the test arena. But with Australia captain Michael Clarke making it clear that Haddin remained his number one pick for tests, Wade refused to let his evident delight at a first century lead him to put pressure on the skipper. "Hadds was supposed to play this tour and I've come in and taken his spot from an unfortunate situation, personal reasons back home that he has," Wade told reporters. "So that's as far as I'm looking at it. We're playing these games then we've got a pretty big gap in test cricket from there and hopefully I can hold my spot in the one-dayers and go from there." Australia's next test match is at home to South Africa in November but Wade says his thoughts about his role in that series have not altered. "I don't think it changes. My mindset definitely hasn't changed, there's a lot of one-day and Twenty20 cricket between... a lot of water under the bridge before the first test against South Africa at the Gabba, so I'll do my job and see how it goes. "Pup (Clarke) said that Haddin is number one in test cricket and that sits fine with me, I'm happy to fill the void for a while and go and play some one day cricket." Wade, who has played in 16 one day games for Australia, is featuring in just his third test match but said he had never questioned his ability to make the step up. "I don't think I had any doubt I could play test cricket. It's been a massive tour for me, I've learned so much from the first game we played... the onedayers where the conditions were just so different from what I'm used to. "It was more improving to get better. I felt I was good enough to play at this level if I could just get things to go right for me. "It was about improving the little things, the conditions were a massive thing and I brought my sweep, halfway through the one-day series I decided I'd use the sweep a lot more and I've brought that with me into the tests." Australia lead the three-match series 1-0.
‘PPL to help bring Int’l cricket back to Pakistan’ LAHORE Staff RepoRt
Former magician Abdul Qadir backed the idea of launching Pakistan Premier League (PPL) and stated that it would attract foreign players and thus end the drought of international cricket in the country. The Pakistan Cricket Board is planning to launch the PPL in October and wants to use the Twenty-20 competition to show the world that the country is safe for cricket. Qadir, a former PCB chief selector, praised Chairman Zaka Ashraf for his efforts to bring back international cricket to Pakistan and said the PPL would help first-class players to improve their skills while playing along with international players. “I am optimistic that
some very good international players will feature in the PPL,” he hoped. When asked about the Bangladesh’s visit to Pakistan was halted on security grounds, and it remains to be seen that how the board will rope in foreign players, Qadir remarked: “It is not a team we are inviting this time but the players individually who have to participate in the event.” “When international players will come here, then definitely finest security arrangements would be provided to them,” Qadir said adding that since PCB has announced to launch PPL, many national and international cricketers shown interest in featuring in the tournament. Former Sri Lanka captain Sanath Jayasuriya and retired Australian allrounder Andrew Symonds have expressed
their willingness to play in the tournament, however more confirmations are expected. Qadir said PPL will definitely become a centre of attention of people, investors and surely for the PCB. “Just see the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL), how successful it went, so PPL is just the beginning of a new era of cricket in Pakistan,” he said. Responding to a question, Qadir said the more teams there will be in the PPL, the more exciting it will get. “There should be 12 to 16 teams in the PPL and the team’s names must be kept on the cities in Pakistan as to generate a rate of interest among the people,” he said. Qadir said for example local teams should pick players from their own cities while the international players should be obtained through biding process.
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Defeat slows lazio Champions league push
Samir shines for New Mexico varsity LAHORE
Lazio missed a glorious chance to strengthen their grip on third place in Serie A on Wednesday after losing 2-1 at relegationthreatened Novara. A beautifully-struck freekick from substitute Giuseppe Mascara 11 minutes from time gave Novara a win that is likely to only delay their return to the second tier. The home side had taken a first-half lead courtesy of an own-goal from Modibo Diakite, but Lazio pulled level when Antonio Candreva turned in the rebound after Stefano Mauri's shot had been saved. Novara remain eight points from safety before 17th-placed Genoa kick off later on against AC Milan. Udinese can move level on 55 points with Lazio by beating Inter Milan later, with the two rivals for the final qualifying position for next season's Champions League set to meet on Sunday. Lazio's defeat also gives Napoli and Roma new hope of snatching third place. Elsewhere later, Serie A leaders Juventus travel to Cesena. Wednesday's matches are those rescheduled from April 14, when the entire Italian league programme was cancelled after Livorno's Piermario collapsed and died during a 2nd division game at Pescara.
AKISTAN’S future hope and Davis Cupper Samir Iftikhar saved two set points to prove himself an asset for University of New Mexico Lobos at the NCAA (Division 1) Tennis Circuit by winning his crucial decider conference match against Will Stein of Texas Christian University Horned Frogs held at Dallas Fort Worth 7-6 6-3. The both teams were tied up at three-match all and the crucial win by Samir for UNM enabled them to qualify for important NCAA Division-I Conference Tournament being held at San Diego California from April 27 to 29 where the best regional teams will contest for place in season ending NCAA Play offs. Samir saved 2 set points at 5/6 in the first set and won the first set in tie break 7/6 without conceding a point (7/0) with display of powerful ground strokes and passing shots. He never let Settle Stein in the second set and won 6/3 by obtaining early break. The 19-year-old youngster who is on 4-Year Athletic cum Educational Scholarship is flying Pakistan’s Flag
high at the USA University in academics and tennis alike where he achieved 3.75 GPR in the last semester and won crucial matches for University and recently won 3 set Marathon 7-5, 6-7, 62 match last week against Rickey Baylon of San Diego State University . Samir said: “The highly competitive NCAA University Tennis has really helped me lift my game and am working
very hard at tennis and studies. I am aiming for 4.0 GPR this semester.” “I hope that PTF, Govt, and corporate sector will sponsor me for ITF Future tournaments this summer which will really help me to gain experience and bring laurels to Pakistan. I also like to thank MEPCO for their continued support in pursuing his career in Tennis and Education,” he maintained.
Aussies lose Warner after Windies resistance ROSEAU ReuteRS
Australia lost opener Dave Warner cheaply before lunch on the third day of the third and final test on Wednesday after finally dismissing West Indies for 218 towards the end of a frustrating morning session. The tourists, who at 18 for one still have a 128run lead with nine wickets remaining, could face a tricky challenge against spin on a pitch offering plenty of turn. Shivnarine Chandepaul's typically patient 68 from 164 balls was the anchor in a West Indies tail-end resistance than mustered 98 runs from the last two partnerships. The Guyanese left-hander was well supported by Ravi Rampaul who moved to 31 before an ill-judged attempt to hit against Nathan Lyon's off-spin resulted in a thick outside edge that was easily taken
Peterson, Rayudu pickpocket Kings XI Punjab
MohAlI: Kings XI Punjab Bowler Azhar Mahmood (C) celebrates the wicket of Mumbai Indians Batsman Sachin tendulkar with teammates during the IPl twenty20 match. AFP MOHALI: Robin Peterson borrowed shots from his namesake, Kevin Pietersen, as he played a cameo punctuated with switch hits on his IPL debut to snatch victory for the Mumbai Indians. Peterson scored 15 runs off four balls in the penultimate over and Ambati Rayudu smacked two sixes to cost Kings XI 27 runs. The pair took Mumbai from a position where victory seemed unlikely, with 32 runs needed of 12 balls, to where it became an obvious conclusion with only five runs to get in the last over. After allowing Kings XI Punjab to post their highest total in IPL 2012 with a bowling effort that was dominated by deliveries that were too short, Mumbai were favourites to win when Rohit Sharma was at the crease, marching to his half-century. Parvinder Awana swung the pendulum back towards Kings XI with a double strike in his final over - the 18th - in which he removed both Sharma and Harbhajan Singh. ScoReS: Mumbai Indians 171 for 6 (Sharma 50, Awana 3-39) beat Kings XI Punjab 168 for 3 (hussey 68*, Miller 34*) by four wickets. cRicinfo
ScoReBoaRd australia 1st innings 328 (m. Wade 106, d. Warner 50; S. Shillingford 6-119) West indies 1st innings (165 for 8 overnight) a. Barath c cowan b lyon K. Brathwaite c Harris b Hilfenhaus K. powell b lyon d. Bravo c cowan b Warner S. chanderpaul lbw b Starc n. deonarine lbw b Harris c. Baugh c cowan b lyon d. Sammy run out (cowan) S. Shillingford b Starc R. Rampaul c Warner b lyon K. Roach not out extras (b1, lb2, w1, nb5) total (all out for; 87.2 overs)
29 0 40 10 68 7 5 10 0 31 9 9 218
by Warner. Last man Kemar Roach then played his junior partner role well, adding 32 with Chanderpaul before the latter was trapped leg before to Mitchell Starc. Despite the focused effort from the lower order West Indies still trailed by 110 runs
fall of wickets: 1-1 (Brathwaite), 2-62 (Barath), 3-73 (Bravo), 485 (powell), 5-96 (deonarine), 6-103 (Baugh), 7-120 (Sammy), 8-120 (Shillingford), 9-186 (Rampaul), 10-218 (chanderpaul) Bowling: Hilfenhaus 18-6-30-1, Starc 12.2-4-29-2 (3nb), Harris 13-0-36-1 (1nb), Watson 4-0-12-0 (1w), lyon 33-7-69-4, Warner 5-0-21-1, clarke 2-0-18-0 (1nb) australia 2nd innings 11 d. Warner c chanderpaul b Roach 6 e. cowan not out 0 S. Watson not out 1 extras (nb1) total (1 wickets for; 4 overs) 18 fall of wickets: 1-17 (Warner) Bowling: Rampaul 2-0-13-0, Roach 2-0-5-1 toss: australia, umpires: marais erasmus (RSa), tony Hill (nZl), third umpire: ian gould (eng), match referee: Jeff crowe (nZl)
and their chances of a victory to level the three-test series are remote. In the awkward 20 minutes batting time before lunch, Australia lost Warner (11), who edged an attempted drive off Roach into the hands of Chanderpaul in the slips.
Aligarh, ludhiana, Appolo win group matches LAHORE Staff RepoRt
In group matches of Sprite Lahore Cricket, Aligarh beat Model Town, Ludhiana beat Muslimabad Gymkhana and Appolo beat Baqa Jelani club. At Ittefaq Ground LCCA Aligarh beat Model Town club by 20 runs with the method of better run rate. Model Town scored 260/9 by bating first in 50 overs M Mohsin scored 80, Saad Naseem made 44 and Mustafa Iqbal remained unbeaten with 39 runs Shakeel Malik and Rehan Rauf shared 3 wicket each for Aligarh In reply, Aligarh scored 222/3 in 39 overs before rain started Umer Javed scored unbeaten 65 and Shakeel Malik contributed of 64 runs Shakeel Malik announced man of the match. At LCCA ground Ludhiana beat Muslimabad by 88 runs. Ludhiana bowled out for 316 in 49.5 overs by batting first Adnan Raza scored 90, Umer Siddiq 62 and Adnan Butt scored 55 runs Khuram Humayun grabbed 3 wickets for Muslimabad Gym. In reply Muslimabad Gym bowled out for 228 in 39.2 overs Tanzeel Altaf scored 68 and Khurram Humayun contributed 67 runs. Faisal Rasheed grabbed 4 and Ali Aslam took 3 wickets for Ludhiana Club At Imtiaz Academy ground Appolo beat Baqa Jelani club by 6 wickets. Baqa Jelani scored 239/6 in 50 overs Ameer Hamid scored unbeaten 74 and Imran Ahmed Naeem scored 68 runs M Shahbaz and Agha Sharoze shared 2 wickets each Appolo successfully chased the target in 42.3 overs just for the loss of 4 wickets Ghulam Zafar scored 91 not out and Agha Salman scored 74 runs
tauseef Club outplay Alhamra Club LAHORE Staff RepoRt
Tauseef Club outplayed Alhamra club by 5 wickets in the second phase of the LCCA Super League at Iteefaq ground. ScoReS: Alhamra Club 232 in 46 overs. Malik Bilal 42, Umer Shafiq 30, Inayat Saeed 44, Behroz faisal 35(no), fahad Imran 13. Sheraz Baig 3/33, Sher Baz Khan 3/45, Israr Baig 1/43, M Awais Manzoor 1/37. tauseef Club 236/5 in 46.5 overs. Shehzad Muhayudin 53, M Ahmed 44, Waqas Khan 29, Sher Baz Khan 11, Ibrar Baig 24, Israr Baig 23(No),Junaid Mudassar 21(no). Shezad Mirza 3/34, faisal hAssan 1/36, Sajid 1/46.
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20 sports Punjab clinch men, ladies Rokhri Badminton team titles LAHORE Staff RepoRt
thursday, 26 April, 2012
VALKENBURG: Belgian cyclists Sep Vanmarcke, Kevin De Weert, Philippe Gilbert, Nick Nuyens, Tom Boonen and Dries Devenyns compete during the track reconnaissance of the Belgian cycling team for the world championship. AFP
Punjab Green defeated Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 3-1 to win the men’s team event of the 14th All Pakistan Aamer Hayat Khan Rokhri Badminton Championship 2012. The only player from K.P Haroon beat Amir Saeed of Punjab in straight sets by the score of 21 – 15, 21 – 19. Punjab Ladies Team made a clean sweep and beat Railway by the score of 3 – 0. Ghazala Siddique of Punjab won both her singles and doubles against Railways. In the ladies singles, First and Second rounds were completed. Palwasha Basheer of National Bank the top seed won easier against Javairia Tahir of Punjab by the score of 21 – 2, 21 – 8. otHeR ReSultS aRe: ladieS SingleS: Nida Sarwar (Railway) beat Sahrish Sheikh (lahore) by the score of 21 – 4, 21 – 14. Mehmoona Ameer (Punjab) beat Aqsa (K.P) by the score of 21 – 17, 21 – 11. Gahazala Siddique (Sindh) beat Salma Sharif (Railway) by the score of 21 – 10, 21 – 9. Sofia Mughal (Sindh) beat farnaz Iqbal (Sindh) by the score of 21 – 10, 21 – 12. Sara Mohmand (National Bank) beat Zainab Ejaz(Punjab) by the score of 21 – 9, 21 – 13. men’S SingleS: haroon Rahman beat Shoaib Ashraf by the score of 21 – 15, 21 -17. Aoun Abbas (Punjab) beat Umer Sarfaraz (Daska) by the score of the 21 – 13, 21 – 19. Shoaib hafeez(Punjab) beat hasnain Baig(Baluchistan) by the score of 21 – 17, 21 – 16. Raja hasnain (Punjab) beat Abdul Muqeet by the score of 21 -17, 21 – 18. Subhan hanif beat Usman by the score of 21-16, 21-15. hayat Ullah beat talha by the score of 21-13, 21-17. over two hundred players from all over Pakistan are participating in this Championship which included PMAD, National Bank of Pakistan, AJK, fAtA and Gilgit Baltistan. finals will be held on April 29.
PU win Women Cycling title LAHORE Staff RepoRt
Punjab University won the 1st HEC Women Cycling Championship with195 points and Lahore College Women University with 165 Points was runner-up. Shaeed Banazir Bhatto Women University Peshawar secured the third position with 82 points and Superior University was 4thwith 37 points. The best cyclist of Championship Miss Sidra from Punjab University and Miss Mehwish iqbal Fastest Cyclist also from Punjab University. The chief guest for closing ceremony was Mr. Idris Haider Khawaj Secretary General Pakistan Cycling Federation who distributed prizes and trophies to the winners. On the last day of championship two events were finalized. tHe ReSultS:Elimination Race: Razia Punjab University, Mariya lahore College University, Aysha Shaheed Bazir Bhattio University, Anita Superior University 5km road team time trial: Punjab University, lahore College University, Shaheed Bazir Bhattio University, Superior University, Karachi University oVeRall poSition 1st Punjab University 195 Points 2nd lahore College University 165 Points 3rd Shaheed Bazir Bhattio University 82 Points 4th Superior University 37 Points 5th Islamic Int University Islamabad 29 Points 6th U.E.t texila / Karachi University 8 Points
PFF holds seminar for soccer uplift LAHORE Staff RepoRt
“Since 2004 Pakistan Football Federation (PFF), under the dynamic leadership of Makhdoom Syed Faisal Saleh Hayat, had been carrying out all football activities centrally based upon PFF Annual Calendar,” said Secretary PFF Lt. Col. Ahmed Yar Khan Lodhi TI (M). “Resultantly, PFF was able to carry out 30 times more activities in last 8 Years as compared to the corresponding eight years of the old PFF set up”, he said during the seminar on “Football activity at District/Province level for Punjab” at Football House Lahore. The main purpose of this seminar is to help representative provinces and districts to carryout their own football activities including districts and provincial leagues, women leagues and youth football development activities, PFF has decided to hold subject seminar in all the four provinces and this is the first seminar for Punjab province convened at Football
U-21 Women’s hockey from today LAHORE Staff RepoRt
lAhoRE: the participants of seminar on football Activity at District Providence level for Punjab at football house lahore. House Lahore attended by all the presidents and general secretaries of all district football associations of Punjab. Lodhi said that in order to further accelerate football activities, PFF congress decided in its meeting held on 17th Sept, 2011, that in next 4 years, Provincial and District Football Association must carryout their activities by generating financial resources themselves. To address the problems at district level, participants put forward a series of recommendations regarding the long-term development of football at dis-
trict level, which focused on improving the governance of the sport; raising the standard of professional and "national" teams; improving training for young players; upgrading football facilities and establishing football training centres. The participants of the seminar considered that PFF should take a leading role in local football development, with the Government providing appropriate support in a well-coordinated manner, including the allocation of resources and the development of football venues.
The second edition of U21 Women’s Hockey Championship will be played at National Hockey Stadium from April 26 to May 6, in which 8 (eight) female hockey teams from all over Pakistan will participate. The Opening Ceremony will be held on 26th April 2012 at 1500 hours. Mian Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif, Chief Minister Punjab will be the chief guest on the occasion. Deputy Speaker, Punjab Rana Mashood Ahmad Khan, will be chief guest in case the chief minister did not make the occasion.
Olympic long jump silver medalist banned MOScOW afp
Russia's 2004 Olympics long jump silver medalist Irina Meleshina was banned for two years on Tuesday by the Russian Athletics Federation after she tested positive for testosterone. "The banned substance testosterone was found in Irina Meleshina's sample, taken from the sportswoman in testing outside competition on February 7, 2012," the All-Russia Athletics Federation said in a statement on its website. Meleshina, 29, has been disqualified for two years starting from February 21, the federation said. RUSSIA BANS OLyMPIC LONGjUMPER: Russia on Tuesday said it had banned Olympic silver medalwinning long jumper Irina Meleshina for two years after she tested positive for testosterone. "The banned substance testosterone was found in Irina Meleshina's sample, taken from the sportswoman in testing outside competition on February 7, 2012," the All-Russia Athletics Federation said in a statement on its website. Meleshina, 29, has been disqualified for two years starting from February 21, the federation said. She won a sil-
ver medal in the 2004 Olympics in Athens. BRITISH SLEDDER POSITIVE FOR BANNED SUBSTANCE: A British bobsleigh competitor has tested positive for a banned substance, it was announced Wednesday. UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) informed the athlete on February 28 and imposed a provisional suspension, pending a hearing. However, the athlete will not be named by authorities until their case is assessed fully and a verdict delivered. If found guilty, the competitor is likely to receive a two-year ban which would see them barred from the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. "This gives a very clear message to athletes that you will be regularly tested to ensure a clean and fair sport," GB Bobsleigh performance director Gary Anderson told the BBC on Wednesday. "The athlete now has the opportunity to respond to the charge, including the right to a full hearing and testing of their B sample," Anderson added. "British Bob-
sleigh will not be making any further comment on the issue until after the full process of investigation has been completed." Under the current British Olympic Association (BOA) doping by-law, a guilty verdict would also make any athlete ineligible to represent Team GB at all future Winter Games. However, this stance is currently being challenged by the World AntiDoping Association (WADA), with the Court of Arbitration for Sport set to deliver its ruling next week. WADA insist the by-law is "non-compliant" with their global charter on anti-doping, which states an athlete found guilty of taking a prohibited substance should be given a two-year ban, and amounts to an extra punishment. TWO jAILED FOR DEFRAUDING LONDON GAMES: A British judge jailed two men on Tuesday for a scheme to defraud the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) of £2.3 million ($3.7 million, 2.8 million euros). Abayomi Olowo, 48, was jailed for four and
a half years after being found guilty of four charges of money laundering and Ayodele Odukoya, 42, was jailed for three years and nine months after he was convicted on three counts. The pair sent a letter sent to the ODA -- the body overseeing the construction of Olympic venues -- falsely claiming to be from Skanska, a contracting firm carrying out work on the Olympic Park in east London, Southwark Crown Court heard. The letter said the company's bank details had changed, and in May 2010 the authority paid £2.3 million into a bank account which was held by a third man, Ansumara Kamara. It later managed to recover £2.14 million and contacted the police. Scotland Yard said the men were trying to launder the money in Nigeria before transferring it back to Britain where they would use it to buy a commercial property. Kamara, 32, who was described in court as a ringleader, pleaded guilty last yaer and was jailed for three and a half years. Judge Martin Beddoe, sentencing Odukoya and Olowo, said: "As the jury has found, both of you were ready and willing participants in the scheme to launder £2.3 million stolen from the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA).
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Stosur breezes into Stuttgartâ€™s second round
wATch IT LIve GEO SUPER IPL-5: Pune Warriors v Deccan Chargers 07:30PM
TEN SPORTS Thrid Test: West Indies v Australia 06:00PM
Djokovic to skip Serbian open BELGRADE afp
S Open winner Samantha Stosur said she was happy with her start to Stuttgart's WTA claycourt tournament on Tuesday after seeing off China's Shuai Peng in straight sets. The 28-year-old Australian, who is the fifth seed here, needed less than an hour to see off Peng 6-2, 6-2 and was rarely tested by her Chinese opponent in her first round tie. Having helped Australia to a 3-2 Fed Cup win over Germany on Stuttgart's clay courts over the weekend, Stosur has been here for several days and, after winning both her Fed Cup singles matches, is happy with her form on the surface. "It was good, I thought I played well and served well, it was nice to get through in straight sets," said Bris-
bane-born Stosur. "It was handy to have been here a week already, whereas a lot of the other girls were only arriving from Fed Cup on Monday night. "Sometimes the best preparations don't equate to the best performance, but you aren't going to complain about playing Fed Cup in the same place as your next event. "I played well over the weekend and managed to keep that going today, so far so good as far as the clay-court goes, so I am feeling good." In the second round, Stosur will face Germany's Julia Goerges, the defending champion, who needed three sets to see off Russia's Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 5-7, 6-3, 6-4 after more than two hours. "I had a long three-setter against Julia in the semi-final here last year and it will be extra hard playing a German here, said Stosur.
World number one Novak Djokovic said Wednesday he will skip the Serbian Open, where he is defending champion, next week in a bid to recharge his batteries ahead of the clay Masters in Madrid. "I have decided not to take part in the Serbian Open to try get some much needed rest. This is probably one of the most difficult decisions I have made in my career," Djokovic said in a statement on his website. "But it is impossible for me to play in the coming days and think of tennis when other things are on my mind." Djokovic lost to Spain's Rafael Nadal on Sunday in the Monte Carlo final, where he said he had trouble concentrating after the death of his grandfather last week. The Serbian Open is held from April 30 to May 6, with total prize money of 418,700 euros ($551,507).
Murray posts second Australiaâ€™s Tomic goes down battling in Barcelona career win in Barcelona BARcELONA afp
Australia's Bernard Tomic bowed out of the Barcelona Open in the second round on Wednesday after losing a marathon battle to Spanish clay specialist Albert Montanes 6-0, 5-7, 7-5. Tomic, ranked 15 for the tournament and who at just 19 was the youngest man in the field, put up a tough fight against his 30-year-old opponent, who has won all five of his ATP career trophies on clay. The teenager, who began the season by progressing to the Australian
Open fourth round, spent two hours 15 minutes on centre court at the Real Club de Tenis at an event which Rafael Nadal has won six times in the last seven years. Stuttgart-born Tomic's showing duplicated his second round last week in Monte Carlo as he began his preFrench Open build-up with a debut appearance in Barcelona. After losing the first set comprehensively, he began fighting in the second to level at one set each and continued in the third, forcing Montanes to save match points in the 10th game as the desperate Spaniard finally
held for five-all. Montanes then got a break for 6-5 and closed out the match a game later. Tomic put Montanes under heavy pressure, forcing the veteran to save 13 of the 16 break points he faced, with the Australian losing serve six times. Spanish third seed David Ferrer made up for his surprise opening defeat last week in Monte Carlo, crushing Sebian wild card Filip Krajinovic 6-0, 6-3. Ferrer is more than comfortable at the event and has lost in the final to Nadal in three of the last four years. Krajinovic underwent shoulder surgery last July and his opening round win was his first on the ATP Tour since a Belgrade semi-final nearly two years ago. Elsewhere, Santiago Giraldo of Colombia defeated Monte Carlo quarter-finalist Robin Haase of the Netherlands 6-4, 6-3. Japan's eighth seed Kei Nishikori demonstrated his growing confidence on the clay with a battling 6-3, 4-6, 60 defeat of Kazakhstan's Mikhail Kukushkin which took just under two hours. Nishikori has duplicated his thirdround Barcelona showing from a year ago and next faces either Spain's Albert Ramos or Frenchman Benoit Paire. "It was an awful match," said Nishikori. "It was very windy and we both made so many errors. After three or four balls, someone would make a mistake. "It was my first match and I was a bit tight, he had already played a match. I really had to concentrate a lot but I have to handle the conditions better. "It was Ok to win but it was a tough day for me." Canadian Milos Raonic, the number 11 seed, raced through the second set to beat Igor Andreev 6-4, 6-1 while South African 13th seed Kevin Anderson advanced over Federico Delbonis of Argentina 7-6 (7/5), 7-6 (7/5).
Andy Murray continued to apply polish to his claycourt tennis as the second seed reached the third round of the Barcelona Open with a comfortable defeat of Sergiy Stakhovsky 6-3, 6-2 on Tuesday. Murray, playing the tournament for only the third time, secured his second career win at the Real Club de Tenis in 78 minutes. The world number four now stands 4-0 over Stakhovsky, a Ukrainian journeyman ranked 68th. "I hit the ball really well," said Murray. "I felt good physically but a bit mentally tired. it wasn't from playing a lot last week (Monte Carlo). Sometimes you just wake up and don't always feel that great on the court. "Bur I played better as the match went on. He's a tricky player, he gives you a lot of drop shots and comes to the net - a lot of variation. But I finished the match well. Hitting the ball well is very important." Murray is working to reach the form which took him to a Roland Garros semi-final a year ago, with hopes of doing even better. He lost a Monte Carlo quarter-final last week to Tomas Berdych, who had to withdraw from this week's competition in Spain. The Scot ended with 16 winners and a dozen unforced errors, breaking on three of his five chances. He next plays either Santiago Giraldo of Colombia of Dutchman Robin Haase,
a Monte Carlo quarter-finalist. Murray improved to 2-3 in Barcelona and becomes the eighth player in the top 10 to register 20 match wins on the season, now standing 20-5. Murray needed 42 minutes to wrap up the opening set breaking Stakhovsky in the fourth game, In the second, the second seed found his range to take control and run out the victory on his first match point. The 2010 champion Fernando Verdasco also won a second-round encounter after a bye, with the Spanish ninth seed defeating Belgian Steve Darcis 6-3, 6-1. Verdasco didn't bother to defend his title in 2011 after a dispute with the organiser but is now back in the Spanish fold. "I played well and found my comfort zone from the first game," said the winner, who broke four times. "Maybe he was a little tired. "This is a special tournament for me. I'm back in Barcelona and I want to do my best." In the first round, Portugal's Frederico Gil scored an upset as he took out 12th seed Marcel Granollers of Spain, 6-2, 6-2 while number 13 South African Kevin Anderson was untroubled by Malek Jaziri of Tunisia 6-2, 6-3. Australian Bernard Tomic, seeded 15th, dominated fading Latvian Ernests Gulbis 6-3, 6-4 on to make a winning debut at the event. Tomic, at 19 the youngest man in the field in the Catalan capital, spent 67 minutes in handing one-time prodigy Gulbis another ATP disappointment. The two-time quarter-finalist Latvian who has faded to an 86th ranking after standing a career-best 21st just 14 months ago, went down on two breaks of serve. Tomic, who won a round in Monte Carlo last week but lost his next match to Ukrainian talent Alexandr Dolgopolov, was pleased with a winning start in the hotbed of Spanish tennis. "I played well from the first game," said the Australian. "I was able to play my game. "I served well and got more comfortable on the clay," added the number 35, the youngest man in the field. "I'm moving better and feeling better. I'm playing well right now." Six-time champion Rafael Nadal will attempt to pick up where he left off at the weekend after winning an eighth straight Monte Carlo title when he opens after a bye against compatriot Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, a winner over Olivier Rochus of Belgium 6-3, 6-3.
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Mehran Bank report: SC won’t take no for an answer ISLAMABAD maSood ReHman
The Supreme Court on Wednesday directed the attorney general to accelerate efforts and positively produce by May 10 lost reports of the inquiry commission on ‘Mehran Bank and Habib Bank’, as these reports would ultimately decide fate of the case. A three-member bench of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Khilji Arif Hussain and Justice Tariq Parvez was hearing a petition filed by Air Martial (r) Asghar Khan 16 years ago against distribution of million of rupees of public money by the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) among anti-PPP politicians to manipulate the 1990 election. The case is commonly known as the Asghar Khan case
and Mehran Bank scandal. At the onset of hearing, the court rejected a report submitted by the Interior Ministry on the Mehran Bank scam. The court termed the report unacceptable, saying it was based on memoirs of Interior Minister Rehman Malik. The report quoted Malik as saying that he was delegated the responsibility to investigate into the Mehran Bank scam by then interior minister Naseerullah Babar, however, the reports of those investigations were no longer available. In compliance with the court’s earlier order, Naveeda Noor, IB assistant director (Legal), presented before the court a sealed report containing the accounts of Intelligence Bureau for the years 2008-09. The court had summoned this report from IB in response to a news report that in 2009, an
amount of Rs 270 million was taken out from the account of IB for the purposes of toppling the Punjab government. The court opened the report for examination and after examining it, got it sealed again and directed that it be kept on record in safe custody. After having gone through the report, the court made the IB director general as party in the case and directed him to file his concise statement over the allegations about spending of the amount for toppling the Punjab government in 2009. Appearing on notice, Attorney General Irfan Qadir told the court that despite serious efforts ‘Mehran Bank and Habib Bank Inquiry Commission’ reports, could not be traced out. He said in compliance with the court’s March 30, 2012 order for recovery of these reports, he convened a
meeting with Interior Minister Rehman Malik, which was also attended by the interior secretary, but the reports had not been found available with the ministry, except the report which was based on memory of the then FIA director Rehman Malik. The court noted that perhaps under the law such report was not acceptable. The attorney general, however, stated that he was trying his level best and ensured the court that all efforts would be made to trace the missing reports in the Interior Ministry as well as the Law Ministry. Salman Akram Raja, counsel for Asghar Khan, told the court that Hamid Mir, a senior anchor person of Geo TV, had contacted him and informed him that he possessed the reports, which were said to have been lost. He also stated that he could re-
quest Hamid Mir to place the reports on record. The court allowed him to do so. The court noted that Gen (r) Mirza Aslam Beg in his concise statement had also taken the position of possessing knowledge about the distribution of huge amount and maintaining the account by the ISI. The court noted that from the concise statement, a common factor transpired that a full account was maintained and all the payments made by then ISI director general were kept in this account and no amount was misappropriated or misused. Mazhar Ali Chaudhry, a representative of NAB, told the court that he was collecting the record in respect of the case in which Younas Habib had entered in compromise/plea-bargain. He said for this exercise some time was required.
Train bomb defused in Peshawar ISLAMABAD: Police defused a bomb on a passenger train in Peshawar on Wednesday, officials said, hours after a blast at a station in Lahore killed four people, including two minor children. A guard found the bomb in a briefcase in the early hours of the morning on the train from Karachi to Peshawar. “The bomb fitted with detonator and batteries was packed with old clothes in a briefcase lying unattended in one of the coaches of the Awam Express,” police officer Mazhar Abbas told AFP. The train guard found the briefcase after a wedding party got down from the train at Attock station, he said. “The guard checked from the wedding party members and remaining passengers in the coach but nobody claimed its ownership.” A bomb disposal squad was then summoned who defused the device, he said. Mohammed Sajjad, a police investigation official, told AFP the bomb carried 13 kilograms of explosives as well as ball bearings and some nuts and bolts. “Luckily a major tragedy has been averted,” he added. AFP
attocK: a bomb disposal squad official defuses a 15-kg bomb that was found in a briefcase on board a peshawar-bound train at attock Railway Station on Wednesday. ONLINE
Top brass discuss strategy for talks with US ISLAMABAD\WASHINGTON Staff RepoRt
Civil and military top brass on Wednesday night fine-tuned the strategy for talks to be held with US representative Marc Grossman who has arrived here to discuss Pak-US relations scheduled to be held today (Thursday). At a high-level meeting held at the PM’s House under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, the country’s top leadership decided that NATO supply routes would not be reopened as the US administration was reluctant to offer formal apology to Pakistan on the Salala checkpost attacks, Pakistan Today has learnt reliably. A source confided that the meeting decided that the NATO supplies’ matter would be put on hold until the upcoming visit of US by Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar and her talks with her US counterpart, Hillary Clinton. Grossman would hold separate meetings with President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Gilani, Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar and Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani today. Grossman and Jilani are also likely to address joint press conference. GROSSMAN ARRIVES FOR TALKS US special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, Marc Grossman landed in Islamabad on
Wednesday night in an effort to reboot ties between Pakistan and the US. “This is a bilateral consultation about how we can improve our relationship along all of the lines that have been difficult,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters. Nuland declined to go into detail about whether Grossman would discuss all of Pakistan’s demands but said: “I think he’s open to working through the results of the parliamentary review with the Pakistani government.” “We had been waiting for that review to be concluded before we could fully re-engage. So this is our opportunity to do that,” she said. A number of other US officials have visited Pakistan in recent weeks in hopes of rebuilding ties, including top military commander General Martin Dempsey, aid chief Rajiv Shah and Deputy Secretary of State Tom Nides. Separately, the United States refrained from criticizing Pakistan for testing a nuclear-capable intermediate range missile on Wednesday, less than a week after a similar launch by Pakistan’s arch-rival India. Nuland said the United States would offer “the same message that we gave at the time of the Indian test — that we urge all nuclear-capable states to exercise restraint regarding nuclear and missile capabilities.”
Pakistan successfully test-fires nuclear capable missile ISLAMABAD Staff RepoRt
Pakistan on Wednesday successfully launched an upgraded ballistic missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead just a few days after India conducted its own missile test of a nuclear-capable, long-range missile, Agni-V. The Hatf IV Shaheen-1A missile was launched into the sea, said an ISPR statement issued here after the missile test. The missile was described as an intermediate-range missile having a longer range than its predecessor, Shaheen-1, which is believed to fly up to 465 miles. “The improved version of Shaheen-1A will further consolidate and strengthen Pakistan’s deterrence abilities,” said Lt General (r) Khalid Ahmed Kidwai, who witnessed the launch of the missile. India had announced last Thursday that it had successfully test-launched a new nuclearcapable, long-range missile, the Agni-V, which has the range of 3,100 miles. The new missile test by Islamabad was described by western media as a response on part of Islamabad to New Delhi’s Agni-V test. However, a security official here belied those reports saying that was not the case as the latest test was planned days ago and more over both Islamabad and New Delhi notified each prior to such tests in accordance with an agreement of advance notification of ballistic missile tests. The ISPR statement said, “Pakistan today successfully conducted the launch of the intermediate Range Ballistic Missile Hatf IV Shaheen-1A Weapon System. The missile is an improved version of Shaheen-1 with improvements in range and technical parameters. It is capable of carrying nuclear and conventional warheads.”
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Editor: Arif Nizami, Executive Editor: Sarmad Bashir