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rs15.00 Vol ii no 179 22 pages Karachi edition

Monday, 26 december, 2011 Muharram-ul-Haram 30, 1433

PTI chief tells PML-N president to play ‘10-over match’ before he runs out of players g Javed Hashmi declares himself a ‘rebel’, criticises Punjab govt for disparity in province g Qureshi says only threat to Pakistan’s nuclear programme comes from current civilian govt g Massive public gathering at Quaid’s mausoleum exceeds Minar-e-Pakistan numbers g




AKISTAN Tehreek-e-Insaaf Chairman Imran Khan called out Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Nawaz Sharif at a mammoth public gathering at Quaid-i-Azam’s mausoleum here on Sunday, challenging the two-time former prime minister to play the “10-over match” with him before he ran out of players for his team. The PTI set a record in Karachi by holding the largest ever rally in Pakistan’s economic hub, a massive gathering that was beyond the expectations of political analysts and observers, who were claiming it would be a lukewarm affair. Imran welcomed former PML-N senior vice president Makhdoom Javed Hashmi into the PTI and hailed his bravery. He also hinted at the “fall of another political wicket” in the days to come. “I had decided that I would not point fingers at any political party, but after the PML-N chief challenge me to a 10over match, I have changed my decision and I welcome Nawaz Sharif’s challenge. But I will suggest to you (Nawaz) to please be quick so you don’t run out of players for your team,” said Imran. “I also wanted to play a match with President (Asif Ali) Zardari, but he was retired hurt,” he added. Imran promised the people on Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s birth anniversary that he would turn the great leader’s dream of an Islamic welfare state into reality. “I promise you that I will do what Jinnah desired,” he told thousands of people gathered at Bagh-e-Jinnah here. He promised the nation that he would make Pakistan a just society and would enforce justice if he succeeded in his cause. “Quaid-i-Azam never bowed before anyone and he never wanted you to bow before anyone,” Khan said, adding that on the great leader’s birthday and in front of his mausoleum, “I will ensure that you don’t have to bow before anyone”. He said he would introduce a strong justice system in Pakistan under which free justice would be provided to everyone. “Even animals have access to better justice in Europe than human beings in Pakistan,” he said. The PTI chief said he would bring together a team that would be selected on merit to transform Pak-

istan into a welfare state. “My team will play under Jehangir Tareen to present economic policies, labour policies, tax reforms, education policies as well as foreign policies before the nation, and there will be a policy paper on all issues,” he said. “If the PTI comes to power, it will organise two seminars every month and consult the public for its policies,” he added. “During PTI’s rule, a civil system will be introduced which will ensure that even Imran Khan’s car is stopped for over-speeding,” he said. Talking about agricultural reforms, he said free seeds would be provided to farmers while fertiliser would be supplied at cheap rates to maximise produce. “A Chinese company wanted to bring $19 billion investment to Pakistan but it could not because of fear and ongoing corruption in the country,” he said, adding that this was only one example and there were a number of global private firms who wanted to invest in Pakistan but were afraid of political instability and corruption in the country. “They need surety that their investment would be safe,” he said, adding that major corruption would be eliminated within 90 days of the PTI coming into power. “Pakistan is suffering a loss of Rs 3 billion every day because of corruption and there is a dire need for reforms in the tax collection system,” he added. “You don’t need rocket science [to solve this problem], just bring a team of honest leaders that carries out self-accountability,” said the PTI chief. Responding to chants of “Go Zardari Go” from the participants, he said Zardari’s days in the Presidency were numbered. Imran also apologised to the people of Balochistan and promised to address their grievances through development. He also announced that the PTI would hold its next public gathering in Quetta and said the “tsunami” that started from Lahore would now reach Quetta on March 23. He also wished a “merry Christmas” to the Christian community and thanked people for participating in such huge numbers. He especially thanked a man named Zulfiqar Ali, who he said had sold his mobile phone to come to Karachi all the way from Dera Ghazi Khan to attend the rally. He congratulated citizens of Karachi for “beating” the “tsunami of Lahore”. “I put together a team and won the World Cup … the same team went ahead and established Shaukat Khanum … now I want you all to come with me to make a new Pakistan,” he said. Continued on page 04

related stories & piCtuers | page 03

Kaira-Sethi ‘plot’ forces Firdous to offer resignation ISLAMABAD ONLINE

Former information minister Qamar Zaman Kaira’s constant expression of realpolitik, in league with Cabinet Secretary Nargis Sethi, on Sunday reduced Federal Information Minister Firdous Ashiq Awan to tears during the 100th meeting of the federal cabinet and offer her resignation, which Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani rejected, as Federal Ministers Mian Manzoor Wattoo and Chaudhry Wajahat Hussain supported her. The meeting, which was held in Karachi to coincide with the birth anniversary of Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, saw Dr Awan weeping and handing in her resignation, said sources, adding that Wattoo took her resignation and tore it up with the permission of the prime minister. According to well-placed sources, Awan was already fed up with Kaira’s encroachments into her ministry ever since the latter was removed from the post of information minister. To begin with, Kaira did not surrender a sizeable staff and a few vehicles of the Information Ministry, a constant unauthorised financial burden to date, the sources said. Kaira’s interference reached extreme levels when he connived with Secretary Sethi to highjack the Karachi cabinet meeting, which was an explicit mandate of the incumbent information minister. Continued on page 04

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02 News Today’s

Monday, 26 December, 2011



Foreign newS


Follow Quaid to overcome crises: shujaat

christmas Day blasts in Nigeria kill 28

Story on Page 05

Story on Page 10

Story on Page 14

Quick Look

All set to observe Benazir’s 4th death anniversary LAHoRe NAsIR Butt/AgENcIEs

All arrangements have been completed to observe the fourth death anniversary of former prime minister and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) chairperson Benazir Bhutto on Tuesday with great reverence and respect. The major event of the anniversary will be held at Benazir Bhutto’s mausoleum at Naudero, Larkana where the central leadership of the PPP started reaching to participate in the congregation, which was likely to be addressed by President Asif Ali Zardari. A large number of party workers, office-bearers and supporters from every nook and corner of the country were reaching Naudero to attend the anniversary. PPP leaders will address the function and throw light on various aspects of life and achievements of their beloved leader. Prayers for the departed soul of Benazir will be held in all cities and towns across the country. Special programmes, walks, declamation contests and seminars have been planned to highlight the services of the Daughter of the East. Like other cities and districts, the PPP Lahore chapter also planned to participate in the anniversary functions with traditional enthusiasm, as the party leadership had conveyed a clear message to all its chapters that in the present political scenario, there was a dire need to show party strength and street power and Benazir’s death anniversary would be an appropriate occasion to give a message to rivals that party workers were united and Bhutto’s love still prevails in their hearts. Party leaders said that President Zardari was expected to deliver a fiery speech at the rally, which will take place at the Bhutto family’s mausoleum in Garhi Khuda Bakhsh. The content of the speech was likely to be a retort to those perceived as hatching conspiracies against the democratic government and at that occasion, workers strength was much essential than ever before. In this regard, consecutive meetings of PPP Lahore were held and it was decided that a mighty caravan of party workers would leave from Lahore on Monday through special train to participate the anniversary. A task to all zonal presidents was given to bring around 100 participants so that around 4,000 to 5,000 workers could be taken to Garhi Khuda Baksh to show the party’s strength. Separately, the Sindh government declared Tuesday as a national holiday in connection with Benazir’s anniversary. Sindh Home Minister Manzoor Wassan directed his department and police to take security measures under a special strategy for all programmes being organised to mark the death anniversary of Benazir.

156 posts for FATA created to implement FCR reforms Finance ministry approves posts to establish FATA Tribunal Authority g Approval of posts paves hope that reforms will reach people





HE Ministry of Finance has sanctioned creation of 156 posts in the FATA region to pave the way for establishing FATA Tribunal and Appellate Authority and implementing reforms in the Frontier Crimes Regulations (FCRs) in tribal region of the country, a FATA Secretariat official told Pakistan Today on Sunday. President Asif Ali Zardari had announced on August 12 this year reforms in the draconian laws of the FCR, in vogue since the British era, whereby judicial and executive powers of the Polit-

ical Agents and the District Coordination Officers (DCOs), working in the FATA region, would be separated giving the residents of the tribal region right to challenge the decision of the political agents or the DCOs in the Appellate Authority and FATA Tribunal. The FATA people had not had such rights before. But no one could benefit from the reformed FCRs in case of grievances against the political agent or the DCO as there was neither Appellate Authority nor FATA Tribunal. The judicial system, as separate from the executive as per the reforms, could have not been implemented in the tribal region as funds for the recruitments of around 156 personnel for these courts had not

been provided. Now the approval of the Finance Ministry has paved the way for implementation of the reforms to ensure that people of the tribal region would be able to have benefits from legal rights provided to them in the form of reforms in the FCRs. When asked how long the establishment of separate judicial system in FATA would take, the official said he did not know if there was any cut-out date for that matter but it would take some time as service rules and qualifications for different categories of the officials were yet to be evolved. “We are yet to evolve educational qualifications and service rules for different categories of the employees to be re-

cruited in the first stage then mechanism for recruitment would evolved to make the process transparent”, the official said. The official further added that 2 or three solicitors are likely to be appointed in each of the tribal agencies or Frontier Regions. He further said the budget for the said posts in likely to be allocated from the existing budget. When Ziaur Rehman, an official of the Ministry of States and Frontier Regions (SAFRON), was contacted, he said that he knew that the Finance Division gave approval for the recruitment of around 156 posts but the Ministry of SAFRON was yet to receive any official correspondence in this regard.

Faulty planning, corruption leads to criminal delay in rail track rehab project railway miserably fails to complete track rehab project after four year g PMiC report says no chance of project being completed in next four years



Faulty planning, mismanagement and corruption by Pakistan Railways authorities have led to the failure of the track rehabilitation project that remains incomplete even after a lapse of four years. The findings of a report compiled by the Prime Minister’s Inspection Commission (PMIC), a copy of which is available with Pakistan Today, reflect that the project was launched in 2001 and was to be completed by 2007 but to date only 68 percent of the work has been completed and there is no hope the project would be completed by 2015. The Railways Department conducted this project on its own and no attempt was made to outsource the activities either to national or international contractors. A total of 12 project directors were changed during the past nine years by top officials, which reflects massive favouritism or incompetence at the

highest level. However, the incompetence, favouritism and lack of commitment have led to such a long delay in the track rehab process. PMIC Chairman Malik Amjad Ali Noon, who conducted hectic visits of all areas under project and completed the report, says there was no hope that the track rehab project would complete even after four more years. Track rehabiliTaTion: As far as the financial progress is concerned, the cumulative expenditure until August 2 was Rs 7834.296 million, inclusive of the FEC expenditure of Rs 2350.516 million. The PMIC worked out the modalities an action plan to implement the directions of the prime minister, in consultation with the Planning and Development Division and Ministry of Finance and inter-alia, identified Ministry of Railways PSDP project “Track Rehabilitation (Rehabilitation Plan)-Pakistan Railways Network (2001-07)” for the purpose. The revised project was approved by

the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) for Rs 9405.366 million on 31-12-2005. The work was scheduled to be completed by June 2007. The inordinate delay in the project implementation was due to illconceived planning by the Ministry of Railways’ officials. Despite approval of the reduced scope and cost, the project could not be completed by the initial target date of June 2007. With only 68 percent of progress, no completion date is indicated. It appears that the Planning and Development (P&D) Division did not prudently scrutinise the details of the project before recommending approval. Moreover, the scope of the project was substantially changed. Detailed backable technical and financial feasibilities were not conducted by the authority and the project was conceived on internal pre-feasibility level document. Accordingly, technical, financial and economic feasibilities of the project were not established. Internal consensus on scope of work

was not achieved before submission of the project for approval. More than Rs 10 billion was released for the project against actual expenditure of Rs 7.6 billion which reflected massive corruption. Moreover, there is no clue where the rest of the amount was spent. A total of 12 project directors were changed during the last nine years. In the past, such project used to be implemented by Regional Directorates. However, this project was implemented under a centralised mechanism due to which Pakistan Railways itself is facing problems. All the work on the project is being done by the Railways Department on its own. No attempt was made to outsource the activities either to national or international contractors. The PMICs detailed observations have resulted in considerable progress as indicated by the status report received on August 2. The progress still remains slow and the Ministry of Railways needs to reassess the administrative and financial aspects of the project.

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News 03

Monday, 26 December, 2011

ArTS & enTerTAinMenT



sonam, Ajay nominated for golden Kela Awards Pakistan complete clean sweep

Karachi, too:


Can’t be ignored anymore.

What Jinnah wanted:


Not this.

Dr Mubarak Ali says: Ignoring history: We need to learn from past mistakes.

Waqqas Mir says:


The importance of debate: It opens minds.

Kuldip Nayar says: India in 2011: Below par performance.

Story on Page 17

Story on Page 18

Articles on Page 12-13

‘It’s my turn’ g

imran feels he has the opposition ‘on the mat’


PIgEONs tO tHE FutuRE: PtI chairman Imran Khan photographed during the release of pigeons before the rally. AFP


MRAN Khan has been written off before. As a cricketer, he was initially dismissed as having average ability before captaining his team to World Cup glory. For the past 15 years his political party has stumbled from one election humiliation to the next. Now though, he is convinced his time has come. Riding a tsunami of popular support ahead of elections widely expected next year, he is bracing himself for a campaign of dirty tricks. “During a match there comes a time when you know you have the opposition on the mat. It is exactly the feeling now, that I have all the opposition by their balls,” he said, in an interview last month with The Daily Telegraph as he travelled to the north-western city of Peshawar for yet another rally on his 59th birthday. “Whatever they do now will backfire.” Further evidence of Mr Khan’s steepling ascent was on display in Karachi, Pakistan’s biggest city, today on Christmas Day, when at least 100,000 people turned out to hear his message that change was sweeping the country. The figure is all the more remarkable as the city is far from Mr Khan’s stronghold of Lahore. “I’ve never seen a gathering like this in Karachi in two decades,” said a local

journalist covering the rally. Everything changed in October, when he attracted more than 100,000 supporters to a parade ground in Lahore. The world took notice of a new star in Pakistan’s political firmament, dominated for decades by a handful of the richest families. A YouGov-Cambridge poll released on Fri Dec 23 found that Khan is the most popular political figure in Pakistan by far, with some 81 per cent of respondents choosing him as the person they think best suited to lead the country. Two thirds meanwhile said they would vote for his PTI party. Even that rally was almost sabotaged. At the last minute his venue was moved from a modestly sized park to the Minar-e-Pakistan, capable of holding hundreds of thousands of people. If the switch by city authorities loyal to Nawaz Sharif, the main opposition leader, was an attempt to make Mr Khan’s rally appear insignificant it failed badly. Mr Khan expects more of the same. His Lahore headquarters were recently sealed off amid allegations taxes had not been paid. In 2008, a photograph of a fake £40m cheque apparently from James Goldsmith, billionaire father of Khan’s ex-wife Jemima, surfaced. “They will throw everything at me,” he said. “Last time around, when they panicked, they called Jemima part of a

imran’s speech more emotional than Queen’s: Jemima

Jewish lobby. She’s Christian, her mother’s Christian, her father was Christian, but because the grandfather was Jewish it became part of a Jewish plot to take over Pakistan.” Inevitably scrutiny will fall on Mr Khan’s private life. As one of Pakistan’s most famous bachelors he had been expecting Mr Sharif’s party to spread malicious rumours – until an American journalist published a book detailing how the opposition leader had offered her an iPhone and asked her to be his “special friend”. “He can’t really do that now because he knows it will just come back to haunt him,” said Mr Khan roaring with laughter in the front seat of a supporter’s car. “Now they are going after me on tax, but that will look even worse.” Corruption has been Mr Khan’s defining message since setting up his Tehreek–e–Insaf (the Movement for Justice) in 1995. Such is the public perception of his integrity that he has raised millions of pounds for a cancer hospital and university, and his flood relief fund dwarfed similar efforts by Yousuf Raza Gilani, Pakistan’s prime minister, which were hampered by corruption fears. That makes him a dangerous candidate for established forces such as President Asif Ali Zardari, the widower of Benazir Bhutto, as a new generation tires of political dynasties known for making themselves rich at the expense of the country.

Asif Ahmad Ali confirms joining PTi



Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan’s ex-wife, Jemima Goldsmith, hailed PTI’s massive rally in Karachi on Sunday and termed Imran’s speech more effective and emotional than that of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II. “Who needs the Queen’s speech? That was emotional. My boys are proud. And my uncle now thinks he speaks Urdu,” she wrote on Twitter soon after the rally ended. “Struggling to translate Imran’s speech into English for my family,” she tweeted later. About attendance in the rally she said: “Hearing reports of half a million people at the PTI jalsa today in Karachi… Others say 200K but number rising...”

Former foreign minister Sardar Asif Ahmad Ali has confirmed that he has joined the Pakistan Tehreek-eInsaaf (PTI), Dunya News reported on Sunday. He said he had decided to join the PTI without any pressure. “I had reservations regarding economic and defence policies and drew the attention of the Pakistan People’s Party leadership to the problems faced by the country, but every time my suggestions were neglected without taking them seriously,” he said. He had had no link to the president for two years, he added.

tHE cLAssIc PtI FAMILY: All five members of a family travel on a motorcycle waving PtI flags. onLine

Jinnah’s state was secular, not islamic: AnP iSlaMabaD: PTI Chairman Imran Khan did not make his programme clear in 15 years before Sunday’s public gathering in Karachi ANP Information Secretary Senator Zahid Khan said on Sunday. Zahid said, “While Imran claims PTI wants the Pakistan envisioned by the Quaid-e-Azam, he doesn’t know that Jinnah’s law minister was a non-Muslim. Jinnah’s state was secular and not Islamic.” ONLINE

Altaf congratulates PTi

cOME tO tHE JALsA: Walls are plastered with posters inviting commuters to the rally.


lonDon: Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) Chief Altaf Hussain has congratulated leadership and workers of Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf (PTI) on holding ‘successful’ public rally in Karachi.In a statement issued from London, Altaf Hussain said presenting a party programme in public gathering was much better than to make speeches based on allegations. MONItORINg DEsK

A PtI ‘cOcONut’: A coconut seller wears a PtI bandana outside the Mazaar-i-Quaid. onLine

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04 News

Monday, 26 December, 2011

Govt working to pick up IPPs’ liabilities instead of paying them ISLAMABAD AMER sIAL


HE government is working on picking up Rs 150 billion bank liabilities of the independent power producers (IPPs), whose outstanding dues have crossed Rs 266 billion during the first half of the current fiscal year, by arranging funds from local banks before December 31. An official source said the government was negotiating with banks to pick up liabilities of the IPPs instead of making payments of their outstanding dues

before the close of the calendar year. The IPPs had to make payments to banks for their loans before the end of the year. Their outstanding dues against electricity sold to the state-owned entities were Rs 121 billion in May this year, which increased to over Rs 266 billion by the end of December. The government has no money to pay the IPPs as the receivables of the defunct Pakistan Electric Power Company (PEPCO) are estimated to be over Rs 310 billion. The government will not be making any payments to IPPs, it will be simply picking up their liabilities, the source said, adding that

Sipah-e-Sahaba behind Bhatti’s killing: Malik ISLAMABAD stAFF REPORt

Interior Minister Rehman Malik on Sunday held the banned Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP) responsible for the murder of former minorities’ affairs minister Shahbaz Bhatti. Addressing the Christian community at a local church, Malik said Bhatti’s assassins had been identified and that they belonged to the SSP. He said the killers fled to the Middle East after killing Bhatti. He said the government had issued “red warrants” to bring the culprits back to Pakistan. “Let me make it clear that

PPP reminds Shahbaz of his meeting with ex-CiA official ISLAMABAD ONLINE

The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) has been taken aback by a statement of Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif in which he said that Prime Minster Yousaf Raza Gilani’s criticism of the army was tantamount to violating the constitution. PPP members reacted by saying that Shahbaz should recall his meeting with Bruce Riedal, a former CIA official, at Willard Hotel, Washington DC, in 1999, in which he expressed his fears of a military takeover and sought US help to pre-empt it.

Bhatti was killed by terrorists… there is no family feud behind his killing,” the interior minister said. Bhatti was killed on March 2, 2011 outside one of his residences in Islamabad by unidentified gunmen. Later, Malik told journalists that police was trying to locate Shahbaz Taseer, the kidnapped son of former Punjab governor Salman Taseer. “Since Shahbaz Taseer was kidnapped from Lahore … the Punjab government would be in a better position to give any statement to media. As far as my information is concerned, I think police is trying to trace Shahbaz Taseer,” Malik said.

Saudi jet makes emergency landing KARACHI AgENcIEs

A Saudi Arabian chartered jet made an emergency belly landing in Karachi on Sunday after one of its nose wheels jammed, a civil aviation spokesman said. The MD-83 Saudi plane, carrying 72 passengers and crew members, was en route from the northern Saudi city of Tabuk to Quetta when the pilot diverted the jet to Karachi over concerns about the wheels. “The aircraft made an emergency belly landing. All 72 passengers and crew remained safe,” Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) Spokesman Pervez George told AFP.

the banks were likely to agree as the government had already settled the Rs 294 billion circular debt issue with them. Investors of IPPs have warned the government that they would be forced to shut down their plants if their liabilities were not cleared before December 31. It would also create problems for the government plans to attract investment to add 3,000MW to the national grid during the next three years. IPPs are also operating on low capacity because of nonpayment of their dues. The government has also failed to arrange Rs 10 billion for maintaining un-

interrupted power supply during the canal closure period from December 26 to January 31. The Water and Power Ministry had sought the amount on emergency basis to maintain fuel oil supply during the low hydroelectric generation period. The load shedding in cities has already increased to 4 to 6 hours and up to 10 hours in villages every day because of the start of the canal closure process. The source said the government had not released Rs 10 billion to the NTDC. It was stressing collection of fuel price adjustment (FPA) dues to overcome the financial crisis. However it was

informed that the distribution companies had managed to collect only Rs 5 billion out of Rs 22 billion under the FPA for the months of June and July. The ministry estimates a blockade of Rs 71 billion under FPA because of court stay orders. The failure to pass an increase of 2 percent in the power tariff was also resulting in a burden of Rs 2 billion per month. The government had planed an increase of 14 percent in the power tariff during the current fiscal year, having already increased it by a whopping 75 percent during the last two financial years.

Christmas celebrated with religious zeal and enthusiasm ISLAMABAD APP/stAFF REPORt

Like other parts of the globe, Christians in Pakistan on Sunday celebrated Christmas with religious zeal and enthusiasm. The day started with special prayers at churches. Christmas trees were decorated with lights and colourful balls in Christian colonies, outside shopping malls and alongside important roads. Christians renewed their commitment to follow the teachings of their religion in letter and spirit. Special ceremonies and

masses were held in all churches across the country with prayers for peace and stability in the country. In Rawalpindi and Islamabad, prayers were held at Catholic and Protestant churches. The biggest services were held at Catholic Church Lal Kurti and Protestant Church on the Mall Road in Rawalpindi. In Islamabad, a prayer service was held at the Khatoon Fatima Church. Special prayers were offered for progress, prosperity and solidarity of the country. A large number of people attended the service. The Capital Development

Authority (CDA) organised a special bazaar at G-6 to facilitate Christians on Christmas. The federal government made comprehensive security arrangements on Christmas Eve and special deployment of police was ensured at churches and public places. Security duty at public places, including parks, was made more effective while sub-divisional police officers and station house officers remained on patrolling in their respective areas. Plain-clothed policemen and well-equipped policemen also performed duties near churches and public places.

Quaid’s 135th birth anniversary observed ISLAMABAD stAFF REPORt

The 135th birth anniversary of Father of the Nation Quaid-eAzam Muhammad Ali Jinnah was celebrated on Sunday with national spirit and enthusiasm across the country. Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani, on the occasion, said that parliament was a supreme institution, as envisioned by the Quaid and it was a representative body of the people. Talking to journalists after visiting the Quaid’s mausoleum, the PM said that the parliamentary form of government was the best way for accountability. He said that the Quaid did not want a presidential form of government and desired a parliamentary system. Federal Information Minister Dr Firdous Aashiq Awan also paid rich tribute to the

Four PMLs to unite in next election iSlaMabaD: Announcing that the PML-N, PMLLikeminded, PML-Functional and PML-Zia would contest elections though an alliance from a single platform, PML-L President Senator Salim Saifullah on Sunday demanded the government announce general elections after the March 2012 senate polls. stAFF REPORt

Parliament supreme: Gilani Continued froM page 24 government adopted the policy to have relations with all countries, including Pakistan’s neighbours, with honour and dignity. “The government has a very clear policy on the Kashmir issue and wants to resolve it in accordance with the aspirations of the people of Kashmir,” he said. Appreciating the contribution of Pakistan Army in defending the country, the prime minister said the armed forces had made enormous sacrifices to defend the frontiers. He vowed that the sovereignty, integrity and solidarity of the country would be protected at all costs and assured.

The prime minister said Quaid-i-Azam envisaged making his vision about democracy the future constitution of Pakistan and wanted to show it to the world. He quoted Quaid-iAzam as saying on on December 14, 1946: “Democracy is in the blood of Musalmans, who look upon complete equality of manhood (mankind) and believe in fraternity, equality and liberty.” Gilani also constituted a task force under the finance minister to resolve the problems of the national institutions such as Pakistan International Airlines, Pakistan Electric Power Com-

pany, Pakistan Steel Mills and Pakistan Railways. He announced that 2012 would be the year of Balochistan and assured that the people of the restive province would get their fundamental rights. The members of the federal cabinet appreciated Gilani’s decision to hold a cabinet meeting in Karachi on the 135th birth anniversary of Quaid-i-Azam. Later, he told reporters during his visit to Quaid-iAzam’s mausoleum that parliament was the supreme institution in the country as envisioned by Quaid-i-Azam and it was a representative body of the people. “The parliamentary form of govern-

ment is the best way for accountability. Quaid-i-Azam did not want a presidential form of government, rather he desired a parliamentary system,” he said. He said that in 1956, when the first constitution was passed, his father was also a member of the National Assembly, and the whole cabinet of that time visited the mausoleum of Quaid-i-Azam barefooted to pay homage to the great leader. All those leaders participated in the Pakistan Movement, he added. He said the present government came to the Quaid’s mausoleum to pay homage to him following that tradition.

Kaira-Sethi ‘plot’ forces Firdous to offer resignation Continued froM page 1 An information secretary of a political party, even if the party is in power, has no mandate to speak on behalf of the government and on matters related to the cabinet meeting, the sources said further. Firdous briefed Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani about the situation she had been faced with in the Information Ministry because of her colleagues and their “connivers” in the bureaucracy. According to the sources, the prime minister

took stern notice of the transgressions by the bureaucrats, including Sethi, into the information minister’s mandate and her discretionary powers. The sources also mentioned “prompted” tickers on the electronic media projecting Kaira’s name as information minister after Firdous’ resignation. Another constant cause of Dr Awan’s chagrin was the information minister’s chair in the National Assembly, which Kaira still continues to occupy. According to the sources, the chair - right at

the back of the Leader of the House - is the entitlement of the incumbent information minister. That is why it was initially allotted to Kaira. It was the responsibility of the ruling party’s Chief Whip Syed Khursheed Shah to ensure seating entitlements. “Here Shah has rather moved in favour of Kaira and against the entitlement of Dr Awan,” the sources said. Other than Kaira and Sethi, Pakistan Television Corporation Managing Director Yusuf Baig Mirza was also one of the irritants for the information minister,

the sources said. Despite being an attached department of her ministry, Mirza seldom bothers with Dr Awan’s instructions and policy guidelines. She was also feeling helpless in failing to remove Mirza despite having a plethora of allegations involving misuse of authority, unauthorised recruitments and other financial irregularities, the sources added. A source told Pakistan Today that the information minister got upset when she came to know that Kaira, a non-cabinet member, was invited to the 100th meeting

to brief the members about the performance of the federal cabinet. The source said as Kaira started briefing the members, the information minister protested. After the cabinet meeting, the prime minister had a one-on-one meeting with her. “The prime minister assured me that he would address my concerns and asked me to continue performing my duties,” she said, adding that conspiracies were being hatched against her ever since her appointment. However, the Informa-

tion Minister’s resignation during the cabinet meeting was an unusual act by a cabinet member. The cabinet meeting was also attended by Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ebad Khan and Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah on special invitation. Later, President Asif Ali Zardari also telephoned Dr Awan and assured her that her grievances would be addressed. “You are a brave person and brave people don’t get disheartened by conspiracies,” she quoted the president as telling her.

founder of Pakistan. Addressing a seminar organised by the Al-Noor Welfare Trust, Federal Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Maula Bakhsh Chandio said that democracy could be protected by adopting the teachings of Quaid-e-Azam. Gilgit-Baltistan Governor Pir Syed Karam Ali Shah said that the present era was not less than its delicacies of the Pakistan Movement. In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA, the Pakistan Muslim LeagueNawaz (PML-N) Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chapter also arranged a rally on GT Road to pay homage to the charismatic leader. People across Azad Jammu Kashmir (AJK) also celebrated the Quaid’s birth anniversary. The Quaid’s birth anniversary was also celebrated with traditional zeal, enthusiasm and fervour, amid tight security in Sialkot.

game on, imran tells nawaz Continued froM page 1 Addressing the gathering, Makhdoom Javed Hashmi announced a ‘rebellion’ against the cruel and corrupt people. “I am a rebel and this rebel has joined the PTI for enforcement of justice and to root out corruption from society,” he said. He criticised the Punjab government for disparity within the province. “Youth is the future of Pakistan and I never saw such a large number of youth at a political gathering,” he said, adding that he would mobilise this youth to change Pakistan. Speaking to the participants about the national nuclear programme, former foreign minister and PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi said the programme was under no physical threat and the entire world should know it is impossible to attack the nuclear programme, but it was under threat from this civilian government. He said he was the first person who raised concerns over the USIndia nuclear deal. “President Zardari called me and said that there is nothing wrong in the US-India deal, but I protested,” he said. Bagh-eJinnah, which has a capacity of around 200,000 people, was full to bursting with PTI supporters and the roads adjacent to the garden and the mausoleum were also teeming with people. The crowd was estimated to have comfortably exceeded the number of people who attended the PTI rally at Minar-e-Pakistan in Lahore on October 30.

President, PM wish nawaz happy birthday iSlaMabaD: President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani greeted Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) chief Nawaz Sharif on his birthday on December 25. The president and the prime minister sent bouquets and expressed their good wishes for Nawaz Shairf. This was the first formal contact between the government and the leader of the largest opposition party in the parliament after a long time. stAFF REPORt

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Monday, 26 December, 2011

Army hands over Jinnah House to Culture Dept in safe hands now? 06

Kudos to Kaptaan ■ imran Khan pulls off a successful show in Karachi KARACHI AAMIR MAJEED

Yeh waqt nahi hai sonay ka, yeh waqt hai aagay barhnay ka!” The Bagh-e-Jinnah in Karachi reverberated with this song among several others that spread tremors of excitement through the crowd, which included many youngsters waving Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) flags and chanting slogans in favour of the political party during the National Unity Convention convened by PTI Chair-

man Imran Khan on Sunday. Thousands, including women and children, from all ethnic groups and walks of life gathered at the Bagh-e-Jinnah to see Khan in the flesh. As the sun rose on Sunday, people from every part of the metropolitan left their houses for the Bagh-eJinnah to attend the PTI’s convention. By sundown, the Bagh was jam-packed, with the parking space occupied as well, and the gates of the venue had to be closed due to the unexpected number of turnout. Several latecomers who could not find space in-

side the Bagh stayed in their vehicles and listened to the PTI chairman talk over loudspeakers. Khan’s party had put up big screens around the venue to facilitate those citizens who could not watch the chairman over the crowd. Many people who could not find any standing space climbed the trees at the venue to get a better look at the PTI chairman. The crowded parking area forced the participants of the convention to park their vehicles on the MA Jinnah Road and elsewhere, resulting in traffic jams. The youth, many of them wearing shirts printed with Khan’s pictures, chanted slogans in favour of his party, and expressed their excitement and support by dancing on and singing to national songs blasting from the speakers. The law enforcers were deployed outside the Bagh, whereas several traffic police personnel were trying to ensure smooth traffic flow, but it turned out to be an impossible task due to the unexpected number of turnout. Inside the Bagh, the Insaf Students Federation took care of the security arrangements, with scanners and walkthrough gates installed at all entry points. The central leadership of the PTI was seated in the upper portion of the stage, whereas the leadership of Sindh took up the lower portion.

The venue could seat 60,000 people, but the chairs had to be removed later because an unexpected number of citizens had turned up at the Bagh. The PTI spent Rs 450 million on the event that was organised by a private firm.

‘I wouldn’t have missed it for the world’

oozing with enthusiasm, the participants of the PTi’s rally on Sunday were enjoying every minute of the event that was nothing short of a festival. ASiM rehMAni

karachi: In the 80s, girls used to put up posters of cricketer Imran Khan on the walls of their rooms and longed to see him in person. For many of them, their wish came true on Sunday after many years when they reached Bagh-e-Jinnah with their children. However, they were now seeing Khan in the role of a politician. Wearing shirts with a picture of Imran Khan and holding Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) flags, they were finally turning their dream into reality. Many women were seen telling their children about Khan. A woman trying to get near the stage where PTI chairman was sitting told this Pakistan Today that she is a fan of Khan even since he led Pakistan to a cricket world cup victory. “I wished to see him live but never got the chance. After years, I finally got the opportunity to see him and I wouldn’t have missed it for the world,” she said. When asked whether she likes Khan as cricketer or as a politician, she replied that he is acceptable in any role. “I know he won’t disappoint us in any role. He didn’t disappoint us a cricketer and he won’t as a politician either,” she added. Another woman, who was standing in the family enclosure, told Pakistan Today that she hates politics and never participates in political gatherings, but she could not miss the chance to see Khan. “I will vote in the next elections for the first time in my life and it will be for the PTI. Imran really needs votes to become the prime minister and I don’t want to see him lose,” she added. AAMIR MAJEED

It’s not just Karachi, Imran also takes Twitter by storm Naveedgul201111

The lion has arrived! One country, one leader .. Imran Khan!


If Imran Khan becomes the next President of Pakistan, that would be incredible.


Imran trending in out hearts, in our country. #PTIJalsa trending worldwide, Inshallah soon the world will see a great leader from South Asia


Whatever it is, if Imran Khan does indeed vow to change matters in Pakistan for better, good luck to him. Genuinely.


Hilarious that those calling on Imran to give specifics are those who think “roti,kapra,makaan” is a solid political manifesto #PTIJalsa


RT @sabahat24: Grave question indeed. “@o_tariq: Can Imran Khan unite Salman n Ali Azmat?”


is now at Mazare-e-Quid attending the Great Jalsa of Imran khan. So excited... :)


RT @sobiazia: The world seems to have turned up for Imran Khan’s / PTI’s Jalsa in Karachi right now. Thank you Pakistan, Thank you Imran Khan, Thank you PTI


@takhansher @jemima_ khan The beginning of Change Inshallah Imran Khan lead Pakistan to the future the people deserve.


@Jemima_Khan If Imran wins the election and becomes Prime Minister, will you rejoin him as his First Lady?


RT @EmadZafar: Brilliant PR managers, event managers, marketing managers, logistic managers behind Imran Khan campaign. Just brilliant!#PTIJalsa


Imran Khan (thinking to self): either this huge party i just threw is a pure waste of cash or I am making progress.#PTIJalsa


Despite my reservation on ur recent decisions.. Best of luck n Godspeed Imran ..

We r with u hearts n souls




If this was a boxing match #ImranKhan has landed his political opponents the knockout punch @PTIofficial@sharme enochinoy

RT @mehreenkasana: Whatever it is, if Imran Khan does indeed vow to change matters in Pakistan for better, good luck to him. Genuinely.



@sharmilafaruqi imran khan is apodictic about dictatorship in PPP. Who’s better to lead a p a r t y sharmila faruqi o r nascent

Can’t help but think that

Imran Khan is stuck with old faces wearing masks. God help our country.


We just love that face! Imran Khan looks so cool with that smile :-) This is a ray of hope, a new sun is rising. #PTI#PTI #PTI #PTI #PTI


Imran says he will bring change...change???? with these LOTAS???


RT @shehrbanotaseer: Imran Khan is to Pakistan as Wyclef Jean is to Haiti and Manny Pacquiao is to Philippines!


I support Imran Khan only because he is not \’Corrupt\’ but remember he is only Human Not God. Mian Sahab Jaan diyo Saadi wari aan diyo

asadmunir38 Urban middle class, Mehran car group, for PTI. 70% voters are in rural areas, how do they respond to Imran will determine success of PTI

Brizzle111 @murtazasolangi @xayn abnaqvi@marvisirmed Chan ge means getting rid of old parties that have ruled us for last many dec’s! Elect Imran Khan!


RT @SheerazRaza Next time I’d suggest Imran Khan to choose Karachi Arts Council

as a venue for other musical shows. #PTIJalisa #PTI


RT @AiliaZehra: One thing I’ve noticed is that Imran has been criticizing both Nawaz and Zardari from day one but didn’t say a word against Altaf. MQM fear?


Imran Khan has become a true legend now, it matters little what he says, who joins him or not, whether or not he actually brings change.#PTI


When Imran Khan was in Assembly, he didn’t submit any Bill on #Balochistan or any other issue! What would make him do it now? #PTI


People need a distraction ... A moment of comfort let it be an illusion or a delusion !! Welcome imran khan .. A drug to the masses !

KHI 26-12-2011_Layout 1 12/26/2011 2:11 AM Page 6

PakistaN today

06 karachi

Monday, 26 December, 2011

KKF moves into fire brigade office... by force or after paying Rs 25m? KARACHI



HE Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM)-backed Khidmat-eKhalq Foundation (KKF) has moved into the fire brigade office located at the Boulton Market, Pakistan Today has learnt. It was observed that the foundation’s administration has started operating from the office after removing the fire brigade’s signboards and putting up new boards displaying the KKF’s name. According to some sources, MQM central leader Mustafa Azizabadi’s younger brother Munir, district officer state of the now-defunct City District Government Karachi, had sold the office to the KKF for Rs 25 million during the last days of the outgoing city government. However, other sources claimed that several men carrying weapons had recently forced entry into the fire brigade office to occupy it, and they also severely beat up Sub-officer Nadeem when he resisted the forced occupation of the office. Nadeem suffered serious injuries and the higher authorities were informed of the incident, but no action has so far been taken in this matter because they fear political backlash, the sources added. It is pertinent to mention here that the fire brigade’s office was torched during the riots that erupted after the attack on the Ashura procession in December 2009, following

which the office was partially renovated. The office continued to function without water tanks and other facilities, but it is being used by the KKF nowadays. One could see the foundation’s ambulances parked on the main road outside the office, whereas the fire tenders have been shifted to the Saddar fire brigade office. The Boulton Market fire brigade office has lost all of its previous identification, and the KKF’s signboards and staff have taken over the office now. Chief Fire Officer Saleem Ehtisham said he has no information regarding Nadeem’s incident, but he admitted that the KKF’s vehicles are being parked inside and outside the Boulton Market fire brigade office. “Things might turn controversial if I say something about the KKF’s use of the fire brigade office. Other such organisations, like the Edhi Foundation and the Saylani Welfare Trust International, have their offices established at locations like the Civil Hospital Karachi,” Ehtisham added. MQM Central Information Committee member Nasir Jamal said, “The KKF is involved in social work, including promoting education. The foundation has nothing to do with illegal occupation or anything of the sort.” He said that the KKF possesses all the legal documents of all the properties under its use. “The MQM is a national political party that does not involve itself in any illegal activities,” he added.

Plan to close Cng stations for a month worries transporters KARACHI APP

The Karachi Transporters Action Committee has expressed concern over the government’s plan to close CNG stations in the province for a month. The members of the committee, including its president Mohammad Ashraf Banglori, in a statement on Sunday said people are already exposed to serious difficulties due to closure of CNG supply to the vehicles, once or twice a week. “The authorities concerned must not ignore the plight of commuters, particularly those using public buses as their means of transportation,” they said. The transporters said the closure will jeopardise the massive investments made in CNG sector and deprive thousands of their livelihoods.

For a good cause? ASiM rehMAni

Army hands over Jinnah 247 Pakistani peace activists house to Culture Dept to participate KARACHI APP

To commemorate the significance of the birthday of Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the recently renovated Flag Staff House (Jinnah House) was handed over to the Department of Culture and Her-

itage Sindh by the Pakistan Army in a simple and graceful ceremony here on Sunday. According to an ISPR statement, Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ebad, Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah, provincial Culture Minister Sassui Palijo and Corps Commander Lieutenant General

Muhammad Zahirul Islam were present on the occasion. The faculty and students from Army Public School and College and Sindh Madressahtul Islam also attended the ceremony. The governor lauded the army’s efforts in restoring the important national monument.


As many as 247 peace activists from Pakistan would participate in the 8th Joint Convention of the ‘Pakistan-India People’s Forum for Peace and Democracy (PIPFPD)’ in Allahabad India on December 29, 30 and 31. Before this the seven joint conventions have been held since its formation in 1994. The previous conventions were held in Lahore, Karachi, Peshawar, Bangalore, Calcutta and Delhi. During the three-day convention, around 500 delegates from both countries will deliberate on the PaksiatnIndia peace process and highlight people’s perspective on trade, river waters, detained fisherfolk from both sides, the Kashmir conflict and other issues. The prominent people from Sindh’s provincial chapter of the PIPFPD participating in the convention include Asad Iqbal Butt, Muneer Memon, Shakoor Abbasi, Rana Siddiqui, Zafar Rajput Advocate, Lala Hassan Pathan, Khadim Mirani, Sadia Baloch, Jabbar Khaskheli and Adam Malik.

PMA demand formation of committee to probe doctor’s murder KARACHI APP

The Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) has demanded formation of a committee including high-ranking police officials to ascertain the actual cause behind the recent targeted killing of Dr Mehboob in Karachi. “These incidents [murder of

doctors] are creating a lot of anxiety among health professionals and their families and resulting in doctors leaving the country,” PMA-Sindh President Dr Samrina Hashmi said in a statement issued on Sunday. She said that Dr Mehboob, a dermatologist, was killed while he was performing his professional duties and demanded that his culprits be

apprehended without any delay. She said that not only have the criminals deprived his family of an obedient son, caring husband and dutiful father but also denied his patients of a committed healthcare provider. “In the past, more than hundred doctors were killed in a series of killings, and there has never been a

clue as to why they were murdered and who the killers were,” Dr Hashmi added. Fearing that Dr Mehboob’s murder could be the beginning of another spree of doctors’ killings, she also said this is one of the several reasons of deteriorating medical health care in Pakistan with patients as the ultimate sufferer.

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Monday, 26 December, 2011

karachi 07 PakistaN today

IGP orders strict security for BB’s death anniversary




INDH Inspector General of Police (IGP) Mushtaq Ahmed Shah has ordered extraordinary security arrangements on the occasion of the fourth death anniversary of Pakistan People’s Party leader Benazir Bhutto. He directed the officers concerned to ensure strict security arrangements on the occasion as a large number of people from all over the country will be visiting Ghari Khuda Bux to pay their respects to assassinated politician. Instructing the police to increase surveillance on the province’s entry points, he directed enhanced patrolling on the highways and roads and effective snap checking. “The supervisory officers of the concerned police stations should remain vigilant on all main roads leading to Ghari Khuda Bux,” said Shah. The IGP further ordered effective intelligence network and

deployment of plainclothes policemen in Ghari Khuda Bux and its adjoining areas. STraTeGY: A strategy has been formulated for curbing robberies and other crimes in residential, commercial and industrial areas, said Karachi Additional Inspector General of Police (AIGP) Akhtar Hussian Gorchani on Sunday. He was talking with a 10-member delegation of North Karachi Association for Trade and Industry led by Faraz Mirza. The AIGP informed the participants of the meeting that the strategy not only includes cooperation with people but reactivation of the Madadgar-15 centres as well. “The effective results of policing are not possible without the cooperation of citizens,” he said. “That is why special attention is being paid towards community policing,” he added. Highlighting the importance of industry in the country’s economy, Gorchani said that industry is the backbone of the economy. “Therefore, security in the industrial areas must be ensured at any cost,” he added.

A church is decorated with lights to celebrate Christmas. onLine

Kids get their turn

at T2F with a kahani session KARACHI tExt AND PHOtOs BY FIZZA HAssAN

A session to promote the art of storytelling among children was organised at The Second Floor (T2F) on Sunday. Children were reminded, in a subtle way, about the importance of Urdu, creativity, story-crafting, sharing and friendship. In the first part of the kahani session, educationist Mrs Perveen Qasim Ali of the Karachi Public School along with one of her students read out stories to the young audience. Children were also informed about the concepts of 'kutti' (symbolic gesture about parting of friends), book reading and etiquettes. In the latter half of the interactive session, Sania Saeed along with kids attending the activity crafted a story. Input from children was particularly encouraged and participants were rewarded with toffees and bookmarks. Saeed's focus was to introduce children to things that people have now retired from including picnics and healthy diet. As a symbol, she and her much younger friends sang Sohail Rana's

“Mubarak ho tumhein, khushi ka yeh samaa” as a gesture to celebrate the birthday of Jesus Christ and Quaid-eAzam. Kahani Time, as the name suggests,

revolved around story-telling, however, the purpose of the event was to provide children and their parents with a space where they can spend their Sunday noon interacting with kids of their age and

pick new things alongside. Furthermore, the participants of the session were told about, a project of Kahani Time’s moderator Rabia Garib and Talea Zafar, where Urdu

stories and songs for children are available online. The website also aims to promote Urdu language in an era where obsession for English is taking over the country.

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PakistaN today

08 karachi

Monday, 26 December, 2011

Evocative make-believe 26°C Clear skies High world of Ibne Safi 12°C 12% Humidity Low weATHer UPDATeS



TUeSDAy weDneSDAy THUrSDAy 26°C i 13°C

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PrAyer TiMingS Fajr 5:53

Sunrise 7:14

Zuhr 12:33

Asr 3:31

Maghrib 5:51

isha 7:12

Starting time in Karachi

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99260400-09 99215749, 99215960 99201300-39 99201271-6 34930051 36811841-50


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remember my father having a stack of dog-eared Jasoosi Duniya novels on his bedside table; he was a doctor. Several other older relatives too spoke of their addiction to these racy detective stories; they were university teachers, journalists, writers who normally read more sober and sedate stuff but confessed to an abiding passion for Ibne Safi’s ‘pulp’ offerings. Reading them now in their English translation, I must confess to being somewhat bemused. I am struck more by the sociological import of Ibne Safi’s creative cosmos than any intrinsic merit in the stories themselves, for, frankly speaking, the concerns per se appear a trifle dated and nowhere close to some of the great detective fiction in the league of PD James or Agatha Christie. For me, these stories evoke a syncretic and pluralistic ethos which is all the more remarkable considering (a) they were originally written in Urdu, and (b) Ibne Safi himself migrated to Pakistan in 1952. Part-Bombay, part-Karachi and the rest an entirely fictional, marvellously cosmopolitan city, Jasoosi Duniya (literally meaning, ‘the world of espionage’) is located in a world of the imagination that, going by the phenomenal popularity of these books and the near-cult following of their author, evidently held a strong appeal for their Urdu readers. The setting and style hold more interest for me than the stories, for, I am mindful of the fact that they were written at a time when Urdu fiction dwelt compulsively on the horrors of the partition or waxed eloquent on the nation-building project – neither of which find any mention in these escapist fantasies. TheY’re all here: Voluptuous, often blonde-haired, women and gun-toting men in suits and hats graced the covers of these mass-produced, cheaply-priced paperbacks. Inside was a wonderful world of cafes and bars with evocative names such as Rialto’s, Sing Sing, Arlecchino, High Circle Nightclub, Shabistan, Chinese Corner; thrilling motor launches to island hideouts called Tar Jam; mysterious and beautiful women, some of whom were students or high-society ladies, others who worked for a living as typists and teachers; and masked villains who used lethal arrows and poisonous gases. A whiff of internationalism pervaded the proceedings with stray references to foreign names and places, topical events from the global arena, ballroom dances attended by women of every possible nationality, and the recurring presence of a villain named Dr Dread, an American criminal with headquarters in San Antonio, New Mexico. A policewoman called Rekha Larson, a diminutive crook called Finch, places named Arjun Pura and Gertrude Square, bartenders called Gasper, and the suave Oxonian

From Allahabad to Karachi Ibne Safi was born on July 26, 1928 in the Nara town of the Allahabad district in India. His father’s name was Safiullah. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Aligarh Muslim University. In 1948, he started his first job at Nikhat Publications as an editor in the poetry department. His initial works date back to the early ’40s when he wrote from India. After the partition of India and Pakistan in 1947, he began writing novels in the early ’50s while working as a secondary school teacher and continuing parttime studies. After completing his education, having attracted official attention as being subversive in the independence and post-indepen-

Colonel Faridi assisted by the madcap Captain Hameed combine to create a wonderful world of makebelieve that is neither fully India nor Pakistan, yet has a distinct ThirdWorld feel. SUrViVinG TranSlaTion: The four books under review, translated by the eminent Urdu critic Shamsur Rahman Faruqi, showcase all this with great aplomb. These sleekly produced books – published by Blaft in association with Tranquebar – use the luridly colourful covers from the Urdu originals as well as the trademark logos and numbers of the serialised books to recreate the old magic. The Poisoned Arrow is a complicated tale of good-looking educated young women being employed as honey traps by a foreign embassy engaged in dubious espionage activities to ensnare politicians and civil servants.


dence period, he migrated to Karachi in August 1952 and started his own company by the name of Israr Publications. Between 1960 and 1963, he suffered an episode of severe depression, but recovered and returned with the bestselling Imran series novel, ‘DaiRh Matwaalay’. He penned 36 novels of the Jasoosi Duniya series and 79 of the Imran series after recovering from depression. In the ’70s, he informally advised the Inter-Services Intelligence on methods of detection. He died of pancreatic cancer on July 26, 1980, which was coincidentally his 52nd birthday. WIKIPEDIA Photo courtesy The American criminal Dr Dread is behind the elaborate charade of drug-dealing, prostitution and spying to destabilise a country and its government. Dr Dread reappears as Charles Brown in Smokewater which again sees Faridi and Hameed solving the mystery of the delusional industrialist, Sir Fayyaz Ahmad, who is being administered psychotropic drugs by a coterie involving his best friend and illegitimate son to seize control of his platinum mines. The Laughing Corpse uses the staples of crime fiction – the beautiful Saeeda eking a living as a typist till one day she is left a large estate in Jamaica by a long-lost uncle and finds herself swamped by greedy suitors – to once again set the duo from the CID on a chase of Dr Dread and Finch. And finally, in Doctor Dread, nemesis catches up with the arch vil-

tHE 1971 DIARIEs

lain but not before Faridi has displayed his astuteness and Hameed provided flashes of comic relief with his inveterate goofiness. Interspersed with the suspense are moments of light-hearted banter, harmless flirtation between Hameed and the damsels in distress, snatches of Urdu poetry sprouted by various edgy and eccentric oddballs, and bizarre characters such as the ‘gigantic blubbering fool Qasim’. Being a series, several characters reappear and the narrative too refers to incidents and characters from previous stories. That the Jasoosi Duniya books – the last being written in 1979 – continue to enjoy mass popularity is evident from the number of websites dedicated to Ibne Safi; tributes and accolades are piled up in virtual space to a man widely regarded as the greatest Urdu detective writer. The ‘official’ Ibne Safi website is by far the most exhaustive compilation of views on the author whose real name was Asrar Ahmad, his two cult series (the Jasoosi Duniya which included 125 books and the Imran series with 120 titles), scanned images from the original Urdu paperbacks many of which were illustrated, as well as biographical details about the author who was treated for schizophrenia at the height of his popularity. Read these books not for any insights into the criminal mind or the human predicament that forever grapples with good and evil; read them, instead, for a glimpse into a world that transcends time and circumstance. For, if Agatha Christie introduced us to the world of Miss Marple and murder mysteries set in rural England, Ibne Safi holds us by the hand and takes us into a sophisticated world of urban crime. That the world existed solely in the writers’ imagination makes it all the more intriguing.



CoNVeRSATIoN oN DeCeMBeR 27 AT 07:00 PM VeNUe: T2F 2.0

LeCTURe oN DeCeMBeR 28 AT 07:00 PM VeNUe: T2F 2.0

Danish Azar Zuby’s ‘Retrospective: 40 Years’ until December 31 at the VM Art Gallery. Call 34940411 for more information.

‘The 1971 Diaries: A Conversation with Hamde Ali Bogra’ on December 27 at The 2nd Floor. Call 35389033 for more information.

Dr Munis Faruqui’s ‘New Perspectives on the Mughals: The Case of Dara Shikoh’ at The 2nd Floor. Call 35389033 for more information.

KHI 26-12-2011_Layout 1 12/26/2011 2:11 AM Page 9

Monday, 26 December, 2011

News 09

New transport monetisation policy revises use of govt vehicles ISLAMABAD



HE civil servants in BS-20, BS-21 and BS-22 would be given Rs 65,960, Rs 77,430 and Rs 95,910 respectively as transport monetisation per month under the compulsory monetisation of transport facility to be implemented from January 1, 2012. According to the rules of the facility which will be enforced from the start of 2012: no new recruitment of drivers will be made until drivers rendered surplus are adjusted in consultation with the Establishment Division; there will be a complete ban on the purchase of staff cars; all the ministries, divisions and departments will maintain a limited pool of vehicles (1000/800cc) for general duties and one 1300cc vehicle will be maintained for protocol and operational duty by the entitled officers. However, the number of 1300cc vehicles for operational and protocol duties by the entitled officers would be determined,

keeping in view the strength and functions of the ministry. The rules state that the basic objective of this transport monetisation policy is in line with the observance of the austerity measures and to eliminate any possibility of misuse of official vehicles as well as to restrict the maintenance expenditure of the vehicles to the bare minimum, which shall be used for protocol and operational duty purposes. Implementation of this policy shall be the responsibility of all principal accounting officers by obtaining certificates from each of the entitled officers in BS-20 to BS-22, including himself that he is not possessing or using any project vehicle or a departmental operational/general duty vehicle as well as any vehicle of an organisation or a corporate body in his ex-officio capacity as member of its board, except the only vehicle allocated to him through this Monetisation Policy. The vehicles which will become surplus after the implementation of this policy shall be immediately surrendered to the Cabinet

Division’s central pool of cars. The rules further state that no officer of BS-20 to BS-22 will be entitled and authorised to use project vehicles or the departmental operational/general duty vehicles for any kind of duty. However, they may be allowed the facility to avail the departmental operational/general duty vehicles, subject to the entitlement or the availability of the vehicle, in case they have to go on official tours. Petrol/CNG cards for staff cars may be retained by the officers to be financed from the date of implementation of the policy at their own expense. However, the ownership of the cards shall be transferred in the name of the officer concerned by the respective ministry, division or department. Similarly, no expenditure on the repair, maintenance or replacement of parts for the vehicles opted to be allocated to the entitled officers shall be paid by the ministries, divisions and departments or entertained by the Accountant General Pakistan Revenues (AGPR) from the date of the policy’s enforcement. No green number

The recovery instalments of the depreciated price of the vehicle shall be fixed (not less than Rs 25,000 per month) in such a way that the entire cost is recovered from the officers before the date of their superannuation. According to the rules, an undertaking to sign the Transfer Deed will be submitted to the AGPR through the ministry, division or department by each officer opting for the purchase of a car and that he is bound to pay the total depreciated amount to the government and allows the AGPR to recover the same from his salary in such a way that the total amount is recovered before the date of superannuation. The AGPR will keep a record of the options exercised by the officers regarding retention of drivers and the purchase of cars on the basis of which pay slips of the officers will be revised for payment of monetised value and recovery of instalments for the purchase of staff car and Rs 10,000 on account of the driver facility. The Transfer Deed will be issued after full recovery of the depreciated amount of the vehicle.

Babar Awan terms memogate a conspiracy

Three indian police die in Kashmir barracks shooting





Three Indian federal police are dead and another was injured following a shooting at a barracks in insurgency-hit Kashmir, an official said Sunday. The fatal incident happened late Saturday evening inside the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) camp in the Himalayan town of Kulgam, about 90-minutes drive from Srinagar, the capital of Indian-controlled Kashmir. “We have three CRPF personnel dead and one injured,” a police officer said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak with the media. Other personnel inside the barracks at the time of the shooting were detained for questioning, he added. It was not immediately clear if there was one or more shooters responsible for the deaths. Around 100 Indian security force personnel commit suicide every year in Kashmir and the insurgency-racked northeastern states, according to official figures. There have also been a raft of incidents involving soldiers shooting their comrades and officers, known as fragging, which have been blamed on stress.

plate will be allowed to be used for the staff cars purchased by the officers in BS-20 to BS-22. PUrchaSe of allocaTeD car: The civil servants in BS-20 to BS-22 who have been provided the official transport may be given the first option to purchase the allocated cars on depreciated price. According to the prescribed formula, the depreciated price of a vehicle is calculated by depreciating the original price of the vehicle at the rate of 15 percent for the first year and 10 percent for the subsequent year. However, keeping in view the existing condition of vehicles which are extensively used, it has been decided to allow 15 percent depreciation for each completed year of life of the vehicles. The depreciation will start from the year of the car’s model. The depreciated price of the vehicles shall be calculated by the Condemnation/Replacement Committee. In any case, the committee would not recommend the depreciated price of a 1000cc vehicle less than Rs 200,000, while Rs 250,000 for a 1300cc vehicle.

DUBAi: PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and his sisters with Christmas tree on the eve of Christmas on Sunday.

Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader Senator Dr Babar Awan said on Sunday that the memo gate scandal was a conspiracy of an American national and the federal government has nothing to do with the memo but the PPP will face it not only on legal grounds but also on the political front, as the memo was a political issue. He was talking to journalists at Thanil Kamal Village, around 30 kilometres from Chakwal after condoling the death of Chaudhry Munawar Khan. PPP Chakwal President Shah Jahan Sarfraz Raja, Azam Minhas, Malik Waheed and Maqbool Hasmi were also present. Awan said that the public meeting of Pakistan Tehreeke-Insaaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan at Karachi was not a political show but a fashion show. The PPP leader criticised Pakistan Muslim LeagueNawaz (PML-N) President Nawaz Sharif and said that Makhdoom Javed Hashmi was a seasoned politician and his exit from the PML-N was a great a setback to the Sharif brothers and many more setbacks were in store in the near future. Awan, responding to a question, said that Pakistan was passing through a serious situation, therefore, national

harmony and unity were the need of the hour and this was not a time for holding big public meetings but to sit together and after consultation and dialogue, a join strategy was to be made to handle the situation. He said that the PPP was an ideological party and sacrifices rendered by the PPP for democracy were part of the country’s history and those people, who were talking about a revolution, were living in a fool’s paradise. Awan announced Rs 0.1 million for Girls High School Thanil Kamal. The PPP leader also spoke about the women protection bill.

Question of presidential immunity still undecided ISLAMABAD MAsOOD REHMAN

The legal team of the federation has so far failed to get a Supreme Court judgement on whether President Asif Ali Zardari has immunity under Article 248 of the constitution, except verbally claiming that the president enjoys immunity under the constitution. In various cases involving President Zardari, the Supreme Court has repeatedly given clear hints that immunity for President Zardari is still an undecided issue and anyone seeking it would have to come to the Supreme Court for a judgement. The court has also observed on various occasions that the constitution does not give blanket immunity to anyone. However, the federation’s legal team has not yet asked the Supreme Court for immunity. The issue of immunity was first raised by former National Accountability Bureau (NAB) chairman Nawid Ahsan before the Supreme Court while appearing in a case, wherein a NRO beneficiary Ahmed Riaz Sheikh was restored to his

position in violation of the court verdict in the NRO case. Ahsan had told the court that since the president enjoyed immunity, some decisions of the apex court on the NRO could not be implemented so far. He had hinted towards the court orders to reopen Swiss cases against President Zardari. However, the court had admonished him, asking him why he was pleading the case of the government or the president. “No one has come to us so far to get a verdict on whether anyone enjoys immunity,” the court had observed. The exchange on the immunity issue had unleashed a storm in the media and almost every television channel had judicial and legal experts discussing the pros and cons of the court’s remarks, some speculating whether the Presidency and the chief justice were heading for a collision, which might shake up the entire system. At that time, most legal and constitutional experts had believed that the president had immunity in the NRO case, however some were of the view that the NRO judgement did not recognise any immunity for any of the NRO beneficiaries, including President Zardari. However, at the same time almost all the noted constitutional experts were of the view that if the president considered himself immune from prosecution, he would

have to claim it before the court. On many occasions, the Supreme Court left no doubt that it was the court that had to decide whether the president should be given immunity. In the past, the Supreme Court had denied constitutional immunity to former president Pervez Musharraf. The NRO judgement had subtly rejected this extraordinary treatment to an individual or a group of persons by referring to the principle of equality as enshrined in the teachings of Islam. A 13member Supreme Court bench headed by Justice Khalilur Rehman Ramday had refused to allow immunity to Musharraf in the chief justice suspension case decided on July 20, 2007. According to some legal experts, the Supreme Court in its February 19, 2010 detailed judgement on the NRO had deprived President Zardari of immunity. Thus, now the president will have to persuade the court if he seeks immunity. They said although the detailed judgement did not separately discuss President Zardari, but like other accused all his corruption cases, both within Pakistan and outside, stood reopened. The court ordered reopening of “all” the cases, both within Pakistan and outside, closed under the NRO besides directing NAB and other authorities concerned to freeze the assets of all con-

cerned, as was the position on October 5, 2007, the promulgation date of NRO. Now the memo issue has once against spotlighted the question of constitutional immunity to the president. According to renowned lawyer Fakhruddin G Ebrahim: “No malicious and invalid act of any public office holder can be condoned merely because of Article 248 - the constitutional provision dealing with the immunity of public office holders.” He said there was no dearth of Supreme Court decisions where the constitutional immunity was exempted in cases where the public office holders were found to have acted maliciously and invalidly. It is interesting to note that Aitzaz Ahsan, Hamid Khan and Fakhruddin G Ebrahim had vigorously fought against the constitutional immunity that Sharifuddin Pirzada and Malik Qayyum had sought from the court in favour of Musharraf during his dictatorial rule. Both Aitzaz Ahsan and Hamid Khan, citing the example of Hazrat Umar (RA), who was questioned for his Abaya (long shirt), had said if the second Caliph of Islam could be questioned then why not the president of Pakistan? Justice Ramday had observed that the president was not above the law, and the same was pressed by Ahsan.

Citing two cases from the US judicial history, United States versus President Nixon and President Clinton versus Jones, Hamid Khan had recalled that the two presidents of America had also claimed privilege, but the US courts had interpreted the laws in a different way, contrary to what was being asserted. Hamid Khan in his arguments had also referred to Maulana Shibli Nomani’s book Al-Farooq and said Hazrat Umar (RA) had appeared before a qazi 10 times. Now the onus is on the president’s legal team to argue before the court to prove that Zardari enjoys legal or constitutional immunity or exemption, so he cannot be tried under any criminal offence during his term in office. The legal status of a commission headed by Justice (r) Javed Iqbal, which is probing the May 2 Abbottabad incident, is still under question as well despite the fact that it is set to finalise its probe by the end of this month. A nine-member larger bench of the Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry in its December 19 order in the memo case had asked Attorney General Maulvi Anwarul Haq to present a copy of the notification in pursuance of which Justice (r) Iqbal was appointed chairman of the commission without consulting the chief justice.

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10 News

Monday, 26 December, 2011

‘Bagram drone attacks will damage Pakistan-Afghan ties’ ISLAMABAD ONLINE

Former Afghan Defence Minister Shahnawaz Tanai said the US plans to use Afghanistan’s Bagram airport to operate drones for strikes in Pakistani could harm Pak-Afghan relations. In an exclusive telephonic interview from Kabul, he said now that the US had vacated Pakistan’s Shamsi airbase, it will use Afghanistan for drone operations will spoil ties with Islamabad. “The use of Afghan soil against Pakistan will push the two countries to hostility,” Tanai said. He said that the US drone attacks in Pakistani tribal areas had been suspended but had not been stopped. He said Afghan President Hamid Karzai had vowed to not allow anyone to use his country’s soil against a neighboring country, but the US drone incident in Iran and attack against Pakistani post’s at Salala had proven the president was too weak to stop it. “And both Iran and Pakistan urged Afghan government to take notice of using its soil for such actions,” he added.

Two killed in Swat accident

PeSHAwAr: Christian children enjoy swings outside St Jan Church on Christmas eve. onLine


Two people were killed and 10 others, including seven policemen, injured in road accidents at two different places of Upper Swat Valley on Sunday. According to details, the first accident occurred near Daroli area of Tehsil Bahrain, Swat. A non-custom paid jeep carrying five people from Daroli to Bahrain at a turn went out of control from the driver and rolled down during which Asfandyar and Merajuddin died on the spot and three others, including Gul Rahman, Shah Jehan and jeep driver Umer Hayat were injured. Local residents carried the injured to hospital where one man was in a serious condition. The second accident occurred when a Datson van full of policemen rolled down from the road near Kalam Valley, Swat during which seven policemen were injured. According to details, fourteen policemen were going from Kalam to Mingora to join there duties in a public gathering to be addressed by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa CM Amir Haider Khan Hoti. The injured were transferred to Kalam hospital for medical aid. The injured policemen include Zaray Khan, Akhtar Ali, Akhtar Munir, Muhammd Nazir, Noorul Amin, Muhammad Wazir and Muhammad Kamal.

Mengal holds ISI, military responsible for Balochistan unrest g

Says Balochs have decided not to be part of Pakistan anymore KARACHI


LDERLY Baloch politician and former chief minister of Balochistan Sardar Attaullah Mengal has said the root causes of problems in Balochistan were the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and security institutions, and suggested the withdrawal of army, release of missing persons and trial of those arrested on murder and kidnapping charges in courts as the solution. In an interview with Voice of Germany here on Sunday, Mental said Balochs had reached to the point of no return as they could not get their rights by remaining within the geographical frontiers of Pakistan and they had decided not to be part of the country. Mengal said Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani and Pakistan Mus-

Khayaban-e-Warsak residents protest against gas outages PeSHAWAR stAFF REPORt

Residents of Khayaban-eWarsak area on the main Warsak Road, Peshawar staged a protest against continuous gas load shedding and blocked the main Warsak Road for a few hours. The rally was organised by the local Islahi and Falahi Committee of Khayaban-eWarsak. Addressing the protest, office-bearers of the committee alleged that administration of the Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Limited (SNGPL), after taking money from owners of commercial units, was disconnecting gas of local residents putting them in great trouble. They alleged that gas pressure of official colonies in the area and local commercial units, including CNG filling stations, was being


kept above the normal level while in the Khayaban-eWarsak area children were going to schools without having breakfast. The protesters said that during peak hours, gas pressure at local CNG stations was above 230 while gas of Khayaban-e-Warsak area was being kept disconnected. They said that in Khayaban-e-Warsak, gas disappeared from 5am and at 2pm but its pressure was nominal, which could not fulfill the requirements of residents. The protesters regretted that load shedding for 18 hours daily was not justified. They demanded the SNGPL to restore gas to the area like the near-by official colony and commercial units otherwise the SNGPL administration would be responsible for any untoward incident.

lim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Nawaz Sharif met him but no one had the power to stop the army’s intervention in Balochistan. He warned that if the army’s intervention continued, no one would be able to stop the disintegration of Pakistan. He was of the opinion that the Baloch people were receiving the same treatment as Bengalis. He said every day disfigured dead bodies of Baloch youths were being received and people were being kidnapped, which was a source of serious concern. He said he had no contacts with Baloch youths who were on the mountains and, in a message to them, said if they could fight, they should do so otherwise they should not cause difficulties for their families and return home. Mengal said Baloch youths were not under his control and had he been not aged, he would have been fighting alongside them in the mountains.

Follow Quaid to overcome crises: Shujaat LAHoRe INP

Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PMLQ) President Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and senior federal minister Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi has said following Qauide-Azam’s principles of Unity, Faith and Discipline was the only guarantee to run the affairs of the state smoothly and to overcome the crises faced by country. In a joint statement issued on the occasion of Quaid-e-Azam Muahmmad Ali Jiannah’s 136th birth anniversary on Sunday, the PML-Q senior leaders said that dreams of development and prosperity could not be materialised without implementing the Quaid’s sayings in letters and spirit. Senior Federal Minister and former Chief Minister Punjab Chaudhry Pervez Elahi said his party was sparing no efforts to fulfill the desire of the masses to resolve the crises faced by country and its people. He said that it was high time for the entire nation to unite on single agenda for peace, stability and sovereignty of country.

Pakistan, india to resume nuclear CBMs today ISLAMABAD INP

Pakistan and India will resume talks on confidence-building measures (CBMs) regarding nuclear and conventional weapons on Monday. Senior Indian diplomats, Yash Sinha and Venkatesh Varma, will lead the Indian delegation to Islamabad for the two-day talks. The Pakistani side will be led by Munawar Saeed Bhatti, former deputy high commissioner to India. The talks, which are resuming after a gap of four years, indicate that the dialogue process between India and Pakistan is back on track. CBMs on conventional weapons will be discussed on Monday, while nuclear weapons will be discussed the next day. The talks are not ambitious in their scope, and the two sides are expected to talk about expanding conventional CBMs to include incidents at sea. This was necessitated after Indian and Pakistani ships brushed past each other in 2010, which could have gotten ugly. There will be more talks on facilitating trade and movement of people across the Line of Control, and some military issues. Pakistan has moved over 100,000 troops from its border with India to fight the war on terror along the border with Afghanistan. On nuclear CBMs, while India and Pakistan notify each other on ballistic missile launches, cruise missiles remain outside this arrangement. Secondly, the two countries may even discuss the issues of nuclear safety, especially in the wake of the Fukushima disaster in Japan, which has prompted a safety rethink all over the world. On January 1, India and Pakistan will again exchange lists of nuclear installations, probably the oldest India-Pak CBM that has survived.

iranian border officials arrest 68 Pakistanis for illegally entry TAFTAN INP

Iranian authorities have arrested 68 Pakistanis when they entered Iranian territory in attempt to illegally cross over to Europe. The arrested persons were handed over to Taftan levies on Sunday. According to details, 68 Pakistanis were immediately arrested by the Iranian border officials when they illegally entered Iranian territory. The arrested were later handed over to FIA officials and will be presented before the court on Monday.

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Monday, 26 December, 2011

Editor’s mail 11

Tussle between institutions The prime minister while addressing the National Assembly session has accused the Pakistan army of hatching conspiracies against the elected government. He also declared that all the state organs, including the military, were answerable to the parliament and the government would not allow anyone to claim to be a state within a state and no one was above law and all the institutions were subservient to the parliament. He is absolutely right and there cannot be two opinions about it, but there are states within already functioning in Pakistan for many years. The influential people in

all the provinces have private jails, there are no-go areas and different gangs patronised by leaders that are operating in the country. Secondly, sardars in Balochistan have divided the area amongst themselves and have drawn undemarcated boundaries. Anyone entering in these artificial selfcreated borders have to prove his credentials before he is allowed entry. This in fact in real terms is a state within a state. Is it not an open challenge to the writ of the government? No body wants a state within a state but what about if state looks towards an-

imran's open house party other state to sort out our problems. In the presence of national army, why should someone look outside and make fun of the country? It is very unfortunate to relate the memo issue with the OBL’s presence in Abbottabad. Being custodian of state security, the assertions by the prime minister have not been received well. Can the prime minister deny that army has always stood by with the government? Just on propaganda by vested interests to draw conclusions and cast aspersions on the army is in a bad taste. It is also true that army has definitely been acting way out of its limits but again

due to failure of civil governments. But now it is a changed army after Musharraf left, why this hue and cry? By recounting past incidents we cannot move forward. The Memogate is a big security issue of national concern where sovereignty of the country is involved and it must be taken seriously by the government and taken to its logical conclusion. Army's stand is based on ground realities and aggrieved party has also the right to express their concern. Let us wait for the verdict of the Supreme Court. LT COL (retd) MUKHTAR A BUTT Karachi

Betrayal of Quaid's vision The betrayal of Quaid's vision started in 1948 when the process of providing a constitution which is the foundation for a democratic welfare state was delayed by those who had succeeded him after his death. His motto of “Unity, Faith and Discipline” was not followed when fake allotment of evacuee property was facilitated and politics was made devoid of discipline, morals and ethics, which he had stressed upon during his political career. The process of eliminating remnants of Raj such as creation of a class of novae rich feudal who were awarded lands by the British, as a price for their conscience to betray motherland, created a new breed of robber barons and land grabbers who acquired political power and laid down a political culture. An over ambitious Ayub Khan, trained by the British to prolong their occupation, never reconciled to Quaid's vision for Pakistan to be a democratic welfare state where will of the people would reign supreme. He was instrumental in intrigues that led to Sikandar Mirza taking over followed by his own intervention. He sealed the fate for dismemberment of Pakistan when he imposed one unit and tore into pieces the dream of a democratic welfare state, which motivated the politically conscious Bengalis led by A K Fazalul Haq to ask for a separate homeland for Muslims as far back as in 1905, much before others in Muslim minority areas, or those residing in areas that constitute what is left of Pakistan today, even dared to think of. It were the people of East Pakistan who voted for Mohtarma Fatima Jinnah instead of Ayub Khan. There is no role in Quaid's Pakistan for corrupt politicians nor for martial law. We betrayed his vision and are paying the price. The choice is undiluted democracy with a commitment to uphold rule of law and provide welfare for masses, instead of being ruled by despots who have no stakes in this country, nor any ethics and morals. MALIK TARIQ ALI Lahore

national organs ruined

change? The rolling stone seems to be gathering some moss. The PTI is no longer a political force that can be discounted. After their huge rally in Lahore, the Kaptaan has followed up with an even stronger show in Karachi. This comes on the back of a huge achievement for the party – the bagging of political veteran Javed Hashmi. All PTI-wallahs will now be even more averse to criticism, if that was possible. Being part of a movement that is picking up steam is a great

Free for students? This is in reference to a news item in an English daily regarding denial of free travelling to students by LTC in Lahore. The whole report revolves around the wishful thinking of some student leaders or their supporters. In this competitive world, nothing could be given free unless subsidised by the government. How it is expected that

The contradictions between what Imran Khan has been saying for years and the type of turncoats he is welcoming into the party are glaringly visible and shocking. He has given a clean chit to a former foreign minister of Gen Musharraf, who during his tenure sang praises for every act of the dictator and became party to usurping the constitution. This dictator succumbed to one telephone call of a low key US official, ordered Lal Masjid massacre, Bugti killing, was responsible for missing Pakistanis, drone attacks and giving bases to NATO. It was this gentleman whose family school business was given scores of acres of prime real estate belonging to Railways, to run the schools built on these premises and mint billions. Has this gentleman given subsidised education to the poor, although he has got land almost free from every government he has been part of? There is hardly any government of which the man has not been part of and of whom he did not sing praises while they were in power. Then there are sons of a former sardar who having served the dictator have now joined Imran and has become dry-cleaned. These are habitual turncoats, men whose families served the colonial occupation for centuries and were rewarded suitably for pledging their loyalty to foreign occupation. Politics is not cricket where cricketers play the game in accordance with their skills irrespective of who the skipper is. Politics, on the other hand, can either be a business for opportunists and turncoats, or an avenue for ideologically committed people to serve the nation. This open house policy to welcome every electable feudal, land grabber and opportunist may harm Imran Khan's credibility. MIR TASSAdAQ Lahore

high but there is also the pitfall that one loses perspective and any self-critical tendencies. Many people are joining PTI but none seem concerned about the lack of a manifesto or the many opportunists that Khan is taking aboard (despite his lofty claims from his high moral ground earlier). Imran Khan talks about change. But what change? He wants to lead the people. But to where? AdNAN HAfeez Lahore

the LTC should provide free transport when it has to compete with other modes of transport like motorcycle rickshaws and wagons. Probably free transport slogan given by Z A Bhutto 40 years ago is still haunting the minds of some socialists. The anarchy created by this ill-conceived slogan resulting in the loss of lives of students, drivers and torching of buses by mislead students is still re-

verberating in my mind. We should not advocate such ideas which tend to create bad blood and anarchy. We should wholeheartedly support the initiative of the Punjab government. To provide decent public transport through AC buses, free or subsidised transport for students should be provided by educational institutions and not transporters. QASIM IQBAL KHAN Lahore

Pakistan state enterprises (PSEs) have been ruined. Top authorities of these institutions are responsible for this destruction. They have failed to prevent rampant corruption in these institutions. For instance, PIA, PSM and Railways were once the key institutions of the country, now these institutions are running in loss. These institutions are a burden on the national exchequer. I appeal to the concerned authorities for country’s sake to save these institutions from ruining any further. TARIQ HUSSAIN KHAN Karachi Send your letters to: Letters to editor, Pakistan Today,  4-Shaarey fatima Jinnah, Lahore, Pakistan fax: +92-42-36298302 e-mail:   Letters may be edited for length and clarity. It would be appreciated if letters were addressed to Pakistan Today exclusively.

Back to business as usual

By Waheed Hussain


hief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani has replied in categorical terms to Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani’s warning of any takeover by military and reassured his support to the democratic process in the country. The Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry also sent a loud and clear message to all power centres that unlike the past the superior judiciary will not endorse any military and unconstitutional takeover in the country. These statements from the two chiefs were very much timely and to the point. They provided a sense of relief both to the PPP government and the public as well. Because there were boiling whispers not only in the freezing streets of Islamabad but in the entire country of imminent reaction

from the military after Prime minister threw a bomb saying that “a state within a state” will not be acceptable. Everybody knew where the finger was pointed towards. With all fears and concerns of the PM of conspiracy against his government, the majority in the country were surprised of the methodology being adopted by the chief executive in his two addresses within less than a couple of hours. Some political analysts believe that the PM, at some points of his fierce speeches, diverted from his earlier statements on the OBL operation. That angling might not be even in the interests of PPP. But one may like it or not, there was some kind of method in the madness. Memo is a thorn in flesh, a bone of contention, source of all doubts, distrust, and distance between civil and military leadership. The PM and his party believe that the notorious memo has no worth at all, it’s a conspiracy designed by an anti-Pakistan element Mansoor Ijaz, an American citizen, accused of being openly speaking and writing against Pakistan Army and ISI. By highlighting this memo, Mr Ijaz intended to create rift between civil and military power centres and preparing ground for violent clash in state institutions. Looking at statements made by the PM and COAS, the argument seems

valid. The Memogate has succeeded in widening the distance between Islamabad and Rawalpindi. Rather, for the time being it has blocked the gate connecting the twin cities. There is no doubt that GilaniKayani had a very good working relation and understanding since March 2008, particularly on issues pertaining to the country’s sovereignty and security. For the military operations that our brave soldiers conducted in Malakand and various agencies in FATA, the two top men stood shoulder to shoulder. Same uniformity was demonstrated after May 2 operation and the recent Salala tragedy. But unfortunately, the memo has melted away that bond. The question remains that who is benefiting from this division? Apparently, not Pakistan and its people. The memo, as the government calls it, a well crafted conspiracy to destabilise the political system and removal of PPP from power must be investigated. Interestingly there is no difference of opinion between civilian and military leadership as long as the inquiry and investigation is concerned. However, the only difference is on its mechanics. Who and where should it be probed? There is law and constitution which has to decide its forum and process of probe. So, it would be in the

best interests of all the state institutions to respect, follow and obey the law of the land. The facts about the memo either a conspiracy against government or its vital institutions must be seriously probed and its details brought before the nation. It is in the interests of both civil and military institutions. There is another interesting aspect of the memo issue. That is the inbuilt fragility of the history of our political system. The regular interference of army in the country’s political system and unconstitutional removal of democratically elected governments gave birth to fear in politicians. Whenever political leadership came into power from the day one they felt that the establishment is conspiring against them and they would be dethroned form the power sooner than later. That’s the only reason why the present government and the opposition political parties are raising their voice against any military intervention and imposing of martial law. The fear could be removed only when the elected governments complete their constitutional tenure and the political and democratic process is not derailed for longer periods of time. The democratic culture has to be promoted; otherwise, the political stability would remain a dream in this country. We hope that General Kayani will

fellow his doctrine of non-interference in the political affairs of the country. He must know that by remaining in barracks the army can deliver in the best manner. That’s the only way to ensure better security of our volatile borders and at the same time gain love and respect from the nation for the institution he heads. In the last four years, the general played a very vital and positive role in creating political stability in the country, especially during the Long March in 2009. Similarly, we also expect the present government to come out of fear of conspiracies and start concentrating on the real issues that the country is confronted with. It should seriously work on improving the economy, good governance and bring desired reforms in the bleeding state institutions like PIA, Pakistan Steel Mills, Pakistan Railways and PEPCO etc. Energy crisis is a constant pain in every one’s neck. The public is demanding our rulers to stop fighting among themselves and focus on the job for which they are being appointed either in Islamabad or Rawalpindi. Please, come back to the business as usual. The writer  hosts  a  primetime  TV talk  show.  He  can  be  contacted  via email:

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12 comment Karachi, too The PTi can put up a show


ne doesn’t have to be a fan of the PTI to appreciate the party’s rally in Karachi. Despite the flurry of flags generally found in the city, despite all the talk about the city being divided along many lines, Karachi is woefully underpoliticised in a number of ways. The culture of fear that has permeated the city generally prevents parties - other than the one that has the run of the place - from freely carrying out rallies, even if other parties do manage to gather crowds occasionally. Yesterday’s was a free rally, not much fighting to get it organised, as opposed to Imran Khan’s earlier attempt at the same during the first stint of the lawyers’ movement. His team, it has to be commended, did a good job of zeroing in on its support base and utilising modern tools to reach out to them, the use of Imran Khan’s pre-recorded invitation audio-messages being but one of them. Rallies are flawed indicators of electoral performance. If a party can manage one, it has a good shot at the other. Not a sure shot. The Jamaat-e-Islami is a case in point; lots of street power that seems to vanish into thin air come election time. It is in this regard that a strength of the PTI’s can become a weakness. The PTI puts up too good a spectacle; an attendant, therefore, cannot be an assured voter. The Kasur rally, for instance, is not going to be let go of by political satirists any time soon. The bulk of the actual voting class makes up its mind after being reached out to by local tier party activists who talk about local issues. An association with as unpopular a leader as general Pervez Musharraf was in ’08 did not prevent the PML(Q) from becoming the third largest parliamentary profile. This wouldn’t have been the outcome of flashy manifestos but assurances on dull, local issues. Imran Khan has been drawing electables to his party of late. The urban middle-class fans of his party speak out against the inclusion of these tainted “old faces” little realising it is they and their affiliate lower support networks that will translate into votes, not rallies.

what Jinnah wanted on the Quaid’s birthday


akistan’s enduring national pastime: arguing about what Jinnah wanted. This has continued incessantly since the death of the leader and people from all ends of the ideological spectrum have co-opted the father-figure to gain some easy credibility. There may not be consensus on what Jinnah wanted this country of ours to be – did he want it to be secular, did he want it to be Islamic – but there is consensus that this is not what he would’ve wanted. Let alone Jinnah, this crisis conglomeration called Pakistan has turned into something that no one could’ve wanted and it is a comment on the state of affairs that ‘what-the-Quaidwanted’ has been reduced to mere legitimising cop out. This 25th December as we remember the man and our country trundles through crisis after crisis, the debate will go on. For each of our crises, we will look to Jinnah’s words as guiding principles. And what bigger crisis than the civil-military imbalance that continues to plague our system and is, to state the obvious, the biggest structural issue faced by our republic. Despite our many squabbles over his ideological bearings, it is clear what Jinnah would’ve wanted in this case: civilian supremacy over the khakis. Back in his day, when some senior officers in the army complained to him about being led by British officers even after independence, they were given a stern reminder that they were to keep their reservations to themselves as appointment of these commanders was the job of the civilians and they should not question it. With our pick-and-choose national memory about people and places, this is one of Jinnah’s lessons amongst many others - such as those of pluralism and tolerance - that we have forgotten or, at the very least, some of us would like to forget. It’s time we put our longest-standing national argument abut Jinnah’s real intent to rest and agree to move beyond it. As we celebrate Quaid-e-Azam Day this year, we are engulfed by troubles. But this is a day when cynicism should be put on hold, so maybe these crises should be looked at as possibilities. Our democratic dispensation is still surviving and we have a stake in ensuring that it does. The man is gone but we can work for the mission that lives.

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: Email:

Monday, 26 December, 2011

ignoring history Do it at your own peril


t is conventional wisdom that one can learn from history and avoid committing the same mistakes which were committed by our predecessors in the past. It is not wholly true. Of course one can gain an understanding of human nature by reading past history and can find the solution to problems of the present in its light. However, some people, particularly politicians of all ilks, try to find solutions to current problems by exclusively situating them in the present context By Dr Mubarak Ali believing that there is no need to learn from history. This approach sometimes leads to disastrous consequences. One cannot fully ignore the past. One such example where past precedent was ignored is the Treaty of Versailles which was concluded after the First World War. In the conference was a young British historian Charles Webster (1886-1961), the author of the The Congress of Vienna. Prior to this treaty at Versailles, a number of treaties were concluded after the defeat of Napoleon who had changed the whole map of Europe and redesigned it according to his ambitions. First, he was defeated in 1814 and exiled to St Elba. He could not stay as a prisoner there and escaped. He was welcomed by the French army and again fought a battle at Waterloo in 1815 in which he was again defeated. This time he was imprisoned at St Helena where chances of his escape were nil. Metternich, the chancellor of Austria, who supervised

Eye on History

and made all arrangement for the resettlement of Europe, was a conservative and wanted to check any revolutionary movement. The main approach of the leaders at Vienna was not to punish the French nation. They accused Napoleon for all their troubles and imprisoned him. It was decided that the French monarch would be restored and the French were allowed to participate in the proceedings of the congress .The result of this policy was that the conservative powers of Europe ensured peace in Europe and prevented revolutionary movements. This leniency ensured that not only justice but done but the French nation was also put back on the road to recovery. The young historian Webster, by quoting the example of the Congress of Vienna advised the leaders who gathered at Versailles to decide the fate of Germany and implored them to treat it generously. His advice was ignored and the leaders decided on harsh terms of treatment which were imposed on Germany. The country had to pay a huge amount in reparation which destroyed her economy. It was forced to hand over some of its territory as punishment as well. When the terms of the treaty were ready, the German delegation was summoned in the presence of the leaders. They were not allowed to sit and kept standing like criminals. They were not given any chance to plead their case and were asked to sign the treaty or be ready for war. Humiliated and insulted, the German delegates had no choice but to sign the treaty which soon became unpopular in the country. The Germans called it a dikat. When Hitler came to power, he mobilised nationalistic emotion of the German people against this very treaty. Germany wanted to regain its dignity and honour. When Hitler promised that, the Germans supported him. He soon not only made the country financially strong but got back the territory which it had lost as a result of treaty. After the occupation of France during the Second

World War, Hitler forced France to sign a treaty which was in favour of Germany and restored the German honour. It is argued by historians that the Treaty of Versailles laid down the foundation of the Second World War by punishing the whole German nation as war criminals. It Germany had been treated as France had been in the Congress of Vienna, there could have been peace in Europe. A J P Taylor, the British historian in his book on The Origin of Second World War rightly points out that Treaty of Versailles structured Germany in such a manner that war became inevitable. Even without Hitler, Germany under any other leader would have had to go to war in efforts to undo the Treaty of Versailles which had humiliated it to a great extent. Therefore, Hitler may have been responsible for the war but it cannot be discounted that was operating in an environment which was conducive to his extremist rhetoric. However, after the Second World War, Germany was not treated as it was when the Treaty of Versailles was finalised. On the contrary, the US gathered a huge amount of aid for Germany to restructure its economy. It was done to check the Russian influence in the country. Germany soon rebuilt itself and became a member of the western capitalist bloc. The same treatment of relative leniency was meted out to Japan which facilitated its rehabilitation and late led to Japan becoming a key international partner of the US. The motive of helping out both these countries was the same: to make them into allies of capitalism and use that against Russia. The diplomats who ignored history when the Treaty of Versailles was signed committed a grave mistake which led to much destruction in the form of the Second World War. They had learnt their lesson after that and took a wiser course of action in dealing with Germany and Japan. The writer is one of the pioneers of alternate history in the country. 

Putting the poor to sleep Welfare in Pakistan - it’s a snooze-fest

Reem Wasay


iterally. The ‘Islamic’ Republic of Pakistan has evolved into a quackery of its own making where its multiple personality disorder has engaged in quite cunning banter with its fraudulent self. Our minarets loom tall and foreboding above our pilfered morality, our alms-allotting sweaty palms wring dry over those browbeaten by the savages of society and fragments of fiscal ruin and our off-licence love affair with upping the ante on being a country with some of the highest statistics for doling out to cherry-picked charities make us a standard textbook abstraction in conflict and contradiction. We profess through the dictates of a religion we trumpet in an off-kilter tune - loving the people, the poor and the damaged but we don’t lose any sleep over them because some of us are putting them to sleep in the most basic way possible. Allow me to elaborate. Pakistani homes come equipped

with ‘watchmen’ who, apparently, watch your gate, open your gate, close your gate, guide you into a square-jawed parking space, hold open your car door, close your car door and what have you. These are the foot soldiers in the march against the random delights of ‘DIY’. I ‘own’ one, you ‘own’ one and we quite enjoy our wishy washy whimsy at being able to play elitist within the confines of our own homes. After all, we paid for the privilege didn’t we? With the recent dengue debilitations wrecking paranoia on us kothee dwellers, I noticed my private bouncer demean his usual upright gait with the dribbling prowess of a two-year old. His drowsiness and inability to focus on anything further than two index fingers away from him alerted me to the probability that a dengue case had infiltrated my carefully Morteined and ‘coiled’ four walls. However, on my insistence that he be taken to a doctor, he replied that he had already sought medical care and that the ‘doctor’ had urged him to rest and take his medication. I dug out the ‘medication’ - prescribing what I saw would be enough to put the muddled medical practitioner out of a job and a licence…in any other country. Lexotanil. Three hefty happy pills every day for one week. Anyone familiar with relaxants and sleep medication will know that one pill is

enough to knock you out for an entire day, two will leave you incoherent, droopy and uprightly challenged enough to draw some serious attention to yourself and with three, well you flop over and snooze, no matter where you are. Repeat the process for six more days. The result is the carelessly woven fabrication of our misguided moral malpractice. For all the truths we sell, the lies we closet and the outrage we mute, our remedy for the human condition is repugnant. Peerless prescriptions serve to antidote adequate nutrition, liquids, real medication and plenty of rest. Duping those who know no better by prescribing drugs that enable them to “sleep off” whatever illness inflicts them is, well, caustically ingenious. Quacks and those medical professionals looking to make a speedy buck sign their names to an overdose of sleeping aids knowing that the patient will sleep like the baby of a coke addict and will wake up a week later feeling all rested out. This isn’t medicine - it’s marginal malpractice. Any nagging claims that Pakistan does not practice the distorted dogma of social Darwinism are lost to the quickfire hypnosis under which the majority of our public ‘sleep’. We do not need an overly egotistical citizenry eager to compete in this society to take the reigns of this survival of the fittest arena like the devious

doctor mentioned above. We do not need an overly zealous populace promoting a self-perpetrated regulation of the economy and social structures to fiddle with the fascist folklore made viable by a latter day form of Darwinian social bigotry. No, why so many motley ‘professionals’ and symbols of welfare in this land of the pure and perverted manage to get away with such pedestrian performances against humane advantage is because of the laissez-faire posturing of our representatives. When they switch off the lights to our progress, fuel the chilly throes of our energy-less discontent, serve us ‘memos’ instead of resolutions and pocket our funds for social prosperity, what makes the trickle down affect any saner, sweeter or more sympathetic to those waiting to catch the drops on their parched, cracked lips? When we can put the poor to sleep without losing any sleep, one wonders just how easily those in the house of representatives tuck themselves in after a day of pilferage, pandemonium, soapbox shenanigans and prescribing all the wrong remedies for the country’s woes. No doubt, they have a swollen stack of Lexotanil by their bedsides. The writer has an opinion and  is  not  afraid  to  use  it.  She  can  be  reached  at

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Monday, 26 December, 2011

The importance of debate Asking the right questions vs Having the right answers

By Waqqas Mir


riting is not something that comes naturally to most people. I confess I am one of those as well. Growing up, each time I was told to write an essay I had to rack my brains and the fear of not writing something ‘acceptable’ would render me paralysed. With time, I realised that that fear was to be blamed on our education system –which encourages students to write conformist accounts not just of history but also deeply personal experiences like your favourite book or city. There would be ‘guidebooks’ being sold mentioning the best essay on ‘my visit to a hill station’. One would think that that is a deeply personal experience but the fine authors of our curriculum had other ideas. This, of course, applies to the Matric system and not those doing O’Levels. It wasn’t until I reached university that I realised that using my own thoughts could be rewarding. Since then, I have been most fortunate that my influences and inspirations have somehow conspired to give me an independence of mind that, for better or worse, I truly value. Throughout this process I learned a most important lesson — that argumentation and debate are the most necessary tools for the development of minds. It has been more than a year since I have been writing in this space. In that time Pakistan has changed at breakneck speed. It has become more violent and more polarised than I have ever known. Even the new

rhetoric of change is polarising and not in all ways good. I have touched subjects such as rights of Ahmadis among other minorities and I have challenged the narrative being thrown out by the army —now willingly being swallowed by the Imran Khan brigade. During this time I have also travelled from Pakistan to the United States for a year. In most of my columns, I have stressed the importance of debate and argumentation. Not because I think I have some moral high ground but only because I want to do my best to ensure that young minds do not go through what I went through: far too much conformist thinking till the shell is broken. Being young is an emotional time. One is excited about the learning process and there is a sort of certitude that accompanies most things we learn or are taught. Questioning it is uncomfortable. Consider the Imran Khan scenario: whenever I have said that his narrative needs questioning, people have shot back with ‘who else?’ That question assumes that others have failed as politicians. And it’s bloody easy to be simplistic and say, ‘look at all the crises, it’s their fault’. But the difficult thing is to question whether each crisis plaguing us is really the fault of politicians who have been in power. Consider a child in school studying to take exams. But each time he gets close to exams you pull him out and throw him out of the school. His result and performance in that case will be based on an incomplete assessment. That analogy can hold true for Pakistan’s political parties too. The narrative of financial corruption and its impact on different sectors is skewed. Of course, there is financial corruption but consider things like shortage of electricity and gas: is that because of financial corruption or are there structural issues at play?

Every one of our young people would like to believe they know the answer but the point of raising questions and debating is precisely to make you feel uncomfortable about your own position. There has been no shortage of hate mail that has come my way also. It has ranged from direct threats to attacks upon the principles behind the stances I adopt. Other criticisms have said that I am on the payroll of PML(N) or PPP while others have asked, ‘what would you know of our problems — you are not even here’. The point of raising what I see as difficult questions is not to assert a best solution. But it definitely is to eliminate the worst solutions whenever possible. I have been mocked for ‘simply raising questions, criticising and providing no solutions’. But here is the thing that all young people must learn — a lesson that I learned the hard way. There is no magical solution to a country’s ills. Every critique of a system does not have to be accompanied by a solution. Sick of hearing criticisms of Pakistan? Here is the deal: the criticisms will continue and should continue as long as people see issues. The solutions only emerge when people collectively engage in a debate and when the discourse is freed from being held hostage to the ‘unthinkable’ and holy cows. Whether or not I am in Pakistan these are some of the principles that I hope can guide us: open debate and confronting the credibility of our most cherished beliefs. None of this is easy. But growing up, as a nation and as individuals, was never meant to be easy. It wouldn’t be worth it any other way The writer is a Barrister and  an  Advocate  of  the High  Courts.  He  is currently pursuing an LLM at a law school in the USA. He  can  be  reached  at

comment 13

india in 2011 the year that was

Border crossing By Kuldip Nayar


ndia is always a story of shadows and sunshine. Which of the two prevails at a particular time gives it bad or good name. The passing year, 2011, is no different except that the shadows have lengthened. Corruption darkened the atmosphere throughout the year and what it exposed was that the system was reeking with graft. Nongovernance tormented the nation further. In 2011, many skeletons tumbled out of the government’s closet, one after the other. Early in the year, Commonwealth games were a splendid success but it got sullied by bogus contracts, exaggerated charges and poor workmanship. When Chief Organiser Suresh Kalmadi and his aides were arrested, the nation felt humiliated. Even though India won the world cup in cricket, the stigma of Commonwealth games scandal did not go. Still worse was another skeleton that tumbled out of government’s closet was the 2G spectrum relating to mobiles. A sum of Rs 40,000 crores had been denied to the state exchequer, the mother of all scandals. Telecommunication Minister A Raja was arrested. It was a triumph of media and public pressure. However, one positive development was the emergence of the Gandhian Anna Hazare who demanded the establishment of Ombudsman (Lokpal) machinery to deal with corruption. Hazare was in real the face of civil society’s resentment against government. Thousands came on the streets to demand the Lokpal. So heavy was the public pressure and Hazare’s threat to go on fast that parliament had to extend its winter ses-

sion for the relevant bill. A new kind of India began taking shape. People felt that their voice counted if they would only raise it. It was a heartening to see all political parties except the ruling Congress, collecting on the same platform. Unfortunately, the government was busy in locking the stables after the bullocks had run away and did little to regain the credibility. Non-governance told upon the economy. Prices began to rise, the inflation touching a double figure. Still worse was the fall in the industrial production, only 5.4 per cent growth against last year’s 10.6 per cent. Investors, both foreign and Indian, held back their hand and the rupee against the US dollar fell by 18 per cent. Optimism of the past, particularly the people’s self-confidence, sagged and they were stung with the fear of a further downslide. PM Singh, the messiah of economic reforms, brought before parliament the proposal of FDI in retail to attract reportedly 100 million dollars and the pensions bill to utilise the accumulated money for development. The fear of big joints like the Walmart crowding out small shopkeepers and snapping direct ties between farmers and local mandis made all political parties including the allies of the Congress to close their ranks. It was yet another blow to the PM whose graph of popularity came down by a few notches more. People’s confidence in him is shaken because they do not see him raising the growth rate to 9 per cent as he had done earlier. Now it is hovering around 7 per cent, the minimum to avoid the lay offs and dire unemployment. The last days of the year has seen measures to give security of food to the poor, nearly 65 per cent of the population. Congress President Sonia Gandhi, who does the back seat driving has pushed the unwilling PM to own the measure. However, the project will put a burden of Rs. 95,000 crore on the overstretched exchequer. But it may win the Congress votes in the forthcoming elections in five states, including UP, Punjab and Uttrakhand.

The sunny side of Manmohan Singh’s government is that it has improved its relations with the neighbouring countries. It has signed pact with Afghanistan to have a ‘strategic’ relationship. Bangladesh is happy over his visit to Dhaka, even though it is yet to get its share from the Teesta River. Islamabad looks forward to having free trade with India now that it has been extended the MFN status. Peopleto-people contact between the two countries has improved and both are discussing steps on easing visa facilities. The PM has visited Russia and has also met Presidents of China and America to underline the importance of equation with India. New Delhi expects to become Security Council’s permanent members next year because China, the only country to be bar the entry, has given favourable hints. The biggest plus point of India- and it holds good for the next year and the year after—is that the country is settling down to its democratic and secular ethos. Hindu and Muslims have learnt that they have to coexist. True, the minorities are increasingly assertive because their slice from the cake continues to be small. But their fight is democratic and within the precincts of the constitution. Their disappointment is in the slow process to bring Gujarat CM Narender Modi, guilty of pogrom, to book. However, the stalling of parliament over minor problem has evoked cynicism over the system. People accept that parliament is the apex body. But the proposal to have the presidential system of government is being seriously discussed in influential quarters. True, India will maintain 7 per cent growth in the next year. But at least 9 per cent is required to eliminate poverty. It will be a challenging year again. Yet the confidence which the persons have developed in themselves and in the country, sustains hope that 2012 will see the sun light increasing and the shadows receding. Optimism is a moral duty of every Indian. The writer is a senior Indian journalist.

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14 Foreign News

Monday, 26 December, 2011

iran ‘ready to expand military links with iraq’

2011 ToPsHoTs


SUnDvoLDen: The Utoeya island, 40km south west of oslo is seen in the background as flowers and candles are seen on July 23, 2011 in memory of the victims of the July 22 shooting spree on the island. The norwegian prime minister said twin attacks which killed 92 people had turned the island paradise into hell on earth. AFP

Christmas Day blasts in Nigeria kill 28 g

islamist group Boko Haram claims responsibility for the five bombings MADALLA



WO explosions near churches during Christmas Day services in Nigeria, including one outside the country’s capital, killed at least 28 people amid spiralling violence claimed by Islamist sect Boko Haram. “We are responsible for all the attacks in the past few days, including today’s bombing of the church in Madalla,” the group’s Abul Qaqa said by phone. “We will continue to launch such attacks throughout the north in the next few days.” The attacks stoked fear and anger in Africa’s most populous nation, which has been hit by scores of bombings and shootings attributed to Boko Haram, with authorities seemingly unable to stop them. The area around the scene of the blast outside the capital Abuja, which killed at least 27, degenerated into chaos after the explosion, with angry youths starting fires and threatening to attack a nearby police station. Police shot into the air to disperse them and closed a major highway. Emergency officials called for more ambulances as rescuers sought to evacuate the dead and wounded, and calm later

ABUJA: Men look at the wreckage of a car following a bomb blast at St Theresa Catholic Church outside the nigerian capital on Sunday. AFP returned to the area. In a swift response, a Vatican spokesman condemned that attack as an act of “blind hatred” which sought “to arouse and feed even more hatred and confusion.” A bomb blast later hit outside an evangelical church hundreds of miles away in the central city of Jos, killing a policeman, according to a spokesman

for the governor. Meanwhile, another explosion targeted a church in the northeastern area of Gadaka on Christmas Eve, but no one was reported killed, while two other blasts hit the northeastern city of Damaturu on Christmas Day, including a suspected suicide bombing. Emergency officials initially said the blast outside Abuja happened in the

church, but later said it occurred near it, with the impact felt inside the church, which was also damaged. Holes could be seen in the wall of the St. Theresa Catholic Church in Madalla and the roof was badly damaged. What looked to be blood was splashed on the outside of the wall. In recent days in three cities in the northeast, where most of the violence attributed to Boko Haram has occurred, attacks blamed on the sect followed by a heavy military crackdown killed up to 100 people, authorities and a rights group have said. The chief of army staff, Lt. Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika, was quoted by local media as saying soldiers killed 59 Boko Haram members in the northeastern city of Damaturu. Shootouts had taken place on Thursday and Friday. Others said the total death toll on all sides - authorities, extremists and civilians - could be as high as 100. A purported spokesman for Boko Haram claimed responsibility for the initial violence in the three northeastern cities, saying they were revenge for a brutal military assault against the sect in 2009. There has been intense speculation over whether Boko Haram has formed links with outside extremist groups, including Al-Qaeda’s north African branch.

Iran stands ready to expand its military and security ties with Iraq, its armed forces chief of staff said Sunday, a week after the exit of US forces from the neighbouring Arab country. General Hassan Firouzabadi hailed the “forced departure” of the US and allied forces that he said “was due to the resistance and determination of the Iraqi people and government,” the state Islamic Republic News Agency reported. The statements were made in messages Firouzabadi sent to his Iraqi counterpart, Lieutenant General Babaker Zebari, and to Iraq’s acting defence minister, Saadun alDulaimi, IRNA said. The departure of the US troops “was due to the resistance and determination of the Iraqi people and government,” he said. “I hope the humiliating failure of the United States after nine years of occupying Iraq will serve as a lesson for them to never think of attacking another country,” he said. Firouzabadi added that Iran was now “ready to expand its military and security ties with Iraq.” Zebari led a delegation of Iraqi military chiefs to Iran last month to explore greater cooperation between the two defence forces. iran noT harboUrinG al-QaeDa financier SaYS foreiGn MiniSTrY: Iran on Sunday denied that it is harbouring an alleged Al-Qaeda fundraiser who has a $10-million US bounty on his head, with the foreign ministry calling the claim “utterly baseless.” The US charge that Iran was protecting Syrian-born Ezedin Abdel Aziz Khalil was part of an “inept” attempt to implicate Iran in the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said, according to the website of the state broadcaster IRIB. The US State Department on Thursday said it was offering a $10million reward for information leading to the arrest of Khalil, whom it described as a “terrorist financier.” Khalil, also known as Yacine al-Suri, was put on a US Treasury Department blacklist in July, when he was described as a high-level Al-Qaeda “facilitator” who operated from inside Iran since 2005 “under an agreement between AlQaeda and the Iranian government.”

Hamas leader leaves gaza first time since 2007 GAZA CITY AFP

Hamas prime minister Ismail Haniya began a tour on Sunday, his office said, his first exit from Gaza since Israel and Egypt imposed a siege in 2007. Sources in his office revealed that Haniya would visit Egypt and Sudan, after which he plans to go to Qatar, Turkey, Tunisia and Bahrain. The primary purpose of the trip was to obtain “help and aid” to rebuild Gaza City, but Haniya was also likely also address the issue of Palestinian reconciliation in talks, they said.

38 Haitians found north Korean power-behind-throne emerges dead in shipwreck China and Japan hold first meet following Kim’s death to discuss the region’s ‘new phase’

haVana: At least 38 Haitian migrants died after a boat in which they were trying to flee their country started taking in water and got stranded at sea, the Cuban government said. The gruesome discovery was made late Saturday when the Cuban Coast Guard found the half-sunken boat about 100 meters (110 yards) off Point Maisi on the eastern shore of the communist-ruled island. A statement from the Cuban Civil Defense agency read on state television said the dead included 21 men and 17 women. Another 87 people, including four children and seven women, were rescued and moved to an international migrants’ camp at Point Maisi, where they have been given assistance, the statement said. The Civil Defense agency did not elaborate on the cause of the shipwreck. But rusty, dilapidated and overcrowded boats carrying migrants from Haiti are often found in distress in the Caribbean Sea. AFP



North Korean television on Sunday showed power-behind-the-throne Jang Song-thaek in a general’s uniform in a sign of his sway after the death of Kim Jong-il, as Japan’s prime minister said the region had entered a new phase following Kim’s demise. The footage, which North Korean television said was shot on Saturday, showed Jang on the front row of top military officers who accompanied Kim Jong-un, the youngest son of Kim Jong-il and his anointed successor, paying their respects before Kim’s body. The choreography around Kim’s death is one of the secretive North’s few clues to the emerging configuration of power in the isolated state that has rattled neighbours with nuclear tests and mili-

tary brinkmanship. A Seoul official familiar with North Korea affairs said it was the first time Jang has been shown on state television in a military uniform. His appearance suggested that Jang has secured a key role in the North’s powerful military, which has pledged its allegiance to Kim Jong-un. A senior source revealed that Pyongyang will shift from a strongman dictatorship to a coterie of rulers including the military and Jang, Kim Jong-un’s uncle. Jang married the daughter of the country’s revolutionary founder, Kim Ilsung, in 1972, joining the ruling family that has forged its own form of dynastic rule. “a neW PhaSe”: In Beijing, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda told Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao that their two countries shared a stake in preserving stability in North Korea in a “new phase.” “The death of Secretary-General Kim

Jong-il has brought East Asia to a new phase,” Noda told Wen at the start of bilateral talks in China’s capital. “Peace and stability of the Korean peninsula is in a common interest for both Japan and China,” Noda told Wen. “I believe it is timely that we can exchange views and information on this matter with China, which is the chair country of the six-party talks and has the biggest influence on North Korea.” China is North Korea’s sole major economic and diplomatic partner, and has also hosted the six-party talks, which have sought to coax North Korea into abandoning its nuclear arms ambitions in return for aid and security steps. Constraining North Korea is especially important for Japan, which is well within range of the North’s long-range missiles and wants Pyongyang to resolve the emotive issue of the fate of Japanese

citizens kidnapped to help train spies decades ago. “I hope we can sincerely exchange views on how to overcome abduction, nuclear and missile issues,” Noda told Wen, referring to North Korea. norTh korea SaYS SoUTh’S STance MaY be ‘caTaSTroPhic’: North Korea on Sunday lashed out at South Korea for a perceived lack of respect towards Kim Jong-Il, as it reported more scenes of mass grieving in the isolated communist state for the late leader. Saying the whole world is in mourning for “a peerlessly great man”, the North for the second time in three days blasted the South over its response to Kim’s sudden death on December 17. There would be “unpredictable catastrophic consequences” for cross-border relations unless Seoul eases restrictions on condolence visits by South Koreans to Pyongyang, it said.

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Monday, 26 December, 2011

Foreign News 15

Afghan MP among 19 killed in suicide attack KABUL



suicide bomber attacked a funeral in northeastern Afghanistan Sunday, killing at least 19 people including an MP and wounding dozens of others, officials said. The attacker, who was wearing a suicide vest, blew himself up among a crowd of mourners gathered for the funeral of a government official in Taluqan city, the capital of Takhar province. “We have 19 dead including an MP, Ab-

dulmutalib Baig, and more than 40 wounded, mostly civilians,” said Takhar provincial governor Abdul Jabar Taqwa. “I was also invited to this ceremony but I didn’t go. The target was either me or the MP.” Baig was a former Mujahedeen commander and the former police chief of Kunduz province. He was working with opposition leader Abdullah Abdullah in the newly established National Coalition of Afghanistan. “This ruthless act of terror to target innocent people who had gathered for a religious ceremony yet again demonstrates the vile and vicious nature of the enemy who do not want to see the Muslim people of

Afghanistan to perform even their Islamic rituals,” Afghan President Hamid Karzai said. There was no immediate claim of responsibility. Peace talks with the Taliban in the hope of finding a political settlement after 10 years of war have stalled in the wake of the September assassination of government peace envoy Burhanuddin Rabbani and continued violence. Takhar province is one of the areas being handed over by NATO in the second wave of transition to Afghan security forces ahead of the planned withdrawal of foreign combat forces by the end of 2014. Meanwhile, the interior ministry said in the space of 24 hours Afghan security

Arab observers urged to visit Syrian flashpoints DAMASCUS AFP

The opposition Syrian National Council appealed Sunday for the Arab League to immediately send observers to the besieged city of Homs and other hotspots of a bloody crackdown on dissent. The call came a day before a first group of Arab League observers is set to arrive in Syria to begin monitoring a deal the 22-member bloc agreed with the government in Damascus aimed at ending nine months of violence. “Since early this morning, the (Homs) neighbourhood of Baba Amr has been under a tight siege and the threat of military invasion by an estimated 4,000 soldiers,” the SNC said in a statement received in Nicosia. “This is in addition to the nonstop bombing of Homs that has been going on for days,” said the council, the main umbrella group of opponents of President Bashar al-Assad. The central city of Homs has been a focal point of the Assad government’s crackdown on anti-regime demonstrations, as well as the site of fierce clashes between the army and mutinous soldiers.

A nine-member advance team of Arab monitors arrived in Syria on Thursday to pave the way for the observer mission to oversee the deal to end the crackdown, which the UN estimates has killed more than 5,000 people since March. “The Syrian National Council demands that the Arab League observers go to Homs immediately, specifically to the besieged neighbourhoods, to fulfill their stated mission,” it said in the statement. “In addition, we demand that the observers go to all the hotspots in Syria, or withdraw and conclude their mission if it is not possible for them to do so. “We hold the Arab League and the international community accountable for the massacres and bloodshed committed by the regime in Syria,” said the opposition group. Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem has said he expects the Arab League observers to vindicate his government’s contention that the violence in the country is the work of “armed terrorists.” Western governments and rights watchdogs blame the Assad regime for the bloodshed.

army soldier opened fire on foreign forces,” said Najibullah Najibi, spokesman for the Afghan army in western Afghanistan. “Four foreign forces have been wounded in this incident and the Afghan soldier has been killed.” A spokesman for the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force said there were no coalition fatalities but would not comment on ISAF casualties in line with policy. Farah provincial police chief Sayed Mohammad Roshan Dil said “an Afghan army soldier opened fire on American troops”. “He was killed when American soldier returned fire. The firefight started after a quarrel,” he said.

forces killed 30 armed insurgents in various operations around the country in which a number of weapons were found. afGhan SolDier killeD in GUnfiGhT WiTh US TrooPS: An Afghan soldier was killed in a gunfight with US troops in southwest Afghanistan after he opened fire during an argument on Christmas eve, officials said Sunday. US troops were also injured in the incident on Saturday after the Afghan soldier began shooting and coalition troops returned fire in southwestern Farah province, Afghan army and police officials said. “Last night in Bala Boluk an Afghan

Sudan’s army kills Darfur rebel leader KHARToUM AFP

Sudan’s army killed a key rebel leader from the Darfur region Sunday, state media reported, three days after anti-government forces said they had begun advancing on the capital Khartoum. “The Sudanese army announce that they have killed Khalil Ibrahim in fighting today in west Wadbanda, North Kordofan,” the official Sudan News Agency (SUNA) said. Ibrahim headed the Justice and Equality Movement, the most heavily armed group in the Darfur region. The report of his death could not be independently confirmed. On Saturday SUNA, quoting army spokesman Sawarmi Khaled Saad, said the military was combing the North Kordofan-North Darfur border area after JEM “attacked civilians” and targeted local leaders while looting their property in the Umm-Gozain, Goz Abyadh and Aramal areas. On the official Sudan TV channel, Saad said Sunday that government forces “clashed directly” with Ibrahim’s troops, killing him and “a group of his leaders” as Ibrahim was on his way to South Sudan.

iLigAn: Children wait to receive relief goods from the Philippines Coastguard for Christmas on Sunday. Tens of thousands of Philippine flood survivors queued for their Christmas meal in evacuation centres and holiday spirits remained doused by thoughts of more than 2,000 dead or missing kin, while officials said 328,000 people were relying on emergency aid. AFP

22 feared dead as indian boat capsizes NeW DeLHI AFP

Putin ‘still has majority support’ in russia MoSCoW AFP

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin still has the support of the majority in Russia, his spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Sunday after the biggest opposition protest yet against his domination of the country. “As a politician and a presidential candidate, Putin still has the support of a majority. And we should treat the opinion

of a majority with respect,” said Peskov after tens of thousands packed an avenue in Moscow on Saturday in a mass opposition protest. He added that Putin was “beyond competition” as a candidate in March 2012 presidential polls, where the Russian strongman plans to stand for a third Kremlin term after his four-year stint as prime minister. “It is obvious that Putin is still a

member of the presidential race beyond competition,” said Peskov. He acknowledged that the protest had taken place and said the demonstrators’ position was to be treated with respect. “Indeed, a protest took place. It was a peaceful protest in accordance with law which causes respect.” “As far as their demands are concerned, their opinion is being heard and their opinion is being respected. Those

people who came out onto the streets they are a very important part of society. But they are a minority.” Organisers said 120,000 people attended the rally in central Moscow Saturday, while police put the numbers at 29,000 but eyewitnesses said the turnout was clearly bigger and more anti-Putin in tone than the first rally two weeks ago which smashed the taboo in Russia against mass opposition protests.

Up to 22 people were feared dead after a boat capsized Sunday on a lake in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, reports said. About 25 people were on board the boat which was taking a scenic tour of the lake about 60 kilometers from the state capital Chennai when it turned over. Local television quoted police officials as saying 12 bodies had been recovered and 10 people were still missing. Only three survivors were rescued. The precise cause of the accident was not immediately clear, but such incidents are common in India where small, badly maintained ferries are often dangerously overcrowded.

Yemenis rally for Saleh trial despite shootings SANAA AgENcIEs

SAnAA: Anti-government protesters march on Sunday to demand that yemen’s outgoing President Saleh be tried. reUTerS

Tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets of Yemen’s capital Sunday calling for President Ali Abdullah Saleh to face trial, a day after his forces and loyalists killed 13 people at a similar demonstration. “The people want to bring the slaughterer to trial,” shouted the protesters who marched from Change Square, epicentre of the uprising that began nearly a year ago, towards Sittin Avenue in the northern district of Sanaa. “We won’t rest until the slaughterer is executed,” they chanted. “We don’t want Abdrabuh, Ali Saleh controls him,” they chanted, referring to Vice President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi. Saleh is still honorary president but handed authority over to Hadi last month when he

signed a Gulf-brokered deal in which he won immunity from prosecution in exchange for ending his 33-year rule when polls are held in February. Saleh vows to leave: Saleh said late Saturday he would leave for the United States and give way to a successor, hours after his forces opened fire on unarmed protesters and killed 13. But he did not say when he would depart and vowed to play a political role again, this time opposed to a new government. Saleh, who repeatedly backed out of the Gulf plan to nudge him from power said he would both let Yemen’s new government work, and oppose it. “I will go to the United States. Not for treatment, because I’m fine, but to get away from attention, cameras, and allow the unity government to prepare properly for elections,” he said. “I’ll be there for several days, but I’ll return because I won’t leave

my people and comrades who have been steadfast for 11 months,” he said. “I’ll withdraw from political work and go into the street as part of the opposition.” Angry youths have staged defiant protests against the plan, which is backed by the United Nations, despite a bloody backlash by Saleh’s forces and loyalists that has seen hundreds of them killed. But Saleh’s General People’s Congress party insisted on Sunday that the parliament would confirm the immunity deal. “Measures will be taken to issue the immunity law as per the Gulf plan” after a parliamentary vote of confidence on the newly formed unity government expected this week, Sultan alBarakani, who represents the GPC’s bloc in parliament, said. The veteran leader said Saturday that he would soon visit the United States ahead of transferring power fol-

lowing a February 21 presidential election. A diplomat from one of the countries that has sponsored the deal, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that Saleh has presented “a list of 412 people” he wants the immunity deal to include. But Sunday’s protesters reject any such agreements. “No guarantee, no immunity to Saleh and to those close to him,” they shouted. The protesters, backed by tens of thousands who were met by gunfire from Saleh’s forces and loyalists after they arrived on foot Saturday from the secondlargest city Taez, called on Hadi to hand over those responsible for the violence to justice. Thirteen people were killed on Saturday when security forces and gunmen loyal to Saleh attacked their march in which they were calling for him to be put on trial.

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Monday, 26 December, 2011


ceLebritieS ceLebrAte chriStmAS

beats Sheila g

Bollywood going gaga over Katrina’s new item song


Katrina Kaif can move, and how! The Britainborn actress might have taken time in perfecting her Hindi accent, but Bollywood’s latka-jhatkas is something she has mastered, and proves with her latest item song ‘Chikni Chameli’. Industry members are smitten with the song. They feel it will definitely be a USP of Karan Johar’s remake of his father’s classic ‘Agneepath’, and overshadow ‘Munni’, ‘Sheila’, ‘Shalu’ and ‘Jalebi Bai’ item numbers. Composed by national award-winning duo AjayAtul, the spicy song, sung by Shreya Ghoshal, is the Hindi version of their own Marathi hit ‘Kombadi Palali’. The lyrics of the number, penned by Amitabh Bhattacharya, are as cheesy as they could get, but the rhythm is extremely peppy and catchy. And Katrina’s vigorous

moves and sensual expressions, choreographed by Ganesh Acharya, go in total sync. The 26year-old had set a benchmark with ‘Sheila ki Jawaani’ last year, but with this song, she has surpassed it with her killer desi look. ‘Agneepath’ director Karan Malhotra is all smiles and believes Katrina has done full justice to the song. “I think the way the song was made, it was so wonderful, that only a topmost actress could have done justice to the song,” he said. As much as he avoids talking in media about Katrina, even Salman Khan, her former beau, couldn’t stop raving about the song. “I love the song! I saw it a few days back and I am completely smitten by it. A lot of hard work has gone behind it and it is visible on the screen. Hats off to Katrina. She has come a long way,” Salman said at a recent event in Mumbai. Celebrities from the film fraternity feel Katrina has raised the bar of item numbers with her energetic dance steps. Writer Milap Zaveri tweeted: “Katrina’s dance steps in ‘Chikni Chameli’ are too brilliant and energetic! But there should be a disclaimer saying ‘Don’t try this at home!’” “‘Chikni chameli’ from ‘Agneepath’ is just outstanding. I have never seen an actress dance like Katrina does - she raises the bar to another level,” tweeted Ritesh Deshmukh. Even choreographer Vaibhavi Merchant, who has choreographed item numbers like ‘Kajra re’, says she is in awe of Katrina’s effort. A 30-second promo of the song was first launched, followed by an over two minuteslong video on YouTube. The video has registered over 3 million hits so far, and producer Karan Johar is ecstatic. According to Atul Gogavale, “This song has a very high tempo and requires speed in steps. Even if I or someone else wants to dance to it, you cannot match up to the tempo for more than two minutes. But Katrina just took it to another level. She has left us speechless,” he said.

who you calling bird brain? lonDon: We already knew that they are rather good at finding their way home. But it seems that pigeons have another remarkable talent – they can count. Researchers found the birds could compare pairs of images involving up to nine objects and order them by the lower to higher number. Until now, only humans and other primates were thought to be able to use abstract numerical rules in this way. “Our research not only shows

that pigeons are also members of this exclusive club, but, somewhat surprisingly, their performance is on a par with that of monkeys,” said Dr Damian Scarf, of the University of Otago in New Zealand. “Our findings add to a growing body of evidence that pigeons are among a number of avian species exhibiting impressive mental abilities that really do give the lie to the old ‘bird brain’ insult,” said Dr Scarf. MAIL

to tie the John knot with girlfriend in August 2012 MuMBAI: it seems that the title of Sajid nadiadwala’s next film could well be referring to the shaadi mandap – ‘Housefull’. virtually the entire cast of the second edition of the hit romantic comedy is headed to the mandap in 2012: its lead actor riteish Deshmukh is getting married to genelia D’Souza, director Sajid Khan is reportedly planning to marry the beautiful Jacqueline Fernandez, who is one of the film’s leading ladies. And now John Abraham, who is also playing the lead in the film, is all set to get married to his investment-banker girlfriend Priya runchal in August. A friend of John confirmed: “The mistake John made in his previous 10-year-old relationship (with Bipasha Basu) was to wait too long for marriage. John has realised that the more a relationship lingers without marriage, the less are the chances of it happening.” now Akshay Kumar, who was the only married man among the three leads when the film went to the floor, is being credited for John’s decision to walk the proverbial aisle. Apparently, John has been confiding in Akshay about his excitement and misgivings on commitment and marriage. Akshay, a firm believer in the institution of marriage, reportedly convinced John to take the plunge. AgENcIEs

the Royal Family attends christmas Day service at their private Norfolk estate.

gwen stefani treats her sons to a train ride around griffith Park, east of Hollywood. Mariah carey and husband Nick cannon out for christmas shopping at gucci and Dior.

cara and Billi, newcomers in the British tV show ‘the Only Way is Essex’, pose near a christmas tree for a charity photo shoot.

Shooting for ‘Players’ a big picnic: Abhishek MuMBAI: Actor Abhishek Bachchan is making himself available for the promotions of his soon-to-be-released action film ‘Players’. Directed by Abbas Mustan, this movie, Abhishek says, has been a lot of fun to shoot. “it was a wonderful experience. Abaas-Mustan wrote a brilliant script and have made a lovely movie. ‘Players’ is a masaledaar entertainer,” says Bachchan, Jr. Abhishek confirms, “it’s a remake of ‘The italian Job’. i play Charlie in it.” About his co-actors in the movie, Abhishek is known to be fast friends with each one of them - Bobby Deol, neil nitin Mukesh, Sikander Kher, Bipasha Bashu and Sonam Kapoor. “This is the first time i work with neil. i’ve worked with the rest before. He’s a great talent. i’ve known neil though. He’s always been a good friend. it’s fun working with people you know. it becomes one big picnic.” Abhishek denied any cat-fight between Sonam and Bipasha and claimed that the two got along famoulsy well and that there was no trouble at all! AgENcIEs

Sunny Leone’s ex making

moolah off her MuMBAI: while Sunny Leone has been in the ‘Bigg Boss’ house for three weeks, her former fiance Matt erikson has been cashing in on the porn films they made together before the break-up. Matt and Sunny got engaged in 2007 only to separate in 2008. Before

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17 Sonam, Ajay

Loud iPods most common cause of hearing damage

nominated for Golden Kela Awards NeW DeLHI



ONAM Kapoor and Ajay Devgn have been nominated in the worst actor category in the 4th Annual Golden Kela Awards, a spin-off of Hollywood’s Razzies awards, which recognises the worst in cinema. While Sonam is nominated in the worst actor (female) category for ‘Mausam’, Ajay is nominated in worst actor (male) for ‘Rascals’. Apart from Sonam, the worst actor female category also includes Deepika Padukone for ‘Aarakshan’, Kangana Ranaut for ‘Tanu Weds Manu’, ‘Rascals’ and ‘Miley Na Miley Hum’ and Nargis Fakhri for ‘Rockstar’. Nargis has also got nominated in worst debutante category along with Chirag Paswan for ‘Miley Na Miley Hum’, Sachiin Joshi for ‘Azaan’, Tahaa Shah for ‘Luv Ka The End’, Esha Deol for ‘Tell Me O Kkhuda’. The nominees for worst film include ‘Ra.One’, ‘Ready’, ‘Bodyguard’, ‘F.A.L.T.U.’, ‘Mausam’ and ‘Singham’. Roshan Abbas,

lonDon: Millions of commuters risk hearing damage because they have set the volume level too high on their MP3 players. In the past, loud workplaces were blamed for causing the majority of harmful noise. However, researchers at Michigan University in the US found that noise from MP3 players has overtaken as the biggest danger to hearing. Occupational health experts found nine out of 10 people using public transport were exposed to excessive noise through listening to loud music through their headphones, rather than from the environment. This could be because cheap headphones fail to seal against the ear properly, causing commuters to turn up the volume to block out exterior noise. The resulting tinny noise can drive fellow passengers up the wall. Professor Rick Neitzel, who co-authored the study, said: “A growing number of studies show noise causes stress, sleep disturbance, and heart disease. It may be the noise which we haven’t historically paid much attention to is actually contributing to some of the top health problems in developed countries today.” MAIL

Rohan Sippy, Anubhav Sinha, Puri Jagannadh have been nominated in worst director category for ‘Always Kabhi Kabh’, ‘Dum Maaro Dum’, ‘RA.One’ and ‘Bbuddha Hoga Tera Baap’ respectively while Anees Bazmee has been nominated twice in this category for ‘Thank You’ and ‘Ready’. There’s also a Special Awards category, which includes Lajja Award for Worst Treatment of A Serious Issue for ‘Aarakshan’, Bas Kijiye Bahut Ho Gaya Award to Pritam, Shakti Kapoor Award for Misogyny for ‘Pyaar ka Punchnama’, the F.A.L.T.U. Award for the Most Aptly Named Film – ‘F.A.L.T.U’. However, there is another category of ‘Anti-Kela’ awards for the films which are considered to be the saving graces of 2010. The awards are for the films that were meaningful and entertaining, while still being in the mainstream and its nominees are ‘Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster’, ‘Shaitan’ ‘Shor In The City’ and ‘Yeh Saali Zindagi’. The awards ceremony will be hosted by Cyrus Broacha in March.

B-town tweets Christmas wishes to friends, fans MUMBAI AgENcIEs

Paris Hilton with brother Barron Hilton at a shopping mall in Aspen.

Matt Damon in a christmas jumper.

meeting Matt, Sunny had only performed lesbian scenes in her porn movies. once she met and got engaged to Matt, she did straight porn scenes only with him and no other male actor. Their first movie together was a huge success. now, the same movie is doing the rounds on various portals and sites on the internet. There is a renewed interest in the title because of Leone’s popularity on the indian small screen. in fact, there is also a blog under the name of Matt erikson that has titles of Sunny’s movies on payper-view and rental basis. The number of blog visits show that her appearance on the indian reality show has definitely attracted more eyeballs to Sunny’s body of work. Post her breakup with Matt, Sunny went on to open her own production house where she got into commercial tie-ups with other porn portals and was also the first porn star to feature in an approved app for a leading smart phone. AgENcIEs

Bollywood celebrities extended their best wishes on Christmas Sunday. Some even shared their plans for the day on Twitter - some would celebrate with friends and family while others have jetted off for vacations. Madhuri Dixit is off to the Maldives with husband Shriram Nene and children Arin and Rayaan. “Excited! Off to the Maldives for some rest and relaxation...Hope everyone is having a good holiday season,” the 44-year-old posted on Twitter. Ajay Devgn, who is married to Kajol, is also on vacation although he did not reveal the location. “Enjoying the Christmas air! Gonna sign off for the holidays an see u guys back in the new year! Ciao,” Devgn posted. Riteish Deshmukh joined good friend Arshad Warsi and his wife Maria Goretti for a Christmas brunch. “Off to Maria Goretti and Arshad Warsi’s house for Xmas brunch-She is the worlds best Bawarchi-No wonder Arshad is known as the heavy weight actor,” Deshmukh, 33, posted. Celina Jaitly is enjoying the festive mood in Dubai. “Attended a beautiful Xmas mass at the Dubai church .. Was emotionally very moved. Was wonderful to see people from so many countries come together,” the 30-year-old wrote. Abhishek Bachchan, who was recently blessed

with a baby girl with wife Aishwarya, offered good wishes to fans. “Wish all of you a very merry Christmas. Spread the love, joy and happiness. God bless,” he wrote. Anupam Kher posted: “Happiness is the cheapest thing in the world when we buy it for someone else. Merry Christmas.” Priyanka Chopra tweeted: “Merry Xmas guys...may we all be blessed with peace and contentment..and the happiness to live and love..and be loved..Thank u all for loving me.” Karan Johar posted: “Merry Christmas and happy holidays to all of you!!! It’s the season to skip live and let....” Music composer Vishal Dadlani posted: “Merry Christmas you all Jesus changed the world with love and compassion for all. Try it, it might still work.” Arjun Rampal wrote: “Merry Xmas, be free, be alive, be in love, be yourself, because everyone is beautiful. Love u all.” Bipasha Basu posted: “Merry Xmas all! Peace to the world!” Akshay Kumar wrote: “Merry Christmas to all of you! May you be with the people you love and who love you. I am so grateful for everything! Good health, a roof over my head, great friends, people who love me, but most importantly an amazing family!”

Aamir Khan can’t get enough of his newborn MuMBAI: if there’s anything that actor Aamir Khan loves doing these days, it is spending time and playing with his newborn son, Azad. “it’s a great joy being a father again. Both Kiran and i are so overjoyed with our baby being born and i just can’t get enough of Azad,” Aamir said at an event here. The 46-year-old and his wife Kiran rao were blessed with the baby boy Dec 1, through ivF to a surrogate mother. Aamir is simply in awe of their little bundle of joy. “i tickle his little toe and then i snuggle up to him. right now he doesn’t even know who i am. He’s too young but he knows that somebody comes and troubles him everyday. every two, three hours somebody comes and troubles him. So, when he gets a little older, he will get to know that i am the guy,” said Aamir, who already has two kids from his first wife reena - a son, Junaid, and a daughter named ira. Aamir and Kiran spoke at the launch of the CDs and DvDs of the latter’s directorial project “Dhobi ghat”, and were in a bit of a hurry to be back home. “For the first time Kiran has left the house since the baby was born. So, we are also keen to get back fast. it’s a miracle. A baby being born is a miracle and nothing comes close to it,” said Aamir. AgENcIEs

i call bobby Deol,

bobby Doll, says bipasha basu MuMBAI: All girls like Barbie dolls, but Bipasha Basu has a ‘Bobby Doll’. The actress has revealed she calls her ‘Players’ costar Bobby Deol by that name, while he has forever called her Bipshaw. “For all those who don’t know i call Bobby, ‘Bobby Doll’! Like a term of endearment! And he calls me ‘Bipshaw’ for years!” Bipasha posted on Twitter. Bipasha, who is otherwise lovingly called Bips, says she has another nickname too. “Another nickname that i have is given by @juniorbachchan is ‘Bippy’! @sikandarbk calls me Bippy too!,” she added. AgENcIEs

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Monday, 26 December, 2011

Sharapova limps out of Brisbane Page 21

Whatmore, Fountain to become PCB’s coaching team LAHoRe


The Pakistan Cricket Board has on Sunday confirmed that it has invited former World Cup winning Sri Lanka coach Dav Whatmore to finalise his appointment as head coach of the national team. Pakistan cricket team is without a full time coach since former paceman Waqar Younis left the post in September citing health problems. "We are in the process of finalising the appointment and in this regard are in discussions with Whatmore," Pakistan Cricket Board’s chief operating officer Subhan Ahmed said on Sunday. Whatmore is expected to reach Pakistan in second week of January, he added. Former opening batsman Mohsin Khan has been serving as interim coach and was retained for Pakistan's series next month against England in the

Pakistan open Squash main round begins LAHoRe stAFF REPORt

Three upsets were recorded in the Pakistan International Squash Circuit main round matches that started at the Punjab Squash Complex on Sunday. On the 1st day of the main round a total number of eight matches were played and the quarter-finalists were decided with Waqar Mehboob taking on Shaikh Saquib in the first game of the day, Mansoor Zaman will meet Farhan Zaman. Nasir Iqbal and Waqas Mehboob will face each other and Aamir Atlas Khan will take on Aquib Hanif. Shahab Khwaja, Vice President of PSA was the chief at the opening ceremony. result: Aamir Atlas Khan (PAK) beat Syed Hamzha Shah Bukhari (PAK) 11-4,11-6,11-6, Auquib Hanif (PAK) beat owais Khan (PAK) 11-7, 12-10, 11-3, nasir iqbal (PAK) beat [Q] Shoaib Hassan (PAK) 11-5, 7-11, 11-9, 11-2, waqas Mehboob (PAK) beat Aqeel rehman (AUT) 11-9, 11-9, 5-11, 2-11, 14-12, Mansoor Zaman (PAK) beat [wC] Tayyab Aslam (PAK) 119, 11-5, 11-7, Farhan Zaman (PAK) beat [Q] Khuwaja Adil Maqbool (PAK) 14-12, 13-11, 8-11, 8-11, 11-2 [46 mins], waqar Mehboob (PAK) beat Mohammad Shah nawaz (PAK)1-11, 115, 11-7, 11-9 [27 mins], [Q] Shaikh Saquib (PAK) beat Danish Atlas Khan (PAK) 11-8, 11-5, 11-8 [52 mins].

Ba says newcastle spirits intact despite poor run NeWCASTLe AFP

Newcastle striker Demba Ba insists spirits are not sagging on Tyneside despite a desperate run of two points from six matches. After a bright start the Magpies have slid down into midtable after losing to Manchester City, Chelsea and Norwich, as well as at the renamed St James' Park in midweek to West Brom. But the 26-year-old Senegal international, with 13 goals already to his credit, insists that even with injuries and suspensions piling up spirits are intact ahead of the visit to Bolton on Monday. "I don't think it has affected anybody in the team and personally, it hasn't affected me. "We just missed some of the little things that could have made a victory or something else. But it hasn't affected me and it hasn't affected the team, and we are just going to try to get back to winning." Even so, his absence from next month on African Cup of Nations duty with Senegal will leave under pressure manager Alan Pardew with yet another gap to fill.

United Arab Emirates. The 57-year-old Whatmore, who played for Australia in the late 1970s and early 1980s, is regarded as one of the most successful coaches in international cricket, having guided Sri Lanka to the World Cup title in 1996. He subsequently enjoyed a successful coaching spell with Bangladesh and is currently in charge of the Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League. Meanwhile, Julian Fountain, frontrunner for Pakistan's fielding coach position, is likely to join the team ahead of its departure for the forthcoming Test and ODI series against England in the United Arab Emirates. Reports quoting sources confirmed that negotiations with the Australian fielding coach Fountain are in final stages and he is expected to visit Lahore soon to sign his contract with the board. "Financial issues were the main hurdle between

Fountain and the board as he had demanded a monthly pay of between $

10,000 to 15,000 but now that matter has been sorted out. He will come to Lahore soon to finalise things," the source said. The PCB is hunting for a new coaching staff for the national team after Waqar Younis resigned on personal and health grounds last September leaving the board to appoint chief selector, Mohsin Khan as interim coach of the team. Mohsin has also been retained as interim coach for the series against England. But the source said while Dav Whatmore would only join the team after the England series, there are strong chances that Fountain will be on the coaching staff for the series in the UAE. "Captain Misbah-ul-Haq and Mohsin have both supported the idea of having a specialist fielding coach with the team before the England series and Fountain is the obvious choice," the source said. Fountain has worked before with the Pakistan team for short periods. He said

CHINA HoCKey serIes

Pakistan complete clean sweep LAHoRe


AsHER Butt

HE Pakistan hockey team swept the four-match Nadra Friendly Series by winning the last game 2-1 here at the National Hockey Stadium. The team of the country’s ultimate companion China lifted the Friendship trophy on Sunday. The Pakistan Hockey Federation fulfilled its promise in bringing a foreign team to play in Pakistan. The Chinese team’s this gesture not only earned the trophy but they also received the praise of the crowd which came to enjoy the match despite the ‘dharna’ announced by Jamaat-i-Islami at Feroz Pur Road. Amidst the best possible security that could be seen, the match rolled into action about 40 minutes due to technical faults in the live coverage of the proceedings. A large number of former Olympians and their families, Tauqeer Dar Academy young players, assistant and deputy collector Customs were present on the occasion. Some of the Pakistan Peoples Party workers were also seen waving the party flag in the stadium while Quick Response Force had cordoned off the pitch water tight and Chairman Nadra Arshad Ali Hakeem was the chief guest of the final match. On the occasion, Olympian Qasim Zia President PHF, Olympian Muhammad Asif Bajwa Secretary General PHF, Lt. Gen (R) Arif Hasan President POA, Olympian Akhtar Rasool Chaudhry, Olympian Rana Mujahid Ali, Olympian Arshad Ali Chaudhry, Olympian Khalid Bashir, Mr. Khalid Iqbal Treasurer PHF and officials of DHA Lahore were also present. The Pakistan team began attacking game right from the word go and in just six minutes into the game Shakeel Abbasi provided lead to pacy Pakistan. Pakistan with aggressive play earned two penalty corners in the first half while China got one and all the three were hit off target or rather saved by the defence. Pakistan swelled the lead in the 26th minute of the match when Fareed Ahmed in a brilliant move found the proper home for the ball. Pakistan were well in control of the game but by in the 33rd minute, China penetrated through the Pakistan 25 yards circle and got the only goals of the match for his side. This 2-1 scoreline

LAHore: Song yi (bottom r) of China vies for the ball with Pakistani players during the fourth and last field hockey match between Pakistan and China. AFP that came in the first half remained intact till the final whistle was blown. Pakistan captain Mohammad Imran revealed that the Chinese team gave them tough time not only in the last match but also in the first match. “There should be more matches of the kind and return of international hockey to Pakistan is a first step forward,” he added. Sung Ye, Chinese team captain, said that his team visited three cities of Pakistan and it was really delightful to be there and it was heartening to see the love of the people of Pakistan. “We have learnt a lot from our visit here and must thank the Pakistan people and the hockey federation for the love they extended to us,” he added. QaSiM GraTefUl To china:

Pakistan Hockey Federation President Qasim Zia on Sunday thanked the visiting Chinese team for playing the hockey series in Pakistan in tough times. Speaking on the occasion, Qasim also hoped that it was the first drop of the rain. “Now is the time for other foreign teams to tour Pakistan,” he said. He also praised the Pakistan government for their assistance in the holding of the series in a successful manner. PHS secretary Asif Bajwa said that the visit of the Chinese team to Pakistan is a clear massage to the world that Pakistan is a secure place for sports. Later, Arshad Ali Hakeem, Chairman NADRA gifted hockey sticks to the Chinese hockey team. The ‘Friendship Trophy’ was handed over to the captains of Chinese and Pakistan hockey teams.

Fountain might visit Lahore during the national team's short conditional camp being held in first week of January and accompany them to Dubai and Abu Dhabi for the series. The board has confirmed that Whatmore will also soon be visiting Lahore to hold negotiations with them with reference to the job of head coach. The source said that Whatmore had informed the board that he would only be available for his long-term assignments with the Pakistan team after completing his obligations with the Kolkata Knight Riders in the 2012 Indian Premier League season. The source also confirmed that it has been decided that the board would appoint a Pakistani as assistant coach to Whatmore as it wants someone to learn and progress for the future. The assistant coach position is likely to go to either Sabih Azhar or Aaqib Javed.

Sri Lanka hope for Durban change of luck DURBAN AFP

South Africa will remain favourites but Sri Lanka can expect less treacherous batting conditions in the second Test starting at Kingsmead Monday. Sri Lanka were swept aside by an innings and 81 runs before tea on the third day in the first Test at Centurion, where their batsmen were unable to combat the home side's fast bowlers on a pitch with uneven bounce and extravagant sideways movement. Shaun Pollock, a former South African captain and a resident of this Indian Ocean city, was among critics who felt the pitch at Centurion was loaded unfairly in favour of the bowlers and it seems likely that the surface at Kingsmead will offer a more even contest. Pollock said he could understand South Africa's eagerness to win a home series, but with tours to New Zealand, England and Australia coming up in 2012, he added: "I'm more concerned with us honing the skills we will surely need over the next year." Pollock said pitches like that at Centurion did not benefit the South African team in the long term. "I don't believe these conditions help with the development of our cricketers ... as a South African supporter I feel we can compete with the best teams in the world on quality surfaces." The Kingsmead pitch is still likely to help the fast bowlers, because it offers pace and bounce, but the bowlers will probably have to work harder for their wickets. Sri Lanka were outclassed in the first Test but will be hoping to end what has been a winless year in Test cricket on a positive note. With batsmen of the calibre of Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene and captain Tillekeratne Dilshan, they have the potential to post a competitive total. Sri Lanka's bowling, though, lacks penetration following the retirement of offspinner Muttiah Muralitharan and it is doubtful whether the call-up of fast bowling reserves in the form of Dhammika Prasad and Kanishka Alvitigala will make a significant difference. tEAMs: South Africa (likely): graeme Smith (capt), AB de villiers (vice-capt), Jacques rudolph, Hashim Amla, Jacques Kallis, Ashwell Prince, Mark Boucher (wkt), vernon Philander, Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel, imran Tahir Sri Lanka (from): Tillakaratne Dilshan (capt), Angelo Mathews (vice- capt), Tharanga Paranavitana, Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene, Thilan Samaraweera, Kaushal Silva (wkt), Thisara Perera, rangana Herath, Chanaka welegedara, Dilhara Fernando, Ajantha Mendis, Lahiru Thirimanne, Dimuth Karunaratne, Dinesh Chandimal, Dhammika Prasad, Kanishka Alvitigala Umpires: Steve Davis (AUS), richard Kettleborough (eng) Tv umpire: rod Tucker (AUS) Match referee: Chris Broad (eng)

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Monday, 26 December, 2011

Celtic buoyant ahead of rangers showdown GLASGoW AFP

Neil Lennon says Celtic are the team on the ascendancy heading into Wednesday's vital Old Firm showdown after they cut Rangers' lead at the top of the Scottish Premier League to just one point. A double from Georgios Samaras proved enough for Celtic to run out 2-1 winners against Kilmarnock -- for whom substitute Danny Racchi struck a late consolation -- as the Hoops took full advantage of nine-man Rangers' 2-1 loss to St Mirren. The win was Celtic's eighth in a row and the Parkhead side have been boosted by the news Rangers pair Lee McCulloch and Dorin Goian, both sent off against St Mirren, will miss Wednesday's meeting between the Glasgow rivals at Parkhead. And Celtic manager Lennon agreed that his side would be favourites as the Hoops host Ally McCoist's men looking to leapfrog their rivals and start 2012 on top of the table. "We've won eight in a row so the form is good going into the game," Lennon said. "But we will have to play well and we will have to play strongly and play to the occasion as best we can. "Regardless of who we were going to face on Wednesday it's the next most important game, as the next game after that will be. "We just want to continue our winning form and if it means having to beat Rangers then so be it." The last time the Hoops faced Kilmarnock questions were raised about Lennon's future as manager after a 3-3 draw allowed Rangers to open up a 12-point lead at the top of the table.

Mancini issues City with festive warning WeST BRoMWICH AFP

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has warned his Premier League leaders that they cannot afford to offer up unexpected gifts on their travels over the festive season. City start their final game of 2011 at West Bromwich Albion on Monday two points clear of nearest rivals Manchester United and on course for their first top-flight title for 44 years. But Sir Alex Ferguson's reigning champions will end the calendar year at the summit if they follow up victory over struggling Wigan on Monday with another three points against bottom club Blackburn on Sunday. That is because City do not play again after Monday until January 1, when they travel to Sunderland. Mancini's expensively-assembled side have led the table for most of the season and remain favourites to finish the impressive job they have started. They appear to have an easier second half to the campaign on paper. While United still have to travel to Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham and City, Mancini's men, invincible at home this year, host Tottenham, Chelsea and United. But Mancini is taking nothing for granted and wants maximum points at West Brom and Sunderland after drawing 1-1 at Liverpool and then losing 2-1 at Chelsea in their past two away league games. "We still have Chelsea, United, Tottenham and Liverpool to come to the Etihad Stadium, but we need to win away games as well, and we have only one point from our last two," said the Italian. "I have a lot of respect for West Bromwich, and for (manager) Roy Hodgson - he is one of the best managers in Europe. It will be very hard because they play good football. They have had some problems but won their last two away games and seem to be in good form."

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Nisar retains Islamabad to Murree Cycle Race title PeSHAWAR

in the same bunch for almost 37 km but after that both Nisar and Sabir got the lead rapidly by leaving Ismail far behind. Ismail Saeed, who is



ISAR Ahmad of WAPDA retained the title of Islamabad to Murree Cycle Race in record time on Sunday. Nisar Ahmad, who had the honor of winning the recently concluded 32km Abbottabad to Nathiagali Race on December 23, last, clocked a record time of 2 hours and 57sec by beating his earlier record of 2 hours and 19 minutes. "I am happy the way I reached the destination after crossing 56km distance, mostly dangerous, zig zag road track by beating my fellow 62 cyclists,” Nisar said. “It was race of my life obviously and my preparations were also there for both the races after becoming the National Champion," Nisar Ahmad added. Nisar said that his coach Abdul Raza and Amin Sulari work hard with him during the recent years and expressed the hope that he would prove his metal if given a chance in the international outings. He was closely followed by Sabir Ali, also from WAPDA who clocked 2 hours, one minute and 25sec while Ismail Saeed of Army clocked 2 hours 2 minutes and 37sec. The three top cyclists Nisar, Sabir Ali and Ismail were

studying in Australia and remained runner-up in the Abbottabad to Nathiagali, struggled hard for covering the distance and reached very near to Sabir Ali, the second lead. The other three cyclists Asad Mehmood of Pakistan Army, Niamat Ali of Sui Southern Gas and Zameer Haider of Sui Southern Gas were in the second bunch behind the top leaders but they have made excellent finish. Asad of Pakistan Army with his clock time 2 hours, 2 minutes and 33sec, Niamat Ali with his clock time 2 hours, 3 minute and Zameer Haider of Sui Southern Gas with his clock time 2 hours, 5 minutes and 32sec got fourth, fifth and sixth position respectively. A total of 63 cyclists took part, among four were dropped out in the Champions of Hill Race started in way back 1989. International cyclists Murad Ali had the honor of winning the race four times and become runner-up for five times. Earlier, the starting point of the race was Rawalpindi, which was 72km in distance. It was the second occasion that the starting point of the race was Jinnah Sports Complex. Secretary Pakistan Cycling Federation said that a team would be selected for the international cycle race to be held in Malaysia from Feb 8 to 18 only after the performance of the players in three races – The National Championship, Abbottabad to Nathiagali Race and Islamabad to Murree Race. At the end, Tariq Alvi, ex-national cyclists, and Vice President of the Pakistan Cycling Federation gave away trophies and cash prizes.

Ferguson wary of capital threat in title race MANCHeSTeR AFP

Sir Alex Ferguson has refused to write off a challenge from London at the top of the Premier League in 2012 despite the dominance of Manchester's rival pace-setters. A strong first half to the season from Manchester United and current league leaders City has left many pundits predicting that the eventual champions will come from Manchester. However, although third-placed Tottenham are currently seven points behind Ferguson's second-placed team, Harry Redknapp's club has the luxury of a game in hand and history has taught the veteran United manager that challenges to their title could come from a variety of sources in the new year. "At this moment in time, everyone thinks it will be one and two for the city," said Ferguson. "But come March, things change and you need to go back over the years to see how dramatic it can be. "We surrendered an 11 point lead to Arsenal and we managed to claw back a 12 point deficit to Newcastle and last year Chelsea were 10 points clear in November and they lost it. "You lose a game in this league and all the rest get a pick up and start chasing harder. That's the way the league is and come March, you never know." United bounced back superbly in midweek, winning 5-0 at Fulham, to respond to the critics who had a field day after the defending Premier League champions were unceremo-

niously dumped out of the Champions League by Swiss club Basel. "The criticism has been understandable because you lose a derby game 6-1, you get knocked out of the League Cup by Crystal Palace, a Championship team, and you lose to Basel, which is not a power in Europe," said Ferguson. "You can understand the criticism but in terms of the nature of the kind of player we have, the kind of club we are, we've got the resilience and determination to do something about it each time it's happened. "I think that shows the character of the team. In a normal season we lose games but the games we've lost this season have been a bit more dramatic and more emphatic in the sense of the impact it has had on our chances of winning trophies. "We're out of the Champions League, out of the League Cup and lost to City in a derby game. These are bad results for us, bad results, and the character of the team has rescued us each time. "We've come back. Last season the focus was on our bad away form but the home form rescued us. We haven't had any away defeats and you wonder what's happened here because it's a tough league." United face a home fixture against Wigan on Monday that would appear, on paper at least, to offer little obstacle to them continuing a run of seven wins and a draw in the eight games since their humiliating 6-1 home defeat to City. However, they will have to contend without winger Ashley Young who has been ruled out for a "few weeks" with a knee injury.

Sami stars for Quick Link in MMA Cup final LAHoRe stAFF REPORt

Raja Samiullah helped Quick Link claim MMA Polo Cup title with his solo efforts here at the Lahore Polo Club’s Aibak Ground on Sunday. Samiullah provided the magic link that Quick Link were looking for in their final against PESSI, who managed five goals as against the winner’s seven. And all these seven goals were scored by Samiullah who was also named player of the final. Chief guest Maj. Gen. Imtiaz Hussain Sherazi S (E), Director General RV & F, later presented the winner’s trophy and other prizes to the

victorious team and other participants. Atif Yar Tiwana did his best to match the abilities of Quick Link and Samiullah hit four goals for PESSI but that effort was not enough for a win while the fifth goal of the losing side was scored by Shaukat Ali Malik. In the classification match Shah Shamyl Alam converted five of the eight goals his team Wi–Tribe Shahswars scored. Losing side Olympia getting four. Agha Murtaz Ali Khan and Omar Asjad Malhi supervised both the subsidiary and the finals.

giggs leads way for resurgent United LoNDoN AFP

Sir Alex Ferguson has paid tribute to the "incredible" contribution of Ryan Giggs as Manchester United look to keep the pressure on Premier League leaders Manchester City on Monday. After a series of flat performances following their 6-1 mauling by City in October, United have recently recovered some of their former swagger, scoring 11 goals in three consecutive victories. That run of results included a 5-0 demolition of Fulham at Craven Cottage last week, a match where the 38-year-old Giggs extended his remarkable feat of scoring a goal in every Premier League season. Ferguson singled out Giggs for praise as United look to maintain their momentum with what should be a relatively straightforward assignment against struggling Wigan on Boxing Day. "He was unbelievable on Wednesday," Ferguson said of Giggs' display against Fulham. "He controlled the midfield. I saw Danny Murphy bellowing to the forwards to come back because he was finding it hard.

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Monday, 26 December, 2011

Aussie rookies geared up for Boxing Day challenge MeLBoURNe



USTRALIA may have an inexperienced batting top three but they are in form ahead of the opening Boxing Day Test against India, Australian vicecaptain Brad Haddin said on Sunday. Australia's top three in the batting order -- David Warner, Ed Cowan and Shaun Marsh -- have just five Tests between them in one of Australia's most unfamiliar combinations in more than three decades. Warner has played just two Test matches but comes to the Melbourne Cricket Ground with a last start unbeaten 123 against New Zealand, while three-Test Marsh crunched 99 off 52 balls in domestic Twenty20 just days ago. Debutant Cowan earned selection on the strength of his 109 for a Chairman's XI against India this week along with three firstclass centuries this season. While the Australian team is in transition, India's top five batsmen - Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman -- boast a combined tally of 610 Tests. In the first of four Tests for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy it is India's

MeLBoUrne: Australian player Michael Hussey (r) dives to catch the ball as captain Michael Clarke (L) looks on. AFP experience against Australia's untried potential. Wicketkeeper Haddin, who will be an important member of the Australian batting lineup at number seven, said it was time for the home team to stand up and meet the Indian challenge head on. "You talk about our inexperienced top three, I think we've got a very in-form top three," Haddin told reporters on Sunday. "And if we're going to do any good in this series it's

going to be from one to seven with the bat. We've all got to perform. "We've got to make sure we've got our game heads on and ready to go." Coach Mickey Arthur arranged a batting camp this week and Haddin said the three-day get-together was to clear the batsmen's minds. "Freeing your head, having no other thoughts in your head but just playing cricket," Haddin said. "You'll see over the next five days whether it has all paid off."

Australia are also conceding huge amounts of big-match experience with the ball to India, with two of the four frontline bowlers, James Pattinson and offspinner Nathan Lyon, in their first year of Test cricket. "We've picked an 11 that we think is confident to rip through this Indian side," Haddin said. "They've got some great players and I know especially our bowlers are looking forward to having a crack at them." Pattinson, just 21, has taken 14 wickets in his two Tests against New Zealand, while Lyon has 22 wickets from his seven Tests at 24.59. Tendulkar, Dravid and Laxman have indicated they will go after Lyon to dent his confidence. "We're just hoping that we score some runs off him, try to put pressure on him," India skipper MS Dhoni said. "The kind of experience we have got, that will really help us in executing our plans." Australian captain Michael Clarke said Lyon will have to be managed carefully during the series, but he regards him as a potential weapon against a team who are traditionally adept at playing spin bowling. "We've got to make sure we bowl Nathan at the right times, set the right fields to give him a little bit of protection and then attack when it's time to attack," Clarke said.

Ponting, hussey a hit away india will have from top form, says Wasim adaptability issues: warner


Like the Australian selectors, former Pakistan skipper Wasim Akram trusts Ricky Ponting and Michael Hussey to come good in the Boxing Day Test. Ponting and Hussey have been at the wrong end of the Aussie media and a clutch of former stars after the sevenrun defeat to New Zealand in the second Test at Hobart earlier this month. Akram says Ponting and Hussey are just a hit away from top-form. “I understand Ponting is short of runs. I understand he is 37, but so is Sachin (Tendulkar). If Ponting and Hussey stick around in the middle for 45 minutes or one hour, they will get back to form straightaway. Both are physically fit and mentally very tough, they just need one good innings,” Akram

told Mobile ESPN from Karachi. On paper, Ponting seems to have lost his consistency by recording only one hundred in last 20 Tests. On the other hand, Hussey is averaging a mere 11.85 in his last seven Test innings. This prompted criticism from ex-stars. “One of the old boys will go, I think Hussey or Ponting will go,” said 1987 World Cup-winning skipper Allan Border a week ago. Another former skipper Mark Taylor had doubts over Ponting and Hussey’s inclusion for the first Test against India. “I reckon Shaun Marsh and Daniel Christian could play in place of one of the two old blokes. Which one? I leave that to the selectors,” opined Taylor. But the beleaguered duo got a fresh lease of life on Saturday when they were included in the playing XI for the series-opening Boxing Day Test at Melbourne. The 1992 World Cup-winner Akram feels that Australian media’s criticism is unwarranted. “The unnecessary criticism from the media will pressurize the two batsmen. I have not seen that of late in Australian cricket. Knowing these two players, I think on Australian wickets, when a big series beckons, they will be up and ready to throw their punches,” said the ESPN-STAR Sports commentator. Victoria speedster Peter Siddle, rookie James Pattinson and recalled pacer Ben Hilfenhaus form the Australian pace battery for the Melbourne Test. Akram feels, despite the absence of injured Mitchell Johnson, Pat Cummins and Shane Watson, the famed Indian batting line up will have their work cut out. “Australia will not give flat decks for Indian batsmen to thrive. Their fast bowlers bowl at 145 kmph and above. If all three of them bowl at an average speed of 147-148 consistently then Indians will definitely find it tough. How they cope against it will be riveting to see,” the 45-year-old Sultan of Swing concluded.


David Warner foresees Indians struggling to adapt to conditions during the Test series and feels the longer they are kept out on the field, "the harder it will be for them mentally." "You look at their line-up and you can think 'oh, how are we going to get these guys out'. But we know when they're in Australia, the wickets are different, and we think their mental approach is a bit different to what it is when they're in India," Warner said. "We think they automatically know they're going to win series in India because the wickets turn and it is all in their favour. And it is probably similar to when they come out here. We think on the bouncy wickets, they might not be able to adapt," he added. Warner, however, conceded that the quality of India's batting line-up is such that, they are expected to score big, no matter what the conditions are like. "They're one of the best line-ups in the world, and capable of scoring big runs on the wickets we're producing here. We've got to be spot on with our lines and lengths with our quicks, and when we're batting, we need to put on as many runs as we can...I reckon we're in for a good series," he said.

CHARLOTTE: Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers runs for a 49 yard touchdown against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Bank of America Stadium. Carolina Panthers won 48-16 in the Christmas Eve Day Games. AFP

Chelsea wary of Fulham lonDon: Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech has warned his team-mates against complacency as they prepare to face a shellshocked Fulham side in a Boxing Day derby on Monday. The Blues could not have picked a better time to face the Cottagers, who are reeling after suffering their heaviest ever home defeat last week, a 5-0 thrashing by Manchester United. Yet Cech has urged his team-mates to disregard Fulham's recent problems as Andre Villas-Boas's men look to pick up three points in order to stay in touch with the league leaders. "We can't look too much at the table, we need to keep going step by step, try to win our games and try to catch up as many points as we can," Cech said. "We depend on everybody else, so it's up to them how they are going to do but we just need to keep winning our games. Fulham will be a difficult game because they lost 5-0 at home in their last game. "It's a big London derby and they will want to bounce back, so Chelsea is a great motivation to say sorry to their supporters after Man United but we are in a situation where we need to keep winning." Villas-Boas heads into the game trying to juggle a growing central defensive crisis that has seen him open talks with Bolton about a move for Gary Cahill. AFP

Twenty20 the route to Tests ExPERt cOMMENt

SHAne wATSon


EOPLE have questioned whether Twenty 20 cricket is good for the development of Test cricketers, but as we have seen with the emergence

of guys like David Warner and Pat Cummins, this form of the game can provide a solid platform and pathway into the Australian Test and one- day sides. I can draw on personal experience here. I was fortunate enough to play in the inaugural IPL with the Rajasthan Royals. That was a huge factor in me winning back my place in the Australian team after a stint out with injury, so I know only too well the benefits Twenty20 cricket can provide the other forms of the game. In the case of a player like Warner, it gave him the opportunity to match his skills with the best bowlers in the world at a phase of his career when his technique was still developing. That exposure to the likes of Dale Steyn and

Muttiah Muralitharan from a young age has made him the batsman he is today, and Australia will reap the benefits in all forms of the game for years to come. Aside from the new pathways Twenty20 offers, it has also given rise to skills we have never before seen in cricket. To watch batsmen reverse sweep express bowlers for six is something I never thought I'd see in my career, and the ramp shot is equally exciting to watch. For bowlers, too, there have been new skills to learn - predominantly how to contain batsmen when they are on the fly. It is an exciting form of the game and Australian audiences are about to witness it at a new level with the KFC T20

Big Bash League. I am looking forward to seeing the performances of guys like young Nic Maddinson and Josh Hazlewood, who are extremely talented young cricketers and have the opportunity to perform on the big stage in front of a big crowd. Dwayne Bravo also gives a lot to our team, the Sydney Sixers, in all aspects of the game. He can win a match with both bat and ball and thrives on pressure situations. Check out his film clip to see his dance moves, which he may bring out during one of our games. I am very disappointed not to be out there with the Sixers boys tonight but hopefully I am not far away from returning to the playing field.

This is a new league and even though it will take some time to get our heads around the new teams, colours, names and players, we hope everyone gets behind us and enjoys the entertainment we can hopefully provide. This is a new and exciting phase in Australian domestic cricket and we all hope it will be a massive success. It may be a new competition with lots of our younger players involved but its great to see guys like Matthew Hayden, Shane Warne, Brad Hogg and Stuart MacGill going around again. It is nice to have these guys around our up and coming younger players to be able to learn from them and take that experience into their development.

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Monday, 26 December, 2011

sports 21 waTch iT Live ESPN Manchester United V Wigan Athletic 8:30PM

STAR CRICKET Australia V India Test 1, Day 1 4:30AM

Sharapova limps out of Brisbane


The decline in opening standards Average partnerships for each wicket in Tests in 2011

Comment S RAJeSH

The average opening partnership in Tests in 2011 is 31.70, which is easily the worst in the last 11 years


AME the only opening batting combination who batted together more than once in Tests in 2011 and managed a partnership average of 50 or more. It isn't an easy one to answer, for none of the regular pairs had a memorable 2011 in Test matches. The answer to the question comes later in the piece, but the obvious fallout of bowlers having a better-than-average year is that batting stats have suffered. However, openers have been impacted more than the rest, and even there the partnerships have been affected the most adversely. Here's how. In 2011 the overall batting average for the top seven batsmen was 37, the second-lowest since the beginning of 2001; in 2009 and 2010, it had been greater than 41. The batting average of openers was 33.76, which was again well below the figure for the last couple of years, and the secondlowest in the last 11 years. However, the partnership average suffered more than any other stat. It's as if both openers just couldn't get starts and

WIcKEt INNINgs RuNs 1st 139 4343 2nd 138 5207 3rd 135 6141 4th 132 5794 5th 126 4779 6th 124 4258 7th 117 3451 go on to make significant scores in the same innings - if one opener did well, the other failed. Imagine a scenario where one opener scores 100 and the other 0, and another where both openers scored 50, and got out with the score on 100. In both cases, the average for the openers is 50, but in the first case the partnership average is 0, while in the second it's 100. The first scenario illustrates, roughly, what happened in 2011. That becomes clear when the partnership stats are compared for the last 11 years: in 2009 the average opening stand was 44.41; with two Tests to go in 2011, the average this year has shrunk to 31.70, a drop of nearly 29%. It's also significantly lower than it has been in any other year since 2001: the next-lowest, as the table below shows, is 36.29, in 2006. Only nine century partnerships were put together for the first wicket this year, but the biggest difference was the number of

opening partnerships in each year in Tests since 2001 YEAR 2009 2004 2010 2008 2003 2001 2002 2005 2007 2006 2011

INNINgs 146 191 157 173 162 199 191 179 117 172 139

RuNs 6262 8150 6730 7276 6766 8086 7404 6876 4311 6061 4343

AVE stAND 44.41 44.05 43.98 42.54 42.28 41.89 40.45 39.06 38.15 36.29 31.70

100/ 50 stANDs 12/ 34 24/ 27 19/ 38 19/ 31 16/ 25 25/ 27 15/ 42 13/ 40 9/ 18 10/ 32 9/ 22

INNg PER 100 12.17 7.96 8.26 9.11 10.13 7.97 12.73 13.77 13.00 17.20 15.44

AVE stAND 100/ 50 stANDs 31.70 9/ 22 38.85 8/ 37 46.52 15/ 32 45.98 20/ 20 38.23 13/ 19 36.08 10/ 25 31.09 8/ 15 first-wicket failures: out of 139 innings, on 78 occasions the partnership didn't exceed 20, which is a percentage of 56. In the three preceding years, the corresponding percentage of failures was only 42. That's one more stat to suggest that the quality of fast bowling has been more incisive in 2011. The average partnerships for the top seven wickets in 2011 further illustrates how far off the boil the openers have been

posed at the beginning of the piece: the only opening pair who batted together in more than one Test innings and put together an average partnership of 50 or more was the Zimbabweans Tino Mawoyo and Vusi Sibanda: in six innings they added exactly 300, at an average of 50. Admittedly, 171 of those runs came in two innings against Bangladesh, but it's still a fine achievement for a side that returned to the Test arena this year after a long absence. Most of the other pairs were stuck in the early 40s, late 30s, or even lower. Pakistan's Mohammad Hafeez and Taufeeq Umar both had superb years as batsmen: they were among the top three run scorers for openers, and averaged more than 40 in Tests, but in the 19 innings in which they opened the batting,

opening pairs in Tests in 2011 (Qual: 5 innings) PAIR INNINgs RuNs AVE stAND 100/ 50 stANDs Hafeez-Taufeeq 19 587 32.61 2/ 2 Cook-Strauss 11 469 42.63 1/ 2 Hughes-watson 11 438 39.81 1/ 3 Dilshan-Paranavitana 11 419 38.09 1/ 2 gambhir-Sehwag 9 349 38.77 0/ 4 Mawoyo-Sibanda 6 300 50.00 1/ 2 guptill-McCullum 8 268 33.50 1/ 0 rudolph-Smith 5 203 40.60 0/ 1 Paranavitana-Thirimanne 8 184 26.28 0/ 1 Kayes-Tamim 6 176 29.33 0/ 1 Mukund-vijay 6 55 9.16 0/ 0 this year. The second-wicket average is al- their average stand was only 32.61. They most 39, the third and the fourth in excess did put together two century partnerships of 45, and even the fifth and sixth are more - they were the only opening pair to do so than 36. That leaves the opening pair bat- in Tests this year - but on 14 occasions tling with the seventh-wicket pair - the one they were separated before they touched that necessarily involves the No. 8 bats- 25, and nine of these were single-digit man. The openers just edge that one, the stands. Consistency as a pair was clearly difference in averages being a miniscule not their strong point in 2011. Some other regular pairs had less than 0.69. Century partnerships, though, were more frequent for the seventh wicket, prolific years too, including those from coming once every 14.6 innings, compared Australia, Sri Lanka and India. Shane Watson and Phillip Hughes averaged alto once every 15.4 for the openers. On the other hand, this was a fair year most 40 but had only once century stand for middle-order pairings. Their average in 11 innings, though that knock was a of 46.25 puts them somewhere in the mighty effort of 174 in Johannesburg and middle of the pile, but they're much bet- helped Australia bounce back from the ter off than their 2008 counterparts, embarrassment of Cape Town. Exclude that one innings, though, and their averwhen the average had slumped to 37.87. And now for the answer to the question age partnership falls to 26.40. (cricinfo)

THREE-TIME grand slam winner Maria Sharapova has avoided a $50,000 fine from the WTA for pulling out of the Brisbane International by using one of her two medical withdrawals. The world No 4 gave only eight days' notice that she would not be competing in the Brisbane event, which starts on Sunday. She told fans on her website on December 22 that she was getting ready for turkey and apple cider at Christmas and then packing her bags the day after to get on a plane for the new season. But on Christmas Eve she posted another message saying the left ankle she injured in Tokyo in October was still giving her trouble. "My ankle only recently started feeling good and therefore I want to make sure I'm fully ready for the coming year by not rushing into things too fast," she said. Sharapova added she was still preparing to front for the Australian Open (January 1629), two weeks after Brisbane. "I do expect to be ready for the year's first grand slam and I am really looking forward to competing on court," she said. Sharapova won the Open in 2008 and normally does not play any of the Australianbased lead-up tournaments. She entered the Gold Coast WTA event six years ago but withdrew with injury before striking a ball. "I was really looking forward to starting my 2012 season at the Brisbane International, which has a fantastic reputation as a great and welcoming event," Sharapova said in a statement that was released by organisers. Brisbane tournament organiser, Cameron Pearce said: "It's really disappointing for her as I know how much she was looking forward to playing.

Philander suffers knee injury JoHANNeSBURG AFP

South Africa seamer Vernon Philander injured his knee in the nets on Saturday, but should be fit for the second Test against Sri Lanka which starts on Monday in Durban. The 26-year-old Philander, who took 10 wickets in the first Test victory, suffered a mild strain to his left knee while bowling, said team manager Mohammed Moosajee. "The injury was classified as a mild strain and Philander will be treated overnight with ice, compression and more physiotherapy, and he will have his knee strapped," said Moosajee. "Right now, we're still confident he will be fine for the Test." The Proteas are favourites to clinch the second Test after beating the tourists by an innings and 81 runs on the third day in the first match at Centurion last Saturday.

KHI 26-12-2011_Layout 1 12/26/2011 2:13 AM Page 22

Monday, 26 December, 2011

Troops kill 25 militants in retaliatory offensive

KARAcHI: soldiers parade at the mausoleum of Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah on his 135th birth anniversary on sunday. onLine



nawaz tasks senior leaders with preventing further defections LAHoRe INP


At least 25 militants were killed and several others injured when security forces retaliated to an ambush in Central Kurram and Aurakzai Agencies on Sunday. Army officials said the military action was launched when a group of militants attacked a contingent of troops in the Jogai area of Central Kurram. The attack was very intense and it claimed the life of one soldier and injured four others, the officials said. Later the security forces carried out a retaliatory mission with the help of artillery and gunship helicopters in both Central Kurram and Aurakzai Agencies. Military officials said that 15 militants were killed in Jogai, while 10 others were killed in the Mamozai, Jandri and Jabba areas of the Aurakzai Agency. The officials further claimed to have destroyed four militant hideouts.The military offensive against militants is continuing for over a week in the two tribal agencies. Security forces have claimed killing more than 150 rebels and destroying dozens of hideouts.

Minister thinks cabinet met on Quaid’s death anniversary! iSlaMabaD: After Interior Minister Rehman Malik’s episode in which he became a laughing stock in a federal cabinet meeting for wrongly reciting a verse from the Holy Quran, the cabinet members were shocked again on Sunday when Federal Minister for Food Security and Research Israrullah Zehri commenced his speech by saying that the cabinet was meeting on the “death anniversary” of Quaid-i-Azam. A source in the cabinet told Pakistan Today that when Zehri was given floor by the prime minister, he started his speech by saying that “it was laudable that the federal cabinet was meeting on the eve of Quaid-i-Azam’s ‘barsi’ (death anniversary).” “Some cabinet members started laughing while others expressed sorrow over Zehri’s knowledge about Pakistan and its founder,” the source said. He added that most of the ministers kept on flattering the premier in the agenda-less meeting by saying that it was the prime minister’s success to complete a century of cabinet meetings, which no previous head of government had done. irFAn BUKhAri

Parliament supreme: Gilani PM says govt will complete its five-year tenure g Says govt completing 45 months in power best way to pay homage to Quaid-i-Azam g




RIME Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani said on Sunday that the government had completed 45 months and would go on to complete its five-year term, and reiterated that the government respected all institutions, however, parliament was the supreme institution of the country. “It’s an honour for the present government that it has completed its 45 months and it will complete the fiveyear term given to it by the people of Pakistan,” he said in his address to the 100th meeting of the federal cabinet held here at Sindh Governor’s House. According to an official handout, Gilani said this was the first federal cabinet of a democratically elected government that had held 100 meetings in 45

months, and today it had completed “the century”. He said the elected government had been following the principles of Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and was taking all decisions in consultation with elected representatives. Gilani said it was the best way to pay homage to Quaid-i-Azam that the democratic government had completed 45 months in power. He said the elected parliament was performing its job and was taking all decisions through mutual consultations. The prime minister said the democratic government had ensured the media freedom and independence of the judiciary. He said there was no political prisoner in the country today. He said the government had due reverence for the independence of the judiciary and gave respect to its decisions by accepting them with an open heart. “It is to the credit of this demo-

cratic government that it took the decision to constitute the National Finance Commission, passed the 18th Constitutional Amendment and restored the 1973 Constitution in its original form, unanimously through parliament,” said Gilani. He said the government organised an All-Parties Conference twice to have consultation on national issues and even invited those politicians that had no representation in parliament. He said President Asif Ali Zardari, who surrendered his powers to parliament, also addressed the joint session of parliament three times, which was another record in parliamentary history as none of his predecessors had fulfilled this constitutional requirement. Referring to foreign policy, Gilani said that in line with the principles of Quaid-i-Azam, the democratic Continued on page 04

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Nawaz Sharif has assigned National Assembly Opposition Leader Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan and other senior leaders of the party the task to contact party leaders who were double-minded and considering joining the Pakistan Tehreeke-Insaaf (PTI). The PML-N leadership had earlier claimed that PTI Chairman Imran Khan would not succeed in luring any prominent PML-N leaders to his party, but PML-N’s senior vice president and veteran politician Javed Hashmi was the first to join the PTI, which was a major blow to the PML-N. Hashmi’s departure shook the PML-N, which is now trying to hold back others who are also looking to jump onto Imran Khan’s bandwagon. Nawaz has asked Nisar, Khawaja Asif, Ahsan Iqbal, Ishaq Dar and Sardar Zulfiqar Khosa to personally meet such party leaders and spare no efforts to address their concerns. The PML-N chief’s directives have accelerated the efforts to address the concerns of disgruntled party leaders so as to keep them within the folds of the party.

either CoAS or govt should go: rashid MoNIToRING DeSK Awami Muslim League (AML) chief Sheikh Rashid Ahmad on Sunday said there was contradiction between the statements of the government and the army, Dunya News reported. “Either Army chief General Kayani and ISI chief General Pasha should resign or the government should go home,” the former minister demanded in a public gathering in Rawalpindi. He said that Yousaf Raza Gilani was the first prime minister he had seen in his life whose in-laws were involved in corruption. He said the AML was contemplating an alliance with a political party, but added that the decision would be finalised on February 24 or March 9. The six times elected parliamentarian said the people of Rawalpindi had sent “mice” to the assemblies who had nothing to do with public interest, rather their mission was to collect wealth in the name of democracy.

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E-paper Pakistantoday KHI 26th December, 2011  
E-paper Pakistantoday KHI 26th December, 2011