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PTI reveals energy policy with promise to overcome shortfall

No more privatisation say trade unionists

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Drone makers cash in as generals seek less casualties PAGE 06

Rs15.00 Vol II No 241 22 Pages Karachi Edition

Monday, 27 February, 2012 Rabi-ul-Sani 4, 1433

Dengue begins to buzz g

Over 80 suspected dengue cases reported across Punjab, 59 in Lahore alone LAHoRe

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ABBOTTABAD: Young boys play cricket as bulldozers raze the compound used by al qaeda’s slain chief Osama bin Laden on sunday. afP

sTAff repOrT

S many as 82 cases of unconfirmed dengue, 59 in Lahore alone, were reported from various hospitals of Punjab on Sunday. Per details suspected dengue patients visited outdoor patients departments (OPDs) of various hospitals on Sunday. Around 41 patients were admitted to Mayo Hospital Lahore, 13 to Ganga Ram Hospital, three to Services Hospital, one to Jinnah Hospital and one to Lahore General Hospital (LGH). At least five other cases were reported in Sheikhupura, three in Gujranwala, two in Sialkot, while several other districts reported a case each. The blood samples of suspected patients have been sent to the advisory committee for verification. Dr Saeed Elahi, parliamentary secretary on health, said dengue could not be eliminated altogether, but all possible steps were being taken to reduce the chances of a major outbreak. He said about 21 experts from various countries were present in Lahore and coordinating with the Punjab government to cope with the epidemic. He said anti-dengue sprays would start within three to four days in the city to eliminate dengue mosquitoes. A spokesman for the Punjab Health Department the department had already issued instructions to all public sector hospitals to carry out NS-I test of dengue suspected cases for confirmation during an endemic situation, as advised by the Dengue Experts Advisory Group headed by Prof Faisal Masood. The spokesman added that the number of suspected patients being quoted by the was in fact the number of patients suspected of the disease over the last two months, adding that all cases did not erupt on Sunday. He said NS-I test of a dengue suspect admitted to Mayo Hospital had been conducted and the result had been negative. The health official added that guidelines prepared by the Dengue Experts Advisory Group for diagnosing and treating dengue patients during endemic season had already been issued to the administration of all public sector hospitals across Punjab. According to unofficial data, a total of around 470 people died of dengue in 2010 and 2011. Last year, at least 22,000 people were diagnosed with the deadly disease, while around 17,000 people contracted the illness the previous year.

Controversial Kasur by-poll victory goes to Rasheed KASUR Agencies/WAqAs AshrAf

Independent candidate Malik Rasheed Khan was declared successful by 89 votes in NA-140 Kasur constituency, Geo News reported late on Sunday night. After recount Malik Rasheed Khan was declared to have obtained 47, 295 while Azimuddin Lakhvi obtained 47,206 votes. Earlier in the day, the District Returning Officer Tahir Mansoor Khan had announced the cancellation of the results. Khan said he had cancelled the results for the constituency, adding that a recount would be held soon. Two independent candidates Azimuddin Lakhvi and Malik Rasheed Khan had contested the polls for the constituency, but Lakhvi’s supporters have been protesting and staging sit-ins due to a change in the results late at night. Lakhvi was reported to have won the contest with 47,477 votes by defeating independent rival Malik Rasheed Ahmed who got 47,213 votes, but a controversy arose later when the result was shelved. The Election Commission of Pakistan had offered to hold a recount on Sunday in the presence of both parties to settle the matter. “No candidate has been declared successful as all earlier unofficial results have been suspended for the process of recounting,” Mansoor told reporters.

US-Taliban Qatar talks hit stalemate g

Dialogue hits bottleneck as US still has not released five Taliban leaders from Guantanamo iSLAMABAD shAiq hussAin

The peace dialogue between the US and Taliban in Qatar has been stalled by the US’ failure to transfer five Taliban detainees from the Guantanamo Bay prison to Qatar and the Obama administration is engaged in intense efforts to revive the initial talks before their altogether collapse. The Taliban have been demanding the release and transfer of five of its main leaders detained by the US at Guantanamo Bay, which include Mullah Khairullah Khairkhwa, Mullah Mohammad Fazl, Mullah Norullah Nori, Mohammad Nabi Omari and Abdul Haq Wasiq. Taliban representatives Tayyab Agha, Shahabuddin and Sohail Shaheen – all close confidants of Taliban supreme commander Mullah Omar and who are now open to talks with the US in Qatar – have been demand-

ing the release of Taliban prisoners, and sources close to Taliban cadres claim that per Taliban understanding with the Obama administration, the five detainees should have been transferred to Qatar a month ago. “However, the talks between the US and Taliban, which were in very initial stages and focused only on the prisoner issue, have been left stalled as a result of the delay on part of US authorities to set free the five Taliban detainees,” the source said, seeking anonymity. “The US is making hectic efforts to revive the talks,” he said. The source said the Taliban would have to release from their detention a US soldier that they had been holding in Afghanistan in exchange for winning freedom for their top five leaders. “The release of Taliban leaders is very important as it will show how serious the US is for talks with the Taliban on more important issues, such as the future Afghan government and the withdrawal of foreign

troops from Afghanistan,” he said. A diplomatic source also confirmed the hindrances in talks, but said the Taliban were happy that at least they had been able to set up an office in Qatar and had taken it as the start of their formal international recognition as one of the major forces in Afghanistan. “The reports that we receive indicate that the Taliban, with their morale boosted by an office in Qatar for peace talks with the US, are now eyeing Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as the next venues for their offices,” he said. He added that the Taliban had established contacts with two important Arab countries to have their offices opened on their soil and everything now depended on the success of those talks. “Also, it is to be seen how the US reacts to the opening of more Taliban offices. Whether it supports or tries to block any such move will be an important factor,” he said.

Pasha to head Strategic Plans Division? MonitoRing DeSK Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Director General Lt Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha is likely to head the body that controls the country’s nuclear arsenal after the end of his present assignment next month, according to report carried by Times of India on Sunday. Pasha is set to step down as the ISI chief on March 18 as the government has decided against offering him another extension. The ISI chief reached the age of retirement in 2010 and was twice given extensions. He is likely to be made the head of the Strategic Plans Division, which controls the nuclear arsenal, the report said. Pasha has served as the director general of the ISI for three-and-a-half years. If Pasha is made the head of the Strategic Plans Division, he will replace Lt Gen (r) Khalid Kidwai, who has led the organisation for over a decade. Sources claimed that Pasha’s possible appointment as head of the Strategic Plans Division would “help the future of Pak-US nuclear and strategic engagement”, the report added.

Following Pasha’s alleged role in the scandal over a mysterious memo that had sought US help to prevent a possible military coup in Pakistan, it was reported he would not be given another extension. The government is keeping mum on the issue of Pasha’s future for now. Prime Minister

Yousaf Raza Gilani will take a final decision after a one-on-one meeting with President Asif Ali Zardari, the report added. It added that a source close to Pasha had disclosed that the spy agency chief did not want another extension, particularly after the memo issue which had distanced him from the prime minister. Recent reports have said that Karachi Corps Commander Lt Gen Zaheerul Islam and Lahore Corps Commander Lt Gen Rashad Mahmood were among the top contenders for the post of ISI chief. Others who are in contention for the slot include Director General Joint Staff Lt Gen Muhammad Asif, Adjutant General Lt Gen Javed Iqbal. Some reports have suggested that Maj Gen Isfandyar Ali Khan Pataudi, a relative of late Indian cricketer Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi, and Director General of Military Intelligence, Maj Gen Naushad Kayani, too were in the race. However, commentators have noted that Pataudi and Kayani were not due for a promotion and the elevation of either of them to the post of ISI chief would mean that several generals would be superseded.


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02 News Today’s

Monday, 27 February 2012

lahoRe

newS

Dengue: smarter, better, stronger

‘it feels good to be the world’s shortest man’

Story on Page 07

Story on Page 05

CaRToon

Quick Look

Page 13

Demolition of OBL mansion completed PeSHAWAR shAmim shAhiD

The demolition of the compound in Abbottabad that was the alleged hiding place of former al Qaeda chief Osama Bin Laden was completed on Sunday evening. The demolishing process was started late on Saturday evening and continued for more than 20 hours. The high-ups of the Pakistani armed forces had handed over the demolition process to civil administration on Sunday morning. Abbotabad district coordination officer and district police officer were present to supervise the process, while heavy contingents of security forces were deployed around the area. All routes and streets connecting Bilal town with the rest of Abbottabad were blocked for traffic and passers-by and resident of the town were restricted to their homes. Locals told Pakistan Today that the demolition of OBL mansion was completed amidst a curfew like situation.

Bin Laden compound demolition surprises Obama administration NEW YORK: The Obama administration officials were surprised by the demolition of slain al Qaeda kingpin Osama bin Laden’s house in Abbottabad by Pakistani authorities, a media report said on Monday. “The Pakistanis have been saying for a while that they wanted to do this (demolish bin Laden’s compound), but the timing came as a complete surprise,” an administration official was quoted as saying in a New York Times report. The official said with the anniversary of the raid that killed bin Laden approaching in early May, “the Pakistanis really don’t want to have all this attention around it”. He added that the house’s destruction was not likely to affect efforts to rekindle relations between the US and Pakistan, which have been deteriorated since an American air strike killed 24 Pakistani troops near the Afghan border in November. Pakistani authorities yesterday demolished the house in Abbottabad where bin Laden had lived with his three wives and children undetected for years. inp The media, both local and foreign, were not allowed near the site. The high-ups of both civil administration and armed forces refused to comment on the action. Osama Bin Laden and four others

were killed in a covert US raid on the compound on May 2, 2011. The land measuring seven kanals was purchased by an aide of Osama in 2004 and a three-story building was constructed over more than three kanals of the plot in Bilal town.

VEILED REFUGEES: Two Afghan women and a girl walking along Saryab Road in Quetta. OnLine

PTi reveals its energy cards… Tareen says PTI will establish single ministry of energy, liberalise public sector enterprises and appoint independent boards to solve energy crisis g

iSLAMABAD sTAff repOrT

Unfolding its strategy to resolve the energy crisis in the country, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on Sunday vowed to rid the country of the crisis after coming into power with diligent planning, effective policy and efficient management for a self-reliant and economically stable Pakistan as it identified poor governance and corruption as the main source of prevailing current energy crisis in the country. Briefing participants of PTI Policy Seminar on “Energy: From Crisis to Solution” at a local hotel, PTI central leader Jehangir Khan Tareen said, “There has been a lack of long-term planning and implementation over the last four decades with increasing reliance on quick but expensive fixes such as imported thermal and rental power plants.” HERculEAN but pOssiblE: Tareen said that while the challenge was Herculean, it was surmountable if tackled on a war footing. Hoping to be part of the next fed-

eral cabinet led by PTI chairman Imran Khan, Tareen said that the PTI was a symbol of change and was presenting a comprehensive framework on energy before coming in power. He said the current government had neither the ability nor the political will to make the energy sector financially viable. Tareen said that indigenous resources such as domestic gas, abundant hydel potential and Thar Coal had been criminally ignored. He said that imported furnace oil dependence has increased the total oil import bill from $3bn to $12bn in a decade. He said that the government spent Rs 1 trillion in offering subsidies, almost doubled tariffs but still had no solution in sight. He said that the issues of poor governance, planning and implementation, circular debt, financial sustainability, a wrong fuel-mix with two-thirds of power from imported furnace oil and gas needed to be tackled. A NEW ENERgY visiON: Liberalise and streamline Giving an Energy Policy Vision, Tareen said that the PTI will establish a single, professional ministry of energy and single empow-

ered energy regulator within the first 100 days of a PTI government’s ‘Big Bang’ reforms. He said that it will liberate public sector enterprises (GENCOs, DISCOs, OGDC) from government interference and appoint independent boards with real powers, including the selection of CEOs. He said that it will open up power sector generation to small and medium investors and adopt use of renewable, off-grid solutions like solar, biomass, micro-hydel for rural electrification besides declaring an emergency on energy conservation. On the issue of circular debt, Tareen said they will decrease overall transmission and distribution losses from 20 percent to 10 percent and increase collections from 88 percent to 95 percent. He said it will work on converting the 4500MW of expensive furnace oil plants to cheaper imported coal to reduce cost of generation by Rs 475bn annually. tHAR cOAl: a game-changer Tareen said that Thar Coal will be prioritised as a game-changer. He said that within five years, 4,000 MW hydel power will

be added by fast-tracking stalled pipelines projects and CASA hydelbased import from central Asia. On the gas crisis, Tareen said that 2000 mmcfd of domestic gas will be added within five years by facilitating and incentivising existing and new investors. On financing future energy investments, Tareen said the PTI government will resolve the circular debt besides setting up infrastructure development and finance institution to catalyse energy investments from overseas Pakistanis, domestic and international investors, sovereign funds etc. Speaking on the occasion, PTI chairman Imran Khan said that unless politicians have stakes in Pakistan, they will not take long-term decisions. He said that no one who has property and assets abroad will be made part of the PTI cabinet. He promised to solve the problems which have pushed the country to the brink of bankruptcy. He said a chief executive who has 80member cabinet could not curb corruption as ministers continue to blackmail the Prime Minister for vested interests.

‘Recover missing persons to resolve Balochistan issue’

KARACHi/QUettA inp

National Party Mir Hasil Bizenjo central leader linked the resolution of Balochistan issue with the recovery of missing persons and prompt action against those responsible for the recovery of disfigured bodies. During media interviews on Sunday, Bizenjo said, “Balochistan is now inhibited by two types of people. One want the end of the sense of deprivation through democratic means. The other wants to achieve this objective by resisting.” He said that it was the recovery of the ‘killed-and-dumped’ bodies and the Baloch missing persons that had titled public sympathy in favour of the leaders living in the mountains. He said residents of the province had full rights over the provinces’ resources.


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Monday, 27 February 2012

News 03

FoReIGn newS

aRTS & enTeRTaInMenT

SPoRTS

Anti-putin human chain protest hits moscow

hrithik roshan: Being gay is not a disease

Aamir uncertain about future, back home after release process continues:

CoMMenT On by-elections

media regulation: Not such a bad idea.

Waqqas mir says: The Baloch promise: Give them what they deserve, and then some more.

umair Javed says: The identity: Our lack of a narrative for an identity.

Arif Ansar says: A new theatre of war: Horn of Africa is the hotbed of terrorism now.

Story on Page 14

Story on Page 17

Story on Page 18

articles on Page 12-13

DPC demands arrest of Bugti’s killers, recovery of Baloch missing persons JUI-S chief says Pakistan cannot survive without Balochistan g liaquat Baloch says army, politicians took province to point of no return g

QUettA shAhzADA zuLfiqAr

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Flood warning at attaabad lake with new spillway opening HuNZA: The temporary embankment of the new spillway of Attaabad Lake will be destroyed today (Monday). A high alert has been declared in Hunza and people in the nearby villages are being evacuated. According to the Hazara Division commissioner, the water-level in Indus River can rise due to the opening of the spillway. Official sources said that with spillway’s opening, 50,000 cusecs of water would be released which might lead to floods. Section 144 has been imposed in the district, and educational institutions have been closed down. Holidays have been declared in government offices as part of precautionary measures. inp

HE Difa-e-Pakistan Council has demanded the government bring to justice the elements involved in the killing of Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti and Baloch missing youth and take practical steps on the national level to recover missing persons. Addressing a press conference at the Quetta Press Club on Sunday, Maulana Samiul Haq, chairman of the Difa-e-Pakistan Council, said the sole purpose of forming the DPC was to steer the country out of crises and prepare the nation to confront external threats. But the council had now focused on Balochistan so that its grievances could be addressed. He said the people of Balochistan were their brothers and they wanted to remove their complaints and grievances. Haq said the council had contacted all political and religious leaders, ulema and tribal leaders and they would raise voice on all forums for seeking a solution for Balochistan. He urged the rulers to open their eyes, while attributing Pakistan to a body whose head was Balochistan. “If the head is separated from the body, the body is dead.” Haq said if Balochistan’s issues were not addressed and it no longer remained part of Pakistan, the country would not be able to survive. The DPC chairman said the deteriorating situation of Balochistan

was a result of irresponsible attitude of former army and civilian rulers and demanded the murderers of all Baloch youth and Nawab Bugti be brought to justice. He also demanded incidents of forced disappearances come to an end, as use of force was not a solution to the present problems. Haq said the relatives of those who were killed in Balochistan should be given compensation and those involved in the “kill-anddump” policy be exposed. Referring to US interference in Balochistan, he said one should not be mistaken about US friendship, because history was witness to the fact that the US always served its interests and left allies in the lurch. To a question, he said if the US and other forces interfered in Balochistan, they would surely wage jihad against them. He said the incumbent government had betrayed parliament and the constitution by restoring NATO supply. At a separate press conference at the press club, JI senior leader Liaquat Baloch said the army and political leadership were responsible for bringing Balochistan to a point of no return. Baloch said enforced disappearances and recovery of bullet-riddled bodies had further aggravated the already grim situation of Balochistan. He said statements by Interior Minister Rehman Malik regarding missing persons had only poured fuel on to the fire blazing in the province. Baloch said the incumbent

All major parties boycott the DPC’s planned APC QuEttA: All main Baloch and Pashtun political and nationalist parties have decided to boycott the proposed all-parties conference on Balochistan issue to be held in Quetta under the auspices of Difa-ePakistan Council (DPC). The DPC had extended an invitation to all political parties and nationalist groups for attending the APC to be held in Quetta. The parties who boycotted the DPC APC included Balochistan National Party, National Party, Jamoori Watan Party, Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awmai Party, Pakistan Muslim League-N, Pakistan People’s Party, Awami National Party and the Jamiat Uelma-e-IslamFazl. The Baloch National Front, an alliance of several Baloch separatist groups and student organizations, has already boycotted the DPC’s conference. On the other hand, the DPC coordination committee remained busy until late on Sunday in contacting various political and nationalist parties in order to persuade them to participate in the APC. PPP Balochistan former president Nawabzada Lashkari Raisani, Jamoori Watan Party’s president Nawabzada Talal Akbar Bugti and PML-N leader Gen (r) Abdul Qadir Baloch have formerly announced their boycott of the APC. sTAff repOrT government had no solution to Balochistan’s issue, demanding that excesses against the Baloch nation be stopped forthwith. He said the army and political government had ignored the longstanding problems of Balochistan and demands of its people for the last 64 years, and subsequently, external powers were trying to destabilise the country and trying to find an opportunity to play their nefarious game. The JI leader said political leaders never tried to address the grievances of Balochistan and always relied on announcements of pack-

ages and stuck to rhetoric. He also criticised the government for not taking action against the murderers of Nawab Bugti, saying delay in arresting Nawab Bugti’s killers had further increased resentment among the Baloch youth. He regretted that women were also being whisked away in Balochistan, while the blatantly denied such reports. Baloch said appropriate steps should be taken to resolve the issues of Balochistan and all stakeholders of the issue, including Baloch and Pashtuns, should be taken into confidence.

All is not lost for the historic tombs of Chawkandi g

First national conference on Chawkandi tombs raises hope for protection and preservation of 500-year old graveyard KARACHi sTAff repOrT

The first national conference on Chawkandi tombs was held on Saturday by the Sindh Culture Department at the Chawkandi graveyard located 29 kilometres east of Karachi on the National Highway 5. A national level dialogue on one of Sindh’s most beautiful heritage sites in the metropolitan that has great architectural and archaeological significance raises hope for its protection and preservation by public authorities, particularly the provincial culture department and the city’s civil administration. Sindh Culture Minister Sassui Palijo and Sindh Culture Secretary Abdul Aziz Uqaili were joined by leading archaeologists, historians and local communities at the site, which was aesthetically decorated. The conference venue was elegant and the monuments were lit up to present a fascinating and enthralling view in the backdrop. Sindh Zakat & Ushr Minister Sajid Jokhio and Sindh Auqaf Minister Rafique Banbhan were the chief guests, whereas the culture minister chaired the symposium. During the conference, experts highlighted the history of the Chawkandi tombs and said these graves were built between the

15th and 18th centuries, and the architectural techniques and designs were unique to the Islamic world of the time. Members of the Jokhio, Burfat, Kalmati and other Baloch tribes are buried in these intricately carved graves constructed from beautiful yellow stone taken from Thatta’s Jungshahi. Shah Latif, the great Sindhi poet and saint of international repute, eulogised the tales of these tribes’ bravery in his poetry. Dr Kaleemullah Lashari, an archaeologist, historian and career civil servant who authored ‘A Study of the Stone Carved Graves’, identified “atmospheric degradation, rapid industrialisation in the vicinity and mushroom growth of development activity around the graveyard” as the major factors responsible for the decay and degradation of the site. State Bank Museum Director Dr Asma Ibrahim, a leading archaeologist, acclaimed the efforts of Palijo and her department for arranging such an important conference on Chawkandi. Ibrahim said Palijo was the first minister to officially visit the site and launch this campaign to restore the tombs. Punjab University Archaeology Department Chairman Dr Farzand Masih related these tombs with the monuments found in Balochistan and other parts of Sindh. Masih gave a pictorial pres-

entation in which he compared the grave carvings with those found in the Buddhist era in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Peshawar Institute of Archaeology & Anthropology Director Prof Naseem Khan acclaimed the richness of the architectural beauty in Chawkandi, compared to those found in upcountry, and highlighted the decorative elements of the graves. Quetta Archaeology Department Director Noor Khan spoke on ‘Balochistan Graveyards Contemporary to Chawkandi’ and mentioned similarities in the graveyards in Hub, Gadani, Lasbela and Gwadar with Chawkandi. Pakistan Institute

of Development Economics Research Anthropologist Zulfiqar Kalhoro focused on the “canopy of Jam Mureed”, which he called “a symbol of tribal power”. The conference was unique in its wide variety of participation, as it was an ideal combination of politicians, technocrats, professionals, bureaucrats and local population. The experts, archaeologists and historians from all over the country and leading intellectuals, scholars, writers and poets of the province, besides other dignitaries from

Karachi participated. The local communities also thronged in huge numbers along with their elders, including Jam Abdul Karim Bijar Jokhio, Sardar Luqman Khan Malkani, Sardar Ghulam Qadir Kalmati and Haji Shafi Mohammad Jamote. Palijo said the culture department is cognisant of its responsibilities and has accorded the highest priority to the protection and preservation of the cultural heritage and archaeological sites of the province, which had been devolved to them only a few months ago.


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Monday, 27 February, 2012

A Baloch president can heal Baloch wounds, says Firdous SiALKot sTAff repOrT/mOniTOring Desk

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E D E R A L Minister for Information and Broadcasting Firdous Ashiq Awan said a Baloch president will heal the wounds of Baloch people, Geo News reported on Sunday. Addressing a public meeting at village Buhadarpur-Head Marala near Sialkot, Firdous said that the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) through strong

Missing Baloch returns home QUettA sTAff repOrT

political interactions with all major political parties will find an amicable solution to

the burning issue of Balochistan. Firdous said that the

Slapped aPO defends Waheeda Shah MonitoRing DeSK

PPP will soon present an independent foreign policy to the Parliament for its unanimous approval. She said the PPP had restored the prestige of the vote in the country. She said the PPP will never compromise on the Kashmir cause. She said that Iran Gas Pipeline Project was successfully in the pipeline. She said that a multi-phased comprehensive anti-power crisis policy had been developed to motivate people to use solar and alternative resources of producing energy.

Rail track linking Quetta to the rest blown up

Assault condemnable, says Altaf Hussain

All the cases filed against Baloch leaders have been quashed, a private TV channel reported on Sunday. According to a notification issued to the Balochistan government as well as province’s IGP and Quetta commissioner, cases lodged against Barahamdagh Bugti, Harbiyar Marri, and Akhtar Mengal stand null and void.

Waheeda Shah, the Pakistan People’s Party candidate who slapped an assistant presiding officer (APO) at a polling station in PS-53 Tando Adam Khan constituency on Saturday, held a press conference and apparently got the humiliated officer to speak in her favour, a private TV channel reported on Sunday. Waheeda had the APO accompany her to the press conference and got the latter to give a statement in the former’s support. However, people from Waheeda Shah’s own constituency said the woman in Burqa was not the one who was slapped and humiliated yesterday. Nothing could be said with certainty whether the woman at the press conference was the same woman who was subjected to the ill treatment on Saturday. However, it clearly exhibits the powers of Waheeda Shah, an influential landlord of the area.

lONDON: Founder and Leader of Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) strongly condemned the assault and brutal torture on the woman assistant presiding officer and polling staff by a woman candidate in the byelection for PS – 53 Tando Muhammad Khan of Sindh Assembly. Hussain said that the manner in which women polling staff was subjected to physical violence was highly reprehensible and he was personally grieved on the incident. He stressed upon the Federal Government, Chief Election Commissioner and Provincial Election Commissioner to take serious notice of subjecting women polling staff to assault and violence. sTAff repOrT

QuEttA: Unidentified persons blew up the rail track linking Quetta with the rest of the country in the Sariab area of the provincial capital on Sunday night while two personnel of Frontier Corps Balochistan were wounded in armed attack in Dera Bugti. Administration officials said unknown persons placed explosive on rail track in Sariab area within the limits of Sariab police station which blew an almost two-feet long piece of the track, cutting off the rail link temporarily between Quetta and rest of the country. After the blast, police and bomb disposal squad rushed to the site and cordoned off the area. Railway’s technical staff has been sent to repair the track. In another incident, two FC personnel were injured in Tuba Nokhani area in the Dera Bugti district, when unidentified armed men attacked them with sophisticated weapons. The attackers fled when security personnel fired back. sTAff repOrT

afghan naTo

US shouldn’t

needs to stop.” Crocker noted that Karzai has called for calm “almost since the beginning”, and Afghan security forces were working to quell the demonstrations. “They are very much in this fight trying to protect us,” Crocker said. US personnel working alongside Afghans in government ministries were removed on Saturday after two US officers were killed at their desks in apparent retaliation for the burning incident. Clinton chided Republican US presidential candidates for continuing criticism of Obama’s apology. “I find it somewhat troubling that our politics would enflame such a dangerous situation in Afghanistan,” she said. “It was the right thing

to do to have our president on record as saying this was not intentional, we deeply regret it,” Clinton said. A leading contender for the Republican presidential nomination, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, on Sunday stepped up his criticism of Obama. Speaking on “Fox News Sunday”, Romney said that for many Americans, considering the thousands of American deaths in Afghanistan, the apology “sticks in their throats”. Pulling US forces and civilians out of Afghan ministry offices after two US officers were killed in the Interior Ministry in apparent retaliation for the Holy Quran incident was, Romney said, “an extraordinary admission of a failure”.

Another Baloch missing person reached home in Nushki on Sunday. Reports said Mahazullah s/o Ghulam Mengal, resident of Killi Gharibabad Nushki reached home safe on Sunday night. Mahazullah’s family sources confirmed that he had reached home.

Cases against Baloch leaders quashed MonitoRing DeSK

CONTINUED FROM PagE 22 “It is time to regain and preserve our calm, and not allow our enemies to misuse it,” he told reporters, referring to the nationwide violence. Karzai “condemned with the strongest words” the treatment of holy book and said the perpetrators should be punished, but told his countrymen: “Now that we have shown our feelings it is time to be calm and peaceful.” The Pentagon said the killings in the interior ministry were “unacceptable” and called on Afghan authorities to better protect coalition forces and curtail raging violence. The United States welcomed Karzai’s call for “dialogue and calm”, as Obama backed moves from US Forces Commander John Allen in Afghanistan to protect NATO staff after the shooting of two US service members. The explosion of outrage over the burning of the Holy Quran has plunged relations between Afghans and their Western allies to an all time low, analysts say. “It has never been as bad as this and it could be a turning point” in the West’s 10-year mission in the war-torn country, said Martine van Bijlert of the Afghanistan Analysts’ Network. “There has been a very serious case of undermined trust and it really depends on whether it goes further downhill,” she told AFP.

CONTINUED FROM PagE 22 Ambassador on Sunday over desecration of the Muslim holy book. Seven US military trainers were wounded on Sunday when a grenade was thrown at their base in northern Afghanistan. At least four American troops have been killed in apparent revenge attacks in the past week, and dozens of Afghans have been killed or wounded in protests over the incident. In a CNN interview from Rabat, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Sunday others needed to join Karzai in calling for an end to the violence. “It is out of hand and it

A cAgeD-fuTure: A child of a nADrA contract employee sits in a mock cage during a protest outside the hyderabad press club on sunday. OnLine

‘SHO of Punjab’ killed in Daska police encounter DASKA imrAn shArif

Yasir Cheema, proclaimed offender in over 200 cases, was killed in police encounter in Daska on Sunday. Police officials said they were taking accused Yasir Cheema alias Yasira to Sialkot Jail on judicial remand when four accomplices attacked and freed him under the cover of gunfire and escaped on a motorcycle. Police chased the culprits, surrounded them on Lodhay road and engaged them in a gun battle. Police said Cheema died on the spot while his accomplices managed to flee. Eight days earlier, holding a press conference to announce the

arrest of a proclaimed offender wanted in over 200 cases, Sialkot District Police Office (DPO) Syed Ali Mohsin said that Daska resident Yasir Cheema alias Yasira carried Rs 1 million bounty, who went by the titles of ‘the don of Sialkot’ and ‘SHO of Punjab’ had been arrested in a raid. Cheema was intercepted by a police team while he was headed towards a trader’s home to receive a ‘protection’ payment. The DPO said that Yasir was wanted in over 200 cases of murder, extortion and kidnapping for ransom. Presented to the press, Cheema said, “I lived near a coal mine in Chakwal for over a year. Before that I had to flee to Dubai, using

forged papers.” Cheema said, “I used a forged identity card and passport issued in another name to travel. My application forms were attested by a former union council nazim.” Cheema said he had continued to operate his extortion network in Sialkot and its surroundings from Dubai. He said that the network included a firing squad which terrorised traders and other affluent people who were reluctant to pay up by firing at their homes and cars. Daska City police had registered a case against Cheema under Sections 324, 353 and 13/20/65 of the Pakistan Penal Code for putting up resistance during raid.

US waiting for Pakistan parliament’s response: hoagland islAMAbAD: United States Charge d’Affairs Richard Hoagland has said that the US administration is waiting for the decision of Pakistan’s parliament over its fresh terms of engagement between the two countries. In an interview to a TV channel, Hoagland said his country wanted to have bilateral engagements with Pakistan but still they were waiting for a response from the parliament regarding the bilateral relationship between the two countries. Hoagland said Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani had informed him that the joint session of the parliament would be convened after the Senate elections. Hoagland refused to comment on NATO attack on Salala check post on November 23 last year that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers. inp

Low turnout in by-polls CONTINUED FROM PagE 22 The report claimed that the ECP’s revised voters’ lists were prepared in haste for the by-election constituencies to abide by the Supreme Court’s directions, skipping the statutory requirement of displaying them for public scrutiny before finalisation and resulted in several issues for voters. “Many people could not find their names on the lists and were turned away. In some cases, not all

members of households, who were enlisted as voters on 2008 lists, were registered on new rolls. In NA168 (Vehari), names of unverified voters were deleted but the eligible voters were not added to the new lists. Similar issues were indicated in NA-148 and NA-149 (Multan). More women than men were affected by this error,” it said. The total number of voters in these constituencies also collectively de-

creased from 2,543,451 in 2008 to 2,384,156 in lists prepared for 2012 by-elections. Incidents of violence were reported at more than 30 polling stations in all by-election constituencies. Firing, scuffles and brawls left more than eight people injured in these incidents. Violence was reported at polling station 13, 14 and 169 in NA-168; 42, 162 and 198 in NA-140; 82, 68, 142, 213, 199 and 288 in NA149; 131, 146 and 97 in NA-

9, at 57 in PS-57; and at 1 and 17 in NA-195. In one incident in NA-9 (Mardan), one FAFEN observer was shot in his neck by unidentified men as he was walking away from a polling station after observing the polling process. The observer has been hospitalised and was in stable. In another incident in NA-149 (Multan), a female observer was intimidated by police and other men outside a polling station.

In her effort to run away, she fell and sustained injuries. The report said that in all by-election constituencies, security officials were present inside the polling stations and booths. Under electoral rules, even at sensitive polling stations, police are only authorised to maintain order outside the polling stations to ensure smooth polling. They can only enter polling stations or booths when requested by the pre-

siding officer. However, FAFEN observed that these police officials were transgressing their authority and at times taking decisions that are the prerogative of the presiding officer, such as allowing access to observers inside polling stations. “Such heavy presence of police inside polling stations undermines the authority of elections officials and creates a perception that security forces are managing the electoral exercise,” the report said.


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Balochistan is Pakistan’s internal issue, says EU envoy g

News 05 ‘It feels good to be the world’s shortest man’

ambassador wigemark says international standards of human rights must be adhered to in Balochistan iSLAMABAD

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ALOCHISTAN is part of Pakistan and its internal issue and the European Union is engaged in various development projects in the province just like in other parts of the country, EU delegation head Ambassador Lars-Gunnar Wigemark said on Sunday. He said the EU was also furthering support to capacity building of Pakistani democratic institutions. “Being under the shadow that Balochistan is part of Pakistan, we are going to be engaged in Balochistan as we already are supporting a number of development projects there,” he said. “Keeping the fact in the view that Balochistan has a very small share as part of the overall population of the country,

access to the development and its monitoring activity is a key issue,” he added. “Yes, security is an issue but it has a chicken and egg type of correlation with development,” he added. “But this is an internal issue of Pakistan,” he said, avoiding to comment on the resolution in the US Congress on Balochistan. “I cannot comment but what is important is to say that in Balochistan, like in all other parts of Pakistan, international standards of human rights and fundamental democratic principles must be adhered to,” he underlined. Wigemark said freedom “of the media as well as that of expression is very important”. “Trying to provide a democratic framework would ensure more stability and cohesion and would reduce conflict. This is essential anywhere in the world, be it Balochistan,

Sindh or anywhere else,” he maintained. The ambassador said he intended to visit Balochistan in the near future to meet Governor Nawab Zulfikar Ali Magsi, Chief Minister Nawab Muhamad Aslam Raisani, Speaker Muhammad Aslam Bhootani and Prisons and Human Rights Minister Sultan Muhammad Tareen. Wigemark said he already had meetings with NA Speaker Fahmida Mirza and heads of almost all the political parties in parliament, in addition to women parliamentarian. He said all his meetings were regarding a programme of the EU to support variety of political institutions ranging from the Election Commission of Pakistan to the individual political parties, even at the provincial levels. He said he had already been to Peshawar and Lahore and intended to soon visit Karachi and Quetta for this purpose.

Delays in submission of challans by police hindering justice iSLAMABAD mAsOOD rehmAn

Incomplete investigations and non-submission of challans (charge-sheet) in the statutory period is a major cause of delay in the early disposal of court cases. Despite repeated orders by the superior courts to district police officers to ensure the submission of challans within the prescribed period and take actions against the delinquent officers by treating them as inefficient under Police Order 2002, the situation still remains unchanged. Although under the National Judicial Policy (NJP) 2009, action so far has been taken against over 2,000 delinquent officers on account of non-submission of challans within the prescribed period. But even then the required progress is still awaited and the superior courts are every day pointing out delays in the submission of challans. To bring transparency in the judicial proceedings and the eradication of corruption, the performance of judicial officers and court staff is strictly monitored and the high courts have dismissed/removed a number of judges and court staff involved in corruption. Penalties have been imposed on over 100 judicial officers, 500 district courts’ staff and 25 Supreme Court and high courts’ officials who were found guilty. A committee comprising the chief justices of Peshawar High Court and the Islamabad High Court, and the Supreme Court registrar, is functioning to review the performance of the Criminal District Coordination Committee and suggest measures for curbing corruption amongst the paralegal staff. To extend the benefits of the Probation Ordinance, 1960, and the Good Conduct Prisoners Probation Release Act, 1926, the NJP set certain goals to consider the cases of deserving under-trial prisoners and convicts. According to statistics, so far 38,292 prisoners have been released on probation and similarly 486 on parole. The judiciary keeps a close watch to supervise and protect the fundamental rights of the citizens as enunciated in the constitution to uphold the rule of law. The courts have flung into action the moment such rights were violated and appropriate proceedings were initiated for enforcement. The competence of the judiciary can be measured through its decisions and approach. It is said that a judge should be a gentleman first and a gentleman last. Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, the Criminal Justice Coordination Committees of the Peshawar High Court, and other high courts have expressed concerns over the non-submission of challans in time by police for trials. The committees have directed that criminal

cases should be registered under the Police Order, 2002, against the responsible investigation officers and station house officers (SHOs). A couple of months ago, a meeting of the committee, chaired by Peshawar District and Sessions Judge Ziauddin Khattak, discussed several issues, including the police’s failure to timely submit challans and FIR copies to the magistrates and district public prosecutors. The meeting was attended by officers from the district judiciary, police, Probation and Reclamation Department, Prosecution Department. The committee observed that despite umpteen directions, police were not supplying the FIR copies to the magistrates and district public prosecutors, which was a legal requirement. Similarly, the ratio of services of the process of the court had become alarming; neither the accused nor the witnesses were attending the courts, which caused a delay in the disposal of cases. It has been held that criminal cases within the contemplation of Articles 155 and 156 of the Police Order, 2002, be registered against the SHOs and investigation officers, who are not completing the investigation and submitting challans in court for trial within the stipulated time. Crime prevention and investigation are the main duties of the police and their performance in this respect can provide a good measure of their effectiveness and efficiency, but contrary to this, policing in Pakistan remains problematic. The ineffectiveness of the police is illustrated by the low conviction rate in the country as well as the rising trend in crime and lawlessness in general. It is now widely acknowledged that the conviction rate is no more than 10 percent and the main reason for this, as in other South Asian countries, is the insufficiency of investigations by the police. The National Judicial Policy, 2009, for the expeditious disposal of cases noted and recommended: “Non-completion of investigation and non-submission of challans in statutory period is a major cause of delays in disposal of cases. Since the police play a crucial role in administration of justice, therefore, the District Police Officers may be asked to ensure that the police should conclude investigation and submit Challans within the prescribed period of 14 days. They may be asked that the SHOs who fail to comply with this statutory provision should be treated as ‘inefficient officer’ under the Police Order and the court may also lodge a complaint under Section 166 PPC against him. The DPOs should also submit list of cases in which Challans are still pending for want of investigation for inspection and passing appropriate orders by the District and Sessions Judge.” However, neither challans are being presented in time nor disciplinary action is being taken appropriately against the delinquent police officers.

“In addition to outside observes, we would have dialogue with local partners all parties, NGOs and human rights organisations,” he said. “The EU support is without strings attached and aims at capacity building, that is why we welcome the 20th Amendment that to my understanding capacitates an independent Election Commission,” said the ambassador. In the coming elections, whenever they are, “we are going to send our observers well before time one and half month ahead of them”, he said. “The EU would send both long-term and short-term observers. We would also follow up the observations,” he added. “But there has to be a request from Pakistan as the one we had last time. We are also considering support local observers NGOs and other human rights organisations,” he added.

KAtHMAnDU Afp

Chandra Bahadur Dangi, 72, hailing from a remote valley in southwestern Nepal was on Sunday declared the shortest man ever documented after being measured by Guinness World Records officials. Dangi stands just 54.6 centimetres (21.5 inches) tall, measurements confirmed, 5.3cm shorter than Filipino Junrey Balawing, the previous holder of the “world’s shortest man” title. “It feels very good — I’m very happy,” Dangi told reporters.


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Resuming naTo supplies would be disgrace: Fazl BAHAWALPUR OnLine

Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Fazlur Rehman has said the restoration of NATO supply routes ahead of the parliament’s decision would be a disgrace for the nation. While addressing a public meting on Sunday, he said “swindlers that hoodwink the nation” would face dire consequences. “We came out from the British slavery but became the slaves of America. The US resolution on Balochistan is not only an open interference in the internal affairs of Pakistan but also against our sovereignty,” he added.

Military action not a solution to Balochistan issue: Ijazul haque QUettA App

Pakistan Muslim League-Zia (PML-Z) chief Ijazul Haque has said that military action is not a solution to the Balochistan issue. Addressing a press conference at Quetta Press Club on Sunday, he urged the government to inform the international community about the interference in Balochistan by countries working against Pakistan.

PM’s naTo confession is treachery: Munawar LAHoRe

cD-seven-TY: A family on its way along samundry road in faisalabad on sunday. OnLine

11 militants killed as ‘collateral damage’ continues to be reported

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The Prime Minister (PM)’s confession that the NATO supplies were never suspended constituted treachery and was an insult to the parliament and the National Defense Committee, Jamaat I Islami chief Munawar Hassan said on Sunday. Addressing the JI’s central workshop at Mansoora, Munawar said that it proved the present government was not representing the people; but was representing the US. He said that this also showed that the US was controlling our air space and could use it as and when desired. He said that the PM’s statement conflicted with Defense Minister Ahmed Mukhtar’s assertion that aerial NATO supplies had been reopened on humanitarian grounds.

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T least five militants were killed and their several hideouts were demolished in gunship helicopters shelling in the mountainous Tirrah Valley in Khyber Agency on Sunday. Officials said that security forces with help of gunship helicopters intensified action against militants hiding in the Tirrah valley. The action was intensified in the wake of recent terrorist acts in Peshawar and its surrounding areas. So far officials confirmed that five militants had been killed and four

compounds destroyed. On the other hand, tribesmen reported civilian casualties in latest round of military action in Bara region of Khyber Agency. Five were injured when a house at Bara was hit by mortar shells. One day ago, four from a family were killed and two other injured when a house hit by several mortar shells. Separately, six militants from the Lashkar-e-Islam were killed when security forces pounded militant hideouts in Naray Baba, Bazar Zakakhel. Security officials said gunship helicopters were used in the aerial bombardment for the second day in running. Sources said security forces had had taken possession of the area and

Bannu police station attacked with rockets bANNu: Militants attacked Ghauriwala Police Station in Bannu with rockets followed by heavy firing on Sunday but no loss of life was reported. Officials said militants fired three rockets and opened fire with automated weapons. A portion of the police station building was partially damaged in the rocket attacks and firing but police officials remained unhurt. Police retaliated and forced attackers to flee. Police cordoned off the area after the incident and launched a search operation but no arrest was made. The attack created fear amongst locals. inp weapons left by fleeing militants. Fresh contingents have been sent to the area while sector commander Brigadier Saeedullah Khan also

reached the area to supervise front positions. The assault is being led by Commandant Khyber Rifles Muhammad Fayyaz.

Party to hold Drone makers cash in as generals seek less casualties workers’ country-wide protest SingAPoRe Afp

They are deadly, hard to detect and fast becoming one of the most sought-after weapons in the air defence industry. Global demand for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), better known as drones, is heating up as armed forces invest in new systems to boost their ability to carry out reconnaissance and strikes without putting soldiers’ lives in danger. Propelled by a rise in Asian defence budgets, annual global spending on UAVs is forecast to almost double from the current $5.9 billion to $11.3 billion over the next decade, according to US-based defence research firm Teal Group. The Asia Pacific is the second largest buyer after the United States. “Almost every country in the region is trying to get their hands on drones or develop their own ... Thailand, India, Singapore, Japan, Australia, Korea,” said Jon Grevatt of IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly. Home to more than half the world’s population, Asia also has some of the biggest potential flashpoints from North Korea, to the South China Sea, South Asia and Afghanistan. “UAVs are necessary in this age when you want to win wars and at the same time you want to have less casualties,” said Tommy Silberring, who heads the drone di-

vision at Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI). IAI, which pioneered the development of UAV technology for the Israeli military in the 1970s, was one of several defence manufacturers showing off drones at last week’s Singapore Airshow. The use of drones rather than manned aircraft helps make countries’ participation in multilateral war efforts more palatable to the public, said Silberring, a former Israeli air force colonel. “You really don’t want to tell your people that you are giving the lives of your soldiers for another country,” he told AFP at the air show. Drones have played a crucial role in recent conflicts, with the United States relying on them to strike targets in the rugged tribal areas of Pakistan. US drones were also used

in the NATO-led intervention in Libya last year. According to IAI, its Heron UAVs are used by 18 customers around the world, including Singapore’s air force, which displayed its Heron 1 at the show. The Heron TP — the largest in the Israeli drone arsenal with the wingspan of a Boeing 737 passenger jet — is purported to have a range of more than 7,400 kilometres (4,600 miles). In the United States, homegrown manufacturers such as General Atomics and Northrop Grumman look set to benefit from the Pentagon’s recent plans to expand its current fleet of 7,494 drones by 30 percent. According to a congressional report released in January, the US military is ex-

pected to spend nearly $32 billion on new UAVs over the next eight years. “Over the next few years, we will definitely see an aggressive growth of unmanned systems being used by US forces around the world,” said Commander Robert Moss, a regional director at the United States Office of Naval Research Global. This burgeoning demand has spurred Asian manufacturers to enter the market, which has long been dominated by Israeli and US companies. “We want to be in the unmanned arena but we are selective because there are already so many big players in the industry,” said Patrick Choy, vice president of international marketing at ST Engineering, a Singapore-based defence manufacturer. ST Engineering launched the Skyblade 360, the latest addition in a series of mini UAVs, at the airshow. Choy emphasised that ST Engineering had no intention of competing with Israeli and US manufacturers to build large UAVs. “We want to build a niche in the tactical area, where we are able to help small units with our UAV technology,” he told AFP. India is similarly modest about its Rustom-1 drone, a model of which was on display at the trade fair. “Our main priority is to enhance the current capability of the Rustom... we have no intentions of exporting it,” said Parimal Kumar, a senior official from India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation.

for Baloch rights LAHoRe press reLeAse

The Workers’ Party Pakistan (WPP) will hold country-wide protests on Monday in solidarity with the Baloch people and calling for an end to the military’s ‘kill-and-dump’ policy in Balochistan. In a press release on Sunday, WPP said that it would stand up for the rights of the Baloch people who must be given maximum autonomy to determine their destinies, including the right to decide their political future and the future of the so-called ‘development’ process in Balochistan. It called for a withdrawl of all military and paramilitary forces in Balochistan and an end to the ongoing covert military operation in the province. Protests will be held in at the Lahore Press Club, Aabpara Chowk in Islamabad, Faisalabad Press Club, Depalpur Press Club, Khanewal Press Club, Multan Press Club, Pakpattan, Sheikhupura and Lodhran.


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Camel piss drinker v/s Jalebi Mullah leave lGBTs alone! 07

Chacha Ghalib and his ilk disappearing from curricula? ■ after Pharmacy and Commerce courses, heC now drops Urdu as compulsory subject from Science curriculum KARACHi

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AAmir mAJeeD

OLLOWING the removal of Urdu as a compulsory subject from the Pharmacy and Commerce courses, the Higher Education Commission (HEC) has now dropped the national language from the Science curriculum. An HEC official, on condition of anonymity, told Pakistan Today that the commission has uploaded the approved syllabus for students of the Science faculty, and Urdu was not in the list of compulsory subjects. “In the uploaded syllabus for Science students, the HEC has added some more English subjects in the list of compulsory subjects, but it has removed Urdu,” he added. He said the HEC had earlier removed Urdu from the list of compulsory subjects of Pharmacy and Commerce faculties, claiming that the national language has no importance for these students. He also said many private universities, following the directives of the HEC, have stopped teaching Urdu as a compulsory subject at graduate level. However, he added, the HEC has not received any response from public sector universities over revision of the curric-

ula.

Talking to Pakistan Today, National Curriculum Revision Committee Director Malik Arshad confirmed that Urdu is now no more a compulsory subject for the students the Science faculty. However, Arshad had no clue when the HEC took the decision to remove

Urdu from the list of compulsory subjects at graduate level. Karachi University Academic Affairs Pro Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Shahana Urooj Kazmi said the varsity would not comply with the HEC’s decision of removing the national language from the list of compulsory subjects.

Kazmi said the university is an autonomous body and it is not necessary for its administration to adopt every HEC decision. Moreover, the pro vice chancellor claimed that the varsity has not received any letter from the HEC regarding its decision concerning the removal of Urdu.

Two murders in orangi that reek of ethnic tension KARACHi sTAff repOrT

The murder of two men in Orangi Town on Sunday – first a Pakthun and then an Urdu-speaker – in quick succession sparked violence in the area. Police said 40-year-old Abdul Karim, a Pakhtun, was gunned down in Bukhari Colony. The victim was standing with his friends outside his home, when two men on a motorcycle opened fire on him, killing the man on the spot. A few minutes later, 30-year-old Ibrahim, belonging to the Urdu-speaking community, was shot dead in the Ali Garh area. The bodies of both men were shifted to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital for postmortem, the police added. Following the murders, unidentified men fired aerial shots in the area and forcibly closed shops. Orangi Town SHO Asif Rauf told Pakistan Today that the victims were not affiliated with any political party. Karim was a security guard and Ibrahim, who was disabled, ran a grocery store. The police official suspected the killing of the two men might have been motivated by personal enmity. The police had not registered the two murder cases by the time this report was filed.

flood-hit village receives a miracle out of the blue ■ Residents of Malook Shah village in Badin wake up one morning to the sight of angels in the guise of nGo workers

KARACHi AmAr gurirO

The breaches in the monsoon-swollen Left Bank Outfall Drain inundated a vast area in southern Sindh, including Badin district, and a large number of people lost everything, including standing crops, infrastructure and water supply schemes. There are several villages just on the edges of the Arabian Sea – coastal villages – in the same district that lack basic facilities, including potable water, and the residents have been suffering due to poverty, even before being hit by any disasters. But the monsoon floods of August 2011 have destroyed many coastal villages as well. Goth Malook Shah was one of these flood-hit villages in Badin district, where people lost everything, including their sources of drinking water. After being hit with floods, the poor residents of this ill-fated remote village thought that it would take several years for them to rebuild their drinking water sources. But, out of the blue, a miracle came to pass. One morning, residents of Malook Shah woke up to the sight of donkey carts, hand pumps and enormous iron jars. Some non-governmental organisation (NGO) workers had appeared in their vil-

lage from nowhere and started distributing these items among them. Some workers started constructing washing pads in their houses. Despite being reported about in the international media, when the Pakistani government did nothing to help these people, the NGO workers were able to bring a smile on their sad faces. Hanifan Bhatti, a 51-year-old peasant woman, was one of the surprised residents who had never imagined receiving gifts like silos for safe storage of wheat (which usually rots after a few months in the absence of a proper storage place), hand pumps for getting water, and a washing pad in her courtyard. Since her childhood days, she remembers always walking miles every day with her mother to fetch potable water. When she was married, she brought the tradition with her along with the dowry. When floods destroyed drinking water resources, she and other women residents had to walk long distances every morning to fetch water for their families. The wife of a poor farmer Jan Mohammed Bhatti, she said, “It is enough for me to get these gifts. We used to cover long distances to fetch water from the neighbouring villages and now we would at least have water close to our doorstep.”

Being close to the rising sea level, underground water in the entire area has become contaminated, and women have to travel long distances once or twice a day to fetch water for domestic use. Friends Development Organisation and Hamdam Foundation-Hyderabad, in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the Small Grants Programme (SGP), distributed donkey carts among 60 young men of 16 coastal villages in Badin district so that they could earn a livelihood, as well as hand pumps and silos among other items. Hanifan, a mother of six, all illiterate, arrived at a ceremony held in the village located three kilometres away from the sea to receive her silos. She is among 80 beneficiary women who have received silos for keeping their wheat and rice safe with combined water facilities. Bakhtawar, wife of Misri Bhatti, is another beneficiary, who said water facility was their main demand to save time and money. They used to face difficulties while travelling to neighbouring villages for fetching water, but these organisations have installed 30 hand pumps and 30 washing pads in their areas, which have

sweet water. Some people still do not believe that hand pumps would sustain for a long time. However, said Bakhtawar, the people feel happy at the moment to have water close to their doorstep. Nathi Bheel, wife of Jumo, residing in Dharmu Bheel village, is a mother of eight children. Belonging to the marginalised community, she said she was enjoying the water, calling it a miracle, as nobody from the government ever offered them the precious gift of water. UNDP/GEF/SGP National Coordinator Masood Lohar said they had introduced various small schemes to offer alternative sources of livelihood to the people. “Beneficiaries among them are women and the youth. Uneducated young men have been donated donkey carts. Those with different levels of qualification have been imparted skill development trainings,” said Lohar. Hamdam Foundation Coordinator Shokat A Soomro said these families had endured huge losses due to floods and they were living a vulnerable life without any better source of income. “We have identified the deserving women and youth to support them so they might live a safer life at this difficult moment,” he added.

Being close to the Badin coast, the area has been affected by increasing sea intrusion, which has turned the underground water into saline water. Once enjoying a prosperous life with cultivating fertile land, all these families are now living an unsafe life. The organisations have developed water facilities on the demand of the local people. Silos are also valuable gifts for the families, which are susceptible to frequent disasters and displacement. All the members of these low-income families work in the fields and earn little money, but since the floods have caused irreparable losses, they are now frightened. These people have more to say about the life they spent 30 years ago, but they feel insecure now in terms of frequent disasters in the shape of floods, cyclones, high tides and, above all, water and food shortages. Badin is said to have become the most vulnerable district due to artificial drains flowing from the area. Experts believe that Badin and Thatta districts are prone to disasters more than any other districts. The recent floods have proven that the communities especially living close to the sea are the most vulnerable, as frequent disasters have wreaked havoc on their homes.


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PakistaN today

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God’s personal assistants rally against LGBTs not to protect religion but to advance politically and escape boredom KARACHi AAmer DhAmAni

Y fiRst REActiON tO reading about the recent protest against the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) people in Pakistan yet again was: What the duck! And then I heard a quack and thought: That’s a really slow bleeper.

But that’s not what this article is about. On February 13, the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council held a planning meeting, during which the Libyan representative, objecting to the council’s first panel on discrimination and violence based on sexual orientation, scheduled for March 7, said something that could only be termed as obtuse. He told the ambassadors that LGBT topics “affect religion and the continuation and reproduction of the human race.” What! The LGBT people aren’t trying to change any religious laws. And the very idea that they could be a threat to the human race is preposterous. In any case, according to the UN, the world’s human population has already exceeded 7 billion. How many people do you need? The human race is a threat to itself. And the only kind of people that could affect religion are what one of my cousins likes to call “Allah mian kay PA” (God’s personal assistants). In the council meeting, Pakistan on behalf of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) also protested the upcoming panel. The Pakistani representative said the OIC’s 56 UN member states do not recognise LGBT rights as fundamental human rights. Not surprisingly, an unregistered religious organisation has launched a campaign against homosexuality in Pakistan. Their demands include preventing the United States-backed GLIFAA (Gays and Lesbians In Foreign Affairs Agencies) and GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network) from working for the rights of homosexuals in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad. In a recent demonstration, one of the protesters said his organisation

Jahangir Park in ruins, KMC’s Parks Dept responsible: NFEH KARACHi sTAff repOrT

The historical Jahangir Park in Saddar is now in ruins and teeming with anti-social elements due to the negligence of the Parks and Horticulture Department of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC), National Forum for Environment and Health (NFEH) President Naeem Qureshi said in a statement issued on Sunday. “The park is in a pathetic state and public transport vehicle drivers have now started park-

ing coaches and minibuses there as well,” he added. “The reluctance of the KMC, the DMC South and the Parks and Horticulture Department is responsible for this state of the park.” Qureshi said the park was once a place of recreational activities, but now people are afraid to go there. He observed that the trees in the park have dried up and there is no grass as well. It looks like a garbage dumping site due to the lack of proper care and mainte-

nance. The iron fence around the park is also broken at many places. The reading room inside the park is also in a bad shape. The furniture there is broken and can no longer be used. It is pertinent to mention here that the Sindh chief secretary had instructed the forest secretary and the Karachi district coordination officer in May 2009 to immediately renovate the park and remove the encroachments there. However, the park is still in a shabby state.

was waging a “war against homosexuals” and compared homosexuality to an “epidemic”. Uninformed people like him need to know that homosexuality isn’t a disease or a fad. Homosexuality has always been a part of the human culture. The Mesolithic rock art in Sicily is the earliest (as early as 9,660 BC) surviving record of homosexuality. By the way, homosexual and bisexual behaviour isn’t exclusive to humans. It exists in around 1,500 animal species. Read the Canadian biologist Bruce Bagemihl’s ‘Biological Exuberance: Animal Homosexuality and Natural Diversity’, which was also cited in the 2003 United States Supreme Court Lawrence v/s Texas case as evidence that homosexual behaviour is natural. The result of the case? The court repealed the sodomy law in Texas and, by proxy, quashed sodomy laws in 13 other states as well. Anyway, I decided to ask the local conservatives a very important question: What gives? Consequently, I logged into Facebook – that’s where all the conservatives hang out; if you’re looking for the liberals, they’ve moved to Twitter. I found a member of a religious organisation, which has been a part of protests against the LGBTs. I had to “friend” him because Facebook chat was the only place he would talk to me. Let’s call him JM (Jalebi Mullah). Why? You’ll soon find out. When I told JM that there are other issues – real issues – that need rallying, he wrote, “There’s nothing more important than this issue! Our religion is in danger because of LGBTs!” While I was typing my next question, my Facebook wall updated and displayed a video shared “2 seconds ago” by JM. It was that ‘Jalebi Bai’ song! I deleted the question that I was typing because I had something more pressing to ask him now. “Did you just share the Jalebi Bai song?” I said. “Yeah, bro. I’m a big fan. You can call me Jalebi Mullah. LOL. LMAO. ROTFLMAO,” he said.* I told him he didn’t have to throw every ‘laughing’ acronym at me. He didn’t get it. JM asked me if I was gay. When I denied, he said, “Why are you supporting the LGBTs if you aren’t even one of them?” I asked him if he was a Pakistani. He said, “Yes.” I asked him if he supported the Kashmiris. “Yes.” Palestinians? “Yes.” Why was he supporting the Kashmiris and the Palestinians when he’s a Pakistani, I asked. He didn’t get it. He was visibly starting to get irritated, though. “You’re an LGBT! I know you are!” he said. It was my turn to LOL, LMAO and ROTFLMAO – and I had a valid reason for doing all three! When my gales of laughter ended, I said to JM, “Dude, I can’t be all four of them at the same time, and certainly not a lesbian!” What he asked me next was unnerving. He said, “Why?” These people – supposed guardians or champions of religion – don’t know why a man can’t be a lesbian, that homosexuality or bisexual-

ity is natural, that the Pakistani society is threatened more by men eve-teasing women – which men never rally against – than the LGBTs minding their own business. It makes me feel uncomfortable that these people have the power to influence so many illiterate and educated-illiterate minds. I gave the mindless JM a piece of my mind. He didn’t like it. He said, “Angraiz [white people] have messed with your mind. They’ve done it with their language, their philosophy, their lifestyle, their concepts... You’re touched in the head. F*** YOU!” And then he went offline. Quack! Late again. I thought maybe he’ll realise how hypocritical it was to tell me that “angraiz” have messed with my mind through their language and then curse me in their language. I was right. He came back online and apologised for swearing at me. I also thought maybe he’s not so dumb after all. I was wrong. What he said to me next was something that Google Translate interpreted as “camel piss drinker” in Arabic. And then he went offline again – or probably just blocked me this time. But not everyone I talked to was like JM. Bored Kid, another member of the organisation JM is affiliated with, talked about the real reasons religious organisations rally. “It’s got nothing to do with religion or protecting religion or anything remotely of the sort. Everything we do is politically motivated. Leaders of such organisations have political ambitions, while the rest of the members are duped into thinking they’re doing something for the greater good. That’s just bull!” When I asked why he was a member, he said he signed up to escape boredom. “It’s quite funny actually, the things they do, their slogans and everything. They’re a bunch of liars and hypocrites!” he said. “And what are you?” I said. He got it. Didn’t like it. Went offline (or blocked me). After talking to several not-so-straight people, I realised all they want is the moral brigade to stop acting as God and judging them before the Day of Judgement. A bisexual woman from Karachi said, “Among their countless reiterations of underlining the principles of peace and tolerance in Islam, I have yet to see its adherents demonstrate just one example of tolerance to LGBTs.” Seeing the way things are right now, I fear she might have to wait a long time... I feel thirsty now. While you ponder everything you’ve read here, I’ll go have a glass of camel piss. * For the small, diminishing percentage of people that haven’t the slightest idea about internet lingo (yes, Mom, I’m talking about you): LOL means Laughing Out Loud; LMAO means Laughing My A** Off; and ROTFLMAO means Rolling On The Floor Laughing My A** Off

Graphic designed by Adnan Hussain and Asim Noor


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Monday, 27 February, 2012

karachi 09 PakistaN today

All is not lost for the historic tombs of Chawkandi ■ First national conference on Chawkandi tombs raises hope for its protection and preservation KARACHi

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sTAff repOrT

HE first national conference on Chawkandi tombs was held on Saturday by the Sindh Culture Department at the Chawkandi graveyard located 29 kilometres east of Karachi on the National Highway 5. A national level dialogue on one of Sindh’s most beautiful heritage sites in the metropolitan that has great architectural and archaeological significance raises hope for its protection and preservation by public authorities, particularly the provincial culture department and the city’s civil administration. Sindh Culture Minister Sassui Palijo and Sindh Culture Secretary Abdul Aziz Uqaili were joined by leading archaeologists, historians and local communities at the site, which was aesthetically decorated. The conference venue was elegant and the monuments were lit up to present a

fascinating and enthralling view in the backdrop. Sindh Zakat & Ushr Minister Sajid Jokhio and Sindh Auqaf Minister Rafique Banbhan were the chief guests, whereas the culture minister chaired the symposium. During the conference, experts highlighted the history of the Chawkandi tombs and said these graves were built between the 15th and 18th centuries, and the architectural techniques and designs were unique to the Islamic world of the time. Members of the Jokhio, Burfat, Kalmati and other Baloch tribes are buried in these intricately carved graves constructed from beautiful yellow stone taken from Thatta’s Jungshahi. Shah Latif, the great Sindhi poet and saint of international repute, eulogised the tales of these tribes’ bravery in his poetry. Dr Kaleemullah Lashari, an archaeologist, historian and career civil servant who authored ‘A Study of the Stone Carved Graves’, identified “atmospheric degradation, rapid industrialisation in the vicinity and mushroom growth of development activity around the graveyard” as the major factors responsible for the decay and degradation of the site. State Bank Museum Director Dr Asma Ibrahim, a leading archaeologist, acclaimed the efforts of Palijo and her department for arranging such an important conference on Chawkandi. Ibrahim said Palijo was the first minister to officially visit the site and launch this campaign to restore the tombs. Punjab University Archaeology Department Chairman Dr Farzand Masih related these tombs with the monuments found in Balochistan and other parts of Sindh. Masih gave a pictorial presentation in which he compared the grave carvings with those found in the Buddhist era in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Peshawar Institute of Archaeology & Anthropology Director Prof Naseem Khan

acclaimed the richness of the architectural beauty in Chawkandi, compared to those found in upcountry, and highlighted the decorative elements of the graves. Quetta Archaeology Department Director Noor Khan spoke on ‘Balochistan Graveyards Contemporary to Chawkandi’ and mentioned similarities in the graveyards in Hub, Gadani, Lasbela and Gwadar with Chawkandi. Pakistan Institute of Development Economics Research Anthropologist Zulfiqar Kalhoro focused on the “canopy of Jam Mureed”, which he called “a symbol of tribal power”. The conference was unique in its wide variety of participation, as it was an ideal combination of politicians, technocrats, professionals, bureaucrats and local population. The experts, archaeologists and historians from all over the country and leading intellectuals, scholars, writers and poets of the province, besides other dignitaries from Karachi participated. The local communities also thronged in huge numbers along with their elders, including Jam Abdul Karim Bijar Jokhio, Sardar Luqman Khan Malkani, Sardar Ghulam Qadir Kalmati and Haji Shafi Mohammad Jamote. Palijo said the culture department is cognisant of its responsibilities and has accorded the highest priority to the protection and preservation of the cultural heritage and archaeological sites of the province, which had been devolved to them only a few months ago after the passage of the 18th amendment. She categorically refuted the criticism against her department appearing in a section of the media accusing it of chronic neglect and continued apathy. The minister asserted that 64 years’ lethargy on the part of the federal bureaucracy cannot be attributed to the provincial government, which has become responsible for these sites only a few months ago.

She said all the important archaeological sites have remained the focus of her department’s attention in these few months, and the work on various development schemes of archaeology has been completed. The major schemes to be taken up in next year’s Annual Development Programme include preservation and protection of archaeological sites in Sindh, documentation and preservation of heritage sites in lower Sindh, repair and conservation of rain-affected heritage sites, conservation and preservation of Moenjodaro, etc. While welcoming the participants earlier, the culture secretary presented the performance of his department related to culture in general in the past four years and in the field of archaeology in particular in the past few months. Uqaili said immediately after devolution, the department has intensified work on all important archaeological sites, particularly Moenjodaro and Makli Necropolis, being World Heritage Sites of Sindh, along with Bhambore, Chawkandi, Mansoorah and all the forts of the province. He said two Memorandums of Understanding have been signed with the United Nations Educational, Scientific & Cultural

Property and political loyalty get the better of brotherly love

eSUP national Public-Speaking Competition held KARACHi press reLeAse

■ PMl-F leader accuses brother, a PPP man, of forcibly occupying his and his villagers’ agricultural lands KARACHi sTAff repOrT

In a case where apparently blood ties lose significance when it comes to property disputes and perhaps political loyalty, a Pakistan Muslim League-Functional (PML-F) leader has accused his brother, a Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader, of forcibly occupying his and his villagers’ agricultural lands in Tando Allahyar district. Speaking at the Karachi Press Club, Mir Muhammad

Khokhar of the PML-F and others from his village inlcluding Hanif, Nadeem Kashmiri, Govind Ram Bagri, Partab, Pir Bux Kolachi and Sher Mohammad Nahyon claimed that PPP’s Haji Khair Muhammad Khokhar, with the help of his armed men, has occupied their lands. “These armed men take away standing crops of banana, sugarcane and mango. The police are also aiding them. We informed the media personnel about the situation but they were

threatened by the local administration,” they said. “Some media personnel, who tried to enter the area, were also attacked,” they added. The PML-F leader said the “criminal group” is using the name of President Asif Ali Zardari, PPP MNA Faryal Talpur and Sindh Home Minister Manzoor Wasan to carry out it illegal activities. “I don’t think any of them is involved in all this as they are respectful people, and they need to take notice of this situation,” he added.

He said his elder brother is forcibly occupying agricultural lands and other properties with the help of the police and local administration. Showing copies of court orders to the media, he said his brother resorted to these steps after he lost the property cases in the courts. He said his elder brother kidnapped their father, Sardar Haji Ghulam Hussein Khokhar, when he was being treated at a hospital in Karachi. Later, he had his father

Organisation and the Heritage Foundation for documentation of the heritage sites and capacity-building of archaeology officials and the locals. He also said a web of cultural complexes has been laid in almost all important district headquarters across the province, whereby around eight complexes would be ready in a year, whereas another 15 are in the initial stages of development. He further said the 12 existing public libraries would be increased by another four in the next three months, whereas a development scheme for setting up 24 new libraries throughout Sindh has been approved by the Sindh Planning & Development Department. Uqaili said an endowment fund has been created for the assistance of ailing and deserving writers, poets and artistes. Besides, he added, another endowment fund was recently established for conducting research on great poets and saints of Sindh – Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai, Lal Shahbaz Qalandar and Sachal Sarmast. Regarding publications, he said the department has published over 80 books in the past four years, whereas 40 more are in the pipeline.

released with the help of District and Sessions Judge Karachi (South) Fahim Ahmad Siddiqi and took him abroad for treatment. Later, a commission constituted by the high court headed by the then Sindh Advocate General, Muhammad Yousaf Leghari, visited Malaysia and recorded his father’s statement. The PML-F leader claimed that in his statement, his father had given him authority over all his moveable and immovable properties.

The English Speaking-Speaking Union of Pakistan (ESUP) recently held the National Public-Speaking Competition in which the six national finalists participated – two each from Karachi, Islamabad and Lahore. The eminent panel of judges – Mrs Pamela Tarshish, wife of the Deputy Head of Mission of the British Deputy High Commission in Karachi; Dr Shamsh Kassim Lakha, former rector of the Aga Khan University; Menin Roderigues, President and CEO of the Shamrock Communications Ltd and Naheed Irshaduddin, Honorary Consul of Denmark. Tooba Ahmed Shaikh of Lahore was declared the winner and Ahmed Nawaz from Islamabad the runner-up. Pamela Tarshish, as the chief guest, gave away the awards, prizes and gifts to the winners, judges and participants. The winner, if available, or the runner-up, will be sent by the ESUP to represent Pakistan in the ESU International Public-Speaking Competition to be held in May this year at Dartmouth House in London. Once the contestants participate, they become members of the prestigious ESU International Alumni. The winner of the IPSC gets an audience with Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. Last year’s Winner was from China.


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PakistaN today

10 karachi weaTheR UPDaTeS

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TUeSDay weDneSDay ThURSDay 31°C I 20°C

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PRayeR TIMInGS Fajr 5:41

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Starting time in Karachi

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Monday, 27 February, 2012

No more privatisation, say trade unionists KARACHi

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qAzi Asif

ENIOR labour leaders and office-bearers of the country’s trade unions have demanded that the government should call off the privatisation plan of the remaining state-owned enterprises and corporations, as previous privatisations have resulted in heavy losses and increased unemployment in the country. They also called for protection of labour rights in both private and public sector organisations and ensuring right to trade unionism as enshrined in the constitution of Pakistan. The trade union leaders were speaking at a consultation on “Problems of Public Sector Organisations” organised by the Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research (PILER) on Saturday. They pointed out that over 460 public-sector industries, banks, utilities and service providers had been privatised since 1991, but the performance of almost all such units has deteriorated instead of improving and many establishments have closed down and thousands of workers were rendered jobless. After privatisation, the new management of almost units started hiring employees on contract

basis or through the third party employment system, usurping workers’ rights and weakening trade union movements in the country. The performance of privatised corporations after the buyout has badly been affected and common people have also suffered because of the poor performance and inefficient services by these private sector organisations, especially in case of the Karachi Electric Supply Company, the PTCL and ghee and sugar mills. The government sold ghee and sugar mills on the pretext that people would get these commodities at lower rates. But these private sector companies in collaboration with other companies formed cartels and prices of sugar and ghee have increased manifold since then. The performance of KESC is another example. Common citizens are suffering much more after the privatisation of the utility and the situation is becoming worse, they added. The government had pledged that 90 percent of the amount from the privatisation money would be spent on debt retirement and the remaining 10 percent on poverty alleviation. “The country’s debts have increased manifold since then and poverty is increasing with the passage of time,” said Ghulam Farid Awan, a senior trade unionist. He said in the informal sector, 95 percent of labourers

are hired on contract basis, where workers do not have any rights including the right to make trade unions. Awan criticised the public-private partnership scheme of the present government and said this is another form of privatisation. Habibuddin Junaidi, the central chairman of the All Pakistan Trade Unions Organisation, said after privatisation, the employment situation in commercial banks has worsened, and now no worker is appointed there at the lower cadre and officers are offered employment on contract basis, which has eroded trade unionism in banks. Manzoor Razi of the Railway Workers Union said corruption in Pakistan Railways has brought it on the verge of collapse. He said Pakistan Railways was profitable until 1975-76 when the National Logistic Cell (NLC) was set up. Besides passenger transport, the Railways was also carrying cargo from Karachi to other parts of the country and earning profits. The entire cargo service of the Railways was given to the NLC during the military regime of General Zia, and since then, the Railway is incurring losses. Similarly, he said, during Pervez Musharraf’s government, the then railways minister General (retd) Javed Ashraf Qazi introduced Chinese engines, which were of inferior quality and all malfunctioned within a year.

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kArAchi’s chAnging sOciOLOgY

mY JOurneY As A WiTness

tALK on FeBRUARY 28 At 07:00 PM VenUe: t2F 2.0

ConVeRSAtion on FeBRUARY 29 At 07:00 PM VenUe: t2F 2.0

ARt eXHiBition UntiL FeBRUARY 28 VenUe: ARtCHoWK

‘The Changing Sociology of Karachi: A Talk by Arif Hasan’ at The 2nd Floor. Call 35389033 for more information.

‘My Journey as a Witness: An Evening with Shahidul Alam’ at The 2nd Floor. Call 35389033 for more information.

Henri Souffay’s ‘Rêves de Pierres: Dreams of Stones’ until February 28 at ArtChowk-the Gallery. Call 35300481 for more information.

rÊves De pierres


KHI 27-02-2012_Layout 1 2/27/2012 3:35 AM Page 11

Monday, 27 February, 2012

Editor’s mail 11

The 20th amendment: another landmark achieved The passage of 20th amendment unanimously by government and opposition has once again achieved a landmark in the history of our parliament. Despite having a clear ideological and political divide, our political leadership stands united for strengthening the democracy; this can rightly be termed as essence of democracy. Parliament has once again managed to defy its critics and produced a consensus on the 20th amendment. According to the amendment, appointment of the Chief Election Commissioner and the four provincial members of the ECP will be done after reaching a consensus on their names with the opposition leader. Their tenure has also been increased to five years. These measures would ensure independence, impartiality and credibility of the ECP and strengthen its setup. The framework laid out by the 20th amendment also seeks the

appointment of a caretaker Prime Minister and Chief Ministers in consultation with the opposition leader in the assembly. The mechanism formulated after negotiations empowers a parliamentary committee comprising 6 members from Treasury and Opposition benches on parity basis to decide the names of the PM and CMs. If the PM/CM and opposition leader fail to nominate one with consensus, the commission will forward the list of nominees to the ECP, which will make the final appointments to form a caretaker government setup before the elections. Of course, transparent procedure would enhance the neutrality of caretaker setup. The PM while commenting on the amendment said that the amendment guarantees that future caretaker governments would be impartial, neutral and would ensure free and fair elections in the future. Opposition leader Chaudhry Nisar Ali

Illiteracy: a problem Khan said that perhaps not a single election commission in the world had so many powers as they were going to give to that election commission. It also validated the 28 by-elections conducted by a constitutionally incomplete Election Commission. All these clauses are meant to strengthen democracy as a system of governance in the country. The Upper House has also passed the 20th amendment bill by more than a two-third majority. After the assent of president, it would become Act. The passage of 20th amendment is a manifestation of PPP’s policy. President Asif Ali Zardari, earlier through 18th amendment, surrendered his presidential powers to the parliament for the greater interest of the nation and parliamentary democracy and now he has shown again how much his party and its government are interested in holding free and fair election under a neutral caretaker setup. We should also appreciate our opposition

political parties, especially PML(N), which has contributed a lot in the process of such amendments. This is a victory for the democracy and a mature and promising step taken by political leadership. It has paved the way for a strong democracy and free, fair and transparent elections in the future. One can hope that the future elections which are around the corner will be the most fair and transparent in the history of Pakistan paving the way for peaceful smooth transition of power. All political stakeholders should also reach on consensus on resolving issues and making a consensual policy to tackle with problems like terrorism, energy crisis, price hike and other issues confronting Pakistan, so that general masses could get more relief and Pakistan could become prosperous and developed country in the comity of nations. A Z KALHORA Lahore

another Timor As the events unfold, it seems that another East Timor (Indonesia) or another Darfur (Sudan) is in the making in Pakistan by carving out Balochistan as a separate country only to serve and safeguard security and economic interests of the United States. It was in the Sharm el-Sheikh summit that Prime Minister Gilani raised the issued of Balochistan with his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh and promised to provide New Delhi with solid proofs of the blatant Indian interference in Balochistan, but years have passed the Pakistan government conspicuously did not make any serious efforts to show to the world real face of India. Now when the situation has reached the brink, Islamabad has reportedly started preparing to provide ‘solid’ proofs of both the American and Indian intervention in Balochistan, that too not to the world community but to the parliament and parliamentary committees, following the introduction of a resolution on Balochistan in the US Congress. The US has been active for a long time to encourage the Baloch separatist elements gain independence from Pakistan through the help of India, which is playing the lead role. I think the silence on part of the government was criminal. A lot of time has been wasted, a lot is now at stake, but it is not too late if forceful diplomatic as well media campaigns are launched on both national and international forums, special briefings be given to the relevant parliamentary committees and world parliaments, embassies, International Court of Justice and the regional organisations be mobilised, exposing the great conspiracy behind it. The US has been encouraging India to strengthen its spy network in Afghanistan by helping it open consulates along the Afghan border with Pakistan. These consulates were being used as bases of Indian RAW from where it is openly extending financial and material support to the anti-state elements in Balochistan. ALYA ALVI Rawalpindi

Reckless driving Gulshan-e-Hadeed has wide roads and chances of accident are comparatively few here. But probably this very fact encourages reckless driving. It has become a fashion. Rickshaw drivers are seen moving at a breath taking speed. Rickshaw drivers drive without caring for their own or anybody else's life. It is veritable danger to school-going children to old men and women who travel by rickshaws. This rash driving of rickshaw is a regular nuisance and is responsible for fatal accidents which take place daily. Not a single day passes when we do not hear of some accidents. These rickshaws are also responsible for the noise and air pollution in town. Many a time the defaulters bribe the policemen on duty and get off. The dire need is that a good limit should be fixed and the offenders be severely dealt with. M MOHSIN SHAHBAZ Karachi

Illiteracy in Pakistan is a major root cause of many issues. According to a report, only 46 percent of Pakistan’s total population is educated, while the rest are uneducated. Illiteracy is affecting the country’s economy badly. Foreign investors have pulled out their hands from buying shares in the stock market. Even, our own businessmen prefer to invest in other countries. Country’s currency value is falling down in international market. There is an inverse relation between illiteracy and economy of a country. When illiteracy is high, economy will automatically decrease and vice a versa. Moreover, illiteracy is behind many crimes. When basic needs (food, shelter, clothing) of people are not fulfilled, they do not have anything but to hold a gun and start robbing others. They then do not feel any hesitation in shooting a person who refuses to give his belongings. Therefore, I request the government to launch some favourable educational policies, especially for the children belonging to poor classes and to save the future of Pakistan. SUMBAL FATIMA Karachi

TIP questions PIa deal

still the terrorists No matter what Pakistan does, the Nato and the US will always look at them with suspicion. They can’t come to the fact that Pakistan is not the terrorist here, instead it is the victim. Until

Brahamdagh’s statement “America must intervene in Balochistan and stop the ethnic cleansing of Baloch people, we would also welcome Indian intervention,” was the resounding voice of Brahamdagh, echoing in the Quetta Press Club on February 22 as media persons listened with rapt attention to the telephonic address of the 30-year-old Baloch separatist leader from an undisclosed abode in the country of his exile. Whatever the reasons are, does it suit to Baloch ghairat, honour and pride to invite another nation, including the archrival neighbouring India, to step into their land and help them against their own brothers and even Baloch people sitting at Centre in various capacities, either in the ministries or within the military? I believe Brahamdagh’s call for foreign intervention is not only unusual and against the Baloch pride and honour, but also on the lines of the foreign countries’ set agenda. It is important to end the issues of missing persons, forced disappearances and target killings, but it is also important to play our role as

this perception is changed, no change in US policy is possible. KHADIJA ALI Lahore

society in the province. Why has the civil dispensation in Quetta not so-far called the session of Provincial Assembly to at least condemn the US Congressional resolution on Balochistan? Instead, the other provinces’ assemblies have done it so. Where has gone the political leadership here? Who has created a wider gap and vacuum on the political front here? IMRAN JAMALI Dera Rojhan Jamali, Balochistan

Trespassing My daughter is a student at the Government Girls College Muzaffargarh. She tells me that the atmosphere there is perfect in all respects except only that it has been vitiated by the presence of some outsider men who reside with a lady lecturer on the college compound. One, a police inspector, is the husband of this lady. He passes several times a day right through the crowd of girl students inside the college. The others, her grown-up nephews, are often seen playing cricket in the plot right in the middle of girl’s hostel. Their behaviour is highly

disturbing too. The principal was approached for the solution of this problem but she said that despite her several warning letters and finally orders to vacate her residence, the lady teacher remained unmoved and insubordinate. On the contrary, this lady teacher, in conjunction with her inspector-husband, has even entered in collusion with some higher education authorities in Lahore and threatened the principal with removal from her post. The Chief Minister, Mr Shahbaz Sharif, is requested to order transfer of the errant lady lecturer from Government College Muzaffargarh to rectify this disturbing situation. FAIZ BAKHSH Muzaffargarh

For a government that is nearing the end of its tenure, it is displaying undue haste in signing contracts for induction of expensive new B777 in PIA, in violation of all PPRA rules which regulate transparency. It is an airline which instead of hiring a reputed qualified Chartered Accountant as Chief Internal Auditor has preferred services of a retired finance manager holding US nationality. PIA management is dominated by mediocrity and cronies with a reputation for no integrity. This also points to over confidence in belief that in Pakistan nobody involved in big scams and irregularities in such deals has ever been caught. Those who dare flourish run away to their new adopted countries whose nationality they hold. PIA deal follows similar irregularities in violation of rules by Pakistan Railways for procurement of 75 engines from a company of ill-repute based in China, which had previously supplied defective locomotives during Musharraf’s era. It reminds me of an interview on a private TV channel by former MD PIA Ch Ahmed Saeed, who stated that his younger brother believes that there will never be any accountability in Pakistan, so why bother. RAHAT SIDDIQI Karachi

not surprised

A news report says that ‘the Russian Islamist chief orders halt to civilian attacks, saying mass opposition protests show the public no longer supports the Russian rulers.’ Would our Taliban also take ‘yes’ for an answer? Z A KAZMI Karachi

I was not at all surprised after watching the attitude of Pakistan Peoples Party’s candidate Waheeda Shah as in the last few months many PPP leaders have done strange and above the law things. In the video aired by news channels, Waheeda Shah is beating polling staff at polling station of PS-53 Tando Muhammad Khan, Sindh. Waheeda Shah alleged that the rigging was going on in polling stations and slapped the polling staff in front of police and voters. Whatever happened on the polling station, beating someone is not justified. It will be appreciated if Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) condemned this act and also withdraws Waheeda Shah’s candidacy. MUBASHIR MAHMOOD Karachi

somebody take lead to solve people’s problems. Whether it is the religious parties, people will support them. Right now a complicated and complex game is being played on in our political arena. The court is confronted with unwilling and stubborn leadership. The defiance of court orders continues. Several important cases are being heard simultaneously and short orders are the order of the day. The whole nation’s attention is fixed on ‘contempt case’ against the PM. After the chargesheet, the real proceedings will be initiated. The man is adamant and has

taken a stand not to write a letter to the Swiss authorities. The letter is the ‘bone of contention’ and the game is on. The dust will settle after the final outcome of this case. Peoples Party and the coalition government are bent upon a showdown and ultimate disaster on this issue. Although the court has shown restraint for a long time, but it seems the gloves are now off. Someone will be crucified at the altar of constitution. People are waiting for the drop-scene of this political drama. JAVAID BASHIR Lahore

Civilian deaths

The game is on Defence of Pakistan Council staged another big meeting in Karachi the other day. People came in droves to the place. As many as 40 different political and right wing parties have joined hands to show their strength and popularity in the masses. The agenda is set to bring the change. It is a successful meeting and they have emerged as the new force in the political arena. Naturally, the religious parties have come together to achieve their agenda. All eyes were focused on this jalsa. Lot of questions have been raised

regarding the participation of banned religious groups. They are sending a wrong message by including these groups. Disgruntled politicians like Sheikh Rashid and Zia-ul-Haq’s son Ejaz-ul-Haq have joined hands with these meetings. All of them have nothing else to do and they are morally and intellectually bankrupt. The PDC has given warning that after the elections, they will start a revolutionary movement within 90 days. What are they waiting for? Whey waste time, they should launch the movement now. It is high time,

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


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12 comment Process continues albeit imperfectly

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t isn’t an election, really, in our neck of the woods without there being rowdiness, an untoward incident or two and some clear violation of the code of election ethics. It’s what assures us the fight was well-fought. “Uneventful” polling activity can’t quite muster respect and acceptability by the masses; perhaps it is this very reason that the referenda by military dictators and the stratospheric majorities won by the party in Karachi are always chuckled at. If it’s all quiet, you know some engineering has taken place. But by no means should inappropriate behaviour during elections be pardoned. Consider: the aerial firing by the supporters of the successful ANP candidate in Mardan. An election campaign is hard work and there is much emotional investment. Winning might feel good but this victory claimed the life of two innocent people. Equal, nay, greater condemnation for the defeated JUI(F) candidate whose militant supporters were doing the rounds before and during the election, no doubt intimidating voters. Consider also the PPP’s Waheeda Shah, who managed to secure a berth in the Sindh Assembly. Her slapfest at a polling station caught on the airwaves and refused to die out. Whereas the direct election of a woman to a chamber of legislature is always a reassuring sight in the country, it doesn’t give them a carte blanch. All in all, however, no major incidents of violence – the term major incident acquires a different meaning in our tumultuous republic. That most successful candidates belonged to the party of the concerned provincial government, also might be indicative of a number of things. That the coming polls’ results won’t be much different versus the argument that by-elections can never be an index for proper general elections. To segue into the general polls, the 20th amendment is going to give people lesser grounds to contest election results. The setting up of an independent election commission will serve to lend the polls much credibility.

Media regulation Cautiously, but certainly

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he various press associations of the country are rather muted when journalists are attacked. But they can really heat things up when “journalism” is attacked. Normally, yes, all attempts that seek to regulate the press should be viewed with suspicion. Governments can never quite feel comfortable with a free press. But what of a press that just couldn’t be bothered with inconveniences like the truth and fact-checking? What of a sensationalist electronic media that feels the invasion of the private lives of free citizens is their professional right? To paraphrase a senior journalist, who quipped, I have the camera, I am god’s deputy. News of the information ministry putting together a code of ethics has alarmed the media. The minister claims that nothing in the upcoming draft is going to be restrictive towards the media, but antennae have been raised, as they should have. This is because even though no one can openly find fault with seemingly generic points like higher standards of verification for news items, compliance with the same can raise operational costs significantly. At the moment, both print and broadcast news media in the country are in a bit of an anything-goes mode, where standards and protocols are tucked away in style sheets and memos, not enforced in the newsroom or studio. Even countries with the freest of media have standards and they abide by them. Even though this paper is cautious when it comes to government interference in the affairs of private media, it still does not believe in limiting the code of ethics to a “selfenforced” system. No, it should be decided upon in consultation with the stakeholders but should be made a part of the positive framework of the state. Complaints about the conduct of the media, be they from private citizens or the government itself, should be justiciable. We should be equally cautious of a media that refuses to be accountable.

Dedicated to the legacy of the late Hameed Nizami

Arif Nizami Editor

Lahore – Ph: 042-36298305-10 Fax: 042-36298302 Karachi – Ph: 021-34330811-3 Fax: 021-34330900 Islamabad – Ph: 051-2287414-6 Fax: 051-2287417 Web: www.pakistantoday.com.pk Email: editorial@pakistantoday.com.pk

Monday, 27 February, 2012

The Baloch promise in need of a re-invention

By Waqqas Mir

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magine being a Baloch and reading the exhortation in Article 5 of the Constitution of Pakistan. It proclaims “Obedience to the Constitution and law is the inviolable obligation of every citizen.” Now think of the argument that in signing the instrument of accession with Pakistan the Khan of Kalat acted without consulting the people of Balochistan. Furthermore, the said instrument stated that any constitutional structure adopted by Pakistan would not apply to Balochistan without the consent of its people. Words uttered by the US Supreme Court come to mind: love of country must spring from willing hearts and free minds. The treacherous betrayal of the promise held out to the people of Balochistan has come back to haunt us. Baloch voices have never been silenced but the powers that be did manage to shield our ears from their cries. It is perhaps a powerful lesson in the art of propaganda; there is no need for repetition – just deny that there is any trouble at all. Block any news coming out from the area. Be silent and enforce silence. Why allow any meaningful information since information always leads to debate? We did the same in present day Bangladesh. The Punjabised narrative is always the same. Those people demanding greater rights in other provinces are responsible for spreading ethnic strife and parochialism. They are not true Pakistanis. Go a step further and question their faith too; makes it more macabre. This narrative blames others when they invoke their ethnic identity but it never engages with the fact that they have been marginalised on the basis of their ethnicity. So where do we go now? A federation must aim to be greater than the sum of its parts but first it must, at the very least, represent the sum of its parts. Our version of federalism needs an urgent re-evaluation. What we need are not simple answers but complex questions that must be debated by us as a people. What I propose here is meant to generate a debate and to encourage thinking out of the box. The federation must be seen as respecting provincial autonomy to the maximum extent possible. The Centre has no business recruiting people for the police service or the District Management Group that then get sent to other provinces. The Baloch often lament that

only a miniscule number of bureaucrats serving in that province hail from it. This is unacceptable. Each province, including Balochistan, must be allowed to conduct its own examinations for services such as the Police and DMG. These are provincial matters and must be left to the provinces. Balochistan must be governed by its own. This will ensure two things: it will lessen resentment and once the province is run by the Baloch it will also hold accountable the rhetoric of many Baloch leaders. Recognise all regional languages, including Balochi, as national languages. Establish an Infrastructure Fund floated on the stock exchanges that invites private institutional investors and the public to pump in money (issue them bonds) for development projects in Balochistan. The federal government must strive for the end of the military operation with all its might. Foreign pressure on the military would also help. PPP needs to act now to save the federation. Article 158 of the Constitution which provides that the province where wellhead of natural gas is located shall have priority in meeting such requirements must be implemented in its spirit. It has been a dead letter till now and a commission of experts from all relevant fields can be formed to discuss ways of implementing it. I am also in favour of each province having its own constitution. Our perverted version of federalism may not allow it but this can be done. The Baloch are a people proud of their ways. There is no harm in inviting them to frame a provincial constitution as long as it meets certain human rights and revenue allocation related guarantees. Baloch can have provincial and federal rights. There can be justifiable human rights related concerns regarding some old customs and people unhappy with those can invoke the federal constitution in provincial high courts. This will involve good faith efforts by Baloch leadership too. Here is another thought. How about a body along the lines of a Truth and Rec-

onciliation Commission that functioned in post-apartheid South Africa? I concede we do not have unifying figures, real or imagined, like Mandela or Desmond Tutu but if Balochistan is to be saved then telling the truth and allowing for reconciliation is an inevitable part of the process. Membership of this commission can be debated but the principle can be accepted. Reservations of the Baloch about such a body must be accommodated. Such bodies may never work perfectly but they do facilitate truth telling and bring home hard realities we have conveniently ignored. We need to hear the gruesome truth about the violence perpetrated in our names. The Baloch need to see our remorse. Each killing and disappearance must be disclosed. We need to hear those voices, those names and confront the trauma unleashed upon those families. No resistance movement is without its own set of issues – human rights abuses and atrocities must have been committed by certain elements among the Baloch too. Violent actions against settlers from other provinces cannot be ignored, nor must they be forgotten. Baloch leaders and fighters too must remain willing and open to admitting their mistakes. Reconciliation is never a one way street. The federation must take responsibility for the promises it has betrayed. We must re-invent the promise that we hold out to the Baloch. It is a long and difficult conversation. But if we believe in this country, then we must believe in all its constituent parts and the sanctity of views held by those disillusioned. As long as we keep talking there is hope. But we must not delay this conversation any further. The writer is a Barrister and an Advocate of the High Courts. He is currently pursuing his LLM in the US and can be reached at wmir.rma@gmail.com and on Twitter @wordoflaw

regional press

Desecration of holy Quran Daily Khabroona

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idespread unrest and panic erupted amongst the Afghans in the already war-devastated Afghanistan on the desecration of Holy Quran. Afghans, irrespective of their political stances, religious beliefs and communal identities, came out on roads and staged protest rallies against the NATO troops camping in that country. Couple of days back, the NATO troops indulged themselves in desecration of the Holy Quran. Soon after the incident, the US Armed Forces Chief regretted the act and assured stern action against the responsible elements. But it proved hard for the Afghanistan government and US officials to calm down the people who have a sentimental approach towards Islam. So far, more than two dozen people have been killed when the peaceful protest rallies turned violent. No one could neglect the fact that certain internal and external elements were on a

bid for exploiting the situation. The Afghan officials are justified in saying that certain elements are fuelling the panic that has erupted amongst the Afghans. Keeping in view such reports, the Afghans remain alert and careful. Similarly, the US-led allies must review their policies; otherwise, no one can ensure a peaceful exit for the US-led allied troops from that war-torn country. Instead of giving a freehand to their troops, the US-led allies must keep in mind the rich Afghan cultural and traditional norms as well as sentimental approach on the part of Afghans towards Islam. The Afghans are willing to sacrifice their lives and properties in the name of Islam and Quran as they did in the recent past. Global community needs to remain patient towards the Afghans and help them in resolving their issues through peaceful and political ways rather than remaining firm on policies that revolve around guns and bullets. – Translated from the original Pashto by Shamim Shahid


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Monday, 27 February, 2012

comment 13

a new theatre of war

The identity

The threat from horn of Africa

conservatives lack one, liberals never had one

poliTact By Arif Ansar

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n the last 10 days, a number of key international gatherings have taken place. The trilateral summit between Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iran was held last week in Islamabad. The conference on Somalia was organised in London, which also provided an important opportunity for the Clinton-Khar meeting on Thursday. On the other hand, ‘Friends of Syria’ met in Tunisia on Friday. In addition to the complex Afghan reconciliation and volatile Iran and Syria situation, the Horn of Africa has clearly emerged as another hot spot, impacting the events of Middle East and North Africa. The Horn of Africa is in the limelight recently for several reasons. The surrounding waters are a hotbed of piracy and every major power has naval presence there to protect the busy commercial sea routes that pass through Suez Canal. Located to the north of Somalia, just across the Gulf of Aden, is Yemen, another troubled spot. In addition to the Af-Pak, the region has become another serious extremist hub. Over the years, as pressure from US drones and Pakistan military operations on tribal areas mounted, Somalia and Yemen became the ‘go to’ safe havens for the extremists. This, in turn, produced serious implications for Middle East and Saudi Arabia. In August 2009, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) had attempted to assassinate the Saudi Deputy Interior Minister, Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, in the Red Sea port city of Jeddah. It was later found that the assailant had

crossed over from Yemen and had connections with the tribal areas of Pakistan. The country later arrested and handed over two suspects to Saudi Arabia. Subsequently, the Saudi’s carried out a number of operations along the Saudi-Yemen border region. Just as the Afghanistan war has spilled over into tribal areas and mainland Pakistan, the Yemeni proxy conflict between Iran and Saudi Arabia had the potential to cross the border while also exacerbating Shiite-Sunni tensions in the region. When one considers the present fragile state of ethnic and religious balance in Iraq, it has been a frightening scenario for the mainly Sunni Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) nations. Towards the south of Gulf of Aden lies Somalia. A UN backed Transitional Federal Government (TFG) in Mogadishu is being supported by troops from the African Union, Kenya, and Ethiopia to carry the fight against extremists. A serious development occurred there in early February when Al-Shabab released a joint video with AlQaeda, pledging obedience to Ayman al-Zawahiri. Many analysts believe that the merger could change the nature of the conflict in Somalia. In this context, the London Conference on Somalia took place at a key time. At the London Conference, David Cameron has announced that Somalia needs a representative government by the end of August, when the term for TFG ends. Similar to the strategy being applied against Al-Qaeda connected groups in Afghanistan, Cameron declared those that part ways with AlShabab and violence it propagates, can join the political process. Al-Shabab, which was not invited to the London Conference, has warned of ‘an ugly turn of events’ in case of unwanted interference. Trouble in Somalia has been brewing for a while. In November of last year, Israel had extended its support to Kenya to help the country deal with Somali militants. Israeli President

Shimon Peres had said at the time that his country would “make everything available” to the African nation to help it fight against the Al-Qaeda linked terrorists. Analysts, however, had warned that the partnership could increase support for Al-Shabab, which would attempt to gain help by showcasing the deal as anti-Muslim. In December 2011, the US Secretary of Defence described Yemen and Somalia as key nodes during his visit to Camp Lemonier in Djibouti, and declared it as the central location for counterterrorism efforts in the region. He added that America is shifting its focus to Africa on its Al-Qaeda hunt after the success in FATA. As Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and AlShabab become active in their ambitions, Panetta vowed that US would track these guys wherever they go. Djibouti, a former French colony, has a strategic location; it borders Somali, Ethiopia and Eretria and is situated across the Red Sea from Yemen. According to a recent report in The Washington Post, US is building secret drone bases in the Horn of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula as part of an aggressive campaign against Al-Qaeda in Somalia and Yemen. Thus it is clear, in addition to Iran and Syria, the Horn of Africa is becoming much more active, with a destabilising influence on the Middle East and North Africa. The Salafi Jihadists that were earlier forced to leave places like Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Sudan for the Af-Pak, have now returned to haunt the Middle East and Africa. The environment created by the Arab uprisings has produced an especially volatile situation. There is an increasing risk that Al-Qaeda and affiliated groups are planning to exploit the chaos in many of the new hot spots. The writer is the chief analyst for PoliTact (www.PoliTact.com and http:twitter.com/politact) and can be reached at aansar@politact.com

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ver the last ten years, Pakistan has witnessed two parallel, and largely exclusive, strands of thinking on nationalism and socio-cultural identity. On one side, amidst growing coverage of issues related to extremism, intolerance, state oppression, and political Islam, liberal wisdom has propagated greater introspection, and a critical reading of history, which would help us move towards a more peaceful and tolerant society – like, as they say, Jinnah had initially envisioned. On the other hand though, amidst growing coverage of issues like the war in Afghanistan, separatist sentiment in Balochistan, plight of people in Kashmir and Palestine, and the intrusion of USA in domestic affairs, the conventional narrative has asked for greater unity, a more militant projection of nationalist sentiment (think Difa-e-Pakistan or Zaid Hamid), a need to be wary of subversive enemy activity within our borders, and an honest and focused reading of Islamic texts, which would help us move towards a unified and prosperous Pakistan – like, as they say, Jinnah had initially envisioned. What’s interesting about liberal wisdom in Pakistan though is that it doesn’t really have a politics to fall back on. It has ideals, lots of them, but no agenda for pushing those ideals into practice. Unlike other dissident narratives, such as ethnonationalism, linguistic movements, and even working class sentiment, the narrative on introspection, tolerance, and secularisation By Umair Javed has remained confined to purposeful writing and discussion. This partially explains why oped space, and the occasional NGO-sponsored seminar, is the preferred choice of projection. Admittedly, all of this has been repeated far too many times, especially in the last few years. Yes, everybody knows liberals are confined to their drawing rooms, that they have no street presence, that the mainstream parties don’t really take them seriously and that their impact will remain confined to elite lobbying on issues that are less divisive, such as women and children rights. But leaving number games and street presence aside, and in stark contrast to liberalism in Pakistan, the conventional, right wing narrative is also being sustained by institutions that operate solely at a societal level. Take weekly Urdu magazines for instance. These widely read publications, in many ways, package moralising, at times religiously inspired discourse, in a digestible, modern form. The

cover always features a fashionably dressed woman, sometimes posing with a man, and on the inside, you will have pieces that range from Islamic history and Sunnah, to geo-politics, right down to fashion advice, and love-related problems. In many ways, it reflects the aspirations of the urban middle class in Pakistan, and acts as a convenient instrument of weaving together a particular way of looking at the world. Well beyond newspapers and magazines though, the electronic media, poetry, and popular fiction have also played their part in sustaining a certain kind of politics in this country. Very recently, my friend and fellow middle-class anthropologist, Shahid Saeed Khan, alerted me to the existence of one Ms Umera Ahmed. This 35-yearold, incredibly prolific writer, wrote a book titled Pir-e-Kamil in 2004, which ultimately went on to become one of the best-selling Urdu books in recent times. The story revolves around how a girl from the Ahmaddiya community secretly converts to Sunni Islam, and the ensuing problems she faces from her family in response to this enlightened act of defiance. A user-based review website gave me a good idea of how well received this book was. There were around 300 comments for this particular title, ranging from how the book changed the life of one reader, to how another reader hoped it would serve as adequate guidance for other members of the Ahmaddiya community. The telling thing is that the book is ostensibly apolitical. It doesn’t talk about the Jamaat-i-Islami, geo-politics or affairs of the state. All it does is create a relatable narrative, completely embedded in society, which touches upon topics close to the middle class imagination. As a stand-alone institution, poetry or fiction cannot sustain any particular brand of politics. It can merely strengthen claims made in other domains and present them in a more accessible manner. Yet, interestingly enough, contemporary English language authors, or the few liberal Urdu writers in Pakistan, are incredibly wary of associating any kind of politics with their work. Politics, they say, has no space in art. Art should be appreciated within its own parameters and its usage as an instrument of portrayal, representation, and politics makes it impure. If you want politics, read an op-ed instead of literature. In a perfect world, such a puritanical position would be appreciated, cherished, and respected. In contemporary Pakistan, however, a refusal to politicise your creativity, and infuse it with ideals that you would otherwise espouse, has the unintended effect of preserving the status quo. The biggest challenge faced by people holding progressive views is trying to build a politics that can challenge mainstream hegemony. Sadly though, without a holistic socio-cultural agenda, like the one so visible in the writings of Faiz and Manto, any measure of success will remain elusive. The writer blogs at http://recycledthought.blogspot.com. Email him at umairjaved87@gmail.com, or send a tweet @umairjava


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Monday, 27 February, 2012

What I’ve learnt: Steven Spielberg

LoS AngeLeS

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Agencies

N an exclusive interview, the director talks to LIFESTYLE about outgrowing fear, popcorn vs nachos, and the need for tolerance in the world. Director Steven Spielberg, 65, more than anyone in the film industry, can afford to take risks on ideas, projects, fantasies. He seems to have carte blanche to turn whatever he touches into gold. His films include Jaws, E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial, Jurassic Park, Schindler’s List, Saving Private Ryan, The Color Purple and now War Horse. He has won three Oscars and his films have grossed more than $8-billion.

He lives with his second wife, actress Kate Capshaw, and seven children in California and is a founder member of the DreamWorks film studio. His latest film, War Horse, is based on the hit stage show (adapted from Michael Morpurgo’s novel) which used lifesize puppets made by South Africa’s Handspring Puppet Company. War Horse came when I least expected to be suddenly launching into a story about World War1 and a relationship between a horse and every human being this horse touches and changes. For me it was a more creative alternative to simply depicting the horrors of combat. I would love some day to do a musical, because I have never done one. I loved the golden era of Hollywood musicals. I was a different filmmaker before I had children than I am now, when I have seven children. I love having children around. You never know what will happen. It was through the friendship of my wife Kate with Tom Hanks’s wife (actress Rita Wilson), who met through our children, that I linked up with Hanks. I like to work with a team of friends and always have. I am first and foremost a storyteller and I don’t think my techniques have changed for getting a damned good story to the screen. I’ve stayed collaborative my entire career because I don’t have all the answers. I do think I have discovered more courage as a cineaste now than when I was younger and had more fear.

IN LIMELIGHT

CalIFoR : actress Beth arrives onnIa B Independentht e red carpet for ethhres Spirit awards. afP

James Cameron leads submarine race to bottom of Mariana Trench LoS AngeLeS Agencies

Of four teams racing to get a submarine to the deepest spot in the world’s oceans, that of film director James Cameron is closest to success and may dive to the Mariana Trench within weeks. It is the lowest point in the world’s oceans and one of the most forbidding spots on the planet, cloaked in cold, darkness and enduring mystery. Inhabited by organisms that resemble some of the earliest lifeforms, it is deeper than Mount Everest is tall, with access so risky and complex that it has had just two human visitors

since its formation nine million years ago. Now, in what could be the culmination of a so-called “race to inner space”, Hollywood director James Cameron may be poised to dash the hopes of Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Oceanic team of being the first 21st-century aquanaut to reach Challenger Deep, the nethermost location in any of the world’s oceans. America’s civil submarine construction community is abuzz with word that the 57year-old Canadian film-maker is preparing to make a treacherous solo descent of the nearly 36,000ft deep abyss, located in the Pacific Ocean’s Mariana Trench, within weeks.

HRITHIK ROSHAN:

CalIFoRnIa: actress Stana Katic arrives on the red carpet for the Independent Spirit awards. AFP

on the arrives . aFP k ic n ryn win awards ss Kathndent Spirit e r t c a depe RnIa: CalIForpet for the In a red c

Farah Khan Ali

supports

Being gay is not a disease Saif Ali Khan

mumBAi: while the home ministry made it clear that opposition did not reflect the government’s decision not to take sides on gay sex, gay icon hrithik Roshan is not ready to sit on the fence. he speaks out against discrimination and more. “Discrimination against homosexuals is exactly that - discrimination. and any form of discrimination is wRonG. It’s taken us hundreds of years to evolve as a society and realize how ridiculous and preposterous discrimination against race/caste is. how many more years is it going to take us to be mature enough and learn to accept individual sexual inclination? Perhaps the starting point is to understand that homosexuality is noT a matter of choice.” “you cannot choose to be gay just because your friends are or vice versa. you cannot force someone to be attracted to someone they are not attracted to. It is perhaps genetically encoded. one is basically hardwired to be or not be attracted to the same sex. which means it is a part of your genetic characteristic. you are born that way. which means it is a part of and in alignment with the delicate balance of all the nature around us. also it has existed since the evolution of man, so how can something that is part of nature and has existed forever be considered immoral beats me!” “I can’t even imagine the extent of mental confusion and frustration inflicted on a young mind that is trying to grasp why he is made different and “not normal” (in terms of the world’s perception). Being gay is noT a disease we need to fear! It’s ridiculous that there are people trying to stop it from spreading! Agencies

PaRIS: K the Caes ate winslet arriv ar award es for s.

mumBAi: Farah Khan ali, the daughter of veteran actor Sanjay Khan, has jumped in to support Bollywood heart-throb Saif ali Khan since she believes Saif is not a person who would ever start a brawl with someone. Farah thinks there is something missing in the whole scene but it will come out soon. Though Iqbal Sharma, who is an Indian-origin businessman from South african, has stated that Saif started the brawl, Farah reckons it is very unlike Saif. “Celebrities are often targeted when they are out in public and usually in the company of their woman. have been witness to one such incident years ago. “There is something amiss in this incident and I’m sure the facts will come out soon,” she said. The 41-year-old actor Saif was arrested on wednesday for having a fight with Sharma at Taj Palace restaurant in Mumbai. The case was booked under section 325 at Colaba police station after Sharma registered a complaint against Saif for allegedly assaulting him. Saif has now been released on bail but the investigation is still going on, as the CCTv footage has not been found as of yet. Agencies

Salman, SRK come closer mumBAi: Bandra could soon have the unlikeliest of neighbours, with Bollywood star Salman Khan purchasing a Rs 32-crore triplex flat a stone’s throw from Mannat, the bungalow of his bete noire Shah Rukh Khan. The triplex, in an under-construction 28storey building called The address at Bandra Bandstand, is not far from Galaxy apartments, where Salman currently lives with his parents Salim and Salma Khan. as per the stamp duty and registration documents, the triplex extends across 9,763 square feet, including including carpet, affiliated and parking areas. The documents show that the actor paid over Rs 1.64 crore as stamp duty on the market value of the flat,


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The Artist leads the race as Oscars countdown begins

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Agencies

HE final countdown to the Oscars has begun, with silent French film The Artist as the clear favourite to take the coveted best picture prize.

CalIFo (l) and RanIa: actors Jame red carp nne heche arr s Tupper Spirit aweat for the Indepivee on the ndent rds. AFP

The black-and-white film has won most of the major pre-Oscar honours during awards season. The Artist has 10 nominations in total, while Martin Scorsese’s 3D family film Hugo leads the race with 11, including best film and director. The 84th Academy Awards, hosted by Billy Crystal, takes place on Sunday. Crystal is back for his ninth stint as host, with Oscarwatchers predicting lots of silent film gags and jibes about the recent legal wrangle over the Kodak-branded theatre where the Oscars is held. Crystal himself is giving nothing away, but tweeted this week: “First rehearsal: They said keep it ‘fresh and new’. This from an industry that just brought us Fast & Furious 5 and Harry Potter 7, part 2.” Crystal stepped in as host after Eddie Murphy pulled out in November The final round of voting by the Academy’s 5,783 members ended on Tuesday. Outside the venue, a section of Hollywood Boulevard has been sealed off and the red carpet is in place. Industry newspaper The Hollywood Reporter says The Artist’s predicted win for best picture follows its victory in the two strongest “Oscar bellwethers”, the Producers Guild of America and the Directors Guild of America awards. “This French-financed, Hollywood-shot, Harvey Weinstein-distributed love letter to the movies has gone on to seduce Hollywood since being unveiled at Cannes in May. “It is now poised to become the first silent film in 83 years and the first black-and-white

film in 18 years to win the top Oscar.” clOsE RAcE: A change in the Academy voting rules means that there are nine films in the best picture race this year. Alongside The Artist and Hugo, those in the running include War Horse, Moneyball, The Tree Of Life, Midnight In Paris, The Help, The Descendants, and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. George Clooney and Brad Pitt are both up for best actor, and Meryl Streep has her 17th Oscar nomination for her portrayal of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady. Streep has won two Oscars - best sup-

porting actress for 1979’s Kramer vs Kramer and best actress for 1982’s Sophie’s Choice but has been overlooked on her last 12 attempts. Oscar pundits predict a close race between Streep and Viola Davies, for her performance as maid Aibileen Clark in civil rights drama The Help. Davis has recently edged ahead of Streep in the Oscar race. In the supporting actress category, The Help’s Octavia Spencer is the frontrunner, ahead of fellow cast member Jessica Chastain, and Melissa McCarthy and Britain’s Janet McTeer - for Bridesmaids and Albert Nobbs respectively. Unusually, this year’s race for best supporting actor boasts two octogenarians: Christopher Plummer for Beginners and Max von Sydow for Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. Both are 82, and if either win they would become the oldest recipient of an acting award. The record is currently held by Jessica Tandy, who won for Driving Miss Daisy, aged 80. Plummer is widely predicted to take the statuette for his

role as an elderly father who comes out as gay after his wife dies. The others in the category are Nick Nolte, for Warrior; Kenneth Branagh, for My Week with Marilyn; and 28-year-old Jonah Hill, for Moneyball. NOstAlgic cHOicE: Things are less clear-cut in the race for best actor. Hollywood heart-throbs Clooney and Pitt face a stiff challenge from The Artist’s Jean Dujardin, who beat them - and British star Gary Oldman - at the Baftas earlier this month. It’s Oldman’s first Oscar nomination, which recognises his quietly powerful performance as mole-catcher George Smiley in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. The outsider in this category is Mexican actor Demian Bichir for his role as a Los Angeles gardener, struggling to keep his son out of gang culture, in A Better Life. Earlier this week, an investigation by the Los Angeles Times revealed that the Academy demographic is much less diverse than the movie-going public. Oscar voters, it said, are nearly 94% Caucasian and 77% male.

The artist sweeps independent Spirit awards LoS AngeLeS Agencies

MUMBa for an awI: aSrdhriya Saran arrives show.

Rs 32 crore. Salman’s father Salim Khan reportedly concluded the deal, but refused to comment. The builder is Dheeraj Realty. In September 2011, Salman had reportedly sold a ninth-floor flat, measuring 1,650 sq ft, in the 14storey Sterling Seaface at worli. The deal was for over Rs 6 crore. he is hunting for a buyer for another flat of similar size on the building’s sixth floor. on September 1, 2011, ToI reported that Salim Khan denied reports that Salman had invested an undisclosed amount in an old building at Bandra’s Carter Road, which he planned to redevelop with a builder. Salim also denied reports that Salman had purchased a four-bedroom-hall-kitchen penthouse at Carter Road for about Rs 20 crore in 2009. Agencies

French silent film The Artist has been named best feature at the Film Independent Spirit Awards. It comes one day before it is expected to take the top prize at the Oscars. In a scene that could have come out of a movie, director Michel Hazanavicius was given a police escort from the airport to Santa Monica in time to see his film pick up four awards. He had just jetted back to Los Angeles from Paris where The Artist swept the Cesar awards on Friday. The annual Spirit awards, which honour independent film-making, are a laid-back warm-up to the Oscars. This year, as last year, they took place in a giant tent next to Santa Monica beach in California. Several other Oscar hopefuls won prizes in the event on Saturday, including Christopher Plummer for best supporting actor in Beginners, and Michelle Williams - named best actress for My Week with Marilyn. In her acceptance speech, Williams thanked the room “full of misfits, outcasts, loners, dreamers, mumblers delinquents, drop-outs... just like me”. Best international film went to Iran’s A Separation, while The Descendants won best screenplay.

Sanjay Dutt to play

Sher Khan in Zanjeer remake mumBAi: we are still waiting to get over Sanjay Dutt’s wicked laughter and philosophical dialogue in the new version of agneepath and news has come in that the 50-plus actor is being considered for another remake: Zanjeer. But his role in this one will be completely different from Kancha Cheena – this one will bring out his good side. For those who don’t know, Shootout at lokhandwala director apoorva lakhia is supposed to helm the modern version of the ’70s super-hit cop and thief tale, Zanjeer, originally starring amitabh and Jay Bachchan, and Pran. as we said earlier, the filmmaker wants Sanju to play the third most important role in the plot, Sher Khan. In terms of physicality, we think the big and bulky Sanju looks drastically different from the then average-built Pran who played the Pathan’s role in the original. however, looking at how comfortably Sanjay slipped into the shoes of the villain, it will be easy for him to make his way into people’s hearts as the affable foe-turned-friend too. Remember how Pathan Sher Khan’s friendship and devotion in Zanjeer started a trend of movie plots with two best friends back in the ’70s? The popular song in the film, yaari hai imaan mera yaar meri zindagibecame an anthem for buddies during those days. Agencies

LIST oF wInnERS

Best Feature: The Artist Best Director: Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist Best Male Lead: Jean Dujardin, The Artist Best Female Lead: Michelle Williams, My Week With Marilyn Best Supporting Male: Christopher Plummer, Beginners Best Supporting Female: Shailene Woodley, The Descendants Best First Feature: Margin Call John Cassavetes Award (Feature Under $500,000): Pariah Best Screenplay: The Descendants Best First Screenplay: 50/50 Best Cinematography: The Artist Best Documentary: The Interrupters Best Foreign Film: A Separation Robert Altman Award: Margin Call

First report from Skyfall director

Sam Mendes LOs AngeLes: The first in a series of videoblogs to roll out for Skyfall was released February 22, with director Sam Mendes reporting from the production of the 23rd James Bond film. The updates on Skyfall, like Peter Jackson’s vlogs for The hobbit, will provide fans with behind-the-scenes footage and details about the much-anticipated sequel in cinema’s longest-running franchise. Mendes, who has made films including Revolutionary Road, starring leonardo DiCaprio and Kate winslet (his exwife), and the oscar winning american Beauty with Kevin Spacey and annette Bening, explains that this is the first film the englishman has made in the UK. Interspersed with behind-the-scenes footage from the film, Mendes reveals that it’s possible to make a big, fabulous, glamorous, escapist movie about this famed Ian Fleming 007 character and at the same time, say something about the world we live in. In this adventure, Bond’s loyalty to M is tested as her past comes back to haunt her. as MI6 is under attack, the legendary spy must track down and destroy the threat despite the personal cost. The film stars Daniel Craig as Bond, Judi Dench as M and Javier Bardem as the villain, as well as albert Finney, Ralph Fiennes, naomie harris, Berenice Marlohe, helen McCroy, and Ben whishaw as the new Q. Skyfall opens october 24-26 in France, the UK, Sweden and norway, followed on october 31 - november 2 in select european and asian markets, in north america on november 9, australia on november 22 and Japan on December 1. Agencies


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16 Foreign News

Monday, 27 February, 2012

Syria puts new constitution to vote in thick of unrest DAMASCUS

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Afp

YRIANS were called to the polls on Sunday to vote on a new constitution in the face of opposition calls for a boycott and deadly violence that Washington said made the exercise “laughable.” The new text ends the legal basis for the five-decade stranglehold on power of the ruling Baath party but leaves huge powers in the hands of President Bashar al-Assad. The opposition says the changes are cosmetic and that only Assad’s ouster will suffice after 11 months of repression by his security forces that human rights groups say have left more than 7,600 people dead. On Saturday alone, 98 people were killed, 72 of them civilians, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. As polling was under way, the Britain-based watchdog reported new violence around the country that left 16

civilians and 14 security force personnel dead. In the central city of Homs — under assault by regime forces for more than three weeks — shelling resumed of the rebel district of Baba Amro, dashing Red Cross hopes of a lull to allow the evacuation of two wounded Western journalists. Syrian state television aired live footage from a number of polling stations around the country and reported that “large number of voters” had turned out. “I am voting because this is the outcome of reforms introduced by the president, and if they succeed, we will have a democracy, not like in Libya and elsewhere,” Balsam Kahila, 32, told AFP after voting in the capital at the finance ministry where she works. Asked whether she thought it was right to hold the referendum in the thick of bloodshed, she said: “I am voting in spite of the armed gangs,” using the term employed by the regime to refer to rebel fighters and mutinous troops. At the voting centre, many did not bother to use the booth, showing to

everyone their choice of “yes” to the new charter. Outside, at the main Seven Fountains Square, large crowds gathered brandishing Syrian flags as pro-Assad anthems blurred from loudspeakers. In the southwestern city of Sweida, in the heartland of the Druze minority, Maria, in her forties, said she voted without hesitation in favour of the new constitution, although she said it was not enough. “We’re not stupid. We know that the new text does not meet the aspirations of the people, but voting is a message to support stability and reject the civil war that threatens our country,” she said. “In theory, the new constitution ... opens the way to a multi-party system and to a democratic transition ... The real political battle now is to force those in power to respect the text,” said Khaled, a 37-year-old lawyer. In Homs, no voting appeared to be taking place, activist Hadi Abdullah told AFP after touring parts of the city where rebels are active. “There are no people in the streets.

16 civilians among 26 dead in Syria clashes bEiRut: Syrian regime forces killed 16 civilians in clashes and shelling across the country Sunday, while at least 10 soldiers loyal to President Bashar Al-Assad also died, a human rights watchdog said. Nine civilians and four soldiers were killed in clashes between loyalist troops and rebels in the centre of the flashpoint central city of Homs, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. The deadly exchanges erupted in the Hamideyeh neighbourhood as Syrians were called on to vote on a new constitution, the Britain-based watchdog said. Shelling of a number of rebel areas of Homs killed another three civilians, it added. In the northern province of Aleppo, regime snipers killed a civilian in the town of Ezaz, the Observatory said. Explosions were also reported in the northeastern oil city of Deir Ezzor, the central city of Hama and the northwestern province of Idlib, where a civilian was shot dead in the town of Maarat al-Numan. In Daraa province, south of Damascus, the cradle of the protests that erupted against Assad’s regime in March last year, regime forces killed a civilian in Alma and rebel troops clashed with soldiers in Hirak. Three members of the security services were killed in the city of Daraa as their vehicle was targeted by rebel troops, while two soldiers were shot dead in the village of Dael as they mounted a minaret, the Observatory said. Afp Everything is shut, and there is not a single polling station,” he said. Foreign journalists have very lim-

ited freedom of movement in Syria as a result of stringent restrictions imposed by the authorities.

Clinton meets Moroccan counterpart as Maghreb tour winds up RABAt Afp

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton went into talks Sunday with her Moroccan counterpart Saad Eddine Othmani on the third and final leg of a Maghreb tour aimed at nurturing democracy in the region. The talks are the first between Clinton and a member of the government of Abdelilah Benkirane, a moderate Islamist who took office in January. Earlier the US secretary of state met an adviser to King Mohammed VI, Fassi Fihri. Morocco’s new government is confronted with difficult social conditions with a high rate of unemployment in the nation of 33 million people, most of whom are poor. The north African tour began in Tunis on Friday when she took part in a “Friends of Syria” international gathering. In Algiers on Saturday she met with President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, urging Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco to maintain the momentum of the democratisation brought about by the Arab Spring by deepening reforms. “I come from Tunisia, tomorrow I will be in Morocco. My message is the same: the people of the Maghreb are as talented, creative and hard working as people anywhere in the world,” she said in Algiers. “They need and deserve to make decisions on behalf of themselves because that is good for the dignity and rights of every individual and it’s good for every society.” The Maghreb region comprises Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia.

Sudan rebel front claims first attack in S Kordofan KHARtoUM Afp

Rebels in a “revolutionary front” aimed at toppling the Khartoum regime on Sunday claimed their first joint attack against government forces, but the army blamed troops from South Sudan. Rebels of the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), from the western region of Darfur, combined with insurgents from the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N), which for several months has been fighting in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states along the border with South Sudan, JEM spokesman Gibril Adam Bilal said. Last November, the two rebel groups joined with factions of Darfur’s Sudan Liberation Army to form the front dedicated to “popular uprising and armed rebellion” against the National Congress Party government in Khartoum. “This attack is under the umbrella of the Sudanese Revolutionary Front,” Adam told AFP. He said Sunday’s offensive happened at Jau, a disputed area in an oil-rich region on the poorly defined border.

rABAT: us secretary of state hillary clinton is pictured among her delegation during a lunch with morocco’s foreign minister in rabat on sunday. clinton winds up a tour of north African countries that also took her to Tunisia and Algeria. afP

Calls for unity ahead of australia PM vote SYDneY Afp

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard said Sunday she was “very confident” of surviving a leadership challenge from Kevin Rudd — the man she deposed — calling on Labor to unite whatever the outcome. Rudd, ousted as prime minister in a shock June 2010 party-room coup, will face Gillard in a secret Labor ballot for the leadership Monday after dramatically resigning as foreign minister in a bid for the top job. Gillard said she was “very confident of the strong support of my colleagues” and called on her centre-left ruling party to accept the decision and leave their divisions behind. “I believe Labor, every one of us, will unite after Monday’s ballot. We will unite tomorrow and we will get our shoulders to the wheel delivering Labor’s programme and plans,” Gillard told reporters.

“The important thing is that tomorrow’s ballot ends this — there is a result and following that result everyone accepts it and unites and gets on with the job and I am absolutely confident that will happen.” Rudd came to power in a 2007 election landslide which ended more than a decade of conservative rule, but a series of policy mis-steps saw him lose the confidence of party chiefs and he was axed for the more pragmatic Gillard. Though he is widely expected to lose Monday’s run-off, with just 30-35 votes in the 103-member caucus, Rudd said he had the backing of a number of top cabinet ministers and urged his colleagues to remember his achievements. He also pledged “unequivocal support” for Gillard were she to win the ballot. “If Julia is returned on Monday then she will have my unequivocal support between now and the next election, because we have interests way beyond individuals here,” Rudd told the Nine Network. “This thing is bigger than all of us. If

I get mowed down by a bus tomorrow — political or physical — the bottom line is this: the party and the government and the country is much bigger than me,” he added. Opposition leader Tony Abbott repeated his calls for the minority MPs who make up Labor’s fragile coalition government to withdraw their support and force an election. Abbott would not confirm whether he was planning to bring a no-confidence motion in parliament, saying only: “I think for Australia’s sake this government should go.” Monday’s vote caps a period of intense turmoil within Labor, brought to a head by Rudd’s dramatic resignation as foreign minister in Washington on Wednesday and his subsequent decision to contest the leadership. Rudd said he had faced the unprecedented challenge of delivering big reforms on health, climate change and tax while steering Australia through the global financial crisis and grievances about his leadership

were not raised with him. “I was doing my absolute best to run the country and to bring us through the global recession, totally focused on that,” he said. “None of my colleagues, in cabinet meetings or privately, ever said that (there were problems) to me.” Treasurer Wayne Swan launched a scathing attack on Rudd this week as bitter in-fighting descended into open divisions within Labor, describing him as high-handed, autocratic and egotistical. But Rudd said Swan “at no time... reflect(ed) any fundamental concern or any significant problem that would require me to change course, do something radically different in order to retain the position of prime minister.” Gillard called Monday’s ballot hoping to douse leadership tensions which have simmered since Rudd, still hugely popular with voters, was dumped shortly before the 2010 national elections.


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Monday, 27 February, 2012

Foreign News 17

anti-Putin human chain protest hits Moscow MoSCoW Afp

Thousands of Russians linked hands Sunday around Moscow in a symbolic protest against Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s expected return to the Kremlin for a third term in elections next weekend. A din of endless honking descended on Moscow’s 16-kilometre (10-mile) Garden Ring Road as drivers expressed support to large crowds of smiling and waving people who gathered in freezing weather under a heavy gray sky. “We came here because we disagree with what happened in the legislative elections,” said Mikhail, 22, in reference to fraud-tainted December 4 polls that sparked the first mass protests of Putin’s 12-year domination of Russia. “People came here because they hope that this time their votes will be counted,” said another 48-year-old member of the human chain, also called Mikhail. Police estimated that 11,000 people had shown up for the event, less than an hour after its 2:00 pm (1000 GMT) start. An AFP reporter saw some 3,000 people also march through Putin’s native city of Saint Petersburg chanting “Russia Without Putin” as hundreds of crack OMON officers watched tensely on the side road. Smaller anti-Putin demonstrations were reported in the Siberian cities of Tomsk and Kemerovo. “This might be the last peaceful protest because no one knows what might happen on March 5,” popular writer and protest co-leader Boris Akunin said at the Moscow event, referring to a meeting planned a day after the elections. “That meeting is unsanctioned and it is already obvious that a lot of people are going to come out,” he told the private Rain television network. “The police might behave differently from the way they are acting now and this seriously concerns me. Russia has witnessed more than a month of weekly rival rallies between Putin’s foes and his state-backed supporters in advance of elections that the 59-year-old former KGB spy is almost certain to win. The latest polls and forecasts show Putin winning in the first round with around 10 percentage points fewer than the 71 percent he secured on his re-election to a second term in 2004. But some leading members of the opposition have already vowed to bring out their supporters onto the streets in what could be a tense start to a new sixyear term by Putin in which his rule will be challenged for the first time. Organisers of the “Great White Ring” event said they need 34,000 people to build a complete human chain around inner Moscow. The Russian strongman’s supporters fought back by staging their own event on a central Moscow square called “Putin Loves Everyone”. A Kremlin youth group handed out ribbons with the Russian tricolour flag — a clear reference to the white ribbons worn by the opposition — throughout the afternoon. Posters and flags reading “For Putin. It is as Simple as That” with images of the Russian premier also popped out around the city and spots where Muscovites were expected to link hands for the opposition protests.

mOscOW: russian opposition supporters, holding white ribbons, form a chain on sunday in a symbolic protest against prime minister vladimir putin’s expected return to the kremlin for a third term in elections next weekend. afP

Berlusconi ducks bribery verdict as trial thrown out MiLAn Afp

An Italian court threw out bribery charges against Silvio Berlusconi under the statute of limitations Saturday after a five-year trial, in another judicial victory for the former prime minister. Prosecutors had called for a fiveyear prison term for the ex-premier, who was accused of having paid off his former British tax lawyer David Mills to provide false testimony in his favour in two trials in the 1990s. Judge Francesca Vitale spent three hours considering the verdict after defence lawyers presented their closing case, but took under a minute to tell a packed court that she ruled that the case had run out of time allowed by law. Prosecutor Fabio de Pasquale looked downcast and told waiting hordes of journalists: “I just want to get out of here.” The court is expected to present its findings within 90 days, which will reveal whether the three judges hearing the trial believed Berlusconi to be guilty and whether they would have ruled against him had the case not expired. The former premier’s lawyer, Niccolo Ghedini, said his client “deserves to be completely absolved”. The media magnate, who has always

protested his innocence, was not in court. He had left Rome for Milan Saturday morning, but had travelled to the northern Italian city to see his football team AC Milan play Juventus. He told journalists at the stadium later that “justice has half been done”. Despite his being convicted several times of corruption and false accounting in the past, all cases against Berlusconi have either been overturned or expired after years of moving laboriously through Italy’s justice system. Berlusconi had been accused of paying his off-

shore tax expert $600,000 (445,000 euros). Mills was tried in absentia, convicted in February 2009 and sentenced to four and a half years in prison. The verdict was later upheld but the case against Mills finally expired in 2010, although judges said they believed him guilty of “very serious” corruption. A protester outside the court Saturday held a banner reading: “Mills is the guilty corrupted party, Berlusconi is the innocent briber?” Berlusconi did everything he could to put off a verdict against him in the Mills case, complaining that the judges had refused to listen to all the defence witnesses and were conspiring against him. “Having a statute of limitations (ruling) in Milan is a success for Berlusconi,” said Piero Longo, a lawyer for the former premier who has long complained that left-wing judges in Milan are out to get him. Berlusconi had charged ahead of the hearing that the Mills trial “is just one of numerous invented proceedings against me. More than 100 legal procedures, over 900 prosecutors have busied themselves with me”. In particular he criticised the prosecution’s “incredible thesis” that the crime was committed not when the money was allegedly given to the lawyer but when the lawyer began spending it two years later.

Suicide attack targets Nigeria church service LAgoS Afp

A suicide bomber smashed his explosives-laden car through the gates of a packed church during Sunday service in Jos, central Nigeria, killing three people and injuring dozens, church leaders said. Witnesses said a black car crashed through the gate of a perimeter fence and exploded a few metres from the wall of an 800-seater church hall in the volatile city. The attack is the latest in a country grappling with almost daily bomb and gun assaults, most of them blamed on the Islamist sect Boko Haram. “The bomber drove at top speed,

and there was a loud explosion and everything was black,” said churchgoer Ezekiel Gomos, who said he had seen a black car driving fast towards the church hall around 30 minutes into the service. The church was about 80 percent full at the time and most of the victims were among latecomers to the service, he said. “If he had driven into the middle of the church it could have been worse, but God was in control,” said Gomos. John Haruna, the minister who was leading the service in the Church of Christ in Nigeria, said the bomber “forced himself through the gate, into the church (yard) and the bomb exploded” only three metres from the

walls of the church. Mark Lipdo, another church member and activist with the Christian human rights Stefanos Foundation, said pieces of human flesh littered the church premises and dozens of parked cars had been destroyed. Nigerian emergency services spokesman Yushau Shuaib said three people had been killed and 38 wounded. Church leaders said a total of 50 wounded were being treated at two hospitals. The city of Jos and its environs is one of the most volatile areas in Nigeria, where hundreds of people have been killed in a spate of sectarian clashes between Muslim and Christian ethnic

groups, particularly over land disputes. Boko Haram has been blamed for a wave of increasingly bloody gun and bomb attacks in Africa’s most populous country in recent months, mostly in the Muslim-dominated north. Incidents of attacks are also growing in the central region, the so-called middle belt which divides the north from the mainly Christian south. Last Sunday several people were wounded in an explosion near a church in the town of Suleija outside the capital, Abuja. Boko Haram has targeted Christians on several previous occasions, notably the bombing of a Catholic church that killed 44 on Christmas Day near Abuja.

egypt begins trial of foreign, egyptian activists CAiRo Afp

Egypt started on Sunday the trial of dozens of democracy activists including Americans on charges of receiving illegal foreign funding, despite Washington’s insistence that the charges be dropped. A prosecutor in the court in a Cairo suburb read out the charges against the defendants, saying their alleged acceptance of the illicit funds had “detracted from the sovereignty of the Egyptian state.” They are also accused of operating their groups illegally. Most of the 43 defendants did not show up in court. An AFP correspondent said the 14 defendants who did appear denied they had committed crimes when asked by the judge. Each one answered the judge in Arabic, and one defendant told AFP during a recess that the defendants in the court’s black metal cage were all Egyptian. After the brief hearing, the judge adjourned the trial to April 26, allowing the defendants who had appeared in court released until then. The first hearings in Egyptian trials usually allow the defendants to register their pleas and lawyers to make their demands.

15 tourists killed in China bus plunge BeiJing Afp

Fifteen tourists were killed and another 19 injured when their bus plunged into a ravine, Chinese authorities said — the latest deadly accident on the nation’s dangerous roads. The incident happened on Saturday morning after the bus took a bend on a highway in Shanxi province, the government of Jincheng city — where the accident took place — said in a statement. So far, 15 people have died and another 19 have been taken to hospital, it said on Saturday, adding the bus had travelled from the neighbouring province of Henan and the exact cause of the accident was still being investigated. Photographs on the government’s news website showed rescuers hauling passengers out of the 50metre (165-feet) gorge on stretchers, some with blood on their faces, with the bus lying on its side, its windows completely smashed.


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Monday, 27 February, 2012

Radwanska lays down marker with Dubai open title Page 21

Misbah keeps positive frame of mind ahead of final T20 DUBAi

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Agencies

AKISTAN skipper Misbahul Haq wants to forget the 38 runs defeat to England in the second Twenty20 match at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Saturday night and look forward positively toward the third and final Twenty20 match of the series to be played at the Zayed Cricket Stadium on Monday. Gulf News quoted Misbah as saying: "Our main approach will be to forget the last game and think positively. We will play the game with a positive frame of mind as we want to win the match badly. I hope everyone will come with good performances in this match."

warne inducted into australia hall of Fame SYDneY Afp

Test great Shane Warne will be inducted into the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame this week, Cricket Australia said on Sunday. The legendary leg-spinner, the first cricketer to take 700 Test wickets, will be inducted at the Allan Border Medal ceremony in Melbourne on Monday, CA said. Hall of Fame chairman David Crow said Warne, 42, who retired from Test cricket in 2007, was the selection committee's unanimous choice. "Shane Warne's contribution to cricket has been enormous," Crow said. "He revived legspin, combining accuracy with variety and enormous turn, even on unhelpful pitches. "It was the timing of his performances -- in addition to his sheer weight of wickets -- that further underlined his legendary status. "Beyond his phenomenal record, Shane Warne changed the way cricket was played and has inspired a new generation of cricketers worldwide to take up the challenging craft of spin bowling." Warne said he was surprised and delighted to be inducted into the Hall of Fame and would fly from the United States to attend the ceremony in Melbourne.

Misbah sportingly appreciated England's Jonny Bairstow's fine knock. "He (Bairstow) played really well especially at a time when England was in trouble after losing players like (Kevin) Pietersen and (Ravi) Bopara. I think his knock set the game for England and he looks a good player for this format of the game." Misbah does not believe that the target of 150 was a tall order. "It was a gettable total though it was a fighting score provided one batted

properly. Our batting disappointed us once again." When asked why Pakistan's batting is failing repeatedly, Misbah said: "When you keep on losing early wickets it is difficult to make up. We could not even get a good run rate in the first six overs and also lost lot of wickets. This has been our main problem. When you lose wickets and you are not getting the run rate up especially with the field restrictions it becomes very difficult to chase. Also, a total of 150 runs is almost eight

an over." Misbah still has faith in his team and is hoping that this team can take Pakistan forward. "I think ours is a good team but our batting has not risen up to their potential. We are still carrying the bad form from the One day series. In Twenty20 and One day cricket or it is usually the batting that wins you the game and if your batting is not scoring even 150 runs then it is a problem." However, Misbah has no plans to bring about big changes in the eleven to play in the final Twenty20 match. "I don't think there will be many changes. The team did well in the last match and today you saw Hammad Azam who played really well. It is a good team provided we improve our performance as a batting unit."

Uae a good learning experience: flower ABU DHABi Afp

Coach Andy Flower says England's youthful side have gained vital experience against Pakistan which will help them in their bid to defend their World Twenty20 title later this year. England levelled the three-match Twenty20 series against Pakistan with a comfortable 38-run win in the second match in Dubai on Saturday, setting up an intriguing final game here on Monday. And Flower believes the experience on the sub-continent like pitches will leave them in good shape to defend their World Twenty20 title they won in th Caribbean in 2010. "The experience that those guys will have gained in a pressure situation against a very good opposition in these conditions will be absolutely vital to their growth and to our growth as a side," Flower told reporters here on Sunday. Pakistan, 2009 World Twenty20 champions, won the first game by eight runs on Thursday - also in Dubai. Flower stressed his team need to concentrate on the Sri Lanka event. "We have to have, at this stage, an eye on the World Twenty20, which is in six or seven

months time and therefore how we play against these spinners in these conditions and how quickly we learn is vital to our chances in Sri Lanka," said Flower. "Most of our Twenty20 matches are now in England, so it will be different cricket and we have to make the most use of this next one which, no doubt, we will be aiming to do. But this experience out here has been great for us." Flower praised newcomer Jonny Bairstow who smashed an unbeaten 60 to help England to 150-7 before paceman Steven Finn's 3-30 kept Pakistan down to 112. "I thought Bairstow’s innings was outstanding; very skilful, firstly against some reasonable spin bowling and against a very good bowler in Umar Gul. And very powerful as well. That’s a very good combination to have. "Our quicks have shown high standards throughout this tour and it was no different last night, they were excellent. And (Graeme) Swann is an outstanding T20 bowler; he again squeezed them in the middle overs," said Flower. Flower said the current tour has been fascinating.

"Probably it’s been surprising that we lost the Test series 3-0 and then won the ODI series 4-0, which is exactly the opposite of what most people would have expected. "I think we’ve learned some good lessons from the Test experience. I think you can see some of the learning coming out in some of the batsmen at the moment which is great to see, it would be very disappointing to go through those tough experiences and not come out the other side as better players." Flower hoped Finn, who took 13 wickets in the one-day series, will get his Test place back. "There’s no doubt he will play Test cricket and quite a lot of it, I’d think. When and in which circumstances and how his compeititon for a Test place play - will determine how quickly that happens."

aamir uncertain about future, back home after release

LAHoRe sTAff repOrT

Disgraced pacer Mohammad Aamir early Sunday returned to Pakistan after serving his prison term in Britain. Aamir was one of three Pakistan players jailed by a judge in London in November over their roles in a plan to bowl deliberate no-balls during a Test against England at Lord's in August 2010. Although Aamir did not interact with the media on his arrival but sources close to the disgraced bowler said that he did not know what his future would be. “I hae just returned and want to spend some peaceful time with my family and right now I dont know what is there in store for me,” the source added. The 19-year-old is also serving a five-year ban imposed by the International Cricket Council (ICC). Aamir arrived at Lahore airport from London at 4:35 am local time (2300 GMT) and headed straight for his home in the Defence Housing Authority. Aamer's family members also refused to speak to media. Television footage showed Aamir sitting in a white car as the vehicle entered his residence. Former Pakistan Test captain Salman Butt was also sentenced to two and a half years for being the "orchestrator" of the scam, while seamer Mohammad Asif received a 12-month prison term for bowling a fraudulent noball. The London-based sports agent Mazhar Majeed who organised the scam was jailed for two years and eight months. All three players are serving five-year ICC bans. The scandal emerged as a result of an undercover investigation by the now defunct British tabloid the News of a World. Both Butt and Aamir had appeals against their sentences rejected in November, with England's top judge saying they had "betrayed" their country. Last month, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Zaka Ashraf held out the prospect of Aamir returning to international cricket once his jail term and ICC ban had been completed.

Australia push India to the wall SYDneY Afp

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India face a major task to reach the tri series one-day finals after an 87-run loss to Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Sunday. The Indians showed little fight in their chase after Australia's 252 for nine and were skittled for 165 off 39.3 overs. The result means the Indians must beat Sri Lanka by a bonus point in Hobart on Tuesday to have any chance of making the finals. Australia are already through to the finals with their crushing bonus-point victory and have one more match to play before then against Sri Lanka in Melbourne on Friday. It was another miserable night for the Indians, who have showed little conviction during their tour to Australia, losing all four Tests, winning one Twenty20 match and going down in four of their seven ODIs with another match tied. "Definitely not a good night. We have not performed to our potential in these ODIs," said India skipper M.S. Dhoni. "It was an ideal opportunity for the youngsters. I am sure they have learned a lot. We need to bat well. Unfortunately we've lost all the tosses and kept batting in tougher conditions." Man-of-the-match David Warner topscored with 68 off 66 in Australia's innings, while Matthew Wade (56 off 66)

AusTrALiA: D. Warner c raina b Jadeja 68 s. Watson c Yadav b kumar 1 p. forrest b kumar 7 m. hussey run out (pathan) 10 D. hussey c Dhoni b Yadav 54 m. Wade c Dhoni b Yadav 56 D. christian c Jadeja b sehwag 24 c. mckay st Dhoni b sehwag 1 B. Lee c kohli b sehwag 4 X. Doherty not out 13 eXTrAs (lb9, w5) 14 TOTAL (9 wickets; 50 overs) 252 fOW: 1-5, 2-26, 3-57, 4-107, 5-201, 6-212, 7-217, 8-232, 9-252 BOWLing: kumar 10-1-37-2 (2w), pathan 5-1-28-0, Ashwin 100-45-0 (1w), Yadav 6-0-39-2 (2w), Jadeja 10-0-51-1, sehwag 9-0-43-3 inDiA: v. sehwag c and b hilfenhaus 5 s. Tendulkar run out (Warner) 14 g. gambhir b mckay 23 v. kohli c christian b Watson 21 s. raina c Wade b Watson 8 m.s. Dhoni lbw b hilfenhaus 14 r. Jadeja c Watson b christian 8 r. Ashwin c Watson b Doherty 26 i. pathan c m. hussey b Lee 22 p. kumar b Doherty 1 u. Yadav not out 0 eXTrAs (b4, lb8, w8, nb3) 23 TOTAL (all out; 39.3 overs) 165 fOW: 1-7, 2-35, 3-79, 4-83, 5-89, 6-104, 7-126, 8-156, 9-163, 10-165 BOWLing: Lee 8-0-26-1 (1nb, 2w), hilfenhaus 8-1-50-2 (1nb, 5w), mckay 6-0-27-1 (1nb), D. hussey 2-0-7-0, christian 3-0-8-1 (1w), Watson 5-2-9-2, Doherty 7.3-0-26-2 Australia won by 87 runs, man-of-the-match: David Warner (Aus), Toss: Australia, umpires: Billy Bowden (nzL) and simon Taufel (Aus), Tv umpire: simon fry, match referee: chris Broad. sTAnDings (games, wins, losses, tied, points): Australia 7, 4, 3, 0, 19 sri Lanka 6, 3, 2, 1, 15 india 7, 2, 4, 1, 10

SyDney: India's MS Dhoni speaks with umpire Billy Bowden after a third umpire decision went in favour of australian batsman David hussey while (R) Ben hilfenhaus appeals successfully for an lBw decision against Dhoni during their oDI match. afP and David Hussey (54 off 64) also contributed half-centuries. India put in another woeful batting display and crashed to 104 for six in the 27th in a match where they always appeared to be struggling against the well-drilled Australians. Tailender Ravi Ashwin topscored with 26 off 37 balls, while

Sachin Tendulkar (14), Virender Sehwag (5) and Dhoni (14) were all out cheaply. Tendulkar yet again failed to score his elusive 100th international century and has scored just 104 runs in six knocks in the series at an average of 17.33. Tendulkar was run out by a brilliant diving underarm throw down by Warner, but

the Indian great complained that his run was blocked by the follow through of paceman Brett Lee. Sehwag again showed little accountability and was caught and bowled by Ben Hilfenhaus, while Dhoni pottered around 49 balls before he was leg before wicket to Hilfenhaus.


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Monday, 27 February, 2012

Ronaldo’s magical backheel gives Real victory MADRiD Afp

Cristiano Ronaldo scored a wonderful, backheeled goal to give Real Madrid a 1-0 win over neighbours Rayo Vallecano on Sunday to extend their lead to 13 points over Barcelona at the top of La Liga. The second half was eight minutes old when the Rayo defence failed to clear a corner at the first attempt. Portuguese superstar Ronaldo, facing away from the goal, then backheeled the ball so powerfully from 15 yards out that it evaded at least four Rayo defenders on its way into the left hand corner of the net. It was his 29th league goal of the season. Barcelona can cut Real's lead back to 10 points later Sunday when they travel to Atletico Madrid. Madrid coach Jose Mourinho admitted his team were fortunate to escape with victory. "They had three good chances and deserved to get something from the game," he said "I think that is our most difficult win so far this season. We adapted to a difficult pitch, my players gave everything and I'm very happy with result. Rayo did not deserve to lose and I hope they have a great end to the season." The game was competitive throughout and the main talking point of a goalless first period was whether or not Madrid's Sergio Ramos had intentionally used an elbow to stop Diego Costa in the penalty area after already receiving a yellow card. Ronaldo had shot dangerously on 24 minutes across the Rayo goal from the left hand side of the penalty area and a minute later he went close again with a right footed shot that narrowly missed the target. Rayo chased, harried and reduced space all over the pitch and were close to taking a first half lead when Francisco Medina burst into the area and cracked a shot onto the underside of the crossbar on 38 minutes. The second half started in much the same vein until Ronaldo's moment of magic in the 53rd minute. Rayo's best chance to level the game fell to Miguel Perez 'Michu', who blazed the ball over the bar after a mistake from Ramos put him clear on goal. On 75 minutes Real 'keeper Iker Casillas had to be at full stretch to stop a powerful drive from Daniel Armenteros. Michu was unjustly sent-off with a minute remaining for a challenge on Sami Khedira in which he did not appear to make contact. Earlier on Sunday Athletic Bilbao enhanced their Champions League prospects with a hard fought 2-2 draw at Villarreal. Veteran midfielder Marcos Senna opened the scoring for Villarreal with a sweetly struck free-kick after 10 minutes, but Bilbao struck back with two second-half goals by Markel Susaeta and Spanish international Fernando Llorente on 61 and 65 minutes. The home team snatched a crucial point with a Nilmar goal two minutes later to move three points away from the relegation zone. Bilbao stay fifth, one point behind Levante who currently hold fourth position and a Champions League classification for next season.

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Laplacette shines as Colony Sugar claim Punjab Polo Cup

lahoRe: The players of the Colony Sugar and Master Paints in action during the final while the winner team with chief guest Ms. hina Rabbani Khar, Federal Minister for Foreign affairs. MUrTaza aLi Asher BuTT

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LAHoRe

AUL Laplacette-led Colony Sugar claimed one of the prestigious titles of the national polo calendar, The Enterprise-sponsored Punjab Cup 2012 here at the Lahore Polo Club’s main Aibak Ground on Sunday. Colony Sugar outplayed Master Paints 8-3 in the final to lay their hands at their first major title of the season and for that win Laplacette played a pivotal role with five hits across the polls. His teammate Santiago Mendivil opened the scoring with a solo effort and later added his second goal in the game with the well-manipulated move of

Laplacette. Laplacette and Naveed M Sheikh added one goal each after Mendivil got the opener to enter into the game with sheer dominance. But Gaston Moore reduced the margin by adding his team Master Paints first goal with a 40 yard penalty hit. Colony and Masters added one goal each in the second chukker in which Sufi Mohammad Hairs got limelight for Masters but for Colony Sugar it was Laplacette’s solo strike that left the score tottering at 4-2. They further consolidated their position with two back to back goals but Moore, his second and the team’s third and final, showed that the match is not over yet. However, Laplacette with another two goals made sure that the difference of win

should go so big that it wont be easy for the Masters to surpass the margin. Although the game remained one-sided throughout the four quarters but all the riders kept the holiday fans and the chief guest Ms. Hina Rabbani Khar, Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs, enjoy the evening to their maximum. She later presented the winner’s trophy to Colony Sugar quartet. Earlier, in the day Nestle cut joint Pakistan Army-Nadra team to size with six goals to three. It was in fact the Nestle team that played like a well-knit unit and the Army-Nadra quartet had only Gerardo Mazzini to make his presence felt. It were Raja Samiullah and Shah Qubilai Alam who began Nestle’s ride to success for a third place with one goal each.

arsenal stun Tottenham in seven-goal derby LonDon

Claye wins triple jump, hurdler Faulk shines ALBUQUeRQUe

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Theo Walcott struck twice as Arsenal staged a remarkable comeback to beat north London rivals Tottenham Hotspur 5-2 and reclaim a place in the top four while delivering a huge blow to their near neighbours' fast fading title hopes. Trailing to an early Louis Saha goal and an Emmanuel Adebayor penalty, Arsenal appeared to be heading for a third successive defeat. But the home side responded superbly, drawing back level thanks to goals from Bacary Sagna and Robin Van Persie immediately before the break before Tomas Rosicky and Walcott secured victory in the second half. The victory provided a welcome boost to Arsenal and their under-fire manager Arsene Wenger following the FA Cup exit at the hands of Sunderland and the humiliating 4-0 Champions League defeat to AC Milan. 3 points allowed them to leapfrog Chelsea and close the gap on third-placed

lonDon: arsenal's Dutch Robin van Persie vies with Tottenham hotspur's French younes Kaboul during an english Premier league match at the emirates Stadium. afP Spurs to seven points who missed out on the chance to reduce the ten-point deficit on Premier League leaders Manchester City. The stakes were undeniably high for

Wenger's side whose last realistic chance of success this season lies in holding onto a top four spot and claiming a place in next season's Champions League.

Povetkin retains WBA heavyweight title BeRLin Afp

STUTTGaRT: German boxer Marco huck (l) punches Russian title defender alexander Povetkin during their wBa heavyweight world Championship fight. afP

James Harper was replaced by Gerardo Mazzini in the Army-Nadra line-up before the second quarter but was of no use as there was no goal scored in that chukker. However, Saqib Khan Khakwani began to show the grip his team had on the game and added a back hand goal, first of his three. Hamza Mawaz Khan brought the fourth for Nestle. But Mazzani tried his luck to bring ArmyNadra back into contention with a hattrick. But it was Nestle which was playing as a team and Khakwani ensured that their superiority remain intact. Simon Mclaren Tosh, Rodrigus Azocar Bravo and Manuel Crespo were the umpires while Saqib Khan Khakwani and Omar Asjad Malhi were the referees.

Russia's Alexander Povetkin defended his WBA heavyweight title on Saturday night with a majority decision win over Germany's Marco Huck, who was making his debut in the division from cruiserweight. The fight was scored 114-114, 116-113 and 116-112 to the Russian, but Huck produced a brave performance over the 12 rounds in Stuttgart. Having defended his WBO cruiserweight title eight times, this was Huck's first fight at heavyweight and the 27-year-old give away nine kilograms. Saturday's win leaves the 32-year-old Povetkin with a record of 24 victories, including 16 knock-outs and no defeats. After a lively first round, Huck was warned for holding by referee Luis Pabon while Povetkin caught the Serbian-born

German with two right hooks in the second. Povetkin landed several powerful body shots in the third as he managed to briefly pin Huck to the ropes, but the challenger landed a good right. Huck clearly took the fourth with several shots on two separate occasions, but the challenger was again warned for a punch to the back of the head. Huck went toe-to-toe with the champion midway through the seventh and a clean shot to the chin had the Russian wobbling. At the start of the eighth, Povetkin landed several good head shots of his own and when a small cut opened under Huck's left eye in the 11th, the Russian had Huck in real trouble. Huck still managed a full shot to the face in the 12th and the challenger finished with a flurry of punches with both fighters exhausted at the final bell.

Will Claye improved on his 2012 worldleading triple jump Saturday with a leap of 17.63 meters, winning the US indoor athletics championships title and booking a world indoors berth. It was a big day for other top US performers, as well. Dexter Faulk clocked 7.40sec in the heats of the men’s 60m hurdles, his time supplanting the 7.41 of China's Liu Xiang as the best in the world this year. Justin Gatlin, the 2004 Olympic 100m champion, who had a four-year doping suspension, continued his dash down the comeback path with a 6.51 in the first round of the 60m. Tianna Madison, the former long jump world champion, was the fastest qualifier in the women’s 60m at 7.10. The hurdlers and sprinters will return to the Albuquerque Convention Center on Sunday for the semi-finals and finals. Field events dominated the opening day finals. High jump world champion Jesse Williams won his event with a clearance of 2.29m, while Jenn Suhr won the women's pole vault with a vault of 4.67m. Christian Taylor, Claye’s former training partner and teammate at the University of Florida, was the surprise winner of the triple jump at the outdoor World Championships in South Korea last year, where Claye captured bronze. On Saturday, Taylor settled for silver with a leap of 17.21. Claye, whose previous 2012 best was 17.39m, was due to be back in action on Sunday seeking another national title -- and another spot on the team for next month's indoor world championships in Istanbul -in the long jump. Not since Mike Conley achieved the feat in 1986 has the same man won both the triple and long jumps at the US indoor nationals. "A lot of other jumpers don’t look at it the way I do, but training for both jumps actually helps me," Claye said. "A big thing is you don’t put stress on one single muscle group all the time." Given Albuquerque’s nearly mile-high altitude, Bernard Lagat’s 7:47.54 win in the men’s 3,000 meters, over Lopez Lomong (7:51.75) and Galen Rupp (7:57.36) was impressive. Lagat did it with a 56-second final 400m.


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20 sports army defeat wapda in national Baseball LAHoRe sTAff repOrT

Defending champions Army earned yet another notable victory when it toppled Wapda 10-1 in the second match of the Shaheed Kamran National Inter-departmental Baseball Championship at the UCP ground here on Sunday. The match which was decided in the 9th innings when Army scored five runs in the 8th innings to make a difference of nine runs as the match was closed in the 9th innings as per rules. Army scored one run in the first innings through Arshad, while Wapda failed to score any run. Army further increased the lead in the second innings adding two more runs through Arsalan and Imtiaz Ali. No run could be scored in the next three innings by both the sides. Army again started scoring from the 6th innings earning two more runs. This time, Zafar and Arslan chipped in with one run each to increase the lead to Army to 5-0. After scoring no run in the 7th innings, Army forged ahead in the 8th innings plundering five runs through, Fakeer, Farooq Khan, Arsalan, Imtiaz and Arshad, who hit a home-run. For Wapda, Zaheer opened the account scoring the lone run of their innings. Wapda will meet Police in the next match on Monday. Earlier, Army had defeated Police in the opening match on Saturday. Major Umar was the chief guest of the match. Meanwhile, secretary Pakistan Federation Baseball Khawar Shah said that after this championship, the names of 25 probables will be announced for the national training camp, which is being held in Lahore, soon after the championship, to pick and prepare the national team for the forthcoming 10th South-West Asia Cup, being held at the Punjab Stadium here from March 23 to 28.

Badshah downs Muzaffar for Dangal title LAHoRe sTAff repOrT

Badshah Pahlwa of Kamonke downed Muzaffar Butt of Lahore to grabbed Champion Dangal Lahore title here at the Wrestling Arena, Iqbal Park on Sunday. The competition which was organized by Arshad Bijli Pahlwa Foundation, saw Badshah overpower his much superior opponent in around five minutes time. In another big title bouts, Hamza Lahore beat Hassan Lahore while Khurrum and Abid played out a draw. Nomi beat Azhar, Kalu Lahore beat Qaiser Sheikhpuria.

Monday, 27 February, 2012

Djokovic celebrity status faces new challenges DUBAi Afp

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ORLD number one Novak Djokovic may be entering new territory when he competes at this week's Dubai Open, his first tournament since his Australian Open triumph last month. Though Djokovic has won the Aussie title twice before, he has never previously received the level of celebrity which has been bestowed on him. The Serbian has received his country's top state honour, the Order of the Karadjordje's Star of the 1st degree, from its president Boris Tadic. Djokovic also attended an unveiling of his own likeness in wax at the central Serbian town of Jagodina. And he has received the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year award in London. The following day Djokovic was back in Belgrade, reportedly stressing that he is happy to represent Serbia "in a most beautiful way", after the "undeserved negative publicity it has had in recent years". It all suggests that Djokovic is facing different challenges, off-court ones similar to those to which Roger Federer, the winner of a record number of Grand Slams, had for several years. Djokovic's ability to cope with that, as well as with the fitness and competitive issues he has dealt with so superbly in the last 12 months, may influence how successful he is next week and throughout 2012. A sign of his profound awareness of all this is that he has avoided all competitive tennis during the past four weeks, including Serbia's Davis Cup tie against Sweden in Nis. "I'll be with my team mates with all my heart, but I won't go to Nis, because I plan something I haven't done in seven years - go skiing with friends on Kopaonik," Djokovic said, referring to Serbia's top ski resort. The success of such relaxation may well play a significant part in Djokovic's ability to continue his sensational level of success during an Olympic year which will present more challenges than any before. "I'm full of positive ambition, but it is early for us to realize what we have been through," he commented during one of his post-final press conferences in Australia. "I was barely on my feet standing in the final set." Djokovic also admitted that he is still learning how best to organize himself, how to control

DUBAI: world number one tennis player novak Djokovic of Serbia and Swiss Roger Federer (L) at the helipad on top of the Burj Al-Arab Hotel in Dubai ahead of the ATP Dubai open. AFP

Federer happy for Sampras to keep his record DubAi: Roger Federer says he would be happy not to take away Pete Sampras' all-time record of 286 weeks as world number one, even though he stands only one tantalising week away from equalling it. Federer has already superceded the American's record of Grand Slam titles - he has 16 to the retired Sampras' 14 - but is prepared to accept the possibility of not getting back to the top of the rankings. The 30-year-old world number three from Switzerland has not won a Grand Slam title for two years, even though he defeated world number one Novak Djokovic in a sensational semi-final at last year's French Open. Nor has he been top of the rankings himself since June 2010, though Federer still believes that his level of play makes it possible to regain the pinnacle from Djokovic. "It would be great to having that record (286 weeks at number one) but my life is okay without it," Federer said. "Pete is a friend of mine, and I don't need to break every record he has. If I do things the right way, it will come back. And if not, that's fine for me. Hopefully I will get back to number one and have the record. "If I play really well from here to the US Open there is a shot at it", Federer said. "There again there is a shot for abut ten players. But I feel I am on a good roll." Federer believes that consistency, fitness and his mind set - and in particular whether he is "ready for the sacrifice and to go the distance" - are what what will decide whether or not he returns to number one. He also appears to have acquired a mellow attitude towards winning another Grand Slam title. Asked if capturing a 17th were a priority, he said: "Yes and no. I don't see it that way. "Obviously it's a big priority, but it's not everything, or I wouldn't be playing here in Dubai. I do play 20 tournaments and not four. There are a lot of priorities. This is an Olympic year which is a big priority. "If a Slam comes my way I will be happy to take it. I have been working hard and making the right decisions so hopefully I will pick up another one." Federer acknowledged that both Novak Djokovic, currently the holder of three Grand Slams titles, and Andy Murray, the first Briton sincen the 1930's to reach three Grand Slam finals, are both playing better. He also admitted to being surprised at how consistent the top four men have been. But Federer was most insightful when explain why he had not managed to add to his tally of majors in the last two years. "Not winning Grand Slams I put down to missed opportunities rather than how I have been playing," Federer said. "I think I had tough losses which denied me a Slam. "That was due to a bit of confidence and to mind set - maybe on my side and maybe on my opponent's side. When you are winning lots of finals you don't lose those matches I put it down to that a bit. But I think I am playing as well as I used to."Afp his emotions on and off the court, and how better to express himself to become an even more complete player. The extent of these talents, and the completeness of his recovery, may be revealed if he were to meet Federer in next Saturday's final, as the seedings suggest. If Djokovic wins the Dubai Open again it will be a record fourth title in a row. The 30-year-old Federer, who has just announced that he hopes to continue competing till the Olympic Games at Rio de Janeiro in 2016, has won four titles too but may want be to atone for last year's final. Then he was over-

whelmed by Djokovic, winning only six games, an early sign of the startling dominance which the Serb was about to impose upon the 2011 tour. However in a field which contains eight of the world's top ten players, neither legend can be sure of making the final again Djokovic has a likely semi-final with Andy Murray, the Scot who took him to a five-set semi of almost five hours in Australia, while Federer should play Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the Frenchman who became the first player to beat him from two sets down, at Wimbledon seven months ago.

Iman overpowers Saba to win Subh-e-nau ladies title

Giggs marks landmark with priceless winner noRWiCH Afp

Ryan Giggs marked his 900th game for Manchester United with a stoppage-time winner in a 2-1 victory over Norwich here on Sunday in their Premier League clash. The champions had been in danger of falling four points behind leaders Manchester City after Norwich captain Grant Holt had netted a late equaliser. That had cancelled out Paul Scholes' goal for United but fellow veteran Giggs was in the right place at the right time two minutes into added time to make sure Sir Alex Ferguson's side remained within touching distance of their neighbours. Giggs flicked an early United chance wide at the back post before Scholes opened the scoring in the seventh minute. It was all too easy as Phil Jones teed Nani up for a cross from the right that Javier Hernandez flicked on to the back post, where Scholes had eluded marker David Fox for a simple headed finish. United survived an almighty scramble in their own box from a free-kick as Norwich retaliated with a barrage of pressure that included a Holt header that dropped just wide. David de Gea kept United in front with a fine block to deny Anthony Pilkington from five yards in the 28th minute. The Norwich winger brought down Kyle Naughton's pass superbly but the Spain international was able to get in the way of his first-time effort. Still Norwich attacked but they had John Ruddy to thank for a smart save to deny Hernandez, who had motored into a shooting position via a one-two with Danny Welbeck. De Gea was then needed to make an even better one at the other end when Holt met Pilkington's cross from the right with a glancing header that the goalkeeper not only saw in time but also caught. United went in at half time in the lead but knowing there was much work still to do and Norwich made a change for the second half with playmaker Wes Hoolahan coming on. Welbeck almost wrapped the game up for United in the 64th minute when his movement in the box allowed him the time and space to loft the ball over Ruddy, but Zak Whitbread had anticipated and was there to hack the ball clear when it landed. Then Giggs was denied a goal

on his milestone match by the crossbar when he met Jones' cross from the right with a volley that had the beating of Ruddy. Norwich redoubled their efforts after that but neither Elliott Ward or Holt could direct headers on target and a shout for handball in the box when Hoolahan's cross hit Patrice Evra on the arm was ignored by referee Andre Marriner. Norwich had sent on Aaron

Wilbraham as their final substitution and the former MK Dons forward forced another diving save from de Gea before Holt finally beat him in the 83rd minute. De Gea made a powerful punch but the ball was back in the United area within seconds. Whitbread headed the ball on and Holt swivelled to beat Rio Ferdinand before rifling a shot on the turn before Michael Carrick could intervene.

LAHoRe sTAff repOrT

noRwICh: Manchester United's nani (R) vies with norwich City's Simeon Jackson during their Barclays Premier league match at Carrow Road ground. afP

Iman Qureshi on Sunday stunned national star Saba Aziz to win the title at City Sports Complex. The 14-year-old Iman moved past Saba 7-5, 6-4 in the final to take the Subh-eNau ladies singles title. Iman, who is top ranked Asian under-14 player, displayed brilliant ground and across the court shots to overcome a strong opponent. Iman went into the first set even with Saba but Iman with her aggressive play closed the set 7-5. the second set was easy for Iman, who performed well in Syria, Burma ad Qatar, to win after she conceded for games. It was Iman’s second national title after her first upset win over the national champion. Iman use her international experience to overcome the Pakistan number one Saba Aziz. Iman beat national number 2 Sara Mahboob in the quarter-finals and later in the semi-final number 3 ranked Maheed Dada to take on Saba in th final.


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Monday, 27 February, 2012

sports 21 WAtch It LIve TEN SPORTS Pakistan v England 3rd T20 9:00PM

Pakistan, India wrestling cancelled LAHoRe sTAff repOrT

The Pakistan and Indian wrestling contest has been cancelled after Indian district administration refused permission to organise the event on Sunday, citing security concerns. According to reports received here, the 'Rustam-e-jahan' contest was being organised by the Madhya Pradesh Olympic Council in collaboration with state's youth and sports welfare department. Arjuna awardee wrestler Kripashankar Patel, chief of the Organising Committee, was peeved with the attitude of the administration. "We had made all the arrangements. The Pakistani wrestlers were on their way after getting visas. But today I got a letter from the district administration, saying that permission has not been granted," Patel said. The organisers had got permission on February 15 after a senior officer intervened but now citing unavoidable reasons and security issues, permission has been cancelled. A seven-member Pakistani team was to compete in the tournament.

Kenya’s Kipyego wins Tokyo marathon toKYo Afp

Stanford prevails in dramatic Singapore playoff SingAPoRe Afp

American Angela Stanford on Sunday won the HSBC Women's Champions tournament in Singapore after prevailing in a dramatic four-way playoff for the title. It was the fifth career LPGA Tour title for the 34-year-old Texan and the first time that an American had won the $1.4-million event at the Tanah Merah Country Club's par-72 Garden Course. "To be the first American to win here is pretty special. I still feel like I am dreaming," said Stanford. The gritty American had to call on all her experience and resilience to hold off South Korea's 19-year-old Jenny Shin who threw down the gauntlet all the way to the third playoff hole. Stanford also had to cope with a thunderstorm that halted play for

angela Stanford of the US poses with the winner's trophy after the final round of the hSBC women's Champions Golf Tournament. afP more than an hour just before her playing group was about to tee off at the 18th hole in regulation play. "The rain delay was tough because you are the only three golfers

left," she said. The trophy and winner's cheque of $210,000 was finally Stanford's to take when she saved par at the third playoff hole after Shin failed to make a par putt. China's Feng Shanshan was eliminated after the first playoff and South Korea's Choi Na Yeon went out in the second. All four of them had finished 10-under for a total of 278 after the regulation 72 holes. "It was such a long day. All day I made these amazing par putts. I am just happy to be standing here," said Stanford. "I just kind of started thinking about home and everybody there, it's pretty cool. It's a big deal, it's pretty cool," she added in a voice choked with emotions. World number one Yani Tseng, bidding to win here for the first time, was in contention until her form took a dip in the back nine. Tseng had been cruising as she reeled

in five birdies in the front nine including one at the ninth hole to be within one shot of then outright leader Shin when disaster struck the five-time Major champion at the par-4 10th hole. Tseng double-bogeyed the 10th hole and appeared to lose her momentum in the final stretch, managing just one one more birdie putt at the par-3 11th hole and another unfortunate bogey at the 14th. She finished the tournament nineunder 279 after posting a 69 in the final round. "Sometimes you get a bad bounce on this golf course, sometimes you do get it good, this is a tough course," said the 23-year-old from Taiwan. "I was very close today, I just needed a little more luck on the back nine. Tseng nearly scored an eagle at the par-four 17th hole with her second shot only to see the ball kiss the lips of the cup and skid out.

Kenya's Michael Kipkorir Kipyego got the better of former world record holder Haile Gebrselassie of Ethiopia in the last four kilometres to win the Tokyo marathon. Gebrselassie was locked in a shoulder-to-shoulder battle against defending champion Hailu Mekonnen until the 35km mark.

Michael Kipkorir Kipyego of Kenya (R) crosses the finish line to win the Tokyo Marathon. afP

Radwanska lays down marker with Dubai Open title DUBAi Afp

Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska signalled herself as a growing threat on Saturday when she clinched her eighth career title courtesy of a 7-5, 6-4 win over Germany's Julia Goerges in the final of the Dubai Open. The 22year-old's win underlined her as one of the game’s cleverest players, her subtle changes of pace and direction luring her more powerful opponent into self-destruction. Goerges nevertheless did well enough, during a week in which she also beat former world number one Caroline Wozniacki, to suggest that her flat-hitting, net-attacking game may play a more prominent role in future. "I had to play my best to beat her," said Radwanska, who has lost only to world number one Victoria Azarenka this year. "She hits so well it is hard to see the ball. "But I try to be calm, because, if you’re not, everything gets worse. I’m happy to have been playing great tennis at the start of this year. I just hope I can play this tennis the rest of the year." There were two moments when the match might have taken a different course. One came towards the end of the first set when a Goerges break-back threatened to develop into dangerous momentum, and the other happened when a Hawkeye decision went against her, preventing her reaching break point at the start of the second set. After Georges recovered from a bad start and went from 2-4 to 5-4 she would also have reached 6-5, motoring well, had she converted any of her four game points in the 12th game. But Radwanska skilfully denied her all four of them, and at break point

DUBaI: angieszka Radwanska of Poland poses with the trophy after winning the final against Julia Goerges of the wTa open final. afP

DUBaI: Julia Goerges of Germany returns the ball to angieszka Radwanska of Poland during their final match of the wTa open. afP

DUBaI: Sheikha haya Bint al-hussein, wife of Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashild al-Maktoum, ruler of Dubai, and her daughter al-Jalila attend the wTa Dubai open final. afP

down Goerges reached a decent position at the net, only to volley wide. Goerges also began the second set encouragingly and thought she had earned a chance to reach 2-0 when at deuce a line judge called Radwanska’s inside-out drive wide. But the Pole demanded a video replay which showed the ball catching the outside of the line as it slithered into the tramlines. Perhaps the disappointment affected the unseeded player, for Goerges dropped serve in the next game and was never quite able to repair the damage.

Radwanska held serve all through the second set, weaving attractive ground stroke patterns behind mostly well-placed deliveries, and sturdily surviving a break back point at 30-40 in the final game. The closeness of that finish suggested Goerges is capable of improving on the career-best ranking of 16 which she will achieve next week, and perhaps of pushing into the top ten. One of her improvements is in her mind. "When something didn't go in the direction I wanted to, it really used to affect me mentally," Go-

erges admitted. "Now I try to get out of it and take the challenge." The week also saw Radwanska score her 300th win on tour, beat Jelena Jankovic, the former world number one from Serbia in the semi-finals, and earn her biggest pay packet, $446,778. She did so on a very rare occasion when a women’s champion will earn more than a men’s -- fully $37,000 more. That is because although the two Dubai Open singles events have an identical prize fund total - $2,000,000 -- next week’s men’s draw has four players more.


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Monday, 27 February, 2012

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US shouldn’t speed up afghanistan pull out: US afghan ambassador WASHington reuTers

The United States should resist the urge to pull troops out of Afghanistan ahead of schedule due to the violence against Americans over the burning of the Holy Quran at a US military base, US Ambassador to Afghanistan Ryan Crocker said on Sunday. “Tensions are running very high here. I think we need to let things calm down, return to a more normal atmosphere, and then get on with business,” Crocker said in an interview from Kabul on CNN’s “State of the Union.” He added that a full investigation of the incident was underway at the Bagram airbase near Kabul. “This is not the time to decide that we are done here. We have got to redouble our efforts. We’ve got to create a situation that al Qaeda is not coming back,” Crocker said. “If we decide we’re tired of it, al Qaeda and the Taliban certainly aren’t,” he said. US forces are scheduled to cede the lead role in combat operations in Afghanistan next year, but will keep fighting alongside Afghan troops under American plans announced recently. The US forces have been fighting in Afghanistan since a 2001 invasion that toppled the Taliban rulers who harboured al Qaeda leaders responsible for the September 11 attacks on the United States. President Barack Obama apologised on Thursday in a letter to Afghan President Hamid Karzai for the burning of copies of the Holy Quran, which he called “inadvertent” and an “error”. Crocker added that Karzai accepts both publicly and privately that the burning was inadvertent. Still, anger raged in Afghanistan for a sixth day CONTINUED ON PagE 04

Pol prices may rise on March 1 iSLAMABAD inp

As oil prices increased in the international market, prices of petroleum products are expected to increase in Pakistan from the first of March. The price of petrol is expected to increase by Rs 3 per litre, diesel by Rs1.25 per litre. Light-diesel is expected to be increased by Rs 3 per litre while Kerosene oil is expected to rise by Rs 4 per litre. According to sources in the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA), the summary for the price hike would be sent to the Petroleum Ministry on February 28.

kArAchi: A man pulls on a rope around the neck of a demonstrator wearing a mask of us president Barack Obama during an anti-us protest on sunday. pakistan strongly condemned the holy quran desecration at Afghanistan's Bagram airbase by us troops. afP

Afghan NATO base attacked, seven US soldiers injured g

Taliban claim responsibility for Interior Ministry killings as protests rage against holy Quran burning g Ministry says suspect has been identified, Pentagon says shootings unacceptable g Riots simmer northern afghanistan as Karzai calls for calm KUnDUZ/KABUL

S

Agencies

EVEN US military trainers were injured on Sunday when a grenade was thrown at their base in northern Afghanistan, police said, as anti-Western fury deepened over the burning of the Holy Quran at a NATO base. “The demonstrators hurled a hand grenade at US special forces base in Imam Sahib town of Kunduz province — as a result seven US special forces were wounded,” Kunduz police spokesman Sayed Sarwar Hussaini told AFP. A spokesman for US-led NATO forces in Afghanistan said: “According to initial reports, an explosion occurred outside of an ISAF installation in northern

Afghanistan early this He said officials of NATO’S International Security Assistance Force were “gathering details at this time,” adding that more information could be released later. Despite an apology from US President Barack Obama, riots raged across the country for a sixth day on Sunday against the desecration of the Muslim holy book at a NATO airbase at Bagram. Some protesters hoisted the white Taliban flag. The Afghan Interior Ministry identified one of its employees as a suspect in the fatal shooting of two US officers at its headquarters a day earlier, an attack that prompted NATO to recall its staff from ministries. One civilian was killed, 15 more were injured and three policemen injured in

riots near the NATO base in northern Kunduz province, where the blast that injured the Americans took place, regional police chief Samihullah Qatra told reporters. The protests have killed 30 people and injured 200, including two other US troops who were shot dead by an Afghan soldier who joined rallies in the country’s east. The Quran burnings could make it far harder for NATO forces to win the trust of the Afghan public as they try to stabilise the country ahead of the withdrawal of foreign combat troops at the end of 2014. Afghan security sources identified Abdul Saboor, a 25-year-old police intelligence officer, as a suspect in the shooting of the Americans at close range inside the Interior Ministry. In a statement to media, the ministry said: “An employee has been identified as

a suspect and he has now fled. The Interior Ministry is trying to arrest the suspected individual.” NATO is supposed to be moving away from a combat role to an advise-and-assist mission as early as next year. That will require NATO to place more staff in Kabul’s ministries. CCTV footage showed that Saboor had access to the Command and Control Centre, tucked deep inside the ministry, where the slain Americans were found, security officials told Reuters on condition of anonymity. The Taliban took responsibility for the attack, saying it was in retaliation for the burning of the Holy Quran. Afghan President Hamid Karzai repeated his plea for calm and restraint.

By-eLeCtiOnS in 10 COnStituenCieS

Restricted observation, police interference, violence led to low turnout: FAFEN g

Report estimates turnout at 30 percent g Females turned out in lower numbers than men iSLAMABAD sTAff repOrT

Restrictions by police and election officials on FAFEN observation, errors in new electoral rolls, interference of police in electoral matters, incidents of violence and procedural irregularities underlined the relatively low turnout in by-elections in 10 national and provincial constituencies held on February 25, 2012, according to the Free and Fair Election Network’s (FAFEN) Preliminary By-Election Observation Report. “Saturday’s electoral exercise, a year before the general elections are due, witnessed a low turnout that remained less than 30percent as compared to general elections when turnout in these constituencies remained 43.3%. Females turned out in lower

numbers than men,” the report said. It said in NA-9 (Mardan) and PS-44 (Mianwali), females were barred from voting at several polling stations. The turnout remained highest in NA-140 (Kasur) at more than 50 percent, where FAFEN documented suspicious voting patterns at 16 polling stations. FAFEN deployed 380 trained observers for the observation of by-elections. Observers spent between 45 and 60 minutes at each polling station to document their observations and findings on a standardised checklist based on the provisions of the Representation of the Peoples Act 1976, Conduct of Elections Rules 1977, and instructional handbooks the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has provided to election officials. Although the ECP had accredited FAFEN observers and permitted them

to observe all aspects of election day processes, police and election officials either disallowed them from entering the polling stations in more than 40 polling stations of 10 constituencies or restricted them from observing some critical processes such as counting of votes, the report claimed. The returning officer refused permission to FAFEN personnel to observe the counting process in at least four polling stations in PP-18 (Attock). Processes of consolidation of results at the offices of the returning officers were completely blocked from observers’ access. In one of the constituencies in Multan, army cordoned off the RO office where consolidation of votes was taking place, keeping observers and media a hundreds of yards away. CONTINUED ON PagE 04

Published by Arif Nizami for Nawa Media Corporation (Pvt) Ltd at Qandeel Printing Press, 4 Queens Road, Lahore.

Editor: Arif Nizami, Executive Editor: Sarmad Bashir

CONTINUED ON PagE 04


e-paper pakistantoday 27th february, 2012