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Afghans, Americans tired of war, says Leon Panetta
Karachi violence eclipses NA debate on terms with US
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Rs15.00 Vol II No 271 22 Pages
Singh oﬀers export of 5,000MW to Pakistan
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Thursday, 29 March, 2012 Jamadi-ul-Awal 5, 1433
Pakistani, US military top brass hold first post-Salala meeting g
US generals urge early restoration of NAto supply routes, propose slashing drone targets list
wo top US military officials on wednesday held crucial meetings with the Pakistani military leadership and demanded an early reopening of NATo supply routes, a contentious issue currently being debated in the joint session of parliament convened to discuss the recommendations prepared by the Parliamentary Committee on National Security (PCNS) on ‘future terms of engagement’ with the United States. The American military officials, General James N Mattis, commander US Central Command and General John Allen, commander ISAF, also discussed with Pakistan’s military leaders some vital proposals to resolve the row between Islamabad and washington over the drone strikes in Tribal Areas. US has offered Pakistan to slash the list of targets for drone attacks in the Tribal Areas and limit it only to top al Qaeda and Taliban leaders, instead of hitting all miscreants and that too when those few attacks are approved by Pakistani authorities. General Mattis and General John
Allen, who arrived on a surprise visit amidst debate in the parliament over review of relations with the US, first called on General Khalid Shameem wynne, the chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee and met Army Chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani later in the evening to discuss ways to improve strained bilateral relations. General Kayani told the visiting US military officials that the NATo attack on Pakistani checkposts in Mohmand Agency last year was an assault on Pakistan’s sovereignty and there must be an unconditional apology on part of US for that, according to officials privy to the talks.General Mattis was earlier asked by Pakistani authorities to put off his visit until the completion of parliamentary review of Pakistan-US relations and his visit now to Islamabad before that suggested the thaw in relations between the two major countries in anti-terrorism global alliance. It is also significant that the US military officials visited Islamabad in the wake of important meeting between President Barack obama and Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani in Seoul recently on the sidelines of an international summit on nuclear security. “General James N Mattis and General John Allen remained with
Haqqani may seek political asylum in US ISLAMABAD TAhIR NIAz
Kayani asks US generals to wait for parliament’s review of terms of ties with Washington ShAIq hUSSAIN
ISAF Commander Gen John Allen (L) and US CENTCOM chief Gen James Mattis (R). file photo General wynne for some time and discussed bilateral matters professional interests, and the emerging geo strategic situation of the region,” said a brief ISPR statement. Earlier, another ISPR statement only stated that US military officials would call later in the day on General Kayani to discuss cross border coordination and investigations into ‘Salala post’ attack by NATo aircraft. The meeting between visiting American generals and the army chief took place late in the evening, but there was no official version of what transpired in the crucial talks. Nonetheless, a security official said the US military officials asked for early reopening of blocked NATo supply routes saying delay in this regard was causing harm to ongoing counter-terrorism
campaign in Afghanistan. “General Kayani told the US officials that the matter is now before the parliament which will decide about the resumption of NATo supplies, so the US needs to wait until that happens,” the official said. Another Pakistani official, who sought anonymity, said that the US officials also discussed with Pakistani military officials the differences over drone strikes and proposed that drone attacks could be limited and only the top militants’ leadership would be hit in future instead of targeting all alleged terrorists in the tribal areas. “Pakistan Army leadership, however, told the US officials that drone strikes had proven to be counter-productive so they need to be stopped,” he said.
Anticipating an adverse decision from the apex court or the memo commission, former ambassador to the US Husain Haqqani is all set to seek political asylum in the US, it has been learnt reliably. In case the memo commission issues arrest warrants for Haqqani after possible rejection by the Supreme Court of his request for recording his statement via video link from London or the memo commission gave an adverse finding of the probe, Pakistan’s former ambassador to the US will immediately express no-confidence against the memo commission and apex court of the country and seek political asylum in the US, sources close to Haqqani told Pakistan Today. The sources, when asked about Haqqani’s return from the US for appearing before the memo commission, said: “why would he jump into hell. He will not come to Pakistan and seek political asylum in the USA in case the commission issued his arrest warrants or gave an adverse finding,” adding that “it is as simple as that”. The sources said Haqqani would first try to record his statement from London and if allowed by the SC, he would feel no immediate problem. However, in case the memo commission issued arrest warrants to bring Haqqani back to Pakistan to attend the proceedings following the rejection of his request from the SC, Haqqani would prefer to stay in the US and apply for asylum. CoNTINuEd oN PAgE 04
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02 News today’s
Thursday, 29 March, 2012
World, Wealth, Religion or zardari. Choose!
Amir Muqam joins PML-N
Story on Page 07
Story on Page 05
Pakistan could be South Asia’s trade hub, says The Hindu ISLAMABAD: Pakistan lies at the heart of a rapidly-transforming world around its land borders and reopening the historical East-west-North trade routes and linking them with a strong North-South corridor will make it the trade hub of South Asia. “And trade hubs, that lower cost of transporting materials and people, are precursors of industrial hubs that produce sustained economic growth,” said a report carried by The Hindu, an Indian newspaper and contributed by Ijaz Nabi, a visiting faculty of the Lahore University of Management Sciences under the headline “Lifting up the Indo-Pak trade game” on wednesday. According to The Hindu, to the North and East are the skills and savings-rich economies of China and India with a combined population of over 2 billion growing at 8 percent or more. “To the west are resource rich Central Asia, Iran and the Persian Gulf states. Reopening the historical East-west-North trade routes and linking them with a strong North-South corridor will make Pakistan the trade hub of South Asia. And trade hubs, that lower cost of transporting materials and people, are precursors of industrial hubs that produce sustained economic growth,” it reported. The Hindu reported that this was the strategic vision that should guide Pakistan’s trade relations with all its neighbours, including India, and not the short-term cost-benefit analysis of the impact of liberalisation on some niche manufacturers. “And how should India lift up its game? All paths to economic development and prosperity do not have to be routed through sweat shops catering to affluent western consumers. A large and vibrant Asian regional market would constitute a significant and, given demographic shifts, growing part of global demand for products. India’s long-term strategic interest is to help create that Asian market. That, in turn, requires strengthening Pakistan to be an effective regional hub that connects the Asia-wide market”, it said. APP
India test fires cruise missile NEW DELHI: India on wednesday successfully test fired Brahmos supersonic cruise missile as part of a user trial by the army from the test range at Chandipur off odisha, eastern state coast. “The missile was test fired from a ground mobile launcher from the launch complex-3 at about 1122 hours and the trial was successful,” said Indian defence official. The missile, which has a flight range of up to 290 km, is capable of carrying a conventional warhead of 200 to 300 kg. The cruise missile, a surface-to-surface army version, was test fired as part of user trial by the army, he said. The two-stage missile, the first one being solid and the second one ramjet liquid propellant, has already been inducted into the Army and Navy, he said. while induction of the first version of Brahmos missile system in the Indian Navy commenced from 2005 with INS Rajput, it is now fully operational with two regiments of the army. The air launch version and the submarine launch version of the missile system are in progress, said the official. ONLINE
Tulbul project: Pakistan seeks technical details from India NEW DELHI: Pakistan has sought technical details from India on the Tulbul navigation project during the secretary-level talks here aimed at resolving differences over the project in India-held Kashmir. During the talks, Pakistan sought some technical details of the project on Jhelum River. India envisages controlled release of water from the wullar Lake during the lean-season months of october to February to facilitate year-round navigation for trade, employment and tourism. New Delhi maintains that the regulating structure is permitted under the Indus waters Treaty of 1960 for the non-consumptive use of navigation. India has maintained that no pondage of water was being created over Jhelum. Pakistan, however, contests the claim terming it as a storage project and charges India with violation of the provisions under the Treaty saying New Delhi was stopping water, thus denying Islamabad its share. NNI
KARAChI: Police use water canon to disperse protesting nurses during a demonstration organised by Pakistan Nursing Federation on Wednesday. oNliNe
ExpEnditUrE dUring ElEction campaign
Govt seeks more time to submit report to SC ISLAMABAD
H E federal government on wednesday sought more time to submit its reply to the Supreme Court in a case where the petitioner had sought reduction of expenditure during election campaign. However, all political parties listed with the Election Commission have submitted their replies to the court. A three-member SC bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Khilji Arif Hussain and Justice Tariq Parvez heard the petition filed Abid Hasan Manto, seeking reduction of expenses in election. Manto told the court that all the political parties had submitted their replies to the court but the federation of Pakistan had not submitted its reply in the case. Upon this, Attorney General Maulvi Anwarul Haq informed the court that the election commission has submitted its reply to the court. The chief justice said it was more important that the government filed its reply. “The commission has no powers to enforce the implementation of its orders; it
can only give the order; implementation is the job of the government,” he asserted. The chief justice said the court had issued a notice to the federation through the Law Division. “It is not necessary for the Law Division to present the federation in every case, you can present the federation in this case,” he told the attorney general. “we cannot consider the reply of election commission on behalf of the federation; the federal government should have filed its own reply,” said the chief justice. The attorney general told the court that he would consult with the Law Division on the issue and then would be able to file the reply. Haq said he would file the application with the court to plead the case of federation. “I will plead the case of the federation therefore I need more time to file the reply,” the attorney general requested. “The federal government should clear its position through its reply,” said the chief justice, adding that tomorrow the government would raise the objection if the court would not hear it. Manto told the court that some political parties wanted to submit their suggestions on the matter. “Political parties have no objection on the reduction of election expenditure,” he added. Manto presented a list of political parties
with the court and said his petition was in national interest. “The Election Commission has no objection on my petition,” he told the court. He said according to the commission, 26 political parties were currently functioning in the country. “I have filed the petition with positive approach,” he said. Upon this, the chief justice said it was important to revise the code of conduct for contesting the election. “The court will appreciate all political parties if they are agreed to revisit the code of conduct for the election,” he added. Justice Khilji Arif Hussain said law was already there for the reduction of election expenditure but the enforcement of the law was the responsibility of the commission. Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed of the PML-Q appeared before the court and said it was very important for strengthening of democracy in the country to reduce the election expenditure. Hussain pleaded that it should direct the election commission to stop the process of senate election via secret ballot. The chief justice also praised the role of PML-Q chief Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain who was also present in the courtroom, in politics. The court adjourned further hearing until April 9.
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Thursday, 29 March, 2012
ArTS & enTerTAInMenT
Tibetan who set self ablaze in delhi dies
Teen sensation Justin Bieber sued over phone prank England set out on historic chase
News 03 coMMenT A tough decision: On the opening of the supply routes.
Mayhem in Karachi: One incident is more than enough.
Nazir Naji says: Why attack Pakistan?: When the US has so many other options.
Imran husain says: Stars no more: The Talent-starved Team Pakistan.
harris Bin Munawar says: The past that wasn’t: Before Pakistan makes the cultural choice of going back to the glory of its mythical past, it must remember that that past never existed.
Story on Page 18
Story on Page 14
Story on Page 18
Articles on Page 12-13
An uphill task for new PIA MD LAhore
HE newly appointed Pakistan International Airline (PIA) Managing Director Rao Qamar Suleman will have to face a tough time at the cash-strapped national flag carrier. He will have to do a lot of restructuring to streamline operations as almost ten grounded aircraft are still queued for maintenance, Pakistan Today learnt on wednesday. PIA sources said the PIA MD would have to reassess the capability and capacity of the airline’s higher management, as merit had been violated in most appointments by the previous management for obvious reasons. Sources said as many as ten aircrafts, including one Boeing 747, one B-777ER, five Airbus A310s, two B-737s and one ATR 42-500 were grounded for scheduled maintenance, while A310 AP-BEC had been grounded since october 24, 2011. They said 14 engines needed overhauling, but PIA did not have any plan how it would make its fleet fully operational. The previous management signed an agreement of $700 million credit facility with Dubaibased company Transworld, but the airline could not make this deal operational, even top man has been changed, they underlined. Sources said an Airbus A310 (AP-BGN) was grounded since November last year as its parts and en-
gine had been installed in other aircraft to get them ready for flights. Airbus A310 (AP-BGN) was waiting for both Check-A and some spares as well as shake down inspection. The engine of a Boeing 737 (AP-BFT) had completed its life, while to keep it in operation it was replaced with other grounded aircraft as PIA had no new engine for this aircraft, they added. The sources said the national flag carrier’s management had been planning to purchase new aircraft despite its surging loss of over Rs 100 billion. “Any sane management should first use its resources efficiently and then opt for new purchasing, but despite the huge losses illogical decisions are being made at the highest level,” a former PIA official said. He pointed out that engineering department that was being criticised for all such inefficiencies was the same that helped Emirates, Qatar and some other foreign airlines to develop their state-of-the-art engineering facilities. Highlighting the mismanagement in national flag carrier, another unnamed official disclosed that a damaged engine uplifting contract was awarded to a transportation company at the cost of approximately $33,000, which was scheduled to start arriving in Karachi this week. However, for reasons best known to the PIA management, this low cost alternative was replaced with a chartered flight from Amman to Karachi, which would cost $140,000, as quoted by Rayyan Air.
15 new polio cases surface in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa PESHAWAR: Around 15 new polio cases have been reported in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the Tribal Areas in the first three months of the year. According to sources, there was possibility of polio spread among children due to presence of children in IDPs camps. They said that as a precautionary measure, movement of children outside the camps was restricted. According to medical experts, children up to 15 years could become victim of polio. The number of children up to age of five was 100,000 while 25,000 aged between 5 to 15 and living in the camps. world Health organisation (wHo) and other international organisations had expressed concern over rising number of polio cases in Pakistan in general and in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA in particular. INP
woman SP dies in car accident LAhore STAFF REPORT
A woman SP Investigation of Vehari died and her driver was critically injured when her official car overturned at Manga Mandi bypass in the Manga Mandi Police precincts on wednesday. The victim was identified as Muqaddas Asmi, a resident of 291-Garden Town. SP Saddar Division Khurram Shoaib Jaanbaaz said that Muqaddas was heading towards Vehari on her official vehicle which was driven by her driver Pervaiz. As they reached near Manga Mandi bypass, the vehicle overturned due to negligence of the driver and speeding. Local residents informed police after which heavy police contingents, including senior policeman, reached the spot and rushed Muqaddas and her driver to a nearby hospital where doctor pronounced Muqaddas as dead while her driver was in a critical condition. COPS HELD: The Ichchra Police arrested two constables along with a stolen motorcycle, lifted by unidentified robbers from Millat Park Police precincts a couple of days ago. on wednesday, owner of the motorbike, saw two cops riding on his bike near Ichchra Area over which he informed police, which arrested the two cops who were later identified as waqas and Khalid, posted in the Ichchra Police Station. Locals nabbed the two constables and handed them over to police along with the motorcycle. Top cops of Ichra Police only ordered an inquiry into the matter. COP INJURED: A constable of Special Branch was injured by unidentified men near the railway station. The cop was identified as Constable Muhammad Irshad, a resident of Gulberg. According to details, Irshad was passing from railway station area when some unidentified men attacked him and badly injured him a sharp-edged weapon and fled.
Altaf blasts Sindhi nationalists
MQM chief Altaf Hussain said on wednesday that so-called Sindhi nationalists are busy in spreading hatred against Urdu speakers under a well-planned strategy. In a statement, the MQM chief demanded of authorities to stop nationalists from issuing provoking statements against Urdu speakers. He also appealed to Urdu speakers to show restraint. Altaf said that the MQM always pursued the policy of reconciliation. The MQM chief warned that those who were spreading hatred against Urdu speakers should be aware that they were living in the 21st Century.
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Thursday, 29 March, 2012
Karachi violence eclipses NA debate on terms with US ISLAMABAD STAFF REPORT
FTER a two-day delay due to severe resistance by opposition benches, the joint session of parliament on wednesday finally initiated debate on recommendations of the national security committee vis-à-vis Pakistan’s terms of engagement with the US in the war on terror, but the recent wave of violence in Karachi eclipsed the debate. Initiating the debate, Senator osman Saifullah of the PPP said “we should refuse transit of any weapon from the country” and underlined the need for a relation with the US based on mutual respect. He also stressed on a re-
view of the government’s foreign policy, urging lessons should be learnt from experiments/practices of friends like Turkey and China. on the occasion, he also questioned the notion that if Turkey could work for American interests, why it couldn’t do the same for Pakistan. Maulvi Asmatullah from a dissident faction of JUI-F said: “we should make it clear that we cannot sacrifice any more for the US. we cannot approve new terms of engagement with the US,” he added. Senator Syed Muzafar Hussain Shah from the PML-F said discussion over the foreign policy in parliament was historic occasion. “Relations with the US should be based on mutual respect,” he added.
Son of former Bangladesh PM on trial over death plot DHAKA: The son of a former Bangladesh prime minister went on trial in absentia on wednesday over charges he was involved in a 2004 attack that killed at least 20 people and injured the current prime minister. Tareque Rahman, 46, the influential eldest son of Khaleda Zia, refused a court summons to return to Bangladesh from his home in London to attend the trial in Dhaka. Rahman is accused of criminal conspiracy in a plot to kill his mother’s rival, Sheikh Hasina, and her party officials, state prosecutors said, adding that judges had adjourned the case until April 9. Hasina was addressing a rally in Dhaka on August 21, 2004, when several grenades exploded, leaving at least 20 Awami League officials and supporters dead. AFP
haqqani CoNTINuEd fRoM PAgE 1 The SC had allowed Haqqani to leave the country after he submitted an affidavit with the apex court that he would be available before the commission on a four-day notice. on the previous hearing, the commission rejected his application for recording his statement from London and directed him to appear before it on March 26 in Islamabad, but he did not come to Pakistan citing security concerns. Asked if Haqqani is anticipating an adverse decision from the memo commission, a close aide of Haqqani briefly replied, “The mood and attitude of the commission is very clear.” Haqqani has so far not surrendered his two Blackberry phone sets to the commission, saying they went missing when he left washington in a hurry,
nor did he disclose the PIN of the sets. He has admitted some “undeniable” facts before the commission as his phone calls to and from Mansoor Ijaz – authenticated by the call log provided by Mansoor Ijaz – but denied the contents of the conversation that allegedly took place between the two characters of the memo controversy. Haqqani has now declined to come to Pakistan, saying he felt threatened in Pakistan at the hands of security agencies connected with Ijaz. A 19member bench of the Supreme Court will hear the petition filed by Husain Haqqani today (Thursday) seeking to record his statement via video link from London. The memo commission would take a course of action in the light of the decision of the apex court.
Independent candidate Zafar Baig declared the PCNS agenda a continuity of Musharraf regime, which were being legalised. He said all damage sustained by Pakistan was due to imprudent policies of the federation itself, and stressed on dealing with America on an equality basis. FATA MNA Zafar Baig Battani said, “our foreign policy should be on principle of equality.” He said the US was not our enemy but we only want reformulating a foreign policy based on mutual respect and dignity. He said the country has already suffered due to the wrong policies of a dictator, adding that in the last ten years, the so-called war on terror had claimed 40,000 lives and economic losses of more than $70 billion.
nawaz slams Musharraf for giving country only crises LAhore INP
Pakistan Muslim LeagueNawaz (PML-N) chief Nawaz Sharif on wednesday held former dictator General (r) Pervez Musharraf responsible for crises confronting the country’s economy and instability and disturbed law and order situation. Addressing Istehkam-ePakistan Conference (Stability of Pakistan Conference) at Jamia Naeemia on wednesday, Nawaz said he had always preferred national interests and country’s sovereignty over everything while settling issues with foreign countries and never bowed before the international powers dictation and demands. He said that Pervez Musharraf surrendered to global pressure and gave in at the very first call from the US. Nawaz extended hand of cooperation to all the political parties for preserving sovereignty and integrity of the country, independence of judiciary, strengthening of democratic institutions and opposing martial laws in the future. He invited them to unite at a joint platform to advance what he described as Pakistan agenda.
LAGhMAN: Afghan security forces present captured Taliban fighters, dressed as women, to the media on Wednesday. aFp
Violence erupts after ANp office-bearer killed in Karachi KArAChI STAFF REPORT
Awami National Party office-bearer Zainul Abideen was attacked and killed by unidentified gunmen who opened fire on his vehicle near the Matric Board office in North Nazimabad on wednesday. According to a spokesman for ANP Sindh, a companion of Zainul Abideen was also injured in the incident. ANP Sindh President Shahi Syed condemned the killing and demanded the killers be arrested immediately. Provincial Home Minis-
ter Mansoor wasan has summoned a report from the IG police. Following the killing, violence erupted in several areas of the city, including
Empress Market, Bohri Bazar and NIPA Chowrangi. A man was also killed in Lasbella when unidentified armed men opened fire on him.
Malik ready for in-camera briefing on Karachi violence ISLAMABAD STAFF REPORT
Interior Minister Rehman Malik faced huge embarrassment in the House on wednesday when parliamentarians from the PPP’s coalition partner – the Awami National Party - challenged his capability, saying he had done nothing to maintain law and order in the country and had rather “played smart” to prove his efficiency. Malik was also repri-
manded by National Assembly Speaker Fehmida Mirza when he tried to put the blame of the ongoing law and order in Karachi on delay in the passage of new Anti Terrorism Act. Speaking on a point of order, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Information Secretary Senator Mushahidullah Khan said his party’s worker was gunned down by the people who were enforcing others for a strike. “The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) workers have
killed our workers,” Khan said, asking the interior minister to make efforts for the arrest of killers. Haider Abbas Rizvi from the MQM endorsed the views of the PML-N and reminded the minister that his party chief Altaf Hussain had given him a “blank cheque” to take an across-the-board action against criminals. ANP’s Haji Adeel apprised the House that his party’s worker, Zainul Abideen was also killed during wednesday’s strike.
no one will be allowed to humiliate civil servants: cJ ISLAMABAD STAFF REPORT
Hearing a case pertaining to protection of civil servants, Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry observed on wednesday that no one would be allowed to humiliate civil servants of the nation. A three-member bench of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry,
Justice Khilji Arif Hussain and Justice Tariq Parvez appreciated Rizwan Ahmad, the Sargodha district police officer, for his bold step to register an FIR against an ex-MPA belonging to Pakistan People’s Party, Aslam Madiyana, for brutally beating a school teacher. Rizwan was transferred to Gilgit-Baltistan when he registered the FIR against the former MPA, who also
appeared before the bench. The court inquired from Attorney General Maulvi Anwarul Haq why Rizwan was transferred when he performed his duty in accordance with the law. The attorney general told the court that the Establishment Division had withdrawn its earlier notification of transferring Rizwan on March 12 and issued another one. The
court asked the attorney general to provide a copy of the Establishment Division’s new notification regarding Rizwan. Anita Turab, a grade 19 officer of DMG, who wrote a letter to the chief justice for the protection of civil servants’ rights, also came to the court, saying the real issue was not giving protection to Rizwan. “It was just an example, but we want overall protection for
civil servants,” she added. The chief justice further asked the AGP what measures had been taken for the protection of civil servants? The attorney general informed the court that a committee headed by the establishment secretary and comprising all four chief secretaries had been constituted to review the terms and conditions for civil servants, particularly transferring and making them oSD.
The court gave two weeks to the establishment secretary for the preparation of a comprehensive report regarding measures taken by the government for protection of civil servants. Meanwhile, the Election Commission of Pakistan informed the bench that after disqualification of waheeda Shah, the schedule of by-election on the particular seat had been issued.
Meanwhile, two cars and three motorcycles were set on fire in the Teen Hatti area. A passenger bus was also burnt on Nishtar Road. Shops, petrol and CNG stations were shut down as violence spread to various parts of the city. Earlier, Home Minister Manzoor wassan said a judicial inquiry would be held into the loss of life and burning of vehicles in incidents of violence that triggered in the metropolis following the killing of two Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) workers on Tuesday. He also ordered an imposition of ban on carrying arms across the province.
Afghan women jailed for ‘moral crimes’: Hrw KABUL AFP
Hundreds of Afghan women are languishing in prison for so-called moral crimes, which include running away from home and having sex outside marriage, campaign group Human Rights watch said wednesday. The report released in Kabul, “I Had to Run Away”, called for them to be freed and said President Hamid Karzai’s western-backed government had failed to fulfil its obligations under international human rights laws. “It is shocking that 10 years after the overthrow of the Taliban, women and girls are still imprisoned for running away from domestic violence or forced marriage,” said Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights watch. The group estimated there are a total of 400 women in prison and girls in juvenile detention facilities having been accused or convicted of offences including “running away”, which is not a crime under the Afghan penal code.
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Thursday, 29 March, 2012
61% oppose, 33% favour pM’s view on Zardari’s immunity ISLAMABAD INP
According to a Gilani Research Foundation Survey carried out by Gallup Pakistan, 61% oppose, while 33% favour PM Yousaf Raza Gilani’s view that President Zardari enjoys immunity against court proceedings. A nationally representative sample of men and women from across four provinces was asked that prime minister was of the opinion that president had immunity, meaning that as long as he was president, court cannot summon him. In their opinion, does the President own such right or not? Responding to this, 33% favoured prime minister’s opinion that the president enjoyed immunity against criminal proceedings, while 61% opposed this. However 6% did not give a view.
Cabinet body reviews energy crisis ISLAMABAD GNI
A meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Energy and Power on wednesday discussed various aspects leading to energy shortage in the country and supply of gas to power generating companies, receivables from provinces, timely payment to GENCos and fuel price adjustments. The meeting was chaired by Federal Finance Minister Senator Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh. It was convened on directions of the PM to take immediate measures and devise a strategy to overcome energy shortage in the country. The meeting will also take place today (Thursday) before giving a presentation to the PM. The PM, taking cognisance of power outages in residential and commercial centers of cities and towns, had directed the concerned ministries to take immediate action and give a detailed presentation to him so that the problems may be settled.
5.6 magnitude quake jolts Balochistan QUeTTA ONLINE
A moderate earthquake hit parts of Balochistan on wednesday with no damage reported, the Met office said. It said that the quake was recorded at 5.6 on the Richter Scale, sending people in Kalat, Sorab, Gadar, Lakoriyan and other areas of the province running out of their homes under fright and panic. Earthquake tremors were felt at about 8:15am. The epicentre of the earthquake was located at a focal depth of nine kilometres in southwest Quetta.
ATTOCK: Eunuchs hold a demonstration against police officials outside the district Police Office on Wednesday. oNliNe
SC asks NAB to complete ISAF containers’ probe ISLAMABAD
ISPoSING of a suo motu case pertaining to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) container scam, the Supreme Court on wednesday directed the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to conduct a broad inquiry into the matter and submit fortnightly report with the court’s Registrar office. A three-member bench of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Khilji Arif Hussain and Justice Tariq Pervez also made the report of Federal Tax ombudsman (FTo) on the issue as part of the order, presumed to be a guiding principle for NAB to probe the matter. The report’s findings claimed that size and scale of the scam indicated its commission and perpetuation was not possible without protection of the senior management in the field as well as the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) headquarters. It is worth mentioning that in his report, the FTo informed the court that as many as 28,802 commercial Afghan transit trade containers and 3,396 noncommercial containers were known to have not crossed the Pak-Afghan bor-
der. At the onset of hearing, counsel for the FBR Raja Muhammad Irshad submitted before the bench that incumbent FBR Chairman Mumtaz Haider Rizvi had some reservations on the report and sought two weeks adjournment in the case, saying that during the given time Rizvi would have to go through the entire exercise relating to the issue. Expressing his annoyance over the contention of Raja Irsahd, the chief justice observed that, “were we engaged in a futile exercise since two years as we had also engaged the FTo who worked on a report in pursuance of court orders”. “Let the FBR chairman know that the court will not undo the matter,” the CJ said while addressing Irshad. The CJ remarked now it would be the responsibility of NAB to probe the matter, adding that exporters, transporters and custom authorities were allegedly involved in the containers movement which were containing goods cleared without charging customs etc on the pretext that goods were meant for ISAF, and NATo forces. “Instead of taking the goods to Afghanistan, it were allegedly delivered in Peshawar and Chaman”, the CJ said in his order. During the hearing, NAB Deputy Prosecutor General Fouzi Zafar read out a report pertaining to the NAB
inquiries’ detail in the case saying that in the first phase NAB was referred a total of eight complaints from FBR probe committee against eight clearing agents and others, containing 10,012 containers and involving an amount of Rs 19.098 billion in the shape of alleged evaded duties and taxes. He informed that as many as 13 complaints against 26 clearing agents and others, involving 11,979 containers with alleged revenue loss of Rs 22.772 billion along with four other complaints against 237 clearing agents involving 6,811 containers were also sent by the FBR to NAB. He stated that in addition to such complaints relating to commercial Afghan Transit cargo, a complaint regarding 3,542 non commercial cargos was also received from FBR against about 45 clearing agents. He apprised the bench that NAB also called record from Pakistan Railways and NLC to confirm the transportation of the containers to the destinations. He said after receiving complaints in second phase, record of 24 clearing agents out of 26 was examined, adding that in the cases of non commercial cargo, notices to 39 clearing agents were issued against which 23 agents appeared before the NAB.
Amir Muqam joins pMl-N LAhore STAFF REPORT
In a major political blow to the PML-Q, Amir Muqam has decided to join the Pakistan Muslim LeagueNawaz (PML-N) and a formal announcement would be made on April 6 in a press conference. The decision was made in a meeting between Muqam and PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif at his residence in Raiwind, Lahore, which was attended by PML-N KPK President Pir Sabir Shah, party senior members Sardar Mehtab Khan Abbasi and PML-N General Sectary Iqbal Zafar Jagra.
Several news channels reported last night that PML Q president Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain dissolved the party set up in KP, reportedly following tensions between Muqam and Shujaat after the party refused to award a Senate ticket to Muqam. After a series of consultation, Muqam was on the verge of joining the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf, but his meeting with PTI chief Imran Khan bore no fruit. Also, party workers from Malakand and Swat were not in favour of the merger. Muqam called on the PML-N chief on wednesday and expressed full confidence in his leadership.
Yemen urges pakistan to free osama bin laden’s widow SANAA REUTERS
Yemen urged Pakistan on Tuesday to free one of osama bin Laden’s injured widows, saying Yemen-born Amal AlSadeh and her four children were not guilty of any crime. Pakistan’s interior minister said earlier this month that bin Laden’s three widows, including Sadeh, would be put on trial for entering and living in the country illegally. “The Pakistani authorities retracted from their initial position to surrender Amal to the Yemeni government,” Yemeni Foreign Minister Abubakr al-Qirbi told Reuters. “we continue to call on the Pakistani authorities to transfer her to her home country. we are also concerned about the well being of her young children. The children should not be punished for the mistakes of their father.” Al Qaeda leader bin Laden was shot and killed in May last year by U.S. Special Forces who stormed his house in the Pakistani garrison town of Abbottabad after a decade-long manhunt. Sadeh, two other wives from Saudi Arabia and an undisclosed number of children were among the 16 people detained by Pakistani authorities after the raid. Relatives said Sadeh, who was shot in the leg during the raid, entered Pakistan legally. “She came to Pakistan with her elder brother in 2000 using her passport,” said Hameed Al-Sadeh, Amal’s 27-year-old cousin. “They flew from Sanaa to Karachi. There was nothing illegal about it. The Pakistani authorities have even released a photocopy of her passport,” he told Reuters. Hameed, who is a journalist in Sanaa, said Amal was being held with her four children in a basement. “She limps from a bullet wound in her knee and she’s suffering from psychological trauma and very low blood pressure,” he said. “She hasn’t seen the sun for months, they are kept in the basement below the earth, she and her four children, the eldest is a 12 year old girl, and three boys, the youngest is two.” Yemeni Human Rights Minister Houriya Mashhour said Amal had committed no crime in Pakistan. “Just because she was married to him (bin Laden) does not make her guilty,” Mashhour told Reuters.
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Authorities discuss delayed salary payments to lady health workers ISLAMABAD STAFF REPORT
NDER a special directive from Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, who was attending the Nuclear Security Summit, a meeting was held at the Prime Minister’s House on wednesday under the chairmanship of Minister for Religious Affairs Khursheed Shah, , to resolve the issues pertaining to lady health workers, who held protests for release of their salaries. The committee deliberated in detail on all issues relating to lady health workers that included delayed payment of salaries, non-provision of medicine and medical
kits and other logistic problems. The meeting was also attended by Special Assistant to the Prime Minister Shahnaz wazir Ali, Principal Secretary to Prime Minister Khushnood Akhtar Lashari, secretaries of the concerned federal ministries, chief secretaries of Punjab and Sindh and representatives of provincial governments. The meeting acknowledged the importance of lady health workers in the public health sector delivery system and appreciated their role in polio eradication in the country under the extended programme on immunisation. The committee directed the planning division secretary to immediately release the salaries for all such workers. A committee
was formed under the chairpersonship of Shahnaz wazir Ali to address all outstanding issues pertaining to lady health workers. The committee will include secretaries of Planning, Finance and Inter Provincial Coordination Divisions and secretaries of Health and Finance from the provincial governments. It will finalise its recommendations within two weeks and submit them to the prime minister for his consideration and approval. Taking note of delay in release of salaries to the lady health workers by the provincial Finance Departments, the committee directed that in future there should be no delay in disbursement of the salaries. It may be men-
tioned that under the 18th Amendment, the LHw programme is the responsibility of provincial governments as the subject has been devolved to the Provinces. However, the federal government will continue to assist the provinces in the matter till the next NFC Award. Shahnaz said this was the largest programme in the Public Health Sector and its immense contributions in the social sector have been acknowledged by international organisations. She emphasized that the programme should not be shelved as it may have immense negative social implications as there is no alternate arrangement yet to replace this programme.
indian troops kill five youth in Hindwara SrINAGAr NNI
Indian troops, in their fresh acts of state terrorism, martyred five Kashmiri youth in Handwara on wednesday during siege and search operations. of those martyred three were killed in Zachaldara area while bodies of two were recovered from the debris of a house destroyed by troops in Laribal village. An official of the Indian Defence Ministry claimed that the martyred youth were members of a militant organisation. The siege and search operation continued until filing of this report. Veteran Kashmiri Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Geelani denounced the arrest spree by Indian police in Srinagar, Sopore and other areas of the occupied territory. He deplored that police was arresting innocent youth to pre-empt the 2010 like uprising in occupied Kashmir.
Kp governor hints at introduction of local bodies system in fAtA PeShAWAr STAFF REPORT
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Barrister Masood Kausar on wednesday hinted at the introduction of local bodies system in FATA. “we are seriously considering turning municipal committees in the Tribal Areas into elected bodies, responsible for provision of civic amenities to the local population,” he said, addressing the launching ceremony of report, Mainstreaming FATA, compiled by Shaheed Bhutto Foundation and based on the considerate opinion of the people from different walks of tribal society. He said these local bodies would be comprising representatives of the respective communities, elected through balloting and under a well-established democratic process for which necessary infrastructure was being laid down. Shaheed Bhutto Foundation Chairman Senator Farhatullah Babar, Human Rights Commission of Pakistan General Secretary IA Rahman, and MNA Munir orakzai also spoke on the occasion. The governor lauded the efforts of Shaheed Bhutto Foundation particularly the valuable services, which the foundation had rendered to ascertain the viewpoint of the people of FATA on FATA Reforms thus facilitating the government in giving a final shape to the Reform Package approved and announced by President Asif Ali Zardari on August 12, 2011.
SWAT: Families of Pakistani sailors kidnapped by Somali pirates hold a demonstration for their recovery at Nishat Chowk on Wednesday. oNliNe
pM urges increase in economic and trade links with tianjin TIANJIN AGENCIES
Pakistan wants to increase economic and trade links with the city of Tianjin in addition to promoting people-to-people contact, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani said on wednesday. on his way back from Seoul where he attended the Nuclear Security Summit, Gilani briefly stopped over in Tianjin, the Chinese port city, on wednesday afternoon. He was received by Mayor of Tianjin Huang Xing Guo and Ambassador Masood Khan at the airport. During the prime minister’s technical stopover, Huang along with senior officials of Tianjin city government called on him. Talking to them Gilani said Pakistan and China had a unique relationship spread over six decades, adding that friendship between Pakistan and China was not only higher than mountains and deeper than oceans but also sweeter than honey and stronger than steel. He said he started his political career at the grassroots level of district government and fully understood the role they could play in national development. The mayor of Tianjin informed the prime minister that Tianjin was one of the four most resourceful municipalities in China and briefed him about the economic infrastructure and educational facilities in the city. Gilani was informed that sea port of Tianjin was the fourth largest in the world which is also used by the Pakistan, Central Asian states, Russia and Mongolia for their trade. Huang said Pakistan and China were good friends, good neighbours and good partners. He invited the prime minister to visit Tianjin during his next visit. Minister for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar, MNA Syed Samsam Ali Bukhari, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the US Sherry Rehman and Pakistan’s Ambassador to China Masood Khan also attended the meeting. Earlier, addressing a delegation of Pakistan Business Association South Korea, led by Hafiz Abdul waheed, Gilani said he had to face the imprisonment and came out with the pledge of rejecting politics of vendetta and victimization for all times. The prime minister said he would see parliament complete its tenure, whether the political opponents extend the felicitation or not. on this, the Business Community acknowledged the prime minister with a big round of applause and chanted prodemocracy slogans. The prime minister said during his meeting on Tuesday he told the US president that Pakistan democracy would complete its tenure, thus strengthening the democratic process in the country. He directed the ambassador to start issuing machine readable passports to the Pakistanis living in this country and this directive must be implemented well before the forthcoming visit of the President of Pakistan. Separately, a leading South Korean Company K-water will invest in different hydal projects in Pakistan to general around 3000 Mw electricity to help in resolving energy crisis.
Afghans, Americans tired of war: panetta WAShINGToN NNI
After more than a decade of the antiterrorism campaign, the Afghans and Americans were tired of war, US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta said. “we’ve been through 10 years of war in the United States, and there’s no question that the American people are tired of war, just as the Afghan people are tired of war,” Panetta told reporters. At a joint media availability with his Canadian counterpart, the secretary said: “I think the American people understand why we’re engaged in Afghanistan. 9/11 represented an attack on our country. over 3,000 people lost their lives as a result of the attack” He said in many ways, the al Qaeda threat had gone out to the rest of the world, Panetta said in ottawa,
Canada. “As a result, the world has come together to confront that threat. That’s what got us involved inAfghanistan is the effort to ensure that that country would never again become a safe haven for al Qaeda or for their allies to be able to plan attacks on this country or any country for that matter,” he said. Panetta said Gen John Allen, the commander of US and NATo forces in Afghanistan, was convinced that 2011 represented an important turning point in that war. “we have seen the level of violence going down…” The US goal was to complete the process of transition by mid-2013, Panetta said, believing the Afghan army had improved dramatically in terms of its operational skills. “They are involved directly in operations. They’re involved in providing security. And ultimately,
that’s going to be a very important answer to completing this mission.” Canadian Defence Minister Peter Mackay said the ability of Afghan forces to plan and execute their own patrols and protection was enormous compared to where they were a decade ago, even a few short years ago. “This is our generation’s war. This is a test of our perseverance, our ability to carry through for the longterm security of not just Afghanistan, but the region and ultimately the entire world,” he remarked. “So there’s a lot at stake, and Canada will be there with our NATo partners. we’re getting ready, of course, for the Chicago NATo summit; the first time we’ve held one in North America for some time. It is going to be a very important pivotal point as we plan for post-2013 and how we support Afghanistan,” Mackay concluded.
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Stop spewing anti-Mohajir venom, Altaf tells nationalists 07
Another dAy, sAme old story ■ AnP activist gunned down, colleague injured ■ for the second day running, violence erupts in city after murder of political worker KArAChI AAMIR MAJEEd
FTER a brief respite, violence gripped the city again after the mysterious killing of an Awami National Party (ANP) activist on wednesday evening, sparking off riots and arson incidents that left two more people dead and seven vehicles gutted. on Tuesday also, the law and order situation in the city had crumbled after an activist of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) was shot dead inside his house located in the PIB Colony. A statement issued from the ANP secretariat, unidentified assailants gunned down Zainullah, 34, son of Noorullah, and injured Sajid Hassan Zai near the Matric Board office in North Nazimabad. Zainullah was the Joint Secretary of ANP Patel Para ward while Zai was the ward’s president. The ANP claimed that Zainullah was returning to his house in Patel Para with the ward president when some unidentified armed men intercepted their car near Board office and sprayed it with bullets. Two more people were shot dead in the aftermath of the murder of the ANP worker. A 30-year-old man, identified as Muhammad Tahir, was killed by unidentified attackers near the Golimar Chowrangi, Rizvia police
said. Separately, 20-year-old Abdul Samad man was shot dead outside his house in the PIB Colony. PIB Colony police said the victim belonged to the Urdu-speaking community. Meanwhile, the murder of the ANP activist was shrouded in mystery as the police could not corroborate the incident through any wit-
ness until the filing of this report. Gulberg Division SP Tanvir Alam odho told Pakistan Today that he went at the spot to confirm the killing, but they do not get a single witness to prove the incident. “The injured man is continuously changing his statement, resulting in confusion and hurdles in the legal formalities,” he added.
“Zai told the ANP Sindh leadership that the incident took place at Board office bus stop but when the police took his statement in the Liaquat National Hospital, he changed the location to Sindhi Hotel in New Karachi Industrial Area police jurisdiction,” he said. “I have checked all the police stations falling under my control but could not get any
witness.” As news of the killing of ANP office bearer spread, routine life in the metropolis came to a standstill, causing massive traffic jams in almost all parts of the city. Shops and markets were suddenly shut down in anticipation of riots. Unidentified armed men took to the streets and resorted to aerial firing. Public and private
transport vanished from the roads and petrol pumps and CNG stations were also closed down. The ANP announced a day of mourning on Thursday (today) following the killing of its worker. At a meeting in the Bacha Khan Markaz on wednesday, the ANP welcomed MQM chief Altaf Hussain’s call for a judicial
inquiry into the killing. The leadership decided that black flags would be hoisted at all unit offices, ward offices and all provincial and district offices including the Bacha Khan Markaz on Thursday. The ANP would also hold a Quran Khawani for the deceased at 3:00 pm. Condemning the incident, ANP Sindh President Shahi Syed said that ANP workers were being killed under a conspiracy. He also requested the workers to show patience and help the provincial government in maintaining peace in the city. Expressing concerns over the killing of ANP workers in Karachi, ANP President Asfandyar wali demanded an inquiry into the incident and immediate arrest of the killers. “The ANP would not leave its workers alone in these tough times,” he said Following the strike call from the ANP, the Karachi Transport Ittehad (KTI) announced keeping public transport off the roads today. Sindh Home Minister ordered the provincial police chief to investigate the killing of ANP activist and submit a report. Karachi Additional Inspector General of Police (AIGP) Akhtar Ghorchani issued directives to the SHos of all police stations in the city to take stern action against the people involved in killing of political workers.
‘please, no lame excuses Paramedics’ protest for slow tax recovery’
■ PAc dismayed over recovery of only rs 8.2m against rs 316.2m by Bor officials KArAChI
Expressing displeasure over the Board of Revenue (BoR)’s slow recovery of outstanding dues amounting to only Rs 8.204 million out of Rs 316.227 million, the Sindh Assembly’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) refused to accept the BoR officials’ excuse of rains and floods for their shortcomings. The committee met under the chair of PAC Chairman Sardar Jam Tamachi Unnar at the Sindh Assembly's Committee Room-1 on wednesday. Among others, the meeting was attended by PAC members Ghulam Mujadid Isran, Shama Arif Mithani, Amir Moin Pirzada, Shoaib Ibrahim and Bachal Shah Jilani. Speaking to the media after the meeting, Unnar said that not a single paragraph was settled with the revenue officials, who were making lame excuses
The protest march of nurses and junior paramedical staff towards the Governor’s House demanding time-scale promotions and regularisation of services was bombarded with teargas shells and water cannons by the police on wednesday. Around 5,000 nurses have been campaigning for a Rs 10,000 allowance for food and clothes, time-scale promotions, increased stipend for nursing school students, as well as professional health allowance and high risk and hard workers allowances. The paramedics had planned to stage a sit-in outside the Chief Minister’s House after staging a demonstration outside the Governor House, but the protesters were intercepted by the law enforcers near the Fawara Chowk. Many nurses were injured when the police tear-gassed and water-cannoned them. They were taken to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre. over a dozen nurses and paramedic staff were arrested by the police but later released on the Sindh Health Minister’s request. The nurses were protesting that their demands were always rejected and the refusals have forced them to launch a protest. The junior paramedics from grades BPS-1 to BPS-4 include laboratory technicians, lady health workers, naib qasids, sanitary inspectors, gardeners, store keepers, dispensers, security guards, ward masters and nursing attendants. Later, the nurses boycotted their duties at the government-run hospitals in Karachi and across Sindh in order to protest against the police’s highhandedness. Earlier, the nurses had only stopped working in the outdoor-patient departments but now have boycotted work in the accident and emergency departments and intensive care units.
of floods and rains for the slow recovery of dues. “All the 27 paras were deferred for the next meeting whereas the scheduled Home Department meeting could also be not arranged as the officials concerned sought a 15-day period to settle the issues,” he added. Unnar claimed that the government’s system had been badly disturbed by the devolution of ministries but now things are being managed properly. “No recovery was made during the tenure of the district governments and the revenue officials are also showing reluctance to ensure early recovery of Rs 316.227 million under the head of various taxes being collected by Mukhtiarkars and Tapedars.” At the meeting, the PAC reviewed 27 paras of the audit reports of financial years of 2005-06, 2006-07 and 200708 but not a single para was settled as the revenue officials had “no answers”.
As per the report handed over to the newsmen, the revenue department misappropriated Rs 316.227 million under the head of different taxes and only small sum of Rs 8.204 million was recovered. It was observed during the meeting that Mukhtiarkars and Tapedars were not performing their duties properly and taxes were not being submitted to the provincial exchequer. The revenue officials were instructed to deduct non-deposited tax amount from the salaries of the officials concerned. “As a warning, the practice be continued so that no Mukhtiarkar or Tapedar ever tries to play with public money,” it was decided. BoR Senior Member Shahzar Samoon issued directives to the deputy commissioners to follow the instruction and submit the report to him as early as possible. In the report, it was stated that revenue officials in 17 dis-
tricts, including Ghotki, Jamshoro, Khairpur, Tando Mohammad Khan, Sanghar, Shikarpur, Nosheroferoz, Jacobabad, Sukkur, Dadu, Benazirabad, Jacobabad, Kashmore, Umerkot and Tharparkar, had not shown the recovery of Land Tax of over Rs 50 million in fiscal year 2006-07. In the same year, officers in 11 districts, including Khairpur, Sanghar, Shikarpur, Nosheroferoz, Jacobabad, Sukkur, Dadu, Benazirabad, Jacobabad, Kashmore, Umerkot and Hyderabad, had not shown the recovery of Abiana (water tax) of Rs 31.327 million. In 2007-08, revenue officials in 10 districts, including Badin, Khairpur, Nosheroferoz, Mirpurkhas, Hyderabad, Benazirabad, Shikarpur, Tando Allah Yar, Sanghar and Larkana, had not shown the recovery of Abiana tax of Rs 36.832 million.
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Stop spewing anti-Mohajir venom, Altaf tells nationalists ■ calls on government to restrain elements using inflammatory language against his people KArAChI
HE so-called nationalist elements and certain political leaders of Sindh are using provocative language against the Urdu-speaking people under a planned conspiracy to ignite the fire of hate and prejudice among the people, said Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain on wednesday. In a video message released by the MQM, Hussain warned that if the elements using fiery language against Mohajirs were not stopped, things might slip from his hands and people might take matters in their own hands.
He appealed to the President, Prime Minister, Chief of the Army Staff, InterServices Intelligence Director General, Federal Interior Minister, Sindh Governor, Chief Minister and Home Minister to restrain the elements using inflammatory language against a segment of population. The MQM chief said that the MQM had always tried to douse the fire of hate and prejudice being set ablaze in Sindh by conciliatory gestures. “The MQM has publicly asserted in large gatherings that it is against the division of Sindh but the so-called nationalist elements and some political leaders are repeatedly saying that Sindh would be drenched in blood if anyone speaks about division of Sindh,” he said. “It is
also being threatened that certain areas would be plunged into carnage and bloodshed.” warning the elements using abusive language and threats of terrorism and bloodshed, Hussain said that the Urduspeaking people cannot be subjugated by such tactics. “They should know that it is the 21st century – their power would be put to the test when the time comes.” He said that he would not tire from preaching peace and unity but if the Urdu-speaking people become tired of hearing the appeals of peace and solidarity, his preaching would become useless. Hussain appealed to his people to bear with patience and fortitude and hold back their emotions.
on taxing employee’s salary, KMc ‘connects’ with fBr KArAChI STAFF REPORT
Under an online system, salary payment at the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) is being directly connected to the bank’s main computer and the deduction of income tax from the salaries has been connected with the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR)’s online system. Speaking at a meeting with departmental heads at the head office, KMC Municipal Commissioner Matanat Ali Khan said that fake and bogus payment of employee’s salaries has been done away with, providing direct access to the employees to get any information about the deduction of taxes from their salary. Directing the officers to ensure full and proper monitoring of all official matters and bring around an improvement in the performance of their respective departments, the commissioner expressed satisfaction over the recovery of dues from the auctioned plots of KDA. He added that 40 percent exemption is being allowed on the full and final payment of dues on the plots where owners had still not begun construction. Khan said that the routes of CNG buses have been restored and buses are plying on the three designated routes; whereas, maintenance of some more buses is underway and the vehicles will be brought on the roads soon.
‘enormous potential in Pak-Dutch trade’ KArAChI APP
with the city going through a turmoil, the calm waters off the china creek provide the fishermen much more than just a catch. oNliNe
from April 1 to 5, ‘every Life counts’ at JPMc KArAChI STAFF REPORT
The Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC) will hold its 49th Annual Medical Symposium from April 1 to 5 on the theme “Every Life Counts”, which implies that no person can ever experience all that life has to offer. JPMC Academic Council and Symposium organising Committee chairperson Prof Jamal Ara announced this in a statement issued on wednesday. Elaborating on the choice for the theme, she said it was only through sharing experiences, feelings and insights that one can hope to grow beyond a finite lifetime. “The idea is to invigorate all stakeholders and make them think if they are ready to grow today,” she added. Ara stated that the JPMC is the pioneer medical institute of the country that has been organising annual medical symposiums since 1963. “It is our endeavour to continue the academic and research activity and keep the torch alight and kick off the forthcoming moot by holding a plenary session after the inauguration,” she added.
‘two more highways to ease traffic flow’ KArAChI STAFF REPORT
The construction of Mehran Highway and Hub River Road would provide alternate routes to the traffic coming from other cities and improve the overall traffic flow in the city, said Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) Administrator Muhammad Hussain Syed. He said this while speaking at a review meeting on the construction of Shahrah-eQuaideen on wednesday. Syed said that special attention was being given to the construction of roads in Karachi and the improvement of flyovers and underpasses. “As an alternate to National Highway,
two important projects – Mehran Highway and Hub River Road – will provide alternate routes to enter the city.” The administrator said that reconstruction of Shahrah-eQuaideen and the storm water drain along the road will be completed on-time. “Traffic flow on Shahrah-e-Quaideen will be improved by making it signal-free and pedestrian bridges will be installed on the corridor to facilitate the people,” he added. In the first phase of work on the portion of Shahrah-eQuaideen from the Noorani Kabab roundabout to Khudadad Chowrangi will be completed. “It is essential to complete the construction of
this important corridor before the end of the current financial year.” He said both tracks of Shahra-e-Quaideen will be widened to 36 feet with the removal of all roundabouts and signals. “Two to three U-turns will also be constructed on the corridor while the storm water drain alongside the road will be covered.” Syed said the reconstruction on ASHTo Standard of this 1.55km road would cost about Rs 315 million. The administrator said an alternate traffic plan had been prepared as the route will remain close for vehicular traffic until the completion of construction work.
There is a lot of potential in enhancing the volume of bilateral trade between the Netherlands and Pakistan, said The Netherlands Ambassador to Pakistan Gajus Scheltema. Talking informally to journalists on wednesday at the Avari Towers, he said the current level of bilateral trade between the two countries was up to the tune of $500 million with the balance slightly in favour of Pakistan. The Dutch envoy was of the view that there was quite a potential to increase the bilateral trade further especially in the scope of collaboration in agriculture, dairy, horticulture, sanitation, water and energy. He said that the Netherlands can extend support in the infrastructure projects that are economically viable. Scheltema said his country would also help Pakistan in enhancing its exports of fisheries besides the fruits. Pointing out the popularity of Pakistani mangoes in the Netherlands, the Dutch ambassador said that assistance would also be extended towards improvement of the Pasni fish harbour. “Individually, the Pakistanis are very nice people,” he remarked. “It is up to the Pakistanis themselves to promote a positive image of their country abroad.” To a question about energy, he said that in the Netherlands there is more focus on solar energy than on wind energy.
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karachi 09 PakistaN today
‘threat’: KeSc wants At a loss: national kitty PSM security at grid station robbed of Rs 13bn KArAChI
■ Sindh excise and Taxation Department not collecting taxes from importers of crude oil and alcohol KArAChI IMdAd SOOMRO
HE national exchequer has suffered losses amounting to over Rs 13 billion due to the negligence and incompetence of the Sindh Excise and Taxation (E&T) Department in collecting the taxes on the import of crude oil and alcohol, Pakistan Today has learnt. According to an official report of the Auditor General of Pakistan, despite the discovery of this blunder, the Sindh government did not
take any serious notice. Two offices of the department are responsible for collecting the Infrastructure Cess Tax, from the importers of crude oil imported through pipelines. By not collecting the duty, the E&T Department caused losses amounting to Rs 6.9440 billion to the national exchequer. This irregularity was indicated in 2010 but still no action has been taken by the provincial department taken. It was also stated in the official audit report that the Provincial Excise Karachi South Circle and Provincial
Excise Hyderabad Circle 3 could not collect the due taxes on imported alcohol, causing losses up to the tune of Rs 5.1590 billion to the national treasury. It was claimed that the Excise Taxation offices (ETos) Infrastructure Cess at Karachi Port Trust and Port Qasim Authority gave illegal concessions to various companies of the Export Processing Zone and did not collect the tax, resulting in losses of Rs 78.74 million. Meanwhile, it was also alleged that the Excise Department’s Deputy District officer of Karachi 1 did not
collect the Property Tax amounting to Rs 7.036 million from the Aga Khan Hospital in Karachi; Professional Tax of Rs 8.5 million from the Tando Muhammad Khan Sugar Mills; Hotel Tax to the tune of Rs 8.4 million from the five star hotels situated in Karachi. Moreover, millions of rupees in taxes were also not collected from the licenced wine shops. All these financial irregularities, acts of incompetence and corruption were pointed out in the report from the Auditor General of Pakistan office in the first month of 2010.
Taking exception to the Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) director’s alleged threat of “shutting down power stations”, the Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC) has asked the government to take pre-emptive and punitive action against the perpetrator. Referring to a news item that appeared in a section of press on behalf of PSM, the KESC in a statement clarified that the due date of the mill’s unpaid bill of Rs 210 million was February 20 and not March 14 as falsely claimed. “The KESC had neither entered into any negotia-
tions with the PSM nor had there been any agreement on the unpaid bill between the two sides. The KESC had simply sent a disconnection notice to the PSM over the non-payment of bills and power supply was disconnected within the legal parameters after the mill failed to pay despite more than five weeks after the due date,” it was stated. Pointing out that the defiant attitude of state-owned organisations needed to be noted by the higher authorities, the KESC claimed that the PSM statement was an instigating effort to create a law and order situation for which it would be held responsible for any such hap-
pening. “on its part, the KESC will take all possible measures to protect its legal rights but such a serious threat coming from the PSM needs immediate and forceful action from the civil and law enforcement agencies for protection of grid station located in the vicinity of PSM,” it was stated. Reiterating the stance that extensive arrears on part of many governmentrun organisations is causing great financial difficulties, the power utility claimed that the problem is forcing the KESC to miss on payments to its own providers like the Sui Southern Gas Company.
At romeMUn, SZABIST girl bags scholarship award KArAChI STAFF REPORT
out of more than a thousand students from across the world, Mina Kidwai – a student of the Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology (SZABIST)’s Media Sciences Department – bagged the Total Scholarship Award at the RomeMUN (Rome Model United Nations) conference, which was held from March 19 to 23 in Italy. only five students were selected for the special award at the event endorsed by the United Nations and its various organisations. Kidwai was the only student from Pakistan to be selected for the 100 percent scholarship. She also won an honorary mention in the US SoCHUM (Social, Cultural and Humanitarian Affairs) Committee (SoCHUM) – one of the six specialised subcommittees of the United Nations General Assembly. The SZABIST, with campuses in Karachi, Islamabad, Larkana and Dubai, is a chartered educational institute, approved and recognised by the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan as a degree granting institution.
‘Missing’ children: SHc calls on police high-ups KARACHI: Issuing notices to the Sindh Home Secretary, Inspector General of Police and Senior Superintendents of Police of Jamshoro and Malir, the Sindh High Court (SHC) on wednesday adjourned the hearing of a petition regarding missing children until April 10. Citing her husband, Muhammad Hassan Shaikh, and police authorities as respondents, petitioner Farida had submitted that she got married with Shaikh in 1995 and had five children. Two months ago, her husband married another woman and kidnapped her children. She prayed in her petition that the children may be freed from the custody of her husband. The single bench headed by SHC Chief Justice Mushir Alam issued notices to the respondents and postponed the hearing to April 10. Meanwhile, another single bench issued notices to the respondents in a plea filed against the bail granted by a lower court to the alleged accused in a murder case. The prosecution stated that Hamid Ali had murdered his wife Tooba Imtiaz in the remits of Liaquatabad police station. The police registered a case on the complaint of the deceased’s brother and also arrested the alleged accused. However, the suspect was granted bail by the District and Sessions Judge Central on March 10. The petitioner had filed the case against the decision of the bail. IMdAd SOOMRO
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Thursday, 29 March, 2012
PTA uses teenage boy to help with pornography crackdown
■ Karachi-based ghazi Muhammad Abdullah finds 780,000 adult pages in six months The TeLeGrAPh
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HAT’S the easiest way to compile a global list of pornographic websites? Ask a 15-year-old boy to do it for you. That’s exactly what the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) did as part of an effort to clean up the country’s browsing habits. Karachi-based Ghazi Muhammad Abdullah proved tireless in his search, finding almost 780,000 adult pages in six months. “I consider this my religious and national task. If my elders don’t do this for my generation, then I will do it for mine and the forthcoming generations,” he says.
Pakistan – literally “land of the pure” – has spent the past two years pondering how to control access to the Internet. In 2010, authorities temporarily blocked Facebook after blasphemous images of the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) were posted online. Short-lived bans on YouTube, Twitter and other sites followed. Now the government has asked for tenders from IT companies to construct a website filtering system, which could prevent access to as many as 50 million sites, angering activists who fear the system will limit political debate. Abdullah said his campaign was inspired by reports that Pakistanis search online for terms related to sex more than any other nation.
Google later refuted the headlines, saying the sample sizes were too small to be statistically significant. However, Ghazi wrote to the PTA last year, asking why he was still able to find hundreds of pornographic sites online even after thousands had been blocked. It replied by explaining it could ban sites only if it received a complaint about individual URLs. So Ghazi, who wants to set up a software house when he finishes his studies, set about compiling a list. He started a campaign to scour the darkest recesses of the Internet, roping in an IT professional to help with the software needed. He is secretive about exactly how they did it, fearing it will help website developers evade the ban.
Ghazi, now 16, said he would continue his quest to prevent Pakistanis searching for porn. “Its adverse effects are visible in several countries, especially in the west where the family system has collapsed,” he added. Previous attempts to censor everyday life have occasionally proved comical, including efforts to clean up text messages. Last year, regulators circulated a list of more than 1,000 apparently obscene words and phrases to be banned from SMS services. However, the plan was ditched when it emerged that the list was based on words banned from American football jerseys in the NFL, and included “tampon”, “headlights” and even “Jesus Christ”.
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Pakistan has spent the past two years pondering how to control access to the Internet. Ap
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KHI 29-03-2012_Layout 1 3/29/2012 3:35 AM Page 11
Thursday, 29 March, 2012
Editor’s mail 11
resolving national problems There is no denying the fact that Pakistan is facing all sorts of problems most of which are lingering on as unresolved for varying reasons for years together. Somehow, all these problems, list of which is pretty long, are left to the political parties who are in power at the national and provincial levels for finding their solutions and resolving them. other parties assume the role of opposition and they keep on firing their guns on the federal and provincial governments for failing in doing this and that without realising their own obligations and duties in this regard, even though they may be sitting on the opposition benches in the national and provincial legislatures. PML(Q) President Chaudhry Shu-
jaat Hussain is a seasoned politician who is known to have positive thinking and approach to the national problems. According to the reports appearing in the media in recent days, the elder of the Chaudhry Brothers from Gujrat has said at least on two occasions in Lahore and Islamabad that for resolving the national issues and problems all parties will have to work together and that the parties should evolve a strategy by consensus regarding all national level problems including load shedding and try to play their role for resolving them in the larger national interests. The reports mentioned him saying this while talking to media in Lahore and Islamabad on two different occasions including one after meeting of the
A women only party Central Parliamentary Party of PML (Q) meeting in the federal capital the other day. one may have affiliation with a party and differences with some others, but it goes without emphasising that the problems being faced by the nation and the country have to be addressed on priority basis and efforts made to resolve them at the earliest possible. Today’s ruling party may be sitting on the opposition benches tomorrow and vice versa. Political parties should be working together to try to resolve the people’s problems making their contributions without indulging in criticism merely for sake of criticism. Ch Shujaat Hussain has quite rightly said that all parties should be working
together and evolve line of action by consensus by resolving the problems faced by the nation and the country. Quite obviously, he means that all petty vested interests should be brushed aside and the parties should be looking towards and working to serve the national interests on which there could be and must not be any compromise. All political parties’ top leadership should give due consideration to what an elderly sensible politician like Ch Shujaat Hussain has said and work out how they can work together in the larger national interests putting aside the petty vested interests. This is indeed the dire need of the hour. TARIQ JAVED Lahore
Memo case Pakistan's former envoy to the US Husain Haqqani has sought the Supreme Court's permission to record his testimony to the Memo Commission via video link. Husain Haqqani has made a fresh request to the Supreme Court seeking similar facilities as those provided to Mansoor Ijaz, the main character of the Memogate. If Husain Haqqani is linking his video link with Mansoor Ijaz’s, then it will be interesting to see whether Husain Haqqani will give his Blackberry pin to Memo Commission just like Mansoor Ijaz did. A few days back, Husain Haqqani stated that I have forgotten Blackberry pin codes. My question is if anyone forgets his/her Blackberry pin codes, then is there any procedure of recovering it or one has to buy new Blackberry? MUBASHIR MAHMOOD Karachi
Mumtaz Bhutto and nS As per press report, Mumtaz Bhutto, chief of Sindh National Front (SNF) has said that Mian Nawaz Sharif is not antiSindh whereas he is preparing for a merger of his party into Pakistan Muslim League (N) in the near future. Mumtaz Bhutto who is a seasoned politician may be right but the people of Sindh generally want to ask him three questions to reply in order to supplement his claim: 1. why did Nawaz Sharif not launch/complete any mega development project in Sindh during his two tenures as prime minister (a total period of about six years)? 2. why did Nawaz Sharif abandon two mega development projects launched by Shaheed Benazir Bhutto in Sindh ie, Keti Bunder and Thar Coal project? 3. why is Nawaz Sharif not convincing his younger brother Shahbaz Sharif, chief minister of Punjab, not to object on release of at least 10 MAF water Kotri downstream as envisaged in water Accord-1991 to avoid further environmental disaster and human tragedy in Sindh? I hope that Mumtaz Bhutto or Mian Nawaz Sharif would like to reply in detail to satisfy the people of Sindh. MOHAMMAD KHAN SIAL Karachi
road blockage A section of Khayaban-e-Saadi that leads down to Marine Promenade has now been blocked off and is solely for official use. This means that the other side of the road that leads to Bilawal Chowrangi has been transformed into a double road, converting a service lane into a full-fledged road. The commercial area used to have a service lane solely catering to businesses, with routes leading to apartment buildings and houses in Clifton Block 2. when VIPs pass through, all entry and exit routes are sealed by containers etc, which only leaves the route to Ziauddin Hospital open. The other roads are already choked by oil tankers that are defying a Supreme Court order to vacate the area. The tankers have also started parking on the hospital road. Government should take immediate action to solve this issue. AFFAN MATI Karachi
The male dominated political parties are rendering lip services to safeguard women rights and empower them but fact of the matter is that provision of equal rights and opportunities is still a dream for women in our male dominated society. There are many non government organisations working for the empowerment of women in cities. The women living in backward and rural areas are being deprived of basic human rights in the name of social customs, wrong interpretation of religion’s teaching, family honour and cultural tradition. If the women of Pakistan want equal share in the affairs of country, they instead of becoming the wing of political parties should form their own political party and with a separate male wing. I am sure the male wing of women political party will have more male members then a female wing of a male party. As Pakistani nation is divided on the ideology front, a women political party should adopt the ideology of Quaid-iAzam Mohammad Ali Jinnah to make Pakistan a Muslim welfare state. The Pakistan male politicians and military generals have failed in the past 64 years to make Pakistan as envisioned by its founder. There are a number of educated women politicians much better than male politicians who are serving the country. This party will not only be a first in Pakistan but will also set an example for other countries. I will be the first to become a member of such a. S T HUSSAIN Lahore
The silent law In her last written message Fakhra Yunus said that she was committing suicide over the silence of law on the atrocities and insensitivity of Pakistani rulers. Another acid attack, but this time the only difference was that that the one who threw acid on her was himself a politician, a person who was supposed to work for the betterment of this state. But his brutal act shows that he's worse than an animal. This horrible event took place some 12 years ago and no
Illiteracy The literacy rate in our country is not so good as compared to other developing countries of the world, although if a person can write his own name, he is considered as a literate person in Pakistan. The biggest reason of the downfall of any nation is the alarming increase in its illiteracy rate. Illiteracy is the root cause of almost every problem today. It increases poverty due to less employment and also decreases the educational facilities due to lack of teachers and educated people. on the whole, because of illiteracy we are left behind in every aspect, economically, politically or educationally. It also causes criminal activities as due to less awareness and education, people get involved in street crimes and various other criminal activities to keep up their living and necessities of life. Like this, illiteracy is the root of many other problems in this country. I just want to address the government and the authorities and request them to please consider this issue seriously and take measures to increase the
action was taken, no justice for her. This also shows how ineffective our law is. A strict action has to be taken against the culprit. It's time Fakhra should get justice. But Fakhra is not the only victim, there are many other women seeking justice in this country. They must all get justice. SEHAR ARSHAD Karachi
education and literacy rate in the benefit of Pakistan. YURJA KAZMI Karachi
To make money while sitting at home is a dream every person has. Modern technology and the internet have made it possible in more ways than one to do a lot from home. one such possibility is earning money. Realising that there is a lot of talent across the world, companies and organisations hire people throughout the world through the internet. Large multinationals and companies hire people across the world and provide them an opportunity to earn money from the comfort of their homes. Numerous people from this region work for such companies to earn a decent living and while the jobs require some work, they can serve as an alternative to most conventional jobs. But there is a downside to all this: some organisations are deceiving people in the name of making money online. As there is little regulation for taking online jobs and people in this part of
the world are less aware of such opportunities provided through the internet, fraudulent individuals trick people into paying registration money for online employment and take advantage of them. Either these people run away with the registration money or in some cases serve as middlemen in the process of getting paid. They hire others and make them do the work, get paid themselves, and hand out a minimal amount of money to the actual workers while making huge profits themselves. This has become somewhat of a common trend in online jobs in Pakistan. Even in cases where people are actually paid to work, the money they receive is far less when compared to the work that they do and certainly considerably lower than what the fraudulent employers receive from the real internet employers. The authorities should take notice of such conmen and punish those who exploit the needs of the poor. Further awareness regarding internet jobs should be provided to ensure that people are not cheated. FARIHA FAZAL Karachi
use of force and abuse of political clout, or resort to extortion and kidnapping for ransom takes place in cities, while in villages they are involved in protection rackets and stealing of cattle. The urban and rural feudals are involved in land grabbing, and prevail on law enforcement agencies, exploiting their political influences, each joining every government that is in power in their province or at federal level. The urban feudal exercises direct control over media, through threats and periodic target killings of journalists,
who dare to cross the line and expose their illegal practices. It was shocking to see a talk show where a platform was provided to Bilal Khar, without a fair chance to any surviving relative of Fakhra, who may dare to point a finger at him. Both patronise criminals, who rob citizens, be it in the shape of street crimes, car grabbing, or providing patronage to robber barons that terrorize those who travel by road. As a society we have degenerated to such lows that it had to be Italy which offered refuge to
opportunity and a scam
This is with reference to the killings of seven peoples in Toulouse (France) by Muhammad Merah, a 24-year-old French national of Algerian origin. He had been under surveillance by French intelligence for a couple of years, having already committed certain infractions, some with violence. The killings occurred during a divisive presidential race that had already turned toward questions of immigration and Islam. It is unfortunate to note here that immediately after the incident French and international media started accusing Pakistan as responsible for the killings. Mr Merah made two trips to Afghanistan and Pakistan in November 2010 and August 2011 respectively. According to the French authorities, he made them on his own as monitored by the French intelligence agencies. However, the reports do not suggest his links and training in tribal areas, even as per media reports TTP has disowned any role behind the killings. Even though some French investigators say Mr Merah was effectively a lone, self-radicalised extremist, his violent ideology fits closely with some French stereotypes of Islam, and Muslims in France fear that the tensions brought on by the murders may prove more lasting. Merah’s links with Pakistan is a typical example of malafide objectives to malign Pakistan for providing sanctuaries to foreign fighters and blanketing the issues of homegrown problems of radicalisation attributed to various reasons confronted by European countries. AFIA AMBREEN Rawalpindi
extra-actors ‘Let it rip! 14 bombs go off within 15 minutes at the Railway track previous month.’ Someone is disturbing our average. Z A KAZMI Karachi
feudal curse and brutality Be it Fakhra Younus or wali Babar from Karachi, Nafees Khan of Mith Ranjha, they are victims of a feudal mindset which dominates our corridors of power in cities, towns and villages. It is not just rural landed illiterates which are accused of the curse of this feudal mindset, but also urban mafias which have been smitten by this evil. Both run private torture cells, private jails and armed criminal gangs, and resort to shut down of markets within their turf to blackmail administration and enforce their writ. Threats of intimidation,
Fakhra, or Canada to Dr Shazia Khalid, instead of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, because their abusers were either an electable feudal or part of establishment. Nothing much has changed in eight years of martial law, or four years of democratic rule to bring these culprits to justice. It is unfortunate that justice in Pakistan is denied on technicalities by hiring shrewd lawyers, while victims of brutality die in vain, frustrated by years of denial of justice. MALIK TARIQ ALI Lahore
Send your letters to: Letters to Editor, Pakistan Today, 4-Shaarey Fatima Jinnah, Lahore, Pakistan. Fax: +92-42-36298302. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Letters should be addressed to Pakistan Today exclusively.
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12 comment A tough decision ...in a tough environment
t’s a tightrope walk in the middle of a blizzard. In the deliberations on how to proceed with relations with the US, the government faces an almost impossible task. First, there is the parliament itself, with the principal opposition party, which had reportedly reached a private consensus of sorts earlier with the treasury benches, making an about turn on the issue. In fact, the League even made common cause with the Taliban on the issue of the Nato supply lines. This, in addition to the expected line of the right-wing JUI(F) on the issue. All this, of course, is taking place in the usual atmosphere of the cat-herding that running a coalition government is, with the ANP and the MQM getting up in arms again. outside the house, the Difa-e-Pakistan Council, with its usual chanting of slogans against any possible resumption of the Nato supply routes. It would be a little difficult to carry on in that ruckus, especially given the threats by some of the members of the DPC to try to physically stop said resumption. Matters are further complicated by threats of militant organisations to target legislators in case the parliament does approve the resumption of the supply routes. with so many things going against it, why doesn’t the government simply not resume the routes? For starters, there is the financial aspect. The government makes money off the transit routes and that, presumably, helps in these lean times. Secondly, there is the larger issue of relations with the US. They certainly have their own set of complaints. And, given how we had egg on our face in the aftermath of osama Bin Laden’s presence in Abbottabad, we cannot really afford to be churlish for lack of a moral higher ground. Third, though the foreign minister says an apology for the Salala incident won’t be enough, there is very little to say what would be. More aid? Fourthly, and this is a larger issue than our relations with the US, is the matter of principle. The political government has entrusted, out of a need to build a consensus, the issue of the supply routes to the parliament. It is only the parliament, then, that should decide, based on how the body weighs the pros and cons. Not because the parliament is being held siege to, so to speak, by several interest groups.
Mayhem in Karachi And again…
ormalcy has returned to Karachi after hours of mayhem that took toll of 10 lives and resulted in the burning of over 50 vehicles. The MQM’s warning that unless the murderers of one of its activists and his brother are arrested within 48 hours, it will take unspecified decisions indicates that peace in Karachi continues to hang by a thread. That two innocent persons were killed inside their house is a highly regrettable incident. Coming as it does in the wake of several killings of the sort including that of the wife and daughter of a Balochistan MPA, Shia clerics and lawyers, and an ANP worker on Sunday, the incident is a reminder that there is still no respite to targeted murders in Karachi. Law and order being the responsibility of the provincial government, the tragic occurrences are a reflection on the performance of the Sindh CM and home minister. Unlike earlier killings, however, the present incident instantly led to widespread rioting in the city. All the coalition components of the Sindh administration are expected in situations like this to act responsibly. It is their duty to cool the rising tempers to maintain peace in the mega city. The MQM which has the largest representation from Karachi has all the more reason to ensure that the city does not revert to lawlessness. what one had expected from the party was to hand over whatever evidence it possessed to police and work through the administrative machinery to ensure that the case was pursued efficiently. what it did instead was to issue a statement accusing elements in the Karachi Amn Committee and called for mourning all over Sindh. Its legislators walked out from the joint sitting of parliament. while parties sitting in the opposition sometime undertake protests against the government, it is unusual for an ally of the government to resort to tactics of the sort. while the killing of even a single human being should be condemned, attempts have to be made by all stakeholders in Karachi to avoid creating a situation where more innocent lives are likely to be lost. It is all the more important to do so because criminals of all sorts are waiting in the wings for an opportunity to benefit from the worsening of law and order situation.
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: email@example.com
Thursday, 29 March, 2012
Why attack pakistan? What can’t the US do to us…
By Nazir Naji
he world is being sucked into a vortex of embattlement and warring. The first experiment of this ‘war’ is being conducted on Pakistan. The interesting thing is while the aggressor is the US, the aggression is emanating from all Pakistani quarters. our leaders, government officials, public representatives, religious politicos, or any one for that matter doesn’t refrain from rapping on the US while the US is taking all this huffing and puffing with patience and assuring that we will take care of Pakistan’s grievances. But our representatives have mistaken the patience of the US representatives for something else and are putting demand after demand in front of them thinking that now the US is in our clamp, we should milk it for all it’s worth. whichever determined hero I talk to, they all claim with single-minded confidence that “the US cannot exit Afghanistan without our help.” This means that we have convinced ourselves that the US indeed does want to leave Afghanistan and that these people believe that the US will stick to the timetable it has given for leaving Afghanistan. But who will make the US follow this timetable? who? The maulvi sahiban who are out to ‘defend’ Pakistan? will they make the US scoot? will the Jamaat-e-Islami take care of the US like it took care of India in East Pakistan? or will it be our media crusaders who don’t like hearing the name the US but are ever-willing and ever-waiting for invitation to tours to the very same country? when I hear the yammering of such people, I say “we’ll show the US by not taking their money.” But even that doesn’t happen. we threaten the US, try to intimidate it but we also keep asking for dollars. The interesting thing is that the US is also taking the bait to an extent. Those who think that the US will attack us directly are bound to be disappointed. Military action is always taken where other options are not available. In the past decade or so, the US and its allies have taken formal military action against three countries; these attacks and invasions were conducted on countries where no other options were available. The first such military action was in Afghanistan. The country is so backward and under-developed, with virtually no economy, infrastructure or functioning society to speak of, that any conspiracy could be enacted there. They neither have industry or a financial system which the US could strangle as leverage. Al-Qaeda had dens all over this administratively anarchic country and was carrying out its plan all around the world from its safe havens here. The US attacked Afghanistan because the country was already too entropic for the US to manipulate through engineering some kind of intrigue
or chaos. The second, Iraq. It was under Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship. It had cut off all kinds of trade relations with the US. The Americans weren’t even allowed to enter the country under the pretext of reporting or tourism. If any American was allowed at all, they were kept under strict surveillance. No Iraqi citizen was allowed to have any relations with a US citizen. If an Iraqi was even found to be merely conversing with an American, they would find themselves in a cosy torture cell the very next day. Twothirds of the staff of an Iraqi embassy was designated to keep tabs on Iraqi diplomats. Iraq wasn’t short on dollars courtesy their earnings from oil exports. No Iraqi was dying of hunger; they would either die a natural death or from that of a bullet from the gun of Saddam’s soldier. Ina country like that, the US had no other option but to directly invade it. They could neither send spies there, nor terrorists. They could also neither send secret agents nor blackmail them by drying up the dollar stream. Thus, the attack. And then there was Libya. Some time ago, the US had to change the government over there and it was able to make do with just air raids. This is because Qaddafi had lifted the various bans on the US to get American favour. He had also resumed trade ties with them to that end. The Americans were able to come and go freely. Thus, it was very easy to infiltrate the country with US agents. All those people who were exiled from Libya were also brought back. All these people organised and revolted against Qaddafi. Nato’s bombers reduced the Libyan forces to nothing. All of Qaddafi’s military might amounted to naught and he had to die at the hands of his won people. But our situation is possibly even worse than that of Libya’s. If the US ever does decide to move against us, it wouldn’t need any boots on the ground or any fighter jets in the air. Each thread of the Pakistani economy is inextricably tied to the US. our forex reserves are in dollars. Most of our exports are to the US and to its allies. A big chunk of our forex earnings comes from these countries. obviously, these are our earnings but they can be cut off if and when the US so wants. It doesn’t need any new excuse. As long as North waziristan is present, they will have a readymade pretext to levy sanctions on us. The IFI’s that we are indebted to, if they insist on timely payments on our many many debts, we can be made to default in a matter of minutes. The lifeline that is extended to us sometimes by the world Bank and IMF,
that too will not be there. The arms and fighter jets that we got from the US, if we don’t get the tools, parts and money to maintain them and the supply of these is interrupted, these arms and jets will turn into scrap in a matter of four months. If such a scenario were to play out, all the airs and graces of our ruling elites will have to go. The electricity that we get for a few hours, we won’t even have the money to produce that. There already was little electricity for the loud speakers that our maulvi sahiban shout themselves hoarse through, but it will then be hard to even get batteries for them. we have no ready alternative for all the aid, loans and earning we get from the US and its allies. The anti-US elements in Pakistan have presumptuously made up their minds that China will fill that gap. But is that even a possibility? what we get from China is coming in because the US has never objected to it. we have a recent example: as soon as the US made the slightest indication about its displeasure, China promptly declined to fund the Iran-Pakistan pipeline. It is but to be expected. why would any country preface its external friendship over its own interests? In China’s mammoth mountain-like economy, our contribution probably amounts to a square foot of grass. why would the mountain care if that miniscule patch of green flourishes or dries up? on the other hand, the US is a significant trading partner of China and they would never jeopardise their economy which is reliant on the US for Pakistan. what would we do of the nuclear bombs that we have amassed if the situation that I have just sketched out for you plays out, God forbid? For us, pushing us into the vortex of entropy is enough. we don’t need to be engaged in any war. we need to shelve our delusions of grandeur and get a dose of reality. Those who say that the Afghans ‘defeated’ the US, don’t they see that the US is still occupying Afghanistan? US props are still running the country. It is not Afghanistan that has destroyed the US; it is quite the other way round. The more Afghans resist and try to bleed the US, the more Afghanistan will bleed. Those talking of the economic problems of the US needn’t worry about that. That country is the home of capital and capital creation. They can revive their economy simply by imposing a war on a country like us. If the mammoth is weakened, the itty bitty bunnies have nothing to be happy about. The writer is one of Pakistan’s most widely read columnists.
Inextricably linked Daily Pashtun Post
akistan and Afghanistan share a long and porous border. Hence, the countries can in no way avoid the negative spillover from developments in the other country. It is inevitable that the other will feel the pinch in the wake of bad conditions in the neighbouring country. The law and order in Pakistan, particularly Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, has been on a veritable downslide ever since the US invaded Afghanistan. Due to the ensuing anarchy and violence in war-ravaged Afghanistan, KP has also seen acts of terrorism and violence continue and increase unabated and that has cost thousands of lives and robbed the region of peace and stability. Political analysts are right in saying that peace in the
province is tied to that tranquillity prevailing in Afghanistan. Along with peace in the neighbouring country, another condition for peace is spreading education and awareness in the region and fighting obscurantist mindsets by inculcating tolerance and broad-mindedness in the impoverished masses. Analysts are also spot on in saying that peace can never be achieved unless the two countries cooperate meaningfully to that end. These countries are neighbours and no wishing away will change this fact. They are inextricably linked, for better or for worse. Hence, both the countries must realise the imperatives of corruption. As the current situation stands, peace in Afghanistan is a prerequisite for peace in Pakistan in general and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in particular. – Translated from the original Pashto by Abdur Rauf Khattak
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Thursday, 29 March, 2012
the past that wasn’t Before Pakistan makes the cultural choice of going back to the glory of its mythical past, it must remember that that past never existed
Man bites dog By harris Bin Munawar
ationhood is a cultural artefact. It mixes political thought with literary expression to define geographical and ideological boundaries in which a people reside. with time, the factual historical content becomes irrelevant. what remains is a myth. we celebrate March 23 as the day on which the “Pakistan Resolution” was adopted in Lahore in 1940. It is irrelevant now that the resolution was renamed and made no mention of “Pakistan”. Textbooks are an important method of disseminating that myth. “India is our traditional enemy and we should always keep ourselves ready to defend our beloved country from Indian aggression,” 11-year-olds are taught. The creation of Pakistan is justified with the two-nation theory - the idea that Muslims and Hindus in the subcontinent were two separate nations. India is the other, without which there is no we. This national narrative defines a goal (security) and an enemy (India) and in doing so makes possible a meaningful coexistence of a diverse people who refer to themselves as a nation. “As a general rule, Hindu morale would not stand more than a couple of hard blows delivered at the right time and the right place,” said a directive by president Ayub Khan to General Muhammad Musa, the commander-in-chief of the Pakistan Army, on August 29 1965 just before we began a war with India (Annexure G to GHQ Letter 4050/5/Mo-1). To the utter sur-
prise of then foreign minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, who had drafted the text of the order, that turned out to be false. By that time Pakistan had already begun operation Gibraltar. on August 5 and 6, hundreds of poorly trained ‘mujahids’ were into the Indian-held Kashmir with no clear goals with the expectation that Muslims of Kashmir will join them and revolt against the Indian government. That would legitimise a Pakistani troop movement into Indianheld Kashmir (like a similar situation legitimised the movement
peace.” In the ensuing see-saw battles in and around Lahore and Sialkot, the Pakistan army did a very good job at defending its territory, but they did nothing that could even be remotely regarded as a victory. Instead of learning lessons from tactical and strategic mistakes in the war, Pakistan responded by spiritualising its military objectives – an approach that led to the eventual goal of pan-Islamism and the belief that the Pakistani army was destined to restore Islam’s lost glory. Muhammad bin Qasim is
Instead of learning lessons from tactical and strategic mistakes in the war, Pakistan responded by spiritualising its military objectives – an approach that led to the eventual goal of pan-Islamism and the belief that the Pakistani army was destined to restore Islam’s lost glory. of Indian troops in 1971 into what was then East Pakistan). Unfortunately for them, that did not happen. Muslims of Indianheld Kashmir did not share the same narrative as Muslims of Pakistan. It took them another 35 years of oppression to realise they needed to rebel. India’s attack on Lahore on September 6 was therefore not a sudden act of aggression on an unaware neighbour, as Pakistani textbooks claim, but an unexpected retaliation. A plan approved by the Indian Cabinet in 1949 for such a situation, said “Indian troops in Kashmir would seek to contain the opposing forces while the main Indian field army made a determined and rapid advance towards Lahore and Sialkot.” That is exactly what they did. “The primary aim of this strategy,” according to A wright, “was to inflict a decisive defeat on Pakistan’s field army and, along with the possible occupation of Lahore, to compel the Pakistan government to seek
revered as the first Arab Muslim to arrive and conquer Sindh. Hardly anyone knows that he was called back, tortured and put in prison, according to one group of historians while the other group says he died while being transferred to Syria, wrapped in animal hides. Muslim conquerors did not arrive in the subcontinent with a common goal of propagating Islam, but got thousands of people killed in mutual battles for power. Before Pakistan makes the cultural choice of going back to the glory of its mythical past, it must remember that that past does not exist. If we return to it, we will only serve kings and emperors who claim divine support and exterminate thousands of Muslims who do not agree with them. The writer is a media and culture critic and works at The Friday Times. He tweets @paagalinsaan and gets email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Stars no more Where is this talent we keep hearing about?
angladesh’s performance in last week’s Asia cup was heralded as brilliant. Even in defeat, victory was theirs. The cricketing world shared their euphoria. They won hearts and minds. It was a courageous, determined and almost successful campaign. Full marks to them. And then, misguided in their exuberance, they lost the plot. This ridiculous protest to try to change the result of the match through technicalities is unbecoming. It smacks of bad sportsmanship. one could expect an exchange of words or protest, in the heat of the moment, if an incident did occur on the field. But for it to come as an afterthought, on the alleged basis of review of video clips, must be considered premeditated. whoever the adviser deserves the boot. A moment that is to be cherished and recorded in history in glowing terms will now be overshadowed by a lacklustre and meaningless protest. I don’t for a moment believe that anybody in the Bangladesh team really believes that the incident was a deliberate foul. There is no reason to believe that the umpire’s report at the end of the match carries any such mention. There is universal condemnation. So why this delayed reaction? Especially since talks for a tour of Pakistan by the Bangladesh team are at an advanced stage. I am sure there are many who do not Random Thoughts wish for this tour to take place. If it goes smoothly, as one believes it will, By Imran husain the onus will be on the other teams to seriously consider similar tours. Perhaps these teams prefer playing Pakistan in the Emirates. It’s certainly more conducive to off ground activities. However, if Bangladesh has fallen prey to these machinations and this protest is conceived to throw the intended tour to Pakistan, then it is a low blow. And the timing was nasty. At a time when emotions are high, on the occasion of Pakistan’s Republic Day and Bangladesh’s Liberation Day, and slow healing wounds fester, prudence demands that controversies, especially totally unnecessary, must be avoided at all costs. There is so much cooperation between the two countries at present. The entire textile sector in Bangladesh is manned by high level Pakistani technical expertise and investment is flowing into that country. The best advice would be to wallow in the glory of near victory rather than destroy goodwill. Having said this Pakistan played well below the average even for a team that is notoriously unstable. There is no comparison between the calibres of the teams, notwithstanding this very close result. Pakistan all
but lost the match and left little unturned in trying hard to do so. The team’s inability to contain the Bangladesh onslaught was pathetic. They were really fortunate to escape defeat. Pakistan cricket needs a new look. Everyone, except the vested interest, agrees to this. The sight of a new, ostensibly twentieth century chairman, sitting with 75-year-old Intikhab as principal consort was ridiculous. Inti, at the best of times, was and is literally helpless. He gave what he could to cricket and was never foreseen as the unbridled, perpetual mentor he has wrongly become. It is time he and a host of others were given a resounding farewell. Zaka Asharf, as a relatively successful businessman, was expected to realise the need to dispense with all those past their sell-by dates. And to inculcate viable, modern processes that would empower cricket at all levels and thus encourage a far greater asset pool of talent. A year down the line there are no such visible signs. Right now, we hear of murmurings around Mohammed Amir and his possible resurrection. Look, Amir is in cricketing terms ‘dead’. Bury him and move on. Find the Amirs playing in Sialkot, Multan, Jhelum, Bhakkar, Sukkur and around the mausoleums of Jehangir and Noor Jehan. I’ve played representative cricket and I talk of the tombs, because I saw a young man there last week, a spinner, put so much work on the ball, it mesmerised me. Ask those with me; they’ll confirm! He is the type of talent you need to take to the academy and nurture. There are hundreds like him. we are after all a country of 180 million people and there is no shortage of talent. But no one will pick such talent. It doesn’t bring with it citations of the rich and famous. what it does do is bring raw talent and the cricketing world thrives on it. Look at India: it turns out one after the other. Look at us: we spend decades producing the best fast bowling pairs in the world and then the talent just dies. Leaving us to celebrate television images of wasim and waqar at the height of glory. This is the total failure of the current system. The mafia infallibility encourages abusive and arrogant behaviour, for example Afridi’s recent incident at Karachi airport. Unforgivable, regardless of provocation. I recall an incident when a top young batsman, I am trying hard to recall the name, hit a fan with his batting glove after falling cheaply. My father, who was chairman of selectors at the time, saw that he never played representative cricket again. This is what is required today. Gaddafi stadium needs to move beyond its confines and reach out to real talent. The bulk of this team is over. Stop flogging dead horses. They are stars no more. The writer may be contacted via e-mail at email@example.com
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Thursday, 29 March, 2012
fAShioN NAKUL SeN AMbreeN, fArhAN
SofiA NAveed LAr
receives lukewarm welcome LoS ANGeLeS REUTERS
HE music doesn't stop for pop icon Madonna, and neither does the controversy, as the 53-year-old 'Queen of Pop' returns to the spotlight with her latest album ‘MDNA’. The uptempo record ‘MDNA’ sees Madonna continue her love affair with dance music in an album dedicated to club-friendly tracks. And Madonna has lost none of her ability to push boundaries, just as she did 25 years ago with themes of sexuality and youth rebellion. The title, ‘MDNA’-an allusion to the drug MDMA or ecstasy-has caused a stir, while the music video for the second single, ‘Girl Gone wild’, has been slapped with an age restriction after YouTube deemed it too raunchy for under 18 yearolds. Madonna has said that the title meaning of her 12th studio album is threefold- a reduction of her name, an abbreviation for ‘Madonna DNA’, and a reference to ecstasy and the euphoria often experienced by its users. But some music critics
haven't exactly been blown away despite Madonna recruiting a bevy of top dance music producers, including house music DJ Benny Benassi, electro-pop duo LMFAo and her Grammy-winning ‘Ray of Light’ album producer william orbit. The Los Angeles Times gave the album two out of four stars, saying it doesn't "offer much in the way of innovation," and that the iconic singer had "fallen behind...she is no longer setting the conversation in a genre she essentially invented." The songs are tied together with hard bass beats and electro-synth tunes in uptempo dance songs like ‘Gang Bang’ and ‘Girl Gone wild’. ‘Falling Free’ is one of the few tracks that change pace from the album's dancecore theme, described by Billboard's Keith Caulfield as a "gorgeous ballad." The Golden Globe-winning song ‘Masterpiece,’ from the soundtrack of Madonna's film ‘w.E.’ also stood out with its delicate acoustic guitar melody. The Guardian gave the album three out of five stars, calling it "business as usual" for the pop star. New York Magazine said “a lot of the music here feels hollow and strained...There is much expensive workmanship and machine-tooling around here, but not much...Madonna.”
showcase 2012 day 2: Rainbow on the ramp NeWS DeSK The day two of showcase 2012 started on a stronger note despite the tense law and order situation in Karachi. The who’s who of the fashion industry were present to view the collections of the local and foreign designers: Zainab Sajid: opened the second day of showcase 2012 with her brand Aqua by presenting the Mera Pakistan collection, inspired by landmarks such as the Minar-e-Pakistan and had a bold colour palette and dramatic embellishments. Bareeze: Rang Ja, the new prêt line by Bareeze, was bold, contemporary and colourful. The traditional designs celebrated our rich heritage yet embodied style and individuality. Farhan and Ambreen: Their new collection is named ‘Colours of Nature’ and was inspired by the beauty of the natural world, capturing the hues of ‘Sunset and Rainbow’. It represented romance, relaxation and joy. Ellemint: Two young designers showcased their collections under this label. Sofia Naveed Lari’s personal interest in nature was reflected in the simplicity of her designs. Using bright hues paired up with dazzling floral prints, Sofia’s collection was a breath of fresh air. Marya Dada’s collec-
tion was inspired by the essence and true feel of Africa, which she captured through her experimentation with colours and prints. Rizwanullah: The collection ‘Art meets fashion’ combined the processes of thought and feeling. Nakul Sen: His brand's forte lies in its ability to cast a contemporary twist to Indian craftsmanship, while appealing to international tastes. The brand presented an exquisite contemporary evening wear for discerning and stylish women across the world. Nida Khurram: Her collection was rich yet simple. She strived to propel fashion from elite craft into a cornerstone of contemporary popular culture for women all around. Studio FH: Fouzal Hameed’s name is legendary in the men’s fashion industry. His vast knowledge and experience in men’s wear has raised the bar of men’s fashion in Sri Lanka and beyond. For showcase 2012 he presented sporty looking jackets with contrasting pants and shirts, vibrantly coloured summer suits and ceremonial suits. Fnk Asia: The brand’s collection for the finale was all about festivity. The collection was energetic, playful and fun with splashes of yellow and whites, giving the wearer a ‘rise and shine’ feeling.
Bips and dagguB Rana ‘cLoSe f ati end rieNdSh iP’
NEW DELHI: Bipasha Basu and Rana Daggubati have reportedly called off their on and off relationship. Their friendship, which had blossomed on the sets of ‘Dum Maro Dum’, helped them gain publicity. of the two, Rana seems to have benefited the most from this association as he has recently bagged a film with Ram Gopal Verma. AGENCIES
sRK, anushka in Akshay: flops don’t bother me Farah’s next film MUMBAI: His last few films may not have done well at the box office but actor Akshay Kumar says he has seen a rougher patch earlier when he delivered 14 flops. Except for ‘Desi Boyz’, Akshay’s recent outings including Priyadarshan’s ‘Khatta Meetha’, Vipul Shah’s ‘Action Replayy’, Farah Khan’s ‘Tees Maar Khan’, Anees Bazmee’s ‘Thank You’ did not fare well with the audience, but he is least perturbed with flops. “Flops don’t bother me. I just work harder in my next film. Every human being has to go from high to low from low to high. If you understand that, then you will never have a problem,” Akshay said in an interview. “Seven years ago, I delivered 14 flops. Big deal. You just keep on working,” the 44-year-old actor said. At a time when actors like Salman Khan, Shahrukh Khan, Ajay Devgn and others vie for Rs 100-crore mark on the opening weekend at BO, Akshay says records will keep on happening and breaking. “I was the first guy whose film ‘Singh is Kinng’ raked in Rs 70-80 crore but soon some other film came in and it was broken. Every year that benchmark is going to increase,” he said. However, Akshay has an eventful year this time, with Sajid Khan`s multi-starrer comic-caper, ‘Housefull 2’, besides ‘Rowdy Rathore’, where he would be seen as a action hero, Shirish Kunder`s fantasy adventure film, ‘Joker’, action-comedy ‘Khiladi 786’ and a heist drama, ‘Special Chabbis’. AGENCIES
MUMBAI: Barely days after Shah rukh Khan and her husband Shirish Kunder hugged and made up after their infamous brawl at Sanjay Dutt's party at a Juhu nightclub, farah Khan managed a casting coup of sorts by roping in SrK as the leading man in her next. wasting no further time, the choreographer-turneddirector has now zeroed in on her leading lady as well. farah has gone no further than SrK's ‘rab ne Bana Di’ Jodi co-star Anushka Sharma for the prized role. Anushka is very excited with the offer, and has agreed in principle. And the modalities are being worked out. It would also be safe to say that like other biggies in B-town, SrK too, may have had a say in Anushka's selection. A source said, “farah obviously wants someone big in the film; someone who is hot and happening. Kareena Kapoor and Katrina Kaif were the obvious choices but Anushka has won the race.” The source added, “farah too is quite fond of Anushka. She was quite impressed by her dancing abilities in ‘rab ne Bana Di Jodi’.” Meanwhile, Anushka, who will soon also start shooting with Aamir Khan for ‘Peekay’, is busy working out her dates for farah's film. The source pointed out that Anushka and SrK have always shared an excellent professional equation. “They gelled very well during the making of ‘rab ne Bana Di Jodi’, where they were romantically paired,” the source explained. with farah's film expected to hit theatres in 2013, it would be refreshing to see SrK and Anushka together again after five years. AGENCIES
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ofiA NAveed LAri
teen sensation Lohan set to end Justin Bieber sued probation and star on‘glee’ over phone prank
‘The hunger Games’ sparks racism row
LoS ANGeLeS AGENCIES
LoS ANGeLeS AGENCIES
Teen sensation Justin Bieber is facing legal action over a phone prank. The 18-year-old posted a phone number on twitter with the last digit missing and told his 19 million followers on the microblogging site to call him, reported Sun online. As fans tried to guess the remaining number, two Texans claim they were plagued with phonecalls from teenage girls at all hours of the day. The tweet was quickly deleted but the two say the stunt was "reckless" and that the harassment continued. The lawyer acting for the pair said her clients` patience "wears thin" after receiving over 1,000 phone calls and they want compensation for all the problems caused by the prank. They also suggest Bieber could make it up to the disgruntled duo with an apology, concert tickets and cash.
Veena to play a vampire in
ryan Gosling takes on disaﬀected youth in new documentary
NeWS DeSK After her numerous appearances in Bollywood, Pakistani drama queen Veena Malik will play a vampire in her latest Bollywood flick ‘Mumbai 125Km’. Malik seems to believe in versatility and says she strives to play a variety of roles that range from ‘Channo’ to the horror of a vampire. Malik will appear as the lead in Telugu filmmaker Hemant Madhukar’s latest Bollywood horror movie ‘Mumbai 125Km’. The film is a second original Hindi 3D Movie. Malik, her co-star for the film, Karanveer Bohra and the team was highly excited on the last day of the film’s shoot. The actress said: “I am playing a very strong character in ‘Mumbai 125 Kms’. It is not a typical character. I am not romancing or anything with anyone. The character has thrill, horror, a beauty and a beast.”
Lindsay Lohan is set to start preparing for her guest appearance on ‘Glee’ after her formal probation finally ends on Thursday. She wrapped up her final 14 days of morgue janitorial duty and last five therapy sessions wrapped on wednesday. The actress is slated for one of the season's final episodes of the hit comedy, playing herself as a celebrity judge at Nationals, TVline.com reported. According to her spokesman Steve Honig, she will then jet to Vancouver to start filming the TV movie ‘Liz and Dick’, in which she'll play Elizabeth Taylor. The comeback bid, which started with last month's turn on 'Saturday Night Live', is in full swing. If all goes according to plan, the actresses’ double-DUI case will be terminated. A lastminute claim Lohan was involved in a recent Hollywood hit-andrun appears to have run out of gas. “She really buckled down on this. She's been getting up at 5 in the morning for the community service for a while now. She's a champ,” Honig said. He said Lohan, 25, had no plans to “celebrate” other than holding “her head high.”
LoS ANGeLeS AGENCIES
‘ReGENERATIoN’, produced and narrated by Ryan Gosling, is a documentary that takes a look at how political apathy among young people ultimately contributed to the occupy wall Street movement. The film explores the widespread cynicism of today's younger generations and features some of the worlds leading scholars, activists, and media personalities, including Andrew Bacevich, Noam Chomsky and Amy Goodman. Those featured share insights on how the seedlings of ideas can transform into inspiring movements and incite change. ‘ReGENERATIoN’ explores how education, parenting, and media can shape society, as the film traces the influence of these institutions on the
turns tapori MUMBAI: After playing a rockstar in Imtiaz Ali's film in 2011, Ranbir Kapoor is ready to explore roles in varied genres this year. With the shoot of Ayaan Mukerji's romance ‘Yeh Jawaani Hai Diwani’ already on floors, and Anurag Kashyap's period film ‘Bombay Velvet’ in his kitty, the actor has now signed ‘Dabangg’ director Abhinav Kashyap's next. In the film, Ranbir will be seen playing a character akin to Chulbul Pandey in ‘Dabangg’. However, getting Ranbir to sign on the dotted lines had not been easy for the filmmaker. Abhinav had to change his original plans considerably to get Ranbir say 'yes' to his project. “Abhinav had initially wanted to make a film titled ‘Karnaama’ with Ranbir in the lead. That was supposed to be an adventure film. But later, he decided to put aside plans of making ‘Karnaama’. At least for the time being,” said a source. The new project will see Ranbir playing a tapori. “His character is that of a bold, upfront, street smart guy. His body language and talking style will be very Mumbaiyya,” added the source. The actor will have to attend workshops to improve his Mumbaikar accent, revealed the source. The source said Ranbir has already allotted dates for the film that will go on floors this November. However, the female lead has not been finalised yet. AGENCIES
generation's collective culture. Each group the film features brings their own unique perspective to the forefront, from an inspired collective of musicians working outside the corporate system to a twenty-something conservative family about to welcome the birth of their second child. A group of five high-school students from the suburbs looking for their place in society is also profiled.
Never mind that ‘The Hunger Games’ got the third biggest opening ever along with several rave reviews, there are some fans who aren't happy. Racist fans of the book by Suzanne Collins reportedly took to Twitter to vent their anger over an African-American girl being cast to play the character of Rue (played by Amandla Sternberg) in the film, according to Jezebel. “why does Rue have to be black,” wrote one fan, whose Twitter page no longer exists. “Not gonna lie, kinda ruined the movie.” “Awkward moment when Rue is some black girl and not the innocent blonde girl you picture,” wrote another user, whose account has also been deleted. what's interesting is that the book actually describes Rue as having 'dark brown skin'. ‘The Hunger Games’ is the first of the trilogy written by Suzanne Collins, followed by ‘Catching Fire’ and ‘Mockingjay’.
bollywood gets its own 'walk of fame' MUMBAI AFP
often accused of ripping off plot lines from Hollywood, it was perhaps only a matter of time before India's Bollywood launched its own ‘walk of Fame’ in the style of Los Angeles' iconic boulevard. Indian cinema's ‘walk of the Stars’ was launched wednesday evening on a seaside promenade in the Bandra district of Mumbai. Like the Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles, Mumbai's new pathway will bear handprints and signatures of numerous actorsalong with a handful of life-size brass statues depicting some of the industry's best-known stars. The street will first pay homage to the Kapoor family. But not all of Bollywood's biggest names are backing the project, with a rival walkway, initiated by actor and architect Ritesh Deshmukh, also in the works in the same part of the city.Deshmukh said he has signed up 20 stars for his own path of fame, including Amitabh Bachchan and Salman Khan, two of India's favourite film stars. Deshmukh plans to call his project 'Legends walk'.
Katrina scores over Kareena MUMBAI: director Prakash Jha, it seems, can’t forget the magic that Rajneeti and Katrina Kaif created for him. The buzz is that he’s going ahead with Kat for his next film as well, titled ‘Satyagrah’. So far, the battle for the female lead was being keenly fought by Kareena Kapoor and Katrina but now it appears that Kat has eventually won this round. Sources say that Prakash will once get her to sport a de-glam image, similar to that of ‘Rajneeti’. Right now the only hitch in the project is Kat’s dates but the filmmaker is working on that too. An insider from Jha camp says, “The dates really shouldn’t be much of a problem. Jha and Katrina have shared such a great working relationship, that she’s eager to accommodate ‘Satyagrah’ into her busy schedule. She has tremendous respect for the director, since he gave her the chance to prove that she could act too, besides being a glam doll.” Taking the casting a step further, Jha has apparently even asked Madhuri dixit-Nene to be part of the cast. Madhuri had earlier worked with him in ‘Mrityudand’. The icing on the cake is that Katrina will be paired opposite favourite screen hero Akshay Kumar. AGENCIES
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16 Foreign News
Thursday, 29 March, 2012
N-talks with world powers on April 13: Iran TehrAN
o N G - S T A L L E D talks between Iran and world powers are to be revived on April 13 at a place yet to be agreed, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi announced on wednesday. “The date has been set, but the negotiations for the venue are still ongoing,” Salehi told AFP. “Turkey has announced its readiness to host the talks, and my personal priority is Istanbul,” he added.
The talks carry hopes of defusing a tense international showdown over Iran’s nuclear activities that has sent oil prices soaring. Israel has brandished the threat of possible military action against Iran’s nuclear sites, while the United States has put its energies into sanctions and diplomacy but has not ruled out the military option. Salehi made the announcement of the date for the talks as he welcomed Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to Tehran for a two-day visit focusing on Iran’s nuclear programme and bilateral ties.
on Erdogan’s arrival, Salehi told the official IRNA news agency that the next round of the talks between Iran and the P5+1 group comprising the United States, Russia, France, Britain, China and Germany would take place on April 13. Speaking to AFP, Salehi said that a “suggestion” from the P5+1 for a venue had been received and was being studied, and that the location “will be announced soon.” Erdogan arrived in Tehran from South Korea, where he had attended a nuclear security summit with other world leaders including US President
Barack obama. At a media conference with Salehi, Erdogan dodged a question about whether he was carrying a message from obama for Iran’s leaders. “During a meeting in South Korea, there were discussions with them (the P5+1 nations) about the talks taking place in Turkey, and there were steps in that regard and now we are waiting for their response,” he replied instead. Erdogan also slammed the bellicose language directed against Iran, saying: “Military threats against a country that seeks to master peaceful nuclear technology are not acceptable.”
Salehi likewise did not directly respond to an earlier AFP question about Erdogan communicating any message from obama, saying: “So far we’ve only talked about bilateral issues.” obama warned in Seoul on Monday at the start of the nuclear summit that “time is short” for a diplomatic solution to the standoff with Iran. “Iran must act with the seriousness and sense of urgency that this moment demands,” he said. The last round of Iran/P5+1 talks was held in Istanbul in January 2011 and ended in failure. The round before that, in late 2010, was in Geneva.
Indonesia jails Islamic school principal for terrorism TANGerANG AFP
An Indonesian court on wednesday jailed an Islamic boarding school head for 17 years for possessing more than two dozen home-made bombs and inciting terrorism. Abrory M. Ali, who was the head of the Umar bin Khatab boarding school in west Nusa Tenggara province, eastern Indonesia, was arrested in July when some of his home-made bombs went off accidently, killing a school employee. Following the blast, police tried to raid the school but students attempted to stop them in a bid to prevent the discovery of the explosives and firearms. This prompted a three-day standoff during which the students, armed with machetes and swords, barricaded themselves inside. “The evidence during the trial showed that the defendant was guilty of having assembled 27 pipe bombs” and of collecting firearms, chief judge Iman Gultom told Tangerang district court on Jakarta’s outskirts. “He also spread deviated teaching about jihad to his students which caused the loss of people’s lives,” he added. one of his students has previously been sentenced to 15 years in jail for killing a police officer with a sword. Most of Indonesia’s 200 million Muslims are moderates, but the country has struggled to deal with a radical fringe of extremists who have carried out numerous attacks including the 2002 Bali bombings that killed 202 people.
Islamist elected to head egypt constitution panel CAIro AFP
Members of a controversial panel tasked with drafting Egypt’s new constitution on wednesday elected Muslim Brotherhood member Saad al-Katatni — currently the speaker of parliament— to head the committee. The appointment comes following a series of withdrawals from the constituent assembly by liberal, leftist and independent figures who accuse Islamists of monopolising the process that will deliver the post-revolution charter. writing the constitution requires “wisdom and political responsibility, away from partisan gains,” Katatni told the constituent assembly tasked with drafting the new constitution, in a session aired live on television. His election comes shortly after Egypt’s Supreme Constitutional court announced it was withdrawing its representative, Ali Awad Saleh, from the panel, casting further doubt over its legitimacy. Since the formation of the 100-member constituent assembly on Sunday, nearly two dozen high profile figures have pulled out, while a court is set to rule on the panel’s validity on April 10 after several lawsuits. The recent debate over the panel “has cast a heavy cloud of doubt and confusion over its members, and cast a dark shadow of (legal) challenges to (its) formation and procedure,” the Supreme Constitutional Court’s spokesman, Judge Maher Sami, told reporters.
MAKASAR: A man takes photographs of a burning police post during a protest against the government’s plan to raise fuel prices on Wednesday. Afp
Tibetan who set self ablaze in Delhi dies NeW DeLhI AFP
A Tibetan exile who set himself alight two days ago in New Delhi died on wednesday and police detained at least 100 other activists protesting against Chinese President Hu Jintao’s arrival in the city. The Indian capital is home to thousands of Tibetans who have vowed to use Hu’s visit to focus global attention on the Chinese government’s alleged repression in Tibet. Police detained the demonstrators, many of them female, at the same venue where protester Jamphel Yeshi on Monday doused his clothes in fuel, lit himself and ran screaming down a road as his body was engulfed in flames. Some Tibetan students said police were not allowing them to leave their hostels, while Tibetan residential areas were flooded with security forces ahead of the summit that President Hu is attending on Thursday. “we are not putting Tibetans under house arrest (but) they have been instructed not to rally anywhere inside New Delhi while the summit is going on,” police spokesman Rajan Bhagat told AFP. “Protesters are being put into buses and removed because they have not had permission. There is also heavy deployment in places where Tibetans stay,” he added. Yeshi, who was the first self-immolation victim outside China since a spate of similar protests inside the country began last March, was declared dead at Delhi’s Ram Manohar Lohia hospital on wednesday morning. “His heart stopped working, every-
NEW dELhI: A Tibetan activist is detained by Indian police during a protest on Wednesday. aFp thing stopped working. He had 98 percent burns,” L.K. Makhija, the head of the burns department, told AFP. “Normally people with 98 percent burns do not survive. The body has been sent for a post-mortem.” Since early 2011, at least 29 Tibetans, many of them Buddhist monks and nuns, are reported to have set themselves on fire in Tibetan-inhabited areas of China to protest against Chinese rule. President Hu landed in Delhi on wednesday to attend the meeting of the BRICS group of developing nations,
consisting of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. “I have been locked up in my hostel with 150 other students since yesterday,” Paldin Sonam, 24, a Tibetan activist and student at Delhi University, told AFP. “The police said they were worried that we would try to do the same as the man who set himself alight. They were concerned about a law and order problem developing. we can’t leave.” Three protesters were also held by police outside the oberoi hotel, where President Hu is reportedly staying.
US man gets ‘most extensive’ face transplant ever WASHINGTON: A US man who lost his lips, nose and teeth in a 1997 gun accident has received the most extensive face transplant to date, according to doctors at the University of Maryland Medical Center. Richard Lee Norris, 37, had undergone several life-saving and reconstructive surgeries after the accident but had limited use of his mouth and, before the surgery, appeared as though his lower face and nose had been mashed in. In a 36-hour operation on March 19-20, doctors at the US medical center carried out “the most extensive full face transplant completed to date, including both jaws, teeth, and tongue,” the center said. “The transplant included all facial soft tissue from the scalp to the neck, including the underlying muscles to enable facial expression, and sensory and motor nerves to restore feeling and function,” chief plastic surgeon Eduardo Rodriguez said in a statement. “our goal is to restore function as well as have aesthetically pleasing results,” he added. Norris had spent the past 15 years living as a recluse, wearing a surgical mask and only shopping at night in order to avoid the staring of others, according to a report by MSNBC. The world’s first full face transplant took place in Spain, with doctors at Vall d’Hebron hospital in Barcelona showing off their work in July 2010. The first successful partial face transplant was performed in France in 2005 on Isabelle Dinoire, a 38-year-old woman who had been mauled by her dog. AFP
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School targeted by french gunman receives anti-Semitic mail ToULoUSe AFP
The French Jewish school where three children and a teacher were murdered this month has received a wave of anti-Semitic hate mail and calls, the local prosecutor said wednesday. Michel Valet said he had received a complaint from the school and had ordered a police investigation to discover the “origin of these calls and letters and the identities of those behind them.” The ozar Hatorah school was at the centre of a national drama on March 19, when self-declared Al-Qaeda operative Mohamed Merah pulled up on his scooter and attacked a crowd of pupils and parents waiting for class. After killing a 30-year-old religious studies teacher and his two sons aged four and five, the 23-year-old Islamic extremist pursued a seven-year-old girl onto the grounds, grabbing her and shooting her through the head. The local head of a Jewish representative group, Marc Sztulman, said the school’s email system had filled up with messages “calling for the murder of Jews or drawing a vague link with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.” on Monday, a 12-year-old Jewish boy was beaten but not badly hurt by three unidentified teenagers in an anti-Semitic attack outside another school in the ozar Hatorah group, this time in Paris, according to police.
Strauss-Kahn called women ‘equipment’ in text messages LILLe AFP
Disgraced former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn admitted to police that he referred to young women guests at sex parties as “equipment” in text messages, according to a report wednesday. The respected daily Le Monde said it had seen a confidential transcript of Strauss-Kahn’s police questioning from before he was charged with “aggravated pimping”, in which he confirmed he had used the “inappropriate” language. Strauss-Kahn’s legal team reacted with fury to the leak, accusing Le Monde of quoting selectively from the document and declaring they would lodge a legal complaint with authorities alleging their client’s rights had been violated. Strauss-Kahn admits he attended a string of orgies in various cities, but insists he had no idea that many of the female guests were paid to attend, telling police in the reported interview that he may have been “naive”. Prosecutors, however, believe that he knew the women had been procured and paid for by executives who corruptly charged the parties to company expenses. on Monday they charged Strauss-Kahn with complicity in a vice ring. “Do you want to (can you?) come to a great sexy nightclub in Madrid with me (and some equipment) on July 4?” StraussKahn once asked, in a text message to a businessman friend who has also been charged in the same case. In another message he referred to a “gift” and in another to “luggage”. According to Le Monde’s account of his recent interrogation, Strauss-Kahn admitted he had used what he now admits were “unsuitable and inappropriate” terms to refer to “a person of the female sex”.
JERUSALEM: Western Wall employees remove messages and prayers, written on pieces of paper by thousands of people addressed to God, from the cracks of the Jewish holiest site in Jerusalem’s Old City on Wednesday. aFp
Syria to reject any Arab League initiative to end crisis g
Un chief urges Assad to implement peace plan g Syrian forces storm central town DAMASCUS
AMASCUS will reject any initiative stemming from this week’s Arab League summit to end the yearlong crisis in Syria, a foreign ministry spokesman said on wednesday. “Syria will not cooperate with any Arab League initiative at any level,” spokesman Jihad Makdissi said in a statement to AFP. “Since its suspension from the Arab League, Syria has been dealing with member states on a bilateral level,” he added. The 22-member pan-Arab body in November voted at an extraordinary meeting to suspend Syria until President Bashar al-Assad implements an Arab deal to end a crackdown on a revolt which, according to UN figures, has left more than 9,000 people dead since March of last year. Arab foreign ministers were meeting in Baghdad on wednesday, on the eve of the landmark summit, to debate a draft
resolution calling on Damascus to end the violence and hold talks with the opposition. Makdissi in his statement made no reference to UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan’s six-point peace plan, which Annan’s camp said had been accepted by President Bashar al-Assad’s regime. Meanwhile, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon has urged Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to “immediately” implement the UN six-point plan to stop bloodshed in Syria. “I urge President al-Assad to put commitments into immediate effect. There is no time to waste,” Ban told a news conference in Kuwait. Ban expressed concern at the continued bloodshed in Syria but welcomed the Damascus regimes’ acceptance of the six-point plan put forward by the UN and Arab League special envoy Kofi Annan. “This is an important initial step that could bring an end to the bloodshed and violence,” he said. Ban said that he will “meet key (Arab) leaders in Baghdad to discuss how the UN and Arab League states can
work together in helping the joint special envoy’s diplomatic efforts to get the six-point proposal implemented.” Annan said on Tuesday that the government of Assad had accepted his plan, a move cautiously welcomed by western nations. Syrian forces backed by tanks stormed the central town of Qalaat alMadiq and nearby villages on wednesday after a siege lasting more than two weeks, the Syrian observatory for Human Rights said. The army also attempted to storm other rebel positions in various regions across the country, including in northwest Idlib, in central Homs and in the southern province of Daraa, the Britainbased monitoring group. It said troops entered the town of Qalaat al-Madiq, in Hama province, just after dawn following a 17-day barrage of shelling and heavy gunfire to root out rebels. The army, however, was not in full control of the town. “Heavy clashes between regime forces and armed rebels are preventing the army from advancing,” the observatory said. “Intense gunfire and explo-
sions can be heard in nearby villages.” Abu Ghazi, a local activist reached by Skype, told AFP in Beirut that members of the rebel Free Syrian Army had withdrawn from the area because of the regular army’s superior firepower. “The rebels were engaged in hitand-run operations and were trying to protect the local population and delay the storming of the town,” he said. Qalaat al-Madiq is home to a historic castle that was shelled during the fighting, as seen in videos posted on YouTube. Fierce clashes were also reported on wednesday in the province of Daraa, cradle of the year-long revolt that has left more than 9,000 people dead according to the United Nations. In central Homs province, three soldiers were killed and 16 others were wounded in fighting with rebels in the town of Rastan, it added. “Heavy clashes took place at the entrance of the town which the army tried to storm at dawn,” the observatory said. one person was killed by sniper fire in another neighbourhood of the city, the observatory said.
Mali divided over junta as world pushes for end to coup BAMAKo AFP
Thousands marched on wednesday in support of Mali’s coup leaders, who sought to quell fears they plan to cling to power by promising democracy and ruling out taking part in elections. The international community has shunned the regime which took over after a mutiny a week ago turned into a full-blown putsch as soldiers seized government buildings and chased out President Amadou Toumani Toure. The mutineers — who say they re-
belled because they are angered by the government’s mishandling of a northern Tuareg rebellion — suspended elections planned for April 29 and have not named a new poll date. UN human rights chief Navi Pillay urged Mali to follow the lead of neighbouring Senegal, which just wrapped up a peaceful transfer of power, and to hold free, fair and transparent elections. “Mali also had a good record of democratic elections over the past two decades, and I hope it gets back on that track as soon as possible,” said Pillay. The Economic Community of west
African States (ECowAS) on Tuesday suspended Mali “until its return to constitutional order”, following in the footsteps of the African Union which has also shut out the junta. Regional strongman Blaise Compaore, president of Burkina Faso, has been tasked by ECowAS with leading a mediation team of six heads of state to Bamako which is expected to arrive Thursday. As a former soldier who himself ousted a president, Compaore is likely to understand the frustration by the soldiers who revolted, tired of fighting a losing battle against the Tuareg
desert nomads, analysts say. west African leaders warned that the region’s troops were on standby if the junta failed to engage in dialogue. Mali’s rebel soldiers — from an army poorly-equipped to battle an insurrection by heavily-armed, battlehardened Tuareg recently returned from Libya — have called on the desert warriors to join peace talks. However the Tuareg, waging their decades-old battle for independence, have remained mum and are pushing forward with their offensive. Fighting since mid-January has forced over
200,000 to flee their homes. while Mali has been hailed as a successful democracy, simmering discontent over the government’s handling of the north — also torn by drug and arms trafficking and kidnappings of westerners — has seen the junta win favour among some Malians. Several thousand people marched in Bamako brandishing banners reading “Down with ATT (Toure)”, “Down with France”, and “Down with the international community”, while shouting “Sanogo solution” in support of coup leader Captain Amadou Sanogo.
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Djokovic, nadal win, wozniacki halts Serena Page 20
MCC mull Afghanistan tour but not Pakistan LoNDoN
ARYLEBoNE Cricket Club (MCC) are contemplating a tour of Afghanistan, the club's president said on wednesday, indicating that a visit to the war-torn nation was more likely than a trip to neighbouring Pakistan. MCC, which owns Lord's Cricket Ground, known globally as the "home of cricket", has played its part in supporting Afghan cricket by helping provide pitches in the capital Kabul, organising fixtures against the national side and coaching players. Touring teams from the club, which
ross Taylor was ready to bat with broken hand WELLINGTON: Ross Taylor, the New Zealand captain, has said he would have come out to bat despite a broken arm to help save the third Test against South Africa in wellington. Taylor had to retire hurt on the fourth day after he was hit by a short ball from Morne Morkel and had surgery on the fifth. He was not needed in the end, as New Zealand hung on for a draw at Basin Reserve six wickets down. "I was hoping not to [bat]", Taylor said a day after the Test. "I was back at the hotel with about 10 overs to go and then I got the phone call to ask whether I could bat. I thought you don't often get to save a Test match, so I drove down. In the wellington traffic it took me about five overs to get there, but the boys were looking pretty solid so I didn't have to don the whites.''ESPNCRICINFO
used to run English cricket but still retains worldwide responsibility for the sport's Laws or rules, usually comprise former professional cricketers alongside promising club players. "I am going to Afghanistan to look at Kabul and the cricket pitches we have put in," MCC president Phillip Hodson told BBC radio's Test Match Special programme on wednesday. "Then I will go to Lahore as a private citizen. "I think there is much more chance of taking a team to Afghanistan than there is to Pakistan. I think we could do something in Afghanistan and I don't think it will be long away." Afghanistan is an emerging country in cricket terms and its national team has made dramatic progress in recent
years, going from the equivalent of a standing start to competing alongside the sport's leading teams. This month Afghanistan again qualified for the 2012 world Twenty20 in Sri Lanka, having competed in the 2010 edition in the west Indies. Many Afghan players learnt how to play the game as refugees in Pakistan, after fleeing decades of violence, first during the armed insurrection against the Russian occupation, then during the brutal regime of the hardline Taliban. Pakistan is a fully-fledged Test nation but the country has been a "no-go area" for major international cricket since an armed terror attack on the Sri Lanka team bus during a Test match in Lahore in March 2009.
Pakistan now play their "home" fixtures in the United Arab Emirates. Further details of touring plans may emerge after the MCC's annual general meeting in May but any trip will come against a backdrop of continued attacks against British troops serving as part of the US-led NATo force in Afghanistan. Two British soldiers were killed in southern Afghanistan's Helmand province by an Afghan lieutenant on Monday. Concern is growing about so-called green on blue attacks with 16 NATo troops killed by their Afghan colleagues since January -- more than one in six of the 91 foreign soldiers to have died in Afghanistan so far this year.
No pakistani players for Bpl LAhore STAFF REPORT
Pakistan will not allow their players to feature in Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) second season if the country's cricket board decides against sending its national team here for a muchawaited series, 'our Sources' learnt through well-placed sources. According to the reports quoting sources, Pakistan's cricket chiefs are extremely unhappy over Bangladesh Cricket Board's reluctance to send its team to Pakistan for a limitedovers series that is expected to the pave the path for the return of international cricket in the country. “Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) will block its players' participation in the second edition of BPL in case the Bangladeshis decide against sending there team to Pakistan,” said a source. Pakistani cricket stars including their former captain Shahid Afridi were the single biggest reason why the inaugural edition of BPL which concluded on February 29 turned out to be a highly successful event. over 20 Pak-
Aussie captain clarke to make IPL debut
istani cricketers featured in the BPL, a Twenty20 league that was Bangladesh's version of the lucrative Indian Premier League. while top Pakistani cricketers like Afridi, Mohammad Hafeez and Saeed Ajmal just played in the final games of the event because of their series against England in the UAE, many of their other compatriots including fast bowler Mohammad Sami and opener Nasir
Jamshed finished among BPL's biggest success stories. BPL teams have roped in Pakistani cricketers for long-term stints but PCB can bar them from playing in the league.“PCB believes that it has done everything possible for the smooth
hosting of a home series against Bangladesh which is why it won't take any decision against the visit lightly,” said the source. “A negative call on the issue by Bangladesh is bound to strain cricketing relations between the two countries and the biggest loser could be the BPL,” he added. Pakistan are desperate to host Bangladesh for a limited-overs series in Lahore and Karachi next month in its bid to revive international cricket in the country. Pakistan have not hosted international teams since March 2009 when Sri Lankan cricketers were ambushed by terrorists in Lahore killing six policeman and a van driver. Several Sri Lankan players and one of their coaches were injured in the attack. A Bangladeshi delegation visited Pakistan earlier this month to review security arrangements for the proposed series. Mustafa Kamal — president of Bangladesh Cricket Board — who led the delegation, told senior PCB officials that he was satisfied with the security arrangements. However, BCB has said that a final decision on the tour hinges on its government clearance.
NeW DeLhI AFP
Australia captain Michael Clarke will make his Indian Premier League (IPL) debut this season after being signed by Pune warriors, the franchise announced on wednesday. "we are thrilled to have Michael Clarke on board. The reigning Australian skipper is one of the world's best cricketers," the franchise said in a statement. "His presence in the side, and cricketing proficiency, will boost the prospects of Pune warriors India in the IPL 2012." The Australian skipper, 30, had previously resisted the lure of playing in the Twenty20 tournament. He came close in 2009 before withdrawing from the IPL auction to focus on playing for Australia. "Clarke was exceptional in the recent Test series against India, as batsman and captain," said IPL chairman Rajeev Shukla. "He is a very popular cricketer in India and followers of the sport are eagerly looking forward to his participation in the IPL." The Australian players will miss the first three weeks of the IPL because of an upcoming Test series in the west Indies, but will be available for the final month of May. The fifth edition of the IPL will be played from April 4 to May 27.
england set out on historic chase GALLe AFP
England recovered from two crucial blows to stay afloat in their tough run chase to win the first cricket Test against Sri Lanka in Galle on wednesday. The tourists, set a history-defying target of 340, reached 111 for two by stumps on the third day on a dry pitch that has made batting progressively difficult. The world number one Test side lost openers Andrew Strauss and Alastair Cook cheaply, before Jonathan Trott and Kevin Pietersen repaired the damage by adding 63 for the unbroken third wicket. Trott was unbeaten on 40 and Pietersen was on 29, with England still needing 229 runs with eight wickets in hand to win the Test and take the lead in the two-match series. England, who will slip to number two behind South Africa if they lose the series, have never chased down such a big fourthinnings target before in their Test history. Their highest successful chase is 332-7 against Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground way back in 1928. In Asia, it is 2091 against Bangladesh in Dhaka in March, 2010. England's task has been made tougher since 253 is the highest fourth-innings total made at the Galle International Stadium.
England off-spinner Graeme Swann, who claimed six wickets in Sri Lanka's second inings total of 214, dismissed suggestions that history was not on his team's side. "History is meant to be re-written," said Swann. "This is 2012. It does not matter what happened years ago. "I would say we are the favourites. we just need a bit of old fashioned grit to win from here. Keep out the good balls and wait for the loose ones. "It's a good pitch to bowl on, its also a good pitch to bat on. If people apply themselves and put their heads down, they will be hard to dismiss." Cook, who scored 14, was given out caught at the wicket off Rangana Herath through the Decision Review System after on-field umpire Rod Tucker had negated the appeal. Herath, whose left-arm spin fetched him six wickets in the first innings, dismissed Strauss for 27 when the England captain failed to keep an on-drive down and was caught at short mid-wicket. Pietersen was lucky to be still there at stumps after being dropped by Kumar Sangakkara at backward short-leg off Suraj Randiv when he was on 12. The hosts had been reduced to 127-8 just before lunch, a lead of 252 runs, when wicket-keeper Prasanna Jayawardene stepped in to hit an unbeaten 61 in the company of tailenders.
SCOREBOARd Sri Lanka 1st innings: 318 (M. Jayawardene 180, J. Anderson 572, S. Patel 2-27) England 1st innings: 193 (I. Bell 52, S. Broad 28, R. herath 674, S. Randiv 2-26) Sri Lanka 2nd innings (overnight 84-5): L. Thirimanne b Swann 6 T. dilshan b Broad 0 K. Sangakkara c Bell b Swann 14 M. Jayawardene c Anderson b Swann 5 T. Samaraweera st Prior b Swann 36 d. Chandimal c Pietersen b Panesar 31 S. Randiv lbw b Swann 18 P. Jayawardene not out 61 R. herath b Swann 7 C. Welegedara c Strauss b Panesar 13 S. Lakmal run out 13 Extras: (b1, lb4, nb4, w1) 10 Total (all out, 84.3 overs) 214 Fall of wickets: 1-4 (dilshan), 2-8 (Thirimanne), 3-14 (M. Jayawardene), 4-41 (Sangakkara), 5-72 (Samaraweera), 6-114 (Chandimal), 7-115 (Randiv), 8-127 (herath), 9-167 (Welegedara), 10-214 (Lakmal). Bowling: Anderson 10.3-2-26-0, Broad 11-2-33-1 (nb4, w1), Swann 30-5-82-6, Panesar 24-6-59-2, Patel 9-4-9-0. England 2nd innings (Target: 340) A. Strauss c dilshan b herath 27 A. Cook c P. Jayawardene b herath 14 J. Trott not out 40 K. Pietersen not out 29 Extras: (lb1) 1 Total (for two wickets, 40 overs) 111 Fall of wickets: 1-31 (Cook), 2-48 (Strauss). Bowling: Welegedara 5-2-16-0, Lakmal 3-1-9-0, herath 15-352-2, dilshan 9-1-14-0, Randiv 8-1-19-0. Toss: Sri Lanka Umpires: Asad Rauf (PAK) and Rod Tucker (AUS) TV umpire: Bruce Oxenford (AUS) Match referee: Javagal Srinath (INd)
gALLe: england cricketers Kevin Pietersen (r) and Jonathan Trott (L) run between the wickets during the third day of the opening Test against Sri Lanka at the galle International Stadium. Afp
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Australia coast to victory in first T20 GroS ISLeT
ETERANS Shane watson and Michael Hussey eased Australia to victory in the first Twenty20 international with hosts west Indies here on Tuesday. Both watson and Hussey hit half centuries with the former - who stood in as skipper for injured captain Michael Clarke during the one day series but stepped down for this format - scoring 69. Hussey was unbeaten on 59 as the tourists coasted to victory with 11 balls remaining thanks to a fine century partnership by him and watson after opener David warner was out for a duck. After electing to bat, the west Indies had made 150-7 in the first of the twomatch series against Australia at Beausejour Cricket Ground. The modest total owed much to a swashbuckling 26-ball knock of 54 from Kieron Pollard that featured two fours and five sixes -- four of those coming off consecutive balls in the 16th and 17th overs -- and off 20 balls was the fastest half century by a west Indian batsman in this format. He beat former west Indies captain Chris Gayle's half century off 23 balls against Australia in 2009. Daniel Christian was the tourists' most effective bowler, taking three wickets for 27 runs. west Indies skipper Darren Sammy had hit a blistering 84 in the final match of the one-day series two days ago, but he fell for just seven, misjudging a heave down the ground off Brett Lee that was easily caught by David Hussey. Australia prevailed by 30 runs in the final one-day international to level the five-match series at 2-2. Christian came into the Twenty20
14th national veteran Senior cup in progress LAhore STAFF REPORT
The 14th National Seniors Cup is being played all over Pakistan for the last 13 consecutive years and a total of 82 teams are participating in this Tournament .The Northern Zone matches comprising Punjab, Khyber Pakhtoon Khawan, Islamabad and FATA. The Southern Zone is divided into three groups. Group A Consist of 4 Teams (Karachi Asim, Karachi omar, Karachi Amjad and Karachi CDC), Group B Consist of 3 Teams (Hyderabad, Jamshoro and Sanghar) and Group C Consists of 3 Teams (Sukkur, Shikarpur and Khairpur). The 14th National Seniors Cup matches for the Southern Zone started with the opening match played between Karachi omar and Karachi Asimat TMC Cricket Ground Gulberg on Saturday afternoon. Two Matches are decided in this Tournament from the Southern Zone in which Karachi omar defeated Karachi Asim by 6 wickets and Karachi C.D.C. defeated Karachi Amjad by 9 wickets at TMC Cricket Ground Gulberg. At the Inaugural match played on Saturday afternoon at TMC Cricket Ground Karachi Asim batted first scored 167 runs in allotted 25 overs, Mehmood Hamid scored 56 runs and Sajid Ali scored 27 runs, Saifullah Magsi of Karachi omar took 3 wickets for 24 runs and Nadeem sheikh took 2 wickets 26 runs. Karachi omar achieved the required target by losing only 4 wickets, Qamar Ibrahim scored 48 runs, Irfan Ali scored 42 runs and Nadeem Sheikh scored 33 runs, Mehmood Hamid of Karachi Asim took 2 wickets 40 runs. Qamar Ibrahim of Karachi omar was declared Man of the Match for his fine performance in the match. In another match played on Sunday afternoon at TMC Cricket Ground, Karachi Amjad won the toss and batted first scored 161 runs in allotted 25 overs, Azeem Ahmed scored 51 runs and Ramzani scored 23 runs, Fareeduddin of Karachi CDC took 3 wickets 21 runs and Habib took 3 for 26 runs. The required target was achieved by Karachi CDC in the 21st over by losing only one wicket, Sardar scored 83 runs and Aslam scored 50 runs, Ali Akber was the only wicket taker for 41 runs. Sardar of Karachi CDC who scored 83 runs was declared Man of the Match.
SCOREBOARd West Indies innings 24 J. Charles lbw b Watson 10 d. Smith c Wade b Lee 24 N. Bonner b Christian darren Bravo c Pattinson b Christian 12 K. Pollard not out 54 dwayne Bravo c d. hussey b Christian 14 d. Sammy c d. hussey b Lee 7 1 C. Baug run out (Watson) 1 G. Mathurin not out 3 Extras (lb1, w2) 150 Total (7 wickets; 20 overs) did not bat: K. Santokie, S. Narine Fall of wickets 1-19 (Smith), 2-38 (Charles), 3-66 (darren Bravo), 4-72 (Bonner), 5-134 (dwayne Bravo), 6-144 (Sammy), 7-148 (Baugh) Bowling: Lee 4-0-30-2 (1w), Pattinson 3-0-21-0 (1w), McKay 3-0-21-0, Watson 4-0-16-1, doherty 3-0-34-0, Christian 3-027-3 Australia (target: 151 runs from 20 overs) 0 d Warner b Santokie 69 S Watson c Pollard b Mathurin 59 M hussey not out G Bailey not out 21 Extras (lb1, w2, nb1) 4 Total (2 wickets; 18.1 overs) 153 did not bat: M Wade, d hussey, d Christian, C McKay, X doherty, B Lee, J Pattinson Fall of wickets: 1-0 (Warner), 2-108 (Watson) Bowling: Santokie 3-0-27-1 (1w), Mathurin 4-0-33-1 (1nb, 1w), Narine 4-0-21-0, Sammy 2.1-0-22-0, Bravo 3-0-21-0, Pollard 10-16-0, Smith 1-0-12-0 Toss: West Indies Result: Australia won by 8 wickets (with 11 balls remaining Series: Australia lead the 2-match series 1-0 Umpires: G. Brathwaite (WIS) and P. Nero (WIS) TV umpire: N. duguid (WIS) Match referee: A. Pycroft (zIM) Reserve umpire: J. Wilson (WIS)
team alongside James Pattinson, with George Bailey taking over the captaincy for the shortest format from watson. The west Indies were without Andre Russell, who was ruled out after battling a hamstring injury during the one-day series. It is the first time the west Indies have played a T20 international for five months and for both sides the main concern is to get in some crucial practice ahead of the world Twenty20 in Sri Lanka in September. The second Twenty20 match is in Bridgetown on Friday.
groS ISLeT: west Indies captain Darren Sammy reacts after failing to field a ball during the T20 match against Australia at the Beausejour ground. Afp
pU 65th Annual Girls Athletics begins LAhore STAFF REPORT
Punjab University 65th Annual Girls Athletics Championship began here on wednesday at the University ground. Professor Dr. Ahsan Malik who is President of Punjab University Teaching Department was the chief guest of the opening ceremony and declared the athletics meet open. Ms. Sobia Sultna (Best Athlete of Inter University Championship 2011-12) took oath on behalf of all the participating athletes. In the second half of the day, Dr Mansoor Sarwar Director Sports of Punjab University joined the athletic meet and appreciated the athletes and the participating teams. OPENING DAy RESULTS: 400 Meters Hurdles: Attiya Sultana, Shibli College of Commerce for women Faisalabad; Sumaira Parveen, ,Punjab University Teaching Department; Lubna Younas, Shibli College of Commerce for
women Faisalabad, Discus,Throw: Nadia, Islamabad Model College Islamabad Hummak; Fakhra, F.J Govt College for women Chunamandi; Mehwish Iqbal, Punjab University Teaching Department High Jump: Nighat Kausar, ,Punjab University Teaching Department; Attiya Sultana, Shibli College of Commerce for women Faisalabad ; Sumaira Parveen, Punjab University Teaching Department Triple Jump: Sumaira Parveen, Punjab University Teaching Department; Nighat Kausar, ,Punjab University Teaching Department; Saima Shahzadi, ,Govt: College for women Samundari Faisalabad 800 Meters Hurdles: Attiya Sultana, Shibli College of Commerce for women Faisalabad; Lubna Younas, Shibli College of Commerce for women Faisalabad; Nighat Kausar, Punjab University Teaching Department 5000 Meters: Rajab, Punjab University Teaching Department; Attiya Sul-
tana, Shibli College of Commerce for women Faisalabad; Naseem Akhtar, Punjab University Teaching Department 4 X 400 Meters Relay: Punjab University Teaching Department; Govt: College for women Samundari Faisalabad; Govt: college FoR women wahdat road Lahore 100 Meters Hurdles: Attiya Sultana, Shibli College of Commerce for women Faisalabad; Saima Shahzadi, Govt: College for women Samundari Faisalabad; Nighat Kausar, Punjab University Teaching Department 1500 Meters: Sumaira Rajab, ,Punjab University Teaching Department; Attiya Sultana, Shibli College of Commerce for women Faisalabad; Lubna Younas, Shibli College of Commerce for women Faisalabad Javelin Throw: Humaiza Butt, Govt College for women Sattlelite Town Gujranwala; Hira Atta, Punjab University Teaching Department; Nadia, Islamabad Model College Islamabad Hummak.
SPM Bucks beat Amar cables LAhore STAFF REPORT
SPM Bucks beat Amar Cables by 11 runs in the First Lahore Veteran Champion Trophy here at the Ali Garh Cricket Ground. SPM Bucks batting first 178/7 after 30 overs. Ashfaq Aslam 28, Qadeer Shah 24, Jahangir Ahmad 22, Nadeem Aslam 22, Javeed Butt 19 & Rafaqat Ali 29 runs not out. Amar Cables bowling Rouf wain 3/53, Tariq Rasheed 2/21, Dastgeer Butt 1/5 & Muhammad Hafeez 1/21 wickets. In reply Amar Cables 167 all out after 28.5 overs. Shahid Mansoor 26, Zahid Umar 28, Ameer Akbar 21, Muhammad Hafeez 31 & Tariq Rasheed 16 runs. SPM Bucks bowling Zahid Khan 3/28, Javeed Khan 2/22, Ashfaq Aslam 1/24, Sohail Imran 1/16 & Javeed Butt 1/37 wickets. Javeed Ashraf, Qaisar waheed Umpire, Masood Ahmad & Qasim Shafique was the scorer. End of the match Chief Guest Ehsan Adil give away man of the match award to Ashfaq Aslam.
Multan region election schedule revised LAhore STAFF REPORT
LAHore: girl students take part in the 800 metres race during the 65th Annual girls Athletics championship. StAff photo
The Elections for the post of President and Secretary RCA Multan scheduled for April 4 at Multan Cricket Stadium are postponed. The Elections will now be held on April 14 at Multan Cricket Stadium. The interested/desirous candidates are requested to submit the duly filled nomination forms along with bank draft amounting to Rs 10,000 each in favour of Pakistan Cricket Board by April 6 positively. Schedule of Elections â€“ Regional Cricket Association (RCA) Multan Briefing, filing & hearing of objections (if any) against the candidates of Regional Cricket Association (RCA) Multan on April 14 and will be followed by the elections of Regional Cricket Association (RCA) Multan.
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raja earns guard group win in April cup LAhore STAFF REPORT
Raja Samiullah brought Guard Group to a fighting win over Newage in the April Cup Polo here at the LPC ground on wednesday. Facing tough fight from Shah Shamyl Alam, Raja Samiullah hit three goals in Guard Group’s 5-4 win over Newage. Samiullah got Guard Group three goals lead but with the help of Shamyl, Newage cam close to the score when his passes made Abdul Rehman Monnoo and Adnan Jalil Azam hit one goal each. But Taimur Ali Malik with his two goals took the match for the time being away from Newage reach. Shamyl again cam into action and produced the third goal of his team and later Taimur Mawaz Khan converted the fourth goal but the final hooter kept Newage hope at bay.
neelum-Jhelum Basketball in progress LAhore STAFF REPORT
The wAPDA Neelum-Jhelum Men’s National Basketball Championship started here at its Sports Complex on wednesday. The event being participated by all the affiliated units saw Balochistan, Railways and wapda. Balochistan won by 69-64 score over Police. Balochistan scorers were Nazeer Muhammad28, M. Hassan Shah08, Rangeen Shah07 and Police got its points from Sadique Jahangir16, Ali Raza15, Muhammad Shaoib12. Railway beat Sindh by 105-49 score with Railways points coming from Azhar26, Muzammil21, Suleman20, Asher14, Zaheer10 and Sindh’s Salman Ahmed21, Azemm Shah09, Ali Changizi07, Arbaz Durani04. wAPDA edged aside NAVY 61-36 score. wapda’s scorers were Amir Rashid17, Yawar Khan15, Falak Farid08, Atif Mukhtar05 and Navy got its points through Mir Alam08, Ghulam Mustafa07, Mohsin Khan07, Ali Nawaz04.
westwood takes Masters preparation to Texas hoUSToN AFP
world No. 3 Lee westwood has taken his Masters preparation to the US PGA Houston open this week with hopes of pulling off his first major triumph next week at Augusta National. The 38-year-old Englishman has finished in the top three at five of the past 10 major championships, including runner-up in both the Masters and British open in 2010 and joint-third at the 2011 US open and the 2009 British open and PGA. "I think it proves I'm capable of winning major championships," westwood said on Tuesday. "Lot of Top-3s and just have to keep doing that and put myself in position -- when I get the chance, take it the next time." Instead of hanging his head over nearmisses, westwood has taken confidence from coming so close. "It makes me look forward to major championships a lot more than I used to," westwood said. "I think my game is better equipped to tackle major championship golf courses." A reason for that is sharpening his skills in the week before a major rather than resting or playing practice rounds. "I like to be competitive the week before the Masters," westwood said. "It's a tough test at Augusta. If you don't go into it competitively sharp, you are not going to hit all the greens, going to have to get up and down.
LAHore: guard group and newage riders in action during the April cup Polo. NAdeeM ijAZ
Djokovic wins, Wozniacki halts Serena
oVAK Djokovic and Rafael Nadal stayed on pace for a possible final showdown while Maria Sharapova and Caroline wozniacki booked a last-four match-up at the Miami ATP and wTA event Tuesday. Top-ranked defending champion Novak Djokovic, winner of the past three Grand Slam singles crowns, reached the quarter-finals of the $9.6 million hardcourt tournament with a 7-5, 6-3 victory over French 17th seed Richard Gasquet. The Serbian top seed will next face Spanish fifth seed David Ferrer, who defeated Argentina's 11th-seeded Juan Martin Del Potro 6-3, 6-3. "It's going to be very difficult. But I'm ready," Djokovic said. "I'm fresh physically, fit. Mentally I'm always there. I have a day off tomorrow, which gives me enough time to prepare for the next challenge." world No. 2 Nadal, a three-time Miami runner-up who has never lifted the trophy, ousted Japanese 16th seed Kei Nishikori 64, 6-4. Up next is French sixth seed Jo-wilfried Tsonga, who ousted German Florian Mayer 6-3, 6-2. The Spaniard fired eight aces and won 65 percent of first-serve points while saving six of the eight break points he faced to advance in two hours and 11 minutes, improving to 16-3 on the season. "The beginning was very tough," Nadal said. "I started playing more aggressively. At the end of the first set, I felt that I started to win my serves easier than him. I believe that I had more the control of the game. "In the second set I started well. At 53, I didn't play my best game there and he broke me. Happy to have the break back later and finally win the match." on the women's side, second seed Sharapova advanced with a 6-3, 6-0 victory over Chinese eighth seed Li Na, the Russian snapping a four-match losing streak to the Asian star. "I came into this match losing to her the last few times," Sharapova said. "I really
Key BIScAyne: novak Djokovic of Serbia in action against richard gasquet of france at crandon Park Tennis center. Afp wanted to change that." Danish fourth seed wozniacki ended the comeback run of US 10th seed Serena williams 6-4, 6-4. wozniacki had lost all three prior meetings with the 13-time Grand Slam champion. "It was important for me, definitely," wozniacki said. "Serena has won so many Grand Slams and so many tournaments, something I would love to achieve one day. So to beat someone like her that I know that never gives up is definitely something that means a lot to me." williams had been sidelined from wTA events since the Australian open due to an ankle injury. "She definitely served the best she served in her career," williams said. "She
Key BIScAyne: caroline wozniacki celebrates a point against Serena williams during the Sony ericsson open. Afp
moved well and I just made too many errors. I felt a bit off. I probably played about 20 percent." The frustration had williams wanting to smash a racquet but she thought better of it, saying, "I thought about it, but I'm trying to be better now." Sharapova, like Nadal a three-time Miami runner-up who has never won the crown, has a 3-2 record against wozniacki. "It's the semifinals, a tough stage and a tough opponent," Sharapova said. "Caroline has been one of the most consistent players on the tour for many reasons." Sharapova's match began with five consecutive service breaks, but she found her form at 4-3, winning the last eight games of the match and 12 points in a row
in one stretch to move on after 68 minutes. "I was really consistent in conditions where it was a little gusty and blowing around and I faced a tough opponent too," Sharapova said. "I did a good job of maintaining my consistency throughout the whole match." British fourth seed Andy Murray ousted French 13th seed Gilles Simon 6-3, 6-4. The Scotsman booked a last-eight date against Serbian ninth seed Janko Tipsarevic, who defeated Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov 7-6 (7/3), 6-2. US eighth seed Mardy Fish outlasted Spanish 12th seed Nicolas Almagro 6-3, 67 (2/7), 6-3. Next for Fish will be Argentina's Juan Monaco, who eliminated Andy Roddick -- surprise conqueror of long-time foe, Roger Federer -- 7-5, 6-0.
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Pakistan win 10th West Asia Baseball Cup
watch it Live TEN SPORTS First Test: Sri Lanka V England 09:00AM
Aisam pulls out of Davis cup tie, Samir offers his services
LAhore STAFF REPORT
LAHoe: Deputy Speaker Punjab Assembly rana Mashood presents the winner’s trophy to the Pakistan team captain. StAff photo LAhore
Ton for Blackwell as english season starts in UAe LoNDoN AFP
Ian Blackwell scored the maiden firstclass hundred of the new English cricket season as he made 102 not out for MCC in the Champion County clash against Lancashire in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday. This fixture, the traditional curtainraiser to an English cricket campaign was, historically, played at Lord's, the London home ground of Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), but in recent seasons it has been switched to the United Arab Emirates as part of the club's tieup with the gulf state. MCC, whose captain Mark Ramprakash won the toss and batted on the opening day of this four-day fixture, were in trouble at 74 for four before Durham allrounder Blackwell's unbeaten hundred helped them to a first innings total of 265 all out. No other MCC batsman made more than Moen Ali's 33, with Lancashire left-arm spinner Simon Kerrigan taking four wickets for 65 runs in 18 overs. At stumps, Lancashire were 38 for two. Pakistan's Rana Naved had Paul Horton caught behind by Ireland wicket-keeper Niall o'Brien before leftarm spinner Blackwell, whose century featured 16 fours, then capped a fine day by having Stephen Moore lbw in his first over. "we lost four quick wickets so to get 260 odd was a good effort," said the 33-year-old Blackwell, whose lone Test appearance for England was against India in Nagpur six years ago. "Lancashire bowled pretty well in the twilight period as well, taking a few quick wickets after tea, but hopefully we can get a lead going into the second innings tomorrow (wednesday) -- if we do that we should be happy. "If we can remove Gary Keedy -- the nightwatchman -- early, we'll be pleased but it could be a tough first session in 37 degree heat so we've got to dig in."
ITCHERS Ihsanullah’s heroics helped Pakistan clinch the 10th west Asia Baseball Cup, after chalking-up 4-1 win against Sri Lanka in the last league match at the Punjab Stadium here on wednesday. The crucial match, which was dominated by pitchers, Ihsanullah-led Pakistan in all the nine innings to solely perform the duty successfully as he conceded just one run to make the victory possible. The batters also did good efforts as they managed to score four runs, despite the fact the Sri Lankans were tough in both pitching and fielding. However, the main credit of the Pakistan’s win went to Ihsanullah who made the difference. Ihsanullah, who has imparted two months training in South Korea on scholarship sent down lethal deliveries as Sri Lankan batters remained on defensive. There was no run scored in the first innings by either side. But Pakistan opened the account
in the second innings when Farooq Khan and Iftikhar Ahmed collected one run each to take 2-0 lead for the team. In the third innings, Pakistan earned one more run through Arslan as it seemed at that moment, the Pakistani batters would get runs frequently in the next innings. But tight pitching by both the sides, did not allow any team to score run in the next two innings. However, the visitors got their first run in the 6th innings through Peries to reduce the lead 3-1. Again there was no run scored in the 7th innings, as Pakistan plundered its last run in the 8th innings through Asif Mushtaq to seal the fate of the match. Pakistan remained unbeaten in the event thus it has qualified for the main round of the Asia Cup to be held later this year. Besides Pakistan and Sri Lanka, two other countries which participated were Iran and Afghanistan. Iran came third while Afghanistan remained at bottom. Deputy Speaker Punjab Assembly Rana Mashood was the chief guest and
he distributed the prizes. He said the foreign teams must have enjoyed their stay in Pakistan. He said Pakistan was a safest country and its people wanted more international activities hereand also announced Five Lac for Pakistan Team on behalf of Chief Minister Punjab Mian Shabaz Sharif , Mr.Yoo Daewoo Bus Express distribute the Silver Medals to SriLanka Team .D G sports Mr Usman Anwar , Khawar Shah Secretary General PFB,Mohsin Khan Vice President PFB, wasal Mohmmad Associate Secretary, Haider Khan Lahri Associate Secretary ,Fakhar Shah, Jamil Kamran Amer Bhatti of Federation Baseball were present. President Pakistan Federation Baseball Shaukat Javed praised the efforts of the Pakistan team for earning the top position in the event he also announced award of Rupees Five Lac for team . He thanked all the foreign teams for visiting Pakistan and hoped they had enjoyed their stay here. He said Pakistan had gained good standing in the baseball in Asia and currently it was at the 5th place.
haney book, tiger videogame hit stores NeW YorK AFP
A new tell-all book by former Tiger woods swing coach Hank Haney arrived in stores on Tuesday, the same day the golf star's new videogame hit the shelves as well. The well-timed product releases come two days after woods ended a 2 1/2year win drought in PGA Tour-sanctioned events with victory at Bay Hill in the Arnold Palmer Invitational. It doesn't hurt sales interest that the year's first major championship, the Masters will be played next week at Augusta National Golf Club and that woods will be
a favourite as a result of his triumph. woods, a 14-time major champion, is chasing the record 18 major titles won by Jack Nicklaus. He has not won a major title since the 2008 US open. Haney's book, "The Big Miss: My Years Coaching Tiger woods", and the intimate and at times unflattering picture it draws of woods drew tight-lipped brief answers from the golfer when asked about it at events earlier this month. woods offers "Tiger woods PGA Tour 13 -- Duel of the Masters" for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. A new television commercial features woods and retired NBA star Shaquille o'Neal using the Xbox
360 Kinect motion sensor to make swings. woods had the strongest opening sales for any of his video games last year when Augusta National Golf Club allowed its course to be measured and portrayed in a video game -- an unprecedented move for the famed pine-tree-laden layout. while victory was likely the best sales pitch woods could offer, Haney made an appearance on CBS television on Tuesday, saying his revelations violated no ethical code regarding athletes and coaches and their relationship. "The thing about this so called unwritten code, I mean, there is no code. It's not a doctorpatient relationship," Haney said on CBS.
The Pakistan Tennis Federation on wednesday received another blow to its Davis Cup semi-final bid against the Phillpines when the country’s top star Aisam-ul-Haq pulled out of the tie following a knee injury However, his first cousin Samir Iftikhar has made himself available for the tie but the federation is in no mood of taking this youngster in the Pakistan’s Davis Cup team and has, as the reports suggested, asked Jalil Khan to present passport to the federation. Samir Iftikhar, who is on an Athletic Scholarship at University of New Mexico and is for the last one year playing the highly competitive tennis, the NCAA Division-I Circuit in USA, has offered his services to Pakistan. Former Davis Cupper Tayyab Iftikhar has informed the PTF through a written letter in this regard.
china's Liu still dogged by injury SHANGHAI: China's star hurdler Liu Xiang is still struggling with an injury that ended his quest to win a gold at the 2008 Beijing olympics, state media reported wednesday, quoting his coach. The 28-year-old Chinese athletics star was a shock olympic champion in the high hurdles at the 2004 Athens Games and remains history's second fastest man in the event. "Liu's physical condition is good and stable right now, although the Achilles' (tendon) injury still poses a problem and plays up when the training is very intense," coach Sun Haiping was quoted as saying by the China Daily. "But the whole team has done an excellent job of controlling his old injury and avoiding new wounds," he said. Sun added Liu was focusing on outdoor training ahead of the olympics in London, which starts in four months. During the 2008 Games in Beijing, he pulled up injured in the 110m hurdles in front of an expectant home crowd. AFP
Australia grants Rs 1.5 million to pff ISLAMABAD STAFF REPORT
The Australian Government has yet again allocated the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) a grant of Rs 1.5 million (Aus $ 17,000) as part of Australian Sports outreach Program (ASoP). This announcement was made by Deputy High Commissioner Paul Molley at a joint press conference along with Lt. Col. ® Ahmed Yar Khan Lodhi, TI (M), General Secretary PFF, at Jinnah Stadium, Islamabad on wednesday. It is the second year in a row that Australia has provided a sport grant to the PFF. Paul Molley said that the funding will go towards the PFF’s skill development projects in schools in both Karachi and Islamabad, as well as upgrade football fields in both areas. “The projects
being funded will have a strong focus on promoting youth participation in football. I am particularly pleased that one of the PFF’s projects will focus entirely on bringing youth girls in football,” he maintained. The PFF General Secretary thanked the Australian Government and especially Australian Deputy High Commissioner Paul Molley for their interest in the development of football at youth level in Pakistan. Deputy High Commissioner particularly mentioned the hard work done by the project coordinator Shahid Khokar of PFF. The purpose of ASoP program is to complement larger community development schemes, especially for youth and women worldwide through sport and physical activity. The ASoP is funded by AusAID and managed by Australian Sports Commission (ASC).
ISLAMABAD: Lt. col. ® Ahmed yar Khan Lodhi, Secretary Pff address a press conference along with Deputy High commissioner Paul Molley at Jinnah Stadium. StAff photo
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india’s tank fleet lacks ammunition, its air defences are ‘97 percent obsolete’ and its elite forces need essential weapons
dence to protect... from the air,” he wrote. The infantry is crippled with “deficiencies” and lacks night fighting equipment, while the elite special forces are “woefully short” of “essential weapons.” Singh also told The Hindu newspaper this week that he had informed Defence Minister AK Antony of a $2.8 million bribe offered to him in 2010, leading to questions as to why the government had not ordered an enquiry. Antony has since scrambled to quell the controversy and has ordered a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation police force. He also attempted to shift the blame to Gen Singh, saying he had not made a written complaint. Speaking amid an uproar in parliament over the leaked letter, Antony said that the government had made efforts to ensure transparency in India’s notoriously corrupt defence procurement processes. “we have equally taken care to speed up the modernisation of the armed forces. By doing that only we can assure national security and we can protect every inch of our motherland,” he told lawmakers. India remains concerned over China’s military build-up along the countries’ disputed border — the trigger for a brief war
NDIA’S tank fleet lacks ammunition, its air defences are “97 percent obsolete” and its elite forces need essential weapons, the country’s army chief wrote in an explosive letter leaked on wednesday. The letter to the prime minister dated March 12 — widely reported by the Indian media — lists shortcomings of the armed forces in embarrassing detail in a serious blow to the government and the Asian giant’s military prestige. Its publication also ups the stakes in a public battle between army chief General VK Singh and the government which began with a dispute over Singh’s retirement earlier this year. “The state of the major (fighting) arms i.e. mechanised forces, artillery, air defence, infantry and special forces, as well as the engineers and signals, is indeed alarming,” Singh wrote in the letter, DNA newspaper reported. The army’s entire tank fleet is “devoid of critical ammunition to defeat enemy tanks”, while the air defence system is “97% obsolete and it doesn’t give the deemed confi-
between the Asian giants in 1962 — and faces arch-foe Pakistan to its west. In the letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Gen Singh reportedly blames the slow procurement process and lack of urgency among bureaucrats for the “hollowness” of the 1.13-million-strong military, the fourth largest in the world. Senior opposition leader Arun Jaitley from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) complained of the “alarming situation” in which “letters which are otherwise intended to be secret and meant to be kept secret find there way into the media.” “The fact that they can be leaked and come into the public domain itself is a matter of serious concern,” he told parliament. The letter is likely to lead to a further deterioration in relations between General Singh and his civilian bosses. The army chief, who faces mandatory retirement this May at the age of 62, was angered after losing a bid to stay in office an extra year by changing his birth date registered in army records. He claimed the birth date was wrongly recorded. His complaints of poor equipment and operational difficulties also run contrary to government defence spending announcements
and recent studies showing India as the world’s biggest military hardware importer. The government this month announced a 17-percent rise in defence spending to $40 billion in its budget for 2012/13 — following a 12-percent increase in the previous budget. Between 2007 and 2011, India overtook China to be the biggest arms importer, accounting for 10 percent of the global arms market, according to recent data from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). India’s military is also negotiating to acquire a slew of new equipment from combat aircraft to submarines and artillery. It is currently finalising a deal with France’s Dassault Aviation to buy 126 Rafale fighter jets in a contract worth an estimated $12 billion.
powEr protEStS pErSiSt LAhore/FAISALABAD/SArGoDhA STAFF REPORT/AGENCIES
LAhORE: A man runs past burning tyres during a protest against prolonged, unscheduled power outages on Wednesday. ReUteRS
Raising pol price won’t be cakewalk for govt ISLAMABAD STAFF REPORT
The government will have to face a tough time while deciding whether to pass on the oil and Gas Regulatory Authority’s (oGRA) estimated increase of five to nine percent or Rs 5 to Rs 9 per litre in various PoL products with effect from April 1. An official source said oGRA had calculated an increasing trend in the international crude oil prices that had jumped from $117 per barrel in February to $124 per barrel in March. The Pakistani Rupee has further devalued against the US dollar from Rs 90.73 to Rs 90.93 during the current month. oGRA, he said, had calculated an increase in the price of motor spirit (petrol) by Rs 8 per litre, High octane Blended Component (HoBC) by Rs 9, High Speed Diesel (HSD) Rs 5, Light Diesel oil (LDo) Rs 5 and Super Kerosene oil (SKo) by Rs 5.50 per litre. The government is already shaken by street protests across Punjab against electricity load shedding and massive hike in power tariff under fuel price adjustment and violence in Karachi, and would be on a slippery ground if it decides to increase the PoL prices, he added.
india offers export of 5,000MW to pakistan MoNITorING DeSK Indian President Manmohan Singh told Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani on the sidelines of the Seoul nuclear safety summit that India was willing to export 5,000Mw of electricity to Pakistan to enable the country meet its energy requirements, Geo News reported on wednesday. Earlier, the Indian PM told reporters on board his special aircraft while returning from a four-day visit to South Korea that Gilani had asked him if India could supply power to Pakistan from Punjab. “I said we will look into it,” he said. welcoming Pakistan’s move to liberalise trade with India, Singh said he could visit the neighbouring country if there was something solid to celebrate. “I had a good meeting with him (Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani). I thanked him for the trade concessions that they have announced,” the Indian prime minister said. Singh said he thanked the Pakistani prime minister for the trade concessions his government had
Violent demonstrations against massive electricity blackouts remained in full swing across Punjab on wednesday as well, reports said. Reportedly the most affected cities remain Lahore, Sargodha, and Faisalabad. In Sargodha, demonstrators resorted to vandalism as well as arson as they threw the merchandise out of a number of shops and set it on fire. In Lahore, protesters in Township area protested against fuel price adjustment (FPA) charges in electricity bills and refused to pay the bills. They requested officials at a LESCo Customer Service Centre for redressing their problem, but were denied by the officials. It infuriated the protesters and made them attack the office. The demonstrators turned the office upside down, breaking the furniture down to pieces. Also, traders in various areas of the city protested against load shedding. on The Mall, the traders protested against unscheduled load shedding. Similarly in Mughalpura, Mustafabad, wahdat Road and other areas, people came on the roads against
the massive outages. The load shedding remained high in all parts of the city despite tall claims by PEPCo. A LESCo spokesman said there would be no relief for the consumers in the head of FPA for the month of August 2011 and they would have to pay the bills at every cost. However, in the next bills there would be no such charges until the government decides the issue. In Faisalabad, daily-wagers flooded the streets against unscheduled load shedding despite an assurance by the Faisalabad Electric Supply Company (FESCo) of cutting the outages down. Protesters also poured onto Samundari Road, Sudhar Bypass, Nerdwala Road and Sargodha Road to give their anger the needed vent against sweeping power load shedding. Meanwhile, 10 independent power producers (IPPs) warned of shutting down the plants if the government failed to pay their arrears, an amount close to Rs 320 billion, by April 19. “IPPs have decreased power generation to about 50 percent after their dues have crossed all time high,” official sources said. The IPPs that have issued a notice to the government include Nishat Chunian, Nishat Power, Liberty, Atlas, Hall-more, Safe, Saffire, orient, Ravish and Saba Power companies.
made to India recently. Singh said Gilani asked him when he was coming to Pakistan on an official visit. “He (Gilani) said when are you coming there (Pakistan). So, I said let us do something solid so that we can celebrate,” Singh said. “It was a pull aside, but a little more extended,” Indian Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai said of the two PMs meeting. while Singh was accompanied by Mathai and National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon, Gilani was accompanied by Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar. Pakistan’s trade concessions were seen as a move towards granting India the ‘Most Favoured Nation’ status under world Trade organisation rules and a major boost towards normalising economic ties. Later briefing reporters on the meeting, Mathai said both leaders believed that things were moving quite well in bilateral relations. He said Singh appreciated the fact that discussions on trade relations had moved forward as committed by Gilani.
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