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Senate ticket not my fee for defending the prime minister: Aitzaz
Today’s edition includes the Anniversary Supplement of Pakistan Today
Rs15.00 Vol ii no 243 22 pages Lahore edition
18 ShiaS Shot dead in KohiStan Jundullah claims responsibility, three-day mourning announced g
uNMEN disguised in military fatigues hauled 18 Shias off buses on Tuesday and shot them dead in cold blood in Gilgit. Terrorist group Jundallah claimed responsibility for the attack through its commander Ahmed Marwat. The government of GilgitBaltistan announced a threeday of mourning over the loss of life and all educational institutes and public offices will remain closed in Gilgit for the next three days. The attack took place in the northern district of Kohistan, which neighbours Swat valley, a former Taliban stronghold. Police said the attackers flagged down buses, climbed on board asking passengers whether they were Shia or Sunni Muslim, then dragged out the Shias and shot them. Another eight people were injured in the attack, including two women and three children. “The motive was sectarian. The gunmen were wearing army uniform,” Mohammad Ilyas, the police chief in Kohistan told AFP after the attack near the town of Harban, 130 miles (210 kilometres) north of the capital. One bus and three minibuses were travelling from Rawalpindi, the city where the Pakistan Army is headquartered, to the northern town of Gilgit. “They checked the identity of the passengers, got the Shias off the vehicles and shot them dead,” Ilyas said. “The dead were all male.” Kohistan administration chief, Aqal Badshah, said 18 people were killed by eight attackers armed with Kalashnikovs and wearing military dress. It was the fourth militant attack in the country’s north since Thursday, raising fears that violence linked to a Taliban insurgency is again on the rise following a decline in recent months. Human rights groups have heavily criticised the Pakistani government for failing to crack down on sectarian violence between the country’s majority
Sunni and minority Shia Muslim communities that has killed thousands. Local MP Abdul Sattar Khan linked the ambush to the murder of two Sunni Muslims a few days ago in Gilgit. “The people of the area had vowed they would take revenge,” Khan told AFP by telephone. Some of Tuesday’s victims were from Gilgit, where the government ordered offices and schools to close as a safety precaution, and advised residents to stay indoors, local administration chief Tariq Arqam told AFP. Residents said Gilgit was tense and roads deserted. Shops in most areas were closed and traffic very thin, they added. KP Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain blamed the attack on militants. “The people behind this attack are terrorists. They want to trigger sectarian violence in the country. We don’t want to go into the details because we don’t want them to succeed in their nefarious designs,” he said. “We will give cash compensation to the families of the victims. The bodies of the dead have been sent to Gilgit for burial,” he added. Authorities had earlier insisted Islamist militants were not active in the area, although Kohistan borders Swat, where Pakistan in 2009 managed to put down a twoyear Taliban insurgency. Only a few days ago, a blast in Parachinar had killed 28 Shias and injured 36 close to an Imambargah. Two similar bus attacks targeting Shias had taken place last year as well. On September 20, gunmen had shot dead 26 Shia pilgrims travelling to Iran, causing the deadliest attack on the minority community for more than a year. Just like Tuesday’s attack, gunmen had ordered pilgrims off their bus, lined them up and assassinated them in a volley of gunfire in Mastung, 50kms south of Quetta. Later on October 3, terrorists had attacked a bus carrying Shias in the outskirts of Quetta, killing 13 people.
Wednesday, 29 February, 2012 Rabi-ul-Sani 6, 1433
Who will head ISI? Kayani calls on PM Gilani meets Zardari later to discuss ISI chief’s appointment, Tribal Areas, Afghanistan
ISLAMABAD STAff RePoRT
The top civilian and military leadership on Tuesday discussed the appointment of the new director general of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) to replace Lt General Ahmed Shuja Pasha, who is retiring on March 18, along with other important matters pertaining to the security and defence of the country. Army Chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani called on Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, following which
the PM met President Asif Ali Zardari to discuss important matters related to national defence and security. “The civilian and military leadership had detailed discussions on different important issues such as latest situation in Afghanistan, the country’s Tribal Areas as well as the security situation in Balochistan,” said an official, requesting anonymity. He, however, said the issue that was talked about more during the two meetings was the appointment of a new ISI chief to replace General Pasha but no final decision had been taken whether to give another one-year ex-
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani talks to Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Pervaiz Kayani, who called on him at Prime Minister’s House on Tuesday. tension to the incumbent or otherwise. General Pasha is reportedly not interested in another extension and some names of senior military officials are already circulating in the media as his possible successors. However, a source said that extension to Gen Pasha could not be ruled out in the present geo-
strategic environment. “The army chief had deliberations with the prime minister on the appointment of a new ISI chief after which the prime minister discussed the same matter in detail with the president.
It’s goIng to be more than a POL price hike of up to Rs 8.67 per litre on the cards from 1st ISLAMABAD AMeR SIAL
The Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) has worked out an increase of 2.7 percent to 7.3 percent in POL products due to an increase in international oil market prices, recommending an increase of between Rs 2.75 and Rs 8.67 per litre for various products with effect from March 1. An official source said OGRA had estimated an increasing trend in international POL prices, as they had risen during February while the rupee had devalued against the dollar in the same period. OGRA has hinted at an increase in the price of motor spirit (petrol) by 2.9 percent or Rs 2.75 per litre, which will take the sale price to Rs 97.66 per litre, High Octane Blended Component (HOBC) by 7.3 percent or Rs 8.67 hike to Rs 126.87 per litre, High Speed Diesel (HSD) by 2.7 percent or Rs 2.82 from Rs 103.46 to Rs 106.28 per litre, Light Diesel Oil (LDO) by 3.4 percent or Rs 3.08 to Rs 93.29 per litre and Super Kerosene Oil (SKO) by 4.8 percent or Rs 4.38, which would raise the sale price to Rs 96.40 per litre. OGRA, the source said, had again recommended
retaining the prices of POL products at the current level and adjusting the differential through the GST and petroleum levy. The Petroleum Ministry and OGRA have been recommending absorbing the shock through taxation on POL products, but the Ministry of Finance, faced with a massive fiscal deficit of over six percent, has been opposing the recommendation for the last several months. The source said the Petroleum
Ministry was supporting OGRA’s recommendation by stressing that the reduction in levy on petrol and diesel could help bring their prices at par with CNG and help reduce the demand for natural gas. However, the Finance Ministry had rejected the proposal last month. The government collects Rs 23 billion per month from taxation of POL products. It collects Rs 16 billion per month in sales tax on POL products, while another Rs 7 billion are collected in petroleum levy.
Continued on page 04
SC allows PM to produce Sethi as his witness ISLAMABAD MASooD ReHMAn
The Supreme Court allowed Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani on Tuesday to produce on March 7 his former principal secretary Nargis Sethi as his defence witness in the ongoing contempt proceedings against him for not complying with the court’s December 16, 2009 order in the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) case. A sevenmember special bench headed by Justice Nasirul Mulk and comprising Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, Justice Sarmad Jalal Osmany, Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, Justice Ijaz Ahmed Chaudhry, Justice Gulzar Ahmed and Justice Muhammad Ather Saeed, also allowed Aitzaz Ahsan, counsel for the prime minister, to submit summaries of May 21 and September 21, 2010 along with the orders passed by his client in response to the court’s orders about reopening of Swiss cases against the president. Aitzaz Ahsan pleaded before the court that his client never intended to act in contempt of court but followed the rules of business. The court disposed of an application by Aitzaz, in which he stated that his client acted upon the advice of concerned officials that graft cases against President Asif Ali Zardari could not be reopened in Switzerland, as he enjoyed complete immunity under Article 248 of the constitution. He requested the court to summon former law minister Babar Awan, law secretary Masood Chishti and former principal Continued on page 04
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02 News Today’s
wednesday, 29 February 2012
People: fix MM Alam? LDA: Yawn
Govt consults all on national issues: firdous
Story on Page 07
Story on Page 06
Senate ticket not my fee: Aitzaz ISLAMABAD STAff RePoRT
Barrister Aitzaz Ahsen on Thursday said the Senate ticket awarded to him was not his fee for contesting the contempt case against the prime minister. Talking to reporters at the Supreme Court building after adjournment of contempt proceedings, he said he was hopeful of getting his client discharged and acquitted from the contempt of court charges. He said those who were hoping that the prime minister would be handcuffed today (Tuesday) were disappointed, as all decisions were taken in by court per law and the constitution. Aitzaz said he had prayed the court to sum-
mon all three witnesses, including former law minister Dr Babar Awn, law secretary Masood Chishti and Cabinet Secretary Nargis Sethi, who had signed the summaries for not writing a letter to foreign countries for reopening cases against President Asif Ali Zardari. He said he wanted to bring all documentary evidence on the record. The senior lawyer said the Supreme Court had allowed him to summon PM’s former principal secretary Nargis Sethi as witness and also cross-examine her. He said according to his sources, Babar Awan and Masood Chishti had refused to appear as witnesses, however, if documents presented before the court proved correct, there would be no need of Awan and Chishti to appear as witness.
Missing persons, huMan rights violations
Political parties want constitution, relevant laws amended
Representatives of all major parties to move and approve a resolution demanding immediate release of all missing persons, curbs on agencies’ powers g
S the issue of missing persons is taking centre stage, political parties have come into action to curb the “unlimited and unchecked” powers of spy agencies and recommended major amendments to the constitution and relevant laws to tackle the issue. Representatives of major political parties on Tuesday proposed a number of amendments to the constitution and relevant laws, ranging from amendments in the Army Act to Actions (in Aid of Civil Power) Regulation, 2011 for FATA and PATA, to address the issue of missing persons and alleged violation of human rights in the country. According to a communiqué issued after a seminar titled “Fundamental Rights and Case of Missing Persons” organised by the Centre for Discussions and Solutions (CDS), all political parties present in the seminar, including the PPP, PML-N, JuIF, PTI, JI and those having representation in the National Assembly and Senate, would move and approve a resolution in both the Houses to demand immediate release of all missing persons from the custody of spy agencies. Qazi Hussain Ahmad chaired the seminar while Senator Raja Zafrul Haq, Fazlur Rehman, Imtiaz Safdar Warraich, Iqbal Zafar Jhagra, Amna Masood Janjua, Siddiqul Farooq, Akram Zaki and Dr Humayun of the PTI attended. The draft proposal for amendments to relevant laws sought fprmation of a high-powered parliamentary committee, assisted by experts in law to follow up on the implementation of the communiqué and ensure release of all missing persons and to stop law enforcement agencies from undermining the rights of citizens. It said Actions (in Aid of Civil Power) Regulation, 2011 for FATA and PATA, promulgated by the president on June 23, 2011 and given ret-
rospective effect from February 1, 2008, empowering state agencies with unlimited and unchecked authority, was repugnant to the provisions of constitution as interpreted by the Supreme Court in the Mehram Ali case (PLD 1998 SC 1445) and should be withdrawn immediately. Section 2(1) (d) of Pakistan Army Act, 1952, which subjects civilians to the Army Act and Military Courts should, be immediately repealed as this section was liable to and had been misused over the decades, and by subjecting civilians to the Army Act and summary trials, it undermined their constitutionally guaranteed fundamental rights and formed the root cause of the current saga of missing persons, it added. The communiqué further recommended that members of the armed forces, tried and convicted under the Army Act, should be granted right of appeal before the High Courts to uphold their right to fair trial guaranteed under Article 10A of the constitution to all citizens of Pakistan, as such principles of natural justice were upheld in all the democratic countries of the world and Pakistan ought not be an exception. Cases of persons subject to the Army Act and aggrieved by judgements of military courts or administrative orders of military authorities due to denial of a meaningful right to appeal before an independent judicial forum may be reheard by the Supreme Court under Article 184(3) for being a matter of public interest. Articles 8(3) and 199(3) be amended and repealed being prejudicial to the fundamental right to life, liberty, security, dignity and fair trial of persons subject to army, navy, air forces acts, as otherwise guaranteed by the constitution to all citizens. The seminar also demanded that an inquiry commission be formed under the chief justice of the Sindh High Court to ascertain the facts surrounding the abduction of Dr Aafia Siddiqui from Karachi and her hand-
ing over to uS authorities, fix the responsibility for the surrender of Dr Aafia Siddiqui and hundreds of other Pakistani citizens to the uS in breach of the Extradition Act 1972, and mandatory due process requirements under law and order registration of cases against all persons responsible for such heinous acts. Speaking on the occasion, Qazi Hussain Ahmed explained how the issue of missing persons and enforced disappearances was garnering a bad name for the country. “Civilised nations think it is their duty to protect the life and property of their citizens. But the history of Pakistan is replete with numerous cases of missing persons,” he said, adding that the disappearance of a person caused much more agony for the family than his eventual death. Calling it the government’s responsibility to gather information about the missing persons, Qazi lamented that state institutions were involved in enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings still continued across the country. Fazlur Rehman said politics of terror were a global phenomenon in which human rights violations, unconstitutional acts of omission and commission and flagrant breaches of rules and regulations were important corollaries. On Balochistan, he warned the government and state institutions that the British failed to suppress the freedom movements even after a rule of 100 years. “If the grievances of Baloch people are not addressed in time, a serious crisis could emerge in the country,” he added. Giving a detailed account of missing persons, Defence of Human Rights Chairperson Amna Masood Janjua said according to the Amnesty International, HRCP, Human Rights Watch and other organisations, almost 2,000 to 4,000 citizens had been picked up by agencies’ operatives since 9/11. The number of cases registered with DHR was 1,015, but the count was constantly rising, she said.
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wednesday, 29 February 2012
aRtS & enteRtainMent
Sceptics question Putin ‘pre-election’ plot timing
Veena Malik, Bobby Darling kiss and tell
Kohli hero as India stay alive in tri-series
News 03 CoMMent Access denied Women voters stopped
Disturbing disclosure Is the commission hearing this?
Dr Hasan Askari Rizvi says: Reality check needed: If we want to set our house in order…
Ali Aftab Saeed says: False claims: On lofty and outright lol-worthy assertions
Shaukat Umer says: The Balochistan Resolution: The dark side of self-determination
Story on Page 14
Story on Page 17
Story on Page 19
articles on Page 12-13
Rulers’ ill-conceived PM recommends tahir Rafiq Butt as new air chief policies have left Pakistan isolated, says Nawaz JEDDAH onLIne
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday said that Pakistan stood isolated in the comity of nations because of the ill-conceived policies of the rulers. Talking to Pakistani journalists from his residence in Jeddah, he said, “We will strive hard for the stability, development and prosperity of Pakistan.” “It is being said that we have compromised on the issue of 20th Amendment. If we have compromised, then what about the movement we had launched for the reinstatement of judges. Was that also a compromise?” he said. He said the 20th Amendment was vital for the future of the country and the continuity of democratic system. “We are trying to remove the government through democratic means, and demanding for new elections,” he said. He called the resolution on Balochistan moved in the uS Congress was a “wrong step”. “We however have to review why the situation has taken this turn. The need is there to address the real issue and convening an APC merely on this issue will be of no avail,” he stressed. “We have told the government in categorical terms that the Balochistan problem cannot be resolved unless the injustices done to the people of Balochistan are removed. We don’t have any desire to participate in an APC which is unproductive,” he added. To a question he said, “It is our demand that the killers of Akbar Bugti be brought to justice and missing persons from Balochistan be recovered and their due rights be given. “If Akbar Bugti was rebelling against the country then why Pervez Musharraf did not provide evidence against him,” he asked. About the possibility of a merger by Sindh National Front into the PML-N, he
Shahbaz to besmoothly elected PML-N’s Punjab president Lahore: The PML-N has called its general council meeting on March 5 to elect its Punjab chapter leadership, including president and secretary general, in which Punjab CM Shahbaz Sharif is expected to be elected as Punjab president, Pakistan Today has learnt. PML-N spokesman Pervaiz Rashid confirmed the election date and said that the party wanted a strong candidate as its Punjab president, as general elections were approaching. Going by the PML-N’s tradition, Shahbaz was expected to be smoothly elected, as no other candidate looked interested to become the provincial chief. But no candidate could be considered as favourite for the slot of secretary general. A PML-N leader said that Tehmina Daultana, Samiullah Khan and one of the Khosas could become the Punjab secretary general. But other party leaders disputed that claim saying that Tehmina was too senior for the slot while Samiullah, a young candidate from South Punjab could be a suitable candidate. STAff RePoRT said that talks were underway with Mumtaz Bhutto but the matters had not yet been finalised with him. “I will meet Shah Zain Bugti on my return to the country so that a solid solution to the problem of Balochistan could be ascertained,” he said. Regarding the upcoming elections, he hoped that they would take place in transparent manner. “We hope that our position will be strong. In the past it was said that we would get less seats but time proved that the erstwhile government could not suppress the public opinion despite enormous victimisation,” he said.
IsLamaBaD: Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani on Tuesday advised President Asif Ali Zardari to appoint Air Marshal Tahir Rafiq Butt as the new Chief of Air Staff of Pakistan Air Force. After his formal appointment by the president, Air Marshal Tahir will take oath of his office in the next few days, as Chief of Air Staff (CAS) Air Chief Marshal Rao Qamar Suleman will leave the post on March 17. There was some speculation in the media about extension being given to Air Chief Suleman, but he himself quashed them by telling the media that he had no desire to seek another term and would step down on the set date. Air Marshal Tahir was commissioned in General Duties (Pilot) Branch of PAF on March 6, 1977. He served as a fighter pilot in various squadrons of PAF and has also qualified Flying Instructors’, Combat Commanders’, Armed Forces War and Turkish War Courses. During his career, he has commanded a fighter squadron, a fighter wing, an operational PAF Base and a Regional Air Command. In his last assignment, he was serving as the deputy chief of the Air Staff (Personnel) at Air Headquarters, Islamabad. He is a recipient of Hilal-eImtiaz (Military), Sitara-e-Imtiaz (Military) and Tamgha-e-Basalat. STAff RePoRT
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wednesday, 29 February, 2012
Chinese student, interpreter shot dead in Peshawar PESHAWAR STAff RePoRT
A Chinese woman and her Pakistani interpreter were shot dead by unidentified assailants in Jehangir Pura area of Peshawar on Tuesday. The Chinese woman was a university student in Peshawar and belonged to Beijing. Per details, the Chinese student and a local, Salman Shams, were passing through the congested Jehangir Pura Bazaar when some unidentified assailants showered them with bullets. Both of them died on the spot, while the attackers escaped the scene.
The Chinese woman was identified as Jain Hua, whereas Shams was a resident
of Nasar Bagh, Peshawar. The reason behind the killing is yet to be ascertained.
UK seeks transit NCSW greets Chinoy for her accords to ship achievement home afghan kit unprecedented their talent.” ISLAMABAD
LonDon: Britain is seeking transit accords with central Asian countries to enable it to ship billions of dollars of military equipment home from Afghanistan after 2014 while lessening its reliance on the uncertain Pakistan route, officials said on Tuesday. British Defence Secretary Philip Hammond visited Kazakhstan on Monday where he signed an agreement allowing overflight access to transport military equipment to and from Afghanistan, Britain’s Ministry of Defence said. Hammond and Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev also agreed to start negotiations on an agreement allowing military equipment to be transported overland. The agreements are intended to give British forces a route to ship some 11,000 containers and 3,000 armoured vehicles back to Britain. ReUTeRS
The National Commission on the Status of Women-Pakistan (NCSW) on Tuesday congratulated Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy for receiving an Oscar Award for her documentary Saving Face, terming it an historic achievement. The NCSW believed that it was the victory of not only an individual, but of a cause and movement to protect the rights and dignity of violence ridden women in the country that spanned over decades. According to a statement, she had chosen a subject which was affecting thousands of women. “Sharmeen has made the women of Pakistan proud and has given a powerful message to the women that they can reach the height of glory if they are provided with an enabling environment and encouraging space to best use
It said every year scores of women and girls became direct victims of brutal acid attacks, resulting in disfigurement of their faces and in complete destruction of their lives. “We hope that this achievement will contribute in addressing the problem and giving remedial help for the victims,” the NCSW statement said. Separately, NCSW Communication Manager Tahira Noor alleged that women were prevented from voicing their opinions and were deterred from casting votes by Awami National Party (ANP) and Jamiat ulema-e-Islam Fazl (JuI-F) in the recent by-elections held in the cities of Mardan and Mianwali. According to Dawn News, Tahira alleged that, “the political parties did not facilitate women and stopped them from casting their votes”.
PhC stays fuel surcharge in power bills peshaWar: The Peshawar High Court (PHC) on Tuesday stayed the implementation of fuel adjustment surcharge in the power bills and stopped NEPRA, PESCO, TESCO and Water and Power from receiving power bills from the consumers. The PHC heard the application from over 40 petitioners including industrialists against the fuel adjustment surcharge imposed in electricity bills. The petitioners argued that the fuel adjustment surcharge could not be collected from the people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, as the province produces hydropower. The court also issued notices to the officials of NEPRA, PESCO, TESCO and Water and Power and also ordered the KP deputy attorney general and advocate general to appear in the court. The court also ordered issuance of power bills without fuel adjustment surcharge within 10 days. InP
SC resumes hearing Continued FRom page 28 He had alleged that Rs 140 million were distributed among politicians during the regime of President Ghulam Ishaq Khan to manoeuvre the 1990 elections. The funds were only given to right-wing politicians who would go on to form the IJI, an alliance pitched against the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP). The IJI was the final nail in ensuring the formation of the PML government headed by Nawaz Sharif. Affidavits and evidence submitted by respondents before the court and firsthand accounts from the beneficiaries – so far substantiate the allegations that the ISI did give funds to elements within the IJI. However, the most important issue after ascertaining guilt is to figure out the options available to the Supreme Court to correct this historical wrong. Questions being asked, albeit in a hushed manner, are whether the court would bar all guilty politicians and parties from contesting fu-
A report by Washingtonbased think tank on 26/11 Mumbai attacks had predicted that the Indo-Pakistan crisis was both unresolved and unfinished, and “further attacks by Pakistan-based, Inter-Services Intelligence-trained terrorists were inevitable”. A major report titled ‘The unfinished Crisis: uS Crisis Management after the 2008 Mumbai Attacks’, which is the first detailed account of how American diplomats, intelligence officers and law enforcement professionals reacted to the terror strikes on November 26, 2008, has predicted that the India-Pakistan crisis remains both unresolved and unfinished, and further attacks by Pakistan-based ter-
rorists were inevitable, particularly since there is once again an emerging rapprochement between New Delhi and Islamabad. The case study, published by The Stimson Center, the only Washington DC think-tank, which has an exclusive programme on confidence building measures in South Asia, said, “Indian grievances remain unresolved, while Pakistani policies remain dangerously subject to miscalculation.” The study includes interviews with the then secretary of state Condoleezza Rice, erstwhile National Security adviser Stephen Hadley, former ambassadors to India and Pakistan David Mulford and Anne Patterson respectively, and several other senior united States officials, who were involved in uS crisis management in the after-
math of the 26/11 attacks. Another related report said that senior officials in the outgoing George Bush administration had prior experience in crisis management on the subcontinent and they executed a crisis management plan — Plan A included familiar elements: top-level diplomacy, highlevel official visits, playing for time, and close cooperation with British officials. But it said, “There was no Plan B.” The report said that in the words of a former senior official, Plan A was “first, to show support for India. The Bush administration was very popular with the government of India, had plenty of capital in the bank. We went as a friend. In Pakistan, the message was to convey the seriousness of the situation, that Pakistan needed to ‘own up’
1992, propping up what was an insolvent bank as a favour for its owner’s help in loaning money to the ISI in 1990 that was used for the creation of IJI and bankrolling the campaigns of many opponents of the PPP. In his written reply submitted to the Supreme Court during the tenure of Sajjad Ali Shah and reported by the media, General Aslam Beg had conceded that it had been a routine for the ISI to support favourite candidates in elections under directives of the successive chief executives. Afterwards, former ISI DG Lt Gen (r) Asad Durrani had conceded in an affidavit submitted with the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) that his political cell received Rs 140 million from Younis Habib for distribution among anti-PPP politicians at the behest of General Mirza Aslam Beg. The 1990 election was subsequently won by the IJI led by Nawaz Sharif, who had allegedly received Rs 3.5 million from the ISI for his election campaign.
naDRa announces SC petition seeks elimination regularisation of of ISI’s ‘political wing’ 14,000 contract federation respondent through ISLAMABAD employees defence secretary, prime minisSTAff RePoRT
IsLamaBaD: The National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA), following directives of Interior Minister Senator Rehman Malik, on Tuesday announced regularisation of more than 14,000 contract employees. The decision was taken during a meeting held between NADRA high-ups and the Interior Ministry in which NADRA officials forwarded recommendations in this regard to the Interior Ministry. The recommendations would then be forwarded to a special committee chaired by Federal Religious Affairs Minister Syed Khurshid Ahmed Shah, in order to remove any legal and other loopholes. After approval of these recommendations, a notification to regularise all contract employees would be issued. onLIne
More Mumbai-like, iSi-backed attacks inevitable: US report WASHINGTON
ture elections, especially since many are still active in politics. What would be the punishment given to former military bosses who were privy to this exercise and approved its formal operation? And lastly, what possible observation or ruling can the court come up with to deter the ISI and other intelligence agencies from this practice. Most of the senior lawyers suggest that the court should constitute a high-powered commission not only to investigate the particular incident highlighted by Asghar Khan, but also other incidents in the history of Pakistan where ISI provided money to politicians. They believe that it would essential for democracy and national security in the future. The payment of up to Rs 140 million was allegedly made under instructions of Gen (r) Aslam Beg by the ISI via the owner of Mehran Bank, Younis Habib. Intelligence funds were deposited in Mehran Bank in
to the Lashkar-e-Tayyiba.” The report said apparently the reason there was no Plan B was because according to one senior official, “We didn’t think we needed one,” and there was a kind of hubris that Plan A just couldn’t fail and that Washington could “keep a lid on the India-Pakistan situation.” The report said that despite the spectacular nature of the 26/11 attacks and the considerable loss of life, “most uS officials saw this crisis as less dangerous than the 1999 Kargil and the 2001-2002 ‘Twin-Peak’s crises’,” which was the term used in the study to describe two periods of high tension sparked by terrorist attacks. “The Mumbai crisis carried risks of escalation, but the challenges facing uS crisis managers were smaller in scope and duration,” it said.
A petition was filed in the Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday to seek the abolition of the “political wing” of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) by declaring it in violation of the fundamental rights enshrined in the constitution. The petition was filed by Al-Jihad Trust Chairman Habibul Wahabul Khairi under Article 184(3) of the constitution, making the
ter, president – as the supreme commander of armed forces, army chief, ISI chief, the central bank through its governor, former army chief Mirza Aslam Beg, former ISI chief Asad Durrani and Gen (r) Hameed Gul. The petitioner requested the court to order that the enquiry report on the alleged distribution of money among politicians by the ISI through Mehran Bank be made public.
who will head iSi Continued FRom page 1 The decision on the important matter is expected in the next few days,” the official said. A statement issued from the PM office, meanwhile, said the chief of the army staff called on Prime Minister Gilani at the PM’s House and the discussed security situation of the country and the region. “Professional matters pertaining to the country’s defence also came under discussion,” it said. There was no mention of a discussion over the appointment of the new ISI chief, however, but it is believed that this matter was the main purpose of the toplevel consultations. The prime minister and the president also had talks on the current political situation with a focus on contempt of court charges that Prime Minister Gilani is facing in the Supreme Court, as well as the upcoming Senate polls.
two killed in Balochistan QuETTA STAff RePoRT
Two people were killed in separate firing incidents in Quetta and Jhal Magsi on Tuesday while a man was kidnapped from Jaffarabad. According to police, unidentified armed men entered the house of Mir Wais in Pashtunabad area of Quetta and shot the house owner dead and fled. Police rushed to the spot and moved the body to hospital for autopsy. Police said it was an incident of old enmity, adding a case was registered and investigations were underway.
SC allows PM Continued FRom page 1 secretary to the prime minister and incumbent Cabinet Secretary Nargis Sethi, who signed the summaries, as court’s witnesses in the matter. He said these three would endorse the draft of the summaries sent to his client. But the court rejected his request, telling him that he might produce them as defence witnesses. Aitzaz then told the court that his client, being the prime minister, did not want to ask Awan and Chishti to appear for his defence. Besides, he said according to his information both the men had declined to appear as defence witnesses. However, he said he would produce Nargis Sethi as defence witness on the next hearing and would also cross-examine her. The court accepted the request. He said the summaries signed and sent by Awan and Chishti led to contempt of court case against his client. He said his client was bound to act on the advice of law ministry’s officials. Both the summaries were sent by the then federal law minister and the law secretary to the Prime Minister’s Office advising him “not to write the letter to prosecutors in Switzerland (requesting that money laundering cases against President Asif Ali Zardari be reopened)”.
Aitzaz pleaded that under Article 187 of the constitution, the Supreme Court was authorised to provide complete justice, wherein under Order 33 of the Supreme Court Rules it was also empowered to summon evidence in any case. Justice Nasirul Mulk asked Aitzaz that he was directed by the court to file documentary evidence in his defence, by he still had not. “Do you want to rely on the two summaries mentioned in your application?” Justice Mulk asked Aitzaz. However, Aitzaz submitted that he would submit the documentary evidence and also deliver arguments on the contempt charge, keeping aside the defence of any immunity. He said he just wanted to prove that his client did not defy the court orders deliberately. Justice Ejaz Afzal asked Aitzaz to cross-examine the documentary evidence submitted by the prosecution. But Aitzaz stated that the prosecution had not presented any witnesses, who could be crossexamined, adding that he was counsel for the prime minister in the contempt of court case, having no concern with the implementation of the NRO verdict case. At one point, Aitzaz said the prosecution had deprived him from cross-examining by not making
Awan, Chishti or any other as its witnesses. Justice Osmany observed that the present special bench was formed for the NRO implementation case, but Aitzaz again submitted that he was representing his client before the bench in the contempt case. Aitzaz told the court that he would not have to call any other witnesses other than Sethi if the court acknowledged that the draft of the summaries was true. To a court query, he said it would be the person of Yousaf Raza Gilani and not the office of the prime minister to go behind the bars if the court awarded imprisonment in the case. Justice Nasirul Mulk observed that the matter related to the execution of the prime minister’s official duties due to his failure. Aitzaz then stated that the prime minister did not know the direct court order, adding that his client was not ordered in his personal capacity, as the judicial directives were meant for the federal government including the law secretary. Justice Nasirul Mulk questioned as to why the court order was not implemented even when the NRO review petition was also dismissed? The court later adjourned proceedings for March 7.
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Primary school blown up, two bombs defused in Peshawar, Swabi PESHAWAR ABDUR RAUf KHATTAK
QUeTTA: Litigants stand in the deserted corridors of the district courts following a strike called by lawyers to protest against the desecration of the holy Quran in Afghanistan on Tuesday. NNI
NA body rejects bill seeking ban on dual nationality holders from holding public office ISLAMABAD STAff RePoRT
The National Assembly Standing Committee on Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Tuesday rejected a bill seeking disqualification of lawmakers, who had dual nationality on the grounds that the proposed legislation would overlap the existing law on the subject. The committee considered the bill, moved by PML-N woman lawmaker Tasneem Siddiqui and rejected it with majority vote. The PML-N MNA had moved the Pakistan Citizenship Amendment Bill 2011 in December last year as private member bill to disqualify the dual nationality holders from holding the public offices in the country. The meeting was chaired by MNA Abdul Ghafoor Chaudhry. The parliamentary body was of the view that such a law already existed according to which a Pakistani citizen having dual nationality could not be elected as MPA or MNA. “A new legislation in this regard would be tantamount to overlapping the existing laws. So it is better to dispose of it”, the majority of the members opined. The committee also rejected Political Parties (Amendment) Bill, which was
moved by PPP MNA Palwasha Khan. The bill sought reserved seats for people with Rs 25,000 monthly income as well as one million rupees worth of assets, in parliament. The committee observed that such laws for reserved seats was not practiced anywhere so it was not appropriate to approve any piece of legislation on this subject. The committee also took up a bill moved by PPP MNA Nasir Ali Shah regarding a limit of expenses a candidate would be allowed for contesting parliamentary elections. The bill wanted that a candidate in the election should be made bound to inform the Election Commission of Pakistan about the actual expenses spent on contesting any particular seat of parliament. It proposed a spending limit of Rs 100,000 for a candidate of National Assembly and Rs 50,000 for provincial assemblies’ candidates. Besides it also sought complete ban on banners, hoardings and other publicity campaigns, which cost millions of rupees. The committee will meet again today (Wednesday). PML-Q’s member of the committee Riaz Fatyana demanded early resolution of issues regarding accountability bill, pending with the standing committee since years.
ihC summons defence secy Dg iSPR rejects in plea against neSCoM allegations contract employees ISLAMABAD STAff RePoRT
Justice Riaz Ahmad Khan of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday issued notices to the defence secretary, National Engineering and Scientific Commission (NESCOM) chairman and others on a contempt of court petition filed against some contractual employees of NESCOM despite getting retirement from the same department. During the course of hearing, the counsel for four serving officials of NESCOM, Raja Saifur Rehman said all the blue-eyed officers of NESCOM, who had retired, were holding the same positions on a contractual basis and had obtained several extensions. The petitioner named the NESCOM chairman and defence secretary respondents. He said in this way they had blocked the promotion of junior officers, who were petitioners in the writ petition, although their services were not indispensable, adding that some of the junior officials were more qualified than the seniors. The lawyer said the Supreme Court had also termed this practice a violation of fundamental rights of the employees.
IsLamaBaD: Pakistan Army Spokesman Major General Athar Abbas on Tuesday denied allegations about contacts between Pakistani intelligence officials and Osama Bin Laden. Talking to an Arab TV channel, he clearly rejected the so-called “leaks” issued by a private uS agency and said that they were nothing but baseless fabrication. These kinds of charges were not new, as these leaks were actually “old wine in new bottle,” Abbas said. A private security agency, which worked for the CIA in the past, claimed in an e-mail that they found some documents from Bin Laden’s compound, which revealed that around 12 senior ISI officials, including a retired general, had links with Bin Laden during his hiding in the country. The names of those officials were not mentioned by the uS firm in the email. onLIne
In the wake of new chill of sabotage acts in the shape of bomb blasts across the province, personnel of Bomb Disposal Squad (BDS) defused two bombs, while the third one exploded, destroying a school in Peshawar on Tuesday. Pakistan Today learnt through its sources that in the first attempt of sabotage act by unknown miscreants, explosives weighing 15kgs were placed in a bag near Tatara Park in Hayatabad, Peshawar. Sources said an unknown caller had informed police about a bag full of narcotics (Charas) lying open in a park. When police reached the spot, they found the bag and called the BDS instead of opening the bag. Personnel of BDS found 15kgs of
explosives in the bag along with some narcotics. Police sources said the bomb aimed at targeting police personnel by setting up a trap through the information of drugs. On the other hand, wellplaced sources said one of the two bombs planted by unknown militants targeting a primary school in Razaar tehsil of district Swabi exploded on Tuesday, resulting in destruction to the institute, while the second bomb was defused by the BDS personnel in time. Police officials said government primary school in Murad Abad, Swabi, was the target of militants who planted two bombs inside the school building. One of the bombs went off at midnight. Police from a nearby post reached the scene and seized the unexploded bomb and defused it.
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Govt consults all on national issues: Firdous ISLAMABAD
N F O R M A T I O N Minister Firdous Ashiq Awan on Tuesday said the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP)-led government had “always taken political parties on board” on national issues, and had introduced decisions based on mutual consensus. “The PPP has introduced a culture of tolerance and co-existence in the society,” she said while presiding over a ministry meeting. She said the unanimous and back-to-back passage of 18th, 19th and 20th Amendments by the parliament would help remove the loopholes and weaknesses in the political
system. The government has made the parliament sovereign and supreme and restored the 1973 Constitution in its original form, she said. The minister said the approval of the National Finance Commission (NFC) Award with consensus had strengthened the federation. She said the government had always kept national interests supreme while formulating foreign policy, adding that it got the Shamsi Airbase vacated from the uS after NATO attack at Salala check-post, besides suspending the NATO supply. She said Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani had constituted a 14-member parliamentary committee to contact the leadership of various political parties regarding the proposed All Parties Conference (APC) on Balochistan.
SAnGHAR: An army diver searches for bodies in the Mithrao Canal near Kandyari on Tuesday after an accident. ONLINE
‘Balochistan govt aware of weaknesses in electricity crisis management’ Provincial minister for social welfare says govt taking all appropriate measures to resolve problems g
QuETTA STAff RePoRT
THE government is aware of the weaknesses in the management of electricity crises in the province and is taking appropriate measures to resolve the problems, Balochistan Minister for Social Welfare Mir Aghar Rind said on Tuesday. He was addressing a policy dialogue on “Management of Electricity Crises by Provinces” held here under the auspices of the Consumer Rights Commission of Pakistan (CRCP). The provincial minister said after the passage of the 18th Amendment, the Balochistan government created a separate department of energy which would be headed by a minister with an administrative secretary. He said the department would start functioning within two months. He said although there were weaknesses in every department and governance issues, the government had already resolved the issues and the rest would also be done. He said the provincial government would also resolve the problems of WAPDA in the province. He said under his Rs 250 million annual development fund, he had allocated Rs 150 million for the education sector and Rs 50 each for health and solar energy in his con-
stituency. Amina Sohail, consultant for the CRCP made her presentation about the introduction of Electricity Governance Initiative Pakistan and Governance issues in electricity crises. A number of stakeholders and representatives of the Quetta Electric Supply Company and non-government organisations participated in the dialogue. During the discussion, the participants said Balochistan was getting 750MW of electricity from the national grid against its need 1500MG. They said on the coastal line, if wind mills with the cost of Rs 10 billion were installed, Balochistan could not only meet its energy needs, but could also have surplus energy. They said due to the energy crisis, agriculture in Balochistan had reached to the brink of complete destruction. They said it was the need of the hour that agriculture sector should be given more incentive for its progress so that not only the food need of the country could be met, but foreign exchange could be earned through export. Amina said it was a myth that the provinces had provincial power before the 18th Amendment, in fact the politician wanted to get credit through the amendment. She said the autonomy was guaranteed in the concurrent list of the constitution, but never implemented. She said the provinces had powers to generate energy, but needed licences.
Waseela-e-Taleem: another revolutionary step to curb poverty ISLAMABAD PReSS ReLeASe
Waseela-e-Taleem, another innovative step of the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP), is all set to be launched with the prime objective of poverty alleviation through education. under the scheme, the conditional grant to beneficiary families would be linked with their school-going children. The scheme would be a latest addition in the various innovative measures of the BISP, including demand driven vocational/technical training programme along with provision of micro-financing to ensure livelihood independence for millions of beneficiary families. Poverty and ignorance has direct linkage with extreme tendencies in any society and hence, combating poverty has become imperative to eradicate terrorism and create a peaceful and balanced society.
Being a catalyst of the socio-economic change in the society, the step can be termed another landmark initiative of BISP with regard to long-term poverty alleviation. The scheme has been envisaged to promote education among the children belonging to downtrodden segment of society and hence help them out in breaking the vicious circle of poverty. The primary education of beneficiaries’ children is one of the major issues of the poor class in Pakistan. Leading economists of the country agree that the phenomenon of poverty in Pakistan is multi-faceted and needs to be tackled by applying a multipronged strategy. In the pursuit of this vision, the government of Pakistan had earlier evolved a comprehensive strategy through BISP, besides taking steps aimed at immediate relief i.e. monthly cash grant to beneficiary families.
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industrialists shouldn’t delay wages: altaf Remove corruption, not workers! 09
KeSC’s sacked workers may get more company ■ Power utility likely to fire another 2,000 employees KARACHI GHULAM ABBAS
HILE sacking over 5,000 of its employees during the past two years, the Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC) is likely to show the door to another 2,000 employees in the near future. Moving towards its object to reducing the number of “non-core” employees, the power company’s management has short-listed two thousand more workers, ranging from lower class staff to officers whose performances, what sources say, were unsatisfactory. Through the “Annual Efficiency Evaluation” process started in the KESC, the employees of various departments, through their heads, were divided into three categories of A,B and C, and out of the thousands of employees, at least 2,000 have fallen in the last category with their performances were not up to the desired mark. The unfortunate employees, the sources claimed, have been issued notices stating that their performances are not satisfactory and were asked for justification that “why they should not be terminated from the company’ in view of their poor performance. “The mentioned employees are likely to be shown the door through a concession package, which may be announced shortly,” they said. Despite the fear of losing their jobs, however, a serious reaction from the employees affected is unlikely as
the KESC has already defused the months’ long protest of over 4,000 workers successfully. The majority of the sacked 5,000 workers have already obtained the Voluntary Separation Scheme (VSS) announced by the KESC while a minority has recently approached the court against the move, but the power utility’s foreign management is planning to oust more employees. Throughout 2010, fierce clashes and violent protests were witnessed between the personnel of law enforcement agencies and thousands of sacked KESC employees. The majority of the “non-core” workers were forced to opt for the VSS scheme, despite intervention of both provincial and federal governments and several political parties. However, the KESC officials denied any such separation scheme or the management planning to oust the staff. “The KESC, like other organisations, evaluates performances of its employees and those with better records are highly encouraged while the rest are also given further chance to improve their performance. The annual performance evaluation programme has nothing to do with the VSS or any other separation scheme,” they claimed. Meanwhile, Lateef Mughal of the KESC People’s Workers union alleged that the power company’s management was trying to reduce the number of employees while outsourcing various departments. He claimed that the regular employees were promised not to be re-
trenched from their jobs, but on the contrary, Abraaj Group from time-totime continues to retrench employees on one or the other reason. “Firstly, the group offered senior officers working on permanent basis to be reappointed on contractual basis,” he said. “Some officers accepted the offer, but most of them rejected it.” After rejection from the employees, the KESC management created a surplus pool and transferred over 300 employees into it. The employees protested against the decision, but the management never paid attention to their grievances. It also prepared new service rules in March 2010 and under its cover, forcefully sent 294 officers home, without giving any reason. Later, these officers went to court, where the case is still pending. According to Mughal, the management started the same exercise with the employees and introduced the VSS on December 31, 2010 and asked the employees to avail it by January 14, 2011. While the management said that it was not mandatory to avail the scheme, it also started forcing the employees to avail it or face dire consequences. The scheme was targeted as the management issued letters to 4,500 lower-cadre staff by name, including drivers, security guards, bill distributors, clerical staff and naib qasids. It is worth mentioning here that 4,500 retrenched employees also included 225 widows, disabled people and minorities.
No more thesis for PhD, thanks to HEC KARACHI AAMIR MAJeeD
Keeping in view the shortage of researchers in private sector varsities, the Higher Education Commission (HEC) has waived off the prerequisite of submission of thesis for advancement into a PhD programme, Pakistan Today has learnt. In a letter addressed to the vice chancellors (VCs) of all public sector varsities, the HEC has directed the officials to remove the condition of thesis submission for candidates, who wish to enrol in PhD programmes. As per the HEC letter, the candidates with thesis and non-thesis MS/MPhil degrees should be allowed to advance into PhD programmes. The HEC has further directed the universities to consider candidates having MS/MPhil degrees without completing their thesis work. The public sector varsities have fixed criteria for admission into PhD programmes with the completion of 30 credit hours, including an approved thesis, by the varsity. The letter, written by HEC Executive Director Dr Sohail H Naqvi, clarified to the VC/Rector/President/Director of all public sector varsities that the university may award an MS/MPhil or equivalent degree upon satisfactory completion of 30 credit hours only. “Thesis and non-thesis degree options are available and it is not necessary to write a thesis to obtain the degree,” he stated. Naqvi further said that
each university may take the decision about the thesis/non-thesis option on its own subject requirements. “Consequently any person having completed an MS degree is eligible to be considered for admission into PhD programme,” he added. Terming it a move to facilitate private sector varsities without adequate number of PhD qualified faculty to teach students on how to conduct research and preparation of thesis, the public sector varsities have voiced concerns over the new condition of HEC. The varsities fear overburden of PhD candidates, claiming that the non-thesis MS/MPhil candidates would also come forward for enrolment in PhD programmes. When approached for comments, university of Karachi (Ku) Academic Affairs Pro-Vice Chancellor said that varsity had not received any such intimation from the HEC as yet. “But how can a candidate complete 30 credit hours without the research thesis,” she questioned.
She was of the view that the Ku is an autonomous institution and it is not necessary to implement the HEC’s each and every directive. “The varsity has an approved code of conduct with the provincial assembly and it would follow the rules,” she added. “[However], if the HEC presses the Ku for implementing the orders, then the matter would be forwarded to the Board of Advanced Studies and Research and if the board approves the suggestion, the matter would be taken to the Ku Academic Council,” she said. “If the council also approves the suggestion, only then the move would be implemented. The Ku pro-vice chancellor said that under the MS/MPhil programme, the varsity has fixed one-year course study after which the candidates prepare a research thesis for the award of degree. She added that the universities do not allow admission in PhD programmes until the research thesis is submitted.
Carrying a price tag of Rs 1.1 million, AKUH’s unique pacemaker saves a life KARACHI AMAR GURIRo
In the first of its kind procedure in Pakistan, doctors at the Aga Khan university Hospital (AKuH) successfully implanted a heart rhythm monitoring device – an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) – in a 14-year-old girl from Balochistan. A press release issued by the AKu Public Affairs Department on Tuesday claimed that it was the first-ever experiment conducted by the AKuH experts to install the device in a child. Naila Bugti was born with Long QT Syndrome (LQTS), a rare hereditary disorder of the heart’s electrical activity which causes irregular heartbeats leading to fainting, seizures or even cardiac arrests Talking with Pakistan Today over the telephone, Naila’s father Rafiq Bugti said the AKuH management charged the Rs 1.1 million for installing the device and saving his daughter’s life. A small battery-powered pacemaker with additional features, an ICD is placed in patients at risk of sudden cardiac death due to irregular heartbeats. It monitors and identifies abnormal heart rhythms before restoring the normal rhythm of the heart.
The last paragraph of the AKu statement, however, stated: “AKuH Karachi is a not-for-profit, 577-bed teaching hospital committed to providing the best possible options for the diagnosis of disease and the team management of patient care.” A lawyer by profession, Rafiq is a native of Dera Bugti – hometown of slain Baloch leader Nawab Akbar Bugti. He was forced to leave his town and migrate to Quetta along with his family when paramilitary forces started an operation in the area. Naila’s three older sisters were not so lucky as they were also born with the same problem and died due to the disorder. When Naila was diagnosed with LQTS, Rafiq started running from post to pillar to save his daughter’s life. Finally, he somehow managed to reach the AKuH, Karachi, as he had heard a lot about the hospital. To his surprise, the “not-for-profit” organisation estimated an expenditure of around Rs 1 million for Naila’s treatment. “We have been displaced from our hometown since 2005 and it was huge an amount for me. But I did not want to see another funeral of my daughter, so I started running to different places to arrange the money,” Rafiq said. Naila’s mother is a religious teacher in
Balochistan. She approached the provincial government for help and at last the chief minister agreed to bear the expenditures of her daughter’s treatment. Despite the assurance by the Balochistan government, the AKuH management bluntly refused to start Naila’s treatment before receiving the amount. “We requested the provincial government to arrange the funds beforehand and we are really grateful that the Balochistan chief minister sent the complete amount to the AKuH management,” she said. Even after charging the huge amount, the AKuH Public Affairs Department issued a press release for ‘not losing any opportunity’. Despite several attempts, Pakistan Today could not contact any official of the AKuH Public Affairs Department, as its head Dhunmai Cawasjee prefers not to talk with the media persons herself and deputes someone else from her department to face the journalists. An AKuH officer, on condition of anonymity, confirmed that the said amount was charged but “it was the actual price of the device in the market.” The lead cardiologist of the case, Dr Aamir Hameed Khan, told Pakistan Today that the girl had recovered well after the procedure and the ICD is functioning op-
timally. “Since Naila was a high-risk patient, we decided to implant the smallest ICD possible,” he said. “Although ICD place-
ment in adults is not new in Pakistan, this is the first time this device has been implanted in such a young patient,” he added.
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North Nazimabad losing its parks
arks take their name from the verb ‘to impark’, which means to surround with a hedge, fence or wall. Parks and playgrounds are a necessity for the younger generation as places to play and for elders to relax in. Good landscape planning plays a vital role in saving the environment. A good environment like good health is easy to recognise but hard to define. Health is not valued till sickness comes. To conserve and improve our health, doctors must understand the working of the body. Similarly, in order to conserve and improve our environment, planners must understand the geographical equivalents of anatomy, physiology and biochemistry. Doctors find it easier to investigate surface anatomy than the interior. Planners find it easier to investigate the physical environment than its working. But one cannot treat the inside of the body by treating the skin, and one cannot improve the environment by dealing only with the visible. Knowledge, ideas, beliefs and skills are required to implement the diagnosis of problems. Great civilisations allocate open space to public and nonproductive uses. Historically, this has included gardens, temple compounds, ceremonial grounds, outdoor markets, social places, gymnasia for exercise and recreation, burial grounds, hunting and wildlife reserve. All this land is now classified by planners as “open green spaces”, because the land is accessible and un-built. There must be landscapes where we can walk in safety, pick fruits, cycle, work, sleep, swim, listen to the birds, bask in the sun, run through the trees and laze besides cool waters urbanization happens. Old settlements expand and new settlements are founded. It can be a consequence of increased wealth, population growth or preference for smaller households. People choose to live in proximity to urban areas for social and economic reasons, but they complain about environmental conditions: the city is a concrete jungle, it is ugly, it is unsafe, the air is polluted, there is insufficient contact with nature etc., and this becomes all the more magnified with blighted green spaces. Parks play a vital role in improving the urban environment. They protect both urban life and nature simultaneously and the urbanite by virtue of being a taxpayer is justified in his demand for open green breathing spaces, and has all the rights to a quality of life commensurate with his status as a law abiding citizen. Allotment of parks and playgrounds should therefore, not only be made to fulfill an official formality but in order to be of utilitarian value should also be well maintained, failing which they can have serious negative repercussions. There are a number of studies in different disciplines pertaining to different regions and aspects related to parks and playgrounds. Open-air recreation and access to outdoor spaces is an important part of many people’s daily lives, and research has shown that outdoor activity provides scope for relaxation, refreshment, escape from the everyday and chance to form social relationships. The benefits of viewing green-spaces goes beyond aesthetic enjoyment to enhanced emotional wellbeing, reduced stress and in certain situations, improved health Recreational benefits far out weigh the cost of access provision. The attributes that people valued most were ‘peace and quiet’, ‘fresh air’ and the ‘landscape’. In the development of urban forestry, parks are classified in terms of land-use as G&P (gardens and parks) in Chinese cities. Parks are one of the major places of urban forestry. Trees are the most conspicuous and long living natural features of cities. They provide visible and tangible means, by which citizens interact with nature, and they provide habitat and food to sustain wildlife in the urban environment as is the case with zoological gardens. To facilitate such functions, landscape professionals employ trees to decorate the urban landscape, separate or define spaces, ameliorate settlements’ microclimate, and abate air pollution. Children’s playgrounds provide an enjoyable environment in which motor and social skills can be developed. urban green spaces have important amenity values that include provision of leisure opportunities and aesthetics enjoyment. However, most of these values lack a market price. Consequently, they are usually ignored or underestimated by urban planning policymakers, with the result that remnant urban green spaces are being gradually encroached upon by urban sprawl. As a result, quantitative information regarding the implicit, non-market price benefits from urban green space is urgently required. This study covered areas comprising the Karachi Development Authority Scheme No 2 of Taimuria, North Nazimabad, lay out plan area of Nazimabad and North Karachi Township, parts of which combine together to form the present town of North Nazimabad. North Nazimabad is a small densely populated town in the northern part of Karachi. The town is bordered by New Karachi Town to the north across the Shahrah-e-Zahid Hussain, Gulberg Town to the east across the Gujjar nullah, Liaquatabad Town to the south and SITE Town to the west. The popula-
tion of North Nazimabad Town was estimated to be about 500,000 in the 1998 census Scheme No 2 of Taimuria was prepared by the KDA during the tenure of Karachi Improvement Trust and passed by the Government of Pakistan in 1953. This was planned as a beautiful and extensively well planned open area with very low density population. The width of the road ranged from 50 feet to 320 feet. This scheme was planned in 21 blocks with all types of facilities in each one of them. A detailed survey of Parks and Playgrounds of North Nazimabad Town and an in-depth study of Satellite Imagery was the basis of this study for outdoor recreational facilities available in this area. Population data was extracted from the District Census Report 1998 and layout area of parks and playgrounds measured through the layout map planned in 1953 while current area measured with the help of GIS forms the database. An extensive survey of parks and playgrounds in the 10 uCs in the town was conducted several times on different days of the week at varying daytime and evening hours. According to the layout plan, the total area of parks and playgrounds was 961,238.4 sq wards. While the present area under this land use is 915,086.82 sq yards i.e. there has been a decrease of 46,151.54 sq yards. According to the KDA information based on the layout map, the total number of parks in North Nazimabad is 67 and playgrounds only four. However, “Ground-Truthing” has revealed that there are only 56 parks left and 21 playgrounds. Now after various types of encroachments and alterations, 17 parks have been converted into playgrounds while six parks have been constructed on plots of land marked for public buildings, three on land for primary schools and one each on a residential land and a plot for a hospital. The number of playgrounds constructed on primary school plots is three; the number of parks converted into playgrounds is 13 and one playground has been constructed on land for a goth (village). Although there is considerable encroachment of open green spaces on land meant for other purposes, yet its area has declined. It is most distressing to note that the shortfall of area from city’s average of parks and playgrounds in North Nazimabad Town Layout Status that was made in 1953 has now dramatically reduced due to encroachment of all types. A comparison of the Layout and Present Status of parks and playgrounds of North Nazimabad Town shows that there is a great difference between what was planned and the existing condition. According to Layout Status, uCs Khando Goth, Farooq-e-Azam, Hyderi and Sakhi Hasan were planned with a view for maximum parks and playgrounds, but even then there was a short fall of these facilities. The uCs Shadman, Khando Goth and Hyderi have shown the maximum short fall in area of open green spaces. The area of parks and playgrounds has increased in Mustafabad which has improved its rank from ninth to first, Sakhi Hasan fourth to second and Buffer Zone-I eighth to sixth. The greatest shortfall is in Shadman, which has deteriorated form fifth to tenth rank, while that of Khando Goth has deteriorated from first to fifth, Farooq-e-Azam from second to third, Hyderi third to fourth and Buffer Zone-II from sixth to eighth. Paposh Nagar has shown no change in its rank between layout and present status but there has been a decrease in the total area. The deterioration in terms of coverage per 1,000 people has occurred in Shadman, Khando Goth, Hyderi and Buffer Zone II. Some improvement of acreage in relation to population pressure has occurred mostly in Mustafabad, Sakhi Hassan and Buffer Zone I. No change in this regard has been recorded for Pahar Gunj and Hyderi, although in the aggregate decrease has been recorded. In terms of service provided to the uCs according to their size, the highest density of well maintained parks and playgrounds is in Farooq-e-Azam followed by Hyderi and Paposh Nagar. The greatest shortfall of this facility in terms of density of the service to the area is in Pahar Gunj followed by Buffer Zone I and Mustafabad. In terms of well-maintained parks and playgrounds, Hyderi is followed by Farooq-e-Azam and Paposh Nagar, while in terms of service provided to the population according to city standard i.e. four acres per 1,000 people. Farooq-e-Azam leads followed by Hyderi and Khando Goth; Mustafabad and Shadman have no well-maintained parks and playgrounds. The greatest shortfall of the facility to the population is in uCs Mustafabad and Shadman followed by Pahar Ganj and Sakhi Hassan while Farooq-eAzam is providing the best recreational and environmental facility in terms of parks and playgrounds, as the pressure of population on the open green spaces is least as far as the town is concerned. On realising the necessity of parks and playgrounds, the defunct City District Government Karachi made additional allotments of land for more parks and playgrounds, but with the passage of time these allotments did not materialise. The density of population of North Nazimabad for 1998 was 27,643.12 persons per sq. km. (0.03 persons per sq yards). The highest density of popu-
lation is found in Paposh Nagar, Pahar Gunj, Buffer Zones-II and -I while the lowest is found in Khando Goth, Farooq-e-Azam and Hyderi. A comparison of densities of population with that of parks and playgrounds reveals that the best uCs as regards both factors taken comparatively are Mustafabad, Sakhi Hasan and Farooq-e-Azam. uCs showing worst comparative performance in this regard are Pahar Gunj, Shadman, Khando Goth and Paposh Nagar. Buffer Zone-I ranks fourth for both density of population and density percentage of parks and playgrounds. A comparison of density of parks and playgrounds between layout and present status shows that most remarkable improvement have taken place in uCs Mustafabad, Sakhi Hasan and Buffer Zone-I, which have improved their ranks from ninth to first, fourth to second and sixth to fourth, respectively. On the whole, according to the layout status, the density of parks and playgrounds to area of uCs (in percentage) in North Nazimabad was 35.8 percent while that for the present status is 33.7 percent i.e. a decrease of 2.1 percent. Even the most primitive tribes and cultures have felt the need for recreation. Now in the post-modern era with cities being converted into mega polis like Karachi, with its immense population pressure, excessive pressure on land use and resultant urban
sprawl, the need and demand for open green spaces is becoming all the more acute. Notwithstanding all these changes the jungle of concrete blighted by its slums and gobbling up of open green spaces is not only a cause of social ills, anomalies and banes but it can became a cancer not only for the local area or people but for the nation as a whole and generations to come. While a well-balanced urban land use with sufficient open green spaces would not only justify the rights of citizens as tax payers but also prevent brewing up of socio-cultural and political conspiracies as empty minds are devils’ workshops, while a physically, mentally, socially, culturally and economically vibrant youth can be the source of sustainable well being of a nation. The choice remains open whether we want to reap the multiple benefits of well maintained Open Green Spaces as assets with nominal maintenance costs or be entrapped in the vicious, multifanged dilemma with far reaching negative impacts. Extract from the research paper “Open green spaces - asset or liability - case study of North Nazimabad Town – Karachi” by Farkhunda Burke1, Muhammad Azam, Syed Nawaz ul Huda and Salma Hamza, published in the Karachi University Journal of Science
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karachi 09 PakistaN today
PDMa Dg wants deputy of his choice; won’t let Sindh govt stand in his way KARACHI IMDAD SooMRo
Standing so close to a snake was definitely not this boy’s idea of fun, even though his father thinks differently.
industrialists shouldn’t delay wages: altaf ■ MQM chief says corruption should be removed, not workers
The Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) authorities are reluctant to obey the orders of the Sindh government that it should appoint a grade 18 officer as its deputy director. The orders were issued by the Sindh chief secretary through the Services and General Administration Department in compliance with Supreme Court of Pakistan orders. In a petition, former Port Qasim Authority officer Jabbar Memon, citing the matter of his posting, also raised the matter of some 700 illegal appointments t the authority. The Supreme Court ordered a complete inquiry into the matter and the news item regarding the matter, published in Pakistan Today under the heading: “700 illegal appointments in Port Qasim”, was taken as the part of the case’s record. In an order passed on February 8, the Supreme Court granted three more weeks for examining the record and submitting a comprehensive report on the alleged illegal appointments. On February 25, the Sindh chief secretary again sent an urgent letter to the PDMA director general telling him to obey the orders as the officer concerned, Memon, had filed a contempt of court application in apex court. Earlier, Sindh Advocate General Fatah Malak, in his letter to chief secretary, made it clear that the PDMA authorities are reluctant to obey the orders of provincial government, so he, as the principal law officer of the province, will not stand on their behalf. The Supreme Court in its order had directed the provincial government to appoint petitioner Jabbar Memon to any suitable place. In pursuance of the orders, the government posted him as the PDMA deputy director. But the authority’s director general, Danish Saeed, did not obey the orders and told the chief secretary in a letter that a lady doctor should be appointed in Memon’s place. The chief secretary rejected his argument and again ordered him to comply with the previous order, but the PDMA director general refused to do so. Talking to Pakistan Today, the PDMA director general confirmed that he did not appoint Memon and suggested to the Sindh government that a lady doctor be appointed as per the instructions of the uNDP.
DPS wins 1st prize at annual Flower Show KARACHI PReSS ReLeASe
T is unfortunate that many workers of the country are kept deprived of their wages by industrialists and this unjust practice must stop, Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain said on Tuesday. He was addressing a large gathering of workers at the Lal Qila Ground in Azizabad on the 25th Annual Silver Jubilee Convention of the MQM Labour Division. “Workers should be paid their wages before their sweat dries up as instructed by Holy Prophet (peace be upon him),” the MQM chief said. Hussain also appealed to industrialists and mill owners to regularise the services of daily wagers. He said the country is facing eco-
nomic problems, corruption is rampant and wealth is concentrated in the hands of a few families. “There is mismanagement and unchecked corruption due to which profit-making institutions are also collapsing one after the other,” he pointed out. Hussain said instead of firing workers, corruption should be eliminated and people of strong moral fibre and integrity should be appointed. “Corrupt people must be removed from all national institutions in order to save them,” he added. Hussain demanded that the Pakistan Steel Mills, the Pakistan International Airlines, the Pakistan Railways, the Pakistan Machine Tools Factory and all other state institutions should be cleansed of corrupt officers. He called for the implementation
of the wage board award and said that journalists, reporters, technicians and others affiliated with newspapers and electronic media should be given their salaries on time. The MQM chief said his party is in favour of labour unions in order to enable workers to raise their voices for their rights. Mr Hussain said the law governing the Industrial Relations Organisation, under which labour unions work, is about to lapse on March 12 this year and it is a source of concern for labour organisations throughout the country. “The federal government must look into this matter immediately,” he demanded. Referring to the act of restraining women from exercising their right to vote, Hussain declared that there is no democracy without the participation of women.
He said the by-elections in Mardan and Mianwali, where women are not allowed to cast votes, should be declared as “null and void”. Hussain appealed to the Election Commission of Pakistan to bar candidates, who contrived to keep the women away from the polling process for a period of 10 years. He also condemned the display of weapons during the recent by-elections and incidents of aerial firing. Speaking on the situation in Balochistan, Hussain said it is necessary to find a solution to the problems of the province without further delay. Referring to the physical torture on female polling staff by a candidate, Hussain stressed upon the Election Commission to look into the case on merit and on the strength of evidence.
The Dawood Public School (DPS) has been awarded the first prize in the category of Kitchen Garden, at the Annual Flower Show, recently organised by the Horticultural Society of Pakistan. The school displayed innovative ways of growing vegetables such as vertical gardening, organic gardening, and planting in recycled material, at its stall. Exotic vegetables and flower plant pots planted by students as part of the gardening classes were displayed and put up for sale. On the occasion, Viqar Afza, the principal of the DPS, said, “Such flower shows should be a regular feature of our city so that the younger generation could learn about the importance of the plants and environment and enjoy the beauty of nature.”
Sa session today KARACHI STAff RePoRT
The Sindh Assembly will meet on Wednesday (today), as the provincial lawmakers are preparing for the Senate elections - due on March 2. “I am to state that the Acting Governor of Sindh in exercise of powers conferred upon him by Clause (a) of Article 109 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973 has been pleased to summon the Provincial Assembly of Sindh to meet on Wednesday, the 29th February, 2012 at 10 am in the Sindh Assembly Building,” said a notification issued by Sindh Assembly Secretary Hadi Bux Buriro.
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HE love of art can transcend all social, political and emotional boundaries. It is this belief that took a propitious artist, Anjum Mohammadi, from Pakistan to India just to display her art work In the city of Karachi lives a petite woman – Anjum Mohammadi. She teaches art and craft in a kindergarten school, and practices her hobby of painting during her free time. And she is in Hyderabad to showcase art all the way from Pakistan in India. We spoke to her to know what made her visit India, and she shared with us her reason, “I have always loved coming to India – I have a few family members here, and a many friends, so I have many good reasons to visit this beautiful country. This is my third time here, and I feel as good as my first visit.” unlike the last two visits, Anjum’s visit to India this time is with her artworks. She excitedly tells us, “I met the curator of Muse Art Gallery, Sudheer Kaali online, and expressed my interest in showcasing my artworks in his gallery. And before I knew, he was already helping me with the formalities of coming to India. His efforts in bringing me here have overwhelmed me – I cannot thank him enough for all the efforts.” Anjum’s interests in art extend to water colours, acrylics, collages and sculptures. She believes that learning is limited to as much you limit yourself. She believes that contemporary Pakistan is more tolerant of India. Life there is comparatively not yet an easy game, but she has a positive take on living there, “Politicians have not made it an easy life for us. The government does not do justice, and no institution is in order, but we want things to change like never before. And Pakistanis have now realised the importance of India as a neighbour. After the Bombay bomb blasts, we are still allowed to travel to India but there is more restriction. I myself have a lot of Hindu friends in Pakistan and India, and I love the culture.” Anjum feels the need to explore a collaboration of Pakistani art with India. And she is more than willing to have Indian artists come to Pakistan to showcase their works. “I would love to help with all the work required to bring some great Indian artists to Pakistan. My country would be proud to be host to some great names in art from India. I have seen some of the works of artists here, and I think they are incredible. I would love to do my bit to promote relations between the two countries.” And we in India could not agree more that good relations between the countries is the need of the hour. Anjum Mohammadi’s paintings will be on display till March 6.
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MY JoURneY AS A WITneSS
JAPAn feST 2012
EXHIBITION STARTS MARCH 1 AT 05:00 PM VENuE: FARAAR
CONVERSATION ON FEBRuARY 29 AT 07:00 PM VENuE: T2F 2.0
CuLTuRE FESTIVAL ON MARCH 10 AND 11 VENuE: ARTS COuNCIL
‘Feica: A Retrospective of Political Cartoons and Paintings’ from March 1 to 18 at the Faraar gallery. Call 35389033 for more information.
‘My Journey as a Witness: An Evening with Shahidul Alam’ at The 2nd Floor. Call 35389033 for more information.
‘Japan Fest 2012’ on March 10 and 11 celebrates 60 years of Pak-Japan friendship at the Arts Council. Call 32633105 for more information.
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Editor’s mail 11
Democracy or dictatorship? My intellectual curiosity about political science deepened after reading “utopia” by Sir Thomas More. It laments the compromises that are necessary when ideology confronts the harsh realities of practicality. To me, it is a eulogy of sorts, exploring the ideals that must be laid to rest when indulging in politics. While a utopian political system is impossible, the book inspired me to explore the multitude of social contracts that philosophers had advocated over the centuries. Inevitably, comparisons between Hobbes and Locke, with a background of Plato and Aristotle, consumed
Was Hobbes's Leviathan right for Pakistan, a country that had already seen a string of military dictatorships? Or must a government derive legitimacy from the consent of the people, who otherwise have a right to overthrow it, as Locke advocated? While I don’t support dictatorship, I do come from a country where the majority of the population is rural and illiterate. Frustrated with the lack of development, they often succumb – at the expense of a checks and balances system – to the allure of swift justice, rapid development and lack of bureaucratic red tape that often forms
is Maya Khan innocent? the rhetoric of dictatorships. The themes in utopia were all too real for the son of a Senator who had seen a plethora of political systems. They stimulated my intellectual curiosity and forced me to critically analyse governments in Pakistan, which sway, much like a pendulum, between military dictatorship and democracy. What is the measure of the success of a government? If we choose to use human development indicators as a yardstick, then how do we argue against a hypothetical dictatorship that brings development to a country? What about the portion of the popu-
lation that is opposed to certain aspects of human development, like women empowerment? What if they are the majority? Democracy, in that case, would result in an oppressive regime. As such, I have been interested in intellectual criticisms of democracy, many of which stem from the precedent set by Plato’s The Republic. While the idea of benevolent philosopher-kings may be feasible in theory, there remains the threat of abuse of power. This everpresent threat ensures that I cannot, in theory or practice, support dictatorship. SAIHAAM AHMED KHAN Lahore
water blues Water is becoming dangerously scarce, threatening to leave much of the world dry in the next 20 years, without enough water for a minimum of life (19 litres per person per day). According to a World Bank study, Pakistan is sprinting from a ‘water scarce’ country to becoming a ‘water stressed’ country and within a decade a ‘water famine’ country. Pakistan's per capita availability of water has declined from 5600 cubic metres in 1947 to 1200 cubic metres in 2005, and now it is quickly approaching the threshold level of 1000 cubic meters. Our precious water is running out very quickly from our hands. If nothing is done, there would be approximately 18 percent shortfall in irrigation water supply and 1,457 MW in electricity supply, crippling agriculture, industry, business and daily life. Besides domestic mismanagement, our neighbour India is trying to seek the control over waters allocated to Pakistan through IWT-60, by building more large dams (264 are under construction), and river diversions on rivers allocated to Pakistan, so as to cater water requirement for its burgeoning population. Additionally, the dams would, thus, provide New Delhi leverage to stop the flow of the Chenab and Jhelum rivers at will and strangulate Pakistan's agriculture. India says that the dam has been built on “run-of-the-water” and as such the amount of water to Pakistan would not reduce. Nonetheless, the International Court of Arbitration (ICA) upheld Pakistan’s stance on Kishanganga dam building controversy on the Neelum River, by granting Pakistan’s appeal to halting India’s construction activities on the western river allocated vide Article III(4) of the Indus Water Treaty–1960. The water issues can be addressed by sharing the water as a “collective resource” for our future generations. The two neighbouring countries using water as a common resource should co-operate and open up a range of possibilities through optimum development of the rivers by mutual agreement to the fullest possible extent. India, being the upper riparian, should be more accommodating and considerate to the lower riparian nation – Pakistan. Any major upstream alteration in a river system should be negotiated, not imposed as in case of Indian water overtures on rivers Chenab and Jhelum. As the Salal Dam issue was resolved through talks in 1978, given the will, the Krishanganga issue can also be settled amicably in the light of the Indus Water Treaty-1960. ABDUL MAJEED GONDAL Gajranwala
Pensioners’ rights The federal government in pursuance of Service Tribunal Judgement of 02-122010 which was up held by Supreme Court vide its order of 01-04-2011 has allowed inclusion of the cost of living allowance at seven percent in pensionable emoluments. In compliance with these orders, the federal and Sindh government have allowed this benefit to their pensioners retiring before revision of pay scale in 2001. It is regrettable that the government of Punjab is sitting over the case and has not yet extended this benefit to its pensioners. This is, to say the least, highly unjust and unfair. The Punjab CM is requested to kindly extend the same concessions to the Punjab pensioners who are finding it hard to face the current cruel inflation. MUHAMMAD NAWAZ QASMI Multan
Amazingly, Maya Khan on Monday attended Kamran Shahid’s programme on Express News and tried to prove her programme fake that was aired on Samaa TV due to which she was fired from her job. Kamran Shahid in his best style asked various questions concerning the programme on Samaa TV in which Maya visited public parks and interfered couples’ personal lives. Maya Khan brought an evidence declaring herself innocent and said that all allegations levelled against her are fictitious because the programme she did was totally fake. She brought two young boys with her and a DVD to prove that the programme she made on Samaa TV was fake. She said all couples in the programme were paid actors and they were paid for the programme in which they acted as couples. Also she recorded a video of two girls who were wearing veils at their homes and said that those girls were just paid actresses and they did not wear veils in fact. However, can anybody believe that the two boys and the girls were really paid actors? If they really were paid actors, so who then resorted to court and filed cases against Maya Khan for the programme? Buying someone is not a difficult task in this era of inflation and it can probably be true that those two boys and girls would have been paid a lot to cooperate with Maya Khan in order to prove the programme fake. HAFIZ MUHAMMAD NOMAN Karachi
the tabooed word
Blocked by loadshedding Whenever Pakistan seems to be going on a path of success and progress, there comes a problem or two that hinder its successful run to a point that the entire effort seems to be lost. After a successful period of industrial growth under President Pervez Musharraf, we hit the barrier on the road to progress when the loadshedding and power shortage made life hell and
PeMRa’s right step The field of journalism is full of responsibilities; balance, accuracy and timeline are the basic elements of the news. For the first time in history, PEMRA made a right decision towards regulation. Just as other departments are doing their jobs, Pakistani media is also doing the same. Moreover, Pakistani media has lost its character just because of unprofessional and unqualified journalists. Journalists don’t know about ethics of media. They do harassment, they create violation and they are too away from social responsibility. However, there are so many anchors who don’t know about rules and laws of media. I have seen many programmes where guests smoke cigarette in live and recorded shows. I usually see the awry in news, I usually see anchors support political parties. I usually see anchors do fun with dead bodies. I usually see anchors tell lies. However, I have not seen any role of media in education, poverty, transport, agriculture, development and in rural
halted industrial progress altogether. Whatever is the reason behind this shortage, the main victim is the industry upon which millions of families are reliant who have lost their source of income and are forced to live in poverty. SEHAR SAFDAR Lahore
journalism. Moreover, media has totally failed to raise the minority issues too. Media in Pakistan has totally failed to provide a true image of society, there is not a symbol of Pakistani culture in it. Anchors should follow ethics and the government must implement laws on media. Most people will stand by with PEMRA if it brings an impartial bill regarding media ethics. ISLAMUDDIN Islamabad
Police gardi Every law abiding citizen would be in shock to see a news report in print and electronic media about shooting by police officials at a newly married lady doctor belonging to a respectable family, seriously injuring her whereas two other ladies and her brother-in-law accompanying her luckily escaped the bullets on 25 February. As per the footages available from hidden camera reported by the media, the said family in their car was going near Police Headquarters in the Garden Area where the mobile police party was
While the political parties are gearing up for the next elections and predicting sweeping the election, none is speaking about the most vital subject of Kalabagh dam which has become a tabooed word in Pakistan. Kalabagh dam is the key to economic prosperity of the country to solve the twin menace of water and power scarcity in the shortest time that bedevils the nation. No amount of flowery promises made in the raucous gatherings of parties could be made fruitful without earliest possible solution of water and power shortage that afflicts the industry and agriculture of our dear country. There is no other mantra so effective as to post haste build the Kalabagh dam and the slogan of mini dams and alternate sources to cheap hydel energy could not deliver the goods. All the parties share a collective criminal neglect in keeping Kalabagh dam on the backburner while the national economy goes down the drain. DR MUHAMMAD YAQOOB BHATTI Lahore
already waiting and indulged into altercation with them. Nonetheless, when the lady doctor tried to sit in the car, they shot at her injuring her seriously. Though the accused ASI and two other police officials who were arrested later on while the fourth one absconded after a police case was registered against them, this act by law protectors has raised some serious apprehensions in the minds of peaceful and law abiding citizens about the role of police. Nonetheless, every peaceful citizen is generally afraid of police as they may shoot at him any time without any provocations. It appears that this is still a police state despite tall claims being made by our elected governments from to time. I hereby request to the Chief Justice, Supreme Court of Pakistan to take suo motu action and also to the various organisations working for human rights to take notice of the ever increasing police powers and excessive use of force against the peaceful and law abiding citizens in order to dispel the image of prevailing police state. MOHAMMAD KHAN SIAL Karachi
well deserved awards
mon citizens. Being accused of hiding Osama is not at all understandable. The all powerful dictator Gen Musharraf’s now telling the nation that rogue men in ISI may have helped Osama is a slap on our face. As the scenes are unfolding the matters are getting bad to worse as for as security of Pakistan is concerned. If a member of premier agency of Pakistan can be purchased in 25 million dollars, then anything can happen in this country. Living away from home, I am now worried about our nuclear assets, as the bounty can be increased to achieve the goals. If the news is correct then there is need to appoint high power truth commission to dig into the failures of ISI in finding black sheep working under its
nose because this may not be a case in isolation. There is a strong lesson in the whole game that blind trust in individuals is always harmful and keeping them at one place for a prolonged period is never safe. The people of Pakistan and its security forces, including ISI, have rendered enormous sacrifices against militancy and terrorism. As the manifestation of endgame in Afghanistan appears to be coming to its end, it could be pressure tactics by uS on Pakistan to toe their line and bring in disrepute the army and ISI in the eyes of the people of Pakistan. The death and destruction caused in search of Osama has to be answered by all involved in this game. MUKHTAR AHMED Bradford, UK
The Prime Minister has announced a well deserved civilian award for Ms Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy for winning an Oscar. He should also announce an equally well deserved military award for his son for the death of two innocents caused by celebratory firing during the by-polls. Let us not forget a World Wrestling Federation honourary award for Mrs Waheeda Shah. The nation must honour its talented representatives. RAJA M KAIQOBAD Lahore
a new twist in the osama raid tale Your esteemed paper has once again brought into focus the infamous raid on Osama bin Laden’s episode by quoting fresh WikiLeaks as disclosed by Fred Burton in his communication to Stratfor's vice president for intelligence in an email to one of his regional director in South Asia after the killing of Osama in Abbottabad. The reports say that a Pakistani intelligence officer came forward to collect 25 million dollars reward and to stay in the uSA along with his family. In another news it is also alleged that seized cell phone links ISI to Osama’s courier. Defence Secretary of uS Leon Panetta is lobbying ISI to release 'Bin Laden informant' for CIA and surprisingly Gen Musharraf is saying that rogue men in ISI may have helped
Osama. All over the world, secret agents operate in covertly manner and they are also covered covertly to ensure they are not playing the role of double agent. As reported in the press, the ISI/army knew of Osama’s hideout. Middle to senior level officials of the ISI knew the arrangements for Osama bin Laden and his safe house in Abottabad. After these disclosures it turns out to be the most serious issue of national security leaving behind Memogate scandal. If this is true, why were we fighting a war on terror? The uS was hunting Osama in Afghanistan and killing innocent people and Pakistan faced terrible a terrible onslaught of suicide attacks causing damage to lives and properties of com-
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 access denied women voters stopped
hat women voters were stopped from casting votes at a number of polling stations in Mardan NA-9 and Mianwali PS-44 constitutes a denial of the equal rights to women provided in the constitution. What makes it even more serious is that this happened on account of a tacit understanding between the contesting parties. If no notice is taken immediately by those concerned, women would be denied their constitutional right on a much larger scale during the general elections scheduled within a year. The PPP, ANP and PML(N) never tire of talking about their avowed support for gender equality and the empowerment of women. The incidents took place in KP and Punjab, one under the PPP and ANP and the other ruled by the PML(N). Not long before the by-elections Fiza Gilani, the goodwill ambassador for women empowerment, declared that the elections held at polling stations where women were denied the exercise of their right of vote would be declared null and void. One has yet to hear from her or her patrons why the promise was not fulfilled. It is argued that primitive thinking prevailing in backward areas translated into customs which led to the opposition to women casting votes. The argument would convince few. Women belonging to the most backward districts of Punjab and Sindh contest elections, sometimes on open seats. In Balochistan and KP, they have been in politics ever since the creation of the country. The two major religious parties also have women parliamentarians. In any case, politicians are elected to lead the nation and not to follow the backward elements in society. The incidents have brought the credibility of the Election Commission under doubt. On the face of it, the EC did nothing to stop the malpractice. This despite claims by the National Commission on Status of Women of having sent reminders to the EC to devise institutional structures and policies to bind parties which indulge in such practices. unless the EC is able to exert its authority, its ability to supervise the general elections would remain doubtful. The issue concerns the SC also as Article 34 of the Constitution ensures that “Steps shall be taken to ensure full participation of women in all spheres of national life.” There is a need to rectify the injustice that has been done.
Disturbing disclosure is the commission hearing this?
he revelation by a leaked email of a uS-based intelligence firm that mid to senior level officials in the ISI and military knew the arrangements of Osama bin Laden and his safe-house in Abbottabad is disturbing indeed. The email leaked by WikiLeaks was written by Stratfor’s vice president Fred Burton to one of his company’s regional director for South Asia soon after the killing of the Al-Qaeda chief in the Navy SEALS attack on May 2nd last year. The released WikiLeak indicated that Burton was unable to provide his regional directorate with the names of the ISI and Pakistan military officials who had knowledge of this arrangement for OBL. But he asserted that uS Intelligence was aware of it. The government of Pakistan has once again rebuffed the claim, reiterating its earlier stance that it had no knowledge of the whereabouts of the Al-Qaeda chief. Stratfor was meanwhile subjected to scathing criticism by The Atlantic magazine, saying the group's reputation among foreign policy writers, analysts, and practitioners is poor: “They are considered a punchline more often than a source of valuable information or insight.” However, the disturbing disclosure comes at a time when a judicial commission is already conducting investigation into the attacks carried out by the uS planes in the country’s garrison town. Ten months have elapsed since the operation was launched but so far the commission has not been able to complete the probe and furnish its findings to the government. There is a need for expeditious completion of this investigation because further delay in the process could only strengthen the perception that the commissions set up to probe affairs involving security officials are never granted the independence they require. On the contrary, those investigating allegations against civilians are often seen going the extra mile to accomplish their tasks as evident from the proceedings of the Memogate commission.
Dedicated to the legacy of the late Hameed Nizami
Arif Nizami Editor
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wednesday, 29 February, 2012
Reality check needed If we want to set our house in order…
t is not surprising that almost all Pakistanis want Pakistan to be the most powerful and prosperous state in the comity of nations. They want to lead a life of peace and security and they also want that no state should have right to question Pakistan’s domestic and external policies. There is nothing wrong in preparing a wish list or dreaming about an ideal situation. However, if a state and society live only by a wish list and do not want to put their dreams to a reality check, they are bound to feel frustrated in case of failing to realise the wish list. The wish list cannot be fully realised because it is unrealistic in the present socio-political context. However, Pakistan can overcome most of its problems and function as a normal state that manages its domestic and foreign policy issues in a reasonably effective manner. It can salvage its economy and cope with the growing socio-economic inequities. This is possible only if its policy makers and the politically active circles moderate their wish list keeping in view their actual capacity and resources. They will have to change their mindset from sermonising others on what should be done and stop waiting for some “sincere leader” to appear for solving their problems. Pakistan will have to seek strength from within. It should adopt a low and quiet profile at the global level and work for peace and stability on its border. This will give enough time to Pakistani leaders to devote fully to internal problems. If Pakistan wants to compete militarily with India, liberate Kashmir directly or through Islamic militant groups and seek a compliant government in Kabul, it will never be able to put its internal political and economic house in order. Pakistan should learn from China’s strategy of modernising its economy and strengthening itself internally. It By Dr Hasan Askari Rizvi has defused tension with all bordering states. It has put aside (not abandoned) its territorial dispute with India. The volume of China’s trade with India is bigger than its trade with Pakistan. It has also developed trade relations with Taiwan and improved relations with other neighbours so that it is able to fully devote its resources to building its economy and strengthening economic ties with the rest of the world. It is expected to continue with this policy to keep its economic development rate in double digit for the next decade or so. This will enable China to project itself effectively at the global level at a later stage. Pakistan should postpone its political agenda beyond its border for a decade and devote itself fully to internal issues and problems. Four issues have to be on the top of the priority list: revival of the economy and international trade, control of religious extremism and militancy, reduction of socio-
economic inequities and greater emphasis on quality education and health facilities. These objectives cannot be achieved without normalising relations with neighbouring states and increasing trade and economic ties with them. India and Iran are two countries that offer ample opportunities for expanding trade and economic ties. With Afghanistan, bilateral trade and transit-trade facilities need to be streamlined. The 21st century is the era of knowledge, especially science and technology, greater movement of people, goods and services across territorial boundaries of the states and the welfare of people. Pakistan should acquire these currencies of power in the coming decades rather than nurturing Islamic militant groups that have trans-national ideological and political agendas. This calls for toning down anti-America hysteria in Pakistan. This has intensified because it is now linked to Pakistan’s domestic power politics. As the Islamic parties and militant groups have found themselves under strong pressure from the uS policy in Pakistan and Afghanistan since September 2001, they have turned against the uS. In the pre1990 period, Islamic groups and organisations were generally viewed as pro-uS and worked in close harmony with the uS for building up Afghan-Islamic resistance against the Soviet troops in Afghanistan in the 1980s. The military and its intelligence apparatus have also used their connections and influence to strengthen anti-American sentiments to protect its interests in the domestic Pakistani context and to counteract uS propaganda against the military and the ISI. The anti-uS discourse attributes Pakistan’s current internal security and economic problems to American policies in the region, coupled with anti-Pakistan policies of India and Israel. A large number of people, especially the political far right and Islamistmilitant elements, think that Pakistan’s problems will be automatically resolved if the uS quits the region and others stop conspiring against Pakistan. This line of argument implies that there is nothing inherently wrong in Pakistan and
therefore they do not have to do anything to improve Pakistan’s internal situation. It is the “outsiders,” who have to change their policies. This strategy of externalisation of Pakistan’s domestic problems may manifest a self-ascribed aura of righteousness but it dissuades the leaders and politically active people from rectifying their own deficiencies. It is easy to talk about the national interests in broad and generalised terms like territorial security of the state, socio-economic development, internal harmony and stability, security of life, equality of opportunities and minimal use of violence and coercion for societal conflict management. However, there are operational problems of turning them into concrete plans of action and institutional arrangements and processes. Pakistan needs to pursue a long term vision of a stable, secure and an economically viable country by discarding sloganeering for quick-fixes or seeking comfort in blaming others for Pakistan’s problems. Set the priorities through a dialogue among the competing interests in a democratic framework on what kind of Pakistan you need ten years from today. This requires shedding aside certain regressive ideological perspectives or seeking the future in the past. One can learn lessons from the past but the current issues have to be addressed in the present day context. Do not expect other countries to pursue policies to Pakistan’s satisfaction. The Pakistani civilian and military leaders will have to adopt a realistic approach to put Pakistan’s economic and political house in order based on a down-to-earth reality check of the resources and capacity. Its domestic and foreign policy effort should give primacy in terms of policy-measures to enhance its internal economic strength, political stability and harmony. This can secure Pakistan against external “conspiracies” and enable it to play an active global role at a later stage. At this stage, Pakistan should focus on its internal issues and work towards peace on its border and evolve an active relationship with its neighbours.
The writer is an independent political and defence analyst.
on drone strikes Daily Pashtun Post
uckling under American pressure in the wake of 9/11, the then president/dictator of the country Pervez Musharraf went ahead of himself to show his allegiance to the uS in the war on terror and gave the uS many concessions and allowances which would be considered a breach of Pakistani sovereignty. At the onset, the Americans were only focused on Afghanistan and confined their military activities to that warravaged country. However, when a further free hand was allowed to the Americans by Musharraf, they started conducting air raids through unmanned planes in Pakistani territories. The dictator provided the uS with airbases which were then subsequently used to conduct drone attacks in the tribal belt of the country in the name of action against militants. People from the tribal region have stood against the growing number of drone attacks as they result in a lot of civilian casualties and have led to the death of many innocent people who
had no connection with militancy or extremism. Recently, people from the tribal areas staged a protest in front of the parliament house in Islamabad condemning drone attacks. They demanded of the government that it use all the resources at its disposal to thwart drone strikes against the innocent masses of the tribal areas. The demonstrators lamented that while the attacks were unacceptable and condemnable on the part of America, the lack of an adequate response from the Pakistani government and security apparatus was equally unacceptable. The protesters said that these drone attacks would further worsen the security situation and may lead to a backlash which the government could not deal with. Not only are these drone strikes a breach of sovereignty, their efficacy in eliminating terrorists also remains dubitable. They have led to much collateral damage and no deaths of innocent people can be condoned. The protesters’ demand that there be an immediate end to these strikes must be heard seriously. – Translated from the original Pashto by Abdur Rauf Khattak
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wednesday, 29 February, 2012
False claims on lofty and outright lol-worthy assertions
By Ali Aftab Saeed
mran claims he will set everything right in no more than 90 days after coming to power. As far as a sense of humour goes, Imran can’t hold a candle to the elder Sharif (not to mention Altaf bhai and President Zardari) but this is a funny one which becomes outright hilarious if this ‘everything’ includes our economy. Since the economy is so messed up, I am afraid the end of corruption alone won’t do the job even provided the Jinn at Imran’s disposal can make the corruption disappear in the first place – not referring to Sardar Azhar Tariq Khan here. In addition to good intentions (which are, as one would expect, in copious supply) we would need some creativity if we are to get out of this mess. Imran would have shown much more realistic promise had he protested against the demolition of OBL’s compound. The money we have spent to demolish it could be much better used to renovate the site into a ticketed tourist spot. I am sure people from all over the world would love to visit it. Things like this could do wonders for the business of tour guides who are by now as sick of Jahangir’s tomb as their non-existent clients are of the same. Guiding people through the compound with intimate details such as how Osama used to watch TV could generate a lot of much needed revenue as well. It is not possible for the Taliban to stay out of the news for long. Like Veena and Maya Khan, they make sure that we never hear the last of them. A
uS drone has come down in Machikhel area of Mir Ali in North Waziristan Agency on Saturday night. Official sources say that it had developed some technical fault, hence the crash. The Taliban seem to agree to the crash part but true to their tradition they claim that the ‘technical fault’ was caused by accurate shots from their ‘heavy weapons’. Taliban spokesmen are like school children, marking proxies for their friends during the roll call. From hijacking planes to downing drones the Taliban claim responsibility for everything under the sun, which is very inspiring considering they live in caves for the most part. A drone fell last year as well and the Taliban rewarded the person who claimed responsibility with a doublecabin ‘pickup’. Our army on the other hand is in a singularly unfortunate position. They have the technology to hit the drones but for a combination of reasons can’t get their name on to the hall of fame. As for their quite real exploits in Balochistan and East Pakistan, those trophies can’t be officially claimed either. It is reported that after Pasha’s allegedly proactive role in Memogate and his related Middle Eastern sightseeing tour might result in the PM not granting him another extension as DG-ISI. PM Gilani had also famously claimed that it was he who ‘insisted’ on the first extensions of both Pasha and Kayani. I believe PM Gilani got a bit carried away when he claimed this – don’t we all, occasionally, what with the tsunami of words and emotions! However, even if Pasha doesn’t get an extension (which would be disastrous for uS-Pakistan ties according to Ambassador Munter), he will most probably be made head of the Strategic Plans Division or something like that. MacArthur had famously said, “Old soldiers never die; they
just fade away.” Our generals on the other hand never fade away. They do die, but they keep landing more and more lucrative jobs before that. Talking of lofty claims, Imran’s claim regarding the PTI becoming a truly national-level party by the next elections is also dicey as there is a pause to the tsunami of lotas from other parties these days. At any rate, not many people are joining it the way they were a few days ago. Rumour has it that Chaudhry Shujaat went up to a representative of our patrons of sovereignty, and after mentioning the services that he had rendered for them throughout his illustrious political career showed him a mobile text message that was sent to a PML(Q)’s member to join PTI. The recipient of Shujaat’s distressed appeal has ensured him that such blatantly direct efforts will not be practiced from now on. Sharmeen Obaid’s Oscar has not gone very well with a few people. For instance, a lot of my more patriotic friends claim that she won it not because it was the best documentary film of the year but because it highlighted an issue which has defamed Pakistan around the world (this appears to be the world’s favourite pastime). Since Google tells me it’s a very positive film as it shows ongoing efforts to rehabilitate acidburnt girls, I have two questions for all those who believe this. One, have you seen the film? Second and most important, even if it isn’t about rehabilitation and is about the issue of acid throwing itself, isn’t that a shockingly common practice here which needs to be eradicated? In other words, in which continent did people believe that Pakistan was Paradise-onearth, and that image of ours has been shattered after this film? The writer is a member of the band Beygairat Brigade.
The Balochistan Resolution The dark side of self-determination
or someone closely involved in promoting Kashmiri self-determination in the united Nations and other forums, one can imagine the chuckles of satisfaction in the Indian Ministry of External Affairs at the affixation of this term to a Pakistani province. Finally, it would be said, these Pakistanis are being paid back in the same coin; the latter day champions of self-determination should now prepare to experience its destructive potential. Indian satisfaction would be understandable but entirely misplaced given the fundamentally flawed premise on which the very concept of Balochi self-determination rests. Taken to its logical conclusion, the indiscriminate application of this principle could end up unravelling many modern states whose demographic composition does not conform to the strict criterion of nationhood. The postcolonial period saw the emergence of numerous states which were home to diverse cultural and ethnic groups at varying stages of integration and development. If self-determination is valid for Balochistan, it is equally relevant for the Kurds in Iraq and Turkey, the Basques in Spain, the tribes of north-eastern India, the Chechens in Russia and many more. Seen from this prism, selfdetermination can become a deadly tool in the hands of powerful vested interests to cause disintegration of lawfully constituted states as happened recently in Sudan. The concept of self-determination, operationally sanctified by President Woodrow Wilson, was essentially meant to provide a political platform for subjugated countries and reBy Shaukat umer gions to achieve freedom from their colonial masters. This powerful principle inspired the colonised peoples of Africa, Asia and the Middle East to liberate themselves from the clutches of imperial domination and acquire independent statehood. Historically, self-determination was seen and accepted as a rallying cry for freedom from colonial rule. The axiom that peoples have a right to choose their own destiny has to be read in this context. Over the years, some variants of self-determination emerged following the liberations of the forties and the fifties. Kashmir and Palestine are the obvious examples. In both cases, the differences in their specific historical antecedents notwithstanding, a distinct group of people were kept under forcible occupation against their express wishes and in defiance of international law as enunciated in the Charter of the united Nations. In the case of the Palestinians, a historically settled nation was driven from its homeland and their land occupied by use of force. In Kashmir, the people of the former princely state were denied the right of choice specifically granted to them by the united Nations Security Council.
Kashmiri and Palestinian self-determination is legally and historically valid, its non-fulfilment being a stigma on the credentials of those who pride themselves as the custodians of human rights and superior civilisation norms By equating Balochistan with Kashmir and Palestine or the erstwhile colonies, Dana Rohrabacher has tried to wilfully emasculate the universally accepted definition of self-determination. He has sought to use this inherently anti-imperial tool to legitimise the disintegration of lawfully constituted states. If left unchecked, this insidious variant of a great concept could become a vehicle for destabilisation and fragmentation to the detriment of the established concepts of statehood. How should Pakistan respond to this turn of events? Naturally, the worrisome situation in the province will have to be decisively addressed. To be credible, the proposed All Parties Conference would need to be inclusive and result-oriented. Reiteration of good intentions unaccompanied by ground action would be self defeating. Robust federal intervention would need to be carefully modulated since in a conflict situation the line separating the legitimate from the unlawful is often blurred. Press reports indicate that the Foreign Office intends to raise this issue internationally. This would be a gigantic blunder and, if anything, would help place the issue of Balochi self-determination on the global agenda. We should take a lesson from Indian mishandling of Kashmir in the multilateral arena. Had India shown the wisdom of avoiding knee jerk reaction whenever the issue was raised Kashmir might not have resonated for so long in conference halls around the world. By its overreaction, India played right into our hands. Pakistan must avoid this path of folly. The temptation to pursue a muscular approach should not override the subtler demands of statecraft. We have made our views known to the uS administration which has already distanced itself from the Congressman’s initiative. These demarches should be followed up quietly but focus must remain on the urgency of alleviating Balochi grievances. Diplomatic overkill must be resisted lest it helps transform a purely domestic matter into an international issue. Despite the spurious nature of Dana Rohrabacher’s resolution, the fact remains that it has been tabled in the legislative chamber of a mighty superpower which has crucial strategic interests in this region. The resolution adds another layer to Washington’s already considerable leverage which can be appropriately orchestrated to advance these interests. How earnestly Pakistan chooses to resolve Balochi complaints and the nature of its contribution to the Afghan reconciliation process would most likely determine the resolution’s future trajectory in the uS Congress. The writer is Pakistan’s former Ambassador to the United Nations and European Union. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
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wednesday, 29 February, 2012
Veena Malik, Bobby Darling
in liMelight MILAn: Models display creations as part of Gianfranco ferre fall-winter 2012-2013 show during the Women's fashion week. aFp
kiss and tell A NEWS DESK
T a surprise birthday party thrown for her in Mumbai, actor Veena Malik managed to surprise others as she locked lips with actor Bobby Darling. Veena was photographed at the party being kissed by Bobby, her co-star in her film,
‘Daal Mein Kucch Kaala Hai’. “Veena and I share a very good relationship. I love her. We greet each other like this every time. Why do people have a problem with our way of greeting each other?” says Bobby. Veena, too, is quite okay with the entire episode. “It was very cute. Bobby just came and kissed me. I think it was a beautiful gesture and I’m alright with it. It was just a tap on the lips, not really a French kiss. I’m ok with Bobby or my girlfriends doing it,” she says. The actor adds that she was very touched by the surprise birthday party as she was expecting to spend the evening alone. “I had just come back from Dubai and my manager insisted that I go for dinner on my birthday. When I saw all my friends there with gifts and flowers, I felt blessed,” she says. Veena’s ‘good friend’ Ashmit Patel, however, was not present at the party. “Ashmit was not around. We are not that close anymore. We don’t meet often. I have signed a film with him so maybe we will meet when we start shooting,” says Veena. Veena, who is all set to shortlist candidates for her ‘Swayamvar’, also addressed recent rumours that she charges only Rs 1 lakh to do a film, she says, “No way, I’d charge 1 lakh to give people a glimpse of me, not a film.”
angelina’s leg takes to Twitter LOS ANGELES AGenCIeS
While ‘The Artist’ bagged five Oscars at the 84th annual Academy Awards, it was Angelina Jolie’s exposed right leg that generated the most buzz on the night. The 36-year-old actor rocked the Oscars in a black velvet Atelier Versace dress, which featured an enormous slit on the right-hand side. Jolie raised eyebrows, and probably temperatures, by exposing a thigh in the gown while presenting one of the awards at the Oscars show. Within less than an hour someone had created @AngiesRightLeg which predictably featured a cropped picture of Jolie’s leg as its avatar and tweeted comments like: “I am Angelina Jolie's right leg”, “Still here. Great view, but thank God for the slit in this dress.” By Monday morning the Twitter feed had more than 15,500 followers. “Look at me!” said the leg, 45 minutes after Jolie shimmied onto the stage to present the best adapted screenplay Oscar, flirting shamelessly with the camera by holding her leg just so. “I'm over here!” “I'm a leg, get a load of me!” and “You have to admit, I'm one hell of a leg,” it added. The thigh-baring pose was immediately mimicked by ‘The Descendants’ screenwriters Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash after they accepted the screenplay award from Jolie. The Academy wrote on its Twitter account that Jolie’s appearance “got a LOT of people talking - 3399 tweets per minute about her in fact.”
Katrina’s dream role
lahoRe: Pakistan’s first 3D Map rendering, guided by global Positioning System was launched recently. PR
MILAn: A model displays a creation as part of Roberto Cavalli fall-winter 2012-2013 show during the Women's fashion week. aFp Tara Uzra Dawood and Sumeha Khalid
Qudsia with Asif Iqbal
revived MUMBAI: Katrina Kaif may soon have to take time out of her choc-abloc calendar to play hema Malini's character in the remake of gP Sippy's 1973 blockbuster ‘Seeta aur geeta’. akshay Kumar and abhay Deol who were to play the roles essayed by Dharmendra and Sanjeev Kumar in the original will have to follow suit. it was learnt that the remake that was stuck due to the Sippy family feud will soon go on floors now that the fight has been resolved. when Katrina was asked about the ‘Seeta aur geeta’ remake a few days before she left for london to shoot yash Chopra’s next, she said, “i don't know what is happening on that film.” “Bohra can definitely go ahead with that film. i have told him that we Sippys are now on the same page. also, i am meeting Bohra next week,” gP Sippy's son Suresh's nephew Sascha said. the end of the Sippy family feud also paves the way for the conversion of ‘Sholay’ into 3D. the project had been put off by the legal hassles of the Sippy family. AGenCIeS
little star for
Guests at the event
MUMBAI: Some pray. Some build temples. Some even hurl themselves on the unsuspecting celebrity. But Shahid Kapoor's fans buy a star for their star. As a birthday present for the actor who turned 31 on february 25, his fans have bought him a gift that literally glows. Mumbai Mirror has learnt that a handful of people, who admire Shahid, have bought what most heroines have been yearning for over the years. A friend of the actor said, “Shahid celebrated his birthday in Goa with a bunch of friends. When he returned to his residence, he was surprised to see this unique gift waiting for him. A bunch of fans had bought a star for him and named it Shahid. The official letter from the company and a certificate claiming that the star is now named Shahid was delivered.” Prior to this, a lunar crater in the moon's 'sea of tranquility' was christened after Shah Rukh Khan in 2010. The star now named after Shahid is located in the orion constellation. “The star was booked by his fans through the official website starfoundation.net. Shahid was overwhelmed by this gesture. He wears a bracelet that his fans had earlier given him,” added the friend. AGenCIeS
‘heroine’: Resonances of
Manisha Koirala’s life? MUMBAI: Madhur Bhandarkar’s upcoming ‘heroine’ has made a lot of headlines right since its inception. First the issue of aishwarya Rai Bachchan quitting the film left Bhandarkar in an abyss, and then the incident of the film’s dialogues getting stolen. Rumour has it that Bhandarkar’s brainchild is based on the life of Manisha Koirala. her stardom in the 90s had left many people surprised, and many more envious. the heights of fame that she’d risen to came crashing down with her alcohol abuse and turbulent relationships. her tumultuous relationships had caused a stir in the hindi film industry, and had set many tongues wagging. and now, she is back in news again. the film ‘heroine’, supposedly, sketches the ups and downs of the actress’ personal and professional life. Madhur Bhandarkar, however, has denied the speculations, saying that his film is not based on anyone in particular. ‘heroine’, which sees Kareena Kapoor in the lead role, was also thought to have been inspired by the life of Marilyn Monroe, among others. AGenCIeS
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15 Rowan Atkinson declared
launches anti-acid campaign KARACHI AfP
Pakistan's first Oscar winner launched a campaign, hoping that her documentary about survivors of acid attacks can help eliminate a crime that disfigures hundreds of women each year. ‘Saving Face’ by Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy won the short documentary category at the Academy Awards on Sunday. The film follows survivors in their fight to bring their attackers to justice and focuses on the work of British Pakistani plastic surgeon M Jawad, who helped restore their faces and
MICHIGAn: Kid Rock performs during a campaign rally for presidential candidate Mitt Romney. aFp
lives. The team behind the documentary are using their website to launch a campaign designed to raise awareness about acid attacks, which disfigure around 200 women a year in Pakistan, and to strengthen legislation against the violence. “The film must be more than an expose of horrendous crimes, it must be a recipe for addressing the problem and a hope for the future,” co-director Daniel Junge says on www.savingfacefilm.com. Obaid-Chinoy's mother, Saba, told AFP that the campaign was launched formally after her daughter won the Oscar, which had “provided her with a unique opportunity and strength to strive for her goal more effectively”. “‘Saving Face’ is uniquely positioned to advance awareness, education and prevention efforts,” the website says. The chairwoman of Acid Survivors Pakistan, which is a partner in the campaign, told AFP that the fight to eliminate the crime had only just started and that the outreach programme was designed to generate “systemic change”.
Whitney houston’s distraught mum haunted
by her ghost LOS ANGELES AGenCIeS
N a letter handed to her friends and family, Whitney Houston’s distraught mother has said that she is being haunted by the ghost of her daughter. Grieving Cissy Houston says her doorbell has been ringing mysteriously since the day Whitney died, but 78-yearold insists that she is not scared and is taking comfort from the spirit. Meanwhile close friends of the family said Cissy is in danger of becoming “obsessed”
with feelings that the songbird is still with her. They warned it is a sign the frail grandmotherof-six is suffering from “uncontrollable grief and shock” that could spiral into a mental breakdown. Cissy could not bring herself to speak at her daughter’s funeral held eight days ago. Instead, she handed mourners a letter, which told how she believes the singer’s spirit called at her door the day her body was found. Cissy also revealed in the heart-rending message how God tried to warn her that her daughter was going to die. Houston, 48, was found dead in her bath at the Beverly Hilton hotel in LA on the eve of the Grammys after a suspected drugs and booze binge. Cissy added in her note that she felt spirits were trying to tell her how the singer was suffering in the months before her death. A pal of Cissy said, “She feels Whitney is with her since this doorbell-ringing episode. She constantly talks to her as if she is still a real presence with real power.”
Oscars to go under hammer despite protest LOS ANGELES AfP
first navigation system launched with Android app LAHORE PR
Pakistan’s first 3D map rendering, guided by Global Positioning System was launched recently in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad which features the latest and most detailed maps of Pakistan with a vast coverage of more than 100 cities and highways all over the country. The glittering event was organised by Xaviyeh while its PR was handled by IDEAS Events PR. With the launch of Trakker NAV, a new era for road navigation technology has started in the country as it is available for in-car devices, Portable Navigation Devices and downloadable application for iPhones and Android based phone services. Trakker Nav is available for iPhone and iPad at App Store and for Android devices at Android Market by the name of ‘Sygic-Pakistan’ and has been one of the top selling apps in Pakistan.
MUMBAI: With his most ambitious project slated for release soon and news of his impending wedding with ladylove Kareena Kapoor doing the rounds, the newly anointed nawab of Pataudi, Saif Ali Khan couldn’t have expected a nightmarish episode to come his way. The actor had earlier rebuffed rumours about his midnight brawl with a businessman as a publicity stunt and now maintains the same stance. Saif said recently that he is trying to sort out the issue with Iqbal Sharma and his family. However, he admitted that roughing up an elderly person in a fit of rage is something he couldn’t have ever dreamt of. “We are in talks and I hope to sort it out among ourselves more constructively,” said Saif. on being asked if the whole episode was blown out of proportion considering his celebrity status, Saif said, “I don’t want to sound like a victim.” The nawab also admits that the brawl could have been avoided. “But celebrity or not, I do feel that it should have been handled differently. All I know is that, just the idea of hitting a senior person is something I wouldn’t dream of in a million years. It’s not a publicity stunt. neither me nor my film need such uncalled for attention.” Well, as long as you realise turning violent was wrong, we have little to complain. And as they say all’s well that ends well…hope this unpleasant happening, too, settles amicably. AGenCIeS
A uS auction house is selling a collection of Oscar statuettes valued at over $1 million two days after the Academy Awards, despite an official protest, organisers said. The collection of 15 of the gold-plated prizes includes one for the Best Screenplay Academy Award for iconic movie ‘Citizen Kane,’ given to Herman Mankiewicz in 1941. The 1933 Best Picture Oscar for ‘Cavalcade,’ a 1939 cinematography Oscar for ‘Wuthering Heights’ and Charles Coburn's 1943 best supporting actor Oscar for ‘The More the Merrier’ will also go under the hammer. “This is the most significant collection of Oscars to ever be auctioned. It contains Academy Awards from epic films such as ‘Citizen Kane’ and ‘The Best Years of Our Lives’,” said Los Angeles auction house owner Nate Sanders. “Furthermore, 'Cavalcade' is the earliest Best Picture Oscar to ever be offered in an auction,” he added. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which organises the Oscars, condemned the sale. “The Academy, its members and the many film artists and craftspeople who've won
Hitting a senior person is something I wouldn’t dream of:
Saif Ali Khan
Academy Awards believe strongly that Oscars should be won, not purchased,” said an Academy statement. “unfortunately, because our winners’ agreement wasn't instituted until 1950, we don't have any legal means of stopping the commoditisation of these particular statuettes,” it added.
MUMBAI: Dating girls and Salman Khan are believed to be synonymous with each other. the actor has been associated with a long list of beauties in the past, and very recently has fuelled rumours of getting back with his ex-flame Katrina Kaif. however, the actor feels that his dating days have come to an end now. in an in-depth talk with the media during the launch of a new show, Sallu stunned his audience by saying that he somehow no longer remembers the art of dating girls now. at the age of 46, even though the general observation might seem contradictory, Salman has said that he is no longer adept at dating women. the actor said to a leading daily that he was once very lucky at dating girls, but that is a thing of the past. Salman’s ‘most eligible bachelor of Bollywood’ tag is something that the actor is not too ready to shed by entering into holy matrimony, it seems. what with three epic break-ups in his past, that with actresses Somy ali, aishwarya Rai and Katrina Kaif, looks like Salman is tired of dating girls now. while ex Katrina has decided to go ahead with an arranged marriage later in life, Salman too seems to be in the same court. love or no love, you will still rule the roost when it comes to dating girls, Salman. and we sincerely wish that you retain that status, forever and beyond. AGenCIeS
dead on Twitter LONDON AGenCIeS
An Internet hoax about the death of British actor Rowan Atkinson has became the top trending topic worldwide on Twitter. The 57-year-old comedian is the latest celebrity to be the victim of a hoax about their death. Rumours about the apparent demise of the ‘Mr Bean’ star spread around the globe within hours of a “joke” tweet from a so called “internet troll” on the social networking site. The hoax even briefly fooled Internet encyclopaedia Wikipedia, which displayed Atkinson’s date of death as 26 February 2012 on his entry page. Tens of thousands of people latched onto the #RIP Rowan Atkinson hash-tag to express their condolences. The top world wide trending subject was apparently sparked by a single post from a twitter user based in the Philippines, Michael Robert Meras. Just two hours later, Meras posted another comment saying it was a “joke.” The Johnny English star is not the first global star to be the subject of a death hoax. Owen Wilson, Charlie Sheen, Adam Sandler and Eddie Murphy are among a growing list of stars to have been killed off in cyberspace. They were all said to have been tragically killed in snowboarding accidents, according to rumours, which have circulated around the Internet in recent years. Morgan Freeman and former popstar Aaron Carter have also been the subject of online death rumours.
nida Azwer announces Spring Summer Pretwear Collection NEWS DESK Nida Azwer exhibited her Spring Summer Pretwear Collection 2012 at an exhibition at her design studio in Karachi. It was a preview to this season’s trends by the design house which includes A-line shirts, angrakhas, kurtas, peshwas and straight kurtas. This collection also includes signature and limited edition Nida Azwer pieces based in fine quality Indian fabric handpicked by the designer. Speaking about the collection Nida said: “My collection is in resonance with the upcoming season and this is reflected through fresh and vibrant colours ranging from yellow, pink, blue, green, orange and white. The collection is perfect for evening affairs, lunch with family and friends and for casual day wear.”
the end of Salman’s love life!
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16 Foreign News
wednesday, 29 February, 2012
Deadly school shooting shocks small Ohio town CHARDON
HOCKED residents of this small Ohio town on Tuesday wondered how a local teenager could have opened fire in a high school cafeteria, killing a fellow student in America’s latest campus shooting. As the media spotlight shone on the small town of Chardon, near Cleveland, the questions raised by previous tragedies loomed once more — about the gunman’s demons, the missed warning signs and the country’s lax gun laws. The shooter wounded four other students, leaving two hospitalized in critical condition, before fleeing the scene and turning himself into police as panicked parents raced to the school to see if their children were safe. Fellow students described the gunman as an “outcast” who had suffered bullying and said he had posted warnings on Twit-
ter and left disturbing messages on Facebook. Children were preparing for class at Chardon High when the teenager opened fire with a handgun shortly after 7:30 am (1230 GMT), apparently targeting one group in particular. Panicked students, taken by surprise as they were eating breakfast and waiting for first period to start, screamed and sprinted out of the cafeteria, fearing for their lives. Nate Mueller, a junior at the school, described the first few seconds of mayhem, as he saw one of his friends bend over a table bleeding and another fall to the ground in a pool of blood before a shot grazed his own ear. “It was terror. Everything had just gone tunnel vision, like, I need to get out of here,” Mueller told ABC News. “You see glances of your friends lying all over the place. There’s blood, there’s people screaming, everybody’s just running in different directions and you’re just trying to get out.” A teacher eventually chased the shooter
from the school, as the town of 5,000 residents was placed on lockdown and the victims were rushed to hospital, some by helicopter. The suspect was apprehended by police a short while later after turning himself in to bystanders, but it soon emerged that one victim, 16-year-old Daniel Parmertor, had died in hospital. Mueller told CNN he had been friends with Parmertor, describing him as the “nicest most polite kid on earth.” Mueller said he knew the shooter as well, but was at a loss for a possible motive. The gunman’s face was “expressionless,” he told CNN. “I can’t even explain it. It looked like he was on a mission.” Chardon police Chief Tim McKenna confirmed that police had arrested a “juvenile” suspect, but said no name would be released because he has not yet been charged. The FBI was helping the sheriff’s department search the suspect’s home. Earlier, masked SWAT teams had ringed
Chardon High, conducting security sweeps so that the building could be evacuated and the pupils transported to a nearby elementary school to be released to parents. “We are shocked by this senseless tragedy,” said a statement from the Parmertor family. “Danny was a bright young boy who had a bright future ahead of him. The family is torn by this loss.” Word of the shooting sent fearful parents rushing to the school, where they went through a protracted process of being reunited with their children. “We feel so disheartened — it’s going to take me a moment to get back together here. We certainly hope those families know that they’re in our thoughts and our prayers,” said Chardon schools superintendent Joe Bergant. Chardon resident Karen Porter said the close-knit community was shocked over the shooting. “This is hometown uSA in the best sense of the word. It’s not what you’d expect at all. “This is so sad on so
many levels,” she told AFP. “I feel sorry for the kids that were injured, that’s such a tragedy. The kids that witnessed the shooting will be forever changed.” A candlelight vigil service was scheduled for Tuesday night at a local church and grief counselors were on call to help the small-town Ohio community deal with the traumatic event. Announcing that classes on Tuesday would be canceled, Bergant added: “I hope every parent, if you haven’t hugged or kissed your kid in the past few days, takes that time.” The last major school shooting incident in Ohio was in Cleveland in 2007 when a 14-year-old student killed himself after wounding two teachers and two fellow students. The deadliest school shooting in the united States was the 2007 massacre at Virginia Tech university that left 33 people dead. The worst high school shooting was in 1999 at Columbine High School in Colorado, where two students killed 12 fellow students and a teacher.
London Occupy camp cleared from outside St Paul’s LONDON AfP
LonDon: A woman prays as riot police remove protesters from the occupy encampment on the steps of St Paul’s Cathedral on Tuesday. REUTERS
UK photographer escapes to Lebanon as Homs pounded DAMASCuS
UN rights chief Navi Pillay urges ‘humanitarian ceasefire’ in Syria
Wounded British photographer Paul Conroy has been smuggled into Lebanon from the Syrian rebel city of Homs, which on Tuesday was shelled by regime forces for a 25th day, his father and activists said. News of Conroy’s dramatic escape came as uN rights chief Navi Pillay called in Geneva for an immediate ceasefire to allow the delivery of humanitarian aid to violence-torn regions of Syria. “We’ve just had word from Beirut,” Conroy’s father Les told British media. The freelance photographer was working for Britain’s Sunday Times newspaper when a makeshift media centre in Homs was shelled on February 22 by Syrian forces, killing veteran uS reporter Marie Colvin and French photographer Remi Ochlik and wounding Conroy and French reporter Edith Bouvier. France said it could not confirm reports that Bouvier had been evacuated from Syria but that it remained mobilised to do everything possible to secure her rescue. “We do not at this stage have elements that permit us to confirm what some media have reported concerning
Edith Bouvier,” French foreign ministry spokesman Bernard Valero said. “We are more mobilised than ever to do everything possible to allow for the evacuation of the wounded, of all foreign journalists and our wounded compatriot, from Homs,” he added. Conroy, 47, issued a video appeal for help last week, saying he was injured and being looked after by rebels of the Free Syrian Army. A Lebanese activist said Conroy had been smuggled during the night from Homs to Lebanon through an illegal crossing. “Conroy and people accompanying him entered the Wadi Khaled region through the Hnay-
GeneVa: uN rights chief Navi Pillay on Tuesday called for an immediate ceasefire to allow the delivery of humanitarian aid to crisis-hit Syria during a special meeting of government ministers in Geneva. “There must be an immediate humanitarian ceasefire to end the fighting and bombardments,” the united Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights said at the opening of an urgently-arranged debate on Syria at a Human Rights Council meeting. Pillay said since mid-February she had received reports of a rapidly deteriorating humanitarian situation and serious rights abuses, including a massive campaign of arrests by military and security forces. Residents of cities such as Homs and Hama have been
subjected to blockades preventing food, water and medical supply access. “The Syrian army has reportedly used tanks, mortars, rockets and artillery to cordon off cities, and shelled densely populated neighbourhoods in what appears to be an indiscriminate attack on civilian areas,” said Pillay. “The crisis has exacerbated pre-existing high levels of poverty and unemployment. The humanitarian situation is dire.” Pillay said Syrian government figures provided to her office on February 15 put the number of civilians, soldiers and police officers killed between March 15, 2011 and January 18 this year at 3,838. “According to information available to my office, the actual numbers may far exceed these figures,” said Pillay. AFP
der border village after midnight on motorbikes,” said the activist in northern Lebanon who helps smuggle wounded people out of
Syria. The northern region of Wadi Khaled borders Syria and is close to the province of Homs, of which Homs city is the capital.
Police tore down the anti-capitalist camp outside St Paul’s Cathedral in London early Tuesday, arresting 20 people as they brought a swift end to the last major Occupy protest around the world. Dozens of police officers and bailiffs moved in shortly after midnight Monday and within hours the encampment, which sprung up in October in support of similar actions in the united States and Spain, was cleared. But the protesters vowed to continue, saying: “This is only the beginning.” Fifty to 60 activists were present when the authorities arrived to enforce a High Court-ordered eviction, and a lone piper heralded the camp’s demise. The City of London Corporation had urged activists to dismantle their tents peacefully but some people hastily erected barriers of wooden pallets and let off smoke bombs in an attempt to stall the clearance operation. A handful of protesters were reported to have handcuffed themselves to a makeshift wooden structure on the edge of the camp, but the rest of the site was reduced to a pile of old mattresses and tents within two hours. Stuart Fraser, a spokesman for the Corporation, the local authority, said in a statement: “It is regrettable that it had to come to the need for removal but the High Court judgment speaks for itself. “The site has now been cleared and the area is undergoing a deep clean. “Some areas of the site may be cordoned off during this cleaning but we will complete the work as quickly as possible, in order to return the site to its regular use.” City of London Police said the operation had been “largely peaceful”, adding: “A small minority of protestors obstructed the work of bailiffs. Police made 20 arrests as of 4.30 am (0430 GMT).” The Occupy the London Stock Exchange protest began outside St Paul’s Cathedral, in the heart of the capital’s financial district, on October 15 as part of a global movement against the excesses of capitalism. But there had been an air of resignation within the camp since the Court of Appeal on Wednesday dismissed the protesters’ application for permission to challenge last month’s High Court ruling that they must disband. The London clearance followed the forcible eviction of protesters from Zuccotti Park in New York two months ago, and a dawn raid against a camp at McPherson Square in Washington, DC, in early February. Occupy London vowed the action would not stop their movement. “This morning, the City of London Corporation and St Paul’s Cathedral have dismantled a camp and displaced a small community, but they will not derail a movement,” the group said in a statement. They paid tribute to “a makeshift, loosely cooperative, occasionally quarrelling and fiercely idealistic group of people who came together to achieve something extraordinary”, and warned of more action to come in May. The City of London Corporation vowed to find appropriate accommodation for any vulnerable people camped at the site, which had attracted people with addiction and mental health problems over the past few months.
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Iran says seeks engagement on its nuclear policy GENEVA ReUTeRS
Iran said on Tuesday there were two ways of dealing with its “peaceful nuclear programme,” either engagement or confrontation, but that it preferred cooperation. In a speech to the u.N.sponsored Conference on Disarmament, Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi accused the West of double standards for supporting Israel, the only Middle East state that is outside the nuclear NonProliferation Treaty (NPT). “We have clearly stated time and time again there are two alternatives in dealing with the Iranian peaceful nuclear programme. One way is engagement, cooperation and interaction. The other is confrontation and conflict,” Salehi said. “...Iran is confident of the peaceful nature of its programme and has always insisted on the first alternative. When it comes to our relevant rights and obligations, our consistent position is thatIran does not seek confrontation, nor does it want anything beyond its inalienable, legitimate rights.”
China chemical plant blast kills 13
HYDeRABAD: Indian police detain members of left-wing parties who blocked traffic during protests in support of a one-day general strike called by the trade unions on Tueday. AFP
Afghan bombs kill 14 Seven Taliban get killed in Nawzad district of Helmand while trying to cut a pipe bomb and fitting it into a vehicle
An explosion ripped through a north China chemical factory Tuesday, killing at least 13 people and injuring 43, the government said of the latest industrial accident to strike the nation. The impact of the blast, which occurred near Shijiazhuang city, capital of Hebei province, was felt in at least three nearby villages, the official Xinhua news agency said. Photographs posted on the Internet purportedly of the blast site showed a large crater surrounded by debris. The walls of several work shops that surrounded the site had been destroyed. The cause of the blast is still under investigation and rescue efforts are ongoing, the State Administration of Work Safety said on its website. The casualty toll came from a preliminary report, the administration said, indicating it could rise. Safety standards are regularly flouted in China, and workplace accidents remain common despite repeated pledges by the government to improve regulations and oversight. Nearly 50,000 people died in workrelated accidents in the first nine months of 2011, the administration said earlier.
WO separate blasts in southern Afghanistan killed 14 people, including a group of insurgents who were trying to rig an improvised bomb against Afghan and foreign forces, officials said Tuesday. In the volatile Nawzad district of Helmand province a group of seven Taliban militants died while trying to cut a pipe bomb and fit it into a vehicle on Monday, provincial spokesman Daud Ahmadi told AFP. "The explosive-packed pipe detonated killing a Taliban commander along with six of his fighters," he said. Roadside bombs are the most commonly used weapons by the Taliban, who are leading a 10-year insurgency and are responsible for the bulk of deaths among the uS-led coalition and Afghan security forces. On the same day, seven people, including six women, were killed in an explosion in Nawa district of the same province inside a house used by a local Taliban commander Mullah Manan, a senior security official said. "We have intelligence that the Taliban commander was making bombs inside the house," Mo-
hammad Ismail Hotak told AFP. Helmand has experienced increasing militancy over the past couple of years despite Afghan and NATO-led operations. The number of civilian casualties, many of them killed by roadside bombs, hit a record of 3,021 last year, according to a uN annual report. On Monday, a Taliban suicide car bomber targeted NATO troops at an airport in eastern Afghanistan killing nine people, on a seventh day of violence over the burning of the holy Quran at a uS airbase. The insurgents also said they were behind an attempt to poison foreign troops, as the death toll from unrest and protests that spread to even usually peaceful parts of the war-ravaged country hit about 40. Six civilians, an Afghan soldier and two local guards were killed in the bomb attack on the military base at Jalalabad airport, but NATO troops escaped unhurt. The Taliban said it was revenge for the holy Quran burning. "The foreign forces have insulted our religion and this attack was revenge," Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told AFP. The hardliners also claimed that an "Afghan cook" working on their behalf poisoned the food of NATO troops at another base in the same province of
Nangarhar. NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) launched an investigation after "traces of bleach" were found in fruit and coffee, a spokesman said. "There were no injuries, no fatality. The investigation is ongoing," said Master Sergeant Nicholas Conner. On Sunday, seven uS soldiers were wounded in a grenade attack during an anti-uS demonstration at their base in northern Kunduz province, police said. On Saturday, two uS advisers were shot dead in the Interior Ministry in Kabul, just days after two uS troops died as an Afghan soldier turned his weapon on them as thousands of demonstrators approached their base in the east. The uS embassy has been in lockdown since the violence erupted and has warned of a "heightened potential threat to American citizens in Afghanistan". uS Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Sunday that the deadly protests over the burning of Holy Quran by uS soldiers "must stop". "We deeply regret the incident that has led to this protest, but we also believe that violence must stop and the hard work for building a more peaceful and secure Afghanistan must continue," she told a news conference.
Japan feared Fukushima could ‘finish’ tokyo: panel TOKYO AfP
A worst-case scenario sketched out by the Japanese government foresaw the end of Tokyo in a chain of nuclear explosions as the Fukushima crisis erupted, an independent panel said Tuesday. Chief cabinet secretary Yukio Edano told investigators: “I had this demonic scenario in my head” that nuclear reactors could break down one after another.”If that happens Tokyo will be finished”. Plans were drawn up for the mass evacuation of the capital as Edano — the government’s point man on the nuclear crisis — fretted that reactors along the coast could go into meltdown and engulf the city of 13 million people. The revelation came in an independent report published Tuesday by a panel of experts who were given free rein to probe the events surrounding the world’s worst nuclear crisis in a generation. The panel said as the situation on Japan’s tsunami-wrecked coast worsened Fukushima operator Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO) had wanted to abandon the plant, evacuating its workers. But the utility, which refused to co-operate with the study, had been ordered to keep men on site by then Prime Minister Naoto Kan. Experts concluded that if the premier had not stuck to his guns, Fukushima would have spiralled further out of control, with catastrophic consequences.
Sceptics question Putin ‘pre-election’ plot timing MOSCOW AfP
Scepticism grew Tuesday over the announcement of a plot to assassinate Vladimir Putin which commentators said appeared to have been revealed to help the Russian leader’s presidential election campaign. Russia’s state-controlled Channel One had on Monday reported the arrest in the ukrainian Black Sea city of Odessa of two alleged militants with links to Chechnya who it said were planning to assassinate Putin in Moscow. The sensational report was later confirmed both by ukraine’s Security Service (SBu) and the official spokesman of Putin, who also described as
“blasphemous” any suggestion it was a preelection stunt. “For now, we do not know for sure if this plot was for real or not. But we know one thing. That Channel One told us about this six days before the elections. Such a well-timed plot,” said the political commentator of Kommersant FM radio Oleg Kashin. “Is it possible that such a sensation can appear on a Kremlin-controlled channel a week before the elections without the approval of Putin’s PR people?” he asked. Yulia Latynina of the opposition Novaya Gazeta wrote sarcastically: “A Putin election campaign would not be complete if less than a week before the polls a plot was not uncovered against the adored and beloved leader.” According to security sources quoted in the Russian press, an ac-
cidental explosion in Odessa that first gave the suspects away took place on January 4, killing one alleged plotter and leading to the arrest of a wounded suspect. The second surviving plotter went on the run but was arrested on February 4, leaving many to question why the announcement was held back almost a month until just ahead of the March 4 elections Putin is expected to win. The political editor of radio Moscow Echo, Anton Orekhov, said there was no doubt that Islamist militants from the Caucasus were “capable of carrying out whatever act of terror and for them the bloodier the better”. “But how welltimed this has all been,” he said, noting it allowed the authorities to play on an
‘No fear’ moscoW: Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said Tuesday he was unafraid for his life and had grown used to plots to kill him. “You cannot live with constant fear — let them fear us. I have been living with this since 1999,” when Putin first became prime minister before heading the Kremlin in 2000-2008, Russian news agencies quoted him as saying. AfP idea of “the fatherland is in danger from all sides and our leader is under threat of physical annihilation”.
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Djokovic tastes victory and defeat Page 21
england drop Morgan from Sri lanka squad
Team failed to deliver, says Misbah ABu DHABI
England dropped Eoin Morgan from their Test squad for the tour of Sri Lanka following the former Ireland batsman's dismal series against Pakistan in the united Arab Emirates (uAE). Middlesex left-hander Morgan averaged just 13.66 against Pakistan as England were whitewashed 3-0 in their first series since climbing to the top of the world Test rankings. His omission has given a chance to spin bowling all-rounder Samit Patel, uncapped at Test level, who will compete alongside Ravi Bopara, a batsman and seam bowler, for a place in England's middle order. But England coach Andy Flower insisted Morgan could recover from this setback. "He has been severely tested out there (uAE) by the Pakistan spinners as have all our batsmen. "I still think he has a very exciting future in Test cricket, he's only 25 years old and he's a very talented player, a very confident player and a very dangerous player," the former Zimbabwe batsman added. Seam bowler and hard-hitting batsman Tim Bresnan returned to the squad after missing the Pakistan series with an elbow injury and Graham Onions, brought in as cover for the Yorkshireman, dropped out of the 16-man party, that will again be captained by Andrew Strauss. And with pitches in Sri Lanka, as was the case in the uAE, expected to take turn, Kent off-spinner James Tredwell -- who played one Tests in 2010 -- was called up to give England four specialist slow bowlers with Graeme Swann and left-armer Monty Panesar, who impressed against Pakistan, retained. While the main squad will depart for Sri Lanka on March 10, seven members of the squad will travel there ahead of their of colleagues to begin preparations for the Test series. England batting coach Graham Gooch will lead the training camp involving Strauss, batsman Ian Bell, wicketkeeper Matt Prior, reserve gloveman Steven Davies, Panesar, Patel and Tredwell Geoff Miller, England's national selector, said: "We have selected a squad that we feel will be able to make best use of the conditions we are likely to encounter in Sri Lanka. "There is no doubt that this Test series will be a challenging one but it is exciting that players have an opportunity to demonstrate that they have learnt from the disappointment of the Pakistan Test series and can make further strides in developing the skills needed to succeed on the subcontinent." england test squad Andrew Strauss (capt), James Anderson, Ian Bell, Ravi Bopara, Tim Bresnan Stuart Broad, Alastair Cook, Steven Davies (wkt), Steven Finn, Monty Panesar, Samit Patel, Kevin Pietersen, Matt Prior (wkt), Graeme Swann, James Tredwell, Jonathan Trott Fixtures March 15-17 v Sri Lanka Board XI, Colombo March 20-22 v Sri Lanka Cricket Development XI, Colombo March 26-30 v SRI LANKA 1ST TEST, Galle April 03-07 v SRI LANKA 2ND TEST, Colombo
AKISTAN'S Misbah-ul Haq on Tuesday cautioned against a drastic overhaul in personnel after oneday and Twenty20 losses against England, warning that change for change's sake could be damaging in the long-run. Misbah failed to guide Pakistan to victory from a winning position in the third and final T20 here on Monday, as England fought their way to a sensational five-run win to take the three-match series 2-1. That followed England's 4-0 drubbing of Pakistan in the one-day series, leaving question marks on Misbah's handling of the team and disgruntled fans chanting slogans against him. Former Pakistan cricketing greats have also called for separate captains for Tests and limited overs. Misbah, who previously guided Pakistan to a 3-0 Test series win against England, said he understood fans' frustrations but the limited overs defeats needed to be assessed dispassionately by the Pakistan Cricket Board and the selection committee. "I think we need to take this decision only after assessing our resources and if you have those resources then do that," he said. "But if you don't have quality cricketers then it will harm. If you change for the sake of change it will not help." Chasing a modest 130, Pakistan were cruising and needed 23 off the last three overs, 17 off the last two and 13 off the last but first umar Akmal (22) and then Misbah (28) got out, leaving Pakistan agonisingly short. Misbah said Pakistan should not overreact to the defeat. "All those who watch are sentimental and they talk like this. You analyse by sitting down and if you have a replacement for a player then you replace him. Drastic changes will not help," he added. Pakistan are likely to bring in former Australian batsman Dav Whatmore to replace Mohsin Khan as coach. Their next assignment will be the Asia Cup in Dhaka next month, where they face one-day world champions India, as well as Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. Misbah said he was
disappointed by the series defeats but all the players were responsible. "I think we did try our best but England came back strongly in the last three overs. Credit must be given to them. I think we are responsible... "We should have finished the match but we had no answer to their good bowling. Stuart Broad gave just four runs in the penultimate over while Jade Dernbach successfully defended 13 in the last.
England to learn from Test errors, says Stuart Broad ABu DHABI AGenCIeS
England's last-gasp Twenty20 win over Pakistan sent them home with smiles on their faces - but was no true consolation for their Test disappointments in the united Arab Emirates. Stuart Broad's team prevailed, against the odds for much of the deciding match of three, by five runs on the back of Kevin Pietersen's unbeaten 62 and fine bowling from the captain himself and Jade Dernbach. Nonetheless, after a 3-0 Test whitewash for the world number ones, Broad admitted the main prize had gone astray. "The one-dayers and Twenty20s don't make up for the Test matches, because that was a hugely disappointing series for us," he said, having featured throughout in all three formats. "It's been a learning experience here, and you learn from your mistakes." Pakistan seemed sure to win with time and wickets to spare, in pursuit of 129 for six at the Zayed Stadium. But on a pitch which had played to the strengths principally of Pakistan's spinners - Saeed Ajmal was again the scourge of England with four for 23 seamers Broad and Dernbach did most to close out victory in the final three overs. Broad is optimistic, however, that England have learned from their tribulations against the spin of Ajmal and others in these conditions and will therefore be better equipped for two Tests in Sri Lanka which start next month. "We came over here wanting to prove ourselves in Asia - and we didn't do that," he said. "But we do have an opportunity when we go to Sri Lanka to do that. "We'll have to learn quickly, going to Sri Lanka - and that will be our
biggest test now. If we go there and score runs, it shows we've got some character in the batting line-up." Broad is enthused already by the resilience England displayed in the desert, to win both series after the Tests.
"To be the best team in the world, you have to show character - and a lot of the guys who've stayed on really did that," he said. "To win the ODI series 4-0, and the Twenty20 series, is fantastic. We leave on a high; confidence is high."
Pattinson returns for australia in oDis SYDNEY AfP
Fit-again paceman James Pattinson was Tuesday included in Australia's 13-man squad for the remainder of the tri one-day series against Sri Lanka and India. Pattinson, 21, who took 21 wickets in his first four Tests and was man-of-the-match twice, developed a stress injury in his left foot early last month and was sidelined until recently. Pattinson replaced Ryan Harris in the only change to the Australia squad. "James Pattinson is fit again and after impressive recent form in a Futures League match in Adelaide comes into the squad at expense of Ryan Harris," chief selector John Inverarity said. "Ryan remains strongly in contention for selection for the Test matches on the tour of the West Indies (in March-April)." Inverarity said skipper Michael Clarke, who missed Sunday's win over India, was making a good recovery from a back complaint and was likely to play in Friday's ODI against Sri Lanka in Melbourne. Australia have already qualified for the best-of-three match finals series, which begin in Brisbane on Sunday. Australia - Michael Clarke (capt), Shane Watson (vice-capt), Dan Christian, Xavier Doherty, Peter Forrest, Ben Hilfenhaus, David Hussey, Michael Hussey, Brett Lee, Clint McKay, James Pattinson, Matthew Wade, David Warner.
england dominate iCC t20 Rankings LAHORE STAff RePoRT
Current ICC World Twenty20 champion England has continued its domination of the Reliance ICC Twenty20 International (T20I) Rankings after winning its series against Pakistan by 2-1 in Abu Dhabi on Monday. While England successfully retained its number-one position, which it could have lost had Pakistan won all the three games, Kevin Pietersen has replaced team-mate Eoin Morgan as the numberone batsman and Graeme Swann has taken over the coveted number-one bowling spot from Ajantha Mendis of Sri Lanka. England, after dropping one ratings point, leads its closest rival South Africa by 10 ratings points. ICC World Twenty 2009 winner Pakistan, which could have jumped to second position had it won all the matches of the series, now stays in seventh position, 22 ratings points behind England. Pietersen, who was the player of the tournament in the West Indies two years ago, has moved up one place to the number-one spot after scores of 33, 17 and 62 not out. For contributing 112 runs in the series, Pietersen has earned 31 ratings points. Martin Guptill of New Zealand is the other batsman to jump in the latest rankings. The opener has vaulted 14 places to second position after scoring 151 runs in the recently concluded series against South Africa. Richard Levi of South Africa, who clubbed the fastest T20I century by belting five fours and 13 sixes (the most sixes in a T20I to date) in a 51-ball 117, has entered in 22nd position. Rankings rank team ratings 1. England 129 2. South Africa 119 3. Sri Lanka 117 4. New Zealand 114 5. Australia 110 6. India 108 7. Pakistan 107 8. West Indies 89 9. Ireland 81 10. Afghanistan 75 11. Zimbabwe 51
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Kohli hero as India stay alive in tri-series HOBART AfP
IRAT Kohli blasted an unbeaten 133 off just 86 balls as India's stunning seven-wicket bonus point victory over Sri Lanka kept them alive in the tri one-day series in Hobart on Tuesday. The 23-year-old right-hander produced his highest ODI score to supercharge the World Cup champions to a remarkable 321 for three off just 36.4 overs and secure the extra point with 20 balls to spare. The bonus point enabled India to draw level with Sri Lanka on 15 points. The World Cup runners-up now need to beat Australia in Friday's last round-robin game in Melbourne to reach the best-of-three match finals. Australia are already in the finals, which get under way in Brisbane on Sunday. Kohli was the stand-out man-of-thematch with 16 fours and two sixes in an ODI featuring three century-makers and a combined total of 641 runs off 86.4 overs. "That was the best one-day innings I've played in my career because we needed to pull off a win with a bonus point and we were able to do that so I am really happy with the performance," Kohli said. "I have been believing in myself every day and thinking I belong here and that I can score runs at international level. That's the biggest thing that has kept motivating me on this tour." Kohli said India would take the same nothing-to-lose attitude into the finals should they make it. "We're going to think each game is the last for us," he said. "We're going to think of every game as a do-or-die for us if we reach the finals. India came into the Hobart match on the back of three defeats and a tie and their problems were magnified when in-form Sri Lanka appeared to set a daunting target of eight runs an over for them to claim the vital bonus point.
Tillakaratne Dilshan equalled his best one-day score of 160 and Kumar Sangakkara smashed a ton to push Sri Lanka's total to 320 for four off 50 overs. Dilshan took just 165 balls to reach his total, battering 11 fours and three sixes, and shared a 200-run second wicket stand with Sangakkara to leave India with it all to do. Sangakkara's 105 came off 87 balls -with eight fours and two sixes -- at the small Bellerive Oval. He flayed the Indian attack and has now scored 10,152 runs in the limited overs game at 37.88. India skipper M.S. Dhoni praised his team's mighty effort to overhaul Sri Lanka's total. "This was some of the best ODI cricket I have been a part of. When you need 321 off 40, you need a good start," Dhoni said. "We knew we had the firepower, but still 320 was more than we could digest. But once we got that start, we knew we could kick on." Openers Virender Sehwag (30 off 16 balls) and Sachin Tendulkar (39 off 30 balls) gave India a flying start and Gautam Gambhir chipped in with 63 off 64 balls. It was Gambhir and Kohli's third-wicket stand of 115 runs that accelerated India's run-rate and they were well in the hunt when Gambhir was run out with the score at 201 for three. Raina (40 not out) carried on the big hitting with Kohli and the pair added a further 120 runs off just 55 balls for India to cruise to an unexpected comfortable victory. In a brutal 35th over, Kohli smashed Lasith Malinga for two, six, four, four, four and four to plunder 24 runs and leave India just 18 runs away from a sizzling bonus-point victory. "They had the licence to go for it today, there was nothing left for them to do but to go for it which they did," Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene said.
SCoReBoARD SRI LAnKA: M. Jayawardene c Sehwag b Jadeja 22 T. Dilshan not out 160 K. Sangakkara b Kumar 105 T. Perera run out (Tendulkar) 3 14 A. Mathews c Ashwin b Khan 2 D. Chandimal not out 14 eXTRAS (lb3, w11) 320 ToTAL (for 4 wickets; 50 overs) fall of wickets: 1-49 (Jayawardene), 2-249 (Sangakkara), 3-279 (Perera), 4-309 (Mathews) BoWLInG: zaheer Khan 9-0-61-1 (2w), Kumar 9-0-64-1 (4w/9), Yadav 8-0-56-0, Jadeja 9-0-43-1, Ashwin 10-0-52-0, Sehwag 3-0-24-0, Raina 2-0-17-0 Did not bat: L. Thirimanne, f. Maharoof, n. Kulasekara, L. Malinga, R. Herath InDIA: 30 V. Sehwag c Dilshan b Maharoof 39 S. Tendulkar lbw b Malinga 63 G. Gambhir run out (Chandimal) V. Kohli not out 133 S. Raina not out 40 eXTRAS (b4, lb6, w6) 16 321 ToTAL (3 wickets for; 36.4 overs) fall of wickets: 1-54 (Sehwag), 2-86 (Tendulkar), 3-201 (Gambhir) BoWLInG: Malinga 7.4-0-96-1 (2w), Kulasekara 8-0-71-0 (1w), Maharoof 3-0-21-1, Perera 7-0-59-0 (1w), Mathews 7-0-44-0, Herath 4-0-20-0 (1w) Did not bat: M.S. Dhoni, R. Jadeja, R. Ashwin, P. Kumar, z. Khan, U. Yadav India won by 7 wickets Man-of-the-match: Virat Kohli (InD) Toss: India Umpires: Asad Rauf (PAK) and Simon Taufel (AUS) TV umpire: Simon fry (AUS) Match referee: Chris Broad (enG) STAnDInG (games, wins, losses, tied, points): Australia 7, 4, 3, 0, 19 Sri Lanka 7, 3, 3, 1, 15 India 8, 3, 4, 1, 15.
"The wicket played pretty well, we didn't pick up wickets up front and they batted exceptionally well. "It's tough to try to stop somebody (Kohli) going like that, everything he hit was pretty solid today." Jayawardene said Sri Lanka would bounce back against Australia, who they already have beaten twice in the tournament. "We've put ourselves in a situation that it's in our control," he said.
Colourful ceremony marks Zaka defends Malik’s the start of Sports Festival last minute inclusion LAHORE STAff RePoRT
lahoRe: Punjab Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif takes salute of the marching athletes while the colourful view of the opening ceremony marked the start of the Sports Festival at the national hockey Stadium. NADEEM IJAZ LAHORE STAff RePoRT
The Punjab Sports Festival 2012 with theme Punjab da Passion splashed into action here in a colourful opening ceremony at the National Hockey Stadium on Tuesday. This sporting ex-
travaganza that started from tehil, district and divisional level has now entered into the final phase where winners of all the level competitions will lock horns for top honours. In this provincial level competitions, general public, male and females schools, college, universities
while special arrangements have also been made to showcase the skills of blind, special, deaf and dumb persons while veterans, bar association, departments, press club and corporate sector have also been involved in the final activity. During the next 12 days competitions will be held in athletics, badminton, cricket, football, hockey, volleyball, kabaddi, karate, basketball, weightlifting, wrestling, taekwondo, marathon race and cycling. Punjab Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif was the chief guest of the opening ceremony and declared the festival open while hockey Olympians Mohammad Saqlain, test cricketer Taufeeq umar, athlete Shabana and seeral other prominent players of the province carried the flame to the caldarium. During the opening ceremony karate, PT, gymnastic were displayed while a large number of school and college children were brought to the National Hockey Stadium to make the venue looked filled.
Pakistan Cricket Board Chairman Zaka Ashraf on Tuesday dismissed reports that Shoaib Malik’s last minute inclusion in the one-day squad for the England series was made under pressure, and he clarified that the decision was taken on the captain’s request. "I would like to get the facts right. There was no players power involved," said Ashraf. Former Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik, was not originally named in the ODI and T20 squads, announced by the PCB selectors last month for the England series. He was included in the team after the Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq, called the PCB top brass after the announcement of squad. Zaka Ashraf confirmed that the Malik’s inclusion was made only after the national skipper called him and requested that the batting all-rounder be sent to the uAE for the limited-overs series. "The selection committee initially picked the squad for the one-day series without Malik. But Misbah-ul-Haq called me up and told me that he felt Malik should be in the team,” revealed Ashraf, who took over as PCB chairman in October, after Ijaz Butt’s term expired. "Misbah contended that since he was in the uAE and he knew better than the selectors that Malik could prove to be very useful for the oneday series because of his ability to bowl and also
because the pitches were helping spinners," he added further. The PCB chief claimed that he had discussed Misbah’s request with the selection panel and after a long deliberation it was decided to accept the request, as the board and selectors did not want to receive the blame of unwanted results. He further added that another reason behind Malik’s inclusion in the one-day squad for the England series was to give him a fair chance to press his claims.
lahoRe: Dr Peter h armacost, Rector FC College, with the winners of hammer throw event of the 125th annual Sports. STAFF PHOTO
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Kenseth takes Daytona 500 DAYTONA BEACH AfP
Matt Kenseth won his second Daytona 500, holding off Dale Earnhardt in a race delayed once for rain and then after a frightening crash at the Daytona Inter national Speedway. Kenseth took the checkered flag after rain postponed the race for 30 hours -the first time in the event's history it has been delayed from a Sunday to Monday. Then with 40 laps to go Monday, Juan Pablo Montoya escaped serious injury when he lost control and slammed into the back of a safety truck carrying jet fuel, causing a fiery explosion that delayed the race another two hours. Montoya was able to get out of his car and walk away from the wreck on his own. Mounted on the back of the truck was a jet dryer with 757 litres (200 gallons) of kerosene used to help dry the track's surface. Earnhardt finished second, Greg Biffle third, Denny Hamlin fourth and Jeff Burton rounded out the top five.
Srikanth to endorse for Pakistan-india Blind Series LAHORE STAff RePoRT
Cricket Association for the Blind in India president SP Nagesh, general secretary GK Mahantesh met former cricketer & BCCI selection committee chairman Krishnamachari Srikanth in Chennai. Krishnamachari Srikanth has agreed to endorse the forthcoming Indo-Pakistan bilateral Blind Cricket Series to be held in Chennai from March 10 to 17. Matches are going to be played at IIT ground, Adyar and SPIC YMCA ground Nandanam with the able support from local Tamil Nadu Blind Cricket Association. The tournament will be inaugurated by former Cricketer & BCCI Selection Committee chairman Shri. Krishnamachari Srikanth along with Tamilnadu mayor Shri. Saidai Duraiswamy, Worshipful Mayor, of Tamil Nadu at IIT ground on March 10th 2012. This bilateral series would act as practice process for world cup scheduled in December 2012 from Bangalore. Ten countries Australia, Bangladesh, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, West Indies, Sri Lanka and Nepal would be taking part in this event. Cricket Association for Blind in India is affiliated to (WBCC) World Blind Cricket Council is the apex body for visually impaired cricket. This is the first international cricket tournament for the blind involving several countries after almost 8 years.
Daytona BeaCh: Matt Kenseth, driver of the #17 Best Buy Ford, leads greg Biffle, driver of the #16 3M Ford, during the naSCaR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 at Daytona international Speedway. AFP
army down Police in national Baseball
Colony Sugar begin campaign in style LAHORE
OLONY Sugar has opened its campaign for the Bank Alfalah National Polo Championship for the Quaid-e-Azam Gold Cup 2012 in style winning the opening match with a big margin here at the Lahore Polo Club ground. From among the four matches played on the opening day of the championship on Tuesday, Colony Sugar tapped the biggest margin win hammering Al Khan-Ciroâ€™s 10-3 with Santiago Mendivil being the star of the match having scored eight goals of the 10. With this win Colony Sugar not only earned two valuable points but they also got plus seven average which placed them over the top of the standing. In the other matches of the day, Pakistan Army-Nadra edged ahead of Guard Group/Newage 9-8 with James Harper being the hero of the winning team while the losing side
LAHORE STAff RePoRT
AL Khan/Ciros Pomodoro
star was Hissam Ali Hyder. BBJ Pipes, which is placed second on the leaderboard had moved past Hattaf/Diamond Paints combination 8-6. Gerardo Mazzini led the BBJ Pines to this hard-fought thumping win while Vieri Antinori played well for Hataff-Diamond but did not match the guiles of Mazzini. In the last game of the day, Nestle put aside Master Paints 9-8 and
in this win all the four riders of Nestle were instrumental while Masters relied heavily on their foreign players, Ignacio Moore and Gaston Moore. The umpires and referees for the matches were Simon Mclaren Tosh, Ignacio Del Tour, Manuel Crespo, James Harper, Raja Temur Nadeem, Gerardo Mazzini, Shah Qubilai Alam Santiago Mendivil and Vieri Antinori.
Defending champions Army registered third consecutive victory in the Shaheed Kamran National Inter-departmental Baseball Championship, defeating Police in the second league stage 12-2 at the uCPâ€™s ground here on Tuesday. So far unbeaten, Army opened the account in the first innings when Imtiaz Ali scored one , while Police could not open the account. After no run was made in the second innings by either side, Police scored first run through Ahsan Beg in the third innings as the two teams were at 1-1. But Army were in aggressive mood collecting four runs each in the fifth and sixth innings, while conceding only one in the fifth innings to take a firm lead of 9-2. For Army their Arif Senior (2), Arshad, Iftikhar, Zafar Iqbal, Majeed, umar and Faqeer Hussain all contributed one rune ach. Army continued its domination in the seventh innings too as it added three more runs through Rashid, Sajjad and Arif Senior to seal the fate of the match. In the next match Wapda will take on Police on Wednesday.
Mahan vault to top 10 LONDON AfP
Klitschko out to make Mormeck his 50th knock-out BERLIN AfP
Wladimir Klitschko plans on making JeanMarc Mormeck the 50th knock-out of his career on Saturday, while the Frenchman says he is determined to become his country's first world heavyweight champion. World champion Klitschko will defend his IBF, IBO, WBO and WBA titles against Mormeck, who stepped up from cruiserweight just over two years ago, in Dusseldorf. The pair were scheduled to meet last December, but kidney stones forced Klitschko, 35, to postpone the fight which will be the 60th of his career. "I'm ready for this challenge," said Klitschko at Monday's press conference. "I still have the hunger and assume the task will not be easy." Klitschko has not been beaten since April 2004 when he suffered a fifth round technical knock-out to Lamon Brewster in Las Vegas and Mormeck wants to break the ukrainian's winning streak and take his titles. ""I know that I am underestimated against a bigger and heavier opponent," the
39-year-old Mormeck told AFP. "I have an iron will and I'm tough, I will give it my all. "I have the mental strength too. Does he?" This will be Mormeck's fourth heavyweight bout and Klitschko has said it will be tough against a man who is considerably shorter than he is with the challenger measuring 181 cms, compared to Klitschko's height of 198 cms. Klitschko's brother Vitali defended his WBC heavyweight title against Britain's Dereck Chisora a fortnight ago in Munich, but the sport's image was tarnished by the post-fight brawl between Chisora and ex-champion David Haye. Chisora had also slapped Vitali in the pre-bout weigh-in before running away. Wladimir says he expects things to stay peaceful, but is taking nothing for granted. "We are only on Monday, things also started peacefully in the press conference between Vitali and Chisora," said the younger Klitschko, who also suffered from Chisora's boorish behaviour when he spat in his face. "I am looking forward to the open training and the weigh-in." Despite his threats to dethrone the champ, all bar three of Mormeck's 40 fights
have been at the lighter weight including a technical knock-out at the hands of Haye at cruiserweight in 2007. The Frenchman has still enjoyed 22 knock-outs in 36 victories, but has suffered
four defeats in his career. "Wladimir is a great boxer in every way, but I've been preparing for years for this moment," said Mormeck, who turns 40 in June.
DoRtMUnD: Ukraine's boxer Klitschko (l) faces French opponent Jean-Marc Mormeck at a press conference for the wBo, wBa, iBF and iBo heavyweight title fight announcement. AFP
Hunter Mahan's win in the World Golf Championships Match Play in Arizona on Sunday has vaulted the American into the world top 10 for the first time. He moves up to ninth from 22nd which also pushes Tiger Woods out of the top 20 once again. Rory McIlroy, who lost to Mahan in the Match Play final, stays at second just behind England's Luke Donald having spurned a chance to go top for the first time. World top 20 1. Luke Donald (ENG) 9.13pts 2. Rory McIlroy (NIR) 8.60 3. Lee Westwood (ENG) 8.17 4. Martin Kaymer (GER) 6.02 5. Steve Stricker (uSA) 5.80 6. Webb Simpson (uSA) 5.14 7. Dustin Johnson(uSA) 5.11 8. Adam Scott (AuS) 5.05 9. Hunter Mahan (uSA) 5.03 10. Jason Day (AuS) 5.01 11. Phil Mickelson (uSA) 4.96 12. Charl Schwartzel (RSA) 4.87 13. Bill Haas (uSA) 4.67 14. Matt Kuchar (uSA) 4.56 15. Graeme McDowell (NIR) 4.36 16. Nick Watney (uSA) 4.35 17. Sergio Garcia (ESP) 4.14 18. Brandt Snedeker (uSA) 4.12 19. KJ Choi (KOR) 4.08 20. Keegan Bradley (uSA) 4.00
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Djokovic tastes victory and defeat DuBAI
istomin advances at Florida tennis DeLraY Beach: Denis Istomin saved all seven break points he faced on serve en route to a 6-2, 6-3 win over Aussie Matthew Ebden in the first round of the Delray Beach Tennis Championships on Monday. The 25-year-old uzbekistani avenged a loss to the Ebden in their only other career meeting in Brisbane last year. The South African-born Ebden won that contest in straight sets 6-4, 6-4. Istomin hammered seven aces, won 77 percent of his first-serve points in the 78 minute match on Monday. In other first round matches on Monday, Ryan Sweeting routed Donald Young in an all-uS match 6-1, 6-1 and Israel's Dudi Sela defeated Denis Kudla, of the uSA, 6-4, 6-3. The 82nd-ranked Sweeting is making his fourth appearance at this event. He reached the quarter-finals last year. Istomin is ranked 51st in the world which is just off his career high ranking of 40th in 2010. He is 9-5 this year and two weeks ago he reached the final of the San Jose Open where he lost to Canadian Milos Raonic. Istomin advances to the second round where he will play the winner of a match between American veteran Andy Roddick and Germany's Philip Petzschner. Istomin has played tennis since a young age but he did not touch a racquet for two years after suffering serious injuries in a car smash at age 15 while travelling to a Futures tournament in Tashkent, uzbekistan. He needed more than 80 stitches and spent three months in the hospital after undergoing surgery for a badly damaged leg. Istomin resumed training in 2003 and won his first Challenger tournament two years later. He made his Grand Slam debut a year later at the Aussie Open, losing in straight sets to world No. 1 Roger Federer. AfP
australia's twitter warning to athletes SYDNEY
ORLD number one Novak Djokovic experienced the emotions of victory and defeat as he re-started his season at the Dubai Open with an unusual dual role on Monday. Djokovic's 6-4, 6-2 win against Cedric-Marcel Stebe, a talented and improving young German, was a resourceful performance given his five-week absence from competition since his exhausting Australian Open triumph. But it was preceded by a Djokovic defeat. That was his 20-year-old younger brother Marco, whom he was mentoring, and whose fate he seemed to experience almost as strongly as his own. Djokovic the triple Grand Slam champion, experimented with some extra net attacks and different tactical ploys, and yet retained the capacity for a tighter focus after Stebe got him break point down at 1-2 in the second set. But Djokovic the wild card entry was playing only his third match on the ATP Tour and was unable to do himself much justice during a 6-3, 6-2 loss to Andrey Golubev. That may be a part consequence of spending much of last year sidelined after wrist surgery. But Marco also offered insights into the pressures of having such a famous sibling. "There are a lot of positive and negative things about being his brother, you know," he said. "Financially, you know, I have all I need and can get the coaches and the right practice environment. But everybody expects you to be like your brother, which is really tough to achieve. "Sometimes I have an advantage because maybe opponents get scared. But others think 'he's Novak's brother, so I must beat him.' And that can be tough." Novak
sympathized. "He has to face the pressure of having the Djokovic surname," he said. "He's trying to fight with his mind more than with his game. When he is able to focus on that and not on his doubts he can become a world class player." Novak was also in no doubt that playing was easier than coaching. "It was difficult for me to sit courtside," he said. "I have not done it too much. "At least when I'm playing I know what's going on. But I was happy my brother got a wild card. He is not at his level yet, but he's getting there." Novak Djokovic now has a day off before facing the winner between Omar Awadhy, a wild card from the uAE, and Sergiy Stakhovsky, the fierce-hitting ukrainean who is capable of a much higher level than his current ranking in the seventies. On Tuesday Roger Federer, the Grand Slam record-holder, will start against Michael Llodra, the runner-up at the Marseille Open on Sunday. And Andy Murray, the first Briton since the 1930's to reach three Grand Slam finals, will face Michael Berrer, a qualifier from Germany, while Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the world number five from France, will play Marcos Baghdatis, the former Australian Open runner-up from Cyprus.
Hina Khar wants cricket ties resumption with India ABu DHABI
Australian athletes have been warned against using Twitter during competition after officials found competitors tweeting during last week's Olympic diving test event in London. Mike Tancred, the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) director of media and communications, fears athletes tweeting during competition will be distracted. Coaches and team managers needed to implement rules to eliminate the risk of social media undermining performances at this year's London Games, he said, but there would be no blanket ban. "The problem was highlighted at the diving test event in London where athletes were tweeting during the competition," Tancred said in AOC's London Olympics newsletter emailed this week. "Diving officials stopped the use of social media during the competition, which was also a World Cup event, once they learned it was happening." According to the AOC, one diver's tweet during competition read: "I'm a novice. I will stop tweeting next round. Distraction!" The International Olympic Committee will allow athletes to use social media such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter during the Games because it is keen to encourage more youth interest in the Olympics. Tancred said some sports in Australia, such as cycling, had specific policies about the use of social media during training and competition. Australia's athletes were encouraged to use social media responsibly and during downtime in the village but their use of it should conform to the Olympic spirit, Tancred added.
Pakistan foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar on Monday called for the resumption of cricket ties with archrivals India. "Pakistan pushes for cricket ties with every country, especially with India," Khar told reporters while watching the third and final Twenty20 between Pakistan and England here on Monday. "I remember that prime minister Manmohan Singh said that it (cricket) is a great way to go and if both the governments feel it's a great way then we should go that way." Khar said the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) was also endeavouring to revive the ties. "PCB chairman has written letters to the Indian Board and when I was in India (last year) I noticed a great deal of keenness on the part of India and the International Cricket Council (ICC) to revive this brand of cricket," said Khar. "Let me clearly articulate that the Pakistan government not only supports but also pushes that international cricket should be played among all countries." India stalled all bi-lateral cricketing ties with Pakistan following terrorists attacks on their commercial hub Mumbai in November 2008 which New Delhi blamed on militants based across the border. Despite both countries slated to play in 2012 under the ICC Future Tours Programme, India's hectic schedule has been the main hurdle in the revival of the ties.
Pakistan last toured India in 2007, while India featured in the Asia Cup held on their neighbour's grounds in 2008. Khar said Pakistan prime minister Yousuf Raza Gillani -- who attended the World Cup semi-final in Mohali on Singh's invitation in March last year -- also wants IndoPak cricket to be revived. "Our prime minister has always talked about the resumption and India is also very enthusiastic. The only problem is scheduling and that is why there have been problems but cricket plays a huge role in bringing people of both the countries together so it should be played. Khar said Pakistan believes in cricket diplomacy. "We have always believed in cricket diplomacy and there is a harmony in cultures of both the coun-
tries. We both are good at cricket and people on both sides love the game. People in Pakistan are bound by cricket and we need that unity at the moment." Khar said the security situation in Pakistan was conducive to hosting international cricket. "..you must have seen the situation in Pakistan has improved considerably in the last few moths. The year 2009 and 2008 were bad but 2011 and 2012 a lot of normalcy has come back. "I don't think there is as much of a security risk as is perceived. Polo international players come to Pakistan and they go unnoticed and that is why they can afford to come." International cricket has been suspended in Pakistan since terrorists attacks on the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore three years ago. Khar said her government was ready to provide top-level security to international teams. "The high profile of cricket obviously makes the difference, for cricket we can provide the type of security that is required," said Khar, whose government has promised to put high-level security in place for the Bangladesh team tour. Pakistan has invited Bangladesh for a three-match one-day series in April. Khar said cricket and other cultural activities will improve Pakistan's image. "We have always maintained that cultural outreach is needed. The way Pakistanis are portrayed is not correct so we need to cultural heritage and that is the best way to reach the people and create a good impression," said Khar.
watch It LIve ESPN Bangladesh League final 5.00 PM
Bekele to run in Dublin ahead of olympics LONDON AfP
Distance running great Kenenisa Bekele is to compete in the Great Ireland Run in Dublin on April 15, organisers said Tuesday, as part of his preparations for the London Olympics. Reigning Olympic 5,000 metres and 10,000m champion Bekele finished way down the field in the three kilometre Great Edinburgh Cross Country last month. Bekele was one of 35 athletes suspended from international competition by the Ethiopian Athletics Federation after they failed to show up for a mandatory training camp. But the ban was rescinded just days after it was imposed and now Bekele is set to return to the city of one of his greatest triumphs. It was 10 years ago, when aged just 19, that Bekele became the first and only male athlete ever to lift the IAAF World Cross Country long and short course titles in the same year, at Dublin's Leopardstown racecourse. And according to British former Olympic medallist Brendan Foster, of race organisers Nova International, Bekele's decision to compete in the Great Ireland Run, a 10 km event, could herald the start of a career as a marathon runner after the 2012 Games. "I was delighted when Bekele's agent Jos Hermens rang me and asked whether we could find a slot in the SPAR Great Ireland Run for him and of course there was no way I was going to say 'no' to such an outstanding legend," Foster said Tuesday.
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President inks 20th amendment into law
SC resumes hearing on Asghar Khan’s plea today ISLAMABAD
three-member Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry will today (Wednesday) resume hearing on a petition filed by Air Marshall (r) Asghar Khan some 16 years ago against the distribution of million of rupees by the InterServices Intelligence (ISI) to anti-PPP politicians to influence the 1990 general election. The other members of the bench are Justice Khilji Arif Hussain and Justice Tariq Parvez. The petitioner will appear in-person
along with his lawyer Habibul Wahabul Khairi. Attorney General Maulvi Anwarul Haq will also appear on notice. Senior advocates Abdul Hafeez Pirzada, Habibul Wahabul Khairi and Muhammad Akram Sheikh, as well Salman Akram Raja and others, including former army chief Mirza Aslam Beg will also be appearing. Top legal brains and politicians believe that the case would have irrevocable effects on the forthcoming general elections, besides shaking everyone from the top to bottom in the executive and military establishments. In June 1996, a human rights petition was filed by Asghar Khan with the Supreme Court mak-
ing the retired chief of army staff General Mirza Muhammad Aslam Beg, former ISI DG Lt General (r) Asad Durrani and Younis Habib of Habib and Mehran Bank as respondents. In his petition, Asghar Khan had asked then chief justice Sajjad Ali Shah to take appropriate action on a statement by then interior minister Maj Gen (r) Naseerullah Khan Babar in the National Assembly that: “The ISI collected some Rs 140 million from the Habib Bank Ltd and distributed among a number of politicians prior to the 1990 elections with a view to manipulate the results in favour of the Islami Jamhoori Ittehad (IJI)”. Sajjad Shah was hearing the case when he
was shown the door in November 1997 by his fellow judges following a mutiny, allegedly manoeuvred by the then government of Nawaz Sharif. The Asghar Khan case, commonly known as the “Mehrangate” scandal, would particularly dent the political image of the PML-N. Besides, lawyers and politicians, civil society activists and even military men also believe that the repercussions of “Mehrangate” scandal would be much reverberating and more pervasive. In his petition, Asghar Khan had sought punishment for all politicians who had received funds from the ISI.
IsLamaBaD: President Asif Ali Zardari on Tuesday signed the 20th Constitutional Amendment Bill into law at the Aiwan-e-Sadr and gave the credit for its passage to the maturity and political wisdom of the political parties and the parliament. “The 20th Constitutional Amendment Bill 2012 was passed by the National Assembly on 14th February 2012 and by Senate on 20th February 2012,” said an official statement. Presidential Spokesman Farhatullah Babar said the president, while signing the bill, felicitated the entire nation and political parties. The president termed the legislation a landmark development in strengthening democracy and ensuring free, fair and transparent elections under an independent election commission and neutral interim set-ups. The bill seeks to amend Articles 48, 214, 215, 216, 218, 219, 224, and adds a new Article 224A in the constitution to make the Election Commission of Pakistan “truly independent” for holding free and fair elections. The Bill also gives legal cover to the by-elections conducted by the chief election commissioner and provide for mechanisms to set up interim government to hold polls in the future. The spokesman added that the president, while acting upon the advice of the prime minister, had also withdrawn summoning of the National Assembly session, earlier summoned on March 1, 2012. STAFF REPORT
Published by Arif Nizami for Nawa Media Corporation (Pvt) Ltd at Qandeel Printing Press, 4 Queens Road, Lahore.
Editor: Arif Nizami, Executive Editor: Sarmad Bashir
Continued on page 04