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Gilani tells PML-N to ditch en masse resignation mantra
‘It’s a girl!’: Aishwarya gives birth to daughter
vol ii no 142 24 Pages islamabad — Peshawar edition
thursday, 17 november, 2011 Zul-Haj 20, 1432
haqqani offers to resign
Gilani steps in for damage control ISLAMABAD
KARACHI: A view of the vehicle that was blown up by suspected suicide bombers when they were stopped by police near Sea View. At least two policemen and four attackers were killed in the incident. oNliNE | stoRy PAgE 24
Drone attack kills up to 18 Taliban MIRANSHAH AFP
A major salvo of US missiles on Wednesday destroyed a Pakistani Taliban base on the Afghan border, killing up to 18 militants including possible al Qaeda fighters, local officials said. Five US drones fired up to 10 missiles into a sprawling compound in the Baber Ghar area of South Waziristan, killing 15 to 18 fighters in the deadliest American strike reported by Pakistani officials in three months. Five US drones carried out the attack, one of the officials told AFP in the heaviest coordinated strike in northwest Pakistan since a similar strike killed 21 fighters in the Afghan Taliban Haqqani faction on August 10. “The target was a base of Pakistan Taliban. We have reports that 16 to 18 militants were killed,” the official told AFP. Another official said there were reports that “some foreigners” were also killed. 6 KILLED IN TIRAH: Elsewhere in the tribal belt on Wednesday, five men and a 12-year-old boy were killed when a remote-controlled bomb exploded near a passenger van in the troubled Tirah valley of Khyber district, local official Mutahir Zeb said. He said that most of the passangers in the van belonged to the Kukikhel tribe, which is opposed to local militant group Lashkar-e-Islam. Nine people, including two women, were also wounded, Zeb added.
4% power tariff hike on the cards ISLAMABAD AMeR SIAL
A huge increase of four percent in the power tariff is expected within the next 48 hours to help the government save Rs 15 billion per year under the power differential subsidy, a move that will further burden consumers. An official source told Pakistan Today that the notification for increase in power tariff was ready for promulgation and the only delay was the approval of the prime minister, who was said to have tacitly given a go-ahead earlier. A summary for increase in power tariff was earlier sent to the premier for approval but he directed the ministry to get approval from the ministerial committee on energy issues. “We are awaiting an official communication from the prime minister to notify the increase in the power tariff,” the official said. It has been learnt that the prime minister had agreed to allow an increase of four percent in the tariff. The permission from the prime minister was sought as the increase is likely to cause a politi-
cal backlash to the government under the current political scenario. Another increase of 10 percent in the power tariff will be made in the coming months to offset the estimated Rs 40 billion tariff differential subsidy during the current fiscal year. To completely reduce the tariff differential subsidy, the government plans to ensure full cost recovery by increasing the power tariff by 14 percent during the current fiscal year. This will allow complete offset of tariff subsidy by the start of the next fiscal year. The government is under immense pressure from international financial institutions to eliminate the subsidy to get $2 billion in assistance for power sector restructuring. The financing is required to upgrade the power transmission and distribution network, which has massive and chronic line loss issues that amount to 24 percent of the total production. The tariff for domestic consumers using 1-100 units per month will increase by 17 paisas per unit, followed continued on Page 04
RPPs ‘a scam’ as NEPRA admits non-transparency ISLAMABAD MASood ReHMAn
Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry on Wednesday observed that the rental power projects (RPPs) were a scam after the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) admitted in the Supreme Court that the RPPs contracts were not awarded transparently and it was up to the court to cancel the projects or give guidelines to make them transparent. Appearing on notice, NEPRA’S lawyer Najmul Hassan Kazmi contended before the court that orders of his client were not implemented in the matter of RPPs by the Water and Power
Ministry. He was arguing before a twomember Supreme Court bench of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and Justice Khilji Arif Hussain, which was hearing a suo motu case along with two identical petitions filed by Housing Minister Faisal Saleh Hayat and PMLN MNA Khawaja Muhammad Asif against alleged corruption in the award of RPP contracts. Kazmi said according to NEPRA record, there was not a single power project which had commissioning date (CoD). The chief justice noted that now it had been proven that the projects were not transparent, adding that criminal cases should be registered against those responsible. He said it was unfortunate that
there existed a status quo in the country and no one was ready to present himself for accountability. He said it seemed as if everyone had come here from abroad just to pass some time. “Some people have been keeping their briefcases with them and as soon as their matter will come to an end, they will leave the country,” Justice Khilji Arif Hussain said. NEPRA’S counsel told the court that Walters Power International, a rental power company partnered by Iqbal Z Ahmed, used the same machinery for Guddu and Naudero-II rental power plants, however, took separate mobilisation advances of Rs 1.25 billion each for the projects. continued on Page 04
MIDST speculations rife about escalating tension between the civilian and military leadership over the alleged memo sent to Washington by President Asif Ali Zardari to prevent an army coup, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani on Wednesday tried to defuse the tension by holding a crucial meeting with President Asif Ali Zardari and Army Chief General Ashfaq Kayani at the Presidency. “Prime Minister Gilani called on President Asif Ali Zardari at Aiwan-e-Sadr. Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Kayani was also present in the meeting,” said a brief statement issued by the president’s office after the troika meeting. It said, “The current security situation in the country was discussed during the meeting. The president also hosted a dinner for them.” However, an official privy to the consultations of the troika meeting said the three leaders focused on one issue – the secret memo being linked to the Presidency, which was allegedly sent through a Pakistani-American business
PM, president assure army chief govt will conduct thorough enquiry into memo controversy
tycoon, Mansoor Ijaz, to Admiral Mike Mullen seeking help against a military coup in the wake of American raid in Abbottabad on May 2 that killed al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden. He said, “You can say it was a sort of mediation on part of the prime minister to reduce the tension between the Presidency and the army leadership, as the president has not yet removed Pakistani ambassador in Washington Hussain Haqqani, who is suspected by the army leaders for giving the memo to Ijaz.” He said the president and prime minister assured the army chief that the government would conduct a thorough inquiry into the episode and whosoever was found involved in the memo controversy would not be spared. continued on Page 04
Haqqani in trouble over memo controversy | Page 24
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Fast food fast replacing traditional cuisine
dawood Ibrahim not in Pakistan, says Musharraf
So what exactly is a technocrat anyway?
Story on Page 10n
Story on Page 08
Story on Page 15
Pentagon chief, senators spar over Iraq pullout WASHINgtoN AFP
Pentagon chief Leon Panetta clashed with US lawmakers on Tuesday as he defended the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq next month, with the Obama administration coming under fire for the pullout. In a charged hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Panetta was grilled by Republican “hawks” who accused President Barack Obama of abandoning Iraq for his own political gain. In a testy exchange with Senator John McCain, the defense secretary rejected the lawmaker’s charge that Obama failed to make a sincere effort to broker a deal with Baghdad to keep some US troops in place. “That’s not how it happened,” Panetta insisted. McCain, a Vietnam War veteran who pushed hard for the US troop buildup in Iraq in 2007, shot back: “It is how it happened.” Panetta voiced frustration with McCain’s portrayal, saying Baghdad was not prepared to grant legal immunity to the US forces and the United States could not simply decide what it wanted in Iraq eight years since a US invasion. “This is about negotiating with a sovereign country, an independent country. This was about their needs,” he said. “This is not about us telling them what we’re going to do for them or what they’re going to have to do,” he added. Although the Iraqi government was ready to adopt legal protections or US troops, US officials wanted the country’s parliament to ratify the safeguards but that proved too difficult, Panetta said. “I was not about to have our troops go there... without those immunities,” he said. Panetta, however, left the door open to a future US military presence if requested by Baghdad, an apparent contradiction of previous White House statements.
PML-N to utilise all options to dislodge govt: Nisar
MuLtAn: nishtar Hospital and Multan Institute of Cardiology nurses demonstrate in support of their demands at the nishtar Hospital on Wednesday. oNliNE
Leader of the opposition in the National Assembly Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan has said that the Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) would exercise all options at an appropriate time including collective resignations from the assemblies to get rid of the government. In an interview the other day, Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan had said that mere resignations by the PML-N members would not resolve the problem and every one will have to put his share in it. Nisar said that a full-fledged movement would be launched by the PML-N after Muharram. He said the purpose of the movement is not to seek rule but save the country from the present form of governance by the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP). He said the PML-N would be ready to agree with PTI on one point agenda to remove the government if the PTI was sincere in this endeavour. Nisar again blamed that the Inter-services Intelligence (ISI) was supporting Imran Khan.
Passerby injured in crossfire KARAK StAFF RePoRt
A passerby was critically injured in the crossfire between two rival groups in Zarki Nusrati, Takht Nusrati Tehsil on Wednesday. According to the police sources, two rival groups of Master Yaqoob and Alamzar started indiscriminate firing on each other’s hideouts when Mujahid Jamal received bullet injuries while passing by. He was taken to the Tehsil Headquarters Hospital, Takht Nusrati in critical condition. Jamal Khan, the brother of the injured, registered a First Information Report (FIR) in the Takht Nusrati Police Station against Alamzar group. The sources informed that the Alamzar group had occupied the high and middle schools in Zarki Nusrati as hideouts but a timely action by the police forced them to leave the schools’ buildings. Police has registered cases against both groups in the Takht Nusrati Police Station and started search operation in Zarki Nusrati to arrest the accused. However, no arrests have been made so far.
Cabinet approves MoU for import of electricity from Central Asia g
Information minister says PM briefed cabinet about his SaarC summit visit ISLAMABAD
HE federal cabinet on Wednesday gave approval to a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the import of 1,000 to 1,300 megawatts of surplus hydroelectric power from the Kyrgyz Republic and Tajikistan to Pakistan via Afghanistan. Briefing reporters about cabinet decisions, Information Minister Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan said the progress report on the implementation of the energy plan and load management with respect to supply of electricity was also presented in the cabinet. She said the cabinet was informed that power distribution and generation companies’ boards had been reconstituted. “Vacancies of CEOs have been advertised and three candidates for each post have been shortlisted. The cabinet was also informed that financial plan to deal with the issue of circular debt would be submitted in the next meeting by a high-powered energy committee of the cabinet,” the infor-
mation minister said. She clarified that the cabinet had not approved an increase in the electricity tariff and it was the duty of the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) to decide tariff-related matters. She said the cabinet also approved in principle the signing of a supplementary loan agreement for procurement of equipment under the NTDC Development Programme. “The prime minister took the federal cabinet into confidence over his visit to the Maldives in connection with the 17th SAARC Summit and his meeting with his Indian counterpart,” she said, adding that the cabinet members appreciated the prime minister’s role in resolving disputes between the two neighbour states for which he was also called a “man of peace” by the Indian prime minister. She said Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar would also brief parliament on Pakistan’s achievements at the SAARC conference. The minister said the cabinet also condemned the murder of three minority community members in Sindh and expressed its sympathies
to the families of the victims. “The prime minister said perpetrators of the heinous crime would be brought to justice. The cabinet assured the minorities in Pakistan that the government would provide security of life and property to their communities,” Firdous said. The information minister also said the premier had told Religious Affairs Minister Khurshid Shah and Interior Minister Rehman Malik to visit the homes of the deceased and offer condolences on behalf of the federal government. “The Cabinet reviewed the implementation of its previous decisions pertaining to the Ministry of Defence and the Defence Production Division,” Firdous said. She said further that the cabinet approved initiation and signing of an MoU between the Board of Investment (BOI) Pakistan and the State Committee on Investments and the State Property Management of the Republic of Tajikistan to enhance bilateral investment relations between the two countries. The MoU would provide opportunities to identify areas of mutual cooperation, work together to in-
crease bilateral investment ties, exchange information and experiences regarding the development of policies to attract investment between the parties and exchange information and experiences regarding the legal framework that regulated investments in each of the parties, she added. The minister also said the cabinet approved the signing of an MoU on bilateral consultations mechanism between Pakistan and Chile. “The cabinet approved enhancement of weight limit of printed papers (textbooks and fixation of its tariff) for the sake of dissemination of knowledge. The maximum weight limit of this category of postal articles is required to be enhanced from 2 kilogrammes to 7 kilogrammes. This step coincides with the government’s policy to enhance the literacy rate in the country and also to facilitate the users of postal services engaged in the dispatch of textbooks prescribed for study in schools, colleges, universities and written exercises to and from the institutions recognised by the government which conduct correspondence courses,” she added.
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arTS & eNTerTaINMeNT
obama boosts uS military in Australia, reassures China In-laws gift Reema BMW, bungalow
News 03 CoMMeNT
ICC ready to help Pakistan organise India series A change in attitudes Badly needed.
the parliament No need to rock the boat, please.
Imran Husain says: Raining democrats: For better or for worse.
qudssia Akhlaque says: Imran on foreign policy: Does he say anything of value.
dr James Zogby says: Politics over policy: The election season is here.
Story on Page 18
Story on Page 17
Story on Page 20
articles on Page 12-13
PML-N wants Bahawalpur’s old status restored: Nawaz LAHoRe
AKISTAN Muslim LeagueNawaz (PML-N) President Nawaz Sharif has said that his party not only supported the creation of Bahawalpur province, but also wanted the status of Bahawalpur as state to be restored. He expressed these views during a meeting with former deputy speaker of the National Assembly Jafar Iqbal, MNA Ishrat Ashraf and MPA Zaib Jafar at PML-N Secretariat, Lahore. The PML-N president said has sought “Charter of Pakistan” for the next 10-15 years to provide basis for a strong economy and energy, education, governance and infrastructure sectors. Bashing the PPP government for destabilising the country by increasing
the plight of the people, he said his government’s policies in 1990-91 were exemplary for reviving the economy. “Pakistan was progressing faster than India and we had initiated the motorway and modern telecommunication projects, but the powers of status quo quashed our efforts of making Pakistan a developed country by overthrowing our government,” Nawaz said. “Our policies earned respect for Pakistan and forced India to accept the reality of Pakistan and then Indian prime minister came to Lahore with a message of peace,” Nawaz said. “But Musharraf damaged all my efforts,” he added. The PML-N chief praised the Punjab government for having zero-tolerance policy against corruption, which was obvious from the fact that there was no corruption scandal in Punjab during the PML-N government.
BAHAWALPuR: Former PM and PML-n President nawaz Sharif addressing party workers after offering Fateha for former MnA Aqeelur Rahman, father of MnA Baleeghur Rahman.
urged MQM lodges protest over sharjeel’s Tribesmen to cooperate in maintaining peace visit to london with Mirza Zardari, altaf discuss political scenario g MQM delegation calls on PM over Mirza, arms display issues
Imran rejects ‘point scoring’ on new provinces LAHoRE: Coming hard on the demand of new provinces, PTI Chairman Imran Khan said on Wednesday the country is passing through a difficult phase, therefore, no one should raise the slogan of new provinces for mere point scoring. Talking to reporters at the Lahore airport, he said the establishment of new provinces should not be politicised. To a question of fair elections, Khan said an independent Election Commission would guarantee free elections but they are not possible under President Zardari. He termed the president as the most corrupt person. Meanwhile, former adviser to the Punjab chief minister Rahat Qudoosi has announced joining PTI. He made the announcement after meeting Imran Khan at the PTI Central Secretariat. StAFF RePoRt
KARACHI/ISLAMABAD StAFF RePoRt/onLIne
The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) has strongly protested over Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Memon’s visit to London along with former Sindh home minister Zulfiqar Mirza. Mirza had left for London “to provide evidence against the MQM and its chief Altaf Hussain about their involvement in terrorism”. Besides Memon, the PPP’s Imdad Pitafi also left in the same Dubaibound flight. A delegation of the MQM leaders led by Faisal Sabzwari called on Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah on Wednesday evening to record their protest on the issue.
They sought the PPP’s official version on it and demanded action against Memon. “Some people present in the ranks of the PPP were engaged in sabotaging the democratic system. The MQM has lodged its protest on the issue. Now it is the PPP leadership’s job to take action against such people. The MQM will take a decision regarding future course of action in view of the action taken by the PPP leadership,” Sabzwari told reporters. According to an official handout issued by the Chief Minister’s House, the chief minister assured the MQM leaders that he would issue a show cause notice to Memon, and action would be taken according to the party’s discipline. The MQM leaders said it was a
conspiracy against the reconciliation policy of President Asif Ali Zardari and the MQM chief. Meanwhile, President Zardari talked to Altaf over the telephone and discussed the overall political situation in the country. According to President’s spokesman Farhatullah Babar, the two leaders discussed various affairs relating the ruling coalition. A delegation of the MQM also called on Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani and recorded their protest over Mirza’s statements and display of arms in Karachi. The prime minister assured MQM leaders that their concerns would be addressed. Late in the evening, the Sindh CM called on Governor Ishartul Ebad Khan to discuss the Sharjeel Memon issue.
American musicians briefly detained for filming RAWALPINDI KASHIF ABBASI
As many as twelve US nationals were detained on Saturday near Benazir Bhutto International Airport for allegedly filming sensitive installations in cantonment area, however, all of them were released later. The twelve US nationals, including three women, were accused of filming sensitive installations in Rawalpindi Cantonment, close to Rawalpindi District Courts. Police sources said suspects in three
SUVs were filming sensitive installations and a traffic warden deputed at district court traffic interjection signalled them to stop, upon which they fled. The warden forwarded a message through his wireless set and informed high-ups of the situation. Police and intelligence officials deputed in the area then moved into action and managed to stop the said vehicles close to Benazir Bhutto International Airport. The “suspects” were taken to the airport for interrogations, where they remained under investigation for four
hours. The suspects turned out to be American artists, who were on way back to the US embassy after attending a musical performance at Fatima Jinnah University. Sources said the detained Americans informed the investigators that they had filmed the area in order to keep a record pf their visit. The said two senior officials of the US embassy later rushed to the airport and assured the security agencies that the detained people were part of a musical group. The security officials then let the suspects go, but not before de-
stroying the video footage. Robert Raines, a spokesman of the US embassy, confirmed that a group of Americans musicians were briefly detained. However, he denied that the Americans were filming sensitive buildings. To a query, he said, “One of the performers was accused of taking photographs of sensitive installations.” He said performer, who took photograph, was not aware of restrictions placed on photography in or around cantonment and had no intention of taking photographs of sensitive government or military installations.
PeSHAWAR StAFF RePoRt
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Barrister Masood Kausar on Wednesday urged the tribesmen to remain vigilant for the people who may disrupt peace in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) that has been restored by the law enforcement agencies and political administration. He was talking to a 14-member delegation of elders of Orakzai Agency. The delegation, led by Malik Naseer Hussain, called on Masood at the Governor’s House. The delegation apprised the governor of the problems of the people of their area and sought his support in the issues related to education, health, communication and water supply sectors. The governor also issued orders to the concerned officials regarding some of the demands by the delegation. Masood said that sectarian hatred was one of the issues that led to disturbances. “Those who are found fanning sectarian hatred must be identified to take them to task,” he said, adding that the people should promote religious harmony, tolerance and cohesion in the society. The governor said that FATA had been brought to the political mainstream and hoped that political activities will also help discourage extremism and terrorism. He said that the security agencies were taking on the terrorists and destructive elements effectively and most of the areas had been cleared of such elements. However he stressed that the tribesmen should also play their role in this regard. “Progress and development in FATA is a priority, following peace. We want the development process to continue without any obstruction so that the public welfare schemes are completed as early as possible,” he added.
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Gilani tells PML-N to ditch en masse resignation mantra g
PM says govt ready to go the extra mile to resolve people’s issues if opp raises them in the House ISLAMABAD StAFF RePoRt
ELLING the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) that no political entity in the country would take it serious if it continued with its mantra of en masse resignations, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani said on Wednesday that the government was ready to go the extra mile to resolve the people’s issues if the opposition raised them in the House according to the prescribed procedure. In reply to the charge sheet presented by National Assembly Opposition Leader Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan against the government in
the House, Gilani said the government was more than serious in resolving the public issues, which was a fact that the people realised and therefore voted in the government’s favour in the byelections. The premier assured the opposition once it did point out the issues, the government would come up with a solution. He invited the opposition to give proposals for rehabilitation of Pakistan Steel Mills and other public entities such as the Pakistan International Airlines. The prime minister said further that PML-N President Nawaz Sharif and the leader of another political party, whom he labelled “presentation of the estab-
lishment”, also gave a positive statement on the government’s decision to grant India the status of Most Favoured Nation. Before going into a formal agreement in this regard, the House would be taken into confidence, he added. He said it did not matter if the prime minister was taken down, but parliament and democracy must remain intact. He said the Law Ministry had been directed to speed up formulation of legislation pertaining to tenure of office and perks and privileges of the members of the Election Commission. On the issue of a secret memo allegedly sent by President Asif Ali Zardari to
the US administration, the prime minister said both the Presidency and the Foreign Office had issued denials. He also cast doubts over the credibility of the source of the news item. He also said allegations of corruption in import of fertilisers would be probed. On the concern of the opposition leader regarding breach of sovereignty by drone attacks, the prime minister said: “We cannot fight with them like boys on the street… We are trying to convince them.” Earlier, Nisar had asked the government to show seriousness in resolving the issues of the people. He objected to the parliamentarians’ attitude, who
approached the prime minister whenever he appeared in the House to get their applications signed. He said the parliamentarians needed a lecture on the sanctity of the House. He also criticised the government for the recent increase in electricity tariff, asking if the government was mandated to put an extra burden on the people. The opposition leader said that despite the lapse of two months, the government had been unable to form a committee to implement the All-Parties Conference (APC) resolution. Referring to the alleged backing of the establishment for the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI),
Nisar asked the government to go into the background of what was happening on the political front for the last three days. He said members of the ruling party were landing somewhere else in the name of a revolution. He warned that the opposition would not let the government run the House with that level of non-seriousness, adding that antigovernment movements would gain further momentum after the holy month of Muharram. However, he added that his party would not let any undemocratic force take advantage of the situation. He urged the government to fulfil the commitments it had made to the
nation and also asked the government to allow both Zulfiqar Mirza and Altaf Hussain in the House so they may learn the reality of their concerns regarding national security. On a point of order, Awami National Party legislator Bushra Gohar asked the government to legislate so as to make it mandatory for the heads of the armed forces, corps commanders and other high-level government officials to declare their assets. National Assembly Speaker Dr Fehmida Mirza told the House that her office had received nomination from the parties for the formation of a parliamentary committee on the APC.
Munter pledges help in energy crisis
No threat to govt, says Shujaat ISLAMABAD StAFF RePoRt
PML-Q President Chaudhry Shujaat said on Wednesday relations between the civilian and military leadership would come to normalcy soon and the government faces no threats. Talking to reporters, he said “there is no threat to current set-up … rallies and protest sit-ins can not topple governments. He alleged Nawaz Sharif and his family were indulged in corruption.
gilani steps in continued from Page 1 In his address to the NA, Gilani said, “On the issue of the memo, Pakistani ambassador in Washington has been asked to come to Islamabad and explain his position.” The official said Gilani also informed the president and army chief about the part of his speech. Another official said that he did not know what exactly happened in the troika meeting, but as for ambassador Haqqani, “it seems his game is over”. “The president seems to be left with no other option but to remove his closest aide to avoid escalation of tension with the army leadership,” he said. Late on Wednesday, Geo News reported that Haqqani sent a letter to President Zardari stating that if his resignation would help solve the crisis, he was ready to resign. The Presidency has confirmed receiving Haqqani’s letter.
electric shock continued from Page 1 by 26 paisas for consumers who use 101-300 units, 43 paisa for consumers who use 301-700 units, 53 paisas for consumers who use more than 700 units, and the tariff for peak rates will increase by 49 paisa per unit and 27 paisa for off-peak hours. The tariff increase for commercial, industrial and agriculture consumers is within the same range, sources said. The source said there was no need to send the notification to the Law Ministry for vetting as there was no legal issue involved and the government had already tabled a bill in parliament to empower the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority to directly notify tariffs for distribution companies.
quettA: All Government teachers Association Balochistan activists stage a till-death hunger strike outside the Press Club. oNliNE
RPPs ‘a scam’ as NEPRA admits non-transparency continued from Page 1 To a court query, he said Rs 1.25 billion were paid in advance to Walters for the Guddu rental power project, whereas the machinery brought for Guddu rental power project was shifted to Naudero-II power project and a separate mobilisation advance was also taken for this project. He said less tariff was determined on the machinery installed at Guddu, however, when the same machinery was shifted to Naudero, the tariff was increased. The chief justice noted that all this was being done deliberately. NEPRA’S counsel submitted that all this indicated that the whole process revolving the RPPs was non-transparent. He said the amount was taken on interest and
paid to the rental power companies, however, NEPRA managed to get the interest waived-off. He said the projects which had to be completed in 180 days, still did not exist on ground despite the passage of over two years. To a court query, the lawyer said NEPRA had objected to all this, however, no heed was paid to its objections. He said except Gulf Power Company, no other company completed its work according to the agreement. He said when NEPRA feared the RPPs were going to fail, it asked the ministry to stop work on these projects. He said even in June and July, not more than 100MW of electricity could be generated from these projects. He said before award of RPPs,
NEPRA had made it clear that it had no concern with the production capacity of any RPP and it would pay for each unit which it would take, as it was a regulatory body. The chief justice noted that this was a big fraud, which warranted criminal action.Senior counsel Anwar Kamal, who is assisting the court as amicus curiae (friend of the court), submitted that during the award of RPP contracts, not only Energy Ordinance 2002, but also the Companies and NAB ordinances were violated. He said according to NAB Ordinance, the advertisement of every project having cost over Rs 50 million was must on the website of PPRA, which was not done in RPPs process. The court later adjourned the hearing until today (Thursday).
US Ambassador Cameron Munter on Wednesday said the United States was willing to assist in Pakistan’s hydropower projects to help the country overcome its energy crisis. Addressing a gathering of students at the University of Agriculture, Faisalabad (UAF), he said Pakistan was passing through a hard time but it could overcome its crises by turning them into opportunities. He stressed the need to launch a campaign to educate people on precautionary measures for disasters occurring due to climatic changes. He said depleting water resources and increasing floods were a matter of concern. He said the US would provide Pakistan an
equal opportunity to export its goods to US markets on competitive grounds. He expressed his dismay over recent cuts in Pakistan’s educational budget, saying the US was encouraging the Pakistani government to allocate more resources for education. He said Pakistan had a unique demographic dividend of having more than 70 million youth, which are a beacon of hope for the development of the country. He said the USAID had a long history of promoting institutions and people-topeople contacts by investing in education. He said his country offered various scholarships in fine arts, international relations, and social sciences. The ambassador was accompanied by his wife Dr Marilyn Wyatt and US Consul General Nina Fiteand.
Civilian, military leadership on the same page: firdous ISLAMABAD: Brushing aside rumours of differences between the government and the army, Information Minister Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan said on Wednesday the civilian and military leadership was on the same page and there was no tension between the two at all. “President Asif Ali Zardari and Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani discussed security issues in their meeting on Tuesday and all details about security matters cannot be shared with the media,” she said in response to a question in a press briefing on the cabinet meeting. Regarding an alleged secret memo of President Zardari sent to the US administration, the minister said the government as well as the Presidency had already released a denial in this regard. StAFF RePoRt
PPP govt flayed for giving MFN status to India g
Politicians announce to file a petition in SC against govt’s silence over drone attacks ISLAMABAD StAFF RePoRt
Dozens of political and religious parties on Wednesday condemned the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP)-led government for giving Indian the Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status and keeping mum over drone attacks. The criticism came in a conference titled “Defence of Pakistan Council” (DPC). The parties decided to hold a series of protests across the country to force
the government to reverse its decision on MFN status to India. The participants of meeting requested the chief justice of Pakistan to direct the government to make public all secret contracts and take the nation into confidence on all national issues. DPC Chairman Maulana Samiul Haq announced to move a petition in the Supreme Court against the government for remaining silent over drone attacks. The confer-
ence participants demanded the government to announce compensation for the 3,315 Pakistanis killed in drone attacks. They said that Pakistan would face far reaching economic and political consequences by giving MFN status to its archrival. Jamaat-e-Islami Chief Syed Munawar Hasan said the incumbent government had given the MFN status unilaterally and without consulting the Pakistan Army. He said the PPP
government had given the MFN status only to appease the United States, while ignoring the sacrifices made by thousands of Kashmiri freedom fighters. Speaking on the occasion, Jammaat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed said the government’s decision was part of an international conspiracy to destroy Pakistan’s economy. Former minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed accused Pakistan’s ambassador to the US Hussain Haqqani of hatching con-
spiracies against Pakistan. “We have no threat from the militant Haqqani group… instead the Hussain Haqqani group is the actual threat for Pakistan,” he said. Sardar Sham Singh, who was representing the Pakistani Sikh community, said that Kashmir should annexed to Pakistan. He said the Indian authorities had without justification denied permission to 500 intending Sikh pilgrims, who had been issued visas for Pakistan to celebrate
the 542nd birthday of Baba Guru Nanak. He alleged that currently India was supplying poultry feed prepared with lard to Pakistan. He said the Sikhs would always support Pakistan on the Kashmir issue. The meeting also decided to organise a massive rally in Rawalpindi against the government’s “anti-Pakistan policies”. Other prominent figures present at the conference included Senator SM Zafar, and former ISI chief General (r) Hameed Gul.
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Summoned tomorrow, Sa session doesn’t promise much only a formality? 07
‘Spare the fisherfolk, don’t privatise the harbour’ ■ Sindhi Mahigir Ittehad patron-in-chief claims Sindh govt planning to lease KfH to private investor KARACHI
HE Sindhi Mahigir Ittehad (SMI) has alleged that the Sindh government is planning to lease Karachi Fish Harbour (KFH) to a private investor, which will be the economic murder of fisherfolk. Addressing the media at a press conference at Karachi Press Club (KPC) on Wednesday, Sindhi Mahigir Ittehad patron-in chief Haji Muhammad Younis said that the provincial government is also supporting the Karachi Fisheries Harbour Authority (KFHA) in this conspiracy at the cost of the fisherfolk community. He said that the Fishermen Cooperative Society (FCS) was founded in 1945 with the key purpose of playing an effective role for welfare and betterment of the fisherfolk and ensuring access to duty-free modern facilities required for carrying out their fishing activities on sustainable basis. “In 1959, the KFH was established with the financial support
of the US government and all fishing-related business activities were transferred from the Khadda market, Lyari to the KFH, while the FCS head office was also made operational at the harbour.” “In 2003, under the chairmanship of then Sindh fisheries minister Sardar Manzoor Ali Khan Pahnwar, it was agreed that the FCS will pay Rs 10 million annually to the harbour authority for being granted the lease for 25 years of the KFH,” Younis said. “However, it is disappointing that neither any proper measurement of the leased land was conducted nor any lease plan shared with the FCS.” The Sindhi Mahigir Ittehad patron-in chief said the FCS, since then, has been continuously writing to the KFHA for giving a legal shape to the lease agreement but till date, no lease ownership with a demarcation map has been given to the fishermen society. “The present government claims to be a democratic one and against interference in the democratic system, but the Sindh government is continuously bypassing by-laws by
imposing administrators on the FCS.” He added that the FCS has its own rules and regulations to manage its affairs. Regarding announcement of the schedule for fresh elections for constitution of the FCS board as well as the fishermen society’s chairman and vice chairman, the Sindhi Mahigir Ittehad patron-in
chief said that the elections should be held as soon as possible and the illegal appointments of FCS administrators stopped immediately. “If elections are not announced within 15 days, a protest movement will be started and a sit-in will be organised in the first phase until fresh board elections are held and illegal interference by the Sindh government stopped.”
■ KfHa decides to waive off registration fees for boats up to 18 feet for one year KARACHI To facilitate the fisherfolk community, all small fishing vessels up to 18 feet would be immediately registered free of charge initially for one year, said Sindh Fisheries Minister Zahid Bhurgari while presiding over the 15th meeting of the Karachi Fisheries Harbour Authority (KFHA) Board of Directors on Wednesday. Bhurgari – also the KFHA chairman – chaired the meeting, while KFHA Managing Director Abdul Ghani Jokhio briefed the participants about the agenda. On the issue of registration of small boats, the provincial minister directed that all ‘horas’ (boat length
of 16 to 18 feet) would be registered immediately free of charge for one year to facilitate the fisherfolk. To extend further facilities to local fishermen, the KFHA decided to issue registration cards to fishermen between aged 16 to 18 years for facilitating them on proceeding to fishing trips. The KFHA Board of Directors also approved the budget for the current financial year with a total income of Rs 156.154 million and expenditures of Rs 156.003 million with an allocation of Rs 20 million for development works including harbour maintenance. The KFHA managing director informed the board that since he had assumed office, Rs 20 million have been recovered within the
span of four months – an effort that the board of directors appreciated. It was decided at the meeting that a non-utilisation fee of Rs 300 per square yards be imposed on any allottee who is yet to start construction on the leased out plots in the Fishermen Cooperative Society (FCS) and if he does not started construction within 3 months, the lease would be cancelled. On the point of dredging the harbour channel, Bhurgari informed the participants that he had taken up the matter with the Prime Minister, who assured that once dredging in Balochistan is complete, the channel of Karachi Fish Harbour would also be dredged out. The board also approved a
scheme for constructing desalination and water treatment plants at the fish harbour with assistance from the Korean government and Sindh government costing around Rs 800 million. At the meeting, a six-member committee was constituted to resolve the issues including payment of outstanding dues between KFHA and FCS. The committee would submit its report within 15 days. The issue of banned nets – bullo – also came under consideration at the meeting and the Maritime Security Agency was asked to implement the decision. Regarding ‘gujjo’ nets, it was decided that an exercise will be carried out on November 22 to settle the issue of the size of the net.
KEsC’s not going down alone ■ Due to delays in payment from power company, two IPPs have run out of money to buy fuel from PSo and switched off supply ■ KeSC increases load shedding duration to over six hours a day citing ‘reduced gas supply from SSgC’ KARACHI GHuLAM ABBAS
The reason behind Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC)’s sudden move for increasing load shedding to over six hours during a day is not only the ‘short supply of gas from Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) at the generation plants’ – as cited by the power utility – but also that two independent power producers (IPPs) in the city have almost switched off their supply to the KESC, as they are unable to buy fuel due to payment delays from the KESC, well-placed sources told Pakistan Today. Without any announcements,
the KESC has increased the duration of load shedding to over six hours a day, citing lesser gas supply from SSGC at its power production plants. The sources said that a major blow to the already precarious electricity production situation was delivered when the two IPPs switched off power supply to the KESC’s grid, as they are unable to pay for fuel from the Pakistan State Oil (PSO) due to delays in payment of bills from the KESC. Collectively, the Gul Ahmed Energy Ltd and Tapal Energy Ltd – with power generating capacity of 125 megawatts each – supply about 230 megawatts to the KESC
■ Centre seeks action against seminaries run by banned outfits in Sindh qAZI ASIF
‘get your horas registered for free’ StAFF RePoRt
time’s up for 1,813 illegal madrassas?
but have reduced supply to a minimum level, causing acute power shortage in the city. As these IPPs pay the amount for purchasing fuel in advance to PSO, they have been unable to make payments in the last few days. According to official sources in KESC, the power company’s plants in Bin Qasim, SITE and Korangi areas are facing shutdowns and other technical problems due to the low gas pressure. “The disconnection of fuel supply to the IPPs from the PSO and the Karachi Nuclear Power Plant (KANUPP), which supplies almost 80 megawatts, remaining dysfunc-
tional in the past month, has added to the power crisis.” The load shedding hours in some residential areas were increased and industries were also likely to face power outages if the current situation remains unchanged. Meanwhile, SSGC officials claimed that due to the sudden hike in gas demand for domestic use after the change in weather, the supply to the KESC was reduced to 152 mmcfd from 190 mmcfd. They said that the KESC should maximise the use of furnace oil for producing electricity as there will be shortage of gas during the winter season.
The federal government has asked the Sindh government to take immediate action against 1,813 madrassas being run by banned organisations across the province. In a letter to the Sindh Home Department, the Interior Ministry sought action against 1,147 madrassas of the Deoband sect, 609 of the Barelvi sect and 57 of the Fiqh-e-Jafariya sect. According to the Centre, 933 madrassas are situated in Karachi, 488 in Hyderabad and 392 in Sukkur. Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, Sipahe-Muhammad, Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan, Millat-e Islamia Pakistan, Tehreek-e-Jafaria Pakistan, Islami Tehreek Pakistan, Jaish-e-Muhammad, Khademul Islam, Jamiat-e-Furqan, Hizbut Tahrir, Jamiatul Ansar, Tehreek-e-Nafaz-e-Shariat-eMuhammadi, Lashkar-eTayyaba, Jamaatud Dawa, Khairun Nas International Trust, Lashkar-e-Islam, Ansarul Islam, Haji Namdar Group, al Akhtar Trust, al Rashid Trust, al Qaeda, Balochistan Liberation Army, Islamic Students Movement of Pakistan, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, Sunni Tehreek (already on the watch list) and People’s Amn Committee were mentioned in the letter. The letter also listed organisations that started operating under a new name after they were banned, including Sipah-eMuhammad that re-emerged as Millat-e Islamia Pakistan, Tehreek-e-Jafaria Pakistan as Tehreek-e-Islami, Jaish-eMuhammad as Khademul Islam and al Rehman Trust, Jamaat al Furqan as Jamiat-e-Furqan, Lashkar-e-Tayyaba as Jamaatud Dawa, al Akhtar Trust as Azmat Foundation and People’s Amn Committee as Awami Amn Committee. The leaders of the banned organisations were cited as Akram Lahori, Allama Ghulam Raza Naqvi, Maulana Masood Azhar, Maulana Abdullah Shah Mazhar, Naveed Butt, Maulana Fazlur Rehman Khalil, Sufi Muhammad, Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, Mangal Bagh, Qazi Mehboobul Haq, Maulvi Namdar, Maulana Mufti Zar Wali Khan, Ayman al Zawahiri, Wali Masood, Sarwat Ejaz Qadri and Aziz Baloch. It is interesting to note here that the federal government has written to the Sindh government for taking action against organisations like Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan and al Qaeda. Moreover, the letter failed to mention which madrassa belonged to which organisation. Sources said the Sindh government might not take action against high-profile organisations and the madrassas they are running. They said the provincial home department is developing a strategy for taking action against illegal madras-
five ‘Lashkar ahle Bait activists’ arrested KaraChi: Security forces arrested five activists from different parts of the city on Wednesday for allegedly having links to the outlawed Lashkar Ahle Bait, Pakistan Today has learnt. Sources said Amjad Kalyar, brother-in-law of Allama Hassan Zafar Naqvi, was arrested from a house in Ancholi. They said the detainee was shifted to an undisclosed location for interrogation, during which he confessed his involvement in the murder of rival sects’ members. Sources also said security forces raided the Gulberg, Ayesha Manzil and Ancholi areas on Kalyar’s indication, which resulted in the arrests of Abid Zaidi, Qambar Naqvi, Ali Abidi and Ali Raza with heavy weapons in their possession. Pakistan Today was told that the five detainees have close ties to the outlawed Lashkar Ahle Bait, which has the backing of a neighbouring country. Sources said the detainees were involved in the murder of dozens of rival sects’ members. It is pertinent to mention here that although the Pakistani government has banned the organisation, its members are still active in Karachi, including educational institutions. KIDNAPPED: A lecturer of the Hamdard University mysteriously disappeared on his way to the varsity on Wednesday morning. Police said Prof Iftikhar Zaidi was being driven to the university in his personal car, but he never reached the varsity and his vehicle was found at the Northern Bypass with neither the professor nor the driver in sight. While Zaidi’s family believes the lecturer was kidnapped for ransom, the family members have yet to receive a ransom call. stAFF REPoRt sas because religious extremists could use them against the government in a Lal Masjidlike incident. However, the provincial government does not have the capability to take action against all madrassas at once, they added.
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‘reluctant’ Caa to pay off PIa, Pakistan railways’ debts with rs 31 billion KARACHI AAMIR MAJeed
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has extended “reluctant” support to the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) and Pakistan Railways (PR) for paying off their debts so both the public entities could continue operating. An insider told Pakistan Today that the CAA has received orders to pay off PIA and PR’s debts. The source said the CAA is going to grant Rs 31 billion to the PIA and PR. He said, “A few days ago, CAA Director General (DG) Air Mshl Khalid Chaudhry received a letter with instructions to spare some money for the PIA and PR. After consultation, the CAA decided to grant Rs 20 billion to the PIA and Rs 11 billion to the PR.” He also said, “Things are changing rapidly in the CAA after the appointment of President Asif Ali Zardari’s stepsister’s husband Fazlullah Peechoho as the chief financial officer (CFO) of the authority this month.” He further said the PIA is already Rs 32 billion in debt to the CAA, and now the authority is being forced to pay Rs 20 billion to the airlines without any chances of recovery. Despite repeated attempts, the CAA DG could not be reached for comments. Moreover, CAA spokesman Pervez George could not confirm the exact figure the PIA has to pay the CAA. However, he confirmed the appointment of Peechoho as the CFO.
LoNeLY rIDer: a camel owner treads the deserted Clifton beach on wednesday, searching for customers. oNliNE
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Man gets three years for selling illegal sex-enhancing drugs ■ Drugs court also orders filing of case against another man who was produced as a prosecution witness KARACHI IMdAd SooMRo
drugs court sentenced a man on Wednesday to three years in jail and slapped him with a fine of Rs 100,000 for selling illegal sex-enhancing drugs in Benazirabad district (formerly Nawabshah). Failure to pay the fine will result in six more months in prison. The court, presided over by its chairman Sathi
M Ishaque, found Mohammad Afaq Khan guilty of the charges against him and also ordered drug inspectors to lodge a case against another man involved in the case, Khadim Hussain. The court in its order mentioned that in 2005, the drug inspectors of Sanghar district conducted a raid at a medical store owned by Hussain and found him selling illegal sex-enhancing drugs. After interrogating Hussain,
they cracked down on Khan’s shop and confiscated the same kind of drugs from there as well. However, the drug inspectors without permission of the court released Hussain and produced him as a prosecution witness instead of an accused. The court directed the provincial health secretary to take departmental action against the Sindh Quality Control Board secretary and members for releasing Hussain.
CM for timely completion of uplift schemes KARACHI StAFF RePoRt
Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah directed officials on Wednesday to accelerate the pace of development in Sindh, ensuring that the schemes for which funds have been allocated be started immediately. In a meeting to review the progress of Annual Development Programme of Sindh at the Chief Minister’s House, he said that it was mandatory to complete the maximum number of development plans which include roads, various buildings, schemes
under packages and special initiative units, to overcome the loss of infrastructure in the rain-hit areas. Shah directed the members of monitoring committees to frequently visit the progress of ongoing and newly initiated schemes and make sure that local labourers are utilised, providing them a chance for employment. The meeting was informed that funds were stopped for schemes where
less than 25 percent funds were utilised. The chief minister directed that schemes started by the present government should be completed in time. The chief minister was informed that 50 percent funds have already been released for the a p proved schemes.
KMC admin also municipal commissioner KARACHI APP
Karachi Municipal Corporation (KMC) Administrator Muhammad Hussain Syed will also hold the additional charge of the KMC municipal commissioner, the Local Government Department announced on Wednesday.
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karachi 07 PakistaN today
Summoned tomorrow, SA session doesn’t promise much ■ as there is still no consensus on the ‘new local government system’, lawmakers will only be trying to add another day to the required number of House’s sittings KARACHI RAZZAK ABRo
INDH Governor Dr Ishratul Ebad Khan has summoned the Sindh Assembly session on Friday (tomorrow). The session has been convened on the recommendation of Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah. It will be the fifth session of the fourth parliamentary year of the House. The two major coalition partners, the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), have still not developed consensus over the draft of what they have been referring to as the “new local government system”. Therefore, there it is unlikely that legislation on the local government system would be presented in the session. Apparently, the session has been called only to fulfil the constitutional requirement of completing the parliamentary days of the assembly. National People’s Party’s lawmaker, Arif Mustafa Jatoi had recently written a letter to Speaker Nisar Ahmed Khuhro, drawing his attention towards the low number of sittings during the current year. After the 18th Constitutional Amendment, the House should hold sittings for at least 100 days in a parliamentary year. Jatoi had stated in his letter that during the current parliamentary year, the Sindh Assembly had remained in session for 34
‘PPP, MqM agree on some points of Lg system’ KARACHI StAFF RePoRt
The Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) and the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) have agreed on some points of the local government system in Sindh, Governor Dr Ishratul Ebad said on Wednesday. “A bill will be introduced soon in the Sindh Assembly with some good points from both the local government systems of 1979 and 2001,” he added. He was speaking to participants of Pakistan Navy’s 41st staff course. The governor said that negotiations between the MQM and the PPP are under way. “No political party has any objection on the ongoing targeted operations in the city and all of them agree that action should be taken against the criminals who use the names of political parties,” he added. The governor appreciated the Supreme Court’s verdict about making Karachi weapon-free and eliminating political parties’ militant wings. days only. He had pointed out that the current parliamentary year will end on April 4 next year, and the House will have to hold sittings for more 74 days. According to official records, the last session of
the Sindh Assembly was convened on July 22 and prorogued the next day. It was the session when the House had passed the law to restore the commissionerate system in the province, amid strong opposition from MQM members.
Chief secy wants reports on lyari uplift progress KARACHI StAFF RePoRt
Sindh Chief Secretary Raja Muhammad Abbas directed the Planning and Development, Finance and Local Government departments on Wednesday to submit reports on the progress of the Lyari Development Project. Presiding over a meeting, the chief secretary discussed various issues of Lyari like sanitation and disposal of garbage, roads and streets, playgrounds and parks, water supply and sewerage system, electrification, school buildings, boxing and football clubs, construction of pedestrian bridges and adherence of building bye-laws. The Planning and Development Department was told to provide details on the PC-I of various schemes of the Lyari Development Project. The Finance De-
partment was instructed to present a report on the release of funds for this purpose. The chief secretary ordered the local government secretary to ensure sanitation and disposal of garbage, in accordance with the LPD requirements, through the Zonal Municipal Administration, South. The summary for roads and streets is likely to be signed within a couple of days. It was also decided that a committee will be formed for composition of byelaws for the construction of residential buildings in a planned manner so that civic and safety concerns in the area can be minimised. The committee will include the Karachi commissioner, a representative of Sindh Building Control Authority and the Lyari Development Project director.
a policeman inspects a closed-circuit television camera installed at the gate of Hazrat abdullah Shah ghazi’s shrine on wednesday as security has been beefed up there ahead of the Sufi saint’s urs. oNliNE
PMl-F man, also ghous’ friend, joins PPP KARACHI StAFF RePoRt
Zafar Iqbal Bilal, a Pakistan Muslim League-Functional (PML-F) leader and a close friend of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Ghous Ali Shah, announced on Wednesday that he is joining the Pakistan People Party (PPP). The announcement came after his meeting with Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah at the Chief Minister’s House. Bilal expressed complete confidence in the leadership of the party, President Asif Ali Zardari and Bilawal Bhutto Zardari. Bilal’s native town is Khairpur city, thee same as PPP’s Qaim Ali Shah and PML-N’s Ghous Ali Shah. He served as a provincial minister for works and services after being elected as a PML-N MPA in the 1997 general elections. The seat was vacated by Ghous Ali Shah.
Zafar Iqbal bilal, accompanied by Chief Minister Qaim ali Shah and Law Minister ayaz Soomro, announces at the Chief Minister’s House on wednesday that he is quitting the PML-f and joining the PPP. oNliNE He has also held the office of Khairpur District Council Chairman. After
leaving the PML-N, he had joined the PML-F.
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Urbanity now: Karachi as ‘Instant City’
PraYer TIMINgS fajr 5:31
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RBAN dwellers on the East Coast and Northern Californians typically don’t have a lot of nice things to say about Greater Los Angeles. Most complaints are of the “it’s a big sprawling mess” variety. The city and region grew so rapidly from the mid- to late-20th century, and so dependent on the automobile, that it seems to take at least 45 minutes to reach any destination in the metropolitan area. For a minute, though, picture a very different Greater Los Angeles: one beset by inter-ethnic violence equivalent to a Watts riot every single week; with half its residents living in illegally built homes and squalid communities; lacking basic infrastructure of all sorts; losing children from its schools to its factories at the age of 10; and with no municipal government. Oh, and sustaining massive floods every single year. Escape from L.A.? Not exactly. That troubled place is the subject of NPR Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep’s vivid new portrait, Instant City: Life and Death in Karachi. Inskeep tells the story of a nation—a relatively new one, created from the partition of India after the British relinquished control in 1947—from the vantage point of its largest, most economically vibrant, and most complicated city. In contrast to much of what Americans write about Pakistan these days, though, this book is not about our country’s diplomatic or military relationship with Pakistan. It’s really about Pakistan’s frequently tortured relationship with itself, as revealed
in the travails of a metro area that has grown by an average of two million people per decade since 1950. Given all its challenges, it’s stunning that Karachi has grown so rapidly, and continues to do so today. As Inskeep points out, it shares this feature in common with a number of other troubled “instant cities” in the developing world—like Lagos, Nigeria—that have grown more than ten-fold in recent decades. Like them, Karachi seems to lack the basic elements that fuel the growth of cities elsewhere: The innovative capacity of Karachi is heavily circumscribed by the lack of rule of law and the dominance of the military in commercial affairs. As one local corporate executive tells the author, “[Military contractors] buy equipment under the military rules, which is free of any import tax, and come and compete with the private sector.” Karachi’s infrastructure cannot meet the basic housing and transportation needs of its own labour market. Suburban communities planned in the 1950s provided inadequate affordable housing and commuting options to job centres; illegal developments and slum housing blossomed throughout the metropolitan area in economically isolated communities. The city’s residents and businesses also lose electricity for several hours each day. Human capital in other cities is strengthened from the interactions of skilled workers in enterprises and clustered industries, especially people from somewhat different backgrounds and perspectives who help each other to solve problems in new
ways. The city’s loss of highly-educated Hindus after the partition, deep-seated conflict among different Muslim sects and regional ethnic groups, and a fundamentally smallbusiness economy, greatly dampen these interactions and learning in Karachi. Karachi’s quality of place—the locations in which its citizens gather collectively for commerce or leisure— is under constant threat. Inskeep organises his narrative around a terrorist bombing of a parade through old Karachi and the subsequent looting and arson of a historic marketplace. He also relates the story of an activist murdered while trying to defend Karachi’s national park from the encroachment of developers abetted by the government. Karachi’s growth is not due to strong fundamentals in any of these areas, but effectively forced migration: of Muslims from India to Pakistan after the partition; and of Pakistanis from desperately poor and religiously ultra-conservative areas in the countryside who manage to eke out a slightly better existence in the city. What’s ultimately most compelling about Inskeep’s effort, though, is not analysis of why or how Karachi is failing or succeeding as a city, but instead the collection of protagonists he assembles, who reveal Karachi in all its complexity. Especially memorable are the founder and long-time operator of the city’s extensive, privately-operated ambulance fleet who barely ekes out a living for himself and his wife; the nightlife impresario whose dreams of a new Beirut on the Arabian Sea
foundered amid power shifts in the national government; the successful chief executive of a communications company who left to begin building high-quality housing and communities for Karachi’s poor; and the hardcharging young mayor of Karachi who had trouble overcoming the frustrations of dealing with ethnic political parties. Although I’ve never been to Karachi, it was in reading Instant City that I remembered I had met that young mayor, Mustafa Kamal. He came to Brookings a year or two ago, probably not long before he lost his seat when Pakistan’s local government law expired. I recalled that occasionally he would send emails to acquaintances from his travels to America and elsewhere, and I read through my archives to see if the missives made more sense in light of the urban portrait I’d just read. The same hope that Inskeep expresses in his last chapter—that Karachi’s remaining ethnic and religious diversity could be made “an asset in a world that is fractured along religious lines”—is palpable in Kamal’s emails, which come every few weeks, after yet another terrorist tragedy has struck his city. Perhaps Los Angeles, America’s instant city of the late 20th century, and its greatest melting pot, has something important to admire. Inskeep’s book thus provides a powerful reminder that to truly understand a nation, one must understand its great cities, warts and all. The writer, Alan Berube, is a senior fellow and research director, Metropolitan Policy Program
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StAte oF BeInG...
ARt eXHIBItIoN StARtS NoVeMBeR 19 At 05:00 PM VeNUe: VM ARt gALLeRY
ARt eXHIBItIoN UNtIL NoVeMBeR 24 VeNUe: CANVAS gALLeRY
ARt eXHIBItIoN UNtIL NoVeMBeR 24 VeNUe: IVS gALLeRY
Abid Hasan’s ‘Pulse of the Verses’ is running from November 19 to 30 at the VM Art Gallery. Call 34948088 for more information.
‘Identity Cards’ is running until November 24 at the Canvas Gallery. Call 35861523 for more information.
‘State of Being So Divided’ is running until November 24 at the IVS Gallery. Call 35861039 for more information.
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Thursday, 17 November, 2011
Girls defy Taliban school bombings SWABI ReuteRS
EVEN-YEAR-OLD Marwa cried and shook uncontrollably at the sight of the rubble and shattered glass remnants of her classroom. The Taliban had bombed yet another girls’ school in Pakistan. “I had to pick her up and hold her close to my chest. My worry is that we will spend our time helping the girls deal with fear instead of teaching them math and science,” said head teacher Razia Begum. “I hope the parents keep sending their children to school.” Pakistan’s Taliban movement, which is close to al Qaeda, has bombed hundreds of schools since launching a campaign to topple the US-backed government in 2007. Like Taliban militants in neighbouring Afghanistan, the Pakistani Taliban want girls barred from education. But the Taliban have failed to sell their violent philosophy to the vast majority of Pakistanis. The campaign to ter-
rify people into supporting militancy has had limited success, as the defiance at Government Girls Primary School No 3 illustrates. The students – age four to 15 – are undoubtedly scared, and disappointed about the damage to their school in the town of Swabi, 75kms northwest of Islamabad. The bombs set off in the red and white brick school complex on Sunday were so powerful they stopped wall clocks at the time of impact – nineteen minutes past midnight. Instead of listening to lectures at their old wooden desks, the girls will be forced to sit on the grass in a courtyard until workers clean the rubble and shattered glass from classrooms pulverised by the bombs. Still, they are determined to stay in school, hoping to become doctors or lawyers and leave sleepy Swabi for big Pakistani metropolises, or work abroad – dreams that enrage Taliban zealots. “We are braver than the Taliban,” said Hasina Quraish, 10, who wants to be a college lecturer. “They are brutal peo-
ple, not good Muslims.” In their ideal world, women are covered from head to toe, only learn how to cook and clean to take care of their husbands, and rarely venture outside the home. Pakistani men would all grow beards, and the government would cut off all ties with the West and impose an austere system of Islamic law at home where those deemed immoral would be executed or whipped in public. The campaign to bomb girls schools gathered pace several years ago in the former tourist destination of Swat Valley, about a three hour drive from Swabi. The regional faction of the Taliban, led by Maulvi Fazlullah – dubbed FM Mullah for his fiery radio broadcasts – was fighting to impose its version of Islam. It was able to do so after reaching a widely criticised peace deal with the government in 2009 which US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called an abdication to the Taliban. An army offensive in Swat forced Fazlullah to rebase across the border in
Afghanistan. Yet he and his fighters have regrouped, started launching cross-border attacks on Pakistani troops, and have vowed to rule Swat again. Sympathisers with Fazlullah and other Taliban leaders, meanwhile, frequently attack girls schools. That doesn’t keep students like Sana Khan, 8, from walking several kilometres to School No 3. She is well aware of how ruthless the Taliban can be, often overhearing her parents speak of how the Taliban kidnap and behead people. “I want to be a doctor and help people. I want to go outside and see the world,” said Sana. Pakistan needs as many qualified students to enter the work force as possible to help its struggling economy, which is heavily dependent on foreign aid. “Women have to be educated because they have to be part of the economy too,” said teacher Mohammad Arif. “Pakistan can’t develop if its women do not learn.” But good learning is hard to come by
in Pakistan, which spends less than two percent of its budget on education, while pouring huge sums into the military, which has ruled the South Asian country for more than half of its history. Even hiring more guards for schools seems to be a challenge. Israr Khan works a 24-hour shift at the school complex. His repeated calls to local authorities for reinforcements have been ignored. “The Taliban are powerful and they will keep doing this unless the government does something about it,” he said. The Taliban campaign stretches far beyond the classroom. Yet, the importance of education seems to override fear. “These people want to destroy society and the best way of doing that is by destroying education,” said Nur Waheed, holding the hand of his four-yearold granddaughter outside a butcher’s shop. “She said ‘I don’t want to go to school because I heard a bomb exploded there’. But we will send her to school,” he said.
New Qaeda leader praises ‘human side’ of bin Laden WASHINgtoN AFP
Osama bin Laden was a kind and loyal friend who honoured the 9/11 hijackers and often cried in public, according to his longtime deputy who succeeded him as the leader of al Qaeda. In a 30-minute video posted on jihadist forums on Tuesday, Ayman al-Zawahiri praised what he called the “human side” of the al Qaeda founder, who was killed in a US commando raid in Abbottabad earlier this year. Most people think of bin Laden as “the lion of Islam... roaring that America will not dream of security and threatening America”, Zawahiri said, according to the Washington-based SITE intelligence group, which translated the video. “However, people don’t know that this man was gentle, patient, and nice, with soft feelings and intense shyness.” He describes how bin Laden used to speak of the 19 hijackers who carried out the September 11, 2001 attacks “with extreme loyalty”, mentioning them by name in a speech after escaping a NATO assault on his Afghan stronghold of Tora Bora in 2001. “(Bin Laden) used to get sad in his heart if he felt that his brothers on the path of jihad were oppressed or didn’t get their due rights,” he said. Zawahiri said bin Laden – whose global network has killed thousands of people, including the 3,000 killed when planes slammed into the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon in 2001 – often grew emotional around his followers. “His eyes used to tear up when he gave speeches or spoke or supplicated. He was known for his ready tears and crying,” Zawahiri said. He describes bin Laden as a kind father who took a special interest in his children’s education, and recounts a time during the Afghanistan war when he said farewell to them.
airstrike kills 27 afghan insurgents KABUL: A NATO airstrike killed 27 insurgents in eastern Afghanistan on Wednesday after they opened fire on an international military patrol, officials said. The attack came in Nangarhar province, close to the border with Pakistan. “Coalition aircraft killed 27 insurgents this morning in the Nazyan district of Nangarhar province,” said a spokesman for the NATO-led International Security Force (ISAF) in eastern Afghanistan. “Insurgents attacked a coalition patrol with small arms and RPGs (rocket-propelled grenades). Air weapons teams responded immediately. There were no coalition or Afghan civilian deaths reported.” The Taliban were not immediately contactable for comment on the incident. AFP
FAISALABAd: Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif inaugurating the Students Centre at the university of Agriculture on Wednesday.
CM announces CNg buses for Faisalabad FAISALABAD FARAKH SHAHZAd
Following a successful launch in Lahore, the Punjab government has decided to grant a similar fleet of 150 CNG public buses for Faisalabad to overcome the growing transport problems of Faisalabad, the third largest city of the country. The announcement was made by Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif during a meeting with members of the Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI) on Wednesday. The CM said CNG buses were likely to be commissioned in three to four months and project would be financed by the Punjab government, while the FCCI would be responsible for the operation of the bus service. The CM announced the construction of a state-of-the-art international kabaddi stadium and football stadium in Faisalabad for the promotion of sports. Shahbaz directed DCO Nasim Sadiq and Divisional Commissioner Tahir Hussain to identify the land for the proposed stadiums and forward a feasibility report within a week. He also advised city government officials to set up multistorey parking plazas in commercial
areas of the city to address parking problems of the people. “Faisalabad is playing a vital role for the national economy through its textile industry, which is the biggest source of foreign exchange for the country,” Shahbaz said during his informal meeting with FCCI members. He appreciated the contribution of the business community towards financing of Shahbaz Nagar, a low cost housing scheme introduced for the poor in Punjab. The CM earlier inaugurated a drinking water project for the people of Faisalabad at Samundary Road. The multi-million dollar project started under the patronage of the French government and was completed in three years. The CM said the clean water project was more than enough for the daily requirements of the residents of the city. Commenting on the formation of the Lahore High Court (LHC) bench in Faisalabad, Shahbaz confirmed that the recommendation had already been sent to the LHC. During his speech, the CM announced to take in three members from the FCCI in the board of directors of the Bank of Punjab to facilitate the business community of Faisalabad.
PML-n using all means to make gujranwala rally a success gUJRANWALA StAFF RePoRt
The PML-N leadership is preparing for a political wrestling under the guise of checking preparations of the Indo-Pak wrestling championship, which is going to be held in Gujranwala on November 18. The PML-N leadership, including the Punjab Assembly deputy speaker visited Jinnah Stadium with the administrative machinery to check progress on the plan for PML-N’s rally, which scheduled at the stadium on November 25. Sources told Pakistan Today that the PML-N leadership conducted a meeting at the Gujranwala Circuit House after visiting Jinnah Stadium, in which Punjab Assembly Deputy Speaker Rana Mashhood, MNA Khurram Dastagir Khan, MPA Khalid Parvaiz, MPA Kamran Khalid Butt and other leading political figures of the party were present to discuss the plan for the upcoming “Go Zardari go rally”. Gujranwala Commissioner Saeed Wahla, DCO Nabeel Awan and Gujranwala CPO Ahsan Tufail were also present. The administrative machinery is being fully used by the Punjab government to make the rally a success and gather 200,000 participants, as announced by Hamza Shahbaz during his recent visit to Gujranwala. Rustum Khan, a rickshaw driver, said the PML-N was working on its old tradition of exploiting the government machinery for their personal gains, but he said they could not outdo the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf’s rally in which common people participated to show their trust in Imran Khan. Malik Shakeel, a trader, told Pakistan Today that only a leader like Nawaz Sharif could deal with the existing problems, as he knew the ground realities and how to deal with them.
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Thursday, 17 November, 2011
Seven Indian Muslims given bail in 2006 blasts case MUMBAI AFP
Seven Indian Muslim men were released on bail on Wednesday, five years after they were arrested in connection with a deadly bomb attack that was later blamed on Hindu extremists. The group were accused of being members of a banned Islamist militant group, the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), which was initially said to be behind the attack in the former mill town of Malegaon in western India. Four bombs went off on September 8, 2006, outside a mosque in the town, some 175 miles (280 kilometres) northeast of Mumbai, as thousands of Muslims gathered for Friday prayers. Thirty-one people died and more than 300 were injured. Police said at the time that the bombings – which came just seven weeks after a series of train blasts in Mumbai killed nearly 190 people and injured over 800 more – were designed to create “communal tension”. But federal investigators who reviewed the initial local police investigation said earlier this month that they would not oppose the men’s bail and concluded there was no direct evidence against them. Instead, they said Hindu radicals were the likely culprits. The men were greeted by crowds of cheering supporters waving flags and shouting freedom slogans at Mumbai’s high-security Arthur Road jail, where they were being held on remand. Human Rights Watch said in February this year that the Indian authorities rounded up scores of Muslim men after a wave of bomb blasts in 2008 and in many cases subjected them to torture and ill-treatment. It also called for a “thorough and impartial” investigation into the arrest and alleged torture in custody of those arrested for the 2006 Malegaon blasts. The global rights monitor’s South Asia director Meenakshi Ganguly on Wednesday welcomed the men’s release and told AFP: “There should be lessons learned and compensation given.” Two other men arrested in connection with the blasts remain in custody as they are also suspects in the 2006 Mumbai train attacks case.
Dawood Ibrahim not in Pakistan, says Musharraf LoNDoN onLIne
Former president General (r) Pervez Musharraf said on Wednesday that he could not confirm whether Indian underworld don Dawood Ibrahim was hiding in Pakistan. In an interview with Indian TV channel NDTV, Musharraf also said Ibrahim, who tops India’s mostwanted list, is held in “high esteem” by many in his country. “They think that he did a very good job... Because Indians killed 3,000 Gujaratis. In Gujarat they killed 3,000 Muslims. Therefore Dawood Ibrahim reacted. So he is held in high esteem. This is what happens in Pakistan,” said Musharraf. India believes Ibrahim masterminded the 1993 serial blasts in Mumbai. Pakistani officials have always denied that he lives in Karachi, though he is widely known to own a huge house that is in a posh part of the city. Sources in the Indian Home Ministry refused to comment on record on Musharraf’s comments. They say they continue to believe that Ibrahim is based in Pakistan and uses multiple passports for international travel. Former Indian home secretary GK Pillai, however, said: “I think he (Musharraf) in one sense has betrayed himself by saying that Dawood was responsible for the attacks in India. That itself shows that the Pakistani establishment knew very well what they were doing.”
KARACHI: the clock installed at old KMC Building is not functional, which speaks volumes for the poor performance of the city administration. oNliNE
Woman pleads guilty to Pakistan reactor scam g
former boss of US company’s Chinese subsidiary now cooperating with investigators WASHINgtoN AFP
HE former boss of a US company’s Chinese subsidiary on Tuesday pleaded guilty to illegally supplying material to Pakistan for use in a nuclear reactor and is now cooperating with US investigators. US prosecutors said Xun Wang faces up to five years in jail and a fine of $250,000 for conspiring to violate US law by sending the high-quality paint coatings to Pakistan via China after being refused a US export licence. No sentencing date was set. “At the end of last year, the Chinese subsidiary of a US company pleaded guilty to illegally exporting high-performance coatings for use in a Pakistani nuclear reactor,” said US
Attorney Ronald Machen in the capital Washington. “Today we are pleased to see the former managing director of that subsidiary accept responsibility for her role in the crime. “We also welcome the defendant’s decision to cooperate with the government in our ongoing investigation of this blatant violation of US export laws.” Wang, 51, the former managing director of PPG Paints Trading (Shanghai) Co Ltd, pleaded guilty to conspiring to export and ship high-performance epoxy coatings to the Chashma 2 Nuclear Power Plant in Pakistan (Chashma II). The facility is run by the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC), the science and technology organisation responsible for Pakistan’s nuclear programme, including the development and operation of atomic
power plants. In November 1998, following Pakistan’s first successful detonation of a nuclear device, the US Commerce Department added the PAEC to the list of banned end-users of such goods under American export regulations. Wang has already paid a separate $200,000 penalty in connection with her case. According to her plea documents, in January 2006, PPG Industries sought an export licence for the shipments of coatings to Chashma II. In June 2006, the US Department of Commerce denied the application. But Wang and her co-conspirators then agreed upon an illegal scheme to export and ship PPG Industries’ highperformance epoxy coatings from the United States to Chashma II, via a third-party distributor in China.
Bara iDPs start movement to end miseries in camps g
Movement leaders threaten hunger strikes, protests in Peshawar and Islamabad PeSHAWAR StAFF RePoRt
The internally displaced people (IDPs) of Bara tehsil, Khyber Agency on Wednesday launched a movement to protest against their miseries and sufferings at the Jalozai refugee camp. They demanded the government to restore the registration of all the IDPs of the agency and asked for basic facilities in the camp. They demanded that the government should announce a special package for the families of the military operation’s victims and rebuild their property damaged in the offensive. They asked for similar benefits provided to the
IDPs of Malakand Division, Bajour and Mohmand agencies. The refugees announced to hold a three-day hunger strike in front of Peshawar Press Club on November 21 and a daylong protest outside the political agent’s office. The IDPs also threatened to hold protests outside the Governor’s House in Peshawar and the Parliament House in Islamabad. The movement’s leader Shah Faisal Afridi, who is also the chief of Jamaate-Islami (JI)-Khyber Agency chapter, said at a press conference that the military offensive had displaced thousands of families and forced them to live elsewhere. He said some IDPs had sought shelter with relatives, few rented
houses in Peshawar, while others had no option besides the refugee camp at Jalozai. He said a curfew had been enforced in Bara for the last 27 months, and almost all government and private infrastructure was reduced to rubble. He highlighted the problems at the refugee camp, saying, “There are no basic facilities, including food and medicine, for the IDPs in the camp and they are not even registered.” He invited people to join the struggle for the tribal people’s rights. The movement leaders asked the government to start the registration of the IDPs and facilitate their honourable return to their houses.
‘Several bigwigs to join PTI’ LoNDoN StAFF RePoRt
UK-based leaders of various political parties have made their minds to join the ranks of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI). PTI UK Leader Zeeshan Wahab told Pakistan Today that prominent members of the ruling PPP and PML-N were in contact with Rabia Zia, party’s UK coordinator, and they would formally join the PTI during the visit of Imran Khan to the UK in the first week of December. PTI UK chapter is also organising public meetings in various cities of the UK that would be addressed by Imran Khan. Wahab said after the PTI’s successful rally in Lahore, overseas Pakistanis had realised that the team led by Imran Khan was the only hope for the nation. He said the people wanted a change in the country which would be brought by the PTI under the leadership of Imran. He said the people were fed up of corrupt politicians and political parties and were keen to vote for a political change in the country. Wahab praised the efforts of PTI UK Coordinator Rabia Zia for organising the party across the UK.
bus accident kills 2 Haj pilgrims, injures 11 PeSHAWAR StAFF RePoRt
Two returning Haj pilgrims were killed and 11 others injured after a passenger bus fell from the Adina Bridge, police said. Officials said the pilgrims were returning to various destinations in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, mainly the Ambila area of the Buner district, after hiring the bus from the Islamabad airport late Tuesday night. Police said the driver was not familiar with the Swabi-Mardan road and lost control of the vehicle on the bridge while taking a sharp turn towards Mardan. The vehicle, loaded with luggage and 13 pilgrims, fell into the deep ravine of the Adina Badri Nullah. Local residents immediately started to rescue the passengers and also informed the Kalu Khan Police Station, which sent cops to move the injured passengers to the nearby Kalu Khan Civil Hospital.
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Thursday, 17 November, 2011
Editor’s mail 11
gender discrimination in Pakistan Discrimination represents a significant social problem in Pakistan as well as throughout the world. Girls face discrimination everywhere in the world. They often receive less food than boys do, have less entrée to schooling and work long hours. Why can't we see the helpless agony of the girl child in our society? Their ignorance will certainly beget to forget our cause, which is still fractured in the regions. In societies where a male child is regarded as more valuable to the family, girls often are denied the right of life, denied the right to name and nationality. And by being married off early or forced to stay at home and help in domestic chores, girls are often denied the right to education and all the advantages that go with it, the right to associate freely and the rights accompanying unjustified dep-
Change is in the air
rivation of liberty. These all are basic humiliation from family to girls when boys are regarded as the pillars of tomorrow. The convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), adopted in 1989 and by now ratified by most countries of the world, provide an agenda for action in identifying enduring forms of inequality and discrimination against girls, abolishing practices and traditions detrimental to the fulfilment of their rights and defining an effective strategy to promote and protect those rights. But implementation is necessary to ensure positive changes. Other than the CRC, the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) is the most extensive and widely ratified international agreement promoting the rights of girls and women. When we talk about the education
system, it reflects the inequality found outside the classroom. Girls the world over are less likely than their brothers to be attending primary school. In some cases, where a decision has to be made about which children to send to school, it is commonly seen that parents decide to invest in their sons’ education rather than their daughters’. This may reflect the fact that upon marriage, daughters may no longer contribute to family income and are therefore not seen as worth investing in. There are several gender discrimination related consequences of child labour as well. Most obvious are the problems faced by girls who have been sexually exploited. Also girls working as child domestic workers are often denied medical treatment when required since they are domestic help and do not share the same
status as the other children in the household. Children who suffer an accident at work may also feel that this is their own fault for being clumsy or bad at their job, and the adults and medical personnel who they encounter may have the same attitude. Education is the tool that can help break the pattern of gender discrimination and bring lasting changes for women in developing countries like ours. Pakistan has for decades grossly underinvested in education, and in particular, girls’ education. Girls' education also means comprehensive change for a society. Educated women are essential to ending gender bias, starting by reducing the poverty that makes discrimination even worse in the developing world. SAHIBA IRFAN KHAN Lahore
Nukes in vans
Media’s role in Pakistan Media’s role is very important nowadays. The media’s duty is to show the truth as it is, it should be careful while not playing into the hands of malicious propaganda. It should not always point out the negative aspects but positive things should also be highlighted with the same vigour. It would be against media’s ethics to not show everything important. But in doing so, they have to follow certain rules. How we live and behave is affected by media. For example, Indian media shows everything about its culture, traditions, their way of dressing etc and people here in Pakistan are adopting it. This is the real power of media. People are forgetting our own culture and our centuries old traditions. Media shapes public’s behaviour about the important issues and plays vital role in highlighting certain issues. We can say that in Pakistan the responsibility of media is much more than any media in the world, because Pakistan needs a change. Media can be used to present the solution to the problems we are facing. In this way, journalists can deliver what the general public cannot in terms of real change. People think that by protesting they can get what they want but protests are not the only or a most suitable solution. But the media must not cross its limits. The government can directly or indirectly restrict the journalists to write, portray or show something but then the journalists would consider it an attack on the freedom of expression. This is why the media should have its own code of ethics to which it should always adhere to. MALIHA FATIMA SAEED Karachi
Sometimes, I fail to comprehend if the present rulers are sympathetic to the masses or are working for the US. Many of their actions do point out towards being not very friendly to the hapless people. They exhibit complete apathy. They may have to change this attitude sooner as the next elections are not far away. Imran Khan will give them a tough time and may weaken them to the extent that no single party will be able to form a govt at the centre as well as in provinces. My advice to the corrupt: leave this country for good and enjoy the Swiss skiing resorts and spend life in luxury. If the "change" comes in here, the corrupt may not be able to leave without accountability. RASHID MAQSOOD Lahore
Illegal use of police funds The army dictator Gen Musharraf’s regime is hailed for its new and liberal policies which it introduced, such as introducing private news channels and expanding the telecom sector in the country. Apart from this, he is also credited for introducing the Police Act 2001, which allows the police department to work more autonomously and independently as compared to the old system where police was subordinate to the district management officers. The independence provided the police department sort of unlimited powers and for its revival and a new look, huge amount of funds were injected in the police department.
Whether the administrative and the law and order situation have become better or worse, it still is in debate in many circles, but what has happened is that now there is no one to watch or monitor the police personnel. The huge amount of funds given to the police department is being illegally used by the police officers in charge. The concerned authorities should look into this matter and take stern action against such wrongdoers, so that the state money, which is for the people, should not be used illegally. AZAD ASLAM Quetta
“Pakistan has begun moving its nuclear weapons in low security vans on congested roads, making the weapons more vulnerable to theft by militants”, so reported the US media the other day. To start with, for one, how to understand whether a van in transit on congested roads has ‘begun’ or ‘done’ the job? ‘Begun’ appears to be by choice as the present tense carries much more justifiable space to play with as compared to mission accomplished. Without any proof agaisnt the ‘insecure vans’, the US media at once availed more than full advantages of the freedom of expression. The news report also talked about Osama bin Laden, one of our retired generals, some US military officials judging that Pakistan’s nuclear weapons were safe, others refusing to agree with, Pentagon declining to comment on a US media article titled, “The ally from hell”. How can then we, the other side of the coin, describe the scenario? As usual – our nuclear weapons are not allowed to slip away from the international community’s mind, so somebody has to keep it irregularly regular in sight. In 2005, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon virtually acknowledged the possession of nuclear weapons by Israel when he said, “The Arabs may have oil but we have got the matchbox.” A couple of decades back it completely destroyed the Iraqi nuclear installations and it threatened to destroy the Iranian nuclear installations. The question is do we understand the grammar of the bigger picture? Z A KAZMI Karachi
Us and Pakistan: not an easy relation P
akistanis are being constantly told that the Raymond Davis episode and the Osama bin Laden event soured relations between the US and Pakistan and that these are the issues that have brought the bilateral relationship to a new low. They are not being told what it was about these events that made them so significant. Could it be that a CIA operative under the cover of being a diplomat was where he should not have been and that he killed two Pakistanis in broad daylight and then a US Consulate vehicle sent to retrieve him crushed another Pakistani dead? How do you get over something like that? The raid into Pakistan that led to the killing of OBL and was carried out without taking Pakistan into confidence left its army and intelligence to face the humiliation of being publicly accused of complicity or incompetence or both. This was indeed a watershed event and has had led to consequences that such events inevitably lead to. The Pakistan military and ISI have been targeted from several quarters. First, we had the pressure to launch military operations
into North Waziristan without a consideration of the consequences for Pakistan. The alternatives to such overt action, while there was talk of US withdrawal and reconciliation through talks, were never really fully explored. The military and ISI were blamed for resisting US pressure under the refrain that it is the military that calls the shots on security and foreign policies – a belief that has firm roots thanks to Pakistanis themselves. Then we had Ambassador Blackwill’s plan for the partition of Pakistan so that Taliban (Pashtuns actually!) could be hit on both sides of the border. Then we had George Perkovich suggesting a policy that would deny aid and support to the military and strengthen the civilian government – suggesting that they were separate entities and it was the military that was the problem. Next we had Bruce Reidel weighing in with a ‘containment’ policy for Pakistan and then Ashley Tellis suggesting that the US should forget talks, postpone withdrawal, develop alternatives to the NATO supply route through Pakistan, secure basing rights in
Afghanistan, reduce equipment transfers to Pakistan, replace Coalition Support funding to Pakistan’s military with civilian aid and stand behind Pakistan’s civilian government to cut the military’s influence on decision making. The all time favourite theme of Pakistan’s nukes not being safe and secure has also picked up steam with far-fetched notions like mated weapon systems being moved around in delivery vans, and transcripts of fictional telephone conversations. Currently, there is much debate over a mysterious memo allegedly delivered to Admiral Mullen through an intermediary urging him to restrain the military and save the elected government – again an attempt to create a civil-military rift and as a follow up it is being put out by the conspiracy mafia that this was an ‘intel op’ to undermine the government. There is a broader picture that Pakistan has to bear in mind. That of the US-India strategic relationship that has evolved from the
US-India Civil Nuclear Technology Agreement and that is now drawing India into the Asia-Pacific region and strategic relationships with other US allies. The India– Afghanistan strategic agreement and India’s growing influence in Afghanistan. The US-Afghanistan Agreement being discussed for US presence in Afghanistan beyond 2014. The futuristic ‘new Silk Road’ that promises to make Pakistan and Afghanistan hubs for energy and trade flows but it will remain a pipe dream till there is no peace and stability in Afghanistan. There is also the US confrontation with Iran that has linkages to Syria and the broader Middle East. There are also ongoing efforts to start an Afghan-led but broadly supported reconciliation process in Afghanistan. In the shadow of these developments there is slow progress on the India-Pakistan dialogue and some positive developments. The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) has gained
traction as Russia and China act to secure their spheres of economic and regional influence. Pakistan remains a critically important player in the end game that is starting in Afghanistan. The Arab Spring and the Iraq and Libyan games have had a profound impact on strategic thinking and now the focus is on Syria and Iran. A combination of cyber warfare, stealth technology, covert operations, support to internal dissidents and drones have heralded a new era of warfare. Pakistan has to ensure that it is in a position to benefit from present and the post-Afghanistan environment and not a weak link in the evolving scenario. For Pakistan, its internal situation is most important. There is a realisation that there has to be political stability, economic viability and internal cohesion to enforce the writ of the state against insurgency, radicalisation, militants and internal divides. Till this state is achieved Pakistan cannot allow its vulnerabilities to be exploited from abroad nor can it ignore human security. It is for this reason that the military has deliberately opted to exit from the po-
litical scene. The military is now effectively a part of the comprehensive security concept and not its sole custodian – a change not being understood by all. Pakistan, like the US, is also moving towards elections and the dynamics of the political situation are acquiring urgency and developing new facets with ‘change’ as the buzzword. This is no time for civil-military or any other divides – not even the perception of such divides – because the need and popular demand is for free and fair elections that give a level playing field to all. Pakistan has to develop and orchestrate all the elements of national power because security is no longer military centric and foreign policy cannot be worked by an internally weak state nor can a nuclear armed state afford to be seen as failing or dysfunctional when it has the capacity to put its house in order. Spearhead Research is a private centre for research and consultancy on security, headed by Jehangir Karamat. Spearhead analyses are the result of a collaborative effort and not attributable to a single individual.
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12 comment a change in attitudes It’s badly needed
he absence of the services’ chiefs from the state banquet for the President of Turkmenistan followed by meeting between Zardari and Kayani has naturally generated speculations. The call on the President by ambassador Munter soon after the departure of Kayani and the summoning of Ambassador Haqqani to Islamabad have further added to conjectures. The events have followed an article by a Pakistani American in FT alleging that a request was made by Zardari through Ambassador Haqqani to save the civilian government from an imminent army take over. The government has contradicted the claim and Mike Mullen has expressed ignorance about any communication of the type but Ijaz stands by his report. Irrespective of whether the alleged memo was sent or not there is a need on the part of those who matter to realise why successive elected governments in Pakistan continue to feel threatened of military takeovers. Nawaz Sharif had to send Shahbaz post-haste to the US to seek President Clinton’s support for his government in Pakistan leading to a statement of the sort from Washington in support of the democratic order. If Bruce Riedel is to be believed, concerns about army intervention were also subsequently conveyed by Nawaz himself to the American President. It also a matter of record that both civilian and military rulers have looked towards the US; the first for support to the democratic order and the second for support to the post coup military setups. The reason is the undue economic and military reliance of the country’s ruling elite on the superpower. With the end of the Cold War, the world is no more willing to tolerate military rules. One wishes the lesson had been learnt by the respective quarters. The WikiLeaks however convey a disturbing message. Last week, Mian Nawaz Sharif opposed immediate resignations from the Parliament on the ground that these could benefit the ‘third power.’ On Saturday, the CJ deemed it fit to reiterate that any unconstitutional step by the army would be tantamount to sedition. There is a need on the part of the civilian and military leadership to strengthen mutual confidence on the basis of the constitutional provisions which strictly debar the army from interference in politics.
The parliament That’s five years, thank you
he N League wears the opposition hat a little uneasily. This is not to imply that a sitting government at a particular tier cannot rally against another. It is just that the League, which obviously has a stake in the current dispensation, perceives itself to be upstaged by parties like the PTI because of it. Nothing peeves off the League more than the tag of friendly opposition. Its attempts to overcompensate for this are often klutzy, resulting in, for instance, a sitting chief minister talking of lynchings and senior party members – like Khwajas Asif and Saad Rafiq – speaking of mass resignation. The threat to resign en masse from the assemblies was in response (it, as discussed above, always is) to the speech made by former foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, who said the legislature should resign because it has lost its mandate. The travails of the realpolitik aside, a theoretical scrutiny of statements as harsh as these is always in order. The statement is incorrect, of course. Our republic might be modeled on Westminster but the UK we are not. The mandate of our government is clearly stipulated. The decision to change the government isn’t a judgment call but a mechanical process. Five years and you’re up. At least, that is how it is supposed to be. The candidates know this and, more importantly, the voters know this. The sitting federal parliament might not be a dream but it is not as bad as is imagined by the commentariat or the opposition. To its credit are the 18th and 19th amendments. No minor feats, these. For they have facilitated a process of devolution that a federal government should have. And the PML(N) should be proud of being an instrumental part of the process. The followup to a consensus NFC award is also something to be appreciated. The attendance record of the prime minister in parliament is particularly stellar when compared specifically to the time when the N League held the office. The parliament had shortcomings and the government should have to account for that in the next elections but the inability to reform the tax code, for instance, resulted not because of treasury benches soft-pedaling but stark objection by the opposition. Early polls are in no one’s interest. Not the government’s, not new out-of-parliament parties like the PTI and certainly not, if one looks at its troublesome current status, the PML-N. No one is really serious about demands like these. The problem, however, is the propagation in public discourse of ideas that make light of the legislative endeavour. The political class should show some institutional activism and preserve the sanctity of parliament.
Dedicated to the legacy of the late Hameed Nizami
Arif Nizami Editor
Lahore – Ph: 042-36298305-10 Fax: 042-36298302 Karachi – Ph: 021-34330811-3 Fax: 021-34330900 Islamabad – Ph: 051-2287414-6 Fax: 051-2287417 Web: www.pakistantoday.com.pk Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursday, 17 November, 2011
Raining democrats Can we say hallelujah?
hen it rains it pours, they say. Well it’s certainly been pouring democrats the last few weeks. What with Imran’s now famed jalsa triggering an outbreak of media blitz and now Shah Mahmood’s prominent resignation from parliament and party. So, are we to call upon the national disaster management agencies to ensure we don’t get flooded amidst the dengue, loadshedding, suo moto et al? Normally, it is a breath of fresh air to welcome new entrants in national politics. One hopes it’s a Clinton of yore or an Obama of today or even one reborn, Z A Bhutto, storming onto the scene with a brand new message. Here, the rain has brought in the weather beaten. Trumpeting old rhetoric, lacking the fragrance of fresh rain. While it has perhaps generated a buzz on the streets and electronic screens, the competition has neither phased out the government nor other major political parties, at least not to the extent it is generally believed to have. Imran and Shah Mahmood are old campaigners; having served in parliament and, in the latter’s case, multiple stints in government with various parties. Imran’s struggle has to be admired for perseverance, for sticking to his guns, and for acknowledging some mistakes; no sparks of brilliance though except on the cricket field. Shah Mahmood, Random thoughts on the other hand, was born with a political silver spoon. The tradiBy Imran Husain tional route of feudal kids beckoned and he was nursed into politics under the able guidance of a famous father. His asset is being a good speaker, in the mould of a debater, although I am told he was not in the debating society at Cambridge. But barring that, there are no known highlights in a political career spanning 20 plus years. Both men, one must not forget, are no spring chickens, bordering sixty. In a country where feudal politics rules the roost and the country’s political future sees only Hamza, Moonis and Bilawal as natural successors to the proverbial throne, it is indeed a relief to sense the possibilities of brewing competition. But these gentleman have the distinct advantage of being way younger, in a world trending leadership in its forties, may still hold the keys to the principal office in due time. This alternate leadership is likely, however, to further crowd the existing space. In other words, added fragmentation of an already
split parliament. There are, of course, those that will greatly benefit from this. Sadly, it will also foster political instability and encourage rumour-mongering that causes damage to the country’s image and shakes the foundations. Under parliamentary democracy, given Pakistan’s demographic and geopolitical realities, a truly democratic system is well nigh impossible. It gives way to leadership based on vested right. A political toss-up between “families” located in each specific constituency. It will always be one or the other, each one as bad as the other, the possibility of change, very, very rare. One can sense the growing frustration. It is clearly evident that democracy, in the real sense, will happen only when fresh young blood prevails, when hierarchical leadership is defeated, when rule of law becomes a principle not discretionary. For extraneous sources to fear the results of a Senate election and plan the dissolution of parliament whenever elections loom is criminal conspiracy. To thwart democracy based on jalsas is attacking the peoples’ will. The majority has exercised its right and voted in the government. Democracy means patience; wait your turn, fight to win votes next time around. The current system is the source of Pakistan’s troubles. It has failed. The country will continue to fester unless the feudal system is dismantled. The parliamentary format feeds this. The more one reflects upon this the more apparent it becomes that direct presidential election
and a small, strong executive is the future for Pakistan. Parliament should legislate; its involvement in government, the vested interest, makes good governance impossible. The fear of horse trading and political blackmail constantly vitiates the atmosphere as has been clearly evident. The constitution itself requires serious review. The accursed 8th amendment continues to be an inherent part nurturing multiple black laws and the existence of parallel judicial systems. We seldom talk of the fact that government has to fund the operations of five provincial governments and parliaments, plus two parliaments and an unwieldy federal government as well as in Azad Kashmir. And there is a clamour for more provinces. Bangladesh has almost the same population but has just one government and one parliament. While planning their campaign manifesto, it is incumbent upon the new democrats to lay down their cards and inspire the people towards a new and modern country. Giving vent to clichés and trekking the trodden path no longer cuts ice amongst the population. They would also do well to take stock of realities and not write off the existing political leadership. A quick glimpse at their history reveals they have bounced back time and time again and survived the brutal onslaught of four dictators through five decades, making great personal sacrifices. The writer may be contacted at email@example.com
governance woes no shortage there By Picasso
e, the long suffering masses are regularly offered reassurances by our very caring government that it has “taken notice” of our sufferings: “President Zardari takes notice of fertilizer shortage” at the critical wheat sowing stage. “Prime Minister takes notice of ever increasing circular debt”. The mystery is what happens after they take notice. Nothing, of course. We should be grateful they have found the time to inform us they know about our problems. It’s just that they cannot be bothered to do anything about it. Perhaps they should pause and remember what happened to Queen Marie Antoinette. Episodes of corruption have a habit of reoccurring as action replays. Earlier this
year, the Government of Pakistan had appointed Adnan A Khwaja, a convict in a corruption case prosecuted by NAB, as Managing Director of the state run OGDC. This appointment had to be annulled when the Supreme Court took suo motu notice of this shining example of good governance. Earlier, the Government had appointed Tauqeer Sadiq, a close relative of Jahangir Badar, as Chairman Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority. During the hearing of a petition filed in the Islamabad High Court, the Higher Education Commission declared his degree bogus. Sadiq had to go. Reports are now doing the rounds that the GOP is preparing to inflict another indignity upon the people of Pakistan. One Muhammad Khan Bhatti, an underling of the Chaudhries of Gujrat is about to be appointed Managing Director of
the Utility Stores Corporation. This is the same Bhatti who was muscle man for the Chaudhries in Phalia, and was appointed to the clerical staff of the Punjab Assembly on the sifarish of the Chaudhries. Chaudhry Parvez Elahi became speaker of the Punjab Assemble and later Chief Minister. Bhatti rapidly rose to become Secretary to the Assembly in BS 21. His land holding in Phalia kept pace and also increased by leaps and bounds. Our mole swears this Wizkid has no qualifications whatsoever. A summary seeking approval for his appointment has reportedly been sent by the Ministry of Industries for the Prime Minister’s approval. Talk about appointing a cat to guard the milk. A spokesman for the Punjab Agriculture Department declared on October 19, 2011 that wheat sowing in barani areas was underway. Farmers
are also advised that wheat sowing in Punjab must be completed by Nov. 20. Every day’s delay after that translates into a loss of yield. This is commonly understood and every farmer knows this. Every farmer also knows that nitrogen fertiliser, urea, is in short supply. And what did the government do to address this? They waited until November to direct TCP to import 700.000 metric tons urea for the winter sowing season. TCP expects completion of shipments by mid December. Even if this expectation is met, urea will not become available to growers before the end of December, by which time the wheat sowing season will have ended. Our beloved Prime Minister assured us the urea will be available by “the end of December”. Was he actually assuring black-marketers that they would once again make a killing?
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Thursday, 17 November, 2011
imran on foreign policy
Politics over policy
What does he say about the big three?
the time for reasoned debate is past
Cross Currents By Qudssia Akhlaque
ritings and commentaries abound on the PTI chief Imran Khan following his game-changeing Lahore rally. As the punditry on Imran Khan’s capacity to lead and manage matters of state and society continues amidst his own claims of washing existing political forces through an electoral tsunami, we also need a clearer sense of Imran’s approach to Pakistan’s foreign policy. Let us see what Imran will do on Pakistan’s three key foreign policy issues – India, Afghanistan & the United States. Of course, it’s easy with China. We have a genuine strategic relationship, there is no serious worry. Imran’s comment about needing to be friends with China had no real valueadded. Amounted to saying the sky should be blue! On India, Imran’s statement echoes the present government’s position that Pakistan should go ahead with expanding trade with India and grant it the MFN status while seeking resolution of other bilateral issues including Kashmir, through dialogue. Interestingly, despite Imran’s repeated emphasis on dialogue with the Taliban, he currently appears to be the best-selling Pakistani item for the Indian media! Significantly on the militant groups, Imran has said that he would not allow any militant groups to operate in Pakistan. In an interview to the CNN-IBN, he told anchor Karan Thapar
that if his party comes into power he will make sure no terrorism takes place from Pakistani soil or else he would resign. Also that he would insist on civilian supremacy over Pakistan’s military and ISI, in a hint that the head of the government would be calling the shots on Pakistan’s foreign policy. On Afghanistan, a critical but troubled area of Pakistani foreign policy, Imran supports an Afghan-led reconciliation process. Noticeably though, contrasting with his vocal advocacy of dialogue with the Taliban, he has been muted in his condemnation of the Taliban’s violation of human rights and particularly of women rights. On the US, Imran vehemently says he hates American policies not the Americans. The critique is largely valid, with much critique needed at home too. Pakistan’s own conduct of policy, mostly military-managed, has been a problem. The military rulers, Zia-ulHaq and Pervez Musharraf, made the controversial policies of the eighties and then post-9/11. The problem of doublespeak and disconnect on the home-front made matters worse. For example, on the issue of US drone attacks that continue in Pakistan’s tribal areas, despite the government’s unconvincing protests and demands that the US discontinues these attacks, few Pakistanis believe that the government actually wants these stopped. If the former military ruler cleared these initially, WikiLeaks tells us about the consent of this government and the Army. Imran has meanwhile announced that he would adopt a two-pronged strategy: public pressure within the country and litigation before the international court of law. The humanitarian, political and financial cost of the US foreign policy with respect to Iraq, Afghanistan and the Middle East – and the intolerance it has bred –
has been correctly criticised; as have horrors of Abu Ghraib, daisy cutters and Guantanamo Bay. However, at home, we cannot overlook our own weaknesses. Blustering rhetoric such as “breaking the begging bowl” and “look into eyes of Americans,” is no substitute for sober policy. Genuine leaders opt for a composed critique of another’s policy and a viable, corrective and resolute action on one’s own policy. Any leader wanting to put Pakistan’s foreign policy on a genuine national interest track would do well to candidly review the pattern of our relationship with these three countries. Pakistan’s repeated mistakes both in content and conduct of policy with India, Afghanistan and the US is often ignored. Old mistakes are repeated and elected or military rulers and their propaganda machines make up for lack of will or capacity with rhetoric and bluster. Hijacking of formulation and conduct, or outright sabotage of a certain shift in the foreign policy by security agencies has been a perennial problem in Pakistan. A classic case in point is former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s landmark February 1999 Lahore Summit with his Indian counterpart Atal Behari Vajpayee, which was sabotaged by the then Chief of Army Staff Gen Pervez Musharraf’s Kargil misadventure. Imran Khan, who seems all set for the hustings, will be closely watched at home and abroad, for his understanding and options on Pakistan’s key foreign policy challenges. The writer is a senior journalist and has been a diplomatic correspondent for leading dailies. She was an Alfred Friendly Press Fellow at The Chicago Tribune in the US and a Press Fellow at Wolfson College, Cambridge, UK. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Washington Watch By Dr James J Zogby
his Presidential election couldn't have come at a worse time for America and the Arab World. Since candidates are more focused on politics than on sound policy, critical issues will not receive the thoughtfulness they require. And so instead of addressing and working creatively to resolve a number of crises that are coming to a head across the Arab region, Washington will spend the election season pandering and politicking, making things worse, while rendering America increasingly isolated and powerless to have a positive impact in a rapidly changing Arab World. This behavior is, of course, not limited to US policy in the Middle East. This same nasty and unproductive bickering has harmed our ability to address and resolve serious domestic challenges, as well. Evidence: Washington's near paralysis in attempting to come to a budget/deficit reduction compromise. But as harmful as nasty partisan politics can be in making it more difficult to solve problems at home, it has had an even more damaging impact on our ability to handle complicated matters of foreign policy. And there is nowhere in the world where the challenges are as great, the stakes as high, and the costs of failure so dear, as they are across the Arab World today. The realities that confront America in the Arab World at this time, include, but are not limited to: dramatic transformations in leadership in many countries, with still unsettled situations in many more; a
newly empowered Arab public opinion, that now limits the ability of the US to project American leadership, especially on matters not supported by Arab opinion; a fast approaching "point of no return" in the Israeli-Palestinian arena, where, owing largely to Israeli intransigence and voracious settlement expansion, has made achieving a peace settlement a near impossibility; an emboldened Iran, which now has a foothold in Iraq and a leadership that is exploiting anti-American sentiment to its advantage; and a deepening partisan divide at home, which has effectively tied the administration's hands in the conduct of regional diplomacy, all the while infusing a damaging and dangerous anti-Muslim sentiment into the mainstream of US political discourse. With the date by which American forces are to be withdrawn from Iraq rapidly approaching, it stands as one of the great ironies of this new century, that the war that was designed and executed to project America's hegemony, instead left the US weaker and less respected, and left the Middle East more volatile and less secure. It is this reality that the Obama Administration must confront as it faces real challenges with limited options. While the White House appears to recognise this state of affairs, it is clear that Republicans do not. This weekend, the GOP's White House aspirants will debate foreign policy, and they will, no doubt, be in an attack mode, challenging the President's policies at every turn. From statements already issued by the leading Republican candidates it is clear that they will admit to no common ground with this White House in the conduct of US policy in the Middle East. Instead, they routinely taunt the White House for: its "weakness" in not confronting Iran; its lack of support for Israel; its failure to act more vigorously in Libya and Syria; and its decision to honor agreements reached during the last Administration to withdraw from Iraq. Recent developments will
only add fuel to this raging partisan fire. The revealing, but still inconclusive, IAEA report on Iran's nuclear program and Israel's renewed threats to launch a unilateral attack on Iran, has Republican's demanding that the Administration be more supportive of Israel and more directly confrontational with Iran. The recent leaked conversation between Presidents Sarkozy and Obama, in which both men make clear their disdain for Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, has Republicans not only demanding that Obama apologise to the Israeli leader, but that he also demand that his French counterpart apologise, as well. Despite Arab concern that US performance in the search for Israeli-Palestinian peace has been unbalanced and a massive disappointment (especially after President Obama's patently proIsrael political speech before the United Nations General Assembly), Republicans, playing to their "born again" base, have repeatedly chided the President for "betraying our only ally" or "throwing Israel under the bus". The growing tragedy in Syria has prompted Republicans to upbraid Obama for failing to demonstrate leadership. Much like their calls for the administration to be more aggressive in Libya, they are now demanding action against the Assad regime – despite the fact that no responsible player in Syria or the broader region has called for or would welcome such a US role. The GOP criticisms of the President are not reality-based, and if the policies they advocate were to be pursued, the results would have devastating longterm consequences for America and the Arab World. What is so distressing in all of this is the degree to which the Republicans have failed to learn the lessons of Bush's failures. Not understanding how deep is the hole dug by the Bush Administration's recklessness, Republicans keep pushing Obama to pursue policies that would dig that hole deeper still. The writer is President of the Arab-American Institute.
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14 Foreign News
Thursday, 17 November, 2011
Syrian army defectors attack security complex g
Saudi prince says assad’s departure ‘inevitable’ g Six civilians killed, three activists die in custody AMMAN
Y R I A N army defectors attacked an intelligence complex on the edge of Damascus early on Wednesday, the first such reported assault on a major security facility in the eight-month uprising against President Bashar al-Assad, activists said. Members of the Free Syrian Army fired shoulder-mounted rockets and machine guns at a large Air Force Intelligence complex situated on the northern edge of the capital on the Damascus-Aleppo highway at about 2:30 a.m. (0030 GMT). A gunfight ensued and helicopters circled the area, the sources said. The attack appeared to mark an escalation in armed confrontations between government and opposition forces instead of clashes involving street protesters. “I heard several explosions, the sound of machinegun fire being exchanged,” said a resident of the suburb of Harasta, who declined to be named. There was no immediate report of casualties and the area where the fighting occurred remained inaccessible, the sources said.
Syria said it would boycott an Arab League meeting following the body’s decision to suspend Damascus from the organisation, as regional states stepped up efforts to isolate Assad for refusing to end the government repression of eight months of protests. The meeting of Arab foreign ministers in Rabat on Wednesday comes four days after they decided to discipline Syria for pursuing the crackdown instead of implementing an Arab peace initiative. The League has stopped short of calling for Assad’s departure or proposing any Libya-style military intervention. “In light of statements by officials in Morocco, Syria has decided not to participate in the Arab meeting in Rabat,” the agency said, without giving details. Morocco’s foreign minister said “Syrian colleagues” were welcome at the meeting but did not say if Syria’s foreign minister could attend. Syrian forces killed at least six civilians on Tuesday, shooting from roadblocks in the northwestern province of Idlib and in raids on the central city of Homs and its environs, activists said. Several deaths also were reported in fighting between army defectors and loyalist forces on both sides. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the bodies of three
young activists who were killed in custody were delivered to their families on Tuesday, including 23-year-old Osama al-Sheikh Youssef. “The family collected the body from Tishreen Military Hospital on the condition of a quiet burial. Security police in plainclothes stood on top of Osama watching as we lowered him into the ground,” an activist who attended the funeral said. Syrian authorities have banned most independent media. They blame the unrest on “armed terrorist gangs” and foreign-backed militants whom they say have killed 1,100 soldiers and police. The United Nations say the crackdown has killed 3,500 people. With armed resistance mounting against Assad’s rule, alongside mostly peaceful protests, hundreds of Syrians have been killed this month in one of the bloodiest periods of the revolt, inspired by uprisings which have overthrown leaders in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya. INSURGENT ATTACKS oN RISE: An Arab official, who did not want to be named, said insurgent attacks on loyalist forces rose sharply in the last 10 days, although the army remains largely cohesive. Tank bombardment continued overnight on Bab Amro, an area of Homs that has seen regular protests
against Assad and where army deserters have been fighting loyalist forces, witnesses said. “The tanks were firing according to instructions they were receiving from snipers stationed on rooftops,” a retired army officer in his 50s, who had fled the district, said. As the diplomatic pressure rose, Syria released more than 1,000 prisoners, state media reported, including prominent dissident Kamal Labwani. Human rights campaigners say tens of thousands of Syrians have been detained since street protests against Assad’s repressive rule erupted in March. The Arab League, stung into action by months of bloodshed in Syria, met opponents of Assad on Tuesday, a day after violence in his country killed 69 more people. In a rare move among Arab leaders, Jordan’s King Abdullah said earlier this week that Assad should step down in the best interests of the country. A Saudi prince said Assad’s “lack of response” to efforts to end the violence has made his departure inevitable, predicting that opposition to him will mount. “I think it is inevitable that he will have to step down in one form or another,” Prince Turki alFaisal, the former chief of Saudi intelligence, said in Washington.
The Indian government will aim to pass a slew of legislation in the winter session of parliament commencing on Tuesday, including an anti-corruption bill, the parliamentary affairs minister said on Wednesday. Parliament will also introduce the Food Security Bill, seeking to expand the scope of subsidised food entitlements to the poor, and the Mining Bill, aimed at sharing profits with local communities, Pawan Kumar Bansal said.
Anti-regime protesters, inspired by the suspension of Syria from the Arab League, staged a massive rally in Sanaa on Wednesday to urge the regional grouping to do the same with Yemen. “Arab League, we demand the freezing of (Yemeni) membership,” chanted the protesters who marched from Change Square, the epicentre of anti-government demonstrations, towards Al-Hasaba — both in the north of the capital. “No immunity for the killer, resist, people, resist,” they chanted, in allusion to a Gulf plan to end 10 months of unrest under which veteran President Ali Abdullah Saleh would step down in return for immunity from prosecution for himself and his family. “Silence after today is shameful, after the bombs and the destruction,” they shouted. Security forces fired warning shots in the air when protesters passed by a house owned by Saleh. No casualties were reported. Saleh, who has been in power in Sanaa since 1978, has come under mounting domestic and international pressure to step down in line with the Gulf-brokered peace blueprint. Saleh has welcomed but has yet to sign off on the plan.
India looks to pass anti-corruption bill in November
China kindergarten bus crash kills 20
Iran to send ‘analytical’ response to Iaea report Iran is to send an “analytical” response to a report suggesting it was pursuing nuclear weapons, Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said on Wednesday, a day before the UN watchdog meets on the issue. “We have decided to draft and send an analytical letter with logical and rational responses to (International Atomic Energy Agency chief Yukiya) Amano’s recent report,” the Iranian state television website quoted Salehi as saying. Salehi said the letter would be distributed to countries and international organisations. His announcement came before a meeting of the IAEA’s 35-member board on Thursday and Friday to consider the November 8 report which strongly suggested Iran was researching nuclear warheads, although it stopped short of saying so explicitly. The United States and its allies are keen for the board to issue a resolution condemning Iran or referring it to the UN Security Council, according to a European diplomat in Vienna, where the IAEA is headquartered.
Yemenis urge arab League to suspend their country
MAnILA: A group of students clash with policemen as they block the path of the convoy of uS Secretary of State Hillary Clinton near the Philippine presidential palace on Wednesday. Filipino security and at least one uS man jumped out with automatic rifles drawn after about 50 protesters kicked their vehicles and hurled red paint on the cars, but no shots were fired. afP
Twenty people, 18 of them children, were killed in a head-on collision between a hugely overloaded school bus and a truck in northwestern China Wednesday, local authorities and state media said. The small nine-seater bus, from a local kindergarten, was carrying 64 people when the accident happened on Wednesday morning in Gansu province, the official Xinhua news agency said, citing local authorities. Children are often crammed into buses for their journeys to school in China, especially in rural areas, despite strict regulations on such practices. In September Chinese police reportedly charged the driver of a school minibus with “seriously overloading” his vehicle after it was stopped with 64 children on board. The bus was built to carry eight passengers and most of the seats had been removed to cram many times that number of people on board, Chinese state media said. Two adults — reportedly a driver and a teacher — were among those killed in Wednesday’s crash, an official surnamed Du from the Gansu safety bureau told AFP. Another 44 people were injured, with 12 in a serious condition, China Central Television said. Earlier reports had said 19 people died in the accident.
Abbas to ‘speed up’ moves towards new cabinet, polls RAMALLAH AFP
Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas pledged on Wednesday to “speed up” work with Hamas to form a new caretaker government and to prepare for fresh elections. In an address to the Palestinian leadership timed to mark seven years since the death of veteran leader Yasser Arafat and the 23rd anniversary of their declaration of independence, Abbas vowed to push ahead with efforts to cement a landmark unity deal between Fatah and Hamas. “In order to expedite the implementation of the reconciliation, we will continue to make every effort to speed up the resolution of the remaining issues — first among them the presidential and legislative elections, as well as those for the Palestinian National Council, and the formation of a government of independents
to oversee the elections,” he said. The formation of a caretaker government, which would prepare for elections within a year, was a central aspect of a surprise reconciliation deal which was signed in May, but efforts to implement the deal have run aground due to a dispute over who would take on the role of premier. Abbas is said to have pushed strongly for his current prime minister Salam Fayyad to remain in office, but Hamas has said publicly it would not support him. Fayyad told Arab media this week he did not want to be an obstacle to reconciliation, and reports have suggested he will step aside to allow another independent to lead the interim government. “Achieving reconciliation is the desire of all our people... and I promise you all that we will do what we can to accomplish the reconciliation,” Abbas said. Moves to set up a unity government
ahead of new elections will be central to key talks between Abbas and exiled Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal when they meet in Cairo on November 25 to try and advance the reconciliation deal between their rival movements. “This issue and related political matters will be on the agenda of my meeting with Khaled Meshaal... including the question of where are we going,” Abbas said. Abbas said they would also discuss the Palestinian bid for state membership at the United Nations, which is currently being debated by the UN Security Council, although its members are split over the issue. Meeting late Tuesday, the Palestine Liberation Organisation’s Executive Committee called for reconciliation efforts to be speeded up. “The PLO executive committee underlines the importance of making real
progress to open the way for reconciliation and advancing toward holding... elections,” the committee said. Hamas is not a PLO member. Earlier this week, senior Fatah official Azzam al-Ahmed said the two factions had reached agreement on “important issues” which would be announced after the leaders meet in Cairo. “The meeting will also address the issue of presidential and legislative elections and there is an agreement between the Fatah and Hamas movements to hold them as scheduled in May,” he told AFP late on Monday. “They will be preceded by the formation of a national consensus government, the restructuring of the Central Election Commission, the formation of an election court, the initiation of national reconciliation and the restructuring of the security services.”
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Thursday, 17 November, 2011
Foreign News 15 Monti takes over with mission to save Italy from debt crisis RoMe AFP
qeRdAFA: A picture released by the Syrian Arab news Agency (SAnA) shows crowds of Syrians marching under the rain towards the gravesite of Syria’s late leader Hafez al-Assad on Wednesday in the family’s northern hometown to mark the anniversary of the Baath Party’s 1970 ‘Corrective Movement’, an internal revolution led by Hafez, the father of Syria’s current President Bashar al-Assad. afP
Doctors pull 28 nails from Indonesian girl’s body MAKASSAR: Doctors in eastern Indonesia have removed the last of 28 nails found embedded in a threeyear-old girl’s legs and back in a horrific case some residents and officials blamed on witchcraft. Doctors in Makassar on Sulawesi island had already removed more than two dozen 10-centimetre (four-inch) rusty nails, broken syringe needles and aluminum rods from the girl’s legs before removing a nail lodged dangerously close to the her spine Tuesday. “The girl is recovering from the operation and is generally in good condition. She is already playing again,” the girl’s surgeon Kamaruddin said Wednesday. X-rays in September revealed the foreign objects in the girl’s legs and back, prompting suspicions among local residents that they had been inserted magically. The governor of South Sulawesi province, Syahrul Yasin Limpo, visited the victim and said he believed witchcraft was to blame. “Believe it or not, in South Sulawesi it is possible for these sorts of things to happen,” Syahrul was quoted as saying by local news portal Okezone.com. “We have often heard about people whose heads suddenly go soft, and medics have no idea what the cause is. It’s called magic and it’s explained in the Koran.” Doctors said that scars on the girl’s legs showed the nails had been inserted by a person over a sixmonth period. The girl’s parents told media that the scars were from the girl trying to remove the nails and that they had no knowledge of how the nails got there. AFP
Torture charges hurt UK status: Hague LoNDoN
RITAIN’S international standing has been undermined by allegations that its spies colluded in torture, but reforms to remedy the damage should preserve the secrecy that espionage needs, the government said on Wednesday. According to extracts from a speech released in advance by his office, Foreign Secretary (Minister) William Hague said he hoped a strengthening of outside scrutiny of the security services and an inquiry into reported abuse would contribute to “drawing a line under the past”. Hague, who oversees Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service, (SIS), and the Government Communications Headquarters intercept agency, said secrecy was vital to their “dangerous work”. “Many agents and sources risk their lives — some lose their lives — to give us the vital information to keep us safe. We have a duty to protect them,”
he said. Hague said he saw hundreds of operational proposals a year and did not approve all of them. “Intelligence throws up some of the most difficult ethical and legal questions that I encounter as Foreign Secretary,” he said. “Some of them relate to the proper use of intelligence in reaching and justifying decisions in foreign policy — the most controversial instance of this, the Iraq War, is currently the subject of an inquiry. “But we also saw allegations of UK complicity in extraordinary rendition leading to torture. The very making of these allegations undermined Britain’s standing in the world as a country that upholds international law and abhors torture.” PRoBE INTo PAKISTAN, LIBYA, GUANTANAMo: British authorities say they would never use, or encourage others to use, torture to obtain information. An independent inquiry announced by Prime Minister David Cameron in July last year will examine allegations made by several Britons of Pakistani descent that they were abused in custody in Pakistan with the complicity of British officials.
Mario Monti replaced Silvio Berlusconi as Italy’s new prime minister and named himself finance minister in a new cabinet unveiled on Wednesday, tasked with saving the eurozone heavyweight from bankruptcy. Corrado Passera, chief executive of Italy’s biggest retail bank Intesa Sanpaolo, will also head up a reinforced economic development and infastructures ministry charged with boosting the anaemic growth rate. Monti will be formally sworn in at 1600 GMT ahead of a handover ceremony with Berlusconi, the flamboyant tycoon who resigned on Saturday to cheering crowds in the streets after ruling for 10 of the past 17 years. A confidence vote in parliament expected as early as Thursday will then launch the new technocratic government, which will have to act fast to reassure the international community that Italy is serious about implementing reforms. As he scrambled to put together his cabinet this week, Monti sought to build consensus around the idea that Italians will have to make “sacrifices” to stave off bankruptcy and has called for “economic, social and civil growth.” Monti has won endorsements from all of Italy’s main political forces but he faces a major challenge in steering a course through a fractious political world, with particularly intense sniping from Berlusconi’s allies.
blast hits Iranian pilgrim bus, two dead BAgHDAD ReuteRS
A roadside bomb blew up near a bus carrying Iranian pilgrims in northern Baghdad on Wednesday, killing at least two people and wounding 18 others, security and hospital sources said. The bus was attacked as the pilgrims returned from a visit to a Shi’ite Muslim shrine in the city of Samarra, 100 km (60 miles) north of the Iraqi capital. Iraqi security forces are trying to quell a stubborn Sunni Muslim insurgency more than eight years after the U.S.-led invasion that ousted Sunni dictator Saddam Hussein. Military leaders have expressed concern that militants will step up attacks as U.S. forces withdraw. The remaining 24,000 U.S. troops are due to leave before year-end under a 2008 security pact between the two countries.
obama boosts Us military in Australia, reassures China g
Up to 2,500 US Marines, airforce to rotate through Darwin obama reassures China not being isolated g
US President Barack Obama and Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard on Wednesday unveiled plans to deepen the U.S. military presence in the AsiaPacific, with 2,500 U.S. marines operating out of a de facto base in northern Australia. China, already worried the United States is caging it in, immediately questioned whether strengthening military alliances would help the region when economic woes put a premium on cooperation. “With my visit to the region, I am making it clear that the United States is stepping up its commitment to the entire Asia-Pacific region,” Obama told a joint news conference with Gillard in Canberra. From next year, U.S. troops and aircraft will operate out of the tropical city of Darwin, only 820 kms (500 miles) from Indonesia, able to respond quickly to any humanitarian and security issues in Southeast Asia, where disputes over sovereignty of the South China Sea are causing rising tensions. “It is appropriate for us to make sure...that the security architecture for the region is updated for the 21st cen-
tury and this initiative is going to allow us to do that,” Obama said. He stressed that it was not an attempt to isolate China which is concerned that Washington is trying to encircle it with bases in Japan and South Korea and now troops in Australia. “The notion that we fear China is mistaken. The notion that we are looking to exclude China is mistaken,” he said, adding China was not being excluded from the planned Trans-Pacific Partnership (TTP) on trade. “We welcome a rising, peaceful China.” But China’s rising power means it must take on greater responsibilities to ensure free trade and security in the region, he added. “It’s important for them to play by the rules of the road and, in fact, help underwrite the rules that have allowed so much remarkable economic progress,” he said. PEARL HARBoUR oF AUSTRALIA: The U.S. deployment to Australia, the largest since World War Two, will start next year with a company of 200-250 marines in Darwin, the “Pearl Harbour of Australia”, Gillard said. More bombs were dropped on Darwin during a surprise Japanese raid than on Pearl Harbour, Hawaii. A total of 2,500 U.S. troops would
CANBERRA: Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard talks with US President Barack Obama before a parliamentary dinner on Wednesday. AFP
eventually rotate through the port city. The United States will bring in ships, aircraft and vehicles, as well as increase military training.
oBAMA To RAISE SoUTH CHINA SEA: The winding down of wars in Afghanistan and Iraq has opened the door to greater U.S. attention to sim-
mering tension over the South China Sea, a shipping lane for more than $5 trillion in annual trade that the United States wants to keep open.
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Thursday, 17 November, 2011
In lImelIght MuMBAI: bollywood celebrities attend the airtel Superstar awards 2011. afP
LAHoRe StAFF RePoRt
Arguably the most popular celebrity of the Pakistani film industry, Reema is on cloud nine these days. Revelling in her wedding celebrations, Reema says that she feels lucky on becoming part of an educated and illustrious family. She has reportedly been gifted a BMW and a bungalow by her inlaws for ‘moon dikhai’. Pre-nuptial festivities began earlier this week. Reema got officially married to Dr Tariq Shahab in Virginia according to US law yesterday, while her nikah and rukhsati will take place tomorrow on November 18.
ASU BIPASHA B
apple finally trying to fix infuriating ‘autocorrect’ feature
… so your iPhone stops fighting your spelling
Entire websites have sprung up that celebrate the embarrassment and amusement it’s caused, but Apple is now trying to fix the ‘autocorrect’ function on iPhones. The feature is supposed to make texting easier, but all too often it automatically inserts words that give messages entirely cringeworthy or downright rude meanings. The Android auto-correct function is acknowledged as being far superior since it lets users pick out words they want to use. This, apparently, was not lost on Apple, because a developer has unearthed a hidden autocorrect keyboard bar in iOS 5 that works in a similar way. Sonny Dickson, who describes himself as a ‘tech enthusiast’, found the as yet un-released feature lurking in the operating system’s code, which he explains can be switched on using a simple hack. Its presence means that Apple is probably testing it before setting it live. However, the day when the new text function comes online is likely to be viewed as a sad one by many users, such is the entertainment value of the current autocorrect.
Deepika on weight loss regime for
‘Race 2’ MUMbaI: Her tattoos have always been a topic of discussion. but for the first time, Deepika Padukone’s weight has made headlines, thanks to directors abbas-Mustan. a source informed Mumbai Mirror that the duo has asked the actress to shed 4-5kg for her role in their sequel to the 2008 thriller ‘race’. according to the source, the directors’ demands come in light of the fact that Deepika’s costumes in the film require her to sport a leaner structure. and so, Deepika has reportedly conceded to their demand and has joined a pilates class to tone her body. The source explained, “ ‘race 2’ went on floors last week. However major portions of Deepika’s scenes have been allotted in the film’s second schedule, which will take place next year. In the film, she has to don short, ultra-glam dresses, and so, she needs to lose weight. She has since been regulating her diet.” a friend of Deepika said, “It is Deepika’s decision to lose 4-5 kg. Deepika is very excited to don the ultra glam clothes in ‘race 2’ and she knows that she needs to tone her body further to meet the requirements of the role.” MIRRoR
LoNDoN: Jennifer aniston, who is upset at being portrayed as a “homewrecker”, is said to have had an “emotional heart-to-heart with her beau Justin Theroux’s ex-girlfriend Heidi bivens. after many unsuccessful relationships, the 42-year-old actress finally found love with her ‘wanderlust’ co-star, but there has been ongoing ambiguity over when exactly their relationship started and when the actor split from his long-term love bivens. according to grazia magazine, in a bid to set the record straight, aniston met with the costume designer in a New York hotel last week and assured her that she never got together with Theroux until he was single. “Jen has always been sympathetic to Heidi because she’s heard from Justin just how devastated she is about their breakup,” the Daily Mail quoted a source as saying. “but Jen has always been adamant that their relationships did not cross over,” the source said. with the 40-year-old actor absent, the two women reportedly met at a hotel and talked over a glass of wine. AGenCIeS
ANJANA SHUKHANI MuMBAI: well, looks like the ladies might have to wait a bit longer before ricky bahl aka ranveer Singh sweeps them off their feet. release of bollywood sensation ranveer’s next ‘Ladies vs ricky bahl’ might get delayed as the top bosses of Yash raj films are not happy with the way this film has turned out eventually. buzz has it that Yash Chopra himself isn’t too pleased with certain romantic scenes featuring ranveer and anushka Sharma. Sharing bits, a source said, “Yash ji is a stickler for perfection and he has asked his team to reshoot some portions of the film shot in goa. a last minute meeting was held at the studios and aditya Chopra has been asked to look into the changes. He is a filmmaker with a vision, his suggestions can never be ignored.” The promos of ‘Ladies vs ricky bahl’ are already on air and the Yash raj project was set to release on December 8. The unit had already begun preparing for the promotional tours but all plans went haywire when some top Yrf officials saw the film. but, now that the film hasn’t been able to impress the top boss himself, there are reports ranveer has to gear up for a reshoot, which might push the release date a few weeks ahead. ZeeneWS
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17 boLLYwooD tweets for baby b
O L L Y W O O D ’ S golden couple, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and her husband Abhishek, became proud parents for the first time on Wednesday with the birth of a baby girl who joins a celebrated acting dynasty. India’s normally breathless television news channels only made passing reference to the birth, however, keeping to an agreement among broadcasters to restrain their reporting of the family’s private life. Former Miss World Rai Bachchan, 38, gave birth at the private Seven Hills Hospital in Mumbai, hospital staff told AFP. “IT’S A GIRL!,” Ab-
hishek, 35, wrote on his Twitter account, prompting a wave of congratulations on the micro-blogging site. Abhishek later thanked well-wishers, adding: “Both Aishwarya and the baby are doing great and taking some much needed rest... and I’m trying my level best to get rid of this caffeine high and get some sleep too.” Bachchan’s father, Bollywood legend Amitabh, also tweeted his joy at the new arrival. “A dada ji (a grandfather)...Ecstatic!”, he said, calling his new granddaughter “the cutest baby girl”. Amitabh is already a grandfather as his daughter, Shweta Nanda, has two children. Media coverage of the event was muted even though Ash and her husband are top stars and, along with
Sherlock sequel to focus on Downey-Law ‘bromance’
LoS ANGELES: Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law have guaranteed that ‘Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows’ will delve deeper into the “bromance” between Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson. The two actors have insisted that the sequel won’t be any different from the first ‘Sherlock Holmes’ movie directed by Guy Ritchie, which was noted for the chemistry between Downey Law. “Last time around, there was, for some reason or other, that wave of ‘bromance’ in the air. I don’t think when you see this, you’ll feel that we’ve restrained ourselves at all,” Contactmusic quoted Downey as saying. “Truth be told, the bottom line with these stories, it’s about this one man’s observation of this other man who tells him that he is the only true friend he has and him realising that he is the only person that he is actually very, very close to besides his wife. “I think that that’s just a great theme. The bottom line is that we are in this love together,” he added. AGenCIeS
‘ladies vs Ricky ends 11-year Bahl’in trouble
LoS AnGeLeS: actress Zoe Saldana, one of the stars of ‘avatar’, the biggest box-office film in the history of movies, has ended her relationship with fiance Keith britton, the web site of television channel CbS News said. Saldana and britton “have amicably separated after 11 years”, the actress’s agent said. The 33-year-old actress and britton, a businessman of 35, announced their engagement in June 2010. The agent’s communique said that the two will continue as partners at the head of My fashion Data base. Saldana, one of the Latino stars with the greatest presence in Hollywood thanks to her roles in ‘Star Trek’, ‘The Losers’ and above all ‘avatar’, premiered ‘Colombiana’ in august, a madcap action film directed by olivier Megaton. among the upcoming projects of this daughter of a Puerto rican mother and a Dominican father are Part 2 of both ‘Star Trek’ and ‘avatar’. Saldana has always given her love life a low profile, as far from the Hollywood paparazzi as possible. AGenCIeS
Amitabh and his actress wife Jaya, are considered to be Bollywood’s “royal family”. Bachchan senior - a compulsive blogger and tweeter - has had a prickly relationship with the media in the past and has criticised outlets that misrepresent him or intrude on his family’s privacy. Last week broadcasters reportedly agreed on an unprecedented series of measures, including not to trail the event in advance or even run the announcement on “breaking news” captions. News channels, which are normally highly competitive, all appeared to be toeing the line by avoiding rolling coverage of the birth, although it was mentioned in brief. Instead, it was left to the Internet for fans to wish the Bachchans well.
SHoBHAA de: “Little Miss world has arrived! Jai ho!big b over the moon about baby b. Someone sign up ash as ambassador for girl Child, please? worthy cause.” AnuPAM KHeR: “CoNgraTULaTIoNS @juniorbachchan and ash. So so Happy. May the new arrival in the family bring more happiness, joy and peace. Love.:)” JAVed AKHtAR: “@Srbachchan. Congratulations amitabh ji, this has evoked my memory of the day when Shweta was born. Time flies and how swiftly!!” RoHAn SIPPY: “@juniorbachchan congratulations- awesome news!!!” BoMAn IRAnI: “@Srbachchan Dadaji!!!!!! all of us here are delirious with joy! bless you all! @juniorbachchan oHHHH Maaaaraaaaa baaaaaaP!!!!! overjoyed my darlings!!!!!!” SHReYA GHoSHAL: “@Srbachchan: ‘I aM DaDa to the cutest baby girl !!’ awww! Congratulations:):):) when can we see her ! Do post a picture.” KARAn JoHAR: “Congratulations!! baby b had a baby girl!! @juniorbachchan!!! all the love and happiness...am sure she will be the prettiest girl ever!!!” GeneLIA d’SouZA: “@Srbachchan congrats sir, I’m sure Jayaji n u r thrilled,, so so happy n lots n lots of love.” CeLInA JAItLY: “Congratulations :) “@juniorbachchan: IT’S a gIrL!!!!!! :-)))))” Congratulations to u, jayaji aishwarya and proud daddy abhisheik and nani n nana :) @Srbachchan: T 561 - a dada ji ... ecstatic !!!!” BIPASHA BASu: “oMg! So excited baby b is Daddy to a lil angel! Congrats ash n @juniorbachchan n to d entire family!welcome sweet baby girl:)” LAtA MAnGeSHKAR: “bachchan parivaar ko bohot bohot badhaai. Unke ghar mein Lakshmi aayi.” ARJun RAMPAL: “Congratulations daddy cool @juniorbachchan and the coolest DaDaji @Srbachchan and the most beautiful Mommy ash and the lovely Dadi Jayaji.” SonAM KAPooR: “CoNgraTULaTIoNS @Srbachchan and @juniorbachchan!! I’m so so excited for you! Lots and lots of love and happiness!” dIno MoReA: “Congratulations to aishwarya & @juniorbachchan @Srbachchan on the arrival of a beautiful baby girl. May she be blessed.” AFtAB SHIVdASAnI: “very very happy for my buddy @juniorbachchan on becoming a father to a beautiful baby girl!! god bless :))” VISHAL dAdLAnI: “@Srbachchan Congratulations, Sir!!! what great news!!! :D Thrilled for all of you! our very best wishes, as always, and much love!”
vivek oberoi to play Dawood Ibrahim MUMBAI: Vivek Oberoi has been signed to play a major role in ‘Shootout At Wadala’. He is the latest memeber of the cast and joins John Abraham and Anil Kapoor. Apparently he is playing the character of Dawood Ibrahim, and for the first time the character will be called by the same name. Director Sanjay Gupta has examined the legal consequences of using the name Dawood in the film and is going ahead with it. ‘SAW’ is a real life portrayal of the first registered encounter by Mumbai police where gangster Manya Surve was shot dead by the Mumbai police. Gupta confirms, “Yes, we have signed Vivek in the film and he will playing the role of a budding gangster. He will be called Dawood in the film.” Wonder how Akshay Kumar, who is allegedly playing Dawood in ‘Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai 2’, feels about this? AGenCIeS
Soft-porn film actress to sue ‘ ’ makers
MuMBAI: even as ‘rockstar’ has opened to a mixed response, filmmaker Imtiaz ali and the production house Shree ashtavinayak find themselves embroiled in a new controversy. Small time actress ashika Suryavanshi, who was shocked to see herself on screen in a film that was meant to be soft-porn in ‘rockstar’ has decided to file a complaint against Imtiaz ali and ashtavinayak. Lead actor ranbir Kapoor and Nargis fakhri might have had fun shooting for the ‘Junglee Jawaani’ sequence in Imtiaz ali’s ‘rockstar’, but ashika, the actress who features in the film, apparently is crying hoarse for turning her life into a living hell. “ashika has become the butt of all jokes in her friend circle. Her phone hasn’t stopped ringing ever since ‘rockstar’ released. People have been asking her all sort of lewd questions,” revealed a source. Miffed with the filmmakers for tarnishing her image, ashika has now decided to file a complaint against ali and ashtavinayak. ashika is even furious with the makers of the film ‘Jungle Love’ – the C-grade film in which she acted in, for giving away the rights to the makers of ‘rockstar’ without her consent. ZeeneWS
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Thursday, 17 November, 2011
woods and Scott in President’s Cup showdown Page 22 Lorgat Lauds PaKistan’s sPirit in diffiCuLt tiMes
ICC ready to help Pakistan organise India series LAHoRe
AKISTAN'S efforts to continue playing cricket despite the toughest of situations and performing at their best was praised by Haroon Lorgat, ICC Chief Executive. "Pakistan team is a joy to watch. There are a lot of supporters around the globe and they make many people happy. So when Pakistan performs it is good for international cricket," he said. According to Gulf News, on the contribution of UAE as a neutral venue in helping Pakistan continue playing international cricket despite the team’s not touring their country, Lorgat said: "We were very particular that Pakistan continues to play international cricket though the first choice was always on their home soil. When that was not possible we wanted to make sure that they play cricket and if on neutral venues so be it but we want that they must play cricket. It would have been most unfortunate if they
Smith disappointed at Test C’ship delay JoHANNeSBURg AFP
South African captain Graeme Smith said on Wednesday he was disappointed that the International Cricket Council had decided not to introduce a world Test championship before 2017. “It’s a bit disappointing,” said Smith on the eve of the second and final Test against Australia at the Wanderers Stadium. “I personally felt it wasn’t the right decision for cricket.” But Australian captain Michael Clarke said he was “not phased” by the ICC decision. ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat announced on Monday that the introduction of a championship had been pushed out from 2013 because of commitments to broadcasters and sponsors. “Obviously the ICC have their reasons but five years is a pretty long time,” said Smith. “You can skip a generation in five years. As cricketers you want the ICC to make the best decisions in the interests of the game and I’m not sure that that’s happened now.” Clarke said he hadn’t given much thought to the Test championship. “I wasn’t really sure when it was due to start anyway. It doesn’t really phase me. If it can work in 2017 it’ll be fantastic but by that stage I think I’ll be watching from the couch.” The Australian captain said he believed his players would not suffer from the scars of their freak collapse to 47 all out in the first Test in Cape Town last week. “We got rid of them once we left the change room. We had a really long chat after the game and made a pact to each other that once we left the ground we were going to look to this Test match. “All the guys have trained well over the last couple of days . . . we’ve got to have a red-hot crack to win this game and level the series.” Smith said South Africa wanted to improve on their performance in the first Test where they trailed by 188 runs on the first innings but went on to win by eight wickets. “We are focused on how we can improve,” said Smith. “We already saw that in the second innings. I want to see the graph going up.” Smith said the players were not taking anything for granted. “It’s our second Test match in seven or eight months and we’re really motivated to perform. “We have a lot of respect for Australia and we’re certainly not going to take our foot off the gas. We want to earn the right to win the series.”
would have been sitting at home and not playing." Lorgat said: "Pakistan is a very talented team, they can produce players of the highest quality and all that is left is for them to deliver on the field. Recently, under Misbah-ulHaq they have played very well in recent series. There are many people who are proud of their performances and we are happy when teams are performing." Lorgat wants all teams around the world to be competitive. "We need all teams to be competitive. It is not helpful if there are only two or three teams at the top end. Whether Pakistan or West Indies all of them need to perform and compete at the top," he added. When asked about the possibility of a Pakistan-India series, Lorgat said: "It's always very topical to see if you can play Pakistan versus India. It's a seriously important fixture and something which no doubt Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Zaka Ashraf will also have in his mind and we will support whatever is possible to make it happen."
CA forms anti-corruption unit SYDNeY AFP
Cricket Australia on Wednesday formed an Anti-Corruption and Security Unit to help maintain the integrity of the country’s domestic competitions. The unit will oversee the Sheffield Shield, Ryobi Cup and the newly-formed Big Bash League with the International Cricket Council continuing to monitor international competitions. Members of the unit will have an at-venue presence during domestic matches while handling anti-corruption education programmes for players. “Betting-related corruption is a significant issue to sport in general and Cricket Australia is determined to institute measures that safeguard the integrity of our sport,” said CA chief executive James Suther-
land. “There has been no evidence of problems in domestic cricket but we want to move proactively on the basis that vigilance and constant education is critical. “The unit will give our domestic cricket bodies a specialised resource to call on to protect our sport from instances of corruption, and underscores our dedication to stamping out illegal activity.” Establishment of the unit comes just weeks after a British judge jailed disgraced former Pakistan cricket captain Salman Butt, two of his bowlers and their agent for their part in a fixing scandal that rocked the game. Sports Minister Mark Arbib said Cricket Australia’s initiative complemented the work the government was doing in the fight against match-fixing. “We are working to empower Australia’s sports to ensure their athletes are protected, and that everyone involved with sport understands the importance of combating match-fixing,” he said.
Pakistan move closer to bangladesh series DUBAI AFP
Bangladesh can tour Pakistan in April next year but they need security clearance from the game’s governing body, a top official from Bangladesh Cricket Board told AFP on Wednesday. International cricket has been suspended in Pakistan since terrorists’ attacks on the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore in March 2009, which left eight people dead and seven visiting players and their assistant coach wounded. Even before the attacks Pakistan had been a “no go” area for international teams who refused to tour the troubled country where the national army had been fighting militancy and a resurgency of Taliban activity. Sri Lanka turned down an invitation to tour Pakistan in May this year following attacks on a military base in Karachi, forcing their hosts to shift the series to a neutral venue in the United Arab Emirates. Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Zaka Ashraf on Monday said he was doing his level best to bring international cricket back to Pakistan and has invited Bangladesh to tour the country. Mustafa Kamal, president of the BCB, told AFP his country can tour provided the International Cricket Council (ICC) clears security in Pakistan. “I met Ashraf who is keen to bring cricket back to Pakistan and for that he has invited us also and we have an obligation to tour them but for that we need the ICC’s clearance on security,” Kamal said. Under the ICC Future Tours Programme Bangladesh is due to tour Pakistan in April 2012. Kamal said he has also discussed the prospect of the tour with ICC officials. “I am also discussing the issue with the ICC officials and since they have to send umpires and other officials for the series they are also reviewing the situation and we will also continue to discuss the matter with Pakistan,” said Kamal. ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat on Monday said Pakistan will be supported in their efforts to bring back international
Zaka ashraf doing his best to bring International teams to Pakistan. cricket to the country. Kamal said the negotiations will continue with Pakistani officials who are due to tour Bangladesh soon. “Since the Pakistan team is also touring us we have invited their officials to come and discuss the matter further,” said Kamal of the tour during which Pakistan play a Twenty20, three one-day and two Tests. The tour starts with a Twenty20 on November 29. Kamal said he felt for Pakistani fans who have been deprived of international cricket. “I started (career) from Pakistan,” said Kamal of the times when Bangladesh was part of Pakistan before gaining independence in 1971. “I know they are cricket loving people and at some point in time, someone has to tour them to give them international cricket.” Kamal said Bangladesh was also open to send Under-19 and ‘A’ teams to Pakistan. Bangladesh and Pakistan were also due to nominate a joint candidate for the ICC vice presidency and Kamal hoped a final name will come up in the next two weeks.
Imran Tahir: From Sui Gas to South Africa Comment BARNeY RoNAY
MID the excitable brouhaha of England's ascent to the peak of the International Cricket Council's Test rankings in August this year one or two slightly more sobering issues tended to get overlooked. Chief among these is the fact that, never mind the inevitable parallax error of the ICC points system, it will be next summer's series against South Africa – England's most obvious challengers – that will decide in more vibrantly gladiatorial form the identity of the world's best team. Similarly, amid the excitable brouhaha of an astonishing first Test in Cape Town last week, a key feature of South Africa's freewheeling eight wicket defeat of Australia also went largely unremarked. From an England perspective the most notable aspect of an often-hysterical Test match was the sheer cold-eyed excellence of the Proteas bowling attack in dismissing Australia for 47 in the second innings and 284 in the first, when Australia were saved from collapse by a sublime and friskily defiant 151 by the captain, Michael Clarke. On a helpful pitch Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel, backed by Jacques Kallis's slingy swing and the muchimproved debutant Vernon Philander looked, at times, a close match for anything England might put up against them. Imagine if you can a Venn diagram seg-
ment providing a direct link between these two separate excitable brouhahas four months apart. It comes in the shape of a single peripatetic cricketer: Imran Tahir, hitherto a globetrotting Pakistani impresario of the leg-break and googly, who made his belated Test match debut in Cape Town in the colours of his adopted nation. Until now Graeme Swann has been – and remains – England's one unassailable trump card when the issue of Test ascendancy comes around. South Africa have had no spin bowler of any note since the falling away of Paul Adams, their options limited recently to the nuisance-value bravado of Paul Harris. This is still, in practice, the case. Tahir has yet to take a Test wicket. He bowled 10 overs in Cape Town and batted at No11 twice with an endearing twitchiness familiar to those who have seen him loiter at the crease for Hampshire and Warwickshire – not to mention the combined might of Dolphins, Easterns, Lahore Blues, Lahore City, Lahore Lions, Lahore Ravi, Lahore Whites, Middlesex, Pakistan A, Pakistan International Airlines, Redco Pakistan Ltd, Sialkot, Staffordshire, Sui Gas Corporation of Pakistan, Titans, Water and Power Development Authority and Yorkshire.
But South Africa's new recruit is a bowler of rare talent and the mere fact of his likely selection in seamer-friendly Johannesburg – where South Africa beat England by an innings without a spin bowler in the team last year – suggests that by the end of this week things might begin to look a little different on this front. Tahir was certainly the most familiar of debutants, a baby-faced 32-year-old whose career to date has been notable for two things. First the buccaneering wanderlust that has taken in international appearances with Pakistan A and Under 19s, a protracted stay in England – where he has been popular wherever he has played, not least during an early stint with Staffordshire that is still recalled fondly in the Potteries – and finally a marital relocation to South Africa. Throughout all of this Tahir has accumulated an unusually fine record as a bowler: he has 585 first class wickets at 25.24 and even more vertiginously high-class figures in the shorter formats where his variation and control make him a genuine ace for any team defending a total. His marriage to Sumayya Dildar, a South African of Indian descent and, in 2009, the
completion of a four-year residency qualification provided a happy conjoining of interests. Tahir has found a Test nation willing to take a chance on his mesmerising hard-spun leg-breaks; and South Africa, 20 years after re-entry into international cricket, finally have a proper spinner. A debut came at the ICC World Cup in April, where Tahir took 14 wickets, having been initially "held back" to retain whatever mystery might still cling to one of the most widely travelled secret weapons in cricketing history. If there is a helpful point of comparison for Tahir at this stage it is perhaps Swann, who provides a model of the backwater spinbowling exile grown to late-blooming international maturity. Like Swann, Tahir played more than 100 first class matches before his international debut. The comparison is also tactical. Tahir can provide South Africa's attack with an attacking option on wearing pitches, or a wicket-taking variation when the game goes flat; but as a bowler he is sufficiently well-grooved and mature to contain also, as Swann did at times on the last Ashes tour and in the home series against India. Plus Tahir is now a rarity. He may have been a long time coming, but now he's here his timing is unusually good. There simply aren't that many leg-spinners around playing Test cricket. The spunky, skiddy Devendra Bishoo is the ICC emerging player of the year. After that you're looking at the unorthodoxy of Ajantha Mendis and Amit Mishra. (The Guardian)
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Thursday, 17 November, 2011
Mani backs Condon’s claims on corruption g
T20s the greatest trigger point for spot-fixing, says former ICC aCU chief LAHoRe
ORMER ICC President Ehsan Mani has backed the views of former ICC Anti-corruption Unit chief Paul Condon that spot-fixing is rife in international cricket. Describing the sensational claims made by the former ICC’s ACSU chief, Lord Condon as correct, the former president of the ICC said that during his term in the office he was also warned by Mr. Condon time and again. Like the former ACSU chief, Ehsan is also convinced that the birth of the ACSU put a lid on match-fixing. “After 2001, I was satisfied that match-fixing became history, however, Condon used to tell me every time that the spot-fixing was going on,” said Mani said in a television interview. Ehsan Mani also believes that complete eradication of the spotfixing from the game is highly unlikely. “Even a single player can do it (spotfixing), also it’s not easy to detect this malpractice, therefore the complete eradication of this threat is difficult”, maintained Ehsan Mani who became the ICC President in June 2003. Former ICC Anti Corruption Unit chief Lord Paul Condon had said the proliferation of Twenty20 cricket has "allowed some really bad people back into the game". Condon, who had on Tuesday said that all interna-
Indian blind cricket team arrive LAHoRe
tional teams were involved in corruption, said Wednesday: "Probably the greatest trigger point (in the rise of corruption) was the explosion of T20. The former Metropolitan Police commissioner, who set up the International Cricket Council's anti-corruption unit in 2000, also believes the vast sums of money on offer in some 20-over competitions to elite players tempted those on the rungs below to earn cash through illegitimate means. "The 'anything goes' party atmosphere allowed some really bad people back into the game. Some of the notorious fixers from early years started to reemerge on the circuit in India, Pakistan, South Africa, Australia and the UK. "It almost legitimised the bad guys being back around cricket again, and fixers were even seen in promoters' boxes and at matches. What up to then had been pretty tight and regulated, suddenly became a free-for-all." Condon, who believes the ICC must have the "nuclear option" of ultimately excluding national boards who fail to clean up the sport in their country, added that Twenty20 "took away the discipline and rigour (the unit) had been enforcing" and that players were exposed to "lots of people making very, very big sums of money". He continued: "I think the temptation was to do a little fix here and a little fix there and still win the match - and they were not seeing it as criminal."
Moin rejects Condon’s statement KARACHI AGenCIeS
Former Pakistan captain Moin Khan has lashed out at ex-chief of Icc AntiCorruption Unit Paul Condon for stating that ACU was aware that in the 90s and in the following years all of cricket's leading countries were involved in fixing major matches. "I don't understand the purpose of his statement now. If the ACU knew that fixing was so widespread what action did they take to bring guilty teams or players to book after the ACU was formed in 2000," questioned Moin. Moin, who now runs his own cricket academy in Karachi, said he was surprised by Condon's statement but said in a way it was good for Pakistan. Condon in a fresh interview said not just Pakistan but other countries were involved in fixing. "In the late 1990s, Test and World Cup matches were being routinely fixed," Condon, the founding head of the ICC anti-corruption unit, said in an interview with London Evening Standard. He also spoke about how a Pakistani player who went to England on ACU expenses at the last moment refused to give evidence or unmask those involved in fixing. "What I want to know is that if fixing
was rampant in the 90s and later on like Condon says what did the ACU do. Because until now all of the cases brought against players have been unveiled by the police or media." Moin said he was not surprised at learning about a player backing out of giving testimony and evidence because of fear to his family's life.
Pakistan beat spain in Kabaddi WC g
Doping officials demand security LAHoRe
The Indian blind cricket team arrived at Lahore on Wednesday via Wagah border. India will face Pakistan in three one-dayers and three T20 matches during their stay in the country. The first T20 match will be played at Lahore Gymkhana Cricket Ground Bagh-e-Jinnah on November 18 while second and third T20 matches will be played on the same venue on November 19 and 20. The three ODIs will be played at Shalimar Cricket Stadium, Margalla Road, Islamabad on November 22, 24 and 26.
Pakistan’s winning run continued on Wednesday as they defeated Spain in their last group match of the Kabaddi World Cup in Indian Punjab. Pakistan defeated Spain by 62-14. In the other
match, Italy beat Sri Lanka by 74-15 In the women’s encounter, England beat Turkmenistan by 56-17. Earlier, as doping continues unabated in the ongoing Kabaddi World Cup being held in different towns of Indian Punjab, India’s National Anti Doping Agency (NADA) demanded adequate security for its officials to avoid
Cherat Cement in polo semis Pakistan team enjoyed a glorious run. FilE Photo
"No body will be willing to risk his family until the ICC ACU and concerned boards provide him proper security and safety. Why should any player run the risk of his family being hurt," Moin added. Moin noted that when the ACU was spending millions, it could have easily spend more money on persuading players to give evidence after ensuring they got proper safety and security. "It is responsibility of ACU to provide security and safety to a player wiling to come forward if he knows something. But that is not happening now and that is something the ICC must look into," he said. He also said Condon was now speaking about the need to have former cricketers involved in the ICC and also in ACU. "This suggestion to have former players work with the ACU was given any years ago why Condon didn't work on it, why say this now." Moin said he was happy that Condon's statement would at least clear the misconception that only Pakistani players were involved in corruption and fixing. "His statement in a way does restore Pakistan's image and confirms corruption and fixing is not a problem restricted to one team or region it is a global issue," Moin said.
Ch ashraf remembered LAHoRe StAFF RePoRt
any untoward incident from taking place. "We have written to organising secretary of the Cup, Pargat Singh and Punjab's DGP and demanded that adequate security cover be provided to our officials," NADA's director general Rahul Bhatnagar said. He said that he had taken serious view of the incident in which a player and another official of a participating team had allegedly threatened a dope coordination committee official of dire consequences. "I am trying to get exact details of the incident. But as the matter is serious, we cannot put our officials at risk while they are only doing their duty," he said. Bhatnagar said that they had asked the organisers before the start of the competition to get dope-free certificates for the foreign players from their respective associations, but that was not done. "But frequent doping incidents will force them to take a call next time," he said. Organisers have banned the USA team for its refusal to give samples as the total number of dope-tainted players has reached 38. The three-week tournament, in which 14 teams are participating, had started on November 1.
The 28th death anniversary of Al-Haaj Chaudhry Muhammad Ashraf, former Senator, a renowned industrialist and founder of Ashraf Group of Industries, was held with here. Late Ch Muhammad Ashraf was father of Ch Muhammad Zaka Ashraf, Chairman Pakistan Cricket Board and former President/Chief Executive Officer ZTBL. A large number of civil officials, politicians, farmers, Parliamentarians and notables attended the death anniversary. The speakers paid tribute to late Ch Muhammad Ashraf who introduce revolutionary measures in agriculture.
LaHore: visitors from across the country take part in dua for the late Ch M ashraf.
Irish end finals curse to reach Euro 2012 PARIS AFP
LAHoRe StAFF RePoRt
Cherat Cement Wednesday moved to the semi-final of the Members Polo Cup after winning two back to back matches Wednesday. In the semi-final Cherat Cement will face Guard Group which moved past Newage Cables. Cherat Cement played two matches of two chukkers and won both of them with little fight from the rivals. They first beat Master Paints 2-1 and then hammered Black Horse Paints 4-3. Masters, however, ensured that Black Horse Paints stay at the losing end when they squared up with them to get half a goal margin win with a score of two and a half to two. For Guard Group six to five goals win over Newage Cables, Taimur Ali Malik earned the limelight with five goals while the sixth goal came through Mian Hussain Iftikhar.
The Republic of Ireland ended years of frustration by reaching their first major finals since the 2002 World Cup as they qualified for Euro 2012 on Tuesday. A 1-1 draw at home to Estonia was sufficient to give them a 5-1 aggregate victory and only their second appearance at a European Championships, with the previous one coming in 1988. They were joined by Croatia and 1996 finalists the Czech Republic as they saw off Turkey and Montenegro respectively - the Croats drawing 0-0 at home to progress 3-0 on aggregate and the Czechs winning 1-0 away to also qualify 3-0 on aggregate. Portugal also eased into the finals as a brace apiece from Cristiano Ronaldo and Helder Postiga inspired the 2004 finalists to a 6-2 win at home to Bosnia-Herzegovina for a 6-2 aggregate win. It was the second successive time that the Portuguese had seen off the same opposition in a playoff having dashed the Bosnians hopes for the 2010 World Cup. For Croatia it was sweet revenge as they had been knocked out by the Turks in the Euro 2008 quarter-
finals on penalties, while for the Czechs it was some consolation for missing out on last year’s World Cup finals. The Irish qualification will be particularly sweet for the trio of Shay Given, Damien Duff and skipper Robbie Keane, the only three starting the match who had appeared for Ireland at their last major finals, when Spain sent them packing from the 2002 World Cup on penalties in the second round. “This is an historic moment to have qualified playing at home in Dublin,” said Given, referring to the time Ireland qualified for the 2002 World Cup after a play-off in Tehran against Iran. Keane too was ecstatic. “This is great for Ireland. This is a moment we will never forget,” he said. Ireland’s veteran Italian coach Giovanni Trapattoni equated this achievement with all the club trophies - including the Champions League - he has won down the years. “This is as big a trophy for me,” said the 72-year-old. “For me and Marco (his assistant Marco Tardelli) it is wonderful as we built this team and makes us proud about what we have done.” Ireland’s dominance finally paid-off in the 32nd minute as Stephen Ward pounced on the rebound after Estonian goalkeeper
Pavel Londak had saved Kevin Doyle’s header. Not even a second-half equaliser by Konstantin Vassiljev was enough to
dampen the celebrations of the 51,000 spectators, a record attendance at the Aviva Stadium for a football international.
DUbLIN: republic of Ireland’s Kevin Doyle (r) vies for the ball with estonia’s Taijo Teniste. AFP
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20 sports Kiran picked for afC ‘b’ Coaching Course LAHoRe StAFF RePoRt
Pakistan’s first woman football coach Ms Kiran Ilyas Ghouri has qualified for the AFC ‘B’ Coaching Course at Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, the Pakistan Football Federation announced Wednesday. She was nominated by the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) to participate in the course. PFF President Makhdoom Syed Faisal Saleh Hayat, on the selection of Ms Kiran, said that four key elements coaching, competition, talent hunt and selection on merit were essential in the overall development of the game. The 32year-old was the assistant coach of Pakistan team at the 2010 South Asian Games and the inaugural South Asian Football Federation’s Women’s Championship, also in 2010. She played as captain for Punjab in 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008 before becoming the coach for the U-14 team at the AFC Festival of Football for girls in Sri Lanka in 2009. Ghouri, who has a master’s degree in sports science, believes she is ‘growing together’ with women’s football in Pakistan which is still in its infancy compared to the big guns in Asia. It is pertinent to mention that the AFC ‘B’ Coaching Certificate is for the coaches who already have the ‘C’ Certificate. The course is designed to educate coaches about the advanced techniques and skills of the game and help them develop a better understanding of individual or groups of players, tactics and the mental requirements of the game. The duration of the course is for 20 days, containing more than 107 hours of theoretical and practical contents. The examination focuses on the coaches’ practical coaching abilities, knowledge and understanding of the theoretical contents of the game, in addition to a brief presentation of a dissertation to the class. The eligibility of AFC ‘B’ Coaching Course is 2 years practical experience after passing AFC ‘C’ Coaching Course.
PHf Inter-academy Hockey Tournament postponed LAHoRe StAFF RePoRt
The PHF Inter-Academy Hockey Tournament, which was scheduled to be held at Sialkot Hockey Stadium from November 26 to December 10, has been pushed forward for about two weeks. The event will now be organised at the same venue from December 10 to 22 due to pre-occupation PHF Officials in the Champions Trophy in New Zealand.
Thursday, 17 November, 2011
India eye series win against West Indies SCoReBoARd IndIA, 1st innings: 631-7 decl (V. Laxman 176 not out, MS dhoni 144, R. dravid 119, G. Gambhir 65; K. Roach 2-106, d. Sammy 2-132) WeSt IndIeS 1st innings (overnight 34-2): A. Barath c Sehwag b Yadav 1 K. Brathwaite c Gambhir b Ashwin 17 K. edwards lbw b ojha 16 d. Bravo b Yadav 30 S. Chanderpaul lbw b Ashwin 4 25 M. Samuels b Yadav 13 C. Baugh lbw b ojha 18 d. Sammy c dhoni b ojha 2 K. Roach run out 16 F. edwards lbw b ojha 8 d. Bishoo not out eXtRAS (lb3) 3 153 totAL (for all out; 48 overs) Fall of wickets: 1-3 (Barath), 2-30 (Brathwaite), 3-42 (K. edwards), 4-46 (Chanderpaul), 5-92 (Bravo), 6-99 (Samuels), 7-120 (Sammy), 8-129 (Roach), 9-129 (Baugh), 10-153 (F. edwards). Bowling: ojha 22-5-64-4, Yadav 7-1-23-3, Ashwin 14-3-492, Sharma 5-2-14-0. WeSt IndIeS 2nd innings: 62 A. Barath c Laxman b Sharma K. Brathwaite c dhoni b Yadav 9 K. edwards lbw b Sharma 60 d. Bravo not out 38 21 S. Chanderpaul not out 5 eXtRAS (b1, lb3, w1) 195 totAL (for three wickets; 62 overs) Fall of wickets: 1-23 (Brathwaite), 2-116 (Barath), 3-161 (K. edwards). Bowling: Yadav 10-1-36-1, Sharma 14-3-41-2, ojha 11-3-37-0, Ashwin 20-1-51-0, Yuvraj 3-0-14-0, Sehwag 4-0-12-0 (w1). toSS: India, uMPIReS: Rod tucker (AuS) and Bruce oxenford (AuS), tV uMPIRe: S. Ravi (Ind), MAtCH ReFeRee: Jeff Crowe (nZL)
KoLKaTa: west Indies Darren bravo is clean bowled on the third day of the second Test. AFP behind off paceman Umesh Yadav. KoLKAtA
NDIA strengthened their chances of winning the second Test and the series despite the West Indies’ improved batting show after a first-innings collapse on the third day on Wednesday. The West Indies, dismissed for 153 in their first innings in reply to India’s mammoth 631-7 declared, did better in their second innings to reach 1953 at stumps at Eden Gardens in Kolkata. The tourists, who lost the opening Test of the three-match series by five wickets in New Delhi, face a stiff task to save the match as they still trail by 283 runs with seven wickets in hand. Darren Bravo was unbeaten on 38 with the help of three sixes and Shivnarine Chanderpaul on 21 not out. Opener Adrian Barath (62) and Kirk Edwards (60) defied the Indian attack with a 93-run stand for the second wicket after the early dismissal of Kraigg Brathwaite (nine), who was caught
Barath and Edwards played some attractive shots before fast bowler Ishant Sharma broke the stand immediately after the tea-break when he had Barath caught by Venkatsai Laxman, who held a low catch to his left at first slip. Barath hit 10 fours in his third Test half-century. Sharma struck again when he removed Edwards, trapped leg-before after hitting one six and six fours in his second Test half-century. India gained the big advantage through their bowlers in the morning session as the West Indies could add just 119 runs in 36 overs after resuming at 34-2, with left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha finishing with 4-64. “We are in the driver’s seat and things are going pretty well at the moment. In the morning, there was some moisture in the wicket and it was doing a bit for us,” said Ojha. “We hope the same thing happens tomorrow. Our guys are bowling well and hitting the right areas. We are confident of getting them out early tomorrow.” Yadav, who
took one wicket on Tuesday, struck twice in the morning to finish with 3-23 in only his second Test match, while off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin bagged 2-49. The West Indies’ batsmen failed to apply themselves in the first innings on a pitch offering turn and bounce to spinners, with Bravo top-scoring with 30. “Chanderpaul is the key player for us tomorrow. He can bat through tomorrow and make it difficult for the Indian bowlers,” said Barath. “We did not bat as well as we should have in the first innings. I think it was just a matter of application. We learnt from our mistakes and applied ourselves a bit more (in the second innings).” Ashwin and Ojha did the early damage when they took one wicket each before Yadav jolted the West Indies by removing Bravo and Marlon Samuels (25) in successive overs. Ojha got a wicket in the fifth over of the day when he trapped Edwards (16) leg-before for his 50th Test victim in 13 matches after the batsman had added only four runs to his overnight score of 12. Ashwin, who got married a day before the Test started, captured a big wicket in his opening over when he removed in-form Chanderpaul, who was also trapped leg-before. Chanderpaul, who scored 118 and 47 in the opening Test, was able to contribute just four runs this time. Bravo and Samuels played some attacking shots during their 46-run stand for the fifth wicket before falling in the space of seven runs to leave their team struggling at 99-6.
woods and Scott in President’s Cup showdown
MeLboUrNe: Tiger woods of the US hits a tees shot during a practice round. AFP MeLBoURNe
Tigers at home and lambs abroad Comment PARtAB RAMCHAND
HE disparity between India's home and away record is telling. Indeed, I would not be surprised if the winloss ratio is the most lopsided for any country while comparing the Tests played at home and abroad. Figures may lie but not in this case. India's win-loss record at home is 74-49 while away it is 37-94. Let me also hasten to add that nine of the 37 victories have come about in Zimbabwe and Bangladesh. Even in the formative years when India were getting beaten black and blue, they more or less managed to hold their own at home. From 1960 to 1964, for example, I remember India playing 16 Tests at home without losing even one - even if the vast majority of them were drawn. In the seventies, as the fortunes of Indian cricket took an upswing worldwide, there was a phase from January 1977 to February 1980 when India did lost even one of 20 home Tests - and this time they managed to win six of them. The peak period came about in 1988-1994 when in a glorious run India won ten successive home Tests against
New Zealand, Sri Lanka, England, Zimbabwe and West Indies. Almost all visiting teams regularly won a Test series in India in the early days and even in the 70s and 80s. But over the last quarter of a century this has become a rarity. Pakistan won a five-match series 1-0 in 1987 but the next team to win a series in India were Hansie Cronje's South Africans in 2000. And as is well known over the last decade only one team Australia in 2004 - has won a Test series in this country. Little wonder then that the Indians have acquired the tag of being "tigers at home and lambs abroad". While this may not exactly be true as India, particularly in recent years, have notched up many notable away victories (and even series triumphs in every country other than Australia and South Africa where they have come back with squared contests), there is little doubt
that the disparity is pronounced. Why, even during their most successful phase at home over the last two decades and more, they have lost Tests (and in most cases the series) in England, Australia, South Africa, West Indies, New Zealand, Pakistan, Sri Lanka - and even Zimbabwe. The greatest teams in history have won regularly both at home and away. One has only to glance at the performance of the all conquering West Indian sides during their incredible run when they did not lose a series anywhere from 1980 to 1995 or the showing of the formidable Aussie squads in the period 1995-2007 when they twice ran up a record of 16 successive wins. Incidentally the earlier record of eleven was held by the West Indies. Clive Lloyd's awesome side also still holds the record of going 27 matches without defeat. Registering 5-0 clean sweeps are rare but during their rampaging run, West
Indies accomplished the feat twice - in England in 1984 and in the return series at home in 1986 - while Australia, not to be outdone, simply overran West Indies in 2000-01 and England six years later, both at home. When India took over at the top of the Test rankings late in 2009, the cynics who pointed out that the reign would not last long probably had the away record in mind. Let there be no doubt that India were deservingly top ranked based on the performances at home backed by series victories in West Indies, England and New Zealand. The feeling that their stay at the top was going to be tenuous was reinforced by their largely overall indifferent record abroad and not unexpectedly their reign at the top was not an extended one and came to an inglorious end away from home. There is never going to be any doubt that India will continue to ride roughshod over any opposition at home. After all, they got the better of the top ranked Aussie squad in the late 90s and again early in the new millennium besides sharing contests with the formidable West Indians in the late 80s and mid 90s. It is their away record that will prevent them from climbing back to the top.
Tiger Woods will face Adam Scott in an intriguing match-up on the opening day of the Presidents Cup two weeks after a racial slur aimed at the American by the Australian’s caddie. Woods will team up with Steve Stricker for the United States while Australian Scott is playing with South Korea’s K.J. Choi for the International team in the last of Thursday’s six foursomes. It means former world number one Woods will come face to face with Scott’s caddie Steve Williams, who carried Woods’s bags for 13 of his 14 major titles before being sacked earlier this year. Williams earlier this month referred to Woods as a “black arsehole” during an awards dinner in Shanghai. He subsequently apologised to Woods for the comment and they shook hands. “I think it’s great for the tournament. It needed to be done,” Internationals captain Greg Norman said at Wednesday’s pairings announcement. “It played out the way it played out. There wasn’t any premeditation by it. “I think at the end of the day, the guys in that last group will be the consummate professionals and go out and play the game of golf representing their International team and the US team the way they should do.”
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Thursday, 17 November, 2011
LAHORE: Players of Kinnaird College and Model Town Girls College vie for the ball in the Inter-School and Collegiate Games. oNliNE
wATCh IT LIvE TEN SPORTS South Africa v Australia - 2nd Test Day 1 01:30PM
NEO CRICKET India v West Indies 2nd Test Day 4 08:30AM
India get favourable draw in olympic qualifiers NeW DeLHI AFP
inter-sChooL, CoLLegiate gaMes
superior College reign supreme LAHoRe StAFF RePoRt
Govt Higher Secondary School Jallo More won the schools rugby event of the 4th Inter School, Collegiate Games being held at various venues of the city. The Trust School Thokar Niaz Baig was second and Garrison Boys School grabbed third position. Islamia College Civil Lines dominated the opening round of the initial colleges boxing draws of the Games at their own backyard where quarter-final events were completed. On the opening day 10 bouts in five body weights were contested and Civil Lines College won five of them. In the 49 kgs weight class, Imam of GCU and Daniel of ICCL won their bouts. Imam of GCU beat Saqib Ali of Islamia College Railway Road
on points (7-5) and Daniel of ICCL beat Shahzad Ali when referee stopped contest. In 52 kgs, Masood of Railway Road beat Arslan of GCU, who retired from the fight while Azam of Civil Lines College beat Shahbaz on points. In 56 kgs, Abdul Ghafoor of Superior College downed Imdad of GCU when referee stopped the contest while Basharat Ali of Railway Road College retired to hand win to Ubaid of Civil Lines. In 60 kgs, Mohammad Farooq of Superior beat Abbas (retired) of GCU and Feroz of Civil Lines got walk over against Mohammad Bilal of Railway Road. In the 64 kgs class, Rauf Butt of Civil Lines moved past Aftab Ali of Superior after referee stopped contest and Bilal of GCU beat Imtiaz of Railway Road on points. The remaining first draw bouts and school category com-
petitions in boxing will be played on Thursday at the same venue. In cycling, girls final was completed and girls school team event saw Hamza Foundation grab the title. LGS 1-A-1 Gulberg were second while Govt Pak Standard Shad Bag got third position. In individual event Anam Mehmood of Hamza Foundation were first, Maleeha Khan LGS 1-A-1 Gulberg second and Bakhtawar Mehmood of Hamza Foundation were third. In college girls team event, Superior College got first position, Hamza Foundation second and Adbistan e Sofia got third position. In individual event, Asma Haq of Hamza Foundation was first, Maham Tariq of Superior College was second while Hina Qasim of KPK got third position. In wrestling event 55 kg category,
Vejay from Islamia College Civil Lines grabbed first and Faizan from Sindh got second position. In 60kg category Hasham Nazkat from Superior was first, Siddique Akber from Civil Lines second. In 66 kg category, Waqas from Superior was first, Younis of Civil Lines was second. In 74 kg Hamaza from Superior first, Hassam of Civil Lines was second. In 84 kg category Tayyab of Civil Lines was first and Hanan of Superior grabbed second position. In girls net ball college event, four teams qualified for semi-final in which LGS were first, Lahore College University, LGS Defence and GC Model Town were others. In schools event, Beaconhouse Liberty Campus and LGS 1 Shah Jamal qualified for the semi finals which will be played at Lahore Women’s University on November 17.
Former champions India were on Tuesday handed a favourable draw for the Olympic men's field hockey qualifiers, even as South Korea and Spain faced a tough journey to London. India will play lowerranked teams on home soil in the first of three qualifying tournaments, according to the draw released by the International Hockey Federation (FIH). India, eighttime Olympic gold medallists who failed to qualify for the Beijing Games, were drawn with Canada, France, Poland, Egypt and the United States in the New Delhi tournament from February 15-26. World number six South Korea will take on Asian Games finalists Malaysia, Ireland, Russia, Chile and Ukraine in Dublin from March 10-18. Spain, silver-medallists at Beijing and currently ranked fourth, face hosts Japan, China, Austria, the Czech Republic and Cuba in the third qualifying tournament in the Japanese city of Kakamigahara from April 25-May 6. The winner of each of the three tournaments will join the nine direct qualifiers in the 12-team event at next year's London Games. The teams that have already qualified, mainly through continental quotas, are defending champions Germany, hosts Britain, Argentina, Australia, Belgium, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Pakistan and South Africa. The FIH also announced the qualifying line-up for the women's event with three teams joining reigning champions the Netherlands, Argentina, Australia, China, Germany, Britain, South Korea, New Zealand and the United States in the main draw.
Men'S quALIFYInG touRnAMentS:
New Delhi, february 15-26, India, Canada, france, Poland, egypt, United States, Dublin, March 10-18, South Korea, Malaysia, Ireland, russia, Chile, Ukraine, Kakamigahara, Japan, april 25-May 6, Spain, Japan, China, austria, Czech republic, Cuba., (winner of each tournament will qualify for the olympics)
WoMen'S quALIFYInG touRnAMentS: New Delhi, february 15-26, South africa, India, Italy, Canada, Ukraine, Poland, beerschot, belgium, March 1725, Spain, Ireland, belgium, russia, france, Mexico, Kakamigahara, Japan, april 25-May 6, Japan, azerbaijan, Chile, belarus, Malaysia, Trinidad and Tobago, (winner of each tournament will qualify for the olympics).
Can the world’s fast man get faster still? Comment NeIL DUNCANSoN
N well over 100 years there have been only 25 men who have tasted the Olympian heights and laid claim to the title "Fastest Man on Earth". It is an elite and also an eclectic club. The stories of these fast men are an extraordinary blend of success and disaster, as well as glory and tragedy; ranging from amazing wealth to grinding poverty; superstar adulation and national hero status to bankruptcy, shame, prison, even suicide. As a compelling human interest story, it's been an extraordinary rolling soap opera. And it doesn't look like stopping any time soon. With arguably the sport's greatest ever sprinter Usain Bolt on a oneman mission to rewrite the history books, it looks likely the fastest men that follow him will need to be even more extraordinary. But what about these future fast men? Who will they be and just how fast could they go? And is it now a cast-iron fact, at least at the elite level, that white men can't sprint? These are perennial questions for fans of track and field, and the source of endless study and debate among scientists all over the world. Scientific experiments on the world's fastest men are nothing new. After the Berlin Olympics of 1936 and the Nazi sneers about "black auxiliaries" running for the United States, Jesse Owens agreed to
take part in a revealing study. It had been dismissively suggested that the real reason for his Olympic triumph was that he possessed longer tendons in his feet, a physiological advantage, so scientists of the day surmised, of black athletes. However, when the study results were published, it was discovered that Owens had, in fact, shorter tendons than all the other sprinters at the Games. But isn't it demonstratively clear that black athletes are fundamentally better equipped to run faster than their white counterparts? After all, the last white Olympic 100m champion was Allan Wells in 1980. In fact, Moscow was the last time any white man lined up for the Olympic 100m final, and that was more than 30 years ago. The debate can cause a good deal of political and cultural friction, and the scientists themselves have been accused of closet racism for suggesting natural differences may exist between the races. A fascinating study of the subject was made by think-tank scholar and journalist Jon Entine in his 1999 book theatrically entitled Taboo: Why Black Athletes Dominate Sports and Why We Are Afraid to Talk About It. Entine's theory about sprinting is that not all black athletes have a natural advantage, rather just a subset who can trace their ancestry back to West Africa. Just as East Africans appear to have a natural ability for distance running, he says, the West African athletes and their descendants ap-
pear to have more success in sprinting. He correctly claimed – back then – that no white, Asian or East African athlete had ever broken 10 seconds in the 100m, in which case it is
just possible his theory has some substance rather than being a sweeping generalisation. Research published in the early 1970s suggested that black sprinters had six major differences from their white counterparts: less body fat, shorter torsos, thinner hips, longer legs, thicker thigh muscles and thinner calf muscles. But, in terms of running fast, there was also another, critical difference: a higher percentage of what physiologists call fast-twitch fibres. The motion of the average human is geared by a largely even balance of slow-
His current best would have given him equal fifth place in Beijing, and the widely held view is that on current form he will need to find at least another couple of tenths to trouble the podium in London. But Lemaitre is a significant exception to the rule of what makes the perfect fast man, and that leads us on to the next question. What are the common characteristics in the world's fastest men and is there a human speed limit? The widely respected coach Dan Pfaff, now preparing athletes for Team GB for London 2012, says of top sprinters: "First and foremost I think that great 100m sprinters are tremendous risk takers. In the 100 you take 41 to 44 steps and there's a lot of monitoring going on with each step, checking your position, ground contact time, projection angles of flight, balance, where people are around you, acceleration curves, and you have to make a lot of very fast decisions. So when you are in the zone of a sprinter it's super, super slo-mo and you're processing tons of information and you have to take chances with things, so the common denominator in great sprinters is that they're kind of gunslingers. You have to have a certain amount of Not all black athletes bravado and risk taking in your perhave a natural advantage, rather sonality. There have been some just a subset who can trace their who don't conform to that format and they can run great times, ancestry back to W Africa, just as E Africans at times, but not all the time have a natural ability for distance running and not in championships."
and fast-twitch muscle fibres, but research shows that just as marathon runners have an imbalance – sometimes as much as 80% slow-twitch fibres – so too do sprinters. The top sprinters have 80% fast-twitch fibres, and these allow them to be far more explosive and faster in short bursts. Given this intriguing physiological information and despite the young Frenchman Christophe Lemaitre becoming the first white man to break the 10-second barrier in July 2010, it's hard to imagine a white sprinter climbing on top of the Olympic 100m podium ever again. The talented and longlegged Lemaitre has since lowered his personal best to 9.92, but it's not false modesty when he admits he is simply running for a place in the 2012 Olympic final.
KHI pages 17-11-2011_Layout 1 11/17/2011 2:01 AM Page 22
Thursday, 17 November, 2011
Two cops killed while thwarting suicide attackers KARACHI AFP/MonItoRInG deSK
Four suicide bombers blew themselves up in their car when intercepted by police on Wednesday in Karachi, also killing two policemen. The bombing took place near a restaurant in the upscale Karachi Sea View neighbourhood. “We had intelligence information that suicide bombers were trying to enter Karachi to launch attacks in the holy month of Muharram and had accordingly alerted the police,” Sindh Home Minister Manzoor Wassan said. Police had signalled a car to stop at a checkpoint, but the driver sped away and police chased them, he said, adding that when police cornered the vehicle, its occupants blew it up after a brief exchange of fire. One policeman was killed on the spot and another was wounded and later succumbed to his injuries. Police found the car’s registration booklet among the wreckage along with the identity card of one of the bombers and five Kalashnikov assault rifles, SP Tariq Dharejo said. Pencil bombs, detonators, night vision goggles and a burqa were also seized from the remains of the car, he added. The Bomb Disposal Squad successfully neutralised unexploded suicide vests that were found in the wreckage as well. The South Karachi deputy commissioner said one of the terrorists was disguised as a woman and was wearing a wig.
Allies concerned over growing unpopularity Cabinet members ask PM to do what is needed to save ‘sinking boat’ g
ISLAMABAD IRFAn BuKHARI
Ministers from the coalition parties the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PMLQ), Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and Balochistan National Party Awami (BNP-Awami) expressed serious reservations in the cabinet meeting on Wednesday over poor handling of political as well as government issues by the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), and Federal Housing and Works Minister Faisal Saleh Hayat took the initiative of questioning the government’s sincerity in curbing corruption in the country. A source in the federal cabinet told Pakistan Today that as the cabinet com-
pleted the agenda of the meeting, Hayat asked Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani to open a debate on the current political and governance related issues as well as problems confronting the coalition partners. “The official staff of the prime minister and other bureaucrats representing various ministries were sent out of the room,” the source said. He said Hayat complained that the PPP and its prime minister was not taking coalition partners on board on various serious issues. The source said further that Hayat was of the opinion that the allies would have to pay the price of the PPP’s bad governance. “Faisal criticised the PPP’s politics of reconciliation towards the PML-N, saying that the PPP leadership was not targeting the PML-N which was its political mistake. He also asked the prime minister to clarify the PPP’s position vis-àvis Dr Zulfiqar Mirza as its mysterious attitude was causing a dent in the ruling coalition and breeding mistrust among the allies,” the source added.
net when something was proven against the ministers. “Faisal said the PML-N and the PTI (Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf) were targeting the ‘soft underbelly’ of the coalition government by raising the issue of corruption. He said the government was patronising corrupt elements, which was causing political troubles for the PML-Q and other coalition partners, who were in turn being subjected to severe criticism by Nawaz Sharif and Imran Khan,” the source said. The source said Hayat told the prime minister that he had written three letters to him regarding corruption in the last six months but no action was taken on them. “Faisal also raised the Mansoor Ijaz issue and said the government had also failed on the foreign affairs front. He said Pakistani Ambassador to the US Hussain Haqqani and Pakistan’s Representative to the United Nations Hussain Haroon were at loggerheads in the United States but the government had failed to resolve their differences,” the source added.
The source also quoted Hayat as saying that the PML-Q had as yet not achieved the goals set by its leadership at the time of joining the PPP-led coalition government. “We have failed to achieve the objectives of political stability, relief to people, good governance and a clean image of the government,” the source quoted Hayat as saying. Babar Ghouri from the MQM and Mir Israr Ullah Zehri from the BNP-Awami fully endorsed Hayat’s reservations, said the source. “Even two ministers from the PPP including Mian Manzoor Wattoo and Mir Hazar Khan Bajrani expressed concerns over the bad governance and their party’s confused political strategy,” he said. Minister of State for Defence Production Sardar Bahadur Ahmed Khan Sehar also spoke in support of Hayat’s views, he added. At one stage, the source said, Hayat told the prime minister that he should have courage like Muhammad Khan Junejo, who sacked corrupt members of his cabi-
army major, 26 militants killed in Kurram, Darra adamkhel clashes
Pakistan declines IMf’s offer of new loan package
ISLAMABAD JALALuddIn RuMI
In a major development, Pakistan has declined a new bailout package offer by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), saying the country had sufficient foreign exchange reserves to pay off its debt and meet import requirements for the next six months. An informed source told Pakistan Today that the offer was declined by the government team during ongoing parleys with the IMF team under article four consultations in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates. The weeklong consultations that started on November 9 covered the technical aspects until November 14, while the policy-level dialogue continues until November 17. During the policy-level talks, the source said Pakistan’s finance team would try to convince the IMF team on its macroeconomic framework. “If they succeed, the IMF will issue a letter of support, expressing satisfaction over the macroeconomic framework, to other international financial institutions. This will allow Pakistan to get financial assistance of $2 billion in programme loans, a kind of budgetary support, from the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank,” he said. However, if the IMF is not satisfied, Pakistan would be in a difficult situation as it is scheduled to pay $1.2 billion in two separate installments in coming February and June to the IMF. It will also halt the release of $1 billion each budgetary support from the WB and ADB, respectively. Of the $11.3 billion standby arrangement facility, Pakistan received only five tranches worth $7.6 billion from the IMF. During the technical-level talks, Pakistani team was confident to sustain the pressure about the current account deficit without any IMF programme, as growth in exports and remittances would help counter the pressure, the source said.
KABuL: delegates listen to Afghan President Hamid Karzai deliver a speech during a four-day-long loya jirga, a meeting of over 2,000 Afghan tribal elders and leaders on Wednesday. AFP
haqqani in trouble over memo controversy g
Insiders say envoy to US is confident he will escape the axe ISLAMABAD SHAIq HuSSAIn
With Pakistan’s Ambassador to the US Hussain Haqqani at the centre of a controversy surrounding the ‘secret memo’ allegedly sent by President Asif Ali Zardari to the US administration seeking help against a possible military coup, a proposal is being discussed among the ruling circles here to replace Haqqani with Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir. Pakistani officials privy to Tuesday’s meetings at the Presidency between President Zardari and Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and the president and US Ambassador to Pakistan Cameron Munter, as well as those who are following the developments related to the ‘memo’, say that Ambassador Haqqani is in trouble but he is still confident that he will sail through owing to his strong connections in Washington and Islamabad. Haqqani has decided to stay for some days in Washington after being asked by the
government to travel to Islamabad for a briefing on Pakistan-US relations and he is keenly monitoring the evolving situation as he knows that the army leadership has placed him at the centre stage of the memo controversy and his continuation as the Pakistani envoy in Washington is not a desirable option for ‘Rawalpindi’. “One option that is being discussed in Islamabad among the ruling circles and the military leaders is to replace Ambassador Haqqani by Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir, who is to retire in March next year,” said an official here on Wednesday, requesting anonymity. However, he hastened to add that it would still be very difficult to state that Haqqani’s days were numbered as he enjoyed strong connections with important people in Washington and they would like him to stay in his office in the current state of relations between Pakistan and the US, which were passing through a critical juncture. Another official here said Ambassador Haqqani
was also confident that he would stay as envoy in Washington because of his strong ties to the Presidency. Ambassador Haqqani found himself in the eye of the storm when Pakistani-American businessman Mansoor Ijaz came up with his ‘revelations’ about President Zardari’s alleged endeavours to reach out to the Obama administration to stop the army from a coup in the wake of the US raid that killed al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad on May 2. Ijaz claimed that he was asked to contact the US administration by a senior Pakistani official. He did not name Ambassador Haqqani but the military authorities are said to have concluded that the current Pakistani envoy in Washington was the official who came in contact with Ijaz. The Presidency and the Foreign Office denied Ijaz’s claims, saying no such memo or letter was sent to the US administration. Ijaz claims he has the copy of letter and all other related material.
A Pakistan Army major was killed in a battle with militants when around 60 fighters attacked the Marazan checkpost in the Central Kurram Agency late on Tuesday night in a bid to revolt against the military offensive carried out in the region earlier. More than 20 militants were reportedly killed and nine hideouts were destroyed when the security forces retaliated to the attack that killed Major Sikandar. “The militants were hiding in the nearby mountains and opened fire on the convoy, which was followed by rockets. Security forces retaliated to the attack and killed 20 militants. One of our majors succumbed to his wounds,” official sources said. The area was previously declared “clear” by the security forces, however incidents of violence have regularly been reported there. Details of the clash were difficult to verify independently owing to the remoteness of the region. In a separate incident, officials reported a second militant attack in the Shadala area of Ghaljo, where rockets were fired at a convoy. “The second attack happened in the same manner like the one in Kurram Agency. The militants were hiding and they targeted the convoy. The attack was retaliated and four militants were killed. One of our soldiers sustained minor injuries and is out of danger now,” officials said. Another six militants were killed and several others were injured in an operation launched by security forces against insurgents in Khartang, Darra Adamkhel on Wednesday. Official sources said the security forces pounded the hideouts of militants with heavy artillery, killing six militants and injuring many others. “Seven hideouts of the militants were also destroyed in the fresh bombing,” officials claimed, adding that insurgents were on the run because of intense fire and heavy presence of troops. Earlier, a policeman was killed while another was injured when a remote-controlled explosion took place near a police checkpost in the Shabqadar tehsil of Charsadda.
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