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Accountability bill to be tabled with consensus: Gilani
After president, Greek PM also gives up salary
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rs15.00 Vol ii no 245 22 Pages
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Foreign minister says pakistan can’t be selective in meeting its energy needs says pakistan will cross ‘the bridge of sanctions’ when it gets there
ISLAMABAD shAiq hussAin
n a rebuff to US warnings against going ahead with the vital project of import of natural gas from Iran through a multi-billion dollar pipeline, Pakistan on Thursday declared it would proceed with the construction of the pipeline and had no plans to drop the project. “All of these projects are in Pakistan’s national interest and will be pursued and completed irrespective of any extraneous considerations,” said Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar while addressing a news conference at the Foreign Office. She said, “As far as our bilateral relations and cooperation is concerned, we do not make it contingent on views and policies of any third country.” “It is in Pakistan’s national interest to acquire energy from wherever it was available. We cannot afford to be selective,” Hina said. The foreign minister’s statement was in response to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s warning that she came up with in her testimony on Wednesday before the congressional subcommittee that Pakistan risked facing economic sanctions if it continued with its plan to go for the construction of Iranian gas pipeline. To a question on possible sanctions that Pakistan could face in case it pursued the gas pipeline project with Iran, she said, “We’ll cross the bridge when it comes.” “We will see what will be the impact but we hope for no implementation on the unilateral sanctions,” she said. “We will talk to the international community on this and the world agrees that this region cannot afford destabilisation because of any other military action,” she said. Answering another query, she said the relations with the United States, nATO and ISAF would be promoted on the basis of mutual self-respect and in line with the policy devised by Pakistan’s parliament. She said the parliamentary committee on foreign policy would finalise the recommendations by the second week of current month.
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Won’t accept foreign pressure on SENATE GOES TO POLLS TODAY national interests: prime minister As the much-doubted Senate elections finally take place today to the disappointment of many who had expected that the assemblies would be sent packing owing to the face-off between the military and civil establishments, the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) is all set to emerge as the single largest party, short of a simple majority, to command the Upper House of parliament. Ninety-seven candidates will contest for 45 Senate seats, following the retirement of half of the Senate members whose term expires on March 12. The newly-elected Senators will take oath the same day. The election for the new chairman and deputy chairman of the Senate will also be held the same day. Earlier, the election was scheduled to be held on 54 seats but nine candidates, including Aitzaz Ahsan, Ishaq Dar, Mushahid Hussain, Osman Saifullah , Nuzhat Sadiq, Khalida Parveen, Kamran Michael, Abdul Hafeez Shaikh and Farogh Naseem have already been elected unopposed.
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Friday, 2 March, 2012 rabi-ul-sani 8, 1433
Pakistan digs I in over Iran gas pipeline g
‘Babar Awan, you’ve got to be kidding me!’
Rejecting any foreign pressure on the bilateral cooperation between Pakistan and Iran including on energy sector, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani on Thursday said Pakistan being a sovereign state would do whatever was in its own interest. “We are a sovereign country and we will do whatever is in the interest of Pakistan,” Gilani said while responding to a question during “Prime Minister Online” programme, jointly hosted by PTV and Waqt News. He said Pakistan and Iran had bilateral relations and cooperation in diverse fields including energy, gas pipeline, and electricity. To another question, the prime minister said there had been ups and downs in Pakistan-US relations, adding that Pakistan wanted to expand ties with the US on partnership basis as well as on mutual interest and mutual re-
spect. He said Pakistan and the US also had a common goal of success in the war against terrorism. However, Gilani added that the US should refrain from interfering in Pakistan’s internal affairs to allow confidence building and keep the Pakistani masses from harbouring any ill-feeling about it. Gilani also referred to the recent Pakistan-Afghan-Iran Trilateral Summit held in Islamabad and said the issue of political reconciliation in Afghanistan had been discussed in length with President Hamid Karzai. He said since there was no military solution in Afghanistan, there was a need to find a political solution. He said Pakistan, Afghanistan and the United States wanted to find a permanent solution to the Afghan conflict, adding that the solution could be sought through an Afghan-led and Afghanowned reconciliation process. In response to a question, Gilani rejected the impression that there was any danger to democracy or the democratic
government. He said democracy was strengthening in the country and those who were talking of such dangers would be regretful. When asked about his earlier remarks that the political situation would improve after the Senate elections in March, Gilani said, “As spring sets in the month of March, everything brightens.” Democracy is prospering and has a bright future, he added. About the memo case, the prime minister said he had been saying from the day one that the man (Ijaz Mansoor), who wrote the memo had no credibility, as he had a history of writing against Pakistan’s Establishment, intelligence agencies and the governments. To a question about the contempt of court case, Gilani said he had appeared before the Supreme Court twice and was ready to appear whenever he would be summoned by the court. He said the government had strengthened the country’s institutions by restoring the 1973 Constitution.
You lack legitimacy, sC tells agencies ISLAMABAD MAsood RehMAn
Expressing dissatisfaction with a report submitted by spy agencies on 11 missing prisoners of Adiyala Jail, Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry on Thursday sought the law which empowered the agencies to detain people without proof and observed that if parliament had not done its job properly, there would have been martial law imposed in the country today. Heading a three-member bench consisting of Justice Khilji Arif Hussain and Justice Tariq Parvez, the CJP observed that the report submitted by the spy agencies did not have any proof for detaining the prisoners in accordance with the law. The court admonished Raja Muhammad Irshad, counsel for the ISI and MI, when he criticised the incumbent parliament, saying it had failed to redress the problems being faced by the people. “What are the parliamentarians doing while representing the people who gave them mandate?” Raja Irshad said in a sentimental tone, when the court asked him to state the law under which the spy agencies could detain people without legal requirement. “Don’t be emotional and keep in mind that if the parliament had not done its job properly, there would be a martial law in the country today,” the chief justice said. Justice Khilji Arif Hussain asked the lawyer whether he was saying this on behalf of his client or in his personal capacity that parliament was not doing its job well. Irshad, however, stated that he was stating that in his personal capacity. When the lawyer tried to elaborate the sacrifices of the intelligence agencies to protect the supreme interest of the country, the chief justice said if agencies were claiming protecting the interest of the state, the judiciary was more determined to protect the supreme interest of the state, rule of law and supremacy of the constitution. “Provide us a law which empowers spy agencies and police to detain a person without fulfilling legal requirements,” the chief justice asked, observing that if prisoners were involved in any act of terrorism, their involvement should be proved in accordance with the law. “This is our country also and everyone here is a patriotic citizen and ready to render sacrifice for protection of the motherland,” Justice Khilji Arif Hussain remarked. He said it was a “pathetic thinking” of those who thought only they were superior for caring about the integrity of the motherland. “Your reply indicates that we have committed a sin while asking for your reply in the instant case,” Justice Khilji Arif Hussain asked Irshad. Continued on Page 04
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02 News today’s
Friday, 2 March 2012
PML-n to form next govt in sindh: nawaz
Story on Page 07
Story on Page 06
PTI to protest against petroleum price hike: Imran Says by-polls held per old electoral lists g Announces moving the Supreme Court on the issue g PPP leader Israr Shah joins PTI g
AKISTAN Tehrik-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan on Thursday said his party would protest against hike in petroleum prices. Addressing a press conference, Imran said the people of Pakistan were unnecessarily being burdened. He further said the government needed to check prices instead of increasing the people’s miseries. “The poorer the people become, the richer the rulers get,” he added. He said his party would launch demonstrations in all the provinces. Imran claimed Pakistan Tehrik-eInsaf would arrest Benazir’s killers on coming to power. The PTI chief said the rulers had issued red warrants for Pervez Musharraf but no one would issue red warrants for the corrupt rulers. He said the UN inquiry pointed out that facts about Banazir’s assassination were concealed.
Trade with India to be normalised by year end: Firdous
Imran said he and his party fully condemned the Kohistan attack in which a number of passengers of buses were killed. He also condemned sectarian killings in Parachinar. “It is the government’s responsibility to ensure law and order,” he added. He opined that appointment of judges through parliamentarians under the 18th Amendment was a way to hide corruption. Imran said anybody could join the PTI. “We don’t need anyone’s permission to allow people to join us,” he added. The PTI chief said some people were spreading rumours that Imran’s tsunami has stalled. He said it was the corrupt people who were scared of tsunami. Imran said perhaps the by-elections had been held as per the old electoral lists and announced to move the Supreme Court on the issue. Earlier, PPP leader Israr Shah who had lost his legs in the blast when travelling with Benazir’s rally announced joining the PTI. He said he was joining the PTI to compelete the unfinished agenda of Benazir Bhutto.
PESHAWAR: Students from a local school enquire after the health of a soldier who was recently injured in an operation in the tribal areas, during their visit to the Combined Military Hospital on Thursday. Staff Photo
osama’s razed compound was poorly constructed
Arrest warrant issued for Hamid Mir QUETTA stAff RePoRt
Pakistan will phase out major restrictions on Indian imports by the end of this year, said Federal Information Minister Firdous Ashiq Awan on Thursday. Firdous Ashiq Awan said Islamabad would gradually scrap the negative list which banned export of hundreds of items from India.“Normalising trade ties with India is in the interest of Pakistan as it will not only help strengthen the national economy but also boost economic activities in the region,” she claimed. The government has decided in principle to phase out the negative list between the two countries by December 31, 2012, which will complete the trade normalisation process”, she said. Deepening economic engagement between the two countries which have fought three wars since their independence from Britain in 1947 is seen as crucial to establishing lasting peace in the troubled South Asian region.
Apart from information of substandard material having been used in the construction of the mansion allegedly used by Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad, various paraphernalia was recovered from debris of the razed compound. Fig and dates, toys and clothes of children, a hard board inscribed with Arabic, a bird cage, magazines both in English and Arabic, dish antenna, a burnt CPU of a computer, several parts of motor vehicles as well as certain parts of a destroyed helicopter found from the compound, it was learnt through well-placed sources on Thursday. There were blood stains on stairs and walls of the upper portion of the residential compound where Osama was allegedly living, sources said, adding that there were a total of 11 rooms in the compound with an attached bathroom and kitchen with each. The sources said an 18-foot wall sep-
arated the lawn from the rooms of the compound. According to a building construction expert, the material used in compound was sub-standard and there was no bunker-like establishment in the house.
The sources said land measuring nine kanals and nine marlas had been transferred to the district government of Abbottabad and there was a probability that a police station would be set up there.
Quetta Judicial Magistrate-III Muhammad Ibrahim Kakar has issued a non-bailable arrest warrant for Geo’s anchorperson and columnist Hamid Mir as well as the chairman of the group and editor-in-chief of daily Jung newspaper. The court issued Mir’s arrest warrant in a case filed by a senior lawyer of Balochistan, Khalid Khan. The petitioner has taken the plea that in his column of October 24, 2011, Mir had deliberately used contemptuous words against Pashtoon nationality that hurt the feeling of Pashtoon people. Besides the columnist, he had also made the editor-in-chief of the newspaper a party in the case. He has prayed for legal action against both the columnist and editor- in-chief for hurting the feelings of Pashtoons. Notices have already been served on both respondents for their appearance before the court but they failed to comply with the orders. Three lawyers, including Abdul Majid Kakar, Abdul Wali Nasir and Abdul Zahir represented the petitioner in the court.
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Friday, 2 March 2012
ArTS & enTerTAInMenT
syrian rebels hold out against homs assault
Veena Malik to star in 'super Model'
Aamir not to challenge iCC ban
News 03 CoMMenT determining isi’s role It should not be political at all.
sound and fury Journalism and politics of price-hikes.
fahd husain says: The slap: It represent what is wrong with the system.
hasan Akari says: Bahrain is free: State oppression can’t stop a revolution.
hashim bin Rashid says: Celebrating acid attacks: Should it be celebrated?
Story on Page 18
Story on Page 14
Story on Page 18
Articles on Page 12-13
Constitution is supreme law of the land: CJP g
Says people always considered the courts the ultimate guardian of their rights and liberties ISLAMABAD
HIEF Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry on Thursday said the constitution was the supreme law of the land which elaborately defined the composition and powers of the various organs of the state. “The constitution not only harmonises the relation of the organs but also defines the basic edifice of governance. The various constitutions of the world provide different models and schemes of governance and distribution of powers amongst the state organs. The Constitution of Pakistan represents a combination of Islamic and democratic thoughts. In its preamble, it is laid down that sovereignty over the entire universe belongs to Almighty Allah alone, the authority to be exercised by the people of Pakistan through its chosen representa-
Brig Ali planned GHQ attack to takeover civilian control LONDON/ISLAMABAD inP
Brigadier Ali Khan, who is currently facing court martial, planned to spread mutiny against the government by attacking the army’s General Headquarters (GHQ) with the support of militant group Hizbul-Tahreer. Major Suhail, defence counsel witness, in his written statement before a military court, said that Brigadier Ali had hatched a conspiracy with an air force pilot who flies F-16 aircraft, and planned to attack the GHQ during a meeting of corps commanders. Through these covert actions they wanted to overpower the civilian and military top brass, he stated. A report appearing on BBC Urdu webpage said that during a meeting with the members of Hizb-ulTahreer, the brigadier drew circles on a paper to highlight his plan, and told them that with the support of three to four hundred armed men, they could take control of the government. He also told them to head the mutiny, according to witness accounts who further claimed that he was also confided by these people that the GHQ in Rawalpindi would be targeted with an F-16 jet to be flown from a nearby air strip. They had further plans to attack US bases inside Pakistan and Black Water’s locations, the witness said. Major Suhail Akbar also admitted that during last seven years, he had been in contact with Hizb people. Brigadier Ali also claimed to have succeeded in getting support from Triple One Brigade and certain generals. Giving reasons for his refusal to join the secret plans, Major Suhail said that he did not personally like violence.
tives,” the chief justice said while addressing the visiting officers of the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) Air War College, Karachi. He said the Constitution of Pakistan was federal in nature, and provided a dual system of governance at the federal and provincial levels. “The overall scheme of the constitution shows that the three main pillars of the parliamentary democracy are legislature, executive and judiciary. The legislature enacts laws and the executive implements the laws and policies. The judiciary interprets the laws and constitutional text. These pillars have to function harmoniously and within the bounds laid down by the constitution to achieve the desired objectives of securing social, economic and political justice. The imprint of public aspiration on which the entire edifice of the constitution stands is the principles of freedom, equality, justice and rule of law. No society in the world can live with peace and harmony
if it is not following the principle of rule of law. For upholding rule of law and constitutionalism in the society, an independent judiciary is a sine qua non.” The chief justice said the judiciary played an important role of interpreting and applying the laws for adjudicating any disputes between governments and citizens and one citizen with another. “The courts have the additional function of protecting the constitution by interpreting its provisions and keeping all the authorities within the four walls of the constitution.” He said the people had always considered the courts as the ultimate guardian of their rights and liberties. “Accordingly, the constitution has accorded a very prestigious position to the judiciary. The constitution entrusts the courts with the powers to preserve, protect and defend this basic document. The constitution assigns the Supreme Court a unique responsibility of maintaining harmony and balance between
the three pillars of the state,” he said, adding that the Supreme Court of Pakistan stood at the apex of the country’s judicial system and is the court of ultimate jurisdiction.
6 killed, 3 fC personnel injured in Balochistan violence QUETTA shAhzAdA zuLfiqAR
Six people were killed and three Frontier Corps personnel were injured in separate incidents of firing and landmine blast in various towns of Balochistan on Thursday while two bodies was recovered in Pishin and Kech districts. Two Frontier Corps personnel were injured when unidentified
armed men attacked a patrolling party in Pir Sori area of Dera Bugti. The paramilitary forces retaliated, killing three assailants and also seizes their weapons. However, they said the names of the attackers could not be ascertained. In another incident, an FC man was injured when he accidentally stepped on a landmine in Pir Koh area of Dera Bugti. He was moved to a nearby hospital for treatment.
In Khuzdar, a man was killed and another two injured in an armed clash. A levies official said a clash erupted between two tribes over a dispute on a piece of land that resulted into the death of Shabir Ahmad and injuries to two others, including Qamarud Din. Meanwhile, a person was killed in Mangochi area of Khuzdar district. The motive behind the killing could
Un calls on holy Quran burners to be punished KABUL: The United Nations on Thursday said the perpetrators of the holy Quran burning in Afghanistan should be punished, but insisted ties between the international community and the Afghan people would emerge stronger. “It hasn’t affected our determination to work with the people of Afghanistan and the authorities,” the special representative for the UN in Afghanistan Jan Kubis said in the wake of the deadly protests. He described the burning as a “very unfortunate mistake... very sad” and said the UN expected to see “disciplinary action” at the end of the investigation. His comments came on the same day two NATO soldiers were killed by their Afghan colleagues in one of several attacks which have followed the Koran burning at a US base last month. The burning sparked widespread protests, leaving 30 people dead and over 200 wounded. NATO withdrew all its advisers from Afghan government ministries last Saturday after two American officers were shot and killed within the interior ministry, apparently by an Afghan colleague. AfP
India praises Pakistan’s efforts to normalise trade ties NEW DELHI AfP
India on Thursday welcomed Pakistan’s decision to phase out major restrictions on Indian imports by the end of this year, a move to normalise trade ties between the nuclear-armed neighbours. India’s Foreign Minister SM Krishna thanked Pakistan for deciding to gradually scrap the “negative list” that prevents the export of hundreds of items from India. “Pakistan is moving in the right direction in terms of bringing economic content into the politi-
cal relationship,” Krishna told reporters in New Delhi. “This would certainly help strengthen our bilateral ties.” Islamabad has decided in principle to phase out the negative list between the two countries by December 31, which will complete the trade normalisation process. India’s Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry, a trade body estimated that the move will increase cross-border trade to over $6 billion by 2014. Direct trade between India and Pakistan currently constitutes less than one percent of their respective global trade. India exported goods worth $2.33 billion to Pakistan last year while its imports were $330 million.
not be ascertained. Unidentified people opened fire on Hidayatullah in Rekhni area of Barkhan. He received serious wounds and later succumbed to his injuries. Meanwhile, two bodies were found from Pishin and Kech districts. The body found from Yaro area of Pishin was identified as Ajab Khan while that from Kech was identified as that of Abdul Rehman.
1 killed, several injured as FC officer opens fire outside madrassa KARACHI inP
One man was killed and four others sustained injuries on Thursday when a member of the Frontier Constabulary (FC) opened fire during a dispute outside the Jamia Darul Quran madrassa in the Muslimabad Colony located in Quaidabad. The dispute started outside the madrassa where, according to police sources, it escalated when the FC’s Mohammad Khurshid called in an FC mobile with other personnel in it and they opened fire. Mohammad Rehman, 25, was killed in the attack, while Shaukat, Ali Zaman, Sher Jan and Zarwali Khan were injured as a result of the firing. They were shifted to Jinnah Post Graduate Medical Centre. After the incident, the madrassa students and other members of the public went to the Quaidabad police station to protest. They surrounded the police station and started hurling rocks at it, but the mob was warded off by the police. Four members of the FC, including Mohammad Khurshid, have been detained by the police for interrogation but no case has been registered against them yet.
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Friday, 2 March, 2012
Senate goes to elections today ISLAMABAD
S the muchdoubted Senate elections finally take place today to the disappointment of many who had expected that the assemblies would be sent packing owing to the face-off between the military and civil establishments, the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) is all set to emerge as the single largest party, short of a simple majority, to command the Upper House of parliament. Ninety-seven candidates will contest for 45 Senate seats, following the retirement of half of the Senate members whose term expires on March 12. The newly-elected Senators will take oath the same day. The election for the new chairman and deputy chairman of the Senate will also be held the same day. Earlier, the election was scheduled to be held on 54 seats but nine candidates, including Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan (PPP), Ishaq Dar (PML-N), Mushahid Hussain Sayed (PML-Q), Osman Saifullah Khan (PPP), Nuzhat Sadiq (PML-N), Kalida Parveen (PPP), Kamran Michael (PMLN), Abdul Hafeez Shaikh (PPP) and Dr Muhammad Farogh (MQM), have already been elected unopposed. In Islamabad, polling will be held for two seats reserved for the federal capital and four seats reserved for FATA. However, two candidates for Islamabad seats have already been elected unopposed. The election will now be held for the FATA seats. Meanwhile, the Election Commission of Pakistan on Thursday imposed ban on the member of the assemblies from carrying their mobile phones or any other electronic device through which pictures could be taken to avoid sale and purchase of votes. PUNJAB: The political temperature in metropolis has increased, as the political parties completed plans for making their candidates succeed in
YoU LaCK Continued FroM Page 1 According to the report submitted by the agencies, amongst many others, the arrest of 11 persons was carried out after a convoy of security forces was ambushed in an operational area. It said the custody of detainees was with the security agencies for their trial under the provisions of Army Act, 1952 after investigation. The court, however, expressed dissatisfaction over the report and asked Raja Irshad to provide the court a law under which secret agencies could detain people without any proof. The chief justice asked him that he had not mentioned in the report as to which agency had detained the prisoners. Irshad contended that the agencies had no enmity or grudge against anyone or any section of the people, but could not shut their eyes to the rebellious acts of internal and external elements involved in acts of high profile terrorism. “How we can ignore the constitution and how we can answer the public who have grave concerns about the issue,” the chief justice said. He added that whatever the secret agencies had done, they would have to produce the evidences in court.
Senate elections. Eight candidates of three parties have filed nomination papers for seven general seats. The PML-N has fielded four candidates – Sardar Zulfiqar Khan Khosa, M Hamza, Rafiq Rajwana and Zafar Ullah Dhandla, while the PPP nominated Dr Babar Awan and Aslam Gul. PML-Q nominated Kamil Ali Agha, who is also enjoying the support of the PPP. Earlier, it was expected that all the candidates would be elected unopposed but after acceptance of papers by Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) of PML-Q member Mohsin Leghari, the situation took a dramatic turn. Leghari enjoys the support of some forward bloc members and hopes to get their votes and upset Kamil Ali Agha. 0However, political pundits believe that Agha enjoys the support of the PPP and if the forward bloc voted in favour of Leghari, PML-N’s candidates would be in danger. “PML-N would never like to loose a Senate seat for the sake of Mohsin Leghari,” a senior member of the PPP said. PPP’s Aitzaz Ahsan and PML-N’s Ishaq Dar have already been elected unopposed on two technocrat seats. On one minority seat, PML-N’s Kamran Michael has been elected unopposed. On two women seats, PPP’s Khalida Qureshi and PML-N’s Begum Nuzhat Amir Sadiq have already been elected. SINDH: A “political upset” would occur in Sindh Assembly if Abdul Ghaffar Qureshi, the lone Senator-hopeful from the PML-Likeminded, obtains more than four votes on Friday when the provincial lawmakers go to polls for or against 10 candidates for the Upper House. Further, despite the lapse of four years, the provincial lawmakers need a reminder from Speaker Nisar Ahmed Khuhro to make sure they have their Assembly Membership Card obtained from the Secretary Sindh Assembly on the balloting for Senate. PML-Likeminded, which happens to be the only opposi-
tion party in the Sindh Assembly, would contest the Senate elections with three of its candidates each for general, minority and women seats. Abdul Ghaffar Qureshi, Yasmeen Farukh and Photo Mal alias Dileep are the PMLLikeminded senator hopefuls. “We hope to win the support of members other than our party members in the Sindh Assembly,” said Abdul Razzak Rahimoo, who along with Arbab Zulfiqar Ali, Chettan Mal Arwani and Nuzhat Pathan is said to have formed a forward-bloc in the PML-Q in Sindh. Commenting on the polls, a lawmaker from PPP’s coalition party told Pakistan Today that the four-member PMLLikeminded would mark a “political upset” in Sindh if Arbab (Ghulam Rahim) group’s candidates obtained more than four votes. “We know that we may not get the wining 24 votes, but even if we win six votes tomorrow (today) it would be a big success for us,” optimistic Rahimoo said. He, however, denied to have contacted any of the voters from the ruling PPP or other political parties represented in the provincial legislature. After Adviser to PM on Finance and Revenue Affairs Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh and Barrister Dr Muhammad Farogh Naseem of the MQM were declared elected unopposed, a total 13 candidates would be contesting for 10 seats of the Senate. Eight candidates, who would contest for seven general seats include Mian Raza Rabbani, Saeed Ghani, Dr Karim Khawaja and Mukhtar alias Aajiz Dhamra of the PPP, Syed Mustafa Kamal and Tahir Mashahdi of the MQM, Syed Muzaffar Hussain Shah of the PML-Functional and Abdul Ghaffar Qureshi of the PMLLikeminded. Those contesting for women seats include Mudassir Saher Kamran of the PPP, Nasreen Jalil of the MQM and Yasmeen Farukh of the PML-Likeminded. The hopefuls for minority seats are Hari Ram of the PPP
Shujaat Hussain. However, there seems complete unity amongst the ranks of PML-N’s 14 MPAs. The 124 MPAs of KP are going to elect 12 senators. PML-N’s Nisar Muhammad Khan, JUI-F’s Talha Mahmmod, APML’s Barrister Mohammad Ali Saif and independent candidate Faisal Afridi are allegedly making heavy investment on Senate elections. The ANP enjoys the support of 52 members in a House of 124. BALOCHISTAN: The PPP that has 15 MPAs is believed to emerge as the single largest party in the Senate elections from Balochistan, while the PML-Q would be biggest loser despite having the singlelargest parliamentary group with 19 assembly members. PPP fielded its three strongest candidates for the general seats whose success is sure. They are Barrister Nawabzada Saifullah Magsi, son of Balochistan Governor Nawab Zulfiqar Ali Magsi, Yousaf Baloch, who is said to be the closest to President Asif Ali Zardari and Sardar Fatah Mohammad Hasani. Multi-millionaire Yousaf Baloch, who is said to belong to Sindh, has succeeded in carving out close “relationships” with PPP and PML-Q members. The PPP is also expected to win the only minority seat and one each in woman and technocrat/ulema categories. PPP promised all three candidates three to four votes, while the rest they have to “arrange from the market”. Saif Magsi has his two family votes, while the rest he can have due to the influence of his father and uncle Tariq Magsi. Similarly Sardar Fatah, adviser to President Asif Ali Zardari on Balochistan affairs, also has two votes of his family and friends and the rest of he would “arrange” himself. The JUI-F and Balochistan National Party (Awami) can surely have one seat each from the general category. They have put Hafiz Hamdullah and Minister Mir Israrullah Zahri in the race.
The JUI-F has 10 members, while BNP-A has seven. The JUI-F formed an alliance with nationalist groups BNP and Awami National Party who have three members in the assembly. The lone member of JUIIdeology Abdul Khaliq Basher Dost has announced support for the ANP. The group enjoys the support of 21 members and is in a good position to clinch a woman and technocrat/ulema seat. The PPP nominated Parveen Mengal on women’s seat, while the PMLQ named provincial minister Rubina Irfan, wife of PPP minister Dr Agha Irfan Karim. She is considered a strong candidate having the backing of both the PPP and independent candidates. PPP overnight imported another candidate on minority seat, Dr Ramesh Kumar, who is said to have been an MPA in Sindh, but landed in Balochistan after dealing and wheeling with party high-ups. Ramesh Kumar has the backing of estranged party Senator Nawabzada Lashkari Raisani, brother of Balochistan Chief Minister Aslam Raisani. On Wednesday, Kumar met the CM at his office and announced to join the PPP while expressing his full confidence in the party leadership. The very next moment, he was replaced by Hina Gulzar, the official candidate on minority seat. The PML-Q will be the loser, as the party has been left divided in tiny groups and its MPAs have already made their dealing and wheeling, mostly with PPP candidates in accordance with their convenience. Party’s senior parliamentarian Shiekh Jaffar Khan Mundokhail and provincial finance minister and party parliamentary leader in the assembly Mir Asim Kurd Gaillu are running pillar to post for seeking the support of their party members for their cousin and brothers, respectively. Another PML-Q MPA, Pir Abdul Qadir Gillani, son-in-law of former chief minister Jam
Mir Mohammad Yousaf, announced his support for the PPP in a press conference and declared that he had been assured that his three-year annual development fund of Rs 650 million would be released. Two provincial ministers, Rahila Durrani and Nusreen Khaithran, are also running for Senate election as independent candidates after being refused party tickets. Provincial minister Engineer Basant Lal Gulshun also received party ticket and is said to be a potential candidate on minority’s reserved seat. Provincial minister Mir Shanawaz Marri who is contesting as independent candidate on general seat claims to be enjoying the support of six members. The National Party has fielded Tahir Bizenjo, the party’s central secretary general, for general seat with the backing of two MPAs. The party announced that it has bleak chances of winning in the elections, but it wants to expose the elements who would get elected on the basis of horse trading. Multi-millionaire coalminer, Haider Khan Naasar, a former caretaker minister, is also in the run and running pillar to post to get himself to the Upper House through his money’s power. The ANP nominated Daud Khan Achakzai on general seat and he could get elected from the tripartite alliance with JUIF and BNP-A. The PML-N central leadership did not show any interest in the Senate election for having only two MPAs in the Balochistan Assembly. However, PML-N provincial president Sardar Sanaullah Zehri, the provincial minister fielded a multi millionaire Akbar Askani on a general seat. Another party member Capt (r) Abdul Khaliq Achakzai, already announced his support to independent candidate Mir Shahnawaz Marri. Askani is aspirant for Senate seat with only one party vote. KAshif AbbAsi/nAuMAn
“Look at the province from which I belong, people have grave concerns about day to day incidents in which bodies of the people are being found in streets and secret agencies are being blamed for the instability,” the CJ said. He said he would be thankful to God if the remaining seven detainees were saved. “But what about the mother who died of shock after knowing about the death of her son in custody,” the chief justice asked Irshad. Irshad, however, submitted that he had brought the court’s concerns about the missing persons into the notice of the authorities concerned and they (authorities) were also cautious of the burning issue. The chief justice asked him to provide the court a law under which his clients had detained the prisoners. “We cannot remain oblivious as we have taken oath under the constitution and we have to protect it,” the chief justice observed. During the proceedings, the court appreciated Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Secretary Ghulam Dastagir for his report on the circumstances under which the detainees were allowed to be admitted to the Internment Centre by the internment authority on January 26, 2012. Later, the court adjourned further proceedings until March 16.
Bilawal vows to Pakistan digs defend minorities Continued FroM Page 1 ture of relations with the on Bhatti’s Answering a query on any re- United States in the future. morse expressed by the US Hina said as far as her meeting anniversary secretary of state during a re- with Clinton was concerned, it
istan supported an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned solution to the problem of Afghanistan. On normalisation of trade relations with India, the foreign minister said Pakistan’s decision to normalise trade ties with India reflected a desire to move away from the policies of the past 40 years. However, she cautioned that it should not be taken as any dilution of its stand on core issues like Kashmir. She said, “We believe that the establishment of normal trade relations with India will be mutually beneficial for both countries. Significantly it also illustrates the priority that we attach to Pakistan’s economic develop-
ment.” She said, “This decision, however, should in no way be construed as any dilution of our principled stance on the core issues that have bedevilled Pakistan-India relations for the last 60 years, and notably the issue of Jammu and Kashmir.” “Pakistan will continue to seek the peaceful resolution of all issues with India and continue to insist on meaningful progress in the dialogue process on all issues simultaneously,” she said. She said the Pakistani government was willing to try new means to engage with India that amounted to a shift from the policies of the past four decades.
KARACHI PRess ReLeAse
The PPP will continue to stand by Pakistan’s religious minorities and support them against bigotry in the tradition of Benazir Bhutto, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said on Thursday. In a statement marking the first anniversary of the assassination of PPP leader Shahbaz Bhatti, a member of the Christian community, Bilawal paid tribute to Bhatti’s dedication to democracy and the idea of a more tolerant and inclusive Pakistan. “Pakistan was conceived as a homeland for Muslims where all religious and ethnic groups would live in peace and harmony. It is a tragedy that Quaid-e-Azam’s ideal of a pluralist nation has been distorted under dictatorship to spread an ideology of hate. It is this ideology of hate that took away from us a great public servant like Shahbaz Bhatti from us,” Bilawal said.
and Photomal alias Dileep of the PML-Likeminded. KP: Despite ruling Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the Awami National Party’s high command is worried by wealthy aspirants in the Senate election, as one of its MP has proposed a constitutional amendment to bind the electorates for showing the ballot paper in the Senate election. The resolution was moved in provincial assembly by the ANP MPA Saqib Ullah Khan Chamkani on Thursday. However, Speaker Kiramat Ullah Chagharmatti differed with the resolution. Earlier, while talking on a point of order, Information Minister Main Iftikhar Hussain expressed severe concern over sale and purchase of votes for the Senate elections. He said all of the MPAs were bound to follow party decisions, adding that the senate was a symbol of the federation, therefore it must be represented on political grounds rather than wealth and investment. He called upon leaders and MPAs of opposition parties to support the ruling coalition in its drive for discouraging horse trading. The ANP has fielded six candidates, whereas the PPP is contesting for five Senate seats. The main opposition JUI-F fielded three and PML factions entered in to an alliance and fielded four candidates. The JUI-F fielded one candidate each on general, technocrat and women seat. The JUI-F has a squad of 14 MPAs. Senator Talha Mehmood is considered the most influential and is likely to “please” all these 14 MPs, which is essential for his second victory. All seven PML-Q MPA’s are divided, as two of them have publicly backed the candidature of All Pakistan Muslim League’s Barrister Mohammad Ali Saif. Saif is considered a blueeyed boy of Pervez Musharaf. However, some are likely to back adviser to PM Syed Qasam Shah, who was nominated on general seat by party’s central president Chaudhry
cent meeting she held with her in London, Hina said the US officials expressed regret over the NATO attack on the Salala checkpost. Responding to a question on not allowing the US officials to visit Pakistan, the foreign minister said the refusal was until the time a clear cut policy on ties with the United States was finalised. She said it would remain so until a final decision was made by parliament on the na-
was on the sidelines of an international conference in London. She also dubbed the recently held PakistanAfghanistan-Iran trilateral summit in Islamabad a landmark meeting, saying the three sides had tasked their foreign ministers to come up with a roadmap for cooperation and collaboration in the field of trade, commerce and energy sectors. She said Pak-
Blast severs Quetta’s rail link with rest of Pakistan QUETTA stAff RePoRt
The railway track linking Quetta with the rest of the country was blown up with explosives on Thursday night, suspending train service between the provincial capital and the rest of the country. Railway officials said that unknown people had planted explosives along the railway
track and blew it up. “As a result a three-feet long portion of the track was blown up in the blast,” police said, adding that after the blast the Quetta-bound Jaffar Express coming from Rawalpindi was stopped at Sariab Railway Station, while other trains were also stopped at different stations. They said the track would be reopened by Friday morning after repairs and security clearance.
tAsLeeM/isMAiL diLAwAR/shAMiM shAhid/shAhzAdA zuLfiqAR
6 tribesmen injured by Nato’s cross-border shelling in NWa MIRANSHAH inP
Six tribesmen sustained critical injuries when six mortar shells fired by NATO forces in Afghanistan landed in Zairai village in North Waziristan Agency’s Datta Khel tehsil on Thursday. Officials said NATO forces stationed in Afghanistan fired six mor-
tar shells on Datta Khel, a tribal area considered a stronghold of al Qaeda affiliated militants by the US. The injured were shifted to a hospital for treatment. The incident sparked panic among the locals who complained that the US was trying to kill the tribesmen through drone strikes and mortar shelling.
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Friday, 2 March, 2012
Accountability bill to be tabled with consensus: PM g
Gilani says Pakistan committed to regional peace ISLAMABAD
RIME Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani on Thursday said that there was no political prisoner in Pakistan, adding that his government would bring an accountability bill to parliament with consensus. He was talking to Andrew Mitchell, UK’s Secretary of State for International Development, who called on him on Thursday. The prime minister said it would be first smooth civilian transition in Pakistan according to the best practices of parliamentary form of government and the constitution. He said the civilian rule had taken roots in Pakistan, which had resulted in the strengthening of democratic in-
isLAMAbAd: Prime Minister yousaf Raza Gilani talks to a british delegation led by the secretary of state for international development. oNLINe stitutions in Pakistan. He said the present democratic government was committed to the cause of democracy. Talking about relations with the neighbouring countries, the prime minister said the federal cabinet took a unanimous decision to normalise trade relations with India, which would give impetus to trade
between the two countries. He said he had a number of meetings with Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and the latest one was held in Maldives where both the prime ministers expressed the resolve to settle all outstanding issues, including the core issue of Jammu and Kashmir. He referred to his recent meeting
22 militants killed, 5 hideouts destroyed in orakzai HANGU: At least 22 militants were killed and 26 injured in a crackdown by the security forces in Upper Orakzai Agency, officials said on Thursday. The security forces pounded the hideouts of the terrorists located in Upper Orakzai Agency’s Sama Bazaar, Berlas and Barmila areas. Sources said the aircraft attacked militant’s compounds in the mountains and at least five hideouts were destroyed in the airstrikes. Pakistan’s military has been battling a homegrown insurgency in northwestern tribal region. At least 35,000 people, including military personnel, have lost their lives during the campaign against the extremists. onLine
toothless tiger, flailing tsunami and everything in between g
PPP’s road to another electoral victory
CoMMenT nAdeeM syed
After the by-polls with PPP and PML (N) leading from the front once again, it is now quite safe to say that nothing will stand much different even after the next parliamentary elections while those predicting a tsunami of change are living in fool’s paradise. Intriguingly, after surviving perilously close to the death-bed for the last four years with media not even allowing some breathing space to those placed in the echelons of power, suddenly things seem to be getting easier for the PPP government and President Zardari. One indication that good days are ahead for the PPP is that all of a sudden all the fuss about an early election to see the back of the PPP has disappeared or taken a back seat. More intriguingly, the PML (N) if one lends an ear to the opposition leader’s talk in the city is ready to cut deals with the PPP for the sake of the ‘public’. The more independent political circles, also shared by the opposition, are abuzz that the status quo would remain unchanged after the general election with the supremacy of PPP and PML (N) quite assured. “At the most if change does come it will be in the shape of Nawaz replacing Gilani and nothing more” claimed a senior politician from Islamabad. These circles do not rule out the return of the PPP coming back to power once again under the stewardship of President Zardari. But they do, however rule out any profound political change, as being espoused by the supporters of PTI. If these are calculations shared by the opposition, as it appears to be the case, then it is heartening news for the PPP that remains to be much discredited by the media and its opponents. Already, Imran Khan seems to be down and somewhat out for the time being. The PTI no longer is considered to be a veritable threat to the main political parties like PPP and PML (N) as it was a couple of months back when Imran managed to attract staggering numbers at his rallies in Lahore, Karachi and other cities. His path-breaking Minar-i-Pakistan public meeting which catapulted him right in the heart of national politics as a force to be reckoned was painted as a game-changing event by almost every one. Desperation pre-
vailed in the PML (N) leadership following the event at Minar-e-Pakistan. But then Imran failed to keep up the good work and sooner than later people learnt that probably electoral politics and wherewithal it required are not Imran Khan’s cup of tea. He is yet to prove that he could raise a party that could contest elections nation-wide, and from all the constituencies as is the case of parties like the PPP. The PML (N) too has not been able to assert itself outside the Punjab. The Senate elections provides the complete picture of PML (N)’s growing isolation shunned even by its once natural allies like JI or Jamaat-AhleSunnat. So the PML (N) has no representation in the upper house from Sindh or NWFP or Balochistan, unlike the PPP which has a support base intact everywhere. Even in Punjab where the elections will decide the fate of the country in the coming months, the PML (N) would not be able to stay unscathed facing a real threat from Imran Khan and the PML-Q-PPP alliance with the JI and other urban parties like Sunnih Itehad also chipping away at its vote bank. However, you still cannot rule out the popularity of the PML (N) if you talk to the common man in many districts of Punjab. The PPP leaders are upbeat after the bypolls. The political analysts already are painting a much rosier picture for the PPP from now onwards saying the PPP along with its allies ANP, MQM and PML (Q) is all set to be an important political player in the next parliament, leading in the Senate already. The PPP held its ground, maintained unity in its ranks despite multiple crises that hit the ruling party from time to time. Its survival instincts and positive approach have earned it a lot of good will from the other political forces in the country with the potential to tip the balance of power in favour of any new political set up in future. Knowledgeable sources disclosed that that in coming days the PPP would do everything to boost its image in its remaining days in power. “It seems that good days are ahead for the PPP after seeing all the bad ones” claimed one senior leader from Islamabad. Sources revealed that PPP government after Senate election would go for a spending splurge in the development sector. It also has plans ready to overcome the energy crisis in the country.
with Afghan President Hamid Karzai in which he made an appeal to Pakistan to help him in the Afghan reconciliation process. Conceding to the request of the Afghan president, he said he appealed to all factions of the Taliban to support the president in his endeavours to bring peace through reconciliation. The prime minister appreciated the UK’s support for GSP plus status for Pakistan and also praised UK’s assistance in the development of Pakistan’s social sector. Andrew Mitchell said the British government was keenly looking forward to the visit of Prime Minister Gilani to the UK this May under Enhanced Strategic Dialogue. He highly appreciated Pakistan’s decision to normalise trade relations with India, adding that it would benefit the people of both countries including “positive impact on the borders”.
even president’s address is incomplete in eCP’s voters’ list ISLAMABAD onLine
The incomplete home address of President Asif Ali Zardari in the “accurate” electoral list compiled by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) speaks volumes about the standards adopted for transparency and correctness. The president’s eligibility to cast vote in his constituency would be questionable according to the ECP’s new electoral list. A reliable source told Online that Zardari’s name was checked in the voters’ list by using his national identity card (NIC) number, and it was found that the ECP had entered his incomplete home address. The address that appears in the record is: Housing Society, Zardari House, Nawab Shah, Shaheed Benazirabad; while the president’s Block Code is 347030401 with Serial No 3. Online verified the report by using the president’s NIC through the helpline of National Database Registration Authority (NADRA). The ECP spokesperson refused to give the election commission’s version when contacted. On the other hand, millions of voters, including youth, senior citizens and women, would cast their vote in other constituencies instead of their own cities due to the ECP’s negligence, as the commission registered wrong addresses and even changed their block numbers in the voters’ lists displayed across the country. The ECP used NADRA’s record to prepare the new voters’ lists, which even include the record of dead voters as the ECP wanted to get rid of the old method of verification.
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06 News Constable commits suicide after killing 2 KHAIRPUR AGenCies
A policeman committed suicide after killing a fellow constable and a passenger in Khairpur on Thursday. Police said Shaikh Rasheed arrived at the police station armed and started firing at his fellow constables. He killed another unidentified man in the police station. After killing two, he killed himself with his own gun. According to SHO Zahid Abro, Abdul Rasheed Sheikh shot dead constable Abdul Razaaq Galal deployed at Army More police picket near Babarlou area of Khairpur. He said the other person killed was identified as Badshah. Sources said the murder was the outcome of a personal enmity.
Friday, 2 March, 2012
PML-N to form next govt in Sindh: Nawaz g
PMl-n chief says party won’t attend APC until Akbar Bugti’s killers are arrested, missing persons recovered NAWABSHAH
AKISTAN Muslim LeagueNawaz President Nawaz Sharif on Thursday claimed that his party would form the next government in
Sindh. Addressing a public rally in Qazi Ahmed town, Nawaz said the PML-N was the first to help the people of Sindh during the floods. “Punjab rose to the occasion and gave more relief goods than anyone else when the worst floods hit Sindh,” he said. Nawaz said his party would not attend the All-Parties Conference (APC) on Balochistan proposed by the government until the killers of Akbar Bugti were arrested and steps for the recovery of missing persons were taken. He said the rulers had totally failed in fulfilling their obligations and as a result people were suffering. He said if the government had served the country, there would not have been slogans of “Go Zardari Go”.
He said the violence committed by the PPP candidate Waheeda Shah against female election officials had created a bad image of the country in the eyes of the international community. He said the PML-N on the other hand took action against its sitting MNAs and MPAs who indulged in wrongdoings and would not have allowed such a member, who slapped elec-
tion officials, to take oath. Nawaz said despite announcement by the minister for water and power, more than 12 hours of load shedding was being observed. Referring to laptop distribution in the province, he said a revolution was taking place in Punjab in the education sector and vowed to strengthen educational structure in the province. “Punjab is proud of helping other
provinces without differentiating Balochis, Sindhis, Pakhtuns and Punjabis,” he added He said during his tenure the government eradicated the culture of terror in Sindh and would do so again on coming into power next time. Earlier, large number of workers received the PML-N chief at Nawabshah airport.
ttP faction says Chinese woman killed for revenge DERA ISMAIL KHAN ReuteRs
A faction of the Pakistani Taliban on Thursday claimed responsibility for the killing of a Chinese woman this week, saying it was in revenge for China’s killing of Muslims in its troubled northwestern region of Xinjiang. The claim of responsibility is likely to alarm both the government and China, which is a close of ally of Pakistan and has considerable investment in its south Asian neighbour. The Chinese woman was shot on Tuesday in a market in Peshawar along with a Pakistani man. Police at the time said they did not know the motive. “Our comrades carried out the attack in Peshawar which killed the Chinese tourist,” Mohammed Afridi, a spokesman for a faction of the Pakistani Taliban from the Darra Adam Khel area, told Reuters by telephone from an undisclosed location. “This was revenge for the Chinese government killing our Muslim brothers in their Xinjiang province.” Pakistani and Chinese officials have said militants based in western China have links to the Pakistani Taliban and other militants in northwestern Pakistani regions along the Afghan border. China accuses one group, the East Turkestan Islamic Movement, of carrying out attacks in China and says it has broken up training camps for men seeking independence for China’s the largely Muslim
Xinjiang region. The Pakistani Taliban, an umbrella organisation of militant factions, is battling the Pakistani government. It has also attacked foreigners from countries and organisations backing the government. Afridi said the militants were also demanding that China halt what he called its support for the Pakistani government’s campaign against militants, and said attacks would go on against Chinese people as long as China maintained that support. There have been several attacks on Chinese people in Pakistan over the past decade by Islamist militants and autonomy-seeking rebels in Balochistan. China, while calling on Pakistan to ensure the safety of its citizens, has maintained close economic and diplomatic ties. The Chinese embassy in Islamabad called for action after the latest incident. “The embassy has requested the Pakistani side to conduct a thorough and immediate investigation, bring the murderer to justice and properly deal with its aftermath,” it said. “The Pakistani side is also requested to take effective steps to ensure the security of the Chinese nationals in the country.” Pakistan’s ambassador to China, Masood Khan, vowed that the attackers would be tracked down. China has been Pakistan’s most steadfast ally for decades, providing diplomatic and military support and investing in a range of sectors including infrastructure and nuclear energy.
Lethal weapons being air lifted through Pakistan to afghanistan: US general WASHINGTON inP
The United States has negotiated approval from five countries to expand the so-called northern route for supplies to enter and leave Afghanistan, mitigating some of the damage done when Pakistan closed truck routes from the south in November in reaction to a NATO air strike that killed 26 Pakistani soldiers. “We now have a two-way approval to move equipment back out of Afghanistan,” Air Force General William Fraser III, head of the US Transport Command, told the Senate Armed Services Committee. The agreement will allow non-lethal supplies and equipment plus wheeled armoured vehicles to enter and leave Afghanistan – something that was not permitted before, Fraser said. Arms and lethal weapons have been carried by aircraft, which are still being used to transport materiel brought to Pak-
istan by ship, Fraser said. The expanded northern route agreement involves Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Russia and will help remove troops and motorised equipment as a reduction in US and coalition forces takes place over the next two years. Fraser said the new approach must still be tested. He added, “We need the Pakistan ground lock open because of the large numbers that we’re talking about that we need to bring out in a timely manner. “We’re tasked this year to bring another 23,000 troops out by the first of October,” he said, noting that excess equipment was already being identified. In addition, all cargo-capable aircraft that now fly into Afghanistan are being used to remove excess equipment, Fraser said. In the past, Pakistan’s truck routes to Afghanistan carried 60 percent to 70 percent of NATO supplies while the northern route handled the rest.
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Friday, 2 March, 2012
time to learn the sign language PAGe 07
It’s always the empty gun that fires g
Security guard’s carelesness takes a life LAHORE stAff RePoRt
SurPrISe, SurPrISe! Guess who showed up at the PA today? g CM Shahbaz Sharif expresses undying love for Balochistan, ignores dengue, PIC deaths g
UNJAB Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif finally came to the Punjab Assembly after eight months and delivered a long speech on Balochistan issue and other national problems on Thursday. The CM, instead of discussing provincial problems like dengue and deaths due the drugs Punjab Institute of Cardiology drugs, remained critical of the federal government and preferred to raise his voice on the issues of national level. The Opposition in PA had always criticised the CM for not coming to the House while Punjab Law Minister Rana Sana Ullah Khan and others had tried their utmost to defend the CM but to no avail. It is pertinent to mention here that the CM remained absent from the PA when a number of major problems arose in the province, including the dengue outbreak and the deaths due to the PIC drugs. Sana’s main argument in the CM’s defence was always that “no member is bound to come to the house.” It was perhaps the first time on Thursday that he did not have to present an excuse for the CM. The Opposition chose to boycott the session when the CM entered the House thus providing an opportunity to the Treasury to become the victims. “The CM is here to answer questions yet the Opposition is on a boycott,” Sana said. During his speech at the PA, Shahbaz said Pakistan, which comprised Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab, Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Kashmir, was like a human structure and if one organ was lost it would affect the performance of the whole body. He said history would not forgive Pakistanis if any carelessness was shown to the insurgency in Balochistan. He said it was time to learn from mistakes to live with honour in the comity of nations. “Balochistan issue will have to be resolved at all costs and the grievances of the Baloch brethren will have to be redressed,” he said and also proposed that a committee comprising representatives of all political parties be constituted under the chairmanship of Provincial Law Minister Rana Sanaullah Khan which, through a comprehensive resolution, should condemn the excesses committed against the Balochi people and convey the message of love and brotherhood to them. Shahbaz said there repeated military interventions had taken place in Balochistan during the last 64 years. However, in the tenure of former dictator Pervez Musharraf, all limits were crossed and Baloch leader Nawab Akbar Bugti was assassinated, he added. He said the entire nation demanded justice in the case. He said that it is time to redress the grievances of Balochi brethren rather than conven-
ing All Parties’ Conference on the issue of Balochistan. He said Germany was completely destroyed in the world wars but it had emerged as a strong economic force due to the hard work and sincerity of its people and the Berlin Wall between East and West Germany was also pulled down. However, it was ironic that Pakistan of the Quaid which was achieved after a numerous sacrifices was disintegrated but no lesson had been learnt from that tragedy. He said instead of taking practical measures to make up for the excesses committed against the Balochi brethren, hollow statements were being issued from the bunker of Islamabad. He said time had come to raise voice over Balochistan issue and every effort needed to be made to appease the estranged Balochis. He said the people of Punjab would fight for the rights of Balochi people and every effort will be made for the solution of their problems. Shahbaz further said dictator Musharraf despite having complete authority could not get unanimous approval of NFC Award but the political leadership of the four provinces had achieved this miracle. He said Punjab had displayed a spirit of sacrifice and had surrendered Rs 11 billion from its share for the promotion of national integrity. He said people of Punjab would not hesitate to offer even a bigger sacrifice if needed for the strengthening of the country. He said the credit went to the Pakistan Muslim League-N government for doubling the quota of the students of Balochistan and other provinces as well as Azad Kashmir in educational institutions in the province. Moreover, he said, scholarships were being given to the talented students of other provinces from Punjab Educational Endowment Fund and position-holder students of Azad Kahsmir and all provinces were included in the delegations sent on study tour abroad so that the whole country could be represented. He said male and female students of all provinces had been included in the programme of distribution of laptops. He said Pakistan was facing terrorism, extremism and other serious challenges and innocent Muslims were being killed in terrorist acts. He said an attempt was made to give a strong message to Pakistan through a resolution on Balochistan in America. He said it was high time to realise the gravity of the situation and to find a solution to Balochistan issue and placate the Balochi people without any further loss of time. RESOLUTION AGAINST HIKES: PMLN members in announced to move a resolution against increase in petroleum, gas and electricity prices and said it was nuclear attack on the people. The session also discussed the Irrigation Department. Zulfiqar Gondal of PPP criticized the provincial government for dengue and PIC issue and said that the provincial government has failed to deliver.
The daughter of a head-constable was ‘accidentally’ shot dead by a student of B-Com at an academy situated in Usman Block of Nishtar Colony police limits on Thursday. The accused boy and security guard of the academy, who had handed over his gun to the boy, have surrendered before the police along with the gun. Police have registered a case against the accused persons and have removed the body to morgue for autopsy. The deceased student was identified as Noreen Sehar, the daughter of Nawaz, a police cop who had been recently deputed at the prime minister’s house in Defence. The victim was a stu-
dent of BA at Babe-Arqam Academy. The accused boy has been identified as Abdul Rehman, 20, resident of Nishtar Colony and a student of B-Com at the same academy. He was also working part time as an office boy at the same academy. It was learnt that the security guard of the academy, identified as Saeed, used to handover his 12-bore gun to the ac-
cused boy when he took a break. On the day of the incident, the accused boy was sitting in the small courtyard of the academy and was cleaning the gun in the guard’s absence. In the meantime, Noreen came out of the room and fell victim to the bullet fired by Abdul Rehman. Noreen received injuries on the right side of her neck and died on the spot due to excessive bleeding. The incident created severe panic in the academy and the students rushed outside. The academy administration informed the local police who collected forensic evidence and took the accused boy and security guard into their custody. Abdul Rehman told the police that he had no grudge against Noreen and he was trying to clean the gun when the accident happened while Saeed said he had left the gun with Abdul Rehman as he had done so every day.
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08 Lahore weATHer UPDATeS
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TIme To learn The
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PrAYer TIMInGS Fajr Sunrise 05:07 06:28
With no check on noise pollution, experts say half of us are already deaf, with the rest to follow
CITY DIreCTorY eMerGenCY HelP reSCUe eDHI ConTrol MoTorwAY PolICe PolICe GoVernor’S HoUSe CHIeF MInISTer’S HoUSe FIre BrIGADe BoMB DISPoSAl MCl CoMPlAInTS lAHore wASTe DISPoSAl
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HoSPITAlS MID CITY 37573382-3 SerVICeS 99203402-11 MAYo 99211100-9 GenerAl 35810892-8 SHeIkH ZAID 35865731 SIr GAnGA rAM 99200572 UCH 35763573-5 ITTeFAQ 35881981-85 CMH 366996168-72 SHoUkAT kHAnUM 35945100 JInnAH 111-809-809 ADIl (DeFenCe) 36667275 CHIlDren’S 99230901-3 DeFenCe nATIonAl HoSPITAl 111-17-18-19
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CoMPlAInT wAPDA SUI GAS
rAIlwAYS CITY STATIon (enQUIrY) reSerVATIon rAIlwAY PolICe
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AIrPorT FlIGHT enQUIrY PIA reSerVATIon
LAHORE MuzAffAR ALi
If the Punjab government does not execute the noise abatement measures and environment friendly policies on exigent basis to minimise noise pollution there is ample chance that about one million people Lahore would lose their hearing ability permanently in the coming years,” otolaryngologists have warned. “At early stages, people have to be very careful as they cannot judge if they are slowly losing their hearing ability. They should occasionally consult concerned doctors if they find it difficult to understand speech under audible radius,” they said, adding that owing to high sound intensity of above 85 decibel (db) in major residential areas of the city, more than 80 percent of the population was exposed to harmful loud sound levels while seven to eight percent adults aging 20 to 50 have permanently damaged hearing. According to standard guideline, the noise pollution should not exceed 55 decibel in residential areas but the available data reveals that the sound levels are 65 to 90 decibel in all the residential areas of the city. The reason behind this nasty noise pollution is lack of staffers at the Environment Protection Department. The police have also failed to control noise pollution and have lost impetus to execute policies for diminishing traffic noise. “Besides exposure to loud noise, congenital disorders and infections like mumps, measles and meningitis and the use of substandard drugs also contribute to the damaging of the ears,” say Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) specialists. Talking to Pakistan Today, Dr Irfan Mughal said the noise pollution was a major source of damaging the delicate cells of the inner ear and noiseinduced hearing loss occurs gradually without any pain. He said a person experienced ringing in the ears known as tinnitus or difficulty in hearing and this temporary threshold shift could become permanent if
preventive measures were not taken. He said noise pollution not only damage hearing but it could also be a cause of increase in blood pressure, digestive disturbances and a rise in heart beat and breathing. “In some cases, doctors find complaints of migraine headaches
among patients due to noise pollution,” he said, adding that the biggest contributors to noise pollution in the city were pressure-horns used in buses, wagons, cars and even motorcycles. A child specialist and Sir Ganga Ram Hospital Deputy Medical Superintendent Dr Masood Akhter Sheikh told Pakistan Today that children were easy victims of noise pollution. He said that children usually watched and listened music in higher volume and this could also cause hearing damage. “Furthermore, noisy environment can harm children when they find difficulty in concentrating their studies and that can naturally lead to long-term learning problems,” he said, adding that some antibiotics that had ototoxic elements could also cause hearing loss. He said youngsters also use headphones to listen music in high volume and this is also another cause of damaging hearing. He said people could check their ability of hearing while using mobile phones as it was experienced by the lot of people that they could not pick the voice of other person while walking in noise places. He said there were many ways to check level of hearing ability and a few of them are that when one leaves a noisy place, he feels buzzing in the ears, difficulty to understand people and difficulty in understanding speech. A psychiatrist Dr Ijaz Haider said noise pollution could create negative impacts on the psychology of human being. He said the most direct impact of noise pollution was on one’s mood as it created irritation and depression in people that could lead to disturbance of one’s sexual life and social interactions. He said sleeping time could also be disturbed by noise pollution and other recreational activities and some patients he observed started to prefer staying at home to avoid social functions such as marriage ceremonies owing of noise pollution. Muddassar Ali, a focal person of an NGO attached to environment related issues, said the EPD was not adequately trained to check noise pollution in different parts of the city and this situation aggravated when traffic police and EPD could execute n o i s e abatement measures.
CelebrATing spring 2012
red bull pAper Wings 2012 p ...
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DATe AnD TIMe: JUne 1, 2012, 4PM To 6PM VenUe: HAST-o-neeST CenTer CAllIGrAPHY ClASSeS are on-going, interested students can enroll throughout the year. The duration of one module is three months. There are four modules of learning calligraphyt: primary, secondary, advanced and higher. The course includes traditional pen and traditional paper making.
DATe AnD TIMe: FeB 11 —MAr 11, 2012, 8AM To 1:00PM VenUe: AlHAMrA — GADDAFI STADIUM register till 10th March 2012 during office timings 3 pm at Permanent Art Gallery, Cultural Complex, Qaddaffi Stadium lahore Children will bring their art material along with Drawing Boards & Drawing Sheets size 18x20/28x 30 inches. Students can use any medium (Pencil colors, water colors, crayons, pastels, clay, collage, mix-medium oil color, acrylics etc).
DATe: FeBrUArY 10 — MArCH 10, 2012 VenUe: UnSPeCIFIeD, lAHore Feeling the need for wInGS? After an overwhelming response to red Bull Paper wings held in Pakistan in 2009, the best and most creative Pakistani folders & throwers will have the chance to represent their country at the world Finals at Hangar-7, Salzburg, Austria this year also!
LHR 02-03-2012_Layout 1 3/2/2012 1:43 AM Page 9
Friday, 2 March, 2012
There’s no problem with oPV drops, claim doctors
UHS rocks, says HeC chairman LAHORE: Higher Education Commission (HEC) Chairman Dr Javaid R Laghari has greeted the University of Health Sciences (UHS) for being ranked as the top medical university of Pakistan. UHS has recently been ranked by HEC as the best public sector university in the medical category and eighth best in the overall ‘Top 10’ list of Pakistani higher education institutions based on quality, teaching and research. stAff RePoRt
LAHORE stAff RePoRt
Mayo Hospital Medical Superintendent Dr Zahid Pervaiz and Professor Nosheen Aziz, Head of Social and Preventive Paeds Department, King Edward Medical University Lahore have said that the oral polio vaccine (OPV drops) were fully effective and there was no problem of efficacy as shown by the surveillance results – that with one year, there was only one case of polio in Punjab. They said this while addressing a joint press conference in the hospital to nullify the effects of propaganda against the anti-polio campaign in the media. Dr Zahid Pervaiz said that OPV provided to the Health Department was tested and verified for efficacy, before it was supplied and used for vaccination. Moreover, to maintain an effective immunity level in children, it had to be given repeatedly in a year. He further said that the cold chain of the vaccine was maintained from the point of manufacturing to the users. All the transportation and storage of OPV was at the recommended temperature and there was no question of any disruption of cold chain of OPV, he concluded.
with the sun, sets ouR hoPe: zaheer, unemployed, looks at the setting sun hoping that tomorrow would have better things in store for him. NaDeeM IJaZ
operations DIg solves the intriguing whodunit LAHORE
HE murderer, who killed a 65year old man, Arshad Chughtai, and his three-year old granddaughter Khatija Adnan, residents of 163/Abu Bakar Block, Garden Town, and injured their maid Shumaila Jaffer (14), actually wanted to kidnap the girl for ransom. This was revealed by Deputy Inspector General of Lahore Police’s Operations Wing Ghulam Mehmood Dogar while talking to the media. Shumaila was shifted to the hospital where doctors treated her and she recovered from her injuries. Police officials investigated Shumaila, who revealed that her elder brother Akif Jaffer had killed Arshad and Khatija. The DIG said that Shumaila had further revealed that her brother had injured her when she stopped him from carrying out the heinous act. He said that after knowing about Akif’s involvement the police traced his location and arrested him from Islamabad. He further added that Akif not only went on to confess his crime but also revealed his intentions. The DIG confirmed that the
murderer wanted to receive ransom and had initially tried to kidnap the girl. Akif, in police custody, told media that he was in love with his cousin and wanted to marry her, and added that his aunt demanded Rs100,000 in return for marrying her daughter with Akif. He said that being a labourer he had failed in mustering such a huge sum of money and hence, had conjured up the kidnapping plan. He said that he had found a large sharp sickle from a park and took it to the place of incident with half his face covered. He said that Khatija had showed resistance and started screaming when he tried to take her away. His sister Shumaila had also offered resistance which had infuriated him and led to him slaughtering the minor girl and injuring his sister. “Due to Shumaila’s resistance and a brief scuffle with Arshad Chughtai, the mask which I was wearing slipped down exposing my identity”, the killer said adding that Arshad Chugatai had identified him and had threatened him with dire consequences after which he had slaughtered Arshad as well and had escaped. The DIG has announced cash prizes and commendatory certificate for the police team.
Cooperative Punjab Registrar farhan Aziz taking a briefing on the performance of Punjab Provincial Cooperative Limited. PR
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Friday, 2 March, 2012
‘Babar Awan, you’ve got to be kidding me!’ LAHORE
AHORE High Court on Thursday rejected objections of PPP Senator Babar Awan against three amicus curiaes (friends of court) appointed by LHC to assist the court in hearing of a petition seeking his disqualification. The LHC was hearing a petition filed by Advocate Shahid Javed challenging eligibility of Awan, recently elected as a senator. Through an application Babar Awan had contended that Advocate AK Dogar, Advocate Salman Akram Raja, Advocate Salman Akram and former Advocate General Punjab Khawaja Harris, who had been appointed as amicus curiaes in the matter against him were not impartial and justice will suffer if court heard their arguments in the case. Rejecting the objections of Awan, Justice Umer Ata Bandial observed that the court had appointed impartial advocates and the court had lawful authority to appoint any person for its assistance in any case. Justice Bandial also said courts decided cases not on the desire of parties but on merit, law, norms of justice,
rules and legal ethics. When the judge set aside objections from counsel for Awan, the court heard arguments of Harris who said the petitioner who brought case against Awan was not an aggrieved party as he was neither his rival nor his supporter in the senate election hence, the petition was not maintainable. PETROL PRICE PETITION: A petition was filed on behalf of Mohammad & Ahmad, a public interest litigation company, on Thursday before Lahore High Court challenging the recent increase in petroleum prices. The petitioner stated that the government enhances price of petroleum products after short intervals, which causes price hike of other items that is unjust to the people. He stated that a petition was pending in which he had prayed that the government should be directed to give details about the method of determination for revising the petroleum products vis-à-vis cost of production and cost of supply including charging of different levies, duties and taxes and further disbursement of above collections to the different heads. He further prayed that the petitioner may be directed to supply with the audited accounts of all the respondents connected with the production and supply of the pe-
Minorities apprehensive about life security, and with reason…
troleum products specifying the details of category wise with complete profit and loss accounts through certified audited accounts. SHIFTING WALTON FLYING CLUB: The Lahore High Court on Thursday sought reply from the Punjab government and others by March 15 on a petition seeking directions to shift Walton Flying Club from residential area to a far-off location. Justice Manzoor Ahmad Malik passed the order on a petition filed by petitioner-counsel Ishtiaq Ahmad impleading the director general Civil Aviation Authority, Walton Flying Club Director Training and Punjab Home Secretary. PROBING DRUG DEATHS: The Defective Drugs Inquiry (DDI) Tribunal, set up to probe deaths caused by Punjab Institute of cardiology’s spurious medicines, on Thursday recorded the statements of Drugs Testing Laboratory Ex-Director Abdus Salam Mufti and Ex-Chief Drugs Inspector Mouazam Ali Khan. They also produced documents in support of their statements whereas the Tribunal questioned them about various aspects of the matter being probed. Data Ganj Bakhsh Town Drug Inspector Saeed Iqbal, also appeared before the Tribunal and got his statement recorded.
DHA’s month-long Jashn-e-Baharan celebrations
LAHORE stAff RePoRt
The Hindu community protested in front of Lahore Press Club against sorry state of security for them in provinces of Sindh and Balochistan where, they claim, six Hindus had been kidnapped in a week. The protesters flayed the incompetence of Peoples Party’s provincial governments for their ineptitude in providing security to the minorities. The protesters said earlier this week two Hindus were kidnapped from Quetta, one from Karachi, a girl from Mirpur Mathelo and another from Jacobabad. They asked the government to give them rights that they deserved, biggest of which is life security. The family of a girl, Rinkal, kidnapped last Friday from Mir Pur Mathilo also attended the protest. Nand Laal, father of the victim, told journalists that three goons of the local PPP MNA Mian Mitha had kidnapped his daughter from their house early on Friday.
Head clerk goes on hunger strike after dismissal
LAHORE stAff RePoRt
wAitinG And wAitinG: A large number of freight bogies standing at Lahore station of Pakistan Railways which is facing fuel shortage. oNLINe
When suicide is the last resort LAHORE stAff RePoRt
Three persons, including a 45-year-old woman, committed suicide in separate localities of the provincial metropolis on Thursday. A 28-year-old man opened fire on his temple over unknown issue in the Manawan police limits. The deceased person was identified as Waris, the son of Tufail, resident of Chandni Chowk. He had returned from the dera of his friend on Tuesday morning after which he locked himself in a room and committed suicide. After hearing the shots, his family members rushed to the room and found him in a pool of blood. He was rushed to a local hospital where doctors pronounced him dead. Local police also reached the scene and removed the body to morgue for autopsy.
Separately, a 26-year-old man identified as Imtiaz Ali, the son of Akbar Ali, resident of China Scheme Gujjarpura, committed suicide by swallowing poisonous pills. He was rushed to a local hospital where he died. Local police after being informed reached the hospital and removed the body to morgue while suspecting the incident to be mysterious. The victim’s family claimed that Imtiaz had committed suicide. In another incident, a 45-year-old woman committed suicide by jumping into the canal in the Mustafaabad police limits. She was rushed to a local hospital where she died. The body of the victim woman, yet to be identified, was shifted to morgue for autopsy. Rescue official said that the woman had jumped into the canal near Dharampura bridge in the Mustafaabad police limits. The motives were not clear in all the three incidents.
DHA Lahore management keeping its tradition has decided to celebrate the Jashn-e-Baharan from 2nd to 31st March. The preparations regarding the celebrations are at its peak and the steamers and banners carrying the details of the events have been installed across DHA premises. DHA parks, green belts, clubs and educational institutions have been adorned with various types of flowers. DHA Spokesman Tajammal Hussain Anjum said that a variety of sports competitions have been planned during Jashn-e-Baharan that would give an opportunity of healthy entertainment to the residents. He was talking with to the journalists in his office. He said that a cricket match of the residents will be held from 2 to 4 March at Defence Stadium and another cricket match of DHA officers will be held from 3 to 4 March. The final match will be played on the 10th and 11th of March at Defence Degree College ground. A tennis tournament will be played out on 10 and 11 March at the Defence Club and the basket ball event will be held from 23 to 25 March at Defence Stadium. A special walk will be held on 23rd March at 3pm from Education City to Phase V commercial area. Swimming gala will take place at Defence club from 24 to 25 March. Golf match will be held on 25 March at Defence Raya Golf course phase VI. Football and rugby tournaments will be held from 28 to 30 March and 22 to 24 March respectively at the Defence Stadium. Flower exhibition will take place from 15 to 17 March and prize distribution ceremony will be held on 21 March at Sheeba Park Y block phase III. A food gala will be held on 25th March at Defence club.
oxford university Press organized a talk by sarmila bose, based on the author’s recently published book dead Reckoning: Memories of the 1971 bangladesh war, on 14 february 2012, at the oxford bookshop in Lahore. this ground-breaking book chronicles the 1971 war in south Asia by reconstituting the memories of those on opposing sides of the conflict. sarmila bose is a senior Research fellow in the Politics of south Asia at the university of oxford. seen in the photograph is sarmila bose (fourth from left) with najam sethi, editor-in-Chief, the friday times (fifth from left), and tariq haq, Regional sales director, oxford university Press Pakistan, (third from left).
LAHORE stAff RePoRt
A former employee of PHA, on hunger strike till death, has demanded his reinstatement. Nusrat Ali Toor was dismissed from his post of Head Clerk in PHA for his absence from service. He claimed Director General Lahore Development Authority and PHA Abdul Jabbar Shaheen had victimised him for personal reasons. Nusrat said he remained absent from his job because of medical reasons. “For three years, I remained under treatment in Sweden,” he said. In October 2007, he said, he got a stroke followed by a heart attack and his angiography was performed in Sweden while he also remained under psychiatrists’ treatment. “I had sent my medical reports to my department but in spite of the fact that they had given a final notice through newspapers to report in seven days, I got back to country last year,” Nusrat told Pakistan Today. On his return, a board was commissioned to hear his case but without waiting for its decision Shaheen had ordered his dismissal, he claimed. He demanded his residence to be allotted back to him and asked for immediate reinstatement as he claimed that he had three more years of service left.
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Friday, 2 March, 2012
Editor’s mail 11
The system of checks and balances More then two decades ago I asked my Pakistan Studies teacher how could a democratic constitution ensure that the leader selected would work for the best interest of Pakistan. She replied with a smile, "Checks and balances". And explained that the Constitution has a number of checks and balances to ensure that everyone does their job honestly and in the best interest of the country. Unfortunately, in the current PPP/ANP-led government, the checks and balances system of our constitution
Political parties’ funding
has been removed. When a government officer holds two or more positions, then the check and balance system won’t work. Best example is the Punjab government, where the CM was holding the post of more than 16 offices, including health, which caused many issues in Punjab, including dengue, fake flood camps, PIC hospital patient deaths etc. There is no "One Man Show" in democracy. The check and balance for the topmost position in the government is different. The president's orders can only be
turned down on the intervention of the Chief Justice. Since 2008, the current government has been intent on destroying Pakistan. They have embezzled huge amounts from the public, they have reduced government institutions into losses turning their share prices down and then buying them off (like they are doing with BoK), fake and low quality purchases with kickbacks in each and every institution has destroyed our economy. Many foreign spies are roaming around in Peshawar with police escorts
and worst of all a country that can generate more then 20,000MW power has been forced into loadshedding of 10 hours since four years now. The CJ has tried his level best to stop this rape of our country, but he cannot stop or control everything. My Chief of Army, the virus has crossed your borders and entered the system that is called the government. Will you act after our country is burnt to the ground? SHAHRYAR KHAN BASEER Peshawar
The cost of social media In recent years, the social networking websites like Twitter and Facebook, have gained massive public popularity from youth. But most recently, the politicisation of social media has taken place rapidly, especially after emergence of Imran Khan and Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) from the core of these social media groups. Imran Khan’s massive public gatherings and his emergence as “the third option” has proved one thing that social media do have an impact on ‘realpolitick’. It is a giant: uncontrolled and unmonitored and can affect both the “media” and policymaking and the worse of all it can cause anarchy and can be easily used to manipulate a big section of our educated class. Try stalking any political, religious, ethnic issue on any forum; it will be full of confident “pseudo intellects”, bombarding ideas (mostly baseless or based on unseen myths) and virtually fighting amongst each other. In a country like Pakistan which has been a home of ethnic, religious and political conflicts, such a situation can deepen the impact of these ethno-religious grievances which may result in long term poisoning of our sensitive youth. Our youth is educated, but what exactly is that education? Are issues related to dominance of Punjab, sectarian violence, ethnic conflicts, inter-provincial grievances, Talibanisation, ever been a part of our curriculum? These issues have been absent from the mainstream debates, even the media tries to neutralise their impact. Now imagine their impact when they go unobstructed to our emotionally sensitive youth, with much greater intensity and often with misleading ‘facts’ and realities. Policymakers need to be worried about this slow poisoning or should be ready to face their consequences in the long run. MUHAMMAD NOWKHAIZ LUMS, Lahore Send your letters to: Letters to Editor, Pakistan Today, 4-Shaarey Fatima Jinnah, Lahore, Pakistan Fax: +92-42-36298302 E-mail: email@example.com Letters may be edited for length and clarity. It would be appreciated if letters were addressed to Pakistan Today exclusively.
sectarian killings Gunmen in military uniform forced in on passengers travelling in four buses on Karakoram Highway, from Rawalpindi to Gilgit. The militants hauled off passengers from buses and after checking their identity, those 16 found to be Shias were gunned down. According to foreign new agencies the spokesman for the Jandullah faction of Taliban claimed the responsibility of gruesome murders. The militants who called themselves mujahideen are also killing the Shias in Balochistan. The Shias throughout the country have staged protested against this horrendous crime. One fails to understand as to why our intelligent agencies have failed to prevent such incidents? Why are they not able to find out who are the members of Jandullah group are and who is funding their activities of killing the peaceful citizens of Pakistan?
waheeda Shah’s slap We have all seen Waheeda Shah on TV screens. This woman slapped a poor and innocent girl, who must have been either a low-paid primary school teacher or a lady health visitor made to act as a returning officer. I saw Mehreen Raja of PPP arguing on TV that both sides must be investigated. My version of the entire incident is that what could have that re-
It is the prime responsibility of the government to protect the lives and properties of citizens, but is seems that the government has no political will and ability to stop the prevailing violence in the country. Why is the civilian government not eliminating terrorism? Why is the government not activating the anti-terrorist force specifically with the responsibility of countering terrorism and sectarianism in the country, which is damaging the country economically and tarnishing its image in the world? Why the group of religious forces who have formed Difa-e-Pakistan Council is not condemning sectarian killing and playing its role to save the country from enemies working within the country before its can save the country from the foreign enemies? S T HUSSAIN Lahore
turning officer said to Waheeda Shah to provoke her to resort to this? Is she worthy of being a legislator? Does she have the temperament or the ability to go to the assembly? In my humble opinion, Waheeda Shah surely does not deserve to be in the assembly, no matter the clout she is carrying. PPP is silent about this incident. Election Commission, if still alive, is quiet and seemingly indifferent.
Waheeda Shah must tender public apology to that girl and compensate her in monetary terms out of her purse. Waheeda should be banned from all kinds of political roles for five years, if not for life. I am glad that the CJ has taken suo-motu notice of this incident. She should be taught some manners and decency in her behaviour with commoners. AMJAD H MIRZA Lahore
There is no rocket science involved in reality that huge public rallies and advertisements by major political parties involve a lot of funds. There was a time when politicians used to go around country by rail, now they go on private or chartered jets, paid for by tycoons involved in real estate, sugar, banking or cement cartels and even controversial energy sector. There is no such thing as a free lunch. There is a price for all of this. The fleet of expensive bullet proof SUVs, Mercs and BMWs don’t come free. It is an investment on which investors expect returns. Today behind every successful man with a fortune, it is no longer usually a woman, but a crime that has been committed. It would be better if the EC and those who matter make it mandatory that funding of political parties be made legal to ensure that there is no foreign interference through huge donations, which compromises our national sovereignty and dignity. This country should no longer be a sanctuary for unwanted men like Osama. No foreign national, NGO etc, should be allowed to fund political activities located in Pakistan. Late Mohtarma BB and Gen Naseerullah Babar made startling revelations in NA on April 24, 1994, where they named almost everybody ranging from Jam Sadiq Ali, Javed Hashmi, Altaf Hussain, Nawaz Shariff, Afaq Ahmed, Jam Mashooq Ali, Muzaffar Hussain, Abida Hussain, Jamali etc to have received dole-outs from ISI in collaboration with Yunus Habib. There was a time when foreign and ISI money was routed through Yusuf Haroon to Mujeeb and ZAB, with disastrous consequences for Pakistan. This abuse and proliferation of democracy can only be curtailed if all political funding be declared legal and audited instead of being subverted as it is today. MALIK TARIQ ALI Lahore
Concept of forgiveness The Islamic concept of forgiveness is embodied in the verse 134 of Surah AlImran which describes virtues of a righteous person. “Those who spend (freely), whether in prosperity, or in adversity; who restrain anger, and pardon (all) men, for Allah loves those, who do good.” The above verse has a clear resonance in relation with the stand of Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif in as much as he is averse to pardon PML(Q) leaders for joining Musharraf in his absence for their survival. Main sahib ought to look at his own faults at first sacking Jahangir Karamat, then selecting Musharraf over his senior Ali Quli Khan, and then compounding his mistakes by dismissing Musharraf thus bringing calamity on himself. Will he ponder over the above verse to qualify for a righteous person by pardoning PML(Q)? DR MUHAMMAD YAQOOB BHATTI Lahore
opportunity in crisis By M Mustansar Billah Hussain
he UN designated the year 2012 as the international year of ‘Sustainable Energy for All’. During 16-19 January 2012, Abu Dhabi hosted World Future Energy Summit to discuss how the future of energy should look like, and how we can shape it. Today, the concern about energy has become central to global issues and policies as the survival and sustainability of modern life is strongly dependent upon the availability and usage of energy. The age of fossil fuels brought tremendous changes in the way we live today. However, with the growing population and depleting oil and gas reserves, woes are increasing as how to maintain the pace of progress and prosperity that world achieved during the age of fossil fuels. Pakistan is no exception to the dictates of ever increasing stress on energy resources, given the decreasing reserves-production ratio of fossil fuels world-
wide. Because of low oil and gas deposits in Pakistan, and fluctuating cost of these commodities in the international markets, the country faces accelerating economic pressure. Pakistan’s oil import bill exceeds $ 12 billion a year, according to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics. Despite this huge spending, the country remains unable to generate electricity as per demand although the fact remains that its installed capacity still exceeds peak demand. Long hours of electricity-less life in Pakistan push the country in something akin to the Stone Age. A population which is dissatisfied can trigger political unrest and remains vulnerable to the brain and money drain. The situation also works as a huge impediment to foreign investment. The problem gets particular importance if seen with the changing demographic realities of the country: youth bulge with expectations of modern life. If the energy crisis becomes severe in the coming years, this youth bulge would become a liability for the country. Contrarily, the availability
and modern usages of energy could play critical role in transformation of this youth bulge into an asset. In fact, it is important to note that development in contemporary world is in direct proportion with the usage of energy. In 2005, in the developed countries, energy use per capita per annum was 4,720 kilograms of oil equivalent (kgoe), whereas in the developing countries it was 975 kgoe. In Pakistan per capita usage of energy was further low at 490 kgoe/annum. The technological advancements achieved during the oil age have placed the world at a juncture where we have many viable options available in the form of renewable energy. These include: nuclear, hydro, solar, wind, bio mass, tidal, geo thermal, and wave energy. All of these sources have their own merits and de-merits. Hydro and nuclear are the best known, cost effective, and as yet the largest provider among the renewable energy sources. However, given the political strings attached to hydro and nuclear energy in the
particular case of Pakistan, the wind and solar offer a workable solution and a good opportunity for business. Pakistan’s geographic location endows it with tremendous potential for generating wind and solar electricity. Studies have found that Pakistan has a potential of over 340,000 MW for wind and 100,000 MW for solar generated electricity. Both these resources are being switched to in the advanced countries and emerging powers. Today, top five countries producing wind generated megawatts of electricity are: China (44,733), the US (40,180), Germany (27,215), Spain (20,676), and India (13,065). Important to note that Spain’s only wind generated electricity exceeds entire peak demand of electricity in Pakistan. According to a recent announcement by China’s National Energy Administration, by the year 2015 the country would increase its wind and solar power generation capacity to 100,000 MW, and 15,000 MW, respectively. The problems related to intermittence, cost, and reliability
have been resolved to a great extent by technological improvements, making wind and solar energy the fuels for a green and sustainable future. The per capita energy usage in Pakistan is expected to take a sharp upward trend in future given the combination of following factors: abysmally low per capita usage of energy at present, youth bulge, and increasing access for a large segment of population to modern amenities of life due to deepening of globalization. Policymakers in Pakistan would be thus better advised to harness wind and solar potential of the country to meet the future demand. This would not only relieve the country from economic stress that comes with importing fossil fuel based energy, but also political stress that is attached to building large dams. In addition, the clean energy obtained from wind and Sun would also keep the country away from the hazards attached to nuclear power plants. Pakistan can not only solve its electricity problem through ag-
gressive pursuit of wind and solar energy, it can also harness business potential by collaborating with business corporations that produce wind turbines and solar cells. Such joint ventures would be attractive for foreign companies as Pakistan ranks ahead of India and Bangladesh in South Asia in the World Bank’s ‘Ease of Doing Business Index’. Moreover, it provides a readily available market, and potential access to future markets in the adjoining region. Our policymakers should thus invite Chinese, Japanese and Korean companies for the purpose. Pakistan has a success story in the form of M-2 motorway built by a Korean company. Now is the time to build a sustainable energy highway – winding along the wind corridors, and lit by the Sun – that is pivotal for progress and prosperity; key ingredients in contemporary world for economic and social stability. The writer works for Islamabad Policy Research Institute, Islamabad. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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12 Comment Determining ISI’s role Time for the judiciary to settle this issue
he SC has finally woken to the need of taking up Asghar Khan’s plea which was gathering dust in the record room of the SC since 1996. Not that the issue was not pressed by the indefatigable Air Marshal through media after the restoration of independent judiciary. The plea, however, continued to hang fire. That the matter was taken up only after a protracted delay would raise questions about how the court determines the priorities of the cases to be heard. Such was the state of neglect meted out to the petition that sealed records connected with the case were not available on Wednesday when the hearing started and proceedings had to be adjourned for a week to locate them. The petition incriminates both the ISI and the politicians. This was by no means the first or the last time that the ISI interfered in politics to get the electoral results of its liking. The manipulations by the ISI have hindered the growth of the institutions, promoted corruption among the political elite and weakened the political system. Over the decades, the spy agency has played a major role in breaking up of the mainstream parties and bolstering those supporting military dictators. It has crafted new political alliances. The ISI has approached politicians and maintained elements in the media on its payroll. Unless those who devised the plan to rig the 1990 elections, provided finances for it and doled out money are meted out exemplary punishment, corruption in politics will continue to flourish. Politician who received the money from ISI are equally to be blamed. One expects political leaders to act as a role model for the coming generations. That they should succumb to act as henchmen of the ISI in return for money is a matter of shame. As some those included in the ISI list have denied receiving the funds, a thorough probe is needed in the affair. Those who are found to have accepted the payment should be proceeded against. The case being no more than the tip of an iceberg, it would be in place if the apex court appoints a judicial commission to probe other cases of gross interference by the ISI in political matters to close the chapter for good.
Sound and fury Got any suggestions?
overage of energy price hikes are codified in the nation’s media outlets, particularly the broadcast media. The SOP: as soon as Nepra, Ogra, KESC or whatever the concerned body that is, sends a press release to the beat reporter, the newsroom starts preparing a man-on-the-street package (or, vox pops, as they are known in shop talk.) The channel then starts flashing the news as yet another assault on the “poor man”, even if it is a CNG price hike, which is functionally the bane of the middle-classes. To cut to vox pops and ask concerned random people on the street to comment on the issue, you won’t get a wellinformed opinion on international oil markets, the special Opec rate we get, the constraints of our public financial profile, the mechanics of duties and sales taxes. You will only get misguided and (always) vague frustration. To get actual experts to talk about it is problematic, not only because it is tougher and more expensive than the lowhanging fruit of stepping out of the office and talking to people but also because a reasonable measure of empathy for the situation the government is in wouldn’t go down to well with viewers. This government is run by a political party. One that contests elections. Whose politicians do the rounds and hears all objections levelled upon it by ordinary voters. It understands how unpopular steps like these are. Incompetent it might be, politically unwise it is not. It would give anything to make this problem go away. But it won’t go away. It can’t be wished away and this is something that cannot be argued around either. The trade-off is more than clear: either subsidise the price-hikes or transfer them to the consumers. In the case of the former, the development budget has to be eaten into, in which case, if, say, a hospital in inadequately manned, off to another vox pops package from irate patients. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. Especially with a media insistent on not raising the level of debate in the country, be it public finance, terrorism or plain, oldfashioned politics.
Dedicated to the legacy of the late Hameed Nizami
Arif Nizami Editor
Lahore – Ph: 042-36298305-10 Fax: 042-36298302 Karachi – Ph: 021-34330811-3 Fax: 021-34330900 Islamabad – Ph: 051-2287414-6 Fax: 051-2287417 Web: www.pakistantoday.com.pk Email: email@example.com
Friday, 2 March, 2012
the slap it represents what is wrong with the system
By Fahd Husain
aving slapped her way into infamy, will Waheeda Shah now be slapped with a conviction by the Supreme Court, or merely get a slap on the wrist? Ms Shah has already lost all respect, so she might as well lose her seat too. The slap that was heard around Pakistan is now boomeranging to leave her black and blue as she bears the brunt of a public whiplash which the likes of her rarely get to taste. Bon appetite, Ms Shah. You have surely earned what's coming your way. The PPP politician from rural Sindh now has an FIR against her, and a date with the judges, who on normal days are grumpy, angry and glowering. So for Ms Shah, the SC hearing ain't gonna be a walk in the park. Sadly the judges, with all the constitutional power at their disposal, do not have the power yet to slap their way to justice. Otherwise this would have been a textbook case for flexing such constitutional muscles. Waheeda Shah did not murder anyone. Nor did she cripple, or paralyse or lobotomise anyone. But if she didn’t inflict serious physical injury on her hapless victim, she made up for this inadequacy by tearing into the victim's dignity and self-respect. She humiliated her with a nonchalance that is
borne of a life of privilege and power, and which breeds a contempt that it so richly deserves. But it was just a slap, her PPP apologists say. And people get slapped around every minute of every day in this country of ours. So what is the big deal? The big deal is that Waheeda Shah's slap has come to symbolise much that is rotten in this class-ridden system which perpetuates the hold of the social and political elite over those who are weak, vulnerable and unprotected. Such Pakistanis are fair game for the predatory state, and the rapaciously powerhungry politician. These weak, vulnerable and unprotected Pakistanis get maltreated, abused, manipulated, exploited and humiliated as a matter of habit by the elites and those who are fed fat on unchecked state power. In fact, this skewed relationship between the powerful and the weak is so deeply entrenched in this soil that a vast majority accept it as a way of life. That's how it's always been through the ages and that's how it will remain, goes the belief. The right to abuse, say the powerful, is a right ingrained within the concept of power itself. What good is power, they argue, if it doesn’t mean getting one's own way. Does culture add to this loathsome mix? The housewife slaps the maid, the thanedar slaps the detainee, the officer slaps the subordinate, the feudal slaps the teacher, the teacher slaps the student… the list goes on and on. The relationship between the 'slapper' and the 'slappee' is the same: powerful vs weak. If this be the reality, then what Waheeda Shah did was in tune with the social and cultural norms that she has always adhered to. While this line of argument may conform to a traditional belief system which defines a grim reality, it is in essence grotesquely wrong. Simple enough: laws of the land trump all norms, beliefs and traditions. Laws exist to level the playing field for everyone. But
when laws are not applied uniformly, norms, beliefs and traditions trump them. Case in point: Waheeda Shah. This Sindhi feudal PPP politician probably slaps people around her all the time. Who knows, maybe she even beats her dog and cat. She does this because she knows she can. And because she knows those weaker to her politically, socially or financially cannot respond in kind. Notice the policemen in her slapping footage standing next to her with a dumb expression on his face. He's the face of law there. But Waheeda Shah knows that she is the local political grandee in the area, and this dumb cop is subservient to her because the law he represents and executes is subordinate to her. So she slaps the woman doing her electoral duty. Ms Shah knows that if anything, the dumb cop will approve of the slap. After all, he slaps people around as a matter of routine. And the dumb cop looks at Ms Shah's slapping spree as if it’s the most natural thing to do in those surroundings. State power and political power locked in a vicious nexus to slap around a Pakistani who has no power. Waheeda Shah belongs to the ruling PPP. Her party and its government are mumbling inanities which stink of nauseating justifications for Ms Shah. This breed of people is now lording over the destiny of this hapless nation. Byproducts of a fundamentally unjust system, such politicians and such governments continue to perpetuate a social structure that resists change, progress and modernity. But how long can they plug a hole in the dam with their fingers? Waheeda Shah may have slapped a weak Pakistani woman. But now the Pakistani nation is slapping Waheeda Shah back till she goes blue in the face. The writer hosts a primetime talk show on ARY News. He has worked as Director News of Express News and Dunya News and Editor The News, Islamabad. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @fahdhusain
Bahrain is free state oppression versus struggle for freedom
By Hasan Askari
hange does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom. A man can't ride you unless your back is bent.” Martin Luther King Jr said in his speech in Memphis, Tennessee, April 3, 1968. Abdulhadi Abdulla Hubail Alkhawaja, the prominent Bahraini human rights activist, who now enters day 19 of his hunger strike against the regime of Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, continues to make Luther King Jr proud. Alkhawaja is serving a life sentence for having refused to bend his back. The painful act of protest is not voluntary, some say. His jaws have been broken during custody: he can’t chew. IV tubes, used to deliver fluid into a patient’s body, have stopped working: his veins have shrunk due to weakness, according to his doctor. While propagators of free speech and democracy stand by silently and watch, Alkhawja and
6 fellow humans, who stood up against oppression, continue to suffer. Why? It all started on February 14, 2010. Buoyed by the success in Egypt and Tunisia, Bahrainis gathered at the Pearl Square in Manama. They wanted a constitutional monarchy in Bahrain, where people could choose their representatives. Irrespective of religion, sect or race, Bahrain stood united. Almost 80-85 percent of employees in Bahrain went on strike on February 20. Their demands were rebuffed; dozens of protestors were shot dead at point blank range, thousands captured and tortured. Houses of the opposition leaders were raided at night without warrants, their women made to stand in night clothing. People were ridiculed at checkpoints for their religious believes. Doctors who had treated the injured protesters at Manama’s Sulaimaniya Medical Complex were jailed, threatened and tortured for treating the wounded. Forces of the state persecuted the injured on their hospital beds, all behind closed doors, far from the eye of the media. State propaganda went into an overdrive: what was an uprising against tyranny and injustice was turned into a sectarian conflict. Western PR mercenaries, funded by the state, were hired to carry out the dirty work on social media. Fake accounts on social platforms were created that labeled the people of Bahrain as terrorists. Muslims were pitted against one another. And sadly, it worked; it always has.
Bahrain state television played its part. The protestors were branded terrorists and enemies of the state, bounties announced for anyone who brought in intelligence. The initial wave of opposition was brutally crushed. Men in power, heading states and regimes, watched while their bank accounts continued to roll in with petro-dollars. Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry was initiated by the king under increasing pressure from human rights organisations. Or, maybe it was a shameless act of tokenism. Nevertheless, the government of Bahrain was found guilty on all of the following accounts: 1) Violation of human rights, which includes: use of force by government actors, manner of arrests, treatment of persons in custody, prosecution for expression and association and assembly, enforced disappearances. 2) Other human rights issues: demolition of religious structures, treatment of public and private sector employment, dismissals of students and suspensions of scholarships. Atrocities committed are beyond the scope of a single article. Perpetrators of the aforementioned violations remain at large. In stark contrast, medics in Bahrain now treat injured protestors underground. Dead bodies of teenagers continue to appear and activists continue to be harassed with tear gas grenades being fired into their
homes. Bahrain has been left helpless by the world media, its attention now firmly focused on neighbouring Syria. The king of Bahrain openly calls for Syria’s Bashar al-Assad to listen to his men, to stop torturing and killing his own people. How cruel is irony? United States of Arabia and Saudi Arabia take turns in taking each other to bed; in the issue of Bahrain, the Saudis lulled NATO and its master, the US, to royal beds, littered with crumbled Saudi Riyals. No attention will be spared. Saudis will continue to forcefully ‘preach’ and spread their brand of Islam and Hamas will continue to be a puppet dancing on Arabian tunes. Meanwhile, dollars continue to roll in. While the Pearl roundabout – the sign of hope and freedom – has long been destroyed, hope prevails. Bahrain continues to shout in the dark, hoping against hope to be heard. But they will not give up. Brave men like Alkhawaja will give their lives to fuel the cause; the people have woken up, they have nothing more to fear. Jim Morrison once said, “Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free.” Bahrain is free. The writer is an IBA graduate and freelance journalist. He can be reached at email@example.com
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Friday, 2 March, 2012
Celebrating acid attacks Pakistan’s first oriental award…
Comradely Musings By Hashim bin Rashid
certainly did not intend to write an Op-ed on the matter when I shared a friend’s Facebook status on Sharmeen Obaid’s Oscar win on the documentary ‘Saving Face’, addressing the deeply troubling subject of acid attacks on women in Pakistan. Amongst all the frontpage news and glamour and ‘raised Pakistan’s name around the world’ that was being screamed across media channels, Facebook and Twitter (from what I hear), a radical Marxistfeminist friend of mine who goes by the name Heer Heer had rather innocently asked: “Ironic that Pakistan is celebrating its first Oscar for the movie the subject of which can put any nation to shame.” Re-shared on my wall, ‘likes’ and comments began to float it. A debate began between ‘cynics’ and ‘patriots.’ The argument, simplistically, from the patriots was, ‘A Pakistani won an Oscar, we must celebrate.’ When the question of, ‘but does the subject deserve celebration was asked?’ The answer was, ‘but we must celebrate the recognition of Sharmeen’s bravery in telling such an important tale.’ First, the original comment was not about the content of the documentary, but the unreflected screening of Sharmeen’s Oscar winning speech, again and again. Second, it was being projected that the politics of who the documentary had spoken to, and
its internal ‘politics of representation,’ were beyond questioning. The laurels for Saving Face were independent of the questions of: who was giving the award? How was the subject depicted? In absence of the asking of these questions, a commentator like myself felt vindicated in saying, it is either sheer ignorance or sheer laziness that allows our elite classes to receive laurels from the West without engaging in seminal work in the study of Orientalism and neo-Orientalism. The question being asked was based on the understanding that accepting the award meant reifying ‘Empire’s discourse on gender’. This is, of course, not to deny the reality of the crime of throwing acid on women in Pakistan. Only a week ago, acid was thrown at four women in Faisalabad. The question to ask is one of the fundamental questions asked by postcolonial feminists – Gayatri Spivak to name one: what is the value of a feminist value reified by white men (Oscar judiciary) to a brown woman (Sharmeen and the acid attack victims represented)? The Oscars, if it be remembered, are greatly contested within the Unites States. Over 70 percent of the voting academy are white males. When Halle Berry became the first black woman to receive an Oscar for ‘Best female actor,’ questions were asked by the American black community over why the first black woman to receive an Oscar had to film an explicit sex scene in order to secure the award. It is a similar question that can be asked in this context: why does the first Pakistani documentary to receive an Oscar have to present brutality against women? Again, one is not critiquing the importance of the documentary itself here, but asking why, indeed, we
are either celebrating the entire matter or are expected to be doing so. In terms of the debate on Facebook, another friend had shared a tweet from the Oscar winning lady from June 2011 where she said, “Employees of #KESC on strike I have zero sympathy for you – you facilitate kunda connection, slow meters etc,” which he used to legitimately ask: “she received an award from a bunch of white men for her sympathy for acid attack survivors but fails to recognise that unions are a basic democratic right?” The earlier friend shared an interview of her from 2004, where she said, “Pakistan is not ready for democracy yet.” This raises the point again: that Pakistan’s liberals suffer from selective consciousness. This is not to take away from the important step that the acid attack documentary indeed is – but rather a plea that we allow our understanding of social contradictions to expand. Sharmeen’s work in the Citizens Archive Pakistan is work I appreciate in its ability to offer nuanced histories and focus on speaking to local audiences. The larger point is that the Oscar to ‘Saving Face’ is not located outside politics. And a celebration of it is a celebration of the particular politics that the award is about. “Acid attacks brought Pakistan recognition. A toast is due,” as crude as it sounds, is what those celebrating are saying. The real celebration will come when PTV decides to air the documentary and Radio Pakistan decides to run its voice over. The writer is a member of staff, a researcher at LUMS and a member of the Workers’ Party Pakistan. He blogs at voiceamidstsilence.blogspot.c om and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
the Bihari cuisine but why bihari kebab is not on the menu
esterday evening, I was at author Sadia Dehlvi’s home in Nizamuddin East who is on cloud seven. Her new book, The Sufi Courtyard: Dargahs of Delhi, has just come off the press. Since it carries a few of my photos, I too had a reason to be happy. While we were having dinner, Dehlvi’s Karachi-born son musician Arman Ali Raza moaned about that just why we in India don’t get to eat Bihari kebabs. He wondered that why he finds it only in Karachi where he goes annually to meet his Pakistani relatives. Then, turning to me, Arman asked, “Bihar is in India, not Pakistan. Then why don’t we have Bihari kebabs, and they have?” Point to ponder. But just what is a Bihari kebab? I never thought that Bihar has a great cuisine. But, then ‘it’ happened. O my Bihari-kebab eating friends in Pakistan, if Bihar were a country, Delhi should be its capital and litti chokha its national dish. The capital is home to a large migrant population from Bihar, but… ‘Just what is litti chokha?’ Smoked brinjal and baked dough. A rustic two-dish combination symbolises the resurgence of a region that has been vilified for too long as wretched, lawless and corrupt. Litti chokha began as the food of the poor in what is now known as Bihar, and rarely appears on roadside carts or restaurant menus of big cities. Instead, it has largely remained confined to the home kitchens of Biharis. Litti chokha is soul food for By Mayank Austen Soofi people in Jharkhand and eastern UP too. In villages, peasants make littis by stuffing the staple sattu — roasted gram powder — into thick round balls of atta, which are then baked over goyetha (dried cow-dung patties). In cities, the baking is done in gas tandoors or ovens. Chokha is prepared by roasting eggplant, boiled potato and tomato over a direct flame till the skin turns black. The vegetables are then peeled, mashed, spiced, mixed with chopped onions, garlic, green chilli and lemon juice, and spiked with raw mustard oil. Those who can afford it have their littis dipped in ghee. “Litti chokha is a great health food,” says Pushpesh Pant, the Delhi-based author of the voluminous India: Cookbook. “It demands no frying and it has almost every nutrient, including carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins and calcium.” The streets of Delhi have litti chokha carts but these are difficult to find. One litti landmark is
in Mayur Vihar Phase I, opposite the Supreme Enclave apartments, at the entrance of Acharya Niketan market (ask any rickshawwalla bhayya at the Metro station to take you to “the place where litti chokha is sold”). Another is, I’m told, on New Delhi railway station’s platform No 7, the point where most Bihar-bound trains are often pulled in for boarding as they prepare to commence their journey. Mamu’s dhaba at Jawaharlal Nehru University also sells litti chokha. There are stalls in the office sectors of Noida, just across the border from Delhi. I have sighted a stall in Sector 57. Cheap, filling and delicious, litti chokha is a great proletarian food. Most clients of that cart are rickshaw-wallahs and drivers. Three sellers sit near the police station in Sector 58. One cart has been seen outside the Filmistan cinema, near Sadar Bazaar in central Delhi. During the annual India International Trade Fair (IITF), litti chokha sells like hot cakes at the Bihar pavilion. “Living away from Bihar for so many years, I rarely speak in Magahi, my region’s dialect,” says Shubha Sinha, who moved to Delhi after her marriage in 1980. “But the family remains wedded to its traditions on the dining table. I make litti chokha at least once a month in summer and every week in winter. Cooking it is an excuse to connect to Bihar.” The turnaround in Bihar’s image – from corrupt and caste-ridden to development-focused– may help lift its cultural symbols out of obscurity. “If you are not in an economically advantageous position, nobody notices you. Traditions are maintained but only in homes,” says Delhi-based dancer Shovana Narayan, whose parents are from Bihar. “But with the state finally on the path of development, litti chokha may become the emblem of the new Bihari pride.” The dish is difficult to find in the city’s restaurants. The canteen at Bihar Bhawan in Chanakyapuri makes litti chokha only to order. Whenever you chance to visit Delhi, you must visit The Pot Belly restaurant in Shahpur Jat Village (near Coffee Garage, close to Slice of Italy) in south Delhi. Opened last year, the lovely rooftop eatery is perhaps the world’s only restaurant that specialises in Bihari cuisine, and its litti chokha platter (Rs 190) is magnificent. The presentation inclines towards minimalist philosophy. The accompanying channa daal is extraordinarily comforting. But, of course, there’s no Bihari kebab on the menu. Mayank Austen Soofi lives in a library. He has one website and four blogs. The website address: thedelhiwalla.com. The blogs: Pakistan Paindabad, Ruined By Reading, Reading Arundhati Roy and Mayank Austen Soofi Photos
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Friday, 2 March, 2012
Veena Malik to star in
'Super Model' NEWS DESK FTER Kareena Kapoor's ‘Heroine’, it's time for ‘Super Model’ Veena Malik. Post her muchhyped relationship with Ashmit Patel on reality show ‘Bigg Boss’, Veena is all set to romance Ashmit again, but this time on the silver screen. And to top
it all, the film is titled ‘Super Model’. As the name suggests, the movie will have Veena Malik portraying the main character. The 25-year-old, who had earlier said she and Ashmit were ‘just friends’, insisted that the film would showcase the sizzling chemistry between her and Patel. “This is where people will get to see the rocking chemistry between Ashmit Patel and myself, long after the ‘Bigg Boss’ episode,” the Express Tribune quoted Malik as saying. As controversy's favourite child, Veena's life has also gone through many phases and controversies. The most recent one involved Veena being accused of spying for the Pakistani intelligence agencies after she shot photos with a tattoo on her arm. Her notoriety is probably the reason why director Navin
IN LIMELIGHT MuMbAi: Anil Kapoor with John Abraham, Kangana Ranaut, tushar Kapoor and Mahesh Manjrekar attend the launch ceremony for ‘shootout at wadala’. AFp
Batra chose Veena for the lead role. “In real life, Veena has been a professional and successful model and actress in Pakistan. She was the apt choice to play the lead in my film,” explains Batra. “Her body language, style and poise are that of a super model. Many from the industry and media have endorsed this view. So, I didn't have to think twice before roping in Veena. The shooting of the film will be done in Fiji, Australia and a few other scenic locations,” says Batra, throwing more light on the project. Veena Malik is super excited about the project: “It will be shot in Australia and the Fiji Island and since I love travelling, it will be super fun,” she added. Reportedly, Malik also has plans to be part of a few Indian fashion shows as well.
MUMBAI: Chitrangada Singh unveiling the latest edition of FHM magazine. afP
Kamal Lawn by Élan
to be exhibited in Lahore NEWS DESK Premier home textiles exporters, Kamal Limited is set to launch their first local initiative with a lawn collection for 2012 in collaboration with fashion designer Khadijah Shah of Élan. The launch of Kamal Lawn by Élan is scheduled to take place on 13 March at PFDC, Mall One on the Main Boulevard in Lahore. At the event, managed by QYT Events, models will be displaying Kamal Lawn pieces. The brand will also be exhibited in Karachi and Faisalabad on 14 March and Islamabad on 15 March; at Imperial Garden in Karachi, Dynasty in Faisalabad and Kapas in Islam-
abad. After these one-day exhibitions across the four cities, the exclusive lawn collection will be available at major retailers such as Saleem Fabrics in Lahore, all three outlets of Portia
Fabrics in Karachi (Clifton, Bahadurabad and Hyderi), Kapas in Islamabad and Shaukat Fabrics in Faisalabad. Model and actress Aamina Sheikh is the exclusive brand ambassador for Kamal Lawn by Élan, lending her style and grace to a brand that encompasses the same values. Kamal Limited is known for its stateof-the-art quality in cloth and printing, and attention to detail in design, where Élan brings in its signature aesthetic in its elegant prêt and couture wear. Kamal Lawn by Élan will offer a diversity of design options in various geometric and floral patterns with the diversity of both vibrant and pastelbased colour palettes.
nAshViLLe: singer/song writer Carrie underwood attends the nordstrom symphony fashion show. AFp
new York: TV personalities Barbara walters and Star Jones attend the American Heart Association's 2012 new York City Go red for women luncheon. afP
Dia Mirza targets animal cruelty in
YRF’s next punchy new PETA ad MuMbAi: ‘the dirty Picture’ got Vidya balan a lot of glittering awards. As for emraan hashmi, the film brought in offers from the biggest production houses in the hindi cinema industry. emraan, who has reportedly been roped in for Karan Johar's production to be directed by Rensil d'silva, has now signed a film with yash Raj films, reveal industry insiders. According to the source, emraan hashmi has been roped in for yRf's next, to be directed by Parmeet sethi, who had earlier made ‘badmaash Company’ with the production house. emraan is currently shooting for Vikram bhatt's ‘Raaz 3’. And though the formalities of the yRf venture are still underway, emraan is apparently quite excited about his role. emraan hashmi, who has reportedly signed films with two of the biggest production houses of the hindi film industry, yash Raj films and dharma Productions, refused to reveal anything about his future projects with the big companies. he simply said, “when there's a formal announcement, i will be in a position to say something,” and added, “i have always looked up to both the production houses. they have made some cult films.” And though films have always fascinated him, film awards haven't. talking about his co-star Vidya balan sweeping all the awards for ‘the dirty Picture’, emraan simply said that he is happy for her. “i don't want awards. i am not saying this like it's a case of sour grapes. it isn't. i have been to a couple of award functions and i soon realised that it doesn't give me the kick that it does to others,” he added. AGenCies
MuMbAi: wearing a fake snakeskin, actor and Miss Asia Pacific 2000 Dia Mirza appears in a new ad for People for the ethical Treatment of Animals (PeTA) India just in time for lakme Fashion week which takes place 2nd to 6th March in Mumbai. The caption reads, ‘Face It: exotic Skins kill. wild Animals Belong in the wild, not in Your wardrobe’. The attention-grabbing ad, in which Mirza is “bloodied” to make it look as if she skinned alive which is the case for many of the snakes used in the skin trade was shot by ace photographer and long-time PeTA friend Jatin kampani. “Skinning animals alive or beating them to death for a pair of boots or a purse cannot be justified”, says Mirza, an ardent PeTA India supporter. Mirza joins fellow actor raveena TandonThadani, who also posed for a PeTA India ad against the cruel exotic-skins trade. AGenCies
MuMbAi: he had been toying with the idea of a sequel to his 1993 blockbuster ‘Aankhen’ starring Govinda and Chunky Pandey. And finally, Pahlaj nihalani has decided to go ahead with it. interestingly, the filmmaker has decided to rope in Ranbir Kapoor and shahid Kapoor in the lead roles. the filmmaker confirmed the news and said, “i have sounded off Ranbir for ‘Aankhen 2’ and i intend meeting shahid very soon for the same. the only other thing that i can say at this point is that ‘Aankhen 2’ will be funnier than my original Aankhen.” And for this funnier ‘Aankhen’, Pahlaj, according to sources, has decided to have both his lead actors in double roles. the '93 version had only Govinda in a double role. though the exact roles of shahid and Ranbir are still undecided, a source revealed that Pahlaj is busy working out the final script for the project and plans to take it on the floors by the end of this year. “As soon as the script is ready, Pahlaj will make an official announcement. the director and the two girls are also still to be decided,” added the source close to the project. And while the young actors have been sounded off, the source said Govinda and Chunky Pandey might not be a part of the sequel. AGenCies
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15 Beyonce, Diaz, Paltrow circling same musical LOS ANGELES
AMERON Diaz, Gwyneth Paltrow, Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Murphy walk into a restaurant and come out hours later with an idea for the craziest star-studded musical-comedy feature film this side of ‘Rock of Ages.’ It's not a terrible joke, but apparent Hollywood reality. The ‘Glee’ creator is talking about teaming with three of Hollywood's biggest female stars, Beyonce and Andy Samberg for ‘One Hit Wonders.’ The musical would focus on three rival performers (Diaz, Witherspoon, Paltrow) who each had one successful single in the '90s; down on their luck, the trio joins forces as a way to get back into the spotlight. The idea is that
Samberg and his Lonely Island troupe would write original music for ‘Wonders,’ while Beyonce's role is currently unknown. (If you like to believe Internet commenters, one wrote on that Blue Ivy's mama
George Clooney finds gay rumours 'funny'
wAshinGton: honorary Chairman of the Avon foundation for women Reese witherspoon announces the winners of the Avon Communications Awards. AFp
LOS ANGELES: George Clooney's commitment to bachelorhood has long fuelled rumours that he might be gay. In an interview, George confronted the gossip with a sharp sense of humour that has become his trademark. “I think it's funny,” said George. “But the last thing you'll ever see me do is jump up and down, saying, ‘These are lies! I'm not going to let anyone make it seem like being gay is a bad thing.” George has been an activist for gay rights. “It's always been this albatross that stood out to me as the final leg of the civil rights movement,” George said. “One day the marriage equality fight will look as archaic as George Wallace standing on the University of Alabama steps, keeping James Hook from attending college because he was black.” George Clooney is all set to perform along with Martin Sheen, Jamie Lee Curtis and George Takei in Dustin Lance Black’s stage play called 8. Black, who won an Academy Award for the ‘Milk’ screenplay, entered his new play around Proposition 8 of 2010. AGenCies
would play the woman who actually sang the three one-hits released by Diaz, Witherspoon and Paltrow's characters.) While Paltrow and Witherspoon are noted for their strong singing voices, Diaz has been known throughout her career for a lack of vocal prowess. In ‘My Best Friend's Wedding,’ she famously shrieked through a karaoke version of ‘I Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself’ and in 2008 the actress told the Associated Press that she found performing live on stage “impossible.” Sony picked up Murphy's pitch for the comedy, though the studio hasn't confirmed deals with anyone just yet. Murphy previously worked with Paltrow on ‘Glee,’ and is busy with his adaptation of ‘The Normal Heart.’ Let's hope hell doesn't freeze over before this cuckoo-bananas production gets off the ground.
Ufone Uth Records 2.0 introduces Jarar Malik in epsiode two LAHORE PR
Following the launch of Ufone Uth Records 2.0 with a first episode that celebrated the journey of season one's artists; the anticipated music platform is now set to introduce six new artists, introducing a new musician weekly through six individual episodes. Ufone Uth Records episode two will showcase the work of Jarar Malik on 03 March. A Pakistani American musician, Jarar Malik will be performing his original track 'Bewafa' at Ufone Uth Records 2.0 a song about heartbreak, something he felt most people have experienced at some level and will be able to relate to. Experimenting with a diverse range of musical genres from pop to rock to R&B, Jarar plays both the guitar as well as keyboards. Season one artist Natasha Humera Ejaz also contributes to this track with her backing vocals as well as audio mixing; Guest musician
Has Salman lost his
and bassist Russell D’Souza also features with Jarar on ‘Bewafa’ as does producer Ufone Uth Records and drummer extraordinaire, Louis J ‘Gumby’ Pinto. Through Ufone Uth Records 2.0, Jarar hopes to receive a platform to showcase his art to a wider audience and to connect with them on a musical level. Directed by Zeeshan Parwez, Ufone Uth Records 2.0 episode two will be airing on AAG, Aaj News, Apna Channel, ARY Muzik, ATV, A plus, Channel G, CNBC,KTN, Kashish, Metro, News One, Oxygen, Play TV, PTV Home, Style 360, TV One, Wasebas well as across Ufone Uth Records' social media platforms, on 3rd March.
Emma Watson to star in new Sofia Coppola film ‘The Bling Ring’ LOS ANGELES: Sofia Coppola has cast Emma Watson to star in her new film ‘The Bling Ring’, the true story of a group of teenagers who broke into the homes of celebrities, including Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan, reports say. “I'm excited about the young cast we're assembling and I'm looking forward to shooting on location here in Los Angeles,” said Coppola, who will write and direct the film. Watson, who is known for playing Hermione in ‘Harry Potter’ franchise, has been focusing more on small budget films. She was recently seen in ‘My Week With Marilyn’ and just finished filming ‘Perks of Being a Wallflower’. The Oscarwinning director has been known to work with child actors in transition, with Scarlett Johansson in ‘Lost in Translation’ and Elle Fanning in her latest film ‘Somewhere.’ Cbs
Auction of Oscar statuettes brings in $3m LOS ANGELES: Fifteen Oscar statuettes have sold for a total of $3 million at an online auction, the most money made from a single collection of Oscars in a sale by bid, organisers said. Los Angeles auctioneer Nate D. Sanders said the hot seller of the collection was Herman Mankiewicz's statuette for best screenplay, which he won for co-writing the 1941 film ‘Citizen Kane’ with Orson Welles. The Oscar sold for $588,455. Welles' own best screenplay Oscar for the movie, which both the American and British film institutes list as the best picture ever made, fetched $861,542 at an earlier Sanders auction in December. Other statuettes that pulled in high sums included the 1933 best picture award for the drama ‘Cavalcade,’ which brought in $332,165, while the oldest statuette in the collection, the 1931 best picture award for ‘Skippy,’ netted the third highest total. It sold for $301,973. An Oscar given to Charles Coburn in 1943 for best supporting actor in ‘The More the Merrier’ held special significance as the first statuette ever awarded in the best supporting actor category. It went for $170,459. Oscars are increasingly rare finds at auction. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences introduced an agreement in 1950 that banned winners from selling their Oscars to anyone but the Academy for the nominal sum of $1. The best picture Oscar for the 1939 film ‘Gone With the Wind’ was sold to singer Michael Jackson in 1999 for a record $1.54 million. ReuteRs
Jack attack: Man arrested for fake ID with Jack Nicholson photo SAO PAULO: Brazilian police arrested a man for forgery when he tried to open a bank account using an identification document with a photo of actor Jack Nicholson. Ricardo Sergio Freire de Barros, 41, was arrested in the northeastern city of Recife and charged with using false documents and forgery. A copy of the forged document released by police shows a photo of Nicholson's face next to the signature of ‘Joao Pedro dos Santos’ and a fingerprint. “The document with the photo of the actor and other false identification were used to start a fictitious company and with it, also open a bank account,” said the police. Nicholson, 74, won Oscars for ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest’ (1975), ‘Terms of Endearment’ (1983) and ‘As Good as It Gets’ (1997). AfP
Ranbir- Shahid will team up for
MuMbAi: Fans and industry people were aghast to see Salman khan at a recent event. The star arrived looking visibly overweight, biceps sagging and puffy faced. He had been away in Cuba for ages shooting for ‘ek Tha Tiger’ and apparently, due to his recent surgery, was not allowed to work out for a while. The lack of exercise actually showed Salman’s true age and the extent of his illness, something which is not very evident when he’s in his top form. one is used to seeing Salman set standards for fitness for others in the industry (after all, it’s almost mandatory for him to pose shirtless in his films) so people were shocked to see this paunchy avatar of the actor. But there is good news for his fans. A family member reveals, “His health problems and packed schedules haven’t allowed for proper training. But he’s definitely going to shed the flab and get in shape to play the super cop in ‘Dabangg 2’.” This gives him just about 10 days to get fit and apparently he’s already on a high protein diet with two workouts a day. well Sallu better shape up before it’s too late. else his box-office enemies will gloat and the female population might switch loyalties. AGenCies
than Big B, SRK? MuMbAi: This clearly comes as a surprise. even though her film may not be raking in the moolah, Sonam kapoor has managed to surpass Shah rukh khan and Amitabh Bachchan in an online poll. The pretty actress topped the list of most influential Indians on Twitter, defeating popular actors like Hrithik roshan, Amitabh Bachchan, Shah rukh khan and politician Shashi Tharoor. The poll conducted by a private online firm indicated that Sonam was the most influential celebrity in the country with over 1 million followers and over five thousand tweets. The poll result was based on the number of followers the celebrity has and also on the quality of tweets and responses. The top most influential Indian celebs are: Sonam kapoor Priyanka Chopra Amitabh Bachchan ram Gopal Varma Hrithik roshan kiran Bedi Farhan Akhtar Akshay kumar AGenCIeS
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16 Foreign News
Friday, 2 March, 2012
Syrian rebels hold out against Homs assault DAMASCUS
YRIAN rebels were holding out in the central city of Homs on Thursday more than 24 hours into an all-out assault by regime forces as international envoy Kofi Annan said he hopes to go to Damascus with a clear message — the “violence must stop.” The opposition Syrian National Council said it wants to take charge of organising arms deliveries to the rebels as the UN Human Rights Council called on Damascus to end all rights abuses and allow relief supplies in to besieged protest cities such as Homs. Gulf states, which have been at the forefront of international calls to arm the rebels, said they will hold talks next week with key Damascus ally Moscow, which has so far blocked Arab and Western efforts to take action through the UN Security Council.
Britain announced that it was following the United States in closing its embassy and pulling out its remaining diplomats in response to the “deterioration of the security situation in Damascus.” Rebel fighters in the Homs neighbourhood of Baba Amr kept up their dogged resistance as regime ground troops pressed a ground offensive, activists and a human rights group said, even as state television aired footage of what it said were abandoned defences. “The Free Syrian Army has succeeded in stopping the attempt to attack Baba Amr, and it continues to resist,” activist Hadi Abdullah told AFP from Syria’s third largest city. He said that troops loyal to President Bashar al-Assad “have not entered the district,” which has become a symbol of the Syrian uprising after 27 straight days of bombardment. The head of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Rami Abdel Rahman, said: “The fighting between deserters and the army
Russia presses Syria to receive UN envoy MOSCOW: Russia on Thursday strongly urged Syria to allow UN humanitarian chief Valerie Amos into the country to assess the situation in flashpoint cities such as Homs. Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov told ITAR-TASS in Geneva that Russia expected “the Syrian government... in the coming days to give a positive response to the arrival of chief UN humanitarian coordinator Valerie Amos.” “In our contacts with the Syrian government, we are insistently recommending that they take such decisions,” he said in reference to broader cooperation with international aid organisations. The Syrian foreign ministry said Thursday it was willing to discuss a date for such a visit after initially calling its timing “not suitable”. Russia had earlier in the day voted against the UN Human Rights Council’s call on Syria to end all rights abuses and allow aid agencies “free and unimpeded” access to those caught up in the bloodshed. continues on the edges of Baba Amr, not inside.” A Damascus-based security source told AFP on Wednesday that regime forces had launched a ground assault on Baba Amr late on Tuesday
qusAyR: Members of the free syrian Army patrol an area on thursday. afP
and that the neighbourhood was “under control.” “There remain only few pockets” of resistance, the source added, after reinforcements from the feared Fourth Armoured Division, led by
Assad’s brother Maher, arrived in Homs. State television aired footage it said was filmed inside Baba Amr, including interviews with people it said were residents angry with the rebels.
after president, Greek PM also gives up salary ATHENS AfP
MALe: Maldivian policemen stand guard as a protester shouts slogans during a rally on thursday. opposition MPs in the Maldives have prevented the new president, who is accused of seizing power in a coup, from opening parliament as violent protests erupted outside the building. afP
Bomb attack on police bus wounds 16 in Istanbul ISTANBUL AfP
A roadside bomb in central Istanbul wounded 16 people, almost all of them police officers, on Thursday, in an attack near Turkey’s ruling party headquarters, officials said. The remote-controlled explosive was fitted to a stationary motorcycle and went off in the morning as a police bus carrying 21 officers passed by, authorities said. The blast hit close to the offices of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who condemned the attack as an “act of terror”. “The villains that carried out this attack will never reach their ambitions,” he said in televised remarks, without naming any suspects. Several outlawed armed groups — Kurdish, Islamist and leftist extremist — have carried out bomb attacks in Istanbul in the past. Erdogan said 15 of those wounded were police officers. Istanbul police chief Huseyin Capkin said the blast came from a “remotecontrolled bomb that went off as a duty vehicle with 21 policemen on board drove by,” the Anatolia news agency reported. The device was made of plastic explosives, Istanbul governor Huseyin Avni Mutlu was quoted as saying by the agency.
Serbia set for ‘historic’ leap to eU membership BRUSSELS AfP
Serbia prepared for a “milestone” leap towards European Union membership Thursday seen as opening a new chapter in the troubled history of the Western Balkans. A final verdict on Serbia’s bid to join the EU club is due from leaders of the 27-nation bloc shortly after they gather from 1700 GMT for a two-day summit in Brussels. The decision to grant Belgrade official EU candidate status, a first but crucial step in an often long and rocky road to full membership, requires a unanimous vote from the 27 member states. Serbia’s 2009 application, launched in the throes of the financial crisis and amid worries that the EU had expanded too far and too fast in its 2004 “big bang” enlargement, has been fraught with problems. Seen finally as a shoo-in for membership after last year’s arrest of war criminals Ratko Mladic and Goran Hadzic after almost
two decades on the run, Belgrade suddenly was held back and told to do more for Balkans peace by defusing tension with breakaway Kosovo. While staunchly refusing to recognise Kosovo’s 2008 independence, it joined an EU-sponsored dialogue with its former province a year ago, aimed at smoothing relations and overcoming daily headaches caused by the border row — problems such as disrupted road, rail and telecommunications networks. But Belgrade’s hopes of a subsequent EU pat on the back at a December summit were dashed notably by Germany and Britain, among 22 EU nations to have recognised Kosovo. More was demanded from the Serbia-Kosovo dialogue. “We encourage Serbia to build on that dialogue and to improve relations with Pristina for the sake of regional stability,” EU president Herman Van Rompuy said at the time. Other EU nations fretted over the friendship with Russia enjoyed by one of the last excommunist states of eastern Europe still outside the bloc. But last week, Serbia
and Kosovo, both keen to inch closer to the bloc, staged a key breakthrough. In an 11th-hour deal just days before the EU summit deadline, Belgrade agreed to allow Kosovo to speak under its flag in regional meetings and to sign international agreements like any other fully recognised nation. “It was an historic agreement,” said EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton. “Serbia deserves candidate status,” added European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso. But earlier this week, Serbia again faced disappointment when EU ministers due to have given their prior approval to Belgrade’s candidacy were blocked by objections from Romania. Of the six nations once part of the former Yugoslavia, Slovenia joined the EU in 2004 while Croatia is to be annointed the 28th member in 2013. Macedonia and Montenegro are both official candidates countries but have yet to be approved to open formal adhesion negotiations, a process that can take years. Politically divided Bosnia has made no move towards the EU.
Prime Minister Lucas Papademos has followed in the path of President Carolos Papoulias by giving up his salary to help ease Greece’s debt burden, a government source said on Thursday. “It was personal decision, the PM did not feel that it had to be announced,” the official, who declined to be identified, told AFP. Ta Nea daily said Papademos, a former vice-president of the European Central Bank, made the revelation on Wednesday during a visit to Brussels where finance ministers are to discuss a new bailout for Athens worth 130 billion euros ($175 billion). “Not even his associates knew this,” the daily said. Papademos’ office was unable to give details on the level of his salary. On Wednesday, the finance ministry released a list of its best-paid public servants, including the prime minister, which it said are entitled to salaries of more than 5,000 euros ($6,700) a month. Deputy finance minister Filippos Sachinidis released the information in response to a parliamentary question, the semi-state Athens News Agency said. The list of pre-tax monthly salaries of over 5,000 euros includes President Papoulias, Papademos, cabinet ministers, junior ministers and parliament lawmakers.
Violent clashes erupt in azerbaijan’s north BAKU AfP
Police in Azerbaijan used tear gas to disperse thousands of protesters after they torched the local governor’s house Thursday, in a rare outburst of unrest in the tightly-controlled state, reports and an eyewitness said. Locals in the northern Azerbaijan city of Quba set fire to the governor’s house in outrage at a recent televised remark that they deemed to be insulting, an eyewitness told AFP over the phone from Quba. Both the governor Rauf Habibov and Azerbaijan’s transport minister apologised before protesters, but the thousands gathered insisted the governor must resign and then torched his house. Police then used tear gas to disperse the crowd, the witness said.Footage of the demonstration posted on YouTube showed the demonstrators filling the centre of the city, whistling and shouting slogans against the governor and local authorities. Pictures posted on the website of Radio Azadliq — the Azerbaijani service of Radio Free Europe — also showed smoke billowing up from an area in the town. Radio Azadliq also said that the governor’s house was set on fire and other buildings damaged in the ensuing rioting.
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Friday, 2 March, 2012
Foreign News 17 haiti fM Lamothe to become PM, form new govt PORT-AU-PRINCE AfP
Haitian President Michel Martelly has asked Foreign Minister Laurent Lamothe to become prime minister and form a new government after the nation’s last premier resigned, an official said Thursday. Lamothe will replace Garry Conille, who abruptly stood down Friday after just four months in office, bringing new political turmoil to impoverished Haiti, which is struggling to recover from a catastrophic 2010 earthquake. The process of appointing Lamothe, who is considered one of Martelly’s closest aides and who studied in Haiti and in the United States, was to begin shortly in parliament, according to the official.
London: britain’s queen elizabeth ii, Catherine, duchess of Cambridge, and Camilla, duchess of Cornwall, look at a jubilee cake during an official visit to a department store in central London on thursday. afP
South Sudan accuses Khartoum of air strikes, troop incursion
Israel says N. Korea nuclear deal no model for Iran
Sudanese fighter jets have bombed oil and water wells deep inside South Sudan and its ground troops have crossed into contested oil-rich border regions, South Sudan officials said Thursday. But Khartoum swiftly denied the claims. Border tensions have mounted since South Sudan split from Sudan in July after decades of war to become the world’s newest nation, with each side accusing the other of backing proxy rebel forces against it. “They have flown into our territory 74 kilometres (46 miles) and are violating South Sudanese airspace,” South Sudan Information Minister Barnaba Marial Benjamin said of the air strikes Wednesday. Sudanese ground troops had also moved 17 kilometres inside South Sudan’s oil-rich Unity state, army spokesman Philip Aguer said. Khartoum and Juba dispute areas along the undemarcated border. South Sudan has accused the north of carrying out several recent bombing raids in frontier regions, but the claims have been denied by the Sudanese army. “Two MiG (fighter jets) bombed Panakuat in Pariang county,” Aguer told AFP on Thursday, adding two bombs struck an oil well and a drinking water well. “Khartoum... have been bombing South Sudan since last year, but this is the first time MiGs have come,” Aguer said, adding that previous attacks had been far less accurate bombs rolled out the back of Antonov aircraft. Sudanese army spokesman Sawarmi Khaled Saad dismissed the latest accusations by the South. “This information is completely incorrect — they have to show the evidence about the bombing or our troops going 17 kilometres inside the border,” Saad told AFP in Khartoum. The region borders Sudan’s Southern Kordofan state where rebels — once part of the ex-guerrilla turned official South Sudanese army — are battling the Khartoum government forces. “They say that we are supporting wars in their territory and it’s simply not true,” Benjamin said. “The government is in a position to protect its citizens and territory, but it will not be dragged back to a senseless war.” South Sudan took three quarters of Sudan’s oil reserves, but all pipeline and export facilities are controlled by the north.
SRAEL’S deputy foreign minister on Thursday said that a North Korean pledge to suspend nuclear tests in exchange for US aid should not be seen as a model for dealing with Iran’s nuclear ambitions. “The two cases are completely dissimilar,” Danny Ayalon told Israeli public radio, hours before Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was due to leave for talks in Washington with US President Barack Obama, expected to centre on Israeli concerns that Tehran is racing to produce nuclear arms. “We should congratulate United States foreign policy... but we have to remember that what has happened in North Korea is too little too late,” Ayalon added. “They have already crossed
the threshold of nuclear capability and that’s certainly not what we would want to see happen in Iran.” The Haaretz daily said that the White House argument against an Israeli pre-emptive strike on Iran was bolstered by Wednesday’s Washington-Pyongyang accord. “Reports about the North Korea deal contributed to the Obama administration’s full-court press against the possibility of an Israeli military operation targeting Iran,” the paper wrote on Thursday. White House spokesman Jay Carney warned on Wednesday that any military action against Iran would create “greater instability” that could threaten the safety of Americans in Afghanistan and Iraq. “We continue to ratchet up the pressure on Tehran,” Carney said. “And I think it’s important to note that, while Tehran does not and
has not lived up to its international obligations... we do have visibility into their programmes.” Ayalon, however, said on Thursday that Washington was “absolutely not” pressuring Israel to forego a possible military option. Iran denies it is seeking nuclear weapons, but Israel — the Middle East’s sole if undeclared nuclear power — has called for tough sanctions against Tehran to force it to abandon its nuclear activities. Iran’s nuclear programme will be the “main topic” of discussion when Obama and Netanyahu meet at the White House on Monday, according to the Israeli premier. Netanyahu will fly overnight on Thursday to Canada, where he will spend the weekend in Ottawa and meet Prime Minister Stephen Harper, before travelling to Washington for his first trip to the United States since he met Obama in September.
China foreign minister in India talks NEW DELHI AfP
China’s foreign minister held talks in India on Thursday that focused on issues affecting the neighbours’ often troubled ties as well as an upcoming summit of major emerging economies. Yang Jiechi, who arrived in New Delhi late Wednesday, kicked off his brief official visit with a round of discussions with his Indian counterpart S.M. Krishna. The talks covered preparations for a summit of the so-called BRICS nations — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — in New Delhi at the end of March, said foreign ministry spokesman Syed Akbaruddin. Brazil, India and South Africa have been lobbying to turn their growing economic clout into greater diplomatic influence by securing permanent seats on the UN Security Council. After their talks, Krishna said “every possible issue” pertaining to China-India relations had been discussed. “We have understood each other’s position and we have understood the perspective and we will continue to exchange these,” he added without elaborating. Ties between the neighbours have never been easy and a border dispute which triggered a brief but bloody war in 1962 remains a source of tension and deep mistrust. Fifteen rounds of talks on the border issue have yielded no progress and India fears China is becoming more assertive about its territorial claims.
River flowing from China dries up in India: lawmaker GUWAHATI AfP
Water levels have plunged in a major river in India’s northeast that originates in Tibet, local officials told AFP on Thursday, triggering speculation that China might be responsible. The Brahmaputra has its source in China’s southwestern Tibet region where it is known as the Yarlung Tsangpo, and it enters India in the mountainous, remote northeastern state of Arunachal Pradesh, where it it is called the Siang. The 1,800-mile (2,900 kilometre) river then descends into the plains of adjoining Assam state and ends in Bangladesh in the Bay of Bengal, along the way supplying water to hundreds of millions of farmers and residents. “It was shocking to find the Siang river drying up and patches of sand visible on its bed in a very large stretch close to Pasighat town,” local state lawmaker Tako Dabi told AFP by telephone from the scene. “We suspect
the sudden drying up of the Siang could be a result of China either diverting the river water on their side or due to some artificial blockades somewhere in the upper reaches,” added Dabi, an advisor to the state’s chief minister and a former home minister. He estimated the flow was about 40 percent of its normal strength. “The water level has reduced by roughly three meters (10 feet) in the past few days and we really don’t know the reason,” K. Apung, an engineer at the State Water Resources Department in Pasighat, explained to AFP. Video footage from the scene showed the Siang — normally a gushing torrent several kilometres (miles) wide at Pasighat, according to Dabi — reduced to flowing in narrow channels in a large sandy riverbed. The problem was highlighted on the day the Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi held talks in New Delhi with his Indian counterpart S.M. Krishna. India is extremely nervous about the danger of its giant northern neighbour di-
verting rivers that originate in Tibet and flow into India, or disrupting their flow with hydroelectric plants. The two countries have held frequent talks about the issue at the highest level. “We have been assured that nothing will be done which affects India’s interests adversely,” Indian Premier Manmohan Singh told the upper house of parliament last August. Energy-hungry and water-deficient China is building hydroelectric facilities on the Yarlung Tsangpo. India says it has received assurances they are “run-of-theriver” projects rather than dams which would disrupt the flow. “Our satellite pictures convey that no such activity of any storage facility is being worked out by the Chinese authorities,” Krishna told reporters on Thursday after his talks with his Chinese counterpart. He said that in light of the media reports about the river’s flow, “we will get our ambassador (in Beijing) to check it.” A senior official at the water resources ministry in New Delhi, who asked
not to be named, denied that there was any problem. “The river drying up is a figment of their imagination,” he told AFP. Brahma Chellaney, an expert in New Delhi who has written extensively on water issues in Asia, said the alarm in Arunachal warranted further investigation. He said China had not signed any water-sharing agreements in accordance with international norms with its many downstream neighbours who are dependent on the vast fresh water flows from the Tibetan plateau. “If you look at the pattern, they (China) build dams and initiate them very quietly,” Chellaney told AFP, citing the experience of countries downstream on the Mekong river. India and China have decided that 2012 will be the “India-China year of Friendship and Cooperation” in a bid to overcome mutual mistrust and suspicion that continues to bedevil their relations. The two Asian giants have an unresolved border dispute that was the cause of a brief but bloody war in 1962.
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Friday, 2 March, 2012
Murray survives controversy for Berdych revenge Page 21
PCB appoints Qasim as chief selector after Ilyas resigns LAHORE
HE Pakistan Cricket Board on Thursday appointed former Test spinner Iqbal Qasim as chief selector after the interim head of the selection committee Mohammad Ilyas was asked to resign. In its first step towards changes in the PCB, a new selection committee was appointed in which former Test pacer Saleem Jaffer was also inducted in the committee. The revamp of the selection committee was expected after Pakistan lost to England in the one-day and T20 series last month in the UAE. Azhar Khan, Asif Baloch and Farrukh Zaman have been retained from the old selection committee. "Ilyas has submitted his resignation and we have appointed Iqbal Qasim as the new chief selector. The board will be provide him all the supports and backing he needs," PCB chief Zaka Ashraf said while talking to reporters. Qasim also worked as chief selector during the tenure of former Chairman Ijaz Butt but had resigned voluntarily after Pakistan was drubbed in Australia in the first quarter of 2010. Mohsin Khan replaced Qasim as the chief selector and
Collingwood’s side left Impi-tent after another defeat
worked in the position until he was asked to take over as interim coach of the national team last September following the sudden resignation of coach Waqar Younis due to personal and health reasons. Qasim's appointment now leaves a big question mark on how the PCB plans to utilise the services of Mohsin Khan in future. Ilyas said he had stepped down as he felt after the England series there was a need for new faces to take charge in Pakistan cricket. "I got full support from the
board and my fellow selectors and now I feel this is the right time for someone else to head the selection committee and make a new beginning," Ilyas said. It is no secret that Ilyas faced a lot of criticism as chief selector for preferring his son-in-law Imran Farhat in the national team for the one-day series over other deserving candidates. The 58 year old Qasim said: "It was an honour to be given the responsibility of such an important and respected role in Pakistan cricket. I thank the Chairman and the Board members for giving me this responsibility once again and I promise that I will carry out the role to the best of my ability. I ask the well wishers of Pakistan cricket to pray for the team's success." Qasim, presently the sports head of National Bank of Pakistan (NBP), resigned from his previous stint as chief selector following a terrible tour of Australia in 2009-10. The team was whitewashed in both the Test and ODI series and all rounder Shahid Afridi was banned for biting the ball. Qasim who played in 50 Tests and 15 One Day International from 1976 to 1988 confirmed that he would be travelling to Lahore as soon as possible to meet new Head Coach Dav Whatmore and to meet Misbah ul
Haq, in order to discuss the make up of the squad for the upcoming Asia Cup. "My first priority is to get a squad ready with Dav (Whatmore) and Misbah (ul Haq) that can mount a serious challenge for the Asia Cup title. I'll be heading for Lahore very soon and look forward to meeting Dav and Misbah so that we can finalise the squad for the Asia Cup. I would expect that the squad would be announced either tomorrow or Friday. I obviously haven't had much of a chance to think about the role due to the short notice, but I'm sure we can come up with a competitive squad for the Asia Cup." "After the Asia Cup we will look at who are the players that we feel can perform well in international cricket. Let's analyse all the talent around the country, because there is a lot of talent that needs to be given a chance. Age is no barrier, young players or experienced players will all be given a fair chance. Let's take stock of what we have and utilise the resources in the best way possible." Qasim also thanked Mohammad Ilyas for his hard work as chief selector and wished him well for the future. "Ilyas has done a good job. He worked hard and everyone at the PCB appreciates his efforts. The Asia Cup commences on 11th March when Pakistan take on Bangladesh in Mirpur.
aamir not to challenge ICC ban KARACHI AfP
Pakistan's teenage paceman Mohammad Aamir has decided not to appeal a fiveyear ban imposed for spot-fixing during the 2010 Lord's Test against England, an official said on Thursday. The highly-rated 19year-old was released from a British prison last month after serving half of a six-month sentence for his part in the scandal during the Test between England and Pakistan in 2010. His former teammates Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif are serving sentences of 30 and 12 months respectively, handed down by a British court in November, after the trio were found guilty of corruption and receiving illegal money. The International Cricket Council (ICC) also banned all three for violating the players' code of conduct, with
Aamir receiving the minimum five-year punishment. "Through his lawyer, Aamir has informed us that he has no intention of filing an appeal against the ban," an ICC spokesman told AFP from Dubai. Under the rules, Aamir could have appealed against the ban in the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) in Switzerland, but legal experts believe he lost that possibility after pleading guilty in Britain. Aamer, who returned to Pakistan on Sunday, has vowed to revive his career. After making his debut in 2009 he was soon considered one of the brightest new talents in international cricket, but his career was derailed by the scandal on the tour of England. Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Zaka Ashraf said Aamir is still "an asset and a world class bowler". "We will consider him for selection once his ban is over," he told a news conference in Islamabad.
PFF forms committee to manage AFC U-14 Festival
LAHORE stAff RePoRt
Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) has on Thursday constituted a Management Committee for AFC U-14 (Boys) Festival of Football 2012. The Festival will be held at Islamabad from April 3 to 17 and the committee formed will be working under the chairmanship of Lt. Col ® Ahmed Yar Khan Lodhi TI (M), General Secretary, PFF to facilitate this event in a professional way along with its subsidiary local organizing committee (LOC). The detail of Management Committee is appended along with the official decision of PFF under the seal of General Secretary, PFF: The Vice Chairmen of PFF Management Committee are Muhammad Hassan Baloch, General Secretary, Sindh Football Association, Muhammad Dawood, General Secretary, Balochistan Football Association, Mahmood khalid, Punjab Football Association, Basit kamal, General Secretary, kPk Football Association, Muhammad Zaman, General Secretary, Islamabad Football Association and wing. Cdr. ® Pervaiz Saeed Mir TI (M), Director Development & Competition, (Competition Director). The PFF Management Committee members are lt. Col. ® Farasat Ali Shah, khalil Ahmed, Muhammad Awais, rauf Bari, Arif Siddiqui, Muhammad Amin Tahir, Agha Muhammad Ajmal, Shahid khokhar, Irfan khan niazi, Muhammad Babar khan and Mirza naeem Baig. Dr. Fazal-ur- rehman has been nominated by PFF as the Chairman of local organizing committee. The detail of sub committees of loC has been constituted as under: Muhammad Irfan khan niazi, Chairman reception & Protocol Committee, Malik Imtiaz Ahmed, Chairman Food & Accommodation Committee, Chaudhry Muhammad Saleem, Chairman Purchase & Finance Committee, Muhammad Shakir khan, Chairman Ground & Training Venues Committee, Chaudhry Ghulam rasool, Chairman entertainment Committee, Maj. ® Shahid Bangash, Chairman Security Committee, Atif nazir, Chairman Media Committee, Dr. Sharif Asturi, Chairman Medical Committee and Chaudhry Muhammad Saleem, Chairman Transport Committee.
Skipper Paul Collingwood could not prevent his South African Twenty20 Challenge side The New Age Impi suffering their sixth consecutive loss Wednesday and remaining rooted to the bottom of the table. Fellow strugglers Eastern Cape Warriors made 182-2 off 20 overs and restricted the Impi to 146-8 to win by 36 runs at Willowmoore Park in eastern Johannesburg suburb Benoni. Former England one-day international captain Collingwood -- one of four imports hired by the first privately funded team to compete in the competition -- was run out for 28 after a 24-ball spell that included two fours and a six. Fellow Englishman Luke Wright struck 24 runs, Ryan ten Doeschate from the Netherlands 23 and Australian tailender Ben Edmondson was unbeaten on two when the Impi ran out of overs. It was the first victory of the season for the Port Elizabeth-based Warriors with leading scorer Ashwell Prince (63) ably assisted by Craig Thyssen (49 not out) and Colin Ingram (42 not out). The top of the table clash between Central Knights and Northern Titans in Bloemfontein was cancelled without a ball being bowled after a thunderstorm drenched the Chevrolet Park outfield. Knights have 18 points after six rounds, Titans 15, Highveld Lions 13, Coastal Dolphins 12, title favourites Western Cape Cobras 11, Warriors four and Impi are pointless.
Pakistan hockey stars hope to revive Indian ties NEW DELHI AfP
Pakistani stars playing in a new Indian field hockey league said Thursday their participation could help revive sporting links between the two countries. Five current and former Pakistan internationals, including excaptain Zeeshan Ashraf, are in India for the lucrative but unsanctioned World Series Hockey (WSH) tournament which opened on Wednesday. "We are thrilled to be in India," said Zeeshan, who is joined in the tournament by team-mates Adnan Maqsood, Rehan Butt, Shakeel Abbassi and Waseem Ahmed. "This is a great platform to forge friendship between India and Pakistan. I hope it will mark the start of sporting ties between the two countries." Bilateral series in cricket, the most popular sport in the sub-continent, have been stalled since a terrorist attack on Mumbai in November 2008, which India blamed on militants based in Pakistan.
Pakistan last toured India for a cricket series in 2007, while India featured in the Asia Cup played across the border in early 2008. And no Pakistani has featured in the cash-rich Indian Premier League since the first edition in 2008. The Pakistanis have risked their careers to play in the WSH because it is not supported by the International Hockey Federation (FIH), which has threatened to bar players from world events. The world governing body opposes the WSH, which with prize money of $3 million is one of the richest events in the sport, since it is backed by the rebel Indian Hockey Federation instead of the officially recognised Hockey India. The Indian national squad, which qualified for the London Olympics last week, has chosen to stay away from the tournament fearing possible action by authorities. The tournament has also failed to attract top world stars, with former Australian captain Brent Livermore the best-known foreigner apart from the Pakistanis taking part.
CHAnDIGArH: Chandigarh Comets' hockey players (in blue) in action against Bhopal Badshahs hockey players (in white) during the first match of world Series Hockey (wSH) Tournament. Bhopal Badshahs win the match by 4-3. afP
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Friday, 2 March, 2012
Colony Sugar maintain grip in National Polo LAHORE
enough to reduce the margin while Ignacio came up with Masters’ 10th goal. Vieri’s one and two from Bilal Haye were not enough to save Hataff from defeat. Colony Sugar, the title favourite team, cut Pakistan Army-Nadra to size bu hitting in a dozen goals and conceding six. Colony Sugar came up with four goals to start the match with. Santiago Mendivil scored two goals with a back hander and a long chase in the first chukker and another in the second by an under the neck shot after Raul Laplacette produced under the neck goal. Raja Temur Nadeem got the first goal of the losing side with his solo effort. Colony Sugar kept its grip on the game with another two goals in the third chukker while allowing the rival team’s James Harper to go through their defence for once. The fourth chukker also remained in Colony Sugar’s control after they scored four goals wile Army-Nadra getting just one. However the fifth quarter was a change of fortune in which Army-Nadra converted three goals while Colony Sugar had two. The third match Al Khan/Ciro’s Pomodoro had to fight all ends to beat Guard Group/Newage 9-8 in a sudden death sixth chukker. They were locked
OLONY Sugar maintained its grip on the top of the standing in the Bank Alfalah National Polo Championship for the Quaid-e-Azam Gold Cup 2012 on Thursday, winning the second match by yet another big margin here at the Lahore Polo Club ground. It was another busy day at the LPC which apart from Colony Sugar saw Master Paints, Al Khan-Ciro’s Pomodoro and Nestle leave the field smiling ad relieved. Master Paints, the defending champions downed Hataff/Diamond Paints 107. Although Hataff opened the scoring through Vieri Antinori by his solo effort, but Master Paints came into the game with two back to back goals in the second chukker and then three in the third. Gaston Moore was the star of the match who scored first goal of his seven to start the second chukker for Master Paints. Ignacio Del Tour scored the second goal by a long lofted pass of Gaston. Masters remained dominant of the third chukker also in which Moore got two goals through 40 and 60 yards penalty. Sufi Mohammad Amir hit in the
Australian players cry foul over FIFA hijab ban
lAHore: Master Paint rider tries to reach the ball during the national Polo Championship. Staff Photo fifth goal f his team after a long chase. Gaston Moore added another two goals to the start of the four chukker and it was only then Hataff got a chance to sneak into Masters goal post twice thanks to Vieri Antinori. Gaston added two more
field goals and Vieri got though once but the margin of difference remained 9-4 unassailable for Hataff until a gigantic effort is shown. Hataff contributed three more goals in the fifth chukker but that was not
over 10,000 register for Marathon, fun races LAHORE stAff RePoRt
Around 10,000 people have been confirmed registration for participa-
Assmaah Helal has broken barriers to reach football's elite, but a controversial FIFA ban on Muslim women playing in the hijab means she may never realise her dream of wearing the Australian jersey. Helal, 25, was introduced to football by her Egyptian-born father when she was just five, and she was determined not to let gender keep her from joining her three brothers on the pitch. It was no easy task. Members of her Muslim community in western Sydney frowned on the idea of girls playing sport at all, much less a rough and tumble game which was, at that time, still very much a male domain. "I used to just get told I was a tomboy. In my culture, to play with the guys and to mix with guys was seen as not appropriate," Helal told AFP. Helal now plays in the Super League, one step below the nation's premier WLeague for women, and says representing Australia in national side the Matildas would be her ultimate dream. But devout Muslim beliefs which see her don the hijab to play every weekend mean -- for now -- such a dream is out of reach. FIFA banned players from wearing the Islamic headscarf in 2007, claiming it is unsafe, but Helal has never once experienced or heard of a hijab-related injury and has joined growing calls for the ban to be overturned. "I strongly believe that the ban is just outright discrimination," she said of the headscarf, which she described as "a part of a Muslim woman's identity which cannot be changed". "At an international and an elite level, sports like taekwondo and rugby allow the headscarf to be worn during the competitive matches, and for the world game, for the universal language that is football, to ban the headscarf... it doesn't make sense."
tion in the Marathon Race of the Punjab Sports Festival. Addressing a press conference along with DG Sports Punjab Usman Anwar, Deputy Speaker/Chairman organizing com-
lAHore: rana Mashood Ahmed, Deputy Apeaker and Chairman organizing Committee highlights the details of Marathon and Family Fun races as DG Sports Punjab Usman Anwar looks on. Staff Photo
mittee sports Festival Rana Mashood Ahmed informed that the upcoming Marathon and Family Fun Race they have received healthy response for participation in these races. He also showed his satisfaction and pleasure over the successful organization of the Sports festival which has created a hype of festivity not only in Punjab but all over the province. "We have brought to the fore thousands of talented players from grass root level through this festival," he said. He said that all the fool proof security arrangements have been completed for the Marathon, which is to be held on March 4. “Over 10,000 people have been registered in the two races including 17 km Marathon and 3 Km Famliy fun race having 25 prizes for Marathon and 13 for Family fun race," he added. He further said that such events are a source of bringing the people together and a healthy source of inspiration.
eight-all by the fifth chukker and the golden goal was cacked by Manuel Crespo with a solo effort. Hissam Hyder, Taimur Ali Malik and Shah Shamyl Alam were the stars of the losing side while Al Khan/Ciro’s Pomodoro got win through all of their four riders Omar Asjad Malhi, Shaukat Ali Malik, Dr. Iftikhar Ali Khan Simba and Crespo. Nestle outplayed BBJ Pipes by 9 goals to 6. Nestle took early lead in the match and that control on the game remained unreachable for BBJ Pipes till the final hooter. Shah Qubilai Alam, Hamza Mawaz Khan and Raja Samiullah maintained their upper hand throughout the fie chukkers with on and off effort was witnessed from the rival team’s Ahmed Zubair, Gerardo Mazzini and Ahmed Ali Tiwana.
Points tAbLe teAMs Colony Sugar nestle Master Paints BBJ Pipes Pakistan Army Al khan/Ciros Guard Group Hataff
P 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2
w 2 2 1 1 1 1 -
L 1 1 1 1 2 2
Gf 22 18 18 14 15 12 16 13
GA 9 14 16 15 20 18 18 18
Pts 4 4 2 2 2 2 0 0
AVe +13 +4 +2 -1 -5 -6 -2 -5
Punjab club in quarters LAHORE: Punjab club has moved into the quarter final of 9th M Siddique Memorial cricket event when they down strong Apallo sports by 31 runs played at Allama Iqbal institute ground on Thursday. sCoRes: Punjab club 191/9 in 20 overs. Sheraz Butt 75, Zeeshan Ali 39, Afzal 10, nazir 14, Yousuf 10. Baber Safder 3/25, Mubeen 3/38, Shahid 2/47, Arif 1/16, Mohsin 1/47. Apallo sports 160 all out in 19.2 overs. Abrar 98 (no), Afzal Shah 24, Mohsin 14. Faisal 5/16, Adeel 2/30, Awais 2/40, Shoaib 1/23. stAff RePoRt
new Union defeat raja Club LAHORE stAff RePoRt
New Union Club defeated Raja Club by 7 wickets in the LCCA Super Cricket League played at Wahdat Colony ground on Thursday. sCoRes: raja club 82 all out, new Union Club 83/3. now 244 matches have completed in lCCA league while 99 matches of east Zone clubs have been played. stAff RePoRt
Lahore tighten hold in Punjab Sports Festival LAHORE stAff RePoRt
The players from Lahore maintained their control in different events on the fourth day of Inter divisional Punjab Sports Festival being organized at different venues. Lahore which dominated karate event clinched gold medals in the sport and reached to the top in weightlifting and basketball too. In weightlifting university male, Lahore got first position, Gujranwala secured second while Sargodha got third position. In general public basketball, Lahore scored first position while Faisalabad was second. In basketball boys college, Punjab College of Commerce Lahore scored 65 points with first position, Punjab College of Commerce Faisalabad got second position with 41 points. In university basketball boys, University of Central Punjab Lahore shone with 61 points and first position whereas Bahauddin Zakriya University Multan achieved second position. In the general public final volleyball, Faisalabad defeated Sahiwal 3-1, Faisalabd was also victorious in the college boys semifinals beating Sahiwal 2-0 while Gujranwala beat Lahore 2-1. On the other side, girls matches continued at various venues and in volleyball college semifinals, Rawalpindi beat Bahawalpur 3-0, Faisalabad thrashed Multan 3-0, Lahore beat Bahawalpur in the semifinals of university female vol-
leyball. Faisalabad outplayed Multan 3-0. In the hockey college male, Faisalabad beat Sahiwal 6-0. Gujranwala defeated Rawalpindi 2-1, DG Khan beat Rawalpindi 1-0, Bahawalpur thrashed Multan 5-1. In the general public hockey, Faisalabad beat Sahiwal 5-1, Gujranwala outplayed Multan 2-0. In the karate university girls events, 45 kgs, Madeeha Hussain of Lahore clinched gold medal, Masooma Ijaz of Faisalabad was second. In 50 kgs, Marium Lodhi of Lahore secured gold, Pamela of Faisalabad attained silver whereas in 50-plus kgs, Anza Tahir of Lahore got gold medal and Rubab of Gujranwala was second with silver medal. In the boys university karate, Lahore dominated with gold medals. In 48 kgs, Waqas of Lahore was the winner, Sajjad Hussain of Bahawalpur was second with silver. In 55 kgs, Ayaz of Lahore got gold while Zulqurnain of Bahawalpur got silver. In 55-plus kgs, Shahid of Lahore attained gold and Mohammad Abbas of Sahiwal secured silver medals. Bahawalpur dominated with 13 points to win first position in university wrestling male competitions. Islamia College University of Bahawalpur shone with 2 gold and 1 silver to win the finals. Lahore attained second position with 11 points with 1 gold and 2 silver. In college athletics, Tanveer Abbas of Sargodha was victorious in 100 m
race, Tariq Mehmood of Lahore won 200 m, Mohammed Shahid of Gujranwala secured first position in 400 m, Zahid of Bahawalpur got position in 1500 m, Ehsan Ijaz of Faisalabad got
first position in 800 m while in the long jump, Adnan of Lahore, in shot-put Mohammad Sajjad of Bahawalpur whereas in javelin throw, MOhammad Qasim of Lahore got first positions.
lAHore: Affan Butt and Tazeem Hassan are locked in a wrestling bout of the Inter University Male competitions of Sports Festival. Staff Photo
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Friday, 2 March, 2012
Poland, Portugal fail to shine in stadium debut WARSAW AfP
Euro 2012 hosts Poland and qualifiers Portugal were unable to deliver a thriller for fans on Wednesday, drawing 0-0 here in what was billed as one of the meatiest friendlies of the Poles' tournament preparation campaign. Home supporters expecting a flood of goals at the first ever game in Poland's new National Stadium - venue on June 8 of the opening match of Euro 2012 -- were sorely disappointed. While the Poles' defence looked improved compared with previous outings, they showed up attacking weaknesses. "After this match against Portugal, I'm as calm about things as I was before the match," said Poland's much-criticised manager Franciszek Smuda. "What can we do better? Score goals of course... Given that, I think the set pieces in our performance today weren't as they should have been," he acknowledged. Poland clearly missed injured star striker Robert Lewandowski, who has been riding high with his German club Borussia Dortmund, earning the nickname "Lewangoalski". Portugal, who were forced to earn their Euro 2012 berth via the playoffs, also displayed a lack of finesse, failing to build on their dominance of possession and a string of free kicks and corners. In a repeat of their English Premier League battles, Portugal's Manchester United striker Nani sparred with Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny, firing a shot which the Pole saved easily in the third minute, and following up with two less-convincing efforts. Poland, meanwhile, deployed Frenchborn attacking midfielder Ludovic Obraniak up front, but he shot wide in the 13th minute. Portugal captain and Real Madrid sharpshooter Cristiano Ronaldo was unable to beat an alert Szczesny in the 38th minute, as he punched the ball clear and then saved the corner with ease. There was heartache for Lewandowski's striking understudy Ireneusz Jelen a minute before half time as he powered towards what seemed an open goal before being put off stride as Portugal keeper Rui Patricio plunged into his path. In stoppage time, Nani shot wide. The second half saw the hosts up the pace, with Obraniak latching onto a cross from Lukasz Piszczek but firing over the bar in the 48th minute, before beating a string of defenders three minutes later only to see Rui Patricio save his shot. A flurry of substitutions failed to inject sufficient energy into the game, until Poland brought on Adrian Mierzejewski 10 minutes from time. Five minutes later the home crowd held their breath as he crossed to fellow substitute Slawomir Peszko, only to see the latter's strike saved. Mierzejewski, of Turkey's Trabzonspor, attacked again a minute later and then, after winning a free kick, beat the Portuguese wall -- but his shot was saved easily by Rui Patricio. Like fellow Euro 2012 hosts Ukraine, Poland have an automatic slot at the 16nation championships and so have had to rely on friendlies to hone their skills - with patchy results. Having flunked their qualifying run for the 2010 World Cup, Poland have not played a competitive match since October 2009.
army retain National Inter-dept Baseball title
Brisbane gets nod for Australia, S korea Davis Cup
Four runs by Arshad Khan and three each by Farooq, Arif, and Rashid helped Army retain the title, crushing Wapda 18-1 in the final of the Shaheed Kamran Inter-department Baseball Championship at the UCP ground Lahore on Thursday. Army dominated the final from its start to finish as Wapda failed to put on any tough fight. The soldiers made three runs in the first innings as Farooq, Arif, Arshad were the scorers. In the second innings, Army added three more to take 6-0 lead as Imtiaz, Umair and Arshad collected one run each. The third innings was barren as no team could score any run. But in the fourth innings, Army again resumed the scoring and put on three more runs as Imtiaz, Arif, Farooq chipped in one run each. Asif scored the solitary run for Wapda in this innings. In the fifth innings, the offensive Army
The hard courts of Brisbane will host Australia's Davis Cup tie against South Korea next month, captain Pat Rafter said Thursday. Australia are seeking a return to the World Group for the first time since 2007, and victory over the Koreans over April 6-8 would thrust them into a play-off for the elite tier in September. "The weather and the court are ideal for the boys and the conditions will definitely boost our chances of winning," said Rafter. "Both Bernard (Tomic) and Matt (Ebden) have had some excellent wins at the Brisbane International, so it's a huge positive for them to return to a place where they've already achieved great results." Australia's team of Tomic, Ebden, Lleyton Hewitt and Chris Guccione whitewashed China 5-0 in their first-round Asia-Oceania zonal tie in Geelong last month.
lAHore: Army team members receive trophy from Shaukat Javed, President Pakistan Federation Baseball. Staff Photo plundered three more runs through Rashid, Arshad and Arif, who hit home run. Army continued the domination and added three runs each in the sixth and seventh innings to earn a convincing
win. Rashid (2), Arshad, Farooq, Umair and Imtiaz added one run each in the last two innings. President Pakistan Federation Baseball Shaukat Javed was the chief guest and distributed the prizes.
Motorway Police Sports Festival concludes LAHORE stAff RePoRt
lAHore: Qaiser Shahzad, the best badminton player of the Motorway Police Sports Festival receives trophy from Minister Communication Dr Arbab Alamgir while Inspector General nH&MP wajid Ali khan is also seen in the picture.
National Highways and Motorway Police organized a week long Sports Festival 2012 which concluded on Thursday amid colourful closing ceremony. Minister Communication Dr. Arbab Alamgir and Inspector General NH&MP Wajid Ali Khan were the chief guests of the ceremony. DIG Training Shahid Yar Khan, DIG Motorways Jahanzeib Khan Jogezai, Zonal Commander N-5Central SSP Nisar Soraya, Commandant Training College Riaz Nazir Ghara and other official of motorway police were also
present on the occasion. Players of West, N-5 South, N-5 Central, N-5 North, Motorways Zone, NH&MP Training College and NH&MP Headquarters participated in the week long sports events of cricket, badminton, table tennis, volleyball, tug of war, athletics and football. N-5 Central Zone was declared best zone among all zones of NH&MP for its outstanding performance in the sports events. Dr. Arbab distributed the trophies and medals among the winners and runner-ups of different games. The minister presented the trophy of â€˜Best Zoneâ€™ to Zonal Commander N-5 Central SSP Nisar Soroya.
McIlroy gets another shot at no. 1 PALM BEACH GARDENS AfP
Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy could get another chance to seize golf's number one world ranking when he tees it up at the US PGA Tour Honda Classic this week. McIlroy had the opportunity to supplant England's Luke Donald atop the rankings at the World Golf Championships Match Play Championship last week, but his runner-up finish to Hunter Mahan wasn't enough to boost him to the top. Despite falling to America's Mahan in the championship match, McIlroy said the event in Arizona "was a very positive week".
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Friday, 2 March, 2012
Murray survives controversy for Berdych revenge DUBAI
DUBAI: Serbiaâ€™s top-seeded novak Djokovic returns the ball to his compatriot Janko Tipsarevic during their quarter-final match at the ATP Tennis Championship. AFp
NDY Murray, the first British male since the 1930's to reach three Grand Slam finals, earned a valuable revenge over Tomas Berdych as he reached the semi-finals of the Dubai Open for the first time here Thursday. The thirdseeded Scot won 6-3, 7-5 against the fifth-seeded Czech to whom he lost the last three times, making it his best sequence in four attempts at the lucrative Middle East tournament. It also earned Murray a possible rematch with Novak Djokovic, the triple Grand Slam titleholder with whom he had a classic semi-final in last month's Australian Open. Djokovic was due to play his fellow Serb Janko Tipsarevic in the evening session. The match ended in controversy as Berdych argued at length with the umpire over a Hawkeye decision when he had earned a point to break back for 6-6. Murray's appeal to the computer replay showed that the line judge's call of fault had been wrong and that his unreturned serve had in fact been in. But when the umpire awarded the point to Murray, Berdych claimed the rally should have been replayed. The Czech argued that the line judge's call had interfered with his return of serve, but TV replays showed that the call came after Berdych had hit
the ball, and that the umpire's decision was correct. Berdych said he was "shocked" by the decision of umpire Mohamed Lahyani, from Sweden. "If we look at all the rule books we going to see that if it's not a clear ace there is a repeat of point actually," the Czech claimed. "I have no idea what Mohamed did. He is the best referee on tour and I never had anything like that with him." Murray said: "It's a bad rule, and one that I have a big problem with. "It comes down to kind of how the umpire sees it.
World number five Agnieszka Radwanska won two matches Thursday to advance to the quarter-finals of a rain-interrupted BMW Malaysian Open. The Pole beat Akgul Amanmuradova, who she was originally scheduled to play Tuesday, 6-2, 6-4 in her first match of the day before easing by Karolina Pliskova, 6-4, 6-4. While results went Radwanska's way, it was the end of the road for fourth seed Jarmila Gajdosova and seventh seed Jelena Dokic. Rad-
wanska was in cruise control against Pliskova of the Czech Republic in the second round but admitted it was hard waiting just to finish off her first round match. "Playing two matches (in one day) is bad, especially under these conditions. The weather really hasn't been helping the progress of the tournament," Radwanska said. Radwanska came to Kuala Lumpur after winning in Dubai on Satur-
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Tall order, Isner sweeps past Sweeting
You know, they don't always see it the same way as the players do. Sometimes it goes your way; sometimes it doesn't." Murray went on to close the match out in that game, although he required six more rallies and seven match points altogether before doing it. The Scot had controlled much of the first half of the match by denying Berdych as many opportunities as possible to wind up with fierce flat drives which are especially dangerous on Dubai's hot, fast hard surfaces.
DELRAY BEACH AfP
DUBAI: British player Andy Murray returns the ball to Thomas Berdych of the Czech republic during their quarter-final match at the ATP Tennis Championship. afP
Radwanska reaches Malaysia quarter-finals KUALA LUMPUR
watch It LIve
day, a victory which saw her reach a career high on the WTA rankings. The player, who was wearing a thigh strap, will meet Taiwanese qualifier Su-Wei Hsieh Friday for a berth in the semi-finals. "I've not had much rest too as I have been playing for several weeks now. My shoulder feels sore as a result of this, but hopefully it is not too bad. But the thigh strap is just a precaution," she said. Rain led forced her Tuesday match against Amanmuradova to be postponed and it was then called off on Wednesday with the score at 6-2, 3-3. When play resumed on Thursday, Radwanska was fired up to finish and took just 20 minutes to close out the match.
Meanwhile, defending champion Dokic, threw away a one set and 4-2 up lead in against fellow Australian Olivia Rogowska to lose in three. Rogowska held her nerve despite facing some punishing groundstrokes to grind out a 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7/2) victory. "It was one of those frustrating days where I couldn't play my best tennis," Dokic said. "It was a game I should have won easily." A delighted Rogowska will now face Eleni Daniilido, who uupset Gajdosova of Australia 6-4, 6-0, for a place in the semis. Third seed Peng Shuai of China also reached the quarter-finals Thursday and will meet fifth seed Petra Martic of Croatia. The $220,000 BMW Malaysian Open ends on Sunday.
Top seed John Isner saved all five break points he faced en route to a 6-3, 6-4 win over Ryan Sweeting in the second round of the Delray Beach Tennis Championships on Wednesday. In a battle between two of the biggest men on the ATP Tour, the 26-year-old Isner bombed 10 aces and won 78 percent of the first-serve points to beat Sweeting in the first career meeting between the two Americans. The 206-centimetre tall Isner won for the second time in as many days as the world number 11 saved five set points in a 32-point second set tie breaker to eliminate Jesse Levine 6-4, 7-6 (17/15) on Tuesday. Isner, who is looking for his fourth career title and his first of 2012, made quick work of Sweeting. He recorded just one double fault in the 67 minute match to reach the quarter-finals for the first time at this event. The 196cm tall Sweeting had six aces but struggled on his serve, saving just two of four break points. The 24-year-old Sweeting falls to 3-6 this season. In other second round matches Wednesday, Australian qualifier Marinko Matosevic defeated sixth seed Alex Bogomolov of Russia 4-6, 6-1, 6-3 and former Delray Beach winner Ernests Gulbis of Latvia beat Belgium's Steve Darcis 6-7 (6/8), 6-1, 6-3. Gulbis won 89 per cent of his first-serve points and broke Darcis five times in the two hour, 10-minute match. This marks the first time Gulbis has been in a quarter-final since he won the Los Angeles tournament in July by beating American Mardy Fish. Matosevic, who is ranked 173rd in the world, advanced to his first ATP Tour quarter-final.
Nishikori ousted in 2nd round of Mexico Open ACAPULCO AGenCies
Fourth seed Kei Nishikori bowed out in the second round of the Mexico Open on Wednesday after a 1-6, 7-6(8), 6-0 defeat to Frenchman Jeremy Chardy. The Japanese world No. 17 comfortably took the first set after breaking his 64th-ranked opponent in the opening game of the match but Chardy dug deep to come back and even things up by winning the tiebreaker. Nishikori needed treatment in the third set after hurting his right shoulder and a series of errors cost him a place in the quarterfinals. "I had lots of match points and the match really was there for the taking," said Nishikori. "But I think it was a case of my opponent moving up a gear rather than me playing badly." "I couldn't keep playing my game in the third set. The shoulder wasn't really such a big deal." Nishikori reached the quarterfinals of last week's Copa Claro in Buenos Aires before falling to Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland. The 22-year-old normally plays on hard courts at this time of the year, but has chosen clay court events to better prepare for the French Open.
ACAPUlCo: Swedish tennis player Sofia Ardvidsson returns the ball to Italian tennis player Flavia Pennetta during the third day of the Mexican Tennis open. afP
ACAPUlCo: Italian tennis player Flavia Pennetta reacts after losing a point against Swedish tennis player Sofia Ardvidsson during the third day of the Mexican Tennis open. afP
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Friday, 2 March, 2012
SC reserves verdict on contempt case against Awan g
awan’s counsel argues that his client had ‘highest respect’ for the courts and offered ‘deepest regret’ for any hurt feelings ISLAMABAD
spected the judiciary. Zafar said that his client was accused of committing judicial contempt and in such proceedings the court was like a parent while the person accused of contempt was like an errant child, which was why courts worldwide use the power in exceptional circumstances and not as a way of punishment. After hearing the arguments, the court reserved its judgment until March 8. Earlier while submitting the written reply on behalf of Awan, Zafar said that Nawaz Sharif had called Supreme Court judges “Jayala Judges”, announced that “he would remove them by catching them from the ears”, and accused the chief justice of Pakistan of promoting “lotacracy”, yet the Supreme Court had not punished him for contempt on the ground that such
During the hearing, Awan’s counsel Ali Zafar argued that in view of the video footage, his client had not given any remarks which ridiculed the judiciary. The court pointed out that the remarks were passed against the family of an apex court judge, Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, during the press conference. Zafar however said that his client in his statement had reconfirmed that he had utmost respect and regard for the judge and considered him to be a leading luminary, and that in case the judge had been hurt, Awan offered deepest regrets. Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan observed that Awan had expressed only regrets, but had not tendered an apology for passing remarks about the family of an SC judge. He said Awan was a popular lawyer as well as a politician therefore he should have re-
HE Supreme Court on Thursday reserved its judgment over a show-cause notice issued to Babar Awan, vice president of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and a senior lawyer, for his contemptuous address at a press conference against the court’s December 1, 2011 order on the memo case. A two-member bench comprising Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan and Justice Ather Saeed heard the contempt of court case against Awan. Video footage of the press conference held by him along with other PPP leaders at the Press Information Department (PID) on December 1, 2011, were also screened in the courtroom.
statements were issued in tense times at a press conference, which unlike a written speech, was never premeditated but occurred on the spur of the moment. He cited examples of several politicians, lawyers, authors, article writers and publishers against whom contempt proceedings were initiated. Zafar quoted Khan Abdul Wali Khan, who had alleged that the judiciary had “blackened its face”. He said that freedom of speech could not be barred in the name of freedom of judiciary. He further said that senior lawyers like Akram Sheikh, Dr Basit, Khalid Anwar and others, all of which had allegedly committed serious contempt against the judiciary and even accused it of becoming political or dishonest, yet the Supreme Court had discharged contempt charges against all of them on the grounds that the freedom of
expression was a fundamental right under which everyone was entitled to free speech and fair criticism, and that it was not the judiciary’s role to gag people. Zafar quoted the famous principle: “Justice is not a cloistered virtue. She must be allowed to suffer the scrutiny and outspoken comments of men,” and relied on the judgments of US, UK, Australian, New Zealand and Canadian Supreme Courts. He also pointed out that in the 200 years history of the US Supreme Court, only one contempt judgement been issued, and in the last 50 years in UK history, no contempt had been proceeded with any court. He submitted that Babar Awan had held a conference of a political nature, which was directed against Nawaz Sharif, the leader of the opposition, and not against the judiciary.
Zardari a good partner in war against terrorism: Clinton WASHINGTON inP
KARAChi: A petrol filling station employee displays the new fuel prices on thursday. oNLINe
two Nato troops killed by afghan colleagues
there was threat of a coup after May 2: Ijaz
Two NATO soldiers were killed by their Afghan colleagues on Thursday, the latest in a series of such attacks after the burning of Holy Quran at a US base sparked widespread violent protests. The soldiers were identified as Americans by an Afghan official, who said they were killed at a military outpost in the insurgency-plagued southern province of Kandahar, the spiritual birthplace of the Taliban. NATO’s US-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said the soldiers died when a man “believed to be an Afghan National Army service member” and another in civilian clothing turned their weapons on the troops. The civilian was a literacy teacher working in the outpost who grabbed a weapon from a soldier and opened fire, Zhary district chief Niaz Mohammad Sarhadi told AFP. Other troops returned fire, killing the teacher and an Afghan army soldier, Sarhadi said. If the dead are confirmed to be US troops, it will take the death toll to six Americans killed by Afghan colleagues within a week since angry protests erupted over the Quran burning at a US military base near Kabul. Two days earlier, two American troops were killed by an Afghan soldier who turned his weapon on them as demonstrators approached their base in the east of the country.
The central character in the “memogate” issue, Mansoor Ijaz, on Thursday revealed that there was threat of a military coup in Pakistan following the US operation in Abbottabad in which al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden was killed. During his cross-examination, Ijaz said the military posed a serious threat to the government, adding that intelligence agencies of three or four other countries had also confirmed the threat of the coup. He said he had received a draft about Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Director General Lt Gen Shuja Pasha’s visit to foreign countries and about the May 2 incident. However, he refused to comment on who had sent him the draft. He said Gen Pasha had met with rulers of various countries to garner their
support on the matter. “It was on the basis of this draft that it was discovered that there was a military coup threat,” he said. Ijaz also handed over confidential documents to the commission. The Judicial Commission, formed by the Supreme Court to investigate the scandal, released a 39-page recorded statement by the US businessman. He was cross-examined via a video link from the Pakistani High Commission in London. PML-N President Nawaz Sharif’s counsels Mustafa Ramday and Rasheed A Rizvi had been in London while Hussain Haqqani’s counsel Zahid Bukhari and Ijaz’s counsel Akram Sheikh were attending proceedings at the Islamabad High Court. Mansoor further claimed that he recommended action against the “dual policy” of Pakistan in his article after the Abbottabad operation which was acknowledged by Hussain Haqqani but publicly he refused to endorse his views. He also informed about his meetings with President Asif Ali Zardari after May 2009. He said he was neither an agent of a country nor was he on the Pakistan government’s payroll. Ijaz also revealed that the US pilot and Pakistani air traffic control were in contact with each other before the Abbottabad raid. Further proceedings were deferred for Friday.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has called President Asif Ali Zardari “a good partner” in the war against terrorism, even when the Pakistani military and the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), according to her, have maintained relationship with terrorist groups for decades. Testifying before a congressional committee on Wednesday, Clinton said, “I think Congressman, what President Zardari told you on behalf of the civilian leadership of the government of Pakistan is true.” “He has been a good partner in going after terrorism that threatens his country and Afghanistan and our troops,” she said while responding to questions from Senator Michael Mccaul. In response to a question, she said, “We have no evidence of any high-level official knowing about bin Laden. But, like you, I have to assume that lower-level people had to have known something. But we haven’t proven that. It could be asserted, but not yet proven.” “This is a complicated, difficult relationship. What we are doing now is making it very clear what our expectations have to be going forward. And there is no doubt in my mind that certain elements of the Pakistani government are more ambivalent about cracking down on terrorism than other elements,” Clinton said. “You know, when I sit across the foreign minister or talk to the ambassador or talk to the prime minister and others, I think they are very sincere. They know that the scourge
Published by Arif Nizami for Nawa Media Corporation (Pvt) Ltd at Qandeel Printing Press, 4 Queens Road, Lahore.
of terrorism is killing Pakistanis.” Deliberating further, Clinton said, “Zardari knows that terrorists killed his wife. And yet there has been relationship between terrorist groups and the military and the intelligence services for many decades. “The fact that this democratically elected government has survived longer than any other democratically elected government is a unique thing. For the first time in the parliament, you have questions being asked of the military and the ISI. You have the Supreme Court asking questions about actions of the military and the ISI,” she told the lawmakers. “So you see the strains and stresses of trying to have a civilian government in a democracy assert control over all elements of the government. We want to continue to support the democratic trend inside Pakistan,” Clinton said.
Editor: Arif Nizami, Executive Editor: Sarmad Bashir