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US, NATO behind 'insecurity' in Afghanistan: Karzai
Foreign troops in Afghanistan to bear the brunt of TTP leadership change
Kayani, ISI chief on Forbes’ Most Powerful People list PAGE |03
Friday, 7 December, 2012 Muharram 22, 1434
Rs 15.00 Vol III No 160 19 Pages Lahore Edition
Sindh Assembly up in arms against ‘Punjab High Court’ Lawmakers slam LHC verdict on ‘anti-federation’, ‘anti-Sindh’ Kalabagh Dam g PPP Sindh says Shahbaz Sharif covertly mobilising courts against Sindh g MQM blames ‘bureaucracy’ for not doing away with KBD
KARACHI sTaFF REPORT
HE Sindh Assembly on Thursday witnessed a heated sitting that was full of politicking, as provincial lawmakers condemned the verdict of what they called “Punjab High Court” in favour of the “antifederation” and “anti-Sindh” Kalabagh Dam (KBD). Lawmakers from the two divides of the 168-member, PPP-dominated House, however, got into a political infighting when the opposition blasted the ruling PPP for its failure to bury the “dead horse” of KBD once and for all, while the treasury members lambasted the former for siding with proKBD dictators in the past. At least four separate resolutions were tabled in the House, two by PPP legislators and on each by lawmakers from the PML-F and MQM, in which the decision of Lahore
High Court (LHC) was strongly rejected. Some members went as far as recalling the “judicial murder” of ZA Bhutto at the hands of judiciary in Punjab. Those who moved the resolutions included Dr Sikandar Mandhro and Imran Nazir Leghari of the PPP, Khalid Ahmed of the MQM and Nusrat Seher Abbasi of the PML-F. The movers were allowed to read out their resolutions by Speaker Nisar Khuhro, who said KBD was such an important issue that could be debated in the assembly for the entire week. PPP’s Imran Leghari slammed Punjab Chief Minster Shahbaz Sharif for covertly mobilising the courts against Sindh by enlivening the “dead horse” of Kalabagh Dam. He held the Sharifs responsible for pitting the people of the four federating units against each other by supporting such unpopular projects. MQM’s Ahmed made “bureaucracy” accountable for not documentarily doing away with KBD-like mega
projects that had been rejected by three provincial legislatures of the country. In, his resolution, the MQM lawmaker said once completed, the project would “adversely affect” the economy of the three opposing provinces – Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and Balochistan. “We would never allow the building of Kalabagh Dam,” Ahmed said. Dr Mandhro’s resolution said the construction of controversial dam would be “detrimental” to the interest of the federation. The PML-F’s resolution also rejected the “dead issue”, saying the move was aimed at creating unrest among the masses. While Deputy Speaker Shehla Raza repeatedly referred to LHC as the “Punjab High Court”, the PPP’s parliamentary party leader in Sindh Assembly Pir Mazharul Haque recalled that the same court had blood of ZA Bhutto on its hand. Pir wondered if a conspiracy could really originate from a “sacred institution”
like the judiciary. Agha Siraj Durrani went a step further and claimed that Nawaz Sharif was financing the entire campaigning of the “Khapao Committee” (Sindh Bachao Committee) in Sindh. Food Minister Mir Nadir Magsi said the dam could only be backed by the “enemies” of Sindh and that Sindhis would rise against the Centre if the project was undertaken. “It’s a dead issue,” he told the House. The situation, however, turned ugly when PML-F’s Nusrat Abbasi blasted the ruling PPP for not being able to bury the anti-Sindh project once and for all. She also questioned Federal Information Minister’s Qamar Zaman Kaira for talking about developing consensus on the KBD. “The petitioners (in LHC case) should also be exposed,” she said, alleging that the Ministry of Water and Power had misled the courts on the feasibility of the project. Nusrat alleged that PPP rulers in 1973 had approved the feasibility report of
KBD. “Now you have the power, the reconciliation, even the ‘Qatil-League’ is sitting with you. Why don’t you burry this dam once and for all?” she said. As expected, this hard-hitting speech inflamed and pitched the PPP lawmakers against their counterparts from the PMLF. The subsequent moments saw PPP lawmakers like Rafique Engineer, Ghulam Qadir Chandio and Sharjeel Memon exchanging barbs one by one with the PMLF lawmaker. None among Shehla Raza, Pir Mazaharul Haq or Siraj Durrani could keep their speeches focused on KBD and kept attacking the functional league. Earlier, Minister for Environment and Alternative Energy Development Sheikh Muhammad Afzal responded to starred and supplementary questions of the House during the Question Hour. The speaker later adjourned the House until Friday, when it would continue discussion on the resolutions against KBD.
SC freezes CNG prices until 17th g
Orders OGRA cancel licences of station owners who did not get audited, did not maintain accounts Says station owners earned Rs 31 per kg profit in the name of operation cost ISLAMABAD Tayyab Hussain
CaiRO: The Egyptian army set up barricades and brought in tanks outside the presidential palace after ordering protesters to leave the area on Thursday. StORy On BACK PAGe
Corps commanders take up Afghan situation, SC verdict today ISLAMABAD sHaiQ Hussain
The military top brass will discuss various important matters today (Friday) with a focus on the Afghan reconciliation process and Pakistan’s role in this regard, as well as the Supreme Court’s orders to the Election Commission (EC) to verify the voters’ lists in Karachi with the help of the army. The Corps Commanders’ meeting will be held at the General Headquarters (GHQ) with Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Ashfaq Kayani in the chair. According to an ISPR statement, the military commanders’ meeting would review the professional activities of the army. However, an official speaking on
condition of anonymity said General Kayani would brief the army’s top brass about his recent visit to Brussels, where he and Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar met senior NATO and US officials, including US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. He said the meetings of General Kayani in Brussels were focused on Afghanistan, the US exit strategy, peace dialogue with the Taliban and the role that Pakistan could play for its success. “All these matters discussed in Brussels would be deliberated upon at length during the Corps Commanders’ meeting,” he said. The official said General Kayani also visited Kabul last month to attend the Pakistan-US-Afghanistan tripartite commission and he would brief the military
commanders on his trip to the neighbouring state. He said the military commanders were likely to discuss Supreme Court’s orders to the Election Commission of Pakistan to use the army’s assistance for verification of voters’ lists in Karachi. The official said other important issues that would be discussed in the corps commanders’ meeting included the latest situation on country’s border with India as well as the military operations in the Tribal Areas. “Another important matter that could be taken up for discussions during the military brass meeting is that Supreme Court’s verdict in a case involving former army officials General (r) Mirza Aslam Beg and Lt General (r) Asad Durrani,” he said.
The Supreme Court on Thursday directed authorities to maintain the prices of compressed natural gas (CNG) until December 17 and cancel licences of CNG station owners who had refused to get audited. A two-judge bench of Justice Jawad S Khawaja and Justice Khilji Arif Hussain passed the order while hearing the case pertaining to CNG prices. Justice Jawwad S Khwaja directed OGRA to take action against all CNG stations who did not maintain their accounts, adding that it was the responsibility of OGRA to safeguard the rights of the consumers. He said the court knew the actual operating costs of the CNG station owners and that the owners had earned Rs 31 per kg in profit for four years in the name of operating costs. He said deciding on prices was OGRA’s job and if the authority did not work properly, the court would intervene. Earlier, a report submitted by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) stated that CNG station owners had paid Rs 4.08 billion in taxes during the past three years. The report added that Rs 1.008 billion was paid in year 2009, Rs 1.42 billion in
2010 and Rs 1.0065 billion was paid in 2011. The Supreme Court had sought the details of CNG stations’ tariff accounts. The Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) said in a report that 6,471 applications were received by OGRA for the issuance of CNG station licences between year 2002 and 2011, of which 6,152 applicants were issued licences, while 380 show-cause notices and 131 warning notices were issued during the period. CNG station owners were fined Rs 10.7 million in three years, the report added. OGRA said around 1,273 pumps were inspected during the last three years. It further stated that per 1992 CNG rules, it was not necessary to submit audit accounts and income tax returns, adding that it was also not mandatory to issue licences. However, the authority added, five pumps had submitted their audit accounts. The proceedings were later adjourned until December 17. Talking to reporters outside the court, CNG Association Chairman Ghayyas Paracha said OGRA was trying to put the association in a tussle. He said the CNG station owners bought CNG from the government on a higher rate, but were being pressed to sell on cheaper rates. He said the OGRA representatives also answered the court’s four questions asked in the previous hearing.
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02 News NeWS
naTO, Russia achieve milestone in training drug control officers
INFotAINMeNt Chinese astronauts may grow vegetables on moon
Story on Page 09
Zardari signs reference in judges’ appointment case IsLAMABAd: President Asif Ali Zardari on Thursday signed a presidential reference seeking guideline from the Supreme Court on the procedure of the appointment of judges. According to Law Minister Farooq H Naik, the president asked for the advice from the apex court under Article 186 of the constitution. The reference would now be filed with the Supreme Court of Pakistan. The law minister said the reference contained 13 questions related to the appointment of judges to the superior judiciary with specific reference to the Islamabad High Court. The reference asked for guidance on the role of judicial commission, parliamentary committee and the seniority of the judges, he said. A four-member bench of the Supreme Court headed by Justice Khilji Arif Hussain granted two weeks to Attorney General Irfan Qadir on November 23 to file a presidential reference in the apex court. OnlinE
1,000 Mehsud families leave SWA after ultimatum by Wazirs WANA: More than 1,000 Mehsud families have left South Waziristan Agency (SWA) following the ultimatum given by the rival Wazir tribe. The Wazirs hold the Mehsuds responsible for terrorism and violence in the agency. According to details, the Wazirs of SWA had given a December 5 deadline to Mehsuds to move out of the area following a failed suicide attack on Mullah Nazir, threatening to act against them if they did not act upon the ultimatum. By Thursday, more than a thousand families of the Mehsud tribe had migrated to Tank and Dera Ismail Khan, while over 700 were still stranded in the area due to various reasons. The Mehsud tribe families still staying in SWA were of the view that they were facing severe hardships in immigration owing to non availability of transport, high fares and hurdles from security personnel to enter other areas. inP
Malik wants Indian visit rescheduled, again NEW dELHI: Interior Minister Rehman Malik has sought a change in the dates of his upcoming visit to India owing to a previously scheduled meeting in Turkey. The new dates proposed by Pakistan are December 14 to 16, reported The Hindu. Earlier he was scheduled to visit India from December 11 to December 13 with a visit to Taj Mahal packed in to allow him to celebrate his birthday there on December 12. This is the second time that his visit to India to usher in the new visa regime is being rescheduled. Earlier, he was to be in India from November 22 to 23 but India requested a change in dates. Later, it became evident that the rescheduling was sought to save Malik the embarrassment of being in India a day after the execution of Ajmal Kasab, the lone terrorist nabbed alive in the Mumbai terror case. OnlinE
Major terrorism bid foiled in Peshawar PEsHAWAR: Police thwarted a major terrorism bid by confiscating a truck loaded with explosives in a raid at a godown on Wednesday. According to details, police conducted raid at a warehouse located in Chamkani area of Peshawar on a tip off. During the raid 31,000 metre prima card, 150 bags of chemicals, wireless receivers and sets, remotes and batteries were recovered. The Interior Ministry had declare Peshawar to be a sensitive area during Muharram. aGEnCiEs
‘NAB Punjab DG misquoted’ LAHoRE: A spokesman of the National Accountability Bureau Punjab on Thursday said the statement of the NAB Punjab director general regarding complaints against politicians had been misquoted by some newspapers. In a clarification, the spokesman said the NAB Punjab DG had said that complaints against politicians, bureaucrats or any other person would be dealt with on merit and in accordance with the law. Furthermore, he also clarified that the Asghar Khan case was not with the NAB Punjab. aPP
Friday, 7 December, 2012
Story on Page 14
PML-N, PTI, JI demand removal of Sindh election commissioner KARACHI inP
HE Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, Tehreek-e-Insaaf and Jamaat-e-Islami on Thursday demanded the removal of Sindh election commissioner in order to ensure free and fair implementation of the Supreme Court’s orders on preparation of errorfree voters’ lists in Karachi. The SC on Wednesday ordered the ECP to conduct a door-to-door verification of electoral rolls in Karachi with assistance of the army and Frontier Constabulary. Political parties complain that votes of up to three million people living in Karachi had been registered in their native towns of Swat, Mingora, Mansehra and Attock and other areas, despite them residing in the city for 10 to 15 years. Reports said delegations of the three political parties separately called on Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Justice (r) Fakhruddin G Ebrahim and conveyed their reservations over the role of Sindh Election Commissioner Sono Khan Baloch. The leaders submitted applications demanding removal of Baloch from office in order to ensure transparent work on correction of electoral rolls and delimitation in Karachi. Speaking to a private TV channel, PML-N’s Irfanullah Marwat said the court orders could not be implemented without removing the provincial election commissioner. Jamaat-e-Islami’s Muhammad Hussain Mehnti said the court’s order “is an ample proof of Sono Baloch’s involve-
ECP to ‘implement SC’s decision in letter and spirit’ KARACHI: Chief Election Commissioner Justice (r) Fakharuddin G Ibrahim on Thursday said the order of Supreme Court in connection with the verification of voter lists and delimitation of constituencies in Karachi will be implemented in letter and spirit. The CEC held separate meetings with the representatives of various political and religious parties at the provincial election commission office. The delegations include Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), Pakistan Muslim LeagueNawaz (PML-N), Awami National Party (ANP), Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) and the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F). The CEC said the election commission had started preparing a strategy in the light of the Supreme Court’s decisions regarding verification of voters’ lists and delimitation of various constituencies. He hoped that the work in this regard would be started next week. aPP ment in pre-poll rigging”. The Supreme Court had also directed the ECP to find out how many votes have been registered on the same addresses and how many people had applied for shifting their votes outside Karachi and how many of them were de-listed or transferred back to their native towns.
Balochistan shuts down against Gebon incident QUETTA: A complete shutter down strike was observed in various areas of Balochistan on Thursday against Gebon incident in which three alleged militants were killed by Balochistan Frontier Corps during a predawn raid. Frontier Corps officials claimed that they had killed three alleged militants and arrested two others after an extensive exchange of fire in a raid at a house in Gebon area some 20km away from Turbat. On the other hand, the family members of the deceased who were identified as Hakim Shahsawar, Rasool Bakhsh and Maula Bakhsh insisted that they were unarmed and were in asleep when they were targeted. Baloch National Front (BNF), an alliance of different nationalist parties, had given a call for a shutter down strike to protest against the killings. All shops, markets and business activities in Turbat, Mand, Tump, Panjgour, Awaran, Kharan and others towns remained closed while traffic on the roads also remained thin. Local administration had taken tight security measures to stop any untoward incident by deploying FC and Levies personnel. Meanwhile, dozens of activists of Baloch Human Rights Organisation staged a demonstration outside Quetta Press Club against Gebon incident. doCToRs’ sTRIKE: Despite the recovery of Dr Saeed Ahmed Khan, Balochistan doctors continued their strike on the 51st consecutive day on Thursday in all state-run hospitals of the province. The OPDs and operations theatres remained closed in all public hospitals. sTaFF REPORT
Jasmeen Manzoor quits SAMAA under pressure MonItoRIng DeSK SAMAA TV’s anchor Jasmeen Manzoor has resigned from the organsiation, apparently under pressure from Ameen Lakhani. She said she had raised a voice for the Hindu community, but PEMRA and the building mafia forced the closure of her show. Jasmeen said Amin Lahkani sent his men to her office, threatened her staff and pressurised her, but when she refused to budge, he hurled threats at the channel. She blamed the builder mafia for influencing the court in getting a stay order against the airing of her show. “Could not fight the builder mafia am sorry friends no one wants to see the truth thank you for kind wishes!” she wrote on her Twitter account.
No more fake degrees for politicians g
Pakistan Security Printing Corporation to print degrees for varsities KARACHI aaMiR MaJEED
Public sector universities of the Sindh decided to print graduate’ degree papers from the Pakistan Security Printing Corporation Ltd. (PSPCL) to discourage forger degree mafias as they are known to be on the payrolls of senior politicians. This is a bad news indeed for those eyeing an MNA or an MPA slot using their fake degrees as ladders. The public sector varsities were in a fix because of political pressure which started mounting as general and local bodies elections drew closer. Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) sent degrees of politicians for verification to these educational institutes. Those candidates who have applied for government jobs on basis of fake/forged degrees would also be taken to task Pakistan today learnt. The names of graduates’ and their educational degrees would be available in the open market. PT also learnt that many universities were selling degrees against a sum of RS 30000 but when the scribe checked such degrees
with the relevant departments of the institutions, the universities had no record of such degrees. Till date, educational degrees of some 105 politicians were declared fake by the Higher Education Commission (HEC). In the fake degree holders MPA/MNA, of Pakistan Muslim League- Nawaz (PML-N) top the list with 29 fake/forged degrees, ruling-Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) has 26, ruling-ally Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid-e-Azam (PMLQ) boasts 19, Muttaheda Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) amassed 5, Pakistan Muslim League-Functional (PML-F) has 3, Awami National Party (ANP), Balochistan National Party (BNP), National Peoples Party (NPP) have two and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI) and Muttaheda Qaumi Movement (MQM) have one fake degree holder each in their party. Moreover 16 independent candidates also enlisted fake degrees. Aamir Liaquat Hussain of MQM and a TV host was also making hay with a fake degree. However, he is no longer a member of the party, nor he is the member of the parliament. The de-
gree of Aamir Liaquat Hussain was challenged while he was sitting MNA but MQM forced him to resign to avoid embarrassment. An agent, who sold graduate degrees of public sector varsities of Karachi against Rs 3000, requesting anonymity told Pakistan Today that he was a student of the Sindh highly-dependable Karachi University that “I have got the master’s degree from the university in 2000 and till that day I am visiting varsity on daily basis, he said, adding that I never applied for job in any public or private sector institution because I earn more by selling varsities degrees in a month. “I have original paper that is used by the city’s public sector universities for awarding graduate degrees to its student, he said, adding that I am in partnership with the writers of varsities who write graduate degrees. Without any political support it is nearly impossible to run this high-revenue generating business and I am a political worker and whenever my party assigned me for providing fake degree to any other party worker for contesting election I obliged.”
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News 03 ArtS & eNtertAINMeNt
stewart and Pattinson will spend Christmas apart
President calls for political consensus on economic policies
Pakistan push Germany out of medal hunt
eDItorIAl a disappointing step: Walk the talk is what India wants Pakistan to do.
CoMMeNt aziz-ud-Din ahmad says; First defeat: Politics trounces calculations.
Jehangir iftikhar says; Burnt to ashes: Smoking – the evil taken so casually.
Story on Page 14
Story on Page 19
Story on Page 15
Articles on Page 10-11
Kayani, ISI chief on Forbes Most Powerful People list Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani and ISI chief Lt Gen Zaheerul Islam are the only two from Pakistan who have made it to a list led by US President Barack Obama, Pope Benedict XVI, Angela Merkel, Facebook’s founder and other global leaders on Forbes’s ranking of the mightiest earthlings. The American magazine placed General Kayani on 8th spot for “controlling nuclear weapons and one of the world’s largest standing armies in an unstable country.” General Kayani had earlier given a statement issued by the public relations wing of the Army that caused a stir in the news. He said: “As a nation, Pakistan is passing through a critical phase.” Following General Kayani is Inter-Services Intelligence’s (ISI) recently inducted chief, Zaheerul Islam. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress President Sonia Gandhi have been named among the top 20 most powerful persons in the world by Forbes magazine. MOniTORinG DEsk
TANK: An old man fills water containers with contaminated stagnant water due to persisting water shortage in the area. Use of contaminated water is causing viral diseases, leading to several deaths. Masses blame the Irrigation Department for illegally selling potable water to farmers. InP
US drone kills four in nWA PeSHAWAR sTaFF REPORT
At least four suspected foreign militants were killed and several others injured in a US drone attack in Mubarakshahi village near Mirali tehsils of North Waziristan on Thursday. Officials said a US drone fired two missiles on a compound of militants established in a house in Mubarakshahi, around 15 kilometres away from Miranshah. The compound was established in the house of Shaheedullah Dawar, a local tribesman. Various portions of the compound were razed to the ground while four of the occupants were killed and several others injured. The damaged compound caught fire after the attack, delaying rescue activities. The militants from surrounding areas rushed to the site later and moved the dead and injured to an unidentified place. The identity of those killed and injured could not be ascertained, but local tribesmen said they included foreigners. It was the third US drone strike in Waziristan region in the last few days that have so far claimed a dozen lives.
Drone victims’ relatives protest in Miranshah MIRANsHAH: Relatives of the US drone attacks victims held a protest demonstration in front of the Miranshah Press Club against non inclusion of their names for payment of compensation money. A protester, Ishqur Rehman, told media persons that his mother lost her life and eight children of the family sustained injuries in a drone attack at Ghundi Killay on October 24 that completely destroyed their house. He further said the political administration of North Waziristan Agency and the Pakistan Army did not include their names in the list of those receiving compensation which is an insult to their injury. He demanded the president, chief justice of Pakistan, Army chief, Peshawar corps commander and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa governor to take notice of the miseries of the drone victims and ensure provision of compensation money to them. inP
Italian diplomats form nexus with travel agents Around 600 visas for european countries have been issued against 700 applications in october 2012 alone g
KARACHI aFTab CHanna
NTELLIGENCE gathered by the agencies from the Italian embassy has revealed that few blueeyed travel agents of the federal capital and Punjab province were being granted visas for the European countries which has broken all the records of visa issuance from the country, Pakistan Today has learnt. In October 2012 only, around 600 visas European countries have issued against 700 applications However, when contacted a senior official at the Italian Embassy at Islamabad, he rejected the allegations saying that the embassy was not working with the private travel agents. The revelation is the continuity of the country’s law enforcement agencies who are keeping a vigil on the activities of diplomats particularly the Italian ones. Recently, the agencies had pointed out the alleged involvement of Italian diplomats in human trafficking and forwarded a detailed report to the senior authorities for further action. According to details, the head of
commercial section in Italian Embassy and the deputy head in the same section are allegedly involved in such illegal activities. The said officials are working in commercial section of the Italian embassy in Islamabad, however, they have the authority to process all the business visa applications in addition. Moreover, the head of the same section had been appointed as the acting head of the visa section on several occasions when he actually issued hundreds of visas abusing his powers. The Italian agency has also reportedly taken up this matter at their end and investigating the matter seriously. On the other side, the law enforcement agencies in Pakistan have compiled a complete report on this issue and submitted it for perusal of the higher authorities, insiders told this scribe. In the said report, the LEAs had also raised previous findings regarding another Italian diplomat Fabrizio Vignanelli serving as the head of the visa section, who was actually appointed in the Consular Section. However, the mission changed his cadre internally violating the Pakistani visa rules and
appointed him as the head of the visa section despite the fact that security clearance for the said diplomat has been given to serve in the consular section, the sources added. Vignanelli also reportedly came under investigation over some rigorous allegations during his previous posting in Karachi. It is also learnt that several lawmakers have recorded their reservations once again within the parliamentary forums and raised their serious apprehensions after the shocking revelations against the said Italian diplomats, the sources added. The matter pertaining to Fabrizio Vignanelli has already been discussed in the Parliament and debated in the defense committee meetings few months back. However, once again the Italian diplomats are reportedly involved in illegal activities as the agencies were closely monitoring the alleged diplomats and a final report has been submitted to the high-ups in this matter. After the matter was reported in the national media, the Italian embassy transferred the diplomat from Pakistan and a new diplomat namely Ubaldo Ciaviglioli was appointed, they said.
PAC chairman rejects TI report on rising corruption IsLAMABAd: Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) leader and NA Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Chairman Nadeem Afzal Chan on Thursday rejected the Transparency International’s annual report on corruption in Pakistan, saying it was based on twisted facts. The TI on Wednesday issued an annual report on corruption in 2012, raising Pakistan’s rank from 42nd to 33rd. The 2012 index ranks 176 countries by their perceived levels of public sector corruption. The index assigns scores of between one and 100, one being highly corrupt and 100 indicating no corruption. The global civil society organisation expressed concern over the growing corruption in the country saying that corruption of Rs 12,600 billion was reported in various sectors of Pakistan during the last five years. While chairing a PAC meeting in Islamabad, Chan said he challenged TI that the report was not prepared in good faith. “We have recovered millions of rupees and the state institutions are working hard to recover money from others,” he said. He added that the situation in the country was improving each passing day. inP
Friday, 7 December, 2012
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CJCSC General FAFEN sees weak Wynne visits No evidence of Afghan arrangements in by-polls France ISLAMABAD OnlinE
The Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) in its preliminary report has observed that an inadequate and weak enforcement of election day procedures were seen in the by-elections held in Sindh and Punjab on December 5. The FAFEN report said an unusual turnout, incidents of violence, violation of code of conduct, suspicious voting patterns and pressure from police inside the polling stations reflected the weak arrangements made during the by-election. The report said the ECP
Will Obama's illegal-immigrant uncle stay in the US?
appeared highly effective in Bannu by-elections held in August 2012, its enforcement appeared to be challenged particularly in Punjab’s by-elections where district government officials, as well as police, were more active than they were required to be and present where they should not be. The report said the presence of police influenced at least 638 of 746 (85 percent) polling stations in by-elections in Punjab. The report added that the ECP was yet to release the official results and FAFEN observation established an unusually high turnout in five
Wattoo accuses Punjab govt of rigging by-polls LAHoRe
inP/ MOniTORinG DEsk
After being ordered to leave the United States 20 years ago, Onyango Obama, the Kenyan-born half-brother of President Obama's father, has been granted a new deportation hearing and now has a second chance to stay in the country, according to a report by the Atlantic Wire. "Last week, the Board of Immigration Appeals granted Onyango Obama’s request to reopen his immigration case based in part on his contention that his prior lawyer was ineffective, according to a government official with direct knowledge of the case," reports the Boston Globe's Maria Sacchetti, and on Tuesday an appeals board ordered a review of his case. "The Board of Immigration Appeals has sent Obama’s case to the Executive Office for Immigration Review for reassessment," reported the AP, gleaning information from US Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman Brian Hale. Sacchetti pointed out that this was not the first Obama to face deportation.
Pakistan People’s Party’s (PPP) Punjab President Manzoor Wattoo on Thursady accused the Punjab government of rigging the December 5 by-elections, asking the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to investigate the matter. Addressing a press conference along with Provincial Secretary General Tanwir Ashraf Kaira, Wattoo rejected the results of the by-elections and insisted that the PPP would form the next government in Punjab. He said the administration, with the help
Friday, 7 December, 2012
of the seven by-elections held in Punjab. The unusually high turnouts were only corroborated by suspicious voting patterns that were recorded in a sizeable number of polling stations in these constituencies, indicating the possibility that genuine voters may not had cast their votes, the reports stated. The FAFEN observed that the female turnout was much higher than male turnout in three constituencies, PS-21, PP-133 and PP-226. Although in most cases the difference was not significant, females turned up in lower numbers than men in other constituencies, it added.
of the police, education department and patwaris used threats to gain more votes. He said the apex court should take notice of the rigging in Punjab, just like it did in the Waheeda Shah slapping incident in Sindh. Wattoo alleged that the Punjab government had ignored the federal government’s request to appoint Pakistan Rangers to administer the by-polls, adding that PPP candidates were given threats through police. Another reason for the victory of the PML-N was that the seats were vacated by the PML-N candidates and the PPP candidates did not take the elections seriously, Wattoo said.
MQM for new delimitation of constituencies in entire country KARACHI: Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leader Farooq Sattar has reiterated that the new delimitation of constituencies of Karachi should be carried out in the entire country. Talking to a private TV channel on Thursday, Sattar said the issue of voter lists existed in every part of the country therefore, “delimitation should be carried out across the country”. “Delimitations of constituencies Karachi on the basis of complaints from any single party are not fair,” he said. Sattar said differences and reservations of the MQM were based on principles. He hoped that the ECP would redress their grievances. The MQM leader added that the decision of the Supreme Court pertaining to delimitation of Karachi is being reviewed, adding MQM wants real democracy in the country where rule of law and constitution is followed. inP
refugees’ involvement in militancy: UNHCR ISLAMABAD anwER abbas
ISLAMABAD sTaFF REPORT
Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC) General Khalid Shameem Wynne, who is on an official visit to France, on Thursday called on Admiral Edouard Guilaud, the French chief of defence. On his arrival, the CJCSC was presented guard of honour by a smartly turned out contingent of the French Army. "General Wynne also met Francis Deion, secretary general of defence and national security and General Puga, adviser to president on defence," according to an ISPR statement issued here. Later, the CJCSC delivered a talk at the French War College on Pakistan’s security perspective.
Dr Imran murder case: UK police conduct raid MonItoRIng DeSK In an important development in Dr Imran Farooq murder case, the Scotland Yard conducted a raid at a business address on Edgware Road, a private TV channel reported on Thursday. According to sources, the UK police searched an office and also carried out interrogation, however, no arrests were made. Police officials said they were committed to unearthing Farooq’s murderers. “A police team tasked with the arrest of the assassins is constantly at work,” they added. The MQM leader was stabbed to death by an unidentified assailant outside his house in central London on September 16, 2010.
HE UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR on Thursday said it had no evidence to support the fact that the remaining 1.65 million registered Afghan refugees had been involved in any militancy or drug trafficking. Addressing a joint press conference along with Minister for State and Frontier Regions Shaukatullah Khan, UNHCR Country Representative Neill Wright said the ongoing returns were the largest voluntary repatriation operation anywhere in the world. He said from 2002 to 2012 the UNHCR Pakistan had facilitated voluntary repatriation of 3.8 million refugees. “In 2012, the UNHCR Pakistan has so far assisted 71,841 persons to return to Afghanistan,” he added. He said voluntary repatriation remained the preferred solution for refugees worldwide, adding that most Afghan refugees voluntarily repatriated to Afghanistan
when they believed it was safe to return to their home country. However, he pointed out that the 1.65 million Afghan refugees remaining in Pakistan were a residual caseload experiencing challenges to their prospects for return. He said as many as 1,807 families, comprising 9,793 individuals, had repatriated since the beginning of the Voluntary Repatriation “Surge” operations on October 23, which was more than double the figure during the equivalent period in 2011. To a question, the UNHCR country’s representative said the agency had no evidence to support that any registered Afghan refugee was involved in the ongoing militancy in the country as well as drug trafficking. To another question, he said the government had never deported any refugee forcefully. Referring to the Population Profiling, Vetting and Response (or PPVR) project, he said the data collection began late in 2010 and continued in 2011 in 20 districts of Pakistan, cover-
ing around 65 percent of the entire Afghan population, over 135,000 households, or nearly 1 million Afghans. “We now have extremely detailed comprehensive PPVR data on socio-economic issues such as health, education, housing, water and sanitation, livelihood, skills and remittances; on migration patterns (including the year of arrival, and the intention to return to Afghanistan); on investor potential and other protection needs,” he added. In addition, he said the UNHCR also had information on the opportunities and skills that the refugee population in Pakistan would bring to their home country of Afghanistan when they do decide to return. He emphasised that the government policy-makers need this clear profile of the refugees to manage the solution-finding process. “UN agencies, humanitarian and development partners, and NGOs, need this profile to best address the needs of the current 1.65 million refugees still in Pakistan,” he added.
Rs 17b lost by reducing age limit of imported cars, PAC told ISLAMABAD anwER abbas
Taking serious notice of the reduction in age limit for importing reconditioned vehicles, the Public Accounts Committee on Thursday called the move an open violation of its decision regarding import of reconditioned vehicles that were five years old. Federal Board of Revenue Secretary Israr Rauf told the body that reducing the age limit of reconditioned vehicles for import resulted in revenue loss of Rs 17 billion. Committee Chairman Nadeem Afzal Gondal condemned the recent report issued by Transparency
International and challenged it to debate the particular report in the sitting of PAC. While reviewing the audit objections and paras in connection with the Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC), committee directed the department concerned to ensure recovery of all loans from the government officers, or else block their Computerized National Identity Cards. Committee member Saeed Zafar raised a point that a sub-committee of Public Accounts Committee had earlier recommended extending the age time of recondition vehicles from three years to five years in connection with their import, however, the sug-
gestion was violated by again reducing the age limit from five years to three years. He demanded fixing responsibility on those who violated the directions issued by the PAC. FBR Secretary Israr Rauf said the NA standing committee on finance was taking up the issue and was in process of reviewing the matter. He was of the view that the Ministry for Industries took approval from the federal cabinet for the current decision, however, local auto industry had not achieved the position of a manufacturing. PAC directed the officials concerned to summon a joint sitting of the public accounts body and finance body to review the issue jointly.
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Friday, 7 December, 2012
All parking systems to be automated soon n
Cameraman sues Punjab govt over non-payment of compensation money LAHoRe sTaFF REPORT
Over 64 sites identified LAHoRe walEED MalHi
The parking systems across the city will be upgraded to an automated parking system, Pakistan Today learnt on Thursday. Organising the parking system along modern lines, 64 sites would be upgraded by the City District Government Lahore (CDGL). A Le Park official told Pakistan Today that according to a recent survey, there were over 1.8 million vehicles in the city and the parking spaces were not enough to accommodate them. FasiudDin, a human resource manager at Le Park said work on 30 of 64 identified sites was already underway. The new parking system would include hand terminals and barriers to ensure smooth and safe parking, he said, adding that the parking fee would remain unchanged. He said the Punjab government had paid Rs 10 million for this project. The news was welcomed by commuters across the city. Ali, a frequent traveller of the city, said parking was among the biggest concerns for commuters. “This is a wonderful initiative by the government,” he added. Ahsan Raza, another commuter, said if such a system was properly implemented, it would solve a lot of parking problems and traffic congestion in the city. Usman Khalid, a driver, said, “Liberty market parking system is a good example of why such an initiative is urgently needed. I am not satisfied with how everything is working manually. This new system can bring a lot of positive changes if it is done without any corruption.”
laHORE: stallholders have blocked the stairs of a pedestrians bridge outside Cia kotwali Police station. OnLIne
Country’s crisis to deepen if Zardari stays in power: CM LAHoRe sTaFF REPORT
Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif on Thursday said that the crisis in the country would deepen if President Asif Ali Zardari and his party would remain in power. Talking to members of the provincial assembly from different districts, Shahbaz said that the rulers were stealing n a t i o n a l
wealth and they had dragged the country in a cesspool of corruption. He said that Transparency International report had revealed the corruption and bad governance of current Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) led coalition government. The CM said that Pakistan was a nuclear power which had been made to bow down before other countries, adding that current corrupt government had once taken the begging bowl to meet its needs. The CM said that country was seeking foreign aid only because of failed economic policies of PPP-led government.
A private TV cameraman on Thursday moved a petition in the Lahore High Court (LHC) against non-payment of compensation announced by the Punjab government. The petitioner, Aftab Shah, in his petition, said that he was seriously injured when a decorative gate fall on him at Qaddafi Stadium on March 4 during a marathon race. However, the Punjab government admitted its mistake and had announced a compensation of Rs 1,000,000. He said Sports Directorate had written a letter to Bank of Punjab for the purpose but until now compensation had not been paid despite the fact that many applications were forwarded to bank in this regard. He pleaded the court to issue directions for the payment of compensation.
Over 123 houses caught stealing electricity LAHoRe sTaFF REPORT
LESCO Chief Executive Muhammad Saleem on Thursday said that over 123 houses were caught stealing electricity worth millions. According to details, in a crackdown against electricity stealing, officials raided and caught many houses using electricity illegally. It was found that over 400,000 electricity units were stolen in Fiazpura sub-division and 250,000 units were stolen in Badiyan Road sub-division. Officials recovered the meters for further investigation.
Hospital services suspended as paramedics go on strike
Patients continue to suﬀer LAHoRe sTaFF REPORT
The paramedics of government hospitals across Punjab province on Thursday continued their
protest strike for the second consecutive day in favour of their demands. According to details, paramedical staffs of government-run hospitals in Lahore, Faisalabad, Vehari, Lodhran, Bahawalpur, Multan, Gujranwala, Jhang and other cities of Punjab were on strike over non-implemention of service structure. The protest-
ing paramedics threatened to stop services in emergency as well during next phase of their protest if their demands were not fulfilled on priority basis. Meanwhile, patients and attendants at various hospitals of the province had to face hardships due to the strike. Hundreds of operations were cancelled at Nishtar Hospital Multan, Institute of Cardiology,
Civil Hospital, Allied Hospital Faisalabad, Victoria Hospital Bahawalpur, districts hospitals of Vehari, Lodhran, Gujranwala, Jhang and other hospitals due to non-availability of paramedical staff. The patients and their attendants demanded of the provincial government resolve the issue immediately.
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Helmet for all campaign launched LAHoRe sTaFF REPORT
COnFliCT OF inTEREsT: a police officer bickers with a traffic warden over a free helmet that was distributed on Thursday. InP
‘Kite-makers need to eat too’ LAHoRe sTaFF REPORT
HomeNet Pakistan on Thursday held an awareness meeting to highlight the need for government arrangements for the livelihood of female kite-makers. At the meeting, they said that it was imperative to support the kite-making sector as it had the potential of becoming a major export industry of Pakistan. To highlight the issues of kite-makers, the speakers said that there was a need to impart alternative skills to kite-makers. They also demanded for alternate skills and business training for people in this sector. South Asia Partnership Director Irfan Muftisaid that these workers needed to organise themselves in a group, an organisation or union to have demands addressed. He further said that government should acknowledge this as an industry with potential for export.
Partly cloudy weather forecast for today LAHoRe
Capital City Police Officer Aslam Tareen launched a campaign Helmet for All at the Assembly Hall chowk here on Thursday. On this occasion he distributed free helmets among motorcyclists to create awareness about road safety. He directed officers of city traffic police to make their best efforts for road safety. He said strict action would be taken against motorcyclists without helmets.
Nawaz must be investigated in Asghar Khan case: PTI LAHoRe sTaFF REPORT
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Information Secretary Shafqat Mahmood asked the government on Thursday to implement the Supreme Court’s judgement in the Asghar Khan case and direct the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to investigate all politicians accused of receiving money for the 1990 poll fraud. Reacting to the Pakistan Peoples Party’s (PPP) senior leader Khurshid Shah’s admission that the government would not investigate Nawaz Sharif in the case, Shafqat said the cat was out of the bag and the secret alliance between the PPP and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) had been fully exposed. Khurshid had told media on Wednesday that the government did not plan on holding an inquiry into the allegations that Nawaz had received money from intelligence agencies in 1990, as ordered by the Supreme Court. He also said that the case had now been buried.
PTI to arrange training workshop for party elections LAHoRE: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on Thursday decided to arrange a training workshop for party elections on December 9 and said that a workers’ convention would be held on December 25 at Mochi Gate. According to a press release, senior party leader Mahmoodur Rasheed said that all the aspiring candidates would be given training for the election and special meetings at union council level would also be arranged. He said PTI would contest in the upcoming general elections and continue its efforts for the betterment of the country. sTaFF REPORT Shafqat added that the Supreme Court had issued clear directives that all politicians involved in receiving money from the ISI, to rig the 1990 elections, should be investigated by the FIA. He said the expose by Khurshid was nothing new for the PTI workers, as Imran Khan had already told people that the leadership of both political parties was hand in glove, and they had no intentions of exposing each other’s misdeeds.
“Both parties have been covering up each other’s misdeeds,” he added. He said that it was pity that the PPP, who had blamed Nawaz for receiving money from the ISI to rig the 1990 polls, was now covering up PML-N’s malpractices. The PTI leader said the people would never allow these politicians to scratch another’s backs and if no action was taken against the politicians involved then the PTI would decide its future strategy accordingly.
The local meteorological office on Thursday forecasted partly cloudy weather with mist in the morning for the provincial capital in the next 24 hours. Weather experts said that cold and dry weather was expected over most parts of the country. Thunderstorm and rain was likely to occur at one or two places of Malakand, Hazara, Zhob, Quetta divisions, Gilgil-Baltistan and Kashmir, they said.
Friday, 7 December, 2012
Criminals busted LAHoRe sTaFF REPORT
The police on Thursday arrested criminals from various parts of the city. According to details, the police arrested two members of Mumtaz Arshad car-lifting gang from Civil Lines and recovered five cars, motorbikes, mo-
bile phones and weapons from their possession. Police sources said that mastermind of the gang was released from prison a few days ago. In another incident, Bhatti Gate Police arrested six pick-pockets from the Imran Khan gang. The police recovered weapons, mobile phones and thousands of rupees from their possession. Separately, robbery incident occurred in the shop Mian Mobile Shop in the area of Nawab Town. According to reports, robbers entered the shop and took dozens of mobile phones, Rs 150,000 in case, calling cards worth Rs 200,000 at gunpoint and fled from the scene.
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LHC adjourns plea for local government elections LAHoRE: Lahore High Court Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial on Thursday adjourned the hearing of petitions for local government elections in Punjab till January 22. The CJ was hearing petitions filed by Asghar Shah and others. The petitioner’s counsel referring to a Sindh High Court judgment asked the court to issue directions for holding local government elections. However, the chief justice directed the counsel to make further submissions on the issue and adjourned the matter till January 22. The petitioners, in their petitions, said that provincial government was bound to hold local government elections as per the constitution but it was delaying local elections which was a violation of the constitution. sTaFF REPORT
2 more caught stealing BRTS iron LAHoRE: Special squad on Thursday arrested two thieves and recovered 80 kilogrammes of iron on the route of Metro Bus Service. The police said that the accused had loaded the iron on a cart and were on their way to Ferozepur Road when the officials caught them. The accused, Abid and Nazim, were handed over to the concerned authorities and a case was registered against them. During the preliminary investigations, the criminals confessed to their crime. sTaFF REPORT
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AKISTAN has made this year in wiping out polio. There are signs that one type of poliovirus is gone and transmission of other strains seems to be slowing, according to a report in the NPR. But a recent outbreak of polio there has health officials concerned about the overall effectiveness of the effort to eliminate polio in that country. The World Health Organisation says 10 cases of so-called were reported in Pakistan between the end of August and the end of October. What’s that? The oral polio vaccine contains a weakened version of the virus. In very rare instances — and when a population is not well immunised — the weakened virus can circulate in the community, mutate and infect unvaccinated people, causing paralysis. This is known as a vaccine-derived polio. One of the big problems in the polio eradication campaign is that the cheapest, easiest to use vaccine — the oral polio vaccine — has a small risk of causing polio. An outbreak in a remote area of Pakistan which has health officials appears due to this cause. Many experts say it is now time, with the numbers of polio cases as low as they’ve ever been, to shift to using only the
injectable vaccine. It will cost more and require trained health workers but the success of this campaign to wipe out polio may depend upon it now. Fully immunised kids are protected against both vaccine-derived and wild polio. So the problem isn’t so much with the vaccine as it is with gaps in immunization. This is the first time that vaccine-derived polio has been detected in Pakistan. The cases appeared in the north of the province near the Afghan border. WHO officials say the outbreak, involving a variety of the virus called type 2 polio, illustrates that vaccination campaigns in the area are failing to reach sufficient numbers of people. Wild strains of type 2 polio were eradicated globally in 1999. However, a new strain of vaccine-derived polio emerged because the vaccine continued to contain the old type 2 viruses and it managed to spread to people who weren’t adequately immunised against it. Vaccine-derived type 2 polio can spread in the environment in the same way as the more common type 1 or type 3. It has the same paralyzing effects on infected people as other forms of the disease. Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria are the only countries in the world where polio remains endemic. The government of Pakistan launched
an aggressive campaign this year, in partnership with international health organizations, to and carefully monitor the virus’s spread. A previously unknown strain of polio found in two districts of Pakistan’s Balochistan province prompted recent requests to launch a polio vaccination campaign within 30 days. Health officials reported 10 new cases of Sabin-like type 2 poliovirus in the Qilla Abdullah and Pishin districts. The outbreak is made more troubling by the presence of groups in the area that are against the anti-polio movement, The districts are frequented by people from the troubled areas of Fata,” Zohra Yusuf, the chairperson of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, said. “The situation is grim because of refusal by parents to get their children vaccinated against the crippling disease as the areas are under the influence of extremist groups opposed to the anti-polio drive. The extremists belonging to Lashkar-i-Jhangvi and Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan have established their cells in Balochistan and warn people against vaccination of their children.” Yusuf said an HRCP visited the two districts in May and found that people coming from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and other tribal areas likely brought the virus with them.
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DAte: MArCh 31 to DeCeMBer 29, 2012 veNue: hASt-o-NeeSt CeNtre, lAhore hast-o-Neest Centre for traditional Art & Culture Invites you to its Monthly Saturday Sitting with Janab Ahmed Javed Sahib (Director, Iqbal Academy Pakistan) on 100 Ghazals of Maulana rumi 3:30 to 5:00 pm, last Saturday of every month
DAte: APrIl 01 to DeCeMBer 30, 2012 veNue: FAIZ GhAr, lAhore A unique blend of Yoga, Meditation, Neuro-linguistic Programming, Sufism & more. Achieve self-insight, mind-body harmony & better health. Yoga Master Shamshad haider
DAte: Nov 22 - DeC 10, 2012 veNue: lAhore MuSeuM An exhibition honouring the College of Art and Design, university of the Punjab, and covering landscapes, cityscapes and other related conceptual paintings.
Friday, 7 December, 2012
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US, NATO behind 'insecurity' in Afghanistan: Karzai KABuL inP
FGHAN President Hamid Karzai severely criticised the United States (US) in an exclusive interview with NBC News on Thursday, blaming US and NATO forces for some of the growing insecurity in his country. “Part of the insecurity is coming to us from the structures that NATO
and America created in Afghanistan,” Karzai said during a one-on-one interview at the presidential palace. However, he also acknowledged that much of the country's violence was caused by insurgent groups. The Taliban are regaining land and power they lost after they were toppled by US-backed forces in 2001. Meanwhile, Karzai has gone from being a favourite of Washington under the presidency of George W Bush, to a thorn in the White House's side with his criticism of American night raids and mounting civilian casualties at the hands of NATO troops. Many in Washington have also grown weary of Karzai, viewing him as ineffective and presiding over a deeply corrupt government. Karzai, who is serving his second five-year term, also said that he had sent a letter to President Barack Obama saying that Afghanistan would not sign any new security agreements with the US until hundreds of prisoners held
in US custody were transferred to Afghan authorities. His criticism of the US, Afghanistan's most important ally, has come after the start of complex bilateral talks on a security pact on the role the US would play after most of its troops are withdrawn by the end of 2014. Karzai said the inmates in American detention in Afghanistan were being held in breach of an agreement he and Obama had signed in March and the inmates must be handed over immediately. “We signed the strategic partnership agreement with the expectation and the hope that the nature of the United States’ activities in Afghanistan will change,” Karzai said. But American behavior had not changed, he said, adding that terrorism would not be defeated “by attacking Afghan villages and Afghan homes”. The dispute between the two countries centers on Bagram Air Base and a nearby detention facility, which have long been seen as
PhIlIPPINes: Toys are left to dry out among the wreckage caused by typhoon Bopha in Compostela Valley. AGenCIeS
Deadly earthquake hits eastern Iran TEHRAN: Iran’s Fars news agency said people ran out of their homes after the tremor struck the district of Zahan, in South Khorasan province, on Wednesday. Walls and buildings collapsed, and several people were left trapped under the rubble. “Eight people have been killed in the earthquake area and one person is missing. Unfortunately a number of those injured have lost their lives in the last few hours,” Mehr news agency quoted South Khorasan’s crisis management director Mohammad Ali Akhundi as saying. “Homes have sustained damage and people are out in public places and they need the means to keep themselves warm because of the cold,” he said. Officials said the death toll could rise as rescuers reached the affected areas. Two villages appeared to have sustained the worst of the damage including the village of Sharaj where five people were killed, Mehr news agency quoted district governor Farhad Falahati as saying. “We have what we need to help but landslides especially on the route to Sharaj have stopped the relief supplies from getting there,” he said. Five villages were “destroyed or damaged” in the earthquake, Mohammad Ali Akhoundi, head of the South Khorasan provincial crisis management service, told state media. At least 12 aftershocks have been registered since the quake struck at 20:38 local time (17:08 GMT), the Iranian Seismological Centre reported. Iran is situated on major fault lines and has suffered several devastating earthquakes in recent years, including a 6.6 magnitude quake in 2003 which flattened the southeastern city of Bam and killed more than 25,000 people. In August, more than 300 people were killed when two earthquakes struck in the northwest. aGEnCiEs
Afghan intelligence chief hurt in Kabul bombing
PhiliPPiNe TyPhooN BoPha deaTh Toll Passes 300 MAnILA aGEnCiEs
KABUL: The head of Afghanistan’s intelligence service has been wounded in a suspected suicide bombing in Kabul, interior ministry officials said. They said that Asadullah Khalid was injured in the lower part of his body when the bomb exploded. The explosion took place in the Taymeni area of central Kabul. The Taliban said it carried out the attack. An intelligence official said that the attack took place in one of many guesthouses owned by Mr Khalid. Another intelligence official told the BBC that Mr Khalid was “safe” but did not elaborate on his condition. However, a Western diplomat told the AFP news agency that he had been seriously wounded. Afghan officials also told AFP that he was now in hospital receiving blood transfusions. The attack is similar to a suicide bombing in September 2011 that killed the chairman of the Afghan High Peace Council, Burhanuddin Rabbani, officials say. Mr Rabbani was killed at his home by a suicide attacker carrying a bomb believed to have been concealed in his turban. He was meeting members of the Taliban at the time. aGEnCiEs
More than 300 people have died and hundreds more are missing in the wake of Typhoon Bopha, which cut a swathe of devastation across the southern Philippines. The Civil Defence Office said at least 325 people were confirmed dead and another 379 missing. People were killed in eight provinces but eastern Mindanao was worst-hit. In Compostela Valley province alone at least 184 people died, many when flash floods hit emergency shelters. “We have 325 dead and this is expected to rise because many more are missing,” civil defence chief Benito Ramos told a news conference early on Thursday. “Communications are bogged down, there is no electricity, roads and bridges have been destroyed,” he said. “We’re still on a search-and-rescue mode.” The storm struck Mindanao island on Tuesday, bringing very high winds and heavy rain.
Roofs were blown off houses and the rain led to both landslides and flooding. Tens of thousands of people were moved to shelters ahead of the typhoon, but in one town in Compostela Valley the shelters themselves were swept away by flash floods. “According to [survivors], there is a small lake on the mountain that gave way so the waters flowed down, not just along the rivers... but all across, like a waterfall, bringing a slurry that covered the whole town,” Interior Secretary Mar Roxas said. Rescue teams are still working to reach communities in some isolated areas. One injured man was found alive in a river in New Bataan on Thursday morning. Carlos Agang said he had been swept away when flash floods hit his home, ending up pinned down by boulders and debris downstream. He said he did not know where his wife and children were. “I was shouting for help all the time, but no one came. I don’t know what happened to [my family]. Perhaps they are all dead,” Mr Agang told AFP news agency.
Merkel meets Netanyahu amid tense relations BeRLIn aGEnCiEs
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has been holding tense talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel as plans to build thousands of new settler homes on occupied Palestinian land strained ties with key allies. On a visit that risks being overshadowed by the diplomatic storm, Netanyahu joined Merkel for a meeting on Thursday morning after they had a dinner late on Wednesday, together with most of their cabinet ministers. The Israeli leader arrived from Prague where he had singled out the Czech Republic
Friday, 7 December, 2012
a symbol of American impunity and disrespect by many Afghans. “I have written to President Obama that the Afghan people will not allow its government to enter into a security agreement, while the US continues to violate Afghan sovereignty and result in Afghan loss,” he said. During the interview, Karzai also said that he did not think al Qaeda “has a presence in Afghanistan”. He added he was not sure if al Qaeda existed as an organisation in the manner it was being talked about. The US led the invasion in the wake of the 9/11 attacks to topple the Taliban, which was harboring al Qaeda and its thenleader, Osama bin Laden. While weakened, especially after the death of bin Laden at the hands of US special forces in Pakistan in 2011, al Qaeda is still thought to have strong links with the Taliban and other Afghan insurgents.
for its “friendship and courage” as the only European state to have opposed a Palestinian status upgrade at the United Nations last week. Netanyahu’s first European visit since the UN vote came amid mounting international calls for Israel to drop plans to build 3,000 new settler homes in a highly contentious strip of the occupied West Bank near Jerusalem. He announced the move in reaction to the upgrading of Palestine to non-member observer state at the UN and has refused to go back on the decision despite strong international condemnation. German daily Die Welt on Thursday quoted Netanyahu as saying he was “dis-
appointed” that Berlin had abstained from voting at the UN despite reported pleas by Israel to reject the Palestinian resolution. “People are convinced that there is a special relationship between Germany and Israel,” he said. “I think Chancellor Merkel was of the opinion that this vote would in some way foster peace. In fact the opposite is the case: after the UN vote, the Palestinian Authority under president (Mahmoud) Abbas is making plans to join with the terrorists of Hamas.” France, Britain, Spain, the European Union, Denmark, Sweden, Australia and Egypt have all summoned the Israeli ambassadors to protest the plans, which also drew criticism from Russia and Japan.
Germany, long considered Israel’s closest ally in Europe with ties rooted in the country’s bid for atonement over the Nazi holocaust, stopped short of such a move. But Merkel sharply condemned the policy as potentially torpedoing hopes for peace and the viability of a Palestinian state. “Israel is undermining faith in its willingness to negotiate and the geographic space for a future Palestinian state, which must be the basis for a twostate solution, is disappearing,” her spokesman Steffen Seibert said this week. The new tensions came just days after Merkel had offered Israel full support for its military action in Gaza in response to repeated rocket fire.
Deadly clashes in lebanon’s tripoli BeIRut aGEnCiEs
At least six people have been killed and dozens injured over the past two days in clashes in Lebanon’s northern city of Tripoli between gunmen loyal to opposing sides in neighbouring Syria’s conflict, security officials have said. The fighting on Tuesday and Wednesday in the port city has pitted Sunni Muslim districts against areas housing Alawites, from the same religious community as Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The Lebanese army sent out patrols in areas separating the two sides. Tensions had been building since the reported killing last week of 21 Lebanese from Tripoli, and one Palestinian, in the town of Tal Kalakh in the central Syrian province of Homs near the border. They appeared to have joined fighters involved in a 21month-old revolt against Assad. Syrian state television had shown graphic footage apparently showing the dead men, riddled with bullet wounds and lying in the grass. Adnan Mansour, Lebanon’s foreign minister, asked the Syrian ambassador to hand over the bodies of the men after their families protested in Tripoli, demanding the Lebanese government return the corpses and determine the whereabouts of the missing. A diplomatic source in Lebanon told the AFP news agency that Damascus has agreed to repatriate the bodies. “The Syrian ambassador to Beirut, Ali Abdel Karim Ali, contacted Lebanese Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour and informed him that the Syrian authorities have agreed” to the Lebanese request, the source said. Officials from both sides were scheduled to meet on Wednesday to discuss the repatriation, the source, who wished to remain anonymous, added.
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News 09 Pakistan wants good neighbourly ties with India: Senate chairman neW DeLHI aGEnCiEs
PEsHawaR: Dr Fauzia siddiqui, sister of Pakistani scientist Dr aafia siddiqui, who is detained in the us, holds a protest demonstration on a donkey cart for her sister’s release. Former us Congresswoman sandhya Mic keni, and sara Flounders, co-director of the international action Center, also join the protest. InP
US cutting plans for large civilian presence post-2014 Afghanistan WASHIngton sPECial CORREsPOnDEnT
HE Obama administration has ordered significant cutbacks in initial plans for a robust US civilian presence in Afghanistan after US combat troops withdraw two years from now, The Washington Post reported citing US officials. “Learning from Iraq, where postwar ambitions proved unsustainable, the White House and top State Department officials are confronting whether the United States needs — and can protect — a large diplomatic compound in Kabul, four consulates around the country and other civilian outposts to oversee aid projects and monitor Afghanistan’s political pulse.” Planners were recently told to reduce personnel proposals by at least 20 percent, a senior administration official said. Projects once considered crucial are being divided into lists of those considered sustainable and those that will not be continued. “As we saw in the Iraq exercise, you need to be very tough on the numbers going in,” the official said. “We need to have enough civilians to achieve the goals we’ve laid out,” within “a finite amount of money we have to spend.” Officials declined to identify specific
projects that might end. But the inevitable decrease in eyes and ears across Afghanistan could threaten a range of longterm US investments and priorities, such as women’s rights, education, health care and infrastructure, the Post reported. The challenge of balancing the American civilian presence of what are now about 1,000 officials and thousands of contractors with reasonable resources goes beyond pocketbook and personnel issues, according to several senior officials, who discussed the planning on condition of anonymity because it is at an early stage. On one side of the simmering internal debate are fiscal constraints, diminished hopes for progress and national weariness with the Afghanistan effort. On the other side are formal US pledges of development support, moral and political commitments to a country where nearly 2,200 US troops have died and $590 billion has been spent, and fears Afghanistan could again become a terrorist haven. Looming over the debate is the determination to avoid a repeat of the September attack on a poorly defended US diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya, that killed a US ambassador and three other Americans. The report notes that as hard as Iraq has been, Afghanistan poses far more diffi-
cult security and logistical problems. There is little optimism that the war against the Taliban will be over before US combat troops leave or that Afghan security forces will prove an able substitute. “The problem with Afghanistan is, it’s not going to look like success,” James F. Jeffrey, who until September was US ambassador to Iraq, said in an interview. “It’s still going to be backward and totally corrupt, with not enough government infrastructure and a huge burning insurgency. This is terribly complicated and hard stuff under the best of circumstances, and these are the worst.” According to the Post, US diplomats and other civilian officials outside Kabul are housed at military at bases large and small. They depend on the military to protect and transport them, and provide medical care. They consume imported food and water brought in massive military convoys. The bases are disappearing, and plans for the Afghans to provide security leave many Americans nervous. Where Iraq has been kept afloat by oil revenue, Afghanistan depends on handouts. International donors have promised a post-2014 annual supplement of $4 billion for Afghan security forces and an equal amount in development and economic assistance. More than half of the $8 billion
NATO, Russia achieve milestone in training drug control oﬃcers DuSHAnBe OnlinE
NATO and Russia have passed a milestone in 2012 with the training of over 2,500 anti-narcotics officers from Central Asia, Afghanistan and Pakistan, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen told Silk Road Newsline. Rasmussen hailed the counter-narcotics efforts being made by the NATO-Russia Council (NRC) in Central Asia. “In the last one year, we have achieved a lot. We have passed a milestone with the training of over 2,500 counter-narcotics officers from Afghanistan, Central Asia and Pakistan,” said Rasmussen, who is also the chairman of NRC. The internalisation of criminal groups, new trends in drug trafficking, methods of concealment and the new technologies being used by criminals require cohesive efforts by law enforcement agencies in countries where these drugs originate and where they are
marketed. “Professional law enforcement personnel must be equipped with skills and expertise in different areas of drug enforcement in order to combat this,” said the NATO chief. Currently, more than 100 training courses are being conducted with a total of 2,500 officers receiving the training. The training is taking place at four training sites in Russia, Turkey and the United States as well as in mobile training workshops throughout the Central Asian region. According to NATO, the NRC Counter-Narcotics Training Project is a joint endeavor of several countries which are part of the NRC. These countries include Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Latvia, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Russia, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States. Non-NRC nations Finland and Ukraine and the beneficiaries Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Pakistan also took part in the project.
will come from the United States. Firm decisions on civilian numbers and locations cannot be made “until we resolve exactly what the military follow-on numbers are going to be,” one official said. “That will determine . . . where we locate, what kind of security, medical and other support we might be able to get.” The Kabul-headquartered US-led International Security Assistance Force is preparing recommendations for Obama on how fast to withdraw the 68,000 remaining US combat troops in Afghanistan. Plans for the follow-on military presence are being formulated in the Pentagon, where the largest of several preliminary options calls for about 10,000 troops, with several other NATO governments penciled in for several hundred each. Meanwhile, officials say the NATO allies are waiting to see what sort of agreement is reached between the Americans and the Afghans, and how many US troops will remain. Although the Afghan government has agreed to a long-term foreign military presence in principle, negotiations over the size and terms have just begun. The main sticking point is likely to be the issue that led to the breakdown with Iraq — whether US forces are immune from Afghan legal jurisdiction.
Senate Chairman Nayyer Hussain Bokhari emphasised that there existed a complete consensus in Pakistan to further neighborly relations with India. Bokhari, who is visiting India at the joint invitation of Rajya Sabha Chairman Mohammad Hamid Ansari and Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar expressed these views in a meeting with the Indian Vice President. Welcoming Bokhari, Indian Vice President Hamid Ansari stated that his visit would further strengthen relations between the two parliaments and the countries. In this context, he also mentioned the visits of the Lok Sabha Speaker to Pakistan in February and November this year, and the warm reception accorded to her. Ansari stated that besides the official dialogue, the two countries are now engaged in numerous Track-II initiatives between the civil society. Bokhari thanked Ansari for the warm hospitality extended to him and members of his delegation upon arrival in India. Highlighting that this was the first ever visit of a Senate Chairman to India, he conveyed the greetings and best wishes of the Pakistani leadership and people for the leadership and people of India.
‘Pakistan, turkey have unanimity of views on global issues’ AnKARA inP
Pakistan and Turkey have unanimity of views on global issues, Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs Chairman Senator Haji Muhammad Adeel said on Thursday. A parliamentary delegation from Pakistan, led by the chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan met Foreign Affairs Commission of Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA) Chairman Volkan Bozkir. The Pakistani delegation included senators Muzafar Hussain Shah, Abdul Ghafoor Haideri, Sehar Kamran and Amjad Pervez, secretary of the committee. Adeel said his delegation had noticed visible progress in Turkey in sectors such as health, education, housing and social security. “This clearly demonstrates the welfare-state oriented policies of the present government,” he said. Volkan said Turkey supported the rights of the oppressed people. He renewed support for recognising the legitimate rights of the people of Kashmir and stressed on the need to respect human rights.
Plan for Britain’s Biggest Mosque rejected LonDon sTaFF REPORT
The plan to build Britain's biggest mosque in east London has been rejected by London’s Newham Council. The Talighi Jamaat’s plan to build the country’s biggest mosque in Stradford, east London is in tatters after the council members denied permission to the proposed project. The projected Abbey Mills Mosque also known as the Riverine Centre would have become the biggest Islamic centre in the UK and one of the largest in Western Europe. The new plan included a main prayer hall for almost 7,500 men, a separate facility for 2,000 women, along with a library, a dining hall, and visitors’ centre, eight flats for imams and guests, and tennis courts. According to the UK’s census of 2011, the majority of London’s Muslims are living in the east of London with around 40percent of the population
of Newham Borough Council are Muslims from the subcontinent and African countries The Islamic missionary movement Tablighi Jamaat has been trying for 10 years to build a large mosque in Newham, claiming they needed the site to accommodate their growing number of followers. They currently use part of the 17-acre Abbey Mills site to house the London Markaz, also referred to as Masjid-e-Ilyas, a temporary hub which can host 2,500 people. The Newham Borough Council’s committee for Regeneration and Strategic Planning voted against the plan. Councilor Conor McAuley said the plan was rejected on the grounds that the proposed mosque building is too big and would have an impact on important historic buildings nearby. He also said that the proposed land is designated for mixed commercial and residential use, there was not enough consideration for transport and it would not have led to more jobs and homes.
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10 Comment Dedicated to the legacy of the late Hameed Nizami
First defeat Politics trounces calculations
Editor Lahore – Ph: 042-36375963-5 Fax: 042-32535230 Karachi – Ph: 021-35381208-9 Fax: 021-35381208 Islamabad – Ph: 051-2287414-6 Fax: 051-2287417 Web: www.pakistantoday.com.pk Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
A disappointing step walk the talk is what india wants Pakistan to do
ne Indian official after another has been rubbing the point: punish those responsible for Mumbai attacks to improve the ties. In Pakistan a number of suspects were arrested soon after the attacks. Prosecution, however, requires sufficient evidence. Collecting evidence is a painstaking exercise requiring a high level of professionalism. The next stage requires preparing a foolproof case. The legal machinery moves slowly. But aren’t four years enough to put the act together? Finally, five police officers have produced before the court the CID reports about the main suspect’s involvement in running the militants’ camps, including one imparting navigational training at Karachi. The accused are in a position to engage high profile lawyers who will make use of every loophole in the evidence for the benefit of their clients. This has happened too often in the past. If everybody was on board regarding improvement of relations with India, one expected a better and quicker investigation and preparation of the case. A number of Indian leaders have made it clear, again and again, that relations between the two countries cannot be upgraded till those responsible for Mumbai attacks are punished. For the Indian side, the issue is highly sensitive for obvious reasons. The visit by Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh would have contributed to the creation of a conducive environment needed to promote dialogue between the two neighbours. Its cancellation is a reminder that there is little possibility of any significant development on issues of major concern to both the countries until a more serious attempt is made to prosecute those responsible for the Mumbai terrorist attack. The people on both sides of the border are keen to develop friendly ties. They see mutual trade, which remains limited thanks to red tapeism on both sides, as beneficial for both countries. They want more steps to facilitate people to people contacts. The establishments in the two countries have, however, yet to fully overhaul their old mindsets. They are presumably still doubleminded between peace and war, as revealed in the Indian minister for external affairs’ recent interview on the right wing channel India TV. He has his counterparts on this side of the Wagah border also. The result: decisions are taken but signatures are delayed and implementation put off on one excuse or another. The Indian prime minister’s visit could have been instrumental in removing some of the hurdles that stand in the way of the improvement of ties. There is need on the part of establishments on both sides to promote peace so that both can bring down their defence expenditures, spending the much needed resources on education, health and social development.
By Aziz-ud-Din Ahmad
t was one against two in Punjab bye-elections this time. The PML-N single-handedly took on the PPP-Q League alliance, winning seven out of eight seats. The calculations made by the alliance proved to be baseless. The debacle was the result of the alliance’s defective strategy which was built around the simplistic notion that by combining the votes of the two parties, they could defeat the PM-N. It was agreed that the PPP or PML-Q’s winner of 2008 election would automatically become the joint candidate in a constituency. In constituencies where both parties were losers, the runner-up either of PPP or PML-Q was to be considered the legitimate claimant to the seat. The notion was based on two assumptions that the results of the polls have called to question. First, it was assumed that the level of popularity of the two parties in Punjab was either higher than 2008 or at least equal to it. Secondly, that the voters of the two parties would all vote for their joint candidate. The (mis)calculations have led to the catastrophic results for the alliance. The PPP has failed to win even a single seat in Punjab. The PML-Q too had to eat a humble pie. The later, however, fared better than the PPP as it managed to snatch a provincial seat in Narowal from the party ruling Punjab. In the rest of the constituencies it continued to lose by big margins. Claims made by the new PPP Punjab boss Manzoor Wattoo to give PMLN tough time turned out to be empty. A cursory look on the polls results makes unmistakably clear that many PPP and PML-Q voters failed to vote for their joint candidates or voted instead for the PML-N. This is by no
means altogether baseless. Till they joined hands nearly three years back, the two parties believed they had to settle blood feuds. While the higher leadership has brokered an understanding, middle ranking leaders and most of the workers in both the parties have not reconciled with the decision. They continue to nurse the grouse that was cultivated over the years. The results in some of the constituencies amply justify the conclusion. PPP’s provincial information secretary Raja Amir, who in 2008 elections had contested for the PP-122, Sialkot-II, had won 11,038 votes to end up as the runner-up. Omer Farooq Dar of the PML-Q had secured 9,961 votes at the time. Those issuing the tickets believed that with the synergy released by the alliance it would either lead to victory or a neck to neck race. Raja, however, managed to get only 5,1234 votes compared to his opponent who bagged 27,291. In Gujranwala as well, fewer votes were cast for the PPP than in 2008. Its candidate Lala Asad had secured 23,892 votes emerging as runner-up in the last elections. It was expected by the planners that he would also get the 6,019 votes cast for the Q League candidate in 2008 elections. This time his score declined to a mere 16,492. The setback of over 7,000 votes this time indicates that while many of his own party voters ignored him, he presumably could not get any of the votes polled previously by the PML-Q candidate. The PPP had won NA-162 Sahiwal in 2008. In fact, what it had won was an MNA but not the constituency. So when Zahid Iqbal resigned and decided to contest the bye-elections on a PML-N ticket, the PPP was left with no candidate to fight the elections. The party then decided to back a proPTI candidate. This was in line with the alliance’s policy decision to support the strongest candidate opposing the PML-N in a constituency where it could not put up its own candidates. The pro-PTI candidate, supported in accordance with direction, however failed to win the majority votes. Many voters of the alliance obviously lost interest in the polls and did not turn up at the booths. Even more telltale is the outcome of the polling is NA-107, Gujrat-IV,
where the joint nominee of the two parties lost the elections by a considerable margin. In 2008, PML-Q’s Ch Naseer Rehman had polled 69,101 votes while the PPP candidate had got 14,948. Their combined strength of over 84,000 votes was considered enough to defeat the PML-N whose candidate had then polled 75,202 votes. Naseer Rehman, however, could muster only 76,000 votes this time compared to PML-N nominee’s over 100,000 votes. The results indicate that instead of voting for the candidate, who is a PPP turncoat affiliated with PML-Q, many PPP voters , out of sheer frustration and anger, cast their votes for the PML-N nominee, thus providing the latter an unprecedented lead of over 24,000. It is easier to forgive an enemy than a renegade. No occasion for the PML-N to celebrate though. It has just managed to save its skin and no more. The party has, in fact, emerged worse off than in 2008. It lost one provincial seat to PML-F in bye-elections. It retained another by deciding to support an independent rather than launching its own nominee. The winner subsequently announced joining the PML-N. The PPP has suffered the disaster of its logic. People in the eyes of the Party’s leadership are not the real agents of change. They can be easily ignored be them in Punjab, Sindh, KP or Balochistan. Party workers are to be commanded, rather than listened to. What matters is wheeling and dealing and alliances that need not be principled. What is required to achieve power and to retain it is a policy of reconciliation with influential groups irrespective of the policy they follow, even if this amounts to a betrayal of the masses. The formula is simple: in general elections, an understanding with the PML-Q, MQM and ANP. Add to that what Punjab PPP Information Secretary Raja Amir told media early this month that if they “form an unannounced anti-PML-N alliance with the support of PTI and JI at local level in these constituencies” and everything will be honky dory. The alliance has met the first defeat on account of the strategy. What remains to be seen is if this is going to be the only one. The writer is a former academic and a political analyst.
Burnt to ashes smoking – the evil taken so casually
By Jehangir Iftikhar
moking is one of the curses which the adult human population faces every day. It is a slow death and smokers feed their suicidal instincts daily by puffing at a piece of paper with the death herb rolled in it. Smoking is one of the most documented and absolutely proved causes of premature deaths in the world. Yet smokers never pay heed to all the health warnings they witness all around them. What do cigarettes or cigars or hubble bubbles have in common that entice us to resort to these disease and death agents? One of the most celebrated sages of human psychology, Sigmund Frued, reduced smoking to being stuck in the oral stage of development. He argues that in-
Friday, 7 December, 2012
fants who failed to learn that their oral needs, read sucking, to feed and to live were not properly developed, and who from infancy were always insecure that they could die from not getting their mouths on life inducing goods, breathed a sigh of relief when their fears proved wrong. Stretching his argument to smokers perceiving cigarettes as safe agents would not be an exercise in futility nor would it amount to turning the science of psychology on its head. There are as many reasons for smoking as are the number of smokers alive on planet earth. Smoking is indeed a futile activity and smokers resort to inhaling carbon monoxide when they feel happy, sad, when they want to amplify their happy emotions, when they want to inhibit their not so happy emotions, when they want to inhibit their hunger, to celebrate a meal, to enjoy the scenery, to ponder over mathematical problems and also when they want to scribble with words on the phenomenon of smoking. There is not one positive externality of smoking and yet one could never run out of excuses for not smoking. An average cigarette of any make has around 4,000 toxic chemicals, with 460 carcinogenic chemicals and nicotine which is thought to be more addictive than heroine itself. The correlation of smoking with cardiac diseases, can-
cers of mouth, larynx, kidneys, throat and liver is no surprise for all exposed to cigarettes. The question that begs attention is why do we still smoke knowing that this is the subtlest form of poison? People biased towards smokers would allege that smokers are shortsighted people who can’t delay gratification. However, a research published by Kings College London last week, to gauge effects of smoking on human brain using a sample of 9,000, says that cigarettes are active ingredient of brain degeneration. The research says that cigarette smoke slowly erodes away rationality and memory and smokers don’t grasp this fact because their brain power to comprehend the fact diminishes every time they suck in on a smoke bomb. With every puff a smoker inhales carbon monoxide in his lungs and every pre-medical student of class X would second me for saying that carbon monoxide is more reactive than oxygen and severely limits oxygen absorption by blood from lungs until the body rallies against the brain, gets on autopilot and tries to regain lost ground. To gain lost ground, the human reflex mechanism which is again proven by science to be the spinal cord, not the brain, orders the heart to beat faster, increases the breathing rate and con-
sumes glucose in the body to regain energy lost when carbon monoxide forms a compound with hemoglobin in the red blood cells instead of oxygen. The result is a faster heart beat and a decreasing blood sugar level. Interestingly, our brain whose evolution into industrial urban centres is only a couple of centuries old and falls back to pre-historic times for decoding bodily instincts, does not believe in an accelerated heartbeat and nausea due to reducing sugar levels to be healthy signs even after a couple of hours of cigarette smoke. Compound this with the addictive property of nicotine and you have a recipe for a population with a bad oral hygiene, plummeting health and scenes of children falling prey to asthmatic attacks in closed quarters after inhaling secondhand smoke. Bringing into the equation smoker’s cough would scare the writer out of his wits. All brands available in the market are in fact the same chemically. The differences in prices are a genius of marketing with packs differentiating in colours and their respective brand ambassadors. Chain smokers would argue that they can tell the difference between the smokes of good vs bad tobacco but differing tastes are not due to the quality of tobacco used but the liquid in which the tobacco is soaked before con-
centrating it into paper carcasses. Orange juice, apricot stone and oak extracts are considered aristocratic. The lites version of various brands is what interests me the most. The tobacco used in the lite version of a brand is the same as that of its rather regular version. Lite cigarettes are produced by infusing tobacco with carbon dioxide and then superheating it until the tobacco puffs like expanding foam. The expanded tobacco is then filled into paper tubes just like the regular version. The writer did not come across one credible statistic regarding the number of cigarette smokers in Pakistan. On average, a person smoking a pack daily that costs PKR 90 and has been smoking for eight years has spent 250,000 rupees on nothing but harmful smoke. Multiply this with as many million people as you deem fit and imagine the multiplier effect that would have resulted if the money burnt to ashes was diverted to employment generation. Now add to it the amount drawn out of the public treasury for providing health care to smoking induced diseases. Revenues generate by tobacco companies in Pakistan would be a good starting point to gauge the size of tobacco business and could lead one to identify many untapped niches which one could exploit to amass extra cash.
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Editor’s mail 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 should be addressed to Pakistan Today exclusively.
We are the ones After the shooting incident of Dec 03 wherein a madrassah teacher was killed in Karachi, once again this unfortunate city saw a lot of hooliganism mostly by religious schools’ students and their supporters (named by media as ‘unknown’ elements for some obvious reasons). madrassah teacher’s body was later sent to Quetta, from there it was to be transported to Kandahar, Afghanistan. Though everyone shall denounce unnecessary bloodletting in the name of sectarian conflicts; however, this shooting incident raises a valid question: what was this Afghan madrassah teacher doing in Karachi? There has been a mushroomed growth of madrassas in Karachi since the Soviet-American Afghan war of ’80s wherein most of the students from KP got admitted. To align with students’ native language most of the teachers were brought from KP or Afghanistan. It’s everyone’s right to decide the best type of education for himself/herself but why these madrassas were established in Karachi at the first place while most of the students, teachers and other working staff have no roots in the city. For how long will we continue to behave in an apologetic manner when it comes to issues related with people attached with religious institutes? In the past, we have repeatedly seen violent acts by these students. Who knows how many of them end up in terrorists’ training centres in Pakistan’s tribal areas and how many of them spread all over the country to wage a wave of terror? Recently found bomb making factory in Karachi shows how self-sufficient some of these institutes have become. We should stop presuming that someone else will solve the sectarian related terrorism. No sir, we are the ones who raised, promoted, supported and financed groups in the name of jihad who are now killing each other in the name of their sects. We are the ones who have to terminate this approach. MASOOD KHAN Jubail, Saudi Arab
Democratic fault line Democracy is defined as a government of the people, for the people and by the people but it is defined in Pakistan as a government of provinces, for the provinces and by the provinces. The preamble of the constitution has been made a substantive part of the constitution as per Article 2A. This states that “Whereas sovereignty over the entire universe belongs to Almighty Allah alone, and the authority to be exercised by the people of Pakistan within the limits prescribed by Him is a sacred trust, and whereas it is the will of the people of Pakistan to establish an order, and wherein the state shall exercise its powers and
authority through chosen representatives of the people. The refrain in the preamble is on the people of Pakistan and not on the people of provinces exclusively which differentiates the National Assembly and the Senate from the provincial assemblies as the will of the people. However, when we quote the will of provinces as the provincial assemblies to decide national issues like Kalabagh dam this does not reflect the will of 180 million people of Pakistan in as much as people of Punjab comprising about 60 percent of Pakistan are held hostage when the provincial assemblies of Pakistan from smaller provinces having about
Sovereignty or bankruptcy Senator Mushahid Hussain has said, as reported on a television channel, that Kalabagh dam means losing the sovereignty of Pakistan. His statement is contrary to views of his party leader Ch Pervez Illahi who has said that Pakistan is in vital need of Pakistan i.e., to preserve its sovereignty. This amounts to spreading confusion about the views of Pakistan Muslim LeagueQuaid about Kalabagh dam. In any case, if Mr Mushahid Hussain opts for no Kalabagh dam, he must be prepared for Pakistan being declared a bankrupt state which is a sure way to lose the so-called sovereignty when we pledge even our Tarbela dam turbines to qualify for loan from international agencies. Mr Mushahid Hussain is an accomplished journalist but his views on Kalabagh dam lack perspective about the role of a mega hydroelectric dam which could deliver at least additional four billion US$ annually in the form of agriculture and industrial output, thus freeing us from IMF trap that has made us hostage to severe financial strictures that are sucking the life out of our people leading to mass poverty, unemployment and crime upsurge. Mr Mushahid Hussain ought to be well informed as a master journalist to see the writing on the well. DR M Y BHATTI Lahore
real intel “WikiLeaks”, is not an actual leak, rather it is a set of internal documents of the US government, where different internal communications or HR files are discussed. They contain a wealth of information about the US government’s thinking style and their opinion on various international issues. Unfortunately, the files contain too much information and requires years of reading to understand everything. One interesting point I came across while studying the Guantanamo Bay prisoner files of Pakistani inmates, is how the US Army was duped by the Afghan Northern Alliance Forces. All of the Pakistani inmates in Guantanamo Bay prison handed over to the US by the Afghan forces were below the age of 25, with 40 percent even below the age of 18. All of them categorically stated that they worked as drivers, cooks and cleaners with the Taliban forces. None of them
40 percent people of Pakistan overbear Punjab where majority of the people reside. It appears thus that the fate of a national project could always be decided by 40 percent people of Pakistan and not by the 100 percent people of Pakistan by a majority vote. Thus a minority rule would lord over the majority people of Pakistan. This is also repugnant to Islamic injunction in Sura 42 Al-Shurah, verse 38, wherein it is prescribed that affairs of Muslims are to be decided by mutual consultation of the people i.e., of a country in totality and not by consent of the minority of people residing in certain parts of Pakistan designated as provinces which would
had any valuable information to offer and most were transported out of Afghanistan after they were interrogated by the US intelligence service on the ground. The Pakistani ISI had also checked and confirmed that these prisoners were not dangerous and agreed to accept them to return back to Pakistan. But these prisoners were not ready to denounce their hatred for America or the US Army, and thus were not released from the prison. This whole information shows how the US Army was duped by the Afghan Northern Alliance forces and were not given any actual Taliban prisoners, who could have given them any real intel on Taliban network, resulting into the US Army heading blindly into occupying Afghanistan. The US Army is famous for having real time information, but I guess with too many avenues of information collection, most of the time you will get misinformation. SALMAN KHAN Islamabad
Different blame game I have said this umpteenth time before and at many forums that we as a nation have been plagued with this infection of blame game. The texture of our politics is coloured with things not done or wrongly done or mishandled. There is a reason to get this infection and that is that this government has done innumerable amazingly wrong things in governance. Since we are fond of filling the archives of Guinness World record, we can surely add this too. A convict and just a matriculate (doubtful too) appointed to head an institution of vital importance to the government is a world record of negligence and nepotism, a record which only Somalians can break. The recent bye-election to eight seats was intentionally done at the closing dates of assemblies to prove to public that governmental machinery was allegedly used to rig the elections. The message to the public was to get ready for allegedly massive rigging. The political party leaders will not look at the blunders they have made to poor masses during their governance or even take corrective measure even now to write home something as they say. Blame game stalwarts have unleashed their batteries to malign the ECP and conduct of polls. (these
denigrate the collective will of the people of Pakistan. The smaller units can always gang up against the larger units with majority of people. That is why national issues are always decided by a national referendum and not by provincial assemblies. The bane of democratic order of Pakistan lies in a built-in fault along provincial lines that would never result in a decision by the people of Pakistan at large, and which needs to be corrected by judicious interpretation of the constitution by the Supreme Court of Pakistan in vital national interests. DR MUHAMMAD YAQOOB BHATTI Lahore
stalwarts live by their efficiency in this art). For God’s sake, leave us alone. Let there be no government in Pakistan instead of ridiculing whatever we have. In any case, we have no rule of law, so why do we need these fat salaried people in Islamabad to sponsor breakdown of law. Let us, the 180 million, go to jungle law of might is right. We will kill, rape, loot and destroy everything to come to a point when all these things will become redundant and we will give them up being bored. That will make blame game players unemployed temporarily but they can always consume their looted wealth in the meantime to come back with fresh credentials. AMJAD H MIRZA Lahore
Birthday celebration at taj Our Interior Minister Rehman Malik has expressed his desire to the Indian government to celebrate his 61st birthday with his spouse Saeeda Rehman in one of the seven wonders of the world, the Taj Mahal on 12 December, 2012. According to media reports, Rehman Malik will be in India from 11 to 13 December. My advance sympathies are with the people of Agra. Possibilities are that cell phones might be blocked on the day Rehman Malik visits Agra if he feels a slightest threat to his life. M RAFIQUE ZAKARIA Karachi
Judicial commissions After BB murder commission, Abbotabad commission, Memo scandal commission,Missing persons commission and Malik-Arasalan commission, we now have another one set up to inquire into Laal Masjid operations. While all these earlier Judicial Commissions are working on extensions much after their prescribed tenures, the fresh one is required to complete its task in forty five days, taking it into the crucial 2013. Without going into the likely outcome of all these commissions, one thing is clear that the post retirement employment of the judiciary is well taken care of, much beyond their superannuation. HAROON SIKANDAR PASHA Islamabad
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12 lINDSAy’S BANK ACCOUNTS SeIzeD Daniel Radcliﬀe lost all confidence after playing Harry Potter
aniel Radcliffe, who played the titular character in all the harry Potter films, worried at the end of his work on the successful franchise that he wouldn’t be good enough to tackle other roles. The 23year-old actor also said that he hated having time off as his concerns. “With any kind of artistic thing it’s a muscle, like any athlete, and the moment you’re not doing it, you lose all confidence,” Contact music quoted him as telling The Independent Radar magazine. “That’s why I’m terrible with down time. And actually what’s been great about the last year and a half is that I have found a confidence. “Before, basically, by the time we got to the end of ‘Potter’, I was going, ‘I don’t know if I can do this, I don’t know if I’m good enough’,” he said. nEws DEsk
INDSAY Lohan’s long list of problems is getting even longer, as it has been reported that she has staggering financial issues. According to TMZ.com, the IRS has seized all of Lohan’s money because she owes the state 233,904 dollars in unpaid federal taxes for the year 2009 and 2010, the New York Post reported. This comes after news of Charlie Sheen cutting Lindsay a fat 100,000-dollar check aimed at relieving the troubled star’s tax situation. However, the gossip site reported that Sheen’s check barely covered Lohan’s debt since she apparently has unpaid taxes for the year 2011. Lohan was allegedly given an ample amount of time to settle the debt, but the IRS’ patience has worn thin especially since the actress earned around 2 million dollars this year alone. Hence, the IRS has seized all of Lohan’s bank accounts. It’s said that the once-promising starlet is in panic mode due to her financial woes and is desperately trying to make money to get out of the hole. nEws DEsk
KATRINA CHOOSeS FAMIly OveR
RS. 5 CRORe HE might not have won too many accolades for her film roles, but Katrina Kaif has delivered some of the biggest hits when it comes to dance numbers. Tracks like Sheila Ki Jawaani from Tees Maar Khan (2010) and Chikni Chameli from this year’s Agneepath have established her as a dancing icon in Bollywood. As a result, her demand for stage shows and performances is soaring. However, on December 31, the day when most actors are busy performing at such shows, Katrina has decided to take a break. This year, she received over
Steve Jobs biopic starring Ashton Kutcher to debut at Sundance
he first film on the life of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs since his death, with Ashton Kutcher in the title role, will debut in January at the Sundance Film Festival, organisers said. The film jOBS directed by Joshua Michael Stern, known for the 2008 movie Swing Vote, chronicles “the defining 30 years of Steve Jobs’ life,” according to a statement Monday from the Sundance Institute. The film written by Matt Whiteley is described as “a candid, inspiring and personal portrait of the one who saw things differently.” The movie aims to tell the story of Jobs’s life from wayward hippie to co-founder of Apple and revered creative entrepreneur. The Facebook page for the film said jOBS “is the incredibly powerful and true story of the visionary who set out to change the world, and did.” nEws DEsk
Kylie Minogue feels horrified when she sees own face
Hollywood sign unveiled after major makeover
he refurbished hollywood sign was presented in all its freshly painted glory Tuesday after its biggest makeover in 35 years, in time for 90th birthday celebrations next year. Some 360 gallons of fresh bright white paint was applied over the last two months to the Tinseltown icon, which sits atop Mount Lee in the hollywood hills north of Los Angeles. “It’s our Statue of Liberty, it’s our Golden Gate... but it’s more than that it’s hollywood, which is hope,” said Tom LaBonge, LA city council member for hollywood. “The hollywood sign, there’s nothing like it in the world.It puts a bright face on the icon of the southern California lifestyle,” added Chris Baumgart, chairman of the non-profit hollywood Sign Trust that manages the icon, at a press conference staged below the landmark. Over the last two months, workers have used window-cleaner style platforms to strip down the 50foot (15-meter) tall letters, powerwash the corrugated iron and apply fresh primer and topcoat paint. nEws DEsk
Friday, 7 December, 2012
YLIE Minogue, who is one of the most photographed people in the world, has revealed that she is alarmed by what she sees when she looks at herself in the mirror. The 44year-old singer said that gravity has taken hold of her face. “I am not going to lie about this. There are lots of times I look in the mirror and I see that gravity has taken hold,” the Daily Mail quoted her as telling Elle Magazine. “Or suddenly see my face on a phone or on Skype and it’s like a Spielberg special effect and you just scream, ‘Who is that?’” she said. The I should be so Lucky hitmaker who is famous for her love of hot pants also admitted that she frequently forgets that she is no longer young. “Sometimes I forget (I am 44) and I think, ‘I must get those hot pants out of retirement.’ “And then some mornings I look in the mirror and I see 94 not 44. That is the reality before the make-up. And midriff tops are definitely out for good,” she added. nEws DEsk
eight offers for New Year’s Eve events. However, she has turned them all down. “Katrina never performs on December 31. That is her rule. Every year, she spends the time from Christmas till New Year with her family. Even this year, three organisers from five-star hotels have offered her Rs. 5 crore each, and four others have offered her gigs worth Rs. 4.75 crore each. But she has refused all of them,” says a source. The actor is expected to fly to London in two weeks to celebrate Christmas and New Year with her sisters, brother and mother. But the shooting schedule of Dhoom:3 might spoil her plans a bit. nEws DEsk
STeWART AND PATTINSON WIll SPeND
lOnDOn: Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton, accompanied by husband Prince William, smiles for photographers as she leaves King edward vII hospital four days after being admitted for acute morning sickness. aGEnCiEs
CHRISTmAS APART OLLYWOOD couple Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart will reportedly not be spending Christmas together. The pair, who recently rekindled their relationship following Stewart’s affair with married director Rupert Sanders, are planning to spend the festive season apart after she spent a “nerve-wracking” Thanksgiving with his family in London last month, reported Showbiz spy. “The family were smiling at Kristen and looking totally at ease on the red carpet during the Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 premiere — but back at the family home over the following weekend things were more difficult. “They had a meal on Thanksgiving and it was nervewracking for Kristen. She felt very uncomfortable and Rob’s sisters couldn’t be completely welcoming. It won’t go back to normal straight away, even if Rob has decided to try again. “Rob’s family made it clear that they really want to see him over Christmas and, after the intense promotional tour for Twilight, Rob liked the idea of spending time alone with his family,” a source said. nEws DEsk
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OHN Abraham, 39, betrays none of the nerves that actors display before the release of a big film, in this case Race 2. Instead, Action Abraham takes an afternoon off to chat with us about his parents, his somewhat unusual schedule and the people he admires most in the film industry (it has little to do with their BO worth). Tell us about your childhood? My father is a Protestant and my mother, an Iranian. From the age of four, my father always told me that ‘to be a good man, you don’t need to go to a temple, church or a mosque. You just need to do good’. While I believe in the presence of a supreme being, I am agnostic. My grandparents from both my mother and father’s side had ten children each, so the original Vicky Donor is me, as the highest propensity to procreate is mine. I studied at Bombay Scottish where I was the athletics champion and the football captain. School is a great leveller where you are known not by the money you have, but by how good you are in sport, not even studies. At school, even though I travelled in trains and buses, I got all the attention being the football captain. The senior girls in school used to call me handsome and I would get embarrassed. But the myth was shattered
as soon as I got out of school and realised that I was just this middle class ‘Jo’ who did not even own a car, whereas people around me were rich and owned Benz andAudis. I suddenly felt anonymous. My father had booked a Maruti Gypsy, but we couldn’t buy it. I also realised at such a young age that money corrupts. Rich kids know the price of everything, but the value of nothing. My parents made me feel that one rupee was 100 paise. Today, I have a Maruti Gypsy, made to order, that I drive. People expect me to drive some fancy car, but I feel rich sitting in a Gypsy. And, when I am at a signal and see a guy driving a Ferrari next to me, I feel richer than that person. Are strong-looking men like you soft? My dad is a cancer survivor. But just before he was diagnosed, he collapsed and I saw my mother holding him and saying, ‘My husband, my husband — I don’t want to lose him’ and that’s the first time I saw the fervour in my mother for my father and felt what true love is. The way she held him impacted me. The doctor said that the chances of his survival were zero and that hit me. I am soft and broke down, but I cried alone. I don’t think it makes a man any lesser if he breaks down. Honestly, I cry pretty much like I cry on screen. I am also very shy. Once, after Dostana, I needed to change and these two female designers were standing in the room and said, change. I said, could you please leave the room, and they started giggling. I am also conservative in my views as in I believe in looking after your family and parents. I have a mind of a 50-year-old, but a body of a 24-year-old. I am fiercely independent in my views and can be misunderstood. For instance, I will prefer to ride my motorcycle at night instead of going to a party. I like to sleep at 10.30 at night and wake up at 4.30 in the morning, so even though I am fiercely proud of being a part of the film industry, I operate in a different space. How did you get into films? After graduating from Jai Hind College, I did my MBA and took up a job as a media planner at Enterprise Nexus, where coincidentally my first account was for The Times Of India. My running coach always told me one thing, ‘You never win a silver, you always lose a gold’. I was always competitive and wanted to be an influencer and a leader and so, I joined advertising as I felt it was a big influencer in our lives and could make us change our choice of the products we use. For one of our accounts, Live-In Jeans, the model had not turned up, so my boss Hiren Pandit came to me and said, ‘Can you come and just wear the jeans. You don’t need to show your face’. I obviously did and a woman walked up to me and said, ‘I love the way you fill up the
jeans’. I had a lot of pimples and Atul Kasbekar walked up to me and said, ‘If you clean up your face, you can be a combination of the top four super models we have (Milind Soman, Arjun Rampal, Marc Robinson and Rahul Dev)’. I thought wow. And then he called me the face of 1999 and asked me to participate in a pageant where the judges were Shah Rukh Khan, Karan Kapoor and Karan Johar. I modelled for a few years around the world and then decided to come back to India when Bhatt sahab called me to do Jism. Bhatt sahab always has his one-liners. After the movie, he told me Jism stands for ‘John is superb in the movie’. He is brilliant and I love him. If he were ever to direct a movie, I would do it for free. Bhatt sahab was my school and Adi my college. Are there people in the industry you are close to? I am very close to Karan Johar and he is someone I talk to. His problem is that he is the agony aunt for the entire industry. With me, he does not have to listen to the woes and the politics that goes on in the industry as he knows that I am fiercely detached from that space. For me, I look at someone from the way the person takes care of his parents and I love the way Karan takes care of his mother. One man I look up to and who I love and whose word I take is Aditya Chopra as he has always positioned me rightly, be it in Dhoom or New York. When I am in a fix, I will pick up the phone and talk to Adi. Uday, Hrithik and I are classmates from school. I am fiercely protective about Hrithik. We never talk about work and always only talk about school friends. He is hands down more good-looking than me. I have seen him graduate from what he was and it makes me immensely happy to see how he has worked on his body and diction. I am also possessive about Abhishek, who was also in my school. We were in awe of Mr Bachchan, when he used to come to our school. I remember once he came wearing a kurta and a white shawl and we were looking as if someone had come from another planet. You have spoken about getting married to Priya Runchal. What is she like? She is a banker and is currently studying
abroad for at least another year. She is a mature 28year-old girl, who is extremely supportive of what I do, but chooses to stay out of media, which works very well for both of us. At the same time, she has a strong sense of self that I really like. COuRTEsy TOi
My mom and wife are my biggest critics: Imran
CTOR Imran Khan feels there may be many people who praise him to his face, but there are few who give him honest reviews. Among the rare ones are his mother, and his wife, Avantika. “The biggest critics in my life are my mom and my wife Avantika. The truth is that when you become an actor, when you become a celebrity, people will come and tell you ‘Bro, you are the best, you have done a good job’. So those people are everywhere,” Imran told IANS. “What is very rare is people who will say these are your weaknesses, this is your problem and this is where you have to work on. People who will honestly do that, those are very rare,” he added. Among Imran’s much-awaited
projects is Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola, directed by acclaimed film-maker Vishal Bhardwaj. The actor feels there is a tremendous benefit to work with experienced directors like Bhardwaj, who has given the industry a different genre of cinema with projects like Omkara, Ishqiya, Kaminey and 7 Khoon Maaf. “I never realised it before, but now I realise that you get tremendousbenefit as an actor. earlier, I have worked with first-time directors orsecond-time directors... there is a sense of two of us finding our way together. We used to find the correct way of working. “here I am working with someone who has consistently proved himself and he knows what the correct way of working is,” said the 29-year-old.
In Matru Ki..., Imran will be see playing a haryanvi boy. having played the modern, boy-nextdoor roles in the past, he admits that he was apprehensive about this one before he began shooting for it. “I was skeptical. I had great doubts about whether I will be able to learn the body language correctly. I was very nervous and I spoke to Vishal about it. he said, ‘I have immense faith in you’. he said, ‘if you can put your best effort, then you can do it’,” said Imran, citing howencouraging Bhardwaj was all the time. “he introduced to me a teacher named N.K. Sharma in Delhi. he has a theater group in Delhi. I spent two to three months in Delhi working with him to understand the dialogues and the body language. everything had to be learnt from scratch,” he
added. Imran is nervous about this film, and says it is quite normal. “I think that in my experience, any person, who is an honest artist or an honest worker, will always be nervous about whether they have done a good job or not. The greatest people that I know or I respect would say, ‘Did I do good enough and can I do better?’” nEws DEsk
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Infotainment 14 Top most important cameras of 2012
E saw some of the most-anticipated camera refreshes in years (a new 5D, finally!) not to mention some groundbreaking technologies (that weird little Lytro!). Here’s a rundown of this year’s ten hottest cameras.
1. Panasonic Lumix LX7 Anyone in the market for a top point-and-shoot camera is probably deciding between Canon’s S100 and Sony’s RX100. But Panasonic is back in the game with the Lumix LX7, a sequel to one of the top shooters of 2010, the wildly popular LX5.
2. Canon Powershot S110 The Canon S110 is the most refined little pocket camera Canon has ever made. The core design of the S110 remains unchanged from previous iterations. But with a little streamlining and some key new features, it’s inched one step closer to perfection.
3. FujiFilm X-Pro1 If you have the money—and it’s a lot of money—yes, buy it. It isn’t just style without substance here. It’s not a point-and-shoot. It is a camera that might make you work a bit, but it will reward you with great pictures (and jealousy from your photog friends). It is a bit hampered by the focusing system and video deficiency, but it is still a joy to shoot with.
4. GoPro Hero 3 Black Edition Think of an action cam, and the name GoPro probably comes to
mind. But there are a lot of alternates to consider, as a recent action cam Battlemodo proved. One brand, Contour, has always been just a step away from gaining GoPro-style notoriety. The recently announced Contour+2 might change that.
5. Sony NEX-5R Over the last year, Sony’s NEX cameras have been our favorite of the compact, mirrorless lot. They just handle so well. And on a small camera with big DSLR flexibility, the way you hold, adjust, and operate it makes a huge difference. The compact body, the touchscreen controls, the image stabilization, and the welldesigned Wi-Fi—everything about it makes getting a great photo less difficult.
ber of that clique. The selling point is simple: you no longer have to worry about getting a shot in focus, because any part of the photo can be brought into focus after the fact. Magic.
7 Sony RX100 Turns out, this camera is a significant achievement for Sony. In fact, it makes you remember that Sony is still capable of making some amazing things.
8. Nikon D800
video DSLR. It was an excellent and very boring camera. Nikon’s newest, a $3,000 body called the D800, introduces two major features: HD video and a 36-megapixel sensor.
9 Canon EOS 5D mark III It’s been four years since Canon released the EOS 5D Mark II, the camera that turned digital still cameras into affordable workhorses for videographers and indie filmmakers. And this next evolution was definitely created with those filmmakers in mind.
The Nikon D700 was the last great pre-
6. Lytro Light Field Camera It isn’t very often we encounter technology that is really, truly new. PCs, cellphones, the Internet, multitouch. Those all changed our world when they were first introduced. Not to overstate it, but Lytro may well be the latest mem-
Indian village bars women from using mobile phones
village council in eastern India has banned woman from using mobile phones, saying they "pollute the social atmosphere" by encouraging women to elope with lovers. The order was issued by the village council in Suderbari, in the Kishanganj district of impoverished Bihar state, after a formal meeting on Sunday. The measure was designed to check "the breakdown of the institution of marriage", council leaders said. Penalties range from 10,000 Indian rupees (£115) for unmarried girls caught using mobile phones to 2,000 rupees for married women. Women may use a phone in the presence of a male family member, however, according to village leaders. "Unrestricted use of mobile phones is promoting premarital and extramarital affairs and destroying the great institution of marriage. We are extremely worried," said Manuwar Alam, the president of the social advisory committee, explaining that at least six girls and women had eloped in the past year. "We had to hide our faces out of shame," Alam said. "We decided to do something that could firmly curb such cases, which were earning a very bad name for all of us." A combination of marginally improved education, more mobility and access to television has led to the traditional authority of fathers, husbands and male village leaders being challenged in much of India. A growing lack of women, owing to the widespread practice of female infanticide, is also leading to deep tensions. And so-called honour killings, of couples and particularly of women, who transgress traditional customs and discrimination are common. nEws DEsk
2012's most looked up words were...
Parents live longer than childless couples, study suggests
he Danish study found that the early death rate in men was halved if they had children. The effect was biggest among those having their own children but early deaths were also lower in those who adopted. The researchers from Aarhus University, studied more than 21,000 couples having IVF treatment between 1994 and 2005. In that time 15,210 children were born and 1564 were adopted. Also a total of 96 women and 200 men died. The findings published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health showed there was no difference in psychiatric illness in couples whether they were childless or not, however those who adopted had fewer mental health problems probably because of health screening of prospective adoptive parents. The Danish study found that the early death rate in men was halved if they had children. The effect was biggest among those having their own children but early deaths were also lower in those who adopted. The researchers from Aarhus University, studied more than 21,000 couples having IVF treatment between 1994 and 2005. In that time 15,210 children were born and 1564 were adopted. Also a total of 96 women and 200 men died. The findings published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health showed there was no difference in psychiatric illness in couples whether they were childless or not, however those who adopted had fewer mental health problems probably because of health screening of prospective adoptive parents. nEws DEsk
Words of the year are a seasonal thing, and that season is now. As we await the #woty designation from the American Dialect Society, which, breathe, won't be announced until early January, MerriamWebster has revealed another much anticipated word-ofthe-year designation: the dictionary website's most looked-up words of 2012. The top two words, for which traffic "about doubled this year from the year before," writes the AP's Leanne Italie, are capitalism and socialism. Thank the election for making those two "kind of a nobrainer," according to dictionary editor-at-large Peter Sokolowski. As he told the Atlantic Wire, "We follow word trends by watching which words rise to the top of the lookup list on an hourly, daily, weekly, and monthly basis." Leaving out words that are looked up in large numbers every day of every year (ubiquitous, paradigm, affect, and effect, for example), "what we're left with is a group of words that show spikes of interest that often correspond to current events: news, weather, sports, or entertainment. This is a quantitative measure of vocabulary curiosity." This year marks the first time a word duo has been
chosen since Merriam-Webster began identifying the year's most looked-up words back in 2003. Sokolowski says, "Sometimes the words don't correlate to one specific story or a specific utterance by a newsmaker but instead are words that are part of the national conversation. That's true of socialism and capitalism, words that trended together, indicating that people were frequently looking up both words in order to compare the definitions." Socialism was looked up more frequently than was capitalism, "but since the trend pattern of capitalism so closely matches the moments when socialism was spiking, they form a natural pair [logically, lexically, and culturally]. Adding them together gives us a powerful example of how people actually use the dictionary," he says. "Every time that health care is in the news, socialism spikes," he adds. "Also, Mitt Romney used the phraseEuropean-style socialism in his stump speech, keeping the word in the news for cycle after cycle." Following capitalism and socialism, top 10 words of the year (in no particular order, according to Sokolowski) included democracy, globalization, marriage, bigot, meme, touche, schadenfreude, and-
professionalism. Biden's use of the word malarkey in his vice presidential debate with Paul Ryan didn't make the top 10, but lookups "represented the largest spike of a single word on the website by percentage, at 3,000 percent, in a single 24-hour period this year," writes Italie. Meme, too, spiked because of the debates (and politics and maybe also life in general), "pegged to political-related subjects that included Romney's Big Bird and binders remarks, social media shares of images pegged to Hillary Clinton texting, and Obama's 'horses and bayonets' debate rebuke of Romney in an exchange over the size of the Navy," she explains. Sokolowski says, "Schadenfreude is a favorite word among word lovers"— we'd agree—"It's fun to say and a great example of the German compound noun (like kindergarten and another favorite:sprachgefuhl. But meme is a special word; it's one of the few words in English about which all is known: who coined it, when, and why. Richard Dawkins wanted to have a noun for a unit of cultural information just as gene is a noun for a unit of biological information. He created a great word. But in 1976, he could never have imagined the speed with which cultural information is shared, so this word is absolutely a measure of the place of social media in our culture." Dawkins, 71, was reached by the AP for comment, and told Italie, "I'm very pleased that it's one of the 10 words that got picked out ... I hope it may bring more people to understand something about evolution." nEws DEsk
Chinese astronauts may grow vegetables on moon
HINESE astronauts may get fresh vegetables and oxygen supplies by gardening in extraterrestrial bases in the future, an official said after a just-concluded lab experiment in Beijing. Deng Yibing, deputy director of the Beijing-based Chinese Astronaut Research and Training Center, said that the experiment focused on a dynamic balanced mechanism of oxygen, carbon dioxide, and water between people and plants in a closed system. According to Deng, a cabin of 300 cubic meters was established to provide sustainable supplies of air, water and food for two participants during the experiment. Four kinds of vegetables were grown, taking in carbon dioxide and providing oxygen for the two people living in the cabin. They could also harvest fresh vegetables for meals, Deng said. The experiment, the first of its kind in China, is extremely important for the long-term development of China’s manned space program, Deng added. The cabin, a controlled ecological life support system (CELSS) built in 2011, is a model of China’s third generation of astronauts’ life support systems, which is expected to be used in extraterrestrial bases on the Moon or Mars. The introduction of a CELSS seeks to provide sustainable supplies of air, water and food for astronauts with the help of plants and algae, instead of relaying on stocks of such basics deposited on board at the outset of the mission. Advance forms of CELSS also involve the breeding of animals for meat and using microbes to recycle wastes. nEws DEsk
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Friday, 7 December, 2012
More women tennis stars headed for Sydney Int’l Page 18
Pakistan push Germany out of medal hunt Green shirts face Holland, defending champion Australia awaits India in semis MeLBouRne sPORTs DEsk
GERMANY – PAKIsTAN 1-2 (1-0 HALfTIME) Pakistan earned a spot in the 2012 Champions Trophy semi-finals after stunning defending Olympic Champion and World #1 Germany in a 2-1 decision in today’s quarterfinal. Is it the first time since 2004 that Pakistan finds itself in the hunt for a medal at the Champions Trophy. On the other side of the coin, this is the second consecutive time that Germany has missed the semi-finals at the annual event. Shakeel Abbasi was the man of the hour for Pakistan. He fired in both Pakistan goals in the surprising win. Pakistan was simply the better team in today’s game, generating more scoring chances and chipping away at the tough German defense, which found itself on duty for much of the 70 minutes. The Germans managed just one shot in the first half, but they made it count as veteran Moritz Fuerste, one of only three players in Melbourne from the 2012 Olympic team, gave the Germans a 1-0 lead nine minutes into action. Pakistan was not put off by the goal and maintained its pressure on the German net. Admittedly not all of the scoring chances were impressive, but it put Pakistan in a better position to get the odd penalty corner chance. Pakistan’s persistence finally paid off when Abbasi scored a picture-perfect goal four minutes into the second half on a follow-up play after a penalty corner opportunity to even things up at one. Abbasi struck again with 20 minutes to go on in the half after he put in another second-effort goal after a penalty corner. The key goal went to video review, but it was ruled valid and Pakistan climbed out to its first lead of the game. The lead endured through an actionpacked 20 minutes as Germany found itself two men up in the last two minutes but unable to get the equalizer as Pakistan earned their semi-final spot. Pakistan will take on the winner of the Netherlands vs. New Zealand match in Saturday’s semi-final. NETHERLANds – NEW ZEALANd 2-0 (1-0 HALfTIME) After watching fellow European nation Germany fall in the quarterfinals, the
Netherlands left nothing to chance, earning a 2-0 win against New Zealand and securing a spot in Saturday’s semi-finals. The victory means that the Dutch will go for their third-consecutive medal at the Champions Trophy and will finish in the top-four for the 25th consecutive time at the annual event. The Netherlands was the clear favorite entering the game as the top seed out of Pool B and having only lost once in Champions Trophy history against New Zealand. Both teams made the Champions Trophy semi-finals last year as the game was a replay of the 2011 Champions Trophy bronze medal game, which the Netherlands won, Jeroen Hertzberger gave the Dutch the 1-0 lead 13 minutes into the game when his flick easily found the back of the net on the second Netherlands penalty corner chance of the game. The teams went back and forth for the rest of the half with neither having any scoring success as the 1-0 lead endured. The second half was much of the same until Billy Bakker finished a good breakout play to net the critical 2-0 goal. The marker gave the top-seeded Dutch some muchneeded breathing room against the pesky and persistent fourth-seeded Black Sticks. After the goal, the Dutch played a game of cat and mouse, allowing New Zealand very few chances to get close to the net. The Dutch have won bronze at the previous two editions of the Champions
Trophy and have earned 21 total medals at the event. The third-ranked team in the FIH World Ranking has not played in the finals at the Champions Trophy since 2006, something they will look to remedy in Saturday’s semi-final against Pakistan. The last time Pakistan played in the final game was 1998. AUsTRALIA – ENGLANd 2-0 (1-0 HALfTIME) Host Australia kept its hopes alive to win its fifth consecutive Champions Trophy title after earning a berth in the semifinals with a 2-0 win over England. Australia will take on India in Saturday’s semi-final game. The Aussies have lost only twice against India in 11 Champions Trophy meetings, with the last defeat coming in 2002. Jamie Dwyer showed that he is still among the world’s elite players when his reverse shot broke the Aussies onto the scoreboard 15 minutes into the game. It was a frantic pace that followed, but neither team was able to score through the rest of the half as the tournament had its fourth 1-0 score at the half on Quarterfinal Thursday. The teams came out from the break and picked up right where they left off with dangerous scoring chances and fast feet. But again, despite the action, the goals were at a premium. It wasn’t until Christopher Ciriello stepped up and fired in a textbook penalty corner goal that the Aussies were able to build on their lead. It
was the first game since the tournament opener that Australia netted more than one goal in a game. England put in a gutsy effort after the Ciriello marker, but Australia their offense stalled against a strong Australian team. Saturday’s semi-final game will be a meeting of two teams with very different fortunes at the Champions Trophy. Australia now has the chance to go for its sixth-straight medal at the Champions Trophy and an unprecedented fifthstraight gold medal at the event. They will take on India, who has just one bronze in their Champions Trophy history which was won in 1982. The loss puts England out of the medal race at the Champions Trophy for the second consecutive year (the team played as Great Britain at the 2011 edition). The English will take on Belgium on Saturday to determine which team will play for fifth place and which will play for seventh. INdIA – BELGIUM 1-0 (1-0 HALfTIME) After sitting out of the Champions Trophy for the last six editions, India’s grand return to hockey’s top stage continued as they earned a spot in Saturday’s semi-final where they will take on the winner of the Australia v. England quarterfinal. India’s earned its spot after a nail-biting 1-0 win against a persistent Belgium team in an entertaining quarterfinal meeting.
The Indians will go for their first Champions Trophy medal since 1982 and are guaranteed their first top-four finish since 2004. A massive success considering the fact that the Indians came into the even as the lowest team in the FIH World Ranking, weighing in at #11. Nithin Thimmaiah gave India the early advantage after getting a perfect feed from Sardar Singh for the easy 1-0 tap in. Belgium slowly gained momentum as the half wore on and gave the Indians some worrying moments late in the half with two good penalty corner chances, but ultimately, India escaped the half with the slim 1-0 lead. The second half, it was India’s turn to own the momentum, but they simply couldn’t convert their chances into goals, as the tension built with only one goal separating the teams. Belgium had a handful of later penalty corner opportunities, while the Indians had a speedy counter attack, but neither team managed to put a dent in the scoreboard as Thimmaiah’s goal stood as the lone marker in the critical quarterfinal game. Belgium is still looking for the elusive first victory at the Champions Trophy. The newcomers have put in some strong performances, but own a 0-4 record so far. The Belgians will look to get the first win in the placement round. Today marked Sardar Singh’s 150th international cap for India.
Hughes recalled to replace Warne ‘clarifies’ Ashes return comments Ponting in Sri Lanka test
Australia recalled top order batsman Phillip Hughes to replace the retired Ricky Ponting on Thursday for next week's first match in a three-test series against Sri Lanka. The 24-year-old, dropped last year as an opener amid questions over his technique, was named in the 12-man squad for the Hobart test
with a strong indication that the top order will be reshuffled. "Phillip Hughes has been selected to fill the vacancy created by Ricky Ponting's retirement," head selector John Inverarity said in a news release. "Hughes, Usman Khawaja, Rob Quiney and Alex Doolan were the four batsmen to come under consideration to bat high in the order. "Phillip is an improved player and his recent and overall career
statistics present a compelling case. "The (selectors hold) the view that he, having just turned 24, is a very significant part of the future. He has received this callup, his third, as it was considered to be the right time and circumstances for him to re-establish himself." With openers Ed Cowan and David Warner retaining their places in the side, Hughes looks most likely to bat at number three in the order with all-rounder Shane Watson moving down to replace Ponting at number four. Clarke, who currently bats at number five, also said after the Perth test he would consider moving up the order if coach Mickey Arthur asked him to. "Michael Clarke will give careful consideration to his batting order during the next few days," Inverarity said. "He has a number of options open to him and Hughes at three is one of these." Ponting played his 168th and final test earlier this week in Perth as Australia fell to a 309-run defeat to South Africa to lose the series 1-0. Leftarm quicks Mitchell Starc and Mitchell Johnson have retained their places in the squad after claiming all 10 South African wickets in the second innnings at Perth, albeit at the cost of 569 runs.
Shane Warne has done it again. One of the most successful slow bowlers of all time, Warne has consistently shown since his retirement from international cricket in 2007 that he is also the master of a different type of spin. Two years ago, he had the Australian media in his thrall as he hinted at an international comeback in time to help Australia try and win back the Ashes from England. This week again he said he could answer the call if his friend the Australia captain Michael Clarke asked him to don his baggy green cap for back-toback series against England in 2013. There is no doubting the 43year-old's love for his country nor that he is constantly questioned about a possible return, but there is little doubt either that he knows
how to guarantee back page headlines. What could have been run-of-the-mill run up to his appearance in Australia's domestic Twenty20 "Big Bash" league, albeit against a team containing his fellow spin bowling great Muttiah Muralitharan, was transformed into a national debate. The reality of what such a return would mean was laid bare when Cricket Australia said the man who took 708 test wickets - including 195 in 36 Ashes tests - would be expected to embark on a comeback in club and then first class cricket. At a news conference on Thursday, the spin-bowling great "clarified" his earlier comments without quite shutting the door on a return. "I'm not asking Michael Clarke. My quotes were all about if you ask me could I do it, I have no doubt that I could," Warne told a news conference on Thursday. "But it's a big commitment. There's grade cricket, there's state cricket, you have to go through that process and hopefully get selected. "For me it's nothing that I'm even considering. "I'm bowling as good as I possibly have for the last five or six years. At this stage if you ask me do I want to make a comeback? No." Part of Australia's problem has been that Warne, such a potent weapon in test cricket, has never been convincingly replaced.
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Sports 16 FAYSAL BANK T-20 CUP
Sohail sets up sizeable Sialkot win LAHoRe sTaFF REPORT
IALKOT Stallions, Multan Tigers, Bahawalpur Stags, Faisalabad Wolves, Rawalpindi Rams and Islamabad Leopards ease to win in the Faysal Bank National T20 Cup here on Thursday. Haris Sohail scored a brisk halfcentury to give Sialkot Stallions a target their bowlers defended comfortably against Abbottabad Falcons. The 34-run win was Sialkot's fourth success in five matches and they were second in Group A. Sialkot's top order had stumbled - they were 69 for 3 in the 11th over - before Sohail made an unbeaten 62 off 43 balls to lead his team to 164. Sohail had a 79-run stand for the fourth wicket with his captain Shoaib Malik. Fast bowler Junaid Khan was Abbottabad's best bowler, with figures of 3 for 22. Abbottabad overcame the early loss of Mir Azam to reach 79 for 1 in the 13th over but they failed to accelerate from that platform. They lost four wickets for 14 runs to slip to 110 for 6 and eventually ended on 130. Scores: Sialkot Stallions 164 for 6 (Sohail 62*, Junaid 3-22) beat Abbottabad Falcons 130 for 7 (Hameed 37, Naved-ul-Hasan 2-26) by 34 runs TIGERs’ RIsE sINK ZEBRAs: Multan Tigers rose to the third spot in Group A with a 17-run win against Karachi Zebras in Lahore. Put in to bat, Multan lost opener Sohaib Maqsood in the second over, but made steady progress for the next seven overs as Zain Abbas and Gulraiz Sadaf scored 48 together. But Karachi's Faraz Ahmed and Haaris Ayas picked up two wickets apiece to reduce Multan to 87 for 5 in the 15th over. It was then that Saeed Anwar Jr launched a counterattack, hitting 39 off 22 and sharing a 52-run stand with Kashif Naved to help the team finish on a high.
Compton delighted to support Cook KoLKAtA aGEnCiEs
Nick Compton was happy to play the supporting role as opening partner Alastair Cook made a record 23rd Test hundred for England. The Somerset batsman's maiden Test half-century was overshadowed by his captain's history-making 136 not out, which also saw the 27-year-old become the youngest player to reach 7,000 Test runs. But Compton's 57 in an opening stand of 165 was a valuable contribution and he was pleased with his efforts. He told a TV channel: "It was nice to get there and support the captain like I did. "To put on 160-odd with the captain and get that score up front is great and it's looking good at the moment.
Multan carried the momentum into their bowling, with Mohammad Irfan striking off the first ball of the innings. Two more wickets went down in the next two overs, pushing Karachi onto the back foot. Rahat Ali and Anwar Jr shared seven wickets between them to derail the chase and help Multan win comfortably in the end. Scores: Multan Tigers 140 for 6 (Zain 46, Haaris 2-22) beat Karachi Zebras 123 (Rahat 4-15, Anwar 3-22) sTAGs MAINTAIN WIN RUN: Bahawalpur Stags maintained their winning run with an 11-run win against Hyderabad Hawks, who are yet to register a victory. Bahawalpur were set back early after choosing to bat, but healthy contributions of 40, 34 and 37 from Ali Haider, Usman Tariq and Bilal Khilji ensured the team crossed the 150run mark. Haider was the most aggressive his 40 came off 26 balls with five fours and a
six. In their chase, Hyderabad had made brisk progress to 44 when Ataullah struck in the sixth over to remove Sharjeel Khan. Other Bahawalpur bowlers soon joined in; they kept the scoring under tight control and picked up the wickets as the pressure got to the batsmen. Twenty-eight were required off the last two overs, but Kamran Hussain and Mohammad Talha both picked up two wickets each in the last two overs to seal the win. Scores: Bahawalpur Stags 154 for 7 (Haider 40, Riaz 2-26) beat Hyderabad Hawks 143 for 8 (Khilji 2-24, Kamran 2-26) by 11 runs WoLvEs sTAY UNBEATEN: Faisalabad Wolves kept their unbeaten record intact with a narrow two-wicket win against Karachi Dolphins at the Bagh-e-Jinnah in Lahore. Chasing 148, Faisalabad were in danger of running out of batsmen when 19 were required off 16 balls and only two wick-
ets were left. But Misbah-ul-Haq remained unbeaten on 72 and scored 17 out of 19 in the ninth-wicket partnership to help Faisalabad cross the line off the last delivery. Misbah took only 47 balls to score his runs and hit four boundaries and three sixes in the innings. He didn't receive much support at the other end, 17 being the second highest score. Earlier, Karachi were cruising on 85 for 1 in the 12th over after a half-century stand between Khurram Manzoor and Khalid Latif. However, both batsmen were out in the space of three balls off Ehsan Adil's bowling and that slowed down the charge. Adil picked up four wickets as Karachi were restricted to 147. Scores: Faisalabad Wolves 148 for 8 (Misbah 72*, Misbah Khan 3-44) beat Karachi Dolphins 147 for 6 (Manzoor 51, Adil 4-28) by two wickets RAMs CAGE EAGLEs: A big-hitting cen-
Lee questions Australia’s rotation MeLBouRne aGEnCiEs
Former Australia fast bowler Brett Lee believes the national side's current policy of rotating their pacemen could lead to problems within the group. After playing in the second Test, Peter Siddle and Ben Hilfenhaus were rested for the third and final match against South Africa and with James Pattinson injured, Australia went with a new seam attack of Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell Starc and John Hastings. Because of Pattinson's side strain he picked up in the first innings, Siddle and Hilfenhaus bowled 67 overs between them in the second, with the former picking up four
wickets. And Lee feels Siddle would have been disappointed to miss out on the final Test, despite it starting just four days after the second concluded. "If I was Sidds (Siddle), I would have been blowing up," Lee said. "He bowled so well in Adelaide. "They say it's because of back-to-back matches but that's Test cricket. It's nothing to do with the planning. "That's what Test cricket is about; a test of character, a test of courage and backing up within a couple of days. "If you're Peter Siddle and you see Mitchell Starc come in and take a five-for, it makes for an awkward situation." The decision to omit Siddle was criticised by another former Australia bowler Dennis Lillee, who said he was far from convinced that the selectors made the correct call.
Cook sets England Test century record in India KoLKAtA aGEnCiEs
Captain Alastair Cook set a record for England Test centuries with his 23rd as the tourists assumed control of the third Test against India. The opener passed the mark of 22 held by Wally Hammond, Colin Cowdrey, Geoffrey Boycott and Kevin Pietersen. Cook made 136 not out as England reached 216-1 in reply to India's 316 all out at the close of day two at Eden Gardens in Kolkata. Cook, 27, also became the youngest batsman to reach 7,000 Test runs. The Essex left-hander reached the milestone at the age of 27 years and 347 days, knocking Sachin Tendulkar off top spot. The India great, who has a record 15,638 Test runs, was 28 years and 193 days old when he passed the 7,000 mark. Cook, whose Test career began with a hundred against India in Nagpur in 2006, has now scored centuries in all five of his Tests as captain. He brought up his third ton of the series off 179 balls with a sweep
for two off spinner Ravichandran Ashwin during an opening partnership of 165 with Nick Compton. While his England team-mates and coaching staff rose in unison on the balcony to salute their skipper, Cook removed his helmet, looked skyward and punched the air with both hands. Cook is still only joint-20th in an all-time list headed by Tendulkar on 51, but should have many years ahead of him to move up the table. "I don't think it will be such a big deal to him," said Boycott on Test Match Special. "At his age he's going to get quite a lot more unless he has a serious illness or injury. "He's in the best years of his life and will automatically play, he has a good technique and should be well on the way to 40 hundreds by the time he's finished." Cook also surpassed Andrew Strauss, the man he succeeded as Test captain before the India tour, to move up to ninth in the list of England's alltime highest run-scorers with 7,048. Graham Gooch holds the record with 8,900.
sCOREbOaRD india 1st innings G Gambhir c Trott b Panesar 60 V sehwag run out (Finn/†Prior) 23 Ca Pujara b Panesar 16 sR Tendulkar c †Prior b anderson 76 V kohli c swann b anderson 6 yuvraj singh c Cook b swann 32 Ms Dhoni c swann b Finn 52 R ashwin b anderson 21 z khan lbw b Panesar 6 i sharma b Panesar 0 PP Ojha not out 0 Extras (b 5, lb 13, w 5, nb 1) 24 Total (all out; 105 overs; 438 mins) 316 Fall of wickets 1-47 (sehwag, 10.1 ov), 2-88 (Pujara, 25.4 ov), 3-117 (Gambhir, 41.1 ov), 4-136 (kohli, 48.4 ov), 5-215 (yuvraj singh, 68.3 ov), 6-230 (Tendulkar, 74.1 ov), 7-268 (ashwin, 88.3 ov), 8-292 (khan, 93.6 ov), 9-296 (sharma, 95.3 ov), 10316 (Dhoni, 104.6 ov) bowling: JM anderson 28-7-89-3, sT Finn 21-2-73-1, Ms Panesar 40-13-90-4, GP swann 16-3-46-1 England 1st innings an Cook not out 136 nRD Compton lbw b Ojha 57 iJl Trott not out 21 Extras (nb 2) 2 Total (1 wicket; 73 overs) 216 To bat kP Pietersen, iR bell, sR Patel, MJ Prior†, GP swann, Ms Panesar, JM anderson, sT Finn Fall of wickets 1-165 (Compton, 52.6 ov) bowling: z khan 16-4-48-0, i sharma 15-6-35-0, R ashwin 234-68-0, PP Ojha 19-4-65-1 Toss india, who chose to bat Player of the match tba umpires HDPk Dharmasena (sri lanka) and RJ Tucker (australia) TV umpire Va kulkarni Match referee JJ Crowe (new zealand) Reserve umpire s Das
tury partnership between the Rawalpindi Rams openers helped their team to overhaul Lahore Eagles' total with ease - they won by eight wickets with more than five overs to spare. Naved Malik and Awais Zia hit 11 sixes between them and put up 135 runs in 12.1 overs to make short work of the 156-run target. Malik scored 77 off 41 balls and Zia, 54 off 36, but both fell with the target in sight. Lahore Eagles had chosen to bat and with the help of contributions from everyone in the batting order, had scored 155. Yasir Arafat was the most successful bowler for Rawalpindi with 3 for 37. Scores: Rawalpindi Rams 156 for 2 (Naved 77, Awais 54) beat Lahore Eagles 155 for 5 (Nasim 44*, Arafat 3-37) by eight wickets LEoPARds BEAT BEARs: In a clash that pitted the bottom-rung Group A teams against each other, Islamabad Leopards beat Quetta Bears by five wickets at the Gaddafi Stadium. This was Islamabad's first win in five matches, while Quetta remained winless after the same number of games. Islamabad chose to bowl, and the decision paid off straightaway as seamer Iftikhar Anjum struck in each of his first three overs to leave Quetta reeling at 17 for 3 in the sixth. Apart from getting the wickets, Iftikhar kept a tight leash on the scoring, having conceding only 2.75 runs per over by the end of his spell. The other bowlers too kept things tight for the most part, and struck with regularity to restrict Quetta to 111 for 7. The chase was off to a poor start too, as Islamabad lost opener Shan Masood for a golden duck and No. 3 Moed Ahmed for 1, but the rest of the top and middle order produced cameos and that was enough to propel their team past their meagre target with nine balls to spare. Scores: Islamabad Leopards 115 for 5 (Nadir 32) beat Quetta Bears 111 for 7 (Farhan 32, Iftikhar 3-11) by five wickets
Dutch veterans to play third match of hockey series today LAHoRe sTaFF REPORT
The Flying Dutch Hockey team will on Friday play their third and final match of the three-match hockey series here at the Johar Hockey Stadium. The match will roll into action at 2.30 pm in which the Pakistan veterans will collide with their Dutch counterparts. The likely chances are that the chief guest for the match would be Chief Minister Punjab Mian Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif, under whom vision the Sports Board Punjab organized the Youth Festival, which was followed by the International Sports Festival. The current hockey series of the visiting Flying Dutch hockey team, which is here on the combined invitation of Tauqir Dar, president of Dar Hockey Academy and the SBP, is being held under the banner of the Punjab International Sports Festival. Dutch veterans who are laced with five internationals and Olympians have played two matches with drawing the first match 2-all against the Aitchison College team and later edged to a narrow and fighting 5-4 win against the young guns of the Dar Academy. Expected teams: Pakistan Veterans (from): Hasan Sardar, Samiullah, Danish Kaleem, Shahbaz Senior, Mohammad Akhlaq, Rana Mujahid, Khawaja Junaid, Saleem Sherwani, Shahid Ali Khan, Khalid Bashir, Anjum Saeed, Tahir Zaman, Khalid Rasool, Arshad Chaudhary. The Flying Dutchs: Rood Ven Rooij, Sander Ven Hyfte, Gerd Scuiatmann, Maarton Ven Grimbergen, Gonans Gratama, Michel Princen, Williem Bams, Martyn Gosens, Walter Michels, Peter Vogeaar, Gys Wetering, Rewe Klaassen, Wouter Ven Pelt, Mark Kleysen, Paul De Ruyter, Jan Chris Pinexteren, Sultan Ahmed. Win Kemps coach and Rob Lathouwers manager.
Friday, 7 December, 2012
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17 Sports PIA beat NBP in NBP Gold Cup hockey LAHoRe sTaFF REPORT
Pakistan International Airlines scored a narrow 2-1 win over National Bank of Pakistan and Pakistan Army played a 1-1 draw against Army here on Thursday at outer ground of the national stadium here. Airlines led the first half 2-1 as there was no scoring from either sides in the following session which narrated the saga of missed chances and long term bass possession on part of both the sides. Airlines shot into lead with the 5th minute goal scored by Inyat ullah in mid field move. PIA beaming with stars accelerated the pace of attacks and deployed full force to hunt more goals. Ammad Shakeel Butt scored their second in the 27thminute before Bankers equalised at 1-1 after receiving 21st minute goals from Arslan Qadir in a lovely mid field move aided by right and left wings. Both the teams did everything expect scoring in the coming half and long time balls possession mostly confined the game to mid field. Customs and Army played a goalless first half and the real action of the game was seen in the second half . Both the teams made desperate productive efforts to score and Customs stamped their supremacy with the 52nd minute penalty corner goal scored by Mushtaq. Army salvaged their pride three minute before the close of the when Safeer equalized off a short corner. Friday is the rest day. Army vs NBP, Wapda vs Customs are the matches to be played on December 8 .
National Men’s Netball from 16th LAHoRe sTaFF REPORT
The Pakistan Netball Federation in collaboration with Higher Education Commission is organizing the National men netball championship from December 16 here at Punjab University ground. Team’s from Army, Wapda, Railways, Police, Navy, Pakistan Air Force , Higher Education Commission, LUMS, LGS, Ballchistan, KPK, Punjab, Sindh, Islamabad, FATA and AJK will take part in the competition which will end on December 19, said Mudassar Arain, Secretary , PNF, here on Thursday. Police will defend the title. He said President, PNF, Zafar Iqbal Awan has nominated the following officials for Rules & Technical Committee for the smooth conduct of the event. Following are the members of the committee, Abdul Razak Arain (Chairman) ,Nadia Begum (Member),Syed Toqeer Ahmed (Member), Ajaz ul Haq (Member) ,Major Saleem Ahmed Ch. (Member), Muhammad Rizwan (Member ) and Mudassar Arain (Member).
legends Golf Championship
StAtoIl: tim henman plays a backhand volley during the Champions tour.
Senden swoops early to take Australia Open lead SYDneY aGEnCiEs
John Senden made the most of benign early conditions to shoot a six-under-par 66 and take a two-stroke lead after the first round of the $1.25 million Australian Open on Thursday. The Queenslander, going for a second title at his national open after his 2006 triumph, believes he is playing the best golf of his career and showed why with a six-birdie blitz in his first 10 holes. He stuttered with bogeys on his 11th and 12th holes but picked up another couple of shots on the run home to stand two shots clear of world number four Justin Rose and four others with a share of second place after carding 68s. "We had the perfect conditions this morning, teeing off at seven o'clock," the 41-year-old Senden, who has won once on the U.S. PGA Tour, told reporters. "You won't get much of a better day. I thought there were a lot of birdies out there and there would probably be some good scores this morning." Australia's top player Adam Scott was also among the
early starters but struggled with three bogeys and two birdies on his front nine before steadying his round with a single birdie in an otherwise flawless back nine for a 72. The world number seven, fresh from a victory at the Australian Masters, stuck with his belly putter and said he had paid the price for being too aggressive at the start of his round. Eight times major winner Tom Watson, now 63, and Chinese sensation Guan Tianlang, 14, were among the later starters and suffered for it as the wind picked up at The Lakes course. American Watson said he was "embarrassed" with his round after starting with three bogeys and two double bogeys on the front nine and ending up with a six-over-par 78. Guan, who next year will become the youngest player to take part in the U.S. Masters after winning the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship last month, failed to record a single birdie in his round of 82. "He was unlucky today," his father Guan Hanwen told Reuters. "He lipped out on four holes. He played this tournament to get used to these kind of condi-
tions which he is unfamiliar with." Briton Rose, who picked up five birdies in his first nine holes, was glad to have taken advantage of his early start to grab a share of second with locals Kim Felton, Richard Green, Brendan Jones and New Zealander Gareth Paddison. "When you see the draw, you know you have one early time when hopefully the wind will lay down," the Englishman said. "Wind obviously kicked up in the back nine, got a little bit tricky, but all in all, a good start." Rose, who has never won a national open, said he enjoyed the challenge of playing in such conditions. "You have to control your shots, and judge your trajectory - it's a lot of fun playing this kind of golf," he added. Australian Marcus Fraser was the best of the late starters and also had the best shot of the day when he hit a holein-one at the par-three 15th. He finished with a 69 to share seventh with compatriots Stephen Allan and Nick Flanagan, a shot behind Rose's group.
Jones perplexed by united loss MAnCHeSteR aGEnCiEs
Missing the start of the new season with an injured right leg, Jones made his return to Champions League football in Manchester United's loss to Galatasaray in the previous match day, and he took his place in the starting line-up once more in the Red Devils' final group match-up with CFR Cluj. However, the Englishman ended up on the losing side again, when Luis Alberto scored a stunning winner midway through the second half to wrap up all three points for the Romanian side. Speaking to MUTV after the game, Jones was perplexed as to why his team were not able to put away an equalizer during the last 45 minutes. "We were probably missing a little bit of urgency in the first half, but I think we had that in the second half," he noted. "Cluj were difficult to break down but we created enough chances, enough to win two games, and we put enough balls into the box. We just couldn’t stick our chances away while it was unfortunate they scored a wonder goal."
LAHoRe sTaFF REPORT
A 34-member golf team from Karachi arrived in Lahore ito renew their rivalry with the Lahore Golf Team and contest the Legends Classic Golf Event over three rounds of golf from 7th December to December 9. The first round of this Championship will be held at the Defence Raya Golf Course in Lahore on Friday, December 7, with tee off scheduled for 9.30am.The second and third rounds will be held at the Royal Palm Golf Course on Saturday,8th December and Sunday, December 9. Competition is expected to be razor sharp with both teams evenly balanced.
Friday, 7 December, 2012
Mystery race added to 2013 F1 calendar neW JeRSeY aGEnCiEs
Formula One could have 20 races again next season after the governing FIA pencilled in a mystery European round in July to fill a space left by the postponed Grand Prix of America in New Jersey. The International Automobile Federation said on Wednesday that the German Grand Prix would switch from July 14 to July 7 with July 21 now "reserved for another F1 European event" subject to approval of national bodies. While no further details were given, speculation focused mainly on the possible return of the Turkish Grand Prix in Istanbul. Germany's revised date
would see that race follow on immediately from the British Grand Prix at Silverstone on June 30, according to the previous provisional calendar, while the new event would be back-to-back with Hungary on July 28. Istanbul, where the FIA is currently holding its annual assembly and World Motor Sports Council meeting, would be a popular option for teams and drivers who rated the track on the Asian side highly before it was dropped from this year's calendar. Formula One's commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone dropped a hint on Tuesday when he told Italy's Gazzetta dello Sport that he was going to Istanbul "to try and revive the Turkish Grand Prix and take part in the world council."
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Lendl pulls out from Statoil Masters Tennis Henman and Santoro advance LonDon aGEnCiEs
ORMER world number one, Ivan Lendl, was forced to withdraw from the Statoil Masters Tennis 2012, an ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals) Champions Tour event taking place in London, Great Britain. Elsewhere, Tim Henman and Fabrice Santoro stole the show and progressed on Wednesday. The Czechoslovakian-born Lendl was making his debut at the Royal Albert Hall. However, he was forced to retire from this tournament with his knee and hip injury. Lendl, coach of the British number one and the world number three Andy Murray, stated in a press conference, “I am very disappointed that I will not be fit enough to play in the Statoil Masters Tennis in London. I have been looking forward to playing in the tournament all year having heard so much about it. For now I will concentrate on fixing and rehabilitating my knee and hip but I hope to be able to play at the Royal Albert Hall in the future.” In this 16th edition of the tournament, Guy Forget will replace Lendl in Group A of the Legends category. Forget will face off the former world number one John McEnroe in the evening session on Friday. He will then square
Australia drop troubled Tomic from Davis Cup team sYdNEY: Australia will not consider Bernard Tomic for their Davis Cup tie against Taiwan in February because of doubts about his commitment, Tennis Australia said on Thursday. Tomic, 20, was dubbed "Tomic the Tank Engine" this season after appearing to give up towards the end of a string of matches as he tumbled from a career-high world number 27 to his current ranking of 52. "As a team, we just felt that part of the commitment that we make to athletes and athletes make to the sport is they always put 100 per cent commitment and effort in competing for their country," director of tennis Craig Tiley told the Tennis Australia website (www.tennis.com.au). "It's not one specific incident, just an aggregation of his approach to the game ... "We just felt that this decision should provide additional motivation every time he walks on the court to be a total professional in his approach to not only his preparation but competing in the match and post-match. "And it would be no different if he was the number one player in Australia, or the number one player, or a junior." Tomic's late season slump lost him the title of Australian number one with Marinko Matosevic taking over as the country's top ranked player. Australia, who lost a World Group playoff to Germany in September to extend their stay outside the Davis Cup elite, face Taiwan in a Asia-Oceania Group 1 tie in Kaohsiung from Feb. 1-3. aGEnCiEs off against the former British number one, Jeremy Bates, in the afternoon session on Saturday. In Group B, former world number one Mats Wilander stomped over Australia’s Pat Cash in a three-set thriller.
He made an epic comeback from a set down to manipulate a 4-6, 6-3, 10-6 victory. Elsewhere, the British legend Tim Henman bounced back to outclass Sweden’s Thomas Enqvist in a repeat of last year’s final showdown.
More women tennis stars headed for Sydney Int’l SYDneY
LAHoRe sTaFF REPORT
In all twenty seven disciplines will be contested during the 32rnd National to be held here from December 22-28. This decision was taken at a meeting of the representatives of the various national federations held here on Thursday to review and finalize the arrangements of the Games. “ We will be holding 27 disciplines , some of them are for women, during the Games and we will hold the games in a befitting manner “,said Idris Haider Khawaja, Secretary, Punjab Olympic Association after the meeting. H said women will be featuring in as many as dozens of disciplines. The representatives of all the National Sports Federations, Provincial Olympic Associations, Punjab Olympic Associations, Pakistan Army, Pakistan Navy, Pakistan Air Force, Pakistan Wapda, Pakistan Railways, Pakistan Police, Higher Education Commission, and FATA attended the meeting. “All the Participating Units have confirmed their participation in these Games with their full fledge Contingents,” he asserted. The disciplines to be contested aare, Athletics (M&W), Baseball (M&W), Bodybuilding(M), Boxing (M), Cycling (M&W), Football (M&W), Gymnastics (M), Handball (M&W), Hockey (M), Ju-Jitsu (M&W), Kabaddi (M), Karate (M&W), Rifle Shooting (M&W), Rowing (M), Rugby (M), Sailing (M), Softball (M), Squash (M&W), Swimming (M&W) Table Tennis (M&W), Taekwondo (M&W), Tennis(M), Tug of War (M), Volleyball(M&W), Weightlifting (M), Wrestling (M) and Wushu (M*W) will be organized during these Games. “We will soon be announcing various committees for the smooth conduct of the event for which we have selected a number of arenas in the city “,said Khawaja.
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Agassi urges fellow champions to support charities neW YoRK aGEnCiEs
Aussie sports stars should dig deeper for charity, champion more causes and do more to help our communities, former US tennis ace Andre Agassi has warned. The four-time Australian Open winner said the biggest names in the game should be as focused on issues off the court, as their performance on it. "I would love to see more tennis players getting involved, more sports stars, there would be more understanding about how much can be done standing shoulder to shoulder," Agassi said. Melbourne PGA golfer Robert Allenby was among those to echo the sentiment yesterday. Allenby, who had already raised more than $19 million through his charity, Challenge, said that it felt good to give. "I have a high regard for charities that work behind the scenes for people who are sick or disadvantaged," he said. "To be able to play a game I love as a career, but also give back financially and be a positive role model for sick kids, has been a very satisfying experience." Agassi's determination to help underprivileged children through his charitable foundation has earned him widespread praise since he retired in 2006.
Benitez ready to rotate Chelsea trio MADRID aGEnCiEs
PboA finalises 27 disciplines for National Games
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The women's field for next year's Sydney International is edging towards the full suite of the world's top 10 players, but Maria Sharapova looks likely to ensure there's a gap in the chain. World No.4 Agnieszka Radwanska was on Thursday added as the top-ranked player for the January 6-12 event at Sydney Olympic Park, which includes Australia's world No.9 Sam Stosur. Germany's Angelique Kerber (No.5) and Czech Petra Kvitova (No.8) were also included in the draw, with organisers still hoping to attract the top three over coming weeks. World No.1 Victoria Azarenka is a good chance of returning, given she's the defending champion, and Serena Williams made the 2010 final on the way to winning the Australian Open two weeks later. But Sharapova's preference for resting the week before the first grand slam of the year in Melbourne is set to blunt any hope of all of the WTA elite gathering in the harbour city. The Sydney International has gained a reputation for finalists continuing their good form to the Australian Open, with the past four finals at Melbourne Park including a player who contested the decider in Sydney. Victoria Azarenka, Li Na, Kim Clijsters, Serena Williams and Dinara Safina have all benefited from playing all the way until Saturday's final. WoMEN sTARs CoNfIRMEd foR THE sYdNEY INTERNATIoNAL: Agnieszka Radwanska (Poland) - World No.4 Angelique Kerber (Germany) - No.5 Sara Errani (Italy) - No.6 Li Na (China) - No.7 Petra Kvitova (Czech) - No.8 Samantha Stosur (Australia) - No.9
Caroline Wozniacki (Denmark) - No.10 Nadia Petrova (Russia) - No.12 Maria Kirilenko (Russia) - No.14 Dominika Cibulkova (Slovakia) - No.15 Roberta Vinci (Italy) - No.16 Lucie Safarova (Czech) - No.17 Julia Goerges (Germany) - No.18 Ekaterina Makarova (Russia) - No.20 Varvara Lepchenko (US) - No.21 Jelena Jankovic (Serbia) - No.22 Yanina Wickmayer (Belgium) - No.23 Zheng Jie (China) - No.26 Tamira Paszek (Austria) - No.30 Urszula Radwanska (Poland) - No.31
Under the reign of former boss Roberto Di Matteo, Hazard, Mata and Oscar featured in almost every starting line-up the Italian fielded. However, Benitez has not followed in his predecessor's ways, with Mata and Oscar finding themselves on the bench during Chelsea's recent Premier League encounters with Fulham and West Ham. The Spaniard also dropped Oscar for the Blues' 6-1 Champions League rout of Nordsjaelland on Wednesday, and he shared with the club's official website the importance of preventing the star trio from becoming fatigued. "I can see the quality of these three players and when the team is in possession they are very dangerous, so we have to find the balance. Why I am changing players sometimes is they were playing too many games and you cannot be fresh if you are playing two games a week with this intensity in December," Benitez stated. "You have to manage the squad and if you have some other good players, you have to use them if you want to stay fine until the end of the season when you have to fight for trophies. In a game in which you can be in possession, you can use them all. If it is a game you have to manage because the opposition are physically strong then you may have another approach, but they can play together because they are very good players."
Vilanova has no regrets over Messi BARCeLonA aGEnCiEs
Messi was stretchered off near the end of the game after colliding with Benfica custodian Artur, and the Argentinian will have to undergo further tests on his bruised left knee before the full extent of his injury is known. Most of the pre-match hype on whether the 25-year-old could equal, or even possibly break, Gerd Muller's record of 85 goals in a calendar year, but Vilanova opted to start the diminutive forward on the bench and only brought him on just before the hour mark. With Barcelona having already secured qualification as group winners prior to this
game, Vilanova's decision to bring Messi on for what was essentially a dead rubber game for the Catalan giants was not well received, especially in light of the injury he sustained. However, the 44-year-old tactician declared that his decision to bring Messi on had nothing to do with the record, and claimed that he would have no qualms in doing the same thing if confronted with the same situation. "We talked about the possibility of him playing for 30 minutes," Vilanova was quoted as saying by the official Barcelona website. "He's a player that likes to play ... he's not focused on breaking the record that everyone is talking about, if that were the case he would have played against Alavés and the full 90 minutes tonight [Wednes-
day]. "Playing is part of his physical training. "We should sub him out every time we're leading 3-0 lest he picks up an injury but we've never behaved this way. "If I had a do-over I'd make the same decision [bringing Messi on] seeing that he can get injured at any moment." Nonetheless, Barcelona can now look forward to the next stage of the Champions League, and although they could be drawn against the likes of Arsenal and AC Milan, Vilanova remained adamant that he would be fine with whoever the Blaugrana were drawn to play with next. "I have no preference," Vilanova said when asked about which team he would like to play against in the next round of the Champions League.
Friday, 7 December, 2012
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Friday, 7 December, 2012
Egypt army deploys tanks outside presidential palace CAIRo aGEnCiEs
QuETTa: a large number of motorcyclists and rickshaws swarm at a petrol filling station for refueling on wednesday due to shortage of petrol in the provincial capital. InP
US pledges $200 million for Diamer Bhasha Dam WASHIngton sPECial CORREsPOnDEnT
Pakistan got a boost in its efforts to secure international financing for the massive Diamer Bhasha Dam, when the United States committed $200 million for preliminary work on the multi-billion dollars project. The US commitment, signifying a steady improvement in bilateral ties, was made to Finance Minister Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, who discussed the major project in a series of meetings with American officials. According to Shaikh, the multi-year power generation and water conservation project was likely to cost more than $10 billion. Washington’s expression of support for the project is seen as an important signal to the international finance institutions and rich countries in
terms of financial backing of the project, which upon its completion would contribute hugely to the country’s economic development. Rejecting the reports that the Asian Development Bank had backed out of its commitment to financing the mega project, the finance minister at a press conference said the ADB and the US would finance the feasibility study, surveys and consortium formation for the dam, to be built in Gilgit-Baltistan in an estimated 8-10 years. The government would complete land survey, feasibility and land acquisition processes to pave the way for construction of the dam. “This is a very good development,” Shaikh told reporters. Washington’s financing of the project would be in addition to the ongoing support it is providing to revamp existing dams’ power generation capacity.
GYPTIAN troops deployed tanks outside the presidential palace on Thursday as the nation awaited President Mohamed Morsi's first address since streets clashes between his supporters and opponents rocked the capital. The military set up a barbed wire barrier 150 metres from the palace, after ordering Morsi allies and foes alike to pull back. Confusion reigned as to whether Morsi would give a televised address to the nation, with a senior aide saying he would, but an official in his office later saying he would "most likely" not give the speech on Thursday. In Morsi's hometown, the Nile Delta city of Zagazig, police used tear gas to disperse protesters who surrounded the home of one of the president's relatives, a police official said. On Wednesday night, seven people were killed and 644 injured in clashes between Islamists and opposition activists, medical sources said. Another 50 people were arrested. The anti-Morsi camp is furious with the president for his assuming sweeping powers two weeks ago and by what it feels was the railroading through by an Islamist-dominated panel of a draft constitution. Many demonstrators were injured by birdshot, the Health Ministry said, but it was not immediately clear who was firing. "(Hosni) Mubarak was tried for not protecting protesters. What about Morsi?" said student Korlos Magdy, 21, referring to the veteran strongman who was sentenced
to life in prison for his role in the deaths of hundreds of protesters in the uprising that toppled him early last year. At least 10 Republican Guard tanks deployed around the presidential palace in the upmarket Cairo neighbourhood of Heliopolis as the army gave demonstrators a 3pm (1300 GMT) deadline to disperse. Morsi supporters who had camped out near the palace began packing their belongings ahead of the deadline, the correpondent reported. Morsi opponents regrouped in a square about 300 metres (yards) away. Republican Guard chief General Mohammed Zaki said the tanks were deployed to separate the feuding sides, pledging that the military "will not be an instrument of oppression." Morsi, who often spends the night at his private home in another Cairo suburb, arrived at the palace early on Thursday. Egypt's top Islamic body, Al-Azhar, told him he should "suspend the latest decree and stop using it," while also demanding an unconditional dialogue between the president and his opponents. Four of Morsi's advisers have quit over the crisis, official news agency MENA reported, and the head of state television has also resigned, the independent newspaper Al-Masry al-Youm reported on its website. The Cairo stock market took a heavy hit from the latest violence, with the EGX30 index plunging 4.6 percent at the close. Wednesday's violence erupted when the Muslim Brotherhood, which fielded Morsi for the presidency, marched to the palace where opposition protesters were holding a sit-in. Pro- and anti-Morsi activists armed
with sticks, guns, fire bombs and rocks clashed with each other through the night. "It's the beginning of a religious state," said Sahar Ali, a 39-year-old tour guide and Morsi opponent. "They're trying to turn it into Iran, but we won't let this happen. We got rid of the military -- the Brotherhood is next." The opposition says it will not stand down until Morsi surrenders his new powers -- which put his decisions beyond judicial review -- and until he cancels a snap December 15 referendum on the new constitution opposed by liberals and Christians. The Brotherhood urged protesters on both sides to stand down, as did Prime Minister Hisham Qandil. The United States called for an open and "democratic dialogue" in Egypt. "The upheaval we are seeing... indicates that dialogue is urgently needed. It needs to be two-way," US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in comments echoed by Britain and the European Union. Despite the protests, Vice President Mahmud Mekki said a referendum on the charter "will go ahead on time" on December 15. He said the opposition would be allowed to object in writing to articles in the draft constitution that would be discussed by a parliament yet to be elected. Prominent opposition leader and former UN nuclear watchdog chief Mohamed ElBaradei said Morsi bore "full responsibility" for the violence. He said the opposition was ready for dialogue but would use "any means necessary" to scupper the charter, stressing, however, that they would be peaceful.
Foreign troops in Afghanistan to bear the brunt of TTP leadership change ISLAMABAD aGEnCiEs
The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) is preparing for a leadership change that could mean less violence against the state but more attacks against US-led forces in Afghanistan, according to media reports citing Pakistani military sources. Hakimullah Mehsud, a ruthless commander who has led the TTP for the last three years, has lost operational control of the movement and the trust of his fighters, said a senior Pakistan army official based in the South Waziristan tribal region, the group’s stronghold. The organisation’s more moderate deputy leader, Wali-ur-Rehman, 40, is poised to succeed Mehsud, whose extreme violence has alienated enough of his fighters to significantly weaken him, the military sources said. “Rehman is fast emerging as a consensus candidate to formally replace Hakimullah,” said the army official, who declined to be identified because of the sensitivity of the matter. “Now we may see the brutal commander replaced by a more pragmatic one for whom reconciliation with the Pakistani government has become a priority.” The TTP was set up as an umbrella group of militants in 2007. Its main aim is to topple the US-backed government in Pakistan and impose its brand of Islam across the country of 185 million people, although it has also carried out attacks in neighbouring Afghanistan. The militants intensified their battle against the Pakistani state after an army raid on Islamabad’s Lal Masjid in 2007, which had been seized by allies of the group. Mehsud, believed to be in his mid-
30s, took over the Pakistan Taliban in August 2009. He rose to prominence in 2010 when US prosecutors charged him with involvement in an attack that killed seven CIA employees at a US base in Afghanistan. His profile was raised further when he appeared in a farewell video with the Jordanian suicide bomber who killed the employees. Three senior military officials interviewed in this regard said that informers in the TTP had told them Mehsud was no longer steering the group. Pakistan Taliban commanders did not respond to repeated requests for comment on the possible leadership change. US officials said that while Rehman was Mehsud’s natural successor, they cautioned about expecting an imminent transition. Mehsud’s standing in the Pakistan Taliban might have weakened, but he still had followers, they said. Washington has offered a reward of $5 million for information leading to the capture of either Mehsud or Rehman. One Pakistan military official, who has served in South Waziristan for more than two years, said his Pakistan Taliban contacts first alerted him to Mehsud’s waning power six months ago, when constant pressure from the Pakistan military, US drone strikes and poor health had hurt his ability to lead. “Representing the moderate point of view, there is a probability that under Rehman, TTP will dial down its fight against the Pakistani state, unlike Hakimullah who believes in wanton destruction here,” said the military official based in the South Waziristani capital of Wana. The official said this might lead to more attacks across the border in Afghanistan be-
cause Rehman has been pushing for the group’s fighters to turn their guns on Western forces. Other factions within the TTP such as the Nazir group in South Waziristan and the Hekmat Gul Bahadur faction in North Waziristan have struck peace deals with the Pakistani military while focusing attacks on Western and Afghan forces in Afghanistan. A change in the TTP’s focus would complicate Western efforts to stabilise Afghanistan before most NATO troops leave by the end of 2014, said Riaz Mohammad Khan, a Pakistani diplomat who has held several posts dealing with Afghanistan. The United States is already fighting the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani network, which is based along the unruly frontier between Afghanistan and Pakistan and which is perhaps Washington’s deadliest foe in Afghanistan. The last thing US-led NATO troops need is a new, formidable enemy in the approach to 2014. Such a shift in emphasis, however, could reduce the number of suicide bombings that have plagued Pakistan in recent years, scaring off investment needed to prop up an economy that has barely managed to grow since 2007. The TTP, which is close to al Qaeda, remains resilient despite a series of military offensives. It took part in a number of high-profile operations, including an attack on army headquarters in 2009, assaults on military bases, and the attempted assassination of Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousufzai in October, who had campaigned for girls’ education. The TTP was also blamed for the 2008 bombing of the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad which killed more than 50 people. Under Mehsud, the organisation formed
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complex alliances with other militant groups spread across Pakistan. But it has long been strained by internal rivalries over strategy. Mehsud has pushed the war with the Pakistani state, while others such as Rehman want the battle to be against US and allied forces in Afghanistan. “Rehman has even held secret negotiations with the Pakistani government in the past but Hakimullah always stood in his way, wanting to carry on fighting the Pakistani military,” a second Wana-based military official said. The two were at each other’s throats earlier this year and hostilities were close to open warfare, Taliban sources said. “Differences within the ranks have only gotten worse, not better, rendering the TTP a much weaker force today than a few years ago,” the second military official said. A source close to the Taliban said there had been months of internal talks on the Pakistan Taliban’s decreasing support among locals and fighters in tribal areas where the group has assassinated many progovernment elders. “The Taliban know they are fighting a public relations war, and under someone like Hakimullah, they will only lose it,” added the source, who declined to be identified because he was not authorised to speak to the media. It isn’t clear whether Mehsud will hand over the leadership to Rehman without a fight. A power struggle could split the group, making it more difficult to recruit young fighters and also disrupt the safe havens in Pakistan used by Afghan militants. According to accepted practice, a leadership council, or shura, will ultimately decide whether to formally replace Mehsud with
Editor: Arif Nizami
Rehman. Intelligence officials said Mehsud had not commanded any recent operations, including an August 16 attack on the Minhas Airbase in Pakistan and a suicide attack on a street market in May that killed 24 people. Military sources said Rehman planned the April 15 jail break in Bannu in Pakistan that freed 384 prisoners, including an estimated 200 Taliban members and an al Qaedalinked militant who had attempted to assassinate former president Pervez Musharraf. fALL fRoM GRACE: Intelligence officials in the area said Mehsud’s brutality had turned his own subordinates against him, while the more measured Rehman had emerged as the group’s primary military strategist. “If a leader doesn’t behave like a leader, he loses support. For the longest time now, Hakimullah has done the dirty work while Wali-ur-Rehman is the thinker. Taliban fighters recognise this,” said the first Pakistani military source. A local elder described Mehsud as “short-tempered and trigger-happy”. “(Mehsud) used to work 24 hours a day, tirelessly. But he would also put a gun to anyone’s head and kill them for his cause,” said a local shopkeeper who has family members involved in the Pakistan Taliban. Mehsud gained his reputation fighting with the Afghan Taliban against US and allied forces in Helmand province in Afghanistan. He was later given command of Taliban factions in the Bajaur, Orakzai, Khyber and Kurram regions. He took over the Pakistan Taliban after a weeks-long succession battle with Rehman following the death of Baitullah Mehsud in a drone strike. The two Mehsuds were not related.