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Nawaz Sharif links 20th Amendment consensus to early elections PAGE 03

Rescue work nears conclusion, 7 still missing LAHORE | PAGE 7

Three families massacred in Syria’s Homs PAGE 17

pakistantoday.com.pk

rs15.00 Vol ii no 223 22 pages lahore edition

thursday, 9 February, 2012 rabi-ul-awal 16, 1433

Senators suspect agencies’ role in Domki murders g

Argue over validity of US Congress hearing on Balochistan unrest

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ISLAMABAD TAHIR NIAZ

he senators on Wednesday cautiously pointed the finger towards the intelligence agencies of the country as they condemned the murder of the wife and daughter of Mir Bakhtiar Domki as brutal, inhumane and contrary to Baloch traditions, with two of them arguing whether the debate in the US Congress committee on the Balochistan issue was justified under the prevailing circumstances in the restive province. Senator haji Adeel linked the Balochistan situation to that in Palestine and Kashmir and justified the debate in the US Congress Committee on the Balochistan issue under the prevailing circumstances in the province, saying if the world discussed Palestine, Kashmir, Iraq and Syria, why should it not discuss the Balochistan issue when the province was plagued by human rights violations. he said the establishment had taken the same path that had led to the creation of Bangladesh. however, Senator haroon Akhtar said: “how dare they (US) have a meeting on the Balochistan issue and talk about an independent Balochistan?” he said some foreign powers were active in Balochistan and

added that no intelligence agency or individual could commit this inhumane and shocking crime. he suggested that as the US was reportedly on the brink of disintegration, the Foreign Relations Committee of parliament should hold a meeting and discuss the possible US disintegration. It was Senator Shahid Bughti who first put the ‘facts’ before the house as he heard from the sole survivor of the incident, the 15-year-old maid, and rejected the ‘conclusion’ that deaths were the result of an enmity. Senator Shahid Bugti demanded that Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani clear his position: either the gruesome incident took place on his wish or he was unable to prevent such incidents. he said some government officials tried to twist the facts and labelled the incident an outcome of an enmity. The killers, he said, had used silenced guns. “It is totally wrong that the killings were the outcome of an enmity… killing of women in even the worst kind of Baloch enmity is out of the question, as society gives respect to the females of the rivals,” he said. Without mentioning names, Bugti said same elements were involved in the killing of the Domki family members which were also involved in kidnappings in Balochistan. Continued on page 04

baloChistan unrest eChoes again in na | page 04

QUETTA: Locals gather at the site of a bomb explosion at Liaqat Bazaar. A 10-kilogramme bomb exploded in the area late on Tuesday, injuring one person. online

28 MPs hang in the balance as 20th Amend talks near end ISLAMABAD IRFAN BUKHARI

The fate of 28 legislators continues to hang in the balance as talks between the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) on the 20th Constitutional Amendment Bill remained inconclusive on Wednesday, with both sides claiming that the deadlock had been broken but insiders telling Pakistan Today that the make-or-break round of talks would be held on Thursday (today). “Both sides made some progress on the appointment of a caretaker setup but PPP leaders Khurshid Shah, Naveed Qamar and Raza Rabbani sought some time from the PML-N to take the nod of President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani,” said a source in the PML-N, adding

that the PPP leaders had agreed to amend the existing constitutional mechanism of the appointment of a caretaker setup on the PML-N’s demand but needed the consent of the party’s top command. The source said further that both sides also agreed to apply the same procedure for the appointment of caretaker setups in the provinces as the one adopted by the Centre. “The PML-N told the PPP leaders that without amending the constitutional procedure of appointing a caretaker setup, they would never support the 20th Constitutional Amendment,” the source said, adding that the PML-N had not budged from its stance of substituting the words “in consultation with the leader of the opposition” with “in consensus with the leader of the opposition” Continued on page 04

SC to hear intra-court appeal against PM’s indictment today ISLAMABAD MASOOD REHMAN

An eight-member Supreme Court larger bench, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, will take up an intra-court appeal today to decide the fate of Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani in the contempt of court case. Aitzaz Ahsen, counsel for the prime minister, on Wednesday filed the appeal against the decision of a seven-member bench that summoned his client on February 13 to indict him on charges of committing contempt by not implementing court orders in the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) case. Ahsen, who will for the first time since the restoration of the judges appear before a bench headed by the chief justice, requested the court to accept and allow the appeal, set aside the Continued on page 04


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02 News Today’s

thursday, 9 February 2012

LAHore

newS

‘Selfish killers’

Pakistan blasts US drone attacks

Story on Page 07

Story on Page 05

CArtoon

Quick look

Page 13

PM asks overseas Pakistanis to bring good name to country DOHA APP

Overseas Pakistani students are the ambassadors of their country and they should do their best to bring a good name to their motherland, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani said on Wednesday. Addressing a ceremony here at the Pakistan education Centre, Gilani announced a grant of $100,000 for the centre, which caters to the educational needs of 3,000 students. he said the centre’s former students were now serving various fields and were contributing to the development and progress of Qatar. he praised the institution’s students for winning top positions in the annual examinations conducted by the Federal Board of education. Gilani also laid the foundation stone of a new building for the Pakistani embassy in Doha. Speaking on the occasion, he urged the embassy staff to promote a soft image of Pakistan. he told the Pakistani diplomats to further strengthen the brotherly ties with Qatar. Later, the prime minister concluded his three-day official visit and left for Pakistan.

Indian ministers resign over watching porn during session BANGALORE AFP

Three state ministers from southern India, including one holding a portfolio for women and child development, resigned on Wednesday after being accused of watching porn in the local assembly. The ministers from the ruling rightwing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) were filmed by television cameras watching graphic footage on their mobile phones on Tuesday while other lawmakers in the house were debating legislation. In the footage, the ministers were seen watching a woman dancing, undressing and then engaging in a sexual act. They passed their mobile phones amongst themselves. “We have resigned to avoid embarrassment to our party and not give the opposition an opportunity to disrupt the assembly proceedings today,” state minister for cooperation Laxman Savadi told reporters. “We were watching a clipping of an incident for a discussion on the rave parties held at St Mary’s Island (on the western coast of Karnataka). It was not a porn clip.” Karnataka’s minister for women and child development, CC Patil, and the minister for ports and fishery Krishna Palemar also stepped down. “It’s a shameless act. The three ministers have submitted their resignation. We will set up an enquiry committee to probe the incident,” said BJP spokeswoman Nirmala Sitharaman in New Delhi.

JUI-Ideological leader shot dead in Chaman QUETTA STAFF REPORT

A central leader of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI)-Ideological was shot dead in an armed attack in the border town of Chaman on Wednesday. According to Levies sources, unidentified gunmen intercepted JUI-Ideological leader Abdul Ghani in the outskirts of Chaman town and shot at him, injuring him badly. Ghani was taken to the hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries. The attackers fled from the scene. After getting the news, a large number of party workers rushed to the hospital and protested against the killing. So far no one has claimed responsibility for the murder. The Levies have registered a case against unidentified men and started searching for the killers.

KARACHI: A large number of people gathered at the fish harbour on Wednesday to look at the whale shark that washed ashore the day before. online

Pakistan, Russia agree to promote bilateral ties Foreign Minister Khar says both countries to work for enhancement of trade, energy and people-to-people relations g

MOSCOW APP

P

AKISTAN and Russia on Wednesday agreed to promote and enhance bilateral relations in diverse fields, including trade, energy and people-to-people contacts. Addressing a joint press conference along with her Russian counterpart, Foreign Minister hina Rabbani Khar said there had been a scope for cooperation between the two countries in various areas and all aspects for improving cooperation had been discussed during the meeting of the two foreign ministers. Foreign Minister hina Rabbani Khar is visiting the Russian Federation at the invitation of her Russian counterpart Sergey Viktorovich Lavrov, from February 7 to 10. She held in-depth talks with

her Russian counterpart on expanding and diversifying PakistanRussia relations. The two foreign ministers exchanged views on regional and global issues of mutual interest besides increasing cooperation in energy, infrastructure development, agriculture, science and technology. To a question on Afghanistan, hina Rabbani Khar said Pakistan had clear policy that it would extend full help and cooperation to any Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan-driven peace initiative, as it was the only long lasting solution to the problem. She said Pakistan had repeatedly said that there should be a political solution to the Afghan problem for durable peace in the region. The foreign minister said TAPI and KASA 1000 energy projects were also discussed during the meeting, adding that Pakistan got an encouraging response from

Russia for more investment in Pakistan Steel Mills. The foreign minister said next quadrilateral summit being held in Pakistan was also discussed during the meeting with her Russian counterpart. Addressing the joint press conference, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said both the countries also agreed to cooperate in fighting terrorism and drug crimes. he said, “We have a good future in implementation of major transnational energy projects at the border between the Central Asian and South Asian regions.” Lavrov said, “In our international cooperation we pay special attention to the issues of terrorism and drug crimes.” he said soon, federal service representative of Russia on control of drug substances would start working in Islamabad.

Pilot killed as PAF’s Chinese jet crashes in Pishin ISLAMABAD STAFF REPORT

An F-7PG fighter aircraft of the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) crashed 24 nautical miles north of Quetta while on a routine training mission on Wednesday. “The pilot embraced martyrdom. No loss to civilian life or property on ground has been reported. A board of enquiry has been ordered to determine the cause of accident,” a PAF statement said. “It was a Chinese-made F-7PG training aircraft,” Air Commodore Anis Mirza said. The plane crashed in Pishin district during a “routine” training mission, he said, adding that the pilot “embraced martyrdom”. The cause of the crash was not immediately known, he said. An investigation is under way. It was the fourth air force jet to crash in training in over three months. Two pilots were killed in the other incidents and a helicopter crash last June killed four military personnel.


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thursday, 9 February 2012

ForeIGn newS

ArtS & entertAInMent

SPortS

Gandhi election test in most populous Indian state

Oops... Dippy did it again

Pakistan prepare for Afghanistan ODI

News 03 CoMMent Signs of a thaw: Good omens about Pak-US relations.

Hard times:

An understatement given our (and the global) economy’s state.

Naizr Naji says: The fear factor: First it was just India. Now it’s everyone.

Imran Husain says: Bravo Team Pakistan!: The Greenwash of the Poms.

Umair Javed says: Apolitical coalitions: Is the middleclass apathetic or antipathetic towards politics?

Story on Page 15

Story on Page 17

Story on Page 18

Articles on Page 12-13

Govt can’t appoint defence secy until verdict ISLAMABAD SALMAN ABBAS

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eJeCTING the plea of former defence secretary Lt General (r) Naeem Khalid Lodhi seeking interim relief by cancellation of the notification of Nargis Sethi’s appointment as acting defence secretary and to restore him to his position, the Islamabad high Court (IhC) on Wednesday directed the president and establishment secretary not to appoint

any other officer to the post currently assigned to Sethi. The court maintained the status quo of the defence secretary’s post until the final decision on the writ petition filed by Lt Gen (r) Lodhi against his dismissal. Issuing the order, the court disposed of the civil miscellaneous application filed by Lodhi and adjourned the hearing of his writ petition. Lt Gen (r) Lodhi was removed from the post of defence secretary by Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani in January, after which he moved the IhC against his dismissal and

filed two petitions seeking to reverse the orders. A single member bench, comprising Justice Azim Khan Afridi, was hearing his two petitions filed through his counsel FK Butt citing President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, the cabinet secretary, establishment secretary and acting defence secretary as respondents. In the civil miscellaneous application, the court ordered that on the basis of the notification dated 11/1/2012, the petitioner had been relieved of the charge of defence secre-

tary and the post had already been assigned to Nargi Sethi in an acting capacity, so the petitioner’s plea for reinstatement on the strength of an interim order could not be accepted. Lt Gen (r) Lodhi’s counsel submitted that his client was terminated by the prime minister without any prior notice and requested the court to cancel the termination orders. he also requested the court to cancel the notification of the appointment of Sethi as acting defence secretary. however, Deputy Attorney General Tariq Mahmood Jahangiri

Law Ministry babus’ grammar comes under fire in nA

nawaz links 20th Amendment consensus to early polls BAHAWALPUR ONLINE

Pakistan Muslim League–Nawaz (PML-N) President Nawaz Sharif linked an understanding with the government on the 20th Constitutional Amendment with early general elections on Wednesday, saying the deadlock on the amendment would continue if the government failed to accept the opposition’s recommendations regarding the election Commission of Pakistan (eCP). he told reporters that the government would be the only one responsible for Senate election results if they were held in “this worst environment”. he said dialogue between the ruling party and the opposition should be meaningful regarding the 20th Amendment and early elections being held in a transparent manner. he alleged that the government had misused the term ‘consultation’ and had never included the oppositions in its decisions. he said the PML-N supported the Supreme Court verdict on the suspension of memberships of provincial and National Assembly members elected on bogus voter lists during by-elections. he said the eCP was responsible for the bogus lists. he also demanded the government make the eCP more independent, saying the country’s future depended on transparent and fair elections, which were possible only when the eCP was independent. “The credit for initiating the NRO and memogate cases on the floor of the National Assembly goes to the PML-N. If we had not initiated the NRO case in the National Assembly, it would be have been legalised,” Nawaz said.

Police SI allegedly abducted by military personnel LAHORE STAFF REPORT

Unidentified armed men on Wednesday kidnapped a sub-inspector posted in Misri Shah police station. Police sources said Sub-Inspector Muhammad Javed of Misri Shah police arrested Saleem Maseeh for his alleged involvement in a case of theft. On Wednesday, the SI was interrogating Saleem when some armed men forced their entry into Misri Shah police station. They got Saleem released from the custody of police, abducted SI Javed and fled. The sources said Saleem was a Khakroab in army and the kidnappers who abducted SI Javed and got Saleem released from police custody were wearing army uniforms. They added that police had registered a report against the unidentified kidnappers and sent a copy of the report to the military authorities. The sources said SI Javed was released by the kidnappers later.

contended that Lt Gen (r) Lodhi was working on a two-year contract and according to the rules for contractual employees, the government could terminate them whenever it wanted by paying them a month’s salary in advance. The counsel for Lt Gen (r) Lodhi contended that the premier terminated his client with a view to clear the way for further illegal steps to arbitrarily remove the army chief and Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) director general (DG) for the fulfilment of his political agenda “to ruin this country”.

ISLAMABAD STAFF REPORT

QUETTA: Residents of Railway Colony block the main road during a demonstration against the anti-encroachment campaign of the Railways administration on Wednesday. ONLINe

Police register murder case against Mian Amer, 63 others Dunya news Ceo cries foul, accuses Punjab govt of victimisation g Govt suspends FIr, Sanaullah orders enquiry g

LAHORE STAFF REPORT

Gulberg Police registered a case of murder against Mian Amer Mehmood, the chief executive of Dunya News and chairman of the Punjab Group of Colleges, and 63 other officials of the Punjab Group of Colleges late on Wednesday night. The case was registered on the complaint of Muhammad Nawaz Warraich, a resident of Canal View, against Mian Amer, Dr Sohail Afzal, Tahir Aagha, Major (r) Saleem and 60 other unidentified people. Warraich claimed in his complaint that his two daughters Farah Nawaz and Zainab Nawaz were students of the Punjab Group of Colleges and on January 9, he dropped them both off to attend a cultural show organised by the college administration where both sustained serious injuries along with dozens of other girls in a stampede. he said Farah later died at Services hospital while Zainab was discharged after

treatment. he said in his complaint that the people he had named were responsible for the death of his daughter, so police registered a case against them. Dunya News Bureau Chief Salman Ghani told reporters that the case was registered by the police on the instructions of the Punjab government in order to stop Dunya News from telling the truth about it and exposing its misdeeds, especially the negligence of the Punjab government in the spurious drugs scandal. All unions of journalists, including Lahore Press Club (LPC), Federal Union of Journalists (FUJ) and Punjab Union of Journalists (PUJ), condemned the Punjab government for the alleged victimisation. LPC President Sarmad Bashir condemned the act and said the PUJ would protest on Thursday (today) on the instructions of the FUJ. he said the LPC would support the PUJ’s protest rally. In a late night development, the Punjab government directed Punjab

Police to suspend the first information report (FIR) against Mian Amer and the others. Law Minister Rana Sanaullah told reporters that the case registered against Mian Amer and others was illegal as police could not register two cases of one incident. he said the home secretary had conducted an enquiry earlier in which he held former Model Town Division superintendent of police (SP) Malik Awais responsible for the incident in which the girl lost her life. On the recommendation of the home secretary, he said, the Punjab government had transferred and suspended Awais, who later got the case registered against Mian Amer and others. he said the Punjab government had ordered Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Maj Mubashar Ullah to conduct an enquiry into the negligence of police in this regard. Mian Amer later on called the presidents of all unions of journalists and thanked them for their cooperation.

With the Lower house of parliament passing two important bills on Wednesday, the babus of the Law Ministry came under strong criticism of PPP lawmaker Syed Zafar Ali Shah, who grilled the bureaucrats for presenting bills filled with errors, lacunae and drafting mistakes without even giving it a second reading to get rid of legal and grammatical faults. “There are so many drafting errors in these bills and even commas and full stops have not been used appropriately. even ministers don’t cater to these mistakes and bills after bills are being passed with drafting errors. The law minister should summon those officials and should take them to task,” said Zafar Ali Shah while speaking on a point of order. Referring to the State Bank of Pakistan (Amendment) Bill 2011, Shah also took to task the relevant ministers and legislators who did not point out mistakes in the bill earlier, as the same had earlier been passed by both houses of parliament. “Under the law, if this bill is not passed now, the government would have to summon joint session of parliament to pass this bill,” he asserted. Minister of State for Oroduction Khwaja Sheraz Mehmood admitted drafting mistakes in the bill and assured the house that such a mistake would not be repeated. Deputy speaker Faisal Karim Kundi, who was chairing the session, directed Law Minister Maula Bux Chandio to take action against the officials who were involved in making these mistakes. The minister assured action against the concerned officials and pledged that such mistakes would not be repeated. Later the State Bank of Pakistan (Amendment) Bill 2011 was passed unanimously as opposition did not oppose. The bill was aimed at amending the State Bank of Pakistan act, 1956, being an old law which would benefit from being updated to bring it closer to the current functions of a modern central bank and to better confirm to best international practice. The house also passed the Private and Infrastructure Board Bill, 2011 unanimously. Minister for Water and Power Naveed Qamar presented the bill. The PPIB was created per the 1994 power policy to act as “one window” operation for attracting and facilitating private investment in power generation and allied infrastructure projects. “It is expected that the draft stature will inspire private sector and public sector confident in the authority, credibility, efficiency and permanence,” the bill says. There is also a shift in emphasis from thermal to hydel and coalbased power generation, and private investors are already showing interest in undertaking such projects.


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04 News

thursday, 9 February, 2012

SC to hear intra-court appeal Continued From page 1 impugned order passed by the seven-member bench, withdraw the show-cause notice forthwith in the interest of justice and suspend the proceedings before the sevenmember bench until a decision on the appeal. In the seven-page appeal, Ahsen has raised 54 legal points and sought relief on the grounds that the order of the seven-member bench was devoid of any reasons as evident from its bare perusal, as it merely reflected the conclusion reached that the court was satisfied that it was in the interest of justice that further proceedings should take place in the matter. “No grounds, explanation or reason has been given in support of this conclusion. There is no discussion as to the basis on which the satisfaction of the court was achieved, nor is there any elucidation of how the interest of justice would be served by proceeding further. None of the arguments advanced by the counsel for the appellant is recorded in the impugned order. The justifications put forward by the appellant in support of his plea that the showcause notice should be discharged are not even alluded to. It is manifest that the impugned order has been mechanically passed,” he stated in the appeal.

28 MPs hang Continued From page 1 in the existing constitutional procedure of the prime minister installing the caretaker setup. Religious Affairs Minister Khursheed Shah told reporters after the meeting that they had made “enough and meaningful progress” in the dialogue process. he said, however, that final shape would be given to the process within a day or two. Shah also said it was decided in the meeting that the two sides would consult their leaderships before final consensus on all the issues. he said Prime Minister Gilani still needed to be briefed about the proceedings. National Assembly Opposition Leader Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan told reporters that there was no more deadlock in the talks but added that it was premature to predict a final breakthrough. he said his party suggested that like the Centre, the procedure of the formation of caretaker governments should also be extended to the provinces. “Tomorrow’s meeting would be a make-or-break session for the talks, as we will not hold more dialogue in case consensus is not reached,” said Nisar. he also demanded that action be taken against the chief election commissioner for holding by-elections without the completion of the election Commission of Pakistan, which had resulted in the suspension of 28 members of parliament and provincial assemblies. he said the government and the chief election commissioner were both responsible for the suspension of the 28 members. he said further that Jamiat Ulema-e-IslamFazl chief Fazlur Rehman had given him a complete mandate to negotiate with the government on the 20th Amendment.

NA echoes with queries on US involvement in Balochistan ISLAMABAD

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MIAN ABRAR

he US involvement in Balochistan unrest once again echoed in the National Assembly on Wednesday with two treasury members expressing concerns over the government’s apathy towards the gravity of the issue and sought response from Interior Minister Rehman Malik about questions raised by none other than the brother of Balochistan chief minister, Senator Mir Lashkari Raisani. however, rather than feeling the gravity of the situation, the members took no interest in the proceedings and remained involved in group discussions and exchange of pleasantries seeming reluctant to the points raised by their colleagues. “Senator Lashkari Raisani has claimed that Rehman Malik had contacted him and urged to stage a drama that some (Baloch) militants had come back from hills to participate in negotiations with the government because the army did not want reconciliation with the militants. Malik has tried to create a wedge

Continued From page 1 “Just to cover up, they are now giving another colour to the incident and declaring it the result of an enmity,” he added. he said the incident was a message to specific people. As Bugti announced a walkout from the house against the killings, the treasury and opposition members joined him but the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) members were in a state of ‘to be or not to be’ when Senate Chairman Farooq Naek sensibly adjourned the proceedings for prayers. Senator Abdul Ghafoor haideri said if some powers had already decided to separate Balochistan and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa from the

between the Baloch and the army. I want Malik to respond to this allegation which is of very serious nature,” claimed humayon Aziz Kurd, who also hails from Balochistan, on a point of order. he said the minister should inform the house why the army did not want reconciliation with the insurgents while there were reports that the US intelligence agency CIA was involved in Balochistan violence. earlier, the PML-Q’s Nausheen Saeed set the tone about the US involvement into Balochistan, and said direct US involvement into the internal affairs of Pakistan was unacceptable. Referring to media reports of a congressional committee meeting about Balochistan unrest and the participation of some Baloch politicians in the US, Nausheen said the report had quoted a US official claiming that if Balochistan was liberated, it could facilitate the US in NATO supplies to Afghanistan. “The report has said not only the NATO supplies could be restored through Balochistan but Gwadar Port could prove to be an asset for NATO supplies. The report also said the US could also launch direct attacks into Waziristan through Balochistan,” she said.

AnP ignores Begum naseem wali while announcing Senate candidates PESHAWAR SAJJAD ALI

The Awami National Party (ANP) has announced tickets to its members for Senate elections on the 12 seats of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, while denying candidature to Begum Naseem Wali Khan, wife of former party chief Wali Khan. A party spokesman said that Senator Ilyas Ahmed Bilour will enjoy another term on the technocrat seat, while former federal minister Azam Khan hoti, ANP Sindh President Shahi Syed and former provincial minister Baz Muhammad Khan would be the party’s nominees on general seats. Zahida Khan would contest election on the special seat for women, and Amarjeet would be ANP’s candidate from the minorities. The spokesman said a meeting of the ANP Parliamentary Board held under Senator Afrasiab Khattak discussed and appreciated the services of all the applicants. however, the spokesman avoided to explain why Begum Naseem Wali Khan was ignored while awarding Senate election tickets. Sources told Pakistan Today that Begum Naseem Wali’s request for election ticket was turned down due to her age and health.

SenATorS SUSPeCT rest of the country, they must let (the other people) know and take them into confidence about their plan. “Is there any law in Balochistan? Are these people above the law? Are they out of the judiciary’s reach?” he asked the government. Senator Abdul Nabi Bangash said such acts of ‘adventurism’ would lead to further hatred (against the State) amongst Baloch people. “The people who are acting as a statewithin-a-state are not friends of the country, they are enemies. The regular army lost half of the country, Kashmir, Siachen and Kargil. These people are snakes in the grass but dis-

guised as defenders of the country,” he said. Senator Abdul Rahim Mandokhel demanded the government rein in all those involved in such incidents. Senator hasil Bazinjo said the point to ponder was that what message had been sent through this incident. She was not only the wife of Bakhtiar Domki but also the sister of Brahamdagh Bugti. Senator Prof Ibrahim said the US should not be allowed to exploit the Balochistan issue as a political tool. About the killing, he said that there was not even a slight difference in the unrest in Balochistan under a democratically elected from former presi-

dent Pervez Musharraf’s regime. Senator Zahid Khan said east Pakistan separated because of neglect and abuse on the part of West Pakistan and the current situation in Balochistan was not too different. Senator Mushahidullah Khan said elements of ‘revenge’ seemed to be dominating the incident. he asked the government to extend its reconciliation policy to Balochistan just like it did to other political parties to extend its rule. Leader of the house Syed Nayyar Bukhari condemned the incident and said the Parliamentary Committee on National Security should examine the incident and discuss the forces that wanted to destabilise the country.


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All four governors, two CMs call on president

News 05

Pakistan blasts US drone attacks Pakistan’s high commissioner to Britain says Islamabad ‘has the means’ to retaliate unless carnage ceases g Says Pakistan would have no choice but to support Iran if Israel attacks g

ISLAMABAD

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APP

MONITORING DESK

A K I S T A N ’ S high Commissioner to Britain Wajid Shamsul hasan on Wednesday warned Britain to help stop the US “Drone Wars” that were slaughtering hundreds of Pakistan’s innocent civilians. In an interview to The Sun, hasan said Pakistan “has the means” to retaliate unless the carnage ceases. But he urged British Prime Minister David Cameron to condemn US drone attacks on al Qaeda and Taliban training camps in the north west– dubbing them as “war crimes” and “little more than state executions”. hasan, who the British paper called tough-talking, also declared Pakistan would have no choice but to support Iran if “aggressive” Israel attacks it.

All four provincial governors, including Punjab Governor Latif Khosa, Sindh Governor Ishratul ebad, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Barrister Masood Kausar and Balochistan Governor Zulfiqar Magsi called on President Asif Ali Zardari at the Presidency on Wednesday. Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa CM Ameer haider Khan hoti were also present during the meeting. The law and order in the provinces and the overall political situation were discussed in the meeting. Afterwards, Federal Religious Affairs Minister Syed Khurshid Ahmed Shah and PPP leader Senator Dr Babar Awan also joined the meeting.

PPP ready to talk to those believing in state’s writ: Firdous

But his immediate concern was the drones known to have killed 535 civilians, including 60 children, in three years. The high commissioner said, “I think time is running out until the Pakistan government can take a stand. They will have to at some stage take punitive actions to stop them. They have got means to take such actions to defend their own frontier and territories. “ he said, “But that will inflame the situation and stop the war on terror and that is not what we want.” The US military claim drones have “decimated” the al Qaeda leadership since 2008 with no reported civilian casualties. But hasan said, “We know the damage — destroyed schools, communities, hospitals. They are civilians — children, women, families. Our losses

are enormous. “Generally people think that deaths caused by drone attacks should be treated as war crimes.” “There is so much animosity that perhaps the Americans are the most hated people in the minds of the people in Pakistan.” On Iran, hasan was quoted as saying, “We would not like Israel to attack any country, irrespective of whether it’s Iran or any nuclear country. We wouldn’t like to be seen as part of Israel’s campaign against any country. If Israel attacks Iran, it will have an impact on Pakistan as well.” “We will have to safeguard our own interests. We also have a Shia population in Pakistan who will not take it lying down.” he warned that India and Gulf countries could also get involved in any conflict, the report said.

KARACHI NNI

Information Minister Firdous Ashiq Awan on Wednesday said the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leadership was ready to talk to those who believed in the country’s constitution and abided by its writ and ideology. “We are ready to talk to them and ready to win back the hearts of estranged people and are willing to engage them at every level of dialogue and cooperation,” she said while speaking at the launching of 100 kilowatt high power transmitter at Radio Pakistan’s Turbat Station, from Karachi studios. however, she said those who desecrated and burnt national flags and conspired against the country’s existence would not enjoy a soft corner or a place in the hearts of people. The minister could not fly to Turbat due to technical fault in PIA’s aircraft which landed back soon after taking off from Karachi airport. Addressing Senator Ismail Buledi, Senator Dr Abdul Malik and other notables and officials, who were present at Turbat Radio Station, she said, “We need to be united to face such conspiracies. I appreciate your efforts for strengthening Pakistan and making it a progressive and prosperous country.” The minister said the PPP was taking timely initiatives with regards to the rights of the people of Balochistan.

ISLAMABAD: President Asif Zardari during a meeting with provincial governors and the chief ministers of Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa at the Presidency on Wednesday. online

Millions pushed into child labour in Pakistan ISLAMABAD REUTERS

Tears tracing lines of dirt on his face, sixyear-old Nabeel Mukhtar cries while crouching on a pavement to scrub motorbikes, his job for nine hours a day, six days a week. he is one of millions of children driven into labour by poverty in a country where the unpopular government is seen as too corrupt and ineffective to care for its citizens, even the young and helpless. “I want to study and become a doctor but we don’t have any money,” said Mukhtar, who helps his family make ends meet. Rising food and fuel prices and a struggling economy have forced many families to send their children to search for work instead of going to the classroom. Frequent political crises in Pakistan mean the nation’s leaders are unlikely to end child labour, or a host of other problems from a Taliban insurgency to power cuts, any time soon. “From the bottom of my heart, I want to send my son to school but we have so many expenses ... We struggle to put food on our table,” said Mukhtar’s mother, Shazia, who also has a four-year-old son and a two-yearold daughter. her husband, Mohammed, a street barber, earns only Rs 7,500 ($83) a month, not enough to support the family.

“he’s learning to work and he also earns around 300-400 rupees. So what’s wrong in that? We are poor,” Mohammed said of the boy. Pakistan needs to take immediate measures to stabilise growing budget pressures and to raise interest rates to contain rising inflation, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) warned on Monday. economic pressures are forcing young Pakistanis, like teenager Noor Shah and his three brothers, to leave home in search of work. They now live in a tiny room above a grimy tea shop where they toil all day in Pakistan’s biggest city and commercial hub of Karachi. “I have so many dishes to wash. When I get tired the men serving tea become very angry with me. They swear and shout,” said Shah, who is from Balochistan. Others, like 11-year-old labourer Kashif, are subjected to harsher treatment. “If he makes a mistake I’ll hit him,” said his 19year-old supervisor, Tanveer Shehzad, who said he had endured the same hardship as a child labourer. Do more: Up to 10 million children are estimated to be working in Pakistan, says Mannan Rana, child and adolescent protection specialist at the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICeF). The latest government figures, showing three million child labourers, date back to 1996, underscoring how scant attention has been paid to documenting the problem,

which is likely to get worse given the makeup of the fast-growing population. The plight of child labourers in Pakistan came under international scrutiny when it was discovered that children were handstitching soccer balls in the town of Sialkot. Foreign sports equipment companies are wary of any hint of association with child exploitation. One stopped orders in 2006 from a Pakistan-based supplier of hand-stitched soccer balls, saying the factory had failed to correct labour compliance violations. But the outcry has not helped much. “The problem is that the whole industry has moved into private homes, which has made it a bit difficult to monitor if child labour is being used,” said hussain Naqi, the national coordinator of the human Rights Commission of Pakistan. “This is not just an issue in Sialkot, child labour is occurring all across Pakistan in very dangerous sectors like glass bangle manufacturing, cleaning of oil tankers, poultry farms, motor workshops, brick kilns and small hotels.” On Monday, the collapse of a threestorey factory in Lahore after a gas explosion highlighted dangers faced by child labourers. “I was inside the building when the blast happened. Two other boys were with me and they started running,” said eight-yearold Asad, a labourer in the veterinary product facility. “I don’t know where they went or if they are alive.” his sobbing mother said crushing poverty had left her no choice but

to send her son to work in such conditions. “The problem is there and we are not in a state of denial,” said Shahnaz Wazir Ali, social sector special assistant to the prime minister, adding that about 45 percent of Pakistan’s population of almost 180 million is below the age of 22. “It is all very damaging for a child’s psychology,” said Salma Jafar, executive director at Social Innovations, a human rights advocacy group. “Once you are abused, you grow up with that abuse.”

Twelve-year-old Mohammed Naeem, the eldest of three orphans, ran away from his first boss. he could not take the verbal and physical abuse. But his new work, scraping rust all day for Rs 25 at a mechanic’s shop to feed his sisters, is still gruelling. “I don’t see any other life for myself. What can I do. I’m helpless. The government is doing nothing for us,” said the boy, wearing soiled clothing and open, oversized sandals. “All I ask of them is to assist me in my helpless state. To take it away.”


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06 News

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Sri Lankan president to start Pakistan tour from Friday ISLAMABAD STAFF REPORT

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa will pay a three-day state visit to Pakistan starting from February 10, 2012. “Pakistan and Sri Lanka enjoy friendly and close cooperative relations. The visit of the Sri Lankan president will contribute to further strengthening of the special bonds of affinity that characterise the relations between the two countries,” said a Foreign Office statement on Wednesday. During his visit, President Rajapaksha will meet President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani. A number of bilateral agreements are also expected to be signed between the two sides. Pakistan is the second largest trading partner of Sri Lanka in South Asia. Sri Lanka was the first country to sign a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Pakistan to reduce trade barriers. Sri Lanka and Pakistan have also agreed to offer preferential market access to each others’ exports by granting tariff concessions. Sri Lanka enjoys duty free market access on 206 products in Pakistan, while Pakistan has duty free access on 102 products in the Sri Lankan market. The Sri Lankan delegation will include Foreign Minister Prof GL Peiris, Sri Lankan parliament member Sajin de Vass Gunawardena, President’s Secretary Lalith Weeratunga, Foreign Secretary Karunatillake Amunugama, and President’s Spokesman and International Media Adviser Bandula Jayasekara.

14 candidates to battle it out in nA-9 by-polls MARDAN STAFF REPORT

Around 14 candidates, including seven independents, have submitted their nomination papers for the NA-9 Mardan-I bye-election in which 250,469 voters will exercise their right to elect their representative. The seat fell vacant following resignation of former federal minister Khawaja Muhammad hoti, who joined the Pakistan Tehreeke-Insaaf (PTI) after quitting the ruling Awami National Party (ANP). According to the list, former Mardan nazim himayatullah Mayar will be the ANP’s candidate while Litaf Gul will be his covering candidate. Former MNA Shujaul Malik will represent the JUI-F while former MPA Israrul haq will be his covering candidate. Despite the ANP’s efforts to woo the JUI-F for support, the religious party had started its campaign while the JI was also likely to support it. The ruling PPP had announced its support for the ANP. The JUI-P had fielded Zulqarnain while independents, including Inayat Shah Bacha, Abid Khan, Sarfraz Khan, Yasir Ali, Sajjad Khan, Muhammad Nawab, Said Umair and Asia Naz Awan were also in the battlefield.

DOHA: Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani meets children at the Pakistan Education Centre on Wednesday. nni

Harsh winter leaves no escape for Afghan children fleeing war KABUL

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AFP

LeeING NATO bombardment and Taliban intimidation, thousands of Afghans in refugee camps in the capital Kabul face a new enemy: an unusually bitter winter that is killing their children. Del Agha, a farmer from the southern province of Kandahar, the heartland of the Taliban insurgency, left his home and orchards four years ago after a NATO air strike that he says killed several villagers. Last week he lost one of his two children, a three year-old girl, to the freezing temperatures. “It was very cold that night. When I woke up my baby daughter was dead,” he said. his second child, also a girl and only a few months old, is coughing and he says he fears for her life at the Charahi Qambar refugee camp, one of several settlements for displaced people in and around Kabul. “Life is very hard and I’m worried for my other child,” he told AFP at his camp home — a hole in the ground with mud walls about a metre high covered with filthy cloth and torn

pieces of old tents. Despite the billions of dollars in aid that have flowed into Afghanistan since the fall of the Taliban, it remains one of the poorest countries in the world. Khair Mohammad, 12, and his family are also from the south and came to the camp, on the southwestern outskirts of Kabul, from helmand province. They fled after the Taliban killed his uncle by hanging him from a tree and running a sharp knife from side to side across his chest and belly, accusing him of spying for foreign forces. Now heavy snowstorms blow through the family’s huts. “It’s very cold,” Mohammad told AFP, while describing how the Taliban executed his uncle in Sangin district, the scene of some of the heaviest battles between NATO-led forces and the Islamist rebels in 2009 and 2010. “At nights it gets even colder. Since the cold started, so many children have died. We bury them over there,” he said, pointing towards a nearby hillside. According to official figures at least 15 children have lost their lives in three of about 40 such camps in Kabul from cold over the past month. Residents say the toll

is twice as high. “In our records we have 15 people, almost all of them children, dead over the past one month. They died of cold,” Ghulam Sakhi Kargar Noorughli, a public health ministry spokesman told AFP. More than half of the deaths occurred in Charahi Qambar camp, he added. The decade-long war — an insurgency led by remnants of the Taliban — and crushing poverty have pushed waves of internal refugees towards the capital. The UN refugee agency, UNhCR, says about 447,000 Afghans have been forced to abandon their homes due to war, poverty and economic difficulties since the Taliban were ousted from power in a US-led invasion in late 2001. Last year alone, 185,000 people had to leave their villages — a 45 percent increase over the previous year, Nader Farhad, a UNhCR spokesman told AFP. Most of the displaced remain in the south, where the Taliban and other insurgents remain strong, making it difficult for relief groups to deliver aid. “Limited access (to displaced communities) impacts data collection and delivering assistance,” Farhad said.

Protest against fuel price hike held PESHAWAR STAFF REPORT

Representatives of various organisations of traders, transporters, NGOs and lawyers on Wednesday held a protest against ever-increasing inflation, including fuel price hike, and demanded the government to reverse prices of all essential commodities to the 2007 level. They also launched a mobile protest campaign to motivate the masses against the government for increasing prices of daily use commodities and indulging in corruption. The campaign was led by Khalid Ayub and others. Passing through various markets in the city and delivering speeches, the protesters said that the government was least bothered to address the problems being faced by the people and if the government forgot the miseries of the people then the masses will come out on roads. They said that extra tax on petroleum products should be withdrawn and the government should provide relief to the poor. “A labourer earns maximum Rs 250 on daily wages and his expenditures are minimum Rs 500 per day so how he will manage to make both ends meet,” the protesters said.

only Afghanistan, Pakistan can resolve Afghan quagmire: KP governor g

Masud Kausar says Islamabad, Kabul main stakeholders in ongoing war on terror PESHAWAR SHAMIM SHAHID

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Barrister Masud Kausar has said only Pakistan and Afghanistan could ensure better solution to the long-standing Afghan conflict, which was essential for return of peace, stability and an end to militancy and terrorism throughout the region. “Unless both Pakistan and Afghanistan are taken on board in connection with ongoing parleys between US and Taliban, there can be no amicable solution,” Kausar said while talking to Pakistan Today at Governor’s house, Peshawar. he said Pakistan and Afghanistan were not only facing similar situation but were also the main stakeholders in ongoing war on terror. Referring to US-Taliban parleys, Kausar said Pakistan was not on board

in this respect. he observed that without Pakistan and Afghanistan, such attempts on the part of US could further complicate the issues. “We are really harmed with such acts on the part of US,” he said and urged the US to review its policies. To a question, Kausar said, “Dialogue with the Taliban doesn’t matter to Pakistan, but we always kept in mind the interests of international community while dealing with the Taliban.” elaborating his point of view, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa governor said since beginning of the war on terror, Pakistan had not only backed the international community but rendered tremendous sacrifices in this respect. “But like in the late 1980s, Pakistan is being isolated, which is harmful,” he pointed out, adding that “instead of keeping in mind Pakistan’s concerns and interests, US has not only intensi-

fied drone attacks but also initiated ground attacks against security forces.” “On such grounds, Pakistan is left with no option other than halting supplies for NATO troops,” he said. To a question, the governor said, “Though I am unaware about the details of US-Taliban dialogue, the Foreign Office may know better.” he said Pakistan favoured cordial and friendly terms with the US and the American authorities must realise Pakistan’s compulsions. he said that it was time to go for revival of relations with the US keeping in view internal needs and interests and expectations of the people. About the policies on Afghanistan, Kausar said both countries were linked in historical blood, cultural and traditional relations and Pakistan had always supported its people at critical times. he recalled that Pakistan became a

frontline state in the war against former Soviet Union and similar was its position in the ongoing war on terror. “But unfortunately, the international community failed in fulfilling of its responsibilities, thus not only disappointed the people but keeping them away from each other. Such crisis cannot be created by the people of the two countries, but can be considered the outcome of the international community’s wrong policies,” he said, Kausar expressed satisfaction with the existing situation of the Tribal Areas, saying, “Compare to the previous couple of years, militancy was on the decline in almost the entire tribal belt.” he made it clear that administrative status of Federally Administrative Tribal Areas (FATA) will be decided in according with the wishes of the people and the government had no intention to impose its own choice.


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Another claim of ending outages proves wrong PAGe 09

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STAFF REPORT

he ‘merciless’ paramedical staff blocked the city’s main artery and two major health facilities for hours, as a woman lost her life in the ambulance stuck in the traffic mess while thousand other commuters suffered on Wednesday. Members of the Punjab Paramedical Alliance, holding banners and placards inscribed with their demands, blocked the main Jail Road in front of the Punjab Institute of Cardiology around 2pm. They started raising slogans against the government for ignoring their demands and refuse to let the traffic coming from Shadman Chowk pass. It immediately blocked the road since the Jail Road is home to many educational institutes and offices. however, the protesters then turned to the other side of road as well and blocked it also and even refused to allow ambulances pass, including those carrying critical patients to Services hospital and the

PPA’s ‘selfish’ protest against the govt on Jail road kills one, ruins the day for many traffic on the Mall, Jail road and other main arteries remains blocked for hours

Punjab Institute of Cardiology. In the same mess a 60-year-old woman, Saleema Bibi, lost her life in the ambulance that was stuck in the traffic jam. “We have been referred to the Services hospital by the doctors at Mayo hospital…but we were stuck in this mess for the past two hours and ultimately she [Saleema] passed away right in front of us and we could do nothing,” an attendant in the ambulance said in tears. “All efforts to convince the protesters to let us pass were in vain,” he added. Per details, thousands of poor patients visit the Services hospital and the PIC everyday from all across the province with different ailments. Besides, the Jail Road is also a major artery which connects the city with the canal, Gulberg and Cantonment also. Any blockade on this road can create repercussions in the traffic situation in other parts of the city also. “I want to go to The Mall to pick my kid from school…this road is normally clogged at this time but this is one of the worst jams I have come across…the protesters should consider the plight of commuters

as well…it is extremely selfish of them to think that they can make commuters and patients suffer just because their demands were not met,” hina Ahsan, a housewife on her way to pick her child said, adding that it was shame how the paramedics had turned into ‘selfish killers’ to get their demands met. The paramedical staff, who refused to budge despite request by commuters, traffic officials and even police, kept the traffic blocked for around four hours. They opened the traffic only after holding negotiations with the CTO and PIC MS. PPA Provincial President Malik Munir said, “Our demands included that health professional allowance that has been given to us should be given to us, we want a revision of the service structure of lower grade employees and pay protection,” he said, adding that they had only taken to the streets because they were not being taken seriously. To a question, he said the Lahore division organisation of paramedics had informed the government of the protest so it was the government’s responsibility to make arrangement for the patents. “We are

Rescue work nears conclusion, 7 still missing

CM vows to take stern action against those responsible, LHC moved over absence of Disaster Management Authority’s DG LAHORE STAFF REPORT

More bodies and survivors were pulled out from the wreckage of a collapsed pharmaceutical factory located in a residential area on the main Multan Road in Sabzazar Police vicinity, raising the death toll to 22. The three-storey factory that manufactured veterinary medicines caved after a boiler and gas cylinder explosion at the premises earlier on Monday. Dozens of people, mostly children and women, were buried under the rubble. Workers of Rescue 1122, Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation, edhi Foundation and Civil Defence rushed to the scene and started a rescue operation, which is still in progress after more than 60 hours. Rescue 1122’s Dr Ahmed otld Pakistan Today that they had recovered two

more bodies overnight which included a 50-year-old man and a 38-year-old woman while 30-years-old Ghulam Abbas succumbed to his injuries in Jinnah hospital. he said so far 22 bodies had been retrieved from the rubble. The dead included five men, children and 17 women. he said rescue workers had managed to pull out 16 people alive including seven women and nine men. he said they had recovered a 25years-old male in critical condition on Wednesday after around 40 hours. he said around seven persons were reported missing, adding that according to their information missing persons included Shazia Shafiq (45), Nadeem Shahid (36), Younis (12), Khursheed Bibi (65), Salma Bibi (55) and Mussarrat Bibi (18). he said rescue workers were trying their best to recover maximum number of

survivors. Dr Ahmed while responding to a query said the weather was sunny and this was helping the cause. he said the teams had dug through the top two floors and were now removing the rubble from the ground floor and would then move to the basement, adding that he did not think there were any more people, alive or dead, left inside. “Our priority was to complete the rescue operations on Wednesday but now it will take more time and it looks as if the rescue workers might take a day or two in order to clear the debris,” Dr Ahmed added. he said they would still be using light machinery to prevent mishaps. CM: Punjab Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif visited the collapsed building on late Wednesday night. Rescue 1122 DG Dr Rizwan Naseer briefed the CM about the rescue operation. The CM was also in-

the ones who serve the patients it is impossible for us to make the patients suffer because of our protest,” he added. To another question about a woman’s death, he said it was the responsibility of the government and not of the protesters. he also denied that ambulances were stuck in the traffic saying that the protesters had “made sure” no ambulance was stuck in the traffic.

formed about the probe that was carried out by DIG Maj Mubasharullah. The CM, while talking to the reporters, said the government would take a stern action against those responsible of the mishap. he said they were planning to move factories out from the residential areas. Meanwhile Sabzarzar police continued to raid different suspected hideouts of the factory owners. Saddar SP Shoaib Khurram told Pakistan Today that they had arrested three more persons including Arshad, Ashraf and Khalid. he said the arrested men were close relatives of the factory owners Sheikh Zaheer, Sheikh Zafar and Sheikh Zubair. PeTITIoN FILeD IN LHC: Justice Umer Ata Bandial will hear a petition seeking action against deaths in the collapsed factory today in a petition that sought the establishment of a drug regulatory authority and a disaster management authority to deal with such mishaps. The civil miscellaneous was filed by Judicial Activism Penal Chairman Muhammad Azhar Siddique in the pending case against death by spurious medicines in Punjab Institute of Cardiology. The petitioner said the CM had inaugurated the PDMA but it had no DG so far and that was why it could not play its required role at the factory site. he said in India national disaster authority was actively performing its functions and the Indian prime minister was its head, adding that a detailed report of the incident be sought.

Move it! LAHORE STAFF REPORT

A plan is afoot to relocate factories established in residential area out of city to prevent the Multan Road factory collapse-like tragedy in future. Punjab Government Special Assistant to Punjab Chief Minister for Food and environment Mansha Ullah Butt held a meeting with environment Department here on Wednesday. The meeting included a detailed briefing by the environment Department, in which Punjab Secretary environment Sajjad Salim hotiyana and other officers were also present. Butt said public awareness campaigns were the need of the hour about the ill effects of environmental pollution. he said a comprehensive strategy was being finalised to shift the industries and factories from residential areas to outskirts of the cities. he directed all districts offices of the environment Department to utilise all their sources and take effective measures assure that industrial affluent was disposed off safely. he further said all government offices and schools would hold workshops and seminars on the topics of pollution free environment.

DO makes attempt to save face LAHore: District Officer (environment) Tariq Zaman on Wednesday arrested three men accused of illegally selling the hazardous waste of Shalimar hospital. Sources said that Zaman, who kept a low profile after the Multan Road factory tragedy, planned the raid to revive his status in the eyes of the Punjab government after news that he had connived with the factory owner to keep it running despite orders for its closure. According to details, an environment police team headed by Zaman raided the hospital and arrested three persons involved in the illegal sales of the hospital’s hazardous waste. The arrested men are: Akram, George and Yousaf. Shalimar hospital Chief executive Dr Arshad Ahmed also suspended the arrested staff members and ordered an enquiry against them. Police has also registered a case against the three men. YASIR HABIB


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08 Lahore

Justice denied

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A gold medallist who topped PPSC’s lecturers’ selection exam is denied a post in what is being dubbed ‘the worst corruption’ in years

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UNJAB Public Services Commission (PPSC) has allegedly failed a female student, Rabia Saeed, who topped last year’s written examination for the lecturers’ seats and is a gold medallist. According to sources, Rabia secured around 90 percent marks but was not considered for the 70 seats available for female physics professors in the last year’s PPSC exams. On the other hand a large number of brilliant students who appeared in the exams demanded from the chief justice of Pakistan to take notice of the issue as the authorities were allegedly involved in favouritism and they had ignored brilliant students to appoint candidates of their choice. The education community, especially students, expressed their concern over the performance of the PPSC especially in connection with the lecturers’ seats for scale 17 in the last year’s exams in various subjects, adding that this was the ‘worst’ corruption they had ever seen. . Stakeholders inside the PPSC also expressed their shock and said some ‘hidden hand’ was in-

volved in replacing the name of Rabia with another candidate and it was unfair since Rabia had secured the first position. According to sources in the PPSC, the PPSC had conducted written exams for around 70 posts of lectures last year on August 14 while according to results, Rabia Saeed, Roll no. 40482 was in the top 355 students who had cleared the written examination. PPSC sources said last year on November 21, a panel had conducted ‘controversial’ interviews after some elements tried to approach the members of the penal to gain favours from them. The source said some influential people were very interested in those 70 contractbased seats for five years in the Punjab higher education Department, adding that even though

PPSC

only the deserving candidates had been called for interview, there were rumours that the criterion of transparency in the selection process was not met and Rabia Saeed was the proof of it. “It is bad luck for our country that brilliant students such as Rabia are being ignored,” said a physics professor, adding that an action needed to be taken against the culprits and Rabia be given the seat that she deserved. A senior official of PPSC asking not to be named said the PPSC’s exam system was transparent and Rabia’s gold medal ‘did not count’ since everyone was a gold medallist these days, adding that it was not essential that a topper would be successful in an interview also.

robbers miss the deputy speaker!

HoSPItALS MID CItY 37573382-3 SerVICeS 99203402-11 MAYo 99211100-9 GenerAL 35810892-8 SHeIKH ZAID 35865731 SIr GAnGA rAM 99200572 UCH 35763573-5 ItteFAq 35881981-85 CMH 366996168-72 SHoUKAt KHAnUM 35945100 JInnAH 111-809-809 ADIL (DeFenCe) 36667275 CHILDren’S 99230901-3 DeFenCe nAtIonAL HoSPItAL 111-17-18-19

Mr Contro versial LAHORE STAFF REPORT

BLooD BAnK FAtMID ISLAMIC ALLIAnCe

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LAHORE UMAIR AZIZ

The Punjab health Department has finally transferred King edward Medical University (KeMU) Oncology Professor Dr Shehryar over his allegedly “controversial” remarks regarding hijab, Pakistan Today has learnt. The professor got into hot waters after he made some remarks about basic Islamic principles, including hijab, which started a controversy at the campus especially infuriating female students, who started a campaign against the doctor and filed a written application with the KeMU pro-VC for his removal. The pro-VC initially tried to resolve the matter but then wrote to the health department over “sensitivity” of the matter. A group of MBBS 4th year students, the same class in which the comments were made, met the health secretary to transfer the controversial professor to avoid any untoward incident at the varsity. The health Department on Tuesday trans-

KeMU professor transferred for making controversial comments on the ‘hijab’ ferred the said professor to Services Institute of Medical Sciences. Talking to Pakistan Today, KeMU Pro-VC Dr Asad Aslam confirmed that the health Department has directed to relieve Shehryar of his duties and will now be posted at SIMS. he said that posting in SIMS depends upon the availability of seats otherwise the professor will be finally repatriated to the health department for further posting.

ArAbic cAlligrAPhy

Punjab Assembly (PA) Deputy Speaker Rana Mashood remained unhurt when eight robbers fired at his car on Wednesday in the Manga Mandi Police precincts. Mashood’s spokesman Rao Majid gave details of the incident while talking to Pakistan Today. he said that the PA deputy speaker was coming to Lahore from Vehari along with his personal assistant Usman and driver Badal when eight armed men forcibly stopped his car near Manga Mandi. As soon as the driver slowed down the car, the robbers fired at it but no casualties were reported. The driver took a U-turn towards Multan again, which saved their lives, he said. Majid said that one could not tell anything about the attackers, adding that the incident could be result of a political rivalry. Saddar Police SP Shoaib Khurram Jaanbaaz contradicted Majid’s statement and said that the incident was just a robbery. he said that the robbers did not fire at Mashood’s car, adding that the car ahead of the PA deputy speaker’s car was fired at. he said that robbers snatched Rs 12,000 and a cellular phone from driver Babar Niaz. Jaanbaaz said that Mashood’s driver Badal stopped the car at a safe distance from the robbers and took a U-turn. The SP said that a case will not be registered in this regard, as Mashood’s car was not attacked.

lEttEr tO tASEEr ii

SOlO ExhibitiOn Of PAinting ...

CoLLeGeS / UnIVerSItIeS PUnJAB UnIVerSItY KInnAIrD CoLLeGe qUeen MArY CoLLeGe GoVt. CoLLeGe UnIVerSItY UMt LUMS Uet LCwU SUPerIor CoLLeGe

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DAte AnD tIMe: JUne 1, 2012, 4PM to 6PM VenUe: HASt-o-neeSt Center CALLIGrAPHY CLASSeS are on-going, interested students can enroll throughout the year. the duration of one module is three months. there are four modules of learning calligraphyt: primary, secondary, advanced and higher. the course includes traditional pen and traditional paper making.

DAte: JAn 23 – FeB 23, 2012 VenUe: tHe DrAwInG rooM Art GALLerY rashid rana, naazish Ataullah, Ayesha Jatoi, Mudassar Manzoor, rM naeem, Sadaf naeem, Irfan Hasan, Adeel Us Zafar and others display their art in an effort to capture past.

DAte AnD tIMe : FeB 06 — 11, 2012, At 3 PM VenUe: ALHAMrA ArtS CoUnCIL, tHe MALL Solo exhibition of Paintings by Badar Moinuddin on February the 6th 2012 at 3 pm at Alhamra Art Gallery the exhibition will continue till the 11th of February


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Lahore 09 FCCU, traffic police educate students LAHORE STAFF REPORT

Students were educated on the significance of wearing helmets and following traffic rules on Wednesday at a seminar organized by Forman Christian CollegeUniversity (FCCU)in collaboration with the City Traffic Police. FCCU Director of Safety & Security Col Rana Khaqan Mahmood said improvements in traffic situations will occur only with the involvement of the youth as well as the regulatory authorities. he said this improvement requires the efforts of all segments of society, including educational institutions.

LDA recruiting for BS 11-14 LAHORE STAFF REPORT

POOR MAN’S GOLF RESORT: Two youngsters play golf on the railway tracks opposite their house in Ghaziabad. MUrTAzA Ali

LHC CJ launches capacity building programmes for judges

Another claim of ending outages proves wrong LAHORE

LAHORE STAFF REPORT

The Lahore high Court (LhC) Chief Justice Azmat Saeed has started a seven-phase training programme of Capacity Building for judges in Punjab which will be completed with the support of law and justice experts from foreign countries. The purpose is to enhance techniques for judging cases of large numbers in accordance with the constitution and law of the land. The workshops and training courses will start on February 10 at the principal seats of the LhC and its benches at Rawalpindi, Bahawalpur and Multan, as well as the Punjab judicial academy in Lahore. The workshops will be held for district and session judges on constitutional law and labour laws, banking, anti-corruption, antiTerrorism, labour, consumerism and accountability court mechanisms.

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STAFF REPORT

eSPITe the government’s tall claims of ending outages, more than 25 percent of the city is facing load shedding with domestic users getting power from commercial feeders facing two to four hours of power cuts. According to LeSCO estimates, more than 25 percent feeders were commercial and all domestic connections on these lines were facing outages. Sources said that residents of Shadman, Samanabad, Township, Green Town, Gulberg, Allama Iqbal Town, Ichchra, Gulshan-e-Ravi, Mozang, Johar Town and Shalimar area were facing load shedding. “Majority of the feeders in these areas are commercial and closed

at 8pm to 10pm and all domestic users on these feeders are facing load shedding,” a LeSCO official said, adding that although there was no load shedding for domestic users but they were suffering badly because of LeSCO’s fault of providing connection to domestic users on commercial feeders. Citizens asked that why LeSCO was punishing them. “Is it my fault that LeSCO has put my electricity connection on commercial feeders,” Samanabad resident Irfan Ahmed lamented. LeSCO Additional Director Javed Khan confirmed that commercial feeders were closed while there was no load shedding for domestic users. LeSCO will close 132KV grid station of Manga-Sarfraz Nagar for technical repairs today (Thursday) and power supply to Kot Radha Kishan, Lilyani, Khudian and Kasur would remain suspend from 8am to 3pm.

Diploma holders awarded LAHore: The Jazba Foundation hosted its 14th entrepreneurship Programme event at the Royal Palm Golf and Country Club on Tuesday. Under the programme, the foundation facilitates qualified diploma holders of the PVTC in setting up their own businesses. On this occasion, tools and equipment were distributed among 75 PVTC diploma graduates, including 29 females, 46 males, seven students from the minorities, and five from the special youths’ community. STAFF REPORT

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The Lahore Development Authority (LDA) will be accepting applications until February 27 for recruitment on 68 posts of BS-11 to 14. These jobs include 12 vacancies for office assistants, 20 posts for stenographers, eight posts for civil sub-engineers, two posts each for electrical and mechanical sub-engineers and 24 posts for data entry operators. The recruitment for these vacancies will be made on the basis of an offline test, which will be conducted by the National Testing Service on March 31. The application form is available on the NTS website: www.nts.org.pk. The LDA has also invited applications to fill 19 posts of grade one to seven by February 20. These jobs include three posts for junior clerks, two dispensers, one lineman, three naib qasids, three sanitary workers, two security guards, three ayas and two watchmen.

nCBA&e awards PhD degrees LAHORE STAFF REPORT

The National College of Business Administration and economics (NCBA&e) on Wednesday awarded doctoral degrees to haider Mahmood and Summaira Malik. The research topics of haider and Summaira were “Some economic Consequences of Foreign Direct Investment in Pakistan” and “A Static and Dynamic Analysis of Vertical and horizontal Intra-Industry Trade” respectively. The two scholars completed their dissertation under the supervision of Prof Dr AR Chaudhry, head of the economics department.


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thursday, 9 February, 2012

2nd scientific conference held at LGH LAHORE STAFF REPORT

The second annual scientific conference was inaugurated on Wednesday at the Post Graduate Medical Institute (PGMI) of Lahore General hospital by University of health Sciences (UhS) Vice Chancellor Prof hussain Mubbashar. The VC said the recent increase in the prices of medicines were not helping the economy at large as the multinational companies providing them were disregarding their ethical standards, showing more interest in generating maximum profits rather than helping patients. PGMI Principal Prof Tariq Salah-ud-Din said the institute had so far produced 3,000 graduates and would soon start doctorate programmes for various fields. he added that the two-day symposium would consist of 14 workshops in which 22 researchers would present their original works. highlighting the importance of information technology and computing, Mubbasher said it could revolutionise the practice and teaching of medicine.

wHo health experts arrive for drug management support LAHORE STAFF REPORT

health experts from the World health Organisation (WhO) arrived in Lahore on Wednesday to provide drug management support to the Punjab health Department. experts of essential medicines also arranged a meeting with Jinnah hospital Principal Prof Dr Javaid Akram and Dr Saeed ellahi, chairman of the Chief Minister’s Inspection Team for Drugs. They visited the hospital to provide assistance in developing a pharmaco-vigilance system and to examine the drug affected patients. They proposed various steps to the laboratory administration for improving assistance to patients. The specialists also visited Services hospital and Punjab Institute of Cardiology to answer the concerns of drug affected patients.

Public transport bus stands moved LAHORE STAFF REPORT

Lahore District Coordination Officer (DCO) Ahad Cheema said on Monday the shifting of the Lari Adda bus stands from Badami Bagh to Thokar Niaz Baig was in accordance with government policy and would reduce the pressure of traffic inside the city as well as damage to historical monuments such as Lahore Fort and Badshahi Mosque. The DCO said the Thokar Niaz Baig bus stands would provide modern transport facilities to transporters. he said the protests of transporters were unjustified because the existing bus stands were creating traffic problems, and called for an end to the protests.

PU holds Seerat-un-naib (PBUH) conference LAHORE STAFF REPORT

Punjab University (PU) organised a Seerat-un-Naib (PBUh) conference in its Faisal Auditorium on Wednesday. PU Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran presided over the conference in which renowned religious scholars addressed the participants. In their addresses, the scholars stated that the purpose of such ceremonies was to keep the teachings of Prophet Muhammad (PBUh) alive in the hearts of the people. They said all Muslims should unite on common issues and strive to make Pakistan a better nation for Muslims.

CHEAP ENTERTAINMENT: A man shows tricks with a monkey and a goat at Lahore Railway Station. online

Pay the guard his salary, LHC tells Health Department LAHORE

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STAFF REPORT

he Lahore high Court on Wednesday ordered the Chiniot DCO and Punjab health Secretary to pay a health department security guard his salary for the last 18 years and submit a compliance report in this regard in the court on February 15. Justice Khalid Mehmood passed the order after reprimanding the DCO and health secretary for not paying the employees their salaries. The court was hearing a petition filed by Munir Ahmad, a health department employee posted at Ahmad Nagar Rural health Center Chiniot, who stated that he had not received his salary for the last 18 years despite his continuous efforts in this regard. The DCO and health secretary were summoned before the court on Wednesday. Answering the judge’s enquiry about the security guard’s salary, the DCO said according to the office records the employee in question had not

come for work for a single day. The judge then asked why the employee had not been sacked after issuing him a show cause notice. The judge remarked that the employee could not be expected to come to work when he was not receiving his salary. The petitioner’s counsel, Abid hussain, told the court that Munir and his family were subject to extreme poverty as a result of the non-payment of his salary. After the previous hearing, the LhC had issued show-cause notices to the Punjab health Secretary and the Chiniot DCOs after a contempt petition was filed against them by Munir. The petitioner requested the court to initiate contempt proceedings against the officials. The court will resume hearing on 15th Feburary. LHC bIDs JusTICe AHmeD FArooq FAreweLL: Chief justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed and other Lahore high Court judges will give a formal sendoff to Justice Ahmed Farooq following his retirement on February. The chief justice asked all the judges to gather at the Judge’s Lounge at 10 30am in full court dress.

thind and Dalu join PML-n LAHORE STAFF REPORT

Former member of the national and provincial assemblies haider Thind and former Layyah District naib nazim Ameer Muhammad Dalu met Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif on Wednesday and announced to join the PML-N along with their companions. They expressed confidence in PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif and said that only he could steer the country out from despair and put it on the road to progress and development.

SnGPL and Uet sign MoU LAHore: Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) and UeT signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on Wednesday. Under the agreement, SNGPL will provide a recurring annual grant of Rs 3.32 million to the UeT Chemical engineering Department to promote research on gas engineering and make it part of the curriculum of Chemical engineering. STAFF REPORT

Zarai Tarqiati Bank Acting President Mrs Roohi Raees Khan with MBA students and faculty members at the Lahore School of Economics. Pr


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Editor’s mail 11

Child domestic slavery This is the reference of the case of Shan Ali, 11, a child domestic servant allegedly killed by his employers. The FIR (07/2012) has been lodged at Golra Police Station, Islamabad, under Section 302/34 of the PPC and accused employers have been arrested. As observed/monitored in other such cases, the parents of Shan Ali will get monetary compensation of the murder of their son outside of the court if they are influential. There are various reasons in this regard but the most serious one we have noted is parents’ no interest to pursue the case. Shan’s parents will not pursue the case as they had no interest in the best interests of Shan, therefore, he was

Powerlessness sent to work in slavery and he lost his life. In this case both parties have compromised with each other, where is the government? Why the government didn't take any initiative in this case? Don’t they think that they should take initiative for that child or should investigate on this? In the field of child labour, child domestic labour is completely ignored, neglected and overlooked segment with reference to law and administrative measures. At the same time, there is no public awareness about this contemporary form of slavery which deprives children from education, health and the best future.

These salve children work inside homes without or with nominal wage, handle deadly tools and machinery, carry heavy loads and work more than 12 hours a day, without leave and stay far away from their parents. In Pakistan, since January 2010, more than two dozen death/murder/torture cases have been reported in the newspapers. There are hundreds of such cases of tortures, abuse and exploitations but not reported and known to anyone. It is being observed that every fourth house in Islamabad employs a child as domestic servitude. All over the world and also by the International Labour Organisation (ILO)

child domestic labour is declared worst form of child labour and known as contemporary form of slavery but sadly in Pakistan the plight and slavery of child domestic labourers have not been recognised and realised, therefore, child domestic labour has not been banned in the schedule of banned occupations in the employment of Children Act (eCA) 1991. It is responsibility of the state and its departments to protect children from exploitation, abuse, slavery and worst form of child labour under Article 11 of the Constitution of Pakistan. ANAM HAYAT Islamabad

CSS exam and age how long will the CSS aspirants, the upper age limit affectees, keep suffering and no one at the helm of the government will respond to them? Appeals to the president, prime minister and chairman FPSC through the print media have yielded no positive result whatsoever. Many CSS aspirants having Masters and higher degrees in possession are unable to take the CSS examination and have been suffering from the worst depression because they are witnessing their talent, time and dream all going down the drain due to the oppressive policy of the FPSC with respect to age. Time and again it was elaborated by many that enhancing the age limit in the CSS exam will have an exceedingly positive impact once the age bracket is widened for the contenders. On one hand, the prevailing sense of despair in the graduates and post-graduates will be allayed and on the other hand educationally better and academically competent people will get a chance to come forward to serve their country. The cloud of despair is hanging so large and dark over the educated youth in Pakistan that they have begun to look towards foreign countries for job security and financial prosperity because in their own country they are abandoned and rejected despite their abilities and potential to play pivotal roles in their country's future. I request the authorities concerned to take notice, to show some compassion towards the disillusioned CSS aspirants battling their fates by relaxing the CSS age limit up to 35 years so that their failing hopes could find a destiny and their falling spirits could be restored back in shape. ALI AKBAR Peshawar

Ban on music concerts Punjab Assembly had unanimously decided to ban objectionable music concerts in schools. This was a very right decision as such objectionable music is known to have resulted in havoc in various countries by religious people, who consider such music to lead some young people to commit heinous crimes against women and even small children, ending in their killing to avoid being exposed. Indeed such heinous crimes have risen considerably in Pakistan in recent times, primarily due to such objectionable music and obscene TV shows including prolonged ads, invariably showing beautiful girls with scanty dress in utter violation of the divine dress code of all holy scriptures, especially that of the holy Quran. It is therefore not understood why this decision was reversed, under the hue and cry of some, so-called freethinkers, who are trying to encourage such free life of the West in Pakistan. Needless to remind that suicide bombings are most likely to occur, if such tendency continues, in clear violation of religious injunctions, especially the divine dress codes, thus inviting such people to react. In view of the above, it is advisable to avoid such violation of divine injunctions and to appoint strict censure on TV programmes and TV ads. Apart from this, in view of the shortage of electricity, TV transmissions and cable operations should be curtailed within reasonable day and night time, preferably from 6AM to 10PM with break between 1PM to 5PM. Such measures will save sufficient power consumption. S M H RIZVI Karachi

The judiciary and the government The Supreme Court of Pakistan has suspended membership of some 28 parliamentarians on the basis of by-elections being illegal since the election Commission was not complete. The question is why do the government keeps doing such acts? Why do they focus on illegal acts while they can easily follow the law? There is a solution and very simple solution. Follow the rule of law. We have to change the way we look at the things,

we criticise, why? Why do we always criticise? Why are we always ready to pour scorn on others, ridicule or insult others? Because we love it, (simple) otherwise it would be arduous for us to start our day without passing few negative remarks about anything or for that matter about everything. This is how we are, sad but true. I have observed that it is very difficult for us to say a simple word “good” for others. We cannot praise or appreciate any good work done by anyone. We as a society consider it our moral duty to criticise. To me these social media forums are like criticising tools where one has the freedom to bash anyone, even on personal grounds, and interestingly without concrete reasons. Moreover, we take pride in saying “I insulted him/her”. Constructive criticism, difference of opinion and valuing the differences provides nourishment to the mind and enhance thought process, but unfortunately we criticise just for the heck of it. We disagree to show our importance, knowledge, or power. Moreover, we try to impose our views on others. To further, clarify my stance, very recently, the laptop provision initiative taken by CM Punjab was badly misinterpreted ie, he is doing all this for political mileage. In the age of technology, no one can make you fool so be rational about things. People criticise him even for launching “Danish school system”. Come on, give him a break. If you cannot appreciate it, then please do not discourage him. Just think for a while who will benefit from all this? We, our country, our people, who else? In addition, I am waiting for the time when people will start criticising CM Punjab for widening the Canal Road in Lahore. however, everyone can visibly witness the smooth flow of traffic after the reconstruction of the road. Nevertheless, we dare not appreciate because we

we have to change approach towards life, follow the moral and ethical codes and be more responsible. We need lot of hard work, devotion, sincerity on part of the all the people. We don't have to protect near and dear ones in the Prime Minister or President house. everyone should take a stand against any illegal act without fear of any danger. ALI MUKHTAR Lahore

are not programmed to appreciate or acknowledge the good efforts. We are ready to challenge good intentions of others but who are we to question the intentions? Who gave us this right to doubt the intentions? We must try to learn how to appreciate the good in others. MARIAM KHAN Lahore

Anti-terror laws It’s a common impression that outlaws are usually at large in Pakistan. Target killings, suicide bombings are a routine matter here. The terrorists, after committing the crime, easily make their way. The law enforcement agencies, civil and military both, have to face the wrath of people and media for not capturing the culprits or not taking preventive measures. But, the reality is different. The agencies do their part of work. They take preemptive measures, conduct search operations and even hunt down many terrorists but all their efforts go in vain, once the case is sent for legal proceedings. In most cases, the terrorists have been acquitted on the pretext of lack of evidence. The prolonged and complicated legal procedures can also be blamed for releasing of such lethal terrorists who have been wreaking havoc in Pakistan. In the situation of lawlessness and chaos such incidents have further created sense of insecurity among the people. As far as complicated legal procedures are concerned, no one has even tried to bring reforms in it, at least in terrorism cases. Since, most of terrorists have been acquitted on absence of evidence, incidents of illegal detentions by law enforcement agencies has also been a common practice which created a state of confrontation among some state institutions. The recapturing of Adiala Jail prisoners highlights such a state of affairs.

These suspects, according to law enforcement agencies, were involved in planning and facilitating suicide attacks on GhQ, hamza Camp and Kamra Air Base besides twin suicide attacks on security forces. These suspects were apprehended from different locations and produced in the court of law. however, due to lack of evidence they were acquitted. According to some reports, the suspects had not only been threatening Superintendent Adiala Jail and the judges but also to their families, if they were punished. The tug of war between the state institutions has been capitalised by terrorists. There is need to realise the fact that Pakistan has been entangled in terrorism, the release of such terrorists hints towards some loopholes in our judicial system which needs to be amended properly in order to eradicate terrorism. Besides bringing reforms in anti-terror laws, there is need to implement them in letter and spirit. ANWAR MAHMOOD Rawalpindi

A mirror has may faces Foregoing a recent news regarding meeting of a media s analyst with US Counsel General refers. The reports regard US involvement in domestic media on the rise. The leading media personalities are known to be in close contact/touch with the US officials. Reportedly on 7 Feb Counsel General in Lahore had a meeting/briefing session with this media person who is a prominent analyst in the electronic media. Coincidently, his programme on that particular night was a blatant outcry of his pro-US views especially vis-à-vis PakIran gas pipe line. Well, it may be a friendly call or some deep rooted love, but it certainly raises few questions and doubts. RAHIM ULLAH Swabi

My term finals are approaching, and I really have loads of workload. Projects, presentations, vivas and God knows what. Apparently, we students, as the masons of the future, need to work really hard and even if we are determined to do so, we have one friend that makes sure that we do not stress up and rest at regular intervals. For me and those of us who still work on a PC and need electricity for doing their projects, whenever they plan their work they have to do so keeping in mind loadshedding schedule. We are not workaholics anymore, we take proper time out to sleep, to eat, to talk to our friends and etc. And whenever we are working, our efficiency gets multiplied by a hundred. I swear never ever in my life have I been more eager to work and still manage other tasks of life simultaneously. Irony apart, this is one hell of a fulltime crisis situation going on. have you ever seen this much loadshedding in winters ever before when there are no fans, no ACs and the power usage is approximately 60 percent as compared to summers? Then why all this? I mean why are we going back into the stone ages? how is the industry going to survive like this and how long? how long will our UPS work? how many people can afford generators? What will be the scenario this summer? It seems like we will have electricity for two hours with the "elaan": "Ladies and gentlemen! So we are having electricity now, kindly wind up all your tasks that cannot be accomplished otherwise." Candle-light dinners, use of steam, writing your work in hand, no industry with heavy power requirements: Is this what we dream of making our beloved country? We are continuously being pushed into the Stone Age, slowly but surely. I appeal to those in power to please have pity on us and kindly let us feel being a part of the 21st century. Do not slash the throats of progress and lighten up our life again. RABBIA NASIR Lahore

england whitewashed For the first time in Pakistan’s cricket history, Pakistan has whitewashed england by winning the third Test match in a fabulous fashion after a tottering start. hats off to Pakistan for comprehensively beating england. Browbeating the world No 1 team is awesome. Pakistan dominated batting, bowling and fielding. Save a few drop catches in fourth innings, Pakistan displayed excellent batting and bowling skills. Younis Khan and Azhar Ali’s splendid batting brought superb win for Pakistan. Congratulations to Pakistan cricket team for making a big show abroad after a long time. Winning a Test series after seven long years is very ecstatic. This was the second time in the last 100 years that a team has won a Test after being bowled out for less than 100. Winning is a good habit and it is hoped Pakistan will be conservative in this habit. IFTIKHAR MIRZA Islamabad

raja riaz in dock The leader of opposition in Punjab Assembly has been accused by an SNGPL engineer based in Faisalabad for harassment leading to his arrest after he had filed charges against illegal connection and non-payment of bills to a factory owned by gentleman. Gas shortages are a reality and yet there is large scale theft by CNG pumps and factory owners, while federal government continues to grant waivers for more CNG stations across the country. A high level judicial enquiry needs to be conducted to investigate charges filed by this SNGPL engineer, which cannot occur as long as this corporation is headed by cronies. It is important that these charges be investigated thoroughly; otherwise, no employee working in state corporations in the energy sector will dare to investigate against such thefts. SYED JAWAID HUSSAIN Multan

Send your letters to: Letters to Editor, Pakistan Today, 4-Shaarey Fatima Jinnah, Lahore, Pakistan. Fax: +92-42-36298302. E-mail: letters@pakistantoday.com.pk. Letters should be addressed to Pakistan Today exclusively.


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12 Comment Signs of a thaw About time too

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he over two month long tension between Pakistan and the US seems to be easing now. Domestic and American media reports indicate that while a parliamentary committee is to decide the contours of Pakistan’s US policy, enough work, leading to concrete proposals, has been done behind the scene. A number of statements indicate that understanding has already been reached on certain basic points between Pakistan military leadership and the US and NATO officials. It is no more a secret that there is an agreement on the resumption of NATO supply lines with the condition that every container will be taxed. An unnamed security official has spelt out some of the tacit agreements reached which are to be finalised at a meeting between Centom chief General Mattis and COAS Kayani next week. The Parliamentary Committee on Security is supposed to formulate its recommendations and get them approved from the Parliament before Mattis’ arrival. The resumption of cooperation between the US and Pakistan is needed to eliminate the extremists who pose a threat to mankind in general and the US, Pakistan and Afghanistan in particular. Islamabad has, however, to ensure that Pakistan’s interests are in no way jeopardised during the talks. The US has to be told that Pakistan cannot forgo the import of gas and power from Iran. Further, that the war on terror has to be fought with mutual consultation so that Pakistan is not left in the lurch after the US has withdrawn from Afghanistan. Any move to improve relations with the US is bound to be challenged by the extremist fringe in Pakistan represented by organisations like the Defence of Pakistan Council. To meet the challenge, the government and the military leadership have to be seen to be on the same page. The extremists have vowed never to allow the Nato tankers to pass through Pakistan. They are also opposed to drone attacks, the latest taking place on Wednesday. even when the strikes are selective and limited and carried out after clearance from the right quarters, they are going to be projected as evidence that the government is a sell-out. So will be the presence of the US military trainers and CIA operatives even if it is infinitesimal. There is a need on the part of the government and the army to jointly own whatever decisions are finalised.

Hard times Another bleak report

“h

ighly vulnerable” is how the IMF has categorised the Pakistani economy in a recent statement. It would have bee a miracle if it were anything but. After all, the economy has seen not one but two devastating floods, the likes of which the country has never seen in its history; about a million people were displaced from their homes as a result. Couple this with the ongoing carnage emanating as a result of the war against terror, which has led to casualties whose conservative estimates would be more than 35,000. Add to this, strained relations with the US, especially in the aftermath of the Abbottabad operation and then unequivocal accusations of complicity with certain terror networks by key American officials. The US has been a principal donor to Pakistan, the resulting fiscal space being critical to many projections. Further aggravating the crises is the political instability the Gilani administration faces within the country. And, if all this wasn’t bad enough, there is the general state of the world economy, with oil shocks affecting the strongest of global economies and an accompanying food crisis also hitting the world. A general recession, also, follows in the aftermath of the financial capital markets crisis in the US. The Pakistani government had made a GDP growth projection of 3.5 percent. Though we are set to miss this already diminutive projection, it merits mention that the real goalpost is a growth of about 7 percent if we are to absorb the 2 million new entrants to the local labour market each year. The solutions that the IMF prescribes are going to be difficult, politically, to pull across. There needs to be a rationalisation of tariffs, elimination of subsidies and buildup of the tax base. Then, the government must fight its impulse of bridging its considerable fiscal deficit by borrowing from the central bank. All of these are the stuff still political waters can facilitate, not the tumult we are seeing at the moment.

Dedicated to the legacy of the late Hameed Nizami

Arif Nizami Editor

Lahore – Ph: 042-36298305-10 Fax: 042-36298302 Karachi – Ph: 021-34330811-3 Fax: 021-34330900 Islamabad – Ph: 051-2287414-6 Fax: 051-2287417 Web: www.pakistantoday.com.pk Email: editorial@pakistantoday.com.pk

thursday, 9 February, 2012

The fear factor Will we ever be rid of our demons?

By Nazir Naji

I

never remember a time in our 64 years of independence when we have had complete faith in our future. We have always lived in the shadow of fear. First, we were afraid that India was bent on destroying us. With regards to east Pakistan, there was a constant fear gnawing at our insides that India was scheming in our eastern wing. That it was spreading its dharm and entrenching its culture over there. What a majority of hindus couldn’t do in thousand years in a united India (as Muslim culture and religion remained intact), we now lived in fear in our own country that the hindu minority could do in the newly-created Pakistan. As long as east Pakistan remained with us, we lived in a state of fear. And the sum of our fears came true one day. But the reason wasn’t India. It was our own cravenness. First, we lived in apprehension of the hindu. Then in apprehension of the majority of east Pakistan (which was also a fear of the hindu minority in east Pakistan as we had the deep-seated worry that they were misguiding the Muslims there and that a rule by the majority in east Pakistan would de facto be a rule of the hindu minority there). To allay these trepidations, first we didn’t give the east Pakistanis their deserved right to forming a government in the centre. Whenever there was a PM from east Pakistan, we got rid of him by hook or crook. Then we used the One Unit Scheme to neutralise their majority. We convinced them that 52 percent and 48 percent were in fact equal and that the constituent assembly should have equal seats for both wings due to this parity. Despite doing this, we were still fearful that east Pakistan might gain a ma-

jority by taking some members from the erstwhile smaller provinces into its fold. To deal with this dread, we formed a military government. east Pakistanis waged a constant struggle against military dictatorship and were finally able to get their right as a majority accepted. When elections took place in 1970, Mujeeb-ur-Rehman’s Awami League got a decisive majority in the national assembly. We were then afraid that this would mean the end of military interference in politics. Thus, power was not transferred to him. We thought that we could establish control over the unarmed Bengalis through military might. But it was not so. We cleared the road for the Indian army due to our cowardliness and our fears eventually culminated in us losing east Pakistan to the Indian army. We still lived in perpetual panic in what was left of Pakistan after that. Because slogans for dealing with the remnant Pakistan had begun to be chanted in India. But Bhutto picked up the pieces and worked to stabilise Pakistan. When he got our annexed territory and POWs back from India, he became the embodiment of our fears. We made a united oppositional front against him. Some quarters called on the army to get rid of him. General Zia-ul-haq came forward to do the job. But even though he had put the man in jail, the dictator still lived in apprehension of the man. The ruling elites decided that the best way to deal with this was to hang him. But Zia-ulhaq’s fears didn’t die with Bhutto even though his vice-like grip on power tightened. he was now afraid that the PPP would win elections so they were held under the condition that elections would not be party based. In this non-party assembly, the dictator formed a government under his own supervision. he gave the prime ministerial slot to a man he thought was harmless. But as soon as Muhammad Khan Junejo started to get his powers, the generals also began to be fearful of him and that led them to dissolving the assemblies. Internally, we had been afraid of Bhutto and then his ghost for the longest time. But our external fears too never went away. India was the ever-present bogeyman. But now there was the additional terror of the Soviet armies in Afghanistan. So terrorised were we that we willingly became America’s proxy and asked for all kinds of help. They gave us arms, money and ‘Islam’. We used these three key ingredients to train warriors and send them to Afghanistan.

After a long drawn out war, the Soviet armies left Afghanistan but America also deserted the region. We were now afraid about what would happen to us without their patronage. In throes of this fear, we made the nuclear bomb. We thought that the bomb would be the end of our fears but it wasn’t. To deal with these, we started the Kargil mission. The mujahideen we sent to Kargil were encircled by the Indian army. There were airstrikes against our armed forces. This Indian aggression put the fear back in our then COAS. he went to the prime minister to get the US to intervene and get us our men back. India made that promise and we thought we could finally have some peace and be rid of our demons. But, no. The generals who were the architects of the Kargil misadventure and hence our defeat at the hands of India were now afraid that they would be dismissed. On the other hand, the civilian prime minister was afraid that the army might oust him. The PM’s fears turned out to be true and the scared generals did indeed conduct a coup. Thus began General Musharraf’s reign. During his tenure, terrorist attacks on America took place. Then the American statement ‘with us, or against us’ scared us and we became their allies. For ten years as an American ally, we have been against the very mujahideen we ourselves trained. The beginning of our alliance was the beginning of a new fear: that of the backlash that would emanate from the militants. It came indeed and it came with an untold fury. The TTP was conducting (and continues to conduct) attacks on our army and people. The Taliban were unhappy that we were helping the US and the US furious that we were aiding the Taliban. Between a rock and a hard place, we were frightened of both. We were now also fearful about the very bomb that we made to deal with our deepest darkest fears. Fearful that the US would take it away. The situation is that now we are afraid of the Taliban. And the US. And the conditions in the tribal regions. We are also afraid of trade with India. At the time of independence, the source of our fear was just India. Now, it is virtually everyone, everything and everywhere. We have been independent for 64 years but never independent from our fears. I wonder how many generations will continue to live like this… The writer is one of Pakistan’s most widely read columnists.

Dealing with iran Hot air all around

Washington Watch By Dr James J Zogby

I

f we are to believe what we are hearing and reading from a variety of confirmed and unconfirmed sources, in Israel and the US, some day in the next few months we may wake up to the news that Israel has bombed Iran's nuclear facilities. Or maybe not. The Israelis appear to be deeply divided on the issue, sending mixed signals, almost daily, about their intentions, their capacity to execute such a mission, and even whether or not Iran's reputed program poses an imminent danger. The US is tied up in knots of its own making. Being in the throes of an election, no one wants to appear critical of Israel. And so while concerned with the consequences of a unilateral Israeli strike, statements from official Washington or from presidential aspirants range from handwringing and feigned powerlessness to full-throated

support for any action Israel may take. For their part, the Iranians, apparently loving the attention they are receiving, have engaged in provocative actions of their own and their fair share of rhetorical excess. Lost in this deadly game are a number of serious issues that should be considered – but, in all probability will not be. In the first place, the matter of whether or not Iran is on a trajectory to build a bomb is not an incidental one. The last IAeA report, despite efforts to mischaracterise its findings, was not conclusive. At best, it hedged. Next to consider is the exact nature of the threat posed by a nuclear Iran. While Israel projects itself as facing an "existential" challenge from Iran, this is hyperbolic nonsense. An Iranian attack on Israel would amount to Iran signing its own death warrant. It is a horror even to image, but the reality is that a nuclear attack anywhere in Israel, would murder tens of thousands of innocents, Jews and Arabs, with radiation fallout spreading death and deformity over a wide radius that would infect hundreds of thousands more in the neighbourhood. In other words, in the aftermath of any attack, not only would Iran be destroyed, but its fate would be sealed forever in the Arab and Muslim world—a consideration that could not be lost on the regime’s leadership. The bottom line: there is no "first use".

Iran's real intention is the dangerous game of bragging rights. And their target audience is across the Gulf. Their recent effort to recast the “Arab Spring" as an "Islamic Awakening" being led by the Islamic Republic provided a case in point. The Iranians still seek to prey on Arab anger at the West projecting themselves as being in the vanguard of Arab revulsion at the excesses of imperialism and Zionism. If this is the game, then Israeli saber-rattling and American outrage play right into Iran's hand. By exaggerating the threat posed by this regime, by pretending that it is a menace equal to Nazi Germany, the West succeeds only in giving the Iranians what they want most: an inflated sense that they are a real power to be feared. My concern is that the escalating rhetoric by all sides poses a danger, in itself. The region is a tinderbox, and it is as if everyone is too busy playing with matches to think of the consequences of their behaviour. Better than threats, which only serve to embolden Iran, I would suggest a combination of direct engagement (which has been tried too little) and continued targeted sanctions (which are having a real impact). What, one might ask the leaders of Iran, will they do with their nuclear programme? Can it feed their people, rebuild their neglected and decayed infrastructure, give hope to their unemployed young, or secure their

role in the community of nations? Look at the region, as it is. As democracy movements advance in North Africa, and as the Gulf States make significant progress, providing a model for development and growth, Iran remains trapped in an archaic system which feeds off of fear and anger, and goes nowhere. There are lessons to be learned in order to avoid a confrontation from which no one will emerge a winner. Those in the US who point to Israel’s 1981 strike against Iraq, conveniently ignore the fact that Saddam emerged undeterred. The next two decades witnessed Iraq and Iran engaging in an orgy of blood-letting, in part leading to Iraq’s fatal occupation of Kuwait and all that followed. Then there were Israel’s repeated invasions, occupations and bombardments of Lebanon which only devastated that country, leading to the emergence and empowering of hizbollah. The point is that it would be wise to call a halt to the escalating rhetoric for an attack on Iran; recognise the real danger posed by Iran to its own people and to its neighbours; stop enabling the Israeli and Iranian game of “chicken” with each other, when the unintended consequences of their continued dance with death will be felt not only by themselves, but by so many others. The writer is President of the Arab-American Institute.


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thursday, 9 February, 2012

Comment 13

Bravo Team Pakistan Apolitical coalitions Let’s keep the winning ways The army and the middleclass

By Umair Javed

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istorically speaking, academics have always been interested in understanding our civil-military calculus at the level of the state, but have never really paid much attention to the way that the army reproduces its image in society. Preferring to choose the domain of ‘high’ politics, (as opposed to local or ‘everyday’ politics), people like hamza Alavi (The Overdeveloped State, New Left Review, March 1972), and Ayesha Jalal (State of Martial Rule), have produced somewhat cross-cutting explanations state-based explanations for the military’s dominance in politics. Alavi sees the army as a constituent portion of the unrepresentative state, which forms subordinate relationships with domestic political actors, bureaucrats, and the capitalists, while recognising some foreign power (the US, and to a lesser extent, China) as its patron. Within the state, Alavi posits that the military has gained supremacy over the bureaucracy and the judiciary over time because of greater public outreach, its control over the coercive apparatus, and its economic strength. Jalal, on the other hand, traces the rise of the military to a set of engagements that took place in the domain of high-politics in the period following independence. her thesis is that in 1947, the army was nothing more than a hollow shell, and was eventually strengthened by the migrant bureaucracy, scheming politicians, and the geo-political interests of the US. The security framework which Pakistan adopted upon partition provided the premise for this strengthening to take place. Both explanations are plausible and perfectly viable in their own way. Yet the problem with a topdown lens is that it assumes the state (and its internal interplay) to

be dynamic, and society to be receptive and static. The army steps into power, receives judicial cover, forms a faction of the Muslim League, and society celebrates the demise of corrupt politicians. This linear narrative needs to be problematised further to actually understand how the civil-military equation obtained its current shape. In an article published much later on in his career, Alavi reproduced the words of a retired major, from a letter he wrote to the President of Pakistan, General Zia-ulhaq. he wrote that the army’s popularity, and hence its ability to step into power, is a direct result of its insulation from the rest of society, and that the current COAS/President was under-cutting this by stuffing armed forces personnel in every civilian nook and cranny. Many other retired officers, like this gentleman, were quite concerned about ‘over-exposure’. The interesting thing is that, on paper, the army major was probably right. Increased society-army interaction could’ve resulted in the unpopularity of the latter – a consequence mitigated, previously, by the insulated nature of cantonments and garrisons. Yet in reality, the army, specifically in Punjab and Karachi, maintained some manner of social legitimacy during the 80s, and enhanced its social capital during the 90s because of some very worthwhile investments it made under Ayub, but more so under Zia. One such investment is the army’s relationship with the urban/peri-urban, educated middle-class, and more specifically, with middle-class institutions. Despite forming a tiny minority in the overall demographic make-up of the country, the urban, educated class has wielded a fair amount of influence in the overall trajectory of the country. Contrary to the selfperceived narrative of marginalisation that many members of this class imbibe and regurgitate, members of the middle class have held important positions at the level of the state (through their presence in the post-Bhutto bureaucracy and armed forces), and, with the result of their societal counterparts, have helped shape the dynamic of power, and its rhetoric in the country. The willing collaborators, at the societal level, are most often found dominating two particular institu-

tions: higher education and media. This is helped by the fact that the demographic make-up of 5 institutions (judiciary, bureaucracy, armed forces, higher education, and media) is quite similar. All are white-collar professions that require some form of tertiary level education. All 5 offer, to varying degrees, the middle-class requirement of stability and perpetuity of employment. And all 5 envision, on paper anyway, an apolitical, nonpartisan role in society. This last particular characteristic, i.e. a sense of pride in being apolitical, offers the most convenient catalyst for coalition building amongst middle-class institutions. The recognition of the self as a defined, separate entity in relation to the ‘political class’, (politicians and their clients), creates a fracture that very easily outsteps democratic boundaries. A century ago, Weber predicted the creation of an ‘Iron Cage’ – a metaphor for a post-industrial, urban society completely bound by the restrictive limits of a legal-rational order. Rules will be followed at all costs, human beings will behave like automatons, and the act of exercising political choice will become a procedural activity, devoid of all substance. Thankfully though, Pakistan’s current socio-economic make-up puts it quite far away from this Orwellian nightmare. Large parts of society, to this day, are extensively partial and extremely political. They identify their politics through a collection of lenses (class, party, caste, tribe, sect), and undercut an oppressive legal order through acts of everyday resistance (bribery, patronage, sifarish). As the footprint of middle class institution grows with urbanisation, our political domain faces an interesting, and increasingly relevant question: Will our middle-class, as it continues to evolve, reconcile with the notion of democratic participation and universal franchise, or will it continue to exercise strongly authoritarian, deeply fracturing tendencies? Guess we’ll just have to wait and find out. The writer blogs at http://recycled-thought.blogspot.com. Email him at umairjaved87@gmail.com or send a tweet @umairjav

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ictory in Dubai over the world’s highest ranked team is a tribute to temperament, courage and determination. Coming together in the face of extreme adversity in the preceding twelve months, Misbah’s side, a mixture of youth and experience excelled in these three departments, even more than in the game itself. It is this very aspect previous Pakistan teams have lacked and they have choked with victory in sight. Today, we can all stand tall and bow before this new and improved team. The hallmark of this series is the mental supremacy of the Pakistan team over a tough and successful england team. At no point, even when bowled out for under hundred on day one of this last test, did we see shoulders slump, heads hang or tantrums. In fact, not once in the series was this visible. Close observers of the team’s previous performances will tell you that they had envisioned england putting on 350 to 400 runs and routing Pakistan in defensive mode in the second innings. This didn’t happen. Because Pakistan’s resolve did not allow it to. It will be fair to say Pakistan very nearly outplayed england in all departments of the game. Very nearly, because there are areas still requiring major attention. More about this later. england were psychologically outplayed. They looked down and Random Thoughts out. Mesmerised I believe not by just the spin bowling but by By Imran Husain the attitude and newly discovered resolve of this Pakistan side. Gone was the gusto and bravado that is characteristic of english cricket. They struggled mentally to come to grips with this. even in the wake of opportunities, and there were plenty, they could not rise to the occasion and close it out. Bowling dominated the series throughout and the only time batting worked was really in the last Pakistan innings during which the only two hundreds of the series were scored. england’s bowling had greater depth. Their quickies are well ahead of ours. Anderson and Broad bowled their hearts out. There were some really accurate spells. Their spin was not far behind. Monty struck form and bowled beautifully I thought. Swann is an experienced campaigner of high quality. Pakistan’s spinners came of age and bowled exquisitely with unrelenting pressure. Loose balls were few and line and length immaculate. They got the ball to fizz and turn and

bounce. Their variety appeared unlimited much to the chagrin of england’s batting. One cannot say enough about them. They were simply the best. england didn’t bat well throughout the series. And it was not just against spin. Umar Gul’s 4 for 61 is evidence that they didn’t bat well full stop. That is the crux of it. Critics have been harsh on them, calling them “clueless” and the performance “laughable”. But yes it was the spin and the first test that set the tone for the series. Once Pakistan believed it could be done they went out and got the job done. And did it brilliantly. Despite the relatively low scoring matches, one must compliment the wickets prepared for the three matches. There was no hidden devil in the wicket unlike the ones India prepares for visiting teams. They were sporting wickets giving both batting and bowling equal opportunities and withstood the continuous cricket, looking good even on the last day of the three tests. Pakistan’s batting came good when it really mattered. A week after I wrote Younus should be saying goodbye, he came through with a brilliant century. Not only that, he ensured young Azhar at the other end worked his way beyond the multiple fifties and converted into his second test hundred. One does not realise that this is a big thing in cricket; a senior partner building the confidence of his younger partner and seeing him through a crisis. But it cannot be a ‘one-off’. Younus will still have to prove that he can be consistent. Pakistan misses a serious all-rounder. The last four batsmen were neither able to add many runs, nor were they able to stand and consume time when it was required. They played some inappropriate and uncalled for shots. And once the main batting line-up succumbs, the opposition can quickly wrap up the tail. hafeez has been bearing the brunt as the fifth bowler but there will be times when a third quickie is required and it would be a shame to drop the spin duo, now that we have one, to accommodate him. We need to find someone in the mould of Imran, Waseem or Razzaq. And the fielding continues to need real attention. The number of dropped catches in this last england innings was atrocious. Once you get results like this, a series whitewash, in what I will term a neutral territory, the benchmark rises and so do the expectations. Pakistan’s cricket fans like the rest of the country hold their emotions in the palm of their hand. One moment there is euphoria, the next dejection. having set this winning trend and making history, Misbah’s team cannot stop here. They have to take it all the way. The writer may be contacted via e-mail at imranmhusain@gmail.com


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thursday, 9 February, 2012

Scarlett Johansson: Chris Brown Fashion will help obama get reelected returns to Grammys; rihanna also to perform

IN LIMELIGHT

LOS ANGELES REUTERS

WASHINGTON AGENCIES

everyone knows it’s in style to be politically active. We’ve moved past Diddy’s infamous ‘Vote or Die’ campaign, but celebrities are still using fashion as a platform to express their political views. The stars came out in New York City for the launch of ‘Runway to Win’, a collaborative effort by American designers to support President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign. Actress Scarlett Johansson, who co-hosted the fete alongside Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour, explained just why selling super-cute T’s and totes can help give some Obama job security when the 2012 election rolls around. “I think the most important thing is that the fashion world has an international spotlight shown on it,” she told reporters. “To be able to use that spotlight on a cause like this is incredible.” The 27-year-old ‘We Bought a Zoo’ star said she doesn’t “ask people to go in and vote for Obama,” but rather, she just asks them to vote. “You have to voice your opinion,” she explained. So just who has better style, Barack or Michelle Obama? “I think they’re just a very stylish couple in general,” Johansson laughed. “They both have a casual cool about them.” Fair enough. They have both done their part to add some swagger to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Chris Brown will perform at this Sunday’s Grammy Awards for the first time since beating his then girlfriend Rihanna in 2009 on the eve of the music industry’s biggest night, which threatened to derail his music career. Rihanna, who has four nominations including album of the year for ‘Loud’, also is among the stars performing live at the event, and rumours have flown among fans and celebrity watchers in recent weeks that the pair may be secretly dating again-speculation Brown’s representatives have dismissed. Grammy organisers said Brown, who has three nominations including best R&B singer for his album ‘F.A.M.e.’, had been added to the line-up for the February 12 awards show in Los Angeles. They said Brown will join Foo Fighters, Lil Wayne, David Guetta and Deadmau 5 for a performance highlighting dance and electronica music for the first time on the Grammy Awards show stage. Brown, 22, has skipped the Grammys since launching a violent attack on Rihanna in 2009, leaving her battered and bruised and Brown in the custody of police. Brown publicly apologised, admitted to criminal assault in court. A judge sentenced him to five years probation, six months community service and anger management counseling. But his clean-cut image took a major blow. Rihanna’s career on the other hand soared, and she scored hits with songs like ‘Man Down’ and ‘Love the Way You Lie’, which dealt with violence against women. The pair appeared to have gone their separate ways but in recent months, speculation buzzed that they had reunited after they were spotted at the same Los Angeles nightclub and put out a series of cryptic messages on Twitter.

new YorK: Model/heiress nicky Hilton, actor/comedian nick Cannon, Lisalla Montenegro and Josh Groban attend a benefit for the United way of new York City and the Shawn Carter Foundation.

LonDon: Prince Charles, Prince of wales and his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall attend a ceremony to mark the bicentenary of the birth of author Charles Dickens.

BAnGALore: Anoushka Shankar performs during the ‘Premaanjali Festival 2012’.

omer Shareef and Shafqat Cheema get tickets to Bollywood NEWS DESK After many Pakistani celebrities entering the Indian cinema, Omer Shareef and Shafqat Cheema have also received offers to come and work in Bollywood. Pakistan’s legendary comedian and actor Omer Shareef and the talented film star Shafqat Cheema have been approached by Bollywood and have accepted the offers as well. Indian director and producer Karan Johar has offered a major sup-

porting role to Pakistani king of comedy Omer Shareef for his upcoming film for which Omer Shareef will also write at least part of the script. The cast of the film also includes Shah Rukh Khan, Boman Irani, Lara Dutta and Priyanka Chopra. Meanwhile, Shafqat Cheema has also been approached by Yash Raj Films who have sent him the script of an upcoming movie. Omer Shareef and Shafqat Cheema have accepted the projects and both are scheduled to go to India in March.

Kareena to get steamy with

Arjun Rampal MUMBAI: She has been the original choice for many Madhur Bhandarkar films, but it is for the first time Kareena would be starring in one. Portraying the role of a successful film actress Mahi Khanna, Kareena Kapoor would star opposite Arjun rampal. Kareena Kapoor had decided to not get intimate with co-stars on screen. But the lady has reportedly made an exception for Madhur Bhandarkar. the actor has agreed to shoot a lovemaking scene with co-star Arjun rampal in ‘Heroine’. “A suburban five-star will be booked for the sequence, in which, Kareena starts off with smoking and drinking and ends up in bed with rampal,” a source close to the film informed Mumbai Mirror. “All I can say is that Kareena is an extremely professional and committed actress,” Madhur Bhandarkar told the tabloid. “to make the actress comfortable, Bhandarkar has ensured that there are very few people in the room when the scene is shot. there will be only three people assisting him that day. they have also been asked to sign a ‘Confidentiality Contract’,” reports the tabloid. the Kareena-Arjun starrer is slated for 14 September release. Kareena Kapoor had reportedly asked Madhur Bhadarkar to omit intimate scenes with her co-stars in ‘Heroine’ in the past. Last year, Kareena Kapoor and Saif Ali Khan decided that they will not shoot for intimate scenes with their co-stars till they get married to avoid misunderstandings. the actors had apparently also informed their directors about the same. AGENCIES

BeVerLY HILLS: Meryl Streep and Martin Scorsese at the AArP Magazine’s 11th Annual Movies for Grownups Awards.

Vidya Balan to tie the knot MUMBAI: with riteish Deshmukh and Genelia D’Souza tying the knot last week, many of the other celebs seem to be toiling with the idea of marriage. Latest buzz in the industry is that ‘the Dirty Picture’ star Vidya Balan is planning to get hitched to her beau, UtV’s head honcho, Siddharth roy Kapoor. If rumours are to be believed, the actress is planning to tie the knot post the release of her upcoming flick ‘Kahani’ which is scheduled to release in March. Speaking to DnA, a source said, “Vidya has had an amazing year with ‘the Dirty Picture’ and ‘no one Killed Jessica’. this year her first release is ‘Kahaani’ and Vidya is super-excited about it as she plays a pregnant woman in the film. Post its release, Vidya will start preparing for her wedding. She is in a very good space as far as her career is concerned and her family feels that it is time that she now settles down in her personal life too. And being an obedient daughter, Vidya wants to fulfill her parents wish by tying the knot with Siddharth at the earliest.” Although, the duo has never confirmed its relationship, the two have been spotted often at various places together. “Both Vidya and Siddharth are very fond of each other. one also hears of Vidya accompanying Kapoor on a few family functions, pretty much putting an official stamp on them as a couple. An AprilMay wedding is on the cards for sure,” added the source. Last year in August news had it that Vidya had already tied the knot with Sidhharth secretly and the couple was staying in a new flat in Bandra. Putting all the false rumours to rest, Vidya had then clarified that she would never do such a thing. with the news of her marriage spilling out again, will Vidya confirm the news this time round? AGENCIES

‘Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu’

gets cash registers ringing MUMBAI : Karan Johar’s ‘ek Main Aur ekk tu’ has yet to hit the screens but the filmmaker has already recovered rs.21 crore which he had invested in producing the romantic comedy starring Imran Khan and Kareena Kapoor. the production budget of the film was rs.21 crore and the maker spent another rs.8 crore on print, advertising and publicity etc. the news is that ‘ek Main Aur ekk tu’ has recovered rs.15


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elton John, Paul McCartney to headline queen’s concert

Simon Cowell:

15 robert Downey Jr welcomes a son

Madonna ‘great’ but ‘expensive’ LOS ANGELES

LoNDoN: Former Beatle Paul McCartney will star in a musical tribute to Britain’s queen to mark her Diamond Jubilee. The pop superstar will headline the concert to be held in front of Buckingham Palace. The concert will honour the monarch’s 60 years on the throne. event organiser Gary Barlow-the star of ‘Take That’-says the event will transcend multiple decades of music. Other performers include elton John, Tom Jones, Shirley Bassey, Annie Lennox, Cliff Richard, Jessie J, boy band JLS and singer songwriter ed Sheeran. Barlow says the Princes William and Prince harry had both requested artists to perform in front of an audience of more than 10,000, including the queen, the Duke of edinburgh and other members of the royal family. AGENCIES

S

CBS

IMON Cowell is talking about the major shake-up that happened last week on his reality talent series ‘The X Factor.’ Judges Paula Abdul, Nicole Scherzinger and host Steve Jones are not returning for the show’s next season. Cowell told ‘extra’ that he and Fox executives began discussing changes “at the beginning of the year - and we were told it had to happen straight away.” Of Abdul, Cowell revealed: “I would’ve liked to have kept her. She was very gracious and I said that to her. She understands it’s business; it’s never personal.” he added that he didn’t think Scherzinger was angry about her ouster: “I think she’s disappointed.” That leaves Cowell and L.A. Reid as the only remaining members of the original ‘X Factor’ team. Keeping Reid was important, Cowell said, because, “There’s not a record executive out there who is as good as him for the job.” When asked why certain things didn’t work out, Cowell replied, “It’s only because I opened my big mouth and said we were going to get 20 million (viewers). If I hadn’t said that, everybody would be saying the show was a huge success.” As for who will fill the three vacant spots, the judge shot down rumours that Beyonce was under consideration. he added that he would “love” to have Mariah Carey, but “you can’t expect someone who’s just had two kids to make the kind of commitment you would need on this show.” he also said that Madonna would be “great” but would also be “expensive,” while Katy Perry “would be fun - and she’s feisty.”

Daniel radcliffe ‘miffed’ by ‘Harry Potter’ oscar Snub Los ANGeLes: Ryan Gosling and Albert Brooks may not have voiced any public complaints to the Academy, but Daniel Radcliffe isn’t staying mum when it comes to ‘harry Potter and the Deathly hallows: Part 2.’ “I don’t think the Oscars like commercial films, or kids’ films, unless they’re directed by Martin Scorsese,” Radcliffe told the Radio Times of the director, who has been nominated for 8 Academy Awards and won one. “I was watching hugo the other day and going, ‘Why was this nominated and we’re not?’ I was slightly miffed.” The ‘harry Potter’ franchise only scored Oscar nominations for 6 out of the 8 films, all in technical or craft categories. “There’s a certain amount of snobbery,” Radcliffe continued. “It’s kind of disheartening. I never thought I’d care. But it would’ve been nice to have some recognition, just for the hours put in.” Radcliffe’s anger with the Academy’s ‘Deathly hallows’ snub could have been amplified by the ‘Potter’ star’s admiration for Gosling, who was also overlooked for his work in ‘Drive’ and ‘The Ides Of March.’ “This year I have a talent crush on Ryan Gosling,” Radcliffe told Attitude Magazine. “I think he’s fantastic. he seems smart. If I was gay, I would go for a smart man.” AGENCIES

crore by selling satellite rights and rs.6 crore from music. An official spokesperson of the film said: “All our primary costs have been recovered. we are very confident of our film and what it does at the box office only adds to the kitty of earnings.” A strong pre-release buzz has surrounded the film and Karan feels this is because the lead pair has added a zing to their performance. “Very rarely do lead players in a film get the opportunity to essay characters that are so close to their real life - Imran and Kareena are playing themselves in ‘ek Main Aur ekk tu’ and that’s why they have been able to add that extra zing to their performances. It’s a slice of life film-a slice of their own lives,” said Karan in a statement. the film is releasing Friday coinciding with Valentine’s Day. AGENCIES

Ashton Kutcher’s

Jennifer Aniston on feuding with Angelina LOS ANGELES AGENCIES

Jennifer Aniston and Angelina Jolie are not enemies. That’s the word from the former ‘Friends’ star at least, who in an interview in InStyle’s March issue, lets it be known once and for all that she doesn’t resent the Oscar winner for coupling up with her ex-hubby Brad Pitt and she’s perfectly content with current boyfriend Justin Theroux. “The triangle with my ex-husbandand that there’s a feud there. It’s constant. It’s a story headline that won’t go away, but it’s a money thing,” Aniston tells the magazine when asked about the constant tabloid headlines claiming enmity between the two. As for hooking up with Theroux-an experience she described as one of the most “idyllic” shoots she’s ever had-the thesp reveals that she’s at a “joyful and peaceful” place right now. But don’t go thinking the girl who became a fashion icon for giving the world the bouncy ‘Rachel’ ‘do would ever rip off her beau’s fashion sense. “First of all, he has great style-it’s very specific, and it has been his style forever,” admits Aniston. “has it influenced mine? No, but I know people say it has. ‘Oh, look, you’re dressing alike.’ And I think, No I’m not. I’ve had this jacket for three years.”

birthday surprise LOS ANGELES: while Demi Moore spent Ashton Kutcher’s 34th birthday in rehab, he celebrated it in a big way, with a giant cake in his likeness. to get the party started, Kutcher’s ‘two and a Half Men’ co-workers gifted him with a sheet cake featuring a promo image of the actor alongside series co-stars Jon Cryer and Angus t. Jones. “I love my co-workers,” Us weekly quoted Kutcher as tweeting. Kutcher, who appears on the primetime comedy as walden Schmidt, appears to be fitting in just fine in the five months since his September debut. “He jokes with the crew, has no tantrums, he comes in well studied in his lines - it’s such a nice change,” a crew member said. “So far there have been no issues and everyone is really happy with how it’’s working out. nobody is missing Charlie right now,” the crew member added. the comedy star posted a video earlier today to Causes.com and told fans that he was donating his birthday to fight the exploitation of children by matching all donations-dollar for dollar-to his and Moore’s DnA Foundation. AGENCIES

LOS ANGELED CBS

It’s a boy for Robert Downey Jr. and his wife, producer Susan Downey. The couple welcomed son exton elias Downey at 7:24 a.m. on Tuesday in Los Angeles, his rep confirmed to People. The baby boy weighed in at 7 lbs. 5 oz., and is 20 inches long, according to the magazine. Downey, 46, and his wife, 38, revealed in August that they were expecting. In December, the actor shared that they were having a boy. exton is the first child for the couple. Downey also has an 18-year-old son, Indio, from his marriage to Deborah Falconer.

Models form rights group ahead of new York Fashion week NEW YORK CBS

Fashion models launched a rights group seeking to improve standards in their industry, just days before they hit the catwalk at New York Fashion Week. The non-profit organisation is seeking workplace standards including backstage privacy to stop unauthorised nude photos and a programme to provide confidential advice for dealing with sexual harassment. The Model Alliance was founded by Sara Ziff, 29, who has worked as a model since she was 14. “Most models start their adult careers as minors and they labor in an unregulated business knowing that they are highly replaceable,” Ziff said in a statement. Designer Diane von Furstenberg is reportedly working with the Model Alliance during Fashion Week to implement a rule that clears the backstage area at the fashion shows of photographers and non-essential staff while models are changing clothes. New York Fashion Week kicks off in New York on Thursday and runs through Feb. 15, followed by events in London, Paris and Milan.

Oops...

Dippy did it again

MUMBAI: the second time in a row, the actress has taken over a project that was initially offered to Katrina. Katrina Kaif was offered the role. But finally, Deepika Padukone seems to have grabbed it. And we are not talking about Ayaan Mukerji’s upcoming ranbir Kapoor starrer. History has repeated itself. And Deepika has emerged the winner. the actress will star opposite superstar rajinikanth in his daughter Soundarya r Ashwin’s debut venture ‘Kochadaiyaan’, a role that had been offered to Kat earlier. when contacted, Deepika confirmed the news. this is not the first time Deepika has had the chance to work with the superstar. the actress was signed on for ‘rana’, a film that had to be put on the backburner due to rajini’s health issues. “Deepika had even shot for a few scenes in ‘rana’. However, now that rajini Sir is back, he is rather excited about his post-illness comeback project. In fact, Kochadaiyaan is the most talked about project in Chennai right now,” informed a source from the tamil cinema industry. According to industry watchers, Deepika’s sudden exit from AbbasMustan’s ‘race 2’ may have something to do with her inclusion in the rajini starrer. “rajini Sir had complimented Deepika during the shoot of rana. He had mentioned that she was one of the most beautiful actresses in the industry today,” added our source. And needless to say, the pretty girl had gone running when the superstar beckoned. Interestingly, Katrina had been offered the role earlier. However, a close friend of the actress informed that Kat is definitely not doing the film. “the shoot for ‘Kochadaiyaan’ involves a lot of hi-end technical work. Katrina has a packed schedule and her dates couldn’t be coordinated with that of the global technicians,” explained the friend. ‘Kochadaiyaan’ is being written by KS ravikumar and music is composed by Ar rahman. AGENCIES


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16 Foreign News

thursday, 9 February, 2012

Video of Chinese boy crying in snow sparks uproar BEIJING AFP

A home video showing a four-year-old Chinese boy being forced by his parents to run almost naked through the snow in bitterly cold New York has sparked an online uproar in China. The father was trying to train his son to be strong, his personal assistant told AFP, but the footage has sparked debate about the tough parenting style for which China became known after Amy Chua’s book “Tiger Mother”. In the video, the little boy runs towards his father, who is filming him, in thick snow with only his shoes and underpants on, at times crying bitterly and pleading with his dad to take him in his arms. On several occasions, both parents tell their son to lie down in the snow, which he does eventually when his mother presses him. The film was posted online by the boy’s father, who comes from the eastern city of Nanjing, and has been viewed by tens of thousands of people on video-sharing websites including www.tudou.com/programs/view/geBPh4pIl3 U/. “I don’t agree with this... We should give children a happy childhood, those terrible parents say they do this for their child’s own good, but I think their purpose is just to be able to brag in the future,” one netizen said. “I really don’t support this, poor kid, does the kid’s mother let the father do whatever he wants to do?” another person said on Sina’s popular weibo microblogging service. The father, surnamed he, has been given the nickname of “eagle Dad” in reference to Chua, who sparked controversy when she wrote a book extolling the benefits of tough parenting. his personal assistant, surnamed Xin, told AFP he was on holiday with his family in New York during the Lunar New Year holiday last month, and decided to see in the Year of the Dragon with this unusual method. “The child agreed and before the run, he did half an hour of slow running to warm up,” she said by phone. “This child has received all sorts of forms of training since he was small. When he was one, he started swimming in water that was 21 degrees Celsius.” Xin said that the boy was born prematurely with several health problems including water in the brain that prompted doctors to say he may have cerebral palsy. “But now he has no problems,” she said, attributing this to he’s intense education method. Chinese parenting methods have come under the spotlight recently, with many of the country’s children forced to study harder than their Western counterparts, often at the expense of sports and other leisure activities. In her controversial book “Battle hymn of the Tiger Mother”, Chinese American Chua, a Yale University law professor, tells how she and her husband elected to raise their two daughters the “Chinese” way. That meant heavy pressure for top school marks, no sleep-overs or watching television, and mandatory piano or violin study. In one incident, she made one of her daughters stand out in the cold for falling short on piano practice, while in another she tells guests at a dinner party how she once called her daughter “garbage” — shocking the room. An excerpt from the book was published in the Wall Street Journal last year, sparking vicious criticism and, Chua says, death threats via email.

PARIS: Recently-freed Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit is escorted by French President Nicolas Sarkozy as he leaves the presidential Elysee Palace after a meeting on Wednesday. AfP

Strike talk keeps Israel’s Iran options open JERUSALEM AFP

Israel is pursuing a studied ambiguity on whether it will attack Iran, keeping its options open on how to rein in Tehran’s alleged nuclear weapons ambitions, Israeli experts say. Speculation about an Israeli attack on Iranian nuclear facilities has reached fever pitch in recent weeks, driven by comments from Israeli officials and a slew of articles in the international media. Israel, like much of the international community, accuses Tehran of using its nuclear programme to mask a weapons drive, a charge denied by Iran. And the Jewish state, the sole, if undeclared, nuclear power in the region, has made clear it sees a nuclear-armed Iran as a threat that it will prevent at all costs. But experts say Israel’s rhetoric about a military strike

could be seen as a strategy to obviate the need for an attack by piling on the pressure on Iran and the international community.Political science professor Yehezkel Dror’s book “Israeli Statecraft” analyses various ways Israel could confront Iran’s alleged nuclear ambitions and says that bellicose rumblings from the Jewish state serve a range of purposes. “Israel certainly wants other countries to prevent Iran from having nuclear weapons, and is surely using the possibility of an Israeli attack on Iran as one of the means to convince them to do so,” he told AFP. By brandishing the threat of military action, Israel targets policy-makers both in Tehran and the West, Dror says, using “a very accepted means of creating deterrence, as well as a motivating force.” Israel’s sabre-rattling appears to have stepped up, with Strategic Affairs

Minister Moshe Yaalon warning that no Iranian facility, however reinforced, is immune to Israeli attack. But Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is also said to have asked officials to stop “blabbing” about such an attack, warning it could create the impression an attack was imminent or be seen as undermining tough new european sanctions against Tehran. For Israeli military and intelligence writer Ronen Bergman, the attack rhetoric is a good way for the Jewish state to preemptively justify an eventual military operation. “Israel is trying to tell the world: ‘We told you that if you wouldn’t act, we would,’“ he said. “Part of the international legitimacy for the decision-makers is to say: ‘We raised the alert, we did everything throughout the years to get the world to impose sanctions to prevent an attack.

new Maldives leader denies ‘coup’ charges MALE AFP

The new president of the Maldives, Mohamed Waheed, denied seizing power Wednesday, even as his predecessor accused him of involvement in a coup plot and called on him to resign. Waheed, the former vice president, was sworn in Tuesday hours after the dramatic resignation of Mohamed Nasheed following weeks of anti-government protests and a police mutiny on the Indian Ocean holiday islands. Speaking at his first press conference since taking office, Waheed rejected suggestions that Nasheed had been overthrown in a takeover orchestrated by opposition leaders and the security forces. “It is wrong to describe the events as a coup. We did not know this was going to happen. I was unprepared,” he said. however, in an exclusive interview with AFP, Nasheed insisted that he had been forced into resigning by a group of armed

rebel police and army officers who had threatened a bloodbath if he refused. “They told me if I didn’t resign they would resort to use arms,” Nasheed told AFP by telephone from a family property in the capital Male. he added that he feared Waheed “was in on it” and had seized the chance to take over. “I am afraid he’s always entertained an idea to become the president. he’s never been able to do that. When the opportunity was available to him, he took it,” he said. The army has denied playing any coercive role in the former president’s decision to leave office. In a speech at a meeting later Wednesday with senior leaders of his Maldivian Democratic Party, Nasheed formally called on Waheed “to step down” and urged the judiciary to bring the “coup” plotters to justice. Thousands of supporters greeted Nasheed as he arrived at the meeting, chanting his nickname “Long Live Anni!”.

They then rallied in an area outside the state broadcasting headquarters, guarded by police in riot gear. In his press conference, Waheed said he would appoint a “truly multi-party cabinet” in the next few days, and claimed he was in talks with all groups including the MDP. The weeks of protests that led to Nasheed’s downfall had erupted after he ordered the army to arrest Criminal Court Chief Justice Abdulla Mohamed on charges of misconduct and favouring opposition figures. Opposition parties accused him of trampling over the constitution, and the demonstrations were swelled by religious conservatives who regarded his regime as un-Islamic. Waheed said Wednesday that Islamic parties “will be represented” in his new cabinet, adding that they are “part of our society and can’t be ignored”. Islam is the official religion of the Maldives and open practice of any other religion is forbidden and liable to prosecution. Tuesday’s events marked a

spectacular fall for Nasheed. The 44-year-old rose to power from grassroots opposition to the 30-year autocratic regime of former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, who imprisoned him on several occasions. his clear victory over Gayoom in the country’s first free elections in 2008 was hailed as heralding a new era of democracy and progressive politics. he used his mandate to build a reputation internationally as a committed campaigner against climate change and once held a cabinet meeting underwater to highlight the dangers of rising sea levels. But economic problems and high inflation damaged his popular standing, while Islamic activists attacked him on religious issues, including flights arriving with Israeli tourists and “improper” social conduct on island resorts. Police said a mob had attacked the Maldives national museum on Tuesday and smashed a large number of ancient Buddhist statues.

iran MPs take no action on eU oil embargo, go into recess TEHRAN AFP

Iranian lawmakers on Wednesday went into a near month-long recess without taking any action on a threat to impose a pre-emptive oil embargo on european Union countries. In retaliation to a phased-in eU a ban on Iranian oil imports, Iranian lawmakers have been threatening for more than a week to immediately halt oil exports to europe to destabilise the fragile economies of several eU states. The initiative was delayed in late January, soon after being raised. In their last session on Wednesday before parliamentary elections on March 2, the lawmakers did not present a bill they were working on to stop oil shipments to europe. Instead they issued a non-binding statement saying they backed unspecified “retaliatory measures” prepared by the oil and trade ministries, and demanded that “Iran’s european customers be replaced with customers from other countries.” The statement, signed by 200 of the 290 lawmakers sitting in the parliament, did not elaborate on what measures had been prepared. The parliament will hold its next session in just over three weeks’ time, on March 4. Although Iranian officials and lawmakers say the eU ban will not affect Iran’s oil exports or its economy, they have repeatedly expressed anger at the sanctions, which are designed to pressure Tehran to halt its disputed nuclear activities. Western countries allege Iran is seeking to develop a nuclear weapons capability. Tehran denies that, insisting its atomic programme is for civilian purposes only. On Friday, Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has final say on all state matters, said Tehran would respond to any sanctions against its oil exports with its “own threats which will be implemented at the right time.” Iran is the second-biggest producer in OPeC, behind Saudi Arabia. It pumps some 3.5 million barrels a day, of which 2.5 million are exported. Nearly 20 percent of the oil exports go to eU countries, mainly Italy, Spain and Greece. Most of the rest goes to Asia, principally China, India, Japan and South Korea.


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Foreign News 17

Three families massacred in Syria’s Homs BEIRUT

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hRee entire families, including women and children, were massacred overnight in the flashpoint city of homs by the Syrian government’s security forces and thugs, activists said on Wednesday. The Syrian Observatory for human Rights said the 20 dead were from the Ghantawi, Terkawi and Zamel families, who were all gunned down in their homes. Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Britain-based group, said one

family numbered five, including a 15-year-old girl and two other children aged five and seven. Another family had seven members and the third eight. Abdel Rahman said the three families were shot dead after the regime forces and governmentbacked militiamen known as Shabiha stormed their homes overnight in the homs neighbourhoods of Karm el-Zeytoun and Naziheen. hadi Abdullah, an activist in Baba Amr reached by satellite phone from Beirut, said the 20 victims had their throats slit. The reports could not be independently

verified as the government has prevented most foreign journalists from entering Syria to cover an unprecedented revolt against the regime of President Bashar alAssad. The crackdown on the uprising has been concentrated in recent days on homs, which has become a main centre of resistance. In Paris, the French foreign ministry said the massacre showed that Assad’s regime was not committed to stopping the violence. “Once again, Bashar al-Assad is intensifying the repression while at the same time promising to end it,” ministry spokesman Bernard Valero said.

Urgent action needed in Syria: Un rights chief GENEVA AFP

UN rights chief Navi Pillay called Wednesday for urgent international action to protect civilians in Syria, as troops continued to shell the city of homs, a centre of protest in the country. “I am appalled by the Syrian government’s wilful assault on homs, and its use of artillery and other heavy weaponry in what appear to be

indiscriminate attacks on civilian areas in the city,” said a statement from Pillay. “The failure of the Security Council to agree on firm collective action appears to have fuelled the Syrian government’s readiness to massacre its own people in an effort to crush dissent,” it added. Pillay, the United Nation’s high Commissioner for human Rights, stressed the “extreme urgency for the international

community to cut through the politics and take effective action to protect the Syrian population.” “In addition to the continuing widespread human rights abuses, I fear the humanitarian situation has significantly deteriorated in many parts of the country in recent months, and especially in homs, where parts of the city have been largely cut off or encircled for long periods,” Pillay said.

Lavrov says Syrians should decide Assad’s fate MOSCOW AFP

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, back from talks with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, pointedly declined to say Wednesday whether Moscow asked the embattled leader to go, stressing that Syrians themselves should decide his fate. “Any outcome of national dialogue should be the result of agreement between the Syrians themselves and should be acceptable to all Syrians,” Lavrov told reporters. he sidestepped a direct question from a reporter who asked Russia’s top diplomat whether he urged Assad to step down during their talks in Damascus Tuesday. “Trying in advance to decide the result of national dialogue is basically not the job of the international community,” Lavrov said, adding that both the government and all the opposition forces should sit down for talks. All those who have influence over the Syrian opposition forces should urge them to start negotiations with Assad’s government, he added. Lavrov, who was given a hero’s welcome by Assad’s supporters in Damascus, also said that recalling envoys from Damascus would not help the Arab League’s plan. “I do not think that recalling ambassadors helps create conditions that would be favourable to the realisation of the Arab League’s plan, he said. A day after the United States closed its Damascus embassy, France, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain joined Britain and Belgium on Tuesday in recalling their ambassadors to Syria for consultations. The six Arab states of the Persian Gulf said that they had decided to expel Syria’s envoys and withdraw their own from Damascus in protest over the “mass slaughter” of civilians.

Hundreds of raids against London gang suspects LONDON AFP

More than 120 people were arrested in police raids across London on Wednesday by a new unit set up to combat gang violence following riots which rocked england last summer. The suspects were picked up in more than 300 raids across the capital since dawn as hundreds of Metropolitan Police officers took to the streets to track down and arrest suspected gang members. The arrests concerned suspected assault, robbery and the supply of drugs, with police seizing “significant amounts of crack cocaine, heroin and cash”, according to the police. The 1,000-strong Trident Gang Crime Command has been created to monitor gang activity and work with London boroughs. The unit, thought to be the largest in the country, has 19 dedicated gang crime task forces. The Met, or the MPS, said in a statement: “As part of the MPS crackdown on gang crime, 109 warrants have been executed so far, resulting in 121 arrests for a variety of offences including, the supply and possession of drugs and gang related violence.

LA LIBERTAD: Primitivo Magalso sits on his destroyed house as he waits for news of his missing children on the slope of a mountain which collapsed at the height of the powerful earthquake in the village of Songgon on Wednesday. AfP

Gandhi election test in most populous indian state BARABANKI AFP

India’s most populous state went to the polls Wednesday in a contest pitting the scion of the Gandhi political dynasty against the ruling party of local low-caste leader Mayawati. Rahul Gandhi, whose family has dominated postindependence Indian politics, has led campaigning for the Congress party in politically vital Uttar Pradesh (UP) in a key test of his ability to become a national leader. The 41-year-old is widely seen as a prime minister-in-waiting, but he faces a tough task reviving the fortunes of Congress in a state where the party has been out of power for 22 years and was trounced in the last elections in 2007. Arrayed against him is the formidable and mercurial figure of Chief Minister Mayawati, a low-caste populist who inspires a devoted following from those at the bottom of India’s strict social order. She trumpets her efforts to fight discrimina-

tion and improve the lives of the poor and marginalised, but her administration also stands accused by critics of rampant corruption and wasting public funds on vast urban landscaping projects. She has built statues of low-caste icons — including herself — in huge parks in the state capital, with total expenditure estimated officially at more than a billion dollars. Uttar Pradesh has a population of about 200 million. If it were a country it would be the world’s fifth-most populous, larger than Brazil, and in places it has poverty as bad as in sub-Saharan Africa. “I get angry when I see UP lagging behind the rest of the country,” declared Gandhi last week. Seventeen million people are expected to vote on Wednesday for a new state assembly in the first phase of the local elections that will be held in seven stages until March 3. Results will be announced on March 6. No accurate polling data exists, but the main contest is between Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), another

regional caste-based group the Samajwadi Party (SP), Congress and the hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party. In Barabanki, about 35 kilometres (20 miles) from the state capital Lucknow, morning rain put off early voters but their numbers had swelled by the afternoon. The state will send 80 members to the 552-seat parliament in the next national elections due in

2014 and a poor performance by Congress would damage Gandhi, as well as under-fire Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Congress is the head of a ruling coalition that has been beset by corruption problems over the last 18 months, including from the bungled sale of telecom licences in 2008 and the scandal-hit 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games.

Greece faces hour of decision on austerity and rescue ATHENS AFP

Greece reached the hour of decision on Wednesday over more budget cuts demanded by the eU and IMF and a debt deal to obtain a second rescue and close a key chapter in the eurozone crisis. A final framework hammered out with the european Union and International Monetary Fund is now in the hands of partners in the governing coalition, a conservative party source said. heads of the socialist, conservative and far-right parties are expected to approve the 50page text later in the day, the New Democracy (ND) source said. An agreement, just the day after a general strike against the new round of budget measures, would clear the way for a second rescue worth 130 billion euros ($173 billion) from the eU, european Central Bank (eCB) and IMF. The new funding is vital if Greece is to avert a debt default in March. On the eurozone bond market where tension has eased markedly since the beginning of the year, interest rates were subdued. If a deal emerges, it will be presented by Finance Minister evangelos Venizelos to eurozone finance ministers on Thursday and be tabled in parliament on Friday for approval by Sunday, the semistate Athens News Agency reported. The text was drawn up during a night of marathon talks between Prime Minister Lucas Papademos and representatives from the “troika” aimed at setting up a second rescue for Athens following an initial bailout worth 110 billion euros.


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no pain, no gain for tiger woods Page 20

Finn sees redemption for england in oDIs DUBAI AFP

Young paceman Steven Finn said on Wednesday he hoped a fresh and young england squad will put the 3-0 Test series rout by Pakistan behind them in the one-day series which starts next week. The 21-year-old watched from the sidelines as Pakistan registered a first-ever whitewash against england who perisisted with James Anderson and Stuart Broad besides playing spinners Graeme Swann and Monty Panesar. Frustrated at not being picked in the Tests, Finn hoped the one-day series will provide him and the team with an opportunity to forget the Tests. "I think this one-day series is going to be a great opportunity for us to put what's gone on under the carpet. I hope, moving towards in this one-day series, I am going to get an opportunity to show what I can do," Finn told reporters. The last of Finn's 12 Test appearances came against Sri Lanka in 2011. "It is frustrating. I am getting very good at mixing drinks for the boys. I've sort of got used to it over the last 12 months. But it's not the sort of thing you enjoy," said Finn, the youngest to complete 50 Test wickets for england. Finn said last year's India tour where england were blanked 5-0 in the one-day series was a learning process. "After the India series, I've got confidence in the way I bowled - and I hope I can bring that forward into this series. I think this one-day team is a very youthful, very exciting place to be," said Finn. Pakistan and england meet in the first of four one-day matches in Abu Dhabi on February 13. Finn showed confidence his experience of bowling on the slow subcontinent pitches will help him here. "I played a fair amount of cricket in the sub-continent with the youth teams. The skills you have to use out here, the guys obviously did very well in the Test matches, and it's something I can do well out here as well," said Finn. Finn, 6ft seven inch tall, has so far taken 15 wickets in 11 oneday internationals.

Pakistan prepare for Afghanistan ODI

Misbah receives Padmore Medal

DUBAI ASHER BUTT

SHArJAH: Afghanistan cricket captain nawroz Mangal (2nd r) warms up with teammates during a practice session at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium. AfP DUBAI

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FGhANISTAN couldn't have picked a worse time to meet Pakistan in the first ever one-day international against a Test-playing team on Friday. Pakistan is charged up and in high confidence coming off an historic first whitewash of england in a Test series. This onedayer is serving as a warm-up game for Pakistan before it takes on england in four ODIs and three Twenty20s. Pakistan coach Mohsin Khan believes non-Test teams like Afghanistan are a threat in ODIs and Twenty20s. "I've always been saying this, that you can't take any opposition lightly in shorter formats of the game," Khan said on Wednesday. "We have to play against them with full concentration and we can't take them easy. I am very happy for them and it's good that they are playing at a neutral venue and I

hope it will be a good game." Afghanistan is ranked ninth in Twenty20s, and did well against South Africa and India in the 2010 World Twenty20. Afghanistan have won 11 and lost seven one-dayers against affiliate and associate teams since it was awarded ODI status in 2009. In 2010, Afghanistan defeated Pakistan in the Twenty20 semifinals at the Asian Games before winning the silver medal at Guangzhou, China. Last year, Afghanistan became the first foreign team to tour Pakistan since 2009 when it played three onedayers against Pakistan but was comprehensively beaten 3-0. Afghanistan manager Shafiqullah Stanikzai said his team was not in good form then and will do much better this time. "It's a tough and exciting challenge for us and we are looking forward to playing against the No. 1 form team in the world," Stanikzai said. "They have just whitewashed england and we will learn a lot from it." In recent years,

Afghanistan had problems with its head coaches, with former Pakistan captain Rashid Latif and Kabir Khan both quitting. Kabir Khan was expected to rejoin Afghanistan this month before the World Twenty20 qualifiers start next month in the United Arab emirates. "With this opportunity we hope to build our team and next month we will feature in the World Twenty20 qualifiers and hope to win that again to play the main tournament," said Stanikzai of the World Twenty20 event to be held in Sri Lanka in September-October this year. Afghanistan's team will be led by Nawroz Mangal and has exciting players in Karem Sadiq, Mohammad Nabi, Mohammad Shahzad and fast bowler hamid hassan. Pakistan coach Mohsin Khan said his team will not take Afghanistan lightly. "Afghanistan's team is coming up very fast and we will take them very seriously," said Khan, hoping his team carry on their good work from the 3-0 Test series win over england.

Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-haq was awarded the Padmore Medal at the conclusion of the Pakistan – england Test series. The medal is awarded to the player who, in the opinion of the team coaches, has contributed in a special and memorable way that has been pivotal to his team’s success. Andy Flower and Mohsin Khan determined that the medal should go to Misbah to cap off a great day and a great series for the Pakistan captain, who led the side to a firstever clean sweep in the history of series between the two countries, dating back to 1954. The medal is named after Robert Padmore, who passed away whilst supporting the england cricket team on its tour of Pakistan in 2005. A dedicated member of england supporters group the Barmy Army, Robert was a regular follower of the england team, having visited all the Test-playing countries, many more than once. Known by his many friends around the world as “the ultimate cricket fan,” Robert was also instrumental in re-establishing a cricket team in his home village of Baston in Lincolnshire. The medal was presented at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium in Dubai Sports City by Mr Padmore’s parents, Terry and Gwen Padmore. The first recipient, in 2006, was Monty Panesar and in 2010 it was awarded to eoin Morgan. The Padmore family will also mark the presentation of the medal by making a donation to an appropriate cricket-related charity.

Cancer-hit Yuvraj vows to return stronger

Ajmal did not get any favours: ICC DUBAI ASHER BUTT

International Cricket Council’s general manager Dave Richardson has made it clear that Pakistani off-spinner Saeed Ajmal did not get any special favours. “he has not been given any special dispensation,” said Richardson and added that his bowling action has "not been cleared for life". he further stated that Ajmal has being constantly monitored and, if his action changes, he can be reported. Richardson said the bowler, who took 24 wickets as Pakistan whitewashed england 3-0 in the Test series in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, has a "perfectly legal" action as long as his forearm does not straighten "beyond the levels of tolerance". Meanwhile, the PCB clarified that Ajmal's claim that he has permission to straighten his arm more than other bowlers. The ICC regulations state a bowler may straighten his arm 15 degrees. But Ajmal, whose arm has an 8.5degree bend at rest, says he is permitted to straighten his arm 23.5 degrees. A PCB official said: "Saeed was referring to the angle of the upper arm to forearm and not the degree of elbow extension."

however, an ICC spokesman denied that Ajmal has a dispensation, saying: "Anything over 15 degrees is not allowed. At no stage have the ICC allowed any bowler to exceed the 15 degree

limit." In an attempt to quell the confusion, Pakistan team manager Naved Akram Cheema said: "The ICC's level of tolerance of 15 degrees relates to the degree

of elbow extension that is permitted in the bowling action, i.e. the amount by which the arm is straightening. "Previous tests conducted on the action of Saeed Ajmal show that the degree of elbow extension is well within ICC's tolerance levels." england team director Andy Flower had already called for the ICC to review Ajmal's action. "If that's the degree, then there's a problem," he said. "That's ridiculous. That is an ICC issue, though. "They are there to police the game and make sure that it is played within the rules so they've got to scrutinise his action." "Previous tests conducted on the action of Saeed Ajmal show that the degree of elbow extension is well within ICC's tolerance levels. "Saeed Ajmal was referring to the angle of elbow abduction, ie. the angle of the upper arm to the forearm and not the degree of elbow extension. This angle is approximately 23 degrees in Saeed's case." Ajmal told BBC Sport: "Someone is telling me my action is bad, but the ICC allow me to bowl 23.5 degrees because my arm is not good, but that's my problem. Apart from that, there is no problem with my action, it has been cleared by the ICC."

NEW DELHI AFP

India's cancer-stricken World Cup hero Yuvraj Singh has vowed to return "stronger than ever" to competitive cricket, saying he was responding well to treatment in the United States. The ace all-rounder, named man of the tournament after India's World Cup win in April last year, is currently undergoing chemotherapy for a rare condition, mediastinal seminoma, a malignant tumour located between his lungs. "I have immense faith in the doctors here and by the grace of God I shall be back to my best soon," Yuvraj said from his hospital in Boston in remarks published in the Times of India newspaper on Wednesday. "I am on medication and doctors have time and again told me that I am responding well and that I would be back playing cricket. I am a fighter and I will return stronger than ever." A senior Delhi-based oncologist who has been treating the 30-year-old Yuvraj, Nitesh Rohatgi also said Monday the cricketer would be able to start active training by May. "Initially, I was angry and confused. I was even repentant and kept thinking I could have done some things in life differently," said Yuvraj, an aggressive left-handed batsman and effective spinner.


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Guard Filters, Army/nadra advance LAHORE STAFF REPORT

Guard Filters and Army/Nadra won their matches of the Nurpur Polo Cup here at the Lahore Polo Club on Wednesday. Guard Filters defeated Diamond Paints by seven and a half goals to four. Guards hammered six goals and their margin of win increased by their handicap while Diamond Paints did not come up to expectations despite having strong outfit. In the other match Army/Nadra beat Newage Cables by 10-7 margin. Newage having half-a-goal advantage failed to meet the vibrant efforts of Army and Nadra team. Umpires and referees for the matches were Simon Mclaren Tosh, Agha Murtaza Ali Khan, James harper, Atif Yar Tiwana and Saqib Khan Khakwani.

Gavaskar: Don’t rest Tendulkar PERTH AGENCIES

Sunil Gavaskar, who blasted India's rotation policy on Tuesday, urged the Indian team to ensure Sachin Tendulkar did not miss any match in the tri-series. Speculation is rife that the Little Master might be rested for India's next match against Australia at the Adelaide Oval on Sunday. Tendulkar looked in good touch as he scored 48 before being bowled by Angelo Mathews but it is still not clear whether the senior batsman would play the next ODI or not. The team management has opted for a rotation policy as Virender Sehwag was rested in the first match against Australia and Gautam Gambhir in Wednesday's

match. "I think Sachin should be playing in all the matches. If you want to use rotation policy then it should be used to rotate and field all the players. I believe that Tendulkar, Gambhir and Sehwag should play and may be one among Rohit Sharma or Suresh Raina has to sit out," Gavaskar said. "When you are choosing a squad of 16 and then you have to select the most balanced side. If someone is not performing then you should change him. But one needs to be upfront about it that you are dropping a player and not resting him. If someone is not performing he can be dropped and that's a fair call." Gavaskar praised Man-of-the-match Ravichandran Ashwin's temperament. The Chennai player took three wickets

and then came up with a crucial unbeaten 30-run cameo in India's chase. "Ashwin looked to be back at his best. The bouncy strip at the Perth also helped his bowling. he looked to be back to an easy action. I am glad that he is the Man of the Match as he showed a lot of courage during batting and also ice-cool temperament," Gavaskar was full of praise for the Tamil Nadu all-rounder. Gavaskar pointed out that Sri Lanka lacked a " slow bowler", but he lauded Virat Kohli for his knock of 77. "Virat is a quick learner. Wednesday, he ran for a non-existent single but from the next time he would realise that if he has pushed the ball that hard, he wouldn't like to take a risk," Gavaskar added.

Djokovic not sure to play Davis Cup for Serbia BELGRADE

ing. Djokovic returned to Serbia, where he is considered a national hero, after winning the Australian Open in the longest finals in the history of this tournament against Rafael Nadal. he recently said his main focus this year would be on the Olympic Games and the French Open, a Grand Slam win that would see him hold all four major titles at once. Djokovic said his participation in the Serbia Open tournament -- which he won in 2011 -- this spring was not "definitive yet." "I am on the list (of the participants), but it will be difficult to organise everything. In order to take part in it, I would have to make radical changes in my agenda," Djokovic said, adding that he would consult with his team.

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LAHore: riders in action in the nurpur Polo Cup. nADeeM iJAz

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eNNIS world number one Novak Djokovic said Wednesday he was not certain he would be able to play for Serbia in 2012 Davis Cup due to his "packed agenda," Beta news agency reported. Djokovic has already said he would skip the first round of the Davis Cup match with Sweden to be played in southern Serbian town Nis on 10-12 February in order to get some rest from the busy season. "I am sorry that I will not play against Sweden in Nis... I can not promise that I will take part in this competition this year," Beta quoted Djokovic as say-

Chief Guest Salman Khan gives away man of the match award to Dastgeer Butt. Amer Ilyas Butt is also present. LAHORE STAFF REPORT

lyon outlast Bordeaux to reach cup quarter-finals PARIS AFP

LYon: Lyon's French forward Bafetimbi Gomis (L) shoots and scores during the French Cup football match. AfP

Lyon's bid for a domestic cup double this season remains on course after they overcame Bordeaux 3-1 following extra time on Wednesday to reach the quarter-finals of the French Cup. Seeking to end a four-year trophy drought, and having already qualified for the League Cup final, Lyon fell behind in the 23rd minute when Yoan Gouffran released Jussie to fire past hugo Lloris after a mistake by Bakary Kone. The hosts equalised in the 36th minute, with ederson's

Amar Cables beat Lahore tigers

header from Yoann Gourcuff's intelligent lobbed pass parried by Cedric Carrasso into the path of Alexandre Lacazette, who converted from close range. Carrasso's goal was put under heavy pressure in the second half but OL could not find a way past him and the game went to extra time in front of only 7,000 spectators at a chilly Stade Gerland. Substitute Bafetimbi Gomis put Lyon in front after six minutes of the extra period when he pounced on a miscued volley by Jimmy Briand, who sealed victory two minutes from full-time by steering home a low cross

from Lisandro Lopez. holders Lille visit northern neighbours Valenciennes later on Wednesday, while Montpellier travel to secondtier Chateauroux. Marseille's match at fourth-division Bourg-Peronnas and Ligue 1 leaders Paris Saint-Germain's visit to Dijon have both been postponed until next week due to the extremely cold temperatures currently affecting France. Rennes became the first side to book a place in the quarter-finals on Tuesday when they withstood a late fightback from top-flight rivals evian to win 3-2 at Stade de la Route de Lorient.

Amar Cables beat Lahore Tigers by 18 runs in the First Lahore Veterans Cricket Champion Trophy here at the Ali Garh Cricket Ground. SCORE: Amar Cables 246/6 in 30 overs. Dastgeer Butt added 92, Ameer Akbar 65, Munir Shah 45 & Muhammad Arif 15. Mujahid Jamshaid 3/61, emanual 2/22 & Saddat Ali 1/21. In reply Lahore tigers 228/7 in 30 overs. Mujahid Jamshaid 47, Muhammad Munir 39 & Saleem Butt 23. tariq rasheed 2/37, Jahangir Khan 1/36, Muhammad Hafeez 1/42 & rouf wain 1/45. Chief guest Salman Khan gave away man of the match award to Dastgeer Butt. Amer Ilyas Butt was also present.

Dominant tseng still trying to improve LOS ANGELES AFP

even after her dominant 2011 season, world number one Yani Tseng found room for improvement in her golf game that she hopes will pay dividends in the 2012 LPGA season. The Taiwanese star won 12 titles worldwide last year and seven US LPGA Tour victories.

England’s last chance of redemption is in Sri Lanka ExPERT COMMENT

MICHAeL VAUGHAn

A

NDY Flower will not trust the players to prepare themselves for a series again and you can be sure england will have a much more rigorous build up to the tour to India later this year. england have been caught out. If you look at how the winter was set up, the mentality was that they needed to improve playing spin in one-day cricket. The Lions have played only limitedovers matches in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh – not one four-day game was on the itinerary. england correctly identified they needed to improve in one-day cricket in the subcontinent, but I don’t think they realised that they had the same problem in Test cricket as well. They can be under no illusions now. All

of their energies over the next eight months should be geared to that tour of India and improving techniques. In the shorter term there should also be some very nervous people on the flight to Sri Lanka next month. england are fortunate they will not have to face Muttiah Muralitharan there, because another couple of failures on that tour by the batsmen and there would have to be changes. You cannot go five Tests averaging 10 and stay in the team, so the players go to Sri Lanka with the mental pressure of having to deal with people questioning their places in the team. When you get to be the No1 team in Test cricket and score runs against indifferent bowling attacks you do start to believe you perhaps are better than you are. The team may have started to believe their own press. It is fine in the dressing room to make the big calls about what you are going to achieve, but in public play it down. You are only setting yourselves up for a fall. This is clearly a very good england team but you do not get hammered 3-0 if you are on your way to greatness. Test cricket has given the team a reminder that you can never think you have cracked it. Sri Lanka will have been watching this series and will almost certainly be telling their groundsmen to scrub the pitches and

make them low and slow. They will want to take the threat of James Anderson and Stuart Broad out of the equation. They will back their batsmen to play Graeme Swann and Monty Panesar better than our batsmen will play their spinners. Sri Lanka will make it another test of technique but also a mental bat-

tle. how is Ian Bell going to cope after a shocking series? What about Kevin Pietersen against their left-arm spinner? eoin Morgan, who I thought played his most convincing innings in the second innings of last Test, faces a big challenge at such an early stage of his career. Four, five and six in the team have to perform. But they are lucky because I don’t see a batsman out there knocking on the door. There is no young Alastair Cook or Ian Bell demanding to be picked. Andrew Strauss showed encouraging signs in the third Test. he was moving well on the crease, appeared to have built a defence and was getting down the wicket to find the ones and twos. But he was back in form without making the big score. You have to make it count and I would be sat in my hotel room thinking: “Why haven’t I made the big hundred?” The challenge facing Strauss now is that he will have another break. he has to then pick it up again when england arrive in Sri Lanka, and warm-up matches there are the worst I ever played in. Some of the cricket there was terrible, so it will all come down to the first Test in Galle, which starts on March 26. The pressure will be on straight away. It is hard for the selectors because these batsmen, apart from Morgan, have years of

experience. The top five are all senior players so if you drop one of them you are making a big call. At that stage of your career if you are left out, it is pretty much the end. Bell has been in and out of the team before. If you leave him out again that’s it, which is why england have to be consistent at the moment and give him a chance to put it right. For the next eight months before India, Flower will be working on improving how the players pick off ones and twos. A lot of net sessions will be geared so the lads can play in the subcontinent. They have boundary options, but you have to be able to go down the wicket on these slow low wickets. You cannot punch the ball off the back foot as the old way of working the ball off a length for ones and twos is dangerous because of the pace modern spinners bowl at – Abdur Rehman was bowling at 56mph. During the one-day series it will be fascinating to see which england batsmen can play low-risk shots against spinners for ones and twos. Batsmen in the top five need to keep the scoreboard ticking in order to make the big hundreds. That means you do not use up too many balls. Those players who can hit boundaries but not rotate the strike will build up dots. That then leads to pressure and it is panic stations. (Telegraph)


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20 Sports Boonen shines tour du qatar with stage win

thursday, 9 February, 2012

AL-SHAMAL: Cyclists compete in the 4th stage of the Tour of Qatar cycling race between Al-Thakhira and Madinat Al-Shamal (Al-Shamal city). AfP

DOHA AFP

Belgium's Tom Boonen, riding for Omega Pharma-Quick Step, won the fourth stage of the Tour of Qatar on Wednesday, a 147km ride from Al Thakira to Madinat Al Shamal, as he tightened his grip on the race leadership. Boonen won a sprint finish to see off Dutchman Tom Veelers and Swiss Fabian Cancellara. Thursday's fifth and penultimate stage is a 160km ride from Camel Race Track to Al Khor. RESULTS: 1. tom Boonen (BeL), 3hr 03min 14sec, 2. tom Veelers (neD) same time, 3. Fabian Cancellara (SUI) s.t., 4. Juan Antonio Flecha (eSP) s.t., 5. Gert Steegmans (BeL) at 4sec, 6. nikolas Maes (BeL) 11, 7. Yoann offredo (FrA) 14, 8. Bernhard eisel (AUt) s.t., 9. tyler Farrar (USA) s.t., 10. Ian Stannard (GBr) 36 OvERALL CLASSIFICATION: 1. tom Boonen (BeL) 9hr 50min 50sec, 2. tyler Farrar (USA) at 31sec, 3. Juan Antonio Flecha (eSP) 34, 4. Gert Steegmans (BeL) 36, 5. Bernhard eisel (AUt) 45, 6. tom Veelers (neD) 1:00, 7. Fabian Cancellara (SUI) 1:06, 8. ramunas navardauska (LtU) 1:09, 9. Aidis Kruopis (LtU) 1:10, 10. Adam Blythe (GBr) 1:14.

Guardiola urges Contador to fight doping ban MADRID AFP

Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola, who successfully fought a doping case while a player in Italy, has urged Spanish cyclist Alberto Contador to fight his twoyear doping ban "until the end of the world". "In these situations, and I speak a bit from personal experience, there is only one person who knows what happened, that is him," Guardiola said in comments replayed in Spanish media Wednesday. "And if he knows that he really is innocent as he says publicly and privately, he should defend himself until the end of the world and for as long as it takes. The truth always comes out in the end." Guardiola was speaking at a press conference on the eve of Barcelona's King's Cup semi-final second leg against Valencia on Wednesday and his comments were published in sports dailies including Mundo Deportivo. The Catalan coach was banned for four months after he tested positive for nandrolone in 2001 while playing for Italy's Brescia but he was cleared by a criminal court on appeal in October 2007. The Switzerland-based Court of Arbitration for Sport banned Contador on Monday for two years following a positive test for the banned substance clenbuterol. Contador on Tuesday said his lawyers were looking into a possible appeal, which must be lodged within 30 days. he argues he is the victim of a contaminated steak eaten during the 2010 Tour de France.

no pain, no gain for Tiger Woods Pacquiao swaps PEBBLE BEACH AFP

When Tiger Woods was starting out on the PGA Tour he thought playing hurt was just part of what it took to become a successful golfer. "I think when we are younger we feel more bullet proof, or invulnerable, because we heal so much faster," Woods said Tuesday. The 36-year-old Woods says he now understands the difference between rehabilitating an injury properly and rushing back to competition. On top that he has had to learn to balance his rehab with a strict training regimen that has helped propel him to 14 major championships. "The more we age, the more time we need to heal," Woods said. "I understand training way better now than I did before. Wearing myself out for no reason at all -- which we all did when we were younger. I have to train smarter, practice smarter. "I have proven to myself I can play hurt as well as injured. But that is a double-edged sword because I can go out there and play like I did at the 2008 (US)

Open and not feel my best and still win a golf tournament." "So where is the line of demarcation between injury and pain? That is what I have always struggled with in the past because I don't know where the line is, because I can be successful either way." Woods makes his 2012 US PGA Tour debut starting Thursday at the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am which is also the same venue where he posted one of his most dominant major championship wins at the 2000 US Open. It is also his first appearance at Pebble Beach since tying for 12th in 2002. "My body's feeling explosive again and consequently I am hitting the ball further," said Woods, who shared third place two weeks ago in his only other start of the year in Abu Dhabi. "I haven't played (Pebble Beach) and it has been scheduling. This time it fits perfectly into my schedule." Pebble Beach was not only the site of his crushing 15-stroke US Open victory but also where rallied from a seven-shot deficit that same year to win the Pro-

Am tournament. Former world No. 1 Woods has won once and finished third twice in his last three tournaments as he looks to recapture the form that made him the most dominant PGA Tour player over the last 10 years. That was before a 2009 sex scandal and injuries to his neck and knee that left his personal life and golf game in shambles. his only victory since came in December the post-season World Challenge event he hosts for the benefit of his charitable foundation. Now he's looking to build on that with a "W" in an official tour event. Woods says he continues to improve and cement the swing changes he has worked to implement with coach Sean Foley.

gloves for clubs MANILA AFP

Philippine superstar Manny Pacquiao swapped his boxing gloves for golf clubs Wednesday in a charity event that raised funds for storm victims in the country's south. The 33-year-old, rated the world's top pound-for-pound fighter, played alongside Filipino golfing ace Frankie Minoza in the ICTSI Philippine Open proam, a prelude to the Asian Tour's $300,000 tournament. After hitting the greens, the sports icon signed boxing gloves at the Wack Wack Golf and Country Club in Manila which were then sold to fans, raising about 105,960 pesos (2,464 dollars), organisers said. "I'm happy as there are a lot of good people who are helping the victims," Pacquiao said. "This will be a big help." The funds raised would go to victims of tropical storm Washi, which destroyed whole villages in the southern island of Mindanao in December and left 300,000 people displaced and needing urgent humanitarian help.

Millwall late show dumps Saints out of FA Cup LONDON AFP

Southampton: Millwall's english midfielder Liam Feeney (out of shot) scores the winning goal during their FA Cup fourth round replay football match against Southampton at St.Mary's Stadium. AfP

Substitute Liam Feeney struck in stoppage time as Millwall knocked Championship promotion-chasers Southampton out of the FA Cup with a 3-2 fourth round replay victory on Tuesday. Feeney's late winner proved the difference at the Saints' St Mary's ground and left visitors Millwall looking forward to a home tie with Premier League strugglers Bolton Wanderers. Millwall made a fine start and opened the scoring in the 17th minute when Liam Trotter struck from close range. Adam Lallana drew Southampton level 10 minutes before half-time with a superb solo effort and in the 77th minute substitute Rickie Lambert gave the south coast club the lead. But, two minutes later, Dany N'Guessan, once on loan at St Mary's, fired Millwall back into the lead. extra-time loomed until Feeney cut in from the left to curl in a superb winning goal. Tuesday's other FA Cup replay saw Blackpool beat Sheffield

Wednesday 3-0, a result that left the Championship side to make the short trip to Lancashire top-flight rivals everton in the fifth round. The Seasiders, who'd needed a last minute penalty to earn a replay against third tier Wednesday, wasted little time at the hillsborough home of their lower league rivals. Ian holloway's side effectively sealed victory inside the opening quarter of an hour with a Matt Phillips goal and a superb Lomana LuaLua curler putting Blackpool 2-0 in front. early in the second half, Ludovic Sylvestre put the result beyond doubt with a shot he bent in from the edge of the area. reNNes survIve LATe evIAN ComebACk: Rennes sealed their place in the quarter-finals of the French Cup with a 3-2 victory over Ligue 1 rivals evian on Tuesday. Goals from Jires Kembo ekoko, Julien Feret and Yacine Brahimi put the Brittany-based side firmly in the ascendancy, but the top-flight newcomers staged a spirited comeback to force a tense finish at the Stade de la Route de

Lorient. Kembo put Rennes in front on 21 minutes when his free-kick on the right from just outside the penalty area took a wicked deflection off former France international Sidney Govou and sailed into the far corner, leaving goalkeeper Stephan Andersen wrongfooted. The hosts doubled their lead less than 10 minutes after the interval as Feret curled a precise effort low into the bottom left corner from 25 yards following a neat backheel from Jonathan Pitroipa. Brahimi then made it 3-0 with a fiercelystruck shot from distance that clipped the inside of the post on its way in, seemingly putting the game out of reach. Pablo Correa's side staged a furious fightback, however, with Kevin Berigaud pulling a goal back from the penalty spot on 70 minutes after Nicolas Farina was felled by JeanArmel Kana-Biyik. And Govou ensured an uncomfortable last quarter of an hour for the hosts when he further reduced the deficit just four minutes later, slotting home from Cedric Barbosa's cutback.


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Kohli inspires India to victory at WACA PERTH

I

Spanish tennis federation to sue French tV mADrID: Spain's tennis federation said Wednesday it will sue French TV broadcaster Canal+ over a sketch which implied that Rafael Nadal and other Spanish athletes use performance-enhancing drugs. The sketch featured a likeness of world number two Nadal being pulled over by police for speeding after he filled the gas tank of his car from his own bladder. At the end of the sketch appeared the message: "Spanish athletes. They do not win by chance," along with the logos of the tennis federation and several other Spanish sports bodies. The advert was broadcast on Monday after the Court of Arbitration for Sport banned Spanish cyclist Alberto Contador for two years following a positive test for the banned substance clenbuterol during the 2010 Tour de France. AFP

SCOREBOARD

AFP

NDIA’S youngster Virat Kohli steered his team to a fourwicket victory over Sri Lanka in their tri-series one-day international in Perth Wednesday before losing his wicket in dramatic fashion. Although Sachin Tendulkar again failed in his quest to score his long-awaited 100th international century, Kohli's impressive 77 ensured the Indians notched a comfortable win. Sri Lanka made 233-8 after winning the toss and electing to bat, but India replied with 234-6, reaching the victory target with 20 balls to spare. Kohli, the only Indian centurion during the tourists' dismal 4-0 Test series loss to Australia, again upstaged his more celebrated team-mates, until he ran himself out and seemed to suffer a hamstring injury in doing so. The 23-year-old was run out by a direct hit from Lasith Malinga at mid-on. he had appeared to be suffering cramp late in his innings and had to be assisted from the ground after a despairing dive. he faced 94 balls, hitting eight boundaries and one six, and Indian captain M.S. Dhoni said he was hopeful it wasn't a hamstring strain. "he just got cramp, so I don't think it is very serious," said Dhoni, adding that he couldn't recall previously seeing a batsman have to be helped from the field after a dismissal. "Maybe somebody got hit and fell on the wickets, but I have never seen it." It was the first time India and Sri Lanka had met in a one-day international since last year's World Cup final, which India again won, that time by six wickets. The Sri Lankan total never looked quite enough on a perfect Perth batting wicket and in front of a small crowd of 6,685 dominated by Indian fans. They were desperate to see Tendulkar, the "Little Master", reach his long-awaited milestone and he appeared to be cruising towards his half-century. But on 48 he dragged an Angelo Math-

PertH: India's Virat Kohli hits the ball off Sri Lanka's nuwan Kulasekara during their one-day cricket match. reUTerS ews delivery onto his stumps to make it 27 Test and one-day innings since his last century, last March at the World Cup. India looked shaky at 181-6 when Kohli departed, but man-of-the-match Ravi Ashwin (30 not out) and Ravindra Jadeja (24 not out) guided them home. Dhoni praised the all-round performance of Ashwin, who also picked up three wickets in the Sri Lankan innings, as the difference between the sides. Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardene said his batsmen simply didn't score enough runs. "Losing wickets after small partnerships held us back," he said. "We were probably 30 or 40 runs short of our target." Dinesh Chandimal's polished knock of 64 from 81 balls was the mainstay of the Sri Lankan innings and at least helped them post a competitive total. Several of the Sri Lankan batsmen squandered promising starts, including opener Tillakaratne Dilshan (48) and veteran Kumar Sangakkara (26), but the 22-year-old Chandimal was

SRI LANKA: 4 U. Tharanga c Tendulkar b Khan 48 T. Dilshan c Kohli b Jadeja 26 K. Sangakkara c Dhoni b Khan 64 D. Chandimal st Dhoni b Ashwin M. Jayawardene c Sharma b Ashwin 23 T. Perera st Dhoni b Ashwin 7 A. Mathews not out 33 7 L. Thirimanne run out N. Kulasekara c Sharma b vinay Kumar 7 L. Malinga not out 1 13 ExTRAS: (lb6, w7) 233 TOTAL: (eight wickets for; 50 overs) Fall of wickets: 1-12 (Tharanga), 2-74 (Sangakkara), 3-100 (Dilshan), 4-152 (Jayawardene), 5-172 (Perera), 6-189 (Chandimal), 7-204 (Thirimanne), 8-228 (Kulasekara). BOWLING: Khan 10-1-44-2, Kumar 10-0-54-0 (2w), vinay Kumar 10-1-56-1 (3w), Jadeja 10-0-41-1, Ashwin 10-1-32-3 (2w). INDIA: 10 v. Sehwag c Kulasekera b Malinga S. Tendulkar b Mathews 48 v. Kohli run out 77 10 R. Sharma c Dilshan b Perera S. Raina c sub (Senanayake) b Mathews 24 4 M.S. Dhoni c Malinga b Prasad 24 R. Jadeja not out 30 R. Ashwin not out ExTRAS: (lb5, w2) 7 TOTAL: (six wickets for; 46.4 overs) 234 Fall of wickets: 1-14 (Sehwag), 2-89 (Tendulkar), 3-122 (Sharma), 4-157 (Raina), 5-167 (Dhoni), 6-181 (Kohli). BOWLING: Malinga 9-0-49-1 (1w), Kulasekara 8-0-38-0, Prasad 10-0-47-1, Mathews 9.4-1-31-2, Perera 5-0-37-1 (1w), Dilshan 5-0-27-0. Toss: Sri Lanka India win by four wickets, Man of the match: R. Ashwin (IND), Umpires: Nigel Llong (ENG), Paul Reiffel (AUS), Tv umpire: Bruce Oxenford (AUS), Match referee: Andy Pycroft (ZIM)

the only one to reach 50. however, he fell just as the Sri Lankans were trying to boost their run rate late in the innings, beaten in flight by the spin of Ashwin and comprehensively stumped by Dhoni in the 44th over. Dhoni and Ashwin combined twice for stumpings, also removing Thisara Perera. Ashwin, dropped from the Indian side for the third Test at the same venue last month, was the pick of the Indian bowlers with 3-32 from his 10 overs, while recalled paceman Zaheer Khan picked up 2-44 from 10 overs. The loss continued a dismal record for Sri Lanka at the WACA, with just two one-day international wins in 16 matches. The next match sees them face Australia at the same venue on Friday.

WAtCh It LIvE ESPN Sportscenter 08:00PM

Sania in women and mixed doubles quarters MELBOURNE AGENCIES

Sania Mirza had a productive day at the Australian Open as the Indian ace reached the quarterfinals of both the women’s doubles and the mixed doubles events with elena Vesnina and Mahesh Bhupathi respectively. Sania and Bhupathi, the 2009 mixed doubles champions, came from behind to beat Czech Iveta Benesova and Austria’s Jurgen Melzer 3-6 6-4 12-10 in the second-round match. The sixth-seeded Indian team took one hour and 11 minutes to dispatch their fighting opponents. They will next take on America’s Liezel huber and British Colin Fleming. They are heading towards a potential title clash with fourth seeds Rohan Bopanna and American Lisa Raymond, who got the better of the Australian pair of Casey Dellacqua and Matthew ebden 6-4 6-2 in their second round match. Bopanna and Raymond await the winner of other second round clash between the pairs of Su-Wei hsieh/Marcin Matkowski and Vesnina/Leander Paes. earlier, Sania and her Russian partner Vesnina downed 12th seeds Jarmila Gajdosova of Australia and Bethanie Mattek-Sands of the US 7-5 6-3 to make the women’s doubles quarterfinals. They now have a tough next round as they face the second seeded American pair of Liezel huber and Lisa Raymond. Meanwhile, in the junior competition, India tasted its first victory when Rutuja Bhosale and Indonesia’s Aldila Sutjiadi rallied to beat India’s Ratnika Batra and Australia’s Georgiana Ruhrig 1-6 6-4 10-5 to advance to the girls’ doubles second round.

Sanchez Vicario blames parents for loss of winnings MADRID AFP

Former Spanish tennis ace Arantxa Sanchez Vicario blames her parents for losing the roughly 45 million euros ($60 million) she earned throughout her career, in a new book published this week. The 40-year-old, who retired in 2002 after winning four Grand Slam titles and once holding the number one ranking, said she no longer speaks to her parents, whom

she accuses of mismanaging the money she earned through endorsements and tournament wins. "They left me with nothing," she wrote in the book of memoirs called "Let's Go! Memories of a fight, a life and a woman" which hit bookstores in Spain on Tueday. Sanchez Vicario said she owed Spanish tax authorities money and was poorer than her older brother Javier even though "he won far fewer tournaments throughout his career." "Should I accept this abuse and shut up? I am not going to

do it," she wrote in the book. She also blamed her parents for being slapped with a fine of 3.5 million euros for paying her taxes in Andorra instead of in Spain. "This was very hard for me. Once again, it is a case of the people who managed my career making decisions without consulting me," Sanchez Vicario wrote in the book. her mother, Marisa Vicario Rubio, denied profiting from her daughter's gains and said she was saddened by the accusations made in the book.

PArIS: the picture dated June 5, 1994 shows Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario (C) with her parents after winning the French open final. AfP

Japan to host U-20 women’s World Cup TOKYO AFP

DUrA: Italy's Lisa Alborghetti (r) challenges Palestinian Karoleen Sahajyan during a friendly football match in Dura. Italy won the match 7-0. AfP

Japan will host the under20 women's football World Cup this summer, a year after grabbing the senior women's title, officials said Wednesday. The U-20 tournament was originally scheduled to be staged by Uzbekistan but world football's governing body FIFA determined in December that the central Asian country was not ready in "logistical and technical" areas. FIFA has asked Japan to host the event from August 18-September 8 on condition that the Japanese government guarantees it. "The government for its part wants to help organise a successful tournament especially after we saw Nadeshiko Japan's great achievement," Tenzo Oku-

mura, vice minister of education, told reporters. he was referring to the Japanese women's national team, nicknamed Nadeshiko after a frilly pink flower seen in Japan as a symbol of feminine elegance which belies their tenacity. They became the first Asian country to win the senior women's World Cup title last year. Japan has not hosted a FIFA-sanctioned women's football event before but Japan Football Association president Junji Ogura earlier expressed hope of staging the senior World Cup in the future. Okumura said Tokyo's National Stadium would be the main venue for the U20 event but some of its matches may be staged in an area hit by a massive earthquake and tsunami disaster last March.

PArIS: Australia's Jarmila Gajdosova returns the ball to romania's Monica niculescu during their first round tennis match. AfP


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Tripartite moot DrOne KIllS 10 mIlItAntS In nWA signals thaw in Pak-US ties PESHAWAR

g officials believe talks focused on suggestions

STAFF REPORT/AFP

aimed at ‘cementing coordination’

At least 10 suspected local and foreign militants were killed and several others were injured in a US drone attack in Tappi village, near Spalga, North Waziristan, in the early hours of Wednesday. Reports from North Waziristan said two missiles fired by a

PESHAWAR/ISLAMABAD

T

SHAMIM SHAHID/SHAIQ HUSSAIN

he three main stakeholders in the war on terror held a tripartite meeting at the Border Coordination Centre (BCC) in Torkham on Wednesday, after a break of more than two months. The tripartite meeting, held between the representatives of Pakistani Army, US-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and Afghan National Army (ANA), signals a thaw in relations between Pakistan and the United States. Border activities had been halted in the wake of a NATO attack on a checkpost of Pakistani security forces at Salala, Mohmand Agency, on November 26 last year. At least 24 soldiers were killed in the attack and in response Pakistan had not only stopped supplies to NATO troops going through its territory but also called back its representatives from two coordination centres. The tripartite meeting was held after recent reports that US authorities were willing to apologise for the NATO attack. The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) confirmed the reports in a communiqué and said: “The meeting is part of tripartite engagement to discuss and improve various coordination measures on Pak-Afghan border.” Though it is yet to be determined who represented the US and Afghanistan at the moot, ISPR confirmed that Pakistan was represented by Director General Military Operations (DGMO) Maj General Ashfaq Nadeem in the meeting. Officials in Torkham told Pakistan Today that the meeting was held across the border at Sheeraz Fort. Details of the decisions taken in the meeting could not be ascertained, but officials believe the agenda was focused on multi-dimensional proposals and suggestions aimed at “cementing coordination amongst the stakeholders to ensure a swift victory in the war on terror”. It seems that after the US apologises, the government is likely to ease sanctions and restrictions against the NATO troops camping across the border in Afghanistan. A security official, who asked not to be named, said the meeting was held to improve the coordination between the three forces fighting terrorism on both sides of the Afghan border. he said the meeting of senior military officials from Pakistan, ISAF and ANA was reflective of a thaw in Pakistan-US relations and it showed that Islamabad and Washington were getting back to what was highly important business, such as border coordination. “The complete restoration of Pakistan-US relations, however, depends on the outcome of the ongoing parliamentary review of Islamabad’s relations with Washington,” he added.

US drone hit a suspected militant compound some 15 kilometres from Miranshah, the headquarters of North Waziristan. The missiles destroyed portions of the compound, killing 10 of its occupants and wounding several others. Soon after the strikes, militants closed off the site to outsiders and moved the dead bodies and their injured comrades to an undisclosed location. Officials said the casualties included foreigners but their exact identity was yet to be determined. “The attack triggered a fire in the compound and 10 militants were killed,” a military official in Peshawar told AFP on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to the media. Some local residents in Tappi contacted by AFP said the militants announced over a mosque loudspeaker that funeral prayers for the dead would be held on Wednesday afternoon.

Grossman met Taliban in Qatar: Afghan official KABUL AFP

Washington’s chief envoy to Afghanistan met Taliban leaders in Qatar as part of US efforts to bring the insurgents to the negotiating table, a senior Afghan official said on Wednesday. The talks between the Taliban and Marc Grossman came in late January, after he met Afghan President hamid Karzai in Kabul, the official said, asking to remain anonymous because of the sensitivity of the issue. Grossman, President Barack Obama’s chief envoy for wartorn Afghanistan and Pakistan, later briefed Karzai about his talks with Taliban representatives during a visit by the Afghan leader to Italy. “I can confirm that Grossman met with the Taliban representatives in Qatar. When the president (Karzai) was in Rome, he came over to his residence and briefed him about his meetings with the Taliban,” the official said. Karzai, rejected by the Taliban as a “puppet”, has said publicly that he supports the plan, but was widely reported to be concerned that he would be sidelined in the Taliban’s talks

with the US. Washington dispatched Grossman to Kabul last month to assure the Afghan president of a leading role once the talks get under way. The official told AFP that during his visit to Kabul Grossman met Karzai twice and “a number of agreements were made over a number of issues concerning Taliban talks”. he refused to give details but said, “Our stance is unchanged: the president wants the talks to be Afghanled and Afghan owned.” A report in a major US newspaper on Tuesday said the Afghan leader was trying to thwart Washington’s efforts to launch negotiations with the Taliban — a charge strongly denied by Karzai’s spokesman. “The report is baseless. There’s no truth in it and I strongly dismiss it,” Aimal Faizi told AFP. “President Karzai is not, and has never been, an obstacle to peace talks in Afghanistan. We have our concerns but we have never opposed the peace process.” Those concerns were simply that any peace process should be led by Afghans, he said.

MOSCOW: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov gestures to his visiting Pakistani counterpart Hina Rabbani Khar before their meeting on Wednesday. AfP | STory on PAGe 03

Graft cases pending against Hamza, Hashmi, 9 others ISLAMABAD IRFAN BUKHARI

Federal Law Minister Moula Bakhsh Chandio told the National Assembly on Wednesday that corruption cases against 11 incumbent and former parliamentarians, including hamza Shahbaz, Javed hashmi and Aftab Sherpao, were pending in court while enquiries against three parliamentarians, namely Khawaja Saad Rafique, Mian Muhammad Asif and Chaudhry Anwar Ali Cheema had been closed. In a written reply, the law minister said the cases against former and incumbent parliamentarians Rana Nazeer Ahmad, Tariq Anees,

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Javed hashmi, Senator Malik Salahuddin Dogar, Zafar Baig Bhithani, Senator Ghulam Ali, Aftab Sherpao, Nawab Yusuf Talpur, hamza Shahbaz, Ghulam Ali Nizamani and Interior Minister Rehman Malik were pending in the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) courts, high courts and the Supreme Court. Chandio said the enquiries against Khawaja, Asif and Cheema had been closed during January 2007 to January 2011. he told the house that no reference or case had been related to these enquiries in the courts. Responding to a supplementary question, Adviser to the Prime Minister on human Rights Mustafa Nawaz Khokar told the house

Editor: Arif Nizami, Executive Editor: Sarmad Bashir

that the number of missing people in Balochistan had increased, as in 2010 some 102 people were found to be missing while in 2011, the total number of missing people was 206. he added that the Supreme Court was playing a vital role in missing people’s cases while the government had also formed a commission that had recovered almost 40 people in the last year. In a written reply, Defence Minister Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar told the house that five employees of the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) were found to be involved in smuggling in 2010-11. Two of them tried to smuggle heroin and were subsequently fired and prosecuted.

epaper 9th february 2012 pakistantoday  

epaper 9th february 2012 pakistantoday

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