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rs22.00 Vol ii No 226 96 pages Lahore Edition
It is leaders’ turn to make sacrifices, PM tells workers Gilani says party will continue struggle per Benazir Bhutto’s manifesto
RIMe Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani on Saturday said Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) workers had rendered enough sacrifices for the sake of democracy and party and it was now their leaders’ turn to make sacrifices for the just cause. “PPP workers have never sold themselves or gotten frightened,” he told a public rally in Jaranwala. “I am proud of the devotion of the party workers who remain steadfast and have rendered sacrifices for strengthening the democratic process,” he added. Gilani said PPP workers had rendered many sacrifices and the party was fully aware of them and would remember them always. The prime minister said Benazir Bhutto struggled for the freedom of media and judiciary and “we will keep serving the people per her manifesto, whether in or out of power”. He said the only politician who brought revolution in the country was Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. “Many politicians talk about revolution, but ZA Bhutto was the only political leader who made it happen,” he said. The prime minister said, “We will continue the politics of reconciliation introduced by Benazir Bhutto and after the completion of five years, the PPP will go before the masses on the basis of its performance.” He said the progress made during his tenure was unmatched by any other regime. He said PPP was not a political party, but a movement, which had played an important role in the progress, prosperity and development of the country. Gilani said the PPP raised the slogan of Roti, Kapra and Makan and remained committed to it, adding that Benazir Bhutto came to Pakistan to launch a movement for the restoration of judiciary, give the people their rights and fight against dictatorship. “We promise to remain committed to the vision, thoughts and ideas of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto and carry forward their politics of reconciliation,” he said. The prime minister said the PPP would continue the mission of serving the nation and people. “Today, every party is claiming to bring change and defeat all others. even some are claiming to take many wickets on ‘one ball’, but the people have not given them any chance,” he said. The prime minister said the response of the people in PPP’s public meetings was due to its achievements and measures taken for the welfare of the people. earlier, Gilani inaugurated a mega gas project worth Rs 710 million in Jaranwala. The project would ensure gas facility to about 200,000 people of 57 union council of Jaranwala tehsil. He also announced early completion of the gas supply project, roads’ construction and electricity projects at a cost of Rs 10 billion. Regarding the demand to declare Jaranawala a district, he said if all representatives of the area agreed, he would ask the provincial government to take the decision on priority basis. He also announced to set up an IT university in Jaranwala and promised to take steps for establishing an industrial zone in the area.
Not so upbEat GiLaNi sEEms rEady to facE coNtEmpt | paGE 04
sunday, 12 february, 2012 rabi-ul-awal 19, 1433
Dejected Shaikh won’t take up advisory role KARACHI: After failing to secure a Pakistan People’s Party Senate ticket from Sindh, former federal minister for finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh has decided not to accept the responsibility of adviser to prime minister offered to him by the government. Sources close to Shaikh told Pakistan Today on Saturday that the financial wizard was disappointed by the decision of the committee formed to decide about PPP candidates for the Senate from Sindh. The final list of the PPP candidates from Sindh does not include Shaikh’s name. The sources said the finance minister had now decided to turn down the advisory role offered by the government and leave for Dubai. QAzi ASif
Afghan forces kill three in cross-border raid QUETTA ShAhzAdA zulfiQAr
Personnel of Afghan border forces intruded into Pakistani territory in the Qila Saifullah district, abducted three Pakistani nationals and killed them on Afghan soil, officials said on Saturday. According to reports, over two dozen personnel of Afghan security forces in two vehicles crossed into Pakistani territory near the Badini area of Qila Saifullah on Friday and took away three Pakistan nationals to Afghanistan. They later shot the
three men dead on Afghan soil. However, local tribesmen said the Afghan forces raided a house owned by local tribal elder Sadullah Kakar on the suspicion of harbouring the Taliban. They said the Afghan forces took away three men, identified as Abdullah, Mohammad Din and Mohammad Sarwar Shabozai. Quoting sources across the border, the tribesmen claimed that all three Pakistanis were executed and their bodies had not been returned. They said efforts were being made at the tribal level to take possession of the
bodies. On the other hand, Balochistan Home and Tribal Affairs Secretary Naseebullah Bazai said only two Pakistanis were taken away by Afghan forces and killed. He said he had informed the Foreign Ministry as well as the provincial high ups. Bazai said an immediate meeting had been convened with the Afghan Consul General in Quetta through the Foreign Ministry to discuss the incident. He said the Balochistan government would register a strong protest over the incident, as well as the violation of border by Afghan forces.
Murree: A woman takes a photograph of her family members as they pose with a snowman after heavy snowfall in Murree on Saturday. reuters
sBP keeps policy rate unchanged Terming financing of country’s fiscal and external current account deficits as a basic challenge, the central bank Saturday kept the discount rate unchanged at the pre-2008 level of 12 per cent to revive business confidence in the crises-hit country. State Bank, declared achievement of the budgeted Rs1.952 trillion tax collection targets as “ambitious” and projected that the fiscal deficit was difficult to be arrested at revised target of 4.7 per cent and was likely to swell beyond 5.5 per cent of the GDP by the end of FY12. Citing provisional estimates, the central bank said the fiscal deficit for H1-FY12, from the financing side, showed a deficit of Rs532 billion or 2.5 per cent of GDP. Given that the fiscal deficit was always higher in the second half of a fiscal year, at least by 0.5 per cent during the last 10 years, containing the FY12 fiscal deficit close to the government’s revised target would be difficult. The regulator said given a steady flow of workers remittances, the external current account deficit is expected to remain in the range of $3.5 billion to $5.5 billion, or 1.5 to 2.4 per cent of GDP, by end-June. “Central Board of Directors of State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has decided to keep the per cent policy rate unchanged at 12 per cent,” Governor SBP, Yaseen Anwar, announced here at SBP while unveiling the Monetary Policy Statement for the next two months. Projecting the backbreaking inflation (average) to remain in double-digit, ranging from 11 to 12 per cent, for the current fiscal year, SBP governor said there were indications of underlying inflationary pressures in the economy on account of non-food CPI items.
dEtaiLEd story | paGE 21
Brigadier, four others face court martial over Ht links ISLAMABAD ShAiQ huSSAin
The army has decided to court martial Brigadier Ali Khan and four other officers, who were arrested last year for alleged ties with banned extremist organisation Hizbut Tahrir. Brigadier Khan and the other four serving army officers were arrested last year on May 6 on charges of having links to Hizb, which is said to be involved in activities aimed at overthrowing of what it believes is a pro-US Pakistani government. Brigadier Khan was serving at the General Headquar-
ters of the Pakistan Army when he was arrested. Khan’s family has denied the charges levelled against him. Khan’s lawyer, Colonel Inam Rahim, had reportedly said after his arrest that his client had claimed that he was detained for demanding that someone within the army must be held accountable for the covert US raid that killed al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad on May 2, while keeping Pakistan in the dark. A security official said on condition of anonymity that Brig Khan was formally indicted last week and court martial proceedings against him would commence soon.
“Khan has been formally indicted and the summary of evidence in support of the charges levelled against him is also attached with the charge sheet,” he said. There has been no confirmation or denial so far by the ISPR as for the army’s decision to start court martial proceedings against Khan, but the security official said Khan’s family had contacted a noted lawyer of court martial cases, Colonel (r) Muhammad Akram, to defend him in the military court. “The charges against Khan suggest that he was in contact with Hizb, had meetings with its activists and had assured them of his support to their
cause. He also allegedly tried to impose Hizb’s agenda in the GHQ and tried to win over some of his colleagues at the GHQ,” the official said. He said the other military officials arrested with Khan and some activists of Hizb would also have to face the court martial proceedings. Hizbut Tahrir, which has been banned for being an extremist organisation, has been reportedly involved in distribution of pamphlets in different cities that called on army officers to establish an Islamic caliphate. It is also said to be involved in issuing appeals to the sol-
diers to rise against the leadership of the Pakistan Army for keeping ties with the United States.
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02 News today’s
Sunday, 12 February 2012
‘india Show’ in lahore, anti-india in Karachi
Sherry brings liberal charm, but faces slim chance for diplomatic thaw
Story on Page 07
Story on Page 05
Pakistan, Sri Lanka to increase trade volume to $2 billion Both countries sign three MoUs to enhance cooperation in trade, technical education and media g
AKISTAN and Sri Lanka Saturday signed three memorandums of understanding (MoUs) to enhance cooperation in trade, technical education and media, and also agreed to increase the trade volume to over $2 billion by 2015.. Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani and Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa observed the signing ceremony here at the Prime Minister’s House along with the members of their delegations. The MoU seeking cooperation in media was signed by Information Minister Firdous Aishaq Awan and Sri Lanka’s Minister for external Af-
fairs Prof GL Peiris, whereas the MoU for a credit of $200 million to increase Pakistan’s exports to Sri Lanka was signed by Peiris and Prime Minister’s Finance Adviser Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh on behalf of their respective governments. The MoU for cooperation in technical education was signed by Ministry of Professional and Technical education Secretary Qamar Zaman Chaudhry and Secretary to the Sri Lankan president Lalith Weerathunga. Under the agreement to promote cooperation in media, both the countries will exchange news stories, special programmes and publications highlighting the historical, cultural and social aspects, and sports and literature through radio, television and print media. The two countries will also explore avenues to jointly produce doc-
umentary films on topics of national and historical significance. Under the MoU, the two countries will also exchange visits and training facilities of the TV, radio and print media journalists, media experts, media managers and trainees on reciprocal basis. Joint Statement: A joint statement issued on the occasion said the two sides reached broad consensus on ways and means to further strengthen their bilateral cooperation in a comprehensive manner and on their common endeavours to promote peace and security in the region and the world. Both sides agreed to hold frequent summit level meetings, promote parliamentary exchanges and enhance the process of consultations, cooperation and coordination between their respective institutions.
Sit-in outside parliament on 20th if NATO supplies restored: DPC MoNIToRINg DESk Leaders of the Difa-e-Pakistan Council have vowed that they would stage a sitin outside parliament on February 20 if supplies to NATO forces in Afghanistan were resumed. At a news conference on Saturday, the DPC leaders said restoration of NATO supplies would be tantamount to mocking the national honour and sovereignty. They also said an all-party conference (APC) on the Balochistan issue would be held on February 23. Those who attended the news briefing included Jamiat Ulema-eIslam (S) chief Samiul Haque, Jamaat-
e-Islami chief Munawar Hassan, Jamiat Ulema Pakistan (JUP) chief Sahibzada Abu Al Khair Muhammad Zubair, Jamaatud Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed and Ahl-e Sunnat Wal Jamaat chief Muhammad Ahmed Ludhyanvi. Haque said the DPC leaders had discussed the country’s situation in detail and decided to keep the decision of staging a sit-in outside parliament on February 20. Political and religious parties in DPC would join the sit-in. He said DPC leaders’ conference would be held in Islamabad on February 19. The DPC was extremely concerned over the Balochistan issue and taking
it up in the congress of the United States was a direct interference in Pakistan’s internal affairs, he said, adding that the statement issued by the US Defence Committee was provoking and serious. JI chief Hassan said people had welcomed the DPC across the country, which manifested their trust. The biggest challenge in the country was US interference. He said the DPC’s agenda was clear that NATO supply should remain discontinued. NATO supply via Pakistan’s air routes was a matter of grave concern and the DPC protested vehemently on the statement of US ambassador.
Wajid rana replaces Waqar Masood as finance secretary ISLAMABAD StAff report
The government on Saturday decided to change its economic managers by replacing Finance Secretary Dr Waqar Masood Khan with economic Affairs Division Secretary Wajid Rana. A source told Pakistan Today on Saturday that the finance secretary had been changed after the ministry’s failure to improve the economic situation, particularly after the end of the International Monetary Fund (IMF)’s bailout package. The government had brought a change in its economic team in December 2010 with the hope that these
managers would improve the economy without the support of the IMF, which had offered another programme without which it had said the situation in Pakistan would not improve. The Finance Ministry had been presenting a rosy picture which was contradicted by the IMF’s reports on Pakistan’s economy. Another source said various names were being considered for appointment as Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) chairman after the retirement of Salman Siddique. The source said on top was the name of Ali Arshad but a final decision was yet to be made. Khan was appointed finance secretary for the third time by transferring Siddique to the FBR as its chairman.
Rahim elected PML- Respecting judiciary Likeminded president essential for democracy ISLAMABAD StAff report
The Pakistan Muslim League (PML)-Likeminded on Saturday elected former Sindh chief minister Arbab Ghulam Rahim as its new president, while Hamid Nasir Chattha retained his position as the party’s chairman for a second term. The elections were held in a meeting of the party’s General Council attended by councillors from all four provinces. The meeting was held was held under Senator Salim Saifullah Khan to elect new party leadership for the next three years. Outgoing PML-Likeminded president Senator Salim Saifullah has been elected as the chairman of the party’s Steering Committee after the position was vacated by Khurshid Qasuri who defected to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). In a country where no one quits crucial party positions, Saifullah has set a rare example by giving way to Arbab Ghulam Rahim at the end of his tenure. The PML-Likeminded was set up in 2009 in reaction to the re-election of PML-Quaid President Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain for a second consecutive term in violation of the party’s constitution. Humayun Akhtar Khan has been re-elected as the secretary general of the party, while Kashmala Tariq was elected as information secretary.
Lahore: Respecting judicial decisions and implementing them is essential for strengthening democracy and state institutions, PML-N President Nawaz Sharif said on Saturday. In a statement, Nawaz said that the entire nation was committed to ensure implementation of judicial decisions and the PML-N knew its responsibilities in this regard. He said that an independent and strong judiciary was a solid foundation for democracy and deviation from its decisions tantamount to destroying democracy’s foundation. The PML-N president said that nonimplementation of judicial decisions was like digging a hole in the same boat, which was custodian of ensuring the safe arrival of the national caravan to its destination. StAff report
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Sunday, 12 February 2012
ARTS & eNTeRTAINMeNT
defiant iran to present major n-projects ‘in days’
Ali zafar is the ‘superstar of tomorrow’
pakistan to keep england in the spin
News 03 COMMeNT Selective efficiency?: The holy cows walk free.
Pakistani and Sri Lankan presidents meet.
humayun gauhar says: Who rules Pakistan?: America, but, of course.
Saad rasool says: Legality and martyrdom: Why the former when you could have the latter?
M J Akbar says: On Hong Kong: A unique phenomenon.
Story on Page 15
Story on Page 17
Story on Page 18
Pakistan, Afghanistan edge closer to smoother trade g g
Vehicle tracking, biometric system for APTTA likely in next fortnight Biometric system to be installed at Torkham, Chaman borders ISLAMABAD
AKISTAN and Afghanistan are likely to overcome the last hurdle in the smooth execution of the newly-signed transit trade treaty between both the neighbouring countries within the next two weeks by finalising details of the installation of biometric system and tracking devices on transport units. The Afghanistan Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement (APTTA) 2010 was signed by both countries on October 28, 2010. This agreement has replaced the transit trade agreement of 1965. The APTTA was operationalised on June 12. An official source said most of the provisions under the agreement had been implemented but the installation of biometric system and tracking devices on transport units. He said the Federal Bureau of Revenue (FBR) and the Ministry of Interior were sorting out the issues. He said currently the FBR was in the process of selecting suitable firms for monitoring and tracking of transit cargo
India upholds 2003 Mumbai bombers death penalty MUMBAI Afp
An Indian court has upheld death sentences handed down to three people, including a married couple, for planting bombs that killed 52 in Mumbai in 2003. The Bombay High Court confirmed the death penalties given to Sayed Anees, 46, his wife Fehmida Sayed, 43, and Ashrat Ansari, 32, on charges of murder, criminal conspiracy and terrorism. “It is a rarest of rare case, deserving the extreme penalty. They are ordered to be hanged by neck till dead,” Justices AM Khanvilkar and PD Kode ruled on Friday. A lower court had condemned the three to death three years ago for planting bombs in two taxis that exploded in August 2003 at Mumbai’s landmark Gateway of India and the bustling gold jewellery Zaveri Bazaar market. All three convicts watched the Bombay High Court proceedings by a video link from their jails. They plan to appeal against the judgment to India’s Supreme Court. Police said the blasts were plotted in Dubai by the three, who had links with the Pakistan-based militant group Lashkar-e-Tayyaba (LT) and wanted to avenge the death of Muslims during riots which swept the western state of Gujarat in 2002.
across the country on a real time basis. All the required codal formalities had been completed and it was expected that the firm, most suitable both technically and financially, would be mandated to operate the tracking system, within two weeks time. According to the source, the Interior Ministry would soon hold a meeting with Afghan authorities in Kabul on the installation of a compatible biometric system at Torkham and Chamman borders to resolve the matter. According to the provisions of the agreement, an insurance guarantee equal to the amount of import levies of Pakistan had to be deposited by the importer with the customs authorities for the clearance of transit goods. However, the said provision was suspended for three months, as insurance companies in Pakistan were not prepared to provide insurance guarantees for the transit goods. The new agreement is based on the principle of full reciprocity. Whatever facility is extended by Pakistan to Afghanistan under the agreement, will be reciprocated by the Afghan side. No ex-
emption is granted except the suspension of equipment of providing insurance guarantee for three months. This has been restored since October 13, 2011. Various studies and reports highlighted the limitations of the transit treaty of 1965. The APTTA was negotiated keeping in view the shortcomings of the previous transit agreement, input received from public and private sectors stakeholders and best international practices. The main concern for Pakistan was the issue of smuggling in the garb of transit trade. The new transit treaty has addressed this issue and the following measures have been placed to prevent the misuse of the transit facility. Under the plan, tracking device on transport units would be installed and the customs-to-customs information would be shared through data transfer of information technology and others. The provision of financial guarantees equal to the amount of import levies of Pakistan would be deposited by authorised brokers/custom clearing agents, which shall be released after the goods exit the country.
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Rs 50 million bounty for Domki’s murderers The federal government announced Rs 50 million-bounty for a tip-off on murderers of Balochistan MPA Bakhtiar Domki, his wife and daughter, a private TV channel reported on Saturday. Interior Minister Senator Rehman Malik assured full confidentiality and safety for the informer. Monitoring deSK
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Sunday, 12 February, 2012
govt’s ‘NATO-supply-routeblocked’ claims fall flat
BHATTI MURDER CASE RESOLVED?
MoNIToRINg DESk Lofty claims of the government regarding the continued blockade of NATO supply routes have fallen flat, as supplies to international forces stationed in Afghanistan continue through aerial routes under the garb of civil cargo transportation. Geo News reported that the Civil Aviation Authority was aiding the daily transfer of supplies to coalition forces in Afghanistan through at least six flights. Per details, a private cargo company had received permission from the CAA for transporting civil cargo to Afghanistan and the permission was granted by an influential group of CAA officials. The cargo transported had pledged not to fly weapons or other military equipment, but the reality was in fact the opposite. The TV channel said the cargo company had its office on the fifth floor of the Jinnah Terminal at Karachi airport. The report said cargo meant for coalition forces was loaded in planes at Sharjah airport. The authorities in UAe know where the cargo is headed but Pakistani authorities are not informed of the actual cargo or its nature and it is only termed civil equipment meant for Afghanistan.
While sources in the police have revealed that one of the two alleged murderers of Shahbaz Bhatti have been arrested, the case remains to be shrouded in mystery over conflicting reports claiming that there are no eyewitness accounts and the lone whistleblower had concocted the story in connection with the minister’s murder.
JArAnwAlA: prime Minister Yousaf raza gilani addresses a public gathering on Saturday.
he alleged murderer of former minister for minorities’ affairs Shahbaz Bhatti has been arrested. Sources in Islamabad police told Pakistan Today that two alleged killers Ziaur-Rehman and Malik Abid had fled to Dubai after killing Shahbaz Bhatti. Bhatti was killed on March 2, 2011 outside of his residence in sector I/8 by unidentified gunmen. Later, the banned Tehrik-e-Taliban (TTP) had claimed responsibility for the assassination. They said that Interpol through Dubai police arrested one accused Zia-ur-Rehman while efforts were being made for the early arrest of the other accused. Interpol is the world’s largest International police organisation, with 190 member countries and assists member countries’ governments to arrest criminals who have escaped abroad. Police sources said that for bringing back the accused, Zia-ur-Rehman, a letter had been sent to the Interior Ministry.
They said after receiving formal request from the Islamabad police for shifting the accused from Dubai to Islamabad, the Interior Ministry has sent the summary to the Ministry of Law for its opinion. “Now we are waiting for Law Ministry’s opinion, once we have been given a green signal from the government we will bring back the accused,” said a senior police officer of Islamabad police on Saturday. earlier, on December 25, 2011 Interior Minister Rehman Malik while talking to media men in Islamabad held the banned Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP) responsible for the murder of Bhatti. “Bhatti’s assassins have been identified and that they belonged to the SSP. The killers fled to the Middle east after killing Bhatti while the government had issued ‘red warrants’ to bring the culprits back to Pakistan.” Malik had told the media, however, he did not disclose the name of the accused. On the other hand, police sources said that an accused Hafiz Nazar who was arrested in connection with Bhatti’s murder had disclosed the names of the said accused. Later, Hafiz Nazar was acquitted by Anti Terrorism Court (ATC) Rawalpindi, as police could not provide sufficient proof against him.
Over 10,000 Pakistanis killed or gone missing due to US-led war: report iSLamaBaD: More than 10,000 Pakistani nationals have either been killed or have gone missing as a result of the US’ war on terror, Iranian state-run Press TV reported on Saturday. Since September 11, 2001, thousands of Pakistanis have been killed in incidents of terrorism or have been abducted by intelligence agencies. “Those violating the fundamental rights are really a danger to all citizens. Anyone can be picked up and be thrown into the detention centre. This is the law, and nobody can question them. even the SC, I feel, is becoming helpless before them,” lawyer of missing nationals Tariq Asad said. Most of them were acquitted by courts, but later illegally abducted by intelligence agencies. To the disappointment of the people, the SC has delayed issuing orders against such agencies, the report said. nni
Not so upbeat Gilani seems ready to face contempt SITUATIONeR rAnA QAiSer
The protocol was according to the book, but the mood in the Prime Minister’s House on Saturday was somber with Yousaf Raza Gilani also not in his usual humour as his body language was rickety and the smile on the face of the embattled chief executive of the country was visibly his public-posturing. The occasion was a luncheon he hosted for Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa. All four-star generals were present but the galaxy of a group of politicians, often seen at the official residence of the prime minister, had disappeared in Islamabad’s misty political environment. Understandably, politics is all about advantages. The opportunists read the writing on the wall, which, in this case, is unmistakable. It is quite pragmatic for them to stay
away from the man they had throughout been encircling with the hope to find slots in his cabinet or be part of his kitchen-cabinet – the rats are the first to jump when the ship starts sinking. Though nothing can be said with definite certainty as to what would finally happen as the law will take its own course with the chance of even a remote possibility of the luck favouring the prime minister during the court proceedings, the insiders say that he is ready to face the consequences of choosing to remain loyal to his party over the rule of law. A senior politician, who is officially close to the prime minister, however, appeared optimist while informally sharing his opinion with the argument that President Asif Ali Zardari had said that it was the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) which decided not to write the letter. “And, the decisions of a party can change,” he remarked, suggesting that
the likelihood of the PPP reversing its decision and allowing the prime minister to write the letter cannot be ruled out. While the prime minister still has a chance to stay in office if he bows before the court of law and apologises for not implementing its orders, the apology is, however, not a panacea for the problem he is faced with as nothing short of writing a letter to the foreign authorities would seemingly save him from the contempt charges. The federal ministers who attended the luncheon were Mian Manzoor Watto, Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan and Hina Rabbani Khar. Senator Haji Adeel represented the Awami National Party (ANP) and Senator Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri represented the government’s erstwhile ally Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUIF). The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), even if it sent its representative, was not conspicuously
represented. Notably present was Pakistan Muslim LeagueQuaid (PML-Q) President Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, who, a source said, made his attendance noted for not being discourteous to stay away and skip the event at a time when the host was faced with the most humbling situation of being convicted for disobeying the court. He sat next to the prime minister on the main-table. The absence of the hardcore PPP parliamentarians, who rubbed shoulders with the prime minister, was understandable as with the fate of the prime minister likely to be sealed, they would surely have started lobbying for themselves to seize the opportunity for the stop-gap PMship, though not for too long – still a life-time chance which otherwise may not come in their political career. Whatever, the next prime minister, in the event of Yousaf Raza Gilani’s disqualification, will
most likely be from the PPP as the party cannot afford to hand over the government to anyone from outside in the election year. It maybe some dark-horse as the president never shares his choice with anyone before time, the name of Syed Khursheed Shah is being quoted in the political circles as next prime minister. Though he belongs to Sindh with the president, Senate chairman and National Assembly speaker also hailing from that province, the position of prime minister may also go to Sindh as the president does everything his own way. The opposition may not oppose to Khursheed Shah’s nomination for being an acceptable-toall politician in the PPP because of his sagacity and seniority as a parliamentarian. But whoever it is, it will not be a smooth sail for the next prime minister. The letter has to be written and until the
Supreme Court reverses its decision, which does not seem possible, the next prime minister will face a similar fate like that of Yousaf Raza Gilani. And the president will certainly not nominate anyone, who, he even slightly cogitates, will betray him. The numbers-weak PPP may also find it difficult to elect its prime minister in case any of its allies, the PML-Q and particularly the MQM, pulls out of the coalition if the power that-be, as is being widely considered, plans so. In this scenario, a political crisis may hit the country with the National Assembly being dissolved – a constitutional option. Article 58(2) provides: “… the President may dissolve the National Assembly in his discretion where, a vote of no-confidence having been passed against the Prime Minister, no other member of the National Assembly commands the confidence of the majority of the members of the National
Assembly in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution, as ascertained in a session of the National Assembly summoned for the purpose.” The process for a member of the National Assembly to take a vote of confidence will involve hobnobbing with other political parties at individual as well as the party levels. This may take considerable time and in case the magic number of 172 is not achieved, the Article 58(2) will apply. The dissolution of the National Assembly will bring more time to the PPP to avoid writing the letter. But there is no guarantee that the caretaker prime minister will, if he is not a PPP nominee and its jayala, defy the court order like Yousaf Raza Gilani. It’s a catch-22 for the PPP. What political move the president has in mind, however, remains to be seen with the PML-N also evaluating its options as a major stakeholder in the present system.
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Sunday, 12 February, 2012
Frustrated APC committee seeks merger with PCNS g
Committee has not met in two and a half months g Members feel it cannot be run parallel to PCNS ISLAMABAD
R U S T R A T e D with the slow-response from authorities concerned and facing functional overlapping from two parliamentary panels, the chairman and members of Special Parliamentary Committee on the All-Parties Conference (APC) asked the National Assembly (NA) Speaker to merge the APC committee with the Parliamentary Committee on National Security headed by Senator Raza Rabbani.
A source in the parliament told Pakistan Today that most APC members, including chairman Raja Pervaiz Ashraf were unwilling to run the parliamentary body formed in November 2011 to oversee the implementation of joint resolutions of the parliament on national security and the resolution passed on September 30. The source said, “The committee has not met for the last two-and-a-half month since its chairman Raja Pervaiz Ashraf and committee members find it hard to formulate an agenda for meeting.” He said committee members from a number
of parliamentary parties had opined that the committee had no scope and could not be run parallel to Parliamentary Committee on National Security. He said the committee chairman with consent of members had officially asked the speaker, to consider merging the special Parliamentary Committee on APC with Parliamentary Committee on National Security to avoid overlaps. The committee constituted after delays in mid-November 2011 under unanimous resolution passed by an APC hosted by Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani on September 29 in wake of US
threats to Pakistan to launch a military offensive against the Haqqani network in North Waziristan. It was agreed that ‘a Parliamentary Committee will be formed to oversee the implementation of earlier resolutions as well as this resolution and progress on the same be made public on monthly basis.’ Contrary to the spirit of the above mentioned clause which bounds the committee to monitor progress on the implementation of 13-point resolution, the parliamentary panel has failed to produce a single report despite a lapse of a number of months. Committee members include
MNAs Raja Pervez Ashraf (chairman), Sherry Rehman, Dr Ayatullah Durrani, Khawaja Mohammad Asif, Sardar Mehtab Ahmad Khan, Dr Attiya Inayatullah, Syed Haider Abbas Rizvi, Bushra Gohar, Maulana Attaur Rehman, Haji Khuda Bux Rajar and Munir Khan Orakzai. A committee member seeking anonymity said the constitution of the committee was itself against the spirit of APC resolution as only members of the National Assembly were inducted into it without any Senate representation while the APC resolution had demanded a ‘parliamentary committee’.
PPP KP chapter irked over Senate tickets distribution PEShAWAR StAff report
The PPP Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chapter on Saturday expressed reservations over the proposed candidates to be awarded the party Senate tickets and demanded the party leadership to revise the decision. Holding a press conference at Peshawar Press Club, PPP Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Information Secretary Syed Ayub Shah said, “Party loyalists’ and real assets of the party, which proved themselves during dictatorship, were totally ignored and certain influential blue-eyed people were given tickets”. He said that merit was not followed in awarding tickets, which created resentment among workers. Ayub said that those workers and leaders, who stood against Ziaul Haq’s rule, were being ignored while taking decisions due to which the party was weakening in the province. The PPP leader said that former interior minister Major General (r) Naseerullah Babar had immense services for the party but his wife was not awarded the ticket while other stalwarts such as Azam Afridi, Dost Muhammad and Afsarul Mulk were also ignored. He criticised PPP ministers saying that despite being a coalition partner in the provincial government, the party was ignored in distribution of funds, mega projects and jobs. Ayub said that the PPP had its own vote bank in the province and it would not be allowed to function as a B team of the ANP.
Two abducted westerners in TTP custody Stop the bAloch genocide! Sindh progressive committee members chant slogans outside the hyderabad press club against the army operation in balochistan. ONLiNe
DERA ISMAIL khAN reuterS
sherry brings liberal charm, but faces slim chance for diplomatic thaw g
washington Post likens new ambassador to US’ purposeful charm to Benazir Bhutto’s MoNIToRINg DESk
In both style and substance, Pakistan’s new Ambassador to the US Sherry Rehman was born to be a Washington diplomat and hostess, the Washington Post believes. “She has a designer wardrobe, a chestnut coif and camera-ready makeup. She also has a BA from Smith, a CV full of democratic credentials and the articulate self-confidence of her country’s westernised elite,” it said in a report on Wednesday. But Sherry’s arrival as the new ambassador, a nuclear-armed, terroristplagued nation of 180 million, has come at a time of unprecedented antiAmerican clamour among the Pakistani public, which has been increasingly drawn to conservative Islamic values and infuriated by US drone attacks and other perceived aggressions. She landed in Washington at a time of deepening bilateral mistrust, marked by the covert US raid that killed Osama bin Laden, the shooting of two Pakistanis by a CIA contractor and, most recently, the November attack by US forces in Afghanistan that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers.
Ongoing tension between these two formal allies in the war on terrorism has plunged US-Pakistan relations to their lowest point since the end of the Cold War. Moreover, the civilian administration that appointed Rehman is deeply unpopular, besieged by the courts and the media, and under constant pressure from Pakistan’s powerful military establishment, the report said. The crisis
has led to repeated rumours, so far unrealised, that the elected government is about to fall. Sherry, 51, seems undaunted. She learned the art of politics at the side of Benazir Bhutto, Pakistan’s late prime minister. Since taking up her post two weeks ago, the new envoy has handled her challenging portfolio with similar, purposeful charm. “You’ll have to airbrush out the circles under my eyes. I was up all night with a Pentagon crisis,” she remarked cheerfully to a photographer last week, posing for portraits in Pakistan’s embassy, a hushed and impersonal marble fortress off Connecticut Avenue in Northwest Washington. The crisis in question had erupted after a stinging new comment on Pakistan’s “double dealing” by Defence Secretary Leon e Panetta, which Sherry spent hours attempting to spin lest it provoke an apoplectic reaction from her country’s easily offended generals. Making her entry equally difficult are the tumultuous, intrigue-filled circumstances that led to the sudden dismissal of her predecessor, Husain Haqqani, in late November. In an interview last week, Sherry was careful not to criticise Haqqani, a one-man political operator who was
constantly tweeting, meeting and spinning in several directions at once. But she signalled that she intended to do things differently, saying, “I am not a solo flier. I like to consult and to act institutionally.” Asked what Pakistan’s army brass thought of her appointment, she answered euphemistically. “The message I am getting is that everyone is able to work with me,” she said. “I come from a long tradition that is anti-establishment, but I am very clear that here, I speak for one government.” Sherry’s appointment has been viewed as a breath of fresh air in Islamabad and Washington. William Milam, a former US ambassador to Pakistan, described her as “tough and courageous”, and said she represented “the traditional values of Jinnah’s Pakistan, tolerance and moderation”. “We are in a process of strategic reset,” she said, speaking from an obviously vetted script. “I feel strongly that Pakistan and the United States can have a rational, constructive, predictable and transparent relationship, but we have not had that in a sustained way for too long. We need to lower expectations and do business in a grounded way. We need a relationship that is invested with less emotion.”
Two Western aid workers kidnapped in January are being held by the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) near the border with Afghanistan, a senior militant commander told Reuters on Saturday. Gunmen stormed a house in Multan on January 19 and drove away with two foreigners—one an Italian citizen and the other believed to be a German. “The two NGO workers, who were kidnapped in Multan nearly a month ago, are in our custody near the border. We haven’t made any demands yet. They are in good health,” a senior Taliban commander said. Last month, a senior policeman said that the foreigners were being held for ransom. Criminal gangs often target foreign aid workers in hope of securing large ransoms for their release.
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Kashmir erupts in protest after army shoots innocent
R O T e S T e R S blocked a main highway in restive Indian Kashmir on Saturday after a young man was shot dead by the army in what military officials described as an “accidental” shooting. The Indian army said Ashiq Hussain Rather, 22, was killed late Friday when a soldier accidentally fired his rifle as security forces combed the area for militants. The killing occurred in the Bara-
mulla district of the scenic Kashmir valley. “It was a case of the accidental discharge of a single bullet by a soldier which led to the unfortunate incident,” Lieutenant General S.A. Hasnain told the Press Trust of India. “The deceased was innocent. Inquiries have been ordered,” he added. Police used baton charges and teargas to disperse the protesters who were blocking traffic along the main Kupwara-Baramulla highway in Indian Kashmir, according to media reports. There are nearly a dozen Kashmir militant groups fighting for the divided
Muslim-majority region to become part of Pakistan and over 47,000 people have been killed since the outbreak of the separatist insurgency in Kashmir in 1989. But militant violence has dropped sharply in Kashmir since India and Pakistan, which each hold part of the Himalayan region and claim it in full, started a peace process in 2004. The chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir state, Omar Abdullah, said the government would investigate the death. “We will ascertain the facts and any action will follow after that,” Abdullah told India’s NDTV channel.
Squash player robbed No tax to be Squash player Saad Shahid was robbed in Saddar area, a private TV channel reported on Saturday. Robbers took Shahid hostage at gunpoint and fled with his valuables, including a cellular phone, Rs 20,000 in cash, an ATM card, passport and important documents. The sportsman appealed to the robbers to return his passport, as he would not be able to get a new passport in three days to participate in an international event. Monitoring deSK
allowed in Malakand: Muqam SWAT hAroon SirAJ
ricKShAw rAllY: cng rickshaw drivers take out a protest rally to Karachi press club. ONLiNe We will not let anyone take any kind of tax from the Malakand division and will thwart any such bid, Pakistan Muslim League– Quaid (PML-Q) Khyber Pakthunkhwa (KP) President and Deputy Parliamentary Leader engineer Amir Muqam said on Saturday. Addressing a public gathering at Khawaza Khela, Muqam said rulers should be ashamed of their inability to provide relief to people – rather than putting further taxes on them. He said, “If the so-called representatives of Pakhtuns attempt to implement taxation in Malakand division forcibly, we will launch civil disobedience movement under the PML-Q flag.” He said if they do not then the movement for the new provinces of Hazara and Malakand will be of no avail. ANP members Mohammad Aziz Khan. Tal hayat Khan, Kaki Khan, Umar Khitab, Anwar ul haq and Ismail resigned on the occasion to join PML-Q with party workers on the occasion.
PPP to decide future course of action after 13th: Fahim LAhoRE StAff report
The PPP will decide the future course of action after the Supreme Court’s (SC) verdict on February 13, Federal Commerce Minister Makhdoom Amin Fahim said on Saturday. He was talking to journalists after inaugural ceremony of The India Show at Lahore expo Centre. Fahim said that in a democratic setup, political decisions were made quickly and every issue was resolved through deliberations. Talking about President Asif Ali Zardari, he said that the president had constitutional immunity. The minister said that parliament would complete its term and general elections would be held on time, adding that he had read in a newspaper that both the government and opposi-
tion would jointly decide about the a caretaker setup. The PPP leader said that the memo commission was working independently. “If Mansoor Ijaz’s statement is so much important, then he should come to Pakistan to record his statement,” he said. Fahim said that Indian PM Manmohan Singh had assured him that India would remove Pakistan’s reservations on the water issue by the agreed principles. The minister said that PM Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani was not being removed and the party leadership would decide about it.He said that Pakistan and India had been trading a number of products, adding that commerce secretaries of both countries had discussed each item and gave approval. “We need to discuss the negative list as well and every matter will be reviewed and considered carefully,” the PPP leader said.
HrCP holds consultation over FAtA status PEShAWAR StAff report
While civil society representatives and political parties remain divided over the future administrative status of Federally Administrative Tribal Areas (FATA) but all unanimously demands for more reforms and giving due political and legal rights to tribesmen. The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) on Saturday arranged a consultative workshop on existing situation of FATA in Peshawar. In her key address before participants, Asma Jehangir backed the demand for giving due political, legal and human rights to tribesmen but she linked, “miseries and hardships of tribesmen to existing crises at Islamabad.” She observed that unless all
crises in Islamabad be resolved forever no one can ensure a peaceful atmosphere and stable political process in parts of the country. Asma said it was time for all those who believe in democracy, rule of law and supremacy of parliament to come forward to foiling all attempts against democracy in the country. She said non-democratic rulers had always backed “status quo,” not only in tribal region but throughout the country while each democratic government contributed to the tribal belt. She hoped the strengthening of the democratic process will provide tribesmen rights. earlier, participants offered their opinions on the FATA reforms: general framework, constitutional status and enforcement of fundamental rights, reforms in the legal system and legislation,
governance and peace building. Despite different approaches almost all participants unanimously appreciated the present government for extending Political Parties Act into Tribal Areas and allowing tribesmen the right to political activism. They hoped that through political activism, tribesmen could be in a better position of building consensus amongst them about the future status of tribal areas. As it stands, a majority of the participants endorsed the demand to give them representation in the Khyber Pukhtoonkhwa Assembly to pave the ways for their induction into mainstream of politics. However, certain tribal representatives, including Mian Muneer Aurakzai said such representation in the KP assembly can only be made with the consent of tribesmen.
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female abuse rampant as govt official shush accusations PAge 07
‘You go, a we stay’ g
LDA junior officials pay the price as senior officials go unscathed in factory tragedy
CM assures victims of government’s full support
LAhoRE StAff report
S the aftershocks of factory collapse incident continue to be felt, the Lahore Development Authority in suspending two deputy directors and ordering an enquiry against them under the PeDA Act, has made its junior officers the scapegoats to save the big wigs. LDA DG Abdul Jabbar Shaheen summoned the officers of Town Planning Branch, Metropolitan Planning Wing and Commercial Branch in PHA head office on Saturday. He suspended Deputy Director Tariq Mehmood and Dawood Anjum Khan with immediate effect and ordered departmental probe against them. Meanwhile, the Punjab government has constituted a committee that would present a report after which strict action would be taken against those responsible. Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif also presided over a high level meeting regarding
incident would be awarded a deterrent punishKharak factory incident on Saturday. Addressing the meeting, Sharif expressed his ment and if the officers of police, LDA or any other department were found involved, strict action sadness over the loss of lives in the tragedy. “We will pay Rs 5 lac and Rs 75,000 to the would also be taken against them. The victims of the incident also met the CM on families of the dead and the injured,” he said, adding that the compensations would be given Saturday. Member Provincial Assembly Zaib Jafout in a day or two. He said the government fer, home secretary, RPO and Bahawalpur Commissioner, Rahim Yar Khan DPO and DCO and would also provide jobs to one perconcerned officers were son of each affected family present on this occasion. and a commit“We are grateful to tee had been the government for proconstituted in viding timely assistance this regard also. to us,” the victims said, He directed that comadding that the children of plete survey be carried LDA junior officers those who had died should out regarding the existalso be admitted to Daanish ing industrial units in the Schools. residential areas throughout Sharif also condoled with the province and the process of the families of the victims of the this survey be completed at the earKhanpur incident and assured liest, adding that a ‘comprehensive’ them of their full support, adding strategy would be evolved in light of that the government would prothe committee’s recommendations. vide full support to the victims. He said those responsible for the
‘india show’ in Lahore, anti-india in Karachi
LAhoRE StAff report
Fire broke out in a mobile phone shop situated on the Hall Road and reduced electronic items and other valuables worth thousands of rupees to ashes, causing the locals to panic on Saturday. The fire, caused due to short a circuit, only a day after the fire accident at the New Auriga Centre, raised a lot of alarm amongst the shopkeepers but was controlled in time. Rescue 1122 fire service reached the scene within minutes after being informed of the fire and extinguished it after a hectic effort that continued for over two hours. Rescue 1122’s daily incident report said the fire broke out at the shop of one Sheikh Younis situated in Usama Center at Hall Road due to short circuit when a welder was busy in his work in the shop. The traders of market demanded reinstallation of the electric wire system saying the short circuiting had become an issue of real concern due to continuous incidents of fire. “We closed down our shops and left the plaza after we heard the news on the TV,” said Rahim Khan, a shop owner in Usama Centre, adding that he was grateful that the fire was controlled in time.
News Desk An “India Show” organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) kicked off in Lahore on Saturday, as anti-India groups gathered in Karachi to hold a massive rally under the banner of Defence of Pakistan, according to a Zee News report. Nearly 150 Indian companies are exhibiting their products at the show in Lahore. As part of the ‘India Show’, Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma will walk in from the Wahga border on February 13, marking the first ever visit by an Indian commerce and industry minister to Pakistan. Sharma will be accompanied by an 80-member business delegation that will visit Islamabad and Karachi to interact with local businessmen. But not far in Karachi, anti-India groups gathered under the chairmanship of Maulana Samiul Haq, to plan an antiIndia rally for today (Sunday). Prominent among them is
Hafiz Saeed of the Jamaatud Dawa and Laskhar-e-Tayyaba, the alleged mastermind of the Mumbai 26/11 attacks. Posters and banners for the February 12 rally in Karachi have already come up. A JuD press release said: “Arrangements for the Difa-e-Pakistan conference are in full swing and central leaders of the Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) have reached Karachi in this connection.” The group’s 10-point agenda includes “full support to “fighting in Occupied Kashmir”. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan’s spokesperson has denied that he will take part in the rally. Also part of this anti-India and anti-US grouping are former officials of the Pakistan Defence Ministry, four star army generals and admirals. In an earlier rally, Samiul Haq had said, “We will not let this government negotiate with India and the US who are the greatest enemies of Pakistan.” Politicians of the ruling party or the opposition in either Sindh or Punjab rarely challenge the anti-India statements for fear of retribution from extremist elements.
Indian, Pakistani surgeons perform successful liver transplant LAhoRE StAff report
A group of Indian and Pakistani doctors have jointly performed a complicated living donour liver transplant procedure at the Sheikh Zayed Hospital for the first time in Pakistan on Saturday. The living donor liver transplantations ( LDLT) are “highly sensitive and complicated” surgical procedures as two lives - the donor and recipient - are at risk, doctors said.
The joint operations were done by Indian surgeon Subash Gupta, a senior transplant doctor of Apollo Hospital in Delhi, and three of his colleagues and the three-member Pakistani team of Tariq Bangash, Khawar Shahzad and Umer Ali. “The joint venture of leading Indian and Pakistani transplant surgeons has made history by opening a new era of living-relative liver transplants in Pakistan,” Bangish said. The first liver transplant was performed on Khanum Maula and the liver
was donated by his close relative Irshad Bibi while the second surgery was conducted on 45-year-old Abida Parveen and the liver was donated by her 19-year-old son. It took 12 hours for the surgeons to complete each sensitive procedure. Both recipients were brought to Shaikh Zayed Hospital with complete liver failures. The Indian doctors visited Pakistan to perform the transplants at the request of the Pakistani surgeons. Before their arrival, surgeons at Shaikh Zayed Hospital finalised arrangements for the sensitive
operations and prepared the donors and recipients. The condition of all recipients and donors was stable and they were kept under observation in intensive care for 24 hours. Consultants were put on high alert for post-operative care of the patients for 24 hours, a highly sensitive period for all who undergo hours-long surgeries. SZH chairman told the reporters that more than 200 patients had applied for transplants in the future and requested the citizens to encourage philanthropy and organ donation in the society.
Don’t forget your umbrellas! LAhoRE StAff report
According to weather experts, the city would remain under the grip of sever cold and scattered rain showers in the coming 24 hours. Rain and further drop in mercury are expected in the coming days. The representatives of met office said the temperature of the city remained between 2 to 4 Celsius in the evening and 10 to 14 during the day on Saturday. According to the office, more rain is expected in the city. “It will remain partially clouded and the city would witness short spells of scattered rain for the coming 2 days,” a meteorologist said, adding that the winds would remain chilly also. Met officers said another westerly wave was heading towards Pakistan and likely to enter Balochistan on Saturday evening/night. Under the influence of this weather system scattered rain with snowfall over the hills is expected over north-east Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, upper Punjab, Gilgit-Baltistan/Kashmir, Murree and Galliyat is expected on Sunday/Monday. The prevailing cold wave conditions in most parts of the country, particularly in Sindh are likely to subside during the weekend.
Lahore Bar ‘lowers its bar’ NEWS DESk Strong public reaction has emerged in the face of the ban imposed on drinks by Shezan by the Lahore Bar Association in a 100-members ‘unanimous’ voting held on Friday. Nadeem Gehla, tweeting on Saturday, said ‘Lahore Bar Association banned Ahmadi-owned Shezan drinks in bar premises however will enjoy Jewish owned McDonald and Pepsi.’ Another blogger, defending the LBA President Chaudhry Zulfiqar, said ‘the fact is that a majority resolution was passed by Lahore Bar Association lawyers. I guess the president of the association did not have much to do with it.’ Another citizen, Ayesha Halam said, ‘Lahore Bar Association lowers the bar yet again, votes to boycott Ahmadi products disgusting!!’ Subjecting the Lahore Bar members of sever criticism, another citizen said, “Lahore Bar members were high on Muree Brewery drinks and were watching mujra when PTI candidate Zulfiqar won the elections, there’s a video on Youtube, but Shezan is haram.” Sohaib Khan, offended by the decision said, “It’s the epitome of illiteracy combined with bad business.” It is pertinent to mention here that in an interview with an english daily, Zulfiqar had said more bans on other products would also follow.
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20 °C high 11Low0C
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PRAYeR TIMINgS Fajr Sunrise 05:26 06:47
CITY DIReCTORY eMeRgeNCY heLP ReSCUe eDhI CONTROL MOTORwAY POLICe POLICe gOVeRNOR’S hOUSe ChIeF MINISTeR’S hOUSe FIRe BRIgADe BOMB DISPOSAL MCL COMPLAINTS LAhORe wASTe DISPOSAL
1122 115 130 15 99200081-7 99203226 16 99212111 99211022-29 1139
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
BLOOD BANK FATMID ISLAMIC ALLIANCe
COMPLAINT wAPDA SUI gAS
RAILwAYS CITY STATION (eNqUIRY) ReSeRVATION RAILwAY POLICe
117 99201772 1333
AIRPORT FLIghT eNqUIRY PIA ReSeRVATION
Female abuse rampant as govt official shush accusations Merely two female orphanages in Punjab g Orphanages devoid of basic facilities, below UNICeF standards g
MONG orphans, female orphans are most vulnerable to social monstrosities. However, Punjab government, which touts itself as champions of protecting their rights, has merely two orphanages for millions of female orphans. This underscores the fact that government is not walking its talk, so to speak. even the orphanages reserved for females, border on living hell due to escalating incidents of sexual, emotional and physical assaults, which still lie unreported. The facts divulge that female orphans, whether staying in orphanages or outside, are left high and dry by government, social welfare department and even Non-Government Organisations (NGOs). According to Punjab Social Welfare Department (SWD), currently there are two female Model Children Homes located in Bahawalpur and Dera Ghazi Khan, which have a residing capacity of merely 100 inhabitants. The government’s negligence with regards to female orphans is revealed by the fact that the Punjab government has never established a single female Model Children Home in the capital metropolis and it does not have a future plan for its establishment in the near future either. Pakistan Today learnt that these female orphanages are below the standard guidelines set across the globe by the UNICeF. These female orphanages lack common household activities and basic necessities when juxtaposed with other homes. The orphanages are marred with poor nutrition, absence of sufficient female staff, untrained and unqualified staff, lack of central coordination with the SWD Directorate, women and young girls crammed in
a single room, lack of psychological therapy, absence of character building measures during their upbringing and no recreation facilities. The sources privy to Social Welfare Department Punjab told Pakistan Today that another bleak aspect of this picture is that these female Model Children Homes are overpopulated. The department was directed by the government to establish orphanages with the maximum residing capacity of 50 but more often than not there are more than 80 female dwellers packed inside these buildings. The sources further said that there was no independent monitoring mechanism to check abuses, allegedly being carried out against the female orphans as only Child Protection Bureau was assigned the duty to monitor these model children homes. The sources further said if any report about child abuse came to the notice of the concerned authorities, orders were cabled to hush up the matter immediately. Confirming the report, a lecturer of Punjab University Social Welfare Department Muhammad Arshad told this scribe that whenever they interviewed these orphans for their research work, either male or female, they found that these orphans were being abused physically, emotionally and sexually a lot of times. He said the families or acquaintances were not taking risk of leaving orphans at the mercy of the government-run orphanages as they preferred to send them to religious seminaries or handed them over to the NGOs. He said female orphanages run by NGOs were better than the government-run orphanages and in this regard SOS Children Villages International’s work was remarkable, which has provided them with better accommodating facilities. When Social Welfare Department Di-
rector General Malik Muhammad Aslam was contacted for comments in his directorate office, he said he was not aware of the exact number of Model Children Homes across the province but he said he would have been in a better position to tell about them after checking the figures. He said the Chief Minister Punjab had allocated a reasonable amount to establish more Model Children Homes to accommodate more orphans in the province and added that there were no reported incidents of children abuses in orphanages. Punjab Social Welfare Department Assistant Director (Child Welfare) Afzal Bashir Mirza, said after devolution, all district officers of social welfare departments came under the supervision of District Coordination Officers (DCOs) and no report was available on the exact number of female Model Children Homes or about their dwellers. He said he was not authorised to comment on any alleged abuses. He further told that female Model Children Homes were being established in Gujranwala, Sialkot and Narowal. Social Welfare Department District Officer Rana Shahid, told this scribe that in Bahawalpur a male and female Model Children Homes were being run by his department and they were providing security to orphans and pick and drop service was also being provided to female orphans during their school time. He said besides education, vocational training and medicines, two pairs of new clothes a year were also being provided to female orphans. The Punjab government has allocated Rs35 million for the establishment of new orphanages in DG Khan, Sialkot, Narowal, Rawalpindi, Gujranwala and Sargodha and two more female orphanages would be established in Gujranwala and Sialkot districts.
letter to tAseer ii
red bull pAper Wings 2012 p ...
COLLegeS / UNIVeRSITIeS PUNJAB UNIVeRSITY KINNAIRD COLLege qUeeN MARY COLLege gOVT. COLLege UNIVeRSITY UMT LUMS UeT LCwU SUPeRIOR COLLege
99231257 99203781-4 36362942 111-000-010 35212801-10 35608000 36288666 99203072 111-000-078
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: FeBRUARY 10 — MARCh 10, 2012 VeNUe: UNSPeCIFIeD, LAhORe Feeling the need for wINgS? After an overwhelming response to Red Bull Paper wings held in Pakistan in 2009, the best and most creative Pakistani folders & throwers will have the chance t ...
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Sunday, 12 February, 2012
Lahore 09 British Council, Chanan Development pledge support to youth LAhoRE StAff report
Inspired by a strong desire for change in Pakistan, the British Council in collaboration with Chanan Development Association has pledged support to the agents of change, especially the youth of Pakistan, for a proactive role in peace building and conflict resolution. In this regard Chanan Development Association in support with British Council organised an interactive dialogue with a youth delegation from england at its office. The topic of the discussion was ‘Conflict Issues’ and youth. The dialogue was meant to sketch the contemporary issues prevailing in the country and how youth around the globe perceive it. Panellists included CDA executive Director Muhammad Shahzad Khan and Raziq Fahim from College of Youth Activism. They emphasised on youth’s positive impact in the developed countries where they represent and stand for Pakistan on any forum. It was discuss that the youth was aware of all the conflicts which have surfaced over the past decade. “Promotion of dialogue for peace-building through media and youth mobilisation in Pakistan” seeks to promote a participatory environment that can stimulate information flow while nurturing the youth’s involvement and strengthening state and civilian relationships said Muhammad Shahzad Khan executive Director CDA.
thAnKS, i AM full: A kite takes off after being fed at the ravi bridge. NAdeeM ijAz
YDA threatens to protest against Punjab govt, issues timeline LAhoRE
He Young Doctors Association (YDA) Punjab has announced a phased protest culminating in the shut down of the outpatient department in city hospitals on Wednesday. The announcement came in a media briefing on Saturday in which YDA Punjab office bearers including President Dr Hamid Butt told reporters how the Punjab government
had “backed out” of its promise of restoring “innocent” doctors; especially senior cardiac surgeon and PIC ex-CeO Professor Dr Azhar in the wake of the PIC drug incident which claimed more than 100 lives. The young doctors have issued a timeline for a protest in phases and threatened to expand the strike from city hospitals to the entire province. As per details, in the first phase on Monday, young doctors will take out remonstrations only in Services Hospital and the PIC. They will hold a demonstration on Jail Road with banners and
placards and block it to traffic from 11am to 1pm, while the protest will be expanded to all city hospitals in the next stage, with doctors coming out on roads outside their respective hospitals for a couple of hours. On Wednesday, however, the OPD and indoor services will be suspended at the PIC while an OPD shut down will be observed in other city hospitals, a YDA spokesperson said, adding that the after-effects of the strike would spread to the entire province if their demands are not justly met.
Students, parents slam Sheikh Zayed College for unreasonable fee LAhoRE StAff report
The Pakistan Medical Association has filed a writ petition in Lahore High Court through its Joint Secretary Dr Salman Kazmi on the “unreasonable” fee of Rs 0.5 million being charged from medical students at Shiekh Zayed Medical College Lahore via Advocate Noshab A Khan. Shiekh Zayed Medical College Lahore is the only public medical college in Lahore under the federal government, but is charging Rs 0.5 million annual fee which is equal to the fees in private medical colleges. All other government medical colleges in Lahore under the control of provincial government have around Rs 14,000 to Rs 30,000 as the annual free. The PMA has made the Cabinet Division Secretary and others as respondents in the petition and requested the honourable court to declare the astronomical fee as illegal and direct the authorities to decrease the fee in accordance with the dues charged at other government medical colleges. It is worth mentioning that the PMA’s demand to reconsider the fee and make it equal to government sector was pending with the cabinet secretary and cabinet division, who were reluctant to take a decision on the matter. A meeting of parents of medical students studying at the medical college has been called on Sunday at PMA House as well.
Punjab govt transfers officials Lahore: The Punjab government has transferred and posted a few officials on Saturday and a notification has been issued in this regard. Nauman Hafeez (PCS-18) DO(C) Gujrat has been transferred and posted as DO(HRM) Hafizabad. Malik Tariq Raheem Gujranwala Regional Transport Authority Secretary has been transferred and posted as Attock DO (budget and finance). Khalid Mehmood (PSS-20) has been granted a two year leave. Gilgit-Baltistan AC Mumtaz Hussain (DMG-17) has been requisitioned from the federal government and has been put on the disposal of the Punjab government. StAff report
Dead body found from Rohi drain LAhoRE StAff report
The corpse of Muhammad Faryad, 22, a resident of Chak Jambra, was recovered dead from Rohi drain on Saturday. It has been reported that Faryad was kidnapped a week ago from Daroghawala. The body was spotted by a passerby who informed the Hadyara Police, who removed the body to the morgue for autopsy. According to local police, Faryad had come to Lahore to meet his relatives in Daroghawala a week ago but had mysteriously gone missing from the area. The police official said that the body was around four days old and that the victim was shot dead and then thrown in the drain, he added. He said that they had informed the victim’s family and that further legal action would be taken after their arrival.
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Sunday, 12 February, 2012
Seven-day ‘Seerat’ exhibition to start on Monday LAhoRE StAff report
A seven-day exhibition titled ‘Understanding Seerat’ with a presentation of Seerat books in global languages at Darussalam, Lahore will start on Monday. The exhibition is being arranged by Darussalam, a global leader in publication of Islamic books and propagation of Islamic culture and values. The exhibition will be held from 13th to 19th Feb at Main Showroom of Darussalam, 36 Lower Mall, near Secretariat Lahore. Darussalam enjoys the honour of publishing more than 50 books in various world languages on the subject of Seerat. In the exhibition there will be models of Madinah, Masjid-i-Nabawi and Ghazwat Nabawi as well. The models have been prepared in Madinah by a professor of Madinah University.
LCwU extends post-graduate diploma date LAhoRE StAff report
Lahore College for Women University (LCWU) has extended the date for admissions in Post-Graduate Diploma in Teaching (PGDT), an evening programme offered by the Department of education. Post-Graduate Diploma in Teaching is designed keeping in view the recent National education Policy (2009) statement and the Punjab Government’s recruitment decision that all secondary and higher secondary level (grade IX-XII) teachers are required to have 1-year post graduate teacher training/qualification after MA/M.Sc./BS (Four-year) degrees. Application forms can be obtained and submitted in Information Office LCWU till 15th February 2012. The list of eligible candidates will be displayed on 17th February 2012 along with the date of interview.
when, if not now? labourers, especially women and children, protest labour law violations that led to the tragic death of many in the Karak factory tradegy. MurtAzA ALi
Love in the air town as couples find excuses to splurge thousands LAhoRE
S the Valentine’s season approaches, lovebirds prepare to express their sentiments and entrepreneurs plan to cash in on the opportunity. Hotels, restaurants, cafes, gift shops, bakers, flower shops, cinemas, couriers, beauty saloons and events managers, all swing in to full business activities with Valentine’s Day around the corner. Special parties for celebrating “love” would start in the provincial metropolis with other cities of the country and the bookings are well and truly underway. The gift shops are basking in red with the Valentine’s gifts. The city and the internet seem to be flooded with special Valentine’s offers and event invitations reserved for couples. People have started gearing up to make it a big day this year with their partners. Selection of dresses for the day and mulling over hair style options is the men’s problem nowadays while women are busy getting the best deals out of beauty saloons to captivate their partners on the day. The social networking websites are buzzing with the offers of discounted deals for Valentine’s shopping. Many brands, with their online facades, have launched massive advertising campaigns for the promotion of their special packages for the day. Such parties’ passes are available for couples or groups only and the price start from 5,000 per couple and escalate up to 20,000. An event management group has advertised its party offers on Saturday night at an event database website however, the managers have kept the venue undisclosed unless one buys a pass for it. The advertisement offers “an intoxicating evening of fun and romance on Valentine’s Day” for Rs 7,000 a couple. The managers promised the presence of notable celebrities from fashion industry, an exhilarating ambience and music. The event also has lounges available for the groups. The arrival of valentines in mid of week has changed the schedule of parties and many of them are being arranged on the weekend before February 14. A four star hotel of Lahore is offering a “Dinner, Dance and Romance” night for a couple on Rs 6,000. Countless private parties are also thrown by the people all around. The hotel has also set a dress theme for the party and participants are asked to wear black and red. The flower sellers have also stocked roses for the big day to sell them at astronomical rates, and are busy employing different techniques to keep the flowers fresh till the day. They have already upped the ante on flower rates. Courier services offer delivery of Valentine’s gifts but like all others they too want their share in the pie and a red rose delivery charges range between Rs 500 and Rs 1,000. Bouquets, Valentine’s cakes, perfumes and chocolates are also in the list of gifts of many courier services.
Punjab govt under FReSh gun LAhoRE StAff report
Secretary General Foundation for Rehabilitation and education of Special Children (FReSH) Ashba Kamran has criticised the Punjab government for misusing funds allocated for distribution of laptops among students on political grounds. She said the Punjab Chief Minister had not appointed a minister for Special education and hence, nothing feasible was on the horizon for the Punjab government until the ministry of Special education was devolved to the provinces under the 18th amendment.
‘PIC medicines are usable’ LAhoRE StAff report
A spokesman of the Health Department has said that on the instructions of Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif the medicines provided to the patients by PIC were sent to UK and Switzerland for analysis and it has been verified from the analysis reports of those laboratories as well as Drug Testing Laboratories in Lahore that the tablets Atenolol (Zafa Pharma Karachi), Solprin (Pharmawise, Lahore), Cardiovastin (Mega Pharmaceutical Lahore) and Corcont (Swiss Pharmaceutical, Karachi) are “usable” since no hazardous ingredients were found in those medicines.
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National Testing Service to hold LDA test LAhoRE preSS releASe
National Testing Service (NTS) will conduct a test for recruitment of stenographers, sub-engineers as well as Data entry Operators in the Lahore Development Authority on the 1st of April 2012 in Lahore only. The last date for submission of applications is 27th February 2012. Further details can be obtained from the NTS website www.nts.org.pk. LDA has invited applications from eligible candidates for recruitment on 68 posts from grade 10 to 14. These jobs include 12 vacancies of office assistants, 20 posts of stenographers, eight jobs of sub-engineer (civil) and two each of sub-engineer electrical as well as mechanical besides 24 posts of Data entry Operators. Meanwhile LDA has also invited applications for filling 19 posts of grade one to seven by the 20th of February 2012. These jobs include three posts of junior clerks, two dispensers, one line man, three naib qasids, three sanitary workers, two security guards, three maids and two watchmen.
DeAR DePARTeD The CHEHLUM of Syed Arshad Hussain Gillani would be held after Namaz-e -Zuhar on Sunday at House no 15, Lane no 1, Dev Samaj Road near Unique Bakery. The CHEHLUM of WAPDA Finance ex-director Rafi Ali would be held on his resident 114/C-6 at noon on Sunday. Rafi passed away on January 7 due to cardiac attach. He was also a sportsman.
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Sunday, 12 February, 2012
Editor’s mail 11
Control of the red button There is no doubt that a civilian elected government should exercise absolute control on the military of any state. So why is it that the successive elected civilian governments have failed to control the military and take back from them the ownership of state security? effectively asserting authority over the army does not require increasing and enlarging operational and administrative control over it. Nor is the dismissal of army generals (both serving and retired) from positions of authority an effective method of pursuing civilian supremacy. What, then, is the course of action that a civilian government must follow that ensures civilian supremacy like in all other democratic and welfare states of the world and that the army acts as just any other organ of the state and is used by the civilians as an instrument of state
Media and politics policy? The ‘centre of gravity’ of the ownership of state security lies in the control of nuclear weapons in the country. The army continues to retain the ownership of nuclear weapons because they are a vital component and the final defensive measure against foreign aggression. Can the army trust a civilian administration to steer the country’s nuclear course? Can the army allow anyone else to have the final say in an area considered to be vital to national security? Can the supreme commander of our armed forces unilaterally decide to issue a statement on ‘no first use’ of nuclear weapons to reassure our adversary? Does this help army to trust civilian leadership that seems completely aloof from Pakistan’s adopted first-strike nuclear doctrine. Can the civilian leadership understand the implication of three In-
dian strike Corps capability of rolling across the international borders within 72 to 96 hours of issue of orders of full scale mobilisation? Is Pakistan’s first strike nuclear doctrine not necessitated by the capability of the Indian Army that cannot be matched in its entirety only through Pakistan army’s conventional means and capability? Does the civilian leadership understand this? The civilian leadership finds answers to all the social, economic, political and military worries of Pakistan in mending its relationship with India. The military and civilian leadership needs to together understand the dynamics and extent of relationship that Pakistan needs to pursue with India. Unless both are on one page in understanding the manner and conditions under which Pakistan can coexist with India, the ‘red line’ that divides the ownership of nuclear weapons will
continue to exist. Nuclear weapons are not weapons of ‘war fighting’ but ‘political weapons’ and hence they should be owned and controlled by the politicians (head of the governments). But can the civilian and military leadership bridge their gaps in matters of understanding national security? The army will eventually give up the ownership of nuclear weapons to the civilian leadership, but for that to happen the ‘civilian leadership’ has to be seen and acknowledged by the complete nation as men and women of esteemed political ability, courage and vision who can understand, evolve and implement our national security policy. Those who cannot ably govern in peace time are less likely to stand up and take difficult decisions in times of crisis/war. LT COL(R)MUHAMMAD ALI EHSAN Karachi
One step at a time Finally, the focal point of all major players in Afghanistan has shifted from military operation to the peace process and talks about ‘the talks’ are making headlines. Talks between the Taliban and the Americans have begun while the Karzai government has taken an initiative on its own after being jilted by the Americans to resume the reconciliation process that had been brought to a halt after the killing of Burhanuddin Rabbani. Hopes of immediate success, however, would be premature as it may take the entire 2012 to just get aligned with the concept of talking. But the fact that all stakeholders have shown a sign of acceptance for the process is surely a positive indicator and provides some hope for the future. This peace process would be more beneficial if a piecemeal approach is adopted. Instead of waiting for US-led miracles for a peaceful end, the Afghans must start taking responsibility of their own affairs. By setting short-term achievable objectives, the Afghan government ought to move towards a peaceful end to the insurgency. UMAR KHAN Lahore
Our Balochistan? According to a news report, the US Congress is debating Balochistan situation in a very negative light. It is very strange because the dissenting Balochistan elements are actually receiving lessons in anti-Pakistan rhetoric, rebellion, and anarchy in Afghanistan which is currently under direct US control. It is very unfortunate that since 1947 the US has adopted a deceptive dual policy with regard to Pakistan. One is overt and the second covert. According to the first, its civilian government and the think tanks have always cried themselves hoarse in favour of a liberal and a secular Pakistan. But as per its covert policy, its Pentagon physically commandeered our country by seizing control of country’s powerful institutions and through them engineered our society and polity to use in its regional balance of power strategy. The social and economic conditions that resulted from this negative interference threw us centuries back in time virtually into the Stone Age. The aim was to promote and use the prevailing ills of illiteracy including fanaticisms of the masses first against communism and then in the worldwide scheme of terrorism to secure control of the oil rich region. With the US controlling the world monetary system and investment policies of capitalism, they still have a death grip on our jugular vein and can throttle us at any moment. Therefore, it is very odd that the Balochistan card should be used so openly instead of the normal underground tactics. The apparent reason seems to be not that they aim to have a control over the mineral resources of Balochistan. The actual reason, of course, is to create more and more frustration in Baloch population by fanning their sense of loss of hold over their precious resources and thus incite them to insurgency so that the Chinese and the Russians cannot use their influence with the government of Pakistan to gain access to the Persian Gulf through Balochistan. KHADIM HUSSAIN Muzaffargarh
About three months ago, NATO troops attacked and killed 24 Pakistani soldiers and injured 13 personnel in Pakistani territory. This is one of the most disastrous events of friendly fire in the history of American-Pakistani relations since 2001 and there is no evidence to suggest that there had been a disagreement serious enough to warrant this. According to Pakistan’s director general of military operations, NATO had been informed that they were targeting Pakistani posts but they continued to launch the offensive regardless. A multitude of arguments are being put forth by NATO justifying their side of the story ranging from them being provoked into the attack to them mistakenly assuming that they were attacking terrorist posts. NATO has been occupying the Shamsi air base in Pakistan for a while now. Consequently, it is not surprising that the veracity of the later argument is being questioned by critics within the American as well as the Pakistani administrations. The fact that NATO has not yet come out with unequivocal clarification of their actions has further confused this issue. It is important to collectively condemn these actions of the NATO to ensure any such incidents do not occur again. MASHAL USMAN Lahore
A mega corruption case
no respite, Mr prime Minister What the Supreme Court of Pakistan has done to the Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, by rejecting his revision plea, could have drastic repercussions for the democratic system. This in the face of an increasingly hostile-against-the-government military.
On Balochistan We may keep arguing who gave the right to the US congress’ committee on foreign affairs to discuss the human rights situation in Balochistan but that will not serve the main issue. Balochistan is facing a fourth mutiny in the last 60 years; obviously it can’t be ignored as a trouble area for the army to take care of. In the past, a number of committees and commissions in Pakistan have deliberated on the situation in Balochistan and come up with tons of proposals, only to eat dirt in the army’s and bureaucrats’ offices. The Human Rights Watch (HRW), while taking no position in the US congress hearing on demands pertaining to an independent Balochistan, has come up with a number of recommendations. It is necessary that this issue not be pushed under the carpet. When the use of force couldn’t stop 52 percent of Pakistanis to break away from Pakistan in 1970 (creation of Bangladesh), then how is it possible that the army alone can find an everlasting solution to Baloch grievances. Without mincing words, the HRW criticised all the parties including Baloch nationalists and rebels who are involved in the bloodshed and revenge practices. Therefore, regardless of Pakistani government’s official stand on the US committee meeting, HRW recommendations should be taken seriously to save the country from further disintegration. The HRW recommendations are as follows: 1) The Pakistani government shall not allow its forces to get involved in extra-judicial killings and disappearance and illegal or undocumented detentions of Baloch nationalists. 2) The US shall threaten to severe contacts with the Pakistan army, ISI, Frontier Constabulary (FC) who are allegedly blamed for killings and disappearance of Baloch na-
The judiciary has, on one hand, gone to great lengths to probe into the memo case while on the other, it has not yet made public an inquiry report into the May 2 raid. AGHA AJLAL Lahore
tionalists. 3) The US funding/ training of those agencies shall be cut who are found responsible for human rights violation in Balochistan. 4) Baloch nationalists and rebels should stop attacks on civilians especially on the non-Baloch population. 5) Attacks on teachers, professors (mostly Urdu and Punjabi speaking) and educational institutes should be stopped. 6) Baloch nationalist organisations shall take action against their members who are involved in killing of civilians. Time is running out for the Pakistani government for political manoeuvring. The hearing in the US committee shows that the matter is getting international attention. It’s better if an internal matter is resolved internally by dialogue. Otherwise, the past is there as precedent. MASOOD KHAN Saudi Arabia
Signs of a thaw? This is apropos of the news item that commander of the US Central Command, General James N Mattis, is scheduled to visit Pakistan next week. During his visit, he will call on General Kayani to discuss ways to improve Pak-US relations that had spiralled downward in the past year. Despite the negative perceptions on both sides, there is an acknowledgement at both ends that the US and Pakistan need each other not only in the war on terror but also for other geo-political and socio-economic reasons. For instance, because of Pakistan’s strategic location, Pakistan can be a safe conduit of Central Asian resources to United States. This is just one example of how the countries can be of economic benefit to each other. Today’s world demands that interstate relations be designed to promote the respective national interests of each country. Unfortunately, this has not been so in the sixty years of the difficult rela-
tionship with the United States. It has been subjected more than often to misperceptions and emotionalism rather than a rational and pragmatic approach. It all started with CIA operative Raymond Davis’s brazen killing of two Pakistani nationals in broad day light in Lahore. This episode was followed with violation of its sovereignty when US Marines attacked a compound in Abbottabad to kill Osama Bin Laden. Then came the fatal US/NATO air strike on a Pakistani checkpost at Salala. All these episodes contributed to the inexorable downward slide. The US invasion of Afghanistan exposed the mediocrity of the Afghanbased US commanders and intelligence officials resulting in irreparable losses to the US-led forces. The hawkish US defence secretary, Leon Panetta, put the blame on Pakistan for its strategic failures in Afghanistan. Such accusations being levied by functionaries of the US administration on a partner in war on terror that has suffered the largest number of casualties (both civilian and military) do not bode well in the context of already frayed US-Pakistan bilateral relationship. The US must remember that it was Pakistan that supported the US stance in 1960 about shooting down of its U2 spy plane by Russians. It was also Pakistan that facilitated a secret tour of Henry Kissinger to China. It was Pakistan again that stood as a bulwark against Soviet expansion by supporting the Afghan ‘jihad’. It is time that the US reciprocate this long history of loyalty by not jeopardising Pakistan’s interests and give it due status in the Afghan peace process and by establishing Pak-US relations on mutually beneficial terms. ENGINEER JAVED IQBAL Islamabad
In May 2011, the top management of PIMS wanted their people to be recruited at the Liver Transplant Facility but their proposal was turned down. All the inductions were made on merit, contrary to the wishes and pressure of the administration. But the bad news is that on 8 February 2012, there was a meeting of PIMS officials chaired by eD PIMS, in which they have decided to fire all employees and recruit their own people. Another meeting has been called today by eD PIMS regarding this. This is sheer injustice with the current working employees. For the sake of nepotism he has engaged in unlawful and illegal steps. Within a day or two, the eD PIMS could declare all current recruitments null and void, despite the fact that we were inducted through legal, lawful and proper channel. This he will do because he wants to induct his own people in place of the current employees. Hence, I appeal the SC and Chief Justice of Pakistan to take suo motu notice of this matter. Prime Minister of Pakistan Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani wanted to establish a liver transplant facility in the capital and he started a project in this regard in June 2011. He directed all concerned officials to work on it on emergency basis. I feel necessary to share with the public that this liver transplant project in PIMS, Islamabad is one of the mega projects of our country but some corrupt officials are actively engaged in engulfing funds of the project which are around 14 billions rupees. It is very sad that media, judiciary and all other well informed groups are silent over this injustice. There were more than enough funds to establish a separate building within PIMS premises for this project. But nothing has been done in this regard. eight months on and no development at all and misappropriations have been done by concerned authorities in terms of funds utilisation. Task assigned to officials of this project by the Prime Minister has not been not been fulfilled. No body knows about funds utilisation. No separate building, no development at all. I'm afraid that after eating up all the funds, the top officials of the project would say that funds were not enough to establish a liver transplant facility in the capital. Moreover, liver transplant department employees are working without any pay for the last five months. More than half the employees have been forced to quit their jobs. It is quite incredible that employees of a 14 billion rupees project are deprived of their salaries. The Honourable Prime Minister should look into this matter, after all this is his project. Some corrupt officials want this project to fail and they have already doen a lot to its funds. DR SAIF UR REHMAN Islamabad
Send your letters to: Letters to Editor, Pakistan Today, 4-Shaarey Fatima Jinnah, Lahore, Pakistan. Fax: +92-42-36298302. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Letters should be addressed to Pakistan Today exclusively.
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12 Comment Selective efficiency? The quality of justice is not strained
ad governance during the civilian periods and the longer military rules is behind myriads of afflictions faced by the common man. Civilian governments have no doubt often failed to do what was required of them. The claim that they could not fulfill their promises on account of the short shrifts given to them is somewhat weakened by the near five year tenure of the present government. The greater betrayal however has been on the part of the military rulers who enjoyed uninterrupted tenures, each extending to nearly a decade or more. Unlike politicians, they enjoyed the unstinted support of the all powerful security agencies. The courts endorsed the removal of elected governments and the imposition of martial laws. A whole chunk of the country separated under a military ruler but none of the military junta was held accountable. Courts remained silent when criminal negligence on the part of Zia-ul-Haq led to the loss of control over the strategic Siachen Glacier. Musharraf’s Kargil folly that caused huge military casualties was also ignored. The presence of an independent judiciary provides one confidence that justice would be dispensed without discrimination. It is discomforting, however, when the courts and judicial commissions are seen to be more efficient as they deal with the perceived or real violations of law by the politicians while being less so when scrutinising those of the high and mighty in the nonpolitical establishment. The energy displayed by the judicial commission mandated to probe the memo case is really fascinating. The commission is working extra hard to finish its assignment within the allotted time. Compare this with the inefficiency of the judicial commission for the recovery of missing persons. It took months to activate the commission. Its subsequent performance was abysmal. even the SC expressed dissatisfaction with the type of investigation it was conducting. There is a need to remove the perception that courts and judicial commissions are slow in the movement of cases involving the holy cows and highly efficient when it comes to holding politicians accountable. If heads roll in one case, and the punishment reserved only for the small fry in the other, justice will not be seen to have been done.
Moving forward The Sri Lankan president in Islamabad
ri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s visit to Pakistan has resulted in the two countries agreeing to build a mutually beneficial economic and trade partnership, adding a new dimension to their relationship which was earlier focused on defence and security cooperation. Both sides called for stepping up efforts to fully realise the potential of Free Trade Agreement by enhancing bilateral trade to $2 billion mark over the next three years. In their meeting on Friday, President Zardari and his Sri Lankan counterpart discussed a number of steps for increasing the volume of trade, including proposals for a currency swap arrangements and establishment of direct shipping service between the two countries. President Zardari was right in that the currency swap proposal can go a long way in providing incentives to business houses in Pakistan and Sri Lanka to actively explore and enhance business linkages using local currencies for trade. He also urged the business community and chambers of commerce of the two countries to benefit from each other’s potential in finance and banking sector, science and technology, agriculture and other areas. The Sri Lankan leadership acknowledges the support extended by Pakistan in the past in curbing terrorism on its soil and is now eager to carry forward the mutual relationship beyond defence and security needs. Both sides expressed satisfaction on the level of cooperation they have been demonstrating at various multilateral forums on important regional and global issues. It shows the consistency and commonality of views they share. There is no doubt that Islamabad and Colombo have always stood together on matters concerning their security and have also enjoyed special bonds of affinity as rightly pointed out by Mr Zardari in his meeting with Mr Rajapaksa. It is, however, heartening to see the two leaders focus more on bolstering bilateral trade which indicates that they have realised that enhanced economic cooperation should remain a key theme of their foreign policy.
Dedicated to the legacy of the late Hameed Nizami
Arif Nizami Editor
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Sunday, 12 February, 2012
Who rules Pakistan? not the people
By humayun gauhar
here is Pakistan going?” asked a lady of me in Karachi recently. “When do you think the government is going to change? Who will form the next government?” “To arrive at honest answers,” I said, “We must first detach ourselves from emotion and ask the most basic of questions and then face the answers, for they are unpleasant but undeniable truths.” First: “Who is supposed to rule Pakistan?” Answer: “The people are the true rulers of Pakistan, or should be, because they are the vicegerents of God. They are His vicegerents or Khalifa because they are the greatest of His creations, ashraf-ulmakhlooqat. He has, therefore, given them free will and devolved on them that quantum of His sovereignty, as they need to run their affairs according to His tenets. It is a conditional and limited devolution, for the moment they lose sight of His tenets they lose His devolved sovereignty. God enjoins us in the Holy Quran that in times of distress, “Hold on to the rope of God and the rope of the People”. The ‘rope’ symbolises Man’s Covenant with God and the people. It is not literally a rope that God is talking about. Rope is just symbolic, akin to an umbilical cord that attaches us to our Creator and humanity. ‘The People’ is not a horde or mob but humanity in all God’s glory. One of God’s most important tenets is: 1. Choose your leaders, which implies a democratic choice. 2. Choose from amongst yourselves, and; 3. Choose from amongst the best. We have lost sight of this tenet completely. 1. We have adopted an electoral system that functions in such a way that it causes people to automatically and unwittingly elect their oppressors as their representatives and leaders. What could be worse than the oppressed choosing their oppressors as their representatives? 2. Because the choices that people are pre-
sented with are largely from amongst the worst they perforce choose from amongst the worst. 3. ‘Worser’, as Alice would say, we have been electing or appointing to public office those who are not solely from amongst us but also those who owe allegiance to another country. “From amongst you” means from the Muslim ummah or nation at a time when there were no states made along modern western lines with demarcated boundaries, citizenship acts, passports and visas. The moment that came into play just over 200 years ago “from amongst you” has to mean citizens of your state and none other. Nationality, citizenship, patriotism and loyalty are not divisible. Thus, we have done the opposite of what God enjoined us to do. We don’t really ‘choose’ our rulers but mostly vote for them like zombies; we don’t always choose from amongst ourselves and we most certainly do not choose from amongst the best, a few exceptions notwithstanding. What chance do such a people have to either be ruled well or to determine their destiny? What chance do such a people have of retaining their God-given sovereignty and not losing it to someone else? So under our present system what difference would a change of government make, however it is done? The people will continue to be poor; the country will remain bankrupt, we will remain dependent while the few that benefit from this corrupt system and the iniquitous status quo that it begets will remain rich and get richer and more powerful. And God’s tenet will continue to be violated wantonly. So, my dear lady, how the government changes, when it changes, what will replace it is of no consequence. Frankly my dear, you shouldn’t give a damn. Instead, you should concentrate not on change of government but on change of this maneating system to one which helps mankind and in which we can regain our lost sovereignty that the Almighty devolved on us. Which brings me to the next question, “Who rules Pakistan?” If you answer it honestly, you will have a better idea of what is going to happen. Sorry to say, for it is painful, but if you have eyes, ears and a thinking brain, the undeniable truth is obvious: we have lost our sovereignty to America and it is America that rules Pakistan – not the army as you would like to hear nor the ‘elected’ government comprising the parliament-legislature, the executive and the judiciary. These institutions are but instruments of the real ruler, just as our ‘la-de-da class’ was an instrument of the British ruler. So it is America that will determine when this government goes and what the next one will be. Got it? The majority of people are simple. A rally here, a demonstrative judge there, a loquacious lawyer elsewhere and a shrill media everywhere and they think that deliverance is finally at hand, the mes-
siah has arrived, not realising that there is a messiah in each one of us if only we would let him out. People are simple because they are vulnerable. They don’t know who their friends really are or their enemies. In their simplicity, they tend to go for simplistic solutions. That leads them to treating symptoms rather than the malaise. They don’t recognise the malaise because, like the messiah, it also lies within, not without. Most Pakistanis think that doing away with corruption will sort out everything. Others imagine that if you provide real justice all will be well. Yet others believe that the answer is strict, ongoing accountability. They don’t realise that our deep malaise is a collective colonised mentality that has fostered a constitution that begets an alien, unworkable political system that causes the oppressed to elect their oppressors and protect an anti-people status quo. The kafuffles that your see everywhere – army versus executive, judiciary versus executive, judiciary versus parliament, everyone versus the media – are battles amongst the beneficiaries of the status quo to protect their benefits or increase them. It has nothing to do with the people – poor, oppressed, hungry, illiterate, jobless. They are not even on the radar screen. They only appear as an inconvenient blip during an election in which the battle is between their oppressors – who can fool how many with hollow oratory and false promises into voting for them. Where is Pakistan going? It is confused, alienated from itself, in search of identity, lost in a maze of alien political and economic constructs. In its confusion it stumbles from crisis to crunch, catastrophe to calamity, predicament to pusillanimity and lurches from ‘saviour’ to ‘saviour’ while remaining in a state of perpetual mental colonisation. We don’t understand that what America means by alliance is actually hegemony. America’s overarching doctrine is to cast the world in the image that works for it. The world must be reconfigured to enhance America’s wealth and hegemony and we must all go along happily. If we don’t break free of such a sinful relationship we will never become self-reliant and rediscover our lost sovereignty. America’s god is money; our God is God – or should be. The lesson: never break a universal principle or tenet of God. Never go against human instinct, which is to be free for man is born free by God’s Will. Don’t side with occupiers and oppressors no matter what the imagined short-term ‘benefits’. Better to suffer temporary harm, for in the end you will come out on top. That is God’s promise. The writer is a political analyst. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Legality and martyrdom the ppp would rather go out in a blaze of glory
By Saad Rasool
s the prime minister, once again, prepares to appear before the Supreme Court to face contempt charges, our nation has (characteristically) been engulfed in a flurry of speculations and doomsday scenarios. Journalists, lawyers and politicians – from both sides of the isle – have taken definitive stances on the issue: one side, (sheepishly) defending the prime minister, is drumming the mantra of judicial victimisation and political martyrdom; the other has conveniently taken the legal and moral high-ground of upholding the majesty of law and verdict of the Supreme Court. But the embroiling issue must be viewed through two distinct lenses: legal and political. Viewed through a strictly legal prism, the issue is relatively straightforward. There is no denying (even by the prime minister’s camp) that the Supreme Court, having declared the NRO void ab initio, has explicitly di-
rected the government to write to the Swiss authorities. And the defense of the government stands on the weak footing that in the absence of a definitive judgment by the apex court on the ambit of Article 248 (presidential immunity), the prime minister is acting in good faith – relying on the advice of the law ministry – to conclude that such a letter cannot be written since the president enjoys ‘complete immunity’. But all this talk of good faith and reliance on advice of the law ministry does not dilute the fact that the prime minister is willfully and admittedly disregarding an order of the Supreme Court which prima facie, under the Constitution and the Contempt of Court Ordinance 2003, amounts to civil contempt, punishable by imprisonment of up to six months. In the circumstances, the Supreme Court, vowing fidelity to ‘fiat justitia, ruat coelum’ (let justice be done though the heavens fall), could hold the prime minister guilty of contempt, sentencing him to imprisonment and consequently disqualifying him from his seat in the Parliament per Article 63(1)(g) of the Constitution. If so ruled, the prime minister could seek review of the decision, which will probably be an exercise in futility since the ambit of review jurisdiction is narrow, allowing only for correction of errors ‘floating on the surface’ of the original judgment. Carrying the argument forward,
the president may, under Article 45 of the Constitution, pardon and commute any sentence passed by the Court. Such pardon, however, will not wash away the conviction itself, barring the prime minister from contesting elections for at least five years. The PPP government, in such a scenario, may opt to sacrifice the prime minister, appointing some other person for the job. This option may even buy enough time to roll through the politically crucial Senate elections. From a purely legal perspective, it seems extremely unlikely that the sixmember bench of the Supreme Court will accept the prime minister’s argument of complete presidential immunity under Article 248. Such a verdict, at the very least, would violate the principle of stare decisis and amount to overturning part of the full-court judgment rendered in the original NRO case. Furthermore, such an order would fall outside the purview of the present bench, which has been constituted only to implement the NRO judgment and not to review it. Much more complex is the political aspect of this issue. The authority of law is a moral authority, which seldom has much bearing on politics. As Machiavelli once said, politics has no relation to morals. And the PPP government understands this fact. Having completed four years of its tenure with nothing much to show for, there seems to be virtually no political advantage to writing a letter to Swiss au-
thorities. Not doing so, in fact, has two clear and present advantages: one, it protects the Co-Chairperson of the party, and two, with their back against the wall and less then 12 months remaining on the clock, it allows the PPP government to be judicially martyred. In a society that values martyrdom much more than principles, and certainly more than legality – demonstrated by our roster of ‘heroes’ such as Mumtaz Qadri and Ghazi Abdul Rasheed – such a move could be a masterstroke for PPP going into the next elections. The sad part of this saga, however, is that the opposition forces seem to be rallying behind the Court not out of a desire to uphold the supremacy of law (no such reaction was shown in other instances of possible contempt, e.g. against the sugar-producing lobby when the judgment on fixing the price of sugar was blatantly disregarded). They simply want to see their opponent fall. And this, too, is a political (not legal) desire. Be that as it may, let us at least have the wisdom to accept that political aspirations, and not fidelity to law, is driving the passions and rhetoric of all parties, coming into this election year. The writer is a lawyer based in Lahore. He has a Masters in Constitutional Law from Harvard Law School. He can be reached at: email@example.com
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Sunday, 12 February, 2012
On Hong Kong
engaging russia A move in the right direction
cross currents By Qudssia Akhlaque
akistani diplomats at the envoys Conference in Islamabad a couple of months back had advocated more proactive engagement with Russia. Some promising signs of renewed engagement, including the recently concluded visit of Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar to Russia, are visible. This visit also signals to the US, Pakistan's greater activity within its Asian neighbourhood. Russia has, alongside China, become more assertive in demonstrating multi-polarity as opposed to uni-polarity on the global power scene. The overriding message of Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani’s joint press conference with her Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov after talks in Moscow Wednesday was that the two countries are ready to expand and intensify political as well as economic cooperation as a step towards developing a strategic partnership. The fact that the press conference addressed by the two foreign ministers was telecast live on the state and private TV channels here underlined the importance Pakistan attached to this visit. While at the press conference no question was raised or any mention made about the prospects of cooperation in civil nuclear technology and defence sector between the two countries, such a possibility cannot be ruled out. Understandably such cooperation is often discussed on the quiet. Pakistan and Russia have growing convergence of interests bilaterally and on issues of regional and international importance. Russia attaches great importance to her relations with Pakistan as it is mindful of its significant role both in the region and in the Islamic world as a whole. Last year in September when the two foreign ministers met on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session in New York, Lavrov told Khar that he was looking forward to
her visit to Moscow. A major international player, being a permanent member of the UNSC and of the G-8, Russia’s clout and influence has been considerably enhanced in the last few years. Pakistan considers Russia as an engine for increased economic growth and a factor of peace and stability in the SCO region. Both the countries seem equally keen to broaden and diversify mutually advantageous cooperation, particularly in the energy sector. Pakistan is now seriously looking towards Russia to meet its energy requirements and this was discussed in Moscow when the foreign minister separately met with the Russian Minister of energy during her visit. While the Russian investors are interested in investing in the Thar coal project, Russia is also keen to participate in the Pakistan-Iran gas pipeline project. Moscow has already indicated to Islamabad that it wants its gas company Gazprom, the world’s largest gas company, to have a role in the project. Pakistan has conveyed that it would welcome Russian participation in this project. Russia’s readiness to participate in the energy projects of Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India as well as Central Asia and South Asia 1000 (CASA) is also significant and welcomed by Pakistan as it faces an acute energy deficit. Another good development is that the two countries are now close to firming up a MOU on the expansion and modernisation of the Pakistan Steel Mills, a key state enterprise. There are tremendous opportunities for joint collaboration in various projects. Russia has expressed interest on several occasions in building on business ties with Pakistani partners in sectors such as oil and gas, railways, power generation, agriculture and metallurgy. The two countries have also been discussing the possibility of developing rail links with Iran and other areas in the SCO region from Pakistan. Russia had shown some interest in Pakistan’s keenness to develop rail links to Central Asia from Gwadar. Reaffirmation of Russian support for Pakistan’s request for full membership of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) is another encouraging sign. earlier on Russia had been non-committal on this question. Moscow re-established a political dialogue with Islamabad in February
2003 when President Musharraf visited Russia. Notably in June 2005, Pakistan supported Russia’s bid for observer status in the OIC and in turn Russia helped Pakistan obtain the observer status in the SCO. Pakistan and Russia have had increasingly intensive interaction at the political fora at various international summits including the SCO. Both have shared similar positions on key international issues, particularly on the overall strengthening of the role of the UN and other international organisations on the basis of the international law. Moscow and Islamabad have been cooperating in the UN and on key international issues such as Iran, Iraq and the Middle east they have similar views. Both share the view on the need for a multi-polar world and the centrality of the UN role in the world affairs. The common threats of terrorism and drugs have also compelled the two countries to strengthen security cooperation. Russians have been concerned about the presence of AlQaeda elements and Taliban in the border areas between Pakistan and Afghanistan and drug trafficking. The growing presence of US and Nato forces in the region and Pakistan’s active cooperation with both had made Moscow somewhat uneasy. However, Pakistan’s gradual distancing from the US has encouraged the Russians towards closer cooperation. While in the past few years there have been regular contacts between the two countries at the diplomatic and political levels and a framework for consolidating economic cooperation has laid the basis of a strategic partnership, practical follow-up steps have yet to be taken, specifically to boost bilateral trade. Russian investors who are virtually knocking at Pakistan’s door now, may walk away discouraged by our own problems. Therefore unless Pakistan's slow moving bureaucratic machine becomes more responsive and domestic political turmoil settles down, this Russian initiative is unlikely to translate into any concrete benefits for Pakistan. The writer is a senior journalist and has been a diplomatic correspondent for leading dailies. She was an Alfred Friendly Press Fellow at The Chicago Tribune in the US and a Press Fellow at Wolfson College, Cambridge, UK. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
is bread and brand enough for the mandarin?
third eye By M J Akbar
eudalism was spacious. Capitalism is priapic. Communism was dogmatic. Democracy is, alas, a bit chaotic. The world’s postage stamp for capitalism, Hong Kong, keeps rising: my highrise is bigger than yours. The pride of real estate is no longer a mansion sprawling around a mountain peak, gated in faux colonial gold, but an officious perpendicular structure that does what so many cousins across the world merely claim but never achieve. It scrapes the skies. The dukes of this new royalty sit among the clouds. Finance is not fond of metaphors. Its nose is hard. Its heart is immune to bleeding. Its eyes are beady. But it does encourage ego. It might count money with a microscope but purchases the sky with abandon. Hong Kong was the second city of the British Raj. Calcutta was the first and, as capital of the empire, fulcrum of its fortunes. The worst mistake that the British made was to shift the epicentre of their authority from Calcutta to Delhi in 1911. They actually reached Delhi only a decade-plus later; within two more decades an empire built over two centuries was gone. By 1947, the British seemed almost relieved to depart, because they knew that India was a responsibility as much as an occupation. If Calcutta was a need, Hong Kong was a passion that seemed beyond the logic of decline. I can only speculate on the reasons. Perhaps Calcutta was a mere capital, while Hong Kong was a club. The British
had to co-exist in Calcutta, a tension which ratcheted up by the decade as Indian aspiration became the unintended consequence of British education. But they could be aloof in Hong Kong, and manage its cosmopolitan needs through mechanisms so dear to the British sense of order, like elections to the club committee. India required a succession of earls and viscounts who kept the front door open for gentry and left an entrance for tradesmen. India’s ancien regime understood the uses of snobbery. But the mainland Chinese mandarin had no desire for social or any other form of intercourse with kilts and top hats who sold in currency and bought in shares. Opium eater adopted a minimalist approach to opium seller, even while the slow poison induced both self-loathing and hatred for the foreign devil. China had once rejoiced in the glories of a good emperor, and suffered the degradations of a bad, but hallucination was new form of rule. Mao Zedong resurrected China’s geography up to Tibet to the west, but was strangely circumspect about a tiny island to the east. Mao’s ideology did not need Hong Kong but, in a twist of history that might have left a corkscrew embarrassed, Mao’s successor, Deng Xiaoping, did. Deng saved China from turning into a family business and reinvented it instead as a Communist corporation. He shrewdly blindsided dogma by turning a mirror on prosperity. Hong Kong became a spur, not a slur. Deng opened the doors when China’s per capita income was $300 and Hong Kong’s $10,000, and the world changed. Deng upturned Mao’s recipe of cadre and struggle into meritocracy and stability. He set the theme for the new mandarin bureaucracy: popular welfare before people’s will. He fashioned four spaces of graded reward. The dominant space belonged to the man-
darin, a ruling elite with defined rules of promotion and stately lifestyle. Then came the heady set of state-protected entrepreneurs granted private sector joys of ownership, flashy toys and permissible levels of corruption. A bedazzled middle class, which had watched its parents punished and humiliated in the cultural revolution, bought into this new social geometry with amazement at its good fortune. The last reservation was a gradually expanding space on the margin for the poor. This formula’s success reinforced the deep mandarin contempt for democracy, which not only threw up an odd assortment of heroes and crooks, but also had the temerity to threaten the divine mandarin right to rule. Hong Kong, instead of offering a traditional kowtow to Beijing after the British departure, turned into a plucky guardian of the fifth space, democracy. Beijing, which had assimilated capitalism without much fuss, is troubled, angered and fascinated by Hong Kong’s continuing commitment to oddities like free speech. Patience is a mandarin virtue. Beijing believes it can whittle away democracy in the same way it sabotaged Maoism, by retaining the shell but gutting the content. Pesky Hong Kong, however, will not surrender. You can hear democracy in the spring of its step, or the chatter of its radio waves. Beijing depends on time. But time does not come dressed in guarantees. It is a foxy delivery boy. You never know what it might bring. It seems strange to quote the Bible in China, but we will find out whether the mandarin can live by bread and brand alone. The columnist is editor of The Sunday Guardian, published from Delhi, India on Sunday, published from London and Editorial Director, India Today and Headlines Today.
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Sunday, 12 February, 2012
T was a proud moment for entire Pakistan last night when a once struggling-hotel-lobby-painter turned singer was officially declared the ‘Superstar of Tomorrow’ by Bollywood’s Stardust Awards for the year 20112012 for his film ‘Mere Brother Ki Dulhan’. Ali Zafar, who reached the ceremony late because of a performance on the same day at the Kalagodha festival for the ‘London Paris New York’ soundtrack launch, was seen wearing an Ismail Farid outfit. His Stardust award was received by Ali Abbas Zafar, director of ‘Mere Brother Ki Dulhan’. He was nominated for Stardust Award in Superstar of Tomorrow category along with four other new actors including Jacky Bhagnani (‘F.A.L.T.U’), Chirag Paswan (‘Miley Naa Miley Hum’), Rana Daggubati (‘Dum Maro Dum’) and Prateik Babbar (‘Dhobi Gha’).This is yet another milestone achieved by Ali Zafar, the success story, who seemed extremely excited to have this award. “I wanted to share this news with all,” a smiling Zafar said. Stardust Awards are one of the most prestigious Hindi movie awards sponsored by the Stardust magazine. Some of the categories are decided by reader's choice while others by jury. The award given to Ali Zafar in ‘Superstar of Tomorrow’ category falls in the latter category. Ali Zafar debuted in Bollywood with ‘Tere Bin Laden’ for which he has been nominated in almost all the Bollywood awards in the category of best debut, but the Stardust award for is his first Bollywood win.
LOS ANgeLeS: Alicia Keys, Tony Bennett, Paul McCartney and his wife Nancy Shevell, Randy Jackson, Tom hanks and Rita wilson and Katy Perry arrive for the 2012 MusiCares Person of the Year Tribute honouring Paul McCartney as Person of the Year. AFP
Charlie sheen, Ashton Kutcher top nightmare celebrity dates LoS ANgELES reuterS
‘Jersey Shore’ star Snooki and Charlie Sheen have topped a poll of nightmare celebrity Valentine dates and few people want to cuddle up with Ashton Kutcher on February 14-at least, not on film. According to a Valentine's Day survey by Yahoo's OMG! website, 30 percent of men would rather be single than take Snooki, aka Nicole Polizzi, out on Valentine's Day. And newly-single Kim Kardashian didn't do much better, coming second in the nightmare female celebrity date survey of 2,001 people. Charlie Sheen topped the women's choice of bad Valentine's Day dates.
Kutcher, also newly-separated from his actress wife Demi Moore, didn't do much better. According to a separate Valentine's Day survey on movie website Fandango, Kutcher was voted the worst romantic comedy film actor. Sarah Jessica Parker of ‘Sex and the City’ fame was voted worst romantic comedy actress. Top of the movies to avoid was Paris Hilton's 2008 effort ‘The Hottie and the Nottie’, which was voted the worst romantic comedy of all time on the Fandango survey. Dream celebrity dates for Valentine's Day had few surprises; George Clooney and Jennifer Aniston remain tops, while the most romantic movie to see on the day for lovers was ‘The Notebook’ followed by ‘Titanic’.
AMRITSAR: Amir Khan poses with fans during visit to a village on the outskirts of Amritsar. AFP
BeRLIN: Priyanka Chopra and Farhan Akhtar at a press conference for ‘Don-The King is Back’ at the 62nd Berlinale. AFP
Deepika Padukone sued for
Hirani’s lead quitting ‘Race 2’ MuMbAi: Rajkumar hirani's directorial next has been perhaps one of the most anticipated projects of recent times. In 2009, the minute hirani was done with ‘3 Idiots’, speculations regarding his next project began. And though what the director has in mind, as far as the story is concerned, is still unclear, he has surely found himself a leading lady. For hirani's next project ‘Peekay’, the filmmaker has chosen YRF favourite Anushka Sharma. The actress' close friend confirmed the news. A source close to the project informed, “hirani and Anushka had a couple of meetings recently. hirani considers Anushka to be a very talented girl. he feels she has a lot of spunk.” According to the source, Aamir Khan, who starred in hirani's last film, may make a comeback as the male lead in the project. “That is almost final. But let's see. An official announcement with respect to the male actor will be made soon,” added the source. Talking about the hirani project, Anushka's friend added, “This is a very big step in Anushka's career. A few months ago, she signed Vishal Bhardwaj's ‘Matru Ki Bijli Ka Mandola’. Now, she is doing ‘Munnabhai’ director hirani's next.” AgencieS
MuMbAi: Ramesh Taurani, producer of ‘Race 2’, had earlier called Deepika Padukone ‘unprofessional’ and her act of quitting his film ‘unethical’. however, calling the actress names has not been able to satiate Taurani’s feeling of being let down. The filmmaker has gone all the way to file a complaint against Deepika with Cine & TV Artistes Association (CINTAA). Deepika Padukone had shot for the film for six days, and then walked out of it. She has also received a message from CINTAA regarding the complaint filed by Taurani. Speaking to a daily, a source close to Taurani has revealed, “he did not want to take such an extreme step. he waited for Deepika to change her mind. But she was adamant. She was not interested in doing ‘Race 2’ anymore. If Taurani has filed a complaint against Deepika and he has a contract, she will have to honour the dates which she had allotted to him. If she has given the same dates to any other producer, she cannot shoot for the other project,” said senior producer Pahlaj Nihalani, in conversation with a daily. AgencieS
SRK peeved over Hrithik’s
comments on wife gauri Khan MuMbAi: Shah Rukh Khan, who recently made headlines for slapping Shirish Kunder, is now said to be annoyed with hrithik Roshan. King Khan is reportedly upset with Duggu over his remarks about gauri Khan saying that that there was something afoot with her and that she was all set to give Bollywood actresses stiff competition. Apart from that, the 46-year-old actor also didn’t like the fact that the ‘Krrish’ star recommended him a book to help him quit smoking. The 38-yearold actor’s, whose latest film ‘Agneepath’ proved to be very successful at the box office, gushed on Twitter about Shah Rukh’s wife. “with the most beautiful and talented girl in the world! And hottest if I may add! gauri Khan!!! watch out world, she’s about to arrive,” he had tweeted. AgencieS
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15 naomi watts looks forward to playing
Princess Diana in new film LoS ANgELES
Adele wows with
post-throat surgery song
Naomi Watts says it's an “honour” to play the late Princess Diana in ‘Caught in Flight’, a movie about the royal's final two years. “It is such an honour to be able to play this iconic role - Princess Diana was loved across the world, and I look forward to rising to the challenge of playing her on screen,” said the 43year-old actress. This is not the first time Watts, an Australian actress, has played a person from real life. She played outed CIA operative Valerie Plame in ‘Fair Game’ and J. edgar Hoover's secretary, Helen Gandy, in ‘J.edgar’. Watts, who was born in Britain but immigrated to Australia in her teens, will start work on the Britain-based production later this year. She is currently filming ‘The Grandmothers’ in Australia with actress Robin Wright.
BeRLIN: Angelina Jolie at the screening of ‘In the Land of Blood and honey’ at the 62nd Berlinale. AFP
The Dark Room, Lahore's newest and most happening multi brand store, has opened its doors today. The multi brand store has a stellar line-up of designers ranging from Karachi's hottest star designer Aisha Alam to Shahista Wahidi's favourite designer Afsheen Mehboob to shoes and accessories by the well known Bnb Accessories label. The Dark Room is enviably located in Ali Towers, next to McDonald's and Sindbad. Adnan Zoraiz, the CeO of TDR, said: “I'm extremely excited that we are opening the doors for sale today and I look forward to helping turn TDR into one of the most successful multi-brand stores in the country.” The idea for launching a multi brand store came to Adnan Zoraiz when he was hunting for a multi-brand store to stock his home-grown brand of casual prêt titled ‘Pharaoh's Closet’. “I realized that there was a huge dearth of a place where new talent is promoted and encouraged,” he said. “Most multi brand stores
ANS and industry watchers alike breathed a sigh of relief as Adele sang a few verses of her hit song on a show. She wowed fans in her first public singing outing since throat surgery in November, putting to rest fears that her distinctive husky voice may have been damaged. The soulful British singer, 23, is due to make her official performance comeback at the Grammy Awards on Sunday where she is expected to take home an armful of trophies following the worldwide success of her album ‘21’. American TV viewers heard her sing three verses, a cappella, of her hit song ‘Rolling In The Deep’. “Thank the music gods that she sounds just as perfect as she did before that haemorrhaged vocal chord,” wrote a music critic. HollywoodLife.com said Adele “sounds amazing”. Adele was forced to cancel part of her U.S. tour last year because of persistent vocal problems. In November, she underwent laser surgery to remove a haemorrhaged polyp on her vocal cords and was ordered to take two months of vocal rest. Organisers confirmed only 10 days ago that she would be per-
simply go for the name, ignoring the novelty and design value of the brand.” The Dark Room has a number of unique and exciting features, such as the Rookie Corner where new designers get a place for a week only to give them a taste of the market. “The rookie corner is my way of supporting struggling designers and helping them out just like I was helped out not too long ago when I was a struggling designer,” he said. Other unique ventures at TDR are a cocktail rack which is inspired from a fruit cocktail: this rack displays collections from numerous designers on the same rack. Uzma Hai, a Karachi based designer, is extremely excited about the prospect of exhibiting at TDR. “I have been wanting to explore the Lahore market and I think this store is a great way for me to do it,” she said. Another Karachi based designer Aisha Alam is also looking forward to her first month at TDR. “I can't wait for the doors to open and I feel that the kind of support and mileage TDR is offering can't be matched by other multi brand stores.”
forming at the Grammy Awards show in Los Angeles on Sunday, where she has six nominations, including the coveted record, album and song of the year.
more beautiful than indians:
Shobhaa de NEWS DESk Columnist Shobhaa De believes that there is no comparison between Pakistani and Indian women when it comes to beauty. The 64-year-old, who is presently attending the two-day Karachi literature festival, said that she considers Pakistanis to be far prettier than Indians. The green-sari clad Shobhaa De also revealed that she had already done quite a fair bit in her time in Karachi – including a lunch at Cafe Flo and shopping for lawn. “I need to get Multani plates but I can’t find them. I’ve been told I can get them from Itwar Bazaar,” she was quoted as saying. She also spoke about how Indian socialites are rather curious about how Pakistani women “put their outfits together” and the “long lines of the kurtas”.
The Dark Room opens its doors
‘ek main Aur ekk tu’:
A rom-com that “gets” it Through the first half, Shakun Batra’s romantic comedy ‘ek Main Aur ekk Tu’ follows an entirely predictable path-boy and girl meet, get drunk, get married and realise they don’t want to stay married. Circumstances dictate they must spend time together while waiting for their marriage to get annulled. At the interval, one of them even has the “I’m in love” epiphany. Of course, you don’t mind the predictable storyline because there is zippy dialogue, some great writing and the performances are in tune with all of the above. So far, so good. But we all know the second half is where it gets tricky. The second half of the film is even better than the first, because it adds an element of unpredictability to the mix of great dialogue, writing and acting- and what you have is a Bollywood rom-com that is funny, romantic and mature enough for today’s audiences. Imran Khan plays Rahul, a poor little rich boy in Las Vegas, cowering from his overbearing parents and too “uptight” for his age, as a family friend tells him. he bumps into Riana Braganza, a scatter-brained, effervescent hair stylist, and on a drunken night out, the two get married. Of course, they wake up the next day with a massive hangover and the realisation they have made a huge mistake. They apply for an annulment and since Riana is broke and doesn’t have a place to stay, she camps at Rahul’s house. They hit it off, and he realises he’s in love. From this point on, Batra takes the path less travelled — there’s some good writing (by Ayesha Devitre and Batra himself) and the performances really pick up. Kareena Kapoor is the star of the film. Imran Khan is the perfect foil to her energy, and together the two of them add that much needed ingredient to a romantic film-chemistry. If you are a sucker for romance, don’t miss this one. even if you aren’t, ‘ek Main Aur ekk Tu’ will be worth your while. newS deSK
pakistani women far
nicholas cage: ‘i don’t drink blood’ LoS ANgELES AgencieS
Nicolas Cage was put side by side with the Civil War era picture that's been sweeping the Internet in conjunction with a theory that he is in fact a vampire. Cage acknowledged a resemblance, he didn't see a flattering one. “How can I be polite about this,” he said of the man in the picture. “It's a somewhat slowed down version of me.” Furthermore, he posited that the very existence of the picture would seem to denounce the vampire theory. After all, it's common knowledge that vampires' pictures can't be taken. “I don't drink blood and last time I looked in the mirror, I had a reflection, so I'm not going with the vampire theory,” he concluded.
Jennifer Aniston celebrates 43rd
birthday loS AngeleS: Some things just get better with age. Certain tabloid rumours are not one of them (enough already, right?). But Jennifer Aniston is. Though everybody's favourite erstwhile ‘Friend’ never seems to have a bad year, this last one will certainly have to go down as one of her best. From chopping off her locks into a decidedly non-housewives 'do to starring in a couple box-office blockbusters to getting even more loved up with beau Justin Theroux, 42 was one for the books. well, she turned the big 4-3, and we can't wait to see what this year will bring: another trip down the aisle? Another hairstyle? The possibilities are endless. happy birthday, Jennifer! AgencieS
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16 Foreign News
Sunday, 12 February, 2012
New clashes in eastern Saudi kill one RIYADh
AUDI police exchanged fire with “masked gunmen” at a protest in the Shiite-populated east, killing one of them, state reported early Saturday, in the second fatal clashes in the oil-rich region in 24 hours. Activists contacted by AFP from Dubai said that Zuhair al-Said, 21, was killed as security forces dispersed a protest on Friday against the death of another Shiite demonstrator the previous day. “Security forces following an unauthorised gathering in the (Shiite) town of Al-Awamiya in Qatif district came under fire from masked gunmen,” the official SPA news agency quoted a police spokesman as saying. Police “responded, sparking an exchange of fire that resulted
in the wounding of one of them, who died later.” An activist told AFP that Said was “shot dead by security forces as they dispersed a protest against the killing of another man” on Thursday. “eight armoured vehicles belonging to Saudi security forces intervened to disperse the protest,” the activist said. Munir al-Medani, also 21, died of his wounds on Thursday after being shot by security forces in the Al-Shwaika neighbourhood of Qatif during a Shiite demonstration for reform in the ultra-conservative Sunni Muslim kingdom, activists said. Saudi authorities said that Medani too died in an exchange of fire between security forces and “masked men.” Demonstrators also took to the streets of another Qatif town — Al-Rabieya — on Friday to protest against Medani’s death, activists said. “Hundreds of demonstrators waved pictures of those killed and
detained as they condemned the shooting (by Saudi security forces) on peaceful protests,” one activist told AFP. Activists and witnesses said that Medani’s death came when security forces opened fire on a Shiite procession marking the birthday of the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) – a celebration forbidden in Saudi Arabia — which turned into a demonstration for reform and the release of Shiite detainees. Said’s death raises to seven the number of protesters killed since demonstrations erupted in the eastern Province last March. Prominent Shiite cleric Sheikh Hasan al-Saffar criticised the use of force against protesters saying: “This will not solve the problem but will only further complicate it,” in a speech published on a Shiite websites. “Blood in Muslim states has become cheap and human rights are violated as blood runs in several countries. Prisons
are filled with detainees and torture is still practised against prisoners in most Islamic states,” Saffar said. The region has been rocked by a series of uprisings that unseated autocracts in Tunisia, egypt and Libya in 2011. Yemen’s President Ali Abdullah Saleh is due to quit on February 21 under a transfer of power deal while pressure is mounting on the Syrian regime to end its deadly crackdown on pro-democracy protest. The immediate trigger for the protest movement among Saudi Shiites was a Saudi-led military intervention in neighbouring Bahrain to help its Sunni rulers crush Shiite-led pro-democracy demonstrations last March. Activists say that Saudi authorities have arrested nearly 500 people since the protests started. Many have been released but dozens remain in custody, among them human rights activist Fadel al-Munasif and writer Nazir al-Majid.
romney vows ‘new conservative era’ if elected
cAiro: egyptian students carry a mock coffin to commemorate a fellow student who was killed during the recent clashes and hold a portrait depicting a wounded revolutionary protester as they protest against the military rulers of the country on Saturday. AFP
B’desh journalist couple stabbed to death DhaKa: Two prominent television journalists in Bangladesh were brutally stabbed to death on Saturday at their home in the capital Dhaka, police said. The motive for the slaying of the husband and wife who worked for private television was unknown, police said. They were killed early Saturday at their apartment while their six-year-old son was in another room, police said. The boy was unharmed. Police identified the slain couple as Meherun Runi and Sagar Sarwar. Runi, 33, worked as a reporter for Bangladesh’s largest private television station ATN Bangla. Sarwar, 35, was a news editor for Maasranga TV. “The couple was stabbed to death sometime after Friday midnight,’ deputy police chief Imam Hossain told AFP, adding the husband’s hands and legs had been tied. “We are still clueless about who committed the crime. We have launched a probe,” Hossain said. “Their bodies bore multiple stab wounds. It was a brutal killing.” The murders came to light when the couple’s son called his grandmother and said that his parents were lying on the floor. It was not known whether the killings were related to their work. No valuables were missing from the house. AFP
Protestors mass in Greece after cabinet ok’s debt deal AThENS Afp
Thousands of protestors massed in Greece under heavy police watch Saturday after the government approved unpopular austerity cuts to get vital rescue funds and avoid the “chaos” of a default. More than 3,500 people streamed to Syntagma Square in Athens on a second day of protests and a general strike, with hundreds of riot police standing guard following clashes that erupted during the rallies on Friday. The defection-hit coalition government approved in the early hours on Saturday the painful belt-tightening measures that the eU and the IMF have demanded in return for a 130 billion euro ($171 billion) rescue package that Athens needs to avoid default in March. “We are here to say no to what they want to impose on us,” said Sophia, a 38-year-old researcher, as other protestors held up a banner reading: “They Are Ruining Our Lives.” The general strike brought public transport to a halt in the Greek capital, with no metro, bus or trolley services. In the northern city of Thessaloniki, police estimated a
crowd of some 4,000 at a similar protest. As the cabinet debated the measures on Friday, Prime Minister Lucas Papademos issued a stern warning after six members of his coalition government resigned in protest at the new cuts. “A disorderly default would plunge our country into a disastrous adventure,” he told the cabinet. “It would create conditions of uncontrolled economic chaos and social explosion.” “Sooner or later, (Greece) would be led out of the euro,” he warned. The remaining cabinet members finally approved the deal and the Athens News Agency (ANA) said parliament would vote on it on Sunday, with demonstrations expected during the vote. Greece was explicitly told by its eurozone partners this week that it must agree to austerity measures in order to secure the release of further loans under the 130 billion euro bailout pending since October. Greece needs the money to stave off bankruptcy on March 20, when Athens must repay nearly 14.5 billion euros in maturing debt. Three texts will be put to Sunday’s vote: measures to recapitalise Greek banks, an authorisation
for Papademos and the finance minister to sign the eurozone bailout, and a bond swap with private creditors designed to wipe out around 100 billion euros from Greece’s 350 billion euro debt, ANA said. Details of the austerity measures will be included in a follow-up law to be introduced in the next two weeks, the agency said. The measures, which include slashing minimum wages and facilitating layoffs, have sparked deep anger in a country where more than a million people, or more than 20 percent of the workforce, are unemployed.The far-right LAOS party that was part of the coalition said it would not support the further austerity cuts, and its four members in government quit. They were followed by the assistant foreign minister for european affairs, a socialist who accused the eU of “fixation” on a labour rights overhaul. Another socialist, a deputy labour minister, resigned Thursday. The government intends to appoint replacements after the measures are approved by parliament on Sunday, state television NeT said. At least five socialist and conservative deputies have declared their intention.
White House hopeful Mitt Romney has promised to unite Republicans and defeat President Barack Obama in the “battle for the soul of America” as officials in Maine prepared to unveil the results of party caucuses on Saturday. Romney and his main rivals for the nomination, former House speaker Newt Gingrich and religious conservative Rick Santorum, all made the pilgrimage to the Conservative Political Action Conference here to court the Republican base and lay out their plan to oust Obama in November. “This country we love is in jeopardy,” Romney told a CPAC crowd of thousands Friday. “I am convinced that if we do our job, if we lead with conviction and integrity, that history will record the Obama presidency as the last gasp of liberalism’s great failure and a turning point for a new conservative era.” The upcoming November election, he said, “really is a battle for the soul of America.” Romney’s bid to be the party’s 2012 standard-bearer has been rattled by concern he cannot close the deal with core conservatives, a charge that was highlighted this week when he lost three nominating contests to Santorum. But former Massachusetts governor Romney sought to put aside once and for all the lingering doubts about his credentials, saying “I was a severely conservative Republican governor” who cut taxes, balanced the budget and slashed costly government programs. Romney has been accused of being a flip-flopper on social issues such as abortion, but on Friday he asserted he would be a “pro-life presidency.”
Afghan roadside bomb kills five policemen kABUL Afp
A roadside bomb hit a police vehicle on patrol in southern Afghanistan, leaving five policemen dead and one wounded, a senior police official said Saturday. The bomb hit the pickup truck in Trin Kot, the capital of Uruzgan province, late on Friday, senior provincial police officer Gulab Khan told AFP. “Five policemen were killed and one wounded,” he said. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, but roadside bombs are frequently planted by Taliban insurgents fighting a decade-long war against NATO-led foreign troops and Afghan government forces. Afghan police are particular targets for the insurgents, as the country prepares to take over full responsibility for security from some 130,000 foreign troops by 2014. On Friday afternoon, a car was also hit by a roadside bomb in the Khinjak area of the provincial capital of Uruzgan province, killing one person and wounding two others, according to police spokesman Farid Ail. Southern Afghanistan remains a key battleground between the insurgents and foreign forces despite a surge of US troops in 2010 and 2011.
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Foreign News 17
thousands rally against nuclear power in Japan TokYo Afp
Thousands demonstrated in Tokyo on Saturday against nuclear power generation, 11 months after a massive earthquake and tsunami sparked reactor meltdowns at the Fukushima nuclear power plant. Kenzaburo Oe, the 1994 Nobel prize winner for literature, told a central rally at Yoyogi Park, “Radioactive waste from nuclear power plants will be borne by generations to come.” “This must not be condoned by human beings. It is against ethics,” the 77year-old novelist said. The rally was attended by 12,000 people, according to its organisers. Police estimated the turnout at around 7,000. The March 11 quaketsunami disaster left more than 19,000 dead or missing and sparked the Fukushima crisis, the world’s worst nuclear accident since the 1986 Chernobyl disaster, on Japan’s northeast coast. Tens of thousands of people were forced from their homes around the plant, located some 220 kilometres (140 miles) northeast of Tokyo, as radiation levels rocketed, with many not knowing when and if they will be allowed to return. The vast majority of Japan’s 54 commercial nuclear reactors are offline because popular opposition has prevented them being restarted in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear crisis. Japanese actor Taro Yamamoto, who has allegedly lost acting opportunities for his anti-nuclear advocacy, told the rally: “Our country will cease to exist if there is another big earthquake.” “To prevent our country from ceasing to exist, we shall not allow nuclear plants to be reactivated.”
thai student on hunger strike over royal insult law BANgkok
tehrAn: iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and palestinian hamas premier of gaza, ismail haniya flash the victory sign to the crowd during the 33rd anniversary of the islamic revolution in Azadi Square on Saturday. AFP
Defiant Iran to present major N-projects ‘in days’ Ahmadinejad says ‘story of the Holocaust underpinning israel’s existence has been smashed’
A 20-year-old Thai student whose father has been detained for ten months under the kingdom’s strict lese majeste laws began a hunger strike on Saturday in Bangkok against the controversial legislation. Activist Somyot Prueaksakasemsuk, the former editor of two now-defunct “Red Shirt magazines, was arrested last April and charged under article 112 of the Thai criminal code over two articles deemed critical of the Thai royals. His son Panitan, a law student, began his strike on Saturday afternoon in front of Bangkok’s criminal court, and was set to fast for 112 hours to highlight the point of law in question. His protest, which a few dozen people came out to support, comes after the seventh request for his father’s bail was denied last month. “My hunger strike is to call for the right to bail and to show society the injustice on someone who was charged with lese majeste,” he told AFP before starting the protest. He wore a white T-shirt with the message: “Give my dad the right to bail”. Lese majeste carries a penalty of up to 15 years for each count and is designed to protect senior royals from insult, but academics say it has been politicised in recent years.
DeFIANT Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad vowed Saturday to inaugurate “important nuclear projects” within days and lashed out at Israel, saying the “story” of the Holocaust underpinning its existence had been “smashed”. In a speech marking the anniversary of Iran’s 1979 Islamic revolution, Ahmadinejad said his nation will “never yield” to Western sanctions and threats of military action from Israel and the United States. A crowd of an estimated 30,000 people in Tehran’s main Azadi (Freedom) Square cheered Ahmadinejad’s words despite the winter weather. Many, including exuberant high school students, held aloft placards declaring “Death to America” and “Death to Israel”. In pointed messages aimed at those two arch-foes, Iranian officials planted a full-scale model of a US spy drone captured in December at an entrance to the square, and hosted on the stage the Hamas prime minister of Gaza. Hamas “will never recognise
Israel,” Gaza leader Ismail Haniya told the crowd just before Ahmadinejad spoke. His remarks were likely to complicate efforts to form with rival party Fatah a Palestinian unity government in the face of strong opposition from the Jewish state, which views Hamas as a terrorist organisation armed by Iran. Ahmadinejad gave no details about the “important nuclear projects” about to be made public. However, the UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic energy Agency (IAeA), has already said Iran is enriching uranium to 20 percent — a level significantly closer to military-grade 90 percent purity — at a mountain bunker near the Shiite shrine city of Qom. And Iranian officials have said that they will be inserting their first domestically made 20-percent enriched fuel plate into a Tehran research reactor by March. Israel, voicing concerns that Iran could shield its nuclear programme from attack by the end of this year, has made comments suggesting it could imminently launch air strikes against its long-time enemy. The United States has also not ruled out military action. But Ahmadinejad rejected the pressure,
saying that, “if the language of bullying and insult is used, the Iranian nation will never yield.” He added: “The only path is to adhere to justice and the respect of Iran’s (nuclear) rights and to return to the negotiating table.” Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi, in comments carried by media on Saturday, said his country’s chief nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili, had written a reply to Ashton that “either has been sent or is on the verge of being sent.” Ahmadinejad used his speech to again question the veracity of the Jewish Holocaust, which he has in the past dismissed as a “myth”. He claimed the United States and the West had created “a story called the Holocaust” to create the Israeli state as part of a plan “to dominate the world”. But, he said, “the Iranian nation with courage and wisdom smashed this idol to free the people of the West (of its hold).” He urged Western nations to stop supporting Israel. “Why do you link your fate with this sham regime? Let Al-Quds (Jerusalem) and Palestine become free,” he said. “Democracy doesn’t come out of the barrel of a gun.”
syria armour moves on homs as violence spreads g
gunned down outside his damascus home DAMASCUS Afp
Syrian armour moved on the protest centre of Homs and a general was gunned down in Damascus on Saturday as the bloodshed showed no signs of abating, even spilling over into Lebanon. The Syrian National Council (SNC) said Arab recognition of the opposition um-
brella group was imminent, ahead of key talks in the egyptian capital on the crisis. In Aleppo, tensions escalated as President Bashar al-Assad’s forces stepped up security after twin car bombs killed 28 people in Syria’s second city on Friday, activists said. Another four civilians were killed by shelling and heavy machinegun fire in Baba Amr, the main centre of resistance in Homs, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Government forces have been waging a withering assault on the central city that has killed more than 450 people in the past week, rights groups say. Two civilians died in the southern town of Daraa, cradle of the revolt, and another was killed in the Damascus district of Qabun,
the Observatory said, adding three security force members died elsewhere. A general was gunned down outside his Damascus home, state media said. If confirmed, it would be one of the most brazen attacks on the top brass in the capital since the uprising erupted in March last year. “An armed terrorist group this morning assassinated brigadier general and doctor, Issa al-Khawli, the director of Hamish hospital, outside his home in the district of Ruknaddin,” the official SANA news agency said. In Lebanon, two people died and 18 were wounded in fierce clashes betwee Sunni Muslims hostile to Syria’s regime and Alawites who support it, a security official said. “A Sunni and an Alawite were killed
and 18 people were wounded in clashes that continued since Friday between people from the neighbourhoods of Jabal Mohsen and Bab al-Tebbaneh,” in the northern city of Tripoli, he told AFP. The two sides were firing guns and rocket-propelled grenades at each other in the bloodiest clashes since June, when six people were killed in the wake of demonstrations against Syria’s government. Syrian state media blamed “terrorists” for Friday’s double car bomb attacks on security posts in Aleppo, which killed at least 28 people and wounded 235. The rebel Free Syrian Army accused the regime of launching the attacks in a bid to divert attention from its bloody nationwide crackdown.
uK police arrest 8 in Murdoch empire bribery probe LoNDoN Afp
British police on Saturday arrested five employees of Rupert Murdoch’s tabloid The Sun, a police officer, a member of the armed forces and a defence ministry employee in a bribery probe. The arrests represented a dramatic widening of police investigations into Murdoch’s British newspaper empire, following the phone hacking scandal which led to the closure of the News of the World in July. “The remit of Operation elveden has widened to include the investigation of evidence uncovered in relation to suspected corruption involving public officials who are not police officers,” a Scotland Yard statement said. Operation elveden was set up last year in tandem with Operation Weeting, which is investigating the illegal hacking of mobile phone voicemails. Police said five men aged 45, 47, 50, 52 and 68 were arrested in dawn raids at their homes in London and nearby areas on suspicion of corruption and of aiding and abetting misconduct in a public office. In the first cases of their kind, a Ministry of Defence employee aged 39 was arrested at her home in Wiltshire, southwest england, and a 36-year-old man serving in the armed forces was arrested in the same area. Both were arrested on suspicion of corruption, misconduct in a public office and conspiracy in relation to both offences. A police officer in the county of Surrey was also arrested on suspicion of corruption and misconduct in a public office. The hacking scandal erupted after it emerged that the News of the World had intercepted the voicemails of a murdered teenager from Surrey, Milly Dowler. Police said they were searching their home addresses and the offices of News International, the parent company of The Sun, in Wapping, east London. The arrests were made following information provided to police by the Management and Standards Committee set up by Murdoch’s US-based News Corporation, Scotland Yard said. News Corp. confirmed that the five men arrested were employees of The Sun and that it had provided the information. “News Corporation remains committed to ensuring that unacceptable news gathering practices by individuals in the past will not be repeated and last summer authorised the MSC to co-operate with the relevant authorities,” it said. The Ministry of Defence said it would not comment on ongoing police.
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About controversies and the â€˜greenwashâ€™ Page 20
Pakistan to keep England in the spin ABU DhABI
AKISTAN will once more depend on spin to maintain their dominance over england when the teams meet in a four-match one-day series starting here from Monday. Misbah-ul Haq's men blanked england 3-0 in the Tests series with off-spinner Saeed Ajmal finishing with 24 wickets, left-armer Abdul Rehman taking 19 and allrounder Mohammad Hafeez five in a spin-dominated series. Pakistan's spin repertoire will further be boosted by allrounder Shahid Afridi whose 5-36 helped Pakistan beat Afghanistan in a first-ever one-day between the two countries in Sharjah on Friday. even spinning allrounder Shoaib Malik, controversially included in the squad despite failures in the last six oneday matches, will pose problems for england who were routed 5-0 in India last year. Pakistan captain Misbah acknowledged Afridi's heroics as leg-spinner. "Afridi is a match winner," said Misbah of Afridi whose 338 wickets is now the second highest by a spinner behind Sri Lanka's Muttiah Muralitharan (534) in one-day internationals. "In the last three series in almost all matches Afridi has been outstanding and undoubtedly he is one of the best bowlers in one day cricket," said Misbah, who has
won one-day series against Ireland, Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh since taking over in June last year. Misbah, however, seeks improvement
Pakistan and England squads Pakistan (from): Misbah-ul-Haq (captain), Younis Khan, Shahid Afridi, Mohammad Hafeez, Imran Farhat, Umar Akmal, Asad Shafiq, Adnan Akmal, Umar Gul, Junaid Khan, Aizaz Cheema, Saeed Ajmal, Abdul Rehman, Wahab Riaz, Azhar Ali, Hammad Azam, Shoaib Malik. England (from): Alastair Cook (captain), James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow, Ravi Bopara, Tim Bresnan, Danny Briggs, Stuart Broad, Jos Buttler, Jade Dernbach, Steven Finn, Craig Kieswetter, Eoin Morgan, Samit Patel, Kevin Pietersen, Graeme Swann, Jonathan Trott UmPirEs: Simon Taufel (AUS) and Ahsan Raza (PAK) tv UmPirE: Kumara Dharmasena (SRI) match rEfErEE: Jeff Crowe (NZL) in his batting, especially in the top order. "I always say that the main area we need to improve is batting. Against england if we can have batting consistency or if we can set very good targets then we have the bowling to give our opponents a
tough time," said Misbah. england coach Andy Flower also hoped his batting improves after struggling badly against Pakistan's spinners. "This will be a really challenging series for us. In our last one-day series in sub-continental conditions, we lost badly to India. The batsmen are lower in confidence after the Tests, so it will be a serious challenge for us," said Flower. "I expect better things from the batsmen, and I really expect to see us improve with our knowledge and method of how to combat their spin," said Flower, adding that Kevin Pietersen will open the batting. Pietersen had a miserable Test series, managing just 67 runs. "He's a very, very fine cricketer - very dangerous - and someone we'd like to give the option of facing as many balls as possible in the limited-overs game. If he stays in long enough, he will win games for us in that position." James Anderson and Stuart Broad -who both missed the India one-day series -- will be on support for Tim Bresnan, Jade Dernbach and Steven Finn in pace while Samit Patel and Danny Briggs will assist Graeme Swann in spin. The remaining three matches will be played in Abu Dhabi (February 15) and in Dubai on Feruary 18 and 21. Teams will also play three Twenty20 internationals in Dubai (February 23 and 25) and in Abu Dhabi (February 27).
Guptill steers New zealand to seven-wicket win AUCkLAND Afp
AUCKLAND: New Zealand's Martin guptill bats during the opening Twenty20 match against Zimbabwe at eden Park. AFP
Martin Guptill's continued domination of the Zimbabwe bowling steered New Zealand to a seven-wicket win with 19 balls to spare in the opening Twenty20 match at eden Park Saturday. Guptill's imperious 91 not out off 54 deliveries was the backbone of New Zealand's 160 for three, and along with Kane Williamson (48), they overtook Zimbabwe's 159 for eight in the 17th over. The New Zealand opener has seldom been troubled by the Zimbabwe attack and his 91 was his fifth successive half-century against the tourists following 51, 70, 77 and 85 in the Test and three one-day internationals. His partnership with Williamson put on 137 for the third wicket after New Zealand made a shaky start to their run chase. In an eventful second over, the first two deliveries from Kyle Jarvis were dispatched to the boundary by Rob Nicol before the bowler dismissed both Nicol and Brendon McCullum in two legitimate balls separated by a wide. New Zealand were then in trouble at two for 15 but Zimbabwe were unable to cash in on the pressure and it was to be another 15 others before they were able to take a third wicket. After 10 overs, New Zealand were 101 for two and the outcome was already assured. There was no sign of
any respite for Zimbabwe in a nightmare tour where they have been thrashed in the one-off Test and three ODIs. Guptill raced ahead hitting five fours and six sixes while a more circumspect Williamson reached 48 before he was run out taking an unnecessary single when New Zealand were then only eight runs short of their target. Two balls later and the game was over with Guptill belting a six and a two leaving debutant batsman Colin de Grandhomme to have a brief time in the middle and not face a ball. Jarvis was the only successful Zimbabwe bowler taking two for 32 after his side had won the toss and posted what
should have been a competitive 159 for eight. Hamilton Masakadza blasted 53 off 36 balls at the top of the innings and elton Chigumbura finished off at the tail with 48 off 24 deliveries to contribute the bulk of the Zimbabwe runs. Zimbabwe also had a rocky start to their innings with Brendan Taylor bowled by New Zealand debutant Michael Bates for three in the second over and Forster Mutizwa followed in the next over without scoring to be two for 16. Bates, who also claimed Chigumbura in the final over, finished his first international bowling spell with an impressive three for 31 while Kyle Mills took two for 32.
ScoreboArd ziMbAbwe b. taylor b bates 3 h. Masakadza c franklin b williamson 53 f. Mutizwa c guptill b Mills 0 t. taibu c bracewell b n. Mccullum 27 M. waller c guptill b Mills 11 e. chigumbura c guptill b bates 48 S. Masakadza b hira 8 K. Meth not out 6 p. utseya c franklin b bates 0 r. price not out 0 eXtrAS (lb 1, w 1, nb 1) 3 totAl (8 wickets; 20 overs) 159 fall of wickets: 1-5 (taylor), 2-16 (Mutizwa), 3-78 (h. Masakadza), 4-88 (taibu), 5-106 (waller), 6-135 (S. Masakadza), 7-156 (chigumbura), 8-157 (utseya) bowling: Mills 4-0-32-2, bates 4-0-31-3, bracewell 4-0-47-0 (1nb), n. Mccullum 2-0-11-1, hira 4-0-22-1 (1w), nicol 1-0-9-0, williamson 1-0-6-1
new zeAlAnd r. nicol b Jarvis 12 M. guptill not out 91 b. Mccullum c chigumbura b Jarvis 0 K. williamson run out (S.Mazakadza) 48 c. de grandhomme not out 0 extras extras (b 0, lb 0, w 9, nb 0) 9 totAl (3 wickets; 16.5 overs) 160 fall of wickets: 1-14 (nicol), 2-15 (b. Mccullum), 3-152 (williamson) bowling: Meth 4-0-34-0 (2w), Jarvis 3-0-32-2 (4w), S. Masakadza 2.5-0-26-0 (2w), price 4-0-34-0, utseya 2-0-18-0 (1w), chigumbura 1-0-16-0 toss: zimbabwe result: new zealand won by seven wickets Man of the match: Martin guptill (nzl) umpires: gary baxter (nzl), barry frost (nzl) tV umpire: chris gaffaney (nzl) Match referee: david boon (AuS)
Afghans' performance impresses Misbah ShARJAh Afp
Pakistan captain Misbah-ul Haq Saturday praised the Afghan team's fighting spirit despite their loss in a one-day international to his side, saying they could give other teams a tough time. Pakistan beat Afghanistan by seven wickets in the first-ever one-day international between the two countries here on Friday. Despite losing, Afghanistan put up a spirited show before a 15,000-strong crowd, hitting six sixes in their 195 and taking two early wickets when Pakistan batted. Misbah said he was impressed by Afghanistan's performance. "It was a good game. The way the Afghanistan team played I am really
happy. They have some really good, exciting cricketers," he said, adding it was "a good beginning" for the Afghan side. Afghanistan earned one-day status in 2009 and have since achieved several milestones, qualifying for the World Twenty20 in the Caribbean and finishing silver medallists in the Asian Games in China, both in 2010. They also won the Inter-Continental Cup, meant for associate teams, in 2010. "I think Afghanistan can give tough time to Zimbabwe, Bangladesh and even to better teams. It is all about experience and if they play more cricket against good teams in the world, they are going to improve." Misbah said Afghanistan were a dangerous limited over side. "T20 or for one-day, this is a danger-
ous side. They can still improve and they have excellent fighting spirit. They put in a lot of effort in fielding." Leg-spinner Shahid Afridi took 5-36 which kept Afghanistan to 195, still a good total in Misbah's opinion. Paceman Dawlat Zadran then dismissed opener Mohammad Hafeez (eight) and Asad Shafiq (20) before Younis Khan (70 not out) and Imran Farhat (52) saw Pakistan through in the 38th over. "Their fast bowlers bowled really well and their batting start was very good. I think on this wicket batting was not easy and the score of 195 was really good because even Sri Lanka had struggled on this wicket last year," said Misbah. "They have many positives to take from this game."
Afghanistan captain Nawroz Mangal said he was satisfied with his team's performance. "Our start was very good. Unfortunately the middle order collapsed and that prevented us from making a big score but we got two early wickets and overall I am satisfied with my team's performance against a top side," said Mangal. Mangal, 27, said there were several lessons for his team. "We learned a lot from this game. The most significant thing which we learned from this game... is the maturity how to play a one-day game, especially against a tougher side." Afghanistan will play in the World Twenty20 qualifiers in the United Arab emirates next month.
Islamabad, Karachi Zone B in U-14 Soccer semis ISLAMABAD StAff report
Islamabad and Karachi Zone B has moved to the semi-final of the National U-14 Football Championship-2012 on Saturday. In the first quarterfinal of the day Islamabad beat Nowshera Zone 2:0 at the outer Jinnah Football Stadium, Islamabad, Pakistan Islamabad got it goals through forward Hussnain Muhammod in the 22nd minute and forward Behlol in the 38th minute. In the second match of the day, Karachi Zone B beat Balochistan 3:1 at the same venue. Karachi Zone B scorers were forwards Shahid who scored two goals in the 53rd and 73rd minutes while Safeer got the third goal in the 51st minute. From the losing side Balochistan: Hammad scored in the 66th minute.
Nimbus claims $121m damages from BCCI MUMBAI cricinfo
Nimbus Communications, whose contract holding television rights to cricket in India was terminated in December, has claimed damages of close to Rs. 600 crores (approx. $121 million) from the BCCI in the arbitration process currently under way, eSPNcricinfo has learned. Nimbus' claim rests mainly on two contentions: that the Indian team rested top players, contrary to the contract, and that there was no India-Pakistan series as stipulated. Nimbus had secured the rights to Indian cricket for four years in January 2010, its second consecutive four-year deal with the Indian board. The agreement was valued at approximately Rs. 2000 crore (then $436 million) for a minimum of 64 international matches and 312 days of domestic cricket until 2014. The deal was terminated after the BCCI claimed Nimbus had defaulted on payments and the matter then went into arbitration.
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Sunday, 12 February, 2012
Federer crashes to shock Davis Cup defeat PARIS
OGeR Federer slumped to his first Davis Cup defeat in nine years on Friday when he was shocked 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7/4), 6-2 by John Isner as the United States opened up a 2-0 lead over Switzerland. World number three Federer, playing a World Group first round tie for the first time in eight years, saw his 15-match winning streak in the competition ended by the giant Isner on the indoor clay courts at Fribourg. Isner secured victory with three return winners as the 32-time Davis Cup champions moved closer to a quarter-final spot. Federer insisted that he and Stanislas Wawrinka, the Olympic doubles champions, can still pull the tie around by winning Saturday's doubles against Mike Bryan and Ryan Harrison. "I played a good match considering the altitude and the fact that it was my first match on clay since the French Open," said Federer. "It's a tough loss, but we are not down and out yet. Stan and I will pick ourselves up just like we did at the Olympics." Isner described the win as the best of his career and gave credit to captain Jim Courier. "The way I played today is the way I need to play in all my matches. I owe it to Jim Courier -- he was on at me to hit all my shots. It's the win of my life," said Isner, who unleashed 85 winners. Courier said Isner got his tactics just right against the 16-time Grand Slam title winner whose last Davis Cup singles loss came in 2003 when he was defeated by Aus-
tralia's Lleyton Hewitt in Melbourne. "The mission was to go out there and not allow an artist a canvas to work with," said Courier. earlier, Mardy Fish had defeated Wawrinka 6-2, 4-6, 4-6, 6-1, 9-7 in the opening rubber. "There's something special about the Davis Cup. You just never give up," said Fish. Defending champions Spain, who are without Rafael Nadal, were comfortably placed at 2-0 ahead of Kazakhstan in Oviedo. Veteran Juan Carlos Ferrero clawed out a 6-1, 4-6, 7-6 (7/2), 4-6, 6-4 win over Mikhail Kukushkin before Nicolas Almagro defeated Andrey Golubev 6-3, 4-6, 6-1, 6-1. Nadal is skipping the tournament to concentrate on the Grand Slams as well as the defence of his Olympic title. World number one Novak Djokovic is also absent from 2010 champions Serbia's tie in Nis against Sweden. But he wasn't missed as Janko Tipsarevic beat Filip Prpic 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 and Viktor Troicki saw off Michael Ryderstedt 6-4, 6-3, 5-7, 6-3 for a 2-0 lead. World number nine Tipsarevic had no problems against an opponent ranked 1,417 places below him while Ryderstedt, who replaced long-term illness victim Robin Soderling, at least took a set off Troicki. In Bamberg, last year's beaten finalists Argentina put a foot in the quarter-finals when they opened up a 2-0 lead against Germany. Juan Monaco beat Philipp Petzschner 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 before David Nalbandian battled back to defeat Florian Mayer 2-6, 6-0, 6-1, 7-6 (7/5). In Hyogo, Ivo Karlovic fired 18 aces to claim a
FRIBOURg: world number three Roger Federer waves to supporters after losing against John Isner of the US during a Davis Cup game. AFP straightforward 6-4, 6-4, 6-3 victory over Australian Open quarter-finalist Kei Nishikori as Croatia pulled level at 1-1 with Japan who are back in the World Group for the first time in 26 years. Japanese number two Go Soeda had earlier stormed back from two sets down to beat Ivan Dodig 6-7 (3/7), 3-6, 6-4, 6-3, 7-5. At Wiener Neustadt, Austria were 2-0
ahead of Russia with Jurgen Melzer claiming a 6-2, 6-7 (3/7), 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 win over Igor Kunitsyn before Andreas Haider-Maurer beat Alex Bogomolov 6-1, 6-4, 6-7 (1/7), 6-2. The Czech Republic were 2-0 ahead against Italy in Ostrava after 33-year-old Radek Stepanek defeated Andreas Seppi 46, 6-4, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 and Tomas Berdych had seen off Simone Bolelli 6-3, 4-6, 7-5, 6-2.
Sharapova stunned by injured zvonareva quits at Pattaya Kerber at Paris Open PARIS Afp
Top seed Maria Sharapova crashed out of the WTA Paris Open in the quarter-finals on Friday after falling 6-4, 6-4 to German ninth seed Angelique Kerber. Sharapova had breezed past Kerber in straight sets en route to the Australian Open final last month but the 24-year-old exacted sweet revenge on the world number three at a disbelieving Pierre de Coubertin indoor arena. "It was a tough day because my opponent played really well," admitted Sharapova. "I did have opportunities but I didn't take them today. "I was up in both sets and I had breaks but she played extremely well -- much better than I did, in any case. "I wasn't as aggressive as I would have liked. She's someone who also likes to go in and she has a good amount of power. She used that to her advantage more than I did." Kerber, the world number 27, had never previously beaten a top-10 player. "It's amazing," she said. "It's my first top-five win. I knew before the match that I had nothing to lose and my coach was telling me: 'If you want to win this match, you'll have to play your best tennis.' "I tried to do that and I'm very happy that I beat her and I'm in the semis." Playing in her first tournament since losing to Victoria Azarenka in the Melbourne final, Sharapova broke Kerber's serve twice in the opening set, only for the German left-hander to break back on both occasions. Kerber, who reached the semi-finals at last year's US Open, produced some flashing groundstrokes to go 5-4 up but the loss of the first set was all Sharapova's doing.
PattaYa: Top seed Vera Zvonareva was forced to retire from the Pattaya Open on Friday with a left hip injury while Maria Kirilenko reached the final beating bt Sorana Cirstea. Kirilenko will now face Vania King in the final. Maria Kirilenko, the fourth Russian seed beat Sorana Cirstea of Romania, who is seventh seed, 6-2, 5-7, 6-4. Zvonareva, the Russian, who won the title in 2009 and 2010, quit her quarter-final against seventh-seeded
Romanian Sorana Cirstea after winning the first set 6-2, losing the second set 6-4 and at 2-2 in the third. But defending champion and third-seeded Slovak Daniela Hantuchova won a high-quality battle against American eighth seed Vania King, advancing 7-6 (9-7), 6-4. Fourth-seeded Russian Maria Kirilenko held off a strong first set challenge from Thailand's Tamarine Tanasugarn before dominating the second to earn a 7-6 (7-2), 6-1 vic-
tory, and Taiwanese qualifier Hsieh Su-Wei reached her first WTA Tour semi-final in more than 10 years as she defeated India's Sania Mirza 7-5, 6-3. "It started bothering me already in the beginning of the first set, and it was getting worse and worse" said Zvonareva of her injury. "I was doing my best, but it was too tough for me to push off from that leg and it was very difficult to focus on the game. "I did everything I could but just couldn't continue anymore." Afp
In Vancouver, Canada and France ended the opening day level at 1-1. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga gave the first point to France with a 6-1, 6-3, 6-3 victory over Vasek Pospisil. Rising Canadian star Milos Raonic then knotted the tie with a 6-2, 6-4, 7-5 victory over Julien Benneteau, who was a late substitute in singles for Gael Monfils, who is nursing a knee injury.
hussey to miss third ODI SYDNEY Afp
Australia on Saturday said Mike Hussey would be rested for their third game in the tri-nation one-day international series, with allrounder Mitchell Marsh brought into the squad. Australia go into Sunday's match against India in Adelaide unbeaten, after victory over Sri Lanka in Perth on Friday and an earlier win over India. "Mike Hussey is to be rested and will not travel with the squad to Adelaide while Ben Hilfenhaus has returned to Hobart and will not join the squad for tomorrow's match," Cricket Australia said. Western Australia's Marsh will join the squad in Adelaide, it added. Australia have yet to name their squad for the remaining games in the series, which continues until March 8. Australia: Michael Clarke (c), Dan Christian, Xavier Doherty, Peter Forrest, Ryan Harris, David Hussey, Mitchell Marsh, Clint McKay, Ricky Ponting, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade, David Warner.
LAhORe: The winners of different categories of the 1st Lahore hotel Junior Tennis Tournament with the chief guest at the PLTA’s courts. Aiman qureshi won the under-14 girls title while Ahmed Babar took the under-18 crown. stAFF PHOtO
Punjab sports Festival gains momentum LAhoRE StAff report
The Punjab Sports Festival 2012 is gaining pace after every passing day and words o praise are flowing in from MPs and other officials. Rana Mashood, Deputy Speaker Punjab Assembly visited Punjab University Old Campus ground here and met the players. He showed his satisfaction and pleasure over the organization of the mega event. “I congratulate the Punjab Government on conducting this successful sports festival 2012 which is basically aimed at creating a sports culture in the province and tap talented players at the grass roots level” he added. This kind of events had never been conducted in the history of Pakistan and
such activities should be the part of society to create a healthy and active nation, he maintained and later distributed prizes among the winning teams of Tehsil level. MNA Bilal Yasin and MPA Ajasim Shareef were also present on this occasion. In Lahore Model Town, volleyball girls competition was held between Lahore School Joher Town and Government Model Girls High School Model Town. The Lahore School Joher Town won 9-6 and 8-5. Sheeza Shokat hit the highest score of 6 points. In General Public Cricket matches, UC 112 beat UC 125 by 6 runs, Usman was declared the man of the match. In athletics, boys schools participated in all events in which Daniyal from Beaconhouse Garden Town won the 100 meter and 200 meter races
while Sarum was second in both the races. Mohammad Shahbaz from Government Boys High School Model Town won 400 meter race, Sadiq Yusuf was second. Usman won the 800 meter race whereas Waqas got second position. In 1500 meter, Sabir Ali from Government HS Manga Mandi was first while Shahbaz second. Waqas o the same school was the winner of long jump and Sarum Zulifqar from Beaconhouse Garden Town won shotput. Salman Sani from Beaconhouse Defence got the first position in javelin throw. In Cantt/Shalamar, the final hockey match was conducted in which Government High School Jallomore beat Government Ikhwan HS Burki 2-0. In football matches, Government School of Baghbanpura beat Punjab School 1-0, Government HS Jallomore
beat Muslim HS Lahore Cantt 5-0. In the final Government HS Jallomore outplayed Government School Baghbanpura 4-0. In the General Public badminton,UC 22 beat UC 48 by 153,15-6 while in the doubles, the score was 15-13,15-14. In cricket (General public), UC 55 made 205 runs to beat UC 56 with 76 runs. Ashraf was declared the man of the match. In other match, UC 19 beat UC 20 by 47 runs. Muneeb was the man of the match with 65 runs simultaneously. In boys schools cricket, Government HS Mujahidabad beat Government HS Ganj Mughalpura by 13 runs. Amjad with 25 runs was the man of the match. Government Muslim High School Lahore Cantt defeated Government HS Baghbanpura by 1 run while Sagheer was declared the best player of the match with 73 runs.
DUBAI: Pakistan disabled cricketer Farhan Saeed (L) delivers the ball during the T20 match against england Disaballity team at the ICC global Cricket Academy (ICC gCA) in Dubai Sports City. Cricketers with disabilities from Pakistan and england promise to defy all odds during their ground-breaking series, hoping it could set examples for such other people in life. AFP
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Sunday, 12 February, 2012
About controversies and the ‘Greenwash’ The World This Week ALI AkBAR
Pakistan’s “greenwash” over england cannot be praised enough. It was not the extent of the victory, but, more importantly, the way the Pakistan team went about their task. They were on the ropes in the second Test and proceeded calmly, to dismiss england for very little. They were then shot out for below a hundred, but such is the self belief in the players, that they remained unruffled and backed their abilities. In the second innings, the batsmen showed admirable maturity to tame the england bowling and build a lead that was then defended by perhaps the best spin attack on the circuit. This mental and emotional resilience is something that only the captain and to a lesser extent, the management can nurture. A lot of the credit, therefore, goes to skipper Misbah ul Haq and coach Mohsin Khan. It is also important for us to realize that these good times are not never-ending, that there will be losses as surely as the sun will come up in the morning. It is how the team and the PCB react to these fluctuations that will determine the long term prospects of the team. It was, therefore, discomfiting to hear the PCB chairman taunt the Indian cricket team, saying that they were scared of playing Pakistan. With all due regards, these words smack of immaturity and jingoism and are best not repeated. The PCB chairman would be advised to listen to interviews of Federer, Nadal or Djokovic after one of their Grand Slam wins. They are humility personified and full of gracious praise for their vanquished opponent. Not only is this easy on the eyes and ears, it also relieves pressure on themselves, a clever piece of sports psychology. One hopes that the PCB does not have to eat its words in the
near future. The Pakistan team for the ODI series against england has been announced by selector Mohammad Ilyas. His son in law Imran Farhat has been duly selected for both T20 and ODIs. There have been times in Pakistan cricket when, if a selector’s near relative was up for selection, the selector resigned from his position. The principle is that even if the selector does not have nepotistic tendencies, there should be no doubt about the fairness of the selection. The PCB will have to carefully monitor these tendencies, because this can cause strife and low morale among the team members, no matter how clean the selection. One has not followed the performances of Imran Farhat, but regardless, the selection is going to be food for controversy, something the team can scarcely abide. The use of Performance enhancing Drugs in tennis has been highlighted in an advertisement on French TV Canal+ channel. The ad features a caricature of Rafael Nadal driving a car and leaves no room for doubt as to what it is implying. The Spanish Tennis Federation is now suing the TV company. earlier, French legend Yannick Noah had accused the Spanish athletes of using unfair means. The controversy seems to be heating up and could spin out of control. Already there are rumours of one top Spanish tennis star who was tested positive for drugs but was bailed out by the company that sponsored his clothing. evidently, the company stood to lose so much over the scandal that they paid a huge fine and the player was told to ride out his suspension by claiming an injury. It seems now that other countries are challenging what is in their view, an unfair ascendency of Spanish players on the tennis scene. evidently all is not as calm and placid in the tennis world as the ATP would have us believe. Another controversy in tennis that is
rearing its head is that of the ranking system where players are ranked on their one year performance and are under continuous pressure to defend the points that they had earned in a tournament the previous year. For instance, if a player reached the semi finals of the French Open last year, he would be defending those points this year. If he reached the semis again this year, he would break even. If he lost in the first or second round, the previous year’s points would be lost and those earned this year would
take their place. The player’s ranking would plummet. A group of players led by Nadal, are trying for a two year performance criterion. They feel that this would give the players a little breathing room so that they can miss some tournaments in order to recover from injuries. Players among them, Roger Federer, oppose this, saying that there is no need to tinker with a system that is working. This has led to a rare public disagreement between Federer and Nadal. Unfortunately, the top players are not addressing the plight of
the up and coming players who toil in the Futures and to a lesser extent the Challenger circuits. The prize money in the Futures is so poor that even the winner of the event, at times, cannot make ends meet. This area of tennis is the one that needs to be addressed the most and could be critical for its future health. Perhaps a certain small percentage could be taken from prize money from the major events and injected into the Futures circuit. The top players who make huge sums of money, would not notice the difference.
Big games in store this week g
Pakistan take on england in ODIs, Real face Levante in La Liga, AC Milan host Arsenal and Bulls and Celtics lock horns in the NBA
ALL BASES COVERED kUNWAR khULDUNE ShAhID The coming week has some scrumptious humdingers in store for sports buffs in a wide array of sports. england would look to recover from the mauling in the test series, to regain some self-esteem in the shorter format against Pakistan, top faces fourth in La Liga as Madrid vie to extend their lead at the top, the Champions League is back and there is a massive clash between the top dogs in the east in the NBA.
out-Spinning englAnd AgAin
After the whitewash – green-wash, clean sweep or any other detergent related pun that you care to sermon – of the english side, their maladroit approach to spin bowling was made pretty conspicuous. One feels that england never really recovered from being out-spinned in the first session of the first test, and the mere sight of one of our spinners sent a barrage of chills down the collective spine of the english batting. Hence, it seemed a nobrainer that Pakistan would once again be counting on its spinning repertoire to outdo england in the ODI series. Cue Shahid Khan Afridi. While the ‘full sleeved’ demon Saeed Ajmal would once again look to conjure up his haunting array of varieties to set the stage for another Middle eastern massacre, it would be Shahid Afridi, who would look to add to the english horror
tale, with his own bag of menace. Then there is Mohammed Hafeez and potentially Shoaib Malik as well with their off spin to add to the daunting duo. In fact, the way the english batsmen play spin bowling, we could even try out our leg spinning duo of Imran Farhat and Younus Khan; and if the test series was anything to go by, the english batsmen would make them look like Shane Warne and Abdul Qadir respectively. However, the fact that it’s a fresh series and a new format, could give england much needed confidence to start from scratch and build up from there. The first game of any series is important, but the game on Monday would be of paramount significance for england. A loss for Alastair Cook’s men would result in that repugnant sensation of déjà vu, and they might find it hard to recover from that. The english selectors seem to have learned a thing or two from the test series catastrophe and have looked to freshen up the squad with an influx of youth, for what they’d be hoping is a fresh start. Craig Kieswetter would join the skipper at the top of the order, with Jonathan Trott, Kevin Pieterson and eoin Morgan constituting the core of their middle order with Ravi Bopara at six and one of Jonathan Bairstow and Samit Patel battling for the number seven slot. The bowling lineup should be quiet similar from the english test squad, with Tim Bresnan likely to join James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann in the attack. For Pakistan, the batting would again be under the microscope, and the return of Afridi, Umar Akmal and possibly Shoaib Malik would inject much needed aggression in the middle order. Malik possibly has the most number of gears in our lineup and his inclusion in the middle order could provide the bridge between our anchors and the lower order flamboyance, even though he is yet to trace any inkling of his former self ever since his return. All in all, Pakistan look like the favourites for the series, and if they win the first ODI, the scoreline could be hum-
bling again for england.
reAl looK to eXtend leAd
Sami Khedira and Angel Di Maria could return as Real Madrid continue their quest of ending Barca’s hegemony over Spain.
MilAn fAceS tough tASK
even though Barcelona have a firm grip over Real Madrid in terms of their head to head, it is the Madrid side who seem to strengthening their control on the La Liga trophy, especially after recent events which has seen Jose Mourinho’s side extend their lead to seven points. With rumours of Jose Mourinho’s departure from Madrid gaining momentum, Real would do well to focus on the challenge at hand and ensure that they get the better of the only side barring Barcelona that has beaten them this season. Levante have had a stop start season, even though they find themselves in the top four. Their current league position is courtesy a breathtaking start to the season; but they are traversing a six game winless run, to vindicate the claim of them being patchy. Levante would be without Jose Javier Barkero and Juanlu Gomez today who are out injured and Xavi Torres is out as well; while Juanfran remains a doubt. The club from Valencia beat Real earlier on in the season, but pulling off a similar result at the Santiago Bernabeu would be nearly mission impossible, especially since they have had to bear an assortment of injuries and exodus of key personnel ever since that momentous triumph and hence the early season cohesion is long gone. For Los Blancos Hamit Altintop could be out for a month, with Marcelo also remaining on the sidelines. Nevertheless
The Champions League is back as the business end of the tournament is underway. Four Round-of-16 clashes would be played this midweek and four the following week; and the pick of this week’s ties sees Arsenal visit AC Milan for the first leg on Wednesday, with the other three matchups being Lyon vs APOeL, Bayern Leverkusen vs Barcelona and Zenit St Petersburg vs Benfica. As far as AC Milan are concerned, they were on a purple patch prior to the Derby della Mandonnina, but their wheels seem to have come off after that. Milan’s old guard is feeling the stress of a strenuous season already, and on current form they would struggle against a youthful Arsenal team. even though Arsenal’s own mental fortitude has come under question many a time – something that they share with Milan as things stand – what is definitely not under question is the permeation of exuberance within the Arsenal ranks; and with the gaping disparity between the collective squad ages, Arsenal can run the Milan side absolutely ragged – both home and away. With Antonia Cassano, Alberto Aquilani and Alexandre Pato all dealing with a wide gamut of injuries, the attacking prowess has definitely been affected. Couple this with a shaky defence – which only has Thiago Silva as a genuinely
world beating presence, following Alessandro Nesta’s injury enforced absence – and things look bleak for the Milan giants ahead of Wednesday.
boSton chAllenge neXt for bullS
Much like the Milan-Arsenal matchup on Wednesday, tonight’s Bulls-Celtics clash sees an age disparity between the sides; but one doesn’t get the feeling that the ‘youngsters running the oldies ragged’ façade comes into play in this one. Celtics are a very smart team, and when they realise that they can’t outpace a team, they end up outthinking their opponents more often than not. Another thing Celtics have is that they peddle quintessential teamwork and it’s never a one man show with them. And hence it comes as no massive surprise that Boston are clicking as a unit this season. Paul Pierce, easily one of the greatest small forwards of all time, looks healthy, Rajon Rondo is back from his injury layoff, Kevin Garnett looks on song and then there is Ray Allen who is having an extremely lucrative year. We’re talking about players who are in the hall of fame and some of the greats over here. And with so many really competent players in the side, the opponents can’t go into the game targeting a particular player to shut down. The Bulls are in for a tough ride tonight. Joakim Noah, Carlos Boozer, Derrick rose et all, know that they need to be at their very best in Boston tonight, if they really want to assert themselves as the top dogs in the east, and throw out the gauntlet to Miami, and tell them that Chicago is vying to go one better this year… at least.
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Scrutinising the age spectrum at Man United g
Ryan giggs has signed on for his 22nd year at Old Trafford, which is one year more than David De gea’s age commenT J.k WALI
Ryan Giggs has signed a one-year contract extension, which would take the 38-year old veteran into a 22nd year at Old Trafford, following his debut in March 1991. When Ryan Giggs signed his professional contract on 29th November 1990, United’s goalkeeping prodigy David De Gea was merely 22 days old; and it is these two players at the two extremes of the age spectrum in the United squad who have been under the spotlight in recent matches for a wide array of reasons. We had run out of superlatives to describe Giggs’ excellence and longevity a few years back, and now one can only sit back and applaud an absolutely unique footballer and realise that players of his kin and creed are becoming rarer as time moves on. In a sense, the Welshman epitomises everything
that symbolises Man Utd’s trophy laden years, during which he has been an integral part of the club’s setup. He has had the adaptability to change according to the fluctuating needs of his team and in synchrony with the evolving nature of the game. The fact that he has retained his hunger and drive for success after winning everything that english football offers many a time, illustrates the ethos of his club, and also demonstrated something that is criminally missing amongst the current seniors at Old Trafford. 38 years young, Ryan Giggs is quite often seen as the most creative spark for Manchester United even in the present time; which shows his importance to the current United side and the lack of similar ingenuity amongst his younger teammates. At an assist per 95 minutes in the BPL, Ryan Giggs has the best assist per minute ratio in the league; hence, while the legs don’t allow the relentless marauding runs of a few years
back, the ball playing skills, passing, movement and crossing is second to none as United’s number 11 approaches the 40-year old mark. Young players – and not only from Old Trafford – can take a lesson or two in crossing from him; and a couple such potential apprentices spring to mind, from the left and right wing of Liverpool and Arsenal respectively. With United’s midfield marred with injuries and incompetence, Giggs has done a marvelous job in the center of the park to ensure that his side still finds the top of the league table well within their sights. David De Gea was earmarked as edwin Van Der Saar’s successor, when more experienced options were available in the market. A season of mixed performances has meant that the current goalkeeping scenario is reminiscent of the circus put on display after Peter Schmeichel retired in 1999. De Gea has failed to stamp himself as the number 1 at Old Trafford, and after an abysmal
Pakistan now aim to climb up the Odi ladder
LAhoRE StAff report
After three keenly-contested and hard fought Tests, Pakistan and england shift their focus to the shorter version of the game when they go head to head in the four-match ODI series with the incentive being a movement in the right direction on the Reliance ICC ODI Championship table. Fifth-ranked Pakistan is on 109 ratings points and leads sixth-ranked england by just three ratings points. If Pakistan sweeps the series, it will gain four ratings points and will rise to 113 ratings points whereas england will slip to 101 ratings points by dropping five ratings points. However, if the series result is reversed, then england will rise to 111 ratings points while Pakistan will plunge to 104 ratings points. While in case of a two-all draw, Pakistan will drop one ratings points and england will retain its pre-series ratings, Pakistan will gain two ratings points and england will surrender two ratings points if Misbah-ul-Haq’s side wins the series 3-1. In the scenario of england winning the series 3-1, Alastair Cook’s men will gain three ratings points while Pakistan will drop three ratings points. With number-one side Australia, second-ranked India and fourth-ranked Sri Lanka currently involved in a three-nation series in Australia, and seventh-ranked New Zealand set to host third-ranked South Africa in the three-match ODI series from 25 February-3 March, the overall rankings will only be confirmed when the series in Australia concludes in the first week of March. Meanwhile, in the Reliance ICC Player Rankings, only Jonathan Trott of england and Pakistan’s Umar Akmal figure inside the top 20 of the Reliance ICC Player Rankings for ODI batsmen while five bowlers, including four spinners, from either side feature inside the top 20 of the Reliance ICC Player Rankings for ODI bowlers. Trott is sitting in fourth position with
India’s third-ranked Virat Kohli firmly within his sights while 10th-ranked Umar is in touching distance from Australia captain Michael Clarke who is in ninth spot. If Umar shows good form in the series, then he has the potential to break into the top five as he trails an injured fifth-ranked Shane Watson of Australia by 41 ratings points. Batsmen sitting just outside the top 20 include Misbah-ul-Haq (26th), eoin Morgan (28th), Alastair Cook (35th), Younus Khan (36th) and Shahid Afridi (37th) while batsmen hoping to improve their rankings include Mohammad Hafeez (43rd) and Kevin Pietersen (48th). The list is headed by South Africa’s Hashim Amla while his ODI captain AB de Villiers is 26 ratings points behind in second position. Spinners dominate the bowlers with Saeed Ajmal and Mohammad Hafeez occupying the top two positions, england’s Graeme Swann in fourth position, just 19 points behind Hafeez, and Shahid Afridi is in 11th spot. The only fast bowler from either side inside the top 20 is James Anderson in 16th position while sitting just outside the top 20 are Pakistan’s Umar Gul (24th) and Stuart Broad (29th). In the Reliance ICC Player Rankings for ODI all-rounders, Hafeez is occupying second spot while Shahid in in fourth position. england’s highest-ranked all-rounder is Tim Bresnan in 17th place. The player rankings will be now updated on 22 February, a day after the fourth and last ODI between Pakistan and england, and eighth match in the triangular series in Australia between India and Sri Lanka in Brisbane. Pakistan v england Series schedule: Feb 13: First ODI (d/n), Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi Feb 15: Second ODI (d/n), Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi Feb 18: Third ODI (d/n), Dubai International Cricket Stadium Dubai Feb 21: Fourth ODI (d/n), Dubai International Cricket Stadium Dubai.
showing against Blackburn in late December, it was Anders Lindegaard who supplanted him as Fergie’s number 1. However, injuries to Lindegaard and Ben Amos have meant that De Gea is once again in the spotlight, and his performance in the 3-3 draw against Chelsea summarised the Spaniard’s first year in the BPL – panic-stricken, with the potential of being absolutely brilliant. David De Gea’s decision making leaves a lot to be desired on many occasions, and when in the first ten minutes at Old Trafford he chose to punch a ball, for which he could have run across to Cech’s goal and come back to his own and still have enough time to catch it, shows his lack of comfort in such situations. A lot of that is due to the fact that he’s merely 21, which connotes that he still has to grow, both physically and mentally. 21 is too young an age for goalkeepers to flaunt their best, and most of them don’t reach their peak till the late 20s, when they
become mentally strong, and can cope with the pressure of being in a position on the football pitch, where the smallest of mistakes can cost their side the game. Nevertheless, the Spaniard has from time to time also displayed why he is rated so highly by pundits in Spanish football and by those at the managerial helm at Old Trafford. De Gea’s double save late on against Chelsea, from the Cahill shot and more astoundingly that acrobatic effort from the Mata free kick that looked bound for the top corner for all money, shows the young prodigy’s top drawer shot stopping skills. However, one needs a lot of mental fortitude to be the goalkeeper at Old Trafford – as the likes of Howard, Carrol, Bosnich, Taibi and Barthez found out – since there is so much pressure resting on every game. De Gea might eventually become the complete package and a world beating goal keeper, but he’s far from being that at the moment.
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Published by Arif Nizami for Nawa Media Corporation (Pvt) Ltd at Qandeel Printing Press, 4 Queens Road, Lahore.
Editor: Arif Nizami, Executive Editor: Sarmad Bashir